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November 26, 2018

I gave birth early last week.

Pictured is a kidney stone and two popcorn kernels for comparison.

It's been several years, but I have passed a few larger than popcorn kernels.

Just to give you an idea how last week started.

Wednesday I had to replace a bathroom fixture, at the bottom you can see Sophie checking out my work.

Never have we had a more curious cat.

And the Madness Begins.

Forget that slice of pie and relaxing.

Hit the stores now.

Black Friday, it starts on Thanksgiving now days.

Yes, it is a Black Eye for Family and Giving Thanks.

Or so it seems to me.

Shopping over family time.

Greed over Family.

What about the employees or associates, as they are so fondly called these days.

Don't they have families?

Aren't there football games to watch?

Still, until we stand up and say enough is enough.

What's next?

Okay, I'm done venting for now.

Thanks for putting up with me. I hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week end, and I thank you all for your many blessings that came my way.

Learning to slow down doesn't always happen, still I keep plugging away.

On Tuesday, the man physical was taken care of for another year.

After a couple of weeks of nasty weather, Friday blessed us with a sunny and mild day.

One last mulch and mow, and the remaining things put to bed for the winter.

If you have a mulching mower, mulching leaves back into the lawn is the best thing you can do for it.

We are working on Christmas decorations now.

Hopefully we can all learn to relax and enjoy the season a bit more.

This time of year, parts of my yard may look very unkempt or even dumpy.

I don't care and as long as I explain to neighbors what the bags are for, everyone is happy.

For new readers, I place stuffed bags of leaves on top of tender or not zone hardy perennials.

For example.....

In my Zone 5/6 region, I can freely grow as perennials plants that are hardy to Z 7 and some Z 8.

Black and Blue Salvia is a prime example, I have had these tender perennials for several years now.

A nice thick layer of insulation place on top of pruned and watered tenders, keeps them alive and by next spring.

They are bigger and better.

Some Z8 plants don't survive, but what have I lost?

I learned that certain tenders wont survive, and have a nice bag of leaves turning to leaf mold for my efforts.

(Thanksgiving Turkeys.)

I think that is a nice trade off.

When plants live, I have leaf mold as well.

No matter, it is a win, win for me.

Leaf mold is sort of what covers a forest floor.

The dead foliage slowly decays, releasing the rich nutrients into the soil (as in your mulched lawn leaves), and leaves a nice layer of mulch.

I'm not sure how well this will work in Z 3, but even Z 9 should be able to winter over Z 11 plants.

You really need to give this a try sometime.

(Junco with spotted head in our yard last week.)

I love nature and all that it has to offer.

I especially enjoy birds.

As long as I can remember, I have had a fascination for birds.

That includes ducks as well.

Yes, I offer cracked corn for the ducks.

Every spring I start out with 8 or 10 ducks.

As the year passes, the duck population grows.

I counted over 30 a few days ago.

The ducks learn that I am food source and talk to me.

Yes, they get excited and get to yapping and quacking.

They follow me as if I were a pied piper or something.

If you can imagine ducks running, they do that as well.

It is funny to see and to hear all of those webbed feet on wet pavement is hilarious.

I do talk to them (silly that I am), even though they haven't a clue.

This is also fun for grand kids and little neighbor boys to help me out from time to time.

(The girls enjoying some rare sunshine this past week.)

Are some of your spring blooming (fall) bulbs showing green?

Me too.

Daffodils and Allium are showing signs of life.

Don't worry, this is rather common to see, especially in years of funny weather.

The flower buds are snug deep
within the bulb and shouldn't appear until spring.

A few robins can be seen and heard around here still.

This time of year, other birds appear in small and open flocks.

No need to fight for territory and there is safety in numbers.

For most of winter now, small flocks of chickadees and nuthatches will appear.

In early morning and toward sunset, Northern cardinals are plentiful.

I have a few cardinals during the course of the day, but early and late are cardinal times.

(Amaryllis in bloom last year.)

A few things to consider if you place some of these seasonal favorites in your home.

With toddlers and pets.

Poinsettia, (Euphorbia pulcherrima):

Plants are only mildly toxic to cats and dogs.

The milky white sap found in poinsettias contains chemicals called diterpenoid euphorbol esters and saponin-like detergents.

While poinsettias are commonly “hyped” as poisonous plants, they rarely are, and the poisoning is greatly exaggerated.

When ingested, mild signs of vomiting, drooling, or rarely, diarrhea may be seen.

If the milky sap is exposed to skin, dermal irritation (including redness, swelling, and itchiness) may develop.

Rarely, eye exposure can result in mild irritation.

Paper white narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus)

These bulbous perennials produce showy white flowers and can be grown both outdoors in your garden and indoors as houseplants.

Members of the Daffodil family, you know that means 'Toxic' plant.

These attractive plants are poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses.

Including their bulbs, which contain high concentrations of the plant's poisons, Lycorine and other alkaloids.

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, salvation, diarrhea; large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmia.

Sometimes leading to death.

Bulbs are the most poisonous part.

Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp.)

Toxic to Dogs, Cats, and Horses

Toxic Principles: Lycorine and others chemicals

Clinical Signs: Vomiting (not horses), depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper salivation, anorexia, tremors.

While most animals like to chew on green plants, most adults know better. Puppies and kittens can be another story.

We have a pot of 'Cat Grass' growing year round to aid in digestion.

Cat grass is typically Wheat and Rye seeds you can purchase and plant in a small pot for the critters.

Snickers, grazes on the grass daily.

Below, you may notice her little tongue out.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger".

Japanese Proverb.

Now can you follow the wisdom of Jesus Christ?

Not humanly, but with His help you can.

"But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.And if anyone wants to sue you and take your
shirt, hand over your coat as well.If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles"


Matthew 5: 39-42

"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.

A Blessed week to you .

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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