Category Archives: Dogs

January 12th, 2019

Holy cow! We have had one hell of a snow storm here in Kansas! β„οΈπŸŒ¨β˜ƒοΈ

It rained pretty much all morning and most of the afternoon on Friday, but at around 2:45 pm the rain turned into snow which basically didn’t stop until after 2 pm today!

So we woke up to a bunch of snow on the ground (I’m still not sure of the exact amounts) and we just got more piled on us as the day went on! I love winter and the cold and the snow, but even I’ve got to admit that this is pretty crazy!! Hahaha the dogs are loving it though! They went absolutely nuts when I let them outside this morning!

After we had played around in it for a little bit and I had checked on and cared for the chickens, I went back inside and started getting ready to go for a run. Because you know me! I can’t resist a good ‘ol snowy run!! I have a treadmill so I could totally avoid hazardous weather like this, but where’s the fun in that?!?

Hahaha yeah, that didn’t happen. πŸ˜‚

It was CRAZY out there you guys! A snow plow had obviously came through at some point, but since it was still snowing the roads were still pretty much completely covered. The only time I acually saw asphalt was when I was running in tire tracks and even then it was still mostly snow. Luckily it wasn’t too icy out though. I was kinda worried about that since it rained a lot yesterday. I did find a few slippery spots, but for the most part it wasn’t slick at all! Although it was still snowing while I was out there, so the snow just continued to pile up. Running in the snow is fun but oh man is it hard! And it just got harder and the snow got deeper.

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But aside from vehicles, the most dangerous part of being out in this storm were the trees. All of that snow just sitting on the tree limbs is heavy. So I kept hearing a bunch of loud cracks from tree branches finally breaking and falling because of all of that weight. That actually started happening more and more as my run went on and just kept getting worse throughout the day. Seriously, it’s just been absolutely crazy out there!

Anyway, despite the obvious dangers of running in a winter storm, I had an absolute blast!! While I was out there I would stop and hop into the big snow drifts whenever vehicles needed to pass me. I figured this was already stressful enough so I didn’t want to freak anyone out anymore by just being on the road haha. One guy in a truck rolled down his window and yelled “now that’s dedication right there!” That literally made my day! πŸ™‚ Another guy standing on his porch told me it was a gorgeous day for a run. Haha I laughed and said you know it! Oh man, snowy runs are my favorite! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

The original plan for today was 6 mile, but that had officially become negotiable once all of this crazy snow happened! I ended up doing 4. I felt like I probably could have managed the 6 I wanted to do, but during the last two miles of this run I saw too many tree limbs fall down for me to want to keep going. That and my feet were starting to get cold and wet because I don’t have proper footwear for running in the snow. πŸ˜‚

After I finished up my 4 mile, very snowy run, I changed out of my wet running gear and warmed up with a cup of tea and a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich (made with one of my chicken’s eggs, of course! πŸ™‚ ). Once I was warm again I took the dogs outside again and let them run around for a while. I wanted to get some of the snow off the top of the chicken coop just to be on the safe side, so I shoveled most of it off. Yesterday Luke and I took the tarp off of the dog kennel (which is what we call the outer part of the chicken coop) so that all of this snow wouldn’t pile onto it and rip it. That was definitely a good choice! I don’t think the chickens are too happy about being confined to their inner coop though. I also tried to knock some of the snow off of the tree limb that’s right above the coop because I really don’t like the way it’s looking. That didn’t work very well though, so I had to just leave it and hopefully it wont fall.

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A huge branch from the tree in the middle of our yard did fall while me and all 4 dogs were outside though. That was really scary but luckily it missed all of us! After that I decided that we should all just go in and hang out inside for a while. We all love the snow, but with all of the tree limbs coming down it’s just too risky…

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This is our peach tree. You can see how much snow is piled on it and how much it’s making all of the branches sag. 

After a while of hanging out inside I got bored. πŸ˜‚ So I decided to take Lily for a walk and see what’s going on. We didn’t stay out long though we saw/heard enough tree limbs falling, and a couple of downed power lines and plenty of power lines that were sagging from the weight of all of the snow. So while we would have liked to stay out longer, I decided that wasn’t a great idea. A couple of minutes after we got back inside another big branch broke off the tree in our front yard. That pretty much confirmed to me that we should not be outside anymore. πŸ˜‚

But we also saw plenty of people out plowing snow, clearing out driveways, pulling tree limbs out of the road, and cleaning up everything in general. It was also getting a bit windy so I’m hoping that will blow some of the snow off of the trees and power lines and that we’ll be able to spend some more time outside tomorrow! But we’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some of my fun, snow day adventures! Even though most of my day was spent inside wishing I was out playing in the snow. πŸ˜‚

Happy Saturday, everyone! Be careful out there if you’ve been hit with this snow storm!

~Ashley

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2018 Highlights Of The Year

Holy cow it’s the last day of the year!! 😱

Congrats on yet another collective trip around the sun! The ride might feel long, it might also seem like it’s flying by at times, but at least we get to share the experience with some awesome (and maybe some not so awesome) people. At the very least it’s an interesting ride!

Seriously though, does anyone else feel like this year gone by really fast while simultaneously dragging on an on and on?!? Hahaha I don’t know, I guess it’s just been a weird year. Weird, but also good. 😁

So I just wanted to look back month-by-month at all (or at least most πŸ˜‰) of my personal highlights from 2018. Last year I actual broke this idea up into two different posts, one for running and one for life in general. But for this year I’m just gonna stick with one post. I did have a lot of fun running-wise in 2018, but at the same time nothing really spectacular happened for me. I only accomplished one PR and that was for the longest run I’ve ever done. No shiny new time PR’s for me… So that’s kind of a bummer, but hey, now I’ve got a whole new year ahead of me to start working towards some other shiny new PR’s!!

Anyway, let’s get to it! Here are my month-by-month, personal highlights from 2018! πŸ₯³

January

Alrighty! 2018 kicked off with me putting one of my Christmas gifts from 2017 to good use!! My sisters bought me Run Fast Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. What an amazing gift and an awesome cookbook! I must admit, while I do believe in eating clean, whole, nutritious foods, I can find some of it a little boring… But cooking with this cookbook taught me that healthy, nutritious food doesn’t have to be boring.

Around the end of December or early January, Kay Von D and Billie Joe Armstrong collaborated on a new eyeliner. Not gonna lie, I know nothing about makeup and have been doing my eyeliner in basically the same way since I was 16. But when an amazing artist and the guy who pretty much made guyliner (who also happens to be one of your own personal heroes) makes an eyeliner you buy it! And buy it I did! Hahaha and I’ve still got quite a bit of it left since I don’t often wear makeup.

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I think this photo came from Kat Von D’s instagram? Honestly I don’t remember, it’s been saved on my phone for a while haha.

Oh and I started dyeing my blonde streak purple in January. I’m not sure why I had never done that before, but I had always wanted to. So that was pretty cool.

PS, guess what eyeliner I’m wearing in this photo. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

February

I’m not sure if this really counts as a highlight, but looking back on it it makes me laugh really hard (I also kinda forgot that this happened this year πŸ˜‚). But I’m February I slipped in my living room (on nothing I might add), fell, and slammed my toe into the leg of our couch. I never did get it looked at by a doctor but I’m pretty sure I broke it. It’s fully healed now though, so that’s good.

In a weird twist of fate, my toe breaking escapade happened right before I got two root canals done. So I had some pretty sweet pain meds for both of those situations. πŸ˜‚ Seriously though, my teeth are REALLY bad and I began my journey to a healthier mouth in February. But I also ran out of insurance money, so it began and ended with those two root canals. But now that the new year is upon us I have insurance money again and can FINALLY get some more much needed work done on my teeth.

And last but certainly not least for February, I ended up going to Colorado with my dad and spending about a week there with him and my brother. I’m not gonna get into all of the details of our adventures while I was there, because I already have. πŸ˜‰ But we had a lot of fun together. Hahaha even on the 16 hour drive from Kansas to Colorado! Hahaha that drive is only supposed to take 11 hours, but my dad and I like to stop and do stuff!! Oh and I think my brother and I accidentally ended up in Nebraska in our way to Kansas. Oh man, those were some good times. πŸ˜‚

March

While I was in Colorado at the end of February Luke ended up buying a chicken coop and when I got back home we bought our first set of chicks of the year! Oh man I forgot how cute they were!! Unfortunately this was the set of chickens that my neighbor’s dog ended up killing because he kept getting into our yard. Luckily that finally got resolved, but I still wasn’t happy about losing all of our chickens…

Another adventure that was planned while I was in Colorado was running the Martin City Whiskey 5k with my dad! This was the first race we did together and it was so much fun!! Hahaha even though my dad ended up getting a little hurt at the end. But he eventually healed and I remember mentioning to him that now he needs to do a half marathon! I’m not sure how serious either of us were at that point though. But I was pretty stoked about my shot of Whiskey and super awesome post race breakfast and that was making me really look forward to some half marathoning!

April

Easter fell on April fools day this year, so on the first day of April Luke and were in Illinois celebrating Easter with our families. My grandma made a whole big lunch and lots of homemade desserts which is always fantastic! While we were there Luke, my brother who was also in Illinois for Easter, and I did some target shooting at our old house. We had to trespass a little bit on what used to be my grandma’s farm, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ I though I might be a little bit rusty because I don’t really get to shoot anymore, but I did alright. πŸ™‚ While we were there we ended up taking my brother and two of Luke’s brothers to the Saint Louis City Museum. We all had lots of fun there!

Later in the month Luke traded in our old Chevy Equinox and got a 2016 Dodge Ram. I feel like that was probably one of the best decisions that was made all year! Hahaha we’ve sure put the truck to good use since we’ve had it!!

May

On the second Saturday of May I did the Running With The Cows 5k for the second time! Eventually I need to do the half at this event, but I’m so glad I didn’t this year! It was super hot and muggy that day. Still a lot of fun though! I got to pet a baby cow, run a very pretty 5k on a super rural road that runs through a bunch of cow pastures, and then pick out food at the HUGE buffet they have for all of the runners. Seriously, they have some pretty awesome stuff there! I’ve been very happy both times I’ve left this race. If you’re ever looking to do a half or 5k in early May and happen to be in Kansas I definitely recommend checking this one out!

May was when we got our garden planted, built the chickens a bigger run, and just did a bunch of work outdoors. It’s not exactly glamours, but I sure do enjoy it. 😁

For Memorial Day Luke and I threw a bit of a party for some family and neighbors. The guys had a bit of a rib cook off, and I baked a couple of pies and made a bunch of sides. The neighbor kid that I babysit came over to play with my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s kids, and we had 5 dogs running around because my brother-in-law brought his with him. Oh and us and the neighbors were just constantly climbing over the fence into each other’s yards for various reasons. Haha it was a little bit chaotic, but lots of fun!

June

On June first we got our second batch of chicks. Not exactly a highlight because we only had to get them because our neighbor’s dog killed the first set. But still kind of a highlight because LOOK HOW CUTE!!!!

Later in June we ended up in Illinois again. We did a bit more target practice at my parents old house while we were there, but the real high point of this particular trip was taking Luke’s youngest brother to Troy Park and playing on the playground and PokΓ©mon Go-ing. Oh and we also picked up my sister’s old treadmill from her boyfriend’s mom’s house that night. Hahaha she literally gave me her treadmill because we have a truck and could actually haul it back home. Told you we’ve been putting that thing to good use!

Ok, just a little side note. Through  the spring I’d been talking to my dad about doing a half marathon with me. I had been looking into the Gobbler Grind and told my dad that I was only going to do it if he’d do it with me because this race was the day after the Longview half which I was already registered for. So at some point he signed us both up and thus Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days was born!

July

July is Luke’s birthday month! Yay!! So on his birthday his brother, his girlfriend, her kids, and our next door neighbor kid all came over for Luke’s birthday and we threw him a little party. There was a cake and confetti and glow sticks and lots of dogs! What more do you need for a birthday party?!? πŸ˜‚

For the past several years Luke’s mom has planned/organized a big family vacation for a bunch of people on that whole side of the family. This year that included 25 people!! Hahaha it was easy for so many people to come this year because we went to Branson. MO and since most of us live in the Midwest that’s not too crazy out of the way. I think EVERYONE drove there. πŸ™‚ Anyway, we stayed in these cabins right next to a river so we spent a lot of our time there having a little too much fun out in the water. We did a lot of fishing, swimming, and those of us who were of age did a little a lot of drinking haha. πŸ˜‰ It was an absolute blast though. I think hanging out on the river was the most fun part, but we did do a few other things. We went to a slightly depressing animal “safari” thing. We also had a big birthday party for several people at the equivalent of a Chucky Cheese, and we went to the outlet stores several times.

On one of the days we were there (I think it was the second to last) we had a big cookout thing. Everyone cooked a bunch of food, but in the middle of it all a HUGE thunderstorm rolled in. So everyone rushed around to get their food done and into the different cabins, get all of the small children inside, and everything picked up and what not. Then, like the good Midwesterners that we are, we sat out on the cabin porches and watched it come! At one point somebody dared someone to stand out in the rain for the entire storm and eventually all of the “kids” (Me, Luke, his brother’s and sister. His step sisters, our nephew, and a couple of their friends) ended up standing in the pouring rain. It was hilarious! Although the next day we found out that was when the Ride The Duck thing got caught in the storm and a bunch of people die. It wasn’t so funny after we found that out.

Aaaaaaaand training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days started near the end of July! If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you probably know that I do not do well in the heat and that I’m not a fan of summer running. But starting a new training plan for a big goal is always exciting!

August

This sunrise on August 4th reminded me that even though summer running is rough and that I absolutely hate waking up at 5 am, views like this make it totally worth it.

I guess August was a relatively uneventful month, as I have very few photos from then. πŸ˜‚ But we did go to a casino for like the second time. Not exactly my thing, but it was still a good time.

September

So, every year since we’ve been married, Luke takes me to a pumpkin farm to pick pumpkins, apples, and to get other fun fall things. We ended up going super early this year (on September 14th to be exact πŸ˜‰) because this summer was hot, dry, and brutal and I was very much over it. So the day the pumpkin farm opened its pumpkin patch we went and started all of our fun fall festivities early! πŸŽƒπŸ˜Š

Later into September Luke’s mom added to my fall fun by sending me a big care package full of sweet Halloween stuff! She’s very much into Halloween as well, so she gets it. πŸ˜‰ I started putting some of it up that day! Luke wouldn’t let me start decorating outside until October though. πŸ˜‚

October

Yay October!! The brutal summer finally ended and it actually cooled down this year! It’s been FOREVER since we’ve actually had a chilly fall. That made me super duper happy!! So did all of the amazing fall foliage we had in the area this year! It’s been a long while since the trees have looked this pretty!

On October 5th we added a new member to our family!! On his way home from work that day Luke told me to be ready to leave when he got home because we were going on an adventure! That adventure turned out to be picking out a new puppy to be Finn’s future girlfriend! I made the right choice picking her out of the litter. Finn immediately fell in love with her.

The very next day I PR’d my longest distance run by doing a 14 mile long run! Haha I had to stop at home several times so I could let the new puppy out of her crate to pee and that did get a little bit annoying. But all in all this was a great run! I watched my watch while I hit and then went over the half marathon mark, because that was the first time I’ve ever done that in training and it was just so super cool!

On October 11th we went to Illinois yet again. This time for my mom’s birthday, one of Luke’s brother’s birthday, and his grandma’s and great aunt’s birthdays (they’re twins!!). Hahaha so we were kinda busy that time around! We only brought Whiskey with us for this trip just so she could get used to riding in the car, being by herself, and whatnot. But we ended up taking Luke’s youngest brother to Troy park again, this time with Whiskey, and apparently we went on the perfect day because there was some kinda of pet event going on! So there were all sorts of venders, rescues, and just people out there with a bunch of dogs! So Whiskey (and Luke’s brother, actually πŸ˜‚) got lots of positive socialization. We even met another red border collie while we were there! That was so cool!! Hahaha the other girl and I saw each others dogs, make eye contact and then booked it to each other so we could talked. πŸ˜‚ Oh man that was a great day!!

Oh and watching my grandma meet Whiskey for the first time was really cute too!! She used to breed German Shepherds, ran a dog boarding kennel, and was always super involved in the dog works (that’s where I get it all from!) so she LOVES meeting puppies. But I mean, who doesn’t?!

November

November got off to a really great start, with Whiskey and I watching the NYC marathon! Haha Luke signed up for another free trial of Hulu TV just so I could watch it (he did that for me in April so I could watch Boston as well ;). If you watched you know how amazing it was! If you didn’t, well, you really missed out!

November also brought the conclusion of Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days, and oh boy it didn’t end in any kind of way that I thought it would. I DNF’d the first half! ☹️ So that was really more of a low point of 2018. But the very next day I ran the Gobbler Grid half with my dad! It was the slowest half I’ve ever done, but it was also the most fun! Hahaha I’m so glad we ran that 5k together in the spring! If we hadn’t then this half might not have happened! Honestly I think this half marathon and the couple of days that I got to spend with my dad because of it was my favorite thing to happen this year.

The November fun didn’t end with that half marathon though! I ended up running a 5k on Thanksgiving morning! That was technically my first ever turkey trot and it was a blast!!! Plus they handed out pumpkin pies to all of the finishers instead of medals. That was awesome!! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ₯§

And even after that there was still some more November running fun to be had! Haha we had a legit blizzard on November and guess who decided to run in it? That’s right, this girl!! Oh my gosh that was so ridiculous dangerous because we were experiencing high winds and white out conditions, but it was oh so much fun!!

December

Oh boy! November sure was busy, but believe it or not, December was even more hectic! We did lots and lots of fun Christmas stuff though!

On the 15th Luke took me (and Dean πŸ˜‰) to two different Christmas light displays! First we went to one that was more of a light show that synced up to music. Those are always cool.

We didn’t stay there long though. Our next destination was a park that covers almost every tree around this lake in lights! It’s so beautiful! So we walked around there for a while and took a bunch of pictures! Haha Luke’s not big on the cold, Christmas, or picture taking, so I really appriciated doing all of that all at once. That being said, we had a really good night. πŸ™‚

The next day Luke and I ended up exchanging Christmas gifts because we’re both terrible at waiting to give gifts. πŸ˜‚ Apparently we both had similar ideas this year, because he got me a “fuck” coffee mug and I got him a monogrammed glass for adult beverages. πŸ˜‰ Hahaha we know each other well.

On the 22nd we got our first eggs!!!!! You guys have no idea how excited I was! I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Ever since then we’ve been getting at least 2, sometimes 3 eggs a day from our hens. By this spring/summer we should be getting around 5-7 eggs a day! How freaking sweet is that?!?

We spent pretty much the rest of our December running around and getting stuff ready for Christmas. At 3 am on Christmas Eve we left Kansas and drove to Illinois so we could spend Christmas with some family. On Christmas Eve we started out at Luke’s dad’s, then we went to his grandma’s for a little bit. Then my grandma had a little party at her house of Christmas Eve, so we hung out there with her, my mom, and my uncle for a while.

Christmas Day was just as busy! Luke and I stayed at his dad’s house Christmas Eve night so we could open presents from them and Santa. After we did that Luke’s dad made us a late breakfast and we hung out there until noon when we went to Luke’s other grandma’s Christmas party. That’s always a big even! That side of the family takes Christmas VERY seriously and this year was no different. We had lots of food, presents, and fun. πŸ™‚ That night me, Luke, and one of his brother’s stayed up playing this game on the Playstation. It got out of hand very quickly but it was a lot of fun haha.

It was a busy Christmas, but a good one.

At some point during our stay in Illinois Luke’s dad convinced him to come back for New Year’s Eve, because he was actually going to be off from work for that. So we drove back to Illinois last night at we’re at Luke’s dad’s right now. So we’ll be ringing in the New Year with Luke’s dad, step mom, and 2 of his brothers!

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Oh man this post ended up being really long! Maybe I should have broken it up into two different posts. πŸ˜‰ Oh well.

Thanks to everyone who hung in there with me and actually read everything hahaha. Honestly though I think I want to start writing a recap like this at the end of every year! Looking back at all of the adventures I’ve had this year was fun and it reminded me that I have done a lot of cool stuff in my life. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that on days that feel never ending or mind numbingly boring. But life is full of ups and downs and the not-so-great times make the good times that much better! I hope you’ve had a wonderful year full of fun, laughter, adventures, and many happy, healthy miles!

Wishing you a wonderful New Years Eve and a very happy New Year! Stay safe and have fun out there! Here’s to making 2019 a FANTASTIC year!

Your happy, nostalgic, slightly sappy, blogger friend,

~Ashley

Friday’s Luke Adventure

What is a Luke Adventure, you ask? Well, it could be anything from a random trip to St. Louis to visit our family, a trip to the pumpkin farm, a trip to the mall to get something completely impractical, getting a new puppy, taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon, really the list goes on and on and on….

So on Friday when Luke was on his way home from work he called me and asked if I had company over (referral to my 4 year old neighbor or her friend who like to come over) and if I didn’t I needed to get ready to leave because we were going on another Luke Adventure. Of course I inquired as to what this adventure was going to be and of course he didn’t tell me. At least not right away haha. He likes to do that with big surprises. Eventually he did though and we began discussing the logistics of our lates Luke Adventure.

Anyone want to make a guess as to what we did?

Hahaha I won’t leave you guys hanging like Luke did with me. πŸ˜‰ It was another puppy!

I was trying to get a picture of the female pups running around together, but this was the best I got. πŸ˜‚

Luke has wanted a red border collie for the longest time and he found someone who had a litter with all of our qualifications (which I won’t get into here haha. I’ve talked a little bit about them on other posts though) on Craigslist so he wanted to get another female. So that’s what we did.

Meet Whiskey, Finn’s future girlfriend.

She’s 8 weeks old, which is kinda young to be leaving her mom and litter-mates, but poor mom had 10 puppies and was skin and bones from trying up nurse them all. So they were getting rid of them for her sake.

They only got out the red females because that’s what we wanted, but we had 5 to choose from since we were the first people to show up. Yet again! Haha the same thing happened when we got Dean. Anyway, while they were getting the puppies out of the cattle trailer they had them in they started handing them to Luke and I. Some people think picking out puppies is hard but I don’t! I can usually tell which one will work well for us. So the first puppy they handed me peed all over me. Poor thing was petrified. Well that wouldn’t work for us considering we have 3 other dogs. The first one they handed Luke was cute (what puppy isn’t?!) but neither of us felt either way about her. But when they handed me a second puppy this one was very alert and very excited to meet new people. She was wagging her tail super hard and licking me everywhere. Perfect. She was the one. I knew it.

We still took them all over to their driveway and let them run around for a little bit. I still liked the same one though. She was the most spunky. Zooming around and out running all of the other puppies. At that point we knew she’d fit right in with the other 3 dogs, so she was the one we ended up taking home!

We definitely made the right choice! She fit right in almost immediately! Finn absolutely adores her! He won’t leave her alone haha. But that’s good. 😁

So she’s spent the last few days learning all about life and how our house functions. So far she’s doing really well! She’s also the easiest dog I’ve ever potty trained! She hasn’t had a single accident in the house. It’s crazy! It’s pretty great though. πŸ™‚

Today I took her to the vet for her very first round of puppy shots. She did very well! She didn’t wiggle or squirm or cause any trouble. I was very proud of her haha. But now she’s all tired and doesn’t feel to great, but human babies, they don’t tend to feel well after getting shots.

Anyway, at this point she’s doing crazy well with potty training. She knows her name, is getting pretty good at coming when she’s called, and we’ve just started working on “sit”. That’s why I like getting little puppies. They are super easy to train and are usually more accepting of new and scary things.

But yeah, we have 4 dogs now haha. And hopefully at some point Finn and Whiskey will end up making some very pretty babies. Finn wasn’t a cute baby but now that he’s grown up he’s very handsome! And if Whiskey ends up looking anything like her mom (which I’m thinking she might. She’s a similar color and has markings closer to her mom. Her dad was black and had a lot more white on him). Plus Finn has some really great instincts and I have a feeling Whiskey will too. But obviously that’s still a ways off and not even a definite thing at this point though. It’s a pretty good possibility though!

Alrighty, that’s all for today then! I hope everyone has had a good Monday and has a great week!

~Ashley

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Branson Adventures: Day 1

Welp, we made it safely to Branson!

First thing in the morning we dropped the dogs off at the kennel. They had a bunch of goats and chickens and cats running around in the driveway when we pulled up haha. It was fantastic!! I loved it. 😁 I also really liked the people who run the kennel. We told them we didn’t want to get the dogs out of the car with all of the goats nearby, because obviously all 3 of them are herding dogs. So they moved them and we showed off some of Lily’s heard of skills. We kept her on her leash and the ladies got a huge kick out of that! But now they know that our dogs can and will herd the goats if they aren’t careful haha.

As we were leaving them the lady who runs the place said she knows border collies are all kinda crazy, and that’s what for real sold me on the place! She obviously understands that they aren’t normal dogs and that’s what I was worried about haha. But anyway, they took them and put them in the kennel, and as we were leaving I could hear Lily crying and barking as we walked back to the truck. Poor baby. Obviously they’ll be fine, but I know they’re gonna be freaked out the whole time and that makes me sad.

Anyway, after we dropped them off we went back home, packed up the truck, stopped and got breakfast and then were on our way at around 8:45 this morning!

The drive there was pretty decent! It took us around 3 and a half ish hours to get there, and a lot of it was driving through farmland and by some lakes and stuff, which obviously I enjoyed. 😊

Once we made it to our cabins we looked around a little bit. They’re pretty nice and the views are pretty! We talked to Luke’s brothers and sisters, unloaded the truck, and then headed off to the store to stock up on some groceries for our time here.

After we had our provisions and put them away in the cabin, we went to Luke’s grandma’s cabin and hung out with her, a few of his aunts, and a few other people. It’s his grandma’s birthday so that was nice! She definitely enjoyed hanging out with everyone.

After that a bunch of us went to the river that’s near the cabins and had a little too much fun! πŸ˜‰

But anyway, it’s been a long day and we’ve got another one ahead of us, so I need to get to bed! Happy Monday!!

~Ashley

It’s Going To Be A Long Summer…

Good thing I have a treadmill now, because this keeps happening…

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I can’t run outside in this!

Well, technically I could, but it probably wouldn’t end well for me. Especially not with that air quality warning. So I’m just gonna stick with my treadmill for now and hope that I’ll get at least one day this week that I’ll be able to run outside, because I’m not exactly confident in my ability to run anymore than 5 miles on the treadmill haha. I did 7 a few weeks ago, but I wanted to absolutely die by the time I was done. πŸ˜‚

Plus training for “Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days” officially starts on the 22nd of this month, and I’d really like to do most of those runs outside. Having the treadmill is nice, but it’s just not the same as running on the road. And since both half marathons I’m doing in November on on the road (well, part of one is on a paved trail πŸ˜‰ ), I know it would be best to do a pretty good majority of my running on the roads. But if this weather keeps up I’m gonna have to suck it up and run on the treadmill. I’d rather do that than risk my health by running outside in dangerous weather conditions. Says the girl who intentionally runs during thunderstorms and has an absolute blast running on ice haha. But for real though, I’m really sensitive to the heat and I have asthma. It’s not bad, but I still have to be careful when the air quality sucks.

So I’m not exactly thrilled about the weather and the prospect of starting out my half marathon training mostly on the treadmill. But at least I have that option now! If we would have had this kind of weather last summer, before I had the treadmill, I’d have been completely screwed. Sure I’ve got the stationary bike, but that probably wouldn’t really help that much. But anyway, I haven’t really been completely stuck inside. Luke and I have been going for little walks in the evening, right around sunset, so it’s not too crazy hot out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot, humid, and gross out. But it’s decent enough to go for short walks in. I’m not confident enough to actually run in it though haha. But at the very least I’m getting outside and moving around a little bit.

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I’m currently dreaming of chilly October nights.Β πŸ‚πŸŒ™πŸ¦‡πŸŽƒ

What really sucks about this weather is that while we’ve had plenty of heat, we’ve had hardly any rain. Like, it’s for real been weeks since we’ve gotten any rain, and the last time we did it really wasn’t much. So I’ve been kinda struggling to keep our garden going. All of our plants are just wilty and sun burnt. But I have gotten a pretty decent amount of strawberries and blueberries! I think I’m getting towards the end of those plants producing though. I’ve got 3 nice little watermelons growing, my peaches are slowly starting to get bigger, and my zucchini plants are producing like crazy! And my tomatoes are finally starting to get ripe! The plants have had little green fruit on them for a while now, but it’s been so crazy hot that it’s taking forever for them to turn red. I picked a whole bunch of nice little cherry tomatoes yesterday though!

We’ve also been keeping the tiny raptors outside for the last week or so. They’re finally big enough to keep out in the coop, and obviously we haven’t had to worry about it being too cold for them! I run out there to check on them several times a day though. I don’t want them getting too hot. But so far they seem to be doing really well!!

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They’re getting moved back inside this weekend though, but only for a little bit. Our family trip to Branson, Mo is next week and we don’t want them outside while we’re gone. Luckily they’ll only actually be on their own for 3 full days. Luke and I are leaving Kansas on the 16th, probably in the late morning. First we have to drop the dogs off at a kennel. I grew up working in a kennel, so obviously I know they’ll be fine, but they’ve never been boarded before, so I know they’re gonna be completely freaked out. Poor babies… Luckily the’re all going to be kept in the same kennel run together, so I think that will help. I’m going to make it very clear that I do not want them separated. Sometimes they growl and snap at each other and when they play it can look like they’re actually fighting, but they’re not. They just work things out between each other like that.Β  And if you know dogs then you probably know that, but some people tend to freak out the second teeth start snapped at each other. But anyway, then we’ll be in Branson the 17th, 18th, and 19th, and then we’re driving back home on the 20th. It’s only a 4 hour drive, so I think if we leave early enough we’ll be there in time to pick up the dogs before the kennel closes. If not then I guess they’ll just have to spend another night there.

Anyway, I got the dogs’ vet records for the kennel this morning and I’ve kinda sorta started packing for this trip. Haha I guess I should get on that, huh? I mean, I’ve made a list and pretty much know everything that Luke and I are gonna need, so that counts for something, right? We’ll both probably still wait until the night before we leave to actually pack. πŸ˜‰

But that’s all for today! How’s the weather where you are? Hopefully better that it is here in Kansas…

Your treadmill bound friend,

~Ashley

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Well, Yesterday Was A Shit Day

It finally happened. We tried so fucking hard go prevent it. But obviously it wasn’t enough. So much time, money, and effort just got flushed down the toilet in what was probably a few short minutes. Yesterday Ozzy massacred our chickens.

Yup, after all of that extra work we did building that dog kennel around their coop he still found a way in and killed every single one. My poor chickens….

 

 

So that was just a terrible thing to find out first thing in the morning. Apparently he had slipped through the tiniest hole where the chain-link met the base of the kennel. And we had used fencing wire to attach the chain-link to the base. A lot of it. So he really had to squish himself to get in there, and honestly I kinda hope he hurt himself in the process. And of course this happened in the early morning before my dogs were outside or at the very least they would have been barking and maybe we could have done something. But nope. Around 6:30 ish my other neighbors saw that damn dog in our chicken coop because he figured out how to get in, but couldn’t figure out how to get back out again. But by then all of the chickens were dead anyway. So when Luke was getting into his truck to go to work and they stopped him and told him what happened. Luke went out there, let Ozzy out and made him go home, then came and told me.

It’s a good thing it was him to go do that and not me. I would have killed that damn dog. I grew up onΒ  a farm and dogs that kill livestock become a huge problem. It’s a hard habit to break and most of the time if the dog cost you a shit ton of time, effort, and money then it doesn’t get to live. Especially knowing that it might keep doing it. That’s just the way things are. Hahaha and the neighbors who found him in my coop told me the same thing yesterday. I heard “that dog needs shot” by so many people yesterday. But I mean, it’s kinda true.

But that didn’t happen. Mostly because we do live in town and discharging a firearm inside of city limits is illegal. And for good reason. So he’s lucky. Although he was really pushing that luck because I had to chase him out of my yard 3 more times that morning, because he kept fucking coming back…Ugh so that was really annoying.

But anyway, I also had to go to the dentist to get temporary crowns put on a couple of my teeth yesterday. So yeah, it just wasn’t a fun day all around. But Luke took a partial sick day from work so he could take me because I hate the scientist and didn’t want to go alone. So he came back from work at about 11 am and we buried the chickens before we left. I was told specifically not to go out there that morning because it was just going to piss me off even more when I saw it and Luke new it. And it was pretty bad. He broke all of their necks, probably just one right after another. So I mean, it was kinda lucky that he didn’t rip them to pieces, so we didn’t have a huge bloody mess to clean up, but it still sucked.

We finished that job just in time to leave and go to my dentist appointment. It was a long one too. Haha felt like I was there forever! But I got the temporary crowns put on the two teeth I’ve had root canals done on and the more permanent crowns are being made. So that’s a step in the right direction and I’m glad that I was able to keep well, parts of those 2 teeth anyway. But that whole process irritated my gums and now today my mouth just kinda hurts. My jaw is also super stiff and sore from having to keep my mouth open for so long.

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So yeah, yesterday just really sucked. But to make me feel a little bit better Luke went to Barnes and Noble and got me Stephen King’s latest book while I was getting my teeth worked on. He’s the best!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ He also ordered more chicks online and they should be here at some point later this week. Fun fact; did you know the deliver chicks in the mail? That’s how my dad used to get his and how we had to do it this time, since Tractor Supply only sells them in the early spring. And that is great and all, but now we’re all the way back to square one an that really fucking sucks. We were getting so close to ours starting to lay eggs. Now we’ve got to start the whole process all over again.

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New reading material from Stephen King did cheer me up a little though. πŸ™‚

Once we got home from my dental appointment Luke started keeping an eye out for Ozzy’s owner so he could go talk to him. He got home a little later than he usually does, but Luke finally caught him and told him what happened. Apparently he was pretty upset and offered to give Luke money for them, but Luke said he didn’t want money, told him he had already bough more chicks, so now he just wants Ozzy to stay where he belongs so that it doesn’t happen again. So now he’s really going to get to work on the fence between our yards that him and his cousin have been working to replace and now he doesn’t want Luke to cover half of the expenses anymore. We’ll still probably help him build it though. But hopefully a new fence will solve the problem. If not our neighbor said he’s also thinking about putting in one of those invisible dog fences just to be on the safe side. But no matter what we still have a few months to get it done, because the new chicks wont be able to be put outside until they’re older anyway.

So at least that’s getting taken care of now. It just really sucks that it took all 5 of our chickens being brutally killed for it to happen. I cannot even begin to express how mad I am about that. When you domesticate an animal like that and keep them locked up so they can’t get away and then end up using things they produce or even killing and eating them it’s your responsibility to keep them safe, happy, and healthy. It’s basically a mutual agreement you make with the animal; I keep you safe from predators. Provide you with comfortable shelter. Food and fresh, clean, water will always be available. If you get sick or injured, I’ll take care of it and give it proper medical attention. And in return, I get to use your products to feed myself and my family. And maybe that means you’ll die, but its my job to make sure you have a good life and everything you need before that happens.

For real, I take that shit really seriously and I couldn’t do it and I’m pissed. I let those poor chickens down and they paid for it by dying a terrifying and probably very painful death. I’m going to do better with the new chicks though. Luke feels the same way, so we’re going to be fortifying that chicken coop until is basically Fort Knox. And my neighbor is going to make sure that Ozzy doesn’t come back in our yard ever again. He also grew up on a farm type situation, so he knows and understands how devastating this loss was. I noticed that today he left Ozzy inside while he was at work, instead of in the back yard like he usually does.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to clean up the aftermath of the party that we had on Memorial Day. Our backyard is pretty trashed and the house is a mess too. But my mouth is currently unhappy and that’s making it difficult for me to want to do much. I can usually handle pain, but mouth pains is just awful. But today I got the Green Day mug and tank top that I had bough online last week in the mail today, and that did make me feel a little bit better. πŸ˜‰

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I suppose that’s all for today.

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day Weekend!

~Ashley

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New Setup For The Chickens!

This whole Ozzy situation has officially gotten out of hand. So Luke and I finally did something about it yesterday.

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Ozzy is my neighbor’s dog. He’s been getting into my yard a lot for the past several weeks and terrorizing my chickens. But now he’s getting even worse about it. So something had to be done.

So, on Thursday night when Luke got home from work we began building a structure to protect them. We didn’t get very far with it that night though. It was pouring down rain and we were under a sever thunderstorm warning and it’s kinda hard to work outside in those conditions. Plus we ran out of daylight pretty quickly, so we had to stop and then continue the next morning.

 

 

 

It was a rough morning. Things weren’t going the way Luke had planned and after our little building project had fallen apart twice we decided to stop, go get some food, regroup, and figure out a better way to go about this thing we were trying to accomplish. Oh and did I mention that it was hot, humid, and super gross out that morning following the thunderstorm from the night before? Yeah, it stayed like that all day and it was pretty awful.

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Anyway, while we were eating we did some brain storming and came up with the idea to get a dog kennel. If we could get one that was big enough the chicken coop would fit in it, when Ozzy wasn’t around the chickens would have more area to roam around in, and when he was we’d be able to lock them up in the coop and they’d be more protected from him. And plus we figured a dog kennel would be easier to assemble than what we were trying to build, so after we ate we ended up at Tractor Supply.

At Tractor Supply we learned that the super fancy dog kennels don’t all come in one DIY kit. You have to buy pretty much each panel individually, which would get crazy expensive crazy fast, because each piece was close to $100 and that wasn’t even including the dog house, ramp, and roof that you could add to this kennel. But after some searching we found exactly what we wanted. A DIY dog kennel kit that came with the WHOLE kennel and not just sections of it, for $200. Not bad! The only thing that wasn’t included in the kit was a top cover though. That came all by itself for an additional $50. I though that was stupid, so I asked Luke if we could just get a tarp to cover the top. He thought that was a really good idea and wanted to know why it took me that long to come up with it haha. So after we loaded up our dog kennel into the truck we went to Home Depot and got a $15 dollar tarp and a few $1.50 bungee cords. That seemed a lot more reasonable than a $50 cover for the kennel. πŸ™‚

So we went home, unloaded the truck, and Luke said he still wasn’t sure how we were going to fit the coop into this kennel once it was built. That’s when I asked him if it wouldn’t just be easier to build the kennel around the coop, because that’s what I thought we were going to do anyway. Haha that was my second fantastic idea for the day, and I’m surprised that my engineer husband didn’t come up with that one all on his own! πŸ˜‰ So we moved the chicken coop to the area we wanted to build the kennel in, and then began to assemble it.

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There is actually grass and weeds in the new spot that we moved to coop to, and the chickens were definitely enjoying it!!

So we did end up running into a few bumps along the road that was putting this kennel together, but all in all it went pretty well. It was definitely a lot easier than what we were trying to do before!!

 

 

We got the frame assembled very quickly, had a little bit of an issue with the gate, but Luke figured that out, and then put up the chain-link! Some dude at Tractor Supply (we are pretty sure that he didn’t even work their haha) told us that putting up the chain-link was going to be a bitch and we shouldn’t even bother buying the kit, but it was actually pretty easy! A bit time consuming, but still, it really wasn’t that hard. And once it was all put together we let the chickens out to explore a little bit (under close supervision from Lily and Finn πŸ˜‰ ) and took a short break before we put the tarp over top of it.

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The tarp ended up being really easy to put up as well, plus it kinda helped it re-enforce the whole thing. Luke also put a steak in the middle of it so that the rain, snow, or whatever should fall right off of it instead of pooling up on it. So now the chickens can’t fly out, nothing else could fly in, and they’ve got plenty of shade and should be a little more protected from the elements in general.

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Lily, who was raised on a farm, has some legit herding training, and grew up around chickens and therefore knows how to handle herself around them, is a big fan of this new setup haha. Now she can get in the kennel with them and keep an eye on them and kinda sorta herd them a bit. πŸ˜‰ Finn thinks it’s pretty neat too! And although he’s got some pretty impressive instincts, he’s never had any kind of herding training, and is young and excitable, so he’s not allowed in there with them. At least not yet. But he seems to think that it’s pretty neat that they can move around more, so he can kinda follow them around a little bit more.

 

 

All in all we’re very happy with how the dog kennel set up ended up working, and like I said, now the chickens have some more room to roam when Ozzy isn’t around to bother them, they’ll be a little bit more protected from the elements, and when Ozzy does get into my yard they can just be put into their coop and then he won’t be able to be as close to them or jump up on or scratch at the coop anymore. So that’s pretty freaking sweet!! I mean, it does kinda suck that we had to go through all of this trouble because of someone else dog, but still, the chickens end up benefiting a lot from it, so at least there’s that.

Alright then, now I have to get up on my soapbox and talk about whyΒ herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breeds of dogs don’t make good pets unless you’re prepared to deal with them and know 100% what you’re getting into with certain breeds of dogs. Because that’s the problem with Ozzy. He’s a heeler or a heeler mix. So he’s a herding dog. He’s pretty smart, full of energy, and he’s also bored and lonely because he’s left out in my neighbor’s backyard all day while he’s at work. That is basically a recipe for disaster when it comes to these kinds of dogs. You CANNOT get a high-energy/intelligent breed of dog and expect them to just be content running around a yard by themselves all day. They’ll end up getting bored and then doing things like barking excessively, digging, tearing stuff up, or escaping into your neighbors yard and terrorizing her chickens and rabbits, and playing with her 2 high-energy dogs who are out there a lot (haha Lily has separation anxiety, so she’ll only hang out in the backyard if Luke or myself go out there with her).

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My dogs know how to behave around the chickens and don’t want to kill/chase them. Lily and Finn just want to herd them/guard them, and Dean wants nothing to do with them. Ozzy wants to make them move, chase them, and then probably rip them to pieces. This photo was taken right before Finn started fighting Ozzy, because Ozzy was bothering his chickens. Finn thinks his job it to keep the chickens safe and that’s exactly what he was trying to do.

After seeing the way my dogs behave and how smart they are, a lot of people who see them actually end up telling me that they want a border collie (or something similar) as well. And honestly I tend to try to discourage them because these types of dogs need a lot of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation. Like, A LOT. They are happiest when they are working. And when they aren’t they become problems which is why a lot of them end up in shelters labeled as “hyper” or “aggressive” or with “behavioral issues”. So that’s why I think that unless you have the time, patience, knowledge, and energy to care for a dog that’s a herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breed, most people would be better off with a different breed of dog. And remember that this is coming from someone with 3 border collies and thinks that they are the best dogs in the world haha. But they are not for everyone. Luke and I spend a lot of time making sure that they get the attention that they need and that they all have “jobs”. We also take them to an off leash dog park almost every weekend.

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They don’t just get to run around all willy nilly at the dog park. They’re constantly being told to come, sit, stay, and do other tricks and commands, to keep them mentally stimulated and to make them feel like they’re working.

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But they also get to play around a little bit while we’re there. πŸ™‚

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And whenever possible we like to take them to new places and put them into different situations. So they’re prepared for pretty much anything and always know how to act, no matter where we are or whats going on.

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When we’re at home fetch is a way of life and is taken very seriously.

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Individual walks happen pretty much everyday, regardless of the weather. The longer the better, although shorter ones will suffice if pressed for time.

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It’s not exactly easy, but Luke and I have gotten pretty good and wearing them out!! πŸ™‚

Ok, I’m done now. But obviously this is something that’s near and dear to my heart and it drives me crazy seeing a good dog turn into a problem. In almost every situation it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the handler. Because trust me, my dogs are fantastic! And I’ve met a lot of amazing dogs, but they don’t come that way. You have to MAKE them that way. And that’s a lot easier to do when you get a dog that you know with out a shadow of a doubt that you can handle and provide everything that it could possible need. That way you’re life will be a lot easier and you’ll end up with an amazing dog.

 

Whew! I didn’t mean to go onto a tangent like that, but I think the more that things like that get said, the better!

Anyways, after our building adventures were done we were finally able to spend the rest of the evening in the glorious air conditioner!! And that night someone live-streamed most of The Longshot’s concert that happened last night on Billie Joe Armstrong’s Instagram account, so obviously my little fangirl heart was as happy as could be! It looked like one hell of a show and I’m super duper jealous of anyone who gets to see The Longshot live, because they aren’t coming anywhere near where I live haha. But it is nice to at least get to see it on my phone. πŸ™‚

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Haha between getting another root canal and this big project, I haven’t gotten a lot of running done this week. But it’s all good! I felt like I could use a little bit of a break from all of the gross summer running anyway. πŸ˜‰ Plus all of the work we did putting together that dog kennel for the chickens hardcore wore me out!! When I woke up this morning I decided that I wasn’t going to do shit today, and so far so good!! πŸ˜‰ I’m very much on board with having the laziest Saturday ever!!

I hope you have a fantastic day and a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Your very dog obsessed friend,

~Ashley

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*squee!!!!!* Finn was so little!!!!! Haha he wasn’t a very cute puppy though. πŸ˜‰Β