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.

Wink! Wink!

In my ongoing effort to keep elevating our spirits in this new year, this morning I’ve taken a clue from the Muppets. 

The first Muppet is the most famous Muppet: Kermit the Frog, created by Jim Hessen in 1955–finally someone in the room older than me! Kermit has truly had an amazing life: he holds a postgraduate degree. Southampton College in New York awarded Kermit an honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters for his work promoting environmental awareness. The acclaimed amphibian received the doctorate after giving the college’s commencement address in 1996. He also is the only Muppet to have appeared before Congress. Kermit advocated on behalf of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and endangered amphibians everywhere—after all, know knows better than Kermit that it ain’t easy being green? In 2005 Kermit the Frog was given the key to the city of Kermit, Texas.

The Muppet Movie (1979) opened with Kermit singing “Rainbow Connection,” a song now beloved by many. The song earned the film an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and spent seven weeks on the Billboard Top 40 charts. “Rainbow Connection” remains popular to this day—so popular that in 1996, a 21-year-old man in Whanganui, New Zealand, took a radio station hostage until his demand that the song be played was met.

Kermit is a wise old frog. He’s said a lot of good things over the years. This may be one of my favorites:

“You control your destiny.

“Life’s like a movie. Write your own ending.” —Kermit the Frog

We alone my friends are responsible for our thoughts and actions and–their outcomes. By thinking this way, coming from a position of mental strength, we can become unstoppable. We are in sole control of our attitudes which determines our direction and our efforts. It should feel damn good to know that we have that control!

So today, tomorrow, the day after that and always, I encourage you to look a challenge directly in the eye…and give it a wink.

The week is young. Make it happen!

Road Your on a Dead End? It’s Your Own Asphalt!

 

For the past four years, Patti Savoy, Stacy Lill and I pick a night in January and have a slumber party.  We talk about our goals for the new year, highlights of the year past, great lessons learned, and hard lessons earned.  This year, we overnighted at the Fairmont Seattle.  Coincidently, we stayed in the same suite I stayed in the night I got married in less than a month ago.  This was not pre-arranged, they just happened to offer an upgrade when we checked in.  I found the familiarity of this room an interesting coincidence as when we met in January of 2021, I had no idea one year later I would be married and staying in this same suite twice.  It made me think of all the possibilities that 2022 could have on the horizon.

We enjoyed dinner at the newly renovated bar, and then got entry to the Founder’s Club, a hidden gem and Speakeasy. Tucked just behind a bookcase at the Olympic Bar, it is just as advertised, a decadent hideaway, accented with leather couches, plush red chairs, and a mirrored ceiling, that seats up to 30 people. The drink prices are just as rich as the furnishings- but the hotel did complete a 25 million renovation!

Back in our hotel suite, we got busy. When notepads in hand, we were transparent as we shared our hopes, dreams, and aspirations with and for each other. When you are fortunate to have “sisters” who know you and want for you what you want for yourself, you are blessed.  I am blessed.  We tackled challenges, opportunities, and tools to accomplish and create the lives we desire.

The next morning, Stacy the earliest riser of our crew sent this text she found on the internet.  It wraps up our sentiments precisely.  If you find life is at a dead-end, it’s your own asphalt!

Make it Happen!  It’s Monday Everyone- The Week is young.

 

Something for Your Toolbox

 

Another Reason to Love -All!

The year was 2015.  I was going through a challenge time.  My marriage of over twenty years had ended.  I was suddenly single, and not ready to find a mate. However, I knew my life was not fulfilled and I could either drown myself and my sorrows in my local “Cheers” bar or get active.  I chose the latter and took up tennis.  Over the past seven years, I did indeed find new love (literally and occasionally an Ace), new best friends, a great heart workout and apparently per this article additional mental and physical long benefits.

So whether I get beat 40-Love, I can still feel Love-all!

3 Sports That Increase Life Expectancy, According to Science | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)

Exercise, in general, is key to living longer. But playing certain sports can increase your life expectancy even more. A study done by the Copenhagen City Heart Study (CCHS) and published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings followed 8,577 people over 25 years and found that playing certain sports increased life expectancy—with one adding almost a decade to the lives of participants.

One thing the top three—tennis (9.7 years), badminton (6.2 years), and soccer (4.7 years)—all have in common is that they offer more social interaction than individual sports. While cycling and swimming made the list right after soccer, they offered a life expectancy increase that was noticeably less than the this trio, adding on 3.7 and 3.4 years, respectively. This further emphasizes the link between social interaction and longevity. Take, for instance, the people who live in Blue Zones (aka the longest-living people in the world): one of their pillars of longevity is connecting with others and maintaining strong relationships.

Furthermore, the study determined that these findings were the same even when researchers controlled for other aspects like education, socioeconomic status, and age. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that these factors didn’t come into play, as one of the study’s co-authors told The New York Times, citing the example that people with money and the leisure time to play tennis may live longer due to that and not the actually tennis-playing.

In general, though,racket sports appear to be particularly great at increasing life expectancy, due in part to their social aspect, but also perhaps because they are physically challenging and require balance and mental strategy, along with certain visual and spatial elements. A study of Korean women aged 60 and older found that playing table tennis (aka Ping-Pong) improved their cognitive function more than walking, dancing, or resistance training. And a study of inactive older adults in rural Utah found that pickleball improved their vertical jump (a marker of mobility) and cognitive performance, and there was a decrease in self-reported pain.  Participants in the study also reported a desire to keep playing pickleball even after the study was over. So if you needed another reason to embrace the resurgent tennis skirt trend, consider this your sign.

Fun-a

This is my sister.

Her given name is Dana.

I have re-named Dana “Fun-a”.

Fun-a wakes up daily thinking:

“We need someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.”

Fun-a’s thoughts lower rates of depression, distress, and disagreeableness.

Fun-a is having none of that. 

Everyday Fun-a makes me laugh.

Fun-a makes me laugh often.

When Fun-a makes me laugh, I laugh a big belly laugh.

I gulp down pouches of air and I oxygenate my blood.

Blood oxygenation is vital for good health.

Fun-a is a funny person.

And good grief, don’t let her have a good night’s sleep!

Fun-a quips very funny things.

Fun-a laughs at her own jokes.

Fun-a is funny even when she doesn’t know she is being funny.

Fun-a’s favorite animal is the orangutang.

Fun-a thinks the orangutang is a funny animal.  

Orangutangs are ticklish, can laugh, are playful, and have the ability to share.

Orangutangs also look funny.

Fun-a is a delightful force in this universe.

Fun-a doesn’t know I have written this post.

Fun-a doesn’t know I am sharing this picture from Christmas morning.

This picture selects Fun-a’s pure happiness

preparing to share gifts and love and funny moments.

Fun-a won’t mind me sharing this photo

because Fun-s loves me.

I love you Fun-a. Just because it’s Tuesday.

Your Word is Your Bond-age… Set Housing Providers Free!

This holiday card sits on my desk, “I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your help and support while I was navigating through a difficult housing situation.  Knowing that on paper I was not a prime candidate, you still took a chance on me.  I’m humbled by your confidence in my abilities and promise to be a great tenant now and in the future.”

When we took a chance on this resident, all she could offer was her word and she proved it was her bond.  If someone’s word is their bond, they always keep their promise.

As a lifelong housing provider, I have encountered tens of thousands of people of all walks of life.  There are those who will take night shifts to make ends meet.  Those who will offer services such as keeping the property grounds clean when they fall short on obligations.  They may offer to clean a vacancy or barter whatever talent or service they can offer to see that they are not cheating and taking advantage of the system.  I was raised with a work ethic that says, “good things come to those who work their asses off!” I have countless residents who have shown up when they have fallen on hard times.  Together we have worked out solutions and I am beyond grateful.

Unfortunately, as a lifelong housing provider, I have also encountered the “bad actors.” The fakes who tell you one thing and then move in and prove that possession is nine-tenths the law. This quote literally translates that it is easier to maintain if one has possession of property, they are presumed the rightful owner.  I had a “bad actor,” recently say to me, “are you stupid?  can’t you read?  you can’t evict me.”  I would pass her in the hallway as she trotted off to her paying job knowing that the eviction moratorium protected her as she enjoyed the comforts of the shelter we provided along with heat and utilities.  Once I saw her packing up her vehicle headed on a ski trip.  I’m sure those lift tickets weren’t pricey with all the rent she saved.

Case in point shared by one of our Grassroots Landpeople members today.

 Here’s my story: In November 2019 I rented out my house in Northeast Seattle for a year. I was to reoccupy at the end of the lease. Well, you all know what happened. Over the past two years I’ve lived in four airbnbs, two furnished finders, and couch surfed as the eviction moratorium dragged on through multiple extensions. I contacted the new Mayor to get a reoccupy provision added if he was going to extend for the seventh time. Did we get that? NO!!
Can you imagine going into contract with someone on your personal residence, them giving you their word and signature that they would vacate at the end of the lease and three years later, you are still couch surfing?
These agreements are now turning into Your Word is Your Bond-age.
City of Seattle, please set us housing providers free!

 

You Can Have It-You Just Can’t Have It Now

We’re all focusing on getting our minds in the right space for meeting the challenges of this new year, and as I think we all know, a healthy mind deserves a healthy home, so to that end, we might as well talk about getting our bodies right.

I want to share that many people have said or remarked that I’ve lost weight since they’ve last seen me and indeed I have. Because we all want to live our best lives and lift each other up, I’d like to share with you how I shed the excess pounds. Maybe something here might work for you or spark a google search to help you get on your way if losing a few stubborn pounds is your issue.

#1: Suffer. Seriously. 

Before COVID began shutting the doors to life, I was beginning to find that getting dressed to go out had become a chore: zippers did not understand the assignment and when I did get it all squeezed in, I was afraid to inhale. Or sit down. 

So when the virus kicked in in Germany, we had to prepare for a serious lockdown.  This undertaking involved stacking up on toilet paper, filling up my refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards. I lit candles, and for a time, enjoyed the eeriness of it all. It would soon pass, I remember thinking; it was just a new experience. 

Soon, the novelty faded. Because we had absolutely nowhere to go, excepting the grocery store, pharmacy, bank, or for a walk, I found myself sitting at home, finding comfort in food. And you must understand: I love food. 

Mama and Dana get a kick out of this story: When I was a young girl, perhaps 2nd grade and in the school cafeteria after lunch one day. With most of the kids outside playing, I was still finishing my lunch–all of my lunch.  Sister Mary Raymond who’d been patrolling the cafeteria walked over to me and with a big grin and bespectacled smiling eyes said, “Theresa, you are the best eater in the class!” (As a side, I was called Theresa because one had to have a patron saint’s name to attend this Catholic school.) 

Or the time the three of us went to see a film. A scene had a waiter serving surf and turf–lobster and steak. Sandwiched between mama and Dana, I blurted out, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” They nearly fell out of their seats laughing. 

 So, yes I love food. I won’t eat everything–but what I like, I really like. 

So on lockdown, I found myself sitting at my desk or lying in bed with my laptop, mindlessly eating just because it was there. And one day, I said, “If you carry on, you will soon reach a place of no return. We do not know how long will have to be cooped up at home. Make a change. For once and for all.” And that’s what I did. 

I didn’t want to try yet another diet; that would only set me up for failure. I had no choice but to make a change. If I said ‘diet’, that would only make me think I could eventually fry it–giving me the hope of going back to my old ways. You know, lose a few pounds and then think it’s ok to go back to eating ‘normally’ because you can control it. Not.

It became a mental thing for me.  So, I initially suffered in that I eliminated the foods that I love, but knew were bad for me. Cheese for one. Probably my most favorite of foods, I also know that it can cause inflammation and in its full-fat form is a sure-fire way to gain weight if you mindlessly nibble it all day as I was doing. So I eliminated it completely. I drastically, drastically reduced my carb intake and increased my fruit and veggies. I love Gummi Bear, Jelly Bean, Snickers, and orange slice candies–now I turn my back on them in the store.  Can’t do it. There’s a time and place for alcohol. 

But wait! There is a cure for the suffering. My dear girlfriend who is also on the better body path told me this which leads to #2:

When I get a craving at an off-hour, I get satisfaction by telling myself that I can have it–I just can’t have it now. Intermittent fasting. This works. And after a while, that diet word ‘fasting’ will fade because you will become used to eating within a certain number of hours per day. 

Until you master your thoughts and desires,  if you must eat something that is against the glory, eat it early in the day so you can burn it off so that the thought/feeling/madness of deprivation won’t make you want to devour everything your heart desires.

#2: Another thing: I don’t really eat canned or packaged foodstuff. Primarily because if I can’t pronounce or understand the ingredients on the label, I just don’t want it.

#3: Buy a scale and weigh yourself every morning at the same time every day. It will definitely help keep you on track. 

#4: Get physical. Period. Find what works that isn’t too challenging so that you will do it.

So, this lifestyle change is what has worked for me. None of us wants the pressure of dieting in our lives. If we just bite the bullet–pun intended–and find a way to eat and enjoy what we eat and be mindful of what we eat we hopefully can sustain it, be healthy and be rest assured in the fact that our zippers will understand their assignments.

And again, remember as daddy said: It ain’t no givin up and no givin out.”

 

 

The Ten Year Challenge…

Let’s take a moment and travel to the future. The year is 2032. In ten years how old will you be?  What does your life look like?  What do you look and feel like? Are you smiling as you sit at your favorite restaurant with your besties relishing tales of the week?  I’m sure, you are a bit grayer, perhaps a few unwanted, stubborn pounds cling to your figure and certainly there is the constant tug of war with gravity, but you ain’t giving in.

Have you accomplished your goals?  Are you enjoying that vacation home you bought in 2025?  How are your kids and now your grandkids? You couldn’t love them more if you wanted to- right?   Isn’t it laughable how things that once unnerved you don’t seem to matter anymore?   Have you forgiven past hurts? Have you laughed more than you cried?  Told your loved ones you love them enough?

I have been loving the Facebook pictures of the ten-year challenge. But for me, it’s not just the physical appearances that are paramount, it’s the personal growth. As we look forward, we must also look back.When I pulled up these pics from 2012, my daughter, Taryn was ten and my son Brett 18. We had no vision of what the next 3,650 days would hold.  Despite the untimely loss of their father, they have both thrived.

2012 is a special year for me as ten years ago, I met my now husband for the first time. I was at an Oscars party with two of my nearest and dearest, Patti and Fredda.  I had no idea that this random encounter would bring my future husband.

 

When I look at all those who have left my life and all those who have entered, I know season, reason, lifetime, and that God brought us to each other. I’m eager to see who I will connect with in the next ten years.We have all lived during a Pandemic. We have had to navigate the challenges of life where a handshake feels illegal and a sneeze could be deadly. But through it all…life goes on.

The seeds we plant today will blossom tomorrow. Invest your time and talents wisely.

So, here’s my ten-year challengeLive every day as if it’s your last, because one day you will be rightMay you take more Jets than have Regrets, Say Yes more than Not, Give more, Laugh more, Love more…the clock is always ticking.  I hope to see you happy and healthy in 2032!

Happy New Year Everyone!

2012

2022

To Sir with Love

Saddened to read this morning about the passing of film director, author, and diplomat, Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win an Oscar for best actor and named by the American Film Institute as among the greatest male stars of classic Hollywood cinema.
Truly one of the most dignified, refined, gracious, and charming people I’ve ever had the honor of meeting. A true man of integrity. Make he rest easy in grace and love.
********************************************************
Mit Bedauern habe ich heute Morgen vom Tod des Filmregisseurs, Autors und Diplomaten Sidney Poitier gelesen, der als erster Schwarzer einen Oscar als bester Schauspieler gewann und vom American Film Institute zu den größten männlichen Stars des klassischen Hollywood-Kinos gezählt wird.
Wahrlich einer der würdevollsten, kultiviertesten, liebenswürdigsten und charmantesten Menschen, denen ich je die Ehre hatte, zu begegnen. Ein wahrer Mann von Integrität. Möge er in Gnade und Liebe ruhen.

For the Love of Shoes…

Ever since I can recall, I have loved shoes!

O.K., before you call me shallow, I’m not talking Imelda Marcos and her 3,000 pair collection. But as a Menopausebarbee, I have styled jellies, famolares (Get Theres), ballet flats, and Moon boots, ankle boots, over the knee boots, flat boots and high heel boots. Even today, as I look at old photographs, I can tell what era it is by the shoes on my feet.

Even after long nights of dancing, call it the agony of da Feet, I will suffer for my love of shoes.

In my collection, I have an array of styles and designers from Prada to Nada and I generally get dressed from the feet up.  During the Pandemic, I have thoroughly enjoyed the casual kicks of my expanding tennis shoe collection.  I recall as an 8th grade basketball player pleading with my father to indulge me in a pair of Nike which came on the scene in 1971.  He wasn’t having it as we stood in Chubby and Tubby Hardware Store and he checked me out with the much cheaper brand of Converse saying they would get the job done.

But, Daddy couldn’t kill my inner Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City as my shoe love has always been alive and well.  So, when my stylist, Nordstrom’s finest, Justin Legget prepared me for my wedding, I didn’t blink at my something blue.  And just as Elvis sang, nobody better think of stepping on these babies!

Just like my old favorites from the 1970s, the  Famolares, these shoes got me there!