Jim with the tiller on the tractor. Working in the cover crop that Cris planted in the fall.



Working the land on a sunny day. Rain today, such is spring.

Jim has been staying in too many hotels lately.  This morning before breakfast I was scurrying around getting things organized in the kitchen and he was working on his first coffee and he was seeing the things around him.  He said, “You have some nice amenities here.”  I wasn’t even sure I knew what that word meant.  He started listing things that he saw that maybe a hotel would list as pluses.

One was that he could hear the rain on the house giving us a connection to the outside, the outdoors.  I forget most of them maybe because I live with them on such an immediate basis that I take them for granted.  His best one was that the fire in the woodstove that he could see through the glass in the door was there for a reason, to warm us up and not just for looks.  Nice way of thinking of noticing.

I know we have lots of visitors and they all see different things that may be memorable to them because they are out of their ordinary.  Went I am here working around I may have thoughts about paying the bills or how do I beat back the jungle this week, a different view and miss those essentials.

When Edmund and Irene were here from China and who live on the 23rd floor of an apartment building, what do they see?  When I have a group of my black friends out from the city what do they see?  When I have the Taiwanese family here, what do they see and take with them?

This is good for me to think about as it forces me into the present.  It puts me in a better place to view my surroundings.  And in this new light I may have things that I notice anew.  One that I have been thinking of lately is when I get up at six thirty in the morning and look out the window to the north toward our son’s house his lights are on as he gets ready to go to work.  It is a reassuring thing for both of us I hope.

Well, Jim and I are off to walk in the rain here shortly.  It is a light rain watering the beet and green onion seeds that My Rebecca and Jim planted yesterday.  It is a spring rain.  So, as always, looking around loves, Felipe.

It’s Not A Vacation

Bailey and Alex, here the other day.


My oldest friend in the world is here for a visit to see me and My Rebecca.  We talk and talk and talk and then we walk and then we do a little work.  Jim loves to run the tractor so I am going to have him working on tilling the corn patch as it is now dry enough.  That will be fun for both of us.   Then we will get the bows and arrows out and do that for a while.  Ahh, sort of a second childhood feel to it all.

So, a year and a half ago Jim and his better half Gloria spent some weeks walking on the Meseta in Spain along  the Camino.  Gloria’s family is from a town near Santiago and they have been to Spain before but this was their first pilgrimage there.  So, we were talking of that and Jim’s comment on the experience was, “It was not a vacation.”  I had never had anyone comment on the Camino in exactly those terms but yea, I get it.

We can all get this too I think easy enough, although it leaves more unsaid than said.   I know we have been talking for years now about what the Camino is or is not there is always a new insight to be had it seems.  It’s never ending font of inspiration and it’s many facets reveal themselves constantly.  It is such a rich “goulash” worthy of our time.

Yesterday was Richard Rohr’s seventy fifth birthday and there is a wonderful post on his blog, worth checking out.  Anyone can sign up for his daily blog and it is chock full of good stuff.  Thanks Richard.

OK, off we go to our day.  More tomorrow hopefully.  Goulash loves, Felipe.



Keeping Afloat

The cloud overcast has got to be very thin and fragile.  It is half blue and I expect a gorgeous morning when that breaks up.  Jim my oldest friend from Buffalo, New York is flying in later this morning so that will be good for him.  We can thaw him out as he said that it was 22 degrees there yesterday.  That’s ridiculous.

We have a walk this afternoon.  It is so springy on the trail.  All the puddles are dried up and leaves are pushing out.  And we have it cleaned up after all the winter wind storms.  It almost looks like a different place.  Come by when you get a chance.

I finished my book about the guy that walked across Afghanistan, in the winter I might add.   (The Places In Between by Rory Stewart). It is always good to read about hardship like that as it makes me feel like I got easy street.  The ironic and worst thing was that the guy’s dog died because some well meaning person fed him a rack of lamb in civilization,  when they finally got to Kabul,  too much high living can get you too.


Yea, keeping afloat.  That is what we do for ourselves and for each other.  I think at this point we are getting pretty good at that.  At least I feel the beneficiary of that kind of love and I hope that you do also as we continue to buoy each other up.

Well, here we go, meeting a buddy for breakfast in town.  Thanks for stopping by.  I’m getting to feel like Mr Rogers.  Thawing out loves, Felipe.

Looking Forward And Looking Back

With Tim and Cathy on a sunny afternoon, could be Spain, could be Vashon Island.
My succession planting: early, middle and late corn seed.


I don’t think that there is a day that goes by without me thinking of my stay on the Camino in Spain.  Kelly says that too.  Fascinating that short time could have such an impact on us.  Cathy and Tim were here yesterday to walk in the afternoon.  They are such a joy.  Easily I can see myself walking with them on the Camino or most anywhere. Thanks you both for your energy.

Looking back in the way that it occurs to me is not something nostalgic.  I don’t seem to dwell on it in that way.  It just pops up matter of factly and says hi in a tidy little memory package.

But I am looking forward also.  My corn seed came in for this spring’s planting.  That will occur in May shortly after the Lourdes pilgrimage.  The whole corn ritual seems more important to me as the years pass, planting being only one part of it.  I look forward to the different stages and the anticipation of the harvest.  So much of farming is planning ahead, a little gambling and faith in the way the future unfolds.  Well, it is to some extent looking backward in the sense of keeping track of all the mistakes made and lessons learned but it is basically forward looking in my book.

So, yes we can’t forget about leaving enough energy for the cultivation of the present, that most fertile area.  Are we leaving enough of ourselves available for that?  We can’t get too wrapped up in the past or the future to it’s detriment.  Of course, that happens sometimes but aren’t we getting smart enough to recognize it?  I hope so.

Off to walk my Monday morning walk.  It is dry and overcast out, the fog has broken up. See you tomorrow, present loves, Felipe.

Tea With Your Blog Sir?

Yes, don’t mind if  I do.   A dazzling Sunday morning here.  Not a thought in my head about what to write about today.  Maybe that is better that way.

Ah, but one thing going on here on Vashon is a fund raiser for Phil’s Camino, So Far So Good, the hour long version.  If you are a Vashonite come down to the Eagles Club at 6:30 on Saturday March 24th for the fund raising spaghetti dinner.  It’s $20 a plate to help support the cause.  Yeah, how great is that?!

John O’Donohue quote by Charlotte Carter Attebery, Rho’s aunt.

Yes, and Rho is going to send us one of these beautiful prints for our art collection.  Of course, John O’Donohue is looked up to by all us Caminoheads near and far.  What a beautiful gift!  Thank you both!

We are walking at 1600 today on our SUMMER SCHEDULE.  Man, I like the way that sounds.  So can we now offically say that we have made it through the winter?  That used to be a joke with me but not any more, serious business.  So yes, time to celebrate, come and walk and have tapas with us.

Celebration loves, Felipe.

A Saturday Morning

St Francis. A painting by Rho’s aunt I think.

I’m a little blank here at the moment.  Maybe chemo brain creeping into my morning.  Ah, the only thought that is in my head at the moment is can I operate without knowing everything.  Seems like an “of course”since that has to be how we do things in general.  But there is this emphasis out there on “knowing”.

I just got back from my Bible Guys where I led the troops through Genesis 3,4 and 5.  It was my idea to study Genesis, to work our way through it.  It is hard to get this group out of the New Testament but it can be done occasionally.  But I thought that it would be profitable to go through it for a review of the stories that are in there most of which we haven’t covered since Sunday School days.

And there are great stories in there.  Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and his family in the early chapters.  But there are numerous details that are hard or impossible to understand for us such as people that have been reported to have lived 800, 900 so years.  Really?  Talking about Methuselah and friends.  And giants.  Hmmm.

Well, we can get hung up over things we don’t understand or we can travel on with the knowledge that we know enough for today.  Tomorrow is another day with its own revelations, that today is enough for today.

Somwhere along the line I have picked up the idea the God has the three attributes Truth, Goodness and Beauty.  Which means to me that I can move toward God or God can move toward me along any of those three different pathways.  To understand beauty is a whole different ballgame than understanding goodness or truth.  Each has it’s own logic and method and rhythm for instance.

This is a tremendously freeing notion to have these three ways to progress.  This is what is coming out of me today.  Hope this makes a little sense.   Morning loves, Felipe.







OK, I’ll Have A Coffee, Sunrise Eggs and Some Holy Water Please.

Charlie Brown wisdom from William our Canadian Bureau Chief.


Here I am having one of my favorite hunting camp breakfasts, eggs cooked with corned beef hash fresh out of the can.  Then there is good strong coffee.  And then there are three dashes of Lourdes holy water, one behind each ear and one on my chest.  I am a happy guy.  I guess this is why Sherie has saved this healing water from eighteen years ago just to make me a happy guy.

Sometimes the components of sanity seem pretty simple.  I am walking though my fifth new treatment with the chemical that I need to know how to love.  It is helping me, it is helping me, it is helping me but it is a hard relationship.  It takes all my powers to deal with it and to try to come up with a way to live with it.  Yea, but I am confident that this will happen with your prayers and coaching and hovering over me.

Speaking of hovering, Catherine and Dana are back from their two week  junket in Hawaii.  I have missed them immensely.  They are the best at hovering over me.  It is reassuring to feel the pulse of that soft breeze their wings create.  I’m a happy guy.

What else is new, My Rebecca made the bestest spaghetti sauce ever.  I am always trying to make the bestest but I was humbled by her entry.  She built it around a pound of ground venison gifted by Brad and Amy, other great neighbors.  I am eating well when I can and have turned my weight loss around.  Once again, happy happy.

My Rebecca dragged me off for some culture a couple evenings ago here to the Vashon Theatre.  Big Sonia was playing.  It is a feature length documentary about a very active, kickass little, in physical stature, women who survived the death camps of World War Two Europe.  Very moving film, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you will receive an education.  Check for screening in your neighborhood at  .

OK, time to get ready for my trek to the big city and the treatment center.  Happy loves, Felipe.



The Rooster Crowed at 0700

Under three puffy clouds my boat has come in.


I am so glad and fortunate for all your thoughts and prayers.  Going to treatment, just walking through the door, took much courage and I couldn’t have done it without you.  Gracias!  Everything that I touched or everything that touched me yesterday turned to gold.  That is a good pun since I was with Dr Gold, call sign Nugget, love you man.   What I mean by that sentence is that everything was working out for the best in my one step at a time world.

So today I am putting together a grab bad of good stuff that has been coming in from all corners:

This is a conversation between Pope Francis and Stephen Hawking from Padre Tomas.


“But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the self nor of the other, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.”  David Whyte.  From Buenos Aires Cris.

Well, I thought that I had one more thing but temporarily lost it.  Well, I guess that is what tomorrow’s are for.  Gracias, it is always a privilege for me.  Gladly loves, Felipe.




Hello From The Hospital

So happy here at the hospital.  I got my schedule changed to accommodate the Lourdes trip.  That is all done and in print.  OK, I was a little doubtful that would all work out but my people here figured it out.  There is room for chemicals and travel!

Also a sophomore from Damien High School emailed in yesterday wanting to get a red hat like I wore on the Camino.  Yea, so I did some superb research and found the source at  the mazama  .  So they will sent you one for a few dollars.

Will you look at that hat!


It is a little confusing about the color.  This looks dark red but it is marked burnt sienna which is a brown.  Then they have one marked salmon which looks faded completely like a red hat that you just walked across summertime Spain with.  So, choices.

OK, Steve-O just showed to pay me a visit.  So, I think the I will sign off for now.  See you guys tomorrow.  Alperfect love, Felipe.





The Flow Of Pilgrims 2018

Let Anjezë Bojaxhiu (Mother Teresa) be a part of our entourage. Thank you Padre Tomas.


Our dear neighbor Michelle sent in an email reminding me that I am a part of the “great cloud of witnesses”.  Yes, remind me, remind me, constantly remind me!  This should be a constant hum in our consciousness!

Here in the past we have talked of it as the “cloud of believers” and the “flow of pilgrims”.  Same same, right?  But what a powerful notion to be caught up in.  To be swept along by the magical inertia of those around you.  We do that for each other or it is what we do when we are at our best.  For this I am joyful!

Thank you Michelle.  Thinking of you in your green houses planting all those seeds for the plants that you will sell later in a few months.  It is the start of a busy time for you.  Maybe I can break away for an hour here or there to help.

I am still high on the flow of pilgrims that we had here on Sunday afternoon.  Sui and her magical mystery tour came to Phil’s Camino.  Am I lucky or what?  They come and talked of the mighty pilgrimages that they have taken.  I listen, I learn, I am inspired.  Just tell me, just how can we go wrong?

Time to go.  Shopping day for Felipe.  Have to buy the corned beef and cabbage for Saturday’s dinner.  Oh, I start treatment again tomorrow, pray for me please, it will take courage.  Thanks, flow-on-loves, Felipe.