Lent 5

Hello Blog Friends!

Little did I know when writing last week’s post that this one would start out with a reprise of that scenario. Victoria and her three boys are (once again ) supposed to be arriving this afternoon and staying overnight so, once again, I’m making a start on my post on Friday morning 😊. As was recounted last week, their visit was aborted when my youngest Godson fell ill, but as of this morning everyone is still reasonably healthy so I have been preparing food and making up beds all over again.

But let’s talk first about the work of Day Camps over the past few days.

A big focus this week has been trying to think of other ways to promote the program. I spoke with the communications person at the Diocesan office and she kindly agreed to send out a notice to all the Anglican clergy and is also going to do promotion on her social media feeds. Sadly, for many years, there has been very little traction in the Diocese of Montreal but I don’t want to leave any stones unturned and am happy to take free advertising from any and all sources .

I have also been sending individual messages to everyone I can think of from a Bishop in Pittsburgh USA to a Team alumnus in Australia (as yet no replies from either). Of course there are many other tasks to deal with as well. The “Something to Celebrate!” banner is done, woot woot! and I have finally finished proofreading the Program Manual. I have also been working hard on assembling the Backyard Program package, just in case anyone wants to purchase it. The main push has been to pull together the 5 daily schedules for this shortened version of our Classic Program. I’m sure those who are more adept at using Word would have a speedier way to accomplish this task but my way does work, even if it is a tad clunky 😊. As of today I hope to have the last schedule completed and then most of the other documents for the package are already on file and just need to be collated into a folder and uploaded to Google Docs.

 Long time blog readers might remember that, earlier this year, I mentioned we hoped to upgrade to another file-sharing platform but regretfully we have shelved that plan since we really need to concentrate on finding more host communities as, without a large constituency, the future of Day Camps is still on very rocky ground. Google Docs is not ideal but it worked okay in 2022 and so we will use it again this summer.

Today I am also sending out packages and the Google Meet link to everyone who has signed up for the Alumni Mini-Retreat as it will be happening next Saturday afternoon and we want participants to have a few days in which they can gather the necessary supplies both for the Hot Cross Buns we will be baking and also for the “alone time” portions of the afternoon, during which they are encouraged to journal, read, pursue an art project etc.

 When not obsessively focused on Day Camps I have managed to wrap all my Pysanky and (with a considerable number of scratches on my hands) have shaped pieces of chicken wire into shallow baskets as holders for both the eggs and for other Easter treats. One afternoon I also cut out and sewed fabric pads to line the base of each basket. 

Progress is being made on the crocheted tea cosy, which will be a wedding gift for a Day Camps couple who are getting married in May. I’m hoping to soon begin knitting projects for Christmas 2023 but have had a setback after discovering that, due to the newish Québec language law, I can no longer order yarn from my favourite supplier, as they are unable to ship to Québec. Sigh. Not quite sure yet what to do about this problem. (update-Victoria has offered to have the parcel mailed to her address and will post it on to me .YAY!!!!!)

I think I will end off now and get on with preparations for the visitors, sure hope they turn up this time 😊………

Saturday Afternoon

Well the gang arrived safely around 6 pm last evening. Two of the boys are on antibiotics for Strep Throat so I am praying that I don’t end up catching it but we were all super careful about plenty of hand washing and sanitiser and it was so worth taking the risk to see all of them and to pass to Victoria a “secret” shopping bag containing the hoodie for Alexander and the 2 birthday crowns, one for Alexander and one for his younger brother Andrew. Tomorrow is Alexander’s birthday so we just got in under the wire! Andrew’s birthday is not until April 7th but it is doubtful I will see the family again before then.

Today my visitors needed to be back in Ottawa by noon so we enjoyed a fairly early breakfast together and then I waved them off and began tidying up and washing bed linens. Most of the floors also were in need of mopping from a combination of paw prints and various spills but things are pretty much back in order now and my attention has turned to preparing for a lunch visit tomorrow from Guylaine and her husband, Matthew. They also live in Ottawa but are in Montreal this weekend to celebrate a family birthday and will be driving home tomorrow after stopping for lunch with me. 

Since I wasn’t quite sure when Victoria and the boys would be arriving last evening I decided to serve a cold meal of Salade Niçoise. This particular version has a twist in that instead of potatoes the carbs are pasta. The original recipe calls for whole-wheat spaghetti but knowing how hard it can be for children to manage those long slippery noodles, I substituted fusilli. Everyone ate heartily but there is one serving left, so I shall enjoy it for my dinner tonight.  

Now it’s time to wrap up this rather rambling post. For Easter this year I’m planning on including some Orange Cookies in the baskets I give to friends and baked my first batch of them this week.

Here is my recipe: –

Orange Easter Cookies

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 Tbsps. tapioca starch
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • ½ cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsps. finely grated orange rind (I use a microplane)

Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. Place the sugar in a large bowl and grate the butter into it. Beat together with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in the egg then mix in the flour. The dough will be quite stiff so keep working it to make sure the dry mixture is completely incorporated.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 375ºF oven, being careful to watch that they do not burn. Cool on racks before icing. Makes 1 dozen giant cookies or 2-3 dozen small cookies J.

Orange Icing

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 Tbsps. butter
  • 2 Tbsps. orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange rind 

Place sugar, butter and orange rind in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Gradually add orange juice until you achieve a good spreading consistency.

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