Things have been rather difficult around here since last Tuesday evening.
    I was typing the minutes at a Diocesan Council meeting, when my beloved “new to me” laptop- CRASHED!!
    I immediately switched to paper and pen to finish the meeting, shut down the computer and cycled home thinking that after a good rest (for the laptop not for me!) all would be well.
Sadly, it was not 🙁
    I turned it on at home and got nothing but a black screen with a white file folder icon in the centre on which a question mark was flashing. The next step was to immediately call for tech support aka Wentworth, who is CTM’s Director of Communications and general computer guru. He said he would stop by the next morning, which he did, but was unable to reboot either so he packed up the computer and took it to the university where he works  maintaining giant computer systems for several faculties.
 Since then I have been limping along with the old (very old) Mac, on which I’m typing right now.  The worst problem is that “Office” was removed from this computer and placed on the new one so there is no access to files nor any way by which to type, read or save documents.
 If this post looks a bit weird, please bear with me because we are most certainly “experiencing technical difficulties” Sigh.
  As of yesterday afternoon Wentworth threw in the towel and has taken the laptop, this morning to the Apple Store, no news yet.
 Thus most Day Camp and all other CTM work has largely come to a grinding halt, oh how we rely on computers for EVERYTHING!!!
  Monday is our Day Camp Committee and I do not even have access to my own agenda or other documents necessary to conduct the meeting. Yesterday was the deadline for  submissions for the Networks Newsletter, but I cannot access any copy, nor can I open or read files sent in by other ministries. You get the picture.
   A lot has been done via text message since even working with our email is dodgy as there is a quirky time lag when typing on the Webmail, making every message excruciatingly difficult to compose and edit.
  At least Saturday is a day when I feel less guilty and can focus on the “Bake and Blog” scenario- making baguettes for the Day Camp meeting dinner and Caramel Popcorn for refreshments at the JYC Staff Meeting, happening here tomorrow afternoon.

On the flip side, there has been more time for knitting and I have been able to complete my wonderful Lionberry Shawlette, which does make me just a bit happier! It would have have been even better if I could have moved ahead with planned Christmas sewing, but guess where the patterns all are? on the computer!

 Lest you should think the whole lexicon of Crosstalk Ministries has been lost, I should hasten to explain that there is a once a week back up on an external hard drive, so, if it does prove impossible to recover anything all those files can be restored, with the exception of everything done between Friday September 9th and Tuesday the 13th (including the important Council Minutes!)
  A number of people have offered to pray for the situation and I’m extremely grateful to Wentworth, who has just called in to say it will be another hour before anyone can look at the laptop. When he does a lot of extra techie work for us my usual form of “payment” is a cheesecake, it looks as if I’ll need to be baking one soon!!
  Tomorrow is one of my Sunday “marathons” with the All Ages Gathering in the morning (another Taizé Service, it is six months since the last one), next there is the JYC Staff meeting at the house at 2pm and Crossroads in the evening, starting with a pizza supper (shudder) at which I have offered to help serve and clean up.
  In the meantime, it is hard to wait for news of the fate of my computer but my hands are busy with Baking and Blogging.
 Recently we have been getting lots of beans in our farm share boxes, so last evening I cooked a batch of Mediterranean Fish Stew and thought I would post the recipe today.

Mediterranean Fish Stew

6-8 large ripe tomatoes
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp each cumin, dried basil and thyme
1 can water-packed tuna
1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved
1 cup fresh green beans, diagonally cut in half
4 oz. Feta Cheese, crumbled

Roughly chop the tomatoes and purée in a food processor or blender. you should have approx. 4 cups of liquid. Add enough water or vegetable stock to give a total of 6 cups.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and sweat the onions and garlic until limp. Add the tomato purée, spices and herbs and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tuna, olives and beans, simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Ladle the soup in to bowls, topping each serving with some of the Feta. Serves 4.