Sunday, June 30, 2019


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

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Nightmares, Oklahoma, Politics, Grave, Revision

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

Friday, June 28, 2019

From Assiduousness to Daring Do

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

Thursday, June 27, 2019

From Frustration to Devastation

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Blood, Eggs, Oaks, Travel, Revision

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Prayer, Food, FB, AH, Review

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

Monday, June 24, 2019

Middle Daughter

Middle Daughter   

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


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Depression, Neighbor, Fireworks, Deportation, Time Warp

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

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Head Above Water?

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, June 20, 2019

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

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Powerful Pen

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Reveal

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

Monday, June 17, 2019

King of the Road

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

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



Sunday, June 16, 2019

Betrayed, Technology, Calves, Gavel, Doggie

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

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Josh, Walks, Rocks, Heart, Rising

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

Friday, June 14, 2019

Stages of Life

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

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

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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Computer, Nourishment, Eyesight, Analysis, Doctor

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


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

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

From Occupation to Meditation

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 10, 2019

From Pharmacy to Poetry

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

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Five Plus One

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

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Just a One-Hour Trip....

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

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

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

Friday, June 7, 2019

Five Gripes

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

Thursday, June 6, 2019

From Trump to Friendship

Fiorella is sick at the heart about Trump's visit to England, accompanied by family and entourage and financed by our tax dollars. Word is that he's also going to stay at his failing golf course in Ireland for a while to drum up business. Nothing like a president who puts his personal interests in front of the interests of the nation.
Your girl is coming closer and closer to picking up the pen (i.e., hitting the keyboard) again. She also wants to pick up and pencil (i.e., pick up the pencil) and sketch again--which of course, will lead to painting again. In the meantime, she's still decluttering the house, fighting the good fight with the country commissioners, and growling at her Mac's underlining "decluttering" with red dots again.
Son and his wife will be heading back to Minnesota this morning, and Fiorella will miss them. They have been wonderful about helping Fio with everything from electronics to her feud with the county commissioners to selling unwanted items to actually cleaning out of areas in the house. And no, you can't have them--they're Fiorella's and not up for grabs!
The house will seem empty when they are gone, but Sonia Dog is always by Fiorella's side, and Fio has good neighbors. In fact, her neighbor to the south is going to walk the north boundary with her next weekend and advise her about what to do regarding the wash-out.
Did Fiorella tell you she has made friends with the guy whose crew cut down the oak along her dry creek yesterday? Turns out his wife writes romances--or maybe he just told Fio that to get into her good graces.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wmson County Will LIE to YOU!

Hey-ho, whaddya know? Fio knows the Williamson County commissioners can't be trusted. Remember when she told you she'd trotted off to a law office and signed a paper saying the county could work on the culvert on her property? Remember when she was told--and it was written on the page that she signed--that only two trees would have to come down, and they were both cedars?

Well, somehow, that news never got around to the destruction crew, who showed up bright and early Tuesday morning and began chain-sawing. Fiorella could hear them from inside the house and planned to go out later and watch the progress, but was out of the house in a second when Elder son and wife came in from a trip to the grocery store and said the crew had taken down at least one oak and was starting on another.

Fueled by anger, she strode down the road to the dip, yelled "STOP!" in her most authoritive teacher voice, then, spotting the guy in charge, made a full arm gesture and commanded "COME HERE!" By then, Son, who is 6'3" and heavy built, had joined her, standing slightly behind her and to the side like a bodyguard and glaring at the crew. Remember, he had been with Fiorella when she signed the paper and was assured that only two cedars.... yada, yada, yada.

The man in charge of the crew called in and work, the county sent out THE GUY WHO HAD DRAWN UP THE CONTRACT and another man to apologize and bargain with Fio. They promised to cut up the fallen oak into firewood for her and deliver it to her doorstep, also to send out an arborist to try to heal the second oak, and not to cut the woods back any further than originally planned. Fiorella is also getting a load of wood chips.

But she's still angry. She was suckered and betrayed, and she'll spread the word fall and wide. If they screwed her over, they'll do it to everyone else too!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

From Mowers to Politics

Hooray--the riding lawn mower finally sold--for exactly the same amount of money Fio had to put into it to make it salable. Oh, well, it's out of the garage now. Elder son has been great about putting things up for sale and handing the take over to Fio. And on the side, he's repaired everything repairable.
Don't tell anybody, but Fiorella is going to sneak down to Target this afternoon to buy two pairs of tennies--blue and white--to go with her summer ensembles, which are mostly shorts and T-shirts. She'll also drop by H-E-B to pick up some apples and grapes, and maybe make a detour to the only store in town that carries Moonpies.
Just to get herself in the mood, Fio's been skimming old romances lately, the ones that inspired her to write her own books, and she'll probably haul into that third Bosque Bend book after Son and his wife head off to Minnesota. That was the one that got sabotaged by her PC not allowing her to revise, a quirk Fio hopes to avoid by writing on her new Mac. Wish her well!
Fiorella had an interesting go-around with AT&T yesterday when she called to get the street address of the company because they had not included it with her bill. The guy on the other end of the line couldn't understand what she was asking for and kept trying to get her to pay on line--AND HE'D EVEN WAVER THE FIVE-DOLLAR CHARGE FOR HER! The hell your Fio was paying five bucks extra on a bill that had just arrived in the mail the day before so she went round and round with Dumbo until he finally coughed up the address. Mission accomplished.
Two of Fiorella's friends are running for office this year and Fio wants to support them. She's thinking of designing badges like the DUMP TRUMP one she always wears and passing them out to all and sundry.

Monday, June 3, 2019

From Passion to Memes

Fio's been sounding off lately. You can only push a girl so far before she explodes. and she did--all over Facebook and her blog. Not that it will have any immediate effect, but if she can empassion just one person and that person can empassion others, maybe a fire will sweep the country clean again.
Meanwhile Fiorella is in something of a quandary because she left her lista amarilla at Bastrop son's house during her visit yesterday. Nevertheless, she was able to keep herself busy the rest of the day, and she'll get la lista back on Tuesday.
The weather was terribly warm, humid, and still yesterday when Fio and Minnesota daughter-in-law set everything out to plant caladiums in the urns in front the the house so they decided to wait till today to do the deed. B whilt Fio napped in the evening, sweet D-in-L went out and did the deed herself, which Fio is very grateful for.
Annoyingly, the Mac is trying to tell Fio that "empassion" is not a word (Fio doesn't care),  and that she misspelled "caladiums" (which she didn't.) It is also underlining Fiorella, Fio, and anything in espanol in red dots, all of which is probably why Fiorella hasn't given this computer a cute name yet.
Fio, who's been trying to nip inaccurate FB memes in the bud lately, has started a collection of fact-checked notes to hurl onto the screen before too much damage is done. There's nothing like the truth to combat a lie.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Guns, Guns, Guns

Another mass shooting, but why should we bother about it? After all, it's other people's husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, children, grand-parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who were killed, not ours because we're immune--aren't we?
Fio is feeling a little odd about it all because a couple of days ago, she suddenly realized no one was talking about the mass murders anymore, leaving a time-space vacuum open for a new one. Let's all keep track of the rhythm this time--six weeks, a month?
The whole situation infuriates Fiorella because it doesn't have to be that way. Australia, Britain, and Canada have instituted gun control so why can't the United States? The country is civilized. Pop doesn't need to go out in the woods and shoot a possum for dinner anymore.
It's not just the mass murders. It's the children-on-children shootings, the accidental shootings, the murders by people who should have never been allowed near any kind of weapon. We are all at risk.
What can we do, other than move to Canada? Fio, you will remember, led a walk around the local courthouse to protest mass shootings, a while back, but, as you can tell from the news, she didn't have much of an impact so it looks like it back to the polls again. Vote for any candidate who supports guns control and save your friends, your family, and yourself from the next round of senseless shootings.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

From Stock to Shooting

Fiorella thought she was almost through with the paperwork, that the stock stuff was all set up to go, but noooooooo, so hijo menor, a former stockbroker, took charge. In an  hour, he accomplished what Fio has been trying to got done for a month. But then, he speaks broker-eeze.
You've read about those guys who send sexy pictures to women they're trying to impress? Well. Fiorella has a FB follower like that, but she refuses to acknowledge him. Telling him off, she figures, would only make the game more exciting for him.
Your Fio grew up in a relatively quiet family, and she spent a lot of her indoor time in her bedroom, drawing, painting, writing, dreaming. She still likes a peaceful atmosphere around her--no drama, no yelling or screaming, no loud television. Of course, part of the reason for her preference is that her aging ears have become extra-sensitive to loud noises.
Nothing like your septic tank bubbling over and the guy on the end of the line snarling "You mean you waited till tonight when I'm driving to the airport to call me?" Fio hastily informed him that she had just discovered the situation, and he told her what the problem probably was, but when she asked what to do about it, he got mad at her again and told her to get a screwdriver and have a man fix it. Luckily, her Elder Son was in residence and took over, but Fio is infuriated. She pays that rude guy's company a lot of money each year to tend her tanks, come rain or shine. Next year, she's switching companies.
There's been another mass shooting--twelve dead this time, and several wounded. Ho-hum, Fiorella had figured it was about time for another one. We'll all just have to get used to it.