More Hummingbird Stuff

Cherry tomatoes are miniatures.
(photo P Volker)

The moon is in it’s waning crescent, 15% illumination.

Well, Kevan from England said that there are no little birds in Europe. And Cris reports that there are lots of them in Argentina all the way south to Patagonia. What about Asia and Australia?

I know one thing, miniature anything are cute and appealing. Miniature horses, doll houses, chicken wings, Phil’s Camino. Yea, we just love small versions. Well, I don’t know about bedbugs and viruses, maybe not everything. But most times it works.

Phil’s Camino is cruising along. Transition time when we are starting to feed the birds again and make the afternoon walk earlier. But folks show up. I have two folks from out of town coming this Sunday whom I have never met. But the Covid has put somewhat of a crimp on our proceedings. Maybe overall we have half as many folks as normal. But we continue.

I got some more rototilling done on the corn yesterday afternoon. Maybe I could plant the winter clover on there and put it to bed. Then this morning buckets of rain and thunder, the weather is fickle.

Also I have a dental appointment this morning maybe I should pack this up and get ready. Oh and it was Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday so we need well wishes for those guys. William sent pics of snow in his yard so…

miniature loves, Felipé.

This One Hummingbird

Me with the wild flowers in Spain, 2014.
(photo K Burke)

The moon is in it’s waning crescent, 25% illumination.

Man, I got soaked yesterday walking three laps on the afternoon Camino. The weather has been on and off rain, October. But I was perfectly happy watching it out the window as I caught up on Sunday afternoon football on the Tube. But as the walking hour approached I started feeling guilty. So, I got over to the front door, opened it, pushed open the screen door and was observing the velocity of the raindrops hitting the deck. I’m waffling. Then. Then, this hummingbird dove down and hovered 3 feet from my face and looked at me. He seemed to be saying, “Well, we are out here!”

Here I was being lectured by a little bird that weighs a fraction of an ounce. Yea, OK, OK. So I got out there and got soaked good. Got to see a nice buck in the south pasture. He was out there.

And no one else showed up to walk in the rain. But that’s OK, it is what I am here for, well at least part of my duties. And what’s a little water anyway. And it does mean that the local Fire Chief lowered the fire danger from high to low. I could do that job!

Walking in a few minutes. The sky is gray but it is dry for the time being. So we are walking on the Frances again and somewhere around, what was that very first place where we saw the fifty eagles? Orisson! We will be there after our three laps this morning!

fifty eagle loves, Felipé.

Thinking About The Moon

The littlest girl in this old photo is Ruby Brink. There is a restaurant named after her on the Island.
(photo from Sue Hoffman)

Waning Crescent, 35% illumination.

Moon Phase Link

Today’s phase is waning crescent with 35% illumination. I saw it through a thin spot in the overcast sky earlier this morning. Yup. the left side is lit.

Henriette came down to the Institute on Wednesday to gab. We went over to a coffee and donut place for a snack. We were thrilled that the lady ahead of us in line paid for our stuff. So we paid for the gal behind us. That was fun! First time I was involved with one of those deals. Anyway, I don’t know what led into her talking about the moon. Her point was that she didn’t or couldn’t pay much attention to it. What was all that waxing and waning? That kind of stuck with me.

Our lives are largely of the indoor variety these days and we loose track of natural phenomena. If we were more creatures of the outdoors all this would be important and noticed constantly. And remember we have learned that noticing is an important practice? We are missing something important not being in touch. We are swamped with data every second but we don’t know the phase of the moon seems odd to me all of a sudden.

So, I thought maybe this moon knowledge could be included in the blog everyday as a nod to the natural world. You know I still remember the phase of the moon when we were in Viana, Spain in 2014. It was first quarter. This was the day I was knighted by the Princess of Viana.

OK, off to say my rosary and run up to church for Communion.

waxing and waning loves, Felipé.

In The Middle

This last Thursday morning walk. Starting of from St Jean Pied de Port. That’s Jen, Felipé, Kelly and Rick.
(photo R Graves)

Yea, the big storm is here. Rain and rain and some wind. The ravens don’t care though, I hear them now communicating. We sort of mind though as it feels like the closing of the curtain on Summertime.

But I have a project going out in the shop so I will be sheltered and content. We got the roof fixed over there and a new supply of firewood in place, all ready. I am building two exterior doors for Jen’s new art studio. Found some nice white pine to use. They will be sturdy
and full of character.

That’s like us, sturdy and full of character! At least that is what we should be shooting for. Those are the characteristics that will get us through these crazy days here in the States. It is hard to describe all the disorder that is occurring here in 2020. It is most like a storm, a weather event, yes.

Cris our CSABC and Catalina our Caminoheads Historian had a big confab yesterday. We are working on the “blog book”. We need a working title don’t we? Anyway, things are moving along. The process of converting from a blog to a book is most interesting. We are muddling our way. Oh, we are doing way better than that!

Well, I think I will mosey over to the shop and get things started for the day. Hang tough and keep centered!

sturdy loves, Felipé.

From John, The First Born

John in the center of that flock of pilgrims.
(photo unknown)

Birth Days and Death Days

Depending on when El Philipe posts this substitute blog, you will be reading this either on my birthday, or the day after. Those particular days are usually pretty low-key in the Conway casa, saving the real excitement for the grand’s birthdays, and Farmer Cathy’s of course, the Queen of la casa. There is an aura of poignancy for that day this year, however. For on that day 74 years ago, my Dear Mother would have been in the difficult process of delivering me, her first born son. Just exactly one week ago, turned out to be her Death Day. Even in the last years of the 99 she spent here on earth, she would remember to call me and wish me Happy Birthday. And now that day will come tomorrow and there will be no phone call from her. I’m not sure why the irony feels so heavy thinking of her condition all those years ago. She passed so peacefully away in this year of 2020, but in the year of 1946, there would not likely have been any really peaceful nights or days in this time period, given that I was a week or more “overdue”. She wasn’t conscious or cognizant enough to have been thinking about that birth all those years ago in these last days of her earthly life, but the two of us had talked about it on more than a few occasions.
How connected are they, these beginning and ending days of each of us? Blessedly, there are no events as secret and unknown as that day in all of our futures when we, too, slip the surly bonds of earth and move on to whatever is next. Mom’s goal had been “to live to be a hundred”. She may have had some strong premonitions about when her Death Day was going to be as she decided on her 99th Birthday that it was actually her 100th, and we had miscounted. She was quite adamant about it, stating often, “Well, dammit, I should know how old I am!” We couldn’t argue with that, and heartily wished her “Happy Hundredth” while cutting up her “Happy 99th” Birthday Cake. She took that mantle and ran with it, telling all her fellow residents, “I’m a hundred years old now, you know!” It gave her pride and pleasure, and we weren’t about to burst that happy bubble. So, Mom, and this 74th Birthday of mine, I’ll be thinking of your 100th. And smiling.

Starting Out Again

Yea, what a jewel!
(photo W Hayes)

I finally got a hold of Kelly, my old Camino walking buddy. I love Kelly! He is always really for a new adventure on a moment’s notice. I wanted him to be with us as we start the latest walk on the Camino Frances here in the “backyard”. Just like July 2014 when we started out like innocent babes from St Jean Pied de Port on the killer hike over the Pyrenees.

And Rick is supposed to come today also. Rick flew into Spain in August ‘14 to be with me on the last part of my Camino. He surprised me by bringing his daughter Maryka with him then to join us. It was a great time! And Rick will be here also today to add to the frivolity.

These days still I get weepy when I see Kelly and I gearing up to walk that first morning at SJPP on the Phil’s Camino documentary. How many times have I seen it? And I know it is coming and boom! Crazy!

That could have been the hardest day of my life. Or it is in the top three for sure. It took every ounce of our reserves to complete that walk. We were both on fumes when we coasted into Roncesvalles. There were times that day when Kelly egged me on and other times when I had to egg Kelly on. But we got it done in the end, it wasn’t by any means pretty.

On the last part which we walked downhill through the woods. The patches of clay were extremely slippery and a matter of fact that route was closed as the day before someone had broken their leg sliding around. But we went that way because we missed the warning signs. And the very last few miles when we were totally out of our minds was down and to the right as we descended. And there were no sounds of civilization coming in at all. And I would say to Kelly, “Come on man they are waiting for us can’t you here the corks popping!“ And Kelly would say, “Yea, I don’t hear the brass band, they probably got tired of waiting and went home!” Our good natured banter continued all our days there.

blue sky, just for us loves, Felipé.

Another Fall

My fav rose.
(photo P Volker)

Autumn again, I am so blessed. More time I get to be here. More time to blog and walk, walk and blog. Time seems precious sometimes.

I have a confession to make and that is I am lost in Italy. As you may remember we here at Phil’s Camino we’re trying to walk from Assisi to Rome. And somehow organizationally it never got off the ground. We have gone 250 plus laps on this journey and we must be somewhere near Rome by now I figure. But I never really did my homework on this one and I have to fess up on that.

So, we are switching back to the Camino Frances which is familiar to me and to many which means it will be better supported. So tomorrow morning at the 9 o’clock walk we will walk out of St Jean Pied de Port.
Kelly and Rick will be here to be with me for this ceremonious event. Back in 2014 Kelly and I made it from SJPP to Roncesvalles the first day of our journey. It was memorable. And Rick and his daughter Maryka were with me later on the in that adventure.

So, I am happy with anticipation. It will be familiar and we will have memories galore. So that’s the big news. For now I have to saddle up and drive into Seattle to the Institute. Dr Gold is waiting for me to show up.

falling autumn leaves loves, Felipé.

The Lazy And Ambivalent Bible Scholar Part Two

Here is hiking William high above the timberline before the snows come.
(photo W Hayes)

In yesterday’s post I got started on this topic. I thought maybe it was a complete idea but maybe there is more. I was going on about feeling like I was not quite fitting the mold anymore. I was just a half a notch off from the norm.

Today I am telling myself that is okay, there is a place for that. This Bible Guys class that I am part of is has a definite Protestant slant to it. So maybe that is the reason for me feeling semi out of place. I’m not a Protestant anymore and my Catholic drift has brought different sensibilities to the table. Thank you for letting me work this out.

One of the notions that has been big in my life that has shown up with the drift to Catholicism is the idea that for my practical purposes God has three main attributes. This is not a limit on God but it is a unfolding of my perception I would say. The three are Truth, Beauty and Goodness. So when we work with that we see that these are three pathways on which it is possible to get closer to God.

The search for Truth could take place in the study of the Bible or in other quests for knowledge. Beauty can be appreciated in many forms in our environment, a trace of God’s esthetic everywhere and it leads us to gratitude. When I think of Goodness I think of St Francis or Pope Francis, people that personify it and I wonder how to mirror that. This is all a very thumbnail sketch but maybe it is sufficient for now.

Anyway, my beloved Bible Guys seems engrossed in their quest for knowledge of God. And here is Felipé in a typical class day trying to follow along but dreaming of Beauty or contemplating Goodness. I wander into these other realms as the Guys march on. This is just where I am these days, not complaining but noticing.

Just as we as Pilgrim’s return to our old lives after the Pilgrimage and sometimes we struggle to fit in again. I am having this same feeling here. Somehow we have changed and it is unnerving since we like the familiar of our old situation. Can we live with this tension? Can we do more than just live but can we thrive with it?

learning to thrive loves, Felipé.

The Lazy and Ambivalent Bible Scholar

Isley all fired up this morning.
(photo P Volker)

I am listening to the fire in the woodstove crackling as I settle in to write. Our first morning fire. It’s like an old friend that I haven’t seen or heard from for half the year. October is here in all it’s fog and glory. I think I might be hearing a foghorn but it may just be the tricksters in my head.

October means football and we have a Seahawks game starting at 10AM. Before that Catherine will be here to walk and pray and we will go off to church for Communion. Sort of a prayerful football morning.

I finally got to my Bible Guys Zoom yesterday after missing it for two weeks. Have been going so long that not going leaves a blank space in my personal week. Yea, and we are working on the long list of miracles and we did the fish with a coin in it’s mouth. It is a very private miracle just involving Jesus and Peter and is a demonstration for Peter of keeping up with responsibilities in life and the province of God. To tell you the truth I don’t know if I ever heard of it before as it is not of the big hoopla kinds of miracles like the feeding of the four thousand or five thousand.

Anyway, Peter needed some extra training apparently so he was singled out for this lesson. But that is good as he will play a major role in the early church. Such a major player that we Catholics think of him as the first Pope.

I guess I needed some extra training also, that why I was visited by my friend Cancer. Not that I am causing any major waves in the world but perhaps I am lucky enough to be of some help. Somehow this morning as I did chores and hunted around for breakfast I was thinking about my lazy approach to my Bible Study. I have been thrown in with guys that really really hit the books. I seem lazy and haphazard in comparison. Somehow that seems to fit me but a somewhat rumpled fit it is.

We all approach God differently as our personalities dictate. No one right way as there is no one right Camino. Oh, I feel better now. I guess I was comparing myself too much with the serious students. They do let me hang around and they give me somewhat of a pass thinking all that heat and wind of pilgrimage has somehow altered me from the norm.

altered from the norm loves, Don Felipé de Viana.

Super Duper Walking Schedule 10/3/20

Back at the ranch.
(photo W Hayes)

Still on our summer schedule right through the month of October. It is still nice and dry these days kind of like summer. So, Sunday November 1st we will be walking in the afternoon at 1530 and we will keep that up through the winter. So that means we are feeding the birds again too. If you want to contribute some seed please buy black sunflower.

Monday 0900-1000
Tuesday 1600-1700
Thursday 0900-1000
Sunday 1600-1700 (tapas after)

Hope to see you soon! Felipé.