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Still alive at the Harn!  Had an interesting week of good and bad.  Here’s a recap:

After bidding goodbye to the family after Thanksgiving I continued with my unpacking and temperature logging.  So far I have been able to keep warm in the Harn but the temps are gonna drop next week so we’ll see how I fare when winter really hits.

I started sending some cards from our new mailbox and noticed that the first one was not picked up on Tuesday (I’d put it in the box by 9 am) so I picked it up from the box on my way to town Wednesday (about 9:30 am).  I called Shevlin PO (I’d met Angie there last week when I stopped to inquire about mail and let her know I was new to town) and Angie told me that rural delivery was a daily thing.  She would leave a note for the carrier.  I got a response (at least she picked up the letter I had for post, along with the little treats I left for her and Angie – Minnesota Nice Doncha Know?) saying “My boss has to get extention applied first before delivery.  Please call Bagley P.O. Thanks”  WTF?  I called Bagley PO Saturday AM and guess who answered?  Angie!!  She’s a one woman show!  She explained that she was out of the loop but I could call to talk with the Shevlin Postmaster Monday – she would text me to have me call.  I ended up calling in Monday about 8:15 and Angie says she’s figured out that she can’t do anything to help me and I need to talk with Brett at the Bagley PO (Bagley is the county seat and a larger population zone – apparently this is where all the mail processes for the area).  I called Brett and he said he was getting mail out and asked if he could call me back.  With my limited signal I asked what time I could call him and he said “10:30”.  OK.  I had some work to do – you will hear about that below.  But when I called him back at 10:30, Jackie said he was out.  What!  I told her he told me to call him at 10:30.  She said he was at the Shevlin office.  So I called there and Angie (her again) told me he’d just left because he needed to get back to Bagley to take my call!  She assured me she’d given him an update on my situation and she apologized again.  I waited a few minutes to give Brett time to get back to Bagley and just as I was about to call, my phone rings.  It’s Bagley PO!  Brett  and I had a long chat and he’s going to have to come visit me to see if he can get me added to a route. 😦  But good news is he will bring my accumulated mail from Shevlin when he comes!!  🙂  I won’t have to make a 22 mile round trip to pick up my mail.

I was able to score a couple cheap cabinets from town for the craft room on my trip to town.  🙂

I took my first winter shower at the Harn and it was a success!  I washed my hair first and then hopped in the shower for a body wash so only used about 3 gallons and 1 of those was old wash & rinse water from the dishes.  Really trying to be conservative!  🙂

The plumber came to see our components for giving me indoor plumbing and he was a bit vexed by what we have.  A Visitor!!  🙂 Most of it makes sense but there are some questions I will have to resolve with our manufacturer, Rainharvest, before he can get things in place.  He’s booked until early 2017 anyway so not too big a frowny face.  Talked today with Rainharvest and they are the best.  I was able to get most of my questions answered by Mark, the sales guy.  But he was sure to send me a link to Curtis, their tech guy, so I could communicate with him to resolve anything more.  He’ll even work direct with my plumber (not a bad idea as I don’t really speak plumbese).  If you want to do rainwater catchment, these guys are the best.  www.Rainharvest.com  🙂

I found out that the heat lamps in the pump room were not functioning.  Not sure if it’s a bad timer or bad lights or what.  Tried a few things to resolve it (flipping breakers, trying other bulbs) but this will take an expert.  😦  Good thing Dan came up for the weekend and could fix it!  It turned out to be a loose wire on an install done after we’d put the heat lamps into practice and he was able to get things back in shape. 🙂  He brought more things than could possibly fit into the Smartie I’m sure (no wonder I can’t get this place unpacked! It keeps coming!) 😦  It was nice to see him and we were able to get all the bedroom shelving I wanted added, hang the mirror and put up the bookshelf above the bathroom sliding door. Plus I found the recipe box!!  And some snow pants and have now almost cleared out the spot for the washing machine.  Also got the desk in place.  I love the new desk.  🙂

While he was there the neighbor came to call.  A Visitor!  The Second this week!  It was good to have him meet Dan as I was the only one who walked over last year when I met them the first time.  We chatted a bit and he eventually shared with us the reason for his visit was that they’d had a robbery at their place. 😦  The guy was quick, in and out in under 20 minutes, and took only the TV.  Well, maybe that’s good news for us as we don’t have a TV!  But it is still a little unsettling that it all happened while I was next door.  I never heard a thing.  Merle’s got his gate locked this week while they are away.  They are weekenders but hope to be up here full time before long.  🙂 We made sure to get contact numbers and such which is a good thing.  Their friend, another neighbor, reached out to me the next day and invited me over.  I can’t wait to see her artist studio!!  🙂

Big bad news and Big good news rounded up the week.  Unfortunately, my Aunt Elaine walked on following an unsuccessful surgery this week.  😦  It will be sad not seeing her cheery welcome at the holidays when we visit – she always had the biggest smile, most exuberant welcome, and best stories.  She was always up to something and wanted to hear all about what you were up to as well.  I burned sage and said prayers of well-being for all the family and friends.  On a good note, it was encouraging to hear that the Army Corps of Engineers denied the ETP’s easement for their Dakota Access Pipeline.  🙂  I burned sage and said prayers of thanks!  Tears of sadness were softened by these tears of joy.

As I was headed to bed last night after such a big week of ups and downs, I heard a mouse (I hope – it sounded much bigger!) chewing at the wood at the bedroom wall. 😦  OMG!  I banged on the wall and it stopped… only to start again later.  (Lucky meanwhile was oblivious.)  Banged again and yelled, “Get Out!” and that seemed to make it go away.  When I went outside, it looked like there is access to the wall directly from outside.  No wonder we’re feeling the cold air!  On investigation in the light of day, it seems the dirt settling on the north side of the barn, alongside with the roofline dripping for the last few years, has resulted in the erosion of the dirt on that side of the foundation.  I was able to foam and push in treated wood to (hopefully!) block off further intrusion. 🙂  Felt good to resolve an issue on my own.

So, a week of ups and downs.  Still no routine!  But I am starting to feel like the Harn is home. 🙂

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