Camp Pendola Serenade Book

April 23rd, 2013 by Karen

For all my lovely Camp Pendola friends, here is the list of songs from the Serenade Book from 1995. There of course were other songs played, but these are the ones in the actual booklet:

Heart of Gold
Free Fallin’
Blowin’ in the Wind
Mr. Bojangles
Cat’s in the Cradle
Grandma’s Feather Bed
Pass It On
Sinner Man
Let it Be
Annie’s Song
Get Together
Follow Me
Feelin’ Groovy
Jesus Loves Me
One Tin Soldier
The Rose
Moon Shadow
Peaceful Easy Feeling

I have a printed copy of it that contains the chords…if anyone wants a pdf, I can scan it and email it. Just let me know via a comment. 🙂

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On the closing of one of my favorite places…

April 23rd, 2013 by Karen

Personal opinions follow…you are warned…

I must admit that I am terribly sad about the closing of Camp Pendola. I always wanted to feel comfortable enough to send my children there, but with so many whispers in the wind about issues and the very un-Catholic goings on grumbled about on social media and behind closed doors, I just never felt like it was the right time. Am I overprotective? Probably…but they’re my children. It’s my job.

I’ll never forget the amazing times I had at Pendola…from the first time I laid eyes on it in 1992 at CLI, to what will likely be our final trip to the space later this summer. Without Pendola, I would not be married to Joel, I wouldn’t have our three beautiful children, I wouldn’t have the friends I do now. I loved all the campers, teaching arts and crafts (despite all the holes in the floor), the craziness that was living in First Aid with Kim, Liz, and Ro and all the shenanigans that entailed, the hikes, the campfires. I loved watching the kids try to find the kitchen staff as we played Wild Thing and I loved the delight the staff took each week in hiding. I loved pausing on the way to Camp at the G Spot in awe every time and the final turn on the road into Camp where the trees opened just enough for the upper lawn to peek through. I loved blackberry picking (and yes, that is actually all we -ever- did tyvm, though I did recently hear a variation on the story that had us as a star crossed couple who died in an accident with the blue truck. Crazy!), making bottle rockets, helping in requisitions, relaxing in the hot tub on Saturdays (before it was removed), sleeping under the stars at Slate, stops at the Nugget for choco-tacos, and days off in Nevada City. I loved returning the summer after Casey’s Grove was finished and sitting there alone to say goodbye to my gentle friend and co-counselor among the trees.

  • The first time I met Joel was at Pendola in 1992.
  • He kissed me for the first time on July 9, 1995 in lower staff, after asking my permission.
  • We laughingly discussed our favorite children’s names sitting on the big green couch, not knowing that years and years later we would use them.
  • Camp friends attended our wedding and helped with the Mass, doing readings and distributing Eucharist.
  • Miss Margaret and Mr. Matt Sanders are the godparents of our eldest daughter.
  • The very first person we told we were expecting our son was Cheryl Tholke.
  • Mr. Steve and Cheryl are his godparents.
  • I’ve taken great delight watching my children explore at Family Camp through the years and discovering the magic that is Pendola.

I’ve heard some of the reasons for the new space and frankly, they don’t move me. It’s just a space with buildings and it holds no meaning for me. To me, Pendola is so much more than just a place where kids come for a week in the summer. It’s the starting point for what would become my family and not just mine, but countless others as well. I feel it’s a shame that all the history and grace that is Pendola will be lost. And it will be. The space will belong to others who don’t know what it stood for, what it meant to the thousands who came there for years and years, who don’t know of the hard work and dedication of staff and volunteers through the years, who don’t understand the meaning behind the gift of the Pendola family or why that extra stage is inexplicably hidden back in the trees. That legacy will not exist except in the memories of old staff and campers who likely will not be involved much or at all at the new site. It’s a rather bleak end for a beloved spot.

I know others may take exception to my opinion on this and they are welcome to opinions of their own. Panta rhei…everything flows. Change is inevitable and nothing remains the same, and yet… I will still carry great sorrow with me when we drive away for the final time.

Up in the pines, there stands a camp,
a camp of honor and of faith,
the most wonderful camp in all the world,
and Camp Pendola is it’s name.

We see the sun set in the West,
the green hills where the campers trod.
We love our camp up in the pines,
and all our thanks we give to God.

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Homemade Laundry Soap

April 22nd, 2013 by Karen

I’ve mentioned this to a number of people over the years, but I’m just now getting around to actually writing it up.

Don’t call me crazy, but yes, I make my own laundry soap.

Why? Well, there’s a couple of reasons…

I’ve always had a great sensitivity to soaps, detergents, and smells. Remember when we were kids and just walking into a department store necessitated the Running of the Perfume Gauntlet? I HATED going shopping because it meant that I was left gasping for air and itching like crazy the rest of the day from all the crap the fancy dressed ladies behind the counter would spray at you as you passed.

*spritz* “This is our newest fragrance, Eau de Dead Parisian Flowers! Isn’t it lovely?”

Gag. I don’t think I detested anyone as much as those blasted perfume people, but being sensitive to such things is actually a really big pain. It means that when I travel, the little soaps leave my hands rough and chapped. When I go out with friends, riding in the car with their perfume makes my eyes water. Switching detergents turns me into a dry skin itch factory. Because of this, for YEARS, I’ve used the same soap, the same dish detergent, the same shampoo, the same laundry soap…switching just really isn’t much of an option long term. This meant that for a very long time, I used Tide Free.

A few years back, Tide Free got expensive. Really expensive. We have three kids and the huge change in price sucked and though it doesn’t seem like a big deal, when you have a very slim budget (yay medical bills!) a dramatic price change in something small really has a greater effect than you might think.

We just happened to have some dear friends, Jen and Karl, visiting that summer and I mentioned in passing that I really hated doing the laundry because it was just so expensive and Jen laughed and said “You should just make it yourself! It’s so cheap and does a better job!” So, with her prodding and with a bit of hesitation on my part, I decided to give it a go…if it made me itch, I would just use it on everyone else’s clothes and do mine separately for a while if I needed to.

Well, it was AMAZING. The clothes are clean, the stains come out, everything is fresh and wonderful and I don’t itch. It’s also ridiculously easy and cheap.

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (not detergent or baking soda!)
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap (you can also use Zote or any number of washing bar soaps)

Using a food processor, shred, then chop the Fels-Naptha bar into tiny bits. I usually chop in some of the washing soda with the bar to blend it better. Mix all ingredients together and store in a container. I use my old Tide Free box.

Use 1 TBSP for a full load of laundry. If you have something particularly dirty or smelly (like the time you forgot the laundry and it sat in the washer for two days) pour in a cup of white vinegar when you start the load and it will fix that right up.

That’s it. It really can’t be more simple.

Before, each load of laundry was costing about $0.25 or more PER LOAD. Mine is now $0.06 or less! The borax is about $8, the A&H Super Washing Soda about $5 and the Fels-Naptha is $1.25 per bar at the store. Not counting any sales or coupons or anything, I can make 7 batches of the above recipe for $22 (1 box Borax, 1 box A&H, 7 Fels-Naptha bars) and I’ll have made enough detergent for 336 loads of laundry and still have Borax left over.

Now, I won’t say that I think laundry is all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, but now at least it doesn’t bother my budget.

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