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Heirloom Tomatoes and Resurrection Lilies
10:39 a.m. - 2006-08-27

Once in awhile in life, you have a day that is just wonderful, full of good things and beauty. Yesterday was like that for us. It was our anniversary, and he asked me what I wanted to do. We could have gone away somewhere, gone out to fancy restaurants, or other expected things, but I just wanted to take a drive in the country and stop at produce stands to buy veggies and fruit. We went out to breakfast in the morning then set out with no set destination except to head for Sebastopol for the apples. We were going to stop at the visitor center in Sebastopol to pick up the Farm Trails booklet, and while we were doing that, we looked across the street to a little woodworking shop he has always wanted to explore but which we have always only driven past before. We walked across the street and discovered a very interesting cluttered shop just full of things stacked on top of each other. He found a solid oak CD 'bookcase' for an excellent price, so we bought it and schlepped it across the street to the car. After we got home, much later, it fit perfectly at the end of the oak bookcase in the dining area, and looks great, even though we only have enough CD's to barely fill two shelves.

We sat in the car for awhile looking at the Farm Trails pamphlet and circling the places we wanted to visit. We drove out of town past Hales apple farm, which we planned to come back to later, and stopped at a small farm that specialized in heirloom tomatoes. The lady who owned the farm was manning the nice little stand, but my attention was caught by the beautiful little plot of basil and sage she had next to the stand. She came over and we chatted about all the basil varieties and admired the gorgeous sage (which I must grow for myself - varigated sage). While we sampled the tomatoes (or rather, while I did, he hates raw tomatoes), we had a nice chat all about the capricious weather and the trials of growing things. She told us how she supplies the tomatoes to many restaurants, but the dreadful heatwave cut down production, and then the fields were invaded by a band of wild pigs. She said they are a real and dangerous problem, but there is a local man who comes out at night, skulks barefooted through the fields and vineyards like some sort of Special Forces guy, trying not to get attacked by the wild boars, and hunts the pigs with a crossbow. This struck me as hilarious for this hunter man to live in such a hippy dippy peacenik area, but nothing makes people madder than some critter tearing up all your hard work and stealing your livelihood. She said he uses the meat to make hams, bacon and whatever else you can do with wild boar. She was so interesting and pleasant to talk to that we really enjoyed this stop. She says that in about a month the melons will be ripe so we may pack up the EG's and take another ride up there.

After this pleasant interlude, we drove though the lovely countryside where the resurrection lilies were blooming in large pink swaths along the sides of the roads, stopping at several more small fruit stands. We stopped at a nursery that is the place I have been looking for for years, an organic kind of nursery with the ingredients to make your own fertilizers, like cottonseed meal and rock phosphate, but best of all, they had a 50 pound bag of something called 'vegan fertilizer' with great ingredients and no animal products like bonemeal (mad cow makes this a dangerous additive now). So my anniversary present ended up being a 50 pound bag of fertilizer. In addition, I was pleased to see that they had lots of trays and pots for mere pennies, and we were able to get a replacement pot for the cactus pot I broke accidentally (sorry, Ab). We also got some more of those pantry traps for Jason.

We came to Healdsburg and stopped for lunch. We drove by the Victorian where his friend's law offices are and were dismayed to see that there had been a fire there. We walked around downtown and stopped in several nice shops, including a quilt shop where I ran into a lady I used to know in the quilt guild here. She said she had moved up there about 8 years ago, but she remembered my name and who I was, so I feel not so nondescript now. While chatting with her and one of the customers, we asked about the fire at the law office. They told us that there was recently a crazy guy in town who went around setting fire to 4 or 5 law offices, including Mike's. He was eventually caught, they said, so that is good to know. Next door to the quilt shop was a gorgeous little shop full of items from developing countries, including some of the most beautiful baskets I have ever seen. I don't usually covet stuff, but that ethnic stuff really is my favorite. The nice quilt lady had told me there was a yarn shop in Windsor so we set out to find it.

Windsor is a peculiar but lovely place that used to be a bump in road and now has a brand new colorful downtown. We really liked it, and the yarn shop was great (A Good Yarn) with an extensive selection of different sock yarns. I didn't buy any yarn on this trip, but I did get a pattern for some felted clog type slippers to make out of the Auntie M yarn. In addition, the yarn store was right next to a bead store. We are going to have to go back there with Melissa.

We drove back to Sebastopol and bought the apples and some cider, then headed home. The snowy egrets were out in force in the marshland outside of Vallejo, which made me think of making a pendant with a snowy egret instead of a crane. Our original plan was to go out to a nice dinner, but we both decided it would be better to go home and laze around watching TV, so he dropped me off and went to Safeway and bought some steaks. I make fried potatoes and salad, so a nice simple dinner was had by all.

Then I finished knitting the pink and aqua sock for Abby, and a wonderful day came to a close.

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