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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Working in Random thoughts and ideas


    By MichelleLea, posted
    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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  4. Changing up a gear! in CarolineTyler's Blog


    By CarolineTyler, posted
    I can hardly believe that August has come around so soon and wow, things have so moved on.
    My personal relationship with my beautiful partner Ruth has recently reached the maturity of two years engaged and it feels so good to have that special person in my life.
    I got made redundant again in February as the company re-structured and no longer needed my position. As it happens I was about to quit anyway since I had made plans to move to the North of England and come April that has happened. I now live in Bradford within the beautiful county of West Yorkshire, England.
    I own my own house, no mortgage/rent to pay and without that financial load on me I am attempting to work for myself, another major change in my life.

    Happy

    Caroline
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