Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's A New Day! Hooray!

Brad has his job back! All's right with the world and there's hope for the rest of us.

Fiorella is a faithful follower of Luann, the popular newspaper comic strip, and she's been quite downhearted about Luann's brother, Brad, losing his firefighter job, then his fast food job. But if Brad can get his firefighter job back, with an even better relationship with his girlfriend as lagniappe, that means Younger Son will find work, Older Son's knee operation will proceed satisfactorily, and Fio's romances will get published.

And Obama will be re-elected.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pull Together, Now

Fio has been thinking again, as is her wont. This time she's been thinking about support groups. There are ones that focus on drug addiction and alcoholism and every other kind of ism, and there are also ones that come together in the arts and sciences, like the Byron-Shelley-Keats literary clique and the Einstein-Goedel partnership. In sports, they're called teams.

In fact, one might regard all of society as a giant support group. Maybe that's the secret of humanity's success.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Woven Together

Fiorella gathered several old photographs to email to Cousin Norma for the family epic she's putting together. God bless Norma. She's researched Grandfather John back to his roots in an obscure Eastern European town, and even a few generations before that. Fiorella contributed a few family anecdotes and some "begats" she'd written down at some point, but that was about it.

Family histories are important. They give you a sense of where you came from--not necessarily biologically, because God only knows who really hooked up with whom--but of the composition of your nest.

We've got family histories written by Husband's parents in their later years, and Fiorella has learned a lot about Husband by leafing through them.

Nature is the clay, but nurture is what molds it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Family Matters

So, Afghanistan and Pakistan are after each other now. It's only to be expected--polygamy means a lot of guys are footloose and fancy free, which means their testosterone rages around all over the place, mainly at each other.

A man without his own family is cannon fodder.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Canine Messages

Fiorella was touched when the dogs rushed into the bedroom this morning to inquire after her health. As she lay in bed with a hot water bottle clutched to her degenerate hip, sweet, faithful Wendy stood beside the bed and licked her hand, while bouncy Bosco, Younger Son's little black bowling ball of a Pug, was so desperate to greet Fio that he backed up a couple of yards, gained speed, and made a flying leap up onto the bed.

How sweet. Fiorella's grandpuppy loves her.

Half an hour later, when Fio got out of bed, she discovered he'd also left more personal remembrances--in the bathroom and utility room, and on the antique Persian carpet beside the bed.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Felicitations and Congratulations

Daughter is married. It was a different wedding than Fiorella's was. Daughter and Son-in-Law weren't married in a church, or her home town, or even her home state, but in a Colorado ski lodge belonging to a friend of theirs. None of his family or hers were present.

The circumstances were not as Fiorella had imagined for Daughter, but the important thing is that she and her new husband love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

Now for the party.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


On this day of all days, Fiorella is grateful.

She's grateful for Husband's support of her writing career, for Younger Son's construction work in the yard, for Older Son's repair work inside, for Daughter's joy in her new job and upcoming wedding.

She's grateful for Friend Paula hosting Daughter's shower, for Friend Sharon's humor and understanding, for Friend Joan's proofing of her THREE novels, for Friend Marion's sympathy and support, for Friend Suzy's communications from across the sea.

She's grateful for Austin RWA, especially Friends Katie, Janece, April K, and Gary.

She's grateful for the healing bestowed upon her friends and family this year and for the medical procedure that will repair her degenerate hip. She grateful for love and humor and strength and hope, for possibilities and opportunities.

She's grateful for life. Amen

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holding Back

There's a reason that underlings didn't push when it came to reporting Jerry Sandusky: he was a big cheese and they were little ones. Who would be believed and who would lose his job?

Justice is relative to privilege and power. That's what the crucifixion was all about.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mixed Bag

The thunderstorm last night was scary, but, on the other hand, it rained. The skittish armadillo hasn't been caught yet, but yesterday a bigger, fatter one wandered into the trap (number eight). Fiorella's hip still hurts, but her eye has healed. Last, but not least, Fiorella is so high on painkillers that she can't even remember her last name, but why should she care?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Part and Parcel

An analysis out of Johns Hopkins reports that Neanderthals had relatively short limbs, which is "a common adaptation to cold weather." Fio's been telling you all along that ancestral genes designed her for cold weather, but she didn't realize her short arms and legs were part of the bargain. Ah, for a vacation home in the Swiss Alps.

Ah, for a vacation home anywhere out of this heat!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seeking Succor

Fiorella's right hip pain
Is clogging up her topside brain
Pray the x-rays will explain
So she'll have peace of mind again.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On the Blink

Sorry, but Fiorella is late signing in today. Yesterday she felt great, but today she doesn't. In fact, she can hardly move. It's her right leg or hip or something, and, yes, she's been to the doctor and he sent her off for x-rays (where, of course, she ran into a former student).

Anyway, the situation is more than painful--it's aggravating. Fio may not be athletic, but she likes to be active, up and about.

In the meantime, she's going through edits suggested by Friend Joan and working them into Princess of Bosque Bend. But that'll only take another hour. Then Fio will go crazy. Watch for lurid headlines about a romance author gone wild.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Fio woke up feeling good. Autumn is here. The leaves are rattling down the driveway, cold is permeating the house, and somehow the indoor light seems more welcoming than before. To top it off, hope is in the air for the family--medically, professionally, financially, and personally.

Wish us well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sandusky, Perry, Plum

So, Jerry Sandusky's admitting to "horsing around" in the showers with naked boys, calling it athletic camaraderie, but denies sexual assault. It's the Michael Jackson defense, and if Sandusky would have a fatal accident soon, he also would be forgiven and canonized. Or, as Fiorella's mother said when she heard one of Fio's teachers had been arraigned on similar charges, "Those nasty boys."
Rick Perry is Fio's favorite buffoon. Whooda thunk he had so much comedy in him? She's getting a real charge of his planning of dismantle the government and start from scratch. He could name his new creation Perrymania.
Fiorella received another agent rejection today. She's beginning to think that, despite her ferocious contest record, she's going to have to go "indie," which means self-publishing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Fiorella had a strange dream last night, but she liked it. She dreamed that she ran into Suzy G-T, who was so jealous of Fiorella's success on the job years ago that she and her henchman, Henry C, conspired to get Fio fired.

In her dream, she and Suzy sat down at a table together and talked like old friends. Not about the past, but about their current lives and their hopes for the future, then parted in peace. Fiorella felt like a part of her had been healed.

She hopes Suzy G-T had the same dream.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seven Hours

Fio once spent half an hour stalled in a highway traffic jam so she sympathizes with air travelers stranded for seven long hours on the tarmac. If her thirty minutes felt like seven hours, just think what their seven hours felt like.

Surely there is a way to disembark passengers after an hour of no go--the doors do open out as well as in. Think about it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Prickly Encounter

Life in the country is fraught with misadventures for a city-bred girl. Fiorella is typing this blog with her left hand because yesterday her right hand encountered a hidden prickly pear. Husband had taken down a tree and was cutting it into logs which Fio was loading into the wheelbarrow. She moved backwards, preparing to turn the barrow, when her foot hit a rock. She lurched, the logs spilled, and Fio went down on her back, throwing out her hands to cushion her fall.

Husband put up the chainsaws while Fio rushed back to the house and tried to remove the hair-thin spines with duct tape. Multiple applications and no little pain later, she realized duct tape had gone about as far as it could go. Time to melt a couple of candles and set up a home-waxing center. Multiple applications and no little pain later, she head for the tweezers. Beyond that, she'll just have to grin and bear it till the things work their own way out.

Hmm. A scorpion sting and a run-in with a prickly pear all within the past few months. Please don't tell Fio what's next.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fire and Fuel

Husband brought in an armful of wood Tuesday night, and we had our first fire of the season, which always thrills Fio. Our own wood from our own trees on our own property--there's something so timeless about it, so eternal.

And equally eternal is the hunt for more firewood. Husband has marked several trees done in by the drought so we'll be out with our chainsaws this weekend. If you have some extra time, come join us. But bring your own chainsaw.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Skewed Priorities

If Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno's long-time assistant coach, had been stealing game receipts, he would have been arrested and jailed, but his penchant for sodomizing vulnerable young boys was easily tolerated, at least by Paterno. And now football fans everywhere are up in arms that the legendary sports figure was fired by Penn State when the scandal broke.

Since when did football become more important than moral behavior? Since when did sports trump protecting children from sexual abuse?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Artful Dodger

The dogs were barking like crazy at the front windows about 4:30 so Fio assumed Matt the Armadillo Man had arrived. She'd called him the day before because the yard looked like someone had taken a pogo stick to it.

Fiorella walked outside to greet Matt, but he wasn't there. The armadillo was. It started waddling toward the driveway.

Aware that Matt wanted to know what direction the creatures were coming from, Fio followed, like Nancy Drew. The armadillo suddenly picked up speed, bursting into a run as it turned abruptly to the right and scurried into the woods.

When Matt showed up half an hour later, Fio pointed out the damage and described her encounter with the perp. Matt said he thought it was the same armored car he's been trying to catch for the last month.

As we were talking, a shout rang out from up the drive. Younger Son, who had kindly taken out the trash for Fio, had spotted the beastie. Matt grabbed his gloves and ran up the drive. But it got away.

"It's Skittish," Matt said. "All banged up--maybe a car or a big dog."

Fio wishes he hadn't told her that. Now she feels sorry for the poor little thing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

True Story

Woke up panicked
That I'd slept too late
Had an appointment
At half past eight
Dressed in a hurry
Tried to comb my hair
Glanced at the the clock
Oops--had an hour to spare.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Whoo-hoo. Fiorella is an official Grand Slam Diva in the Contest Diva list for 2010. In fact, on one posting, she was ranked first in Single Title. That means her manuscripts placed in more writing contests in the Single Title category than anyone else's.

Fio likes winning and she likes the recognition, but, again, she'd rather have a publisher.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Celebrity Immunity

It seems to Fio that, when it comes to "justice," celebrity usually triumphs. Of course, the California jails are crowded, but does Lindsay Lohan get to play in-and-out-the-window every go around?

And then there's Michael Jackson vs. Conrad Murray. Jacko, who's been canonized since his death--have you noticed that you're only seeing the flattering photos of him now, not the wacko ones?--won hands down, even though, basically, he killed himself.

And OJ Simpson vs. his ex-wife, a non-celebrity whose name Fio can't even remember. We all know what happened there.

Guess a little glam and glitter goes a long way in Lady Justice's eyes.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Geological Changes

Earthquake time, and Fio is so excited! Change is in the air--well, really, in the earth. It seems to Fiorella that the quakes are happening where one never expected them, Oklahoma being the latest. And it wasn't just a flutter either.

Fiorella, of course, has a theory. She thinks the tectonic plates are on the move, that the world is reforming itself yet again, maybe moving back to form another Pangaea, the great uni-continent that divided itself to form the landscape we have today.

Yeah, she knows that these things happen over billions of years, but she also figures there's got to be a time, a moment, when the die is cast, when the water from the Atlantic Ocean bursts out of the mountains and starts filling the Mediterranean basin, when the land bridge across the Bering Straits becomes too deep to travel, when Spirit Lake is changed forever.

And she has to wonder if Pilot Knob will start spewing lava again.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Genealogical Nest

Fiorella has been interested in genealogy since she was a child, maybe because her father's work opportunities yanked the family out of its ancestral nest when she was just seven. Yeah, 1500 miles across the country, and--dare Fio introduce the concept?--cell phones and email weren't even twinkles in Steve Jobs' eye back then. No more weekend visits with cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles. Fio, her parents and brother, were four against the world in exotic, remote Waco, Texas.

So Fio started questioning her parents about their families and writing down the answers. Mother was forthcoming, but Dad was more reticent--his family didn't talk about the past.

Fiorella never got around to writing a family history, but now she doesn't have to. Cousin Tom's wife, Norma, a crackerjack researcher, has stripped bare the bones of Dad's family and is about to lay it all out on Lulu for the rest of us.

Now if Fio can just entice someone on Mother's side of the family to do the same.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thank You for My Emmy

Call Fio crazy (which is nothing new), but she's thinking of trying her hand at a sit-com script. After all, she wrote a couple of skits when she was in high school, participated in Baylor Children's Theater when she was eight, nine, and ten, acted in a couple of civic theater productions as an adult, and has loads of material in this blog to draw from, so what else does she need?

Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, watch out! Fio is feeling creative again.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Leaving, Cleaving, and Conceiving

Fio has accepted the fact that parents love their children more than their children love them. It's nature's way of protecting the perpetuation of the species. Thus parents will sacrifice and even die for the sake of their children, but children are hell-bent to pull away from their parents and live their own lives from the moment they're born. It's called maturity--they are preparing to assume the parent role themselves, in which the pattern will be repeated.

We all love our parents, but we love our offspring even more, which is as it should be. Parents are the past. Children are the future.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Best Wishes to All

Fiorella, as you know, is extremely competitive. She likes to be top of the heap in whatever she is doing. And she keeps an eagle eye on those who are upward bound or maybe even besting her. But she wishes them well. It's the right thing to do.

Besides, it hurts less that way.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

While You Work

Fiorella has taken up whistling again.

She learned once, with great effort, when she was about six but hasn't puckered up for years until Younger Son, a talented and prolific whistler, boomeranged home. To her shock, she discovered her lips had forgotten how to whistle. It took her a couple of days of work just to get out one weak little tweet.

So, in her own determined Fiorella way, she's been working on her whistle steadily and can now tell you that she's got a five-note range. Nothing to write home about, but it's a start.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Tidbits

Fiorella pledges never to eat again. Last night she stuffed herself full of leftover Halloween candy and this morning she still feels sickish.
Have you noticed how perfectly shaped the supermarket pumpkins have become in recent years? It's as if HEB molds them in the back room. Fio, who prefers a little individuality for her artful carving, searched until she found one that had more of a dumpling shape--like she does.
Gone are the pirates, cowboys, and fairy princesses of yesteryear. Last night everyone was a zombie. At least the costumes were easy to put together.