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Activity Stream

  1. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Flowering   

    I have also experienced how the stars are aligning for me of late. I've made tremendous progress too. I never imagined I'd be able to go out and about dressed as a woman and now it's getting close (but not yet) to be simply another woman living her life. I go to restaurants, therapist, and medical appointments, which involves all the normal city stuff: parking garages, walking along the sidewalks. I've even received several nice compliments. Your post isn't about me of course but I thought you d be interested.
    i think it's terrific you've painted your nails. I've never done that... yet. A girlfriend suggested that she, another girlfriend, and I go have a manicure and pedicure together and I'm all for that. And then, OMG, go shopping. I really need to do that as winter will soon be upon us and I only have one London Fog raincoat that I bought used. I need sweaters and at least another coat of two. Probably a hat and gloves.
    Keep it up, Michelle! Keep pushing your boundaries, perhaps in small steps, that's fine, but enjoy your progress. And yes, enjoy how people and events will continue opening up for you!
    Emma
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  2. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Flowering   

    I suspect you will have "typical" days again, they'll just be a different "typical" ūüėõ
    Xoxo
    Chrissy 
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  3. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Flowering
    in some ways this was just another typical Sunday, you know, cleaning the house, doing laundry, working in the yard, etc. But then, there are no "typical" days anymore. It's a funny thing about life, at least in my experience, that when you are into something, people and resources appear to help you along the way. Well, i did some looking initially,like finding the Transgender Guide and meeting  all my new CD friends. I have made such huge advances in opening up my female self with their help. Then this morning, just for shucks, I started looking for local wig shops that might cater to CD's, and came across Renee Reyes's website. I spent a good portion of my day reading it and am still not finished. Wow, what an inspirational lady, and so smart. Although, she looks gorgeous, she is really about inner beauty and embracing joy and happiness. She does mention that we girls do tend to be a bit vain (smile), and we spend a lot of time working on our looks, but it is a process and we should enjoy the ride. She likens it to reliving our childhoods, but this time we should make better use of it. Anyway, I will recommend her to my friends. I am thrilled to have discovered her.
    And on that note, I decided it was high time a put on some fingernail polish. I had been painting my toes for the past couple of weeks and loved the look, but didn't want to do nail polish since I can't hide my hands like I do my toes when I go out. But, What a Trip! Talk about instant femininity!  I don't have to work tomorrow, so I'll be able to enjoy them for most of the day until I go to dinner at our neighbors. It will be a littel bit of a hassle to do nail polish, but worth it I think. Thanks for the tip, Renee. I do need to work on my technique, however. It took a while to get them right, but hey, it was my first time. So, I'm going to sit back, and take my time, and enjoy the ride. Hugs to all.
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  4. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry First move is happening. Save me.   

    ‚ÄčGood for you¬†and Nikki, Bree! Your mom is lucky to have you cleaning up her house. I can't imagine having to deal with spoiled food and crap from over a dozen years ago. Three hours to just get through the pantry? What was she using it for, a dump? "Mom is getting the better end of this deal, really."¬†Ya think? !!!
    Good for you too that your feeling better and Nikki is holding his own. You're both troopers!
    xxxoooxxx
    Emma
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  5. Briannah added a blog entry in Learning to grow   

    First move is happening. Save me.
    So things are starting to happen faster now.  We have moved in with my mom as planned, and I am alternating between helping Nikki move things and cleaning mom's house.  (Seriously, it took three hours to go through the pantry and get out all the expired food from years 03 to 16).  And the rest of the house is insane, but I'm slowly taming it.  Mom is getting the better end of this deal, really.  Free cleaning and repairs and cooking until we sell and buy a new house.  Old house is nearly empty, just a bit more to pull out and then it's painting time.  We're still waffling on whether or not to fix the damaged laminate.  New car is working out great, old main car is doing great, old secondary car is going to the scrapyard, the costs to fix the brake issue and make it sellable are higher than we could sell it for.  Bummer, some extra money would have been nice.  
    It's kinda weird being here again.  I lived here with Grandma, my mom, and my son when I met Nikki.  I had the downstairs basement finished room, although ever since the big flood it's impractical to use as a bedroom anymore.  Which is a same, as it's HUGE and was lovely with lots of space.  Only ever had to come upstairs to use the bathroom.  I was the hermit Bree in the basement!   
    Nikki's girl mode items are all packed away with a decoy tag, he's still very much closeted as far as our families go.  Since he realized transition is not a path for him, dealing with our awkward families is a door he doesn't want to go through.  As in most things (other than anything food related, do NOT EVER trust Nikki's judgement with food, trust me) I trust his judgement and respect his choices.  And he pointed out I won't be at risk for giving myself a black eye again slapping myself with the breast form.  (Didn't quiet get a black eye, but I did have a nice red mark from that oops.  Why do they put it in such clingy plastic?)  Nikki does have a nasty set of scratches across his back, so I've been teasing him he made a ghost angry that we're leaving.  It sounds more fun than I think the cat did it while we were sleeping.  
    I haven't had any really awful burning for a week, had one bad night last weekend, but it's been good since.  Nikki's physical health is solidly great, and his dysthymia has been very much under control.  He continues on his medication, but the improvements in our life have done wonders also.  Once his job is less demanding (they're in the middle of some big changes that take a lot of hours from him) he's going to see about finding a new therapist in our target town and he can just go after work and then come home until we move.  He has to start over anyway since his passed and then we went on insurance hiatus.  He'd rather do it just once instead of twice. 
    It's sorta amazing how far we've come since last years confusion and upheaval.¬† ¬†‚ÄčI'm proud of us.¬† Now I have to go continue trying to convince my elderly cat that moving was a good thing and that he should eat some of his food.¬† Dog is loving the adventure of a new house (wish she would stop running full speed into doors though, she's traumatizing ME with her poor banged head) lizard doesn't care.¬† Our lizard is too cool to care.¬†
     
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  6. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry Working   

    Dear MichelleLea,
    Just finished my research for transgender resources in Broward County and found that they all are "for profit."
    If anyone knows of non-profit transgender support in Broward County, please let MichelleLea and I know.
    Please check the resources I gave you, and, if they don't know, ask them for a referral.  Sometimes it takes one person referring to another person, and that person referring to a third person, etc.
    Things have changed in the 15 years since I lived in Tampa Bay, but I still think they are worth the trip!
    Orlando has some outstanding transgender support and social groups, and if you are interested, let me know.
    Your friend,
    Monica
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  7. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry Working   

    Dear MichelleLea,
    You may want to check these out:
    Trans*Talk St. Pete
    MTF Group:  2nd Wednesday of the month
    7 - 8:30 P.M.
    Tel:  727-321-3854 (call for address and directions)
     
    Coffee & "T"
    LGBT Welcome Center
    2nd and 4th Thursday of the month
    6 - 8 P.M.
    LGBT Welcome Center
    2227 Central Ave.
    St. Petersburg, Florida
    727-201-4925
    Will research resources in Broward County soon.
    Yours truly,
    Monica
     
     
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  8. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry Working   

    Dear MichelleLea,
    First, please accept my condolences on the loss of your wife.  Let me assure you that she very likely was attracted to your gentle feminine energy, although she may not have been conscious of that.  
    Second, until 15 years ago, I used to live in Tampa Bay, Florida, for 35 years.  As recently as a few years ago, I know they had a very trans-friendly Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), one of the 10 largest in the world (taking up an entire city block) on U.S. 19 and Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida.  
    Also, there is a cross dresser support group and transsexual support group (yes, they not only get along but enjoy each other's company!), meeting monthly in St. Petersburg, Florida.  There is also a social group that welcomes BOTH transsexuals AND cross dressers, and they have wonderful activities monthly, such as going to the mall, followed by dining out, etc.
    There is a transsexual support group that meets monthly in Clearwater, Florida.
    Will try to get you some contacts within the week.
    Your friend,
    Monica
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  9. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Working   

    Michelle,
    I also congratulate you both for your job as well as becoming yourself, Michelle. I feel that our becoming ourselves is like the genie coming out of the bottle. There's no stuffing her back in! I just feel more and more happy and content as Emma.
    i also echo Chrissy's sentiment that it's too bad that your progress seems to be tied to your wife's passing. They say that one dour closes and then another opens. True but no one is forced to go through the newly opened door. You are and I commend you!
    Emma
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  10. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Working   

    Michelle,
    Congrats on the job! It sounds challenging, working with kids in a detention setting, but possibly very rewarding. Anyone who has been exposed to the criminal "justice" system is going to have a rough time, they need all the support they can get if they're going to have any chance after.
    And congrats on growing into Michelle ‚ėļ I definitely know what you mean about there being no going back! It is sad that it's connected to your wife passing - that seems like it would be very bittersweet - but you have to keep doing what you need and want.
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
     
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  11. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Working
    I have been having difficulty loading this page for some reason, but now I'm back at it. As those who have been following know-namely Monica,  Chrissy, and Emma Sweet--this has been a rough summer. In June, I found out that I was losing my job after almost 11 years at PACE Broward. And then, at the end of July, my wife died rather suddenly. She had not been doing well for quite a while, but we always thought there would be more time. The weeks following my wife's death were filled with a crush of friends and retatives offering support and sympathy. We had a final memorial gathering at the house. We had a good turnout and it went  well, and then Sunday came and I was truly on my own for the first time in forever. 
    I don't know what got into me, but I didn't waste any time beginning my transformation into Michelle. I presented as a man for my wife, but thre was no need any more. I would still grieve my loss, but I knew this time was coming, and I already had some ideas about what I would do when I was on my own. Besides, I wasn't returning to my old worksite, so people wouldn't know any better. The first thing to go was the moustache. I had been threatening. Although I am close to 75--November--my  hair is still brown. The only part that is gray is my moustache which I had to continually keep dyeing with Just for Men to keep from looking like a pensioner. Even then, it still had streaks of gray that wouldn't be covered. What a pain!  My wife did say thought at without a moustache, I didn't look like I had any upper lip. In this, she was absolutely right. My lower lip is full enough; the upper lip, not so much. I have since learned to push it with a lip pencil and lipstick. It is what it is. A plastic surgeon could probably enhance my lips, but I don't see me doing that for many reasons.
    Anyway, back to the topic. I had enough of a severance package and paid leave from work to last me a little while, but not for a whole lot longer. I needed to work to supplement my social security check. I went through all the requirements to substitute teach as a fill-in while looking for a full-time job, but school had not yet started and there wouldn't be any demand for subs until it did. I did have several interviews with schools for ESE (special needs) support, but never got called back. I have good experience and great recommendations, but I have a feeling that my age may have eliminate me. I began to widen my search beyond education--I still did not want to be back in the classroom--but that may change. I would even consider anything that I could do that paid at least $15/hour, but that's not minimum wage yet. Last week, I interviewed with AFLAC to sell accident insurance, but haven't heard back from them either.
    Then, Ms. Brooks, the ESE Specialist, I worked with from the school district called to tell me that I was expected to sub at the Pompano Youth Treatment Center--a Department of Juvenile Justice detention center for boys--on Friday. Since I had not previously registered with the Broward substitute teaching system, I thought that one had fallen through. Not so. I was told that classes started at 7:15, and I got ready and left the house about 6:20. Even with a major wrong turn on the turnpike, I still was early enough to have to wait in lobby. It turned out to be a pretty easy day. During the first two periods, a chess teacher worked with the boys on their chess.The rest of the morning was taken up with a movie. The boys were respectful. I didn't do a whole lot, but I did get paid for it, so what the hey. Now I find out that I am booked for the next week at a different detention center. I might actually have to do some work for this one. Given the circumstances, I have not ruled out a full-time teaching gig with one of the centers. It actually felt good to be working again, not that I haven't enjoyed or really needed some time off, but it will be a relief not to have to worry about an income.
    But, in the meanwhile, Michelle came out and has blossomed and will continue to do so. That is not changing. I will never go back to where I was. This is who I am--so world, get used to it. I have to give a shout-out to Andrea, who has become my mentor and guide in transforming into Michelle. The other girls in the CD chat room have all been supportive and fun just to be with. So that's it for now. We'll see what kind of trouble I can get into tomorrow. Stay tuned.:)
     
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  12. JudyCDNJ added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    Thanks so much for your great advice and instructions on those topics and tips``
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  13. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    I have a list of steps I go through. I'm constantly editing it but maybe it will help:
    1. Primer
    I have an overall primer called "Velvet Finish" that I'm told really helps provide a foundation for the foundation. Its presence also helps removing the makeup later.  I also apply an eye shadow primer from Sephora.
    2. Foundation
    I first apply a beard cover from Mehron in a light august color (kind of orange). Orange is used to cancel out the blue cast of the beard. After that, I apply an overall coat of Mehron 'neutral buff'. Last, I dust on some face powder all over with a big soft brush.
    3. Contours
    This is where I apply shadows and highlights, such as along the sides of my nose (shadow) and highlight along the top, to make it appear a little more narrow. You can do this wherever you think you want to emphasize or deemphasize areas. For example, below the cheekbones. I then apply some light blush on the cheekbones.
    4. Eyes
    I color in my eyebrows since my hair is pretty gray with an eyebrow pencil. A darker shade/color of eye shadow is applied to the lids and up to the outside corners below the brows. Light eye shadow below the eyebrows to fill in. Then apply an eyeliner to the edge of the eyelids, right next to the base of the eye lashes. I add a green color contour shade under my eyes where that purple is often found. (Green cancels purple.) Finally, I apply mascara to the upper and lower eye lashes.
    5. Lips
    Grab a lipgloss or lipstick, maybe outline your lips, and toss them into your purse in case needed later. I do tap kleenex onto my lips to reduce the shine a little.
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  14. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Friends   

    It's good to write when you're feeling low. Keep doing it! It often helps me to write, either here or mostly in my journal. It's amazing what comes up. 
    You wrote, "I do have some self-esteem issues although I shoudn't." I've been told my therapists that applying these "should's" and "shouldn't's" to ourselves doesn't help. Later, when we feel low, for example, and get down on ourselves because we "shouldn't" feel this way just doesn't help, it can make it worse. 
    Another way to consider it is to mentally notice your feelings, like you're observing from a distance. How bad is it? What does it feel like in your body? Is it the same as before? Worse? Better? It's like you are examining it like you might a pair of shoes, a book, or whatever. Then, put it on the shelf (in your brain) and go on with your day, your friends, your life.  These feelings will pass.
    Emma
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  15. Briannah added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    The thing to be careful with general makeup kits that are sold is, they are very vague colors chosen that will work with MOST purchasers.  However, skin tones and facial features as well as skin tolerances (not all makeup is creating equally healthy) vary greatly.  I highly recommend going with Karen's suggestion and going to one of the big stores that do the makeovers (even if you don't buy anything, you can still learn a lot of technique and see the shades that will work well).  Also, if you locate a Mary Kay seller, and are willing to deal with the often somewhat heavy handed sales pitches, you can have this done in the privacy of your own home, although skill of the individual seller may vary.  
    Another great way to look up technique is youtube.  There are a PLETHORA of makeup how twos that cover just about everything from general to specific looks how-tos.    Good luck!
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  16. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Friends
    I'm feeling a little low tonight, and I was not going to get dressed and spiffed up. But I did, and I do feel better. I had lunch today with two of my former co-workers at PACE Center for Grils a place called The Whale's Rib in Deerfield Beach. Jen was my direct supervisor for 10 years and Shelly was the #2 person at PACE, and I knew her for 10 years as well. They have become friends and have been very supportive of me throughout my job loss and the loss of my wife. Both wrote glowing letters of  recommendation for me, so much so that I wondered if they were writing about me. (I do have some self-esteem issues although I shoudn't) We had planned on having lunch together for a long time, and I asked Shelly to set it up and pick a favorite place of hers and Jen's. 
    The Whale's Rib as the name suggests is a seafood restaurant just across A1A from the beach. I passed it a few times before finally spotting it, and then paid $10 to park my car (ouch) which it turns out I didn't need to do, but oh well. I got there right at 11:30, and met them just inside the restaurant. We hugged and found a booth. It was nice to see them. It would have been more fun to have met them as Michelle and really been one of the girls, but I'm still Mr. Mac to them, and this was not the time to come out to them. So, we talked about job searching and family and what we were doing. just catching up stuff. In the end, we got into TV shows and stuff we were into which was more fun and interesting, but lunch was over and it was time to go by then. We will stay in touch. I don't know that we will have lunch again anytime soon. I guess I had my hopes up that it would have been more. It is what it is.
    So, I drove home feeling more on my own than I have for a while. It has been a little over a month since my wife died, and it just starting to sink in that I am alone. I have to say that I haven't minded it that much. I am free to do as I please, and I am liking that a lot. Still, it does take some getting used to. I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with my new-found friends on this site. I should at least check in tonight. I have to think about that.
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  17. JudyCDNJ added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    Thanks for your input, today I bought some makeup LA Colors very cheap and I am going to try them out tonight.
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  18. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry A work in progress   

    Dear MichelleLea,
    If I may throw in my two cents here, please be careful to use quality cosmetics, as I fear you may develop an allergy to them.
    Don't know why, I have developed an allergy to ALL cosmetics, including the highest quality cosmetics, except for lipstick, (I get angry red hives all over my face), as well as I am allergic to hair coloring and perming solution (I can't enter most hair salons from the odor).
    When I was in Tampa Bay, Florida, after or before the support group meetings, we would have a "girls' night out," where we would go to the mall and have makeup applied as well as get instruction on how to properly apply makeup.  
    Tampa Bay (Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa) had such a T/LGB friendly community you could literally go to a support group once a week if you wanted to!  Am sure it is still the same way today.
    Many of the transgender conferences offer free seminars and classes about how to use makeup, dress, and female deportment.  If you can make one of these, you will find it well worth your while.
    As for clothing, thrift stores a good bet, some being better than others.
    There are two wonderful women's clothing catalogs that I highly recommend:
    http://www.roamans.com
    http://www.womanwithin.com
    On our home page, if you look for "Resources" on the header, there will be a drop-down that you can click on that will list all the transgender support groups in the U.S. and even overseas.  You should be no more than a couple of hours drive from your nearest transgender support group.
    Your friend,
    Monica
     
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  19. Chrissy added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    Personally, when I started out I found videos by Stephanie Lange on YouTube (she's Australian, now based in Ireland). These aren't specifically for trans people, but I found her easy to follow (I mainly found her because I have "hooded eyes," and she's done a number of videos on that specifically.
    If it's a possibility (and I know it's not always), ask female friends (trans or cis). I was fortunate that I have a good friend who is obsessed with make-up. I think when I came out as trans to her all she heard was "make-up shopping buddy!" It was a little hard at first - she knows it all so well and I barely knew the basics, but over time I picked it up :-)
    Beyond that, it just takes experimenting and practice! I've found that the brands at drugstores and such is perfectly fine, especially if that's where your budget it (as mine is! I'd love to go to Sephora, but I can't afford it).
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  20. KarenPayne added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    What I've learned is to get a make over by a professional, have them figure out the best shades for you for your eyes and face. The higher end makeup is much better than what you purchase in regular super markets and such.
    I settled on a brand called Benefit after having several makeovers done but that does not mean this brand is good for you.
    Many cross dressers are afraid to have this done but the professionals who do this are perfectly fine doing a cross dresser, all you should be concerned with is the customers and most times they are a non-issue from stories I've listen too, me, never had any issues.
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  21. bluemoon added a post in a topic ‘A girl brain but a boy body.’ Kindergarten parents outraged over transgender book read in class   

    Thank you so much for posting and summarizing that article. It is amazing and sad how narrow-minded people can be and the extent that their ignorance and insecurity contribute to that.
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  22. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    A work in progress
    I have to agree with Emma Sweet's blog entry that the cosmetics section of your local Walgreens or Walmart or Target can be pretty intimidating for us newbies, especially when it looks like we don't belong there. Actually, we do; but that's another story. Amazon is a safer bet. Be that as it may, I am venturing forth, going to stores that I don't usually frequent so I don't have to explain myself to an acquaintance. Before self-checkout, and before I started cross-dressing for real, I thought about maybe buying a birthday card to go with my girly purchases; or maybe waiting until Christmas. In a past life, I have bought many intimates for Christmas presents. But I digress. So today, I picked up a make-up brush and eye shadow along with two pair of tights on sale and nylons. I looked at dresses and could have bought a couple, but that was another $50 and I was already straining my budget. I am still not working you know.
    And on that score, I got two calls to substitute teach today, but I was told that I was not in the system. How could that be? I thought I had done everything. Wrong! Maybe I'm getting more addled or my head is in another place, but I did not read the fine print which explained to me how to register. You know, they could have put that in the email to ,make it easier, but I guess the school board people just wanted to see who was paying attention. I finally did get it figured out. There will be more jobs--not to worry.
    So tonight, I tried my hand at some eye makeup, which while not a total disaster, is not far from it. My guide in this case was a Cover Girl ad for making cat eyes like Katy Perry. Mine look more like racoon¬†eyes--well at least I'm ready for trick-or-treating. ¬†This will take some practice and more tutorials--real ones. The one¬† queen who does makeup tutorials is gorgeous. I'm beyond that. I just want to look presentable.‚Äč
    I figured out how to put a picture up. Don't know how to do an album yet. I'll work on it. Later.

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  23. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry Typical Saturday--mostly   

    Thanks for following Monica. Yes, getting older is not for the faint of heart. It is the last enemy of man according to Don Juan, or in our case, us girls. You can usually find me i the CD chat room. We can be friends.
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  24. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry Typical Saturday--mostly   

    Dear MichelleLea,
    Have found as I got older, starting in my 50's, that I get up about 3 AM to use the bathroom.  Almost always, once I get up, I "putter around," doing small chores and prepping for the morning, Sometimes I watch television for an hour or so instead, or in addition, then I go back to bed.  
    Your friend,
    Monica
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  25. MonicaPz added a comment on a blog entry Housekeeping   

    Dear MichelleLea and Bree,
    About my housekeeping . . . I am very clean due to severe allergies.  If I acquire a stain and can change my clothes, I do so, as I attempt to treat the stain as soon as possible with liquid Tide (any type) directly on the stain, which almost always come out in the wash.  
    Do a "deep clean" once a week with the help of my home attendant, where we work side by side.
    Must confess I "cheat" and wear my socks, shorts/pants and shirt/blouse several days in a row unless I acquire a stain or perspire heavily and/or acquire an odor.
    As for women's cleanliness and frequency of changing clothes, from the point of view of a cisgender mid-butch Lesbian, who has been around many Straight and Lesbian women, this is a very individual thing, but, in general, feminine women are cleaner and change their clothes more often (according to the occasion).
    When I was in my relationship of ten years, we were friends with three other couples, and the fems couldn't wait to get to work on helping their butches with the diet, cleanliness and fashion!
    Yours truly,
    Monica
     
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