Transcription: Changing Hands Bookstore Q & A with Pioneer Woman

Transcribed from our time with Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman on Thursday evening, November 5th, 2009 at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, Arizona.

Hi guys! Thank you for coming. Good night. [Laughter] This is not my typical Thursday evening. I’ve got to stop wearing Spanx to these things. I can’t get a deep breath. Wow. Amazing. I’m just trying not to get choked up. I had an allergy attack in Salt Lake City, so don’t be alarmed if I look a little puffy tonight. I held an ice pack to my eyes before I walked out here. I was nervous. Thank you all so much for coming. I don’t know what I’m doing here, but I’m so happy to be here. I love doing my blog every bit as much now as I did the day I started and you all are so much a part of that and people that read my site are so engaged and fun and positive and I love reading what you all have to say as much as I like writing strange things every morning.  But I’m a blogger, I’m not a public speaker, when you think of it blogging is sort of the opposite end of the spectrum of public speaking so I’m going to give it over to you guys.  There’s probably not one thing you don’t know about me already, but just in case you have any needling questions I’d be happy to answer them, if I know the answer myself, but thank you all for coming. I’m just so excited to see all of you and my heart is bulging, so is my belly under these Spanx.

First question we couldn’t hear. But Ree’s answer was:

I don’t think of myself, well, I really am not recognized. Celebrity is such a relative term, you know, and maybe in the blog world I’m more known, but I don’t get recognized you know walking the, well, I do in my home town, but nobody cares. I’m not that exciting in my home town. My life strangely, while it’s changed so much in that I have a cookbook, and I’m on a book tour right now, but my life isn’t really all that different day to day.  I still have manure on my porch. It’s very real.

How’s your chicken project?

It’s stalled out. My chicken project is stalled.

What do you need to get that moving?

We need a petition. I need to present it to my husband.

What do you think is the one thing that made you so famous about your blog, why did it catch fire and become so popular?

Gosh, I started my blog like everybody starts a personal blog, I mean I didn’t know what a blog was. I thought it was a free website. And it is, but it’s so much more than that as we all know. But I didn’t have any plan, it sounds funny, but I still don’t know what I’m going to do with it, where it’s going to lead, but it’s as fun now as it was when I started it and so I’m just going to keep doin’ it.

How many hours of sleep do you get at night?

Well, before this trip, about six or seven, but I’m running on about three the last few days, but that’s okay, I’m having fun.

How do you feel knowing that we all love your husband as much as you do?

[Laughter, clapping and whistles] I’m okay with that, and he’s okay with that, too.  Really, what husband wouldn’t mind their wife taking photos of his derriere? Right, so, I married the right guy.

Couldn’t hear the question, but Ree’s answer:

Thank you for being honest.  I am extremely disorganized. I mean, my closet is inexcusable. My car is even worse, so I do the things that are fun, my dad can attest to this, I like doing fun things, but I don’t really like the not fun things so I just weave it into my daily life. I have homeschooling, some days I weave blogging into the homeschooling day and other days I weave the homeschooling into the blogging day, other days we work cattle, and it all goes out the window and I cry over my laundry piles. But I do better if I don’t try to structure myself into a schedule because I would fall short and hate myself, too!  Thank you. Oh, repeat the questions. See, I’m not organized! (One of the employees of Changing Hands asked Ree to repeat the questions).

Am I going to publish my love story [Black Heels to Tractor Wheels]?

I am!  Yes.  I’m going to, but I’m leaving everything on the site that’s there, I’m not going to change anything, but I’m going to fill in some missing holes in Part One, and Part Two will also be in the published version and it’s really sordid. [Laughter].

Do you have any elephants (little girl from the audience)?

Hi Sweetie! Do I have any elephants? No, I never knew before this moment that’s what I’m missing in my life! That is a great question. I have horses, and I have cows, and not chickens.

I just want to say thank you for everything that you give us, but especially for the camera, the photography that you do, I just got myself a Nikon earlier this year and I go to your blog, and I try to understand the f-factor too and I can’t, but I just wanted to thank you for all that you give on your tips and how to do it because I refer to your blog an awful lot for photography so thank you for that.

Thank you, I appreciate that. Sometimes on my photography site it’s like the blind leading the blind. I am not, I don’t know anything but that’s maybe why it’s easy to understand so thank you. I’m glad you like it.

Ree repeating question: What is your favorite section of your blog?

It’s probably cooking, and Confessions.  I think if I had to whittle it down to make it smaller, those are the two I would pick. I just love food. I like to find excuses to be around it when possible.

Ree repeating question: How do I respond and read comments on posts?

Well, I don’t respond individually to the comments because I don’t, I think that’s kind of more of a conversation, your response. I read every comment, so… I wouldn’t, I can’t imagine not reading them! I mean, you’re talkin’ to me!  I read them but it wouldn’t be easy to find my replies and my website just isn’t set up to you know, have tiered replies.

I’m not single, but I have some friends who are and I want to know if Cowboy Josh is single?

I need Missy to come take some pictures. Raise your hand if you’d like to submit a photo! Josh is single, yes. Josh wants nothing more than a houseful of children. Be careful. No, I’m just kidding, but he does want children and yes he’s single.

Couldn’t hear the question from a small child, but P-Dub’s answer:

Charlie? Charlie is complicated. He’s great, do you like Charlie? He’s a little stubborn, and a little bit rude, a little belligerent, sometimes [unintelligable].

I’m wondering where you’ve eaten since you’ve been here?

We got in today, so we ate at the hotel. And then we crashed, I tried to depuff myself all afternoon.

Where are you staying?

We’re in room 964…

Ree repeating question: Illustrations on the front page of my website.

Maia Chavez Larkin and she’s so good. I just love her. We aren’t really doing anything together, she just does little single scenes of the kids and country life, she’s really good though.

Ree repeating question: She wants to see Missy’s freaky elbow trick.

Missy? Come on Missy. [Tries to get Missy to come to the podium, Missy demonstrates from the side and declines to come up to the podium.] Thank you for the question.

Ree repeating question: How did I decide what cities to come to on tour?

Um, that’s a really good question, I knew it wouldn’t really be authentic to jet set into New York and LA and San Francisco, I kinda wanted to do more my peeps, you know, I mean, I know there are a lot of moms and… I don’t know what I’m saying, but I wanted to do Phoenix so that was… I love it here.

What inspires you when you’re creating your meals?

What inspires me when I’m creating my meals.

Besides butter!

How many pounds of butter I have left in the fridge.  How hungry everybody is. Oh, usually it’s about just getting it on the table because I have people pounding with their forks, but it depends you know if it’s Missy and my mother-in-law and me then it’s a little more vegetarian based and pretty, but… cowboy food ain’t pretty.

Question hard to hear, but something about all the butter Ree uses and how does she look so awesome in spite of using so much butter?

Did you not hear my Spanx come in? These things are miraculous! Missy hugged me last night and she said, “Oooh, you’re wearing Spanx. You’re tight!”  I mean, I struggle like the rest of ya, I gained 10-15 pounds writing the cookbook so I had leftovers in the fridge and they were so good, and I had to eat ’em.

Ree repeating question: My kids are well adjusted, and how is that possible when we keep them isolated in the country, okay that’s not exactly what she said, but that’s the gist of the question.

They’re pretty good kids, they’re not perfect, they have their moments, but they have cousins, they have church things, and they play soccer. So we do allow them out into society for a certain number of minutes each month. Thank you and what was the second question?

Yes, they often don’t want to go to work in the morning. But that’s more just they don’t want to get out of bed.  So we get the cattle prod and [unintelligible].

Ree repeating question: Do I use a slow cooker?

I feel so lame when anyone asks me that, because no, I just don’t have it in, I don’t know how. I just simply have never cooked with a slow cooker. Usually I’ll use a dutch oven and just put it in the oven, you know, if it’s something that takes a long time. I want to learn though.

Ree repeating question: Do I ever experience writer’s block?

Unfortunately, no. It just kind of comes out. I experienced writer’s block one day, and I will never forget it, I think it was September of ’07, about a year and a half after, the reason I’m leading up to this, I literally only had Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and my separate cooking blog, they weren’t all together, and I woke up and I said, I have nothing to say! and I had written this chapter of when I met my husband, and you know decided I didn’t want to write it anymore and shoved it on my hard drive and so I just put it on my site and it was like a Hail Mary, I thought, There goes my readership, nobody’s going to care and that was the beginning of Black Heels.  That was the result of my writer’s block. That’s how, I mean, the people who read my site.  That story, they encouraged me to keep writing it. And that’s why, I mean all of you, you’re essential, I wouldn’t have my site, if it weren’t for you, so it’s important for me to be here and look at y’all in the eyes, and tell ya I love ya.

This part of your website changed my life: Who taught YOU how to chop an onion?

You know, it came to me in a vision. I went an embarrassing number of years, I would cut the onion in half, you know, root to tip, and I would hold the onion, face up in my hand and I’d go [sawing motions with hand], I don’t know what I was doing, very unusual time in my life. It just came to me one day, and now I just can’t quit showing you how to chop an onion, I apologize for that. I was just so excited to finally figure it out.

Thank for writing about Mike.

Ohhhh, Mike is one of my favorite subjects, I love that guy. I need him here. Thank you. Mike, he folds my laundry, that’s not why I love him, but it’s a big part of it.

I’m wondering in the morning when they’re all getting ready and riding out in the pasture, and they’re riding away from you, what’s your role?

I have no role on the ranch. He didn’t marry for my calf roping skills. I will go and ride and when I do, I don’t take pictures and post about it. For so long I had a baby, you know, tagging along that couldn’t ride, so I was always in the car with the baby, which I never minded.

Ree repeating question: What church?

We’re Presbyterian. I grew up Episcopalian which is like Catholic with no rules, I love the Episcople church. My husband and I went to a Bible church when we first got married which was quite an experience. We really loved it, but then we sort of settled into the good ol’ Presbyterian church.

Ree repeating question: Am I taking internship positions?

I don’t know that you would enjoy it, my laundry is not pretty. I promise I wouldn’t ask you to fold it. Well, one more.

Ree repeating question: Are there any areas that are off limits that nobody wants me to write about?

You know really not, if you’ve read my site for any length of time I think you probably know that I don’t necessarily get too into the nitty-gritty, you know, very serious matters or inappropriate things. But my husband, he doesn’t really have any limits. He’s extremely supportive and the only time he gets bent out of shape and it’s happened a good handful of times are when I get an agricultural fact wrong. He cannot sleep for days. That was NOT a heifer, it was a steer. I’ll see him tossing and turning and I’ll ask him are you still thinking about that? Do you want me to change it and he’ll say No I don’t want you to edit yourself.  No I keep it pretty clean and I mean there’s a lot I haven’t told you about Missy. A lot. I might write a book about that. Guys, you know it’s so fun, thanks for making it easy on me. I want to meet you! [clapping].

End Transcription.

Read my rendition of the night here.

Please make sure you comment to the contest post with your favorite PW recipe, (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! 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Transcription: Changing Hands Bookstore Q & A with Pioneer Woman

  1. …and there I am, smack dab in the middle of that first pic, with my elephant- question asking 3 year old in orange 😉 Thanks for your email about “the tweet”… I will email you back shortly!


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Janet, THAT was SOOOO adorable… simply precious!! I just start grinning thinking about it. Thanks for coming by and visiting and commenting! I hope you two got to get your book signed early! I was there until 11pm! But TOTALLY worth it!!


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