Feather your Nest Friday, 13th October, 2023.

Well, we made it to Friday and with lots of "doing the next thing" I have plenty to report.  Thank goodness for photos as I didn't keep a list as I usually do. 

Thank you all for such beautiful replies and comments during the week.  Reading and replying has been a joy and very helpful to me,  thank you! πŸ’—

The week had some really beautiful moments.    Being Spring there are wildflowers everywhere.   For my Christmas flowers I have plans to have natives and I am collecting things I can dry to fill things out.  This is a really huge basket filled with all whites.

Also I can enjoy them in the meantime!

I went into town and met my friend Wendy.  We always do some swaps.  Most times I give her eggs.  This time I came away with a great gift from her husband Ian.  When I opened the lid I said "I've got all my eggs back!"  πŸ˜€   This is egg shell powder.... full of calcium for the garden.  It weighted a ton!  

Tomatoes like calcium... it has already been sprinkled everywhere and I still have heaps left.  Great gift.
ALSO they gave me a bag of large plastic pots.  This was great as I was completely out of pots large enough for tomato or capsicum plants.    When I got home I found there were 18!   

We got them filled with good soil and ready to plant the next day. I would say they are each about the size of a bucket. 

While in town I went to the nursery and got some seedlings with a "I hope I can find a space to plant these" kind of plan.  

Some are more advanced pumpkins and twelve basil.

My own pumpkins have grown from tiny, tiny to looking like they might take off.

I have quite a few patches like these.

Hundreds and hundreds of tiny parsley plants are up in circles around the fruit trees.   I am so excited because this is going to look beautiful and give me so much to freeze dry/share/gift and take to the swap table.  Apart from stocking all the family of course!

Back to the pots... there was also a stack of tiny little pots. 

These could be for baby succulents or seedlings...  good for the swap table and gifts too.

The basil was planted up and today I plated self sown tomato plants that came up in a clump and a place they could not succeed.  I carefully divided them and they filled every last pot.

Oops.... some were planted with capsicums I grew from seeds.  Anyway they are now full!  

In the thrift store I found some really nice kids clothes.   They were mostly girls size 8 tops,  just right for our girls.  Also and two for the boys.  One was larger which I put away in my chest of drawer  kids "pantry."   I was so happy with them,  when I got home that day I had them all in the washing machine straight away!     Also there were two knitting/crochet starter packs... they included knitting needles and a crochet hook.   They were $4 each and I thought they would be a lovely gift.  

My bake up was Tuna Mornay. I made two double batches.   One tray went to Chloe.  She has been even more busy lately because of some appointments because she and Luke are having another baby in March!!  And now I am allowed to tell you.   Yay!   I find it so hard not to blab lol.    So we are all very, very happy!   Mum has the knitting needles on turbo charge.

Our apple tree is now covered in blossom.  It is looking promising.  One thing we are not short of is bees.  We have bees everywhere.  

We have a little bit of rain just now.  This is good!

On buy, swap and sell a local guy was selling hay.   I asked if he would deliver and he said yes!   So we met another farmer in the area and had fifty bales delivered.  They are beautiful!

Some will be for the goats.  Some for two different chicken coops.  Some spare.

A goal we've had for a couple of years is a new roof on our big old shed.  I love the shed because it has a stone fireplace and chimney.   It was decided it is sound except for the roof.  This week work began!  The gutters are part of the repair.... now we will collect all the water into a big tank.  Progress!

This afternoon I made a big pot of spaghetti meat sauce.  There was shredded zucchini in the freezer and that went in.   Several tomatoes that needed to be used up,  fresh parsley and oregano from the garden, tomatoes and onions from summer that I froze... I just kept adding.   We had dinner with pasta and the sauce then I made the rest into three large lasagnes.   The last one came out of the oven at 8 pm.   I might get some photos tomorrow!   I don't need to cook over the weekend and I will add to my ready meals freezer.   Win/win!

I want to encourage you to feather your nest,  build up your pantry and keep at it.  The difference you can make is enormous.  Be the wise woman.  There is a lot to think about but we keep on doing the next thing.xxx


  1. Oh the joy and excitement of Spring! We are enjoying the beauty of Fall here in Michigan. Although rain is expected we hope to go on a drive to see the colors up north this weekend. Hope we make it but we are expecting rain.
    I too look for clothes for the kids when I'm out at sales. They grow so fast so I feel good about getting them stocked up.
    Have a great time planting this weekend.

    1. Dear Vickie, I really love Fall, we say Autumn. It is my favourite and I love the leaves and colours. I think putting away clothes is a very good idea. I have to go through what I have a couple of times a year and make sure it is given out as you say they grow really fast! I like having that backup supply though. We have rain which is amazing for the garden! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Oh that was lovely to read Annabel!! Congratulations to Chloe, Luke and your whole family!! That’s so exciting. And well done not blabbing lol.

    You had a great week in the garden, those pots are excellent. I really loved your pics of the girls last week, you had some great ideas for gift making. I’m going to use some of your ideas as mine would also love them!

    I had a big cleanup this week as the kids went back to school. It’s a really good reminder to me when everything looks nice and clean that we are so blessed to have a home that our family loves being in.

    Last week a pipe broke in our bathroom and I was really worried about the cost to fix it. I thought they would have damage the wall to get to the pipes. I called a plumber that my neighbour recommended, they came the next day and he fixed that easily without touching the wall, as well as replacing our kitchen tap that was well past its use by date. I was so pleased, we’ll definitely use them again.

    We have guests coming this weekend and next. We haven’t had anyone come to stay in nearly two years and now we have two in two weeks lol. So lots of baking and cooking!

    I hope you have a great weekend
    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, I am glad the bathroom problem was sorted out so well. You will be busy with visitors! I know they will love your baking! Enjoy! With much love Annabel.xxx

  3. Dear Annabel,
    Congratulations to Chloe and Luke. Such a happy occasion. With all of your Mum's knitting I can only imagine that the new little one will be one of the best dressed babies around. I love the gifts you received and the op shop finds.
    We worked in the container garden harvesting what I call my Free sweet potatoes. Several years ago I took a sweet potato that was sprouting and grew slips that got planted and produced an abundance of sweet potatoes. From that batch I saved one sweet potato, let it sprout and grew more slips, planted them and grew more sweet potatoes. I've kept doing this and, well, free sweet potatoes. We harvested a 10 gallon bucket so far and they are now curing. These have all been grown in containers. Rather than digging them we just turn the container upside down on a tarp and pull out the potatoes. We can also take out the roots and amend and reuse the soil. We still have peppers, green beans , chard,
    carrots and butternut squash that continues to grow.
    Three dozen English muffins for my husband got made. He likes to have one with his breakfast everyday. In the stores they are $6 for a 6 muffin pack. If bought would be $36 a month . Making them only cost $1.90. The savings is money that can be put to other grocery items. I sometimes use oat flour for gluten free baking. In the stores oat flour is $7.95 for a 12 ounce box. Made at home from oatmeal put in the blender it's pennies to make a batch, making brown sugar and powdered sugar the same.
    I took advantage of Prime Day and got two pair of sweat pants for my husband for less than the price of one pair. I also took advantage of some clearance prices online with no shipping and was able to get 3 beautiful sweaters for myself for what one sweater at full price would have cost. I continue to work on cards for personal use, gifts, and for an organization called Cards for Kindness. Anyone can donate handmade cards to them. You can find them online. These cards are distributed to many charitable organizations, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.
    All the usual fluffing and dusting got done, and all meals for the freezer were made.
    In these highly troubled times I need to remember that we were born for such a time as this and pray without ceasing. Stay safe. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, I love your method of producing the Sweet Potatoes! Also the method of harvesting them! You had some great deals and beautiful baking. I love the English Muffins!
      Cards are so useful as we all need them, cards are a gift ie a pack of cards or tags and also for the charity option... plus your cards are always stunning! Yes we were born for such a time as thing and we can do it! With love Annabellxxx

  4. Annabel,
    Congratulations of the news of another baby! Such a blessing! I so enjoy reading your blog posts every week and try to add to my pantry as I can. We moved to the middle of the USA and it is a learning curve in the garden area. Rocks, lots of rocks in the soil. I have added two more raised beds and would like to add two more. Planning to add fruit trees in the spring. Our prices in the Ozark's are high and getting higher at the grocery store as much is shipped in to our stores. There are not really thrift stores here to find any good bargains. May the blessings continue for you and your family. Belinda

    1. Dear Belinda, Thank you! Our farm is kind of rocks and sand! Raised beds or container gardening have worked best for me by far. We have improved some areas of soil where we planted the fruit trees and now have a pumpkin and zucchini patch. And stones (if they are large enough) can make great walls, borders and more. It is great you have room for some fruit trees. See if there are any local buy, swap and sell groups. Even if the local library has seeds. The more gardeners you can meet the better as they will know stuff and be helpful! I love your plans! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. All those lovely pots were an amazing gift! Pretty much like Christmas to ones like you and me! Congratulations on the new baby! Now that is the biggest blessing there is for a grandmother! I was just wondering yesterday if we are done with the crib at our house. I hope not but you know we are not allowed to ask. :) Those white flowers will be so wonderful after you dry them. Your big shed sound like a wonderful space that you could have parties in or even rent out for parties. I imagine a winter party with a big fire and cozy drinks and snacks.

    Our garden is finishing up but we did can two jars of green beans this week and made a lovely basil and garlic sauce for pizzas that is frozen and tucked away. We are always adding to our freezer meals just like you and soups and stews canned and in the cupboard sure do come in handy. This week we added zucchini bread to the freezer.

    I am beginning to see some empty spaces on shelves here and some items that are just not on the shelf with all the space filled with lots of one item again. A few items were just not available and the store had no idea when they would be restocked. After your Nana post I did encourage Hubby to get the empty LP tank filled and ready for winter in case we need to use the generator. Hubby also took the generator out of the garage and started it to make sure it is ready to go. One less thing to worry about!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, There is nothing surer than if you get rid of the grib there will be another baby!
      The pizza sauce sounds delicious. I have planted Basil like crazy as I love it so much.
      I am glad you have the spare fuel and gave the generator a run. It is just a wise thing to do. Have a great new week! With love, Annabel.xxx

  6. Debby in Kansas USA13 October 2023 at 08:13

    Annabel, your weekly posts are such a blessing and your urgings to prepare are uplifting rather than fearful. Save me a seat(a bit wider than usual, pls) on that anxiety bench because I am always waiting for the next shoe to drop. My mom called me Nerves when I was young. Not nice, but too true.

    I'm looking forward to your Plan Book because it's such a good idea. I want to share a story of how this has worked in my life. Many years ago, someone told me to imagine doing something perfectly in a bad situation, say being attacked from behind. Rather than fear it, picture yourself responding to it over and over. Rehearsal for the live action scene, if you will. While I was not attacked, thank the Lord, another scenario worried me. I found out early on after moving into this house that Google was showing the wrong house to our address. We live in a development that ridiculously has 4 streets with the same name. I started to worry that if I was to call in an emergency, the responders would end up nearly 3 blocks away. So, every night I would close my eyes and imagine my calling in an emergency and explaining that Google was wrong and give them quick and correct directions. It helped me relax to know I had a plan. Sure enough, my mom had a stroke, I was panicked, but I did it!!! With no hesitation, I called in, explained her situation, and informed the dispatcher of the error in directions. That EMT bus did not pass our little street, but came roaring around the corner straight to our house. The driver told me that I probably saved them 5 minutes or more.
    Proof that my plan worked. Incidentally, our house is now on the map correctly. I have no idea who named our streets, but they obviously didn't consider the possible error in case of emergency.

    Enough of my blathering. Thanks, Annabel!

    1. Dear Debby, Thank you for sharing this! It was really good that you thought ahead how the wrong directions and house identification could cause a dangerous delay! This has me thinking. We want a clear number, driveway etc so we are not hard to find in an emergency where we need to bring in help.
      I agree with you that a plan is really very good. If you mentally break down in a. crisis the pan kicks in. I learned EPR and everyone tells me that in a crisis you kick in and away you go, although I try and update and revisit the training. Good advice, thank you! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Dear Annabel, I love all your work, Spring is so beautiful and full of fresh, new energy! Very good things from the thrift store, i think the knitting starter would be a great gift for the little girls. My very first completed knit was a tiny blanket for my little doll, 20 cm x 10 cm, in black and white stripes, leftovers from my mum's work. I still HAVE it! I use crushed eggshels for calcium for my chickens. They are molting now and they look so funny - like a great pijama party with pillow fights!πŸ˜‹. Eggs are fewer now but it is dark and cold... I still have tomatoes to pick, I saved seeds from the good varietes and with some, like cherry tomatoes, that proved to be very hardy and easy to grow, I just left them on the ground. The last two years I had better results this way, volunteers were stronger than the seedlings. My husband just came in saying he had to move again over the fence a big hedgehog. We have a family of hedgehogs and in the summer the babies were like toys. Our dogs bark at them till we come out and move them over. Not funny at 4 am but to have them here means the soil and the garden are healthy.
    The world is a terrible place, my heart and prayers are with Israel and all the innocent persons on both sides. A new war, with such violence, is unbrlievable. This week the Ucrainian president, mr Zelenski, have visited our country. He was open to any questions from the press, tired but focused, and he said he is worried about the new war, and what that could mean for Russia's power. For me, he is like a real hero in this troubled, crazy days. Also, I think Europe will be pressured once again by the new waves of immigrants from this new war. Tommorrow we start harvesting the grapes, a nice day preparing the future red wine. It is a tradition in my husband's family from1960's and we go on for the last 25 years. My cousin said she will come and help, so I made her a package of eggs, wallnuts and a big bunch of roses. And of course sweet grapes. Have a nice weekend everybody, sending you love and smiles from far away, Laura's world from Romania

    1. Dear Laura, Oh my goodness if you see the baby hedgehogs please make them Instagram stars I would love to see them!
      Thank you for your encouragement.. Also I think your idea to get the girls knowing with the kids is great. Look at how your knitting began and look at you now! The wine project sounds fantastic. What a skill!
      As your cold months are much colder than ours and probably darker... just keeping the hens healthy and warm is everything ready for lots of egg laying come Spring! They are really such an asset to you. And as you know how much they add joy to life!
      Laura yes it is daunting what is happening. Last week I fell in a hole about it. Now it is "near" to everyone in different ways but you are the only person who is so close physically to the war. I pray for your safety everyday. With much love Annabel.xxx

  8. Hello Annabel and everyone,

    Your garden efforts are really taking off, Annabel! That was a great lot of hay, too. The yarn kits look great. Many congratulations to Chloe and Luke!!

    Still trying to get just one extra thing done each day, and all the fall home maintenance done. The contractor came by to fix the new bay window that had issues after installation, and it is perfect now. We had an autumn check for termites - peace of mind! - and I cleaned all the floors and soft furnishings.

    I had a baking day and made two kinds of muffins and a chocolate depression cake for a dinner with my dad (it was a hit, and freezes well), and a big batch of roasted veggies and potatoes. We will get a hard freeze in a couple of weeks, so I've been cleaning up the garden and getting in last harvests of things that won't survive the freeze - lots of green beans, some lettuce and green onions harvested. Bunches of tomatoes are starting to turn red, so I hope they make it before the freeze comes. The strawberry starts from runners were planted in the raised beds - my plan is to have 2 strawberry beds next spring, and add 2 more for veggies. We are well supplied with seeds and pots!

    Crafts-wise I fully finished several cross-stitch projects one evening, and finished 1 pair of socks. Stitches are getting put into a new cross stitch project and my sweater and shawl as I have a few minutes.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

    1. Dear Kathy,
      I hope your tomatoes make it in time! Everything you are bringing in now before the weather turns freezing is very good! All your work and doing the extra thing every day has seen you complete many projects! Well done!! You have been so busy each week!
      It is so nice your Dad enjoys you baking so much too. He must love to come for dinner. The things you freeze are fantastic too.
      Well done on your stitching and I cant wait to see this sweater and completed shawl! With much love Annabel.xxx

  9. Congratulations!! My best to Luke and Chloe. How exciting, a new grandbaby to love.
    You did so well, Annabel! The egg shells are a great gift for a gardener. That was so kind of Wendy's husband, Ian. And Wendy gifted you with so many pots. And just in time, too. :) Love the yarn kits! And they have a theme. So cool.

    I'm afraid I am still tallying up my weekly accomplishments. I was able to make 8 pints of grape jelly last night. I picked the grapes some time ago. But the juice chilled in the back of the fridge. On to canning pears. My husband was given a lot of dry beans and canned veg from a coworker. What a blessing! We enjoyed a day off from school as a reward for finishing reports. So today's activity was making donuts! We had fun and ended up with 5 dozen donuts and donut holes. We shared with friends later in the day. A friend blessed me with 3 large bags of clothes for the kids. And as always, we ended our work week devouring pizza. God is good! He is truly the God of the harvest.
    Blessings to all,
    Leslie in Ohio

    1. Dear Leslie, Thank you! How amazing about the beans and canned veg. So you added to your shelves in several ways! Grape jelly sounds good! Pears are really good dehydrated too if you have more. They are chewy and really good! A day off making donuts sounds fantastic! What a fun day! The clothes for the kids were an added bonus! What a good week all up! With much love, Annabel.xxx

  10. Debby in Kansas USA13 October 2023 at 17:42

    Silly me. I don't know how I missed it, but how exciting that Chloe is having another baby!! You must be over the moon. Congratulations to all!

  11. Annabel,
    Congratulations to everyone on the new baby. Babies are such a blessing. I love your mums knitting so can't wait to see what kind of layette she makes. The flowers are so pretty. We have more wildflowers this year since we have let some things grow over and they are lovely. A great way to add some pretty for free. I pick them for my mum.
    Today we collected 24 eggs! I was very pleased. We haven't pulled up the pepper plants yet because I wanted to see if the tiny ones on the plants would get to be a big enough size to use for something and today I picked two small bags full. I am trading them for carrots this week.
    I have a vehicle again yay! I will still have to be frugal and keep the gas on a budget, but it will be just a little easier than sharing a vehicle.
    Rick traded for a big bale of hay.
    I hung out the wash.
    I got perfume samples in the mail. I'll use them for stockings and to scent sachets, but the little brown boxes these samples come in I save for Christmas gifts.
    Dinners have all been cook once eat twice and I use the toaster oven for small baking.
    Rick found me a pair of slippers that were on clearance and I love them! They are thick and soft, but with hard soles. I still have a new pair that I'll be bringing out this winter so the new ones are my back up.
    We sold 10 dozen eggs this week and was gifted some bags of newspapers for the chicken coop and some egg cartons.
    Your building when the roof is done is probably going to be gorgeous as well as practical. I can't wait to see!

    1. I forgot to send my congratulations to Chloe and Luke!❤️πŸ₯³πŸ°πŸŒΉπŸŽΆ. A baby is a gift from God! Enjoy your beautiful family, Annabel. Much love from far away, Laura

    2. Dear Vicky, Two dozen eggs in one day is excellent! Im so glad you left plants in to use all the time they have. An extra two bags of peppers is great. Selling ten dozen eggs is amazing!! They are out there working on the shed right now!>. Well done on your good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. This week, we exclusively ate from our pantry/freezer/garden and it was wonderful! Loaded potato soup cooked in Instant Pot using garden potatoes/onions.
    I was notified Friday that a local grocery chain was having a 2 day sale- that day and Saturday only on fresh raspberries- 50 cents/carton instead of $2.99/carton. So I did buy 3 flats (36 cartons) to add to our pantry! No one else I know gets these last minute notifications and I have no idea why this grocery chain sends them to me!! But I immediately post it on all the social media groups I am in so others can also take advantage of these sales! They come with purchase limits or coupons needed! Amazing!!
    I finished 4 client quilts this week- https://pin.it/50e2QOW, https://pin.it/dywCmTJ and https://pin.it/hKVtaDC, https://pin.it/3tlNGQ4, https://pin.it/4s2JM04 as well as making from my scraps this baby quilt for a baby shower I was going to : https://pin.it/1816Mnd. While this may not be considered pantry building, it actually saved me $50 on the gift and added $376 in income to our savings! So we consider this part of our preparedness.
    We continued our final winter prep chores outside- picking peppers, tomatoes and figs. The house is so much less drafty than it used to be and that is having a great effect on our utility bills for cooling and heating.
    All in all, still opportunities out there to add to our nests and also share with others so they can do the same!
    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Dear Gardenpat, Savings and earnings are absolutely part of preparing! It is great that all the work you did on the house and windows is praying of already! The final things to harvest sound like they will still give you much more to work with. The raspberries at 50c a carton were such a deal! All your quilts were amazing! What a busy and good week!! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Dear Annabel, I’m a little late! still not over our delayed 50th anniversary trip just after going up north for Donna’s birthday and my sister’s oldest grandson’s wedding! Just pooped out!!
    Such great news about the new baby! He/She will certainly be spoiled by your sweet grandchildren and by You and Mom!! I carried my baby sister everywhere! I was 5 and my Mom said she didn’t think my sister would ever walk! LOL!
    That load if hay bales was a godsend! Reminds me of my Mother! I think the Depression hard times gave her a knack at bargaining and sniffing out deal! You have that knack, too, Annabel!
    Printed out an extra copy of your blog, so I’m gifting it to a friend that can use a lift! First I was crabbed at myself but the the “what would a Bluebird do” spirit took over!
    I get so many worthy requests from charities: they covered my desk. So, I fished out a slim 3ring binder, filled it with clear vinyl page size envelopes and put one in each. So nice! Plus my lists of who got what for the year are on a sheet on the front!
    Still hot but itching to plant up the garden! Did I mention our 2 gurls reworked our from planter while we were gone? Looks so nice when we pull in and out of the garden!
    Am thinking of using a butternut squash we bought up north to make “Bacon, Apple, Squash soup. A restaurant nearby has it: bacon chunks, apple, brown sugar, a bit of fine chopped onion, a hint ginger and the squash purΓ©e! I think I could make that!!
    Well, Laura’s comments were so “spot on!” Things seem bad just now but I’m hopeful and we all have blessings to count!

    Showers of Blessings all around! And many thanks to you, Annabel! If you decide to bottle your energy, put me down for a case! 😁
    Love from Rick in Florida and Donna in N Indiana

    1. Dear Rick and Donna,
      Wow and anniversary, Donna's birthday and a wedding! I hope each celebration was wonderful.
      It is so cute you carried your baby sister everywhere! It is lovely how your daughters come in and do lovely things for you when you are away! Squash and bacon = success in my opinion!
      If I bottled my energy right now it would be a bit flat lol! haha!
      Have a good what is left of the week! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. Congratulations on the new baby! Such a blessing to receive! Your little girls would be thrilled with knitting kits, or even a non-knitter like me! I loved all the pots you received and am sure you will make such a good use of them, and the new building too!
    We are in a beautiful autumn season now with free roadside pears and some wild flower seeds today. I have a peach cobbler cooking away in the crockpot for tomorrow for church. I flavored it with a bit of grape juice from grapes my Sissy gave me, an odd combination but it worked. She also gave me potatoes and green tomatoes. I honestly love reading your posts, and all the comments too. Peace and prayers for everyone.

    1. Thank you so much Annie! Autumn is gorgeous and road side pears sounds just wonderful. So does peach cobbler! Wildflower seeds are a bonus too! Thank you for your encouraging words! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. Hi Annabelle you probably already do it but I put some water in my empty milk containers and put it on the garden extra calcium.I love reading your posts πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

    1. This is actually a genius idea! Thank you so much! xxx


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