Create your own blog at TGGuide.com. It's FREE and you can start right now. Some people blog as a sort of journal to share our thoughts, feelings, experiences and insights. Others blog to express opinions on social and political issues. Others blog to share their knowledge and experience with others. Go ahead. Express yourself! Others may be grappling with issues you blog about and your words could provide useful insight or answers.
Here are some blog topic ideas to get your creative juices flowing;
A daily journal about your life and experiences
A journal documenting when you go full time
A journal to document your gender reassignment surgery
Dating experiences and tips
Experience with makeup
Passing in public
Your experiences when you go out in public
Transitioning at work
Dealing with counselors or medical personnel
Introspection about your particular gender identity
Dealing with or overcoming self-limiting beliefs
Dealing with addictions
Dealing with self-destructive behaviors
Interactions with police or government workers
Changing your drivers license, birth certificate, etc.
Applying for jobs
Your big day, when you go full time
Hormonal development (please don't discuss dosages or make medical type recommendations)
Experiences with electrolysis
How other members of your new gender react to you, and your experiences
Your recommendations to others about to follow your path
Your thoughts about whether surgery is necessary to be your desired gender
Differences in how you feel dressed or not dressed
What your life would be like if you still repressed your inner identity
Poetry or prose
These are a few ideas to get you started. Feel free to leave comments to suggest your own ideas, or just start a blog and share with everyone.
Just log into your control panel to start your own blog. This could be interesting!
Saturday in the past has been typically a day for grocery shopping, lawn mowing, and other general yard and garden chores. I have been trying to stick to this routine because I expect to be working full-time again in the near future. Today, we added the additional tasks of resetting the house after the return of power last night. For some reason, my generator stopped running in the middle of the night. I did get it going again, but it was running really rough. That was going to be a can kicked down the road, however. I didn't have time to fool with it, so I put it away as is. I also had to put my window ac unit away. I forgot how much water those things accumulate, so that was another mess. I cut my hand in the process of manhandling it back into its container--nothing life-threatening. I also broke one of the slats on my bedroom blind--the middle one no less. Nobody said it would be easy.
After lunch, I had just settled in for a little nappy-poo, when the doorbell rang. I hurriedly put my shorts back on, but it was just the UPS guy who left a couple of packages for me. Yeah! I had ordered a tripod, so that I could take pictures in different settings. I had also ordered a skirt and top outfit and more panthose. Unfortunately,the skirt and top are way too small; they will have to go back. Can't win them all. Skirt was cute too.
Well, I did get my other chores done, and now it's evening. I had my first hot bath in a week, and did that feel good. I am getting accomplished in putting on my bra now, and was anxious to try the pantyhose. I bought good and was it worth it. They look great and feel even better. I put on my blue floral romper which seems to require some figuring each time I wear it, and set out to take some pictures. With the tripod, i can shoot anywhere, and the living room seemed like a good place to start. I have an old little Olympus digital which also takes some figuring, but I did get it to work. I took a lot of nice pictures of the sofa until I got the timer under control. This is also a work in progress--learning how to be both photgrapher and model. I'm working on it.
Pre-surgery for as many years back as I can remember my clothing style was pretty much short skirts or dresses until the age of 50 then I slowly transitioned to jeans where there was something inside of me that provoked the change.
Beginning with the year prior to physical transitioning I might have worn a skirt once or twice and stayed steadfast to jeans then to leggings which for whatever reason were my staple lower body garment of choice. I was wearing leggings with tops appropriate for various occasions, meaning my butt was not exposed.
Heck if I can rational why two weeks ago I got a impulse to toss leggings, jeans and skirts and now totally into wearing dresses.
I first visited Macy's in Portland Oregon as in Salem (my home town) Macy's I didn't care for the dress selections. Ended up with three dresses perfect for the workplace and two pairs of heels (I'm guessing 3.5 inches). To be totally engulfed with dresses, three was not enough, thinking it would be nice to have a variety, boat neck, scoop neck, below the knees, above the knees etc.
Next stop was Amazon where another five dresses were added to my wardrobe. When to conclude (for now) things I hit a store in the local mall to purchase two evening dresses and another pair of heels.
I'm going to do one last thing, winter is arriving shortly and once here will look for deals on dresses for next spring and summer, not a person that does "what's in style" either so I'm not going to worry about that too much.
My only explanation for the change is hormones. For those who have been on hormones for several years I'm sure have seen gradual changes in both physical and mental areas and think this is part of my change in clothing style.
Today, we are going on a week without power since Hurricane Irma. It wouldn't be quite so frustrating if everybody around us was also without power. But no, just our side of the street. Chris, my neighbor, was over last night as my generator was sputtering out of gas. Chris means well, and he is pretty smart. On the other hand, he does always have to get the last word in, and whatever I am doing is not quite good enough. I mean, I've been filling my generator with gas for a week, and now he is giving me a lecture on how I should be doing it. He did put the fear of god in me about changing the oil, though, which I had completely forgotten about.
I dragged out the owner's manual this morning, and it said to change the oil after the first five hours and then after every 50 hours. I was long overdue. So, on the way back from taking my dogs to the groomer, I stopped at Advance Auto for a quart of oil--Chris insisted on non-detergent 30W. He also insisted that he help me change the oil.I couldn't wait a few weeks for him to fit me in though. So I opted for a synthetic blend which was recommended by the manual and the guy in the store. It was pretty easy in the end, and the machine is running smoothly.
I got the boys from the groomer. They look so much better as they were beginning to look pretty shaggy. When I got home, I got the notion to clean up the foilage from the downed tree in my backyard. I am probably going to have to get my tree guy to take the whole thing down, but the palm fronds from the top were covering my grass and I have to mow tomorrow. Also, I was hoping to save a couple of bucks for doing the tree. So, I started with a saw and a pruning sheers, and after lunch went with an ax and a hatchet. It made quick work of it. The hardest part was hauling everything from the back out to the street for bulk pick-up. Another day of hard labor. Usual.
Then, I had to wait for the insurance adjuster to come and look at my roof leak. It turns out I'm not covered for it, and I'll end up withdrawing the claim. But the adjuster did point out what needs fixing, and recommended that I hire a pro to do the job. This I have now done. It has actually been a problem for some time, and I need to get it fixed. The joys of home ownership.
I took the dogs out for their afternoon stroll, and my other neighbor, Peter, tells me that the power is back on. Yeah! i unhook my power cord from my generator to my house, and go to my main switch and turn it on again. I then turn all my circuits on and hit the lights--nothing! I check to make sure I am doing it right, but Peter comes back to tell me that the power is out again. I do not believe it! I wait a little while in the vain hope that it will come back soon. Eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with chips for supper. Wait a little more, and then hook up the generator again.
I have another cold shower, so at least I'm clean and get a lttle girlied up for the evening. While I'm working on the computer, there is a pounding on the door. It's Chris again telling me that the power is back on. I tell him that I can't come to the door--well, I have the girls on over a tight t-shirt, and I don't know how he would take it. I tell him that I am going to let things be for the night and change back in the morning. Jeanie, another neighbor down the street, (I have a lot of neighbors checking on me) called to tell me power was on and that it was on to stay. I also told her that I don't trust the power company, and am going to leave my generator run tonight. I am done playing with the power company, and the neighbors for that matter, for the evening. So, there. Time to chat with the girls.
Yesterday, I made a good start on rearranging the house since my wife died. I am keeping her old room as a guest room for the rare times that I do have guests. Maybe that will change. Anyway, I had my desk in my b bedroom along with everything else a nd it was a bit cramped to say the least. As I wrote previously, my motivation for changing everything now was so that I could put a small window unit ac in my room so that the dogs and I wiould be cool for sleeping. We are not due to have power on until the end of the weekend, and I have been getting tired of being hot and sticky when I'm trying to sleep. Ugh! I am spoiled. In order to do that, I had to move the desk and a side table which entailed taking apart the bed so that I could get it out. Nothing is easy, especially for me who only has the vaguest notion of what I am doing.
So now the house is coolish again, and I plan on spending the day going through files and closets and just sorting out. I have had offers of help from family and friends to help me go through my wife's things which is a sad experience. But, I have been through this before with my second wife, and I am going to claim the things that work for Michelle before someone else does or throws them away. As it turns out, I can wear all of her panties--many of which are still in the wrapper--and her bras work too. A lot of her pants fit as d o her swim suit bottoms, some tops work as well. I fugure this will help since it will be less for me to buy right now. Eventually, I will want to get new things just for Michelle, but I'm trying--well, sort of trying--to watch my budget while still part-time employed. Irma has made a dent in my income as schools are still closed until Monday at the earliest.
So, that's where I am now. I made it through the storm in good shape. The house does not have any damage. I will have to pay my tree guy to remove one big tree that came down--that will cost me. I do have to get a roofer to fix a leaky attic air vent--another pretty good expense. Oh yeah, then I have to keep buying gas for the generator which soaks it up like a sponge, another $30 today just to get me through until tomorrow. Hurricanes are expensive as is home ownership. There, I'm complaining again. My bad. I did pick up a soft ladies T-shirt at Walmart today this morning while buying milk and fruit, so I'm not hurting that bad. I'm going to read the paper and get to work. Later.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
After starting out the day in a not very ambitious mood, I ended up accomplishing quite a bit. I did it in my usual fashion as I shall relate.
I am not one to get things right the first or even the second time, but eventually, I get it together. Such is the case with the storm called Irma that roared through here over the weekend. I did get the generator out on Saturday and ran it for a while using the cable provided to at least keep my refrigerator going. I then put it back in the garage to wait until the major part of the storm had passed. When it had on Monday, I dragged it out again, and ran the cable through my kitchen window to power the fridge and make a cup of coffee. Big deal. I didn’t have a lot of gas, so, I conserved fuel by running the generator intermittently. The house has become quite warm by this time. Still, people did live here in south Florida before air conditioning, so, I thought I would tough it out. I left the house wide open to get whatever breeze there may be—there was virtually none. It was not a restful night.
Preston barked at every noise, especially if another dog was barking in the neighborhood. In the middle of the night, the living room windows closed with a loud crash. The night finally ended.
On Tuesday, after visiting my friend Dave’s house, I felt I should hook up the generator to my electric panel like we had prepared it to do. With the help of another neighbor, Chris, who worked intermittently as well, I did get that much working. Still no ac. Another, hot, sticky, restless night.
So now it’s Wednesday, the third day after the storm, and I figure I have the portable ac—why am I not hooking it up so we can all get a night’s rest? Why not, indeed? This is easier said than done. It required a major rearranging of my bedroom and the den to do it. (It needed doing anyway.) I had to take apart my bed, move the desk out, reassemble my room, drag the ac out and install it in the window, and get the computer to work in the den. So now it’s done. I must say that I am happy with the result. We’ll see what kind of trouble I can get into tomorrow.
So I anticipated being more detailed, but that wasn't really very practical in this setting :-) Suffice to say I really enjoyed the conference and got a lot out of it. In some cases it was learning that I already a fair amount of what they were talking about, which is always nice, but I definitely learned a few new things.
The only downside was one of the last panels I attended - "White Supremacy in Trans Relationships." The title probably should have been a warning - the fact that they used "white supremacy" instead of "white privilege" definitely reflected the views of the moderators, there was a good amount of hate going on and attempts at shaming. I plan to write to the conference organizers about it - I have no issue with being made uncomfortable about my white identity, but I don't think it should have happened at this conference and certainly not in the way it happened. This conference is about community in our gender identity, it's not right to shame people about other parts of their identity - not here.
Otherwise everything was great! I had dinner with a couple of friends from NYC on Friday night - they had gone down on Friday, but I had just finished 2 full days. I commented at one point that "I had never had to be transgender for so long before" - I meant it to be humorous by with a point too. I was feel good about the conference but also pretty exhausted, and I think part of that is that I really don't activate that part of my identity for such long periods at a time on a regular basis. It's fine, I survived, but it was an interesting learning experience.
Maybe the biggest thing I discovered - about myself that is - compared to when I attended last year is that I'm so much more comfortable about who I am now than I was back then.
So I need to start going through my house every coupla years and just looking at the stuff that is lying around/saved somewhere. I have saved some really useless junk over the years. Anyone remember the Isle of Lost Toys from the old Christmas specials? Apparently we are running the Sanctuary of Lost Cords. Which of course Nikki won't let me throw any of those out because we might need them some amorpheous day in the future. Fine, he let me throw most of the rest of the junk out, and we can do a great device to cord matchup event when we settle to be sure what is junk beyond doubt I guess.
It really is amazing the accumulation of things in an average life. We're not shoppers, we go outta her way to not do that. We're not garage sale hounds, or antique hunters, or any sort of real collectors of anything. I can only imagine how much more stuff people who enjoy those things either have to dispose of often or build up.
Well, back to work. At least until the Cheeto declares everything in the country as his. I'm surprised that man hasn't tried to pass an act yet that he owns everything and we have to pay rental on our things. After the pay to have them in the first place, of course.
So I just saw photos of St. Maarten after Irma passed through. On top of the horror for those people, there is this creepy feeling. I was there, in March, with Ashe. We lounged on a beautiful beach, we had lunch at this awesome open air restaurant right on the beech and iguanas joined us for the lunch, there was a drive through the beautiful now underwater streets. It just feels weird when it's somewhere you have been. Like when I see flood photos from the one we had here. It's not a feeling of extra bad, it's just oddly disorienting to me and I have no idea what my brain's issue with it is.
I looked at the livestreams on Key West, another place I've been and enjoy watching on cam when I'm far away, and it's just so eerie to see how deserted it was. Also reassuring that the people have gone to safer ground on the mainland. The storm has not yet hit key west, but the winds are already amazingly and unusually loud on the cams that have sound. I can only imagine what it will be like when the actual storm hits.
There was a collection truck near the Kroger's by us collecting for Harvey, and I found myself wondering how long til it's for both. And then I further wondered how bad it's going to be. I remember how bad Katrina was, with the Fema director really nepotism-based friend of bush's and no clue how to actually handle a disaster, and Harvey is in two separate states, with Irma barreling up to take on a third state. I'm not really confident our current dysfunctional government is going to handle this well. And I'm not sure what is going to happen to the insurance companies. They function based on the idea that these massive disasters are few and far between, and it hasn't really been all that long since Katrina. I also worry what else the Caribbean is going to shoot up our way before the end of storm season.
And Houston/Harvey is also a glaring warning of another issue that I fear people will ignore. A group of scientists warned them they were paving over too much grassland several years back, explaining that it was going to magnify flood issues in the city. They were ignored, the grassland was paved over because "what do you science guys know" and now they are paying for it. New Orleans kept trying to get federal aid to fix the aging levees prior to Katrina, and were ignored. Safety and infrastructure have fallen by the wayside in favor of legislating morality and corporate profits in my opinion, and it's only going to get more dangerous as time goes on. I really worry for the future generations. Heck, I worry what is going to happen in the next forty or so years while I'm still here.
Last night I met a male friend for dinner whom I've known since first grade - quite a long while. I'd told him via email that I'm trans a couple of months ago and he was supportive, so he wasn't particularly surprised when I appeared in skinny jeans, athletic pumps, and with studs in my earlobes. He's a successful corporate attorney and is friendly, very articulate, and handsome with designer glasses, died hair, and clothing that while very casual were color- and style-perfect for the occasion. But as an attorney, and a man, he consistently talked over me, peppering me with questions and thoughts while I tried to hold up my side of the conversation. Things like:
"You're not going undergo genital mutilation, are you?" I was able to tell him that for me that's a bit over the horizon but also possible. I wasn't able to educate him on the fact that this surgery is in no way any kind of 'mutilation' with what that implies. I will be sending an email to him on that subject.
"You're not interested in men?" I tried to tell him that sexuality and gender are orthogonal and unrelated but here again all I could tell him is that I'm only interested in women; I'm a lesbian.
None of his comments or body language were delivered in any kind of negative way or overtone. He's told his parents who said that they wish me the best too, and his father (whom I haven't seen in over 40 years) said that he thought I'd make an attractive woman. I was just kind of taken aback at his assumptions and ignorance. As I said I'll send a follow up email to clear this up but imagine how hard it is to effectively us to people whom we've never met?
Lately, I have been having some difficulty loading the transgender guide. It has been very intermittent, and I don’t know why. Last night, I could get on, but no one was in the CD chat room. I was all gussied up with my new four-inch pumps and my thigh high stockings. At first, I put on my floral romper, but then changed into my leopard print dress—much sexier. But I had no one to visit with, so I ended up going to bed. Just as well.
Tonight, I am wearing my new clam diggers with a yellow Walmart t-shirt and my new gold belt. Simple, but sexy too. I do think I am kind of cute.Maybe a little vain as well. I have fallen in love with being Michelle Lea.
I must put her on hold for most of the day now, however. A major hurricane is approaching, and the neighborhood is getting ready. This means much more interaction with my neighbors than I usually have. So, this morning, I bid adieu to my painted toenails so as not to cause confusion with my neighbors. What could I say? I was bored, and it was something to do? I don’t think they would understand. Net ready yet. It is the reality of things.
I’m about as ready as I am going to be. I have been in Florida long enough to have been through multiple hurricane threats that didn’t materialize, and one that did. I don’t think we’re going to avoid this one and it is a monster. I think we’ll make it through, but I don’t know for sure. If the house blows away, all bets are off. I’ll find our old wills tomorrow and send them to the girls. Better than nothing. At least, I was able to dress for a little while. We’ll see.
So day 1 is done - such a long day! I volunteered to help with set up, so I was there starting at 6 a.m. But all totally worth it :-)
On a matter of personal achievement first - during one of the panels I actually spoke during the Q&A. Perhaps seems small, but 3 or 4 years ago there's no way I would have done that - it was a fairly large room with about 50-60 people. No way. So that's a nice sign of what transitioning has done for me :-)
The most interesting/controversial part was a lecture on "The Biology of Gender." It was a single presenter discussing the science and theories behind gender identity and gender variation. During the Q&A several people criticized it from the perspective that it was very binary - and he generally agreed (that the research itself tends to be biased in favor of the binary). Fair enough. However, I think this is an area where science and culture get conflated sometimes. Leaving aside the terms "sex" and "gender" for a moment - in my view there are 2 things going on: (1) there is what we are born, physiologically, biologically, neurologically, etc., and (2) there is the social construct that got built on top of that - sometimes with some basis, usually not.
Regarding #1, I think we all exist on a spectrum from male to female - some in between, some "mixed" at birth (at least I think that's the prevalent theory about being transgender - genitalia developed one way, the brain the other). I also think that most reputable scientists - although they shorthand it as "male or female" - acknowledge that it's a spectrum and not a binary (they don't, for example, deny the existence of intersex individuals).
Anyway - I'm not sure why I just started that, but curious if others have thoughts :-)
In the midst of getting ready for the onslaught of Hurricane Irma and getting used to working again, lo and behold, my four inch pumps arrived. I had ordered them ages ago, and it seemed as if they would never arrive, but they did, and I'm thrilled. The size 13 fits perfectly, and they look gorgeous--white patent leather. I am getting used to walking in them, but I have to laugh. I look like the teenage girls I used to teach when they were wearing heels for their first times--a little teeter-tottery. But with practice, I should be fine. Well, you can't have new shoes without stockings, and my thigh high black sheers arrived today--Amazon is much faster. They are so sexy, and the two together are a knockout. I have bought thight highs before, but have never been able to wear them as freely as now. I am loving it. Now I need a black, sexy bra. That will be next on the list. So the transformation continues. A little effort and expense, but so worth it.
So I'm going at this with no prior thought other than I need to write about two woman I know.
Three weeks ago a good friend of mine was sitting in her living room and one of her dogs kept sniffing and licking her one breast. She ignored it until the dog kept doing it for two days. Had a mammogram done and sure enough cancer and to note, it runs in her family. Several days ago had surgery and being the brave person she is posted photos so that people think more of what can happen rather than simply thinking of a pink ribbon. She had ups and downs after surgery but seems to be doing okay now.
Then today, another friend (and in the same circle of friends) was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mammogram done shortly after the woman above.
Statistically speaking a woman passes every three to five minutes in the world from breast cancer.
We are not immuned from breast cancer so if you have breast that were induced by hormones get them boobies checked out and have it done regularly.
Above I indicated they are in the same circle, the three of us are defensive tactics instructors were an outstanding master (he has way too many things to list here) and we are all family from Oregon, Florida and Atlanta.
I arrived in Philadelphia today - the conference starts early tomorrow so I decided to get down here a day early. I got a hotel at a decent rate and it's about 1/2 block from the Convention Center!
Anyway - last year I did the free version of the conference, this year I paid for the professional track (for a student it was $85). The tough part is deciding what to go to! Initially I went through the schedule and just put everything I was interested in on my calendar. Then earlier this week I went through to pick which ones to actually attend - that was the hard part! I gave 1st priority to Behavioral Health panels, since that is the professional track I'm on. Then I leaned towards panels covering topics around F2M and gender non-confirming individuals, since I have decidedly less experience there. Of course this is a mixed things for me - personal and professional, so I don't want to forget the personal side :-)
I'm volunteering in the morning - helping with set up, so it will be a long day, but worthwhile! I'll post more tomorrow after Day 1.
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.
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. I'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.
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.:)
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.
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.
I figured out how to put a picture up. Don't know how to do an album yet. I'll work on it. Later.
Sunday mornings have been my usual time to clean the house which means vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathrooms, and so on. I have always believed that a husband should contribute to the household chores besides taking out the garbage which seems to be a typically male thing to do. Also, I do like a clean house. I'm not OCD mind you--well maybe a little--and I am finicky about being neat and clean as was my wife . We were in total agreement on that score. But not that I am on my own, and with no one around to tell me what I should and shouldn't do...
Well, for starters, I painted my toenails a shocking pink--pretty girly. The bottle said Sinful Colors and that works for me. Then I put on a cute blue romper and a necklace and bracelets. I figures I might as well get a little dressed if I was going to work. Then for some reason, the romper wasn't working quite right so I put on a animal print bikini which looked great. Unfortunately, my privates kept coming out of the bottom part and I didn't like the look of that. So, I found a better bottom with a string bra top which worked just fine. (My wife used to say that I changed clothes more often that a woman. Do women change clothes often?) Anyway, doing housework was never more fun.
Maybe, I just like being a maid. If truth were told, I really think that I am a submissive CD. I have always been married to dominant women, and I seem to prefer the secondary role. Also, I hve enjoyed reading some erotic literature about submissives. For me it's a turn on. So, I guess that's that. I think the hardest thing for me and maybe for everyone is to be honest with oneself and own up to one's true feelings.My mantra lately is: "It is what it is." No judgements, just the facts. Life isn't what should be, life is what is. Accepting that makes a lot of sense to me and a great relief. So that's what's going on in my brain today. I try not to be too gullible and naive, but sometimes I still get taken advantage of. I don't mind if it's not too big a thing. Later.
This was one of those days when I got up an hour earlier than I thought--which was damn early--like 3:40 am. I didn't realize this until a little later after I had given the do gs their breakfast and taken them for their walk and did my exercises. Then I saw it was nearly 5--a more normal time for me. Anyway, I was up, so I made coffee and added to my grocery list and tried to read the digital edition of the Miami Herald. I was not making it so the recliner beckoned for a little chair nap, for which I am famous.
Back up at 7:00 still feeling groggy, I had the rest of my now cold coffee--too lazy to even nuke it-and my breakfast cereal and then off to Walmart. My wife and I had a routine to go to Walmart first and then finish up at Publix. But since I did not have a huge list and I'm trying to watch my budget, i thought I could do it all a Walmart, including a few non-grocery, non-typical items like eye liner, foundation, mascara, and nail polish. ( I need eye shadow too, but I forgot to put it on the list. I have to go out tomorrow anyway.) My wife and I shopped at Walmart at roughly the same time each Saturday for the past 10 years or so, and were acquainted with several staff members and customers as well.
So the first person I see is Deepak, who is the checker at the back of the store by the garden shop. We've known Deepak like forever, and he was a special ed teacher so we would chit-chat about our students and how unruly they sometimes could be. He offered his condolences when I told him of my wife's death, and then went on about not being able to start over at my age. His message seemed to be that I had best carry on until the end--what a bummer! (I didn't tell him that.) I just nodded and made my way down the aisle to the cosmetics department with him tagging along. In my head, I was saying, "No, Deepak, go back to the register. I don't need you now." And, "What do you mean I can't start over when I am transforming myself into Michelle Lea, and I'm free to be me and on my own for the first time in my life! Life is just beginning!" (I don't usually use that many exclamation points, but I feel the are justified under the circumstances).
Well, I was finally set to pick up my make up items when I run into another couple we encountered every week and became friendly with. So, I had to let them know, and then I didn't feel like explaining why I was buying cosmetics when I had no wife. I'm still pretty new at this. I am not confident that the people we knew would understand. I did my other shopping with the intention of going back to cosmetics but that didn't work out. Target, here I come. In the end, I did get most of what I wanted and was planning on prettying up tonight for a chat with the girls. But I'm now feeling a little under the weather and just want to go to bed early and try again tomorrow.
But, I did get the lawn mowed, despite frequent showers,and I did visit my neighbor who just had hernia surgery and is a hurting piece of gear and I did finallay catch up with my brother who lives outside of Austin, TX, to see if he and his family are okay after Harvey made landfall.
I did get my toenails polished, not the fingernails yet. One of the shades I bought is almost a non-color and hardly worth the effort. I feel naked now if my toenails aren't polished. I have girly flip-flops I wear around the house. And so there it is for now. Later.
Before I joined the TG cross-dressers chat group, which was about a week ago, my idea of cross-dressing was somewhat limited. I didn't know or have contact with any other cd's, but I had read enough to know that there were others like me, and it was okay to be the way I am. I just like all things girly and feminine and become a different me when dressed up- a me that I really like. My wife and I (before she died) watched RuPaul's Drag Race and Caitlyn Jenner, but that's not really what cross-dressing is about. So I would wear whatever was handy and sneakliy buy a few pieces of clothing and jewelry (very small and inexpensive), and that was it. I would sleep in nighties, but othewise I was pretty male. So now I'm finding out everything it takes to do it right. It does take a little bit of money to get started and of course there is never an end to what you can buy or spend. But I have wanted to at least make a decent start without breaking the bank.
I did find a mentor almost immediately--Andrea--who has taught me a lot about embracing my feminine self and doing what it takes to be more feminine. I had already shaved off my moustache, but now it was time to do the whole body. Andrea told me what to buy and how to do it and the results are amazing. And always wearing panties. And how a bra makes you feel more womanly, and about breast forms. So then, listening to the other girls in the chat room, I realized that I don't have any dresses or skirts or shoes. I do have a pair of tights, but no panty hose or stockings to speak of. How can I purport to be a cross-dresser without those items. Then Penelope revealed that she buys just about everything from the thrift store, and I t hojugt, what a great idea. I had been to consignment shops, but I didn't realize the thrift store would work too--at bargain basement prices. So, feelng a little sorry for myself today after having failed to get another job I interviewed for--that's another story--I tried out Goodwill this morning. What fun! It takes quite a bit of pawing through stuff--kind of like Ross--but I did manage to find three dresses and two skirts. I must say my taste runs from the tacky to the outrageous, but what the hell. I liked the feel and I wasnt' betting the farm. And like Penelope said, the clerk didn't seem to mind that this guy was checking out all this lady stuff. I will be back.
I spent almost the entire afternoon trying on what I bought, and for the most part, I am pleased and will definitely be getting some good wear out of them. One of the more formal dresses from David's Bridal--must have been a Mother of the Bride (MOB) dress--took some figuring out. There seemed to have been a lot of engineering that went into constructing it, and it took more than a little effort to get in on right. I can get it to work. The others are a breeze.
So I'm all dressed up tonight, and no one was in the cd chat room earlier. I changed my profile picture again. I tried it with the wig, but really prefer it without. i need to find a wig that fits my face a little better.Anyway, I am slowing evolving. It's been a busy week. We'll see how it goes next week.