I’m unwilling to wear either of my good coats out there to the garage, so with 3″ of snow coming down, I go out to saw boards in sweatshirt and bare-handed.

Cold. In the words of Bela the Bat, I tell you wot, cold!

OTOH, there’s a visceral joy in getting real cold when you can come into safe warmth with a job done, and a pot of stew in the Crockpot.

The recipe: pkg 15-bean soup beans soaked overnight, water; a pound of rump roast cut in slices and seared, potatoes, carrots, celery, and a tablespoon of black pepper, sprinkling of red chili flake, and 2 teaspoons of salt (jury still out, while cooking: beans particularly uptake a lot of salt), tablespoon of basil, and cooking all day. It’s not certain that’s all the pepper and salt, and I’m searching the kitchen ruin in the living room for the bay leaf—I need one leaf. But it’s well underway by noonish.