Sunflower and Hollyhock Seeds

How do you know when a sunflower is ready to harvest?

The bees won't tell you.

The bees won’t tell you.

The ladybugs won’t tell you.

The passion vine masquerading as a tree won't tell you.

The passion vine masquerading as a tree won’t tell you.

The grubs don't know.

The grubs don’t know.

The four o'clocks don't care.

The four o’clocks don’t care.

Sahara's not talking.

Sahara’s not talking.

The silk floss stumps might know, but who can understand their accent?

The silk floss stumps might know, but who can understand their accent?

The marigolds think you should figure it out for yourself.

The marigolds think you should figure it out for yourself.

The branching sunflowers, they're too pretty to be bothered.

The branching sunflowers, they’re too pretty to be bothered.

The cut sunflowers have more important problems.

The cut sunflowers have more important problems.

Sahara still isn't talking.

Sahara still isn’t talking.

The ripe sunflowers themselves might give you a hint.

The ripe sunflowers themselves might give you a hint, but…

It's the squirrels.  The squirrels will let you know.

…it’s the squirrels. The squirrels will let you know.

How do they get the shells onto the TOP of the flower?!

How do they get the shells onto the TOP of the flower?!

So several of the sunflowers that Jess planted in Ava’s garden have been harvested and laid out to dry. She didn’t get much into the garden before she got too big to dig anymore.  The sunflowers and a smattering of marigolds, that was it.  We tried spreading a wildflower seed mix but nothing took.  I started some new seeds in peat pots this week, so hopefully those will give us a little color before the summer is over.

Speaking of seeds and color, I harvested a ton of hollyhock seeds.  I started to put them into packs of 40 seeds each, which worked alright for these

hollyhocks 3

The purply ones

and these

hollyhocks 11

The whitish ones

since their seed heads took longer to mature.  However I had literally over a thousand seeds from this one:

The pretty pink one

The pretty pink one

Instead of counting out seeds I just threw about 100 seeds into each pack, and stopped after 12 packs.  I went through the plants yesterday and collected roughly another thousand seeds (pink and some white).  Please, if you’d like some hollyhock seeds email me your address and I will give you more than you can use.  Bees love love love them.

And in a month or so I’ll have some sunflower seeds to share, too.  Giant Greystripe, I think.

And last but not least, a gratuitous pic of Ava looking like the sweet babydoll she is.

And last but not least, a gratuitous pic of Ava looking like the sweet babydoll she is.

Gardening Again

It feels so good to have a garden again!  It’s been a long time since I’ve had my own little patch of dirt.  Umpteen years ago I volunteered a nearby botanical garden, in the rose garden specifically, so I became quite the rose expert and had my own little rose garden with space for sunflowers and herbs.

One year my grandfather asked me for advice on his hedge roses.  He planted two varieties under a big front window.   The yellow ones were okay, but the white ones were sad and gangly and hardly flowered.  I discovered that his white “hedge” roses were actually floribundas, which are wonderful and easy to care for, but they need to be treated like floribundas, not hedges.  No, he said, he needed hedges, so they’d just have to suffer.  How dare he.

So I, in a fairly cute summer ensemble that day, kicked off my sandals, grabbed some clippers, and indignantly threw myself into the middle of those big rangy rose bushes, lopping and chopping and pruning like nobody’s business.  When I was done they looked even worse than before.  The following spring, however, my grandfather called in an excited flurry because those rose bushes had exploded with mounds of fluffy white blooms.  Go figure.  😉

My own rose garden is long gone.  If I find a variety I like when bare-root season rolls along, I may attempt to acquire one using the puppy-dog-eye method.  In the meantime, I’m happy with my herbs.

Sage, thyme, and seedlings

Sage, thyme, and seedlings

Look at my seedlings in the tray!  How many weeks ago did they look like this:

Seeds!  Bell peppers, tomatoes, sunflowers, and hollyhocks.

Seeds! Bell peppers, tomatoes, sunflowers, and hollyhocks.

Three weeks ago!  The sunflowers and hollyhocks sprouted quickly.  We planted the tomato seeds after the rest, and they took like weeds.

Tomato seedlings

Tomato seedlings

Tomatoes and bell peppers

Tomatoes and bell peppers

The two small sprouts on the right side are bell peppers.  I thought those would be the first to pop up, but boy were they stubborn!  I had almost given up on them.  Jess had several of hers going, so she gave me a couple.  Eventually some of my own decided to sprout, so now I have eight bell pepper plants going.

Jess’s boyfriend sprouts all of their seeds by putting them in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel, and leaving them in a dark closet.  So I tried it with most of the rest of my seeds.

Empty seed packets

Empty seed packets

I didn’t get much of a result.  After about a week the paper towel in with my sunflowers started to grow mold.  Jess’s boyfriend laughed at me…I was only supposed to leave them for a day.  *sigh*

So I bought a 72-cell seed starter tray and planted the seeds, hoping I didn’t kill them in those plastic bags.  I had space to spare so I also planted marigolds, basil, and more sunflowers.  Less than 24 hours later this happened:

I think it's a tomato.

I think it’s a tomato.

My herb garden will be shaped like a wagon wheel, with my duranta in the middle and eight wedge-shaped sections for thyme, sage, marigolds, peppers (bell and jalepeño), oregano, chamomile, tomatoes, and basil.  Sunflowers and hollyhocks will be planted along an adjacent fence.  Spearmint and peppermint will go into a big pot somewhere.

plants 5

Marigolds, jalepeños, spearmint

German chamomile, variegated sage, and lantanas

German chamomile, variegated sage, and lantanas

Now that school is in session I don’t have as much time to cook, but I still manage to get a little crafty.  Spaghetti always starts like this now:

tomato sauce

Roma and grape tomatoes and fresh oregano in the crock pot

Last time I made tomato sauce I planned to use it for spaghetti and chili, but I didn’t make quite enough.  So I cooked and pureed some forgotten carrots and added that to the chili.  The vegetable haters didn’t even notice.  This week I made cardamom-orange chicken with turmeric rice. I customized the rice recipe, but still. To.  Die.  For.

And yesterday, I made two of these:

Cheddar cheese pie

Cheddar cheese pie

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re probably right.  But two of our number here have Gout.  The rule of thumb with Gout is meat bad, dairy good.  We gave up beef and now include one dinner every week or two with a dairy-based protein.  So you see, cheddar cheese pie is a medical necessity!  A leftover slice with an apple, a handful of baby carrots, and a cup of tea makes an excellent breakfast.

I have View Club shots, but I will post them tomorrow.  For now, I am off to finish Beowulf.  Wish me luck.

Noncation 2013: Day 1

Sometime before 9:00 am:  Mom wakes me up and tells me they are leaving.  I cannot fathom how she managed to get up so early and sound completely awake.  I briefly wonder how Joe’s holding up.  I fall back asleep before Mom reaches the stairs on the other side of the room.

9:00 am:  Wake up.  Still feeling worn out from the Sing-Off taping, but I’m starting to get one of those you’ve-been-in-bed-too-long headaches.  Andrew starts school on the 21st, and I start on the 26th, so I really need to start waking up earlier.  Maybe tomorrow.

9:15 am:  Start typing up a blog post about the taping.  I have every opening number from last season, as well as compilations of my favorite groups from the last two seasons, saved on a playlist on You Tube.

Stuff like this:

(Be careful, the volume is a little low)

And this:

(The song starts at about 1:34)

I pull them up in another tab for fact-checking purposes.

11:00 am:  Stop watching You Tube videos and take Andrew to register for his freshman year of high school.  He seems so big and grown-up until he’s around other high school kids; then he seems like my little Nanu again.

1:00 pm:  Return home and finish my blog post.  Ever since I hit that bad spot in June I haven’t been writing much at all.  I feel so out of practice.  I proofread three times as often as usual and hope I’m making sense.

3:00 pm:  Contemplate dinner.  I still need to hit the market for some odds and ends.  My recipe for lemon sage roasted chicken calls for fresh sage leaves.  I think I should buy a whole sage plant because 1) a whole plant is the same price as a super market sprig, 2) I use sage all the time, and 3) I want an herb garden, and sage needs to be there.

4:00 pm: Get an email that Daddy commented on my Sing-Off blog post, saying he’d go with me to another taping.  I decide that needs to happen.  I go to the website and try to snag a couple tickets for us.  Five Sing-Off tapings pop up, but they’re all currently waitlisted.    I put us on the waitlist for all five.

6:00 pm: Realize I haven’t gone to the store yet, or actually made a decision about dinner.  So I decide:  I’m not cooking.  It’s too hot.  There is plenty for each of us to scrounge a meal out of, bachelor-style.

6:30 pm:  Plop down with a microwave pizza and catch up on the shows I missed last night:  Who Do You Think You Are, So You Think You Can Dance, and Face-Off.

Sometime after midnight:  Turn off the lights over Shelly’s fish and turtle tanks.  Wake up Shelly’s cat, Sahara, and ask if she’s hungry.  She lifts her head but doesn’t answer, and she’s not sitting at her food dish, so I take that as a no.  She puts her head back down and wriggles into sleep.

Sometime after that:  Go to bed.

Sometime after that even:  Andrew goes to bed.  We should change his schedule, too.

Job Hunting Sucks

This week I got wind of the perfect job and sent in my resume.  My anticipation (or maybe my desperation) slows time to a sluggish pace, giving me way too much space to second-guess myself.

I should add every minute job and favor I do to my resume, so they know I’m not a slacker.  

I shouldn’t have said I’m in school.  They’ll think I’m an immature 20-something.  They’ll assume I give school priority over my job.

They figured out my age. I’m too old.

They already gave the job to someone else.

The font on my resume was wrong.

They saw my ugly Facebook photos.  They don’t like the cut of my jib, the mad gleam in my eye.

I wish I could be brutally honest on my resume rather than curt and professional.  Instead of, say, “extensive customer service experience,”  I’m dying to say, “I am the customer service QUEEN!  Seriously, I’m super nice.  And my hair always smells good.”

Instead of hoping that a potential employer makes the connection between my experience and their needs, why can’t I just spell it out? “I spent 11 years as a 911 operator helping angry, scared, hurt, confused, drunk, and/or crazy people through all manner of crises .  Your customers would be a refreshing change.”

They want someone with good writing skills, so I point out that I’m an English major and include my experience editing student publications at school.  Boring!  How about I point out that I’m a recovering Grammar Nazi?  That’s got to hold some weight.

I had a bit of a false hope recently.  About a year ago, the leadership at my old job changed.  The new chief is the guy that didn’t want to fire me but had to.  Since the big change, a good friend/ former coworker has been trying to convince me to ask for my job back.  I have a million reasons for not doing it, but it boils down to…how?  How do I ask the people who kicked me out so convolutedly to let me back in?

[Believe it or not, “convolutedly” is a real word that I didn’t make up.]

Several weeks ago, this friend emailed me and asked for an update on my sad little life.  I decided to be honest, even though the answer wasn’t good.  I didn’t get a response.  Oops, I thought, overshare.  But she emailed me back recently saying she had been making inquiries, and found out that other people had been making them, too, regarding my possible return.  The feedback was positive.  “We are hurting for dispatchers,” she said, “and if you’re hurting for a job I think it’s worth a shot.”

I was still skeptical, but screw it, I’d do it.  I am indeed hurting for a job and maybe the time has come to drop my pride a little.  Besides, I owe her for putting in the effort on my behalf.  So I shot off a friendly email to my old director, whom I haven’t spoken to in about a year and a half.  I thought it best to work up to the matter at hand, rather than jump right into it.

I got one short response.  Friendly, yes, but solitary.  So much for working up to it.

My friend started enlisting more help, and I started making my own inquiries.  I was excited.  To have my job back would be phenomenal!  We could have lives again!  We would have everything we need again.  We could have things we don’t need, too, things that merely make us happy.  We could see movies again, and take mini road trips, and buy birthday presents.  Andrew could build his TARDIS.  Jess could have clothes that fit (since she lost nearly 60 lbs.)  I wouldn’t feel like most of the civilized world was out of my reach anymore.

I decided if I was going to lead this budding movement, I’d need more reassurance.  I emailed the department’s HR person and, bush-beating be damned, asked if it was possible, if I should even bother pursuing this.

According to her inquiries:  no.  Damn.

Well, so life goes on.  I keep putting one foot in front of the other and move forward  because that’s all I can do.  

My resume is still floating around the universe, I’m still super nice, and my hair still smells great.  So all is not lost.

Orange Storm

Kitchen window, et al.

Kitchen window, et al.

Last week we had the strangest weather.  Rain and thunderstorms followed by humid, unbearable heat.  Last Monday we got up to 101F (38C).  Sitting in my car waiting for my class to start at 6:15 pm, it was still about 95F (35C)!  Which is why I was in my car, engine idling, AC full blast.

Barn in the suburbs.

Barn in the ‘burbs.

A few days before the heat we had a crazy storm blow through.  I thought a neighbor was moving trash cans  I kept hearing the familiar plastic rumbling sound.  The thing about moving trash cans is that there’s sort of a slow Doppler effect: the sound starts out far away, gets louder as they roll even with wherever I am, then fades away.  This rumbling was sustained as if it was on an asphalt treadmill.  There was never a big clap, just this sort of roiling.  I’ve never heard thunder like that before.

Facing south at sundown.

Facing south at sundown.

It was early evening and already chilly, so I grabbed a blanket and told my sister, Shelly, to sit with me on the porch.  We hunkered down and watched the lightening, which would streak across the sky in jagged pink cracks.  “OOOOOO!”  we’d holler, loud enough to echo across the street, and count down until that grumbly thunder started.  My step-dad went on-line and found the storm’s exact location and trajectory.  It was dumping buckets of rain to the north and east of us.  We were situated in a little pocket of clear, but the storm was closing in.

orange storm yard 7

Dollops of rain.

Eventually giant dollops of rain fell around us.  My mom came out to join our little storm-watching party.  My step-dad pointed out a huge  black and yellow swallowtail butterfly perched on a corner of the roof, sitting perfectly still with its wings closed as if intentionally making itself razor-thin to avoid being bombed by the huge raindrops.

Retreating storm

Retreating storm

A low shelf of dark clouds passed over the mountains and headed straight for us.  About every 3 minutes a lightening bold shot horizontally across its underside.  “OOOOO!” we’d shout like a bunch of 7-year-olds in a science class.

orange storm sky 6

California post-storm

The best came last.  It looked like a giant spider:  I saw at least three bolts shoot out from a spot on the sky hidden by a tree.  “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  OMG did you SEE that?!”

Orange storm clouds

Orange storm clouds

Once the storm passed, I caught these shots from my parents’ backyard.  The post-storm dusk was amazing of course, but the colors everywhere were breathtaking.  They made even the utilitarian parts of the yard seem magical.

Like this.

Like this.

The Bee Story

I forgot to tell you guys what happened with the bees from Easter Eve!



Right after I posted, or maybe while I posted, my step-dad started a search for someone that would remove the bees without killing them.  He knew they were harmless because he stood right in the middle of the swarm and didn’t get stung once.  He was worried, though, that they’d find their way into the walls of this old, holey house, and decide to stay.

He found a local guy, on You Tube of all places, who removes bees and gives them to people who need a colony, usually owners of small orchards in nearby Tujunga Canyon.  He said they most likely came from a larger colony somewhere in the vicinity, and were either scouting for a better spot for the whole colony or were a smaller branch-off group looking for their own space.  Just like you smarties said, he said they’d probably move on the next day, but that the idea of them colonizing in our walls was a very real possibility, too, and then they’d be a bear to remove.

He had quite and audience while he was here.  My step-dad, sister, and I watched from a side porch while my mom, kids, and a neighbor squinched together with their faces pressed to a nearby window, mesmerized.  We peppered the poor guy with questions the entire time, but he didn’t seem to mind.  I’m sure he thought we were amusing.  It was all so fascinating to us city folk!

He took an ordinary cardboard box, cut out a small window in the side, and taped a piece of mesh to it.  Then he taped all the seams around the box and donned his beekeeper duds.  He gingerly placed the box under the bees and then raised it up in agonizing increments until the entire cone was inside.  Then he shook the branch they were sitting on as hard as he could.  Immediately, but calmly, he closed the box and sealed it with more tape, then drenched the rose bush with an insecticide.  He assured us it would only be effective long enough to kill any stray bees from this colony, to keep them from bringing back any of their mates from the main colony.

After the bees were safely in the beekeeper’s truck, my step-dad said he wished he could’ve let them stay, because he has a young avocado tree that would benefit from the pollination.

“They’d be great for the tree,” the bee guy said, “but your neighbors wouldn’t be too thrilled.”

Girl – the Chapbook

Yes, my friends, it has happened again:  another creative writing class with the indomitable  K.O., another chapbook assignment.  My plan was to be lazy and make a very small book (1/8 of a sheet of paper, to be exact) and use one very short poem.  However, K.O found out that I hadn’t been writing every day like I was supposed to be, and she threatened to murder me.  I have that in writing.  I may frame it.  So in the interest of keeping K.O. out of the slammer I decided to put more into my chapbook.

I ended up using the poem and two other short nonfiction pieces I already had.  All three have a female-centric thread in common, so I titled the chapbook Girl.  The cover is from a pack of blank greeting cards I found in the discount bin at Michael’s for a penny!  Scooooore!

And just for future reference, a small book does not mean less work.  It was more work, and I still didn’t get it right:  I simply got it to a good this-will-have-to-do point and let it go.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Self-Possession came from an assignment to take two existing pieces, cut them up, and rearrange them into a poem.  I used a quiz from Cosmo magazine called Do You Rely Too Much On Your Friends?  with a horror story Andrew wrote.  He’s a pretty good writer, that kid.

School Portrait is a true story, about my fifth grade school picture.  I was so upset the first time I saw it that I refused to take pictures in sixth grade.  Every time I looked at it as a teenager, it made me cry.  When I felt grown-up and secure enough to face down that demon, I discovered that not only was the picture not so bad, but I looked exactly the same!  Major epiphany!

To Be A Prune has already made its way to this blog.  It’s still one of my favorites.


R and R Week

(I tried to title this R&R Week, but the ampersand was not welcome.)

This is my rest and relaxation week.  No school.  No work.  A whole week of nothing.

Not really.  Without school or work, though, it sure feels like break!

First off, View Club shots.  I don’t have too many because I wasn’t on that end of campus much this past semester, but I managed my shots when I could.

San Gabriel Mountains, 4-24-13

San Gabriel Mountains, 4-24-13

Another day of hidden mountains.  We’ve since had a brush fire in our foothills.  It was a few blocks away from our apartment in Monrovia, which is much farther east than the [normal] view in this shot, but this whole mountain range is very fire-prone.

Construction, 4-24-13

Construction, 4-24-13

Lots of progress since our last shot.  I hear this is going to be some sort of science building.  It’s bumped right up against an old building that currently houses some of the tech and music classes.  The science classes are in a group of trailers called the Science Village.  So I’m still not positive about what this building is really for.

Sculpture Garden, 4-24-13

Sculpture Garden, 4-24-13

The big pampas grass that was chopped down is coming back.  The next time I take a shot of this area, I expect a lot more sun and foliage.

Smushy, 4 months

Smushy, 4 months

Look who’s learned to smile!  He does it all the time now.

Finals were last week.  The past few weeks have been tough ones, so when finals came I felt like a shipwrecked sailor crawling onto dry land.  My Spanish final was easier than I expected, and Creative Writing didn’t have a final exam, just a project:  another chapbook, which I’ll share in my next post.

For now, some unhappy news.  A few weeks ago, we found out we have to move…and that’s putting it kindly.  I suppose it’s never a good time for this sort of thing, but the timing is especially bad.  I was broadsided with the news while preparing for finals, and now with a 6-week Physics class looming I’m still moving and dealing and trying to reign in the chaos as best I can.  Thank every higher power in the universe that the kids and I have somewhere to go, but this is unimaginably un-ideal.  It’s so un-ideal that I have to make up my own word for it.  I actually have two made-up words for it:  apecially un-ideal.  There, now I’ve made up my own phrase. Apecially un-ideal =  really sucks a whole lot.

On top of that, the job at the coffee shop is over.  It makes me sad, but honestly I couldn’t hack it.  It was five hours of non-stop running, and physically it was murder.  If I came to work stressed, tired, or not feeling well, I couldn’t even fake it.  So the other waiter got his hours back, and he’s much faster and more competent than I ever would have been, so I think everything is right with that corner of the universe now.  The owner was very, very nice, and I’ve already been back to eat there more times than when I actually worked there.

Let’s look toward a more positive future.  I had an interview with a temp agency last week.  The lady was very excited about my resume, especially my phone experience.  She sent me on-line skills tests in typing, filing, Microsoft Word, and phone etiquette.  I aced the typing and filing, missed 4 out of 30 on the Word test, and…get this..missed 4 out of 37 on the phone test!  How did I miss any on the phone test?!  I’m sure that’s still an acceptable score but dude!  I am the phone etiquette queen!

As I mentioned already, I start a 6-week online Physics class next week.  The instructor sent everyone a list of questions to answer about ourselves.  He said when he has to teach without personal interaction, it’s easier when he knows as much as possible about his students.  The questions were mostly about our education.  It was like writing an essay so of course I had a field day.  I imagined that my maturity and wit would win him over and I’d be the class favorite before the class even started.  He replied to my email with, “Thanks!” followed by a message to the entire class with a correction about how he wanted their replies formatted.  Bubble, burst.

So lots of pot-stirring going on in my little bubbly cauldron, and I’m not going to lie: I am stressed the you-know-what out.  BUT…it could be a whole lot worse, and besides, it’s always darkest before the dawn, right?  And I have every confidence that if I stay on my path, we’re gonna see one heckuva sunrise.

I am off to construct my chapbook post.  Here’s a sneak peak to make you smile.

Chapbook #2 cover

Chapbook #2 cover

Reblog: Remember, it’s ART

I read a very interesting blog post from Dave Pimentel, an art teacher and Disney story artist.  He talks about how he learned that practice sketches were not just scribbles on a page, but their own pieces of art.

His advice hit me because I think it applies anything that moves us forward.  It certainly applies to writing.  Writers freewrite, practice write, scribble little notes in notebooks, and then toss the notebooks aside to work on “real stuff.”  Every writing teacher in the world tells us that this brain dumping holds valuable material to cultivate into something amazing, but it’s so much easier to close the nonsense away than to hunt for that pearl.

Here’s the thing:  it’s not nonsense, and it’s not as hard to find those pearls as we make it out to be.  I am so very guilty of this mindset, so I’m sharing Dave’s good advice for myself as much as everyone else.

Every step, every attempt, is a valuable one.  I hope you see the value in your steps, too.

Dave Pimentel:  Remember, it’s ART!

A Bird-Brained Story

This is Jessica’s cockatiel, Pilot.

pilot 1


Pilot is a female.  Female cockatiels are very stubborn.  They are not as friendly or easy to train as males.  Jess knew this, but Pilot’s soft, pretty colors won in the end.  Even though the pet store said she was hand-raised, it took Jess about six weeks to get her hand tame.  When she got frustrated, I used this analogy to demonstrate Pilot’s position:

You are being kept in a small but comfortable room, and every so often a zombie walks in offering you Cheez-Its.  The zombie isn’t doing anything threatening: it’s just standing there waiting for you to take the crackers.  But it’s a zombie!  Zombies are scary!  You really want Cheez-Its, but you have to get near the scary zombie and take them from its hand.  The zombie walks in and quietly offers you Cheez-Its several times a day.  Man, those Cheez-Its look tasty, but hello!  It’s a frickin’ ZOMBIE!  

My story went on and on, but it did the trick, and I kid you not the next day Pilot let Jess hold her. Now, Jess can give her kisses and scratch her neck (which birds loooove), but Pilot will only tolerate the rest of us.  We can hold her, but if we try any funny business like a skritch she hisses.

A few days ago  I put Pilot on the table where I was working on my laptop so that she could peck around and explore, which tends to make her happy.

Thank you for the popcorn, Zombie.

Thank you for the popcorn, Zombie.

I was scrolling up and down pages with my mouse wheel.  From the corner of my eye I noticed that Pilot was awfully still.

How about a skritch?

How about a skritch?

She was sitting in front of my mouse with her head down, asking for a skritch!

C'mon, Zombie.  It's okay.

C’mon, Zombie. It’s okay.

I realized my finger on the mouse wheel made the same motion as scratching her little neck.  Zombie or not, when you need a skritch you need a skritch.

Zombie!  Wake up!  Scratch right there!

Scratch right there.

I grabbed the camera and held it left-handed, practically wrapping my arm around the thing trying to get a picture.  Jess wasn’t going to believe this.  I needed proof.

Dude!  Do I need to stand on my head?

Do I need to stand on my head, Zombie?! Scratch!

I lifted just one finger off the mouse and stretched it over to her little head.



If I stopped, she’d peck my finger just enough to get my attention, and put her head back down.

pilot 8

That’s the spot.

She’d twist and turn just like a cat, making sure I got all the itchy spots.  Even on her face, which was very brave.

It's important to train your zombies properly.

It’s important to train your zombie properly.

Alas, it only lasted a day.  I am back to being ignored and hissed at, which is fine with me.      Less clean-up.  But for one sunny afternoon, I was a bird’s best friend.