At The Ranch

Tesia our daughter with Freya her daughter at Raven Ranch.

It’s all happening here right now, family and friends gravitating in for Wiley and Henna’s wedding.  I don’t know if I will be able to write much of a post today as I am needed for this and that here starting at this early hour.  Maybe I will make it out to the tapas table with my coffee cup.  Ah, quieter out here and amazingly chilly.

I am just trying to “sing” along over the increasing frenzy.  Sing seems like an apt word.  I suppose I am not used to this many moving parts in my life.  Maybe it would seem simple to juggle all this stuff to others.  But one’s own challenges always seem harder somehow.  Anyway, I am a half hour away from making noise.  I always try and keep things quiet after nine at night and before nine in the morning, stuff like mowing and running woodworking equipment.  I have to go in a few minutes and mow the pasture that we are using for parking first thing.

Pilgrims are coming and going too.  I am doing my best to keep Phil’s Camino running during this period.  So if you were thinking about coming still come, we are working around all the preparation commotion.

It is all part of our bigger Camino, right?  I talked with Rho yesterday and were talking Camino and how all the parts of our lives fit into it.   The walk always continues or is it the “walk” always continues or is it the Walk always continues?  Maybe all three at once.

So, we will continue tomorrow.  Please pray for me and my family during this period.  The best to you.  Joyful preparation loves, Felipe.x




The List

From Sherie in Lake Forest. This is from the celebration of the St James Feast Day there.


The list of commonalities from the Radical Remissions book is intriguing isn’t it?  It flits through my mind all day long.  I haven’t been this excited about a list since the Pilgrim Beatitudes hit town four years ago.  Of course, I haven’t finished reading the book yet, not even half way through it so more to come.

Maybe we could explore those items in more detail and one at a time as time goes on.  As I look at it right now the majority of them have some  connection with this blog.  In some way they are walking with us.   Such as the idea of “Embracing Social Support”.  That would be a biggie and it is the first to jump out at me.  The blog is bringing my personal situation to light so that somehow that is support for others in a similar situation.  And in that process I get supported by a whole gaggle of folks, you guys.  Thank you by the way.

I can see “Increasing Positive Emotions” being involved as a sort of byproduct.  There is a tendency when one is writing about oneself to put a good spin on it or to say things in positive ways.  I think that is natural.  So that leads to learning how to do that as a sort of habit , a sort of muscle memory.  It is not the same as hiding things but it is a sort of seeing the silver lining in everything and learning how to dwell there.

“Deepening Your Spiritual Connection” has been close at hand with me writing this blog.  Doing that is one thing and a good thing but having to write and talk about it has lead to a certain clarity for me.  I guess if I have to explain a point to someone else it becomes clear to me in the process.  That makes sense.

Well, I am quickly running out of time.  Walking in a few minutes.  It is a beautiful cool morning.  I have been missing some of my laps on the afternoon walks with the heat these days.  But right now it is delicious.

So, thanks for being here.  Hope that your day goes well.  I know that some of you have health challenges and  some have wildfires close by.  Be brave.  Be brave loves, Felipe.



Reading A New Book



Radical Remission by Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D.

Not long ago I started reading Radical Remission subtitled Surviving Cancer Against All Odds.  It was given to me by a couple that were here walking Phil’s Camino.   I joke and say that I get two books a day by well wishers, although maybe not literally true it still feels like it sometimes.  I am such a slow reader and I don’t devote the time to it that it deserves but never the less I try and my stack is tall but I started this one.

A brief summary of the book would start with the author who is “a researcher and psychotherapist who specializes in intregative oncology”.   She spent ten years interviewing and studying people that had reversals in their cancer situations.  In other words these people somehow figured out or lucked upon cures to their maladies, improbable as that seems.  It is pretty phenomenal news when this happens and she was intrigued by it.  So, in the end she discovered nine traits that this group had in common.  Not that each had all of these but that these items kept showing up time and again.

Well, now that I have gotten this far I see that I will have to type up the list from the table of contents because I have piqued your interest:

Radically Changing Your Diet

Taking Control of Your Health

Following Your Intuition

Using Herbs and Suppliments

Releasing Suppressed Emotions

Increasing Positive Emotions

Embracing Social Support

Deepening Your Spiritual Connection

Having Strong Reasons for Living

Yea, nine, a good round number like 909 laps on Phil’s Camino equals one Camino Frances.  That is all sufficiently untidy to be real.  Anyway, I am so relating to most of these topics and it is the kind of stuff that we talk about here frequently on the blog.   As I read down this list right now I would say that six of those are very important to me already.  And maybe three I don’t understand or that I haven’t dealt with sufficiently.  And perhaps those three hold the biggest potential for me.

This is so highly personal and at the same time universal.  The book talks about the idea that the tumors are messengers.  I had thought this also although I had never cracked their code.  It is suggested that they bring the message that my life as I have been living it is out of balance.  Ahh.  Yes, I see that now although that may always be hard for the individual to grasp at first.  Like isn’t my life perfect?  Isn’t it just exactly what it is supposed to be?  Doesn’t it fit exactly the set of situations that it occurred in?

Well,  the tumors at the door of your conscience is somewhat like Genghis Khan being at your door.  He doesn’t really have to say, “ Yes, I am here to rape and kill you and yours.”   But that isn’t the end of the story, there is more to it.

Yup, as always, love you, Felipe.





Ahh, The Frenzy

Saint James On My Mind Again


It was nice and cool an hour age with an overcast sky.  That disappeared quickly and the sun is here again.  More mowing and trimming for me today getting the grounds ready for the upcoming wedding and party.  Everyday I bake myself to a nice golden brown in the peocess.

Well, St James celebrated with us yesterday.  He’s a great guy.  I just thought that I would say that.  Wouldn’t it be great if a worthy actor could portray him in a one man show, sort of putting a face on him.   Hey, maybe there is something like that out there.  We could get him to talk about us modern day pilgrims and the latter day popularity of pilgrimage.  Just a thought.

I am getting a chemo vacation next week to celebrate the wedding.  So, I will have a month free just like I had in Spain.  Dr Gold suggested it, the guy.  I am just getting half way normal from treatment last Wednesday, over a week ago now.

Well, I need to get a move on it.  Got fuel and sharp blades for the mower so look out world!  Catch you guys tomorrow.  Summer loves, Felipe.



St James In Us. Yes, I See That!

Saint James Again


Diego, a  sturdy Caminohead from Lake Arrowhead, CA sent a vital idea in to us this morning in the comments:

“¡Hola Felipe!
Three years ago I walked the Portuguese Way of Saint James.  At the end of one of the next to last stages, in the town of Padrón  I visited a very small chapel, up on a hill, built in the year 40 by none other than our Saint James! To this day I am haunted by my own imagination of what it must’ve been like to bring the Gospel and the Way of his friend Jesus to the Iberian Peninsula…and that place in particular.  What a blessing he was to those people then and today. Beautiful and graceful things happen during and after the Way.  So, on my feast day I was given a Camino Rosary by one of my best peregrina  friends who just completed her second Camino. Saint James is alive and well these days and we know him through each other!
A todos nosotros los Caminoheads….
¡Sigamos el Buen Camino!
Su Peregrino Compañero Diego”

OK, there is the whole thing.  How can we go wrong with contributions like that.  Thank you Diego, put so well.  And I just sat down to do the post today with no idea about what or how or anything and this arrives.  See, writing a blog just isn’t that hard when you have prompts like this.

I love the idea of the chapel built by SJ.  I had never heard of that before.  Not that that means anything.  As far as I know none of this is mentioned in the Bible, that SJ had this  foray into the Iberian Peninsula much less building structures.  Me hanging out with my Protestant Bible Guys concentrate on what “is actually in the Bible”.  But there is a gap in time between Christ’s command to his apostles to go out into the world and SJ’s demise in Jerusalem, a pregnant blank spot.

But really the best thing to me here this morning in Diego’s comment is, “ Saint James is alive and well these days and we know him through each other! “  That is so intimate and fitting here at Caminoheads.  I have never thought of it is that particular way before.  That certainly fits.  Thanks Diego.  Saint James loves, Felipe.



St James Day 2018


It’s the feast day of St James the Greater, our mentor, today.  He was one of the of the twelve apostles of which there was also James the Lesser by the way.  Yea, so this is his day of  the year, a day to celebrate St Jamesness.

Four years ago Kelly and I were in Madrid on our way to the start of the Camino Frances.  We didn’t run into any celebration but then we were busy and focused on figuring out the Spanish trains and buses.  But St James is the patron saint of the whole of Spain so it must have been going on all around us.

Steve – O sent a link to information on Wikipedia and here that is:,_son_of_Zebedee


Steve Watkins, Caminohead friend and author of Pilgrim Strong had a list of facts on FB yesterday.  Maybe I could find that and reprint it here:

1. James was one of the three disciples in Jesus’ “inner circle” along with his brother, John, and Peter.

2. James was believed the older of the two brothers. They were the sons of Zebedee and Jesus called them Sons of Thunder (boanerges). There is only speculation for the labeling.

3. Jesus first found James and John as they were fishing. He told them to cast their nets into the deep waters. “Come along and I will make you fishers of men,” he said.

4. With Peter and John, James was present at the Transfiguration of Jesus.

5. When the apostles were commissioned to spread the good news of the gospel, James spent some 40 years preaching and working in Spain, mostly across the Iberian peninsula. He is therefore known as Spain’s patron saint.

6. Beheaded by Herod, he was the first of the 12 apostles martyred, and it’s believed he lived 44 years beyond Christ’s crucifixion.

7. Artistically, he is often shown carrying a staff and a water gourd with a robe adorned by the scallop shell, all symbolic of pilgrimage.

8. The Way of St. James across Spain is walked by more pilgrims than any other route in the world aside from pilgrimages to Jerusalem and Rome, and perhaps Mecca.

Thank you Steve.


Here at Caminoheads blog we have a saying that maybe needs reviving since it is good and we haven’t used it in a while.  And that is SJA.  That stands for St James Again or Staint James Afoot.  This is what we used to say when some unexplained good thing happened on our daily camino.  It is an acknowledgment that St James is alive and well in our lives.  Yes, it is time for that.

Well, Happy St James Day to you all the world over!  Loves, Felipe.

Out Early

Perla’s  paella over an open fire Saturday evening.
Tapas spread supreme at Steve and Perla’s. We came to the right place!


Ah, like on the Meseta in Spain, the heat is forcing me to work earlier and earlier.  Maybe get an extra hour in the shade.  I was just out on my annual noxious weed patrol.  Need to get those guys off of the place before the wind borne seeds scatter everywhere.  But I never get them all and there seems to be enough left to restart the whole cycle the next year.   There is a lesson there I am sure.

My Rebecca’s post yesterday was enjoyable, wasn’t it?  She relaxed into the scene there at the lake and produced something very nice.  Just give her paper and a pen and a lake full of laughing kids and off she goes.

I on the other hand seem to have some obstacle or bother to spur me on.  While she was writing outside on the deck happily writing away I was a few feet away inside trying to write my daily post.  I was having a hard time.  Guess it was to nice there, right?  Nothing to push back against.  Give me a good problem and I am all over it but too nice and I’m lost.  It’s kind of being like a spritz cookie.  I get under pressure in that little tube and out I squirt in a beautiful star shape, no problem.

Ah, our hostess at the dinner that we attended later that day sent a nice message to me about the party.  Maybe I will quote her: “ Lucky to know you! I love sharing food to warm the soul.  Making a meal with my hands is my way of nourishing the people in my life. Everyone is welcome at my table, always room for one or two more. “   Now if that diesn’t have Camino hospitality written all over it, I’m not Felipe.  That was Perla and maybe I will post her pic too.  Thanks Perla.  Thanks Steve.

Well,  off I go.   Most of the effort these days is going into getting ready for the wedding that will be here in days.  Yup loves, Felipe.


A Post From My Rebecca

almost too much fun


Ah–the vastness, the depth of privilege fully realized through my five indulged senses.


〜 the squeals and cries, shouts and laughter, from children of all ages doing waterplay on this idyllic little lake. Kayaking, tubing, swimming, paddle boarding, rafting, and jumping off the bridge that is the gateway to this tiny island, right next to the sign that says No Diving No Swimming. And above the dogs barking and the boats motoring–is that Panpipes wafting on the breeze? No–it’s an ice cream mobile! Blasting a Brahms lullabye in double time. Wow. I am transported back in time.


〜 the warmth of the sun on my bare legs, but the cool of the breeze that puts a little riffle on the calm blue water.


〜 the lush greenness all around, the full height of summer flowering in purples, reds, violets, pinks, in well-tended elegant pots. The shy little sign saying “welcome to Enchanted Island”.


〜 the tenderness of the raspberry scones our hostess made for us, and later, savoring the meatloaf sandwich, potato chips and blueberries that we packed from home.


〜 the smell of wet dog. Not just any dog, but a dog almost exactly like our Sture, who is living in dog heaven here on this lake. He just goes swimming whenever he feels like it. Or just sits in the shallow water looking up at us. Then finds his ball and drops it in the lake for himself to fetch. He smells like the lake.


Just a lazy summer Saturday on the lake. Pure heaven.

(Thanks Rebecca for giving me a break today.  This is a wonderful tribute to our daycation.  And to Caminoheads, love you, Felipe.)


Sunday And We Give Thanks

good food yesterday


It is such a pleasure to be aware of God’s love for me and the grace that He showers on me to keep this ministry going in spite of the obstacles.  I am definitely not supposed to be here hanging around this long getting to do all the fun stuff that has come up.  It is a miracle for sure.  So happy that you are here to do it with me too.  That is a gift of the Camino to realize that we are so connected.

We did a lot of talking yesterday with Caminoheads and other great citizens of the area.  We were out on the road to connect and recreate.  My Rebecca called our daycation highly successful.  Yes, I will second that even though there were travel glitches but aren’t there always to some extent.  We missed the last boat from Tacoma and had to hightail it up to Seattle to cross there on the midnight ferry.  But yea, stuff happens.

We are walking at four this afternoon and tapas afterward if you are in the vicinity.  I was going to say if you are in the neighborhood but you are already in the neighborhood if you are reading this.  That is a miracle too that we have this website where we gather to “figure things out” and we do occasionally.

Later loves, Felipe.