spring photos

I don't usually post pictures, but I can't resist. Spring has been lovely this year!



the forsythias were pretty this year!

lovely blossoms!

the redbuds were beautful in Pennsylvania!


Keywords and Search Results

The Lessons of A New Blogger...

Learning Definitions

Keywords - Simply put, keywords are words in a post, blog, article, or website that causes the search engines to bring up that particular post, blog, article or website when someone searches for that word.

Long tail keywords are several words or a phrase people might use to refine their search. For example, if someone searches for "can I wash my vinyl shower curtain," my post Washing A Vinyl Shower Curtain Liner might show up in their results.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the tactic of using keywords, and/or long tail keywords in order to make your post, blog, article, or website show up in the top of the search results.
Most people only click on the results that are shown in the first page or two, so having your post, blog, article or website in the top results is important if you want to be found online.

Making Money

High paying keywords - High paying keywords are certain words found in advertisements. There are a lot of ads of various kinds on the internet and many of them are what's called "Pay Per Click" or "ppc." That means when someone clicks on the ad to view it, the website or blog author makes money. The words found in the highest paying ads are known as "high paying keywords."
Keywords pertaining to lawyers, insurance, mortgages, and certain diseases are usually listed in "high paying keyword" lists available at various sites online.

Many people are trying to make money online and with that comes the attempt to use high paying keywords in their post, blog, article or website in order to be found by search engines and in hopes someone will click on their ads so they can make money. For example: if someone reads a list that states "mesothelioma" is a high paying keyword, they would then use the keyword "mesothelioma,"  and long tail keywords like "mesothelioma symptoms," "mesothelioma settlements," etc.,  in order to be found by the search engines, and thus by someone searching for more information about mesothelioma, in hopes that someone would click the ads on their website.
If a website contains mostly links, ads and little or no content, it can be classified as "spam," but the use of keywords, high paying or otherwise, is also used by people who have great websites with useful content. If someone writes a terrific article about, for example: "window blinds" and someone finds the content useful, and then decides to click on an ad for a "window blind company" displayed on the site, then it is a win-win situation - the person who did the searching found a useful article, and also a link to a company with products that might interest them; the author of the article makes a little money, and the company finds a potential customer.

Interested In How It All Works

As I perused several "high paying keyword" lists, I had to smile and wonder about a couple of the suggested keywords - "breast augmentation San Diego", and "laser hair removal Washington, D.C.". I can only assume from those keywords that there are flat chested people in San Diego, and hairy people in Washington, D.C.  
As to why "Chicago lawyers" are popular, I can only speculate.

Keyword Searches And Odd Results

There are tactics to being "found" on the internet, but there is another whole science in the "searching." Sometimes people are directed to pages that have little or nothing to do with their "search." I just chalk it up to a non-thinking machine (the search engine) trying to help a thinking being.

A couple of examples - I had been doing a lot of Bible study online, and I'd also been doing a lot of genealogy research online. One day, when I searched for a "family tree" for one of my ancestors, "Ephraim Kinder," the top search result was a verse from a German Bible - "Und Joseph sah von Ephraim Kinder des dritten Gleides..." - translation:  "And Joseph saw Ephraim's children to the third generation... " (Genesis 50:23)

"Ephraim Kinder" is "Ephraim's children" in German!
The "helpful" search engine had combined my Bible study with my genealogy research!


Another time I'd been searching for languages spoken in India; a couple of days later, I searched for a totally unrelated subject. The helpful search engine brought up some results in English, and some results in Hindi!

And Your Keyword Results Are...

So, sometimes an internet search engine brings up odd results, and sometimes the website author or blogger shakes their head in wonder as to how their page got "found" for a particular phrase or keyword!

Have you had odd search results?

Have people found your blog or website by odd keywords or phrases?

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(Note- If you liked this post, you might also enjoy my post The Allure of Checking Stats)

It's Spring and the Battle Begins Part 5 - Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are not only annoying, they can also carry disease. They breed in standing water so when Spring comes, it's time to look around the yard and get rid of anything that might be a potential breeding ground. A small piece of plastic blown in from the neighbors yard and stuck in a shrub can become a mighty mosquito nursery!
Also check out your gutters to make sure they aren't clogged - if you notice a swarm of mosquitoes near the roofline, you might have a problem!

Mosquito Targets

Some people attract mosquitoes more than other people do. I read once that researchers had discovered this phenomenon also happens in cows - some cows attract mosquitoes, others do not - so the researchers were studying the cows, and what made them different, to try to come up with a better mosquito repellent for people who are mosquito targets.
Unfortunately, I am a mosquito target. I've complained to my hubby - who the mosquitoes ignore - that the pests seem to come for miles to get to me.

If a mosquito has made it's way into our house, it will find me - usually at night after I turn off the light and try to go to sleep. Just when I start to doze off, I hear "bzzzz!" I swat in the darkness, it quiets for a moment and then "bzzzz!"
I have discovered, though, that if a mosquito is buzzing me at night, if I turn on the light, the pest will usually go up and land on the ceiling.
Now there are ways to kill a mosquito on the ceiling - a flyswatter if you can reach it, snapping it with a towel if you have a good aim, but a dry sponge mop makes a great mosquito squisher!  

Change The Window Screens

If you have a bad mosquito problem, you may need to change your window screens. You can get ready-made replacement window screens or you can get the materials and make your own. Hubby and I replaced our screens last year. We decided to make our own and it was an easy weekend project. We found everything we needed at Lowes - including an instruction pamphlet. If you don't have a Lowes in your area, most hardware stores would probably have when you need.

The screening material is available in two colors and several styles; we chose a finer mesh screen because living across the lane from a farm with a pond makes our place a mosquito retreat.
There is also pet resistant screening material available if your furry friend thinks claws and window screens make a great combo!

End of the Series

And thus ends my series of posts about my Spring Battles, though at some point in the future I may share the story of my Spring battle which I didn't win involving tent caterpillars, a big stick and a blow torch.

It's Spring and the Battle Begins Part 4 - Yardwork

Yardwork

Real Women Use Chainsaws!

I'm busy every Spring with yardwork - trimming hedges, cutting down "junk trees" that grow like weeds, using weed killer on thistles and nasty climbing vines. But for my heavy duty work like cutting broken branches off of my fruit trees, or cutting up fallen branches, I use a chainsaw. Yes, real women use chainsaws!
Years ago one of my cousins spoke excitedly about how her husband had bought a chainsaw for her, and I laughed. I'm not laughing now! I have cut thick branches with a handsaw, but the older I get, the harder that job is becoming. A chainsaw cuts through a branch like it is butter, and it's a lot easier on my old muscles!

Do Your Research

I did my research before I purchased my chainsaw. My hubby liked the idea of a gas powered chainsaw, but they can be very heavy. Though dragging a cord around the yard is a nuisance, I chose an electric chainsaw because it was lighter in weight, and easier for me to handle - and since I was going to be the one using it.. .   

But the chainsaw I chose, a Poulan, was powerful enough for the type of cutting I'd be using it for.
If you want to buy a chainsaw - do your research. Chainsaws come in different sizes, and with different cutting capabilities.
And if you purchase an electric chainsaw, don't forget to buy heavy duty electric cords if you, or your hubby, don't have them already!

Safety!

If you use a chainsaw, make sure to wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and goggles! And if you have long hair, make sure to tie it back!
I also make sure my hubby is around when I'm using my chainsaw, just on the off chance I have a mishap; I wouldn't want him to come home and find me bloody down the hill somewhere!

Disclosure - Life At The Drafty Doublewide (Kathy!) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

It's Spring and the Battle Begins Part 3 - Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees

I have a problem with Carpenter Bees at my house and it's a battle I've been fighting for years!

Carpenter Bees, which look like big bumblebees, drill perfectly round holes into anything wooden - wood siding, wooden door frames, wooden lawn furniture. Once they drill into the wood, they make a sharp turn and tunnel another several inches and make their nest.
Generally, the female (which CAN sting) stays inside the nest, while the male (which CAN'T sting) spends a good amount of time outside the nest, buzzing around and divebombing anything and anyone that comes near.

Once you have Carpenter Bees, they can be hard to get rid of - the next generation, and the generation after that and so on, will continue to live in the same place. After a few years, a wooden fence can look like a Carpenter Bee condo. A bad infestation may require a professional exterminator.
If you have only a few, some people suggest putting "Sevin Dust" into the nest, and then plugging up the hole.
You can plug the Carpenter Bee hole with a wad of aluminum foil, and a piece of dowel cut to fit. Then, cover it with wood putty.

During the Spring, I keep an eye out for Carpenter Bees when I'm outside. If I notice one on the siding or door frame, I squish it.
If you spot a little pile of sawdust on the ground, look above it for a Carpenter Bee nest. If I notice a newly drilled Carpenter Bee hole, I sometimes stick a pebble into it - that stops the Carpenter Bees from coming and going, and makes the hole easy to spot so I can fix it later.

Creative Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees are difficult to get rid of, the males are annoying, and some people have come up with some very creative ideas about how to eliminate them. I've read about people who squirt the divebombing male Carpenter Bees with squirt guns; others have suggested smacking them with a tennis racquet while enjoying a cold beverage. One person I read about shoots them with a BB gun!

My preferred method is swatting the male Carpenter Bees with a badminton racquet and stomping them when they hit the ground. It works pretty well, but I imagine the neighbors wonder what I'm doing wandering around outside my house swinging a badminton racquet! If they ever ask, maybe I'll hand them a racquet.

It's Spring and the Battle Begins Part 2 - Ants

Ants

Ants can be a real nuisance. One forgotten piece of candy or a few dropped crumbs can attract armies of ants! I've seen ants come under the front door and march all the way to the kitchen in search of food. They don't need much space to invade an area and even a tiny hole in the foundation of a house can be a gateway for ants. Ants have even managed to get into hospitals and into closed iv bottles!

Frustrated With Ants

One year, I had such a problem with ants in my house that I was literally in tears. I tried using ant spray. I tried using ant bait, and nothing worked. The ants got into my cat's food - the dry, and the wet food I put out for her dinner. They found the bag of dry cat food and it was so full of ants I had to throw away the whole bag. The ants got onto the counter and into the bread. They got into the cabinets and into a closed container of molasses. They discovered the cabinet containing a bag of brown sugar. They climbed around on my clean dishes! The ants were coming from everywhere - they even came through a tiny hole by the door of the guest room, marched down the hall, into the kitchen, and being attracted to the smell, they got into the microwave. I vacuumed and swept and mopped up ants; I cleaned and recleaned the cabinets and re-washed the dishes until I was ready to break down and cry! But I don't have an ant problem anymore.

What Works for My Ant Problem

I finally found something that works -  
Ortho Home Defense Max Insect Killer


Following the directions, every Spring I spray the outside of my house along the foundation, the bottom of the window frames, the bottom of the doors. Inside, I use the spray as directed, except in the kitchen. I don't like using bug spray in the kitchen, so I have another product on hand just in case the ants find a way to sneak in - Orange Glo ! The ants hate the orange odor and will turn and head the other way! If I notice a few stray ants, I try to determine where they are coming from and just spray a squirt of Orange Glo Wood Furniture 2-in-1 Cleaner & Polish. I also wipe up the ant "trails" where they've been traveling because they leave scent for the other ants to follow.

And just for good measure, when I do my Spring cleaning, I polish my kitchen cabinets with Orange Glo Wood Furniture 2-in-1 Cleaner & Polish; the cabinets are shiny and clean, the smell is pleasant, and, at least at my house, it is an ant deterrent!

Note - My sister, on my recommendation, also uses Ortho Home Defense Max Insect Killer but she only uses it on an as-needed basis. For example: if she spots ants coming through a particular window, she sprays only that window frame. If you don't have a big ant problem, that might be an option!


Disclosure - Life At The Drafty Doublewide (Kathy!) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

It's Spring and The Battle Begins Part 1 - Mice

 Springtime Begins the Battle with Pests

Spring is my favorite season of the year. I love the warmer weather, the beautiful flowers, the sound of spring peepers at night. But for me and many others, Spring is also the time a yearly battle begins. This is the first part of a series of posts about my Springtime battles.

Mice

Mice are active in the Spring and there always seems to be at least one that wants to live in my house.
Some mice can squeeze through little holes the size of a dime, and they often sneak into homes through the cut-out area around plumbing pipes. (note - you can stuff plain steel wool around the pipes to block their access.)
Mice also love bird feeders; they are attracted by the seeds, so if you enjoy feeding our feathered friends, (like I do!) you might also discover a mouse has made it's way into your house in search of more tasty morsels!

Traps or bait?

There are "better mousetraps" on the market and I might try one of those. I haven't had much luck with old-fashioned mousetraps. They say the mice love peanut butter so you should use that as bait - I agree - mice love the peanut butter and they can eat it right off the mousetrap and never cause the thing to snap!
My sister once said cheap mousetraps work better at her house than the more expensive name brand, so I picked up a pack at a dollar store. When I got them home, I realized there was no way to set the trap! On closer inspection of the package, there was a mention of "crafting." Apparently, somewhere along the production process the terms "mousetrap" and "crafts" got confused.
Still, I usually put out a trap or two in areas where I know a mouse has been before, in hopes I can catch the thing and be rid of it, but I also set out boxes of mouse bait. 
(If you use traps, and/or mouse bait, please make sure that children and pets can't get to it!)

I use D-Con to get rid of the pesky rodents!


1.5 oz. D-Con Mouse Poison available at your local store or at Amazon. Click for info. 


The Mouse Gets A Reprieve

One Spring my sister had come for a visit and we'd talked about the problem of mice and at that point, I hadn't noticed any signs of mouse activity in my house. But, not ten minutes after my sister left, I heard my cat shuffling and running in the kitchen. The noise sounded different than normal cat craziness, so I went to investigate and found her hot on the trail of of mouse. I joined in the chase.
The mouse zoomed out of the kitchen and into the dining room, with my cat running full speed after it and me bringing up the rear. The rodent dashed under a cabinet. When I moved the cabinet so my cat and I could reach our foe, the thing took off for the living room, and went behind the couch. For a moment, we lost it. Then I moved a blanket on the couch and the mouse shot out from under it, and raced off through the house before me and the cat could react.

And it was gone. I looked for it. The cat looked for it. It was nowhere to be found. A tiny mouse can hide easily in an arm chair, on a bookshelf, under a desk. We settled into an uneasy evening knowing there was a mouse somewhere in the house.

Later that night, as my hubby and I lay in bed, we heard a little scratching noise in the closet. Hubby investigated, but found nothing. The mouse had escaped again.
We tried to sleep but could not. I lay awake thinking horrifying thoughts about mice hiding in the bedcovers.
Then there was noise in the bathroom - lots of noise. The cat was away in another part of the house, so we knew it had to be the mouse. We ran to the bathroom and there it was - a tiny, terrified mouse trapped in the garden tub. It couldn't go down the drain pipe. It couldn't get up the sides of the tub. With frightened eyes, it stopped, exhausted, and looked at us to await it's fate.

For only a brief second the thought of letting the cat into the bathroom crossed my mind, but the mouse looked so small, and so scared - I granted it a reprieve. Hubby got a big glove and a box and maneuvered the mouse into the box. He set the rodent free down in a patch of woods. The mouse was given a second chance, but if it gets back into the house again....

Great Deal at the Grocery Store This Week!

This week is a great time to buy a cabbage! I've been seeing cabbage advertised for as low as 29 cents per pound in this area! Yum - Corned beef (also a good deal this week!) and cabbage, fried cabbage, cooked cabbage, coleslaw....

And What The Heck Is Haluski?

I first tried Haluski at a buffet restaurant in Altoona, Pa one weekend. I'd never heard of it until then - I am a transplant to Pennsylvania - but apparently it is a popular "just like Mom used to make" dish in some parts of the state. It sounds exotic but it is basically fried cabbage and egg noodles. I am hooked on Haluski! I've made it often since I 'discovered' it. And cabbage and egg noodles are budget friendly!

How To Make Haluski

Doublewide Manufactured Homes

After I'd planned to write a post about doublewide manufactured homes, I came across an article: Tornado Deaths Raise Questions About Mobile Home Safety

If you listen to the news, it does sometimes sound like tornadoes target mobile/manufactured homes but the problem is that some of the homes aren't built to withstand high winds. Some (most?) of them, if the winds hit them at 90 miles per hour, the home would be destroyed, while someone inside an old Pennsylvania stone home might glance up from their newspaper and say, "gee, it's windy tonight."
The article addresses some negatives - and positives - of manufactured/mobile homes.

Good Monday Morning

Good Monday morning! The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer...

But this morning, after the time change, it is just beginning to get daylight at 6:45 am. Changing the clocks is supposed to save energy, but for whom? I'm up with the lights on this morning!

On a happier note - I loved having visitors from the Not A Mommy Blog Hop this past weekend! Great folks, great comments! If you click on their profiles in their comments, you can find out if they have blogs, too. So, take a look and go say "hi!"

And back to posting - I didn't post much last week but I'm already making notes for this weeks posts, including things like great buys at the grocery store this week, the truth about doublewide manufactured homes, and "Spring Projects : Let the Battle Begin..."

Have a great Monday!

The Allure of Checking Stats

The Lessons of a New Blogger...

One of the first things I discovered about blogging is that checking stats is alluring. I might even go as far as to call it addictive. When I first started my blog, I put a gadget at the bottom of the page that was supposed to track pageviews. Somewhere in the back of my new blogger mind, I had the idea that if you post it, they will come. So, every little bit, I would come to my blog just to check the stats. Five pageviews! Nine pageviews! Twenty pageviews! I was ecstatic! I thought I was on my way to being a power blogger!

But then I discovered a little message that says, "Don't track your own pageviews." You click on it and it's supposed to put a cookie in your browser so your own pageviews aren't counted in the stats.
"Drats!" I thought, "Probably at least half of those twenty pageviews are mine!"

"But, what's this?" I pondered to myself as I looked at the lines listing referral traffic in the "stats" section. "There are sites referring my blog?"
I clicked to another section and checked out my "audience" - Visitors from Russia! Visitors from Germany! Visitors from several places at the far reaches of the globe! First, I wondered how someone from Russia, Germany, or the far reaches of the globe could be reading my English language blog.
Translators? I've clicked "translate this page" on Google before. "Maybe that's it," I thought.
"Ex-pats?" I pondered. "Maybe my visitors are living a long way from home in a foreign land and just think my blog is down-home, back-home goodness?"

For a brief moment, I was an international superstar. I told my husband, with a smug smile on my face, that I had people from all over the world looking at my blog!
And then I learned the dirty little secret - those sites are "spam" sites. They are not real people. I felt deflated. There were no homesick ex-pats in Russia reading "the drafty doublewide".  No one far away in Germany had read my post about Jingle Bells. And no one in the distant regions of the earth had even glanced at my post on how to defrost a frost-free fridge.

Still, the stats addiction continued. I reasoned with myself that not all the pageviews were referrer spam, and I'd stop by my blog a couple times per day just to look at the numbers on that little pageview counter.

Then, I removed that particular gadget. But not because of my stat checking addiction; I removed that gadget because I started thinking that the two people I'd convinced to come and read my blog would also look at that stat counter. I imagined they'd say, "Poor Kathy! She was excited about starting a blog and the pageview stats haven't gone up at all!"
I wanted no pity. So, minus the pageview counter, and undeterred, I trudged on.

Finally, after some time, I began to get legitimate traffic - real people started coming to read my blog! I was over the moon! Until the traffic picked up and I entered the next phase of stat checking addiction - signing up for Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a wonderful and useful tool, but it also has lots of info to feed one's stat checking addiction. With Google Analytics, you can find out, among other things, which sites referred your blog, you can find out which keywords sent people to your blog, you can find out what country your visitors are from! There are listings for "pageviews," and "unique visitors" and average time people are on your site, and "bounce rates" and "landing pages!" I was in stat checking addiction heaven! For a while.

I started to fret over why I was only having x number of visitors. I read up on "bounce rates" and wondered if mine were too high. My face fell along with the time my visitors stayed on my site.

Then one day, as I stared at my Google Analytics stats, I realized that becoming a successful blogger takes a lot of work, and for one brief moment, I thought about the "delete blog" button.

I took a deep breath and let it out.
I went and got a fresh cup of coffee.
I returned to my blog and with all the determination I could muster I clicked the tab that reads:
"New Post"

To be continued...

Update - Like this post? Visit my blog Lessons of a New Blogger

Generic or Name Brand?

Generic?

In this economy everyone is looking for ways to save money and many people have started turning to generic, or store brand, products in an effort to reduce their ever-growing grocery bill.
If you spend $50 per week on groceries, and save 20% by buying generic products, you will save $10 per week or $520 per year. That is $520 per year! That might make a dent in a mortgage payment or even pay a couple of car payments!

If a store brand item is $2 and the name brand is $3.25 - try the store brand. If you don't like it, you are out $2. If you do like it, and buy the product every week for a year, you'll save $65. Put that money towards another bill or into a retirement fund or even splurge on a nice dinner out.

One of my favorite generic versus store brand ideas is to buy store brand when it is of comparable quality, and then use the money I save to buy better quality meat. What I save on toaster pastries or a loaf of bread goes into buying a roast once in a while instead of ground beef.

Or Name Brand?

But what if you don't like a store brand? Look for sales and look for coupons for your favorite products. Use a coupon while the product is on sale and save even more!

My Top Ten Name Brand Products

I like to save money, but there are some name brand products that I still buy. This is my top ten name brand items that I buy - even in this economy.
(Note - The following is an unpaid review. The opinions expressed regarding certain products are my own.)


Cat Food - I used to buy store brand cat food but after the news stories about what might be added to some wet cat foods, I started buying a name brand. Paying the few extra pennies per can is worth it to me to keep my cat healthy. And I think my cat would eat Fancy Feast flaked fish and shrimp feast all day if I let her!

Pasta - I don't like store brand pasta. I've tried a couple of brands but I didn't like the taste. One in particular was so bad that I checked the ingredient list to find out what was in it. I discovered it was made of a different kind of wheat than the name brand. San Giorgio is a good, reasonably priced pasta and when it's on sale, I usually pick up an extra package or two.

Margarine - I prefer name brand margarines. Some store brand margarines that I've tried, when spread on toast, have no flavor and instead have a texture - greasy. Also, I use margarine when I cook and I think the name brand margarines work better in my recipes. And, there is usually a coupon or two available for name brand margarines!

Hand Lotion - I once bought a huge bottle of generic hand lotion because it was a great price. It smelled wonderful, but it didn't really work for me. My hands usually get dry and chapped every winter; sometimes my skin would even develop painful cracks. But a while back I discovered Jergen's Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer. I love it! I've been using it regularly and I've made it through the winter without dry, cracked hands!

Soup - I like name brand soup! Some products, like margarine or pasta, get mixed with other ingredients when you eat them and so you might get away with a product that is less flavorful, but soup has to stand on it's on. If soup is bad, there isn't really anything to do to help it's flavor. So, I like Campbell's soup. And, there are often coupons available for Campbell's soup and that makes for a great product at a good price.

Eye Drops - I've had eye problems before and my eyes get dry easily - especially on windy, or cold, dry days. So I use eye drops often. I like GenTeal Lubricant Eye Drops. They work well for me. They might be more expensive than some eye drops, but hey - it's my eyes I'm talking about! Sometimes I can find a coupon for them, and that is a plus - a dollar saved here and there adds up.

Sliced American Cheese - The last cheap, sliced cheese I tried may have turned me off of no name cheese forever. I tried one slice and threw away that slice and the rest of the package. Yuk! I should've looked at the ingredient list before I bought it - if a product has "cheese" anywhere on the label, it should, I think, at least contain some sort of dairy product. So, whether I'm looking for real cheese, or pasteurized process cheese food, I go for Kraft or Borden.

Mayonnaise - I probably eat at least as much mayonnaise as Paula Deen in her mayonnaise and butter hey-day! I love mayonnaise - mayo on sandwiches, mayo in potato salad, mayo and mustard mixed together as a dip for homemade chicken nuggets! But I like name brand mayo. I prefer the taste and the texture over the store brands I've tried. One store brand mayonnaise I tried wasn't too bad - until it's ingredients started to separate right in the container!  So, I  look for Kraft or Hellman's mayonnaise on sale.

Coffee - Coffee is expensive whether you buy a cup at Starbucks or buy a can to brew at home. But, when you need coffee, you need coffee. I've tried some store brand coffee but I usually buy Chase and Sanborn. Chase and Sanborn may not be a super famous brand, but it's been around a long time and I like the taste. And since I drink my coffee black, it's worth the extra money to buy a great tasting coffee.

Bleach - I am a tightwad, but if I use cheap bleach and end up having to wash my hubby's socks twice to get them clean, I haven't saved any money at all! So I use Clorox Regular Bleach and get the job done right the first time.  



Generic or name brand? Do you have a favorite generic or store brand product? Or a name brand product you just can't do without?

Tag! You're It!

Tracy at LogyExpress  tagged me and the other We're Not Mommy Bloggers in a meme!

 Spinal Tap 11 meme

Spinal Tap 11 Meme Rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!


1. Why do you blog?
I used to write a lot when I was young but I'd been having writer's block. I thought a blog would be a good way to loosen up my writing muscles. And when I started the blog, I had an idea that I wanted to make it useful to people and I even had a motto - "entertain, educate, beautify, help." Sometimes I don't follow my own motto.

2. Do your friends/family/coworkers know about your blog?
My friends and family know about my blog but only a couple of them follow it.

3. How long does it take you to write an average blog post?
It takes anywhere from a couple of minutes to several hours for me to write a post - depending on if it's something simple like commenting on a fun link, or something I have to do research on. 

4. How do you keep up with the blogs you follow?
Some blogs that I follow I have in my Blogger Dashboard. Others I have in my favorites links and visit once in a while.


5. What is your bedtime?
I have about three bedtimes - when I fall asleep on the couch, when I wake up and go to bed, and after I've awakened in the middle of the night and got up for a while because I can't sleep.

6. Introvert or extrovert?
Introvert.

7. What is your biggest fear?
Being abandoned. And I've been left places by "loved ones" before!


8. What is the best job you ever had?
I worked a lot of years as a "Grower" at greenhouses/garden centers. It was hard work but I miss it sometimes - the earthy smell of the soil and growing plants, watching the plants bud and bloom. I was the "seed manager" at one time and was in charge of sowing the seeds and growing the seedings. Most of the seeds grown professionally aren't covered with soil when they are sown, so I got to watch the seeds crack, the first tiny root emerge, and the plant finally take hold and begin to grow leaves. It was like watching life develop.


9. Dog person/cat person/both/neither?
Cat person. At least my cat thinks so - she showed up at my house a flea-bitten, near-death stray and adopted me. She's been here now for 12 years.



10. Want kids someday/on the fence/don’t want kids (since I’m tagging a group called “Not Mommy Bloggers,” I’m assuming “have kids” isn’t a response option–see I’ve been a survey developer)?
I wanted kids, couldn't have kids, too late to have kids.  Now I'm trying to change my attitude from "childless" to "childfree."


11. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
If I have soft ice cream, I usually choose plain vanilla. If I have hard ice cream, I like the ice cream to have extras like chocolate chunks or peanut butter swirls. And I admit that I am still in mourning for Ben and Jerry's Cool Brittania.


Now I get to create 11 new questions!

1. Do you play games online? 
2. Do you like to vacation at the beach or in the mountains?
3. Would you rather have lunch with Oprah Winfrey or the Queen of England?
4. Do you love, hate or have a love/hate relationship with Facebook?
5. Do you ever get tv commercial jingles stuck in your head and find yourself singing or humming them?
6. What is your favorite food?
7. Do you like shopping for clothes?
8. Are you a coffee drinker, a tea drinker or neither?
9. What kind of music do you like?
10. If you had a fire at your home, what is the first thing, besides your family and pets, that you would grab to take with you?
11. How old are you? Under 30, 31-50, or 50 plus or you never admit your age.

We are supposed to tag 11 people - if you read this, you have been tagged!