We're back from the virtual wilderness; AT&T finally got our DSL service re-established on Friday, a couple of days after originally promised. We are now a cell phone-only family for voice communications, and so far it has worked out well enough.
The week without DSL (or even dial-up, as we had no landline) was difficult, and I was going through serious withdrawal at times. Unfortunately, the closest WiFi hotspot is quite some distance from our house (at the local bakery/cafe, the staff didn't even know what "WiFi" is); I ended up driving in just once a day to check and respond to critical emails. Unfortunately, my laptop chose this week to begin its death spiral. It's now 7 or 8 years old, but I use it so infrequently (and for such basic tasks) that I haven't bothered upgrading it. Just this week, when I took it into town to check critical emails, it began doing something truly bizarre: it was like the keyboard was frequently stuck on a particular key, and would type that character repeatedly no matter what application I had open. It didn't do this all the time, and it wasn't always the same keyboard character, but I seldom had more than about a minute between episodes. Even plugging in an auxiliary keyboard didn't solve the problem. It seems like something is going seriously wrong with the wiring in the laptop's built-in keyboard. Bottom line: I had to respond quickly to emails, and had no time for posting to the blog.
I hope to rectify that soon, once we catch our collective breath. My folks are in from Arizona for the next couple of days, and we've been enjoying spending time with them. It's been particularly fun seeing my parents get to know Mrs Yeoman Farmer's father better; we had a grand time at his place yesterday, and my father is out golfing with him right now. (And the three of us played in a K of C charity golf scramble on Saturday morning.)
Last weekend, we had a wonderful time hosting one of MYF's law school friends and her family; they are Chicago-area homeschoolers with kids corresponding very closely in age to ours, and all the children had an absolute blast running around the farm playing and doing chores. The friend's parents also came; her father grew up on a large farm in Mainland China, before the communists seized power and the village's landholders all fled to Taiwan. He later attended college and graduate school in the USA and settled in this country, but never lost his love for the land. He was fascinated by all aspects of our property, and we thoroughly enjoyed comparing notes about "yeoman farming" practices in 1940s-era China versus 2009 Michigan.
Finally, there is a big development under foot that has been keeping us preoccupied for the last couple of weeks. I'm not sure it's prudent to say much more about that development at present, other than to ask all of you to pray that everything surrounding it go as smoothly as possible. I should be able to supply more details before long; in the meantime, your prayers are very much appreciated.