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.

The Piano Girl (once again) in the menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight

Cologne, Germany’s Excelsior Hotel Ernst, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World since 1928, was last night  home to a “December Concert in Candlelight” presented by my dear friend, Steinway Artist and author, Robin Meloy Goldsby–aka known as The Piano Girl–along with German actress Heike Bänsch. 

Because the Piano Girl’s husband–The Gray Fox–aka John Goldsby–jazz educator and bassist with the WDR Big Band, had a gig at the Essen, Philharmonie, I had the good fortune to be Robin’s date for the evening.  

The Piano Girl mesmerized her audience with her piano arrangements of some of our favorite holiday classics. Her performance was interwoven with downright delightful stories about some of her Christmases in America and in Germany; she presenting in English and Heike in German. The audience loved them. And this audience is just one of  quite a few of Robin’s fans–Kourtney Kardashian’s Christmas Spotify playlist lists Robin’s song,  First Snow, from her album, Songs from the Castle  as one of her favorites. Whether you’re a K fan or not, this is still pretty cool. 

After the performance, The Piano Girl’s guests mingled over champagne before sitting down to a three course gourmet dinner. Robin made a toast to our table. She raised her wine glass and said something like, “Here’s to my new friends,” and then looking at me sitting next to her, “and my old friends.” I was like, “Really Piano Girl?” We all fell out laughing. At least she didn’t say I was fat.

I’ve blogged about Robin before: menopausebarbees October 31, 2011 and May 19, 2014. Find out more about this talented, wickedly funny mother, wife, composer, pianist and author on her website: http://robin.goldsby.de 

HOT LOVE Piano Girl! I’m so proud of you. Merry Christmas. And thanks again.

Something for Your Toolbox

The holiday season is in full swing. Remember to use some heart muscle in all your hustle, bustle and tussle…

Mama’s Closet.. Deja Vu

Deja Vu!  Everything old is new again!

Growing up, I along with my two sisters coined the phrase, Community Closet.  When mama or one of us off-springs found an article of clothing too expensive to duplicate or a rare find, we claimed it was a part of the community.  Now this was long before Facebook and social media, so the chances of getting photographed in one of my siblings or mama’s outfits was not a concern.  Clothes sharing worked well until mama had to put a deadbolt on her closet as it became our go to shop before Fredrick & Nelson, Nordstrom or I Magnin.

Over the years, mama, a true style icon has shared these tips- good pieces are timeless, quality pieces last and everything comes back.  Now that mama is well into her 8th decade, she has seen bell bottoms, wrap dresses, mini skirts, shoulder pads and Hammer pants recycle over and again.

Last weekend, as I prepared for the Fred Hutch Cancer Gala, Seattle’s most elite annual fundraiser (which raised a record breaking $10,419,285!), I once again visited my mama’s closet.  A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, and here I am adorning her vintage gown which she wore 25 years ago!  As I accepted compliments throughout the evening of party goers asking where I found this treasure, I smiled and proudly shared my secret- Mama’s Closet!  And as if I didn’t already know, mama does indeed know best.. Style, and quality are timeless.

This Thursday, I invite you to join us at Seattle’s finest consignment shop, Sell Your Sole 2121 1st Avenue Seattle, WA 98121 for a gift drive for Treehouse.  Please bring any unwrapped gift for a Foster child to enjoy this season.  Starting at 6 pm, you will be treated to light bites, spirits, and DJ Craig King spinning your favorite hits.  Who knows… You might even walk away with a piece from mama’s closet!

Oh and I know… Mama wore it best!

Happy Birthday Marc! A Life in Pictures and a Message from My Son!

“Look to each day for the goodness it brings,

for living life is to believe in all things…’

When I penned these words as a young school girl, I never imagined at that time what meaning they would hold for me in my adult life.

When I was told that my extraordinary son, born with only half of his heart did not have a chance at life, somehow, someway I believed he would survive. I believed despite my gut wrenching fear and all the odds against us. And so I fought the doctors, the fates, the infections and everything else that got in my way for him to have a chance at life. 

Today I look back in amazement at our thirty-four years together. The day a major event occurred in my life. And my gift to you are some pictures of our journey and Marc’s thoughts on life taken from my inspiring book, Incompatible with Nature-A Mother’s Story.

Marc, Happy Birthday my son. I love you so much more than mere words can say.  I just don’t know how you got to be older than me!

 

The prenatal printout of Marc’s heartbeat indicating that everything was fine. And him sucking his thumb.

With my parents directly after Marc’s birth–11 days before we knew of the prognosis.

Me in my green hospital gown holding my baby at the hospital.

Marc and his father, Helmut.

Gameboy!!

The joys of a chocolate Easter bunny!

Newsworthy

Love this shot. I wonder what he’s thinking…

 

Fearless!

First day of school!

My hero: Dr. Aldo Castañeda, the surgeon who gave me hope and ultimately saved Marc’s life at Children’s Hospital Boston in 1994.

Marc, did you practice, today?

Racing with his father–amazing!

What???? Courageous!!

Homeboy loves his 1. FC Köln home team!

In Montreux with the maestro! Uncle Q!!

Daddy said it best: “Ain’t no givin’ up and no givin’ out!” Amen.

And now from the mouth of my baby:

“Hey Mom, 

Here are a few notes from me that I’d like you to share in your book. 

The most important thing I’d like you to convey are my golden rules for staying strong: 

1)  Believe in God.
2)  Trust your inner gut–you know your body, soul and spirit the best. 

3) Have a positive mindset–this helps the body to recover quicker. 

4) It seems as if people have lost sight of what really matters. Be grateful for your life. Stop looking at what you don’t have and start being thankful for what you do have. 

5) Have a dream or a goal and stick to it. Everyone must have a dream, no matter how impossible it may seem to reach. 

6) Cherish your life, really cherish it. 

7) Time and life are precious. Nobody knows how much of it we have left, therefore we must make life worth living. 

8) Live in such a way, so that at the end you can talk about all the things you DID instead of about all the things you MISSED out on.”

And,

“Look to each day for the goodness it brings,

for living life is to believe in all things…”

 

Something for Your Toolbox

It’s hump day everybody! Don’t justify–try!

 

Monday Motivation in Something for Your Toolbox

Something for Your Toolbox that feels so good! It’s Monday-make it rock everybody! #aintnogivinupandnogivinout

 

 

 

 

Saved the Best for Last

You, know, Thanksgiving is a holiday that I miss sharing with my family stateside. Over the years, I celebrated this day in Germany on the closest Saturday, inviting my dearest friends. Why Saturday you might ask. Well, the answer is that we would eat, drink, dance and be merry until the wee hours of the morning. My last Thanksgiving celebration as a married woman, I invited forty friends and prepared two turkeys with all the accompanying side dishes and well as apple, sweet potato and lemon meringue pies. Forty people. 

You might say, I saved the best for last.

Fast forward to yesterday: Thanksgiving 2018. 

I celebrated yesterday in Germany preparing and serving dinner to the families at the Ronald McDonald House in Cologne. Manuela, Giovanni, Astrid, Maria and I prepared a feast beginning with a rich, good for your soul chestnut soup, followed by spinach stuffed cannelloni for the vegetarians and beef stuffed cannelloni for the folks like me. Dessert was warm quark pancakes with ice-cream and raspberry sauce. 

And though we didn’t cook turkey–after all it’s not Thanksgiving Day here (the German Thanksgiving Day is called Erntedank and is usually in September or October, depending on the region), we each celebrated the essential values of gratitude and togetherness in working with each other–it’s such a beautiful thing to be a part of–working together to make someone else feel good and doing it from the heart with care and concern and with love. And we had as we always do, a zero tolerance for anything less than what it should be. For example: if there was a drip of soup on a serving bowl, it was carefully wiped away before the decorative parsley was set atop and served. After all, as they say in Germany, “The eyes eat too”. Pitching in and wiping up while someone is chopping or stirring, running to the fridge to hand someone an ingredient, setting the table, folding the napkins, lighting the candles, pouring the drinks, welcoming the families and serving a delicious meal. One can’t help but feel. . .full.

Driving home, feeling so satisfied, I acknowledged the fact that with all things considered, it’s not just about the food. And I gave thanks out loud. (Mama has told me to not answer myself when I do this.) Anyway, it just felt good to give thanks that my son feels good, that my family was able to sit at their dining table and say grace; thankful for the people who are donating food and time to those who’ve lost everything but their lives in the fires in California. . . thankful for so many things. 

And then I gave thanks that I, in my own small way, am able to do something to lift someone else’s spirits.

You might say, I saved the best for last. 

Happy Day After everybody!

Grateful!

As we prepare for Thanksgiving this week, The Menopausebarbees are grateful that during the past five plus years, you have allowed us  as the Delaney sister’s Broadway play coined, “Have Our Say.”

We are grateful that we can agree to disagree on platforms from politics to lunatics.  We are grateful we can share our pain and gain, fortune and misfortune, but most of all connect with friends and family on both sides of the pond from Germany to Seattle and everywhere in between.  We are grateful that Daddy and Mama instilled in us the work ethic to never give in or give out!  Daily we were reminded to get up and get on it! We are grateful for the gray area, that shade you reside in when issues are neither black nor white; but you come to accept.  We are grateful that God gave us a voice and the ability to express ourselves. Read Incompatible with Nature a Mother’s Story, available on Amazon – a perfect Christmas gift! www.traciemayer.com

We are grateful that although the road is often under construction, we have always found the detour and arrived on time!  We are grateful for the gifts we have been blessed to give when no one  knows.  We are grateful for the acts of service using our time and talents to lighten another’s load.   We are grateful for making the right decisions, even when they are difficult.

So today, and tomorrow as you break bread with your family and loved ones, as Snoop Dogg said at yesterday’s Hollywood Star on the hall of fame- be thankful for yourself!  YOU are indeed God’s special creation, one that the world has never seen the likes before and will never again.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

We are GRATEFUL

Guns, Guns Go Away…

The menopausebarbees are just wondering what the hell is going on! 

We are still in the wake of the last mass shooting that occurred inside a country music dance hall packed with young people having FUN on college night just a couple weeks ago. This tragedy at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks California left thirteen people dead. 

The biggest mass shooting in . . . a week.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, this was the 307th shooting in the US in 2018. That works out to be 307 deaths in 311 days. Almost one a day. What is going on???

And if you can imagine, a young man by the name of Telemachus Orfanos and his friends survived one of the deadliest shootings of the year at the Las Vegas country music festival in 2017. Fifty-eight were killed there. Fifty-eight innocent, unsuspecting lives snuffed out. Just like that. And though this young man, Telemachus escaped with his life the first time, 13 months later, the mass murderer in Thousand Oaks killed him. I mean, really? 

Moving on, yesterday one person was killed and three others were wounded in a shooting on a downtown Denver street,  while another lunatic went on a shooting rampage with a rifle at Mercy Hospital in Chicago leaving multiple victims… 

Needless to say our prayers go out to all the victims and their families. And we hope our prayers will give the families strength. But prayers will not bring their loved ones back. These are real human lives for Christ’s sake! Real people who were killed. Innocent people not in a line of fire in a war zone whose loved ones wake up the day after in shock and pain and disbelief. . .

What are we going to do people? Has insanity become our new norm? It’s bad enough that we have to deal with the dire consequences of global warming, poverty, discrimination, climate changes, energy depletion, pollution, social decadence, hatred, greed and of course nuclear weapons–just to name a few. 

Don’t you think that every single body with a heartbeat should be safe?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Style for a Cause! Treehouse Annual Gift Drive

She’s got style…

I truly believe when our mama was born at St. Luke’s Hospital on the South Side of Chicago, the nurse put on a Dolce Gabbana Diaper and swaddled her in a Gucci blanket!

Long before these designer labels became household names, mama just had a knack for embracing style.

This year, as a twist on my annual Shop for a Cause Toy and gift drive for children in Foster care, we are recycling style!  Please mark your calendars, grab friends, and come make everything old new again!

Ladies and Gents- all are welcome!

Details:

Thursday December 6, 2018

Sell Your Sole Consignment Boutique

2121 1st Avenue Suite 101  Seattle, WA 98121  6-9 pm

You will be treated to cocktails, light bites, my favorite DJ Hitman Craig King, raffle drawings and more!

Just bring any NEW unwrapped toy, clothes, books or any gifts to brighten a Foster Child’s Holiday!

And you might even walk away with a designer piece from Mama’s Closet!