Monday, September 22, 2014

The Smells That Bring Back Memories

I was just sitting here at my boyfriend's computer doing my homework.  He is trying to sleep and my computer is in the bedroom...the clicking of the keyboard would keep him up and he has to get up early.  About 45 minutes ago, I decided to make some tea.  I have my fancy Keurig and purchased Sleepy Time Tea yesterday.  10pm on a school night most definitely calls for some of this yummy tea!

I make my cup and add just a tiny bit of sugar and set back to work.  After letting it cool for a few minutes, I pick up my cup, breathe in the wonderful aroma and I am instantly taken back 22 years to being an 8 year old little girl sitting in the kitchen of my oma.

Why is that so special?

I am so glad that you asked that!  So my oma was my great grandmother on my mom's side.  My grandma was born and raised in Germany and that is where she met my grandpa.  Anyway, so my oma was actually my grandma's step mom.  Her birth mother died when she was a very small girl and my oma pretty much raised my grandma.  When I was 8 and my sisters were 6 and 2, my mom and grandma took us to Germany to meet and stay with my oma for vacation.

We got to meet family that we never knew existed and have not spoken with or to since seeing them.  A lot of my memories of that vacation come from pictures and the stories that we tell but the ones that I remember most took place in the kitchen.  Watching Oma make soup for dinner and my grandma telling us about when she had my uncle, he was so tiny, they could not keep him warm so they kept him in the oven (door open, of course) in the  kitchen.  We only knew our uncle as the big guy he was at the time and could not imagine him being so small that he would fit in there.

Every night that we were there, my oma would make us Sleepy Time tea.  We had never had it and with the small sprinkle of sugar that Oma added, we fell in love with it.  I have been drinking it ever since then!

So I am ready for bed, now that I am all toasty warm from my tea.  Plus my wonderful boyfriend is waiting for me!

Tell me...what smell brings back a fond memory for you?  Leave it in the comments!!!

Until next time!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why Do I Love My Bank?

I am a housekeeper.  My job can be pretty easy and tough at the same time.  Some people are just really gross and when they move out they leave a disgusting mess!  Generally, the maintenance guy goes in (patches holes, paints, replaces light bulbs, etc), then the carpet gets cleaned or replaced, and finally I go in to clean and make the place sparkle and shine for the new tenants.

The other day, I went in to start cleaning while the maintenance guy was finishing up.  My phone started ringing.  No one ever calls me and definitely not during the day unless it's a solicitor or some recording saying that if I live in one of the following cities then I might qualify for a discount on car insurance.

This phone call was different.  The number was 1-800-355-5265.  I have seen a number of reports that say the number does belong to the Chase Fraud Department but it is not one that I have ever seen.  Let me give you a little back story (I know this because I have gone through this three times now) if you do not have Chase.  When Chase notices a suspicious charge, like I live in Washington and then at 6am one morning, my "card" is used at a store in Michigan, it gets flagged.  Chase will then send you a text message pretty much saying

Hey!  We see that you do not live in Michigan but there was a charge at a grocery store...
Was it really you?  Text back yes or no!

When you respond back with

No way dude...I was sleeping at 6am.

Then they text back saying that someone from the Fraud Department will contact you shortly.


So as you can see when I answered the phone and the lady with the thick Indian accent on the other end could barely spit out that she was with the Chase Fraud Department, I knew it was a scam.  This woman, who never gave me her name...just that she was with the fraud department, claimed that there were two fraudulent charges that were attempted but declined on my debit card ending in a specific 4 digits.  A $65 charge to Toys R Us and an over $200 charge to Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Funny thing about the last four digits is that was one of my previous cards.  One that might have been compromised shopping at Target on Black Friday that was replaced a really long time ago.

I hung up but something was not sitting right with me so I left the apartment, went to the office and call the number on the back of my card.  The very nice gentleman, who gave me his name and I honestly cannot remember because I am terrible with names, said that since the card is no longer attached to my account, there was no way that the funds could even go pending.  He gave me the last transactions from my debit card and my credit card.  All charges were mine.

Three times my debit card has been replaced because of stupid hackers BUT I have been informed of the charges before the funds have been taken from my account.  My bank is really the best!  I have been trying my best to balance my checkbook and keep an eye on my account activity and have been doing a really good job.  I have not been keeping a real watchful eye on my credit card statement but I am going to try.  I do not use it very often except for recurring charges so I do not think about it much.

Now I want to hear from you!  Tell me...have you ever been scammed?  People calling you, pretending to be with your bank only trying to get personal information from you.  Do you have an amazing bank story?  Come on and share!!!  Leave me a comment!