Monday, December 31, 2018

Coming Down to Earth

Hmm... Husband is hospitalized. Wonder if that means Fio and Sonia Dog are going to have to handle another set of plumbing problems all by themselves.
Daughter's novio nuevo started un fuego en la chimenea para Fio, which elevated him to the highest level in her books, but it's los libros de hija that count.
O happy day! Fiorella found the drone she'd bought Husband for Christmas! The bag was tucked away under a pile of clothes on her side of the bathroom, where she'd hidden it in preparation to being wrapped. She'd already seen the bag a couple of times when she was searching the house, but an erroneous memory of what the box looked like meant she hadn't recognized it. (Maybe tomorrow she can find the missing bag of birds and butterflies.)
 Fio's palabra nueva en el espanol es deprimida (depressed). Wonder why?
Speaking of Christmas gifts, Someone better not complain about Fio misplacing his drone when Fio has seen neither hide nor hair of the new chainsaw she wanted.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Chapter Two

Fiorella's euphoria didn't last.  In the later afternoon, she checked in on Husband again and didn't like the way he was breathing so she took his termperature--100.6. It sounded like pneumonia to her so she bullied him into the car and drove him to the ER as the evening deepened. After getting him settled,she drove home before it was too dark for her to drive at all.

A nurse called later to confirm that, yes, Husband did have pneumonia, but this time, the hospital had decided to investigate further and scheduled him for a bronchoscopy the next day.

Fast forward to today, the day of the surgery. Fio felt drained last night after coming home from the ER, and by the morning, she was even weaker. Daughter y su novio visiting helped for a while,  but Fio was definitely not herself. She couldn't think or remember. She couldn't find things. Her balance was off, she was soooo tired, and she needed to check on Husband, but before she could call the hospital, he called her to report in. Fio was relieved that he sounded like a new man, although no one will know the outcome of the broncoscopy and biopsies until tomorrow. Meanwhile, Husband was in quarantine so he wasn't inviting anyone to visit, which was a good thing because Fiorella was too tired to move. If the maid hadn't been there for the afternoon, Fio might have fallen into the fireplace. As it was, she fell asleep on the couch.

Now that Fio and Sonia Dog are all alone in the house, Fiorella feels like she's thrown off whatever was dragging her down--worry about Husband, a pinch of whatever he has, post-Christmas blues, who knows. Let's hope she can feel the same way tomorrow.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Fiorella Resurected!

As Fio has often said, she is a doctor, not a nurse, which means she has no aptitude for taking care of sick people. Thus when Husband is having problems, she does everything she can to help, but her first impulse is to tell him to tough it out--which is appropriate in some situations, but not in others, and Fiorella is not equipped to discern the difference.

Fiorella herself had a hard night and a hard awakening, but why should that stop her? She had a house to clean up, an important letter to mail, and a trip to Click Computer Repair to make. No choice but to grit her teeth and head into the mailstrom. So after checking in to make sure Husband was still breathing, putting a load of clothes in the washer, and picking up odds and ends in the den and dining room, she took off.

Getting away from house turned out to be  just what the--uh--doctor ordered. Fio's mood lightened as she drove to the post office and it bubbled over at Click, where she spent about half an hour laughing and joking with the guys who were working on her computer.

But it gets even better. On the way home, Fiorella decided to stop at Walgreens to paw through left-over Christmas chocolate. BINGO! RUSSELL STOVER CANDY BARS FOR 40% OFF!

Hitting the road again, Fio gobbled down a chocolate, which upped her energy so much that she stopped inside the driveway, picked up the mail, lugged the CHRISTMAS GREETINGS sign over to the car and into the trunk, reconnected the garlands that had become disattached, and took a picture of the scene. Then, after parking in the garage, she unloaded the sign, la computadora, and her Walgreen purchases, ate another candy bar (this time with milk to control the rush), greeted Sonia Dog, checked on the laundry and her still-sleeping patient, and started in on the house.

A good hour later, Husband awoke and called for her so she bounced upstairs and tended to his needs in between moving more laundry between the washer and the drier and walking a ladder into the bathroom to hang dry a large table cloth over the shower rod to dry. Downstairs again, she used the rim of a plastic cup to scrape white stuff off the dining room table. Now, quite proud of herself, she is sitting on the couch and looking around to see what she should do next as she finishes this blog.

Be happy for Fiorella. She is herself again.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Four Confessions, One Rant

Fiorella is depressed. Somehow, she missed Christmas this year. Maybe because she still hasn't finished her decorations, maybe because she wasn't part of the family dinner preparations, maybe because she's a year older than last year.
One thing that is hanging over Fio like a raincloud is that Husband's drone still hasn't shown up. Fio will ask elder son where he got it and arrange for another one, but it upsets her that she can't find the original. Losing Christmas presents is not in Fiorella's usual modus operandi.
Another thing that's bringing Fio down is that she missed out on a girl talk with friend Suzy G because she had to drive back down to H-E-B and pick up her libreta amarilla, which she had stupidly left in the shopping cart. Fio had been in a hurry, but how can she be so dumb?
Fio's sort of overwhelmed. She has to make post-Christmas calls, take a trip to Click about Vipre, contact Mazda about Baby Car coming to a standstill, do her laundry, and get the yearly check off to church. Then there's the prospect of spending all of January getting everything ready for her accountant and IRS.
Of course, the political news is far from uplifting. Trump's endorsement of the governmental shut down is, for all intents and purposes, an open invitation to the baddies to have their wicked ways all over the globe. But then, Trump enjoys chaos and conflict because while everyone else is engaged in attcking or protecting, he makes off with the loot.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Prospects and Reflections

While searching for Husband's drone, Fiorella found the paper-art piece she had promised her doctor, then lost. took a month for the art to reappear. Maybe, in another month, the drone will show up.
Don't tell anyone, but Fio's still adding finishing touches to her Christmas decorations. Yesterday she taped miniature holly leaves and berries (cut out of paper, of course) to the sides of the stairs below the steps. Today. she's going to add birds and butterflies to her swag over the dining room window.
New Year's Eve approacheth and Fiorella's only resolution is to finish that long-awaited WIP and maybe squeeze in another one--the Lord be willin', the creek don't rise, and la computadora minds her P's and Q's.
Fio has finally realized that she is no good at big gatherings, even with her own family, that she's more comfortable with one-on-one or maybe one-on-two. Of course, if she's holding the gavel, she's the life of the party.
Actually, FaceBook has given Fiorella a way to join a group on her own terms. She's part of a political movement, but can say whatver she wants to without having to answer to anyone.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas Shorts

Interesting that Fio was sick for Christmas because that's what usually happened to her when she was a child in Ohio. She remembers lying on the couch in the front room as the quarantine sign went up on the door.
Hoping to garner some appreciation, Fiorella is posting pics on Facebook of her best Christmas arrangements and compositions. The family is so accustomed to her magic that they don't notice any more.
This year's Christmas sonnet seems to have hit the spot. Even the rampant Trumpsters liked it.
The star of the show yesterday was Baby, who is now Toddler. She seemed to get an unholy joy out of ripping up wrapping paper and stuffing it between the boughs of the Christmas tree.
Today, Fiorella is dedicated to finding that dang drone she bought for Husband. First off--oh joy--will be going through all the trash bags..

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas, 2018

Fio was so sick today, but, as she always tells herself, why should she let that stop her? There were a lot of loose-ends decorating and a lot of cleaning-up needing to be done, and who else was there to do it?
Daughter, lugging the makings of a Christmas feast, arrived in the midst of Fio's endeavors and took over the kitchen, moving to the dining room table when Fio finally had cleared it of all her birds, butterflies, twisties, ribbons, Scotch tape, and scissors (tijeras). Soon the guests began arriving, and Daughter and the other ladies set the table with the Fio's antique china and wedding flatware, then did the cooking, then invited everyone into the dining room, where "a good time was had by all." Afterwards, Fio and the other ladies cleaned up the table and washed most of the china. This evening, Husband and Fiorella finished everything off  and will put the china back on the shelves tomorrow.

Now if Fio can just find the drone she bought for Husband.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Pre-Christmas, Scene 2

Remember yesterday? Well, it got worse. While Fiorella, whose nose is running like a river, was going crazy trying to plan decorations and, at the same time, participate in family conversations, elder son took a flyer when his sweet dog greeted him so joyously that Son ended  up in the ER with bumps, bruises, and a fractured nose. Then, when Fio tried to hang her most favorite ornament, which was shaped like a slice of watermelon, on the swag across the dining room window, it crashed into pieces on the floor, which sent Fiorella into a swearing, screaming, crying fit. But it also sent her outside into the woods, where she walked around a while (spotting good firewood all the way), then sat down in back of the cedar she'd decorated with candy bar medallions for about an hour and thought everything out.

When she finally came back to the house, she didn't speak to anyone. She couldn't. She was still in shock. But she was also determined to get that swag started, no matter what. She did reach her goal and even sorted out the ornaments destined for a swag across las alacenas arriba la mostrador de madera.  In fact, in a couple of hours, she was fairly well back to what passes for normal for her. Then Son discovered that her baby car, which he'd been trying to put a Blue Tooth in, was dead, dead, dead as a doorknob and unwilling to respond to the standard remedies.

But by then, Fiorella was so emotionally drained that she didn't care. Her only hope is that by the Law of Opposites,this  Christmas is bound to be the best one ever.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Staggering Toward Christmas

Yes, Fiorella is running late. It's a typical day-before-day-before Christmas hullabaloo. The second that Fio discovered her modem needed rebooting, elder son's dog greeted him a little too joyously and tumble persued, with Son ending up on the concrete floor, face first. His wife has spirited him off to the St. David's ER, which must have volumes of records on  Fio's tribe by now.

Oh, and did Fio mention that one of the upstairs toilets decided to run and run and run? And that she accidentally knocked into one of her swags and a favorite oranament crashed to the concrete? And that judging by the number of Kleenxes she's used already this morning, she has a horrible cold?

On this (achoo, HONK) joyful note, Fiorella is signing off for the day.

PS: Pray that Son didn't break his nose.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Real Christmas

Fiorella's Christmas sonnet from 1986, when she was a young mother:

I placed the proper plastic on the door
And wound the newel post with ersatz holly
I bought some frosted cookies at the store
And ordered all the children to be jolly
I flocked the tree with simulated snow
And stained the mirror glass with cellophane
I stacked some carols on the stereo
And sprayed ice pictures on the windowpane
I listened to the store-front Santa's tale
My duty gifts are underneath the tree
My hundred slick-faced cards are in the mail
Signed "Love," with holiday sincerity
     The halls are decked with manufactured zeal
     But the Christ Child in my joyous heart is real.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Holiday Fever

Fiorella apologizes for running late today, but it's the holidays so she's in artist mode. The outside garlands are all in place so she's consentrating on the inside now. Pulling all the bags and boxes in from the garage took a day in itself, but she currently has almost all the swags up, including the double swag on the staircase rails. The stockings are hung over the fireplace in the den against a golden mantel--yes, Fio's making use of the Russell Stover chocolate wrappers again--and now she's planning a manger scene on top of the TV speaker above the mantel. Elder son and his wonderful wife, who are about twice as tall as Fio, are helping with the higher-up beer mugs and pajaros that Fio traditionally endows with bows around the neck, but Fiorella has been able to take care of the elephant collection by herself.

The wreaths are sort of in place, but, like all the swags but the one on the top stair rail, are not yet decorated. Then there are the several manger scenes to lay out, the little houses and the like to arrange on the buffet, and the Santa Claus collection to line ups on the shelves and table-tops.

Yes, Fiorella overdoes it, but the girl can't help it. Now, please excuse her because she needs to run outside and repair the garlands along the driveway that were pulled down by rough winds yesterday.

Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 20, 2018


Donald Sham
Worked a scam
On the USA
So it's up to us
To corral the cuss
And put his fat ass away

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Decoration Art

Fiorella suddenly realized that the reason Christmas decorations are so important to her is that she sees them as art. Thus, she is only too happy to turn the hanging of the multi-colored lights on the twenty-year-old tree over to Husband, but will balk at anyone but herself hanging the multiple swags and decorating them. She also covers all available surfaces with set-ups and every available wall with decorated wreaths. The staircase, doors, and windows get decorated too, and you know what she's been doing along the driveway.

The worst part of it is that she's a perfectionist and will arrange and rearrange her creations until everything suits her artist's eye. The best part is the glow of fulfillment.

But Fiorella, Christmas decorations can't last forever. Does it make you sad you when they have to come down?

Not really.  The decorations are cheap and fragile so eventually their magic dims and I have to pack them away and load their bags and boxes onto the shelves in the garage. But there's always next year.πŸŽ„

She hopes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

What Fio Is Thinking About

Fiorella finally found the tinsel garlands she was searching Georgetown high and low for. That means the rings she's misplaced will show up eventually as will the Christmas lights that Husband can't locate. That's how the universe works.
Oops, Fio mailed a Christmas card to friend Suzy in England without inquiring about how much postage she should use. Hello, return mail!
Fiorella always tries to do the right thing, but sometimes it has been the wrong thing and sometimes it has been a stupid thing. Nevertheless, she perseveres.
Fio probably got her wacko sense of humor from her Aunt Julie. She's the one who got a kick out of telling everyone that she picked up her new husband in the city dump. (Translation--their small-town city dump was where everyone ran into everyone else.)
Just think. Those who opposed Hillary because she was woman may have catapaulted another woman into the presidency by voting for Trump. Viva la Pelosi!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Low in Energy

Hi, there. Yes, Fio is still alive, although at times, she wonders. As you know, she loves the holiday  season and is an avid decorator, often working up to the minute, then adding finishing touches while everyone else has visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, but this year Christmas will be more difficult for her because of the plumbing problems and Husband's hospital ins and outs. Luckily, Minnesota son and his lovely wife will be visiting for six days before they head off for her family's Christmas in Kansas, and Daughter will be ramrodding the kitchen crew here on Christmas day.
Fiorella isn't a complete loser. She's put all eighty-some Christmas cards in the mail, has almost finished lining the driveway with tinsel garlands, and has only a few more paper snowflakes to tape on the front windows of the house.
Still no clear plan of what to do with the fireplace mantel this year. Maybe it will end up paved with h gold candy wrappers like last year.
The plants in the urns out front aren't doing too well, although the nursery assured Fiorella and Husband that they would last the winter. Fio will probably replace them with deer-resisitant flowering bushes next year.
Between the weather and preparation for the holidays, Fiorella hasn't been able to go walking in the woods as much as she would like. She misses the trees and rocks.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas Tidings, 2013

This is Fiorella's Christmas card greeting from 2013. See if you can figure out what is being said.πŸ™‚πŸ™‚πŸ™‚


My schedule is too tight--I don't have time
Each Christmastide to to sound and count and beat
Reciting every year a well-turned rhyme
Replete with inspiration, form, and feet.
You know, of course, the truth of what I say--
Commitments ring me 'round like tinsel chain
Hung on a Christmas tree, and hour and day
Run faster than the current of my brain.
In truth, I'd rather have the time to write
Some gracious greeting, giving you my best,
To wish you joy, good health, your heart's delight--
My love to you and may your year be blessed.
     As I've explained, my time is much too tight
     So read top down, far left, to read me right.

Of course, being a serial critiquer, I'd now revise the next-to-the-last line to
"But as explained, my time is much too tight."

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Ten Days to Go, Then BLAST OFF!

Hooray! After half an hour of hard labor, Fiorella finally got a picture up on the blog.  It's a photo of a cedar in the south meadow that Fio draped with tinsel garlands and hung with gold, silver, and copper-colored candy wrappers in the shape of medallions. What happened to the chocolate, you ask?  😁 What do you think?
Of course, you realize that now that Fiorella's gotten the hang of it, the pictures are going to be more frequent, perhaps nauseatingly so, but the girl can't help it. Remember, art was her first talent. πŸ˜‰
Fio's hoping to get the outside decorations up by Sunday, which will give her eight days to tackle the inside decor. She knows the drill because it will be mostly as in previous years, but there are always surprises. 😦

Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas in Action

Whenever Fiorella drives in or out, she parks the car for a while to string more tinsel garlands on the trees along the driveway. She'll post a picture once she's gotten the project completed--maybe a video. (WOW, Fio--you're getting electronicized.)
Determined to buy some University of Texas paraphernalia for an old friend as a Christmas present, Fio braved the Drag for the first time since she graduated from UT, lo, these many years ago, and it was weird--the experience, not the gift. Everyone was so damn young.
So far this year, Fiorella doesn't feel very Christmasy. Maybe it's because she's spent far too much time this year dealing with things like lightning striking the hot water system and her ceiling leaking. Or maybe it's all of Husbands' hospitalizations. Or her own various problems. Whatever, she has no choice but to move forward.
That cedar in the south meadow that Fiorella decorated with the coverings of about fifty chocolate medallions didn't turn out as well as she had hoped. Maybe she'll give it another try after she has the garlands up.
The best part of Fiorella's Christmas so far has been that her yardman gave her rock--not just any rock, but weird-looking one that he'd found in a field a couple of years ago and kept for himself because he's as crazy about piedras as Fio is. She felt honored by his gift and humbled by his sacrifice. πŸ’“

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Where Fiorella Lives

  This is a view out our garage of the driveway circling what our yard man calls "El Parke" in the distance. Fio feels blessed to live here. It's like wonderland every day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Christmas Countdown

Hooray! It's been almost a week, and Fiorella's CHRISTMAS GREETINGS sign hasn't been stolen, which makes her think better of her neighbors, although it may just mean that whoever stole her campaign signs doesn't have a quarrel with Christmas.
Speaking of the neighborhood, whatever animas Fio might have garnered by posting campaign signs seems to have been disssipated by the Christmas cards she's hand delivered and the tinsel garlands she's hanging across the front of the property. A neighbor has even promised her some homemade cookies.
Speaking of cookies, your Fiorella has scarfed down far too many chocolate bars, cookies, Santa Clauses, and medallions this month. It was inevitable--chocolate addiction runs in her father's side of the family, as she learned at the Ohio reunion earlier this year when each one of her cousins was questioned as to his/her favorite sweet. 
Fiorella hasn't done any decorating inside the house yet, although there are a few bags and boxes piled up in the dining room. Still in the garage are several more bags and boxes, including the Christmas tree, which only Fio knows how to put together. Then there are the swags and displays. And the starcase decorations. OMG--Fio, what have you wrought?!!
Fio would love to post pictures of her holiday endeavors, but the technique still eludes her. She hopes that will change this afternoon when she attends the Georgetown library's Wireless Wednesday, which aids the electronically challenged. Wish her luck.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas Wishes

Another Christmas sonnet, this one from 2007, back when Fio was using punctuation in her verses, a practice that is now frowned on by modern poets:

We wish you a Merry Christmas on this day--
May you have love and laughter, music, song;
May joy and happiness be yours, we pray,
And may God bless your comfort all day long.
We wish you ease and peace, a pleasant view--
May your home and family be secure;
May all your friends be loyal, staunch, and true,
Your heart be confident, your footsteps sure.
We wish you well in your endeavors too--
Your talents realized, your time well spent,
Your full and right reward, long overdue,
A just reward for your accomplishhment.
    On Christmas day, we wish these things for you,
     And that your Christnmas last the whole year through.

Looking at the poem again, Fiorella doesn't like the repeat of' "reward" in the 12th line. It would have been better to say "Would justly measure your accomplishment," But she forgives herself. 2007 was not a good year for her.

Monday, December 10, 2018

From Science to Obsolescence

You know how they tell you in physics class that a circle is composed of minute straight lines? Well, Fiorella totally rejected that theory, which is probably why she never went far in the sciences (although she did see the potentials of DNA before it went big.)
The title of any autobiography Fiorella would write would be titled  Born That Way because--well--the girl can't help it.
Fio doesn't believe in "the power of prayer," a phrase which intimates that God is counting the votes.
When the time comes, Fiorella doesn't think her death will matter to anyone beyond friends and family, but she hopes her life will have had a positive impact somewhere along the line.
Electronics have changed the social environment. Thus, stories Fio wrote as little as ten years ago are out of date. Sad.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Christmas Card Reveal

Fiorella is in the process of mailing out this year's Christmas card so she's ready to reveal it to you now. It's a Shakespearean sonnet, of course.


Christmas is a holiday of joy
When families gather around a bright-lit tree
To celebrate the Virgin's baby boy
And to enjoy each other's company
Christmas is a holiday of caring
Of tending to the sad, the sick, the poor
Of opening our grateful hearts and sharing
Our bounty with the beggar at the door
Christmas is a holiday of prayer
Of reverie and self-examination
A time to look within, become aware,
To plumb the soul and seek illumination
       A holiday of joy and caring and prayer--
       God's gift of love to mankind everywhere

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Personal Stuff

Now Fio has gone and done it--she's jammed up her phone somehow so it won't let her transfer pictures to Facebook. Electronics, why do you hate me?
Fiorella handed out Christmas cards to friends Lisa and Stephanie in the bank this afternoon. She also gave them each a little bag of Christmas gelt in case Chase doesn't pay them enough. Not that Fio's forgiven the big-deal Illinois bank for stiffing her $320, but she does like Lisa and Stephanie.
Forgive Fio for being so tired. Husband is home now, but he's going to be on an oxygen machine for a while, which means that Fiorella is step-and-fetching and multi-tasking more than ever.
Writing, Fio--are you doing any writing on those half-finished stories of yours? Not really. Aside from my time being taken up by all of the above plus the plumber, I'm still afraid of what the computer will do to my golden words. Once bitten, twice shy.
Fiorella is itching to start hanging the tinsel along the driveway, but the rain, it keeps a-fallin'. Volunteers?

Friday, December 7, 2018

From the Mundane to Life Philosophy

In Fio's never-ending effort to make her multi-tasking even more efficient, she tossed a morning pill in her mouth as she was chowing down on a Shredded Wheat breakfast. DON'T DO THAT! The pill melts in milk and your mouth feels yucky. Of course, Fiorella is writing this note as she continues to eat her breakfast, and by the time she gets up from el mostrador, she'll also have also finished reading the first section of the newspaper.
Speaking of pildoras, Fio just realized she gave Sonia Dog her pills last night, but forgot to take her own.
Things have been a little rough around here lately, what with the plumbing problems and Husband's residual pneumonia, but Fiorella is hell-bent to decorate everything in sight. Pictures will follow after Fio attends an electronis-for-dummies meeting at the local library--if she has the time to do so.
Older son and his wife want us to have our extended family Christmas celebration early this year, which would mean I'd have even less time to decorate. Not sure yet what will happen.

I have fed on the earth my whole life, and when I die, it will feed on me.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Aging, Aging, Aging

Fiorella's baby brother’s mustache is graying.  One of her friends is planning a facelift. Everyone is getting older—except for Fio, of course. (Although she will admit she is pathetically grateful to any young squirt who admits he’s forgotten something.)
How do you know you’re all grown up? Stage 1: Teenager supermarket clerks quit hitting on you. Stage 2: They address you as “ma’am.” Stage 3:They start hitting on your daughter.
Fiorella wants to be cloned so that her successor can do all the things she wishes she'd done when she was younger. On the other hand, she would want her second edition to keep the experience she has now—it’s been hard won.
Fiorella is doing her best to make her ratty old jeans look presentable and the young'ns are doing their best to make their brand-new jeans look ratty.
If Fiohas repeated any of the entries she's made before, please forgive her and move on. This season of the year, she's running around like a decapitated chicken--and yes, she knows what that phrase means. Her father was the designated go-to-guy for chopping chicken in his neighborhood when he was a kid. Yep, that's the way they did it back then.

Did Fiorella tell you that she made contact with the Woodhall family that lived across the street from her in Akron? God bless Facebook! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

An Artist's LIfe--Loss, Labor, and Triumph

Fiorella is very unhappy. In fact, she is devastated. She has lost an art collages she had promised to give her doctor. It's a simple, three circle construction, one of the few abstracts she's ever done, and she loved it, and now it is gone. She'd put it in a plastic zip-bag and taken it with her while she was shopping today so she could find an appropriate frame for it, and she thinks she got home with it--a plastic bag is pretty obvious--but when she finished putting away all her purchases and prepared to get to framing, the zip bag and its contents were nowhere around. She's search everywhere twice over, but the nutcracker doll is still broken. Fearing loss, Fio had had two copies of  the collagemade at Fed-Ex Kinko a couple of days ago, which means that it can be reconstructed, but Fio will always know it was a second edition.
That outdoor sign that Fio is adding to her Christmas decorations this year is turning out to be a little harder to put together than she thought. Fiberboard, of course, is not an ideal medium to try to attach sticky alphabet letters to, but Fio figured that if push came to shove, she could overcome that problem with Scotch tape. What she didn't expect was difficulty coloring the stencil letters she'd picked up at Michael's. She tried red crayon, but guess what--they don't make crayons like they used to and the newbies don't cover well. Nothing to do but trot over to H-E-B and pick up the cheapest red finger-nail polish she could find.  Yep, for just three bucks, she now has the reddest, shiniest, weather-proofest CHRISTMAS GREETINGS around.
The outside tree is taking a little longer to finish off because the two previous paragraphs, but it is going surprisingly well. All those metallicly decorated chocolate medallions, which Fio is using for decorations, are proving to be worth their weight in gold. (They've also contributed to Fiorella's weight, but don't tell anyone.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

FB, Cards, Sleep, Deer, Chocolate

Frankly, Fio thinks most of those feel-good videos on Facebook are rigged, but she doesn't care. Whatever reaches the heart reaches the soul. We need sweet fictions every now and then.
Fiorella is thinking about posting all her yearly Christmas cards for you to see, or at least some of them. But she's been at it for a LONG time so a month and a half of Christmas cards would be pretty boring. Maybe she'll just show her favorites. 
Sleeping all night clears Fio's brain  of distractions, and she wakes up understanding EVERYTHING so she grabs a pen and starts writing it all down before Dog or Husband come downstairs and distract her again .
You know it's autumn in Texas when the deer carcases start appearing on the side of the road.
Chocolate is Fio's liquor. She heads for her stash in the bottom cupboard to celebrate her victories and to console her herself when things go bad. (Interestingly enough, when questioned about their favorite candy, every one of her first cousins said "chocolate.")

Monday, December 3, 2018

Onward Toward Christmas, 2018!

Six silver cars in a row preceded Fiorella down the road as she drove to her doctor's office for her bi-annual check-up. An indication of good luck?  Fio thinks so--she sailed through her exam. On the other hand, the silver parade might have been because most cars on the road seem to be silver nowadays. And there you have it--Fio's sense of whimsy vs. her practicality, imagination vs. cold, hard facts. Yes. that's how your girl bumps along.
DANGER, DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. Do not let Donald Trump grab the microphone at George Bush's funeral because all he'll talk about is himself. PS: Did you get a load of the eloquent letter from Trump to the Bushes? Really nice--wonder who wrote it?
This blog has been running for ten years now and sometimes Fio's at a loss for a topic. Then disaster strikes and she has far too much to say. Translation: more plumbing problem$ and wishing this blog made money. Oh well, it pays its own way. Fio would go stark, raving crazy without an outlet.
The mailbox decoration is up, the Christmas doormat is in place, and Fio's working on the big sign, the one that will probably get stolen.
Question: Why do you decorate so much, Fiorella? Your mother always had inside decorations--snowmen candles and the like--and your father would hand a string of outdoor lights, but you go over the top.
Answer: Because I enjoy it. That's the long and the short of it. WHOOPEE!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Holiday Theme

Fiorella hauled down her carol book, turned on the piano, and started practicing for the big day when the whole family will gather around and join in the chorus--not that it will ever happen. When she was a kid, her family would often sing carols, but Husband and children vetoed the idea. Husband is a music devotee--but as a listener, not a performer--and the kids followed suit, even though all three of them have good voices. Daughter even took lessons for a couple of years and later was declared the best female kareoke singer in Austin, but as far as Fio knows, she doesn't even sing in the shower now. Of course, in the oldern days, we all got to exercise our lungs every Sunday in church, but no one, including Fiorella, goes to church anymore.
 The weather's getting a little colder, and there's a rumor of snow later in the season. Fio will  believe it when she sees it.
Christmas is a time for celebrating friendships and Fiorella had a great time visiting with friend Suzy MM at Starbucks yesterday afternoon. She will also be contacting friend Dorothy, whom she sees a couple of times a year. No friends like old friends.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Catching Up, Breathing Hard

Fiorella started working on the outside tree, winding red trim around its trunk to define a center line, and will probably start outlining the branches tomorrow. The decorations--all handmade--will come after that.
Next, she drove over to FedEx Kinko's, where friend Dan put her card in line to be photocopied. While she was there, she rekindled her frienship with a former Fed-Ex employee who was visiting and met a local stage-set artist who had brought her creation in to be printed. At home, she got caught up with her social network and dodged a bitch-fight with the wife of a guy she went to school with. Sorry, Fiorella doesn't play that game. if you start attacking her personally, she blocks you.
Then came the surprise arrival of Wes, who is fixing our kitchen ceiling--he had been trying to reach us all day and was only getting a busy signal so he drove over here to check that we were okay. This was a hard pill for Fiorella to swallow because missing our place in line means that we will have to wait longer to get the job finished. The problem turned out to be the phone which Husband had left out on the arm of the couch still turned on. Fio must remember to keep an eye open for the phones at all times, just as she has to be sure that stove burners are turned off. Grrr.
At least the news got better and better by the hour. The noose seems to be tightening around Trump's neck.
Oh, and Fiorella is also planning to put out a big sign--her fiberboard campaign sign risen from the dead--which will read CHRISTMAS GREETINGS! Let's see if it gets stolen too.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Christmas, Husband. Computer, Writing, Politics

Fiorella's Christmas decorating begins tomorrow, December 1, so today is the last day for her to finish up her Christmas card and take it to FedEx Kinko's for Dan to print out. She'll also start pulling boxes down from the garage shelves. It's also the day the guys will be back to check their roaring fans and maybe turn them off. Fio is tired of wearing ear plugs whenever she is at home.
Husband is home from the hospital now. Hoping that he remains well over the Christman season. Good thing that the kids are going to cook the family dinner.
Fiorella's computer konked out on her, but a quick trip to Travis fixed it--some programs needed updating. Wondering if Fio could get updated too. On the other hand, there are some years of her life she'd rather not relive.
Hoping that Fio will be able to write freely again, without the constant Dell pop ups. She NEEDS to write, to express herself, to create stories, to explain her point of view, to do her part to make the world a better place.
Speaking of a better world, the political news is at last sounding GOOD. Apparently Mueller has Trump cornered and the Orange One is twisting like a carp on a spear.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Raining from the Ceiling

Fiorella has not been happy with the way Husband forgets to turn off burners, even though she's posted a sign about the stove to remind him, but she's not such a hot shot with fires herself. She tried to build one in the fireplace, but it died in five minutes, then smoked up the house. Nothing like having to open the back door and turn on the overhead fan in  52 degree weather.
As Fiorella was talking on the phone with friend Suzy in Britain yesterday morning, she realized that the kitchen ceiling was  dripping. PANIC! WHAT IF THE ENTIRE CEILING CAVED IN? No choice but to cancel that get-together with friend Paula, then call the plumber--and she had been so looking forward to the Austin meet-up.
First the hot water system, then the shallow lake on the kichen floor. Hmm.... Fio is getting suspicious of the way Husband always manages to be in the hospital when household disasters occur.
Never one to waste time, after ranting and raving at the air for a minute or two, Fio started working on this year's Christmas card. The sonnet was finished, of course, but now came the card itself. Don't tell anyone, but Fio is backing the poem with one of her gold wraps  the ones from Russell Stover. Trust your faithful reporter--it'll looks cool.
The day that the kitchen ceiling dripped was also the day that Fio ran out of las toallas de papel (paper towels), and she couldn't run down to H-E-B and grab a case because she was waiting for the plumber.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Weather, Husband, Hospital, Slippers, Starbucks

It was 32 desgrees outside this morning when Sonia Dog woke up Fiorella and insisted on being let out. There was a chill in the air so Fio pulled on her winter robe before opening the door, but Sonia ran out into the yard with her tail up and wagging, then bounced around the yard like a pup. Apparently 32 degrees is her kind of weather.
Fio spent most of the day by Husband's side in the hospital, where he's being checked out for weakness, balance problems, nasal congestion. Never one to sit by idley, she would have bolted out the door and driven home a couple of hours ago except that she started playing with her cell phone and discovered how to use some of the apps and--wonder of wonders--she also figured out how to get on the hospitals' internet,which allowed her access to Facebook, her email, her blog, and everything else she likes to keep up to date with.
UPDATE: It looks like pneumonia again so Husband is in for at least an overnight stay at St. Davids. No problema. Fio's getting used to running the whole show--with Sonia Dog's assistance, of course.
Good news--the scuffs Fiorella ordered from a catalogue arrived today. She now has one pink pair and one red pair to keep her little piggies warm as she pads around the house this winter on the downstairs floor, which is concrete.
Fio took a break from attending to Husband in the hospital and drove over to Starbucks for lunch--two chocolate chip cookies and a big cup of milk. You can imagine her delight when the barista recognized her from previous visits and wrote FAMOUS AUTHOR on her cup.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

All About Poetry

Hooray, hooray, hooray! Fiorella has finally finished her Christmas sonnet. It took her about a week, on and off, but sonnets are complex and call for a lot of thinking time. Now to figure what kind of border to put around the poem. Right now, Fio's leaning toward doing something with the gold candy bar wrappings.
Fio has to admit that it would have been a lot harder for her to write the poem without her trustworthy rhyming dictionary, the big green-covered one she got for Christmas when she was in her early teens and had started writing poetry. It's about three inches thick, and Fiorella wants it to be among her grave goods. Sure, there are slick-covered ryming dictionaries on the market, and sure, one can find abbreviated rhyming dictionaries on line, but that big green book has it all.
Okay, Fio can't hold back. The poem is called "Aspects," and it's about the four aspects of Christmas--joy, caring, prayer, and, of course, love.
Did Fio tell you that she's trying to amass a collection of all her old Christmas cards, which span more than fifty years? Not all of the cards are poetry, of course, and not all of the poetry is a sonnet. It usually depends on how much time Fiorella had available that year. Or how much inspiration strikes yours truly.
Fio will call upon Dan at Fed-Ex Kinko's to print the cards again. He's done her proud for many, many years now, and she tries to pay him back by posting a picture in Facebook of the two of them holding her finished card. She'll try to post the same pic on her blog, but don't hold your breath--Fio still doesn't know how to do that.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Pre-Christmas Preparations

Fiorella is preparing to get prepared for Christmas. No, she hasn't unloaded the shelves in the garage yet or dragged in the venerable Christmas tree, but she has started amassing a pile of gold medallions that used to contain chocolate on the dining room table, otherwise known as Command Central. Yeah, Fio may be trying to downsize the house in general, but when it comes to Christmas, she keeps coming up with new and wonderful ideas, like pasting those gold Russell Stover chocolate bar wrappers that she collects onto a pieces of paper to keep the wrappers from tearing. Hmm...chocolate medallions, chocolate bars--do you sense a pattern?
Fio's planning to use those sparkly silver pipe cleaners to tie her outdoor swags onto supports placed along the driveway again. She's also bought packages of the twisties in other colors to fasten those gold medallions to the tree she's going to decorate in the south meadow. No chocolate involved there.
Good news for the poets among you--Fio's Christmas sonnet is almost finished.
It's the time of year when Fiorella feels the urge to get together with friends she hasn't seen for a while, but Former Friend is not on her list. Fio wishes her well, but, sadly, thinks FF has played this game brfore and will never find a friend who satisfies her.
Husband has put a toy drone on his Santa list. Fiorella has a new chainsaw on hers. Think about it.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Life with Fiorella

Nature rules. Whether or not Fio gets a full night's sleep depends on whether or not Sonia Dog needs to go out in the middle of the night. When Fio wakes up every morning depends on when the resident cardinal decides to start sharpening his beak on the dining room window.
Fiorella has finally realized why she has such trouble with electronic devices--because she doesn't like to follow directions. From childhood on, she has preferred doing things HER way.
OMG! Fio just remembered the telugu word for book--which is pustakum, if you wanted to know, and it was all because Humana sent a guy with an Inidan surname over to the house for a home health check yesterday. Fio greeted him in Telugu, Hindi, and Malayalam and asked him to take his choice, but it turned out he was from NEPAL--the first person Fio has ever met from Nepal. Fortunately, he also spoke Hindi so Fio let loose with ap-ka-se-heh, which she didn't even know she remembered. Of course, she was bouncing around the rest of the day with the idea that her lost languages might be recoverable, which apparently stimulated her Telugu brain overnight. (The reason "book" was the first to fly up from the dustbin is that Mr. Krishnamurti commented on all the books on the front- room shelves.)
To continue the story, Fiorella's medical check-up went just fine. She even passed the memory test-- rice, table, money--which was to her mind a readaption of the memory test her primary care physician gave her last year--table, apple, penny.
"You don't multi-task, do you," Husband said to Fio the other day when she asked him to turn down the TV volume because she was trying to write a column. Dumbfounded, Fiorella didn't answer. Multi-tasking is Fio's life. She is a woman. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Travel, Gandbaby, Journalism, Politics, Attire

Fio gets a kick out of burning up the asphalt as she zooms down I-35 to Austin. It's pedal to the metal in the 80 mph lane and holding tight to the steering wheel all the way.
Now that Grandbaby has figured out what her legs are for, she won't quit. Her favorite gait is a gallopπŸ’“.
Fiorella is tired of talking heads and speculative "news." Whatever happened to straight reporting? Fio wants to know what has happened and what is happening, not what might happen. (She's also tired of over-sweet human-interest stories, most of which she thinks have been rigged.)
Let's forget about party labels. The basic devide is betwen those who are trying to make the world a better place for everyone and those who are out to make it a better place for themselves.
It's all jeans, slacks, or shorts in the boondocks. Fio hasn't worn a dress since way back when.

Friday, November 23, 2018

From Thanksgiving to Zuckerberg

Fiorella had one of the best Thanksgivings of her life at Brother and his wife's place yesterday. The food was great, but the company was greater. Bastrop son, his wife, and their toddler were in attendance, and Baby stole the show. As soon as she got over new-environment shyness, Baby not only explored  the house but warmed up to everyone in it--including Fio, which thrilled her beyond bearing.
Three deer stalked across the street in fron of Fio and Husband as they drove out of Brother's suburban neighborhood. Amazing--Fio's never been able to get that close to deer out here in the boondocks.
On the way home, Fiorella couldn't help but reminisce about visits to Osceola Mills, Pennsylvania, where her father's relatives livedand died. The get-togethers were a lot like the one she and her cousins had in Ohio three months ago--telling stories on themselves and laughing and laughing--but somehow the laughter of the great-aunts and great-uncles seemed louder and fuller--like it would make the earth wobble on its axis.
Tragedy in the making--Fio may have lost the Christmas poem she was working on while she was in Austin on Wednesday. She'll have to call Starbucks, Dan's Hamburgers, and her neurologist's office this morning to see if a yellow writing tablet has turned up anywhere.
Fiorella isn't the only one that Facebook is screwing with. Apparently Zuckerberg is having such a good time being a celebrity that he's letting the business go hang. Tell Fio again how infallible electronics are.

Thursday, November 22, 2018


HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Fiorella and Husband will be venturing into Austin for the traditonal turkey dinner with Brother and his wife, Daughter, and Bastrop son's family. Fio is hoping Brother's mother-in-law, who is now in assisted living, will also be able to attend.
The family will all be celebrating Brother's birthday too, and he doesn't know it, but, going against the no-gift rule, Fio has has had a thick-paper copy made of the cover of the family-reunion Shutterfly book for him as a present. She'll also take the book itself so he can see what a good-looking clan he's part of.
Claro que si, este entry will not be complete without su Fiorella butchering el espanol. Thus, tenga un buen dia de accion de gracias a todos!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

One of Fio's Science Fiction Stories.

This is a start of a story Fiorella wrote about twenty years ago and is now revising. 

It was after midnight in the warehouse district, and the street lamps were so far apart that Leonie melted into the darkness during her trek between them. The bums and beggars, the pushers and users, had packed up for the night, and the wheeler-dealers had found brighter lights and more exciting venues. Except for an occasional rat splashing down the rain-filled gutter, she was alone as she pushed Dodie's gimp-wheeled grocery cart along the cracked sidewalk.
Almost alone. 
Someone was following her, slipping from alley to alley in her wake. And he was hungry.  
Hungry for her. She increased her pace.
Headlights slashed across the blackness, reflecting on the asphalt still wet from the late-evening downpour, and a dark car purred slowly into sight, a big black Ford with a police emblem emblazoned on its side. The driver was staring straight ahead, but the guy sitting shotgun turned in her direction.  
Were they just patrolling the neighborhood or working with the shadow who was on her tail? It wasn't unknown for crooked cops to hook up with crooked shadows if the payoff was big enough. 
Leonie took a firm grip on the handle of the unwieldy cart and picked up her pace. Night, which hid all, was her friend. Just a few yards more and she'd duck into the alley, shift herself out of Dodie's identity, grab the tote she'd hidden under the pile of plastic bags, and make a run for it. The guy who was following her would be thrown off scent and the cop would never know what had happened to the old woman dressed in layers of ragged clothing.
     But why had she caught his eye? People usually ignored bag ladies, especially one trundling a shopping cart loaded to overflowing with plastic bags full of God only knows what. 
The big car abruptly swerved to the curb and the man who had been watching her leaped out and was on her so fast that she couldn’t swing into the alley without overturning the cart and revealing the canvas tote... and its contents.
He grasped her arm and stared down at her, his pale eyes glittering in reflected light. "Hold on there, Dodie. You're moving along way too fast." Leonie risked an upward glance at him and didn't like what she saw. Her unsmiling captor looked like a Teutonic god--tall and broad-shouldered with short-cropped pale hair that glowed neon under the street lamp.
He was human, but more than a plainclothes cop, she thought. Maybe somebody higher up in the ranks? But why was he targeting her? Dodie was a fixture on the back streets of downtown of Greenville.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the other cop circling around behind her. She sucked in her breath. They weren't taking any chances. They knew she was an unregistered shadow, and this was a bust. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Non-political Post

Fiorella has lost her favorite red lipstick and knows the only way to find it is to buy a new one--sigh.
Why do people let other people control them--virtually enslave them? Nature, nurture, what?
Congratulate Fio, she is back at work on a romance--not on Sabrina and Bram's cursed story, but an old one she'd almost forotten writing. It's a shapeshifter thing, actually, and she's using it as bait for that screwy SAVE and taking iPhone shots of every mischief her machine throws at her..
Fiorella's been out in the woods a lot lately, dragging cedar branches onto the the side of the driveway for her wonderful yard man to dispose of. She's also picking up oak limbs and branches for firewood. (PS: Don't tell Husband because he doesn't know it yet, but Fiorella wants a new chainsaw for Christmas--either that or her old one totally checked out and overhauled.)
As soon as she finishes this blog, Fio's going to be ordering some scuffs from a Christmas catalogue. She's wanted some for a while, but apparently they're only available during the winter months.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Silver, Sonnet, South Woods

Nowadays, an engaged couple will ask for cash to help cover a European honeymoon, but in the oldern days, brides were inundated by silver--plates, candy dishes, cups, platters, everything you can imagine--apparently with the presumption that said bride would someday be hosting a dinner for British royalty. Fiorella displayed her own take on shelves and coffee tables for years, but Elizabeth never called, styles changed, and the pretty pieces turned dark so she decided it's time for the silver to find a new home. She'll keep the flatware, of course. She hauls it out every Christmas for the extended-family get-together, and Sir Christopher is a good pattern and still in demand, which means her lucky heirs could sell it off to finance a trip to Europe.
Yes, your Fio is working on a Christmas sonnet. Now, if she can just find her trusty rhyming dictionary, the one her parents gave her for Christmas when she was in high school. Yes, Fiorella knows there are several rhyming sites on line, but none of them are as comprehenive as her old faithful.
Three cheers for Fiorella. She escaped to the woods yesterday afternoon and not only found some good rocks to shore up her driveway edging, but also cleared a good part of the south woods next to the road of fallen cedar branches and cut saplings. Fio likes thing to be neat and clean, and clearing off cedar trash also lessens the fire risk.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Facebook, Chase Bank, and Roger Beasley Mazda

Hey, hey!  Fiorella is back on Facebook, maybe because of the sharply-worded note she wrote on a slot she found further down FB's page. Now to conquer the endemic SAVE problem, which she has learned from writer friends endemic to Dell. Fio's current plan is to use a short story she wrote several years ago as bait, catch SAVE in the act of erasing her revisions, then post photos of the offense on FB. Maybe somewhere down the line, she'll talk to Dell about getting the offending mechanism disabled.
If you've wondered, Chase Bank still has not fulfilled its promise to send her the 300-some dollars it owes her. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
If you want to hear a feel-good story, let me tell you about Fiorella's visit to Roger Beasley Mazda in Georgetown yesterday afternoon. Remember that Fio's baby car, a 2002 Miata, is on its last legs--er, wheels--so it was with a heavy heart that Fio drove it to the shop, hoping that Richard, who'd repaired Baby's front fender last year, could work another miracle. As Fiorella waited like an anxious mother, Weldon, the head honcho, struck up a conversation with her about life, politics, and making the world a better place, which Fio thoriughly enjoyed. Half an hour later, Richard, a big smile on his face, announced that Baby Car had been repaired, no harm done. Yes, Fio loves Georgetown's Roger Beasley Mazda. πŸ’“

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Dear Stupid Facebook: 

I do not appreciate being thrown off Facebook and denied further access until I send you "proof " that I am me, a real person. Not only have I posted several pictures of myself over the years on your pages and held several conversations with friends over your Messenger, but my name is so unique that I am the only one in the USA who claims it. And to add insult to injury, while you have given me a list of items I can send you to prove myself worthy, you have NOT told me where to send them or how--by air, by dog sled, by US mail?

Nothing to do but wait until Monday and drive over to Click Computers to consult Travis, who knows everything. It won't hurt me to have two days off.

With anger in my heart,

Fiorella Plum

Friday, November 16, 2018

From Tongues to the Universe

Bon jour, meine fraulein! Nee how ma! Gahvahreetzee lee vwee pahrooskee? Get used to it--Fio tends to go language crazy every now and then. Aloha, mis amigos! Feliz el accion de gracias, which she hopes means "Have a happy Thanksgiving!"
If given the chance, Trump would claim credit for the sun in the morning and the moon at night.
Trump is not a conservative. He's an opportunist. His only goal in life is to get away with highway robbery.
To my kids: thank you, but I doubt of my paintings will end up in galleries. I didn't make a name for myself. Besides, I paint true, not fantasy.
Fiorella woke up in the morning with a perfect understanding of life, death, and the universe. Then the dog bounced downstairs, and Fio forgot everything.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Decorations, Woods, Gramp, Writing, Photos

As you've probably realized, Fio doesn't believe in buying holiday decorations when she can make them herself. Not only can she do it better, but she also saves money, which suits her inner Scrooge.
Life is so wonderfully simple when Fio goes out into the woods and gathers rocks, identifies dead trees, or hauls in fallen branches. Then she returns to the house . . .
Gramp, Fiorella's mother's father, was a great guy most of the time--until he got loaded. Fio's guessing a lot of alcoholics are like that.
Fiorella, you write about things like alcoholism, child molestation, and sexual misconduct in your romances. Why? Did those things happen to you? No, but they've happened to other people, and I write realism--and redemption.
It strikes Fiorella--who grew up in the era of Kodak and Poloroid--as weird that she now takes her photos with a "phone."

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Getting an Earful

Ear plugs--what a wonderful invention. In fact, they may have saved Fiorella's marriage as well as her hearing. Husband likes to watch action shows like NCIS--the ones that have sound tracks with repetitive dissonances to keep viewers on the edge of their seats--and without hearing aids, he would turn the volume up to a level that made Fio cringe or flee to another room, which irritated him. Now that Husband is wearing the hearing aids--most of the time--the matrimonial bliss has improved, but there are still times when Fiorella can't even think because of the TV volume or because she doesn't want to listen to Husband's choice of programs. Enter the ear plugs.
Before Husband had his new aids, he would often ask Fio to repeat what she had said, and sometimes accuse her of speaking softly to give him a hard time, which she did not do. In fact, to save his pride, she developed the habit of speaking loudly and over-articulating, a habit that he called her for once he had the aids.
Husband, who sees no reason why loud volumes should bother Fiorella, has been talking about taking her along with him on his next visit to the hearing aid store and having her hearing tested. Fio doesn't have a problem with the procedure, as she's told him before when he suggested it, but he's never followed through. Actually, Fio probably will trot off on her own one of these days to get her hearing checked because she's noticed that upper registers now sound like clashing banjos to her.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Good Day

Fiorella dropped by Walgreens to pick up the family prescriptions, and, of course, she couldn't help but peruse the candy aisles, which she expected to be fairly played out after Halloween, but Walgreen's was one step ahead of her. Yes, even before Thanksgiving (which foodwise is a turkey and pie holdiday), the pharmacy's shelves were filling with Christmas chocolate. Accepting her fate, Fio bought a couple of chocolate and marshmallow Santa faces (they were jack-o'-lantern faces at Halloween), and ate them as she was waiting for the pharmacist to okay her prescrition pick-up. She also grabbed six five-inch-across chocolate quarters, two in silver, four in gold, because somehow chocolate in shiny wrappers tastes better, and also because she's planning to use the wrappers to decorate the cedar tree in the south meadow like she did two years ago.
Every door in the house is standing open today, and it's exhilarating. The weather is mildly cool, with no mosquitoes in sight. Aah, for a hammock--but who is Fio kidding. She'd lie in it  for three minutes, squirm a little, then hop out and bounce around looking for what needed doing, like shoring up the rocks along the driveway and dragging firewood onto the porch to dry it out. (This paragraph was written the day before the temps dipped down to the forties. It's definitely not hammock weather now.)
Husband turned on the TV to the new version of  The Sound of Music, and Fio started crying because she immediately realized why the show had been pulled out of the dustbin--because the story had become so relative to what's going on in the country right now--good people having to deal with a creeping evil.
WARNING, WILL ROBINSON! Husband has attached a keyboard to la Senora Computadora to see if the dreaded SAVE sign pops up, which might be able to tell him and Click what is going on with Fio's nemesis.
Okay, Fiorella confesses. She bought a whole box of Russell Stover Christmas chocolate bars and hid them in the back of a cabinet (alacena.)

Monday, November 12, 2018


Fio's thinking that the next time she attends her high school reunion, she should wear a big placard on her back that reads "I'M FIORELLA. WHO ARE YOU?"
Is there anyone out there who's come up with a simple, easy way to protect campaign signs without getting arrested for injuring said thief?
Dear Google: Yes, I flee to the stories on the British royal family stage show every now and then because I get depressed with what's going on this side of the pond, but that does not mean I want my news feed "tailored" to my "preferences." I want to see ALL the news and decide for myself what to read.
It's deliciously cold outside now, and Fio loves it. Bring on the snow!
Fiorella was quite impressed by herself when she read through a couple of chapters of that book she sent you an excerpt of on Friday. It bolstered her self-confidence, which has been battered time after time these past two years, mostly by the eccentricities of electronics.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

From Bug Bites to Badass

Congratulate Fiorella--it's been more than a week since she's had a new mosquito bite.
The table in the dining room, which Fio uses as Current Project Central, is now cleared of Halloween and will soon be covered with Christmas. Has she ever told you how much she enjoys holiday decorating?
Your Fio was sick yesterday, which she resented mightily. She tries to make the best use of her time and lying on the couch for most of the day does not fit into her game plan.
Hey, did you like the snippet of Sigrid's story that Fiorella fed you yesterday? It's from a romance she wrote about ten years ago that won a fair number of contests, but never got published, which Fio intends to remedy as soon as she finishes Sabrina's story and Lolly's story, none of which she can do until la computadora is cured of the nasty habit of rejecting revisions.
Want to know what a badass Fio is? The second she decided to attend the Wednesday afternoon electronics classes at the local library, it closed down for remodeling. But that will not stop her. She will wait it out and pounce the second the library reopens, just like she will not stop writing novels despite setback after setback. Just like she will continue to try to make this world a better place despite her campaign signs stolen and her heart being broken.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

From an Award-winning Romance

Adjusting her jacket, Sigrid examined herself over in the full-length mirror.  The medium-weight lavender pantsuit would keep her warm while the white blouse with a perky bow that tied tight under the neck would keep her modest.
So far so good.  She looked like a Lutheran nun.
After skinning her hair back into a bun so tight it slanted her eyes, she slipped pearls studs into her earlobes and swiped on a bit of lipstick.  No need to do the whole bit today.  She wouldn’t be on camera.
She moved up closer to the mirror.  Hmmm . . . her eyes looked bald.  Maybe a little mascara wouldn’t hurt.  She rolled the wand across her lashes and checked again.  Good, now she could pass muster. Her goal wasn’t to look like a complete dowdy, but to put a damper on any sexual appeal she might have for Mik.  She didn’t want him to get the impression she was interested in another scene like the one this morning.
In fact, they’d better reach an understanding about that sort of thing. It was an aberration and would not be repeated.
            Mik--what would he wear?  For a second she thought of changing to slacks and a sweater so he wouldn’t look so shabby compared to her.  But no--too bad.  He should have thought of that before he started this stupid charade of his.
            After one last glance in the mirror, she marched down the hall and out into the living room. 
            Mik stood up when she entered and her eyes went wide.  He’d shaved, tied back his hair, and somehow come up with gray flannel slacks, an open-collared white dress shirt, and a camel hair sports jacket, which she could tell at a glance had been custom tailored. 
            “Where—where did you get the clothes?  Don’t tell me they were in your backpack too.”
            He gave her one of those smirky smiles she hated.  “The concierge brought the rack up.  Thought I might need change clothes so I had a couple of things sent over from New York when you were gone yesterday.  .  Amazing what one can do with FedEx and a credit card, isn’t it?”
            She picked up her purse.  “Let’s go to the car,” was all she could think of to say.
            They were alone in the elevator.  This was her chance.  She turned to him and cleared her throat.  Make it short and sweet.
“Mik, what, uh, happened between us earlier was an anomaly.  I’m not blaming you.  I realize I was as much at fault as you were, but now our relationship is back on a professional basis and I want you to understand that it will stay that way.”
He smiled.  “Of course.”
Following her out, he pocketed the key card, then ogled the sway of her hips all the way down the hall.  He did like Sigrid’s ass.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Electronics, Politics, Sports

Congratulate Fiorella. She finally learned how to view email posts she's sent. It was obvious how to do it in the old gmail, but took a lucky accident to discover how to do it in the new set up. On the other hand, she still doesn't know anything about texting and translating on her iPhone but the rudimentaries, and she still doesn't even know the rudimentaries about moving a picture from her iPhone to her blog, as you may have noticed.
Fiorella drove over to Starbucks yesterday morning because she needed to get out of the house and think things over. Also because coffee shops are historically where all political uprisings are promulgated, and she is determined to DO SOMETHING that will save the nation--or at least Texas. While she was waiting for her hot chocolate and chocolate-chip cookie (the traditional  fare of dangerous redicals), two women waiting for their own orders commented on her DUMP TRUMP badge. Anecdote led to anacdote, and she joined them at a table. Their names were Jennifer Pinkley and Suzanne Robinson, and they have been very active on the local scene.  WE SHALL OVERCOME!
Fio and Husband attended a Democratic rally yesterday evening and while Fiorella supports the cause, she wasn't comfortable with the process. She does not like to stand around in crowds of strange people shouting rhyming slogans like she's at a UT football game.
By the way, she doesn't like football games either. She considers sports to be a waste of time unless they are for fun and excercise instead of blood and money, and she isn't comfortable being part of what is basically a mindless mob scene unless she's running the show.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thursday Morning

Fio had a bad night, but when she woke up, she grabbed her bedside tablet and wrote "Last night I was molten, but today, I am steel," which was a good start to a poem, but wasn't quite true. As the day wore on, she became more and more depressed, even taking a long afternoon nap. Then came dinner. Fio, who usually doesn't cook, selfishly put a slab of salmon in the oven because she knew she needed some protein. Surprise, the salmon was GREAT! Perfect, in fact, and Fio and Husband gorged themselves on it. Somehow, as Fio cleaned up the kitchen, the day seemed a lot brighter than it had been. OMG--is Fiorella so shallow that thet state of her stomach governs her moods?
Now that Husband is recovering from his hospital and re-hab stays, he's tending to the finer aspects of life, like his hearing aids, THANK GOODNESS. It wasn't till he got them repaired and started wearing them again that Fio realized she'd had to be in a constant shouting mode for the last two months.  It's also nice to know that , with the TV volume kept down to a decent level, Fio doesn't have to leave the room when she's trying to work on her computer.
Fiorella doesn't have any problem with Muslim women or Catholic nuns or anyone else wearing religious headgear. What she does have a problem with is anyone wearing face coverings. We must be able to identify each other.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Yesterday's News

     Fiorella was on pins and needles all day because it was the day, but come evening, she doesn't want to look at the results because she is afraid of what they will be. She's peeked a little and has been happy about some of them, but is terribly depressed about others. As far as she's concerned, people like Lyin' Ted stole their elections as surely as the thieves who made three drive-bys and stole her campaign signs--two BETO signs, a BJ Hegar sign, and the SHAME sign. Fio's betting that when she checks tomorrow morning, her VOTE sign will be gone too.
     Why do people vote for low-lifes who will make their lives worse? Who oppose gun control? Who want to shred Medicare and Medicaid? Who borrow money from Russia and China to buy yachts and grandiose homes? Who lie through their hats every time they turn around?
     Weep with Fiorella. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE USA?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Unconnected Thoughts

Fiorella feels better about the upcoming election today than she has in quite a while, and it's all because when she went to the bank this morning, the conservative-looking older couple sitting across from her in the lobby smiled and commented favorably on her DUMP TRUMP button. Also because all her signs are still standing. Also because the negative ads on FB seem to have gone missing--except for two posted by one of Fio's old schoolmates who's married to an "evangelical" pastor and is, of course, rich as Croesus.
Okay, one of Fio's pet peeves--pierced septums. Having had several friends from India, Fio's is used to nostril rings, but the bull ring or prong is something else. It looks like a runny nose.
Remember the days when a movie star's marriage/divorce would be the scandal of the day? Back when we thought presidents and congresspeople were totally dull?
Fiorella's been thinking about the monsters among us and conjectures there are some people who gravitate to being bad because they like the feel of it, like when one is playing a villain in a stage production.
Fio doesn't understand why taxpayers have had to pay $13m so far for Trump to play golf in his own clubs and why he's spent 123 days (23% of his days in office) on the links, then told the veterans that there have to be more cuts in VA programs because the nation needs to control its spending. Has he reclassified vets as employees and decided to stiff them?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Signs of Discord

Fiorella knew that sometimes campaign signs were stolen, but she never thought it would happen to her. Not when she lives on a low-traffic country road. Not when she gives a cheery wave to all the cars that pass by. Not when no one has argued with her about her left-leaning allegiances.

But her BETO sign was stolen in the dark of night.

Nothing Fio could do but buy a replacement sign, but just to be safe, she didn't put it up till after Halloween. To be even safer, she surrounded it with garden fencing and looped it with faux barbed wire. Then, around noontime on Saturday, her BJ HEGAR sign disappeared. Fio lost her cool this time and screamed her anger to the whole neighborhood,--although, apparently, judging by the lack of response, no one was home--before tromping back to the house and writing a scathing letter to the Homeoweners Association, which she then tore it up.

She would NOT buy another BJ HEGAR sign because it would probably be stolen again, just as she suspected her second BETO sign would be, and she wasn't going to play that game. Instead, she rescued a large piece of fiberboard from the garage and printed


                                  ON SIGN THIEVES                                                       

on it and put on display where the newly missing sign had been.

Fiorella is writing this blog Sunday night, and so far, BETO#2 rremains in place in place, Fiorella's third sign (the one for Katherine Kubatzky) is untouched, and the SHAME sign is still extant.. But if anything else happens, Fio has a plan that she'll let you in on if it's needed.

Hint: class always wins over trash..


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Fiorella Marches On

Wouldn't it to be nice to have a president like Prince Harry, one who can charm children? Oh wait, we did--Obama.
Fiorella recognized the hum of Husband's car as he drove up the hill even before he slowed down to turn into the driveway. WOW!
If you've followed Fio on Facebook, you know she is protecting her replacement BETO campaign sign with not only garden fencing and a faux barbed wire, but strands of greenbriar, a nasty vine that grows on the property.
Fio has all her Halloween decorations down on the dining room table except for the bats, which she adores. Maybe on Monday...
As you know, Fiorella is very angry about her BETO sign being stolen--probably because she herself ran for office (School Board) many years ago and had a lot of dirty tricks played on her which she was too naive to recognize.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

More of Fiorella's Art Gallery

    HOPE THIS PHOTO COMES THROUGH. Fio posted a partial pic of her gallery and art desk on FB so she could transfer it to her blog because she is so electronically challenged that it’s the only way she's found that has a chance of succeeding. In case you’re wondering, the dog portrait is by Fiorella's younger son, and the girl with her hair in a towel and the Indian woman braiding her hair are Fio's. The Jesus picture was something she did for her brother as a replacement for the sappy Jesus picture his Sunday school teacher had passed out. It’s the only religious painting she's ever done because made-up biblical portraits are misleading.