... 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


Summer Reading… What’s on My Nightstand

During these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, there really is nothing much better than getting lost in a great read.  I’m an avid reader.  And, seeing that I’m in a long distance relationship, I spend a lot time in the air, and find when I’m engrossed in a book, my travel time literally flies by.

My preference is biographies. I find myself drawn to stories of survival and how truly against all odds, everyday people emerge victorious.  I’ve blogged in the past, that one of my all time favorite reads is, “THE GLASS CASTLE which, tells the story of Jeannette Walls’ unconventional upbringing at the hands of her deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant parents, and her journey towards acceptance.”

This summer, I have journeyed with J.D. Vance through the extreme poverty of the Appalachian mountains.  This was an area I visited thirty years ago and saw the hard working miners suffering from black lung, and the kids raised with rotten teeth, known as “Mountain Dew” mouth.  Hillbilly Elegy, is a must read for an insight to the their “Appalachian values which include traits like loyalty, love of country, and tendency towards violence and verbal abuse. Vance recounts his grandparents’ alcoholism and abuse, and his unstable mother’s history of drug addictions and failed relationships.”‘

We all recall the story of Magic Johnson and the day he announced he was HIV Positive. I still remember standing in shock in front of the Breaking News on all the television channels. However, after reading his wife’s  memoir,  I was left dumbstruck at her ability to forgive and deal with the unfathomable terror  the day Magic broke the news to her.  After two broken promises to the alter, she was finally two months pregnant and a newlywed, facing potentially all of their demise.  Believing in Magic – Cookie Johnson.

Life does indeed throw curve balls.  All in her world was better than good. It could be you –  young, healthy, pregnant, newly married  and your future is so bright you can hardly wait for the next day, because it only gets better until… Such tragedy over triumph is revealed in my sister’s Kirkus acclaimed review of Incompatible with Nature.  Tracie takes the reader to a whole new world, language, and culture where she gives birth to my nephew, born as his doctor proclaimed, Incompatible with Nature.  There are moments chock full of hilarity as she revisits our upbringing, where Daddy put the FUN in DysFUNction.  But alas, perhaps that is where she inherited the tools to fight and prove the naysayers wrong.  You will never accept a dire diagnosis after this read.  Incompatible with Nature Tracie Mayer.

Sheryl Sandberg Option B.  Resilience in the face of adversity. Facebook COO,  Sheryl Sandberg
after the sudden death of her husband,  felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.   When my children’s father passed suddenly and un-expectantly this past March, the landscape of our lives changed.  Although we were divorced, we always maintained our children as our top priority.  We still talked daily, and shared holidays and birthdays.   I never imagined what my life would look like as their sole parent.  Sheryl’s book about grief, loss, and finding joy, has resonated on so many levels.

I’d love to hear what you are reading- I’m almost done and need an Option B!


Something for Your Toolbox



Palm trees, good food, good people. Barcelona is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, and it is here where I fell in love with the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí. It is said that he was either a madman or a genius. I had the good fortune of having the time to visit two of his works: LaPedrera and the Sagrada Familia.

Barcelona is also one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centers, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities.

La Pedrera, also known as Casa Milà, it’s named after its owners, is a modernist building in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the last civil work designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, and was built from 1906 to 1912. Controversial because of its undulating stone facade, the building is actually a constant curve with twisting wrought iron balconies and windows. Crushed champagne bottles cover a roof top chimney. At one point, Gaudí encountered a point of friction with Mrs. Milà, one of the owners of the residence when she complained that “there was no straight wall to place your Steinway piano,” to which Gaudí bluntly replied,”So play the violin.” Love that!

Another Gaudí monument, his dream and still under construction is the breathtaking Sagrada Familia. This Catholic church is the symbol of Barcelona. What I found to be so extremely outstanding and interesting were the contrasting stones and colors differing between the front and back of the building facades. The front depicts the Nativity of Christ and there is life and colorful flowers and animals and numerous biblical stories are intricately told in stone. The rear side of the building in stark block form tells the story of Christ’s crucifixion. Towering stones look like bones, the faces on the sparse statues are sad, lost in wonder and contemplation.

The colorful glass panes of brilliant reds, yellows and oranges and greens allow sunlight to penetrate inside the church the morning, while the sunset tints the darker hued glass windows near the crucifixion.

The church is huge in its dimensions, so it is often called the “cathedral” although it is without a bishop’s headquarters.

This is truly an amazing structure – in fact, all of the Gaudís structures are mind-blowing and I encourage anyone taking a trip to wonderful Barcelona not to miss any of them.




Women are from Venus… Men are from Mars- Bruno!

Yes, I’m usually up for an adventure.  So when my girlfriend, Lisa Schafer called and invited my daughter and me to join Kristy Meyers Peterson and her school bus (literally) for a ride to the Tacoma Dome to see Bruno Mars, we hoped on board!

As we danced and sang along to the Grammy Award Winning Record of the year, mega talent, I must admit, I was mesmerized.  Listening to the lyrics of all his popular  hits on this 24K Magic Tour, this 31 year old knows how to talk to a girl’s heart.  Crooning songs such as, That’s what I like, Just the Way You Are, Locked out of Heaven, and When I was Your Man, left me thinking Bruno Mars may be from Venus too!

Although the yellow bus brought us home way past my bedtime- 1 AM, I must say thank you Kristy and Lisa, it was indeed worth the Uptown Funk!





The First Day

And this was the first day of 7th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery…for me.

I didn’t know what to expect as a I signed in to be a delegate at the 7th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery this year in Barcelona. I only imagined that those in the best of the “Who’s Who,” experts in their fields of cardiology and surgery would be in attendance.

And, oh my goodness, was I not disappointed! There were delegates from all over the world, I believe at last count 3000 delegates from over 110 countries.

The aim of this amazing WCPCCS is to bring together all professionals involved in the care of children’s heart disease and congenital heart disease of all ages, from the fetus to the aged. The goal is to improve the lives of cardiac patients throughout the world.

The first session I sat in on began at 8 A.M. at the pre-conference fetal cardiology meeting in room 4. At 8:45 the general question was presented: How do you answer the question, “Doctor, what would you do if it were your child?” This question was very important to me as I had presented it to a doctor my book, Incompatible with Nature-a Mother’s Story. I took the microphone and asked this question again, to which there was no answer to my question, however, there was a question presented to me: What year was my son born? The answer was 1984. There was an audible sigh  to be heard across the entire room when one one of the panelists answered me that the techniques to discover congenital heart defects in utero began that year….And after a moment,  there was a roaring thunder of applause when I said that my story has a happy end with my son being 32!!! years old today.

And this was just the first day of the amazing Congress to come.

Incompatible with Nature-a Mothers’s Story available worldwide on


Something for Your Toolbox

Slip them on….


Puppy Love!

My bestie, Patti Savoy got a new baby!

patti and dana

Yes, little Frenchie, this is your tribe… Thanks for humoring us!


Welcome to the fam, Snacks!  Just like a scrumptious snack, you always have us coming back for more!

Now go get your bark on and wake your mama up- I already tried to call her for our morning coffee talk!


Auntie D

Something for Your Toolbox

Incompatible with Nature-a Mother’s Story and the World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery offer you Something for Your Toolbox @


BB’s Teryiaki! Run… Don’t Walk Excellent Cuisine is Waiting!

I felt such a sense of pride as I entered the new eatery on the University Ave. Behind the counter directing and orchestrating the ebb and flow of eager hungry lunch diners, stood the founder, a young man, who I’ve known since he was 5, Mike Sauvage.

Mike, a surrogate son of mine, has been best friends and a brother, with my son, Brett since they met in Kindergarten.  I marvel as I have watched these kids mature into adults and find their passions come alive. For Mike, it was the launch of  BB Teriyaki.

I’m not being biased when I say, the chicken was indeed succulent! The broccoli so fresh and crisp. The flavors blended to perfection with the savory spicy sauce coating my brown rice and yakisoba noodles… Oh, and the design layout was so inviting with extra open seating allowing patrons to enjoy the sunny afternoon.

As I write this, I’m sure I’ve got your mouth watering! Mine is!  It’s only 8 AM- so hang on, they open at 11!  Run don’t walk- it’s truly worth every bite!