The back porch finally defrosted the night before last. The last day of Jessica's visit, little snowy hailstones had fallen, covering it and sticking there, cemented by the cold nights. Inside, I wear a rotating selection of handknit hats, two layers of sweaters and there are two comforters on every bed. Every single day home over the holiday break was beautiful, rain, sleet or snow. We watched a redtail hawk catch something on the mole-infested croquet lawn (if only it had been the mole!) and the binoculars we got for Christmas were kept on a top shelf for easy access in case that bird which may or may not be an immature bald came back. Tom cooked good food and when I got really cold, I did dishes to warm up. The dining table is too close to the pellet stove to use it for heat, and anyway that funny noise it made last time we used it has made us wary. I know, time to go to the woodstove store and finally learn how to maintain the thing. In the mean time, I've been liking the bundling up, the fake suffering (oh no! it's a mere 64 degrees in the house!) and how nice it all makes a cup of hot tea seem.