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Spring Training
February 18, 2013


Oh Happy Days....

Restoration and Repairs are finished.

It is nice to have the house back in order.

Here is a small picture of the new floor.

The floor is 'Red Hickory Laminate'.

We are very pleased all the way around.

It is amazing what a small leak a washing machine hose can do.

Yolanda is on the mend.

She is finally up and about, she even went to 'Hope Network' Thursday and Friday of last week.

'Hope' is a facility for special needs people and her classmates are all brain injured as well.

Did you have a good weekend of bird counting?

As you may recall, this past weekend was the 'Great Backyard Bird Count'.

Amateur Scientists, did you do your part?

I sure did.

I have a more birds and a greater variety when it snows.

This year was not as active, yet I know the birds are around.

Seeds and plants have all been ordered.

Now it is simply a waiting game for me.

Waiting for the right time to plant the various seeds.

I don't live in the south, and I don't have a greenhouse, or all the fun stuff to start planting in January (like some seeds require).

Still, it is time to make preparations for the weeks ahead.

This week's letter is

What else,

Spring Training.


Spring Training.

Hope Springs Eternal.

It has become a yearly tradition for me to do a letter on this topic.

This past week, the words rang across the 'Baseball World'.

Men become boys once again.

Back in the day, words that most men and boys couldn't wait to here.

Back when baseball was indeed America's past time.

Snow was still on the ground and we would shake the dust off our ball glove, find an old baseball or better yet, rubber ball and hit the outdoors.

Today, many guys still long to hear those words, even as other sports have become more popular.

Major League rosters, scores of faceless men and boys prepare to, and attempt to make a roster or team.

Spring Training is about getting the body ready for a long season.

It is about honing old skills and working on new ones.

The Great Ones are always looking to improve.

It gives them "The Edge".

It is a known fact, that hitting a baseball is the most difficult thing to do in the world of sports.

Hitting a round object that is coming at you 95 MPH (and doing funny things to boot), with a round object.

By the time it leaves the pitcher's hand, it is probably 55 feet away.

You have a fraction of a second to react.

Hit Safely 3 out of 10 times and you are a star (30%).

Hit 33% over a career and you are a Super Star headed to Coopers Town (Hall of Fame).

What other sport or job for that matter, could you be successful 30-33% of the time and still have a job or career?

(Besides Forecasting the weather.)

If you gardened at any level and your success rate was 33%, you would probably give up.

You would tell yourself it isn't worth it.

Increase your success rate at gardening or any venture with some training and proper tools of the trade.

Spring Training for most gardeners should begin in February as well.

(Okay, so gardeners in the Deep South, Southwest and Pacific coast have an unfair advantage over the rest of us.)

Get your supplies ordered or pick up what you need locally.

I played a lot of ball.

Sandlot and high school baseball.

Softball well into my 40's.

To be any good, I had to start practicing and exercising before Spring Training.

It gives you the jump on most, especially if your talent level isn't as good as theirs.

Relearn how to turn and lift the proper way.

As in sports, it is easy to develop bad habits, than healthy ones.

Know your limitations.

Don't attempt to do anything your body says no to.

Relax, get help if needed. Start walking and stretching your muscles.

doing bending exercises.

Relearn how to turn and lift the proper way.

As in sports, it is easy to develop bad habits, than healthy ones.

Again, know your limitations.

Don't attempt to do anything your body says no to.

Relax, get help if needed.

Any athlete can tell you that preparation is vital.

Don't let a pulled muscle keep you out of the game.

Severe muscle strains can even put you on the 'Disabled List' (DL).

Avoid the DL as much as possible.

Few things are worse for an athlete, or gardener, than missing most of the season from an injury that could've been prevented.

I've had my share of ball related injuries that kept me off the field and out the garden.

Tools of the Trade.

To play baseball, you need the proper tools or equipment.

It's more than pumping iron.

You need a glove that feels good and of course functions properly.

A ball player needs a bat.

Not any bat will do.

You need a bat that feels good in your hands (comfortable grip).

A bat must have a nice weight and balance for the individual.

A batting helmet is required.

Many ball players wear golf or batting gloves these days.

Foot wear (ball shoes, cleats, etc.) are a must for proper footing and traction to help deter injury on wet or muddy fields.

Once an athlete reaches a certain level, most of this gear is custom made just for them.

The proper tools, and maintaining your tools for any venture is a must for your success as well.

Are you a Gardener, Artist, Bird Watcher, Scientist, or Athlete?

You have God given talents and skills, yet they too require proper training and tools to develop those gifts.

The tools of your trade are a must.


Before they are really needed, check out your equipment.

Does your heat mat work proper?

Any shorts in a cord that can do harm?

Are lamps and lights in working condition?

How are all of your seed trays and planting materials?

If everything is in tip top shape, expand a bit farther.

What condition are you hand tools in?

Does anything need to be sharpened?

Are handles in good shape?

A splinter or sliver can slow you down as much as a dull blade or spade.

Beat the rush and have tools (including lawn mower) professionally sharpened to give you the edge.

Through this time of 'Spring Training', you are preparing yourself for a long, productive and enjoyable growing, flowering, and tasty growing season.

Not to mention enjoyable nature walks and hikes.

Heck, you might even find time to sit and relax with a nice cup of coffee, tea, or beverage of your choice.

Smell the fresh air and listen to the birds while others are busy playing catch up :-)

You can do this because you prepared and trained ahead of time.

One last thing.

Every smart athlete hits the shower after a good workout.

As my high school baseball coach would say.

"Shower Up".

Well, it is time to hit the showers, I mean fly for now.

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

God Bless

Winning does not always mean coming in first…real victory is in arriving at the finish line with no regrets because you know you’ve gone all out.

Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic champion speed skater

First place isn't everything my friend.

Jesus speaks about life on earth now and in heaven then.

"But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then."

Mark 10:31

"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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