Feather your Nest Friday, 1st March, 1st day of Autumn, 2024.

This week has been quite different.  I had some confronting things to do in town ie to do with Andy's will and with the accounting etc.,  all things that Andy did.  He had us up to date or ahead and everyone was very helpful and kind.  None the less I cried throughout and then in the stores.  So it is exhausting sometimes to do small things. 

We had a couple of hot days.   One of them gave me a pretty good fright.  I looked outside and there was smoke everywhere.   I opened the door and I could smell it.  Looking out further it was a blanket of smoke across the whole horizon.   It turned out to be smoke that had drifted from interstate.  While that was a relief it was terrible for others.   

Then we had a hot and very windy day.  It blowed a gale all day.  It took down branches everywhere including some trees.   It was just a mess but thankfully no fires.   

On the other hand there are many good things to report and some of them are things Andy would be thrilled about!  Like the table being delivered some things were planned for before he died.  Some decisions made and work booked in.   Seeing them happening I know he would be so pleased. 

One of these was the replacement of a fence line.  This is the fence that keeps our cows in.   Andy and Andrew had recently propped it up hoping to keep the cows in a bit longer.   We booked in the fencer as it was beyond us.  They have arrived! 

Another good thing was Luke delivered me six huge hay bales.  These are for the cows as at the end of summer feed gets low.   I have never needed to feed them before... it is not that there is less pasture it is that I have more cows.

Luke brought the bales three at a time over on his trailer.   Yesterday Andrew was here and Chloe and the boys were here at the same time.  So Tom went with Andrew in the tractor and together they unloaded the hay.  Tom thought this was great, unloading Daddy's bales.  Also feeding Doris.  Andrew also gave Tom a big ride on the ride on lawn mower.   Tom said it was very nice of Andy to have left the lawn mower behind for him.  😭   Chase wasn't quite brave enough for the ride but maybe next time.
When the cows came down they were just as excited about all the gum leaves on everything that had fallen as that was all pushed up into a big pile.   They got stuck into the leaves and the hay.

After the cows have eaten all they want then the wood will be cut up and I think there will be enough for a years firewood.   This will be for next winter though as it has to dry out.   We have always aimed to be at least one year ahead on firewood. 

The dogs know they are not allowed to chase the cows.  So they WATCH - very closely.  👀

Mum came over so I made scones.

I made some cards and gift bags from two calendars Mum gave me.  They have a farming theme which is perfect for the boys and son in laws. 

I also did some sewing.  This fabric comes flat ...easy to cut and sew. 

Then when you wash and tumble dry it the waffle shows up...

I made two extra large bath sheets and cut out 5 kitchen towels.  (Also extra large.)

Wednesday was a really bad day.  One of the worst.  My nerves and ability to cope just packed up and left for the day.  

Thursday Chloe came over.   She set things up to I can get the printer to talk to my lap top and print from Andys's computer or mine.   To test it was working she printed the most recent email in Andy's in box.  This is what it was...

It had arrived 29th Feb just a short time before.   So I sat and read it.  I was amazed.

Also I found this...

Amazingly this verse came to me over and over including on Instagram.   Even more amazingly had Andy turned the page the next day it would have been in front of him as he left his Bible open on Isaiah 55 and 56. 

I think it is true.  Andy had been really struggling physically.  He was on eleven medications.  He kept going but he was so tired.  There were medical things he needed to attend to and he just didn't want to.  I could see it but I didn't expect him to die either.  When the girls told me Andy has gone to sleep... well maybe that in fact is correct.  In an instant he was spared what was to come.  This verse still keeps popping up wherever I look.   My Dad died the same way.  In an instant,  at home where he wanted to be, on an ordinary working day, avoiding what they would have felt was the loss of dignity,  freedom and independence.  Neither would have had it any other way.   With Dad I said we got everything we prayed and hoped for but were still unhappy.   Like you can't win.  I THINK I will come to that place with Andy ,  that he was right with God and went in an instant and was protected from worse to come.  I just have struggles to quite get there yet.

I had two cook ups.  The first one was a tray of chicken mini roasts with trays of baked veggies.   

This gave me a meal (and a meal for later) plus a big family meal for Chloe's family.   The baby (if all goes on schedule) is set to appear next week! 

The second meal I did the same thing.

In town I left pears at the swap tables and came home with tomatoes and cucumbers.

I have a feta and tomato pasta bake planned for tomorrow night.  I think I will also do meatballs and cherry tomatoes.   Easy pasta meals.

Sweet Zackie has been smiling again,  she was Andy's girl and got daily rides in the car and lots of pats and love.   

Thank you for all of your prayers and support.   You have been wonderful.   Thank you to Bridget, Jane and Chloe who have filled in for me on Mondays and so we are on track for our year of basics which is just what we need.  Sensible basics. 

How did you build up your home, pantry or garden this week?  What do you have to work with at the moment?  I have pears, they have just ripened, also, the little tomatoes.  xxx

Oh, PS...  Last week I mentioned how words matter and what someone says can stay with you for a lifetime.  This week I found this verse...  "You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say.   What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words."  Prov 18:20


  1. Dear Annabel, I got goosebumps if when Andy had turned the page of his Bible he would have read those verses from Isaiah and how it keeps coming to you in different ways. I couldn't believe that email that Chloe had printed....Annabel even in the worst of times you still lift people's spirits up, encourage us, and are so generous. What an inspiration you are. I love those kitchen towels and that fabric. I also loved how you made such good, nutritious meals and helped Chloe. It is such a wonderful help. I loved seeing the dogs watch over the cows, it did give me a giggle. A bit like when a toddler reallllly wants to do something. Seeing Zackie smile is wonderful; dogs are so loyal, they are the very best of friends. Thank you for the reference to the Proverbs. I must think about this. lots of love, Bridget

    1. Dear Bridge, Thank you. I thought well some meals are not fancy, glamorous or anything but they are full of veggies and taste good. The boys get stuck into it all. That is the main thing. Yes the dogs have to try very hard to just sit there it is so funny to watch. Now and then they turn their heads to see if I am still looking haha. Have a lovely weekend, with love Annabel.xxx

  2. Dear Annabel, thank you for sharing your week with us again. Wednesday sounded really tough for you, yet you are still accomplishing so much. Those meals look delicious and will be gratefully received by your family. I hope that all goes well for Chloe and the new baby next week. Your family is such a supportive and loving unit which must give you great comfort. I hope that your nights are getting easier and that you take all the rest that you need. With much love, Jennie🖤🖤

    1. Dear Jennie, I have been sleeping a lot more. Yet I can still sleep at the drop of a hat. I really feel this is helping. Thank you re Chloe and the baby. Thank you so much, with love Annabel.xxx

  3. We continue to pray for you. Those verses in Isaiah can be a comfort to so many and yet I have never actually seen them. Thank you for sharing and I am so happy that they are a comfort to you. I so admire you for all that you are still doing and pressing on to do the next thing. It is so exciting that the new baby is next week!! Much love, Lana

    1. Thank you so much Lana. It is funny how certain verses will pop up over and over yet we may have not even noticed them before or they didnt click before. This keeps happening. I am writing these things down so I dont forget any. Thank you for your prayers, with love Annabel.xxx

  4. Annabel,

    May the Bible verses bring you much needed peace in this time of your life! Your memories will become blessing in the future, laughter a bright light when needed and lots of love from your family and friends. Belinda

    1. Thank you so much Belinda.xxx

  5. Dearest Annabel thank you again your sharing I admire your strength you set a wonderful example As we age grace is so admired with dealing with unexpected. How did I miss your examples of gift bags using calendars. Woozers - I need to get on those. Please take care , know you are in our hearts and prayers. Thanks again for sharing and the motivation you provide

    1. Thank you so much. Mostly I save gift bags that came to me containing shopping or a gift... if they have a logo the picture covers it and you have new more personal bags on hand. Farmer ones will be really handy for me. xxx

  6. Dear Annabel,
    You are amazing. How thoughtful you are to continue to post weekly and share your week with all of us.
    Sudden passings are a true blessing for the person, but they are the hardest for those left behind. I have had both kinds in my life and, always the unexpected sudden deaths were the hardest to process. I think it takes a long while to get through the shock and the grief.
    It is wonderful that Andy had the forethought to cover all his bases to make sure that you could easily close up his will and such things. The e-mail was a fantastic insight to brokenness.
    Prayers continue for you, the family and Chloe's delivery. I am sure we are all excited for the new baby pictures and stories.
    Andrew is a blessing, it sounds.
    With much love,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you so much. The blog gives me a goal and accountability and I think that helps me a lot.
      I am thinking now, even though it was maybe 30 seconds.... what the girls said to me prepared me partially for what I was about to see. I had thirty seconds to brace myself. Even though it was sudden I had maybe a year where I thought Andy had gone downhill in many ways. But still the shock was huge.
      Yes... and Andrew began helping us when Andys health was low I think about three years ago. So he knows basically everything around here and became such a good friend to us. So God organised a lot of things to help.
      Have a lovely weekend, with love Annabel.xxx

  7. I am so thankful you found his email & scripture. I believe you are right, about
    just resting with Him.
    When my Momma died, I had been out walking on the trail by the river. I was talking & grieving alone with the Lord. It came to me that He had shortened her days just like it says He will do for the elects sake. It also came to me, I should not grieve so deep and so badly. He had shortened her days to spare her more suffering than she had already endured through losing her home, going first to assisted living, then the nursing home. In His mercy, He had answered my prayers and gave her back her dignity in quiet rest. Not so long afterwards I had a dream of her standing by the river with a young nephew we had lost many years before. She was raking the grass to make it grow just like she did every spring here to home. They waved and smiled as I rode on by them in the car. I knew then that she was at peace and happy again. It still took me near a year to get over the worst of the grief, but it was never as difficult or cutting as it had been. He truly does comfort us in myriad ways. It's been 20 years now but I have not forgotten.

    I was able to get new seeds to plant, pretty nasturtiums, coleus, and many onion sets also. Plus two like new wrought iron porch chairs from the thrift store this week.
    Bless you Annabelle.

  8. Hi Annabel, glad to see your post. I am also glad that you are finding some solace in the midst of the waves of sadness. My husband passed about a year ago and I was telling someone that the grief seemed to follow a sine wave pattern (ups and downs) but over time the swings are getting smaller. Even today I was driving home crying for awhile. You are super busy and that has also helped me keep focused. Thank you for the photos of your cows…they always make me smile, especially when they come to your car window for biscuits;). Healing prayers headed your way. Hilogene in Az.

  9. Dear Annabel (and everyone),

    What a week for you, Annabel. Even through your grief and with emotionally taxing tasks, you have kept going and you truly accomplished so much. It is wonderful to see the animals and the fencing and hay will be of such benefit! Your cooking always looks so good. I wish we were close by so I could come sit with you or bring you a meal on days like Wednesday. Tom's comment brings tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to you, and I pray for you (and Chloe and the baby) every day. I have faith you will get there, with time and God's grace. Thank you for your great courage and kindness in continuing to inspire and lift us all up in building our homes and making life beautiful - doing what we can, where we are.

    The cows and their gum leaves remind me of one of our horses and the sunflowers that pop up in the pasture. Every year when they bloom, Vic rips the flowers off the stalks with great enthusiasm until he has a great big mouthful, looks comically surprised, and then spits them all over the ground, shaking his head and coming back to us for comfort that his snack was terrible, only to repeat this performance all over about 10 times before his tastebuds have suffered enough and he decides grass is a better life choice. It is the funniest thing. (For the curious - sunflowers are safe for horses to eat! The seeds are even good for their coats.) I hope the cows enjoy their gum leaves more than Vic "enjoys" his sunflowers!

    This week was a chemo week, so I've tried to focus on 1 small area each day. I had a baking day of 2 dozen muffins (corn & cranberry chocolate chip), banana bread, baked apples a la Annabel, and spaghetti sauce, trying to get the freezer filled before springtime business starts at work. For the garden I filled two seed starter trays (peppers, tomatoes, herbs, marigolds, squashes, lettuces - already peeping their little heads up!) and purchased 2 more raised beds to add this year, and more flower seeds on a very good sale (4/$1). To the gift cupboard I added 2 sets of cards, 4 pairs of earrings, and knitted a cowl, mostly at doctor's appointments for my husband. I learned how to make fancy-shaped sugar cubes - quick and easy!- for teas/dinners and as part of gifts for tea drinkers. Lorand has been fatigued with low platelets, so trying to build up his energy and get him lots of good protein to build back blood cells. Right now he is getting immunotherapy, electrolytes, and fluids on chemo day until his levels improve. He should have a scan towards the end of March.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

  10. Annabelle, below is a poem that has brought me comfort following the deaths of those near and dear to me. I hope it does the same for you. Praying for you and wishing you peace. Karen

    God’s Gift of Time

    We all need a time to grieve –
    quiet time for reflection
    to sift through memories
    and come to grips
    with what has happened.

    We all need a time for tears,
    not for the one who is now
    at peace in heaven,
    but for ourselves as we realize
    that things will never be the same.

    We all need a time to just “be,”
    when we can open ourselves to God
    and let the reassurance
    of His everlasting love
    start to heal our broken hearts.

  11. Miss Annabelle how can my heart hurt so much for someone I've never met?
    I almost said for someone I don't know. But I do know you.
    Your love for your family animals home and hearth.
    Your orchards and gardens.
    You inspire us all to more to try new things. To be prepared.
    You share so much of yourself with us. I love your blog ,it's a bit of sunshine in a dreary world.

    Love to you dear.

  12. You have been so very brave and have continued to inspire and encourage us. I think grief never goes away; we just learn to walk along side it. You stay on my prayer list for comfort and strength for the day. ❤️❤️

  13. Dear Annabel. You write to all your Bluebirds so beautifully at a time your heart is breaking and I know I speak for us all when I say thank you.
    I went through the same as you just over 2 years ago. It is without doubt the saddest time of my whole life and the things you say about your beautiful Andy resonate so much with how I felt then and how I still feel now. Time is a wonderful healer but this is something we will never get over, just learn to live with.
    It makes me smile when I think of your Bluebirds as I had one of my own. That was my pet name for Trevor. I am not a fan of tattoos but an idea popped into my head last month. When I go out I feel I leave Trevor behind so I cautiously entered our local tattoo parlour (bearing in mind I am 76 !) and I emerged with tiny tattoo on my left shoulder. Two little bluebirds (him and me) sitting on a little branch with the date of our wedding. I’m sure he would have loved the gesture. So now everywhere I go, he goes.
    Sending much love to you Annabel. Marilyn xx

  14. My heart aches for you Annabel 💔 There’s a song I love by Joey and Rory called When I’m Gone. It’s heart wrenching but it also captures the avalanche of emotions that people feel after loss, the painful and the positive. If you are able, have a listen one day, I think you will connect with the message.

    One the home front here, I have been busy…pressure canning pumpkin soup, because I got pumpkin for 69c/kg! I’ve been weeding my very overgrown and neglected garden, I have potted up a heap of pineapple pups, if they all take root I should have 10 pineapple plants!

    It is the second day of autumn as I write this, but it is predicted to be 35 degrees today! Summer is no where near over for us in the northern rivers! I am waiting until the temperatures drop a little before I ramp up my veggie garden again, I plant very little in Summer due to our high heat and humidity.

    Have a lovely week bluebirds, look after yourself Annabel, and best wishes for the babies arrival next week!

    Love from Cheryl 🐦

  15. Dear Annabel, I am sorry town and Wednesday were so hard for you. You are doing great. You are pushing yourself to help everyone around you and that is so admirable. Those meals to help Chloe and family are an amazing blessing, I will be praying for her and bubs this week. Zacky's smile blessed me, how gorgeous. I had a very normal week. I picked the last of my tomatoes. I got a scare from smoke filled skies too and felt relief danger was not imminent to me but also bad for those that it was. I have started sorting photos and this is taking me 1000 times longer/slower than I thought. Today is my husband's birthday and I made my very first sponge cake. It is a bit flat but smells nice. I put cream and homemade strawberry jam in the middle and butter icing on top. We have friends arriving shortly to share it. Lots of love from me to you, Clare

  16. Annabel, thank you for being so open and honest about grieving. It's a process that takes time isn't it, good days. bad days,sudden storms of tears and all the other complicated emotions. We are all thinking of you and are beside you as you get through every day. I hope keeping busy and the blog are helping give you some structure in your week.
    I am decluttering and letting go of things, I make an awful mess first before it gets better but slowly I'm clearing and organising. I am working on some small easy gifts for the gift cupboard and cooking for the freezer and meal planning. Not a huge amount of 'prep' this week but every little helps.
    I'm loving the back to basics posts. many thanks.
    Take care of yourself
    Penny in the UK

  17. Annabel, both of my parents died suddenly and so did my father-in-law. My mother-in-law lingered for a few years with her dementia only worsening by the day. Although a sudden loss is harder at first, in a way it is easier because you don't have to re-live "the long goodbye" over and over. I honestly felt relief (partly for her and partly for me) when my dear MIL passed. But I actively grieved for her much longer because I was grieving about all that she endured. The ones who go fast are the lucky ones, if there is such a thing as luck in something like this. This is going to be with you for a long, long time, but if there are "right" things to do at a time like this, I'd say to do the things that give you comfort.

  18. Oops, didn't realize I was anon. It's me, Maxine, aka mikemax.

  19. Dear Annabel, You have a mission and despite your circumstances you are staying true that mission. Your help to others is worth far more than you can possibly know. And now you are inspiring us all with your bravery in moving forward. Thank you for all you do! Hugs and prayers. Terri @bluehousejournal

  20. Dear Annabel, I continue to pray for you. Psalm 34:18 says God is near to the broken hearted. How true this is although we can't see it at the time. I take comfort in Revelation that the word says "he will wipe away every year from our eyes" ! What a comfort that is! You are wonderful to keep going the way you are making meals and such ! Today I made the sauce for your easy lasagne recipe ! I used one 500g mince beef and passata and grated up veggies to bulk it out. I'm serving the lasagne to people (adults) who don't eat veggies. ! And gifting a meal to a friend /neighbour who is having a surgery and no support from anyone. I love helping people like that ! I want to try your eucalyptus laundry gel soon ! I just love that smell so natural and fresh ! And it beats chemical smells any day ! How exciting a new baby (hopefully) arriving next week ! What a blessing ! God is with you and will never leave you ! Love Sonia, in Sydney NSW

  21. I’m sorry for the challenging week you’ve had Annabel. I hope that the fire danger drops with the start of Autumn. Your friend Andrew sounds like a lovely man. The meals look beautiful and will be such a huge help to Chloe at this time. I hope everything goes smoothly and you have a beautiful new family member to enjoy soon!

    I’m really enjoying the work I’m doing, and am slowly adapting to the new routine. Someone said to me if everyone is where they need to be at the right time and you’re eating a good dinner each night then you’re winning! Which was a nice reminder that while we adjust the aim is to do what’s important, not trying to do everything.

    Our local fruit shop has had some fantastic deals lately so we’ve been enjoying watermelon and grapes at a fraction of the supermarket prices.

    I found 8 x 50g balls of cotton for $1/each so I can make some more facecloths.

    We have a long weekend coming up next weekend and I’m so happy to have an extra day!

    I’m thinking of you so often Annabel, it’s such a difficult time for you and I know so many of us wish we lived closer so that we could bring you a meal, prepare pears and apples, help out around the farm or just sit with you.

    Sending so much love

    Jen (NZ)

  22. What an amazing week you had, Annabel! While you continue to be diligent, God keeps giving you reminders of His great love. We are all praying for you! So thankful you are enjoying the results of those prayers. My apologies for sharing late. My phone went caput on Friday.

    As I sail into my 50's, I am granting myself grace. I'm not the Supermom I use to be. But I am cherishing my family more. And asking for their help more.
    Lots of baking and eating out of the freezer for me. Slowly reorganizing my kitchen. And adding some tile and wallpaper soon. So thankful to have some $ to do so.
    God bless you all,
    Leslie in Ohio


Post a Comment

Popular Posts