Corn, Felipe Style

The seeder that I used for the first time this year. Pretty good little gizmo.
Corn looking north.
And looking south.

It is going to rain this evening.  I have been watering the corn for the past few days but maybe can hold off on that today.   Next thing to do is plant a row of sunflowers.  They are a nice addition to the plot and to the roadside stand coming in July.  The goldfinches will be happy too.   Nothing better than happy goldfinches.

I have to remember to take a bag of corn out of the freezer this morning.  Corn salad with peppers and onions is a favorite of mine.  This is last year’s crop feeding us.

Working on getting some kind of protection against the deer and raccoons next.  Last year the Wild Kingdom ( the deer and raccoons ) pretty much grabbed what the weeds didn’t smother.  I have to do a much better job of fencing and weed control this summer to have some crop left.

So, toward the last week of August through most of the month of September we will have our fresh sweet corn on the cob ready for you.  That is blackberry season too, just in case that is not enough.  Late summer the time of abundance, high cotton, the livin is easy, stop by.

Yup, time to go, get stuff done.  The best to you today, glad you could make it.   Love, Felipe.





“Hiking the Camino”

Evening light at Phil’s Camino.


Hiking the Camino is a book by Father Dave Pivonka.  I am reading it now, a gift from Sherie from San Diego.  It is subtitled 500 Miles With Jesus.  This is at least the second trail book that I have read by a priest.  Also read one by Nun Rupp from Iowa.  I am trying to remember her first name, Joyce maybe, Chemohead me.

When a priest or a nun writes a book about the Camino different things come up.  They may start with the same beginning point or stimulus but they wind up going further or to different places than me or you.  I suppose that is to be expected.  But it is fun and productive to read their thoughts on daily walking.

There was a whole chapter on the daily clothes washing ritual.  And that turns into a thoughtful commentary on the Sacrament of Confession or Reconciliation as it is known today.  I learned something in that chapter and it is the thing that is salient so far in the book.

This priest, Father Dave, traveled with his whole “priest kit” whatever that is called.  He helped celebrate Mass in churches as he went along.  See right there the word “celebrate” in conjunction with the word Mass is a good thing that I am learning from him.  Felipe just goes to Mass, at least he did in the past.  I get “celebrate” and I will use it in the future.  But back to Father Dave and him choosing to go with all his gear to function on the trail as he did at home.  I have heard of some priests who go under cover, just traveling anonymously or privately maybe.

Ah, then there is Nurse Dave.  This is one of my nurses from the treatment center that just finished in Santiago.  He had a pic of his Compostela or Camino diploma on FB.  I am so proud of him for doing it.  I wrote “thank you” to him.  Can’t wait to see him in person.

OK, have to go and move some wood before the rain comes.  Chilly morning here.  Take care dear ones, love Felipe.




Fixin Stuff

Ah, Monday morning, time to refocus and get the week rolling.  There are things to pay for, things to build and things to fix.  In the fix it category my buddy Steve-O sent in a pretty darn cool email that I have to bring up so you see it.  This was in answer to my smallest duct tape fix post and me making my sunglasses right again.  He sent in this short text, “Great minds find they have similar problems.”    And then this pic:

“Heat shrink tubing…;-]”

How about that, from our buddy down in Ashland, Oregon.  All this might seem pretty minute but vision is no small thing, right?   Sometimes you just have to whip the quick fix on stuff and keep marching, actually most times.

And Carol my handler sent in a comment how she liked hearing about the corn.  Well, OK, we could do a little more of that.  I have to walk the Camino in a few moments and I will take the iPad and get a few shots of the corn operation.  I am so hoping that we get to have the road side stand this year.  We sell other stuff but it revolves around the sweet corn really.   Last year the weeds and the deer and raccoons overwhelmed the crop and we didn’t set it up.  So, we are going for a better outcome.  And Catherine y Dana said they would bring produce from their garden to sell at the stand.   They are just around the corner and have really wonderful veggies but are not on the main road like we are.  It should be a fun collaboration.

What else is going on?  Stanley Cup finals start this evening.  I know some of you don’t have the hockey gene, yup.  Well, this only happens once a year, look at it that way. It’s the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Nashville Predators in case you were wondering.    Just trying to keep you up on current events.

OK, have to read a couple of blogs and walk the trail and take some pics.  Gray skies this AM for me.  Temp is 55 degrees F.  Later gator, Felipe.x







Felipe’s Walking Schedule 5/28/17



It’s beautiful!  We’ve traded in our rubber boots for sunscreen.  Come and walk with us when you get the time:

Monday 0900-1000

Tuesday 1600-1700

Thursday 0900-1000

Sunday 1600-1700

Could be tapas in your future, Felipe.x

Duct Tape

You know how useful duct tape is.  I really don’t know how mankind survived this far without it.  You can hold almost anything together.  When you get mauled by that pesky bear you can wrap yourself up and hike back to town and the clinic.  Mythbusters survived on a desert island with a palate of the stuff, then they built a boat and sailed away.  Yea,  so not to get outdone Caminoheads has come up with the world’s smallest duct tape fix.  This is something that could be extremely useful out on the trail where sometimes little things can make a whole lot of difference.

Sunglasses are important, right?  You are darn right!  Well, there is a little screw in the hinge of the frame of those, well actually two, one each side, two hinges.  So, the little screw comes out and you find it, a small miracle, and put it back.  Then this happens a few more times and you know that you are crawling around on thin ice and next time maybe you won’t be so lucky as to find it.   So you take them to get fixed at the glasses store like you should have done in the first place.  But guess what, it falls out again.  So what do you do?  Or what do you do if you are out on the trail, duct tape of course.

So Felipe being the good improvisational pilgrim that he is carefully cut a 1/8 in by 1/8 in piece of the silver stuff and mashed it down over the head of the hingemscrew.   Yea, Bob’s your uncle or more aptly St James is your uncle and we have an instant fix.

It’s small but it’s pretty.

Sorry about such a long explanation for such a tiny thing.  But you never know this could be some sort of world record and I want to cash in.  Maybe get duct tape to sponsor this blog, cool.  I can see it all now.

Well, there’s 324 words on the world’s smallest patch.  Maybe that’s some sort of record.  Anyway have to give you the corn update.  Got it all planted and the irrigation system set up yesterday, a small miracle.  Yesterday evening I sat out under a tree and drank a couple of beers and watched the sprinklers go around, a thing of beauty.  Ah, life in the fast lane.

All good here at Caminoheads.  We have a walk this afternoon at 4, tapas at 5.  Hope that everything is well in your hemisphere.  Love, Felipe.



Just A Jot

Catalina and Felipe, a year ago. We look even better now.


I’m feeling major pressure from my corn seeds to get them in the ground.  They are responding to the water that I wet them with, two days ago now.  They are saying, “I’m ready boss!”  Yea, this is all I can think about.  OK, I feel like I have to short change you today and put on my number 50 sunscreen and get out there.

You all are number 1 with me, that’s the story today.  Make it happen, love, Felipe.

Dear Corn Commando Companions

Burton Community Church.


Pilgrim Farmer John from Wellman, Iowa thought of that.  His corn is already in and he is cheering me on with my upcoming planting this weekend.  Not a cloud in the sky here and I’ve bought my number 50 sunscreen.

My Rebecca and our son Wiley got the tomatoes planted yesterday evening.  We have high hopes for our new super micro-environment which we named Tomatotown.  It is an 8 foot by 24 foot raised bed along a south facing wall of our wood shop.  The shop is sided with steel panels and it gets cooking in that spot as the sun’s heat concentrates.  So, there is a lot more room for other fun stuff like eggplant and peppers which are marginal in this climate zone.   Maybe some sort of tapas peppers Felipe.

Tapas, now there is a topic.  We are back outside at the big ten foot table on the deck.  That is so nice to be back there again after the long winter.  We have a lot of visitors rolling through this summer so we will be out there a lot.  Yea, stop by.

I was looking around the house for a new book to read and found Hiking the Camino by Father Dave Pivonka.  Sherie from San Diego had given this one and it’s my time to read it.    There are so many good books on the Camino.

OK, have,to go.  Miss you, love you, Felipe.







The Race Is On

Felipe and Callum hard at work trying to keep the deer out of the new tomato area, “Tomatotown”.


I feel like a real farmer buying seed corn by the pound now.  Well, it is only ONE pound, right.  I can hear Pilgrim Farmer John laughing at me now.  I know I have a long way to go.   But the point is that I am soaking the little guys in water with Saturday and Sunday being my window for planting.  No turning back now.  They are counting on me to get them in the soil in a timely manner.

I have a corn planter offered to me to try.  I should do that.  Have always planted by hand but the whole operation is growing and have to match that with the appropriate technology.  Will has that, the guy that came to tapas Tuesday and gave us the wine plumbing story.

In Forestry College way back when I took botany and other sciences.  But botany was the most fascinating and I still use it a lot in woodworking and now my farming endeavors.  Yea, so what I am getting at is something called geotropism.  This is the ability of plants to grow away from or toward gravity.  Yea.  Then there is phototropism or the  ability to grow toward the light.  Here I found two more from good old Google.  Hydrotropism to grow toward water.  And here is a good one, thigmotropism, or the ability to responded to touch.  That is sounding pretty woo woo.  But it would be how do certain plants find their way to wrap around a trellis for instance.  We have all seen that.

But I digress, back to geotropism.  It is called positive when the roots grow downward toward the center of the earth and called negative in the above the ground part of the plant growing away.  Anyway, I am trying to get my precious pound of seed to a certain point before I plant it and not too far.  If I can just get the root to crack through the now softened shell of the seed that will be perfect.  Then I can drop those little guys into the furrows any old way and geotropism will take over.  See?  But if I wait too long the little plant is growing a big root and I feel like I have to plant it as you would transplanting.  Well at that point that is what I would be doing and that is too labor intensive.  So, this is where this whole geotropism thing got started today.  Thanks for bearing with me.  I don’t know maybe we learned something new.

OK, off I go.  See you in twenty four hours, love as always, Pilgrim Farmer Felipe.



Yesterday’s Tapas

Cascading wisteria on our house at Raven Ranch.


Yea, we walked yesterday afternoon, in the sunshine, I might add.  And it is our usual custom to have some tapas and wine yesterday afterward.  Catherine built Spanish tortilla which quickly disappeared.  So right in the middle of that an old friend Will shows up.  Funny how people just happen to drop by during tapas.  “Oh, tapas, how great.  Wine?  Yes, please.)

Just joking.  But Will made up for it with a great story which he usually does.  So, here is his story in my own words.  He  grew up in Boston in an Italian neighborhood although his family wasn’t.  But they lived on the first floor of a three story tenement which had a basement.  Well, there were these two Italian families that were on the second and third floors.  Every evening before dinner they would troop down to get there daily supply of wine from their wine making operation in the basement.

All this commotion was too much for Will’s Dad who decided to do something about the problem.  So, he devised a piping system that would pump the wine up to the second and third floors.  Genius.  Talking about connivence!  Here it is the twenty first century and we are still waiting for indoor running wine around these parts.  Yea!

So, here I am at the hospital for my chemicals.  This is number 96.  Thanks for being here.  Love, Felipe.


Three Blogs

Roni and Callum and the gang that came to walk on Sunday.


Well, we got all our guests come and gone safely and happily.  I was fun to see Kim yesterday for a few hours.  And Roni and Callum posted some great pix on FB which I will repost.  They brought this terrific weather which we are still enjoying.

So, I thought that I would write about my three mainstay blogs that I follow, would that be religiously?  Well, I get to them pretty much hell or high water on a regular basis.  Two are daily which is good, sort of tidbits to chew on through the day.  And one comes out once a week so it is more elaborate.

Let’s go with the once a weeker which happens to come out every Monday.  This is “Terry Hershey Sabbath Moment”.  It is maybe ten paragraphs of inspirational and thoughtful commentary on how to navigate our sometimes hectic days gracefully.  There is a lot about gardens and poetry.  Terry also has books and e-courses available.  I can also brag because Terry is a personal good friend of mine and you may see my name once in a great while in there.  We inspire each other.

Daily, I receive “Daily Gospel Reflections” from Bishop Barron.  There is a short Bible reading and then a commentary on that.  I will have to admit that I am such a hotshot that I have never actually read the readings and just follow the commentary itself.  I am familiar with the stories so I have been able to pull this off so far.  Anyway, Bishop Barron has been in my life one way or another for over four years now.  We studied his “Catholicism” series as part of our orientation before joining the Catholic Church.  That is highly recommended for new hands and old hands.

And finally, the “Richard Rohr Mediation” from the Center For Action and Contemplation.  This is a very good source for exploring the mystical side of  the Catholic faith.  These daily essays just blow me away each and everyday nonstop.  I don’t know how he does it?  Very rich stuff.  Last evening I just finished one of his books, “The Divine Dance”.

Yea, those are my mainstays.  Check them out if they sound like something you need.  You can subscribe to each of them so that they come to you automatically.   Just wanting to share a good thing.

Off to work.  A beautiful day here and a little cooler than yesterday.  Hope things are good where you are.  Just sharing the basic love behind it all, Felipe.