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comments: 49

I'm scrambling today. Pretend there is a photo here.

But I have to pop in and mention a few things, especially regarding the mystery of the tape-covered Coke can! Sorry to leave you hanging! I left a comment but it was way back there:

The can has a few coins in it, and then it's taped to keep them in. When she barks at someone or something she's not supposed to (which for some weird reason she's been doing a lot of lately) we rattle it meaningfully (as in, "Stop that — I mean it") and she stops.

This is recommended by our dog trainer, Steve. It works, at least for her. She is not keen to do things that don't please us, but we got a bit lazy on the barking thing and needed the refresher. This dog has the absolute loudest bark I have ever heard, and bionic ears. She can hear something "interesting" a block away and send out a bark so loud you'll fall right off the couch before you even know what's going on. And then she'll do this for about a minute afterward:

"Woof . . . . . . . . . . woof . . . . . . . . . . woof . . . . . . . . . . woof . . . . . . . . . . woof . . . . . . . . . . woof . . . . . . . . . . woof."

Those are spaced about eight seconds apart. So, we have about four shaker cans strategically placed around the house. Better than yelling. Though I have certainly been known to yell, "STOP THAT!!!!!!!!!!" if no can is at hand. They say you're not supposed to do that, but man, it's like Chinese water-torture but with "woofs" instead of drops to the forehead. It's woofs to the forehead.

Secondly, I wanted to thank you for all the recommendations on the green curry, which I will be looking through and taking to heart as soon -- might try it with chicken (cheaper). I'm going to start with using coconut cream, as many people suggested, and with salting and roasting the eggplant first. Great ideas there, so thank you so much.

Thirdly, what was my thirdly. Oh yeah — I forgot to say last week how much I loved everyone's comments about the things they like about fall! I have been wanting to put those all together in a post so that I could read them and look at a pretty fall picture and feel better about it. So I will do that soon, I hope. Before it's winter.

Fourthly, I promise I will get those summer-reading books off my sidebar soon! I actually am reading other books. I just don't want to mix up the fall list with the summer list before I have a chance to tell you what I loved about the summer list, and I loved a lot about it. It takes me forever to figure out how to say what I want to say about books so I am behind on . . . the books.

Fifthly, we are snowed in under ornament kits and now that the kits themselves are almost together, I can see that we scored major overruns from the printer — on an initial print run of 500, they gave us 220 overruns! Wow. So there are kits and kits and kits, if necessary, and I would love to truly use these up by making more kits. I will do wholesale on these kits, too, since we have so many. Just email me at aliciaATaliciapaulsonDOTcom for wholesale information on these. For those of you who have already placed orders, they are starting to go out this week! If you didn't get a chance to order a kit yet, they are available here. The PDF of just the pattern will be available in the next couple of weeks as soon as we get on top of getting most of the kits out.

Lastly, please allow me to direct you to an interview about blogging that I did recently with Stephanie Levy for her series Artists Who Blog. Thank you so much for interviewing me, Stephanie, and especially for patiently waiting for me to send my answers back!!! Hopefully I sound more competent in my interview than I do here lately.

Double lastly, I have many emails to answer and I'm pretty sure that will happen. Pretty sure. If I run out of time before I go on vacation next week, I'll have my administrative assistant do it while I'm gone. Her vocabulary is limited to one word (see above), but you'll get the jist.


What I love about Fall....
I was born in October so I have a close connection to all things Fall. The changing color of the leaves, the cold crisp feel of the wind, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the last garden bed being laid to rest (great exercise, and the first fire in the wood stove to warm the house. But most of all Fall gives me a feeling of comfort.

I know many people who have had success with the can. Alas, I am not one. My sheltie is a barker (if he wasn't so great I'd issue a warning about breeds that are described as talkative) and his favourite thing is to bark at lights and/or electrical sounds. My house is now as beep/boop free as possible. But try enforcing that with friends, family and strangers.

Still Clover's a cutie and if that's her worst trait...

Good luck with the vacay and the kits. Now that I know there are extras I might just have to order one. (I was being "good.")

I think I may try to can idea. Our dog only barks when he does hear a certain sound outside but it is very loud.

I have a friend who sells and makes Waldorf dolls. I'll mention to her about your wholesale patterns. I think your kit would mix well with the items she sells there.

I just have to comment this time. I'm a Munich based blogger, reading your blog for something like two years. And so I was just glad to find that your interview was with an Munich based blogger, too. I never noticed her blog before.
So thanks for redirecting. And I have to say that I truely love your blog, I stop by every day.

My dog is also a barker - but only as a watch dog barker. The key to stopping unwanted barking is to determine WHY the dog is barking. Dogs bark for several reasons: boredom, alertness, fear. Boredom is the worst, but it sounds like your dog is barking for the same reason as mine. She hears something outside her home, can't see or smell it, so she wants to let everyone know there is something out there. I have found the best way to stop the barking is to go to the door or window the dog is at, look outside, and look at them and say "It's okay, Thank you!". No need to yell, just talk to them and bring them away from the object. Basically, the dog is saying "there is something out there!" and you want to let them know you see it too, and it's okay. Then offer them a toy or something to distract them. If you just yell from your chair or make noise without successfully breaking their concentration on what's outside, you'll both be making a racket.

I LOVE my little watch dog, I want her to bark when strange people walk by the house, but she knows as soon as I check it out, she's supposed to stop barking. The soda can method is often recommended but I think it just adds more noise, and is confusing to the dog. It scares them instead of assures them that you are aware of the situation.

I used an empty pet water bottle.. and some beans in it.. it was a bit less noisier..than the soda can.. and coins..
the vet told me that some dogs bark because they are shepphard dogs originally and they are used to guide the family.. the clan.. they feel like they are the chief.. so better show them who is the master..

as to autumn..
it means home to me.. we are more inside than outside.. and we are taking care of our home's coziness..
it also means soup for me..
and family.. as now we are more "together" than the summer time..

love from istanbul

We used that trick with our Lucy too (we used a little coin bank) It works so well! ;) I'm glad you posted b/c when I read that comment asking, I was very curious! ;)

Ha! Yeah...we kept a water bottle with coins in it for our old dog, and it was amazing how well it worked. We called it The Rattle of Justice.

LOVE the can idea. I wonder if it would work on a cat who, in the middle of the night, sticks his lips under the bedroom door and says "Mom" over and over and over and over and over. And over.

By the way (reminiscing about your California highway patrol photo of Andy) I had an attempted break-in at my house while I was home a few weeks ago (scary) and the police officer who showed up to investigate (and calm me down) was named...yes, you guessed it...Andy Paulson. Sans moustache, but I felt better just thinking about the association!

Good luck with the kits. Looks like you have the best of help.


Good luck with the barking - great technique, I hope it works. Clover is so cute it must be hard to shout at her!
I wish my upstairs neighbours would use this on their dog, much as I love dogs, this one is driving me nuts with barking! ;)
I was looking through your book list - it was a great reminder to pick up another Mary Stewart book.

*snickers* This worked for Gingerbean, my corgi, for about 2 days. Now you can shake that can and she takes off like lightening! Running around ALL of the furniture until she ends back at your feet begging you to shake the can again. She has ended up loving it!

I feel your pain on the barking thing. Our pup is just over a year now, and 125 pounds of barking madness. Good to hear that the can does work for some people!

I am trying to teach Chelsea to "speak!" I point my finger at her and she speaks. I read that the philosophy is that if you teach them to speak then they won't unless prompted to do so. She is only 3.5 months old so far...also read something about shaking car keys- which is something akin to the can idea. How old was Clover Meadow when you started training? I've been told 5 months is good. We're working on sit, speak, come & her knowing her name. She is a smart little Corgi & does well most of the time.
love, Cheryl

Alicia, you crack me up more than any other blogger! Hope you have a MARVELOUS vacation! Can't wait to go read the interview....

Yay! Thank you for mentioning the PDF of the directions for those of us who already have supplies on hand - I am excited to start! And a Fall post... I think we are all getting ready. That change in air is really setting in...

If you want to learn to love fall, try reading the knitblog brooklyntweed. It's GREAT. The kind of great that makes you bust out of lurkership right into capital letters.

Oh, I saw the can and didn't make the connection!

My mother uses one of those to keep her dogs (and the neighbors' dogs) in line. It seems to work for her!

"woofs to the forehead" heh!

well, i'm so pleased that you provided us with the update during our monday team meeting ;). loved the interview and it reminded me of why we started this whole blogging thing, which i seemed to have forgotten lately :(. have a fun vacation next week!

Hmmmmmm I see some change filled cans in my future. Thanks for the tip!

Ah, thank you for the new dog training (anti-barking) idea! I'm at wits end with my 8 y/o Beagle who only ever barked if there was something wrong...until two new rambunctious dogs recently moved in next door who like to tease her through the fence (note that the neighbor has no fence, but their dogs have no problem running all along ours antogonizing Nelly)!

Well we'll have to try that one. We had a squirt bottle by the door for a long time, but gave up. Fanny , a pembroke, is definitely out to protect us all, most especially from the mailman. Most people think she is much bigger than she is, and laugh when they finally see her short little legs. (You can get a peek of her on my website!)

Thanks for more tip on the can. I enjoyed reading the interview.

ah, just what I needed at the end of a long, tired (mixed up my students' names, and my eyes are just giving up) day. Posie = sunshine on a dark stormy day.

The can trick = clever! We use a spray bottle to keep the cat under control, particularly as she likes to jump on us and yowl at us in the middle of the night ("I'm up! Pay attention to ME!"). Only, if she sees you reaching for the spray bottle, she knows what's coming and skedaddles (only to return in another hour of course!)

So, every 8 or 10 months or so, we find one of us (usually me) has to sleep with the spray bottle - IN hand, HIDDEN under a pillow or blanket. One good spritz of water in the face tends to be sufficient to remind our Little Miss to mind her P's and Q's for most of the rest of the year! hah!

I'll definitely have to try the can trick. My dog is half Australian Cattle Dog and half Corgi and his bark is horrendous. There's the eardrum shattering alert "Woof" and then there's the bellowing "rur rur rur" that goes on for minutes and could probably summon the local fire department.

Hopefully the can works for us.

Just got my Romantic Homes magazine today and saw the page about your new book. :) Can't wait to get it.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.