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About this blog

My cross-dressing life and times

Entries in this blog

Busy Days

By MichelleLea,

On Sunday, I finally got around to cleaning out my wife's medicine cabinet in the bathroom. I am still going through bathroom stuff--I gress I have been putting it off. It's strange going through someone else's personal belongings. My wife and I were together for over 30 years, although we were not intimate for the last 14 years or so. She couldn't deal with the idea of dressing let alone the physical expression of it. I think it became so ingrained in her thinking that she couldn't modify her stance. And then 8 years ago, she go cancer, so that was another chapter. And then, we had the aftermath of all the treatments, wh​​ich virtually left her house bound.​ Massive diarrhea. She sometimes spent most of her day, and night, in the bathroom. Both of us cleaned a lot of messes. Many trips to the doctors over the years with little improvement. In the end, we did make some headway with her bowels, but then COPD kicked in, and that seemed to be the last straw. Her body just wore out. So, going through her things, you see what someone does to cope with life as it is. In her case, it was a fear of running out of something, so she has loads of medicine and you name it. I think I have enough food in the house to last a year. Just need to buy fresh things. I wonder what someone will think when they go through my things. I think I want someone who knows who I am.

So, I am super busy with my new career. Lots of meetings and training and courses to take on line. Right now my prospecting is in the hard grind phase because it's all I know how to do at the moment. I do have a direct sale opportunity pendintg with one of my neighbors who I think will buy and accident policy. Yesterday, after Monday meeting, I spent three hours walking around our local industrial parks, stopping in businesses, and trying to make appointments. Hard go. I stopped in 51 businesses, talked to 20 decision makers DMs, and got zero appointments. I did get some positive responses, however. So, it will be worthwhile to call back. Today, I did 43 stops, with 8 DMs, and did get two appointments. I think it will get easier. I'm sure getting my exercise and fresh air if nothing else.

I had a teeth cleaning this morning, and I had to tell Trish, our hygienist, that Sue had died. I had previously let the office know, but word never got back to her. We had both gotten to be good friends with Trish, and so I had to tell the story again. I think everyone knows by now. I told Trish that I thought of her every time I brushed my teeth.

So that's it for today's edtion. I do have to rein in my clothes shopping, at least a little. Now I have to buy a laptop for work, but that's a business expense, and it looks like i can get what I need for around $250 at Walmart. Not bad. But then, we still get all these catalogs in the mail, and I ended up buying a posture bra from AmeriMark. I just couldn't resist, and besides, I do need to improve my posture--right?

 

Saturday 10-14-17

By MichelleLea,

Here it is, Saturday night, a party night for some, and I sit in my den typing on the computer, my two dogs with me, asleep as usual. I am fairly dressed up. I am wearing pantyhose, which I don't do as often as I should. They feel and look good on me, but often I'm just too lazy to make the effort, or they aren't right for what else I'm wearing. With the animal print dress, they are just right. And for now, I have overcome the need for a strapless bra by just tucking in the straps-duh. I could cut them off, I suppose, but I don't want to ruin the bra. It's an inheritance from my wife. She wore a 36C for most of her life, and now they fit me, even without an extender. I used to be a 40 long in a suit coat, then 38, and now my chest is down to 36. The incredible shrinking man. I have lost about 10 pounds since Sue died. I am eating, but not a lot of heavy food for the most part. I am vain enough to want to keep my girlish figure, but I don't want to be too thin either-- not healthy and doesn't look good. (Talk about random thoughts--more like meandering thoughts.I really need to meditate on a regular schedule.) So, anyway, with all that said, I'm good. You'd think that now that I'm on my own and can do whatever I please, I would get out more, but I really don't have any desire, and I don't have anyone to go out with anyway. This is better. I go down the street every afternoon around 4 with my two puppies to give them their afternoon outing and stop at old friends of ours, Dave and Jeanie. Dave is a retired stone mason of almost 83 and Jeanie his wife is a few years younger. Both are pretty conservative to say the least, but for some reason, both Sue and I became good friends with Dave. He has his shortcomings--don't we all--but he has always been good to us, and he is easy to talk to. Jeanie is a bit of a constant complainer, which does get a litle wearing, but she means well, and is always ready to help.  That is the extent of my social life except of course for here and the chat room. And with that said, I think I'll head that way. I'm sure Andrea is waiting for me, and we'll see who else shows up tonight. One never knows.

Dressing 2

By MichelleLea,

I have been pretty absorbed with AFLAC this week, which is perfectly natural as it is my new career and I want to do well. I am encouraged starting out and believe that in time I will develop a rhythmn and a daily routine. Right now, my week is pretty chopped up with required online courses and meetings. Also,  i will be dependent on my sales manager for the time being and have to work around his busy schedule. For example, I can't make appointments until I know when he'll be available since I don't yet know how to present proposals to prospects. In due time.

I spent a couple of hours with another newer agent this morning, Donna, a very nice and sharp young lady of 60--I'm getting to the point where most people are younger than me. LOL Anyway, she has had a previous career in banking and IT, and is now starting out like me on a new career with AFLAC. Interesting. Like all of us, she was a little timid starting out, but is doing very well now. Her advice is to give it time and effort. I'm i n.

Now, with all of that, I still make time to get a littl e dre ssed up in the evenings--I am a crossdresser, you know. I found a crossdressing superstore online that happens to be in the same industrial park that I worked this week. I tried to stop in there this afternoon, but no one was there. It might be more of an online store. I did end up setting up an account with them and ordering a pair of sheers (as the British say) and a garter belt.) I also wrote to them to ask if they have store hours or maybe would open by appointment. It's a family-owned business, but I will mention AFLAC to them. I think I mentioned before, maybe I could target the trans friendly stores in our area. Might be fun.

On a whim, and because I decided to hold off buying a new cell phone and got a greatly reduced rate now that I am only paying for one, I ordered an a kind of outrageous outfit from JLUXLABEL. I got it because it is somewhat outre--clingy and metallic. Just for fun. I'm in a long skirt that I got at the thrift shop tonight with a satiny blouse that I bought from the Chinese company. I also am wearing a bosomy bra and some fashion jewelry.  A little lipstick. Pretty comfy and casual tonight. And so on to the chore-filled weekend.

JLUXLABEL535.jpg

I am supposed to be working on the computer this week learning how to use the AFLAC enrollment platform--which by the way is pretty cool if I can ever figure it out. However, I have been plagued with technical issues. First, I couldn't log into the system, and after a day and a half of trying, I finally got in so I could take the required courses. Now, I can't get the learning lab to work. Oh well. Support is closed for the day, so I'll call them in the morning. You'd think their training would be a little more user friendly.Technology is great when it works; not so much when it doesn't. (I like to use semi-colons. I don't know many who do.)

Anyway, rather than sit at home and be frustrated, I have been going out in the field and approaching businesses like I was told to do. I wrote about yesterday's endeavor--most of which got lost in cyber space--20 approaches with one appointment set. This morning I did a small industrial park. In a little over an hour, I made 22 approaches, made contact with 11 decision makers, and set three appointments. I should do pretty well if I can keep this up, but you never know. I could make 40 approaches and end up with a zero. Still, I am encouraged. My boss asked me what I'm telling them. He said I don't need him anymore--not true. Now we'll have to see how many of these prospects convert into clients. I can't do that on my own yet. Still learning.

In other news, I finally got a knee-length pleated skirt that I ordered ages ago. It's cute and fits so I'll keep it. I'm just not sure it's my style. I think I like maxi skirts better and dressy flowing pants. So anyway, I'll keep trying. Happy International Day of the Girl!

Into the

By MichelleLea,

I didn't write yesterday as I had an eye appointment, and my eyes were still dilated. Makes it hard to see. I was in AFLAC meetings all morning and into the afternoon prior to my doctor's appointment. I didn't even have a chance to grab lunch which is a rarity for me. I'm not much of a snacker, but I do like my three meals a day. I would say that the meetings were fairly typical for sales meetings. Goals were laid out; top producers were recognized; contests announced; plans set for the week ahead. It was a little bewildering the first time. Every industry has it's own jargon and acronyms, and it takes a little time to even know what everyone is talking about. After the meeting, I met with my sales manager to lay out my schedule for the week. It was supposed be a week doing lessons so that I could be credentialed to use the policy writing platform--it's all cloud-based now. While not best practice, you can even write a policy over the phone and have a signature texted. Paper is so 20th century. LOL.

Well, that was not to be. I was finally able to log onto the AFLAC website, but then it asked me to change my password, and all I could get was an OOPS! message. So, I spent almost two hours with tech support--when I finally was able to get ahold of someone--and my issue is still not resolved. Maybe paper was better? Anyway, I had previously told the folks where I used to work that I would stop by to say hello. I haven't been back since I lost my job at the end of June, although some of the staff did come to my wife's memorial gathering. I felt it was time to check in. I got a warm welcome from staff and the students who were still there. I feel that they were genuinely happy to see me and I liked seeing them too. I even got invited to their Thanksgiving dinner. I don't know if I had mentioned, but I worked at PACE Center for Girls for almost 14 years as an English teacher and guidance counselor as well as special needs support. It's a program for girls who need extra acacemic and emotional support. I was often the only male figure there out of 40 staff and 80 girls. I seemed to fit in. Before I left, we did hire a facilities guy, Mr. Jose. He was really sad to see me go.

So, we plenty of time on my hands, I figured I might as well get to work. I had read through and practiced how to approach businesses at the one-day sales school, and I had seen how my manager worked. All that was lacking now was for me to get out there and give it a go. The worst that could happen would be that people would say no. I picked areas that didn't look overly promising because I needed the practice. Mostly the business owners weren't there, so I would have to go back. Most of the ones I talked to weren't interested and I couldn't even convince them to see me for 10 minutes, but that happens. In the end, I did make one appointment for next week and even had to call and reschedule. At least I got 

I did my usual dusting and vacuuming and bathroom cleaning this morning. I also made a hamburger helper dish with the pound of hambuger that was in the freezer. I am trying to work my way through all the food we have on hand. My wife was a great one for stocking up. I can eat for a while on what we have on hand. My foray into cooking is going well enough. HH is not that big a deal. I didn't have any milk on hand so I substituted Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed milk which made the dish somewhat richer and heavier. I do need to keep a few things on hand, or at least read the directions before going shopping.

My manager gave me a homework assignment for tomorrow to make some lists of people I know and businesses I deal with. So, I worked on that. This afternoon, I called on several of my neighbors to fill in some of the blanks. It was hit or miss, but I actually did get one positive response from a neigbor I don't know well who wants to look at my policies. So, you never know.

I'm in meetings most of tomorrow and I will be doing coursework for AFLAC for the rest of the week. Back out to do follow-up and more prospecting after that. I'm just taking it easy tonight. I did start a new book, a P.J.Parrish crime fiction novel. So far, so good. I'llcheck in with the girls. It has been quiet there lately. We'll see what happens tonight.

Ho-hum

By MichelleLea,

I guess everything is finally catching up with me. I have been pretty much in a whirlwind since my wife died in July what with one thing and another. I have kept myself super busy  while at the same time trying to make room for some social life which consists of daily visits to my friends down the block and chats with the girls. I have not minded being alone for the most part, I have to admit. I have enjoyed the freedom to be able to dress when at home and wear whatever feels right at the time. Otherwise, my life hasn't changed a whole lot. I am a homebody for the most part, and anyone who has a house knows, THEY ARE A LOT OF WORK! Most of which I don't mind doing--I like it when the place looks good, and I like being outside. Even when Sue was alive, I spent a good part of my day doing household chores. 

Today, I got my new checks in the mail with only my name on them. Maybe that brought home the fact that I am truly on my own now. I'm not going to apoligize for feeling a litte down or sad. I think I'm entitled to some of that and I don't want anyone who reads this to feel that I need a lot of sympathy--well, a little maybe, but I'm basically okay. I read recently that it's not even healthy to try to be super positive, rah-rah, all the time. It's not natural. We all have our rhythms, and this is part of mine. I must say that it feels better just to write about it and put my thoughts and feeling on paper. 

i did make the effort to get cleaned up tonight, and that felt good. I am dressed pretty casually, still in girl clothes but simply. I think I need something fun to read. I haven't read a good book in a while. I'm missing that. I say hi to the girls and crawl in bed with something good. Nght all. 

Ho-hum

By MichelleLea,

I guess everything is finally catching up with me. I have been pretty much in a whirlwind since my wife died in July what with one thing and another. I have kept myself super busy  while at the same time trying to make room for some social life which consists of daily visits to my friends down the block and chats with the girls. I have not minded being alone for the most part, I have to admit. I have enjoyed the freedom to be able to dress when at home and wear whatever feels right at the time. Otherwise, my life hasn't changed a whole lot. I am a homebody for the most part, and anyone who has a house knows, THEY ARE A LOT OF WORK! Most of which I don't mind doing--I like it when the place looks good, and I like being outside. Even when Sue was alive, I spent a good part of my day doing household chores. 

Today, I got my new checks in the mail with only my name on them. Maybe that brought home the fact that I am truly on my own now. I'm not going to apoligize for feeling a litte down or sad. I think I'm entitled to some of that and I don't want anyone who reads this to feel that I need a lot of sympathy--well, a little maybe, but I'm basically okay. I read recently that it's not even healthy to try to be super positive, rah-rah, all the time. It's not natural. We all have our rhythms, and this is part of mine. I must say that it feels better just to write about it and put my thoughts and feeling on paper. 

i did make the effort to get cleaned up tonight, and that felt good. I am dressed pretty casually, still in girl clothes but simply. I think I need something fun to read. I haven't read a good book in a while. I'm missing that. I say hi to the girls and crawl in bed with something good. Nght all. 

First day

By MichelleLea,

My district manager met me at our local Dunkin Donuts to help me get started today and show me the ropes as it were. Basically, we went around the shopping center stopping in stores and restaurants, day care centers, you name , it in an attempt to set up appointments with the owners. In the end we actuatly did get to talk to three owners and set up three appointments. The next step is to go to the appointment and present our product line and see how it works for each business. My manager, Rich, is an old shoe kind of guy, a bit on the heavy set and pretty down to earth. His casual approach and easy-going manner work well for him , and is something I can easily adapt to. He bought lunch for us a Hurricane Grill and after lunch he let me do a few approaches on my own. It will take some practice, but it really isn't that hard and it is kind of fun to meet new people and get acquainted with all the shops and stores in my area. Next week, I will be completing more courses for AFLAC to get fully on-board. I'm finding that there is a lot to becoming an agent. Getting there. He wants me to start making money soon. This is a good thing.

New B

By MichelleLea,

Well, it didn't have to wait long to get started. This morning while I was chatting with Andrea and Cassandra, the AFLAC District Manager (DM) called to determine my availability and to get the ball rolling. I spent most of the morning filling out paperwork to be signed on with AFLAC and talking to people in the office. So, tomorrow I am in training all day, and then on Friday, I go out with the DM to make some calls and get my feet wet--pun intended. I am excited to start and a bit nervous as well. I believe I can be good at this, but I will feel better after I sell my first policy. I will keep my followers--Monica, Emma, and Chrissy--up to date.

 

Yesterday was a busy day. The debris pile in front of my house leftover from Irma was finally picked up. Quite an operation! Big truck with a big clamshell picker-upper. I still had to do some raking and cleaning for the smaller stuff and leaves, but at least it's clean now. Today, I'll pick up some top soil to fill in the holes left from the tree trunks, and then coax the grass to fill in. I also had a maintenance call for my ac--routine. It's pretty new and everything checked out. I spent the rest of the morning cleaning up my palm trees which needed a lot of work. We overcommtted with palms really not having any idea what we were doing. They are pretty, but messy and require a lot of maintenance. I'm going to start paring down.

I also received my insurance license from the state, so now I'm ready to start work as soon as I hear back from the folks at AFLAC. I let them know, but no word as of yet. One of the first jobs I applied for, and didn't accept, when I was laid off from PACE Center for Girls sent me an email asking me to apply for a different position. I declined. I might have looked into it had it come sooner, but I am looking forward to my new endeavor.

One other thing that is happening is that I have reconnected with my son. His mom and I divorced when he was 8, and since then we have had a very distant relationship at best. I made several half-hearted attempts over the years to reach out, but with no results. But, it's been on my mind since my wife died, so I thought I'd give it another shot. I sent him and email, and, wonder of wonders, he responded with a nice letter back. We have communicated a couple of time since then as I needed his SSN for my life insurance policy, but I am relieved that maybe we can get on with our lives and be in touch again. He lives in California so I doubt I will see him anytime soon, but this is good for now.

Oh, and I did get a package in the mail from Light-in-the-Box--two blouses that I had ordered ages ago. For the most part I like their things, but it takes like forever to get here. One of the tops will hve to go back, unfortunately. The other is on to stay. Better than anticipated. Very soft and feminine. I don't mind being a man out in the world, but I sure like being a gurly-girl at home.  We'll see what kind of trouble I can get into today. Later.

 have not written for several days it seems because I have been in a full-study mode to prepare to pass my insurance license exam. I took it this morning, and (drum roll)--I Passed! Yeah.So. now the next step is to get my license from the state of Florida and get to work. The folks at AFLAC have been great about helping me through the process, so I imagine it won't take too long before I can start earning my keep again--it's been three months now--a long time for me.

And with all that, I did get my closet done and have officially changed bedrooms. It is working out just great.  The room is more feminine which suits me and i have all my man/work clothes in my old bedroom. I haven't made things too obvious as everything is in drawers or towards the back of the closet--well except for my nighties, but oh well. My neighbor lady who will be letting my pooches out during the day when I working is something of a snoop sister, so the cat may get out of the bag at one point. If it does, it does. I'm not going to worry about it. I do ;like the way the house is shaping up, though. It's working so much better for me. I did some picture re-hanging today to finish things up.

So, tonight, I was really feeling worn out and there is always a let-down after taking a big exam, and after my post-prandial nap, I was ready for an early bedtime. But then my step-daughter called to check in, and I got moving a little again. I bought a co rset on ebay a few days ago, and haven't had much chance to wear it, so I thought I'd try it on. What a trip! One of the girls in the CD chatroom encouraged me to buy one. It's tight enough--breathing is an issue--but it definitely makes you feel womanly. It works well under my sundress, too. So, here I am still at it.Time to check in with the girls in the chat room.


 

Closets

By MichelleLea,

Just a quick update to my closet project. I did get the shelving rearranged. Ended up drilling more holes than was necessary, but, hey, I got the job done, right? Anyway, the big job is still ahead--namely making some order out of what I have. I thought my wife had a lot of clothes. Well, I am no slouch in that department. I need to divest myself of things that I haven't worn for years. I continue to find things that I thought were lost as well. My closet goes way back into a dark hole where nothing ever sees the light of day. It is useless and I am going to use it strictly for storage. Short blog tonight. We'll see how my organizational skills are tomorrow. I have a feeling that I will be moving things around for some time to come until I get it right.

By the way, I did pull out one of my thrift shop dresses to wear tonight. I forgot whose advice it was to put the dress on backwards to zip up and then wriggle it around to the front. It worked. I'm not sure about the dress. It's kind of a mother-of-the-bride type affair, strapless, full-length and chiffony. Still trying to get it to work. Might not be my look. Later.

Next project

By MichelleLea,

Well, the big news today is that Dave and I got the generator running, finally. It was not without a lot of words that I can't print here and some assembling and reassembling, but in the end, the thing ran like a top--like a new engine, as we replaced a lot of the key parts. What a relief! I've been fussing with this thing for almost two weeks now. I also got my house foundation shored up so the water doesn't pool against it. I am hoping that prevents any further seepage when the next major storm hits. Two big things off my plate.

So, anyway, as I have previously mentioned, I am planning on moving into my wife's old bedroom and have now donated virtually all of her clothes. (I did find yet another box of shorts that she made. She was making a pair everyday for years and they did pile up.) So, now I have all of her clothes out of the dressers and her walk-in closet, and I am beginning to move my things in. It was then I began to realize how poorly set up was the shelving in her closet. I wish I had realized it sooner. The previous owner--who did a lot of things on the cheap--had placed one set of shelvingso high that you needed a step stool to reach anything down. Then the shelf under it blocked the hanging of anything long. This is going to be a major consideration for me as I plan to buy some formal dresses and gowns as I can afford them, and I want them to be able to hang out. So, this afternoon, I took the first step and took out the shelving on one side. I only need to take out a small shelf on the other side, but when I am done, I should have the closet configured to be much more user friendly. As you can see, it may be a little longer before I make the move. ​Be back soon. Stay where you are, and don't touch that dial. LOL

Life seems to have gotten exceptionally busy of late. I just have a lot on my plate, and I may have to take a look at what's most important that needs doing. The aftermath of Irma is still claiming a fair share of my time. I have been working with my nrighbor, Dave, to get my generator going again so that it is ready for the next hurricane. The part that I ordered did come in today, but that was another hour and a half to run up to Green Thumb to pick it up--after waiting 30 minutes in line. Tomorrow we'll reassemble the generator and just hope it runs. It should--we've replaced all we could.

Then I had some water seepage in my bedroom from the storm and I have been working around the foundation to try to alleviate and future water damage. It wasn't severe. The carpet got damp and it dried rather quickly. I just don't want to deal with mold and mildew. Hopefully, my fix will work. Oh, I also had a tree taken out yesterday. It had broken in half and cost me $300 to have it cut down and removed--big tree. Fortuanately, this is coming to a close.

I also have been moving ahead to clean out all of my wife's clothes, and today I took most of them to the Women in Distress thrift store. I thought I pretty well had finished, except I found more clothing under the bed in plastic containers. Little by little, I have been going through all of my clothes as well. I have a lot that can go. I am making progress on moving into the other bedroom. It will take several more days, but at least it's underway. In the meanwhile, my male and female attire are a bit scattered and in need of more organizing for me to start dressing up a bit more in the evenings.

A main priority right now is completing my insurance license course. There are 18 sections to the course which covers Life and Health insurance, and it does require some serious study to understand all the concepts. It's a lot of material, but I am making headway here as well and should be well ready to take the exam next Monday.

I just want to make a word here about dressing. It goes without saying that I love to wear women's clothing and accessories. I am a crossdresser, after all. On the other hand, I don't mind my male role in which I spend most of my day. As long as I can express my feminine side, I am okay with it. I am also definitely heterosexual. I like women in all shapes and sizes. In my previous confused state, I often wondered whether I wanted to be with a beautiful woman, or be that beautiful woman. As it turns out, I want both. I'm not a either or kind of person.

And on top of that, I now have more of a social life which needs tending. I make it a practice to see my neighbors, Dave and Jeanie, at least once a day, even if it's only for a short visit. My brother and my sister as well as my two step-daughters have been more active in texts and phone conversations. And then, of course, there are my new-found friends in the CD chatroom. I do feel an obligation to check in daily to at least say hello. So there it is as of now. I don't see things slowing down at all. I will be starting work soon, and that will be another new ball game. Stay tuned.

Dressing

By MichelleLea,

On my feminine journey,  I am constantly trying on new clothing and changing it around to see how it works. While going through my wife's things, I had try on just about anything that I thought would work. To my delight, many did and are now stashed away before my well-meaning friends and neighbors can send them away. My neighbor, Jeanie, did come yesterday to get a few things for herself. I had invited her to do this as she is a friend as well and has been helpful to me since Sue's death. The remaining items are up for donation anyway. I did give some to Goodwill. I also donated to hurricane relief for Puerto Rico. Jeanie also suggested Women in Distress, and I think the remaining items will go there. Much of what Sue had was either new or practically so. I am glad that someone--besides me--will get some good use out of them.

But I digress. Some of the things I purchased myself worked well, and others not as much. I am still learning what sizes to buy, and what works on my frame and what doesn't. I have begun to send some things back that just don't work. I found, however, that some dresses and rompers work as well or better when tried on backwards. For one thing, I am more easily able to zip them up, and they actually look good going the other way. There are times when it would be nice to have a partner, but this works for now. And that's all I have to say about that for now.

Evening Ritual

By MichelleLea,

My life on my own is following pretty much the same pattern as when my wife was alive.  I normally am en homme during the day while I go about my daily work and chores and my ineractions with the outside world. At 5:00, evening begins with feeding my two poodles and having dinner myself followed by a walk with Henry, the older dog--Preston used to go, but he doesn't like to walk in the evening so he stays home. After the boys have had their "special treat," I plop in the recliner for a short nap--we both were famous for doing this and I have not changed my habit.

It's after nap time that thngs have changed. Now it's time to bathe and shave and get dressed for the evening. This can take up to an hour depending on what I decided to wear and how fancy I get. Tonight, I'm fairly simple in capris with a halter top, necklace and bracelet. I did take time tonight to paint my toenalls which have been bare for a week.  That is a bit of a challenge for me to get them right without being too messy. I still have to do some clean-up where I brush over. I can see where it would be so nice to have nails done. Maybe one day.

Anyway, then I have been taking pictures of me in whatever I'm wearing so I have a record of my progress, ot lack thereof. This takes a little time, since I have to arrange the shots and get my camera and tripod set up right. I must say I am delighted with the tripod. It gives me so much more freedom to shoot the kind of pictures I'm looking for. After the shooting, I go to my computer to arrange them in an album by date. I am using an iphone 6 to take pictures and this page won't let me upload them. I'll keep trying.

Next, I log onto the forums page and write my little blog for the day. This will be a little different now that I am studying to take my insurance license exam. I did finish my lesson and got a 93.3% on the quiz. Darn! i am supposed to get 100%. I'll do better next time. And lastly, I log into the CD chatroom to visit with the girls. Hopefully, there will be someone to talk to tonight. Au revoir.

I had hoped to be doing something work-related today, either working on my insurance license course or substitute teaching. Neither happened. Instead, I did more clean-up around the water feature in the backyard and got the fountain going again. I'm still getting things back together after Irma. Fortunately, it looks like Maria is going to miss us. Things were going well enough until I tried to get my generator started again. No go. So, I called neighbor Dave to see if he could help. He gave me some ideas over the phone. Eventually, going back and forth a few times, he decided to come down and have a look for himself. He's pretty good with this stuff, but he's also 82, and he had never worked on a machine like I have. So, it was a learning experience for both of us. After several attempts to get the carburetor float valve bowl to stop leaking gas, and turning the generator upside down everytime we tried to get it back together, Dave thought it would be a good idea to pull the carburetor off so he could work on it in his workshop. Now we were getting somewhere. Except we had to figure out how to get the careburetor off--not that easy. So, I looked on Youtube and found out I needed to take the two holding bolts off with a 5/32 wrench. Pretty small, and I didn't have one.

Fortunately, Dave did, and after more struggles, we got the darn thing off. I went and bought a new spark plug as well. It was prett fouled. And so at this point, the machine is still torn down. but I think we're making progress. We'll see if we can get it running tomorrow. I have a roofing guy coming at 9 to fix my leaking roof. I also have to go to the eye doctor tomorrow for my monthy eye injection. Sounds like a fun day.

so, here I am tonight in my new polka dot summer dress. I'm wearing pantyhose and a slip and have my heels on. Feeling very femme. I took a lot of pictures. Now that I have a tripod with a holder for my iphone, I can change my locales for picture taking. The tripod also came with a remote bluetooth shutter attachment which means I can just pose and snap away. Really neat. It's been very quiet in the CD chatroom that last two nights. I have waited for someone to join me, but no luck. I hope I didn't drive everyone away. I try to be a good guest. We'll see what happens tonight. 

Decision time

By MichelleLea,

About the middle of June of this year, 2017, my boss came to my office to let me know that my position had been eliminated. She said something about restructuring and not having the money anymore for a Guidance Counselor position. My face didn't quite fall on the floor, but it could have. I was in shock. How can this be? I had worked hard at my job for over 10 years, was willing to take on whatever needed doing, and had fully expected to retire from PACE Center for Girls. Alas, it was not to be.

Not being in a position to retire, I began my job search immediately. I filled out the lengthy applications for the Broward School District and for Florida Virtual School. I sent out applications and resumes to the local universities and charter schools. I signed up for numerous online job search websites. I reached out to friends and former colleagues. My plan was to try to find work as an Exceptional Student Support person, a job I had been doing at PACE for the past 5 years. By mid-July, I was starting to get some response and did get an interview with a local charter school. Then my wife died. Everything on hold.

For the next several weeks, I dealt with grief and loss. I had a constant stream of houseguests and well-wishers. On August 12, we had a memorial gathering for Sue, and I was on my own again. I was not quite ready to start actively looking again. I  have some savings so I wasn't critical financially yet. But, I did start getting more  requests of interviews with the school district and other charter schools. I was not getting called back, however. Possibly because of my age, 74. No one will say that, but it's there. Anyway, to fill in while I was looking for full-time employment, I went through the process to become a substitute teacher, and after school started again, I began filling in at a boys treatment facility--thanks to a referral from my former ESE Specialist. There was also going to be an opening for an English Teacher in November as one of the staff was retiring. So, this was a possiblility.

In the meanwhile, I kept getting requests from the local AFLAC office to come in for an interview. My wife had cautioned me to avoid teaching and sales since I didn't have the talent for either. But I thought, what the heck. I've got nothing to lose, and maybe they'll stop sending me emails. It was a group interview, basically to present the AFLAC program for those who wished to go further. I was impressed, and a little spark in my enthusiasm which I thought had died, came back to life. I felt that this was something I could do, and make a decent living in the process. Here was a chance again to maybe make a little money. That would be nice. Michelle would certainly like that since she has many wants and needs. The district manager called me for a second interview jsut as Hurricane Irma was charging toward sothern Florida. I left voice mails but never got any response. Oh well, I thought. Another one of these. But I tried again this morning and call the peson who first interviewed me, and almost immediately the district manager called back. I was on for a 1:30 interview.

We hit it off. I had pretty much make up my mind that it would be a go on my end if it was a go on theirs. So, now I begin another career as an insurance salesman. I will start working on getting my insurance license from the state tomorrow, and start work after that. I must say that I am excited. I think I will be good at this. I think I made a good decision.

Dresses

By MichelleLea,

I slept in a little this morning--for me that is. 6:00 am is pretty early for a lot of folks. 4:30-5:00 is more my rising time. I had another full day ahead of me. what with power being out for a week, I had laundry piling up, and the house needed a thorough cleaning , and I had a lawn sprinkler that wasn't working, and so on. So, after taking the dogs out for their morning ritual and getting some coffee started, I stripped the bed and gathered my other wash and got it sorted.  Had coffee and looked a bit at the morning paper and ate breakfast. Time to dig in.

Now here's the thing. I have kept my bedroom since my wife died, but it has meant increasingly that I am going back and forth into her old room for things to wear and make-up and perfume, etc. I am thinking now that I will take over her room which is something my neighbor, Jeanie, thought I would do anyway. It is the bigger room and has a walk-in closet and a vanity. I just didn't feel like making too many changes too fast, but now that Michelle has become a major  part of my life, well, she needs her own space. I will make my room the guest room which does make more sense.

Anyway, in the meanwhile, I decided to move the plastic dresser dr awers from her room to mine to store bras and stockings and other female items. In the process, I found that I had missed out on quite a few items that I could wear. Like a lot of silky nighties that I can make work; and pretty shorts she made a while back that actually fit me; and more tops. Maybe I should feel bad about plundering my deceased wife's things, but I don't. I just think it's neat that I found them. I am getting to the point where the rest will have to go to Goodwill though. Maybe tomorrow, unless I get an emergency call to substitute teach. Broward Schools are starting again after Irma.

Later in the afternoon, I tackled the  sprinkler system, which is almost a second career for me. I fixed the one sprinkler that got broken when all the storm debris was hauled to the street. That was easy. But then, when I started the system, several other sprinkler heads were faulty, so it turned out to be a bigger project than I had anticipated. While I was fussing wih the yard, I noticed the mail truck drive by, on a Sunday no less. So for shucks, I checked my box, and the dresses I ordered ages ago from Light-in-the-Box had arrived. They come from China and I would't be surprised if they are made to order, so it does take a while. I am wearing the polka dot dress now. It is a vintage 40's look and works really well. The other floral dress doesn't work quite as well, but I will keep it. I am still learning about what styles and sizes work best for me, especially with a dress which I am not used to wearing. It's easier with slacks or a skirt and a top. I'll get there. I'm looking better from the neck down. I still need to work on make-up. That also will come. Later.

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.

Power Struggle

By MichelleLea,

 

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.

Organizing

By MichelleLea,

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.

After Irma

By MichelleLea,

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.

 

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