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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Online Auction to Benefit my Niece, Alena

I am holding an online auction on Facebook for the next week or more. The proceeds of this auction are to benefit my niece, Alena, who is recovering from uterine cancer. She had surgery in late June and is unable to work for six weeks. She had to borrow the money to have the necessary surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. Her insurance would not cover the surgeon's fees and those fees needed to be paid up front before the surgery would even be scheduled. While she is unable to work, she does not have paid vacation or paid sick days so she is without any form of income for six full weeks. This means she does not have the funds to pay even her basic necessities of rent, utilities and food. So, I decided to do not only the Chip-In event for her, I also decided that an auction would be a great way for people to get some beautiful goods and the proceeds would go to a very good cause.

In the auction are some handspun and hand painted yarns that were donated by a wonderful customer and friend, Cassandra.

And a handspun skein of Falkland wool yarn spun and donated by Marlea in Wyoming.

Also up for bids is a hand dyed skein of wool dyed and donated by Lydia of Prairie Fire Soapworks & Fiber - on ArtFire.

Also available is some extremely yummy olive oil donated by Kitehawk Farm: Kitehawk 100% Organic Arbequina Olive Oil - 250 mil bottle. Estate grown and milled at Kitehawk Farm, located on the lovely central coast of California.

And two big boxes of soy wax scented tarts for use in a tart warmer - each box contains 25 two ounce (2.0 oz) tarts (over three pounds of tarts!) donated by Auntie Di's. You can find Auntie Di's on facebook, on her own website and on Etsy.

Another gorgeous item up for bids is a stunning chalcedony bracelet handmade and donated by Patty of Broken Teepee Designs in Montana. Broken Teepee Designs is also on Etsy.

I donated a first shearing llama cria (baby) fleece. I normally would never sell a cria fleece but I wanted to donate something that I thought would sell well and this fits the bill very well.

My niece, Alena Scott, is a also very talented artist. She makes some incredibly beautiful mosaic pieces of art. Some of these pieces are available for sale right now in the auction on Facebook. Here are her pieces available in the auction:

A mosaic candle holder

A candle holder or candy jar (has a lid)

A mosaic frame that holds a photograph of a rose (taken by Alena)

A gorgeous patio table or tea table

And a framed mosaic wall piece titled "Green Mask"

Other people have donated items to the auction and I will be adding those over the next few days as time allows. I will be adding some Mary Kay cosmetics, handmade earrings, a handmade angel "ornament" and other items.

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated items or money to the Chip-In Event! The outpouring of kindness, generosity and love has been amazing and the entire family is extremely grateful for everything that everyone has done to help. Of course, all the prayers are very much appreciated and have made such a difference in the healing process.

If you are interested in bidding on any of these items, you can find the online auction HERE.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Catching Up

I apologize for not posting much lately but I've been pretty busy. Our daughter got married on June 25th in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The weather was perfect and the ceremony was very touching.

Here is the happy couple.

The week after the wedding, our new chicken coop/house arrived. Mid-May I got five Rhode Island Red pullets. One chick died within a few day, most likely from shipping stress, and another one died a couple of weeks ago and I have no idea what happened to her. I found her dead in a box in the chicken run one morning. So, we have three pullets left. They are growing like weeds! The first week, I swear you could watch them grow right before your eyes. I would check them first thing in the morning and then throughout the day and every time I looked in on them, they were bigger than the time before. Once I moved them outside to their run, they grew quickly and it was a lot easier having them outside, rather than inside in a large cage (a lot less messy in the house!) They slept in a pet carrier in the run until we bought The Chicken Hilton for them. They wouldn't go into the new house so I picked one of the girls up and set her inside. She came squawking out of there like a bat out of you know where! the first night they slept in their crate. I decided I hadn't spent all the money on The Chicken Hilton just so it would look good next to the run, so I removed the crate and put some of their food inside. They weren't buying it. So then I put a light in the house and they at least trotting up the ramp and had a look inside. Then, I got an ear of corn (their favorite treat) and broke it into a small piece and a larger piece. The small piece I dropped on the floor just inside the door. They all fell on it at once. I then set the larger piece all the way across the house on the floor and soon one at a time they came in and started eating the corn. Now they love their house and spend every night in it and are sometimes in it during the day, just chillin'. They are now 9 weeks old and look like chickens, not chicks. Rhode Island Reds should start to lay eggs when they are about 4 months old so they're about half way there. The chicken house has a nesting box attached to one side of it with three nest sections in it. We purchased a second nesting box that can be attached to the other side of the house at a later date when we have more chickens.

Here is The Chicken Hilton. I cut a section of the chicken wire from the run just large enough for the little door on the opposite side to flop down, creating a little ramp for them to use to enter the house. I stapled the chicken wire to the side of the house so nothing can squeeze through and get into the run or the house.

Here's how it looks with the second door open. I am not letting them out to free range yet as they still aren't big enough.

And here is how it looks from the other side of the run. Notice the chicks playing in their water pan. I put a paving brick in the center of the pan to hold it down and to give them something to stand on. They love to play in the water.

And above is a close-up of the chickens - sorry, they're all mooning us!

Next post I'll tell you about another recent addition to the ranch!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Please Chip In

My niece, Alena, was diagnosed in April with uterine cancer. Because she does not have medical insurance that covers the surgeon, they would not schedule the surgery until she came up with the money. She was able to borrow the money for the surgery and had that surgery on June 24th. She is not able to work for six weeks so is unable to pay for her rent, utilities, food and living expenses. I have set up a Chip In account for her in the hopes that we can get enough money to pay her expenses until she is able to return to work. I would also love to be able to get enough donated to help pay back the money she borrowed to get the surgery.

The surgeon told Alena that she believes she got all the cancerous tissue during the surgery so radiation and chemo will not be necessary. This is extremely good news, especially since over two months went by between discovering the cancer and getting the surgery.

Alena is a very talented artist who makes beautiful mosaic pieces. I will post photos of some items that she has for sale so if you would like to purchase them, the money will go towards her expenses.

Here is Alena with her three daughters.

Anything people can donate would be greatly appreciated. Even $1 would be helpful to help offset her expenses and medical bills.

And, of course, prayers and positive healing energy are always appreciated! 

Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rosie is growing up!

Here is a photo of little Rosie that I took yesterday. I just love the color of her fleece! And that face...she's such a cutie pie.