Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Brick Wall

I have not posted in a while.  There is nothing exactly new in my gender journey as the shelter at home orders have taken my Tanya time down to zero.  I'm not exactly out to my family.  My wife knows about this side of me and our agreement is that I can keep my stash out of site and dress when she and the kids are not around.  So, yeah, they are around 24 x 7.

Now do not get me wrong, I completely love my family and we are having a mostly lovely time just hanging out with the four of us.  Mostly?  I have two kiddos under the age of 10, so yeah "mostly" applies here.  And I would not trade my family's health for anything; yes anything.

Other than the family being home all the time, my life has not really changed.  I worked from home full-time prior to this COVID-19 stuff and I have very few hobbies outside of the home.  So honestly, this mostly not all the different for me.

I am missing three major things during this COVID-19 brick wall: 1) Dressing, 2) Shopping, 3) Exploring public times.

Dressing : This one is pretty obvious, I have had zero time for dressing in the past seven weeks.  I miss it; clearly.  I've known a few soul sisters who will dress late at night when the family is asleep, but I choose not to.  Between little kids and pets, there are too many risks of things going bump in the night to wake someone up, and so I don't want to risk that.  Although my state is looking to loosen things up, I wonder when I'll have the house to myself for a couple of hours at a time.  I look forward to that - A LOT!!!

Shopping : I would often extend a run to the grocery store with a quick trip into Kohl's department store for a pass through the clearance racks.  That's not happening now and who knows when that will be might return.  The other shopping that I love doing is finding deals on Amazon and having them shipped to an Amazon Locker location.  Since I don't have any "free" time to cruise to the lockers, this shopping is shut down.  And to be honest, with the unknown germ factors out in the wild, that feels on the riskier side of life.  Can you imagine having to explain to the Mrs just how I caught this virus - oh I was picking up a package...

Exploring public times : AKA going out into the world DRESSED!  I had been out three times in 2020 already and was building up some confidence and making the baby steps a bit bigger each time.  Again, there is no telling when scheduling will allow me to get back in to this mode.  I am presently up 10 pounds (thank you delicious bagels!) and I need to reverse course on that to make feel better about how I would present anyway.  I had such high hopes for being out in springtime as I could wear chillier weather clothing to cover up a big more for confidence reasons.  Perhaps I'll need to wait until fall as this chick does not have shaved legs to get out and about in shorts.

I remember the first Sunday after the stay at home stuff started and I was attending my church service from my couch.  My mind briefly drifted to wondering how many soul sisters were attending church all dressed up and presenting like they would love to be doing so in person.  I was thinking how lucky they must be!  As an extension of that, if I were single I'd basically be full-time with the shelter at home orders!  I'm sure it's not that simple or enjoyable.  Living alone at such as a time like this must be incredibly lonely.  My heart goes out to the extraverts and single people who are craving connection to friends and family.

One other random thought I've had with regard to going public right now or in the near future is I wonder if a cute face mask would help one pass any better?  If your hair and eyes were spot on, would this be enough to appear more femme than needing the full face exposed?  This is not a well thought out concept, but a thought my brain has returned to a time or two.

I've been keeping myself occupied by posting additional photos on Flickr from previous photoshoots and asking for suggestions from my friends as to what they want to see more of.  This has been fun and given some new life to the photo archives.  The latest thing that I took a stab at is creating my own YouTube channel.  In the past year or so, I took a video or two with each photoshoot to have eyes on how an outfit looks in motion.  It's been eye opening to be honest - I've found more than a couple outfits which I should never wear in public as my gut shows too much.  In a static pose in the just the right position, you can minimize that - but being in motion shows off any flaws.  I'm NOT posting all of the videos I've taken.

Link to my YouTube channel

For a post about nothing much, I see this one has added up.  I hope this post finds you happy, healthy, well supplied and sane!  I pray that you, your friends and loved ones have not gotten sick nor lost their jobs through these times.

Friday, January 24, 2020

A Last Minute Adventure

I've only been out in public a handful of times in feminine mode.  I added to that this week on a whim.  A WHIM!  Long story short, I picked up some items from Amazon Warehouse and hit the drive through at Starbucks.  On the surface, that's small potatoes.  But when you are a cd/tg/ts/gf/etc anytime you step into the world in the role of your other gender it's a party size bag of potato chips!

And now for the longer version...

On Monday I ordered a purse, four pair of shoes and some pantyhose from Amazon.  All but the hose were from Amazon Warehouse.  I knew the stuff would arrive on Wednesday and that I'd run over there Thursday morning when I'd be home alone.  Wednesday afternoon I got the notification that the items had arrived.  At this point, 18 hours before leaving the house, my brain started churning: "Maybe I should go dressed?"

I cycled through a bunch of different options: a) wear women's clothes but present in guy mode (jeans, basic black top, flats) just push the gender line a bit; b) soccer mom wearing yoga pants, pink workout t-shirt and an athletic zipper jacket with keds; or c) just dart over in guymode and make this fast and easy.

I got to thinking about the fact that when I'm out and about in normal guy mode, every so often I get referred to as a female.  It's usually clerks who don't really look up and based on their peripheral vision they assume I'm a woman.  This always makes my heart leap.  But I know, they just didn't actually look at me as once they do they apologize.  But still, if I give off a hint of femininity, that's a step in the right direction.

And then I got to thinking about the positive feedback I get about my appearance on Flickr in pictures where all I do is put on lipstick & women's frame glasses, brush my hair to the side in a feminine way and wear a tasteful outfit.  Sure, I look much much more convincing with my 15-minute makeup hack job, I know that.

With those two thoughts in mind I decided that I have got to do this: go out in full woman mode, don't have ass this.  This is going to be what, 45-minutes round trip?  Do it!

I woke up Thursday morning still convicted to do it.  I brainstormed the outfit to wear and decided to go for my office worker mode.  I showered, shaved, epilated hands (was overdue), got dressed, and did my makeup.  That's the second time this week (and year) for makeup.  COOL.  I only wore makeup 9 times last year.  I want to improve upon that this year.

I reload my starbucks card so I can use the app so that they can just scan my phone.  I didn't want to pay by cash nor give them a card with my guy name on it.  And it's raining out.  I check the radar and it's gonna be coming down harder in a little while.  Nah, that's not going to stop me

I arrive at the Amazon Locker location which is located at a pretty large fuel station (18 pumps?) with big convenience store.  The locker is located outside and on the side of the building.  The parking spots right in front of the locker are full so I have to park one row away - not what I was hoping for.  I am parked with the back of my car toward the building.  Just as I'm opening my door I see that the car between me and the locker has a guy getting out of his car.  I pause and wait for maybe 15 seconds time thinking it will take him that long to walk inside.

And here I go.  As I am walking to the locker I'm thinking two things: 1) I should be done before that guy comes back and 2) I know there are 4 packages, I'll grab two, take them to the car and come back for the other two.  Best laid plans....y'know?

Well, although I have four different locker codes, once I enter one code the Amazon software is nice and helpful and says "oh hey you have 4 packages..." and proceeds to open one locker and when I close it, it opens the next, and so on.  OK, I need to take them all at once.  Fine fine, I'll make that work.  Oh, did I tell you it's raining out?  Not a drizzle, not a downpour.  I'd have liked an umbrella, but for a short burst of time, it won't matter.
Here's the haul of packages!

As I pull out package #2 I realize I just have to stack these on the ground as I cannot pull them out and hold them at the same time.  No worries, pushing forward.  Somewhere about this time I see the black gentle pop out the side door of the convenience store. I just looked back and pushed through my task.  Now that I have all four packages, time to grab the stack and take them to the car.  This is not a small stack of packages, I can manage it, but did I look remotely feminine doing it?  I doubt it.

With the car loaded and I pull away.  As I pull onto the road I think, ok that's enough I don't need to do Starbucks I should get home.  But, nope, I drive right to Starbucks.  Oh I should say, the locker and Starbucks are located 15 minutes from my house.  That is really closer to home that I'd prefer to be out like this, but I just didn't seem to let that stop me.  Next time, I'll go a bit farther away just for a bit more sense of ease.

During my drive I started trying to talk like how I would when I needed to place my order.  I knew I wanted to speak in a higher tone, but I have never practiced that.  Nothing like 10 minutes of a crash course before going live.  I get to the order menu, I place my order.  She asked me like three times if there is anything else that I wanted - No just my Chai Tea Latte.  And then, "And can I get your name for the order?"  I hesitated and finally said Tanya.  She asked me to repeat it.  I said it again and she hesitated and repeated it back to me.  At this point I noticed that above the mic is a camera - I never paid attention to that at drive-thru's before.  Oh well, it's way too late to back out - full ahead.

I pull forward, get my beverage and as I hold my phone out for the gal to scan the code for my starbucks account I notice above the barcode is my guy name.  Ha - that's my husbands name I think in my head.  The girl didn't read it or say anything - just a thanks and have a nice day.  And I'm off.  Well that wasn't a big deal.  Huh, what did I think it would be a big deal?

As I'm waiting at a stoplight I take notice of a woman in a car ahead.  She's checking her makeup in her mirror and fluffing her hair.  Yes!  I've seen that lots.  And without a second thought, I start doing the same.  It was so natural but until that moment, I never felt relaxed enough in my car to just revel in being me.  Normally I'm nervous trying not to look nervous but still looking around to see if anyone is looking my way.  Enough of that kind of thinking - just be me; just be happy; just act like a woman.

The drive home was uneventful as had the entire drive been thus far.  I took a drink of my latte and now the white plastic lid was adorned with my lipstick.  It's these little moments in our feminine life that can bring such joy.  This may have been the best tasting Chai Tea Latte I've ever had.

As I'm nearing home I realize I have one more hurdle.  In order to get packages out of my trunk I need the garage door to up open.  I had planned to put the packages on the passenger seat to avoid this.  But with the gentleman watching I hit the remote trunk release back at the fuel station and chucked the boxes in the trunk.  My neighbors do not know of this side of me.  I try to be careful to not go outside where they can see me.  But it's 10:00am and there is generally not much going on.  Plus it's raining so my walking neighbors should not be out and about.  I have a look down the block as I drive in and see no activity.  So, I unload the car with my feminine self on full display.

Well I did it!  With less than 24 hours I cooked up the idea of going out and I did it!  I push through every obstacle that came my way.  Admittedly, they were small obstacles but I know in the past I'd have let these derail my execution.  I don't know exactly know what made today different.  I do think that the past 6 months of taking pictures outside on the deck has got me past the fear of getting outside the walls of my house.
Modeling new purse and heels

My takeaways from the morning:

  • I don't need elaborate planning to get out and about.
  • Keep on doing makeup!  It will keep getting better.
  • Start practicing my femme voice - pitch and cadence!
  • Be ready with my name when asked for take out orders - ha!  And say it with confidence.
  • Don't order more than 2 packages from Amazon Warehouse when I'm going to pick up in girl mode!
  • Keep paying attention to woman to build my library of mannerisms.
  • Get a basic small umbrella for my car.
  • Keep practicing using my purse so it becomes more natural.
  • Relish every moment I spend out in the world as ME!
  • Do this again!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Alive and sittin' (and rambling)

Hey Internet, long time/no blog!  What's new with you?  Oh that's pretty cool!

As for me, well it's mostly more of the same.  Here's the latest:

Due to some scheduling changes in my household, I have three mornings home alone.  I know some of you out there would think I'd be going balls to the wall with dressing.  I have been dressing more, but not like every possible minute.  You forget that I'm fairly lazy and some days that applies to not even having the oomph to dress cute.  But I will say that I've been taking decent advantage of the alone time.
Blue mascara?  Why not??

After not taking decent advantage of this alone time for the first few weeks, I've gotten into a decent groove and actually have been trying to incorporate makeup at least once a week.  The thing is, I get a much better shave if I wait 2-3 days so if shave day aligns with other things like life stuff and my job, then it's a makeup day.

I had not bothered with makeup for like a decade.  No makeup other than lipstick that is.  Like any other skill, you just gotta start small and keep practicing.  Something clicked with me and makeup a year or so ago - keep it simple and have extremely low expectations.  That has served me well.  And as such, the handful of times that I've done makeup this year, I've actually enjoyed it.

My makeup organizer
One other thing that has really helped with the makeup is for me to get it organized.  I used to have the stuff in a bunch of little cosmetic bags stuff in a tote.  I never felt like digging through it.  The engineer side of me kicked in one day and I bought an organizer for the makeup.  I love this thing!  I can grab one thing and head to the bathroom to play.

Last week when I wore makeup it took me 17 minutes to apply it.  I was not striving for perfection.  The quality of my front facing camera on my phone is decent enough but is also bad enough to not show my flaws.  Case in point, I do not shave my legs.  I do have lighter color hair and keep it trimmed and with suntan or darker hose, it pretty much does not photograph.  Similarly, as long as I don't do a complete hack job on my makeup, it looks good enough for pictures.

Anyway, like I said, my makeup expectations are pretty low.  I know the basics from having a friend who was an Avon sales lady many years ago (her husband was a crossdresser).  In fact, she hosted a makeup party for handful of us from our Tri-Ess chapter.  I know enough of the basics to get by.  People are pretty complimentary of the results on Flickr which is very sweet, but I know I could do so much better.  I know that the more time I spend, the better I'll get at it.  In fact, the last time I put on eyeliner, I think it was actually pretty decent.  I have a hard time keeping still and steady for that.

The last time I had two classic blunders.  First, for some reason I poked my eye with the mascara.  The result of that was a tearing eye and I had to keep wiping mascara off my lower eyelid.  The second problem was that I decided to wing it and darken my brows.  A year ago I bought this brow kit which has a stencil so you can hold it on your brow and paint the proper shape.  Did I use that?  Nope, I never have.  I just grabbed an applicator and applied some dark stuff.  Well, they were more Groucho Marx than Julia Roberts.  Thank goodness I wear glasses, I think they hid much of that blunder.

That's the other thing about my laziness with this stuff - did I wipe off the brows and start over?  Nope.  It wasn't too horrible, I just left it alone to get outside and take some pics.  They weren't that bad it turns out.

Speaking of taking pics, I take a bunch.  For those of you who do visit my Flickr page I'd like to know if I'm posting too many pics of a given outfit.  I try to limit it to at most 4 public pics and 4 friends only pics.  I only post that many if I'm really happy with that many different poses.  I don't want to wear out my welcome.

The other day my selfie stick was acting up on me.  When I came in I saw video recording.  Apparently, earlier when I started a video and clicked stop, it didn't stop.  So when I clicked start on for a second video it stopped the first.  Then when I thought I was stopping the second video it was starting one.  The second video was total garbage.  The first one is kinda funny so I posted it anyway.  And when I went to pull the pics off the phone, I saw that I had taken some 350 pics.  Really?  Am I that insane with my picture taking?  No, the selfie stick goofed up and shot 280 pics in burst mode.  LOL. 

Breaktime on the deck.  Next time at Starbucks?
There was one very cool thing that happened.  After I came into the house to work for a little while, I decided to pour a cup of coffee, grab my phone and take a break outside on the deck.  You know, dressed up and in makeup.  I cannot believe I've never done this before.  I gotta tell you, it was glorious.  Just me, doing all the same stuff online on my phone, but out on the deck on a cool fall morning.  It was delightful.  In fact, I edited and posted a picture on Flickr while I was out there.  As I was sitting there I realized that not only is this good for my soul, it was good practice for being me out in the world.  I was imagining that I was having this cup of coffee at Starbucks.

With my alone time right now, a goal of mine is to get out into public again.  Ideally, I want to get on makeup and an appropriate outfit, go to Starbucks and enjoy my latte there.  I need to work up to that, the first time I'll just use the drive thru.  The next time I might order in the app and just walk in to retrieve my beverage and scoot back home (or stop at a park on the way home).  Eventually, I want to go in, order at the counter and then enjoy my beverage in the store.  The coffee break on the deck felt like a nice stepping stone for that.

And that my friends is what I've been up to during the Fall of 2019.  I welcome your comments to this blog or feel free to drop me an email.  Thank you for reading!  Be well!!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Words of Encourage: Keep moving!

The idea for this blog post came to me on my run this morning.  I was out with the guys for dinner and a concert last night and when I got up early this morning, I did NOT want to exercise.  I've been down this road plenty before and I knew to just go out there anyway; do not have any expectations for how fast I'd run; just keep moving!

I've had a lifelong love of food which means I've had a lifelong challenge my weight.  I remember being in the 6th grade at Catholic school and it was the day where they brought in nurses to take measurements & weight, and check us scoliosis.  There was one nurse who read the scale and she'd announce the weight to the other nurse who was recording the information.  I asked my nurse to please whisper my weight.  So yeah, I've been self conscience about this for a long time.

Over the years I've been up and down.  I've tried many things which worked for a while but then I'd just revert to eating more than my body needed, eating poor quality of foods and not exercising.  A couple of the successful things I've tried includes: Suzanne Summers Eat Great, Loose Weight; Weight Watchers; and The Daniel Plan.  These plans all resonated with me for a while, but they all also required diligence in ways that I did not find sustainable.

My company has an incentive of a monthly discount on our health insurance employee contribution if you have an annual physical, take some online educational stuff on health, and meet some health criteria at the physical.  The discount is worth the effort and thus far I've always obtained the discount.

A few months back I got an email about something health related at work and assumed it was part of this annual plan.  Clearly, I didn't read carefully enough...  I was directed to this website to fill out a survey to see if I would quality for some sort of plan/thingy/???.  (jump back two sentences)  A few weeks later I got an email saying I was accepted so something called Naturally Slim.  I'm in my 6th week and I'm doing well with it and really like what they are teaching.  I'll write more about that another time if anyone is interested.  Or better yet, hit up google.

Back to my run this morning.  When I started running I told myself, just run, don't push for a better time than last time, just log the miles.  And if I'm still not feeling it after one mile, turn around and I'll at least have a two mile run in the book.  What two miles?  Well, an old friend of mine Steve gave me that advice a long time ago.  Steve was a total running nut.  He'd run four or more marathons every year.  And that dude would eat like a horse and drink beer like a fish.  I remember going out to a sports bar the night of one of his marathons - I was jealous of how much freaking food he ate! 

Back to my run this morning, again!  I had my tunes on.  I was not pushing myself.  I ran through the one mile mark and by this time I was thinking to myself, "yeah yeah yeah, I got this, keep going".  By the way, my one mile split time was my fastest this year (mind you this was only my 6th run of the year, but still!)

Later in mile two my mind drifted to thinking about dressing and the fact that for a long time I really didn't dress much and certainly didn't take any pictures because I was not feeling pleased with how I looked when dressed.  Some of that was weight related, some of that was lack of practice.  Then in 2017 I had this desire to pull out everything and try on everything.  Then I decided I wanted to take pictures of all my shoes - of which I had (have) too many for dressing not being my daily life.  The taking of shoe pics (for the Shoeventory 2017 project on Flickr) led to me wanting to keep dressing and keep taking pics.  And posting them on Flickr! 

Looking back at the 2017 pics, most of them are ones that I'm not happy with any longer for various reasons and only a few remain online.  But the desire for dressing, the desire for pictures, the desire for wanting to improve was burning brightly again.  The pictures have improved.  My appearance has improved.  I'm accessorizing and usually wearing lipstick now.  I am working toward more makeup more often - I feel the coming!  To help fill the gap between makeup and showing the my face, I also bought prescription glasses with womens frames.  That's another possible future blog post.

I'm so energized from my run this morning yet when I woke up I wanted nothing to do with exercise.  I can not honestly say that I've ever felt worse for making the effort to exercise.  And hot damn if that isn't true about dressing as well!  I encourage you all to put your feelings of self-doubt or laziness aside - go for a walk, put on a dress, read a book...  For those things that you like to do that you put off because you don't feel like it, push through those feelings of malaise and take action.  I promise you that you will not regret it.  And over time you will be rewarded by moving closer to your goals.  You have goals, right? 

Be good to yourself!  You are your own #1 fan!  Keep moving forward!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Adventures - Dressing at the office - Part 1

So there I was dressed in a cute dress, pantyhose and heels going about my work business and I hear the office suite door being unlocked and I realized that it was Mr. Bob the cleaning man.  Oh sh*t!!!

Let's back up a bit.  I used to work in a small office with four other guys.  They all left promptly by 4:30pm and I typically left around 6:00pm.  Since we had a small office, I used to direct my online purchases to the office.  These purchases were 50% girl clothes & shoes and 50% computer or audio gear.  The coworkers used to give me a hard time as at least once a month something came for me.  Thankfully the FedEx guy knew us by first name and walked into our respective office to have us sign for the package.

The office that we had was in a complex that had five 1-story buildings with between 3 and 10 office suites inside each building.  There were common entrances, bathrooms, kitchen and hallways but then inside of our suite each of us had our own offices with doors as well.  It was a great office compared to these days of open concept cube farms.

I kept a box of clothes and shoes under my desk for dressing in that 4:30-6:00pm time frame.  With all the packages coming and going, I figured (hoped) that the coworkers didn't pay much attention to it.  I wonder if they ever looked in that box in the morning before I got there since they started earlier than me.  If so, they never said anything and that's fine with me.

The rest of the office building would empty out by 5:00pm.  Here and there I would walk the halls dressed up.  A few times I would unlock the back door and walk out the sidewalk to the parking lot.  That first time it was drizzling out.  I walked up to the glass door and confirmed there were no other cars in the parking lot.  I unlocked the door walked out and locked the door with my key.  I walked along the building to the parking lot shaking like crazy but thrilled beyond belief to feel the mist hitting my hosed legs.  I got to the parking lot and thankfully there was no one in sight.  I reversed course, let myself into the building and made my way back to my office.  My heart was racing and I was immediately struck with the thought, "OK, what next?  I want more!"

There were a few times that I took this one step further by throwing my guy clothes in a bag and after a walk around the hallway and ensuring the parking lot was empty except for them, I walked to my car, got in, and drove on home.  I was just as lazy back then as I am now with regard to wearing makeup, so for all these adventures, I was wearing none.  I figured for the drive home it was better that way in case I saw someone I knew along the way.  There is nothing like that feeling of freedom of driving down the road wearing a cute dress and heels.

The only hiccup with the 4:30-6:00 dressing window was the fact that Mr. Bob would come and clean the offices once a week.  If I remember correctly, it was Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually.  USUALLY!

There was that one day that I was dressed in the office minding my own business and snapping pictures with my phone propped up between a coffee mug and tape dispenser and my chair at the other end of my office so I'd fit in the frame to include my shoes.  I hate it when shoes are not in the photograph!  I do not recall specifically what I was doing exactly, but...

So there I was dressed in a cute dress, pantyhose and heels going about my work business and I hear the office suite door being unlocked and I realized that it was Mr. Bob the cleaning man.  Oh sh*t!!!  In that split second I thought, do I close my office door, lock it and yell out something to Mr. Bob to tell him to skip my office?  Wait!  My office has a closet in it, so I dart to the closet which I can barely fit into with all the old computer crap in there and quickly and quietly close the bi-fold door.  Yeah, that's the ticket, I'll wait him out in the closet.  I hear him calling out "Cleaning time..."

While I'm standing there in the closet I realize that all the lights were on, heck my computer screen probably hasn't locked or gone to sleep and my car is right outside the door.  He's gotta be wondering what is going on?  All signs point to me being there but there was no one there.  Don't mind the crossdresser hanging out in the closet - literally!  Holy smokes - I never got that irony until today writing this blog post.  Oh that's fantastic!

My heart is racing away as I am watching through the crack in the door as Mr. Bob emptied my trash and ran the vacuum through my office, turned out the light and moved to the next office.  And a few minutes later the hall lights go off and I hear him leave and lock up.  I did it, I didn't get caught.  Now how long do I wait before I leave the building to go home.  I don't want to bump into him.  I probably waited another half hour and then quickly darted to my car and left.

That was the only time I almost got caught dressing at that office complex.  The pictures I've included with this blog entry were taken at that office.

Have you ever dressed at work?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Patiently waiting...

It is a bit jarring going from having the house to myself for four days of living mostly full time to having the family back and waiting for me next one or two hour window of opportunity.  I get a few days alone maybe once or twice a year.  I don't NEED to dress all the time, but I sure like to.  This is a good time to take stock of the highs and lows of last week, have I moved the ball down the field at all, and what opportunities did I miss out on.  I also want to start thinking toward my next outing.
Why not spend more time like this?

It will be interesting the next time I dress to see if I feel content or restless as I'll be confined to the house.  I'll be hitting the back deck for pictures for sure!  I've been thinking about spending more time on the desk as opposed to snapping selfie's and darting back inside.  As long as no one is in my neighbors yard working, I'm safe.  I think it'd be lovely to start spending time out there for a coffee break from work or even take the work laptop out there and just be!  I just realized that the pest control people come around here and there, I had been keep on top of that schedule.

Speaking of the deck, something that I realized that I missed out on was spending some time out there after dark.  I could have easily done that as my neighbor goes to bed early.  I would have been out there without the lights on.  Gosh that would have been nice to light up the little fireplace table thingies and have a glass of wine.  Next time!!

I have been thinking about other things that I could have done last week and that I need to focus on for next time.  Here's a brief listing:

  • use a drive-thru to get a burger or coffee
  • a quick shopping trip to a corner drug store
  • go to a movie
  • have a meal at a restaurant
  • shopping - but where?  Mall?  Burlington?  
  • get out in the daytime
I truly want your input on this!  Where have you gone during your initial public outings?  What worked well?  What was a fail?  What did you learn?  Please share with me in the comments below.  If you have blogged on this, drop me a link to your blog so I can read all about it.

A few minutes after leaving Target.
Lastly, I have been tinkering with an idea for a couple of years now.  I know when I go out it will not be to the places where I frequent in guy mode - the risk is too great
for me to stomach.  So I have been thinking about where is Tanya's neighborhood?  The Walmart and Publix that I have taken night time pics in and the Target I visited are about 20 minutes from the house.  I consider this area to be one of "my" neighborhoods.  I have also identified another area where there are a few restaurants, Walgreen's and Startbucks which is 22 min from the house.  This "corner" is my new area of interest.  Now that Starbucks has the online ordering option, I plan to order a beverage, walk in and retrieve it.  The first time will probably just be a grab and go, but as I feel more comfortable, I plan to stay.  I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before I ditch the online ordering and interact with a human!  That's my next frontier. Waaaahhhhh?!?!?!?

Write me!  Comment!  Ask me a question.  Is this thing on?

Monday, July 29, 2019

Home Alone - Days 4 & 5, Epilogue

I stayed up way too late on Day 3, but can you blame me?  Therefore Day 4 was another one of those sleep deprived, just simmer kind of days.  I didn't take a ton of pics, but what I did take rank in the top 10 of any that I've taken.

Day 4 was really cool as I spent more time just dressed and enjoying that fact while I worked away at home.  There was not a mad dash for picture taking, there was not multiple outfit changes to try different combinations.  I just hit the point of being dresses and living that way for most of the day.

Talk about living out of a suitcase!
I had plans for the other side of life with a friend that evening and so I set about to repacking the totes.  It's a good thing I rechecked the house, there were a pair of black pumps still lingering in the kitchen, oh that would have been embarrassing.  My friend is someone I met at church and I would rather not open this side of my life to him.  In the context of living as a Christian I should not be afraid to be authentic with anyone, but let's save that topic for another day.  It's not simple.

I also took a good swipe at what shoes are going to Goodwill.  I had been holding on to these for years in hope of selling on eBay but I was too lazy to make that happen and honestly I just wanted to be rid of the baggage.  It turns out I took 15 pair over there on Saturday afternoon.  My clothes totes are still jammed and overflowing as I never did get around to a full clothing and shoe pow-wow to identify the bottom feeders for the donation pile.  I'll have time once school starts to get to that. 

So yeah, the trip to goodwill.  I had a huge open top box with 8 pair of size 12 heels for all to see, and the rest were in a paper grocery sack and a couple pair still brand new in their boxes.  I was a bit nervous as to who might be walking past while I'm unloading the box or worse yet that I drop it and the shoes scatter.  Thankfully it was totally low key, I plopped the stuff on the donation cart and was on my way.

I truly wish I had a local friend who could have adopted the shoes and helped her expand her horizons.  I tried to find someone in a couple chat rooms and had pictures up on Flickr of the shoes but nothing really materialized. 

Day 5 was super low key - I probably made five passes through the house to ensure that no clues were left behind.  I've made that mistake before and it had very unpleasant consequences.  It worked out in the end, but it was a hard few months that followed.

In looking back at my time home alone, I'm fairly pleased with how things shaped up.  I did get away from the house twice, not exactly the four times I was hoping for though.  I got rid of some lingering baggage of old shoes, I did organize my jewelry better, and I've made a plan for how to rearrange my totes better for future dressing sessions.

The deck has become the photo studio!
There is one other really cool thing from last week, I've turned the corner of being nervous about going out on my own deck to take pictures.  It's become second nature now.  Once I'm dressed I glance in the neighbors yard to make sure there is no one working in the garden or pool and if the coast is clear I'm out the door.  That feels like a huge improvement - there is no more hesitation.  In fact, the other night when I was leaving for Target, I hit the garage door and then walked to my car.  That means that my neighbors across the street or anyone passing by would have seen me in my garage.  I didn't mean to do that, but once I hit the button I said to myself, "no big deal..."

And I freaking went to Target!!!  Hot damn!!  I want more public time.  I don't know where or when, but I'll be posting about it here no doubt.

I'll leave you with a picture from Day 4.  I just adore this look.  After seeing nice pictures like this, I'm motivated to take down some of the earlier pictures on my Flickr feed.

Please feel free to email me, leave a comment here or check me out on Flickr.  I love make friends!

Brick Wall

I have not posted in a while.  There is nothing exactly new in my gender journey as the shelter at home orders have taken my Tanya time down...