Meeting Pioneer Woman at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona

Okay, this weekend my blog has deteriorated into the Pioneer Woman fan club that is me, Mrs. Accountability. This is totally a fluff post, and I hope my faithful readers will indulge me. Hardly anyone reads my blog on the weekends anyway, y’all are out busy with your real lives.  But I promised I would share my night, so here you go. I promise on Monday we’ll get back to strictly personal finance and nothing else. 😉

When I found out P-Dub was coming to Phoenix (Changing Hands is actually in Tempe) I was so thrilled, I felt like I’d won a prize!!

Her cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girlwas available for pre-order on Amazon and I put in my order for three cookbooks, one for me, one for AJ and one for my boss.  And I paid for two day shipping, which was an additional $15 and the books ended up being $20 each.

When the books arrived, I discovered that Amazon had shipped me a duplicate order. I called and let them know I wanted to return the books, but then a week later I changed my mind and decided to keep them.  They were just too pretty not to, and I just knew I’d be able to find homes for them. I called Amazon again and they went ahead and charged me $52.51 for the second shipment. They were really happy that I was honest about the whole thing.

AJ and I went together to Changing Hands bookstore. I wanted to get there earlier, but I had to work a little bit later than I’d expected.  We got there about 5:30 and I brought in my four books. I realized I had probably better let them know right away that I got my books off Amazon, so I went up to the front desk and explained that these four were mine (I couldn’t bring myself to bring all six in and ask PW to sign SIX books, four was my limit!).  That is when the girl told me that in order to even get into the event, I had to BUY a book from Changing Hands, and that would allow me and one other person to get in and get my book signed. She said they were already at standing room only, so if I had a ticket I might not even get in!

I had so many mixed feelings. I thought about leaving, but I knew I’d cry in disappointment if I did that. I already had six books, if I bought another one this would make a seventh! AJ was not really too enthused about sticking around for hours. He thought there would only be about 50 people show up, and the line was already at least 100 people long.

Finally I decided to just buy a book, to make sure I could at least get in. Personal Finance reference: Changing Hands charged me $29.95 for one book!! My receipt indicated I was in the group of “K”. I went and got in line. Thank goodness I’d had the foresight to grab something to eat before we got to the bookstore. Seriously I thought we’d leave work on time, go to the bookstore and check things out, then go to Denny’s, have dinner, then go back about 5pm. But we didn’t even get into the store until 5:30.

After about twenty minutes, an employee from Changing Hands came by to tell us that their policy was being changed due to Ree’s request. She said normally they allowed people to come in and be seated by their letter group, starting with “A” but someone had tweeted to Ree to tell her the policy, and Ree asked that Changing Hands waive the policy and let people in as they were standing in line.  She said they like to keep their authors happy. The employee told us to not worry, Ree said she would sign everyone’s books, and take pictures with her, and she had stayed until 1am at the last bookstore signing books.  Wow. There I was, standing in line, not even sure I was going to get into the event, and now suddenly I might even get a seat!!

Around 6pm they let us start moving into the designated area, and there were about 150 seats.  Small folding chairs, crowded really close together. I whispered to the lady next to me now would not be a good time to have a hot flash. The place was PACKED.

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We all sat around waiting, and chatting amongst ourselves, waiting patiently for our favorite blogger to come out and chat with us.

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And then it was time!  Here is my transcription of the Question and Answer session that she did. She was so funny!  We were laughing and laughing over the answers she was giving to the audience. When Ree said she was trying not to get choked up, I got tears in my eyes.  I know, you probably think I’m silly, but it really was the high point of my year!

The rules for book signing was adhered to – when Ree was done answering questions, the group letter “A” was invited to get in line for having their book autographed.  They also asked anyone with little children to come up and get their books signed first (before the “A” group). The rest of us sat and stood around (thank God I was able to sit, my feet would have been killing me) and waited patiently.  I was sitting right in a perfect spot so that I could see Ree signing books.

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Missy was walking around snapping pictures, and then these ladies sitting in front of me asked her for her autograph.

pw7 After that a big line started and Missy was using my Bic Crystal pen to sign autographs. Everyone would open their cookbook to the page where Missy is cutting beef, and she’d sign. She was such a sweetheart and so pretty!

pw8 After a while, Ree’s mother-in-law came over to stand near Missy, and then people started asking her to sign their cookbook, too!  She stood there patiently signing book after book, after book. She kept giving me my pen back, but then here would come another group without a pen that she could use. She was really sweet and kind, and beautiful, too.  Someone asked her if she ever would have dreamed she would be doing this one day, and she said she never would have had a clue. LOL.

Missy set Ree’s camera down while she was signing cookbooks and I was keeping an eye on it, making sure it stayed put.  Then someone asked Missy to come over to the end of the row to sign their books, and I kept watching the camera, but then it was GONE. OH man! I saw another one down near Missy, and it looked like Ree’s camera, but I went over and asked Missy just to make sure. Whew, it was. I was about ready to run out and tell the manager they had to lock the front doors and find out who walked off with Ree’s camera.

Anyway, the time actually passed by pretty quickly, and soon they were on the letter “K”. I was the first “K” in line, and there were about fifteen people in front of me.  When it was my turn, I told Ree it was the high point of my year to get to meet her, and she said that was so sweet, while the other ladies in line behind me laughed.  I then realized how silly that sounded, so I said, I guess I lead a pretty boring life, but seriously, I have been so happy today. At one point AJ told me he was getting a little bit tired of seeing me so happy.  LOL. I had P-Dub autograph one cookbook for my blog, one for my boss, one for me and one for AJ.  Then I got my picture taken with her. One of the store employees used my camera to snap the shot.  It really was a lot of fun for me to meet Pioneer Woman.

AJ had left to go find some computer book after PW started signing books, and after he found what he was looking for, he never came back into the store. And my cell phone died, so I didn’t have anyway to reach him, but he already knew the store employees had said “G” was usually midnight, so we thought I’d be there at least until midnight. I’d already called Mr. A earlier, and let him know it was going to be at least midnight so don’t stay up waiting for us.

One of the store employees told us they had been told originally by the people who set up the tour that maybe thirty people would show up, and she estimated 450 people had been in the store to see Ree!  She said they had had to place several orders for the cookbook, and their last order was 400 and they were totally sold out!!  Wow! Ree is really popular in Arizona!

I have never been to a book signing before, but it was so much fun getting to meet PW. I guess I just admire her so much, and her site is so beautiful, and she got famous with her blog, I just really admire her. I have run across some hater blogs of PW, I do not get it. I guess people are just jealous.

Well, so that’s the whole story.  Thanks if you have made it through to the end. I guess if you are a P-Dub fan you probably did. But otherwise, thanks for your patience and indulging me this weekend.

Please make sure you comment to the contest post, (the contest ends November 17, 2009 at midnight PST) and for more points, sign the petition so we can help persuade Marlboro Man to let PW have chickens! 🙂

Love ya all,

OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. This post may contain affiliate links.

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