For the past two months, I’ve been juggling four Brides waiting on the Beto Lock Down to be lifted for permission to marry. I’ve been talking to Angela off and on and establishing a great friendship prior to ever meeting her in person.
Angela was absolutely thrilled to marry yesterday and truly a joy to finally meet in person.
Few prospects realize that I can easily cancel or reschedule their wedding by simply calling the chaplain or Warden directly if they fail to pay their deposit or balance. I have all the phone numbers and TDCJ Units have all of my contact information.
Yesterday, one bride cancelled on me and I cancelled two others who hadn’t paid their balances. It’s just business and as any vendor realizes, getting paid prior to the event is essential to getting paid. Those who promise to pay on the “day of the actual event”‘often find any excuse to skirt their obligations.
For years, trying to get paid on the day of an event was such a problem that trying to get paid was a miserable experience for me. Since I was going to the Unit anyway, I made an exception for 2PM.
Had I not been scheduled on the same day at the same unit, I would’ve insisted on payment in full.
Because I have far too much experience trying to get paid on the day of an event, I intentionally don’t drive hours and hours to a Prison Wedding hoping to get reimbursed.
Since the 2PM Bride had skipped paying her deposit and signing a contract, I carefully explained why she would need to bring payment in full. As late as Wednesday evening, she continued to promise there wouldn’t be a problem but, she lied.
My morning started off badly although I had prepared everything for a full day of traveling from Fort Worth to Tennessee Colony a small Texas town that houses five TDCJ Prison Units. I had packed my SUV with an array of bouquets and set out two suits, planning for day in Tennessee Colony by leaving Fort Worth at 9AM, my dog, Foxy Wortham was unable to get out of bed at 7AM for breakfast.
Foxy never misses a meal and as I went to check on him, our morning at WorthamWorld quickly came to a horrible start.
Running to find my phone and call Parker County Vet as Matthew attempted to help Foxy stand up only for him to fall over again, the fear of having to put Foxy to sleep washed over not only my mind but also, my husbands.
Knowing that there was no way that I could cancel my “stacked” ceremonies at Beto Unit, I called the Vet ER and made an appointment for Foxy.
My husband called his office to tell them he would be late or not in at all as our dog was ill and not responding.
Matthew has a luxury that I don’t regarding sick days as I’m the only TDCJ Officiant on my Texas Twins Events Team.
I’ve never called in sick or missed a scheduled appointment and, I’m not going to start now. My husband and I were both horrified and heartbroken regarding Foxy but, I had to fulfill my commitments.
I quickly sent my twin sister a text that Foxy couldn’t walk or stand up and rather than riding with me to Tennessee Colony, I needed her to drive to the vet and give my husband moral support.
While I ran to get ready for my long drive, I decided to skip curling my hair and jumped into my SUV at 8AM to meet my husband and Cindy at the Vet ER about fifteen minutes from our home.
Running in, I found my husband and sister crying in the waiting room together. Foxy is the same age as my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna.
Foxy was in the lab getting X-rays and blood work. My husband walked outside crying not knowing whether we would be forced to put Foxy to sleep or whether he would be able to get treatment and recover.
Although I hated to leave my husband and Foxy, I cannot call in sick or miss a scheduled booking and had to leave at 8:45AM to head to TDCJ Beto Unit.
It was so hard to watch Matthew waiving goodbye and waiting alone as he insisted that Cindy go with me for a three hour one way drive to Tennessee Colony due to constant road construction.
It’s only two and a half hours when they aren’t working on the roads but, after two years of driving to this “city of Prisons,” I’m all too aware that road construction easily adds thirty minutes to the drive time.
Cindy and I decided to stop for gas and coffee and check in with Matthew an hour into our drive. I was really worried about him and what would happen with Foxy.
It’s hard to leave your family in the throes of an emergency or unexpected illness.
Not knowing if someone will live or die whether it’s a dog or not doesn’t remove the pain of loss or the worry involved. After all of these years, Foxy is a permanent fixture in our lives that we have never expected to lose.
My husband was so emotional when we left him at VCA that I was concerned about him driving home. My call went to voice mail.
At 11:21AM, Matthew called to let us know that nothing was broken and Foxy had likely pulled a muscle. I’m guessing that it occurred when Foxy leapt off our stairs to chase the homeless cats my neighbor feeds on the porch we share.
This “feeding of the homeless cats” started about two years ago. I have no idea why my neighbors fail to realize that the last thing we want are plates of old cat food, flies and stray cats with fleas running around the neighborhood.
I chase homeless cats off my patio furniture constantly and my dog chases them off endlessly. Leaving old cat food lying my around brings more than stray cats. It also brings raccoons and other unwanted pests.
For our family, this stray cat feeding frenzy from at least two of our neighbors on either side also brought my husband and I a nearly $1k vet bill for Foxy because he jumped off the stairs to chase cats and hurt himself.
The pain of having to go through a tortuous day of trying to save our dog and not knowing what was wrong with him was all because my neighbors continue to feed stray cats.
Thanks to all of my idiot neighbors who fail to realize that stray cats aren’t house pets and continue littering the neighborhood with their discarded paper plates of cat food, my dog is on muscle relaxers for chasing the unwanted feral cats off of our porch. What a gift.
I’ve been angry about this cat feeding frenzy for awhile now. The last thing I want to drive home to see is cats having sex in my driveway to make more kittens!
Clawing their way up my patio furniture and tearing the cushions while leaving fleas behind, these cats have forced me to spray for fleas on my patio cushions on a regular basis now.
No good deed goes unpunished and feeding one stray cat has brought eight more and endless kittens. The howling of cats has turned our otherwise peaceful neighborhood into a zoo of old cat food, flies, more stray animals and fleas!
A family of raccoons have moved in next door. I watch them stop here for cat food from my neighbor and walk right in front of our video cameras to the abandoned house next door.
Cindy had originally bought Foxy as a rescue dog for the twins. Since Foxy was so hyper, Matthew and I adopted him and the little rescue Beagle puppy found a new home with us at WorthamWorld.
Visits from the twins made Foxy a two family rescue dog. We share him as a family and when Cindy walked into the vet, Foxy tried to stand and wag his tail at his second mother although he wouldn’t stand for my husband or I. Had the twins or Madyson came in, my dog would’ve been overjoyed as nothing excites him more than visits from my three grandnieces.
Foxy is truly happiest when the twins or my youngest grandniece, Madyson are visiting and follows them everywhere trying to get food or playing with them.At his age, Foxy never acted like a senior dog. He was playful and always ready for fun but yesterday, the dog that’s kept us laughing all of these years wasn’t interested in food or leaving his bed.
Cindy and I were parked at the only store in Tennessee Colony when a text from my 2PM bride arrived at 12:02 advising me that she wouldn’t be coming to her wedding ceremony. We always stop at this store to grab bottled water or use the restroom. It’s a hodgepodge of everything from car parts to cleaning supplies and souveniers from the Prisons that include tshirts, caps, windbreakers and more.
Since I had just left my crying husband three hours prior to head to two weddings at TDCJ Beto Unit, a text from 2PM canceling was the last thing I wanted to see.
Angela was scheduled for 1PM and the other lady aka 2PM whose name I had no idea of her name since she put my name on her I60 for a wedding that was Approved only because she had used my name on TDCJ Paperwork without paying a deposit and therefore not going through the actual process of hiring me to Officiate her wedding. I hate surprises. My family members surprise me all of the time and the one area of my life that I don’t want surprises is work.
No Warden will Approve a Wedding Ceremony WITHOUT a verified and Approved Officiant.
Getting a call stating “we have a date and time at Beto Unit” when I don’t know who you are and you haven’t paid your deposit is the last thing I need to deal with. I’ve taken steps to stop the flood of surprise calls from Prisons because I had to.
Just because you’ve found my name on the internet and decided to use it on your I60 doesn’t mean I’m obligated to show up. I show up for actual clients not strangers.
Because of this surprise Prison Wedding, I advised 2PM that she would need to bring her fee in full prior to the wedding and had the Chaplain “stack” Angela at 1PM with the second bride at 2PM.
This “I will pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” type of scenario had me lit two weeks ago when she called to give me the date.
Prison Weddings have a completely different protocol from traditional weddings. How so? The Officiant is the FIRST step as opposed to the LAST step in the planning process.
I say this a lot because it’s true “if you don’t put any skin in the game- you have nothing to lose.”
Looking at Cindy sitting in my passenger seat parked outside the strangest convenience store we’ve ever been in, I warily told her that if Beautiful Bride Angela hadn’t been on her way, I would’ve left my husband alone at the vet facing saying goodbye to Foxy to drive three hours to Tennessee Colony and three hours back to Fort Worth for the Hell of it. As if my circus didn’t have enough clowns, my father believes that people are living in his attic and my niece, Stephaney who is now homeless and jobless, comes over to my home to eat, bathe and complain every morning. Dealing with my niece on a daily basis for at least two hours is a miserable experience.
Usually my dad is calling or texting while I’m trying to shuffle Stephaney out of my house and get on with the rest of my day making it a doubly stressful.
I deal with crazy texts and phone calls or visits from my niece when she isn’t here eating or bathing and my dad on a regular basis.
Putting up with my niece for 2-3 hours is a real ass whipping. You would think she would be grateful or looking for a job to support herself but she isn’t. Fielding my dads calls and texts while dealing with my niece is overwhelming!
Stephaney is quite comfortable with Cindy or I paying all of her expenses from gas to food to cigarettes and making us feeling guilty about not moving her in but, my niece off meds and on drugs isn’t welcome in either of our homes as a permanent houseguest.
I had a talk with Stephaney regarding getting her own home and finding a job to pay for it but, it went quite badly. My suggestions to my niece always start an argument.
Being Bipolar One and off her medication, reasonable conversations with my niece are few and far between. Only when she’s on her medication can she have a decent conversation with me that makes any sense.
Trying to get Stephaney in and out of my house every morning is an actual struggle of arguments as to why she can’t just move in.
My husband has no idea that she’s off her meds, unemployed and coming over every morning. Why? She isn’t allowed to come over until Matthew leaves for work.
My husband will never forget seeing Stephaney on our patio with a hammer in her back pocket a few months ago. Stephaney thought (as usual) that she was being chased by the FBI, CIA or some other wild scenario and, my husband thought she was going to knock me in the head.
Cindy reminds Stephaney that “she isn’t that important” while reinforcing to her that we both wish that someone “was looking for her” so we could tell them where to find her.
My husband is afraid of my niece as is her sister and my son. Stephaney on meth and off her medication is highly unpredictable.
Last night while out driving in the car Stephaney lives in, she ran out of gas and called Cindy to help her. Although I begged my sister to ignore the text after 10PM, the usual guilt of having Stephaney stranded had my twin buying a gas can and running off into the night to save Stephaney again.
Since Cindy broke her foot and couldn’t just run across the freeway in incoming traffic risking her life to save Stephaney with Stephaney screaming “help me,” when her car wouldn’t start, Cindy was helpless to help her after she had already given her a gas can full of gas.
Some people expect you to do everything for them and my niece is no exception. Taking my advice, my sister finally drive off from this late night escapade and went home leaving Stephaney to figure it out. Stephaney manic is a mess. She is also demanding on occasion when nothing you do for her is “good enough.”
Cindy and I are both praying Stephaney gets arrested. Why? It’s the only way to get her cleaned up unless she’s committed. If we get her committed, she’s back on her meds and back on track. We are helpless to force my niece into treatment.
Even suggesting treatment causes Stephaney to go into a wild rage. It’s horrible to have a relative on drugs. Absolutely heartbreaking.
I have no idea how other families deal with a drug addict and remain normal or even hopeful to find any resemblance of peace unless the addict is away in treatment or Jail. God help your poor souls. I wish we didn’t know what dealing with a drug addict who won’t take her medication was like but, reality sucks.
My dad is so convinced that someone is living in his attic that I can’t convince him otherwise. The past two weeks of texts and phone calls have been so wild from him that they are hard to believe even for Cindy and I.
Amazingly, our brother has no idea of what’s going on with dad. How do we know? We asked dad if he told our brother any of this “people in the attic” stuff. Nope. Frankly, Cindy and I were a little upset that dad didn’t bother enlightening our brother and saved all the crazy shit for us.
Cindy finally called our brother and let him know what was going on with dad. Our brother already knew about the “Stephaney Situation.” Our entire family knows about Stephaney.
Since our brother lives in Monroe, North Carolina, he’s been missing the daily dose of crazy that we’ve been getting in Texas.
My sister and I call each other constantly to go over the latest “development at dads house.” From his tree being “killed” by the neighbor to people walking on his roof and living in his attic, my dad really believes people are in and out of his house. Between dad and Stephaney things have been really out of the ordinary.
To calm my dad regarding “people in the attic,” I’ve went over and searched his attic a few days ago and even walked the backyard with Cindy three times so far.
I’ve yet to see any signs of an intruder but, my efforts to convince my father of this are fruitless. My dad won’t leave the house and move to a retirement home either. The oversized home he lives in has two levels and the stairs have proved to be treacherous for him. He frequently falls down the stairs.
On a few visits to see my dad, he’s opened the door with a gash on his head and his face covered in blood. Rather than going to the hospital with me, my father shrugs off the many injuries he’s had in a home that isn’t “senior friendly.”
Yesterday, my dad said that the people he believes are living in the attic are pumping bug spray through the air vents. I can’t make this shit up!
The crazy got pumped a notch this week with dad and the imaginary people in the attic. Seriously. I went back over there since he lives three blocks away and smelled nothing unusual.
Visits to my dad now involve visually sweeping the attic for evidence of intruders and looking for items he can’t find because “the people in the attic must’ve taken them.”
Last night I took a fruit cake I had picked up in Tennessee Colony over to my dads house on my way home and my dad was fine. No head wounds from falling down the stairs and no mention of the people walking on his roof or living in his attic. I took this visit as a “win” but, I was counting my chickens before they had hatched.
Twenty minutes later, dad was texting me that fumes were coming in from the air conditioner. Cindy was in the car with me reading the text as I pulled in by her SUV at the vet. We both gasped at how my dad was fine twenty minutes ago and manic twenty minutes later.
Living three blocks away, I’m far closer than Cindy and often the first to go investigate the “latest development” my dad believes is happening.
Dads a little bit angry that Cindy and I don’t believe people are living in the attic and eating his food but, we’ve searched the house, we’ve called the police and we’ve stood there shocked silly looking at eight bullet holes in his ceiling.
I’d love to say dad can’t surprise us anymore but, Hell anything is possible now. Grabbing a gun to shoot an intruder in Texas isn’t unusual but, shooting the ceiling is.
My dad called the Fire Department to come check for poisonous gas Sunday and while checking the vents, the fire department saw the bullet holes and called the police.
The next five hours of my weekend were spent trying to explain that my dad isn’t crazy to police, fire and paramedics.
My dad is so jumpy that he tried to explain why he needed his guns to the police who wanted to take them. “I’m a senior citizen and I have a right to defend myself in my own home.”
Cindy and I were asked to give consent for the police to take our fathers guns but, since it wasn’t our home and my dad strongly disagreed, we weren’t in a position to choose. With all of the neighbors watching, the circus rolled on with more police.
Two hours later, my dad thought he was being transferred to Harris Hospital and wound up at John Petersmith Hospital for Psychiatric Evaluation instead.
I can’t express in words what it’s like to watch your father carted off to the 10th floor for 72 hours because there are no words.
It was heartbreaking to watch our father in the hall with two police officers watching to see if he was “going to make a run for it!” At 75, my father wasn’t running anywhere.
Crying, I called my brother to tell him what was going on. Jerry was as upset as Cindy and I about this and wants dad to go stay with him in North Carolina.
Cindy and I are meeting alarm companies while my dad is on this “mini vacation” and securing his house so he doesn’t feel frightened to be alone anymore. We had no idea that his other alarm was no longer working until this week. Dad didn’t tell us about the alarm. He was so busy telling us about everything else, dad didn’t mention the alarm until I asked how to set it after locking the house up as the circus of police cars, ambulance and fire trucks left Birchman Ave.
If you could see the look on our faces reading the latest wild ass texts from my dad or Stephaney, you’d have a far better idea of how unwelcome these “emergencies” actually are when we are trying to work and “look like I don’t have another completely insane text on my phone” waiting for an immediate response.
How do you tell a client that your niece or dad are texting you with a wild theory, idea or emergency they want to talk to you about? No one would be able to relate. Instead of reading the next “wild emergency,” I turn the sound off on my phone when I’m with a client. I don’t want to hear it.
Frankly, I don’t want to know about what my dad has imagined hearing or my niece wants next. It would be perfect if my dad would let me move my niece in but, he won’t. He doesn’t trust Stephaney. After years of her unpredictable behavior, my dad won’t even allow Stephaney in his house. I came up with this great idea about moving Stephaney in with dad about eight months ago but, my dad wasn’t at all interested in having a roommate.
What the heck did we ever do to deserve dealing with Saving Stephaney another crazy emergency with our dad? Now and then I consider running away from all of this. Really. I could conduct my business in sunny California and get away from my crazy family. Cindy and the twins could join me. We might even find peace for a change. But, both of our husbands have lucrative jobs that keep us in Texas. Our children and grandchildren all live here. All of my businesses are here. Maybe when our husbands retire we can move?
My daughter in law and I don’t get along and with my dad and Stephaney, it feels like three against one with crazy, demanding, one sided and unrealistic needs, wants or fears from my own family members who I continue to hope will find reality soon.
If Stephaney would get a job and straighten up, if my dad would join a senior club and get out of the house, if my daughter in law would stop brow beating my son.
There are a lot of “ifs” going on but, my advice falls on deaf ears. I’m going to throw in “if my neighbors would stop feeding homeless cats in our upscale neighborhood” too just for the heck of it. You can’t make people listen.
My husband once told me that some people are so stupid that trying to explain something to them will give you a headache or heart attack. At the time, I believed that anyone is capable of logical reasoning but now, I’m not so sure.
I’m trying to work. My grandmother used to call me at work says my someone was looking in her windows. No one was but this come over immediately after work stuff went on for years.
Cindy and I regularly skip answering texts and phone calls from dad and Stephaney when we are working for our own sanity. Really. We have to give ourselves a moment to digest another crazy theory. When we are working, we aren’t worrying about our family.
I went to my dads house and looked at the holes in his bedroom ceiling before going up into the attic to try and see if the 38 slugs went through the roof.
Unable to find them, I walked the steps from the attic to his bedroom to trace the same steps in the attic to locate the bullets. I couldn’t find them in the ceiling or the floor of the attic.
Looking for nearly an hour in Texas heat, I gave up Monday but looked again Friday. I couldn’t understand how these bullets just disappeared. Feeling like a CSI investigator, I continued to try and find the bullets on several visits.
The air ducts going to each vent in the house are a literal maze of silver tones fiberglass cylinders. Could the sounds of footsteps my dad was hearing be due to the holes in the cylinders from the gunshots?
While in the attic, the a/c flipped on and I watched the air cause the large cylinders to rise and fall hence the sound of footsteps my dad thought he had been hearing.
After all, bullet holes left the large cylinders riddled with holes of air that would never make it to the air vents.
Armed with duct tape and a flashlight, I went back up to attempt to seal the holes. Dripping in sweat and trying to find all of the bullet holes without falling through the ceiling, I again asked my dad to stop shooting the ceiling when I came out of the attic.
Suggesting a trip to North Carolina to visit my baby brother for his fiftieth birthday to my dad, I’m trying to find an alarm company to give him peace of mind while he’s home alone.
But, frankly these wild scenarios he keeps coming up with are really bending my patience. It’s not that I think he’s crazy or Cindy either but no one can live in your attic in Texas. It’s too damn hot here. California maybe but Texas summers are too much for anyone to squat it out hiding in an attic.
I’m not sure if my plan for a holiday in North Carolina will work but, I’m running out of options to alleviate my dads belief that someone or several people are creeping into his house and trying to scare him while stealing his booze, food and flashlights. I left my expensive LED flashlight for him since he can’t find his. It has a magnet on one end and he attached it to his bedroom lamp for easy access.
Solving the situation with my niece, Stephaney won’t be nearly as easy as finding a solution or holiday for my dad. Stephaney will be thirty two next month and needs to go to work and support herself and stop expecting Cindy and I to save her again. We can’t continue to help her and at her age, my niece needs to start helping herself.
Now and then on another one of her rants regarding voodoo dolls and someone putting a curse on her, Stephaney can get a few wild responses from me because I’m sick and tired of listening to her crazy reasons to not go look for work.
Today, walking into my kitchen and helping herself to anything as usual since she has no boundaries, I snapped and told her to stop assuming everything in my home is free game. She was wearing my dress that she hasn’t asked to borrow and blabbing on about someone listening to her phone calls and following her.
I’m out of patience completely with my niece after nearly 16 years of all this paranoia stuff. Even I have limits to “fixing everything for everyone.” When it comes to my niece, the biggest disappointment we have in life is not straightening her up.
I flipped out and said “stop taking my clothes and underwear I’m trying to help you when you refuse to help yourself and I don’t want to hear your crazy talk. I want you to get a job and stop making excuses or feeling sorry for yourself. You chose to do meth and lose the best job you’ve ever had. Not me and not your mom. We have a responsibility to your children but you are an adult and I wish you’d start acting like it. No one is following you or tapping your phone. I hate drugs and I hate people making excuses because they do drugs. There’s no excuse for the pain you cause to other family members or the theft or the expense of treatment.”
My mother chose heroin over her four children and my niece chose meth over her twin daughters. No one hates drugs more than my sister and I. Weak people who want to escape life will make any excuse for their bad habits. They will use guilt or anger to blame their bad habits on you. Manipulative people know how to make you feel like it’s your fault they are screwing up their own life and dragging you down with them. Our dad couldn’t save our mom and we can’t save our niece. It’s sad but after sixteen years of trying, a tragic reality of what having an addict for a relative can do to those who love them.
My dad is lonely and after losing Gretta, being at home alone and rambling around that giant house would make anyone nervous. Thinking someone or a family is living in the attic? Well, that’s new. Totally new. My dad has never acted crazy or paranoid in his life. He buys his own groceries drives himself to the doctor and pays his own bills.
If Cindy isn’t with me while listening to my dad or my niece, Stephaney tell me that “all food is poisoned” or my dad telling me “he can hear people walking in the attic,” I call her to tell her that dealing with another “crazy family issue” is taking a serious toll on my joy in life. Why? It’s true. I need a day of peace just working and doing my job without everyone dumping their problems or paranoid dillusions in my lap. At least Dear Abby gets paid for her efforts.
I’m so sick and tired of trying to fix everyone’s problems around here that after looking at those bullet holes, I’m actually afraid to ring my dads doorbell in the event that I might get shot. From his driveway, I text him to open the door while wondering if he’s so jumpy that he might think I’m trying to rob him. While I was in the attic and my dad was downstairs with a gun in his hand, I worried he might forget it was me up there!
For years Cindy tolerated our crazy grandmother living with her and acting like she owned the place and constantly accusing someone of stealing from her while her drug addicted daughter, Stephaney called collect from jail or was being followed by the CIA.
Somebody has to be stable and reliable around here and those two folks are my sister and I. Reliability brings you a wide array of responsibility that many times you don’t want. Trust me. I know. The “fix it” twins.
How we are still sane in an insane world is anyone’s guess. We manage to hold it together but, it’s likely from a lifetime of dealing with flat out craziness from our mom, my niece and who knows what’s going on with my dad.
Cindy and I occasionally laugh about the drama of our family together because it keeps us from crying. Cindy even comes up with hilarious quotes they have no idea are about them.
Perhaps just losing it ourselves and “joining the crazy club” would be the easy way out but, we have far too many responsibilities to just go have a few drinks and act crazy. We are always working or solving everyone else’s problems. It’s true that Cindy and I can be overwhelmed with the responsibilities life has dumped on us with needy family members while juggling all of our clients at the same time. Working seven days a week and fielding phone calls from Stephaney and now dad have become the sad reality of life for us while trying to be good wives and parents to the twins, my son and other niece, Leigh Ann. It’s a delicate balance of sorts. My son and Leigh Ann are often upset that we focus so much on saving Stephaney, helping dad and working that we forget about the rest of the family.
Acting normal when you’ve got your dad calling because the attic people are in the house stealing his flashlight or drinking his booze gives you a better description.
Eye rolling aside, my dad is getting far more volatile. His text messages continue to be varied and shocking. I’ve advised my dad not to tell the police he’d been shooting the ceiling of his own house up on at least five occasions the past few weeks but, so far, my dad believes that he is entitled to protect himself. After a 72 Hour Mental Evaluation though my dad will want to keep from ever going back to Petersmith and the Tenth Floor.
I’d love to tell you that we don’t deal with all out crazy on a daily basis but, I’m blunt. These crazy texts and phone calls often disrupt my day so much that I ignore them. After all, whose emergency is this? Not mine. I’m organized and OCD. If anything I’m over prepared! Nothing can prepare me for another call or text from my dad or Stephaney though.
Dealing with crazy people when you aren’t crazy can cause a real headache. I don’t take personal calls while working and I don’t call my husband at work either. Why? Because even if the house burns down- the situation isn’t going to change because one of us is working and emergency phone calls cause strife at work.
You can’t focus on the job at hand when one of your lunatic relatives thinks they are having an emergency. I can’t. Let them go to voice mail and leave you another ludicrous message you can laugh about later. No one is living in my dads attic and no one is chasing my niece. She’s Bipolar One and self medicated.
Stephaney is always having an emergency this situation with my dad has popped up over the past two weeks. Prior to that, my dad thought his neighbor had poisoned his tree and killed his grass. I’m serious. When my dad goes into a tirade about his neighbor, I play it down and change the subject.
The things my dad believes that his neighbor has committed are shocking and have been going on for four years now. I don’t know why my dad thinks his neighbor is sabotaging everything that goes wrong at his house. The guy always waves and acts friendly. If my dad sees me talking to him he flies out of the house and screams “get away from my daughter.” It’s pretty awkward.
The neighbor moving into the attic and trying to drive my dad crazy are somewhat new scenarios though. Shooting the ceiling is a really new and frightening development. I still can’t believe that my dad shot uo his own house.
My dad shot the ceiling eight times last week thinking he was going to kill the “intruders.” I told my dad to stop shooting the ceiling. He has gas and numerous wiring up in the attic. From the count the police and firefighters did today, my dads been shooting the ceiling again after I’ve advised him to please stop.
After all, he could accidentally shoot through a wall and shoot a neighbor or hit something solid and shoot himself.
Although my dad believes he is entitled to protect himself, there isn’t anyone in the house to protect himself from.
If not for Beautiful Bride Angela, I would’ve wasted my entire day driving to Tennessee Colony Beto Unit and let my husband down at the same time by trusting a stranger to do the right thing. 2PM must’ve thought the world owed her a living or that I just volunteer to drive across Texas on a whim.
I picked up my phone and called Chaplain Moffett at Beto Unit to advise him to cancel the 2PM Wedding Ceremony.
Explaining that I had no idea what her name was because she had “pulled my name off the internet or may have even spoke to me like hundreds of other people have but, certainly wasn’t a client because we had no contract, Chaplain Moffett asked if my 1PM Bride was coming?” Yes. Angela and I would be at Beto at 12:30 for our 1PM Wedding.
Throughout my life I’ve learned that not everyone honors their word. Cindy came up with a wide variety of moocher and liar #Cindyism Quotes to fit the situation. Here they are…”a DISHONEST person IS like a MIRRORED baseball, their IMAGE is easily SHATTERED, stay OUT of the GAME, before you BECOME, part OF the TEAM.”
“TRUST is like TOAST, once it’s BURNT, don’t EXPECT anybody ELSE to EAT it EITHER.”
“DIRTY deeds, LEAVE you with UNCLEAN hands, THAT an HONEST person, REFUSES to SHAKE.”
“DISHONESTY is EXPENSIVE, don’t MAKE any BILLS, that YOU can’t AFFORD to PAY.”
“YOU can’t make GRAVY out of WATER, without SOMETHING to WORK with, NOBODY gets FED.”
People ask my sister how she “comes up” with her quotes all of the time. Experience and observation are how.
My sister knew as well as I did that if I had wasted an entire day and left my husband to drive to Tennessee Colony “on a wish and a prayer” that I would never forgive myself for abandoning my husband in Fort Worth to drive to Tennessee Colony trusting someone to pay me because they promised to.
People lie to me all of the time and had I not been certain that Angela would show up, I would’ve forced 2PM to pay for services one week prior to the event date like any other vendor.
Leaving Cindy at the Tennessee Colony Country Store that features a cleaners, a hair salon, a grill and a grocery store, I headed to Beto Unit about ten miles away to meet Angela.
Walking towards me from the parking lot, Angela looked gorgeous in a beautiful white dress and fascinator hat. Beautiful and friendly, she quickly gave me a hug and thanked me for coming. Her groom had been a friend since childhood and Angela was thrilled to finally be marrying.Chaplain Moffett met us at the door and I quickly gave him a hug explaining that on my last visit, the other Bride had been arrested for drunk driving. Good Grief.
It’s sad but true that I don’t meet people in person until we arrive at the Unit together and had no idea my other bride was drunk.It’s embarrassing to admit that she was a train wreck arriving late and rude to the staff, I was horrified about it and admitted to the Chaplain that I had no idea she was intoxicated and assumed she was wearing heels to high to walk.
I’m honest about the setbacks of not knowing Texas Prison Wedding Clients personally because I haven’t met them prior to the event as I do with most of my other clients.
If you’re crazy, I don’t know it until you walk up to me at a Prison. Arriving at your Prison wedding drunk and being belligerent to TDCJ Employees is crazy behavior. After all, the entire unit is accommodating your Prison Wedding Request.
Because of the Bride who spent her honeymoon in jail, I now advise all clients that if they arrive intoxicated or are rude to the staff, arrive late or inappropriately dressed for the Prison wedding, if their wedding in canceled due to outrageous behavior, their fee is non refundable.
As Angela and I walked with Chaplain Moffett to the Visitation Area for the wedding, I asked him to require personal information from anyone else using my name on their I60 to alleviate anymore surprises.
I have a new rule to get around anyone “pulling my name off the internet” and using it without my permission to obtain a wedding date at a Texas Prison.
If you don’t know the first three digits of my social security number or last four of my Texas Drivers License, you will not obtain Approval or a date for your Texas Prison Wedding. Talking to me or emailing me doesn’t create a “Client Relationship.”
The misuse of my credentials for over a year has been such an ongoing issue at Texas Prisons that Chaplains and Wardens now require personal information about me that no one can find on the internet.
It’s going to be a real game changer for brides like 2PM that think they can get what they want by skirting the process of paying their deposit and getting a contract.
For months, I’ve advised anyone contacting me to not put my name on TDCJ documents without being a client and for months, people like 2PM have continued to do so. If I don’t know your name, you are not a Client.
From this point forward at numerous Units, if you don’t know my personal information, you will not be Approved for a wedding either.
Angela and her husband were a literal breath of fresh air after my last disastrous wedding with the bride who was so drunk she could barely stand at Beto Unit. It was my first time to encounter a bride who had been hitting the bottle before a wedding at a Texas Prison and hopefully, my last. This learning curve would change the way I make rules regarding clients behavior on location and especially at a Prison. I now tell clients what not to do and the conversation shocks them. Why? They realize that acting stupid at a Prison is a bad idea but, at least I’ve “briefed them” just in case they don’t know.
From arriving early to dressing appropriately and sober, my Rules may sound surprising until people realize that like Cindy, I’ve seen it or it’s happened and observation is a huge learning experience.
The last thing I want at a Prison is an out of control bride or groom that happens to be my client embarrassing me on location.
Thank God that Angela was so sweet and wonderful. After the couple said their oak vows to each other and sealed the deal. We waited on photos before saying goodbye to Angela’s groom.
I called my husband leaving Beto Unit with Angela following me and told him that Cindy and I would be back by 6PM as we were doing Bridal photos with Angela after her wedding. Foxy was resting and my husband sounded exhausted after going through a range of emotions throughout the day.
I’m generally inside a Prison for 1-2 hours for each client and since Angela and I were finished by 1:30, we headed back to meet Cindy for photos before heading back to Fort Worth.
Meeting Cindy with Angela back at the Tennessee Colony Church, I opened my trunk and unloaded the boxes of bouquets and props I had packed for her photo shoot. I love this church because there are so many different ways to capture photos.
A few months ago at TDCJ Michael Unit, my bride loved a photo with one of my bouquets taken again the wall of the church. I did too. The bouquet was perfect for her dress.Creating a floral inventory to loan clients surprises other vendors but, my clients love borrowing inventory to save them the expense of having to buy it.
Not only Texas Prison Wedding Clients borrow inventory either. Texas Twins Events Clients and The Pawning Planners Clients often borrow inventory too. Texas Twins Treasures Inventory is loaned to over 50% of our clients as a courtesy.Angela was thrilled we had so many options for her bridal shoot and Cindy enjoyed spending time with our beautiful new bride as much as I did.
Having a wonderful Client that is a joy and finding out that Foxy was going to be okay after all ended my day on a happy note as Cindy and I left Tennessee Colony to head to Fort Worth fielding calls and emails from new clients as well as an email from a producer at WETV looking for Love After Lock Up couples for season 2. If any of my past or current clients are interested, email me and I will share the contact information.
I’m really looking forward to editing Angela’s photos from the church yesterday but, here are a few of my favorites.Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Harvey. Angela you were truly a joy to meet in person and an Angel…
Cindy and I are really looking forward to our TV interview next week with Michael Yorba on our latest adventures, Disasters, Divas and more Drama along with the wonderful events that we were honored to be a part of.
Sharing an honest and accurate description of a day in the life of these Texas Twins can be surprising not only for us now and then but, also our dedicated readers.
At the end of the day, the great clients make the “not so great” clients a distant memory.
I’m thankful Foxy is doing far better today and looking forward to another busy weekend of events with my family while “changing the wedding and events industry one family (or barter) at a time from Fort Worth, Texas!”
Hopefully, once my dad is released and has a new alarm in his home he will feel safer and a visit to our brother will be a welcome relief to holing up in his house and fearing for his life. But, I’m unsure of what will happen next with my dad or my niece…