I am thinking of doing a trip to the grocery store after dinner, and getting gasoline, as I'm down to less than a quarter of a tank. No other particular plans for going out.
A couple of hours later: I went out again with the pruning shears and the loppers, which are long-handled but otherwise like slightly larger pruning shears. I lopped off the branch of the lilac that had been girdled and had died. I took off a couple more dead canes of the sweet briar with the loppers. I used the pruning shears on 'Mme. Plantier'. I did well with several branches that turned out to be actually dead, until I took off one that had leaf buds at the tips of the branches. The way it is, or at least the way it is unpruned, it has long arching canes that split off into several small branches at the end. It's hard to follow to the ends, as thick as the bush is.
I also used the loppers to take off the dead stems of the sweet bay magnolia. That has small shoots coming up from the roots. I don't know what has started girdling the trunks of small trees, but it hit me particularly hard that the main part of the sweet bay magnolia was killed, as I really liked those flowers. If the trunks of what's coming up now aren't girdled again, it should be ready to bloom in a few years.
S.M. called, and we talked about getting together. J. called, and we caught up on the news. His new job is keeping him busy. He and K. will be moving into a house at some point, but they're going to have work done on the house first. It was good to hear from J., as we'd been playing phone tag for a while.
Later: Mom and I went out in the evening. I filled the gas tank, and we stopped at the grocery store and the library.