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.

Memory Lane!!

Oh my goodness!

Yesterday, mama and I literally drove down Memory Lane.

Our destination was to the grade school I attended, now named The Villa.  Was the trophy I won as MVP for volleyball still in the trophy case? Though I was awarded the trophy in the 8th grade, I thought it just might be possible that this relic was around somewhere. You never know. The anticipated nostalgia of visiting my Alma Mater was a major happy boost.

When I attended this school in the 7th and 8th grades, it was called, Sacred Heart Villa Academy. Situated on 31 acres on Lake Washington, including 600 feet of lake waterfront, the lush grounds of the school (picture) are still meticulously kept with organic gardens, trails, and a state-of-the-art athletic field. Once you drive inside the entry gates, you feel like you’re into a world all its own.

Just as we were ringing the bell to enter, Amy and her darling, I mean darling, son David were exiting just as her husband, Anthony appeared. Amy is a sixth-grade teacher at the Villa and Anthony teaches all things IT there. They welcomed us inside and we all got on the vintage elevator that I remember oh, so well. I touched it’s iron gate to take with me.

We landed on the second floor, the chapel straight in front of us. It was in that chapel, that my 8th-grade graduation was held (picture). Wow. Everything was just as I remembered, except for the addition of a piano. I scanned the room, having a moment. Suddenly David came and stood beside me and started to explain the Stations of the Cross on the walls. No surprise there, with both of his parents being school teachers. Precious.

Back in the hallway, mom and I  meet Kelly, one of the directors of the school. She will look in the archives and see if she can find any names from my graduating class.

Walking the corridors, we admired the artwork and posters hanging from the walls that the kids have created revealing their awareness of our social and political climate. Quite impressive.

We then found the classroom where mama apprised (and/or warned) my English teacher to never again doubt my writing skills again (picture). I remember it like it was yesterday. Her name was Ms. Thompson. She had listed several phrases on the chalkboard. Our assignment was to choose a phrase and write a paragraph incorporating it. I chose, “I knocked but no one answered”. I remember the entire text, but won’t post it all here. The last sentence was the doozy: “I knocked but no one answered. I will keep knocking until I find the right key to open the door to my soul.” Well, unfortunately for Ms. Thompson, she didn’t believe I wrote it. Mama took care of that.

At our 8th grade graduation, I received honors for nearly every class–even the award for General Excellence. Hah! I was shocked. A good shocked. I still have the awards to this very day.

I had some of the most beautiful, fun, and unforgettable moments in my life at The Villa. What I know for sure is that if I had known then, what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Lucky me.

I Don’t Sweat, I Sparkle!

My sister and co-blogger have been writing for over ten years.  When we came up with the concept and the name, Menopausebarbees, we were not anywhere near Menopause age.  We just thought the name and the concept of “getting older, but still being dolls” rang true and it was catchy.

Perhaps, we would be fortunate and sail through these middle years symptom free like our mother.  Mama always reminds us, she didn’t have menopause, she had our father.

As a person who has always ran cold and preferred fleece and flannel over  chiffon and air conditioned rooms, I actually longed for the days when I would experience my own personal summers.  Such was the case of my blog, see www.menopausebarbees.com Every Venture Should be an Adventure.  On a trip with my dear friend, Susan Kropp to Iceland, we argued nightly over the temperature gage in our room.  Nightly in the hotel room we shared, I would wait until she dozed off and sneak out from my multiple layers and crank the heat, until Susan would awake in the adjacent bed sweltering.

Well, let’s just say, those nights are over.  Or as the saying goes, “We are still hot, they just come in flashes.”

I for one believe in exhausting natural measures and have not been on hormones.  I’m the forever optimist.  So if you see me getting hot, just remember, I don’t sweat, I just sparkle!

  And you can always look on the bright side!

 

True Fashion Never Goes out of Fashion..It’s the Fabric of our Lives

It’s Flashback Friday, and I couldn’t think of a better share today than the history of the 1970s and 1980s fashion after watching the Prime documentary, Halston.

If you love great style, do yourself a favor, click on Netflix’s rebirth of one of America’s great designers, Halston and grab your popcorn.  Some icons are so great, they only need one name, and such was the case of Roy HALSTON Frowick.  His couture which included ready to wear, fragrances, accessories and house wears was and is a legendary powerhouse.

Halston rose to fame in the 1970’s.  His minimalist, clean designs often made of ultra suede and cashmere became staples for my mother, who was a top runway and print model during this era.  Growing up, my sisters and I decided Mama’s clothes were too outstanding not to share and therefore, we coined “Community Closet”.  Mama decided the “Community” sharing was not in her favor and she literally had to put a deadbolt on the exterior door to her master, locking us out.  But who could argue with us?  The halter dress is still to this day timeless.

Daddy used to say, “Just because it’s on your ass, doesn’t make it an asset.”  I and I’m sure Halston would disagree looking at these pictures of Mama. To this day, her style proves that true fashion never goes out of fashion.  It is indeed the fabric of our lives.

 

 

 

Begin With The End in Mind… Would You Take a Chance?

Seattle- get ready!  Housing is about to become real scarce and that is a scary reality!

Since our City Council has chosen to bear the homeless pandemic housing crisis on landlords, I couldn’t agree with KIRO’s G Scott’s words more.

“But these efforts to possibly extend this moratorium will only come back to hurt the people that don’t make a lot of money.

Gee says landlords will probably be less likely to take a chance on someone who may just be doing the best they can, which could in turn mean that instead of just asking for the first month’s rent as a deposit, “now you might be asked for first month, last month, and a bigger deposit.”

“Also, landlords are now selling homes during this hot market because now they’re saying, ‘you know what, tenants, as soon as your lease is up, I am going to be selling that house.’ Now, what’s going to happen to that tenant? That tenant now has to go back out here in the rental market,” Gee said. “Maybe they’ve been in this home for five or six years and their rent has been good because the landlord and tenant relationship has been good, but other people are going to suffer these consequences because of extending these moratoriums.”

“One establishes a defense against evictions during each school year for anyone who works at a school, as well as families with students. The second bill requires landlords to offer new leases to tenants before their existing ones expire, and before they can try to find a new renter. The third bill would prevent landlords from kicking anyone out if they couldn’t pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, for which tenants would need to sign declarations affirming that they suffered financial hardships.”

It is INCONCEIVABLE to me, and I am not alone that the city council does not comprehend that this is our livelihood as well.  It has been said over and over again, if you offer a service, you get compensated.  I don’t care if you are a doctor,  child care provider, restaurant owner,  city council member or realtor- when you provide a service you get paid!

You have freedom of thought, public assembly, and the right to own things.  Truly take a moment and think about what job you are heading to do right now.  Now imagine being told- there is a moratorium on your compensation.  Now take that further and imagine that your services are being devalued, depreciated, and damaged and you still can’t collect, however you are demanded to repair.

In every relationship, I believe you start with the end in mind…

This is a unit my family owns that a hoarder resided in.

This is the same unit after resident moved.

Would you take a chance City Council?

The Life of a Landlord in Handcuffs

Last night at 10 20 p.m., I was winding down from a long day of my first of the month obligations as a housing provider.  I had a long list for my maintenance foreman, Eddie who I call my “husband” from the waist up.  Unit 1107 had moved in and the stove was not working.  Unit 3 had a long list of repairs from a defective garbage disposal to a broken outside light.  Martha vacated unit 206 and claims to have left her roommates with her portion of the rent, which they deny.  Deposit refund sent to unit 401. Confirmed new cabinets for unit 306 will be installed prior to the 14th for a move in. Reviewed an application with a resident who had 3 evictions and a credit score in the low 400’s. Called Otis elevator, as resident 404 got stuck inside.  Showed 14th E., again, and no matter how charming the unit is, the homeless encampment adjacent to the property is a deterrent.  Paid all the mortgages, utilities, and other mandatory monthly bills essential to operating properties.

I sighed as I pulled back my bedding and eagerly anticipated what Netflix or Prime Video I would watch until I dozed off and hit it again the next morning.  As I delved into the history of Studio 54, my peace was interrupted, by a text, “E is screaming at the top of his longs out front of the building. Started in his place and moved outside. Now he is threatening me for asking him to stop.”

I called “E”.  I’m sorry that you couldn’t find what you were looking for, however, you cannot have a melt down when there are 35 other families living in the complex and you are disturbing their rest.  The complaints on “E” have been non-stop since he took occupancy.  Loud disturbances at all hours, smoking cigars in the common areas, tons of traffic, and loud music at all hours.

One bad apple truly can spoil the pail.  I have no recourse to force “E” to move, although i have repeatedly asked.  I am losing quality residents who have enjoyed years of solitude and the sanctity of their homes.

Yesterday’s City Council passed these bills, insuring more renter’s rights.

Seattle City Council to vote on tenant protection bills as eviction moratorium set to expire (seattlepi.com)

On the surface, to many of you this may sound feasible.  But the price is hefty as small mom and pop landlords take their properties out of circulation, housing will become scarce.

Daily I hear from my fellow property owners, horrific stories of Meth heads, crack addicts,  elective non payors, squatters, abusive, disrespectful, and filthy renters who occupy and now with the law on their sides, refuse to move.  I say it’s easier to marry someone than to rent to them in this market.  At least here in Washington it’s a no fault if you want out, but you can’t divorce bad renters.

If we don’t push back on these restrictions, and uncuff our hands being tied, I can promise you, the landscape of our city will change. Big corporations will be your housing provider.  They can afford the loss and the headache.  As Mr. Roger’s said, ‘Won’t you be my neighbor?’  I hope not if you are “E”.

Read Menopausebarbee post, Can You Help Me Out Here?  Where I shared about a resident who enjoyed the smell of his pee, so he urinated in the stairwell everyday until I caught him on camera.  Can Somebody Help Me Out Here??? – Menopausebarbees.com

Wouldn’t want him for your neighbor either, now would you?  I think Mr. Rogers would agree!  THINK and VOTE!  #Stopthemadness

Pride and Prejudice

 

June is PRIDE MONTH!!!

This annual celebration recognizes the influence of the LGBTQ community.

Brief Back Story: June 28, 1969, police raid a gay club called the Stonewall Inn in New York. They claimed the bar was operating with an improper liquor license, but in truth, the raid was about nothing more than violently harassing and arresting LGBTQ people in one of the few places where they felt safe. 

An altercation ensued between the police and a diverse crowd of lesbians, gay men and transgender women, many of whom were people of color. They threw bottles and refused to be intimidated. The following six-day period of protests and demonstrations is now known as the Stonewall Riots. A New York rally held the next year to commemorate the first anniversary of the riots started the now-regular tradition of Pride Month. A liberation movement had begun. 

We all want to be tolerated and celebrated. We all want to be loved. To deny, deliberately snub, degrade and disgrace another human being is inhumane. How do we get hooked up on things that bring no value to our lives? Wouldn’t it just be easier to live with no regrets, to live with a free and open mind, and to dare…to be kind? We were not born with prejudice. We were not born with pride. We take pride. Pride in celebrating who we were born to be and all that entails.

I love this picture and what I especially love about it is the way it came to be. Three strangers at an event drawn to one another and deciding to strike a pose. What if we suffered from closed minds and hearts and lacked the ability to be interested in our distinct differences? I wouldn’t have this memory that warms my heart on this very day. That would be sad.

Variety is the spice of life; a flavor to relish. There is tremendous richness in diversity. Try something new. Feast on it.

 

 

How Do We Keep Helping Each Other?

Maya Angelou said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

This quote reminds me of my dear friend who shines in the Menopausebarbee spotlight today.  Ever since I met Maria Brunner nearly 3 decades ago, she has asked the question, how do we keep helping each other?  A mutual friend of ours moved from Seattle and was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor in Scottsdale.  Maria was her new neighbor, and she opened up her home to the overflow of guests who came to visit our dying friend.  Maria ran errands, dropped meals, and supported this family, all in the midst of running her company and finding time to rescue pets, do dog washes, serve bagels after church and serve her communities at large.  I say communities because Maria makes a mark wherever she goes be it Nashville, Puyallup, Montana, or Arizona.

So, today, I’m honored as we prepare for another major event Maria does for St. Jude’s Children’s hospital called Songwriters Showcase, to share this timely feature on my friend who is indeed a rainbow in many people’s cloud.

Bravo Maria!  I’m proud to call you my friend.

Pollstar | Getting To Know Your Pollstar Live! Panelists: Maria Brunner Of Insight Management & Musically Fed

No One Should Have to Call This Home… Sign TODAY

There’s a nastiness spreading through homeless camps in King County.

It’s a bacterium called shigella and can lead to an infection called shigellosis, which can leave a person helpless with diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.

Last week, I rushed through the Safeway on 15th Avenue and witnessed a homeless man enter from the “tent housing park” across from the grocery store who I presume was suffering with this condition.  It sickened me as I waited in the checkout line and watched as the checkers all rushed to enforce the mask rule, literally throwing the face shields at him as this man bawled up on the floor near the entry in a fetal position holding his stomach and bellowing in pain.  The only item he was offered was a mask.  What else could they do?

The Seattle Times reported;

142 cases have been confirmed in the county since October and of that 110 are said to be people experiencing homeless. Hayes said of all the cases, 91 percent are in the City of Seattle and 63 percent needed hospitalization.

“The disease is clearly transmitted in unhygienic living conditions, close quarters, poor access to sanitation and hygiene” says Seattle/King County Public Health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin.

Although the checkers were ill equip to offer a more than a mask, today I am sharing what we ALL can and should do.

Compassion Seattle

Compassion Seattle is a group of civic and community leaders working to address Seattle’s homelessness crisis. Our mission is to make an immediate and tangible impact for people experiencing homelessness. We have launched an initiative to direct the city to address this crisis, which has increased dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic. We do not believe people should have to live in encampments in our parks and on our sidewalks, which is why this measure supports increases in, and access to, emergency and permanent housing, and mental health and substance use disorder treatment and services for people experiencing homelessness and to keep public spaces clear of encampments.

DOWNLOAD THE PETITION, SIGN IT AND SHARE IT

with your neighbors, colleagues and family members.

Supporters can download the petition form directly from Compassion Seattle’s website, obtain signatures of friends and family and return it by mail to Compassion Seattle P.O. Box 21961, Seattle, WA, 98111 or drop it at the Compassion Seattle office. The petition must be printed double-sided in black ink. For further directions on downloading and signing the form, visit compassionseattle.org.

Endorsed by these establishments;

ENDORSEMENTS

Organizations

Alliance for Pioneer Square

Chief Seattle Club

Downtown Emergency Services Center

Downtown Seattle Association

Evergreen Treatment Services

FareStart

Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County

Plymouth Housing

Public Defender Association

SODO Business Improvement Area

United Way King County

Uplift Northwest

YWCA

Visit Seattle

Let’s add your name to the list.    It is crucial that we gather 33,060 signatures of registered Seattle voters by Friday, June 25 in order to qualify Charter Amendment 29 for the November ballot. We don’t have much time to reach our signature target and we need your help.

No one should have to call this home.

 

Right, Wrong, Recall?

I strongly believe that misinformation is the root of too many political, social, and economic issues we face today.  I also respect that everyone is entitled to their opinion once they have researched facts.

Some case in points… To vaccinate or not? “Experts say several diseases are avoidable and making a comeback due to anti-vaxxers who refuse to vaccinate their kids.”  I know people of my mother’s generation who had polio, and thankfully, the United States has been polio-free for more than 30 years, but the disease still occurs in other parts of the world.

Google QAnon and it is something out of a sci-fi film- a discredited American far right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles run a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotted against former U.S. president Donald Trump while he was in office.

As a Menopausebarbee, I have had too many conversations with peers on the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy. The benefit-risk ratio must be accessed for relieving symptoms vs an increased risk of certain breasts and uterine cancers.

Daily, we must dig in and get educated on decisions which affect our lives and our futures.  KNOWledge.  Those who know got the edge!

So, ponder this… Shall the City of Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant be recalled from office for misfeasance, malfeasance and violation of the oath of office based  upon allegations that she violated the city charter, city code and state law when she:

(1)  Used City resources to support a ballot initiative and failed to comply with the public disclosure requirements related to such support;

(2) Disregarded state orders related to COVID-19 by admitting hundreds of people in City Hall on June 9,2020 when it was closed to the public.

(3) Led a protest march to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s private residence, the locaMtion of which Councilmember Sawant knew was protected under state confidentiality laws.

Do the research District 3

And for the record, even though I’m vaccinated, I still mask up!  Thank you Sonia Wooten- Gill!

 

 

 

Recall Kshama Sawant | Seattle City Councilmember (sawantrecall.org)

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