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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another Monster Slain

The wind is HOWLING outside today.  That's fairly normal for this season.  You know, the "not summer" season.

I went out to feed the horses, and since the wind was blowing, I wasn't too surprised that the horses weren't standing right by the feeder.   They were all standing out in the middle of the field.  Ranger was particularly bug-eyed.

"What's up guys?  Not hungry?  Still a quarter bale of hay left from this morning!"

"Monster nesting in the food, Beel!"

"What's that, Ranger?  I can't hear you over the wind."


I dropped the new bale into the feeder.  And pulled out a sheet of tar paper that had blown into the feeder.

 "This monster Ranger?"


"I'll take it away buddy.  Just go eat."

Okay, I'll admit it did look a lot more fierce with the wind making it rear up.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Easily Amused

Probably 10 years ago, I was remodeling the bathroom to one of our "private" bedrooms that we don't rent to guests.  It's the one our kids usually stay in when they spend the night here at the lodge.  They call it the "slave's quarters".  Go figure.

I plumbed the water heaters so either can be replaced and keep hot water going to the lodge.
Ignore the rat and snake

Anyfixtures, I noticed all of the extra pipes and such that were orphaned in the bathroom, and built on the theme.

Hand towel ring.

Towel bar on door

Shower curtain rod

Shower valves

Even the toilet paper roll holder

So when we got snowed in, I looked at the leaky faucet in the sink and it went from this...
 To this...

To this.

I crack me up.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Snow of the Day

Woke up to snow this morning.
About 16 inches.

Cold too.  About 22 degrees.
Cold horses.
Even their house looks cold.
Ours, too.


Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm Back - Sort Of

OK, I'm right-handed, usually - unless I've done something dumb and the left hand has to work!  I am typing this two handed- but only for short periods of time.  10 days post-surgery; docs really surprised at how fast I am healing; stitches gone, arm sort of back to normal size.  For anyone not too squeemish, GD will probably post X-rays soon.  To my dismay, I will probably not ride for 2-3 more weeks.  THIS time I will take the doc seriously. You see, he could only place a few of the pieces back and then hold them in place by screwing in a few more - for a total of 7; said he couldn't get the last two to fit anywhere.  The round part that actually makes the elbow socket is what took the hit of a fully extended kick-and got smashed.  Only 4 are actually being held in place with the plate and screws, so I have to give the bone time to mend to itself.  I have a weight limit on my right arm of one paper only; not even my tea cup!  Ouch!  If I bumped a tree limb or grabbed a rein while riding, it could mean major, I am really, really,  r e a l l y trying to be good.  Beel and kids have been life savers.  Thanks to everyone who has so graciously commented with well wishes.  My elbow says its tired.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You Never Know

I once heard a story-

A cowboy dropped his favorite Bible out of his saddlebag while he was mending fences out on the range.

Three weeks later a cow walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth.

The cowboy couldn't believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the cow's mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, "It's a miracle!"

"Not really," said the cow. "Your name is written inside the cover."

Sometimes my life seems like that. I am amazed by the wrong things.

I have been married for 24 years today.



I have been HAPPILY married for 24 years today.

THAT'S amazing.

My name is written in my Bible, 'cause you never know what'll work.

(I love you, Juanita.  Get well soon.)


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Worst. Picnic. Ever.

It was a dark and stormy night.  No, that's not right...  It was a bright and sunny morning, like so many other bright sunny mornings.  Only this bright sunny morning Juanita and I were trailering the horses to a new trail head to ride with a friend.

Ranger and Washoe drew the short straws for the day and off we went, driving about 45 minutes to the trail head outside GlenHaven, east of Estes Park.  We pulled in right behind our friend PV with her horse, Molly.

There is actually a horse in this trailer.
 I like Molly.  She's a Halflinger, and it's nice to not be on the shortest horse for once.

The three of us rode into the Comanche Peak Wilderness area.  A beautiful ride. 

Molly lead out, with Washoe in the rocking chair, and Ranger riding drag.

Hunting season.  Elk colored horse.  Yes, I'm in BLAZE.
Molly lead out most of the time, but we reached a horse eating bridge with no stock bypass, so Ranger took the lead for a moment, followed by Washoe with the mare in the rear.  After defeating the Bridge Of Death, we headed up the hill beyond. Washoe took exception to a little bit of tailgating, and kicked Molly a good one.  She seemed okay, so she took the lead again.

How do you spell "glower"?
 After a couple of  hours at a good clip, we scrambled down a hillside to a sunny patch out of the trees for our picnic.  I grabbed my tortilla spread with peanut butter and Tabasco Sauce and was eating it while trying to keep it away from Ranger (he thought it smelled WONDERFUL) when I heard a commotion behind me.  I spun around in time to see Juanita being launched into a small bolder field and her horse leaving the area.  I headed Wahoe off at the pass, and tied him to a tree.  Then tied Ranger to another tree.  By the time I got to Juanita, she was sitting and taking stock of her injuries. 

" I only saw hooves flashing at me."

"My elbow hurts." 

Uh oh.  There is blood seeping out of her long sleeved t-shirt and sweat shirt.

"Let's pull up the sleeve and look at your cut"  I said.

"Oh s#!t"  I thought.  Blood pulsing out of an exit wound looking hole.  Got to be a compound fracture at the elbow. 

"Let's bind this up and go home".

I wrapped it tightly to immobilize it with a gauze pad and roll of gauze, and pinned it into a triangular bandage from one of our first-aid kits to act as a sling.  Juanita said "Why don't you get some of that snow for an ice pack for me?"  "I can do that." I thought, so I filled a plastic bag with snow and fitted it into the sling.  I walked her horse up to a rock so she could mount, ran back to my horse, mounted up, looked down longingly at my P-B-T tortilla on the rock where I had dropped it, and we all rode away.

After and hour or so the blood started soaking through.

Pretty ride, though.

Less than 1/2 hour to go!
End is near.
And into the truck while I loaded the horses.

Half an hour's drive later...
The rig took up about 6 handicapped spaces...
And I passed her off.

I went back to the lodge to unload the horses, call the kids and let them know their mom was broke, and get the lodge ready for check in.

The kids all jumped up to bat and covered everything so I could get back to the hospital and see Juanita after her 2 or 3 hour emergency surgery.

Bone broken into 9 pieces, plated and screwed back together.

Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bionic Cowgirl Update

Well, when Mom does something, she does it big.

Why have just one hip replacement when you can have two?

Why just fracture your arm when you could totally obliterate it?

No half-ways for Mom, no siree.

She got out of surgery shortly after 7:00 pm our time.  When I heard that she had broken herself not into two pieces, not even three, but seven pieces I wasn't too terribly surprised.  I'm pretty sure they coined the phrase "go big or go home" for Mom.

I didn't even ask how many plates and screws are holding her arm back together, but I'm sure it's an astronomical number.  Remember, she has 2 plates and 17 screws in her left wrist.  Certainly an obliterated elbow warrants more than that.

I didn't even ask when she's coming home because they'll kick her out for being too ornery in short order.  Expect a real update from Mom or Bill in the next day or so.

Bionic Cowgirl's Getting More Bionic

Just talked to Bill.  They were out on a ride with a friend and her horse.  They stopped for a picnic and two of the horses started tussling.  Mom, unfortunately, got caught in the middle and shattered her arm (she got lucky, because apparently she's got a graze to the face).

Since they were all prepared, there was a first aid kit with them that they could fashion a splint, pack her arm/elbow in ice and get her mounted back up for the five mile ride back to where she could get in a vehicle to go to the hospital.

The Bionic Cowgirl is one of the physically toughest people I know.  I can't imagine having to re-mount, ride and dismount (apparently that was the worst) and then go to the hospital.

Because of her new hip, they have to do surgery within six hours of the accident to avoid infection moving throughout her body.  She's being wheeled into surgery as I type.

We'll keep you updated.

2:47 p.m. update:  Talked to Bill again.  It was a compound fracture - the bone broke through the skin - which is why they are so worried about infection.  Took an hour and a half to ride back out from their picnic spot.  I'm assuming (being in medicine and all) that they've started her on IV antibiotics already to decrease the chance of infection.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Snow

First snow of the season (at least the first that stuck).

We woke up to a couple of inches of snow on the ground this morning.

 I went and checked the shed.
Nobody's Home

There weren't even any footprints leading into or out of it.

Found 'em.
Hanging out in the Trees

 We went to Estes Park day before yesterday.
Downtown Estes

 Why is it that the wild elk in Estes Park will cross in the crosswalk, with the green light,  but our "wild horses" won't go into a run-in shed when it's snowing?



Friday, October 7, 2011

Giant Step Forward-Small Step Back

Isn't that how it always goes?  I called GunDiva yesterday all excited because when I went out to feed, 3 horses were standing inside the shed, with Jesse sleeping on her feet in front, like a guard.  I thought it would take forever to get them to cooperate on the shed space.  Then, while feeding, Estes actually wiggled her way into the feeder with the other horses.  This is HUGE, because she tended to let them shove her around.  Not yesterday.  She wanted to eat NOW and made her wishes known.  It was fine with the others; they just want her to hold her own so she shows she can be an asset to the herd (wild horse table manners).  I had lots of smiles walking back to the lodge.

Later, we had a snow cloud come by.  Yep, blowing snow, and when we checked on the horses, guess who was NOT in the shed.  Estes seems to prefer being outside the shed, in back under her favorite tree.  Bill tried to get her to stand inside it, but she kept moving as soon as he turned his back.  I did check that area later and it was dry, so maybe she just can't give up her personal digs.

Oh, well.....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Difficult Chore

Two or three times a month, I take a load of recyclables to the transfer station a half mile from the lodge.

As I pulled out I saw this...
Looks like snow in the high country

The picture doesn't do it justice, but you gotta believe me when I say it's a great view to have from your dump.

It's an awful job, but somebody's got to do it. 


Sunday, October 2, 2011


No kidding.  Three times in four rides.

Went out with daughter GunDiva for a short bareback ride on Estes and Ranger.  And fell off.  Again.

Moseying  along, camera in hand, taking pictures of the fall colors, when BAM!  Ranger did  the hard, fast spook and ended up about four feet to the side of where I was hanging in space.  I hit HARD this time.  GunDiva said I made kind of an "Eeep!"  sound when I hit the dirt.  I stood up, dusted myself off and prepared to yell at lecture Ranger about spooking at things that won't hurt him, like camera flashes and the like.  I stood there, lead rope in hand working my mouth like a goldfish, making no sound at all.  So I tried to give him the "stink-eye", but with no swearing to back it up, he just stared at me blankly.

"Bill, are you okay?"  Gundiva hollers back at me.  I replied as a guppy would, complete with fluttering hand signals.

"Ah, got the wind knocked out of you, huh?"  she responded.  "Don't worry, if you black out, you will start breathing again."

All heart, that one.

I rode home with the camera in my pocket.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Birthday Tribute

Today's my guy's birthday - and I have been sooooo lax.  OK, I did vacuum up after his horse.  Yes, you read that right.  Ranger's present to Bill was coming in to 'the party' ... as into the Lodge.  Of course, being a horse, he got his dates a little wrong; the party is tomorrow, but Ranger still earned a horse cookie, and he knew exactly where to find them.  As soon as he went back out the door, he tipped over the cookie bucket.  That's when I noticed cute little muddy horse tracks on the carpet, so being the nice wife, I did vacuum them up.  After putting Ranger back in his own pen, Bill comments that the only reason he didn't take Ranger up to the bar was he didn't want to scratch the wood floor if there were rocks in his feet.  HUH?

Happy Birthday, Dear.  Love you lots...even if you do make your horse do crazy stuff!