Monday, April 19, 2010

Power Shopper and Power Blogger in Portland

I had a long day in the big city. Most of it was spent in Power Shop mode.

I started by running in and out of no less than eight furniture stores looking for a reading chair for my newly painted and rearranged bedroom. I needed a comfy but small chair to fit the small space. This is a tall order when all of America seems to be going Texas style. BIG. Overstuffed and oversized was the norm for most of the furniture. Finally in the eighth store I found the perfect, and I mean perfect chair. And I got it at a discount because of a flaw. Score! I spent less than I budgeted! Love that!

Then it was on to Costco where I loaded up on cheese and vegetables, and later Ikea and Home Depot for pantry closet remodel supplies.

I was in a rush to beat the traffic to the other side of the city. There was a special event going on at Powell's Books (the best bookstore in the Northwest!) and the traffic is the worst in that part of the city.

I made it to the bookstore 45 minutes before the event was to start.

And this what it looked like:

They were all there to see Ree Drummond. The Pioneer Woman.

They were just handing out the last ticket for those who wanted to have one of her cookbooks autographed. They had handed out 350 tickets and clearly there were many more people than that. I didn't need a ticket since I already have a signed book, courtesy of the most wonderful, the sweetest and most self-sacrificing angel on earth. Thank goodness, I wouldn't have to wait about six hours holding the last ticket to have a book signed! Except if I was last maybe I would have been able to have a nice chat with Ree Drummond about pies or something.

So I found a standing-room-only spot in the front near some baby strollers and against some bookshelves to await the arrival of the celebrity blogger.
During the 45+ minutes I stood there I noticed a few things. For one- there were a lot of babies there. They were all wearing cute outfits, dapper hats or perky bows on their heads. I found the presence of all these babies surprising. Usually moms don't take their babies to something that they know will drag on for hours in the evening do they? But anyone who has read The Pioneer Woman knows that PW loves babies and likes to photograph them. Were all these mamas hoping to get their baby's photo on the PW website? I know it made this old mom tired thinking about juggling a little one all night in my lap while waiting for my cookbook to get signed.

I was standing tightly up against these two strollers. The one with the blanket was one of those large double strollers. I was concerned that there was a little guy inside sleeping peacefully and I tried not to bump it. After a half an hour or so of standing very still I finally asked the lady who owned the stroller:
Me: Is there a baby sleeping in there? I'm worried about bumping the stroller.

She: Oh no! It's okay. It's my basset hound.

Me: {blink. blink.}

Okay then!

I didn't photograph it, but yes, there was a big ol' dog napping in that huge stroller. Did that woman think she would become Ree Drummond's new BFF when she presented her hunky pooch in the baby pram when her ticket came up? Was she counting on having an edge over those mom's with adorable babies?

I may eat all those words if this morning there are pictures of that dog on The Pioneer Woman.

Ree was a bit late. She got stuck in that notorious Beaverton traffic and her GPS sent her the wrong direction down Cedar Hills Blvd. I thought that was interesting since I almost did the same thing. In the end I guessed right and her GPS guessed wrong.

Her late arrival meant that her chatting with the audience via a Q & A time was a bit shorter than usual.

There were a lot of people waiting to get her name on their books.

Those empty shelves behind her were full just minutes before.

I thought it was really fun to see PW's mother-in-law and daughter who suddenly appeared as the signing started. The darling cowgirl daughter has certainly sprouted up very tall. The mother-in-law was very elegant and hip at the same time. They walked close by me later when I was power shopping for school books but I didn't invade their privacy by asking them to pose for a picture.
So all in all....seeing Ree Drummond and her family was quite surreal. I've seen so many pictures of these people that it was just plain odd to see them in real life.

They are real people. Imagine that.


  1. Sounds fun! Wish I coulda gone with you!

  2. Me too! I tried to call you on my way too.
    It was fun.

  3. What? GPS sent her to *my* end of Cedar Hills Blvd?! Stink! I invited her to dinner, too - had I known she was that close, I would have walked down the way and grabbed her and brought her in! LOL!

    Thanks so much for posting your pictures. I was going to go - but I still have an open surgical incision and the cold from you know where - so I decided not to at the last minute. Seeing your pics - well, I'm glad I didn't do it.

    ...that basset hound in the stroller is hilarious. Good grief!

    Congrats on the chain snag, too! I love bargain shopping!

  4. ...ugh - that was supposed to say "chair snag" - ugh - this cold is about to drive me nuts! I can't hear, breathe, or spell! :)

  5. dina! It would have been fun to meet you but I doubt we could have picked each other out in the mob scene.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    That Cedar Hills Blvd. exit is terrible. It's not the first time it has confused me. Poor Ree.

  6. that basset hound reminds me of what I saw the other day...a lady was jogging with a stroller, I thought to myself, that maybe I should do that right.?...nah! I will just walk, I am not a I get closer to her, it isn't for a baby! There was a dog in it! A DOG!!!!!!! What the?????

  7. I saw something similar. I saw a biker with one of those yellow bike trailer thingys and it had TWO dogs in it!

    Hello? Your dogs can't run???

  8. *snore*

    Stop feeding her self created faux celebrity. It's panic like this that creates The "let's-follow-the-leader-and-read-PW" mentality. Perez Hilton gets more hits than she does, and he's a self created internet personality, but it doesn't mean he actually deserves it.

  9. Panic? Feeding? I think not.
    It was just for fun, my dear. I didn't do any worshipping or fawning. And she even admitted that she really doesn't have much to offer at these deals, that's why she just answers questions.

  10. Wow that's awesome! I would have gone if I was a little closer, myself.

  11. You would have been one of about four men. But maybe you would have liked it that way! ;-)

  12. I am the one that brought my Basset in the stroller. Everyone was there to have fun and share in our common love of PW. Too bad there are people like you that have to try and turn a fun night for everyone into something negative by saying nasty things about people (with dogs or babies). It really isn't any of your business if a mom brings her baby or if I brought my dog. That's our choice. Not your's.

    UNLIKE you, I arrived at Powell's over 3 hours early so that I could get a good spot. I had a seat right toward the front even, which I gave away so that I could be in a completely out of the way place with my dog stroller.

    YOU are the one that got there at the last minute, shoved your way to the front past people who had been waiting there for hours and CHOSE to stand next to me and my stroller. If you didn't like it, you should have moved. I heard the comments you made and nicely apologized to you. I shouldn't have. Someone who says nasty things about people like you do didn't deserve that apology.

    No, I didn't think I would become Ree's "BFF" by bringing my Basset or that I would "get an edge". We just thought it would be fun and give her a good laugh. Same with the people that brought their babies. All in good fun. Which is what the whole event was about!

    ALSO, my stroller is not a "baby pram", it is a stroller specifically for bigger dogs. Some people (like me) have older dogs that can't walk as far or have physical ailments that prevent them from walking.

    By the way, looks like you can eat your words since my Basset is on her post this morning. I don't see you on there! SNAP!

  13. Love some of your recipes! And your title is clever!

    Just FYI... I brought my babe because I am a nursing mom (who doesn't pump/bottle feed) and my babe will fall asleep on my shoulder. He does not fuss much and if it came to that, I would have left. While I enjoy the occasional getting out just like anyone else, I wouldn't want to inconvenience others with a mad baby. My mama raised me to be considerate of others, so I do try! I hope that my baby's sing-song as he was falling asleep was not what may have offended - I was somewhat near to the basset stroller, so you may have seen/heard him there, or on PWs site today. (Although I was surprised that she took pics of both of my kiddos who were sitting with me!)

  14. Whoa.
    I'm sorry, truly, if anything I said came off as "nasty." I certainly wasn't trying to be "nasty." I understand why people brought babies whether because they are attached at the breast or because Ree loves them and often puts their pictures on her blog and I can understand how exciting it would be for someone to see their baby on her popular website. I was surprised that her Portland post didn't have more of those babies because there were a lot of them and they were cute. I know that many people were there for many hours waiting and like I said, I was surprised that there were so many and it made me tired just thinking about the idea of taking care of a little one in those crowded and uncomfortable circumstances. But if someone can do it, more power to 'em! I've carried seven babies around for many years and I know what it's like and I fully support any mom taking her baby to a public place and nursing it there too! Sorry if I didn't express myself well in this blog post. I was not trying to be derogatory about having babies there. I do think that having a baby gave people an "edge" for getting their photo taken by Ree. Nothin' wrong with that either! Hurray for you, elm, that your kids were featured on PW's site! I'm sure that was fun for all your family and friends to see.

    As for the dog, I'm sorry to disagree but I feel it was inappropriate to have a dog in that store. First of all, I'm pretty sure it's against the law unless it's an animal such as a seeing eye dog. Secondly, there were AT LEAST 500 people there, probably more. Very crowded! And the big stroller certainly took up room. Did the store personnel know that you had a big dog there? I did not shove my way to the front, btw, I stood *behind* you- Brandy- and the others who were already there. I stood in BACK on the side. People later came in behind me even farther back. The dog stroller took up space that two or three other people could have used who would have enjoyed the position better then your sleeping dog did.


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