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County 76 planning and the end of an era

April 11, 2016

Many of us awoke to lightning and thunder today and then a strong downpour. The weather continued on and off for most of the morning into early afternoon, then the skies cleared up. We got slightly over a half-inch of rain at my house, but I wish it had been a bit slower coming down. I am not sure if any of us are ever 100% satisfied with the weather 100% of the time, but my yard did need some water. It will help all those newly planted plants and seeds.

The bulk of the day was spent in our quarterly board meeting for County 76. This hard-working group of volunteers puts their heart and soul into our organization to try to make it even better. county 76 board meeting apr161

county 76 board meeting apr162 We plotted our course for the April quarterly session. It is open to all Master Gardeners in good standing in their county. Just let us know if you want to come–the date is April 26.

We got things cleaned up after the meeting and I had a bit more time to do some email, phone calls and writing before it was time to head home. I saw the first eastern tent caterpillar tonight in west Little Rock, so get ready, they are here. eastern tent caterpillar.apr11.16 Luckily they are short-lived and more of a nuisance than any serious damage (except to really young plants).

Tonight I went to the visitation for my dear friend Betty Oliver. The funeral service is tomorrow morning, but I will be in Wynne, so I went tonight to pay my respects. betty oliver.apr16 Betty started work for the Cooperative Extension Service the year I was born, in 1958. She would have been employed 58 years this summer, making her the longest tenured employee in the entire University of Arkansas system—a fact she was quite proud of. Betty never lost her zing for life and loved the Cooperative Extension Service and her job. She was devoted to her family and was the glue that kept them together, but she also cared for her volunteers and staff. She was selfless in what she did for others, and never asked, nor expected anything in return. She was a wonderful role model for me and many others. Although tonight was sad, it was also uplifting visiting with so many of her family members, friends, and colleagues sharing Betty stories–some brought tears, while others laughter. She will be sorely missed by many, but she will never be forgotten. Her legacy will live on in the Extension Homemaker program, the many students who have benefitted from her scholarships at OBU, and the remaining staff members who still work on at Extension whom she instilled her beliefs in as well as her myriad of nieces and nephews. Betty was one-of-a-kind, who I thought would outlast me at Extension. I am sure she is already organizing things in heaven! So farewell, my dear friend, there will never be another one like you!

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