Alpacas,  Animals,  Bunnies,  Checking In,  chickens,  Dogs,  Kitty,  Sheep,  Update,  Welcome!

Introduction: Who We Are

It’s been a little while, so I thought I’d do an introduction/update of who we are and what we do for those of you who don’t know us!

We are the Stevens Family.

Bridget, Shaleigh (8), Braden (7), Carson

I’m Bridget. My husband Carson and I met just over 11 years ago. We both lived in Seattle at the time. I’ve always been a city girl, and had no plans to change that. Carson had family members who were farmers, and he was a fishing guide and commercial fisherman in Alaska, so he’d spent time outside of city life, for sure, but he was also solidly ingrained in the city life. We lived in a tiny fixer upper in Seattle. He’s a general contractor, carpenter and woodworker and we were fixing up the fixer upper we were living in… but we were also working, and growing our family, and we aren’t spring chickens 🙂 (I love that I totally get what that saying means now!), and we were honestly burned out on our little house… and we needed wide open spaces.

Carson wanted at least five acres. He was tired of city life and things were getting dicey in our Seattle neighborhood… there were changes happening and we didn’t feel safe there anymore, especially with our little kids. Carson pictured himself on a ride-on lawnmower with a beer, and no fixing up the house. We wanted a bigger house, or at the very least, one with a better layout so that we had bedrooms and space for the kids to play, not right under our feet! And he wanted a man cave so he could get away when he needed to!

Carson fished the Stillaguamish and Skagit Rivers recreationally and he really liked the area… we started looking for 5 acres or more with a move-in ready house. The kids and I would do drive-bys to see if I could picture us living in the houses that looked so good online… most were nos… I didn’t want to be too far out there, I wanted the surrounding properties to be safe and not garbage lots, and I wanted it to be accessible in the snow and ice (not up or down a HUGE hill).

Carson found a house in Stanwood, Washington. “That’s way too far,” I said, “I’m not living a whole hour from the city.” It kept coming up, though, and it sure did look perfect in the pictures. After a few days of not finding anything else worth checking out, I reluctantly agreed to do a drive by.

Oh my goodness… it was perfect. It was everything we’d been looking for. It was home. When our agents, Janet and Greg Buehler, met us to show us the inside, even they had goosebumps!

I mean, look at it!

So, shortly after that, in November 2015, we left our city life and moved to Stanwood. We have 7.68 acres – about half of which was cleared and grass or landscaped, and the other half is woods.

Our Animals

We had Curry ( a little grumpy old dog) and Buster (our black cat) when we moved here, and we realized that wasn’t going to be enough! 🙂 We soon got Moose (our chocolate lab) and then a year later, we got Cotter (our golden lab).

Curry, sadly, died in July 2018, and we have since added Chesney (or Sir Chesney Wallace). He’s six months old and fits in very well! 🙂

Here he is as a tiny pup! So cute, right?!

We also have seven chickens – two roosters and five hens!

Starting at top left going clockwise – Chunky, Windy, Curry, Sparkle (rooster), Nolan (rooster), Buffarina and Twisted Beak (or Twisty!)

I hope to add a few more chicks this Spring but we’re trying to see how we do with two roosters first. So far, it’s going okay with them all living together… but we may need to split up the flock – we’ll see!!

And we have three alpacas – all female. Phoebe and Zoe are white and Midori is brown.

They are 8 and 10 years old and came to us in July 2018 from our friends in Mount Vernon, and we love them so much! We have such a great time watching them and learning all about their personalities. I’m not the best alpaca handler… actually, I handle them as little as possible. They are an awful lot like cats – sometimes, they’ll be watching me in the yard and I’ll be so happy that they noticed me and I’ll walk over to talk to them, and they promptly turn their backs! They are stubborn and clever and it’s a rare alpaca who wants to be touched and hugged and kissed. My alpacas will come right up to the fence and kiss strangers and and they love kids so they come right over, but if I try to do anything, they are skittish! Getting to be a better alpaca handler is on my homestead goals list; in the meantime, they have a pretty darn good life here. They’re loved and well taken care of!

We also have two sheep – both males. They are a mix of East Freisian and Romney. Look at these handsome boys! Taleggio is multi-colored and Phoenix is white.

These boys came to us from a farm in Skagit County who was culling their herd. These boys were set for slaughter in March. Our friend had bottlefed these sweet boys and they were supposed to be the wethers (babysitters) of the herd. She loves these boys so much and the farmer agreed that if she could find them another home and be involved in their lives, they could be moved instead of set for slaughter. We made a wonderful home for them and we couldn’t love them more! They (the sheep AND our friend) have been a wonderful addition to our homestead… we always say it was clearly meant to be! 🙂

We also have bunnies. Rosie is a mini satin angora (light brown) and Pippa is a Holland Lop (brown and white).

Rosie (and her sister Blossom, who died in June) came to us through a friend in April of 2018. The dogs where they lived before could not leave them alone – he barked and barked at them, and our friend was worried that it was stressful for the bunnies. Rosie and her sister came to live with us. Unfortunately, one day, the hutch latch didn’t get closed all the way, and the bunnies got out. I spent three days trying to catch them and finally did, but the stress was too much for Blossom and she died a couple of days later. That was our first farm life loss and it was hard. Rosie was all alone for a couple of months and she seemed bored and lonely.

Pippa came to live with us in August. She’s about six years old and was very loved but her kids went off to college and she wasn’t getting the attention she was used to, and she was getting destructive. She was an indoor bunny and Rosie was an outdoor bunny, so I wasn’t sure how the transition would be. I’d be lying if i said I didn’t stay up worrying the first few nights she was here. Luckily, Rosie and Pippa figured it out. They snuggle up to keep warm and they have figured out the “pecking order” (another farm saying that I am happy to say I know where it came from!)

So that’s Who We Are! Stay tuned for more posts this week about us, including What We Do and What’s Next For Us!

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