was infected with Malware. Sucuri cleaned it all up!


Indeed: my site got hacked.  I’m not sure how long it was messed up, but it was a pretty frightening time.

I contacted my web hosting service, Bluehost, and they suggested that I go to and have a free scan performed.  So…before you read any further, I STRONGLY suggest that you have your site scanned too.  Like RIGHT. NOW.  Go do it.  You’ll see an area of the screen that looks like this.  Enter your blog’s URL address and pray that your site is not infected.

If you get a good report, hurray for you.  Seriously, I will be VERY happy for you.

If you find out that there are issues,  I urge you to get them taken care of.  Before something really crazy happens.

I did some online research and found that Sucuri was my best option.  Yes, it costs $89.99 for a year of coverage.  But the great thing is, that fee includes the removal of the malware.  Other services charge for a monthly monitoring of your site, but they charge an extra fee (over a hundred dollars) to clean up the malware.

Sucuri to the Rescue!

Sucuri Security
I signed up with Sucuri and submitted a support ticket to have my site cleaned up.  Within an hour, I received an email from a technician giving me a detailed list of the issues he found…and what I could do to minimize attacks on other sites that I have hosted on Bluehost.  Craftydad dot com is NOT the only blog I own.  I have several more.  (That story is for another day, okay?)

Suffice it to say that the more sites you have hosted on the same server, the bigger risk you have of malware cross-contamination.  So now, I’m wondering if I just need to pare down and delete some blogs, or…if I need to take the time (and money) to move them to another hosting service.  The jury is still out on that.

I received another e-mail that said the malware had been cleared and my site was okay.  I went to craftydad dot com and found the header image and sidebar contents were there, but all my posts were gone.  My heart sank.  I’ve been blogging for many years.  The thought of all those posts gone forever almost made me sick.

[box type=”info” size=”large” style=”rounded”]Note to self:  Shame on me, but I have not been a good blogger.  I have not backed up my site like I should.  I promise to fix that a.s.a.p. too.[/box]

I sent an email back to Sucuri and told them that I appreciated all their help, but the blog posts were not viewable.  It appeared that the pages were still there…but there was no content in the blog area of my site.  Sucuri techs work from 8AM to 8PM EST.  It was close to 8PM when I submitted my ticket, so I assumed that I would need to wait until the next morning for a reply.

Yep, I received a reply the next day that said the malware had infected some core files of WordPress so they needed to reinstall some files.  Could I have EVER figured out how to do that?  No. Way.  The $90 was beginning to look like a great investment.

Now, my blog is back.  My site is clean.  And I have malware protection for the next twelve months.  Am I a happy camper?  You bet I am.  :-)

Be Smart!

Word to the wise:  scan your site every few days or weeks.  And if you think you have an issue, get in touch with the great people at Sucuri and ask them for help.  If you need malware removed, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Sucuri.  They were fast and they got my site cleaned up and back online in only a few hours.  Impressive.

Feel The Love

I am so happy with Sucuri’s level of top-notch service that I am now an official affiliate.  I’ve placed a whopping big advertisement for them in the header area of my blog.  I’m sure you saw it!  I’ve also added Sucuri to my list of sponsors in the sidebar.  I’m telling you:  if you need to get malware removed from your site, click on the ad and get the help.  It’s well-worth the investment.



Wednesday Wipe Down


Hey bloggers!  It’s Wednesday, and that means it time for Wednesday Wipe Down.

At the Crafty Dad house, our top-to-bottom house-cleaning takes place over the weekend.  In the middle of the week, we like to tidy things up a bit.  I call it “Wednesday Wipe Down”.

Here’s what we do:

Put the mail away.  It has started to stack up on the end of the kitchen counter by now.  The really important stuff has been taken care of, sure.  But, there are pieces of junk-ish mail still hanging around.  And a few magazines need to find their place in the magazine rack or in the boys’ bedrooms.

Pre-sort laundry.  It’s time to bring down the dirty-clothes hampers and pre-sort laundry into various clothes baskets.  I am not afraid of laundry, just so you know.  But…I’m only allowed to handle towels and bed linens.  I really goofed up some good dress clothes one time and I’ve been ‘banned’ since then.  :-)

De-clutter the kitchen center island counter space.  Homework seems to pile up here.  It’s time to either file it or toss it in the recycle bin.

Wipe down all the kitchen counter tops.  Once the clutter is gone, it’s a cinch to  spray some all-purpose cleaner and wipe up any dirt, dust or spills that have accumulated.

Spot-clean the bathrooms.  With a roll of paper towel in one hand and a bottle of spray cleaner in the other, I make a quick stop at each of our three bathrooms.  I wipe down toothpaste splatter from the mirrors, wipe out the sinks (more toothpaste, I swear!) and wipe off the counter tops.  I also spray and wipe off the toilet seats.  It only takes a few short minutes and things look SO much better.  I also gather up any dirty towels (and trust me, with two boys there are ALWAYS dirty towels to gather up).

Make sure newspapers are tossed in the re-cycle bin.  The Sunday paper, with all the advertisements, can end up all over the family room. I check for the national coupon inserts and put them in our dedicated space near the kitchen desk area.  The rest of the papers (Sunday + Monday + Tuesday + Wednesday) get tossed into the re-cycle bin in the garage.

This whole process takes less than 30 minutes (especially if you enlist the help of your spouse and/or kids).  If you’re not already doing a mid-week cleaning, I highly recommend that you try it.

Your Turn:  Do you have a mid-week ritual to help keep your home looking its best?






Getting Ready for Easter — Traditions are Important

I grabbed a photo of this fantastic list of ideas on a recent trip to either Kohl’s.  It was a bit more than I wanted to spend, but, I should have bought it because I love ALL the statements.


Like many of you, we are busy getting ready for Easter weekend.  As my wife and I were peeling hard-boiled eggs last night and the boys were helping with other Holiday-prep chores, I said, “I can remember when I was a kid and would be at my grandma and grandpa’s house.  The day or two before Easter would be a fun time.  My grandpa would bring home a huge ham from the meat-packing plant he worked at.  My mom and grandma would be busy making potato salad and macaroni salad. We always ordered a lamb cake from the local bakery.  We colored eggs.  Wow…it brings back great memories. Now our kids are doing the same thing.  Traditions are being passed on.”

Traditions are really important to me.  They don’t have to be anything out-of-this-world special.  They just need to be centered around family activities.

Earlier this week we boiled eggs in preparation of egg coloring and our traditional pickled eggs* and beets.  The recipe is simple.

Pickled Eggs and Beets

Cooks in    Serves 6
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs (peeled)
  • 3 cans of beets (beets + liquid)
  • 3 cups of white sugar
  • 3 cups of white vinegar
  • You can change the recipe, just keep the ratios the same. For example, 2 cans of beets, 2 cups of white sugar and 2 cups of white vinegar. :-)
  • Cook and peel the eggs ( you can do that a day or two ahead of time)
  • In a large, non-reactive pot, add the beets, sugar and vinegar.
  • Bring to a boil for about five minutes, stir to make sure the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Place the eggs in a large glass jar.
  • CAREFULLY add the beet mixture to the jar, making sure the eggs are completely covered.
  • Cover the jar with a lid or aluminum foil.
  • Do not fret if you get an uncooperative egg -- you should stir the mixture every few hours to be sure all the eggs get a chance to become immersed in the liquid. This will give them a dark, rich red color.


We are headed to church this afternoon and then out for a bite to eat.

Sunday we’ll have our traditional Easter dinner with my dad.  Nothing fancy.  We’re baking a ham and cooking a turkey breast (since Nate doesn’t like ham).  😉  The boys have talked us into making homemade mashed potatoes.

Nate is learning to cook and will be helping with the process.  Boys, especially sixteen year-old boys, need to learn how to cook.  And by “cook”, I mean more than tossing something into the microwave oven and pressing a few buttons!

Okay, I have some more chores to get done.  I need to stop typing and get moving.

But, before I do, hear this:  Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you have a great Easter!

*Speaking of eggs, here’s a great recipe for deviled eggs.  Don’t care for cayenne pepper? You can substitute paprika.  Good stuff!


Today’s question:  Of all the statements made in the photo above, which is your favorite?  What could you do today to make it come true?

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