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 DREAM

For those Menopausebarbees, like me, think for a moment of what you were doing at age 39?
I was a working, married mom with two young children. Our family was enjoying the typical milestones embraced in everyday life. Soccer games, ballet, piano, vacations intertwined with long working hours towards achieving the American Dream of financial freedom and good health.

We were an interracial couple with bi-racial children and an extended family which was a melting pot of every color, faith and creed. We were living the DREAM.

I was awaken from the DREAM this past February as I visited Memphis and stood outside the Lorraine Hotel, where 50 years ago today, 39 year old Martin L. King Jr. was shot and killed.

As I stood in silence and reflected at this memorial site where Dr. King who at 39 was a hard working husband, and father who marched, so we could make our DREAM a reality, I was overcome with emotion.

I was left to ask myself his quote below. I was reminded that as we all DREAM for a better lives for ourselves, we must be WOKE to the needs of our fellow man.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are your dong for others?’ Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

So march on, speak up, DREAM and know your work is not in vain.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

Here’s to You Sir Elton John!

He celebrated his 71 birthday three days ago and with over 300 million albums sold, is one of the best selling music artists in the world.

When I was in high school, I remember driving down the street with a car full of high school girlfriends, all of us singing at the top of our lungs, the lyrics to any number of his songs. And then of course, standing in front of the mirror in my bedroom, hairbrush as microphone and singing some of his greatest hits until I was hoarse. So when I had the opportunity meet Sir Elton John, it was truly, truly an amazing moment for me.

Enjoying a Grey Goose martini on the grounds of his palatial home near Windsor Palace, (there is even a corner plot with a cemetery), I along with several hundred others anxiously awaited his arrival with his husband, David.

And suddenly there they were. I think everyone was actually in shock because no one approached them–they simply stared at them in a sort of hushed awe.

Me too. I stood there. Looking. Staring. Then I thought: what would Daddy do? So I did what I thought Daddy would do and I walked over to him, extended my hand, introduced myself and said, “How you doin’?” And we fell into conversation and it was just grand! Feeling EVERYONE’S eyes on us and seeing how they were all pulling out their cell phones for pictures, I knew when to hold them and fold them and so I graciously excused myself. Perfect timing. He was stormed by everyone! He stayed for pictures for a lucky few and then he and David made their way into the massive domed pavilion where this evening would begin.

Here are some highlights of one of the Elton John Aids Foundation White Tie and Tiara Balls I had the opportunity to attend.

This spectacular evening marked the 20th anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation which is a global organization fighting HIV and AIDS. Among the 10 largest AIDS grant-making organizations in the world, the EJAF supports thousands of men, women and children with life-saving medication, as well as providing information, nutrition, education, shelter and support.

This is HUGE.

The theme of the event this particular evening: love.
To quote Elton and David, “. . .If we have enough love and compassion to find the funding to make sure that no one gets left behind for HIV treatment or prevention, we can truly make the future HIV free in our lifetime.”
“. . .love and compassion. . .”

Imagine that.

The reception, held next door to Windsor Castle, began at 6:30 P.M. on the 37 acre palatial estate known as ‘home’ to Sir Elton John and David Furnish. I was punctual. There is nothing fashionable about being fashionably late at this tremendous house party!

Once outside of the hustle and bustle of London I found myself in the quaint village of old Windsor. As I was driven past the Oxford Blue pub I waved to all the patrons outside who had gathered out front to wave to the cars passing by heading towards this event. The Elvis impersonator was a real stand out.

At the time of my arrival, the mist that had threatened did indeed morph into rain showers. Our hosts were prepared for this and as I exited my hired car, I was met by men with oversized umbrellas who escorted me to the reception area where I was shown the coat check and given my table number.

With the first of my drinks in one hand and umbrellas in the other, I, along with several others made an attempt at strolling about the elegant grounds. There are several gardens and an 18th Century Orangerie to see, but we couldn’t really get any further than the Roman Terrace before the rains persuaded us to go back inside. Sheltered from the elements under a white mammoth canvassed dome, the well heeled, the royal and the celebrated from all over the world gathered to show their support for the foundation’s causes and to help raise funds for life changing programs for the people suffering from or at risk of HIV/AIDS. They saw and were seen as they enjoyed the champagne reception featuring Grey Goose designer cocktails and delicate canapés.

The lavish dinner began shortly after 8. The menu:

‘Summer Garden’
a salad, consisting of Burrata, Barigoule Artichokes, Asparagus, Datterini Tomatoes, Rainbow Radish, Viola Flowers and Toasted Sunflower Seeds with just enough of a drizzle of Cabernet Sauvignon Dressing.

The main course:Milk Fed Lamb Noisette,
accompanied by Kimichi William Pear, Carrot Confit, Smoked Potato and Summer Pea Puree, Olive Oil and White Wine Jus.
Desert:‘The Lovin’ Spoonful’certainlydidn’t disappoint.It was deliciously presented as a Passion Fruit Bombe, with Lime Sugared Raspberries, Valrhona Caraïbe, Mango Sorbet, Honeycomb and Popping Candy.

Coffee, Tea and Petite Fours were served at the coffee station.

Before the night was over, I saw that sliders (miniature burgers) were being served. I only remember thinking, “Tracie, don’t you dare! Enough is enough-even here!”

After dinner the auction was held. Charlie Rose, the charming auctioneer of the evening, raised over 3 million British Pounds (over 4.5 million U.S. dollars)! Auctioned items included The Chopard Red Carpet Cannes Experience, a private styling session with Victoria Beckham, a luxurious Audi RS 6 Avant roadster and several other exclusive Superbrand lots.
The night culminated with Coldplay performing and Sir Elton John joining in on a couple songs himself. A highlight of the musical performances was when Elton and David announced Glee star Matthew Morrison’s engagement to his girlfriend, Renee Puente whereupon Elton and Coldplay singer Chris Martin serenaded the couple withYour Song. When all was said and done, streamers fell from the ceiling and like I said, there were those dang sliders and probably breakfast, which was served the last time I attended.

But alas it was 2 in the morning and my driver was outside waiting to drive me back into London town. The rains had finally stopped, but that was the last thing on my mind.
I was actually filled with awe for this man who could at this stage of the game just sit back on his laurels, but who instead has chosen the road of tenacity and dedication in heading thefoundation that bears his name. I tried to imagine the number of lives he is personally responsible for saving.
“. . .love and compassion. . .”

Imagine that.
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Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Incompatible-Nature-Tracie-Frank-Mayer/dp/1537201298

Einen Herzschlag entfernt Amazon link: https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/3775158057

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What Goes Up… Must Come Down

There’s always a story inside a story. In yesterday’s blog post about our Girl’s Trip to Vegas, I shared that we went to the famous Molly Brown’s Swim Shop. Summer is coming and as a Menopausebarbee, trust me when I say, I am putting in OT at the gym preparing for exposing areas where the sun rarely shines.

Year after year, as we age, the skirts get longer and the cleavage gets covered- or that should be the case. “Do you have a turtle neck swim suit?” I asked the sales lady at Molly Brown. As I tried on a few trendy looks, I had to laugh aloud as I reminded myself, I used to be a 34 B and after nursing 2 babies, I’m now a 34 Loooooong! Thank the Lord for push ups!

But truth be told, I’m grateful we are past the Babe Watch Days. Bigger is not always better as many celebs are now looking to reduce the jugs. Recently in the news, celebs such as Amber Rose, Heidi Montag, and even Pamela Anderson have gone smaller.

Just remember, what goes up as time go on, must go down….
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Can you imagine what’s gonna happen with all those ass implants? That’s a visual! Just Sayin’!

Sleep When Your Dead… Las Vegas

Sleep when you’re dead… I kept reminding myself of this phrase while in Las Vegas this past weekend.
Las Vegas, the City that never sleeps and depletes everything from your wallet to your stamina!
But… like the best of alcohol that leaves a miserable hangover, it’s soooooo good goin’ down.

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The trip was planned in December as a 50th birthday gift to one of our tribe, Michelle Peacock. Michelle is single handily the biggest Kid Rock fan on the planet. So, Patti, who has a knack for “winning” on the slots arranged for tickets to the show and accommodations at The Mandalay Bay.

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Deborah and her husband Erik, our most generous hosts handled the travel, leaving extra spending cash resulting for me to have extra cash to play my beloved Black Jack.

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After a fantastic meal at a Michael Mina restaurant, we spent Friday night at Top Golf, where Tracie proved her writing skills are much better than her putting abilities. Although none of us will be giving up our day jobs to join the PGA. Well, I say that with the exception of Alanda who literally blasted every ball out of the park!

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Saturday, on the elevator, Michelle ran into of all people, Kid Rock. When he graciously obliged to a photo, I joked that at 47, he looked more like Grandpa Rock! But he proved to still have IT when he rocked the stage (more on that to come).

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Back after Top Golf, Tracie found favor on the Mega slots and after I amassed more number 2s not adding up to 21, we crashed before Alanda, and Patti interrupted our sleep giddy from their fun. In the adjacent suite, Deborah, Nicole, Tami, and Michelle hit the sack as they were up early the next AM to get swim suits from Molly Browns and Michelle to make a mandatory stop at Walgreens. Nicole has been ruined for life by what she saw (but hey, what are friends for?)

Saturday evening, the group split up as Tracie, Patti, Deborah and I attended the Michael Jackson Show. Michelle and Tami headed to the 1st act prior to Kid Rock. Watching the Hologram bring MJ to life and the Cirque du Solieil performers move to his poignant lyrics, we were all moved to tears.

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By 9 pm we rushed across the lobby of the Mandalay Bay to the Kid Rock performance. I didn’t know what to expect. Not surprisingly, I was the minority in the 12,000 seat arena. Although he had a phenomenal black female drummer and a black back up singer, I figured 3 out of the massive crowd was representing as I saw the hats saying, “American Bad Ass” and T shirts that read, “Don’t Give a Flyin’ Hillbilly F**k.”

I didn’t want to hear his politics, or for that matter any political commentary, however, I gotta say, for a young white guy from Daddy’s home town, Detroit, aka the Motor City, his message did not fall on deaf ears. Kid Rock shared it’s unfortunate we are divided, but we are indeed ONE nation under God. As his raspy voice belted out tunes I was familiar with such melodies as Sweet Home Alabama, I fell in love with his “bad ass” on tunes such as Born Free. His message, his stage play and interaction and video footage from when he was starting out as a D.J. which morphed into a prolific talent as guitarist and keyboard player made me a fan- almost as big as Michelle Peacock. Back at our hotel suite in the Mandalay as I looked out our window where the massacre recently occurred, I was proud of my daughter who had marched earlier that day to cease the shootings.

Woke, Worn Out, but not quite Broke… Mama’s lesson to NEVER give the casino all my money range true as I cashed in my earnings.

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Gotta love you Vegas! I’m getting some rest and I’ll see you soon….

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Isn’t She Lovely…

Full disclosure- Stevie Wonder is my ALL Time Favorite Artist. Songs in the Key of Life is my ALL Time Favorite Album. “As” is my go to song I play on Alexa when getting ready to go out. My children grew up listening to “Living for the City.” I have broken up in relationships and been soothed by lyrics to “Ordinary Pain.” I have gotten over heart ache with “Til you Come Back to Me.” I have fallen in love with lyrics from “Ribbon in the Sky.” I’ve just felt good jammin to “Boogie on Reggae Woman.”
And our family always sings Stevie’s version of “Happy Birthday to Ya,” after the traditional rendition.

A few weeks ago, I had the great fortune to meet a wonderfully warm spirit. She was just as lovely as the lyrics written about her. I recall the long version of the song released in 1976 with her baby voice crying out at the intro. Here’s to you, Aisha Morris, the first born child of the gifted genius, Stevie Wonder. And yes, I can attest, she’s lovely made from love!

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https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=stevie+wonder+long+version+isnt+she+lovely&view=detail&mid=B079FDA16208A837401EB079FDA16208A837401E&FORM=VIRE

By All Means…Don’t Screw Yourself!

It’s approximately 3:30 as I write this post… I promised my co-blogger and sister, Tracie, I would have it up this A.M.. Truth be told, not sure if it was the loss of the hour with day-light savings, advanced age or pure laziness, but lately I am BEHIND! I find myself putting off what I know needs to get done, so I decided to re-post Putting the Pro in Procrastination as a reminder to myself and all those that need a kick in the butt!

This weekend, I’m preparing for a farewell party for dear friends and as of this morning, I’m laughing at the RSVP’s that still reply “Maybe.”
Well, when and if you decide to show up – MAYBE, you can have some food, and MAYBE you can have a drink. Seriously people, YES or NO?
For those of you still sitting on the fence of life, make up your minds!

It is said that 20% of people chronically avoid difficult tasks or decisions and deliberately look for distractions.
We often get paralyzed by the enormity of what our day entails. We are bombarded by pressure and what is to come.

I found this quote by Denzel Washington on his thoughts about success and thought it’s a good reminder for those of us who procrastinate:
“I’d be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I’d been given. I’d be more frightened by procrastination and laziness.”
Now that’s a thought to keep it moving!
And if that doesn’t help- consider this… procrastination rhymes with another word and either way- you’re screwing yourself!

Now, I’m gonna head to the gym… my summer jeans don’t fit in size procrastination- oh vey!

procrastination

The Golden City Gate All Around the World: First stop Bhutan via India

It was once again an honor to be on the jury and presenter of the awards on behalf of the Golden City Gate–the world’s number one in film, print and multimedia competition at the ITB in Berlin, the preeminent global tourism trade show.

The brainchild of Mr. Wolfgang Jo Huschert and his wife, Ute, the Golden City Gate began as a competition between 5 films and three countries and has since its beginnings in 2001 expanded into an event that has received over 1600 submissions from forty-two countries.

At the ITB, this year held from 7 through the 11 of March, the entire world was once again represented under one roof. And on the evening of March 8, at a dinner hosted by the minister of India, I had the fortune of sitting next to Melvyn Saldanha. Melvyn is the General Manager of the Taj Tashi Bhutan luxury hotel. So, in between passing bowls and plates of traditional Indian fare like spicy red sauced chicken, piquant paper thin bread cut into rounds, cheese in a white sauce, lamb, rice and salad, Melvyn took me inside the world of Bhutan.

Enthralled, I took notes.

Bhutan is the last remaining Buddhist kingdom nestled in the Himalayas. Some structures provide evidence that it has existed since as early as 2000 BC. The world of the Bhutanese is not based on Gross Domestic Product, rather Gross National Happiness. (!!)

Presently, the population is around 700,000 people. Tobacco is illegal; the internet, television and movies are controlled. There are 56 television stations of which 21 are sports channels, 8 are news, 7 entertainment and 4 movie channels.

The present king’s father married four sisters on the same date at the same time.
The last registered murder in Bhutan was recorded in 2003. Women carry a lot of power.

One can practice any other religion privately, but not openly. No churches or synagogues may be built.

It’s OK to eat meat, but it’s not OK to kill it, so all meat has to be imported. If you catch a fish, it’s “catch and release” not “catch and cook”.

There are no malls and no brandnames stores–if there is for example a Prada to be found, it will be spelled, Praada, for example.

The 38 year old king is generous with his people. He and his wife, via their Facebook page, announced the arrival of their son, who was born in Lingkana Palace in the capital city of Thimphu on 5 February 2016.

Melvyn loves this clean, green and quiet corner of the world, I’m thankful he took me on this journey. Google the amazing Taj Tashi Bhutan hotel he manages. It and the surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful.

Gross National Happiness. How about that?

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Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story:Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Incompatible-Nature-Tracie-Frank-Mayer/dp/1537201298

Einen Herzschlag entfernt: Amazon link: https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/3775158057

Africa Calling…Mambo!

My life-long friends, twin sisters, Leslie and Laurie Coaston, who brought Seattle the famed Kingfish Café, who for 20 years fed and nourished the palate, have put together an excursion to now FEED YOUR SOUL: A SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNEY NOVEMBER 1 – 14, 2018 and you’re invited!

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As the twins are working to assemble an adventurous, fun seeking travel crew for this dream trip, I am posting today for those who might be interested in this once in a life-time opportunity. For details on how to participate, please see link below and connect with Susan Cathcart.
http://www.pontetravels.com/departures/feed-your-soul-south-africa/

I have traveled extensively, through the U.S., Europe and even Iceland. Africa, The Motherland is indeed on my bucket list.

Enjoy this re-post of my mother’s journey three years ago to East Africa. It’s never too late when Africa is Calling!

June 2014
Today, in the Menopausebarbee’s Spotlight, take a moment to enjoy the sights, imagine the sounds, and awaken all your senses from our mom, aka Tutu’s recent journey to the Mother Land. Our Mama, the original Menopausebarbee continues to teach us, we are never too old to go, to learn, and to grow. At 82 years young, she just returned from a 2 week Safari to Tanzania, Ngorongoro, The Serengeti and Zanzibar.
Mama paid witness up close and personal to wild life, authentic Masai villages, night game drives, and the original slave trade market and quarters in Stone Town. She engaged with the land, the people, the history. Her heart was broken by the massive poverty where houses were built from elephant dung, and children’s shoes were made from auto tire rubber. She was inspired by the tenacious work ethic, and will of the people to keep on keepin’ on.

In Mama Tutu’s words, “The trip was the most humbling, pure, raw beauty I have ever witnessed in my life. It was an experience I shall never forget.
“Tracie and I are beyond grateful that our Mom had this experience and we look forward to making this journey one day. We are left to remember what Barry Finlay said in Kilimanjaro and Beyond:
“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”

Mambo!

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Anita Davis in the menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight

I am going to miss her.

Anita Davis.

She can sing her tail off and is a good soul. I’ll always be thankful for the time when I confided in her that I was working on getting a divorce and spending most of my days and all my nights in solitude in the guest bedroom in my former home.

“Girl, you can’t just stay downstairs in that room,” she said. We gotta go out and have some fun!” And boy did we ever!

Originally from Virginia, she’s been singing and performing here in Cologne, Germany for about twenty-five years now. So often during those turbulent times, she’d take me with her on her gigs and I swear there is nothing like hearing some good music to chase your blues away! She just went back to America last week to work on a project that’s been near and dear to her heart for some time now. Even more wonderful so that she can share some precious time with her family.

I had the great opportunity to see her perform live at the legendary Cologne Italian restaurant maca-ronni ( Hahnenstr. 16a) two nights before her departure. Someone caught me standing on the stairwell getting a good view of her doing what she does best–aside from being a good girlfriend, at least in my opinion:–singing. I was just HAPPY! I love Anita’s voice!

Her joie de vivre helped me through a very difficult time in my life and for that, I will always be thankful to her. One night we partied the entire night away and we each had flights to catch to America that morning when we kicked off our dancing shoes, slipped into some sensible traveling shoes and grabbed our luggage. I don’t know how we did it, but we did.

And so as I said my “see you laters” to her last week–I don’t like good-byes–they’re so final (unless I really mean them), we hugged and it was really a bitter–sweet moment. I reminded her of the time we were on the city tram and I told her, “As long as I’m with you, if I lose my purse I’ll still be able to eat as long as you sing!”

The times we had…(Be sure to Youtube her).

I love you, girlfriend. See you soon!
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At Home with Ryan Lewis

On Monday, one of my best girlfriends, Carmen Gayton, aka realtor extraordinaire invited me to join her at the waterfront home open house of Ryan Lewis, artist, and collaborator with Macklemore.

I’m a life-long Seattle native, and licensed realtor. I got my license at 19 and have kept it active as I didn’t want to take that test again. Over the years, I have been fortunate to see some of Seattle’s finest properties. Ryan Lewis’s was no exception! In addition to the phenomenal property tour, Ryan was present and proved to be the kindest, most hospitable, and gracious guide ever.

As all the A-list realtors who sell homes in this 9 plus million dollar price range inquired about the intrinsic details from fabric tufted bookshelves to the imported chandeliers, square footage, sound system, acreage etc. I raised my hand and said, “Ryan, I have a question.” He politely turned and said, “Sure?” “Can I have a picture?”

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Brilliant marketing… Take a look for yourself. May be time to make that move!
Thanks Ryan.

https://www.3035perkinshouse.com