... 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.

No Ifs, Ands, or BUTTS…

Last night I was catching up with girlfriends and of course we covered a plethora of topics ranging from Politics to Potlucks.  One revolving theme is a weighty subject.  I’m fortunate as my mother is bluntly honest and when I get dressed, if my attire makes me look like Kim Kardashian towing a load – she tells me.   She has warned me mercilessly over the years, so much so, that I dressed up as Kim one Halloween.

with my son, Brett.

As a youngster, my nickname was Dana Buns.  Literally my weight by-passed every section of my body and landed in the rear.  I can’t express how grateful I was the day Spanx were invented. My one treasured item from my grandma was her girdle.  They truly don’t make em’ like they used to!  I wore that thing till it was frayed and elastic cut into my folds.  For years, I would sit on our family’s rock slate floor and pound in a walking motion forward and back trying to melt away the derriere.  To this day, I drink fat attacking tonics such as Apple Cider Vinegar daily.  I walk and pound the pavement,  the struggle is real.  I never understood the trend of adding implants and padding to the backside.


All this talk about weight reminded me of a post, my co-blogger and sister Tracie shared a few years back.  Question: “What did the 50 year old woman say as she stood staring at her naked self in the mirror?
Answer: “This is what he deserves.”

Bottom line.. No ifs, ands, or Butts… I’ll keep working on it!

The H Word

When I sat down to write this blog, I considered giving voice to my concern of the major world event that took place in Helsinki yesterday–and then I changed my mind. 

Today I am going to blog about. . .something pleasing, pleasurable and pretty amazing. Something happy.

The scene: a couple days ago. Five-thirty A.M.

Birds are singing and a sapphire blue sky holds the promise of what will be another gloriously sunny day in this city called Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

I’ve  just stepped outside into the predawn air from the jam packed–six hundred people packed–Montreux Jazz Club where menopausebarbee uncle Quincy Jones celebrated his 85th birthday party. Great big huge, gigantic, sorbet birthday cake with fireworks popping off of it and all! I mingled for a while with several other guests who were all still jaw-dropped at the amazing performances of musicians who blew us away with their improvisational performances–performances that had no sound check, I might add. This is the Montreux jazz festival. 

You can read who was in the show at –Quincy Jones’ 85th Birthday Celebration. Mos Def isn’t listed on the program, but he performed!! “Space is the place!”

6 A.M. 

Check out for me is noon. I decided the best thing would be for me to call it a wonderful night/experience/event/love fest and get my butt back to the hotel. I go back inside and see Uncle Q STILL surrounded by I don’t even know how many people. I look at him in amazement. I don’t know how he does all the handshaking and hugging and “Of course I remember running into you on the corner of 34th and 5th (or wherever) in 1962!”


Anyway, I worm my inside the throng, hug him and tell him I’m heading back to Cologne in a few hours and it’s time for me to say goodnight or good morning. “What?!!,” he says.  We kiss and hug tightly.

I’m smiling as I head back to my hotel. How could I not? And then, I join in step with  Mr. Richard Bona. This grammy winning jazz bassist performed in the show and the audience went wild  when he stepped on stage.This son of the Cameroons is just cool. Temperamentally, I mean. As soon as his fans spotted him, it was picture game on! He’d been working, it’s six in the morning and he is obliging. All of us. Youtube him and get your happy groove on. 

This is Montreux! 

We’re talking happy–not Helsinki.

F! My Favorite Letter!

My favorite letter is F

It’s the first letter of my life-long last name, Frank!

It’s the first letter of my favorite day of the week, Friday!

It’s my favorite word when my situational Tourette’s takes over!

It starts with Freedom, which is what we all are entitled to!

And the best things are Life are FREE-

So FINALLY, This picture says it all…

It’s the first letter of those closest to me FAMILY AND FRIENDS!


The Little Tramp

He sang his first song on stage at the age of 5. 

He and his half brother spent their lives growing up in England between charitable homes and work houses as their mother–separated from their father–suffered from bouts of insanity. After 18 years in an asylum in England, this icon of the silent film era relocated his mother to a home in California.  

On my recent trip to Montreux, Switzerland, I had no idea that I would be visiting the home of “The Little Tramp” Charlie Chaplin, in Vevey, Switzerland, a neighboring village about a ten minute train ride away. 

Though his life was filled with scandal and controversy, he nonetheless was/is considered one of the greatest filmmakers in the history–the history–of American cinema. One item in the house I found to be of most interest was a picture of Oona O’Neill Chaplin, the last wife of Chaplin and the mother of eight of his eleven children. It was a picture of her father, Nobel and Pulitzer-Prize-winning American playwright Eugene O’Neill. It was noted on the picture that O’Neill chose to never speak to his daughter again after marrying Chaplin because he didn’t approve of their 36 year age gap. 

Wow…Never is a very long time.

The tour dedicated to the life work of this genius was quite fascinating. Aside from roaming inside several rooms of the house, there is a movie theater where one catch about a fifteen minute highlight of his film career; and still footage and films and posters of Chaplin abound. There is even a movie studio with his original costumes and life sized statues. Youtube Switzerland: Chaplin’s World museum opens at his mansion on Lake Geneva and take a look.

Six of Chaplin’s films have been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress: The Immigrant (1917), The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940).

Chaplin died at age 88 of natural causes on December 25, 1977 at his home in Vevey, Switzerland. His funeral was a small and private Anglican ceremony according to his wishes. And if you can believe this–some lunatic (s) stole his corpse from its grave in 1978. They wanted the equivalent of $ 600,000. The grave robbers were caught and the corpse was found three months later and re-buried in a vault surrounded by cement.

One of the greatest filmmakers in the history of American cinema. 

And I love this quote about CC from Ed Stephan: “His films show, through the Little Tramp’s positive outlook on life in a world full of chaos, that the human spirit has and always will remain the same.”


Thank you Charlie Chaplin.

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Who Nose Best?

My sinus allergies had taken a toll.  Last year, I saw my primary physician too many times to count with the constant complaint about my clogged nasal passages.  I sounded like a symphony – honking, sniffing, blowing.  My fiancé teasingly called my his girlfriend, Mort.  It reminded me of a joke I used to tell as a youngster, don’t kiss your honey if your nose is runny, you may think it’s funny, but it’s snot!  lol

All jokes aside, my doctor and I lamented over treatment.  Measures included nasal sprays, Sudafed, Zyrtec, Clairton, and antibiotics.  All tried and true for temporary relief or perhaps a good night’s sleep only to return to my symphony honking, sniffing, blowing.

I was telling my dear resourceful friend, Merideth Tall about my struggles and she suggested I contact The Sinus Ninja.  Now, I’m open to alternative medicine – trust me, I’ve had acupuncture, biofeedback, and imbibed many holistic tinctures to treat various ailments over the years.  So I was open and optimistic as I crawled onto Dr. Frank Aversano aka Sinus Ninja’s chair.  With my face cradled forward in the chair, Dr. Frank proceeded to apply eucalyptus, rosemary and other natural substances to sticks.  He told me it would not hurt, but would feel uncomfortable.  That was an understatement as I tried to breath and meditate that the pain was part of the gain to healing.

Well, it’s been 48 hours and I am happy to report that I am Sudafed free!  Although I’m still slightly congested, my nasal symphony  no longer has a conductor. Simply put,  I slept through the night.

I will see the Ninja Doctor for three more weeks and if you are stuffed up, I suggest you get stuck up!


Victorious ends with US!

Conversations with my daughter….

For years, I’ve told my 17 year old daughter that my Menopause trumps her Puberty.

Yesterday, as I once again tried to explain to her the complexities of mother – daughter relationships, I found myself echoing my own mother’s words.  “One day, when you have your own child,  you will understand!”  I felt like I was in an episode of a classic mother -daughter movie battle such as Postcards from the Edge.  What I expect of her on a daily basis- clean  your room, do the dishes, take out the trash, do the laundry, clean out your closet to donate to Treehouse, I refrained these are all simple task any elementary child could handle.  She likens me to Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest.  I just pleaded that she be aware and not wait for me to tell her what to do.  Be a self starter… These are important Life Skills.

As we prepare for her senior and final year of high school, I find myself saying the Serenity Prayer and mostly that God grant me the COURAGE TO CHANGE the things I can.  I am stubborn, and I told her to just agree with me, so we could both be right!

As I went to sleep last night, I was reflecting on our conversation and how I reminded her as her coaches have over the years- we are a TEAM and there is no I in TEAM.  Of course, she retorted, but there is a M and a E.  When I awoke, I told her Victorious ends with US and we are gonna make it after all!

She’s smart, sassy, and stubborn… That’s my girl xoxox


Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from the menopausebarbees!

Liberty, love and justice for all…

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It Felt So, So Good

This picture is of Silvana and her daughter Letiziza. Letiziza was was just 15 days old as I got the opportunity meet her and her mother. 

Some days during my morning prayer, I ask God to put me in a situation where I can do something for someone else that day. Last Saturday was one of those  days, as I volunteered to serve coffee and sweets to the parents whose babies were admitted to the children’s cardiology station at the University Clinic of Cologne. 

Maria, who assisted me brought a sumptuous home-made cake and macaroons and cookies. I brought along two bags of miniature cupcakes. We set the dining room up with juices, coffee carafes, water, plates and stemware.

Many of the families were unfortunately in the intensive station with their children, so after a time, Maria decided to take come of our sweets to them and I had the good fortune of having the time of getting to know Silvana  and her baby Letiziza. Letiziza was was just 15 days old as I got the opportunity meet her and her mother. A gorgeous baby!

Silvana is half Brazilian and half Spanish. Her German is still quite not there yet but she’s working on it! She could speak enough to me to make me understand that during her fifth month of pregnancy, the doctors told her that she could opt for an abortion: Latizia they told her, had a difficult heart disease to treat–the left side of her heart had not nearly developed to the size of her right chamber and, unfortunately she would also be mongoloid. Well, Mongoloid is a term that used to be equated with idiocy and is actually insulting (in reference to the genetic defect causing mental retardation (mongolism), 1899, from Mongoloid. Mongoloid is an old slang–outdated–and today…is an offensive reference to a person who has Down syndrome. The short answer after that is that it came from the similarity of facial features between people of Mongolia (slanted eyes) and people who have Down syndrome. It is not a word to be used in reference to people who have Down syndrome–so called for facial appearance.

In any event, Silvana didn’t know what Mongolism is. Together, she and her husband who is German scoured the internet and could communicate with the doctors and decided that their daughter may have Down Syndrome, but that she is also a fighter! When I gently touched her finger, I silently asked God to let her grow to be a lovely young lady who would, after thanking God for all her blessings, ask Him what she could do for someone that day.

And it felt so, so good…


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Who Let the Cats In?

Last week while visiting Tenesee, I caught up with a dear friend. She is gorgeous, funny, hard working, a dedicated mom, smart, outgoing over 40, and SINGLE.
As we laughed about the losers and bruisers on the dating app Bumble, she lamented that the stats of a finding a good Southern man carried the odds of being struck by lightning. It was ironic, as we sat during a magnificent thunderstorm. Keep hope alive! She shared how she and another single girlfriend ended up at a packed bar. PACKED with females. I imagined the scene: The aroma of the over saturated perfume, hair spray to fight the humidity, fake tan oils to give a glow, without the sun damaging effects, short skirts, covering Victoria’s best kept secrets, legs perched in high pointed heels which of course hurt, but it’s more important to look good than to feel good. The bar tender greets my friend, “What’ll you have?” My friend answers, “A Man.” Bartender laughs, looks around and says, “You realize you are in Nashville.” So she settled on a vodka tonic.

I’ve decided to write this post today, as the struggle appears real in every city.  My single friends from Washington to New York echo the same challenges.

As a tennis player, I know how tough it is to find the right doubles partner. It’s the same in life. You start out as love all. Then it gets serious and you realize in addition to comraderie, you want someone to have your back as you score in all life’s milestones. Of course there will be faults, but in the end more aces to celebrate the grand slams.

I feel very fortunate that as a Menopausebarbee, I have found such a partner.  Although we are opposites on many levels, our puzzle pieces fit.  As I prepared this post, my fiancé and his friends lamented that if I chose to address the topic, I needed to expose that fact that many women need to ask WHAT DO I BRING TO THE TABLE?  So with that caveat, keep in mind, today, many males as well as females want a counterpart who has a solid resume.  I surveyed several guys some married,, some single and asked specifically what they looked for in a mate and here are some responses: Someone fun to be with, not a lot of drama, athletic, outgoing, can carry on a conversation, and gets along with friends.  They also added that they were choosing their words carefully and would want a  woman who is financially stable- not  rich, just at this juncture, one who has her economics in order.

I find myself resourceful, and pretty much shameless when it comes to meeting people of both sexes. I have connected more than a few couples who have gotten married. So, aside from letting your possee be your frontline soldier meeting strangers and making introductions, I’m asking readers to help with suggestions.

Where do you suggest over 40s go to meet their mate?  My daughter suggests airports.  My mom thinks Museums.  My fiancé said Taste of Washington Wine Auction.

I suggest hospital cafeterias- doctors got to eat!

Bumble, Match or other dating sites, Bars, The gym, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Church, sporting events, Wine Tastings, charities, Volunteering,.. or just let the cats in?

Something for Your Toolbox

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