Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Two Poems in Reserve

I wasn't going to let myself grow up
But I did
I wasn't going to let myself grow old
But I did
I wasn't going to let myself die
But I will
Is a cage
That bars the door
To the child I am

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Rocks and Trees

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhod, as Mr. Rogers would say. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, and the temperature was mild with a slight breeze. Fioralla grabbed the neighbors' mail, which had been misdelivered, and walked up the north driveway toward their house, studying her rocks all the way. Spring was here, she decided, and it was time turn her attention from gathering firewood to piling up more rocks aong the driveway. The dear departed trees and fallen branches clamored for her attention, of course, just as the rocks had during the long winter so Fiorella had to explain to the forest guardians that now was the time for them to rest and grow strong for the long winter to come.

It's the same with people, Fio thinks. Everyone wants to be useful, but we all have to wait our turn.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Pant, Pant, Pant, Blood Pressure on the Rise!

Yesterday was an adventure. First Fiorella learned that she is on some kind of unopenable list Ford has, probably because she went ballistic when she discovered that the name of her late friend Sharon Kite had been used in Ford's Facebook adverstisement. (Mattress Firm used Sharon's name too, but Fio hasn't been able to find that ad again.) Then, as she finished off a couple of hours' work sorting through income tax stuff, Fio received a call from Discover regarding a student loan debt that Fio and Husband had paid off, lock, stock, and barrel, last week. Fio went into shock and lost most of her words, but managed to supply enough information that her caller is going to hold off on the robo-calls for a week while the situation is checked out. Then Fiorella leaped into her car and sped down to Starbucks to pick up her milk and chocoate chip cookies, secreting them it in her tote before joining friend Patricia because their meeting place of choice frowns on diners supplying their own fare. Of course, when Fio got to the table, she spilled the milk all over it and the floor. Friend Patricia whipped into action and saved the day with napkins and paper towels, and the woman running the cash register mopped the floor.

Fio hopes today won't be quite so adventuresome.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Five Happinesses

Fio is happy to report that those boxwoods she and Husband planted a year and a half ago are thriving despite the extraordinarily cold winter. So are the ligustrums and the nandenas, but the bayberries seem to be going into decline again. Com'on guys--you can do better than that!
She's also happy to tell you that her wonderful yard man is back in business again. He came by a week late in his cousin's truck (his is in the shop) and cut more firewood (mas lenya) for Fio and Husband, who were running out.
Fio's third happiness is that she's actually had a reply to her letter to the editor about the march she wants to put together in conservative-as-all-get-out Georgetown. That makes at least three of us who will be carrying signs on March 24.
Number four is that Fiorella is finally getting a handle on putting together the taxes for the accountant. Pray for Fio on that one though.
Last but not least, Fio has started her 5000th revision of Phillipa's story and it's actually moving along. Good, because she's eager to start on her next story.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fiorella's March

Fiorella is exhausted. Trying to make the world a better place is taxing, especially with the administration we now have and what happened in Parkland. Fio wasn't surprised that Trump, whose brain is made of swiss cheese, did and said stupid things, but learning how utterly vile the current NRA is has knocked her for a loop. She would have understood if the organization's president had said how shocked they all were that one of their members had done such a heinous thing and that NRA would double down on responsiblity training from now on, but to malign the survivers? The students whose friends and classmates were alive one moment and dead the next?

And that is why Fiorella is trying to get a march going in Georgetown, the most conservative little town in central Texas.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Robbie Saves the Day!

PARENTS OF SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN! Fiorella has the answer you've been waiting for when it comes to protecting your kids.


All it would take is maybe one for every twenty or so students, and, if the robots are properly programmed, they will never get bored, fall sleep, take a day off, use the restroom while they're on duty, pop off a shot just for fun, forget the combination to the drawer they put their firearm in, or those many problems that occur when one is dealing with human beings working for their daily bread.

And the great thing is that the robots would probably only cost about $100,000 apiece, which Fio is sure the NRA will gladly pay in order to protect its AK-15s. It's a win-win situation.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Idle Conjecture

Sometimes Fiorella wonders if, like cats, we all are born with nine lives, and that each time we lose one of them, we move into another dimension in which we're still alive. Fio also wonders if sometimes the dimensions get confused...and so do we. Interesting, at least to Fiorella.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fiorella's On The Warpath

Fio won't go on Facebook till later because she needs to catch up with her book, and she also needs a rest from dealing with heartless people. Yesterday, she was all over FB, making cleverly devastating remarks, throwing Russian at trolls, predicting the downfall of the orange man, and being mad as hell. Can you believe that Trump went from a brief hospital visit, which was mostly a photo op, to a disco party? That the Florida legislature won't even consider tightening-up gun laws and has dismissed the concerns of the survivors as teen-age nonsense? Can you believe that even the hardest heart is not moved by the horror? The tragedy? The tears? Can you believe the crack-pated ideas that have been floated around, like every teacher being armed--can't you just see a couple of your old un-favorites arranging a duel at dawn? Or taking out a student who's asking too many questions? Or accidentally shooting a hole through the roof as he/she wrestles a pull-down map, a yardstick, and a stack of papers all at the same time?

But never fear. Fiorella's absence from FB will only last till the afternoon, when she'll hurl herself into action again. Till then, sleep well with the knowledge that Fio has sent an email to the editor of Georgetown's bi-weekly newspaper calling for a local march on March 24 in support of the massacre survivors and their fallen classmates.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


The circus tent is falling down,
Falling down, falling down
All around the orange clown,
My fair lady

Build it up with angry tweets
Angry tweets, angry tweets
Outright lies and whiny bleats
My fair lady

The circus tent is falling down
Falling down, falling down
The orange one's hiding out of town
My fair lady

Mar-a-Lago won't keep him safe
Keep him safe, keep him safe
Don't look now, but it's too late
My fair lady

Monday, February 19, 2018

Anger, Decision, Determination

Fio doesn't care about what is going on with Jennifer and Justin. They live in Hollywood and are not real people. What she does care about is that the name of her dear friend, Sharon Lee Utz Kite, was hijacked by Ford to introduce a sleezy advertisement on FB--and a mattress company hijacked Sharon's name a month earlier. SHAME! Fio is contacting Sharon's son and daughter and hopes they sue Ford dry.
While Fio's on a rampage, she will confide that she's laying plans for a gun-control walk in Georgetown, and this time, she won't be alone. Or maybe she will be, but that won't stop her.
Fiorella is very upset about how things are going right now. It seems like everywhere she turns, life's a mess. So does that mean she's going to withdraw for a while and give herself a break? Hell, no! Now's the time for action! Full speed ahead, Fiorella! You have a world to save!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Dogs Know

Several years ago, Fiorella was horrified to hear a woman say that she and her husband had trained their dogs to stay on their property by beating them when they strayed, but Fio let it pass because she was flattered that the woman, whom she admired, had chosen her as a friend. Ultimately, the  woman ended up deserting her in an unfamiliar city under the worst of cirumstances. Lesson learned: never trust anyone who beats dogs.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Fiorella is tryng to get back to"normal," whatever that is, but she can't seem to find the dock.
It's 3:15 in the afternoon now, and Fio has finally realized why the Florida massacre hit her so hard--because it brought out all those carefully buried memories of her nephew's death in the University of Texas tower massacre. Of the noise, the confusion,the carnival-like atmosphere, the family going haywire, the world turning upside down. Things like that are supposed to happen on TV, not in your town, not at your college, and certainly not to your relatives, especially not to kids with their whole lives ahead of them.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Call to Action!

Fiorella cried on and off all yesterday morning because--as if sympathizing with the Florida parents' sorrow wasn't enough--she kept putting herself in their place. How would she ever have coped with the murder of one of her three precious children--or all of them, which may be the case for some of those families. How callous can people be that they offer insipid "thoughts and prayers," but express no outrage and take no action? Wake up, parents! It's up to us to stoke the fire! Gun control has saved lives in Australia, Britain, and Canada, and it can save our children's lives here in the United States too!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ash Wednesday, 2018

Fio was the first one up from the pew yesterday morning to get her forehead annointed with ash and she wasn't quite sure what to do. Neither, apparently was Pastor Susie.

"Do you want me to stay down here or come up the steps to you?" Fio hissed, not wanting to spoil the show for the twenty or so congregants observing from their pews.

"Whatever is comfortable for you," Pastor Susie hissed back. "Do you need someone to assist you?"

"No, I'm okay. I'm a stepper," Fio replied as she started up toward the nave. "But do you want me on the top step or the one just below you?"

"Whatever is comfortable for you."

Trying to be helpful wasn't getting her anywhere with la pastorella, so Fio decided to go for humble and stop on the lower step. The ashes were marked on her forehead and the approprite words uttered, to which Fio was horrified to hear herself automatically reply, "Thank you," which was totally inappropriate. To top things off, she gave the rest of congregants a big-toothed  smile as she grabbed her tote and hurried down the middle aisle toward the parking lot so she could speed over to Dan's and have lunch with her brother and Friend Paula.

No one would ever guess Fiorella's a life-long Lutheran with an arm-long generational heritage.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


I'm one small spark
In a forest of rot
But joined with others
I can make things hot

Tinder, tinder, flame and flicker
The Nazis march, but we are quicker
Rain will come, but it will fizzle
Fire will rule, sizzle, sizzle

I'm one small spark
But I won't go away
The more you push me
The longer I stay

Tinder, tinder, flame and flicker
The Nazis march, but we are quicker
Rain will come, but it will fizzle
Fire will rule, sizzle, sizzle

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Fiorella speculates that all things, sentient or not, have spirits and, as such, have the same desire to be useful that Fiorella does. That the fallen tree limbs volunteer themselves for the fireplace--which is so much more noble a sacrifice than rotting in the yard--and that the rocks trip her on purpose so she will notice them and add them to her driveway edging. And always soft-hearted, Fio makes a point of reassuring the branches and rocks she has to leave behind that she will be back for them another day.

Maybe Fio took Girl of the Limberlost too literally.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Explanation of Morning Mess

If you opened up Fiorella a couple of hours ago, you saw a messy collection of disconnected thoughts and comments that pulled aside Oz's curtain and revealed Fio's modus operandi--she uses her blog as a resting place for every idea that comes to her frighteningly fertile brain, assigns it a future publication date, then hauls it out as seems appropriate. The essential part of this scheme is to keep an eye on the assigned publication date, moving it still further ahead if needed, because otherwise her readers will see exactly what you saw this morning--disconnected thoughts and comments.

Well, you could also see a few short stories and mas paginas del espanol because Fiorella also uses her blog as a safe, easily retrievable deposit for whatever she wants to remember. Calling up stuff from her the back room of her computer is  a lot easier than pawing through the tons of paper she has stored roundabout from her pre-computer years.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Love, Baby, Family

About twenty people attended Baby's early birthday party in the Bastrop area yesterday, mostly relatives on Son's wife's side, with Fiorella, Husband, Daughter, Fio's brother and his wife also in attendance. The barbecue was delicious and the company congenial. Never in the annals of birthday parties has a child ever received so much attention and well-wishing--or so many thoughtful gifts. Never has a house rung with so much laughter and goodwill.

Husband and Fio don't have many relatives in central Texas, but no matter what happens, Baby will never be alone because, thanks to the good God, her son married into such a large, loving, caring family.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Electronics Here, Electronics There, Electronics Everywhere--Beware!

Fiorella's power cord was gracious enough not to give up the ghost until Baby Car was up and running again, but Fio not having access to her computer was like losing an arm. She couldn't check her email, catch up with the natonal news, see what was happening on Facebook, or work on her book. OMG--when did Fiorella, the original Luddite, get so dependent on an electronic device? And what will happen to the world in the future when God turns off the electricity?
Now that el auto y la computadora have been healed, Fio has to see to the kitchen clock and her cell phone. The clock, she thinks, needs a new battery, but that involves using the tall ladder to haul el reloj down from its lofty position over the door to the garage, then putting it up there again after its appetite for energy has been filled. The cell phone is another matter--maybe it can be saved, maybe not, but Fiorella has gone two months without taking pictures, and the artist in her protests such deprivation.
Oh, one more thing--eyeglasses. EyeMart screwed up filling Fio's prescription so she has gotten a new one,  and, following her daughter-in-law's suggestion, will order her glasses on line--yet another thing she could not do without a working computadora. Frightening, isn't it?

Friday, February 9, 2018


When Fiorella left her Miata in the kind and competent hands of the Roger Beasley Mazda dealership last week, she thought that was the last she would see of it. Richard had said to give them a week to see what they could do, but Fio took that to mean that they would try to find a nice salvage yard for Baby to spend her final days in.

Fio was heart-broken, of course, but she had to face facts so, on Tuesday, she drove Husband's car over to the dealership to clear out her floorboard detritus before Baby was moved off the lot. Between tears, she explained her purpose to Richard, and that's when Richard started talking very quickly-- BABY CAR  WAS NOT DEAD. The Mazda team had her on life-support, and she would probably be healed by the end of the week. That's when Fiorella really started crying--being overwhelmed with happiness does that to her.

She received THE CALL yesterday morning, and the first thing she did after picking up her car and thanking everyone from Weldon on down, was to buy four family-sized bags of Hershey kisses, load them in the car, and drop them off at Mazda to be enjoyed by one and all.

God bless Richard, Weldon, and all the guys (and gal) in the service department, and God bless Roger Beasley Mazda!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Best of Fio's Recent Facebook Posts

Just when you think the late-night comedians have run out of fodder, baby donnie demands a pull-toy parade for his widdle selfJust when you think the late-night comedians have run out of fodder, baby donnie demands a pull-toy parade for his widdle self

What's Goin' on with Fiorella

Just when you think the late-night comedians have run out of fodder, Baby Donnie demands a pull-toy parade for his widdle self. He wants to stand up in the review box and have everyone salute his almightyness. The only good thing about this idea is that (1) it takes Nunes off the radar, and (2) Colbert's going to have a field day. But maybe Donnie should think about what happened to Caligula when his in-house miltary squad had had enough.
The last chapter of Fio's book kept running through her mind as she was driving (in Husband's car) to the optometrist's office. It was sweet--a wedding, which is an unsuprising  ending in a romance--but it was feeing more like an epilogue when Fiorella wanted the story to end with a big bang. A big bang--that was it! She'd end it with a big bang! You know the kind (wink).
Fio starts the morning by turning off the house alarm, feeding the dog and letting her out and in, pulling up the shades, and , bringing in the newspaper and skimming it. Then she checks out her email, Google News, her blog, and Facebook, after which she brushes her teeth, washes her face, lift weights, dresses, fixes her hair, and pushes hoop earrings through her lobes (because she is human), and comes downstairs again to play the piano and eat breakfast. At this time of year, she also works on the Christmas clean-up and hauls brush and forewood in for the fireplace. Along the way, she must work on her long-delayed book, get in a little Spanish practice, and keep up with her friends. Right now she has the added responsibility of getting the IRS information together and handling a legal situation involving a family business. The other legal thing, a student-loan situation will be settled next week. In between times, Fiorella pretends to be human.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Drivin' by Matthew McConaughey's

           "We drove by Matthew McConaughey's house last night."
           I strive for safety.  "That's nice, dear." 
Lily gives me an exasperated look.  "You don't know who he is, do you, Mother?"  Lily is twenty-one, a college junior, and knows everything.  "He's the movie star, the one who was in that space movie with Jodie Foster.”  Her voice drips daughterly contempt.
I decide to assert myself.  "Oh, he's the one who was arrested for playing his bongo drums and dancing around naked one night with the window open." 
"Not so loud."  Glancing around the upscale deli she's lured me to for lunch, Lily checks to make sure none of the other college-age customers have heard me.  She's funny that way, very self-conscious, which is odd because I'm the opposite, a born performer.  Maybe I didn't get enough attention as a child and have been making up for it ever since--and maybe, as a reaction, I gave Lily too much attention and she's spending the rest of her life avoiding it.  Or maybe it's just mutant genes. 
Whatever, Lily can't help but get attention wherever she goes. She's a white blonde, some sort of throwback to pure Scandinavia, I’d guess.  She's three inches taller than I am and built slender, with wide shoulders and hips.  Every male eye in the place lights up when she enters a room, but she immediately lets the hopefuls know she is committed, that she has a boyfriend and is faithful to him.
I think she hides behind him.
"Did Kevin drive you by Matthew McConaughey's house?"  
Kevin is the boyfriend.  They've been going together for two years now, so I guess I've come to accept him.
Lily rolls her eyes.  "No, Mother.  Kevin is at karate on Wednesday evenings. You know that."
Well, I didn't know that, but I let it go, which is something I work hard at, letting things go and maintaining my cool.  I want a better relationship with my daughter than my mother had with me.  It wasn't that Mother and I fought--it was just that we never really got to know each other outside of being mother and daughter.
Our number is called and Lily leaps up to fetch our matching plain-and-dry turkey sandwiches. She must be hungry because she starts on hers the second she arrives back at our unstable little table.
After a few bites, the conversation resumes.  "Jennie and Tiffany and I were out driving around Old Austin, and I was showing them where Granny and Granddad used to live so we drove by Matthew McConaughey's since it was in the same neighborhood."
I decide to risk it.  "And was he dancing in the window?"
She laughs.  It is amazing how food improves her mood.  Five minutes before she would have been scandalized. "You're so wicked! No, he wasn't home."
"How do you know?"
"His van was gone."
"How do you know he has a van?" I’m heady with conversational success.
Lily has the grace to look a little embarrassed.  "Well, we've driven by there before."
“You and Jennie and Tiff?”
"And what, Mother?  We've never seen him.  What did you expect?" 
Now she’s mad at me again. I feel my way carefully across my unsteadfast verbal footing.  "I should think he would realize at first sight that three such lovely girls are destined for Hollywood stardom." 
Was it a save?
Lily smiles her forgiveness and reaches across to take my free hand.  "I'm sorry I'm being such a bitch.  Thank you for putting up with me."
My heart overflows.  I remembered the tiny bald-pated baby the nurse put into my arms in the hospital, the one with the perfect little nose and rosebud mouth.  I remember the shy toddler hiding her head under my loose shirts when I tried to introduce her to my friends.  I remember her in early grade school, never wanting me to leave, and  in later grade school, being mortally embarrassed when I would stay.  I remember her talking over her middle school problems with me until I felt like screaming.  I remember my pride when she delivered her high school baccalaureate prayer.  I love her so much.
"You're not a bitch.  You just have a lot going on right now." 
We finish our sandwiches and head to the car.  I look around.  The clouds are white and fluffy in a sunny, bright blue sky.  "It's a nice day to be on the road."
 I unlock the car doors.
Lily smiles at me and checks her watch. "I don't have to get back yet. We could drive around for a while. Do you have the time?”
"Sure."  I don’t have the time, really, but I'd rather spend it with my daughter than stocking up on groceries.  I pull out of the parking place and find my way to an exit from the shopping center.  "Where do you want to go?"
"How about Granny and Granddad's old neighborhood?"
Husband’s parents had lived in an older section of town--rather posh, actually.  When I was first married, I used to imagine myself getting hold of one of the big, old houses nearby and renovating it, and I still like to drive down the narrow, tree-lined streets and dream a little. 
I head west. The ride will be easy on the digestion.. 
There's something about being in a car.  Maybe it's the small, closed space or maybe the rhythm of the road.  I can feel the intimacy starting to build between us. Please, God, don’t let me screw this up.
I turn into my parents-in-laws' old neighborhood and slow my speed. 
It was too bad that my mother never learned how to drive.  What would she have been like on an outing like this, I wonder, with just the two of us in the car, isolated from the world?  Could we have talked as two people who loved and cared for each other, or would it still have been the same constrained parent-child relationship?
I tell Lily a little of what has been going on at my job lately and she tells me a funny story about her roommate
"How is Kevin?"  I venture.
"Why?  What have you heard?  Did Ethan tell you something?"  Lily's voice is sharp.
Wrong move. What’s up? 
I make my voice soft and reassuring.  "No, he hasn't said anything.  You know how close-mouthed he is." Lily sometimes confides in her older brother and is always concerned that he may be passing information on to me, which he sometimes does. "I'm sorry if Kevin's having more problems."
Kevin is always having problems, which Lily sympathizes with him about and helps him solve.  He is a project, as far as I can tell, and she has improved him a lot, but not enough that he is in the least interested in attending college or getting any sort of training to raise himself from being a stock clerk at Best Buy.  To make it worse, his father remarried recently, and the new wife tossed the old offspring out the door, so while Lily is mothering Kevin, he is mothering his younger sister, which makes Lily, figuratively speaking, a grandmother before her time.
Lily stares straight ahead, not looking at the houses. "His sister is sneaking out at night and meeting boys."
"That must be hard on Kevin."
Lily's voice hardens.  "It's hard on me.  He got me up in the middle of the night to help hunt her down.  And I had a biology test the next day."
I make soothing sounds, not wanting to risk words.  My own mother never lacked for words.
"It's just fine for him," Lily continues.  "He calls in sick and gets to sleep till noon, but that was my midterm!" 
"I’m sorry.”
“Kevin really makes me mad sometimes.  I’m thinking of breaking up with him.”
“Oh.”  I’m not weighing in on that one. 
I drive slowly past her grandparents’ old home, and Lily cranes her neck to keep the house in view as long as possible.   We drive a few more blocks in silence.
Finally Lily sighs, looks at her watch, then suddenly smiles at me, her eyes dancing.  "There's still time.  Want to go by Mathew McConaughey's to see if he’s left his window open again?"
I smile back at her. “Point me the way.”


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Requiem for Baby Car

The loss of her Miata is beginning to sink in. Fio loved that car. Small and zippy, it gave her a certain elan, an identity. Every time she stepped out of it, she felt cool--like Auntie Mame. She'd even fantsized that, when her time came, she'd be buried in it.

But instead, Baby Car went first. Fiorella left the rotting corpse with the Mazda dealership over the weekend while she pondered her next move. A friend told her about a trickle charger that might help so Fio will ask the guys about it today when she goes over to the dealership to pick up her belongings, but she has an idea that something like that would only be prolonging the agony.  Face it, Fio--you've had a good run, but Baby Car is sixteen years old, way past her prime, and only because of the great guys as Mazda has she has lasted this long.

The great guys at Mazda--that's another issue. The service department has resuscitated Baby so many times that they (especially Richard Grimm) have become Fio's friends, and she brings them chocolate kisses on appropriate holidays as a stand-in for the real kisses they deserve.

But all that is yesterday, and Fiorella must deal with today. She would love to pick up another Miata, but money has tightened up around Casa Fio this past month and will probably remain that way from now on.  Ah well, maybe Fiorella's writing career will catch fire or she'll strike oil somewhere. But until then, she and Husband will be sharing his car, which is no spring chicken itself, which makes Fio nervous. What will they do if Husband's car develops problems? What if they if they both have must-do appointments at the same time? What about emergencies? Is this the beginning of the end?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Midnight Confessions

Fiorella has, she hopes, done many kind and appropriate things in her life, but the times she has been a total ass are the ones burned into her memory.
Fio, a realist, is not impressed by the current art and poetry scene.  In her opinion, both have been rarified to the point of absurdity.
"You think too much," Fio's mother told her. But Mother, I needed to understand everything in order to survive.
Husband isn't too fond of harvesting fallen limbs and dead trees on the property because they're so irregular compared to the neatened up firewood that HEB etc., sell, but Fiorella likes the twists and turns of what she considers to be REAL wood. She's also drawn to people with interesting twists and turns.
Wanna know how powerful Fiorella is? She's the firstborn of ALL her cousins and the only one without a middle name. In her paternal line, she's especially unique in that her given name is original--she wasn't named after any of her relatives.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Questions and Answers

How about a common-sense spray that could be spritzed on all and sundry (especially the sundry)?
In a way, long range weather predictions are a downer. Where's the mystery, the excitement of the unexpected?
Remember the old days, when every other car on the road wasn't silver?
If Fio seems down, it's because she's mourning the death of Baby Car, her 2002 Miata that Mazda has had on life-support for the past couple of years. Guess she and Husband are going to be a one-car family for  while.
Actually, this has not been a great weekend for Fiorella in other areas either. It turns out that the payment on Son's student loan will be a hundred more a month than she'd thought. Also, the propane bill was unexpectedly high ($330) due to the winter weather.  And the optometrist that blurry-visioned Fio scheduled an appointment with for this week has canceled. And she still doesn't have all the Christmas decorations down. And the family business thing and the IRS thing are still hanging fire. Fiorella is overloaded.
Why has Fio been writing so much about death lately? Probably because Sharon Kite is still on her mind and in her heart, where she always will be.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Further Instructions

If ever I
decide to die--
Which I'm not planning to--
Remember me
with charity
As I, my dear, will you

Friday, February 2, 2018

Adjusting to Amazing

Fiorella has come to terms with "amazing" and "awesome," although they drove her out of her mind at first.  Everyone was using them, especially the vocabulary-challenged home-buyers on HGTV. Everything from floors to ceilings to swimming pools to kitchens to toilets were amazing or awesome. So were beauty-contest winners, actors, politicians, children, pets and God.

But, as a linguist, Fiorella knows that superlatives and emphatics come and go, and many don't even make sense--like "pretty" being used to mean "very"--so she decided to make her peace with the newcomers.

Amazing, right?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Driving, Politics, Neighbors,

Mother resented being required to have a picture ID in order to vote, a common tactic in southern states to minimize black votes, because it meant that she, who didn't drive, had to be transported to the local DPS and stand in a long line to get certified. This was especially ironic considering that she and Dad, having migrated down from Ohio, were some of the few original Republicans in Waco. The rest of them were former Democrats who'd turned their coats when Lyndon Johnson made integration a keystone of his presidency.
My parents dodged controversy, although they did have strong opinions that they expressed within the family. Fio thinks it was an immigrant thing--don't stand out, keep your head down, stay safe. An example--they lived in Waco, but Fiorella pounded a sign into their front yard when she was running for the school board in Austin, and three minutes after she got into the car to drive back home, Dad had pulled up the sign, saying the neighbors might think it was a For Sale sign.
"What will the neighbors think" was the family mantra. Fio heard it when she started swinging around the street light pole during a long, tiresome wait for a bus downtown (because Mother didn't drive). Singing in public was another no-no, but little did Mother know that Fiorella sang long and loud when she walked home after school every day (because Mother didn't drive).