A New Phase

Janet from yesterday’s post. Just got this recent pic of her in the hinterlands of the American West.

The weather guys are looking so hopeful with dry days stretching off into our future. Oh, I so need this to catch up on things. I got this deck that I am replacing for a friend. Got all the structure done and it is sitting there all square and in the right place. This morning I start putting on the prefinished cedar deck boards, the fun part. Then Wiley has a project next door at his place that I am trying to help him get along. That has been two steps forward and one back as some things tend to be. But the important part is that we are working well together even in the rough spots.

All this has to do with getting organized to go on this hunting trip that we were planning on but it seems all overwhelming at the moment. But we don’t have to go really. It would take a lot of stress out of our lives right now to say, “next year”. So we are at that point of being on the fence about the whole thing.

“Next year”, there is a concept for a stage four cancer patient. But we have done it. How many times can I pull this off I wonder? But my son talks to me seriously about next year, like yea, no problem. Ok then.

So, time to wrap it up for today. Henriette is coming later to walk and party, have to get my work done before then.

next year loves, Felipé.

A Weekly Phone Date

Fall pic from William.

Every Monday evening I have a phone date with a friend Janet in LA. She practices Qigong energy healing and I am lucky enough to get a treatment every week. Maybe we have been working on this almost a year now.

As I see it these sessions represent chances for me to align myself with the energy of the universe. It is tricky talking about things that I don’t know much about but I don’t know a lot about most things and I manage to muddle through. But the important thing is that we are working at it on a regular basis. And also it is a part of my overall treatment that I haven’t mentioned before.

So, it is amazing that Janet keeps showing up week after week to be with me on this. I feel deeply grateful for her continuing attention. And this practice is part of my overall
quest for overall well being.

So, it is special to have Janet here with me in this way. And I am not sure that I have a good pic of her. Maybe one driving our tractor when she was here last helping out around the ranch. I am not so sure I can dig that up this morning. I will have to ask her for a recent pic maybe from the trip that she took to Yellowstone.

Well, a walk in a few minutes. Looks like the rain has subsided conveniently. Starting to feed the birds again with the feeders along the trail. That is a sure sign of Fall.

for the birds loves, Felipé.

October Weather In October

Felipé with Pilgrim Farmer John.

Yes we are having weather that is October weather. Well, glad things are all as they should be. And as usual Felipé is whining about it. This is one thing that Catherine and I talked about at our Sunday Tailgate Party. She said something about here is was just a few days into the rainy season and she was already thinking about the Snowdrops that you start looking for in January and February, those beautiful little wildflowers that are the first to bloom even before the Crocuses. Yea, what whinnies we are.

I said yea one day it is the Veranda and the next day it is the rainy season. Yup, hibernation time. Well, maybe if I start my bitching early I’ll get over it sooner. But I know either way you don’t want to her about it.

Father David was back in the saddle again today after an unexpected absence last Sunday. He is feeling better and off to new beginnings. He is so beloved by us all his flock. Prayers for his continued wellbeing.

So Pilgrim Farmer John sent something in this morning about pilgrimage and National Geographic Magazine. There is something beloved by Americans in general. Remember that Russian spy that they caught because he was throwing out National Geographic’s in the garbage. No real Americans do that, the guy must be bogus.

“John Conway: good morning Felipe! as attested to by the enclosed photo, you can see that even the esteemed National Geographic magazine seems to have been awakened to all things Camino. it was prepared by no less than the executive editor of National Geographic history magazine. you seem to have set the world on a new refresher course. this issue of the magazine has Sumptuous pictures of churches along the Camino, including Conques, Leon, and Santiago. I don’t know if you subscribe to this magazine or not, but if not I would highly recommend you find a copy to purchase. “

Well, there is everything that I could get for you. John is pointing to an article or a whole National Geo magazine on pilgrimage that just came out or is coming out soon so look around for that. Thanks John.

OK, walk and tapas today starting at 4pm.

let’s all get wet loves, Felipé.

Karen’s Friday Post On Saturday


Greetings from Karen, Bureau Chief in England. I thought I would share a few musings on what pilgrimage means to me right now.

I’ve walked the Camino three times. I fell in love with it after walking the Frances four years ago and subsequently walked the Portugues and Finisterre routes. This year I was meant to walk the last 100km of the Via Francigena. Instead I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer and the year has been a treadmill of major surgery and chemo. It certainly wasn’t what I thought I’d be doing….

So when I was given the all clear a month ago, I decided to go to Spain. I can’t walk far but I can drive. So I’d visit some of my favorite places on the Camino, spend time alone and away from medical treatment and breathe in good food, Nature and sunshine. I booked to do an individual retreat at Flores Del Camino.

At almost no notice that retreat was cancelled due to a personal emergency. So I was left with no plans. Or rather my only plan was lunch with Ron and his wife in Astorga. I’m a planner. I like to know what I’m doing weeks in advance. And that is part of pilgrimage for me, letting go of that… being in the flow. That too has been a gift and a challenge in my cancer journey, when I’m present in the present I’m usually ok even if I’m doing side effects or fatigue.

I stayed a day in El Acebo, a couple of days in Las Herrias and a couple in Monforte de Lemos on the Invierno route. In each of those places I ate meals with peligrinos walking the Camino. The acceptance and camaraderie was incredible. That too is part of pilgrimage for me. The intense sharing especially combined with walking alone. In my cancer pilgrimage I’ve been blessed with an amazing group of women all of whom are fellow cancer patients. Sometimes cancer can feel a lonely path but not with my hope squad…

Finally I love the simplicity of life on the Camino. You don’t need a lot of stuff: you get up walk, eat, wash, repeat. And on my cancer journey, I’ve had to massively simplify what was a stressful and messy life. Letting go of my job which was something that I thought defined me was strangely simple in the light of my diagnosis.

So visiting Spain has reminded me that I’m still on pilgrimage. That rather than see cancer as a battle I can see it as a pilgrimage to myself and to God…

Karen Kelly CEBC.

Haunting Part Two

Felipé and William in August at the Veranda.

Good month for this topic, a spooky month. Look I have a definition from the big old paper dictionary:

haunting: adjective – poignant and evocative; difficult to ignore or forget: the melodies were elaborate and of haunting beauty.

Right, so haunting isn’t necessarily negative or positive it is just sticky. It is not necessarily going to make you feel good or bad it is just sticky. We got sticky for sure.

But I have observed that for me the haunting has changed somewhat over time. It has been five years for me since my Camino in Spain. So for a lot of those years I would longe for a memory of a real life physical event. That would be meeting someone, or seeing something or feeling some emotion. But now as my memories fade I longe for more of the general feel of the situation, the Way it was. The Way is was is on my mind now.

I am haunted by the closeness and camaraderie of the “flow of pilgrims”. And of course that is based on hundreds if not thousands of tiny real events that make it up. But only a few of those remain. Now I am more living in the Way of it. I think that is why we veteran pilgrims can relate so well to each other because we all live in that Way still.

Hey battery at 5%. Time for me to sign off. More soon.

we are the Way loves, Felipé.


I’m not sure it is a bad thing. Matter of fact it can be a good thing sometimes but I can’t come up with a separate word for that. This started yesterday when I saw Lindsey one of my awesome nurses at the Institute. She had sewn a Phil’s Camino patch on her pack and flashed it all across Spain. I said, “How is it going?” And she said, “I think about it everyday.” And what was she referring to? The Camino of course, I knew instantly the feeling.

Kelly used to say, “It’s all your fault Phil.” I had semi shanghaied him for his first time and then back home he thought about it everyday. It’s a haunting right?

Well, to console Lindsey I told her that, “If that’s not a problem, then THAT would be a problem.” It’s what came out of my mouth, meaning it is supposed to be a haunting!

Debra and her husband Wes are done with their Camino. They were here at the Veranda on that Saturday. Debra made her way across all the way to the last 100 where Wes met her. So proud of her. I told her that I would debrief her as soon as possible. I sense a haunting coming up.

Wes and Debra in Santiago!

hauntingly in love, Felipé.

Phil’s In Flux Walking Schedule 10/16/19

For the rest of October it is our summer schedule:

Monday 0900-1000
Tuesday 1600-1700
Thursday 0900-1000
Sunday 1600-1700

I am going to be out of town for 11 or 12 days so we have no walks Sunday November 3rd through Monday November 11th.

Then after that the afternoon walks start at 1530 (3:30) til spring.

Hope this all isn’t too cornfusing. Felipé.

Gracie Checked In

Gracie with Kelly and me. Having way too much fun, as usual.

Gracie was born and lives in Australia. It took me walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain to meet her. I was attracted to her smile first thing which set her apart in a gaggle of pilgrims and sunflowers one morning. I used to say that her smile could change the weather.

Ah, she sent a message yesterday, I presume from the east coast of Australia where she was the last time I heard. She has been on a journey with her music. Still need to find out more details.

So she is in a few scenes in Phil’s Camino as she accompanied Kelly and I for a few days up to Burgos. Then she was flying off to somewhere and Kelly and I went on into the Meseta, trudge, trudge. I remember how she went out of her way to walk us out to the western edge of the city to say goodbye there. It’s gosh hard to leave some people.

And most famously she was in the church scene in the film where Phil collapses. Yea, he fell into the Arms of Grace there in that little church in that little town along the Way. Somehow it was Phil who fell down and Felipé who rose up at that particular time and place.

So, you see it is so great that she checked in. Funny how supposed chance meetings on the Camino seem so lasting. Everything seems alperfect and in fact maybe it is.

walking on loves, Felipé.

Oh, Is It Monday Again?

William caving with the kids. What a role model!

I’m a little out of sync as our church service got cancelled yesterday morning. Father David not feeling up to it last minute. Prayers for the Padre. So Catherine and I wound up going out to eat breakfast at one of the local eateries. We seem to be able entertain ourselves no matter what. That’s a good pilgrim trait.

Lately I have been spending a lot of time with correspondence as in emails, letters and phone calls and I am afraid that it has been cutting into my blogging time and energy. Today I am sending a copy of Phil’s Camino off to the folks at Radical Remission. Lot of networking going on.

Also, coming up I and Wiley are trying to get away on an elk hunting trip something like the 1st through the 10th of November. So, there will be no walks scheduled during that period. I will put a formal notice up on Wednesday with the walking schedule.

And Wednesday I am back to The Institute for my scan, blood work and doctor’s appointment. It will be an all day affair. All part of my walk on the Cancer Camino.

Speaking of walking we are on our morning walk here in a few minutes. Seems like nice enough weather out, cloudy and calm. I am reading a little book on the basics of weather lately so I’m all about that right now.

OK, do the best you can on your Camino today. It all deserves your attention. Be with you later at tapas.

later at tapas loves, Felipé.