... 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.

VOTE 2020!!

This Monday morning, I am sharing this past weekend’s newspaper article with my thoughts regarding the 2020 election. Additionally, I’d like to share some of the heinous tactics being used to discourage voting–which is a sacred right to be protected. 

Intimidation, harrassment and suppression, yes, this is happening.

Friday, Trump supporters surrounded a Biden campaign bus, nearly driving it off the highway between Austin and San Antonio. “These patriots did nothing wrong,” tweeted President Trump.

Blocking of the postal vote: Although the states have conducted elections with few problems since the 1990s by sending a ballot paper by mail to all registered voters, the Trump campaign has sued New Jersey, Nevada, and Montana to prevent them from doing the same. Trump has denounced the mailing of “unsolicited” ballots to voters on an almost daily basis.

Witness signatures are required: In eight states, including the swing states of Wisconsin and North Carolina, voters must find a witness to sign their ballots. This is clearly difficult and inconvenient in the best of times, and even more so in a time of pandemic and social distancing.

Sabotage of the postal service: The well-publicized major delays in mail delivery by the United States Postal Service have led to widespread concern that votes will be rejected because they arrived too late. The delays are due to changes made under Louis DeJoy, a major Republican donor who was appointed Postmaster General earlier this year. He reduced overtime, shortened the opening hours of post offices and forced trucks to drive before they could be filled with mail.

Premature closure of polling stations: There are long lines in front of polling stations for those who exercise their right to vote early – especially in communities of color. Some people have waited in line for more than ten hours – and that in a pandemic. Imagine waiting in line all day just to have the polling station close.

Preventing Mailboxes: Many states allow voters to return their ballots to mailboxes throughout the state, but the Trump campaign has complained to prevent mailboxes from being set up in swing states like Pennsylvania. One example is Texas, where Republican Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive a few weeks before the start of the early term calling on districts to remove additional mailboxes already installed, forcing Harris County, home to 5 million people, to move from 12 locations to just one. 

Recruitment of election observers: The Republican Party is seeking to recruit 50,000 election observers to intimidate and possibly challenge the eligibility of Democratic voters. President Trump has threatened to illegally send law enforcement agencies to observe the elections. 

These acts could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters, especially in demographic groups with democratic leanings, and tip the election towards Trump. 




I have relatives in Seattle – they and everyone in America hope for a better future. A future in which the president will be a voice of reason. A president that you can be proud of and rely on. Yes, there is also a certain fear of what four more years of this presidency would do to democracy and the world. That is why I am sure that there will be a record turnout in the elections. 


The Covid 19 pandemic has shown us all that a leader has to master crisis management and communication.  He or she must be fair, objective and empathetic. I don’t believe that President Trump has met these standards, nor do I believe that he cares about all of America’s well-being. 

I dare say that America’s reputation as a safe, trustworthy, competent international leader and partner has been weakened. I hope that this “fall from grace” will not prove irreversible.

Above all, I look at election day with one feeling: with hope. But the vote is in danger. I read a newspaper article that listed 29 ways in which President Trump and the Republican Party could make voting more difficult, for example by blocking the postal vote and closing polling stations early, especially in districts with a predominantly black population.

The political atmosphere in America is highly charged. The outcome will have global implications for democracy, progress and solidarity across generations.  If Biden wins, I sincerely hope that there will be a peaceful transfer of power. Caution is advised, because Trump may not accept the election results if he loses. I can only pray for peace.

But the Trump crisis is also an opportunity, because issues like racism and the division of society are finally being discussed. Because of Trump’s attitude and his rhetoric about people of color, the pot is boiling over. With his words and deeds he has held up a mirror to American society, and he has sent back a grotesque image that many people don’t want to face:  Racism is still rampant throughout the country – and so far it has been reflexively denied. With the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor there has been a new awakening. Americans can no longer close their eyes to the sins of the nation.



We Need our PPE and PPV!!

People, we are, as I write this, 5 days out. 

Everyone knows that this election will go down in history as the most important in our life times.

Because of the pandemic, this is one of the biggest vote by mail elections we’ve had in recent history. 

Not any more. 

The post office has been sabotaged with cost-cutting and reduced overtime measures to slow the mail. Day before yesterday, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said: “It is too late to rely on U.S. Postal Service for absentee ballots. Citizens who already have an absentee ballot should sign the back of the envelope and hand-deliver it to their city or township clerk’s office or ballot drop-box as soon as possible. Voters who haven’t received their ballot should go to their clerk’s office to request it in person. They can fill it out, sign the envelope and submit it all in one trip.”

Along with this, further shameful suppression tactics such as limiting the places where voters can exercise their right to vote have been reduced and or eliminated. Case in point: Texas, where Republican Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive a few weeks before the start of the early legislative period calling on districts to remove additional mailboxes ALREADY INSTALLED, forcing Harris County, home to 5 million people, to move from 12 locations to just one.  Imagine that.

Sabotage abounds. Bottom line is that it is highly probable that some votes will be scrutinized for imperfections that will render them invalid. Anything can happen, so PLEASE don’t become complacent. 

My shout out today is if you know someone or know someone who knows someone in any of these states let them know that they must bring their votes in IN PERSON if they are to be counted: Michigan, where 1 million votes are still out; Wisconsin 600,000; Pennsylvania, over a million; North Carolina, 637,000; Arizona over 1 million; Florida 2 million.

The clock is ticking and our time is limited. We must see to it that all our votes are counted! So mask up and get in line. This is disgraceful and deplorable, but we have to do what we have to do. Help your neighbor get to a polling station if you can. Now, with Covid wreaking more havoc in our lives than ever, we need PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) and PPV (Patience, Perseverance, and our Vote)!!

Look at this picture. We have come a long way, but clearly, we have a long way to go. Let’s look at our history and be inspired by the strength of those who stood in line before us. 



I’ll Be Good To You… I Said to Myself

We awoke at 6 AM and after 1/2 cup of my morning java, I begrudgingly agreed to hit the trail.

I’ll be good to you, I said to my mind, body, spirit and planet.  A chipmunk scattered by and I took a moment to embrace nature and a sign that read, Quiet Point.  For the next few hours, I would be in a quiet point with only the sound of my audible book and my own thoughts.

After 1 hour and 45 minutes, 5.3 miles, 6 treacherous hills, and 900 calories burned in the misty, muddy, leaf ridden paths of yellow, orange and green hues, I accomplished my goal.

I needed the peace to enjoy my book on tape.  It’s a heavy tomb, American Dirt, the story of migrants escaping death and murder as undocumented immigrants to the United States.  As I reflected on the hardship of these character’s  journey, I couldn’t help but think of the what we are doing in this “new normal” to be good to ourselves.  As the weather patterns change and this Pandemic wanes, and we all fight daily hardships, we must find ways be good to our selves.

Finding fun in finding good.

In September, I joined Fredda Goldfarb, Patti Savoy and other dear friends, Stacy Lill, Stacy Jones, Deborah Anderson, Sheila Otter, and Nicole Knowles in The Good 4 All Experience.  Each Monday, we eat a Meat-Free Diet.  I have found such pleasure in joining my friends as we cook up some creative alternative meals on Mondays.  Last week, Nicole made a pasta dish with Beyond Italian Sausage.  O.K., I wasn’t beyond crazy about expanding my palate to eat the plant based links, but I must admit, the pasta and salad were delicious. The girls love beyond meat products, so you be the judge!

After a few weeks of playing tennis nearly everyday, and feeling the affects of the changing weather, I found my Menopausebarbee body aching more than usual, so I treated myself to a home massage.  Donny who contorted my body back to the days when I was a gymnast, stretched and pulled every joint until the pain hurt so good.

I’ve taken time to check on friends and family.  I have been more conscientious of recycling and conserving energy.  I’ve been reading more and watching and listening to educational programs.  I’ve been savoring the taste of fruits, and veggies. For dessert, I have been enjoying Daiquiri Ice.  I feel better.  I’ve been good to me.





Join us and take time to be good to yourself!



Something for Your Toolbox: Monday Motivation

Deutsche Übersetzung ist unten.

Drei einfache Regeln im Leben:
1. Wenn du nicht das verfolgst, was du willst, wirst du es nie haben.
2. Wenn du nicht fragst, ist die Antwort immer nein.
3. Wenn du nicht vortrittst, bist du immer an der gleichen Stelle.

Mental Health Prescription – Get Help

It’s October and It’s Mental Health Awareness Month

I have known and loved individuals who were narcissistic, bi-polar, depressed, obsessive compulsive, drug addicts, alcoholics and on the spectrum.  I have come to understand you cannot love the disorders away. I have joined counseling sessions, read volumes of books, medicated, meditated, and educated.  One book I read years ago, I believe was entitled, When Helping You is Hurting Me.  The hardest part is walking away from individuals who refuse to accept or try to seek help and continue to sink you in their abyss of misery. My father, a brilliant man, who I loved greater than any man ever, suffered from extreme high and lows, and he believed that mental illness was a sign of weakness. He didn’t believe in counseling or taking meds.  He was from a generation that believed people truly only used 10% of their brains.  So, in his mind, it was mind over matter as he soldiered on.   I found that the people surrounding these personalities get accustomed to drama, and the unacceptable becomes the norm.  So define your boundaries, and while it’s paramount to take care of those with mental illness, take care of yourself first!

You are NOT alone.

Mental Health Facts & Figures

Here are some data points you can use to speak to the scope of mental health:

  • 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness.
  • Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness.
  • One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by the age of 24.
  • Approximately 10.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.

As I look at this data, it’s not surprising that mental illness has affected us all.

Anxiety, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Eating Disorders, Impulse Control and Addiction Disorders, Personality Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders,  Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Somatic Symptoms, and Tic Disorders are a common list.

Many of these disorders are enhanced while coping with the stress of the Pandemic.  Teenage suicide is on the rise and this is why those who grow up in toxic environments are up to 12 times more likely to experience addiction, depression and to try to end their lives.

Break the cycle.  Help starts with reaching out.



Happiness is the Best Makeup

Ok, so it’s not that we don’t LOVE makeup and believe in its powers to help us forget our insecurities–but I will dare to say that the real magic of beauty is the combination of self-confidence and inner joy that we’re all striving for in life, in other words: happiness.

The world is always changing and so are our lives. Nothing is constant. Sometimes we have to take it minute by minute, and before we know it an hour has passed. We made it! We begin to believe there really is light at the end of the tunnel even if it seems dim or simply nonexistent at the moment. Just keep moving forward and stop looking backward. Focus on the good right now.

Practicing gratitude will really help. If you see a pimple on your face, be happy that you even have a face. As of August 2018, around 40 face transplants have been performed worldwide. There but for the grace of God…

And remember, there are always lessons to be learned in unfavorable situations. If but for nothing else, we learn the strength of our character. We discover our indomitability: that we are good enough and brave enough and strong enough to deal with the obstacle at hand. Life for damn sure isn’t easy, we get kicked down and literally honest to God don’t know how we’ll get back up. Believe me–I HAVE BEEN THERE. Fighting for my son’s life and then fighting for mine as I got away from ex-husband in his country and landed on my feet was nothing short of miraculous. It nearly broke me–but it didn’t.

Perseverance, staying focused, knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em and believing in ourselves, believing that failure is not an option–this is key.  And this is what I know: if we don’t give in and don’t give out, we can release and relish in the happiness that lies within us. We deserve to beautiful.

“People are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”– Abraham Lincoln

Let’s Get Wicked with Susan Johnson Kropp

Love the title of my dear friend, Susan Johnson Kropp’s second novel, Something Wicked.

It’s Halloween season, and it’s just that wicked time of year.  Susan is wickedly witty, wickedly wise, and has delivered yet again a wickedly well written read.

I have found such pleasure reading during these days of Covid-19 quarantine and so I’m sharing some local authors who happen to be some of my best friends.

Synopsis of Something Wicked

“Jillian Van Doren is a successful romance novelist—but she is unhappy and unfulfilled. When she meets a new neighbor and fellow writer, Jeff Spiegel, the two make a casual connection that could be the start of something more.  But when one of their other neighbors dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances, Jill and Jeff find themselves intrigued by the mystery, and the police aren’t investigating. What follows leads them on a cross-country trek from Seattle to New York, Connecticut, and beyond as they track down the killer—”

Susan is well traveled, trust me, we went to Iceland on an unforgettable trip together.


So as I read the cross country trek in Something Wicked, I know that Susan is writing from experience living and being in these different states.

From my bookshelf to yours, it’s a wickedly great read!


oh and Happy Halloween! Get Wicked



Been a Long Time Since You Rock n Rolled?

I opened my door this A.M. to find a gift from my friend, and photographer, Jerry Levin, that made me smile.

I smiled at the memory of one of favorite nights as a board member of MoPop when we paid tribute to the great Jimmy Page.  Take a look and listen as Paul Allen, RIP, rocked on with this incredible line up.

Jimmy Page in the HOUSE!

Can you name all the old and new rockin' allstars on stage here? Founders Award benefit dinner and auction last night. What an amazing show… all Led Zeppelin songs performed to perfection by an amazing line up. Sir Jimmy Page joins for the encore finale! Footage by James Sundstad

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎James Sundstad‎‏ في الجمعة، ٢٠ نوفمبر ٢٠١٥

If like me, it’s been a long time since you rock and rolled, mark your calendars and join us December 1!

Jerry, thanks for making my day!  Now, if I can just get the book out of Eric’s hands… xoxo

Join us virtually for Founders Award 2020
This one-night-only benefit will feature unforgettable performances by Alice in Chains, as well as an acclaimed lineup of guest musicians who will put their own twist on some of the band’s most iconic songs. For the first time ever, this highly anticipated annual event will be moving from MoPOP’s Sky Church to an online platform where it will be open for all, giving pop culture lovers across the world an opportunity to connect and become a part of our creative community.

Royal George

Good grief! These days we all have a lot of stuff going on.

It’s a wonderful thing when we can unfurrow our brows because someone has made us unexpectedly smile. 

I had this great fortune a couple of weeks ago when I received an Instagram message. It was a collage of pictures set into one picture accompanied by the song Afro Blue featuring Eryka Badu. Garfield Harrison (insta: royal_george20), had attended the German version of my book premiere on September 27, 2017, and created the collage post. That he remembered and thought to take the time to send this to me on that special anniversary of my book premiere, touched me deeply. That he took the time to say, “I appreciate you” was awesome. Thank you, Gary, I appreciate you too. 

Here’s the photo and some of the video from that evening. For my friends who don’t speak German, I hope the picture and the video nonetheless, will make you smile. We need as many as we can get these days–even underneath our masks. Sometimes our eyes say it all.

Warmest thanks to moderator Liane Wirzberger and William Balser (Euromodel Agency) for the interview and the film. I had no idea that they would do this–another reason to make me smile. It was a night to remember.

Will you do something to make someone smile today? It’s true when they say that the best things in life are free.



Meine Güte! In diesen Tagen haben wir alle viel zu tun.

Es ist eine wunderbare Sache, wenn wir die Stirn runzeln können, weil uns jemand unerwartet zum Lächeln gebracht hat.

Ich hatte dieses große Glück, als ich vor ein paar Wochen eine Instagram-Nachricht erhielt. Es handelte sich um eine Collage von Bildern, die zu einem Bild zusammengefügt wurden, begleitet von dem Lied Afro Blue mit Eryka Badu. Garfield Harrison (insta: royal_george20), hatte der deutschen Version meiner Buchpremiere am 27. September 2017 beigewohnt und die Collagenpost erstellt. Dass er sich daran erinnerte und sich die Zeit nahm, sie mir zu diesem besonderen Jahrestag meiner Buchpremiere zu schicken, hat mich zutiefst berührt. Dass er sich die Zeit nahm und sagte: “Ich schätze dich”, war großartig. Danke, Gary, ich schätze dich auch.
Hier ist das Foto und ein Teil des Videos von diesem Abend. Für meine Freunde, die kein Deutsch sprechen, hoffe ich, dass das Foto und das Video Sie trotzdem zum Lächeln bringen. Wir brauchen so viele, wie wir heutzutage bekommen können – sogar unter unseren Masken. Manchmal müssen unsere Augen alles sagen.

Herzlichen Dank an die Moderatorin Liane Wirzberger und William Balser (Euromodel Agency) für das Interview und den Film. Ich hatte keine Ahnung, dass sie das tun würden – ein weiterer Grund, mich zum Lächeln zu bringen. Es war ein denkwürdiger Abend.

So, werdet Ihr heute etwas tun, um jemanden zum Lächeln zu bringen? Es stimmt, wenn man sagt, dass die besten Dinge im Leben umsonst sind.


Wake Up Everybody! Stop Fussin Start C.U.S.S.I.N

I hope we never get to the point in life where we accept the intolerable.  I’m talking about that tipping point when you’ve had enough and you are forced to stand your ground and say THIS IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE MY NEW NORMAL!

Music is timeless and as I awoke this morning, my Menopausebarbee mind took me back to 1975.  The song by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes with Teddy Pendergrass, WAKE UP EVERYBODY was playing in my head.  Please take a moment and read the lyrics at the end of this post and put a little soul in your ears and take a listen.

I had that moment of revelation to WAKE UP yesterday, on a raining, blustery, Sunday afternoon as I with my mother in the passenger seat went up to Safeway on Capital Hill.  We were shopping for household staples and hoped to navigate our “new normal,” keeping Covid-free  as we  donned masks, and sanitized our carts, and social distanced.   As we pulled onto 15th and John street, to the same Safeway store we have shopped at for years, across the street from Group Health Hospital where my siblings and I were born, I was once again infuriated.  (See pics) Perhaps it was the visual from my mother paying witness to the foul, putrid odor and scenery seeing that she is not out as frequently as I am that it hit me.  As I surveyed the park where hospital employees used to eat lunch, and children used to run and frolic and  now it was displaced by overrun trash, human feces, tents turned to permanent housing, and empty alcohol bottles and yes hypodermic needles, I said to myself ENOUGH.  WAKE UP EVERYBODY! THIS IS NOT O.K.

I literally fumed as I thought the acronym, STOP FUSSIN and START CUSSIN- CLEAN UP SEATTLE START IT NOW!

I have empathy.  We need help, housing, and health for the ill.  As winter sets in, it sickens me even more to see the last, lonely, and lost pitch up a tent, trailer, or towel and call it home. The filth is unbearable and intolerable.  DO YOU HEAR ME CITY COUNCIL?  This is SEATTLE. WAKE UP EVERYBODY!

We’ve lost so much Seattle.  The Elephant Car Wash to Restaurants, Hotels, and so many livelihoods.

Today, I’m asking for a Task Force.  Let’s pull our resources, ideas, contacts, and skills together and bring back the city we all love.  It is the Emerald City, but this ain’t Oz.

Email, inbox, call, text, and post here- any ideas are welcome!

Start C.U.S.S.I.N. and WAKE UP Today!

Wake Up Everybody

Wake up everybody no more sleepin in bed
No more backward thinkin time for thinkin ahead
The world has changed so very much
From what it used to be so
there is so much hatred war an’ poverty
Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way
Maybe then they’ll listen to whatcha have to say
Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and the world is in their hands
when you teach the children teach em the very best you can

The world won’t get no better if we just let it be
The world won’t get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me

Wake up all the doctors make the ol’ people well
They’re the ones who suffer an’ who catch all the hell
But they don’t have so very long before the Judgement Day
So won’tcha make them happy before they pass away
Wake up all the builders time to build a new land
I know we can do it if we all lend a hand
The only thing we have to do is put it in our mind
Surely things will work out they do it every time

The world won’t get no better if we just let it be
The world won’t get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me