Sunday, July 12, 2020

Hour by Hour

Happy almost birthday to Fiorella, but things aren't going too well for her right now, and all she can do is sit at home and fester. Those kitchen fans are still going full blast, Fernando didn't show up to work on the backyard walkway, and she discovered she'd left toothpaste and yellow tablets off her grocery list. Nothing to do but drop by Walgreen's and buy herself a couple of bags of Chocolate Nuggets.
Oops, it looks like your girl will go meatless for the next couple of days. Don't know why HEB won't give her two slabs of salmon like she asks for.
She's also just discovered that she didn't tape up the bottom of the box she's just spent an hour packing a very heavy punch bowl and all its accouterments into. Actually, she'd wanted to sell the set, but how can you sell anything with the pandemic going full blast?
Fio bought chocolate, toothpaste, and a steno tablet at Walgreens, then stopped by Panera for a French baguette, which she ended up sharing with Sonia Dog. Walgreen's, of course, was almost empty, and all but one of the few customers were wearing masks. The lone bare face was a tall, boisterous guy who was buying what looked like a keg of beer. Hope he enjoys it before the virus gets him.
Fiorella threw her anger into working on the kitchen per se today--which means everything but the DUMP TRUMP button area, which will probably be cleared out tomorrow. but she is again going to try to find a button manufacturer who can run off the buttons en masse.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

True Short Story


I turn right at Joe Bob's pool hall, left at God's Lighthouse, right again at Della's Quality Wigs, then proceed down the bumpy country road, navigate the low-water crossing, and turn in at the end of the asphalt, putting me in the faculty parking lot of Little Whitetail High School, where I'll be teaching a dual-credit college class this fall.
     The weather is nasty, but I'm in luck--there's an empty space near the back door of the school. I ease into it carefully, half open my door, then turn to gather my umbrella, purse, satchel of books, and first-day hand-outs.
     The voice of God booms over my door.
     Startled, I jerk around, only to have my vision blocked  by a large male torso, the head and shoulders of which are above my view.
     "Ma'am, you're parked in my secretary's space." The man waves at the parking area. "These two places are for the principle and the secretary. Everyone knows.
    My head bobbles like it's on a string as I look back and forth to see what I missed.
   "There aren't any signs," I say as I glance out of my back window to see where else I can park, but I must not be moving fast enough because the voice addresses me again.
     "Everyone knows."
      I glance around for another open spot.
      The voice is getting irritated. "May I help you , ma'am?"
     "I'm just trying to figure out what spots are open."
     "They're all open, ma'am."
     If they're all open, then why can't I stay where I am? runs through my head, but I accept my fate, say Oh in acknowledgment, close my door, back out of the secretary's space, and park in the back row in God-only-knows whose-else's space. A gray-haired woman pulls in beside me, glares, and dings my door as she gets out of her car.
    When I return to the parking lot at the end of the day, there are now two new, bright and shiny, metal posts from which are hanging two new, bright and shiny, laminated paper signs identifying the parking spots of the principal and his secretary.
     The laminated paper signs flip-flap through several perfunctory autumn storms, then blow away in a truly magnificent Thanksgiving gale. The next week, they are replaced by new, bright and shiny, metal signs.
     "These signs are totally unnecessary," I tell another teacher. "I was the only one who didn't know where not to to park, and now I do. Besides, I'm not even in the lot today. I couldn't get through the low-water crossing so I took one of those yellow-striped places out front."
    "Out front? " she gasps. " Those spaces are reserved for the coaches!"
    I stand my ground. "There aren't any signs."
    She gives me an astonished stare.
    "Everyone knows."

     "Those signs really aren't necessary anymore," I remarked to one of the high school teachers. "I'm the only one who didn't know where I was supposed to park, and now I do. Besides, I'm not even using the lot out back today. I couldn't get through the low-water crossing so I took one of those yellow-striped places out front."
   Her eyes widened with horror.
  "Out front? Those spaces are reserved for the coaches!"
   I gazed at her in confusion.
  "But there aren't any signs."
  "Everyone knows!"

Friday, July 10, 2020

From Luann to Life

Okay, Fiorella will admit it: she's addicted to the comic strip Luann, and right now, she's on tenterhooks about Tiffany showing her father a copy of Les's ultrasound and expecting him (her father, not Les) to accept it. Afraid something will happen and Ann Eiffel will again get the upper hand. Maybe Tiff will be thrown out of the house and have to live in Luann's family's rental room. Hmmm...wonder if Mr. Gray, Les's uncle, will help.
Finally figured out why Younger Son thinks Fio is slow in clearing out her house--because he's looking at everything remaining on the walls and shelves while your girl is more of an excavator.
Fiorella's beginning to think that she needs to hire somebody who knows something about gardening to pretty up her front yard. Fernando is great for mowing lawns, constructing pathways, and trimming trees, but he' seems to be as ignorant as Fiorella is when it comes to gardening.
Hey, hey, hey--brother Bill called for his weekly chat, and when Fiorella told him about the problems she had trying to get Sonia Dog her vaccinations, he recommended the traveling vet he uses. Just hoping she'll come to Georgetown, which apparently is unaware of the species.
Fiorella loves being alive because being dead must be soooooo boring.

Thursday, July 9, 2020


It's hard to tear up the house, yet keep it looking nice at the same time, especially when you're supervising a backyard pathway, writing a book, tending to a very needy dog, and dealing with fans directed at the kitchen ceiling are so loud that you can't sleep.
Have been reading bits and pieces of Donald Trump's niece's book. Only wish it had come out four years ago.
What's on Fiorella's list for today, you ask. Well, she's planning to pay bills, shoot off a letter to the County Commissioners about that that dam dam across her dry creek, dig out a dirt area around her dying jasmines so they can get more water, get the name of a good fencer from her neighbors to the north, work through a screwed up chapter in Lolly's story, and maybe even do some vacuuming. What are you doing?
Did Fiorella tell you that she's ringed the three biggest rock outcroppings in the front yard (el parke) with stones so whoever buys her property will recognize their majesty?
 The world makes a lot more sense after a good night's sleep.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Cleaning Out the Memories

Fiorella was greeted with a joyful bob-white, bob-white, bob-white this morning when she went outside to pick up the newspaper. Hoping that means she'll have a joyful day😁
When Fio decided to give up Hershey Nuggets yesterday afternoon, she didn't know the only way she could get up her energy this morning was by whipping up a package of chocolate pudding Daughter had thoughtfully added to her food order last week. CHOCOLATE RULES!
Fiorella, enraged by the deer using her front yard as a no-pay cafeteria, is considering chicken wire fencing. Apparently, she can get it delivered by Home Depot, but who can she hire to install it for her? Her wonderful yard man has a Monday-Friday job now, and his Saturdays are dedicated to Fio's extensive backyard project.
Your girl is still depressed. She needs someone to talk to, someone to bounce ideas off of. Solitary confinement is driving her crazy. How about you?
The chocolate must has taken hold about 2:30, because that's when Fiorella went out to pick up the mail, then realized she couldn't go up to the road because it was starting to rain, then noticed there were three big, heavy, square boxes sitting on her porch bench, unmarked except for a Home Depot sticker. Aha! This must be the granito for the backyard pathway.
Fio went inside again, looked around, and decided to pull all her wrapping material out from under the double lower cupboard beneath the breakfast island. Her heart sang at the sight of the shining ribbons, the multi-colored twisties, and the beautiful wrappings that she'd saved from year to year. Now it is time to take her pretties away to a new house, where Granddaughter can also enjoy them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

From Gardening to Wordage

Give Fiorella a break! She's the only person in the world whose asian jasmines are dying on the stem. Not only that, but, the resident deer consider her iron plants to be quite tasty. Fio isn't sure what to do with the withering jasmine, but she's building a network of metal staves and rounds held together with silver twisties to protect the iron plants--as if that will work.
Your girl had to contact elder son when her screen suddenly lost its upper and lower information strips, meaning that Fio couldn't back anything up. Son didn't understand the situation at first and put her through several exercises before finally solving the problem. It's hard to work on computers from a distance. Wish someone would come out with a nice, simple machine that doesn't require Fio making so many SOS calls to Minnesota,
Guess what! There are still debutantes in the world! Fiorella researched the world of debut four years ago, when she started writing Lolly's story, then rechecked the phenomenon just today to be sure it still exists. Ah, the fairy-tale lives of the upper crust. Wonder if their divorces are just as glamorous.
Yes, the packing is still going on, although Fio is running out of small boxes to stuff inside the big ones, which probably calls for another trip to the Post Office to see what it has in stock. Hey, are any of you out there old enough to remember when we would get our boxes from the hoard that the grocery stores tossed out as trash?
How is Lolly going, you ask. Well, excepting for total panic when Fiorella lost the lines at the top and bottom of her computer screen, the story is moving along just as Fio planned. Looks like the book will end up at 70,000 words or so.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Writing, Writing, Writing, Writing, Writing

This blog almost didn't get written because Sunday is Fiorella's hair-wash and clean-up day. Also, she has a lot on her hands right now. Today was dedicated to clearing out more drawers in her office, a Zoom get-together, and Lolly. Yes, at last, Fio is working on the book she started four years ago, when she was told that it was ahead of its time. Now she's on the last three chapters--about sixty pages to go.
     Fio's has told you quite a bit about Lolly so far--that she's petite, blonde, sexy, and willful, but nothing about Cotton, the male lead. Actually, he's the very man Lolly shouldn't be attracted to--a serious paleontologist several years older than she is. But fate has a way of bringing like and unlike together. Especially when a baby is involved.
      Fiorella wants to get this book finished and published as soon as she can because she's already blocked out Sarah's story, which will probably be a novella (40,000 words).
     And what will come after that, you ask. Well, Fio has at least three more completed books that she needs to spiff up before they are published, and there are many more stories rolling around in her head. Then there are the short stories that crowd two of her file drawers. And did she mention the poetry?
     Before she leaves, Fiorella will give you a little peak at her heroine:
With her hair tumbling over her shoulders like a shower of gold, so soft and smelling of springtime, she'd never looked more enticing, but he'd settled her down on his couch, not his bed...hadn't he?