Labour Day Weekend

          And so it has arrived, the weekend, which, for the whole of North America, constitutes the real death knell of summer- Labour Day Weekend!
          Oh I know that the autumn equinox does not come until later in September but everyone knows that after Labour Day it just isn’t summer any more. One glance at my rapidly filling iCal for the month ahead also makes it all too clear that the fall schedule is moving into top gear! But this is a golden weekend. Hot and sunny, the grass may be turning a toasty brown, due to the recent lack of rain, but the trees are still green and flowers bloom.
         The past week has been an odd mixture of the two seasons. As explained last weekend, the house decorations have all been changed yet the work of Summer Camps for 2015 has not yet been completed. Various church and diocesan committees have met, yet all of us attend still wearing sandals and sundresses! I guess part of this is due to knowing what sort of winter lies ahead in this area of the world, we all try to hang on to the warm weather just as long as we can!  It is really quite amusing, later in the fall, to watch people stoically sitting on outdoor coffee shop terraces, hunched over their cups but determined to still sit outside!
        Happily the Feedback Forms are almost finished woot woot!!!! I still need to read  over, one more time, all the different sets of notes and evaluations from Teams and Host Churches, just to make sure that no comment or suggestion has been overlooked, but at least there is now a virtually completed form for all 26 communities that hosted a 2015 Day Camp. Before these are emailed out to the Clergy and Coordinators my next job will be to update the Church Application Form and to pull together a brief synopsis of the Program being offered in 2016. These are jobs already on the list for the coming week, a week which also contains the first meeting of Diocesan Council to be Chaired my our Bishop-Elect, Mary Irwin Gibson who’s Consecration and Installation will take place at the end of September.
       On Labour Day itself the Senior Youth Camp Staff Evaluation Meeting will be happening here. Hopefully the sunny weather will hold and they will be able to meet on the deck, as it will be quite a crowd, with at least 20 staff expected.
       I had been asked to provide a beverage and have planned to make Iced Peach Tea but yesterday Victoria met with a nasty accident, scalding her left hand while sterilising baby bottles so I have agreed to make a main course salad, as she is really not in a fit state to be doing quantity cooking. Fortunately it was already planned as a Pot Trust Supper so others will be bringing food too.
       Over the week I have managed to fit in a baking afternoon, some sewing (mostly just boring things like mending duvet covers and shortening a couple of dresses, which had their hems chewed by my bicycle chain!) but I also painted a decorative tin and made a batch of Lavender Hand Cream as a birthday gift for a friend.  So for a change today the “recipe” is not for an edible treat, but for Hand Cream.
In the past I have tried a number of such recipes without great success, but this adaptation of one is really successful and makes a lovely thick cream. Great for gifts and easy enough for a child to tackle (with some adult supervision!)
 Lavender Hand Cream
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 1/8 tsp. powdered borax
  • ½ cup mineral oil
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil 
  • 3 Tbsps. grated pure beeswax
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil (you can use other scents if you prefer)

In a small saucepan boil the water and stir in the borax until dissolved. In a second small saucepan heat the mineral oil, coconut oil and beeswax, stirring until the wax is melted. Transfer the oil mixture to a ceramic bowl. Very slowly dribble in the water and borax mixture, whisking the whole time. Keep whisking until the mixture cools to room temperature and thickens into a white cream.  Stir in the essential oil and transfer to a decorative jar or tin with a tight fitting lid.The cream will keep for several months.

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