‘The Pioneer Woman’: How Ree Drummond’s Life Changed Since the Pandemic

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond has been busy writing cookbooks, managing her businesses, and testing out the latest recipes. The pandemic has been disruptive, but the Food Network cook continues to produce shows and update her fans about her life. How has life changed on the Drummond ranch since the pandemic? This is what Drummond revealed.

Ree Drummond says Alex and Paige helped a lot on the ranch

Todd Drummond, Bryce Drummond, 'Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond, Paige Drummond, and Ladd Drummond attend The Pioneer Woman Magazine Celebration
Todd Drummond, Bryce Drummond, Ree Drummond, Paige Drummond, and Ladd Drummond attend The Pioneer Woman Magazine Celebration | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

When they were younger, Alex and Paige helped Ladd on the ranch. In her book Frontier Follies, Drummond says her daughters weren’t just good helpers; they “excelled” when it came to ranch work. When they became teenagers, Drummond says even the cowboys recognized their talent. She says her daughters had a knack for knowing what to do and where they should be.

According to her, they didn’t need someone to give them a lot of direction. Drummond says Alex’s contributions to the ranch didn’t go unnoticed. Ladd praised her ranching skills during his speech at her high school graduation.  

How life changed on the Drummond ranch

Drummond says not much has changed for Ladd (also affectionately known as Marlboro Man) since the pandemic began. Each day has pretty much been the same.

“I know life has become very different for many of us, but essentially nothing has changed for Ladd,” says Drummond in The Pioneer Woman magazine. “He still hauls hay, works cattle, fixes fence—all the things he’s always done.”

One unexpected event that recently occurred was an accident on the ranch. Ladd and his nephew Caleb were involved in a head-on collision while they were helping to put out fires. Drummond revealed on her website that Ladd broke his neck in two places and Caleb broke a few ribs and had a concussion.

For Drummond, the biggest change for her is that she doesn’t have to travel for work. Before the pandemic, she would travel for interviews and go on book tours, but now most things are taking place virtually. “The main thing that has changed for me is that I’m basically home 24/7!” says Drummond. “No work travel!”

‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond says it gets cold on the ranch

One thing that doesn’t change on the ranch are the cold winters. Drummond says it gets very chilly during the winter months.

“The past two or three weeks were all about surviving the brutal winter blast: Ladd and the cowboys were constantly taking care of the livestock, Todd and Jamar (and Paige, a couple of the days) were chopping ice in the ponds so the cattle could have water,” says Drummond on The Pioneer Woman website.

She says there were moments when she had to constantly put wood in the fireplace. Drummond revealed her home can’t quite match Oklahoma winters, so it’s necessary to keep the heat going. Once the cold spell ended, Drummond said she and Ladd were wiped out.

She told her Pioneer Woman readers they were so tired they got into the habit of watching the clock to see when it was time to go to sleep. “We have been watching the clock in the evening, counting down the minutes until 9:00 p.m., when we feel like we can finally go to bed!”

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