Friday, July 31, 2015

The Picture of Me vs The Real Me


In one of my recent posts I was contemplating my new black wig and how while wearing it I don't really feel like it matches up well with the picture or image I have of myself.  Pat, a frequent commenter on many blogs, left me the following comment awhile back:

"you have been projecting blond for so long that dark hair seems like a disguise."

It is a very interesting comment but I think it is backwards.  While looking at the pictures of myself in the black wig, it made me feel as though maybe I have been hiding by wearing a blond wig for so long.  Wearing my new wig has caused me to think about what I am doing. It is kind of hard to explain the feelings. Like by dressing as a woman, am I trying to show a part of me, or am I trying to show me, or am I just being me, or am I trying to create some sort of idealized version of me.

I tend to think the later one is occurring.

See.... what I think is occurring within me is that for so long I strove to obtain a female image.  Not necessarily a female version of me, but rather some sort of fantasy image of a woman.  You know, that dream look that so many of us all have.  This fantasy image of perfection for our bodies.  Well... I have gotten close.  Certainly not in real life! But in being able to know what to wear, how to wear it and how to photograph it well, I have come slose to pulling off that ellusive moment captured in a simple photgraph that shows a glorious flash of beauty.

But then I see myself in a black wig and I think, 'hey, wait a second!  This is all wrong!  This is not the look!'  And it rubs me wrong.  What am I?  A look, captured fleetingly in a photo, or am I person.  A person, with positive and negative attributes, a real person, who is quite free to change the color of their hair if they so choose to do so.

And that feels like me.  That voice inside who says, 'oh are you telling me that I can't?'  That sort of thing kind of gets me more than a bit fired up.

So.... I am trying to push myself to develop a more realistic internal image of who I am.  Kind of like taking the fantasy image, and the real image and mushing them together. Being able to take a good looking picture is awesome.  But I often mutter to myself that it is all smoke and mirrors!  Pictures do not depict reality.  Many folks tell me how great it is, that I "pass" SO well!  I laugh!  Do you know what I can do?  I can take a pretty good picture!  But if you are in front of me, interacting with me, that fantasy will crumble pretty quickly!

And for me, it is that piece that I am becoming more and more comfortable with.  I am not that fantasy image, but I am doing pretty well with what I do have.

But... sometimes I think too much and over read into things.

Maybe I just prefer to be blond!



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

3 Makeup Tips

I am very limited in my ability to utilize makeup as well as I would like to.  I constantly think that maybe there is some sort of magic contained within those glorious little bottles and tubes that will magically transform me into the goddess that I long to be!  But alas, makeup can only do so much for someone.  You gotta recognize where your starting point is.  Things can be improved, but not completely made over.

Such is life huh?

Anywho...  I do have a few makeup tips for you that some of you may find helpful.

1.  The first and foremost is GO GET A MAKEOVER!!!!!  If you are going to choose to wear makeup, then my best advise for you is to get a professional.  I have had only about 3-4 makeovers, but they have been revolutionary in educating me about the products and their application.  It was also quite simple.  I generally dress as a woman, but without any makeup on, walk up to a makeup counter, and ask if they have time to do a makeover.  Each time I have done this, at Clinique and Urban Decay, inside Macy's, the sales associates were extremely accommodating, friendly, and educational.  I was also recently at a Sephora and asked about contouring and the SA sat me down and happily showed me their products and how to use them.

2.  Blotting paper!  Do you know about blotting paper?  Well you should if you don't.  For someone like myself, who has oily skin, this stuff is a face saver!  I love it and use it every time I am dressed, sometimes multiple times a day depending on the heat.  They are quite simple to utilize, pull it out and press it onto your skin and presto, it soaks up the oils like magic.  I have tried a few different brands, but I really like the Shiseido ones.  They are super absorbent and leave nothing behind.

3.  Wipe off your mascara brush.  Jules shared this with me awhile ago and it is a nice little trick.  When you pull out the brush, if it is like the typical fluffy bushy type of brush, then take some tissue and gently wipe off the brush.  Essentially what you are trying to do is to take off some of the product from the brush, but not removing all of it.  Now that you have wiped it off, then apply it as normal.  The product will take more swipes to apply it as there is less on the brush, but with many swipes like this it will apply enough product, but it is not so thick that it clumps on your lashes.  Maybe some of you like that look so if clumps are your thing then avoid this tip!

How about some of you?  Do you have any handy little tips to share?

Love you!

Wear makeup!

Or not.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Outfit for Super Comfort

Blouse - WHBM - Similar
Tank - Calvin Klein - Similar
Shorts - Celebrity Pink - Similar

Nothing special to see here folks!  Just some super comfy clothes.  Jules and I were away for the night while we delivered our puppy to hunt school!  Yay!  Go Indy!  Our little boy will be away for about 3-6 months learning to be a good little hunting companion.  Yay!  I miss him deeply.  But I am thrilled that I know that I am totally ignorant about training a dog well!  Really I know that I am not willing to devote the time to doing it well, so I will pay for someone to do it for me!  Yay! More bills!

Anywho.... I chose to wear this outfit for the car ride home.  We had nothing else on our agenda for the day and thus I was just looking for comfort in some of this summertime heat.  Ugh!

The top is from White House Black Market and I like it, but it is a bit see through.  Too see through for me to feel comfortable without something underneath it.  I swear, even with a nude color bra, you could just about see my entire bra!  I tossed the white tank on, also super comfy, and that solved the problem for me well enough.

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Out and About

Top- White House/Black Market- similar
Shorts- L.E.I.- similar
Shoes- Life Stride- similar

Nadine and I needed to travel to Fresno to get some things taken care of, and I decided to wear this outfit. It takes two hours to get to Fresno so I wanted to be comfortable. I really like these items, but I usually do not wear shorts this short out and about in the world. I usually wear them to the lake over my bikini or to the local market. Yet I decided I needed to just go for it.

This top has a draped neck line, and I love it! I have several other shirts, long and short sleeve, and tanks, that have draping. It seems to me that the draping up by the neck draws the eye to my neck area, which is good because I like my neck and want to show it off. (Kind of an odd body part to really like, but my neck is long and in my opinion, makes me look regal.) The color is a lighter teal color, which is definitely in my color palette. Blue is one of favorite colors to wear, in almost any shade.

The shorts are a light denim with white embroidered flower that have a crystal as the center of the flower. (Sorry there is no close up-still learning what to take pictures of for my posts here.) They have a little bit of jean fringe at the bottom, which many years ago I refused to wear. I had the idea that the fringe would tickle and bother me. It doesn't; in fact, I think it adds something to the shorts. (Interesting what ideas we have in our heads that are really not true, just made up fears by our magnificent brains.)  Although I was apprehensive about wearing what I consider short shorts, the day went great, and I did not get any weird comments or looks at my shorts, (No pitch forks or torches either. Hee-hee.) I was glad to be able to show off my legs, and not for the usual reasons most people like to show their legs. It has been almost 2 years since I shattered my left tibia, and now I am almost back to 100% usage and mobility. Also, the leg is all me since recently having the hardware taken out. I am very proud of the scar because it reminds me how hard I have worked to get where I am today.:) In my opinion, scars are our proof we lived through something hard, and you all should be proud of your scars, too.

I wore a pair of tri-metallic colored wedge sandals for our outing. They are comfortable and cute with a small heel, which was great because I had not worn a lot of heels since the surgery. A small wedge is so great for walking in or wearing all day at work; they are feminine yet functional, a big plus for those of us who are on our feet most of the work day, or for any time you're going to be out and about for the day.  

Love how you are, but never stop trying to better yourself!   Hugs!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Balance of Power

Do you know that it has been over two years since I have gone more than 24 hours without having polish on my fingernails?  I vaguely remember what started it all off.  I had been wearing my nails polished on occasion but not all of the time and in an entirely unrelated incident I began to have some difficulties at work.  That was the beginning of the issues you may have read about here.

Anywho... I figured at the time, I am working so hard to try and conform to what others want me to be, and even then there are still difficulties!  So why am I worried about them finding out about me and being upset when they are already getting upset with me?  (BTW, as is often the case with me, I totally misconstrued what turned out to be one cranky employee's opinion of me.)  But anyway what it caused was for me to decide that if others are not going to like me, they may as well not like me for who I really am.

Thus I began wearing my nails painted daily and in whatever shades I felt like wearing.  Bright red?  Sure.  Pink, on occasion.  Most often it has been a sparkly blue.  Sometimes just bright silver sparklies!

And in just a short bit, my two year streak will be ending.  I will voluntarily be removing my polish for about two to three weeks.  Why, you ask?  Well...

In awhile from now I will be taking a trip that I don't really want to go on.

As many of you know, my dad passed away earlier this year, what you may not know is that we have yet to bury him.  At the time of his death it was mid winter and being as he wanted to be buried in Pennsylvania and the ground was frozen solid we decided to wait til summer to bury his ashes.

Before my dad died, last summer Jules and I made a plan to visit my mother's grave site, who died twenty years ago and we have yet to be back to Wisconsin where her grave is at.  I had told my sister of this idea and she decided to join us along with her family. The plan was that after our Wisconsin visit we would then go to her house in upstate New York.

Well after my dad died we decided to roll everything together into one large trip and do it all.  Since then, I have also been contracted to do some mentoring for my employment, which will take place immediately following my return from my trip back east.

Once I realized that I would be gone from my house for about three weeks, I began to get really nervous about it all.  I am not nervous about the trip, and even though we are taking care of some very serious stuff along the way, the trip sounds like it will be enjoyable.  We are going to get to visit with family that I have not seen for many years.

So why do I not want to go?  Because this is the time of year when I get to dress as much as I would like to.  And not having that freedom worries me.  It worries me because when I don't heed the signs, the desires grow. And I don't want them to grow.

Oftentimes I feel as though I am playing a balancing act, always attempting to find the sweet spot between my desires.  It is easy to find the time to be male, but I often struggle to find the time to be female.  And for most of my life the balance of power is in favor of my maleness.  When I don't get enough time for femininity is when I become worried.

Worried because the feelings inside of me grow.  Even with all of the writing I do about this subject, I find it terribly difficult to explain well; to explain it in a way that makes sense to even me, let alone anyone else.

But.... suffice it to say.... when I give too much to my maleness, I long for femaleness.  It is very rare, but has happened on occasion, when I give too much to my femaleness, I long for maleness.  And it is that feeling that I love.  That longing for maleness.  For that is what shows me who I really am.  When I go for too long longing for femaleness it begins to cloud my judgement and I begin thinking that it is all that I want, and that maybe I really want to live my life as a woman.  It is only when I get to experience being female for awhile that I am reminded of how much I also enjoy being male.

And thus my concern about my trip back east.  I really don't know what I am going to do.  My two options are to go but to not bring any female clothes at all and do the whole trip totally male, or I could bring female items and dress when I can.  Both options worry me and as of right now, I really don't know what would be best.

Did I ever mention that I am a Libra?  No?  Well I don't put much stock in astrological signs but I do have to say that it is interesting how much I struggle to achieve some sort of balance.

I'll keep you all updated.

Love you!

Balance your lives.

If you can.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cute Dresses at eShakti

I had never heard of eShakti before Sally introduced them to me.  I think they are an excellent place to shop online for everyone, but especially for transgender folks wanting to dress in women's clothes.  Why you ask?  Because you can customize everything they sell!

That is just totally awesome!  Want a shorter or longer dress?  No problem.  Want arms or no arms?  Yup, they can do that also!  Wow.  They can customize far more than I can explain, so click here and check out the site to see for yourself.

While I have yet to try their service, I think I need to give it a whirl after looking at some of their products.  Check out some of these dresses as an example:

You know how much I love polka dots right?  Well, and of course then I love this dress because it has polka dots and is in black and white!  I also like that it is a faux wrap dress that has a hook and eye closure at the top of the neck.  So often with wrap dresses they just do not come together very nicely at the neck line for me, with the hook and eye closure then you know it will always stay at that spot!  

I think this dress is super cute as well.  I really like the floral patterns on it, though I would prefer if it was done with embroidery instead of just printed.  But I do still like the look of it.  I also like the color blocking effect with the darker colors in the middle of the dress.  It totally pulls your eye to that center part of the dress, which I obviously highly recommend in most outfits.

Honestly, I really can't tell if I really like this item or not.  It totally catches my eye, but it might be a bit too sailor for me.  I think it is cute.  I like the color block right at the waist and bust.  Again, it pulls your eye to that spot.  I do love the fit of this style of dress and I also really like that it has side seam pockets with it.  Okay, I do like it!

Hope you are well!

Love you!

Buy things on sale!

- eShakti

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Going to get Sushi

Top - Guess - Similar
Tank - WHBM - Similar
Skirt - 36 point 5 - Similar
Shoes - Taryn - Similar

I am so drawn to these types of tops.  I really like them and think they are super cute, but I am not so sure that they work all that well with my arms.  I am beginning to become more comfortable with showing my arms.  Many times this summer I have gone out with them uncovered and have been much more comfortable in the heat; which is a tough thing to do!

Love that pop of purple!
Even though I have been going out with my arms uncovered, I still think there are certain items that work better or worse with my arms.  This particular tops arms stop at just about the largest part of my arms, which tends to draw your eye to that spot, and thus it makes my arms look bigger than they actually are.

Funny enough, a top with no arms at all actually makes my arms look smaller!  Which is such an odd thing for me.  With my arms totally out, they can look smaller than if they are partially covered.

Hmmm..... anyways.... I wore this outfit while Jules and I went out for sushi.  She tends to like sushi far more than me.  I enjoyed it while we were in Japan once, but come on, it was Japan!  Talk about fresh fish!  Yummy!  But I do enjoy the restaurant that Jules introduced me to and I enjoyed the meal on this particular evening.

Okay.  Gotta run.  Love you!

Oh.... right.... what do you think about showing your arms?  Do you do it or avoid it?


Friday, July 17, 2015

Before & After Contouring

Do I look the same in both pictures to you, or can you spot the differences?  In the photos it is not as obvious as it is in person.  Well, I shouldn't say obvious, nothing with your use of makeup should be totally obvious.  If so then maybe you haven't blended enough! 

In the first photo I have all of my makeup applied, including foundation, eyes done, lip color, and eyebrows, while in the second it is after I contoured my face.  I am so not in love with these photos btw, it really shows just how off my eyebrows are.  Oh how I long for symmetrical eyebrows!  My makeup application is a bit off, but it is true that my brows are not symmetrical!  :( is where I applied the contouring product:

 I attempted to follow some diagram I found on Pinterest.  It is kind of tough to see the lowlights in this photo.  They are on either side of the top of my forehead, along the sides of my nose, under my cheekbones, and along my jawline.  The highlights are pretty obvious.

I used this product, in the light shade:

Jules needed something in Sephora and while there I asked a sales associate if she could help me out with some contouring product.  She sat me down in the chair and showed me how to apply two different products.  Jules and I both liked the one pictured above.  I also bought a nice light sparkly blush as well, but I totally misplaced what it is called! Sorry.

So.... I was completely nervous about asking the sales associates at Sephora for help, but they were really nice and very helpful and answered all of my questions, repeatedly, and nicely.  I was also very nervous about trying to use any sort of contouring, and now I kind of like it.  It really helps to provide a subtle difference to one's face, which is kind of funky to see.

I highly recommend at least trying it.  Who knows, you might just like it!

Love you!

Experiment, it's fun!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

White Tunic

Top - Guess
Tank - White House Black Market - Similar
Shorts - Guess - Similar
Shoes - Born O Concept - Similar
Belt - White House Black Market - Similar

I recently obtained this item at Guess and I would not have called it a tunic.  Personally for me, I think of it as a super long white blouse.  But maybe that is just because I have a personal bias for certain types of tunics.  Hmm..... Anyway, at the Guess site linked above, they are calling it a tunic.  And regardless, I really like it.

It is nice open and flowing.    And it is also rather sheer.  Not too sheer, but just slightly.  I like those features in this top as I can then wear a nice pop of color underneath as in the tank above as well as matching this with the pair of dark shorts.  With having the higher cuts on the hips, it really helps to show off the shorts.  With most of my other tunics, they are far too long to even show if I have any shorts on or not!

The belt is new as well.  I like it, but it is too small!  It is elastic so it stretches, but it is not quite my size.  But come on, for $4 from WHBM??  I had to buy it!

Hope you are all doing well!

Love you!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

When I first started wanting to go out while dressed as a woman, Jules and I were both pretty afraid of something bad happening to me.  I had spent many, many, many! years hiding who I am and what I liked to do.  For about 10-15 years the only person that knew about my gender variances was my wife.  We were both terrified of anyone finding out.

Eventually I shoved myself out the front door and somehow managed to start getting out in public.  And in so doing, my entire view of humanity has changed.  I have only had a small number of minor rudeness incidents from a few people as the worst that has ever happened.

I am no fool in thinking that nothing could ever happen, so I stay alert and aware of my surrounding and other's around me.  But the amount of kindness I have received from friends, family, and strangers has been overwhelming.  And I often feel that if ever anything bad should happen, the percentage of kindness I have been shown would barely be impacted.

A few of the more recent acts of kindness that I think deserve a mention here:

1 - Jules and I were in the drive-thru at McDonald's.  We ordered our food and began waiting in the line of cars to pay.  Nothing extra ordinary was going on.  We were just sitting and chatting.  When we got up to the window the cashier told us that we owed nothing as the guy in front of us thought we were cute and wanted to pay for our breakfast.

We were quite startled but still very appreciative of the generosity of the guy.  We waved thanks to him, and he waved back.  (Out of my paranoia I kept my eye on him and watched where he drove to, and he did the crazy thing of pulling out into the street and just driving away.)  Wow, someone just being nice, again!

2 - I visited my favorite mall recently up in Livermore, CA and of course went into the Guess store.  Every single time I have been there a super nice sales associate has remembered me.  And she is so nice, and sweet.  I wrote about her awhile back and I don't know if I can locate that post.  She saw me, dressed as a woman, and trying on male pants.  She came over and let me know that those pants did absolutely nothing for me.  It took about five minutes of explaining to her about my gender before she understood that I was not a girl and that I buy clothes from both sides of the store.  At that time, and ever since, she has been so sweet!

3 - Jules and I went to Trader Joe's the other day.  We normally buy cheese and flowers.  I love the cheese, and Jules and I both love the flowers.  Anyway... we normally bring a reusable bag but had forgot it.  While checking out, Jules and I were discussing this situation, with the cashier overhearing.  I told her that I would just put the cheese into my purse.  I grabbed the cheese, stuck it into my purse and said "It's a cheesy purse!"  Too which the cashier busted up laughing and said that line was just too funny.

Just three small things from total strangers, and they are very representative of how my life has been.  But completely opposite of what I thought it would be like if I ever let anyone into my hidden little world.

I still think that by hiding I was condemning people without ever actually giving them a chance to prove to me what they will really do.  And by me stepping up, and truly being concerned with myself instead of others, I have been able to see such a beautiful side to humanity.

Maybe I am just lucky.

Maybe people respond positively when faced with confidence.

Love yourself and spread the love to others!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mani/Pedi Day :)

Top- Banana Republic- similar
Shorts- Denizen
Shoes- Unity by Carlos Santana- similar

Nadine and I went for our regular manicure and pedicure when I wore this. We go every 2 to 3 weeks and almost always get both our nails and toenails done. I soo recommend this to everyone! Men and women, go do it if you have never done so! By the way, if you feel apprehensive about doing this, (regardless of how you are presenting), I have been to many, many different salons with my SO, with him presenting as a man ad a woman, and we have always been treated just like everyone else. Also, I have seen men and women at these salons of all ages getting nail work done, and they are all treated the same! Give your fear a rest and go for it! I bet you will find it is wonderful. 

I really like this top!! Of course, its in blue, one of my preferred clothing color choices. It also has awesome tear shaped cut outs around the neck line, so cute! I think these cut outs give this kind of plain shirt some flare. It is a stretchy material that makes it very comfortable, as well. This shirt is fairly casual yet I have worn it with a skirt, too.

The shorts have made an appearance in one of my posts here. They are a white denim like material. These shorts are a go to for me; they are cute, comfortable, and versatile. I do really like being comfortable, especially when going to the nail salon. It seems to me that most people have some clothes that they wear more often than others.  I do, I really do!

The shoes are a very flat leather flip flop. They are great for pedicures because they slip on very easily after having my toes painted. My favorite part of these flip flops are the little silver hearts attached tot he straps. Each heart has a little crystal in them that looks like a diamond. So cute! 

Also I wanted to show off my nails that I got in honor of the fourth of July. As you can see above, my toes are painted blue and red; my fingers somewhat match, just a little fancier. The nail designs were my idea, which is kind of rare as I usually look up nails on Pinterest and copy one of them. 

That is all from me today. Hope you are well and in good spirits!

Go out and try something new! You never know, you might jest love it!! 


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Outfit for nails

Tunic - Max Studio - Similar
Belt - ?? - Similar
Shoes - Guess - Similar

I really like this tunic, except for one little detail.  Can you spot what might bug me?  It is where the center column pattern rests across my bust.  It stretches the pattern.It really is not noticeable while wearing it though, which is good!

Other than that tiny little issue, this tunic is so soft, comfy, light, and breezy.  It is so perfect for wearing around here in these wonderful summertime temps!  Generally we are around 95-105!

I wore this when Jules and I got our nails done.  Obviously I did not wear those shoes though to the nail appointment.  I wear flip flops to get my nails done and bring another pair of shoes along with me to wear afterwards.  I like how the brown of the shoes complements the brown in the belt.  But I do have a concern about the shoes cutting off on my ankle.  I am so into looking taller lately and those shoes do cut off my legs somewhat.

Hmm........ well I did like wearing this outfit at least!  It sure is not coming off as though I love the looks of it in a photo, that's for sure!

Love you!

Love yourselves.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gender Non-Conforming - Wallet

Recently I had the opportunity to stop at the Coach outlet in Livermore, CA.  Often when I drive up to the SF Bay Area I will first stop at Coach and just sort of check out what they have. This time I had a vague notion of getting a new wallet.

I had been using a different Coach wallet, which was a half fold one.  That one was very small and convenient to carry around with me, but I always got frustrated.  It tended to be just a bit too small for me to easily get my money in and out of it.  The bill compartment was just large enough to fit paper money in it without folding it but I seemed to always struggle with it.  The other issue that I had with it is that it is partially fabric.  Thus the fabric was slowly, but surely, getting to be a different color from absorbing my oils and dirt from my hands.  Yuck!

So anywho... I wondered around the Coach store and spotted this lovely little puppy!  And I love it!  First off, it is a full size wallet and thus my paper money fits into it just fine.  Secondly it has a zipper that closes the whole thing right up.  Plus it has a change holder in the middle of it; super convenient.

But the thing that I think I like the most about it is it's edgy feminine styling.  It is a female wallet for sure, but being in black and with the rivets all over it, it has kind of a tough feel to it.  But it is a feminine toughness.  The rivets for example are in the pattern of a flower.  It starts on the front side and wraps around the bottom to the back side.  If you were able to lay it out fully you would see a whole flower pattern; though it does not open to fold out flat for a photo!

I really like that look.  That sort of in-between look.  Hmmm.... really?  Me?  The in-between look?  Surely you must be kidding?  Ha-ha!

So, um, yeah.  I love my new wallet.  I think it shows off my style just right!

Love you!

Do any of you others out there carry a female wallet or purse while dressed as a man?  How about you ladies out there?  Do you prefer a male's wallet?  Do you avoid purses?  I'd love to hear what you all out there in the blogoshpere do!

Be happy!

Love yourselves!

Love your uniqueness!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Outfit with Pleather

Jacket - Guess
Sweater - WHBM - Similar

This was an outfit from about a month ago.  I never got a chance to show it here, but I like it and think it is worth sharing.  On this particular day I woke up and was surprised to find it raining outside.  It was the end of a trip that had begun with work and was ending with a bit of fun.

But I had not anticipated the rain.  Lucky for me I had brought along some jeans!  Otherwise all I had with me were short skirts and even shorter shorts.  I had also luckily bought this jacket the day before.  It isn't much in terms of warmth, but to help out with a bit of light rain, it was perfect.

I wasn't sure if how exactly it would work out in my wardrobe, but on my shopping list was a white jacket.  I was really looking for a white wool jacket for the cooler season, but never located one.  This particular one looked like it was leather, it also feels like leather, but it isn't.  It is polyester.  A total pleather jacket!  Ahhh..... i don't know if I have ever purchased a pleather garment before.  I really like leather, but pleather?  I am still not sure if I will wear it much.  But hey, it was $40!  Leather cannot compete with that price.

So I bought it. And admittedly, I do like it.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Standing Against the Forces of Nature

Do you ever feel as though you are standing there in a futile fight against the immense forces of nature?

There have been a few times in my life when I have been face to face with an unstoppable force that I felt like an ant trying to stop a tidal wave.

I am reminded of that song

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he'll move that rubber tree plantAnyone knows an ant, can'tMove a rubber tree plant
But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopesHe's got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

And while some of you may be thinking that I am describing some sort of analogy for my inner gender variances, nope, I am describing how I felt standing next to my tent while gale force winds threatened to destroy my entire camp.

Jules and I were awoken just a few minutes prior and were now fully dressed, standing next to our tent, and holding onto it for dear life.  The skies were a dark formidable mass of nasty looking clouds, and the rain was just lightly falling, but the wind had become stronger than anything I had ever experienced.  It was whipping down the valley, roaring as it came, and lifting our tent almost completely off the ground, with Jules and I with it.

Jules steadied the tent while I furiously beat the stakes back into the mostly sandy ground.  The wind blew harder and harder, yanking most of the steaks out, and eventually ripping open a large gash in the side of the tent.  More wind blew in and the tent began to billow like a parachute, lifting more and more up off the ground.

I was desperately trying to determine what to do next when our screen room suddenly lifted up, tossing our kitchen to the ground, and crumpled to the ground about twenty feet away.  Our quaint little campground began to look like a hurricane smashed through it.  Our stuff was blowing all over the place, the screen room was a complete loss, the tent was mostly ripped, and still the wind blew, destroying as it huffed and puffed.

Jules was ten feet from me, but I had to yell for her to hear me describe what to do.  We dropped the tent to the ground and began to struggle with getting the canopy off of the frame.  Around this time a fellow camper, from a site next to ours, came running over and began to struggle with our crumpled screen room.  With the tent sitting on the ground, it stopped acting like it was about to fly away and I went to help with our screen room.

When I got to it, I could see how it was just completely destroyed.  The fabric was ripped all over and the canopy frame was mangled beyond repair.  Between the two of us we got the fabric detached from the frame and tucked under a bush.  With the screen room secured, we both ran back over to the tent and helped Jules to get it all down.

The entire incident lasted about a half hour, but by the time it was complete, our camp had been destroyed.  Most of our gear had been totally demolished, our belongings were strewn about in the dirt, our older dog was freaked out, and Jules and I were exhausted.

We spent the next hour or two cleaning up, packing our stuff back into the truck, and marveling at the power of nature and of our arrogance.  Every so often Jules and I really think we have gotten something figured out and are pretty secure in our knowledge that we got it down!  Camping was one of those areas.

Jules and I have been camping for many, many years, somewhere more than 20.  We have refined our gear and gotten to the point where we are more "glampers" than campers.  We have had our ups and down and really thought that we had the camping thing down.  In fact, humorously, just the day before this we had been commenting to each other how good we are at camping and that we should offer classes to others to help them out.  OMG, what arrogance!  It was as if the world heard us and decided to hand us a fat slice of humble pie!

As harsh as it can be at times, I enjoy being humbled.

I enjoy being reminded that sometimes nature is going to take it's course regardless of my desires.

Maybe this is an analogy.

Maybe what I need are tent anchors instead of stakes?

Maybe what I really need is a camp trailer!

Just what makes that little old ant ....

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