The Meseta Kinda

Kelly and me somewhere along the way. One of my favorite shots.
(photo unknown)

Here we are coming up on a year of hiding out. I can remember seeing the news report of the first 500 people killed by the Covid and thinking that we’ll get a handle on this soon. That didn’t happen in the easy way I envisioned. It has been messy and hard and it is still messy and hard and it has been long.

Yes, messy, hard and long like the Meseta. Yes, hard and long and yes messy. By that time on the Camino I had lost all my underwear as well as one leg of my zip together pants. And I was losing so much weight that said pants kept slipping down continuously. I was sunburned and windblown and every other compound word. Oh and plus limping. That’s how we showed up at Sarria to greet all the new shiny people. Yea, we were messy.

But we survived and the flesh wounds healed up. Now we are messy in other ways. I really don’t know what that means but I feel it is true. We have been through a lot and there is more to come but we all sense the light at the end of the tunnel. I just want to sit in a lawn chair in the August sun with you and just take it in. Nothing needs to be said.

Catherine coming, birds need to be fed and rosaries said.

morning loves, Felipé.

Wolf Moon

June 2020 version of Felipé.
(photo H Volker)

I was out before dawn this morning and finally caught a glimpse of the wolf moon through a break in the clouds. Gave it a howl which is what I’ve been waiting to do but just haven’t had a chance. Thanks Henriette for keeping me up on this stuff. Nothing like a good howl!

Brings back memories of the Meseta. Sometimes out there in the Middle of Nowhere with the wind blowing so hard one couldn’t think straight I would enjoy some great howls. Maybe a couple, three times a day. We were all wild eyed and wind blown out there.

A while back, sometime after the self isolating became a craze, we signed up for some help from the local food bank. They deliver a shopping bag of groceries every Thursday afternoon. To show you what a great place Vashon is to ride out a pandemic they had rack of lamb in this week’s bag. Yea, this is tough! We hadn’t had lamb in years and enjoyed the heck of it. Those wolves know what they were doing to target lamb, racks and all.

le lobo loves, Felipé.

Sore Arm

This Mexican cross a gift from Catherine. My sore arm is on there somewhere.
(photo P Volker)

Just whining about my vaccination wound. It’s not quite bad enough not to go to work though. Have to suck it up.

Yea, so the actually vaccination procedure was overall pretty painless. The local pharmacy teamed up with the local emergency preparedness group to put together a drive by situation that worked. No muss, no fuss. So My Rebecca and I are pretty happy with our selves that we navigated through that whole obstacle course.

There was a great story on FaceBook and the news lately out of Oregon. A group of medical folks were off manning a remote vaccination site. A snow storm started coming in and everyone had to pack up early and get hauling. The caravan of cars got stuck behind a jack knifed semi truck on a snowy road as they traveled toward home. The deal was they were carrying extra doses that were going to go bad. So they were out in the falling snow administering shots to stranded motorists til they ran out. And they had everything they needed along to make the whole deal kosher, in terms of personnel and record keeping. This was very cool.

ok, working on making it all kosher loves, Felipé.

Vaccine Day

Mask angels in the time of the pandemic.
(photo R Angert)

It’s Today! My Rebecca and I off to Vashon town to get shots later this morning. We are so excited. It feels like a big piece in the puzzle to getting back to normalcy.

I hear Bill Gates is working on preparations for the next pandemic. Personally I am glad someone is because I for one am going to be so ready to forget this whole episode. I will be so gone, so rear view mirror.

Was just looking on my family tree on my mother’s side and I see a child that died in 1920, my mother’s brother, my uncle. This could have been related to the Spanish Flu outbreak. Hmm. We are hooked into history by living in the times of these major happenings.

Then there is the problem of Spanish in the phrase Spanish flu. If I am wrong on what I am going to write someone let me know but I remember learning that the Spanish really had little to do with it. All the European countries had the flu and all those countries censored their news to deny that fact except Spain who freely reported it. So it appeared to most that the thing started in Spain when it is now believed that it started in the US.

Well, how much fun can we have with epidemiology? Let’s have our fun now because as soon as this is over it will be party time and we will be on to other topics and pursuits so quickly. We will be like the Jetson’s blasting of for summer vacation!

Hey, off to walk and feed the birds. They are chowing down this time of year and I can hardly keep up with them. The trail is pretty dry with almost all of the standing water dried up. Only one small detour.

small detour loves, Felipé.

Did Someone Say Tooth Fairy?

Me and Rho at the Venanda. So mark your calendars for August 20-23rd!
(photo W Hayes)

Wasn’t the Tooth Fairy in our conversation in the last few weeks? Yesterday I lost a tooth, yea, I want to cash in! Well, it was not just a tooth but it was one in the front, and My Rebecca said, “Call the dentist immediately.” I guess she has trouble dining with a snaggle tooth. I tried to point out the beauty of it in hockey terms, no go.

Anyway, still a lot of spill over from 2020 happening apparently. So be careful out there, we aren’t in the clear yet. One minute you think you’re cool and the next minute you start a unwelcome new twelve week long hobby.

Enough of that please. So, what’s the good news? Here’s some, Amanda Gorman is doing something as part of the Super Bowl celebration February 7th. Yea, so look out for that. Like can we really get enough of her? No, we can’t, is the right answer.

What else? I am officially right now announcing that the official name of the 2021 Raven Ranch August Party is the OASIS. Yes there have been rumors but this is the official deal. We are attempting to get together this year August 20-23rd. That is Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday just like the Veranda.

So, there is time to get our ducks in a row to make this happen for us. Get your vaccine and make a plan for travel. Carpe diem on this one.
I think that we will be so ready by August!

so ready loves, Felipé.

Finally And Hallelujah

June 2020 version of Felipé.
(photo H Volker)

My Rebecca and I got appointments last evening for the Covid vaccine. That sentence looks so innocent lying there in it’s coziness like that is all that is needed to be said. In reality it was nothing less than a grueling experience akin to escaping East Germany in the Cold War. Or maybe landing on a hostile shore in a Hot War. You know barbed wire , bullets cracking, mines, systems crashing.

This was like some diabolical computer dexterity test with life or death consequences. Sounds like some kind of Hitchcock half hour horror show. Maybe a Twilight Zone?

And this was our very dear local funky Vashon Pharmacy who employed some kind of over engineered screening program to help out, to make things fair. Well, the point being that My Rebecca and I were on the edge of our abilities to get through this thing. Not only that but the program would periodically crash due to overload and we would have to start over again. I think that we both filled out the burdensome thing three times from scratch.

You guys know me and seldom am I melodramatic or do I bitch about things but I am definitely bitching here. But not only for myself but for all kinds of folks that this would have been too much for. “Oh sorry, you are not up to snuff on our computer literacy, no vaccine for you.” Hitchcock!

OK, OK, enough of that. Anyway, our appointments are for this Thursday and then February 20 for the follow up shots. A Hallelujah!

way behind loves, Felipé.


The cover of Northwest Catholic Magazine from March 2015.

0800, this is when I usually start to write the blog post. Had breakfast and partial coffee but am not overwhelmed by news and opinions. It’s early and I have an hour to get some kind of snippet out to you before 0900 walk time. That’s sort of the engineering of the process but still need something to write about.

Around here that is largely solved by a couple of ideas. One is the need to report on my cancer journey and it’s ins and outs. Two is the saying that “once you reach Santiago your Camino begins”. We worked on the meaning of that for years and now I just report on my day to day walk. So that is Cancer and Camino and then the third C, Catholicism, has to be sprinkled in. That is a good way to put it because I never seem to be long winded about it but it is always there sprinkled in. Sister Joyce said that I resided on the mystical side of Catholicism. This I take to mean that I am more concerned with the experience of it than the meaning of it.

This morning I got up at 0500 to try and get an appointment for the vaccine. But that was closed on the web. Locally I think that we are out of vaccine so I will have to check in periodically. Yea, that will be nice to get out of the way but we wait.

A few years ago a fourth C appeared for us and that was Corn. I think Henriette had something to do with that realization. So, here and now there is corn news because I did get a window up on the calendar for planting this Spring. It is pretty far away now but I have had folks fly in to help and I wanted to do this for them. So that will be May 10-12. Yay!

So there is a little 4C update on this Monday morning. Walk here in a minute. There is a little blue sky out there peeking through.

peeking through loves, Felipé.

A Certain Peace

Virgin Mary and Child on the trail.
(photo P Volker)

A certain peace has settled over the land, at least as far as I can see and hear. I think that we all feel like we lived through a close call. And now we take a collective breath.

And then there is the pandemic. Crises aren’t happy to just come at us one at a time but now appear in bunches. Yike. Tomorrow morning I will be up early because the appointments for the vaccine here on the Island opens up at 0530. Would like to score a couple of those for this week for us. It is our turn being we are older than dirt and medically shot full of holes.

I would really like to get the Moderna shot since that is the company that Cris is associated with. But it doesn’t seem like there will be a choice. But thinking of you Cris anyway!

Speaking of Cris she really hates it when I write about American football. I don’t know what possibly could be wrong with it personally but I will make it short. But today is a huge football day with four teams playing to see who will be in the Super Bowl February 7th. And this year the Buffalo Bills are in the mix so I will be routing for them this afternoon!

Well Catherine will be here momentarily. Time to walk and say our rosary then off to church for Communion. What a great ritual, probably will miss it when real church starts up again.

peace be with you loves, Felipé.

Good, Bad Or Just Different?

I don’t know about that title. But we move on anyway. So glad about this last week in our country’s history. We followed the pattern of the handing over of power and got it done. Around this Vashon neighborhood there is a certain sense of peace which has descended upon us in spite of the mound of other problems. I think that this has given us some degree of confidence to continue working along.

Well, on the home front our corn seed has arrived. Delicious eating in August starts here. We have the seeds for the three variety succession of Sugar Buns (70-80 days to maturity), Bodacious (80-90 days) and Golden Jubilee (90-105 days). That should do it, hang on taste buds?

The big three!
(photo P Volker)

Looking forward to a good corn crop this year, God willing. Last year’s was so dismal and in keeping with 2020. But this is a new year and new ideas and energy will be pumped in to resuscitate the life of the project. As the light returns to our days so will the energy return to the corn.

Felipé in his lucky shirt.
(photo Henna Volker)

return of energy loves, Felipé.