... 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.

Family is like Insurance- Got You Covered

Today’s thoughts…

A Good Family is like Insurance-

You’re covered.  Your premium payment is respect.

So be kind or don’t put in  claim.

Daily I come across individuals who have fallen on hard times.  This morning I received a text from an applicant for an apartment who was declined.  When we met a few weeks ago, she shared that there was an eviction on her credit from a past relationship gone bad.  She is now gainfully employed at two local restaurants and trying to put her life on track.  She has been sober for 3 years and needed a YES.  After her credit was ran, it was verified indeed it was and currently is deplorable.  I asked if she had anyone willing to co-sign and she said she did not.

I was left with the dilemma of taking a chance when her own family would not.  She did not have a single friend, co-worker or family member willing to come to her aid.  Knowingly when I encounter these circumstances, there is usually a bad ending.  Possession is 9/10 the law.  So once I let her in, I run the risk and expense of non payment and an expensive legal eviction process.  But my human compassionate side says everyone deserves a chance.  What would you do?

Daily, I see young graduate students in extreme debt from college loans.  As my daughter embarks on her upcoming college years, I continually remind her it is a privilege.

So today, my thoughts are for those of you fortunate to have family or extended friends who have your back, show them appreciation.  It’s a blessing not an obligation- just because they are related – can you relate?

‘Dad, I don’t qualify for financial aid, but the dean offered to find you a second job!’


Love Songs… Today on Valentines

Happy Heart Day!

On one of our first dates, my Valentine who now happens to be my fiancé picked up his guitar and played Train’s song, Hey Soul Sister. Eric is an accomplished musician and of all the songs he could pick, I listened carefully to the lyrics of his chosen song…

‘Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains
I knew I wouldn’t forget you, and so I let you go and blow my mind
Your sweet moonbeam, the smell of you in every single dream, I dream
I knew when we collided, you’re the one I have decided who’s one of my kind
Hey soul sister, ain’t that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain’t fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, I don’t want to miss a single thing you do, tonight’

Today we are talking Love Songs.  Songs that make your heart, break your heart, and fill your aching heart.  We are talking songs that make the person who drives up adjacent to you at a red light wonder what sounds so good that it has your eyes shut and your head tilted back with your mouth open wailing?  Those songs that you crank up on  Alexa and bellow aloud in the shower.  The songs that make you dance as if no one is watching.

So, what is your favorite Love Song when you are feeling madly in love, or heart broken?

One of my parent’s favorite songs was Bill Wither’s Just the Two of Us.

I often think of their journey and listening to this on repeat on our home record player as they worked together creating a business.

‘Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us

Here are some of this Menopausebarbee’s favorites.

You Put a Move on My Heart… Tamia & Quincy Jones

Favorite Break up song? I Don’t Have the Heart- James Ingram

Whitney Houston or Luther- ANYTHING THEY SANG

Best Singles Love Song? I’m Not the Only One… Sam Smith

Favorite Self Love Song

Just Fine

So today as we celebrate LOVE -whether you love each other, you love him, he loves her, she loves her- just make sure you love YOURSELF- and EVERYTHING will be Just Fine!

(Dancing to Mary J. the only way I know how- like no one is watching!)  Thanks to Lois and Jerry Levin for catching this moment!

On September 12, 2018, I had the very good fortune of e-meeting this woman. Her name is Christine Phan Cantorna. This was her initial message to me over social media:

“Hi Tracie!! 

I just read about your son Marc on the Save The Heart Beat instagram page. Just wanted to Thank the both of you for sharing your story because my son Riley has very similar CHD diagnoses as Marc. Riley diagnoses are Single Right ventricle, Pulmonary & Mitral atresia, Transposed aorta, Major aortopulmonary collaterals (MAPCA’s) and Heterotaxy in addition he was also born prematurely at 31 weeks. Thanks for shining light for us. God is good, all the time!!! 

I just started your book and it feels surreal!! Thanks to you and Marc from our family for giving our family hope. 😍   


This Heart Warrior Mama’s baby, Riley, went under the knife again in January at the tender age of two years at the Lucile Packard  Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto CA.

Christine said, “It has been such a struggle for our family. Hospital life, financially, my husband being a full-time stay-at-home dad for our son. But you and Marc have truly given us hope and we will never give up!!!

I am humbled and feel the need to do jump off of buildings for this Heart Warrior Mama if I can!


Over the past few weeks, I checked in almost daily on Riley’s progress: you know you’ve got to recognize the fine line between offering support and going on someone’s nerves when they are under extreme stress. This is the ultimate of extreme mental roller coasters. Nonetheless, it was my responsibility to send out prayers of hope and words of encouragement. At one moment, Marc, my son, and I reached out to her with messages of hope at the same time:

“Thanks Tracie!!! I just read Marc’s comment and he said the same thing happened to him. While I messaged him you messaged me!!! God plans for our path to crossed so that you and your heart warrior could give us guidance is more than I could ask for.”

A few days passed. Our Riley eventually suffered a stroke due to all the blood loss and passed away on February 9. The only good thing about this heart-breaking story is that precious Riley passed away in his sleep. That, and the fact that he gave his parents all the reasons in the world to burst with joy while he was in their midst.

Now, he will watch over them from Heaven–right where all angels belong.  

I am so very devastated. I so wanted this Heart Warrior Mama to get her Heart Warrior Baby back. I am angry at myself that I cannot change tis outcome. Angry and so very, very sad.

Christine, you are one of the best Mamas in the world. On your behalf, to help you and your family tuck Riley away one final time, I am asking everyone reading this post to make a contribution to the In Memory of Riley Go Fund Me Page on Facebook. Please everyone, donate what you can–even a dollar will help and will be so very much appreciated.

God bless this angel and his family…

Be Heart Smart! A Survivor’s Story

It’s February and as we cover Valentine’s Day,  and Black History Month, we can’t miss Heart Awareness Month!

Heart Disease has always been a concern for my family.  My grandfather, Houston Frank died of heart disease in his early sixties.  My father, Gerald Frank had a near fatal heart attack in his fifties and died of complications from Congestive Heart Failure at age 64.  As my sister, has chronicled in her award winning book, Incompatible with Nature, my nephew was born and has fortunately thrived with a rare heart condition, Heterotaxy Syndrome.

Now that we are Menopausbarbees, we are more conscientious of how young our paternal fathers were when they succumbed to heart disease. We work out, (Thank you, Bull for hosting Tracie while she was visiting) eat healthy diets, and utilize all the available preventative measures to keep the heart healthy.

Last weekend, I was reminded of how necessary it is to be aware of this often silent killer.  I joined my fiancé at The Rutherford County Heart Ball in Murfreesboro, TN where our friend, Jimmy Jobe was the honoree.  Take a moment and read Jimmy’s story.  The life stories like these save, could be your own.  This is a case where knowledge and action are power.  Be heart smart!

Jimmy Jobe describes Feb. 28, 2017 as being a day that started out as nothing short of ordinary — a busy day during tax season. The longtime Murfreesboro accountant woke up and performed his normal morning routine prior to attending a conference in Nashville, where he ate a little too much before heading home for an uneventful afternoon that included working out and preparing taxes.

Jimmy said shortly after working out he didn’t feel well, but chalked it up to a likely head cold.

“It wasn’t anything too serious,” he said. “I felt a little congested in my chest, like it was a little hard to get a breath, but I didn’t feel any pain or anything like that.”  Read more…


Something for Your Toolbox

We can never stop learning… Peaceful weekend everyone.

Single Awareness Day- Play Cupid!

Valentine’s Day aka Singles Awareness Day is one week away! I was dismayed by a post my son recently shared with me, entitled Seattle is America’s worst city to find love.

I’m not buying it and neither should you singles! According to the 2018 census bureau, Seattle metro area’s population stands at 3.87 million, and ranks as the 15th-largest in the United States.  It’s a numbers game people!  Get out, expand your territory.  Approach and be approachable.  Be your sisters and your brother’s keepers and refer a friend!

After watching the complete Dirty John series, which exposed the horror brought to a family by a man met online, I am even more adamant about being set up.  I was sharing with a single friend, when someone applies for an apartment- I check their background, rental history, credit, criminal, job, and personal references.  I peek inside their vehicle to check for cleanliness.  This same due diligence should be done on dating sites!  There are too many Dirty Johns and Dirty Janes utilizing these dating sites.

I was introduced to my fiancé by a mutual friend, Christian.  He knew us well and knew the synergy in our work, and interests would be in alignment. My fiancé loves to cook- I love to eat!  lol

All laughter aside, it’s not easy finding a mate.

After being married for 23 years, I admit it was the most frightening, vulnerable experience navigating the single life.  As a Menopausebarbee, we are shaped in our ways, have had our offspring, careers established and so finding a partner is a challenge.  I am beyond grateful to my friend who  continued to play cupid.

So this Valentine’s Day- be a real sweetheart and introduce a friend to a friend.  Susan and Mike K, Karen and Tom J., Brent and Karen  are just few that I played Cupid for.  It’s the best!  Go play- The game of love!


Heart to Heart

It’s February and National Heart Month in America. And I’ve got some news for you–no matter where in the world you live.

Did you know that health data compiled and published in the 2018 World Health Organization report reveals that heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers… and have been for the last 15 years? 

And here’s another staggering statistic especially close to my heart: one in 100 babies is born with a congenital heart disease (CHD)–that would be 40,000 heart warriors a year in the U.S. alone. 

Various studies further suggest that congenital heart disease prevalence worldwide is 9 per 1000 live births (in Europe 8 in 1000 live births); this is roughly 1.35 million babies who are born with some form of CHD each year. My son’s particular CHD is so rare and complex that its incidence of occurrence is estimated to be 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. About 75% of babies born with a critical CHD are expected to survive to one year of age. About 69% of babies born with critical CHDs are expected to survive to 18 years of age. My son is now thirty-four. We have been blessed and I am holding all our heart warriors up in prayer. Please do the same.

Heart disease is a global burden my friends and the struggle is real. Each time a young mother reaches out to me seeking comfort and thanking me for sharing my story because it gives her hope, humbles me and inspires me to do all I can to spread the word on fighting this killer.

Though some CHDs are genetic, and others are the result of taking certain medications or getting a viral infection (like German measles) in the first trimester of pregnancy, for most cases, as with my son, there is no identifiable cause. Thankfully, the medical community has made huge advances in surgical procedures and medications that are prolonging the lives of these babies.

And here’s anther thing:since 2004, February also has been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign and the message that heart disease is not only a man’s problem. Ladies, did you know that we are roughly 10 times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer? This is a prolific killer and what we don’t know can definitely harm us. And the fact of the matter is, that although income, education, family history, ethnicity and age play extremely important roles, we can control some of our biggest risk factors that feed this monster like diet, smoking, inactivity, stress, anxiety and yes, even depression.

Get a little insight and check your heart age at some websites like

In the meantime everybody, please, make a difference in your community: spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to live heart healthy lives. We’ve only got one. Let’s use this month to really raise awareness about it and how we can prevent it. This horrific killer is nondiscriminatory and can affect us all.

So I’m urging you to have a Heart–to–Heart with yourself–and spread the word. Thank you from my heart!

Wear it in PEACE…

“I want Felicia’s life.  She’s always going somewhere.” When I posted this on my social media, so many friends chimed in – you are Felicia, you are always on the go.  Truth be told, my uncle Quincy over the years has shared these words of wisdom and I have adopted them, ‘You Gotta Go to Know!’

Last week, I tagged along with my fiancé to the Stifel Senior Housing & Healthcare Conference and made a mini-vacation with my sister and best friends to L.A.  We attended the Elton John Farewell Tour, where we found ourselves in pure music ecstasy, singing along to every tune.

A highlight as always was a visit to our uncle Quincy who treated us all to his Peace bracelets.  It was a sentimental visit as the immeasurably talented artist, James Ingram had passed away that very day. Do yourself a favor and stream some of James Ingram’s songs.  The sultry voice on hits such as I Don’t Have the Heart, Baby Come to Me, How Do you Keep the Music Playing, Yah Mo Be There, Just Once, and Find 100 Ways are melodies embedded in my youth and history. What a treasure – the power of love and song.


As we reflected on the current state of our world and all the pain and misery, the peace bracelet is the perfect symbol for those who believe we are more similar than different.  As the website shares, what a truly beautiful way to express your commitment to peace and compassion. Created by the Quincy Jones Foundation, this extraordinary bracelet(made for men and women) featuring the symbols of Buddhism, Christianity, Hindu, Islam and Judaism is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for yourself.


Get yours today…

And wear it in PEACE


Something for Your Toolbox

It’s Monday morning! Time to “get up and get on it!” Here’s to a good week everybody!


Something for Your Toolbox

Peaceful weekend everyone and remember: