Victim of fraud

March 30, 2007 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

More to the saga.So, the night my brother in law is to arrive, we decided to call and see if our Federal tax money has been electronically deposited to our account. Imagine our surprise when we find out that our account was negative $481. The next morning Karma Hubby went to the bank and we were -$741! When he looked at the printout and saw “$45 – Chicken Shack” he knew we were victims of a mistake. Now of course the bank can’t do anything on a Saturday so we had to wait till Monday morning to do anything at the bank. In the mean time, I filed a police report. We spent the whole weekend without money, but just knew it would all be cleared up on Monday morning. All of this happened because someone had my card. I actually remember the last time I used it and I don’t think the guy gave it back to me. I was distracted cause he was giving the kids balloons and talking to all the folks around him. It is so easy to be distracted with the kids. Now I done been robbed. Monday we went in and our account was -$986. They canceled the card and said we just had to wait for all the charges to clear before they could do anything. So here we go, another day with out money. The construction was to start on the garage and we explained to the contractor what was going on, and he agreed to go ahead and start anyway. Whew! So, now I have company in my home, who cannot drive and is in America for the first time, construction on my attic, and someone out there spending my money like made leaving us penny-less. No stress there. On Tuesday morning, we go back into the bank to get it all settled, no go. There are still pending charges out that must come through before we can do the final report. That is the same day the air conditioner man had to come and bid on moving the duct work for the new room to be built. He shows us all the damage we have in our ducts and we are now getting an entirely new duct work system, have a few vents moved inside the house, and using an old air conditioner to heat/cool the new room. I told him the story of us having no money and he understood. Later that day he said he would be willing to go ahead and start the work with the understanding that we would pay when we got our money in. Cool! So, construction is moving on, but we have no money. Well, on Wednesday morning, we should be good to go, right? Wrong. All the charges have come through and our account is -$1350. He then tells me that for some reason, not all was cleared yet, there were two more charges waiting to come through, and that the card was closed and now being rejected from stores. So, we wait another day. On Thursday I went in and spent hours filling out paperwork, then had to go to the police station on the other end of town to get a copy of the report. I finally was able to turn in all the paperwork on Thursday by lunch time. So, this should be all cleared up on Friday, right? Wrong. The bank manager said that since it was sent into the fraud office it was out of his hands. Sigh. We were by now getting calls from our debtors since the bills we had paid were bouncing. We were getting late notices and threats of cancellation. I just might have to scream! All of the folks were understanding and many of them shared their own stories of fraud. Weird little society I am now a member of, this victim of fraud club. The following Monday I threatened not to leave the bank till they gave me the info of the person handling our case. They did, I called him, he got on it. By Wednesday it was finally settled. Now for the prosecution. They spent into the felony level so are considered white collar criminals. Hmmm…I think they are straight up thieves who need a good smack upside their heads! Let me clarify that I might feel differently if the items being purchased were things like food for the family, medicines for the kids, necessity stuff. Instead, this guy is buying booze, and car parts. I wanna go to his sentencing and give him “the look.”

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What’s been up.

March 24, 2007 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

I know I have been silent for the last week, but things have been CRAZY. I will try to catch you up in bits cause it all gets a bit confusing. First off, my sister in law asked us if we would mind having one of the brothers over for his first trip to the states. We thought she meant in a month or two, but no! She meant in a few weeks. From the day she asked to the day he arrived was less than two weeks. I had a bazillion projects going and we rushing around trying to wrap up loose ends before he got here. I somehow managed to get it all done and dusted. This included painting the kids playroom. I got this much done, but will go in and paint mural stuff in later (when it gets more hot and I feel a need to be locked indoors.) blogplyroom.jpgSo, I had to pack up all my sewing stuff and move it all out of the guest room. All that made us decide to finally get that extra room built on. We have this huge attic full of wasted space so we decided to make it into a room. We found a licensed contractor and got everything set up. The brother in law’s ticket was bought so we called to find out how long he would be here. If only for 2 weeks then there was no point having that disruption because it would take two weeks to do. If three weeks, then we might give it a go. When I called sister in law she told me he was coming for a month. A MONTH! OMG!!!!!! What?!? OK. I can be calm. I can get the house ready and I can survive a month of company. Right? So, we arranged for the contractor to get started and away we went. Brother in law has been here for a week, and he is a total dream. Who couldn’t love a face (and body art) like this? blog-bil.jpg

Photo Friday

March 16, 2007 at 1:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

blog-addiction.jpg

I am going to get back to trying to do this again. It provided a fun way to exercise my brain! I know that most of the folks who do this are professional photographers or at least have rally good cameras. I am just doing this for brain fun. This week’s challenge is “ADDICTION.” Nothing is more addicting to me than Mexican food and some adult beverages. This, shared with good folks is about the best stuff in the world!

http://www.photofriday.com/

What works for me Wednesday

March 14, 2007 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/worksforme_wednesday/index.html

Once again, a great idea from Diatriable. What a fun excuse to tell you some of the weird things I do that work for me! Right now the theme is “The Kitchen Edition.”

I like to batch cook. This is when I made pot pies recently. I made enough filling for 2 deep dish pies, and two single serve pies. Any filling left over was used as a base for some soup. We ate one pie, and I freeze the other for a night I need a quick meal. The two singles are for Mr Karma to take to work. One time in the kitchen. One heating of the oven. One pot dirtied. Simple.

Trees, ladders, and bruises, o-my!

March 13, 2007 at 4:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

So in the interest of frugality I decided to trim my own trees this year. We have huge old trees and usually hire this really nice fella to come over and trim them up for us. So, I borrowed a neighbor’s tree saw and went for it. The lesson I learned is that the tree branches don’t always fall straight down. In fact, they might drop and swing right at ya. This could mean that you will find yourself with a face full of fast moving tree branch that knocks your butt off the top half of the ladder and sends you to meet the ground with a resounding thud that even frightens the kids. Now I got on up and thought I would be just fine. A few days latter I happened to see myself in naked (something I try to avoid) in the mirror and found my stomach looking like this. bruise-blog.jpg

Now I had seen the bruises up and down my arms and legs, but I was not prepared for this! Anyway, I am healing up just fine, and have learned a valuable lesson! There is a reason tree professionals are paid so much.

Change Clock = Change Batteries

March 11, 2007 at 3:37 pm | Posted in getting involved, Health | 1 Comment

Most fatal fires occur at night while you are asleep. Having a properly maintained and working smoke detector more than doubles your chances of survival. Every home should be protected by smoke detectors. Place a minimum of one smoke detector in every bedroom and in the main corridor outside of all sleeping areas. For multi-story homes, an additional smoke detector should be placed on every floor.Just having a smoke detector is not enough. Eighty-six percent of all homes in the United States have at least one smoke detector but one-third of these are not working. Most smoke detector failures are attributed to a lack of annual battery replacement. Fire departments suggest that you test your smoke detector monthly and that the battery of all smoke detectors in your home be changed at least twice a year.A good way to remember to change your smoke detector battery is to associate it with the time change that occurs twice a year. We should all remember to change our smoke detector batteries, and the perfect time is when we go through our homes to change our clocks. Remember that when there is a fire you have no time. A residential home can be totally consumed in flames in less than five minutes. Since most fires occur between 2am and 6am, while most people are sleeping, the alarm of a smoke detector is your first line of defense.

Installing and maintaining smoke detectors dramatically increase your family’s chances of surviving a fire. So remember while you

are changing the time on your clocks, take the time to change the battery of your smoke detectors. It could save you and your families life!

The Garden and tri-cycling

March 9, 2007 at 9:18 pm | Posted in recycling | 3 Comments

                                                                                                4yardblog.jpgIt is that time of year to spruce up the yard, and put all that compost I have been working so hard on, into the vegetable garden. The garden itself is a work of frugality and recycling. When we bought this house there was already a garden bed in place and that is the one we use. So far there has been no chemicals added and this year I made my own compost to add to it. Lots of hard work, but worth every bit of effort. I also have used newspaper to mulch the garden as it can later be tilled back into the ground! For pots, I have been saving my cardboard egg cartons so that I can start my plants indoors, then simply cut the bottom of the egg cup open and place the whole thing into the garden. Very little shock for the roots and the carton will degrade. So much fun!I have been having so much fun with it! My new attitude of “it doesn’t all have to be done today” has really helped me to enjoy it. Now we about have it all fun and ready for company, and long days of guarding the veggies. We have a huge problem with squirrels, birds and raccoons. I have been trying to come up with ways to keep them out of the veggies and this has lead to a huge conclusion. No one really knows for sure what to do. There is no cure all. So, I am trying all the natural things I can think of to deter the critters without poisoning the Earth. I use red pepper and Tabasco to keep the ground critters at bay, and in case they don’t mind that, I have some chicken wire I loop around the garden. For the birds this year, I have some sparkly and noisy things around to hopefully deter them. Also a fake rubber snake I move from place to place. I plan to put Tabasco on the top of the fence to deter the squirrels.Now instead of buying sparkly and noisy things, I made them. Yup! Myself. I realized recently that things can really be recycled more than once. Lets take the material I used for an example. Tin/Aluminum cans. After the can is used and rinsed, I poke a hole in the top of the lid to hang over my veggies. This makes a bright shiny object that blows in the wind. Birds are not supposed to like this. I can also, with a lovely pair of tin scissors, cut the can into a flower shape, nail it to the fence, and I have a pretty, sparkly flower to deter the birds and perk up the yard. If these items get rusty, or I decide to take them down, they can still go into the recycling containers to go on to become someone else’s flowers.3yardblog.jpgYou can also poke hole into the can, fill the bottom with sand, and create some great luminaries. If you use paint cans, you can actually hang them from the trees or place larger candles in them. Sweet, huh? There is also the “reusing old yard equipment” angle of taking things that are broken, and rework them. The garden hoe with a broken tip and a blade that will not stay on, has become a hanger for a “spinner.”

Freecycled flower pots decorate the yard along with tin can sculpture. There is even a sparkly mobile the kids and I made from Freecycled beads and some wire. The ring is an extra from one of my baby slings.5yardblog.jpg We even painted rocks to greet folks as they come in. Using, of course, Freecycled paint and found rocks! So much fun for so little money!yardblog.jpg

Recycled plastic bag rug

March 4, 2007 at 2:07 pm | Posted in recycling | 12 Comments

Another project of mine has been to make some items from plastic bags to be used till they are really used up, then they can go into a recycling bin. I thought I would try a rug first. Here are photos showing the progress. This was after a few trials and errors so I am showing what I found to be the most easy method.First, collect all the bags of the color that you want your rug to be. I got these from neighbors who could not re-use all the bags they collect. Sigh. Lay the bags flat and remove the handles and bottom. Place the clippings into another bag or container so that they can be used for fringe, or pillow stuffing.Then cut them into strips. You can do this with a rotary cutter also, and do several bags at once, a real time saver!bag-for-blog.jpgThen, interlace the strips to create one long strand. bag-for-blog-2.jpgWhen you have cut up all your bags, then roll them into a ball and you are ready to crochet.bag-for-blog-3.jpg

For those of you who have made rugs, feel free to use whatever pattern works best for you. I have not made a rug before so I went with a basic rectangle using a large sized hook and a double crochet. Since the stripes are essentially doubled, this rug will have lots of spring. It works up super quick too! These rugs are washable, then you air dry them. Perfect!bag-for-blog-5.jpg

I hope you all feel inspired to go out and recycle something today!

The Kitchen

March 2, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

I was so excited when we bought this house because I felt like I could finally put some color on the walls! So, what did I do? I painted my kitchen brick red. I have since learned that flat brick red is not the best color for a kitchen. color-before.jpg

Here is an old photo that kind of shows the color.I decided to change it up so I painted it blue. This time I did it with all the little things I had learned on the way, like caulking, and it looks so much better!down-she-goes.jpg

 It really brightened up the area. Then I got really brave and decided to get rid of a cabinet. I kinda used it as a china cabinet before, but we always had to bend over to talk to folks on the other side. Thanks to these cute handymen, we now don’t know how we ever lived with that thing there!blue-kitchen.jpg

 I am loving my new kitchen, but decorating is taking back seat to yard work so that I can get my garden going in a timely manner this year. I will post more on that later.

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