Yet Another Gardening Update.

Posted by DmentD | Domestica,House,Links,Pictures,Rambling | Thursday 1 October 2009 11:22 am

So, yeah, apparently I can’t stop talking about my garden.  Suck it up, this is my blog and I’ll talk about my dry elbow skin if I feel the desire to.

I’ve been moisturizing… so there.

Anyway, I had the presence of mind to bring out the camera this morning while the pumpkin blossoms were still open and looking beautiful.  They are the most shocking shade of yellow-gold contrasting against the greens and browns of the surrounding yard, and they are HUGE.

Pumpkin Blossom

Pumpkin BlossomPumpkin BlossomPumpkin BlossomPumpkin BlossomsPumpkin Vines

Also, our seedlings are doing very well.  The broccoli and Brussels sprouts are growing like weeds.  Meanwhile the tomatoes are filling out nicely and growing more true leaves.  Another few weeks, and they’ll be ready to plant outside.

Tomato Seedlings

Tomato SeedlingsBrussels Sprouts SeedlingsBroccoli Seedlings

My constant, obnoxious companion while I work in the yard is the neighbor’s dog — a pitbull mix — named “Noisy Bitch” (ok, more like I named her that, but it has stuck).  From the moment she hears me open the patio door she starts barking incessantly.  I’ve tried making friends with her, to no avail.  She will stop barking as long as I bribe her with homemade treats — which she will happily and gently take from me through the fence — only to have her start yapping again shortly thereafter.

She has had some training as I can, most of the time, get her to sit on command in exchange for treats.  When she does sit, or otherwise obey a command, it’s like I’m using some sort of mind control to forcibly make her obey… the look on her face speaks volumes, as if to say “I’m sitting, but I’m doing so against my will, and I’m getting no pleasure from this humiliation at all… now give me the goddamn treat.”

I have on occasion used negative reinforcement on her when she barks or lunges, such as a quick shot of water from a spray bottle while I said “no” in a stern alpha voice.  Oh, she REALLY doesn’t like that, but she backs off and barks, growls, snarls and looks for all the world like she’s gonna jump the fence and go for my throat.  It got to the point where all I needed to do was show her the bottle and she’d back away noisily.  Now, I’ve abandoned the bottle, and when she won’t obey a command or barks viciously at me, I toss the treats earmarked for her over to Killer (again, our nickname for her), the other neighbor dog that went from barking at us from a distance, to practically hopping the fence to have us pet her.

I don’t think I’ll ever gain her confidence and make peace, but we’ll see.  For now, here’s a picture of that loving, gentle creature known as Noisy Bitch.

Noisy BitchNoisy Bitch



  1. The Pumpkin blossoms are spectacular! What’s that little plug on the inside of the big one? Is that a stem or is is a little pumpkin penis?

    The dog problem is a bitch. You’re actually training her to bark with treats. She obviously thinks they are a REWARD for barking, not a friendly overture. Take a clue from Cesar Milan…think like a DOG…and IGNORE an aggressive animal. Turn your back to her and don’t react. Definitely do not make eye or voice contact. If all else fails, complain to the neighbor….and if they don’t react, call the ASPCA and report a potentially dangerous, aggressive dog. Maybe THEY can get the neighbor to do something (or get rid of the bitch).

    October 1, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
  2. Those are the male flowers, and that little plug is the stamen… so yeah, it’s a little pumpkin flower pecker. The flowers are about the size of my hand, if I were to hold it palm up with my fingers all pointing up (and I have a big hand).

    Noisy Bitch goes quiet and respectful the moment I approach the fence and seemingly have treats. As soon as it’s obvious that I have nothing left, or have come empty handed, she starts up again. I’ve tried to out-alpha her, I’ve used soothing or threatening postures at different times. I’ve tried talking in a conversational tone to her the whole time I’m in the yard, getting her acclimated to the sound of me.

    The thing is I wanna interact with Killer, the nice pup, but I can’t as our three yards all meet at a single point, and I can’t reach over Killer’s fence without coming close to Noisy Bitch’s fence, and when I do, she hops up and attempts to eat my arm.

    *shrugs* I’ll attempt to ignore her for a while and see how that goes.

    October 1, 2009 @ 12:29 pm
  3. I’ve discovered recently that straight-up olive oil does wonders for even the driest of elbow skin. 😀

    October 18, 2009 @ 10:31 pm
  4. I hear it works a treat for a chapped taint, too.

    October 19, 2009 @ 8:50 am

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