Saturday, October 27, 2007

Laurie, You Are AWESOME!!!

I made the trip to Peoria today to attend the Women's Lifestyle Conference. There were literally hundreds of vendors there, and the place was PACKED! Looking at all the goodies, collecting free samples and other 'swag' was fun, but I was there with one particular purpose - - I was finally going to meet one of the best bloggers and authors around today - - Laurie Perry, aka "Crazy Aunt Purl". She was scheduled to briefly speak on the Empowerment Stage at 1:40 PM, and in Seminar Room 135 at 2:00 PM. Peoria was one of the stops on her whirlwind book tour, promoting her book, "Drunk, Divorced, and Covered In Cat Hair." (It's a GREAT read. You need to go buy it. You really do. Go buy it now! Go ahead - - I'll wait right here . . . )

Laurie's writing has really resonated with me. She writes candidly about her life and what she is going through, and it's so good to know that there are other women out there who feel what I feel, who have gone through (or are going through) some of the same things I have (or presently am) - - her "Year of Undieting" and how it worked for her, and that it has worked for me; 2) her budget battles, and what she has done to make her life more fiscally sound, and some of the ways she has done this has worked for me as well.

So yeah - - I was pretty pumped about getting to meet her and hear her speak!

I was just killing time looking through all the displays, scarfing up all the free food samples (great stuff!) - - I was just about ready to make my way towards the Seminar area when I walked past this caterer's booth. They were putting out samples of 'goodies', so I snagged one. Just as I was putting it in my mouth, I heard the lady next to me ask what it was. I heard the caterer reply, "Garlic Toast with Garlic Cheddar Spread", just as I crunched down on it.

Oh, great. It tastes wonderful, but now I will be knocking over Crazy Aunt Purl with garlic breath. (my timing is wonderful, isn't it?) Fortunately, I was able to snag some Trident gum, and (hopefully) it took care of the problem!

About 1:00 PM or thereabouts, I started hanging around the Empowerment Stage, looking to see if I could recognize her. We have posted on each other's blogs, and have e-mailed back and forth a couple of times, and I was really excited about meeting her. About 1:15, I saw someone that I thought might be her. As I walked toward her, I heard her talking to someone, and her sweet southern drawl gave her away. I introduced myself, and to my surprise, she immediately recognized my blog name and gave me a great big hug! She asked me to accompany her over to the stage, and we got a chance to visit for a few minutes before she went on. I can honestly say that Laurie is as nice and genuine in person as she seems on her blog. From the very first time you meet her, you feel as if you have known her for a long time. Kind of like "meeting an old friend for the first time" sort of thing . . . if that makes any sense.

Laurie told us that speaking in public was something that was extremely difficult for her to do. However, once she got over some initial 'jitters' during her brief stint on stage, she may have been nervous, but it really did not show.

Laurie did a wonderful job of speaking, both on the stage and in the seminar room. She answered all the questions thrown at her, and kept us all laughing with her wonderful sense of humor. She is just delightful to be around!

Me with Laurie at Peoria. Guess the Trident gum worked . . .

She's such a sweetie - - makes me wish Los Angeles wasn't so far away. I would love to be able to spend more time getting to know her . . . I get the feeling we could be friends.

You did a GREAT job at Peoria, Laurie! And, I am sure you will do great in Nashville, and all your other stops on your book tour - - I am so proud of you!

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