Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Puppy Mornings

I get up, walk over to Duncan's crate, let him out.  He does lots of morning stretches, front legs first, then back, then front and back a couple more times.  He throws in a few wide-mouthed yawns for good measure.  After that, I help him clean his face and he licks licks and licks my hand.

Then he gets impatient and runs out to the living room, grabs a ball, comes running back and pushes it against my leg to say, "Let's play!"  I say, "Duncan, busy!"  He looks a little miffed and takes the ball with him back to the living room and begins chewing on it.

As I'm getting ready he will try his darnedest to interrupt my routine with ball in mouth and his cute puppy-dog eyes trained on me.  Sometimes it works (and then I'm late for work), most of the time it doesn't.  I go to put my pants on and I say, "Pants inspection" and he runs over and thoroughly sniffs the legs of my pants (he started this -- I have no idea why he loves this so much).  He will then wander around my room, wedge himself under my bed, then sit by it waiting for me to get dressed.

Now dressed, I go to the living room, log onto personal and work email, take care of both all the while saying, "Duncan, busy."  After that's over, I go onto my balcony and tend to my garden.  Duncan knocks something over and I scold him.  He looks sorry for a few seconds, then knocks something else over.

At last, his cuteness overpowers me and I grab a hold of that ball he's been shoving into me for the past half hour and start a raucous game of tug-a-fetch (I throw, he fetches, then I try to take and he growls).

Finally, it's time for work and I pack up my laptop.  Duncan sees this and knowing what might be coming and gets very excited and sits very still.  He knows that sometimes when he sits, good things happen for no discernible reason.  It's his good-luck position.  As I reach for my jacket, he knows it's on and he runs with a huge smile to the door and begins pacing around frantically, "Don't forget me!  You do that sometimes!  Please don't forget me!"

I forget something and it's not Duncan.  It's my keys, my wallet, some papers, my laptop, or something.  He sits down and looks at me impatiently.  I get my act together and grab his leash.

Now he is vibrating with excitement.  I grab my right shoe.  Before I can protest, he sits on my left shoe.  He looks intently at the door and thinks maybe he isn't sitting properly to get the door to open so he wiggles his butt around.  I try to pry the shoe out from under him and he shoots me an impatient and violated look.  Finally the shoe comes out (no thanks to him) and I put it on.  I open the door and he shoots out as if fired from a gun.  He waits at the top step, his excitement turning him into a white fuzzy blur until I say with must anticipation, "Okay!"

And we begin our day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aphid Holocaust: Day 1 - Biological warfare

Previously on Albert's Garden -- I planted lots of plants: sage, lavender, achillea, lithodora, parsley, chives, rose cuttings.  All was harmonious, beautiful, and fragrant.  Then one day, I found my sage bush wasn't green with leaves; it was green with aphids.  I tried to contain it.  I pruned off the infected branches.  I sprayed with neem soap/oil.  They just kept spreading and spreading.

Just when I thought all hope was lost, I remembered an experiment I wanted to try in elementary school but didn't had the money, attention span, or parental approval to try.  I wanted to get a bunch of ladybugs and feed them.  Feed them aphids.

This week on Albert's Garden --

Awww yeah.  That's 1500 ladybugs right there.  1500 very hungry and disgruntled ladybugs (they did just spend three days in the US Postal system after all).  I sprinkled about half of them all over my garden.  They made satisfactory little *tink tink tink* sounds as they fell into place on my plants.  I look forward to tomorrow when the aphids realize that though my last name may not be Bauer, they've pissed off the wrong gardener.  Say hello to my little friends you leaf suckers!

Friday, March 5, 2010

My newest pet peeve

New pet-peeve: I've decided anyone who snaps, chirps, and or whistles at my dog and expects that I will keep him from running to him/her will get a face-full of Duncan from now on.