Nadine on…Age… If 30 is the new 20…then is 50 the new 30?

My Birthday cake and Rose from Jose'

My Birthday cake and Rose from Jose’

“You never feel your middle age so long as you have a mother… The word “Mama” alone is enough to preserve your youth and bloom.” ~ Yusuf Ma’ati (b. 1963) – An Egyptian humor author

I recently listened to a 15 minute talk about how 30 is NOT the new 20. The speaker was fantastic! In under 15 minutes, she literally gave 20 somethings back their Mojo. She spoke of how they were not being challenged in their 20’s but had been giving a ‘kitchen pass’ to skate through 20 without a plan to arrive at 30, unprepared.
As the wise old and fed up Baby Boomer that I am…I challenged all of my little Trailer Park “boomerangs” to listen to her in a public Facebook post and then went behind the scenes and encouraged them again to listen to the 14 minute 50 second spiel.

You can listen to Ms. Meg Jay here…

Ok…so enter, Nadine, at 52 ½, but feeling like 30 ½. Why the ½? I’m glad you asked.

Ever since a 6-year-old Dramamine reported to the lady at the Gibson’s Department Store, just one day after her 6th birthday, that she was then 6 ½…. I have added a “ ½” to my age when asked.

My logic and rationale is simple. First, by adding that ½ to my age, I am always ever hopeful to make it to that next year. Second, the ½ gives me a half a year running head start on the rest of ya’ll. Always longing to be older and wiser than I presently am, that ½ a year gives me a mental edge far better than any self-improvement seminar or book ever could. And third, people usually gasp in utter amazement by saying “No! You can’t be that old!”

Beats the heck out of them saying…”What? I guessed you to be much older.”

As far as birthday’s go…like most of us, I’ve had the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

Of the good are many memories of swim parties at the local public cement pond with all of my girlfriends and one girl in particular who shared the same birthdate. As pee-wee cheerleaders together, our Mother’s deemed it smart to invite ALL of the same girls to one party and split the cost. Pretty smart Mommas if you ask me. Plus, we loved it and we learned at a very young age to share the spotlight. It was a lesson of great importance, learned early to be carried on in life.

I know I can’t always be the Queen Bee of the Trailer Park, but must, on occasion, share the lime light…ergo, we’re all Queens! Let the lime light shine.

Of the bad, are mixed memories and blacked out periods of fraternity parties, after work parties and family gatherings where the ‘less than sober’ participants mixed and mingled with ‘most’ of their clothing still intact at the local watering holes. There’s something about being born under the zodiac sign of Cancer and water that continues to have a recurring theme here.

Of the ugly….well, there was that one year when I turned 25.

As far as my family was concerned…I was an Old Maid.

I wasn’t married. No husband, no children, no trailer house to speak of, no dogs, no permanence.

Little did ‘they’ know…I was living the dream!

Little did I know either.

Because I rushed into a marriage only to have it begin to turn south less than 6 months later…Still no husband, no children, no trailer house, no dogs, no permanence.

Incredibly it was one (of many to follow) of the ultimate times of my life! Because I realized then that age was irrelevant! At the ripe old age of 25! Imagine my shock.

And since age is irrelevant, then it doesn’t matter at all if 50 is the new 30, or 20…cause my Mojo is still intact. From age 25. I feel the same as I did back then…only smarter and wiser and a whole lot more fun!

So, on this birthday (as on every birthday the Good Lord has graced me with thus far) color me ever grateful to celebrate another. Considering the options…I’ll take every last birthday he wants to give me.

Respectfully submitted by your very best friend in the whole entire world,

Nadine Bodine

Aka/Malika Nadine of the Happy Family Danat Resort Trailer Park in the Sandbox

Nadine On…Mood Swings

Ah yes, that season of life ‘tis upon us. Nothing so sweet as a middle aged woman with a raging mood swing, now is there?

As a charter member of ‘Our Lady of Perpetual Mood Swings,’ I know this stuff just writes itself.

Raise your hand if you have gone through the change? And I’m not talkin about switching from Dish to Direct TV.

You might say ‘poor Jose.’ You might. But I darn sure wouldn’t recommend it.

And this isn’t your ‘Hide Your Crazy’ kind of story. That is a whole entire ‘nother blog and bottle of wine in and of itself. No mam, this is a full-blown, Keep your hands off me ‘I’m HOT!’ and not in the way you’re thinking, ‘Do you THINK this LOOKS like the face of a woman who wants to have sex with you right now?’, Raging Bull, ‘You think this is a hissy fit? I’ll show you a hissy fit!’ psycho wet wild cat in a burlap sack, ‘Don’t LOOK at me in that tone of voice!’ kind of change. Clinically known as the female change of life.

Couple all of the above, with a daily 117 degree heat, in.the.shade. and you’ve got the charter recipe for one wild Momma!

In fact, sign me up, ‘cause I’m definitely the reigning Queen of the Menopausal Olympics. I’ve been prepping for the final heat of the free-style mood swings for years now it seems! And I could use some back up…who else is in? We’re in this to win this my HFTP Queens!

Ok…so you’re all geared up for something fun…and then, it hits you. Like a truck. You realize it’s gonna be one of “those” days?

You know them…those days where you would just as soon sit in a bubbly hot bathtub and drink tea and read a really sappy.trashy.housewife porn kind of book? Or where you’d just like to curl up into a ball on the couch under a quilt, eat popcorn sprinkled with milk duds and watch a chick flick….alone.

And then order a loaded pizza from Mama’s (insert your particular favorite pizza parlor of choice) and maybe drink a beer or crack open that bottle of ripple? Yeah, you “get” me.

You’re mad at the whole world for nothing in particular…and EVERYTHING in general.

Daaaammmmmmiiit! That’s what my father would say.

And right now, sitting half wet, wrapped in a towel, debating whether to head back to the tub of lukewarm water or re-apply my soft jammies, I’m pissed off.

Nothing in particular.

Just everything in general.

And then…revelation.

I could do that.

I just might do that.

But right now, I just need to get busy. Clean the house, clean out that closet, the garage, sit down and write all those overdue “thank-you’s”, make a batch of cookies, go for a walk/jog/run…whatever it is you do when you need to be busy.

For me, it’s something physical. Because doing something physical each day, keeps me honest. Gives me purpose and balance. Uplifts ME! To a better place…cause if I sit here and brood…I’m gonna shoot something.

Honest to God.

Respectfully submitted by your very best friend in the whole entire world,

Nadine Bodine

Aka/Malika Nadine of the Happy Family Danat Resort Trailer Park in the Sandbox


Nadine On….Adult Time Out

Time out

Posted almost one year ago…it’s time for a reprise. Time OUT!!!!

As the Self-Appointed Life Coach to Many, I am frequently called to speak out on certain issues that can and do affect us all.

Today, the topic is Adult Time Outs.

First of all, if you’re living in the Happy Family Trailer Park (HFTP) and you don’t know what an Adult Time Out is, allow me to explain. An Adult Time Out is when you have used up ALL of your Jesus and Sunshine and you have no more to give…to anyone.

Not even the dog.

And since dogs are family in the Trailer Park, this is saying a lot!

What leads one to the Adult Time Out, one might ask? It can be one thing or it can be many things all rolled into one. I will say it is NOT just for the ‘married with children’ types. Rather, it IS for those who deal with the daily busyness of life, those Overanalyticalness types, newly married, old married, married with children or even the married with empty nest. So, just to be sure I cover all the bases, anybody and everybody needs an Adult Time Out. Usually once a week. In some cases, once a day.

Knowing What an Adult Time Out is, isn’t enough.

Knowing that everybody needs an Adult Time Out isn’t either.

The proof is in the pudding to know how to recognize when you or your mate needs an Adult Time Out. And to provide that time.

For example, a recent newlyweded friend of mine has advised they are just having trouble adjusting to the ebb and flow of married life. Of course, my knee jerk reaction was…Ha! Just wait till you’ve been married six “wonderful” years (sing it like the church lady people).

Of course, there are others with more years than Jose’ and I, I do realize, but since Jose’ and I are still on the ‘Proverbial Honeymoon’ (blog to follow) this still applies to us.

I counsel a lot of Newlyweds here of late…seems everybody and their cousin, son or masseuse just got married! It’s a HFTP epidemic. Newlyweds must learn to schedule Adult Time Outs as a regular part of their married routine. Why? Because, in my humble opinion, that first year is the most difficult!

Yes, difficult.

Of course, it is also the most fun!

But the adjusting to how you now do things as a couple, like whether to watch football, NASCAR or DIY, OR whether or not to BBQ every.single.stinkin.solitary. Saturday night that includes his can take some adjustments.


Especially if you are hollerin’ for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and your spouse is rooting for Kurt Busch. There’s work to be done there people. Hard Work. Somebody’s gotta pick a side.

And Adult Time Outs are even more important for those Mommas of small ones, medium sized ones and sometimes even the large ones. Mommas need time away from the trailer to be with other Trailer Park Mommas.

Sans the children.

That is French for… “WITHOUT!”

Even if it’s a Ladies In Fellowship Together (L.I.F.T.) group. Heads up to those husbands out there. You need to help your wife schedule a once a week? something, without your precious darling children holding on to her apron. Make it happen. She will be a better person for it. And like we always say in the HFTP…”If the Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Learn it. Chant it as your mantra. And most importantly…Believe it.

And while we’re on it…Don’t forget those Single Mommas who are doing it all by themselves.  Men! Teenagers! Step up to the plate here. It’s called Volunteering. We do it frequently in the HFTP.

Kudos to those men and teens who are already walking the walk!

And for those Old Time Married peoples. Same is true. They need to make time each day, even for just a few minutes, to get away from the daily bump and grind. Those outside interests that you bring back to the inside of the Trailer Park can be stimulating to your relationship with your sweet Bab-Boo.

I’ve been learning this the hard way. Since our relocate here in the Happy Family Danat Resort Trailer Park in the Sandbox, I’ve had to learn when Jose’ wants to be alone, still and quiet. And trust me, it’s hard. With no one to talk to during the day but myself, I WANT someone to interact with me! I want my playmate to come outside and play with ME! But, I have to allow him his Adult Time Out so that he can be a better person with me.

I’m in Adult Time Out all day and I’m ‘fabulous’! (sing it like the church lady)

On the flip side… IF the Adult Time Out involves behaviors that are contradictory to the marriage/relationship, then perhaps those should be re-thought. I’m talking specifically about fishin’ down at the local watering hole for 4-5 hours and watching Go-Go’s’ dance. That is NOT the kind of Adult Time Out we’re talking about!

Not that we’re judging the Go-Go’s…it’s just not that kind of time out.

Examples of positive Adult Time Outs could be any or up to and including all of the following:  shooting shot guns at the range (or if it’s safe, off the back porch of the trailer), mindless shopping at the Dollar Store or my personal favorite, Big Lots, playing a 9 hole round of golf (yes, HFTP people play golf), hitting balls at the batting cages for an hour, sitting and playing a video game for half an hour, tinkering with the car, a lunch with the girls, banging the drums for an hour, a Bible Study group (men’s or ladies), or a nice long relaxing soak in the tub with your Muscat d ‘Asti and a tube of Pringles or perhaps just the daily constitutional without interruption.

Ever wonder why your spouse heads to the bathroom straight in from work…for half an hour? Or why they put on their running shoes and head for the door? That’s a wakeup call that he/she needs time…alone…without you…to switch gears. Don’t get your panties in a wad or your feelins hurt about it. Embrace the Adult Time Out. Find your own outlet.

In conclusion and in praise of the Adult Time Out; it can be most positive. We all need one to recharge our batteries. To get back the old Jesus and Sunshine in our step. To be ‘fabulous’ people. (Ah ha! caught you singing it again like the church lady)

What is your Adult Time Out? Inquiring minds would love to know. Feel free to post a comment below.

Respectfully submitted by your very best friend in the whole entire world,

Nadine Bodine

Aka/Malika Nadine of the Happy Family Danat Resort Trailer Park in the Sandbox

Nadine On…Mentoring

While some people may deem it busybodyness…messing in other people’s busyness and that it’s none of your busyness may sometimes be true.

Growing up in the proverbial trailer park, I, myself, have been gifted and blessed with a whole gaggle of female mentors throughout my life. They have advised me when I asked for it, and more importantly, when I haven’t.

My mentors have included close family members like Mawdine, Maydine, Layunine, Cletaine, Chlorine, Cuisine, Glowdine, as well as, friends like Joline, Caffeine, Prayline and the occasional saleslady at my local Wally World. How was I to know she was listening in to my cell phone call while I was trying on clothes in the dressing room?! But Thank you Jesus, she was!

Truly, I am blessed by the wisdom and discernment of these women.

But not all women have this blessing I have been given.

There are those poor unfortunate lost trailer park souls who really don’t have a well-meaning female sounding board to bounce things off of. And we all know how important it is to have another head to knock against when times get tough.

Enter Nadine Bodine, the Self-Appointed Life Coach to Many.

Where there’s a problem, she’s got a solution, or two. Primarily based on her own rocky life experiences with as much drama as an episode of Gilligan’s Island, a night-time Novena (that’s for my favorite sisters-in-law) and the latest episode of Downton Abbey all rolled into one. Which Jose’ now has me addicted to, bless his pointed little head.

On any given day, there is a plethora of drama out there in the Trailer Park. And with as much Jesus as possible, Nadine can step in at any given situation and lend a helping hand…sometimes in the form of a well needed back slap. Can I get Amen? I think I can. In Jesus’ name.

Most of the time, the drama involves persons of the opposite sex. However, sometimes it’s about their jobs, or kids, or Mommas, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting drunk…OMG that sounds just like Steve Goodman/David Allen Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” song…We should collaborate.

From time to time, it involves the perfect recipe, which movie to rent for that evening of Hamburgers Nekked On The Couch (blog to follow one day) and sometimes it’s even about, of all things, toileting habits! I kid you not.

But Nadine, Self-Appointed Life Coach to Many, like those brave souls who have come before her, is ever ready with her Magic Advice Wand to sweep in, take charge and do her duty.

 Like a bad case of the hiccups.

As a young woman, Nadine’s mentors always knew, long before Nadine did, what the outcome of certain circumstances would be. And after mixing their advice with her own gut instinct and intuition and the occasional alcoholic beverage she would go ahead and make the decision. Not once, in Nadine’s young life, did she fail to heed the advice of her mentors. Ok, maybe a few times, but she HAS lived to regret it.

Humbly so.

Anybody got a good recipe for crow pie?

How about elephant stew?

“In Praise of Matthew 11:5 and the Blind Date” or “How to Get a Guy to Ask You to Marry Him in 10 Days?” A Trailer Park Love Story

“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” ~ Matthew 11:5, King James Version of the Bible

Many people want to know how Jose’ and I met. I am proud to proclaim we met via eHarmony by proxy, through the magic of the internet and personal networking we found happiness. Each of us had a friend from work who had met and married via eHarmony two years prior.

The eHarmony couple (Lodine and Squiggy) report, they signed up on the ‘after the first of the year sign up special’ looking for valued love. They were tired of the notorious “free internet dating game sites” laden with weirdoes and nut jobs; they were looking for real love they could build a foundation on. They paid their cash money and found true love. Awwww.

Truly, those two were a match made in heaven.

Because without that match, there would be no Jose’ and Nadine Bodine now would there? And if there was no Jose’ and Nadine…then no Skeeter, Nacho and Sha-nay-nay, our precious g-babies.

Jose’ did try a few of those ‘free dating sites’ only to be discouraged by the weirdness of it all. It’s a wonder he didn’t need P.T.S.D.D. (Post-Traumatic Stress Dating Disorder) counseling. Nadine, her skeptical former law enforcement self, refused on principal and downright old fashioned paranoia.

Like many, Jose’ and Nadine were amongst the ‘walking wounded’ from former relationships. Each came to a ‘second year Anniversary wedding vow renewal’ of Lodine and Squiggy…hoping for a valued love match, an open bar and a free meal at Los Vaqueros.

Ok, really, Jose was just tired of the dating ‘game playing,’ and was anxious to meet the fantasy nurse of his dreams.

Nadine was just there for the beer.

But what I found…was a talk, brown and handsome G.I. Jose’ in coke-bottle-bottom glasses offering a lifetime of happiness, adventure, shopping at the BX baby!… and Champus for Life!

After meeting each other for lunch or supper for 9 days straight, talking on the phone at night up until the wee hours, Jose’ planned a late lunch picnic in the same park the eHarmony hook-up had married in.

It was drizzly raining so Jose’ had to set up the spread under an arbor near the parking lot. It just so happened a group of school children were having a field trip at the park and a big yellow bus pulled up just as he finished laying it all out. He even brought flowers! We ate our lunch to the tune of noisy children being ushered by their teachers past the picnic set up. Epic, really, because had we met 25 years earlier, we would have had at least 6 kids! Maybe more.

As we ate, it became apparent to me, Nadine, that Jose’ had something more than Central Market pasta salad, Izzy’s orange cream sodas and shrimp on his mind.

He offered me his Momma’s wedding ring and his hand.

I immediately said yes! Because I’m a smart girl and recognized a great catch when I saw one!

And because I was raised by a Southern G-maw who had instructed me, early on, to nevah tell a man no when he asks for your hand. Just ask for a long engagement and work out the details later on. Any Southern Belle gal knows, trust funds, engagements and weddings can later be renegotiated…but a man may only ask a gal to marry him once! Better cash in while the offer is on the table. Never mind that it had only been 10 days!!!

So with much trepidation and fear of marrying a ‘near’ blind man, remember the coke-bottle-bottom glasses? I said yes, with the stipulation of a yearlong engagement. I knew full well that blending a family of teenagers was going to be interesting, at best.  And dramatic at worst. This was gonna take some time.

Jose’ and I were both of the mindset that upon reaching this age, one can tell in about 2 hours or less if that other person is worth investing any more time and energy into. If not, cut bait and keep fishing.

The good news is, José and I were married in a small ceremony with our immediate family and children present one year later.

The blind can see…Jose’ had Lasix surgery on his eyes and is no longer a blind man.  Much to the teasing and jibbing from my well-meaning family, even with his sight renewed, Jose’ can still see a good thing.

The lame can walk…the teenage kids have grown up and are doing their own thing and taking care of themselves and other little peoples.

The lepers have been healed…even if the Leopards haven’t changed their spots.

The deaf can hear…Nadine and Jose’ are headed to the Hearing Aid store one day soon.

The dead are raised up….can’t say much more about that in mixed company.

And the poor have the gospel… was born.

Respectfully submitted by your very best friend in the whole entire world,

Nadine Bodine

Aka/Malika Nadine of the Happy Family Danat Resort Trailer Park in the Sandbox

Keep Holding Your Sister’s Up Even When They Can’t Hold Up Themselves

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” ~ Maya Angelou
Here’s the conversation…you know it from heart…it goes something like this here:
(Disclaimer…the names were changed to protect…somebody? And this conversation knows no gender…these roles can be easily reversed!)

Damaged Woman-“I am so mad at ‘That Man!’ He keeps going out, getting… drunk/high/stoned, spending half his paycheck on (insert your favorite vice here), staying gone, spiritually/emotionally/physically tormenting the kids and spiritually/emotionally/physically tormenting me! He is just treating me horribly!”

Best Friend-“I know. He’s such a dog. You should leave his sorry a$$ in the dirt!”

Damaged Woman-“And you know what else he did…HE wrecked MY car, cleaned out MY bank account and bought (insert your favorite sporting/ hunting/automotive/electronic item here)!”

Best Friend-“That is terrible! You are such a sweet, pretty, honest, hard-working, fun-loving, special, nice, loyal, AWESOME woman and friend. He shouldn’t be treating you that way!”…


The damaged woman complaining has just got the validation she most needed…wanted!!!…only, she got it from the wrong person. What she should be doing is making a plan to get out of a damaging relationship…but not what she does.

Women chronically seek out other women when they aren’t getting what they need from a relationship gone badly and rant. And these other women, their so called BFF’s tell them exactly what they only “wish” they could hear from “That Man”. Only to go back to “That Man” who is causing them all of this pain and perpetuate the cycle again.

Here we go…If you’re lucky enough to have a washer machine in your trailer, then…Lather, rinse, repeat.

We all know this conversation can and has gone on…and on…ad-nauseam.

Sometimes you’re the windshield, in this diatribe, and sometimes…you’re the bug.
Either way, it’s a vicious cycle of “He said”/ “She said.” And nobody gets anywhere; just dizzier than a rodeo cowboy who was just bucked off of “Bam-Bam” at the last Fort Worth Fat Stock Show. (Some might argue “The Grinch”)

I call this cycle and soon to be Best Seller…“As the Trailer Park Twirls.”

And it will continue to twirl until somebody pulls the plug.

All adult people need to know how to recognize “When it’s time to get off the ‘Twirling Trailer’…as it were.” (To be blogged at a later date and time)

But, I suppose, until they are willing to pull the plug, we, as girlfriends, need to “Keep Holding Our Sister’s Up Even When they can’t hold up themselves.”

But trust me….that can get old quick!

Sincerely submitted by your very best friend in the whole entire world

Nadine Bodine

Aka/Malika Nadine of the Happy Family Danat Desert Resort Trailer Park