Snow Day

Beautiful afternoon!

Feeling pretty isolated here at the moment. About a foot of snow has accumulated here at the ranch so far from this storm. And another one rolling in tomorrow. The power and cable are down to the whole island. Gee wiz.

I got the 4 wheel drive Suburban out this morning for a spin around this end of the island. Catherine and Dana and I went down the road to help a friend clear off her greenhouse. What a chore, we were all exhausted. Good clean fun I guess.

This looks like the old fifty year storm to me. Originally I got stuck here on Vashon fifty years ago in a similar looking snow situation and never left. Oh, Wiley just called and the IGA up in town just got power, progress.

The sun is breaking through and it’s doing the winter wonderland thing outside. Maybe I should get some pix. Well, there is is for now.

Hunkered down good loves, Felipé.

PS ~ the power came on just in time to cook dinner!

Making It Through February

One of our fearless weathermen.

One of the major accomplishments in life is making it through the month of February. St Valentine’s Day sits like a little island of brightness out there in the middle of it all but two weeks before and two after to contend with. So, that is where I am today, working on my February.

We here in Washington we are waiting on a big snow storm to come in from the North. Waiting on the right combination of temperature and moisture to happen. The stores are half empty. My Rebecca just went in for one last load of supplies.

This one really took us by surprise. We all thought we were just going to just slide into Spring smoothly. But one more sticky wicket to go I guess.

Well, maybe I should take a look outside and see if anything else needs attending to last minute. Sorry to be so fixated on this one thing but I guess that is it today. You would think that there is nothing else going on in the world.

Struck on this loves, Felipé.

A Book From Michelle

by Todd Billings

Michelle lives down the road and has a family and a business down there south of Frog Holler. Yea. She has the time to come and walk with us once in a while and always adds to the conversation. Recently she dropped off this library book that she had read and that she had kindly renewed.

The book is entitled Rejoicing in Lament – Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ. There are some topics there. OK, know about wrestling, that’s a start. OK, learning about incurable cancer and life in Christ, yes. But rejoicing in lament, what is that?

The beginnings of the book go back to the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, where there seems to be a lot of alternating of rejoicing and lamenting. We don’t even use those words very much anymore. There is exploration of the Book of Job and the Psalms. The Old Testament is so rich and full and has such a strange texture for me. You need special 3-D glasses to read it sometimes.

But be that as it may the book opens up the doorway that we have already gone through. Not bragging mind you, but we have been living richly in the shadow of the cancer threat for years now. And not only that but when we separated healing from curing we did something major and life changing. And that is what the author is getting to here in a very slow scholarly way. A beautiful way too when he gets into this Old Testament mindset.

So, all great and I am bound and determined to finish it before the library wants it back. Thank you Michelle for looking out for us here. We need more of you.

Off to walk here in the snow. After that archery in the same snow. Hope we don’t loose too many arrows.

Lost arrow loves, Felipé.

About As Cold As It Ever Gets Here.

We need Mary to untie our knots.

We have nighttime temps in the low twenties and high teens. And then daytime it has been thawing and the combo has been deadly with the ice on everything. I’m pretty much here close by just stoking the fire. A good time to cook and work on the taxes.

Cris SABC just checked in. I had to send her an email asking if she was OK since I hadn’t heard from her in so long. But she is OK but working hard to take care of an ageing aunt. Please send a prayer to lighten her load. She is such a faithful servant.

I have a venison roast in the Crock Pot for tonight’s meal. Wiley and Henna are coming over to eat with us. It is a joy to have them close by. Yesterday I went over to Catherine and Dana’s to have dinner with them. My Rebecca was all engrossed in the TV and the political stuff of last night and I had to bail out and find me some peace and quiet. I guess we are playing musical dinners around the neighborhood lately. Nice to have such a situation.

More snow coming on Friday and Saturday. I’m getting a little too old and cranky for this stuff anymore. Maybe I should order my corn seed to get myself n a better mood, Yea.

See you soon hopefully loves, Felipé.

Weathering The Storm

Art shot from the ferry other evening with the great sunset.

Most things just aren’t the usual casual in a storm situation. Paying attention to manage any occurrences out of the ordinary. Right now we have some snow on the ground, icy roads, schools closed and all plumbing working. So, just a sort of winter vacation here at Raven Ranch.

People are starting to check in for visits here this Spring and Summer. Those are the casual times when we can thaw out from all this present reality. Remember the big get together here, the Caminoheads Rendezvous, is August 23nd through the 26th. Plan on being here for that for sure.

That time in August is the time of harvest and God willing, abundance. Sweet corn season here runs roughly from the middle of August to the middle of September. And tomatoes and other wonders are in full stride then also. The pastures are golden colored after two months of no rain. That’s our Mediterranean climate. They will green up again quickly in October.

But for now it is the opposite here and I can only dream for now. All hunkered down now when Mother Nature is at her sparsest. The cupboard is bare in many ways. Time to grin and bear it for a little while longer for all us God’s creatures.

Well, time to go. Need to check all the systems. Maybe I will get back at my books and taxes after that.

Hunkered down loves, Felipé.

Well, Phil’s Camino’s Not Closed!

Catherine came to walk with me this AM, bless her.

Snowy conditions across Washington State. It has been snowing on and off all night and we got maybe 3 inches here at our 300 foot elevation and more to come this AM. Schools all closed, kids happy. But what about Phil’s Camino? According to Steve NWBC, “We never close!” That’s right, Phil himself will be marching around the situation here momentarily.

I’ll take a few pix of things for you of the winter wonderland. And I would so love to come across cougar tracks or some such rarity out there. Well, you will be the first to know.

And with yesterday’s blog about remembering where we were fifty years ago at least one good comment came in on that. Diego from Lake Arrowhead remembers things here on the West Coast at that time. Well, check it out and maybe there is more by now.

Yup, guess winter is still holding court here. I’ve been longingly looking through seed catalogs myself thinking we were going to slide past this kind of activity, but no guess not.

OK, well, here I go. I have fifteen minutes to gear up. We never close, right Felipé? If I’m not back in an hour call the Mounties. Love, Felipé.

The Game, The Snow

Yea, the game coming up in a couple of hours. And it is snowing forty five minutes south of here. That’s what this afternoon is going to be flavored by, that’s my guess anyway.

Just having a conversation with My Rebecca about totally different stuff so maybe that will flavor the next few hours. Somehow at her church people in the congregation told about what they were doing fifty years ago. That’s interesting.

My Rebecca’s memory of that time was being at the Vietnam Moratorium in DC but that was actually November 15 of ‘69. She remembered it as cold but it wasn’t spring but fall and close enough really. I was just getting out of the Marine Corps as of November 9th. Crazy times.

This blog post just may not come together, a sort of half baked affair. Yea, I guess fifty years from now we can look back to this day as Felipé’s famous half baked affair. That’s good.

Fully baked loves, Felipé.

Yes, A Day Named After A Rodent

My Sasquatch library card.

I’ve always found Groundhog Day curious. What is the deal here with this occasion? Are we this addled by the continuous winter weather that we are grasping at this straw? Do we need the humor of it? Was it the beginning of the hope for an incredible Bill Murray movie? I have never quite put my finger on this one but let’s not let that stop us.

Saturday and am resting up. We are bracing for some cold weather and maybe actual snow in the next few days. I know that is all wimpy sounding after the Midwest winter of late. But we have Sasquatches and Yetis to keep warm, they are delicate by nature and oh so rare. If the east coast can have clairvoyant rodents we can have our critters then, right?

Well, time to get on my work clothes and get a little done outside. The rains have subsided and left their puddles but the sky is bluing up this afternoon. Here I go. The best to you. Bluing up loves, Felipé.

Keeping It Going

May 2018 at Lourdes. Padre Tomas with one of the Dames from Order of Malta.

My Rebecca came home from the local library with a film that we actually finally got to watch last evening. A lot of evenings I am too exhausted to last a full length movie. But I made it through this one easily maybe because it was such a quirky one and successfully kept my interest. And then another sign of a good movie is how much are you still thinking of it the next day.

This one is entitled The Orange Thief, A juicy tale from the mountains of Sicily. You will have to see it sometime.

And I got finished with my book on the history of the Templars by Dan Jones. That is highly recommended although hard to read at times. I have done a lot of reading on the Hospitallers, the Knights of Malta and now the Order of Malta. They were parallel orders and both started with the goal of keeping Jerusalem open for pilgrims.

And the Order of Malta is still around after 900 years. They took me to Lourdes last year on that pilgrimage in May which was a memorable experience. And also one of our very own Caminoheads Jessika is working on entering the order as we speak. So they are keeping it going.

Super Bowl weekend coming up. Beer and Buffalo Wings on the menu. Looking forward to have someone beat New England one of these years, you know what I mean.

OK, lunchtime here at the hospital. See you all tomorrow. Only the best loves, Felipé.

A Long Letter

Crazy wild sunset over Vashon last evening from the ferry. Mother nature was trying to make it up to me after all day in the hospital without nary a window.

Rho was here in the snow last year but I was so sick. She walked alone.


Rho teaching archery in Italy.

Hardly anyone writes a longhand letter anymore as we are so hooked on our keyboards, as I am doing at this very moment. Yesterday a small package showed up with a long letter and two precious items from Italy. The letter wasn’t from Italy although the author has special ties there. No, but it was from Rho SWBC in San Diego, CA.

It is just swell seeing handwriting as it says so much even without the meaning of the words and the meaning of the ideas. Sometimes our Caminoheads leave Comments on the blog and sometimes they write emails and sometimes letters. The letters being the rarest seem to hold the most value. Thank you Rho.

She spoke of writing poetry and about sometimes pieces are written in five minutes, sometimes years and some never finish.
She spoke of Mother Mary and her relationship with her. She filled me in on the Icon of the Lady of Loreto and a vial of healing oil from the same place that she enclosed. Rho said that she had a healing experience there but didn’t explain. Would love to hear the rest of her story someday.

But you see, I named Rho our Southwest Bureau Chief and she had little idea of what that meant or what she was supposed to do. But do you see what I see? She just is a gem of a person and her sensibilities I wanted to hold close to the neighborhood here, our Caminoheads blog. Our place where we try and keep the flame alive for ourselves and others. Thank you Rho for just being you.

OK, off to my day. Miss you all. Love, Felipé.