Thursday, August 31, 2017

Rock Warning Plus Tidbits

Fio went out in mid-afternoon to tow her little red wagon full of creekbed rocks along the driveway and shore up problem areas, but she received  a stone cold reception from her troops.  In fact, she received no reception. They totally ignored her, which sort of scared her. What had she done to estrange her wonderful rocks? She laid out a few new recruits, then stopped and considered. It was so hot out, and the air was so still. OMG--the rocks were telling her to go in and gulp down some water, that she wasn't safe out in the heat today! Thank you, my darlings.
Fiorella has never been knocked unconscious that she knows of. But after the fact, does one ever realize one has been unconscious?
Let's spend less on museums and more on affordable housing, on the furure rather than the past.
You do realize, of course, that if Fiorella couldn't write on Blogspot, Facebook, Documents, or her lista amarilla, she'd scratch what she wants to say on sidewalks and cave walls. Do you also realize that Fiorella, who started this blog very cautiously, now regularly spills her guts and tells you things no one else knows?
All good things in Fiorella's life are referred to as Baby--her dog, her laptop, and her granddaughter. Rejoice with Fio.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Fiorella is down right now. The hurricane didn't come anywhere near where she lives, but her heart hurts for the people--the real live human people, not just statistics--who have drowned as they tried so hard to escape the rising waters. And she feels the stunned sorrow of the survivors who have lost everything--their homes, their vehicles, their food and clothing, their photo albums, those special things handed down through generations of their families. Then there are the dead and displaced animals. Fio would like to stop the hurricane, to roll back the calendar. She wants everyone and everything to survive, to be saved.

There's no clever turn-around at the end of this post. Disaster is disaster, and Fiorella is in mourning.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Emergency Room Report

The computer is still off line, but Husband is in the hospital again so Fiorella is taking adavantage of its internet connection to a blog this evening for publication Tuesday morning.

First of all, Husband is okay. He took a fall at home, then outside the doctor's office, then when he tried to get into his car and drive home. Needless to say, an ambulance took over his transportation. All seems well at the hospital, and right now everyone is guessing dehydration, but we'll see.

In the meantime, Fio's going to be sneaking over to FB, which has been deprived of her presence for two days now.

Monday, August 28, 2017


If you looked at Fiorella first thing in the morning, you saw far more of what goes on behind the scenes than Fio ever wanted you to see--the jumbled notes, obscure references, and sheer gibberish that she shapes into her morning offering. Yes, as you probably guessed, the computers at la casa Fiorella went off-line last night, and it was an eye-opener. Not only was Fio blocked from writing a stunningly brilliant blog, but she couldn't check out her baby-steps attempts at Spanish sentences on Translater, contact friends on email, check out Google News or KEEP UP WITH FACEBOOK.

But now she's at Starbucks, every writer's home away from home, and has hooked onto their power, cleared her blog, and explained to you exactly what has happened. Except that she almost forgot to mention that she crashed a tall chair to the floor as she was trying to mount it, and the store was stunned into silence, then erupted into voices of concern. But that's your Fio--drama follows her wherever she goes.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Morning Prayer

Thank you for the peaceful night
Thank you for the bright new day
Guide me so I broadcast love
With all I do and all I say

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Regarding the Storm

A sudden brisk viento (wind) shook our trees at 3:55, and then a light lluvia (rain) began to fall, but it only lasted about cinquo minutos (five minutes) so Fio started up to el buzon (the mail box) to pick up su correo (her mail). As she walked, her brave little soldiers along the edge of la entrada de coches (driveway) sang out reassurances that they could handle the storm to come, that they wouldn't allow any washouts to occur. Now, Fiorella respects su rocas (her rocks), mostly volunteers who leapt into sus manos (her hands) when she was out scouting in the south woods and the dry creek. In fact, she loves them--but she is afraid that she didn't give them enough back-up. We'll see.
The only good things about Harvey are that he is cooling down la clima (the weather), he will water our parched hierba (lawn) for free, and he has driven Donald Trump off the air--at least for now.
When Fio hears the name "Harvey," she thinks of the broadcaster, the rabbit, and a fourth-grade friend named Hardy Joe Brundage. He had a great sense of humor, and Fio will never forget when he got up in front of the class and gave an imitation of Mrs. Johnson wiggling into her girdle (which was always an indication there was going to be a fire drill), a scene he'd accidentally walked in on in the cloakroom the week before (la semana anterior.)

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Few More Comments

As Fio predicted, Trump Tower is falling, brick by brick--Flinn, Spicer, Scaramucci, Priebus, Bannon. etcetera. He's even knocked at McConnell's and Ryan's doors. When will our loser-of-the-popular-vote president announce he is firing Congress?
Fiorella would like Trump Inc. to close its doors and leave town. He gives the country a bad name. Also, he steals away too much of Fio's time that she'd rather spend writing, working on the yard, or learning Spanish. But most of all, he hurts her heart.
Wondering about the eclipse. Could it have been another one of Trump's distractions?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Patterned Life

Call her boring, but Fio lives in patterns. Typical day--As soon as she wakes up, she folds her throw rugs and places them over the back of the couch, then folds her sheet into a neat package, picks up her pillow, and deposits pillow and sheet on the dresser in the guest room. Then she opens all the blinds on the first floor, disarms the alarm system, picks up the newspaper from the front porch, takes care of the dog, and skims the newspaper. When Husband comes downstairs, the paper is in his recliner, neatly folded. After breakfast, she openes up su computadora to her emails and Google News, and also checks out Facebook.

And then there are the day that go haywire from the start.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Language Crossovers

Apparently Fioralla's brain categorizes langiages as either English or Other, judging by the way her study of el espanol has reactivated her Russian, German, and even Telugu. Yesterday she caught herself using pahtuhmyshto instead of porque when trying to put together a sentence in Spanish.

Speaking of Spanish, Fio is quite pleased with her recent progress. Her verbos are coming along, she's attempting simple frases, and she's understanding enough of her new telenovela, Mi Marido Tiene Familia, that she can follow the plot. It really helps to have a backgorund in linguistics, but it helps even more to have friends who are kind enough to help her. (Okay, Fio will admit it--Translater on Google helps too.)
But Fio looks back on her Russian studies with sorrow. If only Russian-language television had been avilable back then. If only the instructional program had involved more verbal communication and less translation of long-dead authors, althoug Fio can still recite the beginning of  Yevgeny Onyegin:. "Moy dyadya sahmic chesnic pravil, kahgdah nyev shootku zahnimog.....". Pahnimayitzi menya?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ganging Up On God

Fiorella, a frequent Facebook contributor, winces every time she encounters an intensive, often gaudy, post asking people to pray for themselves or for others. She will, of course, ask for blessings on everyone who is having difficulties of any kind, but as you know, because of her Missouri Synod Lutheran upbringing, she does it privately, in her closet, not making a public display, "as the Pharisees do." Fio also cringes at prayer requests that imply God responds to popular demand, that the more people that are asking Him to perform a miracle, the better the chances. Fiorella can let both of these viewpoint pass--only God knows God--but she'll nail her own 99 Theses to the church door disputing the idea that God can be controlled by "holy ones"--priests, pastors, saints, etc.--that if the right person prays for a miracle long and hard enough, God will give in and grant it.

That "pastor" who thought he could cure his granddaughter through intensive prayer was operating out of his own ego. It was a power struggle. His granddaughter died because he tried to control God rather than laud His mercy for providing a medical treatment that could have saved his granddaughter's life. Fio prays for him, that he will seek God's love and forgiveness, as must we all.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Read Straight Down, Left

Andrew McCabe

HuckAbee Sanders

StEve Bannon

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Purely Fiorella

Fiorella grabbed a nice handful of servietas at Starbucks as she was heading out of la puerta, y ellas came in handy. El dia was blazing caliente and su automovil had been sitting en el sol por dos horas so her car seat and steering wheel were burning. Thinking fast, Fio stuck a servieta under each pierne and grasped una servieta in each mano before she pulled out of her parking space and headed a su casa.
Yesterday was up and down. Way up and way down. Fio was ecstatic when Richard at Mazda called to tell her that baby car was all healed and ready to go home early--and that the bill turned out to be $500 less than expected. But her day started going downhill when she stopped by the post office on the way home and left her purse and keys in the car, then locked the door. A nice passerby let her use his cell phone and Fio called Husband, who arrived with Sonia dog in the back seat. About two hours later, the locksmith arrived. And to think, Fiorella thought she would get a lot of writing done because her lista amarilla was so lightweightfor the day.
Fiorella has discovered a wonderful new rock bed (cama de rocas) behind the chainlink fence separating her back yard from the jungle beyond, and she's already pulled several of them up and tossed them over the fence, where she'll pack them into her little red wagon to tow up to the driveway to reinforce su mura pequena, but that's the only mura she'll ever contribute to

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Catching Up With Laura and Ryan.

And in the fast-moving world of Telenovela, Laura, five months pregnant, left her bodyguard at the door and confronted Estela (the real Estela, not the Estela whose identity Laura had bought when she fled to the United States) about Ryan, Laura's husband whom Estela (who is actually his half-sister) had briefly seduced. Estela, true to form (she's a drug lord called El Dorado and has taken out a fair number of people herself and ordered others killed), physically attacked Laura, and now the fate of Ryan and Luara's bebe is in peril. But although Laura doesn't know it, the father of su bebe might be Danilo, Ryan's half-brother, who knocked her out with a horse anesthetic a couple of months back and raped her.

Los actores must dissolve into giggles every time they get a new script.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Spanish, Hate, Miata

Well, Fiorella,you say, how is the Spanish coming along?
Not as quickly as I had hoped, of course, but I've finally found a reliable source for the conjugation of los verbos, although most of my new palabras are now gleaned up from context. Our yardman taught me hormigos de fuego--fire ants--yesterday, I picked up tranquila from my telenovela, and I've been composing simple sentence to myself.based on Spanish-language commercials. All of this has meant that I understand a bit more what los actores on La Doble Vida de Estela Carrillo are saying.
The plain truth of the upsurgeance in hate groups is that many people don't think things through. They just  jump on the loudest band wagon that comes to town and get caught up in the mob mentality, then don't know how to get out without losing face.
Fio's baby car is in the shop again. She doesn't remember what friend Richard told her the problem is, but the cost will be $1,100 to fix. Fio is not happy. Her budget wasn't expecting a hit like this.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Handicapped Parking

After meeting with her critique group at Starucks inside Target, Fiorella returned to her baby car to find a red sticky thing had been slapped on the door warning her that if she ever parked in a handicapped spot again, the authorities would be called and her car hauled off. Scribbled acrossthe bottom of the thing was "Because of you, a wounded verteran did not have a place to park today!!!"

Now, Fio, a born rule-follower, accepts the fact that she was in the wrong. However, that shaming postscript made her mad. In the first place, she thinks suspects the "wounded veteran" reference was metephorical, that her sleek little Miata was what pissed somebody off. In the second place, Fio disagrees with the curreent veneration of every person who's ever donned a uniform. Soldiers are just like everyone else. Some are good, and some are bad. Some lead exemplary lives, and some are rats, no matter what kind of injury they have received.

Fio accepts guilt, but rejects the shame.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Somewhere in the world there are people who wake up every morning and think "What can I do to occupy my day?" Fio is not one of them.  Her daily routine is to leap out of bed, grab her lista amarilla, and think "How can I possibly get all this done today?" There's the house and the yard, the husband and the dog, the friends and family, the woods, the writing, the Spanish, and maybe a bit of art and music. And now she's wracking her brain trying to figure out a way to topple Trump and his dirty crew.

Yes, your Fiorella is a responsibility kind of a gal. Maybe because she has strong maternal instincts, maybe because she was the oldest child in the family, maybe because she feels guilty when anything--ANYTHING--goes wrong. Whatever, she's driven, so don't try to rein her in. Instead, join her cause. Together, we can bring Trump down.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Fio woke up with the thought that cashiering 15,000 transgenders from the armed forces would not only result in job turmoil within the ranks, but also up the unemployment rates and strain veteran resources. 
On the other hand, the fiat took our minds off things like the Russian scandal and the Scaramucci scandal and the Secret-Service-being-kicked-out-of-Trump-Tower scandal and the leaked incoherent telephone calls to foreign leaders and the almost daily nonsense/horror that flows from the 3:00 am Trump White House. 

Later, she watched the afternoon press conference, and realized our loser-of-the-popular-vote president has fallen off his rocker. Trump Tower is crumbling to the ground, and Putin is rolling on the floor with laughter.


Hate Must Be Defanged!

ROMANCE WRITERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! What happened in Charlottesvlle is a call to action. We must fight racism, sexism, and religious intolerance through our novels! Books have changed the world before and they can now!
Our current political situation is like the last two weeks of a Spanish-language soap opera--it's always darkest before the dawn. Yes, just as Danilo, Morgana, Estela, and that guy with the scary eyes are headed toward unhappy endings, Trump is going down.
   Fio has been thinking about the schoolyard bullies who show up in
TV costumes at marches and the misanthropes who dominate  Trump's
rallies. These people are in hate with the world and we need to contain
them, cure them, or get rid of them.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Swimming In The Family

Austin son sent Fiorella a picture of himself taking Baby into his wife's family's pool for her first swim, and all I could think of--aside from how sweet my son is and how cute my granddaughter is--was how my mother, who never learned how to swim, was determined that her daughter would learn. Somehow Mom, who didn't drive, got me to lessons at a big, scary auditorium-type pool in Akron, and then, when we moved to Texas, enrolled me for lessons with the local YWCA.

And now, here's Mother's great-granddaughter being introduced to swimming when she is just six months old.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Fiorella is up in arms about what has happened in Charlottesville. The National Guard should be sent in and the whole state put under martial law. What sort of upbringing did these people have? Or were they born with a "hate" gene as part of their make-up? Did they ever stop and think about what they were doing, or were they so simple-minded that they let themselves be swayed by mob mentality?

Our loser-of-the-popular-vote president isn't going to do anything about Charlottesville. In fact, he's probably thanking his lucky stars that it distracted us from the Russian scandal for the moment, but it's all going to come back to bite him. And Fio hopes Charlottesville will get a big hunk taken out of its behind too.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Romance Writing Update

Speaking of romance writing, Fiorella does not go along with the current trend of writing for word-count in order to turn out book after book in as short a time possible. Fio herself almost fell prey to the turn-them-out-as-quickly-as-you-can contagion that is sweeping through the romance-writing community, but a series of family situations delayed her third Bosque Bend book for two years, and now that sweet little story she'd planned out to garner a quick buck or two  is fleshing out into a full-fledged romance with a strong subtext. Fio wants her books to be profitable, but she also wants them to inspire her readers to help her make the world a better place.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Early Morning Ruminations

Fiorella's life has not been easy, and she is the better for it. She had assumed that after college she would stay home with her children and indulge herself in her art, music, writing, and languages, but family circumstances required her to seek outside employment, an experience that broadened her world and knocked some square corners off her. Those same family circumstances forced her to deal with difficult situations, which made her more sensitive and, at the same time, more confident. But still, she wishes she could have spent more time indulging.

Speaking of languages, La Doble Vida de Estela Carrillo is winding up to its conclusion. Yes, winding up, not winding down--everyone is in hot water but the villain. And speaking of writing, Fio is one-third through revision number 3 and taking notes on her next book. The music is dead in the water, but maybe she'll even get around to painting again some day.

If Fiorella sounds a little subdued, it's because of the nuclear threat hanging over the world. Trump is a total idiot--and a dangerous one.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Truth of It


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

United Airlines Can't Get Its Act Together

Another United Airlines story from one of Fiorella's friends:
This morning Simba Dog and I arrived at United Cargo Petsafe to begin our trip to Lake Tahoe. The cargo manager looked at my crate and my dog and told me that the regional airline scheduled to fly us to our first stop was too small to hold Simba's crate. Further, there were no flights available that day that would hold his crate. (Note: I had made this reservation in March and given the dimensions of the crate to the Petsafe people at the time.)

Then, talking to United reservations and trying to get a flight that could hold Simba, I found out that my return reservation--that I had just had to reschedule three days earlier because United changed its arrival time back in Austin -- wouldn't hold his crate, either!

But there's more: the original cargo manager reported to his management that Simba was full grown German Shepard who was too large for his crate. (Uh, he's a Belgian Tervuren and you didn't even see him in his crate, nor did you take measurements.)

So, after months of planning, hours of scheduling airline, cabin, car, horse care, dog boarding ... it's t*ts up.

Thanks United. Fly the f'-ing Friendly Skies.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Mother, Haircut, Household, Trump, Pill Bottles

Mother was always helpfully correcting Fio, and Fiorella helpfully passed on the favor to her friends and classmates. Big mistake.
There's a new (at least to Fio) male haircut that's becoming popular. The hair is clipped close except on the front top of the head where it is rolled back, sort of like a sophisticated mullet. Not only are the hombres on telenovelas sporting it, but so was the man sitting in front of Fio at the the theater.
If Fio were not  living in this house, shades would never be raised, doors would never be locked, and toilet paper rolls would never be put in their holders.
Judging by those she's encountered on Facebook, Trump supporters are rude, crude, racist, mysogynistic, willingly ignorant attack dogs..
Fio has a shoe box full of plastic pill bottles she would love to pass on to you. Any takers?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Palace Theater Review, Rock of Ages

Fiorella and her party left the Georgetown Palace Theater's production of Rock of Ages between acts. The auditorium was too warm, the music was too loud, and the show was too frenetic, disjointed, and stupid. It was even worse than Tarzen of the Apes, a depth Fio never thought could be reached.

It was obvious that a lot of work had gone into the production. Choreographer Jessee Smart had her dancers doing deep plies every time they turned around, and everyone was singing his heart out. The band was great, especially the guitarist. But the show itself was more silly than funny and more trashy than cool. The characters were weak stereotypes--the guy trying to make it in show biz, the girl trying to make it in showbiz, the oafish star, the pompous 1930's villain with the German (?) accent, who was trying to shut down the rock club.

Maybe Fiorella's review of the show was affected by the fact that she and her party were seated nearer to the stage than usual, or that she was pretty much engaged with job and family during the show's time period and thus missed all the clever references everyone else was picking upon. But the audience reaction was not overwhelming--except for the front row and a line-up of older women behind Fiorella who cackled like demented hens.

Whatever, Fio was, like Queen Victoria, not impressed.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fivesome Update

Sonia perra tripped nimbly down la escalera at 4:15 a.m.and gave mamacita a sharp bark of demand. Porque ella es una mamacita buena, ella struggled awake and turned off the alarm system, then opened the back puerta so Sonia could usar el sevicio. Si, la perrita es la reina de casa.
The whirlwind is spinning faster and faster. Trump is going down. Doesn't he see the signs? They're the same as when his multiple businesses went down.
Fiorella posted one of her paintings on FB and got a really nice response, which made her hungry to start painting again, something she hasn't done in years, but she needs to invest her time in her family and projects that have the possibility of paying off big, like the writing. The almighty dollar wins out over art every time.
Speaking of writing, Fiorella is engaged in the third revision and the story is really fleshing out. For instance, she now knows that Bram is a nickname for Abram, which explains why a guy who's half Czech has a Dutch-sounding name.
Fiorella plays the piano every morning to keep her hands, fingers, and brain-eye coordination working, but she sings for the pure joy of it. Yes, the botox shots to her false vocal chords are finally working.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bring on the Leaks!

Republican and Democratic lawmakers may be united in condemning the recent White House leaks, but Fio thinks that whoever released those transcripts of Trump's childish conversations with two foreign leaders is a true patriot, a national hero, because now the whole country knows that our so-called president is a total egotist who whines like a baby when he's trying to back out of "deals," and that he used his campaign rallying cry for "the wall" to fire up his alt-right base, but really doesn't care whether it's built or not.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Poetry, Politics, Pens, Pisces, Program, and Pacing

Why is there nobody out there who's tried to cross political pens with Fiorella? Can it be there's no one on the right who can rhyme, set a beat, or count accented syllables?
Fio doesn't understand why people advertise on pens, but then, she's not the type to be influenced by the name emblazoned on her ballpoint.
Ah, salmon and fries for dinner--nothing better. Fio is replete.
Fio's nightly telenovela has been running two hours this past week, which is daunting. Fio can only take so much elevated drama at a time. Por favor, kill off Danilo and Morgana, give Leticia's family a happy ending, and let Ryan and Laura live happily ever after.
As Fio said back when Flynn got canned, Trump Tower is crumbling, brick by brick. Quite a few bricks have fallen since then, and the pace seems to be accelerating.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Escape into Television--THWARTED

It's so relaxing every evening when Fiorella escapes Trumpdom and loses herself in the murder, rape, scheming and screaming of La Doble Vida de Estela Carrillo, a Spanish-language soap opera of which she can only understand one word in ten. The important thing is that while the DC Halloween horror show is real and Fio doesn't know where it's going to end up, the telenovela is scripted for a happy ending. Ryan and Laura (formerly Estela) are going to pull through, but Fiorella isn't that sure about the USA.

Postscript: After writing the above, Fio settled down to watch last night's episode of Estela Carrillo and found it had been knocked off the programming by another stupid soccer game. HOW DOES UNIVISION EXPECT FIORELLA TO HAVE A PEACEFUL NIGHT'S SLEEP WITHOUT HER NIGHTLY DOSE OF MAKE-BELIEVE?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Life, Art, Trump, Book,

Yours truly has had a couple of close calls in her life, but the Fio-wagon keeps a-rollin' along, maybe because the close calls have taught her to make the best use of every minute she has on this earth.
The art isn't in the hand or the brush. It's in the artist.
The Trump administration has hit the fan, and Fio doubts if Humpty Dumpty can ever be put back together again. Fiorella got a lot done on her book yesterday, but the political scene remained a mess, not matter how many profound analyses she posted on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

In and Out the Window, As We Have Done Before

The whole Scaramucci episode was both hilarious and sad. Hilarious because it played out like a fast-moving half-hour television comedy, and sad because we have a president with such poor judgment that he hires a foul-mouthed, egocentric toady to be his communications director. And now, he's hired an up-tight military man as chief of staff to clean up the mess. Five will get you ten that the general won't stop with the Mooch, but will try to do a thorough job, which means disciplining all the advisors and hangers-on, including the line-up of Trumps. Including the prez himself.

Kelly won't last long.