Felipe Makes It Through The Summer

A soggy tapas table.


It was tough but he did it!  We are having some days of rain in a row so it seems summer is over but I expect some sort of indian summer situation.  Official autumn starts this friday.

The autumnal equinox is the proper name for the first moment of autumn and the last moment of summer.  Pilgrim Farmer John from eastern Iowa always celebrates by standing out at the end of his driveway with his family and watching the sunset.  On that day the sun sets directly in line with his  east/west road.  It is a gravel road, no pavement nearby.  Isn’t that elegant in a Pilgrim Farmer John way.  It ties so many loose things together.

Speaking of loose things, that was probably some loose talk on my part to talk about the possibility of a Lourdes trip here at the blog.  Everyone has been asking.  But it is an idea, well a little more than an idea.  So, I have been chosen to be a candidate for next year’s trip that the Order of  Malta puts together from the West Coast to Lourdes, a candidate.  I am getting the offical brochure soon so I will fill you in on the details.  But you get the picture.

This would be such an amazing opportunity for me personally and an opportunity  to report on it for all our benefit.    I am taking it very seriously in a Felipe sort of way.  Right now I feel the need to start thinking about preparing.  What does one do?

Well, that is what’s new here.  Time to pray for the people in the areas affected by new hurricanes and earthquakes.  The eye of Maria is going over Puerto Rico at this moment.  Man what a bad time for all this.

Off to the wood shop.  Building another bench in there.  It is slowly getting organized.  Time to get stuff done that has been waiting all summer during the nice weather.

Hugs and squeezes and all that.  Love, Felipe in a rain jacket.





The Corn Mother by Cristina Perez.


I know I write a good blog post when I weep during the process.  I could blame it on the chemotherapy if I am in manly company but not here today.  But here today I started before writing.  Something is developing that is extremely important for me and it really isn’t rock solid but sort of an idea at the moment.

So this is the teaser that I may get a chance to go to Lourdes as in France as in THE Lourdes.  I just can’t hold it back, it is way too exciting to think about.  I am taking it as a given but it isn’t all figured out yet.  It’s in the half baked category.  So stay tuned.

Boy, what do I follow that with?  Oh, I know a little wordology for our education.  We are never done learning, that’s what they say.   Oh, and this is one more chance to get corn in the conversation.  Here at Raven Ranch half our corn production was in the variety “Bodacious”.   Everyone had so much fun with the word that it has been sticking with me and not to mention that the variety was outrageous eating and big outrageous eating.

A minute ago I looked it up in the big old paper dictionary.  There is was, a real word.  But the origin of the word is SW cowboy.  It is a combination of the words “bold” and “audacious” giving us “bodacious”!   Lovin it!

OK, there you go for today, off to fix the washer, sounds like the drive belt broke.  As always, love you, miss you,  Felipe.



“Whether We Live Or Die”


“For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.  If we live , we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.  So,whether we live or die, we. belong to the Lord.  For this reason, Christ died and returned to life so he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”  Romans 14: 7-9 from the NIV.

This was one of the scripture readings yesterday at Mass.  It resonated with me and I have been thinking about it since.   There is something very comforting about what it says for me.   Having the diagnosis means that dying within months is always a possibility, always.  This never goes away.  It is possible to forget about it for short times but it clings well.

To have this vision of life and death being united in this continuum is important.  Putting things in a perspective that is true and workable is always golden.  And this does it for me.  The veil between life and death is getting thinner day by day.

So, as we live our lives we are also assaulted by the diagnosis’s of those around us too.  It gets to be too much unless we have some way, some healthy perspective to view it from.  How do we deal with it all can be a problem.  How do we respond can be a problem.  But this is what makes it easier for me now.  This notion that  the veil is so thin and Christ is here for us wherever we find ourselves.

Thanks for being here with Phil.   Love you, Felipe.






New lavenders to plant along Phil’s Camino.


Yesterday we had gleaning, today we’ve got blanching.  I had to read up in the Joy of Cooking to get the procedure right for some corn freezing.  Blanching is boiling or steaming to stop the action of enzymes that are detrimental to freshness.  So I am going to blanch, cool, cut off the kernels, bag and freeze.  Need to have some of that product for those winter dinners.

There is a little hint of autumn in the air.  It is still pretty smoky because of  the wildfires but rain is on the way, maybe a week of rain off and on.  We tailgated this morning after church, Catherine and I but maybe one of the last.  But it is fun, people stop by to chat, people maybe that you don’t normally see or talk to.   I think they call it outreach.

Oh, more corn to process,  be back.  OK, that’s it for today.  Now I am off to deliver some corn to a special person.  She is a woman that is a checker at the supermarket.  Her father had a sweet corn operation back in the day.   He had three acres.  I had a chance to use his mechanical seed planter this year back in May.  So I try and get her some product now and then although bringing food to the supermarket seems weird.

Walking today at 4 PM.  Hope to see you.  Love, Felipe.





Along Phil’s Cornmino. Good pic Sherie, thanks.


We are supposed to have a real rain tomorrow so I got all the rest of the corn harvested.  The drying racks are full now and ready for a couple of months till grinding for cornmeal.    This all started in April and here it is September.  Just a few ears that are fit for eating now and then it will be gone for another year.  So glad  that there were so many folks that got to sample it.

So, what’s next Felipe?  Well, I thought that I would try and sell bundles of the corn stalks for autumn decoration,  Maybe I could glean another hundred bucks from that.  People can put them out by their mailbox or on either side of their door.  Yea, a little ambience for the neighborhood.

Well, Mass tomorrow morning with Catherine.  Her turn to drive.  I am reading “Rediscovering Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly which is hightening my interest in Mass. Thank you to one of the Terri’s from the Marauders for giving me a copy.

Alright, time for ice cream, so fun when you have to gain weight.  See you tomorrow.  Love, Felipe.

Well We Celebrated The Heck Out Of It


Yes, Angela and Dave showed up for us or to us last evening after a drive from Spokane.  They were a little late due to traffic so we had a chance to get all warmed up.  Kelly, Catherine and Dana were here to help.  You know once you go through to the training on the Camino it doesn’t take much to fire up a tapas party to the maximum.  I don’t know if we got loader than the Italians last night but close anyway.

Off to the hospital again later but we are having a special walk this morning for our guests in a moment.  Any excuse to tromp around.  It is a beautiful late summer morning.  It is supposed to rain Sunday/ Monday.  We haven’t really had any appreciable rain in something like eighty days.  So it will be welcome.

Thanks for being here with us at Caminoheads where we try and keep the feeling alive.  It’s hard or maybe impossible to do it alone.  Miss you, love you, Felipe.



Angela’s coming, Angela’s Coming!

Life is just a bowl of tomatoes!


Yes, yes, did the dishes, swept the floor, took out the trash.  Holy Cow!  Yes, Angela is coming today with her new husband Dave.  They are on a round the world honeymoon trip and of course one of their stops is Phil’s Camino.  Maybe this will be their favorite stop.

Three summers ago when Kelly and I were trudging the Camino we meet Angela and Mary Margaret about the same time somewhere out on the Meseta.  Hot, dusty, exposed we clung together.  But somehow tapas every night revived us.  How does that work anyway?  We achieved the rare prize of being “louder than the Italians” on occasion which is our real claim to fame.

Oh, I didn’t mention that Ange and Dave are traveling all this way from Australia from Sidney.  She and Gracie and Cherry were my introductions to that continent.  Thank you ladies you did a good job, felt like I’ve been there.  You were good representatives.

OK, time to walk the Thursday 0900 walk.  Sunny, blue sky and cool today.  Miss you all.  Come see us when you get a chance.  Most of you don’t have to come all they way from Down Under,  no excuses.  Plenty of tapas to be had here!  Love, Felipe.


Numbers, numbers, numbers, they are everywhere here at the hospital.  Here all day for my 103rd treatment.  And I was down to 171 point something pounds in body weight.  Need to eat some more of that corn on the cob.  I was 173 after the Camino and I thought that was light, more ice cream for Felipe.

I’m not getting very far with this post so far but just had an idea to put up some pics from Monday:  Sherie came for a few hours and we picked corn and sunflowers, eat some corn and shot some arrows in the woods.

Sherie shooting from tree stand at deer target.


Sherie pulling her arrows.



Felipe picking sunflowers.

Yea, I just don’t have it today to write.  See you tomorrow.  Love, Felipe.





It Feels Like A Monday


Along Phil’s Cornmino. Good pic Sherie, thanks.

Hi gang.  Seems like a back to work day after yesterday.  Yes, a new day and all that.  I read a blog post from Terry Hershey earlier this morning by mistake.  Well, it was a wonderful piece of writing but I mean I personally try and not read others wonderful writing before I get my blog done for the day.  But Terry slipped through.  In case you haven’t been there before Terry has a tremendous blog entitled Sabbath Moment that comes out every Monday.

I could give you a rough summary of this inspirational post but you should read it for yourself.  A woman, a physician named Athena was being beaten down by her job.  She decided to get some help and sorry but I can’t think of the source right now.  Anyway, she was advised to look for power in her lineage.  Both her father and grandfather had been doctors so she was able to carry on some of their energy to overcome the oppression that she was experiencing in the present.   She was getting outside of her box, her isolation and seeing a bigger picture which was rich and full of possibilities.

Terry’s blog post

We could all prosper by tapping into the flow of the energy of our families and mentors.  There is energy out there.  We need to figure out how to find it and put it to use.  Remember we have spiritual linage too.  The saints all have inspiration and energy to be had, that’s what they do.

Let’s try and point out these pregnant possibilities to each other when needed.  We need to be each other’s ” Cajun Navy”.   We all need rescue sometimes.

Love you, Felipe.






What Do We Do With This Day?

Our friend Caton Jones.


Well, Lisa from Hot Springs AK has her mission today.  It is her son Caton’s birthday.  And she and we her far flung friends are celebrating the date for/with him.  Caton’s is no longer with us as he was taken by an aggressive cancer not long ago.   Annie and I met Lisa about this time last year in Hot Springs at their film festival.

Lisa drove us from Hot Springs to Little Rock to the airport on our way out.  We all had that hour together and it seems we put it to good use.  Caton’s was still alive and in various care facilities at that point.  Medical science was doing everything that they could.  Lisa was working all day and with him all night.  She was impressively strong.

I am clinging to the celebration of Caton’s birthday as a sign of hope even in disaster.  Yes he suffered.  Yes he died to young.  Maybe a thousand other yeses.  What do we do with all that?  Can that be overcome, reconciled?  I don’t know unless we can grasp onto the idea that there is a bigger picture.  This is all a challenge and a lesson, a hurt and a reminder.  We really have to stretch ourselves to get anywhere with this, to get beyond the pain.

Somehow this is a little microcosm of the pain that our nation and the civilized world felt on this date in 2001.  An unbelievable event had taken place.  And what do we do with that?  We are still trying to get a grip on it, at least I am.  Maybe Lisa is way ahead of us on this account.  She is striving to put the sad energy to good use.  Bless you Lisa and your family and friends in on this.

What do we do with this day?  Love you, Felipe.x