Wrap-up Time

      As August is ending this is the time when I need to dive into a huge pile of paperwork and compile 28 feedback forms to send out to all the 2016 Day Camp host communities. It is also time to compose my annual report, take supply inventory etc.
     Not a whole lot of this was done during the week since, until Tuesday afternoon, there were still houseguests! Last Saturday night the Huyers stayed over, bringing with them Gillian, who had been a counsellor at Senior Youth Camp. She stayed until Monday afternoon, and then took the train to Toronto. Meanwhile an old family friend of my parents, who now lives in the UK, was passing through Montreal and asked if it might be possible to have a bed Sunday and Monday nights! So there was quite a bit of sheet-changing activity around here until late Tuesday when I finally switched “gears” and began the great “Changing of the Decorations” for Pentecost/Harvest.
      Tuesday afternoon through to today that job has continued with the bulk of the work happening Wednesday. Of course in between there was a short visit from a former Team Member and Thursday evening Sarah (my knitting companion) came and we caught up after not seeing each other since early summer. To top off the general chaos I am currently keeping an eye on the houses of three neighbourhood friends who are all on vacation, which job also includes feeding two cats!
    So on Monday morning work on the feedback forms will begin,Tuesday Jessica and I are meeting at Isaiah 40 to do the Day Camp supply inventory and after that work on Day Camps 2017 will begin in earnest!
       The Changing of the Decorations really went quite smoothly. In late August the angle of the sun really begins to change then I know the time has come to look towards autumn and harvest. With this big job behind me the house is now ready for the slew of meetings fast approaching. The Fall Team Gathering will be happening in early October and before that we have the September Day Camp committee, CTM Board Meeting, the first Crossroads, etc. etc. etc.!
        But for this weekend I am enjoying the late summer sunshine, the joy of eating dinner outside on the deck or porch, the bounty of farm fresh veggies and today, the peace of this house as it settles into a new rhythm after the whirlwind that is Day Camps.
      Earlier this week Wil and I scouted out a local grocery store to see if the pots of outdoor Chrysanthemums had arrived. Despite the need to be extra careful of budget I had decided I could manage 3 pots this year to brighten the deck and porch after the houseplants were moved back indoors. Wednesday I saw the pots had arrived and pondered how I could transport them home. I considered asking a friend with a car for help, but, as previously noted, several of my neighbourhood friends are currently away. A taxi? no…too expensive. So I decided to attempt it with my trusty bicycle.
     I rode to the store, first stopping at the post office to mail off the last of the Team Evaluations, got a shopping cart and loaded it up with three large plants. Even trundling to the checkout desk was a challenge! The cashier asked if I needed help taking them out to my car. When I replied that I had come by bicycle he gave me a very puzzled look but smiled and wished me good luck! Not being much interested in the concept of “luck” I fired off a quick prayer asking the Lord to send a spare angel, one with a good sense of humour, to give me a hand! At the bike rack I placed one pot in my front basket and then began fitting the others, into large bags I had brought with me, and sliding the bag straps onto the handlebars. A man sitting on a nearby bench offered to steady the bike, which was a big help. I had no intention of riding home and so started out pushing the laden bike. The storeowner hurried out and offered to keep at least one of the plants if I wanted to come back later, but I assured her I would be fine. As I wheeled my way along the street I got lots of kind smiles and truly enjoyed the walk home; so happy with my lovely plants, thankful for a sunny day, and positive that a cheeky cherub was sitting on my bike seat, helping to keep things steady.
    It was quite the adventure, but I’m glad I did it and know in my heart that it only worked out by God’s Grace!

Before I head outside to water said plants it is time for a recipe. 
Tomorrow is my turn for lunch duty @ St. Stephen’s and soon I’m going to make a huge batch of Gazpacho. I’ll be serving it with extra chopped veggies, grated cheese and Blue Corn Chips. Happily, Nick has offered me a ride to church (YAY!) and will transport the food even if it is a sunny morning in which case I will bike down. It will be a huge help not to have a pack-basket full of soup!

                 Late SummerGazpacho

  • 4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red onion (or mild white onion), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp. dried chilis, or a small fresh chili pepper
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsps. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Purée first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Season with lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve with a variety of garnishes such as  chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, grated cheese, extra chopped cucumber and peppers.  Serves 4-6, freezes well!
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