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.

True Style Never Goes Out of Style

Last Friday evening, I was invited to the Fairmont Hotel for cocktails and catchup with my friends, Amy and Luly.  What started as three ladies talking work, parenthood, travel plans and sharing funny life memories morphed into a true life Cinderella story.  See, the Luly I’m referencing is the brilliant designer Luly Yang.  For over twenty years Luly has maintained her corner on 4th and University downtown where one can’t help but stop traffic and be moved by the visual art in her windows.Luly not only designs the most sought-after wedding gowns, and exquisite apparel, her production now includes a ready to wear line and she recently completed the Alaska Airlines Flight attendant’s uniforms.  We got a huge laugh when I shared this photo of little me circa the 1970s wearing my Aunt Margie’s Alaska uniform when she was flying to Russia.  A lot has changed in the past fifty years, however, true style never goes out of style.Luly is rarely in the shop except by appointment, so I took the opportunity and asked for us to all leave the bar and continue our visit in her store down below. Amy, my fit, fun tennis friend, who is an attorney gave Luly’s gowns some serious lawyer appeal as every dress she put on was a perfect fit.  Watching Amy walk like she was on the catwalk in a Paris Fashion show, as the blends of the most salacious fabrics flowed in her wake was truly poetry in motion.If you have a special occasion coming up, Luly Wang is waiting, but make an appointment.  Luly is a busy lady, but all of her custom creations are certainly worth the wait!

1218 Fourth Avenue,

Seattle, WA 98101

Cardiology World Conference NEWS ALERT!

I AM PROUD to announce this glorious Monday morning that I have been invited to speak at the 3rd Edition of the Cardiology World Congress this coming September. My abstract: A Parent’s Perspective– Against the Odds: A Parent’s Perspective on Congenital Heart Disease. I will share the highlights of my award-winning story, some pictures of my son and conclude with my message to the doctors and surgeons present. 

As those who are familiar with my book know, when my baby was born, the chief cardiologist at the hospital told me to let him die. Well, I had a hard time with that because death is forever. So there I was in a country where I did not speak the language, whose inhabitants had a different mentality than mine, where I knew no one and had to fight like hell to give my baby a chance at life. I have walked through fire and am honored to use my platform to advocate for patients who have an urgent need to communicate with their doctor but do not have the wherewithal due to the uncomfortable ‘clinical’ context of the situation. Just being in the doctor’s office can result in fear and anxiety and the suppression of the desire to speak up, much less be assertive. We fear that the doctor is too busy to listen to what we have to say; or is impatient, or we don’t want to anger him or her; we don’t want to appear as though we are questioning his/her judgment. We feel constrained. Listen to me: this can have not only dire but even deadly consequences. 

The first congress I attended was in Dubai which was highly fortunate for me as I have always wanted to visit this emirate, so when I received an invitation to speak at the Lexis 2019 World Pediatric Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery Congress held there on September 9 and 10, I was thrilled!

It was quite the honor to have the opportunity to moderate the conference and to take my place amongst these brilliant surgeons and doctors. 

The countries attending were Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Algeria, India, Greece, Syria, USA, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia. All of the attendees presented their facts, findings, treatments, and innovations on various issues pertaining to pediatric cardiovascular diseases.

I spoke at the podium for thirty minutes beginning at 3:10 in the afternoon.

My presentation was clearly not scientific, it was, however, passionate. In part, here is what I said:

“I’d like to begin my presentation by saying, for those of you whom I haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet, that I am not a doctor. What I am is a heart warrior mother.

First of all, I’d like to say that I salute all of you, for you are the fortunate ones. You are the fortunate ones because you have the satisfaction of knowing–the very real satisfaction of knowing–that you have a chance at saving a life when you go to work every day…I am confident, that you are inspired by empathy, passion, compassion, and a certain motivation to help your fellow man and with this thought in mind I urge you to stay on course… 

Please carry this other standard from the Hippocratic oath always with you: ‘I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.’ 

And be remarkable because remarkable is where miracles happen! And that is the heart of the matter.”

When I concluded my presentation there was applause. Then, one of the co-chairs, Doctor Nosehy Yousef Zaraby stood up and approached me at the podium. I thought he wanted to shake my hand. Instead, he grabbed both of my hands and said,  “You are an amazing mother. I want to kiss your hands.” I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. Then several doctors surrounded me at the podium, congratulating me. Dr. Abdel Abu Haweleh said, “Tracie you are our hero! Maybe you will come to Jordan to speak!” I was so amazed, I just remember saying, “Oh my goodness! Thank you all! Thank you!”  I was just shocked and so very humbled! 

I’m still reeling. These doctors as well as the lovely Dr. Iquo Takon from Nigeria have remained in my online circle of friends and acquaintances. For this, I am blessed and thankful. I know that they are doing all they can to save lives.

If I, just an ordinary girl, can use my voice to encourage a doctor to go that extra mile, research a bit deeper, and listen to his/her patients with a bit more empathy, maybe, just maybe life or two or thousands can be saved. 

And how absolutely. awesome is that!!!

Do Epic Shit!

Books are meant to have intriguing covers and while strolling through the Fireworks gift shop, this one sure caught my eye. Browsing through it, I read topics we have all been taught and known  on how to get your financial freedom in order.

Change your lifestyle and don’t spend more than you earn…

Weed out Financial Frenemies who expect you to always foot the bill…

Join the FIRE Movement- Financial Independence Retire Early….

Pay Yourself First and Give Yourself and Allowance…

Protect Yourself from STDS (Sexually Transmitted Debts) …

Buck the Buy Now Pay Later System…

Slay Your Bills…

As I’ve been posting about creating Generational Wealth, I appreciate and practice all of those suggestions, however, the sign underneath the book it what really sums  getting your financial house in order!  Do Epic Shit!

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. – Unknown.

  Happy Friday- Let’s  Go!

Do Epic Shit!

Books are meant to have intriguing covers and while strolling through the Fireworks gift shop, this one sure caught my eye. Browsing through it, I read topics we have all been taught and known  on how to get your financial freedom in order.

Change your lifestyle and don’t spend more than you earn…

Weed out Financial Frenemies who expect you to always foot the bill…

Join the FIRE Movement- Financial Independence Retire Early….

Pay Yourself First and Give Yourself and Allowance…

Protect Yourself from STDS (Sexually Transmitted Debts) …

Buck the Buy Now Pay Later System…

Slay Your Bills…

As I’ve been posting about creating Generational Wealth, I appreciate and practice all of those suggestions, however, the sign underneath the book it what really sums  getting your financial house in order!  Do Epic Shit!

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. – Unknown.

  Happy Friday- Let’s  Go!

Something for Your Toolbox

Find the Right Person- Lessons from Shari & Rory Leid

Every time I’m in the presence of Shari Leid, I learn.  I’ve learned about what it means to be a friend in her book 50/50 Friendship Flow.  I’ve learned how to turn tragedy into triumph in Make Your Mess Your Message. I’ve learned how to throw epic parties be it for a holiday cookie exchange, called Go Elf Yourself, or an intimate celebration for a girlfriend’s birthday.  Last night was no exception as all of Seattle who attended her fabulous celebration of 25 years of marriage learned what it takes to make a union sustainable.

Shari and Rory- what a team. As a self-described Asian woman from the inner city and a white guy from Eastern Washington, they got it right and most couples could only aspire to be like them. So, as always, I learn from Shari and I took notes from her last night on their recipe for 9,131.06 days (25 years) of finding marital bliss.

  1.  Find the RIGHT person and focus on what annoys you most. If you can live with those nuances- that’s a good start.
  2. Throw away the ideas of a loving marriage- cuddling in bed each night- that’s a fantasy.
  3. Stop buying self-help books- who cares about your love language.  Learn how to fight.

And if all else fails- Take it the dance floor!

Today, I challenge EVERYONE of you in attendance last night and those who are reading this post to buy Shari’s books.  Give them as a gift and treat yourself.  Trust me, you will be inspired and learn!  I can’t wait for her upcoming edition- Ask Yourself This!

Thank you and Rory for yet again, another fabulous time and most of all for the lessons!

Books by Shari Leid | Lessons From & For My Girlfriends (animperfectlyperfectlife.com)

The Bartenders and The Ronald McDonald House

I HAVE profound new respect for bartenders, and here’s why.

This past Saturday, the Ronald McDonald House held its Summer festival and yearly reception at the Cologne Beach Base Event location. In the midst of volleyball courts, tennis courts, inviting cushy outdoor furniture, and dry, smooth, floury sand, we volunteers from the House set up shop, sheltered from the sun beneath a canopy of overhanging grapevines.

Tables were laden with a moveable feast–most of which had been prepared at the House, with some volunteers bringing additional festivity foodstuffs. Our motto for this event: summer, vacation, beach, and friendship. Perfect timing as this gloriously sunny day was also International Friendship Day. The morning agenda welcomed doctors and donors and from noon until 5, families and their kids.

So here’s where the respect comes in. Hanna and I had bartender duty.

Hannah: “Tracie, have you ever done this before?”

Me: “No. You?”

Hanna: “No.”

Me: “We got this.” And with that, we laughed and continued our preparations.

On our cocktail list: Pink Dragon, Basil Mintjito, Planters Punch, and the Kids Cocktail. We actually did pretty well, receiving compliments on our newly founded but truly not-so-certain bartending skills. I mean, you want it to be right, you know?

A girl of about 5 or 6 approached me with her mom for a Kids cocktail. Mind you, this drink consists of orange, pineapple, and lime juices, blue Curacao, sparkling water, and orange and lime slices. And a cute little umbrella. I turned towards the girl after I had made what I knew was THE perfect drink and handed it to her, her eyes wide in anticipation. She took a big sip. She squeezed her eyes shut, scrunched up her face, and when she could finally unpucker, she blurted out, “Sour!” If I would have read the directions all the way through I would have known to slowly ease some Grenadine syrup onto the back of a spoon into all that tartness. Hanna made me aware. Well, you can believe I fixed that! She even came back for another. This says a lot about how our kids develop trust. If they know that they can depend on us to be dependable, they’ll always come back for more cocktails, love, whatever.

Another cute little incident: Several young boys came for their cocktails. Prepping as fast as I could, I turned and went to hand the first boy I saw the drink which wasn’t for him. “Oh, wrong boy’” I said. When I got it all sorted out and handed the right boy the right drink, he teasingly looked at me and said, “Am I the right boy now?” We both cracked up laughing. 

It was such a lovely day. We volunteers had an unspoken, yet palpable right as rain camaraderie among us. We all wanted the day to be good for the families and we all held each others’ backs. I took several of the German version of my books to give away as gifts and everyone who took one made a donation to our House. And that really was not my plan, but I was so thankful! We always need something–paper towels, etc. 

And of what I am certain, of is that nothing, really nothing is as heartening as making someone else feel good. 

In 13 years, the RMH has welcomed 4000 families (https://www.mcdonalds-kinderhilfe.org/koeln/aktuelles/familie-rozansky-unsere-4000ste-familie/)

I wish there had been a RMH when my son was young. Fortunately for me, because we lived in the same city as the hospital, I could drive to him every day–even if it meant rushing the wrong way down a one-way street because I couldn’t read German at the time and didn’t know what the sign said, or when as an infant he was moved to another hospital and I had no navigation system and began to see windmills and found myself headed towards Holland.

So here’s the question of the day: Can you give something back that you’ve never received? In a word, yes. First of all, if you never received that special something, you really know the value of it. Secondly, we were all born with the handbook for generosity and kindness, and the truth of the matter is, that the more we do for others the more we do for ourselves.

And that my friends is a win-win. 

P.S. Always be kind to your bartender!

 

 

Must Be Present to Win!

Today on www.menopausebarbees.com As I’ve been sharing about creating Generational Wealth, today, I want to address some lifestyle sacrifices that are inherent to achieving your goals.
MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!
My husband and I live 4 hours and twenty minutes flying time apart. I’m in Seattle, and he is in Nashville. Although this is certainly not ideal, we both entered this marriage knowing that my life’s work was in the Pacific Northwest, and he runs a public company in Tennessee. There are many engagements that we cannot attend together. Missed BBQ’s, lazy rainy movie nights, and just the mundane life that most couples take for granted, we must coordinate in advance. Although this is not traditional, we both respect each other’s careers and have figured out how to not let two weeks go by without seeing each other and we make the most of our time when together.
We live by the saying, “you must be present to win.” So, after an uber fun filled weekend toasting a few friend’s milestone birthdays; Eric walking 6 miles in the hot sun for two days, and me playing tennis; touring a 20 unit building on the market which ironically our family owned 35 years ago; celebrating my soon to be daughter in law’s lovely bridal shower; attending Ian and Laura’s waterfront dance party with an epic food truck and excellent wines, catching up with dear friend, A.J. and eating fabulous food Frank prepared and hospitality at Frank and Tiffany’s gorgeous home; visiting Betty’s beautiful waterfront home; laughing with Auntie M staying with us from Walla Walla; and Eric doing my “honey do” list including several runs to Home Depot, and putting up our porch umbrella, today, we are back to the grind.
It’s August 1st. My son and I did a move in at 9 AM this AM and Eric made it back to Nashville for his Monday morning meeting.
I miss him already. I will see him in ten days. The sacrifices of creating generational wealth are real, but we are fully present in fun and work and that’s a win!

It Happened on a Saturday Morning

It Happened on a Saturday Morning

THIS happened last Saturday morning and reminded me once again why I love living where I do. 

I rolled out of bed feeling great! The sun was shining, cathedral bells were chiming in the distance, and I was on my way upstairs to the kitchen to get jump-started with a java. I was revved up and ready to go because I had a plan. Mundane, but nonetheless a plan, and a plan is a plan and mine was to clean my apartment–you know the tedious dusting in out of the way corners, sorting and washing, drying, ironing, folding, and putting away the laundry, cleaning the smudges off my laptop screen that have been irritating me all week because once I sit at my workplace and click a key, there’s no looking back. That kind of thing.

With coffee in hand, I head back downstairs get dressed and decide I’ll begin with the refrigerator. Toss the wilted, sponge down with a baking soda water mixture, dry with clean towels, and then walk down to the grocery store. Grocery shopping–even if just for fruits, oat milk, and rice cakes, is in my mind nonetheless retail therapy. 

Here’s the backdrop to this post: 

I live in an area called the Friesenviertel or Friesen Quarter. Located right in the heart of the city, it is also one of the most famous streets in Cologne. For tourists and for Cologne residents who like to spend a carefree upbeat evening in a “Kölsch” atmosphere, the Friesenviertel is a must. Walking distance to the Cologne Cathedral, ancient archaeological sites, restaurants, the oldest home brewery in Cologne, museums, high-end shopping, art galleries, the Rhine River, and did I mention restaurants? You’ll find here a wonderful coexistence of the most diverse offers that are suitable for everyone. Today, it’s a far cry from the time when Cologne was considered the most criminal city in Germany – everywhere people spoke of the “Chicago on the Rhine”. The Friesenviertel was considered one of the criminal centers. At that time still a red-light district, tough guys, easy girls, and millionaire underworld bosses occupied the area. Today it’s known as Party Mile.

Okay, so at 8:30 I am ready to go. I’ve tucked 2 reusable grocery bags into my purse and stuck my EarPods in my ears and I’m out the door. I walk about a block passing a Thai massage house, several kiosks, a couple of hotels, and restaurants and suddenly, I think I hear music. Thumping music. I pull my EarPods from my ears and sure enough, I do hear music. I’m walking in the middle of the street because there’s not much traffic here at this early hour. Looking to my left there is the quaintest little food place called Homage. They serve excellent healthy home-cooked meals. Several of the little tables outside are occupied; diners savoring a good breakfast and specialty brewed coffee. Looking to my right, I see this is where the music is coming from: Goldfinger, a bar-lounge-party place. People here are still getting their alcohol beverage groove on. A guy smiles at me, raises his glass in a toast and I give him a thumbs up. 

I’m not mad at anybody. This is life. This is awesome! Eggs and homemade muffins to my left and strobe lights to my right. Diversity at its finest. Gotta love Cologne.

So what’s the moral of this true story?

If you’re sipping a cappuccino or slinging back a caipirinha, smile and do you. And don’t pay any mind to the o’clock of it–we all only have a certain amount of time anyway. And it’s ALWAYS time to LIVE!

Happy weekend everybody!

Creating Generational Wealth from “Mobile” Homes

In my series on creating generational wealth, this past week, I shared a post entitled Cash Erodes…Equity Endures.  The blog featured photos of my father in two of his prized automobiles, a Clenet and a Centaur.

Daddy wasn’t the only one in our family who loved a nice ride.

In the 1970’s, Mama drove a white Brogham Cadillac.  She used to joke that all she needed to do was get behind the wheel and that car was on auto pilot and would take her to her destination.  I fondly recall leaving elementary school at Our Lady of Mt. Virgin and proudly strolling to greet Mama in this pristine vehicle with white wall tires for pickup.  This was in contrast to when Daddy would arrive in a dented-up truck, filled with his day laborers in the cargo bed, with the tailpipe precariously dragging.   I would run and bend over acting like I was tying my shoes so no one would see me.

In 1975, I was chosen to crown The Blessed Virgin.  It was a tremendous May Day honor.  The entire school and parishioners walked with me as I caravanned around the block carrying a bounty of flowers which culminated in me placing them on a life-size statue of the Virgin Mother herself.  Unfortunately, Mama had developed bronchitis, but she wouldn’t let the lung congestion make her miss witnessing this momentous moment.  So, Mama fired up her white caddy and slowly drove in procession around the block paying witness to the ceremony.

Mama went home and stayed in bed and on her antibiotics until she healed.  Approximately a week later, when she was feeling better, she went outside to get in her Caddy to head to Lucky Grocery Store and low and behold the car was missing.  She rushed back inside and asked my father what had happened to her beloved vehicle.  Daddy shared excitedly that he had traded her car for a view home in Leschi.  The guy thought he’d made a great deal as he said, the car could move but the house couldn’t.

I still tease Mama to this day about her “non-mobile home”.

Creating generational wealth sometimes means creative financing and knowing when to let go.  Daddy always believed he could recreate.  The photo below was from a Seattle Times article and a subsequent enhanced Cadillac with a rumble seat.

#generationalwealth

www.therealdanafrank.com