I was on my way, finally I was going to see the famous Ree Drummond better known as The Pioneer Woman, blogger, photographer, home schooler (like how I used a made up word for that), gardener, cook, novelist and celebrity. I had carefully picked out my clothes, this was not an affair to dress to the nines in, yeah she’s famous but she’s a rancher’s wife and lives in yoga pants and jeans. I went for cute and casual and finished it off with a fabulous orange purse, it had a huge flower and rhinestones. I was sure it would be PW approved.
Make-up refreshed, a quick curl in my hair (I worked earlier so there wasn’t much time for primping) and I was almost ready. I just needed to grab my “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels” and my cookbook that Leah bought me. Only, I can’t find my cookbook, McGyver can’t find my cookbook.
I knew I should have got stuff ready the day before. For an organized person, I’m a horrible procrastinator. Especially when I think I know where everything is. As I frantically conduct my search and released the blood hounds to sniff it out, I suddenly remember that I took it to the cabin. Seemed like the perfect cookbook for the cabin…Pioneer/Mountaineer Woman, all the same (in my head anyways).
*Sigh* oh well, I was sure they would have one for sale there. I intended to arrive 45 minutes to an hour early. Not likely to happen, but I scurried about and was out the door and made my way to the venue in a decent amount of time. As I was driving I was thinking, do I have any questions for Ree? I mean ones that would make me sound intelligent and blogger savvy? All I really could think of, was “do you still shoot in JPEG only or have you gone back to RAW format?” For the life of me that’s all I could think of…I was as nervous as a schoolgirl about to get her first kiss…my brain wasn’t thinking. I decided I wasn’t going to ask any questions, for once I was going to keep my mouth shut.
After a massive cluster of cars and parking lot(s) tribulations, I found a spot on the street, cut through the back door and I was IN. I was 30 minutes early so I thought I should get good seats, after all I had a VIP ticket. I ended up only two rows up from regular seating (at double the cost) but I did score an aisle seat with a direct view to the podium. Plus I was feeling fortunate that the Pioneer Woman had come to Great Falls.
After a few mandatory comments and introductions of sponsors, etc. It was time to get to the main event.
Look! It’s a bird, it’s a plane…..Heeeere’s Ree Drummond.
The crowd roars, a standing ovation before she even begins, no really. You all need to understand, we only get people past their prime time to visit not in the height of it. This was exciting stuff.
Ree began by saying that she is not a speaker, she’s a blogger and when you think about that, they are polar opposites. As a blogger who’s used to print and pictures to help them along, Ree used a slide show, it was live blogging…so to speak.
I managed to snap photos of her in all her best faces and poses.
In case you are wondering when she was born (see below)…for those of you trying to count, that makes her 42 years old.
Ree’s speaking style was warm and friendly. I could hear her blog in her voice, seeing the face, the person, the voice, it came together. She was very entertaining and 45 minutes went by amazingly quick. She talked about the difference between Herefords and heifers (it was an educational program too), cool stuff she’s done, and her blog.
She ended her speech, not with the end (pictured above…although I would have been happy for her to leave that slide up) but with a duet with Charlie with Ree singing (almost singing) both parts of my endless love (see above picture, bottom right).
Immediately afterward was the book signing. There must have been 300 or more people there just to have her sign their book(s). She promised to stay and sign every one of them. After being directed and re-directed to stand in line, we found our places and waited. This is the line behind me, I never did see the end of it.
This is the line in front of me, see the screen, she was sitting just to the right of it. It was just a couple of hundred feet from where I was at. It took 2 hours, no I said it took 2 hours. Unfortunately the first hour I moved only 5 feet which meant that my position was somewhat in a path for a long time.
This entire weekend was “A Sale to Benefit the Charlie Russell Museum”, that means a Western Art Sale with guest speaker Ree Drummond. There were a ton of people at the venue for that, that ton of people choose right where I was standing to be their way to travel from one side of the sale to the other. Even when I moved up, the traffic diverted to that space and I was still in everyone’s way. “Excuse me, I’m just cutting through”, “Pardon me, I’m sorry, just passing through”. I was bumped and jostled, fortunately I was standing with a group of nice people getting the same treatment. We talked for hours and the time passed a little more pleasantly.
Oh yeah, they were sold out of cookbooks by the time I got to the kiosk…
Oh my gosh, I’m next, Oh my gosh it’s my turn. The security guard offered to take my purse “what?” my cute orange purse, the epiphany of my outfit? No way, it was going in the photo with me. A nice lady took my book and I gave her one of my business cards to sign also. And I nice lady took our picture.
And my hair was funky (probably from all the jostling in the line), and my purse fell off my shoulder, and I had it on backwards so you couldn’t see the cute flower and Ree looks perfect, *pumpfh*. I should have let the security guard take my purse.
Wouldn’t you know it, Ree and I hit it off right away. It was like BFF at first sight. She liked me right away, she told me she’s heard of my blog and she asked to keep one of my business cards and then she invited me to her hotel room afterward. I had to work the next day, but I didn’t care. It was late but we a great time, we sat up and talked about ranching, and losing weight and kids and blogging and she gave me some advice and we sipped wine together and I got tipsy so I stayed the night. We had a girls slumber party! She totally gets me. It was great.
Whoa, sorry that was my fantasy. Actually, I just told her how Leah, at Leftovers for Lunch, bought me her cookbook and got me started reading her blog and how Leah and I both have one. However, she really did say that she’s heard of my blog and asked to keep my business card. She also said to tell my daughter “Hi”.
So I left with this, and I was satisfied.
Because my purse didn’t get in the picture and because I wanted it too and because I can, here’s a picture of it. With it’s fabulous orange color and outlandishly large flower with rhinestones. I bought it at the fair, who would of thought?
Ree, next time you’re in town give me a ring!