Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Bad Attitudes on the RHONJ Retreat

Amber Calls Out Andy Cohen

Dina: What am I Doing Here?

Amber: Is Dina Coldhearted?

Dina: "The Reunion was Very Hard to Watch"

Teresa: We Love Hard, We Fight Hard

Dina: The Ladybug Event was Perfection

Amber: I Felt I Like I Was Being Hazed

Melissa: Continue to Pray for Teresa's Family

Why Amber Shares Her Cancer Story

Dina: I Was Team Santa

Teresa: I Don't Blame Jim

Bobby's Unacceptable Behavior

Amber: Dina is Jealous

Melissa: "We are Heartbroken"

Dina Reacts to the Sentencing

Kathy Talks Kevin Jonas

Amber: Dina Was Planning a Blood Bath

Jim and Amber Were on Different Pages

Dina on Bobby's "Bizarre" Behavior

Amber Calls BS on Dina

Nicole: Words are So Powerful

Teresa: "Kudos to Dina!"

Teresa: I Love the Show, I Love My Fans

Praying for a Positive Outcome for Teresa

"Tipsy Melissa is My Spirit Animal"

Dina's Lose-Lose Situation

Jacqueline on Her Status with Teresa

Why Teresa Told Dina the Rumor

Amber on Her Cancer Scare

Teresa: There was an Agenda to Hurt My Family

Melissa: I Do Feel for Amber

Dina: Gia's Beautiful Inside and Out

Nicole: This is Not 'Jerry Springer'

Amber on Her Meltdown with Teresa

Amber's Emotional Call to Teresa

Teresa Thanks the Fans

Dina: Florida Will Be the New Scary Island

Teresa: I Wish I Never Heard the Rumor

Amber on the Shocking Rino Rumor

Victoria Gotti's Big No No

Bad Attitudes on the RHONJ Retreat

Kathy thinks everyone should have gone into the Lake George trip with a more positive outlook.

High ho, high ho, it's off to Lake George we go!

Usually a road trip is something you are excited for, but this trip, well...let's just say there was a bit of uncertainty as to where we were going and what we would be doing. But if you commit to a weekend of team building, then you have to stay positive and be open to the possibilities of helping make things better. And realize that sometimes difficult steps have to be taken to make progress. I was really getting annoyed with the negativity before we even started.

At this point we were on our way, we made the decision to go, now let's all put forward our best effort to make this work. Keep an open mind, guys! Open your hearts! Let's not set up the doom and gloom before we even get there.

The only way for us to resolve our family issues is to stick with the people present: sister and brother; Teresa, her husband Joe, Joe, and Melissa Gorga; and the cousins (that would be Me, Richie, and Ro). I think that’s enough personalities to deal with at one time without dragging others that aren’t even on this retreat into the conversation, especially if they can’t be there to speak for themselves. I don’t want to speak for anyone else and I don’t want anyone speaking for me either. On a related note, Jacqueline and Chris were not able to come on this retreat; at the time none of us were fully aware the level of effort required to care for their son Nick, who has Autism, and in fact, Jacqueline and Chris were just starting to grasp the details. It is such a complicated spectrum disorder to understand, and Jacqueline has been so brave to share her experiences in order to help others. So, if your interested to learn more about Nick and Autism in general please go to jacquelinelaurita.com where she shares more and provides links to Autism awareness organizations. Jacqueline and Chris certainly have their hands full and have been wonderful parents -- being proactive for Nick's recovery and keeping that their main focus. I only wish them the best forever and always.

On arrival at this castle it was sort of funny -- when we all went to our rooms we starting feeling the heat! Was it because we were in Hell...no, its just the fireplaces, silly!
 
Then we went to break bread together for this first time in a year (and without the team builders present). Talk about AWKWARD! Right after lunch we got into it with the professionals with exercises to help us get in the mindset of being part of something larger than ourselves. We all had this expectation on how this was going to play out with re-dedicating ourselves to having consistent partnerships and improving the commitments of each relationship. Instead, the anger and frustration bubbles over and OMG it blows up, big time!

But we eventually do get to a good place. You’re probably wondering how...you'll just have to keep watching. Even now, it is good to have experienced it all and be watching all over again -- breakthroughs for anyone are monumental moments.
 
And speaking of great moments, Great Falls in Paterson brings such happy memories back to me from my childhood, as we went with Caroline and Al. I think its safe to say that most of us of our generation who grew up there feel the same way. Especially those that are first generation American born.

My father and his older brothers before him, along with his mom, settled in Paterson because of the huge industrial city it once was. Due to its powerful water source, Paterson was home most of the northeast's textile mills and was called “Silk City.” In fact, my parents both worked in the dye houses and textile and clothing factories there.

I loved seeing Caroline and Al walking over the footbridge that I found to be so exciting as a kid and hearing Albert share his own memories was wonderful. The pride and admiration he has for his father’s memory is tangible, and I totally understand that depth of his commitment to his father and his family. If you ever get a chance to visit this area, Lambert Castle has a great view of the city of Paterson. Yep, our very own castle right in the backyard. The other day I heard this old disco song, I’m sure that you all know it and I have to say the words really hit home, especially with these recent events. We are family; I got all my sisters with me....

Everyone can see we're together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

Living life is fun and we've just begun
To get our share of the world's delights
(HIGH!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
(WE!) no we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family JewelThanks for you support and follow me Twitter @kathywakile, @richardwakile, @victoriawakile, @josephwakile or my Facebook.

Come see me at SKYTOP Lodge on September 14th for a dessert demo.

Check my website for other upcoming dates that I’ll be in your area.

I was thrilled when approached by St. Martins press almost a year ago to do a cookbook, and now that is has come to fruition, I am grateful for this amazing opportunity!

Thank you to everyone who made this dream come true. So honored to be working with my editor, the talented Michael Flamini; we both have a love for delicious desserts!

Keep it sweet.

Lots of Love,
Kathy

Amber: Is Dina Coldhearted?

Amber Marchese dishes on her first reunion and why Dina Manzo confuses her.

Hello Housewife friends!  Welcome to the jungle baby! My first reunion was a wild ride. Call me sick and twisted, but I had an unbelievable time at the reunion when most, I have been warned, dread it. I felt like it was “The Great Purge” and when I went home I was felt relieved of any built up tension. I don’t care if anyone has a grudge against me, my slate is clean and I harbor no ill feelings towards anyone. I love to argue my point, and I truly stood by all of my convictions this season, so I was ready to say exactly what was on my mind, and then some. 

I know the twins and I went at one another pretty hard, but that is what the reunion is all about. It is an opportunity to get it all out and potentially understand one another's position better. Then we can each make our own decisions as to where we want to go with our relationships. I am very much the type of person that can say some of the meanest things and sling mud, but hug it out at the end forgetting anything negative that was said. It just rolls off my back. I actually think it is healthier to say what needs to be said, and then move on.

One thing I did question after the reunion was if Dina actually has a heart or if I should start calling her the Tin Man. I actually have not figured her out yet. Is she really just a coldhearted bitch, or has she been hurt so many times that she has become warped and jaded. I feel I don’t owe anyone any reason as to why I call cancer “the cancer,” but I will give it once more anyhow. “The cancer” is “the monster” to me. It is a way for me to take away its power and to minimize it. “It” destroys lives, so “it” does not deserve a name. It is just “the cancer” -- it was “the monster” or “the dragon.” Although Dina claims to have an understanding of how devastating cancer is to a family, her actions and blatant lack of empathy proves otherwise.

In addition, I did not think it was appropriate for me to interject into family quarrels at the reunion; however, this is something that I feel strongly about. I have met Jaqueline and I have spoken to her on many occasions. In the very short time that I have gotten to know Jaqueline, I know and have empathy with the struggles she has caring for Nicholas. I felt that Dina’s interpretation of her nephew was callous and completely out of touch with reality. The only thing that keeps playing in my mind is, "You know nothing John Snow."  No, thank God, he is not hooked up to machines with cancer; however, what the Laurita family goes through is extremely difficult on a day to day basis that will continue on for a lifetime. It is emotionally and financially devastating. Although, Dina "visits" children with cancer, at the end of her visit she gets to go home, leaving it behind and goes on with her daily life. Since Dina does work with children with cancer, I pray that she can abstain from a self-absorbed lifestyle and become a loving, involved aunt.