Sunday, November 8, 2015

Halloween 2015

This year I got into the spirit of Halloween and decided to throw a Halloween party. I'm afraid I didn't get as into it as Glenna, but we had a good time anyway. I unfortunately was so busy planning and worrying about whether it was going to be successful or not, that I forgot to take any pictures... oh well, maybe next year.

Tony got into the Halloween spirit this year as well, by deciding that he would not dress up, but he would force our poor dog to dress up. Here he is all painted up like a skeleton:





Monday, April 6, 2015

Grandpa's Ranch

Each year Tony's family spends the entire week of spring break down at a ranch owned by his Grandfather's Family. So last week we packed up all our camp gear and his parent's and trundled down to the Grapevine Springs Ranch in Arizona. It was an eternal car trip down there, but it was totally worth it. 

On the trip down Afton (Tony's youngest sister) asked if she could ride with us. She lasted only half the trip, largely due to this guy being in the back seat with her:


At one point I hear her say: "This is the line! Stay on your side!" You can see how well that worked:



Once we got there I was immediately thrilled with the beauty I saw. There are seven springs spread throughout the ranch. Each one ends in a beautiful oasis where there is honeysuckle, moss and other beautiful plants growning.






We brought Lucky with us because he loves camping and running. Obviously we couldn't have him run the whole way to each spring/hike that we wanted to go to, so we had to put him on the back of the four-wheeler. At first he was nervous, but once he understood that when we arrived he could run all he wanted, he warmed up to the idea. We tried to take a selfie with him, but it didn't work out so well:



Lucky was pretty tired by the end of the day, which suited us just fine since he was sleeping in our tent. He also did not appreciate being tied up (we never tie him up at home) especially since Tony's cousin had a super mean chihuahua that hated him and was constantly sneaking up to attack him. Kudos to Lucky for being so tolerant as to not attack back.


 On the property there are several houses (from Grandpa's extended family) and an old school house. Both were super cool.





More scenery shots:






One of the springs had a ladder that led up to the top of the waterfall. This is Tony climbing it. I eventually conquered my fear of heights and climbed it as well.



Here's the view from the top. The little dot down there is Lucky. He was extremely upset that we left him behind.


Here's a picture of us on the four-wheeler with lucky:


He was pretty tired the whole drive back:




Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lucky's Stick

Lucky is a great dog, but unfortunately he lacks any and all understanding of what it means to "play". Seriously, fetch, tug-o-war, wrestling, he understands NONE OF IT. Sometimes he looks at me like he's bored so I try to rile him up and get him to play, and he just gets confused and thinks he's in trouble. We're not sure why he's that way, but we spend some time with him everyday trying to get him to figure it out.

Some of our teaching must be paying off. We went camping a few weeks ago and he decided to play keep away with us using a log instead of a stick. It's a pretty amusing video.


Cat Stories

Thor is totally adorable...



Most of the time...

Unfortunately, sometimes I want to wring his neck. Like when he won't leave me alone and keeps crying and then I almost step on the dead lizard he's brought in through the window for me.


Or when I hear a weird sound at night and realize he's brought in a three inch long grasshopper to play catch and release with. Or a moth with a three inch wingspan. 

But I find ways to get back at him:


I tried to get him to wear a collar... It didn't end well:



He likes to curl up with us on our bed and watch Tony surf the net:



One day he came home and I thought he looked a little funny. I almost kicked him out of the house he looked so different:



Apparently eating a bee is a bad idea.

All in all, he's crazy, a bird murderer and kinda adorable.





Monday, March 23, 2015

So it's been awhile...

So in checking over my blog, I discovered that it has been quite awhile since I last updated it. I guess I've been kinda busy lately...

So I'm just going to do a quick recap of everything that has happened in the last year.

First of all, in October I not only ran the color run, but I also met this handsome devil


Whom I dated and eventually got engaged to and finally married. :)

We know live in a cute two bedroom trailer house in the middle of nowhere. I'm not exaggerating when I say that. We literally live in the middle of NOWHERE. It's called Sandy Valley. There is no grocery store, no gas station and there are no neighbors for miles. 

Before we got married, one of Tony's Grandfather's feral cats had kittens and I teasingly suggested he save one for me. Well, low and behold he took my desire to heart and immediately set about taming one of the wild kittens for me. When we finally got him, he was terrified of us and absolutely feral. My hands have the scars to prove them. We named him Thor.



After a few weeks he decided that he accepted us as his pets and we've been doing his bidding ever since. I decided he was lonely and went to town and got another kitten for him to play with. Here is Odin: 


They were getting along so well that we started to let them outside to sleep at night. Having never owned a domesticated cat (all three cats I previously owned have all been feral barn cats I tamed), I failed to realize one very important difference between Thor and Odin. When Thor goes outside his instincts scream at him to be on high alert, he's looking for a predator. When Odin goes outside... He's calm and relaxed, not to mention he was friends with dogs... Consequently I called for the cats one morning and only Thor came back...

I know, I'm a horrible cat owner. But I really didn't know... :(

So the next thing I did was go and get another cat... Thor's sister Serenity (nerdily named after Tony and I's favorite TV Show).


Thor wasn't stoked to have another cat in the house and was continually trying to dominate the poor dear. On top of that Serenity anxiously climbed everything in site. And when we let her outside, she disappeared... I know what you're thinking. "Way to go Ash! Killed another cat!" But Serenity survived against all odds and showed up back at Grandpa's house a week later. 

Thor on the other hand survived us moving to a new house and continues to surprise everyone by continuing to evade the coyotes and beat up all the neighborhood cats who try to take over his territory.



After deciding that Thor was meant to be a loner, Tony talked me into getting another creature. Enter Lucky:


Yes. We know have a 2 year old German Shepherd named Lucky (Tony's parent's think that Thor and Lucky should trade names). He is loving, adorable and will be an amazing family dog... But he's a terrible guard dog. He LOVES everybody. Seriously, he's never gotten irritated with anybody. Also, he's a giant WUSS!!! Exhibit A:


Yep. The cat has claimed the dog's bed and the dog has brooked absolutely no argument. In fact, most of the time the dog  wanders the room avoiding the cat and whining. But occasionally moments like this give us hope that the two of them might become friends:




Friday, December 6, 2013

Running


Since moving to Las Vegas I have decided to start running again. I used to run a lot. In high school I ran for the cross country team all four years. I was never particularly good due to my lack of desire to kill my body for a better running time. My eighth grade club volleyball coach told me that I lacked ‘the eye of the tiger’, and he was right. I played sports to have fun, not to win. Winning was an option, not a necessity.

This attitude changed for me when I hit my junior year of cross country. It had started off as any regular season, with the exception of our numbers being down a bit due to the eccentricity of our coach. I distinctly remember the old JV coach telling my parents, after one of our races, that I was starting out the race two slow and that with my mid race speed and finishing time, I should be running with the middle of the pack not the back. So I tried it in the next race, and I didn’t die. So I kept doing it.

Due to our numbers being down, our team only had about 12 girls total. One day in the middle of the season, our coach starting talking to us about the State meet that year, which was to take place in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I remember wondering who would end up placing for state that year and looking around the room at the girls.

Each team that competes in state is allowed a team of 7 members and 1-3 alternates. The terminology goes: Megan is the first runner, Michelle is the fifth runner, etc. As I looked around the room I started calculating which girl was which runner based on where we usually fell in races. That’s when it hit me. I was the seventh runner! I had come in seventh every race since the season began. The last slot for state was MINE!

To say I was excited was an understatement. That moment gave me a taste of desire. The desire to get better at running; the desire to earn that seventh spot, not just get it handed to me. And so I started taking things seriously. And suddenly I discovered that I was actually good at this running thing. I got so good, that I surprised my coach. Suddenly I was not the slow wussy girl at the end of the line. I was good. So I went to State and ran my best 5K time ever: 25 minutes and 25 seconds.

Unfortunately, early in my senior year I developed an injury in the muscles above my knees that prevented me from performing well. This injury persisted every time I tried to run during college and attacked me every time I went up stairs, or hills and sadly prevented me from having a reall desire to run again.

Upon moving into my new house in Vegas, it didn’t take me long to learn that both my roommates were avid runners. Consequently I began to tentatively start running again, but I was never brave enough to run a full 5K or even 2 miles.

One day my roommate, Elise, decided she needed a running partner, so she dragged me with her on a grueling 3 mile run. And lo’ and behold, I made it! And it was fun. Unfortunately my old injury flared up again and I became worried that being able to run wouldn’t last. I expressed my concern and she immediately showed me how to stretch out my legs to get rid of the pain.

I was reborn. I began running everyday and training to run a 5K. I wasn’t sure which one I was going to run, but run one I was going to! Eventually Elise answered the question of which one by instructing me to sign up for The Color Run. A 5K in which the runners are pelted with dyed cornstarch at key checkpoints.

Two weeks ago a cold, rainy morning dawned and I found myself at the starting line for The Color Run, by myself due to Elise being called away for family matters. At first my temptation was to be sad and lonely due to the fact that I was alone and surrounded by groups of friends throwing color at each other. But finally I decided to change my attitude and asking a five year old to throw some color at me, my frowns turned to smiles. By the time the race started I was psyched out of my mind and ready to run.

I ran the entire course in 27 minutes and 30 seconds. Just two minutes and 5 seconds off of my state time. And that was when I realized how much I missed racing. Running is alright, but racing is what makes it worth it. And now I’ve got the taste of desire back in my mouth, so watch out racing world, cause I got the ‘eye of the tiger’ and I’m not letting go of it.
Here are some pictures from before the race:

'
And After:


Halloween 2013


Halloween fell on a Thursday this year, and my students were shocked when I told them that I ‘would not be trick-or-treating this year’. Apparently at twenty-two I should be enjoying myself more.

Instead I spent Halloween hanging out with some friends at a Halloween Party and then wandering down Fremont Street in Las Vegas. It’s not something I recommend as most individuals there do not have very high standards.

Me and my friend Hannah as Flappers



 Me and Chaz on Fremont Street (yes he did shave his chest hair into a bikini, yes its disgusting).

 


 The next day my Mother came down to see me and we celebrated by visiting the temple grounds, visiting my classroom eating out at the amazing Da Capo’s restaurant and (of course) shopping till we dropped.