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Weather and baby shower

June 9, 2018

It was a humid, warm day quite early today.  While we once again got clouds and thunder this afternoon, we did not get any rainfall.

I spent the day getting ready for a baby shower, and then hosted it, then cleaned everything up.  The baby shower was for a cousin, and as I was preparing and getting ideas, I did form a pinterest page for baby showers.  i got multiple emails and calls about the possibility of grand-parenthood.  Not yet, but Katie and I did have fun preparing for the shower.  The highlight for us was the watermelon baby carriage.     I tried a blue punch with floating yellow duckies, but the addition of pineapple juice (in the recipe) turned it a bit green, and the ducks wouldn’t swim, but it was cute nevertheless. 

It was a fun family day and the mother-to-be garnered much of what will soon be needed. 

Master Gardener Reminders

June 8, 2018

This has been a busy week wrapping up the 2018 MG Conference, getting out the evaluations for both participants and hosts, trying to get bills paid and thank you’s out.  I also had to catch up on some of my columns and preparing for PowerPoints for the upcoming week.  We also want to start getting out the registration information for many upcoming events.  We resent the application for the Oklahoma trip  Sue Smith Travel is handling this, so the information is here if you want to come.  Space is limited.

We also sent out links for the evaluation for MGs for the state conference to both participants and host volunteers. You have another week to get them in, but I have been pleased by how many are already in and have enjoyed reading the comments.  Constructive criticism is great, and I am also pleased by most of the responses. We may be good, but even we really can’t control the weather.  It was too hot, and too hot for late May, but this has been a weird year.  I also had a tour in April with snow, so go figure!

The final reminder also went out for photo submissions for the MG calendar.  I personally think the MG calendar is one of the best things we produce each year. It is a great promotional tool, and it is a beautiful calendar with a lot of information.  Please encourage your Master Gardener friends and County Agents to submit up to 4 photos–1 for each season.  All photos must be taken in Arkansas.  The deadline is June 15 (next Friday).  

We are also hoping to have the registration information out for Annuals to Perennials (our events hosted in 4 locations for 1st year Master Gardeners and their mentors), the MG 30 year birthday event , and soon the PNG Leadership conference.  Please read your emails and if you are a Master Gardeners and you are not signed up for Constant Contact, go to the MG Only website and sign up.  You don’t want to miss out on all the opportunities that are available to you.

It was hot and humid this morning and into mid-afternoon, when clouds started rolling in and it began to thunder here in central Arkansas.  I kept hearing from friends that it was raining where they were, but not where I was. It finally did begin to rain about 5 p.m. and we had a nice, slow steady rain for a while, and we needed it, in spite of me watering today.  It definitely cooled things down, but tomorrow it is back up to 93.  Summer is here.



A life celebration

June 6, 2018

One of our closest friends, supper club member    , fellow traveler and all around great guy, Eldon Schulz passed away in the early hours of June 2.  He had a rough year with complications from surgery, but we all thought the hard part was over and he was on the mend.  That was not meant to be and he left us too soon.  He will be missed. He was a great husband,   father, friend, mentor and colleague– it was evident by the standing room only crowds at his memorial service and again at the afternoon celebration of life yesterday that many others felt the same way.  The outpouring of support and love for his family has truly been a blessing to them.  Yesterday, there was a lot of laughter, hugs, stories and of course tears.  But it truly was a celebration of a life well-lived.  It also was a fitting example of a path to travel– Eldon’s zest for life. Even when he wasn’t feeling the best, he still tried to do as much as possible.  He was the consummate scientist, probing into as much information as he could glean from any subject–beer-making, different cultures and customs, and cooking.  I don’t think there is a food out there that he wouldn’t try at least once and he would try to figure out how it was made or what the ingredients were.  He was an outstanding doctor and advocate of children with disabilities, being the authority on autism.  I am a better person for having known Eldon.  We have shared many good times, raised children together, shared a lot of meals and love, and had a lot of laughs.  Here’s to you Eldon Schulz! 


June 3, 2018

It is a sad time in our home. One of our very best friends passed away this weekend.  He had been struggling with health issues for a few months, and everyone thought he was on the road to recovery.  He felt the best he had felt in months.  Everyone thought the tide had turned.  Thankfully, he had 2 good weeks of feeling good before his young 64-year-old heart gave out.  We will miss him tremendously.  Family and friends are rallying and family is traveling in from far and wide.  Food is showing up in copious amounts at their home–it is a southern thing.  Margaret is a gardener and has a fabulous front bed with loads of perennials.  With all the things their family has been dealing with, gardening was not high on her list of to-do’s.  Today a group of us met at their home and weeded the beds, mulched and did a little refreshing.  It is amazing what a load of fresh mulch can do. It looks like the garden she has always had.  It is what friends do, and connecting with the earth also reinvigorates us. Also working with a group of friends makes the job much easier. 

I also walked my own yard, and it is amazing how much has changed in one week.  Vegetables are coming on strong, I harvested some blueberries and raspberries, and many more plants were blooming.  The rose of Sharon had no open blooms when I left and look at it now.   My hydrangeas continue to change colors with pink and blue and purple side-by-side (go figure?).   The echinacea are beginning to bloom along with gardenias, abelia and much more.  I did water a bit after I got home and did laundry.  Tomorrow it is back to work.

My last official state MG conference is over!

June 2, 2018

The 2018 State MGconference is officially over. Today after announcements, County 76 president Linda Soffer announced the scholarship winners,

Then we introduced our county volunteers

Then we heard from our keynote speaker, Greenleaf Horticulturist Mark Andrews on new plant introductions.Our last topic was the kickoff for the 2019 state MG conference in Hope Arkansas

. After we wrappedup, we loaded up and haeded home!

Full day Friday

June 1, 2018

It was a very full day of learning.  We had a very diverse mix of topics. 2018 state meeting friday (21) The purpose of Master Gardeners is education.  Master Gardeners are given some great education when they take the basic training, but then they are required to gain 20 new hours of education every year as well as pay back their volunteer work hours.  There was a lot of learning going on today. I heard from a few folks that they wanted to pick topics and have concurrent sessions instead of all together. I really liked the new format, but others may have a problem with change.

I also liked the mix of ornamentals, fruit and native plants.  We had a wonderful talk on azaleas learning some new things on azaleas from Allen Owings. 2018 state meeting friday (13)He did a fantastic job with a touch of humor.  Then we heard from world-famous fruit breeder John Clark.  2018 state meeting friday (14)He is always a wealth of knowledge which he shares with humor and great stories.   Then we had a very interesting new topic for me on the Cherokee Nation and Ethnobotany.2018 state meeting friday (18) It was extremely informative.  After lunch, we had a great talk by Casey Hentges  the tv personality from Oklahoma gardening and then we were topped off by my old friend Gerald Klingaman  on adding color with foliage color.2018 state meeting friday (22)

In between each speaker we had a 30 minute break to bid on silent auction items, shop at the art and garden fair or get some coffee.

This evening  was our special event at the Fort Smith Historical Site.  In spite of a very warm evening, we had great attendance  and lots of western garb costumes.2018 state meeting friday (24)2018 state meeting friday (27)2018 state meeting friday (28)2018 state meeting friday (30)

It was a very full day put on by some very dedicated volunteers.

State MG Conference

May 31, 2018

Our first full day of  the 2018 MG conference is over.  We loaded 5 buses for morning tours, 3 buses for mid-morning tours and 5 buses for afternoon garden tours.  It was a little misty-rainy as we loaded the morning tours but it was gone before the buses were out of the driveway, and we had clear skies the rest of the day.   While we were saved on rain, we were not quite as lucky on temperatures, but we had plenty of water and folks loved the garden tours.

We also opened up the silent auction today 2019 state mg conference (11)2019 state mg conference (14)and the art and garden fair.  2019 state mg conference (6)2019 state mg conference (22)2019 state mg conference (21)We have a great selection of items to buy or bid on.  There was always a frenzy of activity as people arrived at different times to register.2019 state mg conference (23)

Our opening catfish/chicken dinner was a success

and we recognized our chairs, and Leta introduced the  2019 state mg conference (13)county judge, and then had a garden presentation from Steve Owings.  2019 state mg conference (31)We also recognized our award winners in a short video.  An escellent first day with a very full day to follow tomorrow which starts bright and early.


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