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SURPRISE...last night's dine in was really really great! So glad we attended!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Here are a few pics of our dine in/dine out group. You hear me blog about this motley group of friends quite frequently.

We've had a friendship with most of this group that spans a 20-25 year time frame. That's long enough to count them as family. They truly are like family...we all quibble, snipe, and sometimes even conspire taking no prisoners. But all in all...it's a history that is...well...like family a true love/hate situation from time to time. Entertaining at most and dysfunction at low times...but on rare occasions like last night fun, supportive, and entertaining.

Maybe it's the holiday season...but mostly I suspect because the one little French rabble rouser was absent, invited by the hostess, invitation accepted, place set at the table, then at the last possible moment a call in for a 'no show'.

It's kind of sad, you want to give someone the benefit of the doubt..and believe me I truly have bent over backward to help this little woman...but although my heart is as big as the state of FL once I've been used and abused one to many times...it's over...FLAT out Capricorn strong will cut to the chase over. I've blogged about what an irritation this little lady has been to almost every single person in the group. Yet she is SO good at manipulating you through guilt (how do you defend yourself from someone that controls through the "feel sorry for me" my life is SO bad) defense? I guess I'm a little slow on the uptake but it finally occurred to me that this is a darn good cover story for control and flat out selfishness.

Like I say...this group is VERY good for me in illustrating important life lessons I need to learn and she was one of the chief intervenors. The thing that I found so hard to combat was her chutzpah in injecting herself and flat out asking you for outrageous etiquette oversteps. Like can I come to your Thanksgiving dinner...you are such a good cook. emoticon Ah..well, no because we are dining with friends. Can I come along? emoticon No...you are NOT (crosses self 3 times) my relative..and now (aside to self) not my friend either.

So as I say...last night's last minute no show was just her standard operating procedure...she couldn't con one of the other latest group victims to pick her up and haul her to the event then listen to her complain that she needs to go home...leave early and haul her back home.

Did I mention she might live 15 minutes away and is perfectly capable of driving herself..or she could have caught a ride from one of the neighbors in our group that are merely a few doorsteps away? This kind of craziness...has been BANISHED from MY world...thank heavens!

AND...last night her absence from the group was a clear validation to me that I know (even when the others just don't 'GET' it that her bad ju~ju splays over and affects the whole group's energy causing tension and uneasiness that makes everyone irritable. When this group of crazy, high strung women get irritable...it could be a 'Housewives of Bonita" sitcom. emoticon

And YES...there are a few that are...shall we say...TRUE wine affectionatios... this was a special birthday celebration a few years back.

SO...I'm SO glad that we did attend the event last night. I almost (very close) didn't go because I pretty much knew the hostess would be inviting this little agitator (she has no real history with the woman) because she would never be involved with any one else's problems...that strictly seems to fall in my department.

And...I must say before we lost our angel guy, our son Josh...I probably wouldn't have got involved in her problems either.

It does take some pretty painful life lessons to open your humanity...and I truly hope I've met my quota for this lifetime. I will continue to help everyone that I can without being sucked dry in the process.

Family (even those you choose as family) can have a way of doing that...but enough has to be enough and I learned that with this one particular lady. I think the rest of the group is coming around to their own lessons in their own time and she will be less and less a part of the group.

She is at an age now...(actually well beyond the age) where she should have surely realized that taking advantage of other people's good intentions and their caring nature constantly and continually with no give backs on her end of the deal...just isn't working for her any longer. emoticon

Soooo... we had a really nice time. The weather was perfect and this hostess has a beautiful screened in back yard section that has a fireplace and comfy chairs so we could all sit out there and enjoy the balmy weather. I felt a little guilty taking it all in and thinking about all of my wonderful sparky friends that are shivering in nasty weather. Come on down to Florida is all I can say. emoticon emoticon emoticon

The main course was a wonderful shrimp pasta with fresh angel hair noodles and peppers, garlic, huge prawn shrimps that were cooked to perfection. This hostess used to own restaurants and she is a fabulous cook and always sets a totally beautiful table. I'm mad at myself that I didn't snap a few pics to share with you...I even asked her if she'd mind and she said...absolutely not..we know you are a writer and we are fodder for your stories...OH BOY if she ONLY knew what fodder they were!

I've told them many times about all of my sparkling buddies but not one of them has ever expressed any interest in the site. They like to think that buddy's over the internet are 'pretend friends'...can you even imagine? emoticon That's me getting all puffed up and indigent over that remark! emoticon

But as I say...if the world isn't revolving around their agenda...well it just isn't revolving. True story. emoticon Our dinner conversation revolves around their latest travels, where they intend to travel NEXT, the latest fashions, the latest diets, and what they want for Christmas. emoticon emoticon

It's easy enough banter...and it SO shows me how flakey faux I used to be. I feel like my part in staying engaged with this group is to share the REAL world with them since we did our free fall from the money mountain and focus some of the conversation onto what they really could do to help mankind if they wanted to.

My suggestion for my perfect Christmas gift was to buy a cow for a family in Rowanda. It did generate a little interest and I'm going to keep pushing it for our girls gift grab. If each of us ten women sponsored something that important instead of some little trinket or gift card to each other we would be doing what the true meaning of Christmas is all about...and that is love...not body adornment. It's an uphill battle...but baby steps! emoticon

We also had a delicious salad of homegrown lettuce picked fresh from one of our friends gardens with a delicious homemade salad dressing. This group does concentrate on health and that's a good thing. Most all of them take yoga and eat right. I wish I had time for yoga..it's on my TO LEARN list for 2014.

We had fresh garlic bread with fresh roasted garlic, and then the host made his delicious banana cake with cream cheese frosting. A pretty awesome topper to the nicest meal I remember in a long time. It's great to have good friends...but good friends that also are great cooks...is even BETT~A! emoticon

So as I say I'm so happy that we did decide to go. And I'm so glad that I did stick to my guns in weeding out the 'takers and the slackers' that do nothing week after week then just show up for the hospitality without ever reciprocating. After all...fair IS fair. emoticon

Today I'll have to squeeze in a little more exercise to work off that little piece of banana cake...but last night was such a pleasure, I didn't want to miss one little moment of it.

I didn't quite make my goal in the 5% Teddy Bear Challenge but I did manage to lose about 6 lbs. and for that I'm grateful! emoticon

Stay sparky my friends...remember to sign up today for the winter challenge starting in January. I won't be a motivational leader this go round...it's just too busy at our consignment gallery...but I will be an active team member...the Teddy Bears ROCK! emoticon emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So glad you went and had a good time! Even better that the Irritating French woman wasn't there. lol I love your analogy of your group of friends to family!

    Hope you can get your friends to see that there is more to life than being fake and planning the next trip somewhere.

    Yay for the 6 pounds lost! I lost 4, about half of what I wanted / needed to lose for the 5% challenge. I've signed up for the Teddy Bears team this time. :)

    emoticon emoticon my virtual momma!
    1650 days ago
    You have the right kind of spirit about Christmas a cow. Can you just imagine the delight of the family. Why would the group want to pass this up,if they do they are selfish. Keep pushing to get the meaning of Christmas across to them. Beautiful clothes, trips around the world the best restaurants the beautiful homes do not make a person only in their minds eye!! You have the spirit !!
    1652 days ago
    You stopped by my blog and liked my oatmeal muffin recipe, so I came to your page and stayed a while. So glad I did, and completely relate to your difficulty with the lady. Your blog renewed my spirits today, and energized me. I'd like to put you on my friends list and subscribe to your blogs. Thanks for sharing your heart today. I am also a bereaved parent for 17 years now, and a emoticon m sorry for your loss. Sounds like you're also a strong lady, and when we're strong, we work through things with the help of the good Lord. Doesn't make the loss any less, just more manageable and easier to bear. emoticon
    1652 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/10/2013 3:58:38 PM
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    1652 days ago
  • ALIALI2013
    I think every group has someone like that lady you described..I know we do..or should I say "family" does. It can be very frustrating, but I've learned, as it looks like you did, to just cut them out of your life. With relatives it's tough, but at my age (55) I will not be called names by a nephew much younger than me..especially one I helped with everything he needed help with when he was growing up; especially questions with his homework, etc. Then for him to call me a "know it all" because I'd posted a paragraph from a rule book which he "forgot" (actually just didn't want to post it because it showed he was wrong in his thinking), I just figured..you know what? never come to me with questions about anything..you figure it out yourself, I'm done with you.

    This was the last straw, just like with you, and we have to sometimes just not bother with them and move forward, feeling much freer (is that a word) because of it. Good for you!!

    So glad you had such a wonderful time, you deserve it! emoticon
    1652 days ago
    That's great that you had a wonderful time at the dinner. You deserved a break from all the house worries and to just be around friends. They are a good looking group of people, I have to say. I'm glad Frenchie didn't show up. Made things much nicer for you and everyone else.

    Take care,
    1653 days ago
    Delighted you had a good, fun dinner. Yes - a cow is great. I have given pairs of goats in Ruwanda myself. Check out a thing on the internet KIVA - where you can help support people (I usually select women) in third world countries start or expand their own business enterprises. I'm in the team Flying Spaghetti Monsters.
    I also send a donation every year to a convent in northern Colorado - St. Walburga's - the convent was in Boulder, Colorado and was the inspiration for the movie LILIES OF THE FIELD with Sidney Poitier - but moved to a new site when taxes and costs got too high and the secular world got too close around them. I made a donation to the Denver Rescue Mission in the name of my department at work. We ALL have way too much crud and I refuse to spend money just to give somebody more crud. For my cousins and siblings - donations to Salvation Army, Red Cross, Animal Shelters, Food Banks. I may give out a few Starbucks cards worth $10 to a few nieces and nephews, but pretty much donations. Last year I spent Christmas Day serving lunch at the Little Sisters Of The Poor residence for seniors. One of the best Christmases ever for me and it had NOTHING to do with presents.

    So - you get that cow and let that be the gift to your friends. Do it in their names. The people who are really worth your energy will be delighted that you did it.
    You definitely have your priorities in a good place.
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    1653 days ago
    Sounds like an awesome night
    1653 days ago
    So glad you had a great time Saturday! That's what these little soirees are actually for, right? And even better that the "Frog Princess" was a no show! emoticon
    1653 days ago
    Well, good for you! But, they still sound rather shallow to me. Just my unasked for opinion! Love your idea for chipping in and helping someone else. You do make me laugh though expecting people who are masters of manipulation to actually learn something in this life! I'm a sporter of the rosiest colored glasses there are, but I also know that it is stil working for Frenchie and she does con others to her bidding even if you don't! It is like I say about so many state employees around here.... Why should I do anything when nothing has gotten me this far? I don't mean to offend any state employees out there, but if you work for a state you know who I mean! The dinner does sound divine by the way! Glad you had a nice time!
    1653 days ago
    I am glad the dinner went well. Congrats on losing 6 pounds!!!!!!
    1653 days ago
    So glad you had a great time. Some people are too dense to figure out why they are not catered to on a regular basis. The menu sounds superb.
    1653 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Hope your financial problems have improved!
    1654 days ago
    I didn't know you could sponsor a cow for Uganda! I wonder if they really get the cow?? Sometimes governments keep the spoils. And unless your friends have experienced the reality of our friendships here, they won't understand. For example, tomorrow I am going to lunch with a "pretend" friend whom I met here. emoticon emoticon
    Thinking of you! Have a marvelous week!
    1654 days ago
    1654 days ago
    I am soooo glad you went and had a great time!!! Also, glad "frenchie" bowed out, even if it was last minute. She probably wanted somebody to say," Oh no! I'll be right over to get you!" hehe Whatever. Y'all had a great time and that's what's important!!
    I just signed up for the Winter 5% challenge, too!! Sticking with my CLOVERLEAFs as you are your TEDDYBEARs!! I'm making plans and putting them into place till the new challenge begins so I can shed the whole 5% if not more!! Gots to do it!!
    Merry Christmas holiday time to you, my friend!! May you have lots of paying customers!! WooHoo!! (((HUGS)))
    1654 days ago
    1654 days ago
    Your group sounds like fun. I am looking forward to the next challenge already. Have a great week!
    1654 days ago
    sounds like you took care of yourself!
    1654 days ago
    My friends and I all do charity for our gifts, and usually we do a cow or another farm animal also! I am glad the dinner party was great. We had one problem person in our book club but our group has handled it differently (we got a moderator for our book discussions, and we don't let the discussion get sidetracked by her personal agenda). Overall the problem person has made our group stronger because it made us focus on what was important (sharing the discussion, rotating hosting, sharing the food responsibilities, moving to pot luck since the group got so big, discussion is social through dinner and then on to the book, rotating book selection responsibility ... all those mundane issues we had all ASSUMED we agreed on ...) Our group has been together for 18 years and that long history DOES make the members like family. emoticon

    (I originally would not have invited the problem person back. Others disagreed with that position, and we set boundaries instead. Works so far!)
    1654 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    It really sounds like you had a great time and I'm so glad. I know how worried you were about going at all.,
    1654 days ago
  • DS9KIE
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    1654 days ago
    Looks and sound wonderful. You deserve some happy time. Glad you got to enjoy it.
    1654 days ago
    Hooray for good friends, food and company. Enjoy the moment , as we know they are fleeting. Sending hugs your way, Rhonda

    1654 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    So you picked the leeches off you and now is time for those gaping leech-lip holes to close up and heal.
    The cow gift is great and of course, now that YOU opened your mouth, YOU will be the farmer herding that cow into their hearts and wallets! Toss in the fact that there is no mucking of stalls required and maybe these privileged women will go for it!

    You are so thougthful...
    1654 days ago
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