Lent 4

Hello Blog Friends!

It’s Friday morning and I’m getting an early start on this week’s post as  houseguests, in the shape of my three Godsons and their Mum, Victoria, are arriving this afternoon and will be staying with me until later in the day tomorrow. I will finish the post after they have gone but thought it best to compose the bulk of it now as once they have departed I shall be busy in clean up mode 😊.

 Although they have come for several day visits, they have not actually stayed with me since before the pandemic. It will be lovely to spend more time with them, although I know it will be quite chaotic as Thomason adjusts to people in the house!

The past week has been pretty full around here as we finalised the quarterly Networks newsletter and it was emailed out to the list of subscribers. This was also the week when the documents for our AGM needed to be sent to all the voting members, as the meeting is now only one month away. Despite the fact that no communities have expressed interest in the Backyard Day Camp option it is still important to have most of the materials assembled for that package since pulling everything together at the last moment would be unprofessional as well as stressful. So over the past few days I have been creating the supply list and pulling together daily schedules as that way we can have the program package ready, if needed. There has also been work to do in preparation for the upcoming Alumni Mini-Retreat and it has been encouraging to receive messages from a couple of alums who have signed up. We now have about 10 people registered, with 2 more weeks to go before the event.

 During the week I also checked in with the group making craft samples for Day Camps and started work on the Celebration Banner, which is one of the samples I agreed to make. My other task is to bake a loaf of Eucharistic bread, as Bread-baking is another one of the Creative Connection options in this summer’s program. The family working on the Scrambler small group crafts have just sent in their photos, which is fantastic 😊. All the photos will be uploaded to the blog and also put into a folder as part of the Resource Package that goes to every community hosting a Day Camp………

Saturday Morning-

Things have changed a lot since yesterday morning when I started this post. I ended off quite abruptly as Miriam arrived to have lunch with me. Miriam is a travelling team alumnus and younger sister of Mae Anne, who is a member of the Day Camp committee. Throughout the pandemic Miriam has been a big help coordinating worship music for all our online Team Gatherings and the other Alumni events and programs. She is also very gifted in Liturgical Dance and, for the Day Camp program we offered during the pandemic, she recorded the instructional dance video, which was sent to the host communities. Earlier this year I asked her if she would meet with me to learn the choreography for the 2023 Liturgical Dance and then teach it to some youth at her church. Mae Anne will then serve, as videographer and the completed MP4 will be included in this year’s resource package. 

After lunch together and a Liturgical Dance session, in which I illustrated the moves as we listened to the music and as we reviewed the pages of dance notation, Miriam stayed on through the whole afternoon and it was so lovely to catch up with her in person. Around 4pm Bishop Mary turned up with some mending for me to do as well as with a bag of altar linens that have come from churches, which have closed. I can use pieces of the linen to make smaller liturgical items such a purificators and corporals. Mary stayed for a cup of coffee and although Thomason did a lot of bouncing around he actually didn’t bark too much and nothing got broken . He was super happy as Mary had also brought a bag of carrots, just for him 😊.

Around that time I was expecting to receive a text from Victoria who had said would message me as they were leaving Ottawa.  I did receive a text but it was, sadly, to say that her youngest son had come down with a very sore throat so the visit was aborted. 

Miriam was a big help as we “unset” the dinner table and I ran and got containers in which to freeze most of the big pot of Taco Soup I had made for dinner. Miriam left around 6pm while I continued to unmake the bed in my studio and put away my Pysanky supplies as we had been supposed to have a Pysanky workshop this morning. Around 7 pm I had a bowl of soup and made a fresh list of activities to fill my Saturday 😊.

So today I have made a big batch of food for Thomason, tidied up some bits of office work that didn’t get done yesterday, and am going to take a closer look at Bishop Mary’s mending. I think it is now time to close off this rather long post and will end with my recipe for Taco Soup. It makes a great dinner served with shredded cheddar for garnishing and some tortilla chips on the side.

Taco Soup

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup each cooked black beans and kidney beans
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 Tbsps. Tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Taco seasoning
  • 2 tsps. ground cumin
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 28oz. tin fire roasted crushed tomatoes

Heat the oil in a large soup pot and brown the beef and onions, stirring to break up the meat. Add the minced garlic, spices and tomato pastes and sauté for another few minutes. Add the beans, broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels and reheat until simmering. Serve garnished with shredded cheddar. Makes 6-8 servings.   

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