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About this blog

My cross-dressing life and times

Entries in this blog

Working

By MichelleLea,

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.:)

 

Flowering

By MichelleLea,

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

 

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.

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. :)

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.

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.

Friends

By MichelleLea,

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.

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.

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. :)

 

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.

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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. 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 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.


 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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