So we're doing our best to enjoy the memories as we start cleaning up things she wouldn't let us throw away while she was alive. I understand. She knew where things were. Really, she'd tell me exactly where to find things. But there were also way too many old plastic containers, pens, old papers, dried pussy willows, and bars of soap. And so now we're trying to take stock of what there is. What needs to go, what's still good. We're reading old letters and the deed to the house, finding little surprises everywhere.
The rest of this post is just some pictures I've taken as we run our errands around LA with a little bit of commentary.
This iris was blooming outside my mom's window the day she died.
I was so relieved to learn I could get gluten free vodka!
I remember being impressed with the irony of this sign when I was a young kid. It's still up in the garage 50 some years later.
We had to go downtown to get death certificates. It took less time to fill out the application, wait in the short line, and have them printed, than it did to listen to the whole taped message on the phone so I could talk to an actual person to see if they were ready to be picked up. Phone service - moderate. In person service - excellent. LA County Health Department.
After passing a parking lot where you could park for $4 for the first ten minutes, finding a meter that cost only fifty cents per hour seemed like a deal. Plus it was right next to Mexicali restaurant, a modest but delicious lunch spot. Here's the array of salsas.
|Korea Times - click to read more clearly|
Since things went so much faster than expected at the health department, we took a leisurely ride along Wilshire Blvd to the attorney's office. We passed the old Ambassador Hotel where Robert Kennedy was shot. It now has a Robert Kennedy park in front and what looked like a school where the hotel was. Across the street was a sign for the old Brown Derby, but the derby shaped building was gone. The magnificent art deco Bullocks Wilshire department store now houses Southewestern Law school.
Korea Town edges into Wilshire as well and this sign for the Korea Times seemed a good reminder of how cities evolve.
Here's an unfinished metro station near the LA County Museum of Art, as the subway is finally reaching west after years of opposition from Beverly Hills folks who didn't want to give the riffraff an easy way to their neighborhoods.
Illinois Veterinarian Medicine Library:
"Lantana (yellow sage) is a native of tropical Americas and West Africa. In the northern states including Illinois, it is grown as a garden annual reaching 12-18 inches tall . In the south, from Florida to California, it grows as a perennial shrub of 3-6 feet tall. In the tropics, it may grow even taller. Leaves are opposite, ovate, 1-5 inches long and 1-2 inches wide, with very small rounded teeth, somewhat rough and hairy. Leaves are aromatic when crushed. Flowers are borne in dense clusters 1-2 inches across on the axils near the top of the stem. Each flower is tubular with 4 lobes flaring to about 1/4 inch, initially yellow or pink gradually changing to orange and deep red. Often, the different colored flowers are present on the same cluster. Fruit is fleshy, greenish-blue to black, and berry-like with each containing one seed."I didn't know it was poisonous:
"Animals in pastures with sufficient forage will often avoid Lantana, perhaps because of its pungent aroma and taste, but animals unfamiliar to the plant may ingest enough to affect them. Fifty to ninety percent of animals newly exposed may be affected. Foliage and ripe berries contain the toxic substances with the toxins being in higher concentrations in the green berries. Species affected include cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits (Ross, Ivan A. Medicial plants of the world. Totowa, N.J.: Humana. 1999. p. 187.)"