Sunday, June 06, 2010

Garden is planted!

Before we start in on the garden, observe my de-barked dog barking:

Isn't she cute?  She still only does it in that part of the yard, when I'm not too close by.  She was outside with me all day while I planted the rest of the garden, from about 10:00 AM until 3:00 or so, and she barked on and off for the first hour or so, then forgot about it for most of the day, then barked a few more times in the afternoon, then curled up in a ball and napped until I took her inside.

On to gardening!  It took me all day Saturday, but the garden is now completely planted.  Nothing left for me to do but water, weed, and wait...and maybe put up a fence if the bunnies get to be a nuisance.  And hopefully harvest, you know, eventually.

Speaking of harvesting, one of the tomatoes has two flowers, one of the pepper plants has a few fruits starting to form, and we are going to need to use some basil every week if we want to keep it from flowering! In the slide show you can see the lemon basil I planted already had flowers, so I cut all those off, and we'll wait a bit to harvest from that one.

In other news, this was the week of the mail-order shopping deliveries: we got the slipcovers we ordered from Bemz for our Ikea Tullsta chairs; I got the sandals I ordered: Teva Women's Mandalyn Ola Wedge Flip Flop, but I'm sending them back because they're too small; I got a replacement for my Nook because the page-turn button cracked on mine (it's a common problem), and I'm shipping the other one back; and I sold my copy of The Lost Symbol on Amazon now that I and everyone who wanted to borrow it is done. That was my first time ever selling anything on Amazon, and it was pretty great! I priced it the cheapest of the "like new" used copies, and it sold in less than 24 hours! I have the shipping label printed and it's boxed up and ready to ship, so tomorrow after work I will be stopping at the post office to ship the book and return my sandals, and at UPS to ship back my cracked Nook. Then there will be no more major purchases for us for a while!

Hopefully by next weekend there will be one or two sprouts from the seeds I planted too - wildflowers, lavender, hyssop, sunflowers, leeks, spinach, and pole beans. The only thing with no edible properties are the wildflowers, but if those come up (the seed packet is 2 years old) I will cut them and have fresh flowers inside all the time.

So chapter 1 of our gardening adventure is over...hopefully some interesting and encouraging growth will be visible over the next few weeks!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Juno Speaks

While I was gardening yesterday evening, I had Juno in her harness attached to our clothesline in the backyard so she could hang out outside with me.  I've been using this setup frequently since last Saturday, and she's getting used to it and obviously enjoys it -- she even figures out how to unwind herself pretty quickly if she gets her leash wrapped around a pole.  It's a good setup.

You should also know, if you don't already, that Juno is debarked.  She already was when we got her - the puppy mill that raised her and bred her must have done it to all their dogs that they weren't planning to sell.  It means they surgically cut her vocal cords, and many people consider it cruel.  Most dogs can still bark afterwards, just much more softly -- it sounds like a hoarse or whispered bark.  Juno has never made a peep, so we assumed she couldn't, and we've always wondered if her inability to bark was part of the reason for her extreme timidity.

Well, last night, Juno remembered how to bark.  She was on the opposite side of the yard from me, with her nose pointed challengingly towards the side yard and the street, barking like it was something she did every day.  I could hear her clearly from the garden, but it wasn't until I looked at her and saw her barking that I realized what it was.  She stopped when I said "Juno!  You're barking!" but she started up again a few minutes later, and again after Paul came out to hear for himself.

She was back to her usual silent self all evening, but this morning I clipped her to the clothesline again while I watered the tomatoes, and after a few minutes she went back to the same spot, pointed her nose in the same direction, and practiced barking some more!  This time I noticed that, while she's barking, her tail actually wags from side to side like a normal dog's -- something else we really haven't ever seen her do.  A few months ago when she met a friendly bulldog I thought I saw her tail wag one time, but since it stopped immediately I couldn't be sure.  So now all at once, it seems our little Juno has figured out how to wag her tail and bark.

Now that she's maybe starting to come out of her shell a bit, we will see more of the Juno we saw on Easter Sunday and I can get some more pictures like this one, where she isn't curled up into a sad and pathetic little ball!

I'm hoping to get a picture or video of her barking tomorrow evening or Saturday while I'm out planting the rest of our garden, so stay tuned for that, and for the next garden update I hope to post on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon!