Tag Archives: tomatoes

That Backyard Farm Life

Border collies, and chickens, and tomatoes, oh my!!

If you weren’t already aware, I have quite the little backyard farm going on!

I grew up on an 80 acre farm in rural Illinois and I miss it all of the time, but my tiny little backyard set up does help. Also maybe it’s practice for a future real farm someday? I sure hope so!!

But before we get into everything I’ve going going on in that regard I just wanted to quickly mention that I got pooped on by a bird during my run this morning. That was definitely a first for me and I thought it was pretty funny. ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ˜‚

Ok, so backyard farm.

Obviously I’ve got my 4 border collies. They have been my dream since I was 10 years old and I cannot even being to describe how happy they make me! One day I’d like to actually have some real livestock for them to work (Lily actually has worked cattle before and does know a few real herding commands), but for now they just help me keep my chickens and rabbits in line. ๐Ÿ˜‚

One of my rabbits has a habit of escaping her hutch at night and getting under our shed. But when she eventually comes out Finn knows to keep her from getting back under there and will hold her in one place so I can quickly grab her. Border collies are incredibly smart and the fact that he’s caught on to what I need him to do is just so awesome!

Donโ€™t worry! This doesnโ€™t stress the bunny out! If youโ€™ve ever seen border collies work then you know theyโ€™re very quite and deliberate with what they do. Plus sheโ€™s just super used to it and isnโ€™t afraid of my dogs at all. Hahaha if she was a sheep she would be considered โ€œdog brokeโ€. Which just means sheโ€™s used to being worked by my dogs.

So yeah. I’m just over here living one of my childhood dreams and it’s pretty fucking sweet!

Now, I’ve really debated talking about this next part, but I’m briefly going to get into it. Super duper long story that really doesn’t matter anymore and even if it did I wouldn’t get into it anyway, I’ve recently come into the possession of 2 as of today 6 day old border collie puppies. Like I said, it’s a long story that really doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that they’ve been keeping me very busy! One is a little boy and the other is a little girl.

Unfortunately the little girl has a cleft palate so we’re not sure what’s going to happen with her yet. We’re planning on taking her to the vet soon and seeing what they think we should do. Obviously I’m not a vet, but from what I’ve read it might just be better to euthanize her. Unfortunately stuff like that happens. But we’ll see what the vet says. So I was bottle feeding her, but that wasn’t working well since puppies with cleft palates can’t create the proper suction to nurse. So I’ve switched to feeding her with a syringe for now. And I may have to keep doing that for 3 or 4 more weeks until I can start weening them. That or I’ll only have 1 puppy to care for soon. We shall see.

Little girl fell asleep in my hand after I got done feeding her. Poor baby, is doing a lot better after I started feeding her with a syringe though.

Note; we are not keeping either of these puppies. I’m just taking care of them until they’re old enough to find new homes. But they are adorable! And while they are a lot of work, I do like having them around. ๐Ÿ˜

Okey doke! Moving on!!

My chickens are doing well! Nothing really too exciting to report on that front. They eat, poop, and lay eggs pretty much every day. Jethro, my rooster, gets a little bit high and mighty anytime a man gets anywhere near the coop but other than that he’s the nicest rooster I’ve ever met. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Since my hens are pretty well established and laying almost every day (they’ve slowed down a little bit because of the heat) I’ve been selling eggs to a few people. Nothing too crazy, but they have paid for a few bags of their feed, so hey, I’ll take it!!

Fresh and pretty eggs washed and ready to be delivered to my neighbor!

So this year my garden is much smaller than it has been in previous years, but it’s doing much better than it did last year!! Last year we legit went 2 months without a drop of rain and my poor tomato plants suffered because of it. This year the weather has been much better and we’ve had a ridiculous amount of tomatoes!! And a decent amount of cucumbers too! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Luke and I have already made 2 jars of tomato sauce and we plan on making more! Plus a bunch of pickles. Canning is a lot of fun, plus we like to have homemade tomato products for chili. We make a lot of chili in the cold months hahaha. And homemade sauce made from a homegrown tomatoes just makes it that much better.

So all of this backyard farm stuff is a lot of work! Monday I spent 2 hours in the morning tending to everything outside and today I spent 3 hours out there! And that’s not counting caring for the puppies and feeding/cleaning up after the rest of the animals. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Mostly those 2 days were filled with general yard work, weeding the garden, picking tomatoes and cucumbers, watering the garden, and weed whacking.

Whew! All of that stuff counts as cross training, right?? Hahaha I sure think it does! All that stuff is hard freaking work! I enjoy it though. I guess you could say it’s in my blood. Now if only I could actually make some real money off of all of this! It’s a lot of work and little reward if you don’t count the eggs and produce. Mostly it’s just thankless work. A lot of people assume that since I don’t have a “real” job that I sit around all day doing a whole lot of nothing but that definitely isn’t the case!

So yeah. That’s basically my life at this point! Running, raising dogs, chickens, and growing food! Along with blogging and general household stuff of course. It’s not a glamorous life, but it’s mine and I love it. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday!!

You’re backyard farming friend aka Farmer Dan (it’s an inside joke ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰),

~Ashley

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Half Marathon Training W1D3

Oh man, this morning was rough!

Luke plays softball on his company’s league on Tuesday’s. They’re always double headers and each game lasts about an hour. Which is no big deal. But last night his first game started at 8:30 pm, so we were at the softball fields until 10:30 and didn’t get to bed until well after 11 that night. That’s really not that big of an issue. I just turn into a big baby when I don’t get enough sleep, and I’m still getting up earlier than usual to beat the summer heat.

Plus I’m just feeling kinda worn out from my runs on Monday and Tuesday. But I knew that was coming and that this week would be kinda tough. I’m hoping if I just stick it out that next week will be better. It anyway, getting out of bed this morning was hard. Eating breakfast and getting dressed was hard. Stepping out the door and starting my Garmin was hard. But after that things got considerably easier. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

The plan for today was 5 easy miles and that’s what I did! Nothing all too exciting to report from this run either, but honestly that’s not a bad thing! I’d rather have a decent, uneventful run, than a bad, exciting run haha. But this run did get my blood moving, my muscles working, and woke me up a little, which I definitely needed! So far this week I’ve felt tired before my runs and then awake and energized afterwards, so that’s been a nice little bonus. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh and during today’s run I notice that my legs are looking more and more like “runner’s” legs. They’re definitely getting slimmer, more muscle definition, and my quads are getting pretty big! I wish I would have thought to take a “before” photo of them, because obviously I can see the changes, but otherwise it’s kind of hard to know that anythings different. But I’ll definitely be saving the photo above so I’ll have something to compare to if I notice any more changes. I know I’ve been getting stronger, but I just think it’s cool to actually be able toย see the physical changes in my body. For many years I was very focused on just losing weight and nothing else. I didn’t care how strong I was, that I could run a half marathon, or that my body was capable of all sorts of amazing things. Now I’m not all too concerned about what the scale says and am more exciting to see and feel that I’m getting stronger, more capable, and hopefully more injury resistant haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, who else runs for second breakfast?!? I know I sure do!! It’s like, 90% of the reason why I’m willing to wake up early and go run. #breakfastfoodisthebestfood ๐Ÿ˜‰ Basically I’m just a hobbit. I’m always eating haha. I mean, I legit eat two breakfasts on most day’s that I run and its great. I usually also always have food on me. Last night before Luke’s softball games I was kind of upset that I had forgotten to wash my grapes earlier in the day, so the only snack I had out there at the softball fields for like 2 hours was a banana. That was a bummer and I was pretty hungry by the time we got home. And it’s not like I didn’t have a filling dinner or anything. I’m just always hungry. ๐Ÿ˜‚

 

So after I was satisfied with my second breakfast I took Lily for a short little walk, watered the garden and picked some more tomatoes, along with a little watermelon. Then I did some laundry, loaded, ran, and unloaded the dishwasher, vacuumed and just picked up the house in general, and then finally showered, ate lunch, and then sat down to work on a few blog posts.

Later in the afternoon I did about 30 minutes of yoga, and holy cow I didn’t realize how tight I was until I did! Haha it was pretty bad! But at least I took the time to do something about it and I ended up feeling pretty great afterwards so yay for that! ๐Ÿ™‚ After that I just kinda spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out and waiting for Luke to get home from work. He should be home in about half an hour and we might go out hunting for Pokemon when he does. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But that’s all for now! I feel like I’ve had a very successful day half marathon training, but I’m pretty darn excited that tomorrow is a cross training day so I don’t have to get up early to run haha.

Happy hump day!!

~Ashley

Friday Fives: Things I’m Super Into Right Now

1. Green Day

Maybe it’s not exactly fair to say that I’m super into Green Day right now. I’mย alwaysย super into Green Day. Hence the tattoo pictured below. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I mean, I kinda have to mention them, since Luke and I are seeing them for the second time a week from today! I seriously cannot wait!! Let super duper fan girl mode commence!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

Again, I’m not entirely sure this one counts as Stephen King is my favorite author and the Dark Tower Series is my all time favorite book series. But since the Dark Tower movie is coming out well, today actually haha, Mr. King has been tweeting/Facebook-ing quite a bit about it and that made me want to re-re-re-re-re-re read the series haha. And at some point I’d like to go see the movie, but I’ll probably just end up watching it on Netflix/dvd whenever it ends up getting released on one of those.

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3. My Homegrown Tomatoes

Yeah, I’m into my own thing right now. What of it? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously though, my tomatoes are all starting to get ripe and I’ve been picking at least 5-6 everyday, so obviously I’ve been eating a lot of tomatoes. I’m not complaining though, they’re sooooo good!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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4. The Run, Selfie, Repeat, Podcastย 

I guess I’m jumping onto the Kelly Roberts bandwagon a little late, but I have kind of a bad habit of resisting getting into things that are super popular. But I’ve been binge listening (that’s a thing, right? haha) to her podcast and I can see why she’s so popular in the running world. She’s super motivating and real and I can definitely get on board with that! If you’re looking for a new podcast I definitely recommend checking this one out (if you haven’t already, that is. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

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5. StrideBox

So at this point I’ve only gotten 2 StrideBoxes at this point (and in the sake of total transparency, StrideBox sent them to me for free), but I absolutely love this subscription box!

So I think I’ve said it here before, but I was always a little unsure about subscription boxes. I mean, I was kinda worried that they wouldn’t live up to all of the hype but StrideBox definitely has! It comes packed with products from well established brands along with products from new or not as well known brands, which I think is fantastic! I’m all for supporting small/new companies so this is a great way to learn about them! It’s also a great way for me to try out new things. I’m kind of aย creature of habit and don’t tend to stray from things I know, so that means I don’t often try new things haha. Also, I really like the sticker that comes in every box and the little card that contains a recipe and workout. I think that’s pretty spiffy!!