It was quite nippy this morning–23 when I got up and the streets were a little icy in parts. I headed out about 7:20 to go south to Texarkana and it was COLD! The radio went on and on about slippery roads and the interstates were clogged with cars. From the reports there were a lot of wrecks. I took it slow and headed to I 430. The overpasses were all glazed over but the biggest problem was not ice, but other drivers. I can’t tell you how many people slammed on their brakes when they saw ice. One lady was driving 20 mph on the interstate when there was no ice. It is important to be cautious, but I think we need some classes on how to drive in winter weather. I am not an expert by any means, but slow and steady, and NOT putting on your brakes when you see ice are top on my list. I think since the roads were pretty passable yesterday people got overconfident this morning–plus there were a lot more cars to contend with. But, I made it safe and sound to my meeting in Texarkana and it was sunny the entire drive, which all helped.
We are getting closer and closer to going live with MG registration for the 2014 conference in Texarkana (Registration will open Feb. 1) The conference is set for May 29-31 with a pre-conference tour on May 28 which will be great.
The committee has accomplished a lot and we are putting numbers down to get our registration costs ready. Prices continue to climb for busses, facilities and food, but we are going to have a great event. Registration will include a light opening evening dinner, lunch and dinner on Friday, a full slate of events on Thursday, trade show, silent auction, seminars all day Friday or garden tours, and three outstanding keynote speakers. Mark your calendars now!
Then I drove home. There was no trace of any type of winter weather until about Saline county and then you could see it on the sides of the highway. Pulaski county roads are mostly clear –still a few icy spots, but my deck and yard are still blanketed with the winter stuff–I am not sure any has melted here.
The office was officially open today at 10, but when I awoke we were over 31 degrees and it was 32.+ by the time I left at 9:15. I was absolutely amazed to see an official city of Little Rock truck with a snow plow attachment on the front and sand dropping from the back pass by my house at 8 a.m.! Hurrah to Little Rock. The streets all the way to work had minor ice patches but overall were very clear and obviously been taken care of by our city! Great job LR! I heard equally good things about Bryant and NLR. Tonight we were watching a pre-recorded show on TV on the DVR and kept commenting on the school closings–Katie finally pointed out that they were from YESTERDAY! Great catch Katie–and a bit slow to me and Clay!
Today was our annual state faculty conference which ends in a fabulous potluck. We had a packed house in spite of the weather, but were missing the NW Arkansas crew and a few folks who live in the boonies. It was a good event plus outstanding food and fellowship.
Then Julie and I went up to my office to start clearing things out, since I have new office furniture coming. I got a phone call saying it would be here tomorrow morning! Yikes! We are/were not ready plus we will be in Texarkana tomorrow, so we called and postponed until Thursday morning. We got a lot done, but my office was never in the best shape, and now in even worse repair as we clean up and shift things from one piece to another. I also have a new computer that will be set up that has been awaiting the new furniture.
I got a similar call this morning from my wood guy saying he was going to be here tomorrow morning with my firewood–again I postponed,since I won’t be here. I guess my 4 plus cases of fake wood will go into storage for another day! Since I was a Girl Scout and Boy Scout (both member and leader in both) it is always best to be prepared. Now we can also start enjoying just a normal fire again. We were afraid to waist any if the power did go out!
A little sleet/snow is falling now, but I am optimistic that it is a slight occurrence and will not cause traffic difficulties in the morning. I leave for Texarkana at 7 a.m. for state MG conference planning.
This morning started out at 22 and hovered around 26 for most of the day. I just looked at my thermometer, and wonder of wonders it is 30 degrees!! This is definitely promising. The sun never peaked out today so not much melted. Most schools are closed tomorrow and we have a delayed start of 10:00 a.m. for the state extension office. It is our annual state faculty conference and potluck so it will be interesting to see how many statewide faculty make it in from around the state.
I have gotten a lot accomplished at the house. I did about 30 loads of laundry–comforters, sheets, mattress pads, blankets, etc. I guess it is winter cleaning instead of spring cleaning. We have moved furniture and cleaned. I have also read a couple of books and it has been a nice change of pace.
Tomorrow I will be at the office, then hopefully on the road to Texarkana on Tuesday, and Mena on Thursday/Friday.
Here is the mystery plant challenge for the week:
I awoke to sunny skies but the temperature at 18. Luckily it moved up pretty nicely and was up to 27 by mid day. While the temperature was still well below freezing, the sunny skies started melting the sleet and ice covered roads and driveways.
People were driving a bit in our neighborhood and it seemed we were seeing the light at the end of the storm. But now it is sleeting again, and the roads are getting covered again. The temps are back at 23 and falling. Let’s hope it ends soon.
Be sure to steer clear of frozen plants, as they break easily when frozen. Give them time to defrost when the temperatures get warm enough and then assess damage.
I actually thought the storms were over and put up my backup emergency supplies today.
It was toasty and warm indoors and I got a lot accomplished today. The house is clean, I have all laundry and extra laundry done, and I cooked. I love to cook every day but it has been nice to have time to think and plan. We are eating well.
I also found these wonderful scentsicles–small scented sticks that smell like a real live Christmas tree. They came in spruce or fir scent but I bought spruce. I used to love getting a fresh cut tree. My family finally talked me into buy artificial because of allergies and the extra mess, but now they all bemoan the fact that we have a fake tree. I placed three of these spikes in the fake tree and when you walk in the room, you can smell them and you just imagine it is real. I wonder how long they will last?
Let’s hope this latest bout of winter precipitation is short-lived and we can move forward with clear roads and safe travels. I have heard from numerous folks that the birds were great predictors of the winter weather–they were out in force feeding to prepare. Here is a great show shared by Lucinda from Mt. Home:
Stay safe and warm!
This is an amazing thing that we didn’t lose power. Probably as soon as I finish this, the power will go off, but I have my fingers crossed. After last Christmas and 6 days with no power, then in September and October we lost power 5 times when there was no storm nor wind, I had myself prepared, so I am DELIGHTED! I got a lot accomplished today besides staying warm. We got the tree up and decorated I got all the rest of the boxes ready to go back to the attic so the house is coming back to normal. I put the finishing decorations inside and got my dining room table back with the fabulous Christmas runner from my good friends the Smith’s in Izard county.
The temperatures are falling and right now I am at 25 degrees so this stuff is not going to melt anytime soon.
Here are some pictures from other parts of the state: I 540 in NW Arkansas this morning: and from Izard County More snow than sleet in the north, but I think Pope County (Russellville area) and Jonseboro took a hit with power. I hope you all have it back on soon! Stay safe inside, and hopefully warm!
So far the branches of my plants are getting covered, but it doesn’t seem to be weighing them down yet–which leads to limb breakage.
I have heard several reports from around the state with a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain. It looks like almost everyone is getting something, or will be. Stay safe and warm if you can.
Many have asked what fake wood is–I only knew the name duraflame, but didn’t find that. I found two other brands and have loaded up with this stuff. It says it is compressed cardboard, but for their size, they are quite heavy. I haven’t started a fire, because we have to conserve in case we lose power–knock on wood (or should I say firewood), we still have it! We have the heat going stronger than normal, and every light we can turn on to enjoy it while we have it!!
Here are your mystery plant challenge answers.
Mystery Plant A- is a holiday cactus Schlumbergera truncata. It is commonly called Thanksgiving cactus, Christmas cactus or crab cactus because of the claw like appendages on the foliage. Mine is in full bloom. It needs to go through a cool period to set flower buds, so I leave it outside until it gets really cool, but before a frost and then bring it inside to enjoy the blooms.
Mystery Plant B is purple or red mustard. I am growing them as an ornamental but they are edible if you like mustard greens. Some sell them as red and some say purple. They start off in the fall with a light purplish green color and as the foliage matures, they turn a dark reddish purple color. Outstanding in the garden.
Mystery Plant C stumped many of you. I have found that green shrubs seem to be a bigger challenge than flowering plants. This plant is a wonderful evergreen shrub which will grow statewide in sun or shade. Cleyera japonica is the Latin name now. It did change to Ternstroemia for a bit, but most call it Cleyera again. This plant is a great hedge or foundation planting. The new foliage comes on in various shades of bronze or red depending on variety.
Stay warm and let’s hope this winter weather passes quickly!
All households across Arkansas are now fully stocked with bread and milk, whether they needed it or not. Rain is falling in Little Rock and the temperature is hovering at 36 degrees– a few degrees above freezing. Most schools and many businesses (including Extension) are closed tomorrow in preperation of the winter event. The Today Show broadcast from Arkansas this morning, saying Little Rock was the epicenter of the event! I just hope they might all be wrong. This is the most time we have had to prepare and I have stocked up. I don’t have enough firewood–I am scheduled for a load a week from tomorrow–but I did buy several cases of fake wood in south Arkansas today. Julie and I made a trip down south and I figured I could pick up some wood along the way–no such luck–No one there apparently ever needs firewood. We were able to pick up batteries, a flashlight and the fake wood. I probably could have made a fortune if I bought all the heaters they had and resold them, but I passed. It was interesting to hear what people were predicting.
I have plenty of food and we will hopefully make it with our supply of wood. I have a gas cooktop so we will eat well but I am being optimistic that we won’t lose power. We passed numerous power company trucks heading to Little Rock as we traveled south this morning. If you look at the extended forecast, NW Arkansas is supposed to get to single digits tomorrow, but Little Rock may get to 6 degrees Monday and NW to -6!! Please say it isn’t true.
I am sure there are no groceries left to be bought, nor batteries, generators, or flashlights. Stay warm and safe!