If it's gonna be cold, you might as well have SNOW!

Dear Family,

On Friday, January 23, Ben Starling went sledding on his own sled,
without me on the back. And there's no stopping him now! In between our
neighborhood and the FROG common house, there are two main sledding
runs. One sends you shooting out onto the (formerly) marshy end of the
pond. The other sends you zooming down ("speedy fast!") and then up a
sharp six-foot uphill at the end, so that you land under the
clotheslines and stop before you smack into the common house. It is FUN!
You should all come visit and bring your sleds.

Graham and Otto, wonderful neighbors that they are, watched our boys for
three hours yesterday while Jeff and I cross-country skied through the
woods for an hour and a half in the balmy 12-degree afternoon. My
fingers have nearly thawed.

Jem is showing signs of great intelligence, as he really understands a
lot of what we say. He still, of course, very smartly removes all
objects from the table with a single swipe, and he still really loves to
throw things in the toilet. But if you say, "Jem, let's go for a walk!
Can you find a pair of pants?", he'll go and find some piece of clothing
(sometimes even pants, which are sometimes even his), _and_ bring you
his shoes.

Jeff made some very cool panoramas today, using photo-stitching software
to piece together multiple pictures into one large image. One is of Ben
in front of the Common House with a double rainbow stretched overhead;
the other is from our bike trip, of an enormous set of locks along the
Erie Canal.

We're trying to rent our house out for Cornell graduation weekend, and
after cleaning and straightening, Jeff took a bunch of photos of our
home's interior and stitched them together, too. Unfortunately, the
panorama made our cozy home look a bit too...cozy. But in case you want
to see our house at its neatest (and with one bed removed from the
master bedroom to make it look more normal), click here:
http://drop.io/nka6t4n . You'll see the non-panoramic photos. Now, if
only we can find someone willing to give us some cash in exchange for
staying here next May, we'll be able to afford a summer vacation!

I made Baked Millet Pie with Broccoli and Cheddar for Thursday's CH
meal, along with Many Bean Minestrone, and Braised Beets and Carrots
with Lemon and Dill. I also made three pans of macaroni and cheese today
for some neighbors, in exchange for some of their extremely-local eggs.
And I also made some gluten-free carrot cupcakes for a small neighbor of
ours who just turned six, who told me, "Those were _good_ cupcakes! And
my friend licked all the frosting off before finishing his."

Thanks to all of you for sending the immune-boosting ideas. :) Happily,
I am nearly better. Maya just read a study about sickness and sleep: it
turns out that folks who slept less than 7 hours per night were 4 times
more likely to be infected with a cold virus than those who slept more
than 7 hours (and who were exposed to the same virus). A related
observation: I think that I'm four times more likely to be in a good
mood when I get enough sleep, too. Maybe someday...

I'm going to sleep now.

I love you all,