Salted Caramel Brownies a la Nadine

I must begin by saying…DON’T follow the Duncan Hines box directions. Because they suck like a hoover.

Epic failure. Do us all a favor and skip the attempt for the mini-muffins.

Now, here’s what to do…
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 Box Duncan Hines Salted Caramel Brownie Mix
2 eggs beaten
2 Tablespoons water
1/3 cup oil
Mix together with 50 strokes.
Line 12 regular muffin tins with foil muffin papers.
Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of brownie into each cup.
Push 4 mini marshmallows into the brownie dough, then spoon more Brownie mix to cover.
Sprinkle ½ teaspoon graham cracker crumbs on top and bake 20 minutes.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then drizzle caramel topping over each one.

Makes 12.

Hide 6.

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Yumiko’s Breakfast Stir Fry

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1/2 lb fat free sausage-spicy
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
2 large jalapeños, sliced
6 eggs beaten
2 scallions, sliced
Braggs Liquid Aminos to taste (I use in place of soy sauce)

In large wok, crumble and stir fry sausage till slightly browned, add red onion. Fry a few minutes and add jalapeños. Remove from wok and keep on stovetop.Stir Fry rice for 2-3 minutes and add to sausage mixture. Cook eggs in wok until done, add rice/sausage mixture back in and cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and Braggs! Yum! Serves 4.

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Nadine On…the Negative Prayer

Growing up, it’s no secret; my father had a severe drinking problem. Although he was an alcoholic, nobody wanted to openly talk about it, except to talk ‘about him’ behind his back. Much later on, Dad would reflect and say, that at that time, he was a drunk, not an alcoholic. He would explain, with his big old goofy grin, that drunks go to bars while alcoholics go to meetings. Of course.

I wasn’t privy to engage in these conversations about him until I was about 12 years old. Because growing up in the south, children were to be seen, but not heard. My thoughts or opinions on the subject of my father’s problem mattered little. So I remained silent.

For a number of years, I would sit at the kitchen table with my paternal grandmother and my mother and listen in on their conversations about my dad. Both were always in agreement at the end that he just needed to ‘hit rock bottom.’ They felt that if he could just get low enough, be miserable enough, suffer enough that he would miraculously have an Epiphany and decide to stop.

They even prayed to that end!

I was appalled, even though I said nothing.

So to counter balance that ‘Negative Prayer’ I would sit quietly and pray for the opposite. I prayed that he would receive goodness and grace. I wished for a better life for him and the ability for him to make better choices for himself. I longed for him to see himself as I saw him; brilliantly smart, and funny, generous to a fault, loving, kind to all creatures great and small and exceptionally Tolerant to race, creed, religion, sex and sexual orientation.

It just made no sense then, nor does it make any sense now, to pray in a negative way for anyone. Why on earth would you want something bad to happen to someone so that something good might come of it?

I pray now for intercessions for my family, friends and even enemies in all circumstances that they will be delivered from their infirmities great or small. I don’t wish bad things on them, or pray for negative things to happen to them. Unlike Mr. Newton’s hypothesis, it doesn’t always take a bad action to cause an equal and opposite good one. I refuse to believe that.

And I don’t pray that way.

I pray for you that you are lifted and gifted. That you see your own glorious and beautiful potential. That you are relieved from your addictions or afflictions. That you rise to a higher calling. That you receive all that you deserve and a little bit more as a bonus. That you love and get loved back. In Abundance!

Positively Prayerfully yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole entire world!

Nadine On…the “kill switch” word

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Staying focused is admittedly the most difficult thing when you are trying to spin 8 plates at once. A skill, for which I’m known well. And while, sometimes, in a perfect world, I’ll boast, I rock at this! At other times, I fail miserably.

In line with this year’s personal challenge to better my mind, body and spirit I’m trying to keep it down to just 3 plates. In my mind I am writing ALL of the time. I’m doing pretty well at moving my body 21 days at a time with my workout plan. And spiritually? Well, let’s just say the search is on.

But thoughts travel, the body wanders into the land of ‘forbidden foods in the land of the couch potatoes” and the spirits as restless as a teenager on a cruise ship of old people.

I may be writing ALL of the time…in my head, on my iPhone or with my voice recorder! But I need to put it to paper more often. I have things that need to be published and other things that need to be completed. Too many things.

Moving my body 21 days at a time, mostly, yes! But how to stay on that wagon and how get others to move with me? There’s the task.

Spiritually, now that January is over (don’t ask) I am going to do more investigative research to find a better fit. For me and for my sweet husband.

So how to stay focused and bring all of these things together in harmony? Well, that is the $100,000.00 question.

As with any other well executed program, I know need a plan. A daily plan. But not JUST a plan, also the willingness to execute it. For starters, let’s get rid of the negative thoughts and ideas that keep popping to the surface. In the past, I’ve done this with a ‘kill switch’ word or phrase. Each time something came into my head to shift my focus, I said the “kill switch” word or phrase in my mind to flip my brain back and refocus.

For example, years ago when I was going through a traumatic divorce, I said the phrase, “Don’t kill him!”… your baby needs a Momma who’s not in prison.

When dealing with a difficult doctor in the hospital, I said Thank God, “I’m not married to him!”

And when Faylene was asked to leave the trailer park, I said “Let her go,”… she’s bat shit crazy.

And frequently I’ll just say the word “Jesus.” Works for me.

I think I need a special ‘kill switch’ word for each area so I can stay focused. It can be one word, but I think, better, a phrase.

For the mind, at first, I was thinking the words “Prove them Wrong,” but that has a twinge of negativism. So, instead the phrase, “Be Published,” will work for now. When my mind is torn to other things that just really don’t have any bearing on writing, I’ll use that phrase. And I’ll do it for 30 minutes minimum twice each day.

For the body, a simple, “Be Healthy (or Die trying).” 30 minutes a day for me, and 30 minutes for helping others. My Coach will be proud.

And for the spirit, 30 minutes to get my focus shifted off of the other spinning plates and into the peaceful place I want to be. A centered place free of drama and politics and man-made religion and customs. A higher level, if you will. Closer to the creator. And my phrase will be “Be Centered.”

Yours, published, healthy and centered,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole entire world!

Nadine On…Misunderstandings: Dogs Don’t Lie

Last week at work was a mental whuppin’! In the truest sense of the word. All because of a misunderstanding to the power of four thousand.

You think you know your business. You try hard every day to do a good job. You meet and occasionally exceed expectations. Whoooo-hoo! Go you!

And then BAM!

Straight out of frickin’ nowhere comes a roundhouse kick to the head. People making your busyness their busyness.

You don’t WANT to think bad. You don’t WANT to have work drama. You ask questions, but get elusive or evasive answers. Or just bald face lying to your face. Painful.

Sometimes people are dumb and they underestimate how very much their words and body language give them away. And it pains me because I’m a really good reader. Sometimes I use that skill to my advantage. Most times I wish I didn’t know that they are lying to me. Or that they lie at all. To me, or to others.

Why can’t the world just be nicer? Why can’t we just all be real and frank and direct and good? Looking out for others. Expecting and celebrating their accomplishments no matter how great or small?

I’m still hurt from the drama. And the covering up. And the lying. And I have to make a big decision about it.

So I asked my boss for time to think and pray.

If I choose to let it go, I’m pretty certain it will happen again. Ok, damn certain. And I’m certain that my boss will move it on forward on their own.

If I don’t then I will most likely be the one to suffer the brunt because people are human and passive-aggressive retaliation may occur.

More than anything, I wish the truth would present itself and that the person responsible will put on her big girl panties and come forward. Because the one she has taking her place can’t afford another hit.

But I’m not their Momma. I can’t force the truth to surface. I can only pray for it.

And even if the truth surfaces, the trust factor has taken a huge blow to the head. It takes a while in my business to develop trust and it takes about a millisecond to destroy it.

So while I sit, coffee cup in hand, contemplating this decision, the dogs wrestle under my feet. I marvel at their banter. The way they play fair with the bigger dog on the ground, while the smaller one stands. The smaller dog is older and wiser, the bigger dog, well she has her size. Their play is balanced, like a dance. The give and take is sweet to watch. Neither one taking advantage of the other.

It’s times like this I wish I was a dog instead of a human. Because even if there is a misunderstanding…Dogs Don’t Lie.

Painfully honestly yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY best friend in the whole entire world!

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Nadine On…Being Polyamna

I’ve been accused of being a Pollyanna before. Sticks and stones.

Just because I haven’t watched a complete news broadcast in upwards of 14 years just means I don’t like swallowing all of the negativism that the liberal media wishes to shove down our throats. Same with newspapers. Spare me your Startle-Gram and Dallas Mourning News.

Which leads me to the point of this rant. At the risk of offending those of you Facebook fans of the dark and marauding posts about animals abused and neglected, children abducted, human trafficking, elder abuse and terrorism ad nauseum! You people need a little Jesus and sunshine in your lives! Seriously.

Don’t you get tired of living in darkness and shadows all the time? And chronically posting about it?

Yes, Virginia, the world is full of dark places. People who abuse others and Gods beautiful creatures. But why keep shedding light on them? Don’t you get it? Don’t you understand you are exploiting those very ones you should be protecting?

I’m not talking about the occasional “heads up” informatics. I’ve done that myself. But not on a constant newsreel of bad news and bad information and bad people.

I feel sorry for you. Truly, I do. Because your world is dark. Your issues have issues that I can’t even begin to understand. Perhaps you could consider taking a step back? Maybe your world is cloaked in darkness because you are? The glass, for you, is always half empty.

And while I’m compassionate. My compassion has limits. Color me human.

So, in the true spirit of the Happy Family Trailer Park, where it is safe to make eye contact here…I wish you light and love, compassion and understanding, peace, harmony and domestic tranquility. A centered presence. And maybe a cheeseburger and a beer cause it might be good for your soul.

And chocolate.

Post what you must. I’ll keep scrolling. Setting my boundaries high to block out the darkness while letting in the light.

Peace, love and light

Polyannaically (is that a word?) yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole entire world!

Nadine On…the top 10 reasons why I shouldn’t go to work today even though I will

The top ten reasons why I shouldn’t go to work today, even though I will.

10- my new puppy is entirely too cute and I wanna stay home and play with her. They just grow up too fast!

9-it’s cold out there and warm in here. Plus I have coffee. That pot isn’t gonna drink itself!

8-there is a mountain of mail/shoppers/magazines on my table that I should probably look through. There could be a check!

7-Good Morning America is calling my name.

6-this is a 3 day holiday weekend and if I take today, I could make it four!!!

5-I’m already up. I could be so productive today here at home instead of work.

4-I haven’t even started on this year’s reading list. Me and the furry children could cuddle and read all.day.long.

3-I’ve been awake since 0315…I could use a nap later on.

2-I could write something. Anything. Just let those creative juices flow with wild abandon.

And the number one reason I shouldn’t go to work today, even though I will…is because I love my job and I want to keep it that way. Is is good to have a mental health day from time to time. Here in the HFTP we recognize and embrace crazy head on and with gusto; and we understand that a working/playing balance keeps us from burning the whole park down.

Take the day if you must. I’m headed to work.

Dutifully yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole entire world