Homeward bound – just for the weekend

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This past weekend was my dad’s birthday and he retired! He spent many years working way too hard and now he will probably continue working, but at home instead. He’s the type of dad who doesn’t know how to sit down and do nothing. Really, there isn’t a lazy person in my family. They all work incredibly hard.

Even though everyone works hard, it was a relaxing weekend visit to Ohio. In fact, it was one of the most relaxing trips we’ve ever had going back home. We didn’t get to see everyone, but I suppose that’s next to impossible in 3 days. So, sorry to everyone we missed! Next time I hope!

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First day, we stayed with Brian’s parents and hit up some Ohio garage sales. I separate them from NY or NJ sales because you actually find incredible deals. And they are set in scenic locations such as old barns. Two sets of new glassware, a 15 lb dictionary, and an old medical dictionary for under $2. Check!

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We stopped over to visit my dad and family and had a nice picnic style dinner with them. My Mum, Venita, started talking about soap. They have a lot of family under one roof – therefore a lot of laundry – so she started making her own laundry soap and hand soap to help make laundry day affordable.

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Homemade Laundry Soap
4 Cups Hot Tap Water
1 Fels-Naptha Soap Bar
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
Optional: 10-15 Drops of Essential Oil per 2 gallons. IE. lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
* Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
* Front Load Machines- 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill an empty laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (it will gel)

– Add essential oil once soap has cooled.

Side notes:
* Low suddsing.
* Clumping and gelling of the detergent is normal. Stir before putting in dispenser and shake before each use.

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I thought this was brilliant. We will be getting together this summer to make bar soap, that’s for sure!

Next day at my G’mas, we had a nice day lounging by the lake and campfire, with family and friends.

G’ma got a new golf cart to help her get around her huge plot of land.

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Brian made salsa fire corn.

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Salsa Fire Corn

Fresh corn on the Cob
Salsa
Butter
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
aluminium foil

Cover fresh corn in butter, salsa, garlic powder, salt and pepper – wrap – toss in fire! (or bake in the oven if you are short a camp fire.)

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Captain Brian took us out on the boat for a couple rides. Side note – always bring paddles, for when the motor inevitably dies on you.

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And we played sweet music around the fire. Yes! Me included! I played the…metal thing with lots of ball bearings.

Brian’s Note “It’s called a Cabasa….”

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The next day, we visited the perfect little homestead, Christine and David Alex’s house. She just got a new flock of baby chickens!

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They have plants galore, chickens, a garden and fruit trees. David Alex was working hard in the garden while I chased chickens to take their picture.

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The fruit trees had baby fruits just starting. The blueberries looked tie dyed.

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It was a great calm weekend to finish out a hellish month of work. It made me miss the green, vibrant, cloud-covered state in the shape of my heart. You never really appreciate things until they are a far distance away.