... 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.

Lady D and the Luck of the Irish!

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.

             –Irish proverb

With yesterday being St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would re-post a blog I wrote during my last trip to  Dublin. Come along.

Lady D. Ahh…you know her well. Intimately. She’s the one you turn to when you’ve exhausted all other avenues. When it comes down to the nitty gritty, you know that she’s the only one who can see you through your toughest times. She trains and encourages you mentally and physically. Her goal is to keep you in line and under control as you reach towards that higher plain. 

Abiding by the rules that we give her and that she enforces, though in itself is not punishment, it can sometimes be tough. But when you really consider it, I’m sure you would agree that it is just easier to succumb to her demands because the alternative is to be flooded with guilt. She’s got that umph! of what it takes to bring a certain symmetry to everything about us as she goes about helping us to put our lives in alphabetical order. 

She’s always there when we need her. She was on top of her game with me during my trip to Dublin. My challenges revolved around the following events:

 It all started during my harrowing trip I endured trying to get to the airport on time. Having exited the Autobahn at the wrong exit (thinking I could save time), then u-turning in the middle of a very aggressive bumper to bumper traffic of drivers– pissed off they had to drive on this particular day anyway because of the public transportation strike–and culminating with me finally reaching my destination via an Autobahn that I’d never driven before. It was not quite 9 in the morning and I was done! Several hours later I was in Ireland! On Bow Street for the tour of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery where all the guests were greeted with some kind of whiskey mixed drink. Now I don’t drink whiskey, but I was at the Distillery on Bow Street (!) and Jameson is by far the best selling Irish whiskey in the world for heaven’s sake! And of course, after the tour, my group was offered pre dinner whiskey drinks: Neat? How about a Jameson Julep? Jameson and ginger? Right here. A Jameson and cranberry not only looked good, but I know I’ve read somewhere that cranberries are good for you. And of course dinner would just not be complete without out a Real Irish Coffee served in a big bowled glass mug with a big ol’ dessert spoon of whipped cream floating on top now would it? Would it?!

And of course all the Irish pubs no doubt took great pleasure in teasing me, beckoning me in as I passed their quaint window fronts here and there and of course there were the fine wines offered at the Castle of Dublin dinner and the FAWCO Foundation dinner. Oh, how I was tested . . . You see, I had decided to put the bottle down during the days of Lent. I wasn’t giving something up, I told myself, no! I was putting the alcohol glass down and in doing so, doing something good for myself. Well . . . I’d forgotten about all that good stuff I was doing for myself when well into Lent I decided at the drop of a hat to go on this trip. Fortunately, my girlfriend Robin Goldsby ( unbeknownst to me had had her own little round table with Lady D, so when we each found out we were in the same boat, it was just great because we commiserated, laughed, joked and wondered if we were insane together. On our day of departure, we went to the celebrated Shelbourne Hotel for lunch. Robin captured the colorful picture taken in the bar that I’ve posted on this blog today. Gorgeous isn’ it? What color! What beautiful glasses! What! What! What! 

Lady D is the one. She will force you to have your own Come to Jesus. At the end of the day, it is because of her that we can look in the mirror and smile at our reflection. She will show us what we are made of. Lady Discipline, this one’s for you. And for Robin and me? Leprechauns of course.

Something for Your Toolbox



What I love about life is that it’s full of surprises. You just never know when you’ll meet someone or do something that will trigger a memory that you thought you’d long forgotten. And no matter what comes our way, we’re blessed that we never know what’s coming. Cannot fry that egg to perfection and that’s a good thing because it allows our lives to be undetermined so that we’re free to live. 

Take this story for example. 

On the second leg of my trip from America back to Germany, a few days before Valentine’s Day, I had no idea that I would be meeting a real Valentine.

I had taken my seat next to the window. The airplane was pretty full. I looked up to see a very tall–basketball player tall–man walking towards me. His height was impressive, but it was his roman collar that started my trigger.

My mind immediately revisited the fourth-grade and thoughts of Father Reagan, the principal at Our Lady of Mt. Virgin grade school. I recalled how he would come into our fourth grade class and whack the kids on the hand who were not studying and or causing grief for Mrs. Tamayo our teacher which made me remember the time–because I was such a good kid–I got to personally take a letter to Father Reagan from her. Oh, I was so proud. Proud and stupid. I read the letter on the way up the stairs to his house not realizing that Mrs. Tamayo was looking at me through the classroom window. In the letter, she was asking for her late paycheck. 

Later that day, she kindly reprimanded me. If I should get the opportunity again–I was not to read her letters. Ten thousand years later I’m still mortified. This was fourth-grade and I distinctly remember this! 

Father Valentin and I fell easily into conversation. We toasted each other with a glass of wine. We talked about sex, God, the world, and our individual lives. He gifted me two pendants that will always remind me of our chance meeting; a meeting that took me back to a place and time where I learned a lesson, the value of which I still treasure. Have a trigger today, my friends.

Father Reagan, rest in peace. 


Power, Privilege, and Prostitution – Filthy Rich

A few  years ago, I read with pure astonishment the account of pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein in Filthy Rich.  This mornings New York Times shared that a judge ruled that federal prosecutors broke the law when they signed a non-prosecution agreement with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges and concealed it from victims.

77 year old billionaire, Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots is accused of soliciting prostitution at a spa in Florida.

New Jersey’s Roman Catholic dioceses on Wednesday released the names of 188 priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children over decades, the result of an internal review that was spurred by a law enforcement investigation announced last year.

R & B star R. Kelly has been indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

These men are rich in wealth and or power.

These men are filthy.

They must pay for their crimes…

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
Thomas Sowell


Sweet Home Chicago…Soured in the News


I had planned to share a post about Black History Month today.  But as I awoke to the face of Jussie Smollet’s arrest, my thoughts immediately drifted from Black History to Black Mystery.  WHY and HOW can someone be so incredibly greedy?  I completely concur with the Chicago Police Superintendent- “I’m offended and angry.”  I was that mother who for two and a half years worried about my son’s safety living in  Chicago with statistics such as this:  Chicago, IL crime analytics. With a crime rate of 44 per one thousand residents, Chicago has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 23.  To complicate matters further, my son, an African American male was often working in the racially divided suburbs where because of his bi-racial heritage, many did not know he was black.  There were occasions when he was subjected to bigoted comments, and slurs about black people.

I along with the city of Chicago and the nation pray as the Superintendent announced that the daily crimes which attack this beautiful city will get as much attention as this fake egregious act.

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.