Sunday, September 27, 2009

Do You Want To Hear Genuine Treasure From the Past?

Boys & girls, I give you Dinah Washington! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rainy Day

It's been raining for most of the day, here in the Central Atlantic Piedmont; a perfect day to lay back and take it easy, and considering that I drank more than my share of Zinfandel last night, not a hard choice to resign myself to. Once again, I'm listening to a broadcast of my favorite radio station, emanating from the campus of the University Of Virginia. Right now they they seem to be cruising on a jag, alternating from Latin and African, to reggae, bluesy rock and jazz, with a few other genres thrown in occasionally for good measure. Overall, a very good mix.

I love rainy fall days. The temperature has been hovering in the low 60's all day, so the infernal A/C units that are so necessary during hot, humid summer months, have been shut down for now. I'm always happy to to turn them off. I like being cool and dry, but they are noisy, and contribute to my sinus problems.

There was a beautiful wolf spider who took up residence this summer, on top of the large window unit I use to cool the great room. She made the most fantastic long tunnel of silk that she would lurk in, and stealthily wait for unfortunate passers by attracted by the light emanating from the window. Her silk is littered with the desiccated corpses of her hapless victims. She is enormous! A good 2 1/2 inches from leg tip, to leg tip. I loved looking at her, but I wouldn't dare put my hands near her, for fear of her deadly fangs. Spiders seem to go wild with web weaving this time of year. They are everywhere, probably trying to fatten themselves up for the long winter fast that awaits them.

I have a path starting in my back yard, that leads through the woods, down to the pond on the back side of my property. It's a lovely little moss covered path, surrounded by tall trees. If I had a red hooded cape and a basket, I could skip down that path, on my way to grandmother's house! The spiders just love that path! The first time I walked down through the woods, I walked full face into at least three webs they had strung across the path to trap unsuspecting flies. Now, whenever I walk down to the pond, I look for a long stick, and hold it out in front of me, twirling it in a circular motion to wind up the barely visible webs of spider silk, before my face makes contact with them.

The rain is still coming down. The drops falling off of the roof, are dancing on top of the A/C unit outside my window, then leaping to join pools of their brothers and sisters on the ground. The squirrels that had been so talkative earlier in the day, are nestled away for the cool rainy night in their excellent homes, crafted a month ago from cut green leaves. The strains of John Coltrane are wafting from my stereo speakers, and I am at peace.

Crap! My Faorite Radio Station Just Went Off The Air!

That would be 91.10 FM, The University of Virginia's free form radio station (An absolutely wonderful non-commercial radio station by the way!). Apparently they stop broadcasting at 1:00AM. Well, it's Friday night, and I've been drinking wine, and I'm not anywhere close to shutting down for the night, thank you! So what am I to do? Well..........I switched to National Public Radio. Not bad. They are playing some absolutely beautiful harp music right now! Harp music, you ask? Who ever would have thunk it!

Harp music? Hell yeah! Bring on the Angels! And while you're at it, bring on the cherubs! I love those "cute little winged babes!

Melissa XX

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Huff! Huff! Pant! Pant! Pant!

Fall is in the air in the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont, and I've switched back to capris; my intermediate mainstay, between shorts and jeans. Along with the lengthening of my pants, came a natural fall desire to switch to some comfort food, and for me that meant a pot of chili. I love the stuff! I hadn't made it all summer long, so I was really looking forward to cooking up a pot. Fortunately, I had all the necessary ingredients; onions and peppers, dark red kidney beans, canned diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, onion powder, cinnamon, clove, cumin, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, a little red wine vinegar, and a choice of either ground beef, or chicken breast. I chose chicken this time. I used to make it all in a crock pot, taking all day to slowly perfect the spicy Tex-Mex concoction, but now that I have become a ....ahem.....senior citizen, leisure is more important than labor, so I do a 30 minute microwave version.

I made it this afternoon after lunch, then allowed it to cool for a few hours to let the flavors to meld. At 6:30, it was time for an appetizer. A few slices of apple, some cheese and crackers, and a glass of Zinfandel; the perfect snack to prime the palate for something hot and spicy. At seven it was time to give the chili a try, so I poured another glass of Zinfandel, and after dishing out a bowlful, and nuking it for a few minutes in the microwave, I dug in.

My reaction? Maybe a little less cayenne pepper next time.......although I must admit, my sinuses are remarkably clear tonight!

Melissa XX

Friday, September 18, 2009

There Is No Statute Of Limitations For Great Music

I dearly loved Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon, when it first came out in the mid 70's. My God! I was in my mid 20's then! On Monday I will be 61 years old, but this wonderful work or art sounds just as good today, as it did back then! Here is just one little treasure from that wondrous work of art.

I Think The Gods At Blogger Are Toying With Me

For the past week, they have been allowing me to post comments on blogs with embedded "post comments" boxes. For those of you who have been following my blog from the start, you know that heretofore, I have been unable to to post comments on anyone's blog, unless they had the pop up window for posting comments enabled in their blog settings. Suddenly one day last week, I was able to post comments on everyone's bog, and I did absolutely nothing to to obtain this privilege! It was great! How fortunate, I thought! I could now post comments on The Wispy Blonde's blog, Cammie's Story, Rosebud, and many more. I loved it! Suddenly I felt like a full fledged member of Blogger World. But it wasn't to last. I logged on yesterday, and lo and behold, I was a second class Blogger citizen again. The same thing today; thus leaving me to ask, what's up Blogger gods? What have I done to offend you? How do I get my full Blogger World citizenship rights restored? Which Blogger god's, or goddess's temple must I visit, and burn incense in? I lay prostrate before you, and await your answer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Kiss For My Sweet Darling Niece!

Wow! I am just overwhelmed by the love that has been shown to me, first by my sister, and now by my niece! When I came out to my sister a couple of days ago, I told her that it would be OK to share that information with her daughter, because she was a very sweet, kind hearted girl, and I thought she could handle it. My sister called her daughter last night, and in her words, "had a long talk with her". She also forwarded my emails to her, along with a couple of links to my blog, and some pictures that I sent to her.

Later last night, I got a lovely email from my niece. I hope she doesn't mind me posting it right here. I just want everyone to know what a sweet girl she is.

"For so many years I felt like I didn't really know you. I never understood why you seemed so stand offish around the family. After reading your blog and seeing your pictures, it all makes sense. You are beautiful. I've never seen your face so lit up and alive as it is in your pictures. Its no wonder I felt a disconnect around you. You weren't being yourself. I hope some day I can meet my beautiful aunt Melissa. I love you. R xoxoxo"

Isn't she just the sweetest?

Melissa XX

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Sister Is Such A Sweetheart!

During our weekly family supper gathering, my older sister noticed my hands, and asked me if I buffed my nails. I quickly answered, "yes I do", and she just left it at that. I had noticed her observing me with a degree of curiosity on other occasions. One time she noticed my hairless legs, and asked me if I shaved them. I had to come up with a hasty explanation, and I told her that as I grew older, I seemed to be losing a lot of my body hair. That explanation seemed plausible, because my father had hardly any leg hair left in his old age. Of course, he was in his late 70's by then, and I was still in my fifties, when first she noticed it.

I had been wanting to tell her about me, for a long time, but the right occasion never seemed to present itself. There were always too many other people present, or we just didn't have enough private time together, to give a conversation like that justice. It was so frustrating, waiting for an opportune moment. So, last night when I got home, seizing on her question concerning my nail buffing, I sent her an email, telling her that I loved her, and that I wanted her to know the truth about me. I explained to her that I was transgendered, and how now that I was retired, I was living as much of my time as I could, as my true self. I gave her links to a couple of my earlier blogs, that told of childhood experiences that had a profound effect on me. These were stories that I thought she could relate to, because she was familiar with the places, and some of the people involved.

I was worried how this might affect her, but never once believed that she wouldn't be sympathetic, and I was right. She emailed me back, saying the news really rocked her, and that she cried while reading my blogs, but just as I expected, she told me that while she didn't understand being transgendered, she understood how painful it was for me to live with this secret, and she told me she loved me, and would support me in any way she could. She complimented me on my picture, saying she thought I was pretty, and that she thought I looked a lot like her. That was compliment indeed, because she is, and always has been a very pretty woman. If you ever saw me without my hair and makeup, you would never think I could be anywhere close to as pretty as her, not in a million years! And of course I'm not. I don't have her pretty skin, or her adorable petite frame, but I do have facial features resembling hers, and that is a high compliment in itself.

So, I finally got the chance to come out to her, and I'm so happy that I did! Sis, if you happen to be reading this, I want you to know how much I love you, and how proud I am to have you for a sister!

Melissa XXOO

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Introducing Khloe

Every now and then you discover a little treasure. I'd like to share a little treasure I discovered with you. Her name is Khloe, and you are not going to believe how mesmerizingly pretty she is. Seriously, the girl is drop dead gorgeous!Here is a link to her blog, Khloe's Cottage, showing her getting a make over, from a MAC cosmetic consultant.

I hope she graces us, with more blog entries soon. She is a real sweetheart!

How Wonderful To Be Hairless!

I'm sitting here, illuminated only by the light of my TV, and computer monitor. I feel so incredibly feminine! I'm thinking of how wonderfully satisfied I feel, that I no longer have unwanted hair to deal least until it grows out again... Thank God for epilators! I'm looking at my hairless arms and legs, and they are actually shining! My God! They are actually shining! Who do do I thank for this wonderful gift??

Do I thank God? Honestly, I'm an agnostic. I'm not even sure if God exists. But if he/she is out there, and has anything to do with this,'s a kiss from Melissa! ;-)

Melissa XX

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Works Of Geniuses, And Their Progeny.

Smooth Away

I just saw an ad for Smooth Away, a hair removing product , on TV. Here is what I have to say about Smooth Away:

Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!

Yes, Danger! I had the misfortune of falling for this horrible little product, about a year ago. What could be easier I thought, than gently abrading away my unwanted hair? What I didn't realize is, that unless your hair is super fine, you will not only abrade away your unwanted hair, you will abrade away your wanted skin, as well! After testing this product out on the backs of my hands, I went around for the next two weeks, with what looked like rug burns on them. The insidious thing about this little nightmare of a product is, that like a sunburn, you won't notice the damage, until it's too late. Fortunately, I didn't use it on my arms, torso, or legs, or God forbid, my nether regions.

My advice is, that unless you have nothing other than peach fuzz to remove, stay as far away from Smooth Away, as you can.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Confidence.......At A Distance.

As I promised myself I would, I made another trip to the recycling center today as Melissa. Wearing white capris, a sleeveless black kit top, and a pair of black patent, buckle loafers, I loaded the truck with a bag full of catalogs and magazines, some more broken down cardboard boxes, and a few bags of household trash. Back in the house, I threw my cell phone into a black leather bag, slung it over my shoulder and headed back out to the truck for the drive to the recycling center.

It was fairly late by the time I took off, sometime between 4:30 and 5:00 in the afternoon. The two gas station/convenience stores a couple of miles down the road, were alive with customers as I drove passed, and made the right turn down the road to the recycling center. It was overcast, yet still a lovely day. Fall is just starting to ease its way into the mid-Atlantic piedmont, and the weak woods were already starting to turn shades of red and yellow. The temperature, in a welcome relief from the summer heat, was hovering in the upper sixties or lower seventies, depending on what source you were relying on. My computer said the local temp. was 72∘when I left the house, but the digital thermometer on the console in my truck, said 68∘. The recycling center is about four miles past the turn off, on a narrow two lane road, that winds its way through rolling hills, past a couple of ponds, and through some very beautiful farmland. The drive is always pleasant.

When I got there, the recycling center appeared to be empty, but I knew it wasn't. It never is. There are always a couple of attendants there, to keep the place in order. They do an excellent job too. For what is essentially a garbage dump, they always keep the place very clean and tidy. They have a small frame shed, that serves as an office, and they were both inside when I pulled in and parked in front of the recyling dumpsters.

I got out and started sorting magazines and catalogs , from cardboard, and depositing them in their appropriate dumpsters. This time I made sure not to forget the pile of old news papers, I left on the seat the week before. As I was doing this, one of the attendants emerged from the shed, sat in a chair out front, and lit up a cigarette. I was the only show in town, so I'm sure he noticed me. After unloading the papers and cardboard, I got back in the truck and drove over to the garbage dumpster. I parked in front of it, and got out to throw my garbage bags off the dock, into the dumpster. While doing this, the second attendant emerge from the shed, and sat down next to his partner, facing me. I was directly in front of them, about thirty yards away.

It was perfect. Both of them looked at me for about a second or two, and then resumed their conversation, as if nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. As far as they were concerned, I was just another female county resident, using the facility. They didn't even bother to give me a second look, as I drove within fifteen feet of them, on the way out. That's just the reaction I had hoped for. I don't want to stand out, I just want to blend in.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

She's Using The Voice

Reverend Mother Mohiam and other Bene Gesserit, from David Lynch's Dune (1984)

No.......I'm not referring to a member of the Bene Gesserit. The Bene Gesserit, for those of you unfamiliar with the Sci-Fi novel, Dune, were an ancient order of women, whose objectives and actions formed a critical element in the evolution of humanity and many of the major plot developments. They were masters (mistresses?) of The Voice. The term 'Voice' referred to an audio-neuro control mechanism that enables the manipulation of speech to achieve complete control over a receiver It is perfected by the Bene Gesserit through the combined training of several advanced techniques.

The other day, I put in an order on line, for some shoes from New Balance Express. I entered the order, not in my male name, but as Melissa Price. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from New Balance Express, stating that they did not have the shoe I ordered in stock, and were having it shipped directly from the manufacture instead. Later, I received another email, stating that since the order was coming directly from the manufacturer, I would have to contact them to get tracking information, and they provided me with an order number and a phone number to call. I didn't want to call them as a male. Why would I? I put the order in as Melissa, and with only a few exceptions, I have been living what has been essentially a female life, for the past year. I decided to call them as Melissa. This of course, would require me to use my equivalent of The Voice.

Nervously, I dialed the number. After a few rings, a woman on the other end answered. Manipulating my speech in a manner that would convince her that she was listening to another genetic female, I stated that I was Melissa Price, and that I was expecting a package from them, that I ordered through New Balance Express. I gave her the order number, and requested tracking information. After verifying my address, the woman on the other end said, "Thank you Ms. Price, your UPS tracking number is................."

I smiled. The Bene Gesserit would have been proud of me.

OMG! I've Got Ear Mites!

I think I need to go to the vet!................just I'm not..............yes I am. *grin*

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Girl Could Get Used To This........... know, living full time as herself. I am full long as I don't have to go anywhere! *grin* Hey, give me a break! I have almost 61 years of male socialization to overcome. It's a slow tedious process, but inch by inch I'm working myself into it.

I may have told you all this before, but because I live out in the sticks, I have no municipal garbage pick up, so I have to haul all of my trash to the county recycling center. I've been looking for more excuses to go out, just doing normal stuff in public as me, vs. that increasingly alien looking guy, that inhabited my skin for so long. I made the decision this week, that from now on all trips to the recycling center, would be made as Melissa, and on Wednesday I made good on that promise, when I loaded up the truck with a weeks worth of bagged household garbage, a pile of broken down cardboard boxes (thanks to UPS deliveries, and my penchant for shopping on line), a load of old brown paper grocery bags, and a couple of weeks worth of old newspapers. The trip went off without a hitch. A guy at the recycling center had his truck backed up to the bagged garbage dumpster, and he was busy unloading bags of garbage. While waiting my turn, I stopped at the recycling dumpsters, and unloaded my cardboard, and grocery bags. I was wearing a pair of white short, shorts, a salmon pink sleeveless shirt, and white New Balance sneakers, with pink trim. I can't tell you how good it felt, to be out in the open, illuminated by the sun, while dressed in the clothing, and acting in a manner, that best expresses who I truly am!

Just as I finished at the recycling dumpsters, the guy at the garbage dumpster, got back into his truck and pulled away, so I got back into my truck and backed it up to the same dumpster. I had about six or seven bags of kitchen garbage in the back of the truck, so I got out and unloaded them into the dumpster. In no time I was done, and I got back into the truck and drove past the attendant's shed on the way out. I was so elated by how well everything had gone, that I completely overlooked the pile of newspapers I had laying on the front seat, and I drove away with them still sitting there. Oh well, there's always next week's trip back.

I had a little talk with myself, in front of the mirror the day before. I was dressed as the girl I am; the way I have been dressing nearly every day of the week for the last year, except for a few hours on Monday, when I go to my mother's for dinner, and go grocery shopping. I had already made the determination, that all future trips to the recycling center would be made en femme, but that alien dude tried to reassert his now defunct authority over me, and he started filling my head with fear and doubts about my ability to pass. This was the same cynical little voice that used to ridicule me 30 years ago, as I sat in a salon chair, having my hair done. "What do you think you're doing?" "You're not a girl!" Don't be a fool!" "Do you really think anyone is going to believe you?"

Thirty years later, and that miserable little bastard inside of me, is still trying to beat me down. This time it hurt. It really hurt! For the last year, I have been slowly trying to claw my way out of the closet I've been locked in for so long, and finally, in the last few months, I've broken free, and been able to experience rare moments of pure joy. My emotions overcame me, and I began to cry. I looked into the mirror, and said "No! You are not in charge anymore! For the last 30 years, Melissa stayed locked in the closet begging to be free, while you cowered in fear. Enough! She's not listening to you anymore".

I felt so good, when I returned from the recycling center. I don't have anyone in my life who is truly intimate with me, so I have to be my own best friend. I stood before the mirror once again, but this time I smiled at myself. "I am so proud of you", I said!

Tonight I went to my second transgender support group meeting. This meeting was much better than the first. There were twice as many people there this time, and the non/pre-ops, at least equaled the post-ops, which made me feel much more comfortable. We watched an episode of NBC Dateline from back in 2000, about a Navy doctor, who went through SRS and became an SRS surgery specialist, training under Dr. Marci Bowers. Unlike the first time, where I basically sat like a bump on a log, I manged to get into a few brief conversations with fellow members (remember, I'm shy upon first meeting people). The holidays are just around the corner , and various venues for the annual Christmas Party were being discussed. One of them was a restaurant located in the rural county that I reside in. They don't have private party rooms, so our party would be seated in a section of the main dining room along side regular patrons. That could get real interesting. Especially if some of my neighbors, happen to be dining there that night. Not to worry though. Courage will get me through anything!

Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got? Courage! - The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard Of Oz


Thursday, September 3, 2009

God Help Me!

I think I'm actually developing a taste for this swill........without the Splenda!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am So Disappointed!

I should have known better. I have always been a lover of the grape, but it's been so hard to find quality red wine. Most American red wines have an unpleasant, mouth puckering, high tannin content, and other than an occasional Beaujolais Nouveau, most of the French reds I have tried, had a moldy taste and aroma, reminiscent of Dracula's crypt. No wonder he never drank wine. But (I know, you're not supposed to start a sentence with a conjunction. Well, screw you!), about five or six years ago, I discovered Australian red wines, and for the first time, I found out how good an affordable red can be.

Normally I buy Lindeman's Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Shiraz in 1.5 liter bottles, at a cost of about $11.00 each, which I can easily afford, but this week while at the grocery store, I got the wild idea to go bargain shopping. I saw some Bota Box wine in a Shiraz, and a Merlot; 3 liter boxes, that turned out to be a dollar a bottle less, than the bottles of Lindeman's I had been so happy with. Now ostensibly, the advantage of boxed wine is that it is supposed to last longer than bottled wine, because no air, or light ever gets into the collapsible bag inside the box. I decided to buy one of each.

Tonight, with great anticipation, I opened the box of Shiraz, and positioned the plastic push button spout. I held my glass under the spout, pressed the button, and a beautiful deep dark red liquid began to shoot from the box, into my glass. It really looked quite lovely! Then I took a sip. Initially, while flowing over the front of my tongue, it tasted pretty good, but when it reach the nether regions of my palate, its tannic bitterness became sorely evident. I continued to drink, hoping that my palate would adjust, but after a glass, my mouth felt like I'd been sucking on a sock soaked in alum! :-p I then tried the Merlot, and got a similar result.

What to do? I had just spent almost $40.00 on two boxes of wine I couldn't drink. I wouldn't be able to get more until the following week, so I had to find a way to make them more palatable. I still can't believe I did this, but I actually opened up a packet of Splenda artificial sweetener (sucralose), and poured it into the glass of wine I was drinking. My Merlot now tastes like a cheap port, instead of mosquito repellent.