Turns out that on November 2, back when I found out I'd have to pay Embarq a hundred bucks to come out and give me a decent DSL Internet speed, so they reduced the monthly cost of my DSL instead... they bundled my telephone service with an added feature. It was nothing I wanted or would ever use, but I had no choice.
The added feature? Voicemail. So, ever since November 2, all messages have been going there instead of to our answering machine.
I called and got all that figured out. I retrieved the messages I had in voice mail over that time period. Voice mail will be turned off after tomorrow.
I still don't like Embarq any better than I did, maybe even less. That's why I have the local cable company coming out to see if they can get cable Internet back here to our new location. And hey, Embarq guy that always comments when I do an entry like this? Don't waste your time, unless you're going to tell me Embarq will come and get my DSL up to speed without charging me for the trip.