Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birthday Celebrations & A Bite of History

I normally have horrible birthday luck. And I mean
horrible. In years past, I have had beloved (pregnant) animals die on (or around) my birthday, lost my job, had all of my friends completely forget to show up for my birthday party, had to go to the hospital, or had been working in the middle of nowhere and completely out of cell phone range. I have begun to actually dread my birth date with something akin to superstitious paranoia. I don't think you can blame me... This year, my darling husband decided to banish my birthday bad luck! Secretly, several months earlier, he had sold off some stock at the height of its value, and squirreled the money away for my birthday celebration. On the morning of my birth, I was awakened by happy kisses from my excited husband (and thankfully not from either wet-nosed kitten). He presented me with gifts from himself (a book on herbal veterinary remedies) and my mother-in-law (a vintage hair piece and antique Wedgwood cameo brooch).

Then, he did morning farm chores and milked the goats, and took me out for coffee and breakfast at the Good Bean in downtown Jacksonville. After breakfast, we wandered over to Harry & David to browse the wine section while we waited for stores to open. Once 10 am hit, we visited numerous used book stores around Medford. My favorite was the one located directly next door to Harry & David. They were a bit expensive, but they had a very good selection, and I managed to find an informative herbal that I did not yet own (rather difficult to do these days!). After hopping around to all of the bookstores, we went walking around the Main Antique Mall (one of my favorite places and where, tellingly, they know us by face). I had a feeling when I entered the store (a place where I have scored many previous amazing finds!) that I needed to carefully browse through all of the books, and lo and behold! I was correct! Amongst the dust and books, wedged in a forgotten corner of the store, I found a gem: an 1882 2nd edition of "Gardening for Profit."

Why am I so excited about this? The book not only talks about the basics of gardening (preparing soil, conrtrolling insects), but lists popular commercial vegetable varieties (along with woodcuts of some of them) grown at the time. Thus, not only can I research heirloom (or extinct) vegetables grown in the past, but I can identify unknown heirlooms if any ever fall into my collection! I am so excited to begin my research!

After the antique mall, Ryan took me out for a sushi lunch at Bonsai in downtown Medford. Then, we headed over to the Madrone Mountain tasting room in Central Point, where we were treated to a complimentary birthday wine tasting!

After wine tasting, we went home to relax before beginning evening chores and milking (a bit early in order to make our dinner reservation). Dinner was a lovely little candlelit affair over at friend David's 38 Central. We had a delicious little Prosecco to start while our main red (an absolutely spectacular '08 Baco Noir by Girardet Wine Cellars) aired. We both ordered steaks, which paired grandly with the tobacco, leather, and berry notes of that big, bold red wine! For dessert, a lovely chocolate pot de creme! Thank you, David and the staff at 38 Central, for a very enjoyable evening!

Ryan and I drove home, slipped into our jammies, and curled up in bed with an old edition of "The Velveteen Rabbit." Ryan read out loud to me until neither of us could keep our eyes open.

And that concluded the happiest birthday I have ever had.

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