The reason why I’m fearless

The ticket taker looked me up and down as I stood stretching my back and neck to be as tall as I could be. At four years old I was the runt of the litter. Always the smallest of my peers the same age as me as well as the smallest amongst my much older cousins. I didn’t consider it a curse.

Attempting to hand the man our tickets my father’s jovial expression and body language shifted. I caught the familiar smell of stale beer and cigarettes as he lifted me into his arms. I could feel his heart beating fiercely against the wall of his chest where he held me close as he stormed back down the wooden gangplank of the Mighty Mouse Roller Coaster.


Obviously, I was not yet tall enough to ride this ride.

Cussing under his breath as if I wasn’t there he deposited me at the feet of my mother who sat on a bench alone eating a corn dog. I watched as he started to stalk off, and then just as abruptly he returned to me and my mother, bent down to me and said, ‘I’m not mad at you. I love you two.’ And he held up two fingers. He told us to wait there – he would be right back.

As I crawled up on the bench Mom and I exchanged a knowing look between us. We knew that he was off to get another beer. Even at that young age- my heart skipped a beat when he said that; because all three of us knew ‘be right back’ could mean a few minutes, a few hours or a few days.

He disappeared into the crowd. After sharing a few bites of what was left of her corn dog she wrapped the wax paper around the stick and handed it to me- motioning for me to deposit it in the big metal trash can. I skipped to and from my destination.

As we waited on the bench for Daddy, I had an up-close opportunity to watch the people ride the roller coaster and felt my fear begin to rise in my throat. Which was followed by gratitude. We weren’t allowed to ride it because I was too small. At least that’s what the man had told my Dad. ‘Sorry sir- she’s too small. Maybe next year?’

I could hear the wooden planks creaking and the rush of metal against metal as the carts flew past us with the screaming people inside. I felt a bittersweet terror for a few seconds I had so wanted to ride that ride with my Daddy and I was just as relieved that we could not.

I should have known better. Because within minutes he returned with his liquid courage in hand. He took my hand and said, ‘Let’s ride girl.’

That would not be the last time in my life he would say to me.


We walked hand in hand back up the wooden planked ramp that turned a third of the way up and then turned again. Like before, I looked for my Mother seated on the bench across from the ride. She had a large Kodak camera around her neck and she was ready to snap our photo as we whirred past.

The same man was there to measure the riders and take our tickets, but before he could object my father stood up to him and told him, ‘Listen mister, we don’t mean you any trouble. But this is MY daughter. And I am responsible for her. I know the risks and I don’t want her growing up being afraid. She’s small, yes, but she is fierce. And she has waited all day to ride this ride with me. I’m her father. Please let us ride this ride.’

The man looked down at me and asked, ‘Young lady, is this true? You have waited all day just to ride this ride?’

‘Yes sir.’

He shook his head and waived us through.

We climbed into the car that was at the front of the string of cars. He put his arm around me and held me close to his side. I was just tall enough to see over the top of the car but not tall enough to see the tracks. All I saw was the big blue Texas sky melting into a day glow orange sunset.

My own heart pounded wildly in my chest and head. It was thrilling as it jerked and turned and jerked us again backwards to make the climb to the first of several hills. The wind rushed past my ears and pulled at my doggy eared pony tails on both sides of my head. I found myself in disbelief that I was finally on this ride! My Dad held me tight and screamed along with me in fun!

I was not scared.

The ride continued for a few minutes more and we found ourselves back at the beginning too soon for my liking. It was time to disembark. But I didn’t want to get off and asked my Dad if we could ride it again.

As people got off and back on- he stepped out of the metal car onto the platform and dug some bills out of his wallet- pressed them into the man’s hand and sat back down beside me with a huge grin on his face.

We were riding again.

Happy New Year Lovers and Friends

Here’s to wishing you and yours a peaceful and prosperous New Year! 🍾🥂

May it bring a new chapter(s) of challenges and adventures!

Chapters where you are:

*Less reactive and more proactive

*Where you actually WANT to be kinder

*A happy place where you are accepting of people’s shortcomings (including your own)

*A mindset where you strive to do the work for personal growth

*A place where you avoid unsafe people at all costs

*Time to make sweet and meaningful memories

*The abilities to make lists – and actually cross things off. Even if it’s one stack a day

*Opportunities to learn some new things

*The courage to let go of toxins and people/things that no longer serve you

Happy New Year friends from Nadine Bodine

Your Very BEST friend in the Whole Wide World 🍾🥂

This is temporary

This – I repeat, THIS is temporary.

This is NOT the new norm.

This is tragic.

This is hideous on so very many different levels.

This is crazy talk and the Twilight Zone.

This is mad.

And for just one minute, this is beautiful. Beautiful? Some of you are probably shaking your head about now wondering if I have been day drinking.

That all depends on if it is a day ending in ‘y’. Mind your own busyness.

Back to the beauty. Yes. There is beauty in this when you look for it. It’s that melancholy beauty of love entwined with hate. For many of us, we love that we have the time to dial it down. To catch our breath. This is almost a welcome staycation. After running so hard – and for so long – we might be able to admit it is nice to waste an hour or two putting a puzzle together. Or stand out on the drive way and toast the setting sun. To have the time to take a walk each and every day. We now have the time to garden, binge watch TV shows and movies, to cook, to clean, to organize, to write or do anything else you have not had the time to do. The time to sit for thirty minutes without doing one single thing. Not one thing. It’s more than beautiful. It’s delicious. It’s the ordinary being extraordinary again.

I see people doing all sorts of things we once did back when life paced itself slower. People are sitting out on their front porches in the evening again and I love how they wave to me as I walk by with the dog. Some step out to greet me and to pet her. I see people riding bicycles. And people are walking more. The tradition of the evening stroll is even back in vogue. More so than the usual springtime in Galveston, Texas I assure you.

It’s this time in this life.

Never would any of us have imagined this to occur in our lifetimes. But it has.

And we are dealing with it.

One change at a time.

One day at a time.

One restriction at a time.

Because we know this is not permanent. This is temporary my trailer park people. Things will change again as they always do. Of course we will be different after this. For a while, anyway, we will be different.

Some will never be the same.

But THIS? This is temporary.

This can’t cripple us. We are humans. We will rise above as the intelligent and compassionate people we are. We will fight the good fight. And we will survive this.

This – temporary.

So for now stay well. Stay home.


Self quarantinely yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎

Nadine on…Love

Meet Mayda-dine and Curly. They taught me how to love. (The dash is silent.)

On June first, eighty years ago two precious people were married in a small church ceremony in Burkburnett, Texas. They were so in love. And full of ideas and ambitions.

Modeling the ‘perfection’ of married love they influenced and mentored so many along the way.

Their perfection became the norm for those of us following in their footsteps. For some of us living here in the Trailer Park it did not take on the first turn out. But with a little practice we have all turned out alright.

Their love was a first Corinthian kind of love. Something we can all learn from.

Patience – I had never before in my life witnessed such an immeasurable amount of patience that these two shared with the other. The cup was never empty. Even when things might have reached the limits for anyone else, they continued to dispense perfect love. As I sat with him in the car on many a Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night to go to church his patience never faltered. And for her, waiting for his deployments both here and abroad and the sickness at the end…she never missed a step. Until his last breath she never once lost it. Impressive.

Kindness – They were always kind. Sweet spoken words with terms of endearment like Honey, Mother and Daddy. Never did I hear a raised voice or an expletive. No harsh tones or uneven temperaments. No yelling or screaming. Just kind words. Always.

Does not envy- They were each other’s champions! Nothing he wanted to do was too big or too far away. She championed his causes and he hers.

Does not boast- There definitely was none of this. Unless they were building the other one up in front of their families and friends. He chronically bragged on her cooking…which, I can now admit wasn’t all that great. But it didn’t matter to him. He was GRATEFUL that she cooked for him. And he told her so often.

Love? Well it

Is not proud-

Does not dishonor-

Is not self seeking-

Is not easily angered-

Keeps no record of wrongs-

Does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth-

Always protects-

Always trusts-

Always hopes-

Always perseveres-.

It perseveres still within all of us. Through their legacy and good example we are able to show others how it is done. No, we are not perfect. But we do try to get it right and lead, as they did, by example.

Lovingly Yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎☮️♥️🚋

Nadine on…Vacations

I am of the slant that vacations are imperative. At least once a year. All trailer park people need to break step with the mundane ordinariness of life in the fast lane and get away.

Preferably to somewhere where the pace is slower.

It was inevitable. August was almost upon Jose’ and myself and were ready to pull up the stops before school set back in.

Disappointed by a last minute cancellation of our Sturgis trip due to technical difficulties outside of our span of control…we opted once again for Mexico.

We do love us some Mexico.

So with swimsuit and snorkel gear in hand I booked the trip. As I white knuckled the phone I was fearful that our late decision would lead to a price tag of astronomical proportions.

But…I was wrong.

Mexico doesn’t disappoint.

The price is still very right. As long as you don’t need a 7-star accommodation like the Emperor’s Palace in Adu Dhabi…you’re good. Besides, Jose’ is not a fan of those “mega resorts” full of (shudders) children and buffets with their industrialized food troughs. Blech.

An ‘adult-only’ boutique hotel suits us just fine. We’re simple folk. As long as it has a clean, comfortable bed and an air conditioner we’re good! Walking distance to most everything including the coffee shop, restaurants, market and the beach sum up about all of the amenities we require as a couple.

I’m not sure yet if this year will include moped rentals due to last years crash and burn…lol…but I’m willing to get back on that pony for another ride! Ha. You can bet your sweet bippie that I will double tap and look both ways…twice…when exiting the church!

Dang Mexican communion wine.

Additionally plans for a fishing trip and a snorkel excursion will most likely top the list of this trips ‘to-do’s’. Some hammock swinging, book reading and adult beverage drinking might also be in order.

Vacationally yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎 ☮️♥️🚋

Keto Baby Steps vs. Diet Weekend Warriors

Have you ever reached your limit? Knowing that stepping on that scale to see yourself one pound heavier is going to make your head completely spin off?

Yup! (raises hand and tries to make eye-contact with someone who can help)

A year ago this was me. I was so done with myself. So tired of feeling tired. Because the sugars and carbs in bread/rice/pasta products always converted quickly into stored fat in places on my body that I would just as soon NOT have. You know those places…like your chin(s), your belly/jelly roll of flubber around your middle and that all too ‘precious’ BACK FAT!!! (Screams!)

I had been gluten free for a year. But it just was not enough. I was still eating sugar in other forms. The fat remained in spite of eliminating the processed gluten.

The step off of that scale was my first baby step into the Keto Lifestyle.

We do not say ‘diet’ here in the Keto Trailer Park…because the word diet, in and of itself, implies a temporary status. Lifestyle is fa-evah my dahlings! We are doing this fa-evah! Because we love it and live it every single day for the rest of our healthy and beautiful lives. Can I get an amen?

When you start with small changes that sometimes feel like major hurdles…the big changes begin to come with ease. So here we go…a few small Baby Steps. Come go with me.

Baby Step 1 – Eliminate all products containing sugar or wheat from your pantry. Say Adios to chips, crackers, snack mixes, breakfast bars, cake mixes, bread mixes, wheat flours, rice mixes/rice, quick fix pasta meals, etc. Load all of this up in Wally bags and take it to your local food pantry/Salvation Army kitchen/Catholic Charities…you get me. And please don’t forget your receipt! Because this crap is expensive! Take that off of your taxes.

Baby Step 2 – Maybe the same day? Maybe not. If you are like me? The first few days I am a Diet Weekend Road Warrior. Best to get it done while you are on a roll and cannot backslide.

Eliminate any and ALL foods in your refrigerator that contain sugar. Sugar has many names. Google it! Read ALL labels and either give the opened containers to a friend, neighbor, Co-worker? Or take them to the office and place in the office frig for those onery co-workers/nay sayers to use up. Because if you are like me…you cannot stand to see food wasted. Even if it is poisonous to you.

At this point have a pep talk with yourself that you are clearing your kitchen of all substances that are toxic to you and your family. Even if you have ‘littles’ do not buy into the premise that you are depriving them of their sugar. Lord! Do you want them to grow up with the same unhealthy associations with food and sugar that you have? No ma’m/sir! You do not. Buy healthier alternatives of snacks for them and keep them in a special cabinet that is OFF LIMITS to you. More on this in another post.

Make it go away. ALL OF IT!

Baby Step 3 – Go through your spice cabinet and cull out anything that contains sugar here too! Pull your trash can over to the cabinet and just toss this mess. No sense at this point in sharing the crappeth.

You will find that by now you are reading every label and making intelligent choices about not only what is ‘In’ your food…but what you put ‘On’ your food.

Get this stuff out of your kitchen/house.

And get ready to make a shopping list. Because you are going to need healthy provisions. Switch the gears in your mind to think about food as fuel. And sugar is not part of the mix. It makes the engine run inefficiently.

Take a few Baby Steps here with us. Find a support group that shares success stories and recipes. And get ready for a healthier and fit lifestyle and looser jeans! Summer is just around the corner. Come go with me…in Baby Steps.

And now for the license disclosure…because I am a nurse and not licensed to prescribe a diet or any medications for you the information provided is purely my and my husband’s own personal success. It is never a bad idea to check with a licensed provider prior to embarking on any weight loss plan. Just know that the medical community has literally a thimble full of information about Keto and will stand firm on their food pyramid of the last 25 years! However, their evidence-based research should be enough to turn anyone away from it to explore something new.

Steppingly yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎☮️♥️🚋

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth. Daddy was a peacemaker and where ever he went he brought peace, and when he left…he left a wide berth in his wake.

Recently I read a piece that stated there are Four types of people in your life. The first type do Not like you. And they NEVER will. They number about 25 percent. Through age and discernment I’m good with that.

Ok…so I kept reading…hopeful about the remaining 75 percent.

Of those remaining, the article also said that 25 percent ‘can’ and ‘will’ like you…given the right set of circumstances. Well, at least that was promising to a people pleaser like myself.

Next the article mentioned about 25 percent DO like you…but, there’s always a but! But, given the wrong set of circumstances…they won’t like you. Dang! Just when I thought I was building a team.

And the remaining 25 percent? They are loyal. They WILL like you. Come what may.

Daddy knew this. And he was able to keep this in perspective. He was ok with the haters and the nay sayers. But his acceptance did not come without years of trial and error. And he remained a peacemaker no matter the circumstance.

We miss you Dad. We all miss you.




Peacefully yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎☮️♥️🚋

Nadine on…How to find ALL of the arthritis in your body in just 3 bites!

So here I am talking with a colleague who is telling me how bad she hurts every day. Every day she has pain. And she tells me how bad it really is. And I ‘know’ this pain, because I’ve had it myself many times before. But I don’t have it now, so I am listening to her story and I am trying to be as empathetic as I can.

But it’s a little difficult for me…because I’ve kicked the pain.

And I know what she needs to do to make the pain STOP.

And I have even shared with her how to make her own pain stop. But she chooses not to follow my suggestion. And I feel sorry for her.

Fast forward to this morning where I am in the MOST intense pain I have been in in a very long while. Like 11 months to be exact.

Daaaaaaaaamit! I cannot walk. I can hardly straighten my back. I feel hobbled. Each foot shuffles in front of the other and each step is EXCRUCIATING! I’m not kidding. I hurt. And I don’t like it. And it’s ALL MY FAULT!

Now for the confession…My name is Nadine, and I am addicted to sugar. It is my heroin. Keto sisters and brothers, I have sinned. I ate 3! Seriously 3! 1” x 1” squares of cake, soaked in tequila, battered in tempura, fried, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with chocolate syrup. That’s it! That’s all I had. Three stinking bites!!!

And now I feel like a 100 year old woman! Oh my goodness the arthritis pain in my neck, shoulders, back and bilateral knees, the left being worse than the right is ridiculous.

All I am left to say is, we had our fun. I am paying the price. And NOW! it’s time to get back to the Real World of Keto Lifestyle. Adios Sugar. Hasta la Never!

Arthritically yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎☮️♥️🚋

Nadine on… ‘Awakened’

Ya’ll are not going to like this.

I am certain of it. And many others will find and take offense.

But the term ‘awakened’ historically comes from a biblical source.

It literally means to become alive again from a stupor or slumber.

In old times many cultures, including the Irish, would have a ‘wake’ following the death of a loved one. For 3 days the family would gather and celebrate in hopes that the dead would wake from their slumber and rejoin the living. After 3 days, if not awake, the reality check got cashed, and then preparations for burial would commence.

Recently while reading a book titled ‘Waverly’s’ I came across this passage…”It is more tragic to live a default life of worldly security and safety from pain and heartbreak than it is to experience loss and be ‘AWAKENED’ to the value of time and love.”

Just struck me like a lightening bolt to the chest.

That constant seeking of being safe and secure REALLY is not living at all.

It is the equivalent of being physically, mentally and spiritually dead.

Safety and security are not what they are cracked up to be. Longing for that flatline of security and safety only gets you more dead than you already are.

Life is more about the hiccups and the bumps in the road than the calm and steady waters.

If Double R taught me anything, it is this…Taking risks, betting on the underdog, NOT following the crowd is where life is at.

While some would sit with their hands in their lap and say “Why?” I stand boldly and say “Why not?”

Make this year the year you do something different. Find a new challenge. Hone a new skill. Do something you never thought you would or could do. I am not suggesting you climb Mount Everest or run a marathon…unless you are up to that challenge.

Start small. Eat at a new restaurant. Read a genre of book that you never have before. Learn to fly fish. Take dance lessons. Hell! Run a marathon if you will.

Start with a baby step in that direction. Anything.

I dare you to be ‘Different’ with me!

Awakenedly yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎☮️♥️🚋💃

Nadine on…the Nativity

Good morning and Merry Christmas from the little Trailer Park by the sea.

I am so thankful that I am not drunk and can’t find the Baby Jesus! Ha.

This is my favorite time of day and my most treasured Christmas tradition. I love waking earlier than the rest of the house and walking around, coffee cup in hand, placing the Baby Jesus’ where they belong in each one of my nativities.

Growing up Protestant I never learned the custom of waiting until Christmas morning to place the Baby Jesus in the manger. He was always there. However, as an adult Catholic convert I was more than happy to adopt the custom of waiting until Christmas morning to nestle him in his little spot between his parents. It made the birth so much more significant to me. As I walk by the nativities so carefully placed throughout my home it heightens my anticipation of the arrival of the Christ child. It reminds me that his birth was carefully planned and his presence in our lives should be greeted with anticipation.

My Aunt, Cuisine, gave me this beautiful glass nativity pictured below. It was expensive and has a special box where it resides for safe keeping. At Christmastime I love to display it in a prominent place in my home. One of my favorite Christmas gifts ever.

This one I bought at the Dollar Gentral. I treasure it no less than the very expensive glass one. And since we lost Joseph in the move and now it symbolizes single Mothers everywhere.

And this one was my Grand Mother’s and holds a very significant place in my heart. Made of plastic it has endured a lot of extreme weather conditions giving witness to how hard it is to raise a child.

He is born! He is here! Let us proclaim it from our hearts and homes!

Merry Christmas from our Trailer Park to yours!

Natively yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎☮️❤️🚋🎄