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.

I’m Talking to You!

Oftentimes these days, I think that when God is looking down at us, He (She) is either laughing or crying.

I’ve often thought this, but especially now, it is fascinating to see how the big CV–an enemy we cannot see– is triggering such varying human responses.

The Coronavirus is fortunately, bringing out some of the best–I mean the absolute top drawer in some of us. Sadly, it is also bringing out some of the worst–I mean the downright scandalous in a considerable number of us. And incredibly, an extraordinary number of the real cretins in us – those that seem to be walking around in a state of dumbassdom.

We can all thank God (or whoever/what you believe in) for the HEROIC doctors and nurses, working elongated shifts without sufficient personal protective equipment, putting themselves in harm’s way–several in fact losing their lives in order to save ours. 

We are reaching out to those most vulnerable to this disease and we are checking on our neighbors and friends and most importantly, the elderly. If you’re not doing this–do it. Make sure you ask your elderly neighbor if they have enough meds and basics. 

We’re offering up happy online with concerts and virtual tours of all sorts and exercise programs–all good things. We’re patronizing our local businesses that are still open, washing out hands, sanitizing and STAYING HOME if we have that luxury during this pandemic–aren’t we? So is it.

But–what would life be without scandal? Surely you’ve seen the fist-fighting in grocery stores over toilet paper. The hoarding. The price gouging. And then, of course,  the shocking revelation that those who surely have toilet paper to spare–namely several senators–have sold their stock holdings after being briefed about the coronavirus and the massive impact it would have on the economy, jobs, and the stock market–while telling the public that there wasn’t much to worry about. Imagine that? They bailed out of their stock holdings to avoid large losses. One of these “people for the people” invested her money in companies that offer teleconferencing software–that same software which is helping people working from home today. Didn’t Martha Stewart go to prison for a similar deed? 

Also sitting at the round table are those walking in a state of dumbassdom–you know, the partiers on the beaches, those who don’t practice the safeguards and the rules of the mitigation strategies set in place and the select few having corona parties. Also in the mix are those reviving racist and xenophobic rhetoric. I’ve even read on some Facebook accounts of a few aggrieved folks in Germany disgruntled about the forced safeguard of staying at home. Their complaint: “This is not the DDR”, they say. 

Oh well…

Conclusion: every day that we practice basic common sense and decency is a day that brings us closer to the promised land. It is on the horizon. #aintnogivinupandnogivinout

I’m So Leschi…Remembering Steve Shulman

A few years ago, it was trendy to say, “I’m so Seattle,” I remember and fill in the blank that only true Seattleites would know. Well, I’m so Leschi, (a neighborhood that abuts Lake Washington in Seattle) that I have spent my entire life in this community. I’m so Leschi, I remember at 16 years old driving to Keith’s Leschi Shell Gas Station getting a fill up and heading into Leschi Mart to grab a sandwich from their takeout window. I’m so Leschi, I remember loading up backpacks from the Mart with a gaggle of teenagers heading to Seafair for the boat races. The Leschi Mart family owned and operated market has been an extension of my own family for many, many years. It’s where we order our turkey on Thanksgiving. Countless Friday nights, we would call 206 322-0700 ask for meat department and Steve would have our Prime Rib sandwiches ready to go. He knew we prefered our meat well done, so we always got the end pieces. We would get the best cuts of thick, smoked bacon. While I waited at the counter, Steve would slip me a xxx hot sausage. The sausage was so delectable, even though it cleared my sinus and left me with tears running down my cheeks, I craved more. When I needed boxes for storage, I’d call and Steve would meet me at the back door and load my SUV. Through the years the wine selection morphed into a premium collection. Steve would educate me on blends and pairings. When we have had graduations, birthdays, and memorials, Steve would sell me cases of wine and take back any left overs. Steve generously donated to my children’s school auctions. We engaged on my weekly stops in the store, where I would sign away my monthly charges at the register check out and Steve would inquire about the family. He was genuinely interested in how everyone from my sister, Tracie in Germany to my mom, uncles, aunts and kids were doing. We mourned the loss of Robert, everyone’s favorite neighborhood butcher as well as Leonard, the visionary and founder of this neighborhood gem. So, imagine my dismay when I, as routine drove up to grab a few necessities and was informed the store was closed due to Covid-19 cleaning. It didn’t register that our beloved Steve was the “employee” infected. Last night, I couldn’t sleep after I heard the news that Steve had succumbed to this disease. People are saying it hit close to home. For me, this isn’t close to home, IT IS HOME. I’m so very proud of Yousef Shulman, who I have watched since birth become the leader and visionary of this family legacy. Yousef, I’m grateful for you and the memories I have of your uncle Steve will always be a part of my DNA, because I’m truly so Leschi. Leschi Mart is open again… Please support and let’s not any of us take a day for granted. We are in this together. Prayers to the family and all of us.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/people-are-having-a-hard-time-believing-virus-hits-home-at-seattles-leschi-market/

The Mike Wagner Show Interview

Everybody, I hope you’ll take a break from working from the COMFORT of your own homes–(i.e. grateful that we have homes and electricity and food and even toilet paper albeit be scarce), to listen to an interview I recently did in Seattle on the Mike Wagner show. Learn more about my family, the grind and MOST IMPORTANTLY get some inspiration–something we all need now. THIS is a GREAT interview and one you don’t want to miss!! Today after 3 PM Central.

Mike, thank you for your interest in my story and this interview!!

Stay healthy all!

Here are all the available links:

Today an interview on the Mike Wagner Show today after 3 PM Central. #aintnogivinupandnogivinout

open.spotify.com/show/6LzwnSoirMm47bBUbP10Xx?si=xthrYqP0Q7KLXltF6gfj7Q

google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9iOTBjMTg0L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mike-wagner-show/id1475499280?uo=4

anchor.fm/themikewagnershow

spreaker.com/show/the-mike-wagner-show

iheart.com/podcast/966-the-mike-wagner-show-30182319

youtube.com/channel/UCXZfD8gpKPiiO1sbTScN6Kw

Don’t Serve Time…Let Time Serve You

Steve, my former husband and my children’s father was Irish; hence the last name Looney. How many years did we joke, Where do the Irish go on vacation?  Answer..,Another bar. Well this year, they can go on vacation to another room in their home.  If your American in the kitchen, what are you in the bathroom? Answer European – but not with toilet paper.


Today being St Patrick’s Day, I cant help but reflect on pre Coronavirus celebrations. We donned green attire, tattooed shamrocks on our cheeks, dined on corn beef and cabbage and consumed the good corona  -beer.  We hugged, shook hands, danced and sang in packed bars in every city. Never in my wildest imagination could I imagine a day when restaurants, bars, beauty salons, health clubs, and any communal experience would be banned. I walked through my local Safeway grocery store yesterday and stood aghast at the empty shelves where toilet paper was once shelved. Today, I went into a Starbucks and the seating was all removed. Orders were just grab and go. Seeing familiar faces of friends, we awkwardly exchanged distant waves with strain and pain of social ques on how to acknowledge and embrace each other. We settled on elbow bumping.

There is a sign when you enter Riker’s Prison, “Don’t serve time, let time serve you.” This powerful sentiment is no better needed than now. While you are off work, out of school, missing engaging with friends, and a complete interruption of your life… let time serve you.
Read – I’m just finishing Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. In this memoir, a psychotherapist shares how she ended up on the therapist couch after her own personal crisis.
Spring Clean and donate clothes – as Marie Kondo organizing consultant asks, ‘Does it bring you joy?’  Let items you enjoyed bring others joy
Binge on Netflix Last night I watched episodes of Dirty Money and the expose on Jared Kutcher, President Trump’s son in law was fascinating. Doctor Foster, thanks to Michelle Peacock’s recommendation was entertaining as well.
FaceTime and check on friends and family – I’ve caught up with relatives in Detroit, LA, and Pennsylvania
Go for a walk This morning at 8 30 AM, I hit the streets for some fresh air and to keep the bones moving.
Clear emails
Get your business in order– do a thorough  look at your finances
Shop online. I bought some bracelets for my fiancé from Tara Sorenson Taracuda.com Stylish, great price point, and an immediate picker upper
Spend quality time– I’ve had sleepovers in my moms bed and we’ve binge watched Dateline, CNN, and Netflix.
Support Food Banks- clean out your pantry
Donate to all the charities that you would have supported during March Madness- During March, I would have attended Stolen Youth, Treehouse for Foster Kids, Bellevue LifeSpring and so many more noble fundraisers. These organizations need our support now more than ever.
And finally, pray- may this resolve much sooner than later.
May the luck of the Irish be with all of us as we rebound.

To all my Leprechan’s – bottoms up! Enjoy your staycation.

St Paddy’s Day circa mid 1990’s

A Leprechaun for Me

With it being St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would re-post a blog I wrote during my last trip to  Dublin. . . .

Lady D.

Ahh…you know her well. Intimately. She’s the one you turn to when you’ve exhausted all other avenues. When it comes down to the nitty gritty, you know that she’s the only one who can see you through your toughest times. She trains and encourages you mentally and physically. Her goal is to keep you in line and under control as you reach towards that higher plain.

Abiding by the rules that we give her and that she enforces, though in itself is not punishment, it can sometimes be tough. But when you really consider it, I’m sure you would agree that it is just easier to succumb to her demands because the alternative is to be flooded with guilt. She’s got that umph! of what it takes to bring a certain symmetry to everything about us as she goes about helping us to put our lives in alphabetical order.

She’s always there when we need her.

She was on top of her game with me during my trip to Dublin last week.

My challenges revolved around the following events: It all started during my harrowing trip I endured trying to get to the airport on time. Having exited the Autobahn at the wrong exit (thinking I could save time), then u-turning in the middle of a very aggressive bumper to bumper traffic of drivers pissed off that they had to drive on this particular day anyway because of the public transportation strike, and culminated with me finally reaching my destination via an Autobahn that I’d never driven before. It was not quite 9 in the morning and I was done!

Several hours later I’m in Ireland! On Bow Street! For the tour of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery where all the guests were greeted with some kind of whiskey mixed drink! Now I don’t drink whiskey, but I was at the Distillery on Bow Street! and Jameson is by far the best selling Irish whiskey in the world for heaven’s sake! And of course, after the tour, we were offered pre-dinner whiskey drinks: Neat? How about a Jameson Julep? Jameson and ginger? Right here. A Jameson and cranberry not only looked good, but I know I’ve read somewhere that cranberries are good for you. And of course, dinner would just not be complete without a Real Irish Coffee served in a big bowled glass mug with a big ol’ dessert spoon of whipped cream floating on top now, would it?

Would it?!

And of course all the Irish pubs no doubt took great pleasure in teasing me, beckoning me in as I passed their quaint window fronts here and there and of course there were the fine wines offered at the Castle of Dublin dinner and the FAWCO Foundation dinner.

Oh, how I was tested . . . You see, I had decided to put the bottle down during the days of Lent. I wasn’t giving something up, I told myself, no! I was putting the alcohol glass down and in doing so, doing something good for myself. Well . . . I’d forgotten about all that good stuff I was doing for myself when well into Lent I decided at the drop of a hat to go on this trip.

Fortunately, my girlfriend Robin Goldsby (www.goldsby.de) and our menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight several times, unbeknownst to me had had her own little round table with Lady D, so when we each found out we were in the same boat, it was just great because we commiserated, laughed, joked and wondered if we were insane together.

On our day of departure, we went to the celebrated Shelbourne Hotel for lunch. Robin captured the colorful picture taken in the bar that I’ve posted on this blog today. Gorgeous isn’ it? What color! What beautiful glasses! What! What! What!
Lady D is the one. She will force you to have your own Come to Jesus. At the end of the day, it is because of her that we can look in the mirror and smile at our reflection. She will show us what we are made of.

Lady Discipline, this one is for you.

And for me?

A leprechaun of course.

Robin entertaining at Jameson’s Distillery

Not Business As Usual

This is not business as usual and the grief is real. The world is temporarily closed, my people. 

But, here’s the deal: in the game of life, we all receive a unique set of unexpected limitations and variables in the field of play. The question is how will we play the hand we’ve been dealt? Particularly with this Corona state of things, I would dare say that we need to play the game sensibly and resourcefully.

We are standing on the cusp of a historical event in human history.

Uncertainty causes high-anxiety and tempers are flaring. The unfathomable is happening: lack of food, respirators, rising unemployment, business shutdown, fights over toilet paper…

Sometimes in life, things are just out of our control and

That. Is. Just. The. Way. It. Is.

We’ve got to roll with this, so aside from being decent, let’s consciously make an effort to prepare to live with what lies ahead for all of us. It will get better. Hoarding, (in German Hamstern), stealing hand sanitizer, price gouging, and only seeing me and not we really shouldn’t be part of the equation. And since we’re all in this mess together, let’s just try to lift each other up. It helps.

For example, I went grocery shopping early this morning. I wasn’t the only one thinking that the early bird gets the worm–or in this case, the toilet paper. The store was packed, some shelves were empty. After paying at the check out counter, I smiled and said to the harried cashier, “Thank you and stay healthy.” She did a double-take and replied, “Oh my goodness! Thank you so, so much for thinking about us.” I was surprised by her response. I mean, isn’t everybody saying “Stay healthy” to everybody these days? 

Just sharing those two words made each of us feel better. We and not me.  It doesn’t cost a thing and brings a smile from the soul when you least expect it. 

As Daddy would say, “We’ve got to get our minds right.”

If we think better we can live better…

Hang on, lift each other up and 

Stay Healthy everybody!


#aintnogivinupandnogivinout

https://youtu.be/mKvCAR0Akro

Something for Your Toolbox

Wash your hands, stay safe to the best of your ability, don’t panic and

Harriett Tubman Day

True Story.

I had to bring this fact to attention today, for it is on this day in 1913 that Harriett Tubman died. Her actual date of birth is unknown, although it is estimated to be around March 1822.

This woman, born into slavery, was brave and fearless and courageous and put the truth in #aintnogivinupandnogivinout–putting her life–her very life–on the line for freedom time and again. Her bravery and belief in justice were in a word, extraordinary. Period.

Last month, Mama and Dani and I crawled into Mama’s bed and watched the film of her life on Amazon. We were swept away in this selfless warrior’s reality.

How I would love to have met her! 

To look into her eyes and see genuine moral and mental fortitude. To ask her just how deep the well of courageousness stirred in her soul. To ask her if fear ever blinded her or caused her to stumble as she ran hundreds and hundreds of miles through muck and mush in darkness avoiding slave catchers. To ask her just exactly how she could steady her hand and pretend to be reading a book when the monsters chasing her decided she couldn’t be the woman they were looking for because the woman they were looking for couldn’t read. To ask her if she ever feared losing her voice when singing slave songs to other slaves as a form of communication. To ask her how she would consider whiney, self-absorbed women who are never satisfied and yet bring very little–if anything at all to the table.

A scout, a spy, a soldier, a warrior. 

I’m not preaching, but I am. 

Think about the most challenging things you face on an average day. Get up and shake your fists at the nay-sayers! You got this!

Read about Harriett. Get inspired. Believe you can. Find and follow your own North Star. You got this!

#aintnogivinupandnogivinout

True Story!


The Power of Love

The Clash song, Should I Stay or Should I Go kept ringing in my head. Living only 8 miles from Kirkland, Washington where Seattle area officials are warning residents that we are dealing with the most serious outbreak of Covid-19 anywhere in the nation, my concerns were real.

As local charities which I support, The Woodland Park Zoo’s Thrive and Treehouse for Foster Kids to name a few pulled the plug and postponed their annual fundraisers, I waited to hear if The Power of Love would follow suit. I had attended this star studded gala in 2013, when my uncle, Quincy Jones was honored. With my fiancé working with senior housing, I have longed to enjoy this event with him, honoring the efforts to literally Keep Memory Alive.

Should I stay? I should go… As I sat on the airplane, I greeted my seat mate, a congenial young man who is a sports agent. I shared my stash of disinfectant wipes, joking “nothing says I love you, like sharing my sold out ration,” and off we went.

This years honoree, Neil Diamond’s hits, Sweet Caroline, Forever in Blue Jeans, September Morn, and Song Sun Blue were performed by a star studded lineup including Kenny Baby Face Edmonds, Sammy Hagar and Billy Ray Cyrus.

The Power of Love gala generates funds for The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health for patients and caregivers in the fight against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Huntington’s, Multiple Sclerosis and more.

I have family members who are suffering with some of these diseases. I have family members who are caretakers. I understand the journey and how precious life is. Watching Neil Diamond, diagnosed two years ago with Parkinson’s do a surprise performance, I left the gala recognizing The Power of Love.

www.keepmemoryalive.org