Something about the sun shining on a Friday that always puts me in the mood to write. I’m not even sure how many people even follow this little blog anymore, or any blog, for that matter, because we’ve definitely become a society of 15 second computer attention spans.
But whatever. I’m updating. I need this.
I have a dry erase calendar on the door of my pantry that is color coded for the entire family. On Tuesday, I looked up and thought I had mistakenly written “Thanksgiving Break” a week too early, and began erasing.
It turns out Thanksgiving is not only early this year, but November is sprinting. I say this every year, the Christmas list getting longer and time getting shorter and Walmart putting up red and green stripes on their parking poles the day after Halloween. But for real, you guys. I’m treading water over here.
Fraudulent Credit Card Charges
We are currently juggling 6th grade basketball, running club, Thanksgiving, various holiday parties, and two birthdays before Christmas. (One birthday is semi-big and I’m totally dropping the ball, sorry honey, so glad you gifted yourself that fishing trip knowing how terrible I am at this).
But today, the sun peeked out for the first time all week, and somehow it feels like everything is going right itself in the next 8 weeks. Meanwhile, I’m also on problem solving mode, and I want to celebrate a few wins for my morning.
Win number one comes from a weird place, so bear with me. We have this one credit card we keep open for exactly three recurring charges: the YMCA, Netflix, and Amazon. That is it. The rewards are no longer worth using it all the time, but the hassle of changing these was worth keeping it open. That said, the only thing that changes from month to month fluctuates with our Amazon purchases, which are arguably minimal most months. The bill typically hovers around $150 and once in a while goes up to $250.
This month it was $700.
I apparently sponsored not one, but two Amtrak rides on Veteran’s Day, without my knowledge. Fine. But another charge that showed up was a recurring payment to a company called “Active.com” out of Texas. On my credit card it reads ACT* ACTIVE-NETWORK. Apparently, in a 5K registration from the Turkey Derby last year, we were auto-signed up for some bogus membership to this website that is $79.95 annually.
While John was busy disputing the Amtrak charges with our credit card (note, reasons we always and only use credit cards for everything ever) I was googling this company. I found a two year old comment on Facebook about a similar issue. Knowing what I do about crowd sourcing, I commented under that comment. No lie, within three minutes, a representative from the company was contacting ME and initiating a cancelation of my membership, with a refund.
Listen, for everything I hate about social media, days like this make me so happy to be alive in the year 2018. They really do. Anyway, here is the full response I got:
John actually registered for this race, but I promise you, if it had been obvious that he was signing up for a “free trial membership” of anything, he would not have done it. I’m telling you, this is scammy and weird and I exercised all sorts of self-control with the man on the other side of FB Messenger because nobody wants to be that guy when you work for a shitty company who does stuff like this.
My One New Habit
Meanwhile, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve perhaps seen pictures of my lunch-prep for the school year. At the advice of a particularly organized friend, I bought 21 of these boxes back in August:
On Sundays, I line them up and fill them all with lunches for the week. (It is November and I’m hereby admitting we’re still doing pretty good at this – especially on the weeks where John makes the kids participate.) The boxes themselves are a good size, the price was definitely right, at under $1 a box, and they stack really nicely in the outside fridge.
My only complaint is that the lids crack kind of easily, especially when Kindergarten boys are the ones opening the box. Okay, so you know what I did. I had a little tutorial with all the kids on how to open and close the boxes so they don’t bust through all of them. We practiced. Every Wednesday at Lunch Bunch Avery says to the teacher on duty, “Be very careful with this box, my mom doesn’t want it to break.” They are all doing a good job of being careful with them.
That said, they are considered “one time use” boxes and several lids have cracked. I get it. I’m not complaining that my cheap boxes are breaking, but you know me, I’m not going to order an entire new set of boxes AND lids when all I need are some replacement lids. The environmentalist in me simply cannot do it. So I sent an email to the company, inquiring about how to JUST BUY LIDS. I mentioned in the email that “I’m actively trying to reduce my carbon footprint…”
You know they are just sending me an entire replacement set of the boxes and the lids, free of charge. Because who cares about the landfill? (Again, I’m not complaining. And I’m still endorsing the boxes because I still like them.)
In Other News
In other news, for as many times as my Kohl’s account has been unlocked for occasional online shopping, it has been re-hacked and locked again. No changes there. The girls are running a 5K in 2 weeks and I am running a half-marathon, and we are all praying it is not freezing raining that morning. My training has gone exactly as it always goes when it is cold outside.
John and I have taught three enrichment day lessons together at the kids new school (our quota for the year) and are still married. Another win.
And finally, I leave you on some book recommendations, because if nothing else, the sudden urge to write has come from a couple of audio books I’ve been plugging through recently. The first author I urge you to check out if you haven’t already is Nora Ephron. I cannot even say my views and her views align very often (she wrote very political-, social-, and feminist-charged stuff). But her voice! Her voice is so raw and so real and so wonderful that I am loving reading her. Listening to her. Both.
The other is my old friend David Sedaris and most specifically, his recently published “Diaries.” Most are far more dark than humorous, but again with the voice. I’m also plugging through Book 5 of the Outlander series which is more than 1400 pages so I should be wrapping that up around Easter. Of 2020.
If you are in a reading hole and looking for some inspiration, these were good to me. Would love to say I’m going to be checking in more regularly, but we all know how that goes.
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