Monday, October 27, 2008

Frost on the Pumpkin?

I love the fall! The brightly colored leaves, the cool crisp days, and the chilly nights when a jacket is welcomed are just a few of my favorite things.

The trees this year are as lovely as I can ever remember seeing. It seems as though each day brings a surprise of color.

Even my poor neglected garden had a surprise for me this past week.

This flower is from the freebie bulbs that came with an on line order for plants this spring. I think they were tagged 'exotic bulbs' only. I have watched them grow all summer and when they hadn't bloomed by August, I figured they wouldn't do anything until next spring. Does anyone know what it is?

The skies were gray all day with heavy dark clouds and I swear they look like they are filled with snow. Tonight we are expecting our first frost. A chilly 26 F is forecast. Brrrr!

In anticipation of that frost, I gathered all the house plants and brought them inside on Sunday. Actually I had help. They all grown so much this summer. So much so that I am not sure where to put them all yet. So here they sit in the middle foyer. That bargain fern certainly looks bigger in here than it did outside.

And with the coming frost, the valiant morning glory will be no more. Still blooming after almost 3 months, I will miss her bright cheery blooms. She has won me over completely!


Speaking of 3 months- the 'Rash' is still with me. I have seen the dermatologist more the past weeks than I have seen my husband. Well not really, but it seems so to me. After going off the Prednisone, it came back with a vengeance. So more Prednisone at a higher dose and 4 more biopsies later, we are still no closer to an answer. So I am being sent to a specialist in Springfield as soon as they can get an appointment for me. I want to thank all of you again, for all your concern and well wishes. This blogging community has been a wonderful support, and you are all such dears!
Have a great Halloween!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GBBD October 2008

Fall has at last come to our neighborhood. Tree tops shimmer with golds, oranges and yellows. Leaves come floating down on the gentlest of crisp breezes and crunch under foot. GBBD is brought to us by Carol of May Dreams Garden on the 15th of each month. Although my entry is a little late and a little sparse, I decided to post anyway. I wanted to be able to look back next year and compare the fall garden of 2009 with garden 2008.

Sparse really is the word for the blooms in my garden this month. I have several zinnias still producing flowers and attracting butterflies.

Although this is a little hard to see(the photographer's fault), these twin zinnias have twin 'painted ladys' on them. I should call this gardening year, 'the year of the painted ladies'. There have been so many for so long-I am amazed.

The cosmos I started indoors back in March has bloomed continuously since early June. What and endearing flower. Just plant it and forget it. I am going to give them their own little area next year and try to find a variety of colors. This year I have just had the pinks and maroons.

And of course, I have to show yet another picture of 'heavenly blue'. Still blooming!!
I have enjoyed seeing the other GBBD posts this month and amazed at the colors and varieties some of you still have. I will have to work on extending my bloom time next year. That means adding more flowers to my wish list. I have enjoyed doing the list-easy enough to add to it when I see something that strikes me. But what I should have done is made a notation of where I saw the flower-which post. I guess there is always next year to do that as I am sure my list will be even longer after seeing your gardens in 2009.
Rash update** Yes, I still have it. Yes, it is a little better. Yes, it is still draining my energies. And yes, I am sick of it!
Thank you for all your concerns, caring and offers of advice. I keep telling myself this will pass-and I know it will. I'm just feeling grumpy yet. And I can't even blame it on the Prednisone now. :)
Hope you are all enjoying your autumn!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Pity Party!

It's been a week since I last posted and although I have been reading all of yours and leaving comments, I have felt I have little to share. Sometimes the fingers are willing to do the typing, but the mind just won't engage. I have sat with my laptop at the ready, pictures loaded, and .... little comes. So many of you are writing about your fall gardening chores and how much you have accomplished. Most are showing pictures of still blooming fall beauties and you are sharing some of the last sightings of butterflies. And here I still sit.

Before you feel too sorry for me or think I am whining-which I am, I know a lot of my blahs have to do with still not resting very well and this darn rash. Yes, it is getting better. But I can see now it is going to take weeks for it to heal. The Prednisone is helping but at the same time makes my skin feel like it is crawling and I am sure it is making me grumpy. That's the polite term my husband is using for my temperament these days. I am peeling yet and then the part that peels is peeling again. The rash was deep and many layers of skin have to come off-gross!!
The good part is, my face is almost done peeling and I can wear a little makeup now so I don't look quite the hideous monster of a week ago. I do want to thank everyone for all their care and concern. It has helped!

So fall is here, we've had some rain, the ground is workable and I should be outside happy as a lark working in my long neglected gardens. I have bulbs to plant and lots of clean up to do. Maybe in a few days.

A bright spot yet is 'heavenly blue'. Still putting out gorgeous blooms everyday with no help from me. I see a little lessening of buds and some of the blooms aren't as big, but she still make me smile.
I promise to work on my attitude and try to find my muse. And I promise to try and have a more upbeat post next time.
Hope you are having a great fall.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall Has Arrived!

A quick update.

I wanted to thank everyone who has wished me well. Your kindness and concern have meant so much to me.

Went back to the Dr. today and the blood work came back fine. No report yet on the biopsies but he is pretty sure they will be okay too. Right now it looks as though it is an allergic reaction to my fibromyalgia medicine Lyrica. Even though I have been on this for 9 months, he says it could be that I have built up a sensitivity to it. I am on Prednisone(steroid pills) and an antihistamine for the next few weeks. While I am devastated at having to go off my MIRACLE drug, I can't go on like this. So for now, I am taking it one day at a time.

Thank you all again, dear friends!

Fall has definitely come to Central Illinois. There are wonderful displays of pumpkins and gourds for sale.

The corn fields are standing dry and brown waiting for the picker to gather their bounty.

The rustling of corn stalks and leaves can be heard in even the gentlest of breezes.

Mums in glorious rich autumnal colors grace the fronts of many garden centers and grocery stores.

Spring and summer plants have been drastically reduced in price so they don't have to be over-wintered in the garden centers. I found this wonderful Boston Fern on sale for $5.00 and decided I could keep it over the winter in the front living room with the skylight.

Most of my flowers are winding down and going to seed. But I did find a surprise bloomer. This is the azalea that our daughter brought us as an Easter gift. I planted it in a small area between the house and the sidewalk and it is blooming again. Now this may be a natural occurrence, but I have never seen a fall blooming azalea.

These are either 'clouded sulphur' clear yellow or 'alfalfa' butterflies. Both are found in open areas along roadsides and in fields. (Identified using my new butterfly book given to me by Rose)

They are feasting on the wildflower, 'heath aster' Aster Ericoides.

I didn't seem to bother them much as they went about the business of sipping nectar.

Yes, it's another picture of 'heavenly blue'! Still growing, still blooming and now taking over the verbena and wave petunias in my barrel planter.

I have debated with myself for days now whether to tell you or not. Finally, I have decided to share this with you. Several weeks ago, I started getting a rash. Very small at first, it was on my upper body. Just a couple of spots no more than an inch in diameter. When it started to spread and itch like crazy, I went to the Dr. He thought itwas Pityriasis Rosea. Something one can get that is not contagious and does no real harm other than being uncomfortable. He recommended using Selsin Blue as a body wash for a while. Two weeks later, I went back and because it was worse and spreading rapidly, the Dr. had me see a dermatologist. He too thought it was the Pityriasis and prescribed a steroid cream. To make this story move along-3 visits later and having the rash from my hair to my toes front and back, he was stumped and decided to do a couple of biopsies and blood work. I am now waiting for the results and should hear today or tomorrow. My face looks like I have been sunburned with big patches of red scaly peeling skin, the rest of my body looks pretty much the same and there are still spots coming out.
While, I am sure this is not life-threatening, it makes a vain person like me cringe to be seen in public. I even hate to have my family see me like this. I know I am whining here and that there are people out there who have real problems, but I needed to vent a little. So bear with me as I scratch and try to hide my face. I am sure the Dr. will be able to help and one day soon, I will be back to normal. Well, normal for me anyway!
Hope you all have a great gardening week!