... 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.

Set My People Free

After saying my prayers and before getting out of bed this morning, I checked to see what everybody had been doing for the last few hours on Instagram. I came across a story that my niece, graduating from high-school this year and Chapman University bound, posted. It was a picture of the 25 men who voted YES on the Alabama abortion bill. Under the picture she posted the following comment: “Not that great at math–but I’m sensing a pattern here.”

Staring at her post, I remembered why I went to bed irritated last night. 

I rolled the bed covers back and got up to get a coffee before I turned the morning news on. Maybe I’d just been dreaming about the vote in Alabama last night. And if I hadn’t maybe something had happened during the night so that my niece could remove her post. 

We walked into the kitchen at the same time. We embraced and I kissed her on the cheek. I could see that she was irritated/sad/and not quite right. 

“What’s up little girl?” I said.

“Oh Auntie,” she said, “I don’t have time now to talk about it now,” she said. (She was rushing off to school.) “But we’ll have to talk about it later. I just don’t understand how a man can be in charge of all of this,” she said sweeping her hand across the front of her body. 

“I don’t either little girl. But we’ll talk later. Have a good day and make it rock,” I said.

A good day. This is actually a very sad day for America. How can we possibly, possibly be going back in time? Fred Flintstone and every other prehistoric Stone Age man is dead! And the Flintstones were an animated comedy–this is real life and it is far, far from funny. 

Regardless of your religious or political persuasion, or whatever stance you hold on this issue, it is simply UNJUST/WRONG/AND UNACCEPTABLE for a woman not to have control over her OWN BODY/HER OWN LIFE/HER OWN DESTINY. 

In 1662, Virginia legally recognized slavery as a hereditary, lifelong condition. The station of slaves was one of inferiority that left them vulnerable to mistreatment by masters. This oppressive institution was law. Fact. 

So now, here we are 357 years later. Let me just draw a parallel. Bear with me. 

Let’s stay a poor little girl in Alabama is victim to an incestuous attack. She is forced to be shackled to the unwanted child/trespasser/invader disfiguring her child body; forced to be reminded of the crime against her daily. And let’s say that the child born of this incestuous attack is born with some kind of genetic mutation–there’s a host of them which you can google. And let’s take our scenario one step further and imagine that this poor little girl in Alabama has no or inadequate health care. She will forever be shackled to a life of struggle, one she didn’t choose; a life that is not a life. Who is going to deal with this poor little girl’s psychological injuries? How the hell will she be fully able to make someone understand–through her eyes–the absolute destructive nature of incest and rape and no freedom of choice? Who and what is going to make her life worth living? And just how am I supposed to explain this to my niece???

Lawmakers and the laws they make. Shame on you. Break the shackles. 

Set my people free. 


Something for Your Toolbox

Now is the time…

A Love Story in the Menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight

Shining today in the Menopausebarbee Monday Spotlight is a young woman by the name of  Antoinette Love. 

This  girl is brilliant and I couldn’t wait to share her story!

A native of New Orleans, Antoinette is the eldest of five children born to Yolanda and Anthony Love who were teenagers when she was born. Yolanda and Anthony have struggled over the years to make ends meet while raising their family. And here is where this Love story gets good: Antoinette, a high-school senior, has been accepted to 116 schools and has received scholarship offers totaling 3.7 million dollars!!

This young woman is an example of real excellence. Hard work and determination did this for her. She will no doubt leave her mark in this world and we Menopausebarbees salute her.

As a side note, her father wants to go back to school to get his GED so that he can try to keep up with his daughter.

As another side note, I heard on the news this morning that Felicity Huffman is expected to plead guilty in court today for her role in the college admissions scam.

Hard work. Tenacity. Diligence. Sacrifice. Bribes. Scams. Scandal. Fake academic scores. 

You get what you pay for.

It’s Monday! Make it rock everybody!

M is for Mother’s Day

Mom Upside down spells WOW!

Today the Menopausebarbees salute all Mothers.

Through the laughter, the tears and all the ups and down years…

Mother’s hold their children’s hands for a while, but their hearts forever.

M is for Model Mom… Today’s Birthday Girl!

M is for Model Mom

It’s a rare occasion that we are at a loss for words and we find that is the case for us Menopausebarbees as we sit to write and express all that today’s birthday girl encompasses.

M is for the MODEL our mother has been not only as she owned the runway, but how she has modeled her life.

This courageous beauty who was hailed early as a beauty queen garnished many crowns.  In her mid 40’s she launched a modeling career when most her peers were battling middle age.

She has raised my siblings and I with a fervent faith and the daily reminder to let go and Let God.

When we look at the photos of her past 87 years, we are astounded as the years, styles, people and places may have changed, but she remains the same. She is a living testament to God is Good… All the time!

M is for Making Us Proud

Last Sunday, Cinco de Mayo, at the beautiful Ratliffe home, we came to celebrate our daughters, The Pink Bandanas. We ate a Mexican feast and drank margaritas in honor of the day, but the salt on the rim of our cocktails was as bitter sweet as this farewell celebration.

There are no words to describe the appreciation of the dedication of the leadership that Lisa Crisera instilled in our daughters. We watched over the past ten years as they stood in the rain at UW football games, in the heat of the U Village, or outside a Seahawk tailgate hawking pony tail holders to raise funds and awareness for Pediatric Brain cancer. Those long, chilled or hot arduous hours paid off in memory of their friend, Sara and they have raised over $150,000!

So as Lisa called out each of our seniors who we have watched morph to the most beautiful swans, she gave pony tail holders with their chosen College school colors. These beauties are spreading their wings, Stanford, Boston, Georgetown, Chapman and beyond. They will continue to make us proud, and always be the Pink Bandanas, but they have taught us one most important lesson… M is for Making a Difference.

M is for Multi-tasking Mama

It’s May, one of my favorite month’s of the year. It is the season we celebrate Spring, Mothers Day and the Menopausebarbees very own mother as well as my daughter were born this month.

So, today as I am re-posting M is for Multi-tasking Mama. As we prepare to celebrate this phenomenal woman aka Tutu next week, we can attest, she hasn’t slowed down.

M is for: A Multi-tasking Mama!

Looking at this photo, many will see chaos.  But for me, it was a typical day in the Frank Family household.  As we are celebrating M is for May, Moms and Multi-tasking, I still marvel at how Mama handled it all.

As I reflect on all that is happening in this photo, I am a 3 year old tot, demanding my mother’s attention, my middle sister is decked out and ready for her First Communion, Tracie has arrived safely from a school day at Our Lady of Mt. Virgin, and Daddy had cars lining the driveway to negotiate whatever business was paramount at the moment.

In addition to all the activity, I am certain, a home cooked dinner was prepared,  school uniforms were neatly starched, lunches packed, and we made it to First Communion on time!

Something for Your Toolbox

Paradise & Poverty

Twenty five long years had passed since I vacationed in Honolulu.

However, it took twenty five short seconds for the familiar, laid back, hang-loose warmness to settle in.

Feeling the heat of the sun, I eagerly relaxed in to Aloha time.  Sipping Mai Tai’s filled with different rums and garnished with fragrant flowers and my favorite fruit, pineapple, I reminisced of my childhood frolicking on these beaches.

Although in recent years, I have spent time in Maui, Honolulu will always represent the Hawaiian spirit for me. My family visited Honolulu for many summers in my childhood.  My extended family is a melting pot, and I have a cousin, Pohaku with Hawaiian heritage.  I still recall the first time I got engulfed by the waves and the taste of salt water filling my mouth and my bikini bottoms drooping with sand as I headed back to our family camp.  We ate red hot dogs from the local food stand and watched the most glorious sun sets.  Through my teen-age years, my cousins and I would visit and go to Luaus.  In my twenties, I went for the Pro Bowl.  I got engaged to my children’s father at the Halekulani, the resort I chose for my daughter’s Senior Spring vacation.  

Like my father, I inherited the need to dig deep when on vacation.  I wanted to see how the “real” locals live and experience what life would be like on the daily living in “paradise.”  So, one morning, while my daughter and my girlfriends, Patti and Sheila went Scuba diving, I found myself alone on foot and I just started walking.  Away from the safe confines of of secured access, key mandated access to the ocean, and waiters at your beck and call. I wondered, and walked destination unknown.  I couldn’t help but ponder the privilege and the poverty.  Designer shops selling the finest labels, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Golden Goose next to mom and pop shops selling island treasures of puka shells and macadamia nut candies, while a homeless man passed by with a grocery cart filled with his worldly belongings.

As I walked, everywhere I turned, I saw signs of the struggle.  I witnessed a man expunge a Starbucks cup from a trash can and use the liquid to cool and “cleanse” his skin.  I walked upon houses that needed repair and beggars lined the sidewalks.  Although homelessness is said to be on the decline, there is still an estimated 4500 on these streets. I was so intent in my thoughts that I lost track of time, and when I happened upon a local, I asked for directions back to the hotel and she assured me it was a looooong distance.  Thanks to modern technology, I summoned an Lyft.  My  driver, a young local explained that between he and his wife they had to maintain 5 jobs to live there.  He shared the cost of living in Honolulu is prohibitive. Poverty and Paradise.

As part of the educational experience for my daughter, the next day, we toured Pearl Harbor. This somber remembrance of the surprise attack of the US on December 7, 1941, was a painful reminder never to forget the sacrifice these brave soldiers made.

We took a catamaran for an hour and a half where again, I inquired of our captain and first mate where they were from and what life was like living there.  The Captain to our surprise was from our neck of the woods, the Pacific Northwest Oregon Coast.  He said that as a youngster he always knew he would live in this sunshine state.  Although he wasn’t 35 years old, he already had a solid beer belly in the making.  He asked for us to tip generously as he joked it was their 401K retirement program.  Poverty in Paradise.

At Le Mer French restaurant, I tried to expose my daughter to the elements of fine cuisine.  A stool was placed by our side for resting our purses.  The drink concoctions all arrived with a rose wafting in the cubes.  I had to post the hilarious video and Taryn’s expression when the Ratatouille A la Mangue comme un Jardin, King Crabe Rafraichi au Vinaigre de Mangue was placed before her. ” I’mma need some pizza after this.”  

We dined at Tommy Bahamas and Merrimans.

 Everyone has a story and hearing of the people who hailed from all walks of life was fascinating.  I met a group of women from South Carolina who said it took them 10 hours to get there.  Another couple from Australia visiting for the first time to the states.  There were many tourist from Japan.  No matter how they got there or where they hailed from, we all benefited from the vitamin D and hang loose Hawaiian spirit.

Maholo and Aloha… Until next time Honolulu!

A Friday Funny

Eve Chats With God

“Lord, I have a problem.”

“What is it, Eve?”

“I know that you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, especially that hilarious snake, but I’m just not happy.”

“And why is that Eve?”

“Lord, I’m lonely, and I’m sick to death of apples.”

“Well  Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you.”

” A Man? What is that Lord?”

“Someone  bigger and faster than you , who will like to hunt and kill things for your food so you’ll be eating more than apples.”

“A flawed creature who will often lie, cheat and be vain, but I’ll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your loneliness and your physical needs.

” He won’t be as smart as you, but I’ll create him so he will sometimes take your advice to think properly.” ” 

“And, he will often be witless and will revel in childish things like playing cards and knocking a ball about.”

“Sounds great,” says Eve, sarcastically. 

“And there is a  condition.”

“What’s that Lord? “

“Since he’ll be proud, arrogant and self-admiring, you’ll have to let him believe that I made him first. …

And it will have to be our little secret; you know, woman to woman.”