From Cris 6/30/18

(Here is a report from Cris your South American Bureau Chief while in Rome at the Vatican within the last few days)

Cris at Niagara Falls, New York


I Was With The Pope

And that is true!!! Although our encounter was not one to one, I was with him, in the Papal Audience on Wednesday and then, I saw him even closer in the square after the festivities for St Peter and St. Paul. He did a round in the mobile and I was at arms length distance from him…
Half an hour later, or more, when people were already leaving and mostly the tourists were in the square, he showed up in the little window (little for the eye as it is huge!!) and gave a short homily and prayed the Angelous.

I am still processing this all, like your Lourdes, like our Camino. All I can tell now is the joy and love this man has. He has so much love, calm, his voice and tone are so loving… and his smile is infectious, he was at some point very close to me, and his smile made me smile, you cannot do otherwise…

And interestingly enough, he gave us an exercise, he asked everybody to close our eyes and go to our heart and search for the blessings God gave to us… very moving… so much grace altogether with so many people recognizing that at the same moment…

More soon!
You were there too! (In the square with me and in my heart as your friendship is a blessing!)

Life At The Ranch


June 29th, corn selfie or self corny!  

Getting to the end of June with the Fourth looming in less than a week.  Lot’s of tourists visiting the Island and lot’s of pilgrims coming in from all directions to walk Phil’s Camino.   The corn is growing and yes I will try and get a pic for you.   Things are busy.

I had a two day plumbing adventure and Wiley helped out with that yesterday and we got it all buttoned up yesterday afternoon thankfully.  At one point I called in a local expert for a consultation on the problem.  Half the folks on this Island are colorful characters and he is with the program with that.  As part of the technical talk he told me to remain positive and to count my blessings.  Well OK, we can do that!

Remaining positive and counting our blessings are familiar topics right here at Caminoheads and the stuff we deal with a lot but what can we learn something extra from a plumber or better yet plumber/philosopher?  What he was saying with “count my blessings” was that my problem was not the worst that it could be and I had options that are not always available to others.  I had room to maneuver.

And he said when trouble shooting the problem I  should remain positive about the potential outcome.  A best case scenario could be right around the corner.  Don’t get bogged down by all the “what if’s” or possible possibilities.   Just work through things one at a time and check them off the list as you come to them.  Sounds like a plumbing camino to me.

OK, and I have good news to report that we followed his advice and a best case scenario did appear in a very timely manner.  We are lucky or blessed or all three.  So, onward to the next project here at the ranch.  Live and learn as they say.

Sunny loves, Felipe.



A Cascade Of Roses


The view from my chair.

Right now sooo busy, a summertime frenzy of activity around here.  And as I eat my meals from my chair at the dinner table I am looking out at a rose bush that My Rebecca planted decades ago.  It so totally loves it in that spot that it outgrows the ability of the deer to eat it.  It outgrows my ability to civilize it as it climbs all over anything around.  I do my best to keep it from coming in the door and occupying our living room.  It is the very definition of happy plant!

And there it is now in the midst of it’s summer flowering right out the window from my chair at the dinner table.   Actually it is a little over it’s prime which was probably a week ago.  But that is making my point.  Am I, are we appreciating the many blessings around us?  Here is this crazy wonderful rose that is basically shouting at me to take a minute and appreciate before it goes into it’s fall and eventual winter.  Right now sooo busy.  Yes but, take a minute, some of the best things are sooo fleeting.

Catch’em while you can loves, Felipe.



“It Never Gets Old”

Never get’s old!


“It never gets old!”  I am quoting what Mary Margaret, one of my old Camino buddies said about walking and talking with her fellow pilgrims as she went into Santiago for the third time now.  Good for you MM!

It was like Christmas in June around Raven Ranch today.  A nice book showed up in the mail and a box of wine showed up.  Not wine in a box but a box of wine bottles.  Yes, thank you guys, you know who you are.

It’s a shorty post today.  I have a date to watch an episode of Father Brown with My Rebecca here in a few minutes.   They are “who done it’s” that always have trick endings.

Ok, all this Mr Rogers’ stuff has been really great.  It warms my little pea picking heart, oh wait that was somebody else.  Thanks for stopping by, love, Felipe.

From Cris



Our Cris

(Here is a comment from our trusty South American Bureau Chief.  The idea has surfaced recently that what we are doing here at the blog is running a Mr Rogers’ type neighborhood for, yes, Caminoheads.  So, here she is giving us her take on the situation. I love this.  She deserves a raise. )


Querido Felipe,

Yes, where is your cardigan???!!! I read something about Mr Rogers (actually about the movie), and i thought: wait! Phil and “us” are doing the same in Caminoheads!!! So yes, this is a neighborhood, we cross our paths walking, we get to chat (via the comments or mails or Skype calls), and then we get the salon, it is like the kitchens in the neighborhood houses where we meet for a coffee or a drink and we have our debates… or maybe like the nights in the albergues, in the comunal meals or the noisy restaurants that had pilgrims menues… there the talks just happened and we had revelations!

How good it will be if we could all get back to the neighborhood idea? Wouldn’t it? And by the way, I didn’t watch Mr Rogers ever… it was not aired here, but I listened to Yo Yo Ma saying that the thing he was most proud of was having appeared in Mr Rogers and then, I looked up who he was… truly I would have been very proud to be one of his kids!

Neighbor love and pilgrims love,

(Yes, where is my cardigan?  We are learning to treat each other like we learned on the Camino.  Once you get that it doesn’t go away.  Alperfect as usual, Mr Felipe.)

Wonderful Guests

As we travel…


Sometimes people can have such bad problems and still have such good outlooks.   They seem to be able to process the situation over time and it takes on a different hue, a different tone.  A context shows up for them.  They see things differently than when they started on that journey.

I had some pilgrims show up yesterday that embodied that to such a degree that it inspired me to the core.  And we don’t have to mention names.   We can deal in ideas and thoughts and inspirations, the tendencies that people have.

Somehow getting a handle on one’s personal suffering or the suffering of someone close seems to be key.  How do we find a context for the things that hurt?  How can we step outside of that hurt to find something vital to our overall being?

This blog post today is largely stream of consciousness.  I am not  thinking so much as relaying.  Sometimes I just have to go with that.

You are the best, thanks for showing up, love, Felipe.

An Week With Interesting Pilgrims Coming

No comments on my chip, like you chewed on that didn’t you. Well, no I didn’t!


You know that people come to walk Phil’s Camino the trail.  And summertime increases the activity.  I have been calling these folks my doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs.  Just as the Camino in Spain attracts such an interesting set of people so the Camino here does.  And what we do here I have likened to a salon in the French sense.  I see the mix of all these folks to be a rich brew and I get inspired and new ideas flow.  I get something important out of all this and pilgrims leave with little treasures I know.

Cris has been calling this a neighborhood.  I am liking that a lot, the Caminoheads Neighborhood.  I think actually she was referring to this blog but it works for the walk also.  Maybe the walk is part of the blog or vica versa.   Anyway sort of a Mr Rogers thing going on here now apparently.  Where’s my cardigan?

The sun is out and the sky is blue and we have a walk at 4 PM.  And tapas afterward of course.  My Rebecca might be home by then from her convention in Boulder.  That would be perfect.  But it is always alperfect anyway.

Well, I am going to mosey on, dishes to wash and weeds to pull.  Always good to see you here at the Neighborhood!   Be at peace.  Loves, Felipe.


A Chilly Morning

Pic in from Cris.


Here I am.  Getting a late start.  Just wondering how many cups of coffee it is going to take today to get off the ground.

We got a nice comment from Pilgrim Farmer John our old Caminohead buddy from Iowa and our Heartland Bureau Chief.  He is deep into growing corn right now and trying to get an accurate count on just how many grandkids he actually has.  Love you man!

Which brings up the fact that sometimes some of our communication falls through the cracks sometimes for whatever reason.  I don’t always get an answer to someone’s query or request.  I have more traffic than I used to have and it is a challenge to keep up.  So if you think that I didn’t answer your email or message fire it off again please.  Stuff happens mostly in the fat fingering department to screw things up.  Thanks for your patience.

Off I go!  Oh, here comes the sun, loves, Felipe.


A Cloudy Friday

Heart potato chip, how’s that?


Overall summer is getting a rocky start this year.  Must be some bad switch somewhere in the works.  Looking out the big window at the treatment center Downtown Seattle is in the distance.  And there is St James Cathedral.  And there is a seventeen story building going up on the footprint of the old one story McDonald’s.  And the sky overtop with it’s fifty shades of gray.

Yesterday we I was telling you that I was realizing our land, our little ten acres is a creation/destruction machine.  That is so much like my body these days.  My body is that same mixture or has the same dynamic.   I am having a hard time finding the words for this right now but seeing this is one of those overarching realizations that seems healthy.  One does what he can to keep everything in some sort of balance.

Yea, and back to thinking about the land, I will be back there this afternoon with time to get some things done.  I know you are probably bored hearing about this but it is the time of year when there is incredible green growth and most of my energy goes into weeding and mowing.  Need a couple of clones to keep up.

So that’s what it looks like from here,  it’s alperfect, love Felipe.

Short On Time

Thanks Jeannie.


Maybe just one thought today.  I have too much to accomplish on my one day off between treatment days.  We all know the feeling.

Just had a walk with a couple from the neighborhood that I haven’t met before.  It was lovely to have new Camino pilgrims:  new ideas, new connections which causes new chemistry.  They will be back I am sure, I hope.

But back to my one thought.  Steve-O has been here with his current flat coat retriever who is a giant puppy.  So that sez a lot, he’s big and powerful, playful and goofy, learning and making mistakes.  That’s the dog, Rasmus, not Steve-O.  Just wanted to clarify.  Anyway, we were all out and around the property and Ras picked up one of my handmade by Phil garden stakes and was carrying it around because that what retrievers do.  So he got bored at one point and started gnawing on it which is what puppies do.  And I in my old self or past self would have been mad about that thinking that that was destructive but the first thought out of my mind was, “Oh look, he is celebrating his teeth!”  See the difference.

The property is a giant growth and decay laboratory.  Or it’s creation and destruction together.  Or it’s celebrating and/or madness.  We have to at some point start to embrace those two sides of the coin.

Ah, up up and away, celebrating loves, Felipe.