Saturday, June 30, 2018


Old people with death hanging over them have the urge to divulge their well-kept secrets. In a doctor's waiting room with other patients listening in, Fiorella's father announced to Fio and his grandson that he hadn't had sex since he was seventy. Near death, Fio's mother told Fiorella that her older brother had molested her when she was a child. Fio's mother-in-law told her that when she turned ten and her adored father interrupted her birthday party, and she thought, "Why, he's nothing but a common drunk." Mrs. Harhin told Fio's aunt, who told Fio's mother, that a baby with black hair had been left in the woods to die.

What secrets will Fiorella unburden herself of when her time comes?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Time, Mosquito, Choices, Future, I-35, Injustice

If Fiorella did all the things she's supposed to do, she wouldn't have time to do what she wants to do.
A friendly mosquito has been gliding around the upstairs bathroom lately, trying to make Fio's acquaintance, but your faithful correspondent has not been receptive.
When it's a choice betwen villains and heroes, Fiorella chooses the heroes. She sees no reason to be polite to marauders.
Fio would like to think that collections of  her posts will be read, maybe even studied, long after she is gone, but if not, her words will belong to the universe.
It's easy to drive I-35. All you need are nerves of steel.
Doesn't anybody see the irony in imprisoned children being forced to pledge allegiance to a country that promises liberty and justice for all?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Three Is Better Than One!

Fio discovered something wonderful, that working on one story drives her to work better on others. About a month ago, she enthusiastically commited myself to three different novels, two romances of my own and a murder mystery with a friend. A day later, Fio wondered if she was insane. But trio-ing is WORKING! She woke up this morning, grabbed her yellow tablet before she even rolled out of bed and wrote down four pages of notes to explain Cotton's motivations and psychology, just what had been missing from the story. she'd known there was something off-kilter for a while, but couldn't figure it out until those other two stories rubbed the contours of her brain raw.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Clothes, TV Ads, Daddy Long-Legs, Tremor, Trump

Because she doesn't have to appear at work looking bright and shiny anymore, Fio rarely buys new clothes. Anything half-decent will do.
Thank you, forward-looking television advertisers, for showing commercials that feature mixed-race families.
We researched daddy long-legs (not Fred Astaire)and learned everything about them except how to get rid of the great clots that come together on the ceilings of our back and front porch.
Interesting--Fio's essential tremor disappears when she's outside woking on the acreage.
Ever since he was elected, Trump has been numbing us to worse and worse, hoping we won't even blink when dark-skinned children are speared, flayed, and laid out for dinner at Mar-a-Lago. After all, his sons hunt.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Complaints Department

Fio doesn't like watching TV in the daytime, especially early in the mornng, because it dumbs her down, but she likes to watch it before she go to bed, when she wants to be dumbed down. HG TV and My 600-Pound Life numb her well, and the first 15 minutes of Colbert assure her that there is  still hope for the world.
I do not like you, my Chase Bank
The  reason why, you know full well
You broke your promise, screwed me over
And made my life a branch of hell
Windows 10 is far too helpful, always trying to supply Fio with words and references that aren't at all what she is aiming for. It also makes chirpy suggestions on her wallpaper page that she is not the least bit interested in.
No, Sarah. You do not get a free ride. There are consequences for lying through your teeth.
Every morning and every evening, Fiorella gets on her hobby horse and gallops through the posts in FB, her saber swinging. But now she wants more. She wants ACTION!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Food for Thought

Life can be lonely if you're different from the norm. It can also be a lot of fun.
Fio is not fond of electronics because they make no exception for human error, and she screws up a lot.
Maybe because of an overdose of Better Homes and Gardens, Mother had strong opinions about landscaping so the hedge and firs near the sidewalk got ripped out. Fio remembers coming home from school one day and not recognizing her new Texas home.
Art identifies and orgnizes the world, and to be an artist is to be half crazy. We see things other people don't. Think about it.
Trump wants to turn all of us against each other so we won't notice when he makes off with the loot.

Sunday, June 24, 2018


Hurry, hurry
Scurry, scurry
Fan the fury
Heed the call
March for the children,
March for us all

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Back to the Womb

How I love my soaker tub
This is how it must have been
Swimming in my mother's womb
Before the pain of life set in

Fio will continue to wade in
Where others fear to tread

Right is right and wrong is wrong
She will not play the game
When children are at stake
I will always fight
For what is right
The world is at stake
My chilfren are at stake
Here I stand
I can do no other

Friday, June 22, 2018

Random Observations and Conjectures

Fiorella is always trying to do the right thing and will even sacrifice herself for others. But sometimes, she gets very, very angry. Then she gets loud. Then she blows her top. Beware, world.
It is not a good thing to be completely dependent on one source of power. One day God--or someone else--will shut down the eelectricity.
Somewhere down the line, one of my descendents will inherit my strange, wonderful, amazing brain, and I will live again. But if that happens, it will mean that I inherited this brain from an earlier Fiorella.
Looking back over her previous posts, Fio finds mistakes and misspellings, and she begs your forgiveness. She was brought up to be perfect.
Fio's mother was afraid of so much, but she would hurl herself into the defense of children. Fio is surer of herself, as you know, but she feels the same way about children.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fiorella is very polite. She even apologizes to the dog.

Catching Up with Fiorella

Fiorella has been spending about an hour a day lately cleaning out her office, and it's been tough going, especially when she has to toss out--well--her past. Things like the handwritten opening pages of several period romances she never finished. Like the typrewritten first eight chapters on a book about gifted children that she dropped after she got a paying job. Like notes and letters from friends that mean nothing to her now. And there's still more to go.
Fio is still furious with Trump, even though he's rescinded the order to separate migrant children from their parents. In fact, she's made herself a DUMP TRUMP badge that she's been wearing for two days.
On the pleasant side, Fiorella drove into Austin to get her hair done and exchange news with friend Deborah, who's been her stylist for at least thirty years. Deborah knows more about Fio by now than Fio knows about herself.
The toner cartridge arrived yesterday, and Fioralla's baby car is now ready to pick up at Mazda. Maybe the world will settle back into its normal pace today. ROARS OF SARDONIC LAUGHTER
Did Fio ever tell you that she writes down descriptions of interesting cloud formations for use in her books? Yesterday, she saw "soggy clouds threatening overhead and dropping sudden spates of rain at random intervals."

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Final Ten Years

Fiorella revised a three-page note she wrote many years ago. Warningf--she's still revising.

My mother had turned the corner, and I knew it would be all downhill from then on. We'd been through it with Husband's mom and dad, and buried both of them wihtin the last ten years so now it was my parents' time. After all they were ten years younger than Husband's parents. Seventy-five, I told myself. I've got to remember that age. It seemed to be the watershed, the beginning of the long, last journey.  But my mother, my strong, resourceful mother--somehow I never thought she would succomb.

That is, until my parents drove up to Ohio and Pennsylvania to visit relatives. Or rather, my father, with his failing vision, drove while Mother rode. My brother and I had wanted them to fly, but Mother was afraid of flying and kept making up excuses. A week into their visit, her blood pressure shot up, her heartbeat became irregular, and, while she was in the hospital, she developed a fever.

There she was, 1500 miles away from home, in intensive care. I prayed a lot because I knew death doesn't always take the full ten years, but she was released from the hospital four days later. Now the question was how to get her back home to Texas because there was no way she could be medically supervised during a three-day car trip. Cornered, she acquiesced to flying.

Brother and my eighteen-year-old son flew up to drive my parents' car back to Texas, and Mom and Dad flew back three days later. Brother and I met them at the Austin (?) airport, and I was shocked. Mother, who always dressed well, looked like a bag lady. Her polyester slacks were pulled to the side, the tie on her polyester shirt was knotted unevenly, her hair was a total mess., the cardigan and canvas shoes she had on didn't match anything else, her face, bare of make-up, was gray and tired, a scab of a fever blister covered half her upper lip, and a button on her sweater identified her origin of departure and her destination, like she was a piece of luggage that might get lost in transit.

And my father, my wonderful, always bouyant father, looked, at last, like an old man.

We packed them into their car, but it died in the luggage lane so my father called AAA for help. I started to go over to the wall phone to help him because he was obviously having problems, but my mother grabbed at me. "Don't leave me," she pleaded. "I'm just going over to help Dad," I explained, then recruited my brother to stay with her till I got back.

The AAA man, it turned out, had been trying to locate us, but, between the airport din and the essential tremor quaver in my father's voice, he couldn't understand what Dad was saying. "I'll handle it, Dad," I said in what I hoped was a strong, authoratative tone. "You go sit with Mother." To my surprise, he did.

Mom was getting more and more agitated by the minute so I deided to take her home till the car got fixed (phoning the kids first to clean up the house, of course). She leaned on me all the way to my car, and, when we got to the house, I had to sit with her for two hours while my father and brother drove all over town looking for a new battery for my parents' car. She needed me to be in sight at all times. She didn't even want me to go into the next room. I couldn't help but think about the last years of my mother-in-law's life. She'd grown increasingly infirm physically and strange mentally, and I wasn't ready for my own mother to totter down that same path. She had been the mainstay of my life, assuring me she was right about everything--and she very nearly was. I was not yet ready to stand alone..

And now I myself am seventy-five. The journey begins.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Fio is so angry that if she were Godzilla, she would have destroyed the world by now. First of all, she has fallen victim to the latest con game in the technological gang's repertoire--bait and switch. She bought a printer at Office Depot some years ago assuming that the store would always stock toner cartridge refills, but it's discontinued them in favor oif trendier delights. The child salesman told her she'll have to order toners on line, and they'd come in about a week. Not what you want to say to an author who needs to run out the first half of her book NOW.

Then there's her INR nurse, the one who checks Fiorella blood every month. Marie, whom Fio really likes, has recently completed her RN training and graadutaed, but the cheapskate doctors she works for won't raise her pay so she's moving on. Fio isn't surprised--it's a yearly turnover--but she is angry.

Both of these angers are painted on the background of the national scene. Fiorella is frantic about what is going on at the border. And about Trump cutting programs for children and the elderly to fund a Flash Gordon space patrol program. And about the Russian invasion. And about schoolchildren being killed in their classrooms. And about the blatant lying and stealing and corruption in government. And about the embarrassing Singapore thing. And about people who ignore what is happening because they don't want to think about these things. 


Monday, June 18, 2018

Fiorella's Ever-Annoying World

 Fiorella's her new computer won't let her save revisions, and her cell camera won't let her transfer photos onto Facebook. Now do you see why she doesn't trust electronics?
It's offical--the daddy-long-legs spiders adore us, but it's not as cute as it sounds. They've built huge colonies on the ceiling and down the walls of the front porch.
If Trump is such a germaphobe, how come he was all over KJU?
What happened to that "cut" that Fiorella tried to transfer? Is la computadora working against Fio again? It only makes sense because, all of a sudden, the camera in her phone has revived itself. Apparently, Fio is allowed only one working electronic device at a time.
Fiorella is hoping the next big advance in IT technology is a self-feeding computer. She's tired of carrying an awkward roll of power cord with her when she has to go upstairs or move into another room.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Please don't be mean to me--
I don't know how to be
A proper enemy

Bewildered by your display,
In my naivete
I won't know what to say

Or do
For you

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Lesson Learning

Fio found them, her yellow lists! And all it took was three hours of searching the same suspect locations again and again. Turns out they were hidden on the floorboard of the passenger seat of Husband's car, behind a couple of car care books. Do not ask Fio how they got there while she was eating her DQ dipped cone, but they did.

Now to figure out what Fiorella was supposed to learn from this episode. "Try, try again," of course, and "Seek and ye shall find"are in the running, but for Fiorella, the real take-away was how she felt--disheartened and empty, like the world had gone cold and drab on her. Now that's something she can use in a book!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Yellow Mourning

Fiorella is devastated. She's lost her yellow tablet, the one she lists her plans for the day on. Actually, there are three tablets missing, all bound together with a rubber band. One of them has lists of Spanish words on it, and she scribbled down lists of ideas for her books and blogs on the other one. And yes, Fio has retraced her steps in the house and yard and called the restaurant where she and Husband had dinner. Tomorrow, she'll call Chase bank and the post office, both of which she blessed with her presence. yesterday. Meanwhile, she'll have to start another yellow list.

Fio is sad.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fiorella, Blow by Blow

Fiorella had a great morning yesterday. She drove from her driveway in the boondocks of Georgetown to busy North Austin without encountering a single red light until she hit Koenig Lane, which was only a brief pause. Then, when she was pulling into Starbucks to meet up with friend Evelyn, another car obliginging backed out of a primo parking spot which Fio quickly claimed.

Inside the store, Fio and Evelyn had an even better time than usual, and a guy who knew Evelyn stopped at their table to talk about the basketball program he runs for disadvantaged kids. Fio was uolifted and her eyes went damp. After the Singapore surrender, she needed to hear from someone who was doing his best to make the world a better place.

Next, Fiorella met with her brother and friend Paula at Dan's Hamburgers, and it was a merry threesome. Turns out that Brother and his wife are thinking of attending the family reunion in Ohio that Fio and Daughter have already committed to.

Fio's ride back to Georgetown was uneventful, thank goodness, because Fio hadn't gotten much sleep the night before and was about to conk out, which is exactly what she did when she got home.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Electronics Can Be Evil!

Fiorella is angry. Fiorella is mad
Because Isadora is acting bad
Or maybe it's not the computer at all
But Windows 10, it's natal install
Whatever the problem, it better go
Beacuse your Fio's about to BLOW!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Smart Man!

It's supposedly just come out that Kim Jong Un speaks--or at least understands--English, but Fiorella wants to remind you that she posted that infomation either here or on FB a while back. How did she know? Because years ago, she'd read that he was schooled in Switzerland under an assumed name, and she knew a European education meant that he'd picked up a couple of languages there, including English because that's the world's power language. Or at least it was.
Fio knows Trump wants the conference to be guy-to-guy, apparently with no one else in the room, but she doubts that's a-gonna happen. KJU will want his killer squad around to keep him safe,which means that Trump will have to come equipped with his own squad.
When you get right down to it. KJU is the winner. Trump has elevated him from being a world pariah to being someone who has munipulated "the leader of the free world" into giving him equal standing. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

How It All Begins

Fiorella is working with friend Patricia on a murder mystery, probably a five-book series, and here's a selection from it:

The corpse, an awkward lump zipped into a white body bag, was wheeled out of the building under the gawking eyes of the students sitting at table in the study area outside the lab.

Rex Mackenzie identified with both their horror and their curiosity. Once he had been like that, a kid fascinated by the unelievability of death. And now he saw too much of it because that's what homicide invetsigators did--check out death scenes. Not all the time, of course. With XXX years on the force, he had plenty of assaults, thefts, and rapes under his belt too, but murder was his specialty. It didn't horrify him as much as it used to, but he still didn't understand the deliberate taking of another person's life. And never would.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Memories of Childhood

    This is the house I spent my first seven years of life in. I painted the picture from a black and white photograph as a present for my parents years ago. Memories include playing with dolls and riding a tricycle on the porch, my father sitting me on the railing to watch fireworks or the Goodyear blimp, and sitting beside mother on a wicker chair as she sewed . And I also remember learning to rollerskate on that sidewalk--and how grown up I felt when I went one whole week without skinning my knee. 
    The view of the crepe myrtle over the dashboard of my car.
    I paid my younger son ten dollars to pose. Daughter declined.
    Gayla Webb Cute kid. Didn't know you were an Artist also.

    Laura Aulenbacher Very nice Jeanell!!! Multitalented lady, you are!

    Dianne S. Meyer Truly marvelous.

    Tracey Skeen Love it!