Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Coffee Beans and Clubhouses

Ever roasted your own coffee beans? I am now the owner of an iRoast. Who knew I'd be a coffee roaster? Rick gave me the roaster for my birthday along with a huge bag of half-caf, green beans from Coffee Direct. The process reminds me of popping popcorn in an air popper while running the vaccum cleaner. Remember air popper's whir and whoosh? The clank and click of the kernals against the popper? Similar sounds to the iRoast, but the iRoast is louder. We roasted our first batch yesterday. I was a bit concerned as I read the directions. This thing comes with an attachment that you can fit a dryer hose on so that you can vent it to the outside. Seriously? How much smoke could coffee roasting put off? We just used it on top of the stove and ran the exhaust fan. None of the smoke alarms went off so I imagine we don't need to cut a hole in the wall in order to create a vent. After the beans roast, you clean away the chaff. Who knew coffee beans had chaff? Then you let the beans rest for a day before using them. I ground them up this morning--they look a bit moister than what we buy in the store. It tastes pretty good this morning, just like coffee.

On a another note, yesterday was clean-up day. We got in from NH late the night before, so we needed to unpack, start laundry and get things organized. It's spring break here and we decided to work around the house instead of traveling or camping this year. Our big project? Crown molding. Originally Rick and I thought we'd be able to trim out three rooms this week. Yeah, then we talked to my brother who spent a year remodeling his bedroom. John sold us on a special jigsaw thing, so we're in a holding pattern waiting for it to arrive. While we wait, we're also taking John's other advice: practice. Our first room? The laundry room. We, of course, is a euphemism as I'm not allowed to use power tools much. I hold boards, read the trim book directions, and make happy noises for Rick who's doing most of the molding work. While he worked at putting up tack strips yesterday, I organized my studio office. I took everything off of the shelves, dusted and then reorganized where things go. It looks nice now and the collections of books and junk make sense: professional books, poetry, home-improvement, Plugged-in, art space, etc. While Rick and I were thus engaged, Collin made a fort in his room.

He started a fort, but needed help getting the roof to stay on. I might not be engineer savvy, but I can build some forts now! We arranged his furniture a bit to maximize the roof holding power of the furniture. The roof/sheet drapes from bed to bookcase and he's got quite a cozy area underneath. Collin played in there much of the morning and into the afternoon. Got me thinking about the book Children's Special Places by David Sobel which talks about the importance of dens, forts and such to children. Sobel says:
Children know the importance of hiding out, of finding the "just for me" place where they cannot be seen. Peeking through a hollowed-out hedgerow or climbing a tree is the initial discovery of a "self-ish" space, a site detached from the ongoing intimate relation with parents, siblings, teachers or peers.
Interesting book. We did find ourselves in those secret hideaways didn't we?

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