Saturday, August 31, 2019

From Frustration to Relaxation

Frustration Station 1, 2, 3. Fio can't get through the computer rigamarole to review the new book a friend of hers has put up on Amazon. Also, after several hours of searching, she found a 2016 format for the information she usually sends off to her CPA, but she's going to have to go through another corridor of hell to get 2018 information on Husband's investments and retirement income. To top it off, that investment set-up that called Fio last week has mailed her a letter asking her to fill out new forms, but didn't include them in the envelope.
Let's relax and talk about art nudes, the ones that Fiorella, primarily a portrait artist, used to sketch in that city-sponsored class she dropped in on regularly for about a year. What, you say--NAKED PEOPLE? But, strangely enough, artists don't look at boobs and bottoms, but lines and curves, balance and grace. In class, we usually smudged over the nipples and crotches, but went to town on the shoulders, elbows, hands, thighs, knees, bend of the body, and, most important, the angle--which is why it was important to get a good seat up front.  
       To make things more interesting, our models came in all shapes, sexes, and sizes. One of Fio's favorite drawings was of an obese woman lolling in a wicker arm chair:

Friday, August 30, 2019

Hard-Hitting Poetry

What must it be like
To stand there all day
Not even allowed
The freedom  to play?
The Children sicken.
The Children die--
While heartless Donald
Is still eating pie
America, bow your heads in shame
Ethnic cleansing is the name of the game--

     Clear out the black, the yellow, the brown
     Run gays and their kindred out of town
     Ridicule the halt, the blind, the lame
     And do unto those who sorrow the same
     Jail the actors, the artists, the press
     Silence the women and make them a jest
     Reject the migrants or throw them in jail
     Allow graft and cronyism to prevail

In short, go after anyone who
Doesn't talk or think or look like you--
An automaton of self-fed hate
Which no force on earth can eradicate

In short, go after anyone who
Doesn't look or think or talk like you
Until there's no one left but you

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Getting Personal with Fiorella

PSSST! Friend Paula tipped Fio off that Russell Stover's headquarters are in Colorado, north of Durango. If you're planning a raid, please count yours truly in.
Fiorella and Sonia Dog have an ideal relationship, at least from Doggy's viewpoint. When she barks, Fio supplies whatever is wanted, be it food, water,  access to outside or first-thing-in-the-morning ear rubs. In return, Sonia allows herself to be cuddled.
Fiorella, whose hair looks like she's been dragged through a sewer, finally got hold of her stylist and made an appointment. But, Fio, why did you wait so long, you ask. Well, because my hair seemed to be doing okay until suddenly, one morning, it wasn't.😒
Give Fio an award. She didn't buy anything at H-E-B that wasn't on her grocery list. That means NO CHOCOLATE--although, on the way home, she did gaze longingly at Walgreens, her local supplier of Russell Stover.
Obnoxious as always, Fiorella greeted the Vietnamese guy behind the post office counter with a friendly chao! He went blank, then corrected her pronunciation. Yes, your Fio has no boundaries when it comes to languages

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Back to High School Again

The editor of Fiorella's high school class's monthly newsletter, tired of posting nothing but obits, has asked alums to contribute information about what we are now doing during our lives or have done. Fio has complied, but carefully. Your faithful correspondent wasn't Miss Popularity back then, and there's contingent of high school FB "friends" she's tangled with politically who hate her guts.
      Why can't they be civilized? Fio has other friends--REAL friends--who disagree with her take on the state of the nation, but she can talk politics with them them without being called names.
One thing Fiorella would never reveal to her former classmates is that she writes a daily blog that has a large following (on and off) across the globe. Not only would it would rip away her protective anonymity, but she'd be ostracized at reunions even more than she was in high school.
       Actually, the ostracization was good for Fio's adult development. Self-reliance became the name of her game, and she's played it relatively well.
On the other hand, because she is a little wicked, Fio might start dumping her accomplishments on her former schoolmates like hailstones. They already know--and are shocked or don't care--about her two published romances, but, as you know, Fiorella's got loads of other books, short stories, poems, and the like stored up to set loose upon the universe. She might even tell  she is half Carpathian Rusyn, the tribe that Dracula came from. Or that she has a book full of nudes she sketched in a Life Drawing class. Or that she sleeps on the couch with her dog every night.
       Not that she would say any of the above. They would just look at her with the same owl eyes they did in high school.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

From Maid to Music

The road over the bridge over the "River Why" is finished, and Fiorella's maid was the first person to drive over it when she came up from Austin to perform her twice-a-month wonders. But, Fio, you say--what do you need a maid for when you're the only one in the house now? Because I can't do everything myself, and the prospect of another woman looking at my messes is enough to make me clean up what I can on my own.
When it comes Sonia's birthday in October, please remind Fiorella to give baby dog a mattress of her own. She's been crowding yours truly off the couch lately
Strangely, Fio does the opposite of what the weather men/women suggest when it comes to to indoor temps: she turns AC on at night and turns it off during the day, which works for her because (1) she likes to sleep cold, and (2),her house is so well insulated that she and Sonia Dog are quite comfortable during the day.
Always the dainty lady, Sonia is now insisting Fiorella give the toilet a second flush before she drinks from it.
Fio started this blog as a cute little fluff piece, but now she spills her guts into it. In fact, with everything that has happened to her, it's doubtful she could have survived without it. Strum, strum--"Thank you for being my friend...."

Monday, August 26, 2019

From Top to Bottom

Sometimes Fiorella thinks it would be nice to hear comments, commendations, or suggestions from her readers, but she knows the arrangement wouldn't work in the long run. As it is now, Fio can say exactly what she wants to and needs to because she's anonymous.
Congratulate your faithful correspondent--she just finished off a five-generation acrostic chart. Not only did she find ways to hook all the names together, but she labeled the arms of the family red, purple, pink, dark blue, light blue, and black. Now she's thinking of composing a genealogy chart, but not for a while yet--and to tell the truth, she'd be relieved if someone else in her extended family decided to take that one on.
Also congratulate Fio because she remembered, word for word, that Ivanka Trump poem she wrote about a week ago for your enjoyment and posted it on FB. Wow, Fiorella--maybe you're not losing it after all!
Unhappy with the  iron plants along the front of the house, Fiorella is soon going to be scouting the local nurseries for bushes that can flourish in alkali soil.  They also have to be able to ward off hungry deer. And not need much water.
The road is open over the new bridge now, but there's still a mess down in the valley. If it isn't cleaned up, Fio will have to put on her spurs, mount her white horse and go after the County again. This is getting tiresome.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

From Genealogy to Genes

Fiorella got a kick out of making an acrostic out of the names of her paternal cousins and their children, but adding in the grandchildren's names may not work out because there are so many of them. Besides, it's a little depressing. Your faithful correspondent wanted four children, but only had three because she started late and then had to have a lady operation that totally devastated her insides.
But surely, she reasoned, her three wonderful kids would marry and have wonderful grandchildren and she would spend her elder years surrounded by the genes of her genes, who would also reproduce and thus carry elements of her on forever.
       But such was not to be. Fiorella, the oldest of her cousins, has only one grandchild, a darling little girl whom she barely knows because of distance. Now, Fio is very grateful for this child, and hopes her parents will have more children later (four?), but she also wishes her other two offspring would reproduce. IT'S NOT TOO LATE!
Meanwhile, Fio is working on emptying out the house and, at the same time patrolling the property to make sure the County isn't messing with her land again. Another sadness--when she and Husband purchased the land and built the house, lo, these many years ago, she pictured her grands playing in what her yard man calls "El Parke," the cleared area in front of the house, and then running off into the woods to explore the wilderness. As a child, she would have loved having grandparents with a home in the middle of a forest.
       But now Husband is gone, Fio is pulling up stakes, and this haven will fade into the line-up of the other places she has lived: Stetler Ave, Proctor Ave, the duplex on E 31st when she and Husband were newly-weds, Parkwood Ave, North Oaks, Parkfield Dr......
Do you ever wonder what Fiorella's day is like? Well, just now, when she was writing this blog, the telephone rang and Fio was told that she had not correctly filled out the one last form from Husband's estate: she'd messed up his birth date, hadn't checked off her citizenship status, and hadn't gotten the request notarized. With the phone in hand, she started running around the house, trying to find the documentation she needed when she suddenly heard suspicious sounds from down on the road, where the County was working, so, the whole time talking to her unwelcome caller, she carried the phone up out onto the drive to check things out. All seemed well so she headed back down to the house again, at the same time making arrangements over the phone to have a questionnaire sent to her so she could claim her just due.
       When she stepped on the porch, Fio noticed a box and a large envelope on the porch that must have been delivered down the back driveway while she was at the top of the front driveway. She picked them up  and frowned--she hadn't ordered anything. Then she noticed the address was four blocks up the street.
       Yep the Post Office had struck out again!
     By the way, does anyone know of a nice place to which Fio could donate her genes? Apparently, they're of no use to anyone in the family anymore.



Saturday, August 24, 2019

Confessions, My Dependable Fan, and Forward Movement

Fio's incessant curiosity was not encouraged by her birth family, which has made her all the more curious about everything she encountered.  
       Translation: she  noticed that the door to the back room of Walgreen's was open last week so, hoping the door wouldn't close automatically, she stepped inside. The room was deadly dull, just stacks of boxes on boxes, so she stepped out in just a few minutes. There's probably a camera in the room and  Fiorella's unannounced inspection was recorded for posterity, but it doesn't matter. Walgreen's also has film of her dancing in the mirror when the store first put in cameras to record everything that went on at the pharmacy counter, and, just last month, Fio accidentally unscrewed the top of the line pole to entertain herself during a long wait in the pharmacy.
     Lesson: Don't ever invite Fiorella over unless you're prepared to explain every nook and cranny.  On the other hand, if you visit her, keep your mouth shut because she'll interpret your most innocent comment as a critique. Remember, she is the child of a mother who critiqued EVERYONE'S house and also came down hard on not only Fiorella's housekeeping, but on her decorating, Your faithful correspondent still squirms at the memories.
Fio thinks Sonia Dog is a fan because whenever Doggie has a chance, she puts her head down on whatever Mommy has written and drools on it🧡
Congratulate Fiorella. She spent several hours yesterday going through notes and putting them in labeled piles--music, art, stories, her nuclear and extended family, her Rusyn family and all the ships at sea. Ideas and observations sprout out of her like johnson grass--a weedy, hard-to-control Texas weed--and she wants to get some use out of them.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Hour by Hour Report

Strangely, Fiorella, who is interested in almost everything else, has never been particularly interested in food except to eat it. She'll cook when she has too--for insatnce, the salmon she and Doggie eat every day for protein--but that's it.
       Wait, come to think of it, she used to bake cakes when her children were young, but that was because she liked decorating them.
No wonder Fio's instincts made her wait till later in the day to finish her post. Guess who showed up at her door this morning with a big smile on his face and a man named  (John?) Janson accompanying him? George Mayfield--whom she crossed swords with about the oak slaughter and the savaging of her land. It turned out that the county wants to clear the right-of-way sides of the road. Mayfield kept talking to Fio about about the traffic and how she'd be able to see better when she pops out of her driveway, etc., which she countered by saying there's hardly any traffic now, and she can see just fine as it is.
      After a lot of talking, Fio thinks she's gotten them to back up a little, but she's planning to be johnny-on-the-spot when she hears the chainsaws roaring up. She has her own chainsaw, you know, so there might be a modern-day sword fight in the offing.
Fiorella spent most of the afternoon running around on small errands that should have taken no ore than an hour and a half, but ended up taking three hours. Nothing earthshaking--Target for some art supplies, Best Buy for a new toner cartridge, H-E-B for Pinwheels, plus a mail pick-up. It shouldn't have taken that much time, but the temperature is still over 100, and Fio had to wander the stores to find someone to help her, a sign of the technological times.
When Fio drove back into her driveway and got out to grab her trash can and wheel it back down the drive, Mayfield's friend ambled up, and they had a nice long talk about the history of her land. Turned out Janson's family has lived in the area from way back, and he knew the name of the original owners. Nice guy, but Fio is suspicious. She thinks they're keeping an eye on her.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Fiorella's Information, Plus a Complaint From Sonia Dog

There's nothing like a meet-up with a long-time friend to put Fiorella into raptures. Friend Paula couldn't make it yesterday, but friend Evelyn filled the bill. And, of course, as Fio drove down to Austin, her strange and wonderful brain swung into action, and she wound up jotting down new story ideas every time the traffic slowed, which wasn't very often this time around. For sure, God's angels were keeping watch over your girl.
Puff, puff, puff--Fiorella has a full slate today. Her yard man will come to mow the lawns and move around some more flagstones, and as soon as he leaves, she will be off to help register people to vote, though she doubts she'll stay the whole five hours. She also has to drop by Austin Heart and try to pick up a medical device to make sure her blood is not too thick and not too thin. And, when she comes home, she has to put out the trash for the Friday pick-up, then drive Sonia Dog over to Dairy Queen for her weekly Pup Cup.
Kudos to Minnesota son who tried to help her long-distance to install a new cartridge in her printer. Turns out it was the wrong cartridge, and she'll have to go over to Best Buy and pick up the right one.
Fio looked at her list yesterday and decided she wanted to finish off her new acrostic, which covers all her paternal relatives down to the grandchildren generation. She'll probably add in the great-grands later, but that's for another day.
Dear SPCA: Mommy said that the next time I wake her up at 2:00 am to go outside and do my business, she's going to leave me out all night, which I do not appreciate. Doesn't she understand that when a girl has to go, she has to go?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday News, plus Blues

Yes, your Fio, who always has a writing implement in her hand, accepts all pens offered to her by doctors' offices and advertisers because if she had to buy them, she'd be bankrupt by now.
Congratulate your faithful correspondent. She used to work the crossword puzzle in the newspaper 
every day, then, several years back, switched to the anagrams. Yesterday, she not only did the anagram, but the crossword puzzle--well, all but Eight Miles High band, Canadian french fries dish, and New England fish. And no, she doesn't want to go look them up. That would be cheating.
Maybe Fiorella's tackling of the crossword puzzle was energized by her get-together with friend Ashley at Starbucks earlier in the day. Fio took her beloved book with her to the meeting, the book tracing the history of her paternal ancestors that Cousin-in-law researched and published, and, of course, Fio cried yet again as she explained the family's history to her friend and how happy she was to finally have her own identity.
Fiorella put Sonia Dog on leash, and the two of them walked down to the new bridge to see what they could see. The road over the new construction has been paved now, but there's still clean-up work to do. However, the channel of the creek seems tp have been smoothed over, which may cause problems in the future.
Fio would like to be more active in regard to worthy causes, but she is only one person, and she's already overloaded. Yes, she's moved on from the post-death paperwork, but she still has last year's taxes to prepare, and a house to make ready for sale, and a dog and family to tend to, and a writing career to revive, and languages to learn, art to create, and music to compose.  Is Fiorella whining? YOU BET!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Fiorella's List Goes on Forever

Fiorella is s-l-o-w-l-y chugging along, but she still has a lot to do, like the 2018 taxes, like finding a way to get her INR checked, like learning how to reach Documents on her Mac, like finishing off the gigantic acrostic of her paternal family. Okay, she  admits that finishing off the acrostic is not as dire as the taxes, INR, and Mac problems, but it is important to her because (1) it involves her extended family, which she has had very little contact with, and (2) she enjoys the challenge.
Maybe when all the above are off her desk (the desk behind the couch that used to be Husband's before Fio cleared the top of it off the other day), Fiorella will be able to throw herself into a more intense investigation of the Rusyn connection, especially the language. Yes, once a linguist, always a linguist.
Bastrop son has invited Fiorella to his daughter's graduation from her kiddie swim class. Since he's been exercising with her in his in-laws' pool for about a year, Baby should be head of the class. Of course, Fiorella's transportation will be a problem, but she's considering driving to Austin and leaving Baby Car in a restaurant parking lot, then contacting Uber for the rest of the journey. She'd reverse the arrangements, of course, to get home to Georgetown before Sonia Dog's suppertime.

Monday, August 19, 2019

It's All About ME, ME, ME, ME !

The author in Fiorella is screaming to be set free. Not only is she coming up with some sparkling dialogue, but her plots are getting thicker. Now if she can just find the time to pull everything together.

Actually (Fio's favorite word this season), she thinks her vampire story will be stronger because of  the time lapse between when she first wrote the story and present day because back then--although she used her family's hometown as a background--she didn't know about the Carpathio-Rusyn connections. Nor that Dracula was from the Carpathians (although from the southern end rather than the northern end, which Fiorella's forebears emigrated from.

There are other books Fio wants to get out there too, of which you've seen selected  episodes--the Mik and Sigrid story, the Sabrina and Bram story, the unfinished Lolly and Bogart story, the unfinished Marisol and Tony story, and all the others Fio can pry out of her computer's seemingly locked safe. Yes, your Fiorella plans to BOMBARD you with steamy romances, and if you get tired of them, you can turn to her short stories, poetry, greeting cards, songs, plays, and posts, posts, posts, posts, posts.

Fiorella would rather live in her fictional world full-time, but right now, she has to center on  emptying her house and preparing it for sale, working on her 2018 taxes, and trying to save the world from the disaster that is Donald Trump.

Oh, did Fiorella forget to tell you that she's planning to paint a portrait or her granddaughter and is fooling around con el espanol denuevo?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Fio, Fio, Fio, Fio, Trump

 Fio writes books, poems, short stories, and FB posts. All of them are about what, to her, is the most important thing in the world: human relationships.
Not sure whether it was a dead dog or a dead fawn off the side of the road the other day, but it was obviously fresh kill. Dog or fawn, Fiorella's heart wept.
Your faithful correspondent had a bad time yesterday. The heat hung heavy in the air and Sonia did not want to go outside. Neither did Fio, but she had to drop by Target to pick up dog stuff, colored pens, and vitamin pills. The heat was still bad when Fiorella got home so she turned up the ceiling fan and lay down to rest--and maybe catch her breath, which the heat seemed to suck away. An hour or so later, she began prowling around the house again, trying to get things ready for daughter's visit, but she still wasn't up to speed
Fio is still in love with her Carpatho-Rusyn origins. It fascinates her that she has always been drawn to the intricately designed patterns that are displayed on the ethnic group's FB page. She just wishes she spoke the language. In fact, she wishes she could speak many, many languages. Oh well--maybe in her next incarnation.
By the way, have you heard that Trump is considering buying Greenland?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

From the Life of a Writer to the Life of a Linguist

Fiorella has been going through the yellow tablets like wildfire lately. The ideas were coming fast and furious while she was on the road yesterday, and she kept praying for red lights so she could record her inspirations en su libreta amarilla.
Have finally realized that "up date" is the code word for screwing up the works. Fio was having such a problem with her "updated" cell phone that she had to take it into the local Verizon to get it straightened out.
Ivanka Trump, fashion fraud,
Buys the fabric cheap abroad
Hires a down-and-out designer
And gets the patterns sewn up in China
Attaches her name to the final seam
Then sucks up the gelt like a vacuum machine 
Walking out of 104 degree weather into an air-conditioned H-E-B is like leaving hell and entering heaven. Are those angels singing or the zings of cash registers?
OMG, Fiorella told someone that the Chinese/Cantonese word for dog is gai, but it's actually gao. Remember that!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Labor, Bugs, Action

It took Fiorella more than an hour of walking back and forth to the waste basket, but she has finally gotten the top of Husband's desk cleared off enough that she can work on it instead of on una libreta amarilla balanced on her lap while she sits hunched over on the couch. Of course, not everything ended up in the trash. Fio made piles of items she thought her offspring might find useful or claim as  souveniers of times gone by. She also kept the pile of cards that had passwords on them, although they're probably all out of date.
       The next thing Fio has to do is make the desk HER desk. Hello, convenient place to store her PC and Mac. Hello,  flowers! Hello, pics of the kids! Hello, drawers loaded with steamy romances in the making! FEMININITY RULES!
Wow! Fiorella noted a reddish something on the floor just inside the kitchen door this morning that looked like a squashed dog biscuit, so she ignored it till after lunch--when she realized it was the remains of a large scorpion. Needless to say, she quickly scooped up the body and tipped it into the outside trash can, just in case it would spring to life again.
Guess what?! Fio's acrostics are a big hit with her cousins, the Ohio ones she hooked up with again at the reunion in Tennessee--even the ones who disagree with her politically. Now to finish off that acrostic for the other side of her family. After that, as she's told you, she wants to see if she can do an expanded acrostic that can include younger members of both families. And then there's the genealogical chart she has in mind....

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Change of Location

Fiorella had a wonderful visit with friend Paula yesterday, and they decided something frighteningly momentous--to move from Dan's Hamburgers, where they've met for years, to the McDonald's down the street. Fio suggested McDonald's because she's been meeting there with friend Evelyn ever since they deserted Starbucks when its decor changed from small tables to long planks reminiscent of a college dorm or a German drinking party.

McDonalds has changed since Fio used to take her kids there when it was a teenager and kiddie heaven. The McDonald's that Fiorella is now patronizing is very adult--a large building surrounded by a large parking lot (which Dan's lacks) and the inside is semi-divided into two large rooms. We will still have to walk to the counter to order our food, but the menu offerings are not limited to hamburgers and deserts. And--hold your breath--the food is delivered to your table!

Best of all for Fio is the privacy, the space between tables which will allow Fiorella and her friends to not only exchange confidences, but also talk in their normal voices rather than screeching to be heard over the din.

Fio would never have believed she would switch out of Dan's. Her family's been going there since her middle-aged children were in grade school, and she knows most of the staff by name. Once, one of the guys led all of the customers in singing "Happy birthday" to her, which she still considers to be  one of the highlights of her life, but time and circumstance march on so Fiorella's rondezvous with her friends will now be at the sign of the red and yellow clown.

Wish her well.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Messages, Messages, Messages, Messages, Messages

Fiorella's cell phone isn't working right. When she tries to send a picture off somewhere, after she fills in the comment, she gets NEXT instead of SEND, and nothing happens. Hello, Verizon! Hope you are open tomorrow!
Fio was so bored at a meeting yesterday morning that she pulled out her pen and did a quick sketch of a woman standing nearby. She also left early--it was either that or start snoring, but by the time she got home, she felt sort of sick. 104 degrees is not her kind of weather.
In this era of fakery, the goose-list telephone calls are coming fast and furious. Within five hours, Fiorella slammed the phone down on three of them that were purportedly from Social Security about "irregularities" in her account.
The final episode of "Blood and Treasure" will run  this evening and, sad it say, Fio won't miss it. She was taken with it at first--the action, the settings, the sensuality, the way the main characters interacted, but it got old fast. Besides, she's pretty sure she's seen the show before. A rerun?
As you know, Fiorella is hell-bent on getting the house in shape so it will sell well, but her heart hangs heavy. This house is the house of her dreams, but she knows, from HGTV, that the people who look at it will sniff at the (really quite attractive) linoleum in the master bathroom which protected the floor when Husband forgot to turn off bath water, at the fireplace which has a sitting area in front of it, at the built-in desk in the den, at the step-down to the front room, which Fio thought was cool, and which she's never tripped on. They'll also talk about thinning out the trees and maybe even remove the rock edge around the driveway--which will be a BIG mistake.
       But that's how it is. Hopefully, Fiorella will move into a nice duplex arrangement with Younger Son and his family, but who knows? She has tried to prepare for the future, but no one can predict what will actually happen.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Writing, Writing, Writing, Writing, Writing

Fiorella's wonderful nephew and his wife visited her for THREE hours on Sunday, during which twe all exchanged life stories, solved the problems of the world, and ate Klondike Bars. Nephew also gave her information about publishing possibilities for her unpublished, and books in chapter form, something she has been considering lately. Yes, the ol' writing bug is biting her again, and that vampire story she wrote centuries ago is the one with the fangs.
Of course, Fio also wants to put all her poems together in book form too, which will be difficult because she's been spouting the stuff since forever. and she comes up with new twists and turns on a daily basis. Most of her earlier stuff is forever lost, like her first short story, written when she was in her early teens--Mother, who loved reading, was uneasy with writing.
Do not give me sorrow
Or I'll beat you up tomorrow
Not with my fists, but with my pen
And you'll never give me sorrow again
Speaking of writing, Fio dropped in at our local biblioteca today to research Yury Buida and the Rusyns in general, and she's brought home about fifty pages the librarian printed off in Russian with no translation. Fiorella's hoping her two years of roosky yahzeek many, many moons ago, will be able to turn the trick.
Is there somewhere in the world
Where people are at peace
With themselves and with each other?
Where children grow up in love
Not violence, hate, and fear?
Where life is not a constant battle
Between right and wrong? 
     Please, God, give me strength,
     The strength to battle on

Monday, August 12, 2019

From the Newspaper to the News

Fiorella gave The American-Statesman a hard time at the beginning of the week for not delivering her newspaper two days in a row, so then they sent her two copies of it for two days in a row. Then,the next morning, they didn't send anything so Fio called at 8:30 and was assured she'd receive a paper by 10:00. At 10:30, she called again and got the same promise, then at again at 12:00--when she was told that she'd called too late to get the day's paper.
     From now on,  IT'S WAR!
     Fio is giving The Statesman three days to figure out how to deliver a newspaper, and then she's going to trace down the delivery guy and confront him. We'll see where everything goes from there.
The next thing on Fiorella's agenda is to look up information on Yury Buida, a fellow Rusyn. (Maybe Fiorella's compulsive writing is genetic.)
Dang, the driver's side door of the Queen Mary keeps hitting Fiorella in the forehead when she gets out of the car, each time adding yet another v-shaped indentation to her brow. Just what she doesn't need--another wrinkle.
I am Fiorella
I stand alone
My husband is dead
And my children are grown
But don't think I
Am frail and weak
Indeed, my dears,
I've just reached my peak
No one is talking about the shootings in El Paso and Dayton anymore. After all, we're all accustomed to headline massacres by now. Ho-hum, just another mass shooting.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Feom Colbert to Taxes

Fiorella likes to go to sleep with Colbert's monologue chuckles in her ears before she goes to bed, but all too often, the dang sports section in the preceding news program puts her to sleep--briefly. And when she awakes up, the last-night host is chatting with some stupid celebrity Fio doesn't care a fig about.  GRRRRR.....
Guess what? Texas has a neat scheme going to keep naturalized citizens from voting by not renewing their drivers' licenses. Apparently the reasoning behind it is that most naturalized citizens are Hispanic and will vote blue so their licenses and voting privileges have to be removed.
Your Fio had a showdown with Home Depot yesterday. A nice young woman helped her find the fencing and garden wagon she needed and pointed the way to the registers, which turned out to be electronic, of course. Yours Truly gritted her teeth as the two elderly men in front of her, a customer and an employee, exchanged laughs and stories. Finally, realizing she had small chance of getting checked out, and even less of chance to get her hefty purchase to her car, she took her hands off the bar of her customer cart and walked out. Home Depot lost about $150 on her sale, she figures, but then, the store not really geared to customer service. Fio will remember that.
Hooray for the library, the font of all knowledge. Fio walked in and asked the guy behind the counter to help her with her cell phone, which had decided it didn't want to forward her photos anymore. Daughter had tried to help her from long distance, and nothing had worked, but after a few tries, Robert, bless him, was able to get the phone working again. Viva la biblioteca!
The dining room table is cleaned off again, although now Fiorella has to figure out where to put everything she took off of it. Whatever, she's GOT to start on 2018's taxes . . . but not till next week😁

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Reflections on Yesteryear

 Fiorella's mother was of the stay-at-home variety. She'd taught high school, but resigned of course, when she became pregnant, which was the rule back then.  Men and women had different roles. Men strode into the world and made the money necessary to support the family and played golf on the side, while women stayed home and took care of the house and the children. Mother's only social outlet was Sunday at church.
Mother had The Eye. She knew how to make things look nice, and she knew what everyone else should do to make things look nice too.
One day when Fiorella was in her first semester of college one hundred miles from home, her father called and said her mother was crying because she hadn't heard from Fio for a while. Yours Truly  immediately rectified the situation and, from then on, called her mother once a week, usually on a Wednesday, but moving her calls up to every day when Mother was dying.
Fio is proud to tell you that she and Husband bought her mother a mink jacket two years before her death. Mom got a kick our of catching women at church glancing at her and turning to alert their friends to her luxury.
Women were still second-class citizens when Fio was a young'n, but they made a dramatic acceleration in worth during the 1980's Reagan recession. Fiorella's father was already retired, but younger men were suddenly laid off,  and the only way families could make it was for the wife to find a low-paying job to tide the family over. After a while,  the economy got better, but by then women had become accustomed to working outside the home.
Excepting seven years while her children were young, Fiorella took home a paycheck herself, sometimes from two or three jobs at the same time, until she retired.

Friday, August 9, 2019

More Poetry by the Rhyme Queen

I have my ups and downs
Some days are worse than others
But I would rather live my life
Than any others
Here I am at seventy-seven
Long past time to go to heaven
(Or wherever I'm destined to go)
But if that place is dull
Lull after lull after lull

I'll apply for a transfer below
North, south, east, west
Fiorella is depressed
Nothing to do but grab her pen
And leap into the fray again
Forward, Fio, don't look back
Fight the good fight, en garde, attack!
Fio rows her own boat
She has no other choice
Days and days and days go by
Before she hears a human voice
I'm stressed and depressed,
Not at my best,
Having a bad day
Suggest you stay away

Thursday, August 8, 2019

From the Ridiculous to the Philosophical

Fio's inveterate multitasking backfired on her yesterday.  Forgetting that she had put six eggs on the stove to boil, she sat down on the sofa and started going through her mail.  A couple of hours later, she heard a large POP from the kitchen--her eggs were not just hard -boiled, but ROCKY-hard-boiled and their shells were shattered to pieces. Nothing to do but toss the mess over the back fence for the ants and animals that prowl by night. You would think Fiorella had learned her lesson, but no, this morning, she was fast at work scrubbing our the egg pan as she ate cherries for breakfast and fed Sonia Dog during pauses.
Oh, Fio forgot to tell you that when she went to FedEx Kinkos to get her acrostic photocopied, SHE WASN'T CHARGED! The registers were down, and everyone that came in got free service. She's hoping this happens more often because she's sure that her constant patronization is what has moved Kinkos into the top level of the stock exchange.
Here I am at seventy-seven,
Long past time to go to heaven
Or wherever it is I'm destined to go--
But if it is dull
Just lull after lull
I'll ask for a transfer below
Hey, hey, Fio is making progress on her widowhood, she's got piles and piles of firewood in her yard, and she's riding high, wide, and handsome on FB, so maybe her own light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. But then, she still has theose taxes to pull together. GRRRRRRRRRR!
What if we are all in hell now, and what we call "death" is heaven?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Intervention Needed

Fio is very angry--but then that seems to be her constant state these days. Her newest gripe is that amuseum, not that Fiorella is wild aboutfor two days running, the American-Statesman hasn't delivered her newspaper, which she depends on--anagrams, comics, and an article or two--to get her started in the morning. She called the paper, of course, waited through the interminable clicks and clacks, and finally got a real person. On Monday, the real o was able to get her a late newspaper, but the steel-hearted bitch that Fio got on Tuesdaywouldn't waver, even when Fiorella said she was going to drive six miles down the street to a convenience store, buy a newspaper there, and send the Statesman a bill for it. Stay tuned--Fio may also come up with more diabolical scheme.
The highlight of Fiorella's day yesterday was that she met up with romance-writing friend Jan at Fish Daddy's. The discussed the romance market (saturated), the state of the world (going to hell in a handbasket) and their own lives (Jan's is pretty good, but Fio's, as you know, gets worse every time she turns around.) Yeah, Fio spilled her guts.
On the way home, Fiorella stopped at FedExKinkos and got thirty photocopies of the acrostic she designed that unites all her cousins' names . She'll put them in the the mail tomorrow, with the full realization that most of her clever word-plays will be dropped in a waste basket after a day or two, but if she she's lucky, maybe a cousin with an artistic side will tuck Fio's work of love away in a memory book. (
As an artist, Fio learned long ago that most people don't recognize true art unless it's labeled. or hanging in a museum--although she's seen  far two many items in museums that should have been chucked in the trash can. And don't get her started on those awful sad-eyed  urchins or the gold-edged schmuck that Thomas Kincade turns out in his "art" factories.
Has Fiorella emptied herself of her vitriol? Well, not quite yet. Look for more to come.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Fiorella has GOT to start working on her romances again. She keeps coming up with great dialogue that she writes down on her yellow pad (su libreta amarilla).

Sonia Dog Puts in Her Two Bits

Why does Mommy say she's going upstairs to get "dressed" when I've never seen her wear anything but T-shirts, shorts and slacks? Hmff! I doubt if that woman even owns a dress.
Good grief, Mommy is trying to save the world again. She spent the weekend combing the internet for statistics on massacres and mass shootings so she can advise people on when to stay home. So far, she's learned that August is the safest month (even mass murderers have to take vacations) and that the safest dates are the fourth, the ninth, the tenth, the fifteenth, and the nineteenth. Interestingly--and scarily--Fio had a feeling another biggie was on the way.
The maid is coming today so Mommy rushed around cleaning up the house. I don't understand human relationships that well, but isn't the maid supposed to be the one who does the cleaning up? It doesn't matter to me--I like Raquel. She's the one who finds the play toys I've lost.
OMG, Mommy's on a tear! She's even washed out my bowls and scrubbed the pad under them. That frozen chocolate frosting she's been eating spoonful by spoonful has turned her into Superwoman. Hey, maybe I could get hold of some of it myself. I've always wondered what flying would be like....
Mommy, the TV, and me
Just us three
When we settle down at night
I'm happy as can be

Monday, August 5, 2019

Fio Declares War!

Fiorella is still furious, but this time about a real-life massacre, not a potential massacre, and not just one massacre, but two on the same time day--the first of them in El Paso, Texas, the second in Dayton, Ohio. The first was  motivated by racial hatred, and the second was an attack on a neighborhood bar.

Both of these tragedies could have been prevented if Trump had pushed for the of kind of gun laws enforced in Australia, Britain, and Canada.

People, Fiorella understands if you are loyal to the GOP.  Her parents were Republicans, and she grew up with conservative values, most of which she still holds today, but she totally loathes Donald Trump (who isn't a real Republican anyway). He has turned us against each other, damaged our country's image abroad, estranged our allies and embraced our enemies, dragged our deficit into a hell-hole unknown, messed up our trade agreements, encouraged and engaged in corruption, threatened our parks and forests, and has no class, dignity, or morals. His only god is money, and he doesn't care whom he swindles to get it.

And the aforementioned are just the sins that Fio can  think of off the top of her head.

But what makes Fiorella the most angry is his attitude toward children--any children, even his own, whom he ignored (except for using them tax as exemptions and shareholders) until they were old enough to participate in his nefarious con games. Other people's children, of course, are of no use to him. He doesn't care if kids are drinking toxic water, if they are gunned down in their classrooms or while shopping for school supplies, if they are locked into cages, or even if they die in cages, as some already have.

Trump doesn't much care about adults either, unless their last name is Trump, or they, at least for the moment, they can be of use to him. But if one of his hirelings lets his ethics show, the sucker is booted out the door and replaced with a sewer rat as slimy as Trump himself--someone like Mnunchin or Devos, whose aims seem to be to suck the country dry, then sail off in their fleet of yachts before anyone is the wiser.
People, this is a dark, dark era in our country's history, but Fiorella thinks the times, they are a-changin', that there's light to be seen at the end of the tunnel. But whether there is or is not, Fio will continue to Ring the bell/ Scream and yell/ Fight the good fight/ And write and write, and write! 🧡

Sunday, August 4, 2019


What is the country coming too? Fio checked the statistics for the past ten years and found that there is, on average, a mass shooting (four or more deaths) or a massacre EVERY day, and that they're becoming more frequent as hate pervades our nation.


Indeed, our government endorses the firearms culture and tries to convince MORE people, like schoolteachers, to arm themselves. It's like setting up  a latter-day shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, but the results won't necessarily be the same.

What would it take to get gun laws passed in the Unite States? Obviously the deaths of people attending outside concerts, enjoying a night in a club, or buying their school supplies in malls doesn't mean a thing, so how about a mass shooting in Congress itself? Or at Mar-a-Lago?And if that doesn't work, how about projecting mortuary photos of the victims on the White House walls?

Take your pick, but do SOMETHING!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

From Silly to Serious

If you've been following Fio, you know by now that the most frightening words that she can utter are "I'm bored," which means she'll soon be devising a way to amuse herself that you may not approve of. (So sad/ Too bad/ But wasting time/ Is a crime)
Fiorella's hair is now long enough that she can pull it up into a tiny pony tail, which has gotten her to thinking about following through on her long-time vow to let her hair grow long, then braid it around her head in an up-do favored by her high-school Latin teacher, Elor Osborne, whom she adored.
Did Fio tell you that Son was so afraid she would wander off into the airport like a stray dog that he arranged for her to be met by an escort with a wheelchair at the other end of the line? Fio dismissed the chair, of course--after two hours of sitting in a plane, she needed the exercise--but kept the escort, who was not only pleasant, but good-looking to boot. Hubba, hubba!
Fiorella doesn't care about your "right to bear arms." Public safety supersedes it. You aren't supposed to yell "FIRE" is a crowded theater, if you get the connection.
The family reunion Fio attended has put her on the political warpath again. Her grandfather was an immigrant, and he contributed to the welfare of this country through his occupation and the way he lived his life, as did his offspring, and as do his seven grandchildren today. All countries need the flow of immigrant blood to keep their blood and their brains and hearts from growing stale. DUMP TRUMP!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Sonia Dog Ponders Her Universe Again

I am so proud of my mommy. When she and her oldest pup were sharing a hotel room at their family reunion, she left the toilet seat up, just as I've trained her to do, although, for some reason, it made her puppy laugh.
I feel sorry for Mommy and try to take extra good care of her because of her birth defect--she was born with two legs instead of four, poor thing. Maybe that's why she never chases squirrels.
Mommy is feeling sicky today. I could have told her that half a chocolate cake was overdoing it. My vet won't let me have any chocolate at all.
Mommy can't find my pill bottle, but I don't care unless it means she's going to withhold the peanut butter she usually dips my pill in. I humor her, of course, and pretend I'm not going to take the pill without the bribe, but the truth is that the med is in a capsule so I don't taste a thing except that yum-yum peanut butter.
Thinking it over, maybe chocolate is to Mommy what peanut butter (which she does not like) is to me. Hmm....

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Celebration Time!

 Be happy for Fiorella--her gastroenterologist told her that the reason that she's been able to sleep through the whole night lately is that the new drug (Dexalant) is WORKING! No more acid reflux! So, of course, to celebrate, Fio stopped by H-E-B on the way home and bought herself a Dove Bar, a chocolate cake, and a can of creamy chocolate fudge.
      And no, she's not sharing!
Along the way, Fiorella also stopped in at Chase Bank to recheck what the interest is on her mortgage, and guest what? The guy she talked to, Jeremiah, is from Ohio! Not only that, but he's from the same Akron area that Fio is from. Nothing like talking about heavy snow, the Soapbox Derby, and Goodyear blimps.
As requested, Fiorella sent photos of her house to Cousin Julie, but admitted to her that the pictures were taken from the most flattering angles possible. No reason to tell anyone that the ground is so rocky nothing will grow.
Fio's paternal grandfather was an immigrant who came to the United States to work in the Pennsylvania coal mines. His sons moved to Akron to work at General Tire. One of them, Fiorella's father, moved to Texas when he was offered a better job with the company. Fio moved to Georgetown to be closer to her job in Temple. Migration is part of most peoples' lives and always has been. The search for food and better living conditions is built into us--that's why mankind emerged from Africa and populated the planet. That's why migrants should be welcomed into the United States.
Did Fio tell you that she interested two women in her gastroenterologist's office in her book by saying, when asked, "I write sleazy romances," then handing them her card? They giggled and promised to look her up on line.

(Now, excuse, me. I need another piece of cake)