Finding My Viscera – Parts I and II.

May 17th, 2010

I don’t know if anyone has realized this other than me – but the past few months have been something of a doozy for me. In fact , you could compare this past year to a tumultuous ride on a spine covered zephyr, flying into a crashing storm while throngs of angry bystanders hurl clumps of cold wet pasta into my face.

It’s been a little rough.

The downward spiral really did begin with my visit to PW’s ranch. I hate to point to that trip as the scapegoat for the beginning of the end of me – but it was the beginning of the end of me – so we might as well face it together.  Purely in the interest of self interest, I thought it might be uh…  interesting in a purely selfish way to examine my grisly remains.  So i give you the decroded flesh of one Rechelle, the blogger.  Let’s see what the bones can tell us.

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Finding My Viscera Part I – The Pertinent events That Preceded my Visit to PW”s lodge!

PW and I had been e-mailing each other for about a year prior to my visit to her ranch. I bought an ad on her site.  A few months later I wrote a post bemoaning the fact that I never won any of her contests and out of the blue she e-mailed me and offered me a deep deep discount on a second ad on her site.  I snapped that deal up and tried to think of a good thank you gift for her generosity.

At that point on her website PW frequently wrote of her new found love of horses, especially a horse named LB.  She mentioned how as a child she never understood the girls with the horse lunch boxes, horse notebooks, horse trapper keepers and horse t-shirts.  But now suddenly at the age of 39, she did.  So I sat down at a custom t-shirt shop and made Ree her very own horse t-shirt featuring her beloved LB.  Ree e-mailed me to thank me for the shirt but said that her daughter had stolen it from her.  You can see Alex wearing the shirt in this post.

A few months later she put a link up to my site on her sidebar and for this valuable piece of real estate, I ground my brain into ashes trying to think of a way to thank her again.  I finally decided on four custom designed coffee cups with photos of the ranch dogs. I also included a necklace with her four children’s names hammered into it.

You can see her wearing the necklace in several photos on her site. She used one of the coffee cups here. She was very appreciative of these little gifts and I was very happy to send them to her.

After I sent off these gifts, I began to hear from her every once in a while through e-mail.  She always initiated the e-mail conversations and like a labrador retriever slobbering all over itself, I eagerly, promptly and with as much ingratiating wit as I could muster, responded to her.  She told me at one point that she read my blog. I had already begun to wonder if she was reading it for one main reason.  Our words started to match up.  One time I used the phrase ‘gesticulating wildly’ in a post and A few days later PW used the phrase ‘gestating wildly‘.  Now I don’t really know how one ‘gestates wildly’ – but I do understand how to gesticulate wildly.  Still – her word choice made me wonder if she was reading my blog.  This word thing continued.  I would use a somewhat unusual word like obsequious or perfidy or querulous and in a few days the word would show up in one of her posts.  I especially noted the frequency that the words from my now defunct ‘word o’ whenever’ would show up in her ‘word nerd’ quizzes.  At first I thought I was crazy – but it happened enough that I became quite sure that I in fact was crazy – and also that PW was reading my blog.  I mean c’mon!  The dictionary is a pretty BIG BOOK!  How many times can my unusual word choices show up in her posts and word quizzes before I can say she is reading my blog?  I am a word person – I notice this kind of stuff.

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Finding My Viscera Part II – The Visit to the Lodge…

So the beginning of my descent into the chasm of endless pain and misery began with a visit to PW’s ranch.  I still don’t really understand why that trip made me so miserable.  I suppose it was a lot of little things that all combined to make me question this thing called blogging and how I felt that it could be very false and often it made me very false.  You can say all sorts of horrible things about me that would be very true – but I am an honest person.  I value authenticity more than anything.  My blog was frequently at odds with my desire for the authentic.  Why?  Because I took my cues from the ‘Queen of Keepin’ it Real’!

To start off  - the directions that she gave us to her ranch were extremely vague.  She didn’t include a phone number to call in case we got lost.  I chalked this up to ‘famous blogger paranoia’ and decided that I probably was far too unworthy to have access to P-Dub’s cell phone.  The CD and I eventually found the lodge using a mixture of ESP, gestalt and by stopping the car every three or four miles and throwing handfuls of dirt into the wind in a effort to let the sky spirit guide us.  What makes this lack of direction even more pathetic is that – PW’s ranch is exactly 200 miles south of me.  I could have gotten on HWY 99 and ended up at her back door in four hours.
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Yet with all the wrong turns we took, it took us six hours to get there.  I tried to call my sister a few times to get directions, but she had left her phone at home.  We finally arrived much later than we had estimated and after stumbling in the door and telling everyone that all my kids were covered in head lice, Ree asked me if I had a baby.

I didn’t have a baby.

I hadn’t had a baby in seven years!

Did I look like I had just had a baby?

Was I all milky?

and puffy?

and pale?

Why would she ask me if I just had a baby?

That really confused me because I was sure she was reading my blog.

Why would she ask me if I had a baby if she was reading my blog?

There was not a baby on my blog!

Here are my theories…

1.  She wasn’t reading my blog and I was milky, pale and puffy.

2.  She was completely cracked out on cocaine.

3.  She was conducting a psychological experiment.

4.  She was messing with me.

5.  She was sending a message.

6.  She was jest joshin’ me.

7. This was not the real Ree Drummond.

8. This was a FAKE Ree Drummond!

9. Was that a fake Ladd Drummond too?

10. How come she thought I had a baby?

It really made me wonder what was going on.  After eating some lasagna, the womenfolk sat in the kitchen and talked homeschooling while the menfolk gathered round the TV.  I feigned interest in the conversation, but as I am not a homeschooler nor have I ever been one – relying entirely on professionally trained individuals at the local free public schools to give my children a sound education I kind of wondered what I was doing in this group.  I knew all the people assembled (my sister because she is my sister, Jenni because I had been reading her blog for years and of course Ree.) yet Ree knew very little about us which was also a little strange as our entire lives were easily accessible ON OUR BLOGS!  I don’t think she needed to read every post – but brushing up on the basics about her weekend guests would have been an obvious choice for most bloggers who were hosting other bloggers.  She was willing to admit that she knew that my husband was a doctor and that we had only male children, but she was fuzzy on the number of kids I had and claimed to think that one of them was a baby.  We of course, knew everything about Ree.  I guess I had this crazy idea in my head that we were going to meet as equals. Four Midwest bloggers – one of them very famous – but still –  all of us sharing the same viral internet addiction.  And yet it slowly became clear to me that it was actually going to be a very different weekend.  One in which three of us venerated the fourth.

We sat around and drank wine and venerated the fourth.

We rode horses and venerated the fourth.

We ate dinner and venerated the fourth.

I kind of have a hard time venerating the fourth.  I am not prone to veneration.  Veneration is not in my nature –  unless maybe it is David Sedaris or… well let’s just stick with David Sedaris.  I am much more likely to point out reasons why the veneration is ludicrous and to poke holes in the theories behind the veneration.

In order to try and bring things back down to earth I got my sister to tell the ‘fuckus story’ which is an absolutely hilarious tale involving a non-native English speaker with a thick accent mis-pronouncing the word ‘focus’.  In meetings, this non-native English speaking man would try to get the group to come together and move forward by saying….

“We just need to fuckus everyone!”

“Please!  Everyone!  If we could just fuckus!”

“Fuckus people.  Please fuckus!”

But no one was able to focus.

Because a man in the room kept saying ‘fuckus’ over and over again.

After April finished the story, Ree said ‘fuckus’ a few times.

Everyone grew silent.

Did Pioneer Woman seriously just say FUCKUS?!?

What was she going to do next?

Light up a JOINT?

We all held our breaths!

We were about to find out who this Ree Drummond person really was!

And then she said…

She said…

SHE SAID!!!!!

“Help Me Rhonda”

She actually said, “Help Me Rhonda.”

Just like Pioneer Woman always says!

Except that we all knew that Pioneer Woman was just a character!

And no one really says, “Help me Rhonda.”

Because that is just stupid!

But she said it.

She really did.

It felt like product placement.

Were we being secretly filmed?

Where were the hidden cameras?

The microphones?

Was any of this real?

Almost immediately I understood that we were probably not going to meet the real Ree Drummond.  We were only going to meet Pioneer Woman.  It was like meeting a politician.  We were only allowed to see things that matched up with her persona.  Once I realized that this was not a visit to deepen an existing relationship or to establish a new friendship – I started to feel like I was being used.  My job was to go home and write glowing reports on the incredible awesomeness of Pioneer Woman. I felt like a pawn in the PW game of internet chess.  Her quest to rule the world wide web involved using people like me to spread the gospel of P-dub, to counter the negativity and to override anyone who dared to paint a picture that was not the image PW was trying to create.  All it cost her was a steak dinner and an infestation of head lice.  It cost me a lot more.

A lot more.

Because I had to agree to participate in it.

And guess what.

I did.

The next day we poked some cows and then went back to the lodge for the worlds tiniest breakfast.  Ree scrambled six eggs (for eight adults) and I fried two packages of bacon.  We divided the small mass of scrambled eggs into eight tiny piles and arm wrassled each other for a spoonful.  We ate the bacon and wondered how long til lunch? Ree left (probably  to go home and eat a big bowl of cereal) and she came back in a little while with a huge video camera.  She turned it on us and started asking us about our political views.

Suddenly the visit changed from a celebrity veneration weekend to a surprise audition weekend. I felt very uncomfortable talking politics on camera with Ree Drummond.  I had no idea what she was going to do with the film and I didn’t want to say something that would cause me to lose readers because back then – blogging was a numbers game for me.  So I didn’t say much.  Everyone else clammed up too.  No one was particularly interested in being filmed talking about politics at PW’s lodge.

Ree tried to draw us out.  She brought up Sarah Palin.  At the time Sarah Palin was new to the presidential race and I was interested in her simply because she was a female politician.  I didn’t know much about her and felt that the image that the press was building by using unflattering sound bytes was somewhat manipulative.  I didn’t think it was fair to label her as ‘stupid’ as there are lots of politicians who are not exactly Rhodes scholars.  So for me – the jury on Sarah Palin was still out.  I said that I felt the press was manipulating her image.  These days I regard Palin as a complete idiot – but back then I was undecided.

Ree went on to ask us what we thought about ‘Momversations’.  I said that I thought they were awful.  Who cares about the opinions of Heather Armstrong and her chummy internet clique?   My brain turned to lead whenever I watched them.  But then I hesitated and admitted that I felt differently when I watched Heather speak. I remember saying something like,” I think ‘Dooce’ is a very hard  blog to read.  She is so angry.  I don’t get all that anger.  But whenever I hear Heather speak, I find her very appealing. She seems very real to me.  I think I would like her if I knew her….”

These days – I totally get Heather’s anger.

TOTALLY!

After that – I don’t remember saying much at all.

Besides – my ‘fuckus’ for the weekend was to find a connection – a visceral connection with Ree Drummond.  I had great hopes that we would become real friends and not just vague internet friends.  I kept trying to find a latching mechanism that would connect me to this famous blogger.  Something that would make me feel like I belonged in her rarefied world of blogging awards, best selling cookbooks and interviews on The View.

But there was nothing there.

We did not click.

We did not mesh.

We did not find each other’s viscera.

I kept attempting to draw out the person that lives inside of the Pioneer Woman.

The wizard behind the curtain.

I kept searching for the ‘real Ree Drummond.”

And I think I saw her peek out a few times.

At one point she mentioned a post that she wanted to write about Annie Leibovitz.  She had a photography book of Annie’s that she wanted to feature but felt unsure about how her readers would respond as the book featured photos of death and nudity.  And then there is the whole issue of the relationship between Annie and Susan Sontag which might not sit well the Christian homeschooling crowd.  We all encouraged Ree to write the post.  She did.  But I think it is telling when a blogger hesitates to write about a book.  A book!  A BOOK!  For Chrissakes Ree!  That is really messed up!

At dinner on the last night, I said, “And then there was this one time when I said that Pioneer Woman didn’t exist.

I was referring to one of several thinly veiled criticisms I had written about PW’s blog over time.  Even though Ree pretended to think that I had a baby, I knew that she read my blog.  I knew it.  And I felt bad about some of the things that I had written about her and wanted to clear the air.  Ree and Ladd just looked at me. The same way that I had looked at Ree when she said, “Help me Rhonda.”  I was just trying to move this last evening’s conversation towards something a little more interesting.  Something designed to break down the facade that we were all so gallantly holding up.  But the Drummonds did not want to go there.  Sensing their displeasure, I backed down.

“Well – I never thought for a minute that you would read my blog!”  I said.  ”Who thinks that the Pioneer Woman is going to actually READ their blog!”

And then to further bury my thorny contention under a pile of deep dark bullshit I said, “It’s a bit like Angelina Jolie reading your blog! It’s not something you ever think is going to happen!”

Ree was very happy to be compared to Angelina Jolie and she nodded and smiled and said something like  - “Well… if you are going to compare me to Angelina Jolie..!”  Ladd remained coiled.  I decided to stay away from him for the rest of the night.

The next morning when I left the lodge I heard the door to the internet slam behind me.

I was never going to attain the lofty heights of the PW blog.

I was not even going to reach the foot hills.

No matter how hard I worked, how diligently I posted or how funny I could write – my little blog was never going to rise out of obscurity.

I lacked the finances, the time, the desire to photoshop my life to glossy perfection and the ability to portray myself as a balloon headed caricature that smelled of money.  I was also uncomfortable with manipulating my audience with reasons to come back again later in the day… and then again and again and again.  And I also couldn’t write my own comments to set a positive tone and to make my blog appear more populated than it actually was.  Not that PW EVER DOES THAT!

She is far too busy keepin’ it real.

Comments

  • Kait:

    Thank you. I am finally free of PW. Now I don’t have to waste any more of my valuable time on her tripe. I have a better chance of winning the lottery than one of her cameras or mixers (which is why I kept going back).
    You have given me many laughs and many many things to think about. Please don’t go away again.

  • Thank you for the insight Rechelle. I’m sure this wasn’t easy to write but I think it really explains why you feel the way you do. I’m almost tempted to read PWs blog to see if the words veneration or viscera put in an appearance.

  • Wow. I wonder why she wanted to film your thoughts on politics? That’s very strange. I wonder what the fuckus of that was? Kidding aside, what would she gain from that little experiment? If it was perhaps her attempt at a ‘momversation’ (and excuse me, but that’s a gag-inducing word if I ever heard one), it sounds like it didn’t go over very well.

    I can see how being in an environment like that can be very unnerving. And while your visit to the ranch may feel like the beginning of your downward spiral, I suggest you look at it as the beginning of your new beginning. Am I even making sense today? I seem to have lost my fuckus. Please don’t lose yours!

  • Anna:

    This story makes sense to me. Heck I don’t even like the woman and I haven’t even met her. Sometimes you just have to trust your intuition and first impressions. When someone just isn’t into you or anything about your life, or is just all about THEMSELVES, you get impressions of that, so glad you went with it.

  • Megan:

    So, you were basically there as adoring fan rather than fellow blogger. It made Ree look good on her blog to host fellow bloggers at her home, when in actuality it was just a PR move on her part to get more readers. She probably picked the three of you because she had been following each of you and saw that you were popular enough for her to use you.

  • Kind of like going to church for a long time, and then finally getting to meet the priest. EFH

  • I find authenticity to be a very important thing in life. I’m so glad that you feel free to be you. Your writing has always been witty and real to me, and I think many others too. I’ll keep reading. It is awfully disappointing when you meet someone and they don’t live up to expectations. I do believe she writes that blog as a character, maybe one she wishes she could be. On a lighter note, I have a fuckus story too! Except mine involves a wedding coordinater mispronouncing the word ficus. She said, “and of course all the lovely fuckus trees will be lit.” We practically peed our pants and still can’t look at ficus trees without laughing!

  • Sorry you expectations didn’t pan out. I agree she should have read up on the people she invited. I would have been ticked if she asked me if I had a baby and I didn’t. You probably should have asked her why she asked you that LOL. I guess sometimes people who we want to emulate aren’t all that and a bag of chips. I think if a person wants to be a big, famous blogger they have to sell their soul somewhat and appeal to the masses. It’s sad really.

  • I think my using the version of ‘focus’ in your story kicked my comment in to the blackhole of the interwebs. But at any rate, the whole whipping out the video camera to discuss politics is unsettling to say the least.

    Don’t look at this visit as the beginning of your downward spiral, instead look at it as the beginning of your new beginning.

    I may have to read her blog to see if that version of ‘focus’ shows up anytime soon!

  • Ted Powell:

    Ahhh, the Story! Many thanks.

    Perhaps some of the folks who have been using unkind words to describe (their perception of) your writing about PW will gain a little understanding. It’s always seemed pretty mild to me, btw, perhaps because I regularly read a few Alaska blogs—you can guess who isn’t keepin’ it real there.

  • Sharon:

    I’m sure she was following your blog but didn’t want you to know. That’s probably why she asked if you had a baby. Kind of like the popular girl in school acting like she doesn’t know anything about the less poplular girls just to try and make them feel they’re beneath her.

    I know you probaby can’t and shouldn’t say but I wonder what your sister thought of her.

  • km:

    Rechelle. You are brave.
    PW, Sarah Palin, homeschoolers……
    The funniest bit in this is the lack of eggs:)
    I’ve visited in a home once where my husband and I were so uncomfortable. You brought back memories of us whispering in bed trying to figure it out (and not be heard talking). The clue was when the inlaw went out for a walk just as we were arriving>>>>ooops. Miscommunication???

  • My comment got lost somewhere, so I hope it doesn’t magically show up now. Anyway, I’m glad you feel the need to be authentic. Authenticity is important. I have always felt that your writing is witty and real. I’ll be sure to keep reading. It is very disappointing to meet someone and find that they are really just a shell of what they represent. Especially when they’re pilfering your vocabulary! I think you’re right, her blog and other writings are a persona. A carefully crafted one that is bankable. Disappointing.
    On a lighter note, I also have a fuckus story. Mine involves our wedding coordinator mispronouncing the word ficus. She said, ‘and of course all the lovely fuckus trees will be lit.” We just about peed our pants and still do everytime we see or hear the word fuckus, I mean ficus!

  • Inga:

    Well, at least you won’t have to visit again! That would have been awful! Video camera and politics???? What was going on there?? But I will say that we all do the “thinking we are friends” thing. I talk to my husband like he should know you and your sister by name. It is weird.

    Inga

  • Carolyn:

    Oddly, I read–or should I say–glance at PW primarily for her photos of the horses. Love the horses. Sometimes the cows. The little vignettes about her life are so watered down they don’t have a chance in…well, you know…of holding my attention. Not like you who lets her life, warts and all, flap out there in cyberspace, like the laundry all of us have, after all. All of us. Clean at times, but always getting dirty, smelly, and even holey. You just let it hang there, so there! And that’s what most appeals about you. However, it was the link on PW that first led me to your blog, and that link took. And, by the way, I really, really appreciate dooce. More than PW. That jaded sarcasm? Love it!

  • I’d take “Help Me Rhonda” any day over the bloke I know who constantly extolls “Mama Mia!” To each his own. I’m rather fond of “Heaven’s to Murgatroid.” *shrug* Not defending PW, just sayin’ everyone’s got their “thing”.

    BUT – If I invite anyone to my house, you bet your butt I’m not asking them about babies unless I know something concrete. Because dude, how insulting. April and Ree knew each other rather well didn’t they? Because of the whole home schooling thing? Or is that just something I made up in my head? I seem to remember back when the trip happened thinking that April and Jenni knew her from some forum and that she knew you through April. I wondered what the hell you’d want in a homeschooling rah rah party.

    It sucks when our idols?mentors? don’t live up to our expectations, doesn’t it. Public people often hold their true private selves a bit closer and tighter. Our favorite bloggers often seem like our neighbors and regular friends, yet they obviously aren’t.

    I’m still in the land of “eh” when it comes to PW. I read it when I have time, but it’s not my first stop like it used to be.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Beautiful viscera you have there. Thank you, this post clarifies so much you’ve been writing about “her.” I understand now.

    I am HORRIBLE at veneration! And I would probably have to excuse myself for a walk when the video camera with questions came out. Huh?

    And thanks so much for being yourself. Yes, it’s hard to find truly accepting people when we are completely ourselves, especially in these small, conservative communities, but when you find a few who do, they are much more precious in life than having many more friends/readers as a result of portraying a fake persona.

  • I have a “focus” story too, but I can’t tell it without it kicking my comment off, so if I see ya some time I’ll tell ya!
    I’m glad you value authenticity. I think it’s important too. I always think your writing is witty and real, and that’s why I come back and read more. It is disappointing when you meet someone and they are just a shell of what they represent. Especially when they are pilfering your vocabulary! I think you are right, she writes as a persona, a bankable one. How crappy to not write what you want to please the masses. Because I like reading other people think homeschooling is crazy along with Palin being an idiot!

  • I am a Dooce Reader. Dooce is a writer, first and foremost. She can turn a phrase. She also writes about her real life, and is honest about the fact that she doesn’t write about EVERYTHING. She is not claiming that she keeps it totally real.

    PW. Ech. I go there still for the occasional recipe, but that is all. And anymore, the recipes aren’t hers, they’re all things she has co opted from her readers on Tasty Kitchen. Smart move, setting that up, Ree. Makes sense now that I know she was “inspired” by your words – she’s “inspired” by their recipes.

    I think it’s really odd that bit about the video camera and the politics. Esp. because she so vehemently and obsessively claims that she has the most a-political site on the internets.

  • Vickie:

    So you didn’t click. You didn’t mesh. Is that her fault? Your fault? LB’s fault? After reading your post, I’d guess it was none of the above. It sounds like a big miscommunication.
    I like reading both of your blogs. You stir me up more than she does but hey, I keep reading. If you are by chance looking for any advice, I’d say just let it go.
    I’d love more house and garden type posts.

  • raindog:

    Rechelle, great post.

    Pulling out a video camera and interviewing guests on their political views is downright rude. Who does that?

  • Ted Powell:

    Did somebody mention Help Me Rhonda? Now it’s stuck in my head. Click on the link and it can be stuck in yours, too!

    Rechelle, when you hear “get her out of my heart,” think PW.

  • My guests NEVER go away hungry. Nor would I ever whip out a video camera and interrogate them about politics. Money won’t buy manners, and obviously, it hasn’t bought her friends, either. Wow, I almost feel sorry for her. The only reason I don’t is that I know she has all the resources to change, should she want to.
    I do miss her hilarious posts of yore, though.

  • Carol:

    Rest assured, you are not “obscure” any longer. Your authenticity and desire for truth has given you readers you probably never dreamed of having, who are also trying to be authentic and not hide who we are and what we think anymore.
    What a crappy weekend- I hope you and CD had time to vent with each other while you were there!

  • Emily:

    Thanks for telling us this story. I can see how being confronted with what you see as Totally Fake (and rejecting it) might inspire you to confront other parts of your life that no longer ring true. And how that examination of your life might be very difficult.

    Also, thank you for including Tim Gunn. As it is never the wrong time for Tim Gunn. And the word viscera totally suits him.

  • Action Squirrel:

    Maybe she has other people read other blogs for her. Or ghostwrite a bit.

    What the heck was she going to do with videotaped political discussions? That’s just weird.

  • “Help me Rhonda” is a bit like “I am melting”. Who says that!

  • Amy:

    I have been irritated about your PW psts. But I think now I get that you had a real experience in which you felt uncomfortable and you are right, you should be able to write about your feelings. I can get the “aha” moments you had about the weekend. About yourself. About who you were, where you were going and why. But I guess I am still confused about why the criticism of Ree exists.

    She is a product. I got that from the second week I read her bog that she was interested in expanding her readership and making her blog profitable. It is growing into an empire. I guess I feel about Ree the same way I do about Oprah. Do we really think Oprah is just like our best girlfriend and do we really think she’s the person we see on her show? Nope. I would bet good money she’s not. But I wouldn’t be surprised and I wouldn’t blame Oprah for it.

    I guess my whole deal is that I think the great things about blogs is that they can be anything we want them to be. Do we really think the food bloggers that post gorgeous pix of their culinary creations live in houses like the Barefoot Contessa in East Hampton? Their pictures don’t show the collection of dirty dishes int he background or the lower middle class kitchens they cooked them in. We don’t see that the oven is disgusting and that they didn’t wash their hands. But I don’t see them criticizing them for being fake. Blogs don’t have to be about telling our truth. In fact, if our goal is about gaining readership and making money, I don’t think they CAN be about our truth. Dooce isn’t real, she’s a character. I am Bossy? Don’t get me started on that crazy lady.

    The thing that I think is really true about your experience is that you truly do value authenticity. You want to be honest. And you weren’t for a while. So now you are committed to telling your truth. And even though I think your anger is misplaced and very very sad for you and your family…you are entitled to it. If it really is your truth. Which in some ways, I think it’s not. It seems like instead of pandering to Ree’s Christian Homeschool audience, that you are now trying to hook the atheists and people angry at Christians. Which is brilliant. If it’s supposed to be.

  • Did she flirt with your husband?

  • Anna:

    Ree is a product yes, but when you invite people to your home, you need to unplug the robot and be a real live human being. Pulling out a video camera and asking people about their political values, especially when you do NOT know them well, well PW was just begging for trouble. It sounded somewhat like a trap. Which is not what a gracious hostess does. Ever. No matter if she is the great and fabulous Ree.

  • This all makes perfect sense and I can totally understand why you would begin to see through to the man behind the curtain. I remember sending her an email because, like an idiot, I figured we could “meet up” sometime since we live pretty close. LOL The cheesy email I received back was really ….. odd. Very staged and very “in character” so I can really see where you’re coming from.

  • Sarah K:

    I almost hate to admit that I found your blog through PW’s. I was working on a paper on “Mommy Bloggers” for my Master’s at the time. As a childless, liberal, agnostic, Californian, I was curious about life in the “flyover” states. Most of the blogs I looked at were conservative, christian, home schoolers extolling the virtues of livin’ the country life and seemed “plastic” to me. I bookmarked a few to read from time to time – yours is to only one that has any substance that I’ve stuck with! Thanks for your honesty and thought provoking posts.

  • Alison:

    Now I get it. I had never read PW until you started writing about her. I clicked over once and wasn’t impressed. I don’t need another blogger making me feel bad about what I cook, how my house looks, or how I homeschool my kids. Your visit sounded awkward to say the least. Very strange. If I’d read this first and then the other PW posts it would have been a little more clear.

    Keep it real girl, keep it real :)

  • Vee:

    I must admit that I found your blog through PW’s, but I still check your blog daily and haven’t even looked at hers in at lest 6 months. You have given my family so much to think and talk about. Glad we found you.

  • Ted Powell:

    Amy wrote: The thing that I think is really true about your experience is that you truly do value authenticity.

    Don’t you feel that she’s entitled to some level of expectation, when the person concerned makes a big deal about “Keepin’ it real”?

    I suggest that it’s not the lack of authenticity—which, as you point out, is fairly common—but rather the lack of authenticity combined with claimed authenticity.

  • I used to read PW all the time, then she got kind of boring to me. I commented once or twice but never really expected anything to become of it.

    I’m glad you wrote this because I was incredibly confused as to why you disliked her so much. I would have been disappointed if I had had and e-mail relationship with her and then found out she was totally fake too.

    With that said I don’t understand the almost frantic need(at the time) to be liked by her and for your blog to become”famous”. You are a likable person just at you are. Both before and after your deconversion, though I can image you have more hits now than you did previously because now you are “different” per si and are not just your everyday blogger.

    I have no issue with dooce or PW and their success in marketing themselves and becoming wealthy and famous off of it. I just assume that pretty much all blogs are written with a sugar coating. My family blog is, I never say what I really want on there, it’s for the family, all butterflies and unicorns. However, The Agnostics Wife’s blog is all real. I never sugar coat what I say on there. I enjoy being real on that blog and it helps that my friends and family don’t know about it.

    Sorry you felt duped by her, that must have been very disappointing.

    Just keep on being yourself, I think your readers like you the way you are. Raw at times, funny at others with a little bit of sarcasm.

  • I forgot to mention that I found your blog twice. The first time it was through PW’s site when I was still a Christian. I read a few times and moved on. The second time it was as an unbeliver and you were being linked to your now infamous apology letter. On atheist and agnostic websites. As you can see I’ve stuck around this time.

  • I read somewhere about a blogger who said she got a job managing the giveaways for PW. I don’t know if that was just coordinating, finding winners, or writing the quizzes too. Perhaps she’s the one who read your blog for new vocab words. Although when she posted about those spiral bound church or community cookbooks, it was very, very similar to what another blogger wrote and she thought PW copied her too. Maybe she outsources a lot more than we think?

    I’ve always thought she was selling an image though I didn’t mind the fantasy. I never thought of her as a city girl. Ha! Her hometown is 1/3 the size of my suburb now and going to college in LA doesn’t make her an LA girl, but that’s what she keeps selling for whoever wants to buy it.

    I did find your blog through PW when she wrote about her visitors. I thought she and your sister were friends from the homeschool forums and that’s why she invited you? Seems weirder then to invite strangers. That fridge and pantry weren’t stocked for you to make your own food?

    This sort of thing goes on with food bloggers too, although none of them have the money and traffic that PW has. I find the competition for traffic and pseudo-celebrity really abhorrent and have just avoided those particular people. I just stopped reading blogs that I really didn’t enjoy or of people who were too self-promotional. Lots of other blogs to read and bloggers whom I do like to spend my time worrying about the ones I don’t care for.

  • Samantha:

    I had already read between the lines from your posts about your visit to the lodge…..you have such a REAL talent for writing that was a great post, as was this one was too and probably even less fun to write but your readers appreciate your authenticity.

    I stopped reading PW a long time ago. She is a fake and phony and truly unhappy with her life in my opinion, that is why she started to write her blog in the first place, to try and ESCAPE it by painting a picture that would sell and buy her some new life off the ranch…good for her it worked I guess, but I hate how she did it by taking and using.

    Keep writing Rechelle your gift is genuine!

  • Hey Everyone Rechelle here – I felt like I needed to say that this will probably be my last post on PW. It was hard enough to write this one and I just really want to move on – but I felt like it was a way to sum things up. I don’t have any delusions about blogging stardom anymore – but back then I did and I looked to PW’s blog as a model of success. I no longer see her that way and can even read her site sometimes without being flooded by intense negative emotions. I will always be mystified by the extreme success of that site. I simply don’t understand why so many people read it. But they do. By the billions! Of course I used to be a fan too. Also – I don’t care you read the site. I understand that it might be a sort of mental break for some people – like reading People magazine in the waiting room – I get that. I also get the desire to win a fancy purple dish or a Kitchen Aid. I only worry about the people who are mentally STIMULATED by PW. I hope they don’t operate heavy machinery.

  • annmarie:

    I started reading your blog after seeing it listed on PW and found I liked it better than most other blogs I was reading, including hers, so I suppose Ree has done one good thing in her life.
    I admit, the last time you wrote about Ree I was amused by your words, but sort of thinking , come on Rechelle, what’s the real issue with PW? Now you write this and explain it all and it makes sense. I actually was horrified as I was reading this. I think ripping off people’s ideas it just sick, sick, sick. I don’t think I can ever go back to reading her ever again. How awful. Seriously, she can’t come up with her own words? It’s funny, because after that last post you wrote about her I went and looked at her blog and sure enough her post for that day included certain words that readers in your comment section had used to desribe her. It was bizarre and I just thought wow, how strange, but the words were specific and not ones she uses a lot.
    I do enjoy your writing. I hope you come out of this with a book deal! Seriously, I compared you to David Sedaris a few months ago in the comments section, BEFORE I knew how much you loved him.

  • Hallie:

    Let it be.

  • Carol:

    PS- Thanks for introducing me to Dooce- I think I’m in love with Chuck! : )

  • Christine from Canada:

    Now we don’t have to wonder, “What on earth HAPPENED at PW’s?”

    It’s all so clear now! In more ways than one: Not just for us readers, but for you, too. Maybe the visit to PW’s farm was a “good” thing. It lifted more than one veil from your eyes; it helped bring to the surface a lot of subjects you were already skeptical about.

    The whole time I was reading this entry I was feeling very uncomfortable for you. PW will have read your post, I’m sure, and it might give her something to chew on. If for no other reason than to make sure she has enough eggs for her guests (and she lives on a FARM????).

  • Spinny:

    My thoughts on PW:

    Why after so many years of marriage does she stubbornly refuse to learn to ride a horse? People that are willfully obstinate about something like that irritate me. She lives on a ranch for heaven’s sake.

    And she seems to relish her lack of knowledge about ranch-related things. If you didn’t want to learn ranch-related activities, why the *heck* did you marry a rancher?

    Unless that is all for show as well, and she really rides horses and knows all about which cows are which and what the horse colors are called.

    ^^^That last sentence is annoying grammatically, but I’m tired and don’t want to re-word it.

  • meme:

    I have always wondered if Missy and Tim thought she was lazy. Not helping with all the hard work. Missy is right in there working hard and getting dirty. So are PW’s kids. She is in the truck (with a heater or a/c, out of the rain, mud, and manure) with a zoom lens.
    And, why did she have a hotel room to herself when her MIL & SIL had to share a room? Just saying…

  • Ashley F.:

    Very interesting the way she rolls as the Popular Girl in this scenario. I can completely understand how awkward and soulfully disappointing the visit must have been. After making so many overtures at a real friendship and expressing your gratitude for every slight acknowledgment of your existence that she doled out–after suspecting that she was stealing your ideas (in tiny increments but with great frequency) without permission and without acknowledgment…that visit sounds like it was like finally getting invited to the Popular Girl’s slumber party and having her call you the wrong name the entire night, making you play truth or dare with questions that were unnecessarily brutal, and not providing any snacks (and then maybe even making you feel like a horrible guest with an eating disorder for expecting such a thing).
    And now the other girls at school keep telling you to shut up and quit whining about the whole incident! Aren’t you just grateful you got to bask in her presence? Geeeeez.

    I’m glad you’ve laid it all out. This is your blog, do what you want, (wo)man. Anybody who doesn’t like it can go whine about you on their own blogs, right? (The fact that you leave up the comments whining about how someone is tired of hearing you disparage PW is a testament to your generosity–even though they bug the hell out of me!)

  • Thanks Rechelle! You’ve put everything into perspective here (though I never doubted your ire came from somewhere very legitimate). I read and then ditched PW before I ever found your blog – I got so tired of her gushing over her family and such. Yawn.

    There’s a big difference between blogging because you have something to say now and then, and trying to make yourself famous. I’d much rather read an occasional post with true feeling than a daily sputtering of shallowness.

    And really – the camera and politics question… WTF?

  • tess:

    6 eggs for 8 people just cracks me up! Even if you added grits, pancakes, biscuits, and fruit to the table – that is just stingy and embarrassing on the hosts part.

    But I am still not getting the head-lice?!?

    Write about what you want to write about. It’s your blog. Do what makes you happy. I think your readers are just happy you blog!

    I read anything my fave authors write (Richard Russo for one) sometimes I dont always love one book and much as another but I always love their style and voice.

    I am new to David Sedaris. Ive read Naked and am currently reading Barrel Fever. He’s weird and quirky and I dont always get him, but he has my interest enough to read more of him.

    I think of PW as I do the Sweet Potato Queen nut-writer -
    just cant stomach them no matter what!

  • Amber:

    I was on PW blog one time. That was all it took for me to see that she had way too much time on her hands. To me, it seemed obviously fake, overly happy, and full of silly expressions. And while I did peruse the recipes (and found a couple of good ones) I have never been back to her blog. I was so thrilled when you began discussing her. All the other people in Oklahoma worship PW and attend her book signings like it’s the second coming of jesus or something. I think she’s ridiculous. Thanks for the additional insight into her “real” life on the ranch. Now I can prove to people that she’s completely fake.

  • LucyJoy:

    Great post, Rechelle. Wonderful insight to the product that is PW. I love your honesty. You go, girl!

  • Jen:

    It is clear to me now. I am glad you posted this.

    I am a fairly new, occasional reader of yours and had no idea why you disliked Ree so much. I went to her KC book signing, have entered her contests multiple times, and for years, have read her blog first thing every morning.

    I am sorry that I thought you were just jealous, mean, or crazy.
    You made perfect sense. I would feel the same way, had I lived the experience at the ranch myself.

  • Oh wow!
    Thank you for putting MY feelings into words.
    Your articulation of how I feel about PW and her blog are dead on.
    At first I enjoyed PWs site and to be honest, learned a lot (only on a scaled down level) about photoshop. Then I started noticing things that bothered me: ‘her’ wild horses (which actually belong to the federal government and for which the drummonds are paid $500 a year to feed!); the fact they all seemed to sit in cowshit all the time; the fact she did not use beef raised on ‘her’ ranch in her recipes but rather bought it at the store; her veiled insults towards her brother in law; her idea to put up the hired man in a batchelor contest; all done in the grand spirit of ‘keepin it real’! I didn’t know it until now, but I was feeling used; used in the sense that everyone who read PW thought every ranch woman in the entire country lived the way Ree does which is entirely UNTRUE.
    Trust me. NONE of us have the means and resources to build and decorate a ‘lodge’ and while doing so, not having a clue what we were going to do with it. They have thousands of acres and thousands of cows but own FOUR HORSES? This my friends, is because Ladd and his kids don’t do the work, the hired help does. They are there to supervisor and micromanage the real cowboys. We don’t have the luxury of following along in a SUV or gator ATV to photograp; if we want photo graphs we carried a camera on a horse.

    I could go on and on but I won’t. You, my dear Rechelle, have said it for me.

    Thank you.

  • Melissa:

    In the vein of “wish I would have said…” when she said “help me Rhonda, coming back with “Hooray for Hazel ” (she put me down, Tommy Roe) might have come into play. PW broke the first rule of having guests, make you guest feel at ease in your home. Hooray for Rechelle, I say, keep writing, keep reading, and please keep changing because we all need to evolve.

  • Finally!!!

    Thank you for sharing, it makes so much sense and even though it was nobody’s business, I for one appreciate knowing the reasons behind the negativity.

    P.S. There was never a corncob in my butt.

    :o)

  • Rachel:

    I knew there had to be something behind that PW visit.

    I cannot stand Dooce.

    • Rachel – I struggle with her site too Rachel. I do appreciate two things about her One – she apologizes when she thinks she screws up. Two – she admits to the difficulties in her life. She is also often very canned and very formulaic – but I can handle that a lot better when I know she is going to occasionally tell me something true.

  • notmuchofacook:

    Thank you for finally giving us the play by play of your visit. I think the most interesting (to me) was the fact that there were six eggs for eight people. V. odd, when you would expect PW to have a boatload of food.
    Write what you want to write…it doesn’t have to be consistent, or make sense. Keep us guessing. It’s just interesting to all of us out here to read about other peoples’ lives, impressions, likes and dislikes. Just keep on truckin’ and keep it real. Or not. It’s all good.

  • Heidi:

    I haven’t had time to read all the comments but let me just say: you have made me SO happy. I cannot wait to read parts 3 and 4.
    Sunday, after my son leaves for boot camp, I’m coming back here and reading all of this again.
    Just for a little pick me up.

    I knew it!! I just knew she wasn’t “real.”

  • thanks to you for keeping it real…seriously- I know it could not have been easy to verablize the why’s of the situation…kudos to you for your honesty. Please-keep writing about anything you want to write about- that’s what keeps you interesting and keeps the rest of us interested…
    I feel a song from Grey Gardens coming on….

  • Nancy:

    Honestly, I read PW’s blog for a while – even tried several recipes, only one of which was a keeper. It didn’t take long to figure out that the woman is one, big FRAUD. Golly, Ree’s just a lil’ ol’ rancher’s wife in $400 boots with a $5000 camera who wears floaty tops and dangly earrings for the cows to see. Whatever. She has hammered it home that she was a ballerina living on a golf course who had the cruel misfortune to marry a millionaire. Barf! I give her credit for being a master of self-promotion, all while pretending to be so dang humble. I’d also like to know when the heck she’s homeschooling those kids because it seems she’s always on a book tour, on vacation, or on a talk show. And honestly, I find it kind of cruel how she thinks it’s hilarious to frustrate her mentally retarded brother until he’s mad at her. You know, like those people who will tease a five year old until he/she cries It bothers me. So no, I’m not one of the PW sheep. I much prefer honesty, even if it’s ugly & messy.

  • gREEd the blog! There is no way to fast forward through commercials on a BLOG!

    I have a prediction….gREEd will tank soon.

    Why? Because she bought her traffic at the top of the game. I for one can’t wait to see what happens when her teenagers become bored at home?

    Do they wrangle cows?

    I am sure gREEd would have loved that! Picture her in the ballet photo she has posted about a nickzillion times!

    dork

  • Ree is not keepin’ it real. She is just interested in being PC, except when she calls her brother retarded. How sad is it that she needs constant affermation from her readers. She is like a dog that needs to be petted. She wears me out. She will burn out because readers can only eat so much vanilla. It will be a sad day for her. I wonder who will have to boost her ego then. My bet is it won’t be Ladd.

  • Debbie:

    Colour me shocked. I knew she was no real classy lady, but this is truly shocking. If I get this right, not only didn’t she give clear instruction on how to drive, but also no phone # to call in case something went wrong? She then served a half-ass breakfast while trying to draw your political preferences from you with a camera pointed on you? Some host she is.]

    I was dissapointed in her after the stunt she pulled Mrs. G, but this really disgusts me. Thank God people are starting to see her for what she really is.

    It does make you question all the PW fans/followers who are staying so silent now, opposed to them bashing you in other postings. Hypocrites. I think your honesty and her lack thereof did them in.

  • Tina:

    First time poster but long time reader. Found my way here from PW’s site. Her site was colorful and light in the beginning. Fluff & stuff. Nothing wrong with her having money and living the good life. We all aspire to that. I have a hard time with her and her middle Americal schtick. The city girl? yeah right. I am from a large city on the East Coast. She would be eaten alive here. The fancy, schmancy golf course, How fancy can a country club be in Bartesville? I have two questions if someone wants to take a stab.

    Do you think she had to sign a iron clad pre-nup? and……

    Who the hell is teaching those kids math & biology?

    Literature is fine and dandy but the SAT’s do have algerbra and geometry in them.

    I had to stop reading her site after the constant use of words like
    Virle, Stud and Manly for that husband of hers. You know what they say. When you have to keep going on about how wonderful something is, it usually isn’t. Keep up the good work. Love your blog.

  • Gosh, my words, immortalized in someone’s blog header! I’m honored, thanks. And I mean that in the truest sense of “keepin’ it real”, because I have to say that I’m up to my ass in reality around here.

  • I’m so glad you finally told the whole story, and I’m sorry about what happened. I have read PW on occasion, but I guess I am skeptical in general about the uber-bloggers (though I do think Dooce can be funny as hell), because I know how hard it is to be authentic when you’re also trying to create a brand. (I think I manage this on my own blog for The Sister Project, but it’s challenging: which comes first, the momma or the mission?) As for what you should write about, on a certain level–who the hell cares, except you? And if it’s gardening, so be it–that’s a great metaphor for so much else that is important to you, and you’ll find the connections as you go along. You’re a funny, thoughtful, articulate writer, and those of us who care about such things will keep coming back.

  • scd:

    What happened to Mrs. G? I just clicked over there, don’t usually look at her homeschooling page, and Mrs. G is gone, all her posts, everything. Like she’s been erased! (Ree’s movie should be The Eraser!)

  • susan:

    At LAST Rechelle. One of the comments made to this posting was when Ree reads this she may gain insight. I dont think for a second she would read it. I think when she met you and you didnt bow down like all the other minions, she didnt like the reflection of herself in your eyes and wouldnt have the courage to face the truth. Well done.

  • We had completely different experiences. Remember we were Ree’s first guests to the lodge, she admitted she hadn’t planned well or cooked well for us that entire weekend. Yet, I loved the lasagna, the steak, the cinnamon rolls…we ate well except for the lack of eggs. Ladd was a lot of fun in my opinion, but I spent more time with him and Mike and Clay. I thought they were genuine especially when we asked blogging questions. Ladd even shared with us some stories about when they were struggling financially on the ranch. He was open about their cattle operation and the working relationship he shares with his brother. And it’s obvious that they are very loving to Josh as he joined us one evening for dinner. I remember specifically Ree telling you that she wished she could inject some of her “let it roll off your back” into you, because you took your comments and stats so seriously and at that point didn’t like any of your readers. Ree even admitted to being nervous about entertaining us for a weekend because she wasn’t sure what we wanted to do and when we asked if we could go help move cattle they willingly did that. Also, we didn’t get lost with the directions she gave us, nor did Jenni and Danny and Ree gave us her cell phone number….I still have it. She also went and read all of our blogs after we got there and then came back and asked us questions about them. For me it was amazing that a complete stranger was willing to host us for the weekend just because we have these silling online sites….I really did have a great time.

    • April – Almost the first thing she said to me – was – ‘so you have a baby right?’. She knew I didn’t have a baby. She was just sticking it to me. Throwing me off kilter. Making me feel unsure. She is a smart girl April. Why couldn’t she be bothered to read you and Jenni’s blog BEFORE you arrived? Why did she pretend to think that I had a baby? Why did she give you and Clay a cell phone number and NOT ME? That is very interesting to me. Don’t forget to tell the part where Ladd told us how he sold land for millions of dollars to Ted Turner and how he made more money off of taking care of horses for the government than he does on his cattle. He babysits those horses and makes millions. I didn’t like the readers who I had who were Christian homeschoolers and felt quite free to judge me according to their uptight, narrow minded standards. I think most of them are gone now or at least they are no longer the majority. It is much more fun to hear from my commenters now. You encouraged me to write the head lice post April and then when I wrote it you pretended that I was some sort of heinous criminal. WTF???

      I was not a stranger to her April. You were – but not me. I had been conversing with Ree off and on for a year. I will publish some of those letters soon. I could have taken anyone along with me to their Ranch April. I chose to take you. Do you seriously think that Ree doesn’t take her comments and stats seriously April? She deletes half her comments and probably writes the other half herself! Numbers drive that girl more than anything else. Why else put up a post that says come back soon for another post. She even does it on Christmas Eve! Desperately begging people to diss their families and come read her stupid blog!

      Do you really think that they ever struggled on that ranch April? When? When they were selling land to Ted Turner for millions of dollars? When they were babysitting horses for the government for millions of dollars? When exactly has Ree Drummond ever struggled? EVER? You are so deluded about those people. I remember when you thought that they were middle class and I said, “April – they are LOADED” and you said, “I don’t think so.” I hope Ree and Ladd never offer to sell you land in the Mojave – because you buy anything they tell you.

      PS – Her cinnamon rolls were dry as dirt.

      • Concerned Citizen:

        God bless you Rechelle. I just found out about this “Pioneer Woman” B.s. I don’t even normally read blogs, but I found her cookbook at the library. Never heard of her! The book was so ridiculous, the stories so unbelievable, (the recipes so ordinary and weirdly caloric and sugary) that I went to the blog to see “WTF” and “is this some kind of act or stunt” and it just went from there. The Drummonds are millionaire oil and cattle barons, and yes, they make a fortune off those wild mustangs. They are so famous in Central Oklahoma that there is a MUSEUM dedicated to them — they are like the Kennedy’s in that region — so no way young Ree met a DRUMMOND and didn’t know EXACTLY who he was and how rich, and what made her heart go “pitter pat” was roping in one of the richest boy’s in her small town. She’s no city girl either — she went to college in LA, lived in a dorm (!), dated a RICH BOY FROM NEWPORT BEACH — when he dumped her, she moved home and in a short time had zeroed in on Ladd Drummond, most eligible bachelor in that area. If you read back to the beginning of her blog, she tells a somewhat different story about her meeting him — right after college (NOT after a career; she never had one) and it took over a year to get him to marry her. She cleaned up and changed the details when she wrote the unpublished romance novel “Black Heels” and now has sold it to the movies: that’s the big money BTW, like over $1million for the movie rights, and much more if the book takes off. The cookbook has already made millions, and this is in addition to whatever she makes off ad revenues (though when I read her site, I couldn’t find ANY advertising besides “BlogHer”).

        This is a total, unmitigated white-wash scam. I have tried to post the truth on Amazon.com in the reviews of her cookbook! I invite you and everyone here to add their comments THERE — a lot of people read that! — and you can post anonymously.

        So ignore April…I promise you, these folks are LOADED LIKE YOU WOULDN”T BELIEVE ($300,000 GUEST cottage? are you kidding me? what did the HOUSE look like if that is the GUEST cottage?) and this was all engineered from the get-go as a money making scheme…..

    • April – we were far from Ree’s first guests to the lodge. Good Grief!

  • Jill:

    I must be missing something that everyone else here is seeing. Ok, asking political views and filming your answers is a bit too personal, but other than that, I have a hard time seeing what she did wrong. You walk in and announce that you all have lice? Now that is weird! As for saying, “Help me Rhonda” who doesn’t have some silly expression that they use frequently? I’m not a fan of PW, but I just don’t see what she did that was so awful.

    • Oh Jill – She made six eggs for breakfast – and we zero lunch. ZERO! We ate a spoonful of eggs a few slices of bacon and nothing until around 8:00 that night. She asked me if I had a baby and she knew damn well that I didn’t. She auditioned us for some video segment that she was planning – but didn’t let us prepare ourselves. Her husband spent most of his time telling us how wealthy they were and how they planned to build their own private school on their land just for their own kids. They also planned to hire a teacher. At the time – they thought Tim and Missy’s kids would also attend – but I guess that fell through. How about this idea – SEND YOU KIDS TO SCHOOL WITH EVERYONE ELSE! I know CRAZY ME! Thinking that instead of building a private school FOR YOUR OWN FOUR KIDS – you might I don’t know – INVEST IN THE SCHOOLS IN YOUR COMMUNITY! Especially if you are such AMAZING CHRISTIANS and have SO MUCH MONEY!

  • I’m astounded that of all the posts Rechelle has put up in the last few months, this is the one her sister decides to comment on. Rechelle has had the grace to never mentioned her sister’s stand on all this but now it’s abundantly clear. I don’t understand taking a stranger’s side against your sister, at least not in a public forum. I have sisters. Several in fact. Sometimes I get along with them, sometimes not so much. I would never publicly embarrass them by telling them what they think and feel is false. This is Rechelle’s blog stating Rechelle’s experience. I’m embarrassed for you. With a sister like this, who needs enemies?

  • Megan:

    So, in your opinion April is Rechelle lying about her experience or just a better judge of character than you are? I saw through the phony veneer of PW after 5 minutes on her site, I didn’t need a visit to her lodge.

  • scd:

    April’s just taking care of which side her bread’s buttered on. That’s more important than family. You know, to some people.

    http://thepioneerwoman.com/links_to_other_sites/

    • Amen and again Amen. (as in I agree and I agree again and not as any sort of salutation to an imaginary deity.) It is interesting that April was mute during my conversion to atheism, never speaking up for her Jesus – but made quite a case for Christ… I mean PW in her comment.

  • Sharon:

    I have a sister and I thought the unwritten rule is you never contradict your family in front of others not family. Whether you agree with them or not. That is done in private. Could just be me, though.

    On another note, there is way too much public info available about the Drummonds and their ranch and nowhere have I seen that they have struggled. I mean maybe they did when the ranch first started back in the 1800s.

    • Hey Sharon – April STARTED it! Hee hee.

  • Debbie:

    Who needs enemies with a sister like that.

  • scd:

    I think Sharon was referring to April contradicting you, not the other way around. This is YOUR blog.

    I’m still trying to figure out how you serve 6 eggs to 8 adults and don’t go find something, oatmeal, fried potatoes, toast, something, anything, and then don’t feed them lunch either…… You don’t bring people to a ranch in the middle of nowhere where they can’t go out and grab some fast food or something even and then don’t provide SOMETHING all day. Wow.

    I bet her kids had lunch….

  • susan:

    Now I begin to see why you removed the link to Coal Creek Farm Rechelle.

  • That whole breakfast thing is a bit of a mystery to me. I haven’t looked at the PW site in eons, but I do recall the recipes, and I do know from the comments here that she apparently assembled a cookbook of some kind. Being the resident chef on our ranch here, I’m quite happy for people to show up so I can cook for them. That makes it doubly odd that someone who professes to love to cook would not make a gung-ho effort – even it wasn’t asparagus and poached eggs napped with homemade hollandaise sauce in an effort to impress – or make arrangements for guests to cook/snack on their own, by stocking some food for them. Or, by cooking ahead and freezing something quick to use. I have a bunch of individual quiches I made, frozen, for a quick bite, for instance, and homemade pizza dough frozen into individual balls for a quick fix pizza or calzone, and we always make sure there is fresh food like bread, eggs, lunch meat, cereal, milk, and that sort of thing on hand when we know we have people coming. In our case, there are various places to get food within a 20-25 minute drive, but in the middle of a nowhere with which you’re not familiar, you’re stuck with what’s on hand. Since PW is presumably aware of how to feed a large group of people – her own family – it would make sense that would extend to an additional number of people without being a terrible burden or requiring any significant amount of logistics. If, as April says, PW was nervous about having people in, it’s also a little strange that she wouldn’t have gone through the steps to make sure that things were just right, and overplan rather than underplan.

    And since you all mentioned cinnamon rolls, now I want some. Time to break out the flour, yeast, and buttermilk, I think.

  • Sharon:

    scd was right. I was talking about April contradicting you on your blog. I like April’s blog but not very sisterly to post that here. Couldn’t she just pick up the phone?

    Just wanted to add, I’m soooo soooo glad you decided to keep this blog going. I’m here everyday.

  • Samantha:

    Yeah, if PW is low on eggs (pun intended) then why not change the menu and whip something else up. Strange to invite people and not be prepared…..maybe her personal shopper screwed up.

  • Sharon:

    I would have been embarassed beyond belief if I all I could feed my guests were 6 eggs between 8 people. There would have been back-up such as lots of meats, breads, and fruit. No excuse because she knew ya’ll were coming and it’s not like she’s on a budget. (haha)

  • Anonymous:

    April is defending her friend. That’s what real friends do. I don’t expect you to know that. No one cares that you became an atheist. That is your choice. Take a look back over the past few months. Is this what you really wanted to happen? So sad.

  • Donna:

    I didn’t mean to post my comment anonymously.

  • Megan:

    Donna, I guess I missed the part when April claimed that her and PW hit it off and they are now BFFs. I guess I missed the part where PW talks all about her new found friendship with the bloggers she invited that weekend. Oh, I didn’t miss that because that obviously didn’t happen. She isn’t defending a friend, she is defending a complete stranger in the hopes of catching some of her run off of riches.

  • Hey, it’s like that scene from The Godfather! “Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides against the Family again. Ever.”

  • some kid:

    I care that you became an atheist.

  • Janet:

    Now that wasn’t so hard… Was it?

    Thanks for the explanation!

    You done good!

  • Donna – I gotta hand it to you. At least you are consistent. Question – If I watched PW commit a cold blooded murder (let’s say she kills Cowboy Josh with a spatula in the kitchen because he tells her that her cinnamon rolls are dry as dirt) and I take a few photos and post them on my blog – do you still defend her? Do you still think she is the most awesomest blogger ever? I must know!

  • Becky:

    Why do ya’ll hate her so much? Because you think she’s fake? or because she’s so popular?

    Or do you really hate her? Is the truth really that you are getting more hits writing stuff like this about her? I think you think and and others think ya’ll have found a “honey hole” by writing negatively about her. It’s like that saying..it’s not personal it’s just business. As long as you get some hits, that’s all that matters.

  • Very interesting comment from April. I really don’t buy the excuse that because you were the first visitors to the Lodge designed to house visitors, that PW had not planned well. That just does not make sense. You invite folks to your hotel and then you don’t know how to entertain?

    April, you were there to give the Lodge a glowing review and to blog about it and your buddy. I notice you mention nothing about PW whipping out the video camera and quizzing you about your political views.

    Ladd and the Drummonds financially struggling? Oh that is so rich. ROFLMAO.

    “Let it roll off you back”. Is that why PW deletes all of her negative comments? Is that her definition of “keeping it real”? She hates her readers that try to point that out. At least Rechelle allows people to comment about their idol PW.

    If you believe that PW was nervous about entertaining a few of her most avid fans you are mistaking nerves for snobbishness. PW knew exactly what she was going to do with you guys and that was to make sure you all went off and blogged away about how wonderful she is to allow you to “move cattle”. Jesus, you could not pay me to do that. Who pays to “move cattle”?

    So, PW gave the sister the cell number. Very interesting. Too bad you did not answer you own cell phone when you sister called. Who in the hell goes off to “move cattle” and not brings their cell phone? Remember, we all saw the map that Rechelle was given. What a joke.

    Of course she read your blogs about her. That is what you were there to do. You paid money to blog about PW. Nothing more, nothing less. You were duped. All of you. It did not take long for Rechelle to figure it out. PW could care less about any of you, that is unless you are making her money.

    April, come on. Are you kidding me? You were amazed that PW wanted to test drive the Lodge on your group? She had it built to do exactly what you were there doing. Also, I think she wants her own reality show. You were not the first at the Lodge.

    We all did not just fall off the turnip truck.

  • Oh, and one more thing, who else had been to gREEd’s Lodge?

    Show me!

  • Vicki M.:

    Hi. I’ve read your blog through the past year or so. You write well, and I appreciate your being authentic. I felt sad for you when you had an awful time in England. I live with all men, too, and I know how they don’t understand what we women need. I worried for you afterward because you didn’t post for so long. Your view on God has caused me to think. It’s your blog and you can write what you want and I’ll read it. Some of my favorites are your reviews on books, the challenge to redo a room (which I didn’t take, but seriously considered – maybe next time), the conversations with the CD, and the thousands of tomatoes! I enjoy your garden stories, too. So, keep it up.

  • Andrea:

    I was quite encouraged when I popped in here and the topic wasn’t ‘I’m so unhappy in my life, let me attack Christians, PW and homeschooling parents’ …but the quirky Rechelle with pics of her ‘baby’ and her garden. Then I read your account of your stay at the lodge. You were very disheartened by your stay and am glad that you shared your experience. I hope that you can finally put this behind you and carry on. Part of me thinks you are still too caught up on readership/numbers. Stick to putting your personal tilt on your daily life experiences and not so much time into your own throwing your own pity party! Even though I don’t agree with your views on Christianity, I still enjoy your writing style. Keeping it real!

  • Debbie:

    Becky, why don’t you respond to anything that was written in the posting itself?

  • Debbie:

    Guess what, Donna, Hitler probably had friends defending him as well. Every idiot has a supporter. It seems to me the PW fans go to great lengths to defend her rudeness and complete insincerity. Says more about them than it does about Rechelle.

  • Becky:

    Donna, my curiosity is over what seems to me like a trend of bloggers writing about PW. Also, I didn’t know there were “rules” as to what your comment had to be about. Thanks though!

  • So you went there thinking you were being invited as a friend, and would end up becoming even better friends, but ended up feeling awkward and unwanted? Or maybe that the visit was set up as a way to placate the other bigger bloggers in her area who seemed to want to meet her, and then her obligation would be fulfilled?

    Doesn’t that happen in regular life too, though? Don’t we make first “dates” with other mothers at the park and end up just not feeling it? Maybe the sense of humor is off, maybe the other one doesn’t appreciate my sarcasm and thinks I’m wacked. More often than not, I end up thinking the other woman was nice enough, but just not someone I’m going to be dialing on the phone.

    Are you SURE you really wanted to be friends with her? It seems like maybe you were just scoping her out to see how she does it. It’s possible she sensed that as soon as you walked in her door and that’s what ended up souring the visit. You’ve been dogging her ever since. Maybe you felt bitter about her before you drove over there?

    I don’t read her every day, incidentally. I find her blog to be too bent toward the same few themes, geared toward the lowest common denominator of what people want to read. But that’s what sells, on the internet and in bookstores. What she wants is a big, pretty blog with happy posts and lots of readers, and she works every day to post something geared toward that end. Since I don’t do that, and I don’t pay someone to make my blog look as colorful and fantastically psychedelic as hers, I am obscure. I can’t begrudge blogging success when I clearly don’t put the work in to what it takes to please the Masses. Any graphic design graduate can tell you why her blog is so attractive and causes women to pass it along to their friends. It’s FUN! It’s HAPPY! It’s full of PICTURES and RECIPES! Her blog could be a magazine in the grocery store.

    I suppose we all need to decide why we blog. Why write? Do we write to get pats on the back or to become the popular kid in the hallway? I write to get the thoughts out of my head, to share opinions, sometimes funny, sometimes dark and controversial. My blog could never, ever be like hers. Taking her persona completely out of consideration, no matter what actually happened when you visited her ranch, she’s a piece of pop culture and her posts are superficially safe and family-oriented. Homogenized small talk. Stuff you can talk about with anyone. Since I run neighborhood women off as soon as I open my mouth and don’t seem to fit in just right, it stands to reason I wouldn’t be able to make enough small talk to bring the crowds to my front page, either.

    It is what it is. You are what you are. Be happy with what you are, or change to get the results you want. I know better than to try, or to get riled up when I don’t break 100 visitors a day. The readers I do have are my kind of people. As long as you are attracting your kind of people, what difference does it make?

    She attracts her kind of people, and there are more of that kind than there are of my kind. She’s no different than the chatty hens at the elementary school every day, ruffling around each other with their Starbucks in hand and talking about last night’s soccer game.

  • Barbara:

    I don’t know. I find your whole writing kind of sour grapes. Was there anything positive?

  • Thank you for taking the time to explain all of this.
    Peace…
    - Lee

  • Jo:

    “I will publish some of those letters soon.” Your words. Wow. How classy of you Rechelle. Maybe it’s time to put down the bitter pills and grow up.

    I find it humorous that you say PW deletes half of posts and puts in positive ones. I’m inclined to believe that’s exactly what you have done with most of these posts. There are a few negative ones here but I’m sure many of them have been deleted.

    Your posts sound an awful lot like sour grapes and to say that you are going to post some of the letters from PW soon. What are you, in junior high?

    I appreciate your sister speaking up and saying something so people can hear the other side of the story.

    • Jo – I have not deleted a single post. If you want to read a blogger that deletes posts – read PW. If I do publish my emails from PW – I am sure you will show up to read them.

  • Anonymous:

    How could you have possibly expected to become great friends with this woman in one visit? Regardless of having email conversations with her in the past, I would never go into this visit thinking that the “real Ree” was going to be exposed. Friendships are built up over time, and it sounds like you wanted it to be a bit more instant.

    Did she do some odd things? Sure. If I were a witness to it, I’m sure I would have looked at her cross-eyed. But she has to protect herself too.

    Look at it from a different point of view… if she had opened up to you, look at how vulnerable it could have made her. Until she truly knew you and your intentions of wanting a friendship. At the time she didn’t know if you would become a friend or someone that could blast her personal info out on a website. She needed to have a little security for herself.

    Remember that there are always three sides to every story.

    • Anonymous – Ree and I had exchanged several emails at that point that contained somewhat ‘delicate’ information. She even asked me to delete a few emails after she sent them (which I did not do) but she knew she could trust me. The question is – why did she turn into a robot when I showed up in person?

  • Barbara:

    lol Then you sound like my jr high kids. Get a grip!

    • Barbara – lol – then you sound like a schizo. Get a grip!

  • Hmm, some of my comment got cut off, maybe because it was way too long.
    What I had said was: regardless of her personality and the personality of her large fan base, she doesn’t owe any reader anything just because she blogs. And if she meets up with someone, since she’s a human being as we all are, more likely than not it won’t become a soul-changing friendship. How can we blame her for being guarded when she must get thousands of emails from women a day?

    • Visty – you must struggle with reading comprehension. She emailed ME. Many, many, many times. I responded to her emails – many, many, MANY times. We conversed. You need to amp up your comprehension skills.

  • You’re right; I don’t read your blog regularly and was not familiar with the entire situation. When you mentioned emails back and forth, I didn’t catch the part about how she contacted you first, out of the blue, before you began paying her for ad space. My mistake.

    My fault was not a learning disability as you suggest, but merely my inability to read every post you wrote about her in the short time I had available. Thank you for the visit into your corner of the blogosphere and good luck with your endeavors and your family.

  • Anonymous:

    Yes, I would be right hurt (and pissed) that the emails were personal and then she went all roboto on you in person. I guess at the end of the day there is no answer or reason why. People are just freakin’ weird sometimes.

  • Jo:

    “If I do publish my emails from PW – I am sure you will show up to read them.”

    Don’t flatter yourself. I hadn’t even heard of your blog until yesterday and after reading these two whiney, junior high like posts, I won’t be bookmarking it to read daily.

    FWIW, I don’t love PW nor do I dislike her. I do think it’s a shame you feel the need to trash her name on the WWW though.

  • A. D.:

    My posts have been deleted more than once here. But once one of them was left.

    • I only delete posts if they give away personal info about my family or if they are just really, really mean and I have had enough and decide to exercise my right to delete. If you spend any time reading the comments on this site, you will discover that there are plenty of mean comments here to keep the haters happy. So A.D. – which type of comment were you?

  • You’re my hero. I’m a Canadian, and you have no idea how much I detest the Pioneer Woman, and everything about her, her “lifestyle”, and her whole phony persona. She has taken a fun hobby like blogging and used it for her own personal gain. She is a brand, managed by a management company. She is not just a regular blogger like the rest of us.

    The sad thing is, there are so many bloggers who emulate her, she has managed to turn the whole internet into an imitation of her blog.

    I mentioned PW in one of my posts yesterday, and this is the response I got from one of my regular readers:

    “As for Ree Drummond, she is a wonderful person. Although I haven’t met her in real life, I have shared e-mails with her. She is a kind and generous person. And she loves her life on the ranch.

    And as far as another commenter’s remarks about her husband’s tight a–, that is something PW never said in print. I have never seen a curse word on her blog.”

    Obviously someone else drank the Kool-Aid…

  • JBir:

    My first comment never appeared!

    I don’t remember what I said now, so I’ll paraphrase: Thank you Rechelle for doing this. And why not? She won’t answer any real questions. Reading her blog is like having Big Brother watching over me. I can’t comment, even nicely, if it says anything other than “Yum!” Or “Oh Ree, you have touched my heart.” Seriously gag-inducing. And, not even kidding here, I like to torture myself by reading her @replies on Twitter.

    She has a story in her archive called Giovanni, about a non-English-speaking soccer coach. Similarities to your story? Maybe.

  • JBir:

    Of course, in the sentence “She won’t answer any real questions” I mean “PW”, not Rechelle :) Can you tell I’m at work?!

  • amy:

    So…I am glad that you clarified…..but I do think that you have some deep seeded issues that have nothing to do with PW and you are using her as an excuse to be bitter and angry. You expected too much on that visit-maybe you weirded her out with your stand offishness or your sarcasm. Who knows-but it sounds like jealousy and sour grapes. You obviously were not what she thought you were either-and she is not thumbing her nose up at you to the internet. And this thing with your sister? I was baffled at first but now I see that you have gone a little crazy and she probably can’t deal with it. Are you mad at her for having a good time? For PW liking her more? You can’t even take a trip a beautiful country without finding all of the faults in it-you ARE a fault finder, In everything-and it is sad. You need to do some deep soul searching-morethan just deciding that God does not exist- because you are truly a miserable person.

    And for the record- I think PW can be annoying as well-but she is who she is and good for her. Dooce is a freaking idiot-way too full of herself. Go do some peace corp type work or something-you need to get outside of your own head for a while.

  • JBir:

    OK, I have just one more thing to add to this post, mostly because I can’t understand it. I commented on PW’s site the other day.

    All I said was this, directed at someone who said that they loved her life: “You should remember that you are getting a view of ranch life through rose-colored glasses, which is all well and fine, but it’s like wishing June Cleaver was your mom.” My comment appeared for a little while, and then it was deleted!

    Why on earth would someone read through over 400 comments and delete THAT? I can’t figure it out.

  • A Mom in Sunny Cal:

    I tried to email this but will just leave it in the comments instead.

    As my obsession on and curiosity with the Pioneer Woman continues, I have been seeking a way to end the addiction. HATE myself for spending my time on this clearly phony persona and lifestyle she has created, this fantasy for all sad women everywhere. I hate myself for indulging what is, essentially, a romance novel made into a blog.

    I’ve been reading her for two years now and I’ve learned a lot about photography, cooking, clothing — although I did stop short of buying some Sugar Lemon lotion the other day — and I always feel so conflicted about this. Is it good, bad? I really don’t know. But when I came upon your article, it really did feel like a bit of relief from the pain of imperfection.

    I watch Giada and Ina and even Rachel Ray – and while they probably put forth a character, they don’t do it on something personal like a blog. Still, how can I begrudge someone who has built such an impressive empire?

    I have a Nikon now. I use all of her Photoshop actions. I even sadly enter her giveaways (although I have vowed never to enter another one as long as I live). So I’m thinking, at what cost this obsession? I appreciate what she brings but it always leaves me feeling like I’m just not enough. My life isn’t perfect enough. I am a single mother living in an apartment.

    I know that I am buying into a fantasy she is inventing every day. And she needs to feel like she’s done something with her life and clearly, she likes the attention. I guess you have to ask yourself if you would trade places with her if you could. And the answer to that is, you couldn’t and wouldn’t.

    I know I wouldn’t want to be successful if that meant that my readers chose as their second favorite book of all time the Bible. I am not knocking Christians but Jesus Christ. Of all the great books in the world, the Bible, really? All of that begat stuff is good writing?

    Anyway, I know I’m just a lame, bitter, sad old hag. And I know that we women like to tear each other down. And I don’t have the kind of money or popularity she has. No one envies me. No one worships me or buys what I like. But I know this: the more I read PW, the more I appreciate counter sites that express women who THINK, not just instruct people on how to be better people. People who write, warts and all, and not just the continual PW falsehoods about being a city girl and all of that. It’s a fake world. And we all like to dwell in it.

    The envy and obsession will probably continue, but thank you for giving me, and others like me, room to breathe.

    Sasha

    • It’s my pleasure Sasha. I think it’s okay to read PW, as long as you know it’s full of shit. Thanks for this letter.

  • pagnauf:

    You are probably the most ungrateful house guest ever. She invites you to her ranch, feeds you, tries to entertain you and what do you do? You whine and complain about it on your blog. You claim that it was a bad experience for you. Fine. Discuss it with your family or your friends and don’t accept another invitation from her again. But don’t diss your hostess, her family, her food etc. on the WWW. That is just tacky. And the lice? Ewww! That is so disgusting. You should have told her right after you suspected you had it After all, you were sleeping on her guest bed, wearing their cowboy hats etc. It was the right thing to do and you didn’t do it. Not even after you got home and found out for sure that you had lice. That says a lot about the kind of person you are.
    You slam your sister and practically call her an idiot because she claims to have had a good time and didn’t see or experience what you did. Why? Do you just want everyone to be as unhappy, miserable and angry as you? By the way, I occasionally read the blog of the other guest who was with you on that visit (Jenni), and she doesn’t seem to have any complaints about the visit either. She still comments on PW and sends tweets to Ree. Let me guess, you’re gonna call her an idiot too,right?
    You say you only delete comments when it contains info about your family but you have no qualms about posting emails between you and Ree that you admit contain “somewhat delicate information”. You said she trusted you. Boy, did she make a huge mistake, huh? Not only did you ignore her request to delete these emails, now you’re gonna post them here too. You’re a real piece of work, aren’t you? Maybe that’s why she was so guarded around you. She must have sensed something when she met you. Maybe your thinly veiled hostility? Your envy, perhaps?I don’t blame her for not wanting to be your BFF.
    You seem to really,really hate PW. That’s such a strong emotion to have for someone you were with for 1 weekend. You can dislike someone after meeting them; but hate? What heinous act did she commit to earn your hate? Did she murder your children? Steal your husband?
    You said she used you. Didn’t you use her too? Admit it. You were hoping to get the increased traffic when she mentioned you on her blog and I’m sure that’s exactly what you got. I’ve never even heard of you until she mentioned you. I’ve visited here a few times and the impression I’ve gotten is that you are an angry, bitter, extremely unhappy person. You were even miserable on your visit to Europe! Nothing seems to make you happy. I think you should get professional help. Seriously. I’m not just saying this to piss you off. Seeking professional help might just be the answer for you.
    You also mentioned that PW herself leaves several comments on her blog posts to set the right tone or something like that. How do you know this? Surely she didn’t tell you this. Do you have proof or is this just some cockamamie theory you came up with to make yourself feel better about the fact that you don’t get as many comments as she does?
    According to some of the comments you posted here; you still read PW even if it “fills you with intense negative emotions”. Why are you doing this to yourself? Are you a masochist? Do yourself and the world a favor: STOP READING PW!Maybe then all your ranting will stop and you will finally be able to let go of this hate. Harboring this much hate can’t be good for you.
    I think you are still too caught up in the readership/numbers game even though you claim you no longer are. I think these posts bashing PW are attempts to get higher traffic. You knew the PW haters would flock here. I’ve been to a few of these sites and It seems the same people show up and leave the same old comments in every site. I’ve read the same 400 dollar boots comment on 3 different sites. Can’t you people try to at least come up with new comments every time you post on a new PW Hate site instead of rehashing the same old comments almost word for word?
    I think you tried to emulate PW before; hoping to become just as successful as she is but you failed. So now it seems you’re trying to be the new Chicken Liver and be all controversial and shit Well, good luck with that. I only have one question: Where is Chicken Liver/Poop on Peeps now? I guess pooping on peeps didn’t turn out to be that profitable after all. Oh.and I heard that one of the bloggers she bashed threatened to sue her.

  • giselle:

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say.

    First of all, you’re saying that your life fell apart after a trip to the lodge. That is ridiculous all by itself because why would a miserable weekend with people you didn’t even know ruin your life? That’s nuts.

    And then, really, the weekend does not sound so bad. Ree was nice enough to invite you to her home and you thank her by doing what? Bringing lice, making strange comments about lice and her not being a real person (who does that??), being super quiet (even though according to you, the two of you were on quite friendly terms! but that didn’t matter, you still made it uncomfortable and made her try to find a way to talk to you while you sat there annoyed), and just by getting annoyed over little things in general.

    I have invited people to my house and have been invited to people’s houses. Sometimes, there is bad planning involved and you mess up – ok so she miscounted the eggs. Give her a break, we are all human. And although it’s not how I live, I have been to many people’s houses that eat breakfast and then dinner on the weekend. It’s weird and I get hungry, but I either ask for food or go find myself some food. I’m sure she wouldn’t have minded if you said to her, HEY! can we have a snack?? But not, you chose to just sit there and seethe. Then you also get mad that her and your sister had something in common and talked about it. I seriously doubt that either of them told you they were better than you or that they were judging you, they just had a similar life/opinion and were discussing it. You could’ve talked to someone else or joined the conversation and shared your opinion in a nice way. Although from reading your blog, it doesn’t sound like you’re capable of expressing your opinion in a nice way.

    And you were mad because she didn’t know every detail about your life? seriously? she’s busy and she invited you over – guess all the preparation that goes into that doesn’t count as her putting forth an effort, huh? I meet people all the time that I’m interested in knowing and I forget details of their life and have to ask them again the next time I meet them, that’s NORMAL. And she forgot to give you her number? Oops. Did you ask for it? No. But of course, she is not allowed to make a mistake, but you? You can make as many mistakes are you want and it’s ok b/c you’re not PW!

    And one last thing, you might think about getting a life. If knowing how many people visit your website is the biggest joy in your life, then you should really venture out and try something new. Meet some people, make a few friends, get out of the house.

    Really, I just don’t see the connection at all between a weekend you didn’t enjoy and your life falling to pieces. It’s strange and makes no sense. Maybe you need a therapist?

    I hope that you can let go some of the negativity in your life. If you don’t like someone, that’s totally fine, but you should just not read their blog, it’s that easy. Making it a huge part of your life is crazy. I wish you luck.

    • Rechelle:

      Actually Giselle – I have an email from Ree where she called me a ‘wuss’ for not homeschooling. Does that qualify as a judgement? Perhaps she meant it as a joke, but it also has an undoubtedly snide quality to it. But thanks for your very long and very boring comment.

      • Concerned Citizen:

        Don’t listen to Giselle. She’s a scold. Your visit was NOT a visit between two email buddies — it was a PROFESSIONAL event staged so Ree could get some experience “working” the Lodge. I have figured out the Lodge is a remote video studio, designed to host staged “events” and cooking demos, so that Ree can become a sort of “Martha Stewart On The Range” (I promise you this WILL happen on cable within two years — I will bet real money on it!). She basically used you guys. She’s a world-class manipulator and she’s VERY ambitious. Everything about her blog was fake from day one. She could have never put up the kind of blog she has, or done the promotional stuff without her husband’s big money (the LODGE? the expensive camera(s)? Being able to give away lavish gifts worth hundreds of dollars? (Even I did not get right away that the contests are a BIG part of why people go there.) The way she gives away her own unworn designer clothes?

        YOU have been smart enough to figure it out (even if it took a visit to the LODGE). Others are still drinking the Kool AId — so they get to hang out with the “popular girl”. (Weird isn’t it? How life is just high school writ large?) And the ones who have blogs, they are afraid not to be linked to such a popular site!

        I am so gratified to find that others figure this out and it is NOT JUST ME, because I thought I was just an old sour puss. Now I know what it is: I just spotted the fake and told the truth.

    • Rechelle:

      She miscounted the eggs?

      No. She resented having to serve us is much more accurate.

  • Em:

    I’m slow and just came around to reading this post.

    I’m left with the impression that you have shown tendency to be sucked into cult-like thinking, and thus, your own pontifications need to be taken with a grain of salt. . . those very same grains of salt needed to read PW without allowing one’s self to be emotionally vulnerable.

    How in the world did a sane, intelligent woman allow herself to become so vulnerable to an internet personality? No wonder you’ve been having a rough time since that PW-in-person experience! I’d question my sanity and religion too if the Pioneer Woman had that kind of impact upon my self-esteem.

  • judy:

    wow, there are a lot of angry people out there. Of course, all these people (Barefoot Contessa, Giada, Oprah, PW etc etc) are showing us the perfect side of their life. Do you think the BC spends all her time fixing lunch for her friends and playing cards??

    Props to PW for re-doing homes that were already on the ranch, not completely starting from scratch. By the way, your home and property look pretty nice, better than average.

    And why would anyone go to someone’s home as an overnight guest when they had head lice???

    • km:

      By the way, your home and property look pretty nice, better than average.

      Meow!

      • judy:

        didn’t mean it catty…..meant that it seems Rechelle has a lovely home, why is she bashing someone else’s?