Monday, February 29, 2016

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

I come home in the morning light.  My mother says when you gonna live your life right?  Oh mother dear we're not the fortunate ones.  And girls they want to have fun…

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Wolf's Transformation - Sunday Funnies 2/28


The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature.  Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Be careful What You Wish

I have written in the past about how I consider my transgender adventures to be visits to the land of femininity.  During my visits, I have enjoyed the native dress, attempted to learn the language, and participated in the local customs.  I have even had the privilege of having extended stays with a work visa, thus extending my experience. 

Several of my female friends have commented that I pick-and-choose the elements of femininity that I like, discounting the reality.  They are correct.  As with any trip/visit, we seldom get the total experience choosing the places and circumstances, seeing only the preeminent. 

There have been rare occasion when I have experienced what it is like to be female.   When I make that statement, I do not mean having a door opened for me, a stranger buying me a drink or the ever so rare flirt.  Make no mistake, as much as society struggles to make sure that gender equity is touted, male privilege is real.

Let us make sure we know what privilege is: It’s about how society accommodates you. It’s about advantages you have that you think are normal.  It’s about you being perceived normal, and others being the deviation from normal.  It’s about fate dealing good cards from the deck on your behalf. 

One experience I had that made this real to me and shocked me: I was working with a client writing and setting up a medical system.  The system was nearly complete and ready to go operational with the final step being the establishment of a network for file/chart retrieval.  This client/Doctor was very open in that he accepted Rhonda and allowed her to work most days that way. 

To establish the network, cables needed to be installed with the needed router/switches strategically located.  A company was located to do the work and a “repair man” sent.  I, as Rhonda, explained what was required and diagrammed the installation.  I estimated the job to be about 3-4 hours.  About mid-afternoon, having worked about 6 hours, I summarized he was not sure what he was doing.  I attempted again to explain the setup and at the end of the day he announced, he was done.   After a quick visual check, I could see it was not going to connect, but he insisted, "try it".  He was frustrated, I was frustrated and he promised to return the next day to get it working. 

The next morning I returned, not as Rhonda, and introduced myself to the “repair man” as a network engineer.  The first words out of his mouth – “I am sure glad that I have a man that I can work with today”.  He listened to my instructions and in about an hour had everything working.  

Whenever I tell this story to a mixed group, the men are shocked that this could happen in such a blatant way.  The women, just laugh and know instinctively how the story will end before I get there.  Yes, a rare occasion when I  experienced what it is really like, to be female.

Be careful what you wish.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Dinner at The Breakers - Friend's Friday

The Breakers Palm Beach 

Last evening I had the privilege of dining and being with friends at The Breakers Palm Beach

There are few hotels in the world that rival the stature and elegance of The Breakers Palm Beach. A magnificent, Italian-Renaissance design and breathtaking setting give it exotic appeal.  Upon entry, you feel immediately elegant, special and like you are having a true world-class experience.  Truly one of the great resort hotels with over 100 years of history. 

Here is how the restaurant we ate at (one of 8) describes itself:

HMF - Named for The Breakers’ founding father, Henry Morrison Flagler, this thrillingly glamorous retreat is an ode to golden era Palm Beach, with all of its high style and unapologetic decadence. If you plan to experience, the best bar in Palm Beach, then visit HMF, a sizzling juxtaposition of classic and new, nestled on the site of the historic Florentine Room.

There are times you must pinch yourself to make sure you are not dreaming and know your escape is real - Thank you Caitlin for a wonderful evening and introducing me to lovely friends.


I would like to dedicate Fridays to you, your post and photos. 
It is not that I have run out of things to write about, but I want to make this "our place".  Please feel free to comment on something I said - did not say.  if you e-mail me your post I will queue then up and post on Fridays.  Tell me about your trips, fashion tips, blogs you read and your adventures.  


Rhonda - RhondaWilliams at Bellsouth.net

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What to Wear

Monday evening I attended a memorial cocktail reception for a good friend.  It was a celebration of his life and a look back at all the joy his music had brought - Held at an elegant performance venue at a Colony Hotel, Palm Beach.   I knew many people there, having a shared connection to the venue, his music and other piano/jazz artist.  I provided many photographs taken at events where Norm had performed and set up an extra-large tablet, playing a video.

As the evening wound down, I concluded that this was an event that Norm would have enjoyed and would have been the center of attention playing from the wonderful "American Song Book".  



The more I get out attending “life” events the more I am faced with what with the age old female quandary, ”what to wear?”  This was always an easy decision when I was attending conventions, support group events or even work.  But this evening not so.   I knew black would be suitable or proper in the circumstances but opted for more color, but still dressy.  It was a spring like evening in Palm Beach so I dressed accordingly.  I think what I chose worked for the evening and group.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Question and Help

Today I have my follow-up visit with a new doctor.  I am not a person that runs off to the doctor for trivial or even short-term necessities.  Having never been really sick I just deal with anything that comes along, consult was a family member that is a doctor and get antibiotics as needed.  There was a cancer scare about 10 years ago but after CAT/PET that proved negative I returned to my health “no  worry” manner. 

January 1st I changed medical insurance carriers so have available new medical wellness options.  It is these I have decided to take advantage thinking it is likely better to know than not. Again, I do not anticipate any issues. 

So my question to you – To what degree do I discuss being transgender?  A mammogram would be in order, as well monitored HRT.  Today's visit is a private consultation to review the results of several basic wellness checks performed over that last two weeks. This will be my opportunity.  The new Doctor, about my age, seemed to have a good personality and social. 

There are obvious indicators as to my transgender nature, like unusual tan lines, development and my hair.  Therefore, my question - do I openly discuss or leave this to a future conversation, "if needed"?  What have you done and how did it work?  Please help.  I will post on my decision later and share the outcome. 

Use the comment section below and I will not post to the blog, if you note your comment to be private
Thank you. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Missing a Good Friend

Norm Kubrin and Lisa Remick - The American Songbook 

I had written in a previous post about jazz artist, Norm Kubrin and last evening I attended a memorial for a good friend.   Yesterday would have been his birthday.  He was an artist that played at many of the Palm Beach Piano Guild Concerts and it was there I got to know him.  He was the resident pianist at many of Palm Beach finest hotels and clubs.   Rhonda, as a photographer did all three of of his CD covers.  This was what was written recently:

Accomplished jazz pianist and performer, Norman Kubrin of Lake Worth, who played jazz piano at the Polo Room at The Colony, died on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. He was 73. Norm was born in New York City on February 22, 1942. His talent was discovered as a 2-year-old in nursery school when he played an entire melody on a piano for his teacher. From that young age, his parents supported his talents by purchasing a piano, but he was never professionally trained. He said, "I learned to play by listening to others and then I just repeated it back." As a teenager, Norm won the Ted Mack Amateur Hour contest playing in a Dixieland band at Radio City Music Hall. In the years that followed, Norm received an honor reserved for very few musicians; he became the resident artist at the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley and played on Cole Porter's original piano. He also was a regular at Jilly's in New York where he accompanied many famous musicians and singers of the 60's and 70's. 

Last evening about 150 of his friends and family gathered at the Palm Beach Colony Hotel where Norm had played to celebrate his gift to all of us.  Do listen to the above video and enjoy his wonderful talent.  

Photo from one of his CD

Monday, February 22, 2016

Just Lunch and Shopping

Photos from Saturday 

This past Saturday I took the opportunity to get out, shop, lunch and enjoy the beautiful weather.  First stop was Starbucks in Palm Beach, followed by lunch and then shopping at a favorite store, C. Orrico.  This is my go to store for Lilly Pulitzer fashions. You can see some of the dresses in the background in the right photo.  I wrote about Lilly fashion in a previous post - Playful and fun.

It was just to beautiful to go home, so top down and a drive up to a local marina.  There I spent about an hour just sitting and watching the boats go and come.  There are three lovely restaurants and will save that for another day.   Saturday - A nice day.

Tell us about you weekend?    

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dress Code - Sunday Funnies 2/21`


The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature.  Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fashion and Tools by Sears and Roebuck

Vintage Sear's Catalog
Everything I know about Fashion I learned from Sears

My two favorite catalogues  were the "Fall and Winter" and the "Christmas Wish Book". The "Fall and Winter" was as thick as the phone book.   I would study the fashions and the woman's section in detail and read all the descriptions.  My pretend was to pick one item per page as I would look.  The woman's section was in the front, followed by shoes and then lingerie.   I had to be careful to not get caught looking to intently, so kept a finger in the auto and tools section to be able to quickly go there if needed.  

The Christmas "Wish Book" was special - a double treat.   Not only great fashions, "The Holiday look",  but toys too.   

So, I guess you could say that my first lessons and dreams of dressing in a stylish manner were formed studying the Sears and Roebuck catalogue.  

Was I the only one that enjoyed the arrival of the Sear's Catalog?  


I will give you a contrast: What made me think of the Sear’s catalog and all those beautiful fashions?  Yesterday I was at my local mall and Sears store purchasing a Craftsman Micro-Clicker Torque Wrench. 

Guest Post - Ladies Room Encounter

By: Caitlin

I learned from This

A few years ago I had the opportunity to do something that had always been on my bucket list:  to attend a show at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music.  I always envisioned the experience to be the perfect feminine evening out.  You know, getting dressed up for a Saturday night date, having dinner with your boyfriend at a nice restaurant, and then attending a really great show at one of America’s iconic theaters.  Barry, my gay friend and imaginary boyfriend, was kind enough to accompany me.  I pretended he was “taking me out.”  (The web we weave!)  Barry loves to be close to the stage and got us orchestra seats in the fifth row.  They were perfect in all respects except one:  they were really, really far from the ladies room!

It was mid-January in Philadelphia.  I was all dolled up, wrapped in spandex, reinforced with Spanx and now, only partway through the first half of the show, I really needed to pee.  “This can’t be happening,” I thought.  I squirmed, gritted my teeth, and waited for the intermission curtain to begin coming down.  As soon as it moved, mid-applause, I bolted out of my seat and sprinted up the aisle.  This was not easily done in a boot-length wrap skirt and high-heeled boots, but I got half way up the stairs before anyone else had moved into the aisle.  I was smiling and moving fast and looking for the signs for the rest rooms.  I saw other women heading to the right and I followed them into what, to this day, is the largest ladies room I have ever seen.  There must have been twenty-five stalls, all in a row, and every stall was already taken except the very first one by the entry door.  I was desperate.  I grabbed it. 

Now I was faced with a new dilemma:  how to get out of all this padding and wrapping without losing a nail or peeing in my pants.  I grunted, pulled and yanked and finally got into the position to sit down.  My life was saved.  I had made it.

I put myself to together, anticipating that there were going to be lots of women at the mirrors and sinks when I open the door to the stall.  I put a smile on my face and opened the door to see what looked like a mad-house of activity.  Every sink was taken except the very first one just opposite of my stall.  As soon as I exited the stall another woman zipped in behind me to take it.  My refuge was gone!  I looked to my right and realized there were now a hundred women in a line that stretched into the lobby, all waiting for a stall.  Ugh!  As I took the first sink to wash my hands, the woman who was now next in line for a stall, stood there and glared at me.  I could feel the daggers from the intensity of her stare as I tried to look straight ahead into the mirror.  She was really upset that I was there.  All of sudden, and I have no idea where in world this came from, but I turned to her and said, “Oh please.  Just one more operation and I’ll be like everyone else.”  Her mouth dropped a bit, the hard stare melted, and she reached up and touched my forearm with her hand and smiled as she said “dear, dear” as she headed for the next available stall.

Still stunned by what had just happened, I put on my smile and walked past every one of the hundred women in that line as I exited the ladies room.  “After this,” I thought, “there is nothing about the ladies room that’s going to intimidate me ever again.”  And that’s exactly what happened.

Thanks Caitlin -  I would like to dedicate Fridays to you, your post and photos. 
It is not that I have run out of things to write about, but I want to make this "our place". Please feel free to comment on something I said - did not say.  if you e-mail me your post I will queue then up and post on Fridays.  Tell me about your trips, fashion tips, blogs you read and adventures.  


Rhonda  - RhondaWilliams at Bellsouth.net

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Day to Evening - Fun to Play

 Yesterday I went shopping at Chico's and purchased two of the three tops pictured above.  I got the stripe and black.  White on top is not my best choice.  I am not one to be efficient when packing for a trip but decided to do a fashion layout and see what I could make.  All of items show above and below are in my wardrobe.  The pants are not the ones I have but are similar.  As I was putting this together I marveled as to how this could easily go from casual day to evening dressy.  I have a cocktail reception this evening and will give this a try.  Also looks like a plan for my next trip.    

Isn't it fun to play! 

Item from Above:

Brighton - Regal Charm Bracelet
Polka Dot Ballet Flats - Talbots (out of stock) 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I found this incredible quote at Quora in reference to a question posed to Caroline Cossey.  For those who may not remember, she is one of the world's most well known trans women, having appeared in a James Bond film and the first to pose for Playboy.  This is interesting especially coming from someone who by all test, passed perfectly.  

Question: How is "passing" regarded inside the trans community, regarded outside the trans community, and what if anything can trans allies do to help? 

Answer:  A lot of us feel the need to "pass" because we come under so much scrutiny in society over our physical appearance. We all feel this pressure within society about "acceptable" appearance so the pressure is felt even more so when you're a transgender person.  The sad truth is that society is and has always been superficial when it comes to acceptance whether that be based on physical appearance, religious expression or non expression, philosophy, sexual orientation, you name it. Society doesn't have a great track record in taking kindly to variation or diversity.

I have never liked labels and I'm not for judging a book by its cover. We are all unique. We classify the world and our experiences in our minds into categories, groups, etc. which is natural but then we make the mistake of believing we and/or others fit into these "boxes". 

The spectrum of femininity vs. masculinity (if one chooses to categorize in that regard) is vast in of itself and people will fall all across that spectrum whether they're trans or cis. So trans allies can help by embracing diversity and living tolerance in their daily lives. And they may just find it's in keeping with diverse world that we live in. ;-)


In the next few post I would like to discuss this subject more, but would like your input - Is passing important to you?  Has you perception and need to pass changed in light of current visibility? 

Please comment. 

Fearlessly Feminine

This is one of those item that just called out - "Buy Me".  I love the look and what a fun item to have/wear.  Last I checked it was still in stock at Boston Proper and is 30% off.  Boston Proper is not typically an online store I buy from but do study their catalog for new trendy "looks".  Great style ideas and occasionally I find something, I must have.   

Are you fearless?  Would you wear it? 

For a while I owned the web address "FearlesslyFeminine.com" but let it expire.  I could not think what do with it and was thinking it was little long for a URL.  However it is now in use by a photographer and I love what she has done with it.  Check it out ALISHA SIMS PHOTOGRAPHY. 

Her Boudoir Photography is fantastic. 


Monday, February 15, 2016

Before/After - Atlanta Weekend

February 1994
 We appear to like each other

My last two post described a fun weekend in Atlanta from 1994.  There was a dinner Friday night, a Saturday evening play at the Fabulous Fox Theater, an after party where we joined a wedding reception and a country club brunch Sunday. A near perfect birthday weekend.  After the brunch, "Cinderella" had to put aside her girl cloths for the flight home, so I returned to the brunch awaiting the airport shuttle.  It was there I gave in to the after photo.

I am happy I did and have a near perfect before/after pose.  Enjoy - It has been a short 22 years since that photo was taken.  To those just starting out – take as may photos as you can, selfies, group photos and event photos.  It is fun to look back.

Any questions on the photo or technique/software I used please comment. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Not a perfect disguise - Sunday Funnies 2/14


The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature.  Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Fox Theater Atlanta - After Party

Yesterday I wrote about my weekend in Atlanta attending a play at the Fabulous Fox Theater.  Not wanting the evening to end a larger group went to a close by hotel lounge.  There to our surprise was a bride and groom, with their wedding party, continuing the evening also. 

We fell right into the party, with many questions and we were with a group equally as dressed-up.  What ensued was right out of a transgender fiction story.  (Of course, you have never read any of those).  The wedding party included a US Marine in full dress uniform who had just graduated basic training.  My best guess, possibly the brother of the bride.  What a beautiful uniform he had including the regulation military buzz cut.  It was not long before he announced to all, “I can do this” and disappeared with his girlfriend.  A few minutes later, he reappeared wearing his girlfriend’s dress and heels; a beautiful look other than the short hair.  The party continued.   Yes, there is a photo, but that one I would not post without permission. 

It was late into night before we completed our evening.  We made friends that evening and had so much fun.  

Note to younger self:  Make memories. Make friends.  Be yourself.  Do things. Why wait!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fox Theater Atlanta - Friend's Friday

Fox Theater in Atlanta -  La Cage Aux Folles

Above are photos from  a group outing in Atlanta attending LaCage Aux Folles.  I do not remember the exact date but it had to be somewhere about 1993-1994.  After the play which was fabulous, we all went back to a nearby hotel where many of the out-of-town girls were staying.  I will post photos tomorrow from the after party.

What was interesting about the play was that before we were not noticed particularly, all being dressed very elegantly and blending in. However, during the intermission and after, we were very much noticed.  Interesting conversations occurred.  We were all welcomed and accepted.  I am happy to have the photos and wonderful memories of an exciting evening with friends. 

If anyone was there and remembers the exact date, please comment and share your story.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Purple Shampoo

You don’t have to spend long on my Pinterest page to know that I’m obsessed with gray hair. So it should be no surprise that I’ve spent the last year of my life trying to get my naturally warm-toned hair the coolest shade of blonde there is–basically one step away from gray.

When I first began this journey, the only person I had seen with this color hair was Julianne Hough, so naturally, I flew to LA to have her colorist, Riawna Capri of Nine Zero One salon, give me the color. In the past year, the blonde-without-a-touch-of-warm-hues color has gotten increasingly popular, and I have seen it pop up on a few other people.

But what happens when you have this color blonde is you have to work hard not to get any yellow in it, which brings me to the topic at hand: purple shampoo!

As I’ve talked to people about using purple shampoo, I’ve been surprised how many of them had never even heard of it, which is why I decided this post was so important!

Purple is the exact opposite of yellow on the color wheel, so, if you are trying to combat brassy, yellow colors (which pretty much all blondes are), you want to tone it with something purple.

And even if you have never heard of purple shampoo, it’s actually not that hard to find–but you want to make sure you use the right stuff!

So here are some purple shampoo tips:

*It should be a dark, dense color.
(See the photo above? My fingers are stained for a few hours after I use it.)

*The longer the shampoo sits on your hair, the more pigment is deposited on your hair.
(Since I only wash my hair once a week, I let it sit on my hair for at least 15 minutes before rinsing.)

*If you want an even heavier dose of the toning power of purple, put the shampoo on dry hair, massage it in, let it sit for 10 minutes, rinse it and wash again on wet hair.

*If your hair goes too icy/purple for you, just get back in and wash again with a regular shampoo.

And here are a few of my favorite purple shampoos:
  • Unite Blonda Shampoo
This is the greatest shampoo ever. I’m seriously obsessed! It does a wonderful job toning and leaves my hair soft and smooth.
  • Bed Head Dumb Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo
This is my go-to when I haven’t planned ahead to order my Blonda online. It’s available at Ulta, works great, and really helps combat the color-treated hair dryness.
  • Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo
This is like the original purple shampoo. It’s been around forever, and gets the job done!
  • L’OrĂ©al Professionnel Expert Serie Silver Shampoo
I’ve also heard amazing things about this one–namely that it has a really intense color, so it works well/quickly, but I’ve never tried it. But I will be soon!

So, have you tried purple shampoo? Which one is your favorite? 


My personal favorite is:


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It all started with a Juice Stand

When 21-year-old Lilly eloped with Peter Pulitzer, they escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City for the sun and sand of Palm Beach. In the shadow of Peter's citrus groves, Lilly opened a juice stand. To disguise the juice stains on her clothing, she had a sleeveless dress made from colorfully-printed cotton. Soon, she was selling more dresses than juice.

Lilly Pulitzer the clothing label was born. The "classic shift dress" shot to international fame and demand when Lilly's old schoolmate Jacqueline Kennedy nee Bouvier, now the First Lady, was photographed wearing a "Lilly" while on vacation. "Jackie wore one of my dresses"- it was made from kitchen curtain material - and people went crazy. They took off like zingo. Everybody loved them, and I went into the dress business." - Essentially Lilly, A Guide to Colorful Entertaining 


For those of you that are in the middle of winter I present to you for your enjoyment, the Lilly Pulitzer fashion layout.  This is the "in season" essential for the Palm Beach look. 

I must admit I have fallen into the trap.  The skirt upper left was my first Lilly.  Then the wedge heels and next the pink sandals.  Yes even the stripe short shorts - all in my closet.  Do I wear them yes - A girl must fit in while shopping in Palm Beach.      

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Joyce Theater

The Joyce Theater

Combining classic and contemporary dance that is strongly influenced by her African heritage, Johannesburg-born dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo creates explosive, passionate work. Her reimagining of Swan Lake is no exception as the dancers are not only propelled by Tchaikovsky but also by Steve Reich as they turn the classic Swan Lake on its head to tackle issues of gender and homophobia in a country ravaged by AIDS.

This was one of the  photos of the week on CNN last week.

The Joyce Theater175 Eighth Avenue New York, NY

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wedgie Fit Jeans

Wedgie Fit Jeans

My Palm Beach Post: A new Levi's design called Wedgie Fit Jeans promises to positively highlight womens' curves.  According to the clothing company's Instagram account, the Wedgie gives wearers 'the vintage look (they) love, tailored to show off (their) best assets.'

The cotton jeans stretch and lift essential parts of the woman's shape, producing what looks slightly like a wedgie.Senior vice president of Levi's Global Design Jonathan Cheung told Mashable that the cut of the jeans features vintage elements like a button fly instead of a zipper worked into a contemporary style for fans of the original Levi's 501 jeans.

"What's great about the vintage 505 is this flatness at the front that holds your tummy in, and they are a little tight around the back," Cheung said.

One reviewer wrote: These jeans do exactly what they say they will do - give you a seriously great looking behind! Love the 90's style fit, and really really flattering to the waist, behind and hips. Like looking through vintage stores forever to find that perfect vintage fit. Heard about the wedgie fit from The Zoe Report and these truly are sexy and flattering!


I just wish they would look that good on me. If you try these let us know how they fit.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Funnies - Super Sunday


 The funnies were my favorite section of the Sunday paper when I was growing up. I will make an effort to make this a regular Sunday feature.  Enjoy and have a Super Sunday!