Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mid-Week Progress Report - Making My House a Home

My house is coming along. I have done the kitchen and the family room, which makes up approximately half of my house. After only 2 days almost half of my house is clean. I saw my Maine Coon cat, Pepper lounging around the house, and I said to her, “How do you like your nice clean house, sweetie?”

As I said in my last post, I gave myself a strict, 1 day per room rule. I had to spend 1 day and only 1 day on each room. I’m finding that cleaning these rooms has taken less time than I thought, and has not taken the whole day. Since I gave myself a strict 1 day per room rule, once I was done with the room, I did not move ahead to the next room, but had the rest of the day free.

On Monday I did the kitchen as planned. I started at 7:30 in the morning, and by 3:00 I was done, and that was including an hour I took off mid-day to eat and run out and get cat food.
Unfortunately, my allergies were acting up, and I couldn’t really enjoy my free hour before picking up my daughter at daycare. I had a nasty headache, and I spend the hour laying down with a wet wash cloth on my head.

Yesterday, I did the living room, and this room only took 3 hours, and if I wouldn’t have taken a few minutes off for a mid-morning snack (I eat breakfast at 4:30 in the morning, and by 9:30 I get hungry) it would have taken even less time. I started at the same time, and by 10:30 I was done. I made some calls, one to the Town Hall in the city my daughter was born about getting her birth certificate, and another to my bank because apparently my debit card had been compromised. More about that later.

At 11:00, I left to pick up my daughter’s birth certificate. Yes, I waited until my daughter was 17 months old to get her birth certificate. I probably still wouldn’t have it, if I didn’t need it because we will be driving through Canada next month to go to my parent’s house in Michigan.

By 1:00 I was back from the city. I ate some lunch, and at 1:30 I went to the library, where I stayed until almost 4:00 when it was time to pick up my daughter from daycare.

For today, I’m doing the bathrooms. I don’t expect the bathrooms to take long, and I may break my 1 day per room rule, only because tomorrow is the master bedroom, which is the worst room in the house, as far as mess is concerned. I may start on the master bedroom today to get a head start.

But first I have to go to the bank. As I had mentioned, my bank sent me a letter telling me my debit card had been compromised. I couldn’t imagine how it had been compromised, since I rarely use it anymore, and I hadn’t seen any suspicious activity on my account. Therefore I called the bank to find out how my card got compromised.

When I called, the lady on the other end said, “Do you shop at Hannaford?”

There are no Hannafords around me. I said “No.”

Then the lady asked, “Are you sure you have never shopped at Hannaford?”

And then I remembered 3 years ago I had shopped at one when my family was on vacation in Maine. I said, “Well, yes, but that was 3 years ago on a vacation in Maine. They keep the account numbers that long?”

And the lady replied, “We got a notice from Hannaford that they had your account on file, and it could have been compromised. They really do hang on to them for a while.”

Frankly I don’t think retailers should keep the account numbers on file at all. It seems to me a company would eliminate a large liability simply by not saving credit and debit card numbers. I remember a few years ago, I noted a debit on my account from REI, that I had never made. I called my bank, and almost canceled the card, until I noted the debit mysteriously got credited.

I mention to my bank how weird that was, and the person from the bank said, REI probably had my number on file, and accidentally charged it for someone else’s purchase, but credited it once they realized their mistake. I decided not to go through the hassle of waiting 7-10 days for a new card unless I saw more suspicious activity. At the time I was living off my debit card, and 7-10 days without one would be a huge inconvenience.

Something else that is a little disturbing is that my bank sent me a letter the last week in June, and I thought this Hannaford compromise happened like a month or two ago.

Anyway, one of my errands for today is to apply for a new debit card. At least it is less of a hassle now that I’m not working.

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