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Welcome to the 21st century, Debbi

This past June our wireless phone contract with AT&T expired and we got to switch carriers. AT&T is fine for some folks, but we couldn't get a signal at the end of our driveway. Not that we made many calls from the end of the driveway, but still.

I asked local friends for recommendations and most people around here use U.S. Cellular. So I went to their store, listened to their pitch and when they dangled a BlackBerry in front of my nose, and said I could tether it to my computer for faster-than-dial-up internet service, I signed up.

The salesperson also casually mentioned this little USB plug-in thingy that would offer true 3G service. As long as my phone works here, he said, the USB thing would, as well.

Fast-forward to yesterday: Merry Christmas, Debbi.

I knew this was coming from the moment I left that store in June. Now I'm wondering what took me so long! Baby steps, I suppose.

For the past week or two I've been downloading the Fat2FitRadio podcasts from iTunes, each of which takes about an hour. I also have been using SpeedDownload to snag the first year, which the F2F guys are selling for $15 (well worth it). SpeedDownload lets me know the speed at which things are moving. Before the USB thingy? About 15K. After? 101K! Woo hoo!

The next step into the 21st century will be giving up our landline. I've really had to take baby steps on this one. Were I a single lady, it (and satellite television) would be gone, gone, gone. But my husband is not one for modern technology, and I have to respect that. (And he loves his MSNBC.)

(Case in point: While we were at the mall yesterday he decided he wanted a new music player. He's been using a portable boombox-type stereo when he works out, and now wants something with headphones. He decided the best thing for him would be a portable CD player and a set of bulky headphones. I tried to steer him to an iPod Shuffle – approximately the same price – but he wouldn't hear of it. Merry Christmas to my husband. Heh.)

So here I am, zipping along the internets, pulling up websites which were previously unbearably slow to load, downloading an audiobook (Jonathan Franzen's Freedom) from for the first time evah, and wondering what I'm going to do with all this extra time I'm going to have since I won't be sitting on my ass in front of a monitor for hours every day.

Aha! More time for sitting on my ass knitting every day… at least until it's time to start sowing and growing the garden again.


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Update on the water: the circuit breaker tripped, either due to a power surge when the electricity came back on last night OR when lightning struck in the area. My neighbor's electric fence control box got hit in the same area. He was able to reset the circuit breaker for us and we have WATER! I think I'll go do a load of laundry. Heh.

It's all about the food

The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

Cupcakes are on the menu. Cupcakes sure seem to be popular these days – Google Blogsearch came up with 1,181,447 hits and is selling a boatload of cupcake cookbooks.

Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

I’m also making pig candy. I first had this at one of my daughter’s Oscar parties s…

And the winner is …

Kitten with a Whiplash, who left two comments and it was the second (which had nothing to do with the contest) which won the prize. Congratulations, and since the Kitten was the only commenter who expressed any interest in actually winning it, I'm so glad the Universe took care of it. Heh.

What a weekend! But first, how was yours? I hope you did some fun stuff and got some necessary stuff done, as well. It's all about balance.

Saturday was our fun day (but we had to drive, drive, drive to get there and then drive, drive, drive home again, all in one day, boy was I tired). We went to my husband's granddaughter's first birthday party. In addition to a sweet little doll, suitable for ages 0+ (meaning it has no parts that will come loose, and do you know how difficult it is to find dolls for babies when you live in the Middle of Nowhere?), I made her this:

I haven't sewn anything in a month of Sundays, so was a little apprehensive about finishing it on time, but this p…