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November 23, 2009
Thank you everyone for allowing me to sound off last week, hopefully I got you o thinking some.
The mild weather continues for now as we have yet to see a snow flake in my part of the world.
However, our local meteorologists promise a drastic change in the weather by the end of the week.
Still, to get this far with no snow is a rare treat and it makes up for a cool and very wet October.
I was forced or decided to break out the mower one last time.
I enjoy the look of a tight cut freshly edged lawn.
Besides, the clipping help return the nitrogen to the roots and a short cut deters matting and thatch build up.
For us in snow country, it also keeps snow mold down.
Many of you will be busy this week with Thanksgiving preparations or travel plans.
Around here, we plan on having Karen's mom for dinner and the rest of her family over in the evening for dessert.
While outside, I hear the Canada geese honking near the pond and several small flocks continue to fly over.
It is so amazing how they can fly in almost perfect formations.
A few robins continue to hang around which I enjoy as well.
Eight Black-capped chickadees are busy feeding as I write this.
They are busy birds for sure.
Some readers may not know this about chickadees and other birds.
They have the capability to weigh the seed before they attempt to crackit it open and eat what is inside.
For chickadees this is vital, especially this time of year and through the winter as days grows shorter and colder.
You notice that chickadees will find a seed and then fly off to a nearby tree or shrub and then work the seed over to retrieve the high energy food within.
Because they are so busy flying back and forth (while many birds remain at the feeders) using vital energy, it is paramount that they find a seed worth the effort.
In cold weather, all wildlife consumes more energy to stay warm.
Do you notice a lack of feeder action right now?
Me too, on the most part.
This time of year many migrating birds have left for warmer grounds.
However, our stay at home birds and the birds that have migrated to your area have found 'Nature's' bounty.
Birds are very busy feeding in fields and woodlands where 'Nature' has left for them a plethora of food.
Besides seeds and berries, there are insect eggs and dormant insects to find.
Not to worry, your birds will return as long as you offer them a good choice of food.
Not cheap stuff, but what they prefer.
For now, even the House sparrows are few at my feeders.
Remember to offer FRESH WATER as well.
I wasn't quite sure what to write on this week,
Being Thanksgiving week in the United States of America, I thought and felt it would be good to mention some things I am thankful for.
Get you to thinking too.
For many new readers, this will give you a chance to learn a bit about me and the Patterson household.
As many of you know, like more than 15% of Michigan's work force, I too lost my job this past year.
Now how could an experienced Certified Nurseryman and Naturalist lose a job.
Easy, cut backs and hire no experience , cheap labor.
And that is exactly what happened.
So how can a jobless person give thanks?
In many ways......................................
We're doing okay.
In fact, a year as a whole, 2009 has been the best year of my adult life.
Virtually no stress for me this past year and I had ome fun.
Anyone that has lived with a lengthy time of stress knows just what I am talking about.
Stress will tear you apart, mentally, emotionally and physically.
It doesn't help relationships either.
Stress wasn't just from work, but the lack of time and odd hours add more stress.
So you see,
I have something to be thankful for.
We are taken care of financially, we just didn't have money for a lot of the extras.
Still, I had several odd jobs and a speaking engagement or two that helped to keep me busy and have some walkin around money (WAM).
This was a very busy year for me.
I accomplished a lot in the house and outside as well.
We have been rather healthy.......... no hospital stays or down time.
Well, Yolanda had her Baclofin pump put in, but a lot is involved with a brain injured, quadriplegic adult child.
Still, by being free this year, I was able to be there and help Karen more at home.
And that is a blessing for all of us.
Yes, I have much to be thankful for.
This past year we were able to see more of my beloved Michigan.
We took out oldest daughter and her family with us to see some of Michigan's upper peninsula. Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore, Seney National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Superior.
Karen, Yolanda and I also enjoyed a couple of short trips to northern lower Michigan. A trip to Petosky and another fall color tour around and in the Grand Traverse Bay.
We managed many more visits to the beaches of Lake Michigan.
Anyone that lives near a Great Lake knows just how special they are.
The Great Lakes Basin is truly a unique region. By studying the Natural History of this area, it will show this to be true.
No matter where you live, you owe it to yourself to learn the Natural History of your area.
This year, I spent more time doing what I love.
More time playing in gardens, studying and going for nature walks.
I was able to do more with my grandkids and foster grandkids.
This fall I volunteered with a group to mentor some needy (many are single parent) kids on Monday evening.
Now that is special and I wouldn't be able to do that if I was still working.
God works in wonderful ways.
I am thankful that I was able to spend more time with you and hopefully write a few well informed newsletters.
This I am thankful for, as I get to know many of you and friends are priceless.
I am thankful for free speech.
We can call our country leaders idiots or jerks and still live to talk about it.
We elect them into office and we can elect them out.
We can pray for our leaders as for everyone.
Think of the countries where a person would be executed for saying such things and they live in dictatorships.
We have choices.
My sister and her family are missionaries in the China.
Now, they can't mention God or Christ unless someone asks them.
If they go out preaching, they end up in prison.
They live in a high rise apartment with a hole in the floor that is their toilet.
All of this human waste is used to fertilize rice patties and other things.
Does that make you lose your appetite?
Sis mentions to us through a newsletter that goes out Via Thailand, how heat is regulated in China.
It is turned on November 15 and shut off March 15.
No matter the weather, that is how the heat goes.
No thermostat to control it, you get what your radiators put out.
This year has already recorded many record lows and snows for northern China before the heat was turned on.
There have been several cold related deaths over there already.
Can you imagine that here?
I am thankful we have freedoms.
I am thankful we have the right to make choices, even if some of them aren't the best choices, we still can choose.
I have a friend that is from Nepal.
He has lived in the States for several years.
Even became an American citizen.
Still, his native culture led him back to Nepal to marry a woman he never met before because
his mother picked her out for him.
Aren't you thankful for our freedoms and rights?
You see, there are many things we can be thankful for.
You are blessed in many ways, sometimes we have to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts.
Be thankful for what you have, don't curse what you don't have.
You can always find one person worse off.
Be thankful for your health, even though I know it is limited for some of you.
Be thankful you can read this letter, that means you can see the wonders around you.
Be thankful you can worship the "All Mighty One" or whomever and whatever you choose to worship.
Be thankful for our men and women that put their lives in harms way so we can do what we do.
Thanksgiving isn't just the big meal or time with family, it is much, much more.
More than anyone person can write about.
Today, thank your God for everything you have and maybe a few things you don't have.
Thank those around you.
Thank our soldiers, firefighters and police officers.
Thank the farmers that help feed you.
Be thankful for the little chickadees and the joy they bring.
Thank all of Nature for the joy it provides.
As you can see, the list is almost endless.
Give Thanks Daily.
Well, it's time to fly for now.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.
I will offer thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.
Psalms: 116 . 17
Read it again.
Often we ask God for help and many times we thank him when his comfort, healings and blessings.
Often we praise and thank him for his goodness when we are blessed.
God knows he is good.
God knows he is great.
He likes to hear that from us as we thank and praise him.
The real catch word here is..........................
A sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Giving thanks when we don't feel like it or feel we have nothing to be thankful for or to give, period.
If you don't have a moment to give, then make a moment.
Step away from the computer.
Turn off the TV.
Put down that book.
Even when you don't feel like it, be thankful to God for who he is and what he has given to you.
When you least feel like it, is when you need to offer praise and thanksgiving.
That is a sacrifice that he will always welcome.
Is that to much?
He gave you life.
He gave you Jesus.
God sacrificed for you,
Surely you can sacrifice a moment of your time for thanking him.
Before you know it, you will be smiling and singing.
Now remember to share this smile with others.
Until next time my friend.
"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,
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.
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