After
last Sunday’s insane rush from Morning Service, to 2 afternoon meetings at the
house, High Tea with the Huyer family and a mad dash to Crossroads, I wasn’t
quite prepared for a week that would play out at approximately the same speed!
 But it did, and although the week has been
zooy, looking back I can see God’s hand and above all his GRACE running through
like a strong thread.
 Walking Wil this afternoon I was thinking
about the way I often liken each year’s Day Camp preparations to either a
complex jigsaw puzzle or a patchwork
quilt; the same sort of analogy fits pretty well for my whole daily life and if
I were to choose the type of quilt, I would surely say that a “Crazy Quilt”
fits the bill!
 Crazy quilts are hand pieced from random swatches
of fabrics and after the first basting together are embroidered over with multi-coloured
decorative stiches. As one is working on a Crazy Quilt it can look pretty weird
but once completed is very special. Life is like that isn’t it?
  This week included everything from shopping
for clergy shirt fabrics with Bishop Mary to signing a protocol at a downtown
Police Station, which will allow myself and our Incumbent Nick to screen
volunteers at St. Stephen’s. From a super productive Day Camp committee meeting,
with a full compliment of members present, to a knitting tutorial with a
friend, from sending out acceptance letters to more Day Camp host churches and proof reading Program Manual Chapters to
learning (via text message and cell phone!!) how to take screen shots of
posters on this MacBook. From preparing a two week batch of dog food to
assembling a giant pot of Chocolate Chilli for lunch duty at church tomorrow
and from putting the last stiches on the baby quilt gift I’ve been sewing to shovelling,
shovelling, shovelling. Oh yes, also two, one on one meetings with Day Camp
Committee Members and an evening Sunday Gatherings Design Team Meeting at
church.
 I guess you get the general idea? crazy, wild
but also powerful. Why powerful, well as I look back over my daily journal I
can see the “patterns” coming together, as I scroll through the text messages
and see the prayer requests, those asked and those answered, the beauty of the quilt shines through and the knowledge comes that God does not ever send us
more than we can cope with but uses us to work out His purpose and that we
are called to “Carpe Diem”!
 Despite yesterday’s last minute request from a
friend to cook a “Vegetarian Main course for 6-8” by 4 pm this afternoon (I
did!); today being Saturday I had determined to block off a couple of hours in
which to confront the complexities of the new (to me) sewing machine my friend
Jill gave me for Christmas.

    For several years I’ve been limping along
with nothing but Mum’s old Singer and although it is virtually indestructible,
being made of steel and wood, not plastic, it only sews straight stitch, and
does that somewhat erratically. I am the first to admit a lack of mechanical
ability and each sewing machine calls for a variety of skills in that area so I
have not been looking forward to trying it out. However, if shirts for the
Bishop are to be sewn it is impossible to make buttonholes on the old machine,
nor to sew some of the lighter weight fabrics she selected and so the time had come to face the task.
  I brought the machine to the dining room
table, took off the cover, sat down and prayed, humbly suggesting that if the
Lord could spare a mechanically-minded angel to give me a hand it would be
deeply appreciated!
  Well it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined and
after 2 ½ hours and a few tears of frustration I had mastered how to thread the
machine, had wound a bobbin AND had sewn a gift bag for the aforementioned baby
quilt! I’m sure the angel departed only too glad to see the back of me when I
packed up in order to eat lunch!!
 Sadly, I have not yet mastered the “handy automatic
needle threader” that in my hands is neither “handy” nor “automatic” but
perhaps round two will see victory in that area as well.
 So after getting this post up I need to
assemble the garnishes for tomorrow’s chilli and pack up the bag of materials
for making “Torahs” with the children’s group.
This
Chocolate Chilli recipe was long ago snipped out of the Newspaper by my Mum.
The best thing about it is that it serves 20, and sometimes we all need recipes
that serve a crowd (well I do anyway!!). I’m sure it would work just as well if
divided and it freezes too so maybe just make a big batch and have some to fall
back on after a busy day.
                                     Chocolate Chilli                                
                                                                        Serves 20
                                                   

   

 1kg small red kidney beans
4Tbsps.
olive oil
2 large
onions, diced
5 large
cloves of garlic, minced
1 796
mL can crushed tomatoes
2-½
Tbsps. cumin
2
bottles amber beer
1-¼
tsps. cayenne
2 tsps.
salt
1
square (28g) each, unsweetened and semi-sweetened chocolate
3 large
carrots, coarsely chopped
4 red
peppers, coarsely chopped
2 green
peppers, coarsely chopped
3
zucchini, coarsely chopped
4 cups
frozen corn kernels
juice
of 1 lime
Chopped
fresh coriander, lime juice, plain yoghurt and corn chips
 (for
serving
)
Soak
beans in a large bowl of cold water overnight. Next day drain the beans,
reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid.
In a
very large pot heat the oil over medium heat, and sauté the onion until soft.
Add the garlic and sauté a few minutes. Add the bens and liquid to the pot
along with the tomatoes, cumin and one bottle of beer. Bring to a simmer, add
cayenne and continue to simmer gently for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Add
Carrots and second bottle of beer and simmer for 15 minutes. Add peppers,
zucchini, chocolate and salt. Continue to simmer until vegetables are crisp
tender, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary to create a thick
chilli texture. Finally at frozen corn, heat through and serve with suggested
garnishes