TADA!!!!!! Here is the new template. After lots of weed-pulling (trying to save my scalp here!) in frustration I finally got the test blog to work after which it was surprisingly painless to transpose the code from the test blog to this one.
For a first effort, I am very pleased with the end result. Please let me know what you think and how do the colours show in your monitors.
Of course now that I understand a little more of CSS I think that I really would like to have three columns instead of two, and maybe a better design, and so on, and so on. Well, I'm going to take a breather and cook and bake some more before attempting to mess around with my template.
Like a kid caught with his hands in the cookie jar, my modem is behaving beautifully this evening. Tomorrow the ISP technician will be here to look at the "problem modem" and I will be very frustrated if it continues on its best behavious, only to start having problems again as soon as the techncian clears the front door!