Feather you're Nest Friday, 19th April, 2024.

Lots of progress to report this week.   

As I've been peeling apples and cutting up pumpkin (for a big slow cooker of soup) the goats have been getting lots of tasty snacks.

I made cheese scones to go with soup.  Then soup becomes a whole meal I think.  The other favourite is to make cornbread.

I planted some garlic that had started to sprout.

Also planted broad beans, dwarf beans and oregano.

We had a little bit of rain.  We badly need some more but last night a little was better than nothing.

I invested in a grass catcher for the ride on lawn mower.   These grass clippings will become greens for the chickens.  As I build up my flock this will help a lot with feed.

Because it is dry, and because I have the irrigation system,  the lawn now looks nice and green and also delicious.  All week I had one cow that was getting over the front fence.

After a few days of this the other cows caught on and broke wires on the top of the fence... which granted, isn't very good to begin with.   

You can see broken wires in this photo.

Now my helper Tim has worked on fixing it up but they were watching not very impressed.

My son in law cleaned out my fireplace and chimney.   Just as well, it was full of soot and gunk.   Now I have wood,  kindling and the fire is ready to go.

The work on the top house... I ordered a stove and a range hood.   It looks like there is a very narrow space but I had no problem finding a stove to fit.  

My Valentines Day chicken is a hen!   She is lovely!  She is moved now into a bigger hen house.  She is a very pretty hen and very tame.

The eggs in the incubator have a week to go.  Last night I got out a torch (flashlight) and checked eleven.  Eight have chicks and three nothing.  I stopped as I was opening and closing the incubator a lot but there are 20 eggs.  If this sampling is right then things are looking good!  I am picking the girls up on Thursday just in time for all the action.  I saved a nice big cardboard box as my brooder and have chick starter feed ready.

Using some of my summer tomato sauce I made a big spaghetti sauce and two huge Lasagnes.  I was really pleased as both of them are in my biggest baking dishes.  I froze one and delivered one to Chloe who carefully cut out some serves and froze them. 

The house has two bathrooms. One with a bath and one with a shower.  I take baths and Andy took showers.  So it ended up we had a bathroom each.   Andy's bathroom was quite plain and sometime ago the glass shower screen exploded!  Andy was happy without it.  So now... I had to mull over what to do.  I do not want to renovate.  I just cannot handle it.   So... I found a huge photo of a Kingfisher that takes up most of one wall and it goes in the colour scheme.  I added flowers, a painting I did and some fragrance...

I then added a lace curtain so there is some privacy and a shower curtain.

The shower curtain really matches the tiles well... just when I thought the tiles were very dated now they seem fine.  I just figured out I need a nice plush mat and some matching towels.   But now I think it's nice!  And I completely avoided any actual tradesmen type work. 😊

Lily hit her 6 weeks milestone.   I think the first six weeks are so important.  

She is full of personality.   I don't remember a lot of February and March.   I am glad I wrote things down as really they are like a gap to me but Lily arriving was a light in the darkness.

How have you been able to build up your home, pantry or garden this week?   We can feel like we didn't do much but when we look back at the week we did!  These are all extra things because all of us have a long daily list to complete just to keep the household functioning.  

It is getting dark early and I am ready to settle down with some crochet and a favourite you tube channel. Have a lovely weekend! xxx

PS If you have not taken my preparedness course it is in the index.  30 days to better preparedness.   Don't stop taking every opportunity to be better prepared. x


  1. Annabel ...Enjoying nights watching television with rug over knees...and dog on lap...with cooler nights

    1. That sounds just lovely!xxx

  2. Annabel, You have been super productive this week to say the least.
    Lily is so beautiful and alert, you just want to cuddle her.
    Your cows are very mischievous to say the least.

    I am still fighting a virus and bad cough this week so I have been taking it easy. I did organize medical paperwork and get it all into binders, did a deep cleaning in family room and the usual housework and laundry.
    My husband on the other hand has done the beginning of Spring prep outside. He was able to get the snow blower down to our shed, it's at the back of our property. He carried the battery down for the lawn mower and started it up, attached the cart and took the fertilizer down to shed.
    Then he cut the lawn, first cutting and then fill the fertilizer attachment and fertilized the lawn, so he is pretty caught up out there except for getting the solar lights out. (We take them in for the winter as they would be under snow.)
    Hoping in the following weeks to get some Spring Cleaning done inside and freshen everything up.

    Prayers for all Bluebirds.

    1. Dear Rosanne, Thank you! Spring must be very welcome in the garden. I know you were both still battling illness, I hope you are in recovery mode now.
      Today was unseasonably warm but soon I will need to be well into winter prep! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Dear Annabel,

    It was a great pleasure reading about your week. I liked Billy with his cute face, the slicky cows, the dogs, the big lands and their colours. I was impressed by your cooking and your ingeniousity in the bathroom but the best was Lily. Happy 6 weeks anniversary! She looks like a girl with great personality!!!

    This week I will report only about good things as I was focusing on them and on gratitude. (not on the car that broke down and needs a good mechanic now....):
    - planted more onions, radishes, corn, squash and sunflower.
    - my son mowed the yard and some parts of the orchard, where the blackcurrants, raspberries and gooseberries are and all the grass clipings went to the chickens.
    - harvested and dehydrated two big bunch of garlic leaves. Now they are powdered and put away in 4 jars in the spice pantry. (good for a gift basket with kitchen theme, too)
    - donated blood on Tuesday. The grocery card they gave us was used well for some sugar, floor, honey, shampoo, sopas, socks, tooth paste, salt, pet food and different pasta for the pantry. And hair dye, I do it myself at home, (as well as manicure and pedicue - saves me a lot of money a year.)
    - my husband asked me if I could turn over the collars on two of his fav. shirts, well worn out. I took youtube and memories of how my grandmother did that when I was a child and I managed to do that on Saturday afternoon. My grandmother would have been proud of me!
    - I started another knitted cardigan for my husband, exactly the same as the last year bordeaux one, with torsades. It is his favorite now. And it is not often for him to request something, so I do it with great pleasure.
    - We have three more kittens - one Siamese, one black and white and one spectacular with three colours, black white and ginger. They are all cute furry balls with blue eyes.

    The weather is rainy and cold, we had a bit of frost last night. All is well and I will pray

    Sending love from far away, Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Dear Laura, New kittens! I am going to see on Insta if you posted photos. I would love to see. I do think animals bring joy everyday.
      All the greens for your chickens are so good. Dehydrating the garlic plant leaves was a brilliant idea! I am having an "I dont know why I didnt think of that" moment!
      You made very good purchases with the money from your blood donation. Also maybe you saved someones life.
      The work you did on your husbands shirts is very impressive. Yes your Grandmother would be very proud!
      I remember the cardigan you made for your husband. It was just beautiful. It looked very warm too. I cant wait to see this one.
      Sorry about the car... I hope the repairs will not be too expensive.
      Now I hope you are having a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. I am always amazed at how a homely space can become beautiful with the right accessories. I love that ruffled shower curtain! God knew and had a plan for Baby Lily to fill your heart just when you most needed her. Have a wonderful week with the girls!

    1. Thank you Lana, I was given a Bible verse about going down to the garden and gathering the Lillies. So beautiful. I am really happy how the plain bathroom now looks nice... which reminds me to look for a mat. Then it is complete! Have a very good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Dear Annabel,

    I'm sorry I haven't commented in awhile, though I have popped in quickly to read and have been keeping you in my prayers. You are doing so well, in keeping one foot in front of the other...and making so much progress and beauty around you. We are at about the same stage with our incubator...hubby candled a few last night with pretty good odds, and hopes to check a few more tonight...I'm thinking we'll be overrun with chickens pretty soon! I bet your grandgirls are excited to see the hatching again. Your photos are so beautiful...and it had completely slipped my mind that you had Nigerians...You know I melt the second I see those little cute knees!

    I was happy to hear last week that you are able to get to a service with communion...it's so hard living in the country, isn't it? Our drive isn't quite that long...closer to half an hour, but if our church folded, it would be closer to an hour and a half to get to church one way on a Sunday morning. We always come back feeling so refreshed---the effort is worth it.

    This week has been all about baby steps in decluttering. I have been feeling so overwhelmed, and realize that a lot of it is due to too much (unimportant) stuff that is in the way and needs to be cleaned and often shuffled around because it's in the way. I am definitely a person who feels that getting rid of stuff is "wasteful", even if I'm donating it, but the truth is, I'll never have time to use everything (I'm looking at you, craft supplies) if I knit and crocheted until the end of my life! So I'm trying to strike a good balance between having enough of a reserve without it being too over-the-top and therefore basically useless. At the same time, the weather is starting to warm up a bit and it's time to get out and start some yard work. Gardening will be here before you know it!

    Lots of virtual hugs from over here to you!!! Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Goats are gorgeous but they are always thinking up naughty plans! lol
      I think wool is always going to be a valuable asset. Like in the war years fabrics and yarns were up there with soaps. But some craft supplies I got rid of because they were kind of useless!
      I cant wait to hear how many chicks you get. I will have a report Friday night! With much love Annabel.xxx

  6. Hello Annabel and Bluebirds

    I had a huge week this past week, and I feel like I’m living my best life at the moment. Simple stuff, nothing too glamorous, we went bush camping last weekend, simple as, cooked over a fire, camped next to a creek that was crystal clear and like something out of a storybook! It was perfect!!

    Then during the week I started a big big clean up and declutter of hubby’s shed and garage! Yes I did!! I know it’s his space, but it was out of control! Still is πŸ˜‚ But at least I can walk a path in there now. I took a full Ute load of rubbish to the tip! There’s more work to be done, but it’s a start!

    I had produce to use up, so I baked a huge zucchini chocolate cake. Then I made a coleslaw to use up bits and pieces of veggies. Then to get ahead for breakfasts I made 12 egg and bacon McDonalds style muffins for the freezer.

    Finally I vacuumed, washed and polished my car! It looks brand new, even though it is an old car!

    It was a big week, but I’m feeling quite accomplished right now.

    I hope to do a little declutter of our clothes this weekend and a little sewing feels in order as rain is expected up my way this weekend.

    Have a great week everyone. Love from Cheryl 🐦

    1. Dear Cheryl, Your camping spot sounds gorgeous! Great work in the shed! You have been working hard! Your cooking and using up what you had produced a lot! I love the egg and bacon ready to go muffins.
      A clean sparkly car is just lovely. It's a good feeling. I like to go through seasonal clothes and put together some outfits... then I dont have to think and end up with some new combinations.
      I hope this week will be as good! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Oh My Goodness!! Lily is such an Adorable little doll baby!! What a blessing to have her close by to hold and cuddle as often as you can, especially during this time in your life!
    I Love how you were to redecorate your bathroom with just a few simple changes! Sometimes that’s all it takes to make a big difference! My daughter is good at doing things like that and on a tight budget to boot!

    I repotted my tiny lettuce and tomato seedlings into larger pots and put them back u dear the grow light. We’ve had a couple of frosty nights, but hopefully when they are ready to go outside, the nights will be in the 50’s! (Fahrenheit)

    Another thing I finally got done this week, was finish off the edging of a quilt I bought years ago from a lady I knew from church who made quilts on her sewing machine. She made the quilt top and sent it away to have it machine quilted and then had it sent directly to me. She offered to finish it for me, but I thought I’d just do it myself. Funny story, after I got it back, my husband said he didn’t like it! It’s a queen size for our bed in his favorite colors: blue! So I just left it in the box unfinished for years! Then a few years ago we stayed in a beach cabin on the coast that had a blue homemade quilt on the bed. He said he wished we could find one like it! I told him we had one at home! I put off trying to finish it and was too embarrassed to contact the lady who made it, as I haven’t seen her in a long time. So I decided to watch YouTube videos on how to finish the edging using the quilt backing. I have never made a quilt and really don’t sew much, but I was determined to do this! And, after much prayer, asking for God’s help, I did it!!☺️πŸ‘Hooray!! Now we can Finally use it!! However, the fabric is stiff, from (I assume) never having been washed yet! Any ideas on what to add to the wash or rinse cycle to soften the fabric, other than artificial fabric softeners?

    Thank-you for sharing about your life and family and all you do! You are such an encouragement!

    God Bless!!
    Nana C.( Laura C.)

    1. Hi! I'm a quilter and I'm so impressed that you finished the edges of your blue quilt!
      When you wash your quilt, you want to wash on cold with a product similar to a "Color Catcher" by Shout. (There are other brands, too.) In fact, if there are dark colors and very light ones, you might want to use several color catchers. Washing and tumble drying on low will probably make it softer, since fabric comes from the store with sizing in it! I hope this helps!

    2. Thank-you so much for the info, Stacy! I will look for that “ color catcher” product! And, yes, there are both light and dark colors in the quilt.
      Laura C. (aka Nana C)

    3. Dear Laura, Well done on the quilt! Thank you to Stacy for adding a helpful comment to Lauras question.
      It is so nice to finish something and get it into use. Also now you have another skill!
      Thank you so much... a little decor makes a difference and I am so happy with how the bathroom looks now. You had a really fantastic week! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. You certainly had a very productive week. Lily is a little doll, so cute.

    God bless.

    1. Dear Jackie, Thank you so much! Have a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  9. Annabel, I want a goat! The picture is just adorable. I live in town so my neighbors probably wouldn't like it, but a girl can dream, LOL.

    I hope you are doing well. Grief takes many different forms and keeping busy seems to be helping you...not to mention your darling new granddaughter. I saved baby clothes, too, but then I never got grandchildren. Rats! (But it is what it is).

    In the past few weeks, I read all of your old blog. I was interested in seeing how your beliefs progressed. I picked up some good ideas, too!

    I was very impressed with how you painted your whole house in Adelaide in one year, inside and out. I've done a lot of painting but never a whole house in a year. The one thing I've noticed is how much better paints are now. I remember when you had to paint the outside of your house every 4-5 years. My last house is 26 years old and hasn't been repainted yet! Still looks good.

    Now I have a question for you: what is "the top house" and where is it located? You've mentioned it a couple of times and I must have missed the explanation. Good luck with the painting. Is this another whole house project?

    Best wishes to you, Annabel. Lots of us are thinking and praying for you.
    --Maxine, aka mikemax

    1. Dear Maxine, Goats are sweet but very naughty! They are very funny though.
      It is true that paints now are amazing. Paint is so transformative. I sure remember painting the whole house. I had tennis elbow in both arms. Oh I was in a bad way!
      Ok the top house... in Australia a farm like this is called a Station. Like I guess in Texas they say ranch. A station can be a pretty large farm. So it is normal for there to be a main house, a single mens cottage/jackaroo cottage... a workmans house and a main house... sheds and a shearing shed. The single little house was the worst shape.. it was suggested I burn it down. That is the one we dedicated 2020 to fixing up. The year of Covid and my Dads death. What a year that was. But we fixed it up. Now it is an asset as you know. Andy used the workers house for his music and had it set up with his drums etc.... but it is a big shabby just not in need of a complete renovation. More it needs a facelift. So this year that is the goal. It was the gaol to begin with but now Andy has died I decided it is still the goal. I feel that a time will come when this house will be needed/be an asset... and to get it in good shape. I am hiring a man to paint the outside which can be done with a spray unit. So this is a relief! And I have help even a few hours a week on it will get it done by the end of the year. Currently screen doors, blinds, some new flooring, a stove... are all in the works.
      Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Annabel, thanks for the explanation of the top house. My mother and her twin sis were born on a well-known ranch in Dubois, Wyoming, that my grandparents owned from around 1911 to 1926. The original log ranch house is still there and occupied by the ranch manager. My mom was born in that house in 1914. However, for about 90 years, there was another log house a few hundred feet away that my grandmother built for my oldest aunt, her husband and their baby/my cousin, who was born in 1923 (and lived to be 97 years old!). My grandmother was widowed in 1920 with 6 children and in 1926 moved her family to southern California. The subsequent owners (including members of Walt Disney's family for many years) used the second house exactly as you described. Unfortunately, it had to be torn down about 15 years ago. The current owners wanted to "fix it" but it was on a log foundation that had rotted away. This is probably way more than you wanted to know but I thought you might find the story interesting since you own one, too.

      Well, there is one more thing that will probably make you smile. My grandmother, who had three daughters under 12 when she moved to California, LOVED one thing about California--she could buy sanitary pads, LOL.

  10. I like to pop in and catch up here. I orginally found you years ago when I was looking for Laine’s Letters. I used to read her letters back in the day when my kids were little. I’m in a season of rereading them now, along with your blog.😊. How is Laine doing? I had read that she had cancer. πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

    1. Hi, I loved Laine's Letters so much! As you know! Yes Laine was very unwell and had a major surgery for cancer. She has been doing well but now she needs prayer. I have asked her if she is ok with me posting an update and asking for prayer. So pray and I will update if I can. I have always wished she would write again! But re reading her letters is very good as they do not age! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Yes, I will definitely be praying for dear Laine and her family! πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™
      Thank you for the update!

  11. I am wondering the same thing about the top house. I know. You fixed up a cottage and men stay there sometimes and bring veggies. Good for you putting one foot ahead of the other. I spent Sunday afternoon in ER. Have an Acute UTI. Took my CFS down hill.Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, I just replied to Maxine about the top house. So this is my 2024 project as I feel there is a purpose ahead for it.
      I am so sorry about your UTI. I hope you are on the mend. I know that rest is absolutely important! So rest up! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Dear Annabel,
    Lily is so beautiful! What a blessing added to your family. I had to go back to your post 6 weeks ago, as I have just realized her birthday is the day after mine 😊
    This was Colton's first week back to work after his vacation. He has been hoping to be transferred to a fire station closer to home (same department, just different location) and the opportunity presented itself sooner than we expected. Long story short, he is now 30 minutes closer to home, shaving an hour off of his commute. This means more time together and also a massive savings on gas, which had been our biggest monthly expense when he was working two jobs.
    This week for me has been getting back into the groove of things and catching up on some housework, as much of our vacation was spent working on outside projects.
    I got more work done in the garden spreading mulch and planting the potted plants I purchased over the last month. I bought drift roses, which are a type of ground cover rose, and planted those in front of my garden shed, along with some native plants. I am excited for them to fill in.
    I hope everyone has a good week to come.
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, That is fantastic Colton can work so much closer to home! It will impact every day! The ground cover roses will be beautiful! Yes it is a change of routine when a holiday break is over. You have a very good new week too! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. I've been struggling to post so I'll see if it works this way.
    Penny in the UK

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your week, Annabel. Adorable Miss Lily is really growing. I'm sure her big cousins enjoy loving on her!
    My week was very busy. Good busy.
    I am balancing working in the garden with sewing and other chores. We have had beautiful Spring weather. The grass is sooo green! πŸ’š
    I moved our chicks to an outdoor pin as they are half grown. My youngest daughter has been picking dandelions and wild violets for me to make syrup and jelly. I just froze them until I have the garden in. Then it will be jelly making time.
    I have been bartering eggs again. Two ladies offer us their extra food from the food pantry, and I give them eggs and baked goods.
    I am so thankful I learned to sew. I have caught up on a lot of mending this week. Plus I finished some simple projects. I was able to turn a pair of jeans into a skirt. I have another pair that I plan to transform as well.
    Just attempting to finish a crocheted baby blanket for a friend, this week.
    So lovely to hear of everyone's plans and triumphs. Well done on the quilt, Laura. Kelsey 's roses sound amazing. Cheryl, you have inspired me to bake a chocolate zucchini cake as well. I need to use up things from the freezer.
    God bless you all,
    Leslie in Ohio


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