What a mess I was! My mother and I arrived in Cincinnati at Joseph Beth Booksellers, which if you’ve never been, is quite a beautiful bookstore, and has a great little Bistro (Bronte Bistro) inside. We parked, walked inside and I automatically see people with their new cookbooks, okay where do I go? I WANT MINE NOW! I see people checking out at a counter nearby, okay, that is where I need to be. I step in line and an older man with glasses who looks like he belongs there calls me over, I nervously say “I’m here to get my book for the book signing” (which I had pre-ordered months in advance, when the bookstore really didn’t have a clue that they were even having a book signing, I guess obsessiveness does get you places in life!) The man looks at me with a blank stare and says “What book? Were not having a book signing!” My heart sinks and my stomach begins to do barrel rolls, then he winks “You need to go back to information” ohh okay, because if not you were going to get a black eye, haha! I go back to information, my head held high and repeat to them “I’m here to pick my book up for the book signing.” they ask my last name and then say “Did you order your book a long time ago”, I reply back with “Yeah, months ago before it was even released.” (once again being on top of your game does get you places, like Line Letter “A”) They retrieve my copy and begin to tell us about the evening and then proceed to tell us about this awesome menu that the bistro has prepared from her cookbook for the signing, how cool is that? Mom and I trought over to the ladies rooms and then to the bisro, it was such the perfect setting! Posters of books and the menu was based on authors, it was a very cool atmosphere. Were seated and our waiter comes over and tells us the specials that day and one that caught my eye was “Chunky Tomato Gorgonzola” I must learn how to re-create this because it was **MIND BLOWING**. Mom and I sit there as we skim through my new book and check what time it is every 5 minutes, at this point i’m getting nervous. Were done eating around 5:00, we head to the car and get the gifts that we had bought Ree, we stopped and purchased ceramic snowmen measuring cups and caramel chocolates filled with peanuts. We walk back into the books store and at this point I cant even hold still, and if we did stop I just kept shifting my weight from one leg to another, back and fourth back and fourth. We find a bench and sit for a few minutes, mom probably thought I was about to lose it and sought my best interest to find a place to pop a squat. At 5:45 we get back up and decide to head back over in front of a stairwell, here Ree would be coming out to speak to everyone before the signing, by this point my heart is stampeding out of my chest, 5 till okay, I’m ready and I just keep staring at the staircase. 6:00 pm hits and a guy takes the stairs and stats rambling some mumbo jumbo for the 15th time that night, but I don’t care I’m here to see Ree and at that time he announces her. There she was, I covered my mouth and tears stung my eyes, why was I crying, because I was so damn overwhelmed. It’s like you know this person is real, you look up to them, have all their books and read about their life but to finally see the in person was so surreal! She was beautiful, she had Alex and Paige with her and she began talking and couldn’t believe the turnout because it was the week of Thanksgiving, hell that didn’t matter to us Ree! After a few short words and me pulling myself together we got in line, I was line letter “A” because once again I was on top my game so I was in the 1st group to go after the v.i.p members which held a memberships card there, as we get in line and make our way up the steps my heart is fluttering and I feel like at a point going up those steps I was going to fall backwards, we began to see Ree, Mom could not believe how stunning she was & she was. By the time I make my way up the stairs and I’m on the platform, in front of Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, my idol, the person I so very much would love to be like was sitting there in front of me with her cowboy boots on and her leggings and a burgundy crocheted top, she was carrying on conversation with people and a baby and was talking to Paige and Alex, this had to be a dream. A older lady steps toward me to take my books, it’s my turn. I step forward and I can muster up a “Hi Ree” and she seen my gifts as I sat them down and says “ohh snacks” She begins signing my books and I leaned down for a picture with her! I was so nervous my face was trembling and I couldn’t even form a normal smile, gosh what is wrong with me? After the picture I ask her “What would be a great substitute for rib loin roast” she goes “beef or pork” I reply back with a mousey “beef” she said “sirloin, a tenderloin and slice it up really thinly after it’s cooked, or you could ask your butcher if they have a special or something like that going on” I nod and say “Okay and thank you so much” she smiled and waved and told me to enjoy. There I had it, Starstruck through and through! I must say she is a wonderful person, she was just as sweet and outgoing in person as she is on tv, that’s her, that’s Ree Drummond, my idol and i’m so glad that I can still call her that!!!