1) Get exercise while practicing your French!
Come home from work, tired and cold, put a kettle on for tea and check your mail. Change from your work clothes to jeans and a light sweatshirt for puttering around the house. When your kettle whistles, pour yourself a cup of steamy tea and place your cold fingers around the mug to warm them. Dump the teabag in the compost bucket on the counter and decide that you really should run out quickly and take out the compost. Don't even think about a jacket, because you're only going to be out for a second, grab the compost bucket, and step outside. Realize that the door clicked a little too loudly when it closed. Grapple with the handle, but recognize that it won't turn because you've locked yourself out. Shout "Shit!" Get on your knees, unhinge the swinging cat door, and try to reach up to unlock the doorknob. Curse your long arms that aren't long enough. Realize that you are very chilly lying against the concrete floor and the only warm part of you is reaching, unsuccessfully, through the cat door. Rehinge the cat door. Sigh. Shout "Shit!" again. Run in place while watching the sun set. Try to vigorously complete outdoor chores in the dark. Wait for your husband to get home.
2) Get a good cry and kill aphids at the same time!
On the last weekend of vacation, when you're already beginning to feel the back-to-work blues, recognize the tell-tale, sticky-shine sign of aphids amongst the overwintering chili peppers on the patio. Put on your steely grin and tell the buggers they won't win. Go inside the house and make your potent anti-aphid mixture: toss a small onion, two cloves of garlic, and one teaspoon of ground cayenne in the food processer, process until it is a liquidy muck, then pour in a bowl; add 1 quart of water and let the mixture sit for a while; strain the mixture into a large spray bottle, add a teaspoon of mild detergent, swirl to mix, and attack the attackers. Thoroughly douse the leaves of the peppers with the spray. Make sure to lean low and spray the undersides of the leaves. Look closely. Spray upwards, getting the little meanies on the bottom of the leaves. Spray yourself in the eyes. Cry.
3) Take a break from housework and read a good book!
Spend a good part of your vacation working with your husband to get the house organized. After much unpacking and discussion, realize what you really need isn't too much to ask for, just two tall bookcases. Figure that you can fit in a trip to Ikea before dinner. You know you'll have to lug stuff home, so fold down the seats in the back of your little car. (You're proud of your little car. It may be small, but boy, with those seats folded down, you can fit so much in there. You tell everyone, "It's my little pickup that gets 40 mpg.") At Ikea, wander happily with your husband through the showrooms, discussing your options, considering the pros and cons of each possibility. Make a decision together, a nice one about which you're both excited. Talk about how hungry the both of you are, and how you're looking forward to the amazing leftovers of spaghetti and meatballs. Go to the warehouse and find the packages of the units. Turn to your husband and say "They look a little big." He will say, "Yeah, but we can fit them in there. We'll just lay them on top of each other, down the middle." Think to yourself, "Of course we can fit them in there—it's my little pickup that gets 40mpg." Purchase the shelves. Cart them out to the car, open the hatch, and say, "Oh shit." Try to fit them in the car anyway. Try for a long time. Recognize that they will fit in the car but you won't. Kiss your husband goodbye before he drives away with only the shelves for company. Walk to the bookstore across the street to read while waiting for him to go home and come back. Try to find a corner where no one can hear your growling stomach. Torture yourself by reading only cookbooks.