You Never Don’t Blog

We may not be able to spell but we can walk like heck.

Another great double negative. That was My Rebecca commenting on me realizing that I didn’t do my morning ritual blog post. It just got way from me I guess. Just a little too much going on these days.

Well, maybe the big news is that we got our turkey for Thursday’s feast. We have seven folks coming to the feed. Well and a baby. He’s going to be star of the whole show I am sure. Thanksgiving is maybe our best holiday in the sense that everyone seems to agree on it. The vegetarians may try and build the bird out of celery or something but that’s about it. Nobody doesn’t like Thanksgiving.

Herb one of my buddies from church came and walked with me this afternoon. We did two out of the three laps since it was so rainy. One of our November storms happening. Herb helped me way back in 2013 to lay out the trail in the first place. We all say thanks to Herb. None of us don’t like Herb.

Hey, time to go. Thanks to you too for being here. Love, Felipe.

The Mountain Is Out

There is the official Phil’s Camino patch for your backpack.

Mt Rainer was staring right at me as I rounded the corner, bigger than heck. She’s not always around this time of year but not today. All I can think of is that Steve our visitor from Arkansas didn’t get a chance to see her.

I have nothing particular on my mind this morning as I write but thought that I had better get started. Blue sky out the window, unusual. We have a little period of high pressure in between storms. One coming tonight and then one Tuesday. So today and Monday will be nice. Well monday is Monday Night Football from Seattle so we put in for decent weather.

Last night I finished “Pilgrimage” the book about Pope Francis. That was a good read and I got a much clearer picture of the man. Hopefully you will get a chance to check it out soon. It is very timely and makes sense for us all here today so don’t hesitate. If you have been good maybe you will get it for Christmas.

Also, it is our good luck that we have a quantity of Phil’s Camino patches in from Annie O’Neil. We have enough to give away to folks that come here to walk. Yea, easy peasy, come by. Thanks Annie! She’s really our quirky fairy godmother. Love you!

And William sends pics of snow in Calgary. Pilgrim Farmer John says there is snow in the air there in Iowa. Steve Watkins is back in Arkansas doing book signings with his new “Pilgrim Strong” Camino book. Angela is back in Sydney after her trip here this last summer. I haven’t heard lately from the crew at the Santiago church in Lake Forest. And I haven’t heard from Padre Tomas recently. What’s up? The Marauders are hard at work in their area of influence where there is no snow I might add. And Cris is back in Buenos Aires enjoying late Spring, miss you. It has been such a rich year full of many great people! I have much to be thankful for.

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you all, turkey loves, Felipe.

That’s Us

Autumn art.

Deep into November now. We have weathered a few storms so we are sharpened up on the drill. Gone but remembered are the lazy days of summer which always appear never ending. Ahh. But we remember we have tough genes handed down to us by our ancestors, people who got the rough winter on turnips and prayer living their stone hut that they where thankful for.

We somehow have to mine our new territory for inspiration or humor or whatever will keep us afloat. I hear the fire in the woodstove crackling in the next room. Yes, warmth is one of our allies.

Last month Wiley, James and I were sleeping out under the stars in eastern Washington. The experience reconnected me to something very basic. I was reconnected to the fact that nights are cold and a challenge in themselves. We with our insulated dwellings with modern heat lose track of this. A cold night is sort of an abstraction. But sleeping out and waiting for dawn for the sun to finally creep across the landscape to finally finally warm my bones was not an abstraction. This daily “winter” that we have largely bypassed is a real thing and would be helpful to be reminded of. Somehow there are lessons there that we have forgotten.

Well, I am out of time for now, for this day. There is always tomorrow for the blog, my ever present companion. Yup, stay warm and stay inspired wherever you find that. Love you from afar, Felipe.

Building Strength

It is the time to plant garlic. Here is the seed My Rebecca just bought that will go in the garden.

It is occurring to me during these approaching dark days of winter that building up our strength is an good objective for my “down” time. I have to remember the coaching that Dr Zucker gave me at rehab early on in my cancer career. He was big on making oneself stronger through regular and organized work.

We pray for strength and this is the basic idea that all prayer really rests on. We pray for strength for ourselves and for others in our challenges. We will always have these challenges, that is our work. But having strength is the key to successfully and gracefully managing them.

We live, we love, we deal with our challenges. All that takes strength. So, I made up my mind that instead of complaining about the dark evenings I am going to use them to build myself up in all ways.

Well, time to get ready for our Thursday morning walk. We are in between rain storms so that is good. Maybe I will get a chance to say a rosary. I love Thursdays and the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary (The Baptism in the Jordan, The Wedding at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom, The Transfiguration and the Institution of the Eucharist). Miss you, love, Felipe.

Oh Good, One Less Thing To Worry About


I was over at a friend’s the other day and the topic of firewood came up. It’s autumn and this is big on the list of things to talk about around here. Anyway, I had said that I had discovered the wood from holly trees makes good firewood. And one of the guys went into a big talk about how that stuff is so poisonous and I better watch out. Well, OK. And just now I Googled the situation and could find nothing at all on the the dangers of using this wood in this way. Well, that combined with the fact that we have been using it occasionally for two years with no ill effects that we know about. Cool, one less thing to worry about I’m sayin! Myth Busters!

Yesterday I was having this realization about the radio station that I had been listening to pretty consistently. It is primarily a news station with local and national news stories. In between the news they would have little stories about things of interest. But what I was realizing was that so many of these were like possible things to worry about. I mean the news is bad enough but these little supposedly light weight fillers were collectively adding up to give me the willies. If it wasn’t little parts on toys that could choke the grandkids, it was better get out there in the rain and clear the storm drains of your elderly neighbors or don’t go in the parks in wind storms. OK, OK enough!

Maybe we should start making a list of things we are sure of to worry about and start researching. Maybe our lives would be better if we could scratch some of those items off the list and just be. Maybe we could just be and still recognize that yes there are certain dangers. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” Maybe we would be happier if life appeared less of a gauntlet and more of a playpen.

Yup, time today go. Time to get over to the wood shop and make some sawdust. Thanks for being here, love you Felipe.

The Three Puppies

The Three C’s.

Early morning I had one of my visions. I was seeing my 3C’s: Cancer, Catholicism and Camino as little puppies rolling and tumbling in the grass. They are brothers and sisters who share the same enthusiasm, the same heart. They have those sharp pointy puppy teeth and they chew on each other sometimes. But they generally play and play and play.

I like the image where somehow my cancer gets invited in to be a part of this. And I am seeing the “somehow” all of a sudden. The somehow is that all three share the same heart or in other words there is only one heart. That’s it, there is only one heart everywhere always.

I am high contemplating this idea – THERE IS ONLY ONE HEART EVERYWHERE AND ALWAYS. That’s it. Love you, Felipe.

Pilgrims All Over

This is kind of a cool shot. Talking pilgrimage out in front of the icon.

Hi, just have a few moments to be with you. Has been busy here at Camino de Felipe. I got Steve Watkins to his airport hotel Saturday evening after a great visit. Then Sunday afternoon Michele from Seattle brought five folks out to walk and tapa. That went well as the weather cooperated mostly and we had a nice walk. Then this morning I was Skyping with Catalina’s class at the Jesuit Seminary at Santa Clara.

I am about talked out but it all was fun. What do I do with half my time but talk about pilgrim stuff. Yea, the next best thing to actually doing it is talking about it, right?

It just must be a rich topic since we spend so much time with it. This must serve to clarify our own thinking. We hear our own thoughts and we listen to that and we refine our talk to be more on message and more streamlined. We listen to other’s ideas and interpretations and gain from that. Maybe we never heard things expressed in that manner before. It’s all good for working things out.

Then we need alone time or down time to process. I had the walk this morning for an hour alone to do just that. So, off to work now. Never a dull moment here in these parts. Miss you, love you, Felipe.

Healing and Curing

Visitors from New Zealand at Phil’s Camino.

One of the most frequently asked questions when we are out on the film circuit is can you tell us more about the difference between healing and curing that you talk about in the documentary. Yea. We get a lot of varied questions about all sorts of aspects but this sticks in my mind as being common.

I am channeling when I talk about this topic. I credit Dr Robert Barnes for introducing it to me and who knows where he got it from. It seems novel or at least rare. Let me take this opportunity to elaborate on it today.

So curing as I understand it is getting over one’s disease. It is all about the human body. It is all about being free from some limitation in our earthly life. This seems very important when put in the context of a certain way of thinking. A lot of effort goes into this endeavor.

Healing to me in the current way that I understand it is about how we relate to not only our particular human body but to everything outside of it. How we relate to God, to our fellow man, to the natural world and I suppose the man made world becomes important. Are we calm in the storm. Are we at peace with the bigger picture. This is, as I see it, the real challenge in our lives ultimately.

So we see that we can be be cured and miss being healed. And conversely we can be healed without being cured. So, it’s a little tricky. Yea, well maybe we got a little further down the road on this one today.

One of the lines in the Catholic liturgy that is jumping out at me lately is “say the word and my soul will be healed”. Maybe I need to concentrate on asking God for help with things. This is something that we/I seem to forget.

I have a passel of pilgrims showing up today to walk Camino de Felipe. It should be fun. And need to get some work done in the shop beforehand so have to go for now. Thanksgiving loves, Felipe.

Thank You Marauders

Our new passport!

Dana and Steve Watkins

Phil’s Camino has its own pilgrim passport as a gift from the lovely California Caminoheads we know as the Marauders. And with a Phil’s Camino stamp. We are looking pretty darn official. Included inside is the 12th century Pilgrim’s Prayer, the ten Beatitudes of the Pilgrim and the Phil’s Camino map so you don’t get lost. It’s beautiful and will be a tremendous memento for folks.

So that’s happening and Steve Watkins is here with his new book Pilgrim Strong. Oh and there he is up and running for the morning. We will grab a bite and be off to my Bible Guys class at 0900.

OK, we are back at the ranch and are just talking. Steve and Rebecca sharing Southern recipes. Steve and I talking Bible stuff and Camino stuff. We still have to walk the trail here but it has been raining on and off. Just a great time for sitting around the fire and gabbing.

So, tomorrow is another day for the blog here. Steve and I need to get outside and see what things look like. Take care for now,love Phil,