... 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.

Friday Funny!

It’s Friday Funny Time-

Each week, The Menopausebarbees will share a post that makes us laugh.

“I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.” Imelda Marcos

  I must admit I have a few of these in my closet, and the bunions to prove it- Dana Frank




Happy Friday Y’all Laughter is the best Medicine!

Story Hour with Shark Tank’s Daymond John

A week ago, Shark Tank’s Daymond John posted on social media, “If I called you on the phone, what would we talk about?”  Last Tuesday, I along with my son, Brett flew to NYC to meet Daymond in person and today, I have the opportunity to answer that question.

We discussed the need to continue to amplify success stories and change the trajectory of lives for those marginalized and people of color.  We discussed the journey that brought me to the table, as a second-generation entrepreneur at the helm of a thriving family business that started over seventy years ago.  This is a huge feat as statistics show that only thirty percent of family businesses survive to the second generation and a mere twelve percent make it to the third.  The baton is now in my children’s hands and as a part of my legacy, I want to share this important history to inspire others.

I shared how my father made an improbable decision as an eighteen-year-old black kid from Detroit who had relocated to Seattle and purchased his first investment property with no capital or financial backing. I shared with my son by my side, how our lives would look a lot different had my father settled for options available to him at the time and took a job at Chrysler or Ford and worked the double shift, with two fifteen-minute cigarette breaks and a paycheck at the end of two weeks which would be barely enough to cover a decent meal.

I started the conversation with Daymond expressing the greatest compliment I could offer him was that he reminded me of my father. Although my father has been gone for over twenty-five years, his grit and grind which Daymond professes, and lives are a part of my DNA.  My father, like Daymond were both black men, born without means, or college degrees, but brains, ambition, drive, vision and passion to change the narrative of their lives and generations to follow.  The generations are not only their family lineage, but for all who can look at their success and say, I may not be an athlete, musician or actor, but I can create generational and global wealth to all willing to act and understand that through hard work, knowledge and surrounding yourself with the right people, perseverance pays.

Daymond, like my father, like me are Fire Starters who ignite the flame for the future, and it starts in childhood.  Next Tuesday, March 21, Daymond’s book will hit the shelves – Little Daymond Learns to Earn.  I’ve already pre-ordered copies for all my aspiring entrepreneurs.  I hope you will join me in spreading this message and ordering this timely book.  You can donate books to your local organizations supporting and mentoring at risk youth.  I will be sending copies to Treehouse for Foster kids.  I so wish Daymond’s book would have been available when I had nightly story hour with my children.  Our collection included lessons from The Bernstein Bears (a family of Bears), Arthur (an Aardvark) and Junie B. Jones (a precocious adorable blonde six-year-old).  I have such fond memories of those characters; however, our children need real stories of real people who look like us and lessons that we don’t teach in school.  Bravo to Daymond for the inspiration and outreach.  Pre-order your copies today.  As I learned early in life, knowledge is broken down into two words- those who Know have the Edge.

This framed photo hangs over my home office desk.  It was an art project my son, Brett created at age six in the 1st grade, and it reads, “Working is very important because if we didn’t do work, we would have no money.”  Instill the work ethic in your children early, and you will change the trajectory of their future.

Thank you, Daymond John!






Bottoms Up!

This morning, I was emailing a fellow former gymnast and dear friend, Celeste Ramberg and she joked about how when we first met years ago, we did the splits in the lobby of The Symphony.  (There were a few cocktails involved).

As a recovering gymnast- I still marvel at how we contorted our bodies, walked on our hands, flipped in the air, balanced on beams, and chalked our chaffed hands after blisters covered our hands from hours on the uneven bars.

It’s been a lot of years and now when I say Bottoms Up, I’m toasting, unlike this photo of young me.  But last week, I again said bottoms up at my colonoscopy when the anesthesiologist injected me with my happy juice.

I’m grateful to report that all is well, but I’m here to remind you to take time out for one of my most important appointments and get a colonoscopy.

Our demographic reading this blog and everyone at age 50 should get screened. Patients at risk and those with family members who have had colon cancer may need earlier screening.

PLEASE, don’t be embarrassed.  Know your risk and know the facts.  Colonoscopies save lives! Remember MSNBC legal analyst Jay Monahan, husband of Today show anchor Katie Couric, lost a six-month battle to cancer. He was 42.

So, please, don’t ignore symptoms and if you are age appropriate just get your booty checked!  The prep is the worst- but trust me, it’s one day in your life that could save your life!

Bottom line… Bottoms up!  I’ll drink to that!


Making Black History Month Black Herstory Legacy

Today we wrap up February and there was much to celebrate, including Groundhog Day, Valentines, Ash Wednesday, President’s Day and all month Black History! In honor of the incredible contributions from African Americans, there is still much to do the bridge the economic gap and today, I want to share some disturbing truths:

Family businesses survive on average 40 percent to the second generation a mere 13% get to the third and just 3% are passed down to a fourth generation and beyond.  The average life span of a business is 24 years.

While white business accounts for 67%, Black business only represents 6.3%

74% of White household own homes compared to 45% of black homes while lenders deny mortgage for Blacks at a rate of 80% higher than whites.

Perserverance pays.  In 1950, as an eighteen-year-old young black man from Detroit, my father made an improbable decision and purchased his first investment property.  This decision changed the trajectory of our lives.  Although it has been hard fought, we have beaten the above staggering odds.

Because I have witnessed the disparity and my work is dedicated to leveling the playing field, I founded National Black Family in Business Day.  I pray that today and every day, not only the month of February that we will all do our part to support, amplify, and ensure the success of black owned businesses.

To shed light on these hard working enterprises in our region such as my friends Pierre Crockrell and his wife, Jacqueline Yang founders of SuperHawks bringing basketball back to the PNW, Derek Anderson Final Touch Auto Detail, The Postman, Marissa Spooner Le Duff Domicile Gallery and Design, Kristi Chef Brown and owner of Communion Restaurant, LaShaun Daye Hair Salon, Dr. Michelle Terry,  real estate investor Jaebadiah Gardner,  businessman Jim Buchanan, Athletic coach and speaker Donald Watts, Board game inventor Warren Armstead, Donna Moodie Marjorie, Vivian Phillips Arte Noir, Lawrence Pitre Arts, Kimberly Ann Phillips artist, author and former police chief, Carmen Best, Sonia Wooten-Gill Faye Woo’s Boutique, Carmen Gayton Windermere, talented artists Phyllis Talley, Lauren Sharma, Bernadette Bascom and  SO MANY MORE please visit and support these and other outstanding minority owned businesses.

Today, I request that we all put our words to action and buy a ticket- right now to support my friend, Jesdarnel “Squirt” Henton a lifelong Seattleite re-opening her mother’s namesake restaurant Helen’s Diner which opened in 1970.  Many of you here in Seattle recall the enjoyment of my dearest friends, Leslie and Laurie’s Kingfish Cafe. On April 8, we will celebrate the launch of what will soon be another delicious hub in Central Seattle with food to fill your stomach and soul.  I am so proud of the work of my son, commercial leasing agent Brett Frank Looney, his partner and mentor, Tracy Cornell and developer Patrick Foley for making this dream a reality at Midtown Square on 23rd and East Union.

What are you waiting for!  Get your tickets now and we will see you on April 8!!

Gratefully Yours,

(2) Ms. Helens Soul Bistro presents “Harlem Nights” | Facebook


My son, Brett and I with Ms. Helen’s Diner Team


Bubbles and Pearls and… Your Heart


know that caviar–those delicious luxurious pearls are good for your heart? 

Yes, this delicacy, uniquely flavorful and yes, sensual food promotes good heart health. The reason is that it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce heart disease risk factors. 

Research suggests that Omega-3s reduce heart rate and tightness of blood vessels to lower blood pressure; improve blood cholesterol levels because  Omega-3s may lower blood triglyceride levels and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels; and prevent platelets in your blood from clumping together and forming clots, a risk factor for stroke. These fatty acids also help to protect brain cells. Also rich in potassium, caviar is a rich source of potassium which is effective in reducing blood pressure, so if you are suffering from hypertension, you might want to include some caviar in your meals.

Caviar is also high in vitamin B12 which helps remedy fatigue, also helps develop protein, red blood cells, and nerve cells. These fish eggs are high in Vitamin C, E, and A which help boost our immunity. And finally, caviar is a great source of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. 

Caviar is also good for your skin and may improve your brain and mental health and though studies haven’t definitively proved it, caviar may also improve male fertility. (Fellas are you reading?)

It is common to pair caviar with vodka which can increase blood flow and circulation in your body which can prevent clots, strokes, and other heart diseases. Vodka can also help lower your cholesterol. Champagne, another pairing choice, is just as healthy for your heart as a glass of red wine is. This is because it’s made from red, as well as white, grapes, and therefore contains most resveratrol, an important antioxidant that prevents damage to your blood vessels, reduces bad cholesterol, and prevents blood clots.

I loved this food before I even knew all that. (My favorite, by the way, is the Beluga).

I learned how to ‘properly’ eat and truly savor this delicacy on a trip to Montreux Switzerland with menopausebarbee uncle, Quincy Jones. We were high in the sky at Le Picotin, the magnificent chalet of Montreux Jazz founder Claude Nobs. 

Oftentimes, a Mother-of-Pearl spoon is the ideal choice for your caviar tasting because the pearl neither holds nor transfers flavor so your caviar will hold exactly as much flavor as intended. But my choice is to eat the caviar unadorned–no sour creme, blini, hard-boiled chopped egg, none of that–simply drop a bit on the back of my hand between my index finger and thumb, this way the body temperature brings the caviar to the right temperature, and you get the purest taste of the delicacy. And it is divine. Here in this short clip, I am enjoying this delicacy to the fullest. You can hear Uncle Q in the background saying, “Get it, Honey!” 

Just remember, too much of a good thing is not always a good thing because these foods and drinks can contribute to elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels. As with everything, moderation is key and balance encourages appreciation.

Here’s to your heart health and a peaceful weekend everybody!

A True Artist Inspires Others…

When your friend who is an artist asks for you to join her for a paint party, if you are anything like me visions of stick people immediately come to mind.  “Let’s have a Galentine’s Day paint party,” Catherine suggested gleefully.  This is the same Catherine Mayer who sculpted the popsicle, one of my personal favorite pieces shown here. I have collected several pieces of Catherine’s art and for those of you who don’t know, you can see for yourselves, she has exceptional talent.  “Let’s get together a few friends, we will paint, have snacks, drink wine, and listen to music. It will be great!” Catherine had said.  I was intimidated to say the least.  I honestly would have failed art class, except the grades were strictly pass or fail.  I showed up, so I passed.

To my surprise, Catherine was right when she said, there are no mistakes.  Just freestyle and watch as the art comes alive.  So a few girlfriends, including my sister and our 90 year old mother all got in on the action.  Catherine had us stand in front of a blank white canvas and she put a spotlight on us as she traced each of our frames.  With paint in hand, we all became Picasso and I must say, it was therapeutic, artistic, creative, and most of all fun.  Art really does allow you to express yourself.  As we stood back and look at what we had created, I was proud of our Masterpiece.

As Salvador Dali, “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”  Catherine is a true artist.



You can read more about Catherine and her foundation from my sister’s blog,







From Louisiana with Love


Hear My Plea


week, the 7-14 of February, was national CHD Week and the entire month of February is recognized as Heart Month in America. I am clearly passionate about this subject, as it has affected me so personally. Excellent medical care is paramount so that we all can live vital and healthy lives. I will be sharing this month some tips on what you can do to protect your vital organ. Please take heed and share with your loved ones and friends. 

Today, I am sharing a letter to those who have the privilege of caring for us and our babies. If you find that you are not receiving the courtesy, understanding, or patience from your caretaker that you deserve–read any parts of this message to him or her. Be emboldened, be direct, and be shameless. It could save your or your loved ones’ life.

Dear Doctor, 

remember that words matter. Don’t expect us to know what you’re talking about just because you do. Especially in white-knuckle medical situations, we patients tend to think that you doctors are the closest thing on earth that we have to God. So be as considerate as you can. Look for the soothing syrup (words of encouragement) and offer it up–even a drop will help. You can’t imagine how this affects the psyche. Your bedside manner could encourage someone to continue the fight and this could make a tremendous difference–it could in fact be life-saving. 

Communication between you and your patient is vital. I cannot stress this enough. Personally, as an American having moved to Germany only months before my son’s birth, I really had to pull up my mental munitions to deal with not only the language barrier but also a different mentality as well as the whole ‘medicalness’ of my son being born with only half of his heart. Listening to your patients is the starting point of great care. Be kind. It doesn’t cost anything and it will always be remembered.

Encourage and support your patients on their journey toward health, the bottom line is that we all have the same goal and that is to save, preserve, protect, and enjoy life.

Give your patients the essential element of the doctor–patient relationship: the knowledge that they can fully depend on and trust you. Be on the same team and remember that power doesn’t always things through–if you don’t have the answer, be human enough to allow someone else to step in who will have the solution. 

Be conscientious, competent, and compassionate in everything you do. Don’t ever underestimate the impact you can make in the fascinating world of science and medicine, whether it is on the level of the individual patient and their families or on a large public health scale.

And finally, carry this standard from the Hippocratic oath always with you: 

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

Support us. Help us. Believe in a world without heartbreak. Anything is possible so please strive to be remarkable because remarkable… is where miracles happen!

Love Is…

I love laughing at my own jokes, even if I’m the only one laughing

I love that laughter sometimes is the best medicine

I love smiling at a stranger and watching as it boomerangs back

I love knowing  if  I am going through a tough time, that better days are coming

I love my treasured connections with my own blood and those who are family even though we don’t share the same DNA

I love and practice all of the love languages- not only with my husbands but with all those I love.  They are Acts of Service, Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time and Touch

I love giving unsolicited compliments and seeing the joy it gives the deserving recipient

I love learning and being curious

I love reading

I love watching movies and documentaries

I love doing things that challenge me physically, mentally, and emotionally

I love music and know it feeds my soul and lifts my spirits

I love teaching and inspiring others

I love that I don’t believe in crying over spilled milk- (I hate dairy) a spilled glass of wine is worth some tears

I love showing compassion be it with my time, talent or resources to help those less fortunate

I love tennis

I love art

I love sports

I love working hard and playing hard

I love God

I love life

I love my many titles- daughter, mother, sister, wife,  niece,  Godmom,  aunt,   friend, cousin,  mother in law, daughter in law, sister in law,

I love and I believe in the power of love

Happy Valentine’s Day






congenital heart disease is a condition that weighs heavily on my heart. If you or your loved ones have never had to deal with this, you can be über thankful–and I mean it. 

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the number 1 birth defect in the world. Every 15 minutes, a baby is born with CHD. If a critical CHD is not detected soon after birth, an infant can die. Thanks to improvements in diagnostic imaging and care, FORTUNATELY, many congenital heart defects can be detected before a baby is born. 

At a cardiology conference, I attended in Barcelona, I learned that certain specialized frontier diagnostic equipment emerged shortly after my son’s birth in 1984, thankfully saving–I can’t imagine how many parents– the profound shock I endured when my son’s rare heart defect was discovered at ten days old. If he were born today, I am certain that I would have a team of cardiologists who would give him hope rather than, as I was told at the time, to let him die and gingerly walk past me in the corridors of the pediatric cardiology ward thinking I was insane and hard-headed for not heeding their advice as I used all my mental, spiritual, physical and financial resources to save his life. 

Because of advancements made through research, death rates from CHDs in the U.S. alone have declined by 37.5% since 1999. Despite the progress made in understanding and treating CHDs, more work is needed to determine the causes and best treatment options but unfortunately, CHD research is grossly underfunded relative to the prevalence of the disease. This is a global health problem–if we help each other collectively in our own communities, we can assist each other around the world. 

Please donate. Anything you can. Surely you’ve got an extra $5.00. I’m serious–anything will help and be more than appreciated. Here are a couple of suggestions: 

All you have to do is CLICK!

Thank you from my heart.

BROSFRESH in the menopausebarbee Spotlight!


are truly doubly delightful. My baby sister and co-blogger Dana and I had great fun meeting THEBROSFRESH at the Musicares Awards event last Friday. The following evening after dinner, who would have guessed that we would run into each other at the Beverly Hills Hotel with our sister from another mister Patti Savoy and dear friend AJ? 

In case you aren’t familiar with them, allow me to introduce you to Torrence and Thurman Thomas of the BROSFRESH band. These musicians hail from Geismar Louisiana, a tiny community of about 8000 folks in Ascension, a town snuggled between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. These brothers exude that southern charm with their identical mega-watt smiles and gracious demeanor. Guitarists and singers, their music is a mix of R&B soul, southern hip-hop, and rock, honoring the musical history they grew up with as they give us a new musical perspective–their perspective. And it is on point! They write and produce their own music and wear the heck out of their signature statement cowboy hats. They revealed in a Grammy Awards red carpet interview with Rolling Stone Magazine reporter Jon Weigell that 2023 will be busy! What with new music coming out this spring, 5 music festivals, and amazing new brand partnerships happening, it will be busy indeed and we menopausebarbees couldn’t be happier for them!

And one more awesome thing: the BROS FRESH are the founders of Tankproof, a nonprofit that offers free swim lessons to kids across the country every summer. Ergo, they are not only talented and good-spirited musicians, they are talented and good-spirited musicians with heart. (And btw, speaking of heart, please be aware that CHD –congenital heart disease–week begins today running through the 14th–spread awareness and love the babies!)

Say the brothers: “Our superpower is that there are two of us and we move singularly,” muses Thurman. “We’re also natural collaborators, because we were forced to work with someone else from day one,” adds Torrence. “So, our ethos is that we’re better together…”

And to that, I say, twice as nice!

Check out BROSFRESH on Insta, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify…everywhere!