The most stress-full-est week ever

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been so long since our last blog post. At the same time, we’ve been a little busy. I will try to update everyone.

First of all, a big thanks to the Mechanicsville Moms for the Used Book Sale last week. We raised almost $300 for CJSTUF which is not bad for a bunch of books priced at $.50 and $1 apiece. The remaining books were donated to the Ashland Library for their annual book sale at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center (July 4th….mark your calendars!).

Secondly, the Cow Drop raised a little over $1000 for CJSTUF. That will help two families! How great! I didn’t win the Disney vacation or the Romp n’ Roll birthday party (oh, wait…) but Roger had a great time at the event. Huge kudos to Pam and Sharon, the Virginia Center Chick-Fil-A marketing gurus who help to make this event a success year after year. Much thanks to them for including CJSTUF in their in-store sales.

In the middle of all these foundation events, we have been armpit deep in moving the business. Anyone who has ever built a house knows the stress that comes with construction. Take that and magnify it a few 1000 times when you move a business. Not only are you trying to get everything up and running in a timely manner, but you still have a business to run, vendors to pay, and a staff to manage. We’re getting there but this is not my favorite thing in the world. I have HUGE thanks to offer to:

My parents:
Not only did they help with painting and moving but they always had dinner (or lunch) ready for me and for Roger when we came home each night. Plus they’re always good for a laugh or two!

Our Romp n’ Roll staff: They roll with the punches and have displayed their many talents in this process including painting, shop-vacing, and packing.

Our many helpers and volunteers: Along with our paid staff, we have recruited a few volunteers to help with loaning us LARGE vehicles and painting and hauling and unbolting shelves and hanging bulletin boards and….

My husband: Roger is a pretty handy guy and he is doing a lot of the “grunt work” these days. I, in fact, have felt pretty useless lately and he is just a bundle of positive energy. I really appreciate all his hard work.

So, yes, this past weekend was Mother’s Day. I pretty much tried to ignore it. At the same time, I felt extremely loved and supported by many friends and family. I think between keeping myself busy and the many positive notes, small gifts, and other gestures of kindness that were nudged my way, I made it through. The extra stress in my life certainly doesn’t seem to help with my wanting to cry (or scream) at the drop of a hat. Today we had to take the cat to the vet (more on that in a moment) and as I was waiting to pick up Mr. Tigger, this other woman comes out to the lobby to pay her bill and makes an off-hand comment about “having to sacrifice her first born child” to pay the vet bills. I almost let loose with a snarky comment like, “You think vet bills are bad…try REALLY sacrificing your first born child to brain cancer.” but I held my tongue. I know the woman meant nothing by the comment. In another age, I probably have made comments in the same vein and never thought about the actual words.

So why, you might ask, did I have to get Tigger from the vet? Well, Roger came home earlier today to get a needed tool and grab some lunch and found Tigger very injured. Apparently, he had tried to climb a fence (or something like that) and seriously hurt his foot. The tendon was actually exposed! Roger dropped everything and rushed him over to the vet (did I mention how wonderful he is?) and they took him in for surgery. Now he’s wearing a funny cat collar and has to stay isolated in a room for 10-14 days. Oh, and we get to give him kitty meds. Goodie. The ladies at the vet’s office said he was a really good boy and when I picked him up, he was meowing at about 100 decibels. He’s resting in the spare bedroom right now, looking awfully pitiful.

In Foundation news, we have received our applications for Financial Assistance Grants. We do have at least 10. We will review them at the board meeting next week and we will be very excited to award the $500 grants to our recipients in early June. More on that to come. Roger is talking with a local business and we may have some great PR events lined up soon.

Also, we are slightly further along in the process of getting our nonprofit status. Still nothing official but we’re one step closer. AND I think that within the next month (or two) we should have some SWEET CJSTUF t-shirts and other merchandise available for purchase. Stay tuned.

So, in closing, please keep the positive vibes flowing for our move. We are aiming to be open by Monday with a ribbon cutting at NOON on 5/17. Come on out if you’re around. You can always become a fan of our new location on Facebook for the latest updates and moving pics. If you haven’t heard, we are dedicating our moving week (this week) to ReeseStrong. 10% of any birthday bookings or summer class/camp bookings through Saturday will go back to this Mechanicsville based organization that is very dear to our hearts. SOOOO…if you live in Mechanicsville or know anyone that does, check out our Romp n’ Roll website and call us to register today (shameless plug, I know, but it’s for a good cause!).

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