Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I met the Pioneer Woman!

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So, you know I am a fan of Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. I read her blog regularly, and I have since 2007. (back when she only had a few hundred readers as opposed to today's masses) And she was one of the reasons I had the idea to start this blog. She would use her photos to tell a story and I wanted to share some of my photo stories with my friends and family. And I love her Tasty Kitchen site, too.

Well, she came to town on her Griswold Family Tour to promote her new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Of course, I had pre-ordered my copy. So did my friend Margaret. When hers arrived four days before mine did, I was in a panic - how could my book have been delayed? But, it finally did arrive, and I think she did a great job with the layout, the photos and the recipes. It's a pretty book with yummy contents.

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You also know I'm not much on celebrities. I don't read People. I don't get all hung up on who is dating whom. I never have, really. Well, OK, maybe never. When I was very small, I was starry-eyed about Wendy from Wendy's. And I had a huge crush on Harry Connick, Jr. in college, and would still probably swoon if I met him. Then, there was the time I actually met Frederick Fennell when I was in college. That was pretty awesome. And then, also while I was in college, I met Linda Wertheimer and had a hard time completing a sentence when we came face to face. But neither Mr. Fennell or Ms. Wertheimer were ever People fodder, I would say. Of course, there was that time more recently when I met Alan Spaulding and I got pretty excited to meet him. So, I guess I am not completely immune to wanting to meet a famous person.

And I decided I wanted to meet PW, as she is known to her closest fans, of course. And, I was thrilled to see her book tour was going to make a stop in Dallas. So, my friend Margaret and I casually discussed attending. But, yesterday it was cold and rainy and Margaret wasn't feeling her best. And it was becoming evident, from the previous stops on the tour as chronicled on P-dub's website, that it was going to be a large crowd and a long night. So Margaret decided she did not need to go. So I thought about not going too. But then my husband called me on my way home from work and said, "So are we going to the bookstore tonight?"

Yes, that's right. I do have the world's most fabulous husband.
He's da bomb.

I had done the necessary preparations during the day to make this possible. I had called the store to find out you had to come during the day and get a wristband. Then, those persons with wristbands would be lined up by color (in groups of 200) to meet the author. Late in the day, on her Facebook page, Ree stated she would stay to sign every last book. Now, that was an amazing promise, after I tell you what happened next.

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But anyway, I made it by the bookstore on my lunch hour around 2:30. I received a yellow band. Turns out that was the third color of seven. I'll let you do the math. I knew, based on the time I picked up the bracelet, there was no reason to be at the bookstore right at 7pm. So, I waited for S to get home, we ate something at the house, and then we set out for the bookstore. We arrived around ten minutes until 8.

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We found out my color had already been called and we were told to go to the end of the yellow line.

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And we noticed other colors were forming lines even further away from the front of the store.

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Interestingly, we were standing in the cookbook aisle, near the "healthy" options.
P-dub's was not here. But I did think it was the Universe trying to tell me something...

The line wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, so I decided to walk around to see what was up at the front of the store.

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Ree brought her daughters with her, and they were signing too.

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And the people who went early for their bracelet were reaping their rewards.

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There were LOTS of women and babies.

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Because the Pioneer Woman likes babies.

I even contemplated "borrowing" a baby - no joke - but I decided it was going to be a long night and there was no need to make a baby suffer along with S.

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He was suffering enough for everyone.

More than the long, long wait, (We waited three hours - and there were FOUR GROUPS behind us. Someone on her Facebook page said she signed her book at 2:30 am. Crazy!) more than the wait, for S, it was quite possibly the conversation that bogged him down. Women with small babies in front of us talked about giving birth. Women behind us talked about reading the Pioneer Woman's site and what they liked about it. They recounted the entire "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" story almost verbatim. It was exactly his cup of tea.

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While we waited...

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...I also noticed this book nearby.
I thought it was also apropo.

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Then we moved into the "political science" section.
Where the presence of that lady there's book...

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...and this lady here's book made me wonder if they had mis-labeled the section.

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They were, however, across from this. So, maybe they were close enough.

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It was big success when we turned this corner.

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And saw the "pink" group hanging out on the floor behind us.

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But we were still a long way off.
She was closer to that coffee cup than our current location.

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But then, someone spotted Mateo!

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He was working the crowd.
Teresa was also there for a while, but the photo I tried to get of her was blurry.

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Let's check in on S - hmmm - his pulse was waning.
And it was only an hour in...

I offered to S for him to go sit somewhere and I could call him. Or for him to go buy a drink or some McDonald's fries or something (there was a McDonald's nearby) but he stuck by my side - not always the most happy participant, but by my side - for the whole time.

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Another interesting product at the Borders.
In the calendar section.

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I figured the kids would leave before we made it up there.
So I snuck around to get a couple more photos of their antics.

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And I got another glimpse of the front of the line.

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The "preparation."

Somewhere about an hour and a half in, someone from the Borders asked me if I wanted my book personalized and I said yes. So, she asked me what name, wrote my name on this post-it, placed it here in my book, and informed me she was signing the "yellow page." OK, got it. Then later, another Borders employee came by to request our post-its be horizontal. As you can see from the photo, my started out a bit askew from horizontal. I fixed that to be in compliance.

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When we reached soundtracks, for some reason I felt we were getting close.

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And S found a chair for a bit. So his mood improved. Slightly.

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Look! A self-portrait in the security mirror!

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The line kept turning corners. Meandering like a line for a ride at Six Flags.

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I found this little book and took a photo so I would remember the title.

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Then we made it to the home stretch.
Just past business and money management.

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And it was a good thing.

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I took this last photo and handed the camera to S.

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And he took this.
Which I did not see at the time or I would have been worried.

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There is the back of my haystack hair approaching the table.

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There she is signing my book.

She was very nice. Still chipper! She had her camera right there, and took photos of babies and children mostly. And probably of people who brought her gifts. I just said hello. Another reason I don't do these sorts of things. What do you say to a person you feel you know because you've read all these details of her life, but you don't know her and she doesn't know you? I don't know, so I just waited for her to sign my book.

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She small talked back.

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And my fabulous husband took THE photo.
At 10:50 pm.

And we headed for home. Lucky to have made it through before all the hundreds of people still waiting behind us. Note to booksellers with Ree coming to your shop - why not start at like 3pm? Or noon? It would be more enjoyable for everyone - especially your poor employees.

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So there it is, my signed book.

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And my book tour t-shirt.
Another reason to keep fit into that.
Funny - I won't get there with her recipes!

So there you go - my little foray into being a celebrity monger. I am glad I did it because if I had not, I would be wishing I had gone today. It was an experience, that's for certain. And I'm thrilled I have the world's most wonderfully fabulous husband who went with me.

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Thanks, PW, for coming to Dallas. Come back anytime!

Happy Wednesday. See you tomorrow.


  1. Wow, that's my daughter with the red blanket and my sister in the pink sweater. You weren't too far behind. Great synopsis of the evening. I enjoyed it, too!

  2. Thanks for the great photos! I was in the group ahead of yours, but I didn't get a t-shirt:(

  3. We were in the Purple group and ended up leaving at 10:15 as I'm sure we would've been the group getting theirs signed at 1:30 AM. Thanks for the great photos!

  4. Yay! Good for you, Amy! The lines have been ridiculous, from what I've read on her blog and others, but it's amazing how chipper she stays even with the long hours. Bet she can't wait to get back to the ranch!!


  5. How fun! I love book signings! And I love your security mirror self portrait! I'm chuckling about that at my desk.


  6. looks like quite an interesting odyssey that night. bravo to you and S for your perseverance. thanks for sharing!


  7. It was nice meeting you at the signing! Yes! The bookstore should definitely start earlier in the day. You snapped pictures of some funny books.

  8. Just clicked over here from Ree's blog and laughed because that's me talking to "Matteo". Glad you had a good time!

    I Heart Faces

  9. Hey, Amy! Beth told me we had made The Pioneer Woman's blog, and she got the first news from you! Also found my daughter, Kathryn, pictured sitting with some pink groupies! Now we hope (Little) Ree goes to the signing in Houston.
    Beth's sister Ree

  10. Hi,

    Stumbled on your site from PW's. You have such an incredible writing style & love the sarcasm.

    I'm originally from DFW & would've gone if I was home. But somehow I don't think she'll be coming to Camp Humphreys for a book signing.

    Congrats on getting your booked signed (very jealous) & thanks so much for sharing all the photos.

    Much love from an overseas Army wife,

  11. Great post! So fun, can't wait to go to a signing here back East! Love all your pictures! I think it is cool you got to meet Mateo!

  12. Found your site from PW's love it.You did a wonderful job of letting your readers vicariously go to a book signing with you.What a trooper your hubby was.

  13. That's the best description I've read so far of people waiting for hours to gt their cookbook signed. I liked the pics you took of books along the way!


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