A tripleheader to remember…

No, it has nothing to do with baseball!

This was an unscheduled part of a scheduled railroad excursion between Kittanning and (memory serving me correctly) Brookville, PA on the Pittsburg & Shawmut Railroad in October of 1975, with steam power being ex-Reading #2102, repainted as Delaware & Hudson #302.

I had ridden this excursion the day before, and the fun part happened on the trip back. Wet leaves on the rail prevented the steam engine from getting enough traction to ascend the grade out of Brookville. So the P&S added two of their EMD SW-9 engines to help. The associated confusion meant an arrival approximately 2 hours late back at Kittanning.

I chased the trip the day after, and got to witness the excitement of a “2 diesel, 1 steam” triple header, with the diesels again added as a safety precaution. That sound of air horns from the diesels and the steam whistle, with the “roar and chuff” as the power passed, was a symphony never to be forgotten!

Those were the days!

Mandy

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This was an unscheduled part of a railroad excursion between Kittanning and
(memory serving me correctly) Brookville, PA on the Pittsburg & Shawmut
Railroad in October of 1975, with steam power being ex-Reading #2102, repainted
as Delaware & Hudson #302.

I had ridden this excursion the day before, and the fun part happened on the
trip back. Wet leaves on the rail prevented the steam engine from getting
enough traction to ascend the grade out of Brookville. So the P&S added two
of their EMD SW-9 engines to help. The associated confusion meant an arrival
approximately 2 hours late back at Kittanning.

I chased the trip the day after, and got to witness the excitement of a
“2 diesel, 1 steam) triple header, with the diesels were added as a safety
precaution. That sound of air horns from the diesels and the steam whistle,
with the “roar and chuff” as the power passed, was a symphony never
to be forgotten!

Those
were the days

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This was an unscheduled part of a railroad excursion between Kittanning and
(memory serving me correctly) Brookville, PA on the Pittsburg & Shawmut
Railroad in October of 1975, with steam power being ex-Reading #2102, repainted
as Delaware & Hudson #302.

I had ridden this excursion the day before, and the fun part happened on the
trip back. Wet leaves on the rail prevented the steam engine from getting
enough traction to ascend the grade out of Brookville. So the P&S added two
of their EMD SW-9 engines to help. The associated confusion meant an arrival
approximately 2 hours late back at Kittanning.

I chased the trip the day after, and got to witness the excitement of a
“2 diesel, 1 steam) triple header, with the diesels were added as a safety
precaution. That sound of air horns from the diesels and the steam whistle,
with the “roar and chuff” as the power passed, was a symphony never
to be forgotten!

Those
were the days

A fun dress

Though I haven’t had much time to wear it since the move, I really like this dress.

It’s light and airy, and feels so good in hot weather… White slides go perfectly with it, and between the sandals and the dress, together they keep my bare legs and white toes on full-time display. (No way to hide them!!!!) And the sandals have a bit of a heel to them, which I like!

Something about this type of sandal which takes getting accustomed to: they’re much like flip-flops in the very feminine sound I make as I walk in them. Almost like the click-click a woman makes with her heels, the flip-flopping sound also announces “here comes a girl.” Initially, I didn’t like that noise. But now that I have to wear sandals all the time, I love it…they’re so girly!

Because of my toenail issue, looks like I’m getting what I wished for…having to wear sandals all the time.

Mandy

One of these days…

…most likely over the winter, I hope to be able to spend some time in this dress! With the black tights and ballet flats, I should be warm enough, even in cold weather. However, since the issue with my toe nails, it may have to be with pantyhose and peep-toe flats – if I can find a pair that fits!

Tights (or pantyhose) would make my legs look more slender…don’t you think??

In retrospect…

At a big box store the other day, an amazing thing happened.

I was wearing one of my summery capri outfits – white capris with a tunic-length short sleeve boatneck blouse, and bare legs with white slide sandals displaying my white toe nails. While talking with the female clerk and another female customer, I had occasion to point out a (non-gender-related) interaction with a customer earlier in my visit. And in that discussion, without even thinking about it, I found myself spontaneously referring to that customer as being the “other woman.” It happened so naturally, and without hesitation.

Amazing! That’s the first time I can recall a situation like that…where I indirectly refer to myself as a woman… without thinking about it I even surprised myself. So, my question is: Does that indicate a bit of a shift in my instinctive self-perceived gender – to female?

It sort of seems that way, doesn’t it?!

Hugs,

Mandy

You asked for it…

Per prior requests, I finally found some time to get out the camera for a quick picture.

First is the way my nails look every day. This was taken a few days after my most recent visit to the salon, and the tech shortened my fingernails for easier typing. (But she doesn’t plan to trim them again till they grow back!)

I so love this feminine pink on my fingernails! Very subtle. But my white toe nails are the exact opposite of subtle! Too bad my fingers can’t be as pretty – oh well! Maybe someday they can be this pink, but with white French tips and full white “ring fingernails with colorful nail art” as an accent.

My new nail tech has continued to repair existing damage to both my big toe nails, and is maintaining them intact with acrylic overlay. She’s repeatedly insisting that I wear sandals full-time, “to keep pressure from your shoes off the repaired nails, and the front of your sandals will protect your toes from bumping into things.”

Turns out that’s not going to be a problem!

Why might that be? Well, Wifey doesn’t want my nails damaged either. Now that we’re in our new abode, the bedroom closet is small enough that Wifey and I can only keep seasonal outfits and footwear in it. For me that means only capris, shorts, tunics and blouses, house dresses (of course), and from now on, only sandals. Wifey has her summer jeans, skorts, blouses and shoes there as well. Our off-season clothes are stored in closets elsewhere in the house.

My flats and clogs have now been safely locked away in the attic. “With your toe nail issues, you obviously won’t be wearing closed shoes for a long time…losing those two nails would be a bad thing. Fortunately, you have plenty of cute sandals for every occasion. The ones you’re wearing today (above picture – ed.) will even work nicely with that women’s pants suit we kept when cleaning out the closets after you retired. With 20 pretty nails, long hair, and purse on display, you’ll have a very professional appearance.” (I imagine I will…though undeniably feminine.)

Below is a relatively recent picture, taken last fall, of one of my typical everyday outfits. Now that we’re down south, I may only need help from leggings in the coldest months. Capris and sandals should work fine most of the time, with the possible exception of January and February! We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!

But I’d still like to find a pair of oh-so-girlie peep-toe ballet flats, with those cute little bows on the front, to cover my feet but leave my toes uncovered to protect them during those solo excursions…or perhaps be allowed to wear with my womens’ pants suit?

Maybe someday…gotta find them first. And that’s easier said than done.

Hugs,

Mandy

At the nail salon…2

I had an appointment scheduled a couple weeks ago at my new nail salon, but had to cancel on account of a serviceman’s appliance repair visit…

The replacement appointment was a week ago. And as usual, my tech was talkative, not only to try to convince me to go with 20 pretty red nails (10 with 3/4″ extensions), but also about the status of rising food prices. Which eventually evolved into the topic of “What are you going to cook for dinner tonight?” I replied that I didn’t know, (so true) and that whatever it is will likely be microwaved. “It’s just you and your husband, right?” “Yes, and he’s OK with that on occasion…” I guess I’m a girl for sure…at least there! (Or maybe not? Read on.)

She was glad to see that I’m wearing sandals, to show off my white polish. She pointed out that the female techs were wearing them, and all encourage their customers to do the same all summer. “In your case, you really should be wearing sandals full time, to keep pressure from each shoe from further damaging those big toe nails.” After she finished the pedicure, but before painting my nails, I got a very professional foot massage. It was good!!!

While doing my fill and manicure, she once again tried to convince me to let her put extensions on my fingers and red paint all around. “You’ll look fabulous with them!” But it didn’t work. “I’m definitely not ready for that! With the move, there’s still too much housework to do.” However, I admit it would be fun to have them applied for one of my longer solo jaunts! Maybe one day…

She was watching the front desk and 3 separate times, had to get up and walk past me to attend to those duties. Each time she returned to her seat, she gave me a short but comfortable shoulder and back massage (I’d earlier mentioned about pulling some neck and shoulder muscles moving boxes around in the attic.) She’s good!

The extra attention obviously netted her a bigger tip. But it also brought to mind a question: did she do it solely for my comfort? Perhaps in hopes of the bigger tip? Or was she checking to see if I was wearing a bra? I hope the former…but the latter is always a possibility! (And I wasn’t!!!)

We’ll see what happens next time!

Mandy

Scenery looks like Europe, right?

Taken in August of 2021, this picture finds Mandy on the bank of the Tred Avon River, in Oxford, MD. It’s a terminus of the ferry service linking Bellvue, MD with Oxford, which is directly across the  River. This ferry began operations in 1683 and is thought to be the oldest privately-owned ferry service in the United States.

Oxford first appears on a map completed in 1670 and published in 1671. In 1694, Oxford and a new town called Anne Arundel (now Annapolis) were selected as the only ports of entry for the entire Maryland province. Until the American Revolution, Oxford enjoyed prominence as an international shipping center surrounded by wealthy tobacco plantations.

The American Revolution marked the end of Oxford’s prosperity. Maritime trade declined, and tobacco was replaced by wheat as a cash crop.

After the Civil War, Oxford was revived by completion of the railroad in 1871 and by improved canning and packing methods which opened national markets for Chesapeake Bay oysters. But it did not last. In the early part of the 20th century, oyster beds played out, packing houses closed, businesses went bankrupt, and rail and steamship services eventually disappeared. Once again Oxford became a sleepy little town inhabited by watermen.

And Mandy had a good time sightseeing!

At the nail salon – 1

This was the most fun I’ve had at a nail salon recently…

As I mentioned previously, we’ve relocated to Tennessee to be closer to the grands, and I had to get my “second” nail appointment down here. My first one was very pleasant, the nail tech was friendly, and I was treated like the woman I appeared to be. So I returned to the same salon, and the same tech welcomed me, again addressing me as female.

This time, I was wearing a purple turtleneck “short-dress-length” tunic, white capri pants, with bare legs and sandals. This time, I heard “I love your outfit, dear…” Oh my, so soon! “Thanks, hon. You’ll see me dress like this a lot over the summer. It’s so quick and easy.” Her response: “Summers here in the south are hot and humid. You might find dresses to be more comfortable. Many of our customers favor them as it gets hotter. And you’d look so pretty in dresses.” Then the topic was dropped – but only for a short time (see below.)

She had time to do both a pedicure and a fill on my pink fingernails. First came what she thought would be the quick and easy fill – but some of the acrylic on my nails was having issues from wearing it for many months, and needed to be removed and replaced. So she moved me to the pedicure chair to work on my pedi while the acrylic soaked off.

The girl talk started early…with discussion of the color for my toes. She pointed out the color the tech was giving the lady in the next pedi chair…”that red would look fabulous on your toes!” “I love it, too, but it’s kind of heavy for hot weather. I was thinking more along the line of something light and summery. What would you suggest?” “Well, how about pastel blue or just plain white? A lot of our girls are wearing white again this year.” “I’ve worn white before…let’s just go with that this time.” And so we proceeded, resulting in beautiful white toe nails and one of the best foot and lower leg massages I’ve ever had…

During my pedicure, the girl talk was remarkable. She inquired as to how often I wear heels. I told her that they really don’t agree with me, so not very often, and the only pair I now wear has about 1-1/2″ heels. She doesn’t wear them much, either.

We had a wonderful discussion about heels, and also about wearing dresses. I showed her a picture of my blue floral knee-length dress, and she thought it looked wonderful. “Maybe you can wear it to your appointment one of these times?” “We’ll see…I’ve never worn it to a nail appointment…but maybe there’s a first time for everything!”

Then she moved me to the fingernail station and proceeded to work on my fingers. She had already removed the loosened acrylic during the pedicure, and began by shaping my nails, then applying fresh acrylic. For color, she applied a coat of my usual pink OPI gel, then a second coat of a new pink gel, to give them a different look, and see if I like the combination. (So far so good.)

I think the cats at our son’s place really like my pedicure…in the days since this salon visit, they’ve been licking my toes and feet a lot more than when my nail color was black! The best part is that no humans have taken exception to my new nail color!

Hugs,

Mandy

Every girl loves pretty red nails…

Even though this manicure happened a number of years ago, these were fun “painted nails” to wear for almost two weeks…

Only two problems arose for that length of time: the red paint began to chip, and I found myself folding both ring fingers in at times, to disguise the nail art. When the tech re-did my nails after the trip, she said that next time, she’d do them in bright red gel “so they’ll hold up better.” And in response to my comment about hiding my ring fingers on occasion, she countered with: “I’ll do gel nails with lovely, bright flowers on both your thumbs and ring fingers. You’ll love the way they wear – indestructible. And you’ll find it almost impossible to hide your thumbs!”

I’ve not had the chance to try it yet, but one day I hope the opportunity presents itself! But that may not happen until this virus thing ever goes away and I can start traveling again…

Lets keep those painted fingers crossed!

Mandy