The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 2nd February, 2018.

We were so lucky this week with mild weather, it was lovely.  Life is so much easier!

I had a week of making things with peaches while still picking more!   Yesterday I needed to use about a hundred so I made peach jam.  The colour is so pretty I sat it in the window so you can see it...

I made peach pies and crumble and stewed peaches...

During the week I picked several more baskets and last night I picked a big lot to give Chloe as she is in town for a couple of days.

I did some painting in the evenings and got a beautiful mirror finished. The lovely lady who gave me the linens for the wedding gave this to me.   It is so pretty! 

I also painted the sewing machine drawers but I am not showing those until I have them in use and styled up!

I made yoghurt.

Before the mild days set in we had a couple of days of heat last weekend.  I don't like it much but it is useful for a few things.  One is I washed everything!   The wool underlay on the bed is very thick.  I washed it up in my own homemade wool mix.  You can find that recipe here.  It makes everything so soft, smell beautiful and kills dust mites and so on.  And so does sunshine!
Then I washed the quilt the same way.  We hung them up over several lines.  They were back on the bed in the evening.  When we got into bed it felt like a cloud!
I did pillows as well and all the linen.    For previous Vicky Challenges I have priced what the shops charge to wash an underlay and it was over $100!  I guess it cost me 60c or something...

I needed to give my sour dough some days out of the fridge so I made two focaccia breads.

We picked tomatoes every day.

I planted basil.

I made four quiches as I had bargain cream and lots of eggs...

This week I have ventured a bit further into learning about herbs and tinctures.   I started rosemary and oregano tinctures and I collected olive branches which I have drying to make Olive Leaf extract.

This is something I have really loved the last few years.  I had no idea it was easy to make yourself.  I was talking this over with Patsy and she has no olives anywhere near her so I am drying her some.  It is funny that we just think the plants around us are normal for everyone.  If it turns out anyone else would like dried olive I will include it in the next swap.  Please say if you need some. 

Andy saved around $400 in his Vicky Challenge which was partly home brew and fixing things himself.

So it was a week of a bit of this and a bit of that!

Barb could do with some cheering up... she is in hospital having tests concerning an eye.  She is ok but hasn't had the best time...

I could do with some prayers as we have big things going on re our farm move.  And just several other things I can't say here!  I know there are some true prayer warriors here and I have several mountains to move... I will just say that!

How did you build up your nest, save or get ahead this week?
Over the weekend I am going to take some time to consider January and plan some goals for February.   We start off with two birthdays today, Scarlett's first birthday!  And Vicky's Birthday! 

Have a lovely weekend!  xxx


  1. Wishing Scarlett and Vicky a happy birthday. Have lovely days!
    Barb thinking of you. Praying things go ok with your eye.
    Annabelle what lovely looking jam. To hot to grow such fruits up here in the NT. Looks yum.
    Blessings Tanya xxx

    1. Annabel I will agree with you in Jesus name that the mountains will be cast into the sea. Mark 11:23. The word says that if 2 or more agree and have faith it shall be done.
      Vicky and Scarlett Happy Birthday I pray it blessed beyond measure.
      Barb I pray that the doctor's receive wisdom and understanding for your eyes. I pray that you would have healing in Jesus name and the God that created the
      universe would bring peace and joy to your soul.
      Annabel the jam is lovely. I can just almost smell summer in your kitchen. The mirror is beautiful and I have the perfect spot for it. I love that a little paint and things are transformed.
      We joined a buy nothing group and a succulent swap group on face group. So much fun ☺
      We saved so much with our Vicky challenge this month, well over 1,000. Just shopping far a field. Free plants and groceries at a huge discount. Sears and Kmart rewards
      Points they gave us a certain amount in points and then
      matched that with free items for every dollar spent. We got things on clearance so this multiplied the savings. I am not sure if they give reward points in Australia. It would be worth checking. Kristi also found things greatly
      Reduced on Walmart .com. Pants and jackets $2.50 and them just like that the prices went back up to normal prices.
      I have noticed that some of the places we shop things have gone up by 50 percent. So we are happy to be stocked on those. We are hopeful to have a small garden this year. Maybe in pots we have Gofer's .Blessings to all it is great to start the year and already have a years supply of a few things.
      Much love,
      Patti from San Diego

  2. Annabel Fruit fly would have decimated the peaches here. The jam looks delicious and the colour is superb. Happy First Birthday to Miss Scarlett. I hope she has a wonderful day.
    Barb sending you big hugs dear lady. Praying that all will be sorted and you will be home, feeling better, very soon.
    I will have to look into olive leaf extract. I have an olive tree in a pot. It doesnt get enough cold weather to fruit, so using the leaves sounds like a great idea.
    This week I have used my sourdough starter in loaves of bread and for a batch of Nan bread, most of which is frozen. I baked up a dozen delicious profiteroles(I cheated and used the box mixture Bluey bought home for 50c). I have made up a new batch of soap and am hoping this will dry off a lot prettier than it currently looks in the mould. Even if it remains ugly it will still be good olive oil soap.
    I have two big garbage bags of 'stuff' waiting to go to the Op shop. The result of this clean out is a clean and tidy sewing room and my wardrobe has had a full clean out and reorganise.
    I have been wanting a lamp for ages for when I do hand work, in my chair, at night. I was moving things around in the container and rediscovered my beautiful old Standard Lamp. I cleaned it up, put in a new bulb, and now have a lovely lamp to light up my work.
    We had a cool change come through, with some rain, on Wednesday night. Yesterday was lovely and cool and today more so. We are getting quite a few showers today which means the pile of washing is staying were it is.
    Being so cool is beautiful. Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, I am glad about the rain. Sewingcreations also reported rain it is so good!
      I am glad you found the lamp! I need a lamp to work by once winter comes.
      I was very impressed with the profiteroles... I am pretty sure they are beyond me! Also I liked the soap as I love soft colours so to me they looked dreamy!
      I will let you know how the olive leaf extract turns out and compares to what I buy... I think it is a real bug fighter. It has to be dried and pushed first... but not long to go.
      Have a good new week! With love,

  3. This prayer warrior is lifting you heavenward, over that mountain. xx

  4. I would love to know what type of paint you use when you paint your lovely furniture and that mirror. Do you prime and paint or do you use chalk paint? I'm only asking as I've also got a few pieces of furniture I need to spruce up and I'm in a quandry with what to use.
    Thank you

    1. Dear Ahlyia,
      Mainly for my furniture I have used ceiling white. It is matt and cheap. I have never primed anything and I have never used chalk paint although I love it. A good blog to see a lot of furniture painting is Sweet Melany. That girl paints everything even more than me! I have found for furniture that might need frequent cleaning and wiping down its better to use a washable paint but I keep to a matt finish. It just looks more antique to me. Complete lack of surface prep has got me many good fine eggshell crackle and antique finishes and everyone's says oh how did you do that! ? If you have something lovely it could be worth getting chalk paint. You can also make your own so google that... For the mirror I just used left over paint from painting the house. I literally use anything thats in the shed or that I find. As long as it is white! I hope that helps. Painting is so transformative and wonderful to me. I can take something dark and dingy and suddenly its fabulous. I love it! With love

  5. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :) . I love that beautiful mirror and the lovely peach jam you made Annabel.

    Happy birthday to Scarlet and Vicky :). Prayers from our family to yours Annabel for your difficult decision time and to Barb too as we are thinking of you both at this time.

    We have just had over the last few days 21.7mm of glorious rain that has filled up our rainwater tanks and well watered our gardens. It has been so incredibly hot and dry here so the rain is truly welcome.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $346.71 this week in savings.

    Here is how we saved and feathered our nest this week -

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 23.85% of the way there.

    eBay listings -
    - Took advantage of more free listing promotions and listed 25 items saving $41.25 on normal listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 14 x 4pk of vacuum seal coat and garment storage bags from Aldi on special to better organise our clothing, blankets and quilts in the dressing room to give us more room for our second pantry. This saved us $294.15 over purchasing in other shops locally.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 2kg of beetroot we used for juices and 1.143kg of cherry tomatoes from the gardens saving $3.81 after our hay purchase.
    - Picked some rosemary from the gardens which I am drying to supply herbs for the home and some to sell on eBay for additional income.
    - Used our free hay with our jumbo bale purchase to mulch a 10 x 5mt garden bed, all of the herb, berry and vegetable patches in the front yard gardens and another 4.5mt patch of another vegetable garden in the back paddock.
    - Thinned out and transplanted carrots seedlings growing too close together making 2.5 x 7mt rows in our amended newly garden bed.
    - Thinned out and transplanted beetroot seedlings growing too close together to make a 5mt row of beetroot in our newly amended garden bed.
    - Pruned sweet potato vines growing across the front lawn and onto the front footpath and weeded around some of the front herb and berry gardens to neaten up the front yard.

    Water preservation -
    - Hand watered the house paddock lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine all week rather than using town water.

    Electricity savings -
    - Saved another $7.50 by only turning on our electric hot water system on once this week and using our solar lanterns all week to light our home at night.

    Have a fantastically frugal and fun week ahead everyone :) .


    1. Dear Sewingcreations,
      The rain was wonderful! What a difference that makes.
      Thank you for your prayers and support!
      I think the Aldi bags are a great idea. Aside of being space saving and money saving this protects things from everything from mould to bugs also.
      The free eBay listings are a great thing! I hope you have lots of sales!
      Your garden is great.... I love beetroot especially. We are picking cherry tomatoes they have been fantastic! I feel that above and beyond the obvious the garden is also a place of peace and calm so it is just a win win all round!
      Thank you for sharing your week. I hope you are having a lovely Sunday! With much love

  6. Annabel,

    All the Bluebird nests are in both Handsome’s and my prayers. God makes all things beautiful in HIS time.

    *hugs* and I appreciated the email,

  7. Prayers for you as you face new challenges. Somehow I missed your moving to a farm...are you leaving your beautiful home and garden?

    1. Thank you so much. Over maybe the last year there started to be a general feeling that God has something going on with us regarding the future and slowly we started to think it was to move back to the country. And just one thing after another has happened to make us feel that is what we should do and what we want to do. So it looks like it most likely but there are still a few things to work out! So Im praying a lot! xxx

  8. Hello Annabel, when we moved into our 80 year old home, the previous owner had planted Olive trees down the entire fence line. We have about 10 trees, after pulling out about that many again!Anyway, if anyone would like any, we have heaps. We also get an abundant crop of Olives each Easter. We preserved Olives for several years, but have left them for the past few years, as we don't have the time. It is a time consuming process to remove the seed and make up the brine solution etc. Enjoy your lovely Blog, thanks so much Annabel.

    1. Hello and thank you! Are you located in Australia? You might even find takers for the olives just not sure where you are, but thank you for the offer! xxx

    2. Annabell, my name is Robyne, and I live in Ceduna S.A.

  9. Hi Annabel,

    Your peach jam looks gorgeous in the sunlight and I love that mirror! I have prayed for you and your family!! Lots of love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Thank you! Have a good news week, I am ahead here so you probably still have a nice Sunday ahead of you! With much love

  10. P.S. Barb---have sent prayers for you and your eye, too! Hope you are well soon! xx Jen in NS

  11. Dear Annabel,
    Happy Birthday to both Vicky and Scarlet. Barb, sending you a hug and praying that all will be resolved in the most expeditious manner.

    Annabel, the peach jam looks delicious and the mirror beautiful. It's amazing what a coat of white paint will do.

    Our prayers join with yours for as you make decisions for your future.

    1. Dear Cookie, Thank you so much! We had a lovely picnic in the park yesterday for Scarlett's birthday. It was a good day! I think I will be making more jam this week... peaches everywhere! With love,

  12. Annabel, I join you in your prayer requests. Happy Birthday to Scarlet and to Vicky!!! I've just set my February goals and am already working on them. Your painted items are so pretty, you just seem to have 'that touch' of being able to transform the 'not so pretty' into something of beauty.

    1. Dear Patsy, Thank you! We had a lovely picnic in the park for Scarlett on a beautiful day!
      This week I just have to keep working on my fruit. I need to figure out my goals for the rest of the month. Thank you for your prayers. With much love

  13. Dear Annabel,

    I just love peaches, and tomatoes, and basil. It makes me long for summer, haha. It's cold here.

    Praying for you as the Lord moves mountains, and in your decision making. Blessings on Barb. May she come home soon and be happy, healthy, whole and free of pain.

    It's been a good week here and I am happy. Happiness is just such a treasure! I was able to make a little crochet horse for a dear girl's birthday party, and my husband made the child a little stable to go with it. It was a hit! Yay! And we made it all with stuff we had around the house. I wrote down $10 savings in my Vicky Book, but in real life, it would have cost more--especially with that little stable.

    My husband and I have sold 5 1/2 dozen eggs this week. Our dear chickens laid them for us. We just love those chickens!

    I haven't figured my numbers, and feel that the debt forgiveness from the hospital might skew the numbers anyway, but we feel really happy. Thanks to everyone for all the prayers. We can feel them. They are working. There are still more bills, and we are not out of the woods yet, but things are SO much better and we are grateful.

    1. Dear Cristy,
      I hope you took a picture of the horse and stable. I would love to see it!
      I'm glad things are working out with the medical bills. We had a huge one after my son was born and I had to have an unexpected minor surgery. I think the doctor was with me about 15 minutes. The bill was $11,000! We were floored and had no way to pay this. My husband called to see if he could negotiate the bill and get it lowered. They ended up completely dropping all charges! It was really nothing short of a miracle. I will be praying that all of your needs will be met in full.
      With love, Kelsey

    2. Dear Cristy,
      the little horse and stable sound just wonderful! I love the whole idea! And a team effort.
      Crusty I hope you saw my last reply as I was so thrilled about the forgiveness of this medical debt and I know how terribly it was worrying you. This was just amazing. I am honestly seeing something I think... while yes it is hard to be a Christian in the world and that is true I have seen several examples lately where God has answered such big prayers and needs that it is just mind blowing. He is bigger. Of it all he is bigger!
      I am so glad to hear how happy you feel! And rightly so! With much love

    3. Dear Cristy,
      I just searched for your comment on your medical relief and found it. Not sure how I missed it, sorry! You did exactly what we did. It was also a Catholic hospital and we must have filled out the same form. Yes, for anybody reading, it is worth a try if you really need help like we did!
      Love, Kelsey

    4. Annabel, Kelsey and Bluebirds,
      The internet is working today! (It's spotty where we live.)

      We didn't actually take a picture of the horse and stable, but it was so successful that we are making another just like it and I will take a picture of that one. :)

      God is bigger. He really is. It's wonderful how He worked things out for us. And for Kelsey too, it looks like.


  14. It is just fantastic how much free fruit you are getting and sharing with others.
    Sounds like a wonderful week.
    Prayers for you and yours and that all things work out as they should.

  15. What a gorgeous mirror! And the peach jam is beautiful. Praying things work out for you all!

  16. I will be praying for all of you. So many dear ones needing prayer right now. It is something we can do here even though hubby's brain injury limits us in so many ways.

    We got many free items at the grocery store this week and also a free dozen doughnuts at the doughnut shop. They freeze so well and we can take them out two at a time for many weeks.

    If you have dandelions you can make a tincture of the roots and it is good for internal use for cleansing the liver which pretty much everyone needs. Rhubarb root tincture is useful to stop bleeding. Hydrangea root tincture is useful for kidney stones.

    This weekend we are off to the lake house for a whole two glorious weeks! It will be cold and rainy but we don't mind being tucked up on the couch with a good book.

    1. Lana, have a lovely restful two weeks tucked up in your Lake house , sounds wonderful! And IM very interested in your tinctures so Ive jotted those you mentioned down.With thanks , Love Maria x

    2. Dear Lana, Being able and willing to pray for others is a great service. I had a friend who was housebound and her community service she felt had come to an end. And she had had a life of helping others. Well she took to writing letters and praying for people. It was a great service. And I very much appreciate your prayers.
      Have a beautiful time at the lake house, this sounds heavenly.
      When you are back or have time would you possibly email me at ?
      With much love

  17. Annabelle, have you told us how you do the tinctures? That's something I've never done.
    With prayers,

    1. Dear Phyllis, No not so far as it is something I am still learning. I have made things like my own vanilla essence which really is just an infusion. Thats easy and works a treat. I have never done anything "medical" but am trying to learn. I hope to have some posts coming up as there are a few here who know much more than me. I hope to have oregano, on guard vinegar and a better knowledge of essential oils as the year goes on! With love

    2. Hi, Annabell, I don’t comment often. I wanted to chime in about the tinctures. They are very easy to do and work wonders! Yoootuuube has so many video’s to give you and your readers help. I’m sure the library has books you can borrow, as well. I’ve been making medicine for ages, it’s not hard or intimidating.

  18. Your olive leaf extract sounds interesting, I've never heard of such a thing. We have tons of Russian Olive trees growing nearby, so perhaps I will be able to dry the leaves. As usual, you've done well on your savings. The peach jam is beautiful, how wonderful to taste that when your summer is nothing more than a memory. Today I'm going through my fridge and freezer to see what I can use up. So often I just toss things in there and forget what I have. So, I need a clean out! As for savings, my very handy and skilled husband is continuing to work in our basement. Our plan is to make it more 'livable' for us, but we are also thinking of having the option in the future of possible rental income. So far he has insulated, dry-walled, and run new electrical. Next up is re-doing plumbing and relocating my washer and dryer, and roughing in plumbing for a shower and sink. Last will be the ceiling and flooring. And just think, he doesn't charge a thing! ; So all this work will be done just for the cost of supplies. Even if we never rent it out, these improvements add to the value of the house. As for myself, I have just started a quilt for a friend, she is such a special person.

    1. Dear Joy, I really like the olive leaf extract. I am hoping mine turns out as well as the one I have been buying!
      I need to go through my fried so often especially the crisper. Out of sight is out of mind... so I have a dig around and use up too!
      The basement is a good project and as you say could even be an income generator. Renting a room to a student is a good income here... $200 a week seems to be a going rate.
      I hope we get to see this quilt when done... it would be a beautiful present! With love

  19. Hello Ladies!
    Wishing the birthday girls a lovely day! How exciting Scarlett will be 1 year old!
    Prayers for each of you and family, thankful our Lord wants only to bless those who walk in His way! Psalm 31:19 Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!

    Barb praying for you to heal quickly!

    It has been a quiet week here in Tennessee. We started of the week with mild temps around 60*F and now it is in the 20's. Ugh. Thankful though, I'd much rather put on a wrap than be sweaty and miserable.

    Hubby is working overtime this week, the surplus money will be a blessing. I am so very thankful for that man! He works very hard to support us, and then will come home and work to repair and maintain all equipment/tools for our household. That comes to mind as his only day off this week, he will be repairing my car and our kitchen faucet... He is my handsome handy man! :~)

    Oh Annabel, I almost forgot to say the Peach Jam looks so divine! It is almost "singing" to bright & cheerful. That is Jeff's (hubby) absolute favorite.
    Time to run, Have a very blessed day!

    1. Dear Kath,
      It sounds like you have a great husband. I was saying to someone how so many men are hard workers, tirelessly look after their families but sometimes they dont get much praise for it. It is so nice to hear you speak so highly of your husband.
      Thank you for your prayers!
      I was amazed by the colour of the jam. I did small batches in the microwave and this tends to give a clear colour and its so pretty and cheerful!
      We had a lovely Birthday picnic in the park today and it was such nice weather, we were so lucky! With love and thanks,

  20. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds,

    Praying that all goes well for you Barb and the doctors are able to find a solution to your problem. Annabel, praying that you will have the strength to "move those mountains" that you are facing and that all falls into place for you and your family.

    Happy birthday Vicki and Scarlett. I can't believe Scarlett is one! How time flies it seems like it was only last week that she was welcomed into the world.

    I'm so excited to report my savings this week. Usually, I manage a few small savings, but this week woo!hoo! I bought full leg hams that were marked half price and then at the checkout, the cashier took another $20 off the ham - this worked out to be $1.50/kg!!! Went straight back in and bought a second ham :-) then spent the afternoon slicing them into manageable size pieces to freeze, then packaged and froze the bones for later soup making. This saved us over $120.

    It must have been my lucky week, because two days after the ham purchase, I found low fat, permeate free milk for 57cents/litre and family size pizzas for $1 each in the deli. My freezer is smiling, and so am I.

    If you have a lime tree, you are sitting on a goldmine! These sell for $1 each around here. My DB gifted us some beautiful limes fresh picked from his tree. They are so big and juicy. Another $20 saved. I found an easy recipe for lime pickle, so some will go into making this, and I'll give some back to DB.

    Total savings for the week (including fruit and veg marked down 40%) was $206, which was solely on food items. This is so rare to come across such bargains in our area.

    Annabel the peach jam looks so yummy and a real bonus. Like Jane, fruitfly is a big problem here, so no chance of bonus fruit.

    I like the way you use white paint to unify your furnishings. You have a special knack for decorating.

    Have a great weekend all,

    1. Dear Janine, I am always on "ham patrol" and that price beats anything I have seen! Also it was good to start with then the extra markdown! I would have got the other one too!
      I have taken to baking hams like Mum does. I cook them whole and we usually eat ham and salads for dinner that night. Then it lasts and lasts and we might freeze some too. Also... when a ham is close to use by date... this cooking buys you ages more. Either way Andy loves ham so I always watch for it!
      We often get this price of $1 each on lemons. My friends tree is always covered so thankfully this saves me a lot!
      Thanks for the compliment on decorating! I love the pretty carving and shapes on things and to me white just highlights this. With much love,

  21. Dear Annabel,
    You remain in my prayers concerning the move to the farm! Barb, I have just said a prayer for you, too.
    I have never heard of olive leaf extract, either. What do you use it for? Very interesting!
    I had another good week with nest feathering and the Vicky Challenge. I'm continuing to meal plan and follow Terri's housekeeping advice. I can't say enough about how well it is working out. I get so much done, save so much money, and the house is so clean!
    This week started off good with our neighbor giving us his ice chest, which is worth $400 new. He had some meat go bad in it and didn't want to bother cleaning it. It really wasn't that bad and Colton cleaned it up (no smell) in no time.
    We removed all the rocks from the front yard. This is a big deal! I can't tell you how many there were! This is all in preparation for planting grass this spring.
    I did some kitchen crafting and started up some vanilla from the beans you sent in the swap. I also made some flu fighting spray from JES's site.
    I used cloth diapers a few days this week and plan on continuing. I also made John's food for the next two days.
    I finished sewing my nightgown. I now have a dress on the cutting table as that will be next.
    We ate all meals at home including breakfasts, lunches, coffee, etc. Everything was from scratch. I even stretched meals on three occasions to accommodate unexpected guests.
    We came in under budget for the month on groceries. Our friends gave us eggs which I am extra grateful for.
    We also stayed within our personal allowances.
    I used gift cards to buy a new set of sheets. We are saving up for a new mattress so I will put these sheets away for when we get it.
    My total for the week is $565.89, which brings January's total to $1564.07! A great month!
    I hope everyone has a good weekend. Happy birthday to Vicky and Scarlett!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Wow a freezer like that will be very handy! That was amazing! So good when you find great buys, I am always running out of freezer space!
      The olive leaf extract... I started using this a few years ago bit in the same way I would use echinacea which is when bad bugs are going around to try and build up immunity and also if you have a bug you are trying to fight off. I found it good. The things I found?discovered last year were using Oregano oil and on guard blend with is basically Thieves Blend essential oils. When the flu was bad here I used these. Whenever I had to go out or even to help with Lucys household which has the flu I used these. So this year I will do the same as I have grown to really like these.
      Well done on the front yard! I knew you had a lot of rocks to get rid of!
      I hope to see your nightgown. Your sewing is just lovely!
      Well done on such great savings plus coming under budget. This was a very good start to the year! With love,

  22. Annabel,
    I had typed a comment, but static makes my computer pop off and it must not have went through. First prayers for Barb and thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! Your peach jam is just beautiful the color is amazing! And the mirror is very pretty! There isn't anything that some paint can't make look fresh and new and it will be just lovely with your other ones.
    My truck is still acting up which has kept me mostly at home so I saved on gas. I made honey wheat rolls and cinnamon apple rolls I had one lonely apple so decided to chop it up and add it to the cinnamon mixture and it was really good. I got free razors in the mail and a few other small samples, Kmart sent me more freecash to use so I got a few freebies with that I love free money! LOL We burned wood all week and Feb. here is always one of the coldest months. I canned more dry beans and some carrots to add to the cellar and since my truck didn't want to run we were out of milk for a week so I made do with canned and powdered. The dogs food is made for the week and the ladies gave us 3 dozen eggs. They are still laying pretty good. I had some old things like microwave popcorn that nobody eats anymore so I took a bucket and after popping it all filled the bucket with the popcorn and stale bread and things for the chickens. Rick worked with a friend and earned cash and I am working on building a gift card stash again and being stuck at home is a good time to do it. So for this week our total savings is $485.

    1. Dear Vicky, Huge savings! Considering the season and weather it is amazing how much you have been getting done! Also considering your truck has been out of action too!
      Those cinnamon rolls looks amazing.... with love

  23. Dear Annabel and Blue Bird friends
    I am still here but tied up with getting my mother in law's house ready to go on the market and being the support person for my friend who's partner passed away on Wednesday.

    With recent first hand experience I have been able to advise my friend on expected costs for her partner's funeral. Each company would have a different price scale but there are lots of 'extras' that you can cut out or do differently.

    There is a $4000- price difference between the cost for my mother in law's funeral and my friend's partner's with that being around $8000-. It really depends on which firm you use and what you really need.

    Murphy's Law came into play and my friend's 'fridge decided that it was going to play up. Being an old 'fridge and one that they had been thinking of replacing I helped my friend purchase a new 'fridge.

    We thought we had got a great deal saving around $400- on the listed price of the 'fridge by taking the one on the shop floor (the only one they had in stock). That 'fridge was delivered, installed and the old one removed only to find that the new 'fridge didn't work.

    At the time my friend had the funeral director there and her brother and sister in law and of course the sister in law went into a panic.

    Once my friend was finished with the funeral director she contacted the company she had purchased the 'fridge from and they organised a replacement from another store that afternoon.

    So my friend has a brand new, out of the box 'fridge when she was expecting to have one that had been sitting on the shop floor.

    Way more than $400- worth I would think.

    As for the wake well my friend is having it at home so not paying $11- a cup for something that costs probably 1/4 or less by doing it at home.

    Eventually things will be back to normal and I will be able to pop in more often.


    1. Dear Lynette, Sorry for slow reply... You really have had your hands full. This is all not easy stuff. I hope it all settles down soon as your year has had a difficult start. I hope after today you get a chance to rest and catch up, with much love

  24. I didn't get much done this week at Harvest Lane Cottage. I spent quite a bit of time in the doctor's office, chemo and radiation. I'm so glad my treatments are to make sure the cancer does not return. God is good to put me into remission.

    Father God, I pray that you will comfort those who need comforted, heal those who need healed, and bring wisdom to those who need wisdom. I ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. Dear Laura, Sorry for my slow reply. Yes you just want to not worry and patiently wait for this to be over! Thank you for your prayers for others even when you are going through a hard time yourself! With love

  25. Dear Lynette , I think of you often , you are a good friend ! Remember to look after yourself too , love Maria xxx

  26. Hi Annabel. Long-time lurker as you know but I love being inspired by your blog!

    I'm currently knitting up cotton dishcloths for my ex-SIL to say thanks (she really wants them & I love making them). Hoping to make more for my present cupboard over the coming weeks also. Have also started a small amount of vanilla extract for Christmas/upcoming birthdays & for our own baking needs.
    Today was start of school so my girls & I have been baking up a storm for our freezer - lunches for hubby & I for work & lots of snacks/rolls for the girls to take to school. This will save us $$ & time every morning!
    Finally this week I have saved our family hundreds of dollar thanks to Google! Our internet has been playing up (which kids need for school) & it looked like we needed pay for a "techie" to fix it. I went online & researched & convinced our provider to give me access to our modem backend (I have never been in there before and am not very "techie"). The research I did showed they had turned something "off" that we needed - turned it on (by clicking a button) & everything is working perfectly! It took time but the result (& saved $$) was so worth it.

    1. Dear Deb,
      I love knitted dishcloths! We used to love a big back to school cooking day. Being ahead with lunches is a huge help. The girls helped as they got older at first decorating things and slicing pinwheels and easy stuff and later they made muffins etc more or less on their own so they learned a lot.
      You did so well on the internet problem! Well done! So often we can nit things out with a bit of help... big savings! Thank you for commenting and your kind words! With love


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