... 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.

Something for Your Toolbox

Get up, get on it, put a smile on your face and one in your heart, be thankful for the day and remember:#itaintnogivinupandnogivinout

Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story: Amazon link:

Einen Herzschlag entfernt: Amazon link:

Get IN-volved! Stay E-volved!

I was talking with my cousin, Renee Conroy last night. As we were catching up on the plethora of community activities available. I recognized, that as I post, it is a calling for engagement! I use my blog and social media platforms to share as I’m frequently asked as a native Seattleite how to dial in. No Seattle Freeze here! I’m asking each and everyone of you reading this to GET IN-VOVLED! Granted, I joke that I am like dog sh*t, EVERYWHERE…but truth be told, it takes a village and we must all participate on some level to help others rise up, including ourselves.

Find your passion and support it. Last week, once again, I was moved beyond words at the Stolen Youth luncheon which attacks the deranged perverts literally trafficking our young for their own sexual pleasure. My friend, Patty Haven Fleischmann and crew founded Stolen Youth as they saw a need and refused to stay silent. Every 90 seconds, a child is sold for sex- say no more…

On April 14, I found myself at the Rep Gala, supporting my friend, Winky Hussey and our thriving Arts Community.
Seattle Repertory Theatre is the largest nonprofit resident theatre in the Pacific Northwest and serves its audience by producing a full season of the finest classic and contemporary dramatic work.

Speaking of the Arts, mark your calendars to join my lifelong friend, director, Roberto Jourdan at the upcoming Festival Sundiata.
This African American Cultural Experience is like no other here in the Pacific Northwest.

While we are on the Arts, I must make a plug as a Board Member of MoPop (formerly EMP). Last weekend we opened the Marvel Comics Exhibit which showcases the largest show to date. For those who are fans of Super Heroes, and even those less inclined like me, this must see venture includes history lessons from Spider Man to the recently acclaimed Black Panther. This truly is an adventure for the whole family.

This Thursday, we will be at NAAM – The Northwest African American Museum, in support of The Odessa Brown Clinic, a community clinic of Seattle Children’s Hospital located in Seattle’s Central District. Children from birth through 21 receive care from a team of specially trained pediatric care providers. OBCC provides medical, dental, mental health and nutrition services to all families, regardless of their ability to pay. If you have not heard Dr. Benjamin Daniels speak, I urge you to get your tickets now! For $75 you will be moved by what this organization is doing to support those in need.

This Saturday, April 28, join the St. Jude benefit
My dear friend, Maria Brunner is chairing this spectacular event! Like Odessa Brown, St. Judes does not turn any needy child away based on inability to pay.

And if that’s not enough- stay tuned and stay In-volved, so you will remain Evolved!

Dr. Dean Ornish Sounds Out on Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story in the menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight!

Dr. Dean Ornish is a clinical professor at UCSF and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. He’s a leading expert on fighting illness — particularly heart disease with dietary and lifestyle changes.

The author of several books including, Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Eat More, Weigh Less and The Spectrum, he is a well-known advocate for using diet and lifestyle changes to treat and prevent heart disease.

Dr. Ornish is one of the leading voices in the medical community promoting a balanced, holistic approach to health, and proving that it works.

Needless to say, I was thrilled and quite honored when he made this testimonial to my book, Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story:

“This captivating memoir about a mother’s fight to save her baby’s life who was born with only half of his heart in a foreign country where the mother neither knew no one, nor could speak the language, will inspire you to persevere, be determined and never give up when confronting any challenge.  This is a story you will never forget!”

–Dean Ornish, M.D.
Founder & President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute
Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSF
author, The Spectrum

Check out some of Dr. Ornish’s books and Ted Talks and find out how you may apply some of his principles to your life towards living longer and being happier. Start the week off in a positive way that may lead you to the road of health and happiness. And be sure to read my inspiring story with all the elements of love, courage and tenacity that lead to victory– “ain’tnogivin’upandnogivin’out.

For my German speaking friends there are also websites for you in German, here are a couple:

Living our very best lives is a universal language.

Thank you, herzlichen Dank Dr. Ornish!

*Amazon link:

*German Amazon link:

Something for Your Toolbox

Peaceful weekend everybody and remember:

Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story Amazon link:

Einen Herzschlag entfernt Amazon link:


Fishing…for men that is.

I was talking with some women friends, each of whom had arrived in Germany from a far off corner of the world, about this topic just the other evening and it seems that the dating thing, the issues involved and what we do and why we do it/them are the same the world over. Maybe it’s just innate. Or maybe everyone is just smart and stupid all at once. No matter, at the end of the day, surely we all wonder why we do what we do. It’s a funny thing this thing we call life.

Even the reason for every season does not always hold true.Take for example, this woman. She gave birth just two years ago. Nothing unusual about that. What is shocking is her age. She claims to be 70, while the clinic where she gave birth to says she is 7T. She and her husband have been married for 46 years. You’ve got to give them credit for at least having figured THAT out. But for me, the rest is a mystery and so I ask myself, despite their overwhelming desire and no doubt the love this woman had for her baby, was it a selfish thing to do to the child? The only thing for certain as I see it is, is that this new mother can get her post post post-menopausal nap when her baby naps. One must feel for her though; she has been spending her time yearning for a baby of her own and now will pass the rest of her time caring for and loving this anxiously awaited child. See the article here in the Huffington Post.

70-Something Woman Gives Birth — And She’s Even Breastfeeding

But who am I to judge? I can only say that for this menopausebarbee, a pregnancy at this stage of the game would be a laughingstock and a nightmare.
But, we all have our motivations, our reasons for why we do what we do.

So whether you’re dating or trying to procreate, I guess the bottom line is to keep hope alive. Everybody is just looking for someone to love. Maybe that is at the core of why we do what we do.

Shake off the doubt and the discouragement that is stopping you from getting what you really deserve. Believe and be bold about getting what you know is right and just for you. Enlarge your vision to see your destiny. It’s there, waiting for you. Go with the flow, sometimes you just can’t force a square peg in a round hole.

And keep in mind:

*Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
—Henry David Thoreau

Good luck everybody.

Incompatible with Nature:

Einen Herzschlag entfernt:

Skulls and Pearls…

We should all be so fortunate to know this woman.
The kind that innately dances to her own beat and truly moves as if no one is watching.
The kind that sings simply because the melody of life is beautiful.
The woman who never, NEVER complains, even when life throws curve balls.
The woman who is a woman’s woman and celebrates the gift of your love and style.

Last weekend, on a pouring rainy Saturday, we said good-bye to this woman.
Marilyn Berg was truly a gift to all who knew her.
Marilyn was the kind of woman who blended skulls with pearls. Because in Marilyn’s eye, even the bizarre was beautiful.

As I learned at her service, her three children’s father passed suddenly when he was only 40 years old. Marilyn was a homemaker and this misfortune left her to muster the wherewithal to find work and raise her brood. She did more than an exemplary job finding odd jobs supplying groceries to the fishing boats and even supported all three of her offspring through private schools. Through the challenges and even through her failing health, she NEVER complained.

I knew Marilyn as her career blossomed into a exotic jewelry designer. She had the most creative mind. Such is the case with the hanging pearl earrings adorned with skulls she made me one birthday.

I loved Marilyn’s work ethic as we did many trade shows together. For numerous years, she was my partner in our annual Treehouse Shop for a Cause Christmas drive for Foster Kids. Marilyn was not attached to items. She knew the world was bountiful and we were only borrowing items and they were to be passed along and recycled.
I recall one day admiring her dining room table. She looked at me, “You like it? Make an offer”
I did actually make an offer on a vintage chandelier she had and to this day, it hangs in my daughter’s bedroom.

Marilyn, a Menopausebarbee would wear attire that resonated with her spirit, laid the foundation for many others to own their own style. But it was her joie de vive in her assemblage that she could carry every outfit off and rock it!

This woman… never an unkind word.
We always ended a conversation with I Love You.

I will miss this woman. We should all aspire to be like Marilyn.

Something for Your Toolbox

Peaceful weekend everyone.

Incompatible with Nature–A Mother’s Story:

Einen Herzschlag entfernt:

Inconclusive Travel Plans…

With Mariah Carey’s reveal that she suffers from Bi-polar disorder, I applaud her bravery in making her “mess” her “message.” Mental illness has affected all our lives. I’m currently paying witness to many senior family members and friends suffering with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It was a painful journey to watch my beloved mother in law look at us without any recognition.

So, as we are granted the serenity and peace to love those suffering, today, I am re-posting
My inconclusive travel plans. Hopefully, it will bring a smile or at least make you recognize each day, we don’t know where we are going.

I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to friends, family, work and politicians who affect my life.
I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.
I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.
I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.
Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.
One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!
I may have been in Continent, but I must’ve been sleeping while traveling through . It’s an age thing.
Today is one of the many National Mental Health Days throughout the year. You can do your bit by remembering to send an e-mail to at least one unstable person. My job is done!

“Aufgeben Gibts Nicht!” (Ain’t No Givin’ Up and No Givin’ Out!”

I was awakened at 5 A.M. the morning after my arrival by the squawking, shrilling, “uuk uuk UUK” sound of seagulls flying overhead.

I had arrived yesterday late afternoon, here at a vacation resort on the Baltic Sea to present my book, Einen Herzschlag entfernt, at the 7th cardiac reunion of the Herztreffen für halbe Herzen–an organization that supports babies, children and adults with the phenomena of being born with only half of their hearts.

Steffi Hahnl and Carmen Krickau, the first and second chairmen of the Fontanherzen e.V. and their team put together a wonderful weekend for the fifty or so families who came for the event. Holiday apartments were arranged at the Weissenhäusser Beach hotel directly on the Baltic Sea; accommodations included breakfast and dinner, a 3 hour gratis spa or swim paradise and while the parents were in the full day seminar, the kids were in childcare facilities.

Several doctors spoke and projects were introduced and then came my presentation. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I could only go into so much detail. But my main point I got across and I knew it when the audience yelled out, “Aufgeben gibts nicht!” (“Ain’t no givin’ up and no givin’ out!”) and gave me a thunderous applause. I was thrilled on so very many levels. Firstly, giving these people who are walking on a similar path as mine, any form of hope is my intention. And that mission was clearly accomplished by all the people who approached me when I left the stage and who wanted to know where they could buy the book and wanted to share their stories with me. One lady told me that I said in less than an hour, what would take her five hours to try and make someone understand. I had the honor of speaking with and meeting so many wonderful, wonderful people. I told them all, we are family.

And that evening walking back to my room, the gulls were quiet. I smiled. I had taken Daddy’s mantra of “It ain’t no givin’ up and no givin’ out” all the way from 33rd and Yesler where I grew up and had brought it all the way to the Baltic Sea.

Daddy’s gift to me. His gift which inspired, instilled within me a sense of perseverance and gave me hope. A gift that I can share with others.

I am thankful.

It was a good day.

As my baby sister Dana, would say: “As it should be.”

Einen Herzschlag entfernt: Amazon link:

Incompatible with Nature:Amazon link:

College Trippin’

I’ve seen the movies…
I’ve heard from family and friends…
But still after all the preparation over the past nearly 17 years, I found myself ill-equipped as my daughter and I ventured on our first College trip. My son’s father had the pleasure of this venture, so this was all new territory for me.

I call this College Trippin’, as I was trippin’ over the fact that Taryn, my womb mate who has morphed into my roommate is ready to leave the nest and fly on her own. Taryn’s desires were to check out of state schools. It was always my assumption that she would go to the UW. I am a Husky, my son was a Husky or that she would at least stay in Washington, and attend her father’s alma mater, Seattle University. I admittedly am the co-dependent and admittedly suffer separation anxiety. Although, Washington schools are still in consideration, we ventured out- Trippin’.

Trippin’ The competition has become fierce. When I enrolled in the University of Washington #@&^%) years ago, I went to the Equal Opportunity Office and was accepted with no questions asked. Now, academics, community outreach, extracurricular activities, athletics and experience are all a part of the process.

Trippin’ Financially!… When my parents sent me to the U W #$^&% years ago, the tuition as a resident was a whopping $3,000. The colleges we looked at were on average $45,000 – $68,000 and up!

Trippin’ Roomates… Looking at the small quarters of dorm life, where three students co-habitate, sharing a bathroom and each having her own twin bed, I visualzied Taryn doing some major down-sizing.

Trippin’ Bring it! The acceptance rate at UCLA, the highest applied college in the nation is 16%. We learned this research university is working on a cell phone that charges in your pocket. UCLA was a city within itself, 5 star restaurants, hair salon, bank, post office, they bring it! For all students looking to obtain scholarships at LMU, better get to grinding. The view on the banks of LMU was as stunning as the sunny climate- coming from Seattle- Taryn said, ‘Bring it!’ The average SAT score is 1300 and a GPA requirement of 3.6 – now remember, that’s just averages!
Chapman, with it’s proximity to Disneyland felt as magical.

After two hour tours respectfully through UCLA, LMU, and Chapman, we were exhausted, yet informed and to say the least optimistic of options, yet overwhelmed.
We learned about Early Decision, Early Action, Commitment Deadlines, Study Abroad, Scholarships, Financial Aid, Room and Board, Safety, Sports, Food and Fun.
We were fortunate to have dinner with my niece, Sydney, a gifted student at USC and hear about her experience in the Business School. We also met with a friend’s son, Robert at Chapman, a promising business major, (definitely on track to a bright future) who graciously gave us a behind the scenes look and a must visit to the Dodge Journalism School.

Everyone assures me, Taryn will end up where she is supposed to be.
But for now… I’m trippin’…