Woke up Friday morning bright and early at 5 a.m. to the cats bouncing up and down on us. T still had to finish packing - mandatory Yellow Ribbon ceremony in Minneapolis which I bowed out of courtesy of not having identified anyone I feel comfortable looking after the four-foots yet. Missing the Mall of America opportunity does not depress me.
We still had hot water and no leaks from the new water heater, so I decided to be bold (before T was gone and I triggered an Ark-worthy flood in his absence) and test the washer. All was well until the first spin cycle - no leaks, good pressure... and then the spin cycle arrived, and suddenly we had a puddle. For some reason there was back pressure on the drain hose, and it was spraying out around the connection. Of course, I'd run a large load which meant the washer was FULL of clothes and water, and of course it had to be pulled away from the wall to get to anything useful. But a few four-letter words, a new c-clamp and some electrical tape later, we seem to have a leak-free drain pipe.
Went out to throw a leaf or two of hay to the ponies since they'd be in the corral until I got back from the airport, and discovered it was spitting snow/sleet. Which meant hurry up, grab the ladder, and haul a couple of boxes up to the attic (no inside access) and stash some stuff in the garage much to the chagrin of the yellow cat, who promptly hid out and scolded me from under some folded up boxes.
At the corral there was a nice skim of ice in the water tank (still need to hook up the heater) and under the ice the third pack rat I've had to fish out - all dead. Which brings the total to 3 rats in the horse water and 1 dead possum in the big cattle tank. YUCK!!! Any suggestions for keeping the rodent population from committing suicide by drowning much appreciated!!!
Dropped T at the airport without further incident and headed for downtown and the opportunity to get some any, really Christmas shopping done, but discovered the shops mostly a) didn't open until 11 o'clock, and b) consisted of furniture stores, interior decorator places, and very pricey art studios. Phooey! So I hit Dillon's for a couple of items and a store card for cheaper gas, Wal-Mart for baking necessities, Home Depot for a garbage can, and Orschlens for a mineral block and a bag of feed.
In the meantime, the internet tech people called to say that the soonest they could be out our way is the 18th of December, since they don't really have anyone local.... (I'm not ignoring your comments, honest - I'm still only getting internet when we come to town.) We tried the local guys first, but although they promised good things, apparently there's a bluff in the way and we'd have to erect a 54' tower (our expense) to get a signal. There's the tantalizing promise of DSL/cable on the horizon, but it could be anywhere from 2 months to 2 years out depending on which way they decide to go. One of the cons of rural residence, I guess.
So I stopped in P- at the Cardinal Diner, a local once-upon-a-time-had-car-side-service lunch spot, lured in by the promise of free wi-fi and the promise of one of their home-cooked lunch specials. The special (bacon cheeseburger with a thick slice of onion and tomato and a wedge of lettuce, served with fresh home-cut fries - YUM! - for $1.75) of the day lived up to the homemade lasagna I had last time we stopped, but unfortunately the wi-fi was absent.
Back at the farm I swung by the barn to drop off the salt block - cue happy ponies - and the grain, then unloaded the groceries to the tune of cats warbling threats at one another. Our one stray yellow cat twinned, and is now two yellow cats. The second one is a bit bigger, longer haired and a richer gold color, and has a white tip on the end of his tail. Cat 2 is even more leery than Cat 1 and was completely disinclined to come to, "Here, kitty-kitty," so I put out more cat food and left them puffed up, glaring and growling at one another while keeping a weather eye on me. I have my second load of laundry on the line, one in the dryer, and no signs of water anywhere it shouldn't be, knock on wood!