Feather your Nest Friday, 24th May, 2024.

Thank you to everyone who added to Mondays wraps post!  So many delicious ideas!  

This was another big week.  I am grateful for photos.  Some things I could not describe without them!  Some work this week was BIG as you will see.   My helpers had a kind of working bee where Tim's wife joined us and we had a BBQ since we had fires going.   I had made morning tea the evening before.

 This used up ten apples from my apples stored in the crisper.

My cook up for the week was to make meat pies with potato topping.   Lucy had given me a bag of huge potatoes.   I cooked them all up and had a pie filling going in the slow cooker.    I ended up with a pie to freeze,  two beautiful dinners and a huge family pie to give Chloe for her family.

My basics post on Monday is going to be how to make meat pies...  because these are a great meat extender! 

I also made scones. (GF), which are a regular as you know.

I have shared the big granite rock that is going to be Andy's grave stone.  Andy had told me where he wanted to be laid to rest.  It is on the top of a hill here on the farm.   Currently due to no rain there is no green and the top of the hill looks like a sand pit.   None the less Andrew and Tim began creating a stone then rock then road base foundation for the rock.   It is a big job.

It is hard to give scale but none of these rocks would fit in a wheel barrow.

See those skies?  Still no rain.

Work on this continues next week until we can then put the rock up there.... then build a fence...  and plant the hill with some covers... 

Then...  we had our first bon fires.   The clean up of the top house also involves the yard.   This is all the mess and dead stuff from around the house.

This became the site of our BBQ lunch!   And we didn't even burn the house down!  

On this day we had two other fires but this was the biggest.

The clean up effect is immense!   All good wood,  suitable for the home fires has already been removed, cut up and stacked before these fires are made.

Now I have a story.    For Andy's stone I wanted a crucifix about a metre/yard long.  I could not find one in Australia so I went to Etsy and found one in the Netherlands.   I found the perfect one.  It was just a moment of "yes this is what Andy would love."   While shopping for this I also found the perfect crucifix for the house.    The next thing was that Andy's crucifix was stuck in customs... but that was sorted out with some paperwork and a phone call.   When it finally arrived it came in a HUGE box... and layers and layers of packing.   It took a LONG time to open it but when I finally succeeded I was so thrilled with how beautiful it is. 

Days later I had an ETSY notification to review my purchase and also for the smaller cross I bought for the house.  But that had not arrived.  I checked and rechecked where it could have gone.  ETSY insisted it was delivered. mmm.   I sat down one night to try and track it.   As I did this I realised that both crosses were from the same seller... and I had not understood this.  SUDDENLY it dawned on me.... they BOTH could have been in the same box.   I messaged the seller to ask... and yes they were packed together.
Well,  this is great but the box and packing had already gone to the dump.   It was a face plant moment.   On a farm like this there is no garbage collection - we all have a dump of our own on our own properties.   Mine is in a ravine...   Either Andrew or Tim take my rubbish once a week to the dump, on a trailer.   Annually the dump is lit up and reduced to not much!   I sent Tim a message and told him I had made a huge boo boo and did he know if the box would have been crushed?   He said no,  it was thrown in but nothing went on top.   He also offered to come out and help me try and retrieve it.

The next day I couldn't stand it any longer and rather wait for Tim or Andrew to be here I drove to the dump and inspected to see if I could see the box.  And I could and it wasn't squashed!   I had put my long handled fruit picking stick in the car as that has a hook on the end...   I realised it was all an unwise idea but I decided to try and get it.  It was several metres down the hole.   Then I thought if I went missing no one would know where I was unless they rang Tim who would guess I'm dead in the dump!    Near the box was the great pile of horrific carpet that came out of the top house.  It was thick and I tested if it would hold my weight and I literally moved one millimetre at a time until I could reach the box with the long stick.   There was even a Wedge Tailed Eagle circling above me for dramatic effect.   I know it was really dumb as there was broken glass, an old window and other lovely stuff to fall on.  BUT I finally hooked the box and edged it towards me!   Then getting back to solid ground was equally slow.   Once I had the box and myself on the surface I tore it open and within that box was a small blue box that was totally undamaged.   I brought it home and cut it open and the crucifix was completely fine.  And gorgeous.   I will show both of these in upcoming posts because I want them to be in position first.   Oh and I gave the seller a five star review and said how great the packing was! 

After our BBQ lunch Tim's wife and I filled about a dozen paper shopping bags (which it turns out we both save for such things) and so we both have loads of kindling for our home fires.  It was a beautiful sunny day too, to enjoy working in.

Because of no rain...  I invested in some nice lucerne hay.  I knew I need to begin feeding the cows.  I have never had to feed them before, normally they just graze and do very well.  However the season is bad and I have more cows.

I began feeding out.   As Loui is so huge and so friendly you should see my run for the ute if he gets too close!  

I think I will be feeding out every day for a while.

I made a few more heat pads...

AND I finished a blanket for the boys room.  It is very generous on a single bed and all wool.   I was 3/4 through this last winter and only had to finish it.   The four rows around the border took forever!   But I am so happy with it!    It is 8 ply but I had all different wool ply and in some rows it is 2x 4 ply and in some it is 4 ply and x2 two ply... and so on!  

I am six inches into another blanket using wool I. was given and some from the thrift stores.  The same way...  some crocheted together to make up 8 ply. 

Yesterday I was so tired I went to sleep at 4 pm!  haha but I woke up and did things, made dinner and went to sleep again just fine at bedtime.

Today I went to town.   Apart from the regular stuff I stocked up on long life milk,  tinned corn, tinned tomatoes and gravy powder.   During the week Denise kindly messaged me to say England released a website advisory to stock up on canned and dry goods, water, first aid etc..... and that quickly many stores sold out of many basic items.   Thank you Denise... on the ground reports are the best.   The week before Lithuania released a 100 page document on similar lines.   The time to stock up is BEFORE everyone is doing it!   Patara says keep on adding five cans a week!   I started that in 2018...  and I rotate them AND doing it this way they were all purchased on half price!    

I hope you had a good week with lots of opportunities to get ahead.  Please pray for rain.xxx


  1. What a week you had, my friend!! When younger, I would have done the same concerning the cross. I look forward to seeing the crosses. Andy's resting site will be lovely.
    Do you have directions for the heating pad posted somewhere? I made some years ago, but yours look so much fuller and sturdy than mine did.
    Most of my doing this week has been in thinking, praying and reading God's Word. I have had a huge flare-up in my right hand and am severely compromised until I can get the swelling and pain down with steroids.
    Sending much love to all Bluebirds,

    1. Thank you Glenda. I just use a nice soft and thick fabric... I use pearl barley from the supermarket and fill so the bag will still bend and mould to your body but be full enough to stay hot for a long time. I hope your hand improves it is very difficult to manage anything with a bad hand! With much love Annabel.xxx

  2. Wow, what an adventure. So glad you found the Crucifix . I would have done the same thing. lol.
    The blanket is beautiful. I watch Neil Mc Coy Ward on YouTube. He had a short video yesterday about the UK government warning citizens about stocking up. He is ex military and believes it will be an attack on the infrastructures.
    He sold his properties in London and now live on a farm on the Isle of Man . He felt it was not safe to stay in London any longer.
    We just returned from the Scotland , I had the feeling we better go sooner than later with an election coming up here in states.
    Customs was not bad. Mr. Ward said it took him 38 hours to get through customs coming back to the UK from France. Probably due to this warning to prepare.
    Going to see what deals (if any) I can find out there today. Happy weekend to all the Bluebirds 🌻

    1. I watch Neil too! I saw this also... I find him very reliable and interesting. There certainly is a fair bit going on! It is great you had your trip to Scotland! xxx

  3. You had a good week of planning ahead and stocking up Annabel. Even bags of dry kindling add to preparedness. The blanket is beautiful, great colours for the boys room.
    I used our frozen blackcurrants to make blackcurrant ice cream, some to eat on the day, some for back in the freezer. We picked purple sprouting broccoli, leeks, parsley and chives from the garden. I made an asparagus tart and used leftover pastry to make a small quiche.
    We planted out cosmos and snapdragons and cornflowers in the cutting garden and tomatoes in the greenhouses and outside. We sowed so many seeds I cant remember what they all were but we had to repeat sow french beans because slugs/snails/pigeons and rabbits are enjoying our garden far too much.
    I have also been looking at the UK governments Preparedness site, as usual Bluebirds are way ahead of them. I'm glad they've put something out there though, everyone needs to think seriously about 'what if'. Weather events and power outages seem to be increasing in severity here but it could be any sort of situation.
    Have a good week everyone.
    Penny in the UK.

    1. What a good idea to make blackcurrant ice cream with last years frozen fruit. I might have a go at that, Penny. Something is getting at my runner bean seedlings too. Gill

    2. Penny I think the ice cream sounds beautiful too! Everything coming in from the garden is so lovely. Thank you for that compliment! When everyone is in a panic for whatever reason that is not the time to stock up... BEFORE that is our time and that is what we have been doing! Power outages seem to be very likely here, US also I see... I more and more know I can survive best through the cold because of the fire, kindling, my fireplace can heat food... boil water... and very hot summers would be much harder. I think if we keep doing what we have been we are ahead because doing a little each week just adds up to something amazing! Thank you Penny! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. I’m so glad you managed to get in and out of the dump safely Annabel!! And that the cross was so well packaged. Phew!! Your working bee sounds great, I’m sure everyone is so happy to help out (especially because you feed them so well 😉)

    The blanket looks fantastic! Is that the cost stripe pattern from Attic24? I’m about to start one and thought I might try that instead of the granny stripe that I’ve made a few of.

    I’ve had a good week with a bit more time at home which has been nice. I found a good deal on gluten free weetbix and bought 15 boxes. I’ve also added beef mince to the freezer. We had guests stay with us last weekend and although I’d prepared all of our meals ahead of time they wanted to contribute something so bought us two legs of lamb which was lovely. We’ll have one tonight.

    I’m having my older daughter birthday party tomorrow so we’ll do some baking for that today.

    I hope you have a restful weekend and of course some rain. Your week is always lovely to read about.

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Thanks Jen, yes the blanket was cozy stripe, good spotting. I am doing trellis on the new one I started. I really find both of these so nice, so easy and most important of all I can keep them square! The both have "posts" at the end because Ive worked on blankets that gradually grew wider ooops!
      Great stocking up on the weetbix! How nice of your guests to contribute something so fantastic! I know you will make the most of that lamb! I hope your daughter has had a very Happy Birthday! With much love Annabel.xxx

  5. Annabel, I would have been out in the trash trying to retrieve the box, too! And it seems I wouldn't have been the only Bluebird out there. Can't you just see all of us swarming around in the pit, trying to help you reach the box? LOLOLOLOL

    I am not a genuine prepper, although I've always kept a deep pantry. But if governments are advising people to stock up, I think we all need to listen...whether it is our own government or not. Thank you all for keeping this issue in the forefront. I will be interested in reading what Laura in Romania has to say!

    1. Thank you so much! I had a lotto emotional support reducing that box! A deep pantry is far far more preparedness than what is average these days. I wish I had kept a list but earlier Germany and Sweden both put out extensive lists... (since the war started) and now new countries are adding in... now I am watching closely. Even in covid it was a shock to see how fast the shelves were empty. And since things have been patchy. So when there are deals on things that keep a long time, that I can use (or my kids/Grandkids) I put them away. Maybe better than money in the bank! Many thanks! xxx

  6. Oops, that was me swarming around in the trash with you, LOL. (I need to remember to sign my posts). Also, the blanket is great. The different weights of yard give it a great texture.
    --Maxine, aka mikemax

  7. Dear Annabel, I am so glad that you found your crucifix and worked out what had happened. Andy’s resting site will be beautiful. I absolutely love that blanket. I wish I was as fast. I’m still working on mine! But it is going to be too big, oh well. I love the sound of your working bee and bbq lunch. These people sound kind and helpful. I am excited about your pie post. I made a version of shepherd’s pie and was able to make an extra one for my parents by extending it with veggies. People have said you can add lentils, but I am a bit nervous about that. We have a fussy eater or two. I got some fruit and veggies on a super cheap special at our local shop. Keep your eyes open everywhere for the good specials. I now happily have a big pumpkin to use this week.
    Lots of love, Bridget

    1. Dear Bridge, Thank you! I had done most of that blanket last year. I let it would boost me to complete something and it did. Your blanket cannot be too big... with growing boys a big blanket is going to be a good thing! We will both be working on pumpkin next week! For the pies I have a lot of variations so we can use what we can. Also we can go with the flavours that we know are winners in our own families. Thank you for your most beautiful mail! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Annabel what an adventurous week you have had and glad you found the crucifix and didn't get hurt in your tip adventures. Your heat packs and blanket are lovely. So lovely to have friends do a working bee with you and get so much accomplished. Your pies look lovely and even better using up ingredients you have been given. The site for Andy's gravestone is coming along really well and I am sure it will be beautiful when it is finished with lovely plants planted around it too.

    The last few weeks we have stocked up on winter clothing that both DH and I needed as DH had lost weight and I gained it. We bought thinner tracksuit tops for DH as an underlayer for winter on 20% off sale and I purchased quite a few long sleeve t-shirts for me from BigW on a 30% off sale saving $159.75 on usual prices elsewhere.

    In groceries I picked up 2 pork loin roasts in WW marked down by 50% and steggles american style chicken burgers reduced from $12 to $6.49ea, in IGA premium porterhouse steak marked down by 50% from $40kg to $20.08 kg, cheese and bacon rolls on special reduced from $4 to $3 ea, sarsparilla on sale reduced from $3 to $1.80ea and 4pkts of jumbo hamburger rolls reduced from saving $3.50 to $2.10 ea saving $50.07 on usual prices.
    In the gardens friends came over and we did a working bee here too and split a bit lot of firewood with the hydraulic log splitter, got it stacked, took down part of the old chicken pen that had rotted posts and brushcut the back boundary to the creek bank. I have also done 4 packs of weed spray in the house paddock and fruit orchard lawns to control some of the clover and other weeds and DH has one more pack to spray.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone.


  9. Terri from Blue House Journal here. I'll say it now as I'll hit enter before I sign this, lol. The site for Andy's memorial will be just lovely! I like that it's going to overlook the land. And yes, I'd have gotten in that pit and retrieved the box too. I think most of us are just made like that, lol.

    I have not stocked up on canned items in a while. I have a decent supply but do need a few things and will try to move on that this coming month. I have been visiting the produce clearance and meat clearance section at a local discount store. Last week I got chicken burgers for $1 a package of 4. Most of the produce is 75c to $1 and most of the meat I buy is under $4 a pound. Those chicken burgers were extra low and a really premium brand.

    I find more and more that I am ignoring the grocery unless something is on a really good sale. Thank goodness for a deep pantry/freezer so that I can do this. But the lack of sales is starting to show in my pantry and in my freezer. I have a shelf that is barely half full. This is not something we typically have! I am also out of canned green beans, another thing I seldom have ever been without.

    I am so grateful for all the reports that come into the comments section on this group as well as the information each shares. So often I think "Oh! I used to do that, I need to go back to it," or "Why hadn't I thought to do that?"

    Today I have made bread and yogurt, used up leftovers, am rooting some rose cuttings and dug up some clematis to transplant to a more congenial spot for growing. I made my own 'iced coffee' using items I had here at home. It tasted every bit as good as those $6 ones...

  10. I posted a long comment last Saturday and I couldn’t get it to publish, so I hope you don’t mind me doing a test one. From Cheryl

    1. Glad it worked, it must have been a glitch at my end!


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