... 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.

Sr. Mary Menopause- Time to Change Old Habits

And so it begins… I was born and raised a Catholic girl. I did 12 years of Parochial School, from Mt. Virgin, St. Terese, and Bishop Blanchet. I crowned the Blessed Virgin- twice, served along with my bestie, Trina as an alter girl, so, yes, Lent is truly in my DNA. Lent for me equals Fasting, forgiving, and following the faithful. Many of my extended family, thanks to my maternal grandmother were raised in the Roman Catholic faith as well. So, each year, we ask each other, what we are giving up. I have shared in the past, my hilarious uncle calls me every Lent and says, “So, Dana, you take good care of yourself, and I’ll talk to you in 40 days.” He always catches me off guard, and I ask – “40 days? Why Unc?” and he replies, I’ve given up ugly people for Lent. Yes, he is funny. But as I got to thinking of it- how wonderful it would be if we all allowed ourselves to fast from people. Take 40 days and just not respond to all phone calls, or every message, post, and ping. If you blocked 40 days of time sucking activities and used it to stop procrastinating time, that results in 57,600 minutes you get back. I am challenging myself to limit my cell phone use to get back time. This is challenging as my cell phone has become an extension of my being. I generally reply swiftly and truly my life has become addicted to this accessory. I miss those old school days of not always being readily available. I have set my family to a special dial tone, (Brett and Taryn can always reach me) as they get a pass, however, I will drive with my phone on mute. I will turn it off in the evenings. I will leave it in another room, while I work or work out, read or visit with intention. So please understand, if you can’t reach me, honor my fasting and just call me Sister Mary Menopause. It’s time to change old habits! Now off to get my ashes!

A Tuesday Truth

Money Is…Follow up Fundus Minimus

I truly enjoyed your responses to last week’s post Fundus Minimus, where a first date had me in an uncomfortable circumstance of doing “The Macarena” pat down dance when the pricey check was presented. I have played this scenario over in my head numerous times these past five years. Should I have offered to wait an enjoy another glass of the Rombauer wine he had eagerly ordered, while he took an Uber back to his place to get his missing wallet? (My mother would have opted for this). Should I have sacrificed him to management for kitchen clean up to work off the meal? (My father would have done this). Should I have called him on his B.S. pre-meditated dine and dash plans and made a scene leaving him stranded (so MANY of my girlfriends would have done this.) None of those options resonated as authentic to me. As a Menopausebarbee, a song my Uncle Quincy produced in the 1970’s played in my head. Money Is… Favorite lines, “I got a Ph.D in how to make ends meet, I graduated from the college in the street. Inflation in the nation don’t bother me, I’m a scholar when it comes to almighty dollar.” So, I pulled out my Visa, knowing that in life, I never loose, I only learn, paid the bill and later sent this card.

Go ahead and laugh it’s Monday and if we can’t laugh at ourselves, then who can we laugh at? Oh and if you haven’t heard Money Is… I promise, you will enjoy this funky beat…..

FundUS Minimus…What Would You Do?

Ahh February, the month of L-O-V-E.
I have to say, year after year, I thoroughly enjoy watching the maneuvering of the unfaithful on Cupid’s Day February 14.
I was talking with one of my single girlfriends who thought she had found a potential Mr. Right until he told her he thought he picked up the Corona Virus on a recent trip and had to be quarantined, thus couldn’t take her out to dinner last Friday. Yep, that Friday as in the 14th Miraculously
by Saturday evening, the 15th, his symptoms had resolved and he was ready for a make-up full meal deal. Nothing says I’m not single like being unavailable on Valentine’s Day. Talking to her over drinks as she “Bumbled” around on “Hinge”, “Match” and other dating sites, I shared
a story of my own dating mishaps and I call this one Love em’ or Leave em’. I still believe chivalry is not dead. Before you go all “Libber” on me, just hear me out. As a mother of a 26 year old man, I always ask him- are you the type of man you would want your daughter to date? If not, then change to be that man. Being that man means Get with the Program. Get your finance in order for your romance. There is something about a a man wine-ing and dining not leaving you whining and dying over his unfortunate condition my fiancé coined FundUS Minimus.

So, my story… I was recently divorced and after 23 years of marriage, completely unaware or ill prepared for the New Dating Rules. Those who know me will tell you, I am generous to a fault. There is not a cheap bone in my body and I truly feel cheapness is one of the worst
of human traits. I find pleasure in giving. My motto is, you can’t receive with a clinched fist. But my mother didn’t suffer fools, so she has taught me to be wary of those who prey. So, single, fresh out the gate, when I accepted an invitation to dinner, I suspected our first date would be his treat. I had
gone on a prior date with a man who was so cheap, when the bill came, he suggested we split it.
I looked at him and sarcastically said,
“You didn’t get the memo… I’m African American NOT Dutch!” Call me an old school girl, girl, but damn, this Menopausebarbee had really been out of the game. So I assumed
this was just a rare bad luck experience. Next date, which I accepted was a set up by a mutual friend. We met at The Met, Seattle’s premiere steak house and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. At the time I was eating meat, so I consumed my filet Oscar with extra crab on top. Everything was al a carte. The starter salad, brussel sprouts, I believe even the bread came with a fee (lol).
He ordered a few bottles of Rombauer, one of my favorite red wines on the more pricey side. I reasoned my luck had turned until the bill arrived and suddenly Mr. Fabulous started patting down his pockets. I looked at him and said, “Why are you doing the Macarena?”
As the bill sat idle on the table, I recognized that he wasn’t busting a dance move, when he exclaimed his credit card was left at home. He was worse than Dutchman! So, I’m asking all of you- what would you do in that circumstance. Stay tuned…

Conversations with our Loved Ones..Happy Birthday Mama M!

Yesterday, my friend Andrea Chatard shared a post on Facebook that her parents are her Rock and Reason. It was a beautifully expressed transparent share that we as Menopausebarbees all know, our parents are aging and the importance of having dialogue. I immediately replied on her page that the best gift, and I mean it literally as it was a gift that my father gave me was one Sunday, during his illness, we crawled on his couch and he said ASK me ANYTHING. We spent the day and rehashed our lives. The good, the bad, the pretty and ugly. Nearly 25 years later, after my father’s passing, that gift still resides in my fiber every day. I share it with my sister and co-blogger, Tracie as she shares her reflections and we ask during trying times… What would daddy do?

Fortunately Andrea’s parents are not ill, but as Menopausebarbees, we all know time is a precious commodity, so I encouraged Andrea to start the conversation.

This post resonates with me as today we celebrate a very special woman in my life. I call her Mama M, Caroline Mendelsohn. Mama M is my fiancé Eric’s mom. When we met four years ago, she understood that I wanted to KNOW ALL. I wanted to know who this woman was that raised my future spouse. There are certain disciplines Eric inherited from Caroline. They are both amazing in the kitchen. Caroline, I still savor those crab cakes from our last visit. They share a passion and love for animals like no other. No she is not just a cat lady. I thought a Chipmunk was in the rodent family, but seriously, they embrace all breathing beings. Daily in the deep woods of Pipersville, Pennsylvania, Caroline greets and feeds deer. I’m a city girl and I was ready to run for shelter as we calmly sat in her driveway as the herd arrived and she allayed my anxiety.

Caroline instilled a hard work ethic in Eric. I witness it as she drives her tractor over the massive rural estate she calls home. Over the years, she has worn many hats as a business woman and entrepreneur baking cakes, designer boutique proprietor, wife, partner and mom.

I still marvel at this former California girl who has morphed into a Pioneer Woman. With her easy laugh, sense of timeless style, beauty and sensibility, I am grateful you were born today and truly grateful for our heart to hearts.
Happy Birthday Mama M! Cheers to you and our Conversations xoxo

Powerfully Profoundly Purple

You all know that I am PASSIONATE about spreading awareness about heart disease, particularly congenital heart disease which has profoundly, profoundly affected me.

You need to know that congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common types of birth defects, and are the most common cause of infant death due to birth defects. Nearly 1 in 100 babies are born with a heart defect in the United States each year. The statistics for my son’s particular CHD is 1 in 100,000. 

Yes, you read that correctly. 1 in 100,000. 

I wore purple for congenital heart disease on February 13, for CHD Week Awareness. Now, I didn’t google this but I reasoned that this makes sense as this hue combines the primary colors red and blue representing the heart and veins (which appear to be blue because they carry blood that does not contain much oxygen in it. 

Fair enough, right?

For some reason, I began to wonder what else this beautiful color stood for. I knew that it also represents bravery and courage–think Purple Heart–which is awarded to those heroes wounded while serving. I didn’t know that it also symbolises peace and honor and the dedication to ending violence. 

And guess what else? 

It also represents the survivors of domestic violence. That’s right. Domestic Violence Awareness. A study in Volume 9 of the Journal of the American Heart Association and published this month in Newsweek magazine, has the following headline: Women Who Survive Domestic Abuse Have Higher Likelihood Of Developing Heart Disease and Diabetes. Specifically, Cardiometabolic Disease which is cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. And the sad thing is, these statistics hold true for those who get away with their lives. You can read yourself the statistics on the number of deaths due to this barbarism. Drey Carey, the host of the popular daytime show, The Price is Right, is grieving the loss of his ex-fiance as I write this, over her death this weekend due to domestic violence.

1 in four women and one in nine men experience some form of intimate partner violence or stalking, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Please don’t be a statistic. Spread awareness. If you’re in a situation that can lead you to getting cardiac disease and diabetes or losing your life because of another human being, kick off your shoes and find a Plan B. 

Domestic abuse against women is a global public health problem and a violation of human rights. If you’re going to wear purple then wear it proudly and not around your eye or arm or …

My book is meant to give you hope and inspire you to keep to the grind, to make you believe that yes! you got this and if you can’t move the mountain, then take refuge in the fact that the Lord will help you get around it. 

And here’s another beautiful thing and every day I’m learning it more and more:

My book enables me to spread awareness on different issues. I never imagined it would allow me to share some light on domestic violence awareness. But then again, why not? It’s all about having heart. 

Bravery. Courage. Survival. 

Spread the word. 

#aintnogivinupandnogivinout !! ©

The Heart of an Education – Paying it Forward

February is Heart month and today’s sharing warms my heart. When my children’s father, Steve Looney passed untimely after undergoing a successful neck surgery due in part to his dedication from his astounding athleticism, we sought a way to honor his legacy. Steve was a die hard Seattle University Alumni, former educator at Washington Middle School, All Star Athlete, Businessman, Devoted Father and Friend to All.

Last week, our son, Brett Frank Looney met the first recipient of the Steve Looney Scholarship he has worked tirelessly to endow. Oliva Crawford, you make us proud and we are honored you are a part of this legacy.

RECIPIENT BIOGRAPHY MY THANKS TO YOU I am extremely grateful to be recognized for my personal attributes. This scholarship signifies more than just a numerical figure, it highlights who I am as a person and it’s priceless. I understand that Mr. Looney was multi-talented and a wonderful businessman. I aspire to have some of his attributes in my life as I move forward to my graduation in the Spring of 2020.

The Looney Family give a heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the Steve Looney Scholarship! Photo of Oliva and Brett with former SU Athletic Director and Steve Looney close friend, Bill Hogan.

Stephanie, Brett and Taryn – your legacy xo

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The meaning of the name “Valentine” is: “Health or Love”. As many of our readers know, our dynamic photography duo Jerry and Lois Photography lost Lois in January to cancer. As Jerry has struggled to go from 43 years of we to me, the Menopausebarbees were beyond honored to be his first session, paying tribute to Health and Love. As Jerry continues to share lessons from his painful journey with Lois and their health crisis and management, he also shares what true love means.

( )

These photos are a true gift of love. Today is a tough holiday for many. So find time to love yourself and send love to one another. After all, LOVE is the greatest gift of all…

In health, love and laughter and with much heart!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Your Menopausebarbees


Thank you to Jimmy Star and X10Magazine for this feature for #heartmonth.

What would #heartmonth be without some #indie #hiphop #entertainment and a #motherslove ?


Take a close look at this picture…

Notice how Stacy and Deborah are holding hands, Tracie is grasping my arm, Sheila’s hand rests on my knee, Shal hugs Fredda, while Fredda’s hand rests on Shal’s knee, and Stacy and Patti embrace. This is our natural state in the comfort and warmth of gratitude and friendship. Tomorrow, we celebrate the gift of LOVE. And as you dine with your significant other, don’t forget your Galentines. These girls are a part of my tribe (some- you know who you are a not in photo). Through all of life’s trials and tribulations, when I look at my girls, Misty Copeland’s quote comes to mind. “Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.”