Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Fun

It's the peak of Summer so I want to wear something fun. A tulle skirt fills that bill. I'm adding a cute top I picked up for a song. What do you think of the ensemble?

P.S., Here's another secret about my life. When most women come home, they kick off their heels. When I arrive home, I *put on* my heels. I wear them around the house because I enjoy how they make me feel -- putting me in touch with my feminine side. I may be the only woman who relaxes, cooks and cleans in high heels but that's okay, because "there's no wrong way to be a woman."

(I love that phrase; it's the tagline of a video which encourages acceptance of diversity.)















Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Improve Salad With Croutons

I've discovered a magical salad ingredient -- croutons. In some mysterious way, croutons make salads better. It's probably because they add texture and crunch.

I buy bags of croutons and recently wondered why I pay a lot of money for something I could probably make myself. Plus, since croutons are often seasoned, why not add your own favorite spices instead? So I set out to learn how to make croutons. Turns out, it's easy!

Just take some old bread, cut it up into cubes, put the pieces in a large bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and any spices you like. Conventional recipes suggest salt and pepper. I use Old Bay Seasoning. (I did a post on Old Bay Seasoning two years ago; it's delicious!)

Put the seasoned cubes on a tray (I use aluminum foil to ease clean-up) and pop into a pre-heated oven. Fifteen minutes of 400-degree heat. Then let cool.

And they're done! The process couldn't be simpler. The croutons are tasty and cost practically nothing, much better than spending $5 for a bag of bland ones. Warning -- like freshly-baked cookies, homemade croutons right out of the oven smell irresistible; if you start nibbling, you'll lose half a batch before you realize it. They make an amazing snack.

Here are pics of the three-step process for croutons I made tonight...











Saturday, July 22, 2017

Secrets


We're friends, aren't we? Friends confide in each other. I'm gonna tell you a secret and, if you want, you can reveal one of yours.

It's public knowledge that I'm transgender. It's also been publicly disclosed that when I was six years old I wrapped a bath-towel around my body and pretended it was a dress. An essay revealed that when I was ten years old I bought a pair of tan pantyhose which I hid in an empty coffee-can and buried in our backyard. Everyone knows these things about me.

You also know I've been actively buying women's clothes during the past decade.

My secret... and this is something nobody knows until now... is that on the many shopping expeditions in my life, I never tried on women's clothing in a store dressing-room until two weeks ago when I went thrifting with Suzanne and Patti. That was the first (and only) time I've done it.

Honestly, this is something I never thought I'd have the courage to do. It's a PUBLIC violation of gender rules, particularly conspicuous since most stores -- including the one we visited -- have an employee guarding the dressing room to check items you bring in. I've also always worried about disturbing other female shoppers who might be discomforted at the sight of me. Would it upset you to see a "man" taking women's clothing into a dressing room? (Addendum: As noted in my response to Elle's comment below, these were private, single-person dressing rooms, not a communal room; I respect and would never intrude on other women's privacy.)

Credit for my first experience doing this belongs to Suzanne. Suzanne not only suggested I do this, she implied she expected me to. Suzanne made me confront my fear and, at the same time, she reassured me with her presence. If you've ever met Suzanne in person, you know she radiates power. (See above picture.) I knew she'd have my back if trouble arose. With her support, I felt strong enough to break a new personal barrier.

Thank you, Suzanne!

And now tell me one of your secrets!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Beach

I left work early today and went to the beach. It was relaxing and fun. Best of all, there were kites! The most amazing kites. I've never seen such creations flying in the wind. Aren't they cool?























Thursday, July 20, 2017

Growing Through Mistakes

I have immense respect for women. One reason is their effort to look attractive. It takes skill and hard work to fashion an appealing look. Men have no idea how hard that is.

Learning how to select and wear women's clothing has been a journey for me, full of mistakes and poor choices. I was initially embarrassed by my errors but I've come to embrace them. In all areas of growth, mistakes can teach us, bad decisions can be fixed. Your feedback has explained to me what I did wrong, how I can improve and what to do better next time. The education has enabled me to make smarter choices in my appearance.

 So I no longer worry about making a fool of myself. Mistakes are a price I'm willing to pay for growth.

Here's a glamorous gown I thrifted for a small sum, less than the cost of lunch. I gave it my best shot. Thoughts?















Monday, July 17, 2017

Arizona

I went to Tucson this weekend and it was hot. 107 degrees hot.

The Arizona desert is surrounded by mountains and has a unique beauty. You expect the place to be barren but there's plenty of animal and plant life surviving the harsh environment. Here are some pics.

Have you ever been to a desert?























Saturday, July 15, 2017

Another View

Suzanne's write-up of my visit last week is fun and informative -- like her!

Check it out.   Click here

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Final Photos

At the risk of inducing Toronto Fatigue, here are the final photos taken last Saturday.
(Makeup by Suzanne; photography by Suzanne)



















Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sharing Photos


Everyone has a camera on them these days (in their phones) so, when you meet up with friends, you end up with multiple portfolios of the encounter. Which is great until you face how to share pictures with each other. E-mail has limited volume and old-school methods (like snail-mail) are too slow.

The resourceful Suzanne taught me something new and useful -- cloud computing. There are Internet sites where you can store your pictures and then simply give your friends access to them. We're using one called Dropbox and it's free.

The pic above is my favorite one of our visit. We asked a stranger to snap it with Suzanne's phone. Getting access to her photos amplifies my joy in recalling our fun time together.

Isn't it a great picture?!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Toronto Outfits

One of the fun things we did up in Toronto was play dress-up. After dinner Saturday night, we retired to Suzanne's comfortable house where we tried on clothes, laughed and took pictures. Suzanne, being naturally bossy, took the helm as Woman In Charge (WIC). The WIC applied my makeup -- marvelously! -- and did photography for both Patti and me. Suzanne has good photographic equipment, interestiong picture-backgrounds and superb skills.

Against my wishes, the WIC coaxed me into wearing clothes I didn't think would flatter me. I was wrong. She was right. I'm honest enough to concede this.

I wore three outfits. Here's the first. Thoughts?















Saturday, July 8, 2017

An Honor To Be Included


Before my trip, I already knew that Suzanne and Patti are wonderful women. I've had many pleasant experiences with them, in New York and Vancouver, and count them as friends. During our joyful evening together last night, something deeper occurred to me. These wonderful friends accept me as a woman. In real ways.

Not only do they call me by my real name and notably use female pronouns but they include me in their female conversation and activities. We confide, we gossip, and we made plans to go thrift-store shopping today with high tea afterward. These gals are conscious of my struggles and compassionate toward them. For instance, they asked whether and how I can try on female clothing when shopping and if I'm comfortable taking pictures of our haul. Suzanne and Patti are naturally intuitive, entertainingly expressive and impressively communicative.

Wow. I can't describe how good this makes me feel. It's like I've been in the desert my whole life and now I see an oasis, hoping it's not an illusion. Being among these women is an honor. And I mean that seriously; it's not hyperbole.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Toronto Adventure


I'm heading up to Canada tomorrow morning. I'm visiting the lovely Suzanne who lives in Toronto. Joining us from Florida is stylish Patti.

The three of us met there last year and had a ball. These gals are fun and playful. I enjoy their company immensely. Here are some pics from last year's trip.