Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fast Away the Old Year Passes

Where have all the Christmas cards gone
Long time passing
Where have all the Christmas cards gone
Long time ago . . . .

As usual, Fio displayed this year's cards on the front of the folding doors between the living room and the dining room--all twenty-seven of them, when she used to receive twice that many.  Years ago, her mother easily received four times that many.

But times have changed. People can pick up a phone and stay in contact with friends on a regular basis rather than waiting to scrawl a year's worth of news onto the back of a Christmas card.  Besides, those paper cards cost money, and so does mailing them--Fiorella paid almost forty dollars to send her seventy-five cards off to the corners of the earth.

Face it, Fio--Christmas cards are old hat now.  How sad.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Edge City Down the Tubes

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo. . . . Tell me it ain't so! Doonesbury has dwindled down to a hit-or-miss Sunday strip, Luann flounders with an unsteady footing in college, and now Edge City is retiring.

What is Fiorella to do?  The comics are the main reason she still subscribes to a newspaper.  Well, that and the anagrams.

Dear God--are the anagrams next?


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Silent "T"

Regarding the pronunciation of often, please consider the following: soften, hasten, moisten, listen, fasten, glisten, jostle, hustle, bustle, thistle, whistle, rustle,  mistletoe.

Think about it, people.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sample Painting

Check back to "Artistic Advice" on December 12. This is the sample painting that Fio was trying to upload to illustrate painting what you see, using a pinkish background, and looking for red.





Sunday, December 27, 2015

Name Time

Fiorella confesses that she has far too good a time naming the characters in her stories.  Thus, in Where the Heart Leads, she gave the great-grandfather of the hero the name of one of her favorite college teachers, Gilbert McAllister.  And the hero's mother was named after an old friend of Fio's, Enid Hallock.  And the pianist's daughters, Carmen and Micaela, were named after the female leads of Bizet's opera.  And the reason the hero's sister-in-law was nicknamed "Rocky" is because her birth name was Marcy Ann--think about it.

Knowing no shame, Fio borrowed the names of kids she went to elementary school with for the Bosque Bend police captain (Mervin) and the local drive-in burger joint (Hardy Joe).  And a crazy whitish horse was named Bella in memory of a crazy whitish cocker spaniel mix that Fio's family once owned.  To top it off, Fio named the kinfolk the hero ran into at a Halloween carnival after her own cousins.

There's more, but that's enough to give you the idea.  Manipulating reality can be a lot of fun.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Blessed House

Fiorella reporting in--our Christmas day was wonderful.  We were thirteen at the table, which was really the dining table adjoined to a picnic table that Fio and Husband had lugged out of the depths of the garage.  The chairs came from all over the house and were joined by four brought by Brother Bill and his wife. After the gift give-aways and dinner--turkey breasts, ham, salmon, boiled potatoes, corn, mushrooms, pies, pudding--we all set up camp in the den, Fio handed out the stockings, and everyone talked and talked and talked.  And laughed and laughed and laughed.  Some of the guests had to leave as the afternoon wore on so the party moved into the front room, still talking.  And laughing.

Everyone is gone now, but the house is still resonating with vibes of love.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day



Minnesota Son and wife arrived about six yesterday, Fiorella finished her decorating by about seven, and the rest of the evening was spent cleaning up and planning for today.

The kitchen crew will have its hands full--ham and turkey and salmon, green beans and broccoli and mushrooms, potatoes and dressing, salad, pies and pudding.  Husband, Daughter, and Daughters-in-Law will take care of most of the cooking, with Fio boiling the potatoes and baking the salmon--she already made the pudding last night (smart girl).  

God bless our table and our family. And God bless you and yours.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

One day to Go

Fio has just one day left to finish decorating, and Husband is breathing down her neck to hurry it up. She's had to cut back a lot this year, which curls her soul, but thirteen people will be sitting down at her make-shift Christmas table, and right now it's still covered with her decorating debris--ribbons, greenery, birds, butterflies, ornaments of all sorts.

Wish her well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Danger Everywhere

Fiorella walked up to the road at twilight and started looping a long string of tinsel garlands on the trees down into the driveway.  The sky was blue-gray, the moon was a smudge of white overhead, and the air was still.  Suddenly she realized she was all alone on the darkening road--a situation right out of Forensic Files.

And that, my friends, is how a writer's mind works.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday Decorations

Fiorella likes decorating for Christmas, and she does a bang-up job of it.  Wreaths, red bows on everything bow-able, paper snowflakes she cuts anew each year, a tree that should be able to be seen from Mars--the works.  But what she doesn't understand is  the mindset of people, individuals, who spend thousands of dollars covering every inch of their homes and yards with displays that should be able to be seen all the way to Pluto.

Bling upon bling is not only wasteful, but tasteless, no matter what holiday it is.  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Perceptions


This much, my dear, is clear:
I have the knowing eye
You have the knowing ear.
You look, but do not see
I listen, but do not hear.




Sunday, December 20, 2015

Honk!

It's almost Christmas so, reverting to her childhood, Fiorella is sick.  Not the scarlet fever or chicken pox of her youth, but a sinus infection--just enough to make her miserable.  She got up at four this morning and ran a hot bath to warm herself and press a hot washcloth against the side of her nose so she could breathe.  Today will be a chicken-rice-soup and hot-water-bottle day.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Holiday Hysteria

Each political party has its loons--the Republicans have Trump and the Democrats have Sanders. Trump bellows and Sanders froths. Fiorella hopes they'll both give it a rest for the next two weeks, and let us all enjoy the holidays, although Fio's life is still wrought.  She hasn't received the financial settlement yet in re the scamming handyman, and that home refinancing, which was signed sealed, and delivered weeks ago, is still rearing its ugly head in the form of a letter claiming she hadn't submitted proof of insurance, which she darn well had, but now Fio can't find a copy of the letter or the insurance declaration page.  In fact, in the pre-Christmas melee, it's hard for her to find anything.

Ah, well. There's always chocolate.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Snippets

The noose draws tighter--the Christmas Eve noose, that is.  Only seven more days left for Fio to decorate the house and the driveway.  Send your energy vibes her way.
*
The yardman cut down two dead trees on our property, doubling our supply of firewood. It's the right thing to do.  Fio is always saddened by the sight of broken and fallen trees on the side of the road.  Leaving arboleal corpses to rot in the rain is a disrespectful and a waste of natural resources.
*
Fiorella appreciates the fact that plastic ornaments can last forever, but she prefers the limited lifespans  of the traditional glass ornaments.  Their very fragility makes them more precious.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Starbucks, Snowmen, and Christmas Cups


What's going on with the stupid hullabaloo over Starbucks' red Christmas cups and delicious red-scarfed snowmen?  What is the source of all that negative publicity? A rival coffee shop, a red-and-green-only organization, a snowman-protective movement?

Fio, of course, has her own theory.  She thinks a Ku Klux Klan-type hate group has declared war on Starbucks because the coffee shop developed a social conscience a while back and tried to spread the good word with the rather innocuous "Race Together" message inscribed on its cups.

Therefore, Fio being Fio, she has decided to patronize Starbucks a couple of extra times this season to show her opposition to racism and her support of snowmen and red cups.

On the other hand, maybe Fio and her ilk are being maneuvered.  Maybe Starbucks itself is the source of the outcry.  As 'tis often said, there's no such thing as bad publicity.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Big House

When Fiorella was a child, she dreamed of living in a Cinderella castle. As a young woman, she cast an ambitious eye on pictures of celebrities' palatial homes.  But in her maturity, she has realized that a large home is never quite one's own. If Fio, with her 3000 square feet, employs a bi-weekly maid and a once-a-month yardman, and is now looking for an as-needed handyman, how many people--full-time staff--would the upkeep of a 10,000 sq. ft. "home" require? Or a residence twice that size? There's no way Fio could slip into her Cinderella gown and waltz her way through that large a house without bumping into a squadron of maids dusting, cleaning, and mis-arranging her furniture.  Pity Queen Elizabeth.  Her castle is not her home.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Schedule

Fiorella assured Husband she would have all the Christmas decorations done by the end of the week.  Then she lost yesterday to his medical procedure and a fall she took while she was trying to get up on an outside chair--one of those heavy wrought iron things--to rehang the plastic snowflakes that had fallen off a misshapen little front-yard tree. She hit the back of her head on the ground and twisted her right foot. The head seems to be okay, but the arch of Fio's foot is so swollen that she's holding onto whatever's handy as she limps around the house.  No ladder-climbing for her for a while.

Sigh.  Looks like the decorations are going to be the usual count-down to the wire.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Creative Explosion

Fiorella is the most creative person in the world and her mother is to blame for encouraging her.  Of course, Mom tried to rein Fio in at a certain point, but it was too late.

The above is a prelude to the main story: Fiorella finished off her Christmas sonnet and the card design today, and, in five minutes, will be busting down the road to FedEx Kinko's, which, under one name or another, has been printing out her cards for too many years to count.  The poem is always the hardest part, with Fio revising it even when she's in her design phase, like today.  "Christmas Fire" is the title, and you can guess the topic.  But how to illustrate it?  Fio made a quick sketch of the family fireplace, but it looked stupid.  Then the lightning struck--that bolt of creativity that borders on insanity--use the fire, but cut it out of red paper and use it to border the poem!

Okay, the euphoria is fading and the insecurity is setting in.  Will people like Fio's cards, realize the treasure they have received?  Or will they toss the card in the waste basket and wonder why Fio doesn't go out and buy cards like everyone else.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy Birthday, Son

Austin Son had another birthday yesterday.  Fio is happy to celebrate with him, but she really doesn't like him adding another year.  Fiorella's car is more than ten years old, her Christmas tree is more then ten years old, and she herself is more than ten years old, but she would like Son to stay steady.

Com'on, kid, hold your ground.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Artistic Advice

If there's one piece of advice I have for young artists, it's to paint what you see, not what you think you see.

Oops, a second one: look for the red, especially regarding portraits.

And another one: start by painting the whole canvas pink.

And if Fio can ever get her laptop to cooperate, she'll give you an example of her own work.








Friday, December 11, 2015

Ins and Outs and All Abouts

Everywhere Fio went yesterday, she got herself into trouble.  She missed the turn to Mimi's Cafe and drove round and round Premium Outlets, stopping to get guidance from everyone she saw.  Later on, she couldn't find her credit card in HEB and had to leave her cart with the front desk while she went back to the car to search for it.  And when she got home,  she lost the new roll of Scotch tape she'd bought to affix her paper snowflakes to the window.  To top it off, that evening, her computer froze, and she had to turn to pen and paper to work on her Christmas poem.  But the words just wouldn't come.

However, she did finally reach Mimi's and had an enjoyable lunch with Friend Jane, she eventually found her credit card in her purse and reclaimed her groceries, and, after a thorough search, she found the tape and decorated the windows.  Then, this morning, as she was waking up, the key lines of her poem came to her, and when she came downstairs and pulled her laptop out from under the couch, Sonia Dog's nemesis worked.

All's well that ends well.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cops and Killers

As a male, Husband can watch episode after episode of cops-and-killers shows, and they bounce right off of him.  As a female, Fiorella absorbs every gruesome detail of the dramas, and her GERD starts rumbling.

Ergo, Fiorella must henceforth absent herself from the den when said programs are on TV.  If you can't join'em, leave the room.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cops and Robbers

Fio had an adventure yesterday.  While she and Husband were in the garage discussing his workbench extension, two black vehicles flashing red and blue lights send the gravel flying as they pulled into the driveway.  Fiorella walked out of the garage to find out what was going on, and one of the officers yelled "Get back inside!"

With images of a deranged psycho killer flashing through their heads, Fio and Husband sprang into action, closing the garage door and locking every other door in the house.  Then they watched out the window as a German shepherd led its handlers across the driveway into the wild area between their property and the neighbor's.  Was an escaped felon hiding there? Had someone reported a body? How about a snarling bobcat or a rabid dog?  Maybe that guy their daughter has a protection order on?

Twenty minutes later, the officers packed away the dog and zoomed out the other end of the driveway, again spraying gravel.  It didn't seem to Fio and Husband that the dog had found anything, but they didn't know whether it was safe to unlock the doors so Fiorella called the sheriff's office. The incident had been taken care of, she was assured, although her informant wouldn't any give her any details.  There was supposedly no continuing threat or danger, and Fio and Husband could go back outside.

But for some reason, they decided to spend the rest of the afternoon indoors.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Political Advice


Dear Republican Hopefuls:

A word of advice.  Do not take on Donald Trump. He will pull you down to his own level, drowning you in a swamp of egotistical bombast and unfounded assertions.  Your best bet is to ignore him.  His idiocy will run his course.

Sincerely yours,

A Democrat who believes in a strong two-party system

Monday, December 7, 2015

Joseph Speaks

Just to get you in the mood for Christmas, here is a sonnet I wrote years ago.

The Dreamer

I dreamed of wonders last night as I slept
Of peace and joy and heavenly harmony
Of God's great love, and of his promise kept,
Of his fulfillment of the prophecy.
Within my heart, I dreamed an angel sang
To tell me of the long-awaited one,
Emmanuel, the Christ, true God and Man
The Savior, Jesus, Gold's own self and son.
"Dreamer," spoke the angel in the night,
"Accept Him of your righteous piety
Protect him of your heart and strength and might
And love Him of your sweet humanity.
     Shun not Mary, Joseph, but reconcile
     And wed the virgin, mother of God's child."



Sunday, December 6, 2015

Here and There

Fio doesn't know which is worse, the Trumpery or the Duggary.
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Fiorella is a repository of secrets.
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If Fio had her way, the whole world be safe, sound, and secure, and all the drama would be restricted to fiction.
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Each baby is God's gift of another chance for the world.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Forward!

No matter what, Fio must gather her grit and proceed.  She's made another list and checking it twice, gonna find out what will serve and suffice.  It's all up to Fiorella.  Santa Claus don't stop here no more.



Friday, December 4, 2015

Stressed Out

Well, folks, yesterday didn't turn out to be as glorious as Fio thought it would be.  She had to take her computer in--again--because the email was acting up--again--so she left it overnight this time, which meant she was adrift all day. Yes, your Fiorella is addicted to her laptop.  She couldn't work on her book, couldn't research the thousand and one random questions she comes up with each day, couldn't follow what was happening in the world, and couldn't communicate on email or Facebook.

So what she did do (because Fio is also addicted to activity) was drive over to Home Depot with a photocopy of one of the checks in re the scamming handyman that Amy Bullock had said she hadn't received and ask their people to send Amy an email copy of it.  This was the fourth "send" of the pc of the check, and Fio had sweated blood over getting it out of the bank.  Fio will admit it--she almost broke down and cried from total frustration.

Fio does not understand why Amy didn't receive the three previous "sends," but maybe whatever was wrong with the Nemesis's email may have caused it.  ("The Nemesis" is Sonia Dog's name for Fio's laptop.)  On the other hand, she said she received the first one, then "lost it."

Fio also went through the house and wrote down (on a paper tablet) the overheads that were out--fifteen in all, and noted down the three areas that need new drywall because of the mold, called the yardman and the neighbors to arrange a get-together on Monday for us all to talk about a property-line fence, put together some promotion ideas for Where The Heart Leads, made a start on her Christmas sonnet, paid bills, thought about Austin son's upcoming birthday, mentally reviewed the refinancing of the house--and wilted.

She tried to take it easy yesterday evening, then awoke in the early morning with a burning mouth and a rumbling tummy.  GERD.  Three hours later she'd pretty well cured it a powerful antacid pill and milk, but it still lingered.  Husband is going to pick up potato chips, vanilla ice cream, and bagels at the store for her.

Fio dragged you through her personal hell because (1) she is a modern Samuel Pepys, and (2) this morning she realized that what she eats plays only a minimal role in her affliction.  STRESS is the  key factor.  Fio is responsible for many, many things,  and having to operate without a computer was only the tipping point.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Awakening

The morning is glorious
The day is bright
Gone is the darkness
Of the night.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Adieu

This will probably be the last time that Fio decorates the house for Christmas. It has always been a joy to her to construct the tree, supervise the placement of the lights, hang the ornaments, and fling the tinsel.  For years, she has wrapped the banisters with ersatz greenery, then added ribbons and ornaments.  She's tied red bows around everything she could, hung wreaths, put up one swag of birds,  butterflies, and ornamental fruit and vegetables, and another swag of exotic birds.  She's even decorated the bathroom closet door.  And, of course, the windows got their share of attention too.

But lately she's realized that she's the only one who enjoys her efforts.  After all, the children are all grown and they've seen their mother's miracles before--year after year, in fact.  Somewhere along the line, Fio thought there would be more children whose eyes would look in wonder at Fio's decorations, like she did at her own mother's.  But such is not to be.

Hang up the Santa hat, Fiorella.  Your time is past.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015




Christmas Prep

Fiorella finished putting together the Christmas tree yesterday so next will come the lights, which are Husband's domain, then the ornaments, which she hopes Austin Son and his wife will help with again this year.  And maybe she can get Daughter to come over too.  Then, of course, there are all the swags and wreaths and displays that Fio sets up, plus the plastic snowflakes she and Husband hang from limbs of the little tree just outside the front door.  Yeah--Fio knows how to do Christmas up right, but it takes work.

Volunteers welcome.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Days!

Fiorella's world has turned rosy again.  Her offspring are safely home from Hong Kong, Husband has been warming the house with firewood from their copious home-grown supply, and she herself woke up feeling G-R-R-R-E--AT!  Now, off to conquer the world.

Yes, Fio is mailing five copies of WHERE THE HEART LEADS off to national Romance Writers of America today, the final step in entering the the yearly contest for published authors.  Let's face it--Fio doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell, but she's thrilled to be a contestant.  But maybe in the future . . . .

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Home Depot Has a Disgruntled Customer

Fiorella is not happy with Home Depot.  First, their reference arm, Red Beacon, gave her the name of the scamming handyman.  Next, when she called to report the problem, Red Beacon told her the hnadyman was not on their list.  Next, when she reported the situation in person to the store, their personnel got in contact with RB and Fio was asked to send photos of the work and the checks, which, with a great deal of computer trouble, Fio did.  And, while Fio's den remains a mess and she has stuff that should go on the new shelves still stashed all over the house, she's heard nothing since.

Christmas is coming.  Fio is thinking of putting coal in Home Depot's stocking.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Aaron and Vienna

Fio's Austin offspring were not at Brother Bill's birthday/Thanksgiving celebration, and here's the reason why: THEY WERE ATTENDING NEPHEW AARON'S WEDDING IN HONG KONG! The bride is the lovely Vienna Wong.  Fio and Husband met Vienna's parents and sister at Christmas a couple of years ago, as you may remember.

Aaron is the last man standing of the cousins, the last to get married, and Fio wishes all the best for him and Vienna.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Fio's books arrived yesterday morning, the ones she'd bought from her publisher at her author's discount price. Two boxes were perched like orphans on top of the garbage bin next to the street, and Fio threw them into the trunk as she and Husband left to drive off to her brother's for the family Thanksgiving feast. The first thing she did when they arrived in Austin was to open both boxes to see if the rain had damaged any of the books, which it hadn't.  Then she autographed a book as a gift to her brother and his wife.

Later that evening, when Fio and Husband were home, Husband claimed a book for himself, asked Fio to autograph it, and started reading--and kept on reading, which was a joy to Fiorella.

Two books down, twenty-eight to go.




Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Fiorella has been having a series of dreams in which she's revisited and reviewed every bad decision she's made in her life and every thing dumb thing she's said or done in her life, so today Fio thanks God for tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Competition

Strangely enough, although Fiorella is a very competitive person, she cannot bear to watch competitive shows on TV or participate in NaNoRiMO, which is a yearly competition in which romance writers egg each other on to write an overflow of words.  Regarding the TV shows, Fio identifies with each contestant and does not like to see anyone lose, and, regarding NaNoRiMo, Fio's competition is not with other writers.  It's with herself as she molds each sentence so it will say exactly what she wants it to. Or so she hopes.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Late Night Considerations


When you think about it, mammalian reproduction is downright weird.  It would be much simpler to be  starfish.
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That opposable thumb--it comes in handy (pun intended).
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How sad--the Duggars brought their children up to be media whores.


Monday, November 23, 2015

BOLO for Missing Tablet

The world must be coming to an end because Fiorella can't find her list, the list she lives by, the list that tells her what to do each day, the list that remind her of commitments, the list that contains her brilliant ideas.  She first missed it on Sunday morning, but she was pretty much couch-bound on Saturday so it isn't as if she left it in an HEB shopping cart or on the Walgreen's counter.  It has to be in the house, but she's checked everywhere imaginable--upstairs, downstairs, on and under every surface, even the trash bags (yuck).  So please, if you spot a small yellow legal tablet full of interestimg stuff, please contact Fio ASAP.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Still Sick

Fio's still sick
And has nothing to say
But please stay well
And have a great day


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fio's Health Update

The wind is blowing, the fire is glowing, and Fio is getting better at last.  Those strange little pills that can somehow seek out just the right ligament in her jaw and and make it work right are having a positive effect bit by bit (pun intended), and the antibiotics she's taking to clear out her upper respiratory system are allowing her breath again.  Now let's hope the raw throat recovers enough that she can eat more than chicken rice soup, chocolate pudding, and vanilla ice cream.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Whoopie!

Friend Jeanell's new book is riding high, wide, and handsome! Yes, Where the Heart Leads is selling, selling, selling, and sales of What the Heart Wants have jumped up also!  Fiorella is happy because  now the messages of both stories are reaching more people. Remember,  Jeanell's purpose is to not just entertain, but to uplift.  She's out to save the world, one sex scene at a time.


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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Grammar Post

Me, us, you, him, her, them.  Let me introduce you, my children, to the objective case as in

(1) The direct object
      Mary saw me.
      Mary saw us.
     ( Mary saw you.)
      Mary saw him.
      Mary saw her.
      Mary saw them.

(2) The indirect object
      John gave me the money.
      John gave us the money
      (John gave you the money.)
      John gave him the money.
      John gave her the money.
      John gave them the money.

(3) The object of the preposition
      Susan looked at me.
      Susan looked at us.
      (Susan looked at you.)
      Susan looked at him.
      Susan looked at her.
      Susan looked at them.

(4) The subject of the infinitive
      Mike asked me to read.
      Mike asked us to read.
      (Mike asked you to read.)
      Mike asked him to read.
      Mike asked her to read.
      Mike asked them to read.

And please, people--multiples act the same way.
      Brittany saw me, us, (you), him, her, and them.
      Brittany sent the letter to me, us, (you), him, her, and them.
      Brittany liked me, us, (you), him, her, and them.
      Brittany wanted me, us, (you), him, her and them to stay around.
   






Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Late, Late, Late!

Yes, Fio knows she's posting late, but she has an excuse from her doctor.  Remember that infection her older son brought with him when he visited a couple of weeks ago? The one that moved on to Husband last week?  Well, now it's got Fio in its clutches.  Throat like fire,  mental fuzziness, tiredness, stuffy nose, the works.

To make a long story short, Fiorella is a mess.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

LAUNCH DAY!





Moira Farrar has survived the worst Hollywood had to offer, and now she's come to
 Bosque Bend to make a fresh start as the director of the local civic theater guild.  Rancher Rafe McAllister, the chairman of the board, has a more personal interest in her, but will he feel 
the same way when he learns what she left behind?





Monday, November 16, 2015

Sniff, Snort, Cough


My nose, my nose--
It glows, red as a rose--
It flows, like a garden hose--
And it blows blows, blows, blows, blows blows, blows,

Truth to tell, I am not well.
As a matter of fact,
I feel like hell.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I Will Produce

Fiorella has been thinking about all the people killed by the terrorist bombings in France, people who were young and vibrant and full of promise.  Then she started thinking about people killed in auto accidents in this country. And the ones killed by random attacks by thugs.  And the ones who have died from sickness or disease.

Yet Fio is still alive.

Thank you, God, for my life,  I will strive to make good use of every second of it.







Saturday, November 14, 2015

Electronic Addiction

Fio would like to think that, in the future, people will not have to be so tied to their computers, so dependent on them.  If Fio wants to know what the weather is going to be like tomorrow, she consults the computer.  If she needs to know a  phone number, she looks it up on the computer.    She blogs on the computer.  She sends messages to friends and family by the computer. When she writes her books, she uses on the computer. If she needs background on anything at all, she looks it up on the computer.

In short, she spends more time with her computer than she does with her husband.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Commitment

Fiorella has always lived in the world of What If, mostly negative, but she plots her course and charges ahead anyway.  She's made bad decisions and good decisions, and she's thrown herself into both whole-heartedly--there's no turning back.  Yep, if you want commitment, Fio is the girl for you.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mosquitoes--3; Fiorella--1

Three or four deer were standing by the side of the road as Fio drove home this evening--and those were just the ones she could see.  It was like they were hitching a ride.
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Despite the spray, the mosquitoes are out in full force again.   And, unfortunately, Fiorella is their kind of gal.
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Don't hold your breath, but Fiorella may get some recompense for the crappy job ol' Jason did.  She's talking to Home Depot about it.  Next time she needs something done, she'll work up a contract.
*
And, at the same time that Fio was writing this blog, she (1) was bitten by another mosquito, (2) she squashed the beast in mid-air, and (3) she accidentally let a replacement mosquito in the house when she opened the door for Sonia Dog.



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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Family Solidarity

Is it Wednesday already?  Fiorella spent most of Tuesday in the hospital with Husband, who was kept overnight for observation.  The whole family is rallying around, and Daughter will be taking over today, while Fiorella attends two important meetings in Austin. Meanwhile, Sonia Dog guards the hearth.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Balance

Is it Tuesday already?

Fio's been far too busy, as usual.  Husband is sickish and the new-shelves-in-the-den debacle has not yet been settled.

The good news is that  Minnesota Son rewired all the electronics in the den and helped his father find a replacement recliner, that Fio's finally broken through the mid-story block that's had her writing and rewriting WHEN THE HEART SPEAKS for a month, that, at her request, Husband hid the remainder of the Halloween candy where she could never find it (she looked), and that the weather has turned, which means that Fio has to pull on  a jacket when she goes outside to haul in fallen tree limbs, chainsaw cedar, lay flagstones, or walk up to the road to get the mail.

All in all, it balances out

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fire!

A fire is burning brightly in the fireplace, thanks to Husband's diligence, and Fiorella just hauled in another yet dead tree to chainsaw into fuel--as if the area across the driveway isn't already stacked solid.  But Fio wants to make sure no fire is left unfed.  Fire is a sacred sign, like the licks of flames that appeared on the tops of the apostles' heads at Pentecost. It is both benign and hostile and signifies the beginning and end of the world. Long may it burn in Fiorella's fireplace.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ups and Downs

Husband built a fire in the fireplace, but it fizzled.  Visiting Son, who was feeling good and getting a lot done, came down with bronchitis.  The handyman debacle is still hanging fire.  On the other hand, WHAT THE HEART WANTS sold six more books last week.  Maybe there's hope for the world after all.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Of Fio's Baby Car, Fire in the Fireplace, and Mosquitoes

It's official.  Fio's thirteen-year-old  baby car, her beloved  navy blue Mazda Miata, is falling to pieces.  The window control broke inside the door panel and the dealership is repairing it for her, but advised against putting out the $$$ for replacing the front end panel. It's a quality of life decision, one might say.
*
Fiorella is still running around in shorts, which means there's still no fire in the fireplace.  Let's hope all the firewood stacked across the driveway doesn't rot in place.
*
Mosquitoes.  Fiorella is beloved by them.  Not a day goes by that she doesn't have a fresh bite.  The first freeze can't come early enough for her.

Weighing It All

Nothing beats laughter and random kindness to pull Fio out of a depression.  She had a great time at Mazda yesterday while she was picking up her baby car--Jason and Richard are lots of fun--and then, when she stopped by H-E-B to pick up a few things for supper, an employee who was outside gathering baskets noticed she was looking for a small one and ran across the roadway to fetch one for her.  And inside the store, she was able to snag a bigger package of hamburger (for Husband, Son, and Fio) than the butcher usually cuts, and a checker invited her to a new line she was opening up.

Fate balances out.

Friday, November 6, 2015

GRAPHIC!

Friend Jeanell's graphic for WHERE THE HEART LEADS just arrived!


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tipping

Fiorella's standard restaurant tip is twenty percent, but she has been known to give a five dollar tip on a four-dollar dessert or a nine dollar meal--if the service was outstanding.  Yesterday evening's service wasn't.  The waitress brought Husband's and Minnesota Son's food to the table, then realized Fiorella's order had been filled incorrectly and took it back to the kitchen.  After she left, we noticed that one of the side orders had been left off both Son's plate and Husband's plate.  Then, when Fio finally got her plate, the salmon, although quite good, was barely warm.  Also, the waitress did not bring lemon slices.

In fact, the situation was such a mess that a manager came out, blamed the problem on the kitchen, and gave us key lime pies on the house.

But Fio doesn't think the kitchen had anything to do with the foul-up.  She thinks management was covering for the waitress so Fio wouldn't dock her tip.

But Fio did, to just below ten percent.  And that was generous.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Motivational Speakers

Fio is an odd duck, as you may have realized, but she doesn't respond to motivational speakers, at least not the way she's supposed to.  Maybe it's because she resists following the crowd. Maybe it's because she has a fair amount of charisma herself, but she's suspicious of the speakers' motives.  Like the pastors of certain mega-churches, they usually preach that all things are possible if one just follows the path they outline, which always seems to involves a hefty financial investment.  And if the promises don't work out, it's because you didn't believe enough--or give enough money.

Buyer, beware--the emperor has no clothes

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Vote!

Fio is fascinated by the political arena.  It's like Donald Trump was the stalking horse for Ted Cruz, who has wisely kept his mouth off Trump during debates--he knows it's ill-advised to sink to the level of an obstreperous. child.  In fact, Trump's outrageousness has made Cruz look downright--well--statesmanlike.

Whatever.  This too shall pass, and there's not much Fio can do about it but vote.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Woman Worth Knowing

I know a woman, a good woman, a woman who is a natural leader. Who has been through fire and come out steel. Who is talented and sensitive and kind.  Who is beautiful inside and out. Who has just moved up to a very demanding job, a job requiring the best from her at all times. A woman who is up to the challenge.  

And I am proud to call this woman "Daughter."

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Why Write?

You've probably figured it out--Fio is a compulsive writer.  Whether poetry or prose, it flows right out of her (poetry or prose/out of her it flows), Why?  Sure, she read, read, read from childhood on, but a lot of people read, read, read, but never write, write, write.  So why does Fio have file cabinets stuffed with story ideas, clever lines, and golden words?  Why has she produced essays, reviews, articles, songs, sonnets, novels?  Why does she write a daily blog?

The only answer Fio can come up with is that somewhere along the way, a computer key in her brain got held down way too long..

Saturday, October 31, 2015

JollyJack






HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!

May your candles glow 
As you come and go
Begging swag and sweet
No tricks, all treat.



Friday, October 30, 2015

DO NOT HIRE JASON TINDALL!

Fio has been contacted by a rancher from whom Jason Tindall, the scamming handyman, stole two expensive saddles, and she learned that Tindall is a petty crook who cons and steals his way around the country.  Just as he had presented himself as being as expert handyman, telling Fio and Husband that he'd worked in construction since he was thirteen and his father owned Viking Fence, he told the rancher that he was an expert horse trainer with contacts out the wazoo.

Fio will, of course, use all of this in a book someday, but right now, she wants to spread the word:
DO NOT HIRE JASON TINDALL!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Accountability

At some point, we will all be held accountable for how we lived our lives.

Did we use our talents and skills as much as we were able?  Despite discouragement and failure, did we soldier on?  Were we reliable and trustworthy? Were we kind and helpful?  Did we love our neighbors as ourselves?  

Did we enjoy being alive?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Goodreads Choice!

Fiorella is ecstatic!  Friends Jeanell's new book, Where the Heart Leads, which comes out on November 17, is top-listed by Goodreads as "to-read!"

And, ahem, it's so well-deserved.




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Epigram

Sad or happy
Rich or poor
The secret is
To endure

Monday, October 26, 2015

Nostradama Fiorella's Pognostication

 The campaigning for the GOP nomination started way too early and the candidates have worn out both themselves and their welcome.  Fio predicts that in the last couple of months before the July convention, a dark horse will emerge and win the day.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Keeping Up with Fiorella

Fiorella must be entering her second childhood-she's skinned her knee like when she was a kid and always had skinned knees.  Then, suddenly, when she turned five, she didn't.
*
 Fio's experience with the scamming handyman reminds her of her experience with a scamming yardman several years ago.  The good thing is that she now has a really great yardman and, after she told her story to the septic tank man, he gave her the name of a dependable handyman whom he has known for years.  And, speaking of the septic tank man, he too, is dependable.
*
After many failed attempts at entering the Romance Writer's of America's published author contest, Fio finally pulled a PDF off the site and faxed it to Houston, Wish her well.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Handyman Blues

Fiorella is not happy with the new shelves in the den. The handyman charged lot$ of money, then used substandard wood.  And he didn't clean up after himself. And he didn't match the design on the other side of the fireplace. And, while Fio and Husband are currently tacking and buffing the shelves to make them more acceptable, they may have to replace them with a better cut of wood and start over.

Fio had discussed a couple of other projects with the handyman, but they're not going to happen. At least, not with him.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

TV-Deprived

This is Day Four without television, and it still feels strange.  On Monday, the old corner cabinet got torn out, which meant that a lot of electric wires were cut.  On Tuesday, standing wall shelves replaced it, which meant the wires stayed cut.  Then Fio and Husband spent last night working on what the handyman hadn't finished off.

Husband will probably hook up the TV again tomorrow--or maybe he'll leave it for Minnesota Son to do when he and his wife come to visit next week.  Gotta entertain them somehow.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

HB, Sonia!

Happy birthday, Sonia Dog!

Yes, baby dog is four years old today--twenty-eight in human years--and she's settled down into a lovely young lady.  Chasing after the deer doesn't interest her as much these days, and she can be trusted outside the house without a leash.  In fact, if we leave the back gate open, she just circles around to the front porch and lies down on the welcome mat until someone lets her in.

But she's still wary of visitors until Husband and I indicate all is well.  We take care of her and she takes care of us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Outdoorsy Snippets

Yesterday Fio grabbed her loppers and entered terra incognita, the southern woods outside the chain link fence that borders Sonia's realm, and was met by a barrage of brittle branches and biting bugs.  Fio lopped off all the branches she could, but couldn't do anything about the bugs, who polka-dotted her legs with bites. Just one of the joys of country living.
*
Fio has discovered what looks like another armadillo burrow.  We're the mother lode.
*
Husband and Fiorella have a number of outdoor projects going on--cleaning up the southern woods, turning the meadow next to the dry creek into a picnic area, edging the cactus garden out front with bricks, talking to their neighbors about a boundary fence--and when these are finished off, there are more coming down the pike. If you come visit,we'll put you to work.



Monday, October 19, 2015

Artistic Appreciation

Fiorella was born with The Eye.  She absorbs shapes and colors and designs and arrangements as naturally as she breathes, then spews out drawings and paintings and house plans and decorations. Fio, is delighted with each one of her creations, but long ago, she discovered that most people will glance at what she has done, pat her on the head, and go on about their business.

So it was a thrill to her when Husband looked at the cardboard bats Fiorella has taped to the windows and front door, then said, "I remember sitting on the couch next to you last year and watching you cut them out so quickly that I couldn't even follow the scissors. I don't know how you do it."

Fio is in love all over again.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sonia, Our Guardian

Husband has rigged up a hammock in the back seat of the car for Sonia Dog, and she frequently accompanies us to the store or Dairy Queen.  But sometimes she has to stay home, which she understands is her fate the second she smells Fio spraying on cologne and hears the key words: "Bye-bye, honey.  Take care of the house."

You would think that this dog, who usually clings to us like Saran Wrap, would have separation anxiety, but instead she settles down on the couch and waits patiently for us to return.  She truly does take care of the house.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

9-11 Politicized

Just when you think The Donald has said it all, he says something else, like that George Bush is responsible for 9-11 because it occurred during "his reign."

His reign?  Fiorella was not a fan of George Bush, but she never thought holding him responsible for allowing" 9-11 to occur.  And what the heck does Trump mean by "his reign?"  As far as Fio knows, Presidents do not "reign," which implies a lifetime commitment, but serve four-year terms, two at the most.

Isn't it time the red-headed clown is hooked off the stage?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Waco, Old and New

Surprisingly, Fio survived her high school reunion. She talked to a lot of people, ate too much, and spent way too much time driving around New Waco and looking for Old Waco. Her elementary school has been replaced by a new school, her junior high is now a vacant lot, and her high school is a downtown apartment building.  The nice neighborhood she grew up on is going downhill fast.

To top it off, she and Husband spent an hour out in the hot sun checking out tombstones to find her parents' graves before they finally gave up and sought help from a cemetery employee. Then there was the flower arrangement Fio tried to make for the grave vase.  Sorry, Mom.  Fio's brain and fingers were fried by then.

But I love you.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

High School Reunion

Husband and Fio are in Waco for her high school reunion.  It's interesting, exciting, and weird.  People grow up to be different than they were as teenagers--their appearances change with age, weight gain and loss, and hair colors and styles, while their personalities and attitudes have been altered by their varying experiences.

Fio is attending the reunion not only because she is curious about her former classmates, but also because she might pick up some good story ideas.  Hmm--light bulb goes on--maybe she could deduct the registration fee as a business expense.





Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Handy Dandy

Fiorella and Husband want to hire someone to take out a corner cabinet and replace it with shelves. Home Depot recommended three handymen, but one of them never responded, which cut the field down to two.

Candidate #1 came over immediately and measured everything, but postponed making an estimate.  Candidate #2 came over the next day and not only measured everything, but made a reasonable estimate.  However Candidate #1 will accept credit cards, while  Candidate #2 does not.

After four days, Fio finally called Candidate #1 for the promised estimate.  He said he thought he'd already sent it, but would do so again. He also said that his wife and son would come along on the job to help him.  And that he couldn't start work for a couple of weeks

Candidate #2 said he would do the work all by his lonesome and could start on Monday.

Fio would love to get those extra frequent flyer miles, but Candidate #2 is the winner.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Nip in the Air

'Tis the season to be scary. Fiorella hung a plastic skeleton to her mailbox yesterday, then hauled out her cut-out pumpkins and cardboard bats and taped them to the windows.  Next week she and Husband will select their perfect pumpkins from the displays of identically perfect pumpkins in front of H-E-B--don't tell Fio those things aren't genetically engineered!  Then, last week of the month, they'll buy bags and bags of mini Milky Ways to sate the appetite of every trick-or-treater in the neighborhood and leave a generous  helping for themselves.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Personal Items

You may take the high road, but Fiorella will take the low road from now on.  Yes, she's donating every last high-heeled shoe in her closet (even the red ones, sigh) to The Caring Place for some young chick to enjoy while she grounds herself with flats.
*
Fio's hairdresser has moved to Washington State, which is too far a drive for Fiorella. It's not just the hair care Fio misses, but the company.
*
Fio wants a tummy tuck.  Yeah, three kids with an average birth-weight of ten pounds will do it to you.  Then there's that seventy pounds of avoirdupois she gained and managed to shed a while back.
*
More and more, the only part of the newspaper that makes sense to Fio is the comic strips.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

What the Heart Wants



A steamy Texas romance.  Digital on Amazon for $2.99. Print edition available through Print on Demand.  http://www.amazon.com/What-Heart-Wants-Jeanell-Bolton/dp/1455557269

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Multi-Lingual Greetings

Keefik! Hola! Ciao! Chao! Guten Morgen! Preevyet! Ave! Comesta! Nee hau! NuhmuhskaaruhmuhnDee! Nuhmustey. Bon jour! 

Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, Latin, Fillipino, Mandarin, Telugu, Hindi, and French.

As Fiorella has often said, she knows just enough in far too many languages to get her in trouble anywhere she goes. Sigh--if only she knew more.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Having the Eye

Fiorella is fascinated by the way the right accent piece can pull a room together.

Every room in Fiorella's house is painted white and decorated in shades of red and blue.  Downstairs in the den, it's maroon and blue, which shows off the Persian carpets Husband inherited from his mother.  And in the master bedroom upstairs, it's peach and aqua, which works well with the white, white master bedroom and en suite. But neither of the rooms really came together until Fio added a large maroon pillow to the couch and placed a multi-folded red-orange Indian blanket across the bench at the foot of the bed.

Fio's inner artist glows with appreciation every time she looks at the maroon pillow and red-orange Indian blanket, but Sonia Dog drags the pillow off onto the floor, and Husband piles clothes on top of the blanket.

Such is the fate of an artist.




Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Blessing!

Fiorella visited the bank again yesterday so now she knows how to say "thank you" in Arabic:  shukrahn:  The first syllable is pronounced like English "shook" and the second syllable is pronounced like the nickname for Ronald except that the "r" is rolled.

Fio is in ecstasy!  God is good!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fio's Taxes at Work

Fiorella had an adventure yesterday--really more of an experience.  After spending a pleasant hour in her dentist's office (she loves Dr. Ma and his staff), she hopped in her little Miata and headed home via I-35.  But just before she came to the Round Rock overpass, she ran over something that made a snapping sound.  Then her car began to wibble, wibble, wibble.  The wibble turned into a rumble, rumble, rumble, and then a GRUMPA, GRUMPA, GRUMPA.

Fiorella moved over from the center "fast" lane as quickly as she could, parked on the side of the road, and turned on her hazard light.

But what to do now?  She had to choose carefully if she was going to call anyone because her cell was low on power.  She tried Husband and Minnesota Son but couldn't get any response.  Nothing to do but call 911.

In ten minutes, a Travis County patrol car was parked behind her and a Travis County truck was parked in front of her.   Another ten minutes and Fiorella had enough air in her tire to drive--slowly--to Discount Tires a mile down the road.

Thank you, guys.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bath Tub Mathematics

As Fiorella wallowed in the tub, she contemplated numbers, which, not being mathematically inclined, is unusual for her.  On the other hand, patterns are her cup of tea, and it was the patterns of numbers that struck her as interesting.  For instance, the fact that every odd number can become an even number by adding or subtracting "one."  And that every even number can become an odd number by the same process.   And that odd numbers can become even numbers by doubling them, but only even numbers that were originally odd numbers can become odd by division.

And then she wondered if a number system could be set up using only odd numbers, with the evens represented in relation to them, like more than one/less than three, more than three/less than five, etc.  What do you think?




Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy Birthday, Kit

"K" is for kind, which is his nature
"I" is for imagination, with which he is blessed
"T" is for talented, in so many ways
"N" is for nice, even when stressed
"P" is for polite as he can be
"B" is for big-hearted and bravery
       October fifth is his special day
       Wish him well, my friends, I pray 







Sunday, October 4, 2015

Outside Work

The weather was great--cool and still--so Fio and Husband put on their garden gloves and went outside to work on the yard again.  Specifically, they loaded two big garbage bags with last year's leaves, then dumped them further up the property on a barren area that needs a layer of decay in order to grow grass.  They had also planned to dig into an old mulch pile, but the tractor ran out of gas.

And so did Fio.  The weather had heated up, and the sun was too bright.

The yard work will have to wait till tomorrow.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Appetite

A friend of Fiorella's announced that she is going on a sugar-free regimen, which made Fio think about how fortunate we are in this time and place to actually be able to pick and choose what we eat. She remembers reading about a Russian family, self-exiled into the wilds during some political upheaval, that survived on nuts, berries, grass, and small trapped game for three generations.  And one bad winter, the grandmother starved herself to death so the children would have enough food.

We are blessed.




Friday, October 2, 2015

Keefik!

Yes, she's at it again.  Fiorella, who is addicted to languages and never shy about asking people about their obvious accents or unusual last names, has stumbled onto a real live Syrian--the mortgage banker who handed her refinancing, of all people. Of course, Fio asked Lisa Safady how to say "hello" in Arabic, and Lisa told her that for a woman, it's keefik.  And, of course, that's the way Fiorella greeted Lisa the next time she saw her.  To which Lis replied--mnee hah keefik enthee el yohmmh (how are you today?)another phrase for Fio to add to her treasury.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Where Are You?

Gdyeh moy roosskee druzyah ooshlee?

Where have Fio's Russian friends gone? Ever since Fiorella began this blog in 2008, the old Soviet bloc has been her major audience. Whether it was because of her own Eastern European roots, because she'd studied the roosskee yazik in college, or because Putin thought her posts were so ridiculous that they must be encrypted messages to American spies lurking about in the Kremlin, Fio doesn't know.  All she knows is that they're gone.

On the other hand, her Chinese following is picking up.  Nee hao!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fiorella versus TV

Husband has discovered daytime TV--which, as far as Fio can tell, is mostly nighttime TV in reruns--and it's driving Fiorella crazy.  She likes her environment to be silent, or at least quiet, while she plots, plans, or ponders.

 The sound of the TV clicking on is fast becoming Fio's signal to scurry upstairs to her "office" and close the door.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sonia Dog Reports on Family Labors

Maybe it was the blood moon, but more likely it was the change in the weather. Mommy, who couldn't work outside more than fifteen minutes the day before the eclipse, stayed out in the yard with Daddy for more than an hour the day after.  She used her venerable loppers to trim whiskers and dead branches off oaks and elms, take out a claw-leaved bush, and nip nasty brambles down to the ground.  Then, as Daddy cut logs into fireplace-size units with his mighty chainsaw, Mommy attacked anything with a diameter of less than two inches with her pint-sized chainsaw. Tomorrow is pick-up-and-stack day.  And after that, Mommy and Daddy will tackle the huge logs rotting at the top of the property.

I lay on the porch and supervised, of course--when I could stay awake. Humans can be so boring.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The World According to Fiorella

All  hail the mighty Fio! This last week, she not only turned in her book, but finished off the negotiations for the refinancing of the house.  And today she will (gulp) start cleaning up her office, the most daunting task of all.
*
Fiorella has read that Donald Trump's poll figures are unreliable and his audience numbers are exaggerated.  How does he get away with it? By yelling a lot lot, like a spoiled child--he throws a Trumptrum,
*
Have you ever noticed that in Doonesbury, no one ever gives birth more than once?


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Matins

Ring the bell
Let voices swell
For time will tell
That all is well


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lord's Prayer

When Fiorella lived at home, her mother prayed with her every night before she went to sleep--a simple four-line prayer when she was little, and the Lord's Prayer when she was old enough for it.

Fiorella still recites the Lord's Prayer when she goes to bed each night, but her understanding of it has matured. She interprets the initial--"Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven"--as an appreciation of all God's mercies and blessings.  And always she adds "strength" to the petition for sustenance. She now understands that "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" applies to bearing grudges--which hurt us more than those who have wronged us. "Lead us not into temptation" is self-evident, despite its tangled construct.

But the major revelation Fiorella has had as she's gotten older is that the "we" of the prayer is not just a poetic way of saying "I."  It means what it says: we, all of us, even the worst of us. So every night, before she goes to sleep, Fiorella prays for everyone in the world.

As she does for you.  As she hopes you do for her.



Friday, September 25, 2015

Yard at the Crossoads




This is the part of the yard where the two driveways meet and go up to the house. Fiorella thinks it is beautiful.
She went outside and took a lot of photos today, both to make sure she remembered how to transport  them out of her cell phone into her blog and to make memories for when she and Husband ultimately downsize and move on.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fio for Christmas

Fio is very happy.  Her blood thinner nurse, her neurologist, and her banker have volunteered that they'll buy copies of her new book to give as Christmas presents this year.

Um, anyone else want to step up to the plate?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Not Quite Down

No new trumpery lately---pun intended.

 Having insulted women in general and Mexicans, Muslims, and fellow Republicans in particular, Trump has finally run out of fuel.  His star has fallen,  His day in the sun has faded into night.

Oh,wait!  The Pope has come to town!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Addicted to Writing

Three cheers for Fiorella!  She sent the manuscript in to her editor ten minutes before it was due.

Yes, the monkey is off her back.  She can go eat breakfast.  She can pick up the six-hundred some pages of manuscript (two copies of the book) on the floor of her office and stuff them into trash bags. She can sing, she can dance, she can take her dog on walks, she can visit with her friends, she can pretend to be human again.

She can start another book.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Where Fio Is Now

Howdy, there, folks!  This is the day before the due date, and Fio is in semi-good shape. She finished marking the whole manuscript yesterday and also added in the necessary bits and pieces.  She even finaled out the first three chapters.  Today she tackles the last nineteen. Yes, it's lock-yourself-in-the-tower-room day because she has to send everything in by 10:00 on Tuesday.

God bless electronics, which is something you never thought you'd hear Fio say.  She is able to make corrections using computer keys rather than retyping an entire page, and she can send a three-hundred-page manuscript off to New Yawk City in a second rather than having to bind it up, cart it to the post office, and pay the freight.

See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

As Usual, Soldiering On

You missed all the wrist-slitting drama.

Last night, Fiorella's computer gulped down her entire manuscript, the FINAL version of which is due at her publisher's on Tuesday morning.  Luckily, after three hours of Fiorella trying this and that and Husband trying this and that, Fio's resident computer wizard located the file.  Events of the past couple of day have put Fiorella behind her own schedule so she worked on till midnight, when her vision blurred everything she tried to read and her brain was floating around in the outer darkness.  At 4:00 a.m., of course, she had a massive attack of GERD.

But now she's loaded to the gills with antacids and has run out those last four chapters to work on.  Then, in mid-afternoon, she will start rereading the whole manuscript.

Prayers accepted.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Review of DAMN YANKEES at Georgetown Palace Theater


Fio was excited about seeing Damn Yankees.This would be her first time, and, with images of Gwen Verdon dancing in her brain, she was looking forward to it.

The overture was full of energy, which boded well for the play.  But maybe it was a little bit too long, which Fio should have realized did not bode well.  First off, as usual, most of the actors were projecting stage voices despite the fact that they were wearing face mics, which meant Fiorella was applying fingers to her ears far too often. Second, Fio would have liked to have heard a balance between the band and the singers rather than a competition.  Third, the sets seemed uninspired, but that might have been because the sets in the last couple of shows Fio reviewed were spot-on.  
  
Then there were the awkward moments, like when "fans" in the background were continually and unsuccessfully trying to put up a sign, like the awkward scene change behind Mr. Applegate when he was singing "The Good Old Days."  And what the heck was that flash of blinding blue light that hit the audience in the tender "We've got Each Other" scene?

This is a man's show, and stand-outs were Robert Josef Cross as Mr. Applegate, Michael Rafferty as Joe Boyd, and Justin Dam as Joe Hardy--and when both Joes sang together, Fio's eyes misted over. Samantha Watson, always one of Fio's favorites, was great as Joe's wife, but Dara Hasenkampf, who played Lola, seemed uncomfortable in her role as a seductress.  And her costumes didn't help--that Amish outfit in red and black didn't look at all sexy, and her wigs were atrocities.

All in all, the show seemed uneven, the audience was remarkably unresponsive, and Fio was . . . disappointed.



Friday, September 18, 2015

Fiorella's Day

Fiorella's day is shot.  She's under the gun--a barrage of guns, in fact.  Not only is she engaged in a massive GERD attack (wonder why), but she also has to make a whirlwind clean up of the house, back porch, and adjacent yards because a refinancing appraiser is coming this afternoon.  And she's been asked to dig up records she's never seen before on property she and Husband own in Colorado.  And she has to get her final, line-edit revisions in on Tuesday, but they disappear the second she turns off the computer.

Needless to say, she's canceled the dental appointment.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lines

If you want to learn how to draw, check out the newspaper comic strips.

Because their canvases are limited, the artists have to pare down to basics.  You'll notice that the characters' faces are usually caricatures, but their bodies must be recognizably normal.  Fiorella is especially--uh--drawn to the graceful line portrayals of the dogs in Red and Rover and Pickles.  She also warms at the figure drawings in Blondie, Pickles, Jump Start, and Luann.  Yes, literally warms.  Fiorella's eyes will trace the shoulder line, the turn of the arm, the grace of the hands, the adjustment of the hips, the dips and swells down the legs to the ankle, the positioning of the feet.

Pant. Pant.  Sorry,but this is the sort of  experience that turns on Fiorella's artistic core.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Uncle Omar

Fiorella slept well, but fitfully, last night.  Her brain was struggling with a problem generated by a correction that her line-editor suggested in WHERE THE HEART LEADS, which will come out November 17.  Let Fio explain.

The hero has an uncle named Omar, whom he refers to, of course, as "Uncle Omar"  or "my Uncle Omar."  The editor suggested I change the latter reference to "my uncle Omar," which didn't sit well with Fiorella, but she couldn't put her argument into logical form till she woke up this morning.  Yes, the ol' pop-up toaster brain did it again.

Fio's construction is a REFERRAL, not an APPOSITIVE.  Would you write "your queen Elizabeth," or "my president Obama," or "my cousin Itt?"


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Catching You Up

As Fio walked Sonia Dog up the drive this morning, she (Fio, not Sonia) spotted something orange in the woods, and Fio being Fio, she delivered Sonia unto Husband's hands and went back up the driveway to check it out.  A copperhead?  Her copperhead?  Alas, no.  It was a Reese's Pieces wrapper.
*
Fiorella is happy.  She is finally putting it all together--her novella, that is. She's got the plot all worked out, the high drama sexplosions situated, and  a quarter of the book actually written, Tomorrow she'll cut and paste everything into the right sequence, then start rolling everything together.  She's planning for it to be finished by the end of the month. Or so she hopes.
*
Fio doesn't know about you, but she's getting tired of The Donald.  It was sort of fun to follow him from train wreck to train wreck at first, but now his act is growing whiskers.  Maybe he could start turning cartwheels or, gosh, being nice.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Copperhead

Fiorella sighted a copperhead yesterday, and she didn't like it.  One of her neighbors had told her they were out and about, but Fio didn't expect to see one lying in her own driveway. In fact, this is the first snake she's ever seen anywhere on the property.

Here's how it went down.  Fio was walking Sonia Dog up to the mailbox and spotted what looked like a bright-colored inflated toy of some sort on the edge of the driveway.   It was squiggled like this: nununu, which made her realize it was a snake.  A beautiful snake--bright orange with a black and red design on it. It was also fat, like it had just eaten a squirrel.  And it didn't move.  Obviously, it was dead.

Fio took Sonia back to the house  and had Husband walk back up the drive with her to see the snake, but it was nowhere to be seen.  Obviously, it wasn't dead.

Fio is a little nervous.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Waste Not, Want Not

Maybe she was a little match girl who froze to death in a previous life, but Fiorella has a thing about firewood.  You saw the picture of all the wood she and Husband have stored up for winter, and that's with at least three dead trees to go.  You'd think that would be enough, but nooo--as Fio drives to and from home, she covets the dead and broken trees she sees on the roadside.  If only she had a pick-up and a couple of nervy henchmen to sneak into the woods in the dead of night and chainsaw those trees down, then pack them in the truck and drive them back home for her.

Any volunteers?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Donald, Duggars, and Duty

Hmm . . . so The Donald doesn't like Hillary, Megyn, or Fiorina.  Is there anything--ANYTHING--those three have in common other than being females involved with politics?
*
Sorry to keep flogging a dead horse, but Fiorella has a ghoulish interest in the Duggars and whatever their next train wreck is.  After all, they have eighteen to go.
*
Hey, would Fiorella get paid $80,000/year in Kentucky if she too refused to follow the rules?



Friday, September 11, 2015

THE FIREWOOD ACROSS THE DRIVEWAY




Fiorella put this photo on the blog ALL BY HERSELF!  

It shows the firewood across the driveway that she and Husband are storing up for winter, and it's all from their own land.  Unfortunately, due to the continual drought, there are still a couple more dead trees to go. 

And no, she doesn't know why her blog is centering itself but it probably has something to do with writing above the centered photo.  Next time, she'll write first, then insert the photo.



Thursday, September 10, 2015

True Christianity

For Shame, Kim Davis.  You are to Christianity what terrorists are to Islam. Christianity does not ignore the traveler by the side of the road. Does not reject people who are different.  Does not deal out hate. Christianity loves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Good Tidings!

Fiorella may have had a a rough time going to sleep last night, but she woke up feeling G-R-R-R-E-A-T!

Reviewing her yesterday,  Fio and Husband finalized the refinancing of la casa, she managed (with the help of Husband and Minnesota Son) to put another picture on Facebook, heard from a high school friend she has been trying to get in touch with for a while, and tore into a rewrite of her novella.

Then, this morning, she read several heartening stories in the newspaper--like that xenophobic Germany will accept 500,000 refugees a year, the Pope is easing  the process for annulments, and almost 10,000,000 people have health insurance now (through Obamacare),

Afterwards, she checked her calendar and learned that today she has brunch with Friend Evelyn and lunch with Friend Paula.

Ah--life is good in FiorellaLand.





Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In the Company of Laughing Women

Fiorella is a lady who lunches--and laughs and laughs and laughs.  There is nothing like meeting up with a friend at Dan's or Starbuck's or La  Madeleine or wherever and talking over each other's lives. Laughter is a release.  It keeps Fio sane.  Or at least as near to sane as Fio ever gets.

Monday, September 7, 2015

News Briefs in Brief

FRONT PAGE
Donald Trump is like one of those balloons in Macey's Thanksgiving Day parades--gaseous, hard to control, and potentially dangerous.

BACK PAGE
Sorry, Bruce, but your sun has set.  Morphing from a whiny male of sixty-five into a gushing, publicity-hungry female of forty-five has a limited page life.

OBITUARY
The Duggar fantasy of reality is dead and buried, but it will be ressurected before God and Man some day soon when one of the kids writes a tell-all book.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Austin Memory


When Fiorella visited Minnesota Son and his wife this summer, she helped them frame her painting of the Seaholm electric plant on Town Lake (now called Lady Bird Lake) in Austin.  Anyone remember the scene?




Saturday, September 5, 2015

Venting

Scream, scream, scream,  crash, bang!  Fio is having another breakdown.  Anger and frustration is the name of the game.  The bank has her credit score wrong, and she wants to sell more books.  After stomping around for a while last night, she sat down and emailed Friend Claire for information about promotions, then emailed the bank about the incorrect credit score.  This morning she awoke with a promotion idea or two herself.

And, on the side, she's working on the house and writing the third book, the novella.

Pray for her.  She prays for you.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Baby Hungry

Fiorella always pictured herself seated in a gracious chair with all her family gathered around--her husband, children, nieces and nephews, and, eventually, her grandchildren.  But such was not to be.  Her brother has no children, and Husband's nephew is only a few years younger than Husband. He did produce two nice great-nephews for Fio, though, but nobody--none of her children or the great nephews--have gone any further, and it makes Fio sad.

Not just for herself, because her DNA will be lost forever, but for her parents, whose line will come to a total end, and for her parents-in-law, whose surname will hit the stop sign.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Drowned Child

Yes, Fiorella has seen the photo of the three-year-old Syrian boy in his blue shorts and red shirt, face down in the sand.  And she cried.  But there is so much more to it than this one child, to all the children, all the families.  Fiorella wants everyone rescued.  She wants everyone to have a safe place to live, a place where no one has to risk drowning in ocean crossings or smothering in the back of trucks or being shot by border guards.  People should not have to flee their homelands because of their race, sex, or religion.

But all Fio can do is try to spread the love.



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Welcome Back!


No two ways about it--Fiorella has an ice cream hangover.

Husband raced out and bought the last Blue Bells left on the shelf yesterday afternoon, and one guess what he and Fio had for supper.  Fio ate so much that her teeth started chattering and she had to stand outside on the patio to warm up.  And, needless to say, she also had to supplement her Omeprazole with Zaftac to survive the night.

Oh, but it was worth it!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Who's Got the Button?

Fio rediscovered her button box yesterday, a Christmas tin which contains not only her own stray buttons, but those of her mother and mother-in-law.  Pretty buttons, weird buttons, large buttons, small buttons, buttons of all kinds and colors.  Fio couldn't help but run them through her fingers, and she loved every single one of them.

But . . . what to do with them?  Fiorella gave away her sewing machine last year, and buttons don't seem to be used much now in this Velcro world so Fio is pondering some kind of button artwork--a mural maybe.  It would entail hand sewing, of course, which Fio likes to do, and would take forever, but Fio's stuck with long-term projects before--like three-hundred-page novels.  The question now is what the mural should depict.

Stay tuned.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Undocumented


Confession:
Fiorella's paternal grandfather lived and died as an undocumented immigrant--an illegal alien, or whatever you want to call it.  And, like most other immigrants, he came to this country for opportunity, to make a better life for himself than he could have had in his native country.  He worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines--just as today's UIs pick the crops, clean houses, and mow lawns.  And on the side, he married and fathered four children, who produced seven grandchildren, all of whom would have made him proud--two teachers, an audiologist, an accountant, an entrepreneur, a lawyer,  and your Fio, who ain't doin' too bad either.

The only difference Fiorella can see between Grandpa and today's UIs is that he was blond and a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian empire, while they are dark and citizens of Mexico.

Racism by any other name can stink as sweet.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Newsworthy Snippets

In re Caitlyn saying she'd like to have a boyfriend so she could feel like a normal woman: Give it up, guy.  No matter how much "work," how many botox and Juvederm injections, you're the age you are, and a "normal" sixty-five year old woman does not attract that many hunky men.
*
In re Donald Trump and whatever trash talk will come out of his mouth today: Donald, you've got me hooked.  I'm addicted.  You've swept past Edge City as my favorite and most reliable cartoon.
*
In re Jennifer Aniston, who has been reported pregnant more times than Michelle Duggar. Jennifer, the only way the stories will go away is for you to have a sex change and call yourself Bruce.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sucker

Fiorella, who tends toward depression, feeds off the happiness of others.  Not in a vampiric way, but in a warming-her-hands-at-the fire sort of way.  When she was younger, she wept and raged at the unfairness of fate, but age has brought acceptance,

And Fio being Fio, she still hopes and prays and pushes on.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Medicine Cabinet

One for the thyroid
One for the brain
One for sleep
And one for pain

Eight for the heart
Three for the gut
And that pretty well
Sums it up.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Shifting Priorities

Fiorella has been trying to get back to writing again.  She really has, but everything she postponed until she had sent her revisions in.has come back to haunt her--the house, the yard, the laundry, the refinancing she and husband planned to do, the the critique she promised, the luncheon dates with friends she had canceled.

Writing can wait till another day.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Donald, Donald, Donald

Donald Trump is trying to buy the presidency, and everyone knows it's for sale, that the candidate with the bigger war chest wins.  Why else is Fio's email inbox overflowing with pleas for donations?
*
The one good thing Fiorella can say about The Donald is that he's running on his own dime.  But that also means he doesn't have to answer to anybody.  Yes, he's free to bash anybody he wants to--and he does. Brown people, women people, hero people.
*
A lot of people comment about his hair, but Fio is more concerned about what doesn't lie under it.






Monday, August 24, 2015

Duggarville

How you gonna keep them down on the farm once that they've seen Paree?  How you gonna keep them in the Duggar mind-lock once that they're out from under Jim Bob's control?

Yep, Josh Duggar's done it again, but this time it was consensual and arranged via a website that's been hacked.  But what can you expect of a young man set loose in a tempting new world that, thanks to his parents' sequestration of the family from everything real, he is not equipped to deal with?  A family whose religious views are based on sexuality?

The sad thing is that Anna will bear the blunt of the shame and guilt, for "not satisfying" her husband.  The sad thing is that  the gravy train has been retired to a side rail, and the younger Duggars will be back to Goodwill clothes in no time. The sad thing is that, with nineteen kids who grew up as TV stars, Fio would guess there's a lot more crap to come.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Experiencing

Despite being an artist, Fiorella doesn't get a kick out of sight-seeing.  Thus, when Fio and family visited Britain, she wasn't that interested in looking at Big Ben or antique castles.  Instead, she wanted to experience the country. To stand on top of Hadrian's wall and call on the spirit of her old Latin teacher, Elor Osborn. To stop at a British Safeway and go through the aisles, then buy sliced ham at the deli, to walk through the doors of Harrod's and check out every department, to drive down a suburban street and see how people lived, to be walking through the tunnel under the Thames at the same time a herd of screaming school children were running through it, to eat fish and chips under the awning of a store in Greenwich and again, in the rain, in a little park in front of the Assembly Rooms in Bath.  To be kept awake until after midnight by a tenor singing out a window in Edinburgh.

These are her fondest memories of Britain.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What Has Fiorella Learned?

Fiorella has learned a lot about herself while writing WHERE THE HEART LEADS.

Craft-wise, she realized that she's been writing as a poet--agonizing over each sentence and every word as she goes along--which has seriously slowed her down.  As a novelist, she must write quickly to get the basic story down, then go back and add the curlicues.

Voice-wise, she realized that she is funny, sardonic, and quite dark.  She can't resist word plays, likes turning characters inside-out, and puts her heroine through hell before giving her a well-deserved happy ending.

Personally, she  learned that  if she stays up half the night finishing off a book, she's gonna pay for it the next night with a major attack of fire in the gut. But the good thing is that her take-no-prisoners approach has reaffirmed her belief in herself.  Fiorella is made of steel.  She can do anything she puts her mind to.


Friday, August 21, 2015

SHE DID IT!

Fio will be sleeping late today.  She sent her finished manuscript to her editor at 2:15 a.m.  It was hell, but she did it.  A day off, and then she'll go back to her novella and hammer that out.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Locked in the Tower Room

Today is Fiorella's last chance with this book, and she's determined to make good.  The story's been stripped down to its core plot, peripheral characters have been dropped, and the ending's been rewritten. Now for the sanding, paint, and polish.  This sucker's going in tonight.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

On the Run

The good thing about this book is that Fiorella's lost ten pounds to stress.  The bad thing is that she's running behind and has two days to top it off.  Ah, the carefree life of an author.

Wish her well. See ya tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Heil Donald!

Is Donald Trump the new Hitler?  Will we have to hide undocumented immigrants in our attics to save them from the Nazis nueves?  And what is this about denying citizenship to children born on American soil?

Doesn't Das Fuhrer realize we are ALL immigrants? And that movements of peoples have been going on from the beginning of time?  And that it's impossible to totally isolate a country without imprisoning it?

And that a president is a leader, not a dictator?  That he does not have the power of--say--a rich, egotistical reality TV star?


Monday, August 17, 2015

Drama and Trauma

Yes, Fio is running late on her revisions, but it's a miracle that she is running at all.  Everything struck at once--she's been burning the midnight oil on revisions, her printer gave up the ghost, and her internet connection disconnected.  And it all happened on the day before she'd promised her revisions.

One panic attack and three hour on the road to Click Computers and Fry's and Fio's electronicized again, but those revisions are even further behind.

Gimme a break!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Politics Unscripted

Bravado, showmanship, egotism
Increasingly bizarre
All the world's a stage
And Donald is the star

Saturday, August 15, 2015

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Fio couldn't sleep last night--or at least she thought she couldn't.  She finally got out of bed at five, convinced she'd spent the past six hours lying in bed with her eyes closed, but her brain churning with activity. Then she went downstairs and snuggled on the couch for two hours, again with her eyes closed and her brain grinding.

Strangely, Husband, who was up several times during the night with his own problems, says she was sleeping like a baby.  And Fio has no memory of him getting in and out of bed.

Any theories?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Trumping His Horn

Now for the comedy relief--Fiorella searches through the news every day for the latest Donald Trump utterances. The sad thing is, though, that because the country is indulging itself in a nostalgic wave of deliberate and obstinate ignorance, he could actually end up as the GOP candidate.

Fiorella understands.  We live in a hard world, and it's easier to think of the Mexican government as deliberately leaking immigrants across the border to sabotage us.  And to think of women as uppity underlings.  And to think of the moon as being made of green cheese.

But sooner or later, the child in us has to give way to the adult.  Let's hope it's when we mark our ballots.




Thursday, August 13, 2015

Short of stature, short of time
That's Fiorella, and that's her rhyme.

Mulling Birth and Death

Fiorella is mulling over one birth certificate and two death certificates this morning.  Cousin Tom's wife was kind enough to send Fio the fruits of her most recent genealogy search, and now Fio knows the dates of her father's oldest brother's birth and death, and even the cause of his death--cholera infantism, whatever that is.  She also knows the date of her paternal grandfather's death, which was labeled as "accidental (caught in wreck of cars in mine)."

Even more interesting is the evolution of her grandfather's given name, which is spelled "Jno" in earlier documents, but becomes "John" later.  The surname also underwent an Americanization--of sorts.

Interesting how the family is now pouring over these documents.  They are our only connection with people we never knew, people who would have been dear to us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Writer in Throes

Fiorella's life is a see-saw.  She's either hard at work on household affairs or hard at work on her writing.  Right now, the household stuff is shot to hell.

Yes, Fio is in the throes of final (or semi-final) revisions, which means she is tossing golden words--remember, Fio is a poet at heart--and rending the fragile cloth of her story from end to end.  Also upping the heat index.

WHERE THE HEART LEADS--written in blood.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Up, Up, and Away!

Step by step, Fiorella is catching up with ten lost years of electronics.  After some initial help from friend Claire, she was able to arrange her desktop icons the way she wants them.  And Austin Son taught her how to move photos from her desktop onto Facebook while Minnesota Son and Wife taught her how to text, which Daughter and Austin Son tested her out on.  And now Fio's advanced to writing daily comments on Facebook and is determined to figure out how Twitter works. She also has it in mind to reactivate her author webpage. And Husband has marked the cord on the router that she needs to pull out, then reconnect when her computer goes offline.

Brave new world, clear the way!  Fiorella is in her ascendancy!


Monday, August 10, 2015

From Kitchen Cabinets to Meal-planning

Husband is Fiorella's hero.  Of his own initiative, he bought a can of white enamel and repainted the worn edges of all the kitchen cabinets.  They look brand new!  Fio didn't realize a touch-up job would make such a difference.

Husband has also held down grocery-shopping duty while Fio is doing intensive revising of the book due out in November.  And hasn't griped about the amount of time she spends isolated in her so-called office or about the ran forests of paper she consumes in the process, most of which departs the house crunched up in a plastic trash bag.  Or about having to come up with his own meals--well, that's partially because Fio is on a GERD diet.

Anyway you look at it, he's a keeper.



Sunday, August 9, 2015

Party House

Preparing for Daughter's late birthday party, Fiorella rushed around the house like a mad woman,  trying to make her house look as much as possible like her mother's house.  She failed, of course.  No one could match her mother for housekeeping.  The vacuum cleaner was Mother's weapon of choice, and Better Homes and Garden was her guide while Fio couldn't remember how to work her vacuum and hasn't read a magazine in years

But Daughter seemed happy about her party as it was so all is well in Casa Fiorella.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Coincidence Exists

Fiorella admits she is a pattern seeker, but, unlike conspiracy theorists, she also admits the existence of coincidence.

For instance, Fio used to have a neighbor whose unusual first name was the same as the middle name of one of Fio's sons.  And the first name of one of Neighbor's sons was the same as the first name of Fio's other son and husband while the first name of Neighbor's other son was the male form of the first name of Fio's daughter. The only person in Neighbor's family whom Fio's family did not share a name with was Neighbor's wife.

And only Fiorella would figure all that out.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Modern Living?

Fio came back from New York to discover that our wrinkled, rutted, old country road had undergone a facelift.  In fact, it had been totally repaved.

No more jolts, no more jerks
What else does the county have in the works?

A yellow stripe down the middle of the road?  Cell phone coverage?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

She Shall Leave Glasses Wherever She Goes.

Fiorella went to EyeMart yesterday morning and ordered two more pairs of glasses.  Yes, she admits she bought two pairs just six months ago, but she lost them, the most recent pair in New York.

Losing glasses has been a problem for Fio ever since she got her first pair when she was in the sixth grade.  And she knows why: most people wear their glasses full-time, but the ever-vain Fiorella will put them on only when desperately needed.

"Get one of those librarian things that latches onto the frames and hangs the glasses around your neck," you counsel Fio.  She tried that, and the handle of the glasses broke off and she lost the whole kit and caboodle.  "Put them down in the same place every time," you suggest.  And Fio tries to, but she moves around so much.  And, to complicate things, because she has permanent lenses for close-up work, she rarely wears glasses inside the house except to watch TV.

Pray for her and to her--Fiorella, the patron saint of the eyeglass industry.






Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Now What?

What to do with a captive armadillo?

Yes, Fio and Husband finally caught one of the beasties that has been plowing their yard and trying to dig up their water pipe.  Husband figured out how to set up the trap and Fiorella, who got friendly with the pest control service guys she used to employ, knew exactly where to put it and how to place the side pieces so they would funnel the armadillo into the hair-trigger cage.

But now they have to get rid of the beast and reset the trap for the rest of the tribe.  The pest service guys would throw trapped armadillos into the back of their truck, take them further out into the boondocks, and shoot them, then take their remains to the dump, but Fio and Husband are squeamish about killing things.

City friends are all for transporting our armadillo out of the area and releasing it, but transporting it in either one of our cars is not going to happen--armadillos are vile creatures.  Also, the pest control people told Fio that armadillos will usually return to their accustomed habitats.

Maybe the neighbors will blast the armadillo for us. Check back later for a follow -up.