The Snow

The first flakes here at the ranch. (photo P Volker)

Finally some snow began to fall here this morning. Hopefully it won’t amount to much. It has been falling for days now at higher elevations and has finally crept down here to the lowlands. I think that we are somewhere between 200 and 300 feet elevation right here, just out of the saltwater.

Well, the big question here in Seattle today is, “Is there life after football?” We, the Seahawks, got knocked out of the running by the Packers in the big game yesterday. We were close and all that but “no cigar” as they say. So, now we the fans are fumbling around and nothing seems right with the world. All of a sudden baseball takes on new importance.

Walking in a few minutes. Maybe I will try and take a pic or two for you. I have to quit early here at the blog to get bundled up for the trek.

Monday loves, Felipé.

Blue Skies, What The Heck?

A snow pic from William up north. That’s what it looks like. (photo W. Hayes)

Catherine and I made it to Mass this morning and it was rainy and blowing and all kinds of nasty. Hardly anyone was there, too nasty to venture out. Right now an hour later the sun is out, the sky blue and it looks like Arizona out there, what the heck indeed? Oh, I get it. This is the beginning of the colder weather pattern coming in. Wow, very dramatic change.

Here I am lounging in the sunlight streaming in through the south facing windows. Time to thaw out. OK!

Father David talked about peacemaking today. There is a job that needs doing both near and far. Between our politics and our world situation we have all the hornet’s nests shaken up.

The ravens are flying over calling and calling, keeping their network up to date on current events. Speaking of the birds we need to fill all the feeders today on the walk in preparation for the cold weather.
This is the hard time of year.

Yesterday I got the generator started for a test run just to know that it will fire off if we need it later this week. And I got the tractor going and I did a little work with it to limber it up before the snow.

Seahawks football game this afternoon from Green Bay. They call that place the “Frozen Tundra”. It’s going to be 10 degrees or minus 10k one of those tens. Way colder than here anyway.

Yup, that’s what it looks like.

blue sky loves, Felipé.

Just Remembering

William sending us warm regards from Hawaii. (photo W.Hayes)

Just remembering that I didn’t give you any kind of report on my visit to the Institute last Wednesday. It was my every three week pilgrimage to see my supervisor Dr Gold. Every three weeks I have this and every nine weeks I have this plus a scan. So, I had the scan three weeks ago. So, all my numbers remain in the normal zones. My complaints were registered and in short I was good to go for another three weeks of treatment.

What was good about my visit was working with David my new research nurse. Christina is on to a different department. But David I worked with before over the years so we just continued the conversation. At one point in our association he got to Spain and walked the Camino so we always have that to gab about.

So, I am back home after that and am feeling better about things. The next thing to do here is to get ready for the coming snow, start the tractor and the generator and other things. One is so glad that they prepared for these events. I see that Farmer John is out of power there in Iowa. There were some pics on FB.

And we have a walk tomorrow afternoon. Please remember your rubber boots. A lot of this rain is still around as standing water. But we will be here when you come.

Off to Saturday loves, Felipé.

William On Friday 1/10/2020

With William (photo W.Hayes)

Between Feb 3rd and 19th we have the privilege,for the seventh year in a row,to being going to the Big Island of Hawaii to snorkel some of the best waters on our planet. Being that a lot of time will be spent in the ocean I have chosen this article on water to share with you.

A Lesson from Water.

Good advice that is often told to us is to be Strong as a Rock or Immovable like a Mountain when confronted by a tough situation.

Wise counsel recommends being Strong like Water.

Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,nothing can surpass it. The Soft overcomes the Hard and the Gentle overcomes the Rigid.

Flexibility,not rigidity,is extolled as the strength to develop.

While we cannot control most of what happens to us,we can control how we react.

As with water.

Water does not stiffen in expectation of a blow,but rather curves around the impact.

You must be shapeless,formless,like water. When you pour water into a cup,it becomes the cup…in a bottle,it becomes the bottle…in a teapot,it becomes the teapot.

Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.

Margaret Atwood writes. “Water…cannot be broken; if we are like water,then we cannot be broken either…Water does not resist.Water flows…Water is not a solid wall,it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go,and nothing in the end can stand against it.

Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.

Remember that,my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle,go around it.Water does”.

Life lessons from water include the understanding that persistence wins over hurry;the hard and rigid are overcome by the relentless application of gentle things.Water changes its form in response to its environment,but never loses its meaning:solid or light,cold or hot,water is always water.

And in being like water,we also need to remember that water is a source of nourishment and healing,and we can be like that towards ourselves and towards others.

William, CCBC, 2020.

Maybe A Little Bit More

As I thought about yesterday’s post I wished that I would have said a few more things. But that is how the blog goes. It unfolds over time. One post never reinvents the wheel.

This is a pic taken by Kelly my beloved pilgrimage partner in Spain. It is my favorite maybe because it sees the landscape from the view point of the “inner” pilgrim. Thanks Kelly.

We have snow in the forecast this morning so I am keeping one eyeball on the window to try and catch the first flake. The woodstove is burning away trying to warm the place up. A lot of the wood that I am burning now is the firewood recovered from that big snowstorm last February. It did a lot of damage and I still am cleaning up from it. We shall see what the day brings.

But back to yesterday’s topic. The braiding of the three lifelines was where we were. So thinking about it I wanted to explain the third one better. I think that I had said that the Camino was now my job. And I think that is how Sister Joyce first said it although she went on to explain it better and I may have been out of time yesterday to get there.

One way to think about it is that the Camino represented a focus for me at that time when most of my being was in turmoil. It gave me something to do, to cling to, to work on when things for me were in cancer chaos (new term). It gave me the opportunity and excuse to exercise which proved very important. It represented something that I was involved in that was bigger than myself. The Camino got me outside myself and my worries. It also represents a gift that I am giving to those around me. So, saying that it was now my job needed to be explained and amplified.

Well, and there may be more lifelines to add to the braid. There are braids with more than three parts. There are all those factors that were discovered by Dr Kelly Turner in her book Radical Remission for instance. So, this is all still a work in progress.

Walking in a few minutes. I’ll get bundled up and get out there. Maybe I won’t do the usual three laps, see how I feel.

braiding loves, Felipé.

On My Mind

We keep planting. (photo by Phil Volker)

A death of someone that I know from cancer puts me in a certain mood. And the death of someone young that I know to cancer is the worst. And I heard of this event from My Rebecca who is likely to be the first to know on a lot of matters. And well really she was a lot closer to this fellow than myself but I have met him and talked with him. He has been at this for years now.

I feel the need to mark this moment for me/for us with the retelling of a particular vision that I was privileged to have. This was back early on in my cancer career back when Sister Joyce was first my spiritual advisor. I am so glad to have had her there for me then. She fielded this vision for me. In other words she caught this vision and cleaned it up and tossed it back to me in an understandable form. She recognized it as I unpacked it and clarified it for me.

This message that I received was partially “worked on” by me. I had a part in it but only a part. And it remains the basis, the foundation of all that has come afterward in my life. This in itself is “enough” so to speak for me and maybe for you. You don’t need to have something as stressful as cancer to use this as it is a basic formula for a life well lived.

And this has been talked about by me on numerous occasions on this blog over the years but now I have come to the realization that perhaps it is the one major gift to give. If this is the last of my visions then that would be OK for this is enough.

Here it goes: I pictured that I had three lifelines that I was using to survive my cancer. Like three heavy ropes or three umbilical cords you could say. And I was braiding them into one like long hair is braided with three strands. This was a way that each would support the other is some way. None of the lines ever had to stand alone.

So, line one was all my family members and my doctors and nurses that were working for me and that I worked with now. Two was my church and my Bible Guys group that supported me and gave me such courage and hope. And three was simply the Camino which was a focus for my energy.

Sister Joyce clarified that by saying that I had discovered the three pillars of Christian life: Community, Faith and Service. Community and faith are fairly transparent and easily understood. And the Camino stood for my service. In other words the Camino was my job or how I gave back to the world, my gift. It was how I was to express myself.

Marvelous and goosebumps galore. And the part that I added was the braiding which strengthens the whole situation. This sounds like something I learned from boatbuilding. How to unitize a structure by having parts strengthen each other so it now acts as one whole.

Well, that is it, the main thing that I have learned. I put this out and dedicate it to my young friend who has flown away.

Time to get ready for my trip in to see Dr Gold and my friends at the Institute.

goosebump loves, Felipé.

A New Morning

Just because… (photo by Phil Volker)

Oh, feeling so much better this morning. I just couldn’t believe it after feeling so badly last evening. This guy here is thankful. I have the rest of the day to get stronger for my trek to the Institute in Seattle tomorrow to see the boss.

The boss being Dr Gold. I feel obligated to do my best on following the rules and regs of this clinical trial. It is holding my cancer at bay although treating me rougher than I would wish but none-the-less it’s working for me. So, I need to get in there tomorrow.

Meanwhile I had a great energy session with Janet yesterday. We were doing some visualization that has me feeling empowered. Thanking her immensely for her coaching.

And there is Henriette. One of the things that she did last time I saw her was she gave me a notebook to write down my dreams, a dream journal. Ok, have I done that, no? And am I dreaming more now than ever, yes? How does that work? I better get started.

And there is William who is out on a hike today. He loves being “out there” away from town. He said that he was going to pray for my recovery while trekking in the snow. What a guy! Thank you William.

I am working away on reading my book about the Russian pilgrim. That is one thing that I can make some progress on, reading. It is really a glimpse into the spirit of the Orthodox Church which is fascinating to me. I wonder if Father Tryphon from the monastery here has read it?

OK, off to my day.

feeling better loves, Felipé.

Happened Upon A CD

Ecclesiastes for the NIV. (photo P.Volker)

My Rebecca found a few used CD’s somewhere and they were on the kitchen table. And we just happen to have a new CD player that came in with Christmas. So there, let’s play this Judy Collins.

Judy hasn’t been around for a long time in my world but it was refreshing to have her here again. I had one of her albums in the 60’s that I wore out. And there was one of my favorite songs of that era, “Turn! Turn! Turn!/ To Everything There Is A Season”. Of course Judy didn’t come up with that nor did the Byrds but that is from the trusty Hebrew Bible of course. Right now I am going to send a message off to Uncle Google to see the exact source. That is from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
And that I learned was first put in song form in modern times by Pete Seeger in 50’s.

Anyway, I was feeling sorry for myself for coming down with a chest cold. I’m a busy guy, why me, oh bother? And this is very comforting to me at the moment. Somehow we always think that we are personally in charge of our personal timetable. Things happen, I should know.

So, I am canceling most things for today and tomorrow to mend. Please a prayer for Felipé.

Janurary loves, Felipé.

The Three Kings Of The Orient

The St John Vianney’s Epiphany bulletin with a ray of sunlight on the Christ Child. (photo P. Volker)

Way back in the history of December I had proudly set up our Nativity scene in preparation for the holidays. I had the Holy Family the shepard’s, the sheep, the Kings and a camel or two. And what should happen but Henriette showed up and banished the Wise Men to the far reaches of our living room saying, “They are not there yet!” So yea, the three wise guys have been since wandering over Turntable Island and the Isthmus of Television and other foreign lands. But here we are at Epiphany and they should be showing up any minute at the Manger if things are going according to plan.

What is not in the plan is me coming down with something. I have cold symptoms creeping up on me. Just not feeling up to par here today. mI have a couple of things to get through yet. One is the Seattle Seahawks have an important game this afternoon. And of course Phil’s Camino has the Sunday walk. I think that I am cancelling the tapas today, that would be prudent.

OK, have to go do some self care.

Go Seahawks loves, Felipé.

500 Checks

Roses from Jessika. (photo P. Volker)

Around the first of December I ran out of business checks, you know paper bank checks, old school type. I thought that my order for 250 two years ago was a pretty optimistic way to look at things. Oh, maybe I’ll last that long? And viola I did.

And now I have ordered some more. But somewhere along the line the order got garbled and they are sending me 500 instead of 250. I don’t have them in hand yet but I believe 500 will show up in my mailbox. Do they know something I don’t know?

Well, I just paid the State of Washington $213 and some cents to keep my business open for another two years so I should have plenty of checks to pay and pay and pay my expenses. I just don’t know when to retire apparently.

In other news there are a lot of nice comments in the Comments worth checking out. I know some of you have trouble seeing them and I am getting some help on straightening that out, hopefully.

All good for now loves, Felipé.