... 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: Monday Motivation

Deutsche Übersetzung ist unten.

Drei einfache Regeln im Leben:
1. Wenn du nicht das verfolgst, was du willst, wirst du es nie haben.
2. Wenn du nicht fragst, ist die Antwort immer nein.
3. Wenn du nicht vortrittst, bist du immer an der gleichen Stelle.

Mental Health Prescription – Get Help

It’s October and It’s Mental Health Awareness Month

I have known and loved individuals who were narcissistic, bi-polar, depressed, obsessive compulsive, drug addicts, alcoholics and on the spectrum.  I have come to understand you cannot love the disorders away. I have joined counseling sessions, read volumes of books, medicated, meditated, and educated.  One book I read years ago, I believe was entitled, When Helping You is Hurting Me.  The hardest part is walking away from individuals who refuse to accept or try to seek help and continue to sink you in their abyss of misery. My father, a brilliant man, who I loved greater than any man ever, suffered from extreme high and lows, and he believed that mental illness was a sign of weakness. He didn’t believe in counseling or taking meds.  He was from a generation that believed people truly only used 10% of their brains.  So, in his mind, it was mind over matter as he soldiered on.   I found that the people surrounding these personalities get accustomed to drama, and the unacceptable becomes the norm.  So define your boundaries, and while it’s paramount to take care of those with mental illness, take care of yourself first!

You are NOT alone.

Mental Health Facts & Figures

Here are some data points you can use to speak to the scope of mental health:

  • 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness.
  • Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness.
  • One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by the age of 24.
  • Approximately 10.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.

As I look at this data, it’s not surprising that mental illness has affected us all.

Anxiety, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Eating Disorders, Impulse Control and Addiction Disorders, Personality Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders,  Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Somatic Symptoms, and Tic Disorders are a common list.

Many of these disorders are enhanced while coping with the stress of the Pandemic.  Teenage suicide is on the rise and this is why those who grow up in toxic environments are up to 12 times more likely to experience addiction, depression and to try to end their lives.

Break the cycle.  Help starts with reaching out.



Happiness is the Best Makeup

Ok, so it’s not that we don’t LOVE makeup and believe in its powers to help us forget our insecurities–but I will dare to say that the real magic of beauty is the combination of self-confidence and inner joy that we’re all striving for in life, in other words: happiness.

The world is always changing and so are our lives. Nothing is constant. Sometimes we have to take it minute by minute, and before we know it an hour has passed. We made it! We begin to believe there really is light at the end of the tunnel even if it seems dim or simply nonexistent at the moment. Just keep moving forward and stop looking backward. Focus on the good right now.

Practicing gratitude will really help. If you see a pimple on your face, be happy that you even have a face. As of August 2018, around 40 face transplants have been performed worldwide. There but for the grace of God…

And remember, there are always lessons to be learned in unfavorable situations. If but for nothing else, we learn the strength of our character. We discover our indomitability: that we are good enough and brave enough and strong enough to deal with the obstacle at hand. Life for damn sure isn’t easy, we get kicked down and literally honest to God don’t know how we’ll get back up. Believe me–I HAVE BEEN THERE. Fighting for my son’s life and then fighting for mine as I got away from ex-husband in his country and landed on my feet was nothing short of miraculous. It nearly broke me–but it didn’t.

Perseverance, staying focused, knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em and believing in ourselves, believing that failure is not an option–this is key.  And this is what I know: if we don’t give in and don’t give out, we can release and relish in the happiness that lies within us. We deserve to beautiful.

“People are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”– Abraham Lincoln

Let’s Get Wicked with Susan Johnson Kropp

Love the title of my dear friend, Susan Johnson Kropp’s second novel, Something Wicked.

It’s Halloween season, and it’s just that wicked time of year.  Susan is wickedly witty, wickedly wise, and has delivered yet again a wickedly well written read.

I have found such pleasure reading during these days of Covid-19 quarantine and so I’m sharing some local authors who happen to be some of my best friends.

Synopsis of Something Wicked

“Jillian Van Doren is a successful romance novelist—but she is unhappy and unfulfilled. When she meets a new neighbor and fellow writer, Jeff Spiegel, the two make a casual connection that could be the start of something more.  But when one of their other neighbors dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances, Jill and Jeff find themselves intrigued by the mystery, and the police aren’t investigating. What follows leads them on a cross-country trek from Seattle to New York, Connecticut, and beyond as they track down the killer—”

Susan is well traveled, trust me, we went to Iceland on an unforgettable trip together.


So as I read the cross country trek in Something Wicked, I know that Susan is writing from experience living and being in these different states.

From my bookshelf to yours, it’s a wickedly great read!


oh and Happy Halloween! Get Wicked



Been a Long Time Since You Rock n Rolled?

I opened my door this A.M. to find a gift from my friend, and photographer, Jerry Levin, that made me smile.

I smiled at the memory of one of favorite nights as a board member of MoPop when we paid tribute to the great Jimmy Page.  Take a look and listen as Paul Allen, RIP, rocked on with this incredible line up.

Jimmy Page in the HOUSE!

Can you name all the old and new rockin' allstars on stage here? Founders Award benefit dinner and auction last night. What an amazing show… all Led Zeppelin songs performed to perfection by an amazing line up. Sir Jimmy Page joins for the encore finale! Footage by James Sundstad

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎James Sundstad‎‏ في الجمعة، ٢٠ نوفمبر ٢٠١٥

If like me, it’s been a long time since you rock and rolled, mark your calendars and join us December 1!

Jerry, thanks for making my day!  Now, if I can just get the book out of Eric’s hands… xoxo

Join us virtually for Founders Award 2020
This one-night-only benefit will feature unforgettable performances by Alice in Chains, as well as an acclaimed lineup of guest musicians who will put their own twist on some of the band’s most iconic songs. For the first time ever, this highly anticipated annual event will be moving from MoPOP’s Sky Church to an online platform where it will be open for all, giving pop culture lovers across the world an opportunity to connect and become a part of our creative community.

Royal George

Good grief! These days we all have a lot of stuff going on.

It’s a wonderful thing when we can unfurrow our brows because someone has made us unexpectedly smile. 

I had this great fortune a couple of weeks ago when I received an Instagram message. It was a collage of pictures set into one picture accompanied by the song Afro Blue featuring Eryka Badu. Garfield Harrison (insta: royal_george20), had attended the German version of my book premiere on September 27, 2017, and created the collage post. That he remembered and thought to take the time to send this to me on that special anniversary of my book premiere, touched me deeply. That he took the time to say, “I appreciate you” was awesome. Thank you, Gary, I appreciate you too. 

Here’s the photo and some of the video from that evening. For my friends who don’t speak German, I hope the picture and the video nonetheless, will make you smile. We need as many as we can get these days–even underneath our masks. Sometimes our eyes say it all.

Warmest thanks to moderator Liane Wirzberger and William Balser (Euromodel Agency) for the interview and the film. I had no idea that they would do this–another reason to make me smile. It was a night to remember.

Will you do something to make someone smile today? It’s true when they say that the best things in life are free.



Meine Güte! In diesen Tagen haben wir alle viel zu tun.

Es ist eine wunderbare Sache, wenn wir die Stirn runzeln können, weil uns jemand unerwartet zum Lächeln gebracht hat.

Ich hatte dieses große Glück, als ich vor ein paar Wochen eine Instagram-Nachricht erhielt. Es handelte sich um eine Collage von Bildern, die zu einem Bild zusammengefügt wurden, begleitet von dem Lied Afro Blue mit Eryka Badu. Garfield Harrison (insta: royal_george20), hatte der deutschen Version meiner Buchpremiere am 27. September 2017 beigewohnt und die Collagenpost erstellt. Dass er sich daran erinnerte und sich die Zeit nahm, sie mir zu diesem besonderen Jahrestag meiner Buchpremiere zu schicken, hat mich zutiefst berührt. Dass er sich die Zeit nahm und sagte: “Ich schätze dich”, war großartig. Danke, Gary, ich schätze dich auch.
Hier ist das Foto und ein Teil des Videos von diesem Abend. Für meine Freunde, die kein Deutsch sprechen, hoffe ich, dass das Foto und das Video Sie trotzdem zum Lächeln bringen. Wir brauchen so viele, wie wir heutzutage bekommen können – sogar unter unseren Masken. Manchmal müssen unsere Augen alles sagen.

Herzlichen Dank an die Moderatorin Liane Wirzberger und William Balser (Euromodel Agency) für das Interview und den Film. Ich hatte keine Ahnung, dass sie das tun würden – ein weiterer Grund, mich zum Lächeln zu bringen. Es war ein denkwürdiger Abend.

So, werdet Ihr heute etwas tun, um jemanden zum Lächeln zu bringen? Es stimmt, wenn man sagt, dass die besten Dinge im Leben umsonst sind.


Wake Up Everybody! Stop Fussin Start C.U.S.S.I.N

I hope we never get to the point in life where we accept the intolerable.  I’m talking about that tipping point when you’ve had enough and you are forced to stand your ground and say THIS IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE MY NEW NORMAL!

Music is timeless and as I awoke this morning, my Menopausebarbee mind took me back to 1975.  The song by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes with Teddy Pendergrass, WAKE UP EVERYBODY was playing in my head.  Please take a moment and read the lyrics at the end of this post and put a little soul in your ears and take a listen.

I had that moment of revelation to WAKE UP yesterday, on a raining, blustery, Sunday afternoon as I with my mother in the passenger seat went up to Safeway on Capital Hill.  We were shopping for household staples and hoped to navigate our “new normal,” keeping Covid-free  as we  donned masks, and sanitized our carts, and social distanced.   As we pulled onto 15th and John street, to the same Safeway store we have shopped at for years, across the street from Group Health Hospital where my siblings and I were born, I was once again infuriated.  (See pics) Perhaps it was the visual from my mother paying witness to the foul, putrid odor and scenery seeing that she is not out as frequently as I am that it hit me.  As I surveyed the park where hospital employees used to eat lunch, and children used to run and frolic and  now it was displaced by overrun trash, human feces, tents turned to permanent housing, and empty alcohol bottles and yes hypodermic needles, I said to myself ENOUGH.  WAKE UP EVERYBODY! THIS IS NOT O.K.

I literally fumed as I thought the acronym, STOP FUSSIN and START CUSSIN- CLEAN UP SEATTLE START IT NOW!

I have empathy.  We need help, housing, and health for the ill.  As winter sets in, it sickens me even more to see the last, lonely, and lost pitch up a tent, trailer, or towel and call it home. The filth is unbearable and intolerable.  DO YOU HEAR ME CITY COUNCIL?  This is SEATTLE. WAKE UP EVERYBODY!

We’ve lost so much Seattle.  The Elephant Car Wash to Restaurants, Hotels, and so many livelihoods.

Today, I’m asking for a Task Force.  Let’s pull our resources, ideas, contacts, and skills together and bring back the city we all love.  It is the Emerald City, but this ain’t Oz.

Email, inbox, call, text, and post here- any ideas are welcome!

Start C.U.S.S.I.N. and WAKE UP Today!

Wake Up Everybody

Wake up everybody no more sleepin in bed
No more backward thinkin time for thinkin ahead
The world has changed so very much
From what it used to be so
there is so much hatred war an’ poverty
Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way
Maybe then they’ll listen to whatcha have to say
Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and the world is in their hands
when you teach the children teach em the very best you can

The world won’t get no better if we just let it be
The world won’t get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me

Wake up all the doctors make the ol’ people well
They’re the ones who suffer an’ who catch all the hell
But they don’t have so very long before the Judgement Day
So won’tcha make them happy before they pass away
Wake up all the builders time to build a new land
I know we can do it if we all lend a hand
The only thing we have to do is put it in our mind
Surely things will work out they do it every time

The world won’t get no better if we just let it be
The world won’t get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me

Take the Happiness Plunge!

This is an old, yet timeless article from Psychology Today by

Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.

Emotional Fitness

 The messages here are needed now more than ever.  Even though this was published in 2012, long before Covid-19 altered our lives, the steps are all still possible to achieve in finding your joy.

We all want to feel happy, and each of us has different ways of getting there. Here are 10 steps you can take to increase your joie de vivre and bring more happiness into your life:

  1. Be with others who make you smile. Studies show that we are happiest when we are around those who are also happy. Stick with those who are joyful and let rub off on you.  
  2. Hold on to your values. What you find true, what you know is fair, and what you believe in are all values. Over time, the more you honor them, the better you will feel about yourself and those you love.
  3. Accept the good. Look at your life and take stock of what’s working, and don’t push away something just because it isn’t perfect. When good things happen, even the very little ones, let them in. MY
  4. Imagine the best. Don’t be afraid to look at what you really want and see yourself getting it. Many people avoid this process because they don’t want to be disappointed if things don’t work out. The truth is that imagining getting what you want is a big part of achieving it.
  5. Do things you love. Maybe you can’t skydive every day or take vacations every season, but as long as you get to do the things you love every once in a while, you will find greater happiness.
  6. Find purpose. Those who believe they are contributing to the well-being of humanity tend to feel better about their lives. Most people want to be part of something greater than they are, simply because it’s fulfilling.
  7. Listen to your heart. You are the only one who knows what fills you up. Your family and friends may think you’d be great at something that really doesn’t float your boat. It can be complicated following your bliss. Just be smart, and keep your day job for the time being.
  8. Push yourself, not others. It’s easy to feel that someone else is responsible for your fulfillment, but the reality is that it is really your charge. Once you realize that, you have the power to get where you want to go. Stop blaming others or the world, and you’ll find your answers much sooner.
  9. Be open to change. Even if it doesn’t feel good, change is the one thing you can count on. Change will happen, so make contingency plans and emotionally shore yourself up for the experience.
  10. Bask in the simple pleasures. Those who love you, treasured memories, silly jokes, warm days, and starry nights—these are the ties that bind and the gifts that keep on giving.

It’s Friday- take the Happiness Plunge and find your joy. Life’s pleasures are as vast as the Ocean.  Refuse to be bogged down with negativity, naysayers, and narcissist who are holding you back.  It may be cold when you jump in, but trust me once you swim around, you will be glad you did.

Prepared. Poised. Presidential.

Because she is a groundbreaker; the first woman of color to stand on a major party’s ticket, Kamala Harris is simply resplendent in the Menopausebarbee Spotlight.
Prepared. Poised. Presidential.

Assisted Livers and the Pandemic an Interview with Eric Mendelsohn

Admittedly 2020 has taken a toll on every profession and Senior Housing is certainly not an exception.  Today, I’m sharing an article on my fiancé, Eric Mendelsohn as he weighs in on how National Health Investors is weathering the Pandemic and why he believes in the product.

As a bonus, he answers the question, “What’s something people in the industry would be surprised to find out about you?”



The SHB Interview: Eric Mendelsohn, CEO, National Health Investors