Sunday, September 30, 2018

Reporting in from the Boondocks

The new Murphy Brown show got off to a running start--even better than Fiorella expected. She hopes it can keep up the pace, especially since this is the least season for Big Bang Theory. 
What's happened to the Austin American-Statesman? With its new lay-out and abrupt bend to the right, it should be on display with the rest of the tabloids at the H-E-B check-out. Is there any way Fiorella can subscribe to the funnies and the anagrams without being smacked in the face with the rest of the newspaper?
Now that Husband is back home where he belongs, both Fiorella and Sonia Dog are sleeping better at night.
A religious upbringing is not always a good thing. Hate is hate and love is love.
What Fiorella has learned over the past month is that hot water out of the tap is a luxury, and that she actually can get along without it. It's amazing that she could bathe herself with water heated on the stove or in an electic kettle, but washing her hair in the sink was not something she'd like to have to do too often

Saturday, September 29, 2018

And Five More

Please do not let Fiorella get bored. It will make her restless, which makes her dangerous.
Fio loaded three days of blogs earlier this week, thanks to FF's long email outlining how Fiorella had wronged her, because whenever yours truly is pulled into a bad situation, the first thing she says is, "This is interesting," and the next thing she does is grab a pen.
Yesterday was not a good day.  Fio paid $7K for a new heating system, then got hit with an unexpected $4K bill for Husband's rehab stay, then discovered that Starbuacks was out of chocolate chip cookies.
One of the reasons women don't come forward after being assaulted is because, like wounded birds, it makes them vulnerable to other predators.
How can Fiorella move ahead when she can't even catch up?

Friday, September 28, 2018

Jealousy Will Out

Fio had a great time with Kaye Northcott at Threadgill's earlier this week. You remember who Kaye is--the old college friend Fiorella was so excited about tracking down last month. Kaye may also be the person who drove Former Friend over the edge.because apparently FF wasn't as happy about Fiorella locating her old pal as Fio was. As FF complained in her email, "I don't feel as if I am a 'dear friend.' I feel more like a member of your entourage."

It is true that Fiorella has a whole passel of friends, but she values each one of them individually. They are neighbors, relatives, family members, her maid, her yardman, fellow writers, longtime acquaintances, as well as the counter crews at  Dan's Hamburgers, Click Computer Repair, Mazda, Starbucks, her doctor's office, and her dentist's office, plus her Facebook friends.

If that's an entourage, so be it.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


This is a sample of Fiorella's pageviews. The Russians and most of the French have deserted her for now, but the Italians are still in for the ride. And no, Fio has no idea what "Unknown Region" is.

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
Unknown Region
United States
United Kingdom

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Five Take-aways

Okay, people, what's it with all the Mary Pickford curls on fully adult women?
Be in awe of Fiorella. Not only did she bathe standing in a cooking pot, but she washed her hair in the bathroom sink.
Fio will journey out today to find out how the heck to locate her iPhone photographs and copy them onto her Facebook page and blog. She'll also worm her access code out of her bank so she can check on her savings account on line. And she's going to write all the instructions down this time too.
Fiorella is depressed. The political scene is a downer, she seems to be leaking money, and despite her best efforts, the house is an overstuffed mess. Of course, a lot of that overstuffing is due to Fio. Remember, she's done everything she can to keep a copy of eveyrthing she's ever written, composed, drawn, or painted. Not that anyone will care in the future, of course. Recognition only comes to people who are better at marketing themselves than Fio is.
Maybe the relationship between Fiorella and FF, an IT person, was doomed from the start. After all, FF's favorite book was an oldie called Relic, in which the main characters were a museum and a monster, with humans playing sterotypical secondary roles

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Emotional Support

   Fiorella, who likes to understand things, has been mulling over FF's accusation of her not providing enough emotional support. Apparently the charge arises from FF, in a previous meet-up, asking Fio if she is ever afraid. Fio took a second or two to search out context because, of course, there are several layers of fear, then decided the question was in reference to her being alone on the acreage while Husband was in rehab.
   "No," Fio replied. "I've got Sonia Dog and an alarm sysem." But apparently, FF was referring to a deeper fear level and considered Fio's answer to be trite, a way to pass her off.
   Actually, due to an overactive imagination, Fiorella is afraid every second of her life, especially when she is alone, but nevertheless, she forges ahead and even occasionally leads the charge. That's just the way she is. It's not that she faces down her fears, but that she ignores them.

  (Fiorella apologizes to you, her readers, but there will probably be a couple more essays on this weird situation.  It's like working a puzzle.)

Monday, September 24, 2018

More and More Interesting...and Weird

For a person who has cut off a relationship with Fiorella, her FF (former friend) has been quite communicative. Surpised by the original declaration of break-up, Fio replied kindly, neither accepting nor casting blame, and thought that would be the end of it. Then came a long email which listed your faithful correspondent's sins of commission and omission. Things like Fio passing on invitations to attend movies and local festivals with FF,  showing no interest in reading "how to write" books FF recommended, and worst of all, not recognizing that FF was in need of emotional support and providing it.

Of course, Fio has run off the whole email mess in case she needs it for a future story, and if FF contacts her for a third time, Fiorella's only reply will be "Adieu."

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Iddle Bits Here and There

Every parent, Fio thinks, wants his child to surpass him--or maybe that's just Fiorella.
Oops, Fio fell asleep on the couch and dreamed that her ex-friend cornered her on a parking lot and tried to guilt her into acknowledging her disloyal ways and becoming the sort of friend she wanted Fio to be. Fiorella said no and fled the scene. Once burned, twice shy.
The next thing we know, only people wearing a MAGA hat will be allowed to get public assistance.
Fio can move forward only if she doesn't have to continually repeat the past. For instance, she cannot get to the rest of the house if she has to continually clean up other people's messes in the laundry/arts-and-crafts room.
Fiorella has never understood the idea that the more people you can round up to pray for you, the more likely God will pay attention to you.  Is He running a popularity contest?

And Life Goes On

Fio woke up from an unexpected afternoon nap and panicked because the land-line phone she'd grabbed wouldn't turn up the TV volume.
Happiness is having a maid sweet enough that she will even change a ceiling bulb for you.
It's been seven days since Fiorella took a bath, and she's getting a little itchy, but things really have to get desperate before she does the cold-water bit again. Hoping that new heating system gets installed soon.
Fio's finally finished with the 500mg Tylenols, a dosage she hopes she never has to take again because they did weird things to her brain. (Lord only knows how many pills she took when.)
Don't know about you, but Fiorella, who doesn't watch much television, is looking forward to The Big Bang Theory this Monday and Thursday, and at the same time, she's mourning this being the show's last season.Maybe The Murphy Brown Show comeback will fill the void. Otherwise, all Fio will be left with is Colbert, who deserts her at regular and irregular intervals. (Sad-face emoji.)

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Pildoras Bedlam

Si, Fio is still battering away at el espanol:

Fiorella takes catorce pildoras por dia at different momentos asignados. Tambien, ella gives Sonia Dog una pildora por la manana y una pildora por la tarde. Is it any wonder then, that she has messed up occasionado con the timing of the ocho pildoras nuevas que she's been prescribed regarding su problema con sus dientes? Especialmente si usted add in the mouthwash she's supposed to swish por treinta secondos cada manana despues su desayuno y cada tarde despues su cena?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Storm Center

Fiorella is totally fascinated by the book-of-the-month type roll-out of Trump tell-alls this year, not only because each one is more sensational than the last, but also because the publishing business is being fueled to overflowing by the antics of a man who doesn't read. The latest expose, Stormy Daniels' book, has Trump by the--uh--short hairs, and he can't deny she's seen "everything" without fully "revealing" himself on a Twitter post, which would get him banned forever.
As you know, Fiorella's been caught in a downward coil during the past two weeks, but this afternoon has been such a wonderful upturn that she was even able to catch up on her morning exercises--the plies while she counts to ten in Russian, the standing push-ups while she counts to ten in French, the piano practice, which she doesn't count out. She'll start lifting weights again tomorrow if the sunshine stays in her life.
Fio fell asleep mid-afternoon on the couch and, no doubt inspired by the Stormy Daniels paragraph she'd wriitten earlier in the day, woke up thinking about how nice it would be if some filthy rich guy paid her off, say, about $250,000, for keeping her mouth shut about something she didn't know she knew about. Oh, and she'd like the payoff to be under the table so she wouldn't have to pay taxes on it.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Continuing Story of FP

Fiorella's day started well. She knocked some things off her lista amarilla, then drove into Austin and had a great time at Dan's Hamburgers with friend Paula--so great, in fact, that they forgot to buy something to pay their table rent. The traffic of the ride home was a little rough because of a wreck on I-35, but it got cleared soon enough that Fio was able to make a lightning-fast sweep through H-E-B with her lista en mano and zoom back to the house before Fernando arrived. Not only did he mow the yards and take care of the grass growing in the driveway, but he also sawed up the big limbs Fio had retrieved from the dry creek and stacked them.

Then came eventime, when Fio couldn't get onto her savings account on line, then realized she might have messed up the taxes for 2017, and Husband called from his rehab center and asked her to look for his wallet, which he thinks he lost in her car when she took his out on furlough yesterday.

No cute ending for this story. Just prayers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Angry and Frustrated

Fiorella is very angry. It's been almost two weeks of from-bad-to-worse, and yesterday really corked it. First of all, Fio's Auto insurance people called her and told her they'd decided SHE was to blame for the sideswipe because she was trying to turn into a lane that the other car was in. GRRRRRRRRRR!  Then Fio spent a long time on the phone with Sophia, her house insuramce rep, who dragged everything out of yours truly that she could remember about the defunct heating system and the plumber. Then she got a call from the root-canal dentist and learned the cost, which must be paid at the time, is $1000+. GRRRRRRRRR! Then she got a call back from Sophia, who had talked to the plumber and set up when Fiorella would get a new water heater, Then she worked out the price, which looks like about $5000, putting Fio into a grand sulk.

Next came the phone calls from Husband to find stuff for him.

Ito end the day, Fio's still walking around with one of her glasses lens held in place with Scotch tape, and she hasn't had the time to play the piano or walk around outside in some time. Also, the stupid modem is keeps turning itself off, Gmail keeps telling Fio that "something seems to be wrong," and Rehab is kicking Husband out tomorrow. Oh, and Jacquie Lawson couldn't deliver Fiorella's birthday card to an old fried.

Is Elaine Hicks dead now too?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Musing About Family

Fiorella received a sweet card from her cousin Julie the other day, and it touched her heart. "We three sisters wish we lived closer to you," she said, and Fiorella could not help but think of what a joy it would be if she and her cousins lived in the same town and could help each other from time to time-- like now, when Fiorella is overwhelmed with responsibility. She also thought about how wonderful it would be if she and her own children lived closer enough together to help each other. Thus Fio could take Baby two or three time a week, which would reduce childcare costs for Bastrop son and bring her joy.

But tribal living doesn't pay off in the long run. One always has to follow the crops and the jobs. It's called survival.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Off to See the Wizard

THIS IS MONDAY. Fio will let you in on what's happening when she gets home from the dentist and finishes dealing with the insurance people. Pray for her.

Dr. Ma look Fio over and is sending her to Dr. McGuire, a surgical dentist, but in the meantime, she's supposed to swish her mouth with a bottlecapful of medication every morning and evening amd also continue with the penicillin and Tylenol. On the way home, she stopped by Click Computer Repair where Travis magically got her back on Facebook again. Then she picked up a Beto yard sign and added it to her BJ and Katherine Kubatsky signs along the front of the property. At home, she retrieved the mail, took care of the dog, got Husband's car tire inflated, and waited and waited and waited for the insurance people to show up to provide her with an estimate on the heating system. She also lost a battery out of the TV controller, threw Husband's clothes in the wash, temporarily lost the insurance information, left a message for her yardman, hung up on several salespeople, and managed every multiple-task she could. No time for writing, playing the piano, working in the yard, or being human.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Continued, Etcetera

Fiorella is running late today because her modem died last night. That's how it's been all week--one crisis after another, with the elctronics taking a leading role. No sooner had Fio tamped out one fire than another one sparked up. Fiorella still has no hot water and still cannot get back onto Facebook and is still swallowing Tylenol and penicillin every six hours to prepare her for a dental appointment tomorrowbut God bless him, Husband took a furlough from rehab and came home to reestablish the modem, make insurance appointments to take care of the bad tire on his car, and to look over the damage to our heating system, which the plumber told Fio was a complete gut job.

La, what will tomorrow bring?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Short Notes

Click Computer Repair fixed the problem about Fio not being able to reach her email, but now she can't reach Facebook. Guess you can't have it all.
Fio feels awful--two bottom molars are the source of the torture she is now undergoing. The only good thing about the siuation is that she'll be able to visit with her favorite dentist, who teaches her Mandarin as he works.
OOOOH, the meds are beginning to hit!

Friday, September 14, 2018

One Thing on Top of Another

DO NOT EXPECT ANYTHING OUT OF FIO TODAY. She has lost one of her expen$ive orthotics, her computer is running s-l-o-w, she didn't sleep well last night, she has a nasty headache, and she's still dealing with the insurance people after geting sideswiped on Williams Drive on Tuesday as she was trying to get to Starbucks to meet with friends who never showed up. To top it off, the hot water heater has been out for four days, ever since the big storm

P.S. The plumbing guy just left. After searching for almost an hour, he finally found the heating system hidden under the roof in a little box, and it was fried, fried, fried. Yes, the lightening strike did it, but he told Fio we should have gotten the system checked once a year, which we never knew. Cost to replace? He guessed $10,000.

Fiorella is still in shock. Maybe we don't need a heating system in the house after all.

P.P.S!!!!!! After crying a lot, trying to busy herself with cleaning up the bathroom laundryc., Fio decided to come downstairs and watch some 9:00 TV, only to learn that THE TV HADN'T RECEIVED ANY SIGNALS IN MORE THAN AN HOUR. When the plumbing guy took apart the old heating system, he must have ripped up the TV sytem! That was when Fiorella started screaming.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bram and Sabrina

An excerpt from Fiorella's work-in-progress:     

    Bram nodded. “Diego had the portrait made for her Quinceanera, the coming-out party held for Hispanic girls when they turn fifteen.”  His throat tightened. “You’ve probably heard the story. Soleded and her father came down the escalator at DFW at the same time that a couple of terrorists started shooting at nothing in particular. Marco and I were waiting for them. They didn’t have a chance, and he saw it all.”
   “How old was he?”
   “Two. The pediatrician said he remembers what happened but doesn’t know he remembers it. The memory is supposed to dim as he gets older, but for right now, I have to make sure he has access to me at all times. He’s had a flip phone programmed with the land line and my office since he was five.”
   Sabrina looked into the melted-chocolate eyes of the pretty girl with the dark hair and shy smile.
   “I’m so sorry.” 
   It was all she could say. Soledad and her father didn’t deserve to die, Bram didn’t deserve to lose his wife, and Marco didn’t deserve to lose his mother.
   She laid her hand on Bram’s arm to give him comfort.
   Their eyes met, and she shimmered with awareness. What had started as a gesture of sympathy was rapidly becoming something more, but Bram had to make the next move.
   And he did.
   Gently cupping her face in his hands, he brushed her lips with a soft kiss, a sweet kiss, then a long, thorough kiss that made her head swim.
    A kiss that promised more to come.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Smell, Starbucks, Hot Water, Auto Accident, Immigrant Children

Excuse Fio's odeur, but storm knocked out her hot water four days ago, and she hasn't gotten around to calling on the neighbors for help. Too many other things going on, and nobody's held their nose when she eneters the room yet.
Speaking of "other things," Fiorella's baby car got winged in an auto accident Tuesday morning while she was on her way to Starbucks to meet up with some longtime friends. The damage was minor, but it wasn't a great way to begin the day, and, to make it worse, neither one of her friends showed up.
Is your faithful correspondent obsessed with the immigrant children being locked up in prisons? Yes--of course she is. Fiorella is, first of all, a mother.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Politics, Weather, and Death

Nothing daunted by the fact that she lives in a strongly conservative bastian, Fio will be hammering a sign into the ground tomorrow morning that ballyhoos a liberal candidate running for the State legislature. May Jane Hegar identifies herself as a veteran Navy pilot who loves her country (the usual stuff), but she also seems to have a pretty good grasp of what's going on in the country and what should be going on. Texas is in political turmoil now--for once--so we'll see what happens.
Central Texas, which was a veritable Sahara three weeks ago, is now a swamp. Fiorella has TOADSTOOLS growing in flowerbeds that were parched for water in August. (She'd post a photo of the elfin newcomers, but still can't quite get the hang of transferring a photo to FB or her blog.)
Harvest time seems to be just around the corner. Sharon Kite died in December, Corny Spinks died in January, and Karen Haverlah died just this week. Fio can only hope all three of her friends meet up in heaven and have a rockin' good time together.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Third Time Charm

Fiorella had an interesting experience recently--she was formally dropped as a friend. Frankly, it came as a surprise because while she and FF (former friend) had had their differences, Fio had no idea that FF considered her unsupportive, insensitive, and narcisisstic.

But Fio should have been expecting it--FF had tried to break up the friendship twice before, once, last year when Fiorella canceled for their weekly meeting because Son and family were coming to visit, and another time when FF thought Fiorella was disrespecting her viepoint regarding a book they were working on together. (Fiorella had immediately retreated, giving FF her notes and her blessing. Surprise--FF couldn't move ahead on her own.)

The break-up came last weekend. Apparently, FF had been building up a coke pile of resentment for quite a while, and when Fiorella canceled yet another meet-up because of yet another visit by her son, FF exploded and sent Fio a Dear John email.

In retrospect, since FF had earlier floated the idea that Fio was "afraid to move outside her comfort zone," and that Fio's style of writing wouldn't satisfy "modern" readers, Fiorella should have realized that FF was building up to some kind of psychotic break, but, whatever, third time is the charm, and while Fiorella will be polite to FF if they ever cross paths again, she will not put herself in the line of fire.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Wonder That Is Around Us

Hey, isn't it about time for Stormy Daniels to pop up again?
Please don't be mean to Fio or she will have no choice but to cast you as a villain in one of her books and, ultimately, kill you off.
I glance around the den, and my mother's voice lectures me from the grave about how messy it is. Obviously, she didn't write.
I didn't know my mother was a young woman when I was a child until, as an adult, I saw a photo of her with me in her lap.
It's nice to have great gobs of hair
Because then there'll be some hair to spare
When I get old and start to shed
To warm my head when I am dead

Saturday, September 8, 2018


Fiorella woke up early this morning, like 4:30 a.m. early, but, not being one who wants to waste time, she worked on some of her projects, made breakfast, took care of the dog, and, when the time came, read the newspaper. Then she closed her eyes for a restful nap.

And had a nightmare.

She was all alone in a place she didn't recognize, and all of a sudden, although the leash was still in her hand, her dog was gone. Everything was confusing, like she was in a foreign country, and she knew worse was to come. But just when things really got thretaening, she woke up. A second later, her daughter called to check up on her, as daughters do when they feel responsible for their mothers' welfare.

Fio is convinced that Daughter's timely phone call saved her from whatever horror awaited her in her dream.

Thank you, God.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Fashion Notes

I've gotten bolder
As I've grown older
But unlike before
And do not care
What I wear

Nice sentiment, but not quite true. It's just that Fiorella is perfectly capable of putting together cute outfits from what she has left of the decades-long accumulation she calls her wardrobe and she's not about to waste her money on new stuff. Besides, at Fio's age, personality is paramount, and she still has plenty of that.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Trumpian Revelation

Fiorella and her friend talked over the fence last night about everything that's been going on in the neighborhood. Then Friend noticed Fio's ubiquitous DUMP TRUMP button and asked her if she hated Trump. Fiorella, taken aback, carefully expalined that she had been brought up to never use the word "hate," that she didn't hate Trump or anyone else, but that she was certainly opposed to him and his presidency.

Neighbor didn't seem too wild about Trump either, but she said she doesn't see an out because "Hillary is so sneaky and currupt."

Fio started to say something about Hillary being out of the picture now and that she'd been exonerated time after time after time, but settled for a mention of Robert Woodward's book, but Friend obviously didn't understand what Fio was talking about. Fio took the hint and dragged the convesartion back to neighborhood doings.

But as she walked back up the hill to home, she finally understood something that had escaped her heretofore--Trump's base, like Trump, doesn't read.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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    Yep, that's me, your own Fiorella. So proud of rocking a limb off a dead tree down in the dry creek and, over three days, pulling it up through the cedar thicket (which grabbed at everything) to the top of the driveway. I'm collecting firewood for winter, reducing the chance of a forest fire, and exercising, all at the same time.
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    The families shd be compensated for having their children stolen from them, and Trump shd have to pay out of his own funds😠
    Judith Hamff Murphy Personally,
    I doubt that his funds are as extensive as he says they are.
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    Wayne Dawson If there was ever a case tailor made for the World Court, this is it.
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