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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Now That Christmas Is Over

I can *finally* share my bestest Christmas present ever.

Not for me, one I made for Beel.

Back in September, Rachel did a post/give-away from Atticus and Cole.  I loved looking through the embroidered pictures and a plan began to form in my head, so I dragged Jay along to the fabric store and I bought all the stuff I would need. If Atticus and Cole could do a piece based in Itty Bit's art, certainly I could figure out how to do some of my favorite of Bill's "fine art".

It has literally been twenty years or so since I've attempted any embroidery and I had to buy all new stuff.  I didn't even think to ask Mom, who has drawers full of floss and hoops and needles and stuff.  I am such an idiot sometimes.

I went through and picked three of my favorites and got started.  I'm hardly an artist, and getting Bill's art from the computer was a problem.  Luckily, I'm married to an artist, who did a great job of forging Bill's work onto the cloth.

Along the way, I sent pictures to Rachel, since she was the one who gave me the idea.  It's a good thing I did, too, because she was thinking along the same lines.  I owe her a big apology for stealing her Christmas idea for Bill.  Oops.  Sorry, Rach. 

I started on this one:

Bill is was notorious for falling off of Ranger
while trying to take pictures.

Lucky for me, Mom and Beel went on vacation and my favorite story ever occurred.  As Mom was telling me about Ranger jumping into Beel's arms, I could picture this:

I told Mom that Bill had to illustrate his post so that I could do this:

By this time, I was pretty much over embroidery, but I still had one more bar towel to do, so I took a couple of Ranger faces as a start and morphed it into Ranger's favorite thing:

There is a video somewhere of Beel opening his present.  Jay and I couldn't be there because we were being quarantied for influenza A over Christmas.  Mr Nebalee took the video, but Facebook isn't being very nice and I can't see it.  If I can't see it, I can't steal it to post.  Which is a bummer, because I've been told it was good.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Post Christmas Tail

Tis the 'morn after Christmas, and all through the inn,
not a critter is stirring 'cause we're sleeping in.

When the phone by the bedside clanged with it's bell,
and I jumped from bed yelling "What in the...heck?"

The caller was Ida, boarding each and 'ery horse,
and if a problem arises, she calls us, of course.

"Some one driving the highway saw a horse out the fence"
Nita and I said to each other "Only Jesse's that dense."

So we jumped in our boots, and piled into the truck,
and drove down to the pasture to find the

We found prints where a horse had jumped 'oer the gate,
and run down the road, but turned back none to late.

We hiked down the fence line following the horse track,
and found where it jumped to finally get back.

We trudged a bit further, and found our whole herd.
Ranger, Estes, young Washoe, and Jesse, the turd.


9:00 a.m. The phone rings.

B: “Hi Ida.” (Tone of voice changes) “Oh….we’re 15 minutes away. We’ll be right there.” (hangs up phone and turns to me)

B: “Ida said a neighbor called her. A gray horse was out on the road.”

Bill and I looked at each other – it could be none other than Jesse, who always had to prove she could get out of any fenced enclosure (even if it was 80 acres). We donned warm clothes, muck boots and pockets of horse treats, dashed for the truck (which already had their halters in it) and headed for Hwy 72 and the wayward horse. As we neared their pasture area, we watched for hoofprints in the snow, but saw nothing. We made a pass of the entire area and saw no sign of horses – inside or out. Hmmm.

We parked near the gate and walked in. OK, the top strand of barb wire on the gate was half missing, but it is cobbled together of many small pieces and one small section was knocked down. A horse had stepped out over it and followed our tracks from yesterday up the bank, across the road, trotted a short distance along that fence line and then returned to the road.

On Christmas day, we had brought four bales of hay for them. We saw them in the distance, but it was getting late in the afternoon and they weren’t coming when called. It was time for them to get back in the trees for the night; their normal routine when on their own.

This morning, it was obvious they had munched on the hay, but most of it was left. In my mind I am thinking that Jesse was just “tracking” us up the bank, and of course, lost our tracks when we climbed in the truck and drove away. At this point we weren’t even sure it was Jesse. If it was, she wouldn’t go far because she will NOT leave her herd behind, and Ranger will NOT cross barb wire, even if it is flat on the ground, without a person with him. Washoe, on the other hand, has become a real wanderer and will leave the herd to follow me somewhere, on a whim…and he has no fear of fences. He could just as easily stepped over the wire and just gone to play – but where?

We walked up and down the road both ways looking for more tracks, but a good deal of the road was melted down to asphalt, so unless the horse was walking in the snow on the side, there would be no prints. There were no prints going back into the pasture at this point, but since we didn’t know which way to go and we were sure the rest of the herd was still inside the fence, we started tracking the most recent tracks (we hoped; it’s not that easy to determine which direction a horse is going in fresh snow more than a foot deep, as the snow falls into the tracks as soon as the hoof leaves.) We came on one trail that looked quite recent and made sense – not just meandering through the trees and turning around to come back – that headed along the fence line from higher in the pasture and along a tree line.

As we hiked along we soon realized that one horse was staying very close to the fence and another set of tracks appeared on the other side of the fence. Ahaa! Progress! We followed that fence about .3 of a mile, noticing where the horse on the outside had gone ahead, then turned back at a heavily forested area, circled a pile of junk on the ground (which turned out to be a broken fence post and coiled barb wire), and jumped the fence back in. Now I was certain it was Jesse, and there were a few brown hairs on the wire, so obviously Ranger had been giving her grief for being outside the fence.

We hiked the rest of the way to a higher pasture, following a bunch of tracks now – running tracks. Someone was glad to be back with the herd! Soon we glimpsed them through the trees, and when called, they came right to us. Silly horses!

Jesse had a couple spots of blood on her lower front legs; it had to be barb wire punctures. I found three spots; each had bled a little and already closed up, so I opted to just leave them alone. I know it sounds lax, but our guys have such great immunities from being wild, that unless a wound needs vet attention, we pretty much just leave it alone. They were in lots of clean snow and the wet and cold is the best I could have done anyway.

We fed out all the treats we had, inspected everybody, played a bit, then turned back to hike out, leaving the horses sunning themselves on a quiet winter morning.
 When we were back on the road, we followed it far enough to finally pick up Jesse’s tracks walking/trotting along the side until she decided to jump up a steep bank to get close to the fence.

I’m always in awe of the power she has, because seeing the leap she had to make just proves what she can do, then later just popping over the fence from what had to be almost a stand-still. Wow!
I know this bank doesn't LOOK steep, but it's about 12-15 ft. high (see the 4' fence posts at the top?).  You can see how deep the snow was when she took off, drug her heels part way up and landed at the top.

On our drive home, we pondered why she would leave all that hay to cross the gate and go up to the road. I have no idea; it’s just Jesse. I figure the wounds came from the downed barb wire because it was obvious that was her takeoff point for the jump and would explain two holes on her left front leg; one slightly above her knee and one on the back of her fetlock. The third wound was just above the fetlock on her right front hoof. There were no marks or white hair on the top wire where she jumped over.

Well, we had planned on seeing them for a hands-on today, so it was great seeing them. But I would rather it be our idea, not theirs.

Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas, Mom and Beel!

So, I changed their header.

I did.

You see, in November we went out for a ride and it dawned on me that it's pretty rare to see pictures of both of them riding together.  You know, because one or the other has the camera.  There's not much opportunity to catch both of them in the frame at the same time.

As we were crossing the highway, I glanced over at them and saw the cutest picture develop in my mind and then I was determined to get a good Christmas picture of them.

But I'm a terrible photographer.

And the header's the best I could do.

I tried to add some text to it, but I'm not nearly the graphic artist my husband is and I got all pissed off with the attempt and said, "screw it".  So that's why there's a lousy picture of Mom and Bill in their header without the Christmas greeting I wanted to put on it.

But they say it's the thought that counts.

So Merry freakin' Christmas, Bionic Cowgirl and Bill.  I hope you enjoy the blankity-blank thought.


Thursday, December 20, 2012


We have had a little over a foot of snow in the last couple days, and the temps have been in the single digits.


The horses are out to pasture on a mountain side about 15 miles from us, and some of the neighbors by the land worry about "unblanketed" horses, and horses not getting hay often enough.  So, we promised we would take them hay if the snow got too deep.

Yesterday, we took a couple bales of hay to the gang.  We checked them out (no new ribs showing) and "fussed" with them all a little.  Then we opened the hay bales and spread the hay out some, mostly just for show.

Not ones to turn their noses up to a free meal, the herd started eating.

I approached Ranger for one last goodby rub, holding the twine in my hand.  He caught sight of the bailing twine, pulled back and  pinned his ears and gave me a MAJOR stink-eye stare.

Jeeze.  Kick a horse in the head ONE TIME...


Friday, December 14, 2012

B- Hey Ranger! How do you like the new digs?

B- Hey Ranger!  How do you like the new digs?

R-  Hello Beel.  This is a nice mountain side we are on.

B-  Did you guys find the bale of hay we dropped on the snow for y'all?

R-  We ate all of the hay Beel

B-  Why, yes you did.  Here are the strings.

R-  The hay is gone now Beel.

B-   There is grass all over the ground.  Say, let me make a halter out of these strings and we can go for a quick ride, Ranger.

R- Okay Beel.

B-  Tie-tie-tie.

B-  Let's go, Buddy!

R&B-   Ride-ride-ride.

B-  Alrighty, Buddy.  That was fun.  Let me swing my leg over your head in my "ultra-fancy-showoff" dismount and...


B-  Oh man, I am so sorry.


B-  Well, you have kicked me a time or two...


B-  Sorry.

R-  Okay Beel.

R-  But we are still out of hay.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We've Been Elv'ed

We got home late last night from our adventures in Arizona to find this ....
... and this ...  the Lodge tree with the Christmas geese ....
... and this ... the stockings hung on the fireplace with care ....
... and this ... left over stockings in the library ...
... and the 'special Charlie Brown' tree, in all its glory.  Notice it has three - yes, three - trunks!

What a pleasant surprise, along with a neat stack of firewood and fresh cookies on the kitchen counter - and I mustn't forget the pretty bows tied on the poles (from the youngest elf) and a Christmas tree made from National Geographic magazines (from the older elves).

Thank you Nebalee and family!
Bionic Grandma

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Well, it's 42* and sunny here in southern AZ .. and I just heard on the weather channel that it was 20* and snowing in Denver, which means probably colder in Allenspark, since we are 3000' higher!  Our last day here and we are planning a ride to Ft. Bowie in the Chiricauhua Mts.  The guys are catching and saddling horses as I type this; us 'girls' are supposed to be packing a picnic lunch.

I just wanted to show you the fun stuff we have been doing.  A and I spent a couple days playing with Christmas chocolates - namely homemade chocolate covered cherries and chocolate mice. 

 We thought the kiddo would have fun helping with the mice.  Aren't they cute?  Did you notice that they were also disappearing pretty fast - but that's what they were for.
These will get to help grace Christmas platters in both AZ and CO.

Well, horses are being loaded in the trailer, so ..
Adios from sunny AZ.
Bionic Cowgirl

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Couple Days O'Freedom

Well, the horses have been loose on the mountain for a couple days now.  So today after our guests left, we went out to check up on them.
  Washoe met us at the gate, and the rest were right behind him.

All seemed to be okay.

After a couple bites of apple and some dried pancakes most wandered off.
Except for Jesse.

She seemed to have something to say to us before we left.

I think I've been insulted.