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Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin steps down the ladder to become the second man to walk on the moon. [Photo taken by Neil Armstrong]


The moment that Neil Armstrong spoke the words "one small step..." I knew that this would be one of those indelible moments you would always member. Just a few months earlier I had purchased my first color TV, however that fact that the images from the moon were grainy and black/white did not matter. Try to think of another time when the entire world witnessed history unfold real-time.



Walter Cronkite speechless
The Lunar Landing (CBS News)
Earlier that day I watched as mission control reported the nail- biting landing while a collective nation and world held its breath. Even veteran CBS newscaster, Walter Cronkite for several moments became speechless as Neil Armstrong's voice crackled from the speakers at NASA's Mission Control in Houston. He said simply, "The Eagle has landed." 

About ten years later I was at a friend's home in Palm Beach and after dinner, he asks would we like to see some slides from his vacation. I said please as he got out the old Kodak carousel  projector and I set up the screen in his den. Even the kids stop playing and came to watch. This was not a typical vacation slide show. Dr. Edgar Mitchell was showing us photos he took on the moon during Apollo 14. He was telling us points you would only hear from someone that was there. Like moon dust was everywhere and got into everything. Ed was a very interesting man. He passed in 2016 on the 45 anniversary of his lunar landing. 

So many of life's imponderables and difficult project for a while were punctuated with, "Well, were able to send a man to the man..." For a while, nothing should seem impossible as we looked back on that momentous event of now 50 years ago. Let's return to a time when everything seemed possible. 


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The Tampa Bay Tribune in a recent article put some of the irony of what has transcribe since in prospective. "We went to the moon and discovered something about ourselves":



Of the estimated 109 billion humans who have ever lived across the tens of thousands of years — and most of them assuredly have gazed at the moon in wonder — only 12 have ever walked there. And none have done so in generations. Right now, the United States can’t even send astronauts into space on its own, relying for the time being on the Russians to transport them [astronauts] to the International Space Station.
  ...And if you need a reminder, peek at the moon, and remember how the moon missions taught us to look up. Neil Armstrong’s footprints could well outlast humankind itself and are a testament, as the lunar plaque says, that “We came in peace for all mankind.”


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My July "Second Sunday Mixer" was well attended this past weekend.  We had between 40 and 50 in attendance at the Raindancer Steak House, West Palm Beach. This Sunday was special, with a professional piano player (Wayne Hosford) entertaining on the restaurant's white baby grand and a book signing "Fred Heagerty - Solving the West Palm Beach Murder". The book is written by local author Graham Brunk.


This group has been going for a number of years in various Palm Beach area venues, and I stumbled upon it a few years back.  I help the host with greeting, photography and inviting. If ever in the Palm Beach area, it is a monthly event.  All are welcome.
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Absolute declarations -
Like painting yourself into a corner.
I remember my early day of venturing out as Rhonda in the early '80. Attending support group meeting and conventions were a critical element in building confidence. On evenings when I was not well put together I was asked:  “Are you transitioning?"  On good presentation evenings, I was asked: “How long since you transitioned?”

It seemed I could not escape, "The Question".  

Back then you were either a cross-dresser or a transsexual and transitioning bridged the two.  Everyone had to fit into either of those categories. There were support groups, of that day, that discriminated and excluded you from attending if you were transitioning or transsexual.  

Several groups that I attend were never comfortable with my presentation/attending and my not declaring which category I represented.  That is why the two groups I founded were open; allowing anyone to attend. No declarations needed.

As these two, “must-fit-all", terms finally fade into obscurity, I personally like the transgender descriptor. We have all come to understand that gender is truly a spectrum and what may work for someone today, may not be best for tomorrow. Situations and desires change.  

I never thought I was a true transsexual (born in the wrong body), but always knew I was not just cross-dressing. My need for expression, acceptance and interaction ran much deeper than erotic relief.  

So is “gender-fluid” the new cross-dressing? 

Dictionary.com gives us insight into the etymology of gender-fluid.  


Gender-fluid is a non-binary gender identity that’s not fixed and is capable of changing over time.
The mid-1990's into the early 2000's was when trans identities, like gender-fluid identities, were finding their footing. Online communities, because of their private yet communal nature, were safe places for LGBTQ people and are where many first encountered the word gender-fluid.

The late 2000's and the 2010's were when the term truly began to be noticed, venturing somewhat out of online forums, especially in academic literature. This was also the time when millennials, of whom 12% identify as non-cisgender, were beginning to come of age. By 2011, gender-fluid had 37,000 hits on Google. In 2018, this increased to a staggering 2.3 million.

Social media has begun to catch up with the changing understanding, and growing acceptance, of non-binary gender. In 2014, Gender Fluid and gender-fluid were added as gender options to Facebook and OkCupid, respectively.

A person isn’t considered gender-fluid just because they like to wear typically masculine clothing one day and feminine clothing the next day—that is considered a form of gender expression. To be gender-fluid is chiefly a question of internal personal identity, and is, therefore, a psychological phenomenon.
Does "gender-fluid" fit for you? What is your opinion?  



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Seventy-five percent (75%) of the respondents to my survey said they like my “Fashion Layouts”.  I try and make then age-aware and conservative enough to be worn without attracting undue attention - "Blending" as a goal. They are fun for me to put together, either from my closet or items I purchase/see that I personally like.    

Being active and out, I make every effort to represent our community with a positive appearance. For many years I was casually inept, with most of my Rhonda outings being professional or event related. Life is more than “dress-up”, so being appropriately dressed in casual Florida can be challenging at times.  

Today I found a cute tag for my fashion layouts, “Would you wear it?”  I value your opinions and all readers will benefit from your "yes/no" comments.  

Also as a side note - I have kept the survey going and value your reactions/comments. The survey is short and it helps me know what you like/dislike. If you have not already clicked on the “Survey” tab above, please do.  Maybe your opinion has changed, so feel free to use it any time to express yourself. Your opinions can be anonymous (e-mail address is completely optional) and all comments are confidential.  Thanks.  



Grommets 


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My First Blog Post 


Rhonda's Escape started 4 years ago today, July 16, 2015.  I never imagined keeping it going this long with daily post. As of today there have been 1,531 post.  Another surprise - I enjoy writing - well, my definition of dyslexic enhanced writing. Thank you for your support, comments and patience. 

Above all else, what I stated in my very first post, still holds true:


"I love being a girl."



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Cruise Ship Photographer's Photo
After observing that "Formal Night" really entailed all aspects of dressing to the "nines" (to thine eynes - to the eyes), I decided to make my last formal night special. What came to mind was Julia Roberts as Vivian in Pretty Woman - “I want the fairy tale.”

I like the feminine nature of the off-shoulder bodice and the fact that there is not a male equivalent.

This was a last minute packing decision and I saw this dress online at Macy's just a few days before leaving. I do not think I would have ordered this " X by Xscape" gown if it were not in petite, lacking time to get a regular length hemmed. It was the perfect length with heels and fit beautifully just as designed. The slit leg was not a look I had ever dared before, but also worked - stunningly!

That evening I put it on with a strapless bra and minimal under things and I felt alive, elegant and incredibly feminine. I walked slowly down the long cabin hall, down the stairs and into the main dining room at the front of the ship. The maitre d' that I now had come to know from already having eaten there four nights, give me the up-down look and smiled. As I was walked slowly through the whole front of the dining room to my table, I took in every look. The attention that a red dress garners is electrifying and not for the faint-of-dress.   

Never before had I ever worn anything that attracted so much attention - an Escape to cherish!  


Staircase on the Promenade Deck 




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Happy Anniversary Royal Caribbean




Royal Caribbean is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. No celebration is complete without a little cake!  A Main Dining Room after dinner treat.  





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The real 4th of July Fireworks!



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Katelyn Ohashi stunned on the red carpet as she launched into a handstand while wearing heels.
Photo by JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP

Former UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi dazzled fans once again on Wednesday as she launched into a handstand while wearing heels on the 2019 ESPY Awards red carpet. 

Ohashi, who was nominated for Best Play and Best Viral Sports Moment, became a household name earlier this year when her flawless floor routine became an internet sensation. The routine earned her a perfect score from judges.

The ESPY Award for Best Viral Sports Moment, which Ohashi won, was announced on the program’s pre-show. The gymnast called the award “an honor”...


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For those of us mortals who just want to walk in heels, here is an excellent article "How to walk in heels: 12 tips and tricks from experts". 






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