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Hello Winter!

We have been waiting ...

Overnight there has been a change in what I see out my window.  Winter with its snow has arrived to Crieff Hills.  I see a beautiful world.

 

As people arrive for today's Luncheon Buffet I hear laughter and stomping of feet to clear their boots.  There is also talk of snowy roads and the need to slow down.  We have been waiting for the Ontario winter weather - most are prepared for what it brings.

 

Let us also remember this season of Advent.  A time to slow down.  A time to prepare and be prepared.

   
   

 

'Advent: the time to listen to footsteps - you can't hear footsteps when you are running yourself.  Bill McKibben'

 

'Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.  Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac'

 

'Let's approach Christmas with an expectant hush, rather than a last-minute rush!  Anonymous'

 

 

 

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The Red Cedars at Crieff Hills in November

Thanks to Marion Robertson for this blog -

Wow, what a seed collection year it has been!  Species of trees such as beech, black maple, ironwood and musclewood that create seeds every 5 to 7 years decided that this was their year.  Giant seed crops for some species but the wetter weather was not favorable for species, such as oak.  But, it is time to celebrate with the last species being collected this week – the red cedar.

 

Common names can be so confusing and it is no different for this tree.  Commonly known as red cedar, it is not actually a cedar but a juniper.  2 types of juniper grow in this region but the Juniperis virginiana is the juniper you see as you stroll the bluebird trail at Crieff Hills conference center.  The beautiful blue berries are not actually berries but scales tightly packed.  Reference books actually refer to the fruit as cones, not berries.  The cedar waxwing bird, named after this tree, do not really care.  For these winter residents the tree is essential as a food source through the long winter months. 

 

While you are walking the trails of Crieff Hills, don't forget to admire these hardy blue berry adorned trees. A reminder, the Christmas luncheons are coming up next week.  I understand there are some spaces still available.

 

  Marion Robertson is co owner of B Sweet Honey Nature Company and Puslinch Naturally Native Trees

 

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Are you ready?

Advent begins this weekend…are you ready for the journey?
Perhaps it is time for silent retreat, a hike in the woods, to walk the labyrinth, or to read a poem like this advent poem by Ruth Burgess:


In the strength of God the maker
we are going on a journey.
In the friendship of Jesus
we are going on a journey.
In the safeguarding of the Holy Spirit
we are going on a journey.
A star is shining.
Angels are busy.
Mary is pregnant.
Joseph is packing.
Advent is coming.
It’s time to go.
May God bless us with hope and wonder as we travel.
Amen.

- Ruth Burgess, 'A sending'

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The RAW CARROT visits Crieff Hills

Assembly Council and the Life and Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church in Canada held a combined meeting at Crieff Hills.  While here  co-directors of The Raw Carrot, Rebecca Sherbino and Colleen Graham, shared their vision and the story of The Raw Carrot.  As well, everyone was treated to a bowl of Hearty Lentil & Barley or Mulligatawny soup.  To find out more about The Raw Carrot go to their web site www.the rawcarrot.com.

 

 

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Today's promise ...

Today's photo of beauty was taken by David looking out from House of Dove.  God's promise.

 

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Retirement Planning - Learning, Listening and Creative Fun

Looking ahead and planning ... that is what this Retreat was all about.  Coming to this retreat were those who are retired as well as those who are thinking ahead to retirement.  With the leadership of Rev. Dr. Andrew Irvine there was time for listening, sharing, and soul searching as each looked at this new stage in life. 

 

Listening to God ...

Who will you be? 

What will give meaning to your life in the years ahead ...

which may be 30 or more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for Worship

 

 

One of the free time actvities - Watercolours with Debbie Ellis

 

 

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Fall cleanup in the gardens

Today was a beautiful fall day and our volunteer gardeners were once again busy at work.  Cleaning up the kitchen garden was the first thing on the list.  Once tackled, it was off to plant bulbs which will be so appreciated and bring many smiles next spring.  What would we do without this group of talented, energetic and dedicated volunteers.  Thank you!

 

Cleaning up the Kitchen Gardens at Crieff

     

 

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Celebrate Fall ....Fall Retreats and Fall Colours

Leaves remind us to just "Let Go".....


"Next time you are out for a walk, look for a leaf.
When you see one that is just for you,
take it in your hand.
Imagine it's journey -
first clinging to its home in the tree,
than a slow descent as the right time comes,
a resting on the ground.
Appreciate the leaf in your hand.
And let it be your teacher.
Let it invite you to unclutter,
surrender, let go, simplify.
What is the one thing leaf-like thing you can do today?
Is it something you will give away? A clutter to de-clutter?
Is it something you will relinquish - a thought, a mood, a bitterness?
What needs to be let go today?
Let the leaf be your guide."
- Janice MacLean, the Prayer Bench

 

If you are looking for a fall retreat there is still space in our Women's Retreat at Crieff Hills on Nov. 10-12 on "Living a Life of Prayer."
You are also welcome to join a wonderful one day retreat on Nov. 13 called "A Taste of Jubilee" or just come out to Crieff on your own some day and enjoy the fall colours on the trails.

 

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Great Manna Day with Rev. Dr. Stuart Macdonald

Thank you Rev. Dr. Stuart Macdonald for leading today's Manna Day.  It was a time of fellowship and much learning.   A great day! 

 

Rev. Dr. Stuart Macdonald

 

Thank you as well to Rev. Scott Sinclair for leading us in worship and song.

Stuart and Scott

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A Morning for the Birds

The sun was shining on Saturday for our fall Bird Banding event.

 

Thanks to all who joined us and especially to bird bander, Brian Pomfret and family!

 

   
                                       Northern Flicker (photo credit Katy Kolkman)

 

Birds Banded:

6 Field Sparrows

5 Black Capped Chickadees

1 Chipping Sparrow

1 Ruby Crowned Kinglet

1 Northern Flicker

 

Birds Observed:

Northern Harrier

Cedar Waxwings

 

Butterflies:

9 Clouded Sulphur

2 Cabbage White

1 Painted Lady

1 Orange Sulphur

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