Life On The Ponderosa · Ramblings

The 4-leggers

I haven’t shared much about the 4-leggers on the Ponderosa lately. They’ve been begging me to have their own series here on A Spotted Heart, so we’ll see. For now, here’s a little update on the crew.

All the way back in September Ponga-Girl had 5 little Auggie (half Mini Aussie- half Corgie) puppies! FIVE! We couldn’t believe it. She’s such a small dog, we were shocked she packed away that many. They were so fun to watch start to grow and one by one they’ve found their homes, with only my little red “Poppy” left, whom still needs a good home.

It’s incredibly hard to let these cute pups go, but I know they’ve all gone to good, loving homes.

Since the pups were born, Charlie is pretty sure she’s been in Heaven. She’s been getting to sleep inside so she wouldn’t disrupt Ponga and her puppies, so now, naturally, she thinks she’s an “inside” dog. She takes over any blanket you leave out, as if you left it just for her.

Bumper still thinks she’s the Queen B. She spends most of her days avoiding Poppy and sunning in her catbox by the window. She roams around and goes hunting a couple hours before sunset, then she’s ready to go to bed for the night.

These two alley cats spend as much time as One Cute Cowboy will let them, in the tac house. They definitely earn their room & board by keeping the tac house completely rodent free. They’re sweet little barn kitties that are always happy to see you.

Huck of course still thinks he’s the only one who deserves any of my attention. As far as he’s concerned, the others are all One Cute Cowboy’s, and he’s all mine (and me all his!) He’s the one I worry about most once Baby Pup comes, just because he’s such a mama’s dog, it’ll be a big change for him (and me!)

Ponga is always going. She likes to run through the trees and hunt up whatever she can find. It’s hard to get a picture of her because she’s constantly on the go, but will always stop to bask in your attention. She was such a good mama to her pups, but I think is happy to be puppy-free again.

Si & Olive are my elusive felines. These are older photos. Olive has become quite the traveler this winter and made a trip to the ranch two different times! Let’s just say One Cute Cowboy and my dad have gotten in the habit of checking vehicles before they leave. Si spends as much time as she can in the well-house where it stays nice and toasty warm. She’s not a cold weather cat.

And as for Hershey, she’s just happy to be a ranch dog! You can always count on her to greet you with a big grin.

They’re all staying warm and happy through the winter. I’ve been asked if I think any of them sense that I’m pregnant, and I’d have to say I think Charlie especially did in the beginning, but I think Huck and Hershey sense it more now, always wanting to stay close, and for other not to be close. Animals are interesting beings, I can’t imagine a life without my 4-leggers.

Hope you’re all having a good week! Do you enjoy hearing about the animals on the Ponderosa? Should I let them have their own series? Let me know what you think in the comments, or email me! aspottedheart@gmail.com

*ASpottedHeart

Life On The Ponderosa · Lifestyle · Rancher's Wife

December on the Ponderosa

This month started out unusually warm for December. We kept hearing colder weather was coming, but it was hard to believe when you didn’t really need anything but a light jacket to go outside. But then, let me tell you, when the cold hit, it hit! The last few days haven’t gotten above 16-18 degrees, finally the sun is starting to poke out today. If you follow One Cute Cowboy’s instagram, I’ m sure you’ve seen how thrilled he’s been about the colder temperatures.

This month has been all about wheat pasture cattle. Every. Single. Day. OCC loads up a trusty horse, a fueled 4 wheeler, charged fence batteries, his medicine bag, and hot coffee, 7 Days a week to go check the cattle on wheat pasture and corn stalks. He makes his rounds through 6 pastures at one location, then 2 other separate fields, then checks the bull calves that are also on wheat. While he’s at these pastures he also has to break the inch thick ice in the tanks, and check the hot wire fences to make sure they’re keeping their charge. Cowboy roping a steer

This guy wasn’t sick, just in the wrong pasture and had to be moved.

He checks for anything that might be sick, or not looking healthy. Cowboys wear many hats, and one of those hats is unfortunately, Doctor. One has to know what medicine is good for what ailment, they have to keep track of which ones they’ve already doctored, and what medicine they gave them. Some medicines are so strong they can only be doctored once with that particular kind and it’s imperative for the Cowboy to remember what calf the medicine was distributed to.

During wheat pasture season, calves can get bloated on the wheat really easily and really fast. There are several things the cowboys do to help fight bloat. They put out a block called a “bloat” block and they also add soap to their water and keep hay out. The blocks and soap help the stomach continue to bubble and break down the foam which helps the gas escape. The hay offers dry matter which allows the rumen to operate correctly.

Besides checking wheat pasture cattle, the cowboys have also been feeding cake and hay to the ranch cattle. They definitely keep a full schedule in the winter months!

We also got to get away for an overnight trip to see some of OCC’s family for Christmas, and also had a nice Christmas with my whole family once we got back. Christmas was here and gone in the blink of an eye, which always makes me a little sad. But it’s exciting to think this time next year we’ll have a little pup around to unwrap gifts and start some new family traditions.

The cake my niece made all by herself, “Frosty.”

I hope you all have had a wonderful December, and are ready to jump into the New Year with lots of hope, love, and excitement!

Happy New Year! 🍾

*ASpottedHeart

Life On The Ponderosa · Lifestyle · Ramblings

Keeping Christmas

This was actually a post I had planned for the day after Christmas, but I had some technical difficulties and couldn’t get it posted. So as we look into the new year, here is a few thoughts I’ve had.

What exactly does it mean to “keep the Christmas spirit?”

I hate when Christmas is over. I get the Christmas blues every year. There’s all of this fun and exciting build-up—playing Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, getting and decorating the tree, pulling out all of your favorite decorations from storage, and making your house into a winter wonderland. Finding just the right gift for the ones you love, lighting the Advent wreath, preparing to celebrate the birth of our King! There’s all this build-up, and Christmas Eve comes and the magic is palpable, then Christmas morning is finally here and the festivities of the day begins! Then in the blink of an eye, it’s all over. The lights come down, the wrapping paper gets picked up, the family goes home, and once again, your heart waits for the next Christmas to come.

So my question to you is, how do we keep that Christmas spirit all year long? How do we keep excited and passionate about giving to others, our appreciation for the small things, our waiting for the King?

This year it seems like it went even faster than usual, and I’ve found myself stuck with this question. I want to keep the fulfillment that Christmas gives me in my heart all-year round.

My mind keeps going to Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Surely part of the key of keeping Christmas, is keeping a merry heart. But that’s sometimes easier said than done. You get cut-off in traffic, your boss is on you about this or that, your day just doesn’t go “as planned”—it’s hard to keep that merry heart in difficult times.

So I’ve been thinking of how to keep a heart for Christmas all year-round, and this is what I’ve come up with:

  • Immerse yourself in scripture

I’m one of those people that always likes to know more. I want to know facts and details. I used to love Paul Harvey, “and now you know, the rest of the story.” One thing I’ve thoroughly enjoyed is the “subtext” in my Bible. For most verses there’s a footer at the bottom telling details about what the scripture might be pertaining to in that time, going into further explanation of the verse. I think one way to keep a fulfilled heart is to read scripture everyday, and for me, dig even a little deeper to find what the scriptures are actually saying.

  • Prayer

I guess you could say this goes hand-in-hand with reading scripture, but I find when I start and end my day with prayer, I keep a more mindful heart (and mouth for that matter) and reflect more upon the happenings of my day-to-day.

  • Continue to Give

Now, don’t get me wrong , I’m not saying buy gifts for everyone you know or love all year long, but have a giving heart. Maybe that means giving your time to someone to listen, maybe it’s giving someone a helping hand at the grocery store, and maybe it means to simply give–whether it be to your church, someone in need, the homeless, or something else entirely, but don’t let the Christmas season be the only time you “give” during the year.

  • A Christmas Reminder

I challenge you to keep one small Christmas decoration/ornament out in a place where you’ll see it everyday to remind you of the joy and peace that comes with Christmas. The picture above is a candle One Cute Cowboy got me our 2nd Christmas together, and I plan on keeping it out even after I put my other decorations up, to remind me to keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart all year long.

I hope you had a beautiful, joyful Christmas and pray for many blessings to all of you through the new year!

Happy New Year!

*ASpottedHeart

Favorites · Healthy Lifestyle · Life On The Ponderosa · Ramblings

Holiday Travel Oils

I use my oils every day in some form or fashion. My main way is diffusing oils, so when I’m traveling that becomes more of a challenge. These four oils are the ones I brought with me during my holiday travel, and this is how I used each one.

🍊 Orange: I brought orange oil with me to put in my shower in the morning. Orange helps boost your immune system and is uplifting.

🌲Tea Tree: This has become one of my favorite go-to oils! I brought it along to keep my immunity up. This is one I’ve been diffusing every night, so since I don’t carry a diffuser, I put it on the bottoms of my feet. This is also great to have along with you for hormonal or stress breakouts. Put a dab of tea Tree oil on the place,and it helps clear it up.

🔮Lavender: In the winter months, I have a really hard time with my hands drying out. They get dry and crack and bleed and it seems like they’ve been especially bad these last couple weeks (a few months back I burnt my right hand, and it’s been super irritated since.) So each night I’ve been putting Lavender on my hands to help heal them up. I feel like it’s made such a difference!

🌿 Eucalyptus Blue: Now, I’ll admit, Eucalyptus Blue isn’t my favorite eucalyptus. I usually always use Eucalyptus Radiata. But Eucalyptus Blue will also serve the same purpose as Radiata. I put 1 or 2 drops in the shower to help open up my sinuses in the mornings. It seems like when I travel, I always wake up with a stuffy nose, so this really helps me open up my sinuses first thing in the morning.

Those are the 4 oils I’m traveling with this year. What are your favorite oils to travel with?

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart

Favorites · Life On The Ponderosa · Ramblings

Ornament Giveaway Winner

I had some technical difficulties last night and wasn’t able to post the ornament giveaway winner!

Jenna B. you are the winner! I’ll email you when your ornament is sent out!

Thank you for your entries, it was fun! Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

*ASpottedHeart

Favorites · Life On The Ponderosa · Ramblings

A Christmas Playlist 🎄

“Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet…”🎶 One of my favorite lines in a Christmas song. I love Christmas music! I love the old-timey Christmas tunes mixed in with some of the newer versions and songs. I’ve put together some of my favorite renditions of Christmas songs and some of the artist original ones too. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Jingle Bells- Frank Sinatra
  2. Santa Baby-Michael Buble
  3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- She & Him
  4. Ribbons and Bows-Kacey Musgraves
  5. Very Merry Christmas-Dave Barnes
  6. Please Come Home for Christmas- Leslie Odom Jr.
  7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!-Bing Crosby
  8. White Christmas- Drifters
  9. Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel-Dave Barnes
  10. Baby, It’s Cold Outside-Lee Ann Womack & Harry Connick, Jr.
  11. O Holy Night-Martina McBride
  12. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas-Michael Buble
  13. Silver Bells- She & Him
  14. The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole
  15. Silent Night- Bing Crosby
  16. Winter a Wonderland- Ella Fitzgerald
  17. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing- Sufjan Stevens
  18. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- Kacey Musgraves
  19. Sleigh Ride-Ella Fitzgerald
  20. Joy to the World- Nat King Cole

If you have Spotify you can go and have a listen!

Hope this Christmas Playlist makes you as happy as it does me!

**Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter my surprise ornament giveaway! All you have to do to enter is email me a photo of your favorite ornament that hangs on your tree! I’ll announce the winner* at 10:00 tonight! aspottedheart@gmail.com< strong>*ASpottedHeart<<
o enter you must live in the U.S.

Favorites · Life On The Ponderosa · Ramblings

Christmas Tree Hunt:Year 4

I’ve shared before that one of Riley’s Christmas traditions has always been to go find and cut down your own Christmas tree. It’s always a pretty big adventure.

This year was a little different, since I’m packing around a little bear in my belly, we decided maybe we wouldn’t do quite as much hiking as usual, and take the 4-wheeler so it’s a little easier to haul the tree back to he pickup. We went up to our usual spot in New Mexico, and hopped on the 4-wheeler. We drove around and down through a few groves, then decided we’d walk a little bit and try to find the perfect tree.

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband has Clark Griswold Syndrome-he wants the biggest tree he can find. This is the one he originally wanted this year! Haha!

We look through loads of trees. You have to keep certain things in mind when looking for just the right tree. Is there a good sturdy base? Does it have a good top for our vintage Shiny Brite topper? Is it too robust for our home? Is it too tall for our house? How many branches will we have to remove from the bottom to make it stand up in the stand right? Will it still look full if we remove said branches? A lot of thinking goes into it. Seems like we always end up picking one that’s too big (round) but it’s so hard when they look so pretty out in the pasture.

This Christmas we chose this fat & jolly guy-just how we like ’em! He was a little hard to get on the 4-wheeler, trying not to run over everything in our path, but we eventually made it back to the pickup unscathed.

He is *ahem* a little big for our house, but we both agree this has been our best tree yet! He’s beautiful! Perfect base, perfect top, really full and lush.

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I love ornaments, and how we’ve collected so many in our short 4 years together. Every one of them is meaningful it seems. I’ll share a few with you.

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do  know this is the first one from our first Christmas together. It’s a Brighton silver, reindeer. Still one of my favorites and most elegant ornaments.

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This is one from when One Cute Cowboy was just a little guy. It’s so cute, and a Hallmark Classic.

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This one is special not only because it represents the true meaning of Christmas, but my dad’s side of the family did an ornament exchange for a few years, and this is one I got that my Grandma had put in the exchange. It is, for so many reasons, one of my favorites.

 

What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions? Do you have a favorite ornament that hangs on your tree each year? I’d love to see them!! Leave me a picture in the comments or e-mail me a picture of your ornament at aspottedheart@gmail.com. I’ll put your name in a hat and draw a winner next Tuesday, the 19th,  for a surprise ornament I’ll send right to your door*! Happy Tree Trimming!

*ASpottedHeart

 

 

Previous Christmas Posts:

 

*Must live in the U.S. for valid entry for the surprise ornament.