Enduring The Aftermath

More of those crescents.


Yup, I’m thinking most everyone survived the big eclipse.  Seems, eyedoctors are getting folks with damaged eyes, that I’ve heard.  Also there was a ecological disaster up here in Puget Sound.  I don’t know all the details on this one but so far the word is that there was an unusually high tide associated with the eclipse and it caused the failure for the containment of Atlantic Salmon at a fish farm north of here.  The Atlantic part is the big problem.  There was 300,000 fish some or all at 10 pounds apiece.  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is declaring open season, no limit on those invaders.  Stuff like that you can’t make up.

Here at the ranch things are a little calmer.  Our company is gone and we are getting back to normal.  That was our daughter Tesia and here husband Ramon and our grandson Osian.

Our friend Steve or Steve-O or Esteban sent an email in response to yesterday’s blogpost and I thought that I would put it up here for your enjoyment.  He could easily have his own blog.  Yup:

What a great real-time post! I loved it!
Interestingly, I remember the eclipse in ’72 (?) to be about the same.

This time I still didn’t notice any ancient Druidic past -life spirit appearing to take me into a timeless insight into the Magik of the Olde Days (Daze?). Mostly, it just got a little darker (93% of total down here; ’bout the same on Vashon), the temp went down a few delightful degrees, and then in a minute or so it got all bright, hot and smoky again. No animals went berserk, either. Mostly, it was like a dark raincloud passing before the sun for a few minutes. Never seen THAT before…

So, we all survived. 98 more years to the next one like that, they say. Thinkin I’ll prolly miss it.

Anyway— your post was terrific.


Well, time to pick some corn for the stand, fresh every day.  By the way I looked at the corn in the grocery store this morning and it was really old and bad and looked like some kind of four letter word.

love, Felipe.


My Expectation

The weird crescent shapes in the shadows.


Eclipse morning here at Raven Ranch, actually it has started according to all the news.  Funny, I don’t feel any different yet.  The sky here is totally clear so we are good to go, talking the lingo.

But I was just thinking that coming up here in about 45 minutes when it is 4-6 degrees cooler and I am freezing my butt there may be secondary phenomena to see.  Now this is just a total theory and sort of made up thing but during the total darkness Phil’s Camino may just have a light of it’s own.  Just  thinkin.  I will be observing carefully.

See that’s the kind of keen thinking that moves science forward even in times of murkiness.  Just when you think it’s all murked out up jumps a new way of looking at things.  OK, still don’t feel any different.

I’m staring out at the surroundings and there are green apples on that tree and red apples on that tree.  Half of that maple tree died over there, why is that?  And there is that caterpillar tent up too high to reach in that pear tree, hmm.

I just say an advisory on FB about not wearing your special eclipse viewing glasses while driving.  That sounds prudent.  OK, it’s 0946 and our peak is supposed to be 1020 but everything still feels about as normal as things get around here.  Just had a big old nasty sneeze, is that a sign?

They are saying this may be the last total eclipse in my lifetime.  Well,  they just don’t know Felipe.  This here cup of coffee may be my last cup of coffee in my lifetime.  He’s one nimble guy.  0952 and what?  This is reporting at its best, don’t you think?

Oh no, the internet is going wonkie.  OK, I am having a piece of Cynthia’s blackberry pie just to celebrate this historic moment.  It may be my last piece of pie, heck you never know.  1000 or 10 AM.  Maybe twenty more minutes to go.  This is so much fun.

My whole family is laughing and giggling behind me.  Here I am trying to do this very serious scientific reporting and they are trying to make some kind of a viewer out of a cereal box.  Geez, what rookies.  1005. Well, it might be a little darker but I can still see my pie.

Oh, good crust!  That’s one sign of a good  pie.   Well my body just totally eclipsed that piece of pie.  Yea, see how it works?  Just a little scientific demonstration for your benefit.  1010.

I wonder what Bigfoot thinks about all this?  Did anyone set up a real time interview with him?  Well, next time.  He probably remembers that one from 79.  1013.

OK, I am seeing the crescent shaped shadows.  1017.  OK, Tesia got the cereal box viewer going.  I was just fumbling with punching a hole through my pie plate.  OK, this is it! 1021.  Well, I don’t know about the glow emanating from Phil’s Camino.   Our equipment may not have been sensitive enough to pick it up.  1024.  OK, that was it sport’s fans.  1028.  The shadows still have the funny crescent shapes though.

OK, a good time was had by all.  See you tomorrow for another excited adventure.  1030 and love, Felipe.





Lovin Sister Joyce

Mary and Jesus watching over Phil’s Camino.


You know that I have had Sister Joyce as my spiritual advisor for a long time now, maybe three years.  It has been enjoyable and profitable for me and for her hopefully.  Well, she is on her way out of town, going back to the Motherhouse in Dubuque, Iowa.

Wwhe I was there last year for the film festival I got a tour of the place and got lunch and got to give a little speech to the Sisters.  You know they all love Sister Joyce so they all loved me.   It was all very special.

She has retired after so many years in service to the Lord.  She worked for the Archdiocese here for forty years for one.  And since then she has been the Energizer Bunny going here and there doing good stuff including advising Felipe.

Now I picture her being a sort of Julian of Norwich there in Iowa on the banks of the Mississippi.  People will come to her.  My buddy Kathy from the area is already plugged in before SJ even gets there.  They should be good friends and Kathy will be a good addition and substitute for Felipe.  Well, you never know maybe I will get another chance to be in Dubuque and see her.

So, time to pick corn for the stand.  There is some heat out there this early afternoon and that will keep things ripening.  Have to go for now, see you tomorrow.  Felipe is thinking of you, praying for the stone pile and in love.

Life Without Our Cougar

What they look like.


It’s all got that late summer look, that time when it seems appropriate to start savoring.  An end is formulating.  Time for the harvest of things, animal and vegetable.  The sunset is noticeably earlier.  A different set of bugs play their role.  Young ravens do their weird vocals in the air overhead.  The deck around the tapas table is becoming littered with brown leaves from the cherry overhead.   The grandson’s toys are strewn hither and yon.

Soon it will be fall or autumn.  Autumn sounds more dignified to me at the moment.  The Seahawks won our football game last night, Seattle is happy.  September means My Rebecca’s birthday and our anniversary.  If I am doing my math right that is going to be 39 years that we have been married.   Always tell her that we must be having fun.

For an early Thanksgiving I am thankful that I got through my four chemo treatments here lately.  They were of a heavier formulation and have been a challenge.  A scan is scheduled for two weeks from now to see if we made a difference with all that work.  I keep telling people that God has my attention with this ongoing cancer of mine.

I read something from the Richard Rohr blog this morning which digs to a deeper level on this same topic:  Merton quotes Meister Eckhart as saying, “For God to be is to give being, and for man to be is to receive being.” Our true self is a received self. At each moment, we exist to the extent we receive existence from God who is existence.

It always gets deeper in an instant, doesn’t it?  Well it is never boring.  Take care and keep in touch.  Take heart another cougar is coming.  Love, Felipe.






At The Tapas Table

Dana shooting at our June Women’s Archery Retreat.


Nice to be outside at the tapas table in the morning writing to you.  We are savoring this late summer and harvest time.  Nothing better really.  If I could I would move Thanksgiving to now.  Picking corn for the day in a minute and then off to the hospital.  I slept in, which I rarely do, so my time is short.

I got some nice and thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post, the archery lesson.  So, great that you responded like that.  Maybe I will do more.  Just maybe one story for now.  Over the years I’ve had a lot of children and teens to teach and one time I had this pair of teen girls.  One was of average height and one was extremely tall for her age.  And the tall girl in her normal mode would walk around sort of hunched over all the time, like I’m really not this tall.  But I taught them to push and pull to draw the bow where you employ your back muscles and it transformed her momentarily to some sort of archery goddess.  To have her open up like that and be her  best self was a beautiful thing to see.

OK, off we go, love you immensely, Felipe.


No Mistakes


Two shots taken by William from one of our caminoheads from Calgary. This was up there somewhere and not on Vashon Island. Nice pix.

Well, with the cougar gone life has a little less spice but my prediction is that there will be another in a year.  Things are just too easy out here.  People and critters come here to this place and get enchanted and wind up never leaving.  Happens to the best of us.

OK, somehow I want to write about something that I have been teaching in archery.  Don’t know where my inspiration came from nor where this post is going; never try and explains the movements of the right brain.  But that never stopped us before.  I have half an hour before my morning walk so here we go.

Archery is so much like my “tries” at living life.  Since a kid I would shoot an arrow as an individual arrow.  And it either hit or missed the target.  Right, it is a way of keeping things simple.  I/You either hit or miss.  But it is a nervous way to shoot where everything has a maximum of stress, there has to be more to life.

Since then I am shooting groups of arrows, four, five, six.  And they don’t have to be on the bullseye, they just hopefully have to be a group.  And what does that prove Felipe?  If I can shoot a group it means that I am being consistent.  Each arrow is shot individually without regard for the arrows before it, so they hit as individuals.  And if those individual hits wind up in a nice tight group than I am being consistent in my technique.  (It helps to have adequate eguipment here too, that being a given.)

So, once I can do that I am well down the road to being where I want to be.  Then I must let my computer in my head keep going and eventually move those upcoming groups over to the bullseye.  And what is my computer doing but gathering information.  And that’s what I tell my students, that is is not a hit or miss but you are gathering information.  They need to work on their technique and when that becomes more organized and consistent than that will be what the target area will look like.

We don’t have to luck arrows in one at a time.  We don’t have to go though the stress of one at a time hit or misses.  All we have to do is relax, organize our technique, trust and gather information.  OK, for example if we have one out of six arrows in the bullseye and five scattered out that is one thing.  We lucked that one arrow in but you can’t count on that happening.  It is far better in my book to have six arrows in a group to one side or above or below the bullseye.  Then you have something to work with.

Then the computer can really do it’s work with moving that group over to where you want it.  And the best way to do that is to be calm and play attention.  Don’t get stressed by, oh no another miss.  It is not about hitting or missing at this learning level it is about getting organized and developing our own technique and the arrows will show it.

OK, hope that made some sense.  I have four minutes to be outside.  See you tomorrow, love as always, Felipe.

The Death Of Our Cougar

Blue sky out there!


We felt like we were kind of cool with our very own island mountain lion.  But it all came to an end when Washington Fish and Wildlife captured it and killed it a couple of days ago.  Things probably would have gone better for Billie, we named him that, if he would have stuck with munching on deer.  But he took to eating people’s sheep, lamas and donkeys so he had to go.

And this is the second day of the corn stand being open.  It is just starting out with a trickle but it will be a cascade soon.  How fun.

I’m here at the hospital with treatment and have an extra two hours here today.  Man, going crazy.  And I’ll be out on the streets just in time for rush hour.  Geez.

OK, I’ll see you all tomorrow, love, Felipe.


Pilgrims Arrive

The sunset last evening. We got our clear air back again.


Yesterday we had an interesting group that showed up to walk, see the film and have tapas.  One was a local women who knew of us and the other two were a couple from out of f town.  The couple of which Ron had walked the Camino Frances.  They were fun and I want to try and keep in touch with them.  They have retired and plan to move to Spain to live, to Astorga, they think.  How fun.

Fun to fantasize about moving to Spain.  Where would I live?  Of all the places that I saw I think that Portomarin was the most gorgeous.  Have a place with a view of the water would be something.  But there are other places too, maybe the foothills in Hemingway country.  Yup.

This morning I am off to Mass for it is the Assumption of Mary.  Going to the 0830 because I’m up.  Then I am going to hopefully pick some of the Sugar Buns corn to get the stand open.  It IS going to be ripe.

OK, time to get the day moving.  Miss you, love you, Felipe.


Yesterday’s Walk

Keeping it alive!


We all know how much fun it is to have a new person to talk Camino to, fresh meat My Rebecca would say.  We are so enthusiastic about the topic we could probably talk to a stump if we had to.  We can’t help ourselves as Annie would say.

Our daughter and her family have been here for almost a week and that has been fun.  Rebecca getting to spend lots of time with her grandson.  And you know, general celebration.  So old friends of Tesia’s show up to hang out.  And yesterday one of her old friend’s Sasja walked with me for the Sunday afternoon walk after we watched the film.  She had never seen that.  And we cried, have to add that.

Anyway I had her ear for a mile and a half.  Well, it is not like I talked for the entire time but I tried to get in all the important points.  But it occurred to me this morning as I thought about our conversation that the Camino as I describe it sounds like a pretty amazing place.  I was trying to imagine our roles changed and me hearing about it for the first time.  I would be saying, Really?  Really?  Really?

It is pretty amazing when you think about it like that as in imagining hearing about it for the first time.  How did we get so lucky to stumble on it?  Personally I will have to thank Martin Sheehan and the “Way” which is still probably the best easiest introduction to the whole phenomenon.  Anyway, I consider myself one lucky guy.  And if it had been for that we wouldn’t know each other and we be carrying on the way we do, pilgrimage junkies and tapa animals.

Just sayin, love, Felipe.