Tag: animals

my phoemiliar


as phoebe is to walking, i am to writing . . .

sometimes she skips
sometimes she gallops
sometimes she ambles.

sometimes she sticks to the prescribed path
she veers to the right
or to the left
chasing something
that captures her attention or imagination.


she is so totally captivated
that she just stops
and sits for a spell
to reflect and
take it all in.


she ventures so far out into
the ten acre wood
to investigate
that she’s a mere
butterscotch dot.


sometimes it’s good enough
to celebrate;


other times, it’s best
to nap and dream of a better tomorrow.


but always, always, always
it’s better
with somebody riding shotgun.

for the eve: a tale


friday night, mother decided she wanted to come home 4 days early. she said it was so i could spend time with my husband – and i’m sure that’s part of it – but i also think she was ready to come home.

there’s a whole lot more i want to say about that and about our time together, but i’m a little distracted cause, well, see, here’s the thing: after three years of tire-kicking, i officially signed up for nanowrimo this year.

which starts in less than 4 hours.

i’m actively researching a non-fiction book, but since that could wind up taking 3 years or more on the research alone, i decided nano would be a fine opportunity to bring that story idea out – the one that’s been lurking around in my imagination for 8 years or more – the fiction piece.

yes, 8-year-old fiction.

but with nano’s clock ticking loudly, i am visited by the ultimate writer’s block: i can’t even remember the idea.

i’m breathing deeply and revisiting the notes i’ve scribbled out over the years (i thought there was more!)

sometimes accomplishment moves me into a new place, so i made a to do list. i still need to:
clear my desk
file all those papers
decide on a writing sweater
flesh out a writing writual
decide which candle
make out menus for the next 4 weeks
and grocery lists
finish christmas shopping
pluck my eyebrows
clear out and reorganize the pantry
change the answering machine message to say “not now dearie”

well shoot, as you can see, i’m suffering from a bad case of writer’s procrastination and paralysis.

so to hell with the notes and to hell with the list. i’m off get my daughter to don her costume again and canvas the neighborhood. i’m telling her to go as far as necessary, to stay out as late as needed, that i don’t want to see her back here until she has a bag FULL of chocolate.

metaphor mewsing


every night between 10 and 11
a cat appears on our deck.
a totally, no-hair-excluded black cat.
a cat that is the same size
the same color
has the same eyes
as our indoor cat, godfree.

our indoor black cat
is not amused
and our dog snaps effortlessly
and loudly
into her role as protector.
(that’s how i know the outdoor cat has arrived.)

i take food out,
and each night the outdoor cat
gets a little teensy bit closer.

but the indoor cat
remains unamused
and vocal with his

they sit
with only a window between them,
one cat feasting
one cat fussing,
the outdoor cat fearful
the indoor cat fierceful,
and i know – i just know –
there’s a metaphor in progress.

communication gone to the dogs


i’ve spent a good deal of time with my dog lately, and i’ve noticed that we communicate differently . . .

me: i need to start walking.
phoebe: what’s wrong with right now?

me: time to cook supper.
phoebe: 4 of my favorite words.

me: i can’t explain it, but i kinda’ want to take apart an old piano to harvest the keyboard.
phoebe: count me in. that means we can spend more time in the shop.

me: time to pay the bills.
phoebe: sweet – that means time in the jeanneararium. hope the turkeys come by to say hey.

me: okay. time to change the beds.
phoebe: funny things come out of your mouth when you can’t get the bottom sheets stretched over the last corner.


me: how does my hair look?
phoebe: what hair? oh, i hadn’t noticed you had any.

me: i know it sounds crazy, but i’d sure love to crochet a little dress and attach these broken shards. . .
phoebe: cool. the cats are so cute when they play with string.

me: i’m tired.
phoebe: let’s nap.

me: do these pants make me look fat?
phoebe: what’s fat?

we go on a walk, and there’s nary a smell she doesn’t notice. she is totally there in the walk.


when her back itches, she rolls around on the grass or the carpet, she walks under your foot or the chair to scratch it – and she never once apologizes or whines or complains, she simply scratches her back. period.

i look out the window and see limbs that need to be picked up, leaves that need to be raked, mulch that needs to be topped off. phoebe looks out the window – the same one, mind you – and sees deer and turkeys and woodpeckers and squirrels and possums and raccoons and owls and cats and bats and sometimes even a wandering bovine.

i see squirrels on the birdfeeder and mutter “pesky, thieving squirrels.” phoebe sees squirrels feasting uninvited on the birdfeeder and chases them away then stands guard so the birds can eat.

notice anything?

phoebe never once says “yes, but” or “are you sure?” or “say what?”

she’s grounded in the present, content wherever she is, and lives in a state of constant readiness.

and she has a keen sense of right and wrong and doesn’t hesitate to address wrongdoing.

me: i miss blogging, but there are toilets to clean, weeds to pluck, houses to get on the market.
phoebe: sit. write. i’ll lay on your feet to keep you in the chair.


i think my dog is my best teacher.

how they got in there, i’ll never know

so there i was,
clearing and cleaning a rental property,
getting it all spiffied up and ready
to welcome
and shelter
its new person,
when i opened the grill to find this:



you just never know
where you’re gonna’ find
new life,
[insert your own metaphor]
so stay awake
be ready,
and behave yourself*.

*and just so you know: that last one need not involve a long-term commitment.

happy times at happy time (best business 2009)


i was never going to be a poodle owner (i love you, mom, but). and i’m still not, even though i do sometimes act like one.

i don’t know when happy time boarding started, but i know when i the s-p-a as we call it, having to spell it when phoebe (our welsh corgi) is within hearing distance until i have the keys in my hand and my hand on the door.

phoebe and i love this s-p-a because everybody who works there is friendly and accommodating (in spite of the headache they must surely have working in the din of incessant barking) (and i haven’t seen the first one wearing earplugs – amazing) though they may not know my name, they all know phoebe and every single one of them sounds sincerely glad to see her when i drop her off. and when i pick her up, well you’ve never seen such a heavily decorated corgi (i can’t imagine what pam’s ribbon bill must run every month) and she smells so good it really gets in the way of her ability to effectively herd the deer, squirrels, possums, and wild turkeys that trespass on a daily basis.

(warning: here’s where i really sound like a poodle mama.) and the accommodations? well, i’ve been thinking about asking if i could board myself there for a while. maybe i could get some serious writing done while wiling the time away here:


or here:


or especially here:



they’d make me take a walk and a break when needed. i could romp in the festive outdoor courtyard to meet my quota of socializing, and when time to get beautiful, they’d escort me to the grooming side where i’d get comfortable in one of the themed apartments there (no crates. no, no, no.) and relax till time to get my hair and nails done.

i could nap at will and without guilt.


or i could do what phoebe does when she’s there – just sit and watch the world go by:


i could be onto something here. yes, yes i could.

the stories are mine, but credit for the kindling goes to gwen bell and her best of 2009 blog challenge. today’s prompt: the best startup business encountered in 2009?

Technorati Tags:
#best09, #bestof2009

favorite album: lessons from a bird brain

today’s challenge is to write about our favorite album, and since gwen didn’t specifically mention music, i’m going with something we’ll call a video album. though you can’t really hum along and it’s hard to dance to, it is an album that rocked my world. (okay, maybe that’s a little too over the top, but i did learn how to take videos with my new camera and though i did already know how to use idvd, i learned how to use quick time pro, and last but not least, i learned how to upload and share via flickr.)

every morning like clockwork, ms. redbird shows up to defend her space. she’s a tenacious thing, continuing her task despite the would-be distractions of a nosey cat and a growling dog. outsiders are not the issue, you see. ms. redbird tenaciously defends her space from her own reflection, from her own self. when it comes to protecting her personal territory, she is her own worst enemy.

the story is mine, but credit for the kindling goes to gwen bell and her best of 2009 blog challenge.

Technorati Tags:
#best09, #bestof2009

the cat did it

last time it was that the dog ate my blogwork. today it’s that the cat has seen fit to take my stitching project hostage, so am off in search of more treats to see if we can’t work a deal. hopefully amicably (read: without resorting to claws).


Where in the world is The 70273 Project? Please add a pin to show us where you are in the world. (1) Click the + sign in upper righthand corner of map. (2) Enter your first name only. (3) Enter your city/state. (4) Using the pins at the bottom of the map, select a marker based on how you are involved. (5) Select preview to see before posting. (6) Select submit to post. Please add a marker for each role you serve in The 70273 Project.

Support The 70273 Project

Allow me to introduce myself . . .

Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

special delivery: get blog posts hot off the press


© 2024 Jeanne Hewell-Chambers’ Barefoot Heart

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑