Saturday, March 31, 2018

Wondering If

Fiorella is wondering if the National Rifle Association, once a well-respected organization that taught marksmanship and emphasized gun safety, has been victimized by the same people who have victimized the Parkland students--gun manufacturers willing to do anything to increase their profits. Have to add Putin into the mix too Those rubles have been making the rounds.

Friday, March 30, 2018


Our bluebonnets are starting to bloom. I guess that $17 we spent on seeds two years ago was worth it. (By the way, while snapping the picture, I also got my first mystery bug bite of the season.)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

All the News That's Fit to Print

Fiorella is determined to post a picture of a nascent bluebonnet patch with the heading "A watched bluebonnet never blooms, or at least it seams that way," a clever little observation she made when she first started trotting off to Verizon to get her newish phone set up. Actually, now, five days and three trip to Verizon later, there are four bluebonnets starting to bloom around the driveway, but Fio doesn't want to lose such a good  line so if you're reading her FB posts too, please don't give her away.
La casa has been taking a couple of hits lately.  Some of the electricity is out and the alarm system went wacko.
The local newspaper covered Fio's four-person march quite nicely, and Fiorella's planning to photocopy the page and preserve it for posterity. But first she'll probably wag it in the faces of everyone she knows.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

From NCIS to Jane Perrine

SCREAM! Husband has been watching NCIS all day, and Fio is at the point that she'd gladly wipe out Gibbs herself just to get the TV turned off. What is about about men and TV power figures?
Your Fiorella is planning to return to the Verizon store tomorrow for the third day running. It's a matter of getting her "new" cell phone set up. The problem this time is that she apparently needs to update something or other in order to transfer a picture to FB. You can bet the guys will be drawing straws when they see her coming--short straw has to take care of the stupid old lady.
Easter is a-comin' and Fio has prepared mini-baskets of chocolate eggs for four neighbors who have been especially helpful to her. She's also given Stephanie and Lisa, her two favorite bankers, little bags of chocolate Easter coins. Now she's preparing for the family celebration, which will feature Baby WALKING!
The bluebonnets are gorgeous this year--not ours, but the ones in the neghbors' yards and along the road.
In case you're wondering how to say "Happy Easter" en el espanol, it's felices pascuas. Thank Jane Myers Perrine for that infromation. It's nice to have a friend who taught high school Spanish and is willing to share.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


FIO DOESN'T LIKE THE WAY THINGS ARE RIGHT NOW. She don't like school kids--or anyone--being killed by people who have guns that should be restricted to the armed forces. She doesn't like seeing hard-working immigrants living in terror of being deported. She doesn't like seeing people who sought a college education being saddled with strangling debts for life. She doesn't like seeing pseudo-Christians besmirch her beloved religion. She doesn't like it that hate and meanness prevail over love and goodness. And most of all, she doesn't like not knowing how to make things right!

Monday, March 26, 2018

After the March Was Over....

Fiorella woke up yesterday morning still glowing from the success of her NEVER AGAIN march, spent way too much time on FB, but had enough glow left that she did a fair amount of work on a difficult scene in her WIP. In the afternoon, she  and met up with friend Patricia in the cafe adjoining la biblioteca and her glow returned as she recounted the progress of the march.  Patricia asked how her Spanish was coming along, and Fio told her in sorrow that she hadn't made much progress because she needed a telenovela that she could play over and over again to drive el espanol into her brain, but didn't know how to locate  one.

"Why not borrow one from the library?" friend asked. To make a long, thrilling story short, Fiorella checked out two telenovela DVDs and will try them out on Monday.

But wait--there's still more! To top it off, when Fio got home, she started working on la historia de nuevo and pretty much finished off the rest of that problem scene.

Fiorella is a happy camper.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mission Accomplished

FIORELLA SURVIVED THE MARCH! Survived and prospered, actually. We were just four people, but that was enough. Fio wielded her NEVER AGAIN sign, and the others took up guard posts around her, but we didn't run into any trouble as we walked around the county courthouse striking up conversations wth all and sundry. In fact, most people were interested and thought along the same lines we did. And the added bonus was that WE HAD NEWSPAPER COVERAGE! Of course, Fio doesn't know how much will show up in print, but the reporter scribbled down a volume of notes and took many, many pictures.

All in all, it was a very satisfying experience for Fiorella, but she also hopes it got some people thinking.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

March Around the Georgetown Courthouse

Fiorella wishes she could tell you that she's all fired up about the march she's been trying to organize in lil' old Gtown to coincide with the national "March for Our Lives" shindigs, but actually, she's biting her lip and praying that she doesn't make a total fool of herself. (On the other hand, it wouldn't be the first time.)

Fio didn't have the connections to get the word out as well as she should have so there will probably only be a few people there, although that would more than double the participants involved when she did a solo number for the 2018 Women's March. But she's been told she will have press coverage this time--that is, if the newspaper can spare someone from the Easter egg hunt story. But the possibility  of the presence of the press puts new pressure on Fiorella. (1) She's afraid she'll bomb an interview, and (2) she's suddenly realized there should be a chant or something as marchers walk along and some kind of wrap-up speech at the end. In past times, Fiorella could have managed everything, but she doubts if her voice and brain are up to it now.

To make a long story short, pray for Fiorella and her cause, but don't worry if she falls on her face. Remember, she lives in the boondocks and can hide herself from public view for months on end.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Target Check-out Line Incendiary

Watch out--Fio is always listening in, and yesterday it was at the Target check-out counter.  Her ears perked up as the clerk behind the register and a customer started discussing the 23-year-old who'd blown himself up after terrorizing Austin with self-made bombs.

"He was home-schooled," the customer said, and Fio nodded to herself. Far too often, home schooling is a way to mis-educate children into a singular world viewpoint or a dodge for parents who don't want anyone to know what's going on in the family. But just as Fio was about to add her two bits, the customer elaborated, "My daughter teaches high school and she said these kids today--they're nothing."

If Fio had been a fire log, she would have burst into flame. This woman's daughter is a teacher, and damn it--if the kids in her classes are nothing, then it's HER job to make them SOMETHING!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Truth and Consequences

A bee in his bonnet
Putin's ring in his nose
Trump shall spread discord
Wherever he goes

Like a panther in the night
Mueller prowls
No one know when he will strike
Till Trumper howls

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Exerpt from Lolly's Story, WIP

     Cotton looked around his barren front room. Not very welcoming for a new bride.
     There was a sharp rap on the door. 
     “It’s not locked. Come on in.”
      The door swung open and banged against the wall. 
     “Damned right I will!”
     Cotton studied his visitor.  Male, dark, probably six-five, built like a brick outhouse.
     Lolly’s father.
     Jason Redlander fixed him with a hard stare.  “You the guy who flew my daughter off to Sin City?”
     “Lolly and I were married on Monday.  I’m Cotton Bogart.”  He started to offer his hand, then thought the better of it.
     Redlander looked him up and down. ”What are you—about six feet?”
     “Bud, you’re too big a guy for Lolly.  And how old are you?
    “Goddamn!  You’re almost as old as I am!”  Redlander’s eyes swept the room. “Where’s Lolly?”
     "Picking up her car and her clothes from her friend's house.  She should be back soon.”
    “What?”  Where the hell had that come from?
    “Were you a quarterback?”  Redlander’s lip curled on the last word.
    “In high school, yes.”
    The big man sneered.  “Bud, I used to eat quarterbacks for breakfast.”
     Cotton hazarded an easy guess.  “Linebacker?   ”
     Redlander nodded.  “Strong-side linebacker--the killing machine.  And I want to talk to my daughter the minute she gets back.”
     “You’re her father, and I respect that, but she’s my wife, and I won’t let you browbeat her.”
     Redlander’s mouth dropped open in obvious surprise. “Me?  Browbeat Lolly?”
     Cotton pressed his advantage. “And, while we’re at it, you aren’t bankrolling her anymore either.  She’s on my credit card from now on.”
     Redlander’s face turned ugly.  “Not so fast, buddy.  Lolly’s got her own money, and she’ll want to fix up this place.”  He glanced around the room.  “My daughter's used to better.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

From Fiorella's Next Book

   The head coach, an old high-school football buddy, spotted him as he drove up and called out to Marco, who kicked the soccer ball to one of his friends and ran over to climb into the back seat of the truck. As usual, he was bursting with enthusiasm and had plenty to talk about.
   “Dad, do you think I can get on the third-grade soccer team this summer?  After all, I’m big for my age, and I’ll turn eight in November.”
   Bram pulled away from the curb and turned the truck toward town.
   “Sorry son, I think you’ll have to stay with your own grade level. Those guys will be glad to have a guy your size on their side.”
   As soon as it had become evident that Marco would be another overgrown, overactive chip off the ol’ Chandler block, Bram signed him up for every activity Lynnwood Elementary’s after-school sports program had to offer. That strength and energy had to be channeled. He didn’t want Marco getting into the kind of trouble he’d gotten into when he was growing up. Nothing serious. Just teen-age high jinks.
   Most of it.
   His mind veered away from what he didn’t want to remember.

Monday, March 19, 2018

As the Noose Tightens

I'm guessing that Kushner
Foreseeing the future
Will dump
On Trump
To save his own tail
From going to jail

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Think About It

(1)  Russian hacking
(2 ) Stormy Daniels scandal
(3 ) McCade firing
(4 ) RNA vacillations
(5 ) White House chaos
(6 ) DACA, deportations, wall
(7 ) Debt rising
(8 ) Trade wars
(9 ) Puerto Rico
(10) Golf course vacations
(11) Family
(12) Twitter
(13) Etcetera

Isn't it about time for a palace coup?

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Fio has long been asking, "But what if God turned off the electricity?" Little did she know the atheist Russians would beat Him to it.
Fiorella doesn't go along with the "saint" concept. We are all God's children and no one person is elevated above the others, although some sink lower.
Trump is a con-man, a huckster, a snake-oil salesman, and his basest base like that about him.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Name Dump

Fiorella is not happy. She's going to have to rename the heroine of her work-in-progress, the one that's been in progress for more than a year, because she suddenly realized one of her secondary characters has the male version of the same name, and Fio can't change his name because he was a secondary character in book 2. So, as of this very minute, "Phillipa," a name Fio has always liked, is no more.

Complications, complications, complications. Don't you want to be a writer?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thinking Things Over

The torn-open chocolate bunny boxes are piling up on the floor of Fiorella's car like an alcoholic's beer bottles.
There are too many people in this nation and the world who, for reasons unknown to Fiorella, want to be told what to think and what to do. Fio is not one of these people.
Remember "If you build it, they will come?" Only in the movies. In real life, all you end up with is a cargo cult. Advertisement up the wazoo is the only way to go.
Trump calls Maxine Waters a "low-IQ person," but we all know what that is code for.
One thing you can say about Trump's administration is that it's been a boon to defense lawyers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rings on Her Fingers

Because Fiorella wants to look like a woman of consequence, she wear rings on her fingers when she leaves the house. Always four, sometimes six, sometimes nine--her wedding and engagement rings, her mother's wedding and engagement rings, her mother-in-law's wedding and engagement rings, birthday gifts. All on no more than three fingers.

Fio knows what it's like to be considered a woman of no consequence, someone who doesn't matter, and she never wants that to happen again.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cloning, Anyone?

If anyone asks, yes, Fio would like to be cloned. Born with a good brain, a gift for languages, and talents in art, music, and literary composition, she would like another chance at making good by proxy.

But she bets she wouldn't be the first one. With positive results from Dolly the sheep up through the Cuartetra 1-6 polo ponies, there's bound to be a rogue scientist somewhere in the world who's cloned himself a couple of humans. Wonder what DNA he used? His own? Hitler's? Take your choice. At least if Fiorella is cloned, you know she'll do her best to be worthy of it.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Just a Girl

When Fio was in the eighth grade, she scored highest in her junior high on the  history contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution, although, unbeknownst to all, she had picked up most of what she knew from reading her mother's historical novels rather than studying her textbook. Whatever, she picked up a nice gold medal that she unfortunately lost five years later when she and her future husband were taking a walk through an Austin local park. But what she didn't lose was the memory of being on the radio with the history winners from Waco's other three junior highs.

Fio expected an interview sort of set-up or maybe a discussion in which she and her fellow history buffs talked about--well, American history--but instead, they were all handed a script.  The other three winners, all male, were to talk about historical figures like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson while Fiorella was supposed to pop up with a pert reminder of Betsy Ross, which, in some way she didn't understand, made her feel less than herself. But then, she was just a girl.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Family Relationships

Have you noticed that Trump is never photographed with his youngest? That there are no father-son outings, no tramps around the links together, no companionable visits to the local fast-food hutch? It's like Melania is the only parent. Hmmmm....
When Fiorella had children, she expected them all to be little copies of her--with maybe a smidgen  of their father thrown in. But they weren't. Insead they were themselves, and radically different from each other at that.
Did Fiorella tell you that on International Women's Day, Daughter posted a beautiful tribute to her on line and gave out Fio's address to the world?  Your faithful correspondent cried, of course, and she's still glowing.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Talking Turkey

Let's talk turkey, specifically the big fat gobbler who wants to see a parade of toy soldiers marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, who needs a cheat sheet to remind him to say "I hear you," who's so discombobulated that the world is laughing at his recorded communications, who changes his mind every time he turns around, who wants to have a one-on-one with Kim Jong Un, the ruthless dictator or North Korea.


KJU may be ruthless, but he's not stupid. He's been plotting his climb up the world's totem pole for years, and a certain unstable clown's ascendancy to the presidency of the United States gave him the perfect opportunity to pull off a very clever maneuver. First he teased about, then threatened, nuclear war. Turkey gobbler responded, of course, by trying to out-bombast him. Then, suddenly, KJU turned into a sweetheart, cuddling up with South Korea and sending athletes and pretty girls to the Olympics.

So now the TG plans to meet up with KJU and pull off one of his "winning deals," which usually involve stripping elderly people of their life savings or refusing to pay contract workers. And if you think he will be listening to people who know something about North Korea, think again. Remember, he's like a three-year-old--whatever more sober minds tell him to do, he'll do the opposite.

We are sunk.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Vitamin K, Income Tax, Fed-ExKinko's, Dogs, Louann

It's a wonder that Fiorella is so healthy that her doctor has relegated her to the "See you again in six months" list, but maybe all the chocolate she eats compensates for her lack of Vitamin K.  After all, cocoa comes from a bean.
Fio is cleaning out the attic room now, and it's slow going because Husband is burning all the income tax records from ancient days in the barbecue outside, and those thick checkbooks don't want to go.
News flash: Fio was in Fed-Ex Kinko's yesterday to photocopy some current income tax pages, and she asked if the company was still with NRA. The manager told her he had been sent a script of what to say if anyone inquired, but Fio didn't hang around to find out what lame-brain excuse Fed-Ex had come up with. NEVER AGAIN!
All the dogs in the neighborhood are in an uproar, and Sonia has rushed outside to join in. A stray canine? A coyote? A prowler? Who knows, but our heroine is determined to keep the intruder at bay.
Fio's favorite comic strip, "Louann," has been cookin' with gas lately. Bad girl Tiffany is turning into a good girl, with bad boy Les aiding and abetting. As a fiction writer, Fiorella also appreciates the way each strip ends with a cliff-hanger. That's what keeps a reader reading.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Call to Action

When ignorance and stupidity reign
And ethics are flushed down the sewage drain
We must unite
And fight the good fight
To make our country whole again

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Just Ask Sonia

Sonia Dog knows how everything is supposed to be, and she holds Mommy to it. When doggie comes downstairs every morning, she expects Mommie to slide open the door to the back yard for obvious reasons, and then, when she comes in, Mommie is supposed to give her a nose-to-nose greeting (uno, dos, tres) and a good rubdown, including scratching behind her ears. Breakfast comes next--freshly-poured kibbles and clean water. After she's rested a while, Sonia notifies Mommy that it's time for her second breakfast--Mommy's breakfast, that is, because she knows Mommy will give her the dregs of her cereal bowl, followed by two Milkbones (uno, dos) as a reward for drinking her milk.
When she sees trash bags beeing packed in the trunk of the car, Sonia pads out into the garage and waits at "her" door, knowing she will be invited to  ride up the driveway to the street where the bin sits.  And, of course, when the car goes through the DQ drive-thru, she comes to attention to remind Fio and Husband that she is supposed to get a Puppy Cup. She even knows the bedtime routine, and will badger Mommie and Daddy with growling whines if they seem to have forgtten.

Patterns, patterns, patterns. Sonia is truly Mommy's daughter.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Real Fiorella Outs Herself

Wanna see how bitchy Fiorella can be? These are some excerpts from when she was writing the Austin Community College union newsletter, lo, these many years ago:

ACC president Richard Fonte nodded on and off during an hour-long report on the role of the community college and sat through most of the rest of the meeting stone-faced--when he wasn't defending or pleading or explaining. Whatever happened to that affable, smiling administrator who would fulfill every board member's preference with a wave of his magic budget wand?
ACC's Humpty Dumpty budget has had a great fall, and hopes for a tax hike in Ausgust 2003 are a likely casualty of the scramble. In Ausgust, 2002, consultant Howard Falkenberg  advised the board that employee support was vital to the success of any future ACC tax referendum. "Make sure the family is tight on this," he said.
Apparently no one was listening. It's hard to be "tight" when your classes are cancelled at the last moment or your chances of a well-deserved pay raise have gurgled down the drain.
     Presidents Richard Fonte was unusually quiet during the April 1 board meeting. Maybe he was pondering how to tell the trustees that although the total number of classes ACC will offer this fall will be an all-time high, the number of English classes, a herd of cash cows if ever there was one, has been cut about ten percent.
    Guess the budget crisis is over.
Fiorella never announced herself as the sharp-tongued scribe, but since she sat in on the board meetings with her pen scribbling down every word, it must have been obvious.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Anger and Violence

About the guns--Fio has read that psychologists say anger, not mental health problems, is what triggers violence, and she can believe that from her own experience.

When Fiorella was in junior high, she walked to school because, as you will remember, her mother didn't drive. Most of the time it was no problem because the school was only about five blocks away, the weather was mild, and there were a few other kids walking too. But one horribly stormy day, as cars full of warm, dry schoolkids driven by their mothers splashed by her, Fio was the only one walking. By the time she got to school, she was so furious that she would have taken out the populace if there'd been an assault rifle available. When her social studies teacher tried to find out what was going on, Fio said she was angry that FlyTaff, a government installation on her way to school, was crowding the sidewalk with its parking. But actually, she now realizes. was angry at her mother.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Declaration of Intent





Saturday, March 3, 2018

To Eat or Not to Eat

Fiorella is an embarrasingly picky eater--nothing green but jello, nothing red but apples and jello, no dressings, no mixtures. It's partially due to her own wierdness, although another part can be traced to the WWII food rationing that was in effect when she was a child. A third part can be laid at the feet of her mother making a contest out of Fiorella's preferences. "Try it, you'll like it," she'd say. But Fio knew that if she did, Mother would triumphantly proclaim "I told you so."

Strangely, despite Mother's warning that Fiorella have problems socializing because of her limited palate, no one has ever given her a hard time. And, wonder of wonders, along the way, she's even added a some new things to her diet that Mother herself would never have eaten--like fish. Years ago, when Husband brought a sea trout home from a fishing trip, Fio watched him cook it, got curious, tasted it, and liked it--no contest involved.

When it came to her own kids, Fiorella didn't push, and after they got through some quirky teen-age food fads, all three of them settled down to much better food choices than Fiorella has ever made. And now Fio hears her granddaughter likes tofu.

More power to her!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Miscellany Plus

When Fio was younger, she dreamed of living in a big mansion. Now she dreams of living in a small cottage that's easy to keep up.
Going through some of her life drawing (translation: naked people) artwork, Fio came across a drawing  that bothered her at the time and still makes her feel icky. It was of  young man who set up his own pose, propping his head and shoulders on one box and his legs on another, with no support for the center of his body.  The pose was a torturous, but he insisted on it. The experience was Fio's first--and only--contact with blatant maschism.
At some tme in one's life, one has to take a stand, but these kids in Parkland have had to do it way too young.
Friend Suzy and Fio had a hard time getting through on the transatlantic cable the other day, and they ended up calling other twice each before they could finally get a connection that wasn't being gnawed on by an octopus. What did they talk about? The same things they would have talked about when Suzy lived in "The States--" their jobs, their families, the weather, politics, Trump, the Russians, and of course, the Parkland massacre. Yes, people all over the globe know what happened and what the government should do to prevent anything like that from ever happening again. But will it?
Pray for your faithful correspondent. Friend Evelyn is scheduled to be the speaker at a writers' league meeting this evening so Fio, who doesn't drive at night anymore, is going to gut up and drive over to the library to be cheer her on.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

As We have Done Before--and Before--and Before

So now Hope Hicks is out the door. How much longer will Sarah HS be around? Or Jeff Sessions, or John Kelly, or even Jared Kushner? If this is the way Trump ran his businesses, it's no wonder they went bankrupt.

A while back, Fiorella contemplated putting together an acrostic using the names of all the people in Trump's administration who've come and gone, but as the list grew longer and longer, she realized her project would be the size of a large table cloth, and that because never-ending turnover was Trump's business model, that she would have to make that table cloth her life's work.

But what bothers Fio even more than the people who have departed are the people who are still aound. People like Betsy DeVoss,  Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Ryan Zinke, Stephen Miller, Stephen Mnunchin. What this admnistration needs is a good cleaning out, and Trump should be the first to go.