Friday, May 31, 2019

Friend's Friday - Women Helping Women '19

Rhonda - Capital Strategies Women’s Forum Florida

I attended a local Women's Forum networking evening back in June, 2018 and again last week. What a pleasure to be included in such a group of intelligent, active and engaged women. As I stated after attending the first group meeting: 

I am amazed as to how women cooperate.  They truly are willing to share how they got ahead and willingly encourage others to do the same. What a concept and a pleasant evening. 

This was certainly evident this time as well. The subject -  "Rising Above: Overcoming Life-Changing Obstacles."

  The presenters brought to life  - Adopt a positive mindset.

Both this year's and last year's events were held at The Manatee Lagoon - Palm Beach County's educational attraction dedicated to viewing manatees up close and learning about the wonderful world of manatees. Enjoy some of the photos here and click on the link for more information/photos on The Capital Strategies Women’s Forum

Thursday, May 30, 2019

"I Did It My Way"

This is a song I missed in my road-trip songs from a few weeks back.  Enjoy this beautiful singer.  What a beautiful dress and song. 

Wikipedia: Leona Winter (previously known as Miss Leona) is the stage name of Rémy Solé, a French drag queen, best known for winning the second season of the Chilean reality show The Switch Drag Race, the Chilean version of RuPaul's Drag Race.

Solé was born in France, and comes from Spanish heritage. He started taking dance classes when he was eight, and singing classes when he was nine. He started to take theater classes when he was twelve, and started doing drag at seventeen. He resided in Barcelona before participating in The Switch.

In 2017, Leona Winter was the winner of the Miss Continental prelim pageant Miss Europe Continental in 2017. She was the winner of the Miss Latina Continental prelim in 2018.

Leona Winter appeared as one of fifteen contestants for the second season of The Switch on March 2018. She was announced the winner of the season on July 16, 2018, after beating Pavel Arámbula, Sofía Camará and Gia Gunn.

Winter participated in the eighth season of the French version of The Voice on March 2, 2019, and joined the team of singer Jenifer.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Boys My Age

I believe most all of us that fall somewhere under the transgender umbrella knew we were different. Early on, I was totally unaware that being transgender had a name and thinking I was all alone with these thoughts. Most importantly, I didn't having a clue as to how to cope.  

I just compartmentalized my transgender nature. Over the years I have been told story after story about harsh outcomes of being caught and being subjected to treatment "in all the wrong ways".  Kids being sent to what is called today, "aversion therapy"; or distraught parents trying to shame/beat this out of the confused child. I was so fortunate to come out of the formative early years unscathed. 

I am unaware of anyone in my era, whose parents allowed the son to explore his femininity. E.g. took him shopping, went to the prom, or spent the summer as a girl. Lovely as they are, these beautiful fantasy stories are just what they are - fantasy. If anything like that happened to you, please share. I am sure many would love to hear about your positive real-life cross gender experience as a child/teen.   

Back in the 1950's and 1960's, when I was growing up, sex was barely discussed in polite company. So the action of cross dressing would have been one of the ultimate taboos - except on Halloween. Then it was OK because it was a costume. Also the south prided itself on its "woman-less" weddings, and beauty contests.  Stana at Femulate has documented many of these.  

In my little southern town everyone talked about the assistant chief of our volunteer fire department and how beautiful a woman he made one Halloween. No one even knew who "that woman" was at our annual community party. It was the repeat performance the next year that really set tongues wagging. "You know, he was so much better looking than his wife."

Something deep inside made me feel a kinship with his actions although not wanting to admit to myself how much I would love to participate.  

Little by little, I started to understand that I was not alone. Then magic occurred - Puberty kicked in and I was off to the ball game with girls, thinking the cure had arrived.  Little did I know?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Reversing Protections

Roger Severino, director of the HHS
 Office for Civil Rights
Trump Administration Proposes Rule To Reverse Protections For Transgender Patients

From NPR May 24, 2019
By Alison Kodjak and Camel Worth

The federal Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to roll back an Obama-era policy intended to protect transgender people from discrimination in health care.

Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said the proposed rule, released Friday, would revise protections put into place in 2016 as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that defined discrimination "on the basis of sex" to include gender identity. Gender identity was interpreted as one's "internal sense of being male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female."

Severino said at a press briefing: “We have concluded in our most recent filing with the court that discrimination on the basis of sex does not cover gender identity.

Jocelyn Samuels, the former head of HHS's Office for Civil Rights, says that the 2016 policy defining sex to include gender identity was based on how the courts had treated sex discrimination laws in education and employment.

Samuels says the new proposed rule is "extraordinarily damaging" to transgender people.  The Administration has taken the position that there is no federal remedy for gender identity discrimination in employment, in education, in homeless shelters and now has proposed to take that position in the health care context as well."

The Human Rights Campaign says fear of discrimination causes many LGBTQ people to avoid seeking medical care. The group cites studies that show that 70 percent of transgender patients say they have experienced discrimination in a health care setting.  

Read the whole article for additional information... 


Personal Note: Prior to ACA, I was turned down by a Doctor and was told that under no circumstances would she accept me as a patient. Although she was under my company insurance plan, I had already paid the co-pay and was sitting in her exam room. We are now returning to those times?  

This administration, under Trump and Pence, continues to erode our rights and protections.            

Documentary "Southern Comfort"
If you have not seen the documentary "Southern Comfort" it chronicles the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a transgender man. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, was turned down for treatment by two dozen doctors out of fear that treating such a patient would hurt their reputations. By the time Eads received treatment, the cancer was too advanced to save his life. Filmmaker Kate Davis follows Robert and a group of transgender Southerners in this captivating and truly touching documentary. IMDb  

I knew Robert from attending SCC. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day '19

Today is not a day for political dissension. Let us all remember those that gave their lives protecting the way of life we all hold dear.  

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Super Cute for 1953

1953 Jantzen Fashion Advertisement 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Jeans - Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Mom’s? Dad's?

Tell your mom & boyfriend you love your new girlfriend jeans! ;-

Note:  Sorry about this re-post. It was posted a few days ago by mistake and then pulled. My Internet service has been down for almost 24 hours and working from my cellphone is not ideal. Hopefully I will get service back later today. 

Am I the only one that finds this confusing?  So that we know what arena we are playing  in, these are designations for women's cut jeans or at least sold in the woman's department. Let's throw in these designations - skinny, low-rise, high-waist, flare, straight leg , boot cut, and so forth. The good news is that everyone's shape is different, so finding a fit that flatters is possible.  However, where to start is the the problem. Since there are blogs for everything, here is a cheat sheet I found to end your style confusion. From Glamour:

The “MOM” Jean

Mom jeans are simply a more relaxed version of your modern high-waist jeans. While having more slack by zipper area and a tighter fit around the booty, this style has been often criticized for being unflattering. Yet, that doesn’t stop stylistas everywhere from wearing them. After all, the elongated ass factor is a major key to completing the look! More than likely many styles of this pant hit right at the ankle so they’re perfect to pair with your favorite booties.  I think NYDJ (Not Your Daughter's Jeans) started this line and a just cut the jean different for teen/junior jeans.


Boyfriend jeans are the arch enemy to the skinny jean. Completely shying away from the tighter closely tailored pant, they are the mainly a more baggy relaxed fit pant. They’re the ex’s hoodie of the denim world! Many play up the cropped ankle area by adding a cuff. Marilyn Monroe was spotted in the 60s rocking a pair and Katie Holmes spearheaded their comeback in 2009. These jeans are constantly evolving and here to stay! From classy to edgy these jeans are beyond versatile. Add an over-sized tee or crop with your favorite Chuck Taylors [flannel/collared shirt] for a complete boyfriend look.  They look like she has raided her "Boyfriend" closet.  Thus the name.


You’ve probably guessed it by now. The girlfriend jean is a more feminine version of the boyfriend jean. Consisting of a tapered straight leg, higher waist, with a little ease around the hips makes this style perfect for a more classic fit. The subtle slouch and slim silhouette flatters the tush area (who doesn’t want that to be perky) and also makes it easy to dress up or down.  Take them out on a casual day with your girls or pair with heels and blouse for a night out. The possibilities are endless.  The typical woman's cut and fit. Accentuate the curves.

The “DAD” Jean

 Feeling presidential? After Obama was spotted in this style, they’re slowly coming out of retirement… maybe. This style is the counterpart of the vintage mom fit jean, for menswear (ladies are not excluded). Relaxed, high-waisted, but has more range when it comes to the washes and densities. Did I mention shape is not a factor? Go in your local thrift store’s men section and you catch a pair of Wranglers or Levi’s 550 waiting for you.


This amount of flexibility is wonderful. So when stopped by the fashion gender police, just admit, if you dare, I am wearing my "Boyfriend" jeans; Leave me alone.  

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Green Stamps & The 5 Tube Radio

Anyone remember what the S&H represented?
Today's post is a lot off-subject. I was thinking the other day there is a whole generation of kids that do not know about Green Stamps. Green Stamps were one of the first retail loyalty programs.

After my grandparents sold their general store my grandmother shopped at the local A&P "Supermarket" and just loved getting Green Stamps. I remember getting all gooey green sticking them into the 24 page Saver Books. She hoarded the stamp books, studied her "Idea Book" and could not wait to visit the Redemption Store.

At this time in my early teen years, I was all into electronics and loved assembling Heatkits. At 7 I built a crystal radio. My most ambitious effort was a 5 tube AM radio. One of the items I needed was a soldering gun and my grandmother did sacrifice a book or two for my project. I did get the radio to work and was so proud.   

One of the most interesting parts of this story is that I still have the soldering gun; not the radio. The soldering gun still works and the exact same item from 1963 is still available for sale today. Weller D550 Dual Heat Soldering Gun. The familiar chick-chick of the trigger and the smell of the rosin melting brings back a lot of memories.   

The story does get a little more interesting for all of the geek readers out there. Feel free to bail now if you want a lingerie or high heel chronicle. 

Using my trusty soldering gun, I dissembled the radio and in my high school drafting class drew (with ink) the radio's schematic, poster size. I then attached the components (tubes, resistors, capacitors, coils) front side next to the schematic symbol and wired everything from the back. Yes! It worked, again! And I won first prize in a state high school technical competition.

I am sure this was a big plus on getting into engineering school. During my interview with the Dean of the VCU Engineering School, it was discussed. One thing I do know for sure; it was not my SAT (College Board) scores that got me accepted. 

So thanks go to my grandmother for sharing her beloved Green Stamps. A geek career was born. 

Tommy 1965 -  A junior in high school with my working radio schematic 


Geek challenge: Anyone out there that remember the 5 vacuum tubes used in this radio? One was always burning out because they were wired in series.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Feminine Differential - Wearing A Dress

April Golightly

The least seen clothing item in my experience is the dress.  Although not extinct, the dress is relegated to special events like weddings, dressy cocktail receptions, and dress-to-impress business functions. 

At my last job I fell into the "dress as everyone else", wearing pants, and the occasional skirt when a new-hire in my department declared, "I always wear a dress".  She looked good and did stand out in a good way.  Louise, you rock! 

I love wearing a dress although seldom do.  It is a matter of blending and not standing out as overdressed. My LBD with hose and killer heels is one of my favorites. However, it has been at least a year since I wore it.  Opportunity, yes, but not the will.  

April Golightly's blog had a wonderful post titled "Wearing Dresses for Beginners". Here is her opening:

Some women are anti-dresses. To me they are the most comfortable things in my wardrobe and you don’t have to match a top and bottom! I writing about wearing dresses for beginners so that women will try out wearing a dress so that they can join in the bliss that is being female. One of the few things women can do that men cannot is wear a dress. Embrace your femininity and look slimmer!

I could not agree more.  Here are her 10 rules for wearing a dress:

Rules for Wearing Dresses for Beginners

1. Make the dress fitted in the places you want to show off.

2. Sheath dresses work on almost everyone. Here is a great one.

3. Get a tailor. Not all women are the same on top as they are on the bottom. Buy to fit your largest part and get the remainder of the dress tailored to fit you. It is investment in looking great that does not cost as much as you might think. Add the cost of alterations into the retail cost and forget about it. If you have to buy one less piece to look great in the pieces you own, it is well worth it.

4. Belt everything. If your dress does not come with a belt, find a way to belt it! Drawing attention to your waist makes you look slimmer every time. I do  this all the time! (here with a button down dress, here with a summer dress, and here with an eyelet dress)

5.Smaller prints make you look slimmer.

6. Get great lingerie that fits. Also, pick up some Spanx or a girdle to slim yourself and make you look your best in a dress.

7. Wear color! Nothing looks better than wearing a bold color dress! Everyone has a LBD, embrace color and wear a little red dress or a little purple. What is your favorite color? Which color looks awesome on you? Buy a dress in that color! Yellow is one of my faves! If you must wear black, accessorize it with a statement necklace like I did here.

8. Don’t compete with detail of the dress. If your dress makes a strong statement, let the rest of your jewelry, accessories, and hair be simple and sleek.

9. You got to know when to  hold’em, know when to fold’em, Know when to walk away, know when to run! Know your body type and only show what you love and show only a little bit at a time. Never show cleavage and your legs at the same time.

10. Try the dress on with the shoes you will wear with the dress. Bring them with you when you shop if you can or buy from a store that carries the shoes you already own. If the shoes are not comfortable or does not fit properly, you will not wear them so don’t try them on with your new dress.


One comment on the April's blog was very interesting. Be sure to scroll to the bottom and read the very last comment from Jon. it starts this way: "I beg your pardon? You state one thing women can do that men cannot is wear a dress. Let me set something straight ..."

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Asymmetrical Fashion - Youthful

Asymmetrical Striped White Blouse

One of my other stops while in Ontario was St. Jacobs - a true country village. It is an end-of-week Farmer's Market destination, a Mennonite Village, a shopping destination and fun place to have lunch/dinner. All in a country setting. This trip I visited the market, had lunch and shopped at amazing, trendy boutiques. I entered one of the beautiful upscale boutiques and realized that it took up the whole block.  

The fashions were bright cheery, and different; some very conservative and others on the edge. A good example of the "edgy" is the asymmetrical top shown here.  I saw many in the St. Jacobs' boutiques and the look is growing on me. 

Sylvia van de Logt's fashion blog "Where Women Over 40 Go For Their Style" has a good post on "How to wear asymmetrical clothing – Asymmetric dresses and tops to fall in love with". She lists 5 reasons why you will love asymmetrical dressing. My favorite is #2:

They are more edgy and therefore add a young and hip element!

Read "40-Style" to see the other reasons. Needless to say there are many inspiring photos and suggestion. 

I do not have anything in my wardrobe asymmetrical, however, I am considering the top/dress shown, for $26.00 from the site SHYFUL. The site has a good sizing chart and the payment option seems safe. I am thinking about wearing it as above, with a short black pencil skit and colorful heels.I will keep you posted.   

Photos from St. Jacobs
wall mural; resting in the warm sun between boutiques; the Farmers Market. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Stunning Transgender Woman Models Bridal Wear...


Nicole Gibson

Make Her Feel like A Princess

We need wonderful success stories like this one.  Enjoy and dream.  I had one reader this morning thinking this was about me and my "Feminine Differential - The Ultimate Dress" experience. No. However, read my account of visiting a bridal salon if you have not already. I did feel like a princess.  


By Claudia Joseph
February 2017

Stunning wedding dress model Nicole Gibson, 36, was born a boy named Glen, started taking hormones in 2010 and had sex change operation in 2013.  

It came just days after she stormed into the spotlight at London Fashion Week. She is now legally recognized as a woman on her passport and driving license. Nicole has told MailOnline:

I don't really refer to myself as transgender now. Even though I was physically a little boy, I've always felt female – my brain was that of a little girl, my soul was that of a little girl. Now I'm living life as a woman. My passport describes my sex as Female not Trans.

Her Instagram page is splattered with selfies in her lingerie, poolside pictures in bikinis, catwalk snaps in bridal gowns and images of her curled up on her bed with her dog.

Yet 36-year-old Nicole Gibson is not your typical Millennial model: raised as a boy, the 'Unexpected Star of London Fashion Week' had a sex change operation just days after making her modelling debut in the autumn of 2013.

Now the five feet 11-inch model is living life as a woman – she is legally recognised as female on her passport and driving licence. 

She has been signed by the new agency Classic Models, joined dating website Tinder and flirts with the boys at the local rugby club, where she works as a barmaid. 

Her transformation to a woman has been so successful, and so convincing, that Nicole claims even her sexual partners cannot tell she was born a man.

Nicole, who lives in a quaint cottage in the rambling countryside in Warnham, West Sussex, was not always so comfortable in her skin. 

Born as a boy named Glen, she always felt an affinity with little girls, fantasizing about dressing up in women's clothes and pretending she was Elizabeth Taylor in the 1976 film Blue Bird.

Bullied at her secondary school, Tanbridge House, where she was given the nickname 'Glenda the Bender', she eventually came out as gay when she was a student at Collyer's sixth-form college, where she studied English Literature, theater studies and performing arts, alongside TV presenter Holly Willoughby.

... Nicole has been signed to Classic Models, which has promoted her as a bridal wear model. The highlight, so far, was walking down the catwalk for Estilo Moda at Woburn Abbey. 'That was an amazing experience,' she adds. 'I was just away with the fairies'.

'I got to the end of the catwalk and spun around like a princess. I've always dreamed of my wedding day. Now I just need to find my prince.'


Friday, May 17, 2019

Friends Friday - My Mercedes Club (March/April '19)

Photos from my last two Mercedes Club (Road Star Section) outings.   

Our March meeting was at the Mercedes Dealership located in North Palm Beach. We were given a private VIP tour of the dealership, including the maintenance shop. We had the owner and service manager's attention for over 45 minutes. There were lots of questions. Plus the dealership provided a nice lunch and trivia game with prizes.  

Our April meeting, thanks to Hartmut Fehyl, was held at  Renntech in Stuart, Florida. Hartmut is an amazing man who peruses his passion for cars; restoring, customizing, and racing. His specialty is Mercedes and he presented his recent tuning software enhancement. We saw many cars he is currently rebuilding, customizing and racing. Hartmut is shown talking about one of his race cars in the upper right photo. 

There were approximately 30 attending and following the tour at Renntech the group reconvened at Conchy Joe’s on the Indian River Lagoon in Jenson Beach for a very nice group lunch with prizes. 

I was the official photographer for these last two events. However, I was able to sneak into one by having someone take a photo. 

Coming up in May is our end-of-season bash; this year an elegant Saturday evening wine tasting. It will be held at a self storage wine vault where each wine vault is temperature controlled and has an individually decorated mahogany area with locks/alarms. According to their web site: "They go to great lengths and detail to provide your wine collection the best storage facility in Florida. Privacy and discretion is of the utmost importance to our clients. No one else can view your collection from the outside."  

This should be a fun and interesting evening. Stay tuned... 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Revolutionary War hero might have been a woman or intersex

Researchers noticed the Polish officer's delicate bone structure after the skeleton was extracted from the Pulaski monument in Savannah, Georgia.

By Corky Siemaszko  April 5, 2019

Polish soldier and military commander
Casimir Pulaski, circa 1775
Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and the pride of the Polish-American community, may need a new pronoun — he may have been a she, or even a they.

Researchers who used DNA to identify Pulaski’s bones are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.

That’s the eye-opening takeaway from a new Smithsonian Channel documentary titled “The General Was Female?,” which premieres Monday and is part of the “America’s Hidden Stories” series.

“One of the ways that male and female skeletons are different is the pelvis,” Virginia Hutton Estabrook, an assistant professor of anthropology at Georgia Southern University, told NBC News. “In females, the pelvic cavity has a more oval shape. It’s less heart-shaped than in the male pelvis. Pulaski’s looked very female.”

While the Pulaski skeleton showed tell-tale signs of extensive horseback riding and a battle wound on the right hand that the general is known to have suffered, the facial structure and jaw angle were decidedly female, Estabrook said.

Estabrook said her team is not the first to suspect that Pulaski might not have been a man. Others also noticed the delicate bone structure after the skeleton was extracted from the Pulaski monument in Savannah, Georgia. The general was only between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-4 inches tall.

Told of the revelations about Pulaski, Richard Zawisny, president of the annual Pulaski Day parade, admitted, "I'd heard something about this before, but I'm a little shocked by this."

"But in this day and age, I don't think it will matter to most people," he said. "I really believe that the majority won't care, and it doesn't take away from the fact that Pulaski was a Polish-American hero."


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

More on Gender Blurring

 As Freud put it:

When you meet a human being, the first distinction you make is ‘male or female?’ and you are accustomed to make the distinction with unhesitating certainty.”  

As the Atlantic stated in the article "A Brief History of Unisex Fashion":  Had Freud lived through the 20th century instead of the 19th, he might have had good cause for hesitation. In an era when gender norms—and many other norms—were being questioned and dismantled, unisex clothing was the uniform of choice for soldiers in the culture wars.

I like this look

My only wish - I were that young again.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Feminine Differential - The Power of The Shoe

Have you ever thought about the impact that just a pair of shoes has on your outfit? When paired with a skirt [or jeans skirt as above], shoes can take you from running an errand, to running a meeting. From stepping out to dance, to stepping out at the beach. 

If you imagine each of these shoes paired with the any skirt, you can see how each will take you somewhere new. 

Don’t ever dismiss the power of the shoe.  Cinderella did not.  (Inside Out Style Blog


Note: Top by CeCe Off-The-Shoulder Balloon-Sleeve Blouse by Cynthia Steffe found at Neiman Marcus $17.40.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

Singer Doris Day Dead at 97

Doris Day singing one of my favorite songs.

During her career and retirement, Day always seemed to adhere to the philosophy of her biggest hit, "Que Sera, Sera," which she initially opposed as a "kiddie song" but which became her signature tune.

"Que sera, sera.Whatever will be, will be;The future's not ours to see.Que sera, sera,What will be, will be."

Thanks for the songs and memories.

20 Lashes

Happy Monday!!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A Mother's Day Tribute '19

Summer 1948 - I love my Mother's dress.  

My Grandmother and mother holding me; both courageous women. I miss you both and sorry you missed out on so much.   

A Mother's Day Tribute: The woman that was most mother to me was my grandmother. Due to my mother's illness and an early passing, the role of being my mother fell to my grandmother. For this, I am forever grateful. My grandfather and grandmother ran a very successful general store and both were highly respected in our little town. On this Mother’s Day, here is a story that speaks volumes about her.

While attending church with my grandmother, I literally had a front row seat to a religious freedom discussion. Time - the early 60's. Blacks under strong leadership were exercising their rights and letting the Jim Crow south know that discrimination was wrong on many levels.

That Sunday morning the question put before the congregation was, "What to do if a black person enters the church during a service and takes a seat?" As it was called back then, “desegregate” the church. The consensus plan was to sing the closing hymn and everyone stand and leave. Thus, not acknowledging the “intruder”. This was until my grandmother stood and stated that not respecting someone (any person) was not Christian. She then read to the congregation Acts 10:34-35:
 (34) Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism (35) but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right'. (New International Version -NIV)

That ended the discussion and the church decided that day to welcome all entering with open arms. I have never been more proud of my grandmother and still am.

I love you mom and love you so much Granny.