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

Gifts

Christmas time is here, my favorite time of year! I can’t help but think of my Grandma Smith this time of year. She was always so cheerful at Christmas (she was cheerful year round!!) but you could tell how much she enjoyed the Christmas season. She always sent out tons of Christmas cards and would receive more than you could imagine. She loved displaying all her received cards where everyone could see. When she’d get more than she could display, she’d start stacking them in a basket. I bet she got over 100 a year, it was amazing.

She not only stayed busy with sending and receiving cards and letters, she made so many baked goods during the holidays. As well as visiting the nursing home and talking with the residents there and usually taking a small gift of cookies or an Upper Room devotional. She was a very thoughtful lady, always giving of her time and love. She would also receive many fruit baskets, and flowers, and baked goods. She was very loved, but she also loved so much back I don’t know how she ever kept up.

In our church this Advent season the theme is Gifts. This past Sunday our preacher, Rusty, spoke about using our gifts for the better good of the world. Recognizing what our gifts are, and what our gifts aren’t. Knowing how to use our gifts, and willingly using those gifts to bless others and glorify Him.

“Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” —1 Peter 4:10

When our preacher was speaking about this, I continuously thought of Grandma. She had so many gifts that she used diligently for the sake of good, and to glorify our King. She never questioned her gifts, she just did as she saw fit and worked with the hands God had given her. She was known for her baked goods, for her sincerity, for her many letter and cards, and she had a way of making you feel significant and special. Her gifts were abundant, and she never shied away from them. God had gifted her with the gift of comfort. You always left her house with your cup filled, whether that be a belly full of yummy cooking, a head full of scripture, or a heart full of love—she knew how to comfort you in whatever way needed.

I certainly don’t have the gifts she did, but that’s okay, not all of us are going to be gifted in the same way. What’s important is knowing what gifts you’ve been given, and using them the best way you can. Not shying away from them or hiding them away, but to use them to bless others and glorify our King.

I always knew there was a lot to be learned from my Grandma, and now I’m seeing even after she’s gone, I’m still learning. Use your gifts, whatever they may be, and maybe by doing so, we can use all our different gifts together to make this world a little better place.

5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working , but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” —1 Corinthians 12:5-6

There’s no doubt in my mind, when Grandma walked through those pearly gates, and stood in all of God’s glory, He smiled at her and simply said, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Grandma and I at Christmas circa ’14

May you use your gifts this Christmas season!

*ASpottedHeart

Winter Wonderland: A December Mood Board

December can be such a glittery, beautiful, enlightening month. I truly am a winter child, though I’m sure One Cute Cowboy would shake his head, since he’s out in it all day, every day. Needless to say he’s not as much of a fan of good ‘ol Winter. Christmas in the 50’s (or maybe just the 50’s in general) always inspires me so my Christmases always have a strong 50’s influence. These are the things that light my heart and make me swoon this December! Hope you’re all having a beautiful one!