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.

VOTE SARA NELSON CITY COUNCIL POSITION 9

Seattle listen up!

As a lifelong Seattleite, I can attest, I’m saddened by the current state of our Emerald City.

I grew up in the C.D., and it was common to walk from my grade school St Therese to home.  Often, I would take a detour and head down Madrona Drive along Lake Washington.  As I entered the high school years, the number 48 bus would carry me to Blanchet, until I was licensed and could drive myself down the I-5 freeway. I spent many days on the Ave during my years at The University of Washington.  Thirty years ago, after joining our family real estate investment business, we decided to maintain a business post office downtown. We reasoned we could have an escape from our home office and enjoy the sights and perhaps sneak in a little retail therapy or have lunch at the Public Market.

Unfortunately, today, the sights of all my beloved neighborhoods are a distant memory of my youth.  The Central Area recently had a shooting in broad daylight where an innocent two year old little girl was shot outside of Walgreens.  Yesterday, my friend’s car was stolen from an auto shop.  After she posted the theft on Next Door, a video was captured of the thieves in a chase with the police driving her wrecked SUV into fences and over barriers in an attempted getaway.  Homeless campsites are rampant from the parks I used to frolic to the freeways which carried me to my destinations. Now on a walk downtown, be it on 4th Avenue or to the Public Market, the stench of urine violates my sense of smell as I pass homeless after homeless taking shelter in doorways of once vibrant store shops.  As a housing provider, I have to assuage my residents fears as drug addicts leave used needles and lurk the grounds seeking shelter late at night.  I personally witnessed one vagrant defecate on the steps of one of my properties. We have had to remove squatters from security interior entry halls, laundry rooms, and in basements of properties where homeless have taken shelter.   We have had to increase lighting, security cameras, and monitoring, however, inevitably, the clean up cycle continues.

It is depressing.

I know that I am not alone.  I have talked with numerous friends and community members who are fed up.  When you dial 911, it’s for real.  When my friend’s car was stolen or that innocent baby was shot, a call to the police was needed, not a social worker. When my team and I are forced often daily to pick up drug paraphernalia, we don’t want to risk our health.   When we go on a walk, we deserve the right to enjoy the scenery and not dodge homeless tents or constantly worry about safety.

My son and business partner, Brett and I were fortunate to have a Zoom call with City Council  candidate, Sara Nelson.  I immediately felt a sense of connectivity when we met.  Sara and I are near the same age, business women, mothers of two children and very concerned about the condition and future of our city.  Her platform addresses the facts:

The current approach on housing the homeless is not working. We need policies that provide housing to the unsheltered while restoring our public spaces.  Neighborhood small businesses are still struggling. We desperately need the return of clean, safe neighborhoods.

As a black business woman who houses a diverse demographic, including those at risk, some elderly, and  low income and as a life long Seattle resident, I couldn’t agree more!

Sara’s opponent is a proponent of defunding the police and believes the City of Seattle should create a fund to support people who use the parks for housing.

The choice is simple.

 

No one should live like this and far too many are.

The time to speak up is now.  We need our voices heard!

Sara Nelson is our only choice for City Council Position 9!

 

https://www.saraforcitycouncil.com

Please, share, donate and support!

Predators Prey…They Don’t Pray til they get caught

We were young, fierce, strong, and talented. We could arabesque, cartwheel mount from balance beams, and elbow stand or walk on our hands across an entire room.

I came across this photo of the other day our The Smith Tumbling Team.  Mrs. Smith, our devoted instructor/mom/disciplinarian instilled excellence in our young minds.  She was not above using her stick to correct our posture or our behinds when we were out of line.  However, the discipline always came from a place of love and it paid off in our hard work and numerous awards we received in traveling competitions.  The stick was the only thing we feared and it was more the shame of Ms. Smith admonishing our behavior with it, than the pain inflicted by it’s use.

As I studied this photo, I thought of the brave young, strong, fierce, talented gymnast who took their strength to another level and had to stand up against sexual predator, Larry Nassar. He is also a former osteopathic physician and former professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

I then thought of the brave, young, strong, fierce talented singers and artist who were dehumanized by R Kelly. Recently, the multi award winning performer was convicted in a sex-trafficking trial, found guilty of nine counts, including racketeering. Two people from his entourage also are facing charges in a separate federal case, accused of helping him meet girls. Kelly also is facing more sex charges in Illinois and Minnesota, with trial dates not set yet.

I was saddened by the New York Post report yesterday that London is stopping their investigation on Prince Andrew and the Jeffrey Epstein abuse allegations.

London’s Metropolitan police have dropped their part of an investigation into the sexual abuse claims that the Duke of York sexually abused a 17 year old on three separate occasions.

The statistics are frightening 1 out of 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of sexual abuse.

Former Penn State Defensive End coordinator, Jerry Sandusky was found guilty and convicted of 45 out of 48 counts, accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15 year period.

I had a high school friend, who was repeatedly molested by a priest and committed suicide.  The priest was an extended member of his family and his parents trusted him.

A doctor, an artist, a coach, a prince or a priest- A predator.

We joke that the Higher Power visits prison daily, because they all find Him when they go to jail.

Predators prey…they don’t pray til they are caught.

Protect our children.  Look at this photo…1 out of 5

Relish Today, Ketchup Tomorrow

The effect of this pun is perfect for this Monday morning blog which you’ll understand by the end of this post. 

I’m not sure what inspired me: perhaps the effect of the changing season; pulling out my warm and cozy sweaters; maybe the visuals of decorative gourds and pumpkins. But whatever it was, I felt like lighting some candles and cooking dinner for a couple of girlfriends last Friday night. I think I was having a sense of a nurturing and comforting moment. I’m not exactly sure, but whatever it was, when I cook I really don’t play. As a matter of fact, the last time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner when I was married, I cooked for over 40 people–everything from two turkeys to several pies. I really felt in my element then, just as I did this past Friday night with the girls.

Our evening began at 7:30. We started off with appetizers of deviled eggs, crab-stuffed mushrooms, and beat salads on sticks.

We eased into our main course of corn-fed chicken slowly sautéed in a coconut milk and tomato sauce served with Zoodles in lieu of pasta. I’ve never prepared Zoodles before and they turned out perfectly, so I was thrilled. 

During our meal, we spoke about everything that was on our hearts: our losses, our gains, how the pandemic has affected us, the state of our world, the things that really make us happy, the things that really make us sad. We talked about our struggles, our successes, and the supplements for the soul that we need to achieve them.

A seriously purposeful, honest, serious, and intimate conversation whereby we shared our individual tips and tricks, knowledge, and information.

We finally got around to dessert, a medley of freshly baked nectarines, peaches, and plums with thyme and an optional dollop of mascarpone around 11. By then, we’d concluded that we’ve all reached the age in life where we recognize how very important time is and that we must deal with getting over our fears because fear just gets in the way of our enjoyment which will keep us from living now. Now.

We are indeed sensitive about ourselves, the world around us and we recognize that what we see truly affects us; therefore, we sometimes just have to turn the news off.

There is stability in sisterhood. I mean if you think about it, what really is more powerful than the outstretched hand of one woman towards another to lift her up, to wipe away her tears, to make her smile, and to reinforce her belief in herself? 

Sometimes we really don’t need a reason to celebrate life, our light, and our purpose. We are blessed that we have our here and now–and so wait for it: we relish today because we know we can always ketchup on the other stuff tomorrow.

Have a great start in the week, everybody!

Take A Walk on the Wild side…

It’s Flashback Friday, and if you can’t laugh at yourself…then laugh at me.

My fiancé is an animal lover extraordinaire.  He is literally  “that guy” who escorts wildlife be it a butterfly, bee or chipmunk back outside to nature.   As he expresses, they are just trying to make a living.

I don’t agree.

Once, I was home alone, in Tennessee and encountered a garden snake in our Livingroom. (Don’t see these in the Pacific Northwest).  I called  my fiancé at work screaming in tears, as he explained, much to my dismay, he could not rescue me. His soothing words that the snake was more afraid of me, than I of it, did not suffice.  I finally  mustered the courage to scoop this slithering reptile up in a dustpan and release it to the backyard bushes.

I was also raised believing anything with teeth can bite.

Exhibit A above, me as a child modeling for Nordstrom staring down that sheep!  I recall like yesterday thinking if that sheep takes one more step- I’m out of here!  Modeling career be damned.

For five years, Eric has tried to tame my fear of all “beloved” non domesticated creatures.  In our Nashville home, our cats, which I have grown to love, (they tolerate me) tend to bring gifts.  I don’t get why people call birds, snakes, and rodents gifts??? Aren’t gifts supposed to be things you want?

Sir Winston and Lady Ella

 

Exhibit B below, this “gift” sealed my anxiety for life of any furry intruder not paying rent.  Any yes, “that guy” escorted him to freedom.

URGENT REQUEST! FACTS AND EVIDENCE

Many of you have seen the signs and the protests.  Many are still uncertain as to what is at stake.

Today, I’m asking you to look at the FACTS and to support the EVIDENCE.

First, a little history and background on what our Seattle City Council IS:

The Seattle City Council is the legislative body of the city of SeattleWashington. The Council consists of nine members serving four-year terms It has the sole responsibility of approving the city’s budget, and develops laws and policies intended to promote the health and safety of Seattle’s residents. The Council passes all legislation related to the city’s police, firefighting, parks, libraries, and electricity, water supply, solid waste, and drainage utilities. (The mayor of Seattle is not considered part of council.)

Yellow, Orange, Red, Purple, Brown and… PINK!

October…

The spooky revelry of Halloween… pumpkins spice lattes, chilly weather, and cozy clothing. The breathtaking phenomenon of fall foliage as tree leaves shed their green and slip into a splendor of yellow, orange, red, purple, and brown. Autumn is a color!

There is one more color associated with this colorful month and that is the color PINK. In the early 1990s, Evelyn Lauder (of Estée Lauder) established the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and decreed the pink ribbon as the universal symbol for the disease. For many, this hue symbolizes hope, strength, and unity and that is exactly what we need in battling this disease. Breast cancer is thankfully no longer considered a stain or a smudged taboo hidden away and unmentionable. Thankfully, because of understanding, awareness, incredible medical technological advances, various therapies, emotional and donor support we are making headway to combat this disease.

And fellas, even though breast cancer is most commonly thought of as a disease that affects women, breast cancer does occur in men–I personally know one. Everyone is born with a small amount of breast tissue. Please see your doctor if you should notice any of these signs and or symptoms:

A painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue
Changes to the skin covering your breasts, such as dimpling, puckering, redness, or scaling
Changes to your nipple, such as redness or scaling, or a nipple that begins to turn inward
Discharge from your nipple
Ladies, please get your regular screenings. And spread the word. Let’s all help take care of each other because when we’re healthy and feeling good we can make miracles happen!
Oh! And by the way, today, October 5, is National Be Nice Day. Let’s pay something good forward–life offers us so many opportunities to do so: buy a coffee for the person in line behind you, pay a compliment, listen to someone’s story, send a positive text, wear a mask when necessary, be agreeable with your server in a restaurant…

Kindness can be contagious. Let’s give what we can and spread the word.

 

 

Do You! Feed Your Body and Soul

Yesterday while searching through my trunk of old photos, saved cards and mementos, I came across this photo of our mom and her 8th grade class.  Centered in this picture, she’s hard to miss.  She was 12 years old, and graduating from Our Lady of the Sea in Bremerton, Washington.  The following year, the family moved to Seattle where she would commence High School at Holy Names Academy.

I asked mom at that point, what thoughts she had for the future.  Always a fashion aficionado, she said she was so excited because my grandparents had brought her to Seattle and bought her a graduation dress from Grayson’s Department Store in Downtown Seattle on 3rd Avenue between Pike and Pine. This was no easy purchase as the family was on an extremely tight budget.  Eventually mom would be hired to work at Grayson’s as an elevator operator and she advanced to a window trimmer, where she dressed all the manikins.

After meeting our dad, mom’s life transitioned towards being a housewife, mother, and entrepreneur in the real estate investment business.  But, she never lost her zest for the fashion industry and she went on to model for all the major department stores in print and on the runway.

This blog post resonates in that although your work path may take you in one direction, you should never let go of your talents and passion.  Find time to nourish not only what feeds the body, but feeds the soul.

Are you a writer, artist, singer, dancer, chef, therapist, musician, or beautician?  Even if you don’t get a wage, you can still share your gifts and at the same time, be fulfilled.

My sister and co-blogger and I have written this blog for ten years.  We don’t get paid.  It brings us joy.

Happy Monday everybody!  Take some time this week to do you! I wonder if the other 89 year old students in the picture followed theirs?

Bibi’s Restaurant… Where The Eyes Eat Too!

They say that presentation is everything.

Bibi’s a hidden dining treasure in Kirkland brings presentation to your palate.

Last Summer, Patti Savoy was celebrating a milestone birthday.  She was eager to support a local business.  She wanted great presentation. She wanted representation from the Algerian region that birthed her. She wanted great Mediterranean food that fed the soul and filled the belly and that of the belly dancer she hired.

Bibi’s Restaurant fit the bill on every level.  The flavors from Persian/Iranian roots blend the most delicious meals and authentic cuisine you can imagine.

They say that presentation is everything.

Bibi’s a hidden dining treasure in Kirkland brings presentation to your palate.

Bibi’s Restaurant fit the bill on every level.  The flavors from the Mediterranean region blend the most delicious meals and authentic cuisine you can imagine.

When you first meet Parvin, she feels familiar like family. Perhaps that is because she is so transparent in her journey.  Parvin of Iranian decent life took an unexpected turn when her husband was shot and killed on the second anniversary of the Iranian revolution.  He had been wrongly assumed to be in a car that belonged to the opposition group.  Faced with an unexpected and heart wrenching reality, Parvin and her son relocated to the U.S. in 1984. Parvin’s son, now a doctor at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Institute still takes time out of his busy schedule to help his mom nourish her passion.

“Food is my passion.  I do it with all of my heart.” Parvin Jahangiri-Karami

  Patti Savoy with Parvin and her son, Dr. Mehdi

10724 N.E. 68th St. Kirkland, Wa 98033

Dine in for Lunch or Dinner except for Mondays!

And if you are like Patti and want to cater for your special event, this is their specialty and they can serve up to 1,000 people!

 

Instagram bibi.kirkland

Catering — BiBi Persian and Mediterranean Restaurant | Kirkland, WA

 

 

 

10724 N.E. 68th St. Kirkland, Wa 98033

Dine in for Lunch or Dinner except for Mondays!

And if you are like Patti and want to cater for your special event, this is their specialty and they can serve up to 1,000 people!

 

 

 

Instagram bibi.kirkland

Catering — BiBi Persian and Mediterranean Restaurant | Kirkland, WA

 

My Gift to You!!

Tomorrow, September 29, 2021, is WORLD HEART DAY. 

In honor of my son, our fellow heart warriors, the cardiology doctors, nurses, and surgeons throughout the world, a few of whom I have had the great honor of meeting, and to do my part to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, I am GIFTING the Kindle version of my multi-award-winning book, Incompatible with Nature-Against the Odds: A Parent’s Memoir of Congenital Heart Disease for 24 hours beginning: Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 12:00 AM PDT for 24 hours.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MYRGVXJ

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is accountable for nearly half of all non-communicable deaths making it the world’s number one killer.  Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common cause of infant death due to birth defects. We must do what we can to alleviate these global disease burdens. 

BE AWARE!

 Make a difference in your community: spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease–you can do this by simply encouraging people to live heart-healthy lives. This prolific killer affects men, women, children, and babies. This is a global issue and what we don’t know can definitely harm us.

Granted–we all know that although income, education, family history, ethnicity, and age certainly play major roles in our heart health, the fact is, we can control some of our biggest risk factors that feed this monster like diet, smoking, inactivity, stress, anxiety, and yes, even depression.

So have a Heart–to–Heart with yourself, get yourself checked if you can. Encourage your neighbors, family members, acquaintances, and your friends to do the same. Our common denominator as human beings should be to offer support and encouragement to one another; to discover and share solutions that will help us be better people with the goal of living in a better world. And at the end of the day–or at the beginning of the day for that matter–isn’t that what we all want?

If you haven’t read my inspiring story, do get your copy tomorrow. It is truly a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit; a story of courage and conviction and hope and faith that will help you to understand that character is developed in the most difficult of times and that life is too short and too valuable to be nonchalant.

If my story can inspire one person–even just one–to be encouraged to fight to save a life, to fight that good fight, then my life’s journey, with, because, and despite all my challenges, will have proven to me once again that my journey really has been my own reward. 

Be aware and be blessed, everyone.

#aintnogivinupandnogivinout

If You Ain’t Got No Heart You Might as Well Be dead

When I first saw this image, I immediately thought of daddy. It wasn’t necessary for me to consider what he would think if he saw this picture.

You know, over the course of the years, our dad taught my sisters and me life lessons that guide us to this very day and will no doubt guide us forever. In fact, whenever Dani, my sister, and co-blogger, and I are facing an albatross, the first thing we ask ourselves and each other is, “What would daddy do?”  In confronting all of his challenges in life, he would say time and again:

“If you ain’t got no heart, you might as well be dead.”

Heart.

Look at the image accompanying this post. Set politics aside. 

Here you have Haitians, real-life talking, breathing, heart beating in their chests human beings with the same basic human desires as you and I of food, family, friendship, financial stability, and the freedom to do everything within our power to live a healthy, productive life. Folks whose resilience has been pushed to the limit through no fault of their own, having heart enough to flee a country crushed in poverty, demoralized, and in utter disarray. I weep at the wretchedness.  These people have risked their very lives to escape a life of misery with hope in their hearts and eyes focused on a promising future.

And here they are.

The water is waist-deep. All they have are the clothes on their wet backs and they are being even further stripped of their dignity by heartless men who think they are high-minded and high principled,  law-abiding, and morally correct riding horses slinging their whips.  “If you ain’t got no heart you might as well be dead.”

This horrifying scene looks like a picture from the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. 

This is 2021. There has got to be a better way.

It takes heart to risk it all when you have nothing to lose–except your life and it takes heart to be a real man. Even while sitting on a horse.

Honest to God people, what has become of our humanity?