Feather your Nest Friday, 17th May, 2024.

It has been a lovely week!   Mothers Day was beautiful and spread over two days.  Both my daughters made it wonderful.  

On Sunday Chloe put on afternoon tea for Mum and me.   Tom wished us "Happy Mothers Day!" at least fifty times.   As always Chloe made a special cake and had her table looking heavenly.

Chloe made me a Bluebird pincushion and the green one was Mums.

Also a heap of lovely farm themed stickers for card making.

The question is  - did I do any actual work?   Yes I did!  

The little chicks went into a hen house.   This house has a cozy hay filled house and a ramp down to a large enclosed yard.   The first day and night I kept them locked in the little house with feed and water.  The next morning I opened the door but they were not keen to come out.  This is why you see cheese in the picture.  Birds will do anything for cheese.

They are used to a world with sides (a cardboard box) and any noise or fright they race back up the ramp and go back to bed!   Each day they are getting a little braver.   It's understandable I feel like this myself sometimes.

In the orchard the trees were given a tougher wind protection.

More wood was cut and lined up at the back door.

For the top house I chose flooring for some sections where the natural pine floor needs to be replaced.   Luckily most of the floors are just fine as they are.

Also light fittings I ordered online arrived... they are natural rattan to go with the floors.

I harvested and planted loads of seeds from my Garlic Chives.

Lucy gave us all bags of huge potatoes from a nearby farm.   I am going to make meat pies with mashed potato on top.   Some will go into the meals freezer.

I harvested greens and made spinach and feta pies.... I posted the recipe on Monday.

I made four more heat packs and forgot to take photos.   I am glad to be sewing again and in the shops today I saw an idea that I can get busy on for Lily.   She is ten weeks old.  At this point she is just showing off! 

I am honoured that I get big smiles and goo and gah talking.  😊

The dress she is wearing here was from her Great Aunt.  💖

I made a fairly big investment into heavy duty off road tyres.   I kept getting flat tyres.  My helper Andrew used to manage a tyre centre.  He said for the roads (unsealed) I drive on I need to get much tougher ones.    They make the car feel completely different.   I am glad about this as even getting to Mum's house is 4 wheel drive only and it isn't gravel it is rocks! 

So what a lot of blessings!   I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day.  How did you build uproar home, pantry or garden this week?   What opportunities came your way?   xxx


  1. Feather Your Nest Friday is a highlight of my week, Annabel. It's more of a blessing than could ever be expressed, bringing peace, smiles and so many reasons to be grateful for you, your family and for life itself. For the Lord's little miracles each week. Like a glimpse into His kingdom. I don't usually comment, but had to say "Thank you!"
    --Elise (in AZ)

    1. Thank you Elise, that is very encouraging to me! xxx

  2. Lily is just precious. What sweet pictures.

  3. Sue Johnson 🌷17 May 2024 at 06:30

    Hi Annabel. Such a lovely post. As always, you are so inspiring. What a beautiful photo of you and your granddaughter! The cake and gifts your daughters made for you are so pretty and so thoughtful. You are very blessed. Thank you for sharing. I truly enjoy your blog! 🩷

    1. Thank you so much Sue! xxx

  4. Beautiful Lily and Beautiful You! I am very happy you all had a lovely Mother*s Day. Congratulations, Chloe, for the cakes!
    Lovely baby chicks!
    As always, you have accomplished a lot in a week and that inspires me daily - there are many moments when I feel tired, then I go on and do the things that needs to be done thinking of you and the other Bluebirds. And there is a lot, so I started a to do list on paper, in order not to forget something. And conscious relaxing/mind cleaning/ praying/calming down is written down, too. It helps.
    I made elderberry cordials and dried many flowers for winter teas - they contain vitamin C and I use it with mint, rose hips and many other palnts and herbs for .....well, everything. (My housesometimes looks like a Green Witch*s house)
    Not shopping this week, cooking from scratch, working, knitting for a client and gardening. I have planted tomatoes, bell peppers and chilli peppers, sowing in pots thyme, oregano, lettuce, parsley and rosemary. Fighting with snails and slugs and what is working for me are beer traps and hand picking (well, glove picking). The rest of the plants will be grown in containers for this year. I did some swapping with decorative flowers - I received pelargonium, lavender and fuchsia and gave hollyhocks bushes and oxalis plants.
    My baby chicks are all well and chirping all day long with their mama and auntie. I have five little chickens and auntie is sitting on 4 more eggs due in 10 days. They are still inseparable, eating together, playing together. In a different coop inside the run so the other chickens are with them, too. but not inside. No drama at all, big happy family. (Pics on Insta). Also, for the first time, I was asked to sell eggs - so I got my first real money, not just swapping with eggs.
    Together with my boys we are slowly but stadilly preparing for a hard winter. Europe is boiling, in Slovakia the Prime Minister was shot on Wednesday out in public, the war goes on and I think we will have many imigrants from Ukraine starting autumn/winter. I am feeling like an island, with everybody around me talking just about holidays and summer shopping, when something so dark and ugly is near our borders. But I know I have to rely on myself and I am responsible for my family and my animals.
    Thank you again for the support I find here, and sending love and good thoughts from far away. Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Laura, thank you so much for your posts. I really enjoy hearing about your life. And I appreciate you keeping us informed about what's going on in your country and in neighboring areas. Our (US) news doesn't cover much from Europe. I've been thinking about and praying for you, too. Peace and love to you, Laura!

    2. Laura: I think of you and your family often. Thank you for sharing your experiences and views with the rest of us. Stay safe.
      Patricia/ USA

    3. I really enjoy your sharing! Nancy

    4. Dear Laura, I am so happy about your chicks! I know how joyful it is! It is like a miracle out in your own garden! I went and looked on Insta! I love the twin hens! Your garden must be looking so beautiful. I dont know how people have their heads in the sand when the situation is so intense. The assassination attempt worried me too. I heard reports of Nato presence in Romania but I am not sure if that is right. Others I follow are reporting a lot of military movement, countries considering conscription (ie Germany), Putin threatening mainland UK... talk of nuclear anymore. How people can not be preparing amazes me. Maybe it is a form of denial. However what you are doing is right, we should make hay while the sun shies and use every opportunity! Latvia released a guide for its citizens... what to do. Of course it is in Latvian. Canadian Prepper did his best to translate (with help) a lot of it and covered this yesterday. Well it was very interesting and extensive and had many good tips and ideas so now I am trying to get hold of it and translate the whole thing. If anyone can read Latvian this could be helpful. Laura the slugs and snails can go to the chickens, I would just pour the beer off or you will have drunk chickens.
      Congratulations on selling eggs! Also yes I work from a list too and this way I really do get more done than with no list
      I hope all you have planted does so well! I will tell you another chicken thing... when chicks are really small I chop up herbs or grass really small with scissors. This adds to their diet and they fast get a love for the greens. They get really excited when they get to know what is coming next! On walks I watch out for greens and things with seeds and bring them home for chicken food. When we are cutting wood I also keep a bucket handy because sometimes there is a nest of bugs or larvae and the chickens think this is the best of all. Protein! They love protein!
      I hope you get some lovely time on the weekend to rest and restore. With much love Annabel.xxx

  5. What a beautiful tea and gifts! The cake is truly lovely.

  6. Oh, how beautiful Lily is! What a joy. That is what life is all about! Your house just has so many pretty things, such as the cake and pincushions! You and your family are so creative. Chloe did a great job! I also enjoy seeing the bounty of your baking and cooking. andrea

    1. Thank you Andrea! I was cooking most of yesterday as its cold outside! Have a beautiful Sunday!xxx

  7. Annabel the photos of you and Lily are so beautiful! I’m so pleased you had such a lovely Mother’s Day. The pincushions are gorgeous!

    We had a really busy week including an overnight school trip. It was great but exhausting! We ended up with heaps of leftover buns, ham, cheese and snacks. Yesterday I went shopping and found cartons of 1 dozen eggs for $1 each! So I bought 10 lol. I’m really happy to be able to do some baking and fill the freezers with mini quiches etc. They are such a good snack.

    We have guests this weekend which is nice. Last week we celebrated my daughter’s birthday and I was reminded yet again of how happy kids are with the simple things. I printed out a bingo board with fun pictures and they loved it.

    I hope this posts, I’ve been having trouble commenting lately.

    Have a great weekend
    Jen (NZ)

    1. Thanks for persisting Jen, I am going to go snoop in settings as others are having trouble too. I know you would have-it the left over buns etc to good use. Wow on the eggs! Eggs are so good so much protein etc. Quiches freeze really well. Also if the kids like scrambled eggs or eggs on toast... I love to make baked egg custard or creme brûlée. I think you are probably baking right now! Have a great new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Your skin is lovely. How about a post about your skin care (personal care) routine?

    1. Thank you Wendy! I used to post a bit on inexpensive and homemade skin care. I followed blogger who used to post so many helpful savings tips and economical cooking etc and she turned to posting about what shoes she was wearing and such. It put me off forever because it truly didnt help anyone. But saving money in these areas could. I never go to a hairdresser.... (ok I did once last year but that was once in 25 years) and I am very economical with skincare. So I will think on it! xxx

  9. I could not sign in on Google for a few months, despite being signed into my own accounts/blog elsewhere. It suddenly sorted itself out just as it had suddenly stopped working. No clue.

    I did not go into the grocery store this week. Instead I took time to process all the produce I got from the reduced rack at the grocery. I then sorted out the freezers and shifted things around, letting go of the well intentioned but never bothered to use items. I have determined that if I really want to avoid waste then I ought to use it RIGHT AWAY and not put it off for later!

    I made bread, all meals at home and have been careful to use everything (after the great freezer clearing out...that just went to make fresh compost).

    I trimmed the antique rose bush back now that it's done blooming and am trying to root a couple of new plants from pieces of the stem.

    I mended clothing, found some decor things for my kitchen hiding in the buffet, made the guest room look refreshed with paint and an old comforter, painted porch furniture with fresh paint, found a new low sugar recipe for lemonade that is so refreshing, gave myself a mani and pedi, ordered birthday gifts with gift cards I'd saved for this purpose. It's been a lovely couple of weeks around here.

  10. Happy Mother's Day! Such a lovely cake and tablescape. Lily continues to smile and glow. So nice to see a current photo of you. Your hair is beautiful!
    I echo what many other bluebirds share..I so appreciate your posts, Annabel. And thank you for your perseverance Laura. We are all inspired by your stalwart efforts to make the most of your situation.

    I am so thankful for the opportunity to take my children to the pool at the nearby YMCA. Swimming has had a rejuvenating effect on me! Not only physically, but emotionally. Now I am accomplishing so much and without anxiety.
    I enjoyed a day of baking chocolate chip banana bread and granola. And making jars of lemon curd with my overabundance of eggs.
    Our "chicks" are almost grown. I marvel at these 6 beauties. All hatched from the incubator. And I was their mama!

    My challenge for the next few weeks is to eat down our frozen food and to make more lemon curd.

    Blessings to you all,
    Leslie in Ohio

  11. What a lovely post Annabel. Chloe's table is lovely and so are the pincushions so sweet and personal too. And I love love the picture of you and Lily.
    The busy season is starting for us. The garden is planted as you know, but some of the seeds will need to be replanted. They probably got water logged from all of the rain we got. The blackberry bush is loaded! As long as the birds don't get to them first I'll have a bumper crop. On nice days I'm hanging out laundry and tidying things outside. The grapes , the gardens as best as possible since the soil is still wet and helping Rick when needed. The home repairs are at a stand still so I'm trying to reorganize everything so things don't look so cluttered with the home repair stuff taking up space.
    I'm updating the photos I have in frames, it's time for newer ones and I have a big bunch of fake flowers that I brought down from the attic to do something with, I have vases. I organized all of my ribbon stash so that it's all in one container.
    Dinners have been simple and for the most part will be until Fall probably.
    Hopefully soon I'll have wonderful garden photos to show you haha they're never very glorious in the beginning.

  12. Mostly this week, I did not spend. We recently made a large purchase and we are watching our spending. We are eating from the freezer & pantries. To help in the spending department, I asked for annuals to plant for Mother's Day. I'm thrilled that the dill and sunflowers and 5 tomato plants came up volunteer. I also found a baby salvia plant.
    I was able to do some thrift store and garage sale shopping. I try to pray before I go for the items I need. So far I have found: pair of shorts and leggings as well as a white denim jacket for me. Coloring books, reading books and activity books for the littles, all under $1. Some like new toys for them. Summer clothes for them. Again under $1. A boy's bike for $10. A tent for the kids to sleep in the back yard for $5. I estimate I spent under $50 and I am sure retail all of this would have been close to $300.00


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