Monday, June 8, 2009

The Mongolian Maneater

"Did you get a lot of work done?" My lovely case manager, Erin asked me this morning, referring to my weekend.
"I knew you'd ask me that. But no, just a little... and that was by accident," I told her.
I was in her office to get some garden supplies for the 9:00 o'clock Garden Club. It was then
9:10, and both Paul and Erin were still in their office, technically making them late. Again.
On the other hand, Hardy and I were right on time. Early as a matter of fact. I had already brought out some water for the thirsty plants (no hose today. Erin likes to water the plants with a plastic bucket specifically designed for plant watering), and Hardy was already raking leaves.
"We'll be right out," Paul assured me.
"I spoke with a representative of the earwigs over the weekend."
"You did?"
"Yes, they said they won't eat the plants if you stop killing them."
"Really," Paul said.
"Yes, but you'll have to read my blog to see the entire discussion." (see, Saturday Stroll)
"Oh, a hook," Paul said, "I'll read it, but I don't trust the earwigs and will fight them until my dying day!"
By the time they got out there most of the work had already been done. How convenient. Erin began watering, and Paul began digging a whole in the ground for no discernable reason. My neighbor, Robert came out, sat down on one of the metal benches that are out there, and ate his breakfast.
Paul wants to build a raised section of the garden over an area that is thick with tree roots. We don't know what we'll use to build it, either wood, rocks, or bricks. We decided to go to Home Depot and buy some supplies.
Erin's car was full of stuff, and Paul's truck can only accommodate three people, so we ditched Erin, and Paul, Hardy, and myself took off to the garden store.
We headed north on Alameda, and I showed Paul the VA clinic on Temple as we passed it. Then Union Station, where the trains are.
"That's where I first came to LA at," Hardy said, "Union Station."
"When was that, Hardy?" Paul asked.
"Oh, nineteen fifty-two, or there abouts."
"How old were you?"
"Oh, about nine."
"And over there is Olvera Street," I told Paul, pointing to it.
"Yes. Olvera Street is in the oldest part of Downtown Los Angeles, and is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. Many Latinos refer to it as "La Placita Olvera." Circa 1911 it was described as Sonora Town. Having started as a short lane, Wine Street, it was extended and renamed in honor of Agustin Olvera, a prominent local judge, in 1877. There are 27 historic buildings lining Olvera Street, including the Avila Adobe, the Pelanconi House and the Sepulveda House. In 1930, it was converted to a colorful Mexican marketplace. It is also the setting for Mexican style music and dancing and holiday celebrations, such as Cinco de Mayo."
"Really. I didn't know that," Paul stated. "I just thought it was a good place to buy Mexican wrestling masks."
"And taquitos," I added.
My father used to take us there, many years ago.
We also passed Phillipes, the home of the French Dip sandwich. It has been operating since 1909, making it one of the oldest in Los Angeles.
"Have you ever eaten a French Dip sandwich?" I asked Paul.
"They claim to have invented it there."
"I know. I once bought some mustard for my dad there."
"Uuummm, custom mustard," I said.
We eventually made it to Home Depot. Since we were already there we decided to go inside.
In the Nursery Section they keep all kinds of plants and flowers. We grabbed a shopping cart and wandered about, looking at stuff we could buy. We bought two bags of garden dirt, then checked out the ferns. There's nothing like a good fern to stabilize your garden. We chose two ferns of indiscriminate lineage. I wanted to get a nice five foot tall banana tree, but at $99.00, it was a bit too expensive. We also took home with us two more pepper plants, as these were the only type of plants that have produced some vegetables so far.
I had harvested the one big pepper that had grown in our garden.
"What I wanna know is how we're going to divide this up?" I said.
No one gave me a good answer. We shall see.
Unfortunately, Hardy got a little too close to a Mongolian Maneater and was heartily consumed, and Paul and I were forced to carry all of the stuff we bought back by ourselves.
Damn you, Hardy.

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