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.

Divorced Barbie

OK, I had to go.  After all, I along with my sister and co-blogger Tracie have a blog called Menopausebarbees which we have written for over twelve years.  We forced our mother out of her Sunday respite and ritual of reading the New York Times and dragged her kicking and screaming along with us.  Patti had purchased the tickets already, so guilt, daughter pressure, and with dreams of enjoying popcorn, Mama got in the SUV.  We arrived with all the excited generational attendees adorning PINK!  Since Barbie made her debut in 1959, created by American businesswoman, Ruth Handler for Mattel, she has transformed the world, empowering women of every genre and representing every race, creed, color and profession.

Although I must agree with Mama (she always does know best), the film disappointed me personally in that I believe the message could have resonated on a deeper level about what we perceive as the importance of beauty, perfection, and aging.  As our Menopausebarbees slogan goes, “We are all getting older, but we are still dolls.”

As the film ended, it showed Barbies which have been discontinued such as pregnant Barbie and new Barbies on the rise- such as a non-binary Barbie perhaps?  This made me think of one of my favorite jokes goes something like this:

A father takes his daughter to buy a Barbie Doll. They viewed their options carefully.   Beach Barbie $14.95, Dr. Barbie $24.95, Teacher Barber $12.  But the daughter fixates and insists that her father purchase her the Divorce Barbie with a whopping price tag of $800!  The father could not fathom why Divorce Barbie was priced so much higher than her counterparts and when he asked the sales lady, she replied: “Oh that’s because Divorce Barbie comes with Ken’s car, his house, his beach house, and his pension!

Ryan Gosling was a great Ken by the way!

Happy Monday, go see the movie- at least for the popcorn.

I Can’t Shake it Off! An Evening with The Swifts

It was indeed the most coveted seat in Seattle.  Last night, I sat in the sold-out Taylor Swift Eras Tour at Lumen Field next to her “producers” aka Andrea and Scott Swift, her parents.

As the crowd of nearly 75,000 erupted, including my offspring, Brett (Chelsea) and Tayrn, I looked at the Swifts and said, “You made this.” The glitzy adorned fans, offering and exchanging handmade bracelets were in for the time of their lives as Taylor took the stage for a 3 hour nonstop, outfit changing, sing along with her hits from Cruel Summer to We Are Never Getting Back Together.

I marveled at the family affair as Taylor’s brother, Austin along with her parents attend every concert and work seamlessly together running the show.  Andrea and Scott hugged and took photos and handed out guitar pics with Taylor’s photo to any and all who approached.

Andrea and I discussed the phenomenon of Taylor’s musical genius, being a self-taught musician and at one point holding the record as the youngest person to win the Album of the Year.  Each song tells a story and the lyrics are worth the listen.

Although my husband, Eric got the tickets for my kids for Christmas, it was a generational extravaganza and at 1 AM as I crawled into bed, I too couldn’t Shake it Off!

This Ol’ Bag…

Yesterday evening my mom, sister, daughter and I were driving through Pioneer Square enjoying the warmth of the summer evening and touring the 1st Thursday art exhibits.  In the midst of appreciating the talented art creations, including my sister’s bag pictured here with Frieda, it was not possible to not take notice to the ever-increasing homeless population in our downtown city.  My daughter fixated on a homeless woman, and she said, “Mom, I just wonder how she handles her monthly cycle and other personal hygiene.”  Literally as we discussed how we would contribute by donating sanitary napkins and products to Mary’s Place and other homeless shelters, my phone pinged and I received this timely message from my husband’s best friend, Jeff.  Jeff resides thousands of miles away in Doylstown, Pennsylvania, however, it was as if we were all standing before this homeless individual. The timing and message was a sensational idea.  If said, if you have an old purse you don’t use, fill it with personal hygiene and snacks, and when you see someone in need hand it off.  Although my sister is not ready to part with her Frieda bag, we definitely will be packing some old bags for the next encounter with the last, the least, and the loss.  Thanks Jeff for sharing and what a great way to pay it forward!

 

Twenty Seven Years…

 

When the student becomes the teacher, it’s time to graduate.

To thank those who came before and to become the master of my fate.—Dana Frank

Daddy, today marks 27 years since I saw you, however, I still hear you daily.  I hear you say “Alight now!  Time to get up an get on it!” And I do.  And when I’ve had enough I hear you shout,  “There ain’t no given in and no given’ out!” So I don’t.

I feel your presence when I doubt myself and I hear your words, “I didn’t raise no dummy!” And so, I dig in, investigate and figure it out.  When I half ass, I see you ain’t buying it when you say, “Nah, you can do better.”  And when I get it right, I see you beam with pride, point your finger to your chest and say, “That’s my stuff!  That’s what I’m talking about.  Gerald Frank you a bad mfer.”

You put the FuN in DySfUncTioNal

The Lessons never stop… That is Legacy

Blessed

 

 

Happy 4th! Ignite Your Life

/A Fire Starter Is Born with passion, drive, and vision

They don’t accept the narrative at birth which they were given

Success is earned from hard work and if you don’t try you have no one else to blame

At the end of your journey, what will be your legacy, and how big will be your flame?

Ignite your life and celebrate your independence!

Happy 4th everyone- Stay safe

Year of the Fox!

Last Saturday night found me sitting in The Egyptian Theater in Seattle’s Capitol Hill.  As I looked around the packed movie house, I recognized nearly every face from my community as we showed up to see Eliza Flug’s debut film, which she wrote and produced entitled, Year of the Fox.  I’ve known Eliza for many years and be it a holiday luncheon she hosted, a costume Halloween party, or supporting charitable endeavors, Eliza always shows up big. So, I was not the least bit surprised at her successful SIFF debut before heading now to Cannes.

The film is a coming-of-age story following Ivy, a teenager navigating Aspen’s wealthy party scene.  It also exposes the vulnerability of an impressionable young woman exposed to predatory behavior.  Eliza, like the character, Ivy was adopted and relocated to Seattle with her mother.

We all have a story to tell.  Brene Brown says the more vulnerable you are, the more courageous. Brava to Eliza for courageously taking us behind the affluent life in #Year of the Fox.

SIFF ends May 21st- so, get to the theater!  For those who live in the Pacific Northwest, you will appreciate the beauty of our landscape and maybe recognize a few locals in the film.  So proud of you Eliza!

 

 

Aloha! For the Love of Hawaii!

I have had a love affair with Hawaii for as long as I can recall.  When I was around eight years old,  my aunt had married a native and I spent many summers enjoying Honolulu with my extended family.  Memories of doing somersaults on the beach of Waikiki, picking sugar cane, satiating my sweet tooth with pineapple, and having my body engulfed by the humongous waves are etched in every fiber of my being.  In my twenties, I attended the Pro Bowl NFL Game in Honolulu.  I was engaged to my children’s father at the Halekalani and spent many of my young adult years revisiting Oahu. My girlfriends took me to Maui for my 50th.  For my daughter’s high school graduation, I took her to join friends in Maui, the second largest island.  Maui, known for it’s world-famous beaches, a shark encounter with a dear friend and surf expert, Lisa Schafer did not deter our return to the beloved ocean. There are eight major islands, so when my sister Patti proposed a family vacation at Christmas to Kona, we were in!  Patti greeted Eric and me at the airport with the most fragrant leis.  The gardenias in mine were so fragrant that I kept them next to my bed to enjoy the aroma for the week.  Upon arriving in Kona, the first thing I noticed was the vast land and goats.  Goats roam freely and they are everywhere.  Research said that goats were first released by Captain James Cook and his crew during their third and final voyage.  This was in the late 1700s and before this there were no grazing mammals anywhere on the island.  Now they are literally everywhere!

We stayed at the Mauna Kea, named for an active volcano.  Some authorities have labelled Mauna Kea the tallest mountain in the world from it’s under water base. The topographical scenery is unlike any other experience I had encountered in Honolulu or Maui.  Kona is scenic, peaceful, and aesthetically pleasing.  If you are looking for a relaxing get away without the hustle and bustle of crowded beaches, visit Kona! For me, I hope to return to them all.  ALOHA!

Love Is Theresa! Happy 91st Mama!

The year was 1956, and my father was playing with his band, The Gerald Frank Trio, at the local Elks Club. There was a competition for the title of Ms. Bronze.  The last contestant, running late from her work as a dietician assistant at Providence Hosptial rushed the stage, and pulled off her winter coat to reveal her fabulous figure in her one-piece swimsuit.  The competition was immediately declared over as today’s birthday girl took the crown and my father’s heart.  My father’s bandmate wrote a song called; Love is Theresa.  Mama is indeed love and today as we celebrate her 91st year, I want to share some of her sage wisdom, advise, and lifestyle choices which makes her so loved, timeless and cherished.

*Get Up and Get On It!  Mama has never allowed her age to hinder fer from having something to do daily.  You will never find the grandma lying in bed watching Soaps or Game Shows.  Mama is still an active participant in our family rental business.

*Keep Informed- Mama is my CNN and World News Tonight- You can discuss the daily world concerns with her as she reads the paper front to back and tunes in to the National News every day.  Occasionally, she will humor me and we will watch Love After Lockup together.  Her response is that it’s an hour of her life she can never get back.

*Reading is Fun- Nightly Mama’s Kindle becomes her best friend as she indulges in her favorite fiction.  Danielle Steele is one of her favorites and she discusses the characters and plots with me as if they are non-fiction.

*A Model Life- As a former Runway and Print Model, Mama knows how to keep it together!  She will not go out of the house without her face, hair and attire together- PERIOD.  One snowy winter, I convinced her to take a walk with me sans her perfection.  With a rain bonnet covering her sponge rollers, I persuaded her into Walgreens to grab an item as the snow flurries increased in dimension and size.  As we made our way to the checkout, a woman approached us and squealed loudly, ‘Theresa Frank is that you?’  ‘Not today! Mama replied and kept stepping out of the store.

*Blondes Do Have More Fun- Mama has been on her blonde ambition tour for sixty plus years.  Only she and her hairdresser, LaShaun know how to work that perfect tint.

* Funny- Mama’s sense of humor and honesty are always on point.  Let’s just say Betty White didn’t have nothing on my Mama.  I will not post some of her Mamaisms as I wish to continue to reside with her- but trust me, she’s hilarious!

*When in Doubt Wear White- Mama’s signature color is WHITE.  She has worn it timelessly for 90 years.  Growing up, we had a white room (we still do).  But in the 1970s, the carpet was shag white, the walls pristine white, the wrap around leather bar was white, and Daddy created white fur bar stools to match the white fur couch and Mama topped it off with a white fur full length skirt. Her white Cadillac with its white wall tires which Mama swore had an early GPS system awaited her.

*Cook – The girl can throw down in the kitchen.  Be it her soulful Thanksgiving meals with her stuffing made from scratch, homemade Mac n Cheese or her prized Russian tea cookies at Christmas, everyone is always begging for more.  She cooks without a recipe book and whenever I ask for the ingredients, she just says it’s that Mama touch.

*Sister Mary Sanitary- Cleanliness is next to holiness.  If I walk in an area of her home, she can tell by my footprints on the vacuum marks that I was there.

*Stay Positive and Optimistic- Mama’s faith and belief that all will be fine are a constant fuel and foundation for our family.

*Be Real- Mama’s nickname is Tutu and she’s too too much. She doesn’t suffer fools and she has taught my sister and me that Common Sense ain’t so Common any more.  Do right by people and require they do the same.  Mama loves fiercely- ask her siblings who call and check in multiple times a day.  Daily she reminds us all, ‘I won’t ever tell you wrong.’ And that is a promise we can take to the bank, because we all know- Love is Theresa!

Then and Now- We love you, Mama!

 

Financial Literacy- A Visit to Mary’s Place

Yesterday, my daughter Taryn and I were invited to visit Mary’s Place, which works with families in King County who are experiencing homelessness. They operate five shelters 24/7 for 720 people daily. More than half of the guests are children. When families enter shelter, Mary’s Place connects them with housing specialists, employment and childcare resources, and enroll eligible children into school, and make sure basic needs are met.Mary’s Place prepares and serves three meals a day at their five shelters and works with community partners to secure food donations from grocery stores, coffee shops, and other resources.

My daughter and I were so impressed with their operation and mission that no child should sleep outside.  It was Spring break for many, so the children we encountered, were excited about the day’s activity of visiting our Woodland Park Zoo.

Witnessing the impact that Mary’s Place provides including a safe space to sleep, get nourishment, learn, get necessary housing and clothing supplies and encourage a future was beyond inspiring.  I was elated to share several of Daymond John’s books, Little Daymond Learns to Earn to Mary’s Place’s library.  Financial literacy is a gift that all of young people should learn and that is a gift that can change the trajectory of one’s future.

 

 

Success Only Comes Before Work in the Dictionary!

This piece of art was crafted by my son when he was six-year-old as a first grader at St. Joseph School.  Brett drew this picture twenty-three years ago, and it is one of my favorite artistic drawings, because it speaks volumes.  The message was instilled early, WORKING IS VERY IMPORTANT, BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T WORK, YOU WOULD HAVE NO MONEY!

I am beyond excited for Daymond John’s book, Little Daymond Learns to Earn which hits bookstores today.  What a gift to inspire young minds and prove as my favorite quote goes, “Success only comes before Work in the dictionary.”

Order your copies today at your favorite bookstore or online.  I along with Deborah Anderson, and Patti Savoy have placed a large volume order to donate to Treehouse for Fosterkids and the Nativity School.  If you have an organization to benefit our youth that we can donate a copy, please inbox one of us and while our supplies last, we will deliver.