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Archive for December, 2018

Identity Theft Again

December 16th, 2018 at 07:55 pm

The last several days have been pretty awful and not just because of my cold, although that was bad, too. My ears blocked up on the 12th and only cleared this morning. If I thought I was dizzy and the world was spinning before, every time I tried to pop my ears it also felt like I was on a sail boat in rough water. I have had spinning before, but never up and down dizziness. I had to just close my eyes and sit still for several minutes and wait for it to stop. It is nice to be able to hear properly again. I'm still not over this thing, but it is down to a runny nose now and tiredness now, which is a huge improvement.

The bad part, financially is two-fold. One, someone used DH's Best Buy account to order a laptop. They swamped his email with Russian subscriptions to try to hide the message from Best Buy, but DH has it set up so that certain emails always go to the top. It was ordered by some guy named Todd Peterson in Oregon. DH was able to cancel it and changed the password on his Best Buy account. They had charged it to a credit card number that looked familiar, but wasn't one of our current credit card numbers. I think it might have been one of our numbers before we were issued new cards with new numbers due to identity theft six months ago. If so, I'm not sure how he managed to even order it. Anyway, it got taken care of it, but it was worrying.

Then we found out DH's Paypal account had been hacked. Someone changed the main email on it to a different one, but left his as a secondary. They also changed the language to Spanish. They had also withdrawn $1000 from our checking account, which I normally would have caught much sooner, but I've been sick and doing the bare minimum with finances. Fortunately the money was still sitting there in his account and once he was able to get into it and change it back into English he deleted that foreign e-mail and changed his password, set it so his phone had to be texted for anything on the account could be changed again, and deleted all cards or checking accounts from Paypal.

I went on to Paypal for myself and everything looked fine for me. As with all instances of identity theft so far, they have had to do with DH's info. I changed my password just to be on the safe side and set it up with my phone to be texted if anyone tried to change anything and then DH transferred the $1000 to me and I transferred it back to our checking account. Hopefully it will be there on Monday. Fortunately we had enough money in the account to cover everything we had paid out. I will be making it a priority to be checking our checking accounts every few days now, even when I feel like death.

So while it was a major hassle, at least no money was permanently stolen from us. The third thing that happened is the new computer DH bought is not working after a week. He bought it directly from HP and it quit functioning a week in. He decided to do a reset to factory settings and it erased the drive. So he's been trying to get HP support, but they have very limited hours and no one is there on weekends. Seems like a poor way to run a business in this day and age. He is going to send it back and either get his money back or get a new one.

I am hoping they will just give him a new one. I was worried about him buying it from them direct instead of through Best Buy, where we at least have Geek Squad protection. Of course, that was before the Best Buy hack. He did it because he could get a better computer that way for the same money. Not better if it doesn't work.

I hope this is the last we see of this nonsense, but I realize we may very well be dealing with this for some time. Stupid companies that can't protect our information. That $1000 could have caused a world of hurt if we'd lost it.

Found Out About the Bonus

December 11th, 2018 at 04:34 pm

So DH's end of year bonus will be $1600 in cash, but that is before taxes, so not sure what it will be afterwards. Bonuses get taxed weirdly, I believe at 25%, so we'll only see $1200 of that, though some of it will come back in our tax refund. He will also get 1 percent of all wages earned put into his 401K with 100% matching, since we haven't hit 5% of income on our own yet. That will only be based on his earned wages since becoming a permanent employee, and he became one in July, I think.

His last paycheck says he has earned $37,192.50 since becoming a permanent employee, and it is probably going to be calculated after Friday's paycheck. So we should end up with something over $800 extra into the 401K. Nice little chunk of change. It's been a few years since DH has worked with a company that did bonuses. If it is calculated after the last paycheck of the month than it will be closer to $1000.

My cold seems to have moved up into my head now. After driving yesterday I decided I don't want to drive today in the storm we are having. I thought I was ready to drive yesterday, but I had trouble focusing and ended up running a red light. Thankfully it was at an empty intersection and no cops were around. That is the first time in my life I have run a red light. So clearly I am not clear-headed enough to drive yet. I will wait until Thursday before I try again assuming the cold continues to vacate the premises and I am not a dizzy-headed mess.

Tonight for dinner I am making beef pot roast in the Instant Pot, steamed potatoes in the Power Cooker XL, and broccoli in the microwave. No baby-sitting, no fuss, very little mess. It is nice having two electric pressure cookers when I don't have a stove. It makes things much easier for me.

I hope I am with it enough by Friday to do the banking and the grocery shopping. We are getting low on some items and with DH heading out to MIL's after work to work on cleaning out her attic and garage, he isn't able to do the shopping either. I'm making due, but it would be nice to have fresh greens again. I have enough potatoes, carrots, and plenty of onions to last the rest of the week, and I have canned green beans, and there are oranges and apples, so we won't go without. But it isn't salad. I might have cabbage, though. I could do cole slaw instead if I do.

I have a ton of canned, frozen, and freeze dried foods, but sometimes you just want that fresh produce factor in the middle of winter. We are getting low on bread and milk, though I think it will just make it to Friday. I am meal planning carefully, but I think we will pull it off okay.

Turned the Corner

December 10th, 2018 at 03:39 pm

This is one of the worst winter colds I have ever had, but I think I have finally turned the corner. I got up and got dressed for the first time since December 2nd. My cough is up in my throat now instead of my lungs or bronchials. I still definitely have a lot of mucus and am pretty tired, but I think I could drive today without being a risk to others. I haven't even been in a car since the 1st, let alone driven.

I even started a load of laundry, there is a huge backlog, though DH did his work clothes, but I have to take it slow. I am still a little dizzy when I bend over, so I reckon DS will have to take the clothes out of the dryer and bring them to my bed so I can fold them. But I am not dizzy when I am upright. It was so bad there for a while that being upright was too much.

There is talk of a Christmas or year end bonus at DH's work. I know when he filled out paperwork to become a permanent employee there was a sheet about a company bonus that goes into the 401K. I don't know if it all goes in or if some can be gotten as cash. We could use cash for medical bills. I don't even know if he will qualify, because while he has worked for them for a year, it has only been 6 months direct, so I'm not counting any chickens. It would be nice, though.

Considering the job he is doing, he should get one, but I don't know how these things work. They are pretty eager to hang on to him. His boss has put in for a raise for him, so keep your fingers crossed that he gets one.

He has been getting rumblings about slope work. One company even asked if they could put him in on their bid. DH said no for now because he really doesn't want to go back to Alaska. He likes where he is at. But it would be a possibility. I don't really want him to go away again. We spent the first twenty years of our marriage with him gone so much for work, now that he is home I have gotten used to it.

I know I could get used to him leaving again, but there is so much I can't keep up on anymore. That's why we don't have chickens, or turkeys, or ducks anymore. And why we've cut back significantly on the number of rabbits. I am even debating on whether or not I want to plant a garden this year. If I do, I will probably only plant a few beds.

Mom and DS want to put up Christmas lights, so DH went and dug out some of our standees (stand alone lights). We have our polar bears, our train, our seal with a present on his nose, our Season's Greetings, two presents, and our giant snowflake. We need to get a cable to secure the seal to the porch. Everything else will be zip-tied to the deck rail or up to high for someone to get without a ladder, but I am not losing that seal to theft. It was too expensive.

I have no idea why Mom wants to put up lights this year, except that there are tons of houses on our block who have put them up and our house looks pretty dark and naked without them. One of our next door neighbors doesn't have anything either, but that is pretty much it. She isn't the type to keep up with the Jones's normally.

I don't know when they will actually get put up though. DH and DS have been helping MIL to clean out her attic and garage to get ready for the exterminator to come, new insulation to be laid, a new breaker box put in, and a new furnace and AC to be installed. She's getting $40K of work done. FIL was a pack rat and there is a lot to get rid of. So far they have hauled away 1013 pounds of garbage. DH is finding tax files and paperwork from the 70's. We have a roving shredder business that you can get to come by and shred all your old paperwork and MIL is thinking of hiring them.

I haven't been able to help at all, although considering how much dust and rat droppings and loose insulation there is, that is a good thing. With my asthma it is just not a good idea, even with a mask on.

They are going out again tonight after DH gets off work and hopefully that will be the end of it until the weekend. DH didn't get any rest this weekend at all because he was out there. I am worried he is going to come down with my cold, because he has started coughing, but that might just be in reaction to all the dust. I don't like it when he burns the candle at both ends. He is getting some help from his sister and her boyfriend, so it isn't just my guys.

I just don't want him to get sick and have to stay home from work. And I need him to be well to drive us down to Virginia Mason on the 19th. I hate driving in Seattle traffic. I've done it a couple of times because in the past DH was in Alaska, but it is something that scares me because they drive worse in Seattle than they do in Orange County. In Seattle, no one knows what a blinker is, people zip back and forth between lanes even when there is no space to do so safely, assuming the lanes aren't at a standstill. Pedestrians jaywalk constantly despite having plenty of cross walks. And don't get me started on the bicyclists, who apparently don't like to use bike lanes, but would rather take their lives and yours into their hands and act like they are immortal. Even the bus drivers are a little nuts.

Almost all the streets are one way and half the time you can't go around the block for several blocks. People block intersections so badly that I've sat through five or six light cycles before it has been clear to go. The drivers are so aggressive, too. So yeah, DH needs to be well for that, because I am currently not up to that challenge.

Update Complete with Nasty Cold

December 6th, 2018 at 06:04 pm

On Sunday I woke up with a cough that progressively moved lower and lower this week until I sounded like a deep bass male. For the record I'm a contralto on a normal day. I no longer sound like a man, but my voice is in the tenor range. I am still coughing like crazy. I did write a chapter on Saturday, but haven't touched the book since. I find it better not to write when I'm taking this much cold medicine.

I have managed, barely, to make dinner the past 2 nights, thanks to the Instant Pot and a supply of beef and pork roasts. I am managing to eat one meal a day and the rest of the day I am just drinking bone broth, which thank goodness I had made on Saturday. I need to make more but the idea of it is a little overwhelming.

I've been sleeping a lot, and binge watching Say Yes to the Dress on Hulu. I don't generally like reality TV shows. Dancing with the Stars is the only one, really. I'm not terribly into fashion either. But this show is like candy. No substance, but some really beautiful creations. It's like art with fabric as the medium. Better yet it is completely mindless so I didn't have to focus on a plot at all, because honestly, I couldn't right now if I tried.

I did manage to take a shower and that's all I'm going to manage today. It wiped me out, but it was worth it. I'll have DH pick up take out tonight. Probably Polynesian so there will be some vegetables in it. All I want to do is crawl back into bed, but I'm trying to stay upright for a couple of hours until DH gets home and can change the sheets. The idea of doing it by myself is exhausting.

I hope this starts to go away soon. It hurts and I was just starting to feel really good after a week on the diet. Well, I'm still on the diet and I've lost a lot, but once my appetite comes back, I'm not sure what will happen. Currently I am .9 lbs from my dietbet goal weight and it hasn't been quite two weeks yet. I have been off the Pepsi for a week as well.

I can already see a huge difference in our grocery budget. Pepsi was starting to take a huge chunk out of it. DH is off it, too, so we aren't buying it at all. I can't believe I let myself get addicted to it again, but at least that is over.

DH's office Christmas Party is Saturday. I won't be able to go and I feel really bad about it, because we had to RSVP. It's a catered buffet. Although they are serving alcohol which usually means someone will make an idiot of themselves. I'm going to tell him to ask his mother to go. I think that she would enjoy having an evening out with her son. I was really looking forward to it, too. We haven't gone out for a night away from the kids in ages.

DH had to order a new cushion for his c-pap mask, so that was $67.95 out of the medical fund. I ordered two prescription refills today, too, but don't know the cost of that yet. Otherwise we haven't been spending. It's hard to spend when you can't leave your bed. Not impossible, Amazon exists after all, but harder.

DD has an appointment at Virginia Mason with a doctor that specializes in endometriosis on the 19th. My goal is for us to be well by then. DD has the cold, too. Although we are still going even if we aren't. I am going to get the name of the anesthesiologist who worked on her for her gall bladder surgery before we go to prove that there is one that is willing to do a laparoscopic surgery for her. Then it'll be a question of convincing the doctor.

DD doesn't care about the risks. She has no quality of life, so to her it is worth any risk to try to get this taken care of. She can't work, she can't go to school, she just exists in a pain-filled lump. I remember these symptoms well from my days with this disease. But I didn't have to fight for treatment because I was at a normal weight. Hopefully this doctor will be compassionate enough to try. None of the ones around here are, but then again, they don't specialize in this disease.