Category Archives: Dogs

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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

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Itโ€™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. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), 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.ย ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒ™๐Ÿฆ‡๐ŸŽƒ

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.ย  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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 onย  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!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 whyย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

 

 

May 23rd, 2018

Lets play a fun little game!!

My dog.

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My dog.

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My dog.

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Not my dog. ๐Ÿ˜†

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Now in the morning whenever I let my dogs out, Ozzy comes right over. Haha I guess he gets bored and lonely while my neighbor (his owner) is at work. But this morning after he hung out in my yard for a little bit and bothering my chickens, he hopped my fence and was running around the easement….So I spent 15 minutes trying to get him back into my yard so at the very least he’d be safe and wouldn’t get hurt or lost. So eventually I got him back into my yard, made all of my dogs go inside, so he got bored in my yard and went back home. Oh man, this is getting a little annoying. I’m not about to keep an eye on that dog all day everyday. I like him, and he’s very sweet, but he’s not my dog (although he seems to think he is whenever my neighbor isn’t home, because he tries to come into my house when I let my dogs in), and not my responsibility. I’d feel terrible if something were to happen to him, but I can’t spend all day checking up on him and making sure he’s where he should be. Hopefully once the new fence gets built between our two yards his escape artist antic will stop.

Since I had to spend some time wrangling a dog that doesn’t belong to me, I got out on the road a little later than I would have liked. But luckily I had only planned on doing 2 easy miles today, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. It’s not like the weather would have really been much better anyway. It was 73 degrees, 85% humidity, and sunny. Yuck. That on top of the fact that I’m still kinda red and itchy from the antibiotics that I took one whole dose of for my root canal made today’s run not so fun. But I did it and that’s all that matters. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Seriously though, penicillin and cindamycin give hives, andย azithromycin gave me a rash similar to what the other two antibiotics do, but it was much more mild. So when the dentists office called to check up on me yesterday (which I though was really nice) I told them about it and was told to stop taking theย azithromycin. So, totally not sure what kind of antibiotics I would take if I had an actual infection. I guess I’d just have to tough it out. But luckily the last time I actually had an infection that needed treated with antibiotics was when I was 13 and had an appendectomy. I don’t remember a lot from my time in the hospital for that. I was on a lot of morphine haha. But I think they might have just continued to give me penicillin and just kept an eye on the hives it gave me. Because I remember being itchy the whole time I was there and don’t remember ever getting a different antibiotic. Like I said though, I was on a lot of morphine so I could be totally wrong about that haha.

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It’s kinda hard to see in this photo. Especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But I’m still a little red, bumpy, and itchy from theย azithromycin I took 2 days ago.

Luckily aย benadryl helped with the itching on Monday, but they make me so tired that I haven’t taken another since then haha. But the rash is definitely going away and not as bad as it was on Monday, so that’s good. ๐Ÿ™‚

My mouth/tooth area is feeling a little bit more sore today that it did after I got the root canal on Monday and yesterday. It got to the point where it woke me up a few times last night. I think I might have bit down on it weird at some point. Maybe even while I was sleeping. That and I haven’t been doing a good job of taking the pain medication the dentist gave me. He told me it would probably be a good idea to take one in the morning for the next few days as a preventive thing and then one every 6-8 hours after that as needed. But I only took one before I went to bed last night. Woops haha. I just don’t like taking medication, especially pain medication before I run. It’s only an 800 mg ibuprofen, but still… Hahaha and the endorphins from my run seemed to help with the discomfort I was having this morning anyway! ๐Ÿ™‚ Probably going to take another one before bed tonight though and hopefully I’ll be able to sleep a little better tonight than I did last night.

So since I had the root canal on Monday, I’ve been trying to stick with soft, easy to eat food. That meant that yesterday pretty much all I ate was 2 muffins and some rice and guacamole. Yeah, that wasn’t all that great…Easy to eat though haha! So today I made a point to eat some stuff that was a little more nutritious, including a berry/oatmeal smoothie, more rice and guacamole (this is one of my favorite combinations right now haha. Trust me, it’s delicious) with a fried egg this time, and a pint of ice cream. Oh and Luke made hamburgers for dinner so I had to had to have one of those. They were delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚ But at the very least I got a little more nutritious than yesterday haha.

But anyway. Other than my tooth being a little bit sore and it being hot in general, my day has been really good! I plan on running a little further tomorrow, so I’m gonna have to wake up earlier tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll sleep a little bit better tonight.

But anyway, I suppose that’s all for today!

Happy hump day!

~Ashley

StrideBox, Earlier Mornings, and My Neighbor’s Dog, Ozzy.

Another month means another StrideBox! Yay!!

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Getting a box full of running goodies once a month never gets old! I was particularly excited about the Honey Stinger Cracker N’ Nut bar that came in May’s box! Those things have quickly become one of my all time favorite snacks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, it would appear that spring didn’t stick around very long. It’s been feeling more and more like summer here in Kansas. So far the highs are all in the 80’s this week, and on Wednesday (I think), it’s supposed to be around 89 degrees. And it’s just gonna keep getting hotter from here. Yuck… But on the bright side, summer is thunderstorm season and I do love thunderstorms! Watching storm fronts move in is basically one of my favorite hobbies. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Haha but anyway, I’ve got a 5k on Saturday and it’s looking like the weather isn’t gonna be too great for that. According to my weather app the high is gonna be 90 degrees. Cloudy, which will help a bit, but still, 90 degrees…Well, this race is at 8 am though, so it should actually be cooler than that, but still. Plus there are a few thunderstorms in the forecast before Saturday, which means it’s gonna be crazy humid…ย  I’m beginning to think the time goal I had in mind might not happen on Saturday. I know it’s only a 5k and if it were any other weather condition (cold, rainy, icy, snowy, even windy) I could and gladly would suffer through it. But for whatever reason I’ve never been able to do that when it comes to heat and humidity. It slows me waaay down, completely drains me, and leaves me feeling pretty shitty and tired for the rest of the day. Haha I mean, I always kinda feel tired and bleh when it’s hot out, but it just gets worse if I ran that day.

Anyway, I haven’t completely given up on my goal. I just might get super lucky! But I’m also prepared to accept the fact that the weather is what it is and I just not might be able to fight through it. And at the very least there will be cows, goats, and a huge buffet at the end. Even if I am only running the 5k, I’m gonna hit that buffet HARD hahahaha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ok, back to the point that I actually wanted to make. Since the weather has been getting warmer I’ve been having to wake up earlier. Right now I’m only having to get up at 6 am, which is only about an hour earlier than I usually do. So that’s not too horrible. But I’m able to get up, eat, drink my coffee and some water, brush my teeth, get dressed, and then get out the door just a little bit before 7 am. And that’s been working quite well, since the sun isn’t all the way up by then so it feels a little cooler. Plus the asphalt is still relatively cool since the sun hasn’t been shining on it for long at that time of day.

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View from my back porch at 6 am this morning.

So my run today was pretty pleasant, for the most part. It felt kinda cool even though it was in the high 60’s, there was a very nice breeze, and the sun was still mostly below the trees by the time I finished so I never got miserably hot. I felt pretty good during all 5 miles. The only real problem was my neighbor’s dog, Ozzy.

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You see, Ozzy is a relatively young dog, probably around Finn’s age, and my neighbor has had him for maybe 5 or 6 months (his old dog, Zadie, had to be euthanized. She was a really good dog and everyone was pretty upset about that.) Ozzy is also a red heeler (or maybe only part heeler, I don’t remember exactly), so he’s a herding dog. And obviously we have all sorts of small creatures in our backyard that look fun to chase. And for the past few weeks our chickens have really gotten his attention.

Anther thing that’s important to note is that the fence that we share with this neighbor is old and very broken haha. So he and Luke have been working on replacing it, but that’s been kind of a slow process because they both work a lot and our neighbor also goes camping a lot with his brother. That’s not been an issue until later last week though, when Ozzy figured out how to squeeze under the fence and started terrorizing my chickens.

So last Friday while I was feeding my little flock I saw a flash of white in what is usually a mostly black blur that happens in my backyard when all 3 of my dogs are running around, and of course it was Ozzy. Initially I wasn’t too worried about it. You can tell that he really wants to play with my dogs when he’s in his yard and they all like to run the fence line together. But after a few minutes of running around my yard he started to bother the chickens. Running around their coop, jumping on it, barking at them, and just kinda freaking them out in general. That pissed Finn off. Those are Finn’s chickens. He spends a lot of time trying to herd them through the coop (and sometimes he can even successfully make them move into a little group haha), but for the most part he just likes to sit near the coop and guard them. He does the same thing to the rabbit hutch. Those are his small animals and he has taken it upon himself to protect them. He’s also super protective of me (he will literally throw himself across my body and shield me from anything he thinks is a threat), the backyard, and pretty much anything he knows belongs to Luke and I. He’s a good dog, but he’s also still pretty young and dumb. He’s basically a teenager. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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So anyway, he ended up getting into a fight with Ozzy because he didn’t like Ozzy upsetting his chickens. Luckily they both stopped when I yelled at them and neither of them were hurt. So I put my dogs in my house, locked the chickens in their nesting area, and caught Ozzy and put him back in his yard. Then I covered all of the spots in the fence that he could squeeze under with rocks and bricks, hoping that would keep him out. And it did for the rest of Friday, but now he’s learned how to dig at them and move them just enough so that he can squeeze back under and he’s been in our yard at least once (but usually more than that) ever since. And like I said, I wouldn’t really mind him being in our yard, if he didn’t cause problems

So back to what happened today. I got up at 6, let Finn and Dean out (Luke was still asleep at this point and Lily will refuse to leave the bedroom if he’s still in bed. Haha she’s also super protective like Finn is. She’s just smarter and more mature about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), then let the chickens out into the outside area of their coop and fed them. About half an hour later I found Ozzy in the yard, so I got him out, readjusted the rocks and bricks on the fence, and went out for my run. When I was about 3 miles in I ran past my house and saw he was back in my yard so I had to stop, repeat the whole process again, and then left to do the last two miles of my run.

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Ozzy and Dean watching me take off for the last portion of my run this morning.

Finished my remaining 2 miles, and of course I found Ozzy back in the yard again. And this time he was trying to dig under the coop to get to my chickens! Yeah, obviously I’m not about to let that happen. I’m already kind of irritated that he’s been upsetting them. So went through the whole process of catching him again, put more stuff along the fence in an attempt to keep him out, and then I lined the outside of the chicken coop with rocks and bricks. So if he does get in my yard and tries to dig underneath the coop again it should at least slow him down. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. Haha the chickens did enjoy this though. The rocks and bricks were covered in all sorts of bugs and worms, so they got to have themselves a nice little bug buffet this morning. They seemed to enjoy chasing and chasing bugs to their little hearts’ content. ๐Ÿ™‚

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And of course there’s Finn and his long ass tongue on the other side of the coop keeping an eye on them haha. If you look at the top of the photo you can also see Ozzy claw marks on the wood of the coop. He’s scratched up the other side of the coop really bad… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

So far he hasn’t gotten back into our yard since I caught him for the third time today, so that’s good. But here in a little bit Luke and I are going to go bury some rocks and bricks along the fence line in hopes that will keep Ozzy out of our yard until they can finish replacing that fence. Hopefully then he wont be able to get into our yard anymore and our chickens will be safe. At least from him haha. Last summer a raccoon took up residence under our shed. I haven’t seen him since last fall though so I’m hoping he’s gone for good. I’m pretty sure all of the feral cats are too afraid of my dogs to even attempt to get into my back yard (raise you’re hand if you know what tends to happen to feral cats on a farm! Yeah, I kinda miss having that option. Feral cats are nothing but a problem…). There are also a couple of foxes that live in my neighborhood. One lives under someone else’s shed a few blocks down, as a matter of fact! There’s not much we can do about them though, except hope that all of the dogs keep them away. And there are a lot of dogs in all of the yards surrounding our house haha.

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But of course my dogs are the best, and I’m definitely not biased at all about that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

Well this post ended up being longer than I thought it was gonna be! Haha it happens though. Sometimes I just get going and I can’t stop! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I’ll definitely be posting about what goes down with my 5k on Saturday! Hopefully it doesn’t end up being as bad as I think it might be.

I hope your Tuesday was terrific! (That was super lame, I know.)

~Ashley

Easter Weekend Shenanigans

Woohoo! I’m finally able to really use my right hand again!!! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„

I got bit by a dog on Monday while Luke, the dogs, and I were in Illinois visiting our families. Yeah, it was totally my fault and I have hard feelings towards the dog. I shouldn’t have grabbed her when she bolted out the door…

But I’ll get to that story eventually! First let’s talk about all of the fun Luke and I managed to squeeze into our small amount of time in Illinois! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, early last week Luke found out he got Easter Sunday off of work, so on a whim he kinda decided to take a vacation day for the following Monday so we could go visit our families. He had to work on Saturday though, so we’re only going up have a very small amount of time there, but we sure managed to use that time well!

On Saturday I spent the day doing laundry, dishes, bathing the dogs, packing for our trip, and just getting everything ready in general for us to be gone for a few days. I’m pretty sure I went over all of that in this post. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย Anyway, Saturday evening when Luke got home from work I was ready to go! He quickly changed, we packed the car, loaded up the dogs and started making our way to Illinois. It takes about 5 hours to get from our house to Luke’s dad’s in Illinois. It’s a boring drive, but it’s a lot better than the 11 hours that it takes to get to my mom and dad’s in Longmont Colorado! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Finn sure got comfy on our way there haha.

 

We got to Luke’s dad’s house around 11:30 Saturday night and as per our new tradition that we started on Christmas, Luke, his dad, oldest brother, and myself stayed up until 2:30 am playing Cards Against Humanity haha. Luke’s dad bought an expansion pack so we had all sorts of new cards to play with. It was a lot of fun. What wasn’t fun was sleeping on their pullout couch. It doesn’t feel very sturdy, sinks in, and there’s not a lot of room. Luke and I fit on it fine, but when you have 3 dogs trying to also sleep on it, well, things get kinda crowded. I think I ended up getting like 2 hours of sleep that night. Fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

The next morning Luke’s youngest brother woke us up by coming into the living room where we were sleeping, and slowly getting closer and closer the the pullout couch. He’d take a step, stop, look at us for a little bit, then take another step, stop, you get the picture. That freaked Finn out. He forced his way in between Luke and I and was growling at Luke’s brother. After a few minutes of that we had to get up and let all of the dogs outside. Not long after that Luke’s dad and step mom came downstairs and started making breakfast. It seems like they like to do biscuits and gravy for holiday breakfasts but they know I’m not a fan, so they made me a nice sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich instead. ๐Ÿ™‚ So we ate, talked, Luke took a shower, his youngest brother explained pokemon to me while Luke’s dad and I were trying to talk about other stuff (haha sorry dude, but I could absolutely school you on pokemon! Next time we go there I’ll have to bring my DS and battle him. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). And all the while Finn stood on a wood pile, looking longingly inside at us hahaha.

 

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This is the correct way to bathroom selfie, right? Haha just messing around after our 5 hour car ride.

The next morning Luke’s youngest brother woke us up by coming into the living room where we were sleeping, and slowly getting closer and closer the the pullout couch. He’d take a step, stop, look at us for a little bit, then take another step, stop, you get the picture. That freaked Finn out. He forced his way in between Luke and I and was growling at Luke’s brother. After a few minutes of that we had to get up and let all of the dogs outside. Not long after that Luke’s dad and step mom came downstairs and started making breakfast. It seems like they like to do biscuits and gravy for holiday breakfasts but they know I’m not a fan, so they made me a nice sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich instead. ๐Ÿ™‚ So we ate, talked, Luke took a shower, his youngest brother explained pokemon to me while Luke’s dad and I were trying to talk about other stuff (haha sorry dude, but I could absolutely school you on pokemon! Next time we go there I’ll have to bring my DS and battle him. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). And all the while Finn stood on a wood pile, looking longingly inside at us hahaha.

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After Luke had showered and ate we drove to my old house so we could do some target practice. My mom and dad haven’t sold it yet so we’re still able to go there, although I don’t like going. The farm is sold so all of the land belongs to someone else now. And they’ve changed a lot of things and it just makes me sad. Haha the whole time we were there Luke kept telling me one day we’ll have our own land to do what we want with.

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My hand prints and my brother’s footprints (that you can barely see) in our old driveway. Crazy to think it was 18 years ago when we did that…

Anyway, Luke and I set up our target, technically on the people who bought the farm’s property, but they weren’t there so no big deal haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And did a little bit of shooting. It was cold and windy so we didn’t stay long, but it’s been a looooong time since I’ve shot a gun. Glad to see I can still hit a target! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

After we had our fun we drove to my grandma’s new house. She had a little Easter party so my great Aunt and Uncle (my Auntie and Uncle Pa. ๐Ÿ™‚ ), my mom, brother, and Uncle Ken (my mom’s brother) were all there. Luke said hi to everyone but had to leave because he had to go to his Grandma Becky’s Easter lunch. I was right about my grandma and Uncle Ken cooking though! They made an amazing ham, German green beans, cauliflower, potato salad, and my grandma made the BEST desserts; peach cobbler and a cheesecake. It was a fantastic lunch! After we’d all eaten my Aunt Lori showed up (she’s my Auntie and Uncle Pa’s daughter). So we all got to visit for a while. It started sleeting though, so my Auntie, Uncle Pa, and Aunt Lori had to leave before the weather got too bad. After they had gone my Grandma, Uncle, and I watched the Jesus Christ Super Star thing that was on TV. I’ve never actually seen Jesus Christ Super Star before, but I really enjoyed it! And Alice Cooper being in it was pretty spiffy too! And after that we were all pretty tired so we all went to bed.

So I spent my Easter shooting, eating, and hanging out with family. It was nice. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday morning Luke was up bright and early! Half an hour earlier than me, which doesn’t often happen haha. But we had things we wanted to do and we had to leave later that day, so getting up early made sense. ๐Ÿ™‚

First Luke and his brother came and picked up me and my brother and we drove back to the old house so our brothers could do a little bit of shooting. Again we didn’t spend a lot of time there. It was even colder and now it was wet and icy from the sleet the night before. We all had fun though. Luke’s brother doesn’t exactly get to shoot a lot so he was happy to get to, even though I kept having to remind him of gun safety. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And my brother got to show off a little bit and I never had to yell at him haha. But remember that both of us have been shooting basically since we could walk. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This photo is actually from Sunday, but whatever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After our second round of target practice, we drove back to Luke’s dad’s, picked up his youngest brother and went to the St. Louis City Museum. I haven’t been there since Iw as in like, second grade, and everyone else had never been, so we figured it would be fun to do something different. If you’ve never been to the City Museum, it’s basically a art exhibit/giant playground. With just a tiny bit of actual museum stuff thrown into the mix. The outdoor stuff was still all closed because it’s still too cold out, but there was still plenty to do inside! We played on skate ramps, climbed a crazy amount of stairs, went down a 10 story slide, climbed on stuff, explored an indoor cave, and ate overpriced pizza. It was a lot of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

After the City museum we dropped my brother off at my grandma’s, dropped Luke’s younger brother off at his house, then Luke, his other brother, and I went to Barns and Noble, and then to Luke’s Grandma Wilma’s house. That’s when I got bit by the dog. When we got there her dogs bolted out the door, she said they’d run away, so I grabbed one of them, and she got scared, and bit my right hand a couple of times. Totally my fault. I shouldn’t of grabbed her like that. But she left one pretty decent puncture in my wrist, a few scratches, and my whole hand was swollen. Luke’s grandma cleaned up the wound, and put some antibacterial stuff on it along with a band aid. It hurt like hell but we figured it didn’t require a hospital visit. But anyway, we hung out with her for a while, but it was getting to be around 3:30 pm and Luke and I still needed to drive home. So we left her house, went to Luke’s dad’s said goodbye to everyone there, got Lily and Luke’s stuff. Drove to my Grandma’s, got Finn and Dean, and my stuff, said by to everyone there, got into the car, and began our journey home.

The drive home was slightly more miserable than the drive there. Our car doesn’t have any heat and it was cold and rainy out, so we got to spend 5 hours shivering. It definitely wasn’t as bad as our drive to Colorado over Thanksgiving though! The temperatures were in the negatives for a lot of that drive! This time it was above freezing at least. And we made it home around 9:15 pm without any real issues, so that was good. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Haha so yeah, like I said, we squeezed in quite a lot in the short amount of time we had there! Of course I ended up getting hurt, but at least it was during our last few hours there haha. And my hand is healing up quite nicely at this point! It’s still kinda sore and a little bit swollen, but I can actually use it again which is nice! Although after typing all of this it’s kinda hurting again. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I’ve been able to keep the wound clean and it seems to be healing very well, so I’ll gladly take it! Cat bites tend to get infected more than dogs bites do, but still, you can never be too careful about that kind of thing. And I only missed out on a few days of running, and that was mostly just because we were traveling. But I’ll talk about that in my weekly recap on Sunday.

Whew! Alrighty then! I didn’t think this post was going to be so long haha. But I guess I should have seen that coming. We did do a lot of stuff. But, that is all for now!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday!!

You’re very injury prone friend,

~Ashley

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