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Monday, May 19, 2014

I think my husband is suicidal...if not, then he's an idiot.

(First and second freehand watercolor attempt, via onlinecardclasses.com watercolor series)

Yeah, yeah...I've been MIA for a bit. Between the 3 little ingrates masquerading as the sweet children I once had, the husband I once thought I knew and persistent water retention, I've been on the proverbial warpath for the past week.

I'm not even going to get started on the kid stories. Suffice it to say I took every electronic they possessed, sent them to their rooms and cashed in their college funds to pay for my Botox/Restalyne appointment later this week.

But I'm used to that. My children are spoiled a bit and while they have good hearts, the part they choose to show the most would be the area I'd like to put a foot in, on most occasions.

But my husband is another matter. Like most (trained) married men, he's predictable. He is also aware of several immutable truths in marriage and while he slips up occasionally, I've never seen him do something as insane as what happened today, in all the years I've known him. There have been times his rationale confused me, but at least I could see a little sense in the foundation. But this...THIS has me worried to no end.

My husband is clearly either suicidal or downright stupid.

It started with me sitting in my craft room since 7am this morning. No, I haven't been crafting. I've been surfing the internet, catching up on my blogs; gossip blogs, decorating blogs, etc. In short, being completely useless. I could afford to be! Today was one of the rare days I had nothing planned. So you can imagine my surprise when a Duke Power truck pulled up in front of my house.

For my out-of-state/country homies, Duke Power is our electric company. Having them pull up in front of your house during a weekday can be a little disconcerting, as it means you might be a bit late on the bill and they have to remind you how weak and pathetic you are without access to lights and other necessities like dishwashers and the internet. Anyway, I went to the door and greeted the guy, who was holding 2 big pieces of equipment.

He introduced himself and said he was here, as scheduled, to put the devices on our air conditioning units. He must've seen my puzzled expression (or heard me mumble WTF?...not the letters, either) so he showed me the work order.

"So is there something wrong with our units?" I said.
"No ma'am. We spoke with your husband and he signed up for the program."
"What program?"
"Our conservation program." he said.

I paused here to gather my thoughts. The two words that kept clanging around in my head were 'A/C' and 'Conservation'.

"My husband signed up for a program to conserve energy via some type of monitor device on our A/C units?" I said, slowly.
"Yes ma'am." he said, completely oblivious. "During peak times, this device will shut your A/C down and not only conserve energy, but can lower your bill."
"Lower our bill." I stated, with a bit of relief. "So that's why...well...it must save a good bit of money, I imagine. I see why he would be interested..."
"That it does!" he chimed in. "This device has a max number of times it can shut your A/C down in a 24 hour period."
"Shut my a/c down?" the danger was back.
"Why, yes. But never more than a half hour." he smiled.
"Half-hour a day?" I said, through gritted teeth.
"Half-hour every hour. Every day." Now, I saw a puzzled look on his face.
"You're saying that I could have my A/C shut down as much as 12 hours a day? So tell me, what is the max I would save with that?" my voice was icy.
"8 dollars. A quarter." he took a step back.
"So my husband decided to Hell with the fact that I've been begging him and the kids for YEARS to turn off extraneous lights and take shorter showers and he chooses to shut down the A/C 50% of the time to save less money in a year than he pays for a round of golf? Especially now that his wife started having hot flashes that are brutal enough that she's learned to strip off her clothes faster than Kim Kardashian locking in on the smell of money nearby??? So bad that she's lost 30 pounds since fall without trying???? Are. You. F**KING. KIDDING. ME?"

Yes. I actually screamed the last part. Not to his face, mind you. It was to his back, as he was halfway down the driveway, back to his truck.

As for my husband, I haven't said anything to him, yet. He's still at work. I would never call him and get into something like this while he's at work. Not because he may be thought of as unprofessional, but because I'm not wasting the ass-chewing I have planned for him on a cell phone. Nope...this is an 'in-person' confrontation if there ever was one.

In closing, allow me to offer a bit of advice to anyone in a relationship in which you cohabitate.  Saving money is fine. Making sacrifices to do that is admirable...but only when you BOTH sacrifice. My husband is hispanic and from Texas. Heat doesn't bother him. I am a translucent white, 46-year-old female, who has started para menopause and on top of my sensitivity to the heat in general, now I stand to burst into flames every couple of hours. There isn't crap for sacrifice on his part.

But to be fair, that's not what infuriates me. It's the fact he tried to sell me out, comfort-wise, for 36 pieces of silver...I mean, dollars. Didn't mean to throw in a whole biblical reference there. But, you know, maybe that's kind of appropriate...when he gets home from work in time to eat, he'd better hope this supper isn't HIS last.

(Please pardon any spelling or grammar mistakes. I simply don't have a chance to edit this. Time is short and I've got vengeance to mete out. Thank you for your understanding.)



Friday, May 9, 2014

Starbucks, the Devil and Preschool, Oh My!

For your reading pleasure while I'm trying to finish up mother's day prep...enjoy!!

Diary of a Desperate Housewife Series
by Carmen Conners



        Before I was fired and decided to become a stay at home mom, I maintained that women who stayed at home were nothing short of Saints.
                         I was a liar.
                        I alternately envied them for what I considered ‘that luxury’ or snubbed them, thinking they couldn’t cut it in the professional realm.
                        There. The truth is out.
                        Work was exciting, demanding of all my talents and, best of all, came with a paycheck. Staying at home was day after day of cleaning, laundry, cooking, bill paying, negotiating with a six-year-old and nary a dime for my efforts.
                        I wasn’t impressed.
                        I bore the income reduction with as much dignity as I could muster until the day of reckoning. My husband and I stood toe to toe. Staring straight into his eyes, I told him I refused to start another day, along with another load of laundry, without a mocha frappacino.
I’d be damned if I’d let the Starbucks go.
I considered every angle of getting my hands on extra cash. Garage sales, Ebay, getting the Kid to call Grandma to sell her on a fictitious college plan, everything. No luck.
I figured my failure was due to the stress being created by my husband’s obsession with cutting expenditures.
                        In one week, he did away with our cleaning service, the professional chef that delivered a week’s worth of gourmet meals (neatly labeled and ready to heat and serve) right to our door. He rubbed the last bit of salt in an already gaping wound by refusing my written request for a darling pair of Jimmy Choo’s I found for half off.
                        Don’t get me wrong; I understood that we’d have to tighten our proverbial belts. What I didn’t know was that my husband intended to squeeze a quarter so tight, the eagle screamed in agony.
                        I’d expected the end of luxury vacations, dining out and a reduction in my clothing allowance.                        
To my husband, however, this new budget meant minimal heat, even less light and hunting the wooly mammoth for food.
            Oh, and he also cut out call waiting. 
                        I pulled the wooly mammoth out of the oven (it was actually ‘rump roast’ but I was afraid to ask too many questions) and tried to think proactively. I warmed my hands in front of the oven and thought about how I could earn extra money. The dryer could only provide me with so much from my husband’s pants pockets. As it was, he could barely get through the door before I yanked them off to wash.
                        The caffeine withdrawal headaches were misery. The Inquisition was foreplay compared to being forced to start my day without a caramel macchiato.
                        I learned to embezzle from the grocery allotment by going with the ‘Loops of Fruit’ and ‘Starch-A-Roni’ instead of name brands, but it still wasn’t enough. I had to find other avenues of income.
                        I was still thinking about money the next morning when I took the Kid to school. Mrs. Parisi, the Kid’s teacher, waved to get my attention. I looked around, hoping it was someone else she longed to victimize, but no such luck. Mrs. Parisi always treated me with the same consideration she would a hangnail. I, likewise, appreciated her about as much as I would a butt boil, but I had to tolerate her. I was convinced she’d personally tutored Mephistopheles, Hitler and Hillary Clinton, but I kept that theory to myself.
                        “Would you be interested in helping us out a bit?”
                        I hesitated.
                        “For money?” She whispered.
                        Well, she may have been related to the Devil, but Starbucks would accept any form of cash and the Great Deceiver’s money was green as any.
                        “Well, sure.”
                        I should’ve paid more attention to the gleam in her eyes.
                        “One of our after school care workers is out sick. We just need someone to help with the children from 3 to 6pm. Your son’s welcome to stay in there with you. Interested?”
                        “Absolutely!” I said, cups of white mocha dancing before me.
                        It never once occurred to me that since I was having a hard enough time mothering the one I’d birthed, it would be better to avoid large groups of children. Period. However, much like the addict I was, common sense eluded me as I focused on the ‘fix’.  
                        Breakfast Blend.
                        I showed up the next day with cropped jeans, sparkle tennis shoes, striped oxford shirt and a scarf tied to my ponytail. I looked like a manic Sandra Dee.
                        The group of five year olds sat in a circle and scrutinized me. I felt I was being sized up for the kill.                 
                        “Okay, kids. How about a story?”
                        They just stared.
                        “Um…okay.” I said nervously, reaching for my carefully packed tote. “I brought some books you might like.”
                        I took care to move slowly.
                        “How about, let’s see, I have Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Slave of Love…oops…not that one…”
                        “Harry Potter.” A tiny voice piped up. The others nodded.
                        I began the story of the orphaned boy who would become a great wizard and battle the evil Lord Voldemort, the murderer of his parents and general threat to the free world. The children sat wide-eyed and silent as I read the book with as much theatrics as I could muster.
                        “You murdered my parents!” I wailed, feeling pretty confident I captured the angst of young Harry.
I was right in the middle of the final battle, resplendent with bolts of lightning, spells and wands spitting jets of green death, when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
                        “That is NOT appropriate reading material.” Mrs. Parisi said through gritted teeth.
                        “But it was in the children’s section.” I said, weakly.
                        “I doubt it was next to Pat the Bunny which, by the way, is appropriate material for five and six year olds.”
                         The kids, bored with the exchange, had begun playing. Several boys were whacking each other with their ‘wands’. A child in the corner burst into tears.
                        “What’s wrong?” Mrs. Parisi rushed to pick her up. 
                        “My mommy and daddy are gonna die like Harry Potter’s and a bad man’s gonna try and kill me and I don’t know any magic.” She wailed.
                        I felt faint.
                        Mrs. Parisi tried to soothe the girl while glaring daggers at me but a shrill cry made us both jump. One of the wand whackers was holding his eye and howling.
                        I frantically began scanning the floor for a loose eyeball.
                        As Mrs. Parisi rushed to him, there was a crash behind me.
                        “I am Lord Voldemort.” The voice belonged to a small boy who’d costumed himself in a sparkling, princess dress. He was holding a broom. “I am coming to kill you all.” He began clubbing the children nearest him.
I ran after ‘Lord Voldemort’ to try and disarm him. I followed his destructive wake of stunned children with head injuries.
                        Mrs. Parisi was trying to comfort the small girl in her arms while trying to check the eyeball of another. I caught ‘Lord Voldemort’ and managed to wrest the broom away. I began to reprimand him when something smacked me on the head. I threw my hands up for protection, dropping Lord Voldemort on his rear end and causing him to scream like a banshee. Two little boys had rummaged through my unguarded backpack, found my stash of tampons and a rubber band and were using them as projectiles.
                        “What in the world is going on here?” Someone yelled. It was the first mother of the day arriving to pick up her offspring.
                        The little girl in Mrs. Parisi’s arms pried herself loose.
                        “Mommy! You’re not dead! Is Daddy?”
                        “What?” The mother’s eyes bulged and a vein began throbbing at her temple.
                        “That lady said that the bad man was coming to kill everybody.”
                        I opened my mouth to explain but was interrupted by ‘Lord Voldemort’ handing my book to the enraged mother.
“Here it is.” He said, helpfully.
                        It was Slave of Love
                        “YOU.” A voice boomed. It sounded so evil it momentarily silenced the room. I looked around expecting to see the actual Lord Voldemort.
                        “YOU.” Mrs. Parisi said again, baring her teeth. “You. Sit. There.”
                        She pointed at a chair in the corner. I sat.
                        A few mothers wandered in, assessed the situation and went immediately to work restoring order. The new mothers were told, in terse undertones, of my indiscretion. They threw occasional glances at me as if I was a slug and they were wishing for a box of Morton’s salt.
                        When the last child had gone, I exchanged a worried glance with my own kid. We were both concerned about my fate. Mrs. Parisi gave the Kid her best smile and asked him to step in the hall so she could talk to me. The Kid wasn’t fooled. He knew I was in for it.
“We will no longer require your help. I took the liberty of cutting you a check for today.” Mrs. Parisi handed the check to me with trembling hands.
“I’m really sorry…” I began but she waved the apology away.
“No need. Just go home. Now. Please.”
                        She went to the door and opened it. The Kid looked me up and down for any sign of mayhem. Mrs. Parisi smiled “We’ll see you tomorrow, dear! Thanks for lending your mommy to us today!”
                        “Does mommy have to teach again tomorrow?”
                        “No…she’s all done.”
                        They both sighed with relief.
                        “Are you going straight home?” Mrs. Parisi tried to make small talk as she propelled us toward the door. The Kid shrugged and looked at me.
                        “I think we’ll stop by Mommy’s special place first.” I said, winking at the Kid. He knew I meant Starbucks.
                        “Oh! Yes, we’re going somewhere special.” He said, walking out the door. “We’re going to Mommy’s special place we go to all the time.”         
                        “Yeah.” The Kid said. “That’s why Mommy needed extra money!”
            Ms. Parisi looked puzzled. “Oh? Extra money?”
                        The Kid opened the car door, smiled and said “Yeah. Mommy says drinking there’s expensive when you do it everyday.”

Monday, May 5, 2014

Watercolor Madness




Taking watercolor classes at onlinecardclasses.com! This is the 4th class I've joined and love every one of them! Check them out at www.onlinecardclasses.com

The first technique for today was a watercolor wash background. I used pink and yellow watercolors on my Archer's Hot Press paper. LOVE that paper! Doesn't bow up and you can add water til' the cows come home and that baby won't warp or pill.

Come on over! Prizes, discounts and-most importantly-ME!!

Wait...I meant...techniques galore!

Recipe:

Pink and yellow watercolor paint
Tim Holtz ink palette
Lindy's Stamp Gang Glitz Spritz
Petaloo Velvet Butterfly
Mama Elephant Stamp
TCW Mini Flower Frenzy Stencil
Misters
Memento Ink Luxe Tuxedo Black
Prima Say it in Crystals