Friday, December 04, 2009

Sign Your Name

OMGosh I haven't been this excited in such a long time!

Last night

I got to meet



Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, came to a local bookstore here in Austin for a book signing. Her cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, went to #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, and she has been on a whirlwind book tour for the past few months.

I have had the date on my calendar ever since it was announced, but I honestly didn't think I would make it out.

Well I did, and I am so glad! The bookstore started passing out wrist bands at 4pm. I was able to make it there by 4:30, and they were already on the 3rd color group. My guess is there were approximately 100 bands per color group?? The first two groups, red and orange, were invited to a 6pm signing while the rest of us came back at the advertised time of 7pm.

After picking up my wristband, I sat in the parking lot waiting for Kim (my friend and Musing Mommies podcast co-host) and when she got there, we picked up a wrist band for her and then headed out for dinner.

We drove over to another local Austin joint, Shady Grove, and enjoyed a great dinner inside next to a huge fireplace. In all my visits to Shady Grove, I had never actually been inside. It is a really cute little place! Everything was cozy, dark and somewhat romantic, and the fire in the fireplace was absolutely perfect for the chilly evening. The food was great as always; I had a delicious turkey sandwich and salad with jalapeno lime ranch dressing, and Kim had a turkey club and fries.

Kim borrowed her hubby's iPhone so that we could record some snippets of the evening for our show. It was fun to be able to update facebook and twitter while we were there. Maybe someday I will have such awesome technology at my fingertips. It was kind of funny though, while she was a whiz at using all the cool iPhone apps, making a simple phone call on the thing was a bit of a challenge! lol ;)

We returned to the book store just before 7, and pushed our way through the crowd to a spot on the side in the back. It was standing room only on the second floor of the book store. As we were making our way back a group was making their way forward; 4 country kids and an icy blue-eyed cowboy. {wink} I yanked at Kim's arm as they passed, and when she looked at me like I had lost my mind I made the face. You know, the one that says "omg, look it's someone you should be looking at!". It was Marboro Man and the Punks, walking right past us!

At about 20 after 7, Ree finally made her entrance!

{See MM with the camera? I may end up in that picture! ;) }

She was super sweet and funny during the brief Q&A session. I had fun watching her kids, who were off to the side behind a rack of books, playing and sword fighting. It was kind of hard to hear from where we were standing, but for the most part the questions people asked were somewhat thoughtful. PW handled every question with grace.

After the Q&A she disappeared back upstairs, and the store employees began calling wrist band colors. Since I was in the yellow group, and Kim in the next group, green, we had a little wait before getting in line. Lucky for us, Marlboro Man was signing books at the podium area, so we hopped in that line first.

MM was super sweet too; soft spoken not very talkative, just like I imagined. Of course, I couldn't think of anything to say. I mean, how do you talk to someone you know so much about but who doesn't even know you exist? It is quite awkward.

{with Miss Kim...}

I made it into the official line as the last "yellow" person and Kim snuck in behind me just before they called green. It worked out perfectly! You would not believe the people cutting in line though. And amazingly enough, it was the older women in the group doing most of the cutting. I couldn't believe it! It's not like the lines were obnoxiously long or anything...

Once in the official line we only had to wait for maybe an hour or so. It was moving pretty steady so it wasn't bad at all. It seemed like PW's entire family was there; we saw her hubby and kids of course, her mom, and her sister and brother in law. Everyone was just as sweet as they could be, and you could tell they all enjoyed being there and being with each other.

When we finally got into the room my nervousness went into high gear. I know they are just regular people, but man, I really couldn't think of anything to say! I mean, the woman has the Midas touch! She has a ground breaking, blog world changing website, a #1 best selling book, a phenomenal family life, she home schools, runs a ranching household (oh the laundry!), she has successful dinner parties with other blogging super stars, she is interviewed by magazines and day time talk show hosts and she comes all this way...I get to see her in person and I can't come up with anything even remotely interesting to say!

Thankfully, I am a red head. Now.


She said to me, "you know I used to be a red head."

And I should have said "well I used to be a blond!" but it got stuck in my head and I am pretty sure nothing but a grunt came out.

I do remember asking her if she was going to change her hair back to red. Beyond that, the conversation was a blur.

I just couldn't believe she was talking to me!

Thankfully, Kim tossed the iPhone up on the table and I think she recorded the whole conversation!

We also had her sign a book for a "Musing Mommy" - woo hoo! Giveaway time! ;-)

{Me and Ree. I luv her so much! I wanna be just like her when I grow up! ;) }

{Kim and Ree. Super cute!}

We scored a couple of cool PW t-shirts and had a nice little chat with her sister Betsy about the show. Betsy signed our books too, and she was so incredibly sweet about all our questions. We made our way out just before 10pm, and they had just called the last of the wrist band colors.

I don't know how they do it all with the signing for hours - my hands would have been nothing more than shriveled claws after just a couple of hours.

It was a wonderful experience and I hope she comes back in 2011 with her next book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Woo hoo!!

Maybe by then I can think of something interesting to say to her. ;)

D :)

PS. I had made a few of my mother's coconut balls to take to PW, but the boys didn't let me make very many and I didn't have time to package them up nicely so I ended up not giving them to her. They are so good though, so I want to share the recipe. My mom sent me the original recipe and I think, as with a lot of recipes, something got lost in translation over the years. So, I kind of had to wing it, but here is what I *think* it should be.

Coconut Balls

1 32oz bag powdered sugar
1 14oz bag shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk (the regular size can - 10 oz??)
1 stick of butter (just for you PW!)
1 qt Pecans chipped small (optional)
dipping chocolate or
melted chocolate chips mixed with a square of paraffin or a tbls (more or less) of crisco

Mix powdered sugar, coconut, condensed milk, melted butter and nuts (if desired) in a LARGE bowl. You may have to get your hands in it to really get it mixed up. You want the mixture to be moist enough to hold it's shape in the balls, but still slightly crumbly. (If it's too dry, add more condensed milk, if it's too wet, add more powdered sugar.)

Form into balls and dip each one in melted dipping chocolate or melted chips/paraffin or crisco mixture. Set on wax paper to harden or place in the refrigerator to set. Before setting, if desired, you can sprinkle some toasted coconut, sprinkles or little silve candy balls on top to gussy them up a bit.

Balls can be stored on wax paper in an air tight container and a cool place.


PPS. Hey there Company Girls! I didn't forget about you! Have a great weekend!


Shannon said...

Cool, love her

Jenn said...

SO SO SO Jealous!! Thanks for the awesome post! Now, how do I stack the ballot...for the MM giveaway?? :)

Jen Barnes said...

Oh Dawn, I wish I would have been able to be there with you and Kim! I am soooo envious! Great recap and I'm soo glad you got to meet her! Woo-hoo!

Joyce said...

That is very exciting!

One More Equals Four said...

Sounds like fun, glad you enjoyed it!

Julia said...

How awesome! Sounds like you had a star struck good time! I completely FORGOT about the signing. :( It was even on my calendar too. I'll catch her at the next book signing which I am sure she'll probably do a second book after the success of the first, right?

Carrie said...

My aunt's name is Ree, and I never thought I'd hear it on someone else! I like her blog too :) Sounds like so much fun.........not like me wallowing in sore boobs and spit up :) but Sabrina's worth it. Love you!

jhjohnstone said...

So glad you got to meet her!!! And I'm so jealous! :-)

Best Life said...

Oh I remember seeing you there! How funny. It's like we're groupies together. LOL! I wish I had had the chance to chat with you.

You MUST go out to Johnson City to see the lights. It is so beautiful! Thanks for visiting my blog. Lisa~

Barb said...

So glad you didn't have to wait too long! I agree its sort of weird to feel like you know them...when we really don't.

Sprittibee said...

I saw P365 and Photography on your tagline... and AUSTIN... and the love of PW... and I knew we had to be fast friends.

Nice to 'meet' you! Great recount of the events. It looks like I missed a great time from the stories on everyone's blogs.

Bloggy Bling!

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