Tag: happy birthday

Happy Birthday to The 70273 Project!

If you’re already a part of The 70273 Project Tribe, thank you. If you’re just finding out about us, I hope you’ll poke around a bit  learn a little more, then join us.

For personal reasons, I’ve been mostly dormant the past year, but that’s changing, and you can color me positively zestful. Or positive and zestful, your pick. Over the next few months, I’ll be revealing plans for what awaits us in the next chapter of the project. If you haven’t already, subscribe so you don’t miss a thing ‘cause I think you’re gonna’ like what’s ahead.

This morning I launched a Facebook fundraiser because some adventures in our future require financial support – especially in the area of storage and storage supplies. it’s time for our 850+ quilts (and counting) to slide out from under beds, leap out from closets, gather to accessorize with labels and hanging sleeves (if needed), and pose for their glamour shots. You’ll see all this ‘cause I’m limbering up my fingers (not popping knuckles, though) in preparation of  creating online galleries for each quilt, complete with photos and stories. Thank you for giving what you can and sharing the fundraiser with your friends. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a worldwide village to change the world into a welcoming place for all, whatever their differences and capabilities.

Going to The Dog


Meet Phoebe, our Corgi, a Christmas gift from our children in 2002. Today is her birthday, and so you don’t have to do the math, I’ll tell you: she is 14 people years old today.


Her preferred mode of transportation is a golf cart. Until about 6 months ago when her hearing began to decline, you could say “golf cart” and out she’d scoot. Now it’s the loud, shrill beep-beep-beep of reverse that gets her attention.


Her wants are few, and her needs are simple: breakfast and supper with sprinkled treats in between and at bedtime. She likes a squeaker toy (which the good ones do for about 5 minutes before she’s demolished the voice box) and a walk every day around 4. Phoebe doesn’t demand more than her fair share of our paycheck and what we get in return is priceless.


Phoebe gets along with everybody going into fierce protection mode only if somebody messes with her people with the intent to do them harm.


Not one to dictate how you should live in your own backyard, Phoebe doesn’t really care how big you dig holes or how many bones you bury there. She doesn’t care if you walk around the house in your underwear or put furniture and appliances on your front porch. She only asks that you don’t try to make her do things your way or tell her what she can and cannot do in her yard.  Tend to your own backyard and afford Phoebe the same consideration, and you’ll get along swell.


It’s a given: some folks like dogs more than they like cats while some folks like cats more than they like dogs. Phoebe is respectful of the fact that everybody’s different with different preferences and perspectives which is why you’ll never read a post on her Facebook timeline ordering people to unfriend you if they think differently from you. Phoebe values individuality and personal relationships far more than that.


You know, without cluttering the environment with a single yard sign, without enduring a single robocall, without losing an entire forest to unsolicited junk mail, I think I’ve just convinced myself to vote for Phoebe as a write-in candidate this November.

P.S. That last photo? It’s her head shot from a local performance of “Annie.” She played the role not of Daddy Warlocks but of Sandy. We’re not afraid to do things a little differently in this neck of the woods.

A Perennial Special Day


Today is my son’s birthday. If you’re lucky enough to know Kipp, you might celebrate different things about him – not because he transforms himself into someone different with everyone he meets in hopes of gaining some invisible stamp of approval, but because he is such a delightfully complex and multi-faceted person who is interested in and excels at so many different things.

I celebrate his willingness to take risks – not stupid risks, but educated risks. He digs in, researches, asks questions, and learns before he leaps. Most of the time, anyway. There was the StartUp Weekend in Boulder when he’d gone to scope it out in preparation for presenting one of his three good ideas the following year. But at the last minute – and I do mean very last minute – he stood up, presented one of his ideas, formed his team, developed the prototype company over the weekend, and 48 hours later, he’d won the big prize. (So it all worked out.) There’s also the fact that while he was still sleeping on the floor of some friend’s uncle, he learned his way around Los Angeles by delivering food. And there’s the skydiving, which is pretty daring, if you ask me. (He’s also a certified skydiving instructor, too, if you’re interested.)

Speaking of skydiving, I’d like to take this opportunity to say how much I celebrate the caring and consideration he shows by calling me on the way to any jump then calling me again on his way home from the jump.

I celebrate his willingness to say “I don’t know” right out loud.

I celebrate his knowing that you can learn more about humans and their relationships from poetry, music, art, and literature than from any psychology class or textbook.

I celebrate his creativity that erupts in the poetry, songs, and essays he writes; in the acting he does on film and on stage; in the open mic events I hope he’ll find his way back to.

I celebrate that he is a wildly creative young man who also balances his checkbook.

I celebrate his dependability – if Kipp tells you he’ll do something, you can move on to something else knowing he will do what he promised. And he holds himself accountable, never accepting the blame for others but not shoving blame on others, either.

I celebrate his unwillingness to take a bunch of crap (which is to say his willingness to stand up for himself). On his first day at the new, private middle school, a big fat kid looked at the short, small Kipp, got right up in Kipp’s personal space, starred down into Kipp’s retinas, and barked “You ought to go back to kindergarten” to which Kipp said without missing a beat, “And you ought to go back to Weight Watchers.”

I celebrate his whipsmart and varied intelligences that spring from all parts of his brain.


I celebrate his gentleness and his love of traditions. Kipp got his first stitches when he was in first grade, and we went for ice cream afterwards to make this a celebratory Milestone Life Event. Years later when Alison got her first stitches, Kipp called me in the ER to say that he wanted to pay for her celebratory ice cream.

I celebrate his sense of place . . . when the last box left the house he’d grown up in, Kipp and I spent a few minutes sitting on the front stoop, laughing and crying as we told stories as our way of thanking the house for sheltering us while transitioning into new shelter. It was a tender moment that I’ll remember long after I’ve forgotten his name.

I celebrate his thoughtfulness, his empathetic nature, his bend towards self-reliance.

I celebrate his self-awareness . . . Though he was slow to warm to swimming lessons (I don’t mean swimming lessons in general, but slow to warm to each and every weekly swimming lesson), afterwards he sat in the backseat shivering partly from the chill of a wearing a wet swimsuit in an air conditioned car and partly from the excitement of going straight to his grandmother’s swimming pool for more swimming. The day he went off the diving board at swimming lessons, he went straight to YeaYea’s diving board, walked resolutely to the end of the board, and stood there shivering, his little hands clasped in front of him as he looked down at the water, eventually turning to me and saying, “Mom, I guess you’re just gonna’ have to push me.”

I celebrate his attention to detail and his strive for the remarkable, though he is overly hard on himself sometimes . . . like the time he was learning to ride his bike. He got to the end of the driveway, and as he attempted to turn onto the road, he fell. He took a minute to look at his scraped knee, then picked himself and the bike up, walked it back up to the top of the driveway, and started over, falling again. This time he boo-hooed (and I mean loudly). “Are you okay?” his dad asked rushing over to check on him. “Yeah,” Kipp said, “I’m fine, but I FELL IN THE SAME SPOT.”

I celebrate Kipp’s sense of hospitality, his sense of humor, his precociousness. When I asked our pediatrician why baby Kipp wouldn’t stop crying, she said it’s because he was a 40 years old man trapped in a baby’s body. This woman of science told me that, and she was absolutely right.

I celebrate Kipp’s willingness to be vulnerable and his ability to let other people be vulnerable without rushing to make it better or fix anything. I celebrate his sensitivity, his desire to be his ow man, and how he lives with diabetes, taking good care of himself without whining and complaining of all the extra steps that involves for him.

I celebrate my lucky stars and swimmers and eggs that all came together to place Kipp in my arms, in my heart, in my life. As he said that one Christmas, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he looked down on what Santa had left under the tree: “I didn’t know I be’ed this good.” Whatever I did i a former life, it had to be pretty darn special.

I call him Slug because he is the hottest coal that keeps my fires burning. Happy birthday, Kipp. I love you more than my pocketbooks.


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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.

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