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


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


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


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


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

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

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.

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


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.