Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Daily Report

Fiorella spent most of the morning in her lawyer's office putting together her will. Then she spent most of the afternoon at home, putting together the information he needed to finish things up--the names, addresses, etc., of her kids, etc. Then she drove back into town to and driving down to deliver the information to his paralegal and pay her $900 bill. Now, she is taking a break before she starts searching for her flight information, which she knows she had last night....
After a couple of hours of sorting through piles of papers and cooking up an early supper for Sonia and herself (salmon, of course), Fio finally found her boarding instructions. PANIC--reading the back of the page, Fiorella discovered that she is supposed to check in on, which she's not sure she can do, or use the Southwest Mobile App, which, of course, Fiorella doesn't have. Also, she is supposed to use her mobile device and receive a mobile boarding pass. WILL YOUR TECHNOLOGICALLY-CHALLENGED FIO BE LEFT STANDING ON THE TARMAC? Stay tuned.
The day had been hot as blazes so, in the evening, Fiorella turned on the sprinkler system, then filled a big watering can to give succor to her drooping caladiums in urns next to the porch. The cicadas, of course, were in full bloom, chattering so loudly that she couldn't hear herself think. How can an insect that she can't even see be so noisy?
Yay! Today is Blood and Treasure, that throwback TV show that takes two gorgeous people and puts them through adventure after adventure. Lots of villains, lots of people getting killed (no blood, of course), lots of suggestive scenes between the hero and heroine, who keep rejecting the fact that they are made for each other. Just what Fiorella needs for a good night's sleep.
If Blood and Treasure is pre-empted, there's always Colbert. His monologues make Fiorella laugh, which is a wonderful aphrodesiac. If Colbert is on vacation or it's a weekend, Fio watches zoo specials, which are equally soothing. How did people ever get off to a good night's sleep before TV?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Birthday Aftermath, Politics

The maternal cousin didn't get contacted yesterday because so many other things were going on. Fio received birthday greetings from far and near, and she loved it, but now she has to tend to her immediate responsibilities and prepare for the trip to Nashville. The first thing on her list is to visit her lawyer to prepare a will in case her plane doesn't make it to Tennessee. Warning: the appointment may not turn out well. Fio has a feeling he's going to try to complicate her case rather than simplify it, in which case, she'll walk out.
Can't figure out if Pence is as cold-blooded as he appears to be or if it's just botox. Fio can forgive the latter, which she's indulged in herself, but not the former, which she is not.
Glad to hear that the much bally-hooed ICE raids petered out. Wondering if they were nothing but a publicity stunt to take headlines off of The Children. If so, they back-fired. Good people all over the nation banded together to protect immigrants and provide sanctuary.  Hmm...when good people band together for one cause, they tend to stay together for other causes. Wondering if we'll end up with a knock-down, drag-out war between lovers and haters.
Hey, have you noticed how strident Trump has gotten lately? Fiorella thinks he's nervous about the upcoming sexual assault charges because it looks like a lot of big names with big bank accounts are going down. Fio has a theory about pedophiles--that men of a certain personality type who've broken all the societal rules in climbing to the tops of their greasy ladders, get a kick out of breaking the moral rules too.
If Corporal Bone Spurs were half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd keep his mouth shut because every time he opens it, idiocies fall out. Comedians have never had it so good.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Happiness Lives Here


And it's been a happy day indeed so far. Fio had good dreams last night--that she had written a murder mystery and a book from Doggie's point of view, and has sent them off to publishers. And, on awakening and reaching under the couch for her computer, she read a nice birthday message from a banker she had talked to about ways to reduce the interest on her mortgage. And, looking out the window as she lies abed, computer balanced on her stomach, she sees that it looks like a nice day.
What are you planning to do today, Fiorells? Normal things, like register Baby Car with the county, water the yard, and pay bills, and some extras like taking flowers to her favorite guy at Mazda to celebrate his engagement. And, now that it looks like she'll have some spare time, she'll be able to work on some of her projects, like pulling all her short stories together into one packet. Hmm...maybe she could also start writing a murder mystery or a book from Sonia's point of view.
When it rains happiness, it pours--friend Paula just called Fiorella with birthday wishes, which warmed Fio's heart. Paula and Fio met when they were teaching at UT, and they've been fast friends ever since. 🧑🧑🧑
Fiorella is so brimming over with happiness that she wants to spread it around and is considering calling Ohio to catch up on her only remaining cousin on her mother's side.
And just maybe Fio's happiness will extend across the nation and across the world. That's the way Fiorella hopes everyone can live--on a cushion of hope, happiness, and love πŸ˜™

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Nostalgia, Birthday, Big Mouth

MORNING: Fiorella spent an hour or so searching through the past couple of years of her blogs to find the one she had written listing her past addresses, but it seems to have disappeared from sight--or, at least, HER sight. If you spot it, please let Fio know what date she posted it on so she can take her children on a  nostalgic trip to to see each one of the places in which she and Husband lived.
 Hey, hey! Fio's birthday has been moved back to mid-August, after the construction on I-35 is complete, so she can drive into Austin on a weekend without getting caught in bad traffic. Two southbound lanes are being closed down while fly-overs are being manipulated into place, and that means traffic will be backed up for miles.
Daughter is concerned that Fiorella's outspokenness will get her in trouble, which it may at some point, but, on the other hand, Fio doesn't drink, smoke, use drugs, lie, or steal. Instead, she tries to make the world a better place and be a good mother, aunt, neighbor, and citizen. you think she should go out and buy herself a gun?
NOON: Fio was feeling down so she loaded Sonia Dog in the Queen Mary and they drove into town for (1) two of Starbucks' chocolate chip cookies (for Fiorella) and (2) a baguette from Panera (to be shared). On the way back home, Fio stopped in to talk to friends Mike and Diana, who live up the street, and by the time she got home, her world was running as it should be again.
EVENING: Your girl is at peace now. she's boxed about thirty plastic pill bottles to send to Matthew 25 Ministries, which passes them on to underdeveloped countries.  It's good to know there are still good people in the world. If you're interested, their address is Matthew 25 Ministries, 11060 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45242. If you need further information, call 513-793-6256 or consult the organization's website at M25M. ORG.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Happiness Reigns Supreme

Fiorella is very happy because friend Richard, who takes care of Fiorella's Miata like it was his own baby car, has found a lovely girl who appreciates him and they are getting married in September. Fio's also happy because because Dr. George, her local physician, suggested a good way for Fiorella to manage her multiple pills while she's at her upcoming reunion. Another thing that made your girl happy was dropping by Click Computer Repair and handing over three bags of nuts for guys in the back room to chomp on. Finally receiving a bill from Pedernales Electric Coop also made Fiorella happy-- even though it was in the form of a past-due notice. She is also happy about the way her Facebook friends backed her up in her run-in with the president to the neighborhood's HOA. (And, as always, she derives happines from Sonia Dog's unquestioning love and loyalty.)
On the other hand, the HOA prez's snippiness still irritates her, and she's spent far too much time while she was driving from place to place in the 100-degree heat thinking of stinging replies to huis note. Let it go, Fio. You have too many other fish to fry.
Changing the subject, Fiorella has to start thinking of what to what to wear on her trip to the family reunion. Slacks, of course, and maybe shorts, depending on the weather. A lot of pink and white--and her brand new white Keds.
Fiorella still hasn't heard a word of follow-up from the County Commissioners, even though her scathing letter about the way she was lied to and her land was savaged got published as written in the local newspaper. What sort of pressure will it take to get those wood chips moved to her yard and the logs split for firewood? (Interestingly enough, Fiorella tried to get the HOA board to distribute copies of the letter to everyone in the neighborhood, but they declined. Wonder why? 🀣
Oh, another reason Fio is happy is that when she called her credit card company and asked them to cash in all her travel points, she learned her take-home would pay her air fare to the reunion. 😁

Friday, July 12, 2019

Hello, Depression, Once Again

Fiorella doesn't like being angry all the time, but it's better to be angry then depressed, which Fio is now. She's even thinking about talking to some kind of grief counselor--not about grief, actually, but about what might be called survivor burn-out. She has yet to make a new will, finish probate, and figure out her 2018 taxes. And then there's still the house to clean up and clean out.  When will her life ever be her own again?
Fio will admit that she's also a little lonely. Her neighbors and friends have been great, but they have their own lives to live and she doesn't want to be a nuisance. Part of the problem, of course, is that she lives thirty-five miles away from her old friends and several acres away from her new ones.
Fio's upcoming family reunion has also put pressure on her. She wants to get the new will written  before she heads off to the family reunion because she's nervous about flying.
She's also worrying about Sonia Dog, who's never been in a kennel before. Will Doggie think she's been abandoned? What if the attendants don't like her or, because she barks a lot, think she is vicious? Will they understand she's a sweetie who needs to love and be loved?
As Fio was writing this blog, a friend called and told her she'd been discussed at the HOA board meeting. The lyrics of "What can we do about Maria" ran through Fio's head, of course, but then she got mad again, always her best defense. Obviously, these guys don't have enough to do.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Anger, HOA, Villain, President, Friend

Fiorella is angry. Why does she have to be the one who races around trying to save the world, who has to tackle the house, funeral homes, insurers, investment firms, lawyers, county commissioners, taxes, and whatever else comes down the line when all she wants to do is get her own stuff together and learn languages, paint pictures, write songs, poems, and sleazy romances? Is it any wonder she wants to go out into the back yard and scream?
And now Fio is angry about the prissy note she received from the president of her HOA lecturing her about her driving. She is not the world's best driver, but she's usually one of the most conscientious ones, although a couple of times lately, she's had to put the pedal to the metal to seek out emergency help. (Fio should add that she and her neighbors live on acreage and there are never children in the road.)
Fiorella can't let go of that note. Did Prez ever think about talking around to find out if Fiorella was having some problems the HOA could help with? Did he know her husband died in January, and she's been rowing the boat herself ever since? Did he know that the County had screwed her over? Did he know she writes books and often takes characters from real life? HELLO, NEXT VILLAIN!
More on Prez. This is the guy who wants our wilderness HOA to supervise lawn mowing, fencing, decorative "aesthetics," etc. Thankfully, the membership rejected his power play. Hey, should Fiorella send him back a note informing him that she is actually DR. PLUM, rather than the "MRS. PLUM" he addressed his note to?
Friend Paula, who couldn't meet with Fio in Austin today, called Fio earlier in the morning and they had a nice chat, which Fiorella appreciated because she is quite isolated out here in the boondocks. 🧑Thirty-seven years of friendship count for a lot.🧑

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Secrets You've Probably Already Figured Out

Make Fiorella the general, and she'll run you a good show, but she's a total loser as a foot soldier. Translation: she doesn't like to waste time and can become quite obnoxious if she's forced into boring situations
There must be a streak of some strange undiagnosed condition in Fio's genes because when she decides to do something, it gets done, come hell or high water. Hmm...she'll have to check that out with her cousins at the family reunion. (Of course, some people just call her stubborn.)
As you can tell from this blog, Fiorella is constantly observing and analyzing herself. She does the same to everyone she encounters too. For some reason, it's imperative that she understand how each person ticks.
Fiorella isn't much for revenge. It's a useless and a waste of time when what she wants to do is move on and move onward.
 Fiorella will defend children to the death. They are the most important beings on the face of the earth.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


How is it that the tallest girl in the fifth grade now has to sit on a cushion to see over the steering wheel of her car?
Fiorella has no pride, but she does have principles. Hand her a sign and she will wave it. Here I march! I can do no other!
Fio enjoys meeting with friends individually or in small groups, but she cannot deal with a large group unless she's running it. Blame it on her childhood, when she was an only child for almost four years.
Of course, police shoot at the blink of an eye. For their own safety, that's the way they've been trained. And then there are the cops who never should have been allowed to wear a badge--but who can tell until they shoot someone?  What's the answer? GUN CONTROL as in Australia, Britain, Canada.
When Mother was Fiorella's current age, age, she busied herself with needlework, gardening, and reading the Rabbi Brown mysteries. Fiorella writes steamy novels, organizes marches, and tosses rocks around.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Onward, Ever Onward!

     Fiorella hung her head in shame when she reread some of her postings from last Christmas, but reviewing them in the cold light of day, she forgives herself. She was sick, her husband was dying, and holidays were stressful. (PS: Fio being Fio, she also made corrections. Better late than never.)
     Looking back over her posts, which are a virtual diary, Fiorella realized that Husband had not been diagnosed with lupus of the lungs until December 30, four days before he died. Up till then, all Fio heard about was pneumonia. Not going to knock the "medical community" for not coming up with the correct diagnosis earlier--apparently lupus is hard to spot.
     So glad that Fiorella recorded the high spots, low spots, and in-between spots at the time, because now, everything is a blur. She'd even forgotten that after Husband died, she'd bought a lonely, left-over Christmas doll at H-E-B. Elspeth sits on a chest in the den now, waiting for when Granddaughter gets to the doll stage.
     But the past is the past and the future is the future so Fiorella must march forward for her children,  herself, and the world. Onward, ever onward!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

From Apology to History Lessons

Fiorella apologizes. She went through her 2018 blog entries and was appalled at the messy writing, especially toward the end of the year. Yes, she was under a lot of pressure at the time (did she have a sub-conscious precognition regarding Husband?), but she should have at least proofread herself.
British friend Suzy was kind enough to reschedule with Fio, who forgot to call her on Friday, and they had a good visit over the phone yesterday morning, talking about their pets and their families and their lives, and laughing and laughing and laughing. Yes, there is a balm in Giliad, and it is laughter with a friend. Fiorella has been very fortunate when it comes to friends.
Someone is popping off left-over firecrackers nearby, and Sonia Dog is concerned. Fiorella is too. There's been a lot of rain lately, but there are enough dead trees around here that it would be easy to start a wildfire.
Pray for Fio. Now that the financial stuff has been cleared of the dining room table, she asked her accountant to send over information about what she should pull together regarding last year's taxes. Fiorella also needs to get a new will drawn up. Yup, it's death-and-taxes time.
Fio got a good laugh out of Trump's lack of knowledge about our country's history, but it's also very sad. Where did he get his education? What school let him down? Fiorella cannot imagine any junior high and/or high school that wouldn't teach Civics and American history.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Overwhelmed Yet Again

Wahoo!  Thank-you to everyone for your suggestions and references, but Fio has settled on a kennel for Sonia--and there wasn't any of that nonsense about testing Doggie to be be sure she was "appropriate." Countryside Pet Resort is on the outskirts of Georgetown and seems more dog-oriented than Zoot, which is all business. And--surprise--when Fiorella drove into the parking area, a wave of comfort run through her. She wasn't sure when she and Husband had boarded dogs at Countryside, but she knew she'd been there before.
Did you get confused by Fio yesterday morning? That's because she herself was confused. Fiorella often writes for the next day and will sometimes forget to erase her notes, which was why you saw a complaint about not being able to get hold of the veterinary offices, etc.. Yes, Fiorella had forgotten it was July 4th. After all, the most important day to HER in July is the 15th. πŸŽ‚
Damn! Not only did Fiorella miss out on a visit with friend Paula on Wednesday, but she screwed up and forgot to call friend-across-the-ocean Suzy on Friday. Instead, she was de-cluttering the house, running around trying to find Sonia Dog a good kennel, and picking up groceries.  And the whole time, she was also thinking she'd better contact her accountant to get instructions for paying last year's taxes and whom to talk to about setting up her will. That's what constant worry does to you--you can't keep your head on straight.

And the worst of it all is that Fio NEEDS the outlet of talking to her friends!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Neighors, Messages, Accomplishments, Suzy, Friends

Fiorella had a wonderful, wonderful visit with neighbors Michael and Kathy yesterday evening. It was Fourth of July barbecue, of course, and the food was great. But most important of all, Fio got to interact with Michael's family, who were all not only nice, but interesting. She only hopes she didn't scare them off by leaping into every conversation.πŸ’“
But it's back in the saddle again this morning. Fio left messages with three dog kennels yesterday and hopes to hear from them today. She also left a message from the probate lawyer in Colorado. Is Fiorella pushy? YES!
Congratulate your faithful correspondent. She finally figured out how to print Fiorella Plum 2018. With that accomplishment under her belt, maybe now she'll start working on the Greenbrier, the country-western song that's going to make her rich and famous.😁
Hooray! Today's the day Fio gets to catch up with friend Suzy across the sea. They hit it off when they were teaching at a community college in Texas and kept up the relationship when Suzy and her family moved back to England. It's surprising how many of their family situations echo each other.
Actually, come to think of it, many of Fiorella's long-time friends come from what is called "the teaching community." The rest of them come from "the writing community." Translation: we're all weirdos.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Rough Road for Fiorella

Well, as you might have predicted from the way Fio's life has been going lately, Wednesday didn't work out as planned.  She woke up after a bad dream convinced her that she, a meticulous bill payer, hadn't taken care of the taxes on the ranch, and she couldn't call Colorado to find out yea or nay for an hour and a half because of the time differences, which gave her far too much time to brood. (Yes, she had paid the taxes. Whew! )
Fiorella was planning to drive into Austin for a nice, soothing visit with Friend Paula, but she couldn't find her good glasses, although she ran all around the house searching for them, which meant that Sonia was running around the house behind her. Los lentes were never found, but Fio did find another land-line phone that wasn't working.
When your faithful correspondent tried to go out of the kitchen into the garage, Sonia Dog did something she had never done before: despite being told to "Take care of the house," the code used to signal that she was staying home, Doggie slipped out the door into the garage, trotted around to "her" door of the Mercedes and waited for it to be opened. Have you ever tried to force a 130 pound Mastiff back into the house?
Fio was exhausted and behind schedule by the time she pulled out of the driveway, but six miles down the road, she realized the car needed gas before she hit the highway, so she pulled into a Shell and filled the tank, then looked at her watch, turned around, and drove home. There was no way she could get to Austin  in twenty minutes. As soon as Fiorella got home, she called Paula and cancelled. Fio was pretty much a bag of nerves by then, but Paula calmed her down with a nice telephone chat.
Oh, and by the way, an on-site observer has told Fiorella that there were probably FOUR oaks that were cut down by the County Commissioner's flunkies--maybe FIVE--along with several elms. GRRRRRRRRRR!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Written Tuesday Night for Wednesday Morning

Fiorella was very flattered by Jaycee and her husband dropping by so she and Fiorella could talk about romance writing, one of yours truly's favorite topics. Fio hopes the get-together helped Jaycee as much as it energized Fio. Now if things would just stop happening....
The big item on Fio's list tomorrow, aside from her trip to Austin to visit with friend Paula, is to start researching kennels for Sonia Dog to stay in while Mommy is at a family reunion later this month. Zoot is obviously out of the question. Not only does it not want Sonia, but she doesn't want it either. Also, Fiorella thinks someone tightened Doggie's collar while she was on a trial visit, and Fio's nimble fingers can't loosen it.
Ah, tonight Blood and Treasure is on TV. Fio tries to watch it every week, but has missed several episodes, which sort of messes up the story line. Oh well, maybe she'll catch it in reruns. And, after all, she still has Colbert--if she doesn't fall asleep before he comes on.
But Fiorella, you say, you've made a number of nasty cracks about the HGTV shows so you must be watching them too.  Not really, Fio replies. I just turn the house shows on in the evening because they're deadly dull, and Sonia and I like background noise before we go to bed.
Confession: Fiorella also uses My 600-lb Life for background noise--and to remind herself that she really doesn't need that extra Dove bar.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Fiorella's had her adventure for the week, although really, it was a horror story. She woke up perky, to arrange for the installation of Husband's grave marker, to search out an appropriate kennel for Sonia Dog while Mommy is in Tennessee, and, as usual, to take care of financial odds and ends.

Then she discovered that the land-line wasn't working. Then she realized she didn't know how to use her cell phone for anything but taking pictures of cows. Then she realized that, with no means of communication, she couldn't get her land line fixed or get instructions on how to use her cell phone.

First things first, she drove over to Pflugerville and promptly got lost in the rolling hills of gravesites. Getting angrier by the minute, she was just about to crash the barriers when she spotted a man on a grounds-keeping vehicle across the way. Whipping down the cemetery road, she honked until he stopped. Whaddaya know, it was Ernest, the same guy who had helped her make funeral arrangements back in January. He recognized Fio too, of course. (She tends to make an impact.)

Ernest led her to the office area, where she waited for a l-o-n-g time before he returned with the bad news: there was a problem installing the marker because it was too big. Forgetting that she didn't know how to use her cellphone as a phone, Fio immediately reached for her it to call Elder Son, but couldn't find it in her purse.

Nothing to do but to drive home, which Fiorella did at such a high speed that she missed her first turn onto Hwy 29 and had to backtrack. Once in the house, she found her cell phone (in her purse (of course) and tried to figure out how to call her kids, then remembered that cell phones don't work well in The Dip so she got into Baby Car again and drove to the top of the driveway, where she still couldn't get get a connection.

Furious, she sped up the street  and down the next street, searching for someone who understood technology. Eureaka!  Spotting a young couple outside on the road, she stopped and told them her tale of woe. They were wonderful, helping her with the cell phone and making sure she got her calls through to Daughter and Elder Son. A couple of other people stopped by and asked if they could help, which warmed Fio's heart.

Fiorella would like to say that all's well that end's well, but she's not sure everything has ended yet. She still has a land line to get fixed, a grave marker to be installed, a dog whom she has to find a kennel for, and, as always, those financial odds and ends. 

Monday, July 1, 2019


This is the letter Fiorella sent off to the Williamson County Commissioners...and the local newspaper

To: Williamson County Commissioners
      Terry Cook
      Cynthia Long
      Valerie Covey
      Russ Boles

I am very angry.

I cooperated with a project that I thought would benefit my Lost River neighborhood--the raising of a low-water bridge over the dry creek which is on my property--signing the legal papers in the office of Kon Q. Kwan, Supervising Engineer, two months prior to the planned construction. He assured me that none of my oaks would be cut down or damaged and the only trees that would have to be removed were two large cedars.

The destruction crew started work on Tuesday, June 4. I was about to stroll down to the site when my son and his wife, who had gone out for breakfast, rushed into the house and told me a big oak tree had been cut down and another was in process. Several cedars had also been cut down, far exceeding the two I had been told two months earlier it would be necessary to remove.

In an instant, I was out the door, up the driveway, and down to the site, where I called an immediate halt to the work. The crew captain contacted management, then apologized and told me that he had been given the wrong instructions, that there had been no need to cut down my oaks or clear so much land.

Realizing there was no way any of the landscape could be glued back together again, I tried to make the best of the situation by insisting that all my felled trees be cut for firewood and delivered to my door, along with the growing haystack of wood chips.

Later in the day, Mr. Kwan, accompanied by George Mayfield, Supervisor Inspector, visited me at home and apologized profusely, even offering to plant two new oaks (as if saplings could compensate for hundred-year-old trees), but I held my ground that no more trees be cut down, that I receive the wood chips, and that the remains of my felled trees be cut into firewood and delivered to my door.

It's been more than three weeks, and I have received most of the wood but none of the chips. Also, the logs that were delivered, although neatly stacked, have not been split into firewood.

Surely, Williamson County, which has broken its word, savaged my land, and cut down my trees, can at least load the wood chips into a truck and get those logs split and delivered to me.

Sunday, June 30, 2019


Fiorella. does not understand why, in her "golden years," she is having to put up with so much utter crap. (Translation: I'm a human being, dammit, not a digit!)
Fio has revised her letter of complaint to the County Commissioners, who, let's face it, will probably totally disregard it.  Her ace in the hole is that she's going to deliver a copy to the local newspaper, where her name is known.
There's a mosquito kiss on Fiorella's forehead. Apparently, she is irresistible, even when she's sprayed with repellent from head to toe.
Fio's going crazy trying to decide what to do with Sonia Dog while she is attending her family reunion. Her first choice was the local upscale veterinarian's kennel, but it looks like they can't handle a dog of her size and temperament. Friend Marion has suggested another kennel which Fio will look at, but she's also going to talk to a business that would stop by the house twice a day to take care of doggie's needs.
Brace yourself for another barrage of Fio's poems and short stories. Her calendar actually has a few blank spaces on it so she's gearing up to write and revise. Of course, she'll also be working in the yard and clearing things out of the house, preparing for an eventual sale. And now, if you'll excuse her, she's going to look up her home value in Redfin again.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Nightmares, Oklahoma, Politics, Grave, Revision

For two days now, Fiorella has been having some horrible half-dreams at night and whenever she falls asleep during the day, which is more often now that the bad dreams wake her up at night. It's stress over writing the letter to the County Commissioners about her trees being chopped down, the problems with finding a kennel for Sonia Dog while Mommy is at the family reunion, and the dining room still being half-covered with things Fio has to do.
Fio now understands why her late father-in-law was a proponent of integration. He grew up in a small town in Oklahoma which was half-and-half Anglo and Osage, and there was no segregation. White and brown lived side by side, went to the same schools, and married each other. Fiorella still has a few items from the local trading post if you're interested.
Hey, hey, Dmocrats, let's not make this an internal contest, but one against Trump, and Fios's betting a lot of people who voted for the Humpster last time won't do the same this time around.
 Husband's grave marker has arrived, and Fiorella will have to drive into Austin this morning to pay for getting it seated. Cook-Walden is making it as difficult as it can for her because she bought a marker online for about $2000 less than theirs.
 Ho-hum, what else will happen today? Like Fio's writing, her life is in constant revision.

Friday, June 28, 2019

From Assiduousness to Daring Do

Mother was an assiduous housekeeper. To this day, Fio remembers how shocked she was when yours truly suggested that the family keep a Kleenex box in the car like the nice lady who gave Fio rides to swim class did. Better Homes and Gardens would NOT approve!
For a while there, every time Fiorella opened her mailbox, another insurance payout would be awaiting her, but no more. WAAAAH-----Fio wants a new mailbox!
Fio's having problems with boarding Sonia Dog while she's is attending her family reunion next month. Doggie doesn't react well to being in a corridor with other dogs, especially if they're barking like maniacs so Fio may end up leaving her in the locked back yard with a water drip and a dog food dispenser .
Fiorella had a wonderful visit with old friend Amy at the local library yesterday. Nothing like exchanging stories about mutual enemies.
Yep, your Fiorella is the type who steps over red lines just to see what happens. Why not?

Thursday, June 27, 2019

From Frustration to Devastation

Fiorella is so tired of being frustrated--by the County, by Austin Heartless, by the settlement of Husband's estate still hanging over her, by the TV pulling a fast one on her, by not having a chance to have at last year's taxes, by not having the time to work on her own writing, by not being able to stop the horrible things that are happening to The Children. You name it.....
Unfortunately, the way Fio handles her frustration is by consuming large amounts of chocolate, which irritate her GERD, which means she can't sleep well and will spend half of the next day napping on the couch--which frustrates her even further.
Another irritation--Fiorella and Sonia Dog toured the area the stupid County massacred and discovered there is a pretty fair amount of lumber the work crew has yet to deliver to her, and it's not just the heavy stumps. GRRRRRRRRRRR!
 Meanwhile, the border situation grows worse and worse, especially for the children. Will they ever get out of jail? If so, will they ever be able to find their way in the world after the horror of being incarcerated in their formative years? And, let's face it--how many will never get out because their little bodies have been secretly buried or cremated?
Fo took an early evening stroll down to the massacre yesterday to take photos of the felled wood that is still on site--probably three or four loads worth--and, standing beside a half-slaughtered elm, was appalled once again about how much unnecessary destruction had been wrought on the land, the beautiful, beautiful land. 😒

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Blood, Eggs, Oaks, Travel, Revision

Fiorella's yelling and screaming seems to have done some good because Austin Heart called with the welcome news that she could take a pill-form med that would "equalize" her thinner on ts own so she wouldn't have to have her blood tested monthly.
Don't tell anyone, but Fio's going to scramble herself up some eggs today, despite the fact that, as a GERD-ite, she's supposed to avoid greasy food. But what the heck, she'll be the one who can't sleep tonight, not them. (Another secret: she's been playing around with the idea of signing up for a colonoscopy etc., as soon as Husband's estate is settled, last year's taxes have been paid, and she can breathe free again.)
Congratulate Fiorella. She finished off that letter to the County Commissioners last night and emailed it to Elder son, who was a witness,  to look at before she sends it around to all and sundry, DO NOT EVER SCREW OVER A WRITER!
The hotel room has been reserved and the flight booked for Fio's trip to the family reunion next month. Elder son and his wife  made the arrangements, God bless them. because, as you know, yours truly is no good at technology. She's still duking it out with AT&T, which wants her to go paperless.
Fiorella did another revision of "Middle Child" and will probably do several more, so stay tuned. And yes, this is how a writer works. As Fio used to tell her students, there is no such things as "writing." It's all revision, revision, revision.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Prayer, Food, FB, AH, Review

When do I pray?
Every day
And all the time,
And often in rhyme
Fio had Shredded Wheat for breakfast yesterday, a Moonpie (okay, two of them) for lunch on the run, and an apple for supper. She'd like to tell you she was dieting in her own weird way, but it was actually a matter of too much to do, too little time.
The highlight of Fiorella's day was an extended Messenger chat with two women she went to high school with. They weren't in any of her classes back then, but they're on the same page with Fio right now--at least when it comes to politics. DUMP TRUMP!
Fio had unsettling dreams last night, probably stemming from yesterday's ordeal regarding her coumadin dosage (sh has a metal aortic valve) which previously was religiously monitored by a series of nurses. Well, ol' Fio messed up her regimen and sped over to Austin Heart in a panic to get herself set straight, but because AH had replaced all its coumadin nurses with those mouse-like self-evaluators, she was sent to the local lab to have her blood drawn, which resulted in a spurt of ruby-red blood and a long bruise across the inside bend of her elbow. But this is the kicker--wait, wait--the results won't be back for a week! A WEEK! What is Fio supposed to do? Suspend all medication till then? Self-evaluate and gulp it down as seems reasonable? (Expect a follow-up on this story--if Fio isn't in a hospital on life support.)
Hope yesterday's short story read okay. Fiorella was writing and revising during a thunderous rainstorm that kept cutting off the lights. She'll check on it again today.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Middle Daughter

Middle Daughter   

 Even though I taught English Lit and did a little writing on the side, I couldn't make head or tails of Rosalie's poetry.
     We had met through our jobs as part-time teaching slaves at the local community college. Rosalie had been hired for her Master's degree, her prize-winning book of poetry, and because she was willing to teach for $1500 per course per semester. I had been hired for my Doctorate, my friendship with the provost's wife, and a similar financial desperation. We were non-itinerant gypsy scholars. the intellectual cannon fodder of the times, victims and perpetuators of the American myth that education would provide success in life and security in old age.
     Rosalie was over sixty while I was more than a decade younger, but our lives stretched over a wider time frame because she had produced her three girls early on while my two boys, late in coming, were the age of her grandchildren. Rosalie told me that she had come to town the previous semester to be the salvation of her alcoholic middle daughter, Monica, who, nevertheless, had turned her out of the house within a week. "She was drinking more than ever, just to spite me," Rosalie confided.
     I bought one of her books, of course--it seemed the right thing to do--and, after a while, I began to understand Rosalie's poetry, partially because I was sympathetic to her and partially because by then, I had learned enough about her life that I understood  most of the obscure references. I knew that Rosalie's cold, judgmental parents had brought her up to be rich and privileged and that her late husband, a stock broker who invested heavily in Jack Daniels. had deprived her of both possibilities. I also knew that Rosalie had two other daughters and that Susan, the eldest, "the perfect one" who had taken over the role of her mother's confident /companion long before her father's death, now kept herself and her family distant from her mother, while Valerie, the youngest, was constantly hitting her up for money.
     In prose, Rosalie's complaints were not at all obscure. "Monica had been drinking when she picked me to go to the doctor yesterday morning," she reported when we met up at the college cafeteria. "And when she took me back to my apartment, she just zoomed off. That's the way she is when she takes me to the grocery store too--just zooms off, not waiting to see that I get in the door safely!"
     Her voice softened. "Valerie called me again last night. She's the artist, you know--the sensitive one who had an abortion when she was nineteen."
     Remembering the poem, I nodded.
     "She said she needs to rest and get her head on straight, and she wants me to send her air fare so she can come live with me for a while."
      I looked across the table  and wondered what, if anything, I should say. I was sympathetic because of all the tragedies in Rosalie's life and because we were both in the same employment boat, but I felt uncomfortable counseling someone old enough to be my mother.
     "You're not going to send her the money, are you?" I asked cautiously. The "baby," I figured was now at least thirty-five and should be standing on her own feet by now.
     Rosalie looked away, smiled pleadingly, then glanced down at her salad. "I don't know. She needs me."
     "Sometimes what people really need is to handle things for themselves. Think of all the times you've loaned her money. Has she ever paid any of it back?"
     Rosalie couldn't meet my eyes. "She's never been able to hold a job long enough to build up savings."
     Over dessert, my heart pounding in my throat, I handed Rosalie a collection of my own tightly-woven sonnets for her to look at "when she had a chance." I hoped she would rave about them, tell me how to get a publisher, maybe even volunteer to send my darlings off to her own publisher with a recommendation, but she just stuffed the pages in her overflowing satchel and asked me to hand out circulars advertising her upcoming poetry reading.
     As usual, I dropped Rosalie off at her apartment before heading home, and, mindful of her complaints about Monica, waited at the curb as she unlocked her door.
     Rosalie's reading was held mid-morning of the following week in a setting that was a poem in itself--a small, octagonal room at the very top of the oldest building on campus, its unscreened windows open to the the cloudless blue sky.  I counted the house, of course--twenty three attendees in all, mostly  fellow part-time instructors there to back up one of their own. Not bad for poetry, I thought, hoping my plastering of the campus with her circulars had helped.
      Rosalie stood on the dias at the bottom of the room, dressed for the part in a white peasant blouse joined to an ankle-length multi-print skirt by a bright green woven sash. Her wispy gray hair was almost neat, and, for once, there were no  discernible traces lipstick on the edges of her upper teeth.
    She opened her book to a marked page and began reading in an odd sort of stage rhythm with an unexpected upbeat on the end of each line. Afterwards, she explained each poem in relation to her own life or her parents' lives, or Susan's or Valerie's.
      Suddenly I realized that Rosalie had never shown me a poem about Monica.
     Afterwards, the audience mingled and partook of wine and cheese. I introduced myself as a friend of Rosalie's to the angry-looking woman commandeering the refreshments.
     "I'm Monica, her middle daughter," she responded through gritted teeth. "I have a wonderful husband, two great kids, and a very successful catering business. I'm also the one who arranged for the reading and set up the refreshments." Even across the table, she reeked of alcohol.
     Rosalie blew town a month later, never having said a word about my sonnets. Nothing I could do but drive over to the liquor store and pick up a bottle of Black Cap vodka.


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Depression, Neighbor, Fireworks, Deportation, Time Warp

Fio's been sort of down lately. It's like every time she's turned around, there's another battle she has to fight. Well, she finally won out over Ameritrade and has settled her finances so now she's going to go after the Georgetown County Commissioners, the ones who chopped down her oaks. Yes, she's gathered together all her notes and has started to compose the letter.
As Fiorella and Sonia Dog were on their way home from a trip to Panera, Fiorella spotted her neighbor-to-the-north out in her yard and pulled over to the side to talk to her, THANK YOU, GOD! It turned out that talking to someone was exactly what Fio needed to get her out of her doldrums. It's hard living in total isolation. Sonia dog is sweet, but not much of a conversationalist.
By the way, that BUY ONE GET FIVE FREE fireworks stand, the one down the road from Fiorella that she immortalized  in one of her romances, is now AMERICAN FIREWORKS--although every item in it was made in China.
Soooo--now Trump has postponed his planned deportation of thousands of undocumented immigrants for two weeks. Fio hopes that gives all of them time to put up barricades or make escape plans. Remember, the Pilgrims weren't documented either.
This is so weird, but Fio woke up yesterday morning thinking it was Saturday until she picked up her newspaper, which included the colored funnies and was dated SUNDAY. It really shook her because she remembered watching Colbert the previous night, which meant she must have lost a whole day. When she mentioned the situation to her neighbors-to-the-south, they, who apparently don't take the paper, assured her she was right in the first place. It was Sunday.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Head Above Water?

First comes the shock of the death, then comes dealing with the funeral arrangements, then comes the realization that your two-person home has become a one-person home and eventually will be a home with a FOR SALE sign in the yard. Next, one has to deal with pensions, social security, insurance policies, and investments. And just when you think you have everything under control, you realize that you, who have always signed the checks, are holding off making far-reaching  and uninformed financial decisions because you're afraid you'll make a mistake. No wonder they say it takes a year to get everything in order.
On the other hand, Fiorella has already plowed through all of the above and survived, so maybe it will be smooth sailing from now on.
Fio's started talking to people about making the house more attractive to potential buyers--like mending the fence on the north side of the property and building a flagstone patio on the west side of the house. She also wants to straighten out the back-yard fence and enlarge it. Of course, there are some areas inside the house that need attention too, but all in good time. Fiorella isn't even looking at the upstairs yet.
Somewhere along the line, Fio wants to organize her poems, short stories, Christmas cards, etc., while, at the same time, finishing her works in progress and somehow getting her unpublished books out in the marketplace. Where is a magic genie when you need one?
 Today is Husband's birthday, which may be the reason Fiorella has hauled out all the widow stuff again.  πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”

Friday, June 21, 2019

Magic Beans, Undercover, Jack-in-a-Box

Fourteen pills I take each day
Blue and white, pink and gray,
Fourteen pills on which I rely
To keep me healthy, fit, and spry
I am a mermaid, but no one knows
I hide my scales in calicos
I hide my tail 'neath long, loose clothes--
I am a mermaid, bit no one knows
     A ship comes near 
     And sees me here
A crash, a wail, a conch shell blows
Twice 'round she sails, and down she goes--
I am a mermaid, but no one knows
Here's how to suffocate a clown:
First, you push its head way down,
Deep, deep into the box
Until the mechanism locks

Then you tuck the box away
Where you wish for it to stay,
For Jacks are troublesome at best,
Embarrassing when there are guests

When all that I have said is done,
Hold your tongue, and tell no one--
Tell not a soul what you're about
For he might let that damn Jack out

And that is how to handle the latter
A Fiorelle in the box is a different matter


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Keeping Up with Fio, Sonia Dog, I-35, Mosquitoes, and Chocolate

Fiorella is rapidly burning through the five tubes of Neosporin she bought to combat her mosquito bites. Yep--she's a bug-bait kinda gal: thirty-one active bites at present. Actually, they only bother her when she is trying to go to sleep. Sometimes it gets so bad that she has to resort to wallowing around in a hot bathtub, which, for some reason. quells the little points of fire long enough for her to fall asleep.
Did Fio ever tell you that Sonia Dog buries bones in the couch--with her nose?
Yesterday was a hum-dinger. Fio packed up and drove into Austin for a double header, friend Evelyn at 10:00, Brother and friend Paula at 11:30, but it was a miracle she arrived there in one piece and pretty much on time. There were at least three major slow-downs on I-35--two trucks that had been pulled over to the side by the time Fio passed them, then a caravan of bi-sected pre-constructed houses.  Fiorella never thought she'd say this, but maybe I-35 needs to have four or five lanes on each side.
Fio should add that, between the mosquito bites the night before and the 80 mph drive to Austin, she was exhausted by the time she got back to Georgetown. Nevertheless, she stopped in at H-E-B to pick up groceries, then asked, for the very first time, for package help. Somehow, she got home and somehow she unloaded the groceries, even refrigerating what needed to be refrigerated. Then she sat down on the couch for a second.. and totally konked out.
After she woke up--two hours later--she headed for the refrigerator, grabbed the tub of chocolate fudge cake frosting and ate half of it on the spot. NOTE TO SELF: Fio, you cannot make a habit of this!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Powerful Pen

My name is Fiorella and I live in The Dip
I'm tough as nails and I shoot from the hip
So don't chainsaw down my trees without my say
Or I can guarantee you there'll be bloody hell to pay
Fiorella can yell a lot, and she can fight
But deadliest of all,  S H E  C A N  W R I T E ! 

And write is what she plans to do. The County is building a new bridge across the road alongside her property, as you know, and the contractor was not only incorrectly informed about how much clearing needed to be done, but was told to take down two mature oaks, even though the Georgetown County lawyer had signed a document for Fio saying no oaks would removed. Fio, of course, threw a fit, and the County has been trying to appease her ever since--but has also violated every promise it has made, even though Fio had written guarantees. The latest sin is that no provision has been made for the wood delivered to her to be cut into firewood, and you can bet that Fio will be sending off a hot letter to the County today--and maybe to the newspaper too.

Interestingly enough, now that Fio has a tale of her own about the Georgetown County Commissioners, she's been hearing other people's stories. Maybe it's time for a turnover in  local government Ah--Fio hasn't been in on a good political fight in years!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Reveal

Ever wonder what Fio looked like in her heyday? This is the picture on her driver's license way back when.

Monday, June 17, 2019

King of the Road

         The pick-up roared up behind them on the country road and honked several times in rapid succession, but instead of moving over to let it pass, Burke tapped his brakes, slamming his wife against the pull of her seat belt.
       She reached for the grab bar to steady herself, but kept her tone even. "You've been doing that a lot lately, Burke, and it scares me. I'm afraid we'll get rammed." 
       Her husband's face hardened and he slowed his pace to a vengeful crawl. "Tapping your brakes is a common courtesy of the road," he announced. "It's a polite way of letting a driver know he's tail-gating." 
       Suddenly the driver veered to the other side of the road, cut back in front of Burke, and tapped his own brakes.
       "Damn asshole!" Burke rolled down his window and extended his middle finger.  
        The pickup driver climbed down from his truck and strode back toward them.

       Burke froze for a second, then gunned his engine and swerved around the pickup, leaving the driver waving his fist in the dust.
       "Maybe I'd better start packin'," Burke said, glancing in the rear view mirror as he turned onto the highway and pushed the car up to eighty.  "That guy had a bad case of road rage."



Sunday, June 16, 2019

Betrayed, Technology, Calves, Gavel, Doggie

BREAKING NEWS: While attending a neighbor's birthday party yesterday afternoon, Fiorella learned that the contractor who felled her oaks had given the birthday boy a good part of the lumber--and this was after Fio had said she wanted ALL of it. Stay tuned for Fio's report after bearding the contractor when he arrives for work this morning.
According to a news report, a Target store was hit by an outage and the customers had to spend a couple of house waiting in lines for check-out. Fio's hoping it was limited to the self-checkout lines. Down with technology!
Has Fio told you that there are now SIX calves in the herd down the road? Fio will miss this aspect of rural living the when she moves back to Austin.
A friend is urging Fiorella to join a local political organization, but she demurs. She's learned from times past that she doesn't fit into large groups--defined as any get-together of  more than three people. (Unless, or course, she's holding a gavel.)
Fio's paternal relatives are holding a family reunion in July, and she's planning to show up. That means she'll have to make plans to board Sonia Dog for four days, which, given Doggie's size and daily food consumption, will probably cost the same as her plane ticket and hotel bill combined.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Josh, Walks, Rocks, Heart, Rising

There are so many good people in the world--like Bastrop son's friend Josh, who will be visiting Fio on Monday to help her with her financial plans. She knows what she wants to do, but doesn't know how to do it.
Meanwhile, Fiorella and Sonia Dog are enjoying daily walks in the east woods, although doggie's balance is much better than Fio's--four legs are a definite advantage when journeying on uncertain terrain.  Not that Fio has taken any falls lately--she's a past master at grabbing onto cedar branches.
It's rock-gathering season, but Fiorella hasn't set herself up a pile yet. No problema--there should be a good accumulation left over when the low-water bridge finishes up, and your Fio will be ready and waiting with the trunk of her baby car wide open.
Fio drove over to her heart doctor's office for a half-year check up the other day and got through it with flying colors. It's a wonder what a pace-maker and an artificial aortic valve will do for a girl whose maternal grandmothers died early from heart diseases.
After staying up half the night to grade papers and prepare classes for her UT students way back when, Fio would drive her kids to preschool in the morning, pick them up in the afternoon, then drowse on the couch while the children played. Years later, they told her that when she fell asleep, they thought she had died. (Wonder what they thought when she arose.)

Friday, June 14, 2019

Stages of Life

Why should I grow old and gray,
The twilight at the close of day,
The rose, full-blown, that falls away
To dew-damped grass, to there decay,
Rather than the early morn
When the sun the sun is being  born--
Stay, O stay, eternal spring,
And let me dance 'round the fairies' ring
There's no safe port in a thunderstorm
No sheltered cove my craft can gain
No mother's arms to keep me warm
And hide me from the pelting rain

No tranquil bay to moor the night,
No overgrowth of reed and cane,
No lover's arms to hold me tight
To keep me from the throbbing pain

No hope of respite from the sky
No harbor for my tiny boat
No one to heed my desperate cry
And keep my sinking bark afloat
I don't drink beer
I don't drink wine
But ply me with chocolate
And I am thine

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Computer, Nourishment, Eyesight, Analysis, Doctor

Ho-hum. the Mac will have to go into Click Computer Repair. It's been corrupted by some sort of bug that Fiorella can't get rid of, even with Command-Option-Escape.
Fio decided it was a total waste of gas to drive eight miles into town to buy a Moonpie, so she bought two of them.
Thank you, Mother, for teaching your daughter how to sew. Now if Fio can just thread the dang needle!
Daughter seems to be somewhat appalled by the coldness of the short-short Fio posted yesterday, but  Fio writes her short-shorts with the coldly analytic side of her nature. Strangely enough, she does the same thing when she is drawing nudes. Naked models are not people to her, but challenging lines and poses.
Wish Fiorella well. She goes in to see her heart doctor today, and he'll probably scold her about rejecting the home finger-pricking set up. Too bad. Fio is a doctor, not a nurse.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


       Once upon a time, there was a skinny young man who hated his boss for chastising him, so on a dark night when his employer was working late, the young man decided to burglarize his house. As he was stuffing a pillowcase full of heavy silver, the boss's fat wife, whom the skinny young man hated because she had been kind to him, came down the stairs. Dropping the pillowcase with a clatter, he rushed the woman, held a knife to her throat, and forced her into a nearby bedroom for punishment. She was twice his size, but because he was a man and had a knife, she was at his mercy.
       "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!" he chanted as he pulled her legs apart, held down her arms, and attacked her ruthlessly.
       "I love you, I love you, I love you," she whispered as her great, motherly womb accepted his masculine rage, then, in rhythm with his every stroke, absorbed him into herself until he was no more.
       Afterwards, the woman lay still for a few minutes, then lurched out of bed and walked down the hall, emptied the silver out of  the pillowcase, and put it all back back in its proper place again.

This short-short may seem familiar to you because it's a revision of a piece Fiorella wrote several years ago. She hopes she's improved it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

From Occupation to Meditation

You ask what Fiorella does--
She writes--on paper, cloth, paper towels, napkins, canvas, wood, wallboard, cardboard, Kleenexes, toilet paper, sidewalks, walls, and whatever else is available.  Her implements are pens, pencils, crayons, oils, acrylics, water colors, chalk, charcoal, lipsticks, oils, acrylics, and her own fingertips. And what does she produce? Poems, short stories, books, booklets, articles, newsletters, essays, charts, songs, plays, letters, lists,  instructional pamphlets, sketches, illustrations, paintings, advertisements, blogs, posts, plays, signs, and whatever else takes her fancy.
Long ago, when Fio worked full-time in the Sears credit department and attended college part-time (having to miss out on two of her five classes twice a week), there were three of us who used to stick together--Virginia Tschatschula, Anne Chapman, and yours truly.  Anne died early from cancer and Virginia departed this mortal coil four years ago, which leaves one to go--but not without a fight.
 I must tidy up my garden
And plant new flower beds
I must water all the roses
And trim the privet hedge

I must cover up the marks of
Intruders in the night
I must rake the footprints smooth in
My garden of delight

I must bury all my old dreams
And hide them from my view
When I clear the harm of trespass
Then I can plant anew

(Obviously, this poem has nothing whatever to do with gardening)

Monday, June 10, 2019

From Pharmacy to Poetry

What's going on with Walgreens Pharmacy, which seems to have lapsed into dissarary since the old crew was retired? You've already heard Fiorella's reports on the under-staffing and lack of accommodations for the handicapped, but now she's now she's heard about a communication problems with customers.She herself has had a prescription problem that she's throwing into her doctor's lap to handle, but a friend of her's is having a hard time being added to her husband's account. She was told that it would take a week,but instead of adding her to theaccount,Walgreen's announced it had updated the family's street address (where they've lived for thirty-four years). You'd think Walgreens, would welcome a new addition to the account-- the family pays its bills and has a good credit rating--so what's the problem?
If you want to know how to avoid being caught in a mass shooting, jot down Fio's every word. First, avoid all public gatherings--graduations, rallies, music performances,sporting events. and the like Second, never go shopping, even for food. Third, stay away from all places of worship. Four, don't attend any reunions or family get-togethers. Five, build yourself a hut on a mountain top and stay there for the rest of your life. Or work your tail off to get gun control!
Fio spent yesterday afternoon going through all her old poems that she could find, although there are probably plenty more floating around the universe and a fair number, mostly political, locked away in the archives of Facebook--not that anyone cares. Poetry, especially that which is rhythmed and rhymed, is passe nowadays.
Speaking of poetry, here's Fiorella's latest of-the-top-of-her-head  rhyme regarding you-know-who:
      Faker, faker, call the baker
      Roll him up in butcher paper
      Light the oven, close the door
      Cook him twice and then some more
One of Fio's few blank verse poems, written many, many years ago:
      Dreams are like bubbles
      That floats ever upward
      Until they burst
      And as they shatter
      My heart shatters too

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Five Plus One

Thanks to your prayers, Fiorella's missing libreta has shown up again. Where did she find it, you ask--well, uh, er, ahem,  under a wad of papers in the passenger seat of the Miata.
When Fio is richie, rich, rich, she will buy herself a computer slave so she never has to deal with those stupid machines again.
Nazi Germany
     They looked the other way
     And went about their day
     Because it was not they
     Being hauled away
People come in an array of hues--black, yellow, brown, and white, red and blue. Let us embrace each other and be glad of it.
Just when Fio thought she was finished with her post-death duties for the day and had settled down into working on her own writing for the first time in months, the phone rang. It was a call from an on-line company called Evine that Husband had an account with.  Apparently he'd bought an Invicta watch from them so now, for some unknown reason,Fio has to send out yet another death certificate. f
How wonderful--but exhausting. Fiorella spent at least an hour trying to trace down all her short stories on her Mac and only found five of them (but she knows there are more somewhere in the machine.) Along the way, she discovered a forgotten cache of poetry, which she promptly downloaded. You've probably figured it out--Fio is thinking about publishing everything herself. That way, it will be out there in the universe, whether anyone reads it or not.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Just a One-Hour Trip....

Fiorella went out for an hour to do a few errands and ended up out for three hours, with the hot sun beating down on her the whole time. The trip plan had been so simple--first, she'd stop at Fed-Ex Kinko's for the all-knowing guys there to take a picture of the picture she had taken of her driver's license, which had to be enclosed in her letter to TDAmeritrade for her to able able to claim the proceeds of the sale of Husband's stocks.  Second, she would drop by Click Computer Repair for the wonder-wizards behind the counter to un-freeze her stupid Mac, which had decided to play coy with her mid-morning.

Just two simple trips. Except that she spent far too long in Fed-Ex because Joe had a holy-hell time getting the photo retaken and printed--apparently, drivers' licenses are not made with photo shoots in mind. Finally back in her car, Fio bolstered herself for another snafu as she drove over to Clicks--where everything went surprisingly well. Maybe the rest of her jaunt would go okay, Fio thought as she head toward H-E-B to mail the envelope containing her precious carefully-worded letter and athe portrait of her driver's license. Then she realized the flap of the envelope wasn't holding. No prob--she was on her way to H-E-B anyway, so she might as well go into the store and pick up a roll of Scotch tape to seal the flap shut. And while she was there, she could get the New Dawn she'd forgotten about buying yesterday, and, to hit the magic "3" mark, maybe a bag of Pinwheels.

After paying for her bounty, Fiorella, wearing out by then, staggered outside into a high 90s' temperature, slumped into her car, and drove off, totally forgetting she had planned to drop The Envelope in the H-E-B post box. Nothing to do but circle around a couple of blocks to the main post office and make use of the drive-thru. Mission accomplished, Fio headed home. But the vegetation on the sides of the road didn't look familiar. Eek! She'd turned onto Leander Road  instead of Hwy 29. Nothing to do but keep driving until she could find a driveway, turn around, and return I-35 again. Four Pinwheels were missing in action by the time Fio got home, and she had GERD symptoms half the night.
Pray for Fiorella. She has misplaced--or lost--her libreta amarillla, the tablet she depends on to keep up with her commitments and self-assignments. She's put together una lista nueva from waste basket shreds, but there are bound to be items she's missed. πŸ˜”
This is weird. Fio keeps having the feeling that Husband is sitting in the recliner beside her, but when she turns to discuss something with him, he's left the room.πŸ’–

Friday, June 7, 2019

Five Gripes

It's like Fiorella keeps trying to push foreward and everything around her is pushing back, like the red page that has flared up on her Mac screen which she can't get rid of because she doesn't know Apple's version of control-alt-delete.
And like getting yet another email fom stupid Ameritrade saying she hadn't filled out out the information form to transfer ownership of Husband's stocks to her when she'd already done it TWICE. After a tense conversation with two of A's trouble-shooters, she was told all was well, the stocks had sold, and they would mail her the check as soon as she sent them a  specifically-worded letter and a photo of her driver's license. Fio dutifully took a picture of her license with her cell phone, then realized she had no idea how to print it out. And Son and his wife were on the road home.
 Also, Fio's left upper arm is swollen a little from the shingles shot she had a week ago. The literature said that might happen, but this is the first time yours truly has ever had a reaction from a shot.
Fio hopes the message she posted last night in her continuing crusade again Trump's imprisonment of The Children will move her readers as much as it does her: Why do I write about The Children every day? Because I'm remembering The Children who were gassed and burned at Auschwitz.
Pray for Fiorella. She's discovered that the drive-in grocery where she fills up her gas tanks carries Moonpies, and if you don't know what they are and are trying to lose weight, don't ask.