Bell Tower Chapel To TDCJ Coffield Unit, Appraisal Appointments & Hitting The Road…

Trying to accommodate my Clients and keep October open to travel to California twice in the same month hasn’t been easy. In order to accomplish this “juggling act,” I’ve been stacking Texas Prison Weddings whenever possible.

Monday morning I’m back at Bell Tower Chapel and for my traditional clients wanting a small and intimate wedding package that fits most any budget, I’m adding the link–Bell Tower Chapel & Garden. 

I’m also on staff as an Officiant at Bell Tower and love the gorgeous reception area, patio and chapel. Ringing the bell is an honored tradition for new couples and part of the fun.Tonight while emailing back and forth to my Hodge Unit Bride, my other Coffield Unit Bride sent a text that the Lock Down had been lifted and her wedding ceremony Approved. I crossed my fingers that the date was set for 09-11-2018 as I was already scheduled at 9:30 at Coffield. 

Luckily, the Unit “stacked” my 9:30 and moved my other Client to 9:00AM to accommodate both Brides on the same day at the same Unit. It’s always a blessing to have Units “stack” wedding ceremonies when you travel as much as I do to locations spread from Texas to California. 

Last year, Cindy and I along with my niece, Leigh Ann were at a destination wedding in Lompoc after barely touching down back in Fort Worth from leaving Ohio before jetting off again to LAX. 

Needless to say, we were exhausted from a straight two months of travel and a very large event in Fort Worth that included Texas Twins Treasures floral designs and Coordination along with Event Security and 12 hours on site. 

Flying out the following day wasn’t easy but, wedding season often has us flying by the seat of our pants around here. I’d like to wish all of our September Brides from last year a Happy Anniversary as we work on getting through this month before traveling again next month. My niece, Leigh Ann is also booked out this month as she is traveling with Cindy and I along with Maryssa, Makenna and Maddy to California next month but, my son and his wife are available for photography bookings in October while we are attending to other clients. 

Leigh Ann usually adds her logo to photos but, we encourage our clients to copy their photos and share them regardless of a logo being present or not. 

Since I’ve had a number of new requests at TDCJ Bill Clements, TDCJ Robertson Unit and TDCJ Polunsky, as well as Estes this early in the month, I’m moving new Texas Prison Wedding Requests to November due to my schedule in October and my existing bookings in September. 

The timeline for the paperwork involved for a TDCJ Wedding can take weeks and sometimes months. First, you will need the Inmate to file for an ID. 

Second, you will need a Notarized Absentee Affidavit. Third, You will need your loved one to file an I60 Request For Marriage Form. 

Please be advised that the I60 REQUIRES a TDCJ Approved Officiants Full Name on the document. What this means is that without an Approved Officiant, no Warden will grant permission to marry. Why? Because it is the responsibility of “the person on the outside” to secure a TDCJ Officiant. 

Secondly, if there isn’t an Officiants services retained, there certainly won’t be a wedding. Wardens and Chaplains are busy people and therefore, don’t schedule anything without protocol being followed fully and by the book.

An I60 Request For Marriage Form can take several weeks to several months to be Approved or Denied by the Unit. Be aware of the timelines involved and please be patient. 

I suggest buying your Marriage License shortly after your loved one files the I60 Request For Marriage so you have it on hand and don’t have to worry about the waiting period affecting your ability to marry when the Chaplain or Law Library issue you a date. 

Unless, of course, you’ve taken the Two Together In Texas Premarital Course which waives the three day waiting period in Texas.

Without a Two Together In Texas Affidavit, only Military Members are entitled to Waive The Waiting Period. Two Together In Texas is a Course that not only waives the Waiting Period for Civilians but also Discounts the Marriage License by $60. 

I suggest buying the online course for $29 rather than paying an inflated price to someone on the internet who may or may not be affiliated with Two Together In Texas. 

Traditional Clients and TDCJ Clients are both nervous about Handwritten Vows. Don’t be. Your Ceremony is far more personal, creative and emotional when you take the time to customize it.I’m adding a few Tips & Tricks to give ya all a few “pointers” on how to make your Ceremony Personal and special at the same time. 

You can do this and believe it or not, your fiancé will be thrilled you took the time to put forth the effort. Trust me.

Write two or three sentences about each of these elements. Combined together, they make beautiful vows:

Begin by talking about something you love about your partner, or something they have contributed to their lives. This is a great spot to include an anecdote or story that brings this moment to life. 

For example, in my own wedding, my husband talked about the day that we met, and how that was the day that his whole life changed.

Next, include some promises. Ones that you will look to guide your marriage. These can be serious: “I promise to stand by your side, and bring out the best in you, in all adventures.” 

Or a little sillier: “I promise to laugh at your jokes (most of the time).” In fact, I think the best vows are a beautiful balance of seriousness and humor.

And now, let’s end it with a look to the future. What do you look forward to sharing in your marriage? What are your goals, your aspirations, the qualities you want to embody as a couple?

I have no idea why writing your own Vows is so terrifying but, it shouldn’t be. You are speaking to the person you love not addressing anyone else in the room. Remember that. It will help you.

Sure, everyone is going to hear you and you might be nervous about speaking in public but, focus on your fiancée not the guests and you will do just fine. 

I’ve been a public speaker for over twenty five years and not many people realize that for years I struggled with a chronic stutter. Just go for it and you will be glad you did. A “standard ceremony” is far more complete with Client input. Many of you have asked “why do we have to take so many photos? I’m tired. I just want to sit down.” Well, friends, the photo above didn’t turn out well due to the light coming through the windows. 

You are getting married once. It’s a Life Event. Have a snack and don’t forget to eat because Weddings can be an “all day affair” of photo ops. Smile. It’s your day. Sure, you’re going to be tired and maybe even cranky at the end of it but, it’s one day and a day you’ve planned for a very long time. Try to enjoy it. 

Over the past eight years, I’ve had Clients contact me for reprints after losing a loved one who was at their wedding. I’m deeply saddened to hear that the mother of our Corsicana, Texas Brides is no longer with us. 

We send photo CD’s as a courtesy to Clients as well as posting to social media as a courtesy to give Clients an opportunity to share or save photos. 

I will always treasure the time we spend on location meeting families and new friends of my Texas Twins Events Team. 

The Darby Wedding had the largest wedding party we’ve ever had and it was a joyous and fun filled celebration.It’s still hard to believe that my stepdaughter, Ann is no longer with us. Death Is A Dark Stranger. No one is ready to say goodbye and those left behind are never quite ready to let go. We are keeping the Darby Family in our prayers.

My dad has returned from his visit to my brother in North Carolina and is now working County Jail Weddings as an Officiant along with my niece, Leigh Ann and son, Robert. Due to the number of requests for County Jail Weddings and the confusion regarding State Jail Weddings which are actually State Jail Prisons, it should be noted that State Jail Prisons operate under TDCJ and therefore, REQUIRE a TDCJ Approved Officiant. 

I’m the only person on my staff who can Officiate a State Jail, Federal Prison or State Prison Wedding. 

Since I’ve been asked about adding more TDCJ Officiants to my staff, I am the only Officiant that TDCJ Clients want at their wedding so, the point has been mute and also, my niece is uncomfortable regarding walking into a Prison as is my son and father. 

I Officiate 15-20 TDCJ Weddings on any given month. I limit my TDCJ bookings each month because I also work on staff at other venues as well as with Clients from Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. 

After January, I will (once again) revisit adding more TDCJ Officiants to our staff but, currently, all TDCJ Clients are more than happy to wait for my schedule to accommodate their request.

Vow Renewal Packages after the release of a TDCJ former Client are wildly popular. Our package includes an Officiant and Photographer. 

Please contact me asap to schedule your TDCJ Vow Renewal Package as I’m often traveling every weekend and most Renewals are scheduled on weekends months in advance. 

If my schedule won’t allow me to Officiate, my son, niece, sister, or father can Officiate your ceremony and you can choose from Leigh Ann handling your photography or my son and his wife.     

We want your Event to be as special as you are and welcome any questions, comments or concerns through any Wendy Wortham Website or via email to 


In my line of work, I’ve had a few surprises. Perhaps because I’m OCD, shooting for perfection in an imperfect world may be why I choose to view my cup as half full rather than half empty?  When I’m on location, I’m the Boss, Mrs Fix It, Find It or Mend It. Cindy is my partner. 

Although we are mainly known as “The Texas Twins” or “The Pawning Planners,” this Twin Team is a partnership and we work better with each other far more than with four generations of our family on location. Why? Because Cindy and I actually get along with each other. All the time? Absolutely. Two halves make a whole. 

My entire family and occasionally, Cindy laugh at my vision of “perfect execution” at not only our bookings but also, family events. 

My son will tell you “something always goes wrong on location.” Well, if it does, it’s our job to fix it. When the Mariachi Band broke down getting to the venue, I went and made two trips to pick them up myself. I don’t sit around complaining about problems- I fix them and move on. But, hey that’s me. 

We don’t have a “magic button” to call someone else to fix an issue on location. What we do have is each other. The only time I’m on location alone at an Event is at a Prison Wedding. All other Events are Team Efforts. Cindy is always with me on location. Larger Event Services require several family members and several suvs based on the booking. If you need Coordination, Floral Design, Photography and an Officiant, we need at least three suvs. Having a Team on site is how we address unexpected problems or forgotten items from other vendors. We don’t point fingers because we fix the problem. 

Over the years, when another florists has forgotten this that or the other and when I’m Coordinating or Officiating, I’m generally the first person to know about it. 

If I’m busy, my twin sister is. Problems require solutions and we find a solution on a regular basis. Failure isn’t an option at a Life Event.My success at making my Clients happy on location somehow never works out with my own family. Why? I have no real idea. 

For my family, competing about who “got the best gift or had the best birthday” is an ongoing argument over “they always get the best so and so.” 

I now REQUIRE EVENT SECURITY if you’ve booked me as a Coordinator, Officiant or BOTH. Why? Too many bar battles, drunk guests and arrests. If you have an Open Bar- you NEED SECURITY on site. You also need Event Insurance. 

Last September I had two security staff members on site with me due to the Open Bar. One rowdy guest started pushing James Allen (who weighs over 300 lbs) because the bar was closed. No one can push James Allen. He’s a huge guy and often smiling at anyone who tries to push him around. My security people are big and often former military or police. 

Believe it or not, Funerals are far more unpredictable. Most family members assume they’ve got nothing to lose at a Funeral. I’ve been pushed over a coffin Officiating a funeral.

Weddings are notorious for drunken brawls and I’ve been called names when forced to advise one guest that he’d been “cut off.”  While trying to break up an argument at another wedding, I was  punched. I have decided that I don’t feel safe without security on site. 
As a Client, you shouldn’t either. There isn’t anything fun about a belligerent drunk on location. You hired me to Officiate, Coordinate or both or as a Floral Designer. You didn’t hire me to be a referee. At 5’7 and 145 lbs, I’m not equipped to break up a fight on location. Seriously. 

Frankly, no amount of money is worth getting pushed around or abused while trying to orchestrate an Event that went downhill because guests or members of the wedding party obviously “couldn’t hold their liquor.” 

If someone is hurt at your Event or if the Venue is damaged- YOU SIGNED a contract that holds YOU LIABLE for damage to the venue. 

If one or more of your GUESTS are injured, you could face a civil suit for medical bills. Remember that. You NEED SECURITY at ANY OPEN BAR EVENT! You can’t afford not to protect yourself and/or your guests. 

If you have guests with a drinking problem, don’t give them an Open Bar to destroy your Event with. It’s well known that I have strong opinions on Open Bars. I’m seasoned and experienced. 

Eight years of seeing far too much on location has taught me to plan ahead. You should too. You will thank me when things get out of hand and staff is on site to address the issue. Trust me. 

My son and his wife wanted an Open Bar at their wedding years ago. I said “absolutely not. All of your friends are twenty something and can’t hold their liquor.” 

For months, the Open Bar Battle raged on but, I won that battle. Twenty something year olds AND an Open Bar? Good Grief. I had enough to deal with at that wedding without telling someone they were drunk. 

My daughter in law cannot hold her liquor. I have an Open Bar at my home and if you think for one second I haven’t seen her start with one glass of wine and finish with two bottles, think again. My husband rolls his eyes that our bar is the busiest room in the house when entertaining our family. 

I now actually ask clients booking photography if they have an Open Bar at their Event. Why? Because if you do, Leigh Ann (who doesn’t drink) will be covering your Event or my son working solo. I don’t trust my daughter in law to be on site with an Open Bar and, I have my reasons. 

It took me years to establish my reputation and no one (not even a family member) will take that away from me. Cindy and I limit problems by asking lots of questions before assigning Team Members to your Event. 

Cindy and I hate competition among our adult children and cannot understand why on earth both of her daughters and my son make everything a competition or, an argument. 

If I had a nickel for every time I had carefully planned the “perfect holiday get together” with my own family that ended with my son arguing with my niece or my one of my nieces saying my husband wasn’t being nice to them- I would be rich by now. I have chili stirrers in my own family. Everyone does. 

For those of you who missed the Christmas Disaster of Fighting Family Members Blog at my home AKA WorthamWorld last year- count yourself lucky. I’m still upset about “losing it” and hitting my breaking point in front of my entire family over yet another “Christmas Argument.” 

I’m normally level headed but, when you have a relative with mental illness and addiction “strung out and starting $hit” at your home, it’s hard to “control the crazy.” You might just lose your temper. I did. 

My sisters, brother and I were raised to respect others and hold our tongue but, if I have to raise my voice in my home, know that I was pushed into it. 

My blogs are a diary of sorts. The good, the bad, the disasters, the successes along with family and business are one in the same. 

Meaning there’s no line between business or family for me since four generations of my family work for me. 

I’m The Whip Cracker around here. On rare occasions, Cindy handles photography when Leigh Ann, Robert or Stephanie are already booked and Cindy can be a bit of a Whip Cracker herself when it comes to photo angles. “You are off center. Fix your hair. Move your head.” For a person who spent years as a commercial and print model, I’m not offended about “photography direction.” 

Cindy is also my “ears” on location addressing problems when I’m busy Officiating, Coordinating or Both at an Event. The LAST thing I needed last Christmas is someone complaining about so and so getting better Christmas Gifts than they did. 

If anyone knew how time consuming shopping for “equal gifts” every year was for Cindy and I, they’d understand just how competitive our adult children actually are and how sick and tired Cindy and I are of trying to keep any gifts “even” among our blended families. 

Cindy or I had carefully bought gifts that we had assumed were of equal value to limit any arguments and spent thousands of dollars last Christmas to buy our adult children what “they wanted” and as usual, an argument broke out because my niece Stephaney started the usual round of “that’s a better gift than this.” 

I’m so sick and tired of the Christmas “who got the better gift” battles that I’m nearly committed to dropping gift giving altogether. I cannot win with my family. My husband is happy with whatever he gets. The twins are happy too. My son and nieces along with my daughter in law are far harder to please. 

Leigh Ann and Stephaney argue incessantly over whatever they get and ironically, my daughter in law often opens my niece, Stephaney’s gifts. Yep. It’s a free for all of flying wrapping paper and comparisons. 

Having an argument over gifts is an ongoing chaotic escapade for my twin sister and I. So much so that I’ve nearly decided to “skip Christmas gift giving” and birthday parties for our family because of the “competitive chaos.”  

Leigh Ann, Stephaney, Stephanie and Robert argue over gifts in front of the rest of the family which makes me furious especially when they didn’t buy any gifts for anyone else while complaining about their gifts “not being as expensive as so and so or not what they wanted.” 

I dread birthday parties and Christmas at my home every year and, I’m not alone. Cindy does too. My husband always starts the holiday season with our birthday on November 13 and his usual speech “well, it’s your birthday and soon Thanksgiving then Christmas and another houseful of people who cannot get along with each other. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!” 

Even Makenna and Maryssa are tired of the arguments over who got what. We all are. Are our adult children so spoiled that they’ve forgotten other families are struggling to have a meal? 

I’ve signed my entire family up to volunteer this year at the soup kitchen to give them a better idea of how others wish they had a gift to open. It’s my Christmas gift to them. Empathy, Compassion and Gratitude have flown out the window around here for a few of my family members and I’ve decided to get them back.

My aunt and cousins run a food pantry in Gordon that feeds three counties. Cindy and I have helped deliver food and provide cakes and pies for fundraising as well as donating money to buy paper products that include diapers, paper towels, toilet paper and personal hygiene items. 

Cindy and I grew up poor. We know what it is to have nothing under the tree. We know what it is to wrap the same gift over and over again so her daughter thinks she is getting more than one gift. It’s been years and years ago that we were that poor but, poverty is something you never forget. We haven’t. Cindy and I are far more generous than others because we know true abject poverty. We lived it. We survived it. We became workaholics to keep from ever being poor or hungry again. True story. The fear of being poor chased us to do more, work harder and be successful. 

Protecting our adult children from the harsh reality of poverty didn’t give them empathy. It’s time to teach them how lucky the  actually are. 

I’ve nearly decided to take a vacation for the holidays and let our adult children prepare their own meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as buy their own gifts or go volunteer at the mission.

No matter what I do to make the holidays special- someone in my family is going to get in an argument with someone else. Don’t let those smiling multigenerational family photos of ours fool you. 

Cindy or I had most likely threatened everyone into “slapping a smile on their face” for whatever group photo you see posted on the internet. “I wanted to be in the front. Why is Stephanie in front of me? She’s an inlaw and I’m a real family member!” 

Yep. I cannot make this $hit up. Be me. Be Cindy. “She’s wearing a better dress than I am.” Or, “Stephanie is making me look fat. Put the skinny one in the back!” Holy Cow. “I’m the pretty one and Stephanie is in the front, she should be on the back.” Cindy and I rolled our eyes at each other and shrugged. Why can’t our adult children get along? For one of two photos? It’s like pulling teeth!  

Family photos are rare because it’s a literal ass whipping to get everyone in the same place at the same time and in a good mood. Why our family chooses to act like they can’t stand each other I have no clue. 

There are far more photos of Cindy and I with the twins or Leigh Ann and Maddy for a reason. We all get along. After all, no one is handing out a new family. Forcing my entire family to look happy is a lot of work. 

Today’s blog title is based (as usual) on Cindy’s ingenious way of summing up the situation. For some reason every year, Cindy and I have a birthday dinner that’s attended by all three of our adult children ages 33, 31, and 29 as well Cindy’s three grandchildren 14 and 2. 

You would think our adult children who “celebrate their birthdays all month long” would at least buy a birthday card wouldn’t you? 

Well, sorry gang there aren’t any birthday cards or gifts on our birthday, Christmas or even Mothers Day. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Cindy and I are both baffled that for OUR BIRTHDAY we are shouldered with the expense of high end cocktails and dinner for our children rather than vice versa.

Last year, my husband “put an end to the madness” of $500 and up birthday dinners for Cindy and I. Matthew actually told me “it’s ya all’s birthday not theirs. They should be buying your dinner. I’m tired of this. We take them out for their birthdays. Why can’t they treat you and Cindy on your birthday?” 

My husband also realizes (since family events are held at our home) that our three adult children “show up empty handed and leave with a haul.” 

Cindy’s Husband doesn’t understand it either. Steve Daniel never missed treating his mother on Mothers Day or Heaven Forbid, missing her birthday until her death. Steve can tell you the date and time of his mothers death. My brother in law’s greatest tragedy in life was losing his parents. 

My husbands mother was an alcoholic and he struggled with a strained relationship with his father his entire life. Why? My husband was an unexpected child late in life and his older brother was the Golden Boy. Matthew’s father never got over losing his oldest son and my husband spent his entire life trying to make his father proud.

Perhaps because Cindy and I had such a rocky childhood ourselves, we overcompensated our own children? A friend recently mentioned that “most likely Dr Phil is going to tell you and your sister that you are enablers. I don’t want to hurt your feelings but, both of you jump through hoops for your kids and I don’t see either of you getting any benefit from the older ones who don’t even show up when your having surgery. Don’t get me wrong. You’re both amazing parents but, at some point, you BOTH need to let go. Push them out of the nest and fly away. The twins need you but, the older kids are adults now. I don’t want your feelings hurt when someone else tells you that you aren’t doing what’s best for Stephaney, Robert or Leigh Ann. Prepare yourself for this. By the way, I love Dr Phil and can’t wait to see you on the show!” For Cindy and I, hearing what awaits us because we are trying to get Steph help didn’t exactly sound like a “good time.” 

After seventeen years of the expenses to send Steph to rehab and bail her out of jail over and over again, Dr Phil is OUR LAST HOPE though so, if we are called enablers, we will accept it and move on. Desperate measures are necessary to get my niece in a position to support herself and stay out of trouble. At least Leigh Ann and Robert are married and supporting themselves which is more than I can say for Stephaney. Cindy and I have been supporting Stephaney a year now after she went off the rails. Our husbands, as usual, have no idea what we’ve spent to try and get Steph to go to work while buying her food and clothing and her brand of cigarettes.

Stephaney is the only bilingual person in our family and since she is unstable, we no longer have an in house translator. 

Many people assume that ALL of our Clients are hillbillies but, the truth is that a small percentage of Clients actually use the barter option of The Pawning Planners. 

How small? 10-20% of our Clients Barter their event service.The majority of our Clients book through Texas Twins Events or Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham. 

The Barter Option of The Pawning Planners exists to give anyone an option for a Dream Event regardless of their income.

My twin sister is fun loving and always ready for adventure without any of the planning or list making, much less the preparing I do regarding the unexpected on location. Cindy is always ready for a laugh when I get caught off guard on location. 

Cindy is also never at a loss for words. Cindy’s greatest joy is her three granddaughters, Maryssa, Makenna and Madyson.A photo posted on Twitter of me with a shocked look on my face taken by Cindy was a favorite partly because I wasn’t posed and perfect. 

The truth is that surprises happen all the time but, I do try to limit my shock at something unexpected “rattling me.” 

My Groom had saved his vows to his cell phone which had subsequently died leaving him speechless. We worked it out. We always do. My twin sister is famous for her #Cindyism Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel as well as her ability to talk to anyone on location. Cindy has never met a stranger. 

This week was full of the usual round of surprises for me beginning with a call from the producers of Dr Phil regarding my niece, Stephaney. 

My schedule is often booked months in advance so, a request to “fly out for three days of filming this Sunday” with only four days notice was more than a little surprising for me and, not an option as I’m booked at a Texas Prison Wedding at TDCJ Coffield Unit on 09-11-2018. 

I don’t schedule Prison Weddings, the Warden does. Because of this, at best, I normally have 5-7 days notice regarding a Prison Wedding which is why I never book more than 15 TDCJ Weddings in any given month. 

My schedule must be flexible in order to address a short notice booking. Although, my twin and I would love to get my niece the help she needs, we never expected to be on the Dr Phil Show with Stephaney. 

I had suggested to the producer flying Stephaney and Cindy out to film for three days due to my schedule but, apparently, I’m wanted on the show as well so, we are looking at dates in either October or November. Due to our holiday next month to celebrate our birthday and keeping my schedule flexible to accommodate filming with Dr Phil, new bookings for Texas Prison Weddings are being moved to November. 

Cindy and I normally travel in November and December but, we are moving things around this year after a disastrous trip last Thanksgiving to film in LA left us struggling to get home. Holiday travel is something that wears you out at a certain age and frankly, I’ve hit it.

Cindy and I are in LA with my twin grandnieces and other niece, Leigh Ann and her two year old daughter, Madyson October 15-20 for a “girls trip” and business but, due to my Itinerary (yes, I always have an Itinerary), we cannot film for three days in LA during this window due to my commitments. 

I’m really looking forward to this trip with Cindy, Maryssa & Makenna, Leigh Ann and Madyson because the twins haven’t been to LA with Cindy or I for the last four years due to school. 

The twins are now homeschooling and loving it which gives us far more flexibility for travel during the school year. 

Makenna (left) is an exceptional student while her sister, Maryssa (right) is more interested in social media. 

We are working on getting Maryssa to apply herself to studies versus her social media accounts. Two sets of twins always get a lot of attention but, little Maddy keeps my twin grandnieces pretty busy herself and is a model for numerous small shops. 

Maddy is hilarious and like me, pretty animated which is why Cindy uses her photo on so many posts.Maddy’s blue eyes and ringlets of red hair are a stark contrast to Maryssa and Makenna’s blond hair and green eyes. Since I’ve been asked about my latest “Trades, Treasures or Trash,” I believe my latest Barter isn’t a Bust because inlaid Mother Of Pearl is always a hit at Texas Twins Treasures. 

I will soon be listing some fairly unique Oriental collectible pieces. This screen is beautiful.I was actually more interested in the inlaid wood table set with pull out chairs but, made a deal on the black lacquer screen and the set below which needs wood conditioning but is in otherwise good structural shape.I’ve had several inquiries regarding Military, Fire, Police, First Responders, Teachers and LBGTQ Discounts offered at Texas Twins Events. 

The answer is yes, these discounts apply to not only Texas Twins Events bookings but also, Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham and/or Pawning Planners Clients as well as buyers at Texas Twins Treasures.We love our Clients and although price points are far below our competition for Officiants, Floral Designs, Coordination, Photography and More, find that by offering additional discounts helps our Clients as well as generates new bookings via referral business. I do not advertise as I have no need to due to our referral bookings.

We are currently sold out of our handcrafted fascinators and will list new designs when they become available.Please note that Bling Bouquet Special Otders are now running at 9-12 weeks. 

Our handcrafted bouquets are also quite heavy at 2-3lbs. Smaller bouquets are 1-2 lbs based on the weight of the brooches.We have two photography teams to serve you. My niece, Leigh Ann works solo or my son and his wife, Robert and Stephanie work as a Team.

Since I Officiate numerous types of Events with my twin sister who helps me coordinate, I want to point out that we honor Interfaith Ceremonies as well as honoring Cultura Traditions on location. 

Safety is always a part of any celebration. I’ve had inquiries regarding “Groom Tossing” recently. 

Anytime you are tossing a Groom into the air, there is a danger of falling. Because of the mishap in Lompoc, we now suggest using a blanket or other item in order to safely “catch” the Groom. 

For those who missed the post, here are the photos and the issue of the patio lights “catching” the Groom.We want your Event to be memorable, safe and fun. This “toss” could have had disasterous outcomes but, didn’t.Last year, I had several comments regarding one of our Brides being pregnant. I’m going to first address the numerous “shotgun wedding” comments. 

The Groom was deployed in Afghanistan and upon returning, contacted us to Officiate their wedding. I was amazed at a few vicious comments regarding the Brides “condition.” 

My philosophy is that if you don’t have something good to say then perhaps you shouldn’t. But, that’s me.A few years ago, I had horrible comments on yet another post regarding a Pawning Planners Bride who had “bad teeth” and yet another because she wasn’t beautiful? Come on ya all. 

I can’t believe people are so dang mean sometimes but, for the record, both Brides were Pawning Planners Clients and couldn’t afford Event Services. 

Jo Anna needs dental work but can’t afford dentistry. She is a wonderful mother and lifelong friend of my Team. Jennifer and Jo Anna both used parks for their Events as many Pawning Planner Clients do.Whether I’m in a Park, Prison, Backyard, Barn or Exclusive Venue, all of my Clients come from different backgrounds and budgets so, please be kind when commenting on a post because my Clients are also connections on FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Pinterest. 

I’m off to meet my saucy sidekick and twin sister to ship out more Pawning Planners Apparel orders and after a Texas Prison Wedding in Venus, and meeting two new Texas Twins Events Clients today. If you’re looking for a quote to customize your Pawning Planners Apparel, check out Cindy’s blog– Cindy Daniel- The Original Redneck Granny And Creator of #Cindyism Quotes.

We would like to wish all of our Twins, Friends and Connections a Blessed Weekend…

GRATITUDE Is The Difference BETWEEN Appreciation And A Sense Of ENTITLEMENT…

For years now, my sister’s ability to sum up situations has made her infamous for her Redneck Granny Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel.I’ve met a few Bridezillas who believed that whatever they wanted regardless of the expense to their parents was okay. For those of us who didn’t have parents willing or in a position to “foot the bill,” the reality of not having a Dream Wedding was specifically my reason for starting Texas Twins Events to offer low cost services and Ceremonies to Clients “paying their own way on a tight budget.” 

Last Friday, I took a call from Yelp regarding advertising to attract more clients. I laughed. I don’t need to attract more clients. In fact, I’m overwhelmed with bookings. Why? Because our prices are less than half of that from our competition. 

Also, no one else barters event services. I set up Texas Twins Events years ago at prices that literally SHOCK our competition.  

While others wonder how we continue to expand and rebrand at discount rates, it should be noted that there is strength in numbers. I easily perform 10-15 TDCJ Prison Weddings a month. 

Photography packages, floral design bookings, Event Coordination and Religious Services and Ceremonies from Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners keep us busy. We don’t need to advertise and I don’t. 

Today’s blog title is based on not only my son and his wife but, also Cindy’s daughters, Leigh Ann and Stephaney as well as a few prospective clients who want it all but, don’t want to pay for it. Why? Because too much is never enough for some folks. 

Our adult children sometimes feel entitled to whatever Cindy and I along with our husbands have worked for or acquired. Why? I don’t know. 

“What did you spend on that? You’re buying another house? Shouldn’t you be investing money instead of spending it?”

Today’s millenial “adult child” expects to benefit handsomely from their parents or grandparents efforts of careful financial planning.

A few years ago, my son told me “when you die, all of this is mine because I’m your only child.” I was shocked at this but, responded “No, I’m married. Most of this is going to my husband. The rest to my sister, you, and my three grandnieces.” 

At about the same time and (I’m guessing it was because our adult children knew that I was dealing with a trust that I had set up in 1988 to benefit my siblings in the event of our mothers death) our three adult children were advised that only in the event of Cindy or I dying, would our adult children benefit from the trust. 

Our adult children wanted the trust money now. I’ve waited 33 years on the trust that I set up with my mothers mother all those years ago. Upon “hearing” about the trust, my daughter in law thought it was set up to benefit my only son and exclude myself? Are you kidding me? 

We live in a world of instant gratification expectations but…snapping your fingers and wanting something isn’t how inheritance works. 

When my father dies, Cindy and I will be left nothing. We already know this because my father has always favored our brother. I’m not sure why but, my father has no intentions of leaving anything of value to Cindy or I other than his Funeral Expenses. 

Our grandmother left everything to her son (our father) and her daughter (our aunt) rather than Cindy who selflessly took care of gramma to such an extent that she moved her into her home for seventeen years at no cost to our gramma. 

The thousands of dollars of jewelry that our gramma “borrowed” or demanded from Cindy or I was (of course) not returned to Cindy or I (from whom it came) but, instead pilfered through by our dad and aunt. 

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. Cindy is too. All for everyone else and nothing for us which is exactly why I set up a trust pertaining to our mothers settlement. Experience is a great teacher in a world of relatives that coul double as vultures. 

It was while meeting with a Life Insurance Agent that Cindy overheard him ask if she was adding Cindy as the beneficiary since she lived with her? This was a Deal Breaker that rattled everyone who was going to benefit financially EXCEPT Cindy who had paid all of the bills for seventeen years and suddenly learned that gramma planned to “give her the shaft” all along by leaving her nothing including all of the jewelry she had bought for our gramma. Birthdays, Mothers Day, & Christmas always involved buying gramma more jewelry. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry that was WILLED to gramma’s daughter and son. They didn’t buy jewelry for their mother. Cindy and I did.

After the insurance agent left Cindy’s home. My “suck it up sister” finally had enough of being taken advantage of and, called our aunt and my father advising them that she was moving gramma out of HER HOUSE and into an apartment if neither of them would take her. Of course, her son and daughter didn’t want her which is how Cindy got “saddled” with gramma in the first place. “You are kicking out your own grandmother? What’s wrong with you? Where will she live? How will she pay her bills? Who will buy her groceries and drive her to the doctor?” Yep. Cindy did all of those things for nearly twenty years and at the end of all of her sacrifices, booted gramma right out of her home. 

We were (of course) expected to help pay for gramma’s funeral expenses AND clean her apartment after her son and daughter had cleaned out anything of value from the apartment. 

Gramma’s son and daughter could’ve moved her in with them and took car of their mother but, they chose to saddle my twin sister with the care of gramma instead. I wouldn’t even consider taking on the burden of a grandmother who never loved my sister or I and only cared about herself. 

If not for the trust I set up, when our mother passed on, none of her children would benefit financially. Thanks to our mom, all four of her children have faced “emotional bankruptcy” due to a mother who could care less about her four children. 

I changed the direction of our mother dying and saddling us with her Funeral Expenses and instead created a financial windfall for my siblings and I. 

The Sharon Hill Trust ensures that when our mother dies, there is a payout. No one else in my family would have covered their siblings but, I did. 

Greed is something that the “spoiled silly” people in our family thrive on. Since Cindy and I were outcast years ago as teens, we expected nothing from our families and, we weren’t dissapointed. 

After all, if Cindy and I had such a “great family” why were my sister and I homeless? The truth is that we didn’t have a great family. 

In fact, we both are the parents we never had. But, did we overindulge our children to such an extent by giving them everything we didn’t have that they expected too much from us? Maybe.

The “Sharon Hill Trust” only benefits the children of myself and my siblings if we die. I set it up that way. My reasons for setting up the trust were a payback for all four of my mothers children for not having a mother and more importantly, to ensure we benefitted from her death. God knows we have suffered enough with a heroin addicted mother and, her bad choices that directly impacted all four of her adult children. 

Our own adult children know nothing about sacrifice. Nothing. None of them know what poverty and homelessness are. None of them have ever been homeless or hungry. 

Cindy and I worked 2-3 jobs throughout their lives to provide everything as children that now our adult children needed. They’ve never went without. 

At fifteen years old, Cindy and I WERE HOMELESS. Cindy and I will never forget the adbject poverty of having nowhere to go and no one to help us. Cindy and I have lived in homeless shelters, our cars and even ate out of trash cans as teens because we had no choice. 

Cindy and I didn’t have a family or anyone else willing to help us- we only had each other. Our own children have ALWAYS had somewhere to go and, someone to help them. Who? Cindy and I.  When you have no one to turn to in times of trouble, you figure it out. Cindy and I did. 

Cindy’s daughters and my son were raised together and all three play either me or Cindy to get their way. We’ve began “cutting the cords” the past several years because it’s high time all three of them learn to support themselves and that nothing is free. You’ve got to work to live and eat. 

There aren’t any free rides or unrealistic expectations anymore. As adults, my nieces and my son are now learning that if you want something, you have to earn it. 

Today’s adult “child” expects their parents to give them whatever they want. A house. A car. A vacation. An inheritance. Whatever their parents EARNED is expected to be GIVEN to them. This is a problem folks. 

If your children are “counting your coins” and waiting for you to die, what have you taught them? 

Changing these expectations is enlightening. Trust me when I tell you that explaining to my son or nieces the horrors of our own childhoods versus their own perfect childhoods is “living in the past.” 

Our adult children wouldn’t know what going hungry or living without electricity was or how they would survive because they’ve never had to learn. The truth is that “our past defined our futures.” 

Cindy and I knew we had no one to help us. Based on this knowledge and our own hardships, we became workaholics. We had to. Without work and a paycheck, homelessness an poverty would take us back to where we had escaped. We are overachievers because we had to be. Poverty was like a barking dog chasing us. 

There wasn’t anyone to call when our car broke down or Cindy’s restaurant job dried up because the building burned down. 

My twin and I “figured it out” by sacrificing. If there wasn’t enough money to feed ourselves and our children, we fed our children. No “family” helping us feed or clothe our children or provide housing. When I say we were on our own, I mean it. 

My son and my nieces are well aware of the struggles Cindy and I faced solely because we didn’t have parents or family to help us. My son and my nieces are also aware that they’ve never “went without.” 

Last year, I gave my brother in law, Steve Daniel a Toyota Tundra truck. My son asked why I didn’t give it to his wife. My answer was based on the facts. “Steve and Cindy are raising their grandchildren without any child support. Steve is the primary earner in a Cindy’s home. Because Steve has to get to work and cannot afford to buy a vehicle due to his numerous financial responsibilities, and the fact that both you and your wife have vehicles, Steve needed the truck far more than anyone else.” 

The fact that my father had three vehicles and wasn’t willing to let Steve borrow one gives you more insight on selfishness. 

I had taken another vehicle in trade through The Pawning Planners three years earlier that Steve drove until it needed too much work after my niece, Stephaney used it while Steve was out of town and literally “ragged it out.” 

When you DON’T work and sacrifice to have nice things, you DON’T appreciate them. Ask me, I know. Loan something to someone that you sacrificed to buy and see how well they take care of it because they didn’t make any sacrifices to either have it or, use it.

If I buy a new SUV, my sons wife wants to know why I’m not “giving her” my old one? Or my niece, Stephaney is upset that I can afford another car when her car needs work. At my age, I’m highly concerned about our adult children and their feelings of entitlement. 

This “shocking revelation of real life” to my nieces, my son and my daughter in law is a work in progress. All three of our adult children “want a house, a new car and fabulous vacations.” 

Sadly, all three of our adult children will have to pay for these things themselves. You aren’t doing your children any favors by spoiling them. No one is. 

Teaching our adult children that everything we have worked and/or sacrificed for won’t be handed to them on a silver platter isn’t “something they are going to rejoice about.”

Educating “entitled adult children” that if they want something bad enough, they must sacrifice for it, I advised all three of them that “parenting is sacrifice not selfies.” Going without to make sure your children DON’T is SACRIFICE.

All three of our adult children are well over twenty eight years old and yet they continue to use terms like “I’m your kid.” 

After eighteen, no one is a kid anymore. Cindy’s daughters and my son use this “I’m your kid stuff” whenever they feel entitled to something.

My son and his wife are leaving Fort Worth Friday to travel to a wedding in Arkansas Saturday. This isn’t unusual. What is unusual is that I’m paying their hotel expenses. 

Generally, travel expenses are covered by the Client. Since my son was a bit jealous regarding our trip to California in October with my twin grandnieces, I offered to cover the hotel for Robert and Stephanie. 

I will explain why our vacation plans are often twisted into being about our adult children rather than us to give you more information on my latest “guilt trip.” 

Cindy and I are always being guilted into things by our adult children. So much so in fact that one of Cindy’s Quotes is actually based on guilt trips. “Not MY LUGGAGE and it Ain’t MY TRIP.”

My son was at Cindy’s house and “heard” our hotel plans for California. “I’m never invited on your trips to California and, I’m upset about it as is my wife.” 

Well, my son and his wife travel quite frequently for bookings and certainly “don’t invite” Cindy or I on these excursions. 

While my son was in his teens, he actually told me once “I’m sick of Hawaiia we go there every year and I’m tired of it.” 

I was actually working in Hawaiia with my ex husband and not exactly on vacation. But, the limousines to the airport and summers spent at our lake home with trips to Hawaiia “bored my son?” His cousins were green with envy over these fabulous trips.

My son has been all over the world. So much so in fact that his cousins, Leigh Ann and Stephaney are jealous of his excursions. My son is jealous that Leigh Ann has been to Japan and Tokyo. 

Stephaney is jealous that she hasn’t been to anywhere near the places that Leigh Ann and Robert have been. The truth is that Stephaney was often “off with her friends and bad choices” when I was traveling to our lake house or other destinations. 

My niece, Stephaney rarely joined her mother or I on trips because when she did, arguments ensued. Stephaney is a lot of work. Stephaney and her sister, Leigh Ann have never gotten along well. 

I’ve been traveling my entire life and, rarely have these trips NOT been “work related.”

My ability to transform a work trip into a mini vacation stems from years of experience. For my fellow travelers who weren’t working on these trips, it was a vacation. Bored with Hawaiia? My son was perhaps a bit spoiled.

If my son and nieces don’t understand why parents don’t take their adult children on holidays, they should. Parents don’t have to take their adult children on trips and subsequently, cover all the expenses.  

Gratitude IS appreciation. But, what if your adult children “feel entitled?” A few years ago, I booked my twin and I into the bungalow at The Beverly Hills Hotel. 

Although it was (as usual) another working trip, I love this hotel and more importantly, I could afford the expense! My son and my nieces were effectively, triggered about my choice of hotel and a barrage of “I don’t get to stay in luxury resort hotels” text messages ensued. 

Why do adult children believe that they deserve the benefits of their parents income? I don’t understand it.

I booked a hotel for Robert and Stephanie yesterday in Arkansas. I also sent them a text that a free breakfast was included. Rather than a thank you, my son decided to enlighten me on awful continental breakfasts he had endured at hotels offering a free breakfast. 

Now, I was triggered! I advised my son that if they didn’t like the option of a free breakfast that he and his wife could certainly go out and buy their own breakfast.

My youngest grandniece, Madyson is often used on Cindy’s Quotes because she is so animated. The looks on Maddies face often perfectly fit the Quote. 

Madyson is also a model on Instagram who has the same unruly mop of hair her mother did as a child. Leigh Ann now straightens her hair.When Robert and Stephanie are booked as a Photography Team or it’s an Officiant/Photography Package, Destination Event fees are recovered from the Client. 

Leigh Ann also covers her own expenses from revenue generated by Clients. If Leigh Ann is traveling with Cindy and I, she’s also expected to cover her own expenses including airfare, food and entertainment. 

The hotels and rental cars are covered by Cindy and I meaning– it’s a roll away bed and the backseat. If you don’t like 70’s music and cigarette smoke, you can go rent your own car or hotel. 

When Cindy and I are booked, our expenses are covered by our Clients. Travel expenses don’t include bringing my entire family on location unless of course, they’ve been hired in some capacity.

Explaining these simple truths to my family isn’t an easy conversation. Our adult children think we have a money tree in the yard and, we don’t. 

All expenses for Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Prison Weddings are covered solely by me. 

I pay the websites, I pay a website manager, I pay any advertising and I am the one holding the bag. No one in my family considers the expenses involved to run these businesses. They have no idea what web development or Trademarks, Copyrights and other expenses are because they’ve never paid for these business related expenses. I have. I assume all the risks and if I’m booked at an Event, I pay any staff also hired on site.

All of my Social Media accounts are handled by me. I don’t pay anyone to handle my accounts. I spend a large amount of time promoting others who in turn, promote me. 

Many of my bookings are referrals from previous clients. I earned their business, exceeded their expectations and in turn, earned referral clients. 

Our adult children are jealous of the large numbers of connections on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, FB, Google Plus, Pinterest and other outlets. 

What they fail to realize is that years of work went into our following. Today’s millenials think everything comes for free. It doesn’t. 

Social Media is “Tit For Tat.” If you want others to promote YOU, try promoting THEM. Dissapointed because no one is liking, sharing or retweeting you? Try doing the same for others that you expect them to do for you. Figure it out. 

Cindy and I spend hours on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and FB. HOURS promoting our connections. We EARNED our following. 

Explaining this to our adult children who are “too busy for social media” explains why their numbers are dramatically different from either Cindy or I. 

Having to explain to my son and my nieces why they aren’t invited “everywhere Cindy and I go” isn’t ever going to be easy but, after eighteen years old, if adult children want a vacation, they can certainly pay for it or go to work and earn a vacation like the rest of us. 

Teaching our adult children that we don’t owe them a car, a vacation, a house or anything else is an eye opener for them but, we are actually doing them a favor. One day we won’t be here to help them and they will be forced to rely on themselves…

“DON’T Shake the Tree UNLESS You Are WILLING to eat the FRUIT that FALLS!”

As usual, my sisters saucy sayings AKA #Cindyism Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel were a hit yesterday on Twitter. Everyone loves #Cindyism Quotes. 

My twin sister is my Hero. She is a survivor. She’s strong, hilarious and full of life. When Cindy walks into a room, she owns it! Yesterday’s quote was a keeper for many of our connections on Twitter, FB, Instagram, Pinterest and FB because as usual, it was based on Real Life and more importantly, Real People. 

“SOME people TALK a good BUFFET, and WILL even INVITE you to DINNER, with a PROMISE of BEANS without any BEEF, just SO they can STIR the CHILI, and LOOK like, the WINNER!” God bless us all.

Cindy has a “way” with words which is why sales of our customized tees and caps continue to exceed our expectations. Cindy’s quotes are actually based on real observations. Cindy is both a watcher and a listener. “Don’t ask for an apple and expect a pie.” 

Every quote Cindy posts or puts on custom designed Pawning Planners Apparel tee shirt or cap is an original. Meaning, no one else said it first. Cindy’s creative content based quotes are so popular that she is often featured on Say Quotable. Everything she says is Quotable.

Now and again, I don’t always understand Cindy’s quotes but, when I do, it’s amazing that her humor contains quite a bit of truth.  

A few weeks ago, our production company asked Cindy’s husband where and how she “comes up with” her spot on observations with a Redneck Flair. 

Not surprisingly, Steve Daniel wasn’t “where Cindy gets her best material.” Cindy can come up with a Quote to fit any situation off the top of her head. It’s a gift that I don’t possess although we are identical twins.  

Steve Daniel is a truck driver and good ole country boy but, Cindy is the original Redneck Granny. Her words of wisdom are creative, funny and often inspirational.

Cindy’s best material is with clients and family AKA Inlaws and Outlaws. “I am BUSIER than a BEVERLY hills PLASTIC surgeon, DURING bikini SEASON” God bless us all. 

Or, “If you ACQUIRE anything EASILY, it WON’T be MISSED when Its GONE, the THINGS that will MATTER the MOST, are WHAT you FOUGHT for, and WON” Amen. 

I’m going to “catch up” everyone on the latest developments from Clients, Family, Trades and Treasures along with Flips and Flops in today’s blog while addressing my latest round of drama with a bride who is getting cold feet and what’s up with my niece, Stephaney.

First, let me explain that many of my Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham Clients often send a photo of what they plan to wear to their TDCJ Wedding. The reason for this is that clothing must be appropriate and cannot be revealing, too tight or too low cut. 

Spaghetti straps and low cut cleavage baring tops, dresses and other attire are strictly frowned upon. So much so that your TDCJ Wedding can be cancelled or you will be required to wear something to cover you which has upset three of my Brides to such an extent that they cried following me to the Visitation Area for their wedding. 

Yes, I realize “it’s your wedding day” but, there are strict rules (The Administrative Directive) in place regarding TDCJ Inmate Weddings. From what to wear to what you can bring and everything in between, TDCJ Wedding Ceremonies follow strict guidelines.

The above dress wasn’t inappropriate because the cleavage is well covered and it isn’t too short or too revealing. Since I don’t know what you are wearing unless you’ve sent me a photo, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution if you don’t want to wear a smock over your clothing. 

Rolling up to a Unit to find my bride in hot pants and a halter top or, drunk is the last thing I need! Please remember that we are at a Prison and follow the rules. You know what the dress code is and, you know that you shouldn’t be drinking and driving. 

My TDCJ contract sets out what you can expect from me and what I can expect from you. No drinking prior to your wedding, no “club” clothes, no disrespect to TDCJ Personnel and the only items you can bring in are your state issued ID, car keys, marriage license and quarters if photos are allowed at the Unit. (Many privately owned Prisons DO NOT ALLOW PHOTOS).

I’ve had numerous emails regarding marriage counseling with me through Two Together In Texas Classes. I am not currently taking on new clients for marriage counseling due to the time involved for an eight hour course.

Due to my schedule with Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners, Texas Prison Weddings and Texas Twins Treasures, my schedule prevents me from taking on new Two Together clients for pre marital counseling which is why I direct you straight to Two Together to download the course for $29 per couple. 

It has come to my attention from many of my clients that there are sites “selling” the Two Together Marriage package at a ridiculously inflated cost. Sadly, these same scammers often don’t send the certificate after completing the course. 

Don’t purchase this course anywhere else other than Two Together. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and headaches by going directly to the source. 

Only a Two Together Authorized Counselor can issue the Certificate. Be aware of this and go straight to Two Together– Two Together Online Premarital Course.

If you have purchased this course from someone else and haven’t received your certificate, contact the seller or Escalate a Claim on Paypal for a refund or contact Two Together In Texas.

Back to Trades and Treasures…Cindy and I love digging through your stuff to find a Flip, Swap or Trade but, these Appraisal Appointments are time consuming which is why we require you to upload a photo at The Pawning Planners. 

Traveling to your location and going through your stuff trying to find something of value takes us away from our other booked clients and commitments. 

Travel time along with 1-2 hours on location requires us to be fairly certain your barter will work for both you and us when bartering your event services through The Pawning Planners.

Please use our site form to include what type of Event Service you are seeking as well as what your proposed trade is when seeking an Appraisal Appointment. I’m including the link for you– The Pawning Planners Contact Us.If you are having second thoughts regarding your TDCJ Wedding, Officiant Service, Photography Package, Event Coordinator Services or ANY OTHER SERVICES Offered, please be aware that holding an event date for your prevents us from booking new clients. Because of this, we do not refund deposits. 

A few months ago, one of my TDCJ Brides decided to cancel her wedding at the last minute. After months of phone calls and texts, no one was more surprised than I was regarding this “change of heart.” 

My bride had sent photos of outfits options while excitedly planning her Prison Wedding and was really looking forward to it.

To find out why my beautiful TDCJ Coffield Unit bride had a change of heart, here’s the blog link– The Coffield Unit Con Man & The Bride That Gave Him The Boot.

If you are booking through The Pawning Planners, a barter must be agreed upon a minimum of thirty days prior to your event date.

I do not schedule your TDCJ Wedding. Why? The Warden does. Because of this, holding my schedule open to accommodate your TDCJ Wedding limits me to booking no more than 10-15 new TDCJ Clients each month. If you have not signed a contract with me, you are required to do so prior to listing me on your TDCJ Paperwork.  

For those of you following our latest dive into family issues, I’m updating you since there isn’t a line between business and family for me. Throwing business and family into one pot can and does have challenges. 

I have three generations of family members who work with me at Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, The Pawning Planners and Texas Prison Weddings.

My father is currently unavailable for bookings at your County Jail Wedding. He is in North Carolina visiting my brother until further notice. 

Thousands of you have read the blog post regarding the shocking circumstances of my dad the past few months that led him to believe intruders were living in the attic. 

For those who missed it, here’s the blog link– What About Dad? Caring For Seniors Requires Compassion, Patience & Perseverance.

If you had told me that the past eight months of my life would be spent visiting family members in Psych Wards, I would have NEVER believed it. 

Cindy and I first visited my niece, Stephaney in a Psych Ward only to find ourselves (a few months later) visiting our dad. Our first visit to a Psych Ward was five months ago to see my niece, Stephaney. In a five month window, she has been committed seven times.

It’s hard to believe but, Cindy and I literally “bounce from Psych Ward visits to client meetings and events” like we’ve been doing it all of our lives. 

Trading in our sad and confused faces for our happy faces on location is perhaps our greatest achievement in pretending we don’t have a care in the world. 

My niece, Stephaney our Bilingual Translator is currently in treatment for Bipolar One and currently not available for bookings due to Psychiatric Treatment.

We lost Ann Alexander a few weeks ago to an unexpected illness and subsequent death at a fairly young age. 

The shocking reality of my stepdaughter Ann struggling with mental illness as well as my niece and the early death of Ann has surprised our clients and saddened our family. 

Our mother also suffered from mental illness and recently, my father became convinced people were living in his attic which was alarming to say the least! 

For nearly five months, Cindy and I have attempted to convince our father that no one is living on the roof or in his attic but, hopefully, a trip to visit our brother will give us a break from dealing with dad and Stephaney at the same time. 

Quite frankly, if Cindy and I never had to visit another relative in the Psych Ward it would be a blessing for Cindy and I. 

Yes, this has been a tough year for us of unexpected surprises for my family but, Cindy and I along with my niece, Leigh Ann Blais my son and his wife, Robert and Stephanie Hafele as well as my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney who work as Princess Characters at parties are all still working hard to meet our Clients needs. 

I’m the only Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiant on our staff which is why I’m generally booked Monday-Friday for Texas Prison Weddings when I’m not working on refurbishing trades for Texas Twins Treasures with my twin sister or meeting new clients. 

Because of my schedule and being the first choice for Religious Services and Ceremonies, Floral Designs, Event Coordination and more, if you are a short notice Client, you are effectively “bumped” to another Officiant on my Texas Twins Events Team.

I want to first address the many phone calls and emails sent through Texas Twins Events or The Pawning Planners regarding personal stories from the new followers and connections who have shared their hardships of dealing with mental illness and/or addiction issues of their family members. 

Sharing your pain and stories wasn’t easy for you to do. My twin sister and I had always masked issues with my niece, Stephaney due to her unpredictability by rarely booking her at an event unless of course, we were on site with her. Stephaney is Bipolar One and struggles with self medication. 

Cindy has had custody of Maryssa and Makenna since birth. Our reasons for saving the twins are based entirely on our own childhoods with a mother who was a heroin addict. I’m very vocal about hating drugs because I do. 

Drugs destroy lives and families. The combination of drugs and mental illness or addiction issues is shocking. My twin sister and I saved the twins from Stephaney’s bad choices. 

Dr Phil is following the treatment for Stephaney and Stephaney has agreed to go on the show. Over the past year, my niece has been committed seven times. 

It’s tragic but, true that while dealing with Stephaney and her Demons while trying to “appear normal” has been difficult for Cindy and I. 

Based on correspondence from readers of my blogs from Denmark to Chicago, we aren’t alone in “trying to appear normal in an abnormal world.” 

From visits to Psych Wards to uploading video diaries to Dr Phil, Cindy and I have dealt with loss and heartache while continuing to address the many demands of our schedules. 

Many of our clients are aware of what we are dealing with and we appreciate your prayers and concerns. The twins do not visit Stephaney with us as we feel it’s best to keep them away from Psych Ward visits to Stephaney at JPS LCA. This is one of the worst Units that I’ve been in. Trinity Pavillion and Sundance were by far cleaner and safer for visits to my niece. Fist fights break out in the Visitation Area quite frequently at JPS/LCA. It’s so shocking that Cindy and I have only visited once. We drop off toiletries and clothing every Monday but visiting my niece at this location is depressing and can be dangerous. 

Cindy and I had convinced Stephaney to go into long term treatment by threatening to cut her out of our family and more importantly, stop buying her food, drinks and cigarettes because she was fired from yet another job in June and refused to go back to work. 

This “help” from Cindy and I enabled Stephaney. We were unaware of it at the time but now realize our mistakes in trying to “Save Stephaney.”

My stepdaughter, Ann was also Bipolar. Because of this, my husband has silently watched Cindy and I attempt to Save Stephaney while realizing that his hardships with Ann had taught him that only the person struggling with mental illness can decide to help themselves. Like Cindy and I, my husband had attempted to “Save Ann” for years.

Many of the people contacting me to share their own similar experiences have also “tried to save their son, daughter, father, mother or spouse” from their own Demons. 

If you have ever dealt with a relative struggling with mental illness or addiction, God Bless You. Your patience and your pain, your hope and your struggle were difficult. 

Some days I have no idea how Cindy and I put on our happy faces to go to work waiting on the next call from Stephaney and/or her latest change of plans for long term treatment. 

Last night, Stephaney had decided to move in with her Psych Ward roommate after leaving treatment. Of course, her mother and I were upset about this but, Stephaney is an adult. If she chooses to skip long term treatment, we can’t stop her. 

My dad met his girlfriend during his stay at Wellbridge. It’s not as unusual as you might think for friendships to occur between patients at Mental Hospitals. 

In fact, it’s deeply distressing to know your relative with a problem is developing a relationship with another patient who obviously has their own problems.

If you’ve lost someone, you struggle with the relief of not having to worry anymore. The guilt of not being able to save them and the trauma of their actions. 

Your pain is intense. I don’t understand addiction. My sister doesn’t understand it. Stephaney’s twin daughters don’t understand it either.

The joy in our lives are my three grandnieces and our clients. Sharing your Dream Event and spending time with you is a Fringe Benefit for my twin and I. We are honored our clients came to us for help and trusted us to make their day as special as they are. 

Many of you welcomed my grandnieces on location with us as if they were your own children. From photo shoots to weddings, family reunions, baptisms, birthday parties and more, the twins and baby Maddy have enjoyed being on location with us and working as a family to make your Dream Event a Reality. 

Our clients accepted that by hiring us, they were hiring a family on location at their event and welcomed Cindy’s granddaughters as part of the “Team.”To our “traditional” vendors, having a baby on my shoulder while directing other vendors may sound odd. 

Truthfully, when I created Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events, it never occurred to me that clients would want to hire Maryssa and Makenna for tips or flips to be ring bearers, flower girls or ushers. Twins with twins? Yes, it’s rare. So rare in fact that clients wanted our mini me twins, Maryssa and Makenna in their weddings. 

The twins have been in over three hundred weddings and when they decided to “branch out” and become Princess Characters, they felt as comfortable on location posing for photos as if it were second nature to them.Wherever we went the past nearly eight years, Cindy’s three grandnieces went with us. Baby Madyson is always on location with her mom, Leigh Ann Blais. Clients knew our children and grandchildren as part of the package and welcomed us with open arms.

This may sound unusual to a few people but, my goal was to give Cindy and I am opportunity to spend time together. 

Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, The Pawning Planners and even Texas Prison Weddings gave me the time to spend with my family that high end sales and brand promotion never did.

Cindy joins me in my SUV driving across Texas to Prisons and waits for my Bride or Groom and I to return from the wedding for the photo shoots we offer as a courtesy. 

Cindy and I do everything together. We are not only twins but more importantly, best friends.It’s been a tough year for my Team but, Cindy and I are accustomed to overcoming adversity. Nothing has ever come easily to either of us.

My desire to make Event Services affordable by starting Texas Twins Events was unheard of years ago although the need obviously existed.

Taking trades for services by merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create The Pawning Planners has raised a few eyebrows among our competitors but, my twin and I are experienced appraisers. 

We “worked it out.” Texas Twins Treasures gave us an outlet to Flip Items we had taken in trade through The Pawning Planners.

Texas Prison Weddings also surprised a few folks but, we welcomed anyone for any reason and were already well known for being the first openly LBGT Friendly Event Services based business so, if you were surprised by LBGT Prison Weddings, you shouldn’t have been.Affordable floral designs that we even loan to ensure our clients have everything they need? You bet! I created an inventory to loan Pawning Planners Clients. 

From ring pillows to bouquets, bouteniers, champagne flutes, flower baskets and cake trays, if you cannot afford to provide items for your event, you can borrow them at no cost to you as a courtesy. “Loaned items are for booked clients and at the discretion of Wendy Wortham.” 

My twin sister and I can create just about anything and also sell custom brooch bouquets at Texas Twins Treasures.Looking for your favorite #Cindyism Quote? Cindy has several blogs dedicated to her Hillbilly Views on Life– Cindy Daniel Has Something To Say About Everything- #Cindyism Quotes.

What made us different made us popular. We treated every client the same way we would’ve wanted to be treated. We welcomed anyone viewed as “different” by other vendors. Their loss was our gain.

Dealing with family issues while working isn’t that unusual. Millions of other people do the same thing everyday. We’ve managed to overcome and bounce back from the unexpected disasters of having family members committed with our usual humor and hidden sadness. 

You can’t choose your family. “FAMILY is LIKE a POTLUCK dinner, YOU don’t HAVE to LIKE everything they BRING to the TABLE, to APPRECIATE the MEAL.”

Cindy and I no longer hide the fact that “the UGLIEST tree IN the ORCHARD, bares the SWEETEST fruit!” If we hadn’t hard a hard life, we wouldn’t have soft hearts. I was so ugly as a child, that no one would’ve believed that I would ever become a model. I’ve sold everything under the sun including Cadillac’s, Jewelry, Furs and high end furniture. 

For a buck toothed kid with a stutter that refused to speak for 6 years of my childhood, I’ve learned that you can’t change where you came from but, you can change where you’re going and, I have. Cindy and I are survivors. 

My smile was fixed and I’m no longer afraid to take a chance on myself. My twin is my best friend and one of the bravest and resilient people that I’ve ever known. We didn’t have a magic wand to help over 1,300 hundred families. But, “the SWEETEST grapes IN the VINEYARD, were GROWN from TWISTED vines.” 

What we had was ambition, drive, strong personalities and a desire to help anyone with a Dream Event. My sister and I were determined to help ANYONE regardless of their circumstances. We cared when no one else would when reviewing correspondence through any Wendy Wortham site. 

My family and I “Pow Wowed” our way through problems to find solutions regarding any obstacle to make your Dream Event a Reality. Whether I’m in a Prison or visiting a family member in a Mental Institution, variety is the spice of my life and as my dedicated readers and connections realize, you must “APPRECIATE the journey and be GRATEFUL for the TRIP.” 

Cindy and I have strong work ethics because we never had anyone other than each other and later in life, our husbands to rely on. “You can’t profit from the harvest if you don’t plant the crops.” 

We are survivors. My sister and I are the mothers we never had. The friends we never met and the people we always wanted to meet. We are honest and unafraid of transparency. 

We are no longer embarrassed or ashamed of our mother selling us for $50 each to go buy more heroin. Hardships forced us to be survivors. But, hardships didn’t harden our hearts.

Since a few readers have asked, Cindy does have her own WordPress Blog Site. It’s a great outlet for her to express her feelings and we are planning to merge our blogs to write a book together. Here’s the link–Cindy Daniel’s Blog On Redneck Reality, Real Life & Real People.

The delicate balance of Tough Love and Enabling isn’t lost on us. Stephaney and Ann both struggled with taking their medications. Stephaney and Ann both struggled with addiction. None of us could save Ann. None of us have been able to Save Stephaney.

We smile and we mask our heavy hearts over losing Ann and facing losing Stephaney if she doesn’t accept the reality of losing nearly everyone in her life aside from my twin sister and I. We fought harder when everyone else in our families gave up. 

Cindy and I believed in my niece when no one else would and….we have been dissapointed over and over again with Stephaney. 

We lost Ann because we didn’t know how to save her. Mental Illness alone is a cross that many families are forced to bear but, Mental Illness and addiction are a deadly combination. 

I recently told Stephaney that the ONLY reason our mother is still alive is because in 1988, I paid her $1500 to meet me in Solvang that resulted in a life changing accident. 

For me, paying my mother to meet me was necessary to move on and stop blaming myself for 1. Being worth only fifty dollars. 2. Constantly wondering why anyone would sell their children to buy drugs. 3. Giving her an opportunity to explain herself.

I wanted answers to my questions and she claimed to need “rent money.” The money was used (of course) to go buy heroin. My mother was “high as a kite” when she ran into a bus. Had my mother not met me, she would still be an addict or dead. 

The only reason my mother isn’t a heroin addict today is that she lost 60% of her brain in the accident and most likely, forgot that she was a heroin addict. 

I told my niece, Stephaney these facts for a reason. My reason was that my mother had a choice to straighten up and in 1988 at 45 years old, she was still an addict. Selling all four of her children for $50 each, I’m fairly certain that our mother has more memory than she admits. 

All four of her children are beneficiaries of the Sharon Hill Trust that I set up after the accident. The Trust pays us back for having an idiot for a mother. It’s a pay off of sorts to all four of her children.

Stephaney has a choice but, it’s a choice only she can make. We cannot make it for her. If her mother and I could, we would never have had another relative with an addiction issue. We are sick of addicts and sick of the issues they bring to their loved ones. 

My mother didn’t answer the questions I had the way that I had hoped. There was no remorse and/or regret for selling her children. The fifty dollar price tag she put on all four of our heads was calculated because “I didn’t think any of you were worth more than that.” Leaving that fateful meeting with my mother in Solvang, I hated her. I actually never wanted to see her again. 

Getting a phone call from my mothers mother five hours after meeting her so many years after she sold all four of us for $200. I refer to the meeting and subsequent “accident” only to elaborate and explain why meeting my mother in person and paying her for the privilege was actually worth it to me.

Hearing my mother had been hurt after meeting me, I was concerned that had she not met me, the accident wouldn’t have ever occurred. I blamed myself for years about the accident. 

The best part of that meeting was our mothers mother, grandma Tinney. She was an Angel and I’m fairly certain that dealing with our mother eventually killed her. 

Only because Grandma Tinney asked me to return to Santa Maria did I invite my twin to join me. Driving back was the last thing I wanted to do but, I drove back from San Clemente to Solvang fully expecting to watch my mother die and, yet she lived. 

My sister was horrified at our mothers missing teeth and yellow claw like toenails. Since the only photos she had seen were from the 60’s, our mothers appearance some twenty years later made her look like a different person altogether. How our stepsister, Tammy deals with our mother and her “convenient memory” I have no idea. Grandma Tinney adopted Tammy and raised her as her own. Saving children isn’t new in our family. 

There are Saints among us who make sacrifices to save children. My grandma Tinney and twin sister both adopted their grandchildren and both raised them without benefit of child support. 

The financial and emotional burden of raising grandchildren in your 40’s or 50’s isn’t an easy task. For those who take on the responsibilities, God Bless Them. 

Our mother still lives today in Lompoc and every visit to CA finds my twin sister and I paying an obligatory visit to someone who claims she doesn’t know who we are. 

How our sister Tammy deals with seeing our mother and “going along” with what our mother claims to not remember about tossing her children away I have no idea. But, Tammy does with grace and the patience that I could never possess. Just a two hour visit with my mother has me wanting to yell “you know who I am, you know who my sisters are too so, stop pretending.” But, I don’t. I keep it together. My anger and my sadness are crosses that I must bear. 

After all, what if our mother actually doesn’t know who we are. Sure, pitying someone who put you through Hell isn’t something anyone wants but, I may never have the opportunity to express my feelings regarding my mothers choices. I realize now that we were better off without a mother and that by having no role model, three sisters became the mothers they never had. 

Cindy would love to ask our mother “point blank questions” and our brother has only talked to our mother once. All four of her children harbor resentment. Due to her cognitive damage though, my mother has never admitted to whether or not she recalls her choices. The choices that defined our lives. The poverty, the loneliness, the despair and the guilt of being separated from our sister, Tammy. The sister we had known our entire childhood and only as adults found again cries with us. Tammy understands how we feel because her feelings mirror our own. We lost over twenty years of having Tammy in our lives. Tammy who often acted as our mother when our mother was “missing” for hours or days. 

Cindy and I are headed back to California for our birthday with Maryssa, Makenna, Madyson and Leigh Ann in October. As usual, we will go visit my mother and as usual, my mother will pretend not to know who we are. These visits are always stressful for Cindy and I. 

Last year, our mother asked about my brother. How can she remember him when he’s never visited and we’ve seen her every year? This question about Jerry upset Cindy to such an extent that my sister went outside crying. 

I’m guessing our mother continues to pretend not knowing who we are in order  to keep us from “going off on her regarding throwing her four children away” but, who knows how much she actually remembers? My mother would make a great actress. 

All these years after “the accident” our mother is viewed as fragile or too delicate to question about her past by her own children. All four of us would love to tell her how we feel about being sold at $50 each or how her choices separated her children but, we can’t. My mother goes into her shell of confusion when questioned about the past. 

I’ve hated drugs all of my life because of my mother as has Cindy. Even after surgery, I won’t take pain medicine for fear of becoming my mother. Having a drug addict for a mother, Cindy and I hated drugs at a young age. 

One day our mother will die and she will either die with a guilty conscience or not remembering she ever had children. If she can remember Jerry, she remembers Tammy, Wendy and Cindy too. This “who are you” game of our mother infuriates us. I wish we knew how much she actually knows but, we don’t and probably never will. 

We managed to succeed when others had failed in the Event Industry because we were open minded. I believe if life had been kind to us and we had never struggled, we would have never been as compassionate and dedicated as we are. 

You can’t change where you came from but, you can change where you are going…we couldn’t choose our family but, Cindy and I chose to take where we had been and become the people we would like to meet.

A Canoe, Corkscrew Collection and Old Canes Barter Through The Pawning Planners…

Well, just when I think Cindy and I “have seen it all,” something that piques my interest flies into my email. I was interested in the canoe for my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna. Their grandfather aka Papa has been thrilled with his recent purchase and after seeing the photo, I thought if the barter would work, I would flip the antique canoe to Steve and Steve could flip his Academy canoe to the twins. 

Now and then, Cindy or I keep a flip and use it for her family or mine. A few years ago, I took a bartered Bronco because my brother in law, Steve Daniel needed a vehicle. 

The interior wasn’t great but, for nearly three years, the vehicle worked well enough to tool around town and get Steve to the lake or to work and back. 

Last July 4th, my husband finally bought a new car and we “gifted” Steve his Toyota Tundra pick up truck. 

No one appreciates that truck as much as Steve does. He vacuums and washes it every week and, his new canoe from Academy fits in it.Steve Daniel is as funny as my twin sister and loves wearing crazy shorts and mismatching shirts. My sister, Cindy has given up trying to get Steve to wear what she wants. 

Cindy loves digging through old barns for treasure among the trash. I don’t. The mice, the spiders and the cobwebs freak me out and, what if there’s a snake?Cindy isn’t afraid of snakes or spiders and she finds some fairly interesting things in barns. If we are on location for an Appraisal Appointment, anything is fair game for a flip, swap or trade. If the proposed item won’t work, we continue digging to find something that will.

An old corscrew collection didn’t really interest me but Cindy was pretty excited about a drawerful of old corkscrews. “Some of those are worth money. If they have bronze tops or interesting sculptures, it could be a couple hundred dollars per corkscrew.” 

Hmm, I had no idea of this but, Cindy specializes in smaller items.I was wondering why anyone would collect corkscrews but, everyone has a passion for something. 

The canes were also of interest to me along with the canoe since I wasn’t at all interested in digging through a box of corkscrews. Cindy and I always “split up” at Appraisal Appointments in order to cover more ground at a meeting. The photo of the dragon head came was interesting but the paint on the handle had worn which would affect the overall value. 

The Indian head cane was spectacular and I loved it. There was another cane but, the carving was of a nude woman which is why I’m not uploading a photo of it. My “haul” on this barter would be the Indian and Goddess Canes along with the canoe. 

Finding Cindy whether it’s at an event or Appraisal Appointment can sometimes involve my supersonic hearing. When hearing her talking to a new friend on location fails, I keep looking. Cindy loves meeting new people on location and enjoys looking at their family photos too. 

It surprises a few people that Pawning Planners Clients spend far more time with us than Texas Twins Events Clients but, there’s a reason. Appraisal Appointments are far more intimate than “run of the mill” client meetings. Why? We are in someone’s home while digging through their personal items to find something of comparable value to their event request. Hence the “intimacy.” 

We are also offered iced tea or coffee and occasionally, breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on the time of day we happen to be at an Appraisal Appointment. Pawning Planners Clients are lifelong friends of the Texas Twins.

The Canoe, Cane and yes, Corkscrew Client is Bartering Photography, Bling Bouquets for the Bride, Maid Of Honor and Four Bridesmaids, a Wedding Officiant, and 14 Centerpieces. It’s a full day on location but, it will also be a fun one with my entire Texas Twins Events Team on hand due to the size of the guest list.

A few of my readers have asked about my dad and my niece, Stephaney. They are both still in treatment. Dad is at Wellbridge while Stephaney is at Sundance. 

This afternoon, my husband found time for a break between my schedule of events and visiting dad to meet me for lunch. It’s so rare for my husband and I to have time for an impromptu lunch or dinner date.

Having two family members in treatment at centers forty minutes from one another has had Cindy and I running here, there and everywhere from Sundance to Wellbridge and we are both exhausted from daily visits that literally “suck the life right out of us.”

I told my husband, Matthew that my dad keeps referring to “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.” Since I had never seen the movie or understood the reference, Matthew enlightened me. “It’s a great movie. This guy gets out of prison by pretending to be crazy. Hilarious adventures ensue and eventually the mean nurse gets even by giving him a lobotomy.”

I was horrified that my husband could find anything funny with an ending like that but, apparently “leading up to the lobotomy,” the patients have quite a number of escapades.

After visiting dad, I came home to get on the internet and research a movie that I had only heard about.

First, I answered all of my emails and brewed a cup of coffee. I found an article regarding the location for the movie and museum for Oregon State Hospital. Here’s the link– Cuckoos Nest Hospital Now A Museum. 

My husband has never been to a Psych Ward in his life as a visitor or a patient and I’m guessing that most of the people who loved the movie hadn’t either. 

Visiting a patient in a Psych Ward who isn’t crazy is the most awkward situation I’ve ever found myself in and let’s face it, after handling over 1,300 events including Prison Weddings, Cindy and I have both had our fair share of “awkward moments.”

Other patients wander around listlessly and often talk to themselves. Many patients are wearing unmatching pajamas or blankets wrapped around them. 

At Wellbridge, dad and one other man about 60ish are the only patients not acting crazy. Ironically, they are both “in there” for shooting a gun in their home. My dad at raccoons, the other man? At squirrels. The irony isn’t lost on me.

Apparently, during the filming of Cuckoos Nest, Danny DeVito developed an invisible friend and concerns about his mental state alarmed the film crew. After realizing that the actors were staying with the patients for the three months during filming, I’m assuming that creating an invisible friend was Danny’s “coping mechanism.” He had no problems after leaving Oregon State Hospital which is why I believe that spending three months in a mental hospital away from home probably drove him to create his own friend. It makes sense to me anyway. 

How could anyone stay sane surrounded by insane people for three months? I’m a visitor for an hour a day as is Cindy to my dad and how on earth my dad is staying sane surrounded by insanity is anyone’s guess. There is so much craziness going on around my dad at our visits that it’s often hard for me to pay any attention to him. 

My dad is being released Tuesday and I’m in surgery Wednesday. We have no idea when my niece will be released and only yesterday finally got a call from her with her Patient ID Number. This “code” is important. Without it, you can’t visit or call or bring clothing, toiletries or cigarettes. Yes, I said cigarettes. My dad and my niece are both smoking because they can. 

Apparently, Inpatient Adults are allowed to smoke and buying cigarettes for both dad and Stephaney is not an inexpensive endeavor. 

Stephaney’s “brand” is $6.75 a pack. Dad is getting whatever is on sale since he gives away the cigarettes he doesn’t like to other patients.

Today, dad told me they now have a community cigarette area for patients who don’t have anyone bringing them packs of cigarettes. I’m surprised by this but, after two weeks of visiting dad at Wellbridge, nothing should surprise me anymore. 

Cindy and I appreciate everyone taking the time to write to us about their own family members and the stress of having a loved one in a Psych Ward. It’s stressful, it’s expensive and, it’s something rarely anyone talks about.

After researching Cuckoos Nest, I’m glad I hadn’t seen it because I would have been even more worried about my dad or my niece. I’m not at all educated on shock treatments but, wouldn’t want my dad or my niece subjected to shock treatments. 

My stepdaughter, Anne is also Bipolar as is my niece and Anne has been to numerous Psych Wards as well as undergone shock treatments. I find this fact alarming and terrifying. 

When Anne told me about having shock treatments, I nearly fell over. At the time, I knew nothing of Psych Wards and had never been to visit anyone.

Years later, I know all too well that patients are fearful of “Booty Juice” or the “quiet room.” I’ve heard the terrifued whispers of other patients while visiting my father or my niece and know that many patients are terrified of a shot that knocks the patient out for 1-3 days. “Booty Juice” is a terrible slang term for a knock out shot often given to other patients behaving badly. 

Finding a movie about a Mental Institute funny is the furthest thing from my mind because it’s far too close to the reality of visiting my dad or my niece for Cindy and I.

Like many of you who have shared your stories with us, we hope dad can go home soon and we hope that Stephaney can get back on her medication and we can all put this behind us.

My husband suggested buying Cuckoos Nest on DVD  “you should watch it. Right up to the sad parts, it’s absolutely hilarious.” 

I’m guessing that if my husband had ever visited anyone in a Psych Ward, the humor would be lost on the stark reality of just how many people are living their lives in mental institutions run by the state.

Dad and Stephaney are lucky as they are both in privately run facilities. Sadly, for other patients who don’t have insurance, a state run facility is the only option they have.

Many prisons in Texas house mental patients. It’s sad but true that while in the 60’s a state hospital cared for the mentally ill that now prisons take the place of the hospitals before them.

For Stephaney, it’s her fourth visit to a Mental Institute to “stabilize” after getting off her meds and for my dad the first and only time. My dads hoping to never return and, who could blame him?  

Wanderings, Weight Loss, Water Features & Weddings…

Saddling up from Fort Worth, Cindy and I headed to view a funky trade proposition sent through The Pawning Planners on our way to a Wedding Rehearsal in Arlington. 

We are not only twin sisters and partners but also best friends. Cindy and I do everything together. It’s rare for me to consider a water feature but, for over fifteen years I sold water features and upscale patio furniture for Texas Patios and Yard Art. 

I was the top salesperson and my greatest talent is actually selling or brand promotion. Knowing the value of a items taken in trade is key to flipping for a profit. It’s not unusual for flips to become flops now and then but, when it comes to upscale patio furniture, fountains, antiques and other large items, I’ve “rarely flopped a flip.”

This barter involved another family reunion in exchange for a beautiful fountain. I knew the value of the fountain and also that moving it would require at least four men which is why I planned to sell it straight from the Clients home.It’s well known that I will do anything to keep from moving large items and renting box trucks. Hiring help costs money up front. My “plan” will work because this item is no longer available as the maker has long since gone out of business and many homeowners want this particular fountain.

Last year, I flipped two fountains and both sold right off the Clients properties. The more ornate or elaborate the fountain, the better the selling price.Cindy and I have worked bouncing from Wellbridge to visit our dad to Sundance to visit her other daughter, Stephaney. 

I’m honest regarding what’s going on in my life since my personal life often revolves around Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham and The Pawning Planners. 

Working with your entire family of three generations isn’t always easy when your son or daughter in law think your niece is a narcissist. 

My son has been jealous of Leigh Ann for most of his life. “Leigh Ann has never had to pay rent. She has the latest electronics because she doesn’t have the responsibilities everyone else does.” 

These ongoing arguments are often referred to as squabbles by Cindy or I. Holidays are Hell with three adult children competing about who got the best gift of birthday party. 

Leigh Ann thinks my son is spoiled. “Robbie has been to Hawaiia four times and the Caymen Islands as well as other fabulous places including Acapulco.” 

My son’s take on his cousin? “Leigh Ann has been to Japan twice and has the newest phone the minute it’s available. I left home at eighteen and have been paying my own bills all of my life. Leigh Ann should pay rent or go live with her husband on base.”

Meanwhile…my other niece, Stephaney is back in treatment to level out on her medication after going off her Bipolar One meds again. 

I told my son that “Cindy and I are juggling clients from four businesses while visiting dad or Stephaney in Psych Wards everyday and the last thing either of us need us advice about what to do with Leigh Ann. 

Cindy and I are overwhelmed trying to keep the family together while addressing our clients needs. My advice to my son? “I wish all three of you adult children would work harder at getting along. You could go visit dad or Stephaney and give Cindy or I the day off for a visit. Coming over to complain about Leigh Ann to me is unwelcome. I’m having surgery next week and juggling far too many commitments at the same time. One day, Cindy and I won’t be here to force you three to get along and this family is going to fall apart without our constant nagging to work at your relationships and put your competing natures aside. Stephaney would love a visit as would dad but nobody aside from Cindy and I have made any effort to go visit either of them.” I meant it. 

My niece, Leigh Ann had gastric bypass surgery last December. Since then, any “fat photos” I post on social media garner a quick call from Leigh Ann who is famous for posting “blackmail pics” of other family members to take it down. I don’t and here’s why, my twin sister and I went on a weight loss journey and have fat photos as well as skinny photos all over the internet. 

Cindy and I compromise the TwinTeam of The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures. We work together as Event Coordinators, Floral Designers, Appraisers and more. 

At nearly fifty four years old, Cindy and I are also in menopause. We’ve struggled through weight gain in our midlife and fought to lose it the “natural way.”

Leigh Ann loves taking photos of us with her when we are makeup free and looking like heck while she is “runway ready.” After years of looking haggard next to my niece with her false eyelashes and perfectly coiffed hair, I now decline her much loved selfies. Why? Because I realize that by taking a photo with someone looking swell while you’ve been staining and stripping a trade in the workroom on top of being twenty years older than my niece, makes Cindy and I look worse! 

Don’t get me wrong, Cindy and I can “fix ourselves up” and always do when working Events where “being on” is expected.When Cindy and I are working on Floral Designs or refurbishing furniture though, “fixing ourselves up” is the last thing we are thinking about.

Yesterday, after having her hair and make up done, Leigh Ann “dropped by” my workroom and wanted a photo with Cindy and I. Covered in stain and stripper working on an old club chair, I strongly declined. I’m not the “selfie” type when I am fixed up and neither is Cindy. In fact, we hate selfies and FaceTime. At our age, every wrinkle shows on a “close up.” 

Last week, Leigh Ann told me that her husband who has been in the Navy for over eight years is getting a sign on bonus that she plans to use for a “Mommy Makeover.” 

My twin sister, Cindy has wanted a tummy tuck for years but couldn’t afford to have the surgery because she has been raising her twin granddaughters for fourteen years without benefit of child support from either of their parents. 

I couldn’t afford to pay for my sister’s tummy tuck because my husband and I help Cindy and her husband, Steve with money and have for the fourteen years they’ve had custody of the twins. We have responsibilities that keep us from spending money on ourselves. 

Leigh Ann had the surgery that Cindy and I had both tried to get but couldn’t because BCBS has a “weight loss rider.” 

Now, Leigh Ann is having the makeover that we both wanted but have too many financial  responsibilities to afford. 

Cindy’s oldest daughter, Leigh Ann, lives with Cindy and Steve, Maryssa and Makenna and Leigh Ann’s two year old daughter, Madyson rent free. That’s right, at thirty three years old, my niece has never paid rent.

Alex lives on base in Lemore, California. Leigh Ann has the only car with her in Texas. How this marriage is working, I have no real clue.

Over the past year, Leigh Ann has had her lips “plumped up” and her smile lines filled at a cost of over $650 a pop. She isn’t really old enough to need these fillers but, Leigh Ann is all about Leigh Ann. 

Many of Cindy’s #Cindyism Quotes regarding narcissistic behavior are based on Leigh Ann. “gets TURNED on FASTER than CABLE tv, LOOKING at THEIR own REFLECTION!” Or “just BECAUSE you BOUGHT a TICKET to the MOVIE, doesn’t MAKE you, the STAR of the SHOW!” 

As usual, no one in our family recognizes that many of my sisters hilarious Life Quotes are based on them. “your EGO is NON-NEGOTIABLE, and can’t BUY happiness, MUCH less PAY for ANYTHING else.” 

Last night, my son and his wife once again, tried to give me advice on telling Cindy to force Leigh Ann to pay rent but, after all of these years, Cindy won’t. 

The joy of Cindy’s life is two year old Madyson and the twins, Maryssa and Makenna. That baby, Little Maddy lights up our life and while having a married thirty three year old and her baby “boomerang” back into Cindy’s home was an unexpected development, my sister effectively rolls with the punches of higher electric bills and no help with the housework or expenses of having all three of her grandchildren living with her.

Leigh Ann books more photography gigs than Robbie and his wife, Stephanie because Leigh Ann markets herself on her FB Page Maddie & Me Photography. 

Robbie and Stephanie never post promotions because they are so busy working their other part time gigs. Stephanie works as a mermaid at Sea Quest and Robbie works for his father at Mr G’s, my husband at McBee Homes as well as working as a consultant and Officiant for me at Texas Twins Events. 

Their FB Page is maintained by me because they are both too busy to post promotions which is why they have far less bookings than Leigh Ann. Here’s their FB Page RC & Steph Photography. 

The competition for likes between Leigh Ann, Robbie and Stephanie is an ongoing issue between them.My FB Page for Texas Twins Events isn’t geared towards “getting likes.” I post tips for budget brides and our events for Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. Here’s the link– Texas Twins Events & The Pawning Planners.

I operate an entirely different FB Page for Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham because TDCJ Weddings are Creative Requests and an extension of Texas Twins Events. Here’s the link– Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham.

Juggling Texas Prison Weddings, Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and Texas Twins Treasures as well as my family isn’t easy. 

Trying to force everyone to get along on location is an ongoing ordeal. Leigh Ann won’t work with my daughter in law and my son won’t work with Leigh Ann without an argument. 

Leigh Ann thinks her photos are better than Robbie and Steph while Robbie and Steph think their photos are better. Grrr. 

Leigh Ann’s Photos are edited prior to listing while Stephanie “doesn’t believe in edits because they are too time consuming.”I’m known as the Captain or Boss Lady by my entire family because I expect Event photos to be posted within a week. 

My stringent guidelines make for ongoing arguments with my daughter in law while Leigh Ann understands the importance of getting clients their photos quickly.

Complimentary cds of edited and non edited photos are mailed to clients as a courtesy. 

My timeline for mailing cds from either Robbie and Steph or Leigh Ann are within ten days. After five days, I’m calling or texting “reminders.” 

I’ve been told by my niece, daughter in law, and son that working for me isn’t easy. I’m a stark professional. I’m early, diligent and determined to exceeding clients expectations. I expect the same from my entire family.

Maybe that makes me “bossy” but, in order to grow your business, Commitment is essential to success regardless of how many of my family members complain about “how hard working for me is.”

I asked my niece Leigh Ann “what’s Alex getting with his bonus.” The answer? “A sexy wife.” My niece is committed to doing whatever it takes to look and feel beautiful. Meanwhile… I’m concerned that if she doesn’t stop, she may wind up looking like a Kardashian..

You Can’t Be A Trail Boss When You Don’t Know How To Ride…More Bloopers, Blunders & Bad Advice…

It’s not unusual for someone to “throw their two cents in” when visiting my workroom to give me their opinion on fabric options for a refurbished trade I’m working on.

Taking trades through The Pawning Planners that are flipped and sold at Texas Twins Treasures, the investment to “turn a trade around” is actually a hefty expense. 

While many of my friends think they have “good ideas” for the stain or upholstery, my product knowledge was earned with more than fifteen years in upscale furniture sales. I don’t take advice from anyone who “doesn’t have any skin in the game.” 

I know what buyers want from experience and often take risks by mixing more than 2-3 upholstery coordinates because my unique designs sell. 

The more unique a piece is, the higher the price that’s fetched. Quality never goes out of style. We use only the best hand loomed silk chenille upholstery fabrics which are then treated to resist stains. 

The best (and most expensive) furniture fills and foams ensure that the seat of furniture never “bottoms out.” Cheap fill or  foam sink while cheap fabrics fade, tear and show wear. You get what you pay for so buying it once and making a good investment gives you a high quality and durable piece of furniture that lasts a lifetime. 

Occasionally when I’m deciding on what fabrics to use to refurbish a trade from The Pawning Planners, I make bold decisions. 

My “take” on flipping items is “if you haven’t seen it before, it’s expensive.” No one wants what they can buy anywhere. Creative flips sell because they are so different. 

I met the freight company picking up a beautiful Duncan Phyfe sofa that had been reupholstered in red brocade Monday morning. 

It’s unusual for me to use a solid upholstery “all the way” without using a contrast band and welt but, the ornate legs of this piece had enough character (in my opinion) to carry a solid upholstery option. I was right and it sold less than twenty four hours after listing to a repeat buyer in New York. 

The same buyer also bought my refurbished with a corduroy stripe piece last year. My twin sister and partner, Cindy wasn’t thrilled about using a stripe velour fabric on this piece but, I had fourteen yards of this luxurious fabric and loved the overall “gold tones.” 

Cindy and I appraise trades together and often decide on how to bring a piece “back to life” together. 

From contrast banding and welts to the primary fabric, the upholstery is an important part of making a refurbished item profitable. 

The wrong fabric on a piece will turn it from a lucrative Flip to a Flop. It’s rare for me to strip a piece that has already been refurbished but, I have before. The expense of fabric and labor is a substantial investment on a club chair and ottoman set or even a sofa or loveseat but, if I’m not happy with something and, it won’t sell, I “do over” certain pieces when I’ve got an item that won’t “move itself” by selling quickly.

The differences between both pieces tell me that this buyers home must he as eclectic as my own. 

The red brocade sofa will be used in her formal living room while the striped sofa is a staple in her master bedroom.

Linda must have a very large home. She’s also interested in my Baroque curved sofa with tub chair and ottoman for her library and planning to “pull the trigger” and buy the set for a Christmas gift to herself. 

The Baroque set is substantially heavier than the Duncan Phife sofas mainly because the base has adjustable springs as do the cushions. 

I used a Leopardo Gold on the Baroque set for the welt and a stripe for the banding and accent on this three piece set. 

The spring loaded cushions also feature Leopardo Gold giving the chair and sofa a fresh spin by simply flipping the cushions.Whenever possible, I often use a coordinating fabric on the flip side of cushions but, sets that include an ottoman won’t work with reversible cushions so I use the same fabric on both sides as I did with an antique chair and curved ottoman set that I pulled from my storefront and decided to keep instead.

Nothing in my home is actually “matchy matchy.” I love rich fabrics and animal prints and don’t stick with similar items throughout. 

My dog, Foxy Wortham loves moving from room to room on his favorite pieces which aren’t sold at Texas Twins Treasures. It’s rare for me to sell an item that’s been “bumped” to my home at WorthamWorld from my workroom. 

It’s happened though when a client from Texas Twins Treasures or The Pawning Planners comes to my home office to discuss their upcoming event and “sees something that they can’t live without.” 

I once sold an antique chair to a production crew member filming here for a segment on Texas Homecoming Mums. She just loved that piece so much that we “made a deal” on the spot. 

Since I have a dog and many people struggling with allergies, I carefully store items for sale in my workroom and only move other pieces to our home when something sells right out of it. 

There’s no shortage of pieces to “fill a hole” in our home when something sells right out of it. When an item sells as I always have antiques at my upholsterers or waiting for refurbishing in the workroom. 

My husband thinks I’m a furniture hoarder but, I’m picky about the pieces I fall in love with. I have several pieces waiting for Cindy and I AKA the “Design Divas” to make a final decision on the mix of fabrics we plan to use to refurbish and refresh these antique pieces.I had seven yards of antique tea stained fabric that I mixed with my tried and true striped silk fabric and decided to use the 50’s themed fabric to reupholster a rattan bench. 

The bench needed a higher cushion so, I stripped the existing foam and rebuilt the cushion with dry foam hollow fill to give the piece more character. Not surprisingly, it sold quickly.While running to the Chateau At Forest Park to meet a new Client, my sister in law once again called in to give Cindy and I advice on helping dad. 

This type of advice continues to bother me. Why? Because Michelle is in North Carolina. She isn’t dropping everything everyday to drive thirty minutes to Wellbridge to “cheer dad up for an hour” while other patients try to escape. Then we leave Wellbridge to go cheer my niece Stephaney up and watch more crazy people wander around. 

One lady, a patient at Wellbridge,  Alma, watches the door to the visitation area trying to find a way out and although she never quite makes it out of the visitation area, continues to “give it a shot!” 

Her funniest comment I overheard yesterday when trying to follow a nurse out to the freedom she so desperately wants, Alma yelled “hold the elevator.” There aren’t any elevators at Wellbridge. 

Cindy and I have been (we think) really patient on phone calls from my brother or his wife or aunt regarding my dads stay at Wellbridge or my niece at Sundance. But, even I have limits. 

Perhaps because it’s been Cindy and I are visiting my dad and my niece daily and not my sister in law or brother, my patience with these “helpful advice” phone calls finally broke yesterday with Michelle. 

Family members who aren’t juggling their schedules to visit a Psych Wards everyday and sit for an hour surrounded by patients have no idea what doing this everyday for over a week can do to your spirits. 

It’s emotionally debilitating and, you leave one visit knowing that you will be forced to return the next day since visitation is everyday.

I advised Michelle that since “you aren’t visiting everyday and disrupting your schedule to go be a cheerleader and visit relatives everyday, you should hold your advice because we don’t want to hear it.” I meant it.

Everyday from 4PM-5PM my sister and I drop everything to go visit my dad. Leaving there, we drive another thirty minutes to go visit my niece. Approximately four hours everyday is either spent driving to or from a Psych Ward or sitting in the visitors area trying to be entertaining and optimistic. 

I advised my sister, Cindy that the hours we’ve spent the last nine days driving to or from or even on location at Wellbridge or Sundance have actually become a part time job due to the amount of time involved and, I was going to start “bitch slapping some sense into my relatives idiotic suggestions or theories.” 

It’s easy to sit on your butt and make a phone call to tell us what you think when you aren’t contributing. 

Cindy quickly came up with a few #Cindyism Quotes regarding this latest burden of visiting my dad or my niece and the family members who aren’t visiting our dad or my niece telling us what they think. Here they are…

“If There Was A Paid Internship At The School Of Hard Knocks, We Would Be Rich By Now From Repeating The Courses.” 

“Don’t Be Like A Blister Showing Up When The Work Is All Done.”  

My TDCJ Linda Woodman State Jail Groom called my yesterday to tell me that the July 26th Wedding date was “off” and, asked for a refund. I don’t refund Clients from Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham or Texas Twins Events. Why? Because I’ve spent so much time talking or emailing them and more importantly, my schedule was blocked off to accommodate their event which prevented me from booking another Client. 

I suggested contacting the Courts in Huntsville to find out why his wedding was canceled and work on rescheduling it instead. After all, I’m happy to reschedule an event but, if I have turned away new clients because I had you on my books, I’ve effectively lost an opportunity to book someone else which is why I don’t offer refunds.

Cindy and I are currently exhausted from juggling clients and visits to Psych Wards while I prepare for my surgery next week to remove a cyst on my ovary. Following my surgery, my grandniece, Makenna is having the same surgery. The irony isn’t lost on me. When it rains, it pours!

The release date for my father is up in the air. The release date for my niece, Stephaney is also up in the air. Hopefully, their release dates don’t interfere with my surgery but, with my luck who knows?

My dad needs someone to come in a few days a week. While walking Foxy yesterday, my neighbor on the corner stopped us to ask about selling her handcrafted designs. The problem, she wanted Cindy and I to inventory and list them. We decided to “teach her how to fish instead.” 

Selling items for others is time consuming and we don’t have time to sell for others. She did ask about finding part time work and since dad needs help, decided to give Mary an opportunity to work for dad. It’s a win-win for Cindy and I.Freeing up our slammed schedules to spend time with the twins on their summer vacation has been up to this point impossible but, by having dad hire Mary and teaching her how to use FB Buy, Sell, Trade and EBay, Mary can generate new income and dad can have someone coming in to cook a few times a week.

Dad needs an aftercare plan and by walking Foxy, we just found one. Although my brother and his wife want dad to visit, after a stay at Wellbridge, my dad will need time to recuperate prior to flying off to North Carolina.

Michelle believes that dad should be released already because “they know he isn’t crazy.” I answered “yes, that’s why he’s still a patient.” 

My smart comments regarding her idiotic claims or ideas continue to go right over my sister in laws head.

Explaining to Michelle on these daily phone calls to “check on Pop,” while listening to what she thinks we should be doing are the last thing I want to look forward to everyday.

Last week, my aunt Shirley suggested calling our congressman to get dad released. As usual, no one in our family understands that dad isn’t going to be released until Wellbridge and his Ad Lidem Attorney feel he’s ready to be released. 

Surprisingly, my aunt (dads sister) lives less than an hour from Wellbridge but hasn’t been to visit dad at all and continues to give us advice on the situation. Aunt Shirley and Michell are “full of advice but, seriously lacking in action.” 

A few of my clients from Texas Twins Treasures have read my blog, “What About Dad” but, if you missed it, here’s the link–Caregiving Requires Patience, Compassion And Humor- What About Dad?

Between Mercado Event Center and other bookings, the continued requests for services or items we don’t offer continue to roll in. If you are looking for chair rentals or a piñata, I’m happy to direct you to vendors who handle these services but, we don’t. 

Our services are listed at Texas Twins Events and while we encourage creative requests, we do not rent furniture. Taylors Rental in Fort Worth has a wide array of rental options.

From photography to Event Coordination, Party Planning and Officiants or Celebrants for Religious Services and Ceremonies as well as Floral Design, we offer a wide array of services but do not rent tables or chairs, linens or tents.My Texas Twins Events Team is compromised of three generations of my family. We have two photography teams, six Officiants, Event Coordinators and Floral Designers on hand to serve you.

Since I work with my family at Texas Twins Treasures, Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and Texas Prison Weddings, my blogs often “merge” family and business which is why I’m guessing I have so many subscribers.

The truth is that even I don’t know what I will write about next because my life is often unpredictable as Wendy’s World Swirls…

Mercado Event Center To Hodge Unit To Wellbridge To A Dallas Delivery For Texas Twins Treasures…

It’s not all that unusual for me to be driving around with a piece of furniture from my storefront in the back of my SUV or boxes of bouquets. If my wheels aren’t turning- I’m not earning.

Between trying to solve issues with my dad that include a raccoon infestation at his house and his subsequent stay at Wellbridge for a psychiatric evaluation, juggling client meetings, delivering sold items and traveling to Texas Prisons to Officiate weddings with my dad having issues has made the last two weeks a real life escapade of surprises.

Cindy and I went to see dad yesterday and today at the new location. The problem that got him into this situation was a family of raccoons living in his attic. 

Dad decided to use his 38 to shoot at the ceiling and the current situation of an Involuntary Commitment has left us in a bit of a pickle but, my dad was in good spirits today and laughing about his group therapy and recreation that included bouncing a beach ball to the other patients. 

I’ve never seen my dad laugh so hard and he will certainly have many stories to tell about his unexpected visit to a Psychiatric Center because he thought shooting the sounds driving him crazy was a good idea. 

Cindy and I brought him clothes and toiletries yesterday and he’s settling in nicely which helps. 

Between visiting dad and trying to get my niece back on her medication, Cindy and I had three Appraisal Appointments this week and two deliveries for Texas Twins Treasures with three Prison Weddings I stacked at the same unit to have July 4th off with my husband tomorrow.  

Mercado Event Center was a new venue that I hadn’t heard of until getting a call for an Officiant last week. Since I’m on staff at numerous venues as well as taking on clients through The Pawning Planners, Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham and Texas Twins Events, it’s not uncommon for me to be booked at a venue that I haven’t been to before. In fact, it happens all of the time.Getting back into my SUV and double checking with a client on the time frame to deliver a Baroque chair that I decided to paint gold and add leopard upholstery to, Cindy and I hit the Starbucks for a non fat latte and took a call from my TDCJ Client regarding Hodge Unit. 

The chair sold quickly and I’m guessing because it was so different. I love using animal print tapestries and often mix Coordinating prints but decided to stick with one fabric on this flipped trade.

My phone never stops ringing. Yesterday I squeezed in a call from Sharp Entertainment regarding TDCJ Clients interested in applying for Love After Lockup Season Two. 

Not surprisingly, Lindsay thought that I only do Texas Prison Weddings but, I don’t. From Texas to Arkansas and other locations, Inmate Weddings are a part of my schedule but far from the only client base I have. 

For two years, I’ve been Officiating Texas Prison or Jail Weddings but, long before that, I’ve been flipping items at Texas Twins Treasures. Since 2009, my designs have sold worldwide and working as a TwinTeam, my sister and I created Texas Twins Events a few years after Texas Twins Treasures.

Explaining how we manage to barter event services including Texas Prison Wedding Ceremonies can be a complicated discussion. But, “the bartering option of The Pawning Planners” is actually an extension option for anyone contacting us for event services that can’t afford to pay for services.

Nearly four years ago, I created The Pawning Planners to address requests from prospects claiming to have no money but wanting free services. Had my sister and I not have been experienced appraisers at buying, trading or flipping items, bartering would have never worked. Why? You can easily lose money on a flip, swap or trade. Don’t let the tv shows fool you into thinking that you always make a lucrative flip. Nobody wins all of the time regardless of how good you are at spotting a treasure among some trash.

I spent about thirty minutes giving Lindsay a few names of my previous Brides and Grooms along with a few LBGT Prison Couples. Not everyone is interested in having their relationship on tv. It’s not uncommon for a few clients to ask me not to publish photos on my sites. Privacy for a TDCJ Client is an option that I honor. Because of this, I never publish full names of TDCJ Clients in order to keep their identities somewhat private. 

Everyday is different for my sister and I as well as three generations of my family because I delegate or regularly “bump” clients to my family when Cindy and I are booked elsewhere. 

My father normally handles County Jail Weddings along with my niece, Leigh Ann my son, Robert or my stepdaughter, Anne. The reason for this is my schedule. I can’t take on new clients Inmate Officiant or short notice requests because I’m already booked. 

County Jail Weddings don’t require the same stringent guidelines of Texas Department of Criminal Justice Prison Weddings. I’m the only TDCJ Approved Officiant on my team. 

Because of this, I rarely take on a County Jail Wedding and often “bump it” to someone else on the team instead due to my schedule of TDCJ Weddings and Client Bookings from Texas Twins Events & The Pawning Planners. 

The difference between a Officiating a County Jail Wedding and TDCJ State Jail Wedding are important. Only a Texas Department Of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Approved Officiant can conduct a ceremony at a State Jail. 

Any Officiant can conduct a ceremony at a County Jail which is why any of my other five Officiants can accommodate a County Jail Officiant Request for services.

A state jail facility is run by, or under contract to, the Texas Dept of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). A state jail facility is really not a jail. It is actually a minimum security prison facility, although it is not officially called that.

There is no one in a state jail facility who is awaiting trial, like in a county jail. Everyone in TDCJ custody is convicted, and serving a sentence.

A state jail felony is a non-violent fourth degree felony, with a sentence of 180 days to two years.

The TDCJ unit directory page lists all correctional facilities operated by, or under contract to, the state.
For a list of TDCJ Units in Texas, Click this link– Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Prisons.

When appraising a prospective trade, Cindy and I travel to the home of anyone wanting to barter event services. These meetings are referred to as Appraisal Appointments. 

Only Cindy and I make the decision to “pull the trigger” on whether a trade will work or not. My son, my niece, my stepdaughter, my dad or anyone else are never involved on the bartering end of Event Services. I write the checks and therefore, make the Rules on bartered Events. 

Due to the number of questions regarding bartering Texas Prison Weddings, I made a video explaining the process on my YouTube Channel to better explain how an Appraisal Appointment works to complete the barter in exchange for your event service. Here’s the link–Wendy Wortham Explains Bartering Event Services Through The Pawning Planners.

Splitting up at Appraisal Appointments, I’m looking for larger pieces that often include antiques or collectibles. Cindy is looking for smaller items of jewelry, designer glasses, handbags and other items. By splitting up, we cover more ground quickly. An Appraisal Appointment generally takes 1-2 hours.

Appraisal Appointments are scheduled at least a month prior to the requested event date. Why? To give us time to refurbish and flip the item prior to the event and recover expenses.

Last February, I had a call regarding a wedding at TDCJ Hodge Unit from the Chaplain. The problem? I had no one on my books for a Hodge Unit Wedding. 

Calling the Chaplain, I double checked my phone records. Because I talk to numerous people for event services and maybe because I’m OCD, I keep amazing records of not only who I’ve talked to or quoted but also, who has emailed me or sent a text. 

I had spoken to a woman regarding a wedding at Hodge Unit last December but, she hadn’t paid a deposit or signed a contract with me and therefore, wasn’t a client. 

I advised her that she had used my name to obtain a wedding date at Hodge Unit without my permission or consent. I also told her that without a deposit and balance paid at least one week prior to the event date, I wouldn’t be performing her ceremony. 

What happened next was the usual round of “I will pay you next month. I just started a new job. I can’t afford to pay a deposit.” This happens more than anyone realizes but, I’m not driving nearly four hours one way to Officiate a TDCJ Wedding without being paid up front. 

After trying to explain why I won’t, I called the Chaplain and canceled the Wedding. Chaplain’s realize that if someone has used my name to get a date without actually hiring me that I’m not going to show up. 

Luckily, I will have no such problems with my beautiful bride Mia and her handsome groom Rodney at TDCJ Hodge Unit next month. Mia is excited and I’m happy to see Chaplain Edlyn for this wedding. I’m all over Texas the next few months and back at Estes, Stiles, Polunsky, Michael, Beto and Ferguson Unit so we are more than a little prepared for more road trips, rest areas and adventures.

Texas Prison Weddings put thousands of miles on my SUV. I’m not a volunteer and if you can’t afford to get married, you shouldn’t. 

I’ve heard so many sad luck stories in my life that advising someone of why they can’t afford to get married isn’t a rare occurrence. In fact, it’s a conversation I have with Texas Prison Wedding Clients on a regular basis.

Photography at Units is courtesy of the guards. Unit Photos are $3 each in quarters. Don’t expect perfect photos at TDCJ Units. Guards aren’t professional photographers. 

Many folks calling me for a TDCJ Wedding at a Texas Prison assume that I don’t have other clients on my roster but, I do. I limit TDCJ bookings to 15 weddings a month in order to accommodate my other existing clients. If you are contacting me mid month, you are bumped to the following month.

Transportation to your TDCJ Wedding is at your own expense. This should be self explanatory but for everyone contacting me for a bid and expecting that quote to include picking you up and taking you to the Unit along with driving you home again before returning to my own home, I’m going to suggest a transportation company that travels to Units seven days a week at your own expense. 

Delivery for sold items at Texas Twins Treasures isn’t free. If you want you item delivered, expect to pay for it.

Working deliveries into my existing schedule also means that I set the delivery date and time not the buyer.

If the item requires a box truck, the fee involved will be added to the standard $75 delivery fee.

Pick up of bartered items taken in trade through The Pawning Planners will be discussed at your Appraisal Appointment.

Photography for your event service has two options. A team consisting of my son and daughter in law or one photographer, my niece. 

Photography is not free or complimentary. A complimentary disc of your photos is a courtesy but, you are expected to pay for your photographer or photographers.

Loaned items that include ring pillows, centerpieces, Bouquets, Bouteniers, cake stands, columns, champagne flutes, or other property owned by Wendy Wortham are for booked clients of Texas Twins Events or The Pawning Planners as a courtesy. If you are not a Client of Texas Twins Events or The Pawning Planners– I do not loan inventory to you. Period.

Last year, I had a production company executive tell me that Prison Weddings were “controversial.” Well, years ago, LBGT Weddings were considered controversial. I don’t consider myself to be controversial but, I’m open minded and enjoy a variety of clients from all walks of life. Rich or Poor, gay or straight, interfaith of interracial, marrying a Prisoner or marrying a businessman, no two clients are alike.

Maybe because my client base is so varied, a few people are surprised when trolling around on Texas Twins Events. Digging further, they often see the barter option of The Pawning Planners. Yes, I realize that this many options aren’t offered on anyone else’s site and I’m “different.” The truth is that I wasn’t trying to be like anyone else and therefore, don’t fit into a box.

I don’t take every trade because I can’t. If the item you are submitting for consideration holds no value for me, I decline your barter and direct you to Texas Twins Events. 

If you are wanting us to consider bartering your Texas Prison Wedding Officiant Service, you must live within two hours of Fort Worth. My reasons for this are travel time, expenses, existing clients and my commitments to a very burdened schedule…

Texas Twins Treasures Barters & Blunders? The Pawning Planners Work It Out…

It’s not always cut and dry when you barter Event Services. The truth is that more than a few prospects think they are in charge when it comes to the value of their item or the services they will receive in exchange for the “proposed trade.”

Cindy is hilarious while I’m serious. We are Compensating Personality Twins as are Cindy’s twin granddaughters, Maryssa and Makenna. 

My twin sister has something to say about everything and we’ve put her quick whit to good use with a clothing line featuring her hilarious observations on life. “The PRETTIEST tree in the ORCHARD can have the most TWISTED roots.” Yes. Cindy is a little bit country and I’m totally city. How she comes up with creative ways of getting the point across I have no idea but, my twin sister refers to herself as a Hillbilly. 

Cindy worked the farm while I worked in the city and our husbands are complete opposites as well. Cindy’s husband, Steve is a truck driver while my husband is a land developer but, they both are best friends and being married to twins isn’t easy. My sister and I are always together. 

Our husbands accept that we talk to each other a million times a day and see each other when we aren’t talking to each other. It’s a twin thing that many non twins don’t always readily accept. 

It’s not unusual for Cindy to use photos of herself on location or me or even her three granddaughters into her #Cindyism Quotes posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest and FB. 

Everyone in our family has most likely been a meme with a saucy quote over their head. Cindy finds a photo that depicts or mirrors what her meaning is. 

The photo below was posted a few weeks ago after we found a great barter and I didn’t even complain about having to rent a box truck. “Thankful for the Journey- Grateful for the Trip!” My sister is always ready for fun and adventure. 

I normally always complain about renting a box truck and Cindy knows it which is why that particular quote is funny to me.Cindy doesn’t really “enjoy” driving. As teens, I had a Hardship License at 14 years old so I’ve pretty much always “done the driving” unless of course, we needed two suvs, two box trucks or more vehicles. 

When Cindy is driving, she follows my SUV or the box truck. Cindy can drive the box truck but, she hates turning corners. 

Makenna is a straight A student while Maryssa (like Cindy) is far more social. I’m usually thinking on location at Appraisal Appointments and effectively “doing the math.” 

Will we need to rent a truck? Is there a market for the item? What will the investment to bring an item “back to life” going to cost us? Are we coming out ahead or not? I’m always thinking.

Little Madyson is Cindy’s youngest granddaughter and often with us at Appraisal Appointments and Events. 

Years ago, the twins went to every client meeting but, these days Madyson has taken their place in our backseats. Makenna enjoys photography and “playing dress up” at Princess Parties entertaining young children. Maryssa loves music and wants to learn more about being a DJ at events. 

Now and again, we’ve had to just say no to a lopsided proposal. On a few occasions, Cindy and I took a hit on an item hoping to sell it at the listed price while having to mark it down over and over again. 

Selling items isn’t a given. Anyone in sales realizes that the market must exist in order to find a buyer.

Cindy and effectively “split up” at Appraisal Appointments because we are looking for completely different trades. I’m drawn to amazing antiques with ornate carved designs that may or may not need to be reupholstered or repaired while Cindy searches for a “quick flip.” 

Items Cindy finds need no investment to refurbish and it’s not unusual for her to walk right back to the SUV and upload photos to eBay. If the item sells within 24 hours, we’ve listed it too low and missed the ballpark. 

Cindy and I have been flipping things for over thirty years and have a fairly expensive appraisal history between us. Now and again, I’ve been accused by my twin sister of “falling in love” with a really unusual antique piece. It’s true. I love wood grains and ornate designs to such an extent that it’s not unusual for me to lose money on a flip. 

Today’s blog will go over what went wrong and why I continued to throw money at an item I believed would not only recover my investment but also with a profit and what exactly we are flipping for in terms of event services.

My sister site, The Pawning Planners is actually an extension of Texas Twins Events. The reason we decided to add a barter option was based entirely on trying to find a creative outlet to effectively force people claiming to have no money to “put some skin in the game.” 

For years people came to us wanting photography, floral designs, Event Coordination, wedding Officiants, estate Liquidations, Baptisms, funeral Officiants or celebrants and more while all the while claiming they had no money. 

My soft heart often got the better of me and I never turned anyone away. Generosity cost me thousands of dollars and many of the families we helped for free began telling their friends we would help them for free as well which created a landslide of emails and phone calls requesting “free services.” 

Nobody creates a business to work for free and we didn’t either. My actual goal was to offer event services far below my competitors in order to create a window for all of the families who could never afford traditional cost points and assuredly not to work for free. I wanted to help anyone but, I’m not rich. Finding a way to “work it out” wasn’t easy but, we have.

Nearly four years ago, yet another request for “ring pillows, flower baskets, free photography and a wedding Officiant because we heard you helped our friend for free” had me at my whits end. 

Give me this, do that, I want this. I could go on and on here because we’ve pretty much either seen it all or heard it all including “I want to borrow flowers for my event but, I need you to make them in MY COLORS!” 

We sell custom floral orders but, we don’t LOAN BOUQUETS IN YOUR COLORS. If you want to dictate though, pony up and pay for for exactly WHAT you WANT like anyone else.

Many of Cindy’s #Cindyism Quotes are based on Demanding Diva’s who needed to understand that we aren’t their Fairy Godmothers and, we aren’t suckers. 

If you give some folks an inch, they want a mile. Kick em to the curb kids because unreasonable people aren’t worth the aggravation. In fact, trying to please someone who doesn’t appreciate what YOU are doing for THEM that their own friends and family aren’t willing to do often REQUIRES a coming to Jesus meeting and, we are not opposed to giving anyone the boot. 

A few years ago, I was hired to Officiate a wedding ceremony. Three months prior to the wedding, the mother of the bride called and asked why I wasn’t spending more time with the bride “since I was coordinating the wedding.” 

Having a literal “what the” moment with this lady, I educated her regarding the remarkable differences between Officiating and coordinating or both at a wedding. 

Before I could finish telling her that why I wasn’t hired to coordinate the wedding and assuredly, not paid to, she butt in again to advise me that “we will need you to bring at least two photographers for eight hours to the event and a set up and tear down team as well.” 

Laughing so hard that it took me a minute to respond, I finally asked if “she had been drinking because she obviously wasn’t in her right mind!” Since she hadn’t been drinking, I advised her of the fees involved to have two photographers on location for 6-8 hours and if she wanted me to coordinate, the additional fee for that too. 

My sister and I laugh a lot because it keeps us from crying on the rare occasion that we are both left speechless at the same time. 

Cindy was actually in my SUV at the time I answered the phone and heard the conversation regarding the mother of the bride “PAYING for a SINGER and EXPECTING a CHOIR” or “BORROWING an apple and EXPECTING us to BAKE them a PIE.” 

Diva’s are a dime a dozen and I have too many good clients to deal with stupid or demanding cheapskates that “want it all but, don’t want to pay for it!” I cannot make this shit up and due to the number of similar instances of outrageous idiots that I’ve encountered over the years, added a Bridezilla/Guestzilla Clause to “cut loose” the problem people who often make it impossible for us to conduct our jobs or expect us to do services that we weren’t compensated or hired to do. 

This “clause” surprises a few people trolling around on Texas Twins Events but, I don’t care. The truth is that I don’t have to take ANY job that comes my way in order to live well. My husband wants to come home to a happy wife. 

I intentionally limit Coordination bookings because they involve a LOT of time and limit my ability to book other services including Texas Prison Weddings as well as bookings at venues I’m also on staff at. 

Officiating an event takes less than an hour. Officiating the Rehearsal and the Wedding Ceremony? Two to three hours. Coordinating an event takes MONTHS. 

The differences between Officiating and Coordinating are astronomical. In a four to sixth month window alone (which would often be the timeline on a coordinating gig), I could easily Officiate 30-60 wedding ceremonies in the time it would take to coordinate ONE WEDDING. 

When you do the math on that you will far better understand why I only take on referral clients for coordinated events. 

Cindy sums up these situations with her usual flair. “Don’t BORROW the NEIGHBORS ladder, to STEAL fruit FROM their TREE.” Cindy actually has millions of Moocher Related Quotes. We’ve met all kinds and we’ve learned to laugh and move on with more than a few folks.I can’t begin to tell you how many times we’ve encountered someone unreasonable because there have been too many but, at the end of the day, these folks realize that there isn’t anybody else standing in line to help them and they eventually figure it out. 

Cindy often uses her comedic talents to convey the point to Inlaws, Outlaws or friends who butt in during the planning process of an event with ideas on “how to do this or that” and inadvertently get an earful of Redneck Reality from my sister similar to this famous quote used on Pawning Planners Apparel, “Don’t TELL me HOW to PLAY, when YOU didn’t SHOW up for PRACTICE, and AIN’T even IN the GAME honey!” 

My favorite #Cindyism Quote is “You WON’T miss the EGGS til the HENS stop LAYING them.” 

Diva’s are too time consuming and while you’re running around trying to appease them, you’re losing money on nice folks that treat you kindly because YOU helped them when NOBODY else would.

Cindy and I rallied our adult children and grandchildren for a family meeting and decided we needed another way of “screening” everyone crying pour mouth which is how The Pawning Planners came into play.

A few of our Appraisal Appointments brought some surprises over the years from foot stomping Demanding Divas to cases of moonshine, a cow and even an old truck missing the engine. 

For some reason, prospects thought they were making the rules telling my sister and I what “they wanted” rather than accepting “what we were willing to give.” If an item has no value to us or needs a hefty investment with no clear outcome of a return, we take a pass.

“You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!” Trying to convince people of the actual value is an ongoing problem but, we have options for them. They can either book through Texas Twins Events and pay for services or, cut the list of what they want down to equal value or the trade or they can find someone else to help them. Drama, tears and demands at an Appraisal Appointment are a regular occurrence. Simply because you are offering something doesn’t mean these fish are going to bite.

We continued to come across good people that actually didn’t have any money or any trade. Because we liked them enough to make exceptions, we also once again “came up” with a way to financially fund their event rather than out of our pockets and, Pawning Planners Apparel was born. 

I’m going to show you a few flips today that became flops and why the trade that seemed like a lucrative investment wasn’t. 

Let’s start with the prospect that wanted Event Coordination, Bouquets,Bouteniers, Centerpieces, Photography and an Officiant in exchange for a three piece set of furniture. I wasn’t really interested in the sofa and will explain why. Moving the sofa requires renting a truck. 

We have a fleet of suvs and regularly move furniture or items we rent for events in our suvs. Renting a truck is an expensive endeavor that we try to avoid at all costs. 

Secondly, the sofa had an issue with the upholstery in the back that was a real problem. Finding a match to upholstery is almost always impossible. 

Paying an upholsterer to repair or reupholster the back part of sofa would easily cost a hundred dollars or more plus the cost of a moving truck and the space necessary to store the sofa in my workroom. Sets of chairs sell far more quickly than a three piece set. It’s a fact. 

The Prospect thought he could dictate the terms which Cindy always finds humorous. “It’s all three pieces or nothing.” We looked at each other and laughed. Drawing a line in the sand and digging your feet in isn’t the best plan to make a workable solution. Educating prospects is a regular occurrence. Sorry, Friends but, you aren’t making the Rules we are.

If (of course) you can find someone else to sell your item to at “your price,” we encourage you to do so. It’s gonna save us both a lot of time! 

We don’t let prospects tell us how things are going to go because at the end of the day, its us who take the risk not the prospect. 

The prospects aren’t renting trucks, driving for hours to get to an Appraisal Appointment or jugggling existing clients to find the time to accommodate an Appraisal request or covering the cost of refurbishing items or paying our staff staff up front or covering ANY event expenses- we are. 

My sister and I work seven days a week. Finding time in our schedules to “walk a trade” takes time from our other commitments so, if you call or email and “just want us to come find something of value,” we aren’t going to make the trip. Upload a photo and include the description. The process is simple and self explanatory. We don’t have time to drop everything and “try” to find something of value for the heck of it. 

Our main focus is on Texas Twins Events Clients. Pawning Planners Clients effectively “get in line” behind scheduled bookings for Texas Twins Events. All Pawning Planners Clients are aware of this and, must accept the terms. If we are booked and the rest of our staff is booked, please be aware that you may forced to need to change your event date in order to accommodate our schedules. It doesn’t happen often but…it has happened before and may happen again.

Educating prospects to the reality of  why when bartering event services doesn’t always work in their favor is a regular occurrence. It’s truly a “necessary” conversation in order to move forward on a bartered deal. I must factor in expenses and decide whether we can come to terms.

Although the purple chairs were in good overall shape with solid cushions and we could move them in our suvs, I wasn’t “thrilled” with the fabric but, knew that by not having to reupholster the chairs prior to selling them would easily save me $900-1200 on the upholstery and labor. Here are photos of the chairs and the sofa for your review.What I’m actually “looking” for on location when examining bartered furniture or antiques is the structure first, the upholstery and foam or fill second and mentally adding up the cost to move and/ or reupholster the item last before deciding if a barter will work. 

Prospects assuming that they can decide  the value of their item or items are always surprised to learn that they don’t “control” the terms of the deal or the value of the item. 

It’s not unusual for my saucy sidekick aka my twin sister, Cindy to ask “if it was worth that much then why ain’t ya sold it already?” Cindy isn’t shy. 

Two years ago, I “fell in love” with a desk. The unusual legs and wood carved details were astounding. The fact that it had the original key gave it far better value for a flip.

A few spots of water damage didn’t deter me as with many antiques there are very few “mint condition” items that have no visible damage. 

This was a good flip and profitable as we found a buyer in New York who was willing to overlook a few flaws and pay for freight and packaging. 

We do not pay freight. Local pick up is in Fort Worth, Texas and while we are happy to meet your shipper, must work meetings into our existing schedules.Another bartered desk furniture flip last year was in excellent condition and although I assumed it to be worth at least $1,500, finding a buyer took over a year as I continued to mark the item down over and over again. 

The problem? Weight and freight. Shipping is expensive and many of my repeat buyers are in California or New York which puts freight equal in many cases to the cost of the item itself. 

If I could’ve kept the desk below, I would have but, my 3,000 square foot home already houses numerous Texas Twins Treasures antiques and my King Henry desk adorned with brass angels is and continues to be my most prized possession. 

My husband consistently brings up downsizing but, realizes that my antique addiction and love of wood pieces isn’t going anywhere. 

Frankly, Matthew is so thrilled that I finally let him buy a recliner that he no longer complains about beautiful furniture that is also uncomfortable. 

PS- I hate that recliner! I really sucked it up on that one and took one for the team. It matches nothing in our entire home but, he likes it. 

My husband rarely sits anywhere except his recliner or the dining room chairs. He prefers comfort over presentation and forgets that we downsized when we sold our custom home six years ago. Our current home is less than half the size of our last home.  

For a few weeks, I had considered keeping the desk below and listing my treasured King Henry instead but, after much consideration, decided that I simply couldn’t part with my old friend in order to make room for the unusual desk trade. 

The wood was in excellent condition and the ornate legs were amazing but, my King Henry desk is quite literally, an old friend who can’t be replaced easily.My King Henry desk and my hyper Beagle are in the photo below. An entire room accommodate my King Henry and, it took four men to move it. It’s very heavy and I love the lines and structure of the King Henry. I took it in trade 8 years ago and loved it so much that flipping a dining room set in exchange for it didn’t faze me at all. Instead, I used our large dining room and positioned the desk sideways with a large Henreddon chair for me and Texas Twins Treasures loveseat for clients. The setup worked perfectly. 

No one really used the formal dining room at our old oversized home anyway since we had seating in the kitchen and two bars to accommodate seating off the island.

The glass top is original and has no damage although the desk itself has a few minor areas of damage to storage and water. 

My home office is also where I meet clients and have Pow Wows with my Texas Twins Events Team. Maryssa and Makenna love lounging around in my office because it’s far more private than the other two living areas or den.My home office has several seating areas as well as a dry bar to accommodate entire families that often come with their son or daughter to discuss Event Services. 

While it’s true that I don’t often “need” six chairs to accommodate guests, it should be noted that I’ve had a few client meetings where I needed to bring in additional chairs to accommodate up to ten people at a Client conference.

Last year, Cindy and packed up to Head to Waco, Texas to view a trade. The prospect wanted a Princess Party, decorations, rented tables and chairs, photography and catered food. Based on the number of expected guests, the barter would need to be worthy of the “deal.”

The prospect had inherited a housefull of unique items but, I had no interest in the first item on the list, a birthing chair. 

Sure, it had carved wood details but, I had no existing buyers interested in something like that. We have had a few surprising proposals over the years but at the end of the day, if we wouldn’t buy something ourselves- we aren’t going to try to sell it either. 

A birthing chair? Come on! Luckily, this prospect had plenty of other items to review aside from the birthing chair or we wouldn’t have made the trip to Appraise the home. 

Time is money and while we enjoy meeting new people, bookings are how we get paid along with selling items or meeting new clients when not at Prison Weddings or Rehearsals during the week.I was far more interested in the next several pieces which would require a rental box truck, storage space and the “right” buyers.Since Cindy and I often travel alone to Appraisal Appointments, we don’t always take the trade or trades with us and it’s not unusual to schedule a pick up the following week due to our schedules. Bartered deals must be completed one month prior to the event.

Loading up for a wedding ceremony and reception last summer, we took a call regarding a baby shower and had the prospect go to The Pawning Planners-Upload Your Trade And Tell Us About Your Dream Event. 

Many prospects contact us by phone or email through Texas Twins Events regarding barters but, my preferred method of contact for bartering is through The Pawning Planners. Why? Describing your item doesn’t give me enough information. 

I wasn’t exactly “thrilled” with the two orange chair photos the prospect uploaded to The Pawning Planners site mainly due to the fabric which would have to be replaced. 

The reason we require an Appraisal Appointment is to view the structure and the item in person. 

A picture may be worth a thousand words but, seeing the item in person gives us far more information.I took a pass on the orange chairs as they were too low to the ground which would cause a problem finding a buyer along with the expense to reupholster them. Seat height is important because if a piece of furniture is too short, finding a buyer can be difficult. 

Because I wasn’t interested in the orange chairs and already on location, the prospect said they had an unusual cane chair that might be of interest. I loved it. Loved the lines and unique pitch and it was in ready to list condition! I asked if they had any other cane products, a set of chairs plus the cane and mahogany chair “sealed the deal.” 

Although I wasn’t in love with the other set but, knew there was a market for cane furniture. 

Sets of chairs are my best sellers at Texas Twins Treasures. I’m always looking for a set but if I can’t find a set, it has to be different or unusual to hold my interest.A few months ago, I had a lady that wanted to barter a pair of wing back chairs and as usual, thought they were worth more than I did. The ongoing dickering over the value of items no longer surprises me and I encourage prospects to sell the item and book through Texas Twins Events if they “aren’t willing to budge.” My reasons for this are that too many folks believe that their items are worth far more than they actually are which is probably why they can’t sell them. 

Not everyone understands hoe selling works. First you need the item second you need the market and third you need a buyer. If your seats are “bottomed out,” the furniture needs to be “built up” and reupholstered. 

Arguing that the rest of the chair is in good shape does nothing to increase the overall value. Sure, you can probably sell the item in “as is” condition but, it will be at yard sale pricing. 

Since I’ve had several inquiries regarding bartering Prison Wedding Officiant Services, it should be noted that I’m located in Fort Worth. Texas Prison Wedding fees are based on location of the Unit. 

If you live several hours from DFW, I’m far less inclined to barter your service due to the time and expense to travel to your location to view the trade. You are welcome though to load up your item and travel to Fort Worth. I just don’t have time to run around spinning my wheels because you don’t want to take the time to upload a photo and go through The Pawning Planners. Sifting through homes full of items might sound fun until you’ve done it for four years like we have and realize that time spent on Location is often better spent at a paying gig. 

The Pawning Planners is an extension of Texas Twins Events as accounts for less than 20% of our bookings to give you a better handle on the number of barters that have actually worked in not only our favor but also, the Clients.

Texas Prison or Jail Weddings take a very large portion of my bookings. There are very few TDCJ Approved Officiants and let’s face it, no Warden is going to Approve a Prison Wedding WITHOUT an Approved Officiant. 

The entire Prison Unit accommodates your Prison Wedding so please, follow the rules and be courteous to TDCJ Staff. If you are my client, I expect you to arrive early, dressed appropriately, sober and courteous to your Texas Prison Wedding. Bad behavior reflects on me and although we haven’t met in person until we arrive at the Unit. I’ve spent plenty of time by phone or email laying out my expectations of your client conduct. 

Please do not list my name on any Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Documents UNLESS we have an Agreement in place. Using my credentials without my knowledge is a sure fire way for me to never take you on as a Client. 

This “issue” of using my name to obtain an Approval for a Texas Prison Wedding continues to be a problem. Do not use my name on your Absentee Affidavit or I60 Request For Marriage without my knowledge or consent. 

I hate surprises and a phone call from a Warden or Chaplain regarding a date for a Wedding with a Client I’ve never heard of are the last thing I want to deal with. No Contract- No Client Relationship. 

Texas Prison Wedding Photography is completely free of charge and a courtesy to my “Brides (or Grooms) on the outside.” Loaned items bring the fun to photo shoots a few miles from Units. Some Units offer photos of your wedding ceremony at $3 each. 

Be advised these photos are not always going to exceed your expectations. I have no control over TDCJ Texas Prison Photos inside Units which is why I offer complimentary photography as a courtesy. I’m including examples to give you a better idea. 

The differences between indoor TDCJ Photos and outdoor complimentary photos is quite obvious. 

Lighting inside Units affects the clarity of unit photos but, if you want photos with your spouse, the only photos available are TDCJ Unit Photos. Prison cameras often don’t have a flash so your unit photos may be grainy or dark. The photo below was taken at TDCJ Luther Unit. Many visitation areas have a painted wall or backdrop and although Luther Unit had beautiful painted walls, the Unit photo looked “funny.” Blurry and out of focus. 

Across the street from Luther Unit, my bride loved the borrowed bouquets and clarity of her complimentary photos. 

If you are located more than one hour from my location, you must upload a photo of the item prior to my sister and I making the trip to “walk your trade.” The reason for this is our existing schedule and travel expenses.Our suvs log thousands of miles and since I normally drive when we only need one SUV, I don’t just drive across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas or Kansas because I’m asked to.

Appraisal Appointments are scheduled during the week as we have booked events on the weekends scheduled months in advance. 

Texas Prison Weddings are also scheduled Monday-Friday so finding the time to deliver Texas Twins Treasures items while meeting Pawning Planners Clients at Appraisal Appointments or Texas Twins Events Clients while Officiating Texas Prison Weddings gives us a pretty full schedule!

Clients wishing to buy custom floral designs please note that “in season” custom floral design orders are running 8-10 weeks as opposed to our normal 6-8 week window.

For others wishing to learn more about bartering, there is no reward without a certain degree of risk. Experience is a great teacher so don’t give up easily. You will learn the ropes and get the hang of it.

Bartering can and will bring you new clients but, it won’t always bring you a profit. They can’t all be winners. 

It’s essential to research items and have at least an approximate idea of the actual value or market to make “flipping” work for you. 

Also, you will need an outlet to sell items. We use eBay because it’s worked well for us since 2009 but, you will pay fees to list your item, fees to sell your item and shipping on smaller items. Online selling with eBay is effective but, it isn’t free.

Wishing all of our sellers and new bartering connections the best of luck on all of your endeavors and looking forward to meeting our new clients in the next few months…

Texas Prison Weddings, Trades, Treasures & Travels Of The Twins…

Fielding calls from prospective Clients regarding Texas Prison Weddings at TDCJ Gib Lewis Unit, Allen B Polunsky Unit and TDCJ Barry Telford Unit yesterday, Cindy and I found ourselves lost in the boonies again. 

Juggling my schedule to squeeze in upcoming Prison Weddings over the next few months is a regular occurrence. Prison Weddings surprise a few of my Clients from Texas Twins Events. 

Death Row Prison Weddings make me feel anxious but other Unit ceremonies are far more predictable and structured. Not knowing what to expect always makes me nervous.

But, over the last two years, many of my bookings are now predominantly at Texas Prisons or Jails. 

These new clients Dream Event might be viewed as “different” but, Dream Events are based on the client. 

How any of us got along without navigation years ago, I have no idea but, on the back roads of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, it can be an escapade in futility to find a strong cell signal for these Texas Twins aka The Pawning Planners. 

Cindy is my secretary/navigation expert on road trips to Pawning Planners Clients homes as well as venues and other Event locations that include Texas Jails or Prisons. 

Whether we are at an airport flying out to a Destination Wedding or driving down dirt roads, Cindy and I are always together.Finding our way again off a dirt road, we finally arrived in front of an old barn. The home of our latest Appraisal Appointment had seen far better days. 

It’s not unusual for Pawning Planners homes to be in a state of disrepair. In fact, my sister and I have been to homes without windows, doors and even floors over the past four years of taking trades for services as twin event planners, Officiants, estate liquidators or floral designers.

People always ask if we are apprehensive or scared going into strangers homes and, it’s a valid question. After all, we are walking into a strangers home that we have never met and often we are far from other neighbors in remote areas with weak cell signals. 

What brought us out here was a possible trade of two antique desks in exchange for a graduation party and photography. It’s well known that I love wood! From staircases to furniture and even frames or doors, I’m always looking for a beautiful addition to my Texas Twins Treasures inventory. 

Walking up to the door, I notice the long forgotten garden with weeds overcoming the struggling flowers that I’m sure at one time had been beautiful and welcoming to guests. This home like so many others we’ve seen had the abandoned look of neglect.

Greeting us at the door was an elderly woman wearing an apron that had frayed along the edges with the smell of fresh baked peanut butter cookies and coffee. 

Her smile was genuine and although she was missing many of her teeth, full of joy that we had made the two hour trip to come view her trade and help her with her grandsons graduation.

She had struggled to raise a second generation of children after her daughter ran off and left her sons with a mother who was already struggling as a widow without the benefit of a husband. 

The stark reality of Pawning Planners Clients is abject poverty. They scrape by to make ends meet and often barely survive. 

Like so many others we’ve met, Mildred wanted desperately to celebrate the first High School Graduate their family had. She proudly told us of his stellar grades and accomplishments. 

Graduation Photography is so expensive that many families could never afford it but, Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners changed the dynamics of an industry driven by greed. 

We made Coordination and Officiating Weddings or Events affordable to anyone and when Clients had no trade to barter or funding to book through Texas Twins Events, my family and I chose to sponsor them at our own expense. 

The tattered sofa of brown and orange reminded me of my childhood. It had seen better days as we sat to discuss the details of this Dream Event. 

Mildred had bought nothing new for herself in years from furniture to clothing or even a trip to the dentist, Mildred had sacrificed to ensure her grandchildren had shoes and clothing for school.

Walking through the home to view the dresser her grandson would no longer need as he was joining the Army to better himself and get an education, it was quickly apparent that the grandchildren had far better accommodations than Mildred.

One of the two dressers was in her bedroom. It was missing a drawer and most of the handles. I realized immediately that finding a matching drawer would be impossible and therefore the time and effort required to move it and bring it back to Fort Worth unnecessary.

Repairing furniture is expensive and while I’ve successfully sold a few dressers over the years, I realized that with the lack of closet space in the home, Mildred needed the dressers more than she was letting on. 

Her grandsons room was the usual disarray of clothing and shoes with a few photos of his family displayed on the second dresser. It appeared to have water damage from the window that was broken beside it and because of this damage, it was also a Flop for any Flip that we might try to trade.

For my fellow Flippers that have no idea what to do with an antique dresser missing drawers, I’m adding a few before and after ideas of making use of great furniture ideas with the use of secondhand suitcases. Yes. Suitcases work great and add whimsy to the missing space. Towels and books work well too. My sister, Cindy had noticed a strand of black pearls lying across the nightstand. Cindy looks for small items while I’m foraging for furniture Flips and can also repair most any jewelry trade due to her years as a jewelry designer.

The black pearls were in good condition and Mildred no longer dressed for church as her old truck had broken down years ago. 

With no money to repair it, her grandson picked up food and medication on his way home from school. 

I asked Mildred how she would manage without her grandson running errands after he left for Military Duty? 

Mildred had no idea without transportation or her grandson. “What exactly is wrong with the truck?” I asked. “The ignition is out and after all of these years sitting there, I’m sure I need another battery.”

Cindy and rarely need to speak to communicate which isn’t unusual for twins. My sister already knew that I planned to flip the pearls in order to fix the truck.

Mildred had no other family to help her and in a few weeks will have no one to bring her food or medication. Small towns have many similar stories to Mildred’s.

My Aunt Shirley has run a food pantry in Gordon, Texas for so many years that I cannot recall when exactly she started the Mingus/Gordon Food Pantry. 

Many of our summers were spent delivering food to seniors who had no way to cook for themselves. 

Perhaps all of those years as a teen helping our aunt gave both my sister and I insight to the plight of the forgotten and poverty stricken who live Day to Day wondering where the next meal might come from?

You never forget either being poor or helping someone less fortunate. It stays with you long after and the experience teaches you compassion. 

Mildred and her smile touched my heart. She had nothing to smile about in the backwoods of Texas doing the best she could to raise more children other than the fact that her grandson was finally getting out of the woods and into the world. His high school education and the Military would one day give him the income to repay his grandmother for her many years of sacrifice raising him. 

Why children who are raised with everything pay so little attention to their parents and grandparents that sacrificed to send them to college versus the children who grew up with so little having a desire to do so much for their parents or grandparents surprises me. 

The poorer you are, the more determined you are to give back. Many of the families we sponsor never wanted us to work for free because like anyone else, they were proud and wanted to give something in return.

Cindy and I answer a lot of questions about why we were so determined to create a window to help families who had so little to give and on many occasions, nothing. 

I once had a production company tell me that “no one cares about poor people. What the networks wants to see are huge over the top events. They want you to be doing $10k- 20k extravagant affairs.” 

I remember thinking that the networks must want only “Happy and Successful Families” if they didn’t care enough to take an interest in the backstories of  hardworking Americans who had fallen on hard times due to illness, death, divorce, joblessness or personal struggle. 

The actuality of everyone enjoying a priceless extravaganza is actually quite rare. Most families are struggling to make ends meet and could never afford to “go all out.”

We are not only going to help Mildred give her grandson a Graduation Party and Photos, we are also going to help Mildred fix her truck because that’s who we are and that’s what we do. 

Rich folks hire us quite frequently too because we don’t pick and choose our clients. Quite the contrary- they choose us. Even wealthy people like a bargain and our fees are far below our competitors. 

My husband once told me “a pig gets fed and a hog gets slaughtered. Your prices are low intentionally to help others and by being affordable, your business boomed.” 

He’s right my goal was to help anyone regardless of their income and my family and I have.Years ago, we were a struggling couple ourselves. My husband had lost his land development business during the real estate crunch and the least expensive Officiant we could find was $450.00 which gives you a far better idea of where my market insight comes from. 

Our wedding photos were horrible because a friend took them for us and I made our flowers myself. Yes. I knew that affordable event options were nonexistent. 

It’s not unusual for anyone on my team or I  to leave an elegant venue and drive to a Prison, field, backyard or park. In fact, it’s an everyday occurrence. Variety actually is the spice of life and we aren’t ever bored either. 

Leaving the opulent and extravagant beauty of one location for another is the stark reality of our journey to “change the wedding and events industry one family at a time from Fort Worth, Texas.”

Yes, I realize it makes for an interesting day of meeting people from all walks of life with no predictability whatsoever but, life is unpredictable. 

My plan years ago actually wasn’t to create four unique businesses to help anyone enjoy a Dream Event but, thyroid cancer changed the dynamics of what was important to me and what wasn’t. I realized the need existed but, I was working over forty hours a week to “bring home the bacon” and pay our insurance premiums which were easily $14k a year due to my husband being quite older than I am.

Cindy and I have worked in sales most of our lives as well as brand ambassadors for top brands. We have both made a lot of money from our ability to sell or promote anything.

We spent the better part of our lives “working for the man.” Because of having to work so hard and provide for our families, we also lost a lot of time with our children and grandchildren that we can never get back. The best part of my unique dive into the events industry is the fringe benefit of having time with my family after all of these years. 

I never expected to survive thyroid cancer and a tumor on my left breast but, I did. 

My husband was horrified that he might lose me to cancer and we jointly decided to sell our oversized home and downsize. 

Starting Texas Twins Events to help others and banding my family together to help was my second best decision. 

For the first time in my life, I had the luxury of not having to go back to work with plenty of money in the bank by starting my own business using the profits from the sale of our home and estate sale of furniture we no longer needed. 

After struggling through three years of my husband being unemployed, the fear of losing our home would never haunt me again. Thank God! 

Had I not become ill, I’m certain that I would still be working 40-60 hours a week earning $50-70k a year as a salesperson. We would probably still live in a 5 bedroom 4 bath house that we didn’t need with a sparkling pool in the backyard that cost $300-400 a month to keep pristine blue.

I don’t come home to phone calls about warranty problems on upscale patio furniture or Cadillac problems from the previous clients who continued to call years after their purchase either. 

My mornings are spent answering emails and phone calls for clients of Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, Texas Prison Weddings and The Pawning Planners. Unlike the warranty phone calls, I look forward to a ringing phone now and new opportunities to meet Clients. 

Thyroid cancer was a blessing to me because had I not got sick, I would’ve never chose to downsize and enjoy the rest of my life. We would’ve still been “keeping up with the Jones.” The nice home we could barely afford, nice cars and a pool to take care of were just too much for those three years of my husbands unemployment with the fear of being homeless chasing us.

It’s someone else’s dream home now and I don’t miss the financial responsibility of upkeep, utilities or taxes.

Mildred told Cindy and I that we were a blessing. Angels sent from Heaven who not only cared about her struggle but also found ways to solve her hardships.

This poor woman would have the party she wanted and the photos that would last a lifetime to help her celebrate her grandsons graduation. 

Giving the gift of hope to others may not be glamorous or “over the top” but, glamor doesn’t help the people who actually need it. Hard work, perseverance and quick thinking on our part does. 

My husband had wanted me to choose a business that I would enjoy doing and while we had planned on one business, new opportunities and new directions took me through a path of branding and expanding because life is unpredictable.

Tomorrow I’m back at the beautiful Chateau At Forest Park.  Since today is the last day of school for our second generation twins, Maryssa and Makenna, a summer of adventure awaits them riding with us here, there and everywhere across Texas and other states along with my youngest grandniece, Madyson.I’ve had a few questions about using birdcages for centerpieces. You can find them on Amazon or eBay. Try using an assortment of both lanterns and birdcages for whimsy. Here are a few examples of fun centerpieces:I prefer mixing and matching for variety but the options are endless on unique combinations to keep your decorating expenses down. 

Today was a juggling act as usual. My niece needed tires and I had taken Jetta tires in trade a few years ago. 

Walking through my workroom, Stephaney asked what I was planning to do with the tires and rims laying against one wall. I said I hadn’t had time to list them yet as I was too busy with bookings and custom floral orders.

Surprisingly, my niece decided that they would fit her Honda that had one blowout on it and two more in the trunk. Stephaney really wanted to get the car Cindy had been storing “back on the road.” 

I loaded up the tires to head to Weatherford with my son and his friend, Jordan to switch the tires out only to find while following Stephaney to the courthouse for tags that the back two rims were bent and wobbling horribly. 

Fearful the tires would fall off or blow out, I told her to drive to Texas tires while I followed behind and took a call regarding a live interview with Michael Yorba at 2PM. 

Exhausted from spending hours switching the tires only to find that we had “been taken” on the trade with two bent rims, Cindy and I would be out another $178 to hand Texas Tires replace the tires and swap out the Honda rims. 

By 1:59PM, Cindy and I were back in my SUV alone with my son, Jordan and Stephaney in Cindy’s suv. The reason I moved everyone was solely because my Bluetooth is clearer and the call was to come through on my phone.

After a day full of rushing around trying to fix problems, I was thankful to calmly sit back with the a/c and sip the Coke Cindy had stopped to buy for me waiting through the commercials for our cue at WFN1 News from Michael Yorba.

We are really looking forward to seeing Micheal again in the next few weeks and always enjoy talking to him. Here’s the link of today’s interview– Wendy Wortham & Cindy Daniel CEO Money With Michael Yorba.

Thankfully, all the stress of the past few hours fell right off our shoulders in the parking lot of Texas Tires as Cindy and I discussed the latest events, Appraisal Appointments, Client Dream Events and the very sad death of Baby Delilah Villarreal. 

Public Speaking isn’t for the faint hearted. Officiating the Baptism knowing that I would be Officiating the Funeral in a short window for Baby Delilah had me an emotional wreck. 

The truth is that my heart was broken for the couple who had been so joyous at the wedding with me just a few years earlier.

Explaining how difficult it was for me to baptize and later memorialize Baby Delilah, Michael knew that not all of our events are joyous. 

Comparing a Prison Wedding to a Funeral was surprising to Michael but, Prison Weddings aren’t exactly festive. 

Texas Death Row Prison Weddings are even more somber as I realize the Bride or Groom will never hold their partners hand or even have an opportunity to hug them. It’s sad to me. 

I recently wrote a blog regarding why I can’t offer a service and then pick and choose what I do. 

Whether you approve of Prison Weddings or not, it’s my job and I do try to counsel anyone choosing to marry a Prisoner. Here’s the link– Death Row Inmates- Til Death Do They Part?

Cindy and I explained to the On Air Audience that although I’m a Counselor with Two Together In Texas, talking someone out of a Prison Wedding if they are Hellbent on it is something I’ve yet to successfully accomplish. 

A few months ago, Ann changed her mind about marrying a Coffield Unit Inmate. If you missed the blog, here’s the link– The Coffield Unit Con Man & The Runaway Bride.

My job is to wear a lot of hats as is my twin sister Cindy’s. From Appraisal Appointments at Hoarder Homes to driving several hours a day and even Prison Weddings, Funerals, Graduation Parties, Princess Parties and refurbishing trades, there isn’t really a specific job title I hold nor does my sister. We do it all large or small!

Our children and grandchildren all bring their unique talents to my events businesses but, it’s actually Cindy and I who appraise trades and do the footwork as well as a large portion of our bookings on our own. We have a full service staff to address just about any unique request that comes across my desk.

The twins are now moving from flower girls and ring bearers at our events to Princess Characters at birthday parties and enjoying every minute of entertaining children. 

Since it’s wedding season, I’m putting off refurbishing new trades until Texas summer comes to an end and like many North Texans, looking forward to coooler weather.

We were honored as always to share our adventures with Michael Yorba and WFN1 News although our businesses are remarkably different than many of the others featured.

Operating four unique businesses doesn’t really fit in any box but…it’s a day in the life of these Texas Twins. 

Wendy M Wortham