Today I cleaned my gutters. I realize that this is supposed to be an autumn task, best taken care of when the leaves have all fallen off the trees and are packed neatly into the gutters. It's really best to not wait until the bottom layer has decomposed, and it has rained then snowed then frozen then started to melt. At that point, you are faced with a long gutter-shaped piece of ice that has leaves and sticks poking out of it on top, and sludge frozen into the bottom. Under that is the melted water and more sludge. It is necessary to use the trowel as an ice pick, stabbing at a chunk of ice until it breaks off, then prying it out with soaking wet leather-gloved hands.
When the stuff in the gutter is more stable than your ladder, it is a clear indication that you have waited too long. Let this be a lesson to me and any other budding homeowners out there -- don't put off the gutter-cleaning until winter!
On the plus side, at least the task is done. I picked a good day for it: sunny and above freezing, no wind or precipitation. Last year I forgot entirely, which eventually came to rain coming into the house. Very double-plus un-good. Thankfully my surrogate mom came over and helped me figure out what was wrong last year, in the cold rain no less! This year I'm sure she'll be relieved to know that I took care of it, although she might have some strong words about my having waited until December the eighth.
So there we go. I am homeowner, hear me roar -- sometimes whether I want to or not!