The week after Easter was pretty peaceful
round here. Yes, there was some correspondence and of course the preparations
for last weekend’s Team Gathering, but this week Spring activity erupted full
force!

  As mentioned before, we seem to alternate
back and forth between years in which we have plenty of Team Members and years
in which we have lots and lots of churches. Well this year we have been blessed
with lots and lots of churches!! meaning, of course, we have hardly any Team
Applications. Sigh.

   Oh I know they will come, they always do,
but why don’t they come now in mid-April when it would be so delightful to have
a lovely stack of forms sitting in front of me on the table? Forms I could flip
through and ponder, forms to muse about and the Teams I could imagine forming.
The strengths and weaknesses of each person, how best they would work together,
who is qualified (and old enough!) to be a Leader. Sadly, that is not the way
things seem to work in the world of Day Camps. No, this is the time of year
when I need to prepare to implement my mantra-

                                     Constant
badgering does wonders
”!

  And thus I continue to make grocery lists for
Retreat cooking, assure various churches and communities that we will send them
“strong” Teams and  PRAY! So do many others, but every year I wake up in the
night with a sudden jolt- “what’s wrong? Oh yes, we need Team Members” in order
to go back to sleep I quote the Scripture verse- “Lord, I believe, help thou my
unbelief.” C’est la vie.

   Last Wednesday was “Wednesday Words” day and
I hope people have been reading the post written by Douglas Painter, it’s a
good one (I’m biased, but I think they are ALL good ones!)

  In other news, the weather has been gorgeous
all week; well it is raining now but has not done so for days. Since it was
really warm (over 20°C a couple of afternoons), I decided it was time to tackle
one of the biggest Spring Cleaning jobs- windows and curtains. There are 24
windows and 7 doors to clean and all of them have white curtains needing to be
washed. It took 3 afternoons (and into the evenings!) but the job is done and
every room feels super clean. YAY! I even remembered to wash the slipcovers on
the 2 big “club” chairs.

  There hasn’t been a ton of time for other
projects but I did manage to make a special “multi-task tote” with waterproof
lining as a “Welcome Baby” gift for Andrew Joseph. Plus Jill came over and gave
me a quick tutorial on setting up my Etsy Shop, no time to actually DO it yet,
but a bit of progress has been made.

  Today is my middle Godson’s 3rd Birthday
Party, in Ottawa, intentionally postponed until after the birth of Andrew. It
is kind of nice to think of it happening today because this date is my Mum’s
Birthday so it is always special to me and, as per a very long tradition, I’m
baking her birthday cake this afternoon and, happily, it will make a perfect
dessert for the Day Camp committee meeting dinner on Monday. Of course my Nana
would be horrified that I’m not baking it on Monday but the plan is to freeze
the layers and ICE it Monday, way easier when frozen.

So I’m
also baking the cake layers, peanut granola, 3 baguettes and fimo clay buttons, whilst trying to
work on a giant piece of calligraphy. But before I sign off we need a recipe.

    For
some reason Spring always seems like a good season in which to explore seafood.
Mussels have always been a family favourite around here. This is my own recipe
for “Moules Montréalaise”-

2 Kg
fresh mussels, in the shell

50g.
butter

350mil.
bottled light cider

1 small
onion, finely chopped

2
cloves garlic, minced

5Tbsps.
fresh parsley, chopped

Place
the mussels in a colander and refresh under running water. Discard any open
mussels, which will not close when tapped.

In a
pot big enough to hold all the mussels, melt the butter over medium heat. Add
the onion, garlic and 1 Tbsp. of the parsley, cook, stirring for a few minutes
until fragrant. Add the cider and bring to the boil. Throw in the mussels,
cover and cook for 3 minutes, shaking the pan a few times. Open the pot and
check for any more unopened shells, discard those mussels and continue to cook
the rest for 2 more minutes.

 Ladle the mussels into 2 large bowls and then
divide the broth between them. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve with
a baguette. Make sure to put one or two empty bowls on the table for the
shells.

Serves
2.