Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Rounding Everything up

Happy almost 2020. Fiorella's 2019 has been tumultuous, to say the least, so she's hoping for a better year, starting tomorrow. Today, she's going to try to switch yet another of Husband's small investments into into her name.
One more carry-over--donations to The Caring Place. Friend Ann Bell, another widow, cautioned Fiorella about the $400/yr IRS limit so, on January 2, your Fio will be first in line with the many boxes and bags that have accumulated since she hit the magic number.
A crash of tinkling glass sounded from the front room as Fio and Sonia Dog were enjoying their respective breakfasts so after the kitchen clean-up, Fiorella grabbed the broom and dust pan and headed to the front of the house to discover that a framed picture, one of a set Bastrop son's godmother had given her, had fallen off the wall above the piano.
     Why? Was this a message to Fio that she'd better up her pace to vacate the house? Or a hello from Husband, whom she had driven to the Emergency Center for one last time on this date last year? Or even a nee-hau-ma from Son's godmother, a scholar in Chinese who had died of cancer several years earlier?
     Whatever, Fiorella cleaned up the glass and paced the picture in the nearest chair. After she's gotten dressed and shod, she'll go up a ladder and take the fallen picture's mate down, then box them for when Son and his family have a house of their own.
Fiorella is amazed at the size of her three-car garage, now that Minnesota son has cleaned out so much of it. It's BIG, about the size of the rental house Fio and Husband lived in quite comfortably for two years before they started moving up in the world--front room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms, even a front porch.
The cardinal is defending his territory again by attacking the dining room window. You'd think that after--what? fifteen years?--he'd have caught on that he's battling his own reflection, but men are like that. Wonder if whoever buys the house will get as much of a kick out of the redbird's dedication as Fio and Husband did.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Life Changes

The calendar is getting nearer and nearer to January 2, the date of Husband's death, and Fiorella is not sure how she will handle it. By then, of course, she'll already be under the stress of having to cover the dining table with pages full of income tax information for 2019, so don't be surprised if she just torches the house and heads for the hills.
Fio is so embarrassed. She's been saying that her granddaughter is three years old, but actually, she's just two. It was an easy mistake to make: Grandbaby is brilliant beyond her years.
Elder son and his wife are visiting for a while for Christmas and to help Fiorella empty out the house so she can put it up for sale, and although great gains have been made regarding the garage, the rest of the place has a long way to go. Your girl made another sweep-through of Husband's office, and it's hard to throw things out that were dear to a person you loved.
When Grandbaby visited Fiorella yesterday she ran out into el parke under the afternoon sun filtering through the oaks and elms, just like Fio has always dreamed a grandchild of hers would do. To make it even more heartwarming, Baby picked up two nice pieces of flint and three small acorns and presented them to Fiorella, along with seven dandilions. That thumping you hear is Fio's heart's response.
Remember the six iron firewood circles that Fiorella has been storing her winter fuel in? Well, she's going to try to sell them now. They're in great condition, but really need to be in a more showy location than the other side of a rural driveway Any takers?

Sunday, December 29, 2019

From Fireworks to Nervous Music

Buy-One-Get-Five-Free, our local itinerant fireworks shack, has unshuttered its windows and retitled itself AMERICAN FIREWORKS again, which is ridiculous because everyone knows fireworks are made in China, not  the US. Lying and deceit seem to be the style of the day.
Elder son and his wife kindly gathered several pounds of books and drove them down the road to Round Rock where the nearest Half-Price Books resides, then waited an hour and a half and only got thirty dollars for the lot, which they promptly handed over to Fio when they got back to the house. Fiorella lauds both their kindness and their fortitude.
Did Fio tell you that while she and she and Daughter-in-Law were walking the perimeter of the acreage, they encountered a deer that had tangled its foot in a fence it was trying to jump and was hanging by her ankle? D-in-L went back to the house to get her husband's help, but when they were finally able to free the deer, all she could do was scoot along the ground--which she did very quickly. Nothing to do but call 911 and report the situation. A while later, we heard two shots.
Fiorella needs to start in on her VOTER REGISTRAR badges again. Sadly, this batch will be her last. She's willing to do the labor, but can't afford another $300 investment, especially if all she can get from a huge library of books is just $30.
Fio had a bad night, despite moving from couch to bed and back again. Too much to do, so little time. And then there was a TV and the nerve-wracking background music.

Saturday, December 28, 2019


Do not your ears
Hear their cries?
Do not their tears
Scorch your eyes?
Children are born for us to love
Each and every one
For we all come from the same blood
And live under the same sun
When Hitler ran out of detention camps
He ordered The Children gassed
Then roasted them in his red-hot ovens--
Will the future return to the past?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Contemplations on Mortality

Fiorella made a list and counted it twice to find out who was naughty and who was nice, and she discovered she'd received only twenty-eight Christmas cards this year.
     When Fio was a child, she remembers watching her mother sitting at the desk for days, signing cards and addressing envelopes, with hand-written letters often included. But the times, they are a-changing, and your Fio is probably the last of the Christmas card dinosaurs.
     Of course, a major reason Fiorella likes sending out cards is that she gets a kick out of designing them. She also likes including her own poetry, and this year's sonnet was one of the best ever--if anyone takes the time to read it.
Elder Son and his wife are doing a great job clearing things out of the house in order to get it ready to sell, which Fio really appreciates as she stands there admiringly on the sidelines. Husband was not just a reader, but a collector, and the house has lifted itself up at least a foot now that his books are on their way to Half Price. Fio had hoped she could get some $$$ out of them, but Son consulted several markets, and old books are a dime a dozen now. What IS selling are the yard and garden tools--about $100 so far.
All of this makes Fio wonder about what will happen to her own treasures, her art, musical compositions, and writing. All her blogs, of course, have gone on line, but will that be the end of them? What about her books and booklets? And her poetry ? And her short stories? And her art? And her musical compositions? Will they all end up in a dustbin like most of the books Husband used to read?


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Winter Dawn, Second Time Around

One more Christmas sonnet, this one from 2010, and it moves me still.

The naked trees define themselves anew
as separate from the slowly lightening sky
and dark clouds fade to gray and then to blue
while one lone brilliant star remains on high.
The sky turns bright, yet deathly cold and chill
but in the winter forest far below
a single branch moves slightly, then is still
as morning's warming blush begins to glow.
Suddenly, through the band of winter trees,
a spark, a glint of gold, a burning fire
reflects its yellow in the oaks' live leaves,
escapes the wood's confines, and rises higher.
     The sun has risen--welcome joyous morn,
     For night is dead, and Christmas Day is born

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Tidbits

As usual, the whole local family came together for Christmas dinner today, and Fiorella thinks it was the best gathering ever, especially since Daughter ramrodded the kitchen crew and everyone joined in to clean up afterwards, even returning the goblets and china to their proper shelves with not a single casualty.
After a month of dedicating herself to Christmas arrangements, Fio was having a hard time adjusting herself to "mission accomplished," but after a long afternoon nap. she woke up with a new agenda. Well, really, it's her old agenda, but with more immediacy: preparing the house for sale, writing, and fighting the good fight.
Thanks especially to hijo minor, who, as requested, gave Fiorella un calendario de espanol. Fio was just about to panic. And, by the way, if you're hearing dischords in the air anytime soon, it's Fiorella playing with the roll-out-on-the-floor piano that her hijo mayor gave her.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

2019 Christmas Sonnet

                       SUDDENLY, the silence of the star-strewn night
                       Was broken by a newborn baby's cry
                       And choirs of joyful angels took to flight
                       To spread the word to shepherds camped nearby.
                       Then out of the East, three royal wise men came
                       To worship the baby born in a cattle shed
                       To a  family without wealth and famous name,
                       Who laid the babe to sleep in a manger bed,
                       But cared for him as every child should be--
                       Protected and valued, well instructed, and well fed,
                       Not locked away in a prison of misery
                       By decrees devised by the vile and bigoted--
                            For  God loves every child on earth the same
                            No matter its heritage, color, or family name

Monday, December 23, 2019

Holiday Prologue

Currently, Fiorella is wearing, from top to bottom, her usual gold-hoop earrings; a long-sleeved open shirt in red, blue purple, orange, and beige plaid; reddish-orange slacks; purple socks; blue Keds with white ties. Yep, she likes to stand out in a crowd.
Thank you, God, that Fiorella's donella came over yesterday and not only cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, but helped with Fio's Christmas decorations. Your girl has toned her holiday extravaganza down this year for obvious reasons, but there is still the overloaded dining table to clear.
Somewhere along the line, Fio has to run by Target to find a gift for her granddaughter--a cute dress, if she can find one. Her offspring will get checks and/or heirlooms. It's simpler that way.
Hoping it doesn't rain today because the inside wood pile needs replenishing. Fiorella meant to take care of the situation yesterday, but life intervened. Remember, she's set up a three-stack system in which she moves firewood to her covered front porch to dry out, then brings it inside the and piles it in the vestibule to warm it up, then moves it to the shelf beside the fireplace so it's handy.
Hmm.... Fiorella's Christmas card should have arrived in everyone's mail box by now, and she's curious about  the reaction it will get. Not worried, just curious. Fio wrote the truth and won't take back a word of it.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Dreamer

Here's one of Fiorella's favorites from times past. Can you tell that Fiorella was the top student in her Lutheran catechism class?

I dreamed of wonders last night as I slept--
Of peace and joy and heavenly harmony,
Of God's great love and of His promise kept,
 Of His fulfillment of the prophecy.
Within my heart, I dreamed an angel sang
To tell me of the Long-Awaited One,
Emanuel, the Christ, true God and Man,
The Savior, Jesus, God's own self and son.
Dreamer, spoke the angel in the night,
Accept him of your righteous piety,
Protect him of your heart and strength and might,
And love him of your sweet humanity--
     Shun not Mary, Joseph, but reconcile
     And wed the virgin, mother of God's child.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Counting Down to Christmas

Fiorella has nothing on her mind right now but Christmas preparations, although she's having to do a little bill-paying on the side. And yes, since you asked, she's finally mailed all but a few of her Christmas cards and should be able to finish off the others today--a few strays she needs complete addresses for.
The fireplace has been quite cooperative this year so Fio's been lugging in nice, dry split logs by the cartful to feed its thirst. Hoping it isn't wet tomorrow again because the inside stacks are almost all used up. How did the pioneers do it?
Thank goodness friend Fernando came over and helped Fiorella with the swaths of tinsel she hangs on the trees on el camino y la entrada each year because she didn't have the time or the energy to do it alone. How fortunate it was that a couple of years ago, Husband spotted Fernando mowing the yard of the house across the street, even though the family had moved out a month previously. Obviously, he had been hired to keep everything nice while the house was up for sale and was living up to his end of the bargain. A nice man to know.
Speaking of the house across the street, an old, dilapidated pick up truck covered in tarp had been sitting in its front yard for about a week, but, because of her own helter-skelter, Fio was only slightly curious about it. But when she drove out onto the street yesterday afternoon, she got the answer to the question she'd never asked--someone had outlined it with twinkling lights, apparently as a Christmas decoration. To each his own.
Fiorella will post her new new sonnet on Christmas Eve, but don't be surprised if she runs a couple more sonnets from Christmases past in the meantime. She's feeling nostalgic this year.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Savage Sonnet

Thought that you would like to see my  2016 Christmas card again. The first four lines referred to Trump, of course. The last two lines are, I hope, our future as a nation.

HE COULD have come at the head of a howling horde,
a mob of wrathful demons recruited to scour
the earth and ravage it with fire and sword
in a full-court press  to prove his might and power.
HE COULD have loosed the rivers, burned the sky,
melted mountains, destroyed the face of the moon,
have swept the planet clean, to purify
it for a New Creation, coming soon.
INSTEAD, he came as a child, a helpless babe
born in a stranger's stable on a death-cold night
with neither shield nor buckler nor armored plate
to defend himself in the battle he was to fight
    and win, as darkness always yields to light,
    as God prevails, and WRONG MUST YIELD TO RIGHT

Thursday, December 19, 2019

From Nostalgia to Nurse Marie to Firewood

Fiorella is exhausted. She spent most of the day in Austin visiting with college friend Kaye, teaching friend, Paula, and writing friend Evelyn, in reverse order, and then dropped by Lamme's Candies for chocolate to heal the knee-wound of another one of her Ohio cousins. As if that wasn't enough, she stopped at Office Depot on the way home to see if they had a machine that would fold her Christmas cards--WHICH THEY DID. The folded cards will be ready this morning. 
     Fio's grad-school friend, Nicole Domingue, died about ten years ago, and her choir-singing friend, Sharon Kite, died two years ago. May they always live in Fiorella's memory.
Friend Marie, a Registered Nurse, visited Fiorella yesterday evening to check out her blood thinner with the finger-prick apparatus, but the machine didn't work, even with three tries, so today, Fio will call Austin Heartless to ask them to send somebody out to fix the thing..
     On the positive side, Marie brought her seven-year-old daughter with her, and Maya had a great time playing with Sonia Dog, Fiorella was especially touched that, when Sonya tired of playing and lay down to rest, Maya lay down beside Doggie and stroked her back.
Needless to say, your favorite pyromaniac turned off the central heat as soon as she got home from her nostalgic tour of Austin and started a fire in the fireplace with all the newspapers she'd been saving for a week, At bedtime, she let the fire wear itself out so that she and Sonia could sleep in the after-glow.
     If you're wondering about the new wood Fio got out of the County when they broke their word about what trees they would cut down, it's too green to burn this year so Fiorella is using her old wood, la lena that was either felled or dragged in from the forest last year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Christmas Cards and Chocolate

Fiorella put the of Carnation's Famous Fudge on the kitchen island, but that's as far as she got. Another busy day, first tending to the house--she has two major swags up--then taking off to Austin to get her somewhat shaggy hair given a once-over by the miraculous Deborah.  On the way home, Fio stopped at eight houses in her neighborhood, tied an assortment of Christmas candy on their doorknobs, and visited with the friends who were available. Remember, it will be Fiorella's last Christmas in her rural haven.
Before she took off on her jaunt, Fio picked up her Christmas cards, but balked at the extra two days and additional $$$ it would take for Fed-Ex to fold them so she now is trying to work out a good, simple way to do so herself. Hope she doesn't have to go back to Fed-Ex with her tail between her legs.
Somewhere along the way, Fiorella bought red-robed chocolate Santas that she'll pass out to various friends in days to come. And then there's the Christmas gelt....
Oh, she forgot to mention that she's also planning to stop in at Lamme's Candies and buy some of their special chocolate to send to a cousin in Ohio who's done something to her knee cap. Remember, CHOCOLATE HEALS!
Some Christmas gifts are all year round, like nurse Marie Valerio, who kindly comes over to Fio's house monthly to check on her blood thinner because Austin Heartless won't do it in the office any more and your Fio can't bring herself to deliberately stick a needle in her finger. Her mother didn't raise her that way.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

From Reality to Imagination

Interesting--Fiorella's audience has shifted again, and yesterday the majority of her followers were in the United States (118), with Italy close behind at 100. Following, in descending order, were Ukraine (43), Mexico and the UK at 21, then South Korea  (18), Portugal (9), Romania (8), Hong Kong (2)
and Indonesia (2). Wonder what the mix will be today?
Hoping today's cold spell will last a while because Fiorella has an overflowing load of paper trash in the fireplace she'd like to get rid of. On the other hand, she may have to spend the day working on the outside Christmas decorations, and definitely, she'll have to drive down to Fed-Ex Kinko's to pick up the 100 copies of her card she ordered when she dropped her card off yesterday.
Also definitely, your girl will whip up a batch of chocolate fudge today because yesterday she used every bit of anti-chocolate will power she had, and while she didn't make any fudge, she did pick up a Milky Way and two chocolate Santa Clauses when she ran into H-E-B for a baguette. If she's going to get fatten up like a Christmas ham, she might as well do it on the cheap at home.
Congratulate Fiorella. Wonder Girl not only knows how to write a check, but has retaught herself how to balance her bank account without using a calculator.
Fio has lived in books since she was a child, and she still does, but by now, the stories are more in her own imagination.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Holiday Frenzy

Fiorella keeps telling herself she has enough time to get everything prepared for the Christmas family get-together, especially since Son and his family came over and took care of the tree (which is BEAUTIFUL) and Daughter is ramrodding the kitchen brigade. Especially since today Fio completely finished off her Christmas sonnet except for the printing, which she always gets done at Fed-Ex Kinkos. Especially since she's hired her yardman to hang the driveway swags.
     But, on the other hand, she still has to go buy envelopes for her cards, address them, stuff them, and mail them.  And then there are the swags that go up the stairs and end in a covey of redbirds, which were always Husband's favorites. And all the manger scenes Fiorella has collected. And cleaning up her desk and everything else in the house.
     Mother never seemed to be rushed when it came to holidays, but then, except for the tree, she did all the decorating at home alone while Dad was at work and Brother and Fio were at school. Also, Mother was a spot-on housewife so the house was always, ALWAYS, just the way it should be. 
     But she was never a widow and never had to deal with a house in transition.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Christmas Elves

Fiorella's granddaughter visited yesterday to help with Christmas decorations, and her specialty was dressing the tree, of course. You remember that last year she grabbed swatches of gold wrapping paper and stuffed them in between the fake branches of our fake tree, then crowed at the beauty she'd created.  Fio, of course, being an artist and a besotted grandmother, left the swatches in place all during the season and even took pictures of them.
     Granddaughter is older, more sophisticated and verbal this year , but she's still a Christmas tree afficianada, and was entranced by the lights, which her beloved daddy let her help him string on the tree. she also helped with the ornaments--thank you, God, for plastic.
    Actually, Fiorella thinks Granddaughter gets her as much artistic nature from her mother as her father because Daughter-in-law was pretty good at figuring out how to distribute the ornaments. (She also has the patience of Job.)
     The highlight of the day for Fio, of course, was when Granddaughter finally made the connection between her and the disembodied "Grammy" her parents have put her on the phone with from time to time, AND SHE LET FIORELLA TOUCH HER! Yep, your Fio misted over.
      Fiorella intends to concentrate on the Christmas card today. Her sonnet has been rewritten several times, and she wants to get it on a mock-up, printed, and mailed, although there will be a slight delay regarding the latter because your girl, who thought she was terribly clever by making use of a pack of envelopes that had been sitting in her art closet for years, suddenly realized that, for a sonnet-bearing card, she needed envelopes of a different size--5x8 rather than standard 4x9.
      Whatever--Fio still has more than a week till Christmas.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Fiorella's Day Off

What did you do on your mini-vacation yesterday, Fio?
     Well, as usual, I lugged several loads of firewood into the house (with Sonia Dog tracking my every step), did some decorating, then went up to the mailbox on the road (with Doggie still in attendance in case I got lost) and picked up some Christmas cards from friends. Of course, that reminded me that I had to finish my card, which, as you remember, is always of my own creation and usually a sonnet.
      Two hours later I finally had the last quatrain saying what I wanted it to say, and I am now writing my return address on 100 envelopes in batches of ten.  After that, I will be signing my name on the card and, maybe, writing a little message on each one if I have the time and the arm strength left. The whole process will take about three days because I sandwich it in between decorating, writing, feeding the fire, and housekeeping.
     One thing I don't have to deal with anymore is buying gifts. I give the kids, all adults, a nice check and sometimes a family heirloom.
     Speaking of the kids, although I'll sit at the head of the dining table, they're taking care of the dinner again this year It will be our last family get-together in this house I love so much.


Friday, December 13, 2019

Fio accidentally wrote two blogs yesterday so she's on vacation today. It's Friday the thirteenth anyway.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

From H-E-B to HOA

Fio's got a full day, including calling friend Suzy in England, calling friend Marie to set an INR date, calling Fernando to get help with her Christmas driveway, and, most important of all, calling Younger Son to sing Happy Birthday to him. In the afternoon, she will drive over to Austin Heartless and meet her new doctor, then stop by H-E-B for groceries, then she will flop onto the sofa and pretend to be human.
Fiorella's fires may be top-notch, but she's still got a lot of Christmas prep to do. Son and his family will be coming over to help on Saturday so Fio thinks she'll assign them to tree-decorating duty while she runs a red and green chain across the tops of the back windows. The wreaths will have to wait till later or may not be used at all this year.
No, Fio hasn't finished the sonnet yet, she'll give you the first two lines:
      Suddenly, the silence of the night
      Was broken by a newborn baby's cry
Thank goodness Daughter has taken over the meal-planning for the holiday feast, although there will be a reduced number of us attending this year. As Fiorella has said before, some families flourish and some diminish, and, unfortunately, Fio's family is in the latter category--which she is one reason she is driven to write.
As you know, Fiorella is planning to move from her wooded haven this spring, but she will always remember the generosity and kindness of so many of her neighbors. She will also remember how the president of the HOA attacked her when she was most vulnerable, then never apologized.

Inoportune Inquiry

The yardman hasn't been notified yet and the sonnet is still unfinished, but Fio did get the little gifts out to her friends at Chase, Mazda, and Click yesterday. She promises to do better today.
     One thing that slowed her down was a carefully-worded email from one of her cousins who has been heavily influenced by an anti-abortion movement. Now, as an adoptive mother,  Fiorella has slipped back and forth under the fence on this topic for years, but Cousin seems to be taking a rock-hard stand which Fio doesn't like and which probably arises from ignorance.
     What Cousin seems to be unaware of is that "abortion" is a medical term that applies to any evacuation of a fetus, dead or alive. Thus, Fiorella's long-ago first pregnancy, which ended in a bloody, life-threatening miscarriage is on the books somewhere as an abortion. Yes, they pulled the offending fetus out of her limb by limb, when she thought they were saving her baby.
      Also labeled as abortion would be the evacuation of dead fetuses that mothers used to have to carry till stillbirths--or for the rest of their lives as "stone babies."
      Needless to say, Fio did not appreciate Cousin's inquiry in the harried middle of the Christmas season. Yours Truly, who, in addition to trying to make the house merry, in addition trying to prepare it for sale, in addition to trying to save the country from gun nuts, in addition to trying to keep people aware of the child abuse at the border, does not need to get involved in the stupid abortion debate.
     Also, it brought back too many bad memories.  Fio was shunned in the Catholic hospital and not even allowed a wheel chair ride when she when it was time for her to go home.
 No fire today. Fiorella's tired of lugging in wood and wants to speed up her Christmas preps.     

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Fiorella Reporting In

Sorry to be late. Fio was rushing around, doing all the morning things. when the fire in the fireplace suddenly flared into full bloom. She'd been half-expecting it because of the mutterings she'd been hearing from the banked coals, but she'd hoped she'd have time to gather new firewood from the front room stack beforehand.
     So, instead of sitting down with a mug of hot chocolate, she had to grab the newspaper, tear it to shreds and knot the mangled remains into breakfast for the Lord of Fire. Under pressure, she wasn't as careful as she should have been and accidentally tore up the pages with the comics featuring the comics and anagrams, then had to go back through the mess to find them.
     Sometime I feel like Lucille Ball reincarnated.
Met with friends Carol and Ashley at Starbucks yesterday and solved the problems of the world, then, as we left, stalked a tall, gorgeous guy dressed like a male model and toting a gun in his holster vest. Yep, old ladies can do that sort of thing and get away with it. Fio was all for interviewing him, but Cutie Pie went into the side entrance of the restaurant next door and sat down with a table of craggy-faced uniformed guys who looked like they wouldn't stand for any nonsense so we retreated. Besides, it was starting to rain.
Aside from keeping the fire going, what are you going to do today, Fiorella? Well, what I'm planning to do is add more to the Christmas decor, set up a time for my yardman to come by and help me put up swags of tinsel along the driveway, take gifts around to my friends at Mazda, Click, and Chase, and work on the sonnet, which is not as near finished as I thought it was. What about you?


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

From Donella to Downsizing

Fio loves su donella. Like everyone who has a maid, Fiorella runs around the house like a mad woman before her hired help arrives, cleaning up obvious messes and putting everything in shape as much as she can, but her donella is the one who not only makes everything sparkle, but helps Fio lug in firewood into the house.
Speaking of firewood, Fio is proud to say that because she knows how to start a fire in the fireplace, she hasn't had to turn on the central heat even once, despite the abnormally cold autumn. 
Sad to say, Fio had a GERD attack last night, sweats and all, and it was her own dang fault. She walked into H-E-B with the intention of preparing for Christmas dinner, but walked out with a bag of Pinwheels, then ate most of them on the way home. And she is not repentant.
Did Fiorella hear someone ask her about this year's Christmas sonnet? Well, it's on track so far--it's got a nativity theme, and first two lines and the last two lines have been set in steel since day one, but the in-betweens are still a little sloppy. You can only have so many angels flapping around before the story gets stupid.
Downsizing....Fio knows what the word means, but never thought it would apply to bigger-and-better her. What is going to happen to all her treasures?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Pre-Christmas Decisions

The maid is coming this morning so Fiorella is whipping around the house trying to clean everything up and, at the same time, proceed with her Christmas decorating and production of VOTER REGISTRAR badges. Hmm.... maybe she can also drag la donella into helping her fit the rest of the branches into the thirty-year-old Japanese Christmas tree.
This will be Fiorella's last Christmas in the house, and she's a a little tired, so this year, she'll probably hire her yard man to dress the driveway with ropes of tinsel. Husband's death has left Fio with more holiday preps than she can handle on her own.
One thing Fiorella is sure of is that there will be no paper plates or napkins at the family dinner. This one last time, your girl prefers to stick with the traditional Haviland china, Sir Christopher silverware, and cloth napkins. Come the New Year, of course, she might decide to sell it all--her bank account could do with a little extra cash.
And, throughout it all, Fio has been dashing into the kitchen to manufacture more buttons and badges, then out to the woodpile in the driveway to pick up firewood for the cold weather predicted for the end of the week. HOW THE HECK IS SHE NOT LOSING WEIGHT?
Nothing like waking in the middle of the night to ponder what is going on in one's life, and Fiorella's is like a country-western song. Several songs, in fact, and you can bet she's jotting down notes.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

No Title

For the first time since my husband's death in January, I miss him. Up till now, my subconscious has never let me accept that I am alone, telling me instead that he in another room, or upstairs, or in another hospital or rehab facility. But tonight, I know that Husband will never again come into the den and sit beside me to talk about the day. I am alone.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Christmas Season Minutia

If there's one thing your technology-challenged friend has learned, it's that there's always a back door that she can open up--or escape through.
Speaking of technology, Fiorella found herself picking up the TV remote yesterday, and, mistaking it it for a phone, she panicked when she couldn't remember how to dial somebody on it. Face it--there are just too dang many black plastic gadgets with numbers on them lying around the house.
Fio's on a winning streak--she found a water-proof red paint that she can use for her CHRISTMAS GREETINGS sign, was moved to the head of the line in the post office by  the people in front of her when they learned she was just buying Christmas stamps, was complimented on her car by a young woman who'd never seen a Miata before, came up with a brainstorm idea for the first verse of her yearly Christmas sonnet, gave out four DUMP TRUMP buttons along the way, then came home and ate three chocolate rounds. BURRRRRP.
How weird--our "autumn" was cold, cold, cold, and our "winter" season has been quite warm. Fio was wearing a heavy jacket this time last month, and now the heaviest thing she's wearing is a long-sleeved shirt.
Fiorella has self-diagnosed herself with tinnitus, which is when one hears music that isn't there, but it's not bothering her because the songs change with the seasons. Right now, she's hearing distant Christmas carols...all is calm, all is bright....

Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas Musical

In keeping with the season, Fiorella is going to treat you to the lyrics of some songs she wrote for her characters to sing in her second published book. The heroine, a former child actress has come to Bosque Bend, Texas, to direct a Christmas-themed musical, Gift of the Magi,  but with a happy ending, like Fiorella always thought O'Henry's short story should have had.

 Della's song:
     If I sing enough, if I pray enough
     If I am very, very good
     Maybe everything will turn out
     As I hope it will, as it should
     As it should....

Jim's song:
     If I were as rich as Rockefeller, John D,
     Whenever I walked down the street
     The gents would tip their hats at me
     And I'd give dimes to all in need

     If I were rich, I'd buy Della those hats
     And beatifyl dressed for her to wear
     And neautiful shoes with stylish spats
     And beautiful combs for her beautiful hair 

     York New York evening, New York night,
     Everyone is snuggled up tight
     Asleep in their beds, asleep in their dreams
     Where nothing is really what it seems
     And problems are solved by love and a song--
     Everything is right, nothing is wrong

Where nothing is wrong, everything's right
And try as you might,
Try as you may,
You won't find anythig
Wrong to say
About this wonderful New york night
Everything will be right tonight

You won't find anything
Wrong to say
About the wonderful  New York nigh
Everything will be right tonight

Love triumphant wins the day
Now we are happy, happy and gay
Happy New Year
Be of good cheer
Times may be tough
Times may be rough
But there's always a way, always a way
Always a way if you love enough
Be of good cheer
Happy New Year
Love triumphant wins the day

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Mixing Chocolate with Politics

It's chocolate season, and Fio has already packed on three extra pounds. Carnation Chocolate Fudge should be declared illegal, but then Your Girl would find a way to buy it on the black market.
Fiorella had a ten-minute scare yesterday in late afternoon--the electricity went out. Immediately assuming her technological incompetence was to blame, she ran around the house like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off, trying to figure what her adventures in decorating might have knocked loose. Then, just as she was preparing to run over to the neighbors' house to see if their electricity was out too, everything lit up again. Scary--Fio never realized how dependent she was on Thomas Edison.
Sonia is out in the back yard barking again, probably at a deer (uno cierco) seeking his lady love--it's that time of year. And yes, Fiorella is telling you this so she can use her new Spanish vocabulary word.
Speaking of words, if only Fiorella knew a magic word that would decorate the house exactly the way she wants it to be without her having to raise a finger--or balance on one foot on the kitchen stool as she reaches up to the top of the window to hang a Christmas wreath.
Fio had a wonderful visit with long-time friend Paula at a Starbucks yesterday, and while they were there, a young woman commented on the two DUMP TRUMP buttons that were, as usual, pinned on Fiorella's bosom. Recognizing her cue, Fio said, "I make them," unpinned a button, and held it out to the woman. "Do you want one?"
     As soon as the woman had the button in her hand, Fio pulled three more buttons out of her purse and asked her if she would like more, perhaps for friends. The woman grabbed all three of them.
     Yes, Fiorella is trying to do her part, and she hopes her mother, who was born on this day 100 years ago, would be proud of her🧡.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Too Much to Do, Too Little Time--As Usual

Stress is Fio's middle name at this time of year. Now that she's moved the 34 bags and boxes of decorations into the house, she has to put their contents in place, which means scotch tape and ladders at  this point and,  all too soon,  wrestling with the twenty-year-old Japanese Christmas tree. She can handle all these things herself, but draping the lights on the tree will require the help of someone about a foot taller than she is.
     Yours truly has decorated the same way for the last several years (with added embellishments each go-round, of course), but, maybe because it's her last year in this house, she's switching things around some, making her decorations simpler and...well...more avant garde. Thus, instead of her usual double-wreathed front door, guests will see a Christmastime version of her Halloween door--with red and green snowflakes and a big red bell instead of bats and pumpkins. And her front windows aren't going to be as heavily wreathed as usual because Fio is Scotch-taping stockings and snowflakes onto them.
     The outside of the house will not get  as much attention as it received last year, when Fiorella created an extravaganza of tinsel ropes down both sides of the south driveway and Husband put up about twenty strands of lights, and Fio doubts that she'll have the time--or the energy--to decorate the tree  in the meadow.
     To top it off, in between times, Fio is working on a sonnet for her holiday card and she's still producing VOTER REGISTRAR badges and DUMP TRUMP buttons.
     Maybe this wasn't the best time of year to try to start working on Lolly's story again.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Here I Stand--I Can Do No Other

After spending half the day hauling seventeen crates of Christmas decorations out of the garage, Fio had to drive over to the Tax Assessor-Collector's office to submit the final paper that would transfer ownership of Husband's car to her name. Sitting in a crowded room for an hour twiddling her thumbs before her name was called did not put her in a good mood, but the breaking point was when, as she left the office, she was approached by two young men with big smiles on their faces who wanted her to sign a petition regarding their "Second Amendment" rights.
     Fiorella blew up. First, she gave them a well-deserved lecture, informing them that Second Amendment gun rights applied to well-regulated militias, not to just anyone who took a hankering to having a gun in the house. Then she hit them with her own story, the one that has haunted her life for almost fifty years--the University of Texas Tower massacre.
     People can't argue someone else's story so the twosome had to listen to Fio's, and I made sure that every passer-by heard it too.
     The long and short of it is that one sunny summer day, a lone gunman went up into the UT Tower, killing a guard and four-member  family on the way, and then, from the highest vantage point, cut loose at everyone he could see on and off campus.
     Among the twenty-some dead was Fio's nephew, Paul Sonntag, age eighteen. From a block away, he'd been shot through the mouth.
     The family was stunned--old men die, not newly-minted high school grads on their way to college in the fall.
     Friends, including Lyndon Johnson, offered consolations and the funeral was well-attended, but that didn't change anything. Paul was dead, and the family has lived in a shadow ever since, even down to the third generation.  You think you've packed the horror away in a dark closet, but every now and then, the guilt for still being alive breaks out, then the anger. Paul didn't have to die, and neither did any of the people who've been killed since then at outdoor concerts, in their offices, in churches, schools, and department stores.
     No, Fiorella will not sign a petition supporting "Second Amendment rights," and neither should anybody else. The blood will be on your hands.




Monday, December 2, 2019

From Ernie to Fudge

Fiorella, who's been towing holiday decorations in from the garage all day, plagiarized Tenneesee Ernie's lyrics:
      Sixteen bags
     And much to my sorrow,
     Sixteen more bags
     Left for tomorrow
     St Peter don't call me 'cause I can't pause
     I'm preparing for the arrival of Santa Claus
Fio played around with her Christmas sonnet today, but it's early stages and she doesn't know whether or not it will work out.  Some poems come to her immediately, some take a couple of weeks, and some never leave the dock.
Those dang paper snowflakes are still missing, despite Fio caving in and, with the idea that like attracts like, cutting out two new ones.
Yes, your girl is going to put her CHRISTMAS GREETINGS sign at the front of the driveway again, despite her experience last year when some idiot stole her campaign signs, then stole the sign she put up rebuking the theft. The GREETINGS sign did stay up last year, but who knows what will happen this year. Fio has not exactly made herself the belle of the ball.
Fiorella and Husband used to cook up a box or two of Carnation's FAMOUS FUDGE each Christmas so, to honor his memory and delight her own palate, she bought five boxes of it at H-E-B. Following the directions on the side of the box was a little hard to manage with just two hands and two eyes instead of four of both, but, although Fio overcooked her first batch last week, her second batch, which she made yesterday, turned out perfect and was exactly the fuel she needed to drag he rest of the boxes and bags into the house.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Paper, Fiorella's Daily Ncessity

Fio's received her first Christmas card, which means she has to start decorating. Now if she can just find the envelope containing the giant red and green snowflakes she tapes to the windows to announce the holiday every year. Dang! She spotted it a month ago in the garage and moved it to a more obvious location, which she now can't find.
     Fio's also lost track of a blog she's written about gun violence from a personal viewpoint. Hopefully, it will turn up, but she's already gone through all the notes tucked in the back of her tablets, and nada.  
     Then there are the ideas she's jotted down for this year's Christmas sonnet. Where are they? She saw them this morning....
     Did you notice that all three of these losses involve paper, a product that is necessary to Fiorella's happiness and always has been? During WWII, her father brought home reams of discarded quality-control pages from the plant so little Fio would have something to draw on. She also remembers when she was in about the third grade and squawked so loudly about there being no paper in the house that the next-door-neighbor overheard her and brought some over. (Thank you, Mrs. Johnson.)
     Yes, Fio is a paper fiend and if those snowflakes don't show up. she'll be up till the wee hours cutting more of them--which brings you back to where this blog began.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Fiorella, Fire, and Ashes

Fiorella kept the fire in the fireplace going all day yesterday, using up most of the wood inside the front door and on the front porch, which meant she had to go out in a drippy rain and raid the woodpile on the other side of the driveway to get new fuel for today's fire.  Yes, she knows she could just turn up the heat, but what would be the fun in  that?
      Of course, Fio also feeds her fires with household trash and the far-too-plentiful  advertisements and solicitations that appear in her mailbox six days a week (especially during the holiday season for some strange reason 😁).
      Then there's the daily newspaper. whose pages tear so nicely--Fio usually ties the strips into loose  knots and throws them into the fire when it's first getting started. FLASH!
Fio, as you know, is crazy about fires. When she was a child in Ohio. the front room fireplace was rarely used, and if it was used, it was to burn trash, instead of the flaming logs that illustrated all her first-grade library books, so Fiorella was thrilled when, as an adult, she and husband moved into a house with a real live fireplace that burned real live wood.  In fact, she was so thrilled that she went overboard in designing the house they eventually built, providing it with two fireplaces--one wood, one gas. (As it turned out, the gas one was totally unnecessary.)
In Fiorella's current woodland environment, a fireplace is a necessity unless you want to pay someone big-time to haul away your trimmed and fallen branches several times a year.
Strangely, Husband preferred buying firewood from either the stands outside of H-E-B, newspaper ads, or the itinerant woodsmen who would sell it beside the road. Fio, on the other hand, has yet to pay a penny, and, in fact, may eventually make a profit out of some of her woodpile--remember that she has a full cord as a result of the County's atonement for chopping down some of her trees without consent.
Whenever the fireplace gets overloaded with ashes, Fiorella shovels them into a bag and walks them out into the yard, leaving a jet-like trail behind her. Supposedly, ashes are good for the soil. Or is that the soul?

Friday, November 29, 2019

Holiday Let Down

The family Thanksgiving gathering was great in relation to the hosts, the attendees, and the dinner, but Fiorella had hoped to collar younger son to talk about the button project. She'd also hoped that the items she'd gathered and brought with her in a plastic laundry basket could be claimed or identified as to their worth. And she'd hoped that Brother would like his birthday present, a collection of country-western songs. Finally, she'd hoped that everyone would enjoy the chocolate fudge she'd made as a dessert treat.
     Your girl struck out on all counts. Son didn't have time to talk because he had to hurry off to his wife's family's Thanksgiving dinner, no one wanted to help Fio with the contents of the laundry basket until she emptied it on the floor in front of them, Brother seemed mystified by the gift Fio had put so much time and trouble to get for him, and not a single person even tasted her fudge.
     Obviously, Fiorella has been solitary with Doggie for so long that she's lost touch with humanity, but maybe it's better that way because, the truth is that Fio doesn't fit in, and despite all her best efforts, she never will--anywhere.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

From Thanksgiving to Dump Trump Buttons

How did you get started making political buttons, Fiorella?
     It all began with a Thanksgiving many years ago. I was thrilled to the core when Mrs. Ruebright, my kindergarten teacher, asked me to come to her desk so she could try out the pilgrim's outfit on me--cute cap and all--that she'd just cut out of paper. What she didn't realize was that I was absorbing every aspect of her make-shift creations and even knew what the magic wand was--a staple gun, which, which, at my request, Santa gave me for Christmas.
Fast forward to fourth grade in Waco. That's when I started illustrating not only the blackboards in my classroom but was sent around to do other classrooms. The apex was in the sixth grade when I was entrusted with drawing a pilgrim couple on the board for Thanksgiving. Looking back, I realize I made the woman as tall as the man's hat, but no one objected at the time. After all, who else in the class could do any better?
But Fio, why didn't the teachers just go to an educational supply story and buy posters for their classrooms? 
     Because back then, it would have been illegal. All art in the classroom had to be student made, a law that Fiorella thinks should have stayed on the books. How can kids discover and develop their artistic talents if they don't have a chance to test them out?
What about art in your adult life? As a teacher, I illustrated stories, especially Shakespeare's, with colored chalk on the blackboard, and all along the way, I've drawn, painted, or designed whatever else strikes my fancy. And right now I want to save this country and the world with an onslaught of DUMP TRUMP buttons. 


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Pre-Thanksgiving Preps

It's the day before Thanksgiving, which the family will celebrate at Fiorella's brother's house in Austin, and Fio has her car packed with all sorts of things that Husband left lying around that she has no idea what to do with, but hopes the offspring will. She's also packed a cute jacket for Granddaughter, her oil paints to turn the brown eyes blue on a painting of Brother she did years ago, and a birthday present for Brother, who turned xxx on Tuesday. Yes, Fio the gypsy is coming to town!
     Brother and his wife specialize in hospitality and always do holidays up brown. The atmosphere is congenial and the Thanksgiving feast is a dream come true. Last year was especially special because Daughter introduced us to her new beau, but since she has flu this year, neither of them will  be able to attend. We will miss them, of course, but, on the other hand, Fio's sure that  Granddaughter, who will turn four in February, will keep us properly entertained.
     If you're wondering, Fiorella does not decorate for Thanksgiving--she needs a breather between Halloween and Christmas, on which, as you know, she goes overboard. Besides, how much decor can one get out of a turkey leg?
     Sonia Dog will be home alone for most of the day, but don't worry. She's had to do guard duty before, and it doesn't bother her, mainly because she sleeps the whole time. Besides, Mommy will be bringing home some leftovers for her.
     EEK! In writing this blog, Fiorella, who rarely cooks, suddenly realized she should be preparing some sort of dish to add to the Thanksgiving dinner. Looking at her pantry, she realizes it will have to be either chocolate pudding or something she can pick up at H-E-B. Hmmm....

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Really Getting Personal

Fiorella takes after her mother in that she is bright, musical, artistic, honest, conscientious, kind, has strong opinions, and likes children and animals. Fio differs from her mother in that she has always had confidence in her own art, had the opportunity to pursue her musical interests, and had the courage to stand up for herself.
     Some background: Mother was at the head of her class from grade school through college and ended up teaching high school English and journalism. Fio was top of her class too--and ended up teaching on the college level, but with several activities on the side--like portrait painting, singing and composing, writing poems and stories, and getting involved in politics, all of which Mother would have shrunk from, not because she didn't have the talent, but because she didn't believe in herself. Fio remembers when she gave her an art kit for her birthday and Mother gave it back a month later. She'd tried to paint a bowl of roses and the results weren't perfect.
     More background: Mother, shy of strangers and people who were "above" her, was most comfortable in her own home, a warm nest which she decorated beautifully. Fiorella doesn't always speak up, but is not cowed by anybody anytime anywhere. Personality-wise, she is more like her father, who never met a stranger he didn't like, which totally embarrassed her mother.
     All in all, Fiorella feels she inherited the best of each of her parents, and in her heart, she thanks them both 🧡

Monday, November 25, 2019

From Silly to Serious

Congratulate Wonder Girl--she not only knows how to write a check, but has retaught herself how to add and subtract without using a calculator.
Fiorella really enjoys putting together her buttons and badges because she has to rely on her own brain and hands, not technology. The modern world is not her friend.
Judging by the shows on Spanish-language TV, the most frequently-used palabras en  el espanol estan "mi hija" y "mi hijo," which is heart-warming

If, in times to come, Fio's granddaughter asks what Grammy did with her life, tell her that she lit many a fire and fought the good fight.
Watch out for tomorrow. Fio is building up steam about gun control and will probably be blasting off a fiery letter-to-the-editor regarding the situation later this week. Your girl has lost patience with gun nuts babbling about their  Constitutional rights when the Second Amendment refers to a well-ordered militia, not any lame brain who wanders in off the street.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

From EEK to OMG!

EEK! Fiorella is so embarrassed--she let an unfinished post slip through the cracks yesterday. It's bound to happen every now and then because Fio has no proof reader, but it's still embarrassing. Her mother's daughter, she prefers perfection.
Your faithful correspondent has been burning the midnight oil lately finishing off the 300 requested VOTER REGISTER badges and the 100 self-assigned DUMP TRUMP buttons. Now to stir up more business--she's thinking about designing a button that will call attention to the plight of THE CHILDREN.
Thank you, God, that Fio's donella came yesterday because Yours Truly has been so involved with button-making lately that the house is a total mess. Fiorella's mother, whose house was perfection, would not have approved.
Fio has the television tuned to a Mexican sports channel as she writes this blog. Not that she likes sports, but she's noticed that the more she listens to Spanish-language TV, the more comfortable she is with the language. Of course, she's nowhere near at ease with la lingua as she was before husband died. but there's hope.

OMG! Fio doesn't know what time it is1 Her wristwatch has stopped! So has her back-up watch! Is the whole world standing still?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

A Re-edited Post

Sonia dog and Fio went outside yesterday about four o'clock and took a nostalgic walk in el parke, the semi-cleared acre in front of the house.  The setting lifted Fiorella's soul--the trees whose dead branches she'd harvested for firewood, the rocks she gathered in the woods and placed around the long-long driveway to protect against erosion, the times she and Husband would tend the area together.....
     But that will soon be the past, and Fiorella must prepare for tomorrow. She's been on a house-cleaning spree for ten months now, trying to get the house in good shape to sell well, but it's only halfway there. It's hard to figure out what to keep and what to toss because, after all, Fio doesn't know what her future holds.
     At the same time, she must make the most of her here and now, which means publishing her poems, stories, and books as well as deciding what to do with her drawings and paintings. And, of late, it also means going full speed ahead on her buttons and badges which have really picked up speed lately, and might eve turn out to be a money-making enterprise. After all, there are a lot of people out there who like DUMP TRUMP buttons and need to be recognized as voter registrars.

Sorry to burden you with a half-finished post earlier in the day. Fio had so much going on that she forgot it needed polishing.


Friday, November 22, 2019

Del Espanol al Chocolate

Friday--viernes. Si! Fio is trying to take up her Spanish studies again. 
Being a widow means that one has to deal with the past, the present, and the future all at the same time. Thus Fiorella is clearing out her house, setting up a business, and looking for a new house to share with Son's family.
     Wait a minute, Fio--did you say you're setting up a business?
     Yes, after giving away a couple of hundred dollars worth of buttons and badges, I've decided to go commercial. Not enough to make a profit, but enough that I'm not draining my bank account. Would you like to put in an order?
Did Fio tell you friend Evelyn gave her a lead on a house in her own area that will be going up for sale soon? Anyone else who knows of a four-bedroom house in Central Texas with a nice yard, please contact your faithful correspondent.
Even as Fiorella searches out a new house, she sorrows over leaving her old one;
     The songs of the rocks
     The breeze in the trees
     How can  I ever
     Live without these....
Guess who bought fifty dollars worth of chocolate at Lamme's Candy when she was in Austin? Guess who told herself she was buying it for her cousin in Ohio, but ate it all herself? Guess who bought a new batch and quickly wrapped it up and put it in a nice box, then hurried it down to FedExKinkos for mailing because she knew what would happen if it remained in the house for even a few minutes?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Dear Diary.....

Fio zoomed out of the house at 9:00 to meet friend Evelyn in Austin at 10:00. The ride was halcyon--good weather, everyone driving at a good speed, no hold-ups or slow-downs--until Fiorella accidentally bypassed McDonald's where she and Evelyn meet now, then had to back-track through all sorts of tricky traffic. She ended up a little late, but again, everything was halcyon--until Fiorella's credit card wouldn't register despite several tries. Finally, the girl behind the counter took over and, was finally able to coax the machine to accept Fio's payment, all $2.25 of it.
     Afterwards, Fio drove over to a Hobby Lobby and raided its stash of badges and buttons, then dropped by Lamme's Candy to pick up chocolate for her cousin in Ohio, then gassed up the car because she was running low, then got lost. WHERE THE HECK WAS NORTH LAMAR BOULEVARD? HOW HAD SHE LOST IT? WOULD SHE MISS HER MONTHLY MEET-UP WITH FRIEND KAYE AT CENTRAL MARKET FOR THE SECOND MONTH IN A ROW?
     Pero no, gracias a dio. After jumping a two curbs and ignoring some "do not enter" signs, Fiorella got herself on the right track. She was a little late, but Kaye, was too, so they forgave each other, then talked politics. Fio gave Kaye a DUMP TRUMP button, of course, and when a couple of other people evinced interest, she gave them buttons too.
   The ride back to Georgetown was a bit perilous because Fio, never one to waste time, took advantage of every red light and traffic slow-down to put together more Voter Register badges. Miraculously, but she made it home safely and, after feeding doggie, finally had time to read the morning newspaper.
     Whew! Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Poetic Confessions

So much to do, so much to see
Fiorella is a busy bee--
Getting things done
And having fun
Are her joy in life, you see
Met up with Judy yesterday
Today it's Evelyn I'll meet
And after a trip to the chocolate store
Kaye will be another treat
Why are you playing with rhymes and beat
When your daily chores are incomplete?
Because a poem can flutter away
But dirt will stay for another day
My mother loved poetry and would frequently quote it
But as far as I know, she never wrote it
She'd set her own boundaries, you see,
An option that never occurred to me
I'll probably be up till three
And you can put the blame on me--
Chocolate and GERD do not agree
And I went on a Dove Bar spree

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Times of the Day

Fiorella has a great day planned for herself, and she'll started it by building a fire in the fireplace, always a good beginning. Her only trip out will be to the pharmacy so she has the rest of the day at home. There will be the humdrum must-dos like laundry and going through drawers to make sure everything has been cleaned out, but she also has a couple of must-do phone calls to make such as, consulting long-distance with elder son about ordering rounds for her DUMP TRUMP buttons and VOTER REGISTRAR badges on line. The rest of her time will be spent--wonder of wonders--on reworking Lolly's story.
The consultation with Son did not go well because Fio is, as you know, not good at using technology. Son tried to be patient, then finally gave up and said he would place the order himself later in the day.  After she put the phone down, Fiorella took care of the bills that had come in recently--writing out checks is something she does know how to do.
Your faithful correspondent was so pleased with finally finding a note from an old friend which she'd thought she'd lost that she hopped into her car and drove down to Walgreens to--uh--get a prescription filled and maybe pick up a little Christmas chocolate on the side. Somehow, she made it out of the store with two Dove Bars and five Russell Stover treats, not only forgetting about the prescription but also losing her credit card. Oh well, tomorrow is another day
O joy, O rapture! At eventide, Fiorella gathered together a couple of different versions of the first chapter of Lolly's story and started splicing them together, and guess what? SHE'S IN LOVE WITH THE STORY ALL OVER AGAIN--cold-hearted Cotton, fiery Lolly, mistakes and misunderstandings a scheming rival, danger, mysteries, even a sub-romance!
All's well that ends well! Fiorella may not have been able to follow up on ordering those rounds, but she did cut out several more of the messages, build another fire in the fireplace all on her own, pay her bills, email an old friend, gorge herself on chocolate (the credit card showed up on the floor of the car), and work on Lolly's story,  Fio would give the day an A- only because she didn't get her precsription.
     See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Buttons, Contact Sports, Afterwards

As usual, things didn't go exactly as planned--Fiorella put together 75 VOTER REGISTRAR badges, then ran out of blanks. Nothing to do but try to find suppliers on line, not Fio's favorite pastime. On the other hand, it was a pleasant day, she'd cleared out the last of Husband's stuff from his side of the master bathroom, she'd made plans with Bastrop Son to further their search for a house, and her lista amarilla is less crowded than usual. Fio is hoping that this pause in the day's meditation (once an English teacher, always an English teacher) isn't just the lull before the storm.
     By the way--those of you who studied Longfellow in school--didn't you think it was weird that a father only saw his children once a day, and then it was by by appointment?
Although Fiorella grew up watching wrestling, boxing, football, baseball, and basketball on TV (because her father did) and attended her high school's and college's football games (when she had a date), she does not, in her wiser years, watch contact sports on TV or in person. In fact, she considers them to be barbaric, like the Roman games. Let us instead challenge each other to make the world a better place.
It was an out-of-body experience when Fio cleaned out the last of Husband's personal things from the drawers under his bathroom counter. Most of the items were medical, but some of them were down-right weird--like the two bowls that look like halves of a coconut. Like the box of purple rubber gloves, (which Fio may yet save and make into some kind of art project).

Sunday, November 17, 2019

From Tragedy to Ecstacy

When Fiorella was a child, she gobbled down every book in the school library and then some but drew the line at biographies when she realized that the main character always died at the end.  Thus, when she started writing her own stories,  she chose the romance genre. Not that her  characters lead easy lives. No, she drags them through hell before giving them a happily-ever-after--which is a lot like real life except that real life goes on after the wedding and may not be as great as planned. Fio would tell her students that Cinderella's tale was a comedy in Shakespearian terms because it ended happily--with the wedding--but if, a week afterwards, Cinderella had discovered her prince was a cross-dresser who had a thing for high heels,  it would be called a tragedy--at. least by Cindy.
Donald Trump, king of crude,
Specializes in being rude
To every dame and every dude
On Twitter, when  he's in the mood
It's early yet, but Fiorella will whip up another fire later on today. She's something of a connoisseur, of course prefering to use wood from her own land--broken limbs that are twisted and gnarled, that still  have bark on them--rather than the anonymous trimmed and treated specimens sold in small, tight batches outside of grocery stores. 
As Fio showed visitors around her house last night, she realized that she'd inadvertently created a stereotypical artist's studio--designs, drawings, and paintings on every wall, half-finished current projects everywhere. Mother, who was a perfect housekeeper, would not be happy.

Your girl is flying high--Fed-ExKinkos ran off thirty more pages of her DUMP TRUMP and VOTER REGISTRAR pages yesterday, and she bought every bag of blanks in stock at Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Assembling the buttons doesn't take long, and she should have 100 of them ready to roll by this evening. YAHOO!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Things Are Looking Up

Don't look now, but Fiorella has located Lolly's story on her old computer and downloaded the first chapter. She'll go over two or three chapters tomorrow (fingers crossed), then look at what else she has. The story was never finished because her editor said it was five years before its time, but Fio figures time has caught up with Lolly by now.
Your girl followed through on the fire thing. Yep, she loaded sticks, branches, and a few short logs on the mountain of gently-used paper she'd created, then lit a match, and the draw from the back door she'd left open took over from there. She likes to think that Husband would have been proud of her.
Brother's birthday is coming up and Fio woke up in the middle of the night with the idea of giving him some kind of music tape, or whatever it is that people use in place of radios these days. She'll have to consult her kids to bring herself up to date with the musical world.
Speaking of music, Fio started singing as she walked down the driveway yesterday--a little opera, a little of fourth grade folk songs. Singing makes her happy, and her voice was fairly clear of the tremor, for once.
Saving the best till last: FIO'S BUTTONS AND BADGES ARE A BIG HIT!  She's been asked to make almost 300 badges for the Georgetown voter registrars and as many DUMP TRUMP buttons as she can. It will take a while, but Fio is up to it. Now let's hope the local craft shops don't run out of blanks.

Friday, November 15, 2019

From Politics to Murder

Hooray for Fio! She's been riding high today, starting with a good night's sleep, moving into finishing off her VOTER REGISTRATION badges, then getting a call from Friend Suzy in England, then adding more trash to the fireplace in preparation for tomorrow, then pulling about two square yards of lena onto the front porch and inside la casa in preparation for more cold weather to come.
Some of Fiorella's high school friends that she's become reacquainted with through FB have not only told her they liked both of her steamy romances, but encouraged her to write more Bosque Bend sagas. Fio's guessing they had a great time identifying various aspects of our home town, including the characters
     But Fio, you ask, I thought you wrote fiction.
     Yes, I do, but the best fiction is based on fact.
Fio's lost su calendario denueve, which usually happens about twice a week, but this time, she can't find it under the couch or the dog, which makes her nervous. She has people to see and promises to keep, all of which are written down in that calendar. The good thing is that its location is a closed-door "cozy" mystery because the calendar has to be somewhere in the house.
Answering a telephone was easier when Fiorella was growing up-- there was only one phone in the house, and it always sat on the bookcase in the hall. Yep, we stood up to talk--can you imagine that? 😁
So, several students have been wounded and two have been killed in yet another school shooting. "Whew," everyone will say. Just two kid this time." But what if those kids were your kids?  


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Back to the Cave Man Days

It feels odd--ten-months plus after Husband's death, and Fiorella has wrapped up everything but getting his automobile transferred into her name, which will soon get that done. Then she will have time not only to continue cleaning out the house in preparation for sale, but to wade through her hundreds of manuscripts, finish off her third Bosque Bend novel, and leap into the publishing world again.  
     Of course, publishing has changed mightily in the years she's been out of the scene--self-publishing and self-promotion are the name of the game now, and while Fiorella can get help from writer friends with self-publishing, she's no good at self-promotion--just wasn't brought up that way.
Right now, though, Fiorella is wrapped up in laying in a fire in the fireplace like she did last years, but about two months earlier than last year. Will the unusually cold weather take a turn for the better before Christmas to make up for its premature downturn, or will this be a very cold winter? Your guess is as good as Fio's.
Your girl has torn up a couple of sections of todays' newspaper to start a fire in the fireplace, after which she will add small twigs to keep the flame going, then add bigger twigs, then branches and cut limbs.
     Remember, Fiorella has a cord of hewn wood outside her front door, but she'll be saving her bounty till later, when she's back into fire-making again. Right now, all the split wood see to be glued together, y la lena esta uncovered, which means Fio will have to lug it inside the house dry out before she can use it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Onward, Fio--Always Onward!

Wish Fio well. If things go according to plan, she will be working on her office all next week. She'd taken care of a good half of it before Husband stated on his downward path, but that was more than a year ago, and this time she has to not only finish the room off, but decide what to do with her plenteous piles of manuscripts.
Fiorella's a little nervous. She hasn't received any mail--even an ad--for two days running. Does the post office know something she doesn't?
It's very cold in central Texas right now, relatively speaking. Somehow we went from summer's three-digit numbers to freezing temperatures without a trace of in-between. What happened to autumn?
Sonia Dog always gets Fio's leftovers so, of course, she (Fio, not Sonia) wrote a little poem about it:
     A plate for me
     Means a wait for you
     To get what is left
     When I am through
Fiorella has learned that she can't control the lives of others--or even her own life. What happens, happens, and all she can do is try to make the best of it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Boomerang Girl

Fiorella spent most of the yesterday morning in a strange daze, either sleeping or weeping, Maybe it was the weather, which was hanging fire to a cold front. Maybe it was the recent visit she and Bastrop son had paid to housing developments he was interested in. Maybe it was that her house was a mess of half-finished projects, and friend "Tanya" was going to be coming over soon to check her blood-thinner score. Maybe all of the above, but whatever, half an hour before Tanya was due, the bad weather struck--sudden and hard--and Fio was revved into action. like it was the appocalypse. (which Blogger tells me I don't know how to spell).

Her brain flaming into action, Fiorella took another look at the realtors' offerings and decided she didn't like any of them because they favored HGTV flair over practicality and good taste. Then she ran around the house and collected all the leftovers of her Halloween decorations, labeled them accordingly, and dropped them in the big, black HALLOWEEN bag in the garage. Then she cleaned off some overloaded counters, took care of an investment form that had been lying on the dining room table for a couple of months, and prepared a list of what she would do after Tanya left.


A little background her: Tanya was Fiorella's coumadin nurse back when there were such things, and she and Fio hit it off from the start, probably because they both like learning about other people. Then Austin Heartless exchanged its coumadin nurses for a self-proving system that the patient has to manage for himself, which Fiorella wasn't up to because everything inside her forbids her from deliberately hurting herself. Enter the heroine--Tanya comes over each month to work the monstrous machine and send the results in to Austin Heartless, and Fio loves her for it.

She also appreciates it that Tanya, who is a Registered Nurse now and very busy, is willing to spend a fair amount of time visiting with her.  They usually talk about politics--Marie now wears one of Fio's DUMP TRUMP buttons--but they also exchange information about their families, and--let's face it-- they also exchange juicy tidbits about Austin Heartless. Fiorella knows about scandals from way back wheen 😁😁

Monday, November 11, 2019

House-hunting Blues

Fio did not care for the new houses she and Bastrop son looked at yesterday. They seemed artificial, like they'd been furnished by HGTV. Maybe she and Son should be checking out gently-used older houses--places that look like homes rather than advertisements, places that Fiorella and her son's family could make suit their fancy, or, as HGTV would say--"put their own stamp on."
While he was here at the house, Son took care of Fiorella's to-do list by advising her on an investment fund, taking down the Halloween decorations she couldn't reach, uncapping the Tide pumpkin she couldn't handle, and forcing a delinquent lens back into her best eyeglasses. Then, on the way home from the house search, they worked together filling the vase on Husband's grave marker with never-die carnations and foliage🧡🧡
According to her calendar, today will be a slow one for Fiorella, which, as you well know, means that all hell will break loose. On the other hand, maybe the day will be ginger-peachy and she can catch up on her reading. (Insert hilarious laughter emoji)
Getting back to house-hunting, Fio remembers that their rental landlord, a realtor, helped Fio and Husband find their first home, and that she and Husband found their second home themselves by searching the school district they were interested in, then hired a realtor friend to complete the deal.
Although, truth to tell, Sonia Dog is inside most of the time, she has never lived anywhere than on a five-acre tract and will have a problem adjusting to neighbors who are only a couple of yards away. Whatever, Fiorella isn't going anywhere without her darling.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Turning Fio's Life Upside Down Again

Fiorella is looking forward to looking at new houses with Bastrop son today. At the same time, she's a little sad. She loves her home in the middle of the woods and had thought she would live in it for the rest of her life, but such was not to be. It's hard for one person to keep up a big house by herself, not to mention tending to the acreage. Besides, despite Sonia Dog's loving care, Fiorella is lonely.
     This year has been hard on her. She's had to be emptying a house in preparation to selling it and, at the same time, be maintaining it in order to get top dollar, not to mention keeping it livable while she's still in residence. Then there's the decision-making--what to keep and what to toss, whom to give what to, what's worthwhile to fix and what isn't.
     She'd like to say that she will miss her neighbors, but that isn't true. They've all been helpful in their own ways, but living on acreage means you rarely see the people next door--or even across the road. Besides, Fio, has always been a fish out of water in the area. No one else writes or paints or sings or posts campaign signs.
     What she will miss, though, is the woods, which she has never actually seen all of. She loves the rocks and the trees, the spring wildflowers, the feeling of freedom--of being alone with herself. She loves discovering things like the boulders lining the dry creek, enchanting patches of light hidden in the trees like pits of sunshine, the remains of old campsites, deer antlers, even stupid armadillo dens.
     Yes, moving out will be hard for Fio, but it is of her own volition.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Wading Through Deep Water

I plan, I work, I pray
But where is God today?
And what have I done, I'd like to know
That makes Him want to bring me low?
As you can tell, yesterday did not start out well, but somehow Fiorella slogged her way through it, despite worrying about her children, losing a lens in her best glasses, and still not having all the bats de-Scotch-taped and put away. One thing that helped was that she worked out all the newspaper anagrams without any trouble, which persuaded her that she still had a brain or two left in her head.
Driving into town also helped Fio's mood. She made herself a list and actually crossed most of errands, although when she stopped at Walgreen's she bought Dove chocolate  bars and Russell Stover Christmas candy instead of the AA batteries she needed.
Sonia Dog welcomed Fiorella home as if she'd just come in from a year-long trek across the Sahara, which always lightens Fio's mood. Nothing like having a i30 lb dog plop itself in your lap to make you feel loved.
Come eventime, Fiorella went through a stack of old paperback romances, grabbed a couple of her favorites and looked through them for the love scenes. Yep, Fio's gearing up to resume her writing career again. She'll probably start by finishing up her Lolly story, which you've read a bit of, but she wants to resurrect three finished but unpublished stories as well. We'll see.

Friday, November 8, 2019


Fiorella is depressed and not feeling well this morning, so she'll entertain you with a couple ofpassages from one of Jeanell Bolton's romances:

 Rafe parked the truck and came around her side to lift her out. To anyone watching, he was a tall man courteously helping a height-challenged woman out of a big truck. They wouldn't know he skimmed his hands lightly--just enough that she knew they were there--along the outline of her hips. They wouldn't know he brushed her breasts against himself, tightening her nipples and sending her signals she was trying to ignore....
 Backing out of her parking space, she  headed toward G&G Chicken across the river. Not that she felt that much like eating, but she didn't want to faint dead from hunger and have everyone in Bosque Bend think it was because she was heartsick about the break-up with Rafe.
  Her smile faced as she stopped at a red light.
  Oh crap. She was heartsick about it! She missed his coyboy drawl, his easy smile, those stupid sparking eyes. She missed talking with him and laughing with him. She missed his arm around her shoulders. And, yes, she missed  his hands going wherever they wanted to go.
  But it was all for the best, she reminded herself as the light changed. She was in Bosque Bend to direct the theater guild production, notto have a love affair with the chairman of the board.
  Correction--a sexual affair--no love involved!
 She was silent for a few minutes after confessing the part she'd played in covering up her late husband's death, then turned to stare out the side window again. Rafe respected her silence, but had the feeling she was building up to something.
  She removed his engagement ring from her finger and held it out to him. "And if you want this ring back, here it is."
  Like hell! She wasn't going to get rid of him this easily. He clenched his hand around hers and his sparkling eyes hardened into shards of steel. "Moira, what I want is for that ring to go right back on tour finger and stay there!.I love you and I'll stand by you, not matter what!"

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Moving On

Fiorella is bursting with happiness--her yardman y su sobrino came over in late afternoon and planted all of those Asian jasmines Fio had bought and been nursing in her garage for three days until the weather changed. Come spring, she'll get another problem area covered with wood chips. Yeah, your Fio is on a roll!
Earlier in the day, Fio dropped by Hobby Lobby to pick up stencils for the VOTER REGISTRAR badge she has been commissioned to design, and the woman who checked her out said, "I like your button," which warmed Fiorella's heart and made her forget she couldn't find the garage door controller. (It did turn up later).
Even earlier in the day, Fio had a great time visiting with her doctor's assistant, who was checking up on her regarding the driveway attack on her six weeks ago. Yes, Fiorella is calling it a driveway attack because she thinks the rocks rolled under her foot on purpose. She has not been paying much attention lately to the guardians of her driveway, the ones she would frequently write about before Husband died and her world turned upside down, but maybe they willl forgive her because she's planning to go on a hunt in the backwoods to gather appropriate rocks for lining the edge of her jasmine plantings.
Somewhere in there, Fio learned that her Medicare renews automatically, which was a relief. She's sick and tired of stupid paperwork.
Best of all, Fio's calendar is clear for today, which means she'll be able to catch up on things like her laundry and the dining room table, which is loaded with papers again. .

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Assorted Shorts

Fiorella ate a whole bag of chocolate cookies the other day and fully expected to be up all night with GERD, but instead, she slept like a baby. Hmm....
How can you expect Fio to remember the date when it changes every day?

Fio is tired of "doing the right thing" and ending up on the losing end. Maybe she should try being a bad girl for a change.
Fiorella is packing away her Halloween decorations with a heavy heart. Each holiday that passes puts her closer to her move-out date.
You realize, of course, that Fiorella would make a blog out of her own funeral.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Reflections on the Scene

Fio's feeling sad today. Maybe it's a let-down from the excitement yesterday--the get-together at Fish Daddy's with cousin Tom and his son, finally getting the maternal-side acrostic page ready to be mailed, coming up with a really good Voter Registrar badge. Maybe it's the times. It seems like whenever Fiorella turns around, Trump's contingents have come up with a new villainry. It's Nixon's dirty tricks ten times over.

Please note that Fio does not blame Republicans--TRUE Republicans--but the self-serving scum who have crawled out of the sewer and clothed themselves as GOP. Lincoln would be horrified. A president is supposed to unite a nation, but Trump has divided it. A president should seek peace at home and abroad, but Trump has deliberately caused chaos. A president should be putting the country first, but Trump has put himself first.

Why does anyone support him? Maybe because they stand to gain from his shenanigins. Maybe because they hate anyone different from them. Maybe because they've been hoodwinked by Trump's propaganda. Maybe because, like cows, they're just plain following the loudest sound they hear.

Whatever, Fiorella will continue to pursue truth, liberty, and justice--to fight the good fight--with the spirits of her Republican parents cheering her on.

Now Fiorella feels better. Thank you for letting her have her say.

Monday, November 4, 2019


Fiorella had it on her schedule that she was supposed to meet up with cousin Tom and his son for lunch today, but he didn't show, even though Fio waited an hour and a half in the parking lot, thinking she might have written down the time wrong. It was disheartening. Fiorella had not only dressed up cute in beige slacks and a yellow long-sleeve knit sweater over an orange T, but she'd also postponed attending to her shopping list, the same list that was postponed earlier in the week when she had no transportation.
Your girl's face is pretty much up to par now. The small hematoma above her left eye aches occasionally, and there's still a little bruising around the socket, but she can lift  one-gallon milk jugs (two at a time) and six-pound weights again.
Girding her loins in the late afternoon, Fio drove out to take care of the to-do list she'd made last week. She didn't stop at FedEx Kinkos because she'd forgotten to bring the acrostic with her, and when she checked in at Target, they didn't have any cute girls' clothes in size three that she could see, but she was able to pick up three more bags of blanks for her DUMP TRUMP buttons, then swing down to H-E-B for groceries and treats, then drive up to Walgreens to claim her prescriptions. For a grande finale, she watched a beautiful orange-yellow sunset against a turquoise sky all the way home.
Fio was also powered by bag of Pinwheels all the way home 😁
GUESS WHAT? Your Fiorella had the wrong day! She is supposed to meet up with Cousin Tom TODAY, not yesterday, which means she'll doll herself up in another cute outfit and take even more pics of her lovely home to inundate him with.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

How's Life, Fio?

Facebook is almost dead right now--just the few old memes floating around, but Fiorella suspects it's the lull before the storm. We'll see.
     Presidential Getaway

     Fleeing to Florida--
     Does Nancy Pelosi
     Frighten you?

     She's got the goods
     On you, you know,
     From emoluments
     To quid pro quo

     Fleeing to Florida--
     Hurry up and run
     'Cause Pelosi's got you
     Under the gun
It's amazing how getting both cars back energizes Fiorella. She's got wheels again. HELLO, WORLD!
In the meantime, she's been thinking up romance circumstances--like an older, handsome employer trying to fix his pretty, middle-aged maid's watch, which leads to other things as they stand in close contact. She got the idea because she put her watch on upside down when she changed the time, and now she can't get it off again.
GRRRRR! Can't Fio go through at least ONE DAY without messing up? Daughter and her beau drove her to Mazda to reclaim Baby Car, and Fio left her precious lista amarilla, which is about three tablets thick now, in their back seat. Bless Daughter for volunteering to drive la lista up from Austin in the morning, but, in the meantime, Fiorella is at loose ends.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Up and Down, Up and Down

Fio's day didn't start out that great, but she ended up on top of the world. First off, she finally finished off the acrostic she had promised to her mother's side of the family a couple of months ago, and today she will take it to Fed-Ex Kinkos to get fifteen card-stock copies of it run out to send to Ohio. 
     WAIT A MINUTE, FIO--did you say you will be taking the acrostic to Kinko's yourself? Does that mean you have one of your cars back?  
     That's where the top of the world comes in.  I harangued Caliber Collision on and off all day because they had told me the Mercedes would be ready today but I was hearing nothing, but finally, about four, I got word that the Queen Mary was about to set sail and would be delivered to me in the evening. Of course, I was ecstatic to have wheels again, but then I got a call from Mazda and learned that the pieces of Baby Car have been put back together and my darling would be coming home today On top of the world!
Daughter and her beau will be visiting tomorrow to help with the house, and Fio is very grateful.  Maybe they can also tell Fiorella why she can't transfer photos from FB onto her blog anymore.
Did you watch Nancy Pelosi on Colbert's show Thursday night? She was wonderful--so poised, so lady-like, so knowledgeable. Fio loves her 🧡🧡🧡
Don't laugh, but Fiorella is trying to teach herself how to cook again. She used to do a fair amount of cooking when she and Husband lived in the city and the children were at home, but Husband edged her out of the kitchen when they moved out to the country.
You won't believe this, but your girl, the same one who was complaining about the extreme heat for the past month, is now praying for warm weather so she can plant her Asian jasmines.

Friday, November 1, 2019

From Dawn to Dusk

Fiorella was terribly depressed most of the morning. It was (and still is) the electronics again. She thought she had mastered (with elder son's help) moving a photo from Facebook onto her blog, but apparently not, because she tried to do it several times and kept ending up losing the picture. And to add insult to injury, when she posted her Halloween poem on FB, it turned sideways.
Things brightened up during the afternoon,  when friend Marla called and told Fio that, thanks to her inquiry, a protocal was being put in place that would assure older people receiving their mail-in ballets. Also, SHE ASKED FIO TO DESIGN A VOTER REGISTRAR BUTTON FOR EVERYONE TO WEAR!
Later on, friend Fernando y su sobrino drove Fiorella over to a place where she could buy a few more flagstones and a load of dirt to fill in the flagstone pathway. Then they went to Home Depot, where Fio bought almost $275 worth of Asian jasmine. The new pathway was finished off (although Fiorella will probably rearrange it later in the week), but the jasmine was placed, but not planted. With below-freezing weather being predicted for the weekend, Fio hotfooted it outside the minute Fernando left and brought every single one of those plants up to the garage door before neighbors Michael and Kathy picked her up to attended the neighborhood Halloween party.
If your Fio ever had a doubt about moving, she doesn't now. Although she and Husband had attended the Halloween party religiously for the last sixteen years, there was, quite simply, NO ONE FOR HER TO TALK TO--no one to exchange the latest about their families, whatever project they were working on, current events, or even the unusually cold weather. How dull can you get?
As soon as friend Al delivered Fio to her front door, she hustled around to the garage, opened it, and two by two, carried all the jasmines inside to the warmth. No way her mother's daughter was going to let almost $300 in ground cover freeze overnight.