Monday, May 16, 2022

Where would you go?

After two weeks in quarantine, I decided it was time to leave the house. I showered, put on a dress, and took a COVID test. I dried my hair and put on jewelry. I was ready to face the world.

The test result was negative. I was free!

Where was the first place I went after two weeks of staying at home? Not eating at restaurants? No take out? No carpool, family, friends? After eating whatever was at home because that's all there was? I missed Hawaii, a trip to wine country with friends, a painting class, a wine paring event.

Where did I go? 


I'm trying to decide if I am disappointed in myself or just unsurprised.

Sunday, May 15, 2022


I'm sitting in a recliner for six hours to simulate a flight from Hawaii to California. I'm not wearing a mask and I'm not being served food or drink. That part seems realistic enough. I have a window seat but my view is far more terrestrial than celestial. I also have an aisle seat and don't need to step on anyone's toes if I have to get up to use the bathroom. My seat is ample and I have plenty of legroom which, for purposes of this exercise, is representative of the seat I would have had if I had gone to Hawaii.

However, I have not been in Hawaii for the last two weeks as I had intended. No, that trip was canceled, on the day before our departure, when we were the less-than-joyful recipients of a positive COVID test. Instead of sitting with our toes in the sand, we have been confined to our house. Granted, we do have palm trees in our backyard, and Total Wine would deliver rum to the house if we wanted it. But we don't have a blender or coconuts. Or those little tiny umbrellas that go in tropical drinks. 

It was Hubby that tested positive and we're rather lucky that he did. Rather, all the passengers on the flight that went to Hawaii without us were lucky. He had been feeling unwell but for some inexplicable reason, we never suspected COVID. Maybe we had become complacent but we had escaped it this far, hadn't we? There were plenty of other things it could have been and none of them had seemed serious enough to cancel the trip.

But that morning a friend sent a text saying he had tested positive for COVID. Hubby had just been golfing with him; they shared a golf cart together for hours. We have no idea who gave whom the bug or where it came from (although we have a few guesses). It wasn't until then that Hubby thought to take the test himself.

I was fine for several days but then I tested positive as well and one week stretched to two.

I did - twice - put on a new dress in the last few weeks. I had purchased them for the trip and decided that I could look fabulous even while in quarantine. The thing is, I'm quite comfortable at home and haven't been all that anxious to leave it. Total Wine did in fact deliver wine. We got our groceries delivered. We've been eating good, home-cooked meals, enjoying evenings on the patio or playing gin. Other than feeling various levels of cruddy, it hasn't been all that bad.

And, just like the Great Quarantine of 2020, we've saved a lot of money just by staying at home. We saved by not going to Hawaii, for starters. Plus, we haven't eaten out for weeks which will slash our credit card bill. Friends and neighbors check on us from time to time but we're doing quite well. (Hubby is still feeling cruddy despite testing negative but he should be better soon.)

Even American Express called. With no recent charges, they wanted to make sure we were still alive.

Now that my simulation has come to an end, I suppose it's time to get on with my life and consider going out amongst the living.

Oh, well. At least I don't have to unpack.

Saturday, May 14, 2022


My coffee making station has been relegated to the laundry room. In addition to the washer and dryer, there's some counter space, some cabinets, and a small sink. That room was used mainly for laundry and storage of things that had no where else to go. 

The espresso maker has always been in the kitchen. There's a little alcove there which appears to be the perfect nook for a coffee station but I felt it was too far away from the sink and the garbage so I put it on the counter next to the stove which was closer. The machine is black and silver as is the coffee grinder. It looks neat and modern in almost any location. And, it's not very large so it doesn't take up too much counter space.

But, it's loud. So loud that I can't make coffee if I'm the first one up because it will wake everybody else up in the household which is why I keep a growler full of cold coffee in the fridge. For such emergencies.

I've had my espresso machine since long before my grandson was born. He's used to the noise. As a baby, he was fascinated by it. He used to like to get up on a stool to watch me make my coffee and, before long, to help make it. But when he became old enough to play games on his laptop, the other players in his game would ask "What's that noise?" whenever I started the grinder for a coffee. Now, they're used to it too.

Once, while he was visiting my son, my daughter-in-law apologized for making so much noise with her Keurig coffee maker. He said, "That's not loud. You should hear my Grandma's."

On a whim, I decided to move the coffee apparatus to the laundry room where I can close the door. 

It's a little weird to make coffee in one's laundry room but it does work as a sufficient noise barrier. I can make coffee without waking Hubby or houseguests. Even though I've wiped down all the counters, it doesn't feel as clean - sanitary - as the kitchen. For this reason, I use a small cloth to lay out my instruments - the coffee scoop and tamper, a regular spoon, the portafilter and basket, and a measured shot glass. I ready myself with all the seriousness and precision of a surgeon.

It has taken a while to get the rhythm of making coffee in the laundry room. The flow is off but it works as designed. I get coffee while Hubby gets sleep. Plus, there's one pleasant but unintended consequence: My clothes now have the faint smell of coffee.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

I have met my gateway coffee.

I brewed the Sumatra that I purchased from Coachella Valley Coffee and fell in love. This Sumatra may be my gateway into a deeper appreciation for coffee.

I have developed some ability to taste and discern the differences in wines. The same is true for beer. Coffee, on the other hand, has always eluded me. The tasting notes on a bag of coffee do not translate to what I am tasting in my mouth. In fact, I cannot come up with words of any kind to describe what I am tasting. I either like a coffee or I don't and mostly what I like is very darkly roasted coffee. French Roast is my go to.

I once had a coffee it Kafiex Roasters in Vancouver WA where I used the words "tastes like I mixed orange juice and milk" when trying to describe the bitterness of a coffee. This was after the roaster described the coffee as fruity.

I learned something. What is I was tasting might be described as fruity. I was learning what words go with what tastes. But my education ended there. 

Long before that, I tried a coffee tasting flight at Mauigrown Coffee. The place was crowded when I was there so I didn't have a chance of talking with the barista or the roaster about what I was tasting. Plus, the coffees samples were served in miniature paper cups. All I tasted was the paper. I didn't learn a thing.

For this morning's Sumatra, I made an Americano and drank it black. Then I tried to think about what I was tasting. The notes printed on the bag are "smooth dark chocolate & brown spice." A quick internet search provides a description of brown spice as "aromatic associated with cloves, cinnamon, mace and nutmeg."

Well, I don't know if I tasted all that. It tasted warm (as in comforting, which was maybe the "chocolate"?) and not as "burned toast" as a French Roast. There was a flavor that lingered pleasantly. It was smooth and soothing like a tea but warm and inviting like apple pie ("brown spice"?). Even though I would describe it as more sweet than sour, I would use the words "well balanced" which, if course, is only in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.

I look forward to having more of this Sumatra. I could be my new favorite coffee and what I love the most is that it comes from a local roaster.

Mornings never looked so good.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

This makes me happy.


How awesome is this? I got a notebook included with my coffee order from Coachella Valley Coffee. Do this folks know me, or what?

The notebook has little pockets on the front for - I dunno - a business card? Lunch receipt?? Maybe a pressed flower. And, the notebook is made from - get this - paper. AND it comes with a little pen.

I can't wait to try the Sumatra tomorrow morning. And then, I'll write about it. 

Maybe I'll go to bed early so tomorrow will come sooner.

I'm so excited.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Coffee Dilema

I'm desperate for a shower and clean clothes but it's 11 am and I haven't had my latte yet. Shower? Or Latte?

Latte is the answer.

I have few rules when it comes to coffee. First, and this may shock you, I only have two cups in a day. The first one is straight on - strong and black. The second one, a latte.

My second rule is: no coffee in the afternoon* (unless it is served as an affogato). 

If I shower first, I miss out on my latte because I desperately need to wash, and then dry, my hair. It's been days - a little too long, one might say - and it's getting a little gross. I also don't have any ice cream - Alexa! - so an affogato is out. 

On the other hand, if I have the latte first, I sit in my dirty misery for another hour - if I savor my latte appropriately. However, this may be the lesser of two evils.

The reason for my tardiness is my recent date with COVID. It's been a mild case but it hit me hard yesterday. I had a very soar throat and slept most of the day. I was awake long enough to eat something for dinner and then slept more than 10 hours overnight. 

The rest helped. Although my throat was still sore in the morning, I felt refreshed. Mentally, that is. The rest of me stinks and is - sticky. That's the word that comes to mind.

It's time to wash off the stink and the sticky. 

Alas, my cup is now empty and I'm already dreaming of tomorrow's latte and how much I will enjoy it. Because by then, I will also be done with this COVID nuisance. 

That's it. I'm done. Time to scrap this nastiness off.

*No rules apply to coffee during tax season. 

Monday, May 2, 2022



I moved my office closer to my bed. You know, to shorten the commute. If I can get one of those hospital type tables, it could be even closer. I don't even need to get dressed to do tax return. Soon, I won't even have to open my eyes.

Just kidding. I was getting some repair work done to the drywall above where the desk usually sits and needed to get it out of the way for the workers. Besides, having my office in my bedroom is close enough.

It's a good thing I don't meet clients at my office, though, or you might wonder what kind of business I'm really in.