Frazzled

Windblown iris

Windblown iris

Spring has been unusually hot and dry here, starting from way back in March. I’m not one of those crazy gardeners that water the plants regardless of the weather, but I’ve been watering the garden and it’s not even Memorial Day yet. This weekend was hot and windy…this iris bloomed today only to become part of the frazzled landscape before the day was done. Not exactly great weather for transplanting, but when you meet an unsuspecting someone looking for hosta and rhubarb plants and your own plants are overgrowing their allotment, it is time to dig plants! I was very excited to make some room for a couple of roses that don’t exactly thrive when the nearby plants are always looking for ways to encroach on them. I dug violas, tulips, and garlic around the roses. Would you believe that I have a hard time even composting the excess violas? My mind must be frazzled.

One sorry rose bush

One sorry rose bush

The rose didn’t look so great when it was unearthed.

Flat violas

Flat violas

There is another type of rose in the same garden. It self seeds everywhere! The unsuspecting plant lady got one of them, and these violas lost the support that it provided.

Too much of a good thing

Too much of a good thing

I love garlic, but I may finally have too much of it! I couldn’t throw out the excess dug out from the frazzled rose bush, but I wasn’t motivated to transplant it either. It got thrown in a plastic bag with wet rags so that George can save it if he wants.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard

This Swiss chard that survived from last year is growing well, but looks frazzled because it wants to bolt in this hot weather. I declare the whole darn place frazzled.

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Spring

Prickly ash buds

Prickly ash buds in our woods March 30

Springtime brings the good, bad, and ugly. The good news about prickly ash is that it’s native. The bad news is that it is prickly and invasive.

Beauty of Moscow lilac buds April 14

Beauty of Moscow lilac buds April 14

Fortunately we have more good plants than bad ones. Here’s a white lilac in our garden.

Garlic April 14

Garlic April 14

The garlic planted last fall looks healthy.

Currant April 14

Currant April 14

Spring Beauties April 21

Spring Beauties April 21

There was a lot in bloom in Grandpa Neil and Grandma Siggie’s woods on April 21.

Honey suckle

Honeysuckle

The honeysuckle leaves are pretty, and they come out early. Unfortunately, they are very invasive in Wisconsin and are difficult to remove.

The early frog catches the fly

The early frog catches the fly

Aging cow slip blossoms

Aging cow slip blossoms

Dog toothed violet and spring beauties converse

Dog toothed violet and spring beauties converse

Apple blossoms

Apple blossoms

It occurs to me now that I don’t know what the quality of the apples on this tree at the edge of the woods is. It’s likely that it is a wild tree since I don’t ever remember harvesting them.

Maple seeds on the tree in Grandma and Grandpa's yard

Maple seeds on the tree in Grandma and Grandpa’s yard

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Columbine May 8

Columbine May 8

Violas surround a lily

Violas surround a lily

Lupine May 13

Lupine May 13

Springtime in our prairie… it’s always fun to see how much good stuff has spread. Look at the pollen on this bee!

Lupine leaves May 13

Lupine leaves May 13

A friend gave us wild lupine seeds several years ago and it is spreading well. It’s neat to see the variation in the plants. This one has darker colored leaves with hairy edges.

Evening self portrait in the prairie

Evening self portrait in the prairie

Happy spring! May summer not come too quickly.

Poetry soothes

Media relaxing in the Sweet Woodruff

Media relaxing in the Sweet Woodruff

I’m in one of those moods where very little of what I read suits me now. Young adult dystopias promised lots of plot and delivered in Insurgent (the second book in the Divergent trilogy) and The Drowned Cities (companion book to Ship Breaker), however both of them were darker than what I want right now.

What looked like promising adult fiction, was simply disappointing. Garden Spells could have been fun light reading, but the unabridged version I listened to was too predictable. A Reliable Wife looked interesting, but I didn’t care for the characters, who were very obsessed with sex. I need to be able to like at least one of the characters.

The young adult realistic fiction Try Not to Breathe was good, with likable and very human characters.

What really hit the spot was Billy Collins, reading his own poetry in Billy Collins Live: A Performance at the Peter Norton Symphony Space. Five stars! I would recommend that you try it, even if you don’t like poetry.

Teaching resources

Colleen Kessler compiles a list of free resources for elementary teachers in this book covering major topic areas including literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, health, physical education, art, and music in her book, Free Resources for Elementary Teachers. Each of these topic areas forms a chapter of the book. A heading with a website URL and brief description highlight each resource the author has selected is the primary content. Each chapter also includes a section of frugal fun activities, tips, and games in the topic. Overall, the book provides a quick list of ideas for a elementary teacher to explore. Other content are chapters on teachers’ blogs and home school blogs. Essentially, this book provides a list of websites with free educational resources. Due to this type of content, the book will have a short lifespan.
Providing additional information about each website in a visual format would increase the functionality of the content. For example, the information could include: if the content is for the teacher, student, or both; the type of website sponsor (non-profit, commercial); the amount of advertising on the website and if is visible to the student; and the quality of information provided.
Reviewed from a copy received from Prufrock Press Inc through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

I hadn’t heard about author Muriel Spark until I saw this image on Jessie’s blog.

Knowing nothing about Muriel Spark, I picked The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie based on it’s title. It’s a great title, however this book wasn’t for me at this time. None of the characters were particularly likable. There isn’t a strong plot, at least the strength of plot I require now. Written humor often is lost on me. For me the book was a dud. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be a great book for you.

I’m looking forward to reading the young adult books The Drowned Cities and Insurgent. Both are dystopias and promise tons of plot. Ahh…

Review based on a library book.