Thursday, April 2, 2020



Becoming visible requires getting dressed and going out and about, or posting something new on the internet. With “the virus” wrecking lives, careers and families, my greatest goal for the day was to stay home with my wife and avoid anything which might lead to catching the virus. So I have to settle for the internet.

Today my wife had to make a grocery run for a large order…I have been doing the small “milk and bread orders” as needed. The grocery store has senior hours where they try to keep the younger folks at bay to avoid cross pollution.

My hair is in need of some color…but the hair salons are closed. And my gel-coated nails need a fill and a trim…but the nail salons are closed. Fortunately…my nails are light pink. I have been keeping them relatively invisible with a light filing at the place where they grow out, and some very light pink polish. But they are getting long. I wore them longer than this several years back, but since the salons won’t likely re-open till May, they may get a lot longer. Since they look OK , I don’t plan to do anything to them unless I have to. (Despite their negative impact on my typing…)

I wonder if they’ll end up this long again:

Note that the French Tip color was white, and the nail tech made its length appear less than the free growth area, to reduce the “apparent length” of my nails. She thought long nails looked elegant, and wanted my hands to always look their best. They did…and I often got compliments on them “as a lady,” even in androgynous (translation; everyday) mode.

But, as ladies with long nails find out, having pretty nails come with limitations. No, one of them was not breakage. More specifically, movement limitations. As in; typing, pushing buttons, opening car doors, picking up things from the floor, being careful inserting contact lenses, etc. I had to work to avoid doing damage to them (or myself) in everyday life. And strangely enough, my wife never complained about them back then. (That came later…)

I doubt they'll get as long as in the above picture – that took several months to achieve. And they currently are not the French style, But with the virus keeping salons closed for at least the next month, they will get quite a bit longer…and probably not look as nice!

No problem!


Monday, March 30, 2020

Advice needed!

I have several different color jumper dresses,  like the one below, which I wear with turtleneck blouses around the house with my wife's approval, and out in the yard provided it isn't an all-day project which keeps me out there.  But I haven't tried wearing the outfits on a Mandy excursion yet.  I need some advice as to "do outfits like this look OK for all-day wear, while traveling?"

Interestingly, the above picture taken 3.29.20 seems to confirm what I've seen in the breasts seem to be growing, even though the scale says I've lost a little weight.  You can see a dark area above each breast in the above picture, from a little bit of protrusion.  It's more noticeable in the mirror each morning than here.  But i guess it means that one of these days, I should seek to be professionally measured for a properly-sized bra.  

The doctor mentioned breast growth as a possibility a while back, so i wouldn't be surprised if it happens as a side effect of one of my meds.  (No, I'm NOT on HRT.)   I didn''t outwardly cheer, but I wanted to.    I couldn't be so lucky as to need an A-cup bra! 

A rear-view of the 3/29/20 outfit, above:

Below is my holiday outfit, taken several years ago.  Barefoot of course, as I typically am around the house:

Would any of you be willing to hazard an opinion as to whether outfits like these look attractive enough to actually wear on some of my trips?   (With sandals or ballet flats, of course.)   It would give me so many more options in my wardrobe, and laundry wouldn't be an issue as they are already laundered regularly at home.

Thanks in advance, girls...


Sunday, March 29, 2020


We live on the Delmarva, where, unlike Washington DC/Baltimore areas and their suburbs, there are only a few cases of the new virus. And public schools throughout Maryland are all closed until the end of April. Out of an abundance of caution, we're following the published rules of social distancing, and only going out for visits to the grocery store and pharmacy. (Needless to say, the gasoline bills have shrunk significantly.) Mom's nursing home is locked down, thus no visiting. Fortunately they have had no cases of the virus thus far. 

Walking around the neighborhood for exercise is permissible if we maintain the required separation, and we have done that a few times. Anything to alleviate the boredom...the telly isn't all that much help! Too much coverage of the virus...there IS other news! And home shopping doesn't help much, either.

As for Mandy, there hasn't been any Mandy time lately, and with the virus lurking out there in the wings, there simply aren't any excursions in the planning stages, nor any safe excursions to plan for. A trip to TN to see the kids is certainly on our to-do list, and I hope it can be taken in the near future. But cases are increasing rapidly there (a nursing home near Nashville was just evacuated due to the virus), and we will take no chances until the all-clear is given for MD, VA and TN. We don't need to get stuck in quarantine for 14 days when we cross state lines, when we arrive there, or when we get home.

My posting may be less frequent till things start to ease up, so please bear with me...

To all my readers: please follow all instructions given. By all means, be safe - and well!



Sunday, March 15, 2020

What is it with Toilet Paper?


For some time we've been planning a trip to visit our son, DIL, granddaughter and the in-laws in TN.  Were to leave this morning (Sunday.)  

Late last night, we got a call from our daughter-in-law in, who advised us they just found out that Saturday at work, her dad came into contact with an individual who is symptomatic and is likely at the very least COVID-19 positive.   The whole family - including herself, our son and granddaughter, her parents, and her brother who is visiting - faces possible quarantine, and if we go, we would be included.   

Since we'd be 'camping' alone in their partially finished "new" old house (fortunately finished kitchen, bathroom, HVAC and full electricity,  but minimal furniture and no TV or internet), we decided with much sadness and regret, it's "game over. - trip postponed for now."  We are both over that age which would expose ourselves to added risk. :-(   So we'll be staying home, and FaceTime them instead.  At least, till things improve.  Someday soon?   Hopefully. (But we're far from confident about that.)

However, we had earlier received a call from them, that all stores in their town are out of soft goods such as tissues and toilet paper. Tissues? Those I can sort of understand, since they're not terribly useful unless one is sick. But TOILET PAPER? Same thing occurs whenever snow is forecast - even as occasional flurries with no accumulation. At that point, the hot items are "milk, bread and toilet paper." 

As perishables, milk and bread are sort of understandable. Even we don't keep a huge supply of milk on hand. (Bread - well, yes, in the freezer.) But, once again, TOILET PAPER? Is it universal that nobody buys toilet paper till using the last 4 sheets of their last roll? And that the mere forecast of three flakes of snow is enough to cause folks to clean out every roll in every store within 50 miles?

While we don't need any soft goods (had purchased TP and tissues ahead, to take some to the kids anyway, which is now added to our usable inventory), I checked while at the store, to see that the stocks of milk and bread were still fine. I did manage to buy some other perishables to restock our supply at the house. (Apparently ice cream and prepared dinners are the other hot items, as their supply on both was down. But don't need them, either.)

Here's what I found in the soft goods aisle of our favorite store in a nearby town;

Basically, if you need anything except rolls of paper towels, you're out of luck. Good thing our supply is adequate for a while!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Couldn't resist the opportunity...


. make a solo trip to  Hagerstown, MD for something the wife had no interest in attending: a display of airplanes at the Hagerstown Aviation Museum.   Many of the planes on display were actually built in Hagerstown – by Fairchild, before they closed the plant there in 1984.

Some of the planes built there are ones you might recognize:  the C-119 “Flying Boxcar,” the F-27 small passenger plane (under license from Fokker/Hiller), and the A-10 “Warthog” (which is still in use by the US Military today, thus they don’t have one to display.)  Below is a picture of the elderly C-119, which was open for inspection. 

Interestingly, even though I was wearing my black skirt, I was able to climb up the ladder into the cockpit of the C0119.  (However, it seemed soldiers of that era were obviously in better shape than many of the visitors…LOL!)  

I had sufficient foresight to be wearing a pair of black “short shorts” underneath my skirt (since I left from home).  To anyone looking up as I climbed the ladder, it would present as the “shorts under a skort.”  So I didn’t have to miss a chance to sit in the pilot’s seat!   (My visit coincided with the departure of Allegiant Airline’s 737 from the airport.  And I got a pic!)  

Not sure who, if anybody (there was nobody in line behind me  at that point) thought they’d sneak a peek! But had they tried, they would have been disappointed.  I was a bit surprised at the relative simplicity of the instrumentation, compared to more modern aircraft.

Almost the whole time I was at the airport, I was either addressed as “Ma’am,” or without a gender specific greeting.   Except when some 20something guy accidentally bumped me and said “excuse me, sir.”   I’m not sure what brought that on, because as the day progressed, it was the only instance of hearing “Sir.”   Maybe he was just trying to be mean?

The most amazing thing on the whole trip happened as I exited.  I asked a question about a plane of a man in the booth at the exit gate.  He answered my question, and said “you certainly look familiar.  Don’t I know you?”  I had checked his name badge before starting the conversation, just in case.   “I don’t think so…I’m not from the area.”  Discussion went on in this vein for a few more exchanges.  Including his question of whether I work in the governor’s office of a nearby state.  (Which I don’t – I retired almost a decade ago, and not from a job in any state’s governor’s office!)

Finally he came to the conclusion that “Your doppelganger still works there, and she is without a doubt your double!”   I thought to myself – but didn’t say it – “poor girl…I hope she looks better than, not just like, me…”   

Fortunately (or maybe not), this isn’t the first time I’ve heard about my doppelganger.  Years ago, when I was still working, the secretary in my office commuted to work by train with her hubby.  One morning, she asked me if that girl on the train, wearing a dress, heels and full makeup was me, since we looked so much alike.  I couldn’t possibly have been there, based on where I lived at the time, how I got to work, and my arrival time, so my denial was truthful.  But I offered to let them check out my car to put the matter to rest.   Fortunately, they let it drop…though if they had checked, there was nothing in the car to give away my “secret”, and the engine would have been cold, an indication I didn’t just arrive at work at the same time they did.  

Based on those past incidents, I’m quite certain that at least a couple of folks out there somewhere (not sure if they’re guys or gals) look almost exactly like the “female” me!   There have now been too many sightings to dispute it.  (But it also gives me substantial “deniability!”)

Once I finished up with the guy in the booth, I set my GPS for Hagerstown’s City Park, to see if I could find their steam locomotive display.  I had been there years ago, and it was sitting out in the open, vandalized.  (Yes, they have had vandals in Hagerstown.)  In the process of looking for the park, my GPS sent me in circles.   As luck would have it, there was a police officer using radar, and I pulled up behind the cruiser, getting out to ask where I can find the park.  That female officer was very friendly, addressed me properly, and told me how to best get there.  Nice!

And I finally found the train display – behind locked gates.  From afar the locomotive appeared to be in better shape than the last time I saw it.  And they added a few “cabeese” along with a playground for kids, and some artifacts.  It would be nice to come by when it is open.

More later…


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Never had this happen before!

Recently, my wife and I were seated at a diner about 150 miles from home, and the thirty-something female server with VERY short (translation: not feminine at all) hair said “Hi girls…what can I get you to drink?”  We both asked for “just water, please.”  And with that, she took off to get it for us.  I made no attempt to soften my voice, and I was wearing androgynous women’s shorts, flats, and polo top.  She may have seen my purse and nails when I walked in…but I’ll never know.

Then came the absolutely amazing part.

When she returned with our drinks, she apologized profusely for mis-gendering me, and said she simply assumed I was a girl because of “your beautiful long hair.  And I get mistaken for a boy all the time, so I know how that feels.  Once again, I’m so sorry!”   My wife remained silent (though I didn’t notice her blushing or anything like that.)   But I thanked the server for her compliment about my hair, and accepted her apology (though I wasn’t at all offended…LOL!)   She treated us very well the rest of our meal, arranged for an extra big helping of dessert, and we left a nice tip.  

Usually once I’m accepted as a girl, most folks continue that acceptance, even once the revelation strikes them that I’m not what I seem to be.  So this was very unusual…and my wife was also surprised.  (But after it happened, she didn’t mention it again.  Nothing else was said.)

On to the next topic:

During a recent trip through PA, we managed to become prosperous!  As long as that condition can be achieved by visiting Prosperity…a tiny Pennsylvania “burg” by that name.  Not a big town by any means (and it’s halfway between nowhere and nowhere else), but there is still an open post office, and some of the homes are old but very pretty.  A picture of the post office is below:

Legend has it that the name came from the enthusiasm of the original settlers, who were anxious to do well in the future.  So they named their town “Prosperity.”    Can’t say that their plan worked, but the place was far from decrepit, as so many rural communities are. 

I guess it all depends on your interpretation of “prosperity.”

More later…


Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Next Morning...

After a decent night’s rest at the hotel, it was time to check out the part of the Riverwalk which I had not covered the previous day.  On my way to the car with the first load of my things, the man who checked me in the previous day said “Good Morning, Ms. Sherman.”  (I was wearing a different skirt and blouse…  

Of course I responded appropriately, and after the pleasantries, I inquired as to whether anything had been decided as to an adjustment due to their not having my reservation when I checked in (despite my written email proof.)  “We’ll have that info when you check out.” 

So I made another trip to the room, finished loading the car, and checked out.  And found that they had awarded extra points to my frequent traveler account as the mainstay of their “adjustment.”  But in addition, I was surprised when the man offered to “take you to breakfast this morning, on me.”  since their facility does not offer a free continental breakfast  Initially I interpreted it as a nice gesture in an effort to apologize for the mix-up when I checked in.  But I had to move on, and in fact, I’d brought my own breakfast from home. I politely declined.  So he  gave me his card with an offer to make it happen on my next visit… 

That made me begin to wonder…was his breakfast treat an “official part of the hotel’s apology” or was the guy kinda-sorta “making a pass at me and asking for a date?”   That certainly would be a  “first” – but something  in which I have no interest    I can smile just a bit at the mere thought of “it being a pass”, but in reality, I suppose I’ll never know.   And that’s a good thing!  (In the event I end up in town sometime in the future, I’ll most likely use another hotel…especially if I’m with my wife!)

After checking out, I drove to the Riverwalk and parked the car.  It was time to check out the other half of it.   A very pleasant walk…past an empty outdoor beer garden which I had seen from its other entrance the night before when it was open.  It certainly looked different when quiet and lifeless.  

On the Riverwalk was some sort of event center with pub, which catered to the 20-something set, and on a Saturday morning it was booming…with loud modern music “literally booming.”  Young folks were standing around talking, and I was expecting at the very least, stares – or possibly even comments.  No worries…it didn’t happen.  I strolled right on through the crowds, without noticing any “stares or side glances.”  And definitely no comments.  (Yes – sunglasses, even at that early hour – are wonderful!)

And as I looked out along the river, there was a crew out practicing their rowing.   Well, almost all of them…a couple of them seemed to be barking the orders!

In the shadow of the Amtrak station and elevated Northeast Corridor trackage, is the old Baltimore and Ohio station.  A bank took it over, and repurposed it…which is better than seeing history destroyed!  (The road in front was apparently the former right-of-way!)

At that point,, my objectives had been met.  I reversed direction to walk back to my car.  But I took a moment to get a pic to share with you:

It was a fun day…and now I await my next adventure…whenever and wherever it may be!