Saturday, August 27, 2011

Some Bitch Stole My Husband... Her Name Is Irene

When your husband works every other weekend, the weekends you have together are precious.  JD's first weekend off this month was spent on a motorcycle trip, so we had big plans for a date night and quality of time together this weekend.  But then this bitch named Hurricane Irene decided to steal my husband away by making landfall in NC, and plans changed.  Our hot date night together turned into his hot date night with his training officer.

We live inland, so we didn't feel the full impact of the storm, but they still need extra officers on hand to direct traffic in areas where there are power outages and stuff.  I’m not mad he got called in.  SOMEONE has to be out protecting our city, even when the conditions are dangerous, and I’m proud of him for wanting to be that person.  I just wish Irene would have picked a different night :)

I do have to admit that I had a small moment on Friday when he told me he was getting called in on Saturday.  I knew being a Law Enforcement Wife would be hard, and I knew a lot of things to expect, but sometimes you can know something and not really understand it till you've experienced it.  It seems so unfair that LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers), military, and other public safety workers get called away from their families when they're needed at home most.  We were lucky that the storm wasn't that bad here, but I was hit with the realization that I would have been on my own no matter how bad things got.  

I wish I could fully articulate how consuming this job is, for both of us.  It not only affects our time together, but it's forced me to change the way I approach certain things.  JD may be the protector of the city, but I'm now the sole protector of our household.  That may sound dramatic, but it's also reality.

For now, I will be glad that we can have a date night tomorrow, and hoping that everyone in the path of the storm is safe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Letter to Bank of America

Dear Bank of America,

Based on a previous rant, you may be aware that I'm not the biggest fan of banking institutions.  That's why, when I received a notice that I'd overdrafted on my checking, I was prepared for a fight and, to be completely honest, to close my account.

Now, my balance on this account usually runs pretty low because it's a personal account I keep so JD and I can each have a little bit of our "own" spending money.  However, I'm always very organized about these types of things, and I knew that there was no way the overdraft was my fault.

When I checked my account balance online, I noticed a new "account maintenance fee" that had been charged to my account for July and August, along with a lovely $35 overdraft fee (potentially 3 whole lattes at Starbucks).  There was money in my savings account, which could have easily covered the overdraft, which irked me even more.

I pulled up one of the "chat with a customer service representative live" windows and asked about the new fee.  "Richard" (which I'm guessing isn't his real name based on his overly formalized yet broken English) was very polite and very helpful, and explained that there are new requirements for my type of account if you want to maintain a free account.  He also mentioned that I should have received a notice with my April payment.

Okay, so technically a little my fault, but I don't receive paper statements, and since I can see all my transactions in my account history online, why would I ever feel the need to look at my statement pdf?!  

Anyway, Rich told me that all I had to do to avoid fees in the future was have at least $250 direct deposited into my account every month.

Um, sorry buddy, ain't gonna happen.  I have bills and crap to pay out of my REAL checking account.

Then Rich told me I could simply change my account type to an e-account, which would be free if I signed up for paper statements and did all my banking online or through the ATM (as in, no tellers).  It just so happens this is perfect for me because I already do that anyway.

I was waiting for the catch, but Big Rich changed my account type for me without having to change my account number, and refunded both maintenance fees and my overdraft fee.

Wait... what?!  That was easy.  I didn't have to ask to speak to a manager or have JD call and complain for me.  I didn't have to steal money from our checking account so I didn't get charged another overdraft fee.  I didn't have to go all the way down there so I could quit the bank! (Sorry, Friends reference)

Way to go Bank of America.  You rocked my world today.

Thanks for your customer service done right (minus the whole changing the terms of my account, but I can look past that now).

Bank of America customer for life,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mountain Vacation

Every year, my dad's side of the family takes a week-long summer vacation together.  We almost always go to the beach, but this year we decided to switch things up and rent a cabin in the mountains of Gatlinburg, TN.  It was a relaxing and fun-filled weekend of hiking, motorcycle rides with JD (although I can't say I'll ever go riding in the mountains again- I got super motion sick and almost puked over the side of a mountain), shopping (normally I don't like shopping on vacation because I feel like I'm wasting time that could be spent doing something else, but I enjoyed the shops in downtown Gatlinburg and the nearby outlet mall), tons of relaxing in the hot tub, and a horseback ride.  

I also had the first really good opportunity to play around with our new DSLR camera.  Enjoy!

Some views from hiking

Motorcycle ride- I was SO happy to be off the bike at this point.

Taking in the view (please ignore my helmet hair)

Stopping for ginger ale, a snack, and some people watching :)

More hiking

Grotto Falls- The only waterfall in the area that you can walk behind

Rather than hiking with the rest of us, JD decided to RUN up the mountain.  Here he is cooling off (actually, freezing his butt off) in the waterfall.


The view from our cabin.  Not bad, eh?

Shopping in Gatlinburg.  I loved this area that was off of the main road.  Instead of cheesy tshirt shops and typical touristy stuff, it was filled with cute boutiques and pretty landscaping.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park... here is the view from the highest point in the park.