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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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

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

 

 

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.

 

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

Spring on the Ponderosa 

I’ve got a couple of different posts in the works, and hopefully one about some of my favorite oils that’ll be done soon. In the mean time, here’s what life’s looked like lately on the Ponderosa.

Siamese cat smelling a lilac bush

Bumper is obsessed with the lilac bushes and the little critters that flutter around them.

One Cute Cowboy feeding the bulls.

My niece cut me some lilacs from her house.

The Cowboys doing cowboy things.

Angus babies!

We planted 49 saplings the past two days.

He’ll always be my lapdog.

There’s a little glimpse into my life lately. I’ll have some new posts up soon! Happy Friday!

*ASpottedHeart

Life Lately…

Just a little photo update on things around the Ponderosa lately.

We’ve had some beautiful sunsets.


First okra of the season!


Riley was in the US Army and is a war Veteran. My mom and sister found this United States Army flag so we’ve been finding a place for it to proudly wave.


A lady I work with saved 4 baby bunnies and brought them to work so she could feed them when needed. Made my day.


Riley celebrated his 30th birthday this past month!


Huck & Charlie have been playing a lot of fetch/keepaway .


That kind of sums up life lately! What have you all been up to this summer?