SpellIng Chutney

Rhubarb chutney.
(photo R Graves)

“You spell it just like it sounds.” That’s my Rebecca’s voice yesterday. I was labeling the small jars of the rhubarb chutney that she had whipped up and that is easy for her to say. She is a spectacularLy great speller and I, well I hang out at the other end of the spectrum. Yea well, rhubarb isn’t actually an easy word either.

But I digress. Later we shared a steak that I grilled and we used up a little bowl of the leftover chutney on it. Oh man, terrific flavor. That reminds me of something. There was a health nut that once said, “If it taste good spit it out.” Somebody is on the wrong planet here. But I digress on the digression.

During our stay at home we have been watching these Chinese videos that were made by this beautiful gal whose name I can’t spell. She has a huge garden outside her rural home and everything fruits to the max. And she prepares these incredible meals for herself and her grandma from all her nearby ingredients. And it is all so labor intensive and artful. They live in that province that I can’t spell but it is in the south and they use a lot of hot peppers. You know the one.

Anyway, she is very inspirational. Just watch a few of these and you will be preparing all kinds of stuff that you will be proud of. Maybe a good lockdown pandemic hint.

Oh here’s My Rebecca and she is up and has her coffee and we could ask her the Chinese gal’s name and you could look her up on UTube, she has a whole channel. And her name is Lizi Qi, so look for that. This is your hot tip for the day.

OK, off to walk in one moment.

miss you loves, Felipé.

It Is Why The Birds Sing

Annie with Padre Tomás at the Veranda 2019.
(photo W Hayes?)

“A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.” – Marcel Proust

There could be a corollary that says:

“If we change ourselves we can change the weather or the way we look at the weather and change the world along the way.” Don Felipé.

I had a long talk with Padre Tomás yesterday and I came away knowing why the birds sing and how I can change the way I look at the weather.

“To grow up Catholic is to be especially lucky as an artist, because you are soaked in miracle and mystery and symbol and smoke and the confident assertion that every moment is pregnant with miracle and possibility and stuffed with holiness like a turducken” – Brian Doyle

Around here we love Brian Doyle author, poet and Catholic thinker. Who else could work turducken into a serious sentence?

Catalina and Annie with Jack in the middle. Veranda 2019.
(photo W Hayes?)

“So I wrote you a poem:

A stable of horses is nice
but just one will suffice,
and sunflowers in a row
Make it easier to mow.
Sometimes the sky
makes us want to cry
when filled with Spanish eagles
or even Vashon seagulls.”

Catalina Barush

Catalina is working on the material in the archives of this blog and in the process is digging up a lot of the past, our past. It’s scary fun.

Off to the corn loves, Felipé.

A Tuesday In July

Jeesh, I am so busy with communications and authors and goings on. Isn’t this a time when nothing is supposed to be happening? I’m supposed to be bored and have a good start on a drinking problem right now but there is not enough time for Felipé.

I also had a great long conversation with Padre Tomás this AM. We had been trying to get together for weeks now. He is doing fine. Not much to do for a priest these days so maybe he is on FaceTime and Zoom a lot. Anyway I had some help with untying some of my personal knots from him plus always some laughs.

I am so luck to have such great personalities like Father Tom and all you guys All I have to do is call and I get support and of course laughs. It is all a great neighborhood!

Well, I have to let you go early today. Too many irons in the fire. The corn needs some time here too.

hoping for a good Tuesday for us all loves, Felipé.

High Times And Misdemeanors

The view from my writing location. Looks like Summer to me.
(photo P Volker)

Ooh, summer two days in a row. A trend appears! I am SO betting on this! For the one thing the corn did not make it to knee high by the Fourth and I can’t remember that happening in modern history. But there is still plenty of time for a rally to hit the finish line on time. With enough sun, water and fertilizer anything is possible.

There were a lot of comments on the Comments lately. Thank you for those. I do enjoy those. If it goes to many days without any comments I get uncomfortable. Maybe readers have wandered off elsewhere. I have as Cris introduced me to the abbreviation, “FOMO” or Fear Of Missing Out.

Isn’t this lovely. I am out on the deck writing this and a gang of robins are up above me eating cherries. Debris is falling all around from their activity and hitting the deck. Plunk….plunk..plunk plunk plunk. Messy eaters.

Well, have to go grab some lunch and get ready for my energy session with Janet at 1.

alperfect loves, Felipé.

The idea…

A candle lit in a cave by William.
(photo W Hayes)

The idea of hope is so very powerful. It all starts with the idea. I was reading on my Second Mountain book by David Brooks and he was writing about how hope opens possibilities. How having hope somehow allows the mind to imagine new ways, new avenues. I put somehow in that sentence because sometimes the way things work are just downright mysterious. Matter of fact it occurs often to me but it’s not a bad zone to inhabit.

I remember early in my cancer “fight” I was describing my cancer as not being monolithic. As I crawled around on it, it didn’t seem to have a smooth solid surface but had cracks and fissures. It even had caves and caverns. I learned that it was possible to “make a life” in these gaps. And that has worked for me for years now.

Without hope that wouldn’t have been possible I see. It takes a certain amount of hope to even wonder about possibilities. It is sort of the ladder or the pathway to get to possibilities. The more I think about this idea the more I see the power in it.

It has to be from God. Things this simple and elegant we mortals are not capable of producing. It is just too basic, too foundational. It’s a God thing.

And off to worship this morning. Catherine will be here momentarily so we can say our rosary together. Always a pleasure and an inspiration to hang out with her. Her could be Catherine or Mary or both.

hoping like hell loves, Felipé.

Here’s Cris In Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires at the moment.
(photo unknown)

I know, yes, one of my signs is upside down.
(photo P Volker)

I must say that to write today’s post for The Boss’s blog was a bit of a challenge… It took me a while to think about the topic… What to write about when the world is upside down and I have not yet been able to put myself “upside down” too, so as to live on it without falling off…?

I actually had this thought and then realize that The Boss -a.k.a as Phil or Felipe- is a visionary, when hanging the “Phil’s Camino yellow arrow” sign upside down… (Think about it!!!)

Anyway, live has been crazy busy in these latitudes, lots going on in the country -where we are right now experiencing the peak of the pandemic, with a new strict lockdown in place-, lots of workload at work as a result of the new peaks of the pandemic in so many places in the world, and certainly my inner self has been struggling to find balance and rhythm… It has been challenging to reflect and “breathe in” that life, as we knew it, won’t be the same for quite a while…

And let me do a confession here: there have been moments, when to “breathe in” this idea has been scary…

But then, I somehow reflected that I have been in this situation before. Actually: All of us. Not under the name of a pandemic, clearly, but I can almost guarantee that all of us have been in a situation where in a moment, as a result of some news or events, our lives changed in a way that we knew they would never go back to what they used to be. Just think on our Felipe: receiving a diagnosis of Cancer changed his life for ever.

And yet, I kept reflecting that our lives have kept going on, and in many opportunities, in a pretty nicely way… like in Italy during the pandemic: there has been lots of singing in the balconies.

And I remembered all the things that we have overcome as humanity, as countries, as communities, as neighborhoods, as human beings… In psychology, they use the word “resilience”, this capacity human beings have to adapt to adversity and get stronger, but our pilgrim’s dictionary says that it is our capacity to trust again, to have faith, to say “yes”, to raise our heads above the water after being thrown in the deepest of the seas; it is this instinct of survival, this force of life…

And as I was reflecting on this, a poem from David Whyte (“The True Love”) where he quotes Peter walking over the waters towards the boat where Jesus was in came to my mind… because you know: an image is worth a thousand words…

“And I think of the story of the storm and the people
waking and seeing the distant, yet familiar figure,
far across the water calling to them.
And how we are all preparing for that abrupt waking
and that calling and that moment when we have to say yes!
Except it will not come so grandly, so biblically,
but more subtly, and intimately in the face
of the one you know you have to love.
So that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them we find, everything holds us,
and everything confirms our courage.”

If you are having one of “those days”, when you are struggling with this thought of what the future will bring, my prescription for you is to read these lines a couple times (you can trust my prescription, I am a Health Care professional!!)

Stepping out of the boat Loves,

Deeply Life Changing

John, Kathy and Phil 2019.
(photo W Hayes)

I am changing the way I am going to describe my Camino experience from now on. It wasn’t just a life changing experience it was as a matter of fact DEEPLY life changing. There is a big difference. It was not just a change in surface things or a change in the details of life but a deep down ground breaking radical change. Yea.

Lately Lovely Catalina and I have been working on her latest book which is about Caminoheads blog. It is a condensation of all the material into an inspirational book basically about walking in your backyard. But it is also about “fighting” cancer and the Catholic faith and other things all on my Swiss Army Knife of blogs. And we are beachcombing through the entire billion words to come up with the essence of it all. A chore which is actually taking a whole team of us. So, as we do this I am reliving the times that I am rereading. I wrote it all but some was so long ago it is like discovering a long lost friend to see it again.

Yea so, seeing all this material that I daily poured my heart out over I am struck now by the change in me that it represents. Well, maybe that should be deep change. And I am sure that you see that in yourself too. For this is not just my story but it has happened to others, not everyone but yes to many.

I worked over my foot doc Dr Le Bella on Wednesday giving him him
my latest song and dance about the Camino. He said that it was on his bucket list and maybe I just moved it up a few notches in priority. All in a days work. Yea.

off to the corn loves, 🌽Felipé🌽.

Just From The Get Go

Signage by Thomas Wynne.
(photo P Volker)

Yea, my feet feel so much better today just from the get go. I was so in need of some professional help. You know Felipé, he would have trudged on for another three hundred years grinning and bearing it. Have a walk in a few minutes and that will give me a better idea of what’s going on.

We have had some lobbying by some of our readers jockeying for positions since I mentioned the new position of official foot doc. Well, really it was one reader. And you know who you are. Years ago she brought a maxim to us that we have been living by since:

Fun first, Shenanigans Second
Safety Third (Always Third)

Well, we do need an Official Caminoheads Safety Officer. OK, OK, you are in Esther. Oops, wasn’t going to mention any names.

life walks on, Felipé.

My Stigmata

Felipé’s size 12 right foot.
Finding the problem.
( x-ray Dr M Le Bella)

You know Mary Margaret, Kelly and my old buddy from the Camino, she used to refer to her foot problems as her stigmata. It is a kind of Catholic joke which Catholics appreciate and they can make jokes like that. We can joke all day long and we did. But I digress.

So, today I went to Dr Matt Le Bella to check out my right foot which hasn’t been the same since since Spain. That is what I am calling my stigmata but since I only have one I really don’t know if stigmata is the right word, singular or plural. Anyway, he did his magic and eased my mind on the seriousness of my problem. He fixed me up with treatment, new insoles and product recommendations. He said I should come in every six months or year for a tune up. OK, which is cool because I got us talking about the Camino and I was there with him for over any hour. My favorite, gabbing away about our fav topic with someone new.

So, maybe I should make this guy the offical foot doc of Phil’s Camino. That would be quite the honor. He would be in the credits along with Padre Tomas our offical spiritual director and Catalina Barush being our offical historian. None of this pays very well but it would be great on the old resumé. I did bring up the fact that doctors along the Camino don’t charge pilgrims for working on their feet but he didn’t respond to that. I wasn’t hinting about anything was I?

it’s a wonderful life loves, Felipé.

Phil’s Walking Schedule And Other Important Stuff 6/30/20

The ranch.
(photo W Hayes)

Here we are coping with the pandemic in summertime of 2020. Which means that we realize the dangers and we have safeguards in place and with that we are walking again. We opened up when our governor opened parks and recreation areas. But we are maintaining distancing and wearing masks when that can’t be done.

Walkers have been trickling in with most folks staying home. But we are here walking on our same old schedule, no crowds.

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

Also coming up this Sunday July 5th we will be opening up a simplified version of tapas in good weather only. It will be no frills and we will be sitting out on the grass in our circle of lawn chairs with plenty of distance between.

Other important items are this year in August, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd we are having a small get together we are calling the Corntine🌽. God willing the sweet corn will be ripe and you could come and eat some here and take some home. We might walk and have a small glass of wine but no big party, just a chance to say hello and see each other. Just a quickie.

Then some dates have been set for 2021 for the next Veranda. Can we make it? And that is Friday August 20th through Monday August 23rd! That is here at the ranch of course and hopefully we will be blessed with less restrictions, corn 🌽 and good weather. So put that on your calendar.

just nuts and bolts and other details, love you, Felipé.