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 · 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 · Rancher's Wife

November on the Ponderosa

Wheat pasture month. This is the beginning of once again, a busy season. (It’s all one big busy season really…) This month we started moving some of our cattle to wheat pasture. But not only our cattle, One Cute Cowboy also takes care of a couple of ranchers cattle for them on wheat in the winter time. Usually they want to put their smaller cattle on the wheat pasture, 400-550lb calves, this way some of the smaller cattle are gaining good, healthy weight, and the rancher doesn’t have to take care of them in the winter months.

This guy is ready for the winter, he’s got it figured out–Cow house! Haha!

Most ranchers will have wheat pasture cattle from November through March. So for the next 4 months, OCC will be checking pastures, doctoring sick cattle, checking water, feeding cattle on wheat, and feeding the cows on grass and corn stalks.

One thing a lot of people don’t think about when it comes to ranching is the time it takes to do upkeep on our fences. One thing One Cute Cowboy has done a lot of this month (and will continue to do) is fix fence, build fence, and continue upkeep on fence. What I mean by that is constantly making sure the fence stays hot enough to keep the cattle in, and that means taking a new battery out to the charger every day depending on the fence. A battery will keep its charge for 3 to 4 days. You have to think about keeping your batteries charged when they’re not on the fence as well.

This month we’ve also shipped calves, along with getting some cattle shipped in (to go on wheat pasture and corn stalks.) These are a few of the good-looking steers we got from eastern Oklahoma to go on wheat pasture. One Cute Cowboy and my dad also raise registered bulls, so our little bulls also went to wheat pasture for the winter where they’ll get big for the spring.

We also had a really nice Thanksgiving at my parents. All my dad’s side of the family got together, which doesn’t happen very often. There was lots of food eaten, dominos played, and my personal favorite Scattegories! We played 13 rounds of it, it was so much fun!

My favorite part of Thanksgiving, the cranberry salad. Yum! We are incredibly blessed to live the life we do. One of our biggest blessings this year will be out baby boy in March! We had so much to be thankful for this year!

Hope you all have had a blessed November and I hope you’ve enjoyed November on the Ponderosa!

Happy December!

*ASpottedHeart

Life On The Ponderosa · Lifestyle · Rancher's Wife

October on the Ponderosa

Ranch land with cattle and pond

As promised, I wanted to share what’s been going on this month on the ranch. As I mentioned prior, “Fall works” is the moving/weaning/vaccinating that we do in the Fall. It takes a lot of time and a lot of preparation to make it all happen.

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At the beginning of this month One Cute Cowboy, my dad, and a few other cowboys started moving what cattle we had on CRP back to the ranch. CRP pastures (Conservation Reserve Program) are prior fields that were used for crops. The government has offered the farmer a program to put those fields back to natural grass; grass that either has to be mowed or grazed every three years. Ranchers and farmers will lease out their CRP pastures because if they don’t have someone graze it, by government rules, they would have to pay someone to come in and mow the grass. It’s a win/win situation for both parties. The grass is usually a good home for the cattle and it gives the grass at the ranch a “break” during the growing season to gain back growth so that we can rotate the cattle back on those pastures in the winter and spring; because we want to practice good land management. The cattle aren’t the only thing we have to think about as a rancher, you also have to think about the land and the wildlife and how to better our ecosystem.

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Once everything is back in it’s respective pastures, it’s time to start weaning the calves off of the mother cows. Usually when you hear cowboys talking about weaning day, it’s a day starting at day break and not ending until sun set (and sometimes even longer.) It’s not just separating the mamas from their babies, it’s “working” the calves as well. This usually means giving them vaccines, making sure they’re healthy and don’t need any special attention. After the crazy snow storm in May, and all the rain we received (Praise the Lord!) this Summer, we’ve had an uncommon amount of what’s called foot rot. Foot rot is an infectious disease that occurs in the hoof/foot of the cow/calf. It can cause lameness and pain in the foot if not treated properly. Sometimes this is brought on by dampness, hence all of our snow and rain. This was one of the main vaccines we gave this month. The foot rot vaccine helps to clear up those that have it, and to keep the ones who haven’t had it from getting it.

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The reason we wean the calves before marketing them is because buyers will pay more money for a calf that has been weaned for at least 45 day and received proper vaccinations before shipment to the buyers farms or ranches. We practice “fence-line” weaning. This is where the calf is kept on one side of the fence, and the mother on the other side. This allows for a lower amount of stress on the mother and calf, therefore lessening the opportunity for sickness. They’re still able to see each other, and “talk to” each other by touching noses and licking through the fence.

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Fall works doesn’t end there. Because the calves aren’t used to having to go to water on their own, each evening, the cowboys have to go out and push each pasture of calves to their watering hole, so they’ll start to learn where to go to water. They do this for two weeks along with feeding them a mixture of cake and hay until the calves are used to everything and know where to go. Usually after two weeks, they more than have it all figured out. The cowboys continue to feed though, until “shipping day”. Next Month!

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There are still other odds and ends that have to be done besides just the feedings. There are tanks to be moved, fence to be repaired, fence to be built for winter corn stalks & wheat pastures, and equipment to be kept up and baby doctor visits that have to be made. 😉

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These last two images were literally taken not but an hour ago. One Cute Cowboy working in the shop, well after dark, repairing the wire roller so he can build more fence tomorrow. A cowboy’s work is never done.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first edition of Life on the Ponderosa, monthly ranching series! Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have about life here in the Oklahoma Panhandle! The next ranching post will be at the end of November. I’ll tell you what all has been going on at the ranch for the month.

 

Happy Halloween!

*ASpottedHeart

Contact Me: aspottedheart@gmail.com or leave a message in the comments.

 

Life On The Ponderosa · Rancher's Wife

Fall works on the Ponderosa


In case you’re not used to cowboy slang, “Fall Works” is when it’s time to work/wean cattle in the Fall. One Cute Cowboy and the rest of the cowboys have spent the last couple months prepping for Fall works. Getting fence fixed, built, and making sure the mamas and calves are ready for weaning season. Docotoring anything that seems to need it, and making sure all is healthy enough to happen.

One Cute Cowboy roped a cow that needed doctoring.
One Cute Cowboy welding on some pens.

One Cute Cowboy had the idea a few weeks ago about a new monthly series I could try. I’m going to start a monthly ranching series where at the end of each month I’ll talk about what’s been going on on the ranch (or the Ponderosa as I like to call it.) I’ll still be doing my mood boards here and there, but starting at the end of this month, I’ll kick it off with October on the Ponderosa. So be looking for it towards the end of the month! I hope this is something y’all enjoy!

Happy Columbus Day!

*ASpottedHeart