Why I Do This

Hi Kandi ! Thank you for sharing your many adventures and thoughts. You are doing an awesome job with your inspirational blog! Merry Christmas to you and your family and I wish you a happy and prosperous new year. Marci

Kandi,
While I haven’t commented before, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading. As I approach retirement, I use your example to consider what Leann might be able to do while volunteering.
Merry Christmas,
Leann

Kandi, I suspect that you may have more readers than you know. I am, of necessity for now, hiding my femininity from most people in my life. Your accounts of interactions with people as Kandi are challenging my view of my world and ‘engendering’ hope in me that, with a change of MY attitude, my world might not be so very different from yours. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your life with us. It is deeply appreciated.
Blessings.
Heather Wilkinson

I just want to say thank you for your blog. It helps me see how accepting people can be. I recently told my counselor about your blog and she hopes it will help me be more open to adventures, more than I am now. Thanks again. Paula

Happy Thanksgiving to you also. This Blog is truly an inspiration, for that I a thankful!
Lace and Smiles,
Lisa!

You are an inspiration! Keep it up. There’s not many safe places for us to go on the Internet, yours is. Thank you.
Lace and Smiles!
Lisa.

I live in Seattle, the place where Grunge was born. One would be hard-pressed to find anyone in a dress most times, except on Thursday nights, when the local cross dresser social group gets together. I used to be a member of the group, but I left when I was told I was not a cross dresser; I wore pants to a get-together one night!  I love to wear a dress, but I can feel like my feminine self in just about anything. Still, I’d wear dresses much more often if other women around here would too.

One of the nights, when I was out with the group a guy (who was in the band that was playing) came over to our table during his break. He greeted us with, “How are you ‘Dressers’ tonight?” I politely corrected him by asking him to please refer to us as ladies – not Dressers. He then said, “Oh, but I thought….since you’re wearing a woman’s dress… I interrupted him, saying, “I am not wearing a woman’s dress; this is MY dress!” I, later, heard Eddie Izzard say much the same thing in an interview. I’ve since modified it to: “I’m not just wearing women’s clothing; I OWN this.” Cuz when you really own it, as you said, Kandi, ” I feel prettier in a dress. I strut more confidently in a dress. I float, telling the world I am a woman and am happy to be one!” Miss Connie

I am deeply appreciative of all of my readers. The blog certainly feeds my insecurities, appeals to my vanity (we all have it on some level), but most importantly for me, it makes a difference. Not a world-changing difference, but it matters to many. And that matters to ME. As I continue to evolve, I want to have more of an impact and spend less time on empty internet trolling. My main presence will be here and my Flickr page. I am getting more directly involved in certain causes as Kandi and will continue to seek those activities.

The comments above touched me over the past few months. All comments are meaningful, they provide me with feedback and push me forward when I start to get a bit lazy about content here. It helps me understand that what I do, my silly little adventures, are not only fun for me, but may help others. I love all of my readers and am particularly thankful for Pat and Marie, regular contributors here.

Comment, please. Reach out and tell me your story. Share an adventure (I love those the most). Simply tell us about a beautiful dress you just wore or a simple afternoon spent being you, the wonderful you!

This blog is about being positive, being uplifting and most importantly, being ladylike. As we’ve discussed, our spectrum of the universe is Baskins Robbins and we don’t serve every flavor here. But we do love our favorite flavor!

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Shopping Fun!

No real story here that I haven’t already told, just me in many dresses!

Cute, cute, cute
I went back to get this one and found an even better dress!!

If this dress were available one size larger, I would have purchased it. It took my breath away, but was a bit tight in the shoulders and sleeves. A multi-Dress Barn excursion over the next few days turned up empty. Yes, I could have ordered it at the store online, but I just don’t like having a dress shipped home and having to explain my two personas for shipping purposes (I don’t want Kandi linked to our home address).

Absolutely adorable, but the neckline was too tight.

These last two were keepers, but I had already stretched the budget way too far! What a great way to spend an afternoon, wonderful people, a great friend and one dress after another, nothing better.

Now That Felt Good….

I have to admit, that was hard.  Two plus weeks without Kandi (although bits and pieces of her existed without anyone’s knowledge) was very difficult.  The genie is out of the bottle for me now and is very difficult to put it back.  Anything in your life that gives you pleasure and/or purpose, that is meaningful and joyful, would be missed.  Sometimes I worry about how she has taken a foothold in my life, other times I am deeply grateful and want to scream it to the world, mostly I settle back into what I do and how I do it.  It felt great to get back out there again, go through all that goes into my getting out.

When I go through my holiday shut down a few things happen. Most obvious, I miss my Kandi time. While she is always a secret from many, it just feels like a much bigger secret when she doesn’t get out to stretch her legs a bit. At year end I assess my life. It’s not necessarily a “resolution” thing, it simply because for about the last two weeks of the year I have tremendous down time, way too much time to think. I look back at my first outings of the past few years and they are always ultra-feminine, me busting at the seams to get out dressed. Last year I treated myself to a wonderful bridal fitting, the year before I went to see “The Danish Girl”. This year, I just wanted to go out and be a girl! Look pretty with all the trappings, shop, interact in traditional female places, try on dresses and talk with other women about that experience. So I decided to treat myself and go dress shopping. Four different stores, trying on many dresses, just relaxing and letting the experience wash over me. Truly allowing myself and my mind to let go and be a woman or as close to one as I can be.

My outfit for the day was simple and casual, allowing me to be able to easily remove it as I would be trying on dress after dress, so a button down blouse was the way to go.

I started at Dress Barn and had a wonderful time, a lovely SA helped zip me in and out of dresses and took pictures for me. Then over to a great consignment store where I picked up a great blazer, Banana Republic dress and two cute tops. No photographic evidence was available at this store.

I was then joined by a friend, Rebecca, whom I met working the chorus concerts. She is a great friend and I really enjoy talking with her. We had a ball as I continued my shopping. I purchased two more dresses, both just beautiful and they flatter me so much. It was great having someone else help me pick out dresses.

I tried on 13 dresses over the course of the afternoon, buying three of them. I way overspent for the perfect dress and I have the perfect occasion to it!

Two of the dresses I bought are pictured below. My other fun will be featured in tomorrow’s post.

Rebecca and I the stopped at Happy Hour, enjoyed a glass or two and just talked. The way women talk and for me, it was a perfect day. Thank you Rebecca for your friendship!

That was sooooooo much fun!

May I Ask You a Huge Favor?

If this blog means anything to you, if it is helpful or makes you smile every once in a while, I am asking a favor. Please develop the habit of clicking directly onto the blog. Get used to coming directly to Kandi’s Land.

I love doing this, no question. But it is work and I want to make sure it is valuable work. I am very heavily dependent on clicks over from a few other websites. I am deeply appreciative of these web sites for providing a link to my site, but need to begin standing on my own two feet if I want to sustain this over the long haul. Web sites come and go and if one or two of these disappear, so will I. Kandi’s Land has become intertwined into who I am, it’s my therapy.

We all have habits and Lord knows, my internet navigation skills are significantly lacking. Anything you can do to help me keep this going is appreciated. Tell a friend! Visit often! Thanks ladies, don’t know what I’d do without you. I’d probably be sitting in the corner mumbling to myself…..

Outfit 104

So let’s go back to about a year ago, a sunny January church Sunday.  An outfit that makes me smile to this day.  I dipped into my wardrobe and borrowed a few pieces from the angel known as my wife.  The idea here was to take a base outfit, plain and simple and create a few feature elements.

The base outfit is obviously simple.  Black on black, turtleneck, skirt, tights and pumps.  I chose a darker makeup pallet with burgundy eye shadow and lipstick.  I am a big fan of hoop earrings, especially for a woman my size.

The skirt had a little lace detail which shows a hint of gold, picking up on the color in the shawl.  The interplay between the feature pieces, the shawl and the statement necklace, pull the whole look together.  My usual stacked bracelets and sunglasses finalized everything.  Look, I know I never pass.  But on this day, with the sun glasses and the overall grace that this outfit portrays, this was as close as I’ll ever get.

An outfit like this shows that you don’t have to go over-the-top in your presentation to remain feminine and classy.  As I look back at these pictures, I just love the silhouette I created.  Find the focal point, don’t overdo it and remain smart, appropriate and confident and your experiences being out in the world have a much higher probability of making you feel special!

Volunteer Work

Donna recently posed the following question, which I will answer in an upcoming post: You have been accepted at a couple of different churches. How do you approach both the church and the congregation when you first attend and do you have any suggestions for others attempting the same thing?

She then asked that I take this question and apply it to getting started with your volunteer work? 

The same theory applies to church as to volunteering or frankly anything else that I do. I wrote two very detailed articles for Sister House on volunteering, the links listed below. Forgive me for not reinventing the wheel, but I put a lot of work into these articles.

I am deeply saddened about the passing of Tasi Zuriak, the house mistress of Sister House. She was such an important person for the CD/TG community. We never met in the real world, but emailed back and forth and have also spoken on the phone. I was honored to have written the final article she posted. She will be, she is, greatly missed. Pioneers like Tasi, supporters for our community are few and far between and those that are supportive are to be treasured. I can only imagine the gown she is wearing as she looks down on us now.

Donna Ponders: The Great Escape

Here is another of Donna’s questions which I will answer with a post from the way back machine:

You have said that the neighbors do not know about Kandi, so how does Kandi come and go without being seen a time or two over these last few years?

Great question Donna, one I addressed early on in my blog, back in the late 2017’s (okay so my blog history isn’t that long), which ironically was my answering another question from my reader, I mean readers.

___________________________________________________

Yep, another “Ask Kandi” post!

How do you get out the house without your neighbors seeing?

Good question.  Before I answer, there are a few things you have to understand.  People are all self-absorbed, they generally are more concerned with whatever they are doing than with you.  Secondly, passing someone in an automobile is at most a one second experience.  From the side, you are only visible from just below your shoulder on up.  From the front, the steering wheel provides cover and if I put down the sun visor, you can only really see from my chin to the top of my chest.  Also, try describing the person who just drove past you?  You really can’t get much in that brief instant.  I do also understand that many neighbors know what car their immediate neighbors drive.

All that said, I live at the end of a cul-de-sac, on a street about 1/4 mile long.  One way in, one way out, that’s all.  Our house is on the bend of the cul-de-sac, so many of the neighbors have a clear view of our driveway.  We have an attached garage.  Finally, outside of my immediate neighbors to the right, none have small children (people with small children tend to be outside in the yard more often).

So, let’s say today is a Kandi day.  First off, I try to time my escape properly.  For example, get out the door on a church Sunday early, people tend to sleep in on Sundays.  Or make sure I have cleared the street before the school buses arrive.  Since we have an attached garage, getting in the vehicle is a private matter, no one sees me.  Before I get in the car, I check the street.  I would guess at least 8 out of 10 times, it is clear.  I back out, close the garage and move up the street swiftly (but within the speed limit), turn off the street and from there I am in the clear.  It takes less than 30 seconds.  If a neighbor happens to turn down the street while I am headed up, I flip down the visor and turn my head opposite of the person as they drive past.  They either probably are unable to assess what I am wearing, therefore unable to identify me (remember, these are moving vehicles, with less that a second to make an assessment).  They may think it’s my wife.  Depending on what I am wearing, it may be difficult in that small window, to identify they type of clothing I am wearing.

Now if I see activity on the street, I grab my “boy bag”.  I keep an old t-shirt, warm up jacket, sweats, socks, ball cap, sunglasses, shoes and makeup remover in the car in the event I break down.  I pull the warm up jacket over my outfit, remove my wig and earrings, put on the cap and sun glasses (covering my eye makeup) and off I go.  I’ll hold my phone to my mouth to hide any obvious lipstick and no one is the wiser.  I hate doing this because it requires me to pull over somewhere and replace the wig and earrings, but we do what we have to do.  Thou shalt not embarrass thy wife!

When returning in day light and since I am getting cleaned up anyway when I get home, the wig and earrings are removed, the ball cap, glasses and warm up are in place and I wipe my face clean as I drive home.  That I really don’t mind, gets a head start on the necessary clean up.

This sounds like a lot, but it’s not and I now do it instinctively.  I also make sure when neighbors are out or around I am outside in male mode.  Saying hello, chatting them up or at least off for a run.  That keeps a masculine image of me in their minds so if they do see me dressed (remember, they have a split second to make a judgement) it won’t really register with them.  I also rarely shave on non-Kandi days, which means perpetual stubble/my old grey beard.  In that split second, people don’t have the time to think through my ability to actually shave, their mental image of me is with a partial beard.

We worry too much about all of this, I take precautions, but you have no idea what is on their mind, they might be running late, just had an argument with their spouse, whatever.  They are not out trolling around to out you.  There are only about five neighbors anyway who would know me or say hello, so those are the ones I worry about.  Newer neighbors, living further up the street, I could care less, have driven past frequently dressed.

Be smart, that’s all!