... 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

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’…

In Case You’re Wondering–Awaken Our Consciousness–Maya Angelou

In case you’re wondering who that woman in the Google search engine was yesterday, it was Ms. Maya Angelou, the American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist who was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928. That Google Doodle was honoring her on what have been her 90th birthday. Today, I’m sharing my sister and co-blogger Dana’s thoughts and impressions when she had the rare opportunity to meet this amazing woman.

Awaken our Consciousness- Maya Angelou Spotlight

Today in the Menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight, we reflect and remember the amazing American author and poet, Maya Angelou. 

This past week, I have enjoyed reading postings of her moving quotes, poems, essays and books. I was fortunate to meet Ms. Angelou on her last trip to Seattle when she spoke at the Paramount Theater.  Dr. Maxime Mimms took my mother and I backstage after the engagement and I was humbled to be in the presence of this remarkable woman. 

Dr. Mimms made this reflection on her passing, “Losing
a friend as dear as Dr. Maya Angelou is not easy. She added
significantly to the culture and humanity of the United States and we have all been the beneficiaries of her love. She as left us volumes of her writing and voice. We should not be confused as we go forward. I will miss her but know I will see her in those elevated by here walking this short distance with us.
May God hold here dearly and allow her the
rest she deserves. She did her work among his creations.” 

The experience of meeting Maya Angelou  made a lasting imprint on my life, so when my friend, Fredda Goldfarb acquired a quote from her on a Peace Tag, I had to have one~ as I’m sure you will want one too- go the link below.

(Peace is more than,
and other than
the absence of war.
Peace is the
permanent presence
of good will.–MAYA ANGELOU
In memory and gratitude for Maya Angelou and her wise words which will continue to awaken our conscious!


For those Menopausebarbees, like me, think for a moment of what you were doing at age 39?
I was a working, married mom with two young children. Our family was enjoying the typical milestones embraced in everyday life. Soccer games, ballet, piano, vacations intertwined with long working hours towards achieving the American Dream of financial freedom and good health.

We were an interracial couple with bi-racial children and an extended family which was a melting pot of every color, faith and creed. We were living the DREAM.

I was awaken from the DREAM this past February as I visited Memphis and stood outside the Lorraine Hotel, where 50 years ago today, 39 year old Martin L. King Jr. was shot and killed.

As I stood in silence and reflected at this memorial site where Dr. King who at 39 was a hard working husband, and father who marched, so we could make our DREAM a reality, I was overcome with emotion.

I was left to ask myself his quote below. I was reminded that as we all DREAM for a better lives for ourselves, we must be WOKE to the needs of our fellow man.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are your dong for others?’ Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

So march on, speak up, DREAM and know your work is not in vain.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

Here’s to You Sir Elton John!

He celebrated his 71 birthday three days ago and with over 300 million albums sold, is one of the best selling music artists in the world.

When I was in high school, I remember driving down the street with a car full of high school girlfriends, all of us singing at the top of our lungs, the lyrics to any number of his songs. And then of course, standing in front of the mirror in my bedroom, hairbrush as microphone and singing some of his greatest hits until I was hoarse. So when I had the opportunity meet Sir Elton John, it was truly, truly an amazing moment for me.

Enjoying a Grey Goose martini on the grounds of his palatial home near Windsor Palace, (there is even a corner plot with a cemetery), I along with several hundred others anxiously awaited his arrival with his husband, David.

And suddenly there they were. I think everyone was actually in shock because no one approached them–they simply stared at them in a sort of hushed awe.

Me too. I stood there. Looking. Staring. Then I thought: what would Daddy do? So I did what I thought Daddy would do and I walked over to him, extended my hand, introduced myself and said, “How you doin’?” And we fell into conversation and it was just grand! Feeling EVERYONE’S eyes on us and seeing how they were all pulling out their cell phones for pictures, I knew when to hold them and fold them and so I graciously excused myself. Perfect timing. He was stormed by everyone! He stayed for pictures for a lucky few and then he and David made their way into the massive domed pavilion where this evening would begin.

Here are some highlights of one of the Elton John Aids Foundation White Tie and Tiara Balls I had the opportunity to attend.

This spectacular evening marked the 20th anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation which is a global organization fighting HIV and AIDS. Among the 10 largest AIDS grant-making organizations in the world, the EJAF supports thousands of men, women and children with life-saving medication, as well as providing information, nutrition, education, shelter and support.

This is HUGE.

The theme of the event this particular evening: love.
To quote Elton and David, “. . .If we have enough love and compassion to find the funding to make sure that no one gets left behind for HIV treatment or prevention, we can truly make the future HIV free in our lifetime.”
“. . .love and compassion. . .”

Imagine that.

The reception, held next door to Windsor Castle, began at 6:30 P.M. on the 37 acre palatial estate known as ‘home’ to Sir Elton John and David Furnish. I was punctual. There is nothing fashionable about being fashionably late at this tremendous house party!

Once outside of the hustle and bustle of London I found myself in the quaint village of old Windsor. As I was driven past the Oxford Blue pub I waved to all the patrons outside who had gathered out front to wave to the cars passing by heading towards this event. The Elvis impersonator was a real stand out.

At the time of my arrival, the mist that had threatened did indeed morph into rain showers. Our hosts were prepared for this and as I exited my hired car, I was met by men with oversized umbrellas who escorted me to the reception area where I was shown the coat check and given my table number.

With the first of my drinks in one hand and umbrellas in the other, I, along with several others made an attempt at strolling about the elegant grounds. There are several gardens and an 18th Century Orangerie to see, but we couldn’t really get any further than the Roman Terrace before the rains persuaded us to go back inside. Sheltered from the elements under a white mammoth canvassed dome, the well heeled, the royal and the celebrated from all over the world gathered to show their support for the foundation’s causes and to help raise funds for life changing programs for the people suffering from or at risk of HIV/AIDS. They saw and were seen as they enjoyed the champagne reception featuring Grey Goose designer cocktails and delicate canapés.

The lavish dinner began shortly after 8. The menu:

‘Summer Garden’
a salad, consisting of Burrata, Barigoule Artichokes, Asparagus, Datterini Tomatoes, Rainbow Radish, Viola Flowers and Toasted Sunflower Seeds with just enough of a drizzle of Cabernet Sauvignon Dressing.

The main course:Milk Fed Lamb Noisette,
accompanied by Kimichi William Pear, Carrot Confit, Smoked Potato and Summer Pea Puree, Olive Oil and White Wine Jus.
Desert:‘The Lovin’ Spoonful’certainlydidn’t disappoint.It was deliciously presented as a Passion Fruit Bombe, with Lime Sugared Raspberries, Valrhona Caraïbe, Mango Sorbet, Honeycomb and Popping Candy.

Coffee, Tea and Petite Fours were served at the coffee station.

Before the night was over, I saw that sliders (miniature burgers) were being served. I only remember thinking, “Tracie, don’t you dare! Enough is enough-even here!”

After dinner the auction was held. Charlie Rose, the charming auctioneer of the evening, raised over 3 million British Pounds (over 4.5 million U.S. dollars)! Auctioned items included The Chopard Red Carpet Cannes Experience, a private styling session with Victoria Beckham, a luxurious Audi RS 6 Avant roadster and several other exclusive Superbrand lots.
The night culminated with Coldplay performing and Sir Elton John joining in on a couple songs himself. A highlight of the musical performances was when Elton and David announced Glee star Matthew Morrison’s engagement to his girlfriend, Renee Puente whereupon Elton and Coldplay singer Chris Martin serenaded the couple withYour Song. When all was said and done, streamers fell from the ceiling and like I said, there were those dang sliders and probably breakfast, which was served the last time I attended.

But alas it was 2 in the morning and my driver was outside waiting to drive me back into London town. The rains had finally stopped, but that was the last thing on my mind.
I was actually filled with awe for this man who could at this stage of the game just sit back on his laurels, but who instead has chosen the road of tenacity and dedication in heading thefoundation that bears his name. I tried to imagine the number of lives he is personally responsible for saving.
“. . .love and compassion. . .”

Imagine that.

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

Einen Herzschlag entfernt Amazon link: