If you could be a fly on the wall at one of our Day Camp Committee
meetings you would soon see that today’s “dry” title belies a totally
different type of event from the mental picture it conjures up! we are most certainly NOT of a group of serious people
with notepads in hand sitting around a board table!

From the moment the first person knocks at the door until the time I
lock up and turn out the porch light, chaos and laughter reign! Wil
sets up his wild barking, often Jill arrives with Owen in his stroller to liven up the
proceedings, we share a special meal and compare knitting projects, but somehow in
the midst of all this craziness we also get through a good parcel of serious Day
Camp planning (all of which mirrors the “4 C’s” of Day Camps – Content,
Challenge,Craziness, Creativity)!

So this past Monday evening all of the above occurred in my living room! We chowed down on Baked Beans, Red Cabbage Slaw, Brown Bread and Cashew Chocolate Caramel Apples.

   We looked at our new Colour Flyer,
discussed the progress of the Program Manual Chapters, enjoyed seeing photos of
the puppet people who will inhabit our new “Follow the Leader” Slide show, made
some final plans for the upcoming Coffee House (eek!, that is NEXT Saturday!)
listed our Prayer Concerns, and put together an exciting list of Guest Bloggers
who will be posting on the “Wednesday Words” column in 2014 (look forward to some
great reading!!)

Throughout the rest of the week there has been a fair bit of follow
up work which I always need to attend to after a meeting and some fruitful
replies have already been received in response to my requests.

Much of my time outside office hours was spent typing up the draft of
the Synod Minutes, and also typing, for a retired cleric, a paper on the subject
of Martin Luther.

course there has also been much raking, some gnashing of teeth over the
non-appearance of the brick masons (grrr!) and general pruning and tidying of
the Autumn garden. The bulbs still need to be planted but I like to wait until
the leaves have stopped falling so that I can really clean out each bed, compost
it and then tuck the bulbs in, with hopes of Spring colour.

Wednesday I baked 3 more kinds of Christmas cookies-gingerbread hearts
with royal icing, brown sugar shortbread oak leaves and butter cookie snowflakes.

Several afternoons have been spent sewing a Christmas gift for my eldest
Godson. A request arrived from his Mum for a pyjama bag so I did some surfing a
found this good tutorial  for an Owl bag. Yesterday the project was
completed and I am most pleased with the results!

And so on this cold and rainy Saturday it does not look as if any garden
work will be happening. However, I’m have a bit of a different weekend as I’m
hosting a young woman from the States who has come to Montreal to be interviewed
for a position as a Young Adult Ministries Coordinator at a large downtown
church. Brittany is now off for the day meeting with members of that church’s
Visioning Team so I have the time to myself. Right now I need to
head out to the CO-OP to see if the baker has come this week and to pick up a
few groceries and then I’m going to put together this Slow Cooker Chili which
seems just the right sort of dinner to plan for tonight!

                                        Slow Cooker Beef Chili

2 ½ pounds stewing beef

2 Tbsps. olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 green peppers, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 tsp each cumin, oregano, chili powder

¼ cup flour

1½ cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 28oz. can diced tomatoes

Cut stewing beef into 1” chunks and season
with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the meat
over medium heat. Remove and place in slow-cooker. Add the vegetables to the
skillet and saute for 5 mins.

Add the spices and flour, cook, stirring up
all the brown bits, for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the broth and continue
stirring until well blended. Pour into slow cooker, add bay leaves and tomatoes
and stir. Cook at High setting for 5-6 hours. Serve with flour tortillas, fresh
cilantro and grated cheddar.

Serves 6