Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Perfect Dress

The anger was always seething beneath the surface, but Mother's deepest insides were mushy sweet.

The summer before Fiorella entered high school, while the family was visiting relatives "up North," Fiorella spotted the perfect dress in an Akron department store.  It was a brown and orange plaid with a straight skirt, and it would assure everyone who saw her the first day of school that she was a person of consequence.

But it was expensive--probably over a hundred dollars in today's currency--so Fio had to walk away.  Late that night, Fiorella heard Mother, on the other other side of the partition that separated her parents' bed from the anteroom that housed cots for Fio and her brother, talking with Dad about the dress, explaining its importance to Fiorella.

Despite Dad 's concern about trip finances, he relented, and Fio walked proud and confident into Waco High School that fall.

Thank you, Mother.  You understood.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Fiorella told the psychologist that she remembered when her mother, Fio's new baby brother in her arms, was carried into the house on a gurney.  The whole neighborhood was gathered around in the front room. and when the ambulance personnel halted the gurney, Fio looked at the baby and said, "He's wide asleep."
Everyone laughed, but in a warm way, which made Fiorella feel good.

The psychologist told Fio this was a false memory, that post-partum women were not brought home on gurneys, even back them.

Fiorella stubbornly held onto the memory, which was just as real as when she and Janet Orcutt (Janny Orchid) washed their dolls in the Orcutt bathroom sink and saw their painted faces slide off.  Or when she sampled some of the cherries from the Orcutt cherry tree and discovered they were sour.  Or when she realized she'd gotten a strawberry stain on the front of her new sailor dress.

Which is all building up to Fiorella waking up this morning with PROOF, albeit circumstantial, that her mother came home on a gurney: she remembered that, years later, Mother told her that the woman who who took care of Baby during her convalescence was careful that Fio never saw him naked.

Which means that Mother was not immediately able to care for Baby when she came home from the hospital--ON A GURNEY.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Echos of Easter

Fiorella raided the HEB Easter candy discount table for real live chocolate and came away with a Binky Bunny and four Russell Stovers.  The latter, interestingly enough, were buried in the middle of the display, with only the backs of the packages visible--if one stooped down and squinted.  You can't tell Fio some chocoholic employee wasn't planning to snatch up those rabbits at the end of the day,

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Consider . . . .

The big bang theory is real--yes, the universe developed from the explosion of a single point.  But what existed before that single point?  God is real.
Fiorella has read that atoms are few and far between out there in space.  So, what's between them?  Multiple dimensions are real.
Fiorella has had the experience of walking into a situation, suddenly feel very light and floaty, and knowing exactly what was going to happen next and that she could control it.  Time is not real.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Generational Change

Fiorella's parents grew up in a judgmental era, and her mother was was prone to anger--at people, objects, and fate.   She growled in disgust when Fiorella couldn't flap a bedsheet correctly, came after Fio with a yardstick if she said "Just a minute" once too often, resented the doctor giving her just six months to live while her one-year-older cousin was flying high, wide and handsome.

Fiorella prefers a more peaceful existence, dead or alive.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Inspirational Poem

Fiorella is currently studying this wonderful poem by Emily Dickinson to inject more emotion into her current writing project.

After great pain a formal feeling comes--
The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff Heart questions--was it He that bore?
And yesterday--or centuries before?
The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
Regardless grown,
A quartz contentment, like a stone.
This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow--
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Don't Try It!

Fiorella decided to kill two birds with one stone and burn out a couple of pans while the oven was cleaning itself, but within an hour, the house was filled with smoke.  Fio held her breath and squinted her eyes, then made it into through the kitchen to open the back door and garage door.  Meanwhile Husband  turned off the oven and set up an exhaust fan.

But where was Sonia Dog?  She wasn't in the back yard and didn't answer when Fio went out front with treats. Finally Fio searched upstairs, and there she was, at the end of the hall, as far away from the smoke as she could get.

Mommy may not be too bright, but Doggie more than makes up for it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Computer

Hate to report
News of this sort
But Husband is not happy
Not to be rude
But we must conclude
Windows Eight is crappy

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Canine Snippets

Whatever is in Milkbones, it's addicting, at least for Sonya Dog.  She'll sit outside the pantry door whining forever.  And if that doesn't work, she yips imperiously--and annoyingly
Doggie sleeps on our feet at night--very comforting in the winter, but we may feel differently as the hot summer advances.
Husband may not believe in a human heaven but he describes a dog heaven, in which Tina and Freelove, Sandy, Blackie, crazy Bella, Hugo, and Wendy come to greet us and show us the ropes.  Sounds great to Fio.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vielleicht . . . .

When Husband asked Fio to let the dog out, Fiorella popped back with "Einen Augenblick!"

Now, truth to tell, Fiorella had one semester (ein Semester) of German (Deutsch) years ago in college, and she can actually remember some of it when prodded, like "Ich will schnell meine Badehose holen" (I will quickly get my swim trunks.)  But einen Augenblick (just a second) hadn't been part of her vocabulary since forever.

Fio is hopeful.  Maybe that means that, as she gets older, all those languages she tried so hard to absorb in her youth will start leaking out--ja?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Late and Early

Fiorella stayed up late last night to help the Easter Bunny arrange the baskets of chocolate, jelly beans, and Peeps.  Then she rose up early this morning to go out on the front porch, into the cool, still, hazy morning, and call out her usual Easter greeting to one and all:


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Boondocks Denizens

When Fiorella took Sonya Dog out for a walk yesterday morning, they came across a dead baby possum lying on the gravel driveway.  Sonya was curious, but obeyed Fiorella's command to "leave it."  The second time around the driveway, the possum was gone.  Was there a mysterious predator in the woods that had carried it off--maybe a fox, like at the White House?

Or had the baby just been . . . playing possum?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

For friends and family
For love and laughter
For talents and skills
For hope and opportunity
For all things beautiful and interesting and exciting and new and true
For material goods, fortitude, and endurance
For life, safety, and health
For yesterday, today, and tomorrow
For the existence of this country, of this world
For your comfort, love, mercy, forgiveness, and promise of eternal life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which we commemorate today

I thank Thee, Lord

Thursday, April 17, 2014

From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

It's amazing how fast "just one glazed doughnut" becomes a dozen.
Fio wants someone to invent windshield wipers that will turn on automatically, then adjust their rhythm to the amount of rain falling on the car window.
Maybe people die because they don't want to be old anymore.
Once the unthinkable has happened, one realizes it can happen again.
The universe is logical, and that logic is God.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Biblical Adjustment

"How ya doin' today, Eve," the serpent said.  "Everything's been the same for eons and I bet you're sorta bored.  Need something new?  Just take a bite of this apple and see what happens." And she did and got tossed out of Eden and had kids, and died, which leads us to Fio's topic for the day: change, the two-edged sword.

The biggest change during Fio's lifetime so far has been the development of electronics  They've taken over the world, but they keep letting us down. Given all the trouble Fio has had with her computer, the internet, and the television lately, is it any wonder the government had problems rolling out Obmacare?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Electronic Frustration

Hellooooooo! Long time, no see!

Fiorella has been through electronic hell lately.  The laptop finally works and she was able to email her revised manuscript to her editor this morning--just before she lost her internet again.  Husband was able to get the web working this evening, but, because he had to change Fio's password so she could use another computer over the weekend, she couldn't get onto the blog today, even with the new password.  Several hours of frustration later, she was finally allowed to get on board and write this blog.  It's almost 10:00, but your Fio will go to bed happy.

Now, about the TV that's out of whack. . . .

Monday, April 14, 2014

Assailed by Electronics

Hello--pant, pant.  Took Fio a while to get past all the Google-imposed passwords.  Husband spent about an hour yesterday working everything out, including establishing as new password for her, but it wouldn't work today and she had to manufacture another new one to get in. Fio is not happy with the electronic world.

Surely there is a way to make everything work better, but every ballyhooed "improvement" just seems to complicate matters.  With her old operating system, Fiorella could "save" and "print" with just one stroke after highlighting..  With her current system, she must go through "file" to get to "save," and sometimes she misses.  "Print" requires not only going through "file", but setting up the pages in a separate action, then hitting a "print" button. And as far as Fio can tell,there is no way to ask the system to find certain pages except to remember an odd word used on the page--no way to ask by page number.

Fiorella will be in the market for a new computer soon, but she doesn't need anything that can perform in Circus Soleil.  She needs a good, sold computer on which she can write poems, novels, and blogs, one on which she can communicate with friends, display her website, and  check out facts.

Wish her well.  These are trying times.

that she can write blogs osteamy novels on, that will remember her Christmas list,

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Yes, Fiorella is running late. Yesterday evening, just one day till completion of the requested revisions for her book, Fio's hard drive crashed. Husband put in a good hour this morning wrestling with Fio's back-up computer to hack her into her own blog, but the only way she can get into her latest version of WHAT THE HEART WANTS is through Mozy, her cloud carrier.

Maybe we'll give it a try later, when Husband has recovered from this round.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Late Night Oil

It was like when Fiorella was in school and used to stay up as late at night as she needed to in order to get all her homework done.  Back then, though, Fio wouldn't have started her assignments until maybe seven or eight in the evening. Yesterday, Fiorella began working on her revisions of WHAT THE HEART WANTS soon after she woke up in the morning and continued through till 11:30 last night.  She's been following that sort of schedule for a good while now.

Not that she's completely finished.  She still has one more run-through of the manuscript before she returns it to her editor.  But she'll wait for tomorrow for that.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sonya at Thirty Months

Sonya Dog will be an adult mastiff on April 21, her 30-month birthday.  But for the rest of her life, she'll be Fio's baby, her surrogate child, because she'll always be dependent on Fiorella for food, medical care, protection, and love.  And Fio has a great need to love.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keep on Chuggin' Along

Slept well last night and woke up late
Which mean right now I'm feelin' great
Hope to finish revisions today
Then send them on their merry way
And while Michele is taking a look
I'll start in on writing another book

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


As Fiorella's publishing date draws closer, she wonders what kind of reviews her book will get.  She's noticed that authors frequently cross-review each other and that their friends and relatives often sweeten the pot, but she was surprised to discover that some authors have almost a thousand reviewers.

The other night, when she was up late working on revisions, an advertisement came on for a company that guarantees it can overwhelm any bad or lackluster reviews with a flood of positive ones and thus give a business a top-notch rating.

Hmmm . . . .

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dang Machines

When Fio's printer died, Husband found her a reconditioned one which is, at best, temperamental.  And now, her faithful Dell, whose hard drive Fio replaced a couple of months ago, is on its last legs--her "saves" don't always take, and the lid makes a sharp clacking sound each time Fiorella opens it up.

When WHAT THE HEART WANTS rakes in its millions, Fio's gonna get herself a Mac.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Problem Solved

Fiorella was half-watching a special on climate change last night as she worked on revisions of WHAT THE HEART WANTS, and it seems to her that improved and less costly methods of the desalinization of sea water would allow us to remove enough water from the ocean to counter the rise in sea levels while also providing water for areas dealing with severe drought.

And, yes, thank you--Fio will accept the Nobel.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fiorella's Inspiration

This is one of my favorite poems.  Have I presented it to you before?  It's one of the most powerful things I've ever read and is what set me on my present course of reflecting reality in my poetry.  The title refers to Shakespeare's admonition not to over-act.  The references are all to WWII.  Hecht is Jewish.

"It Out-Herods Herod.  Pray You Avoid It"
Anthony Hecht

Tonight my children hunch
Toward their Western, and are glad   
As, with a Sunday punch,
The Good casts out the Bad.

And in their fairy tales
The warty giant and witch
Get sealed in doorless jails
And the match-girl strikes it rich.

I’ve made myself a drink.
The giant and witch are set
To bust out of the clink
When my children have gone to bed.

All frequencies are loud
With signals of despair;
In flash and morse they crowd   
The rondure of the air.

For the wicked have grown strong,   
Their numbers mock at death,   
Their cow brings forth its young,   
Their bull engendereth.

Their very fund of strength,   
Satan, bestrides the globe;
He stalks its breadth and length   
And finds out even Job.

Yet by quite other laws
My children make their case;   
Half God, half Santa Claus,   
But with my voice and face,

A hero comes to save
The poorman, beggarman, thief,   
And make the world behave   
And put an end to grief.

And that their sleep be sound   
I say this childermas
Who could not, at one time,   
Have saved them from the gas.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Act Now!

When she goes to an opera or a musical, Fiorella wants to sing along.  She'd rather write books than read them.  And her favorite part of the trip the family took to England years ago was walking through Harrod's, turning her ankle at Castle Urquhart, eating fish and chips in the rain at Greenwich and again at Bath, and encountering a group of exuberant school children yelling for echo effect as they ran through the tunnel under the Thames.

For all her artistic eye, Fiorella is a doer rather than an observer.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Behind the Times--Again

The television in Casa Fiorella has been on the blink for several days now.  Husband figured out how to get some sound out of it yesterday, but then lost it again, along with the picture. And all because of the new remote.

Guess remotes have gotten more complicated lately, just like the TV, the computer, and everything else. As Fiorella has often said, she'd like the world to slow down for a while so she can catch up.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hydro Phobia

Fiorella does not trust water.  It's okay in small quantities--bath tubs or swimming pools or poured into drinking glasses, but large uncontrolled amounts of it--oceans, lakes, rivers--make her nervous.

She is astounded at the people on HGTV who want to live on the ocean shore--haven't they ever heard of hurricanes and tsunamis? And lakes often  hide tree branches one can get snared in, or dangerous microbes, or piranhas, or crocodiles. And rivers can flood at a moment's notice.

Perhaps that's the root of Fiorella's phobia.  When she was a child and her family was driving from Texas to Ohio one year, they crested the hill at Cairo and looked down to see the road in front of them diving down beneath the Wabash River.

There was no land in sight on the other side

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Visual

The new remote isn't letting Fiorella hear a thing so all she could do was watch the action on The Little Couple last night, and she was struck again by what a sweet relationship Bill and Jen have with their children, hugging and kissing them every chance they get.

Her own mother would have regarded all that physical contact as soppy.  Fio always knew Mother loved her, but hugs were reserved for someone going or coming home from a long trip, and one kiss a day at bedtime was the limit.

Times change.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Round Up

This is so exciting!  We had cow patties on our driveway!

We also had a note on our door asking us to call if we spotted two runaway calves, but the babies were long gone by then. Fiorella was disappointed not to have seen the calves up close, but when she and Husband were coming home from grocery shopping, there they were, being tended to by neighbor till their owner claimed them.

Only in the boondocks.