Rosey the Riveter

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend Retreat

I spent this weekend at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.  It was a wonderful time spent with 75 other women from VA, MD, OH, DE and probably several other states.  I camped in the back of the van.  I attended lots of neat classes.  I took an early morning walk on the beach and collected shells for the girls.  I ate some REALLY good food.  I taught a class on "Reducing Your Foodprint".  If you're here because of the Women's Wellness Weekend, welcome!  If you scroll down the right side of the blog, you will see a special label I created for WWW.  Click on that, and many posts will pop up that I hope you will find helpful.

Friday evening, we had a Seafood Buffet and a crab-eating demonstration.

Saturday morning I had a basketmaking class.  We started with a pile of grapevine, honeysuckle, and Virginia Creeper.

After a brief demonstration on how to proceed, we each wove our own basket.

This is the bottom of mine, which we started using commercial round reed.

In under two hours, I was finished!  Here's my basket.  I kind of love it.

In the afternoon, I went to a Colonial Medicine class which kind of reinforced the herb knowledge I've been slowly acquiring.  One of the instructors was a reinactor, and the Jamestown history he shared was quite interesting.  Being from Massachusetts, I got a thorough Plymouth education.  The Jamestown and Lost Colony parts weren't exactly stressed.

Then, I taught the "Reducing Your Foodprint" class... buying local and unprocessed and how to replace convenience items with homemade.  I had fun.  I hope the students did, too.  We talked about this HOMEMADE OATMEAL MIX.  It's sweet, so cut the sugar.  I also mentioned THESE CONTAINERS which are great for making homemade gogurts out of leftover smoothies.  I am pretty sure I paid more for them, so get them while the price is low!  We made homemade Sticky Chicky and Taco mixes.  We chatted.  It was fun.

I miss teaching.  I forget how much until I get the chance to do it again.

We had a great BBQ dinner on Saturday night.  Here's the four of us from the Virginia Urban Homesteaders League.  Cat taught "Greening your Home", Micki taught Knitting, and Jen taught "Canning and Preserving".

I headed back to the campsite afterwards.  There were storms and heavy rain predicted, so I crawled into the van and curled up with a book and a flashlight.  It was quiet and heavenly.  The rain started over night, and I loved waking up to the pitter-patter of it on the van roof.  There were no bickery children.

Today's class was Knitting, which I am happy to say I finally got the hang of.  It took me awhile (I am a hopeless crochet-er) but Micki was patient and I am now on my way to making a cotton dishcloth.  Which is all I ever really wanted to knit, so it was a perfect project for me!

After a lovely brunch (perhaps the best quiche I've eaten!) it was time to head home.  Some women had hours of traveling.  I had 35 minutes.  I stopped off at the Commissary and they had HUGE Naval Oranges for .25 each.  I bought 16 of them.  They also had 3-lbs bags of smaller ones for a buck, so I bought 3 bags.  Now I just need to figure out what to do with them.  I'd make marmalade, but I don't want to use the skins because they aren't organic.  Stay tuned.

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