Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reba Update

Some people have dogs that will DESTROY a squeeky toy in a matter of hours.
Those people are so very lucky.

Reba, our lodge dog in training will take a squeeky toy in mouth and squeek it for hours at a time.  At least it seems that way.  Some toys are forbidden when we have guests in the lodge, and there are a couple of them that will never, and I mean never be allowed in the car with us.  Never ever.

But other than that, she is settling in nicely as a lodge dog.  She is greeting people at the door and graciously excepting scratches and pets from our guests.

We hope to be able to introduce her to our horses next week.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Horse Vaulting

Last weekend, GunDiva honored Autobot and myself with tickets to a horse vaulting event.  Autobot's mom and I both thought that was a fancy name for trick riding - and was quite concerned about the future welfare of her oldest daughter's horse desires.  Not so.  Horse vaulting - as it was explained to us - is a combination of dance and gymnastics on top of a horse.  For this, large broad-backed horses are chosen.  For this event the four horses were a 18.3h Belgian, a 17h Belgian/Quarter horse cross, a 18.1h Percheron and for the smaller vaulters, a 13.2h. Halflinger ... and this is what they do with them ...
The horses are so patient, and some of the vaulters are so small ...
They get started pretty young.  Yes, those two little 'angels' performed some pretty cute stunts.  There were ballerinas, a bumblebee, angels, lots of flowers .... and each performed to a favorite song ... some with some amazing ballet moves.

We also had dinner included, plus a silent auction and a live auction.  GunDiva came home with two buckets of horse treats and I ended up with another, so our horses ought to really enjoy this summer.

On the home front, Reba the new lodge dog is starting to show her true colors; the personality is really coming through.
She can take the multitude of squeaky toys she inherited and turn them into a half hour concert!  She has also learned how to play 'pull' with the rope - and .... it takes a considerable amount of time to play her out fetching things!  On the good side, when she does get tired, she takes really good naps.  She also does a great job entertaining herself with the toys.  Her guest manners are coming along nicely.  She had a lot of practice this weekend with the Valentine's Day guests.  I guess we will keep her.

Bionic Cowgirl - who misses her horses terribly!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Meet Reba!

We have a new family member!  I hadn't realized what a funk we had gotten in since losing Sophie (the Lodge dog) last November.  We continued on with life-as-normal (as much as possible) - or so we thought.  Lots of comments along this time about needing a dog; the place just didn't seem right.  So about three weeks ago, we started the "looking" process.  We had made a list of specifics, of course:
1) must be 'user friendly' to guests; 2) younger so as to last longer; 3) mid-size, in the 50# range when full grown so as to be good outside; 4) enough hair to tolerate cold without having to 'put on a coat' every time it needed to go outside - 'cause we have more cold weather than warm up here; 5) Bill prefers female dogs, but not a necessity (he says females "pee all at once"); and last but not least  6) couldn't look too pit-bullish.  NO, we have nothing against pit bull and crosses; even have one in the family that is a great dog.  However, many guests can be cautious of dogs anyway, but way more so when they have 'the look'.

Last week, we visited the Humane Society in a local town and found a 'good' dog.  As we took her to the adoption desk, a man walked in with two grade school age girls and looked shocked to see us with the dog.  Turned out he had been in earlier with a younger child, loved the dog and went home to get the other kids to see what they thought.  He had failed to put a 'hold' on the dog, so they let us take her out for a time.  After hearing the story we opted to let them have the dog, believing that there are too many animals that need homes to argue over this one.  We believed there would be another dog we would like.

A couple days ago, Bill spotted one on the Society's website that he took an interest in:  a lab/boxer cross named Truffles (of all things).  No picture yet as she was still being processed.  Today was our first chance to go take a look.  It turned out she looked like full-blooded pit bull.  How that happened with that mixture, I don't know, but another family was interested in her also (turned out she did get adopted today also).  As we looked at the rest of the dogs, I noticed a cute little thing sitting and watching us very quietly as we walked along the cages - just like Sophie had done!  I kept going back to her so we took her out for a walk and took to her very quickly.  She was smaller than anticipated, but not so small as to be a deal breaker, so meet Reba.
They called her Della, but as I was reading the relinquish report on her, I found she had only been at the previous home for a little over two months and was given up for being 'too energetic'.  Her name prior to that was Reba and she answers very well to that name, which I definitely like better.
Obviously, she can handle Bill's 'rough treatment'; those belly rubs are pretty OK!
Right now she weighs in a tad over 33 pounds, is about 4.5 hands high at the withers.  She is a little over two years old and seems to have had some good training, although maybe she had some rough handling early in her life because things raised over her head tend to make her cower.  She is a 'cattle-dog/cross' and said to be good with livestock.  We will learn about that when the horses come home.  I do know her tail wags so fast you can't see it in the above picture!   So far, she is way more than expected and fitting in well.  Time will tell.  Stay tuned.....

Bionic Cowgirl

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ketchup Post

We have been HORRIBLE about posting on the blog lately.

"Oh, I need to blog about this, but I still have to blog about that first."

At some point, you gotta just do it.  Sadly, it ain't gunna get the time it should, 'cause I'd just put it off if it was going to take too long.

So in brief-

We went to the first week of the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas for the first time in several years.  Fun was had by all.  We will need too do it again sometime.

We celebrated Christmas.  Most of the family made it up to the lodge.  Fun was had by all.  We need to do it again sometime.

We went to help our daughter and son-in-law work with their mustangs.  Fun was had by all.  We need to do it again sometime.

We went to visit our horses who are loose on pasture outside Lyons Colorado.  Fun was had by all.  We need to do it again sometime.

We went to watch PBR bull riding at the National Western Stock Show.  Fun was had by all.  We need to do it again sometime.

We went to the "Big Thunder"draft horse show and watched the 6 and 8 horse hitches.  Fun was had by all.  We need to do it again sometime.

We went to the draft horse pull finals and 8 horse hitches show at the National Western Stock Show.  Fun was had by all.  We need to do it again sometime.

Tonight I wrote a catch-up blog.

I need to do it again sometime.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

January Recipe of the Month: Ojo de Negro Peas

It is good luck to eat black eyed peas on New Years day.  Its a southern thang.  I need all the luck I can find so here's a way you eat them if you like the flavor as little as I do.

One can black eyed peas. (drained)
One cup frozen corn. (thawed)
One quarter onion. (chopped)
Two garlic cloves. (minced)
Two strips bacon. (Ummm...Bacon)
One half tea spoon red pepper flakes. (crushed)
One cup salsa.

Mince the garlic, chop the onion and fry them in a skillet with the chopped bacon until the bacon is crisp.
Add corn, drained black eyed peas, salsa and pepper flakes.
Heat to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Some chopped jalapeno would make it even nicer....


Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Poem

 The field that's their home was going quite bare,
they spend all their days just eating out there.

 It's time to move to far greener fields,
before the grass they're eating finally yields.

 So off we went, halters in hand
to move the gang to a new bit of land.

 The two gray horses ran up to be caught
"Who was to be first?" was why they fought.

 Gathered and standing they watched while in hand,
whilst I pursued  my horse Ranger.  A cranky old man.

 "The grass is still here and I want to stay."
Said he "for at least one more night and maybe a day."

  "Ranger" said I "It's time you should go.
I don't want to chase you when it starts to snow."

 "No" said the old horse "And that is how I feel
I am not leaving this place today Beel"

 So I went in pursuit of the crusty old horse,
me trudging along and him running, of course.

 The sun was bright and the weather was warm,
and the old horse was moving with very good form.

 His thick winter coat would shimmer and flash
with each step he took in this "for freedom dash".

 So close I could get at the end of each sprint
I could darn near touch him 'fore again off he went.

 I stayed in pursuit "I'll sure make you work
If you keep on running you evil old jerk."

 At last he stopped, and he spoke with a snort-
and he put on his halter, I'm glad to report.

 To the new field we took them and then set them free.
One more day in the life, 'twix Ranger and me.


Friday, November 28, 2014

If It Ain't Broke, It Ain't Mine

It's been a while since I've posted here, because I really try to keep things kind of "upbeat".  No one wants to hear about my problems, except for my friend Bucky.  He says it makes him feel so much better about HIS life.

The month of November started off amazingly well.  Temps were in the mid to upper 30's for the lows for the first week and a half.  Then things went straight to Hades.  Except it's supposed to be warm there.  We went from 42 degrees (f) at 7am on the 10th, to 2 degrees (f) at 7am on the 11th.  For you English majors, that's 40 degree difference in one day.  And the temperatures went down from there.  Driving back from a meeting in Estes Park, we watched the thermometer go down to -24 degrees.  I walked into the lodge muttering "I'm glad I'm not a brass monkey".  It stayed below zero for DAYS.

During the very unseasonably cold stretch, an outside sewer pipe froze solid, and several water pipes in our "Sunroom" froze and ruptured, spraying water all over inside the walls.  Both of the shut-off valves for the hot water line chose the same night to fail, so I had to shut off the hot water to the entire lodge to stop the spraying water, and then scramble to find fittings to replace the broken joints before guests arrived the following night.  In case you ever need to know, PVC and CPVC fittings and pipes are not the same.  At all.

Each time I would fix one break, the next one would thaw out and spray.

I hate plumbing.

Also during this period, the wind picked up in earnest.  It has been blowing between 20mph and 80mph nonstop for the last two weeks.  We quit riding our horses, and even feeding them turned into a life threatening ordeal.  I finished the plumbing.  At least it was indoors.

We then took the horses down the mountain to stay with the "other herd"  that they stay with in the winter.  They kept crashing through the hot wire so they could bug the cows in the field next to them. After a couple trips back down the mountain to fix the hot wire, they finally decided to stay put.  Bless their pointy little heads.

All of the extra driving at sub zero temperatures made the "odd-little-grinding-noise" in the front end of the minivan turn into a "horrific-helicopter-crashing-killing-all-on-board" sound.  No way in heel was I going to work on that in the cold.  We took it to the dealer.  They tore it apart, but couldn't get the parts (both front wheel bearing/hub assemblies) until the next day.  We had to borrow my mother-in-law's Pontiac-Buick to drive home in.  I could feel myself shrinking until I could only see between  the steering wheel and the dash.  I left the blinker on.  We got the van back the next day.  Fixed, but not free.  Something about it being a quarter million miles out of warranty or something.  Crooks.

Now, last summer during our busiest, I broke a molar.  I finally got an appointment made to get it looked at during the first part of this month. At that point, they scheduled me for a root canal on the 25th (only one more shopping month til Christmas!).  Joy.  I got that done and got a temporary crown.

I think I enjoyed it more than plumbing.

On the 26th, we made the decision to put our dog to sleep.  She had been fighting seizures for a year, and was losing the battle. It was time.  Sophie the lodge dog, you will be missed.  Damn.  I'm crying again.   I'd rather have another root canal than go through that again.

Yesterday, on Thanksgiving, all the kids showed up with all of their kids and spouses.  We had two turkeys and enough sides that there was barely room for peoples plates on the table.  We even fed the folks in the two rooms we had staying with us that night.  The food was great, the conversations were great and the people were wonderful.  World problems were solved and history was rewritten.  The laughter was loud and continuous.  After the meal was over, the evening continued in much the same vein.  After all was said and done, and the leftovers were divvied up and everyone had driven back to their homes safely, I realized something.

It was a good month after all.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Loose Again!

It's that time of year again - when we turn the horses out to pasture for the winter.  They weren't as fortunate this year to get to stay at our altitude on the many acres of mountain terrain they so love.  However, they are on a nice grassy pasture, keeping a couple fellow buddies company.

We had quite a welcoming committee....
These are Ida's new passion:  we are not allowed to call them miniature cows; they are officially 'low-line' Angus.  They really are not that much smaller than their normal counterparts, but it is easy to confuse them with yearlings, although they are not.

We were surrounded!  Notice the ice on top of the trailer; that's why we moved the horses a little earlier this year.  We have already had -23* and 80 mph gusts...and winter is still a month away.  No way was I going riding.  The only days it was possible, Bill was working on frozen pipes in the lodge (water tends to gush from breaks as soon as they thaw).
Meet Audobon.  She was the love of Washoe's life when he was younger.  The first time we turned Washoe out to winter pasture, he was just two; I had only owned him a few months.  Audobon, who is about a year younger - and now stands a good hand taller - was in a neighboring pen when we first took the horses off the trailer that year.  He was beside himself trying to get to her; we had to chase him away from her several times before he would finally go off with Ranger and Jesse.  They have since been pastured together during the winter season and she was pretty glad to see him in the trailer, racing around the trailer several times before finally coming to this pose.

After a bit of excitement trying to get all the horses into a roped off corner of the pasture - to keep them away from the cows - we watched the interaction of the first get-together.  Jesse has always been the herd mare, but Audobon is quite a bit bigger than her now and I was curious to see the current status.


It's interesting to see the nuances that we miss watching horses.  In the movie, you actually miss the important parts because they happen so fast.  Bill shot these stills in sequence, and you can see just how subtle their language is.
See how the two 'herds' are separated?

Jesse has started  making her move...see how she has started moving herself away from our other two?
Now she is totally hidden by Audobon, who has turned slightly away from her.
Jesse is continuing to circle her, continuing the turn.
Now you see Jesse coming out from the back with her head in a very slight 'snaking' position.
This is the important shot; notice Jesse's left ear.  It's pointed toward Audobon, essentially asking her to go that direction.
And we have the turn, with Audobon obliging.
Moving in toward the others.
Herd mare has been established....
...and they are all grazing together as one herd.  Peaceful and no theatrics.  Boy, do they love the grass!

I already miss them terribly, but I love seeing them get to be 'free' for awhile.
Bionic Cowgirl

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


date twelve november twenty fourteen

internet down in town stop internet system repeater solar panels snow covered stop battery backup system frozen stop must post using dialup stop temperature of minus twenty three seen earlier this evening stop only one comment that comes to mind stop oh my god that poor brass monkey stop


Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Visitor

This is Ranger.  The horse.

On the day before this day Waneeta did not feed me the morning food.  Beel feeded me.  He sayed Waneeta and An-dre-a had goed to Mon-tan-na.  I think that means they were bad.

At night food Beel feeded me again.  He sayed they had picked up the strange horse and his girl in Mon-tan-na and they would be home very late.

In the very dark in the night before this day Waneeta put a strange horse in the next pen.  I would have talked to him but Beel put hay in the food place.  So I eated it.  It was not night food time and it was not morning food time.  Beel made a mistake I think.  I had to eat it.  I did not want hurt Beel's feelings.

In the sun time today I meeted the new horse.  He is nice.  That Mare likes him a lot.  The Kid does not like him at all.  It is the usual.  Beel and Waneeta and An-dre-a and the girl took us for a walk after morning food.  Waneeta gave me morning food this day.  I like morning food.

It was a good walk.  Not very far. Beel and Waneeta and An-dre-a were very mean to the strange horses girl.  They would smile and say die Anna when they talked to her.  But she never did die.  That was good because she is nice.

We stopped and the peoples all barked and chirped at each other and then we wented home.  Beel sayed that the strange horse will leave on the day after now.

I hope Beel gets me food again in the very dark time.  I would be very polite and eat it for him.

Ranger the horse.