Saturday morning dawned…

Well, it was before dawn and it was dark and cold!

These faithful, homestead-hearted women showed up for butchering class.

My  “looks way too cute for this early in the morning” assistant, Christy, held the chicken in our makeshift killing cone.

“OHHHH, does that hurt the chicken??”

“Nope, the head is off :-)”

So proud of these 3!  They actually, mmm, how does one put this discreetly?  Sent these chickens on their final flight??

Processing the chickens.  The internal temp of a chicken is 107 degrees.  Our hands were freezing since it was in the 30’s.

They didn’t mind this job so much!


We saved the pelts so we could take off some of the beautiful feathers for earrings.

Trying to use as much as we could.

I also loved looking at the colors of the feathers and the fall leaves on the ground.

Some of my favorite comments from this class:

“Is that all the blood there is?”

“This isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be!”

“Oh, it’s so warm in here :-)”

“I can do this!”

After Butchering class, we feasted on an amazing Southern breakfast of biscuits and gravy, sausage, scrambled eggs, and I can’t remember the rest.  I just remember it was so delicious and so wonderful after a morning of processing chickens for the evening’s meal.  We were freezing and this breakfast was warm and tasty.

Best part of all???  I didn’t have to make it!

After breakfast dishes were done, Anne-Marie did a class on making artisan bread.

She was just like the chefs on TV!  She had everything set up – from mixing to finished product.

She was showing us the air pockets in the finished dough which is covered by a crunchy crust.  I love bread like this!

Anne-Marie is such a great cook 🙂

I think the selling point on this bread was the fact that you mixed but no kneading.

And we were told several times “Don’t mess with it!”

Ready to rise…

Ready for the oven…

But first, Anne-Marie scored the bread with quick skillful, stealth-like hands.

Oh yum!!  And the one lesson we all learned…

“Don’t you know how dangerous it is to eat hot bread out of the oven???”

The only danger we could come up with was the poundage gained from eating a whole loaf with butter smeared all over it!

Next, there was some time to visit the Foxfire buildings for a self-guided tour.  It was a gorgeous day!!

This is the grist mill.  It’s amazing to see the grinding stones that had to be moved into place.

Number one spot for pictures is hanging out of the upstairs window.

Second most popular spot?   Lying in the coffin in the chapel 🙂

Some of the ladies actually took that photo opportunity but I don’t have the pics 🙁

Because of the rain the previous night, we cut the tour short and Lynn had her Chainsaw Class.

Explaining the inner workings of the chainsaw to the wanna-be lumber jacks.

Demoing how to properly cut a log.  Lynn has taught some of my children and her father is amazing with a chainsaw!  Lynn is also extremely safety conscious because of her occupation so I thought she’d be the perfect instructor…

And I was right 🙂

Such glee on the faces of these women when we put a power tool in their hands!

The roar of the engine, the effortless cut of the wood…

Oh yeah!!!  Don’t mess with them now!!

Okay – so maybe one or two were a little more timid about handling this piece of equipment…

But the joy of success always feels the same!!

All kinds of victories in this class.  There was cheering when the cord was yanked one last time for the sound of the roar of the engine!

And happy anticipation of putting blade to wood.

There was no stopping these women now…

Each successful slice of the log…

The more empowered they felt!

And certainly don’t underestimate the shortest one in the group (yep, just a little shorter than me!)

Anne-Marie certainly held her own with that chainsaw!

I wouldn’t want to mess with her for sure!

It’s a good thing they called us for lunch!!  I fear these woods would have been cut to the ground by these chainsaw wielding women!

With growling stomachs after all that work, lunch was a sight to behold…

Amanda made an authentic Mexican lunch and we all ate way more than we should have!!

3 different kinds of empanadas, tostadas, homemade salsa – more than just one, corn salad, guacamole and more!

We were eating wayyyyy too good on this retreat!

No time for naps today…

There was a lot left on the schedule for the rest of the day!