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

3 Years of Advice❤


This past week One Cute Cowboy and I celebrated 3 years of marriage! If you were to ask him, he’d say it’s felt like 3 minutes under water…(insert a huge eye-roll from me.) He jokes, but it’s definitely been an adjustment for the both of us, because we were both pretty established in our ways prior to meeting. Needless to say we’ve learned what seems like a lot in our three years. We definitely don’t have it all figured out, but I wanna share a few things that we do have figured out.

Don’t go to bed mad.

Okay, so this seems cliche at the very least, but this is such a true piece of advice. I’ve heard this my whole life, and all-be-danged if it hasn’t popped in my mind when I’ve been lying in bed fuming about something or other. I’ve always found if I go ahead and talk it out, I feel a whole lot better than if I hold onto that through the night and wake up in a funk. I think it’s safe to say it’s always good to clear the air before stepping into a new day.

Compromise

This is one of One Cute Cowboy’s pieces of advice. He says, “It’s always good to compromise in any situation because marriage isn’t a job you can walk away from, it’s a job you’re continuously having to work at and make work.” 

It just makes your whole married world a lot easier to give a little every now and then. In marriage it’s no longer only “your needs” but “his/her needs” as well. Meeting in the middle most certainly isn’t always the easiest task, but in the end it becomes easier (and better) than being angry  with one another. 

Sing together 

One of our favorite things is just driving around listening to good music and singing along to our favorite songs. My point with this one is actaully do stuff together even if it’s the little things. Enjoy each other’s company and enjoy just being around one another. Take time to do little things together even if it is just going to cake cattle together and have time to chit-chat and sing-along to some of your favorite songs. Some of those small moments together have been some of our best conversations.


Be each other’s friend

This one kinda goes without saying. But sometimes I know Riley doesn’t always  want to hear about my latest buy, or how I need my eyebrows waxed (eek!) or my celebrity gossip (everyone has that one celebrity they follow-up on, am I right?) but he listens just like a friend would. He’s without a doubt my soul companion, but on top of that he’s my friend. He listens to me when I’m sad, or angry, or gushing about something completely ridiculous, he’s there to listen. That’s something that’s very much appreciated. 

Apologize (and admit when you’re wrong)

Spoiler alert: you won’t always be right. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the fact that Riley and I are both red-heads so I think it’s safe to say we’re both pretty dang hard-headed and can both be a little ahem, hotheaded. Needless to say neither of us like to admit when we’re wrong, but marriage does a funny thing to you. It’s like once you say “I do,” you’ve swallowed this truth serum, that makes you admit when you’re wrong. Haha! I joke, but it’s best to think of it that way. Pride will get you no where but by yourself. Even though sometimes it’s a pretty hard rock to swallow, in the end you realize it only makes you feel better to say you’re sorry and admit you were wrong. Here’s the kicker, sometimes you say you’re sorry even if you weren’t in the wrong! One Cute Cowboy and I will both attest to this one, it’s not always about being right or wrong, but to be forgiving and gracious to one another. 

And last but not least…

Always end the day with I Love You

At the end of the day whether it’s been the best day or the worst day, reminding your love to one another is the best way you can end it. When I hear those words from my cowboy it reassures me that through thick and thin we’ll be okay and reminds me that we’re doing just fine.


Well, that’s all I’ve got. I know it’s not ground-breaking advice and it’s certainly nothing compared to 30+ year advice married couples could tell you, but it’s a few things we’ve learned so far. We’re in no means perfect, but we sure try to love each other through our imperfections. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! 

*ASpottedHeart

P.S. Always remember to tilt your head when you kiss a Cowboy. Those cowboy hats aren’t going anywhere, ladies!

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? 

As of lately…

Summer Nights

Happy Flowers

Ponga & OneCuteCowboy taking a siesta


Indian Blankets

Chief & Mott ready for supper


Huck acting unimpressed with my drill flowers


Just a few snapshot from my life lately. 

Happy Wednesday, friends! 

Home,Home on the Range

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I come from a long lineage of cattle ranchers. Cowboys and cowgirls on both sides, fill up my family history and  family stories, so naturally, I married One Cute Cowboy and decided to carry on the tradition.

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Last weekend, after spending the winter on corn stalks, our 70 head of black Angus cows  finally headed back to the homestead. A ranch that has been in my family for 4 generations.

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My husband and dad are cattle partners. Luckily they make a pretty good team.

For me, it’s always nice to see the cattle back at the ranch, enjoying “Home.” Of course, I know it’s good to give the land a break, and we’re very thankful for the farmers that let us lease their fields for the winters, but it’s just nice to see them in the House Pasture once again where soon we will have little babies running around of which we will enjoy and the generations of cattle on the Smith Ranch will carry on!

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