Why did I schedule myself like this? I know I like to work and actually love what I do, but between an appearance on The View, then David Letterman, stopping by Oprah’s to do a special show and then have dinner, and an appearance on Conan, I realized that I was on the wrong side of the country for what I had to do last weekend. That, and I was pooped. It works, though, because I had to pick up the dog from the kennel anyway (the kids were away at boarding school and Honey was out of town). So, that covered Monday – Wednesday. I headed off for a meeting with some associates in NYC on Thursday to discuss the soundtrack from my next movie project on Friday.
I’m excited that I get to have another producer credit and this time background vocals (and even a solo) for it for some original songs, working with Billy Winn. I hoped the meeting would go smoothly and it did for the most part, thank Jesus. We got through it all. Saturday was devoted to a benefit meeting and charity banquet for my foundation. Then there was Sunday. My friend kept her word and woke me up EARLY at my hotel to go with her to church. We then had brunch/lunch and I ordered a car to Teterboro airport.
My flight was slightly delayed, but not too badly. Eventually, we got airborne and landed safely at Reagan National. I was so happy to be going home. It’s amazing: you build your dream estate/home and have yet to spend the time you want to spend there. But I’m happy to have these next 6 weeks or so off, most of which will be spent at the new house!
So, I finally got home and am surprised that the house still smells so new. I guess that’s one benefit of traveling so much and keeping everything closed up – the smells will be retained. Fortunately, it’s a good smell. I pulled out my calendar for tomorrow (Monday) and reviewed what had to be done. Sigh. So much work. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do much of it around the house. The maids would be here to give the place (and the guest and pool houses) another once-over. The gardeners would be here to clear the property of fallen leaves and make sure that the plants were looking their best. The pool technician would be here to make sure that the heated pool could be used without a problem; same for the hot tub.
I called my assistants to make sure that everything was indeed scheduled to proceed on Monday, and that the plans for the rest of the week were squared away. Both verified that all was well. I let Dudley out to roam (and poop) and I went to a bathroom to let my thoughts roam while I pooped. I fixed Dudley and I some dinner. I watched some television, determined to not fall asleep too early, lest I wake up at an hour that’s not conducive to what I had to do on Monday. I couldn’t believe that The Simpsons is still on the air. Wow. Amazing. I’m happy to have voiced a guest character on my favorite show, but I am still amazed that it’s gone on this long.
Well, after Dudley roamed some more after eating, I let him back in and bathed him. He was pooped too, because he instinctively got in his bed at the foot of my bed before I got in my bed. Well, Lord, here goes. The big plan starts tomorrow. It’s all up to you now.
Monday morning. Dudley is holding it and squealing. Weird dog. Why doesn’t he just run back outside? Doesn’t he know how to get there from…never mind. I guess I should be happy that he is housebroken, though.
I check the clock and see that it’s 5:57 a.m. I’m still not fully rested from last week’s activities and now the dog wants to pee at 5:57 a.m. after we went to bed at 11 p.m.? I go downstairs and he follows me and zips out the back door as soon as I open it. After he’s done and back inside, I put him in his pen and let him play with his toys. I need to go back to bed, so I do.
The phone rings at 7:08 a.m. It’s the gardeners. I let them in. Shortly thereafter are the maids, letting themselves in. Then the pool people. Then the catering supplies people. They’re actually trying to get away with leaving the food warming supplies and utensils against the walls and not set up. Um, no! If we need to move them later, we’ll do it, but you all MUST set them up. The tables and chairs can stay stacked up, but everything else? Set it up, please. Thanks! I wonder if my being firm with them to do what I paid them to do will turn into a “He’s a jerk in real life. I worked for him once” story in the National Enquirer. Or someone’s blog. Feh, oh well.
Ah, thank God. Jenae and Cleon have arrived in the 2 Expedition EXTs I’m renting for the day! It’s so hard to find good Black help these days. (It’s a joke, mostly.) They know what they need to do to make sure everything is running smoothly while I’m out and about. It’s sad, but true – I’m no fun to shop with. I don’t stay in one store. I have an idea of what I want, but I can get distracted. So, they don’t want to accompany me shopping. I force Jenae into going anyway. She’s family. And on my payroll. Cleon starts recruiting some of the maids with the house setup, but he’s more than capable of handling it on his own. We’re soon off to pick up someone who can shop hard. Two people actually. TJ and Anita.
I arrive at their massive house in Great Falls and Aunt Cookie (TJ’s mother) is already complaining about why we’re shopping today when we could go out tomorrow. I tell her that with as much [insert expletive here] that we have to make for 90 [insert expletive here] people, we should probably get started now. Anita asks, again, why it’s not all catered, and I tell her that I wanted it to be an enjoyable experience (the process). Some stuff will actually be catered (3 turkeys, some “complicated” appetizers, desserts, and side items), but most stuff won’t be. Anita rounds up two helpers and TJ, and we’re off, following each other. We stop at Starbucks because it will be a LONG day in many stores buying greens, kale, turnip greens, turnips, cranberries, cranberry sauce, yams, potatoes, more potatoes, even more yams, green beans, fresh fish, fresh beef, five turkeys, milk (all kinds), OJ, apple juice, tea, bottled waters, macaroni, cheeses, eggs, egg whites, pastas, oysters, crabmeat, sauerkraut, hams (well, we ordered them), dressing, cabbage, lettuce, oils, cake mixes, flour, sugar, Splenda, Equal, seasonings, Jell-O, cool whip, whipping cream, pie crusts, butter, margarine, ribs, chicken, pancake/waffle batter, broccoli, salad fixings, sodas, wines, liquors, cereals, plasticware, Chinet plates, bowls, cups, etc.
Fortunately, Anita tells me that we don’t have to shop hard, because half of the list was already purchased last weekend thanks to TJ’s foresight, so I just repay them for that and we buy the rest of the list.
We bought out Sam’s Club. And Costco. And BJ’s. And the Farmer’s Market. And Whole Foods. And Safeway. And Giant. And Shoppers because they’re the only ones that carry a certain spice we needed. Fortunately, we did split up to do some shopping, but met back at the Farmer’s Market before heading to Great Falls to pick up the stuff TJ and Anita purchased. Okay, so it barely fits. Shut up.
Goodness, is it 6 p.m. already?! I’m whooped again. TJ, Anita, the kids, and Aunt Cookie (who came to help us unload some stuff) say good night, take 3 of the 5 turkeys to marinate them for frying, and go home. I say “hi” to my parents and tell them that they can stay in the guest house in back of the property since that’s where my mother’s sisters will be staying. Speaking of them, WHERE ARE THEY? I’m told their flight was delayed due to weather and they missed their first flight for some as-yet-unknown reason. Thank God they didn’t cause a scene at the airport like I half-expected them to. I mean, I paid for their flight so they shouldn’t act too upset at something that is their fault. I only ask because we’re supposed to start cleaning greens tonight and…wait…these look clean. Aw, Aunt Cookie (and whoever else helped her) is the best!
With newfound energy (thank GOD I don’t have to clean those greens), I start mixing the dough to make yeast rolls (Kitchen Aid mixers rule!), dad starts cleaning the pre-cleaned oysters, and mom starts boiling potatoes for someone else to peel. Jenae and Cleon are helping (good for them!). Jenae and I crack jokes about the adventures of the day with family.
My parents tag out early and go to bed, driving over to the guest house. The rest of us keep on going and then stop to return the Excursions. Coming back in, we all hit the hay. It’s like I had just dozed off when I heard my phone ring. I noticed two things at that time.
First, it was my aunts who had just arrived at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning via car service, and second, oh my goodness was it raining. Hard.
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