Thursday, September 28, 2006
After a very restful night in the quiet woods of Fort Bragg we woke up to shore clouds and 52 degrees. The forecast is for it to burn off but we're not holding our breath.
We went to Ron's and Lolli's to plan our day. Lolli had to go to work but we were going to go play. Before Lolli had to go to work we went to Les Cizek's and Harry Van Ornam woodworking studio, Four Sisters Woodworking. Les is a famous woodworker who teaches woodworking, has had his shop featured in the Fine Woodworking magazine and did sixteen wood shows on DIY television.
He is a delightful individual and gave us the grand tour of his shop.
Ron and Les discussing life!
It's divided into three areas, one area for Les, one area for his partner, Harry Van Ornam, who was not there and the machine area where all the motor operated equipment is kept. It's a wonderful place and I could have spent hours there.
Wall of Planes
For more pictures of the Four Sisters and information go to Four Sisters Woodworking web site.
Les teaches a two week residence class that sure would be fun to attend. I think Marilyn and I will have to talk about that.
Harry's wife, Scotty Lyons, has a weaving studio up stairs that is also very nice. She studied under Lolli for several years before opening her own studio.
Scotty's Weaving Studio
She has several looms and some ancient oriental spinning wheels. She makes beautiful material that is sometimes used on Les' wood projects.
Large Vertical Loom
Les' wife, Norma is a good writer with a great sense of humor. The name for the woodworking company, Four Sisters, is from a fictional story she wrote about four sisters who had a rather interesting life. You can go to the Four Sisters web site and read some of her wonderful tails!
After a quick lunch back at Ron and Lolli's we went out for a little walk to get tickets to a locally produced play of Funny Girl and tickets for the Skunk Train.
Ron Getting Skunk Train Tickets
Funny Girl will play Friday night and we'll take the Skunk train ride Saturday morning. With tickets in hand it was off to the next adventure.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company
We have been getting green coffee beans from the Thanksgiving Coffee Company and roasting them ourselves. They don't typically sell green beans but because Ron is a friend of some of the people there they've made an exception. It's a small company that roasts about 3,200 pounds of coffee a day. We walked up to the door to see about touring the facility. We ran into Paul Katzeff the founder of the company who was in the middle of getting ready for a board meeting but was gracious enough to find us a tour guide.
This young lady took over and gave us a great tour of their facility.
Green Bean Bags
The green beans come from all over the world in large burlap bags. Each bag is identified with the country of origin and the type of bean. The beans get sucked up into holding bins where they are held until it's time for roasting.
A tube delivery system delivers the coffee from the holding bins to the roaster where it takes about fifteen minutes to roast 100 pounds of coffee. The roasting process is constantly monitored by the roast master.
The beans get dumped into the tray
Once the beans have reached the prefect roast they are dumped into a large tray where they are automatically routed to another set of holding bins.
Different Roast Storage Bins
These bins hold the roasted coffee until it is ready to package. The coffee is put into commercial size bags for restaurants, one pound bags for grocery stores and sample packages for promotion. Before the bags are sealed they are purged with nitrogen to remove all the oxygen from the package.
They had a couple of coffee bean trees that had some green fruit on them.
Coffee Bean Tree
She told us all about the process of picking, removing the seeds from the fruit and drying the beans. Most of this is done in countries that do not have sophisticated equipment so it is very labor intensive. It was a great tour and we learned a lot about coffee. If you are interested in finding out more about the Thanksgiving Coffee Company just visit their web site at www.thanksgivingcoffee.com.
After a quick stop for some groceries and an ice cream at a locally owned ice cream company that makes their own ice cream, yum, we went back to Ron and Lolli's for dinner and a quiet evening.
The sun never did come out and it probably didn't get above 60 degrees. This is supposed to be a beautiful time of year down here and Ron is really getting frustrated that we are getting only cool weather and shore clouds.
We also filled up our tank for the third time with 32 gallons at $2.86/gallon. The good news is that we improved our mileage by driving a little slower to 10.1 MPG.