Our family is finally home from camp. We spent two weeks "roughing it" in rustic cabins, with a shower house, washrooms, camp food (which was very good, by the way), and mosquitos big enough to carry us away. And we survived! We had lots of good preaching in morning and evening chapel, and lots of recreation and leisure time too, including some hilarious skits put on by the campers. It was a great time, but I am so glad to be home again and ready to get back into a regular routine once more.
The first week was exhausting; I was the counselor for the youngest girls, 8- and 9-year-olds. They were good girls, but this was their first year at camp, so I was very much a mother that week. By Friday, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. The second week was not quite as tiring, as I was working in the kitchen. We kept things prepared ahead of time, thanks to our camp director's wife and her early planning, so there were no last minute-flurries trying to get the food on the table. We made things like grilled cheese and pizza buns, the usual hot dogs/hamburgers, but we also had taco salad and quesadillas. Turkey Tuesday is a camp tradition - a turkey dinner with all the trimmings! Have you ever had turkey dinner at camp?! Breakfasts were pancakes, french toast, bacon and eggs and toast . . . good stuff! And we always had enough for everyone to have plenty. It was a blessing to be a part of the meals for the week! I made some banana bread for the staff one day, and another lady made a fresh blackberry pie for the week's preacher. He had mentioned that blackberry was his favorite, and there are blackberry bushes all over the property, so what else could we do?
I was once again challenged to see what I can prepare ahead of time in my own kitchen. Today I washed potatoes for tomorrow, buttered, salted, and peppered some corn on the cob and wrapped each ear in foil (I will bake the potatoes and corn while we're at church tomorrow), mixed up a meatloaf to go in the crockpot in the morning, and baked a cake. I want to remember all year how easy it was to get meals ready for 70 people simply by working ahead! We did things like bake pork roasts for BBQ pork sandwiches on Monday, then refrigerated in BBQ sauce till Wednesday, and make taco meat with beans the day before for taco salad. I don't want to work two days ahead necessarily, but the principle of working ahead by a few hours, at least, makes sense.
I was able to carry on with my morning and evening routines as usual, just in camp washrooms instead of my ensuite bath in my house! ;) During the second week, I even got to read in bed every night, something I don't get to do at home very often. I'm thinking about going to bed a few minutes ahead of Wes and try to slip in some reading in bed here at home. Another thing I want to incorporate into my day is HHH - Horizontal Half Hour, a 30-minute rest time in the afternoon right after lunch. I usually just go till I have to stop on days that I'm tired, but the scheduled half hour each day gave me permission to take the time to lie down and rest for a few minutes. It was wonderful! Even if I wasn't all that tired, it was still nice to be quiet for a few minutes and just rest.
Well, it's good to be home. August will fly by, I'm sure, and then it will be time for school again. I'll be picking up with my routines again and trying to finally make a homemaking binder, with my routines and schedule in writing. Just because I need that structure to keep me on track. I'll share as I can. Have a great weekend!