Tag Archives: backyard flock

Chicken Stuff

I swore up and down that there would be no more chickens in this house! They’re messy, smelly, and annoying to clean up after inside. But low and behold, I had a freaking chicken in my living room on Sunday night.

Poor girl was getting bullied by my rooster, Jethro. She was super stressed out and wouldn’t get into the nesting box at night and had stopped cleaning herself (hence why she looks so terrible in the above photo). So I brought her in and set her up in a dog crate in my “exercise room”. Luckily she seemed perfectly fine with all of that. As far as she was concerned it was a smaller version of their nesting area outside and it got her away from Jethro.

So she got to hang out inside with us for a few days. She calmed down and started cleaning herself again. She never stopped eating, drinking, pooping or doing other chicken things, and her eyes are clear and she’s not sneezing or anything so I was very confident that she wasn’t sick. Just being bullied.

On Tuesday I locked Jethro into the nesting box and let this little lady hang outside with the other hens for a few hours. That experience 100% confirmed my suspicions that it was only Jethro being an asshole to her. The other hens just went about their business when I brought her out, while Jethro freaked out in the nesting area. πŸ™„

After a few hours I brought her back in and let Jethro out. At that point he got a banana too. πŸ˜‚

The next day I decided I was going to let the hens into the bigger run of the coop and leave Jethro locked in the inner area of the coop all day. My hen was doing fine inside, but these are flock animals and they can get stressed out being separated from the group. Plus she’s a chicken and chicken like to be outside. πŸ˜‚

So I went ahead with my plan. Jethro was super pissed that I had separated him from his harem, but at least my Brahma hen got to be outside and do chicken things with the rest of the flock. As the day went on Jethro finally calmed the fuck down and do that evening I gave him run of the whole coop again. I kept a close eye on him though. Obviously I didn’t want him harassing that poor hen again. Luckily he didn’t and that night when I went to lock them up they were nesting together, fast asleep. So hopefully Jethro has gotten over whatever his issues with her was.

Jethro might be an asshole, but he’s MY asshole. πŸ˜‚

So a rooster picking on a hen is actually a pretty common occurrence. Sometimes there is literally no reason for it. But I’m thinking (and hoping) that this whole situation happened because my little flock is currently molting. They’re shedding their winter feathers, growing their summer feathers, and apparently tension is high. πŸ˜‚ But again, that’s all pretty common stuff.

Obviously I’m gonna have to keep a close watch on them to make sure they’re all getting along (or ya know, to make sure Jethro stops being a bully). But I think once they’re done molting everyone will calm down and go back to normal.

So since they are molting I was expecting their egg production to go down at least a little bit but it really hasn’t. I’ve been getting at least 4-5 eggs a day. But a day were all 7 of my hens lay an egg isn’t uncommon at all. So needless to say, I have a bunch of eggs. πŸ˜‚

A couple of people Luke works with want some so we’re going to sell them some. Plus I’m going to be leaving for Colorado next week for my first race of the year and I plan on bringing a bunch of them with me to give to my dad. But I think over the summer we’re going to have to put an ad on Craigslist or something because there’s no way we’re going to be able to eat all of these eggs! πŸ˜‚

It is pretty sweet to have our own fresh eggs though! And pretty soon we’ll be planting our garden and we’ll have fresh produce to go along with them. 😊

So yeah. Chicken stuff. πŸ“πŸ₯šπŸ˜„

Hopefully by next week I’ll have some fun hiking stuff to talk about! And then of course as the week goes on running stuff and eventually a race recap!

Honestly I haven’t really had anything super exciting to talk about running wise as of late. I’m trucking along and I feeling great about what I’m getting done, but to be honest it’s all kinda boring! πŸ˜‚ Just putting in the work and getting in the miles. I’ve really been enjoying the whole process though! Although with summer running quickly approaching I’m not sure how long the whole “enjoying the process” thing is going to last. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, that is all for today!

Does anyone else have any upcoming races they’re looking forward to? It is that time of year after all!

Happy racing season everyone! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜„

~Ashley and her small flock of chickens

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.

img_8762

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!

img_7925

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

Thursday Things

Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome to another edition of me rambling on about things that are going on in my life! πŸ˜‰

Okey dokey, this Thursday has been quite eventful! So let’s just start with the very first thing that I experienced today and the one thing that is a slight bummer; my big, Brahma chicken Jethro is definitely a male. I’ve been kinda suspicious about it for a while, but he started crowing today and that pretty much confirms what I basically already knew… And the reason that’s a bummer is that he wasn’t supposed to be male. The hatchery we got them from sexes them, but obviously accidents happen and we just got unlucky. So unfortunately Jethro might have to die. We just can’t have a rooster. Roosters tend to be kind of loud. Plus we don’t want any fertilized eggs. Obviously we’d gather them everyday, so the likely hood of ending up with chicks would be super small.Β  But still…So yeah, bummer.

Haha but go figure the most friendly and social chicken is a male. Usually roosters are giant assholes. They can get crazy aggressive and will attack people. A lot of my dad’s roosters did. Have you ever been stabbed by the little spur things some breeds of roosters get on the back of their legs? Because I have and it’s not pleasant. πŸ˜‚ But Jethro is a different breed than those chickens were, so that might be why he’s not so aggressive. Plus he’s still pretty young so that could be it too.

So all morning I’ve been texting my dad and husband about what the best course of action would be. Luke seems to be a bit on the fence about it, but my dad and I think butchering him and having him for dinner is the best course of action. Especially since he is still young, so his meat will be nice and tender. The only problem is that can get really messy and we have neighborhood children to consider. Back when we lived on a farm we would just chop their heads off. I suppose that’s a bit graphic, but it’s effective. So I’ve looked into ways that involve less mess and I’ve found one that I like. But for now, Jethro’s fate is still undecided.

Since I was dealing with that this morning I ended up getting out a little later for my run. Not a big deal though, because the weather has been crazy nice! We literally just switched from summer to fall over the course of a few days and it’s been fantastic!!! The last couple of years we’ve had super warm falls and the weather would kind of switch back and forth from being cold to warm, but always staying more to the warmer side, but so far that hasn’t happened yet! I’m really hoping for a cold fall and winter! It feels like FOREVER since we’ve had them or a decent amount of snow.

Anyway, I’ve definitely been enjoying the nice weather! The only problem is that I get a little bit too excited and then end up going to hard. And that’s what I did today. πŸ˜‚ The plan was to do 3 easy miles to loosen up my sore legs, but that didn’t happen! I mean, the 3 miles did, but not the easy part. It was fun though. 😊

Once I got back from my run I had a huge ass box waiting for me on my front porch! Earlier this week my mother-in-law was going through all of her Halloween stuff because she’s trying to down size, so she sent me a bunch of it! She sent me some super cool stuff and I’m very stoked, so of course I had to start decorating today. πŸŽƒπŸ¦‡πŸπŸ–€

I started inside the house. This is actually the first year we’ve had indoor Halloween decor so that pretty freaking sweet!

Once Luke got home we moved onto the front yard. He set up a little cemetery with skeleton flamingos and I hung up all of the fake spiders/spider webs. We haven’t hung up the ghosts, bats, or lights yet though. Luke wants to pick up a few more things and then we’re gonna finish decorating the yard tomorrow. I’m pretty excited with how everything is looking and I’m definitely looking forward to getting a few new spooky things!!

Luke’s mom also sent him a super spiffy Michael Myers mask. How sweet is that?! We want to build a scarecrow, get a mannequin head thing, put the mask on it and then use it for the head. How cool would that be?!

img_5256

While we were out decorating we had Lily and Dean hanging out in the front yard with us. Finn is still too young and excitable to have that privilege, but he’ll get there before too long. πŸ™‚ I very much enjoy the fact that we’ve taken the time to train them and can now trust them to hang out in the front yard like this. A lot of people around here don’t and just let their dogs run around in the street or chase people and it’s super annoying. I get chased by dogs while I’m running all of the time and it’s no fun. But this is an example of a proper way to do it. My dogs are trained to stay in the yard. They don’t chase after people, cars, or other dogs. They can sit, stay, down, and come immediately. And the one who could potentially be a problem is kept inside or in the fenced in backyard. It’s not that difficult and I can’t even begin to fathom why the loose dog problem in my neighborhood is so freaking bad…but oh well. It’s not my dogs that are an issue.

img_5254-1

Alrighty, I guess that’s all for today! Tomorrow is a rest day for me, which is good because we’ve got errands to run and then more decorating to do! And then on Saturday I’ve got a 13 mile long run on the scheduled. That should be fun!

But for now, happy Friday eve!

~Ashley πŸŽƒπŸ–€

Support Me on Ko-fi

August 21st, 2018

Hey guys! Sorry about the lack of posts lately. Our wifi was going in and out and it was a whole thing…It’s fixed now though, so we’re back in business! πŸ™‚

Anyway, we had two whole days of rain on Sunday and Monday and that’s really cooled things off here in Kansas! It’s been great!! Running is so much more pleasant when the temperatures are in the 60’s. πŸ™‚ Yesterday’s easy 3 miler was great! And I wish I could say the same about today’s 4 mile interval workout. That didn’t go as well. My quads were just absolutely dead today. Not sure why but I figured that was a pretty good indication that I needed to spends some quality time with my foam roller today. So I cut my run short halfway through at 2 miles. I really didn’t want to, but man my legs just weren’t feeling right, so it was probably a good decision. Just one that I wasn’t exactly happy to have to make.

img_4259

While short, this run was still kinda interesting! Since the weather has been really nice there are a lot of people outside mowing their yards, working on roofs, putting in new windows, and there is a little bit of construction going on in my neighborhood. So trying to stay out of other people’s way and not get run over by heavy machinery is a great way to spice up any run! πŸ˜‰ Plus I saw two loose chickens in someone’s front yard this morning. I have a feeling they weren’t supposed to be there and I hope they eventually got put where they should be.

img_4251-1

That’s one very amusing thing about living in a very small, semi-rural town. Our city ordinary specifically says we can’t keep chickens, but there are at least four other people in my neighborhood, aside from myself, who definitely have chickens. And honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t more! Haha one guy even has geese, doves, and other kinds of birds, along with his chickens. At one point he even had a peacock and he also breeds his basset hounds occasionally. So obviously these city ordinances aren’t being enforced. But I feel like as long as it’s not causing any problems nobody really cares. They joys of small town living! πŸ™‚

Before we even got our chickens we actually asked several of our neighbors if they would mind and they were all fine with it, which was super cool. And so far we haven’t had any issues with them. Hens are usually pretty quite unless they are upset about something or are laying an egg, and even then they aren’t too terribly loud. Plus we don’t have a rooster so we don’t have to worry about that. Really the only potential issue we would have with them is the smell. Chickens aren’t exactly cleanly animals and their poop smells (but in all fairness, who’s poop doesn’t smell?) and their feed can smell too if it gets wet and starts to mold. So we just have to keep their coop nice and clean, which isn’t an issue because that’s something I’d do anyway. Healthy chickens are happy chickens, and happy chickens lay better eggs. πŸ™‚

 

So after my run I washed all of their stuff and cleaned out the coop. I shared a lot of that process on Instagram so I figured I might as well share that here as well. πŸ™‚

First I washed all of their “dishes” and their pool. Haha I had several different containers out there for snacks and ice water from when it was super hot out, so usually I wouldn’t have this much to wash, but either way it needed done.

So mud and chicken poop got scrubbed off of all of that stuff. Including the pool. Then most of that stuff went back in the house where it got washed again, and then run through the dishwasher. But their water thing and the pool got filled with clean water with a little bit of apple cider vinegar mixed in with it. I swear ACV hasΒ  a use for just about everything! In this case it helps keep the pool from growing a bunch of algae and keeps their water container from getting really slimy and gross. Plus it can help keep the chickens from getting internal parasites, so it’s just very useful all around!

img_4267

Yeah, this will stay clean for about a day…

After that was all taken care of, I moved on to the inside of the coop. Luckily it usually doesn’t get too gross in there, since they usually only sleep up there. So I scooped out their old straw, poop, and what not and then put new straw in their nesting area. Fun fact; chickens create a lot of dust! Between their poop drying up and old straw and feed breaking down, it gets really dusty in there! So I have to wear a mask thingy because I have asthma and that shit irritates my lungs haha. But the mask really does help.

The chicken pictured above is my smallest one. But she’s my little buddy. She follows me around and lets me pick her up. I’m not sure if she actually likes being picked up, but she tolerates it better than the other 7 haha. As of yet she doesn’t have a name, but I’m thinking she’s gonna need one! Well, as long as she’s distinguishable from the other 5 Rhode Island Red’s. They’re all kinda hard to tell apart. She’s just easy because she’s smaller than the rest of them.

Anyway, after the inside of the coop is clean then I clean up the outside area. That usually just involves cleaning up more poop and old feed. I actually didn’t have much to do in that department today. It was a little muddy in there from the rain so there really wasn’t much to clean up. The tarp we have over the outer coop keeps the chickens relatively dry when it rains. At least dry enough that they don’t want to go inside haha. But some water does drip down and it seeps in from the ground outside of the coop. It’s not too crazy muddy in there though. Just muddy enough to keep me from having to clean up a bunch of poop haha. πŸ˜‰

It does take a little bit of work to keep them all clean, but honestly it’s really not bad. I’d imagine if I just let it all go and not keep up with it for a while it would get pretty gross in there though. But anyway, that’s what I do to keep my coop clean and my chickens happy. πŸ™‚

Now then, I really need to go foam roll. I’ve been putting it off all day…

~Ashley

 

Thursday Things

Hello friends, and happy summer solstice!

img_2706

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™‚

img_2705

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.

img_2665

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

More Chicks, My Thoughts On Summer Running, Yet Another Road Trip, and A Treadmill.

The last set of our new chicks got here this morning! And they were all alive this time!!

The post office called Luke at 6:30 this morning to let him know that they were there. That was pretty weird just because neither of us knew that the post office was open that early haha. But anyway, now we have all of our replacement chicks. I’m still super annoyed that were were soooo close to getting eggs, but then my neighbor’s dog killed my poor chickens, and now we’re back to square one. Oh well, at least the chicks are cute. πŸ˜‰

img_2475

So, you can see that there’s a big size difference between the 2 day old chicks we got today and the 2 week old chicks. They grow FAST! But so far everyone seems to be assimilating well. The new chicks are eating, drinking, pooping, and moving around just fine. And the bigger chicks aren’t bullying them at all and don’t seem too bothered by the new additions to the brooder box, so that’s good! I was kinda worried that the bigger chicks might hurt the new babies but after keeping an eye on them all day, I think they’ll be fine.

So just for fun here’s a little size comparison of a 2 week old Rhode Island red and a 2 day old Rhode Island red.

 

 

 

 

I know those aren’t the best pictures ever, but you get the point. πŸ˜‰ They’re quite a bit bigger and that’s why I was worried, but like I said, so far it doesn’t seem to be an issue. πŸ™‚

So now we have 5 Rhode Island reds, 2 brahmas, and 1 barnevelder. So we’ve got a little more variety in our flock this time around. The Rhode Island reds are pretty much you’re standard brownish/red hen, but the brahmas and the barnevelder should be pretty neat looking once they’re fully matured! I’m pretty excited about that! πŸ™‚

img_2493

The baby barnevelder.

They’re all going to have to be inside in the brooder box for several more weeks, but once we’re able to move them outside and into the coop we wont have to worry about Ozzy getting into our yard and bothering them anymore. Along with putting up the new fence between our yards, our neighbor also ran an electric fence all the way around his yard, and won’t let Ozzy outside unless he’s home, so he’s not going to be an issue anymore. πŸ™‚ I’m still kinda pissed that we’re all the way back to square one though, and we wont be getting eggs until the winter now, but oh well. Can’t really do anything but move on at this point.

Alrighty then! Lets talk a little bit about running now, shall we? I mean, that is kinda the main focus of this blog after all. πŸ˜‰ Specifically I’d like to talk about my thoughts on summer running, which can basically be summed up in 3 short words;

Fuck. This. Shit.Β 

img_2466

Obviously I am not a fan haha. It’s been crazy hot for how early in the year it is. The past few days the heat index has been in the hundreds, which is pretty unusual for June. Usually that doesn’t come until July and August, so if it’s already this hot now, what exactly are those months going to be like?!? I have a feeling it’s not going to be a lot of fun…

So since it’s been so hot and gross out I’ve been kinda struggling to get my miles in. I really wanted to start building up my mileage over the summer, but jeez louis the heat just gets me every time! And since the weather’s been particular bad this year it’s just made things that much worse.Β  Bleh, I’m ready for fall!! Haha that being said, I am trying though! I got a pretty decent 7 mile run done yesterday! I felt pretty drained and tired the whole day afterwards, but the run itself wasn’t too bad. πŸ™‚

img_2467

I didn’t get a run in today though. I woke up feeling kinda gross this morning. Probably from the 7 miles I ran in 85% humidity yesterday. Seriously, the heat and humidity do me in every single time haha. Plus the new chicks got here a lot earlier than I thought they would and I wanted to keep an eye on them all day. Just to make sure they were eating, drinking, and not getting bullied by the older chicks. The life of a chicken farmer, I suppose. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ While no running was had today, I did spend a little bit of time on my stationary bike. So I was able to keep an eye on the chicks and get my legs moving a little bit. πŸ™‚

img_2500

One of my sisters has kinda solved my warm weather running dilemma though, and it’s a good thing we have a truck now, because we have a few things to pick up from my parent’s old house in Illinois! Which actually works out well, because we’re driving there this weekend for one of Luke’s brother’s high school graduation party!

So on Friday after Luke get’s off of work we’re going to be packing up the truck, picking up one of Luke’s other brother’s who lives here in Kansas, and then we’ll be hitting the road and hopefully be making it into Illinois by 9 or 10 that night. I’m not sure if we’ll be stopping at their dad’s house first, or just going straight to my grandma’s though. Luke’s brother that lives here has had kind of a falling out with their dad (that was a whole long thing that I’m not going to get into) and is welcome at the party, but not to stay at their dad’s house, so we’ll be staying at my grandmas. Haha well, I’d be staying there anyway, because why wouldn’t I want to hang out with my grandma? She’s awesome!

This party is on Saturday but I’m not sure at what time, but at some point while we’re there we need to pick up my Grandpa Jim’s boat and my sister’s old treadmill. When my Grandpa Jim died my dad inherited his fishing boat, which was fine while my dad still lived in Illinois but now that he lives in an apartment in Colorado he has nowhere to keep it and they’re trying to clean out that house so they can sell it, so Luke and I are taking the boat. That actually works out quite nicely, because my dad wanted to keep the boat in the family since it was his dad’s and all, and Luke’s a big fisher but prefers to fish out of a boat, so he hasn’t done a lot of fishing since we moved to Kansas almost 6 years ago. So it’s a win-win for everyone! πŸ™‚

We’re also going to be picking up my sister’s old treadmill from her boyfriend’s mom’s house. She doesn’t have a truck and can’t afford to rent one to drive from Colorado to Illinois to pick it up so she bought a new one and offered me the old one. Originally I wasn’t going to take it because I pride myself on being an all-weather-runner and don’t particularly enjoy running on a treadmill but after thinking about it a little bit I realize it would probably be a really good idea! I’ll actually be able to do some decent speed work in the warmer months now! That’s usually something that falls to the wayside once it gets hot and I’m just focusing on surviving haha. Plus I wont have to worry about particularly hot and humid days anymore, if I start feeling too miserable outside I’ll be able to finish up my run on the treadmill! Haha I don’t plan on running on it too much. I still want to reap the benefits of hot weather training, but at least I’ll probably be able to start hitting my weekly mileage goals. Even if that means I have to double and do an easy outdoor run in the morning and then a little bit of a harder workout in the evening on the treadmill. I’m pretty excited about that! I’ve never really been able to do any kind of speed work or harder workouts in the summer before! And hopefully the harder work that I should be able to do on the treadmill will help make me for fit and ready for the 2 half marathons in 2 days that I’ll be doing in November!

Anyway, that’s just a little update for today! We’ve got all of our chicks, I hate summer running and I’m hardcore struggling with it right now, but hopefully getting that treadmill will make that a little easier!

Happy hump day!!

~Ashley

img_2492

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.

img_1867.jpg

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.

img_1932

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.

img_1942

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.

img_1947

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.

img_1955

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).

img_1433

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.

img_9421-1

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.

img_1632

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

img_1614

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.

img_1846

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

img_9397

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

img_9774

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™‚

img_1967

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

img_2754

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