Joe and I met each other in 2005 and were finally married in 2010. In April 2009 we purchased our first home together, an 80 year old farm house sitting on roughly 5 acres in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. We have a variety of outbuildings including an enormous pole building, two smaller barns and a variety of old chicken coops and sheds.
Joe has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech. and now works as an engineer at the Keweenaw Research Center just a few miles from our home. I have a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and an MBA, both from Michigan Tech. as well and currently work as a Pharmacy Technician. In our spare time we enjoy fixing up our farm, spending time with our numerous animals, exploring local historical sites, and learning one of the many crafts we’ve taken up including – sewing, brewing beer, weaving on one of our three looms, woodworking/building, cooking, basket weaving, quilting, car repair etc… the list could go on and on 🙂
James is our first son (and first child) born on 11.13.2013 at 10:05pm. He was a big baby weighing 9lb 11.5oz and 23 inches long. Everything went well and everybody was happy and healthy. We are still in the process of getting to know each other but he is a wonderful baby!
Buddy was our first pet…he was a golden retriever-irish setter mix and he lived with us for the last 6 years of his life. His last 6 months or so he suffered with severe kidney disease but still had a good quality of life until he had a huge seizure and we had to decide to say goodbye to him. He passed away at about 12 1/2 years old in June 2012. Buddy enjoyed eating sticks, walks and long naps in our sunroom. He used to demolish pillows and blankets but thankfully gave up those activities for a calmer lifestyle in his old age. Buddy had a rough first 6 years of his life but became more dog-like in his last 6 years with us. He learned that water meant swimming and tennis balls meant fun, he loved to roll in the snow, walk in the woods and track deer and bunnies. He loved to take naps on the couch and in bed and he was good at sneaking in occasional visits to the liter box until I finally used baby gates to keep the dogs away from them. He loved car rides, his three cat friends, and almost any kind of food. He also learned to enjoy the company of his dog friend, Cora, but she also exasperated him on occasion too! Buddy rarely barked but whined and groaned and made a variety of other noises for our enjoyment.
Ocean is a middle aged (7-8 years) cat of unknown origin who was rescued from a home that had almost 40 animals in it. She is very cuddly (mostly in the middle of the night) and extremely loud. She is the first one to say good morning and runs to the door in the evening with the dog. She loves food… She eats her food, our food, dog food – any sort of food she can. She loves catnip and her scratching post and chasing her toy mice around the house. She loves napping in her special spots which include the futon in the sun room, a cozy basket in the closet and on a blanket on our linen shelves. She also enjoyed spending time with her dog Buddy while he was with us (she was the most upset when he died) and she likes to snuggle with her cat friend Pinga… especially in the winter when it is cold out.
Pinga is a youngish (5-6 years or so) cat who has been with us for a few years now. She enjoys catnip and people food, milk being one of her favourites (especially our raw, whole milk!). She loves Ocean the best, and especially dislikes Chloe and Cora. Often times we find the Ocean and Pinga together. She loves sitting on the window ledge in the kitchen above the radiator and enjoys lounging on the dog beds or in the recliner when we’re gone. She likes to play with toys and is very willing to chase fingers and toes that wiggle underneath blankets for fun.
Cora is our newest dog. She is a purebred German Shepherd and is still full of energy at about 3.5 years of age. She loves to put stuff in her mouth and has eaten holes in a number of pieces of my clothing along with eating books, shoes, trash and anything else she thinks is important. She loves bones, balls and stuffed animals as well as dog cookies and all kinds of water. She is usually a good girl but will gladly rip open trash bags when we aren’t home if we leave the opportunity open for her. Otherwise she naps and guards the house like a good girl. She still bothers the cats sometimes but has learned to be good friends with Chloe and we are still working on her gentleness with the other cats! Since she is the only dog now that Buddy is gone she has gotten a million times more spoiled and we wouldn’t trade her for anything!
We also are the owners of about 30 chickens across 4 different breeds. They lay a variety of white, light-dark brown, and blue-green eggs. If you’d like to learn more about them and our decision to get chickens you can see my Chicken Coop Tour post.
As of April 2010 we are also playing host to two dwarf bunnies. Grendel (passed away in the spring of 2012) is brown and Bathilda is Black…we know they have crazy names 🙂 They love toilet paper rolls, cat toys, hay and dried fruit. They also enjoy some occasional bird seed and of course fresh fruits and veggies. They don’t like to be picked up very much but are curious and social if you just pet them. They groom themselves and each other like cats and are most awake around dusk. We’re enjoying their company!
In October 2010 Chloe came home to us. She is our largest cat and has been through a handful of families. She is very bossy and pretty mean to the other two cats. Chloe and Ocean have come to an understanding and co-exist peacefully, Chloe and Pinga do not like each other and try to avoid each other at all costs. Hopefully someday they will learn to enjoy each others company too! Chloe is incredibly snuggly with us and purrs and licks and is very sweet. Her favourite spot is either the middle of the kitchen floor or napping on the back of the couch in the living room. Recently she was put on a diet after having reached 20 pounds when she should only be around 10 pounds. She doesn’t love the diet but we’re hoping she ends up healthier and happier after she has been on it for awhile. Out of all the animals Chloe likes Cora the best and often plays with the dog which is very strange but it works!
Our newest animals are two house finches. The smallest and possibly easiest to care for animals around here unless you count the occasional mouse. Ginger came to us from a coworker of mine who no longer wanted her because they had so many birds. Dill came to us from the pet store when we thought Ginger might need a friend. Dill also had a friend with him and for about a week we had 3 finches but Ginger murdered Nutmeg and we ended up with only two finches. We didn’t know they would be so mean or we would have kept them apart indefinitely. Ginger and Dill were them separate for a few months but recently I have put them together again and they are always snuggling together on their perch and nothing bad has happened since! They chirp and sing from a shelf in the kitchen where the other animals can look and listen but not hurt them! (Dill passed away in November 2013 so now we just have Ginger!)