Tag Archives: music

Hair, Running, and The Fit Collective

Hey guys, no weekly recap from last week. Sorry about that… I’ve gotten kinda lazy about keeping up with my weekly recaps throughout the week, and it’s really hard to remember everything that happened and try to recap it all on Sunday. So I didn’t. I swear I’m gonna do better with it this week though. πŸ˜„πŸ‘πŸ»

Besides, last week really wasn’t all that exciting anyway. But these next few upcoming weeks should be! I’m pretty excited and slightly terrified. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, as usual Sunday (yesterday) was my rest day. I spent a good majority of it (like, 6 hours I think?) bleaching and re-dyeing part of my hair (and scalp πŸ˜‚) purple. So if you ever look at my photos and think “Ashley your hair kinda looks like shit and you need to fix it”, just know that I’m very aware, it just takes sooooo long to do that I always end up putting it off. Plus that section of my hair is super duper damaged. I’ve been dyeing it since I was 17, so honestly I’m kinda surprised it hasn’t just fallen out yet. But hey, at least it looks cool, right?!

Yeah so that’s what I spend my Sunday doing. Today was a little bit more productive. Well, running-wise at least. Got 6 miles in and I felt pretty fantastic! I’m very much enjoying the weather right now! It’s definitely been cooling off and feeling more like fall. I love it! Some of the trees are even starting to change colors! πŸ™‚ Haha it’s really hard to see in the photo below, but the trees in the woods off in the distance are starting to turn yellow and brown. I love it!

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The plan for today’s run was actually 5 miles but I ended up doing 6 because I’m an over achiever. πŸ˜‰ Actually, because I wasn’t paying attention and it just kinda happened haha. But those are the best kinds of runs, right? Honestly I think this might have been my best run since this spring. I’ve been slogging along just trying to survive the summer but now that the weather is getting better running is starting to get a lot more enjoyable. πŸ™‚ Now if only I could start feeling faster. Then I’d feel a little better about my upcoming half marathons. I’m currently still worried about them. But I’ve still got 47 and 48 days to go, so I’ve still got some time to make some improvements! πŸ™‚

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After my run I ate a quick snack and then got some strength training done with The Fit Collective! The fit collective is an online training program and it’s pretty neat! You get 3 new 30 minute at home strength workouts every week, access to personal trainers via email and their Facebook page, along with live Facebook Q&A sessions every month. They also have monthly goals and challenges along with a whole page on their website full of healthy recipes. Fun stuff!! The online membership is $20 a month, but if you hang tight for a few days I’ll have a code for new members to get 50% off of your first month. So it would be $10 instead of $20. πŸ™‚

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From my and then jointhefitcolletive’s intagram accounts. πŸ™‚Β 

So my workout for today was something that I’ve never done before and it was a lot of fun! Freaking hard, but fun! So the workout consisted of 8 moves. For the first set the goal was to do 10 reps of each move, then for the second set do 9 reps of each move, for the third 8 reps, and so on and so forth until you get to 1 rep for each move. So like I said, it was different and I really enjoyed it. Plus it totally kicked my butt too! It took me about 35 minutes to complete the workout and by the time I was done I was completely beat! It was really good though. I’m pretty stoked to continue on with this program and see what other fun workout they have in store!

Having fun is super important to me when it comes it working out. I get bored really easily and I find it hard to really stay consistent with anything that’s not running. That’s actually one of the reasons I started running! I was bored with my workout regimen and decided to give running a try. So far it’s the only thing that stuck, but I think The Fit Collective is really going to help in that regard! I don’t think I’m going to get bored getting 3 new workouts every week! πŸ™‚

Anyway, that all I’ve got for today I suppose.

Happy Monday!

~Ashley

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August 27th, 2018

Around this time of year the sun shines through the trees right into our backyard in the morning and I think it’s super pretty. πŸ™‚ I’m gonna have to start eating breakfast outside, just for the views.

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Honestly I’d be much more inclined to eat outside in the morning if it wasn’t so freaking out out. At 7:00 this morning it was 80 degrees out and by 3 pm it was 92 but it felt like 100. Yuck. So yeah, I probably should have gotten up earlier to run this morning. I woke up at 7, but I probably should have been up at 5. That would have at least made my run for today a little bit more enjoyable.

The plan for today was 4 easy miles. Mission accomplished!! But since it was so hot out I don’t think I would have been able to accomplish anything other than an easy run today. I know I complain a lot about the heat, but it’s mostly because it’s just so damn frustrating! It slows me down hardcore, and that’s saying something because I’m already a super slow runner. It makes running much more difficult and I usually end up feeling drained, tired, and exhausted for the rest of the day after a run. Summer is just not for me, my friends. My body does not react well to hot weather.

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That being said, today’s 4 miler wasn’t really too terribly bad. It was hot and humid and slow, but it wasn’t too miserable, all things considered. For going on 3 weeks now Rancid’s album Indestructible has been the soundtrack to like 90% of my running haha. But since I’m currently very much into that album right now it definitely made my run a little bit better this morning. πŸ™‚ But it’s supposed to be even hotter tomorrow morning and no amount of good music is going to make that better, so I might just end up doing my interval workout on the treadmill. That thing has come in very handy this summer and I am eternally grateful to my sister for giving it to me!

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Anyway, lucky for me I still have half of a watermelon in my fridge and literally nothing is better than cold watermelon after a super hot run! So refreshing! So tasty! Watermelons are probably my favorite thing about summer! Haha I don’t even bother slicing them or cutting them up or anything. I just scoop the flesh right out of the rind. My preffered method of doing that is with an ice cream scoop (because bigger bites, duh πŸ˜‰ ) but a normal spoon works just as well. πŸ™‚

 

After my run I did a little bit of strength work as well. I wanted to do at least 30 minutes but I made it through 15 haha. I was completely dead after running in the heat this morning. Who’s bright idea was it to only ever run fall half marathons? Because a good majority of training for them happens in the summer. Maybe I should aim for a spring one next year. The only problem with that is that I’m terrified race day will end up being warm and I’m obviously not a fan of that. Oh man, honestly it’s probably a good thing that I always aim for fall races. That pretty much forces me to run in the summer and I need all the motivation I can get to run when it’s hot out.

Anyway, I’ve spent a good majority of my day searching for one of my favorite t-shirts. Have you ever had one that was just super comfy and fit you super well and that you absolutely love? Yeah, that’s how I feel about this one, but dammit if I can’t find it anywhere! And I’ve looked in some weird places. Sure I started out with the obvious ones, my closet, drawer, and the laundry room. But eventually I resorted to under my bed (and we don’t have a bed frame so I literally had to lift up the mattress and box spring), behind the dresser and my nightstand, under/between the washing machine and dryer, and under the couch. But nope. Nothing… It’s very sad really and I have no clue where I could have left it. I just noticed it was missing because I almost exclusively wear tank tops in the summer, so who knows when I actually lost it. Sad face. Haha but on the bright side, I cleaned pretty much everywhere I looked! You would not believe the amount of dog hair and dirt that accumulates under my couch in just a few months. I should probably clean under there more often. πŸ˜‚

I also had some more chicken drama today. It can get pretty windy here in Kansas. Especially in the spring and fall, and the wind has definitely been picking up lately. This afternoon it was particularly bad. So bad that it literally moved the dog kennel around the chicken coop back a couple of feet, and somehow while that happened two of the chickens got out. Luckily they’re pretty easy to catch and they never go far, so I was able to get them back to where they belong pretty easily. But since the wind was still blowing the dog kennel around, I put them all into the actual coop so that couldn’t happen again. Luckily that is too heavy for the wind to blow around, so it wasn’t going anywhere.

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You can see the line in the grass where the kennel used to be and obviously the pool used to be inside of it. The wind moved it pretty far!

So when Luke got home from work we set to work, anchoring the dog kennel to the ground, so this whole situation wouldn’t happen again. We had some little anchors that Luke hammered through the very bottom of the chain link into the ground, but we didn’t think that would be enough, so he also put in a post to help keep it in place. Then we made a few adjustments to the tarp situation, and now we thing it should hold up better in the wind. πŸ™‚

The tiny raptors were very happy to be let back out. There isn’t a lot of room in the inner part of the coop for all 8 of them. That’s part of the reason we built the whole dog kennel set up thing. Plus as long as it’s not being blown around by the wind, it gives them a little bit more protection at night or if we’re not home to keep an eye on them.

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But anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today!

Your hot and sweaty friend,

~Ashley

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Buy Me A Coffee

Thursday Things

Remember how almost a year ago I got to see my all time favorite band for the second time and it was literally the best thing ever and I was the happiest camper that ever was?!?!? Yeah, me too.

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#throwbackthursday

Yeah that was super-duper irrelevant, but I shared that on Instagram this morning so I thought why not share it here as well. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, this week has been a little hard so far, half marathon training-wise. I had a rest day on Monday, followed by an interval session on Tuesday. That went REALLY well and I had a blast doing it. Probably because it was raining and a little bit cooler that day. And I also really like interval work haha. But after that everything had been a bit of a struggle. I’ve just been really tired this week (menstruating does that to me sometimes) and have been struggling to get up and moving in the mornings. Plus after the rain on Tuesday it got really hot, humid, and gross out again. And we’ve been getting more air quality alerts which really sucks. I was hoping we were done with heat and air quality warnings, but obviously we are not. I’m really hoping that August ends up being our last really hot month, but September can still be pretty warm too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see though.

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Now that being said, I’ve still been sticking to my training plan and getting shit done!! Just a little more slowly this week. πŸ˜‰ The plan for today was an easy 5 miler. I started out on the road but I didn’t wake up early enough this morning, so at about 3 miles in it was 80 degrees with 90% humidity, sunny, and the air quality was really bad. So I gave up finishing my run outside and completed it on the treadmill instead. Really glad I have that option now, otherwise this run would have been cut short! πŸ™‚ I’ve got a hill workout on the scheduled for tomorrow and I still haven’t decided if I want to try to do it outside or just do the whole thing on the treadmill. It’s supposed to be pretty gross out tomorrow as well…

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Anyway, after my run this morning I was pretty busy! I spent the rest of the morning cleaning EVERYTHING haha. I did a bunch of laundry, watered and tended to the garden, cleaned both of my rabbits’ cages which is a time-consuming process for various reasons, completely cleaned and took every inch of the room they live in, and then kinda spot cleaned the rest of the floor through out the house. Oh and periodically checking on the chickens and giving them ice, since they seem to hate this weather just as much as I do. After all of that was taken care of I showered, ate lunch, and sat down to read for about an hour because I felt like I needed a bit of a break after all of that haha. But at around 2 pm I was back at it again, this time doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, and then putting away laundry. Usually I don’t enjoy doing chores around the house, but today I really was for some reason so I was trying to take advantage of that. πŸ˜‰

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Oh and I’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my little push up challenge! Las night I thought I had forgotten to do them during the day, but when I checked the scheduled yesterday was actually a rest day so that worked out haha. I did my 7 push ups for today later in the afternoon after my cleaning frenzy. I did all 7 on my toes which I was pretty darn proud of! I’m still not able to go down all the way, but before 5 was the most I could do on my toes and I felt like I was dying doing them. Now it’s still hard, but I feel pretty good doing them! Haha and maybe by the time this challenge is over my push ups wont look so half assed. πŸ˜‰

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Well, that pretty much sums up what I’ve done today though. Like I said, tomorrow I’ve got a hill workout to do, and probably a little bit of strength work too. And of course Saturday is my long run day. Then Saturday evening Luke and I are going to a housewarming party. I’m not sure who is all going to be there but the only people I’ll know are the couple who are throwing the party and Luke. Not exactly an introverts idea of a good time haha. Not gonna lie, I’m already looking forward to my rest day on Sunday. I’m already worn out just thinking about all of that! πŸ˜‰ But I’ve been pushing through and getting it done! I’m so so so very ready for fall to get here, but I can’t deny that all of these hard summer miles aren’t helpful. They make running in the colder months seem so much easier and feel that much more enjoyable. Summer miles bring fall smiles!

All righty then! That is all from me for now!

How’s your summer running been going? Are you currently training for anything? Do you like running in the warmer months or the colder months better and why? Apparently I’m just full of questions today! But I would really like to know your answers! πŸ™‚

Happy Friday eve!! I hope your week has been good so far!

~Ashley

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Buy Me A Coffee

Treadmill Running

I started out my running journey almost 5 years ago on a treadmill in my old apartment complexes fitness center, but once I started running on the paved trail that was near by, I ditched the treadmill and never looked back. In that time I’ve forgotten a little something about myself; I’m super duper awkward on treadmills!

So just going back a little bit, last weekend Luke and I went to Illinois for one of his brother’s high school graduation party. While we were there we picked up my sister’s old treadmill from her boyfriend’s mom’s house. My sister (actually, both of my sister’s, my brother, and both of my parents) live in Colorado now. It would have been more expensive for her to rent a truck and drive all the way to Illinois just to get it, and since she knew Luke just recently bought a new truck, she told me that we could take it. And that, my friends, is how I ended up getting a $600 treadmill for free. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me!! πŸ˜‰

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Originally I wasn’t going to take the treadmill. “I’m a road runner!” I told myself, “I pride myself in running in ALL OF THE WEATHER CONDITIONS!” And that is true, but in the summer months I always end up runningΒ a lot less and basically not doing any kind of speed work, because I do not do well in the heat. It absolutely drains me and my running kinda suffers because of it. So after thinking about that for a while, I figured why not take the treadmill? I could probably utilize it in a way to supplement my outdoor running and actually do some speed work in the summer! So at this point I’m pretty stoked to have it. Even though it’s kinda huge and taking up a lot of room in my living room haha.

Anyway, back to my original point. I run weird on treadmills. And I’ve kinda forgotten about that little fact until now. Once I had started running on that trail back in the apartment days I realized how natural treadmill running felt to me. I also realized how quickly I tore shoes up while running on a treadmill. Once I started running on asphalt my shoes started lasting me a lot longer. Probably because running on a revolving belt is just naturally going to wear them out faster, but also because my running gait is just super awkward while moving on said revolving belt and I’ve never been able to get into a good rhythm on one. And honestly I probably never will.

So I’ve only run twice since Sunday when we brought this thing home. Both runs were on the treadmill and both runs felt super weird. Now, I know I’m slow, but a little simple math told me that my Garmin wasn’t reading correctly with that first run on Monday and that I was going somewhere around a 13:30 pace and not a 15 minute per mile pace. Haha that was a huge relief! Because that first run felt HARD! So I’m not actually sure about the distance on this run. I’m not all that worried about it though, I figured out how to calibrate my watch to the treadmill and it was pretty close to what the treadmill was reading on Tuesday. Still not sure how accurate the treadmill is, but I’m just gonna roll with it haha.

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First treadmill run in a very long time on Monday!

You might notice in the photo above that I’m not wearing any shoes. Haha remember how I said I tear shoes up while running on the treadmill? Yeah, I don’t want to be doing that right now. You see, I’m down to one pair of running shoes (I just had to retire my current pair of Nike Free’s. It was a sad day), my Nike Pegasus and they’re getting close to being halfway through their running life with me. I can usually get about 300 ish miles out of a pair of shoes before they have to retire to my “everyday” shoes, and then I can usually wear them for about another year before I have to get rid of them. It’s a good system for me. πŸ™‚ But anyway, since I’m down to one pair of running shoes and currently not able to spend $100 to get a new pair (that whole trip to Illinois, our up coming family vacation that Luke’s mom has been planning, and having to pay bills, buy food, and other adult stuff like that is really slowing the whole getting new running shoes thing down). So in order to preserve my current pair of shoes I’ve done both of my runs this week in my socks!!

(Just a little side note here guys, I have a ko-fi account now! You might have notice the “Buy Me A Coffee” button on the side of my blog. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not I should join ko-fi, because I didn’t want anyone to think I was like, begging for money or anything. And I’m totally not! But you know, I do work pretty hard on this blog and my other social media accounts. I put myself out there and share my story in some pretty up close and personal ways. So I figured why not give people a way to show me some love and support in the small way of “buying me a coffee” if they want to. And if they don’t, no big deal and no hard feelings. It’s not like I started this blog to make boatloads of money. Although I’d be lying if I said that wouldn’t be nice. πŸ˜‰ But anyway, just thought I’d throw that out there really quick. I probably wont be bringing it up much though.)

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

So anyway, in order to preserve the life of my remaining pair of running shoes, I’ve done both of my runs this week in just my socks. I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal though. As kids my sisters and I would run around the farm barefoot all the time. We’d walk around corn fields, cow pastures, the woods, our gravel driveway, and even ride our bikes all sans shoes, and it was great!! And it’s not like I wear shoes all the time anyway. Nowadays I always walk around my house in just socks. I ride my stationary bike barefoot, tend to my garden barefoot or in flip flops or rubber boots (so, shoes that basically have no support whatsoever). I’ve even played tennis and helped Luke practice for softball either barefoot or in socks. Haha we’ve actually discoverd that I pitch better without shoes on! Although that’s probably just a weird coincidence, but now whenever we got out to the softball fields and there’s no home plate out we just use my shoes because I’m a-ok with not wearing them haha.

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P.S. I’m totally in love with my Zensah watermelon compression socks!!Β πŸ‰πŸ˜„[/[/[/[/[/[/

I’ve also got an affinity for minimalist shoes. Hence why I love Nike Free’s so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love myΒ Pegasus. They’re a great training shoe and a good way for me to switch things up a little bit, but I wont do races in them haha. Compared to the Free’s they just feel heavy to me. I don’t even like wearing them on long runs, but I do because I know it’s good for me. But anyway, since I’m quite often barefoot, or wearing socks or minimalist shoes, I figured my feet, ankles, and legs would be strong enough to do my treadmill running in just my socks. But I think I might have overdone it a bit yesterday. I ran 4 miles on the treadmill, very awkwardly because like I said, treadmill running is weird and hard, in just my socks. I’m not hurt or injured or anything, but my calves are just super tight today! My guess is from running super duper awkwardly on the treadmill two days in a row and now wearing shoes probably didn’t help.

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Haha yesterday I actually spent those 4 miles watching part of a full Green Day concert on YouTube. I have no idea how people can go to a concert and record the whole thing! I’m too busy singing and dancing to even consider taking decent pictures, let along record a video! But I am incredibly grateful to the people who do! Haha yesterday’s 4 miles flew by thanks to whoever recorded this concert! I find treadmill running to be incredibly boring, so I never thought I’d say treadmill miles just flew by! So that was really nice!! But like I said, I woke up with super tight calves today, so I figured I needed to rest them and stretch them, so that’s been my goal for today.

I actually wanted to run outside today. The weather has been a little less hot thanks to some rain we have in the forecast, so it would have been nice to take it outside today. But my tight calves are making my heels hurt a little bit. I’ve dealt with plantarΒ fasciitis before (and ironically I got it from running in a pair of shoes that were waaay to supportive for my feet. I have very high arches and I’ve found the less support a shoe has, the better!) and I definitely didn’t want to go through all of that again, so I figured taking the day off and getting my calves to loosen up a bit was obviously the better option. So I spent about 30 minutes on my yoga mat doing just that. I still felt a little tight, but a lot better after that!

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So I’m hoping tomorrow they feel even better and I’ll be able to run on them. The weather forecast is saying that it’s supposed to be in the 60’s and cloudy with a chance of rain, so I’d like to run in that before it starts getting hot and gross again!! But once it does, at least I’ll have the treadmill as an option. πŸ™‚

I’ve also got another dentist appointment tomorrow to get my permanent crowns put on. So hopefully that all goes well. But that is all I’ve got for now, so happy hump day everyone!

~Ashley

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New Setup For The Chickens!

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Your very dog obsessed friend,

~Ashley

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

 

 

Thursday Things

Hi, my name is Ashley and I’m a little bit obsessed with a band called Green Day. But we all already knew that, right? πŸ˜‰

 

This is relevant, I swear!!

Tuesday (May 15th) was the 9th anniversary of the release of 21st Century Breakdown. That is just absolutely crazy!! This album (along with Hollywood Undead’s Swan Songs) was basically the soundtrack to my junior and senior years of high school. So today I wanted to share with you the story of what I did the day 21st Century Breakdown came out 9 years ago. It’s not a long or a particularly exciting story, but it is kind of ridiculous! And if I could go back, I’d totally do it again!!

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So, May 15th, 2009. It was the end of my junior year of high school and the day Green Day’s much anticipated follow up to American Idiot came out. I couldn’t tell you what day of the week it was (although I’m sure I could figure it out after a few minutes of googling haha), but I knew I totally wasn’t going to school that day! You see Green Day was (and still is) my favorite. At that point everyone knew it. And I was just as intrigued, interested, and excited to see how the hell they were going to follow up the masterpiece that is American Idiot. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t shut up about it since we knew that they had started recording a new album. Haha some things never change…

Anyway, I have no idea how this happened. I don’t remember even asking, but on that day my mom let me skip school so we could go to the mall and buy the CD at Hot Topic. Which was insane! I had already pre-orderd the album on Itunes with a gift card I had, but now I had a chance to get a physical copy on the day it came out?! There was no way I was gonna pass up on that! So after my sisters took our younger brother to grade school and then went to high school themselves, my mom and I went to the mall. So just a little side note, I had to get the CD at Hot Topic because at Hot Topic you got a free t-shirt when you bough the CD, and obviously I needed that free shirt! πŸ˜‰

So yeah, other than that the day was relatively uneventful. I got the CD and the free shirt, then spent the rest of the day listening to the album on repeat. After that day that CD ended up living in Luke’s old, shitty Beretta because my old, shitty Saturn didn’t have a CD player haha. And we always listened to either 21st Century Breakdown or Swan Songs while we did little shithead teenager things. And that’s the story of the time I skipped school because of Green Day.

And continuing in the spirit of Throwback Thursday, here’s a photo of me from around that time period. I had to have been 17 or 18 in this photo. I thought I was such hot shit back then haha. And note all of that 21st Century Breakdown artwork on my wall. I do kinda miss having all sorts of neat stuff on my wall like that. πŸ˜‰

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So in celebration of the album that was often playing in the background of my late teenage years, I had to listen to it during my run today. Haha for as much as I listened to it back in high school, it’s been a while since I’ve listened to 21st Century Breakdown all the way through. I got a little bit too excited, went out too fast, and was absolutely dead at 3 miles. So I stopped right about then and went to work in the garden.

Luckily I didn’t have to doΒ tooΒ much work in the garden today. Mostly just did some watering and weeding. But everything is looking really good out there! The warm sunny day’s we’ve been having are making my tomatoes grow like crazy, which is awesome! And my peach tree is covered in little tiny peaches! I’m really hoping that this is the year we actually get a few to grow big enough to get ripe! We’ve had this tree for going on 3 years now and we’ve yet to get a single peach from it!

But anyway, summer running is hard. The heat and humidity do me in every time. It’s not fun but I know struggling through it makes me a better runner and will make me stronger in the fall. That being said, I believe I’m done with races until the fall. Running With The Cows was a lot of fun, and I got really close to my goal, but the humidity that day was awful and I felt pretty terrible for a few days afterwards. So my goal for this summer, just like every summer, is just to survive haha. Oh man I’m already ready for fall!

And last but not least for today, I’ve got another coupon code for StrideBox!! Yay!

You can use the code ASHLEY10OFF at checkout to get $10 off of one box. The code is only good through May 31st, so if you were looking to give StrideBox a try now might be a good chance to go for it! But that code doesn’t last long, so you’ll have to do it fast! πŸ™‚

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Now for the sake of all transparency, I am a StrideBox ambassador and I get my StrideBoxes for free. But I only ever represent brands and company’s that I actually use and love, and I really do love StrideBox. Getting a box full of fun running goodies once a month is pretty freaking awesome! And I’ve never been disappointed in what came in a box. There’s always stuff in there that I could use or have wanted to try. And don’t even get me started on the yummy snacks!! πŸ™‚

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I hope that didn’t soundΒ tooΒ much like an ad. I’m not exactly trying to sell you guys stuff. It’s more like I’m recommending things that I like, and if I have a code or know of a sale that I can share, then heck yes I’m gonna share it for anyone who may be interested in it after hearing me talking about it!! Or at least, that’s what I’m trying to go for anyway. πŸ˜‰

Anyways, that’s all for today!

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