Monday, April 17, 2017

Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman

Knowing it was a possibility to travel through Pawhuska, Oklahoma, to visit the new Mercantile that nationally known Ree Drummond—The Pioneer Woman, New York Times bestselling author and TV personality—along with her husband, Ladd Drummond, opened late last year, my sister and I traveled north of Oklahoma City after touring the bombing site of the federal building. We had earlier made a hotel reservation in Pawhuska so that we could be in the little town early on Monday morning to have breakfast at the Mercantile.

On our way to Pawhuska, we began seeing oil wells and cattle ranches. It looked like a prosperous part of the country. I had Janet stop the car so I could take a picture of what we assumed was the entrance to the famous cook's ranch. We later learned this is actually the entrance to Ladd's brother's ranch but it is the sign that is shown on Ree's TV show as she leaves their ranch. The brothers' ranches butt up to each other.

The town of Pawhuska is in the Osage Indian Reservation and is small. In 2013 the population was recorded as 3,666. It is the county seat of Osage County. After checking into our hotel, we drove around the little town. I was surprised at how many beautiful buildings in the town were owned by the Osage Indians. We learned that the Osage people get a check every three months from the oil companies. I was happy about that, since we had seen what appeared to be poor Indian communities in both Arizona and New Mexico. Driving around on Sunday, we saw some of their senior citizen homes, their school, and court house. It was fascinating!

Monday morning we woke to a light rain. We got dressed, checked out of our hotel, and drove a few blocks to the Mercantile.

 Janet at our table

Neat menu, cloth napkins, and Mason water jar

This is the original wall that was exposed during the renovation of the 100 year old building. 

We ordered the Farmer's Breakfast: two eggs, sausage patty, ham, bacon, American fried potatoes and cherry tomatoes, plus a homemade baking biscuit and homemade jam.

After eating our breakfast, we did a little shopping in the Mercantile. I was impressed by the high quality of everything: the window lettering, the big doors leading into the store, the wooden floors, the way the clerks and waitresses dressed, the ladies rest room (toilet paper, paper towels, courtesy hand lotion, the frosted door) and the items to purchase. There were beautiful crystal chandeliers in part of the store!


I nearly bought four of these picnic plates but put them back, remembering all of the dishes I have back at home. They look like paper plates—complete with the texture—but were actually hard plastic. I thought they would have been fun to use on my porch.

Next I spotted a leather coin purse and bought it for my souvenir. I was impressed that the clerk wrapped it in black tissue paper before putting it in the pretty shopping bag (standard procedure!).

After making my "big" purchase, I walked upstairs to the bakery. Oh, my! There were beautiful choices!

I bought two cookies and started walking to the staircase to make my way to my sister. Coming up from the bottom of the staircase was Ree's son, Bryce. I recognized him right away (from the TV program) and said, "Oh, my! May I shake your hand?" He was so kind and put out his hand and shook mine. And then . . . behind him came his sister, Paige! "Well, now I need a photo with both of you. Do you mind?" "Not at all," she replied. We walked up to the bakery floor and she used my camera to take a "selfie" of the three of us. (Yes, I am standing! These young people are so much taller than I am.) I asked them why they weren't in school and they told me they are home schooled and were going into the office at the Mercantile to start their studies. Each of them was wearing a backpack. This was a thrill for me. They were so kind and polite. Paige asked me where I was from. When I told her, she told me she thought so because of my accent. Funny!

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