Monday Motivation

Today's Monday Motivation is the lesson of the ant -

Go to the ant, thou sluggard (slacker) ; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
(Pro 6:6-8)

We can learn lessons from life around us and this proverb of the ant is an example of that. The ant doesn't have anyone telling her what to do, no superintendent, or ruler standing watch - but she goes about her business. She is busy, productive, and self-motivated.

Can you learn the lesson of the ant and find self-motivation?

Happy Monday and have a great week!

Preparing for Frankenstorm

What do you need to prepare for Frankenstorm? My post about Disaster Preparedness talks about some essential things you need to get through a disaster. But, last night I bought a couple of other things that I will need to get through "Frankenstorm" -
Cool Ranch Doritos and Chester's Butter Flavored Puffcorn snacks!
I did buy things like milk, bread, a couple of canned foods, new batteries for the radio and flashlight, and extra food for my cat, but in a storm, you need the comfort of things like snack foods and chocolate!
So what would YOU add to your disaster supplies? Hershey chocolate bars? A case of root beer? Ritz crackers? Are you ready for Hurricane Sandy?

Update 11/1 Made it through Hurricane Sandy just fine. Some local areas lost electric, and had downed trees and some flooding, but for the most part, my area was spared.
My thoughts and prayers are with those who suffered the wrath of the storm.

The "Frankenstorm" Approaches

"Grab some bread, milk and toilet paper Henry, a Frankenstorm is coming...."

Some of the forecasters have dubbed Hurricane Sandy a "Frankenstorm" and they aren't really sure what is going to happen! Big surf, winds, flooding near the coast and the possibility for snow - yes, snow!- in the mountains! Today I am mowing the yard for the last time of the season, and next week, I may be shoveling snow. Gadzooks!

The Latest On Hurricane Sandy And Its Potential Impact On Our Area « CBS Philly

The Drafty Doublewide Has A New Name

I have decided to rename my blog "life at the drafty doublewide" instead of just "the drafty doublewide".

When I first chose the name for my blog, I thought it was unique but it doesn't really reflect most of my posts. People come to my blog looking for information about doublewide manufactured homes, and though I have posted a couple of things about them, and have recently added a page with information, manufactured housing is not the focus of my blog, nor something that I specialize in. It certainly has made me realize the importance of choosing the right name for your blog or website. It has been a learning experience, and that is not a bad thing.

So, as I approach the one year anniversary of my starting this blog, I have changed the name to "life at the drafty doublewide."

Weird Headlines Top Search Results

This post is an experiment in blogging. I was reading about how weird headlines, stories and videos attract traffic to a blog and decided to try it myself. People find blogs all the time because of weird searches, so what kind of searches will lead somene to a weird blog post?

Boxing Monkeys Wearing Ballerina Flats Draw Crowds
Who knew that would be popular? I mean, last week the big headline was probably about tap dancing monkeys!

Giant Blob Spotted in Manhattan
Ha! I actually did a search for "weird blob in Manhattan" and Google did come up with a search result - from Fox News.

Justin Bieber Is The New Donny Osmond
Ah, Donny! My first crush when I was a teenager! Donny if you are out there, send me a CD. I have all my vinyl records from when I was a teenager except for yours; my brothers and sisters were the prime suspects in the disappearance of your records from my collection. They were not fans.

Mitt Romney Voters Watch Dancing With The Stars
This was a real story recently! I'm a Dancing with The Stars fan myself. Weird thing is - a Mitt Romney campaign ad showed up on my blog one day! The candidates are out there, and they know who you are....

New Madrid Shakes Milkshakes Rocking The Region
Okay, If someone actually invents this product, I want a cut of the profits.

Housewife Muses over Weird Headlines In Blog Post. Is She Desperate For Traffic?
Well, I wouldn't say I was desperate....

How To Boil Water Is Tops in Search
I'm thinking how to boil water in unusual ways could be interesting; a lightning rod, putting the water in a rocket and shooting it towards the sun....

Couponing Addiction Hits Middle America - Couponers Flip When They Clip
Imustcoupongivemeyourcouponnewspaperinserts IpromisenottorunwithmyscissorsIwillwalkslowlygivemecouponsnowplease....

Exploding Soup Can Trashes Tent
Could it happen? The Mythbusters would know!

And finally,
Cougars who watched Thor and The Avengers prefer Loki over Thor by 2 to 1.

Thanks for visiting my blog.
Next up in my great blogging experiment: Do Rants Attract Readers?

Funny Baby Crying Videos

Just for fun...
Today's Top Five Funny Crying Baby Videos!
And a little music fan is born! A baby from Texas cries for Justin Bieber

This little darling prefers Bob Marley!

This adorable baby calms down to the sound of the Star Wars theme

This sweet baby is probably wondering why the other babies get to listen to Justin Bieber and Bob Marley and all she gets is Mom...!

And this funny video shows you how to get that cute baby to stop crying....

May your day be filled with laughter and not tears!

Monday Motivation

Get motivated today by looking outward and giving - someone, or something, needs you!

If you are married, do something nice for your spouse; bring them their first cup of coffee or tea in the morning, or give them a little extra back rub.

If you are a parent, what do your kids need? New shoes? A hug? For you to really listen?

If you work in a fast food joint, someone wants that burger and fries - serve them up with a smile.

If you work in a retail store, help a customer find what they are looking for - it could really make their day!

If you sell life insurance, remember it will make a difference in someones' life someday.

If you are a blogger, someone may need to read what you write in your post today.

If you are a pet owner, your pet needs you to feed it and give it some "lovins."

If you feel like no one needs you, volunteer! There are always opportunities to volunteer in hospitals, soup kitchens, or how about Habitat for Humanity?

Whatever situation you are in, there is someone, or something, that needs you. Give your time, give a smile, give your help.
So, get motivated today by looking outward to see how you can make someone else's life better, easier, happier by giving of your uniqueness!

Skittles the Cat Comes Home

The heartwarming story of Skittles the Cat - lost in an Indiana state park for weeks, she was finally found, transported to The Friends of Felines Rescue Center in Ohio to recuperate and then with the help of donations, got to fly to Reno to reunite with her owner. If Skittles could talk, what a tale she could tell!

Skittles the Cat Comes Home

Updating My Blog

I am in the process of updating my blog - adding some photos, some new pages and links, etc. Please bear with me!

Choosing and Caring for a Cyclamen

A beautiful cylamen is a wonderful way to add some bright color to your home this fall and winter.

Check out this post on how to choose and care for a cyclamen - Need A Little Color To Brighten Up Your Home?

Monday Motivation - Wake Up Your Senses

Get motivated today by waking up your senses!

Peek outside and watch the sunrise or enjoy watching a bird as it hops around searching for it's breakfast. Why not spend a moment really looking at a loved one?  Open up your sleepy eyes and take in the sights!

Change up your breakfast!  Eat a spicy pumpkin muffin or add cinnamon to your oatmeal. Try a different juice for breakfast - instead of orange, try grape or tomato. You could have a V-8! A small change in your routine wakes up your taste buds.

Take a few deep breaths of the morning air, or take a whiff of your shampoo when you get in the shower. Or why not try a candle to wake up your senses? Yankee Candles are fragrant even when they are not lit - put one on your desk, on your coffee table, anywhere close and wake up your nose with the pleasing scent!

Dress in something that feels great against your skin - a soft shirt, or warm, wooly socks. Why not give yourself a 30 second hand massage? It is invigorating! Or give someone a hug - that is a great way to start the day!

Instead of listening to news all morning, enjoy some music for a few minutes: listen to something soothing if you are anticipating a stressful day, or crank up something peppy to wake up your ears and get you stimulated. Or Just pause for a moment and listen to all the sounds as the world awakens; just hearing all the activity can help get you motivated!

However you decide to awaken your senses this morning - may you have a great day and a wonderful week!

photo courtesy

Lessons From Doing Laundry By Hand

I have been doing laundry by hand for a while now, ever since my old washing machine finally quit working (see this post - When Good Appliances Go Bad) and I have learned a few things - both good and bad, humorous and sad - about doing laundry by hand.
This is my Laundry List of Things I've Learned While Washing Clothes By Hand:

1. Towels are meant to absorb water and they are really good at it.

2. Jeans are hard to hand wash and nearly impossible to wring out. I'm thinking a week after Levi Strauss invented blue jeans, Mrs. Levi Strauss was working on creating an automatic washing machine.

3. Apparently, me, my husband, and our cat all shed - a lot.

4. Washing clothes by hand is a real workout and that has plusses and minusses:
    a) working out is good for you.
    b) it can be really exhausting.
    c) you have to do your "workout" or you don't have clean clothes.
    d) you build up enough upper body strength that if someone teases you about doing your laundry by hand, you could probably sling them around the room a few times without getting out of breath.

5. You can get your clothes cleaner doing them by hand because each piece gets personal attention.

6. I'm using less water by doing laundry by hand.

7. My husband brings home a lot of dust from job sites in his clothes. If I could find a way to save it, I wouldn't have to buy potting soil for my plants.

8. I miss my old washing machine.

9. Some clothes, depending on the material, can poof into a balloon when you try to push them into the water; it is a nuisance when you are trying to do laundry, but these clothes might make great emergency flotation devices.

10. This is something that really surprised me - Some clothes have different sections of material that you don't notice until you hand wash them. I discovered a t-shirt that has one sleeve made of a lighter weight material than the rest of the shirt. It is not noticeable until you soak it in water, then it is obvious. And one of my husband's long-sleeved shirts is made with a couple of 'patches' of different thread/material. Again, you don't notice it when the shirt is dry, but when it's wet, the sections of different thread/material is easily seen. I wonder how common that is? Is it done to save the manufacturers money? To create a weak spot in the fabric so it rips and the consumer has to buy a new garment? I know of several people who have been complaining about jeans wearing out quickly in unmentionable places - are the jeans made that way? Made of different thread/material in unmentionable places so that they will wear out faster and have to be replaced?

Bonus! Bonus! Bonus!

The top things I've learned while line-drying my clothes:
1. Laundry + Windy Day + Cheap Clothespins = Shirts in The Shrubs
2. Towels are meant to absorb water and they are good at it.
3. Jeans are so stiff after they've dried on the line that you could almost just stand them in the closet.
And Most Importantly:
4. If you hang sheets on the line to dry, make sure they are high enough off of the ground that your neighbors dog can't pee on them.

Monday Motivation - Motivational Quotes

Real motivation comes from within. Unless you can find that spark within yourself, all the motivational books, lectures, articles and blog posts are just pretty words.

Least Popular Posts

Dear Bloggers (and other various assorted interested people...)
Have you ever taken a look at the list of posts you've written and noticed which posts have a lot of views, and which posts people have ignored? I did that this morning and and came to a few conclusions:

First off, no one ever reads my "Monday Motivation" posts, and so I can only think that no one but me needs to be motivated on Monday morning.

Another not so popular post:
So, obviously, no one is stressed out except for me?!

stressed out

How about this one -
Get Your Vitamin D!
Okay, so maybe no one is interested in vitamin D either.

Stay Warm With Thrift Store Finds
Oh well, what can I say? I liked my post but then again,  I am old, I'm female, I'm cold all the time except when I have hot flashes....

Politically incorrect, maybe?
A Tale of Two Thanksgivings
This one was seasonal, so maybe the hordes of blog readers will find this post this November....?

Easy Chicken and Dumplings
So I can't even give my recipes away????

There you have it - the list, at least the partial list, of my posts hanging out in the bottom of the page view heap!

What are your least popular posts? Any thoughts on why?

Turn Leftovers Into Breakfast

When times were hard people had to economize. They ate what they had on hand, and leftovers were recycled into a second meal. That is a great philosophy even today!
Here are three ways I like to turn leftovers into a simple breakfast in a bowl:

Leftover Biscuits

I got to eat this as a treat when I was a child and still partake on occasion when I have leftover biscuits. This is a real down home yummy dish and it has a fun name - we always called it a "granny soaker."
Just split a baking powder biscuit and place into a bowl. Pour on some coffee to which you've added cream and a little sugar. Make sure to pour on enough coffee to cover the biscuit - the biscuit will soak it up! Top with a little butter or margarine, and an extra sprinkle of sugar and you've got your very own "granny soaker."

Leftover Rice

Plain, leftover white rice can be turned into an easy hot breakfast.
Put rice in a saucepan, add a little milk to loosen it up, and add some sugar to taste. Warm over low heat, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan. When warm, dish up the rice and top with butter or margarine, and some milk. 
You can also add some raisins, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or even some bananas if you'd like. Yum!

photo courtesy
Leftover Cornbread

 In some areas of the south people enjoy eating "bread and milk" - cornbread broken up into a glass of milk or buttermilk and then eaten with a spoon. I like my "bread and milk" northern style! Southern cornbread is not sweet and may not contain eggs. Northern style cornbread is sweet, and does contain eggs, making it a richer bread.
When I have leftover northern-style cornbread, I break it up into a bowl, and top it with a little sugar and milk and eat it like breakfast cereal. Tasty!
You can also use a corn muffin for this if you don't have northern style cornbread, and you can substitute some honey for the sugar.


Google Panda or Penguin

Fluctuating Pageviews

Have you noticed sudden fluctuations in your pageviews?

My blogs daily pageviews had become pretty consistent and then one day, my pageviews shot way up. At first I thought there was some weird quirkiness going on with Blogger or maybe my blog had been hijacked by Russian bots, but I think I might've been "pandalized!"

Google Panda or Penguin

Google Panda or Penguin updates basically readjust search results using algorithms.

I found a website that had info about search algorithms and about the only thing I figured out about it was that I should've paid more attention in Algebra class! There are more technical webmaster sites online where you can find out more information.

What Happens After A Panda or Penguin Update?

After a Google Panda or Penguin update, some websites lose traffic.

"Spammy" sites, full of advertisements and no content may get pushed down in the search results. I've come across a few of these recently and they can be annoying.  I was searching for some county government information and found "spammy" sites. The websites looked like legitimate sites in the search results, but they had a couple of links to county government sites, and the rest of the page was just advertisements for various non-related things.
Also, from what I've been reading, websites that increase their search ranking by using company names as part of their domain name are to be pushed down in search results. Some people use popular names just to be ranked high in the search results - for example: if a popular company name is "crimsonweavers" and it ranks high on the search results page, then some people might use a domain name like "crimsonweaversstore" or "crimsonweaversonline." These websites may not actually have anything to do with the company- they are just using a popular search result keyword to increase their own traffic.

After a Google Panda or Penguin update, some websites may gain traffic.

Websites that contain useful content, regularly updated, may receive higher ranking in search results and will get more traffic as a result.
"User friendly" websites might also gain traffic. I've visited some non-user friendly websites! One in particular I remember I couldn't even figure out where the real content was! There were so many links, advertisements and pictures, it was difficult to find the article I was searching for on the page!
Great websites that load easily may gain traffic. One popular website that I usually enjoy reading has been having loading problems and about half the time, only the very top of the site loads. I'm starting to ask, "what's the point?"

There are also other criteria used in the Google Panda and Penguin Updates that might cause your site to rise or fall in the search rankings, affecting your pageviews.
For more information -
Google Panda
Google Penguin
Google Webmaster Central Blog

Have any of you been experiencing fluctuations in your pageviews recently? Has your blog been "pandalized"?

Monday Motivation

Increase Your Happiness

I watched an interesting program on PBS Saturday about happiness. In one "happiness experiment", the audience was asked to put their hand in front of their face and look at it for a minute and then, close their eyes and just remember looking at their hand. According to the experts, just remembering looking at one's hand triggers the same response in the brain as actually looking at one's hand! What does that have to do with happiness? It means that if you spend some time today thinking about a happy experience that you've had in your life, your brain will react as if you are actually having the experience and it will boost your mood!
So if you've got a "bad case of the Mondays", think some happy thoughts and you could soon be smiling!

Hope you have a great and happy week!