Friday, July 31, 2009

Hot Times

Remember reading about the Anasazi, the Indians who finally had enough of the drought and the heat and just up and moved on? Well, I understand exactly how they felt, with temperatures averaging 100+ all month long and scarcely a raincloud in sight. Even if the AC is set to 70, the body knows how hot it is outside.

And next month is August.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just Five to Go

Fio is giddy,
Fio is gay*
Because she wrote
Twelve pages today.
Eight pages more,
The chapter is done,
But then, oh rats,
There's another one.

*Not THAT way

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daughter of My Heart

Today is Daughter's birthday, which means that once again I tell THE STORY.

I had a good relationship with my obstetrician, Marion Stahl, and he teased me a little as he sliced me open, telling the nurse to turn the page in the instruction manual, pretending a sponge had been lost, and singing--"If I were a rich man . . ." from Fiddler on the Roof. Of course, I couldn't resist singing back, "May she be like Ruth and like Esther. May she be deserving of fame . . . ."

"If that's what you sound like with your diaphragm cut, I'd sure like to hear you when you're all sewed up," a male voice commented. So my daughter was born to song.

A minute later everyone was quiet and I heard what sounded like a cat mewing. "Is that the baby?" I asked.

"You have a little girl," the doctor announced. "And she's got red hair. Just a minute and we'll clean her up and bring her to you."

"You don't have to clean her up," I said. Actually, I was curious about what vernix, the cheesy stuff babies are covered with at birth, looked like.

So they brought my cheesy darling to me, my 9 lb., 9 oz. baby girl with the red hair, blue eyes, and white, white skin. She was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen.

And today, on her birthday, she's even more beautiful. And she sings much better than her mother, diaphragm cut or not.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Fiorella wrote this poem many years ago, probably when she was in high school, and she hopes you will enjoy it. She must have been in her pantheistic stage.

Let my green mind fallow be
To everything I hear and see,
And let me be a part of Thee,
In perfect natural harmony.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Big River BOFFO!

Just got back from seeing a wonderful performance of Big River, a musical I never even knew existed before. I cannot believe the way Georgetown's Palace Theater pulls off these musical extravaganzas like The Producers, Grease so well. (Little Shop of Horrors was only so-so.)

It probably has something to do with the talent--people with real backgrounds and solid credentials like Joan Baker, Stephen Jack, Robert King, Jr., Steve Menke, Curt Olson, and others, plus fantastic newcomers Adam Munoz and Nick Orzech. In fact, with few exceptions, the entire large cast was great.

The musicality of most of the cast was impressive, especially that of the lead, young Adam Munoz, who has a wonderful, consistent, finished voice (with an amazing range) just as he is about to enter high school as a freshman. High School Musical, anyone?

The audience was stuffed full and very appreciative as Roger Miller's music swept everyone along on a raft down the Mississippi with Huck's dawning social conscience aboard. But the whole thing would have been nothing without the absolutely fantabulous violin, guitar, and harmonica trio that cobbled the whole story together. Whatever the Palace is doing to attract musicians of the stature and skill of Kristen Randolph, Kevin Gates, and Jose Ruiz, keep it up!

An interesting sidebar: perhaps noticing that musicals are its most popular productions, the Palace is now offering "new lower prices for Non-Musicals."
Its musical plans for next year, however, include Man of la Mancha, Annie, Nunsense II, A Little Night Music,, and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I don't know about you, but I'll be there with my toes a-tappin'.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

End of the Line

Funny girl Fio figured out long ago that blatant exaggeration gets her loads of laughs. Thus, when she was in her early thirties, she referred to herself as middle-aged, but one day her audience stopped laughing and started nodding agreement. So she upped the ante and she started referring to herself as an old lady, which got her the laughs again. Until recently.

So how does she refer to herself now--dead and buried?

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Has Fio ever told you about the time she was stopped by the Highway Patrol?

About 7:30 one dark October night, Fio suddenly realized there was a swirling red and blue light behind her. Apparently she had been speeding. The officers came up to both sides of her car and yelled at her to open her doors, as if expecting some damning cargo. The lead officer ordered her to produce her license and proof of insurance. Her hands trembled she searched through her purse and the glove compartment, but she didn't cry.

He demanded to know where she was coming from. Fio took a deep breath and said that she was coming from Waco, where she had gone to sign the permission form for her father's brain surgery, that when she walked through the door, he didn't even know who she was. Her voice caught in her throat, but she didn't cry.

The officer got out of the car and repeated her words to his partner. Fio remained in the car, resigned to her fate. A speeding ticket would not be the worst thing that had happened to her that day.

The officer got back in the car, told her he hoped her father would recover, and handed her a warning notice.

That's when she cried.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Fiorella is constantly amazed by the way every new scientific discovery supports long-held religious beliefs.

The Big Bang is one of them. It holds that everything began in a millisecond with the explosion of a minute particle. Just like in Hinduism it all began from one drumbeat and in Christianity from one word. And everything that ever was and ever will be is enclosed in the universe, nothing ever lost, nothing more created.

God is complete.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


How do they know where to go, those little pills I take every day? How does Tylenol know to travel to the head when I have a headache, but to my back when it hurts? How do blood pressure medications know to go for the heart? How do blood thinners know to seek out the arteries? What about the way the appropriate medication ends up in my thyroid?

I imagine them all going down my gullet, turning on their tiny GPS systems, then sprouting little oars that let them paddle to their individual destinations. Bon voyage!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Random Snippets

I am the mother of a son who thought his grandfather moonlighted (limelighted?) as Bob Barker. But then, for years I myself thought the Carnegie who developed the success course was the same one who gave money to libraries, and that Tuesday Morning was only open on Tuesday mornings.
I read about Jon Gosselin quaffing exspensive wines during his vacation in France and thought, that's his children's blood he's drinking. By the way, has the hospital ever been paid in full for Kate's care before and after the delivery?
I live in a small town fully equipped with all the vices of a big city: tattoo parlors, plastic surgeons, and Starbucks.
I want someone to develop a microscopic beeper that can help me find all the household's frequently-lost items: car keys, glasses, TV changers, cell phones, and contact lenses
I think that what separates us from beasts is that we seek out understanding of ourselves and our environment, whether through science, religion, or our imaginations.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


When Fio was in Walgreen's yesterday, she was astonished to notice a $30 DNA paternity test on the shelves.

Wild. She thought those things cost scads of money, took a long time to be analyzed, and had to be carried out by trained technicians. Of course, pregnancy tests used to be complicated lab procedures too.

What's next? Diagnose-it-yourself cancer kits?

Monday, July 20, 2009


As my index finger glides across the touch pad, wending its way through the Internet from to Bookmarks to Fiorella, I marvel at our electronic wonders and realize the magic wand I've been predicting for years is almost here--the single instrument with combos of buttons, colors, and tones which controls everything--mood music, overhead lights,window shades, kitchen appliances, garage doors, door locks, our computers, all communications--maybe life itself.

But, as I've asked before, what if God turns off the electricity?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Party On!

I swear to you it's true,
You know I wouldn't lie--
Cookies, cake, and ice cream,
Chocolate icebox pie--
No matter what, or the amount,
Birthday calories don't count.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Black Comedy

Fiorella has been fascinated by the report that some of the Billings home invaders were dressed as Ninjas, as if they were comic book superheroes.

More like Daffy Duck. Number one, no one in the gang turned off the surveillance equipment and they were all filmed from start to finish. Two, they used a red van, one of the most identifiable vehicles imaginable. Three, the safe they stole, instead of being stuffed with cash, held only jewelry, documents, and the children's medical prescripions.

The whole debacle would be laughable except for one thing: they did know how to kill quite effectively.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Fire, water, earth, air--the traditional four elements.

Fire keeps us warm and cooks out food, but it can also burn us to a crisp. Water is essential to life, but can also drown us. The earth, which provides our sustenance, can also crack open under our feet and swallow us up. And the air, necessary to life, can form itself into powerful spirals and batter us to smithereens.

Then consider automobiles, weapons, elephants, insects, Botox. Everything seems to have a potential for good or evil.

Especially people.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Survival 2009

Last week was interesting. In addition to Husband's car going out the day after he got it back from the garage, Fio's car going out on the way home from picking him up from where he was stranded (thirty miles away), temperatures averaging over 100 degrees for three weeks straight, and Husband getting stung twice by wasps sneaking into the house via the uncaulked corners of the attic, the word went out to the neighborhood to boil all drinking water.

Yes, there'd been a break in a pipe three streets over and we were instructed to boil all water for drinking, cooking, or ice cubes (which sort of vitiated their purpose).

How odd to realize one would be safer brushing one's teeth with urine rather than tap water.

Fortunately, we were well-stocked with Ozarka.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy BD to Me

On today, July 15, her birthday, Fio chooses to revisit one of her first memories, when she was about three, maybe even younger,

She fell down the stairs, but in that split second of falling, she realized that the fall itself, the momentary weightlessness, was really rather exciting and enjoyable, but the landing would hurt.

And that insight has stayed with her.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Children

Fiorella is not too interested in who killed Michael Jackson, that is, who slipped the final needle in his arm. As far as she's concerned, he killed himself long ago.

But what she does care about is the welfare of "his" three children. Have they had any education at all? Have they been taught to read, to write, to do basic arithmetic? Do they know anything about history or science? Can they interact with other children?

Five will get you ten that within ten years at least one of them will write a tell-all book--and it won't be pretty.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Fiorella is fascinated by the spectacle of Lance Armstrong once again hitting the cycling circuit, and he seems to be coming up fast in the Tour de France.

As everyone knows, after our hometown hero retired, he divorced his wife and kids (the same woman who was steadfast and supportive during his bout with testicular cancer) and hit the local wildlife scene with pals like Matthew McConaughey, dating big name cuties like Sheryl Crow and trying to hit up local cuties, like Fio's daughter.

After a couple of years, Fio figures the playboy life began to dull--and he missed the headlines. So it was back to the bicycle again.

He may win the Tour de France or he may not. But Fio thinks whatever happens, he loses: if he loses, he loses--and if he wins, so what? Been there, done that.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Caffeine High

You've heard the news, haven't you? First butter, then eggs, then chocolate--now caffeine. Yes, caffeine has been rehabilitated. Apparently it's a brain stimulant and can even fend off Alzheimer's to some degree.

Fiorella, who hates coffee, had better revise her beverage menu. On the other hand, there are those who would say that Fio's brain has long since gone south and there's not the least chance of retrieving it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


In case, you're wondering--or even if you're not--Fiorella usually works several days ahead as the inspiration strikes her. Right now she's writing this revelation July 8 and will schedule it for July 11. Posting has been lagging late in the past couple of weeks so when the designated date rolls around, she'll wrestle with Blogspot to pop this entry onto the website in a timely manner.

Where does Fio get her ideas, you ask. From everything that is happening around her and to her. Fio is a magnet of weird events--and the causative agent of even more. And if nothing is going on, she has a treasure trove of trivia and topics (Fio adores alliteration) stored out of sight in her blog warehouse to call upon.

Yes, Fiorella will keep a-comin'--just like spam.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Fiorella loves/hates to write because she gets obsessive. Thus she is totally wrapped up in her current literary effort. If the house went up in flames tomorrow, she'd sit on the couch, computer in lap, and say, "Just give me another minute."

Yes, when it comes to writing, our Fio is a house afire.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Top Dollar

While husband searched the big, supersize HEB in Leander for specialized batteries, I stuck my twenty into the Lotto machine for two weeks of play. The machine spat back my money contemptuously--three times. In order to get the machine to accept my bet, I had to go to the counter and exchange my bill for a crisp new one.

I told you I shop at a ritzy supermarket.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Our Wendy is a girlie girl,
A prissy little missy;
She won't go out in rain or storm--
Yes, Wendy Dog's a sissy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Half-step by Half-step

Sometimes Fiorella feels a little uneasy trundling the trash can up the long driveway, wooded on both sides, at dusk. But then, she remembers that she's safe as long as she doesn't hear any music. Yes, Fio has seen the movies--that chromatic scale is what gives it all away.

On the other hand, sometimes an ominous silence is not too good a sign either. Maybe Fio should try to get the trash out earlier in the day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Amadeus, I Never Knew Ye

I sat down at the piano and started practicing. Halfway through "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," I realized there was something on the wall to the right of the piano. It was a daddy long-legs, as still as could be. I tried to ignore it and continue heralding, then finally got a swatter from the kitchen and flattened it.

Now I felt guilty. What if that delicate spider had been Mozart in a past life and was drawn to the sound of music?

Oh well, if it had been Mozart, my piano playing would killed him off anyway.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Some people are old souls, deep and knowing. Fiorella is a new soul, as shallow as they come. Bad things happen and she's upset. Good things happen and she's ecstatic.

Yes, Fiorella's alter ego made the finals in another romance-writing contest and Fio is swinging from the chandelier. Just think how unbearable she'll be if she actually wins!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth!

Did I ever tell you about the time I saw the Liberty Bell, that great American icon?

The family was visiting Philadelphia, doing the tourist thing. We learned a lot about Ben Franklin, visited Betsy Ross's low-ceilinged rat warren, and saw the Liberty Bell.

It's a big attraction for visitors, of course, so a whole crowd was--well--crowded into the display room. The guide explained that the bell's significance was mainly symbolic, that it had a checkered history, having cracked the first time it had been rung, been repaired, then recast, then, after a while, cracked again. How deflating--another Great American Myth.

Nevertheless, when I moved up to touch it, I burst into tears. And I'm tearing up now as I write. Symbols hold power.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Gimme Drugs!

Fiorella is aghast at the idea of Tylenol being watered down and Hydrocodone being withdrawn from the market because they are being abused. Good grief--everything has the potential of being abused!

Fio can't take aspirin so she has to rely on acetaminophen. Being of a certain age, she has various aches and pains that a couple of Tylenol handle quite effectively. For major problems, she has a few Hydrocodones tucked away, and she has no interest in learning to just suck it up. I mean, women in pain are known to KILL!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It's come out now that Michael Jackson is not the biological father of his three children--as if anyone who had a basic knowledge of genetics ever thought they were.

But the shocker is that Debbie Rowe is not the biological mother either, just a hired surrogate.

Now we know. Pubic opinion wouldn't stand for him palling around with any more young children, so he bought some and grew them. They were his possessions, and now that their owner is dead, they will probably be discarded. I wish them well, poor lambs.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Helloooo, Cosmos

Fiorella is embarrassed. Older Son called her from Minnesota to inform her she had written "Michael JORDAN" instead of "Michael JACKSON" when she commented on the pop star's death. Son enjoyed the situation, but Fio did not. She had proofed the entry twice--was her father's senility catching up with her?

More to point, why hadn't anyone else noticed her error? IS ANYONE AT ALL OUT THERE READING FIO?