Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Is In The Air

I thought that I would share more pictures of my oldest son's dry garden. The flowers are blooming, showing off their beauty.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My How Things Sure Have Grown

About 15 years ago or so, we received a free California Redwood seedling. My son planted the tree in our back yard and nurtured the tree, but now it needs a new home. The tree was around 5 inches tall, but now is over 20 feet tall. I took a picture of my oldest son with his tree. If you look closely enough, you can see the tree extending up high.

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The redwood tree may have a new home. My son asked his professor and either she will take this tree or the college where my son attends. I will let you know.

I don't know for those of you remember me posting that my son and I planted a dry garden to replace the grass and weeds in my mom's front yard. Well, a few of the plants are now showing their beautiful colors, while one plant is ready to bloom.

My how things sure have grown.

Friday, March 19, 2010

More Tips

The two tips that I posted originally are very important. When calling you bank via telephone, they should ask for a pin number. If my mother had a pin number, it would have made it difficult for the crooks. As I mentioned before, the crooks stole the mail from my mom's mailbox. Recent research indicates the majority of identity theft is happening the old-fashion way, with information stolen from wallets, purses, trash, and unlocked mailboxes, not via ‘high-tech’ online cyber methods. This makes me want to point out these major points:

1) Do not leave mail in your mailbox for mail pick-up.
2) Not all secure mailboxes are secure. It is easier to show you a link where you can watch a video. I thought that it would be best to show you how a thief can open up a secure mailbox. I am not promoting the product.mailboss.
3. Shred important information using a cross-cut shredder. One common way thieves perpetuate identity theft is by stealing your personal information through dumpster diving, or sorting through your trash. A cheap paper shredder will simply slice documents into strips that can be pieced back together by enterprising thieves, revealing your personal information.

We have a friend who shredded important information, but the shredder shredded the paper in to long strips. After the incident with his grandma, my oldest son did a talk on identity theft in his speech class. My son shredded a document with our shredder and with our friend's shredder. My son was able to tape the long strips together and so had everything he needed, if he were thief. Now, we also purchased a shredder that claimed to cross-cut (after our good shredder had problems after many years of use), but the paper, although shredded in to smaller strips, it wasn't small enough for us, because the small shredded pieces still had information. I think that you can still test out shredders at some stores, but I guess it all depends on where you live. The main point is that you shouldn't throw out papers with important information. One thing is for sure, my mother made sure that important information was shredded before tossing it in to the trash.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Helpful Tips-Identity Theft

Just to give a brief history. My mother was a victim of identity theft twice by the same people. Fortunately, the individuals were caught. Unfortunately, the first time, the individuals took a plea bargain, only to commit identity theft against my mother the second time (4 months after being released from jail). The second time, one of the individuals only served 3 months.

I thought that I would help others by posting some things that I feel were important.

This week, I will post some of the things that you should know and what you can do with your bank.

1. Create a secret pin number that someone else can not figure out easily. Do not use the last 4 digits of your social security number for the password for your bank. The individuals were able to change my mom's address over the phone because they had her SS number.

2. Create an online account if possible, so that you can monitor your accounts. Since my mother didn't have a computer, nor did she want one, she didn't have an online account. The individuals created an online account, from which facilitated their fraudulent activities.

3. Go paperless. My mother's bank statements were stolen from her mailbox. My mother noticed that statements were missing, but had no idea it was because of theft from her mailbox. You are also helping out the environment as well.

4). I just remembered another point about the bank. Banks send out blank checks. The name of what they are called escapes me at the moment. Anyways, my mother received blank checks from her credit card companies. My mom had used them before and that may be the reason why they continued to send the checks in the mail. The checks allowed my mother to write a check to pay for work done at her home, without using her credit card. The payee would cash the check, and my mother would see the charge on her Visa bill. The individuals had a field day with these checks, and one even paid her mom's bills using the checks. We were able to request for the credit card company to stop sending the blank checks in the mail. It takes several weeks or more before you will see the results.

I will have more tips coming in the future. Please pass these tips on to others. My mother was not the only one that was affected from these individuals. I was told that there were around 100 others. If you already do these tips, then I applaud you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And the Winner Is.....

Congratulations to Cinnamongirl. You won the second blog contest and the gorgeous felted wool. I can't wait to see what you make with the wool.

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Country N' More specializes in handmade reversible cobbler aprons, cover up and vintage aprons, custom aprons, toddler and children aprons, hanging oven door kitchen towels, embroidered kitchen towels and neck coolers. Each apron is made with the utmost care. Our aprons are perfect for wearing for cooking, crafting, cleaning, gardening, plus so much more. We also have an on line quality quilt fabric store.

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