Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pioneer Woman

There is no doubt that I should be embarrassed for myself. I am well aware that the behavior I am about to describe is not considered normal, admirable or in any way cool.

Yet, lacking genuine shame for my conduct, and accompanied and encouraged by a similar thinking/acting good friend, I am quite certain I would do it again.

Every once in a while, I am reintroduced to the impulsive and somewhat uninhibited side of my personality. Maturity and life experiences coupled with adult responsibilities have managed to keep that aspect of my person within appropriate boundaries, but every so often, the outrageous overcomes the respectable.

Sometimes an idea is born because it makes me laugh. When that idea is shared with a friend who also sees the humor involved, then it has good potential to catapult into reality. Such is the event that occurred when Mandy and I began to plan an Atlanta day trip to a cookbook signing by Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.

Pioneer Woman – known as P-Dub to her closest friends – is a renowned blogger that garners over a million and a half visitors each week to her website. Mandy and I have been following this blog for over a year, and like most harmless internet stalkers, feel as though we know her well. So well that we are certain she would like us as much as we like her.


Pioneer Woman lives on a ranch in the middle of Oklahoma that starts nowhere and ends nowhere, and is married to a real live cowboy with real life cowboy/cowgirl children. They entertain guests from all over the country in a renovated lodge on their property, riding horses, cooking fabulous dinners, and singing songs around the campfire.

(I may have made up the part about the campfires but I like the notion of it so I’m going with it.)

Discussing our upcoming trip to Atlanta, my friend and I were talking about how great it would be if somehow we could get ourselves invited to Pioneer Woman’s lodge. She would have so much fun with us! We would be her new best friends! We would be invited back again!

Talking ourselves into this new friendship that was pre-destined to happen - unless she’s Baptist and doesn’t buy into the whole pre-destination thing – we realized that our only real obstacle to visiting P-Dub’s homestead in Oklahoma was an actual invitation.

So, like most well-mannered Southern women with more grace than guts, we invited ourselves in a very subtle, and entirely distasteful way.

(The T-shirt reads on front: Please find me Lodge worthy. Lodgeapalooza 2010. And on back: Team P-Dub.)

(Know that I can feel your embarrassment for us.)

I’m not sure who actually came up with the t-shirt idea. Mandy would say that I did; I’m claiming it was totally her. Regardless of responsibility, we both clearly participated in the wearing of said t-shirts.

Lacking the time, and obvious good taste and sense to have shirts professionally designed, we were left with the tried and true iron-on transfers that screams to all who can see that we are clearly amateurs.

(The instructions for the transfers were VERY misleading, erroneously stating that it was a "fun activity for all girls and boys." It was not. Sadly, a black sharpie had to be used for some of the lettering that spontaneously fell to the floor. )

Entering the bookstore where the signing was to take place, we suddenly lost some of the bravado that influenced our bold t-shirts. It dawned on us that we were grown women, with seven children between us, donning T-SHIRTS that asked another grown woman if we could come stay at her house.

Really. Really? What were we thinking?

We quickly buttoned our coats, falsely reassuring one another that it really would be best to do the big t-shirt reveal when we met Ree in person. So for 45 minutes, we stood in line, coats fastened to our necks, like we were waiting in line to get on a ski-lift rather than in line to have a cookbook signed.

As we inched forward in line – 3 more people, 2 more people, 1 more left – we became even more nervous that we were going to be received as the freakshows that we really are.

Eyes wide, and pen in hand, the Pioneer Woman took us in as we walked toward her in all of our homemade glory. Her look seemed to say, “Really. Really? What were you thinking?”

She good-naturedly laughed at our shirts, but did not issue the coveted invitation. She did, however, instruct a traveling companion to take our picture which we thought might end up on her website.

It didn’t.

And we didn’t.

And thus the sad end to our little escapade.

But we went down trying, even if a little of our pride went with it too.

All is not lost, though. I’m sure there is another joyful adventure just waiting around the corner. Not to mention that I still have four iron-on transfers remaining.

Paula Deen, anyone?


man of constant sorrow said...

I'm pretty sure she figured you two for stalkers and wanted the photo for evidence in case she went missing.

Maybe you could do a T-shirt contest with the iron on transfers ??

Thanks for sharing!

Mom of Eleven said...

I don't even know what to say. . except that I still love you both!

Joni said...


Your unconditional love is much appreciated.


Joni said...


Sadly, I think that your assumption is correct.

Although, how can you be frightened of someone with a child with a broken arm in tow and braces on their teeth?

Never mind. Makes perfect sense,now.


tricia said...

i am laughing so hard. looks like fun! and don't forget that our children have a chance to be in the paula deen magazine- remember corn hole at UGA game??? there is still some hope!

Joni said...


The children were supposed to be in the January/February edition of Paula Deen magazine.

Unfortunately, the publishers heard of my behavior and edited out the photos of our children. Please send my apologies to Kate and Lauren.


Anonymous said...

Awww! I'm sure P.W. thought you were sweet not scary!

Joni said...

Thanks anonymous!

(Are you my mom? )

: )


ekrisdinger said...

oh come on joni, i wouldn't worry about her. she doesen't even dress like a real cowgirl. and lets stay away from paula dean and her frivolous and all too fake southern comments and accent.

nottoooldtolearn said...

There is someone that has a blog that I keep up with and have since her daughter was diagnosed with cancer years ago (her daughter has been cancer free for years now) - so of course, I know her well ;-) - Anyways, she was invited to Pioneer Woman's lodge this past year and she blogged about it.

You can go to her categories and choose PW to read about it - so you can live vicariously through another.

cute shirts!

Joni said...

Not Too Old-

Thanks for the link!


Emmy said...

I love it! I just really discovered P-Dub myself... have cooked three of her things in the past two weeks... poured hours over her blog! If I had known earlier I would have been right there with you!

Y'all are awesome! If I were her... I would have invited you to the ranch! : )

Joni said...

Thanks Emmy. Do you want me to try my talents with the t-shirts again when we see Beth Moore in the Spring?

Team Beth? Beth's BFFS?

I'm open for suggestions.


Anonymous said...

JONNI, what has happened to you????? i'm jus sayin'. msf

Joni said...


Believe me, I know.

An intervention is probably needed at this point.


Tracy said...

You know Paula Deen's 1st cousin Johnny Gabriel has a place in Marietta - AND she has a cookbook. It is a great place to eat and get desserts.I will go with you anytime minus the T-shirts!

Joni said...

Tracy -

Sounds like a plan. Can't make any promises about the t-shirts, though. : )


JMom said...

No one can ever, ever say your aren't brave...or shameless...or adorable and funny! :-)

Joni said...


Surely bravery and shamelessness outweighs being ridiculous.