Global Tapas

Alida on left and Anamaria in Madrid.
Alida on left and Anamaria in Madrid.

Yup, in Madrid.
Yup, in Madrid.

So, cool, that Cherry comes through one more time with thoughtful thoughts on TGIF. And so cool that my good buddy Steve (sometimes Steve-O) joined in on the comments to Cherry’s post and then Cherry is back to him with more thoughts. We got a global tapa conversation situation going on here people. And I’m happy!

Then, on top of that, the magazine article on this pilgrim is out and here is the link:

So check that out. We are blessed. I am happy some more.

Also, I think that I will include two pics of Anamaria and Alida in Madrid. Alida there recently for a short visit while Anamaria is there in school. Seeing them brightens my day. I’m just good all around!

Let’s see what we can make of this day. Making venison chili in the crock pot for company tonight. See you tomorrow, Buen Camino, happy loves, Felipe.

TGIF Cherry #9

Just a pleasure to have our great friend and consummate Caminohead, Cherry, here to rescue us from Stalehead. Mixing it up is good. So, I have to go walk and I will turn this over to one of our Aussie Angels. Thanks Cherry.

Cherry at it again!
Cherry at it again!

When I left Australia twelve months ago I imagined a life changing sabbatical. Yes I’d get to see famous sites, experience life-long dreams and overcome incredible challenges. But when I left I was also hoping for serious spiritual growth, to be a better person, to find the path to enlightenment. Kind of like Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist or like a trainee monk off to Tibet. I always felt there was something more, I could feel it.

And I had to complete the whole journey though, just like the shepherd in the Alchemist. I had to make the whole journey and arrive back at the start to get my treasure. However, it was the journey that offered me the insights which opened my eyes to the way of life that I had previously only dreamed about living.

It probably didn’t help that I had a partner who was a scientist. Don’t get me wrong Mel didn’t discourage me from pursuing ‘spirituality’ but she didn’t encourage it either. As a scientifically trained person, Mel couldn’t quite grasp religion or spirituality because it lacked proof.

My proof is now a knowing, previously an inkling, and then a bit more than a hunch but now a knowing. I know because I have experienced it. Although I’m still an amateur at it, I still know that my ‘spirituality’ exists. And I have the tools and the frame of mind to continue with my practice of living my life the way I always dreamed, with contentment and peace.

The secret is so simple and we have all heard the same words over and over in the past. But the words finally made so much more sense for me now. Live in the moment. Don’t dwell on what was or what could be. Don’t be controlled by your feelings, emotions, fears and happiness. Yes I said happiness. Instead, practice mindful meditation regularly. Open you heart, keep it open, spread the love and receive the love. I know I still have a long way to go to experience ‘enlightenment’ but I also know that I’m on my way. This life is my treasure, my gold. Thank you for this life, I treasure it always.


Phil’s Camino News

The quince with its red flowers  adding to the airs sweet smell.
The quince with its red flowers adding to the airs sweet smell.
Daffodils adding to the sweet spring smells.
Daffodils adding to the sweet spring smells.
Forsythia with its yellow  flowers adding to the sweet smell in the air.
Forsythia with its yellow flowers adding to the sweet smell in the air.

Things are happening to move the documentary film along. Not only along but along in a great sort of style and grace. Saint James seems to be at the helm on this one and we are on a tack that is smooth and suited to our hull and rigging and the wind is pushing us ahead at crusing speed. I wanted to tell you about two things that are happening now to update you.

One is that in conjunction with the article in Northwest Catholic Magazine (coming out March 1st) is a radio interview that I taped a week ago with Sacred Heart Radio. It will be broadcast between March 1st and March 15th on AM 1050 at these times:
Sundays at 8 AM
Mondays at 11AM
Thursdays at 6:30 PM
Saturday’s at 3:00 PM

Sacred Heart Radio website is: . Perhaps you can stream the interview.

OK, then I heard last evening that Annie, Todd and Jess are coming back up to the Island to do some more taping for the documentary. Need some more material taped on Phil’s Backyard Camino. So we will be walking and walking and walking. Well, as long as we get in some time for wine and tapas.

So, this will be toward the end of March and it would be good if some of you locals would show up to walk then. I had three pilgrims show up for our Wednesday afternoon walk yesterday and that was a great time for celebratory sharing and some of what we need to show. So show up!

Well, I need to change oil in Raven One, my pickup, shower, then off to see Sister Joyce and go to the hospital for treatment. I’m glad that St James is in charge of all this, I really can’t keep up with it all. Yesterday Annie said something to me that was very calming. I was saying to her that it appeared once again that we, meaning she and I and the production crew, were on the same page and she said, “We can’t help it.” I have been thinking about that ever since. Thanks Annie. Once again I am being gently passed from one great set of hands to the next.

The best to you Caminoheads. Love, Felipe.

Hairdo Priates

Road, foothills, mountains, sunset, clouds, sky, framed by the Vashon forest.
Road, foothills, mountains, sunset, clouds, sky, framed by the Vashon forest.

I’ll explain that in a minute but now “Heatwave” is playing. Yea! “You know what I’m sayin!” OK, haven’t heard that for a week, needed that.

Yea, Hairdo Priates is a game thought up by these two great and active children that My Rebecca babysits for, once a week. One is three and one is five and between the age difference and the boy-girl difference they put together this fusion game that they thought that this substitute grandma (My Rebecca) would love to play. Hairdo Priates, great name huh? It mostly consists of the girl engineering some sort of “do” capped of by some sort of crown. Then Mr. Guy Energy tries to knock off the crown with his play sword. He’s in the sword phase, can you tell? I told My Rebecca that she needs to put in for extra combat pay for this one. Well, just too cool and I wanted to get that out to you before I forgot and moved on to other exciting topics. Yea, Hairdo
Priates”! Olympic sport in the making?

OK enough of that. So back to Vashon and reality. Spring moving along. Will take a few pics. I have to get geared up and get my winter chores done and get ready for contracting jobs and planting of garden and corn. There is a definate rhythm of the seasons that has to be adhered to. That is part of getting back to the land I have learned.

Well I hope that your personal walk today is vigorous and enlightening. The Camino continues before us always. Thanks for your friendship and your message. Hairdo Priate loves, Felipe.

What Does It Take?

I just spent long hours in various airports and airplanes these last few days and my thoughts drifted to the Camino as usual. I’m looking around at all these travelers coming and going. Are they that much different from pilgrims on the Camino? What was it about the Camino that brought us together so? There certainly wasn’t that much togetherness at the airport just people coming and going.

One lady that sat next to me on the plane for six hours and we never exchanged a word or a gesture, six hours. I was busy somewhat reading a book. She on the other hand had a laptop, an iPad and a cell phone which she rotated working on the whole time and filled every single second. If some people get sucked up into cyberland never to return she will be one. So as to togetherness, proximity doesn’t necessarily mean much.

At the other end of the scale we did make some togetherness progress with folks that got caught up in the series of snafus that turned our one day trip into a two day trip. It started out because the crew for the first plane that we were supposed to catch were a half hour late and that threw a monkey wrench in to the whole works. So, other flyers that had this unexpected domino effect problem got together to a certain extent. So, shared difficulty seems to bring people together and sharing information to overcome the situation is even better.

This leads me to tell you of this one guy that we ran into the most. Let’s call him Joe. Joe was in my very first impression of the Hardford airport and the guy irritated me from the get-go. We both stepped out of our respective cars at exactly the same time at the curb of the arrival area. The temperature is 10 degrees with a 20 mph wind howling through and he let’s out this scream when it hit him. With me melodrama is irritating, especially from a guy. No Buen Joe.

But remember on the Camino that we all irratated each other at one time or another. And we learned to put up with that when we discovered how we needed each other. And we could actually look forward to being iratated by someone that we knew we would grow to appreciate. And this guy really irratated me and I kept running into him over and over again. And in the end I grew to like him just because. OK Joe, you’re in.

Just interesting how this chemistry works. The Camino is engineered to make togetherness happen big time. OK, I’m going to post this before it gets away. Togetherness love, Felipe.

Osian, The Grandson


We are off on the plane today back to Seattle, the land of reasonable temperatures. Looking forward to what a week of spring has done to the ranch. But I realized that I haven’t written much about Osian, our grandson. He is the star of the show here in Amherst and the reason for the whole trip. So I have included a 30 second video and hope that flies. I hope that you are able to see it.

There he is at nine months age and this video was just taken this week, so all current. Ramon, our son-in-law is there tossing the balls back and forth, they are a good team. So, it is major entertainment to watch him interact with everyone.

He is on the verge of crawling and getting mobile. Then comes the fun of baby proofing the house. And then he is walking and off on the Camino after that.

Yea, we will miss his antics and will be planning a way to see him again. But now with FaceTime we can do that too. Well, that’s our story for the moment. Off to the skys later and back home.

OK, thinking of you and hoping that things are good for you. That the friends are good and the wine and tapas are good, you know, the important stuff. Give Lent a serious thought also, that’s important. Alperfect, love to you, Felipe.

Saint Brigid

Went to Mass this morning at St Brigid’s in Amherst. Didn’t know anything about her till I just looked it up. She lived on Ireland and is the female counterpart of St Patrick. Her dates are 451 to 525. Her fete day is Feburary 1st, the start of lambing season.

It’s beautiful outside and the temp has climbed to above freezing, as in don’t walk under the icicles. Yoav is outside doing chores and I am rested up after my hike to church and back so I will maybe lend a hand. There is a foot race going by the house with stings of people going by in various stages of dress.

Well, it’s all going on, just like always. Hope that you are having a good day. Stay tuned, Buen Camino, lambing season loves, Felipe.