...in the form of a 13 Things list.

Thirteen Things I've Learned in the Past Week

  1. If you have an alarm system in your house, for heaven's sakes, make sure it is really armed when you leave the house. Don't just push the button on your key chain and suppose that since you pushed the button to turn on the alarm, that the alarm actually turned on. Because if it doesn't, it's pretty much useless when someone kicks in your basement door and comes in your house to take all your stuff. In short: key fobs for alarm systems are a bad idea for many reasons.
  2. The crappy economy affects more than just the people who have lost their jobs as a result. If you think the government stimulus plan is ill-advised and the market should be left to correct itself because you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and you still have a job, consider this: it also creates a bigger workload for the police officers who have to investigate the increased crime rate that is also a consequence of the poor economy. As a street performer once said to me, "Your donations keep me out of two places: the poor house and your house."
  3. You have a lot better chance of remembering where you put something if you are not having a stress reaction breakdown while you are trying to find it. Forget about it for a second, go make some oatmeal for your kid and the answer might come to you. Also, prayer never hurts.
  4. When all your financial information is stolen, you can have some of the most absurd conversations:
    "Hello, lost and stolen credit cards department, how can I help you?"
    "I'd like to report my card stolen."
    "I'm sorry to hear that and I'll be happy to help you. Can you turn the card over and tell me the three digit security code on the back of the card?"
    "Ummm... I'm calling to report that my card was stolen."
    "Yes. And...?"
    "So I don't have the card anymore."
  5. If you have a computer, look on the back and write down the service tag, model number, serial number, whatever else is printed there and keep that information some place separate. This is not printed on any of the information that came with your computer. The police will not even attempt to investigate a stolen computer unless you have this information - even if the computer has your last three years' tax returns on it.
  6. Local police detectives simply are not Gil Grissom from CSI.
  7. If your husband makes the mistake of telling someone at church your house was burglarized, you will not only have to retell every detail of the story over and over again to every one you pass in the hallway, but you will also have to listen to every one else's story about how when they were ten someone stole their watch from the lunchroom in school and they've never gotten over it. Even if you're not antisocial like me and you enjoy sharing your life with others, you will weary of the constant single subject of discussion. So best keep things to yourself, husbands.
  8. The average burglar has little idea of the value of a hundred+ year old violin. Thank goodness.
  9. Not having one of those fancy new forty-six inch flat screen televisions can pay off because your crappy twenty-five-inch-er purchased in 1998 weighs more than your average burglar and isn't worth even trying to take.
  10. You should never keep a hundred year old family heirloom with the rest of your jewelry. Also do not delay putting it back in the safe deposit box because it's too much of a pain to bring your two kids with you when you go to the bank.
  11. Blogging is a lot harder without a computer.
  12. I can feel a lot better about someone breaking into my home and taking all my stuff if I imagine that that someone had "24601" tattooed on his chest and was stealing to get money to buy a loaf of bread for the waif child he feels responsible for protecting.
  13. At the end of the day, it's all just stuff and the real valuable possessions in my life are two noisy girls and a clumsy engineer who are all fine and still in my possession. However, I do plan to guard them a little closer now.