the reduction of puttering to a science
Their entire lives had been spent in the deification of the unessential, in the reduction of puttering to a science. They had puttered their lives away and were still puttering, only, as they grew older, with a greater intensity, and from the first their lives had been extremely happy. I had never known two human beings who had so successfully mastered the art of transforming molehills into mountains. It was their sole occupation.
“These extracts from my notebook originally appeared in The Bellman...”
Charles Macomb Flandrau (1871-1938), wikipedia