Nadine On…The Trailer Park 40 Day Fix- Day 17-Relationships-How to divorce proof your marriage

wedding rings

Consider this a mini ‘how to’ guide to protect your relationship with your spouse or significant other and stay on that proverbial honeymoon!

Jose’ and I will be celebrating our 8th year of ‘marital bliss’ this weekend.

OK, so that’s what we’ve agreed to call it.

Having survived the 7th year itch with flaming colors, we will be high-fiving it all the way to the restaurant!

In spite of job-geographical separation, week-end duties and Ice-amegeddon this past year, we’ve made it to the top of the 8th  inning!

Go us!

People frequently ask me, how did I find such a great guy like my husband, Jose’? And I tell them. I didn’t. He found me. God put him there for me. And he didn’t get there for me without a whole lot of prayer and prayerful consideration.

How else would such a fantastic guy fall into my path? I didn’t just conjure him up and make him ask me to marry him in 10 short days! It was part of the plan.

And better still, people ask me how can we keep it together? Well, some of it is smoke and mirrors, some of it is pure luck and most of it is VERY.HARD.WORK!

On his part.

And some on mine. We all know I’m not an easy woman to live with and it’s a wonder he didn’t reconsider. Living in a double wide comes with some hefty high maintenance fees.

Had I known he had a fetish for sunglasses, ball hats and tennis shoes, I might have reconsidered as well.

But once we eliminated all of the t-shirts from the Blood Bank, got his eyes fixed with Lasix surgery and got him back on a Harley, Jose’ cleaned up into a mighty fine husband/partner/lover/best friend/boyfriend and co-conspirator against our blended family of kids and gkids! Second and third marriages, don’t judge!, are hard. Even harder if you are blending families.

As of late, divorce is becoming quite prevalent in the HFTP (Happy Family Trailer Park.) And so I have come up with some ideas to help you out there to divorce proof your marriage.  Our marriage is all about MY happiness. Jose’ gets that…now “if” the rest of you could get it, then we’d all get along just fine!

Anyway, couples who seem to be so great together are reaching that 7-year-itch phase and instead of growing closer together, they move farther apart. It is a sad thing to witness.

I was a victim, never liked that word, of divorce as a child…Ok, really I was a grown 21 year old woman. But it was still traumatic when my own parents, after 21 years of marriage, decided to split the sheets. It stunk!

Therefore, I vowed before God and man to never let it happen to me…only to find myself in peril after a mere18 months into my first wedding, that a “marriage” had ensued. Go figure. And quite frankly, even at the ripe old age of 25, it was just too soon for the both of us to handle. We did divorce, without any children or property to argue over and went happily along our separate little ways. And good news, today, we are still friends.

A second marriage was entered into a mere 7 years later, I thought we both had all the bad behaviors out of our systems, and were ready for that lifetime commitment. In fact, part of the marriage vows went something like this: “Somebody’s gonna have to die to get out of this. And darlin’ you can go the easy way, or the hard way. Doesn’t matter to me!” Tongue in cheek, I think we both actually “did” mean it at the time.

And finally, a third marriage has led me to a lifetime commitment with my sweet Babboo, Jose’. Who truly treats me like the Self-Appointed Renaissance HFTP Queen that I am! I’ve met my match and do feel that this will be the last marriage I ever enter into. Namely, because no one else would or could ever treat me as well as he does and I just wouldn’t be able to stand it if they didn’t. I’m a spoiled rotten egg!

So…the point of this ramble is this. Divorce stinks and marriage is really, really difficult. And it takes a lot more than a big fat wedding, chemistry, crushes, financial/emotional/spiritual/physical investments to make one work. It takes some work, here people! And a lot of work to make it work well. It isn’t anything we enter into lightly. We think. We think we know our own minds. But things happen. And while some people change and grow, others don’t…which leads to the issues.

And if you’re the one at the end of the commitment wondering ‘what happened?’ Then guess what, cowboy…you’re the one who didn’t grow.

Life is hard. Marriage is harder. But divorce is a big old pain in the behind that leaves a lot of scars, heavy bags and bad feelings that domino across not only your little immediate family but to your extended family, your church, friends and jobs.

And you never know for sure who you’re gonna get custody of.

The experts say couples fight about two things mostly…Sex and Money. And in my own experience, I would say this is partly true. So you need to get those two things established early on. As far as money is concerned, decide who will be the bill payer and when and how to pay the bills. Never have separate monies, as this practice, in my own personal experience, leads to selfishness. Jose’ and I put all our monies into one pot and once the bills are paid…Whoever gets to it first. Wins!

When it comes to sex, decide when/where/how you will make whoopee…and how long a hiatus is acceptable before one of you must be the aggressor and make the first move. This is fundamental.

There’s an old story about a young married couple on their honeymoon…it goes something like this…When the couple finally got alone, they began to undress. The man took off his trousers and threw them at his new bride, saying, “Put those on.” She replied, “I can’t wear those! They’re yours.” He rebutted, “Dang Skippy! So now you know WHO wears the pants in this family.” The clever bride then removed her panties and threw them at her new husband. He said, “Are you kidding me? I can’t get into those!” To which” I” cleverly responded…”Dang Skippy! And you won’t with that attitude!”

Because, it seems, that couples fight over the littlest and pettiest of things, Here are five HFTP suggestions to divorce proof your marriage and live as Jose’ and I do in complete and perfect bliss. They are as follows:

  1. Make sure there are plenty of double stuffed Oreos and/or Jalapeno Cheetos in the house. Because an offering of a plate of Oreos or a bag of Cheetos and an ice cold beer can calm almost the most savage of beasts. Especially if you offer it neked! (You’ve heard How to Please a Man?…Show up neked, bring beer and snacks.)
  2. Always have spare batteries for the remote control, as many an argument about the big University of Texas or Cowboy game could be avoided with the implementation of fresh batteries in the remote. Likewise, keep the cell phones charged for last minute calls to the Book Maker.
  3. Establish, early on, like, I’m talking Day 1, which way the toilet paper is gonna roll. And who is responsible for placing a spare roll onto the back of the toilet once the roll is low. Many a marriage could have been saved had they just employed this simple rule from the git go!
  4. Make an even odd day for deciding difficult chores/duties like having to say no to the 11th cute little Girl Scout who comes to the door selling cookies. Even days, you do it…Odd days (since he’s most likely the odd one) he does.
  5. Let him deal with his dysfunctional ex-wife/girlfriend/children and you deal with yours.

Jose’ and I agree that it is much, much too hard to get married. And much, much too easy to get a divorce.

And it ought to be the other way around.

People should have to go through YEARS of counseling and conditioning to have the privilege to marry. And then…if it doesn’t work out…a magic wand should be waved over you and “poof” just like that! You can be divorced.

With one exception…IF you have children involved then you both must ‘suck it up’ and stay together…come what may. If one of you grows up a little and the other one doesn’t… That is just too damn bad. It shouldn’t be that easy to divorce. Because your kids deserve something so much better than that. They definitely deserve better than Daddy’s ‘flavor of the month club’ girlfriend or Momma’s latest ‘Uncle Daddy’ boyfriend!

And if you come to the conclusion that to divorce is the one and only answer, and you have kids to consider, you should have to sit down together at the kitchen table and decide which one of you is gonna take the bullet.

Somebody’s gonna have to die.

Praying for the end of time…just kidding! That’s a phrase from ‘our song!’

Blissfully yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole wide world

Nadine On…The Forty Day Trailer Park Fix with Nadine- Day 16- Spirit

love is

On my spiritual journey, I have recently encountered a self-bible study workbook, titled simply, “Love Is” by Hannah Walton. Here is a plug for Ms. Hannah, a woman whom I don’t even know.

As patron to the simplified, I think this is something I could pattern my whole life on. The foundation for the workbook is taken from the 13th chapter of first Corinthians.

If you have ever been to a trailer park wedding in your entire life, it is likely that you have heard these verses from I Corinthians 13:4-8:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.

Since love is God and God is love, Ms. Hannah invites us to re-read this scripture replacing the word ‘love’ with the word ‘God.’ Oh My! What a difference in meaning this takes on!

God is patient.

God is kind.

God does not envy.

God is not jealous or boastful.

God is not rude.

God does not seek his own way.

God is not provoked.

God keeps no record of wrongs.

God thinks no evil, nor does he rejoice in it but celebrates the truth.

God bears all things.

God believes all things.

God hopes all things.

God endures all things.

God never fails.

Spiritually, this is it in a nutshell.

If love is God, and God is love; then God is all of these things.


Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole wide world

Nadine On…The Forty Day Trailer Park Fix with Nadine-Day 15-Spirit

poor in spirit paperwoman prayingman praying

When I hear the word ‘spirit’ I either think of the Holy Spirit or a ghost-like sprit. But according to Wiki, the word ‘spirit’ comes from Latin meaning breath.


As a nurse, I can ‘see’ breath when I watch the rise and fall of someone’s chest. I can ‘feel’ breath if I hold my hand over their nose or mouth. And I can even ‘hear’ breath if I place my ear to their chest as it rises and falls.

Saint Matthew wrote, in Chapter 5, verse 3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall see God.”

What does it meant to be ‘poor in spirit?’ Instantly, my mind’s eye imagines those poor characters in les Miserables. Talk about your spiritually poor, miserable and unhappy!

Now add the word ‘blessed.’ The meaning changes entirely, as evidenced by the translation of the word ‘Blessed.’ In this context, blessed translates literally to the word ‘happy.’ Why didn’t he just say that?!!!

To be happy while poor in spirit, means not dwelling on bad situations. The ability to be happy in spite of misfortunes. For me, it is that glimmer of hope that just because things aren’t going as peach keen as you would like right now, I can still remain happy to be poor in spirit because I know brighter days are ahead.

You want to fix your trailer park’s spirit? Then stop crying in your own beer. You’re gonna  have to find a way to be happy in spite of your miseries.

A little song plays in my head when I think of ‘be happy.’

I lean towards the simplistic.

Don’t worry, be happy.

Don't worry be happy

It invites us to consider there is a choice.

Be miserable and stew in your own juice, make mine a 40 ounce, or be happy.


Yours, blessedly poor in spirit,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole wide world

Nadine On…The Forty Day Trailer Park Fix-Day 14-Spirit

candle light

Be the light.

That’s a tall order. Not just share the light or live in the light, but BE the light.

How many people live in the dark? Or half light? Their worlds are full of chaos, pain, hatefulness, bitterness, resentment, fear. Mostly by their own doing. But sometimes not.

Have you ever wondered how do people who have had extraordinary negative experiences continue to put one foot in front of the other? How do they manage to come through shining on the other side? I’ll tell you. They have the light.

It’s inside them. Maybe for a while, it was dim. But it never went out. And given the chance to flourish, God only knows how great they could be.

But it’s not enough to have that light inside you. Keeping it all to yourself. The real challenge is reflecting that light to others. Shining your light onto them when they need it most.

A kind word. A thoughtful selfless deed.

I’m reminded of a man who came for a short time. Who WAS ‘the light.’ Who didn’t keep it to himself. A pure reflection of love. And now, he’s gone.

You may be the only Jesus someone ever knows.

It’s up to you. Keep it inside or let it out.

You want to fix your trailer park? Stop sucking the light from others. BE the light.

Illuminatingly yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole wide world


Nadine On…The Forty Day Trailer Park Fix with Nadine-Day 13-Spirit

Keep Calm and Peace Out


To have that overwhelming feeling of relief and contentment. There’s nothing like it. To be part of this world, but not be ‘of’ it.

Sometimes, when life just gets too much. And people are too much. We crave that happy place where all is well. Ok, most times.

And if you look for it, most times we find it is, metaphorically, right outside the back door.

But we are so busy ‘twirling’ about all the drama and confusion; we forget how close it really is.

My experience is practicing peace is an art that takes skill and years to perfect. I don’t think you’re born with it. But you can cultivate it. It requires sitting still. It requires overwhelming gratitude for the obvious.

Peace is not the acquisition of ‘things’ because even people with everything don’t always have peace. Peace, therefore, is independent of what you have or don’t have. Peace is a place in your heart.

Again, Saint Paul told the Philippians, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

So, the take home is: don’t worry, pray, humbly ask and be grateful.

Namaste yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole wide world

Nadine On…The Forty Day Trailer Park Fix with Nadine-Day 12-Spirit


To be whole in spirit.

For me, that means crawling out of the church,(read religion), box.

I am reminded by my father’s advice, the reigning theme to solve any problem;

Do nothing. Do Something. Leave.

What is it we, as humans, are searching for in religion or church? And why?

From an early age, I have believed that people of like-mind should gather together and worship.  Each person has something to contribute in his or her own way. And that we cannot sustain the ‘church’ functioning as one part alone. Backed up by Paul’s letter to the people of Corinth in scripture I Corinthians 12: 12-20.  We must work together as the body of Christ.

“Of like-mind”? What does that really mean? Because I know my own mind and I am free-willed and independent in my thinking. Are there others out there with a ‘like-mind?’ And is it good to congregate with them? Where is the balance of thought to entertain and even tolerate those who ‘think’ differently but have the capacity to function in unity together?

I do know this. Just because someone ‘thinks differently,’ doesn’t mean they are ‘wrong.’ It just means they are different. And I do support their right to be different.

In the same breath, it doesn’t mean I have to surround myself with them.

Spiritual searching isn’t for the faint of heart.

And while you are on your journey, I’m on mine. I hope our paths can converge from time to time and we can find common ground to meet on.

For me, it’s uber personal. But no woman is a spiritual island. My human side still wants to belong. But there is no perfect church. My intellect says I need to surround myself with others who think like me without parroting me therefore creating a monster. I still desire the debate.

So the search continues…

Spiritually yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole wide world