Saturday, 16 June 2018

16/06/18





















    This week I decided to get the post started today (Friday) because I am currently in the middle of a Diocesan Conference Synod and tomorrow is the business day from 830am-6pm. AGH!!!
That means that the two secretaries (myself as lay secretary and my clerical colleague, Sophie) will be taking minutes for about 8 hours. The Minutes of Synod are usually about 10 pages long so as you can imagine by the time I wearily cycle home tomorrow evening I don’t think typing a  Blogpost will be my favourite choice of activity!
The week has had its series of ups and downs in the world of Day Camps.
After last Sunday’s fantastic news that Emmanuel had been freed up to join the Travelling Teams, there has not been any more positive progress on the Team Member front. There is a possibility of a young man from Ontario but I have not yet been in direct contact with him and am waiting for an email.
Tuesday we received news that two communities on the Gaspé Coast REALLY want a Team to come and run Day Camps and then later that day confirmation of the Camp at CFB Bagotville. All of this now means, if we do plan to serve these communities, then a 6thTeam needs to be formed. 
Unfortunately there is no Leader presently available and time is quickly running out. One person is praying about it and I shall email a couple of others who might be remote possibilities!
Most days this week my office time has been spent combing through lists looking for potential Team Leaders, putting the finishing touches on the Training Retreat plans, sorting out the Team configurations for the 3 Training Day Camps etc.
Afternoons there has been a lot of sweeping of maple keys (they are all down now ALLELUIA!!) and a bit of sewing, as in finishing Tighe’s birthday Crown!
This afternoon Jessica came to work on assembling the Team Leaders Binders and we had supper together afterwards before her husband picked her up to go to his sister’s high school graduation this evening.
In the morning I need to be up at 6am to leave for Synod so I’m off to bed now, more tomorrow!
Saturday Lunch Time…
Here I am at the secretaries’ table eating a rather under ripe pear and hoping to finish writing this post. Sadly I don’t have the wifi password for this venue and so will have to wait until I get home this evening to upload  and add the photos.
It has already been a long day, the best part was cycling down in the quiet of the early morning. I expect the ride home will be less pleasant with a lot more traffic and late afternoon heat. I just popped outside to check on my trusty bicycle that is locked to the fence outside the church. We are right downtown and I feel a bit nervous leaving my bike outside for so many hours, oh well at least it is in daylight!  
Tomorrow is almost as busy as after housechurch in the morning we have the last CTM Board meeting before the summer ministries and then Monday is our final Day Camp committee meeting before Training starts.
I’m hoping there will be time tomorrow afternoon to make the dessert for Monday’s dinner, Prune & Pistachio Semifreddo. It really needs to freeze overnight.
Last night when Jessica came to dinner we had a tasty Italian meal of Pasta with Peppers and Clams, I think I’ll close off by sharing the recipe.

Pasta with Peppers and Clams

¼ cup olive oil
4 large peppers, 2 yellow, 2 red, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup white wine
2-15oz. cans clams, drained
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 lb. spaghetti

 Start a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile sauté the peppers, garlic and red pepper flakes until softened. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Turn the heat to low and add the tomato sauce and clams. Allow the sauce to simmer gently while you cook the pasta. Once it is al dente, drain well and fold it into the sauce along with the parsley. Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve immediately.
Serves 3-4

Saturday, 9 June 2018

09/06/18






















        It has been another tough week around here as Day Camps season rapidly approaches.
       One bright note, on Monday, was Maynard’s decision to apply for Team bringing us up to 10 Team Members, with 2 weeks to go until the start of training.
      Throughout the rest of the week I have spent every waking hour trying to find more Team Members and/or trying to fill the 4 gaps still remaining in our schedule. All, at present anyway, to no avail.
       I cannot count the number of people who have said “no” to me, either by phone, text, email or face to face. Regular readers of the blog will know that this is a pretty common scenario at this time of year but without my furry companion to offer consolation in the way of slobbery kisses and tail wags, things can be pretty bleak. 😧
Monday was a “Brady “ morning, walking my Godson and his siblings to school in unseasonably cold wet weather. Then on Tuesday Sarah came for breakfast after working a night shift (she is a nurse), bringing a dress she had asked if I could alter for her.
       And yesterday I had company for both lunch and dinner as Jillian came for her weekly “Friday Lunch Visit” and Jenna joined me for dinner.
      After lunch Jillian spent time completing the Team Music Binders while I continued the daily interminable task of sweeping maple keys. Actually the end may be in sight as one of our three large maple trees seems to have almost lost all the bunches of dry brown “keys” from its branches.
      Then Jenna came for dinner after work as she was picking up 2 t-shirts  I had altered for her! I think I’ve pretty well finished everyone’s alterations now and can concentrate on completing Tighe’s birthday crown. His Birthday is on June 22nd, so there isn’t a lot of time left, but I’ve almost finished the appliqués, which are done by hand and the part on the sewing machine goes way faster.
       The coming week is insanely busy, especially as Thursday-Saturday is a conference Synod. It is just as well that Friday’s agenda is just workshops and I will not be obliged to attend, as there won’t be any secretarial work and it is a good thing because Jessica is coming to assemble the Team Leaders Binders and that is a BIG job.
      This morning 4 of us from the Day Camp committee met for an emergency meeting to discuss the Team configurations since I absolutely MUST send to the people out 
West the names of their Team Members so that tickets can be purchased, as it is now just less than 1 month before the flights.
     As we have now made the decisions I will be able to email everyone later today or tomorrow.
     This weekend and on Monday I also need to fit in caring for a friend’s cats. This entails 2 trips a day over to her house as one of the cats is allowed outside and so must be let out in the morning and in again in the afternoon.
    I just checked the time and see that pretty soon I’ll need to head over there so I’d better choose a recipe and close off.
    Last evening for dinner with Jenna I made Thai Basil Noodles, which both of us really enjoyed so I think that will be today’s recipe 😊

Thai Basil Noodles
8 oz. black rice noodles
8 oz. firm tofu drained and weighted down for several hours to remove excess moisture
2 cups diced café au lait mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 small bok choy, trimmed
2 Tbsps. sesame oil
2 Tbsps. sriracha
2 Tbsps. rice vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. agave syrup
½ cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips
2 Tbsps. sesame seeds

Cook the rice noodles until just barely al dente, drain and rinse in cold water. Cut the tofu into cubes. Heat 1Tbsp. oil in a wok and brown tofu, remove to a bowl. Add anther Tbsp. of oil and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushroom and bok choy, with a little more oil and sauté for a further 4-5 minutes. Add the noodles and toss gently to warm through. 
Mix together the sriracha, rice vinegar, soy sauce and agave and add to the wok. Turn off the heat and fold in the tofu and fresh basil. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Serves 2-3.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

02/06/18



























A short post this week since I’m getting to this rather late after today’s Day Camps Kick- off Event. 
The event went off better than we expected as nearly 20 people turned out in the end, after literally no one had RSVP’d until late in the week.
Of course the ranks were swelled by a contingent of Day Camp Team Members who came to lend a hand and whose presence was much appreciated.
I will not deny that this has been another hard week in the world of Day Camps as, with less than a month to go, we are still so short of Team recruits and also still lacking 4 host locations. It seems that every response I receive to all my emails, Facebook messages and phone calls, is a negative one and yet another name is deleted from my lists. All of this is terribly discouraging. 
The possibility of cancelling some Day Camps looms closer on the horizon and even the thought of having to do this makes me feel queasy but the current 9 or 10 young people who have been accepted this year cannot be divided into 6 Teams.
After the Kick off was over and everything tidied up I came home, had a quick lunch and then spent two and a half hours sweeping up maple “keys”. This annual chore always coincides with the difficult days preceding the start of Day Camps and each year I try to remain positive and lean into the task, using the hours of manual labour as a time of prayer.
 God has honoured our petitions over many summers and I am still absolutely convinced that this ministry has an even more important part to fill in the Post-Christendom era than it had almost forty years ago when it began. More than ever, children need to meet Jesus and receive the love and friendship that He freely offers and Day Camps may be the only opportunity they have to begin that relationship. So I try to forge ahead and avoid the snares of the enemy that can so easily entrap us during seasons of discouragement.
 During the week there have been a few visitors, Sarah joined me for lunch on Monday and Wednesday afternoon Linda stopped by for coffee followed closely by evening Jessica and Tyler. They came for dessert (strawberry pie with lemon balm infused cream) and to received their slightly overdue First Anniversary gift of a quilled bowl made a from magazine pages, thus fulfilling the first anniversary tradition of giving something made of paper. It was quite a challenging project but it turned out well in the end and I think they were pleased with it.
Yesterday Jillian was here for our weekly lunch together after which she put in some more work on the Team Music Binders, then we went over to Isaiah 40 and set up the Hall in readiness for today’s Kick off event. It makes such a difference to arrive at 815 am and see the space well prepared 😊. And last evening Jenna stopped by to pick up a dress I had altered for her and which she planned to wear to a wedding she was attending today.
During the week I’ve done a bit of sewing as a distraction from the Day Camps woes, baked a few things on Wednesday afternoon, and last evening completed the fringing of a shawl, which I have been knitting for what seems like ages.
Well it is now time to start preparing dinner so I had better close off but not before sharing a recipe.
One evening this week I made some yummy mushroom toasts so I think I’ll share that with all mushroom lovers 😊

Miso Mushroom Toasts

4 oz. shitake or cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 large avocado, sliced. 
2 oz. sprouts (I used sunflower)
2 Tbsps. Dark Miso
2 tbsps. water
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 slices multigrain bread
Pepper and salt

Heat the oil, miso and water in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile toast the bread. When the mushrooms are cooked, divide the avocado slices between the toast pieces and spread with a spatula. Top with the mushrooms and sprouts, adding pepper and salt to taste. Serves 1 but can easily be multiplied. Yum 😊