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Time spent with good friends is the best and Heaven knows I need some happy times…don’t we all? So make it happen, right? What could be better than a shiny and bright dinner party with good friends? Yep, that’s what we decided to do over the Holiday.  Invite our friends to Ventura Beach for some good times.

Louis and Tammy, our friends from La Habra, drove up to Ventura to spend a few days with us. We love the Millers. Tammy is one of my girls. So any amount of time spent with them is precious indeed. On Saturday, we were going to just relax and have a mellow day, sit out by the pool and then have a really nice dinner with 2 other couples. We began our morning at Art’s Corner Cafe for breakfast. (Great Corner Cakes, very thin pancakes with crispy edges.) Tammy and I shared an order of Art’s Corner Potatoes, a wonderful concoction of potatoes, chili verde, cheese, served with poached eggs….yummy, gooey goodness.)

We then drove over to the Ventura Farmers Market, which was crazy busy and parking was a pain.  http://www.vccfarmersmarkets.com/Homepage.html. Did a quick walk through and picked up some fresh strawberries, pita chips and a hanging plant for the patio. Went home, donned our swim suits and went in the pool.

Randy and I have been trying to get together with Mary and Clem Homar, life-long friends who now reside close by in Carpentaria, for a while without fruition. We had promised Clem a steak dinner and have been battling conflicting schedules for a while…so finally…they were coming. Mary had mentioned that she wanted to meet our friends, Cindy and Dave Marshall, because they had a mutual friend in Napa. So Cindy and Dave, new transplants from Napa, were going to join us also.

A great night was planned, invitations had been accepted, menus planned, Randy had the steak marinated, and with help from Tammy, we were ready and relaxing. Tammy and Louie are quite skilled in the kitchen and had brought up some humus that Tammy had made. We put that together with a few other things for an appetizer tray, table was set, and we were ready for our guests.
Clem and Mary arrived bringing gifts…beautiful flowers ..

and a chocolate decadence cake…yum!…
and a beautiful plate of heirloom tomatoes with a beautiful creamy cheese, nuts and sauce. (No picture…bad blogger)

Music was playing in the background. Introductions were made, people were mingling and discovering their 6-degrees-of-separation (Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances  that has no more than five intermediaries….and it always proves true in my experience.)  Randy began grilling the steaks.  Wine was poured and the party was on.

I ran into the kitchen and finished the corn in a dried tomato, olive butter and got the hot rolls out of the oven and set them on the table with Tammy’s Hollandaise sauce for the grilled asparagus and Cindy’s beautiful salad. Randy brought in the steaks and dinner was on. We all set down to a table laden with sights and smells to die for. What more could you want, good food, good wine and great friends?

and then….

Before, I even dished food onto my plate, I started feeling awful. My head felt like someone had smacked it with a sledgehammer, I got dizzy and my stomach…well, my stomach.

I ran upstairs and…..

Definition of NAUSEA
1: a stomach distress with distaste for food and an urge to vomit 2: extreme
disgust — nau·se·ant\-zhē-ənt, -shē-, -zē-, -sē-\ noun or adjective

I lived up to the definition in all ways, both #1 and #2…yep I was extremely disgusted. I absolutely hate #1, which makes me do more #1, and then more and more. If you are one of those people who have the ability to see what you read, I apologize and I will move on.

Needless to say, the party went on without me, thanks to my life-long savior, Tammy Miller. This lady has been my Go-To-Girl on so many occasions. I can always count on Tammy. She’ll plan with me, give me ideas, correct my mistakes, show up early, set up, cook, and then be the last to leave after every dish is dried and put away…all in the name of friendship. Friendship that goes above and beyond. She has made so many of my parties and events so much better with her ability to just step in and do what needs to be done…and she does so with grace and beauty. I LOVE TAMMY MILLER. So once again, Tammy saves the evening, making sure everything goes smooth, while I lay in my bed upstairs in agony…She even came and offered to hold my head for me. True Friends!!!!

According to all accounts, the party was a success without me and now after a few days spent in bed, I feel normalcy returning.  Now…to schedule a do-over…pull out those calendars, because I feel CHEATED!