Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Thinking Everything Out

It's finally dawned on yours truly that the reason she's depressed most of the time now is that she has to concentrate on what she MUST do rather than what she WANTS to do. The post-death legalities and responsibilities don't leave Fiorella much time for art, music, writing, or languages--although she has made a couple of character notes for Leah's upcoming story (stay tuned).
Fio posted a picture of her dear friend Nicole Domingue on FB, but no one has spoken up as remembering her, which astounded Fiorella. Nicole was a renowned scholar, a lovely person, and a very good teacher. But then, how many of Fio's students will ever remember her?
Our politicians and their hangers-on seem to be preoccupied by money--making it off us and sticking it in their own pockets.  Fiorella votes for them attending more to the welfare of their constituents, the country, and the world, which we're all a part of.
A former classmate of Fiorella's who had the habit of alternately posting cute animal pics and mean memes which read like they'd come straight from Moscow has suddenly changed her tune and posted a level-headed plea for peace among us. Was it an accidental posting or has she changed her tune?
Do you know how much joy Fio gets from writing this column? It's her only outlet nowadays, but even if Fiorella had several other projects going, she would keep this blog up. It's her anonymous diary....although she never tells quite all.πŸ˜‰

Monday, April 29, 2019

Sonia Dog Tells All

My sprained ankle is pretty well healed so Mommy and I went for a ride this morning, taking Daddy's car because it has a back seat that I can lounge around on. We planned to stop at Walgreens first so Mommy could grab index cards, Neosporin, and whatever leftover Easter chocolates were on the shelves, then go on to Dairy Queen so I could have a puppy cup and she could have a chocolate dipped cone. (Mommy should consider giving up chocolate and eating MilkBones instead.)

When Mommy arrived at the pharmacy, she rolled down the front windows of the car about four inches, locked the doors, and told me to be a good girl, that she'd be back in five minutes. Actually, she made it in four, which I give her points for. (My mommy is the best!)

Then, on to Dairy Queen. I held my breath when we were at the service window because Mommy's not too good at judging distances so she always has to s-t-r-e-t-c-h to reach her dipped cone and my puppy cup.  (The only problem is when the server tries to give her my treat first, which tangles Mommy's arms.)

There was an old newspaper at the top of our driveway when we got home, so Mommy had to get out of the car and pick it up, which irritated her. Then she got even madder when she pushed the button that is supposed to open that garage door and nothing happened. But when she pushed the button again and said "Damn!," which is apparently a magic word,  the door obeyed her. (She knows other magic words too.)

As soon as Mommy got us in the house, I stood my ground in the kitchen and barked as loudly as I could to let any bad people who had sneaked in while we were gone know a fearsome mastiff was back on site. (Then I cuddled up to Mommy on the couch and started snoring.)

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Three Unfinished Stories

Three unfinished stories           

Sarah lifted the cold, heavy Glock out of her purse and laid it on the passenger seat so she could reach it easily.  She didn’t like toting a gun around everywhere she went, but she didn’t like the idea of getting offed by some low-life hired by her ex-husband either.  The boys were all under age, which meant Keith, with his political connections, would get custody of them, which also meant every penny of their inheritance would be gone by the time they reached their majority. 
          She moved her hand over the cold, hard steel. Not if shecould help it. 
          She was married now--in word, if not in deed, and the snooty concierge had addressed her as "ma'am" when as she'd ushered the newlyweds into the opulant bridal suite.
          Ann stared into the bathroom mirror, examining herself to see if she looked any different--aside from the professional make-up job--than she had yesterday.
          Her image stared back at her with warning eyes. You may be Cinderella, Annie girl, but remember, you're no Snow White.
           Ayella turned to recheck the room for something--anything--that would boost her up a foot higher. The bedside table--would that work? She stepped down from the chair, slid off the desk, then cleared the bedstand of of its accoutrements and lugged it over to the desk. It was heavier than she'd thought, but she managed to get it up onto the desk and turn it sideways, then pose the the light-weighchair on top of it. The construction stabilized, she took a deep brath, and began climbing toward the tower window.
           She had to get out of here. Gabriel's life depended on it.

School Days (skip this if it bores you)

*Fiorella's found some notes she wrote about her schooldays so you'll have to bear with her. You've already heard about her kindergarten adventures in the basement of a Methodist church with Mrs. Ruebright (may her tribe increase), and also read references to her first grade teachers--Mrs. Thomas, who decided to return to tecahing fifth grade after three months of dealing with younglings, Mrs. Young, whom Fiorella loved and who once brought her two grandchildren to class with her, and Miss Jackson, straight out of teacher college, who was very sharp with the class, as insecure new teachers often are.
Fio should add that, as the little girl who persuaded the rabbits not to boycott Easter, she had the starring role in the Easter show.

*Second grade with Mrs. Lehman, a friend of her mother's, was when Fiorella had to stay in from recess because she moved her spelling page so poor Darlene, who sat behind her, could copy it. It was also when Fiorella expanded her acting career by being one of the three youngsters chosen to participate in the school Christmas program, a career that was cut short when her family moved to Waco for the last two months of the school year.
Fiorella adored her new teacher, Mrs. Sublett, who was young and wore pretty dresses, but Mother, for some reason, didn't  approve of her, even though Fiorella's report card said good things and Mrs. Sublett reported that Fio was the only one in the class who had correctly identified every piece of music that the rest of the students had been listening to all semester.

*Third grade, and at last, Fiorella had a teacher that Mother approved of--Mrs. Ryder, gray-haired and rigorous. It was a good year, Fiorella remembers, although Mrs. Ryder could be sort of mean at times.

*Fourrth grade, and Fiorella should explain that in oldern days at North Waco Elementary, children were put in a single line on the playground and assigned to their teacher by a one-by-one call-out, which horrified Fio's mother. Years later, Mother confessed that when Fio was asisgned to Mrs. Mary Johnson's class, she went home and cried, but Fiorella actually had a pretty good time in the fourth grade. Mrs. Johnson was fast approaching her dotage, but she could still teach the class folk songs that Fio would sing as she walked home from school--songs like "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" and "Pickin' Up Pawpaws." And then, when Mrs. Johnson discovered Fio could draw, she had her illustrating blackboards on a regular basis. And because there was a lot of spare time in class, Fiorella had time to read the books she'd checked out of the school library (thank you, Miss Ollie Bateman) or borrowed from the home library of friend (thank you, Janene Loftis). And the best part was that when Mrs. Johnson left the class unattended, some of the kids would go up front and tell stories or--like Hardy Joe Brundage did--imitate Mrs. Johnson taking off her girdle--which he'd accidentally caught her doing in the coat room. Oh--and we always knew when there would be a fire alarm because she changed shoes.
Fifth grade, and Fiorella had another teacher she loved and Mother didn't--Miss Pewitt, probably in her thirties, who married at mid-term and became Mrs. Grissom. Mother didn't care for Fio's sixth grade teacher either, Mrs. Hinkle, a volatile redhead whom Fio adored. Her class was always interesting. She had a unit on Hawaii (because her husband had been stationed there) that Fio remembers even today. And her grammar unit on parsing was probably the basis for Fio's fascination with linguistics, her college major.

Saturday, April 27, 2019


Fiorella has long cherished--and abided by--a saying passed on from her Prussian great-grandfather: paper is patient. Mother explained it as means that you shoudn't believe everything you read because anyone can write down anything, and the paper has no way of contesting it.
Your faithful blogger seems to have become adjusted to moving back and forth between into her PC and her Mac. They both have their ups and downs. For instance, the PC has a type-here-to-search function that the Mac lacks, but the Mac holds a charge longer. And while the Mac is lighter and thus easier to pull out from under the couch, the colorful line-up of icons at the bottom of the screen is annoying, as is the routine one has to go through to delete anything.
Let's throw all the "-ism" terms terms out the window and just start being kind to each other--and honest.
No, thank-you, H-E-B. Fiorella doesn't want to try curb-side shopping. She prefers to be part of the hustle and bustle of life, to walk into the store on her own two feet and select her groceries herself, nodding and smiling at everyone in sight, often making up stories about them in her head as she passes by.
Fio finally made contact with friend Suzy-across-the-waves this morning, and she's been high as a kite ever since.  Talking to someone who still likes you even though she knows everything there is to know about you is invigorating.πŸ’—

Friday, April 26, 2019

More and More Chocolate

It's 7:18 in the morning and Fiorella, who swore  off chocolate on Wednesday, then bought three large-size leftover Easter rabbits yesterday, then swore off again after eating a rabbit when la computadora froze up on her, is craving a chocolate fix this morning. Not only is she running around in the usual early morning frenzy, but she's discovered that she hadn't made her call to friend Suzy in England as scheduled. Also, she's dealing with a certain large dog who wants complete and total get-well-soon mothering.
It's 11:1. 5 and Fiorella's  missed making her call to friend Suzy in England AGAIN. Obviously Fio has screwed up the phone number AGAIN! She also discovered she's messed up the dates of her posts. (And you wonder why she gobbles down chocolate rabbits for solace.)
It's 12:35, and after some back and forth by email, friend Suzy sent Fio the correct phone number--and it was EXACTLY what your frantic heroine had been calling--twice!  Hmmm--does Walgreens have any more rabbits left? Say--several pounds of them?
It's 2:00, and Fiorella is now sitting on the couch untangling her misdating of blog posts as Sonia Dog snores peacefully beside her, which is good because it means Doggie isn't in as much pain as she was yesterday, when she whimpered every other second. Fio will have to keep her sweetheart downstairs and as inactive as possibel, of course, which isn't that hard with a mastiff.
It's 2:16, and Fio's decided to tackle more of the insurance and investment stuff as Doggie sleeps. Then, after the dining table is finally cleared, there will be the 2018 taxes to put together. Pray God there's a black market on Russell Stover rabbits somewhere that Fio can get connected to.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Several vendors and their families had parked their pick-ups loaded with colorful cascarones and pintatas along the route Fiorella took to her brother's house on Easter, but no one seemed to be buying, which hurt Fio's heart.
You know that Fiorella had a lovely Easter in Cedar Creek, but she was also sad that, as the organizer of family events, she is now out of business. Time marches on.
The books that formed Fiorella are on the chopping block now: Heidi, Pollyana, Pollyanna Grows Up, The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew Mystery),  and Anne of Green Gables. So are her father's childhood favorites: Freshman Quaterback, Frckles Comes Home, Poppy Ott's Pedigreed Pickles, and PeeWee Harris, Mayor for a Day. Their pages must be sodden with DNA.
My nights are short
My days are long
I'm getting tired
Of being strong
Sonia Dog is limping. She's done something to her right front paw. Fio's placed the fireplace screen in front of the stairs so Doggie won't try to go up them and injure herself further. If the paw doesn't heal itself by tomorrow, Fio will have to figure out a way to get her sweet baby into the car so she can take her to the vet.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Personally Speaking

Yesterday afternoon, after three months of maintaining forward momentum and a smile on her face, Fiorella broke down and cried and cried and cried.

She'd spent most of the morning pouring over finances and had finally realized that while Husband's insurance polices and investments will give her a nice cushion, she will also have to depend on a continuing income from TRS, ERS, and Social Security--and she won't have a clear picture of the exact takes till next month. Stymied yet again--every step along her widow's way has been like this--her cool broke, and she cried. None of this wouldn't have happened if Husband were still alive.

Calming down, and with a concerned mastiff trailing behind her, she moved into the front room and hurled herself into mentally devertive activity by straightening up some messy book shelves, then cried again as she came across forgotten records of her favorite opera divas and the nine-book set of Modern Music and Musicians for Vocalists (1918), which Husband's aunt had passed down to her. The tears doubled as she found her old high school Latin books--and her mother's.

Fiorella did manage to get the shelves neatened up, but the tears were falling so fast that there was nothing to do but get in the car and bust down the road to clear out any Easter chocolate left over at Walgreens. Fio ate three small bunnies on the way home and started chomping on a big one as she crossed the threshold.

There's no real ending to this blog, except that Fiorella is getting fatter by the moment. The rest is wait-and-see, which frustrates Fio, makes her angry, and drives her to tears. And Easter bunnies.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Personal, Political, and Possibility

FIORELLA HAS CROSSED THE RUBICON as Miss Osborn, her high school Latin teacher, would have said. She's dealt with all the insurance policies and is now into the investments, which look pretty straight-forward. So far as she can tell, the rest is just clean-up (fingers crossed).
By the way. Fio seems to be in good physical health too, according to her doctor. She even passed the three-word memory test.
Hallelujah! The newspaper has been delivered to Fio's door for five days in a row. Did she tell you that delivery had gotten so spotty that she taped the American-Statesman phone number to the back of her land-line to make the all-too-familiar call into the robotic complaint desk easier?
Hoping things are looking up politically. Fiorella, as you know, pins on her home-made DUMP TRUMP button every day, rain or shine, and more and more, when she goes out, someone sidles up to her and says, "I don't like him either."
Has anyone considered that it might not be such a good idea for everything we depend on to be run by electricity? Actually, it makes us, in war and peace,more  vulnerable to mother nature and people who like to mess things up. Fio recommends a pen and paper back-up. And maybe a mule or two too.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Bookworms, On the Go, Chocolate, Doggie, Morningtide

Fiorella never realized it before, but she's living in a library. Not only did Husband and Fio save every book they ever read, but they saved their parents favorite books too. Their collections cover two walls in the front room, half the shelves in the den,  two walls in his office, a long wall in Fio's office, and various caches around the house. And now it's Fio's job to sort them out in piles labeled "keep," "sell," or "donate." With any luck, Fio should make a buck or two off Husband's Horatio Hornblower stories, but her beloved childhood books, like Heidi and The Bobbsy Twins, will end up in the dust bin. 😒
Fio's first stop today will be at her doctor's office for a semi-annual check-up. Then on to the post office and pharmacy, then off to the bank. At home, she'll make six calls--another bank, an investment fund, two insurance companies, the yardman, and Goodwill. Hoping she'll be able to breathe somewhere along the way. 😫
Thinking that Sonia Dog sees Fio as either her mother or her puppy. Maybe a little of each.πŸ’“
It's a beautiful post-Easter morning here on the acreage. There's a slight breeze, the birds are chirping, and the air smells of rain. 😊

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Different Kind of Easter

For the first time ever, Fiorella will not be celebrating Easter at home. She hasn't cut HAPPY EASTER letters out of gold foil to tape to the fireplace mantel, and she hasn't prepared a holiday treat for Husband. She hasn't even written a poem, although she did deliver little baskets of chocolate and Peeps to neighbors, and she will continue her tradition of going out early in the morning and, at the top of her voice, bellowing Happy Easter, Christ is born!"

Don't think Fio's family has deserted her. Cedar Creek son, his wife, and her family and have invited Fiorella over for an Easter egg hunt, and she will be driving into Austin about 11:00 tomorrow morning to meet up with Brother and his wife, who will provide transportation the rest of the way. Fiorella appreciates everyone involved and she's sure she will enjoy the party.

But still, it seems weird.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Remember This?

Friend Katherine and Fiorella got together at Starbucks yesterday morning, and Fio told her about the napkin poem. Hope she's reading it now.

I love the Starbucks napkins,
Pale brown and soft, yet strong
Enough to wipe up a latte spill
Or sketch a landscape on

I always grab some extras
When I am in the store
To blot my lipstick, wipe my nose,
Once I am out the door

I like them for their texture
And durability
But most of all I like them 'cause
They're free, they're free, they're free!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Waterfronting Again

Interesting--apparently Fiorella is not alone in her backlash response to the supposed worldwide mourning concerning the Notre Dame cathedral. Similar messages are popping up on Facebook, and one of Fio's friends even posted a picture of starving children in contrast to the famous tourist trap.
On to happier topics, Fio made a new friend today, her neighbor of sixteen years whom she's only met a couple of times before--remember, all the tracts in Fiorella's neighborhood cover at least five acres, which doesn't make for much talking over the fence. Carol was kind enough to bring Fio flowers this afternoon, and she and Fiorella gelled so well that it wasn't till an hour later that Carol packed up to go home.
Fio's not keeping up with the reactions to the release of the redacted Mueller Report because there's too much sound and fury right now. She's waiting for the dust to settle.
Hip hooray! Goodwill will take old paperbacks, of which Fiorella has about eight dozen. Skimming through the oldies, she noticed that all the heroes were rich, sexy, handsome, and successful while all the heroines were sweet, fragile, innocent, and virginal. What a contrast with modern-day heroines. 
Sonia Dog made out well in her weekly trip to Dairy Queen this afternoon. Not only did DQ give her the usual complimentary cup of ice cream topped by a Milk Bone, but when Fiorella deposited a check in the Chase Bank drive through, the clerk sent back two Milk Bones for Doggie.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Chocolate and Unrelated Topics

Don't tell anyone, but Fiorella has cornered the market for Russell Stover chocolate bunnies in her neck of the woods. Yeah, there are probably a few stragglers bouncing around, but she's in bunny heaven right about now. The only downside is that those five pounds she gained aren't gonna go away any time soon. Once Fio takes that fatal first bite, she can't stop.
Okay, yours truly has had it with the HGTV renovation shows. They're all alike, and they are getting b-o r-i-n-g . The brassy decorators all follow the same trends and have the same spiels.  Fiorella herself doesn't CARE how stylish something is, if it's tacky it's tacky.
Back to more important things, Fio wishes to assert that chicken Peeps  taste better than rabbit Peeps because they're more natural, just like chocolate molded into the shape of a bunny tastes better than a plain-jane chocolate bar.
Fiorella grew up with a TV in the household, and she did her homework lying on the floor in front of the boob tube, but now, in her dotage, she rarely watches it. Her exceptions are Big Bang Theory, Colbert's opening monologue, the SNL cold opening, weather predictions, and, every now and then, a Spanish-language channel. (Weird, but so is Fio.)
Question of the day--why do some people feel the need to mess up a public restroom?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Fiorella in Full Battle Gear

Okay, Fiorella's going to make a lot of people mad at her, but the Notre Dame thing doesn't really bother her that much, maybe because she's not Catholic, maybe because she's never seen it in person, but more likely because buildings have never moved her. They're just constructions, and like all constructions, they're destined to be demolished in some way or another when their time is up.

People are what move Fio. She weeps for individuals and populations all over the world, constantly enjoins people to be kind to each other, and, every now and then, takes a literary swipe at the villains among us. And to those of you who would protest that the cathedral housed irreplaceable art work, let Fio, as an artist, tell you that the planet is littered with the remains of artistry, which is fragile by its very nature.

Sure, there's only one Notre Dame, but there's only one Fiorella too--and only one you. People are more important than any building.  SAVE THE CHILDREN!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Fiorella Here, Fiorella There

Fiorella is proud of herself. This afternoon, she dumped two weeks worth of newspapers into the recycle bin fittingly located behind Georgetown's local newspaper office. Now she's got to find a place that will recycle the plastic bags and matching sleeves she's been saving.
Yep, Fio will admit it. She was sort of depressed so she ate a big Russell Stover chocolate bunny, all the time vowing that she would never do it again. Fiorella may or maybe not stick to her promise, but one thing is for sure, that she will start shedding the pounds once Easter is over and Russell Stover packs away his all too tempting goodies till next Christmas.
Once upon a time, Fiorella baked and decorated cakes for her family, and she still has all the paraphernalia in a kitchen cabinet. "Maybe I'll start making birthday cakes again," she says, forgetting that none of her kids have shown up at home for their birthdays since they hit college age.
Fiorella bought a new power cord for her Mac and she actually remembered how Elder Son taught her to attch it. Hoping that means she'll be inspired to work on a story tomorrow. Fio's still a little gunshy from when she couldn't make a revision in an older document wihout it being erased.
The world is the sadder for the loss of Notre Dame, but even sadder is the way people destroy each other all over the globe all the time. Come on folks--we can do better.

Monday, April 15, 2019

A Fairly Dull Update

This is the time of years that Fiorella should be outside alternately hefting rocks around and pruning cedars, but this spring, she's ended up spending most of her time inside, downsizing the house and dealing with banks, insurance companies, and dumb legal stuff. GRRRRRRRR!to
One thing she really needs  to nip in the bud is greenbrier, a charming vine with heart-shaped leaves that grows under trees and turns ugly as it fastens itself to branches and develops thorns. In fact, Fio's got a tentative country-western song about the it rolling around in her head--something along these lines: "Just like greenbrier growing up to a tree/ You knew how to get a hold on me/ Circled me around till you drained me dry/ Then stretched out your arms to another guy." The chorus would be like: "Greenbrier, high flyer/ Come back to me."  I'll let you know it this goes anywhere. Meanwhile, I hereby copyright it.
A beacon of light in Fiorella's wilderness--after a frantic search, she found the table-apple-penny abstract she composed for her primary care physician a while back, then lost--twice. Hope the third attempt at delivery is a charm.
If you've ever watched late-night TV, you're acquainted with Dr. Phil (channel 279). Fiorella was fascinated by him at first, but soon got tired of his ceaseless hyping of his family enterprises. She didn't like his low-life clients either.
Fio's ashamed to say that from time to time, she's taken advantage of the handicapped  sign hanging from the mirror of Husband's car and parked in the last remaining spot near H-E-B's front door. Guilty as charged.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Movin' Along...Or Not

Hope Daughter, who's going to try come over to see Fiorella today, doesn't read this post because Fio needs help again. She's lost the power cord to her brand new Mac, and she can't get the brand new printer to work.
On the other hand, Fio reread an old book by one of her favorite authors, Anita Mills, and got all inspired about writing again. Now if she can just get her equipment to work....
Fiorella was beating herself up because she's gotten so little done lately, but then she realized her world has turned upside down and she's still in shock. Husband is not here in person, but he is in spirit, and Fiorella is caught between keeping everything the way he wanted it to be and changing things to the way she needs them to be. It's a balancing act--she wants to honor Husband, but she doesn't want him ruling her from beyond the grave.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Friendship, Death, Greenbriar, Tablet, Cord

More Former Friend analysis in progress. To Fiorella, friendship means talking across a table, sharing each other's ups and downs. To FF, it meant running around together, sort of like dating. Not Fio's cup of tea.
Fio wakes every morning knowing that someone died recently, but it takes her a few minutes to figure out who it was--her mother, father, or husband. She's always about to ask Husband when she remembers he was the latest. Fiorella is alone.
Fio was feeling down so she grabbed her pruners and invited Sonia Dog to join her out in the wilderness with her. Sonia romped around and enjoyed herself while Fiorella cut down greenbriar sprouts. Then, of course, the idea for song came into Fio's mind, something about greenbriars being so pretty as they climb the tree, then choking it to death. Yep, a Country-Western winner in the making. Anybody out there play the guitar?
Speaking of tragedies, where, o where has Fiorella's yellow tablet gone/The one that she's depending on/To remind her what she wants to do all day/Where to go and what to say.
Fio's ending on a high note: after a panicky search to no avail, she stumbled upon the cord that powers her new Mac. Maybe something like that will happen in regard to her missing tablet. Hoping.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Rocks, Phoning, Bank, Recycling, Charity

Fio looked lovingly at her rock piles edging the driveway this morning and day-dreamed for a moment or two about how much fun it would be to hold a rock-gathering party so all her friends could enjoy her doughty piedras. Then it dawned on her that her friends might not the same kick out of lugging rocks around as she does. (Sigh)
What Fiorella doesn't like doing is something she spent most of the afternoon doing--calling insurance people and investment people to ask them to change the name on Husband's accounts. Not that Fio is going to accumulate a fortune, but every centime helps.
Is it Fio's imagination, or are the tellers at the bank smiling at her more now that she's deposited the takes on a couple of nice insurance policies?
HIP-HOORAY! Fiorella called around town and learned she can drop her old periodicos in a recycling bin in the alley behind the local newspaper. Now if she can find someone who recycles plastic sleeves, a collection of which she has stashed in her pantry.
Fio was holding off on donating any of Husband's clothes to charity because she was planning to go through them and mend anything that needed to be mended. She was also stalling because most of Husband's T-shirts were monogrammed and she couldn't pick out the threads. Then sheer genius bopped her on the head--embroider a few stitches over the monogram, dummy!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Husband, Anagrams, Doctor Now, Encryption, Challenge

Husband died and landed Fiorella in hell. His ashes were buried three months ago, but Fio is still dealing with the ancillaries--combing through papers to find forgotten investments, providing proof to all and sundry of their marriage, cleaning out rooms and closets, de-cluttering and downsizing, making decisions she doesn't want to have to make.
No matter what, Fio solves the anagrams in the newspaper every morning. Yes, she's an addict. (Hint: linguistic training helps).
Dr. Now keeps telling his 600 lb patients that they have to quit using food to handle their stress, and he's right. Fio's gained five pounds since Husband died, and it's all in chocolate.
Have you ever wondered if Fiorella's blog is really an encryption of instructions to foreign agents? She has. In fact, if you examine this post letter by letter, you might find a secret message hidden in it.
Look closely!


Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Not much to say
Except to pray
Our father, help me do the best I can
For me, my family, and my fellow man
Today and every day

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Fiorella's Chocolate Cake

Hello, GERD, my old friend--
I've played around on you again
Could not resist the chocolate cake
So I'll be sitting up awake
When you visit me tonight
Burning, hurting, but not contriteπŸ˜‹

Monday, April 8, 2019

Confession Time

Fiorella found an old cake mix in the pantry and decided to try her hand at baking again with spectacular results, which made her decide to add a frosting mix to her grocery list. And guess what--FROSTING NOW COMES IN A CAN! Yes, it's been that long since Fioe made a cake.
Fiorella hadn't used an alarm clock for years so she had to stop by Neighbor's house to get help setting her clock so she'd wake up in time to keep her appointment with her lawyer and the probate judge. Retirement does that to you.
Fiorella had the idea she was supposed to meet with a friend Saturday at her office so she drove into town in the blinding rain to discover that the office was locked up tight. It wasn't till Fio got home and looked at her calendar again that she realized the meeting was for Monday.
Fiorella is still searching for the 2018 blog pages that Elder Son was kind enough to print out for her so she can put them in a binder and set them on the shelf with Fiorella's other binders.
To conclude, Fiorella confesses she has eaten nothing but chocolate cake since breakfast, even though she knows she'll have GERD as her midnight visitor.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Comments Scribbled on the Back of Fio's Notebook

Fio always grabs a pen when she sits down to read the newspaper. Not to circle mistakes like her journalism teacher mother did, but to solve the anagrams and to mark the comics that make her laugh.
Husband's office is still writhing with black cords. It's like Medusa paid a visit and fogot to take her snakes home.
Fiorella would have loved to live in one of those gracious old mansions on Austin Avenue that she drove by this morning, but the upkeep must be out of this world, and besides, she wouldn't have fit in. Fio's something of a loner.
Fiorella knew the only way she she could deal with Husband's death was to become very, very  active. That's just how she rolls. .
What's HGTV gonna do when viewers get tired of watching renovations? They're getting boring, and if Fio hears to word "update" one more time, she'll throw her shoe at the TV.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Fiorella spent several hours taking care of a long-term investment she handles for the family, then tackled what she hopes is the last of her insurance forms. Her plate is still all too full, but the pressure is lessening.
It turns out that one of Fiorella's FB friends who lives in Georgetown composes pictures with old buttons, which rests Fio's conscience about that tin of three generations of buttons she inherited. They'll find a loving new home with Friend.
Your faithful correspondent actually took a few minutes off to explore the meadow behind the back yard fence with Sonia Dog. The area had never been mowed, but Fio was able to spot several nice looking rocks and fallen branches that she'll harvest at a later time. Wish Husband could have been with us.
Fiorella's reached the point that she has time to buy ahead now so she stocked up on air conditioner filters for the next two months and bought herself some new cosmetics.  Maybe she'll even have the leisure to figure out why Sonia Dog has suddenly taken an aversion to those rawhide bones she used to gobble down like they were candy.
Hey, maybe now Fio can take get around to printing out Fiorella 2018 and putting it on the shelf with the rest of her blog binders!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Women Who Write

       Fiorella is devoting this post to her lady friends who write--the historians, journalists, poets, mytstery, adventure, and romance writers. She met some of them as students, some of them when they were teaching at the same college, some through her local chapter of Romance Writers of America, various literary conventions, and other gatherings, some through writers' groups and classes, some on line, and some of them just tumbled into her life. We are a sisterhood that cannot keep our mouths shut or our pens still.  It isn't so much that we WANT to write as that we are DRIVEN to write.
       Have mercy on us. We have stories to tell, each in our own literary venue, that are burning up our brains.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Set Up

This is a passage from the first chapter of one of Fio's unpublished books that she's currently reworking. The first chapter is very important in romances because that's when the hero and heroine are introduced--often, like Neil and Ann, at odds with each other.

       Neil Graham left the room quickly, as if he were afraid she might change her mind about boarding his son for the weekend if he stayed around any longer.
       And she might have, Ann thought, pressing her cold hands against her hot cheeks.
       She stumbled over to the security of her classroom desk, then looked around the room at her students' creations--cardboard castles, tissue paper pinatas, origami birds, drawings of horses and flowers, of night monsters and superheroes, and, of course, always a favorite with the boys, bloody battle scenes. This room was her her kingdom, her refuge, and it had been invaded by a tall man wita mahogany hair and an easy smile.
       Oh god, What had she gotten herself into?
       She straightened her shoulders and thinned her lips. Come on, now Ann. You've ignored other handsome, charming men, and you can  do the same with Neil Graham. 
        She'd take care of his son this weekend, but that would be the end of it.

(But, as every romance reader knows, it's not the end. It's the beginning. πŸ’—πŸ’—

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Making Plans

Daydream along with Fio about where she'll live and what sort of residence she'll live in after she sells her current home. She'll downsize, of course--3100 square feet on 5.3 acres of land is too much for one person to handle, especially if that person wants to throw herself into writing again. Especially if that person is just 5'2" and has questionable eyesight. Especially if a good part of said land is untamed wilderness.

All Fiorella really needs is a ltttle cottage--maybe a front room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and workroom. She'll have sold or donated most of her furniture by then, and any extras could be put in storage for her kids to deal with. She'd like to live near to them, but she never wants to be a burden to them.

Ah, well, back to work. In the meantime, Fio has to get the house and property in shape so they'll sell well.

Hiyo, Silver, and away!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Emotional Day

The dry wall problem has been fixed by $825 and two guys who know how to repair ceilings. One step nearer to having the house ready to sell. Sigh...
Fiorella still can't find all her books on the Mac, and every time she tries to copy them from the PC, she gets harrassed by the resident glitch. Not happy...
Far too much time was spent at the bank dealing with a big check made out to Husband that Fio wasn't allowed to deposit in their joint account. Grrrrr...
Despite vowing to eat healthy today, Fiorella bought a big Russell Stover chocolate rabbit and enjoyed every bite of it Yummm...
Just when Fio thinks she has the Mac figured out, it pulls something on her, like mixing up all the documents copied from the PC. Anger...

Monday, April 1, 2019

Birth, Computers, Responsibilities, Nostalgia, Pinwheels

Fiorella bought a gift for her new great-grand-niece and sent it off in her name and Husband's (in absentia). A death, a birth--life moves on.
Speaking of moving on, Fio has been dipping her toes into writing again lately, now that she has a computer that won't take it upon itself to do the editing. It's taken a couple of days, but your faithful correspondent is getting used to shifting between the PC and the Mac. So far, whatever one won't do, the other will, like a tag team.
Of course, there's lots of other stuff for Fiorella to do--like finding out why the sutomatic sprinkler system won't work, hauling firewood out of the woods and rocks out of the dry creeks that surround the house on three sides, and taming the rampant cedars with her new chain saw. Then there's the fence repair on the northwest side of the property--she'll hire a pro for this job, but you know who will supervise.
Fio is painfully aware that she'll have to leave her lovely haven sooner rather than later, but she'll admit that the drive down Hwy 29 is not as pleasant as it used to be. Guady LAND FOR SALE signs are everywhere, and it looks like her hide-away, large acreage neighborhood will soon be surrounded by fake trees and big houses that have hardly an arms length between them.
Okay, Yours Truly admits that when she drove into town this morning to pick up supplies, she added Pinwheels to her list, then ate every single one of them when she she got home. Sometimes a girl needs a little comfort food.