I rarely blog about things like this, but today I'm a little sick to think of people being ripped off and not even knowing it. I mean, to some people, $12 a month is a LOT of money...and those are the same people that may not be able to monitor their bank accounts for fraud, etc. So, here's the deal:
Back in June, I remember very clearly ordering pizza from Pizza Hut's website when we were swimming with Lynn and Hannah at Mom's house one evening. At the end of the transaction, there was a pop-up that offered a $10 PH coupon. I clicked on it--I'm a sucker for coupons, okay?--and apparently, it grabbed my credit card (debit card) info. About a month later, $12 was taken out of our checking account by Complete Savings. WELL...several months earlier, I'd tried the Grocery Game. It was like, $10 every few months. When I saw the Complete Savings for $12, I assumed it was the Grocer Game under a new name and increased price--but since I wasn't using that website anymore, I assumed I'd missed something. After the second month, I was like, why didn't I remember to call them? So I cancelled THAT membership. But then it popped up again TODAY. And then it clicked--this wasn't something that I'd authorized. I googled what came up on our bank statement, Complete Savings CT. "Their" website was spoofing Google...I didn't click on it because it was fraudulent (James has better words, I'm sure). But everything else that came up was about how it's a scam...and one link mentioned "Pizza Hut." It all came rushing back, so I called Bank of America as soon as I got home this morning.
Here's my e-mail to James...
I called Bank of America and reported it as a scam. They are going to go ahead and temporarily credit our account $36, available tomorrow, and it will take about 90 days for them to investigate our claim. They blocked all future $12 transactions from Complete Savings, but warned that sometimes companies like that will come back under a different name with a different amount, so to watch for it.
Then I called Complete Savings. They made it VERY difficult to get to a live person, but I did...and she was kind enough to let me know that I had access to whatever it is until 9/1 and then they'd cancel. I said no, I asked for a refund. So she was going to refund today's $12. I said no, I didn't sign up for your "service", I don't want your "service", and you will refund me all 3 amounts. She said, hmm, I'll see what I'm authorized to do. I said, while you're speaking to your supervisor about that, please mention that I have just reported your company to Bank of America as a scam. Strangely, right then she was able to credit all $36 and cancel our "membership" immediately.
These people make me sick. I think I should blog about this--people need to check their bank accounts!
It's the start of a new school year, which means life's pretty busy around here. I've been working a LOT this past couple of weeks, and even though we've tried to keep things pretty calm and orderly...we haven't fooled our kids. Noble cries when he sees my work clothes, and if I'm around, he's clinging to me. Kayci's teacher called thus morning, she was crying because she didn't know if I'd be there to pick her up or not...which didn't bother her before, dang it. So I'm 2 hours away, working...well, waiting at the moment...and my heart is 90 miles away. It'll get easier...it'll get easier...
I've had very, very little computer time this summer, so I'm sitting here working...and blogging...and checking facebook...and "talking" to my boy. Here's a glimpse into why we work--we're still best friends, all these years later. It all started with James' blog, wishing Granddaddy Curtis a happy birthday (he'd be 85 today, and I am SO grateful to him for the man James is today!)...by the way, we used to take him pie to try to entice him to eat a bit. Not a problem for me, ahem...
girl: Granddaddy wants me to have a piece of cake for him at lunch. Well, he said PIE, but I doubt Ernie's will have pie, so I'll take one for the team. Happy birthday, Granddaddy! :)
boy:Pie, huh? Are you SURE it wasn't your grandma you were listening to???
girl: Um...well, it's 6 years yesterday that SHE died, so if she wants me to have some pie for her, I guess I'd better. Crap, that's a lot of pressure. What if they have cake AND pie?
boy: silly old girl.
girl: you wouldn't have me any other way. except, perhaps, skinny. but i'll get there. i bought 2 magazines with my blow money today--one was "shape." :)
boy: I don't want you to get all buff like some of those ladies in Shape. You'll kick my ass!
girl: dude, i could kick your ass now. and i just laughed so hard, spit flew out of my mouth. sexy, right?
Today is the first day of school! I know my teacher friends are probably tossing and turning right now, dreading the unknown. In our field, you just never know who--or what--is going to show up the first day of school. So my heart's with you, girls. But today, what I'm feeling most is excited, and hopeful. Kayci is SO excited about first grade, and loves her teacher already. She has SIX friends in her class already :) and has her outfit all laid out and ready. Daddy and I left her a happy on the table this morning (thanks, Auntie Lynn, for the happy call last night!) and I can't wait for her to see the necklace we got for her. Her first day outfit is neon green and white, and of course Justice was nice enough to have a neon green K necklace. She's going to love it! So, we'll all take Kayci to school, then Daddy and I will take Noble to school, and then, hopefully, Daddy and I will go to Starbucks and celebrate a great first day. And as for me, well, I'll be celebrating my first kid-free work day in almost 3 months. It's been a wonderful summer, but I'm excited about this school year, too. I have a lot of work to do and a lot of opportunities...I was looking at the balance of our loan/debt yesterday and thinking, if we're gonna pay this off by March we're going to have to HUSTLE. So we will. It's a blessing to work so that if we need more money, we just say yes to more jobs. :) The downside is that we both work--a lot--but the upside is that again, there's HOPE. We can change our circumstances, and that's pretty exciting. Not that things are bad, but we know that living without debt has got to be better than this, right?
My mind kind of keeps walking right up to the door of "after"--after we drop off the kids, after James goes to work...I can't even, even imagine what my day will look like between 9:00 and 3:00 (or whenever I get in car line). I have this fantasy of getting a pedicure (my toes need it!). And I just might, just for me. I just might go buy a People magazine to read in car line today. But here's what I WON'T do...I won't spend 2 hours this morning cleaning house and putting away laundry. I won't spend an hour cooking and cleaning up lunch. I've got to learn to get my work-work done during the day while the kids are gone, and get the housework done in that hour before they get up and after they go down. It can be done, I've done it before. I've just really, really lived like a housewife in the past year...great for my home and family, horrible for the bottom line and my level of work stress. So, it's time to re-prioritize and put work BACK on the list. First things are still first...but the things I was spending my work day on last year weren't important things, just Kristi things that had a false feeling of importance. Back to "good enough" as far as the floors and the amount of dust on the piano. :)
So, I don't know what this day will bring. I know it will bring a happy 6 year old, possibly a tearful 1 year old when we leave Kayci and walk away, and as for me...well, it better bring a finished guest blog, a great start on another writing/building project and some e-mail time with my teachers. And hopefully a pedicure and a People. Ooh, and my first Starbucks in MONTHS! It's going to be a great day!!!
A friend and I were talking on the phone last night about getting ready for school. When we ended the year last year, we had so many things we wanted to do before--and for--this school year. Now that the time is here, I know there are at least a few things on the list that I haven't accomplished, and a few questions I haven't been able to answer. So now my task is to focus and prioritize...cover the big things and decide when to fit the rest in. But you know, while I'm crazy busy right now, I'm also crazy happy--it's an exciting time to be in PPCD. There are some awesome changes coming our way, and lots of fun things to do in the meantime. I'm so excited about this year, and about getting going! (I know, I know...I always miss the summer as soon as it's over, but that's okay...there are always afternoons, evenings and weekends!)
Last night I ended up sleeping on the couch (I know...) with the girls. For some reason, I had crazy, vivid dreams--on par with our pregnancy ginger snap dreams. A few things that stuck with me...
--shopping at Randall's, which used to be Randall's but is now the Administration Building but was back to Randall's in my dream
--thinking about a friend from college who told me I had a choice--I could live to work, or work to live. I lived to work at that time and for several years after, but I never forgot that and think of it whenever I get too into my work...
--looking through a doorway and seeing my Dad, but seeing him with his crazy 70's hair when he was my age. I knew that I was looking at him as he was in the past, but it just made me happy to see him.
--in my dream, I was sleeping on my couch with Keely and Reagan, and for some reason I'd taken my jewelry off and laid it on top of the blanket. When I put it back on in the morning, I was wearing my Grandma's diamond ring (that I don't wear anymore) on my right hand and 2 rings that didn't belong to me, and I was missing my 2 rings. It was so weird! One of the rings had a purple stone, so in my dream I thought, this must be Teresa's.
--weirdest thing: at the store, I was shopping for lunch for a teacher friend. There was one package of bacon left, and it was on a conveyor belt moving up and away from me. As I was trying to get to it, a commercial came on. It was the Fiesta lady, and she was selling that particular bacon (marked por platanos) for the bacon and banana dish I was supposed to be making. The funniest part? In the commercial, she made a joke about why people needed to buy that particular cut of bacon...she said, "unless you went to college and can make a perfect meringue on your bacon every time." What?! I don't know how ANY of those things go together, but I think it's funny.
Alrighty, I've been up since 4:30 messing with work stuff for today, messing with Noble, getting dressed...time to get back to it. He woke up TOO early today, so we'll see if I can get anything else accomplished this morning. :) Have a great day!
This has been the best day ever...and it's only half-over! I got a bigger raise than I expected at one job, another long-term job came through today, and I just found out that I get to be a guest blogger on Today's Housewife in 2 weeks. I am SO freakin' excited...I can't decide which one is the best, they're all so awesome!
I know, I know, I'm not technically a housewife, but I live like one (who has a whole secret life as a consultant) so I really identify with their blog. I'm going to guest post about saving time/efficiency, which just thrills me.
Man! What a wonderful Wednesday!!! Thanks, God, for these blessings that are raining down today and every day and for helping me to remember to look up instead of looking down and focusing on what I think I need to get done for work before tomorrow...
A couple of people have asked, why no blogs lately?
It's been a great summer, but here I am, knee-deep in back-to-school preparations. When I met with the lead teachers back in May, August seemed SOOOOOOO far away...yet here it is. So that's why I haven't been blogging or facebooking very much lately, it's just been too busy around here. Every spare minute is spent with the kids & James, and beyond that, I'm working. I think things will be more manageable once school starts and we get back into a schedule that allows me to bang out my work during the day...we'll see!
Sleeping in my OWN bed last night (with my OWN Boy!) was just a little slice of heaven...so good to be home! Am so motivated now to get going and really, really get organized and make working from home work better for me, and for my family. :) It's year 5...you'd think I'd have it down to a science by now, right? Not so much...but it's truly been the best of both worlds and I'm excited about what the new year will bring--for all of us. Kayci's going into first grade, Noble's about to move up to the 18-month group and then to the 2's in March (sigh, sniff), James is really enjoying his job, I've got a lot going on with my jobs...it's going to be a great year! (Sorry...still think of things in terms of school years. You can take the teacher out of the classroom...)
It's been a great summer. Here towards the end, though, I've been stressing a bit (okay, a LOT) about the work that I need to do before school starts and yes, even whining to James about needing time to get things done. The house is running smoothly, my day-to-day work is running smoothly, but I haven't been able to carve out time to do some writing and some "big" things that I need to wrap up before school. I knew I had a workshop in Houston this week, and I asked James if I could take this opportunity to grab a hotel room and have a couple of nights to just work and get stuff DONE...and when it all worked out and everyone was settled happily, I patted myself on the back.
But you know what? Turns out, I don't work so well in a hotel room. It's quiet here--I'd forgotten what that sounds like. I'm alone here...truly alone, not "they'll be back any second!" alone. Honestly, I'm lost here. It used to be a fantasy of mine--hotel room all to myself for 24 hours, I'd turn down the AC and watch bad TV and read a good book. Well, I've done some of that but I'd rather just be home, not watching TV and not having time to read. (And not cranking down the AC to try to keep our utility bill reasonable!)
I've been really, really stressed about the work I need to do in the next couple of weeks...and now that I've had some "good" time to work, I'm still a little stressed. But more than stressed, I'm relieved. It's crazy, isn't it? I'm relieved to know that I'm where I'm supposed to be in life, that I do, truly, work best at home. As it turns out, I'm more productive when I work for a while then get up to go switch out the washer and dryer. I'm more productive when I'm typing furiously hoping to get something done before the kids come seek me out or Noble climbs on the table. I'm more productive in that 30 minutes before everyone wakes up than I've been in 3 hours here with no interruptions.
So now instead of lamenting the lack of time and quiet at home, I need to just get busy. I got what I wished for, and it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. So now I'll go home and make it work. I know that I need to seriously overhaul my daily schedule once the kids and I start school again, but I'm ready to do it. Last year I just sort of drifted from week to week, day to day, minute to minute...and it didn't work. This year I have a goal (being debt-free!! helping our PPCD program grow!! staying on top of my Region 4 responsibilities!!) for each of my jobs (well, technically there are two more now, but we'll talk about that later) and a clear vision of what I need to get done to achieve those goals. Now I just have to make myself make it happen. The good thing is, I can do what I need to do and still not take time away from my family...I've just got to be disciplined about getting up early to work and maximizing my time while the kids are at school. I think I've gotten really good at running our house...but really unrealistic. I do all of the "work" when everyone's out of the house, but I need to reclaim that time as work time. I think I need to actually set work hours during the day and stick to them. We'll see. Maybe I'll use this as an excuse to buy a book I've been wanting about working from home. Who knows...
The good thing is, I've seen the world that I wished for. A quiet, peaceful world where Mommy could work and get things accomplished. And now I want to go back to my crazy world! I cannot wait to go home tomorrow and go get Kayci and just be home for a bit. Well, until Friday afternoon when I head back this way for a meeting. :) But seriously...I feel so good about where I'm headed now. Bring it on, 2009-2010!!!
I'm at the Preschool Summer Institute this week...and boy, is my brain swimming after just one day. It's like, in some ways, it's like they've turned PPCD upside down--what we used to think is just about opposite of what it needs to be today.
ARRGH. It's wonderful and horrible and awesome and overwhelming, all at once.
I love my job...and I love the fact that we're on the verge of making some amazing changes to make our friends' lives even better. But man, there's a lot of work right now...