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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Monday, December 26, 2011

December Recipe of the Month... Elephant Stew

This time of year, we are always looking for good stew recipes.  A guest gave us this one several years ago.

Elephant Stew

1 large elephant, cut into bite sized pieces

2 rabbits

Cook elephant in large stew pot over outside fire.  Simmer for 4 weeks until tender, stirring occasionally.

This will serve 3,800 people.  If more people come, add the rabbits.  DON"T do this unless necessary, because most people don't like hare in their stew.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, all!

More welcome than Santa...
"Mare-y " Christmas (and Gelding New Year!)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Less Favorite Walk. By Me. Ranger the Horse.

One of the two legged barn apes that hangs around here (Estes's human) has a contest for bad walks.  She sayed that Beel or Nita can't enter the contest, I think cause they are her parents or cause they have a bunch of bad rides that would scare people.  So Beel sayed I could tell a story.

Early one day, in the still dark, a few summers ago, I saw Beel drive away with the rolling horse house behind the stinky truck.  I thought that was kind of weird, cause there weren't no horses in it.  But peoples do really confusing stuff all of the time, so I didn't think much about it.  He came back later in another car, without the wagon.

Beel and another gal, Elsa walked up to me and caught me and another horse I knew a little bit, Coontail.  They strapped the chairs on our backs, put the iron bars in our mouths and said we were going for a LONG walk today.

I hate when that happens.

The sun had been back working again for just a few chews when we left.  We went up the trail like we mostly do, and everything was usual.  We walked a LONG time, and finally got to the far-place, where we ALWAYS turn around.


We kept walking and went down a steep trail, and crossed a HUGE, RAGING, RIVER!  It was so full, Beel's feets almost got wet while he was sitting in my back chair!  Okay, he's purdy tall and I'm purdy not tall, but still.  Then we walked next to  the raging river for a LONG time.  Finally Beel and Elsa told Coontail and me to stop, and they took the chairs off and the iron bars out of our mouths so we could eat.

We had stopped at the BEST PLACE ON EARTH!  Warm sun!  Lots of sweet grass!  A whole river of water to drink!  Beel had finally done it.  He found horse heaven.  He done good.  While we were all eating, I heard the peoples talking.  "Well, we are almost halfway there."

What?  No, you don't understand.  We ARE there, Beel.  Where else would we want to be?  You are talking like a dog.  We can just stay here and eat.  We don't have to run around just to run around, that would be crazy!  But the chairs went back on, and the bars back in after just a taste of sweet, sweet grass.  Okay, maybe it was more that one bite, but still...

We walked along the river for a long time, and then went up a cliff.  It was terrible.  It went straight up and almost hit the sun!  Beel MADE me go.  It was terrible.  I stopped halfway up and told him he was a lunatic.  He kicked and swatted and cussed, but I had made my mind up.  No. More.

He finally climbed off and led me. "Oh, okay." I thought.  "If you are willing to climb the cliff, I guess I'll follow."

We climbed for many, many steps, until finally we ran out of hill.  "That was terrible." I told Beel.  "If it was so flipp'n horrible, why did Coontail make it just fine?" Beel yelled very meanly.  "Because Elsa is very small, and you are a BIG DUMB MONSTER." I stated.

Beel climbed back into my back chair and we went along the trail at the top of the cliff for a long, long time.  Then the trail ran into a gravel road.

I HATE gravel roads.  The gravels hurt my poor bare feet.  There was a LOT of gravel road.

We finally reached a gate.  Beel got off of my back and sayed "It's locked."

His brain must have been cooked by the sun, 'cause he can ALWAYS open gates.

Not this time.

He took my lead rope and walked for EVER down the fence till he found a loose spot in the wires.

Now, let me tell you about barbed wires.  THEY HURT!  They cut you and make you blood all over your chest and they are about the scariest things ever (except for flags).

Beel stepped on the wires until they smashed to the ground, and then he MADE ME STEP OVER THEM!!!  I am really brave, so I did after a while.  Then Coontail saw how brave I was, and he walked over them, too.  Beel tied the wires on to the little posts, and we went back to the road.

It would have been easier to use the gate.

We went down the road for a long, long time until we finally got to the WORST PLACE ON EARTH.  There were houses, dogs, the gravel road, parked cars, mail boxes, FLAGS!!!  I couldn't believe it.

I stopped.  "YOU ARE THE WORST LEADER EVER, BEEL.  WE WENT FROM HEAVEN TO HELL, AND I AM NOT HAPPY."  I wouldn't ever move again.  He kicked, and swatted, and cussed.  But I had made my mind up.  No. More.

He finally climbed off and led me. "Oh, okay." I thought.  "If you are willing to walk in hell, I guess I'll follow."

We walked for a LONG time, and suddenly, the houses were gone, the dogs were gone, the parked cars were gone, the mail boxes were gone  and the FLAGS were gone!  Okay, this was better.  Beel climbed back on my back and we walked for a LONG time.

Then we got to a place I remembered!  GRASS!  NICE TRAIL!  WATER!  And suddenly we were at the rolling horse house and stinky truck!  I jumped right in, 'cause it ALWAYS goes to a good place, and it was getting dark.

That was my most horriblest walk ever, cause I thought for sure Beel had lost his mind.

I'm glad he found it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Decor

Sunday one of our grandsons wandered up to Juanita and I and said "I think the neighbor dog took something off one of the logs out front."

"Na."  we said.  "Ingrid's always bringing over balls and toys for us to throw for her." (Ingrid.  What else do you name a German Shepard?)

Looked out the window and saw she did indeed have not 1, not 2, but 3 balls at her feet.  Guarding them and wagging her tail.

Oh man, those aren't her balls, those are Christmas ornaments off the posts out front.

Kid says..."I TOLD you so."

When I was a kid, we always cut the family tree in the national forests down in New Mexico.  My parents BOTH had slightly off kilter senses of humor, so our Christmas trees were usually rather... odd.

 I attempted to keep up the tradition with my family, but could rarely talk them into a "good" tree more than every other year.  If you ask them about their past Christmas trees, they will mostly contort their bodies into a rough approximation of one mutant tree or another while trying to describe one.

This year, we had a couple friends offer to cut us a tree when they went to cut their own.  They know me so we got this...

 I love the trunk.  This poor tree survived at least 3 other attempts at killing it for decoration.

Juanita made me decorate it.  So I did.

Makes me happy.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tanks for Nuthin

The small stream our horses drink from is freezing up.  Happens every year.  So today I drug our 100 gallon Rubbermaid water tank over to the corral.

The grays watched me drag and haul the tank into the pen with great interest, and then ignored me once I quit pushing it around.

Ranger, however, flipped his lid.

"What are you doing, Beel?  That is a bigblackscareything and you LEFT IT IN MY PEN!  Are you CRAZY?!?"

So, I walked over to Ranger, took my belt off, and was going to put it around his neck and lead him over to the tank and make him touch it.

"NO.NO.NO.NO!" he says.

And I spent 10 minutes chasing him around the pen trying to catch him.

Chasing Ranger around reminded me of when I first got the old mustang.  He was 9 or 10 years old, and had never been handled.  He was pretty sure he knew all he needed to know, and one of the things he knew was I was not going to get ANY WHERE NEAR him.

I can not rope.  At all. Period.  But that was the only way I was going to catch him.  So I started to learn.

33 tosses and a catch.
27 tosses and a catch.
24 tosses and a catch.
21 tosses and a catch.

Each time I would rope the horse, I would gently touch him/brush him/give him some grass.  Then I would release him.

16 tosses and a catch.
15 tosses and a catch.
13 tosses and a catch.

By the time I could rope the horse in 3 or so tosses, I was getting pretty proud of myself.  Until Juanita pointed out that by this time, Ranger wasn't running in terror from me, but trotting slowly at ropes length holding his neck out to make it easy for me to rope him and be nice to him.

To this day, I must walk up to him swinging my lead rope over my head, and then drop the end over his neck before he is "caught" and will let me put his halter on him.

As I was chasing Ranger with my belt, I realized what I was doing.

I swung the belt over my head a couple times and he walked up to me.  I dropped the belt over his neck, led him over to the tank.

He told me "Golly, Beel.  It's just a water tank.  Why was you so scared?"

Sometimes I forget MY training and Ranger has to remind me.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rodeo 101

A Rodeo Primer

When Juanita and I get tired of watching people and animals at the lodge, we take a break and go to a rodeo.  Where we watch people and animals in an arena.  This year we were not able to go the the Rodeo National Finals in Las Vegas, missing it for the first time in years.  But we are still thinking about it.

Some of you may not know much about rodeos so here is a short description of the events.

Rough stock events: Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding.  Cowboys try to stay seated on an animal that is trying to get rid of them.  They attempt to ride for 8 seconds in a row.  Half of the points (up to 50) are determined by the animal, the other half (also up to 50, ain’t math GREAT!?!) are awarded to the cowboy.  Touching themselves or the animal with their free hand disqualifies the cowboy.

Timed events (Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie Down Roping, Barrel Racing) are, well, timed events.  Fastest time wins.  Penalties are given in seconds for infractions, adding to final time.

Bareback Riding:

Probably my favorite event.  The horses are smaller, and appear to be bucking harder than the other "rough stock".  The cowboys in this event look like they are being BEAT HALF TO DEATH.  

The horses seem to be having fun.

Saddle Broncs:

This may be my favorite event.  The skill of the cowboys, and the technique that they demonstrate in the spurring to the rhythm of the animals bucking is just amazing to watch. 

 These horses also seem to be having fun trying to unload the fools.

Steer Wrestling:

Quite possibly my favorite event.  Huge cowboys leaping off of horses traveling at 30 miles per hour onto the ground and grabbing the head of a 600 pound steer running at 30 miles per hour, dragging it to a stop, and twisting it over onto its back.  Sheer genius.  

The horses are having a good time, the steers, maybe not so much.  They're pretty annoyed.

Team Roping:

This has got to be my favorite event to watch, because it isn't possible.  One cowboy ropes the head of a calf (Okay, I can see how you can do that), but the other cowboy ropes both hind legs, and then they stretch the little booger out.  How in the heck can you throw a rope around both hind legs of a 4 legged critter running away from you full speed while you are sitting on a running horse.  Just can't be done.

  Horses having fun, calves... well, mostly just kinda surprised.

Tie Down Roping:

I may like this event the best because of the sheer number of things that MUST go right to get a good score.
From horseback, you rope a calf, tie the roped off calf to your saddle, as you jump off your horse, your horse backs up just enough to keep the calf from running off.  Then you run over, throw the calf down, and tie together its legs in the least amount of time possible.

Bovine bondage at its best.  The horses usually know and enjoy their job.  Calves are again, surprised.

Bull Riding:

I find I root for the animals more than the cowboys in most events, so this one is my favorite.  Smallest cowboys, largest rough stock.  Remember those little cattle in the other events?  I think the bulls are just getting even. They try to buck the cowboys off of their backs, and then turn to kill them.  
Bulls are DEFINITELY having a good time.    The surviving cowboys seem happy, too. (Maybe just glad to be alive...)
Applause to the rodeo clowns, they really save lives in this event.

Barrel Racing:

Okay, this is ABSOLUTELY my favorite.  Pretty girls and fast horses.  What's not to like?

Not much of a race though.  The horses ALWAYS win.  The barrels hardly ever even MOVE.



It's baking weekend.

Mom and Bill have left the building.

I'm not sure if that means: A) after thirteen years of baking weekends, they finally trust that we won't burn the lodge down; or B) they can't stand to watch us messing up the kitchen and they just had to leave; or C) they can't stand to watch us messing up the kitchen and they hope that we burn the lodge down so they don't have to see the kitchen.

I'm an optimist - I say it's option A.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Baking Day Readiness

Am I ready for this?  Heck no!  Are we gonna' have fun?  You betcha'!

Every year for the last - oh - 13 or so years, we have had a baking day/weekend extravaganza.  I open up the Lodge kitchen to our kids and their/our friends for a huge cookie/treat baking marathon.  That's what it has turned into - a marathon.  Everyone brings an assortment of recipes and most of their own ingredients, and then my big kitchen and cookery get put to use, and it is a huge amount of fun, I get to see lots of new ideas and a tremendous amount of goodies spew forth, until both big tables are covered with entice-ables.

Wish me luck, keeping my sanity.  I'm getting better (with age) at not being quite so anal about how things are done in MY kitchen ... but it's tough!  Watch for GunDiva's blogs, complete with pics.
Bionic Cowgirl - turned kitchen  monitor for the next two days.