We Have A Mountain!

Jessika doing homework sporting her White Buffalo hat.

Yes, a beautiful day and Mount Rainer (or in local vernacular, “the Mountain”) is out in all its glory. It is one of those days that we dream about all winter. But you are probably tired of hearing about that. One of my favorite themes I recognize is the rainy winter, so enough of that.

Sunday and Mass was special although it is the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time is just a strange concept that takes a while to get used to. Part of the wild and wacky world of Catholicism.

Things are starting to heat up for the Veranda get together. I just want to let you in on something. If you come you get to hang out with folks like Jessika who is sitting next to me here right now. She is coming up with one great story after another distractingly the heck of of me right now as I try to write.

OK, I am out of time. I will blame it on her. See all you folks tomorrow. Sunny loves, Felipé.

Just Two Things

Thank you Kurt Koontz, FaceBook friend.
Thanks Andrea Vitiello, FaceBook friend.

It seems to be one of those non verbal days for me. So I’m sending you these two great pics that sum it up for me today. Wishing you the very best, love you, Felipé.

Veranda Info 6/28/19

Some of My Rebecca’s roses.

I am going to round up some information that will be helpful for your pilgrimage here to Phil’s Camino. Thank you so much for RSVPing. Things are looking unbelievable!

Here is the contents of a post of a few weeks ago:
“ As of now we have 30 (now 50-60) folks who have RSVP’ed and I know of 10 more that are local mostly. So we are still counting. Fifty would be a nice round number for us.

This is a gathering of pilgrims and pilgrims are resourceful and flexible so that is how I am envisioning things. We don’t want to over plan this thing but a few things are becoming apparent.

Transportation: Uber to Fauntleroy Ferry Dock, West Seattle from Seattle International. We can pick you up on the island side. Or if you can afford a rental car please do that as we need a certain amount of vehicles. GPS on Vashon to our address: 24228 Wax Orchard Rd SW.

B and B’s: There are bunches on the island but need to make reservations.

Camping: We have lots of room for tents or RV’s. We will have a portapotty or two. We will have an outside kitchen for food prep.

Eating: We are going to be outside. Propane stove and bbq available. Fire pit available. We will have outside kitchen and tables and chairs. We will have paper plates and napkins and condiments. Food will be a potluck situation. Stores and restaurants on the island to pick things up. Will have ice chests. Need to figure out coffee. Food that we have from the island: sweetcorn, apple sauce, venison chili and blackberry jelly.

Activities: walking Phil’s Camino of course, some live music, setting up a few tours at various sites on Vashon. I am going to ask each Bureau Chief to have a little ten minute presentation and then there are other celebrities who will want to address us I am sure. There will be plenty of time for telling lies and tall tales.

Donation: I am asking a donation of $10 per day for your party/family or $5 if you are alone to cover expenses.

Helping Out: I am asking if you are coming for the four days if you would kindly act as a Hospitalero for one day during your stay. Things need to be accomplished and that seems a good way to make that happen.

Questions: [email protected]

OK, there is a bunch of stuff. Also, just found out from Annie some exciting news. Are you ready? We are going to be able to watch Phil’s Camino, So Far So Good on the big screen here on Vashon while you are here. That’s the longer new version. Love you Annie! She lined up a matinee on Saturday August 24th at high noon at the Vashon Theatre. The tickets are $8.

Thanks for being here loves, Felipé.

A Little Help From Confucius

With you

On FaceBook this quote showed up,
“You have two lives.
The second one begins
when you realize
you only have one.” Confucius.

I have never zeroed in on a quote from this guy before but this one is speaking to me loud and clear. It is taking me back to writing to you about cancer. This blog is supposed to be about Cancer, Catholicism and the Camino. It is usually more often than not about the Camino in one form or another. But traveling backward to reach the cause of that you quickly find the other two of that trinity.

Catholicism for me could be termed a bridge between the Cancer and the Camino maybe. But the cancer diagnosis was the spark that started the whole thing ablaze. In various talks I have termed it a catalyst and that really is non judgmental. It can cause a change is all I am saying. And it’s usually seen as a big deal so it can easily cause a big change. But that change can be a good change as this quote points to.

That is an amazing phenomenon really. But it makes sense that we need a jarring announcement to shake us awake. It’s the old 2X4 to the head that sends us into another dimension.

But it does spell disaster and doom and gloom to people too attached to earthy concerns and earthly logic. It is death come early. It is more though. It is the death of great expectations. And isn’t that one of the lessons of the Camino? We learn that our expectations generally get us in trouble. Life just isn’t that predictable, it is twists and turns and plan B’s over and over again. We know that.

Off to walk. Patches of blue sky and occasional rain drops falling. Traveling together loves, Felipé.

The Veranda on The Horizon

Sunset over Vashon Island.

Excitement builds with each day. Things are happening and I am getting the idea that we have one hum dinger of an event coming at us. Hope that you can come and be with us.

Our RSVP’s are around 40 now and I am guessing that we hit 50 at the high point of this. This event will span four days because I wanted a big target. If you can only make one or two days please still come.

We are celebrating our relationship with the Camino and with each other. Something great is going to come out of this. That is the feel of things lately, synchronicity abounds.

Just want to talk you up today. I cherish each and every one of you. It is so great that we have developed this friendship so far and we are on our way to bigger and better things. Thanks so much.

Holding you close loves, Felipé.x

Corn Report

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can!”. w

It’s a crazy looking corn patch this year. I have this image in my head how it should look. Maybe like an add for chemical fertilizers where the whole field is totally packed with huge clones. Kind of an Arnold Swartzenegger look alike contest. But this year it just doesn’t look anything like that.

Sometimes you have to give life a “so what”, right? I continually shoot myself in the foot with my expectations. When will I learn? Anyway, I think we are feeding half the deer in the Island. They really came through and thinned things out. Fortunately the corn plants get too tough for them about this time, when they get to a certain size. They are sort of picky eaters.

And the good news is about a third of it is definitely or defiantly knee high. So we are happy to be a little bit ahead of schedule. Yup, it is art and a science this corn raising. Every year I seem to make or encounter a different mistake. So, to sum up then we are a little light on quantity but we are

OK, we have the afternoon walk today. Levi and his cousin Michelle are coming. I sat next to him on the plane on Sunday. And I knew that I was going to like him because when I first saw him he was using my same phone. You know that phone that I have, the old slide phone, the one everyone is always laughing at. Yea, well, we gabbed for three hours and the flight flew by. Good one, huh?

Yea, so he had walked the Camino recently. That’s all you really have to know right there, right? And you know that gets out of hand quickly.

Well, I am going to pack it up here. The corn has a couple of more rows that are being enveloped with weeds and it needs to be Phil to the rescue.

happy Tuesday loves, Felipé.

Back To You


Yup, back at the ranch in one piece. I have just a few moments before the walk and the rest of the flood of the day’s events. Looking forward to peeking in on the corn situation here shortly. Will give you a report tomorrow.

Ahh, the weekend was so much fun and so rewarding. Somehow we seem to put a cherry on things for some folks and this group really appreciated that. We had a great bunch of friends, helpers and handlers present to share the load of the project leaving Annie and I energy to work with the attendees who I think got more than their money’s worth. All this is very rewarding to understand that we are making a difference in people’s lives. (and they in ours)

So look, short session today, corn report tomorrow. Time to take on the day loves, Felipé.

At Manhattan Beach

West Drift Hotel.

So far haven’t seen hide nor hair of a beach yet but still looking. I have a belief that I can get a blog post out from anywhere and under any conditions and I am here with a few minutes in between things at the hotel restaurant. Big windows overlooking pool and golf course. If Mama could only see me now!

Our showing and presentation went awesome yesterday. Probably the best that we have ever given. We fine tune it each time, not that it is always the same. It is always spontaneous for me, for us, and I tend to go where the audience wants to go. I am being there for them and their concerns. So, the richer the group the richer the meeting. And by richer I mean the more folks that are actually involved currently with cancer, patient or caregiver, the more we get into the nitty gritty of it. It is not theoretical for these folks. It is all too real for them and they appreciate what we have to offer the most.

It is extremely rewarding to interact with this kind of audience. They are hungry in a way that reflects their situation. It is beyond politeness or beyond causal interest, it is shared experience stuff that is at play. We got a club going.

Am I spending too much time on my iPad mini, that is what I am asking myself? Last evening I nodded off while working on it and woke up to the phone ring on Messenger and I had called Cris in Buenos Aires in my sleep. Hmmm. Not that talking to Cris is a problem but yike.

Here is some bonus info. Several people have asked me about some of the things that Dr Zucker was talking about on the documentary. As in who was he quoting? Just got this, Irv Yalom, poet. So there, will have to look him up.

God willing I will be back to you tomorrow from the ranch. Just have one more thing to do here at the conference and will be off to the airport.

Safety third loves, Felipé.

Saturday Morn

Annie and I last evening.

All checked in at the 2-Day Cutaneous Lymphoma Patient Conference here in Manhattan Beach, California. We go on stage at 2 this afternoon with a screening and Q and A session. So, I got time right now to be with you. I found a semi quiet corner overlooking the golf course and the cement pond.

I’ve got my name tag on and underneath my name is the title Cancer Commando. I like it. Here to beat up the bad guys and liberate the good guys! Or a least give them all a good talking to.

Man, there has been some excellent posts bouncing around the Comments these days. Check those out, they are for all of us the way I see it, kind of like a FAQ page. People that need to have private conversations need to email. Sometimes the real action here at Caminoheads is at the Comments which could be the case right now.

Annie and her husband Quint are here. Shari Annes and Handler Carol are showing up shortly. Janet, my energy worker, is touching base later today. Drs Asher and Wertheimer are showing up tomorrow to give their presentation on the GRACE Program, “Growing Resiliency and Courage”. Really great to be with this group. More news later.

Standing up to it loves, Felipé.

From Cris

Crazy wild Sunset with a capital S. Vashon in the distance.

“Hola Felipe,

This is quite a profound post… one it is good to read today…

“It is the place where we may find ourselves after we have spent a lot of time and effort trying to avoid. The place that is the opposite of our best dreams for ourselves and our loved ones.”

That is the worst of the struggles, isn’t it? And that is the one I have the hardest difficulties to deal with… We work so hard, we trust so deeply, we keep the hopes, and yet, the point we come to is one where we have to reconcile with the fact that things are not going to be as we want…

But, at times (not always, I must admit), I can see what David Whyte may have meant when writing “what you can plan is too small for you to live”… Who of us dreamed to meet each of us? Who of us thought the Camino would change us so deeply? Or in your case, have a movie? Or even better, that walking in your backyard to recover from cancer surgery would open this world to you? Or me… find a friend like you (or Rebecca, or Jim and Gloria, or Catherine and Dana, or PFJ), so far away from home? And honestly, trying to get ready for our “get-together in the Veranda”, I was thinking how that started and what is looking like it will be… and certainly, this phrase “What you can plan is too small for you to live”

I think we must trust (I know I MUST, and specially these days) in this other phrase of another David Whyte’s poem that calls that “Everything is awaiting for you”… and in this “Everything”, different from what we dreamed, there is a lot more than we could have ever imagined. It is a practice to see this… but a good one for when the “Everything” we see hurts deeply.

Keeping the grateful eyes Love,

This is Cris’s comment today on, Some Blue Sky, yesterday’s post. I was talking about how my buddies were stepping forward with stories of how they encountered “bad luck” and what they were doing about it. They weren’t all “succeeding”. That is the central theme of that meeting as I put together in my own head. We all find ourselves in these “bad places” if we live long enough.

Cris does a nice job of following the thread that David Whyte has laid down about our lives being way more than our puny imaginations, dreams and preparations. And that brings both “good” and “bad”, right? That is what we have to see and deal with at a certain point, the realization that life with a capital L is totally out of control. Well, our control that is. And that is scary as hell for us.

Well, of course, there is the flip side of the bad stuff, the blessings that arrive on our doorstep. The “bigger than life moments” that occur for us. But that is what Cris is saying that when you are living Life with the big L you are open to all of that. Wowie Zowie!

Wowie Zowie Loves, Felipé!