Some weeks are tougher than others. Sometimes a few days in the B&B business can humble a person, especially when the temperature won't go below 100. I have had one of those weeks. In fact it has not even been a week, just a few insane days.
It all started on Thursday.
Max got something in or near his eye. We assumed it was a wasp sting, because it swelled up. It seemed to annoy him more than hurt him. I iced it down.
I made a large pot of sugo rosso, to use in preparing a pot of chicken cacciatore for a guest dinner for Saturday night. Guests from Texas had invited friends from the area to join them here for dinner, and our other guests from Australia had decided to have dinner at the B&B as well. I went to the polleria and ordered up 20 chicken thighs to pick up on Friday, since Saturday would be a legal holiday, Ferragosto.
On Friday, Max seemed ok, the eye was not really looking too bad. I made breakfast for four, cleaned the rooms and kitchen together with Micha and Mimi (our helper), ironed a mountain of sheets (yes, I know, I could not take not-ironed sheets, they really bothered me) and then went and did the shopping for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the chicken thighs. In the late afternoon I made the chicken, using the sauce, and set it on simmer on three of the six burners.
Micha came out to the kitchen and said that Max's eye looked worse. I went in to look a it. It was swollen shut, and he seemed lethargic. We rushed off to the vet. He had gotten a long pine type needle stuck in his cornea. It had to be surgically removed, and I had to assist in by holding his eye open. The first half of it snapped off, and then the vet had to dig for the other half. It was horrendous to watch. Poor baby was just coming off of having stitches the week before in his hind quarter from being bitten, and now this! We put him on a gurney and brought him home post surgery, still under full anesthesia.
I had forgotten to turn off the burners under the chicken before heading to the vet, in my emotional state. Everything was burnt to a nasty black crisp. By now it was 6.30 pm, the day before a holiday. Micha tore down the driveway, searching for 20 more chicken thighs. He hit four butchers and managed to assemble the necessary quantity. He also brought home a case of tomatoes, donated by the neighbors, and we started, at 9 pm, to make the same sugo that we had made the day before. I also made the polenta for the appetizer, and we got to bed a little past midnight.
I got up at 6 on Saturday to start the breakfast, and to prepare for a room changeover. A room changeover might not sound like that big of a deal, but it is for us. One changeover means two complete hours of work -- we literally gut the room every single changeover. Since the rooms are furnished and decorated as they are, every single light fixture, vase, candle and decoration has to be handled and cleaned. Fresh flowers need to be picked and arranged. Guests left, and others arrived. At 1 pm I started with the dinner preparations, being careful not to burn the chicken this time. Dinner was served at 7 and everyone seemed to enjoy it: Polenta served with sauteed mushrooms and gorgonzola on a bed of rucola, chicken in tomatoes, wine and herbs with roasted potatoes, zucchini and string beans, and fresh fruit with Brachetto for dessert. Everyone was in the pool until 11.30, and I crashed shortly thereafter.
On Sunday after breakfast service I got myself organized for the week. There would be a check out on Monday, and a check out on Tuesday. On Tuesday, four would be arriving from Germany. Dear clients who were returning with friends. This was a good plan, because Monday we could change over one room, get it ready, and then do the other on Tuesday morning, when our adorable Australian guests would be leaving. Having convinced myself that I was ahead of plan, I took a long nap, over two hours, the kind where you don't know where you are when you wake up. It felt great.
So today, on Monday, we said goodbye to the three Texans for whom we had made the dinner, cleaned the room, and took a deep breath....only to hear the roar of two big German cars coming up the driveway. I had misbooked the Germans. I had them coming in on Tuesday, but they had booked for Monday. Only one room is free, the other is still booked until tomorrow. My mistake. Absolutely my mistake -- my first booking error in four years. I went tearing down the hill, got a room for two of the Germans at Relais dell'Osso, did a massive shopping spree for dinner tonight (dinner for eight: the Australians, the four Germans, and us) and am now trying to catch my breath. Our German guests are being wonderful about it, but I feel awful. They are all out by the pool now, relaxing in the 120 degree heat. In about an hour I will be making the dinner which I had planned for the Germans' arrival tomorrow. Tomorrow the two that are staying in town will come up for breakfast, and hang out by the pool while we get their room ready, and then their vacation can start-- for real.
Max's eye is much better (moral of that story: I am going to become a dog hypochondriac an bring him to the vet for every little thing now). I am exhausted but I have done everything I can to make up for the booking mistake, including double check every reservation I have for the rest of the season. Micha is doing a wine tour with the Australian ladies and.... tomorrow is another day.