A November Saturday.

At the Veranda.

Could that just be enough please. No parades or hooplas necessary, just ordinary time, thank you. The power is on, always a semi miracle or at least mentionable in November. The wood stove is cranking out btu’s. Kind of hungry for lunch is my only need.

Back from my Bible Guys and had a good meeting. We have a guest who is giving us a three week class about the Arc of the Covenant. Personally I am trying hard to keep up with it. My knowledge and understanding of things Old Testament is shaky at best. But these are the roots of our Christian faith and worthy of study. Just that I have a long way to go, need the “for dummies” book. There is an idea worth checking out.

So now I have to think about my afternoon at the ranch. Mostly lately it is about raking leaves and getting them corralled and moved. This is a major November project but the end is in sight as our trees are just about bare.

We have some company for a few days, one of My Rebecca’s cousins is here from the other Washington. So that’s been fun.
Unusual to have guests this late in the season but she is a hardy soul.

That was fun yesterday, the post of William’s Camino. Amazing the he did it silently. I never thought about that before. Is there some historic precedent for that? William help us out here.

OK. off I go. Help us out loves, Felipé.

William Our Northern Guy Blogs On, 11/15/19

For this blog I would like to share with you a little of my own Pilgrimage experience.

April 12th 2012 was day one of el camino.

The reflections afforded to he who walks without talking are life changing.

When I tied up my boots each morning I also tied my lips. Despite my
silence, I met people from all over the world. And the local folks I met
were kind, loving, generous. No common language spoken. Our communication
was done with eye to eye and heart to heart connection.

The elevation at the beginning was 200M/660Ft above sea level.

The sun shone as we climbed upwards on the way over the Pyrenees.By taking
the high pass one reaches the second highest point,1400M/4592Ft, of the whole Camino

As mountain weather does, it changed quickly from sun to a heavy
mist and rain. We took refuge in a nearby hostel.

A fellow pilgrim informed
me that four other pilgrims, two Irish/two Italian, had called him to say they were in danger higher up in the pass in a blinding snow storm. They were lost, cold and very wet.The Spanish authorities were informed, but as time was of the essence, I headed out in an unsuccessful attempt to find them. We had also contacted a local driver who was familiar with the area. He was able to drive along the small road that led over the pass.Luckily he found the missing Pilgrims and brought them back to the hostel.

Two of the four were within hours of dying of hypothermia. They were ill prepared for mountain weather.As this hostel had no heating, we arranged for then to be taken to a village with warmer accommodation.

That evening we enjoyed a wonderful Peregrino supper.

Day two started in the rain which soon turned to snow. Could only see a few
yards in front. When I left Calgary for this pilgrimage I didn’t expect a
winter wonderland. Each tree branch was covered in white and flowers poked
their heads through the white blanket.

Passed roaming wild horses. A cattle
guard indicated the border. Now in Spain. Downhill to a Monastery, our next
resting spot.

This Pilgrimage was clearly a very personal journey.

No two people will see it the same way.

It was like living life from birth to death and everything in between AND
beyond. I have not, as yet, found the words to describe the beyond portion of this journey.

It was kind / it was cruel. happy / hell. pleasure / pain.

All weather. rain–hail–snow–wind–sun.

All terrain– mountain–valley–flat–hilly–muddy–fields–rough
paths–smooth paths— village–town–farmland–vineyards.

Upon reaching the Cathedral in Santiago I was met by a very excited pilgrim
whom I had met earlier on the path.

“We are planning a party,I’ve bought a cake and we will gather to
celebrate—-. Immediately I felt overwhelmed with all the noise and the
people and the city. That’s when I realized the profound effect my silent
pilgrimage had on me.I returned straight away to the pilgrim office where I
had picked up my Compostela. Here the official gave instructions on how to
leave town and continue on my silent way 87 km to Finisterre on the far
west coast of Spain.

I then continued my journey on foot arriving in Muxia.

Like the rest of my Camino this final part brought within it some incredible experiences that I will never forget.


Another Book Report

“John Graves’ writing is invaluable … The reader who misses him will have missed much.” Larry McMurtry.

This is the second book by this author that I have read and I am hungry for more. My Austin, Texas buddy Dave gave them both to me and OK Dave you have me hooked. John Graves is the author and he may not be well known outside of Texas so you may never have heard of him.

And I suppose being a local phenomenon the author’s writing may be local and it is in that it is centered there. This one is about the Brazos River in north central Texas. But somehow his writing transcends also. He says look, look at the history here in this particular place and you the reader are curious and also spurred (good one) to think about the history where you are standing.

His canoe trip is three weeks long in the 1950’s and through an area of the river that is slated to be damned so he is saying goodbye for himself and for all of us really. But it is not an angry book but one that sees the peace in it all and that has a place for all the brutal details. I think that is what I like about it best.

His other book Hard Scrabble that I have reviewed in the past was about Texas also but had a different twist. It chronicles his later life with a tired piece of land that he had purchased and his attempt to heal it. The story is akin to Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac that you may have read or heard about.

So thank you Dave for enriching my life with these books and thoughts. Raven Ranch will be a better place for that. Seeing ourselves and our efforts in the context of history is a healthy thing.

enriching loves, Felipé.

Stay Productive My Friends

Something struck me this morning. A friend on FB whom I have never met but I know of wrote that he had “picked out his chemo read”. I put a comment on that mimicking the Most Interesting Man, “Stay productive my friends!”

Isn’t that an important part of life, to stay productive. Productive meaning doing something relevant, something meaningful with one’s talents. We need to fight the tendency to put our life on hold when touched by something like cancer. It is not the proper response.

We are needed through all this, we are not on holiday. It is important to remain engaged and interested in the happenings around us. This is practicing positivity. Being outside of one’s own problems is a sign of health I’m saying.

Yup, It was a chance little happening. Maybe I will met this fellow soon. We can compare notes on “chemo reads” and other positivity items.

Off I go. Make it happen out there. Yours, Felipé.

What A Game!

What it looks like the morning after.

I realize that not everyone is as enthusiastic as we are about our Seattle football team but we had one barn burner of a game last evening! We were playing that much touted San Fransisco 49’ers who so far had been undefeated, as in they won every game this season. And guess what we beat them in overtime in the last few seconds.

Yea, Monday Night Football is one of the greatest inventions of Western Civilization in my book anyway. A couple of guys would agree with me. And we are the winningist team on MNF, that’s what they said. I don’t have a clue why that is or how that works but we’ll take it right?

And we had lost one or two games so far this year, I forget. A good record anyway. But they are hard to watch. They are extremely nimble in their style and they are at their best late in close games. They always seem to win or lose by a few points. But to watch them is to learn about pose and resilience and just downright failure to panic. It is hard to explain but it is definitely there. That is why we are so fun to watch even though we can give you a heart attack or at least ulcers.

This must be a reflection of the personalities of the coaching staff and of Pete Carroll, the head coach, in particular. My big claim to fame is that I wrote him in on the last Presidential ballot. Still think he is a good choice.

Because of this excitement we get a lot of exposure. Monday Night Football this week and Sunday Night Football next week. Yea, no joke. We make good watching.

But beyond all that for me personally Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are inspirational in a way that helps me in my life. To be nimble and creative are important characteristics to use in playing the cancer game. Keeping your opponent wondering and off balance is a workable strategy.

that’s what I see in it all loves, Felipé.

A Blank Canvas

All yellow out the window.

It’s Monday morning and I am staring at my blank blog post and wondering the path to take forward. I guess that is true there is always more than one path forward. Like that positivity is a choice at any given moment. Never quite looked at it that way.

Some times are like this, to start to write with nothing particular in mind. Just working with my native self so to speak. A muscle in my right thigh is twitching, is that a good topic? Janet, a friend and we usually meet on Monday but not today because she is on a trip to the Holy land, that has possibilities. I had another dream last night, that’s good maybe.

I am in a period of dreaming it seems which has always interested me. Always equated it with growth or newness. I haven’t had a dream period for a while but that is the way it always appears. It comes at a time when I can’t even remember
the last time, a long spell it always seems.

But the dream itself was a weird one. I had lent my vehicle to someone and I was there to pick it up. It was a red contraption like a backhoe. Whoever left it there had parked it in a ditch and it was so carefully suspended and supported by parts of it. It was a thing of beauty the way it was so cleverly balanced in it’s placement. The front bucket was holding it this way and one of the out riggers was holding it
another. The hoe had the backend stabilized.

It was a puzzle for me to untangle using all the practical physics that I could muster. It was kind of a challenge that a hotshot son would play on his old man. I was expected to get it out of this situation and drive away. Hmm.

Anyway have to walk in a minute. Big big Seahawks Football game tonight on Monday Night Football against the undefeated 49ers which we all love to hate. Yup.

parking puzzle loves, Felipé.

My Cancer Ministry

I never thought of it in those words or terms but Catherine put those words on it this morning. I said does that pay good? She said no. Hmm. But the idea that my visits to the Institute have turned 180 degrees for me is an interesting phenomenon.

To find the joy in the mess of it all is a treasure. I have a friend Joy who writes to me about finding the joy. That’s good, right? Somehow things reach a tipping point and something different appears. Hmm.

How does that work? It is magical realism maybe. A sort of positivity and humor that pervades everything if you look hard enough. But you have to know to look, that is key. Sounds so elegant.

Well, Marine Corps Birthday today. I think it is the 244th. Sort of a big deal in certain places and with certain people, the celebration that is.


Sunday walk in a few hours. Catherine and Dana are coming and you know they are always fun. Remember starts at 1530.

Good Blogging Weather

Chickadee on Wiliam’s boot. Cool “little” things in life.

Yea, a rainy morning here on the Island. Most of us are hunkered down with a college football or basketball game on. The Farmers Market has moved to a more sheltered area, though they still have stuff to eat but toward the end of their season.

Yea, so we are here with the blog and I have redeem myself for all the shorty sunny weather posts that I’ve put out over the last few weeks. Now the serious blogging season starts. Now the good stuff should come out, hopefully.

Had a dream last night about three very tall men arriving at my house. Despite my original fear I did answer the door and went out among them. I had to have one of them sit down on the bench there as he was just too tall. Maybe this was a Father, Son and Holy Spirit trio?

They were moving me out of my house. And I was trying to clean up after myself and it was all very anxious with little time. I finally awoke and was relieved that it was “only” a dream and I could relax.

Seems as though I am going to die to something or move on to something else. OK, interesting. That is the way I am seeing it at the moment, Sort of heavy duty.

OK, what do I follow that with? Well, I am happy to report that I am finally seeing my visits to the Institute as a place for a salon. Just as the walks here have turned into a salon. Interesting people and ideas come and go and everyone prospers. That is an incredible turn as in time past it was hard for me to enter those doors. I would have to talk myself into it each time as chemo is such a chore. Now all of a sudden it is a joy to go in! Huh?

OK, so such is my life. Just reporting on the happenings as I try to navigate through this tangle. I am blessed beyond everything. Thanks for being here.

blessed loves, Felipé.

Rho’s Fantastic Friday Post 11/8/19

Aunt Charlotte

For the Blog:

In August of 2002, here in Ramona, a small housing development won the battle. An open field with three majestic Eucalyptus trees, one which had provided a home for a family of hawks for nearly a decade, all met their fate. To drive by that area now, one would never know of those tall sentinels which once stood there so proudly. In my desire to honor their spirit, I wrote this poem shortly after their presence no longer graced the horizon…

Remembering the Three

In a field near the road
Through the years we could see
Their branches lifted skyward
Towards the heavens I believe

The hawks in the air
And raising up their young
In the leaf cover of springtime
Their little ones from the sun

But those days now are over
Us their beauty in their scenes
These majestic three
The battle of man armed with machines

Their great bodies ripped out
Now piled pieces upon the ground
In their silence my heart
In the wind there is no sound

Will man ever stop
What nature so freely will share
And see the value in
Such things that are precious and rare

Soon new houses will be
To cover land purchasing costs
And I with much sorrow
That what once was, is now lost

Rho Densmore

More From The Institute

Debra Jarvis

Debra’s recent blog post

There a nice Camino story from Debra Jarvis. I finally got to met with her Wednesday at the Institute after she is back from the her Camino. And it’s more than a nice story. It is evidence of the great value of lessons learned there.

I’m not sure how long Debra will be blogging at that particular site but you could look there for a while. She definitely has more to say as she unpacks from her trip. We will be working with her here maybe also.

Then on Wednesday I got a chance to spend some time with a woman named Damayonti. I hope that our opening conversation will lead to more in the future. So, maybe more to come on that also.

Here is a good one. There is a ukulele club at the Institute that meets Wednesday afternoons. How about that? That would be a fun thing to do while I am there. Man, I have to get practicing.

OK, time to get in the saddle and get my day going. Think about the walk and tapas on Sunday.

Camino lesson loves, Felipé.