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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Little Lady

To close out 2023 in a memorable fashion, our HVAC stopped working. No heat. No AC. Just an error code on our thermostat. The repair guy came out on Friday, looked at our thermostat and said, “Hm. I’ve never seen that code before.”


“Really?!” I asked, adding, “That can’t be good.”


“That’s why we have the internet.” The guy said, googling. I wasn’t feeling confident but showed him how to access the unit, which is behind a cabinet in the upstairs bathroom.


He came down to announce he had gotten to the bottom of why things weren’t working, “Something chewed through all the wires! A squirrel or a mouse or something!”


Damn the southern vermin!


He told me to file a claim with our homeowners insurance, adding, “I’ll leave the cabinet pulled out so the insurance inspector can get in there. Sometimes they send a woman.” I'm surprised he didn't say "little lady".


I gave him a withering glance and raised an eyebrow.


“A little woman. Like a 100 pound woman. Not very strong.” He goes on, digging, digging, digging….


Oh my god.  Get the fuck out of here is what I want to say but manage an “mmhmm.” Since I’m clearly not a 100 pound woman.


He leaves and I call someone to evict the vermin and seal the space.


Today we cleaned our bedroom closet. I’ll post a before and after picture later. Yikes. The bedroom closet is how you access the one crawl space which may be where a family of squirrels is partying. Cleaning and organizing the closet was on our to do list anyway.


“We’re not going to finish this today.” I say, surveying the damage that removing everything from our closet has wrought on our bedroom.


“No kidding. You thought we would get this done today?” Andrea laughs.


I did. This is why I constantly underestimate the amount of time a project will take.


We filled boxes to donate and 2 contractor size trash bags. We have more empty boxes to fill with piles on the floor we intend to donate. Coats. Clothes that fit long ago, that may never fit again in spite of any “new year, new me” bullshit I mutter to myself.


We seem to be in a rare organizing and purging mood so I’m rolling with it. There are things to donate and other things I plan to sell.


I finished my “24 for 2024” list, dividing the list into the areas of Body/Mind/Spirit and Joy! Some things could fit into more than one area so I just tucked it where I think it will fit best. I’ll take a pic and share (most) of it here sometime.


We drove Harry to the park that’s near our home. We could walk to this park but that would be a bit ambitious for a 12-week old puppy. It turns out the weekly market was taking place - I like living in a place where it’s not so cold that you can have a market year round.



Yesterday, the doorbell rang when I was expecting the HVAC guy. Instead it was a guy asking if I’d hire him to clean up our front yard. I can see why he’d come to our house. Ugh. I told him the boss (Andrea) wasn’t home but I said I’d follow up. Also yesterday, we met the woman who bought our neighbor’s house. I think perhaps her over asking cash price inspired me to follow up with the lawn guy today. He showed, gave a price and we hired him. He and his brother did it in less time than it took us to clean our closet. While I was admiring his work, we met the brother of our other neighbor. This is the neighbor who the woman behind us was very worried about and we ended up calling the police for a welfare check. Unfortunately, we learned that the neighbor was in fact very ill and we just learned that he passed away in November. I was glad Andrea figured this out before we met his brother today or we would have felt like prize assholes. The brother thanked us for making him aware of his brother’s situation. I didn’t know what that meant but perhaps he was referring to us calling the police for a welfare check. It seemed easier to reply, “of course.” Than ask any questions. They don’t know what they are doing with the house yet. If the inside matches the outside, it’s gonna need some work. It’s small but I bet it could be so cute. So for now, we’re between two empty houses. The other neighbor is having the interior of the house painted and isn’t sure when she will move in.


That’s the news that’s fit to print!

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