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

Once Upon A Summer: A Mood Board

I’m not real sure what’s happened to the summer, it’s almost the end of July! It’s been a good, though hot, summer. I have found it a little hard to stay motivated and inspired lately. What can I say, I’m a cool weather girl, it’s what makes me feel creative and alive, and this heat just zaps me of any creative juices or motivation. About 11:30 at night I start to come alive! 🌙

I’m posting these things today in hopes of a kick of inspiration! Hope y’all enjoy!










Happy Saturday!
*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

May Inspiration 

May has been such a weird month. We started out with snow and have had lots of rain and wind. It’s flown by and I feel like it’s been a complete whirlwind of a month, yet it’s lasted forever. I realized I hadn’t posted a mood/inspiration board for this month! So here are some things that have been in my mind’s eye this month, keeping me motivated and inspired.

Can you tell I’ve been day dreaming about a new bathroom? 🙂 I enjoy doing this inspiration/mood posts, because it helps me express my mood and feelings and inspirations of that month. It helps give me a vision for the month at hand. Do you, my followrs, enjoy them or would you rather see me do a different type of “monthly series?” Let me know in the comments below! Or e-mail me at aspottedheart@gmail.com

I’d love to hear from you!!

Snow Days…in April/May


So I don’t know if any of you lovelies have heard, but my part of the country has been under about 12-14inches of snow. Yup, you read that right. A blizzard rolled in on April 29th, and we’ve been without power since. Luckily One Cute Cowboy is a smart cookie and wired our house up where we could hook up his welder for electricity. Thank the Lord for cowboys! 


So yesterday he and I blazed a trail from our house to my parent’s house, him in the front-end loader and me in my car behind him. A 5 minute drive, took us a little past 2 hours to make. There were drifts 7-8ft high on the road. We made it over there so he and my dad could go to our cattle with babies (and my donkey Izzy–she’s been on baby patrol) that’s about 25 miles North of town. Luckily a lot of the highway was fairly cleared off, but there’s 10 miles of dirt road that took some time. It took them all of 6 hours to get it all done, and praise God all the mamas, babies, and Izzy were doing good. They left a bale of hay for them and headed back. 


Today the cowboys are out looking for/checking all of our cattle and babies. You see, here in the OK Panhandle, when snow comes in and then the wind blows across the plains at 45mph, it causes huge drifts on fences and the cattle just simply walk over. They can get as turned around in a snow storm as we can. So there have been cattle out all over the place, and in different pastures so they’re making sure all are accounted for. 


On the electricity, town and country run on different lines, but the same company. Ours went out about 6:00 Saturday evening, and town’s went out around 10:00 that same night. The winds blew so hard and the rain and snow made the lines so heavy, that over 600 poles were down and they’re predicting to be without electricity for the next few days. So with that said, my mom and I drove to a near-by town, about 45 minutes away and filled up gas cans for our welder and the pickups (no electricity=no gas pumps in town) and got some groceries and dog/cat food, and headed home. 

I got home to see a baby calf had been born in our pens (Yes we’re still in calving season, read all about it here.) Keep in mind we got near 2 in. Of rain before the snow, so our pens are pure mud, and I’m not talking a little muddy, I’m talking almost over my Muck boots, muddy! So this baby is standing (thankfully) and is stuck in mud. So I go in, and you know how mud can just suck you down in, like a vacuum affect, that’s what this little calves’ legs were doing, so I put one arm under his neck and the other around his bottom and pulled with all my might. He’s about a 60lb little calf. I got him out, much to his mama’s disapproval, but got him to a cleared off little paddock and let the mama out there with it. After that I hopped on our 4-wheeler (it’s now 65 degrees, what in the world is happening?!) and came to check on our bulls. I drove down here, and all were here, but there’s a baby sunning in the corner. So I call the cowboys, and they said that’s one that we’re missing in another pasture. (Once again, Praise the Lord!) 


So now, I’m just lounging on the 4-wheeler, waiting for the cowboys to come from headquarters to get the baby and take it to its mama. It’s been an eventful few days.

**Update**

The cowboys came and we loaded the calf up and we had to load the calf on the 4-wheeler because it’s too muddy to get a trailer to it.



I bring to you, the calf wagon! Happy Monday, friends! 

*ASpottedHeart