MichelleLea

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About MichelleLea

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday November 10

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Interests Fashion, art, music--all kinds, mostly classical and contemporary singer-songwriter--psychology, science (physics, biology, astronomy, etc.) politics, philosophy, literature. This business of living.

MichelleLea's Activity

  1. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Dressing
    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.
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  2. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Evening Ritual
    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.
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  3. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Hurry Up and Wait
    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. 
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  4. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Decision time
    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.
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  5. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Dresses
    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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  6. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Putting It All Together
    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.
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  7. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Power Struggle
     
    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.
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  8. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Organizing
    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.
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  9. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    After Irma
    Wednesday, September 13, 2017


     
    After starting out the day in a not very ambitious mood, I ended up accomplishing quite a bit. I did it in my usual fashion as I shall relate.

    I am not one to get things right the first or even the second time, but eventually, I get it together. Such is the case with the storm called Irma that roared through here over the weekend. I did get the generator out on Saturday and ran it for a while using the cable provided to at least keep my refrigerator going. I then put it back in the garage to wait until the major part of the storm had passed. When it had on Monday, I dragged it out again, and ran the cable through my kitchen window to power the fridge and make a cup of coffee. Big deal. I didn’t have a lot of gas, so, I conserved fuel by running the generator intermittently. The house has become quite warm by this time. Still, people did live here in south Florida before air conditioning, so, I thought I would tough it out. I left the house wide open to get whatever breeze there may be—there was virtually none. It was not a restful night.

    Preston barked at every noise, especially if another dog was barking in the neighborhood. In the middle of the night, the living room windows closed with a loud crash. The night finally ended.


     
    On Tuesday, after visiting my friend Dave’s house, I felt I should hook up the generator to my electric panel like we had prepared it to do. With the help of another neighbor, Chris, who worked intermittently as well, I did get that much working. Still no ac. Another, hot, sticky, restless night.


     
    So now it’s Wednesday, the third day after the storm, and I figure I have the portable ac—why am I not hooking it up so we can all get a night’s rest? Why not, indeed? This is easier said than done. It required a major rearranging of my bedroom and the den to do it. (It needed doing anyway.) I had to take apart my bed, move the desk out, reassemble my room, drag the ac out and install it in the window, and get the computer to work in the den. So now it’s done.  I must say that I am happy with the result. We’ll see what kind of trouble I can get into tomorrow.


     
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  10. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Irma--the prelude
    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.

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  11. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry: Shoes and Stockings   

    Thanks for the tips. I'm more casual tonight, but still loving the look.
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  12. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Shoes and Stockings
    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.
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  13. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

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

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

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