How to Use that “Extra” Hour From the Time Change

The List that aspires to reach proper noun status.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Look, if you weren’t completely down with the “extra” hour that we got from the time change yesterday, I’m not sure if we can still be best friends.

I’m just kidding. Of course, we’re still best friends. Because: it’s just too hard to make new friends as an adult, right? Plus, the nice thing about having writer friends is that they will tolerate strong opinions about inconsequential nonsense. They know the slipper will be on the other foot soon enough.

Anyways, I’m glad weve had this reaffirmation-of-our-friendship talk. And, yes, thank you for asking, I’m ready to share how I was thinking of using my “extra” hour yesterday.

Option 1: Watch my husband, Mr. Mann, make a brisket. This, for him, is on the same level as creating new life.

Mr. Mann consults multiple online recipes before deciding, again, to use one of the packaged rubs he bought three months ago. Cryptic announcements occur such as, “Okay, it’s in the stalling period.” We don’t bother seeking clarification because he has already darted away in search of the meat swaddling towels (???). An ice chest sits in the middle of the kitchen so that the meat can rest comfortably inside. Mr. Mann frowns when I hum “Away in the Manger” near the cooler o’ resting meat.

2. Go for a pre-dinner stroll with a roadie!

I consider inviting Mr. Mann to join me, but he’s too nervous about leaving the swaddled meat attended. And thank you for asking: the roadie is vodka, lemon seltzer, and a splash of cranberry.

3. Respond to student messages on Google Classroom.

Ideally, this should occur prior to the roadie. Or maybe afterward….? Will I be more patient, or less patient, with a nice buzz?

4. Ruthlessly sort through the household’s mask supply.

Right or wrong, I handwash and dry our masks in the dish drainer. Yet they still get tatty after a while. How tatty is too tatty? Add this to my ongoing list of “Why 2020 Is Ridiculous.”

Author’s photo of a dish rack where the masks drip-dry and await their final judgment.

5. Make an apple pie.

Hahahahaha. Never have, probably never will. My name is Dr. Miss and I’m afraid to make pie dough.

6. Pull those weeds along the back fence.

They’ve been there for three months. I don’t want to rush it.

7. Wear mascara and eyeliner.

My eyelashes can best be described as — ahem — rabbity. Gingers have no souls and I lost my eyelashes in the bargain. Without mascara, my eyes completely disappear and my face is composed of only a nose and mouth. Very awkward for those seeking eye contact. I might spend part of my extra hour putting on eyeliner AND two coats of mascara. Little life, big moments.

8. Think some deep thoughts on ,too.

I feel like ,too teamed up with the Oxford comma to make sneak attacks on wannabe grammarians. Confession: there was a time when I did not add the comma before too and I’m grateful that anyone is still speaking to me. Do I still need to make amends?

9. Read The Sparrow for twenty delicious minutes.

When I looked up the reviews for Mary Doria Russell’s book, I noticed that *everyone* described The Sparrow as “A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry.” Who came up with that phrase first? And is there now a Cool Kids’ Code for book review plagiarism?

I love this book, by the way. Highly recommend.

10. Plan one more element in my ongoing effort to smash the patriarchy.

I’m afraid that I simply cannot elaborate. It will be safer for everyone.

Here’s what I actually did with my “extra” hour:

Author’s photo of her son standing in a canyon at Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, Illinois.

My youngest son, Billy, is working on his Hiking merit badge for Boy Scouts. The badge requires multiple hikes of increasing length, and his current goal is to hit a 15 miler. I took him to a beautiful state park about an hour west of us and we had a ball hiking through the sandstone canyons. Due to our respective Halloween candy hangovers, we only managed to get in 7.5 miles, but it was still a perfect day.

By the way, if you’re interested, Billy is a twelve-year-old Jedi knight and/or master Lego builder. Serious inquiries only.

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{writer | educator | Ed.D. | hiker | leader | feminist} email:

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