Check Fraud

Recently I was the victim of check washing fraud.  A large personal check that I mailed at a US post office was intercepted and the payee name was changed.  I discovered the alteration by accident.  The perpetrators didn’t change the amount of the check, so I didn’t suspect anything when the check cleared my bank. It was only when the intended payee didn’t acknowledge the receipt of my check, that I began to investigate and noticed the fraud.

Doing some research on the internet about what actions I should take to protect myself and recover my money didn’t yield any inspiring results.  So now that I’ve survived the ordeal and recovered my money, I thought I would write this post to help other who find themselves in a similar situation.

Step 1 – Breath

Unfortunately, your experience is not unique.  Take a deep breath.  You will get through this and most likely get your money back quickly.

Step 2 – Report the fraud to your bank

As soon as you discover the fraud, report it to your bank’s fraud department.  They will require you to file an affidavit about the fraud.

Step 3 – Close your bank account and open a new one

Close the bank account that the fraud was on and open a new one.  Once the fraudsters have your bank account information; they will try and use it again.  This is a pain, but it is the best strategy.  The bank will set your account to ‘Debit only’ so deposit transactions will post, but not checks or other credits.  If you have a list of scheduled payment that need to be allowed, the bank will take your list and note it on your old account.

Step 4 – File a report with the police

Contact your local Police department and file a police report about the fraud.

Step 5 – Freeze your credit files

Contact each of the three credit reporting agencies and freeze your credit files.  Consider also putting a “Fraud Alert” on your credit file.




Step 6 – Report the fraud to the US Postal Inspectors (optional)

I your fraud involved the US Mail then report it to the USPIS.

If you find yourself a victim of check fraud, then I hope this helps.  It took a week from the time a reported the fraud to my bank before the money was returned to my account.

Stuck in my head

For some reason this verse has been stuck in my head today.

“Chaos umpire sits, And by decision more embroils the fray, By which he reigns; next him high arbiter Chance govern all. Into this wild Abyss” John Milton Paradise Lost

Living well is the best revenge

Sunday lunch consisted of grilled steak with a plantain, feta, hot pepper, and balsamic vinegar relish topping. Grilled asparagus, twice baked potato, and Marsala mushrooms. A glass of red wine was the perfect beverage. Hard times are coming. Live well while you can.

Stuck in my head

This phrase has been stuck in my head today,

“All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.”

― Edmund Burke

Happy 25th Birthday

25 years ago today, God blessed us with a baby boy. He was born with Down Syndrome and had some related health problems. At 4 months old he had to have open heart surgery.  After the one surgery, he was a healthy and happy baby boy.

Each stage of his life has been fun. Of course there have been challenges, but everyday there has been love and laughter We have had many adventures together and I hope we will have many, many more.  

If you learn of a friend or family member whose unborn child is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, comfort them and encourage them not to despair. Down Syndrome children are a daily blessing of God’s love. Brighter than diamonds. More precious than Gold.

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now

Tonight, just for kicks, I went shopping at my local Publix with out a mask. I had one in my pocket if needed, but for the whole 30 minutes in the store and at check-out no one said a word to me.

What if we all just stopped wearing masks? What would they do?

The headline of this post is from a popular song by Portugal, The Man. See the video below.

One Year Ago

This time last year we were exploring New Zealand. I must admit that I’m over the Wuhan Virus. It has disrupted our lives long enough. I’m ready to travel again, internationally.

Polar Plunge

I’m so proud of my son Albert who raised $2,451 for Brewable Cafe today by doing the Alpharetta Rotary Club Polar Plunge.

Goodbye 2020!!

2020 was a challenging year for many.  I have to admit that I feel a little guilty that 2020 was an awesome year for me.  Should I even say that out loud? So many other people suffered through this year.

I will admit that the year began with some anxiety and uncertainty.  But then my faith in God kicked-in and I realized what an opportunity the year would be.  In February, my family flew to Australia and New Zealand for a six-week trip.  We had a wonderful time exploring New Zealand for 27 days before the US State Department told us to get home or plan to shelter in place for the duration.  Our trip home was surreal, but we arrived home safely.  

Despite the prevalence of the Wuhan Virus, that plague has passed over our house.  We have all stayed healthy this year.

In July, after more than a little cabin fever, we took a trip to the western states to explore our National Parks.  Once again, the trip didn’t not go as planned, but it was still a wonderful trip.  We spent 25 days driving across America the Beautiful.  We managed to visit Badlands National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks for a second time, Crater Lake National Park, Golden Spike, Grand Canyon National Park, Hot Springs National Park, and Graceland.

So as 2020 draws to a close, I don’t feel deprived, I feel blessed.  It has been a wonderful year where I have been able to spend quality time with the one’s I love.

My prayer for 2021 is that it is better than 2020.  I hope that we will put the Wuhan Virus behind us and get back to normal. 

Ain’t Life Grand!!

Friday Wisdom

“If you can’t control your own emotions, you’re forced to control other people’s behaviour, That’s why the touchiest, most oversensitive and easily upset must not set the standard for the rest of us.”  John Cleese


I voted today, so for me the 2020 Election is over. It would be a relief, but I will still have to wade through the campaign effluent until the votes are tallied in November.

The crowds were light where I voted at the Fulton-Atlanta Library.

I’m curious as to why the powers that be felt they needed to add the phase, “I Secured my vote” to the voter stickers. Probably to make me feel that voting is safe and secure. I just see it as more government Kabuki theater.

Down Syndrome Awareness

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month. I know I’ve said it before, but having a child with Down Syndrome is, in my opinion, the closest you can get to God’s love. I know, from personal experience, that raising a child with special needs can be challenging. However, raising any child is challenging. Parenting is always like cutting and polishing a diamond. You focus on getting your child to develop as much as they are able.

My son is 24 years old and he is a daily joy, as he has been since birth. Each stage of his life has been fun. Of course there have been challenges, but everyday there has been love and laughter.

If you learn of a friend or family member whose unborn child is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, comfort them and encourage them not to despair. Down Syndrome children are a daily blessing of God’s love. Brighter than diamonds. More precious than Gold.

Southern Hospitality and Love

Nothing represents Southern Hospitality like homemade Deviled Eggs. I believe this is because they are labor intensive. When someone shows up at a get together with Deviled Eggs, you can bet they spent some time preparing them.

If they are a meticulous cook, then they started the night before by flipping the eggs, so the yolk is in the center of the egg. The next day they boiled and peeled the eggs. The peeling is the work part. Then separated the yolks from the whites without breaking the white. Mixing the yolks with mayonnaise and other spices to make the delicious filling. Then spooning or piping the yolk mixture back into the whites and toping with a garnish or simply smoked paprika. If all this is done with love, then there is nothing like a delicious Deviled Egg.

Deviled Eggs for our tailgate party today to celebrate the start of SEC football.

Boyz Weekend

Shari has left the boys home alone. She is in Knoxville celebrating her nieces 50th birthday. Albert and I started Boyz Weekend by watching all The Hobbit movies. 9 hours of Bilbo Baggins.

Watching The Hobbit wearing our Hobbit t-shirts.

Happy Birthday, America

The Declaration of Independence might be more relevant today, in 2020, than it has been in years. The second paragraph strikes me as particularly relevant today. (Emphasis added)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness”.

Below is my favorite rendition of America the Beautiful sung by a great America, Ray Charles.

Abigail Update

My granddaughter Abigail came over today for a visit. Her mom has figured out that it is easier to work-from-home at our house, so we can play with Abigail and she can get some work done. Works for me!!


Shari and I went for a walk on the Alpharetta Greenway this afternoon.  We saw this turtle and someone said it was laying eggs.  Odd that it was so close to the main trail.

Penny’s Baptism

This afternoon we attended the baptism of my Grand-niece at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Yonge’s Island, SC. It was a very nice ceremony. The church staff made it special, despite the Wuhan Virus restrictions.

Welcome to your faith family, Penny.


We are in Charleston, SC this weekend visiting my sister, niece, and new baby. When we first arrived, we were a bit stand-offish because of the Wuhan Virus. Then my niece Daisy saw Albert and it was hugs and kisses. So much for social distancing.

25th Anniversary

I can honestly say that on my wedding day, I didn’t consider that this day would ever arrive. 25 years is an inconceivable amount of time. However, here it is. It has been an amazing, fun, loving, exhilarating , blessed 25 years. I would love to say it was without it’s trials and tribulations, but that isn’t life. Yet, despite them, I lover her more than I did the day we were married. I was very smitten that day, so that is saying a lot.

Happy New Year !!

We had a traditional Southern New Year’s Day meal of Hoppin Johns and Collard Greens today.

According to legend, during the US Civil War, as the Union Army made its way through the Southern States they killed the livestock and burned the crops. Believing that the black-eyed peas were feed for the cows, the didn’t burn them. Collard Greens they probably didn’t realize were edible. Because until they are cooked for a long time, they really aren’t. In the wake of the Union Army’s destruction, the survivors ate black-eyed peas and Collard Green.

Legend also says that the black-eyed peas are eaten for luck and the collards greens for money in the new year. So here is to “Luck and money in 2020.”

Goodbye to a Dear Aunt

While we were traveling in Europe we received word that my Aunt Marlene had died. At the end of the summer she had surgery to remove a mass on her brain. I think they knew at the time, the surgery would not cure her, but would make her more comfortable during the time she had left.

Marlene was married to my mother’s oldest brother. Uncle Dick died in 2001. In 2016 I travelled to Southern California for work and had the pleasure of taking Aunt Marlene to dinner. It was just the two of us and during dinner I asked her about how her and my Uncle had ended up together in Southern California. She was from Monticello, Kentucky and he was from Orlando, FL. She told me the story about how they met and the circumstances that brought them together again in Cypress, CA. I really enjoyed my visit with her.

Aunt Marlene was a very smart and creative person. Each year she sent me a birthday card that she made herself and address with calligraphy. I learned later that she did that for about 300 people each year.

We drove to the church for the funeral and arrived right at 10:00. My sister Martha texted as we arrived to say that she had seats for us.  The service was very nice.  My cousin Robert gave a great eulogy and did a good job of holding it together while he talked.  Afterwards there was a slide show with a lot of great pictures of Aunt Marlene through the years.  

After the church service, we rode with my sister Martha and her husband Mike to the cemetery.  The graveside service was short.  At the end the pallbearers took the white gloves that they were wearing and a white rose and laid them on top of the casket.  Next the children all  laid a white rose in her casket and then everyone was invited to lay a flower on the casket.

After the graveside ceremony we went back to the church gym where there was a reception. We ate lunch there and visited with family members.  I spent a fair amount of time talking to Jack, my cousin Jill’s. Son who is autistic.  He is a good looking guy and seams to be very high functioning, but he does get on some obsessive topics. 

Eventually, the church people had to run us out of the gym. Our Irish family has the gift of gab. We went back to the hotel and changed our cloths.  While we were in the hotel room I turned on the tv to watch some of the SEC Championship Game.  Georgia was loosing and it got worse from there.

After changing into more comfortable cloths, we drove over to Aunt Marlene’s house were the family was gathering.  When we arrived, My cousin John was standing outside talking to his next door neighbor Peter and two friends who were visiting from Serbia and Montenegro. After chatting with them for a few minutes, we went inside and joined the rest of the family.

I started out watching a little of the football game with my cousin Pat.  Albert watched too. I made my way around visiting with various family members. The guys were hanging around the pool, so I went out there for a while.  Then I went inside and visited with my cousins Jennifer and Aunt Rita for a while. It was a nice gathering and at the end we took a group picture to remember everyone who came together for Aunt Marlene and her family.

The family


We attended the broadway play Wicked today at The Fabulous Fox Theater.  We left the house on time, found our parking garage, and walked up to the Fox.  The weather was clear and cool, just perfect for our three block walk to the Fox Theater.  The only bad thing that happened was that security wouldn’t let me take my two inch swiss army knife into the theater.  I had the choice of walking back and putting it in the car or throwing it out.  I chose to throw it away, because I have 4 more just like it at home.
The show was spectacular.  I always love the creativity of a live theater performance.  It is always a treat to go to the fabulous Fox Theater.  The moorish interior and lighting always impresses me.

A map of the Land of Oz
The Moorish interior of The Fabulous Fox Theater


Happy Halloween. The rain passed through in time for the little goblins to go Trick-or-Treating. We had about 50 come to the door. Our traditional Halloween night festivities includes a classic movie, Young Frankenstein.

Favorite Dinner

I’m in Irving, TX and I was pleasantly surprised to find an In-N-Out Burger here. So a Double-Double Animal Style was a must for dinner. It was delicious.

Abigail Update

On Sunday we had the pleasure of hosting my granddaughter Abigail at our house while her parents had a lunch date. She has been teething for the last few days and has not been in a very good mood. Of course she was a perfect angel while she was with her Nana and Pawpaw.

She is now 10 months old and has real hair. She is growing fast. Like most children her age, she loves to be held and walked around with so she can see the world from a taller perspective.

My daughter sent this picture of her eating breakfast this morning. This is her typical personality. A happy girl.

23 Years of adventures

23 years ago today, God blessed us with a baby boy.  We named Albert after his grandfather and great-grandfather.  We knew he would have challenges and wanted him to have a strong family name.

He was born with some health problems and at 4 months old had to have open heart surgery.  After the one surgery, he was a healthy and happy baby boy.

He has always been a fun and happy child.  We have had many adventures together and I hope we will have many, many more.  Happy Birthday to my baby boy.


Comfort Food

I has been a stress filled week, so for lunch today, Rinktum Ditty. Strange name. My Mother made this when I was growing up. I’ve never asked my sisters if they remember it, but I still enjoy it. It is a very simple recipe. Canned tomato soup with cheddar cheese melted in the soup. Served over saltine crackers. Not something I eat all the time, but I enjoy it now and then. Definitely Good Eats!


Albert starts a new job today at Brew-able. It’s a coffee shop that supports special needs adults with job training. He only works a few hours a day, but it get’s him out, he get to interact with other, and learn new skills. It’s a Godsend for us.

Albert with his co-workers Meggy and Maddy