May on the Ponderosa

Well, here we are starting into June. My oh my, how summer has rushed upon us! It’s been in the upper 80’s low 90’s the last couple weeks, which feels insane to be that warm already. But I will say, we’ve had some nice little thunderstorms! We’re always thankful for rain!!

This month has been full of more brandings for One Cute Cowboy. 2,900 calves in 21 days to be exact!

Started the month off with finishing up the branding at the ranch headquarters and has been gypsy jumping around from ranch to ranch “dayworking” (helping other ranches for a short time), all month!

This time of the year is tough on cowboys because not only are they working long hard days but they have to get their normal jobs completed and cows checked and problems dealt with on their own ranches after “dayworking” for the other ranches. Needless to say, they can turn into VERY long days! No one ever said being a Cowboy’s wife would be easy.

OCC had the yearly branding at my in-laws in New Mexico, just on the other side of Kenton, Oklahoma this month as well. Once again, Lil Cute Cowboy and I decided to stay home since it would be hot, windy, and dusty. This mama bear is still a little overly protective. ☺️

The brand on the calf pictured above is One Cute Cowboy’s great grandpa’s brand. It’s been in his family for 5 generations! Agriculture is all about tradition you know. It’s neat to know that the calves have received this same brand for all of these years.

The bulls of the ranch were finally happy to be placed out in their different pastures for the summer. It’s important to make sure and give the bulls and cows a break from one another. Some of the bulls will be gathered back up in July, and some will get to stay with the cows until October.

Speaking of bulls, we got all of our registered bulls delivered this month as well. It’s a good feeling to have them all placed at good ranches .

One Cute Cowboy and I have our own little herd that got vaccinated and branded this month too. Have I ever told you about Mama, the friendly cow? She’s an older cow that Riley and I got in our first herd right after we got married. She is such a sweetheart, she’ll come right up to eat cake out of your hand (she’s actually usually up in your business trying to see if you actually have any cake in your hands to snatch up!) She always throws us a good little bull calf each year, which we’re always happy to see! She’s talked one of the other mamas into coming up to us too. We call this ‘ol gal Sister.

One of the biggest changes this month on the Ponderosa is I went back to work at my 9 to 5. It’s been incredibly hard leaving Little Bear everyday, but we’re getting more of a routine down and learning and growing. I try to remind myself to just be in the moment and not to dwell on not being with him all day. It’s definitely hard on this mama!

This Lil Ranch Kid is growing like crazy and smiling and laughing and just so much dang fun! Our hearts are full here on the Ponderosa.

Happy June!

*ASpottedHeart

April on the Ponderosa

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get April posted. It’s been a busy month for both OCC and I. Please bare with this mama while she gets her blogging-legs back under her. 🙂

Seriously?! It’s May??! How? When?! I can’t believe how time is flying. Oh don’t mind me, I’ve just been at home snuggling little bear and soaking up every second I possibly can with him. With that said, One Cute Cowboy has to give me the run down on what’s all been happening on the Ponderosa.

One Cute Cowboy spent the first couple weeks of April STILL feeding cows, checking calves and fixing fence and beginning to make sure all the fences were good for the summer. That way he’s not having to work on a lot of fence in the heat of the summer months. Some may not think of fences when they think of cowboying, but it’s a constant job to keep up.

We have a few cows left to calve but we finally finished up calving all but one out of 106 heifers. The babies are now out in the pastures with their mamas, learning the ropes of being on the ranch. It’s always fun to see those sweet babies all playing together, running around and kicking. I absolutely love baby calves!

Have I ever mentioned we raise registered black angus bulls? One Cute Cowboy and my dad have bulls available all the time. Before selling these bulls they have to vaccinate them, and test the bulls sperm count, making sure they’re ready to perform their jobs before shipping them out to the customer. They want to ensure they’re sending out the best possible bull they can and to achieve that, they test them and keep their vaccines up to date. To do this, they have to haul all 20 to the vet in town. It’s quite the job since most of the time it’s the little guy’s first trip to the big city! It also couldn’t be done without our incredible vet Rusty Murdock and the gals at the clinic!

In the ladder end of the month it was time for the cowboys to put what they call “cidrs” into the cows that will be AI’d. In short, what this does is it makes the cow more fertile and gives her a higher pregnancy rate along with giving the Cowboys more of an exact date of when the calves will be born because it puts the entire herd in the same time frame of fertilization. The cidr goes in for exactly 7 days and then they take the cidrs out and 63 hours later, on the dot, a vet comes out to AI the cows. After they AI’d, Lil’ Cute Cowboy, my mom (Yia-Yia), and I took lunch out to the cowboys and LCC said hello to the cows…or they said hello to him.

See the little guy in the background? He wanted to see this new little “bull calf” but wasn’t quite sure how close to get. 😉

Cutest little bull calf I’ve ever seen! 😍

In the last weekend/week of April, One Cute Cowboy started helping the neighbors with their annual spring brandings. There are going to be A LOT of them! He gets grumpy, and tired but he lives for spring works! And, there will be plenty of stories to be told of them in June! We also had our first family branding as well!

I’m fairly certain the wind blew 9-0 the entire month of April so needless to say Lil’ CC and I didn’t get out to the branding, or outside much in general. But we did go with One Cute Cowboy to doctor a calf one day…

And went out to watch him trim Rio another day.

And we took a short walk another nice day.

That pretty much wraps up April. All-in-all it felt like an incredibly fast, but packed month. Here we are already a week into May! I just can’t believe it!

Happy Thursday!

*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