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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

A January January

I haven’t written all year - though my Grammarly word count says otherwise. I’ve written nothing of interest - and honestly, I can’t promise this will be of interest. It’s been a very January January. But a Virginia January January which is to say that it stays lighter later here than it does in the dark Northeast and Midwest. That, and it was a humid 77 degrees yesterday. Our HVAC had gone down at the end of December thanks to the handiwork of squirrels. This set off a squirrel trapping extravaganza with a place, aptly named, Critter Authority. Critter Authority reportedly caught 3 squirrels, 2 of whom were juveniles, before they sealed the house to prevent more squirrels from entering. I am not sure how they knew they weren’t sealing any squirrels into the house.  Work has been a challenge for both Andrea and me - enough that I briefly wondered if I had what it took to transition from people to critters. I don’t think I’d dream of squirrels the way I dreamt of an Excel file on Thursday night, but you never know. Dreams of squirrels would be even just as terrifying. I am hoping the squirrel chapter is behind us - I was ready to go Yosemite Sam on the vermin.

We awoke sweating Friday and the HVAC guy arrived around 9. It wasn’t until hours later, I heard Bogart mewing pitifully from the guest room that I realized I’d somehow shut him in there that morning. I opened the door and he sauntered out, chill. This morning, we realized the HVAC guy left the access to our unit accessible - it’s in the wall in our upstairs, used-to-be an attic, bedroom bathroom. Fortunately, Andrea realized Bogart had slipped into the wall before she secured the area. Bogart apparently seemed angry that his adventure was interrupted and walked away from Andrea, rather than towards her. Fortunately, we were able to lure him out with catnip.

We walked Harry to the coffee shop in our neighborhood today where he held court outside, meeting adults, children, and other dogs. I wonder if he tries to convince his dog brother, Georgie, that this is fun. There is no way Georgie would buy this so we leave him with the cats.

I turned 49 back in September and have had tooth trouble and plantar fasciitis since then. This makes me wonder what I’ll be like at 79. I realized that I spend a lot of time barefoot or in slippers because I work from home. I’d believed that going barefoot was good for you, and I’m sure it is, but taken to excess, it can really piss your foot off. I’ve now begun wearing shoes inside and this helps a lot. How do people in shoeless homes keep their feet from rebelling? Perhaps they leave their house more than I have been.

Speaking of leaving the house, I had tried out one of those co-working options last year. Only the option I tried wasn’t in the city - so there was a drive. I didn’t mind the drive part - I miss listening to podcasts and books during a commute, particularly the drive home which would allow me to decompress and shed the day. But the office was quiet, dull, and void of any personality. My home office has more going on - more personality. So yesterday I toured a co-working option in the city. It’s 1.9 miles from home so not a lot of time to listen to a podcast during my commute but I bet I could plot a route and ride my bike or scooter there. Something. This place has personality so I’m going to try this one out. This March will mark 4 years that I’ve worked from home and I’m starting to go just a little crazy.

So. My tooth. I got a crown in 2023. If I was good at remembering dates, I’d tell you when but I’m not good at remembering dates so never mind. I’ve experienced so pressure after getting the crown. Then a day of pain in December. And then 2 days of excruciating pain last week - one day ended with me clutching an ice pack to my face and moaning. Harry wasn’t impressed because I skipped his walk. I went to the dentist and have to go to an endontist next week for a root canal consult. My dentist spent more time grinding the crown down Thursday morning so let’s hope that does it - it has been better.

We’ve been wondering if Harry’s frequent peeing was due to an infection or what. He’s pretty smart but hasn’t mastered consistently peeing outside. Andrea managed to collect his urine Thursday morning (which had to be done covertly because god forbid we go anywhere near his man bits while he pees). So while I went to the dentist, Andrea dropped Harry’s pee at the vet where the vet said he didn’t exactly have an infection but there were too many white blood cells in his urine. Harry’s now taking an antibiotic and we are hoping that will clear it up. I mean - we will have to collect his pee again to know for sure. So - wish us luck.

I’m hoping that my foot, tooth, and Harry’s pee are all tip top come February. I’m okay with leaving this January January behind.

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