Wednesday, July 31, 2019

And More Rhymes

When Fio gets on a roll
It's hard for her to stop
Up and up and up she goes
Over the mountain top
I have no middle name
My parents are to blame
No Ann or Kay
No Sue or May
But they loved me all the same
It's eventime and Fio's low
She's done a lot today but yet
Tomorrow, there'll be more to go
Sometimes Fio's rhymes
Are really crappy
For which she's sorry
But if they're snappy
They make her happy
And that's the end of the story
Stop it, Fio! Get off that horse!
You've got to plot another course!
Sober up and stop your rhyming
Step outside--the sun is shining!

(Pray for Fiorella--she's caught in a rhyme warp)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Messages, Mnemonic Devices, and Genetics

So many things to do,
So very little time
When will I be through?
When will my life be mine?
And why the heck am I
Reporting in by rhyme?
      How can Fiorella follow her plan of gathering her poetic outpourings into a book when she's continually producing more? And why does she wax poetic in the first place? Hmm...her brother also writes in rhyme so the tendency must be genetic. Mother didn't write poetry herself, but she was always reciting lines like Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn/ Rued the day that he was born, and Fio knows that Mom's father was also a poetry spouter.
     But why did Fio and Brother make the step up from reciting to writing? Probably because it's a challenge game. we play with ourselves. Rhythm ( boom-a-lay, boom-a-lay, boom-a-lay, boom) and rhyme (hello, fellow) are our chessboard pawns, and composing a meaningful mssage with them is where the fun begins.
That's all that Fio has to say
About her poetry today 😁


Monday, July 29, 2019

Travel, Reunion, Rusyn, Politics, Birthday

Elder son has kindly put Fiorella in flying mode for her trip back home to Texas. In other words, he's checked her in by cell phone and delayed his own flight back to Minnesota so he can first supervise her departure. AS you know, Fio doesn't handle crowd scenes well.
Your faithful correspondent enjoyed her time at the family reunion and she's looking forward to next year's, if it works out. There's something strengthening about uniting with one's relatives, especially if your family that knows how to laugh.
Cousin Norma has researched the family origins, and it turns out that Fio and her paternal cousins are all half Rusyn, a Slavic group that drifted down from the Carpathians. No wonder we're all fair complected and lactose-persistent. Hmmm...we all like chocolate too. 😁😁
Changing the subject, Fio thinks the Democratic presidential candidates, instead of making war on each other and thus giving fuel to the opposition, should concentrate on toppng each other with their plans to actually make our country great again.
Saving the best till last:

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Three More Short Poems

I may be little, but I am fierce
Exactly the way I need to be--
A rattlesnake coiled up for the strike
So don't you dare step on me
I'm difficult by my own choice
Strong of heart and loud of voice
Don't try to boss me
Don't think to cross me
But be glad I'm tough and rejoice
Word play
Every day
Keeps the mind sharp
And the wolf at bay

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Travel List

(1) Just before Sonia Dog and Fio left the house for the kennel, yours truly spotted a hunk of baguette that  baby dog crammed between the cushions of the couch. Looks like Sonia is storing up food for winter. What does she know that we don't know?

(2) Fiorella didn't pack her fingernail scissors, so of course, her prize nail (left hand, pointer) started splitting the second she closed the car door and headed off to Brother's house to spend the night bwith him and his wife.

(3) It's hard to find your way around other people's bathrooms. Oh, so that's where they've hidden the waste paper basket! 

(4) At Brother's house, Fiorella hauled out last year's reunion book and put her sister-in-law through an intensive review of the cousins. The review helped Fiorella too--after all, she doesn't see them every day.

(5) Tell me more about your extended family, Fio.
 I am proud to say that my five paternal cousins , my brother and I, are the grandchildren of a coal miner. He came over from Slovakia to work in the Pennsylvania mines, and he died in the mines, leaving a widow and three young children. Life was hard, but the family stayed together, and all of us in the third generation are doing better than most. IMMIGRANTS ARE THE STRENGTH OF AMERICA.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Fiorella apologizes for posting so late. After delivering Sonia Dog to the kennel yesterday, she finished off her own packing and drove into Austin to spend the night with Brother and his wife so they all could get a early start to the airport this morning. The airport was, of course, a madhouse, and Fio is thankful Bro and wife knew their way through the tangles. The flight itself was not as enjoyable as she had anticipated because the AC over her head did not work and the seats were so uncomfortable. An aside: strangely enough, Fio was the only person on the plane who raised her window screen to look at the clouds above and the green below.
Strangely enough, Fiorella had some deja vuing about the snarl getting out of the airport, and she's convinced that Husband took that same path when the family visited Cousin Tom way back when. It's interesting what kids remember.
Fio has settled into the hotel, but not without technological pain--she didn't know how to get the computer on the hotel's system, and she messed up an attempt to use her cell phone (=her camera) as a telephone. The guy at the desk must be sick of helping Fiorella by now, but Elder Son, whose flight schedule got screwed up, will be joining her in the hotel at about midnight.
Oh, Fio almost forgot to tell you that she bumped into a big, blond, scraggly-looking guy in the hall who had tattoos everywhere there was skin. He glanced at her DUMP TRUMP button and said, "Right on, and we're gonna keep him in office till 2024!" Realizing he hadn't caught a good glimpse of her political adornment, Fio responded, "Look again. I have a different opinion." He laughed at his mistake and waved his hand as he hurried down the hall. Now THAT'S the way people should deal with each other. No  arguments, no name-calling--just two people politely disagreeing.
Changing the subject, during the trip, Fiorella has also been filling su libreta with lines she wants to use in poems and books. Yep, she's got the bug again.

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Fiorella had a great time with friend Evelyn, then Friend Kaye yesterday, but she went through hell to get unto Austin. I-35 is being expanded so the traffic was v-e-r-y slow, which drove Fio crazy. After almost an hour on the road, she started hitting her palms on the steering wheel, clenching her hands and lifting them in anger, honking her horn, then crying, then screaming and yelling. She calmed down when she finally reached Austin, of course, and when she had to stop at a traffic light, grabbed her libreta amarilla and scribbled all her reactions down down to use in a story. Writers are like that.
Fio isn't angry right now, but she is deeply saddened. Her world has shifted again, and there is no balm in Giliad so she must wipe her eyes and fight the good fight. Heart-wrenching changes will have to be made.
You'll excuse Fiorella if she cuts out early, but she needs to start packing for her trip to the family reunion.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Hope for the Day

Fiorella woke up feeling good. Then the depression settled in--the worry, the disappointment, the heartbreak. Reluctantly, she crawled out from under the covers and ran her fingers through her hair, preparing herself for the battles of the day--and realized her left earring, a simple gold hoop, had abandoned her as she slept. She sighed in resignation. Nothing to do but trudge upstairs and see if she could find a matching hoop in the mess on her bathroom counter.

As she stood up, she glanced at the arm of she black leather couch she'd been sleeping on.

The gold earring gleamed against the the leather like a queen on a throne.

Thank you, God. I'm taking this as a message of hope.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Sonia Dog's Take on the Situation

Mommy is very strange. She wastes her time looking for things she's trying to find rather than sniffing them out. Everyone knows that a good nose beats out squinchy eyes any time of the day.
I'm very concerned about Mommy not getting enough sleep. Eight hours is just not enough time for a system to build up the energy to run after a deer or even catch that lizard that lives in the garage. I myself favor a twenty-hour nap each day, although I do divide it into segments-- before breakfast and after, before lunch and after, before supper and after.
Sometimes Mommy comes home with the smell of strange dogs on her clothes, which I do not like. She is my mommy, not their mommy. Wait--is she playing me false?
In the evening, Mommy will often watch TV.  I'm not sure what she gets out of it, although that Colbert guy seems to relax her before bedtime. I myself prefer the commercials that feature cute yipping dogs and have been known to yip back.
Mommy does many nice things for me, like putting the toilet seat up so I can lap at my own height, but the sweetest thing about she does is give me the best part of her salmon.--you know, the skin with the brownish rind beneath it. Yeah, nothing says loving like fish rind🧑🧑🧑


Monday, July 22, 2019

Responsibility, Afterrrrr, Brain, Smiling, Situation

Sometimes Fiorella gets tired of being a responsible adult and wants to crawl back
into her mother's lap and cry.
Before Husband died, Fiorella took care of the house, yard, bill-paying, taxes, and family relationships. Now she takes care of all those plus the insurance companies, legal back-and-forths, and getting the house ready for sale. Do you wonder that she feels overloaded?
Fio's brain's is heading south, but she'll cling to bits and pieces of it as long as she can hang on--which may be quite a ride.
Fiorella is on a campaign to make herself smile more, the way she used to do, but Husband's death made it vital for her to take on a hard-nosed persona in order to deal with organizations like Williamson County, shame be its name.
Fiorella has been thinking it over and decided that, yes, if she or her family were in danger, she's cold-blooded enough that she could kill. Not that she has anyone in mind or even has a gun, but if the situation arose....

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Frustration Station, Wondering, Warrior Woman

The state of the country and the state of the county have been getting to Fiorella lately so, of course, she wrote poems about the situations:

              Frustration Station
I'm weeping and wailing and pulling my hair
About not getting anywhere
But wrong is wrong and right is right
So I won't go down without a fight

Where are the poets of the other side
Who beat a rhythm, stage a clever rhyme
Who advance their stance with skill and wit
And entertain us with their own playtime?

               Warrior Woman
Woke up this morning with my flag unfurled
Ready to take on the worst of the world
Sharpened my wit and unsheathed my pen
To join up with the righteous battle again

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Wmson County, Statesman, Wardrobe, Delivery, Oops

The guys who were supposed to show up on Tuesday or Thursday didn't show up yesterday either  but, on examining the site, Fiorella did find two big, full trash bags hidden on her property.  She's considering delivering them to the County Commissioners now that she has their address.
Fio had a leisurely day planned, but bad spirits had other plans. Once again, her newspaper was not delivered--not to the door, not to the mailbox. She looked up Luann, her favorite comic strip, because, as always, it was at a pivotal point, but couldn't find her anagrams.
On the other hand, Fiorella has decided on what to wear to her family reunion. She'll travel in slacks and a moss green shirt, wear white slacks and a sea-faring shirt on the first day, then another pair of white slacks and a beach shirt on the second. On the way home, it will be the beige slacks and moss green shirt again. Yup. Your Fio packs light. She has to because she's also packing a ream of three-hole paper and her Mac so Elder Son can show her how to run off Fiorella 2018. Yes, Fiorella knows she I told you she'd mastered the art, but it the blogs printed backwards and she wants them to print forwards.
Did Fiorella tell you she met the neighbors three houses up the street yesterday? Their mail had been delivered to her house so she walked it up there and, since no one was at home, stuck it in their door. Then, when she and Sonia Dog swung out later in the day to take the newspapers to be recycled and pick up a pup cup and a dipped cone from Dairy Queen, Fio heard a car horn bipping at her,  realized she had hadn't closed the trunk firmly, and pulled to the side of the road to correct her error. The car stopped beside her to make sure she was okay, and its occupants introduced themselves. They were the same people she had been trying to deliver the letter to. earlier in the day Wow! Sixteen years out here, and Fio's finally getting to know her neighbors.
Yes, this blog was published incomplete and unedited, all of which Fio has just corrected (she hopes).  Another case of Fio having too much to do in too little time. Might also be because neighbor Michael was kind enough to come over and figure out why Baby Car wouldn't start. Something about a cybernut or whatever, but he's got Baby in his garage now and I know she's in good hands.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Downer x Five

Yesterday was another hard day for Fio. Remember that Kwan and Mayfield told her they would have a crew over on Tuesday or Wednesday to transport the wood chips and split the logs? Well, Fio has seen neither hide nor hair of ANY workmen all week. Yep, your girl's been had again.
She also discovered she'd been had by Chase--again.  Unbeknownst to her, the bank was charging her $25 on her savings account/month because it wasn't properly "linked up' with her checking account. GRRRRR...
Then there's Baby Car, who, after passing her Mazda exam with flying colors and giving Fiorella no trouble for a week afterwards, suddenly refused to rev up for a drive to the registration office to make her legal.
Then there's the upcoming family reunion, which Fiorella is getting cold feet about. What if no one talks to her? What if she forgets peoples' names? What if the whole thing is a big, stupid, expensive bust?
She's also down because friend Jan sent her a copy of her new book, which Fio can hardly wait to read it because the cover is to die for, but for some reason, her Kindle won't accept the email version.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

TV, Blessings, Dye, Romance, Cara

Fiorella missed Blood and Treasure because it was pre-empted by coverage of the moonshot she saw years ago and wasn't interested in seeing again. On the other hand, she was doubly rewarded by Colbert's monologue. He is so HOT!
Thank-you, God for getting Fio into Austin and back home again safely; also for Brother and friend Paula, who celebrated Fiorella's BD at Dan's North with her; also for friend Joan, whom Fio met up with in Dan's South; also for causing Fiorella to drop her credit card into the crevice between the driver's seat and the door so that so that she had to use a flashlight and a long screwdriver to retrieve it--and thus found the spare keys that had been missing for a l-o-n-g time.
In her first couple of years of marriage, Fiorella had a great time experimenting with hair dyes. She never tried blonde, which would have involved bleaching, but she did try dark brown--once. She must not have been as careful as she should have been because the dye slopped onto the lower part of her face and gave her what looked like a fuzzy beard. She had more luck as a redhead,  but stopped playing around with hair dyes when an oven exploded on her, scorching her face, her eyelashes, her eyebrows, and her hairline.
Fiorella found an old Linda Howard romance in a dusty corner and skimmed through it earlier in the day--it was even hotter than Colbert! Fio MUST finish up all her after-death and household responsibilities so she can start writing again. (Howard was Fio's favorite romance writer, and Fio was thrilled when, years ago, she won a writing contest named after her idol.)
Love and blessings across the sea to Suzy and Alan, whose Great Dane, Cara, died yesterday after a long, sweet life. Fiorella is weepy not just because of Cara, but in memory of Wendy the Weimar, Sonia Dog's spiritual mother. πŸ’”

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Daily Report

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Birthday Aftermath, Politics

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

Monday, July 15, 2019

Happiness Lives Here


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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Nostalgia, Birthday, Big Mouth

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

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Happiness Reigns Supreme

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

Friday, July 12, 2019

Hello, Depression, Once Again

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

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Anger, HOA, Villain, President, Friend

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Secrets You've Probably Already Figured Out

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


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

Monday, July 8, 2019

Onward, Ever Onward!

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

Sunday, July 7, 2019

From Apology to History Lessons

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

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Overwhelmed Yet Again

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

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

Friday, July 5, 2019

Neighors, Messages, Accomplishments, Suzy, Friends

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

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Rough Road for Fiorella

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Written Tuesday Night for Wednesday Morning

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

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 1, 2019


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

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

I am very angry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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