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April 1, 2020

It’s tricky going about my 1,070+ sq. ft. house early in the morning as I try to move around quietly while others sleep. Cupboard doors and hardwood floors creak. And the percolator! Like the Maxwell House coffee commercial, it percolates loudly. Thank goodness We don’t have an open-floor plan. I close the doors to the kitchen and the hallway as the filtering action plays out in the dining room.

I imagine the purchase of coffee grounds has skyrocketed now that our café culture has been put on hold. I came across an article, “9 Creative Uses for Old Coffee Grounds” that I found fascinating. The leftover grounds from the world’s favorite beverage has some cool reuses such as: removing grease or oil from your hands, eliminating bad odors, fertilizing gardens, repelling insects, removing fleas, minimizing cellulite appearance, anti-aging eye treatment, and cooking. The grounds are also an exfoliating scrub, which I can attest to. While on writing assignment in the high Alps of Leukerbad, Switzerland, I was scrubbed down with coffee grounds in the second step of the 11-step Irish-Roman bath (that’s another story).

So, the federal government’s coronavirus task force is deciding whether to recommend broad use of masks. For me, that’s a no-brainer. Finding masks, though, is the hard part. One day, while sheltering, I looked at our dismal supply of masks. How do I make a mask with what I have in the house? I found a long-sleeve t-shirt made with a nice thin stretchy fabric. I cut off one sleeve, then sliced the sleeve along one side to make it wider. The fabric stretched snuggly over my mouth, nose and chin. I stretched it over my ears, and I tied it behind my neck like a bandana; however, a tiny binder clip works better. To keep the mask from slipping down, I used scissors to make small slits for my ears. The best part? Don’t laugh. I used a pantiliner on the inside of the mask. Its size covers the mouth and nose perfectly. Its self-adhesive side sticks onto fabric and the pad is breathable – and removable!

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