menopausebarbees
... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Happy Birthday to My Gorgeous baby Sister!

Dani,
I’m flying to Barcelona thinking about my post I’d like to share with you on your birthday.

Flying over the ocean, I’m reminded of how you talked me into sliding down that huge water slide in Spain which of course makes me remember the time you had us listen to and get pumped by Tony Robbins in the car on the way to Whistler where you convinced me that I could ski down the mountain and I am now literally laughing out loud at the time Aunt Bev came to town to visit and you came up with the great idea for each of us to put on one of her wigs and go down to the hotel lobby. The stares of the people! I was mortified and crying from laughing so hard. Cousin Lisa said it best: we looked like Ike AND Tina Turner.

There are so many moments, memories and times that I treasure with you my baby sister and how I admire the wonderful, caring, generous and thoughtful woman you have become! Sometimes I even ask myself if you really know just how very thoughtful you really are. Maybe it’s just in your special DaNA.

Mere words can not express how very much I love you; how much more of this life I’m looking forward to sharing with you. Music of life in the happiness key. I may be an ocean away, but will by your side in a heartbeat. I will always, but always have your back baby girl. Happy Happy Birthday Boo. I love you.

P.S. It will soon be time to Let the Games Begin!

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Yes… I’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!

Here I am on the eve of my birthday.  I’m reflecting on life and all of the people, places, experiences, love, hurt, tragedies and triumphs which have brought me to the here and now.

Can you hear me sigh?  Yes, I can attest, I’ve come a LONG way, baby!

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I’ve come a long way from the little girl leaving a 99% black grade school to a 99% white high school – Dennis Stewart and Robert Lewis can you hear me?

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The mini series Roots had just been released my Freshman year, and I recall being embarrassed by the ignorant taunts of” Kizzy” and “Kunta” calls in the halls. At 14, I was too intimidated to speak as the minority, but somehow those experiences fueled my future to be an advocate for children in need and to all outsiders.  Today when I stand before youngsters from Treehouse for Foster Kids and support Youth Organizations such as Bellevue LifeSpring and The EMP Youth music program, that little girl told to ‘ride nigger’ aka get in the back seat remembers.  I’ve come a long way, baby!

I’ve traveled the world and met some of the most engaging, talented artists  of our time.  From lunch in Morocco to Montreux for the Jazz Festival. I’ve come, but I’ve also gone a long way!  And along the way, I’ve engaged with some of the most prolific talent of our time, where I learned perseverance pays off.

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I’ve come a long way from countless days of putting pickets on banks to get funding and stop redlining.  Today, I take the bankers to lunch at the Seattle Tennis Club.  Yes, I’ve come a long way, baby!

 

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I’ve eliminated false friends and am blessed to have a tribe of “sisters” who have my back unconditionally.  They are not backstabbers, they are life preservers and they make me rise.

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I’ve raised two incredible human beings who if they were not my blood, I’d still want them as best friends.  I tell them, they’ve got the DNA and the D-A-N-A whether they like it or not!  We’ve come a very long way together.

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Married, Carried, Buried…

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I’ve known the loss of loved ones – my father, my uncles, aunts, grandparents and friends.  I’ve come to accept that although the pain resides, these souls will always own a place in my heart as that is where I keep my valuables.  They helped shape who I am and to journey this very long way.

I’ve gone from dating men who simply were not worthy of the long way I’ve come. When I found my worth, I found my equal.  I jokingly told my guy that he is soooooo  NOT my type!  He looked at me rather surprised asked, Why?  My response, You got a good job, treat me well and you do nice things for me! I’ve come a long way in lessons in love and I’m grateful for all the experiences that brought me to this here and now.

My sister, co blogger, best friend, and partner in all things and I are both Joel Olsteen fans.  The promise in life is What is coming is better than what is left behind.  The roots and fruits are so bountiful in my family – my mama, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, and nephew- we are blessed!

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Yes, I’ve come a long way baby and I’ve got a long way to go!

Happy Birthday to me

xoxo

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Something Spiritual

 

She is with all of her 768 years the heart and soul, the pride, the very masterpiece of the city of Cologne; a monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture.

A World Heritage Site, the Cologne Cathedral is Germany’s most visited landmark. It is said that the relics of the Three wise Men are housed here in the Shrine of the Three Kings, the largest reliquary in the western world. When I find myself staring up at the shrine, unfailingly I ask myself, “Is it true? Are you really in there?”

Since the year 1164, The Three Kings have attracted a constant stream of pilgrims to Cologne, giving them another reason to journey to the Cathedral to honor God.

Well, it was not your regular religious event taking place there last week.

Coinciding with Gamescom, Europe’s biggest trade fair for interactive games and entertainment here in Cologne, the event at the Cathedral marked the first time ever that a laser and light show was presented within this majestic domed edifice.

I arrived Thursday evening at 9:45 P.M. Opening night. The spectacle was to begin at 10. Before I knew it, I had waited in an endless line for nearly an hour by the time it dawned on me that unless I made a move, I’d be waiting at least another hour, if not two. Or three. It was so crowded in fact, that I considered it to be a good possibility that I might not even get in before the 2 A.M. closing time. More than 10,000 people were anxiously waiting in a line that zig-zagged back and forth and all around the Cathedral.

I made my move and cut in line at a point closer to the front that resulted in me only having to wait about a half hour longer. I know it throws etiquette out the window, but I had no time to find out who was the last in line and step in behind them. This was only to be an event for three nights and I knew that if tonight was bad, tomorrow and the last evening would only be worse. I was right. Friday night saw a whopping 30,000 people come through.

It was worth the wait.

A blue hazy fog enveloped the chamber. A lemony fragrance mixed with a touch of incense hung in the air. Cologne DJs and electronic music producers Piet Blank, Jaspa Jones and Andy Kaufhold had created a production of electronic music mixed with medieval chorales intertwined with eerie chirping sounds and a thumping bass which played in time with laser beams emanating from three robots, Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior, named after The Three Wise Men, situated on the podium of the altar. The beams of green light pierced through the fog in a chamber immersed in blues and reds and “searched” for Christ on the cross, just as The Wise Men searched for Jesus. When the beams all crossed at the right moment, a tremendous starburst of light exploded.

Quite a fantastic concept.

I observed everyone watching and listening in silence recognizing that the sights, the sounds, the smells of it all were a complete work of art; and when it gets that good it becomes something nearly spiritual.

…And even for non-believers, this was reason alone to feel God’s presence.

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Spotlight Bellevue LifeSpring!

I posted last week about Granny Dumping, exposing the reality of what unfortunately happens to our seniors when their own family is no longer willing or able to care for them.  In that post I shared that just as our children are our future, our elders are our past. These generations depend on us,  and it is our responsibility to keep them both present.

In keeping our children present, I want to share that again, I am honored to be a co-chair with honorary co-chair, Leslie Chihuly for Bellevue LifeSpring 2016!

Mark your calendars and join this stellar group for simply the best wine auction party our region offers.

While your having a great time, you will do tremendous good at this unusual, did I mention unusual FUNdraiser?

What you may not know about Bellevue LifeSpring:
More than 3,700 children in the Bellevue School District are living in poverty. Breaktime-Mealtime provides nutritious food during school breaks when free meals are not available at school.

Just as our children and our elderly are gifts, so is each day and that’s why we call it the present.

VIP Experience Featured Winery
Quilceda Creek Vintners

https://bellevuelifespring.ejoinme.org/uncorkthenightregistration2016

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A menopausebarbee Friday Funny!

Nothing like getting the weekend off with a chuckle. May we be joyous all weekend – at least! Happy weekend everybody!

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Back on the Block… Get There!

St. Terese can you hear me? This Saturday, August 20, starting at 12, we will be back on the Block! Last year was such fun, I’m reaching out for all you All Stars from every year to join us again.
In preparation for this annual stroll down memory lane, I’m re-posting last year’s blog,entitled We are Still Too Hot to Handle!

Do you remember the songs of Heatwave? Of course you do. We simply were Too Hot To Handle!
Do you remember Get There Shoes? Louise Bush should, I gave her a pair of mine.

Do you remember Julene Burney sharing local news of what happened at Papa’s Foods on MLK and Union?
How about walking to Joes mini mart to buy a 10 cent box of Jolly Joes and getting accused of stealing even when we hadn’t?
Our basketball teams always kicking ass, sometimes in excess of 100 points. Our coach, Mr. Melonson boycotting our game after we cheered
2,4,6, 8, who do we appreciate? And we yelled ST. T’s! Hey, we were indeed too hot to handle!
One of my favorite memories is Principle Sr. Sheila calling Trina the queen of the bitches! She’s still my bestie and I still call her that!
Trina won’t let me live this down, but I’m sure all of us in 8th grader recall my mom showing up unannounced and announced to the class that NO BOYS were allowed to call her daughter.
That included J.C., Chris Bown, Eddie Valejo, and Miles Murray! She proceeded that they should all be concentrating on their studies as I was to do. Let’s just say- to this day, that is still right up there with one of my life’s most embarrassing moments.

While the world watched

Popular Films such as

Grease
Saturday Night Fever
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
National Lampoon’s Animal House
Jaws 2
Heaven Can Wait
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

We rushed to the theater to see hot hits such as Cornbread Earl and Me and the Wiz

While the world listened to:

Bee Gees with ” Night Fever and Stayin Alive ”
Paul McCartney and Wings
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Rolling Stones
Commodores with ” Three Times a Lady ”

We jammed to Heatwave
Always and Forever, Boogie Nights and Groove Line

Most of our generation tuned into Popular TV Programs

Happy Days
Little House on the Prairie
The Rockford Files
Good Morning America
Jim’ll Fix It (UK)
Saturday Night Live
Wheel of Fortune
Charlie’s Angels
Quincy, M.E.
The Muppet Show
CHiPs
The Love Boat
Three’s Company

We tuned into
What’s Happening
Diff’rent Strokes and Good Times

Well, it’s time to tune in again to see What’s been Happening, commiserate about our Diff’rent Strokes and Remember all the Good Times!
August 20th 12 on….
See y’all back on the block!

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Oh vey, The way we were…
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Something for Your Toolbox

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Granny Dumping…

As a Menopausebarbee, I am literally getting news daily from my friends about our aging parents. Alzheimer’s, injuries, financial distress, and ailments seem to plaque all of our loved ones. My boyfriend runs Senior Housing REITS which provide some of the finest retirement communities in our country. During the past few months, we have traveled from region to region looking at luxury housing facilities for a fortunate minority. These high end communities offer their own resort accommodations. With sprawling grounds and magnificent settings, these complexes or as I liken “little cities” are equipped with their own restaurants, hair salon, work out facilities, library, medical facility and even banks! Last week, we visited a property here in Seattle, where I met a well coiffed octogenarian who expressed how painful it was to leave her family home eight years ago. She patted the elderly man reclining adjacent to her, and explained how his stroke had left them no alternative. I felt compassion, but I also knew how fortunate she was to be in the financial position to enjoy the 5 Star environment.

On the flip side, I also have discovered another hideous component to this aging generation, and that is called Granny Dumping. For those incapable or unwilling to care for their seniors, they strip them of all identification and drop them at a mall. Granny Dumping… What can I say? The only thing that comes to mind is that those who do this heinous act are heading to Hell with gasoline on their panties.

I thought of these lost, disoriented, frightened souls when I arrived at my 90 year old “Aunts” house Sunday bringing her a meal and to give her a bath. Her pride, still strongly in tact, it was difficult for me to coerce her to undress. I wanted her to know that just as she had taken care of me all those years as my mother’s best friend, now the tables had turned. As we soaked her, on her bathing stool, I kept staring at her hands which had lovingly baked me a black berry cobbler for every birthday and scrumptious dinners to many to recount. I reflected on how she was there as I like to say, when I married, carried, and buried one. We have been through a lot. It wasn’t work, it was my privilege to now care for her. After she was cleaned and placed back in her chair in front her of television, I glanced around at all the photos of our family over the years. My aunts, and uncles, and cousins, our history. I shared about my cousin being pregnant, and my son’s new life in Chicago, and the happenings with my sister and co-blogger, Tracie and my nephew in Germany. I could tell as she nodded in agreement, some of my news was familiar, while other passages she politely nodded, but had no clue.

As I prepared to leave, this thought came to mind… It is said, the children are our future. By the same token, our elders are our past. Let’s keep them both PRESENT.

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My mom received this pillow as a gift from a dear friend and she keeps it on her guest bed. Sadly, the words are true for far too many. Remember this today, and do something for someone who can no longer help you or themselves.

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grandma helen My daughter and her paternal grandmother.

Real Gold in the Menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight

Real gold shines at any angle, not just when the “light is right”.

And to that end, we menopausebarbees are saluting all the athletes competing in the 2016 Olympics.Too many to name in this post, but amongst them, the bedazzling gymnast Simone Biles, Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian woman to qualify for an Olympic event final, Jenny Arthur the weight lifting niece of my friend, songstress Ingrid Arthur and of course, I must give a shout out to Oksana Chusovitina: this 41(!!!) year old is currently competing at her seventh Olympic Games and is the oldest woman to have done so. Ever. Her son at seventeen years old is the same age as many of the of the young women she’s competing against. 
To these and all the athletes, from the archivists to the wrestlers, we menopausebarbees and the world salute you. You are survivors whose strength, fortitude and downright determination are an inspiration to us all.

There is another someone I’d like to add to this list. She is one of the first women I met when I came to Germany. She was a jewel then and is to this day. Her name is Anja Michaelsen. She was a sports teacher at the time we met and has over the years grown her business to what is known today as Aqua-Fitness (water fitness). She has over the last twenty years trained over 7000 instructors throughout Europe on how to be fitness instructors in the water. This includes, cardiac, circuit, rehabilitation, gymnastics and medical. Alongside this, she has a center in Pulheim Germany called the Walzwerkwelle (www.walzwerkwelle.de). Visit the website and see the course plan. There is something there for everyone, babies included.

I tip my hat to Anja for all of her accomplishments. She has developed a fantastic business that benefits others, she has kept her marriage of nineteen years in tact.Together she and her husband have raised a lovely daughter who is a super-achiever student. That’s a huge feat in itself. Anja has also written several books on water fitness. She is gold worthy to me for not only has she all these accolades under her belt, she is also a breast cancer survivor. I will never forget the day she showed me the gap in her chest where her breast used to be. She was strong and brave and determined. Fearless. In it to win it. Surely the attitude of our world class athletes as they struggle over every hurdle to greatness.

Yes, they know too well the dues one has to pay in the dark on the road to the limelight because they know that real gold shines at any angle, not just when the “light is right”.

Anja, congratulations girlfriend!!

(The Walzwerk Summer Festival will be held on August 28, 2016)

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Something for Your Toolbox

Here’s a little Something for Your Toolbox. Peaceful weekend everybody.

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