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.


What A Beauty!

Our Caminohead friend Jeannie just took this shot.  She is here for a visit. Thanks Jeannie.


We went after the walk and tapas to the Pope Francis movie last evening.  That was My Rebecca, Catherine and Dana.  It was a beauty, very moving for us all.  If you get a chance take it in.  And it is not really a Catholic thing but a humanity thing.  He cuts across traditional boundaries to bring people together is what I see.  He is very humble throughout, a breath of fresh air these days.

The way I look at Pope Francis is that he is not your typical Pope.  He seems bigger than  the position.  He is someone that seems to transcend the current situation.  And even transcend Catholicism.  How does that happen?

I don’t think that there is a person alive that he doesn’t challenge with his message.  We all could do better, maybe way better.  But Papa is a compassionate man and he ends the film speaking about the importance of the smile and of humor in our daily travel as to lighten the his message to each one of us.  It was a nice touch.

The turnout at the theater could have been better.  I don’t know the exact reason for that but I think it seemed light for such a good film.  Maybe there is the feeling that it is a “Catholic” movie but I think that would be a mistake.

My Rebecca is off to Boulder, CO for the national gathering of the Threshold Choirs.  She has participated in it for years and it great that she has a chance to go to the big powwow.  These are small groups of women that sing for people that are dying to ease their transition.  What a bunch of angels, right?

Good to see you again.  Walk and tapas love, Felipe.



The Day I Dream Of



Under the cherry tree by the tapas table. You know that place.

What a gorgeous morning here at the ranch.  I am out in a chair on the deck writing you and it is the perfect temp.  And all the little birdies are chirping.  The sun is filtering down through the trees.  The perfect morning, thank you to our Creator/ Sustainer.

I feel recovered from the trip to Pacific Grove.   The trip back was trying and took a lot of energy with it’s all it’s flavors of glitches.  But I had plenty of opportunities to practice my serenity.     But here under the cherry tree by the tapas table all seems right.

We are hosting Steve-O and his dog Rasmus here for a few days.  Always interesting times.  They went claming and got some geoducks (goo-e-ducks) and we had pasta with clam sauce last evening, a local delicacy.

We have a plan for this afternoon and evening.  Our walk is at 4 and some folks from the mainland will be here plus Catherine and Dana.  Then tapas and off to see the Pope’s new film at the Vashon Theatre!

Right now Steve and I are going to put in some time in the corn which is teetering on the brink of weed-dom.  And a deer got in and thought the sunflowers were tasty.  It’s all a constant battle.  I need some minions, maybe a dozen please.

Well, you see the picture here.  Will be blogging from the hospital tomorrow.   The  two sides of the same coin.   But it is all do-able and with the right attitude, enjoyable.

Oh, the horses are here from next door.  Yup, well time to go and battle the weeds.  Have a great day where you are.  Summer loves, Felipe.

Monday Morning And A Report On Yesterday.

Annie and the Padre, making the world go round.


So, my flight is delayed two hours on my Father’s Day.  Am I complaining, well maybe a little?  It’s with the old pioneer spirit that we face these hardships.  Oops, delayed three hours now.

Here we go, let’s work on a post.  In Pacific Grove we were staying with the Padre and one of the other guests there was his old Camino buddy Father Steve.  He was between assignments and there visiting and resting up.  Father Steve and I spent time conversing as Camino people do and that was most rewarding.  Then he drove me down to catch the shuttle, thanks Father Steve.  

I just take advantage of opportunities like that to converse and bounce ideas around now whenever possible.  The Camino just appears sometimes and you have to jump on it and see where it takes you.  We need to be present to possibilities.  

It was fun to spend some time with Carol, who has handled me before.  That doesn’t quite sound right.  She was my handler on various expeditions in the past.  Always keeping me on time and in the right place.  She was helping Annie with all the details of the trip.  

Other familiar faces were there in the audience on Friday evening.  We are starting to have old friends wherever we go, especially in California.  Great that see all them.  And friends bring friends, so the whole thing grows.

I guess nothing majorly profound here today.  Just travel thoughts going on.  Oh, people are starting to fill up the seats around me at the gate, maybe there is hope for a flight.

Tomorrow is another day.  Miss and love all you guys, Felipe.

Back To California

The Padre, Annie and Father Steve at the Rectory patio.


Here I am camped out at the Rectory with the Padre and Annie and Carol.  It is not often that we have this crew together.  So, things are cooking.  We are having a relaxing day so far after the showing of SFSG last evening when we were working and that was the main reason for making the journey in the first place.

We were at St Angela’s in Pacific Grove for the film event.  There were easy hundred folks who came to see the show.  They sat and cried and laughed through the film and a great QandA afterward.  Very interesting to get feedback from the audience to our “new”  product.

Maybe there is a parallel to my relationship with two pilgrimages, one to Santiago and one to Lourdes, and with the two versions of Phil’s Camino.   I become so sort of loyal to the former in each case and then there is a new kid on the block and I have to make room for that.  Not only make room but try and encompass it see it for what it is by itself and then integrate it.

I have been wrestling with the two pilgrimages if you have been reading lately.  Yes, I am loyal to the old and I have to make room for the new.  And I am seeing the same problem or challenge should I say with the two films.  This is very clarifying, thank you.

Off to conversation,  love,  Felipe.



Off To Pacific Grove

From north to south away from the ranch.


So, glad that Annie called last evening and let me know that I am flying out today and not tomorrow.   Guess I was too busy to attend to important details.  So, flying on Friday and flying back on Sunday with Pacific Grove in between.  

Really looking forward to having the Padre with us.  Hope he is all rested up from the trip to Camp Lourdes.  Speaking of which there is severe flooding there.  The river which was raging through when we were there is 10 feet higher.   What a mess with all kinds of debris floating.  We were complaining about the rain and dreary conditions which was nothing really.  Now everyone is evacuated, well The Lady of Lourdes is still there. 

Right now have a window seat and always love that.  Looking down at an aircraft carrier in Bremerton.  Well, it is clouding up so that will cramp my style.  

Always wonder what sort of questions will come up at the Q and A this evening.  We are showing the new hour long version of Phil’s Camino – So Far So Good.  I know that folks will like it.  And it will be fun for me to see it in a little more completed stage.  Seen it four or five times and each time it is more polished.  Pretty darn exciting!  I’m going to miss all this when it all winds down but so far so good, right?

Ah, we are starting to descend.  Will check in with you tomorrow and let you know how it went.   High flying loves, Felipe.

One More Retro Post

Felipe in Lourdes.


( This is the last post that I have found in my notes and want to get it out to you.)

Go Tell It On the Mountain!

I am working on this at 4:09 AM Thursday May 24th with the fervent hope that Caminoheads blog will be repaired and be repatriated.  It is somewhere out there caught between a rock and a hard place patiently waiting to be released back to us.  Not having it has become an important lesson for me currently.

But life goes on despite the daily glitches.  We will be back in business soon and stronger than ever.  And equally importantly the unpacking from Camp Lourdes continues.  A major puzzle piece appeared to me yesterday at the hospital that I tripped over on my daily camino.  It appeared so obvious because of new found abilities on my part to see it that I brought there. 

I learned at Lourdes.  I learned about myself at Lourdes.  I am a new Felipe who sees his own situation in new light.  We live with ourselves so closely we rarely have a chance at a perspective that is telling.  

Someone asked My Rebecca in the last few days whether I saw any miracles there at Camp Lourdes.  Well, no it didn’t happen quite like that.  I didn’t see anyone with a “throw down their crutches” moment.  And that can be disconcerting if that is our only definition of a miracle, our only measure but consider: but that doesn’t mean that our inner lives weren’t changed.  And maybe those changes are not apparent til we return to our homes and communities and use these as a place to find  measure.  We can only see our new selves when comparing to the space our old self left behind.

That is what happened to me at the hospital yesterday when I stumbled over something that had been there for a while but I didn’t see it for what it was.  Let me explain.  Chemotherapy patients have a port where the liquid treatments can enter our bodies in a clean easy manner.  It is basically a small titanium gizmo that lies under the skin and it has access to the blood stream.  So at each treatment a small needle is inserted through the skin and into to gizmo so the treatment can be administered that day.  It is really an amazing innovation.  So this is sort of a permanent situation where on a different day the same port is there for access of more treatment through a new needle.  It stays in place covered by the protective human skin with it’s natural healing ability.

So my port was put in just shy of five years ago and I am so much at home with it that I don’t give it much of a second thought anymore.  But here is what is happening, the situation is worn out.  My skin in that particular place is not able to keep up with the demands over my time.  OK, but why?  Because that is longer than the vast majority of people get chemo except for iron men like Felipe. I see that the doctors and nurses are not used to this situation of having to give me a replacement in a new spot and therefore I am seeing my situation in a new light.  THE MIRACLE IS ALREADY HAPPENING!  I have had the blessing to be still here time after time to be treated by my medical team over this extraordinary time period.  Felipe the Ironman is still here on his feet to be the gosh darn amazing positive influence that he is.  THAT IS ALREADY A GOSH DARN MIRACLE!  

Graditudes in buckets that I am here and have great things to do with that time.  That fits together nicely in the cosmic equation.  You are a part of that too.  Thanks, love, Felipe.  

Retro Post 2

Felipe in Lourdes.


( Here is a good post that I wrote on approximately May 23 while the blog site was down.  Today June 13the My Rebecca and I are off to Port Townsend for a lunch date with some of the folks from the film festival who we met at our showing, was it two years ago?)


The blogsite still not being up is not going to stop us.  Here I am at the hospital and will hammer out some memories on my notebook and publish them later.  

One of the things that I noticed on our trip to Camp Lourdes was that the malades (sick people) seemed to be having more smiles on their faces as the week went on.  Well, I can’t say that was everyone but it was in general true.  Is this a sign that we were more at home with Lourdes, with Our Lady, with ourselves?  I am thinking that these are the kind of miracles that were occurring.  They were subtle but apparent.  

People were feeling more at ease in many ways.  And maybe ultimately the biggest challenge would be if we are to feel at ease with our problems, our maladies.  If we can find a way to use our situation to some positive ends.  What are we going to do with what we got?

Well, in other news, I found out an interesting thing about Father Tom my caretaker on the trip.  I often call him Padre or Padre Tomas.  I was so great that he agreed to go along with me.  We had fun being who we are and letting the rest take care of itself.  Not too many demerits were accumulated.  But what has come to light recently is that he is actually the long lost third Blues Brother.  Yea, how about that, right in our midst.  

OK, that’s about it for the moment.  I am off here in a few moments to get an appointment to put in a replacement for my worn out chemo port.  More fun to come.  

Tomorrow, love, Felipe.