Tag Archives: chickens

Weekly Recap: May 7th-13th, 2018

This week was a good week. I’ve been having a little bit of trouble with my neighbor’s dog, Ozzy, but other than that, I’ve really got nothing to complain about! Well, except for the warm weather maybe, but we all know I’m never going to stop complaining about that. πŸ˜‰

Had some good runs, got my monthly StrideBox, my garden is growing and doing well, as are my chickens, and did one of my favorite races ever on Saturday. Like I said, it’s been a good week. πŸ™‚

Monday:

  • 4 miles

Kicked off the week with 4 hot and sunny miles! Obviously that’s not my favorite kind of weather, but I still had some fun.

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Tuesday:

  • 5 miles
  • 10 minutes of yoga

Tuesday was the day I had the most issues with Ozzy. When I woke up that morning I let the chickens out as usual, then went to eat breakfast. About a half an hour later I happened to look in my backyard and there was Ozzy, bothering the poor chickens. So I caught him, put him in his yard, fixed some of the bricks that were covering the holes next to the fence we share with this neighbor (we’re currently in the process of replacing it, so it’s in terrible shape right now), then headed out for my run. After about 3 miles I happened to run by my house and saw that Ozzy was in my yard again. So I had to stop, repeat the whole process again, and then went out and finished my last 2 miles. But of course when I finished that Ozzy was back in my yard again. So this time I put even more bricks in the holes by the fence and lined the outside of my chicken coop with them. He’s been trying to dig under it, so I’m hoping at the very least the bricks will slow him down enough for someone to realize he’s not where he’s suppose to be before he can hurt my chickens.

But anyway, at least I got my run in, and got some strength training done because dead lifting a 30 pound dog over a fence multiple times has to count for something, and moving all of those bricks around was hard haha.

 

 

Wednesday:Β 

  • 4 miles

Another easy 4 miler on Wednesday. This time Ozzy stayed in his yard and Dean was waiting to great me when I got back! Nothing is better than getting ALL OF THE PUPPY LOVIN’ when you get back from a run. πŸ™‚

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Thursday:

  • rest day

I had 2 easy miles planned for Thursday but oh man was I tired! So I figured taking a rest day was probably a good plan. I actually ended up spending most of the day reading/finishing Cujo. Can you believe this was legit the first time I’ve ever read Cujo?!? Stephen King is my all time favorite author and it took me this long to read one of his most iconic books? That’s just nuts! Haha and I talk about that more here, if you’re interested. πŸ˜‰

Thursday was one of the packet pick up days for Running With The Cows, so I went to get mine that evening. How super neat is this t-shirt?!?

 

 

Friday:

  • 15 minutes of stretching

So, Friday’s tend to be the day Luke and I run around and do a bunch of errands, and this Friday was no different. In the morning we had to meet with our insurance agent to go over all of our policies. Fun Stuff. Then the rest of the day was actually spent getting the truck titled. First we had to take it to get inspected since Luke bought it in Missouri, then we had to wait at the DMV for 8 million years haha. We ended up getting so bored that we wandered around the building, found a blood pressure machine,so obviously we had to play with that. Good news is we both have good blood pressure!

When we finally got home that evening I did some stretching and got all of my stuff ready for Running With The Cows. πŸ™‚

Saturday:

  • Running With The Cows 5k

I had so much fun at this race!!!

I had a goal time of 38 minutes for it, but it was hot, humid, and this course is a bit hilly, so I ended up running it in 38:51. Not bad though! I’m very happy with how it went!! I’ll be posting a full recap on Monday, so stay tuned for that. πŸ„πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜„

 

 

Sunday:

  • rest day

I actually thought about doing a few easy miles today, but running in the heat yesterday really took it out of me! Plus my legs were a little sore from running hard on those hills. So I figured I could use a day off from running. I did spent some time cleaning out the rabbit cages today, cleaning out the chicken coop, and pulling a few weeds out of the garden, so at least I got a little bit of something done. πŸ™‚

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Total Weekly Mileage: 16.15

Considering the fact that I didn’t do a long run this week I’m pretty happy with that! Definitely not what I want to be and should be running, but still not bad. All in all I’m quite happy with how this week is gone and how well Running With The Cows went. But now that I’ve got that done it’s time to really kick into gear my “pre half marathon” training. I’m going to be focusing on more miles and strength training. I feel like being stronger and more resilient is going to help with the whole two half marathons in two days thing that’s going down in November. So bring it on!!

Oh and happy Mother’s Day you all of you awesome moms out there! You guys are true superheros!!

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Until next time,

~Ashley

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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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜‰

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…Β  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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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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. πŸ˜‰ ), 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. πŸ™‚

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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… 😦

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. πŸ˜‰Β 

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! πŸ˜‰

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

Totally Rad Wednesday

Is anyone else a little bit obsessed with all of the gifs for the stories on Instagram? Because I kinda am. πŸ˜‚

 

 

It has in fact, been a totally rad day though! I got so much done!! Haha I still have a piss ton of other stuff I need to do though. My brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her kids are coming over at some point this weekend (and fingers crossed my brother-in-law will finally take all of the shit that he left in our spare bedroom when he moved out 9 months ago. Oh did I mention he never told us he was moving out? He didn’t even pack up his shit or anything. Just left a huge mess for Luke and I to clean up. Which we did. We even boxed up his stuff for him.), and my house is kinda of a disaster haha. I’ve got a pretty decent start on things though! But before I got to any of that, of course I had to get my run in. πŸ˜‰

Spring has finally made it’s way back to Kansas, so oh boy is it windy! That made running a little more difficult than it normally would have been, but holy cow did I have fun! I basically did a quality workout with a couple of strides thrown in at the end and it was a lot of fun! It was pretty hard too, but in a good way and not in the I’m still sick and feel like I’m dying way, which was nice. And I am still kinda sick, but today has been a vast improvement and I could definitely tell during my run. πŸ™‚

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My peach tree is blooming and looks super pretty right now, so obviously I had to take my very Instagram-y post-run Garmin photo with it in the back ground. πŸ˜‰

It was a really good run! Afterwards I was full of energy and ready to tackle my big project of the day; cleaning out the spare bedroom. That’s where the rabbits, ferrets (although they had to be temporarily moved) live, and where we had been keeping the chickens in their brood box. The thing is, they had not been staying in the brood box. They’ve basically had full run of that room for about two weeks now. Luke and I wanted to move them out of the house and into their coop when that started happening but it was still really cold out and they were still to young to be out in the cold like that without a heat lamp or something, but if we had done that they wouldn’t of had much room in their nesting area and it probably would have ended up getting too hot for them anyway. But anyway, it’s finally starting to warm up again but more importantly they have all of their feathers now, so last night the chickens graduated to their coop.

 

 

At night they have to be locked in the nesting area (so they’ll be quite and for their own safety), so that’s where they spent the night and then this morning when we woke up Luke opened the door to the outside portion of their coop but they didn’t make their way down there until a little after 2 pm haha. But once they got down there they pecked and scratched and the dirt to their little chicken heart’s content, and once they got tired of that (and probably a little bit cold in the wind) they made their way back into the nesting area. So this transition has gone just about as well as it could have and they seem pretty happy to be outside! But that still left the spare bedroom to be cleaned…

Oh man, was is a mess in there! There was wood shavings, chicken feed, feathers, and poop everywhere. And I’m pretty sure the poor rabbits were getting annoyed with the chickens just roaming around that room. The last couple of days they had taken to roosting on top of poor Runes cage. I’m sure she wasn’t a fan of that.

Anyway, I swept, mopped, scrubbed, vacuumed, and mopped the floor again in there. I also cleaned both rabbit cages while I was at it, because why not. Haha plus Rune likes to chase the broom while I’m sweeping and weirdly enough likes the vacuum. Daisy is not a fan of either of those things though, so she stayed safely in her cage while Rune got to run around and help me clean for 2 hours hahaha.

 

Yeah, that first photo isn’t even a “before” photo. It was a “I’m almost done” photo. It was bad… Rune was having fun though haha. There is still some chicken poop stuck to the floor. Kinda gross, I know, but I’m gonna need a putty knife or something to scrape it off with, so Luke’s gonna get me one on his way home from work. Still though, its a vast improvement! πŸ™‚ I’m very glad that the chickens are finally outside in their coop. Won’t have to worry about having a huge mess like that anymore. Also, just ignore those blinds. My brother-in-law’s dog tore them up, along with the screen in the other window, because my brother-in-law just left him behind and didn’t even come get him until 4 months after he’d moved out and Luke told him he had to take him. Apparently after he abandoned his dog a bunch of people were telling him that was a shitty thing to do, but it still took him 4 freaking months to come get him…I’m just he’s finally gone. My dogs did not like my brother-in-law’s dog at all.

And just for the record, I don’t just leave the rabbits in dog crates without any sort of bedding. I keep several old sheets in their cages and the both like to dig and tunnel in them. They were just in the washer when I took this photo haha.

Another project Luke and I want to start is fixing up our rabbit hutch (it’s in bad shape so I can’t use it) and maybe even building another one. Our rabbits don’t get along so they can’t be housed together… I like being able to leave them outside in the hutch when the weather is nice, but can’t really do that at the moment. So for now the rabbits are stuck inside. Hahaha luckily they aren’t as messy as the chickens though!

Whew! After doing all of that I was pretty beat! Cleaning up the chicken mess was a lot of work and I had done a relatively hard workout before hand! So once I was done cleaning I showered, ate lunch, and took and hour long nap. That was nice. πŸ™‚

After that I worked on a few blog posts, did a little bit of yoga, and then got some more cleaning done. Not a lot, but hey, it was something. πŸ˜‰

I’m just feeling pretty great all-in-all. We’re (hopefully) finally getting my brother-in-law’s shit out of our house and finally moving on from the whole all around terrible experience of him living with us for 2 years, I got a lot done today, my peach tree is blooming,Β  I’m finally starting to get over this cold/upper respiratory thing both Luke and I have had for a week now, he says he’s starting to feel better too πŸ™‚ , and I had a great run.

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See? It’s been a totally rad Wednesday. πŸ˜‰ And I hope your’s has been too!

~Ashley

P.S.

New favorite band! πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Easter Weekend

Happy Saturday, friends!!

(Just warning you that there is a picture of a bloody dog paw in this post. If you don’t want to see that don’t scroll down)

Yesterday Luke and I were quite busy, running around all over the place and trying to get some stuff done. Luke had to work today but was off yesterday and is off on Easter Sunday so we decided that today after he got off of work that we were going to drive to Illinois so we could hang out with some of our family over the holiday.

So, like I said, we spent a lot of time trying to do stuff yesterday. He cleaned out his car, I cleaned the chicken brooder and rabbit cages, then we went to several stores to get stuff we needed, and just did a bunch of boring adult stuff haha. Once we got all of that taken care of we were going to bring the dogs to the dog park so they could run around and burn off some energy since the car ride to Illinois is about 5 hours long. So we packed up the dogs, drove 40 minutes to the bigger park that we go to, started unloading them from the car, and noticed that the backseat was covered in blood… Somehow in the 40 minutes it took us to get to the park, Lily had ripped out one of her dew claws. We seriously have no idea how the heck she managed to do that! Her dew claws aren’t even that big. But I suppose that’s just proof that it’s not a bad idea to have them removed when they’re puppies. Finn’s breeder had his removed, and before I didn’t really think much of it but after yesterday’s indecent I’m very glad we wont have to worry about anything like that happening to him. But obviously Lily still has most of hers, and so does Dean.

Anyway, so we couldn’t go to the park with Lily hurt and bleeding all over the place so we had to drive to a nearby Walgreen’s instead and did some first aid in the parking lot. Luckily I’m pretty well versed in first aid. I’m a hug klutz and am constantly having to fix myself. Plus it doesn’t really seem to be bothering Lily. She still wanted to go to the park and once we finally got home we put the chickens outside in their coop and she spent a lot of time running around the yard and keeping an eye on them. So at least she’s not too hurt. But Lily is a tough farm dog. A little foot injury like that isn’t going to slow her down!

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So today was also just a lot of me getting things ready for us to be gone for a few days as well. I made sure the cats, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens had enough food and water. Since we’re only going to be gone for like, 2 ish days we really don’t need anyone to check on them. I did some cleaning around the house. It was basically a disaster though and there was no way I was going to have time to clean it very well before we left, which sucks. It’s always nice coming back to a clean house… But I did do a piss ton of laundry. A lot of that actually consisted of stuff I needed to pack, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ And cleaned all of our dirty dishes, so at the very least we’ll have clean clothes/dishes to come home to. I did try to minimize the disaster area though and picked up, wiped down counters and tables, and did little stuff like that.

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They like to perch on the sides of the brooder. Luckily they haven’t taken to escaping and wandering around the room they’re in. Yet…

I also had to bathe Dean and Finn. They were both terrible messes since it’s been really wet and muddy here in Kansas. Luckily they don’t put up much of a fight when it comes to getting bathed, but they definitely don’t like it and they don’t exactly make it easy. I got it done though and they’re both pretty darn clean! For now.

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The two troublemakers; Finn and Dean.Β 

Anyway, so by the time Luke got home from work, around 6:30 pm I had everything ready to go! He had picked up dinner on his way home from work, so we ate, packed up the car, made the dogs go pee, loaded them into the car, and then hit the road! Which is where we’ve been for about an hour now. Fun times! πŸ˜‰ But the drive to Illinois is a lot more more pleasant than the drive to Colorado where my parent’s and siblings live. That takes about 11 hours and is sooooo boring. At least driving to Illinois only takes about 5 hours. So we should be getting there around 1 am. That’s not too bad.

Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

~Ashley

Happy First Day Of Spring!!

Hahaha flowers like that don’t bloom this time of year here in the Midwest. I just really like this photo (I took it during our family vacation in Florida last July). There are a bunch of daffodils popping up around my neighborhood though, and some of them have started to bloom!

Anyway, we are starting to get some spring-like weather in my part of Kansas. The air is starting to warm up and it rained pretty much all day yesterday. That’s typical spring time weather. We really needed it though. Things were really dry here. Haha and I was pretty excited about that because I love rainy days and think that running in the rain is a lot of fun! πŸ™‚ And yesterday’s 3 miler did not disappoint! I got soaked pretty fast. I also got frostnip on my legs because it was in the low 40’s when I ran. I probably should have put on my wind pants over my running tights. They’re usually pretty good at keeping me relatively dry. But oh well, it really wasn’t that bad and the redness, itchiness, and irritation that came with that was all gone by this morning. That was still totally worth all the fun I had in the rain yesterday.

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This morning’s run was nowhere near as fun though. I actually procrastinated doing it by making myself an actual decent breakfast. Who does that?!? Me apparently…

Usually in the morning I can’t be bothered to make anything exciting for breakfast. Sometimes I throw a few frozen, whole wheat waffles in the toaster and then slather them with peanut butter and honey. Other days I’ll just grab a piece of fruit and a cheese stick. Or on really lazy day’s I’ll just eat a Honey Stinger waffle along with my coffee. But I knew running wasn’t going to be very exciting today, so I took a little bit of extra time with my breakfast. I toasted some bread, spread some avocado on it, topped that with sliced, cherry tomatoes, and then fried an egg to go on that as well. Hahaha I know that doesn’t sound too difficult, but in the morning I never feel like putting that much effort into what I’m eating. πŸ˜‰

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I did eventually go out and get my run done, though. My 5k training plan called for 2 easy miles followed by a couple of strides, but those 2 miles sure didn’t feel easy… It actually seems to me that most of the “easy” runs I do don’t actually feel easy. They tend to feel more like I’m running through cold molasses. Oh well, I still did it though! Well, the 2 miles. I kinda sorta skipped the strides. I just wasn’t feeling it enough to do those.

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But on the bright side, running seems to be going a lot better this week than it did last week! I know it’s only Tuesday, but I’m thinking the rest of the week is going to go pretty well. But maybe I’m only saying that because tomorrow is a rest day and then for Thursday my training plan calls for 30 minutes of cross training, so I wont actually have to run again until Friday. πŸ˜‰ But still, I’m a lot happier about running this week than I was last week, so at least that’s something. πŸ™‚

But anyway, now that spring is here I really need to start thinking about what I want to plant in my garden and I’m going to have to start tilling and preparing my soil here before too long. So far I know I’m definitely going to be growing my staples; tomatoes, banana peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, and watermelon. I actually want to grow my vine plants on some kind of structure this year to help make weeding and harvesting a little bit easier. I’ve got a few ideas for that and Luke and I will be starting work on those soon. I also really wish I could get root vegetables to grow a little easier here, but they never do well because the soil here is so full of clay. A lot needs to be done to remedy that…Or you can do raised beds filled with good quality soil but those are kind of expensive to make. Maybe one day though. But for now we’re planning on sticking with plants that we know do well here.

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A small harvest from last summer. That watermelon was sooooo good!! Haha I’m on a mission to grow several really good watermelons this year! It seems like each year I’ve grown them I’ve gotten bigger, better melons. And usually a few more than the year before. So I guess I must be learning something! And hopefully if that trend keeps up, I should end up with 5 or 6 really good watermelons this year! πŸ™‚

Now with the addition of our 5 chickens, we should end up getting a pretty decent amount of food from our backyard this year! I’m so freaking excited about having fresh eggs! I can’t wait for my chickens to start laying!! They’ve still got a while to go before they get to that point though. They are doing very well and growing bigger and getting more feathers every day! And as it starts getting even warmer they’re going to be able to spend a little bit more time outside. So far they’ve only been out twice for about 10-15 minutes at a time, just to make sure they didn’t get too cold. But in maybe two or three weeks, as long as it’s warm enough, we’ll be able to move them outside permanently. Haha I have a feeling we wont get that lucky though, it’s probably still going to be pretty chilly in April. If they were fully grown the cold wouldn’t be much of an issue, but when they’re young it’s very important that they’re kept warm.

Oh man, between my garden, the chickens, training for my 5k in May, training for my half marathon in November, the dogs, rabbits, and all of my other critters, plus another vacation we’re going to be going on with Luke’s family, I’m going to be crazy busy this spring and summer! It should be fun though! And besides, I’d much rather be busy than bored. πŸ˜‰

That’s all I’ve got for today! But what about you?

What are you looking forward to this spring? Any exciting plans?

Do you grow a garden? What’s you’re favorite thing to grow?

Does your city allow you to keep chickens? Would you if you could?Β (Technically my city doesn’t allow you to do it without a permit, but when have I ever let rules stop me?!? Luckily my neighbors are cool with it though, so it should be fine. πŸ˜‰ )

Β I hope you’ve had a terrific Tuesday!

~Ashley

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Yay StrideBox, Chick Update, and 5K Training

I got my March StrideBox yesterday! Yay!!

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I never got last months… The shipping tracker thing said it was delivered, but I think my mail lady might have stolen it. Yesterday I watched her scan it but then she didn’t put it in my mailbox and started to drive away. But I wonder if she saw me watching, because she ended up reversing the truck and putting it in my mailbox after all. Apparently I’m just gonna have to keep an eye on her whenever my StrideBoxes are supposed to be delivered. I have no actual proof, but like I said, I think she might have stolen last months.

I’m very glad I ended up getting this month’s StrideBox though! There were all sorts of neat/useful/and yummy goodies in there!! Super yummy protein cookies which I definitely already ate ;), sweet sunglasses, a bag that has a leak proof, air tight seal. That’s gonna come in real handy on rainy runs!! Haha I always bring my phone with me when I run, just in case, and on rainy days I usually just put my phone in a ziplock baggie. I think this bag thing is going to work out a lot better for rainy days. πŸ™‚

 

There was a also a Skratch Labs drink mix in there that I’m pretty excited about. Several different Skratch Labs products have come in a few different StrideBoxes and I’ve really liked all of them! I’m actually thinking I’m gonna have to order me some of their protein powered because I really liked it. I mixed it with plain water and it tasted exactly like chocolate milk! It was super yummy!! Haha that’s why I really enjoy getting these StrideBoxes! I get to try all sorts of new things that I would never see in a store or even think about picking up for myself. It’s pretty neat! Plus it’s basically like getting to open a gift every single month, and who doesn’t like that feeling?! πŸ˜‰

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I definitely recommend subscribing to StrideBox if you like trying new snacks, interesting running gear, and basically getting to open a gift every single month. πŸ˜‰

I hope I don’t sound too much like and ad or anything like that here, but this is something that I really love and a brand that I actually really believe in.Β  In all transparency, I am a StrideBox ambassador and I do get these things for free. But after trying it out I’m totally sold and would definitely pay for a subscription. It’s $15 per box and that includes shipping, which seems well worth it to me! You really do get some neat stuff in each box!! You can check out all of the details of what StrideBox is all about here. πŸ™‚

Not gonna lie, I wish I hadn’t eaten all of those protein cookies in one sitting yesterday. They were so freaking tasty…

Anyway, lets talk chickens!!

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I’ve had my own little flock for 3 whole days now, and I’m pretty sure I’m already a crazy chicken lady. πŸ˜‰ But in all fairness, I grew up on a farm in southern Illinois. I’ve been handling chickens literally for as long as I can remember. I’ve got a few interesting chicken stories spanning from my preschool days all the way through my time in high school, but those are stories for another day. Those were my grandpa’s and my dad’s flocks of chickens. Today I want to talk about mine!! πŸ˜‰

Since they have to be in their brooder box under their red heat lamp its kinda hard to get good photos of them which sucks, but once they start needing that less and less and then eventually move into the coop I’m sure I’ll have tons of photos of them to share haha. Right now they’re currently growing like weeds. You can literally see them get a little bit bigger and grow a few more feathers everyday! That means they wont be cute little fluffy babies much longer and are gonna go through that award feather growing stage soon. That’s kinda sad haha, they’re so cute right now. But that also means we’ll be that much closer to getting eggs and that’s what we want!!

On Sunday I had started giving them a few meal worms. We usually keep a little container of live ones for our leopard gecko but I know that chickens love things like that so I figured it would be a fun little treat for them, and oh boy was it! They absolutely loved them and watching them chase each other and fight over them was pretty hilarious! Plus I made them take the worms from my hands, so now 3 of them will come running whenever I stick my hands in the brooder box. The other 2 are still kinda skittish but hopefully they’ll come around eventually.

They’re all pretty funny though! The more time I spend with them the more I’m noticing about their different personalities and its pretty great! I have a feeling they’re going to end up providing us with a bunch of entertainment! I’m gonna have to come up with names for them soon. Luke hasn’t liked any of the names I’ve suggested so far, but he’s said multiple time now that they’re my chickens so I’m gonna name them whatever I want to dammit!! πŸ˜‰

That’s probably enough chicken talk for now though. There will be plenty more as time goes on haha. They are a pretty exciting little addition to my backyard farm though! And speaking of my backyard farm, we’re going to have to get our garden tilled and think about what we’re going to be planting this year! I’ve got a pretty good idea of some things I want to get done, but a lot of that has to wait until it gets a lot warmer out.

Anyway, my 5k training plan officially started yesterday! I kicked off this little training cycle with an easy 2 mile run! πŸ™‚

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The very small amount of running I did in Colorado was fun and you definitely can’t beat the views there, but it was really nice to get back to running on the streets I know like the back of my hand. I never realized how much I enjoy zoning out on easy runs like yesterday’s and not having to pay attention to pot holes, cracks, and things of that nature. Sure running the same streets day in and day out can get a little boring, but it is nice to know exactly where everything is haha.

Anyway, this is the first 5k training plan I’ve ever done! I mean, at this point in my running career I’ve only done 2 “official” 5k’s, and I’ve always known that I’d be able to cover the distance without any issues so why train for it, right? Well now I know why! PR’s of course!! πŸ˜‰ Haha or you know, just being able to run strong and to your full potential, but this time around I’m chasing a PR! Kinda.

You see, between illness, injury, traveling, and general life stuff, I didn’t PR at any distance last year. I’m not at all upset with how my year in running went in 2017 but for 2018 I’ve decided I want to start chasing time goals again. But the 5k PR that’s listed on my “Goals and PR’s” page (which I desperately need to update haha. I’ll get to that eventually) is from 2016, I think? It may actually be from 2015! Either way, I know I’m not going to be able to accomplish that time at the Running With The Cow’s 5k in May. That’s currently my goal 5k. So for now I think I’m going to aim to run that in 38 minutes. For where I am currently that will be a challenging goal, but still obtainable. So for now that’s my plan! I’m gonna stick to an actual 5k training plan and work toward that time! πŸ™‚

I did the Running With the Cows 5k back in 2016, so I know the course is a little bit hilly, but it’s nothing that I’m too worried about.

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Today my training plan called for a rest day which I am gladly taking! I’m still kinda worn down from traveling to Colorado, being at that elevation that I’m definitely not used to for a week, and then traveling back home. So I slept in a little bit today which was nice. And I just plan on walking the dogs and maybe doing a little bit of restorative yoga, so that should be nice. Plus I do have another 5k to look forward to on Sunday and I at least want to be semi rested for that haha!

Some things have come up so I’m not 100% certain if it’s going to go down anymore (I might still be able to make it, but due to recent developments I’m not so sure about my dad), but my dad and I are supposed to be running the Whisky Run 5k in Martin City MO. The only goal for that is to have fun and then collect our medals, pint glasses, shots of whiskey, and then enjoy our post run Sunday brunch that will be provided, so that should be easy enough. πŸ˜‰ Oh man, I really hope my dad will still be able to do this 5k with me.

 

 

 

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I got this photo from KC Running Company’s Instagram account. I really want to add this medal to my collection haha. πŸ˜‰Β 

Obviously I’ll let you guys know if there are any further developments in our ability to do the Whiskey run, but until I know more about the current situation I’m going to plan on doing it! Running With The Cows will still be a-go no matter what, so at least there’s that haha.

But that is all for now!

Have a terrific Tuesday!!

~Ashley

 

 

My First Time In Nebraska, Home Sweet Home, and New Addition To My Backyard Farm!!

My brother and I left Colorado Friday evening around 5 pm and ended up going on a little adventure haha. To avoid taking the toll roads that are in Colorado and Kansas, my brother ended up going just a little too far north and we ended up in Nebraska. That was pretty funny. When we crossed the state line and saw the “welcome to Nebraska” sign we looked at each other and asked how the heck did we end up here? Luckily we were still heading east, so that’s all that mattered haha. So we drove through Nebraska, into Iowa for a little bit (that was my brother’s first time in Iowa haha I’ve been trough there when Luke and I went to visit his mom in Minnesota), down into Missouri, and then finally into Kansas. We ended up adding an extra hour to our trip, but neither of us were too worried about that. Although it did kinda suck that we finally got to my house around 6 am.

We brought my mom’s dog Bella with us. My mom is currently in Illinois with my grandma and my brother needed to get some stuff in Illinois from my dad, so that all ended up working out well. She road on my lap the whole way to Kansas and then my brother had her in a crate for the 5 hour trip to Illinois from my house. Apparently she did well on that ride too. I’m not particularly a fan of little dogs, but she is sweet. πŸ™‚ Although my dogs weren’t too sure what to think of her haha. Especially Finn. I don’t think he’s ever seen such a small dog before.

Apparently leaving the dogs/cats/rabbits/ferrets/Luke all alone for a week wasn’t a great idea. Apparently Luke spend the whole week living off of frozen food, trying to keep the dogs under control, and they all spent the week wrecking the house haha. So I spent yesterday scrubbing floors, doing laundry, washing dishes, and lots of other cleaning. Fun times…But someone needed to do it. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, yesterday Luke and I started our next new and exciting adventure! We are expanding our backyard farm with the addition of 5 new chicks!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Luke bought/built a chicken coop on Friday while I was still in Colorado, and then last night we went to Tractor Supply and got a brood box, heat lamp, a feeder/water thing, feed, vitamins, and of course the chicks themselves! Originally we were going to get 4 Isa Brown chicks, but they only had 3 of them left. So we got them and 2 other chicks of a different breed. Not gonna lie though, I don’t remember what they are haha. That’s not really important though, they’re good for laying and that’s what we want!

So we got our new babies home and set up in their brood box and slowly started introducing the dogs to them. Luckily Lily grew up on a farm and has some formal training, so she knows how to handle and how to behave around livestock, so we weren’t too worried about her. Haha she was actually pretty excited to see them! She used to herd my dad’s chickens all the time! Dean doesn’t want anything to do with them, which isn’t surprising. Dean has very little in the way of herding instinct and is pretty wary of anything new. Finn was the one we were most worried about. He’s got very impressive herding instincts but he is still young and very immature. Plus he really likes to nip at faces, which would be really good if he was working on cows, but obviously not so good when we’re talking about tiny little chicks. He ended up surprising us though and was very calm and never once showed his teeth to them. He has absolutely no clue what they are but you can see that he wants to herd them so badly haha. But luckily it’s looking like the dogs wont be an issue at all, so that’s good. πŸ™‚

So far the babies seem to be adjusting well. They handled meeting the dogs perfectly fine and they seem to have done well over night. They’ve been eating, drinking, pooping, and pecking around their brood box. So I’d say so far so good!! πŸ™‚ They’ve got to stay inside in their brood box for several weeks, but once they have all their feathers they get to be moved outside into the coop. Well, as long as it’s warm enough outside. So that’s all pretty exciting stuff! And before too long we’ll have our own eggs! I’m super excited about that! Like just about everything, home raised eggs are sooo much tastier/nutritious than store bought eggs. πŸ™‚

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And pretty soon we’ll be tilling our garden plots and getting ready to plant some things! As sad as I always am to see winter go, spring is a pretty exciting time around here. πŸ™‚

Oh and I’ve currently got 2 5k’s on my scheduled to look forward to! Next Sunday I’m going to be doing a Whiskey 5k with my dad. That’s going to be a lot of fun!! My dad and I always have fun together but I think this is going to be extra exciting haha. It’s my dad’s first official 5k, we get a super spiffy pint glass at the end, and Jack Stacks is providing brunch for all of the finisher’s which is awesome! Jack Stacks has some very tasty food!! πŸ™‚

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This is basically the perfect 5k for my dad. His last name is Martin (and mind was too before I got married haha), he basically collects neat glasses like this, and he likes whiskey. So like I said, perfect! πŸ˜‰

And then in May I’m doing the Running With The Cows 5k again. I’m really looking forward to doing that! I had a lot of fun at that race back in 2016 and this year I even plan on training for it! I’ve never done an actual 5k training program before so that should be interesting. Training for that actually starts tomorrow, so I’ll definitely keep you guys updated on how that goes! I’m hoping I’ll be able to shave off a little bit of time from current 5k times, so hopefully I’ll be able to make that happen! πŸ™‚

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That’s all I’ve got for now! No weekly recap for this week. I pretty much posted everyday while I was in Colorado and I really didn’t do much running anyway haha. Plus I’ve still got a bunch of cleaning to do and I’ve got to tend to my flock of chickens! πŸ˜‰

Happy Sunday!!

~Ashley