This post is coming to you a day later than usual since this afternoon and evening I had an unexpected visit from Alana.
       Alana is currently co-director of CTM’s Junior Youth Camp (JYC) but she and I go back a lot farther in the world of CTM as at one time she was a Day Camp Team Member then a Leader, Training Leader and (I think for 4 years?) Office Worker and thus my indispensable secretary!
For several years she has been teaching school in Misstisini, but this past year while on Sabbatical, has been living a bit closer in Arundel, a small town about 90 minutes north of Montreal. In August she will be returning to the North to teach a grade 3 class. Today she was in town for a JYC Staff meeting and had some items to drop off here; delightfully she ended up staying for the rest of the afternoon and for dinner (Absurdly Addictive Asparagus). 

     I don’t know when we were last able to hang out for such an extended visit, so the writing of this post was laid aside as we got caught up on each other’s news and talked about all things CTM!
     Now it is close to bedtime and Wil is already giving me “the look” which means- “let’s go out” so I guess with that very long explanation we’ll close off tonight and write the rest tomorrow…
Sunday Morning-

Today was supposed to be the Toronto region Kickoff event but I had word late yesterday that Brenda had cancelled it due to a very low registration. She is, however, going to do a couple of Skype talks with the other regional host communities and we will be sharing the video, taken by Randy at the Montreal Kickoff. Lamb was very disappointed, having flown to Toronto with Victoria a couple of weeks ago in order to make a star appearance at the event! Brenda took these photos of Lamb getting to visit her church, so at least some fresh grass has been provided and Lamb will be able to boast about the trip when back with the rest of the flock who are sitting patiently in the supply room ready for the start of Day Camps!!!
While I’m now waiting to be joined by two or three others at our little house church, it is good time to think about the week just past.

       By last Thursday my stress level had gotten quite out of hand and it seemed as if I had hit rock bottom. Then Friday, as I read the Vespers Office, God placed a verse there just for me- “Oh tarry and await the Lord’s pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:18
      As I read those words I felt an infilling of strength and was able to sleep so much more peacefully that night.
Yesterday, after morning chores, Wil walk, errands and cat feeding I headed outside for a couple of hours of hard work in the garden. Gardening always involves long times of prayer and yesterday was no different. As is my habit I began by giving thanks for the Team Members we do have but then, instead of starting to whine and plead with the Lord about the impossibility of executing His plan without enough people I heard Him say quite clearly- “ but this is my plan”.
          Whoa… really? It was as if a switch had been flipped on in my head and I suddenly realised that He has provided these Team Members and it is not my job to plead for more but to find a way to use them. If He chooses to send more, then they will be added to “the plan” but right now THIS is the plan. Maybe I don’t understand why there are so few Team Members, but He does and that should be enough for me.

So I have turned over a fresh page and with HIS guidance, we are going to make this work!!

We are now at either 14 or 15 Team Members. One of our excellent experienced girls has just found out she needs to go to summer school but I’m praying that she might possibly be allowed to do her course on-line as Kelvin did two years ago when a similar issue occurred. The greatest concern is the lack of those of Leadership age, as we simply must have 7 Leaders and currently have only 4. Even if we decide to have the Quebec Team with shared leadership coming from former Team Leaders who might be able to give a week or two but not the whole summer, we would still need to find 2 more full time Leaders……..
Another break there for church to happen, followed by lunch, some garden work, Wil Walk and now it is late afternoon! So this had better be a “wrap”.

Over the week there wasn’t much space for other activities but I did manage to make Tighe’s Birthday Crown. It’s hard to believe he is turning 5 this time and will be starting school this fall! In my studio I have a lovely photo of his grandfather baptising him @ St. Stephen’s and it always makes me smile. His birthday is the last week in June aka Training Day Camps Week so it is especially important to have the gift completed well ahead of that busy week.

In the garden along with the gorgeous early summer flowers- Irises of many types, poppies, dwarf French Lilac etc. it is also the season of the horrible Maple “keys” which fall in their gazillions from the 3 big old Norway Maples on the property. Each afternoon, if the weather was fine, I conducted a 2-hour battle with them,  laboriously sweeping them off the lawns, driveway and paths and picking them individually out of the flowerbeds. UGH! However, as mentioned earlier, it does provide for many hours of prayer time and hymn/praise song singing!!
      Well it is already time to think about dinner; my goodness! this weekend has seemed so short. So before I go and cook some salmon for a Panzanella it is time for a recipe. I do wish I had thought to take a photo of the gluten-free baguettes and Nectarine/Lavender Crostini which I baked last Wednesday for a small catering order, but never mind, the Crostini looked so pretty I’m sure I’ll be making another as nectarines become more plentiful over the summer!
    So instead I thought I would share a dinner salad I enjoyed one evening. If you like food photography you can always check out more of my exclusively food-related photos on  Instagram. # Tray for One! So here we go-
Pear and Three Cheese Salad
  • 4 Red Bartlett or Bosc Pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 oz. Strong Cheddar, diced
  • 2 oz. Brie, diced
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 4 oz. sunflower sprouts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps. Red Wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
Wash the baby spinach and place in a large shallow salad bowl. Top with the pear slices and arrange the three cheeses over the pears, sprinkle with the sprouts. In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients and whisk thoroughly. Just before serving pour the dressing over the salad,  Serves 2 as a main course accompanied with a baguette.

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