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.

A menopausebarbee Friday Funny

Happy weekend everybody. Find some time to LOL!

 

A New York attorney representing a wealthy art collector called and asked to speak to his client, “So listen, Fred, I have some good news and I have some bad news.”

The art collector replied, “I’ve had an awful day; let’s hear the good news first.”

The lawyer said, “Well, I met with your wife today, and she informed me that she invested $5,000 in two pictures that she thinks will bring a minimum of$15-20 million. I think she could be right.”

Fred replied enthusiastically, “Well done! My wife is a brilliant business woman! You’ve just made my day. Now I know I can handle the bad news. What is it?”

The  lawyer replied,  “The pictures are of you and your secretary.”

Read it And Weep…

I’m outraged.  It started with this email from a woman who has been a life-long second mother.

Growing up, Joan Singler, mother of my two besties, Carrie and Sandra, was a white lady in our ethnically mixed neighborhood who always shed light on injustice.  She rallied us to do block cleanups and rewarded us with popsicles for picking up litter.  She has fought tough battles against segregation, boycotting stores for not hiring minorities, and lobbied for fair housing.  Through the years she has marched and lobbied for the last, the least, and the lost.  The impact and dedication of her life-long fight was penned in this book,  Seattle in Black and White.

book, http://www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/SINSEA.html

Joan has continued to be vocal on the plight of the impoverished and she recently sent me this email:

Dear friends, You may be ahead of me on this but I just couldn’t let this one go. I just finished reading Just Mercy. by Bryan Stevenson. One of the most profoundly moving books about Mr. Stevenson and a dedicated staff of lawyers, saving Blacks from death row and other falsely imprisoned inmates – you guested it – mostly in southern states. Also he argued before the Supreme Court to reverse Life sentences for young people under the age of 15.
So, if you have not, you must read this book. I plan to send a contribution to the great work they are doing at EJI, Equal Justice Initiative, along with a thank you for the work they are doing. Love to all — Momma II

That prompted me to read a case covered by Bryan Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine (How I found Life and Freedom on Death Row.)

  “In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama.  Stunned, confused, and only twenty nine, Hinton knew that is was a case of mistaken identity and the believed the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.  But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the south, Hinton was sentenced to death.”  His crime, he was that he was black, poor, and in the south.

Silence isn’t always golden- Read it, Weep and Dig Deep

https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/eji

I just did! Every bit counts as time counts- imagine if it were you or a loved one.

 

 

Paul Allen… Keepin the Music Playing

Take a moment and enjoy this video.

Jimmy Page in the HOUSE!

Can you name all the old and new rockin' allstars on stage here? Founders Award benefit dinner and auction last night. What and amazing show… all Led Zeppelin songs performed to perfection by an amazing line up. Sir Jimmy Page joins for the encore finale! Footage by James Sundstad

Posted by James Sundstad on Friday, November 20, 2015

As we reflect this week on the loss of a titan, Paul Allen, I am beyond humbled and honored to serve on the board of MoPop (formerly EMP) which he founded in 2000. For the past three years, I have also been on the Founders Award Committee.  Engaging with artist of immeasurable talent, such as Joe Walsh, Jimmy Paige, and The Doors, we have raised funds to support youth and music education.

This year as we pay tribute to John Fogerty of Creedance Clearwater, Paul’s absence will be sorely missed.

In gratitude for all you have done Paul Allen, we will keep the music playing!

 

Something for Your Toolbox

The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace. 

– Carlos Santana

Laughter is Our Pharmaceutical of Choice

She felt like a sister I had yet to meet-

It started with posts and pokes on Facebook.

Can I get an Amen? Honestly, we all want a response when we make a post.  If you read it and like it, let me know. Give me a thumbs up, if it really hits you, a heart, and better yet- a comment!  Tell me that you hear me, please!  I even leave up negative comments- everyone has a right to their opinion.  As I see it, we can agree to disagree.

However, sometimes our lives just resonate through written word and you never know who they might touch.

Two and half years ago when I started dating my now fiancé, I was schooled on senior housing and assisted living accommodations.  Hindsight is 20/20 vision.   I wish I’d had the insight when my mother in law faced dementia and also while watching the decline of long term residents in our family rental portfolio.  What happens when a loved one is incapable of handling life’s basic necessitates from tasks as simple as cooking to personal hygiene?  I faced this reality this past year when my mom’s life-long best friend was forced to move to Baltimore to be cared for by her adult son and family.  I sobbed the day my “auntie” who baked me a blackberry pie on every birthday, and never missed Thanksgiving or a holiday shuffled out of her apartment unbeknownst to her transferring out of state.  She is alive, but in reality it’s a death as the woman I know and love is gone.

In March 2015, I shared on Menopausebarbees Life Begins… Life Ends, about my beloved mother in law, Helen,  at 93 passing away.  It was challenging, as we were extremely close and when she looked at me and my mom as we came to visit, she turned to my daughter and said, “Who is the brown one with the yellow hair?”    We all laughed and simultaneously cried, as she pointed at my mother. Mama has been the perfect shade of blonde since 1970!  So, here we were hovering over the bed of a woman we had spent 20 years of sharing family holidays, and raising children, and she had  no recollection.  The pain  was real and frightening.

Let’s circle back to the inspiration of this post.

She, like me is a Menopausebarbee.

She loves golf, her husband, her animals, and designing jewelery – perhaps not in that order.

She loved her mom, who was also her best friend, deeply and therefore penned a story about her loss due to Alzheimer’s, entitled, Where’s My Purse?

Her name is T. A. Sorenson.

We finally took our budding friendship/sisterhood off Facebook and met for a blind date lunch last Friday at Salty’s.  It was a picture perfect afternoon on the water.  We laughed, cried, and shared.

I told her, as I read her book, I could not concur more -laughter is indeed our pharmaceutical of choice! Perhaps it’s in our DNA!

If you or a loved one is suffering – order today! https://www.amazon.com/Wheres-My-Purse-T-Sorensen/dp/1499370806

And if you want to buy a treasure for you or your loved one visit  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Taracudyjewelry

 

MAGICAL!

“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.” –Christopher Morley

Saturday evening, October 13, 2018, I had the honor of witnessing this statement come to life once again at the 9th VITA Charity Gala, which was held to raise support, funds and awareness for the VITA organization. Over one thousand guests from the political arena, and the entertainment and business worlds gathered at the Wiesbadener Kurhaus, the breathtakingly beautiful spa house in Wiesbaden, the capital of Hesse, Germany. The Kurhaus serves as the city’s convention center, and is the social center of this spa town. In between dinner, drinks and entertainment, well over €400,000 was raised–one donor alone giving €250,000!

The VITA organization was founded eighteen years ago by Tatjana Kreidler, who has over the years developed methods (the Kreidler – Method) to train Golden and Labrador Retrievers to help physically challenged children, adolescents and adults meet the difficult tasks in their daily lives. What she has accomplished is nothing short of amazing.

During her speech, she told of a young boy who was out with his dog and fell out of his wheelchair and couldn’t get up. He said to his dog, “Go get Mama” and the dog did. Within minutes the mother was there to pick up her child–this is simply astounding!! Just astounding!! 

One young child with severe autism came on stage with his dog and drew huge applause. He almost spoke, but almost is good enough for now; without the confidence this dog has brought into his life, being in public wouldn’t even be a consideration.

These 4-pawed helpers amazingly offer comfort, self-confidence, promote the willingness and the ability to take over responsibility for one’s self and build bridges to society. It doesn’t get too much better than that. 

I am honored to support this organization. It is quite an emotional event and I was just thrilled when one mother approached me and said that she’d read my book, was thrilled to meet me and how I inspired her. She then took me by the hand and introduced me to several of her friends. Magic. 

Tatjana, thank you for having the vision, the heart and the pure dedication. 

Event manager Mr. Edward Priewe, the evening was once again magical! More than beautiful! Thank you for your generous invitation and your commitment to this organization.

What selfless people with a heart and a mind can do! 

It’s magical.

with Mr. Erhard Priewe

Ms. Tatjana Kreidler

here with friends Liane Wirzberger and Nestor Perez and Frieda and her assistance helper

with the lovely Katerina Gottesleben

REMINDER

I Remember… A ME Too Memory

Look at these two photos-

 

My daughter, Taryn  and my niece, Erin on my daughter’s 2nd birthday and again this past week on my nieces 18th year.

Taryn and Erin- Innocent, beautiful, untainted, smart, funny, hopeful, spirited, spontaneous, curious, happy go lucky… all adjectives that come to mind as they embark on the next few years into adulthood.

As promised in yesterday’s blog post, Silver Lining, today, I’m sharing, I Remember.  I am compelled to share the below account of a 15 year old girl who too was once all the adjectives I describe above.  15,  Innocent, beautiful, untainted, smart, funny, hopeful, spirited, spontaneous, curious, happy go lucky, until one dark day.  My friend was robbed of a  special moment that should have been a precious memory.

Connie Chung recently shared the horrific nightmare at the hands of her Doctor, (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/connie-chung-says-she-was-sexually-assaulted-by-doctor-who-delivered-her/)

I too want to raise my voice, to protect all our children.  As I said, the rapist can be your family member, minister, friend’s father, doctor, neighbor or drunk classmate.  Innocence is being stolen every day – let’s unmask the predators.

Thank you to my friend for reaching out and sharing this account.  Unfortunately the circumstance is  all too familiar.  I’m certain many of us REMBEMBER.  We might not have the voice to release our rage, or courage to face the embarrassment which is not ours to bear, but we do have the memory to recall.  And SHAME on all who don’t have the wherewithal to acknowledge and apologize.

 

I remember the color of his shirt. Red
I remember the texture of his skin. Sticky
I remember his skin coloring. White with red blotches.
I remember his body type and weight. Gross.
I remember his age. 18
I remember what I said. No. Please… No. Please don’t…. Please. Then I just cried.
I remember what he said when he was done. I won’t repeat it ever. But I remember.
I remember the style of the house. Split level.
I remember the time of day. Afternoon
I remember the weather. Sunny. Cold
I remember the faces of two of the other people at the house. It wasn’t a party.
I REMEMBER HIS NAME.
I never told my parents.
I never called the police.
I told no one for awhile. I was a new student in the school and I didn’t want anyone to know. I was embarrassed.
I then told one friend. She believed me. I later told my best friend. He was a boy. He believed me.
He asked how he could help. I asked him to have sex with me so I could rewrite my first time and have a better story. He did. It didn’t help.
I remember the year the statue of limitations came up. I had always thought someday. I didn’t.
The rape changed me. I lost my power. I lost my voice. I lost my dreams. I became numb to the emotion of sex and only saw it as a tool. A meaningless activity to gain traction in a relationship. Or was I actually chasing that magical moment dreams are made of? I became promiscuous. I was changed. Forever.
I WAS 15.
I DON’T remember the exact date. I know the year and season.
I DON’T remember his exact address. I hated that house. Only was there once.
I DON’T remember exactly what I was wearing.
I do remember where my clothes were after it was over. I remember walking upstairs. I remember the faces in the kitchen. I remember the girl asking if I was ok. I remember nodding and trying to smile through my tears. I remember walking outside.
My rapist drove me home. There was no Uber. No cell phones. I couldn’t find the strength or voice to change the facts.
We didn’t speak. How could I speak through the tears? He knew he was wrong. I don’t think he cared but I do know he knew because when I got out he threatened me. He said he could ruin me.
I believed him.
I still have a visceral reaction to his name and his face would likely bring tears again. Although I would hope it’d bring me anger and my voice, I think it’d bring tears. I am afraid I’d revert back to 15. I hated that day. I’d walk through fire to avoid that day again.
I’ve told a version of my story over the years to people that mattered. Some friends. Both of my husbands. My brother. My psychiatrist. My kids. I’ve stopped saying his name. I usually left out the details above. It wasn’t their burden to carry the details and I wanted to stop giving away my power to a name.
It is for that very reason that I would never go public with his name. Ever.
UNLESS … he was about to be put into a position that could impact the future of my life and my children’s lives.
I would then scream it for everyone. I would spend every breath I had left to make sure that in no way possible could this human ever touch our life. I would take a lie detector test. I would go on the news. I would humiliate myself. I would expose my 15 year old innocence. It would be worth it.
People need to remember that the 80’s and earlier were different. Most girls didn’t tell.
I am not a political person. I am just a girl who didn’t tell. I know I’m not alone.

 

Thank you to my beautiful, brave friend who has endured the silence for 35 years.  No, you are not alone, my sister xoxox

The Silver Lining – ME TOO – Silent No More!

I was raised to look for something good, even in the most dire of circumstances.  If you search, hopefully you will find a silver lining.  You may find peace after a loved one passes, knowing they are no longer suffering.  A failed job promotion may lead to a better opportunity. Heart break transformed into happiness after a failed relationship brings the partner of your dreams.

As I pondered the Silver Lining after the outrage I felt after sitting glued to the television watching the  bravery of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s  recollection of a sexual assault, I struggled.  My shocking reality is that I, like Dr. Ford am a Menopausebarbee, born in the same era, and recall those late night alcohol infused Keg parties on Fraternity Row.  I paid witness to far too many young women left in the shame of their abuse.

Silence.. Time will pass and heal the shame… Silence.

As my daughter and her friends prepare for college life, I am terrified of the reality of what she and they will face.  How do I reiterate as my mother shared with me, the blatant reality of the predators she will come into contact with?

Then the Kavanaugh hearings took place and I found my Silver Lining…

Silent no more.  Tomorrow, I will share a story – a true story, sent to me by a friend who was shamed by her rape at the tender age of 15.  Her innocence stolen as well as her voice 35 years ago- until now.

This is the Silver Lining- for our children, and their children to know.

Just as the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Just Say NO had a campaign, we now have the ME Too, so women everywhere know they are not alone.

Last weekend, my uncle, Federal Judge Richard A. Jones at the request of my daughter, President of Black Student Union, spoke at Seattle Prep for the African American Student Summit.  As he shared the trial he oversaw of Gary Ridgway the notorious murderer who admittedly took the lives of nearly 50 women in our region, (estimates are over 70), we were reminded he was a husband, a father, soccer dad and friend.  He was a Navy man. He held a job for 30 years. He went door to door sharing the Bible.  He was the predator next door…

The important take away is that your rapist doesn’t have to be lurking in a dark alley with a hooded sweatshirt.  He can be  your family, your minister, your neighbor, or a high school drunk you thought was your friend.

Brigitte Christoph and Thirty Years of the Cologne Ball

Thirty years is a long time.I men, everything is relative, but for what this selfless woman has done in this length of time is truly outstanding! Ms. Brigitte Christoph has raised 6 million Euro in various children hospitals for life-saving medication, equipment, as wells the furnishing of the Cologne Ronald McDonald House in Cologne where I volunteer.

Her passion is also finding a cure for cancer. In the group “Experimental Oncology”, the target in the tumor of a young patient was found. This young patient is the first in Germany to undergo this treatment and with success!

This was truly a passionate, heartfelt evening. There  was particularly fine point for me, as I had donated ten of the German versions of my book for the event. And just as I was about to gather my prize, a man next to me said, What a beautiful book!” I leaned into him and said, “It’s a great read, I wrote it”. He was amazed and I signed it for him and we made pictures. 

And I hope that all of my books landed in the hands who need some inspiration and share with their friends and maybe, just maybe, give someone the encouragement they may be needing right now. Saving one person at a time…

Madame Brigitte Christoph,(in gold)thank you for allowing me to be a part of this magical evening. God bless you for all you do. Thirty years. Six million Euro. Saving lives.

Amen.