Nadine On…Reflections and Prognostications

How will you spend the last day of 2013? How will I? What’s to come for 2014?

As 2013 comes to a close in the Happy Family Trailer Park, I daringly spend a little time in reflection on but just a few highpoints.

2013 marked the beginning of the end of a temporary relocate for the HFTP to the desert in the Middle East. Why God took us there? Many reasons have yet to reveal themselves. I’m still waiting. Patiently. Said no Trailer Park Woman ever!

But! 2013 wasn’t all bad. There were many good moments, some even great! Numerous opportunities to explore the local region, even if finances dictated the range of those opportunities. Folks in the HFTP are no different from any others, we’re always on a limited travel budget.

Of those opportunities, the primary one is I got to write my first book. Something I had always talked about, wanted to do, but just never could quite find the time or the discipline to do so. First and foremost I want to give God the glory for making it happen and second I want to thank my sweet Baboo, Jose’, for putting up with those 6 months. The man truly deserves a medal, or a really good home cooked meal, for his perseverance. I should make him healthy oven fried chicken and gluten-free waffles and ho-made maple syrup to dip them in! (recipe to follow soon)

The people and friends we met there…while some, can’t go away fast enough; hopefully, many will last a lifetime! The entire staff at the Danat Resort, Gerry, Dionne and Rachel and many others…you know who you are. Rachel…we’ll ALWAYS have Memphis!

And the trip to Barcelona and the 14 day Trans-Atlantic Cruise home was to die for! Such a great way to CLOSE that chapter of life and mark the return to the original HFTP location in Willer Holler. God took us into the desert, and brought us back out as promised. A lifetime of memories and potential stories that I can write about for years to come!

Plans for 2014 include getting said book published, starting my very own writing group and my very own fitness group. And, as in years past, getting better organized, doing more with less, reading more, riding more, writing more, spending more time with family, friends and the HFTP Queens!, and getting myself in better shape physically, mentally and spiritually. Pretty much the usual.

While mantras from the past years have included such tongue in cheek examples as “I’m gonna make 2011 my bee-yach!” to 2012’s “Let it Go!” and then expanded further to 2013’s “Let it Go…or be dragged.”

2014’s mantra will be, until further notice…

598749_10151615818652945_1646719042_n If you cannot be positive

A slight twist of my g-maw’s old mantra “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

It’s a nice twist.

BTW…Call me…or a cab or somebody, anybody, if you’ve had one 40 oz. too much to drink and you need a ride home.

Call your father if you need bail money.

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Nadine Bodine

Your Very Best Friend in the Whole Entire World

Nadine On…Yet another reason why I HATE Cancer’s guts!

Cancer. That horrible word we all dread to hear. Bad when it involves someone you love. From bad to worse when it’s you. Like Zero to Sixty in less than 10 seconds.

            Today, I sat with Jose’ at the hospital with my church family and my family family, who are also my church family, while a church family member underwent surgery. And, I’m just gonna be completely honest here, it sucked.

            Not the part where I got to have coffee-talk with one of my favorite Aunts or my very favorite Uncle. That part rocked.

Or the part where I got to do my best stand-up routines and tried out my newest jokes in an effort to divert the attention of the surgical-person-in-waiting from their imminent procedure to something totally ridiculous. I liked that part. Humorous diversions in the face of EXTREME STRESS!!! It’s one of my gifts…thank you Jesus!

Or the part where I got to tell the family that I REALLY am there for them ‘post-op/post-dismiss you to home to fend for yourself.’ Here’s my cell phone number, text or call me after you call the Dr. or 9-1-1. Or just if you need someone to pull you back in off the ledge. All parts I liked.

I mean the part where you know, deep down inside, like a sucker punch to the gut when you thought it someone was just bringing you flowers to the door, that this is serious life and death stuff. That there is no playing around here because someone you care for deeply, or love even, is sick. Really, really, potentially sick! Dammit. That’s the part where I HATE CANCER’S GUTS!!! For real.

But here’s the good news. Here’s the part where it gets great! The part where people come together and face enormous physical, emotional and spiritual obstacles…together. Like a Boss.

For weeks now, we have lifted up, pondered, prayed, talked, cheered, fellowshipped, and prayed some more for a miracle. Something only God and the Universe have divine authority over.

            And while it just wasn’t in the cards to deliver a full blown miracle, a partial miracle came in its place. My friend, he’s going to be ok. Because he is going to join the ranks of the Survivors.  He’s got the Eye of the Tiger…and tiger’s only get their stripes by earning them.

Nadine On…The Annual “Live” Happy Family Trailer Park Nativity

Once again…it’s that time of year! And in response to, or probably better said, not to be outdone by the neighbor’s very precious nativity, complete with a stable and a manger made, by hand, by Walter…Casa de Vinton will be staging our Annual “Live” Happy Family Trailer Park Nativity!

It is fitting, as usual to be staged right outside our single wide. And neither rain, nor cold, nor storms nor dark of night will keep us from dressing up and honoring the Holy Family the night of our precious Lord Jesus’ birth. It’s going to be a spectacular debacle for sure. Not one you will want to miss! Complete with search lights shining through the atmosphere to guide you in and midgets, dressed like elves, giving out snacks and selling tickets to the annual mud-wrestling.

In an effort to help out the sky choppers and the Willer Holler Po-Po our new Daughter-In-Law will be our coordinator/planner extraordinaire and will also be on hand to ‘sign’ for the hearing impaired. I’m not sure if any of the ‘signs’ she has taught me thus far will be needed for this event, but I’m ready for the occasion should a need arrive to insult the traffic flow.

Per usual, Jose’ and I will dress as Joseph and Mary, our Mother. Our trip to the Middle East has equipped us with even better costumes than last year! We’re gonna rock the trailer park as the Holy parents.

And since I couldn’t find a suitable plastic life sized realistic looking baby Jesus, we decided dress our lovely 2 year-old granddaughter, Sha-Nay-Nay again as the baby Jesus. Best of Luck! to us, to keep her stationary in that crib. It may take a few more tie-wraps than last year, but I’m locked and loaded with them.

Of course, our children, God love their little hearts, will once again play the Wise Men from Afar…this is because they STILL KNOW EVERYTHING!

Additionally, Chico, the dog, and Clyde, the cat, are cast as the lambs, complete with little lamb sweaters I made myself. They are so cute!

The other two grand-sons, Skeeter and Nacho, will be dueling drummer boys and/or air-guitar players depending on their kindergarten/toddler moods and whether or not they’ve had a nap today.

And finally, as per the usual, our Son-In-Law, will once again be cast as this year’s Ass!…

 

Merry Christmas to All! And to All a good night!

Gratitude and Blessings be yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole entire world!

 

Nadine On…Blessings

peaceloveandtrailerparks

What a week this has been. A roller coaster of job applications, phone interviews, face to face interviews and the blessing of a second interview!

Last week my Pastor, and favorite cousin (just don’t tell the rest of them!) spoke about Blessings. I admit I was half listening, as it was ugly Christmas sweater Sunday and was trying to manage the Trailer Park Barbie sweater I was sporting…the Barbie I had sewn onto the front kept turning sideways and the little car wouldn’t stay perched on its block. Truly a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in the making from the git-go.

But I was set out to win!

Let the games begin.

Anyway, PG, short for Pastor Greg, was telling us how God blesses us as much as we can handle. Wait. What was that? Rewind the tape. Blesses us as much as we can handle? I always thought of that in the…

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Nadine On…Blessings

What a week this has been. A roller coaster of job applications, phone interviews, face to face interviews and the blessing of a second interview!

Last week my Pastor, and favorite cousin (just don’t tell the rest of them!) spoke about Blessings. I admit I was half listening, as it was ugly Christmas sweater Sunday and was trying to manage the Trailer Park Barbie sweater I was sporting…the Barbie I had sewn onto the front kept turning sideways and the little car wouldn’t stay perched on its block. Truly a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in the making from the git-go.

But I was set out to win!

Let the games begin.

Anyway, PG, short for Pastor Greg, was telling us how God blesses us as much as we can handle. Wait. What was that? Rewind the tape. Blesses us as much as we can handle? I always thought of that in the negative. God only gives us as much as you can handle.

And how many times have I questioned him, saying, “Really, God! Just how much more can I possibly handle? The camel’s back is just about to break here. One more stick, and I’m gonna go to my knees.” Oh, wait, that’s probably what he wanted in the first place.

So, all week, I pondered how this concept of God only giving you/me as much as we can handle works for the positive. How awesome is that!?

After praying with my cousins at the altar, and asking God for jobs for me and Jose’ I left it there and went on through the week in search of not only a job, but a job with the right fit. And wouldn’t you know…the right fit came in the form of not just one offer…but two! WOW! I was humbled.

So, now, faced with a choice, it came down to money. Like in, who is going to pony up the most cash? I went to bed Thursday night, knowing that my decision had been made. The job that paid the most had won.

Oh, but wait. An intervention of the Close Encounters of the “Mawdine” Kind occurred. My sweet little Momma, always playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ shed some light on a few items I had failed to see in my haste to cash the check!

And a phone call later my plan had changed as the financial playing field leveled.

It’s not always about the money, and my new boss’ offer helped me sort all of that out. It became a decision for the best fit. Shifting all that superfluous budgeting and financial stuff to the side.

What a relief. To be employed. Truly a blessing.

Color me this Christmas season, counting my blessings.

Gratefully yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your Very Best (now employed) Friend in the Whole Wide World!   

Nadine On…The 12 Days of Christmas rewritten as The 14 Days of Cruisin’

Fourteen days of transatlantic cruising. FOURTEEN DAYS!

Now Jose’ and I aren’t cruise virgins, but this kind of Adventure had us excited! (And because money is always the bottom line with Jose’ the added bonus was it was much cheaper to cruise home than it was to fly!)

Besides the opportunity to see some fantastic sights, workin’ on my tan, trying not to eat myself silly, finishing the second edit of the book (save your applause for the book signing party)…I’ve taken the liberty of amending The 12 Days of Christmas song…I present to you “The 14 Days of Cruisin’.”

Don’t hate me because I’m almost famous.

On the first day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me a 14 day Trans-Atlantic Cruise.

On the first day my true love loaded me, my 5 suitcases, 3 carry-on bags, one pillow and a blanket! aboard The Navigator of the Seas to return home after a yearlong ‘working vacation’…he worked… I vacationed!

On the second day of cruisin’
my true love gave to me two shows a night…at the Met-tro-pol-o-i-lis.

Overheard in the Metropolis Theatre, a truly splendid concert hall with 3 levels of balconies, and two bars, a huge performance stage with a state of the art lighting and sound system…a husband explaining to his wife:

“Now Mildred, don’t sit all the way in to the middle of the isle, in case the show sucks and we want to leave early.”

Good to know.

But the shows never sucked and were jam packed with some amazing talent, singing, dancing, acrobatics a hypnotist and then some. Really AMAZING shows.

On the third day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me a three mile walk…around the ship’s outdoor track.

In case you didn’t know there is a huge difference between mall walkers and cruise ship deck walkers. First of all, mall walkers are usually up early and out of there by the time the shoppers arrive at 10:00 a.m. Not true about cruise ship deck walkers…these people walk All.Day.Long. And you best not get in their way or walk the opposite direction of the flow; lest you get your beads read.

Basically, it’s this…walk the direction of the wheel, lead, follow or get out of my damn way. I’m on my way to Belly Dancing lessons and I don’t want to be late!

On the fourth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me four bingo cards!

Cruise ship bingo is hilarious! These people really get into it and the cruise ship folks make it really fun and funny. Of course, this is just the appetizer for the main course served in the ship’s Casino. Where it’s not uncommon to hear someone exclaim at the craps table “Oh shit! I crapped! Dolores, please tell me I’m not out of depends.”

On the fifth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…five golden watches!

It’s a hard sell on those watches. Especially when making a transatlantic cruise. Because as you cruise to the East, each night they turn the clocks back one hour. It’s fantastic! Everybody sets their little clocks for 0400 and gets up and turns back their clock. Right? Ok, am I the only one here?

By the looks on your faces, I’m thinking I am.

But what an incentive to market these watches…because those poor souls selling them have to turn each and every one back if they don’t sell.

On the sixth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…six bands a playin’…on every deck of this stinking cruise ship.

Where do they get all of this talent?! Amazing, truly amazing. Whatever kind of music you are into, they’ve got your flavor; from Salsa in Bolero, to easy-listening piano/jazz in the Schooner bar, to fifties sock hop in Studio B, to an hour of Mowtown or ABBA in the Dungeon, to 60’s/70’s/80’s mix on the main pool deck 11 rockin’ with a great band Adam’s Rib. A shout out to the drummer, Riley, who we had breakfast with.

On the seventh day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…seven ice cream cones.

Have you tried the ice cream cones? Yum! Beware, though of the ice-cream-cone police. Because they WILL cite you if you go over the daily limit.

First you get a warning…but after that, no mercy. It’s not hard to get carried away and you could find yourself dangerously close to exceeding your limit.

Which I have set…arbitrarily…at seven.

On the eighth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…eight lords in speedos.

Ok…eight very large men in speedos in the hot tub.

Dit-do-do! Dit-do-do! Dit-do-do!

A public service announcement people, listen up!…A word on appropriate cruise swim wear. Make sure it fits.

For ladies…It’s all about the foundations; not only your cup size, but your butt size. If it’s creeping up your crack, and it’s not pretty to YOU…then it’s probably not pretty to the rest of us.

And men! You don’t get off so easy. There happens to be a Maritime Speedo Law enforced out here on the open waters. There is a no Speedo limit…and it goes like this. If you can’t see your feet…NO! Speedo.

On the ninth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…nine ladies dancing.

These women are animals! From Belly Dancing lessons to Flash Mobbing…They will literally dance your legs off all night long in the Disco. And beware if you let them make requests! Because we’re… um, they’re on each other’s shoulders while doing line dances, swinging around the ceiling fans, sliding down the banisters from the upstairs to the downstairs…and that’s before the body shots!

On the tenth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…ten sparkling diamonds!

Sparkling Diamond friends that is. That’s what the cruise line calls the frequent fliers. Because if you think back, the reason we’re on this cruise is because it’s a good deal. And ya’ll know Jose’. And ya’ll know me, I’d rather spend $1,000.00 on my Harley, than on a new diamond ring.

But I wouldn’t trade for my new Diamond friends! From Hansel and Gretel, Monica and Jim, Joan and Big Al from Jersey, the four Louisiana gals, Ginny and Al, to Kathy and John. Ok, that’s 14! Who’s counting? They are all really great people and we are so blessed we met them!

On the eleventh day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…eleven meals a day!

Oh My Goodness, I felt like a Hobbit. But Hobbits only have seven meals a day:  Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevensies, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Dinner and Supper. Somehow we managed to add in another four! Which leads me to the twelth day…

On the twelfth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…twelve pounds a gainin’…so far!

Oh gosh! I hope these Spa scales are wrong. Because I can’t stop eating this fabulous food. The three courses a day, plus snacks are about to do me in! The food is so excellent here and the presentations are amazing. There surely is an abundance…and apparently it has decided to settle on my butt!

On the thirteenth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…thirteen minutes of Internet time.

Oh.My.Goodness! Have you seen the prices of that stuff? For crying out loud! You’d think AT&T has the monopoly here for what they charge! Highway robbery. Seriously.  But after 14 days, and 257 new emails in my mailbox, 13 minutes is just a drop in the bucket. Sorry honey, about that bill. Let’s see, doing the math, 75cents a minute for 412 minutes…oh well, I didn’t really need another watch.

On the fourteenth day of cruisin’ my true love gave to me…fourteen days of memories that I will never forget as long as I live.

So to cap it off…On the 14th day of cruisin’ my true love gave to ME!!!

14 days of memories,

13 minutes of internet,

12 extra pounds,

11 meals a day,

10 Sparkling Diamonds,

9 ladies dancing,

8 lords in speedos,

7 ice cream cones,

6 bands a playin’,

5 golden watches!!!

4 bingo cards,

3 mile walks,

2 shows a night,

And a 14 day Trans-Atlantic Cruise!

WHAT an adventure this last year has been!

He led us into the desert and he has led us back out as promised. Isaiah 43:19 “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

As we close one chapter, we open another. Frankly, we are looking forward to what’s to come.

At home.

Because, there’s no place like home…(click your heels together three times)…unless it’s Texas!

Feel free to leave a comment, I love your commentary…or to follow (not stalk) me. Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,

Your very best friend in the whole entire world

Nadine Bodine

Nadine On…Gratitude Day 10

I am grateful today for the Boy Scouts of America.

In particular for the Boy Scout I married. A Scout is ever:

•Trustworthy,

•Loyal,

•Helpful,

•Friendly,

•Courteous,

•Kind,

•Obedient,

•Cheerful,

•Thrifty,

•Brave,

•Clean,

•and Reverent.

And I would add, capable of performing a random act of kindness on a moment’s notice. Jose’ did the sweetest random act of kindness I’ve ever personally witnessed.

Since today marked day 5 of the Icemageddon 2013 Hostage Crisis…we just had to venture out from the safety and security of our single wide and the Happy Family Trailer Park and forage for some groceries…and I had a particular hankering for Mexican food a la El Fenix.

After parking, we noticed an elderly female standing beside her vehicle. At first glance, it appeared that ice had broken lose from the roof of the building and landed on said vehicle. However, upon closer inspection, we discovered the vehicle had been sitting there for a while and the doors were frozen solid shut and there was about 6 inches of ice covering her windshield and hood.  She looked absolutely “conflused.” Her adult daughter, who had ferried her back to the vehicle that had been sitting there since last Thursday!, didn’t look much better.

Of course we wanted to help. But alas, no ice scraper between the four of us. (I see an opportunity for an Uncle Bob Gift!)

Just when we were about to exhaust the efforts of a paper Starbucks cup in my car, the daughter produced a very large sharp shooter shovel.

Well, I’m proud to say my adult Boy Scout took said shovel from the daughter and commenced to gingerly shave the ice off of the windshield, taking great care not to break it while I prayed her insurance was paid up and we would be able to exit the parking lot without her writing down our license plate number!

He managed to not only remove the covering of ice, but then proceeded to clear the pavement in front of the vehicle so that she could mount her trust steed and ride him on home.

It was the sweetest thing I’ve witnessed all season. And to think, my sweet Baboo just jumped in with his instinct and can-do attitude with a small gesture that had a GRAND impact.

As she turned to me to ask me if he would take some money, I winked and whispered to her…just make a donation to the Boy Scouts of America, that’s where he got his training.

She smiled and walked toward her car where he was standing holding open the door.

I smiled at his kindness and made a mental note to myself to write them a Christmas check in his name.

Gratefully yours,

Your very Best friend in the whole wide world

Nadine