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March 19, 2020

If sitting at coffee shops is no longer a choice, the next best thing is sipping fresh-brewed coffee from a vintage percolator Jacqueline found at a thrift store. The Universal Coffeematic must have been the Cadillac of its time: shiny stainless steel, a glass knob tops the lid and a switch allows for the perfect brew -- mild, medium, or strong. And with a sturdy black plastic base, the hot pot can sit elegantly on a tabletop.

Creature comforts of home is a blessing.

Ran only two errands yesterday, being mindful of social distancing. Another rude awakening these days is seeing how businesses are conducting transactions. At the vet, I didn’t go inside. I was instructed to call the office from my parked car and a staff member clad in scrubs, a mask and gloves handed me Lola’s ear wash (I had already paid over the phone when I ordered). Everson Royce, our favorite wine store, is still open. I ordered and paid over the phone. Customers are only able to walk four feet into the store (it’s roped off) to collect their bagged purchases. Every sip of the grape juice will be precious for sure.

Today I read that the dog with coronavirus died in Hong Kong after it was released from quarantine. The 17-year old Pomeranian was tested as “weak positive,” so it is not conclusive how it died as the owner who had the virus declined an autopsy. We’ll never know if it died of the virus…or old age.

We’ve been self-employed and home-based for many years already, so self-isolating is not a painful adjustment. We also cook a lot. But, for me, the inability to escape to a coffee shop to write, created a challenge.

Thankfully, Louie and Jacqueline are night owls. I’m an early riser, thanks to the good training of my beloved mother who would wake up my six siblings and me every Saturday morning by playing – sometimes blasting – music. From Greensleeves to Marty Robbins (“Streets of Laredo” became a favorite of mine). “The early bird always catches the worm,” was Mom’s refrain.

We saw our friends taking a walk and chatted over our fence. We discussed updates on the coronavirus. They had just listened to a fascinating Los Angeles Times interview with Dr. Patrick Song-Shiong, which put them more at ease about coronavirus studies. They just sent us the link:

We purchased a patio umbrella a month ago. It was delivered yesterday. Now that we’re sheltering at home, I’m motivated more than ever to create a sanctuary. Last year, Jacqueline, our resident horticulturalist, planted seedlings and flowering bushes throughout the backyard. Everything’s in bloom now. All that’s missing are a table and chairs.

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