My Dad was such an amazing man. He was, in so many way, the focal point around which our whole family existed.
Dad had a very dry sense of humor. He liked to try to make people laugh without letting anyone else in on the joke. At the dinner table, he would wink at me or wiggle his nose or other things that only I could see. When I would start laughing, it was almost always at inappropriate times, which made the rest of our family look at me like I was crazy. I didn’t care – it was a private joke between me and Dad.
He also loved to make me laugh when I was trying to talk to him about something rather serious. It was like he was entertaining himself. I would get angry with him about it, but he didn’t care – he had his own way of dealing with life and no one could change his mind.
I believe, looking back, a lot of what made my Dad who he was, happened in 1961. He had just graduated from Texas A&M in 1960 and was serving his year in the Army Reserves when his youngest brother, Jamie, became very sick. Jamie was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia, according to his death certificate, and only lived six weeks from onset to death. He died on June 17, 1961, in a hospital in San Antonio.
He was only ten years old.
I never knew who James Gregory Beever was until I was an adult. His name was spoken – it was whispered. His picture hung on the wall at my grandparents’ house, along with the other three boys, but we didn’t discuss him. I was always told that it was too hard for my grandmother, so we were simply told that Dad had another brother who died very young. When I was old enough to ask adult questions, my parents explained it to me, but it wasn’t until the past few months that I actually learned the details from his death certificate. I wish I had asked my Dad more questions about Jamie, but that opportunity, like so many things, died with him on January 8, 2021.
I think I’m feeling nostalgic today because tomorrow is Father’s Day. This will be our first Father’s Day without Dad, and I didn’t even realize it until my husband mentioned it to me yesterday. I always called Dad on Father’s Day but other than that, we didn’t make a big deal about it. Even that call was sometimes difficult for me since, as the years went by, it became more difficult for my dad to talk on the phone. I also didn’t talk to him enough to really know what to say on those calls.
I wish I had asked him more questions. I wish I had learned more about him. I wish I had known him better.
Now, all I have left are pictures and whatever newspaper articles and stories I can dredge up from relatives or the internet.
At least those things can be replicated in some way. They are all that’s left of him now.
What is it about suddenly having time that makes me think I can do anything? And I do mean anything. For instance, I’ve started making my own homemade yogurt (BLECH!) as well as Amish Friendship Bread.
So far, I’ve thrown away more starter than I’ve used to make bread. I just can’t seem to get it all straight…like, is this day 6 or 7? Is this the day I feed it? Or is this the day I stir it? It’s all very confusing. Of course, I don’t think it would be nearly so difficult if I didn’t start THREE at the same time…as in, three separate jars of starter. Why? Because I went online to buy the jar recommended by the person on the Amish Bread site and thought, “If one is good, wouldn’t three be even better?”
The answer is no. No, three jars is unnecessary. Three starters in three jars is ridiculous. Three is not better when one is more than I can handle. Come take a look in my freezer and you’ll see. I’ve frozen approximately ELEVENTY THOUSAND bags of starter!!!
But this isn’t a story about how I had so much starter last Saturday that I decided to make FOUR LOAVES of Friendship Bread. Because that day was TERRIBLE. No, this story is about my pants.
Sometime around the start of the quarantine, I was very stressed. I didn’t handle it well, the way things were changing every day, and so I bought clothes. Lots of clothes. Like, four new pairs of jeans and three new shirts and even a new pair of tennis shoes, even though I already have two perfectly fine pairs.
But even though I sent one pair of shoes back, I liked the pants. One pair, in particular, was really cute. I wore them twice before the rip that was created by the manufacturer, well, it ripped more. Only instead of horizontally, it took off vertically. It looked really stupid. In other words, the fashionable people who wash their new blue jeans with rocks until they look worn, then cut them intentionally, would know that mine accidentally ripped and think I was…gauche. I guess that’s what I’m saying.
So what’s a girl to do? I wasn’t sure, so I set the pants aside for oh, a month or four. Until I decided it was silly not to just sew up the rip. How much worse could they look?
(FYI, never ask that question.)
(Also, if you’ve ever read the book, “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,” you will probably see what’s coming.)
So what do I do when my new jeans have an unintended rip that needs to be repaired? Well, first, I think about whether or not I should just stitch it by hand. I could do that since I’ve done a lot of hand-stitching in my life, but blue jean material is thick and I knew it would hurt to push the needle through the cloth. So sewing machine it is!
Next, I have to find my sewing machine. Easy enough – it’s in the guest bedroom closet. Only that’s now Brad’s home office. So there was a long delay while I tried to decide A) where to put the sewing machine and B) when to get it so it doesn’t bother Brad.
During that delay, which lasted at least a month, I rediscovered Pinterest. And for reasons I can’t quite recall, began searching up pictures of under-the-stairs closets, and how people have used them. As I searching Pinterest, I came across an article in which someone turned part of their under-the-stairs closet into a sewing closet! Hurrah! I have the solution to my problem!
When I approached Brad with my idea, he remembered a cheap little shelving unit we had in the attic from when we were first married! I think it was a hand-me-down from my sister, but I’m not certain. Whatever the case, it was the perfect size for the space – just wide enough and deep enough to give me space to sew and still be able to fit a chair.
I delayed again after that because I still hadn’t figured out when to get my sewing machine, plus I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough light. Then, one day, I mentioned to Brad that I needed my machine and he went immediately and carried it into the closet! On Sunday the last two pieces fell into place as I went to put a tower fan I had bought Brad for Father’s Day in his home office and saw there was a lamp in the way. It took me a little while to put two and two together, but I eventually realized where I could put the lamp, and it turns out it’s perfect next to my machine and VERY bright! Then I was in our media room and noticed a little desk chair set back against the back wall. We have six recliners in that room, so I grabbed the chair and put it in my closet. (Of course, as soon as Samuel learned what I had done, he told me that was his favorite place to sit and watch his brothers play video games.)
Finally, my sewing closet was ready, so today, when I got sick of working on our budget, I decided to sew up my jeans in my new space!
As I sat feeling very industrious and smart stitching up my pants, I had all sorts of glorious thoughts about starting my own sewing business! Or taking in clothes that people need repaired! Or creating something with my sewing machine that no one had ever seen before!
And then I took my pants off the machine and realized all I had really done was create for myself a pair of quarantine jeans that will never see the outside of our house.
(I might have over-estimated my ability to sew.)
Which is fine, since I rarely see the outside of our house, either.
I was having lunch with a girlfriend at Newk’s this afternoon, and just as we were finishing up, I got a call from Brad.
Brad: I just got a very disturbing text from CapitalOne!
Me: What??!? What did it say?!!?
Brad: The text asked if we just spent $11,000 at Bloomingdales in New York!!!!
Brad: Do you think it’s really our bank?
Me: I DON’T KNOW! READ IT TO ME!
(Meanwhile, my friend is nervously glancing around the busy restaurant, trying to make sure I am not attracting too much attention.)
Brad: “Please respond YES or NO to authorize this charge to your account ending in 8508.” What should I do?!?!
Me: Oh my gosh!! That’s our actual credit card number!! Someone in New York has our card!!! Tell them no!!! TELL THEM NO!!!!
Brad: OKAY!! OKAY!
Me: I’ll get on our account in a second and see what else might have been charged!!! Oh my gosh! We have to get our account locked!
Brad: Well I’m sitting outside my hair cut place!!! I’ve got to go get my hair cut! I’ll text back no but can you handle it from there??!?!
Me: Yes!!! I’ll go call them now!!!
I told my friend what was going on; we said good-bye, and before I could make a run to the bathroom (because after sitting and talking to your best friend while drinking sweet tea for an hour and a half, BATHROOM), my phone was ringing again. It was Brad.
Brad: I texted NO, and they sent me a message with a link in it! Should I click on it? What if it’s a hoax???
Me: No! Let me get online and look at our account, and I’ll figure it out! Just go get your haircut, and we’ll talk after!
Brad: Okay! Bye!
I used the bathroom, went out to the car and checked my email, and this is what I saw:
So, I called Capital One, and they froze our card and put a fraud alert on the account and are sending us a new card. And as I drove home from lunch, I couldn’t help but wonder…what does a person spend $11,600 on at Bloomingdales New York? I mean, how much could a person spend there? I went online, and here’s what you can get for $11,600:
A watch that looks like a fox.
Or, if you feel like picking out a few things, there is this nice coat:
Which I think would go well, worn over this dress:
And these stylish shoes (I’m kidding I actually think these are hideous):
And then, that’s when I hit THE MOTHERLODE!!!
This bracelet would be DARLING with the mink coat! And it will only cost you an additional $9752!!! And just look at the savings! What a steal! I mean, you’re saving $13,800 and only paying $9752??? They might as well be paying YOU to wear it!!!
Unfortunately, that puts you over the $11,600 total (the total for the dress, coat, shoes, and bracelet is $18,592), but hey! Who cares? It’s a stolen credit card, remember?!!?! It’s not like YOU are paying for any of this!
OH WAIT – that’s right! IT’S ME who’s paying for all this!!!
All I can say is THANK GOODNESS FOR FRAUD PROTECTION!!!
Also, I have to wonder what kind of person buys this kind of stuff with a stolen credit card. I mean, it’s not as if they are stealing a loaf of bread to feed to their starving family!
So, I made up a story to fit the incident. It starts with a prostitute hanging out on Hollywood Boulevard…wait. Wrong city. It starts with a prostitute hanging out in New York City somewhere, and a lonely rich guy comes along and picks her up and takes her back to his hotel where he offers to pay her an unseemly amount of money to spend the week with him. She agrees. Then the man tells her he wants to take her to the opera, but she needs some fancy clothes to wear. Only in my story, he doesn’t give her his credit card. He tells her to figure out a way to get the fancy clothes – she’s obviously resourceful – so she goes into Bloomingdales and STEALS the red dress and matching jewelry so she can go to the opera with the man who is paying her for sex. Then they go to the opera, but on the way, she tells him “I had a great time – in case I forget to tell you later.”
It just doesn’t have the same appeal, does it?
But doesn’t it make you wonder? What kind of person says to themselves, “I’ve just GOT to have that diamond tennis bracelet!!! I NEED a pink mink coat! I can’t LIVE without those weird shoes with jewels on them! Whatever shall I do??? Oh, I KNOW! I’ll steal someone’s credit card number and just use IT to buy the swag!
Maybe I’ve lived in Texas too long, or maybe I’m just a little too simple-minded, but I think anyone who steals a credit card number, then uses it at Bloomingdales, should have to spend a year in some poverty-stricken country where you have to walk 10 miles just to draw water for your family. Every day.
Of course, I’m making a joke about what could have been a serious situation. I’m so very thankful that Capital One flagged the purchase and sent Brad that text! Because if I was having to actually pay that $11,600, you better believe I would be using every resource available to find out what they actually bought!!!
Because if I’m paying for it, I should at least be able to criticize the thief for their choices!!!
See! Here’s proof that the pool is trying to ruin us financially! Look at all that water it’s going through!!!
It’s not actually raining here. In fact, it hasn’t rained here in such a long time that when Brad was in Alabama this week and a storm passed through, he couldn’t figure out what was causing all that banging outside.
You might be in a drought if you don’t recognize thunder when you hear it.
But it’s raining in the whole “Murphy’s Law” sense. I feel like we are in some kind of a “If something can go wrong, it will” loop.
I blame the pool. It all started about the time the pool was finished, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
Early this summer, we learned that Peter had a wisdom tooth coming in at an angle, growing over one of his back molars and preventing it from emerging. Our orthodontist told us we would have to have his wisdom teeth pulled, then attach a bracket to the stunted tooth in the hopes it will eventually emerge. We also learned at that time that he needed braces. Again. He has a cross over under whatever bite. I’ve stopped listening and just smile and nod. Then pay obscene amounts of money.
You know what’s ridiculous? Dental insurance. It pays for about a fourth of the braces, but only once. So on the second round, we got no help at all. And his wisdom teeth? We got some ridiculous discount, like 10% or something. That’s not even considered a real sale at Macy’s. If it’s not at least 25% off, then I won’t bother. Also, why isn’t the removal of wisdom teeth considered a medical issue? At least then, it would have counted toward our deductible.
He was healed by the time summer band started, but wearing braces really messed with his ombeshureombasureombisureombishure ability to play his instrument.
School started, as did the work on our driveway gate. We had to park in front of the house once the track was removed. It was annoying but gate guy (the boys call him “late guy”) assured us it would only be for a week, maybe two. That was two months ago. They took the track off, wired the gate up, and removed the motor. And we haven’t seen them since. He texts us if we pester him and usually his excuses have to do with his infant daughter who is fighting for her life in the NICU. And truthfully, if that’s what’s happening, I could understand being unavailable part of the time. But the man’s got to make a living, right?
Personally, I don’t blame gate guy. I think the pool orchestrated all of this. Somehow.
Meanwhile, because the pool won’t let us park in the garage, my car has gotten a flat, then the alternator went out. And because my car was getting a new alternator, we drove to Peter’s first football game in Brad’s car. In his rush to get us to the game on time, Brad rear-ended another car. While his car was in the shop getting a new hood, he drove a rental. On the way to pick his car back up in said rental, he got a ticket for speeding.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking there’s no way the pool could have done all of this. Well, let me just say that stranger things have happened. Not to me personally, but I’ve seen some pretty strange things on TV and the internet. And we all know that everything you read on the internet is true.
But the pool was not done with us – not by a long shot. This week, it’s really started to pull out the big guns.
It started with Brad’s bad back. After working to load instruments a few weeks in a row, Brad’s back started to spasm. It was so bad last week, he went to the doctor and was promptly sent to bed for a week. Then about the middle of the week, Peter started coughing. He’s been fighting that cough ever since. He’s better but still not well. He spent the beginning of the week in bed with a fever and cough.
Then on Wednesday of this week, I walked into my laundry room and notice something wet on the floor. I opened the freezer and water poured out.
You know what you don’t expect to see when you open your freezer? Water.
The motor must have gone out during the night because everything was half thawed. I spent the next few hours moving everything from the fridge/freezer to the other one in the kitchen (yes, we have two), then began cleaning up the rather considerable mess. I’m still trying to get everything dry and clean in the laundry room, plus now we have to figure out what we’re going to do with it. We only kept it because it was in our old house and we had space for it in the laundry room. Do we need it? Not really. Do we use it? Yeah, a lot.
If you see this wallet, please return to ME!
But the pool was not done with me yet. On Thursday, I took the boys to school and was taking Snickers to doggy daycare. I stopped at CVS to buy Peter some cough medicine. I paid for it…and that’s the last time I saw my wallet. Did I leave it on the counter? If so, someone took it because the employees at CVS, along with yours truly, have searched the parking lot and the store for it. In fact, I’ve searched every place I stopped after that, along with my house, my car – everywhere it could have ended up after I walked out of CVS.
[Side note: when someone tells you they lost their wallet, don’t ask them if they’ve checked their purse. Or their car. Or their house. It will just annoy them. A lot.]
I’ve finally had to accept that my wallet is well and truly lost. And so I spent the day yesterday – and I do mean the entire day – canceling credit cards, closing our bank account (I had one stupid check blank in my wallet) and filing a police report (necessary for getting a replacement driver’s license). I have set aside Monday and possibly Tuesday of next week for waiting in line at the DMV to get a new license.
[Side note#2: why can you renew your license, change your address or even your name on your license online, but if you need a replacement – or change your gender – you have to go to the physical DMV office? So is it going to be me and a bunch of transvestites waiting in line? Also, why are there multiple DMV offices that will gladly take your money for title and registration of a vehicle, but won’t give you a replacement driver’s license? There is only one DMV in our area that will issue a new license and it’s way the heck down in Southeast Plano. That’s seriously whacked. (Apparently when I’m upset, I start to sound like I’m in a gang.)]
Yesterday was also the day the new gate guy – the one we are going to have to pay to fix what the old gate guy is obviously never going to fix – was supposed to come by and give us a bid on finishing the gate. He never came and has not responded to my texts.
In the interest of being completely honest with everyone reading this blog, it’s time for me to come clean.
I’ve been cheating on you. It’s true – I started blogging at a different address earlier this year.
It’s not that I don’t love you! I just needed a break, you know? Actually, I needed a place where I could record my thoughts and feelings about a new direction my life was taking. I knew I would eventually share it all with you; I just wasn’t ready until today.
So I imported all the entries from the other site, and after accidentally posting ALL of them, I’ve gone back through and marked them as drafts so I can post them a little at a time, in order.
I think it will be fun, telling my story about joining Ultimate Body Studio, now that I’m 15 weeks in. In the beginning? Not so much fun. But now that I’m fully immersed, I’m having a good time. Most days.
So please don’t hate me. We can get through this together. I believe in us. ♥