Animals on the Ponderosa

This month I decided to do something a little different. I thought I’d let you in on what the animals, here on the Ponderosa, have been up to lately.

As you can see from the picture, the dogs all make pretty dang good babysitters. 😉 They’ve all become a little more interested in the Lil Cowboy scootin’ around, (except for Huck of course, because he’s only interested in Huck.) Lil Cute Cowboy is also starting to take a bigger interest in them as well.

I couldn’t get him to look up because he was too engrossed in what Charlie was doing!

He likes to watch them run around and growl and wrestle with each other. He thinks it’s funny when they bark, which is pretty cute. Huck has pretty much become an outside dog. Huck was our only exclusively indoor dog, the only time he really spent outside was when we were outside as well. It was so hard keeping his hair off of things in the house once we brought Little Bear home, that we made the decision to transition him into an outside dog. It was a little rough at first, but now he loves to be outside with the others and bark and play. He still gets to come in on occasion, but for the most part, he’s happy being outside. He’ll be 8 this coming November.I’m pretty sure Hershey imprinted on Little Bear. Where my Twilight readers at? But really, she loves to be wherever he is; if he’s in bed, she lays in the room, if one of us is holding him she lays at our feet, outside she’s not far from his stroller, she really loves him. Even though she doesn’t really get up in his business or anything, she’ll let him pet her (read as: pull her fur) and sometimes sneaks a lick in on him. She’s still our gentle giant (unless you’re a stranger, then she’s just a growling giant 😬) and we’re still so thankful we’ve had the opportunity to be her family.Bumper has been her usual self. She’s head Queen, and all the dogs are mere peasants, and the other cats just don’t exist in her world. She’s spent most of her summer days laying in the garage on top of the deep freeze. Ha! She loves it there. She comes out in the evenings to boss around the dogs, and see what bugs she can play with. She’ll sit outside all night and jump and bat at the bugs that dance around the mercury light. She’s starting to put her fall/winter coat back on as the evenings get cooler.

It’s just about impossible to get a picture of PongaGirl! She’s always on the go, and hunting every chance she gets. Especially those noisy locust! She’ll hunt those down to make them stop their buzzing! If she’s not off hunting she’s begging for your undivided attention, as shown above.Izzy has been at the homestead the last month hanging out with Sunny & Rooster. She said it’s not like hanging out with Tex, but they’ll do. She likes to come to the fence to ask for cake and try to nibble at Lil Cowboy’s curious hands.

Sinatra still wants “pets” 24/7 and likes to talk to you the whole time you’re in the pens. He likes to roam from barn to barn and lounge wherever it’s cool.This is our sweet pup, Poppy. She’s from Ponga’s litter last Fall. She never found a good home to go to. She makes 5 puppers on the Ponderosa. We’d really like for her to go to a good home where she has plenty of room to roam and others dogs to play with. She loves to play and roam around with the others every chance she gets. She’s very lovable and full of life!Olive or “Quonset-Kitty” as we call her. She loves to hang out with One Cute Cowboy and see what all he’s up to. She’s our sweet kitty, but she doesn’t let the dogs get away with anything, that’s for sure! Fur-cat’s favorite place to be is still in the Tac house. We have to be sure and kick her out because it gets so dang hot in there. She likes to prowl around the pens and see whatever vermin she can scrounge up. Through the summer months she likes to stay cool by napping in the hay bales.

And lastly, Charlie’s favorite place to be is anywhere she can snuggle up, inside. You can guarantee this pup will make herself scarce if it means she can be inside. Though the puppers haven’t been in much, she still tries just about everyday. Outside though, she can always find a ball for you to throw! Though she loves to chase the cats, none of them really put up with it.

I’ve got two cowboys wanting to add to the madness on the Ponderosa, but I think we’ll wait. ☺️ we do love our “cheep cheeps” though, so I bet next spring we’ll be running chickens and ducks! Haha!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little update from the fur-family on the Ponderosa. Happy Fall all! I’m so glad it’s finally September!

*ASpottedHeart

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February on the Ponderosa

February started out moving a few of the cattle off of corn stalks back to the ranch. Luckily we’ve got these portable pens. This comes in super handy, and saves a lot of time not having to load, haul, and set up panels. It’s all right there and you just “unpack” it.

We’ve continued into calving season and having babies left and right it seems. The cowboys are still checking all through the day and night. One particular night, when it was frigidly cold, I heard One Cute Cowboy coming back inside from his 2:00 a.m. check, and I heard him call my name once he came in the back door. I thought, “Oh crap! He wants me to come help him pull a calf. Should I act like I didn’t hear him?” But I got up out of bed anyhow to see if he needed my help, when I rounded the corner, this is what I saw…

This little guy was probably about an hour old when OCC went out to check heifers. Said he was just shivering, and mama hadn’t cleaned him off very good, so he brought him in the house to warm him up a bit. We gave him some colostrum and wrapped him in a blanket, put a heat lamp on him, and went back to bed while Nurse Hershey kept watch on him through the night. She is absolutely infatuated with the baby calves.

The cowboys have stayed busy to say the least. There’s a lot to pay attention to during calving season. You’re not only watching new heifers, but you’re having to watch the cows too as their calving. Just because they’ve already had one or two, doesn’t mean there still can’t be different things to watch for and complications.

One Cute Cowboy tries to ride through the cows that are calving, on horseback at least 4 days a week. You are more apt to notice if there are problems if you see the cow in her natural state, rather than chasing the feed wagon, wanting to be fed. You get a better sense of how she and her baby are getting along and if all is well. One afternoon, One Cute Cowboy called to ask if I’d bring out the drench with some colostrum. There was a mama who had had a hard labor with a pretty big calf, and the calf was real lethargic either from being so big, or the labor being so rough, so it was detrimental to get some nutrients in him to give him the energy to nurse by himself. So I drove out to the ranch and we drove out to the mama and her calf. He then told me, when he rode up on him and his mama, he looked out and there were 4 coyotes laying down in the taller grass, waiting for that mama to leave, thinking the calf would be easy prey. The smart cookie he is, he got the cows closest to them to come up and he fed them some cake near the new baby and mama, knowing good and well, that many cows wouldn’t let those coyotes anywhere near this new baby (or their own babies staying at their sides.) That can be something really cool about cattle, they really are “pack” or “family” oriented with one another. This little guy was so dang cute and he was big! He drank the colostrum right up and you could start to tell almost immediately in his eyes that he was starting to perk up some! I love the hair on a newborn calf, they’re so silky and soft. This guy was so sweet. Luckily he had a good protective mama too. If OCC hadn’t been horseback, he might not have ever seen him and unfortunately, he probably would have ended up dying from lack of protein and electrolytes to get up and have that first nursing of colostrum. A couple days later, One Cute Cowboy rode up on him sunnin’ just as content as can be! Pretty cool to know we helped save a life!

The last couple weeks the cowboys have been consolidating wheat pasture cattle in anticipation for shipping in March.

As for me, I can’t believe it’s already March!! Won’t be long now until this heifer calves out! Haha!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s ranching series! I’m always appreciative of my readers, and always glad to hear from y’all or answer any questions! Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart

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

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

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

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

Hershey Kisses

I’ve shared with you guys before my love for animals and my passion for helping and caring for animals. I had a friend call me three or four weeks ago, asking if I knew of anyone who would consider temporarily fostering a dog. One of our local doctors (actually the man that delivered me and gave me my first stitches) had had back surgery for the second time and was still in rehabilitation. His dog, Hershey, had to be taken out to the vet to board until he was well enough to go home. She’d been out there since May. (That’s the exact point my heart broke, knowing that poor pup had been living in a cement kennel for the last 3 months.) I quickly called One Cute Cowboy and told him what was going on, he immediately said, “Just tell them we’ll take her!” I was pleasantly surprised and excited to be able to help this dog out.


She’s a 5 year-old Lab (and I think) either Border Collie or Husky mix. She’s always been an inside dog, except for when she got to go on her leash or cable outside, since Dr. B doesn’t have a fenced in yard. Naturally I was worried being so out in the open here at our house that we’d have trouble with her running off. We have a nice size pen for her to stay in, but worried about just letting her out. 


For the first few days I’d put her leash on her when I’d let her out and I’d walk her around the yard, walk her with me while I watered, and finally got to the point where I’d just drop the leash and she’d follow me dragging the leash behind her. Finally I thought, this is silly, she’s fine! So we did away with the leash completely and she runs and plays and has so much fun having open spaces to run around. She’s never once tried to run off or hasn’t listened when to come back. She happily hangs out in her outdoor pen while we’re gone and runs around and sleeps on the back porch while we’re home.


She’s one of the sweetest, most loving dogs I think I’ve ever been around. She’s smart and obedient and does her best to get along with everyone and be a good dog. I’m so happy to have had this chance to foster such a loving dog soul. I think she’s truly happy and is enjoying life! She’s a sweet Hershey kiss and it makes me happy to see her happy! 🐶😊


*ASpottedHeart

Branding Season

I’m a few weeks late on this and I apologize. Hope you enjoy!


Let me be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of branding season. When I was a kid, being the youngest, I guess you’d say I had….ahem…certain privileges. Ha! I didn’t have to go out in the early morning when the rest of the crew went out, I was able to go stay with my Grandma Smith, and help her get lunch ready to take to the crew at noon. 

I loved to watch her pack her pretty picnic basket with homemade sweet pickles, homemade ground beef sandwiches, chips, and always some kind of yummy dessert, homemade of course. We’d go out and they’d gather around sitting on buckets, barrels, and tailgates ready for lunch. That was always fun to me, sitting in the shade, eating lunch with everyone.

After everyone was done eating, it was time to continue branding. Grandma always wanted to stay and “watch them brand a few.” Much to my dismay, we’d watch them brand for a little while. 

 As I got older I was enlisted to help. I did things like drive the feed pick up to help gather, fill the shots with medicine, and every now and then try to give the shots. 

As most of you are aware, I’m an animal lover, and it’s more than just an “oh I love how cute and fun animals are,” I almost feel like it’s a sort of calling. My depth of compassion for four legged creatures is deep. So you can probably imagine that branding isn’t always the easiest road for me.  There’s a lot of calves bawling, sometimes blood, and a pretty terrible smell to top it off! But branding  involves a lot more than that. There’s of course branding and tagging the cattle but also making sure they have their vaccinations and it also gives the chance to look over each animal to make sure their over-all being is doing well. The vaccinations we give helps fight disease and bacteria in each calf. It helps boost their immune systems and helps them stay healthy. In all reality, it’s one of the best things we could do for our cattle; making sure they’re at their best and none of them need any special attention. 


These days I usually end up giving part of the shots and helping make sure the syringes stay full of medicine. On occasions I get to stay at the Ponderosa making lunch and taking it out just like Grandma used to. 


Something occurred to me this year at our branding– I end up physically touching every single one of our calves during this yearly occurrence, why not try to say a quick prayer of well-being over each calf as I quickly lay my hands upon them? These animals are a vital part of our daily lives, so why not?

As I’ve grown older I’ve realized branding isn’t just something we go through the motions of each year. There’s a reason why One Cute Cowboy gets so excited when branding season rolls around, it’s because it’s a time of gathering together and all pitching in to help. It’s a time for family and friends and working hard and laughing and making traditions while practicing the old ones. It’s living out our heritages. For centuries cowboys have gathered together to do this very same thing. So it is amazing to think we’re just doing what our great-great-great-great grandfathers and grandmothers did before us. It’s pretty cool to think about being a part of something big like that. 

Maybe I’ve found some silver lining in branding season after all. 
*ASpottedHeart

Self Care

Click through for image source

Mental and emotional health is so incredible important, and it’s something I think people overlook. I recently was introduced to a Danish practice called Hygge. The Oxford Dictionary defines this as follows, 

A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture.)

This is a great practice of self-care. Taking time for yourself, relaxing, and being thankful in everyday pleasures. This blog post is the first I read on this, and it explains it in great form. The overview I get from Hygge is summed up in these few ideas:

  • Atmosphere- having a cozy place to retreat to
  • Having a heart of Gratitude
  • Comfort- think big pillows and soft blankets
  • Coziness-hot tea or coffee
  •  Connecting- whether it be with yourself, God, or others 

I know what several of you are thinking right now, “Yeah right! That sounds great and all, but I don’t have time for all of that!” 

Which is my point exactly, you have to take time for self care or you’ll fall apart or fall into someone you don’t want to be. I’ve been guilty of this as well. I want to make a conscious effort of “slowing down to smell the roses.” 
Here are some my thoughts:

  • The Art of Saying No

This is a hard one. If you’re like me, you don’t like to disappoint anyone. But I’ve learned the hard way, just because you can doesn’t always mean that you should. Sometimes things get so piled up you kind of lose yourself in trying to please everyone else, and getting done what everyone else needs for you to do. Now, I’m not saying don’t do anything. I’m just saying know your limits. Just because someone doesn’t think your plate looks as “full” as Jane’s next door doesn’t mean that it’s not full for you! It’s okay to turn stuff down, or say no when you know you can’t spend quality time on the project or if you know it’s too much to take on in this season of your life. It’s okay. My motto is, “you can only do what you can do!” So don’t feel the pressure of always having to be a yes-man.

  • Drink in quiet moments

One of One Cute Cowboys favorite things to do when it’s nice out is simply get a comfy chair, sit under a shade tree, and enjoy a peach (or a beer) and just drink in a few quiet moments outside. It’s important to have silent moments to gather thoughts, say a simple prayer, or just simply be. We live in a world full of racket, and in the words of Ferris Bueller, 

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

  • Do Something for YOU

Whether it be taking time to take a bubble bath, watch an episode of your favorite show, read a chapter in your current book, whatever it is, take the time to do you. Even if it’s just for a moment. I think it’s important for you to take in life’s little pleasures every now and again. Sometimes I think we feel almost guilty for endulging in something we enjoy, but I’m here to tell ya, it’s okay! 

  • Watch a Sunrise or Sunset

Nothing makes me feel more alive and thankful than watching a sunrise or sunset. Something about watching that big ‘ol Sun do it’s thing is absolutely magical to me. God has an amazing color palette! I’m always in awe of His magnificents. While we’re on the subject, there’s something very majestic about the moon as well. I feel incredibly at peace when I can look up into the stary, night sky and see a big beautiful moon. I just think it’s important to be appreciative of the beauty around you, it’s  there if you just look.

  • Journaling/Praying/Listening to Music

My whole life I’ve found journaling is one of my favorite outlets, I guess that’s why I like this whole blogging thing. 😉  I’ve kept journals my entire life and it helps me emotionally and spiritually. To me journaling and praying go hand-in-hand. Seems like if I start out journaling, I start a conversation with God. It helps me to get all of my thoughts, worries, hopes, and dreams  out on paper. One of my favorite things to do is listen to my record player while I journal or even blog. I’ve got some really great vinyls that are perfect for mellowing out. Music can be powerful and incredibly therapeutic. 

  • Spend Time With an Animal

You guys, animals are so incredibly intuative. I can’t tell you how often coming home to my dogs (cats, horses, and calves) is a completely calming experience after a rough/long day. I can remember when I lived in Tennessee I’d come home and just lay in the floor with my pup, Huck. Especially those times I was homesick or just felt down on my luck. They have such a calming, knowing presence about them. I’ve always been a dog-lover and I firmly believe dogs are man’s best friend…you can’t convince me otherwise. I think it’s good for the mind, heart, and soul to have a furry companion in your life.

  • 5 minutes

Take 5 minutes in the morning (or evening.) Grab a hot tea or a cup of coffee and just meditate on your day, pray, write…do whatever you want in those 5 minutes, but give yourself 5 minutes to just be. 


Something Hygge stresses is having a space to do these type of things. A comfortable, safe atmosphere, a place of relaxation. I dream of a little reading nook with fluffy blankets, twinkle lights, and comfy pillows. But I definitely don’t have to have all of that to simply spend a little time on me.

I hope this has helped some of you that are finding it hard to juggle everything life throws at you. I’m obviously no expert, these are all just my own thoughts and opinions, there’s a world of things out there to see and explore. Don’t limit yourself. I’d love to hear what some of your self-care tips are!

*ASpottedHeart

Summer Solstice

Am I the only one who has been in complete denial that not only is it summer, but almost JULY?! I just can’t get excited about hot weather, I’m a fall and winter gal through and through, but summer does have its perks: pretty flowers, fresh fruits and veggies, warm nights, grilling out, and longer daylight to be out with the animals. Here’s what’s keeping me motivated and inspired (as hard as it is in this heat) this June. Hope you enjoy!










What inspires you in the summertime? What’s you’re favorite way to stay cool in the summer?