Life On The Ponderosa · Ramblings · Rancher's Wife

Love, Love, Love

Lately, I’ve thought a lot about Love. February seems to do that…and being pregnant. The word itself has become so commonly used, but do we ever stop to think about what love actually means to us?! According to Webster’s dictionary there are 9 different definitions of love, nine! Maybe thats’s why they say love is a universal language.

I won’t list what all nine say, but let me tell you the ones that resonate the most with me.

1) strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

2) warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.

4) unselfish loyal and benevolent

9) God

These are my 4 favorite ways that love are described. Being pregnant has made me really focus on the love between One Cute Cowboy and I, and the love we already have, abundantly overflowing, for little bear. It also has made me fiercely protective of that love. I guess you could say like a Mama Bear, I want to protect and nurture and make the love I have for Little Bear prosper, but I also feel that strong intuition to protect the love between One Cute Cowboy and myself.

That “warm attachment” mentioned above, has been like red-hot attachment lately. We’ve been savoring these last couple months as just “us” and cherishing one another for what we’ve become as a couple, and what we’ll soon be–parents! We’re wanting to make sure we’re setting a strong foundation of love for our Little Bear to look to when everything else seems to falter. We want him to know how deeply his parents not only love him, but love each other. I think it’s important for kids to see that.

Which brings me to the number nine definition of Love–God. I can’t help but think it’s that red-hot attachment that He has for us as well. He wants us to know His deep love for us, and to share that love.

Now a minute to brag on my loving husband. I’m strong-headed (so is he) but he lovingly takes me in stride when my temper runs over. He is my supporter in anything I set my mind to. He is my rock, he is my shelter. He is quite simply the love of my life, and soul-mate. I can’t imagine going on this journey with anyone else in this world. Our love isn’t perfect by any means, but we’ve learned to love through the imperfections.

” It’s not a walk in the park to love each other, but when our fingers interlock I can’t deny, can’t deny, you’re worthit. ‘Cause after all this time, I’m still into you.”–Paramore

We’ve been on many adventures together, but we’re getting ready to embark on our greatest adventure yet, there’s not a doubt in my mind that you’re my One. Happy Valentine’s Day, My One Cute Cowboy! ❤️

Life On The Ponderosa · Rancher's Wife

January on the Ponderosa

IMG_0307I think I say this every month, but where the heck did January go?! This month started out fairly cold (some bone chilling ones), but there were several kind of “odd jobs” that needed to be done.

One evening One Cute Cowboy and my dad built a wind break for some of the calves on wheat.

They took some t-posts and some old irrigation pipe to make a nice break for the calves to be able to stand up against and behind. It provides a little shelter for them when the winds are super cold.

One Cute Cowboy spent an evening trimming up some of the horses feet. This is certainly not an easy task, as I’m sure you can imagine, not a single horse actually enjoys this chore, but it’s something that has to be done to keep their feet healthy and happy.

One really cold morning, we went out to work on the windmill in the bull pasture. The bulls just hung out and watched while One Cute Cowboy pulled the windmill to replace the leathers. I stayed in the pickup most the time since it was so cold, unless OCC needed me to hold something.IMG_0204Still doing a lot of the same things as in December; checking wheat pasture calves, doctoring calves, treating bloats, feeding cows,fixing fence, and breaking a lot of ice. One thing that started about 4 days ago, that wasn’t supposed to start until about February 10th, was our heifers started having babies! So far we’ve had 12 new babies, and the cowboys have started their round-the-clock checking on the heifers. They switch off during the day and at night they check at 10 pm, 2 am and 5 am.  OCC gets pretty grouchy because he values his sleep!IMG_0310IMG_0311We brought 20 out of the 100 that will be calving the soonest, to the house this past week. The cowboys choose the ones that seem closest that way they can keep a better eye on them when they start to calve. IMG_0315

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Fur found her a good sunning’ spot.

I actually had to stop in the middle of writing this post and One Cute Cowboy and I went out to pull a calf. I wish I could’ve gotten more pictures of it actually being born, but I had to hold the lights so One Cute Cowboy, could help the mama and pull the calf. With the fast approaching arrival of Baby Bear, I feel some extra sympathy for these mama heifers. IMG_0317This little guy hasn’t even been in the world for a full hour yet. He was about 3 minutes old in this picture. He made it by only a few hours to be a January baby. I’m so glad I’m married to a man that knows what to do when it’s “go-time,” a man that’s confident in what he’s doing because he’s taken the time to learn and grow in how to take care of cattle and help them along in this process. His passion for them is what drives him. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t sometimes make me crazy! Haha! He spends so much of his time (read as: every waking second) learning, and reading about different aspects of ranching/cattle/calving/feeding aspects/cattle vaccinations; but with that said, I’m so glad he’s so passionate about this life, about taking care of these cattle to the best of his ability.  He always wants what’s best for the cattle/ranch. I’m very proud of him.IMG_0318

This little guy was also born today! All-in-all January has been a fast, but enjoyable month. It’s hard to believe tomorrow is February 1st. (Also my sister, Kizzi’s, birthday! Whoop whoop!) As One Cute Cowboy would say, before we know it, this heifer will be calving as well! Haha!IMG_0214

If you want to read a few highlights from last years calving season, go check out the post I did here! Happy Wednesday, hope you’ve enjoyed January on the Ponderosa!

 

*ASpottedHeart

Life On The Ponderosa · Pregnancy · Rancher's Wife

Baby Boy McNabb

This past weekend, my friends and women in the community threw One Cute Cowboy and I a shower, celebrating Baby Boy McNabb.

Baby McNabb

They did such an amazing job on just the decorations alone! I could’ve just set up my nursery in there and would have been just fine with it. They decorated in buffalo plaid and gave it a very woodsy feel that I absolutely loved!

 

Not to mention the delicious goodies they had! Beautiful & yummy sugar cookies, muffins, fresh fruit, yogurt & granola, and sausage balls. It was all so good, and looked amazing! Not to mention they had a hot tea bar, coffee, & punch!

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I’ve always considered myself blessed to live in the community that I do. It’s a community full of giving, supportive, and loving families. Not only the people that still live in the community, but the people who have lived here in the past and moved off still make a point to be a part of celebrating and loving others! It was so nice to see some people I don’t get to see all the time.

I was overwhelmed with the amount of love that was poured out for us yesterday! My heart was so full of love and gratitude and I just don’t feel like I can say ‘Thank you!’ enough!

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My wonderful hostesses!
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My mom (Yia-Yia) & I
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My niece, MIL, & I
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My sister, niece, mom & I

The girls in this next picture are 3 of the ladies I’ve known my entire life. We grew up together and I feel like have been through everything together. We sure missed the other girls we grew up with in our class, but I was so glad to get to see these 3 and their cuties! Baby Boy McNabb will be surrounded by some pretty dang cute little girls!! I’m so thankful for these friends that God placed in my life 31 years ago, and excited to raise our babies together!IMG_0267

And this picture was just too cute not to share! These two girls belong to one of my life-long friends that I can not believe I didn’t get a picture with! But they were such little helpers, bringing me gifts to open and taking the ones I’d opened back to the tables. They were great little helpers!

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My heart was overflowing with gratitude and joy yesterday! I can’t express just how thankful and heart-warming it felt to be surrounded by these friends and family to celebrate this huge thing happening in One Cute Cowboy and I’s life! We’re so incredibly excited, it was such a blessing to feel the excitement of the people in our lives as well. We’re so excited for Baby Boy McNabb to get here!

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(Stay tuned for name to be revealed on March 12th 😉

Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart

 

 

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