Friday, May 31, 2019

Nancy, Fiorella, and Putin

       Aha! Fiorella knew she should trust Nancy's judgment!
       Researching impeachment, Fiorella read that the House of Representatives impeaches and can convict, but THE SENATE CAN THEN ACQUIT.  Checks and balances, you say, but, in this case, the balances are lopsided because the Senate is overloaded with corruption, from Mitch McConnell on up and down, which means an impeachment, even a conviction, would be nothing but a lengthy, expensive waste of time and yet another a stage for Trump's bombast and theatrics.
       But what CAN we do? What can Nancy do? She's saying we'll need to wait till we can blue-wash the Senate at the end of Trump's term, which is, yes, the right way to go about things, but Fio, like many others, would like to see more immediate action, before our country goes totally down to the dogs--or Russia.
       We used to laugh at people who saw Boris and Natasha behind every bush, but there's nothing to laugh about now, and the modern Russians are a lot smarter than Boris and Natasha were. They're red-headed sex bombs who cozy up to guys with guns. They're people sitting behind keyboards in Moscow and composing hateful memes to be posted on Facebook and Twitter. They're Congressmen who've sold their souls for thirty pieces of silver.
       And they're a president who who has fallen in love with Vladimir Putin, the dictator who has vowed to destroy us.

Thursday, May 30, 2019


If there's one thing Fio runs out of easily, it's patience, especially when she's trying to get things done--like close out the stupid Ameritrade account, which, the third time around the block, is still hanging fire. (GRRRRRRRR!)
Fiorella's beautiful breakfast bowl, the one she's been using for about three years now, got broken in a freak accident yesterday morning, and Fiorella immediately knew it indicated a big change in her life. Then, when she went to Target and couldn't find a replacement, she knew that was a sign that the change would be permanent. (Fiorella doesn't like premonitions or surprises.)
As far as Fio can tell, the technological world has neither conscience nor sense of responsibility.  (After all, it's them thar robots what done it.)
Fiorella is a driven woman. She wants the post-death mess to be tied up as soon as possible so she can move on with her life, and she also to arrange everything so that her kids, despite themselves, won't have to go through the same crap she has. (Translation: too many stupid hoops to jump through.)
If you put Fio's hands on the steering wheel and her foot on the gas pedal, she will drive all the way to Austin and back without waking up. (Yeah, she's made the trip that many times.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Anger in Home Depot

Fiorella went out on a quick trip to deposit a check to the bank and pick up tub of chlorine tablets for the septic tank. The deposit went smoothly, and Fio was even rewarded with a sucker (which she graciously declined), but the stop at Home Depot was a nightmare. The store has been going downhill in the last couple of years--it can't seem to keep employees and the new ones (mostly low-paid retirees) don't seem to know  their way around the place, even though they're armed with cell phones.

Fiorella was first directed to the garden area, where she dutifully walked up and and down the aisles, growing angrier by the minute. Nothing to do but try to snag one of the employees walking the floor, but that was a blog in itself because there were so few of them. Finally, her prize having been lassoed and hogtied, she was able to explain her mission.

Her captive employee checked his phone and led her to an area that carried similar products--but they were for flowers rather than septic tanks. Then he led her back into the main building and down the rows to the aisle that he was sure would hold the product--but it didn't. The space was empty and, as he discovered by checking up on his cell phone, had been so for the last six weeks and probably would remain so for an indeterminable length of time.

"Must be a shipping problem, " he muttered.

Fiorella gritted her teeth. "Guess I'll have to drive into Austin to get chlorine tablets."

He shrugged.

What could she do but stomp out of the stupid store, casting baleful glances at all and sundry along the way, then get in Baby Car, and zoom home? For fifteen years, she and Husband have faithfully plunked two pellets of chlorine into the septic system at the beginning of every month, and now Fiorella can't even buy them!


From Helpfulness to Trump

Elder Son and has wife have been visiting for four days now, and they've worked wonders. Son has cleaned out a lot of the garage, repaired the mower  that Top Gun (remember that name) messed up, and put all sorts of items up for sale locally and on eBay, a fair number of which have already sold. D-in-L has helped with the sweeping and gathering clothes for The Caring Place. Also, the two of them are just plain good company.
Fiorella is still decluttering the house, of course, but it looks like she's in the last phase of the paper work, with only the probate and her own will to go. Next comes financial management--and working on the 2018 income taxes (groan).
Fiorella could understand when Trump ignorantly saluted a North Korean general--after all, he'd never served in the military--but she can't understand why his followers aren't bothered by him wishing the Japanese Prime Minister "Happy Memorial Day." She also can't understand why they are letting it pass that he was so gleeful about Kim Jung-Un slamming Joe Biden, an American citizen who served as VP for two terms and  certainly never killed off his own brother and uncle the way KJ-U did.
Word is out that Trump will be welcomed to Britain with the infamous Baby Trump balloon, milkshake bombardments, and raucous crowds. Maybe he'd better sit this one out.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Another Excerpt from Sigrid and Mik's Story

     “Tell me, Sigrid, why did you make me come home with you--or do you pick up every kinky-looking street beggar you see?”
      “Because I knew you, you ass!”
    “ So?  Did I embarrass you?  Were you afraid someone would realize I used to be your husband?” 
     “Don’t be ridiculous,” she bit out between thinned lips.  “No one around here would even care.”
     “Then why?, he prodded. "You could have pretended not to recognize me, or refused to look at me, like three-quarters of the people who drive by, but you stopped and picked me up.”
      Good question, and she had to struggle to articulate an answer. 
      The anger drained out of her, and she walked to the floor-length window to look out at the new day, trying to sort through her thoughts.
      Their marriage had been so brief, less than a year, but it had changed her life.  During that time she’d gone from total  ecstasy to total despair—three months in that wonderful crummy little apartment followed by five months of hell living with his parents in Elk River.  His mother and sisters did the best they could, but his father was a horror, and soon Mik was spending all his time drinking and playing video games, just like Papa.  And there was nothing she could say that had any effect on him. 
      She was out of there As as soon as she’d saved enough money from her minimum-wage job to file for divorce. Then, like a phoenix from the flames, a new Sigrid had emerged , cold as ice and tough as nails.  So why had she bothered to bring Mik home with her?   
     “I don’t know,” she finally murmured--to herself as well as to him.  “Maybe because of the sweet boy I married nine years ago, the one who wrote poetry and said he loved me.” 
     She shook her head in disbelief, then turned to face him.
     “What a fool I was.”

Monday, May 27, 2019

From Starbucks to trump

Fio has a full day ahead-- first meeting with some writing friends at Starbucks (where else?), then putting in a phone call to her yard man to check on his availability, contacting  her Colorado lawyer about some property she now owns, and getting in touch with the company that fixed her leaking pipe six months ago to make sure she's up to date in her payments. She also has to drive some stray clothes she's found to The Caring Place and start on the stacks of books in Husband's office, mostly sea-faring adventures.
This will be the first time Fio's ever met with these friends altogether, although she's known each of them for several years. Interesting enough, two of the women write fiction and one writes poetry. Fiorella, of course, does both, but not as much as she'd like to.
Guess what? Fiorella has dimples, which she herself didn't realize until until one of her students mentioned them in a teacher evaluation. Fio, of course, rushed to the mirror, and there those cute indentations she's always wanted--not in her cheeks, but on the sides of her mouth.
There's nothing like going out to eat with family. Fiorella enjoyed every moment of the dinner at Fish Daddy's. There were five around the table--Fio, elder son and wife, and nephew Barrett and wife, who hosted the event. The wonder of it all was that Fiorella, who'd fallen prey to a bag of Pinwheels earlier in the afternoon and knew she shouldn't complicate matters by further transgressions, ordered the dinner portion of salmon and fries. Surprisingly, she slept like a baby all night, with not a twinge of GERD. Guessing the salmon and fries ameliorated the marshmallow and chocolate Pinwheeels.
Am reading the Trump says the doctored video of Nancy Pelosi was deserved revenge for her saying he "needed an intervention." Overkill is his specialty, but Fio is predicting that Pelosi's steadier hand will win this bout. He's not only justifying the video, but taking credit for it. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Fiorella's cell phone swallowed a picture she took earlier in the week, and yesterday, her computer totally erased the blog she had written for today, a long blog that had taken her about two hours to write because she had to fight her way through her jungle of documents for suitable excerpts from non-pubbed stories and rewrite them to suit the format. Needless to say, Fio exploded. She's tired of things not working the way they should in her own life and in the life of the nation.
Technology is the enemy of the people. Fiorella's printer wouldn't print and her computer  wouldn't copy. She was reduced to hand-copying the material she wanted to use, then typing it into the blog. You can understand why Fio threw a fit when the "PUBLISH" didn't take.
Fio's not even sure this entry will take. She'd tell you to let her know, but if you don't get the blog, how will you know how to contact her?


Saturday, May 25, 2019

From Vocabulary to Poetry

This week, for the first time, Fio referred to Husband as "my late husband." It seemed as weird to say as "widow" did five months ago.
Sonja Dog has a Cargo Cult mentality. She keeps trying to force Husband to reappear by trotting upstairs, making herself comfortable on the bed, and barking for him to come join her.
Nothing like anger to gear up your Fiorella. She's still seething about the neighborhood get-together, and she spent a frustrating hour on the phone this morning with Capital One, which had notified her about a needed correction regarding her credit card, but kept giving her incorrect information until she finally gave up and figured out another way to alleviate the situation. Luckily, her next phone call was to Husband's stock brokerage, which cooperated beautifully. Of course, Fio is still hot under the collar over the attack on Lutheranism, and then there's the disgraceful video slander of Nancy Pelosi--may Trump roast in hell!
Fio would never be able to find the turn to her Austin bank if it weren't down the street from the Dairy Queen.
The curse of having a mother who loved poetry:  Fiorella cannot hear anyone asking "Who is xxxx?" without inwardly answering, "That all her swains commend her."


Friday, May 24, 2019


Look at Facebook and get the details on the raid of the home and family of Betty Rendon, a Lutheran pastor who was beginning doctoral studies at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Her daughter, who was driving her five-year-old son  to school, was stopped and handcuffed. Then the house was raided and Pastor Rendon, who was making breakfast in the kitchen, was handcuffed. The whole time, her granddaughter screamed in fear as strangers brandished guns and all her adults were handcuffed and taken away. The unlocked house was ransacked and robbed.
As a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Fiorella is outraged! AS A HUMAN BEING, FIORELLA IS OUTRAGED!
Lutheranism is a restful religion. We have a lot of music in our churches and sing every verse of every hymn. Like our Scandinavian and German ancestors, we have a tendency to be plodders, but we're also stubborn. Thus, you've often heard Fio say "Here I stand. I can do no other," which, of course, is straight out of Martin Luther's playbook--except he said it auf Deutsch.
The raid on Pastor Rendon has reminded Fiorella that her widowhood problems are minor compared to what some people have gone through, and, while Fio doesn't have any political influence, she can write to readers across the nation and the world in such a way as to gain their attention, which is what she is doing right now.


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Ideas and Actuality

Somewhere in the world, there is a woman who wakes up in the morning, glances out the window at the golden dawn, and says, "What shall I do today?" That woman is not Fiorella, who always has a long list of things that need doing.
Actually, what Fio would like to do is go back to sleep for another hour or two, but every time it seems she's making headway, another road bump pops up. Hope Son and his wife will be able to clear more of the road for Fio when they arrive on Friday.  Of course, they may pull in the driveway, look around, get back in their car, and drive back to Minneapolis.
Fiorella had a great visit with friend Janece at Starbucks yesterday. She and Fio are surprisingly alike, although Janece has a long string of published romances to her credit, while Fio just has two lonely romances out there  (LOOK FOR JANECE HUDSON ON AMAZON, PEOPLE!)
Speaking of writing, Fio's come up with a multi-book idea starting in the first world war and moving up through the years. We'll see, but don't hold your breath.
Hurry, hurry, worry, worry! How will Fio ever get the house in shape when the bedroom closet is still a mess? She just discovered seven more of Husband's long-sleeved shirts that she'll have to cart off to The Caring Place today. The guys who unload the cars are old friends by now.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

From Insomnia to Ear Music

Fiorella was still so upset by the neighborhood meeting that she didn't get much sleep Monday night, which means she didn't get much done Tuesday. Delivering the last of Husband's shoes to The Caring Place was about it.
"Yes, Guy, I'm your father," said Belesme, the villainest of all villains in Anita Mills' historical romance Fire and Steel, but Darth Vader, the villainest of all outer-space villains, said the same thing to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. So which villain declared his fatherhood first? Fiorella, a romance writer, had her money on Beleseme, but no, Darth won.  The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980, preceding Fire and Steel by eight years.
Fio is somewhat alarmed by her PC all too frequently trying to persuade her to talk to it so it can "understand" her better. The last thing Fio needs is a machine that knows her voice...and can maybe reproduce it.
Another busy schedule tomorrow--Fiorealla is driving into Austin to meet with friend Janece, then set up end-of-life stuff with friend Bea, then have a restful afternoon with her hairdresser, friend Deborah.
On a personal note, Fio's finally figured out that the faint music she's been hearing for a while now is tinnitus. No problem--she likes it. Very soothing.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


I sing an ode to my orthotics
That keep me walking strong
So I don't wince or limp or hobble
As I walk along

They cost four hundred fifty dollars,
A bargain in my book
Because they keep me ambulatory,
Pain-free, and feeling good

Monday, May 20, 2019


       In high spirits, Fiorella zoomed up the street to the Home Owner's Association meeting, a twice-a-year get-together that she usually enjoys. It gives her a chance to talk to old friends and maybe find a few new ones. But not this time. After a half hour of meats and treats, followed by a long-winded presentation by a uniformed officer from  the Georgetown police department, came an equally long-winded  summing-up from the chairman of the board, then a group foray into the idea that the HOA should, for the of sake of property values, meddle in how people take care of their acreage. Fio had thought she might say something if the topic came up, but was so hot and bothered by then that she let everyone else duke it out.
       It's not as if the property values in the enclave aren't going up on their own. The city is stretching out toward us, and if Fio can hang on long enough, she'll end up with a nice profit when she sells. Of course, she'll make a few of her own improvements along the way, like enlarging the back yard fence and finishing off the north fence. (But she will NOT cut down her trees!)
       The whole show was another example of how Fiorella can't deal with crowds. She was terribly restless and probably rolled her eyes far too many times, but with this stupid tremor, she can't express herself clearly, which meant she had to keep her mouth shut except for a few call-outs. 
        It didn't matter. Logic never wins.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Household Adventures

Fiorella said she would bring a gingerbread cake to the neighborhood picnic, then forgot to take it out of the oven until an hour or two later, so you know who's going to be heading down to H-E-B bright and early this morning. There's probably a way to tell an oven how long to cook something, but that sort of knowledge died with Husband. Remember, Fio's only visits to the kitchen were as a casual visitor.
Now that Husband's clothes are out of the closet, Fiorella has to rearrange it to accommodate her own wardrobe, which has been greatly amplified by the inclusion of most of Husband's T-shirts. She tried on his cowboy boots too, but they were two sizes too big.
The legal stuff is still moving at the speed of molasses, with irritating glitches all along the way.  Fio has finally finished changing her life insurance beneficiaries from her husband to her kids, but the stocks and the probate are still hanging fire.
Girding her loins, Fiorella dived under the double desk in the den and pulled out the set of plastic drawers Husband had parked under it. Wow--photography equipment, another cache of ink pens, a mummified scorpion, and various things she can't identify, but Elder son will be here in a week, and  he'll know what they are.
Fio missed the Colbert monologue Friday night (yes, she fell asleep) and wanted to pick it up today so she did all the things D-in-L Jennifer had taught her to do. Everything was going great guns until the show suddenly cut off and Fio was advised to "refresh" her page. What the heck did that mean? She tapped all over the screen to no avail, and then the dang thing reverted to desktop. And you wonder what Fiorella has against electronics!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

More to Say Than Expected

Not much to say
The world's a-tilt
Up to the hilt
And looks like it's staying
That way
Fio grew up snobbish about country-western songs, but now, she's drawn to them. They're soothing.
WOW--Fiorella got a call from a guy up the street about the neighborhood get-together on Sunday, and it sounds like the fur will fly about the survey the HOA sent out. Apparently some segments of the population want to be able to monitor the acreages of the other segment for things like "aesthetics." Fio thought this post would be very short, but then things got a-poppin'. Will keep you posted.
Fio will be driving another trunk full of Husband's clothes to The Caring Place today. She's had to do all the lifting, carrying, and packaging on her own.
Still jotting down notes for the greenbrier song. How about "I'd be her's, but she'd never be mine/ Come winter, she'd be gone like a greenbrier vine."

Four Negatives and a Tearful Positive

Fio received a notice from her credit card company that because she hadlost her old card and now had a new card with a different number on it, one of her insurance companies couldn't be paid so she should inform the company of her new card number. The only problem was that the email address her card company provided was incorrect. No harm done--she'll just wait for the insurance conpany to reach her by mail, but she resents the time (half an hour) and energy spent achieving nothing.
Fiorella had to walk up to the road for her newspaper again so she picked up her land line phone, looked at the American Statesman number taped to the back and called in to the robotic voices again.
The next thing on Fio's list is to try to get hold of Husband's investment company again--you know, the ones who said they'd contact her two weeks ago. Apparently there was some sort of secret code by which Fio was supposed to contact them so they could contact her. Yeah, now you know why yours truly is not fond of the technological age. Damn it--Fiorella is a PERSON, not a digit!
On the home front, Fio is up to six bug bites now, which confirms that it's semi-summer. Mosquitoes are especially enamored of her, but apparently she's open season to all the other flying insects that are looking for a juicy treat.
Fiorella, a devoted Big Bang Theory fan, was devastated when word got out that the show was in its last season, and, afraid the final double-episode would be a bomb, she girded her loins against further devastation as she turne don the television. BUT IT WAS GREAT!  Lead-up episodes had given Leonard a more satisfying job and peace with his mother, but in the last show, the repaired elevator had a leading role, Sheldon and Amy got the Nobel Prize, Penny turned up pregnant, Amy had a physical make-over, and Sheldon had a psycological make-over. The only disappointment was the Raj was still just a tag-along, but Fio is hoping there will be some sort of happiness for him, like maybe a one-episode get-gether in the future.

Friday, May 17, 2019


It suddenly dawned on Fiorella that the reason the leader of a milk cow herd is generally portrayed as wearing a bell around her neck is that, as we've seen in several cute FB videos, cattle are attracted to musical tones and thus will follow her majesty back to the barn for milking.
Speaking of cows, 125 lb Sonia Dog likes to plop herself down on Fiorella's lap and be petted. Eventually, Fio will manage to ease out of this garden of love and shift her computer onto her lap, but then Sonia sits by her side and whines. She's seen the computer as her rival ever isnce she was a puppy. Never mind, Sonia. It looks like a lovely day putside so you and I can go outside later and enjoy it without teh com,puter interfering.
Fio cut herself a slice of the gingerbread cake she made yesterday, and it's GREAT! Maybe when she's through testing the boxes left in the pantry, she'll buy a few more of the ones she especially liked.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

In a Better Mood Today

Hooray! Fiorella not only boiled three eggs in a pan on the stove yesterday, but cooked salmon in the oven for her supper, which was accompanied by a gingerbread cake she had whipped up by following the directions on the box. Unbelievable!
Fio's blood sugar test showed her up as pre-diabetic. She hastily explained to the nice young man on the phone that it was just from December through April--Russell Stover time.
Trying to locate and rescue her little red wagon, Fiorella took a look through the overgrown underbrush in and around the dried creek to the south. She'd parked it there before Husband died so it would be handy when she had time to gather more rocks for edging the driveway, then not gone back to it. Guess she'll have to ask for neighbor Michael to help. Fio not only wants to score more rocks, but she wants to make sure the low-water-bridge people, who should show up soon, won't trash her little wagon.
Speaking of trash, the woods on that side of the acreage are a treasure trove of lena y piedras. Yum!
Another beneficiary change is in the mail so there's only one to go. Next comes shaking down Ameritrade, consulting with Cook-Walden again, and trying to figure out what all the rest of the dang papers on her dining room table are about.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Finding Things

Fiorella searched the house upside and down last night, trying to find the TV remote. She and Sonia were the only ones at home, so where could it have gone? Fio's eyes settled on Doggie, who was sprawled on the couch asleep, the same Doggie who would settle down on ANYTHING connected to Fio, and bade her time. There was a rumble of rain outside and, as Sonia Dog rolled over, Fiorella's quick hand grabbed the remote from under her belly and placed it on the arm of the sofa. No way she was going to miss Colbert!
It's mid-year, so Fio's doctor has her going through a whole list of medical appointments. Today it was a mammogram and a bone-density test. Fiorella girded her loins by meeting up with friend Ashley at Starbucks beforehand. After the tests, she visited The Caring Place, a local charity, to get an idea of what to claim  on her income tax for her donations. Lots of nice things there at basement level prices. The US is indeed a rich country.
Sonia and Fiorella went outside in early evening, and Fio picked up several pieces of flint from the dry creek. If she could, she'd corner the world market on it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Change of Pace

Tired of Fio yapping about how crappy her life is now? Then take a few minutes off and enjoy a teaser from one of her unpublished novels:

       Mik smiled to himself at the sound of his ex-wife's bedroom door slamming shut, then locking, and ambled down the hall to the room she'd asssigned him.
       As he expected, it was as bloodless as the rest of Sigrid's apartment--double bed, matching bureau, velour-upholstered chair, a color scheme of beige and navy. He took a look in the closet--a must for anyone who read the sort of books he did. A hanging travel bag had been pushed into the corner. He unzipped it, of course. Always have to check for the dead body.
       A couple of shirts, a suit, a pair of slacks,  tennies, shoes--a drop-in wardrobe for a sleepover guy. A surge of primeval anger ran through him, an anger he knew he had no right to. Nine years had passed since he and Sigrid had been man and wife, and he'd certainly had his share of relationships in the meantime so why couldn't she have played around a little herself?
       He pulled a gray wool suit out of the bag and measured it against himself. Sigrid's lover was a couple of inches taller than he was, maybe six-three. The anger surged through him again and he gritted his teath. Probably some damn Scandinavian Hercules--craggy jaw, cold eyed, blond.!
       Pinching the neck of a suit, he looked at the label--Armani. How bourgeois can you get?
       He stuffed the suit back in the bag, then frowned in thought.
       But why was it that lover boy's clothes were here and lover boy wasn't?

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day Memories to Tuck Away

Fiorella had a great time yesterday with her two Texas children, her granddaughter, and daughter's boyfriend. She was scheduled to meet them all at Dan's in Austin at 1:00, but they ran late, which meant she grabbed a table, then sat there alone in a room full of celebrating people for fifteen minutes feeling sorry for herself until her family arrived. It turned out that they had been caught up in one of I-35's all-too-frequent traffic jams.
Everything went uphill from there on in, and after lunch at Dan's, everyone drove over to Central Market so Granddaughter could enjoy the playground. Fio hitched a ride with the BF, which allowed her to get better acquainted with him, a real plus. Another plus was watching the way Son took care of his daughter--he must be the best father in the world. The roses and chocolate cupcake that cupcake Daughter insisted on buying for Fio were the third plus. And the fourth plus was.....GRANDDAUGHTER REACHED OUT TOWARD FIORELLA FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!
To top off a wonderful Mother's Day, Minnesota Son called to wish Fio well, talk about his upcoming visit, and tell her about his morning at church, where he plays bass guitar on a regular basis. Fio is happy about  his life coming full circle--as she's told you before, Husband and Fio first realized Son's musical inclinations when he was just a toddler and insisted on staying in church until the very last cord of the organ died.
Fio forgot to add that as she was stopped at a traffic light on the way home, she noticed that the beggar walking up and down the center strip had a tail-wagging, happy-looking dog on a leash walking behind him at every turn. Now, Fio makes it a rule to NEVER give money to panhandlers, but she couldn't help opening her door, calling for the man to come back, giving him a dollar, and yelling "I love your dog!" as the light turned and she drove off.
Remembering Mother's Days in the past........ 
Fio's mother would have been surprised if Fiorella hadn't celebrated her on Mother's Day, but Husband's mother was caught by surprise when yours truly, Husband in tow, showed up on Mother's Day with a cake and accutermants. Fio later learned that Mother-in-law saw minor holidays as gimmicks by merchants to increase their sales.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Whatcha Up To, Fiorella?

Fio spent a couple of hours this afternoon sorting through her yellow notes and dividing them into six piles--Fiorella, Writing, Poetry, Murder Mystery, Languages, and Notes. The latter will have to be divided further at a later date because its envelope is overflowing.
Did Fio tell you that even with two pillows stacked under her, she can't see over the steering wheel clearly? And you wonder why she won't be keeping the Mercedes.
Fio suddenly realized that if she ditched her panties before dressing to go out, no one would notice, but if she ditched her bra, the whole world would notice.
Fioella can't always remember the year in which each of her children were born, but she remembers exactly what she weighed in at before each pregnancy.
Saving the best for last, Fiorella will be joining her Texas children and her grandchild for lunch in Austin today. HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY TO ALL 💗💗💗

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Necessary Arrangements

       Your Fiorella drove into Austin yesterday to meet up with Bea Wallis at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, out of which Husband, and before him, his father and mother, were buried. Not that Fio is planning to depart this mortal coil anytime soon, but it's always nice to be prepared.
       Bea is an old friend. Husband and Fiorella first met her when she was trying to persuade his family's long-time maid to continue paying for her funeral arrangements so she wouldn't lose the pot of money she had already invested. Later, Fiorella visited Bea a couple of times a year to pay for chunks of her and Husband's own arrangements, so they became friends even though Fio, being a tightwad even in death, always opted for the el cheapo arrangements.
       No use wasting money on something you can't enjoy.
       Taking care of her own funeral is a load off Fiorella's back and, she hopes, her childrens'. There's no reason for them to go through all the hassles she has encountered, although, of course, the human factor and the back-and-forths with insurance companies will always be with us. (This is Fiorella's fifth month of widowhood, and the investments are still hanging fire.)
       Fio knows that someday everything will get all straightened out and she will be able to live her own life again. Let's pray that will be soon.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Fio's Ups and Downs

Wondering how many books have started out as scriblings on napkins at Starbucks. 🙃
Fiorella is sorting through her romances to see which ones to keep for inspiration. Strangely, her Betty Neels collection is in the "keep" pile. The sex never went further than a kiss, but that woman could tell a story. 💗
Fio played the piano this morning for the first time since Husband died. It was a matter of trying to center herself, to find "normal" again. Maybe she'll add in the plies and standing push-ups tomorrow.🌝
Only one more episode of Big Bang Theory next week, which will make Fiorella very sad. The only other show Fiorella watches faithfully is Colbert's, but just the opening monologue. 😢
The gist of yesterday's intended post was that Fio delivered that huge box of Husband's clothes to The Caring Place in the rain, deposited a check at the bank, but couldn't get gas because the lightning had messed up the tanks so she drove the Mercedes to Austin on a quarter tank. The storm hit while she was en route, and she had to wait in her car for 25 minutes before she could take her books into 1/2 Price. Then she drove to Central Market (a local watering hole) to meet with friend Kaye for an hour, then thought she had lost her yellow tablet, but it showed up hidden in the car. Next she drove to Goodwill and donated her remaining books, then went to her bank to get the account changed to her name only, then started home, unaware she had lost her tablet for real until she stopped at a gas station and a man leapt out of car that had been trailing her and gave her her tablet.  (Fio told the story more cleverly and in greater detail in the post she accidentally deleted. 😢

Thursday, May 9, 2019


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Activities, Adventures, and Analysis

 Fiorella's put together another big load of Husband's clothes to donate to The Caring Place--two bathrobes and at least a ton of shirts of various types--and she's exhausted, but the closet isn't cleared out yet. The suits and the shoes are still to come. At this point, the only thing that makes sense to Fio  is chocolate, and she doesn't have any in the house right now. Maybe raspberries will do the job.😫
Everything is still in hurry-up-and-wait mode right now, which makes Fio anxious. She likes to know exactly where she stands because that's the only way she can do anything about it. 😡
Western Broadband emailed Fiorella that she was past due four cents on a bill and could have a $10 fee added to her next payment if she didn't fork up, so yours truly, being the thrifty type, immediately mailed them a four-cent check. even though the postage, of course, was more than the payment.  The postal carrier picked the envelope up from Fio's mailbox at about 2:00 and at about 3:00, Western Broadband sent a note to Fio saying she didn't have to send a check, that they'd just add the delinquent four cents onto her next month's bill. Too late. Fio is out forty-six cents, but she thinks she'll get by.😉
Fiorella just got a very cute invitation to a Mother's Day gathering of the clan, which warms her heart.💗💗💗

The way Trump is ranting and raving about his taxes being investigated, he must have some really stinky bodies buried somewhere. 🙁😦🙁

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


Fiorella suddenly realized that if she had started writing this blog earlier, she would be able to remember events her kids remembers that have entirely fled from her memory, like that hijo menor was the one who dug out and installed the koy pond for Husband and Fio. On the other hand, hijo has forgotten a few things about his early childhood that Fio remembers all too vividly, like when he threw a fit when Fio was driving him home from pre-school and kept grabbing at the steering wheel, and honking, which attracted the attention of the police.
How about a inventing a game involving HG-TV in which viewers place bets on how many times they hear certain scripted phrases?  You know the ones--over-used comments like "open concept," "outdated," "my stamp," and the ever-available "I can just see myself...."
Fiorella has hair so strong-willed it is resistant to hairspray, damn it!
Whenever Fio leaves puts anything down on the couch, whether it be a pillow, newspaper, or tablet, Sonia Dog plops her rear end down on it. Today it was a life insurance check. Fio only hopes nothing rubbed off.
With her income going down $3000/mo because of Husband's death, Fio has turned into the queen of thrift. Not is she using grocery bags rather than trash bags to gather her garbage for the bin at the curb, but she is reusing paper cups and making sure to grab a good handful of napkins at Starbucks for home use. Maybe she'll even be able to sell a book or two once she gets her life settled down again.

Monday, May 6, 2019

From Nuts to Dogs

Fio has turned into a recycling nut. Not only does she drop her newspapers into the designated bin behind the Williamson County Sun office, but she's started using her H-E-B grocery bags in place of big garbage bags.
Clearing off Husband's desk--the one behind the couch, not the one next to his recliner or the one next to the stairs or the one upstairs in his office or the one next to his side of the bed--Fiorella was again reminded that, while she tries to be "a place for everything and everything in its place" kind of person, Husband was an "all over the place" kind of person.
Fiorella also cleared Husband's waedrobe of jeans out of the closet for delivery to "The Caring Place," leaving his suits and good slacks till tomorrow. His T-shirts and pullover sweaters, of course, will stay in the closet. As Fio discovered this winter, they fit her just fine.
Checking out the western driveway yesterday afternoon, Fio was pleased to see that the rock edging is holding out fairly well, but she ventured down to the dry creek and harvested some rocks to fortify a few weak spots. Now for the north side. It's important to patrol la entrada regularly because erosion can overrun any unsecured rock rim.
     Remember that Fiorella wondered what dog owners in rainier climes do when Doggie needs to answer a call of nature during a heavy rain?
    "Well," friend Suzy informed Fio, "we put on our hooded raincoats, then unroll our large umbrellas, and hold them over the dog whilst she pees!"
     Now you know, and so does Fio. Of course, on the other hand, not all canines are inside dogs.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Two Jokes and a Tease

Thank goodness that Fiorella has three credit cards because she called the wrong one in as being lost, then cut up the right one before she realized her mistake, which has left her with just one card till the replacements arrive later this week. Got all that?
The dining room table is clearing off more and more, especially since mi hijo menor, who used to work at Schwab, visited Fiorella el sabado (ayer) and talked to the telephone people at Ameritrade in investment-eeze.
Here, Fio will give you an excerpt from one of her unpublished books:

       Tally stretched an arm behind her head and considered the situation. It was good of Aunt Beth to have Grandma come live with her in Philadelphia, but it must have been hard for Babushka to leave her home town. The Skibas had deep roots in Minetown, witness the number of family headstones Tally had counted in the cemetery this morning.
       Well, one thing was for certain. She herself would never end up under a headstone in the well-populated grounds behind the little church topped by onion domes--and she wouldn't end up anywhere else either.
       He eyelids were heavy now and her brain was getting fuzzzy. Curling up in the middle of the queen-sized be, she pulled the covers over her head for total darkness. When she awoke later tonight, she'd drink half pint of blood from the Igloo container next to the bed, then walk the dark, comforting night.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Thanks, Big Bang, Coumadin, Doggie, Queen

First, a heart felt thank-you goes out to whomever it was that sent Fiorella a brain-wave message to shuffle her feet as she walked across the den because ---TA-DA--that's when sus lentes decided to show up. Fio has a back-up pair, but its single lens is held into the frame with Scotch Tape. There should be two other pairs around here, but Fio can't find them. Remember, your faithful correspondent leaves not music, but a trail of glasses, wherever she goes.
Fio laughed out loud time and time again Thursday night when she was watching Big Bang Theory--The wrap-up of the Nobel contentious contention was sheer comic genius. Okay now, Howard and Bernadette are doing just fine, but what is in Leonard and Penny's future? And how about poor, lonely Raj?
Fiorella decided not to sign up for the at-home gadget for her monthly coumadin check. The device was a good idea in theory, but terribly complicated in practice.  Besides, the slick-talking nurse who called, then came to the house, waited till she got here to announce she was allergic to dogs.
Sonia Dog doesn't like the heavy rain, and neither does Fio. It means Doggie will be whining to go outside in the middle of the night to do her duty. How do dog owners handle this situation in rainier climes?
Fiorella admits that she's been following news of the British royals lately. It's such a relief from the dirty dealing that's going on in the ruling family over here. Of course it is--a woman is in charge.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Senate, Boxing, Endurance, Quesion. Visual

Let me get this straight. The Texas senate has curtailed motorized scooters, but endorsed taking guns to church?
Fiorella has put on the gloves and entered the ring again. Yes, she's fighting her way through yet another insuror's over-rigid bureaucracy. This one is telling her that Husband's birthdate is wrong, which makes her sigh because she has always carefully explained to all about his mother and her obstetrician being at odds as to Husband's date of birth. Is it any wonder Fio likes to go out into la jungla and lob rocks.?
When a friend told her it takes about a year for the things to settle into place after a death in the family, Fiorella thought she was exaggerating, but it's already four months later and Fio's still treading water.
Have you ever thought that living is hell, and death is heaven? Not that Fio is volunteering to test the theory out anytime soon.
Fiorella lost her glasses (sus lentes) this morning. They're somewhere in the house or garage. If you get any psychic messages as to their whereabouts, please let Fio know.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Strange Statistics

Fiorella's pageview statistics are interesting, but she has no idea what they mean, or even if they're relevant. The French and the Russians have left her, as they usually do in the summer (school holidays?), and, for the first time, the United States dominates her pageviews, with Italy a good second. Fio does appreciate her readers, but, to tell the truth, she writes blog for herself. How else can she stay semi-sane?

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Keeping Up with Fiorella and Sonia

Now that Fiorella is no longer teaching, she is never too sure of the dates and sometimes messes up when she assigns  a blog to a publication time, like she did yesterday, which is why Tuesday's message did not appear until mid-afternoon. Apologies.
Sonia Dog's hearing is so acute that she knows, even from two rooms away, when Fio is snapping a Milkbone in two--and this is the dog Husband thought was deaf.
Speaking of Sonia, she set up an angry racket the other day when, looking out the front window, she spotted a small, dark animal scooting low en el parke. Fio's afraid it may have been an armadillo, which as you know, is not one of her favorite creatures. Dang things have at least four underground lairs on the property.
Fiorella resents having to put up with a battery of mid-year medical tune-up exams while she's still trying to sort out the leftovers from Husband's death. On the other hand, that recommendation that she pick up a bottle of Zyrtec has not only cleared her throat, but also reduced her Kleenex budget.
Fio made a new friend yesterday, someone whom she has several things in common with, but she's playing her cards close and not telling the Newbie how to reach her blog. Too much Fiorella in too short a time could be overwhelming.