I have been having difficulty loading this page for some reason, but now I'm back at it. As those who have been following know-namely Monica, Chrissy, and Emma Sweet--this has been a rough summer. In June, I found out that I was losing my job after almost 11 years at PACE Broward. And then, at the end of July, my wife died rather suddenly. She had not been doing well for quite a while, but we always thought there would be more time. The weeks following my wife's death were filled with a crush of friends and retatives offering support and sympathy. We had a final memorial gathering at the house. We had a good turnout and it went well, and then Sunday came and I was truly on my own for the first time in forever.
I don't know what got into me, but I didn't waste any time beginning my transformation into Michelle. I presented as a man for my wife, but thre was no need any more. I would still grieve my loss, but I knew this time was coming, and I already had some ideas about what I would do when I was on my own. Besides, I wasn't returning to my old worksite, so people wouldn't know any better. The first thing to go was the moustache. I had been threatening. Although I am close to 75--November--my hair is still brown. The only part that is gray is my moustache which I had to continually keep dyeing with Just for Men to keep from looking like a pensioner. Even then, it still had streaks of gray that wouldn't be covered. What a pain! My wife did say thought at without a moustache, I didn't look like I had any upper lip. In this, she was absolutely right. My lower lip is full enough; the upper lip, not so much. I have since learned to push it with a lip pencil and lipstick. It is what it is. A plastic surgeon could probably enhance my lips, but I don't see me doing that for many reasons.
Anyway, back to the topic. I had enough of a severance package and paid leave from work to last me a little while, but not for a whole lot longer. I needed to work to supplement my social security check. I went through all the requirements to substitute teach as a fill-in while looking for a full-time job, but school had not yet started and there wouldn't be any demand for subs until it did. I did have several interviews with schools for ESE (special needs) support, but never got called back. I have good experience and great recommendations, but I have a feeling that my age may have eliminate me. I began to widen my search beyond education--I still did not want to be back in the classroom--but that may change. I would even consider anything that I could do that paid at least $15/hour, but that's not minimum wage yet. Last week, I interviewed with AFLAC to sell accident insurance, but haven't heard back from them either.
Then, Ms. Brooks, the ESE Specialist, I worked with from the school district called to tell me that I was expected to sub at the Pompano Youth Treatment Center--a Department of Juvenile Justice detention center for boys--on Friday. Since I had not previously registered with the Broward substitute teaching system, I thought that one had fallen through. Not so. I was told that classes started at 7:15, and I got ready and left the house about 6:20. Even with a major wrong turn on the turnpike, I still was early enough to have to wait in lobby. It turned out to be a pretty easy day. During the first two periods, a chess teacher worked with the boys on their chess.The rest of the morning was taken up with a movie. The boys were respectful. I didn't do a whole lot, but I did get paid for it, so what the hey. Now I find out that I am booked for the next week at a different detention center. I might actually have to do some work for this one. Given the circumstances, I have not ruled out a full-time teaching gig with one of the centers. It actually felt good to be working again, not that I haven't enjoyed or really needed some time off, but it will be a relief not to have to worry about an income.
But, in the meanwhile, Michelle came out and has blossomed and will continue to do so. That is not changing. I will never go back to where I was. This is who I am--so world, get used to it. I have to give a shout-out to Andrea, who has become my mentor and guide in transforming into Michelle. The other girls in the CD chat room have all been supportive and fun just to be with. So that's it for now. We'll see what kind of trouble I can get into tomorrow. Stay tuned.:)
I 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just a quick note that I hit my latest sales target which means an extra $350. in my pocket. I got some help from my Sales Coordinator to meet the goal. He knows how hard I work, and he is as anxious as I am for me to succeed. We work as a team and that is a good thing. I am in a position to hit my next goal a little sooner than this one. I have a lot to learn and will continue to learn as the time goes on. I'm going to spend the weekend getting organized for the week ahead. It might be high time to read another book on sales too.
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.
I was thinking (always a dangerous thing) yesterday as I wandered around my backyard about my life as it stands now. I obviously have spent my whole life getting to this point, and as the Grateful Dead sing: What a long, strange trip it's been.Being truly on my own for the first time--ever--is an amazing experience, and I have the opportunity to live out my remaining years as I choose. It's all on me now. I find that refreshing. So far, I have not felt any overwhelming loneliness--which I understand can kill you as bad a smoking. I am so used to working on my own whether it be around the house or on the job. I don't seem to have a lot of spare time, but I am going to make sure I carve out time for me. My wife has not been gone that long, and I do have some down times, but I am able to snap out of it. Maybe I'm just cut out to be alone. There are advantages such as no one telling you what to do or that you did it wrong--like Chrissie Hynde sings in her song. You can tell that I get a lot of my life's philosophy from songs. I have no interest in dating at this point nor do I foresee that ever happening. I have no room in my house now for another person--there is very little closet space. As you know, being a crossdresser takes a lot of room since I have two wardrobes. So, all in all, life isn't bad. My body is still functioning although my age is beginning to show and my eyesight is not as good as it once was. I'll keep barreling ahead as long as I can. We'll see what the new year brings.
I mean, I really wasn't going to get dressed tonight--well, maybe some lounging clothes--but nothing serious. As I mentioned previously, some nights this week, I have not even bothered with that and have gone straight from my dog-walking clothes to my nightie for bed. I have also been avoiding the CD Chatroom for several reasons, mainly because being dressed is de rigueur for being in the chatroom--I do approve of this unwritten rule, by the way. Also, it has become rather boring and one note, I'm afraid. For me, I can only talk about what we are all wearing and how feminine we are for so long. I go along with it, and I have made some good friends there, but it's usually the quietest chatroom. Very few go there.
But anyway, after working in the yard, I definitely needed a bath, and I needed to do some shaving, and then I put on some panties and a bra with breast forms--haven't done that in a while. Then I dug out a long skirt and and a blouse to go with it and a little jewelry, and voila! Here I am. So there. I will probably visit the chatroom later. I haven't watched a movie in like forever, so maybe I'll see what I can find.It's nice out tonight, so I might just sit on the porch with my dog and watch the stars.
One last thing, this is funny. I actually got asked out on a sort of date today. It was one of the cashiers at Walmart that my wife and I have known for at least 10 years. She is Mexican and is my age--she told me--and as it turns out, her son has the same birthday as I do--November 10, next Friday. So, she thought that we should have a joint celebration, and we exchanged phone numbers. i don't know if i will even happen, but she is a nice lady, and it wouldn't hurt. I am certainly not looking for any relationship myself, and I don't see her as a fit in any case, but I don't want to let her down either. We'll see.
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.
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
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.
I'm going to ramble tonight which is what I usually do anyway. My 75th birthday on Friday passed quietly as expected. Funny that I got more congratulations from my neighbors and co-workers than my own family. My sister sent me a short text--no card this year; and I didn't even hear from my brother. One daughter texted that a late card was coming--she is always late; the other called a day later. My erstwhile son didn't bother either, but we have only recently re-established communication so maybe that's not surprising. A few congrats and likes on Facebook and Linkedin. Another day in the life.
I did reconnect with my chatroom friends. I haven't been dressing as much and don't feel right about entering the chatroom en homme. Also, it has been late when I finally get finished with all my paperwork and organizing that I'm not up to spending a lot of time there. After a full day, I am ready for bed. (I have been tempted to use "just" so many times. I think I am getting better at eliminating it from my usage.)
As I have mentioned previously, I have several potential account openings this week. The appointments have been set up, and we are ready to open my first business accounts. I have quite a few things in the pipeline now, so I am hopeful that at least some will happen. I am doing this for the money of course--that's why you get into sales, after all--but even more importantly for me, I am trying to prove to myself that I can do it. I have tried numerous times before, and while I have not been a total failure, I have not set the world on fire either. This feels different in that I am able to give it my all, and even more importantly, I am not desperate for the money--eventually, maybe--but not for quite a while. So, what will be, will be as the song says. My expectations are moderate. I think my sales coordinator is more optimistic. He is now counting on my to make his district quota for new account openings.
Then with that, I have to get my dogs to the groomer on Tuesday morning. I have my monthly eye injection on Wednesday afternoon followed my the Comcast tech coming to install a new internet for me. Friday, I've been invited to a Thanksgiving lunch at my previous employer, PACE Center of Girls. Busy indeed.
BTW, I did get dressed tonight for a short visit--skirt and blouse and a pearl necklace. Simple.
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.
So, I just now finished reading a rather lengthy article by Alex Mar in Wired, courtesy of my Flipboard app, called "Love in the Time of Robots." It's about Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, who builds beautiful androids, humanoids if you will. It gets deep fast as we delve into what it is to be human and how we relate to each other. Now, after a day of doing weekend chores--shopping, mowing, setting up a new laptop, doing my social obligations, and having dinner of the lasagna that my neighbor brought me the other night--fortunately I was dressed normally, and not in some of the get-up i usually wear later in the evening--I find myself in a somewhat pensive mood. (Boy, that was a long sentence.)
My earliest remembrances as a child were about what am I actually. At a very early age, and being brought up Catholic, I could attach a label, "child of God." But, it never ended there and I'm still trying to figure out life--a heavy duty trip, a friend of mine once told me. I am a fan of Eric Barker and his blog, "Barking Up the Wrong Tree." He writes about of lot of life and living based on neuroscience and influenced by the teachings of the Stoics. His contention is that we are not only our thoughts. In other words, our thoughts are not who we are. I have to agree. i have long held the view that the mind and the body are one, and that who we are is as much a matter of our physicality as our thinking. When I was in the seminary in college, a friend and I contended that every encounter had an element of sexuality involved. It drove our priest-professors nuts. Maybe that was the idea.
There is also the notion--and I'm thinking this as I write--that our brains are physical too. Eric Barker says that when we learn, our brain structure actually changes. We are constantly forging new pathways and new neural connections--that is, if we continue to learn. If we stay stuck in our patterns of thinking, the rut keeps getting deeper. I think some people have a hard time changing because they have invested so much into one way of thinking. They don't want to lose all that effort they put into building the structure, even if it doesn't work.
So, anyway, I had dinner, and finished reading my article, and had a little chair nap. I then brushed my teeth and had my shower, and then what. I wasn't feeling particularly feminine or playful or girly, but our of habit, I put on a pair of panties and a bra, and then I thought maybe I'll wear my new metallic pants but with a red VS top, then my fake pearl necklaces and bracelet. That is what I'm wearing now. So, how does that change my thinking and my mood? Tonight, not too much. Other times, a whole different personality. Usually, I feel different depending on what I'm wearing whether it be a sharp men's suit or a dress. Brain change--maybe. Basically, at this time of the day, I just put on whatever, because I can. My boss told me to de-AFLAC over the weekend, so that's what I'm doing.
But, getting back to who we are. Some say that we are our choices. I think also maybe our values. Maybe we should just be. Zorba says to his English boss. "You think too much." Or as Kipling says, to think and not make thoughts our aim. And with that, enough thinking for the evening. I'll see of there are any other girls to chat with. Bye.
I had a good day. I have been going like mad trying to get my prospecting numbers in for the week, and then having to spend time with my District Sales Coordinator, that I have been a little scattered. So, I pretty much took the day for me to get my parts together. I organized my employer contacts that showed some promise and did some recalls this morning. Nothing major, but I did secure one appointment for my efforts. I also sent out some emails to businesses that I can't reach any other way--I'm not holding my breath on those. But I also sent my former employer, PACE Center for Girls, an email asking them to consider AFLAC. At least here I know the principals. I don't know what will come of it, but it would be a big account if it materialized. Worth a shot. I also reached out to the handyman who did our house remodeling. He and his wife befriended both Sue and me, and he gave his condolences. I hope to see him again soon. I also got dental insurance today from the same carrier I had at PACE. Of all things, I can't get a policy from ALAC--too old. The cutoff is 70. I'm just three weeks shy of 75. Anyway, I have pretty decent coverage again through Metlife which I will need since I'm contemplating an implant in January. I need to keep up with my dental hygiene.
My last thing of the day was to finally finish my credentials for the AFLAC policy writing platform. I have been having a devil of a time getting the software to cooperate, and have spent way too much time talking to tech support and customer service. In the end, I got it to work so now I know how to set up an employer and enroll employees. I passed the test and got my certificate. Whew!
This weekend, I will be planning with my prospecting partner, what areas we will hit. I also have a laundry that is piling up, and I will need to do some ironing. Good old youtube. I'm getting a little better at it. That's it for now. See you later.
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.
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.
I have enjoyed reading everyone's experiences in acknowledging their gender roles--some good, some awkward given the culture we live in. As I have written before, I am content now to be able to wear feminine clothing on my own and feel comfortable doing it. I have to thank the girls at TG Guide for being supportive and empathetic. I believe that if we do nothing else in life, we need to be there for each other. We're all we have, and we're all in this together. I love you all.
On another note, I opened my first business account all by myself today, and do I feel smart. It was a small beauty salon, and fortunately, the owner was a lovely lady who was very patient with me. I go back this Sunday after everyone is out of church to complete the enrollments. This makes three barber shops and now one salon that I have opened. Maybe, I have found my niche. I am going to the speed networking event at the Chamber of Commerce on Monday evening. That should be an experience for sure. More to come on that later.
This was one of those days when I got up an hour earlier than I thought--which was damn early--like 3:40 am. I didn't realize this until a little later after I had given the do gs their breakfast and taken them for their walk and did my exercises. Then I saw it was nearly 5--a more normal time for me. Anyway, I was up, so I made coffee and added to my grocery list and tried to read the digital edition of the Miami Herald. I was not making it so the recliner beckoned for a little chair nap, for which I am famous.
Back up at 7:00 still feeling groggy, I had the rest of my now cold coffee--too lazy to even nuke it-and my breakfast cereal and then off to Walmart. My wife and I had a routine to go to Walmart first and then finish up at Publix. But since I did not have a huge list and I'm trying to watch my budget, i thought I could do it all a Walmart, including a few non-grocery, non-typical items like eye liner, foundation, mascara, and nail polish. ( I need eye shadow too, but I forgot to put it on the list. I have to go out tomorrow anyway.) My wife and I shopped at Walmart at roughly the same time each Saturday for the past 10 years or so, and were acquainted with several staff members and customers as well.
So the first person I see is Deepak, who is the checker at the back of the store by the garden shop. We've known Deepak like forever, and he was a special ed teacher so we would chit-chat about our students and how unruly they sometimes could be. He offered his condolences when I told him of my wife's death, and then went on about not being able to start over at my age. His message seemed to be that I had best carry on until the end--what a bummer! (I didn't tell him that.) I just nodded and made my way down the aisle to the cosmetics department with him tagging along. In my head, I was saying, "No, Deepak, go back to the register. I don't need you now." And, "What do you mean I can't start over when I am transforming myself into Michelle Lea, and I'm free to be me and on my own for the first time in my life! Life is just beginning!" (I don't usually use that many exclamation points, but I feel the are justified under the circumstances).
Well, I was finally set to pick up my make up items when I run into another couple we encountered every week and became friendly with. So, I had to let them know, and then I didn't feel like explaining why I was buying cosmetics when I had no wife. I'm still pretty new at this. I am not confident that the people we knew would understand. I did my other shopping with the intention of going back to cosmetics but that didn't work out. Target, here I come. In the end, I did get most of what I wanted and was planning on prettying up tonight for a chat with the girls. But I'm now feeling a little under the weather and just want to go to bed early and try again tomorrow.
But, I did get the lawn mowed, despite frequent showers,and I did visit my neighbor who just had hernia surgery and is a hurting piece of gear and I did finallay catch up with my brother who lives outside of Austin, TX, to see if he and his family are okay after Harvey made landfall.
I did get my toenails polished, not the fingernails yet. One of the shades I bought is almost a non-color and hardly worth the effort. I feel naked now if my toenails aren't polished. I have girly flip-flops I wear around the house. And so there it is for now. Later.
I attended my first "Chamber Chat" s yesterday morning. I was held at a local Jewish Center for disabled children, and about 40 people showed up--a decent number in my estimation. As expected, everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and I was able to visit at some length with at least six. I did meet a few more in passing. This is just one of the events that take place o a monthly basis, and I think it will not only eventually be good for my business, I think it will be good for me personally to be a little more social. On the suggestion of one of my fellow agents, I have been reading Endless Referrals by Bob Burg where I got the idea to join the Chamber in the first place. His approach is very low-key. Be interested in the other person and let them do the talking. Then follow up with a personalized thank you note which offers to refer business their way as able. I think this is the rapport building phase. It will take time, but I enjoyed the gathering. BTW, one of the members gave a tour of their facility. JAFCO is doing amazing work with disabled children and their families. I was impressed.
On the other hand, my neighbor, Chris, invited me over tonight as I was out walking my dogs. He does invite me from time to time, and I was tempted to stop in for a few minutes. But it turned out to be a HUGE gathering, and I chickened out at the last minute. I am not feeling that great tonight, and besides, I think I would be a little overwhelmed and out of place. I don't think I'll be missed. And with that, I am going to take my two puppies and go to bed. And to all a good night!
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.
Here are some more tales from your blogging road warrior. Anyone who has been in sales knows that it is a roller coaster with highs and lows coming almost hourly. This week was no different.
I started early Monday morning before our 9:00 meeting and set one appointment right away. It was to be my last of the week. I struggled Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday doing follow-ups and breaking new territory--for me anyway. Nada. I can't say it was a total loss because I did uncover some promising businesses that will warrant a call back next week. But for the most part, it was heavy slogging either not being able to see the decision maker, or getting a flat out no, or finding out that the company already had AFLAC or a competitor. (Note: We don't replace existing policies. We provide coverage where none exists) So it was a matter of carrying on believing that it would work out eventually.
As I mentioned previously, I had four appointments on Thursday to open accounts. The first one went very well, and the owner we dealt with ending up buying just about every policy we presented to her. Unfortunately, her husband was not present. More on that later. The next stop, not quite as well. Our owner here is getting married this month and has a lot on her mind besides opening an account with AFLAC. Still my District Service Coordinator (DSC) persevered and we did establish a group for the company. Enrollments will wait until the middle of December, after the wedding. Our next one required some more deliberation and consultation with outside partners, so no group set up. I think it will still fly eventually. And there was a glitch in our last meeting in that Rich (DSC) had arranged for a Spanish speaker to give a presentation to employees of a pre-school, but he bailed at the last moment, and no replacement was available. Addtionally, the owner of the pre-school was not available so we wouldn't be able to move forward anyway. We'll reschedule. Rich does not have high hopes for this one. We met with one other potential client later that afternoon, however, and that shows some promise.
So, here it is Friday morning, and Rich is up early and wants to meet me to wrap up the first client. Our owner, Sophia, is a real gem. She is sharp and a straight shooter. But, the husband wanted to be involved, so we had to wait for him to show up which took most of the morning. Rich had to re-sell everything again, but in the end it was a go with two polices yet to be decided. It was still a good sale, especially for a small company, and the owners made smart choices on their coverage. Rich and I came back to my house to work on the computer. We finally got the other employees enrolled and the account was transmitted to AFLAC. It was a little messy, but we got her done. Rich says you always remember the first one. So it ended well, and I'll get a nice commission check by Tuesday plus an additional $150 bonus for making my fast start level and I also get free business cards now. Now that was fun. I have an ambitious goal to open 10 new accounts by the end of the year. With what I have in the pipeline, that is not out of the question. We'll see. I don't want to get overly excited or optimistic, but I also want to enjoy the moment. I did work for it after all.
More and more, I think my involvement with TG Guide is going to be right here. As I have previously alluded to, the chatroom has gotten to be more of a chore for me. I hate to say that and maybe I'm being selfish, but the conversations have gotten so repetitive, and sometimes it's difficult to even get anyone to say anything. I still like to dress, and I am glad there are places where you can go and be yourself, but it's not where my head is at right now. I don't need to be told what I need to do to be feminine. I can do that well on my own, thank you. What I would like is stimulating conversation on a variety of topics. Not really into tweeting though; that seems to get nasty at times. So I'll just hang out here. This works for me Until next time...