Saturday, February 28, 2015

Date Night At A Peter Yarrow Concert

I graduated from high school way back in 1965.  Yes, that was fifty years ago.  I am a child of the 60's. When I first met my husband he wore a corduroy sport coat with his jeans and smoked a pipe.  Just a regular pipe, none of that other stuff associated with pipes and the 1960's.  He listened to folk music especially Peter, Paul and Mary.  He kind of resembled Paul and Peter with his facial hair.  In all these years of marriage I have never seen him without facial hair of some sort.  Always a mustache and almost always a beard.

My husband in 1971 with our first daughter. 
See the resemblance either by design or that's how guys
looked back then.

It is hard for young people to imagine that we actually purchased and played records of our favorite artists.  I really liked Gene Pitney and some of the mood music, but learned to love Peter, Paul and Mary as well.  Whenever we could afford it, we would buy one of their new albums.  It was difficult back then.  A new teacher in 1969 made $5000 a year.  With the help of the teachers union negotiating for wages things did improve gradually.  Imagine what it would have been otherwise.  It's too bad some feel these unions aren't necessary.

1971 with a dog, a child, a mortgage and the beginning of a great life.

A few weeks ago we noticed a sign as we were leaving our granddaughter's Missoula Children's Theatre performance.  The billboard said that Peter Yarrow was going to be playing at the Green Lake Thrasher Opera House.  I mentioned it and never gave it another thought.  Then Valentine's Day arrived.  We aren't very romantic people.  My idea of romance is having my husband do the dishes or throw in a load of laundry.  I would prefer that over a bunch of flowers that die in a few days.  So that being said, imagine my surprise (rather shock) when I got a Valentine card and two tickets to see the Peter Yarrow concert.  My dad and my husband conspired to get them.  It is very rare that something gets past me without me noticing it.  This totally caught me by surprise.  A wonderful surprise for sure.

The performance was last night.  Mike even arranged for our daughter Heather to come over to stay with my dad.   Since dad just got out of the hospital, we couldn't leave him alone.  We were able to relax for the first time in a long time.

Heather in 1976.  She was a
darling then and still is.

Dad kept referring to it as our romantic date night.  I wouldn't go that far, but it was a wonderful evening.

Peter was and still is a social activist.  He is for equal rights, peace, gender equality, dealing with homelessness, the environment and his latest project called Operation Respect: "Don't Laugh At Me".  Along with Paul and Mary, Peter participated in the Civil Rights Movement and the Selma-Montgomery march in 1965.  He has been invited back for the 50th anniversary of that march and is looking forward to it.  The venue in the opera house is very small and personal.   His son Christopher performed along with Peter.  He played a wash tub bass using a wash tub, broom handle and clothesline.  It sounded just like a Stringed Bass.  After every song they would fist bump or hug and Peter would kiss his son on the cheek.  He called him his beloved son which was very touching.  Most of the audience were over 60 years old except for a half a dozen children.  He called them up on stage to sing Puff the Magic Dragon.  Then he talked to them and hugged and kissed each of them before exiting the stage.  Throughout the concert he took time to interact with the audience.  He explained the meaning of his songs and of course encouraged audience participation as we all sang along.  My only regret is I don't have good pictures.  I didn't take my camera because I didn't think they would allow pictures.  I was so wrong.  People took photos through the entire performance.  I grabbed a few with my phone but they didn't turn out very well.

As you can see Peter is a lot older.  He is 76 years old but his voice is as strong as it ever was.  We are older too, but for a couple of hours last night we felt young again.  It was a great time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Laundry Detergent Recipe

For those who read my blog regularly, you are going to roll your eyes at this one.  Yes, I have another method for making natural laundry detergent with no chemicals or harmful additives.  There are so many laundry detergent combinations that each person can easily choose what is the best for them.  Some people like powdered soap and some like liquid detergent.  Most recipes use Borax and Washing Soda in combination with a soap.  For reasons I don't completely understand, some groups believe using Borax is not being completely green.  Those people use baking soda in place of the Borax.  I don't agree.  Borax is a naturally occurring mineral.  I have heard of people eating it to get the mineral Boron to treat a Boron deficiency.  

I have written about using Soap Nuts and using bar soap such as Zote

I like both of these but last week I was out of soap nuts, and I didn't have any Zote soap or Fels Naptha soap on hand.  I always have Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile soap on hand.  I even wash my hair with it, so it is always available for my use.  I did a little research and found a recipe for liquid laundry soap that uses Dr. Bronner's.

The orange citrus is my favorite.

Liquid Laundry Soap

Makes 1 gallon

¼ cup Borax
¼ cup Washing Soda
½ cup Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap
1 Gallon of water

In a large bucket or large pan put a small amount of the water.

To the water add ¼ cup of Borax and ¼ cup of Washing Soda.  Mix together well to dissolve the powders in the water.  Add more water if necessary.    Be sure to mix completely.  I used an immersion blender to make sure it was mixed completely.  Add the rest of the water and stir in the liquid soap whatever scent you choose.   I love the Orange Citrus but Dr. Bronner's comes in many scents.  You can add a few drops of essential oil if you want a stronger smell.

The detergent is ready to use.  ⅓ cup is all you need for a load and it's safe for HE washers.  This gallon of soap can be made for pennies per load.  For bad stains some pre-treating may be necessary.  If you feel Dr. Bronner's is too expensive, they have inexpensive bars of castile soap in the grocery store.  Just cut or grate a bar in some water and melt it over the stove.  Use that for the soap portion of the recipe.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Home Made Electrolyte Drink

We are back in the hospital with my dad.  Last week was a very long week.  It started out with my husband.  He began having symptoms of the stomach flu a week ago.  He was miserable and didn't feel better for four days.  Just as he was getting better, my dad came down with it.  He was quite sick last Tuesday, but seemed better the next day.  I was relieved.  Then Thursday he got sick again.  I didn't feel well that day either but I wasn't as bad as the other two.  Our house was quite the infirmary.  I got better, my husband was better but dad had his ups and downs.  By Saturday he seemed to be on the mend.  Then Sunday morning he took a big turn for the worse.  He was nauseated again but also had a 101.8 fever and a racing pulse.  We quickly made the decision to take him into the ER.  We are very glad we did.  One month ago he had a gangrenous gall bladder.  I don't know exactly what happened, but it appears that fluid accumulated in that area and it became infected.  His white blood count was very high.  They ended up doing another surgery to drain the area.  Today we sit in the hospital with him, but things are much better.  After a course of strong antibiotics, his numbers are looking better.  Whether the flu caused it to happen or if it would have happened anyway, we have no way of knowing.

I think the reason I came out of this so well, is that I drank Peppermint water from the beginning and later drank the electrolyte drink I made from scratch.  It worked so well.  It was better than Gatorade to regulate my electrolytes.  There are some warnings with this recipe.  I don't think it is good for little kids who can't have honey or adults who are allergic to unfiltered raw honey.  My sister can't tolerate all the pollen contained in unfiltered honey.  Just be aware and use some other sweetener if needed.

All you need is:

Juice of 2 or 3 lemons (or in a pinch ⅓ cup of bottled lemon juice)
½ teaspoon sea salt (sea salt contains necessary minerals)
⅓ cup raw unfiltered honey
1 quart of water

In a quart jar, dissolve sea salt and honey in a little warm water.  Stir until completely dissolved.  Add the lemon juice and water.

There are many different recipes for home made electrolyte drinks.  I read that using Coconut water adds many beneficial minerals.   This one works very well to replace minerals and salts lost through illness or exercise.

It looks like lemonade but has it's own unique taste.