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.

Here’s to Life!

A book for all of us!

Find out how my journey did not allow comfort or familiarity to keep me from my destiny and how we can all give birth to our own miracles in life!

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Daddy, Me and the Ring

Every year around Father’s Day, this story comes to mind: Daddy, Me and the Ring. I love sharing it again and again.

Here’s to all you fathers out there. Hope those of you who celebrated Father’s Day this past Sunday had a blessed one. Here’s to Life and the things you teach your children.

Dear readers, I’d just like to say that I hope you’ve been as fortunate as Dana and I have been to have had a father or role model who, despite his faults and idiosyncrasies (and who does not have them?) taught you the purpose of goodness and charity, instilled within you a certain uprightness and taught you morals to abide by.

This particular event happened while we were in San Francisco. Family vacationing with friends. There are certain elements of this story that are highlighted in my mind in color…fire engine red for example.

We had just hopped off a cable car and after walking about for just a short time entered a huge, gigantic, gargantuan, muscle man-sized store. Great big store. And in one part of this monster sized store, there were counters, lots and lots of counters and it took everything I had to stand on my tippy toes just so I could see what they held. There were rings. Thousands and hundreds and millions of rings, each one prettier and shinier and redder and bluer and pinker and greener than the other. And bigger.

Well, after a time we exited the store and hopped on another cable car.
After a few minutes, Daddy looked at my hand and said, “Where’d you get that ring?”
I silently looked up at him.
“Where’d you get that ring, Tracie?”
He was mad.

Whenever Mama was about to get on my butt it was “Tracie Lynn!” but when daddy said it, Tracie was all he said. It just had a certain unmistakable… effect, if you will.

“From the store,” I said.
“How’d you buy it?”
Silence.
“I asked you a question goddammit!”
I didn’t!”
“Well then, how’d you get it?
If I had been big enough to say, “Jeez, Daddy you know how I got the damn ring, give me a damn break!” – it would have been at that very moment.
“I took it.”
“You took it. You mean you stole it!”
Silence from me. Silence from him.

I was candy happy because he’d quieted down – he had this thing about not caring who was around or where he was when he got the urge to raise his voice and yay! I got to keep my ring!

After a time we got off that trolley and got on another one. Before I knew it we were…standing outside that huge, gigantic, gargantuan, muscle man-sized store. He looked down at me, released my hand and grabbed hold of my arm. Tightly.

“So here’s what we’re gonna do,” he said, “We’re gonna go back to the store and we’re gonna find a saleslady and you’re going to tell her that you stole this ring, that you are very sorry, you want to return it and will never steal again.”

“What?! Daddy no! I swear I won’t do it again and I really didn’t mean it and…”He tightened his grip and almost dragged me back into that store.
He approached the nearest sales lady.
“Excuse me, Miss. My daughter here has something to say to you.”
I really didn’t have anything to say to this woman so I didn’t. Daddy jerked my arm to help jog my memory. At the time, I didn’t understand the notion of choosing between the lesser of two evils. Mortified, I said it.
Good grief! I remember this like it happened just yesterday.

The saleslady was so impressed (or dumbfounded) that she said I could keep the ring. Daddy wasn’t having any of that. He instructed the woman to show us where the ring belonged and made me follow her – with him on my heels – to one of those great big shiny glossy counters so that I could have the honor of putting the shitty ring back. I stood in front of the counter, looked up at him, turned and looked up at the sales lady, and then I turned and faced all those thousands and hundreds and millions of rings. I didn’t bother standing on my toes.

I hurled the ring onto the counter, turned around and marched away towards the door of that huge, gigantic, gargantuan, muscle man-sized store.

I am, after all, my father’s child.

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AmsterDAM… We are ALL a Little Un-Well

Amsterdam- I’ve thought long and hard on what to call this final inclusion of my excursion travel journal, I’m Not Crazy I’m just a Little Un-Well. My conclusion, after visiting this Dutch wonderland, is Everyone and Everything is a Little Un-Well!

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For starters you must bike! My daughter just turned sweet 16, and I think the SUV she’s dreaming of may now become a ten speed! Grannies, business men, young, old, fat, thin, and toddlers in baskets get by on this mode of transport. I witnessed bikers on cell phones, eating lunch, and carting oversized items. I marveled at all the riders and trust me we are talking thousands without helmets, cruising and honking by. My boyfriend is a bicycle enthusiast, so when I awoke from a blissful nights rest, he stood over me dangling keys for our bike outing. The hotel assured us to lock our rentals up, or they would surely be stolen.  I kept repeating out loud what our uber driver shared and that was the bicyclists are always in the right here. I wondered if that was the case when I plowed into a parked car? Thankful that I nor the car weren’t injured, I was more thankful that no one seemed to notice. After I peddled as fast as I could to escape the scene of my embarrassing crime, I was back on the saddle asking Siri for directions to the beautiful Vondel Park and The historic Ann Frank House.

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After a three hour trek with a sore behind to prove it, we arrived back at the W where I exclaimed I can’t believe we made it!  I was grinning ear to ear and the poor bike attendant looked at me as if I was really Un- Well.

 

Treating myself to a much deserved cocktail at the roof pool, gawkers gathered and we all caught a glimpse of his Majesty, the King of Holland heading into his royal residence across from our hotel. I thought I left that Royal stuff in London…

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We found our way to the Red Light District- literally en route we passed the Condomerie. Ok I had to check out a store dedicated to every color, size, and shape of a condom one can imagine. The sexcapades, tacky shows, and escapades inviting us indoors definitely didn’t look like you’d want to hook, line and sink ANYTHING but perhaps a very nasty STD! 30 plus years ago when my nephew was born in Germany, my parents visited this district. My mother , Theresa, AKA Sister Mary Sanitary did NOT enjoy this section. But oh, how Daddy did!

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Off to the van Gogh Museum… I always thought the brilliant artist cut off his ear because a woman wouldn’t stop talking… Turns out he was never married and never had children.  Poor Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear when temperatures flared with Paul Gauguin, the artist with whom he had been working.

So, I say- who you calling crazy? We are ALL just a little Un- Well!

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London Calling…He’s “Fur” Real – I’m Not Crazy Travel Journal Part II

Ahhh London… The pomp, circumstance, proper, royal, refined, dignified…

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I’ve had a love affair with London for years. I recall my first visit some 25 years ago, we were young and naive and broke and stayed in what equated to a bed and breakfast hotel.  There was literally a bed and a crumpet for breakfast. Our room was considered a luxury suite in that although we had to climb 100 steps to get in, we had a toilet, but we had to share a joint shower.  I look back on those memories fondly as I do when I think of my son as a senior in college doing the Red Bull Challenge. See Menopausebarbee post (http://www.menopausebarbees.com/ill-make-a-man-out-of-you/)

Brett and two friends arrived over seas with only Red Bull as their source of currency as they navigated a week to Germany.  I encourage all young people to travel.  There are over 6 Billion people in the world, and you gotta go to know!

For part two of this excursion, we arrived in London where we stayed at the lovely Park Tower.

I was elated as I discovered at the suggestion of my girl, Nicole Knowles, that I could get to Harvey Nichols Department Store faster than I could finish my vodka bitter lemon!

The location was ideal as we walked and marveled at the designer clothing shops realizing that our American Dollars would not go very far on the British Pound, we still enjoyed oogling at the European haute couture.  My boyfriend is the ANTI-social media guy.  He doesn’t get how people choose to post and live their lives out loud!  We’ve been dating a year and a half and most people outside of my inner circle didn’t know I was in a relationship, because he detests posts, pics, and TMI.  Hmmm, sometimes opposites truly do attract!  Yes, I’m a little un-well.

On our walk, we happened into Dolce Gabbana, where I spotted a full length man’s fur.  I pleaded with my boyfriend to try it on for shits and giggles.  Of course, he knows my sense of humor, so he rightfully refused or I would have snapped a picture and this blog would be entitled, “He’s FUR real!”  The sales clerk thought I was really un-well as tears rolled down my face in laughter.

Our good fortune connected us to a delightful tour guide, Augusta Harris, http://www.britainsbestguides.org/guides/augusta-harris/who took us to the preparation for the Queens 91st birthday parade.  We also feasted on the Crown Jewels.  We lunched in an exclusive area, The Mayfair, where I decided the current art of fashion, outweighed my desire to see Modern Art and departed from our group.  I was bummed to learn I missed my friend, Dale Chihuly’s work in the Claridge Hotel.  For those traveling to London, I highly recommend you connect with Augusta!

Later that evening, we took in the play, Beautiful, which details the history of Carol King and Tapestry, her multi platinum selling album.  The show depicted a woman with a traditional middle class upbringing from New Jersey who went to work for Don Kirshner and wrote tunes we all came to know for a magnitude of artist. It’s the story of talent, love, heartbreak, and resilience. Truth be told, it was my third time seeing this show.  Ok a little un-well, but it never gets old.  I guess, I just like feeling like a Natural Woman.

My girl, Patti Savoy, is never too far from my mind or heart, so we night capped at the famed Savoy Hotel!

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We spent a night in the gorgeous city of Geneva, Switzerland, known for it’s parks, chocolates, watches, and for me the pool!

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Next up… Tales from Amsterdam!

Bikes and The Red Light- I’m Not Crazy- They’re just a little un-well!

Stay Tuned…

 

Aquality

I am thankful for so many things.

And as I stand here before my kitchen sink, with my mind racing from thought to thing and this and that and all I want to accomplish today, I lift the water faucet to get some water to prepare a cup of coffee.

Suddenly, I focus on the flush flowing freely, willingly, from the tap.

And in a second, I recognize that I am so very thankful for this clean, drinkable water that will soon enable some caffeine to add to morning happiness.

This, of course, makes me consider the millions and millions of people in the world who don’t, who actually don’t have this luxury; because a luxury is what it is. You and I just don’t see it that way, because we, to be quite honest, take it for granted. In the middle of the night, at daybreak, whenever–it’s just there. But there really are people, real human beings, big ones and little ones who suffer from pollution, disease, neglect, lack, and are unnecessarily burdened ‘just’ because they have no access to clean water.

It’s Wednesday. A good a day as any to think about the ‘aquality’ . . of life.

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I’m Not Crazy, I’m just a Little Un-Well.

I’m not crazy, I’m just a little Un-well.

Travel Journal

My boyfriend asked if I was interested in accompanying him on a business trip starting in NYC, then London, Geneva, Switzerland, and Amsterdam.  Certain questions don’t need to be asked, I replied as I finished overpacking my bulging suitcase.  Business secure- check.  House caretakers secure- check.  Family secure- check.  Passport- off we went!

In New York, we were treated to the Broadway sensation, Hamilton.  Perhaps due to the massive hype, although I thoroughly enjoyed the production, I was a little underwhelmed.  Loved the history lesson and music score and particularly the song, “Who will write your story?” Loved the creative adaption and colorful rap woven throughout the play and the beautiful performances by so many gifted talents. However, my advice, definitely see the show, but don’t use your mortgage payment to secure the pricey tickets- the show will be around for a while- it can wait!  Call me a little Un-Well.

We dined at Daniel, one of the few Manhattan restaurants to have a coveted two-star Michelin rating .  The famed chef, Daniel himself, graciously joined our table and as I choked down the 12 mini courses  that our dinner associates raved over, I was left wondering – Where’s the beef?  Lovely setting, outstanding presentation, but not on my list for culinary satisfaction.  Doesn’t take much to make me happy, and my guy knows I’m a fiscally reasonable date. Call me a little Un-Well.  When one of the associates shared that a donkey at a zoo in China had been tossed to the tigers and ravenously  eaten, we all felt disheartened for such an act of animal cruelty. To keep matters light, I thought and said aloud, “Bet that was the best piece of ass the tigers had in a long time.”  Ok call me REALLY Un-Well.

Stay tuned.. next up I share Tales from London- The Crown Jewels to Harvey Nichols.

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Inspiration in the menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight

It’s Monday morning. Probably as good a day as any to be in need of some inspiration.

It’s also summertime, everyone wants to show their best side (although I am going to hope that we’ve all come far enough at this point in our lives to accept and love and be thankful for every part of ourselves).

In any event, here’s an updated menopausbarbee Monday re-post (September 23, 2013) of some motivation, determination and dedication from Ms. Ernestine Shepard. I’m sure that we can apply her thoughts to whatever we’re trying to be our best at in life.

Happy Monday everybody!

Now that there is a new dynamic to my physical status, (losing and gaining a new hip), I have a new appreciation for every little inch of me. I no longer take any of my limbs for granted. In fact, they are all in the forefront of my consciousness because you . . . just . . . never . . . know.
Anyway, it’s Monday and to get the week started we all could probably use a little bit of inspiration. That’s why I’m going to give you a lot.
The stunning woman in the Menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight today was declared by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 and 2011 to be the oldest female competitive body builder in the world. That’s right – in the world. Today she is 80 years old. She started working out at 56. Do all you Menoausebarbees/guys hear me?
She is pure motivation and living proof that it’s never too late to improve ourselves–bionic hips and all. Her motto?
“Determined–Dedicated – Disciplined To Be Fit”.
She is impressive, amazing, awesome – all of that.
See for yourself. Youtube: Ernestine Shepard–World Record Female Bodybuilder.

Here’s to a great start in the week everybody!

 

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Where’s The Beef? Moo Over and Stop Looking!

Indulge with me a moment and sing-
2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!

Growing up, my mouth would water, as I sang this tune over and over to my mother’s dismay until we made our way to the Golden Arches.

During the early 1990’s, I was pregnant with my son, and due to an e-coli outbreak at Jack n the Box, I swore off the red meat! Brett is 23 and didn’t have his first bite of a steak until he was 15. To this day, he still hasn’t eaten a burger, (paranoid me, wanted to make sure the tainted meat was safe).

However, personally, my love affair with a late night stop at Dicks, or a splurge at my local favorite Scoop Du Jour- Yes Edward, your burger is till the best in town, fear of illness never stopped my obsession and infatuation with the goods from the grille.

To my culinary delight, on a recent trip to Vegas with my “foodie” guy, we discovered the Impossible Burger and it didn’t leave me asking as in the Wendy commercial – Where’s the Beef?. I wouldn’t have believed it until I tasted it. but alas, this with the plant based burger and all the trimmings, it may just be possible that I don’t have to wait for the cows to come home to eat.

Check it out and moo over beef!

https://www.impossiblefoods.com/burger/

Happy Birthday Auntie M!!

Happy Birthday Auntie Margie!

Today I’m re-posting Dani’s blog celebrating the life of our Aunt Margie (menopausebarbees Jan. 16, 2012). I just want to preface it by saying that I’m not only spotlighting her because it’s her birthday today, but because she is genuinely but genuinely, one of the loveliest women we know. Between Auntie M and mama we could not be blessed with greater examples of womanhood. We love you Auntie M and the happiest, happiest birthday wishes to you!

Happy Birthday and many, many blessings Auntie. Thank you for being you.

Think about the sweetest person you know. Now quadruple that and add a pound of sugar, spice and everything nice and you still will not come close to our Auntie Margie.

Mardra Jay aka Auntie Margie paid us a visit from Anchorage, Alaska this past week to say hello to Tracie before she headed back across the pond to Germany.

It is challenging to describe in this blog all that Auntie Margie means to our family. She is a pint size 5’2 powerhouse who is fit, spiritual, hysterically funny and fiercely loyal. Her generosity is beyond compare and she is tirelessly energetic in all the causes she silently champions to help those less fortunate.

Auntie Margie is just a do-er, who constantly strives to bring out the best in others. On this trip, she gave me a book entitled What Happy People Know. As I became engulfed in reading it and thought of the struggles that Auntie Margie has overcome, she is living proof of what Happiness is and can be. Tracie and I are so blessed to have this resilient woman in our blood line. One of my fondest memories was sharing my 40th birthday with her for her 60th. We asked (per my loving aunt) that no one bring gifts, because as she aptly said, we have all we need and each day is a gift and that is why we call it the present.

As a former ballerina and the first retired African American flight attendant after 22 years of service for Alaska Airlines, Margie still has the grace as when she was on toe point and the people skills of her years of service. Today as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, we thought it would be be-fitting to share Margie’s story as a trailblazer in the airline industry.

Tracie and I took the opportunity to ask Auntie Margie what being an original menopausebarbee means to her…

I studied ballet for 16 years at Cornish and that is my passion. I think that is why I am so drawn to Pilates, which I now do 3 days a week. At 67, I believe you should embrace your age and be proud about it and that God has blessed you with your health.

In 1964, I was working for the Washington Natural Gas company and affirmative action was busy during this time. At the urging of a friend flying for Northwest, I went to Alaska and was hired. I started flying for Alaska Airlines at age 21 and I was the first African American woman to be hired by Alaska. My first flight was my first time being airborne. My sister, your mother, Theresa, stood crying as the plane took off. A lady comforted her and asked when I would return and Theresa wailed, ‘tonight’.

On June 26, 1986, flight number 82 was my final run. I was astounded as I came off the jetway and all my co-workers lined the stream with the various outfits we had worn for the previous 22 years. Everything from the super mini’s, to the Gay 90’s with the long red velvet skirts, the tall fur Russian hats and the pencil skirts and pillbox hats. It was my surprise retirement and all my friends and family were in attendance.

I like people and over the years, I have met some of the most fascinating and interesting individuals. I have always loved the excitement of flying.

On a flight in the early 80’s from Ketichan to Seattle, I met a passenger, named Christopher Jay who became my soul mate. We recently celebrated 3o years of marriage. We have three children who are all prospering and two beautiful grandchildren.

Through the years, I have been blessed to travel to India, Russia, Europe, Asia, The Holy Land and the Middle East. I have come to find
If you view life as if you are looking through the eyes of God, it is hard to have a negative view.
Each morning as I awake, I say this prayer, ‘Help me walk through this day as if I am looking through Your eyes.’

Tracie and I can attest, Auntie Margie walks the talk! She is as one of her favorite sayings… All the things that love can do!

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Something for Your Toolbox

To reach our highest potential in life, we must sometimes be warriors. Exercise your faith, recognize that character is developed during tough times. Life is too short to be complacent, so live and love every moment. Dream big. Expand your vision and share your gift with the world!

Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story, coming in October 2017 in German: Einen Herzschlag entfernt.

This is a story you don’t want to miss!

 

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