Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Adventures with Spanish

Oh-oh. Fio has run into the bugaboo of learning el espanol, that one person's Spanish is not another person's Spanish.  She looked up her order on Google translator, then drove down to Golden Fried Chicken and tried to ask for six chicken wings en espanol--seis alitas, por favor--and was corrected. Wings are ales, at least at Golden Fried. Maybe in all of Tejas.

Not that the guy was rude or anything.  He really liked the idea that Fio was trying to learn Spanish and told her to keep on using it, that she would get better and better every day.  Uno hombre bueno.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fiorella Speaks

I think the mosquito that's been buzzing around me for the past two days finally died of bloat.

I like Spanish--no case endings on nouns.

When I get to heaven, I will be met by all the umbrellas I've lost through the years.

I am very tired today.  Maybe it has something to do with not getting any sleep last night.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Good People All Around Me

Mi corazon overflows with gratitude. T Carando fixed my laptop on Sabado, and on Domingo, the Browns, our neigbors, hauled four loads of rocks over to our casa to shore up the rocas we already had stacked around the driveway. CUATRO LOADS!

Fio can hardly wait to see what happens hoy. She's fully expecting to win Publisher's Clearing House.

Sabado, Domingo.....Saturday, Sunday

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Carando to the Rescue

The rider on the white horse who rescued Fiorella?  None other than Patricia "T" Carando--again. She has been Fio's electronic savior too many times to count this past year, and your faithful correspondent is muy grateful.

What happened this time, you ask.  Fio's icons wouldn't open.  First she lost access to her email icon (again), and then she lost access to all her other programs except (whew) the one for the romance she is writing. Fiorella promptly sent out a panicked SOS to T and met with her at Starbucks, where all good writers meet.  The mighty T began by wrestling with Fio's email situation, which was caused by the failing mechanisms of Windows Live Mail (no longer supported by Microsoft), and which will necessitate Fio changing to gmail in the near future.  Then, while Fiorella raced back home to pick up her credit card so she could buy chocolate chunk cookies, T restored her other programs.

All is now well in Casa Fiorella, thanks to T Carando.  Well, T Carando and chocolate chunk cookies.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Muchas Palabras

Hola, mi amigos!  Yo am using palabras espanol wherever y whenever yo can.  Ahora if yo can just figure out how to work the tilde-maker on mi ordenador. 

Remember--every palabra used is a palabra learned.

Adios till manana, mi amigos!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Languages,Languages, Languages

Has Fio told you she's trying to learn Spanish by semi-immersion? She started by watching Univision, a Spanish-language station, every night to absorb the 's sounds and rhythm of the language, and now, with the help of Google Translator, she is trying to get everything in the house labeled so wherever she looks, she'll see the Spanish word for it. She's planning to post a color chart too.  And she's trying to build the habit of substituting Spanish words for English words when she can.

Of course, most of the words she's learning now are basic nouns, but she's pretty sure she can learn prepositions from context. And she already has a head start on pronouns because she lives in Texas. The verbs will be more problematical, but Fio will handle them in time if she keeps at it. That's what immersion is all about.

And just think--if Fio can master Spanish, she can bring her Russian back up to speed.  And her Latin.  And then there's Italian--and German--and Telugu--and Mandarin--and every other language Fio has ever wanted to speak. (You'll notice Fio left off French.  She could read it quite well at one time, but has no interest in learning how to mispronounce it at this point in her life.)


Thursday, August 25, 2016


Happy anniversary to us!  Husband and I have been married since forever, but we still celebrate our nuptials day each year, usually by the traditional dinner out. But until then, it's business as usual for Fiorella--research, book revisions, making her study habitable, gathering rocks for around the driveway, accumulating Spanish words, etc.  The devil is in the etcetera.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On Hearing that Hemingway's Cuban Home Has Been Restored as a Tourist Attraction

Fiorella would never be interested in visiting the house in which a famous author has lived or even seeing his study. A house is just a house, no matter who lives in it, and a study is just a study. The essence of an author does not live on in his former environment after he dies, but in his works.  Besides, being somewhat familiar with the authoring business herself, Fio can tell you that we do not restrict themselves to neat-as-a-pin desks or stylishly-decorated studies when we write. The bed, the couch, the floor, a restaurant table, a moving vehicle--anything will do when the words start flowing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Town Lake, Austin

This time, Fio can't find the yellow brick road so she'll post an oldie, then get back to writing regular posts again.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Waiting Again

This will be another day in waiting. Fio has the photo on her email, but can't remember how she got the last one to show up on her blog.

Aha--she did it!  This is a portrait of Husband's father.  Yes, Fio likes light and shadow.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Painting in Waiting

Fiorella, who is skilled with the brush, is a dodo when it comes to pressing the right buttons on electronic devices.  She's spent a couple of hours trying to transfer another painting onto this page and has finally thrown in the towel and contacted genius friend T Carando for help. Stay tuned for more developments. One way or another, Fio will succeed.


                                              Older Son when he was much younger.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

More Art

Fio paid younger son ten dollars to pose.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Artist's Eyes

You know those neon-colored highlighters people use?  The ones that are pink or blue or yellow? Fio has to use hum-drum black ballpoint underlining instead because the bright colors distract her from the underlying print.  And she can't use red ink when she is writing out one of her daily lists because it is too bright for her to read on the fly.  Yes, Fio's eyes are extremely color-sensitive. Being an artist was not her choice, but her fate.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Crystal Ball Politics

Fiorella, who's been following the political news much more avidly than she intended to, has been right on the button with her prognostications so far, including a prediction that Trump would try to raise his ratings by racheting up his outrageous entertainment self. Now she's going to risk making a new one, that there will be a surprising number of "secret" votes in November by Trump-endorsing Republicans who will not be able to stomach The Donald once they are faced with a real live ballot.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer Storms

A word to the wise: always live uphill. Central Texas has been thoroughly soaked the last couple of days, but while the lower area of Fiorella's neighborhood flooded, Fio and Husband's property remained high and semi-dry. As she has told you before, Fio is wary of untamed water--rivers, lakes, the ocean.  They all seem dangerous to her.  She's a faucets, sprinkler, and swimming pool kind of gal.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It's Time

When Sonia dog's toenails click like castanets as she trots downstairs. When she snags the bathroom rug and the Jacquard bedspread. When Fiorella realizes she would have been better off if she'd invested in Neosporin ointment and Hello Kitty band-aids than Disney.  Then Fio knows it's time to take doggie to the vet and get her toenails clipped and sanded.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Men strut, women do.
Ancient middens were constructed by men who went through cycles of not putting their garage tools back where they found them, losing  them, then having to buy new ones.
Quick!  Has anyone found a way to shrink skin after a weight loss?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Independent Thinking

Too many people follow the roar of the crowd instead of thinking for themselves, resulting in such atrocities as lynch mobs, Jim Jones, and the deaths of millions of lemmings.  Of course, it's scary to think for oneself--one can always be wrong, or, like Galileo, one can end up as the target of the roar.

Fio may be foolhardy and she may be wrong, but she is not a lemming.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Self-Immolation of Donald Trump

Is Trump deliberately sabotaging himself to get out of being stuck with the Presidency?  Or is he testing his fans' loyalty by going as far as he can go a la the "shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue" comment?

There must be an old Greek legend about someone who fed a monster day after day and eventually got eaten by it. That's exactly what's going on with Trump. He thinks coming up with ever more outrageous comments will lift his poll numbers. but instead, people are fleeing from him in droves. It's self-immolation.

Friday, August 12, 2016


This is sorta awful. An old high school friend of Fio's whom she has been trying to get in touch with for years suddenly put a hate-filled, racist anti-Obama poster up on FB which, of course, endorses Trump. Fiorella is shocked, startled, dismayed, and wondering. Could her friend, who once had a steel-trap brain, have slipped over the edge?

Speaking of slipping over the edge, what's going on with Trump? Encouraging his fans to assassinate Hillary?  Claiming that Obama and Hillary founded Isis? Where's all this coming from? Advanced syphilis?  (Just sayin').

Actually, Fio thinks it's a bad case of vampiric narcissism. Trump lives off the roar of the crowd, and the more outrageous he gets, the more the crowd roars. How sad for Trump, his fans, and America,

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Analysis of Trump's Campaign Strategy

It's a good thing that Fio's baby car knows the way to carry the sleigh through white and drifted snow-o because all the way into Austin yesterday, Fiorella was analyzing Donald Trump's campaign strategy. It's like he's trying to close a business deal.  First he bullied off the smaller contenders.  Then he attacked the major contender, using every low-down tactic in the book. Then, if he wins, he'll go into the third stage, wiggling out of every commitment he signed onto.

America, are you ready?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Fio's brother gave her a small box of greeting cards that their mother had received when her own mother died. A leather remembrance book lay on top of the pile, and reading through it made Fio think about not only her maternal grandmother, but her paternal grandmother and maternal great-grandmother, all of whom  died when Fio was a young child. Curious, she Googled her foremothers' death dates and learned that her great-grandmother had died on March 2 (when Fio was two), that her father's mother had died on March 11 (when Fio was three), and mother's mother had died on March 22 (when Fio was four).  

Does Fio see a pattern here?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tempus Fugit

No, Fio is not watching the Olympics. She's seen them before, and at this point in her life, she doesn't have time for them. There are things she wants to get done that she can't put anything off any longer.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Oz, Trump, Dwarfs and Duggars

Dr. Oz says that using olive oil lowers chances of a premature death. Does that mean Fio's fingernails, which she daily dips in olive oil, will live longer?
Fio thinks Trump's ideal world is one in which the men make loads of money and the women pose for nude photos. Notice that he hasn't blown up about those pictures of his wife.  Fio suspects he may have released them himself to show her off--sort of a yada-yada-ya-ya, look what I have and you don't. Perhaps he thought they'd bring in more votes.
Fio used to watch The Little People until the Matt went meglomaniacal and all the right wing crazy stuff came out. She watches The Little Couple now, and hopes Bill Klein and Jen Arnold aren't as fake as the Roloffs turned out to be.  And then there are the Duggars, but that's a bigger story--pun intended.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Electronic Revenge

Fiorella publicized her current computer problems on Facebook, saying she must be somehow antagonizing the electronics and guess what--it turns out there are people out there who really do have something in their blood or bones or soft tissue or whatever (brain waves?) that DOES mess up computers or make watches stop running.  But what sort of doctor does Fio go to in order to get herself tested?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Living Dangerously but Eating Well

Happy birthday to Fio--again.  Later today, her brother and sister-in-law are taking her and Husband out to Frisco, one of Fiorella's favorite restaurants. It's an old-time Austin thing, a family tradition. Not only did Husband's parents know the original owner, but Husband and Fiorella took their kids there regularly when they were growing up. The hamburger steaks are the best, and the chocolate ice box pie is out of this world. Fio will probably end up with a late-night GERD attack, but it will be worth it.

Friday, August 5, 2016


Fiorella is an organizer.  She's takes the responsibility, she does the work, and she sees the job through. OMG, she's Hillary!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Love Trumps Hate

Fio thinks Donald Trump is rude, crude, ignorant, arrogant, egotistical, and mentally unstable, but she doesn't "hate" him. Instead, she prays for his enlightenment. If you are a supporter of Mr. Trump, please do not talk about "hating" Mrs. Clinton. Instead, pray for her enlightenment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pondering the Universe

Yes, Fio is the quintessential absent-minded professor, but how can she remember if she's already brushed her teeth when her mind is occupied pondering the universe, analyzing yesterday and planning today, and coming up with words of wit and wisdom for her blog?

Of course the answer to the question is--ta-da--by determining whether or not her mouth tastes like Colgate.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


You know it's hot out when the water that splashed on your shorts while you were trying to cool your steering wheel dries before you reach the next stoplight.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Is Trump a Russian Operative?

It seems like Donald Trump is hell-bent on alienating everyone in this country, one insult at a time. But maybe Fio isn't giving him enough credit.  Maybe he's an undercover operative for the Kremlin.  Maybe he was turned when he was in Russia setting up the beauty contest and is now dedicated to undermining America.

Speaking of Russia, where has Melania disappeared to?  Her webpage has been discontinued and she seems to have dropped out of sight.  And what about Sarah Palin?  Maybe Trump's decided to move on.  After all, women are disposable in his world.