I ended up going to the emergency room about two weeks ago for something that I think was related to the original illness. I had *extreme* stomach pain, they thought it was appendicitis, a CT scan said it wasn't and they never really figured out what was wrong. The best part of the hospital (the least bad part maybe?) was that I happened to be wearing some brand new underwear, so I wasn't embarrassed about the open-back gown. :) I am sure my insurance company will screw me over on this, as they do any other time something expensive happens, so my husband and I got an odd job that lasted for 10 days helping to build a large scale electrical spectacle artwork for another artist. I'm crossing my fingers that it will be enough money to cover the hospital bill. My mother-in-law is also very generously putting some money into our bank account to help out.
We have had lots of rain (well a lot for Phoenix, the rain gauges here got up to six-tenths of an inch) and unseasonably cold weather, no freezing yet, but I think that will come around new years. The early cold and short daylight hours have made everything in the fall garden slow down. I'm getting some lettuce and radishes, but those just aren't as exciting as the fall crops. The coldness has cut off my black-eyed pea production and I'm losing hope of having vine-ripened tomatoes this fall. There are still a few eggplants and lots of peppers, but they seem to have stopped growing. I'm hoping that I can keep them warm enough so that they'll last through the winter and I'll have a head-start on spring. The chickens all molted and stopped laying for the winter except my Rhode Island Red who is giving me about 5 eggs a week. I'm spending a lot of time looking over heirloom seeds and rare-breed chicken varieties, there's so many I want! There's a slim possibility of raising some Muscovy ducks this spring, but a more realistic animal addition to the tiny farm is toads. I've read that they love squash bugs and it seems like a fantastic pest control method. I just have to find some that do well here. I remember growing up there was a giant toad that lived by our pool filter where it was damp. I have no idea how it got there, but it stayed for some time. Anyone in the Phoenix area know where I can get some toads for the garden?