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CITR Retreat Memories
September 5, 2011
12:48 am
Mason, OH
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 77
Member Since:
May 23, 2010

I can't thank everyone enough for the wonderful memories I will carry through the rest of my life for the AWESOME CITR Retreat.  Suzanne, CindyP, Dede, Gail, Deb (our beautiful chef), Pete, Buckeye Girl, KellyB, 110, 52, Laurie, everyone who donated to the retreat, and anyone else whose name I may have forgotten.  You gave so graciously and tirelessly.  You dedicated so much of your time and talents and STUFF to the success of the CITR Retreat.  It takes months to plan and coordinate an event like this and it IS HARD WORK.  You all deserve and have my utmost, heartfelt gratitude.

I learned so much and my horizons have been expanded beyond my comprehension.  I have new skills for a lifetime and so many new friends around the country.  I met the most amazing women, whom I consider my kindred spirits, thank you also for the memories.  To all my earthly angels that got me to the retreat and BACK thank you for holding my hand through my adventure.  (I'm in tears!) 

This was such an epic event and such a wonderful experience!!!!  Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart.  shimmy

September 5, 2011
12:54 am
Mason, OH
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 77
Member Since:
May 23, 2010

P.S.  The main building was locked and if anyone is able to get back in, my blue cooler ice pack is in the freezer (it has a plastic screw through the middle that screws into the lid of my cooler).  If you find it, please PM me.  Thank you!!!

September 5, 2011
8:11 am
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 389
Member Since:
June 2, 2010

Hey cincyjojo,

Wasn't it just the best time?  My brain feels so full, I just didn't know I could learn so much!  I can't wait to put into practice all the wonderful things I learned.  The first thing I'm going to try is CindyP's lotion, it is so soft and creamy, heaven in a jar!

I think everyone should keep us posted on all their successes, it will be like reliving the retreat all over again.

You take care and keep cool with your neck coolers!

September 5, 2011
2:13 pm
Chester, SC
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 33
Member Since:
September 5, 2011

A very special thanks to EVERYONE who made this such a wonderful event!  The friendships I formed are priceless in my mind and I cannot wait to see you all again.  I learned so much and when I got home yesterday I made bread, cinnamon rolls, pepperoni rolls, herbed garlic biscuits and I am making cheese now! WOO HOO, thanks for all you did to make this a great success! 

September 5, 2011
3:33 pm
North Central WV
Forum Posts: 3159
Member Since:
February 8, 2009


What a kick-butt weekend! Even in the heat and humidity everyone was gracious and helpful and interesting! I am exhausted! Even took a 3 hour nap with my grandbaby this morning (I rarely ever take naps). Hope everyone is safely home or nearly home for those w/two or more days of driving time involved. I ran into pounding rain 10 miles away from the farm, so we should be thankful that the storms held off and we had such beautiful weather for the Retreat and the Party, eh?



If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?
September 5, 2011
4:54 pm
Colorado Springs
Super Chicken
Forum Posts: 627
Member Since:
October 10, 2009

Welcome home Dede.  Glad you had a great time. happy-butterfly

Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like you do when no one is watching.
September 5, 2011
5:09 pm
N.E. Ohio
Forum Posts: 4921
Member Since:
February 10, 2009

I want to second dede's comment about how gracious everyone was how everyone pitched in to help Debbie in the kitchen (though the food was so wonderful I was HAPPY to help wash pots and pans!!!). Those pork chops were to DIE for!!! Dede's Tiala was something I'd never had but my family will know it well from now on, and of course, THIS was my FAVORITE recipe!!!

It's CindyP's and she put it in the little book that was handed out in the Goodie bags we all got...  I hope Cindy forgives me for posting it!


1 c greetings

1/2 c smiles

1 lg hug

2/3 c love

1 tsp Sympathy

2 c hospitality

Mix greetings and smiles thoroughly.

Add hugs seprately

Slowly stir in love

Sift sympathy and hospility and fold in carefully

Bake in warm hearts

Serve often

We had such heat and humidity and we were all tired and exhausted, but also excited, and we laughed and shared stories, we had fun and fell into bed so tired!!!  ... some dragged their mattresses onto the porches to sleep!

Then the party was such fun and everyone continued to share so much they they learned, the fun they had, stories and many skills they loved in the demos there too.

Located in N.E. Ohio
September 5, 2011
7:43 pm
Canner Joann
Central KY
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
October 3, 2010

I can't even put into words how much this weekend meant to me (but I'll try).  Walking into a room of people who understand and love the same things that I do - getting back to nature, cooking, preserving, crafting, knowing how to be more self-sufficient - it was like finding my tribe!


I've made friends that I'm sure will be a part of the rest of my life, even if it's from a distance.  I can match faces to names, and know that when I get comments and answers to questions, that the advice I'm getting can always be trusted.


To Suzanne, Cindy P, Dede, Deb, 52, Deb (our chef), Laura P, Pete and all the others whose names I may not have even known...THANK YOU!  I truly understand what it takes to make something like this successful.  You all made each class run smoothly and taught each and every one of us something new.  I know that everyone is getting soap, lotions or a bird feeder for Christmas this year! 


I wish I knew how to repay you for the memories I gathered.  Each one of them was truly a blessing.  Please know that the hugs shared upon parting were heartfelt and I really do miss you guys already!


I'm happy to share my photos if someone can tell me how to attach them to the Facebook page.



No trees were killed in sending this message.  However, a large number of electrons were highly inconvenienced!
September 5, 2011
9:25 pm
Rural Montana
Super Chicken
Forum Posts: 867
Member Since:
October 30, 2009

I'm trying to be patient.....so, where are the photos???  I hear that you all had a wonderful time.....can I see?  Please please please?

Please  don't put them all on FaceBook.....I won't be able to see them.

September 5, 2011
9:34 pm
Miss Judy
West Central MO
Forum Posts: 1488
Member Since:
February 22, 2010

Ditto...what rileysmom said! Impatiently waitinghappy-feet

September 5, 2011
9:40 pm
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
August 14, 2011

Hi yall,

I just made it home.  I had a great time and can't wait to see all the pictures.  I posted a picture on my facebook (FB) page but have no idea how to share it with CITR on FB.  Wow, I had a great time (wait, didn't I say that already?)  I loved meeting everyone and making so many wonderful friends.  I am still hyped up from all the new and exciting things I learned and still a little warm too.  Thanks to everyone who taught, shared, and who made the retreat an amazing and very special time. 


September 5, 2011
10:33 pm
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 290
Member Since:
July 29, 2009

I'm in the same boat as everyone else.  There's no way to put into words how this weekend has affected me.  I learned so many things about so many things, but mostly I learned how wonderfully kind, sharing, gracious, loving, and giving everyone who attended (and by extension in my mind, everyone on this forum) was.  I must admit to having been very nervous going out there.  Attending the retreat was a long ways outside my comfort zone, and I was unsure as to how people would react to me.  I am ecstatic to say I have never met a more warming, welcoming, embracing bunch of women (and to be fair, at least 4 men) in my life.  Thank you ALL so very much for welcoming me in with open arms, and for sending me away with some of the best hugs I've had all year (CindyJoJo, Suzanne, Laur, that means you!!).

I had so much fun finally putting faces and personalities to the people I already knew.  It was wonderful getting to meet the knowledgeable people from the forums, and experiencing their free sharing of it in person.  Suzanne, CindyP, BuckeyeGirl, Dede, Pete, Laura, Kellyb…Thank you again and again.  

I am so very thankful to have met every one of you, and am looking forward to friendships that will last for years.  I miss you all already, and am already trying to figure out a way to see you again.  If I drive to one state every weekend………..(minus the cocai….Err…baking soda).  

We made it to Manhattan, KS tonight, so should be home tomorrow afternoon.  I can't wait.  I love to travel, and I am somewhat glad to say that I spent my birthday in 5 different states today, but I want to be home, too.

Oh, and one last thing that I know you all will appreciate.  I stopped in KC KS to visit my great aunt, and what should I see inside her front door??  (see pic below)  Figured you all would get a kick out of it.  Thanks again for everything, and I'll let you all know that I get home safely.

Edit:  Stupid pics won't post for whatever reason.  I'll fight with it when I get home.  lol  Pics are of an antique (but very well preserved) barrel churn.  :D

Edit of the edit:  Just found out that the day it was 100 at Camp Shepperd, it was 25 at the ranch that morning.  :P

Wearing cowboy boots does not make one an agriculturist….Having at least 3 varieties of poop on them does.
September 5, 2011
11:53 pm
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 80
Member Since:
January 31, 2011

   I don't have the words tonight  to figure it out...,  it will take me weeks to process all the positive light charged connections this weekend brought.    I was operating on half a spark plug with a cold from  the pits of _ _ _ _   .  ...but everyone still went out of their way to make me feel unconditionally wanted...


   My tribe...love how you explained that, Joann  ... that spark of understanding that jumps from one to the other that fuels dreams and hard work and  a beautiful end product that your family can see and eat or wash with or smell  or feel or knit with...all tools to build the connections we hope to  show love. What a wealth of sharing and opportunity...

And the stories !   omydearLord ...

 We had a weekend  that Suzanne and  y'all (  o I loved being around all of these generous southern girls ! )  gave us  with every little detail  beautifully thought out .  Not a stone was unturned...  I was thinking that every face i looked at during the tutorials was smiling,  lit by this kind of grace from within,  and we all wanted so much to share our little spark of joy with each other.  Thanks for all of the inspiration ,  fearless leaders !   the cheerfulness was deafening,  like cicadas in June this year in Missouri !  

  Thanks for lighting my spark  ,  everybody...What a wealth of memories to warm up the whole winter... Phew.





September 6, 2011
12:06 am
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 80
Member Since:
January 31, 2011

   o btw... those of you not from the south,  please know I was so honored to have peeked into your hardworking lives ,  too...Maine,  California !   Washington state,  Michigan...

  we have an amazing country here,  don't we ?

   I have never been as impressed with a group of women   ( survivors !  all of us)  before in all my born days...or the talents,  gifts and humor  !!!   laughter just rippled  through all day ...

   and likewise about the hugs,  Fuzzle !  


September 6, 2011
2:28 am
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 82
Member Since:
September 26, 2010

Cincyjojo, Deb has your cooler and will be contacting you on it's ransom…ermm… return! LOL

The memories created over the last 4 days far exceed the simple joys from learning
new skills.  To just start listing them would probably be the easiest way to express them:

Spending a kind of scary night in a “No Tell/Motel” with a “Chicken Sister” I have just
met, but feel like I have known forever.

The Garmin saying there is no such address for Camp Sheppard!
Driving mountain roads that this “Flatlander” found as thrilling as any Disney Roller
Counting more deer in one nights drive than I see in 2 entire years in Michigan.
Groaning with a carload of Chicken Sisters everytime we win and the reptile playing “Frogger” looses!
The choked up emotion of having "Idols" of mine initiate a warm and honest hug and
talk to me like they have known me forever, instead of just meeting in person now for the first time.
Learning  52’s real name!  *LOL
Sitting on the porch having a heart to heart with friends I have just met, but am sure
I have known all my life, maybe past lives too.
Laughing every time I see Betsy or Rosie (in my mind) acting out something their
husbands did!
Being taken aback by a banjo being in our cabin (because the Dueling Banjo song won’t leave my head.)
Bringing home souvenirs that are all self reliant related… and most from consignment stores or garage sales… and not being able to wait for someone to ask where I got them so I can boast West Virginia!!!
Being bought to tears by a stupid Garmin because it’s software malfunctioned and
delayed the start of my “Wild and Wonderful West Virginia” weekend for two
hours so I could drive circles around Columbus Ohio!
Having all the Grandma Bread (in various forms) you can eat!
The trivia game” for door prizes… and WINNING prizes!!!
New words for my various vocabulary uses… Gigungus, marrying the wool, shredding the wool and my personal favorite; Okeechobee!
Apron Lovers!
Not only accomplishing this year’s goal of learning to pressure can, but adding the
bonus of MAGICAL Mozzarella!
Not being embarrassed to ask a complete stranger (until I met her by asking) to
take a picture of me (grinning from ear to ear) holding the above mentioned
Magical Mozzarella!
The sting of being told said Magical Mozzarella tasted terrible… and then deciding
that person didn’t know what she was talking about, or didn’t know magic when
she was in its presence!  LOL
Wearing rubber gloves in heat that made the sweat pour out of them if you moved your arms wrong!
Learning that drawing blood during woodworking means I was indeed working hard enough!
The laughter that accompanied the exclamations of “It’s applesauce” or “it’s taffy!”
Starting my scrapbook’s Quote Page with “I like it long and slow!” LOL
Pete's loungewear!
Queen Sonia and her amazing Danish Dough Whisk “Scepter”
The fact that nobody who learned how to make soap would eat the mashed potatoes at the Farm Party, because we weren’t sure it wasn’t a soap demonstration in the works!
Feeling so surreal all weekend, but especially at the Farm Party and seeing the things
in person you almost didn’t think existed in reality, like the basement wall paintings, the smallness of the baby goats, BP and Glory Bee… and feeding cookies to animals that make the same goofy faces begging from you that they make begging from Suzanne!
Having teachers and mentors that I now (so happily) call my friends!
Feeling all scholarly in Lehman’s looking at cheese making ingredients, Danish/Polish
Bread Whisks, and canning supplies… and then explaining to another shopper how
a steam juicer works and why she should buy one… which she did!
Finding and BUYING a Danish/Polish Dough Whisk (Lehaman’s calls them Polish, but for $4 I could care less, as long as I own one now!)
The lightbulb moments listening to the AMAZING and WONDERFUL Kelly B talk about
dehydrating! I must have thought “Why didn’t I think of/know that/figure that out” at least 20 times in 10 minutes!  Thank you, Kelly!  I might try and burn up another motor in my Excalibur now!
Hats being worn with the tags still on them. (REPRESENT!!!)
Donkey Porn!
The endless patience of Suzanne and the bottomless well of thanks and happiness I
have for all she has shared with us!
The incredible and amazing organizational skills of CindyP… who makes me smile
without fail!  Love ya girlfriend!!!
The genuine warmth in Dede, and her endless patience at my constant canning
The incredible food… and knowing I have the recipe for it now too!  (Thanks CindyP!!!)
Helping to infect….erm teach people how to spin! (Keep it humble Girls!)
The smile I get even now thinking of the amazing, adorable and just too cute for
words Gourd Santas!  I almost can’t wait for Christmas!  THANK YOU DEB!!!
Even though I am exhausted beyond words, sitting here pouring out my memories before going to bed.
My new Chicken Sisters!!!  May we all walk with “fluffy butt” pride!
Getting teary eyes when havening to say so long to my new Chicken Sisters… Heather,
Deb, Stephanie, Joann, Rosie, Margarita, Lynne, Mandy, Sonia, Laura and Laur…
and probably 30 more whose names escape me right now!  I miss you all already just terrible!!!
Banana split in a jar = heavenly yumminess = must add ingredients to shopping list!
BP walking up the path in reality, just like in my dreams…erm on the blog!
Hearing quiet demure Suzanne actually HOLLAR when wanting BP to come be milked!
Laying down, SURE you will be asleep in no time, but instead having a slumber party
chat session with your Chicken Sisters until all hours of the night… and NOT regretting it the next morning!…. REALLY!
Actually living through 2.5 days without any cell phone service!
Learning the smell of “Butt Naked” and LOVING it! *LOL
Coming back to camp after the party to find it all locked down… and surviving the
adventure! *LOL
Realizing the steep driveway to Stringtown Rising Farm, and the ford crossing, and the
low water bridges, etc are actually downplayed in the blog postings!  And TOTALLY understanding why Suzanne hates driving in the winter!
Getting all excited with my Chicken Sisters when we see a photo of the Princess in the
Shady Dale!
Mostly, just like Joann so aptly stated: finding my Tribe… or Flock as the case may be,
and getting to learn and create and experiment; to feel pride and happiness and
laughter over my newly learned skills, and not having everyone around me look
at me like I have three heads!
Teasing my Family after winning a door prize at the Farm Party with the voice mail of “I am bringing home a chicken.  Her name is Clementine.  She was named by my new
friend Sonia.  She is going to live in the house with me! This was greeted with disgust by my dear daughter and the statement, “You had better NEVER complain about the cat box again if you are bringing a CHICKEN into the house! 
Sheesh Mom, where will you keep her?” 
When I said I thought she would like being hung on the Butler’s Pantry door, my daughter was multi tasking for the number to PETA and the SPCA!  LOL… then she accused me of lying!  Honestly, I never lied; I just didn’t say Clementine was an artful cutout chicken that I am in love with!  This should soften the blow of when I really
do bring home LIVE chickens!
Being both sad and happy at the same time when I pulled into my driveway.


I love you all Chicken Sisters…. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY FUZZ!  *HUGGGGGGGGGS*

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Suzanne, Cindy, Dede, Pete, 52, Buckeye Girl, Laura P, AND Deb the Cook, my Beloved Chicken Sisters, (AND EVERYONE I FORGOT DUE TO EXHAUSTION!) These are memories that will last me the rest of my life!  Just like I say I do something everyday I learned as a child in 4-H, now I can say I do something every day I learned from CITR… because I will hold my love for you all in my heart! heart


September 6, 2011
5:31 am
Miss Judy
West Central MO
Forum Posts: 1488
Member Since:
February 22, 2010

Blyss, you forgot to say, and I am wondering...Did you have fun? laugh

It's so nice to hear that everyone found what they were looking for at the retreat. Sounds like the best thing was meeting new old friends.

September 6, 2011
6:15 am
Canner Joann
Central KY
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
October 3, 2010


I'm going to print your post out so that I have that list of memories to hold me over until we Chicken Sisters can meet again!


No trees were killed in sending this message.  However, a large number of electrons were highly inconvenienced!
September 6, 2011
7:52 am
Forum Posts: 8497
Member Since:
December 28, 2008

How do you say that something was beyond super?  'Cause that's what it was!!

There was only one down side for me - because of all the "busy-ness,"  I didn't get to meet everyone!  That part was kinda surreal.  You cannot believe how many times (already) I've said, "Wasn't so-and-so there?  Now, which one was she??"  So frustrating not to spend quality time with each of you!

But there were plenty of quality moments.  Like one right after the other for days.

Thank you to everyone who made it, pitched right in when something needed to be done, and shared your smiles and laughter.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
September 6, 2011
7:55 am
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 202
Member Since:
May 10, 2010

Happy B'Day MrsFuzz!! 

To Suzanne, Pete, CindyP, DeDe, 52, LauraP, KellyB, Deb, Debbie, Gayle, Beth and everyone else who I forgot to mention..I say a HUGE Thank You for everything!! Because of you all, I can now put hand to drill and fix me up a Suet Feeder, CheesePress and soap mold. I can pressure cook meat and beans and everything else (YEAH) and feel confident in my skills of PC (the other PC=Pressure Canning).  Also, cheesemaking is not the mystery it once was and I am now ready to tackle this project full force with my homemade cheesepress.  I can now make lotions, lip balms and all kinds of beauty products that are more healthy to use, and way better than anything from the store.  Most of all, a big thank you to everyone for the memories and friendships that will last me a lifetime.  I so hope we get the opportunity to do this again, because I will definitely be back for more!!!!

September 6, 2011
9:25 am
Super Chicken
Forum Posts: 504
Member Since:
March 30, 2009

It sounds wonderful!  I'm so glad everyone had a great time.  I hope next time that I'll get to attend too!  I thought about stopping in and saying  "hi" on Saturday as I passed the camp, but was afraid I'd in the way. 

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