Had life gone the way she planned it, Ree Drummond would’ve turned out to be the Ally McBeal of senior advocacy. She was a college graduate with a degree in gerontology who planned to go to law school in Chicago. But life happened, and today, rather than advocating senior rights in a courtroom, she lives on a ranch and is a blogosphere sensation known as The Pioneer Woman. To her fans, Drummond and her husband, Ladd, are Oklahoma royalty. Because royalty in Oklahoma is as rare as forestry in the Panhandle, we know it when we see it. When the Osage County resident arrived at a book signing at Full Circle Bookstore in 50 Penn Place recently for her new book, the evidence was more than statistics and anonymous well-wishes. It was tangible. The Pioneer Woman confessor, whose blog is viewed daily by tens of thousands of people, was there to promote her first book, "The Pioneer Woman Cooks,” which arrived in stores last month. "We’re just so proud of her,” said fan and follower Vivian Boroff, who was one of the hundreds who showed up, helped those in line take photos and organized an after-party at Rococo for fellow fans. "She’s just such a real person, and she’s so funny. I love her.” Ree Drummond aspired to none of this. She left her hometown of Bartlesville to pursue big-city life by way of the University of Southern California, and after four years of enjoying the sushi and nightlife there, she planned to stay a city girl by moving to Chicago. But then, on a brief stop home en route to Chicago, she met Ladd Drummond, a member of one of northeastern Oklahoma’s most established families. And just as Charles found Diana, Arthur met Guinevere, and Donnie Duncan found Barry Switzer, Ladd found Ree. But unlike other real-life fairy tales, their happily ever after is ongoing; their Camelot is a 20,000-acre ranch near Pawhuska. Besides the four children they homeschool, their subjects are mostly horse and cattle. But thanks to Ree’s blog, the Drummond reach went virtual. Thanks to her cookbook, the digitally deficient are now invited to the party. The line to see her for the book signing began on the store’s north side, filed out into the mall, stretched to west to Belle Isle Brewery then toward the north exit where it curled back south into the mall, doubling back like a shoelace on the verge of a knot. So, why did people start arriving about 3:45 p.m. on a Thursday to form a line that didn’t start moving until book signing started at 6:30 p.m. and wasn’t exhausted until 12:30 a.m. Friday? "I’ll tell you why,” said fellow blogger Shannon Snow, who goes by the Coupon Princess. "If you homeschool, you read it. If you cook, she’s got recipes. If you like photography, covered — and she’s really, really funny.” Drumond’s award-winning blog also covers gardening, home improvement and anyone looking to laugh at someone else’s foibles so they can better accept their own. Drummond has a conversational, self-deprecating style that doesn’t try to be more than your favorite virtual neighbor. And she’s a polite neighbor. She doesn’t post political signs in the virtual yard or paint the virtual house aquamarine, nor would her virtual dogs wake you with their barking if they existed. If she could send you a cup of sugar through the Internet, she would. While you’re not invited to a real cookout on the ranch, she lets you know how to create your own and why those that she’s hosted have been filled with initial panic, obstacles created by innocent, adorable children and ultimately ended successfully. All of this happens online, so your lingering not only will be welcome but preferred. You’ll leave with some nice recipes, home-improvement tips and a lot of new friends. Drummond — whether intended or not — might be the finest Internet hostess in the world, and she has the hardware to prove it. In 2009, she won Bloggies — sort of the Oscars for bloggers — for Weblog of the Year, Best Photography and Best Designed. "When I started, I didn’t even know what a blog was,” she said in a recent phone interview. "Ladd had the kids with him out on the ranch one morning, and I had a little time to figure it out. I started it so my mom could keep up with us.” Ree Drummond insists none of this was planned — from the blog to her life cast as Elizabeth Taylor to Ladd’s Rock Hudson in a less dramatic, less oily, less James Dean-infused version of "Giant.” No, her life as it reads on the blog fuses "Giant,” "The Cosby Show” and "Martha Stewart Living.” Many of her fans, whom she insists are simply friends she met on the Web, have talked about her positive attitude and simple, user-friendly recipes. She is Betty Crocker to the Facebook and Twitter generation. Folks waiting in line recently said they love her sense of humor, her positive outlook and stunning photography. A lot of them are planning to ask Santa for a new, better camera this Christmas. Ultimately, she is approachable and honest. Drummond refused to leave her perch at the store until each book was signed. She never lost her smile nor stopped signing autographs, even for the people who handed her multiple books. She shared hugs, posed for pictures, accepted gifts and gave each fan enough time to be able to honestly say they’d met the Pioneer Woman. Jim Tolbert’s bookstore sold out of her cookbook, and more had to be brought in. According to one longtime employee, sales surpassed Kristin Chenoweth’s book signing in April and the crowd was the largest since the king himself, Barry Switzer, was peddling his signature on "Bootlegger’s Boy.” Both Chenoweth and Switzer earned their fame in old-fashioned ways — Chenoweth as a performer and Switzer delivering what Oklahoma cherishes most: winning football. Oklahoma prefers its winning football with good food and a good laugh. Drummond serves both and, as a bonus, she offers stories to remind us life doesn’t take sides, but we can. She carries the smile and the attitude of someone who has survived heartbreak, as detailed on her blog, but chooses to spend her life in pursuit of happiness. Sandra Davenport didn’t have four hours to wait in line, but she wanted to be present for what she viewed as an historic occasion. The Tahlequah native who’s lived her adult life in the metro is raising a grandchild, but she took time to attend with her niece Sherry Rado. They found a spot next to the line where they could take a few photos. When asked what they loved about the Pioneer Woman, Rado deferred to her aunt, "She’s known about (The Pioneer Woman) for a long time.” "Yeah, I was reading her blog before it had all the new stuff,” Davenport said. They both rattled off different attributes they liked: humor, easy meals, stories they could relate to and, of course, the pictures. Both Rado and Davenport recognized Drummond’s royalty without realizing it. "We’re within 20 feet of her,” Rado said at one point. They snapped off a few pictures with Drummond in the background before agreeing it was time to go. "She’s from the country, you know,” Davenport said. "She goes through the things we all go through.” Then she paused and said, without the slightest hint of envy, "She’s living the life I always thought I’d have.” With that, they left, satisfied and smiling. Two more fans filled in the spot and went through a similar routine — photos of Drummond and photos of themselves in the presence of the Pioneer Woman.