Like most Americans and all homeowners, I maintain a to-do list. The challenge is to complete the items at the top of the list at least as fast as you add new ones to the bottom. My list has been nagging at me for a while.

My day began with two non-listed regular items. Cricket and I walked Beth to the bus stop. I caught up on news with the mothers while Cri got to play with one of the neighborhood dogs. (Dads don't do gossip.) With Beth safely away and the dog returned to her breakfast, I was off to Dunkin Donuts and the gym. Don't judge; tea is good for you. Fifty flights on the stair master had me briefly considering donning my turnout gear and signing up for a charity climbing event. Maybe.

With routine satisfied, the to-do list loomed large. Farmers' Co-op for chicken feed; check. Petco, cat and fish stuff; check.

Install snow tires on Featherstone; ch– crap. Note to self: do not let the VW dealer rotate the tires. They use an air wrench with about 4 tons of torque. It was nothing I couldn't handle with a breaker bar, but still annoying. Snow tires, check. Remove roof mounted bicycle racks for winter, check.

“Winter front.” This is GM- speak for the tarp on the nose of my Diesel. It's not strictly necessary, but it makes the heater work better in subfreezing temperatures. It is also how Duramax owners recognize each other in cold climates. Installed on both trucks today. I was impressed that I could find them both on the first try. Perhaps I am getting better at this organization thing. Winter fronts, check.


Move the snow plow. This is an annual ritual in the shell game which is our yard. It invariably sinks into the gravel behind the barn over the summer and becomes a royal pain to hook up and move. Someone should sue Fisher over the name Minute Mount, as it is anything but. Plow moved.

Drop those trees. There were a pair of trees behind the barn which were in danger of falling on it due to erosion of the slope. With the plow removed, they could safely come down. The chainsaw started on the second pull, but it turned out to be dull as a butter knife. One tree came down easily anyway, but the birch fell onto the barn. There was fortunately no damage. I've left removal until I get the chain sharpened and can easily cut them into smaller pieces. Trees, check. Sort of.

Dumpster. I gathered up a truckload of random junk, things not easily left at the curb. It will go to our dumpster at the farm tomorrow. I had to stop when the truck was full. Check.

Mail. Someone accidentally used One-Click to empty their Amazon wish list. It will make Christmas shopping easier, but it means lots of boxes now. Somehow I fit them into the already full truck. Mail, check.

Film. In my cleaning I stumbled across our old chicken incubator. As we currently have no chicks to incubate, I repurposed it to keep my color developing chemicals warm. Beth helped me develop a roll of 120 film, and after dinner we worked on 4×5 black and white negatives. That's an experimental process for me, but we are learning. After she went to bed, I scanned the 120 and souped some more 4×5.

Somewhere in there we found time for ST:TNG on Netflix too. We even ate.

Now I lie abed typing with the dog curled against one hip and Sebby against the other. Why am I so tired?