The start of a new day here at Raven Ranch. It is cloudy and calm and the snow is still in the process of disappearing. I’ve been cleaning up piles of debris from the storm. Lots of damage to the trees from the extreme weight of the snow. And we are all glad that is is the past.
Had some visitors yesterday. Jeannie and Tony came to be with us for the afternoon. Hope that they make it out again in dryer weather to enjoy a walk. Also Esther Jantzen made a stop to see us. (I mention folks by there whole name if they are authors and such, if their names are already public.) It has been a while since we have seen her and always good.
Such a joy to have folks stop by leave me with a few thoughts to work on. People doing interesting things come by. People on their way here or there come through to leave something with me. Alperfect. It keeps me fresh and the blog fresh.
PFJ, Pilgrim Farmer John, our Heartland Bureau Chief and his wife Cathy are off on an adventure. It is the time of year when they attempt their cross country bike ride. I think they start in California and pedal eastward. They have a blog and I need to find the link for you.
It seems like things are filling up on our March calendar. Californians are getting an early start on visiting the ranch. I have a feeling it will be a busy summer for folks coming and going. Last summer was busy and this summer will be the same plus we have the Big Shindig in August. Let me mention those dates again August 23-26. Please help to spread the word on that.
Time to go., Up, up and away loves, Felipé.
I am seeing a time when we can start turning the tables on this problem. Yes, that does seem unlikely when we think about it with our normal perspective. But hey what the heck is normal about this blog and this neighborhood so far. Early on I coined a phrase that discribed my situation as “beyond normal”. I think that or something similar needs to be dusted off and used here.
Yes, beyond normal or in a place where we can see more of the path ahead of us, maybe is the same. I think it is time to start with this project of worrying cancer. It is high time.
This is strictly a guerrilla operation. We have little backing but we do have a lot of heart. We have knowledge and a network and sharp pointed sticks. And most of all, I for one, have little to lose.
This is Cancer Commando stuff. A revival of the old spirit. Only this time we are fighting the enemy that is not just cancer but Cancer, We are going to start worrying Cancer or in other words cancer as a whole, the whole damn shebang. It’s about time I’d say.
I know that sounds like a tall order but taking the first step needs to be done so that we can all see it and know what it means. Have to go and walk this AM on Phil’s Camino and I think that we have said it for today.
Spring is coming loves, Felipé.
I don’t know exactly when it happened but it was at some point several years ago when my Camino experience coalesced into a single word. Sometimes that sounds weird to me, like it is a process that has to be forced. But given enough time and it happens maybe. And my word for the Camino de Santiago was “hospitality”. Maybe that should have a capital H on it.
It is that word in a great big sense.
And yesterday we had tapas after an hour long work party to get going on cleaning up the part of the trail in the woods. Charlie, Jen and Jim made it to help out. It is is open now, thanks guys. But at tapas Jim and I were talking about having cancer since his Mom has been dealing with it and he travels to see her often to help out. But I was relating something that I had been thinking about lately. And that is I have noticed that without denying that I have this disease the less attention that I pay to it the better. In other words it wants and thrives on my attention. And much more than that it wants ultimately to control everything about me as a person. It would like to control all my attention, to overwhelm all my systems.
So that word “Control” was jumping out at me. Yes, cancer wants to be the Big Controller. I see that clearly now. It is in focus for me. And this will help. The clearer I see it the better. And thank you Jim, we uncovered something valuable there at tapas.
Catherine and Dana are off to Mexico and William CBC is back from Hawaii. Friends coming and going. And we have old friend Esther coming on Thursday. We’ll be here at the ranch holding the fort for you.
Off I go for now, late winter loves, Felipé.
At the moment that I saw Catherine take a hold of that problem I was so amazed. How can one person be so stumped by an obstacle, me, and another see a clear path around it? It is delightful to see how our differences provide for a multitude of interpretations and responses to the world around us.
And we did enjoy our bagels and cream cheese by the way. I don’t even know if I mentioned that yesterday. It would be good to mention at this point that I did weigh in at 172.5 pounds at Dr Gold’s last Wednesday. That is up almost ten pounds from a low a year ago. This is very heartwarming for me. Thank you My Rebecca mostly for this.
We are having a work party today at 3:30, our usual walk time, to clean up the trail through the woods. I was in there yesterday chainsawing my way through and this afternoon some folks are coming to help clean that up. So, if you are around and not doing anything in particular we could use you. Tapas afterward.
The melting of the snow outside is perceptible but glacial. Yea. Most everyone on the Island is dug out now but it still covers most everything up here where we are.
Well, time to be off on my day. Good luck to you where you are. Getting around the obstacles loves, Felipé.
After Mass Catherine and I did our usual tailgate party at the local Thriftway. The weather kept us inside at the little spot where there is a bar with stools though so a tailgate in name only. But spirits were high and Jessika joined us after completing her business so there was the three of us.
In the first days of our tailgate parties both Catherine and I would get donuts and coffee. Usually “Monk’s” coffee which is produced from our local monastery. Anyway Catherine being the mindful person that she is soon switched over to bagels and cream cheese but Felipé hung in there with donuts. But yesterday due to her good influence I made the big switch to the more healthy fare.
I knew that the whole bagel and cream cheese process had a problem with having to try and cut the bagel and spread the cheese with one of those stupid throwaway knives. Beside which a throwaway knife is in itself a problem. So I grabbed a knife in the kitchen utensil aisle to use and reuse in the future.
I’m glad that you are hanging in there with me here in my story because it will be worth it, promise. I know it sounds pretty mundane but that only increases it’s value. Being able to find meaning in the every day happening is a valuable tool.
So, we get over to the bar with all the components of our feast and we are happy campers. But as I grab the knife, see that is a problem because that is not accurate. I really grab the plastic packaging that the knife and it’s sheath are in. So, I am staring at it and seeing that it is really really packaged well. It is enclosed in this heavy material that is not going to yield to scratching at it with a house key. This is a serious wrapper with the edges welded together all the way around so as to tell you this is a serious implement within.
As I stare at this puzzle and try to figure out the solution so we can have breakfast Catherine, the dear, grabs it from me. See she is hungry too. She looks at it one second and skillfully bends and folds the heavy wrapper and positions it just so and the blade of the knife cuts it’s way out from the inside. Huh? Can you see it?
What is this? It is very creative thinking to come up with this solution. To see the answer contained within the problem is what happened there, yes? And furthermore on the next level this is why we need each other.
Hey have to go and walk this AM. Still clearing the trail of debris.
Problem solving loves, Felipé.
Catherine and I try to make Mass every one although we missed last week because of the storm. We went today and saw a coyote on the way there. Actually seeing a coyote here doesn’t happen that often even though they are numerous enough and always around. He or she crossed the road way ahead of us and we drove up and stopped looking at the critter in the middle of a snowy field an easy rifle shot away. Everybody seemed pretty casual about the whole encounter.
And now hours later I am here thinking is there a Cancer Coyote? If you’ve been around here for a while you have heard of Cancer Campers and Cancer Commandos. But what about Cancer Coyotes? Coyotes conger up the idea of a critter semi wild that seems too survive no matter what comes up. A critter that can live up close to it’s enemies and yet hardly be seen. A sort of ghost creature, the consummate survivor. What if there was a being that could survive and even thrive in the shadow of cancer.
This whole idea is intriguing to me and I think that we can do something with it. OK, you were there Sunday February 17th, 2019, for the birth of the Cancer Coyote.
Birth of a concept loves, Felipé.
(The pic is from The Sportsman’s Guide to Game Animals by Leonard Lee Rue III. The caption in the book says, “The coyote’s face betrays the cunning which has enabled it to outwit it’s enemies, especially man, and extends it’s range throughout the country.”)
Oh man, we are still digging out from the Great Snows of ‘19. The landscape is pretty busted up as it reveals itself as the snow rots and uncovers it. My beautiful plum tree lost two major limbs, that’s what I am mourning most right now. But we got My Rebecca’s car out to the pavement and gone. She was so antsy to get out of here.
And yesterday after my hospital visit I made a pilgrimage to see Trudy James extraordinary person and producer of the short documentary Speaking of Dying. Trudy is retired now from hospital chaplaincy and made this film which came out in 2015, same as Phil’s Camino. We had a couple of hours to gab and that was productive. And I have a copy of her DVD if you want to watch it.
And back to the impossibilities thread, I would like to keep that going for a while longer. In a minute I must run for today but will be back tomorrow for more. It’s all good right?Don’t have to reinvent the wheel every darn day.
Miss you, love you, Felipé.
I had a good time writing yesterday in the early morning. And Cris our SABC sent the Comment in the day before to spur me on to thinking about impossibilities.
I thought to send a weather report from south-SOUTH-east-of-Vashon (aka Argentina):
-Buenos Aires woke up yesterday with 12*C ~53*F after experiencing 39*C ~102.5*F the day before. We are now free of bacterias, as that is the definition of “pasteurization”, right? High temperatures followed by low temperatures, and now high again 24*C~75*F.
-The North of the country, neighboring with Chile, got SNOW!!! By the 26 of January, there were 42*C~108*F.
-In the South of the country, where the Perito Moreno glaciar is, people were enjoying a dive in the water… the layer of ice was melted… it was 38,5*C ~100*F (the highest temperature ever recorded was 35*C)
I can only say that the 4-seasons lemon tree that I have seen always with yellow lemons since I live where I live, now has green lemons… the whole neighborhood is commenting on that fact… Nature is at lost…
I didn’t have much time to reflect on this whole phenomenon, but I would like to believe that this craziness is just trying to remind me that “what seems most impossible may happen too”… I know it is “kinda-fairy-taily”, but who knows…!
Melted-Frozen-At room temperature Loves,
So, you probably have a story in this same category, about impossibilities that is. You could tell us about it maybe.
It seems to loosen up my thinking if it has become too rigid. Have to keep things loose and nimble to come up with creativity. Maybe that should have a capital C, the way I am using it?
We need a new canopy shelter for the rock pile at the beginning/end of Phil’s Camino. The old one didn’t survive the storm. Maybe I can get by a Home Depot to grab one while I’m here in civilization.
OK, that’s about it. Time for lunch.
Impossible loves, Felipé.
Early in the morn here at the ranch. I am up buzzing on my steroids from yesterday’s treatment. Sometimes these are some of the best blogposts when I am “the life of the party” high. Things have been lean as of late with the weather uprising that we have been experiencing but hopefully we are on the back side now.
With all the freezing and thawing here locally, that movement has shaken a memory out of my brain. It is a memory of years ago with My Rebecca my new love in my life and my year at the U of Washington studying art metal casting. This was mid 1970’s with disco and those crazy flowery shirts. Nobody but nobody dressed in all black and stared into a cellphone all day but I digress.
The University kept us gnarly sculpture students out at the edge of the campus hidden out behind the baseball fields where no one would find us. I worked in the foundry where we were casting with aluminum, brass, bronze and iron. I am trying to remember but aluminum melts at 1200 degrees F, to bronze at 1800 to iron at 2200.
It was all very esoteric and at times scary. We had huge furnaces fired by natural gas and coke. We ran around in silver suits and the heat would blow our long hair back as we poured the molten fun.
And the finished pieces after weeks of work were exciting to view. We made those! And our pieces were durable as they were beautiful, good for two thousand years at least. Well that is the world that we lived in and it brought on a certain mindset or a certain way of thinking about the world around us.
And this last few weeks with all the freezing and melting of the water in our environment with the four storms that we endured, it shook loose memories of those days. We then moved through the freezing and thawing of metals as easily as we commonly move through the freezing and thawing of water. This movement between the physical forms of water we take for granted and that is with us in our shared knowledge. But we sculptors were privy to this world where all metals were basically “frozen” as most people normally experience them.
We were thawing scrap aluminum screen doors and making art. And brass plumbing faucets and making art. And scrap bronze from ships to make more art. And busting up old cast iron heating radiators to to put in a cupola with coke and forced air to raise it to 2200 degrees and make some more art. We were nuts concentrating on the art but the process made the world liquid for us. Things like cars, silverware and ships were just temporarily frozen and waiting for us to change them into something else and maybe something better. It was a swords to plowshares world.
And now after all these years I bang my knee on the step of my tractor Juliet and I instantly feel that it is pretty darn solid and immovable but there was a time…
Good one Felipé. Happy St Valentine’s Day! Love of course, Felipé.