Today’s 20 minutes of writing sucked.

It’s not that what I wrote was crap, it’s just that I hated to have to write it, especially with the knowledge that I will most likely have to spend more time on this issue. My writing time today was spent detailing each image and passage of text that is my work on a website. Pictures and text that I created, then specifically denied permission to use, copied and being used on a company’s website. The whole thing is a small mess that won’t go away and it’s tiresome to deal with.

That’s the worst of my problems today. Which means life is pretty OK.

It was a pretty pleasant day for January, early on at least. But before noon the winds picked up out of the northwest and temperatures dropped. By the time we were on her (very brief) midnight stroll, Ruby was shivering within a half block, even in her lined Red Wings windbreaker. I was pretty cold too, even in the thick fleece + lined vest combo that’s my wintertime uniform. Weather Channel app said a wind chill of -4° and I’m grateful today’s technology allows us to instantly quantify how miserably cold it is.

The new normal has no time for the imprecision of witches’ tits or the bungholes of well diggers, which cuts out a huge body of conversation for folks in the Midwest. At the market today while ostensibly comparing canned tomatoes, I eavesdropped on the butcher and a regular customer, both men with a couple decades more mileage than me. The conversation is one they’ve had often had, a conversation that takes place in some form millions of times a day in middle America:

A: “Boy sure is cold out there today”
B: “Sure is. Wasn’t too bad this morning until that wind kicked up.”
A: “Yup, I almost left the house just wearing a jacket but I heard it was gonna get cold.”
B: “It sure did. It was OK when I got to work but I just stepped out back for a second and it got nasty in a hurry.”
A: “And it’s just gonna get colder. Probably snow by Thursday.”
B: “Better get the snowblower ready – haven’t used it but once this winter.”
A: “You know that’ll change.”
B: “Yeah, probably gonna be cold for a while now.”

If this kind of conversation disappears because of technology, people in the Midwest will have nothing to talk about unless they like the same sports teams.

The house is quieter tonight, missing the sound of kittens scrambling and dashing about. Toast, Peanut Butter, and Avocato went back to the adoption center Sunday but I really didn’t notice the absence of kittens until tonight. We may be without fosters for a while – I think we went without for close to two months last year – or we could get a phone call tomorrow. Whenever the call comes, the space will be ready and I’ll be willing to do the messy, joyful, heartbreaking work of taking care of them.

It was a good day – and it looks like I got in a decent 20 minutes of writing after all. That’ll work.