Monday, September 30, 2019

Fio Divulges All

Fiorella's maternal grandfather and uncle were born mechanics. In fact, Uncle Ivan was so good that the army sent him to MIT for advanced training and his post-war employer kept him on despite his alcoholism. (Oddly enough, Fio's mother, his sister, never even learned how to drive--but then, she didn't drink either.)
Fio's father had no aptitude for mechanics, but his high school nickname was "Bud" because he could make friends anywhere he went. Your Fiorella, thank goodness, shares this aptitude.
Mother may not have been able to drive, but she did know how to do minor household repairs and decorate a home. She also paid all bills, which is probably why Fiorella had no problem taking on that job after she was married.
Fiorella's whole family was musical. Dad had a second-lead role in his high school's musical, and he taught Fiorella little songs like "Little Brown Jug" on the way to church when she was a child. Mother's genealogy included a few lady concert singers, and she herself played the harmonica and, in her old age, the piano. (Fio should add in that her rascally grandfather sang in a barbershop quartet.)
You realize, of course, that Fiorella could make a blog out of her own funeral.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Weekend Travail

Fiorella was pleased--and relieved--to notice that she didn't have many things on su lista amarilla yesterday. Just a drive over to Target to get a lipstick and find a cute outfit for the the baby visiting in the morning, then to Home Depot to get a couple of bags of dirt in which to plant the Asian Jasmine she'd bought the day before, followed by a stop at Walgreens to pick up a few treats.
       And that is where her day went haywire--Fio's beloved Baby Car allowed her to unlock the door, but refused to let her turn the steering wheel or start the engine. (Translation: Fiorella could put her key in the ignition, but not turn it on.)
       After fiddling around with the key for far too long, Fio went back into Walgreens to enlist the help of an employee. A nice young woman contacted her local Mazda for her, but the person on the other end of the line directed her to Mazda Roadside Assistance, which is apparently a national set-up. Fio, of course did not know any of the required numbers or codes, and when she tried to talk to the guy on the other end of the line, everything he said was echoed into the uninteliagiable. Finally, she cut the call short and asked the Walgreens girl to please get a taxi for her.
       The cab was there in fifteen minutes, but first of all, Fiorella and Trey, the driver,  headed over to a service station, where she paid for her ride by filling up the his tank on her credit card. On the way to her house, they had a nice conversation about how Georgetown was changing (there used to be only one taxi service in town, but now there were two), and when she finally walked through her own front door, she was greeted by a frantic mastiff (WHY HAVE YOU BEEN GONE SO LONG, MOMMY!) who had to lick her all over to be sure she was uninjured.
        Exhausted, Fio sank onto the couch and closed her eyes for a moment, and when she opened them again, an hour had passed. Reaching for a phone, she called her local Mazda, then drove to the dealership in the Queen Mary to turn the malfunctioning key over to her pals there.
       Later in the afternoon, they called to tell her that Baby Car had behaved beautifully for them--no problema.
       At a loss, Fiorella can only assume Baby Car decided it was time to straighten up and fly right because she realized the Queen Mary was about to take over her prized spot as Fio's favorite car.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Comparisons and a Bit of Wistfulness

Husband had no sense of beauty or whimsy, which sometimes made life difficult for Fiorella, but she always knew he loved her.
Fio and her brother are alike, but different. They both write poetry, are musical, laugh easily, and are honest as the day is long. But Fiorella will go out on a limb for what she considers to be a good cause and Brother is more conservative.
Most of the people that Yours Truly knows like to travel, but she considers it a waste of good time--unless, of course, she's visiting friends or relatives. For her, people always come first.
Your faithful correspondent tries to maintain a household routine, but Sonia Dog is a past master. She's always reminding Fio when it's time to let her out onto the balcony to sunbathe or telling silly Mommy that she has made a wrong turn (again) on the way to Dairy Queen.
Fio, as you know, has a mania for languages, a mania she has never been able to pursue as she would have liked. She's done fairly well with odds and ends, but if only she had been born thirty years later, when foreign languages can be picked up on every TV screen.

Friday, September 27, 2019

And What Have you Been Doing Lately, Fio?

Fiorella had to make a shopping expedition during the 100-degree heat Wednesday, and when she got home, Sonia Dog swarmed all over her, slamming her 130 pounds down in Fio's lap so she couldn't move off the couch, then initiating a loving tongue bath, which is when yours truly covered her mouth and nose with  her hand and wondered why she'd ever wanted a Mastiff.
       On Thursday, Fio spent four hours, divided into two trips, driving around in the hot sun. The firt trip was to the bank to get her claim on one of Husband's investments notarized for the fourth time, check out the new bookstore in town (ugh), mail some bills, and buy more fingernail scissors. The second was to take out the trash, go downtown to toss her old newspapers into the recycle bin, stop by DQ so Sonia Dog could get her weekly Pup Cup, and to drop yet another letter off at the post office. 
      Fio is hoping for a little breathing room today because she wants to visit Home Depot (despite her vow to never go there again) and check out theirground covers, then contact friends for the name of a plant they recommended for rocky ground. On Saturday, she'll prepare for Sunday morning's visit with Nephew Aaron, his bride, and their new baby๐Ÿงก, then hustle around to get ready for Elder Son's midnight arrival.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


O wonder of wonders--will this be the day when Fioreella gets everything on her list done and has time to spare? Be still, my heart!
       Her first self-assignment is to rewrite her letter to a Russian woman who's associated with the Slavic Language Studies division at The University of Texas. She's the one who supposedly knows something about the Carpatho-Rusyn language. The reason Fio has had to rewrite the note so many times is that she doesn't want to mess up because Oksana is her only resource so far. Leave it to Fiorella to belong to visitan ethnic group no one's every heard of--but then, you always knew she was weird.
       Her next assignment is a return to Target and H-E-B for things on her list that she didn't get on her first visit: comida para la perra, lipstick, vacas de papel, leche-huesos pequanos. She may pick up a few Russell Stover Halloween cookies on the side, but then, she still has half a three-xxx chocolate fudge cake in the refreigerator.   
       Speaking of chocolate cake, Fiorella is astounded that she didn't feel the after affects of it all last night, but no--she slept like a baby. Maybe it was because God gave her a bye or maybecbecause she was ecstatically happy about Pelsoi announcing Trump's upcoming impeachment trial, which means she has something on him that he can't bull out of, and that the Senate will go along with her.,
       Of course, if he is kicked out of the White House, Pence will be next in line, but he's pulled a couple of shenanigans on his own and may decide it is best to resign--WHICH WOULD LEAVE NANCY AS PRESIDENT FOR THE REST OF THE TERM!


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Experiments, Information, and Revelations

Don't look now, but your ever-adventurous Fiorella is experimenting with what she calls subconscious language acquisition. Translation: she turned the TV on yesterday morning, tuned in a Spanish language station, and had it  playing till she went out to get groceries. Today, she'll try having it on all day.
Fio also experimented with cooking a filet mignon yesterday evening--inside the house in her oven rather than outside on a grill, of course. It was a big hunk of meat so Fiorella and Sonia Dog split it down the middle. Hmm...might not be too good an idea to introduce Doggie to a meat that costs $15 for a one-pound package.
Did you ever wonder why urine is yellow? Well, Fio looked it up, and the color is due to a pigment called urochrome. No info on the source of the pigment, though.
Another fun fact: Fiorella has decided her burial grown should be a gown--a night gown--and she'll start looking for one when she has time. Nothing like being prepared. Besides, it would follow the tradition of her mother and maternal grandmother, who hung the chosen dresses over the back of the closet door for when the time came.
Speaking of Mother, Fio has realized that she herself is just as much behind times as her mother was. Mom refused/was afraid of learning how to drive, and yours truly has refused/is afraid to deal with technology.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Gas Station, Slats, Garden, Holidays, Trump

Fio, what's new in your neck of the woods, you ask. Well, there's a lot of excitement--at least on my part--the gas station that's being built about three miles down on the other side of the road. I tend to wait too long for fill-ups, and besides that, it will make Moon Pies more available.
Fiorella is also excited about the metal slats that Fernando y su sobrino installed in her garden area yesterday. The edging separates the flower section from the new pathway. The next step is to water everything down so the flagstones sit better, then put something around them to even out the walkway so people won't trip on the edges of the rocks. For her part, Fio is planning to install a decorative garden fence to combat the armadillos--which have been VERY active lately--from pot-holing the garden in their eternal search for worms and grubs.
To complete the garden news, Fiorella is sorry to report that she thinks something is attacking her row of bushes again this year. It's gotten so bad that she's considering replacing them with a hardier species.
It's not even Halloween yet, and a Christmas advertisement arrived in Fio's mail yesterday.. And, speaking of Halloween, it's not even October, and Russell Stover has been on the Walgreen shelves (as Fiorella well knows) for almost a month. How about we just adjust all the holidays to coincide with the advertisers and holiday sweets?
Do you realize that almost 11,000 immigrant children are rotting away in Trump's concentration camps? Aside from them being a steady money-maker for his private-prison cronies, why? In the long run, what does he plan for them?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Sonia Dog Gives You the Low-down

Mommy's rushing around doing things again--does that woman never stop? It's something about making DUMP TRUMP buttons she gives away to people. I don't know who this Trump is, but Mommy says he doesn't have a dog, so I don't like him.
I've noticed that Mommy, like the rest of her breed, is handicapped by having only two legs, but I'm amazed by what she can do with those two appendages that hang from her shoulders. My special treat is to watch her carry her shoes half-way down the stairs, then toss them across the room toward the couch. Each time they land on it, she yells BINGO!
The last time she went to the H-E-B, Mommy accidentally (she says) bought a vegetable-based dog food for me which I DO NOT LIKE, but, not being able to drive to the store myself, I don't have a choice. To make up for her error, she's been garnishing the food with bits of raw hamburger meat, but I'm still not forgiving her.
Oh-oh. Mommy is going through her yellow tablets, ripping pages out, and throwing them on the floor, which means they're destined for the waste basket. She calls it "getting organized." I call it littering.
Why is it that Mommy, who cuddles the computer, which is nice and warm, in her lap for hours on end, won't let me sleep on it?

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Quickies Plus

I've places to go and promises to keep
So thank you, God, for a good night's sleep
Fio is small, but her voice is strong
Which you'll find out if you do her wrong
 Strong or not, there's nothing Fiorella can do about one of Husband's investments that she laid claim to several months ago.  She filled out the benefit form as directed, but it was rejected three times. This last time, Fio got on the phone and made the investment employee walk her through every complicated page, then signed the document and took it to the bank the next day to be notarized. Unfortunately, when the notary signed it and dated it, his date did not agree with Fio's, which is a no-no. Thank goodness that in the next round Fio has only has one page to correct. (Do you think she should sue for postage?)
Fiorella, who is on an extensive pill regimen, thinks it's hilarious that she reminds herself of which one to swallow when with such rhymes as  as "Wait till eight, but don't be late."
Yours truly promised a sick friend that she would march in a local political parade, but Friend didn't tell her she'd have to stand out in the sun for an hour first for a pep rally. Needless to say, Fio left before the march began--but not without passing out ten of her Dump Trump buttons.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

From Thrill to Pill

Fiorella, the woman of many moods, is thrilled right now. She just got back from a trip to Walgreen's for her yearly flu shot, and two women who were waiting in line--actually we were all in chairs along the wall--noticed her DUMP TRUMP button and gave her a thumbs up. Fio immediately flourished her plastic bags full buttons, and they each took a button and seemed very excited about them. The tide is turning.
Speaking of politics, Fio has committed to walking in the Georgetown march at noon today, but her attendance depends on when her maid shows up at the house. Raquel is perfectly capable of handling everything herself, but Fiorella doesn't want to miss the chance of enlisting her to haul several ten-foot-long slats to the house in the back of her pick-up. Yep, Fio needs them to to edge the new pathway. There will probably be some fencing that needs transport too.
The down spot of Fio's day was when she answered a phone call from the in-between-company that Austin Heartless hired because they thought that mechanizing and technologizing would increase its profit. The recorded voice asked questions that Fiorella answered appropriately until the voice asked when she was going to have her next finger prick, and Fio said not till next month. Your faithful correspondent was immediately forwarded to a human being with a very nice telephone voice who questioned her further and didn't like her answers, especially when she said she has a friend who punctures her finger for her instead of doing it herself.
The IRS thing seems to be drawing to a close, but how many times have you heard Fiorella say that?
Fio's stomach is giving her problemas denuevo. She's hoping it's because of her distress about the taxes and that by October 15, the late-return deadline, she'll be able to gorge herself on Russell Stover's chocolate-covered marshmallow Halloween treats with no aftereffects.
      Or that there will be a morning-after pill available.

Friday, September 20, 2019

From Oops to Hopes

How did Fiorella get printed as fellatio on Fio's blog yesterday? Was it the weather? Mischievious gremlins? Did Sonia Dog accidentally step on some hokey keys before Mommy packed up the computer for the night? Whatever, it was good for a laugh--and thanks to friend Marion for alerting Fio via Daughter.
All in all, Fio's day went well today. It's amazing how much energy one has after a full night's sleep. First off, your faithful correspondent went outside to look at the flagstone walkway forming along the side of the house and, amazed to realize it was almost finished, decided to stay out and complete the job. Next, after taking a picture of her accomplishment, she had a one-hour chat with friend Suzy in England. A walkway and a talkway--can't get much more reviving than that combination!๐Ÿ˜
But Fiorella had more to do today than finish the pathway. She also needed to get the trash out, pack the trunk of the Mercedes with cardboard and paper for recycling, drop by Husband's doctor's office (for the second time) for a list of Husband's referrals to specialists, etc., and mail some letters at the post office. Sonia Dog was in the back seat, of course, because it was Dairy Queen day, and she does love her Puppy Cup. Mommy always gets a dipped cone (chocolate) so Sonia doesn't have to eat alone--that's Mamacita's excuse and she's sticking to it. ๐Ÿ˜
A blanket of blue-gray was creeping across the sky as Fio turned toward home, and as she approached the turn into her neighborhood, there was a rumble overhead and about a dozen miniscule raindrops fell on her windshield. Fiorella's first urge was to roll down her window, stick her head out, and yell "rain, rain!"
       But then it stopped. ๐Ÿ˜’

It's eventide now and Fiorella is making su lista para manana, which, surprisingly, doesn't look as intimidating as su listas usually do. Maybe there will even be some time left over for her to work in a little language study or get some writing done. Hoping, hoping....

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Sorry for the extra disjointed posts yesterday. You saw backstage. Fio usually writes about whatever strikes her, then adds to it on and off during the day, the whole time dating the publication for a couple of days ahead, which she can change at any time. But she didn't, and two rag-taggle extras appeared alongside her post for the day. They have been removed now and will probably be shined up for legitiment posting in a day or two. 
        She'd like to tell you that it will never happen again, but that's a lie. It's happened before and will probably happen again because Fiorella is a real, live person who makes mistakes, not a robot.

Almost, Almost

FIORELLA has almost finished off the flagstone path across the side of the house, with no calamities so far. She plans to finish it off today before her yard man comes over this weekend and catches her hauling heavy rocks around.  Let's hope he won't realize she's reassembled the flagstones to her own liking.
She's also almost finished with the taxes, which she meant to work on yesterday, but didn't. She also didn't finish up those DUMP TRUMP buttons she is manufacturing on the kitchen table. (They're destined for the local Democratic Committee or whoever wants one. )
Also, Fio's writing is on hold, although she's come up with another good story line.
Also, Fiorella didn't get to AT&T yesterday like she had planned, but it's on the top of her list for today. She's also going to drop by Walker Plumbing because the toilets are still taking to long to stop flushing. Maybe she can make a video of the situation.
 Use your time well, Fiorella. Every minutes that passes is one less minute you have to live.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Day in Review

It's six o'clock and all's not well--
My plans for the day are shot to hell

Yep, Fio's lost the bright blue folder that contained all her voter registration material.
Fiorella likes to stay busy, as she has often said, but she'd rather be doing what she wants to do rather than what she has to do. Hope is rising, though--she's nearly finished with the 2018 taxes now except for the final accounting and paying the (gulp) bill.
       She also has to pay for the new plumbing system and expects to rack up a whopping big charge when her land-line phones are repaired or replaced:
      Telephones, taxes, toilets
       I'm besieged at every turn
      So is it any wonder that
       I burn, I burn, I burn?
Happy days are here again! Fiorella finished off the income taxes this afternoon--well, except for the medical stuff she forgot about, which she'll do tomorrow. At any rate, everything should be in by October 15.
Did Fio tell you that the next thing she's planning to tackle is her in-and-out land-lines? She's got AT&T's local address and is planning to beard them in their den tomorrow.  It really would be nice to have a phone conversation that isn't cut off in mid-sentence.
More and more, Fiorella is thinking of stories she'd like to write and get out there Having a fair number of friends and followers on Facebook should help her, and she'll consult other writer friends for more marketing ideas. It's odd, but Fiorella, who's not shy in other situations, has a hard time tooting her own own horn. She just wasn't brought up that way.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Flagstones to the Future

Your Fiorella has been having a great time rearranging the flagstones that friend Frenando y su sobrino laid out rather haphazardly, which is what you would expect from two guys who had been handed the job with no instructions except where the pathway should start and end.  Fio studied the design from inside the house for a couple of days, then went outside and started relaying the stones in a loose jig-saw style. She's quite pleased so far, although she may have to lug home a few more flagstones to satisfy her artistic sensibilities.
Last year a pipe broke in the ceiling, and now there's a problem with the water pressure thing that's maing the toilets sing and dance. In addition, Fiorella's land-line phones don't seem to be accepting any calls unless they're from telemarketers. GRRRRRRRRRR!
Don't hold your breath, but Fio is getting closer to the finish line regarding her 2018 taxes. The cloth on top of the dining room table is three quarters visible again, which means that Fiorella may soon be free to investigate what she can of the Rusyn language, put together her maternal genealogy,  compose a few more acrostics, and finish off Lolly's story, which has been in waiting for about five years.
       Unfortunately, it's more likely she'll be spending all her time organizing the remains of her life  and fixing up the house for sale inside and out.
       On the other hand, Fiorella did not eat a single piece of chocolate today--WAHOO!

Monday, September 16, 2019

From Complaint to Analysis

Fiorella wrote two charming paragraphs for your education and enjoyment, and then, when she was starting on the third, accidentally deleted her every golden word. She will try to reconstruct them, but with fear in her heart--HOW THE HELL DID THE DAMN MACHINE DELETE ITSELF?
Otherwise, Fio's life seems to be evening out denuevo, aside from an occasional mad dash to the post office, kahneshnuh. She's been spending about an hour a day outside rearranging the flagstones in the walkway that su amigo Fernando y su sobrino built for her on the side of the la casa. Las piedras are heavy, but she totters the ones she can't lift --the same way those statues were moved down the road on Easter Island.
As you may have noticed, Fiorella's brain seems to be recovering from the shock wave that accompanied Husband's death. She's even playing with languages denuevo, amusing herself by stringing together several of them into what are (to her) hilarious sentences, like Guten Morgen, mio amigo or Gde est meine computadora.
That paternal family reunion that Fiorella attended has reawakened her interest in the genealogy of her mother's side of the family. She has an old photo of the a gathering of the clan and knows her last remaining first cousin on that side of the family has gathered some material so she's wondering if one of her second cousins, to whom she sends Christmas card but really doesn't know, would be willing to cooperate on the venture. Will keep you posted.
Looking back on last year when she and Former Friend were semi-friends, Fiorella wonders if FF is incapable of lasting friendships, probably due to her rough upbringing, details of which she divulged to Fio. In that regard, it's especially interesting that even her relationships with her animals--the horses, the dogs--were dominance based. Unfortunately, Fio is uncontrollable.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Fio Battles the Brave New World Again and WINS!

Fiorella does not like to be stymied, but technology thwarts her at every turn, which is why she was the wild woman you saw pulling into the post office parking lot on Saturday and running into the the building with an un-stamped -sized envelope in her hand, only to discover that the counter area was closed for the day.  Yes, there was a stamp machine in the lobby, but Fio knew from past encounters that it was not her friend, and she was furious. That envelope contained several days and late-night work on her tax information that she needed to send off to her CPA ASAP.

Frustrated, her blood boiling, your Fio let loose a vibrant scream in the hallowed post office wall, then howled a few more times as she ran for her faithful little blue car, envelope still in hand, then took off down the street, beeping along the way to let off steam, to H-E-B where she knew she could buy stamps and hoped the nice lady behind the counter could guess how many she needed. The nice lady had no idea of how many stamps Fio needed, but she had a suggestion--go to the UPS down the street, but hurry because it would close in fifteen minutes.

Fio sprinted for her car (which she isn't supposed to do because of the hip replacement, but has done a couple of times in emergency situations with no negative outcomes) and made it to the store just before it closed, paid her $8.55 (which she'll damn well take off of next year's taxes) and sent the envelope on its way.

Elated, she drove back to H-E-B to thank the nice lady and pick up a small chocolate cake iced in chocolate, then ate it all the way home to refresh her depleted adrenaline.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Life and Taxes

JINGOISTIC is the word Fio has been searching for. She remembers her mother using it to describe a super-nationalism movement that she considered to be ignorant and offensive. Fiorella heard the word again during a UT history class, but she never realized she'd be in the trenches fighting against another such movement further on down the road.
As a child, your Fio was great at reading maps. She had to be--remember that her mother didn't drive so her father had to be at the wheel the whole way up and down from Texas to Ohio, often a four-day trip. Unfortunately, mother never got the hang of road maps either, so the chore was passed on to yours truly. Fiorella understood from the first that a map was an aerial view of the road system and took it from there. But alas, she's now in the same boat that her mother because paper maps are relics of the past, and Fio is notoriously inept with technology. Translation--cell phone maps and their squeaky voices confuse your girl.
Congratulate Fiorella. She's finally pulled together all the TRS, ERS, and SS stuff, and has phone calls out to Husband's doctors for a list of their so referrals so she can figure out the mileage and thus reduce her taxes. She'd like to tell you that will finish her off for IRS, but noooooooo--still plenty to do.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Life on the Run

Between struggling with her 2018 taxes and problems with her PC, Fio had a pretty rotten day yesterday. But things got better when she decided to taken Sonia Dog out in the early evening, which was warm, but not too warm, and bright, but not too bright. Doggie wandered around in the woods, and Fiorella readjusted a few flagstones in the new walk beside the side of the house. Nothing like hefting rocks to make a girl feel in charge of her situation again.
Today will start off with a visit from friend Marie, who used to be Fiorella's cumadin nurse and is now a big dog RN. Fio and Marie are kindred spirits, and she is an especially kind one--so kind that she is going to drive out to Fiorella's house to help her with the dreaded finger-prick machine that Austin Heartless has bestowed upon her because it's too cheap to pay for cumadin nurses on site. Not that Fio has any problem with her finger being pricked to test the efficacy of her blood-thinner prescription, but she was born with some kind of in-built, iron-strong resistance to damaging herself, sort of a do-no-harm gene. Yes, your Fio could never have been one of those teen-age self-mutilators.
       On the other hand, Fiorella is quite calm in medical emergencies and does a great job of binding wounds and driving people to the ER, even herself.
In preparation for Marie's visit, Fio has run around the house like a mad woman, trying to get it in half-decent shape, which is hard with tax-related papers spread out all over the place. Hopefully, Marie will ignore the mess and focus on Fio's sparkling personality ๐Ÿ˜
Have you actually gotten anything done on those on those 2018 returns, you ask? Well, yes, but it's slow-going. Anything I think can be handled quickly takes forever, and everything I think will take forever does take forever. And, by the way, Chase, squirrelly as always, sent Fio a "years' end" accounting of her 2019 credit card expenditures instead of her 2018 ones.
Now, if you'll excuse her, Fiorella needs to go read the comic strips before Marie gets here. A day without the funnies is a day without sunshine ๐ŸŒž

Thursday, September 12, 2019

It's All About the Line

The joy of life-drawing for Fio is the line, and this sketch s one of her favorites. It's so simple, a one-line drawing with no shading, just that graceful curve of the model's body. We don't even see her face, which is unusual for Fiorella, who's basically a portrait artist.  (The perspective is also unusual because Fio, for once, snagged an up-close chair.)

Fio would like to tell you that she set up the pose, but that isn't how it works in a life-drawing situation.  There's always someone who's been designated to take charge, and he/she is the only one who communicates with the model. He/she also times the poses and is the one who suggests poses if the model doesn't have his/her own preferences--and some of them can be lulus.

If you're wondering, in Fiorella's experience, models were always treated with respect. They were regarded as professionals doing their job, and there was no shaming or chit-chat.

Anyway, enough of that--now for the drawing:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Fio Makes Up for Her Lack of Technology

Fiorella is trying to post another one of her other nude studies, but, struggling with her lack of technological skills, may not get it up on line till later today. Meanwhile, have a good day ๐Ÿงก
The above was written in late morning. The rest of Fio's time was spent in Austin, where she got her hair done for the first time in almost a year. She didn't arrive home till five-thirty, and a very large dog who was insistent that SHE CAME FIRST on everything. Thus, the nude is going to have to wait till tomorrow.
You may be wondering where nude models come from. Well, some are college students who need extra money, some are pros who see it as an easy way to make a buck, and a few, from what Fio could tell, were exibitionists. Interestingly enough, there was an unwritten rule that we would never try to engage them in conversation. They were models, not friends.
Well, Fio, how did your hair appointment go, you ask. It was wonderful. There is nothing like catching your stylist up on your own life and in return, hearing about hers. Fiorella even showed friend Deborah the Family Book,  explained the family origins, and told her about the family reunion.
Now to read the newspaper. Yes, Fiorella. who begins every day reading the paper, did not have that luxury this morning. Instead, she was outside monitoring the crew that was trimming or removing whatever trees of hers that were in the County right-of-way. Strangely, while only about eight trees were slaughtered, Fio counted at least ten guys in hard hats--she suspects that the extras were there to hold her off if she tried a "Woodsman, spare that tree" on them.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


It started out as such a nice, well-planned day--calls to The Employee Retirement System and Ameritrade in the morning for needed IRS information, an early afternoon appointment at the bank to consider refinancing, then a trip to the post office, then a late-afternoon appointment  with the plumber because Fio's house seemed to have diarrhea--her toilets were over-flushing and her faucets were leaking. Then the roof fell in on her head--figuratively.
        The basic problem was the extras she was trying to slip in between appointments--a call to UT's East Slavic Studies office, the Texas Employee Retirement System, and Ameritrade, a long phone call from a friend in Virginia. Then there was the notification that she had screwed up her blood test, the connection to her computer mysteriously failing her, and, to top everything off, her dog scattering her carefully stacked notes onto the floor with her magnificent tail.
       Has Fiorella ever told you how much she dislikes not being in control of her life?
Fio is trying to train herself to use her ever-diminishing foreign language skills more: "Gdyeh ist mi libreta ?"๐Ÿ˜‰
Fiorella was twenty-nine when she became a mother, way out of step with the times. Now, late parenthood is the name of the game. IT'S NOT TOO LATE--HINT, HINT!

Monday, September 9, 2019

From A to Thinking

AAAACK! Fio spent five hours on the 2018 taxes yesterday, and they're still nowhere near being finished. Pray for her--she's going to call Ameritrade to get tax information today, and you know how much they love her in those unholy halls.
The good news about the tax prep thing is that Fiorella has discovered she made $28.37 off her books  last year, which is amazing for someone who's been out of the scene for three years. Maybe some of those pitches she's delivered in doctors' waiting-rooms when she couldn't sit still any longer did the trick.
Your girl had another ocular migraine yesterday. The first time her vision years ago that her vision exploded into a rainbow of shocking beauty, Fio, who is legally blind in her left eye, was afraid it was the end of the road, but now she knows that that her own private Disneyland will settle down in about twenty minutes. Dilating her eyes causes the same colorful reaction, but the rainbows don't go away for days.
Fio decided that she and Sonia Dog need more exercise so she's been grabbing her pruners and escorting Doggie outside for the past few days. While Fiorella clips away at stray cedar/juniper branches, Sonia lies down on the front porch and snoozes.
Women make breakfast, read the paper, and plan what they're going to do during the day all at the same time. Men eat breakfast, then read the paper, then decide what they're going to do during the day. It's a matter of vertical thinking versus serial thinking.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Chocolate, Armadillo, Ameritrade, Admission, Viewpoint

After a frustrating battle with her 2018 tax returns, Fiorella drove to town and, for solace, bought herself four chocolate Halloween treats, two Dove bars, and a can of chocolate fudge frosting  As soon as she got home, she ate the treats and Dove bar, despite knowing that she would pay the GERD piper at bedtime, but--SURPRISE--she slept like a baby all night.
       Has your Fio stumbled on a cure?
       More important, does this mean that she can eat the entire can of chocolate fudge frosting tomorrow without suffering any consequences?
There's an armadillo--or two--rooting around in Fio's yard right now, and it won't come near the trap. Maybe she'd better revisit last year's vision of an armadillo fence with underground spikes.
Pray for your faithful correspondent. She's going to have to contact Ameritrade to get relevant information for her 2018 taxes, and her last confrontation with those people bordered on lethal.

Fiorella never closes doors, but sometimes she packs away the welcome mat.
Fiorella thinks a person's sex life is his own business unless it involves force, children, or animals.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Weather, Chocolate, Taxes, Sharpie, Acrostic

One hundred degrees, hot and still--
If the temp doesn't get you, the sunburn will๐Ÿ˜‰
Yes, Fiorella went on a chocolate binge yesterday, even though she knew she was going to pay for it all night. But what the heck--she  finished off claiming the last of Husband's investment stuff (after two tries), but she still has the IRS, that great hungry maw, to go๐Ÿ˜”
When it comes to taxes, Fio is so much of a scaredy cat that she saves everything--then can't find anything ๐Ÿ˜•
The Sharpie attack is gaining  steam, and Fiorella loves each silly line of it. She even suggested a cartoon relating the Sharpie scandal to her daily post about The Children.  (Wondering if Sharpie could sue you-know-who for misuse of its product?)๐Ÿ˜„
Fio already has written down the basics of the acrostic that she is making for her mother's side of the family. It pulled into shape within an hour, which surprised her, but practice makes perfect--she sharpened her claws on the two acrostics for her father's side of the family, and has been solving the newspaper anagrams for years ๐Ÿ˜‹

Friday, September 6, 2019

Image, Acrostic, MS, Cumadin, Doggie

Too many people, Fio thinks, pay more attention to the image a politician projects than what he/she says or does
Hooray! Fiorella finally reached cousin Sydney and got the maternal family names she needed to make another acrostic. They are challenging and a lot of fun, which Fio needs at this time while she's working on the income tax, winding up one of Husband's investments, keeping a close watch on the County's shenanigans, trying to get the house ready for sale, jotting down notes for future books, and fighting the good fight
Maybe one reason Fio is so driven is that, about thirty years ago, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Because she was told that her health would get worse and worse, she decided to push herself to make the best use of her talents and skills for as long as possible. Four years later, SURPRISE--a brain scan showed no signs of MS. It might have been a misdiagnosis, but Fiorella prefers to think her mind-over-matter determination was what cured her.
A charming young woman drove over and supposedly taught Fiorella how to use the cumadin monitor thing. Fio enjoyed Jennifer's visit and said, "Yes, yes" to everything as if she had an eidetic memory, then made a mental note to contact friend Marie, a former cumadin nurse, who has kindly volunteered to help her.
If she could, Sonia Dog would lick yours truly, not just on her elbow,  but all over. Yes, Fio is the puppy Doggie never had ๐Ÿงก

Thursday, September 5, 2019

College Adventure

Fiorella decided to drop by The University of Texas while she was in Austin to do a little detective work regarding her heritage. It wouldn't take long, she reasoned, and the campus shouldn't have changed too much since she graduated, lo, these many years ago.
     It took Fio about thirty minutes of driving around to find a parking space and another thirty minutes to find anyone who knew anything about how to reach the Russian Department (which is now called Eastern Slavic Studies, in case you ever need to seek it out) and the whole time, your girl was sweltering in the muggy heat and feeling terribly out of place among the horde of fresh-faced students crowding the sidewalks.
     Finally reaching the campus itself, she took a chance on the first building she came to, went down the empty hall and knocked on a door--okay, she pushed it open and barged right in--and encountered two young Chinese women who not only supplied her with the needed phone number, but were amazed at her greeting them (nee hau ma) and thanking them (sheh-sheh) in their native tongue, the only phrases she remembers from her dentist's long-ago tutelage.
    Afterwards, Fio walked as fast as she could back to her car, hoping she could get over the Central Market before friend Kaye, whom she was supposed to meet, gave up on her. But such was not to be: forty-five minutes late,  Fio huffed and puffed into the eating area of Central Market, but Kaye had long since departed.
      Fiorella has emailed her friend, begging for forgiveness and another chance, but that will be up to Kaye. Fio will understand if she gets dropped cold. Being stood up is not fun.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Random Thoughts

There are too many people in this world who want to be told what to think, do, and say.  Fio isn't one of them.
Have you ever thought that when your body dies, maybe your subconscious creates an eternal world in which you're still alive and carrying on as usual?
Sometimes Fio smiles, sometimes she cries,
Sometime she's stupid, sometimes she's wise,
And sometimes she catches herself by surprise--
But, whatever she is, she never lies
Sometimes I lead
Sometimes I walk alone
But my decisions
Are my own
Have you ever tried writing a post with a loving mastiff  industriously licking your right elbow?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Post Labor Day

Fio seems to go up and down--up and filled with hope, down with gloom. She couldn't get hold of anyone she was trying to reach yesterday, couldn't get Doggie to take her worm pills, couldn't overcome problems with the password thing  and something about the latest Google apps, and couldn't figure out how to handle Carbonite, her back-up, being "out of date." Totally overwhelmed by it all, she started sniffling, then crying, which, of course, signaled sweet Sonia to her side, in her lap, and all over her face.
       Later in the afternoon, friend Ellen called from California, and she and Fio stayed on the phone for about an hour, with yours truly monopolizing the conversation. It was so wonderful to have another human being to talk to, someone who's known her since childhood, someone who's on her side.
       What Fiorella would really like to do is dump all her tax stuff in the lap of an understanding CPA and be done with it. Fio does have a very nice CPA, but she hasn't located everything that needs to be dumped in his lap yet because back in the spring, she and the kids tore the place apart looking for insurance and investment policies. Ah well, this too shall pass.
       One nice thing that happened was that a friend labeled Fiorella a "prize-winning author" on an Amazon review, which Fiorella had actually forgotten she once was. Yep, she won eleven and placed in a batch more. She still has three finished romances in her closet and several paritals, Snap to it, Fio! Get yourself out there on the marketplace!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Good Signs for the Future!

(1) Fio is muttering Spanish words and phrases under her breath again.

(2) She's made an appointment to have her hair done and is considering some kind of facial.

(3) She finally has a solution for the rework of the front garden--WOOD CHIPS, like en El Parke on the other side de la entrada.

(4) Her cute little $7 popcorn popper is popping again, and Fio had a bowlful of home-cooked popcorn last night--yum!

(5) It rained yesterday afternoon! Real live rain!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Take It Or Leave It

Photos have replaced paintings,  typing has replaced hand-writing, and machines have replaced people at the supermarket check-outs, post offices, and gas stations, none of which Fiorella likes. Yep, you've got a full-fledged Luddite on your hands--although that she will admit that some of the above comes in handy from time to time. But replacing her nice, friendly coumadin clinic nurse with a cold-blooded machanism that reports into machine central is going beyond the Pale. 
Ah well, Fio can always get a moment or two of human conversation from telemarketers before they hang up on her.
A place for everything and everything in its place, Mother would say, and Fiorella tries to adhere to her dictum, but she also wants to be able to find things quickly without wasting time, which means that putting things "in their place" is, for Fio, like trying to roll a tsunami back out to  the sea.again. Everything returns.
It's September now, and the hay wagons are wobbling down the  highway in Fio's neck of the woods. The hay isn't packaged like those box-like bails of yore, but rolled into bundles, six by six or more. (Oops, unintentional rhyme, but once it started, your girl couldn't stop.)
Fiorella has started scouting advertising circulars for pictures of guys she might use in a story that's been forming in her mind for a while. She's also ripping pages out of the Lands End catalogues addressed to Husband to catch up on men's clothing styles. Junk mail is a boon to romance writers.
When you slap a mosquito that's poised on your hand and your own blood squishes back at you....