Returned from Rondout at noon where Gertrude and I went on Saturday in the midst of a snow storm. Maurice met us at Rhinebeck and the ride over the river was as bitterly cold as any ride I have taken this winter, but it was so pleasant at home. The baby went directly to my valise and asked for the "dolly". It had snowed there all day. Sunday we had a family dinner in honor of Pa's seventy fifth birthday. Uncle Charles and Aunt Christina and Johnny & Nannie were there and we had a charming social time. Last night was very cold, The Freeman this morning said the mercury was at zero. It never looked more like the depth of winter there than now. The ice is as thick in the river as at any time this winter. We came down in the 9.44 train. Lucy came with us. It is very cold here. The Council of the Academy considered Giffords protest against discarding from the Exhibitions pictures shown at the Clubs. It was found on consultation with our lawyer that all power of deciding these matters rests with the hanging committee, rather a startling and unwelcome conclusion for the friends of the new order of things. I have always doubted the constitutionality of the measure while I recognize its value to the exhibitions if it could be enforced.