Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pattern Emerging

My month was awful, my week was awful, and yesterday was even more awful. Expecting more of the same today.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Name Game

Fiorella admits it--she likes to play with her characters' names.  For instance, all three of her Bosque Bend heroes (Jase, Rafe, Bram) have single-syllable names  spelled with an "a."  And, in Where the Heart Leads, she named one character "Marcy Ann," then gave her the nickname of "Rocky,"  which Fio's father, a boxing fan, would have appreciated. Fiorella also listed all of her paternal cousins, aunt and uncle in a crowd scene in that book, and the crazy horse was named "Bella" after a crazy dog Fio and Husband had to have put down.  And in What the Heart Wants, Fio named the pound dog "Hugo" after her own sweet, dear-departed pound dog.

Sometimes Fio pulls names from classical mythology, although she had to  change one character's name from "Isis" to "Astrid" when the political scene heated up.  And did you notice that Vashti's musical daughters were named "Carmen" and "Micaela" after the leads in Bizet's opera?

Yes, name-wise, Fio is shamelessly derivative--enjoy!

+ opera?

Otherwise, Fio gets her names from baby lists according to year of birth, obituaries, and remembrances of classmates from her elementary-school days. And, for no particular reason, her lawyers are always named Charles.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Whistle-ding-chime-bing-bong Song

Our teapot whistles
Our dishwasher dings
Our refrigerator chimes
Our microwave bings
And our alarm puts out
One long bong
To harmonize
Our kitchen song

Monday, March 28, 2016

Scientific Break-through (Sheldon, Eat Your Heart Out)

Fiorella has just proved string theory.  She stuffed a carton of marshmallow eggs in a corner cabinet on the day before Easter and saw it disappear beneath the lazy-susan shelf, but a prolonged search with flashlight has yet to locate the eggs.  And it's not as if the carton isn't about twelve inches long, three inches wide, and three inches deep. Obviously, the sweet has been snatched into anther dimension

It's either that or Harry Potter's house elves got a craving for Easter candy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Happy Easter!  May your chocolate be sweet and your eggs hard-boiled!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Whistle, Chime, Ding, Big, Bong

Fiorella's kitchen is an orchestra.  The tea pot whistles to tell us the water is hot, the refrigerator chimes when we've left its door open, the dishwasher dings to signal it has finished its cycles, the microwave bings to inform us that food is cooked, and the alarm system emits a long bong to assure us that the the house is protected,

Fio should be able to make a song out of all this action.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Car Trouble

Another adventure--Fio hit a police car as she was trying to drive across a divided street.  No one was injured, not even the chocolate Easter bunnies in the trunk, and the police car was only scratched--but Baby Car lost its entire front bumper, which means Fio will be without wheels for about a week. Thank goodness Husband's car is back home again.

This has been a bad month for automobiles at Casa Fiorella.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ape Angst

Tarzan was a dud.  There's no other way to describe the  play that Georgetown's Palace Theater mounted this past month, and Fio wasn't the only one to think so.  For the first time in the ten years that she and Husband have been patronizing the Palace, the audience did not give the actors a second curtain call--yep, no standing ovation.

It wasn't the cast's fault.  They acted their hearts out, maybe trying to compensate for the trite, forgettable songs or for the play itself, which was a litany of ape angst.  Yes, Tarzan played like it had been written by a PETA extremist.

Fio had expected something different--a romp, in fact--a fun show with a lot of catchy tunes that both children and adults could enjoy.  Instead, it was a philosophical treatise on the nobility of apes as opposed to the shallowness and venality of man.

Everything was abstract.  The play started with a  full stage of actors dressed in white leotards leaping around and waving diaphanous aqua tablecloths at the audience.  Fio thought they were supposed to represent the Greek fates, but a quick look at the program told her they were ocean waves, although what ocean waves had to do with the story was never explained.

Next we saw a set that looked like a Wagner production out of Bayreuth in which half-naked monkey children played happily together until a leopard made off with the baby of the gorilla head honcho and his mate, both of whom expressed their philosophical sorrow in song.  Then, in an overhead scene, we saw Tarzan's parents die during a storm at sea. (Aha!  The ocean waves!) The bereft ape mother, of course, took Tarzan to her bosom, defending him against her mate with another angsty song.

Weirdness followed weirdness, like the antics of the over-the-top male drama-queen ape, the African flora stripping Jane down to her bloomers, the stage hands walking through the action scenes, the over-abundance of suspension wires, the apes moving like knuckle-dragging chimpanzees rather than the gorillas they were supposed to be, the big production numbers that periodically erupted, and the kinky blond wigs that the Tarzans (child and adult) wore--wigs that Fio kept hoping would fall off.

During intermission, Fio and Husband compared notes with their guests.  Nephew Barrett commented on the pace of the show, comparing it to a two-hour movie that should have been over in thirty minutes.   His wife said she'd always thought apes interacted with each other physically rather than by exchanging deep, complicated thoughts in song.

Apparently the rest of the audience felt the same way because the applause was sparse--polite at best--but then, it's hard for venal, shallow humans to get involved in a play about the angst of the apes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Sonnet Sonnet

Yesterday was Poetry Day so here goes
    The Sonnet Sonnet

A sonnet is the clever use of rhyme
In patterns such as Petrarch might employ
Or Shakespeare's playful whimsy intertwine
For centuries of lovers to enjoy.
A sonnet is an unrelenting beat,
The blood's intrinsic pulse of weak and strong,
That runs full-tilt for five iambic feet
In three times four plus two, a discipline of song.
A sonnet is a message of the heart,
Of Wordsworth's wonder, Milton's heavy hand,
Of Keats's classic skill, of Shelley's art.
Of Browning's love songs from a foreign land.
    While others seek the chessboard on a day,
    The sonnet is my choice of game to play.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

TV People

Maybe Trump's opponents should plant someone in the audience to yell "Donald is a poopy pants," then encourage the crowd to echo it.
Again, Fio asks--has any Kardashian ever held a real job?
Speaking of TV, "Lucifer" would have a great time with the Duggars--but maybe he already has.


Monday, March 21, 2016

GOP Politics

The GOP is now divided into three units: the Old Guard, the Tea Party, and the Trumpeters.  Fio has watched The Donald's political rise in fascination and horror.  This is not the Republican Party her parents supported.

Bread and circuses.  Bread and circuses.  When will Rome burn?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Odds and Ends

Fio's credit card and Husband's driving glasses are off somewhere together having a good time.  We can't find either of them.
If Starbucks gets any healthier, I'm not meeting anyone there any more.
The more wealth a person has, the more people he has to hire to take care of it.
The hands, the feet, the eyes, the ears--driving is like playing the piano.
The older women used to be the ones in dresses while the younger generation wore pants. Now it's reversed:  the older women are in pants and the young'ns are wearing dresses.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Males and Females

It was about eight, but the morning was dark, cool. and still except for the territorial bickering of two male cardinals.  The desire to control land must be built into the male genome.  All that females want is a safe place to rear their babies.

Friday, March 18, 2016

What Will Happen When God Cuts off the Electricity?

Fiorella has long been concerned about our increasing dependence on electronics, and earlier this month, she was the victim of it.  Her credit card was hacked and she misplaced her car keys,   Mastercard thwarted the baddies and sent her a new card, and Mazda leapt into action and reprogrammed a new key for her, but it all took time--and Mazda cost money too.

We are all vulnerable.  What if Isis figures out how to shut us down?  How would we manage to drive our cars without pushing buttons?  How would we light out homes without flipping a switch?  How would we communicate with each other over the miles?  How would we cook our meals?

It's back to the cave man days, people. Thank God for Boy Scouts.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Fiorella is thnking that what separates us from the beasts is our imaginations.  We make up stories about plants and about animals and ourselves and each other, about heaven and earth, and what is beyond heaven and earth.  And some of these stories turn out to be true.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Two Thumbs Up

"Lucifer" is hitting its stride.  Last week's episode faltered a little--Fio didn't laugh as much--but this week's episode was right on.  Threads came together and Fio laughed and chortled all the way through at the diabolical doings.  Casting the devil--and an amoral one at that--as the hero is a hard sell, but Tom Ellis pulls it off with his devilishly wicked smile and fresh-eyed innocence.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Life Goal

Fiorella's life goal is to help make this world a better, kinder, more beautiful place through her own talents and skills. It's too late for her to do anything with music and her languages, but she can still influence people with her writing and art.  Tally-ho!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Advice to Hillary Clinton and John Kasich

Hillary and John--
Trump's people don't care about your background, experience, or qualifications.  What they want is you to promise them a chicken in every pot.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Another Problem

I thought the bad luck was over, and then yesterday evening, Facebook wouldn't let me on line and informed me that I wasn't using the correct password, which had supposedly been changed three months ago.  Could whoever hacked my credit card have done this too?

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Sometimes there's nothing interesting happening in Fio's life. Other times, she's overflowing with topics.  Right now, she's caught in a biblical flood.  The situation reached its zenith yesterday afternoon when Fio drove (yes, her car is working now) to PetsMart and discovered that Beneful has reprocessed and repackaged its dry dog food, which means that Healthy Fiesta is no longer available,

Fio hit the roof, and let everyone in the store know why.  Healthy Fiesta is the only brand that left Sonia Dog free of the of the pungent odors mastiffs usually exude, and Fiorella does not look forward to being gassed out of the house.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hard Luck Story

Fiorella and Husband are going through a bad stretch.  First her credit card was hacked, which meant she had to cut it up and has to wait for a new one to be mailed to her.  Then she lost her key ring, which meant she couldn't start her car and didn't have a house key.  Then, despite the fact that Fiorella bought a new car key and had it entered into the Mazda system, her baby car conked out again after bringing her and Husband home from dinner.  At the same time, not only did Husband lose the keys to the loaner car he was using because his car was in the shop getting a damaged rear view mirror replaced, but he forgot to bring his charge card to the restaurant.

Husband paid cash for our dinner, and we did make it home from the restaurant safely, which is when Fio's car went out.  Husband has found his credit card and his missing keys, but your Fio still lacks a house key and a usable vehicle.

And she wonders why it takes her so long to grind out a book.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Weather Threat

Hey, Mr. Weatherman
Where's my snow?
The wonderland I ordered up
A month ago?
It looks like spring out
The grass is green
With not a single snowflake
To be seen
Last chance, Mr. Weatherman
Better make it snow
Or else I'll no longer
Watch your show!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Words to Live By

Romans 13:8-10

Be in debt to no one--the only debt you should have to pay is to love one another.  Whoever loves his fellow man has obeyed the Law.  The commandments, "Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not covet"--all these, and any others besides, are summed up in the one command, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Whoever loves his neighbor will never do him wrong.  To love, then, is to obey the whole Law.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Mastercard's fraud unit reported that someone had bought $1200 worth of camera equipment on Fiorella's credit card, which means that she has had to cut up her card and will be relying on cold, hard cash till the new card arrives.  Darn! She feels so vulnerable now, like there are thieves around every corner.   Tell her again about how electronics will make the world a better place.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Getting Out of the House

Fiorella has been binge socializing lately, lunching with writing friend Claire on Thursday and writing friend Jane on Friday, then meeting with her critique group, Far North, on Sunday.  In other words, her weekend was totally literarily invigorating, And she still has Tuesday with Endor, her long-time get-together with writer friends Ashley and Carol, to look forward to.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Romantic Frenzy

What's happened to the romance industry?  We're all killing ourselves to write way too many books in way too short a time.  And we find ourselves not only having to sell cheap, but also having to fund give-aways and other expensive self-promotions--yet the market is so saturated that it's hard for a newcomer to stand out.

Something's gotta give.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Problems, Springtime, Gall

Maybe Fiorella could catch up on everything if new problems didn't keep arising, like the house alarm system informing her last night that the guest room window was not secure. Fio checked, of course, and found nothing amiss, but now she'll have to figure out what's wrong with the alarm system.
The grass is bright green, patches of bluebonnets are showing along the highway, and the perfume of mountain laurels is in the air.  Definitely, it's spring.
What Fio lacks in brains, she makes up for in guts--or is it gall?

Friday, March 4, 2016


When did Fio become a chocolate connoisseur?  She's always liked chocolate, but in years past, all chocolates tasted the same to her. Why is it that she now prefers Russell Stover and Dove to good ol' Hershey?  Where did this new palate come from?  Maybe from the pounds of Russell Stover bars she devoured during the Christmas holidays and over Valentine's week--the bars that, by the way, she can't find on the supermarket shelves anymore. Maybe because she's aware that bitter chocolate sets off a GERD reaction in her.

Whatever, hand over those Russell Stover Easter bunnies.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Why does Fiorella enjoy Big Bang Theory, Lucifer, Little Couple, and Income Property? Because they are "sweet" shows--no drama, no repercussions, no characters who are going to get their throats slit in the next scene.  Big Bang and Lucifer make Fio laugh, Little Couple gives her hope, and Income Property is always different, yet comfortably the same.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Review of Lucifer

Castle, etcetera, are cops and robbers shows with a love interest thrown in as a secondary plot. Lucifer is a romance built on a cops-and-robbers premise.

The show is sexy, edgy, and funny.  Forget the cops and robbers plots--and they've been forgettable so far--and concentrate on the relationship between the two leads, Lucifer and Chloe, a tough Hollywood cop. Lucifer is fascinated by her because she has no ulterior motive and she seem impervious to his charms, while Chloe would like him out of her life, but has discovered that he has his uses--like saving her life.

But what Fio likes best about the show is the humor.  She laughs, snickers, and giggles all the way through.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fascinated by Firewood

Yes, yet another blog about the fireplace.

Fio and Husband had a fireplace in their previous home that they fed with real wood, but that wood was bought from H-E-B, and every log looked pretty much the same. Now the wood comes from their own land--fallen branches salvaged, or dead trees that have been chain-sawed down--and each length of the resulting firewood looks different from every other length.  Right now, Fio is looking at a misshapen chunk of hardwood balanced sideways on top of a three-inch-in-diameter oak log while, in front of the screen, a crotched log awaits its fate. A log that burns down to ashes is a happy log--it has fulfilled its purpose in life.