Last summer I heard about Pioneer Woman for the first time.
I was mentioning to a complete stranger about my search for the perfect Basset Hound puppy.
I had wanted a Basset for about a year and a half.
I had a Basset mix as a kid- Toby was his name. He was so sweet.
But The Man of the House wasn't so sure. So we waited. And waited.
Finally, I was able to begin my search.
I already had a list of name ideas: Toby (again), Charles (after Charles Ingalls), Huckleberry and Copper (thrown in by the kids).
I somehow mentioned the Basset and how my husband had grown up in Oklahoma in the same conversation.
This inspired the lady to tell me about Pioneer Woman.
Ree Drummond is Pioneer Woman. And her blog is fabulous.
At this same time, I was trying to figure out how to start a blog of my own.
And had written my first couple of posts.
When I visited Pioneer Woman for the first time, I was amazed by how much we had in common- homeschooling, children, farm life (although hers was humongous ranch life), and basset hounds.
I loved her blog!
But then, the following week, when I picked up my baby Basset, I was torn.
I had already pretty much settled on Charles Huckleberry for a name. Charlie and Chuck for short.
But Pioneer Woman's Basset was named Charlie, I had found.
If I ever blogged about him, would that be copying somewhat?
I tried out the other names on him....but Charles/Charlie/Chuck still fit.
So I went ahead and named him.
And love him.
But- back to Pioneer Woman's blog.
I checked in on it occasionally- when I wasn't busy with life and school and animals and....you get the idea.
I loved reading her posts and loved even more her recipes and Tasty Kitchen site.
So when I heard that she had a cookbook coming out and that she would be in my area, signing books, I wrote it down on my calendar.
How fun it would be to meet her in person and have my own, autographed copy of her book!
The weeks went by and suddenly the day was here.
I mapquested directions to the book store.
It was going to be a long drive- well over an hour from where I live.
And in a part of Denver the Man of the House had always warned me away from.
I would have to find my way, in the dark, in a rather bad part of town.
And I was taking my little girls, who begged to go.
I made dinner and debated.
I had pretty much made up my mind either to not take them or not go at all.
I had had a long day and driving that length of time didn't sound very appealing at that point.
But, my little girls came into the kitchen, dressed to go.
Dressed in the western shirts, cowboy boots and cowboy hats.
(They love that stuff!)
So, we went.
We drove through bad areas, in major traffic. We found the building....and not a single parking space for blocks.
We tried the parking garage that wound like a spiral staircase up above the building. Packed. And we almost didn't make it down, there were SO many cars coming and going, trying vainly to find parking.
That gave me a bit of an inkling into how popular Pioneer Woman's book signing just might be.
We drove around the blocks several times. Turned the wrong way on a one-way street and got severely honked at. Hey, it was really dark!
Finally, miraculously, just as we were about to give up,we found a parking space.
We made it into the store and followed other women to where the line was.
And it was quite a line. We were on the second level, Pioneer Woman would be on the bottom level. The stairs were packed. The entire building was packed. And we were early!
So we waited.
A gentleman from the bookstore handed out copies of Ree's book that we could purchase when we got below.
I had it in hand, ready for her to sign.
The girls and I waited.
The girls got tired and sat down on the floor.
They were so patient and hopeful.
We waited for over half an hour- not budging.
Suddenly, we could hear that Pioneer Woman had arrived and was below. People were cheering.
We saw nothing. I sent the girls ahead down the stairs to peek around the corner, thinking maybe they could see her. Nope.
About twenty minutes later, still in the same spot, and being told by some that the huge room downstairs was absolutely packed, I began to think of going home.
I was already frazzled about the drive there and knew I didn't want to fight crowds to get out of there, through the bad part of town and onto familiar roadways.
I looked at my girls. They were tired.
I asked them if they wanted to just go home.
They said yes.
So, sorrowfully setting the cookbook down on the nearest table, we left.
I got lost on the way home (those darn non-connecting one-way roads) and had to call home for mapquest help.
I had major anxiety and even shed a few tears.
A disappointing night, to say the least.
Not Pioneer Woman's fault, of course.
And I would still love a copy of her cookbook!
You can check her site out here
You can check her site out here