Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Means Time For New Clothes!

I got several new tops today. I just love this one! One of the latest trends, is the layered look. This is just one piece, but it looks like a sweater over a blouse. I got it from Chadwicks in case your are interested. They have some very pretty clothes.

My monthly support group meeting and pot luck supper, is scheduled for next weekend, rather than this Friday. My guess is that they put it back a week, out of reverence for Passover and Good Friday. I will be looking forward to this meeting, as our guest speaker will be Lady Ellen, who runs La Femme Finishing School in New Jersey. She specializes in feminization lessons for the transgender community. It should be fun. It's always nice to have a sympathetic natal woman, as a guest speaker. Hopefully, my girlfriend Sophie will bring the chainsaw she wants to get rid of. She said it has been treated very gently, and has offered to sell it to me for a very reasonable price. Those of you who have been reading my blog, know that I am surrounded by trees with a mind of their own, and have been in need of a chain saw ever since mine was destroyed, when I lent it to neighbors after Hurricane Isabel, seven years ago.

Lumber jacking it seems, is becoming a regular chore for some of us lately. My absolute BGFF, Caroline, just had a laburnum tree blown down in her yard by a storm, that needed to be cut up. Lacking a chainsaw, she worked her poor fingers to the bone, sacrificing a precious gilded nail, trying to cut its tough sinews with a bow saw, until she was finally rescued by a professional wood cutter. It seems we no sooner rid ourselves of the misery of winter storms, when we have spring storms to deal with. But we girls are a hardy lot! We've all had far worse to deal with in our lives. Miserable winters and strong spring storms are no match for us!

Happy Spring everyone!
Melissa XX

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No More Hairy Hands For Me!

I was watching Robin Williams on Jay Leno's Tonight Show yesterday, and just like Claude Rains , who played Captain Renault in Casablanca, was "shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in" Rick's Cafe, I was shocked, shocked to see how hairy Robin Williams' hands were! Now don't get me wrong. Next to Michael Palin, I don't think there is a comedian that I love more than Robin Williams, but......and forgive me Robin.......he looks like a gorilla in a man's suit. It was his hands! I just couldn't believe how completely hairy his hands were! He had so much hair on his hands, that it looked liked he needed to comb it!

Now, Robin may be perfectly comfortable with his hairy hands, but as a t-girl who's hands, arms, legs and chest used to be covered with fur, it distresses me, and I have a nearly overwhelming desire to wax him! ;-)

Melissa XX

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm A Lumberjack And I'm OK!

I spent the better part of the afternoon, cutting up trees. A young pine on the road out in front of my house, had been stressed beyond it's capacity by the load of snow it had to carry in our last winter snow storm. The poor thing was bent over like an old person with kyphosis. I had hoped that once the snow melted and the weight was off her back, she would straighten up and regain her once proud stature, but it was not to be. Instead she continued to sink further towards the ground, until I could reach up and grab her very crown. She was hopelessly crippled, and sadly had to be euthanized. I hate to kill a tree. I hate to kill anything, but living out in the woods for the last 17 years has taught me some cruel lessons. Kill the trees that threaten the house. Kill the mice that invade, and multiply know, mice. Kill, or at least trap and relocate the feral toms, that come around and spray your house, and bully your innocent little domesticated tabby, and eat his food. Kill the incubating larvae of wasps and hornets, and spiders that make their nests under your eaves, and behind your shutters. Today's killing however, was not for survival, it was a mercy killing. Although 30-40 ft tall, she was only a little over 6 inches in diameter. There was no way she would ever recover from the trauma she suffered, and her slow continuous slumping towards the ground long after the snow had melted, was an admission that while still alive, she was defeated. So she is no more. Her sinews having been dissected and cast upon the compost pile to decay, and return her essence to the ground from whence she sprang, to once again nourish new growth.

Once the pine on the road had been dispatched, there were others that need dissecting. The two that fell against the house had been removed a couple of weeks ago, but were never completely dismembered, so I went to work on what was left of them, and cut them into bits with my trusty 30" bow saw. Now, all that was left was the huge branch that broke off a much older 60-70 ft. pine in the back yard. As the branch broke, its forked end fell to the ground below, but the part that was attached to the tree, remained up there, resting in the shoulder of a dead branch. It is huge, and weighs way too much for me to shake it lose. The end of the branch resting against the tree, is a good fifteen feet up. I cut off all of the side branches that were not supporting its weight, with my bow saw, but without a chainsaw, I didn't want to risk anymore dismemberment, for fear of the dead branch breaking and sending it's considerable weight down on me, and flattening me like the the wicked witch of the east, in which case I would end up not just merely dead, but really most sincerely dead!

Doing it all with a hand held bow saw was truly a work out, and even though the temperature was in the low fifties today, when I was done, I was soaking wet with sweat. I guess my next big expense, is to go to Lowe's, or Home Depot, and purchase another new chainsaw. You really can't get by without one, when you are surrounded by so many trees.

Like many others here, I feel a profound sense of sadness after reading that Lori intends to end her blog. She has been such a sweet inspirational presence here, and I am going to miss her dearly. Goodbye Lauren, and best of luck to you, as you forge a new life for yourself with your wonderful family! Thank you for all of the wonderful support you have given everyone during your time here! Please come back from time to time, and drop a line on the blogs of all of those who love you!

Hears a picture of what the pond looks like from my deck with all the leaves off the trees. In a little over a month, the pond will be obscured by all of the new leaves.

It's 11:30 PM and only 42∘outside right now, but after just stepping out on the deck,I can tell for sure that spring has arrived, by the incessant croaking of our amphibious friends in the swampy creek that feeds the pond. Fall is marked by the honking arrival of Canada geese, and spring by the croaking of the frogs. I used to look forward to the return of the geese, but after last winter, I think I'll take the frogs.

Melissa XX

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tonight I Am Overjoyed!

I live in the US, and tonight after generations of attempts by Democrats, our Congress has finally passed a Universal Health Care Bill! It was fought tooth and nail every step of the way, by recalcitrant reactionary forces, but in the end it prevailed, despite the utterly dishonest hatchet jobs they unleashed against the bill. We still won't have health care coverage anywhere near as good as western European nations, but at least it's a start. Hopefully, we can take this legislation and build on it.

Melissa XX

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Vernal Equinox!

It was a tropical 80 ∘F today! A far cry from the frigid weather of only a month ago. It's been so nice to break out the warm weather togs; short skirts, sandals and capris! In anticipation of the spring bloom, my toenails are now a bright Fuchsia, and my fingernails are a beautiful mulberry! I can already feel my girl coming alive, after a horribly depressive hibernation.

My next support group meeting is on April 9. I have to leave at 6:00PM to get there on time. Now that we have switched to Daylight Savings Time, I will have to leave the house in broad daylight, in full view of my neighbors, to make it on time. The leaves will still not be on the trees, affording me no privacy whatsoever, so any suspicions my neighbors may have of me, will surely be confirmed if they see me exiting my back door and getting into my truck. As Clarke Gable once said........."Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" :-D

I received an unusually timed cell phone call from my mother tonight. She was absolutely hysterical, and I couldn't understand a word she was saying, so I asked her to hang up and wait for me to call her back on my land line. After getting back to her, I learned that her sister, who lives 7 hours away up in northeastern Pennsylvania, is in a bad way, and she wanted me to drive her up there. I said, "Mom, if she dies, I will be happy to drive you up there, but if we go up there now, we could wind up staying up there for weeks, waiting for her to die. I don't want to do that." Faced with that reality, she suddenly realized that she could just as easily get up there on the train. Mom has always been completely emotionally driven, and has never taken logic, or rationality into consideration until it has been explained to her. I hate it, but I'm afraid I have taken the place of my very rational father in her life. Since dad has died, she has increasingly looked to me to be his substitute. I know this sounds weird, but all of my life we always kissed each other on the cheek, but when dad died, she started kissing me on the mouth. In boy mode I look a lot like my dad, and I just hate the thought that she has substituted me for my deceased father, especially after the way she consistently abused and berated me as a child.

I hope this all doesn't sound too depressing. I don't hate my mother, not for a second, but I can't deny our history, and all of our interactions have to be run through that filter.

I have just been listening to a really great classical soul tune. Want to hear it? Just click on the arrow to play.

Melissa XX

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Please Sign The Petition

Benjamin Franklin once said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately". No truer words were ever spoken.

I received this in an email from Chloe Prince at Pink Essence today. I thought it was worthwhile re-posting it here:

The International Federation for Gender Education (IFGE) has posted an online petition calling for removal of the "Transvestic" Disorder diagnosis (302.3) from the DSM-5.

Please help put an end to this defamatory and hurtful psychiatric label by signing the petition and spreading the word to akk networks and channels you can.

They are in need of more than 40,000 signatures before April 20 !!!!! That's not a lot of time.

We MUST get this done!

I don't like to use PE for political or commercial reasons. But this is something I felt is VERY important to us all.

Read more about it and sign the petition here TODAY!

Thank you
-Chloe Prince

Visit PINKessence

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Harvesting Strawberries

It's still a couple of months early, and it's certainly not in a basket, but I did harvest this big huge strawberry today, when my knee gave out and slammed into the carpet. It looks much meaner under the bandage, but I didn't want to gross you out. Here we are with warmer weather on the way, and I'm going to have a big scab on my knee! Last spring, just as summer was approaching, my bicycle seat broke, and I fell off my bike, gouging out a lovely bloody groove on the inside of my right knee, as it scraped against the seat post.....and now this. How is a girl supposed to look pretty with scabby knees? I'm beginning to think I'm cursed. Oh well, thank goodness for hydrogen peroxide, Neosporan and big Band-Aids.

Do any of you remember a band named Supertramp? I'm listening to them right now, and I had forgotten just how good they were. I used to love their music! Do any of you remember The Logical Song?

And how about Crime Of The Century?

The above two numbers came off of the CD SUPERTRAMP CLASSICS Volume 9, a really great classic album.

Melissa XX

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Dreamed I Went Dancing, In My Erin Go Bragh

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Everyone!

No, the title of my blog is not my own. I first saw it on an episode of Kojak, way back in the seventies. For those of you unfamiliar with the joke, Maidenform Bras used to have a theme for their commercials, that stated "I dreamed I went..........fill in the my Maidenform bra. In the Kojak episode, a banner was strung across a street in New York City on St. Patrick's day, that said, "I dreamed I went dancing, in my Erin Go Bragh."

Daylight saving's time.

Yes it's that time of year again, here in the USA. Time to spring the clocks forward an hour, and lose a precious hour of sleep. I use to hate it when I worked, because I already had to get up at 4:30AM to make my morning commute, and the switch effectively moved my wake up time back to 3:30AM. Of course my schedule adjusted over the course of the next week, so the long term consequences were nil, but I still hated that first day. Now that I'm retired, it's no big deal. I just make it up, by getting up an hour later. It's interesting that social engineers thought we could save energy, by extending daylight an extra hour, but that has yet to be proven. It seems that wherever we manage to save energy, we find some new way to waste it.

Yesterday was epillation day. It's been nearly a year now, and I am down to just once or twice a week, and I can do my entire body in about 45 minutes. I still have some new emerging hair after two or three days, but not nearly as much as at first. What surprises me the most is my chest. Of all the hair on my body, initially removing my chest hair was by far the most painful. It was a veritable torture session, that would have inspired the most sadistic Guantanamo interrogator. It broke me out into an intense sweat, and brought genuine tears to my eyes, but once the initial hair was removed, it's been one of the easiest and least painful areas to epilate. The underarms, which scared me the most at first, were actually a breeze. The most stubborn areas have been my hands, the underside of my forearms, and the lower abdomen. It seems that no sooner is one hair yanked out, when another pops out to take it place. Silly hairs, they still think that I'm a guy!

I bought two older mini-series to watch while riding my stationary bike. The one I'm watching now, is the 3 disc, 7:29 hr. set of the Emmy and Golden Globe award winning series, Holocaust, starring James Wood, Meryl Streep, and Michael Moriarty. It was made way back in 1978, and it is one of the best TV films on the subject I have ever seen. The full depravity of the Hitler regime is shown in this film. Nothing is held back, and I have found myself pedaling away, with tears streaming down my face while watching it. To this day, I have never been able to comprehend the unequaled brutality of Nazis. I know there have been plenty of other brutal murderous regimes, but none that so coolly, and methodically exterminated so many innocent people.

The other mini-series that I got is the 1979 Emmy Award nominated production of James Michener's Centennial. At 20 hours and 32 minutes on six discs, Michener's novel traces generations of residents in the fictional town of Centennial Colorado, from 1795 through the 20th century. It stars Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad, Timothy Dalton, Mark Harmon, Andy Griffith, Raymond Burr, Dennis Weaver, Lynn Redgrave, Sharon Gless, Stephanie Zimbalist, and Sally Kellerman. It was one of those wonderful long, well produced mini-series productions of the seventies, that rivaled others like Roots and Shogun.

Up until October, I had been riding my stationary bike for an hour a day, at a hard rate. That did a good job of controlling my weight, but by then my sister started deteriorating, and exercise took a back seat to my concern for her. Soon my five to six day a week rides, became two to three day a week rides, and one hour sessions, became 30 -40 minutes. The pounds quickly began to mount, and when it was time to get dressed for my support group's Christmas party in early December, I couldn't fit into the skirt I had planned to wear, and had to scramble for an alternative outfit. Several weeks ago, I decided get back into my regular exercise routine, in hopes of slimming back down. Today I had my first full one hour hard pedaling in several months. It took that long to build my quadriceps back up. I'm still fat, but at least I've built my stamina back up. If I can maintain that level of exercise for five to six days a week, I won't be ashamed to show myself in summer clothes. I'm a realist. At 61, I will never be able to parade around in a halter top and hip hugging jeans, but a tank top and pair of shorts, or capris would be nice. :-)

By the way, Jenny is back home from her surgery at Charring Cross, and is blogging once again. I'm sure she would love it if you would all pay her a visit. She is really a very sweet girl!

Take care everyone,
Melissa XX

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How Long Should Snow Last?

Incredibly, I still have a four foot square pile of snow on my rear deck, from our blizzard over a month ago! I just went out to check on it. The temperature got up to 68∘today, and will get up to 71∘tomorrow! I suspect the cursed pile will finally be history by tomorrow evening.

I have never been so happy to see winter make an exit! This has to be the worst winter of my life. It started out with the tragic, but expected death of my sister in late October, after a long battle with metastasized lung cancer . The next month however was surprisingly pleasant, lulling me into a false sense of serenity, but by mid December the first major snow storm struck, leaving us with 13" of snow. From past experiences, heavy early snows like that, have always been a harbinger of bad things to come, and come it did, in the form of several more blizzards! Blame it all on the cursed phenomenon of El Nino', but whenever we get heavy early snows, we are in for a rotten winter, and a rotten winter it was! Deep long lasting snows, lots of slippery roads causing plenty of automobile accidents, lots of downed trees, downed power lines, cold nights without power, and lots of lonely depressed days, where there was nothing to do but sit in the house snowbound, and wait for better times to come. With nothing to do but sit around and brood, I must have put on 10 -15 pounds this winter, and I hate it! I feel like a behemoth, and have redoubled my efforts on the bike in an attempt to shed unwanted pounds. It's so easy to put it on and so hard to take it off!

It was sunny and warm today , so I got out and went to the dump. I had accumulated so much trash over the last couple of miserable months that I was able to completely fill the bed of my truck with bagged trash. I went in boy mode this time, because I was too ashamed to show my face as Melissa at my current weight. I did go to my monthly support group meeting last Friday, but only because I had a tunic that hid my midriff bulge. If I never see another winter again, it won't be too soon! And to think I used to love winter, but that was before I retired, and had to live in boy mode every day!

Still groovin' on my new Dvořák collection! Antonín Dvořák has to be one of my favorite all time composers. If you love great music, check out Dvořák the Symphonies at

Spring is on its way, and all is good! Best spring wishes to all who read this blog, whether it be your upcoming celebration of Easter, or simply the Vernal Equinox!

Melissa XX

Saturday, March 6, 2010

People Always Find Ways To Amaze Me

Neighbors offering to cut up trees

When I am at home, I am me. I had just finished lunch, and was changing clothes to go to the grocery store. I had spent an hour on my stationary bike just before lunch, and was still dressed in my white tank top, fuchsia shorts, and women's New Balance sneakers. Suddenly, I was startled from my usual privacy, by a loud knock on the front door. I had just removed the clothes I had on, and was in no position to answer the door, so I ignored it and kept changing clothes, but the intruder was insistent. Whoever it was, kept on knocking forcefully. I had the radio on quite loud , and was listening to Attila, on Live From The Met, so whoever it was knew I was home. Grudgingly, I hurried to get into my male clothing, hoping I could get dressed before they went away thinking I was some kind of weirdo. They probably already thought that anyway, but I didn't want to fuel their speculation. I managed to get my shoe laces tied just as the intruder was leaving. I ran out and yelled to her as she was about to exit my driveway. She turned around and I saw that it was my next door neighbor, P.

We still had a lot of fallen tree debris along the road out front, from the miserable snow storm a few weeks ago, and she and her husband were cleaning it up. She said they had their chain saw out there, and were willing to clean up what had fallen on my property as well, if it was OK with me. I said sure it was OK, since my chain saw had been broken for a long time, and I didn't know what I was going to do without it. As she walked away, I realized that she wasn't even aware that my chain saw was broken, when I lent it to her and her husband in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. Their son came to help them cut up the big tree that had fallen next to their house during that storm, so maybe he was the culprit who destroyed my saw, and they never even knew about it.........or.......and admittedly my cynical mind is working here.........they were merely trying to assuage their guilt, by offering to cut up my fallen trees. Since I am not one who is given to embracing my cynical nature, I want to believe they really didn't know that my brand new chainsaw was destroyed by their son, and returned to my shed without so much as an apology.

On the way back from the grocery store, I saw her husband R out on the road, cleaning up severed branches. After parking the car in the driveway, I walked out to him, and thanked him for offering to cut up what had fallen on my property. I said my chainsaw had been broken for quite some time, and I didn't know what I was going to do with all of that tree debris. He was very gracious and even offered to help me cut up the tree that was laying against my roof. I thanked him, but said that I had a pole saw, and was going to cut the top of it off with that, and then I wouldn't have any trouble lifting the rest off the edge of the roof, and cutting it up with my bow saw.

After years of experience with all kinds of people, I am pretty intuitive, when it comes to human behavior. Neither he, nor his wife exhibited the slightest knowledge, or signs of guilt of my saw being broken. I'm now thinking their son busted my saw, and they didn't know about it, and I was completely wrong in thinking they did. I am so ashamed for mistrusting them. I went for years thinking they were crap, but obviously they are kind decent people. Shame on me!

Support group, clothes that don't fit , redundant cake, growing love for trans sisters.

My March transgender support group meeting was held Friday night. I began to prepare for it the day before, making sure I was completely epillated, manicured, and all of my clothes were washed. On Friday all I had to do was iron what I was going to wear, shower, dress and do my makeup, and I would be ready to go. All went well until it was time to get dressed. I had chosen a maroon plaid, pin tuck, button up tunic, a beige denim skirt, and brown boots. Everything went well until I put the skirt on. I could button it, but I could not sit down in it; not without it pushing all of the blood in my upper torso into my cranium! Everything was fine as long as long as I was standing up, but as soon as I sat down, I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my head! Obviously this winter's lethargy had taken it's toll on my waistline. Well, I thought........this will never do! After trying several options, I settled on a pair of jeans, that while tight, were still comfortable enough to wear for the entire evening. It's a good thing I am now redoubling my efforts on the stationary bike. The boots still could have been worn, but since I wore them with jeans to my last meeting, I decided to wear a pair of Trotters woven leather loafers instead.

As usual I departed at 6:30 PM, instead of the projected 6:00 PM. The pot luck supper starts at 6:30 PM, and the official meeting starts at 7:30 PM. When traffic is good, it takes me 40-45 minutes to get there. I got there at about 7:15 PM. I walked in, and presented my contribution to the pot luck supper; a huge sliced bundt cake, of assorted flavors. And no.......I didn't bake it in the nude, so you can take your dirty little minds out of the gutter! In fact, I didn't bake it at all. I bought it while fully clothed at at Kroger's! I thought it was a great idea at the time, but as soon as I walked in, I saw an identical cake sitting on the kitchenette counter! R, the girl who hosted our Christmas party, brought one just like it, and when she saw what I was carrying, smiled and said, "Like minds think alike!" I laughed and said, "Oh no!", but all was well. As it turned out, neither of our cakes were fully consumed, and I told one of the younger girls she was welcome to take it home with her if she wanted to. She is truly adorable, and seemed delighted by my offer, and that made me very happy!

The meeting was focused on a video of how to obtain a female voice. It was a CD made from a VHS tape, made by a girl named Melanie in Burbank California 15-2o years ago, but the girl knew what she was talking about, and and had a lovely feminine voice and demeanor. She showed a clip of her former male self, and he was as male as anyone of us ever was. It was a stark testament to just how far you can go, if you had have the determination and of course, the resources.

Madam president approached me as soon as I laid my redundant cake upon the table, and said she was happy to see me there this time. I offered my excuse for missing the last meeting, "I was snowed in", I said . "Uh-huh" she sarcastically replied. After seven months in the group, I have come to adore her! She will be undergoing her SRS at the Papillon Center .

Another girl who introduced me to the group and who I also adore, had been looking for a roommate, but when you are middle aged and trans, that can be tricky. She needs a girl to room with her, but she has to be gainfully employed, responsible, can't smoke or drink heavily, and can't play rap music. She has been looking for several months without success, and is contemplating advertising on Craig's List. I'm not too sure if that's a good idea or not, but she is getting desperate, because her monthly rent is killing her on her low salary.

New Dvorak collection & a few glasses of wine...all is good.

Listening to the New World Symphony a while back got me inspired, and I went on line and ordered a boxed set called Dvořák The Symphonies, recorded by István Kertész and the London Symphony Orchestra. It includes Symphonies No. 1-9. A few glasses of wine, the symphonies of Dvořák, blogging to my friends, what could be a better way to spend a late winter evening?

Melissa XX