Quick Takes: Summertime and the Living is…Rather Awful


What a week.

I sent a request to renew a subscription to a magazine, received an invoice and paid it. Little did I know, a Kenyan media racket had hacked into their system, and sent me a fake invoice. When the real invoice came, and I called the magazine to find out what was up, they said Yeah, these guys pop up under different guises all the time. We’ve filed with the attorney general, but they’ll just disappear and show up again somewhere else. 

And now they had my check routing number et al, which my bank could not guarantee they wouldn’t use for ill purposes. I could have just canceled that check, but if they had hacked into the system of a major publication, there was no guarantee they wouldn’t still breech my checking account. “It’s easier to close your account than it is to get your money back”–said the magazine.

So I had to close it, and go about the process of contacting and rewriting all the checks I’d sent out on Monday–my credit card bill, a payment on some construction work we’d had done, all the utilities. Took about 48 hours on the phone listening to Musak while waiting to speak to a live individual.



And then there was the I-chat thing where you’re supposed to be able to process payments with an online representative:




Session connected!

analyst Clytie has entered room

Clytie: Hello Betty, Thank you for contacting Live Chat Support.

My name is Clytie. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Betty: My Issue: I recently sent a check for payment from an account

that I had to close today due to fraudulent activity on my checking account.

Will pay from a different account.

Clytie: I appreciate the time you chatting with us.

I hope your day went well

Betty: No Clytie, it didn’t.

Why isn’t there a number I can call anywhere on this website?

Clytie: I am sorry to hear about that, Betty.

I too would want to make sure my bills are being paid.

Clytie: Let me check in the account.

I assure you after this chat proper resolution will take place.

Clytie: So I can better assist you,

do you mind if I ask a few questions

and after we look into your issue,

I’d love to look at your account

to ensure you are getting the best value for the services you have.

Would these be all okay?

Betty: As long as you’re not a robot.

Clytie: I am a human being, Betty.

Thank you for providing your account information

on our security form prior to this chat session.

May I please have the account holder’s name.

Betty: Betty

Clytie: To verify, is it showing Betty on the bill?

Betty: It should.

Clytie: Thank you.

Clytie: For additional security verification,

may you verify the last four digits of the account holder’s ssn.

Betty: No, I’ve had enough of this chat. Goodbye.

Clytie: You have opened a window for support

and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to support you.

Are we still connected?

Betty: Were we ever?


Thank God all that’s taken care of now. Believe it or not, it was the best thing to happen this week.

In other news, my oldest son contracted the nastiest case of poison ivy he’s ever had. He gets a full-body case of it at least once a year, but this time, he was unrecognizable–swollen eyes, nose, mouth, neck, weeping scabs all over his body. I was really worried about him.

Took  him into the doc for a round of prednisone, and he’s improved quickly since then.

I had a friend in grade school who thought she wasn’t allergic to poison ivy, and when I pointed it out to her so she could avoid it, she decided to rub it all over her body just to prove that she wasn’t allergic. She ended up in the hospital.



The other boys have chiggers…in their pants area.. which means they keep coming to me and asking me to affirm that the swelling in their groin is not abnormal.

This is not my favorite part of mothering boys.

They itch, and I’ve got caladryl, benedryl, cortizone and cold compress, but no one can find any relief. This is absolute insomnia for the whole family–no one can sleep when the weather is hot and someone has an itch.



You don’t really want to go out on the town when you’ve got one boy with weeping scabs all over his body, three with their hands in their pants, and another with a broken arm. Have I mentioned that? –the broken arm? He buckled his wrist pushing his cousins on the porch swing. Of all the exciting ways to break an arm, he does it pushing a porch swing.



Indiana in the summer time is like a rain forest. The woods are a solid sheet of green, you can barely see the tree trunks, and it becomes so shady and humid that the birds echo like they’re in a damp cave.

If you’re not in the woods, it’s just hot. But at least this year we seem to be getting some rain. It seems like we’ve had draught for the past three years. I almost forgot what a normal summer is like.

Took these pics last night of a nice plump rain cloud:

Potty in a field, festooned with flags for the laying of a new pipeline!

Look closely and you’ll see a rainbow.


And here’s a bonus picture of the supermoon.



I know that in this world, there are many laundry woes. My biggest woe is that I have to do it. It could be much worse, which is why I’m all over the laundry room recovery project for Dwija and her family.

A good laundry room makes a huge difference, as I learned when my husband recently renovated our laundry room.

Here is a before picture:

See, no floor, no machines. There’s child-labor going on and my husband is trapped in the crawl space. This is a bad laundry situation.


But After:



My husband made these cabinets. He’s ridiculously handy (not a complaint).

This now makes our laundry room the nicest room in the house. Everyone wants to be in it. We now sing while we do laundry, and yes, I do mean “we.” Our new laundry room is fun for the whole family.

Let’s give Dwija the gift of laundry!



That about covers my news for the week. Anything else exciting going on in the world? I haven’t been paying attention.

(Ha. Ha.)

Be sure to see Jen for more Quick Takes!




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