Feather your Nest Friday, 20th October, 2023.

This week was a bit of a blur.  We were very lucky,  because of the guys working on the shed,  we had a team of people!  Seeing things go ahead in leaps and bounds is so good!  I worked to the happy sounds of hammers and nail guns.  😊

Some of the ways I feathered my nest this week included:

I filled the freeze drier with a tray each of Parsley, Chard, Celery and Oregano.  

Because things are frozen quickly you can freeze dry several things without worrying about flavours mixing.  

This suited my harvests of a bit of this and a bit of that.

Some Bay Leaves were nice and dry so I packaged them up... they are ready to label and give.

On Saturday night we watched the results from a referendum Australia held.  I made one of my no cook platters.  I do something similar pretty often in summer where I put out cold meat,  salad items,  nice cheese...   This time I have dip and crackers.  It'c a complete night off and we both love it.  Left overs get eaten as lunches the next days.   

We had a celebration... it was Tom's 3rd Birthday!  As usual Chloe made a beautiful cake.   Tom told me in advance he was having a dinosaur party. 

Chloe made little gluten free cakes for Mum and me. 

They were delicious.   They were fossils.   Lucky for us fossils taste like vanilla.  The main cake was chocolate.   It was beautiful! 

Tom was very happy.  He said "thank you for coming to my party" to everyone.  😊

The new shed roof looks wonderful and has new gutters that can now catch a lot of rain water.   There is a large annex on the other side so when it rains it is a big surface to harvest water from.

The guys were so nice.  We ran out with lots of drinks.   They will be back at the end of next week to re fit the two big sliding doors and we will be able to lock everything up securely.  

Last week I had made Lasagnes and when I wrote my post they were still cooling.     On Saturday I got them frozen.  I sliced one of them into portions and froze individual serves.

The hay I bought has been so handy already.  Today a whole bale went into a newly renovated chicken coop.   The orphan chicks are now grown up.   This was a huge promotion for them and they just were so happy.  

Anyone with hens will understand what I mean about happy chickens.  Chooks are so busy,  happy and content that it is quite contagious.  They really bring joy (and eggs!) to life. 

In town I found three pairs of HomeyPed sandals for $5 each.  I love these and they are usually more like $80.  The chemist had a whole heap out for this price and I grabbed the pairs in my size. 

In the grocery store I found six packs of bread rolls that had been marked down dramatically.   Into the freezer they went!

I wrapped and packed two Christmas gifts that are going in the post.   Some more gifts were ticked off my list.  

So that was my week!   I hope you were able to add to your pantry or garden,  stock your shelves and generally make your home a happy haven.   xxx


  1. That SHED looks like a warehouse! 😆

    1. Yes it is a bit of a size. The hay shed is 3 x as big but the roof on that was still very good. We are very lucky to have these as they are handy for so many things! xxx

  2. What a cutie pie your grandson is! And I love the fossil cupcakes! How fun. That is a BIG shed, and will be a wonderful roof from which to harvest rainwater! Your week sound lovely and productive. We've had chilly weather here; I am putting up the lined winter curtains today (just in time for a warm front moving in...I always time it so well! Ha, ha.). Been working on Christmas presents, tidying up the yard for winter, and taking stock of the pantry...'tis the season! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Love, Jen in Ns

    1. Dear Jen, The curtains will be very good! You are in the swing of Christmas... it has crept up on me and I am trying to do the same.
      Thank you re Tom. Probably water is our biggest asset. We are really now set up to be able to live on rain water and garden with bore water which is great.
      Have a lovely weekend to you too! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. So many things for you to celebrate, Annabel! And a very happy birthday to Tom! My eldest was 3 when he became a big brother. He loved it! He also loved Thomas the Train and dinosaurs. ;)

    I have had real full week of blessings!
    My youngest son and I have kept up our morning walks. My bartering friend blessed me with nearly $200 worth of food! Most of it frozen meats. I got caught up on baking yesterday. The kids all have jobs as it is harvest time. But it rained yesterday so "Mom's Taxi service" got time off. We have discovered that lots of driving is very hard on Mom's energy levels. "The old grey mare ain't what she use to be!"
    Also I was able to organize all my canned goods and dry stores. Looking forward to organizing the freezer some more this weekend.
    Blessings to all,
    Leslie in Ohio
    Praying for all in Gaza

    1. Dear Leslie,
      I remember the period of time when I was the teenage taxi service. There were many late nights too. It was good as I was the driver also for some of their friends and I knew they were safe. But yes it was a handful!
      It was great to get so much food and also organise the pantry! Freezers are the hardest to organise I always feel. You are doing a good job! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Rick from Florida and Donna from N. Indiana

    Well,?it was a busy week! You’re all set for water now! And the freeze dried produce! Great!! I’ll have to keep my eye open for a good used dryer!
    That cake is so cute but Tom’s the cutie with sweet “Thank you” comment! Luckily our grown daughters still like a cake and all the trimmings!!

    Got some good buys at the grocery : beef broth at $1.17 versus $1.88. Xtra lg eggs $1.27!! Gas down, too, at $2.99/gal.

    I’m sure your chicks are happy with their new home!

    All that work on your farm - it’s becoming a ranch! You must be so proud!

    Still mulling over all the suggestions you gave in practical gifts and preparedness on Monday! My favorite bit is charities: I modestly support a dozen but the Indian schools, Vets, and disfigured kids doctors are my favorites. Plus keeping up with encouraging letters to several friends!
    There’s nothing like a happy news filled note to counteract the awful news of wars and back-stabbing politicians!!

    Changing MD’s for one I hope is more user friendly!

    Hope you’re continuing to enjoy your family and occasional lodgers! I thought if a sign you might put up at your gate: Annabel’s - Where the Work never ends and the Fun never stops!”

    Love from Rick and Donna xxxxxooooo

    1. Dear Rick, It is wonderful you give to these worthy charities. The leading cranio facial specialist in Australia is Dr David David. Mum is his cousin. Their work is just incredible. I think a birthday cake is beautiful at any age. I have a motto that if I turn up at someones place if I take a cake or a pavlova it makes for a good reception.
      I like your sign for the gate or blow even. I came to an end though myself this afternoon and slept for three hours! Otherwise known as crashed and burned.haha. Have a lovely weekend to you both, with love Annabel.xxx

    2. Dear Rick, and Donna, Sonia here from Australia 🦘 ! I will pray for you that you get a wonderful new Dr ! My Dr a few years ago put up his fees which I could no longer afford. I prayed and prayed for a new Christian Dr ! And low and behold, the Lord answered ! I have a wonderful Christian Dr who Is lovely as can be, she's young, smart, and loves Jesus ! I didn't even know she was a Christian until she told me one day. I struggle with anxiety and she has been really wonderful in helping me! Praise God ! So I pray he will find you a good understanding helpful patient and nice dr too ! Take care, Sonia in Sydney NSW

  5. Rick again from Florida

    Forgot to mention talking with a woman whose 13 yr old grandson was having his birthday but because they ‘d bought 2 person motorbike, new fridge, and big deal riding mower, so weren’t able to give the kid’s birthday party. The grandma had to buy stuff and all! So stupid!
    Rick from Florida

    1. I cant do emojis in comments it seems so imagine a big eye roll.

  6. Hello Annabel (and everyone),

    Everything looks so good after it has been freeze-dried, I think that would be so useful. Your cooking looks great, and the birthday party looks so fun! Chloe is so good with the cakes. (I loved "fossils taste like vanilla".) The new shed is really nice. What a good week you had!

    My husband had a bunch of appointments this week - MRI of the brain on Monday (which worried both of us) - results are completely normal! (Answered prayers!!!) Chemo Wednesday, and then a CT to check progress on tumor growth this afternoon. We will know more about that when we return in a few weeks. His oncologist said the labs show a "chemical response to treatment," and had said he thought we could have postponed the CT a bit, so praying the results will show stability or shrinking tumors. He is tired, but not in pain and doing mostly ok - things have continued to be uneventful, his anemia has improved significantly, and that is wonderful.

    "One extra thing a day" produced a cooking day (spaghetti sauce and some future meals from this in the freezer! and another big batch of roasted veggies, some of which also went into freezer meals); a weekend painting day doing some more of the outside trim on our house; a gardening afternoon planting a patch of apple mint with my cuttings and saving zinnia seeds for next spring (I saved the dried flower heads when I tore out the old plants, and finally got around to seeding them and packaging the seeds); a shopping trip to add some canned goods to the pantry; and some knitting stitches put in wherever I had time.

    This afternoon after my husband's appointment we stopped by the library book sale - in our town, they have a large non-fiction section as well as the fiction and specialty items. Magazines were free this year! I found some nice cross-stitch, easy sewing, and cooking magazines, and a huge pile of knitting magazines packed full of patterns. These will be amazing to look through and also so nice for gifts (knitting accessories, cute small cross-stitches, simple quilted placements that I think I can do if I just get over the fear of my machine, foods to tempt folks into eating). I purchased a few paperbacks and craft books, and a couple of movies for our home date nights.

    In case it helps anyone who has a family member who needs to gain weight or needs help with extra protein, I learned this recipe for protein-fortified milk from the cancer center dietitian this week. Add a cup of milk powder to one quart of whole milk, and beat until it all combines (about 5-6 minutes). Keep in the fridge and serve as a cold drink or add it to recipes that call for milk. Adds lots of protein and an easy way to get some extra calories in. Adding chocolate syrup can help make it more palatable.

    I'm sorry this got so long! I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

    1. Dear Kathy, That is great about the scan and also his blood test. Also that your husband isn't in pain is obviously the fantastic one!
      The magazines sound just perfect! Magazines are around $8 here. I look for them in thrift stores... I love to look for new recipes and ideas!
      Thank you for the tip about the milk! That is actually genius! So that makes me think a spoon of milk powder into a smoothie with everything else would hardly be noticeable yet help build someone up that needed it.
      Your one extra thing a day has seen you complete so many jobs even the big ones like painting! You added to the pantry as well! All of this even with appointments to attend and I know how appointments take up a fair bit of time. You did very well! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Hello Annabelle, What a cutie that little Tom is in his dinosaur shirt. And the cake and cupcakes so perfect.

    I'm glad everything is going so well. You will be able to harvest so much rain water in your rainy season and that is a game changer. I hope you find more water tanks to help store it.

    Your shed is amazing. Wouldnt it be nice if you could turn it into a house so lucy and her family can move to the farm so you can all be together.

    1. Thank you so much! We are putting in a new big tank... most structures had tanks... but no water was going in due to either a bad roof or gutters. But now we have fixed them all we just need one new tank, where a really leaky tank is past repair. Its a sieve basically! Thank you for your nice thought. Before Dad died he renovated a huge old homestead especially for Lucy. It is gorgeous. So even though we have two hours drive we are so happy with this special home they have thanks to Dad. I have to admit I would like to skip summer, go straight to Autumn and be filling all these tanks!xxx

  8. Hi Annabel
    Happy Birthday Tom, a paleontologist in the making before he turns into the next specialist that a few years back for 4 year olds was tank engine train driver….
    You’ll have a lovely big pile of ready aged iron for a few fancy Chook sheds with that desirable aged patina and distressed look. I can visualize you doing one with a pale pink door. Lol.
    If I didn’t think you’d use them all, I’d offer to come down with my trailer to get some for a mutually suitable barter swap! 😉
    Stay well and keep up the good works everyone.

    1. Ps that fancy Chook shed would have to be described as shabby chick style if you do the pink door. 🤓

  9. Dear Annabel,
    Happy Birthday for Tom! He is a big and very cute guy! I am very glad all the dinosaurs went to his birthday - even the vanilla fossills one. Chloe is a true artist!!!!!

    Your week was wonderful - there is a sense of satisfaction when every plan turns out well - the guys working, the chicken playing happilly in the new playground, all the freeze goods and good prices. We have to enjoy all the good little things in life. Regarding the chickens, I think they have such a great universe of their own and funny personalities - sometimes, when watching them for longer, I can recognise different people in my life or characters in books or movies acting the same in same situations. That makes me laugh but well, maybe just my imagination.....
    We managed on Saturday to harvest about a half of the grapes and today we will do the last half. Many sweet, juicy grapes - I think it is the best harvest of the last couple of years! We had the first frozen nights so I picked all the left tomatoes and pickled them together with cauliflowers. It will be tasty for the Christmas table - like nice decorations for the plates.
    Still we did not turn on the heat. The goal is the first of November. The line is *Put another jumper on / get another blanket*
    The whole world is now a crazier place then before and I have seen people not posting small talks or , due to anxieties and panic just retry from the media. That is understandable. I felt these deeply last year when the war near us started and I did not know if we would have to leave our house or we would panic because of the nuclear threats (I still have the pills for my son in my wallet..). My reaction then was to work and prepare everything extra and, at nights, I would sleep like a log because I was very tired. I would have lost it, other way....
    Today I feel sadness and fear of something much worst is coming and I think it is important to celebrate all the little achievements, the small happenings, like good prices, flowers blooming, eggs gatherings, children playing, dogs barking, kitties eating, friends coming over, everything means life and living. I am determined to do all I can for my family and prepare what I can. For these all your messages and comments are gold to me.
    Be prepared, be positive, think of God and keep praying.
    Good news - I asked and got a raise from my direct director. It was lke a sign of appreciation (won*t deny it, felt good)
    Bad news - had to go and have a small surgical procedure on the index finger left hand. Raspberry thorn to blame. Got a stitch and sore finger.

    All my love from far away,
    Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. I think of you so often Laura when the news is bad, scary, unbelievable. I love how you cheerfully carry on, prepare, look out for your family and turn to God in prayer. You are such a good example of not panicking. Blessings on your week.

    2. Dear Laura, I feel the same as you do. But I’m also trying to find as much joy and gratitude in the little things. Love, Lily

    3. Dear Laura, I hope the your finger is healing up fast and well! Well, I feel the same as you do. We must somehow love fully and happily, be busy with good things and things to get ahead and fill our shelves... pray and be with our families. I am feeling this, to enjoy all the lovely things. We do our best and trust God for the rest. Also this makes us grateful and notice the blessings. It is fantastic about your good grape harvest! To have tomatoes and cauliflower is beautiful too!
      A Big congratulations on your raise!! Well done I am so pleased for you! With much love Annabel.xxx

  10. Dear Annabel, congratulations to Chloe, Luke, Tom and Chase and to you and the whole family! A new baby is the biggest blessing of all. I’m so excited for you all. I love little Tom’s birthday and I’m blown away by Chloe’s cakes, what a beautiful Mum. He will always remember this. I love how he thanked everyone. What a little sweetheart. I love your herbs from the freeze drier, such great gifts. The shed is looking fabulous! And I love your lasagnes, they are such a big help. The sandals were an unbelievable deal. Well done on finding them. I am trying to wear cotton/ natural fibres only and found cotton t shirts and shorts at the op shop. I also found a pure cotton quilt cover. I am thinking of baking a vegetable lasagne this week. I applied for an energy rebate. So this will be a help. I’ve also really narrowed down my Christmas list, with multi tools, crank torches, crank radios, reading lights, fishing gear being on the list…practical things. For a little one’s birthday I think as part of it we will look for a second hand desk and chair with some art supplies, along with some ‘fun’ presents. I need to collect rosealla today and plant marigolds. Lots of love, Lily

    1. Dear Lily, I love your Christmas list and birthday present ideas. Being able to pick rosellas will be beautiful. They are packed full of vitamin C and such a gorgeous colour. A vegetable lasagne is really good. So much you can use in that. When a lasagne is cold and set it slices up very well. I find I get more serves by slicing and freezing them. But to give as a gift of help well I always give a whole tray. A beautiful cheesy thick topping is delicious and makes your recipe go even further! So good!
      Great finds on the clothes and quilt cover! With love, Annabel.xxx

  11. Dear Annabel, well done on your productive week. Getting a big job like the shed fixed is so so good. Your sandals were a bargain. Your little Grandson is very cute and has learned such nice manners. This week I did a fair bit of sorting, rearranging and some decluttering. During this time I found a book we have been looking for and some of my daughters good jewelry (that I had put in such a "safe" place during last years floods that I couldn't find it ) and also a full tub of clothes for my daughter for 'when she was bigger' that I had totally forgotten about. She was very happy - new jeans, shorts, shirts and work shirts for when she milks the cows at the dairy farm up the road. I have just waved my parents off after they visited for a two night stay. I decorated my centerpiece with my collection of little teapots which my Mum loved. It was great to have them here. They have not been able to visit for quite a few years due to health issues. I sent them off with fresh eggs and flowers from my garden. It was a lovely to show them our garden, cook for them and spend time with them. Hope everyone has a great new week.
    Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      What a lovely week you had! Your daughter will be thrilled with the clothes and also her jewellery. Also having your Mum and Dad there, I bet they loved it and to head off with eggs and flowers is lovely. I hope you have a beautiful new week too! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. The things you get done every week just astounds me! I am so busy running children to school events that I am still doing apples 2 weeks later!! I put up 48 quarts of sauce and am now putting up apple pie filling. I finished my first 7 quarts yesterday. I have one 5 gallon bucket to go. I think I will pop some sliced apples in the dehydrator for some easy snacks. The last thing to harvest is my grapes on the vine. My husband is tired of a counter full of canning supplies, but this is my way of dealing with the negative happenings in the world! It gives me a feeling of control in an uncontrollable world. Laura you are a constant source of courage and positivity to me. Thank you for telling us what media does not. I am grateful to the bluebirds who share such good ideas. We were made for these times! I look at what the world experienced during WWI, the Spanish Flu, and WWII. We might not like what is coming, but we will survive just like our ancestors did. Just doing something everyday makes a difference. When winter comes I am going to can the meat in my freezers. It will keep me warm and make lots of quick meals. Just doing something every day makes a big difference.
    Deanna in Michigan USA

    1. Dear Deanna, I do remember the running kids around stage. It took out a lot of time. Apples are good as they keep pretty well! You put up so much sauce and pie filling will be beautiful. It is worth it!! All your preserving is really stocking you shelves and I agree... doing something every day adds up very quickly. This is a buffer, a protection both in price rises, shortages, power outages... many things. You are doing a great job! With love Annebel.xxx


Post a Comment

Popular Posts