Cast Blog: #RHOM

Norman the Cosmic Cheerleader

A Therapeutic Season for Alexia

Lea's Final Thoughts on the Season

Lea's Double Standards

Hoping to Move Forward with Lea

An X-Rated Reunion

Lisa's Vegas Regret

Joanna's Perfect Day

Lea and the Beefy Bus Boy Duo

Lea's Lip Service

Lisa's "Peacemaker" Problems

Alexia's Not Sweating the Small Stuff

Real Friends Don't Hold Grudges

A Fun Party, Minus the Distractions

Apologizing to Lea

Alexia's Anniversary Celebration

Lisa Loves Texas

Meet Joanna's New Puppy!

Lea's Walk Down Memory Lane

Adriana's Wedding Full of Waiting

Adriana's Two Loves

May Adriana Live Happily Ever After

Romain's Troubled Past

Alexia's Birthday Drama

Meet Dr. Sex Therapist Lisa

The Wedding Evite Explained

Targeted by the Hate Club

Lisa's Button-Pushing Behavior

Peter's Healing Process

Lenny's Lipo

Lea's Over the Haters

Adriana's Difficult Past

Joanna Talks Role Playing

Update on Elsa

Recovering Frankie and Peter

Lisa's Bridesmaid Ultimatum

Joanna's Outright Insult

The Birkin Bag Bonanza

Adriana's Glamorous 'Great Gatsby' Wedding

Lisa's In-Law Issues

Shocked by Lea's Secrets

Norman the Cosmic Cheerleader

Ana believes Norman was just what the ladies needed to lift the ladies' spirits.

Warning:

I am a bit depressed as I write this. I made the mistake of watching the “fight” episode again. I feel kind of dirty or perhaps unclean is a better word. Akin to what I assume the morning after a “one night stand” might feel like -- like doing the “walk of shame” with remnants of last night’s makeup and a rumpled sequined gown at 7am. I can only imagine what those who were more directly involved are feeling. No one in this group is entirely without blame, because we all know that action and inaction can be equally egregious.

The devastation that hurricane Sandy left in its wake is a sad reminder of all the things in life that we cannot control. What we are able to control are our own actions and behavior, and yet we do not. What’s worse is that I am finding it difficult to remember the happy and cohesive moments (yes, we’ve had them) because the ugliness seems to permeate most of my memories. As a mother of girls, I like to envision a world where women can foster real relationships without experiencing feelings of jealousy and misplaced anger; a world where mutual respect and support is the rule and not the exception. I think we can all benefit from focusing on that sentiment, myself included.

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”  -Confucius

I wrote my last blog right after Sunday’s episode on the rush of pure adrenaline and a real desire to put a lot of the nastiness behind me.  But I am still saddened by the lack of authentic camaraderie coupled with the desire to either create or perpetuate conflict that we as a group have exhibited. Sadder still are the unresolved issues that exist among many of us today and the knowledge that it is unlikely to change any time soon. This week we saw a very emotional Lea. Despite our differences, watching her suffer for her dog, Leroy, really broke my heart. Lea is one tough cookie and to see her fall apart the way she did was yet another reminder of the things in life that a fat checkbook or a perfectly taut ass can’t fix. It was a fitting opening to this week’s episode, and a virtual slap in the face to those who were salivating at the thought of witnessing the aftermath of the lingerie party. Don’t get me wrong, there was fallout, a lot of it, as you will undoubtedly continue to witness in the episodes to come.

On a much much lighter note we have Norman, the Cosmic Cheerleader. Repeat after me “Aay E E Ah Oh Oh OOO” and Bingo was his name-o. Talk about bringing levity to a situation! Lea is either as kooky as Norman or perfectly brilliant for asking us over for an aura assessment or color reading or color coding or whatever.  I know I felt better when I left.  I always feel better when Elsa “elevates” with a partner. I could write an entire blog about Elsa and would still not do her justice; with “Mama” (I can call her that) seeing truly is believing. 

Another commitment prevented me from attending Lea’s gala, but the event and the ladies looked equally beautiful. I am glad she was able to raise money for a worthy cause. 

Marysol and I had a chance to visit before we went to our respective events. It was nice to spend some time alone with her, since we rarely have the opportunity to catch up on each other’s ever-evolving personal lives.

It is difficult for Marysol to discuss her relationship with Philippe.  It was a reluctant separation for lack of a better term; a separation borne out of an inability to coexist rather than an inability to love. It is sad to see a friend rationalize doing something that she is so clearly not ready to do. I hope she does some serious soul searching before she leaps into the divorce pond. It’s pretty shallow in there. 

Filing for divorce has been a bit of a challenge for me. Twenty-three years is most of my adult life and the prospect of doing this “life thing” alone scares the living crap out of me. But I understand that holding on to someone out of fear or force of habit is not fair. My separation has been particularly challenging, because we didn’t completely separate. There is more proximity than is probably healthy. The fact that we still work together doesn’t help matters either. It has been a real struggle for me to cut the proverbial cord. It is a difficult topic for me to open up about. But, as you will see as the season progresses, there is little one can hide from the camera when genuine feelings are involved. Starting over at this point in my life is daunting, but like a modern day Mary Tyler Moore I think I’m “gonna make it after all…”

I apologize for the “Debbie Downer” tone of my blog this week, but it is an honest reflection of how I am feeling at this point.  As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts with me. Recipe of the week:

Cuban Style Chicken Soup (for the Soul) (from my book Sabor! A Passion for Cuban Cuisine, Running Press Hardcover 2008, Paperback 2012)

Ingredients:
Serves 6 to 8

4 chicken breast halves, Bone in, skins removed
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt, plus more as needed
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup diced white potatoes
4 ounces angel hair pasta
Pepper to taste
Lime wedge, for serving

Preparation:

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the chicken breasts, garlic, bay leaf, and salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for at least 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through and opaque.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Discard the garlic and bay leaf. Reserve ½ cup of the hot stock and dissolve the tomato paste. Set aside. Transfer the remaining stock to another container and allow it to cool completely.

Heat the olive oil in the same pot used to make the stock. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the potatoes and the tomato paste mixture, and the stock. The stock should cover the vegetables by 3 to 4 inches. If the stock is too low, add more water.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 40 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the bone and tear it into pieces with your hands or a knife. Add the chicken and the pasta to the stock and stir to incorporate.

Bring the soup to a boil again, consequently, reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the pasta is al dente, stirring it occasionally. Turn off the heat and season. Add a squeeze of lime before serving.Buen Provecho!

Until next time,
Ana



Note: I cannot provide an exact calorie count for these recipes because a nutritional testing lab must do that for accuracy. I can provide a range per 12oz serving of the soup: 170-220 calories.

Lea's Final Thoughts on the Season

Lea shares he status with each of the girls post-reunion.

It’s a Wrap!


It’s been an interesting season. I've been as honest and authentic as possible. I feel I owe that to myself and to you, our viewing audience. I've defended myself when wrongly accused or misinterpreted and in the process unfortunately, ugly truths have been exposed. I haven't gone out of my way to hurt anyone, but if I have, in the spirit of defending myself or setting the record straight, then so be it. I've had some fun, a few laughs, and experienced a lot of unnecessary stress.
 


I've showcased as many of my friend’s businesses as I could and got in a few shameless plugs for theworldofleablack.com. However, I haven't traded on the show or received any freebies, other than borrowing jewelry a couple of times! LOL! Some have interpreted it as being materialistic, I call it marketing. LOL!
 


I've listened to people re-invent the past, camouflage the present, and stoop to insults, foul language, and ugliness, all of which make me cringe. I've made closer bonds with some and made new friends along the way. I’ve learned to love and appreciate the work that goes into being on the show. Of course, I don't like what I see from time to time, but I hope I've maintained my integrity and what was important to me.I cracked a few jokes at others expense, made a few sarcastic remarks, and rolled my eyes a few times. I just can't (or won't) stop being myself. LOL! I've loved reading all of your comments and tweets. Even when I disagree, I'm OK with it if you were being intellectually honest. But the few comments which were mean-spirited, based upon uniformed conclusions, bias, or outside influence, I disregarded, ignored, and deleted. I have a low threshold for pettiness and unnecessary maliciousness.
 


Now, for the girls, in my usual style, let me be as honest as I can be.
 


Lisa: I feel she and I have a lot in common, and I'm closer to her than the others. I think she has a good heart, but is a little too sensitive. I think she often takes things too personally. She wants to have fun; she has a wonderful spirit and loves a good party. She did get on my nerves while attempting to be “the connector" but I understand the reasons and know her intentions were good. She can always depend on me, and we enjoy a loving and brutally honest relationship.
 


I'm the next closest to Joanna. I love a lot of things about her. Her love for animals, how much she works , her willingness to speak publically about her very personal problems, endure public scrutiny, and the manner in which she let's things go and moves on are all admirable. She doesn't live or die based upon the opinions of others. I am disappointed with some of the things that she said things during the reunion shows. I know she has suffered for it, regrets it deeply, and wishes she could take it back. But because of some of her choices, I have a reluctance to fully embrace or trust her. She knows exactly how I feel.
 
Alexia: For three seasons I have defended her, had her back, and given her the benefit of the doubt. Watching her all season, week after week, speak one insult or mean-spirited comment about me, knowing many of them were lies, causes me to wonder if she did it to patronize the hate club, play all sides, or if she has some hidden resentment towards me. Perhaps she did it for air time in an attempt to make herself more relevant? Maybe she just doesn't like me and doesn't want to say it? Whatever reason she got her digs in, it is not justifiable; they were uncalled for and she should regret it and say so.  Whenever the cameras weren’t rolling, she’d tell me how much she loves me and what great friends we are. So even though she threw me under the bus several times, as recently as the reunion, I'm not interested in going tit for tat. I wish her and Herman well, and I have a lot of empathy for her personal issues.
 


Now to Adriana:  Everyone knows how I feel about her. The one thing she did which showed her real inner self is when she ripped my son’s heart out and stomped on it. She intentionally, out of hatred, kept her son away from my son. To this day, I know that I’ve done nothing but try to help her or defend myself against her lies.  She has expressed her gratitude by stabbing me in the back. Whatever her motivation (I have my own conclusions), nothing will ever put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I can put the past in the past and be amicable towards her, but let me make the following point crystal clear: I will never fully trust her. And I really just don't like who she is. Since the show either she has changed or who she really is showed up. Either way it’s not compatible with who I am and what I want in my life.
 
Marysol: Again, I've called Elsa many times over the months, and I've continued to do so, whether Marysol chooses to believe it or not.

And to set the record straight, yes Frankie is a friend of mine. He is a comedian and has a You Tube channel of impersonations, he is a Broadway star and an entertainer. He only impersonates people he finds interesting. No, he never knew Elsa was sick and no, I didn't see him make the video, and no, I wasn't in the background. All of which can be proven. But if it was a big secret, he wouldn't have posted it on You Tube.


And by the way, he made the You Tube video months after the show was no longer filming. But of course Marysol brought it up about 5 months later, so she could justify and explain away her behavior of the season.

Overall, it’s been a learning experience. I've been surprised to discover how people will behave and how far they will go for attention, relevance, a storyline, or to make someone look bad. I've always said reality TV brings out the best and worst in people, and I stand by that belief.
 


My tag line “I live my life like everything matters, because I think it does" is true for me. As easy as it may be for some to just live in denial and brush things aside, I believe everything we do matters, including who we are to ourselves and to others. And who we are produces consequences, both good and bad. I choose to live my life trying to create good consequences and limit negativity.
Not all drama has to be negative. One doesn’t have to criticize others in order to justify their own poor behavior or make themselves feel better about their lives.
 


So maybe I'm a fit for reality TV or maybe I'm not, that would be up to the viewers. The one thing I am certain of is that my real friends, my family, my son, and my husband understand me and are more important to me than anything and everything else. They know that my charitable work, being true to myself, living like everything matters, giving more than I take, my sense of right and wrong, making a conscious effort to live a life of purpose, setting a good example for my son, and being mindful of future generations are the most important things in my life.
 


I love nice things and love living the good life, and sharing it, and I've earned every right to do just that. I will never apologize for my lifestyle, but I won't be defined by it either.
 


Thanks for watching. Life is time, and you took time out for us, and for that I am forever grateful. Whether you enjoyed me on the show or not, know one thing, I put as much into it as I possibly could, and then some. LOL! Thank you POP, our amazing producers and their incredible team, the Bravo Network, and the viewers for the opportunity to cross paths. Did we bond yet? LOL!

Spread the love and keep the peace.

Love, Lea

Please comment below, it would mean a lot to me to hear your final thoughts.



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A special thanks to Bravo digital for the privilege of letting us share through our blogs each week.