Friday, December 21, 2012

How can you can tell it's not summertime?

If it were, this Ocean City beach on Maryland's Eastern Shore would be teeming with sun-worshippers!  Today, just yards from the end of the "boardwalk," there isn't a human in sight!

This December day wasn't really all that cold or the low 50's.  A great day for a short overnight autumn break at the seashore - off season rates are very favorable.  We chose to "not" go beach-walking this visit...there just wasn't time before checking into the hotel and an early dinner appointment.  For that, I was glad...the first time (several years ago) that we took an impromptu walk on the beach in late fall,  it was fun, walking and talking, hand-in-hand.  But, it's impossible to keep sand out of your shoes on a beach! After shaking the sand out,  and putting my shoes back on, I realized that I was going to have to enjoy the sand for a while longer...a fair amount had worked its way inside my pantyhose, and it wasn't coming out!   But this trip, I was OK with passing up the   beachwalking!

Where are all the people?

When I checked us into the hotel, we were addressed as "ladies" and I was "Ma'am." And at dinner, the girl who was our server was a real sweeetheart - "ladies" was the word of the day.  We had a great meal, and she got a bigger tip than we usually leave. And it was "ladies" at the tram for the huge holiday light display...which was very nice!  This time I didn't have to drive and miss all the fun...

Theme for the holiday light display was "The 12 days of Christmas."  Here you see the maids a-milking.  Kids were everywhere, and having a good time. 

That's the Atlantic Ocean behind me...   

A few minutes before taking this picture, I waved to the good folks across the pond in the UK, since the haze hadn't set in yet...  Bet nobody saw me!

No, it's not a sunset...

I have a "thing" for colorful sunrises and sunsets.  This is a remarkable Atlantic sunrise from Maryland's Eastern Shore...   I was very comfortable, sitting out on the balcony of our room on the 8th floor of the hotel, wearing my ballerinas, one of my housedresses and a heavy jacket, watching the majesty in the eastern sky unfold, from a thin line of color on the horizon, to a technicolor masterpiece, while enjoying the wonderfully soothing sounds of the surf. 

Definitely one of the vacation mornings I look forward to!

Because of the upcoming holidays, this may be my last 2012 post.  To everyone who reads this, I send my best wishes for a very Happy Holiday Season, and a Happy New Year....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A cute charity shop find....

Following are a couple pictures of my newest Charity Shop find...a cute lightweight denim skirt, for the princely sum of $2.36!  I couldn't pass it up....particularly since I need to add another cue as to my femininity.

I pulled the skirt on over my stirrups for these pictures... fall, wintertime and early spring typically aren't typically short skirt season.  So, for the time being, I can wear it over my stirrups.   Before I retired, some of the girls at work wore similar outfits to work, and they looked very nice.  I realize the outfit would look even better if my skirt were worn over heavy tights.  And if I end up in skirts and dresses next November, that'll be the only way I CAN wear it!

When the weather breaks in the spring, it would look great over my pantyhose, though it's short enough that I''d better be wearing panties too, if I plan to sit down. You may recall that panties are a bit of a problem right now, since the doctor said I should only wear pantyhose, not panties.  The better half donated all of mine except for two pairs (one black and one white),  and a pair of the appropriate color autmatically appears on pedicure or car show days.   Time will tell what happens, but this won't become an issue till the weather warms up next spring.  That's still a long way off...

My new skirt even has an unexpected (and appreciated)  benefit...side pockets!  That's perfect for traveling - a place for a hotel room key, car keys, and some paper money, a credit card, or my ID. Funny how things have come full circle...I gave up all my pants with pockets, but find all the skirts I have now are equipped with pockets -small, but pockets nonetheless!  Is wearing skirts how I'll gain access to pockets again?   That would be so ironic...

 A girly little denim skirt!   From the rear, my stirrups look almost like leggings.  Notice my acrylic French nails... they're very feminine, and as you can see, impossible to hide!

From the front, my stirrups and ballerinas are noticeable.  But it's the same type of outfit girls at work wore to the office last winter....

A couple days ago, the better half mentioned  that my supply of pantyhose is getting low, and suggested that I order some more, since holiday sales are in progress.  But she reminded me to only order nude or taupe more dark pantyhose.  I ordered them online, as usual, then left the printed order confirmation sitting on my desk so she could see that my purchase was all taupe, not dark.

Later on, she noticed the confirmation and thanked me for taking care of that.  "Since pantyhose from the store don't fit you right, and you only own two pair of panties, you sure don't want to run out!   And now that ballerinas are your go-to footwear, light-colored nylons maximize their visibility."

She's certainly right about my wearing ballerinas every day.  A look at my current shoe wardrobe reveals multiple pairs of women's flat open-toe sandals in various colors, two pairs of summery tan "fisherman style" sandals, and two pairs of clog slides (which don't work well with stirrups but will be fine with my skirts.)  Also, there's a pair of low heel booties for winter, two pairs of slip-on and one pair of lace-up women's Keds, plus the driving shoes (which have subsequently developed a problem, so I quit wearing them.)   Keds are only for messy days or tasks - like yard work or the mornings of car shows - since they can be thrown in the washer.   All my other shoes are gone, so ballerinas are really my only choice.

And it seems that they're a non-issue, wherever I go.  Very encouraging!  Whenever I'm near a womens' shoe shop, I check out their inventory, to try to find another pair in a different style, that fits as well as these.  That's proving to be tough....I can find some cute ones, but they don't fit right!  One of these days, I'll hopefully succeed!
In my last visit to the Dermatologist, she gave me some medication for the skin issues on my face, which she advised may cause temporary redness as a side effect, wherever it's applied.  Turns out,  she's does.  So I called her office to ask if anything can be done about the redness.  The assistant, who said she remembered me from my recent visits,  told me that most women just wear a heavier concealer under their foundation and powder.  "That'll be the easiest thing for you, Ma'am, even when you don't want to get fancy with your lipstick, blusher and eye makeup.  That shouldn't be a problem for you, right Ma'am?"  "No, it's not a problem at all, Miss, thanks!"  I guess I should have thought of that...but at least it's the approved way to deal with redness.  So now I'll be wearing some makeup every day.  And that's one more advanced feminine cue for me.

And since the better half noticed the redness, she's fine with my using makeup as a cover-up for it Yes, it was a new experience  for me that first morning, applying my makeup at my sink, while she quickly washed her hands and face, brushed her teeth and then moved on,  "Welcome to the wonderful world of makeup, dear.  You're probably having fun with it today.   But eventually the novelty will wear off for you, and you''ll see it as a chore.  That's why I no longer wear makeup...    I do miss the fragrance of the powder, though.  Since you now have to wear makeup, you're the one who'll smell pretty, and I get to enjoy it, without all the work!  Don't be too long, dear - see you in the kitchen!" 

Guess the shoe is on the other foot now...wonder if (or when) it will become a high heel?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Miss-identified again....

I was at the nursing home visiting Mother, and had an unusual (for that venue) thing happen.  Though admittedly, this type of thing seems to be occurring more often lately.  And I'm not complaining...

It was Mom's bath day, and her regular aide was not on duty.  The temporary aide was Sam (a guy.)   Mom objected to taking a bath and refused to go, which the nurses later told me, has happened before.  When I arrived, I stepped unknowingly into the fray.  Mom confessed that she had refused her bath - didn't want one today.  I knew there was a problem at that point, just didn't know for sure what it was.  So I made a visit to the nurses' station, where they relayed what they thought the problem was: presumably because the aide was male.  I understand that issue completely.  I agreed that it may well be the reason, and suggested getting one of the girls to help out. 

So I went back to Mom's room, and we were chatting when the male aide came in.  He asked me if I could join them in the shower room, so so that there would be another woman present.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  This was just like the Dermatologist's office, when the clerk handed me the key to the women's room!  (See prior blog "Down the hall, then turn at the first hallway and..." )  Miss-identified again, with no makeup, lipstick, earrings, other jewelry, perfume - nothing other than my normal long hair, nails, stirrups, top and ballerinas.   Fortunately Mom is hard of hearing, thus she didn't hear a bit of all this.

Unfortunately, I had no camera, thus there is no picture.  However, you can look back at my earlier blog "At last!  Feminine Shoes all day, every day... " to see a recent picture taken at the nursing home.  That's exactly how I looked - ironically enough, the very same outfit!

With no time to ponder different approaches (and in 20-20 hindsight, there were at least one or two), I gently and quietly mentioned to Sam that unfortunately, it wouldn't work too well.  "Because regardless of how I'm dressed, I'm her son."  And, I asked:  "Perhaps one of the girls could help you out?"

Sam must be the only staffer there who didn't know - many staffers simply address me by first name to eliminate any need for gender-specific Sir or Ma'am.  (The few elderly residents I talk to - including Mom's roommate - mostly just address me as Ma'am, and that's fine.)  Fortunately he didn't appear to be embarrassed - probably not the first time he's seen or encountered a crossdresser - and he left to go seek help for the task.  As it turned out, one of the girls showed up about 15 minutes later, just as I was leaving, to take Mom to the shower, and she accepted that willingly.

Who knows what the current gossip is about me around the nursing home?  I guess that as long as they take good care of Mom, (and they do) I really don't care!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A look at my purses...

In response to a question by one of my readers, here are some pictures of the purses I carry nowadays.   And to think, it all began with a fanny pack "back in the day."  And I carried purses for many years, even in drab.

It took a bit of adjusting before I retired, getting used to the fact that I no longer owned any pants with pockets.  And that meant I had to start wearing my stirrups and capri pants to work for the last few months.  Fortunately the girls loved - and encouraged - it.  But that's another story...

Breaking myself of the old habit of reaching into my non-existent pocket for my car keys, or for loose change, took a while.  But now I instinctively reach for my purse, and much prefer "my life without pockets".  Purses make a big improvement, something that women have known about for years.  It's wonderful to no longer be required to deal with that huge chunk of leather and plastic that men call a wallet.  Not do I have to worry about bulging pockets from loose change on one side and a huge keyring on the other!

The first purse shown is a Pac-Safe bag, with stainless steel reinforcement wire in the body and handle to minimize the chance of theft and pickpocketing.  I carried this every day (including to work) for years, after some quick ventures out en femme,   At times I even carried this with my briefcase.  No issues whatsoever. 

I tend to still carry this bag on longer excursions, because it has an almost infinite capacity.  (I even have a very small collapsible table tripod which can fit inside, if I'm careful!)  For those of you who "fly pretty," this bag may not be the best choice....    I choose not to fly, so I can't speak from experience,  but  it (with all its internal wires and mesh) might cause heartburn for the X-ray operators at TSA!


The following is a Liz Claiborne bag I picked up for $5 at a charity shop.  It was an emergency purchase, since my above bag broke just before we were leaving town, and I needed a purse since there was no time to get it fixed.  A cheap purse, and pronto.  This one's smaller, and much more feminine, but also much more fun to carry, since it previously was some woman's pride and joy.  Needless to say, it called my name from the rack, and I fell in love with it immediately.

Here is my newest, everyday purse.  It's a Relic brand, bought on sale for about $20 from Kohl's...guess I'm a Kohl girl now!   It goes with everything, and has a bit more capacity than the Liz Claiborne bag.  Here's a picture of me carrying it, from one of my summer excursions,  The clips were added to the handle attachments, to provide a convenient place to clip my key ring.


There's really no reason to delay - get yourself a purse and be comfortable.  Once you get used to the comfort and convenience, you won't want to be without one!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Out and about again today!

Today was another visit to the Dermatologist, and I knew that I wanted to be as femme as possible while still wearing pants.  So I brought out my new, triple blade razor to try to get the beard under control.  A late shave, and some basic makeup (with lipstick applied in the car), and a hot pink button-down tunic top set the mood for the day. 

I had a number of errands to run enroute to the doctor's office.  First was a visit to the bank.  The  female teller noticed, and wanted to know all about, my nails...fortunately she was gabbing with me  when there was no line! And from the nature of the discussion, she presumed that I was a woman:  (...How long have you worn them?   Can you get them in colors?  Do you paint over them when you want to change your color?  And so on.)  Was it my nails, my lipstick or my blouse that was the cue?

Next on my agenda was the grocery mega-store.  After finding the items I needed,  I was Miss-identified again at check out,  Feeling rather pleased with the performance of my new triple blade razor and "the same old makeup I've been using all along," I moved on to Office Depot.  There, several clerks addressed me as Ma'am while helping me locate the needed items.  Bingo...Miss-identified at 3 out of 3 locations!  Next was the gas station...the pump was automated and it didn't care at all about my gender!

But afterward I had to stop for lunch.  Went into a Subway, and was greeted with absolutely no gender specific pronouns at all.  Not one!  At least that was an improvement over the "sir" I usually get at Subways. The place was very busy at this late lunchtime - the only remaining table was back near the restrooms, behind an elderly couple sitting there. They were minding their own business as I walked by.

After I finished my meal, I decided to use the restroom, since waiting till I got to the Doctor's office just wasn't going to work this time.  I chose to use the men's room as an experiment, to see if the woman (whose line of sight I was in) would try to warn me that I was going to the "wrong one."   They really must have been oblivious to the world - nothing whatsoever was said!  Oh, is what it is.

On to the Dermatologist.  Enroute, in spectacularly sunny 70-degree-plus temperatures (72 on the car thermometer), I found listening to holiday music on the radio to be a bit disconcerting - how can it be the holidays, when wearing a tank top, short skirt and flip flops would be totally appropriate?  (And several girls actually were so attired.)  Reminds me of the days from my youth, when, living in the San Francisco area at the time, it was possible to enjoy a pool party on New Years Day, in similar temperatures, among trees and shrubs with foliage on them.  I couldn't get used to it....and while I don't require "a white Christmas" in order to be happy, it's nice to have 4 distinct seasons!

Before going in to the Doctor's office, I snapped a picture:

Once at the desk, no gender-specific pronouns were used by the staff when addressing me.  It was a shame that it had been necessary to use the toilet at Subway!   I had a different doctor this time, who knew me from visits prior to the last one.  After our greetngs, she asked what scent I was wearing.  My reply was that it was Navy, and she thought it was very pretty, a good choice for me.  Then she commented on my smooth, almost hairless arms.  So I told her about my having had them lasered years ago.  She thought it worked very well...

Since they now do laser at her office, I asked about my face.  She couldn't see much because of my makeup (and removed a little to get a closer look), but thought with as much as 40-50 percent black hair it still would be helpful, to remove the black quickly and leave only the gray.  Unfortunately, right now that expense isn't financially in the cards...but a good close shave with this new razor is performing much better than I had expected.  After shaving at 9:30 AM, there was no stubble visible by 3:30, could just feel a little roughness.  With some really good beard cover,  9 to 12 hours without a glimpse of my beard might be a possibility.  Not enough to "fly pretty," but enough for a bit more confidence that my beard won't show in normal activities.

We completed the visit in short order, and I was on my way home, after a very successful day!