Where to start? Last Saturday's Scrap-a-Palooza at Remington's, our fourth and biggest ever with 239 scrapbookers in attendance, was an event that will live forever in our family history! Here's the inside story.
The week of Palooza:
We unbox, process, price, and repack a huge amount of new papers and other products as they arrive specifically for Scrap-a-Palooza. On Thursday evening, we load a U-Haul truck to the gills.
Friday, January 15:
The usual operating procedure is for Karin and Stacey and I to unload the U-Haul at 9am at Remington's, then Karin goes on to the store to open up at 10. The time crunch is severe...we're only allowed to set up in Remington's from 9 until 4. This Friday, Stacey arrived on time, but was white as a ghost. I told her to go home, but she was too sick to drive and said her husband Jeremy would be there soon to pick her up. I called my husband Don in Mansfield and he started driving up from Mansfield to help, but I was frantic about being able to get everything done in time. When I went outside to check on Stacey, she was leaning out of the truck and throwing up in the parking lot.
Jeremy arrived soon and took her home, then took the rest of the day off from his job and came back to take over setting up and hooking up the computers and registers. Don was there soon, too. When Allison walked in a little later, I almost cried! I SO needed the help. Stacey had called her and Ali had taken the boys to the sitter. Now I thought there was a chance we could get finished on time! And we did. Barely. But about 2 pm, I had started feeling queasy. I kept telling myself that I was just worried about getting sick, not actually getting sick. Back at the store, Karin had been packing the gifts all day, but it took us until about 10 to get everything all ready to go. I headed home. About midnight, I found myself repeating Stacey's parking lot performance. As little Jackson says..."oh, no!"
Saturday, January 16:
I had to call Karin at 6 am and tell her that I couldn't get out of bed. She probably aged a few years! I also called Jeremy to see if Stacey was better. She was, some, and they were already headed out to get started on the computers. That actually made me think that everything was going to be fine. Karin has to go on to run the store on Saturday, and we have Allison booked all day teaching classes and doing big-screen demos. Stacey and I do the other smaller things that need to be done, and I figured that with at least one of us there, it would be okay. And Don, who was already going to help out early in the morning so that we could have multiple registers going, was pressed into all-day duty!
However, Karin called at 10 to tell me that Stacey was sleeping on the floor in a side room! What to do!? Who was going to watch Drew and Jackson until their dad could get there when he got off his night job and came to pick them up? Long story short, Karin went on to the store, and I called Hazel Stuart, one of my Mansfield friends, who helped out by watching Drew and Jackson in another side room until Mike got off work. I asked her to also help out by handing out the materials for the free class at 1 pm, and I know several of the Mansfield group helped her do that!
And as things usually do, they worked out just fine. Stacey started feeling better. Don and Jeremy were great at the registers. Allison did her usual awesome job on the big-screen. Karin bounced back and forth between two places, keeping both running smoothly. Several friends helped out. Tons of you asked if there was anything you could do. Not just once, but over and over! Scrap-a-Palooza was a huge success, and we'll do it all again in June!
After this, I think we can do just about anything. Thanks so much for all your concern, and for your sincere offers of help. I don't have as many photos as usual, but I do have a few to share. I had to ask what Don and Jeremy were doing in the one photo. Something about seeing if their scanners would shine as high as the ceiling. Typical guy stuff!