Coping with COVID: Pets, pasta and PLAY BALL

“The main advantage of working from home is that you find out what cats really do all day.” – Lynne Truss, English author, journalist, and dramatist. She wrote a book entitled, “Cat Out of Hell.”

As we grow more accustomed to the routine of sheltering in place, we look for outlets of fun to help break that routine. Here are a few ways people have been coping this week:

Zoom pet coffee time

The LEAF Committee held a virtual coffee this week and one of the most enjoyable wrinkles was 30 minutes of “pet time.” LITSers were encouraged to bring their pets on camera and talk about them. Several employees came and went with their various animals during the time and everyone had a lot of fun. Cats, dogs, lizards, it was a veritable Noah’s Ark of pet perfection.

Kathy Hayes (educational analyst, instructional technologies) had the most pets, showing off her leopard gecko (Stevie), blind dog (Niko), and four cats (Pierre, Lightning, PJ, and DJ). “I thought the event was great!” exclaimed Kathy. “It was a nice gathering and I really got to know people a little better.”

New recipe

Dawn Francis-Chewning has shared a new recipe she tried out while sheltering in place:

“I just happened to gather a jar of Soupernatural Puttanesca sauce (from my trip to Oregon last November), a package of andouille sausage from Savannah (in my freezer) and yes, Mueller’s elbow macaroni.  Nothing fancy!


      • 16 oz jar of sauce
      • 8 oz. package of pasta, cooked according to directions on the box (I did 9 minutes ’cause I wanted to give it some time to cook with the sauce)
      • 1 lb. package of sausage, steamed in water which I let simmer till it evaporated, then browned it in the remaining juices
      • grated Parmesan cheese, sprinkle to taste

    Put it all together in one pot and give the sauce time to meld flavors. Serve with a side salad of your choice of greens and ‘bon appetit’!

Artistic celebrations

When Ephranette Brown (conservation technician, preservation) had a birthday this week, Julie Newton (coordinator, preservation exhibitions) and Raymondo made a special background for the weekly conservation staff Zoom meeting. Chalk this one up to at-home creativity.

LITS backgrounds

Speaking of Zoom backgrounds, Yolanda Cooper asked if we could make various Emory backgrounds from our own collection of photos available to everyone. Mission accomplished! Simply go to and download your favorite LITS location for your Zoom background.

Baseball (birthday) card

My nephew Caleb is a fifth-grade baseball player and his mom asked me to edit together a video of his friends and family wishing him a happy birthday. I will spare you the full video, but here is my daughter’s interpretation of a baseball birthday card.

And no, she’s never actually played baseball. This is what happens when you are stuck at home with a random unicorn costume laying around.

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