Turkey Soup

Last day of the year and making soup out of the Christmas turkey. This has turned into one of my favorite winter pastimes, soup making. Here we are on the day after the day after so to speak, trying to be creative and produce the best soup ever. Yea, that’s it!

I am feeling way better. Thanks to everyone that wished be a get well since my down day on Thursday. So, just trying not to over do things during this season of the never ending party. Pace is important, we learned that on the Camino.

Rebecca and I off to a quite dinner with friends here on the Island, no traveling. Oh, snowing outside right now, yea, no traveling. We have been somewhat limited since the ferry off the south end of Vashon has been out for almost a week. The captain at the helm had a heart attack and the boat rammed the dock causing the damage. Nancy from Kansas saw this on the news. She gets extra credit for watching over us!

The number four ranked Washington Huskies are playing the number one football team Alabama right now so I am going to check that out. Woa, touchdown Huskies. Go Dawgs!

Hey, you all, we want to wish you the best Happy New Year ever. This is going to be a sensational year, I’m predicting, no joke and Caminoheads will be here to comment on it. So here we go! Love, Felipe.

We Came, We Partook, We Give Thanks.

Seed catalog and coffee go good together.

I started looking at the seed catalogs at breakfast a few minutes ago and realized that there is unfinished business for us. Here I am thinking about spring and planting corn and we have just two days left to wrap up our present 2016. I am borrowing something that Laura from Barcelona write when we got done with our time at the Camino de Santiago for our post’s title today. I am paraphrasing badly but you get my drift and thank you Laura. Miss my Angels.

“We Came”: we left the old comfort zone to start the new, we showed up and on time, we were hopeful. 2016, if I take the pulse of my FaceBook compadres, was particularly grueling in the drama of the presidential election and the deaths of so many celebrities. This is what comes to mind first to me. I am hoping that we can process these events and understand them and work and grow.

Closer to home my year was pretty exciting with being on the road with Phil’s Camino. Let’s see if I can remember places: Austin, Dubuque, San Diego, San Francisco, LA, Port Townsend (WA), Hot Springs, Tacoma, Sacramento, Monterrey and Berkeley. So many great people showed up at each of those that were real treasures. And a lot of them showed up here at the ranch to walk and tapa later.

“We Partook”: in every sense yes we did, hope. There is no real excuse not to. This is why we are here, right? It is our duty to experience. Did we get close enough to that new baby in April to get that new baby smell in our nostrils? Did we notice the beauty of that iridescent beetle that landed on our arm in July? Did we enjoy the freshness of the harvest from the still warm soil in September? Did we see the charming hummingbirds at the feeder in uncharming December?

It takes one kind of hope to show up and another kind to partake. I don’t think we are supposed to be casual observers here with our precious time. Hope turns to faith that we will be okay no matter what happens. Everything should be on our bucket list: be interested in every moment, every baby, beetle, ear of corn and hummingbird. Lets slather it with butter and sprinkle it with salt and enjoy and of course, that is after we have toasted each other.

And now “We Give Thanks”. Maybe the most important step in the process. We showed up with hope, we developed faith and now looking back we have gratitude, piles of it. This is at the same time that we remember the deaths of friends and celebrities, of elections won or lost, of our own personal failures, short comings and quandaries. In spite of that we are thankful.

Time to welcome the new year! Back to the seed catalog. Love you in big year long chunks, Felipe.

I Should Know Better

Materials all ready to go at the new shop space.

I got involved with a bunch of details around the house here after breakfast and before I got here to write the post. This is deadly. Nothing like a plethora of little stuff to fog the mind. This is also why I’ve learned to not read other people’s blogs before I do mine. It loads too much in my little brain hopper. I’m much better and clearer to hit the blog shortly after awakening in the morning, like yesterday’s with the little white dinner jackets.

But here I am and we all know that we need to make something out of it anyway. No excuses for our team. Kind of a big day today as I am going to start the first cabinet job in the new shop today. The last two weeks of free time was used to clean, install lighting and build benches. Got the tablesaw and the chop saw set up and yesterday spent half a day in Seattle rounding up materials. So, today is the day to start making sawdust, oh boy!

I see Steve Watkins is going to start a new blog first of the year. And you know it’s the time for New Year’s resolutions. Time for a fresh start on stuff. It’s been a great year though, I can’t complain. Well, other than I didn’t get enough time out to hunt and fish. But that seems to be a given, there is never enough no matter what.

But time that I used to spend on outdoor pursuits was spent on the road being with the audiences of Phil’s Camino hither and yon around the country, well west of the Mississippi anyway. That has been pretty darn great to be with you all. The film has done so much and meant so much to so many that it is an honor to be with it when it travels. It has a definite life of it’s own.

And there are more trips to come in the next few months so warn your friends. That I know about are San Diego, Victoria (British Columbia) and Denver and Breckenridge, Colorado. Look at Phil’s Camino FaceBook page for the details. I have a couple of local showings here on Vashon. One is Sunday the 15th of Janurary at 0900 at the Episcopal Church here on Vashon Highway. The other is at St. John Vianney Church but hasn’t been scheduled yet but is in Janurary or February.

OK, have to go to town and buy a brand new tape measure to start the new project. Yup, fresh start. Loving you on a Wednesday, Felipe.

Tell Me That You Are Terribly Interested In My Cancer

Christmas morning sun. Not always rainy here.

I need help with this. Just your thoughts of encouragement for Felipe. Early this morning I was hanging out with my tumors and I was telling them the story of God, the whole thing from beginning to end, well as much as I am aware of and can remember. It was an attempt for us to see how we all fit into the bigger picture.

Some where along the line I thought it would be nice to have little white dinner jackets made for them. It would be quite a project as they are of varying sizes, custom job. Well, they were thought jackets really, obviously they couldn’t be real jackets. It would be cool for them to do the James Bond thing: “Cancer, Colon Cancer” in their little white jackets. Is that too goofy?

Well, this is how I spend my time, some of it anyway. It is kind of an exploration. Going where no man has dared to tread. This all might be significant or I may get lost in the jungle, who knows. Your thoughts of encouragement anyway for this seeker.

The sky is looking promising out there. A break from the rain here in the lowlands. There was supposed to be two feet of new snow up in the mountains for the skiers and snowboarders.

OK, off to the city for materials and fuel. Things looking good, love you always and abundantly, Felipe.

The Day After

Life is just a bowl of oranges!

A prop plane drones overhead in the morning when most folks are still groggy. Probably the Air National Guard Unit fulfilling their duties come rain or come shine or come the morning after Christmas. Thanks you all. Well, us earthbound creatures are crawling out of the sack and trying to figure out coffee. We will make it happen eventually somehow.

Great day yesterday here with our local scene. Wiley was handsome and Hanna gorgeous, Rebecca was beaming and I was taking it all in. In the afternoon we went to friends for a meal with young and old. Rebecca made an extra turkey, her signature cornbread stuffing, brussels sprouts and cranberries and we brought that along. I snuck out while that gang started to play games, I didn’t have the energy. Made it to Catherine y Dana’s and we sat around an outdoor fire. Pretty tidy holiday all and all.

Off to walk in the frosty morn. Have to fill the bird feeders out there. Well, that’s what it looks like here at Raven Ranch. So, time to get going and put it back together. Day after loves, Felipe.

You Don’t Need No Ticket, You Just Thank The Lord!

My Rebecca’s wreath, nice.

Here it is the Mother of all holidays. On the red leather couch watching the “yule log” on TV. We have the house all tidied up and Hanna and Wiley will be over soon to tackle the presents.

Now there is the Seahawks Football team reading the “Night Before Christmas”. They are so cute in there Christmas sweaters. Oh, back to the “yule log” with Nat King Cole singing. He is the smoothest dude that ever was.

That’s what it is all looking like here at Raven Ranch. My Rebecca and I and Wiley and Hanna wishing you the Bestest Christmas ever! Felipe.x of course.

Merry Christmas, I’m Starting Early!

Can’t get enough of the Deere Pond.

In the Holiday whirlwind right now. So crazy. We should stop and look at our selves. That’s probably asking a bit much. Well at least I am not elbowing my way through some toy store right now, that’s a plus.

I have gotten so many nice birthday cards from you all. Padre Tomas is up to four as of yesterday, I know he can’t help himself, love you man. And piles of Christmas cards from you for our family. All I can say is thank you. It was too crazy this year to think of cards but I said that last year too. But my plan is to call you all after the holidays when we are all wondering what to do now. So, watch out I have most of your phone numbers.

I have to go seriously, this is my last chance to get the gifts wrapped. Love you all so, I am so so lucky to know you and to be supported by you. I can feel it each and every day. So, Merry Christmas loves, Felipe.

Mary Nodded

Sunset from the ferry on Wednesday. Gray skies today.

Two thousand years ago Mary nodded. She agreed to the plan even though it was beyond understanding. And the whole world of that unfolded. “Be not afraid Mary” the angels said as I remember. Well, that still goes for us here and now, “be not afraid” and will always go for us. A thousand pairs of invisible hands are poised and ready to catch us when our own efforts fail.

Listening to the Pink Martini Christmas Album, a birthday gift from My Rebecca. I have been playing it endlessly. Right now “Santa Baby” is on. They have a way of integrating all forms of human experience in one time and place. Beauty seems to hold it all together.

Got a beautiful book in the mail today. “zen and the art of dog walking” from the author Ray Sullivan in Georgia. Thank you. Christmas giving in action.

Of to Seattle and the hospital today. Then going to jet down I-5 to Tacoma to pick up a load of plywood for my cabinet project. Work goes on. Well you have safe travels in these last few days before Christmas. Be not afraid loves now and tomorrow, Felipe.

“Beyond Normaling” Along

Good buddy Erica de America from Austin just coined the new phrase to describe what we do around here, “beyond normaling”. This is the theme for 2017 I’m thinking. Gracias EdA! You’re beyond priceless, just sayin.

Party goers Suzy, Catherine and Jessika.

Bakers and cooks Barbara and Cynthia.

Barbara rolling out the official cheesecake birthday cake with the appropriate seventeen candles. Thank you Barbara.

My dinner last evening consisted of all desserts and rose wine. I mean I am working hard at multitasking, trying to fulfill my host responsibilities, keep all the Caminoheads in line and to make sure all the rose gets tasted and there is the birthday cake being presented, so beautiful. But the point is I started with a piece of cake and moved on to gingerbread cookies from Meredith and never really got to dinner. But it was alperfect for a birthday don’t you think?

Then we had a whole scene outside. It was a clear night and Wiley had crafted a bonfire and most of the young set were revolving around that. Hanna challenged me to list three things about my year passing that I thought wwere significant and then three things that I was going to work on for the coming year, my intentions. They are listed below.

Outside warming by the fire.

Hey Phil!
Here’s the notes I jotted down from your Birthday 3. We have it in writing so you can’t get away with straying from your path 😉

1
So patient with people and likewise – you have to be patient with people they’re generally okay- they have their rough moments- as do we
2
Wiley and Hanna nextdoor- let’s work on making it better/ room for improvement
3
James got his deer- more fun this stage in life that we could help you get yours on the first night. Nicest deer in the neighborhood- not really jealous…. but maybe

1
Want to get better at what I’m doing- haven’t discovered ways to make things better- get more than casual, study it
2
Leaving it in the hands of god- he’s got me right where he wants me, he’s got my attention
3
We just have to be calm- set the example- not being fearful- people are freaking out – maybe they’re being freaked out too much. Maybe help with that. Come on, calm down. Carry on with that.

Sent from my iPhone

With the younger generation around the fire. John Lars on my left, fisherman and all around excellent journeyman Viking. James on my right, diver and Most Interesting Man in the World in training. Thanks guys, you made my day.

OK, thanks for all the birthday wishes, pretty dang super duper birthday all around. I’m ready for, God willing, another year of beyond normaling along.
Love, Felipe.