1. Make a pot of coffee.
2. While getting the coffee milk, remember that you paid $1.99 for that that celery that has now gone limp, and you really ought to use it up.
3. Get out your soup pot and a package of bacon. Cut up a third of the bacon into little pieces and start to brown it.
4. Put on boots, a coat and hat and gloves, then slog through a foot of snow to get to the newspaper that the paperboy threw into the middle of the yard.
5. Fill up the bird feeder while you're out there.
6. Sweep off the porch while you're out there.
7. Give the snow shovel a sideways glance, then dash back into the house before it sees you looking at it!
8. Decide to put your snowy coat, gloves and hat into the dryer for a few minutes, and realize it is full of laundry that needs to be folded and put away.
9. Check the bacon and get rid of any grease buy running a paper towel around the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Then chop up about two cups of onions, all that expensive celery (about two cups) and half a carrot for color, and throw it all in the pot.
10. Empty the dryer, fold the laundry, notice that the hamper is full. Throw a load in the washer.
11. Put four cups of water in the soup pot. Peel two big potatoes and cut to a 1/2 inch dice. Throw them in the pot and if you've got some, add a teaspoon of "Better Than Boullion" Clam Base in there, too. (If you don't have some, put it on your shopping list.) Let the soup simmer. It should look like this:
12. Take the ornaments off the Christmas tree and put them in boxes. Fuss about whether or not it is worthwhile to even bother to try to find the one damned light that has caused half the tree to be dark
13. Check the soup again. Add 1/2 c. powdered milk, two small cans of minced clams, a 7 oz. can of corn, 1/2 T. of cracked black pepper, 1/4 t. white pepper and 1/2 t. dried thyme. Turn the heat down as low as possible.
14. Put in another load of laundry. Take the tree down. Wrestle it into its storage bag.
15. Check the soup again. Dump in a cup or so of whole milk. Turn off the heat and cover.
16. Haul all the Christmas junk up to the attic. Notice how you haven't put the off-season clothes away properly. Spend an hour straightening up.
17. Finish the laundry.
18. Warm up the soup, but don't let it boil, because the milk will scald and the clams will get tough.
19. Get out the bowls, spoons, and the oyster crackers. Ladle up a nice bowl of chowder for yourself and your spouse, who has just finished shoveling the driveway, and is grumpy and hungry.
20. Sit down, put your feet up and watch "House" re-runs for the rest of the day!