Parking Attendants

Out in the country and at the beaches, if there are places to park, there is also a man  wearing some sort of fluorescent safety  vest, strap, tape, etc., who is the “Parking Attendant.”   Considering the auto break-in rate in most areas, paying someone to watch your car while you’re away, in theory, is an excellent idea.

The problem I have with this is that these **ahem** “Parking Attendants” always seem to look an awful lot like the person I think I want my car guarded from.   Your nice and friendly crack addict with rotted front teeth.   The eerie looking man who plucks his beard hairs in a broken piece of mirror and that all of my dogs seem to want to kill??  The drunken sailor who I think may be an American who I believe has the beginning stages of gangrene in his feet due to diabetes angry because of years of alcohol ingestion. 

It’s a strange lil’ business.  They don’t work for anyone, no one hires them.  They just show up and charge what they think they can get.  This is a pretty good deal because in reality, they do watch your car and it is how they buy their drugs and alcohol….so…that’s sort of an honest living…at least from one perspective.  And really, if you think about it, you have to appreciate the honesty in it all.  “Look, I could just break in your car and steal your crap, but why don’t you pay me not to.”

Usually they’re harmless but there have been a few strange ones.  There was the ridiculously unconvincing 50'ish transvestite that liked to wear cut off t-shirts that showed his (eerrr..) her pot potbelly.  Or the super eerie, deep set eyed, red faced man who turned out to be the world’s best mariachi singer.  Who knew!?!?  And my personal favorite, the 12 year old juvenile hall escapee that kept saying  “Mmmmm mamacita” every time I walked by.

Yeah, thanks kid.  I’m flattered.  Really.

While walking around a local city this week doing some errands, I noticed a very intoxicated Parking Attendant teetering, loudly negotiating a “surveillance” deal with a European looking man.  I came across the same Parking Attendant about 20 minutes later on the way back…executing an excellent visual of himself hard at work.


Garden - 3rd Week Update

Just thought I'd post a little update about how remarkably well the garden is coming along!

On August 24, I finally got around to transplanting arugula, Swiss chard, jicama, basil, jalapeno, 4 cherry tomato plants, as well as ayote into the raised bed. 

Tomato (left), arugula, Swiss chard (center), ayote (left), jicama (top) and of course Manchita...my best garden helper!!

Fast forward only 3 short weeks and everything is growing so quickly!

The tomato plants come up to my chin and I just spotted the first flowers a few days ago.

The arugula and Swiss chard are looking really good.  I took a few little snippets of the arugula to test the flavor because I read that if you are growing in a hot climate, and you allow the leaves to get too large, they can become hot or bitter.  So far my arugula is just simply yummy and I'm having to practice self control to not cut it all too soon and eat it.  Patience Tricia, patience.  Arugula is one of my favorite salad greens -- I think I could live on arugula salad.

The jicama has lots of nice green leaves and vines working themselves up the fence.  But since it's a root
vegetable I know all the magic is happening out of sight.  Mmmmmm, I can't wait to have chilled, chopped jicama with lemon and chili powder. 

I'm not sure how the ayote is coming along, it seemed to be growing really quickly but has now come to a halt -- other than blooming these beautiful big yellow flowers that stick around for a few days.  I'm just kinda' waiting to see what happens on these.  I assume that blooming means something good.  They seem happy, nothings dying and for that I give myself a huge A++ ;)
The leaves are a little muddy but the flower is gorgeous!
I also sprouted some chili dulce seeds (which are a lot like a red bell pepper).

Sprouted seeds from chili rocotto, aji and Panamanian.   I make a mean salsa and can't wait to use these!!

The jalapenos are coming a long as well.

After the first cherry tomato seeds sprouted from kitchen scraps, I got super excited and started saving a bazillion cherry tomato seeds and planted them -- not thinking they would all survive, but, they have!!  So now I have a number of small plants growing - that I guess I'll keep giving love to and see what happens.  I was thinking that if they actually grow and succeed, I can give them away to folks.  Food is food, right?

It's been a lot of fun to see how these things grow.  Every morning Manchita and I go outside and inspect all the plants to make sure there's no creatures devouring my veggies before I do, however, other than one worm, I have not found any pests at all.  I'm not sure if I've just been really lucky (fingers crossed) or if it could also be that I've planted lots of marigold all over the veggie bed and along the shelving after reading that it is a great all pest combatter.  Maybe it's working, maybe it's luck.  Whatever it is, I'm really happy about it.

Manchita on Pest Patrol
My little vivero (nursery) is coming along!!
I purchased some more seeds for three different types of tomatoes, some purple carrots, broccoli and green beans that I may not get around to planting until after the rain.  Additionally, I purchased a medicinal herb kit consisting of 25 different herbal plants which I'm very anxious to plant and learn more about.  

Until then.....