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December 14, 2015

The El Nino' weather continues.

Record territory.

Yes, we are in a mini heatwave, as high temperatures hover around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15/16 C.)

I actually broke out the lawnmower and mulched the leaves in the yard one last time.

I may have looked like a weirdo, but my lawn is ready for next spring.

Karen is wanting snow in a bad way right now.

As long as the sun is shining, I'm good.

It is the gloomy and cloudy days that West Michigan is famous for that can drag me down.

Then I really want snow, simply to brighten the day.

This coming Wednesday, I have a bit of laser surgery on my left eye.

I am pre-glaucoma in both eyes (have been for years).

The eye drops are no longer doing what they need to do and the pressure is higher in the left eye and this procedure is suppose to help.

Snickers and Keet are becoming good friends now.

Ziggy the Toy Poodle is still being a brat and now is on the outside looking in.

Snick, Snick had her Rabies and Distemper shots this past Wednesday.

Just like a human baby, the little pooch had a rough day afterwards (slept most of it).



I've been writing a weekly newsletter for more than ten years.

That's more years than most.

Not many share a weekly letter.

Sometimes I get tired of it all.

There are times that finding fresh material seems impossible.

Sometimes I simply don't feel like it, or to find the time.

On occasion I share or rewrite older articles, simply because readership is always changing and sometimes we all meed a refresher course.

Sometimes I think it might be best for you and me if I went to every other week, or something along that line.

Maybe once a month.

Then again, things change around us everyday.

Personal life.

Gardens and weather conditions.

Wildlife and their habits are always changing.

There are moments when I simply want to retire from this responsibility.

It is these moments (retirement), when I am reminded of a few things.


I still enjoy writing and sharing with you.

Even when I feel rushed, or get writers block, I enjoy it on the most part.

I like the interaction.

Some weeks there is more interaction than other weeks.

I never know what will catch your eye, or what you may respond to.

You keep me on my toes.

I'm redundant here, yet the friendships I've made cannot be ignored.

Priceless, treasured friendships.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the seeds I plant.

God wants me to continue planting seeds for him.

Speaking of planting seeds.

Who says you can't grow cotton in Michigan?

A few years back, I was part of a seed train.

One of the items in the package was cotton seeds.

Just for fun, I took a few of these just for fun.

My first go round, three years ago ended with a couple of dead plants.

Last year I finally purchased a nice grow light.

Coming across the cotton seeds, I decided to plant a single seed back in mid March.

It came up and grew splendidly under the lamp.

By mid May, I planted it in a large pot outside.

May and June were a bit cooler around here, the cotton plant didn't do much.

July, August and September saw my cotton plant grow to excess of six feet.

In hindsight, I wish I had taken pictures.

The white flowers last but a day and turn pink before they wither away, and look similar to a small Hibiscus or maybe Rose of Sharon.

Then slowly, the little boll appears and begins to grow.

My plant was still growing ever so slowly in early October (no killing frost), and managed to have a single boll pop open on the plant.

The remaining ones I picked and allowed to dry inside.

Doing a little research, I was able to get my cotton plant off to a good start and kept the plant healthy.

I learned what a Boll Weevil is (no worries here).

I know, feel and see just how dangerous picking cotton can be.

The pods split open and dry.

The ends of each section become almost thorn like and can do some damage to human flesh.

I also found I was patting myself on the back.

Rather proud you might say.

I just grew some cotton in Michigan.

The plant didn't produce like it would in warmer climates, but I did it.

This is another example of pushing the envelope, all gardeners need to do, or at least try at times.

Just for fun.

A learning experience.

A great conversation piece.

Go ahead, find something you want to try to grow, and then do it.

Push the envelope.

I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to this.

Most years we will have at least one Poinsettia for the Christmas season.

Eventually the plants would find their way to the landfill.

Last year however, I kept the plants just to see.

This spring they went outside.

I gave them a good haircut, and left them to grow.

The plants were looking pretty good when I brought them inside by early to mid October (when the threat of freezing temperatures loomed).

I'm not sure when in October I started to give these plants extended darkness (14 to 16 hours).

I need to do more research, or start them earlier.

As you can see, they do look like baby points, but won't be much for Christmas.

Maybe sometime in January.

I'm asking you guys.

Have any of you successfully kept and turned poinsettias from year to year.

If you have a working formula, I'm interested.

In reflecting back, we weren't able to share and give last Christmas season.

Indeed, we had no Holiday season at all (starting November 20, 2014), as Yolanda was fighting for her life.

I look back and say thank you to all of you and your thoughts and prayers.

God is still in the healing business and Yolanda is here as living proof.

We weren't able to do as much for charity last year.

We are attempting to give more this year.

A gentle reminder to all of you to give what you can.

It is empty however, if you can't give from your heart.

Prayerfully, next week I will do my Christmas letter.

I share my faith and my God.

Sometimes a little story or reflection here too.

Remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

Maya Angelou

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

John Holmes

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

John Bunyan

Quotes on helping and giving are ubiquitous for a reason.

They ring true for everyone.

Now the word of God.

"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart,
not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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