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Look closely at those little green shoots poking up from that patch of dirt. This photo was taken at a rest stop in east Tennessee, near Bristol, late yesterday afternoon as I made my way back home from Nashville.

Those are daffodils. January 13, 2013. Mine are popping up, as well. See?

But you know what? I went back in my photo files and found a similar shot taken on January 20 of last year. And they bloomed when they were supposed to. Well, maybe a little earlier than expected, but the early growth spurt didn't results in a lack of flowers.

I'm not sure what to think of this. Winter isn't even a month old and I'm seeing robins and daffodils, two sure-fire signs of spring, at least in my mind.

It was 70° in Nashville Friday and Saturday. A cold front has now moved through – if I were still there, I'd be appropriately dressed. As it was, I was too warm in my long-sleeved shirts. I didn't even take my jacket out of the car. And it was a good thing I packed two dress-up ensembles, as the one with the quilted jacket would have been far too warm to wear to the performance I went to Saturday evening.

Which was lovely, by the way. My granddaughter is so talented and so graceful, a natural at dance. Watching her move delights me.

And I am beyond grateful she inherited the lithe, lean genes of her mother, who got them from her father, rather than the vertically challenged and horizontally enhanced ones from my side of the family.

LoseIt!'s week begins on Monday, while mine begins on Wednesday. (You perpetual dieters will know what that means.) LoseIt! sends a report every Monday letting you know how you've done. As I'm only weighing myself once a month, I have no loss to report, but I've stayed below the calorie limit every day since I began 20 days ago (-5519 calories), and have managed to rack up 18 hours and 10 minutes of intentional activity (nearly an hour a day!).

Not bad for an old lady.

The cold front that moved through Nashville is heading toward southern West Virginia. There's a lull in the rain right now, and the temperature is manageable, in the low 40s. If I'm going to walk outdoors today, this would be the time to do it. (My designated Monday rest day got switched to yesterday again. Two consecutive weeks! Perhaps I should re-think the rest day plan. Or perhaps I should continue to remain flexible.)

One more cup of coffee 'fore I go …


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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.

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…

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…