Category Archives: everyday life

Home, Sweet Home!

Oh man is it good to be back home!!! Obviously we had a lot of fun while we were in Branson, but I was very ready to get back home and see my puppies! All of which we did. πŸ˜‰

We packed up the truck, said our goodbyes, and were on the road by about 1:30 pm yesterday. So we got home around 4:30, which wasn’t bad! But we ha d a lot to do when we got home! First we had to put the chickens outside (they were staying in our spare bedroom since it was so hot and I wasn’t going to be here all day to take care of them while we were gone) and start cleaning up the mess they made. That’s been a super long process that involved having to buy an air filter because all of the dust they created was really bothering my asthma.

But before we were able to do that we had to run to Tractor Supply to get more chicken feed, dog food, and cat litter. After that we made our way to the kennel to pick up the dogs. Haha for whatever reason the lady who runs it wasn’t there so we had to wait for a few minutes, but I was perfectly fine with that because I got to play with her goats again! But she didn’t take long to get there and get the whole dog situation squared away. Haha the dogs were sure happy to see us and didn’t even give the goats a thought as we were loading them into the truck! Pretty impressive for a group of border collies. πŸ˜‰

After we picked them up we had to run back home, drop them off (but in the backyard because they all smelled terrible), and then we were off to Walmart to get the air filter thing I was talking about and a few groceries since we basically had no food at the house haha. So after we got home from all of that, Luke bathed the dogs while I did more work on the bedroom. I felt like I was in there forever but didn’t get a lot done haha. But it was getting late and I still needed to shower, so I did that and then Luke and I went to bed.

Luckily today though I was able to get that room mostly cleaned out. There is still a bit of a mess in there, but it’s sooo much better than it was yesterday! Today I also had to unpack everything, do a ridiculous amount of laundry and just get the house clean in general. But I got all of that accomplished, and even had some time to dye my hair! Haha it’s been a busy and productive day. πŸ˜‰ But Luckily that means I shouldn’t have a lot to do tomorrow and will finally be able to relax a bit.

So yeah, just wanted to do a quick little update to let you know that we made it home in one piece and the dogs don’t hate us for leaving them in a kennel for almost 5 days haha. I’ve got a lot more to talk about for tomorrow though, so be on the lookout for that! Some exciting stuff is officially kicking off tomorrow. πŸ™‚

But for now, I’ll wish you a very happy Saturday and be on my way, because I’ve still got some stuff I need to get done tonight. Until tomorrow!

~Ashley

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Branson Adventures: Day 4

Today was our last full day here. Tomorrow, probably at some point in the morning we’re going to be heading bark home to Kansas. We’ve had a pretty good time here, but oh man do I miss my puppies! Haha I’m sure they’re doing fine, we haven’t gotten a call from the kennel or anything so that’s a good sign. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, this morning I got to enjoy my breakfast and coffee on our front porch and hang out with Luke’s mom, before it got too crazy hot. We had a heat warning today and I believe it was the hottest day we’ve had while we’ve been here.

While we were hanging out Luke and my brother-in-law went to Walmart to replace the fishing stuff that got stolen yesterday. Honestly no one is too upset about losing the cheap fishing poles, it’s just my leatherman’s tool that literally everyone is upset about. Haha it kinda feels nice to know that everyone cares so much just because that thing meant so much to me. It still really sucks that some asshole stole it…

Anyway, once Luke and my brother-in-law got back from Walmart we got all of our fishing gear ready and then headed down to the river. I didn’t stay out long though. It was crazy hot out and we were under a heat advisory, and you all know how well I do in the heat. πŸ˜‚ So after like, 15 minutes I went back up to the cabin haha.

Pretty much everyone else went off to do their own thing, so I was alone for awhile. I kinda started to get our stuff packed but up and in order so we don’t have to worry about it tomorrow, and then I just kinda chilled by myself and read a book. πŸ™‚

Then this evening we had a big family cookout with like, over 20 people. Every one was grilling and hanging out and having a good time. But then a thunderstorm rolled in. Every one had to rush around to get everything off of the grills, put stuff inside, and round up all of the children. But once that was done a bunch of us just stood out in it and watched it. Hahaha we ended up getting soaking wet, but we stayed out in it the whole time!

Once the storm past we were able finish up our festivities. After everyone ate we went down to the river and swam for a little bit. Now we’re back in the cabin and getting ready to play some board games!

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley

Branson Adventures: Day 3

Today was more laid back than yesterday. Good thing too, because we were up late last night!! We had a lot of fun though. After we got back to the cabins from the pizza buffet/arcade thing we hung out outside for a little bit and played corn hole in the dark haha.

But like I said, today was a more chill day. We slept in a little (if you can consider 8 am sleeping in πŸ˜‰) and in the morning Luke and one of his brothers went to Walmart to pick up a few things, so I hung out with their mom, my brother-in-law’s girlfriend and her two kids for a while. We mostly just sat on the porch of one of the cabins and talked. It was nice. 😊

Luke and my brother-in-law ended up being gone for a lot longer than I thought they would be, but once the finally did get back they had a bunch of fishing gear. My brother-in-law went somewhere to do something with his girlfriend since today is their first anniversary, but no one else really had anything planned for today so Luke figured we could do a little bit of fishing. So he got our poles all ready and then we headed down to the river.

Today the water was a little higher and the current was a little faster, so wading across and then walking to the spot we swam at the first day we were here was a bit difficult, but one we got to that spot the water was much more calm.

After we cast out our lines it don’t take us very long to catch a couple of bluegill! I got one first and a few minutes after that Luke’s brother got one too! But the both swallowed the hooks and since we were just planning to catch and release we didn’t want to kill anymore fish like that, so we switched to bigger hooks (haha I know none of this is very technical. Luke’s the big fisher, not me, I prefer deer hunting). After that the bluegill were able to just pull our bait right off the hooks, but eventually Luke ended up catching a few more.

After a while I started to get hungry, so I walked back up the the cabins to eat lunch and kinda cool off in the air conditioning for a little bit. But eventually I did go back out and we all ended up catching a good amount of fish! Luke ended up with 15, his brother got 13, and I had 7. Not bad considering they were out longer than me. πŸ˜‰ I also ended up catching the biggest and smallest bluegill (which was a good majority of what we caught), Luke’s brother caught a catfish, and Luke caught a bass. I’d say we had a good day! But then around 3:30 pm it started to get really hot and the fish stopped biting, so we walked back up to the cabins, changed out of our swimming/fishing gear, and then went to a Nike outlet store because we couldn’t find anything thing else we really wanted to do.

So the Nike outlet store was basically heaven haha. So. Much. Running gear!!! And most of it was half price!! Luke and I are on a super tight budget, but I still got a sweet pair of sweat pants and the absolute BEST pair of Free’s ever! Seriously, I’ve wanted these shoes FOREVER and I finally got them for exactly half off. Pretty sweet deal! πŸ˜„

After I got my absolutely gorgeous new shoes, that I also desperately needed because my other pair of Free’s that I’m currently running in are completely worn out, we beaded back to the cabins with the intent to do some more fishing, bust some asshole stole our fishing poles and tackle box! WTF?!?! They were just shitty, cheap, Walmart fishing poles so they weren’t worth anything, but I had a super old leathermens tool that my now deceased grandpa gave me for my 16th birthday (it was a whole thing and it meant a lot to me) and the case for it that my dad handmade for me. So I’m super bummed out about that. The fishing poles are replaceable, that tool is not. ☹️

So we spent the rest of the evening coming up with crazy ways to try to figure out how to get it back. Unfortunately that’s probably not gonna happened…

Anyway, we’re currently just chilling on the porch talking. I hope you had a good day!!

~Ashley

Branson Adventures: Day 2

I was hoping I was going to be able to run while we were here, but the little town near the cabins we are staying in is super shady, and I don’t have my pistol (we’re in Missouri so I can conceal and carry without a permit anyway), and I forgot my pepper spray. So I’m thinking that’s gonna be a no go.

Not that it matters much anyway. We had a little too much fun in the river yesterday (meaning me, Luke, and on of my brother-in-laws ((the other one who was with us is underage)) had a little too much to drink. πŸ˜‰). It was fun though!! But after all of that and then going to bed super late, I probably wouldn’t have run this morning anyway. πŸ˜‚

More pictures from yesterday:

I finally got to play with my Garmin VIRB! I’ve had it for over a year, but haven’t really had a reason to do much with it. But anyway, sorry that all of the photos are just stacked instead of in a nice little collage. I’m doing this all on my phone so I can’t do that stuff. And honestly even if I could, I don’t have a lot of time to mess around with stuff like that and make these posts pretty. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, woke up this morning to Luke cooking breakfast. That was pretty awesome!! πŸ˜„ Luke, me, and one of his younger brothers ate breakfast, got ready, and then had to wait for everybody else to get ready to go. Luke’s mom had a bunch of stuff planned for today and we wanted to leave the cabins by 8 am. But of course we didn’t. Haha but we were only 20 minutes behind our schedule, so that wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Especially considering all of the small children that our in our group.

So when I was told we had a busy day today, I thought that meant we were actually going to do fun stuff. But nope. Our group split for a little bit, and everyone who had small children went to some kids thing, and we went to two army surplus stores and then Bass Pro shop…Not gonna lie, I don’t understand the appeal of going on vacation just to go shopping, but whatever.

Just a fun sign I saw in one of the army surplus stores bathrooms. I had to go through their backroom yo get to the bathroom and it was weird. πŸ˜‚

After we were done shopping and the people with kids were done with their thing, we all ate lunch, met back up, and went to this animal safari thing. For the most part, I wasn’t a fan… The enclosures for the animals at the park thing were just pitifully small and didn’t have much going on. It was really sad. One of the tigers was just pacing around his small little area. Poor thing.

The actual safari part was a little better. All of the animals out there got to roam around in herds and obviously loved getting treats. Our tour guide was telling us that some of the herd animals they had were rescues and being rehabilitated, so I guess that was something. Still though, I wasn’t entirely sold that their whole operation was a good thing. It was kinda fun feeding the animals.

After the slightly depressing animal “safari” we all went to a pizza buffet thing to celebrate one of Luke’s brother’s birthday’s a little bit early. After everyone ate we played in their arcade for a little bit. Now that was a lot of fun! We played a few games, rode go karts, and several people cleaned out the claw machines! Luke won me a blue llama on his very first try which was freaking sweet! I named him Carl. πŸ˜‰ Then he won a pink llama, who still had no name, and the worlds cutest hedgehog, who is apparently named Hans. Haha so obviously I’m the world’s happiest camper!

That place closed at 9 pm, so that’s when he left haha. We’re currently on our way back to the cabins and I think we’re gonna have a bonfire once we get there. That should be fun!

Anyway, that’s all for today! Tomorrow is gonna be a more laid back day because we don’t have anything planned. We’ll probably spend some more time in the river though. πŸ˜‰ Happy Tuesday!

~Ashley

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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Thursday Things

Hello friends, and happy summer solstice!

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I’ve just got a few things I want to talk about today, so lets get right into it! πŸ™‚

This morning I had a dentist appointment. He cemented the permanent crowns to the two teeth I’ve had root canals done on, and then did a cleaning for all of my teeth. Oh man, it’s been a while since that’s happened! But the new crowns look fantastic and seem to fit in my mouth perfectly! I’m glad those two teeth have been taken care of but I’ve still got quite a bit of work that needs to be done on my teeth and I have no more dental insurance until next year. So unfortunately that’s going to have to wait. Hopefully my teeth will hold out for a while.

But anyway, while we were there I had to have like, 8 thousand x-rays taken and the dental assistant said I was one of the easiest people she’s ever worked with! I didn’t complain, or gag, or have any trouble while she was taking the x-rays with whatever it is that they have to put in your mouth to do that. Haha I told her if I can willingly sit through a 3 hour tattoo I can do this kinda discomfort, no problem! Then after the dentist had cleaned my teeth he commented on my pain threshold. I always find it amusing when people comment on that. Mostly because I’m very well aware of it haha. When I was 13 my appendix ruptured and the surgeons at the hospital were hesitant to even operate on my because “I wasn’t in enough pain”. After spending 3 days in the ER and having my body start to shut down they finally operated, and low and behold, it was my appendix, it had ruptured days ago, and my whole abdomen was a huge mess. So yeah, I’m very aware of my high threshold for pain. It literally almost killed me!!

Now if only I could take that pain threshold and transfer it to hot, sunny, gross days, when I’m trying to do a hard run. Then I’d be pretty much set haha!!

Anyway, after my dental appointment I did actually run outside today! The treadmill is nice, but seriously, nothing is better than how freeing it feels to run outside! Plus the weather was pretty nice too. We’ve had some rain just near by and that’s cooled things off quite a bit. When I started my run it was partly cloudy with a nice, cool wind blowing in and by the time I was done it was starting to drizzle a little bit. It was really nice!! I felt really good, my calves weren’t as tight as they were yesterday from the 2 treadmill runs I had done earlier this week, and I was listening to Let’s Go, which is probably my all time favorite Rancid album. It was a really good run. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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The drizzle ended up turning into a nice little rain shower, which was fantastic! We’ve really needed some rain. It’s been really hot and the sun has been pretty intense and my garden has been suffering because of it. Even with daily waterings. It’s just been bad. But even so I’ve still gotten a good amount of strawberries, 1 zucchini, and 1 blueberry so far. I’ve also got a couple of small watermelons growing, the blueberry bush is full of berries that just need to ripen, my tomato plants are starting to grow little tomatoes, my zuccini plants are covered in flowers, and my peach tree is still covered in peaches. I’m thinking with the intense heat it’s not going to be a great year for my garden, but I also don’t think it will be too bad.

The garden might not be doing all that great, but the new chicks are! They’re eating and growing like crazy! They’re also incredibly messy and have taken to knocking their feed everywhere and perching on they’re feeder. Haha they’re funny little creatures.

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Alrighty then! That’s all I’ve got for today. But my half marathon training plan starts next month(have I mentioned yet that I’m running 2 half marathons in 2 days, yet?!?!?! πŸ˜‰ )! I am pretty excited for that, I find the challenges of training for a half fun, but since I’m training for 2 I’m going to be tweaking some things here and there. But I’ll get to all of that later.

For now, happy Friday eve!

~Ashley