... 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.

This Girl is on Fire

Seattle Prep’s Diversity Award recognizes students who celebrate diversity and demonstrate and support inclusion in school and the encouragement of others.

“Seattle Prep’s Diversity Award has been described as a woman on fire…Congratulations Taryn Frank Looney, watch out world!” Coach Deino Scott.

From the First Day of Kindergarten

To the Last Day of High School Taryn with her brother, Brett



love[ləv]NOUN an intense feeling of deep affection

One year ago today, I said YES.

“I’m low key and under the radar, you live out loud and go where right lights are

I’m buttoned up and you’re zippers down, when we get together there’s never a frown

We’re an unlikely couple who are very diverse, yet we found each other 2 needles in a haystack universe

So here is the deal if you are willing and able, I’m offering a future that’s more fun than stable

The question for you , in this incredible venue is whether or not you would like to continue

It’s a special request, that might fill you with glee

It involves some bling and taking a knee

Dana Ann Frank – will you marry me?”

5 Countries… 5 Days

5 Countries… 5 Days… If this sounds Deja Vu, it is. I’m Not Crazy, but still just a little un-well. This really could be the theme song in my life. Two years ago, I took the same trip and shared highlights in my travelogue. But this time around, my daughter graduates this week from High School. We have parties to throw, parties to attend, and ceremonies galore.   My sister, co-blogger and BFF is home from Germany to help commemorate this special time.  We celebrated our blessed Mom’s 87th year.  My home is in a major remodel.  Since January, when I’m not on the road with my fiancé who resides in Nashville, I have shared a bedroom with my mom and a bathroom with my daughter.  My son and business partner, Brett and I have overseen the renovation and re-renting eleven units in a month.

So, my cup does indeed runneth over.  But when my fiancé, Eric called and suggested I join him for 5 countries in five days on a business trip, my crazy little un-well side said of course! I asked Eric, what he likes most about me and his first response was that I am adventurous. Well, no need to disappoint, I reasoned as I stuffed items from my recent Marie Kondo organized drawers.

London, Geneva, Switzerland, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam.

Sunday, we arrived at the Hotel Wellesley Knightbridge, This intimate building dates back to 1906 when the Hyde Park Corner station first opened. Years later, the place was converted to a popular jazz haunt and Pizza on the Park until the Wellesley took up residence in 2010.  One of our travel companions was told his shorts were not proper attire in the lobby of the hotel.  Gotta love the aristocratic snobbery of some British establishments.  Dear friends, and part-time London residents Peter and Nicole met us for cocktails first and then dinner at The Bombay Palace. Ever so thoughtful, they arrived with a beautiful bouquet for me as it was Mother’s Day.   It’s always refreshing to visit with knowing locals, and seeing that Peter is British, we got even greater insights on taking the Tube, best eateries, shopping et al.  (I will follow up on another blog about our evening at the H Club). The next morning while on my search for Starbucks, I wondered upon as Nicole and I agree the best shopping on the planet, aka Harvey Nichols.  After enjoying a piping hot cup of coffee and perusing the haute couture of the European fashions, I really sensed with the melting pot of all nationalities that Megan and her new baby, Archie are truly embraced by this country.  These shoes I spotted at Harvey Nickle, Boss Lady are an example of who she is.

Go Megan!

Tuesday found us on Lake Geneva. Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland and French speaking. I was familiar with this exact location as this was one of our destinations two years ago on the same business trip.  My days were free as Eric was in long meetings.  So, I decided to embark alone on a windy morning walk.  As I exited the President Wilson Hotel, I couldn’t resist my urge to hop on a courtesy bicycle parked out front and literally felt like the Flying Nun as I peddled along the waterfront.  Either that or the mean witch from the Wizard of Oz.  A friendly Bell hop warned me not to keep my phone in the rear seat basket as it could get stolen.  The affluent shops such as Gucci, Prada, Dolce and more did not hide the danger of thieves.  I decided I’d been blown sufficiently when my beloved I phone fell from my pocket after a hefty wind shook me and said bike, so back to the President Wilson I peddled.  

Wednesday we awoke in Stockholm.  I was super excited to see this country as it was my first trip and my cousins QD3 and Martina have both shared their love of their second city home.  It was extremely clean.  I visualized the many apartment units I have seen decorated from the Swedish brand, Ikea. We stayed at the Nobis Hotel.  The one thing that struck me about Sweden is it’s mostly cash free.  I even had to charge $4 for a cup of tea!  Our stay in Sweden was not long enough as I really wanted to visit the ABBA Museum.  This “Dancing Queen” will have to come back.

Next up, Copenhagen, the birthplace of Legos! Along with being one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country, it is also home to the instantly recognizable statue of the Little Mermaid. Inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, I patiently waited for my turn to pose by this international identifier.

 Rushing back to the airport for a tight connection flight to Amsterdam, Eric discovered he forgot his attache case with his passport at the last meeting.  We miss our flight and all other flights were sold out, so we stayed the night at the Copenhagen airport.  Let’s just say, Eric agrees I get a pass for two major mess ups.  I started to increase the punitive damages to 4 as that was the hour we had to awake to catch the 6 AM flight the next morning to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam truly is one of my favorite European cities.  The rich history. The canals.  The bicycles. Staying again at the W, I tried to embrace my inner hipster.  But truth be told, the dark room with lights that come on when my presence prompts them, the cold concrete floors, uber mod lighting, and odd architectural structure left me wanting Whatever Whenever normal.  But I found myself embracing the moment as the sun shined from the rooftop and I indulged in grilled cauliflower, asparagus, and a vodka tonic.  I reflected that walking blocks away the Red Light District, Anne Frank’s House, and the Van Gogh Museum were all  a part of my reality.  That I could experience 5 countries in 5 days, I may be exhausted, crazy, and a little un-well, but then again… aren’t we all?

Stay tuned for a blog on our cocktail concoction challenge at the H Hotel with Peter & Nicole

Set My People Free

After saying my prayers and before getting out of bed this morning, I checked to see what everybody had been doing for the last few hours on Instagram. I came across a story that my niece, graduating from high-school this year and Chapman University bound, posted. It was a picture of the 25 men who voted YES on the Alabama abortion bill. Under the picture she posted the following comment: “Not that great at math–but I’m sensing a pattern here.”

Staring at her post, I remembered why I went to bed irritated last night. 

I rolled the bed covers back and got up to get a coffee before I turned the morning news on. Maybe I’d just been dreaming about the vote in Alabama last night. And if I hadn’t maybe something had happened during the night so that my niece could remove her post. 

We walked into the kitchen at the same time. We embraced and I kissed her on the cheek. I could see that she was irritated/sad/and not quite right. 

“What’s up little girl?” I said.

“Oh Auntie,” she said, “I don’t have time now to talk about it now,” she said. (She was rushing off to school.) “But we’ll have to talk about it later. I just don’t understand how a man can be in charge of all of this,” she said sweeping her hand across the front of her body. 

“I don’t either little girl. But we’ll talk later. Have a good day and make it rock,” I said.

A good day. This is actually a very sad day for America. How can we possibly, possibly be going back in time? Fred Flintstone and every other prehistoric Stone Age man is dead! And the Flintstones were an animated comedy–this is real life and it is far, far from funny. 

Regardless of your religious or political persuasion, or whatever stance you hold on this issue, it is simply UNJUST/WRONG/AND UNACCEPTABLE for a woman not to have control over her OWN BODY/HER OWN LIFE/HER OWN DESTINY. 

In 1662, Virginia legally recognized slavery as a hereditary, lifelong condition. The station of slaves was one of inferiority that left them vulnerable to mistreatment by masters. This oppressive institution was law. Fact. 

So now, here we are 357 years later. Let me just draw a parallel. Bear with me. 

Let’s stay a poor little girl in Alabama is victim to an incestuous attack. She is forced to be shackled to the unwanted child/trespasser/invader disfiguring her child body; forced to be reminded of the crime against her daily. And let’s say that the child born of this incestuous attack is born with some kind of genetic mutation–there’s a host of them which you can google. And let’s take our scenario one step further and imagine that this poor little girl in Alabama has no or inadequate health care. She will forever be shackled to a life of struggle, one she didn’t choose; a life that is not a life. Who is going to deal with this poor little girl’s psychological injuries? How the hell will she be fully able to make someone understand–through her eyes–the absolute destructive nature of incest and rape and no freedom of choice? Who and what is going to make her life worth living? And just how am I supposed to explain this to my niece???

Lawmakers and the laws they make. Shame on you. Break the shackles. 

Set my people free. 


Something for Your Toolbox

Now is the time…

A Love Story in the Menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight

Shining today in the Menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight is a young woman by the name of  Antoinette Love. 

This  girl is brilliant and I couldn’t wait to share her story!

A native of New Orleans, Antoinette is the eldest of five children born to Yolanda and Anthony Love who were teenagers when she was born. Yolanda and Anthony have struggled over the years to make ends meet while raising their family. And here is where this Love story gets good: Antoinette, a high-school senior, has been accepted to 116 schools and has received scholarship offers totaling 3.7 million dollars!!

This young woman is an example of real excellence. Hard work and determination did this for her. She will no doubt leave her mark in this world and we Menopausebarbees salute her.

As a side note, her father wants to go back to school to get his GED so that he can try to keep up with his daughter.

As another side note, I heard on the news this morning that Felicity Huffman is expected to plead guilty in court today for her role in the college admissions scam.

Hard work. Tenacity. Diligence. Sacrifice. Bribes. Scams. Scandal. Fake academic scores. 

You get what you pay for.

It’s Monday! Make it rock everybody!

M is for Mother’s Day

Mom Upside down spells WOW!

Today the Menopausebarbees salute all Mothers.

Through the laughter, the tears and all the ups and down years…

Mother’s hold their children’s hands for a while, but their hearts forever.

M is for Model Mom… Today’s Birthday Girl!

M is for Model Mom

It’s a rare occasion that we are at a loss for words and we find that is the case for us Menopausebarbees as we sit to write and express all that today’s birthday girl encompasses.

M is for the MODEL our mother has been not only as she owned the runway, but how she has modeled her life.

This courageous beauty who was hailed early as a beauty queen garnished many crowns.  In her mid 40’s she launched a modeling career when most her peers were battling middle age.

She has raised my siblings and I with a fervent faith and the daily reminder to let go and Let God.

When we look at the photos of her past 87 years, we are astounded as the years, styles, people and places may have changed, but she remains the same. She is a living testament to God is Good… All the time!

M is for Making Us Proud

Last Sunday, Cinco de Mayo, at the beautiful Ratliffe home, we came to celebrate our daughters, The Pink Bandanas. We ate a Mexican feast and drank margaritas in honor of the day, but the salt on the rim of our cocktails was as bitter sweet as this farewell celebration.

There are no words to describe the appreciation of the dedication of the leadership that Lisa Crisera instilled in our daughters. We watched over the past ten years as they stood in the rain at UW football games, in the heat of the U Village, or outside a Seahawk tailgate hawking pony tail holders to raise funds and awareness for Pediatric Brain cancer. Those long, chilled or hot arduous hours paid off in memory of their friend, Sara and they have raised over $150,000!

So as Lisa called out each of our seniors who we have watched morph to the most beautiful swans, she gave pony tail holders with their chosen College school colors. These beauties are spreading their wings, Stanford, Boston, Georgetown, Chapman and beyond. They will continue to make us proud, and always be the Pink Bandanas, but they have taught us one most important lesson… M is for Making a Difference.

M is for Multi-tasking Mama

It’s May, one of my favorite month’s of the year. It is the season we celebrate Spring, Mothers Day and the Menopausebarbees very own mother as well as my daughter were born this month.

So, today as I am re-posting M is for Multi-tasking Mama. As we prepare to celebrate this phenomenal woman aka Tutu next week, we can attest, she hasn’t slowed down.

M is for: A Multi-tasking Mama!

Looking at this photo, many will see chaos.  But for me, it was a typical day in the Frank Family household.  As we are celebrating M is for May, Moms and Multi-tasking, I still marvel at how Mama handled it all.

As I reflect on all that is happening in this photo, I am a 3 year old tot, demanding my mother’s attention, my middle sister is decked out and ready for her First Communion, Tracie has arrived safely from a school day at Our Lady of Mt. Virgin, and Daddy had cars lining the driveway to negotiate whatever business was paramount at the moment.

In addition to all the activity, I am certain, a home cooked dinner was prepared,  school uniforms were neatly starched, lunches packed, and we made it to First Communion on time!