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 🌎☮️❤️🚋🎄

Nadine’s Free Advice Friday: Foolproof Santa Photo-Op Advice

Do you have small children/little people in your house? Are they afraid of Santa Claus? Have you had a poor experience complete with mini melt down with a child or grandchild under the age of three?!!!

If you haven’t then count yourself blessed. I am one of the blessed…But only because of this highly fail-proof and perfectly executed technique!

For those that have had a negative personal experience with the fat man or have had a near miss…this advice is for you!

Trust me, when perfectly executed…this works! Caution- DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THIS PLAN! As the guarantee is null and void if you deviate.

It has been Trailer Park field tested 4 times, so far, without failure! That’s a 4 for 4 success folks. 100% guaranteed or your money back!

Here are the steps:

First, take your child to the mall where Santa is set up. Belt your child securely in a stroller. But DON’T get within 100 yards. Just close enough for your child to recognize that it’s Santa’s castle/workshop. Tell your child that Santa is here from the North Pole to take their order for what they might want for Christmas. They might want to reconsider being good from now till Christmas!

And then, go home.

Several days to one week later, return to the mall with the same drill. Only this time tell your child that you are too busy today to stand in line and wait for Santa. You really wish you could take them now, but you can’t! After all look at the long line of kids who are waiting to tell him how good they have been! And what they want for Christmas. Be prepared to whip out “Don’t let Santa see you throwing a fit or crying!” In case of melt down. Apologize to your child/grandchild that you are sorry and that you promise you will return for that very special day to see Santa soon!

Again, go home.

And finally, on ‘make good to your promise day’ set the kid up and have their shirt/outfit set out the night before. Wake up early and have a nice breakfast and then get all dressed up for the Santa visit and photo op!!! Take lots of $$ because those pics aren’t cheap. And you don’t even care because this time there will only be smiles!

And finally, display your perfectly executed Santa Pics proudly each year in a prominent place in your trailer.

Disclaimer: this method is backed by personal evidence based research on one unsuspecting child and three unsuspecting grandchildren.

Good Luck!

Photo-operantly yours,

Nadine Bodine

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

Thanksgiving Day traditions Old and New

PSA…there is no one right way to do Thanksgiving. When you live in the Trailer Park you have to be flexible.

Willing to throw caution to the wind, Jose’ and I had a family meeting to discuss this year’s Thanksgiving plan.

Over the years, Thanksgiving and the holidays in general have come with hiccups and last minute surprises; and in discussing that there is ‘no right way’ to do any holiday, much less Thanksgiving…Jose’ and I had a meeting of the minds. For the first time in many years, as a result of that meeting, came our way.

For starters, both of us love us a good old fashioned deep fried turkey! It is moist and delicious and totally within our Keto Lifestyle. So a fried bird makes the top of the menu plan! We can fry a 12 pound bird in about 36 minutes. Pair that with some of OpalMaurine’s Ketofied Ho-made trailer park orange cranberry relish, Keto bread with lots of mayo for a sandwich and a beer! And voila’ we have Thanksgiving meal done! With little or no fuss.

And the pre-Thanksgiving chicken and French fry fry off tradition continues with the neighbors Luludine and Hans Solo. Paired with a few Lonestar Longnecks, some Premiere Corona, Ho-made Egg Nog and a 30 year old bottle of brandy! I can’t believe we are almost out of Brandy after 30 years, can you?!

After the parade the rest of the day is left for other traditional and non-traditional fun stuff that we both enjoy together.

Fun stuff like staying in our pajamas all morning and drinking coffee while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. When IS the last time you sat and watched it? I can’t remember. But I LOVE it! For this year, it is first up on the plan!

Fun stuff like going out for a nice motorcycle ride along the blue highway. While most people on our island will be at home cooking up a storm we will be out riding in the sunshine for a piece.

Fun stuff like watching football. This one is very high up on the list for Jose’. Add another turkey sandwich, some snacks, some awesome pie and probably more beer and Jose’ will be one happy camper!

Other weekend fun stuff includes shooting guns at the local range, pulling down all the Christmas crap from the attic and possibly hitting a movie or two in the days that follow…but NOT on Thanksgiving Day! We are both firm believers that we should boycott all open businesses so that people can be at home with their families and traditions. Special note, Jose’ gets a Holiday Special Kitchen Pass for putting up the Christmas Crap…but that is a whole other blog post!

No drama. No trauma. No Black Friday shopping. No slaving over a hot microwave. Little expense. Stay within the budget. Quality time spent together. All good.

Yes, we have much gratitude that we live in abundance!!! The perfect Thanksgiving for us this year is paired with fried turkeys, motorcycles, parades, football, Christmas prep, movies, shooting guns and drinking beer; aka: A Trailer Park Thanksgiving.

There is plenty of room for any ‘stray cats’ who have no family/friends they want to argue/fuss and fight with. But you will need to make your reservations quick! Quick!

Whatever you decide to do…enjoy it and find the time to be grateful for whomever and whatever you have. Peace, Love and Trailer Parks. ☮️❤️🚋🦃

Thanksgivingly yours,

Nadine Bodine

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

Just your average day at the office…Slime, psychotic episodes and baby ducks

History…the Librarians have had the Science classes in all week making slime.

E: “So honey, how was your day?”

Me: “It was great! I was standing at my post in the middle of the bleachers with my sophomores during the pep rally and was hit in the head. It first felt like a water bottle…half full of water. A plastic-kind of feeling. Immediately I put my hand to the back of my head anticipating a wet, slimy grossness…but nothing. My hair was dry.”

Time for the class yell… “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! THATS THE SOPHOMORE BATTLE CRY!”

“As I looked down in the bleachers to my right there it was. A purple slime filled condom! Bwahahaha I could hardly breathe I was laughing so hard!”

“I did the John Belushi and tried to locate the ‘arm’…but they all looked like the Toy Story characters…frozen in place.

Faces totally stoic. Looking straight ahead.

So I turned around and jumped back into the pep rally. Minutes later I look down to my right again and I see another slime-filled condom. Only this one is blue!!!

I pretend I don’t see it until a boy tries to sneak past me and sit near them. One stern look in his direction and a thumbed gesture to get out of there and he moves back from whence he came.

A few more minutes and I bend down and casually pick them both up. Behind me I hear a loud Ooooooo!!! Grosssss!!! So I shake them at them and pretend that I will throw them back…they all duck and try to hide behind the other kids.

So I put them in the pocket of my jacket.

Later, after the pep-rally, I take the slime-filled to the Librarians who absolutely crack up!

Still giggling, I walk back to my classroom with my colleague, we hear someone screaming like they have been shot! We break out in a full run and round the corner to find three cops and a VP carrying a student into a classroom! What?! WHAT?!

Psychotic episode. Nothing to see here folks. Keep walking….O……K…..?

And then driving out of the gate…I see these guys! 10 of them and their Momma. Made my whole week!”

E: “Sounds like a great day babe. Wanna order a pizza and binge watch This Is Us?”


Nadine on…Perfecting the Art Of Professionally Going to Hell and Back

So…there is this little problem at work. Read Island. Read Mountain I cannot go over, around, through or under. Read impasse. However you read it…it’s a very real thing.

Not my first rodeo.

Considering myself as a master of Conflict Resolution both personally and professionally I am still really stumped this time.

I have prayed about it. Talked with my personal and professional mentors about it. And of course I have talked to Jose’ about it. And I’ve got nothing. Until the epiphany this morning at 0401 a.m.

I blame Keto for this new found insomnia.

Seems I no longer need 9 hours of sleep anymore because my body only wants 6. Tell my brain. Anyway, I digress.

This is not the First time I have encountered a professional situation that can most possibly be best described as an old fashioned personality conflict. And once again, it is not ME who is the one conflicted. Once again I find myself the object of the conflict. And again…still…it is due to a lack of education on the part of others and a fundamental problem I call ‘professional envy.’ And trust me, that monster is green and ugly.

What to do? How about…do what you have done in the past?…if it worked.

Well, so far here is what I have done and the advice I have received:

1- Pray about it. While it may be working…it’s Not really working. Conflict still exists. And in my humble opinion it’s getting worse. But I will keep praying.

2- I tried the ever faithful ‘Kill them with Kindness’. Definitely.Not.Working.

3- Read a book about conflict resolution. Yup! Read Difficult Conversations (Stone/Patton/Herb) AND How to Win Friends and Influence People (Carnegie). Obviously these people know what they are doing. And the advice and information has been helpful…but the conflict still exists.

4- Take a class! Currently enrolled in a district-wide 5 session workshop. Not ‘really’ helping. But I have met and networked with some pretty cool people!

5- Neither has the age old avoidance technique…you live on your Island and I’ll live on mine…isn’t working either.

Because this time my Administration insists on us working together. But we vibrate at very different frequencies. Collaborative assignments just aren’t getting done.

6- Talking with Admin to get wisdom and advice on how to proceed left me with “Let me take it to a higher level and I’ll get back to you.” No resolution or feedback to date.

So now what? Well here is the what.

Daddy always said when faced with a problem you have but 3 solutions. One, stay and do nothing. Two, stay and do something. Three, leave.

So far doing number one did not work. In an attempt to avoid the easiest and quickest route to number three I am going to try number two. Why? Because I LOVE ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT MY JOB!

My plan for the week is to talk about it. Speak directly to the elephant in the room. Set up Norms and relationship boundaries. Open dysfunctional communications. Even if it’s just a window. Make a plan for weekly communication opportunities. Do the work of repairing the disconnect. Stay optimistic. Share all of my good energy that I can with as many people as I can. That’s the plan.

I’ll let y’all know how it works out.

Conflictingly yours,

Nadine Bodine

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

Nadine on…a brand new season

Is it just me?

Even before I started teaching…every year, about this time, I start to regroup. I get past the seasonal thought that…OK! School has started back and I should be back in the groove. But, every year, I am not. I go in and out of the groove and it’s always a tad jerky.

By now I am feeling that life should be routine. It ‘should’ feel normal. Flow like a smooth quiet stream on its way to the holidays full of fun, family, friends and fellowship…and then. WHAM! It hits me smack in the face…that quiet, small, smooth flowing stream is picking up steam! It just got wider. It is more like a river at this point. The pace is getting faster! But I don’t want it to get faster. I just wanna coast along. Smoothly. Like a stream. I don’t want a river. I didn’t buy into this river idea. I’d like my stream back please. I think the recruiter lied!

I drag my paddle in the water in an attempt to slow the pace.

Doesn’t work.

About the time I realize that…it’s.not.working…I look up and out ahead in the water. I see a big stick in the water…paddle now. Paddle will ya?! Getting closer I see it’s not a stick, it’s a whole tree! Divert! Avert! Paddle harder, the current is sweeping me, not the other way around.

Best I can do is lean. And paddle.


Trying to think fast on my feet. Ok…think smart. Work smart not hard…to ‘steer’ with the paddle. Focus! Just don’t ‘hit’ the tree.

Or worse. Capsize!

Moving towards survival mindset now. What’s best? Jump and risk swimming to the shore? Maybe drown from the undertow? Lose the boat? Hit the tree and risk damaging the boat? I decide to keep paddling like hell? Do whatever I can to miss the tree.

But I’m already paddling as fast and hard as I possibly can. And I am wearing out. I am tired. Weary.

But hey! Look up! There are some other people in the boat with me. Why didn’t I see them before? Where was my focus? Switch focus. Hand them a paddle. Ask for their help. Good idea! 💡

I’m going to be ok. We are going to be ok.

It may be a new season. And there may be hiccups and whole trees in the way. And I can go through this. With a little help I will move on down the river…that will once again become a stream.

Paddling like hell…


Nadine Bodine

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

Nadine on…Abundance

Waking up in Abundance

“I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” ~ Martha Washington

It’s easy to focus on the ‘what I don’t haves’ than to focus on the ‘what I haves.’ Isn’t it? It’s easier to walk in misery than to be happy. Or is it?

It seems like it is the human condition coupled with the media blasting us all. the. time…to remind us of what it is we don’t have but that we surely MUST need. Because, hey! Look at this guy or that gal who have so very much more than us. That little green monster takes over more times than we might wish.

Ads everywhere you look! The obvious, television. And of course television’s cousins, magazines and newspapers…does anyone really read newspapers anymore? I miss those days for sure. But who has time to read a newspaper cover to cover save retired folk? The news we now get is shoved down our throats through the propagandized and dreaded email, and social media’s like Twitter and Fakebook.

And the main message is ‘You NEED this!’

It seems we cannot look anywhere without being marketed. We want. We want! WE WANT!

But take a giant Mother-may-I step back for a minute with me, will you?…We have.

We have so very much. We have so much that so many others don’t have.

We have in Abundance! That is my favorite word. Abundance.

To live free has a value beyond price.

To have an education, a job, be a home owner, have a soft comfortable bed to sleep in, someone (or something) that moves against you while you sleep?!!! All that…and a bag of chips.

I wake up feeling gratitude each and every day. Because I have trained my mind to do so. I have made up my mind to wake up grateful and happy in My Trailer Park.

It hasn’t always been that way though. For many seasons in my life, I woke up crying in my beer. Life was not what I thought it was supposed to be. Hiccups were plenty. And I just didn’t have enough I thought. I wanted so much more and I felt empty because it just wasn’t there.

But it was. It was there all along. But I was too blind to see it because I was too busy being washed by the blood of ‘I have not.’

Truly…we all have. We have everything we need. Just maybe not everything we want.

Cheryl Crow said it best I think in her song lyrics, Soak Up The Sun…”It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

So change your mindset. Look for the gratitude in each and every moment. And don’t ever forget, someone, somewhere has so much less.

Abundantly & Graciously yours,

Nadine Bodine

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