Standing water still here on Phil’s Camino.

I have to jet into Seattle shortly.  And glad it is today rather than yesterday.  The city had the worst gridlock that I can ever remember.  We had a propane truck upside down at the junction of I-5 and I-90, yike.  So everyone was on the surface streets.  It took eight hours to get the Interstates open and don’t know how long to finally clear the backups.   That plus the ferry dock was down, just to add insult to injury.  OK, OK, you’re right, that was yesterday but just don’t try that where you live.

Things are drying out a little here at the ranch but still have ducks in the puddles.  Transportation on Phil’s Camino is open with the exception of one short detour around standing water.  It is always hard to remember this stuff come late summer when there is a shortage of water.  Wish I could stockpile 10,000 gallons for August and September. But that is all a long way off.

One important thing coming up immediately is the beginning of Lent.  Today being Fat Tuesday and tomorrow being Ash Wednesday, right?  Yea, time to put on the finishing touches on our plans for introspection and maybe self improvement.  Well, I haven’t done a thing on that account but it’s not too late, right Felipe?

On the animal news, maybe something has happened with the birth of the giraffe that Esther has been watching.  And Ann on Vashon captured video of the cougar or one of the cougars here which is pretty cool.  Nice kitty.

OK, speaking of self improvement, time for a shower and final cup of coffee.  Off to my scan at the hospital.  See you later, love, Felipe.




We R Winnie the Poo

Kelly on the trail.


Kelly, my beloved Camino de Santiago walking partner came over for dinner last night.  My Rebecca was off to a girlfriend’s to watch the Oscars, she knows that I am absolutely zero fun at that.  But she said before she left, “Why don’t you call Kelly and see what he’s up to.”

Yea so, Kelly drove over, he is about ten minutes away.  We managed to put together a good meal, drank some wine, called Mary Margaret and generally had a good time.  We talked about the almost undefeated Gonzaga basketball team, tomatoes and of course the Camino.  It never fails that when we get together one of us will say, “I think of it everyday.”

What can I say about dear Kelly?  He was and is my perfect walking partner.  And not particularly because we are good walkers.  It is the chemistry that we are able to conjure up that is the magic.  Rebecca this morning at breakfast said to me that she and I missed our Winnie the Poo date last night.  She has been reading it to me outloud over the past week.   And after thinking on that I replied that Kelly and I can live our own version of  Winnie the Poo no problem so I really didn’t miss anything last night.  We just seem to pick it up where we left it last as we did it in Spain day and night, uphill and downhill, rain or shine.    Thanks Kelly, you are irreplaceable.

Yup, have to go.  Monday walk in a few minutes.  Later alligator, love, Felipe.



A Little Rain, A Little Snow

Smelling those roses along the Camino Frances.


A nasty morning here.  Went to 8 o’clock Mass without my beloved Catherine.  She is off with Dana to Hawaii for a couple weeks.  All well and good as long as they are back to walk into Santiago with me on Phil’s Camino.   That’s coming up.

At Mass the opening reading from the Psalms was:

The Lord is my protector.

He brought me out to a place of freedom;

He saved me because He delighted in me.


God delights in me, in us!  That’s just something to think about, to dwell on.  Sometimes I tell people that He has me right where He wants me.  He has my attention.

This is the time when my attention is most peaked as I have a scan on Tuesday.  Dr Gold wants to have a look see.  It is always my most anxious time.  Pray for me during this time. Remind God how He delights in me.

OK, that’s what it is today.  Off to work on the cabinets and to walk later.  Alperfect really, love delightful you, Felipe.



Some color showing on the quince.


Walked outside first thing after I got up this morning.  It was half light  and not raining or snowing.  Two robins were squabbling over territory.  A raven was  “crooocking”.   A hummingbird was already at the feeder.  Wow, all this action was happening.  Looks like a little less winter and a little more spring going on.

I had leader duty at my Bible Guys group this AM.  We had breakfast and then worked on Acts (of the Apostles) chapter four.  It is the story of the early early church.  The authorities are trying to intimidate Peter and John without much luck.  The followers are numbering somewhere around five thousand converts.  People are sharing their money and goods like one big happy family.  This is before Paul’s dramatic conversion which is coming up.   Now he is still Saul and busy persecuting these same folks which he will join soon.

I think we are having a special walk today, this afternoon.   John is supposed to come up from Olympia area to spend a little time with us.  Haven’t seen him since the Port Townsend Film Festival and Slumber Party back in September.   So we will have to catch up on all that has happened in the meantime.

Tomorrow afternoon we will be walking at 3:30.  Come out if you can as most of my regulars are out of town on various junkets.  It would be nice to have some free faces.  And tapas afterward as usual.

OK, have to put a wrap on it for now.  Time to put doors on the cabinets at the shop, never a dull moment.  Love you all, Felipe.







I Got Nothin

Time to start putting stuff together.


Just here on a Friday morn with not an idea about what I am going to do, to write about today , except that I just saw this image on Facebook.  The FB part is not important.  But the pic was of the perfect writer’s room.  And it was perfect by all sorts of standards.  It would be great to have that image here for you but maybe it’s  not important.  Suffice it to say that all kinds of energy was poured into this “room”.   It looked like a jobs program for architects and carpenters.  Whoever writes in there better be really really good is all I got to say.

What happened to sitting in the shade of a tree and coming up with great prose or poetry.  Don Quixote, fat book that it is and first modern novel, was written in prison.  It is too bad that Cervantes was locked up but you get the idea.  As I am sitting here with my $700 iPad mini, I am about as close to nothing that we can get these days.   But I am out of the wind and the rain and there is a hot cup of coffee at hand, what else do I need?  Do I have to wait for this royal room to be built for me or do I need to be locked up to write some words?

What are you getting at Felipe?  Sometimes I wish you could get to the point in a more straightforward manner.  Well, yes, the circumstances are the least important it seems to me.  What is important is our minds, our spirits, our ability to seek out inspiration.  Well there, that was pretty darn to the point.

In art school there was this period where everyone was into crafting all this stuff out of these expensive materials that took a great effort to get a hold of.  The products were beautiful but my point would be, yes but can we pull a bunch of stuff out of that trash can there and make something good out of that?  Can we?

Just some musings on a Friday morn.  Off to the shop in a minute after I pay some bills. It is getting pretty exciting at the shop with the cabinet job.  All the finishing is done and time to put things together, put the hinges on the doors and install them, put the pulls and the locks on the doors.   Got the plastic laminate coming, a 5 by 10 foot piece to cut up and glue down on the tops.   Maybe I should take some pics?    Sawdusty loves, Felipe.


Everything Is Possible

Here is Catherine and Dana shooting longbows with me as Range Officer.


“Everything is possible.” is from Don Quixote which I just finished recently.  The first time I saw it in the book I had to do a double take.  I said to myself, I say that.  But that’s not quite true.  I would say, “Anything is possible.”   For weeks now, off and on, I have been racking my brain trying to see the difference.  Help me out, is there a difference?

The words may mean roughly the same but the feel of them is different to me.  Maybe it is in the context of how and when I would use the “anything” phrase.  I would use it like a Hail Mary pass is used in football, sort of a last resort.

“Everything is possible” has so much more meat on it’s bones.  It is not tentative.  Maybe I am connecting it with the Bible quote, “With God everything is possible.”  I like the feel of the “everything” much better and I am going to retrain myself to switch over.

I hope that I am not boring you to death this morning but had get that one out of the way.  And speaking of “everything”,  little patches of blue are appearing in the sky.  Things are brighting up for our walk in half an hour, how nice.  Maybe some folks will show up.  My two morning walks of the week are most times solitary for me on these winter days.

A couple of days ago I was writing about the “How about March 2nd?” quote of Annie’s.  It has grabbed me like “Everything is possible.”   Maybe starting March 2nd things will be totally different.  Possible!

Hey, thanks for sticking with me.  Have to jump up here and get my walking attire on.  We will be out there searching for signs of spring.  Come join us if you get a chance.  It’s all possible loves, Felipe.




October 1926

Exciting little crocuses!


October 1926, that’s when the first addition of Winnie the Poo came out.  That’s getting really  close to a hundred years and My Rebecca was horrified that I have never read it.  Well, most people don’t really read it, other people, bigger people, read it to them.  Either way I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  So she took it into her own hands and started reading it to me last night.  Yea, the first story about Poo trying to get at the honey in the top of the tree by holding onto a balloon and look like a little black cloud.

I really like the illustrations in this edition.  I’ve always been fascinated by pics that are simple  and hand done.  It is nice to see things that we ourselves can say, “Oh, maybe I could do that?”.   The drawings in Winnie the Poo have that quality for me.

OK Felipe, is that what we are going to talk about today?   Well, that’s a good start.  Something else that is good, we have had some good walks here at Phil’s Camino.  We are in that late late winter mode where searching for signs of spring is a major sport.  In the flower world snowdrops are blooming with crocuses and daffodils on the way.  And the Indian Plum bushes and the blackberry brambles  have leaves starting to show.   All very exciting for us starting to peek out of our winter hibernation.

Catherine and Dana came for archery yesterday and we had a good time with that which is sort of a no fail situation.  They just have a ball with it all.  The three of us have been concidering the idea of having some retreats here for archery for women.  Just some events that have that quality of the drawings in Winnie the Poo where people could say, yea I could do that.   Just an idea that is hatching.

OK, it is time to go and make a splash on the day.  Send a comment when you can.  Waiting to see some of the spring birds, spring love, Felipe.




Thank You For Living So Loudly.

Mary Margaret and Sherif on the trail of Living Loud.


Yesterday on the blog I wrote about Annie O and the anniversary of our meeting on March second, 2014.  A memoriable day in the best possible way.  She wrote a lovely response in the Comments, which you are welcome to read.  And one of the things that she said there to me was, “Thank you for living so loudly.”   Wow.  I had to reread it a few times.  Like is that a good thing?

Reminds me of the Camino in Spain with Mary Margaret, Angela, Kelly and Sherif when we were trying our best to be louder than the Italians.  That was really hard work, tapa till you drop hard.   We actually did break the barrier on a few occasions.

Then there was the time when I was accosted by a woman in the hallway at Swedish Cancer Institute who said, “How can you be so happy?”   No one ever told me that I couldn’t be or shouldn’t be.  I guess the default state to be in is your basic standard hospital glum accord to some people.  Hmm.  I’m still pondering over this one.

What are we doing?  Are we daring to laugh into the face of the enemy?  Do we see an opportunity where others see mayhem?  Do we sense a place to make progress where others have paralysis?  Oddly,  do we see joy where other’s see darkness?   The ability to turn things on their head may be the ultimate cosmic gift.

So here we go off to our day, as loudly as possible!  Thanks for being here.  So far so good!  Love, Don Felipe.







Thinking Of Annie O’Neil

Adventure Is Out There!


Annie and I were on the phone on the 18th of February and she reminded me that that was the date I had sent my first letter to her three years ago asking whether she could come and walk with me.  I had just gotten to San Juan de Ortega on Phil’s Camino, about a third of the way across.  And it seemed like a few hours afterward that she wrote back, “How about March 2nd?”.

Here is the notation in the logbook in Annie’s writing for March 2nd: Buen Camino (Heart Symbol) Annie O’Neil.    Yea, it was raining like a son of a gun that day.  The day before was nice and the day after was nice but the 2nd was a downpour.  But we walked and talked and hit it off.  And really that was the start of  our whole relationship and the whole film project.  It just wasn’t going to happen without Annie but we all didn’t know that yet.  We were still walking in the mud, a phrase I am fond of.

That was three years ago and a whole lot has happened since.  I have to mention that Saint James is the Executive Producer of this whole shebang because really we didn’t do it on our own.  So much fell together as if by magic.  In the end it is all good and we are all the richer for it.  But surely it couldn’t have been done without Annie.  Thank you so so much and Happy Anniversary.  Love is squishing out all over, Don Felipe de Viana.

Getting Close

Pilgrimage, everyday, all the time.


We have a walk later today and we are on the last few kilometers of your trek across Spain.  It’s been a long walk but we are still smiling.  It’s soggy winter but we are still joking.  It is unsettled times in the news but we have a certain stability.  We have no money but the Camino provides.  We buoy each other up when we need it.  We walk maybe when we don’t feel like it and it always ends up good.  We invite people to come and very few do but that’s OK, I know they are thinking about us.  We tell stories that need telling.  We ask questions that need asking.

So, here we are with nothing else to do but be together.  It’s not a holiday we don’t have to get prepared or have to cook a big meal.  It’s not snowing or raining heavily, nothing to worry about from the weather.  The Super Bowl nor the Stanley Cup nor the World Series are happening.  If there is a meteor shower coming it will probably be cloudy and go unseen.  Nothing much is going on right now anywhere near here in time or space to distract us.

Alone we might feel lonely.  Together we will fill our time together no problem and pledge to meet again.  We will walk and not notice the discomforts.   Miles and kilometers will fly by like a brisk wind.  We won’t have time for the small stuff and life will seem good.

Come walk, love, Felipe.