I am sooooooooo happy it’s Sunday. No more Thanksgiving, no more cooking for 7 hours straight, no more eating for 12 minutes, no more doing dishes for an hour and no more putting all the dishes away for 2 hours. It’s funny as I love cooking for the holidays but it’s sad that it’s only the two of us. It’s not that we live terribly far from family or friends but the fact that our house is still under construction makes it absolutely impossible to host a real dinner. However that doesn’t stop me from putting a spread out though on a much smaller scale – well by my standards at least. I still went with the 9+ pound turkey breast (we don’t eat dark meat), a whole loaf of bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams (blech – he loves them things!), sophisticated green beans, candied bacon wrapped Brussels sprouts with a maple Dijon glaze, rolls and the most amazing chocolate cream dream pie ever.
Yeah all that for 2 people! All I can say is THANK GOD FOR STRETCH PANTS! LOL
Of course after dinner Mr. Fantabulous took his obligatory nap (though he did help me clear off the table – one armed at that) while I did dishes for the 2nd time. I think by 7pm my butt was in bed and zoned out. During that time I logged on to Facebook and could not get over how many people were out already Black Friday shopping. I don’t get that; really. I’ve gone in the past but now, my time is precious and I refuse to stand in line either on a holiday or at the butt crack o’dawn to get a ‘deal’. Sorry but no.
Now actual Black Friday I took Mr. Fantabulous to spend the day with his buddy – he needed some friend time and I needed some ‘quiet’ time. LOL I met up with one of my long time friends that I met at one of my frist jobs straight out of college. It was so awesome seeing Jeannette. She always makes me laugh and I just love her to pieces. I so wish we lived closer as I love hanging out with her. Jeannette and I met decades ago in a job I refer to as HELL. It truly was the worst job and company I have ever, EVER worked at in my life. She and I were inseparable as we lived close and as I always say, her Mom loved me more *wink*. From happy hours to 3am black Friday shopping with her and her Mom (yes I was crazy back then), she is someone who I always, ALWAYS have a blast with.
And since I was around my old stomping ground I sent a text to one of my oldest girlfriends to see if by chance she was in town. Luck was on my side as Irene was in town with her hubby visiting her Mom for the holidays. I ended up stopping over her Mom’s house. Irene is one of those people in my life that truly made such an impact; more honestly than she’ll ever really realize.
You see I met Irene when I was as freshman in high school during summer bandcamp. Yes, I was a band geek. I played the sax and was also the fat kid in the band. Irene was a junior in school, on the color guard and was one of the most popular girls and honestly the prettiest girl in school. Being the fat kid going into high school was hard and tacking on that I was in the band AND drama club – yeah, I was a target for every punch line ever. Well it was about the 3rd week of camp and it was super hot. We had practiced all day outside in the heat and humidity and it was time to walk back up the trail from the field to the band room. It was a hike and uphill – and not a gradual uphill either. I was always, always the last one up to the room and usually out of breath and red faced. Well one particular day as I rounded the first bend up the trail there stood Irene and her twin, Margaret. I tried not to make eye contact but Irene caught me and immediately started to speak to me. At first I thought she was going to make fun of me however she did the unexpected.
Irene and her sister just started to talk to me. They asked me what I liked, what I was into and were honestly trying to get to know me. I was polite and cordial as that’s how I was raised however I was pretty standoffish as I was waiting for the jokes to come; for something negative to be said about me. Every day at camp they’d walk down to the field with me and back up. During our breaks they’d immediately come over and starting chatting with me. Soon my defenses came down and what blossomed was one of the best friendships I’ve ever had. They both essentially took me under their wing. Over the next year Irene and I grew close; close like sisters. Often I’d stay over their house or she at mine. We’d ‘cruise’ the park together looking for boys though they only ever looked at her. And when those boys would come talk to us (more so her) she made a point to comment about my amazing qualities.
Irene instilled confidence in me and realize that what people said didn’t matter. Their opinions were just their opinions. That if I let their words hurt me, then I give them control. And that even she, she endured ridicule as well. I never really thought of it that way. If you’re the ugly duckling, the fat kid, the band geek you assume that the pretty girls have it easier. They don’t. People assume they are stuck up, life is easy or they are fake.
Since she was 2 years older than me the last 2 years of high school without her I was able to be myself and not care what others thought. I exuded confidence and even though I was still made fun of, it didn’t bother me. Sadly for many years she and I lost contact. It was just life moved us in different directions. About 5 years ago we reconnected on Facebook. I can still remember the first time we got together after all those years. We sat in a restaurant for hours on end talking like we were 16 years old again in her parents house listening to Bon Jovi on the radio and dreaming about boys. And even though we live many states apart I still consider her one of the most amazing friends I have ever had. My life has truly been blessed because of her befriending that fat band geek all those years ago.
So even though Thanksgiving is over, I’m thankful every day for having both Jeannette and Irene in my life. I love you ladies; my sisters!
♥ Monday – Ultimate Chicken & Gnocchi Soup
♥ Tuesday – Crockpot Pork Loin with Apples & Onions Sauce
♥ Wednesday – Cheesy Ham Peas Baked Penne Casserole
♥ Thursday – Creamy Baked Gnocchi with Arugula and Sausage
♥ Friday – Roasted Grape Prosciutto Pizza Parma
♥ Saturday – Crock Pot Eye of Round with Mushroom & Onion Gravy
♥ Sunday – Eggs Benedict
♥ Dessert of the week – Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Fudgy Ganache Cake