Thursday, October 31, 2019

October 31

     Our gap-toothed pumpkin face is carved and lit
And witches' squadrons ride our window pane
While vampires, devils, ghouls, in counterfeit,
Seek treats or trickery at our door again
     My children hold me tightly by the hand
As I escort their Halloween debut
And shrink from every boisterous beggars' band
Because they fear their trumpery is true
     So I explain and soothe and hold them close
And tell them all is clever-made deceit--
Each Frankenstein a playmate grandiose
Each ghost, a neighbor child wound in a sheet
      But yet--a sound, a touch, a shadow--hark!
      I look behind my shoulder in the dark

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Halloween Tricks

The trick was on Fiorella. She went through her short stories for a suitable post, couldn't find the one she was after, but did find an early draft of it and took two hours rewriting it, then tried to print it out and LOST EVERYTHING.
On the other hand, Fiorella is recovering so well from her fall that she tried a little make-up this morning, which made her look even better. Now, if she can just get a car back....
Oh, what the heck. I'll just post another pic of my decorations AGGGGGHH--another Halloween trick! This was supposed to be a photo of a new decoration, but the stupid computer is stuck on this one!

My Halloween design for the landing window

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Three Days to Go

Fiorella's Halloween design for the  window in the landing

These are my back porch Halloween decorations. The dog is optional😊
Tommie Burch Regia

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Smiling Six-some

Here Fiorella is, taking a picture of her Tide container jack-o’lantern family guarding the mailbox.
Image may contain: shoes and outdoor
Fio has added a couple more smiling pumpkins to the family every year. The only problem is water-proofing the glued-on faces, but so far, so good.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

From Genetics to Electronics

Fiorella's in great shape medically speaking, and you would be too if you had her genes...and her back operations... and her gall bladder removal...and her hip replacement...and her pacemaker...and her artificial aortic valve.....
Remember that fall that Fio took four weeks ago, the one that turned her face into a Halloween mask, that the hospital personal said would take three months to heal, and that, even then, might leave permanent damage? Well, your girl is beating the odds, probably through pure cussedness.  Give her a few more weeks and she'll be presentable again.
O joy. Fiorella is going to have to use Lyft for the next week till the Queen Mary is out of dry dock. Elder Son has browbeaten her into it, but Fio knew she had to dip her toe into the modern world someda. Speaking of Elder, he and Fio's Mazda pal have put their head together and come up with a way to keep Baby Car on the road for six more months, which will give Fiorella time to decide what to do next--probably trade in the Mercedes for a four-door car so she can drive her dog and granddaughter around in style.
Like any addict, when Fio is frustrated and/or angry, she turns to her favorite vice for condolence. Yes, your faithful correspondent ate half a pound of chocolate yesterday when she learned that her auto insurance did not cover a rental car and that the person who was going to take her to the polls to vote couldn't make it.
Fiorella is not fond of the electronic world--except when it suits her convenience.

Friday, October 25, 2019

"And what are you doing for Halloween, Fiorella?"

These are my Halloween window decorations, and yes, I cut out every dang bat myself. They rise from a smiling jack-o'lantern on the lower right and, as they swirl toward the orange moon, they turn into tiny witches.
Also note my new flagstone pathway and landscaping. The edged area between the iron plants and pathway is being planted with Asian jasmine. I'll have jasmine planted on the other side of the edging too. Further front, out of your view, I'll use wood chips.

Personally Speaking

Fiorella is late today because her world keeps on churning, churning, churning. Elder Son has worked out a plan with friend Richard at (wonderful) Mazda to extend Baby Car's life for a while, which is a great relief because the Queen Mary won't be ready for at least a week. Grrrr--how much time does it take to replace a fender?
Speaking of Dairy Queen, one of her friends' shops was vandalized yesterday evening. Why do people do things like this? What has Dairy Queen ever done to them--except to provide good food and treats at reasonable prices?
Fio is so tired of fighting to make the world a better place, only to get slapped in the face herself. Every time it's happened so far, she retreats for a while to nurse her wounds, then comes out swinging, but this is getting old πŸ˜’
Thanks to neighbor Kathy for driving Fiorella over to HEB yesterday so she could load up on groceries. Not only did Kathy provide transportation, but also companionship 🧑
This morning, Fio's going to concentrate on putting the finishing touches on her bat mural and getting her stack of yellow notes in order. It's her way of grounding herself.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Emoji Day

Dang, we should have roped up the fender and driven Queen Mary to the Mercedes dealership ourselves. Caliber Collision hasn't done a thing on it because they were waiting for Fio to give them permission, which she didn't know she was supposed to do. Now they've transferred the car to AUSTIN, and Fio is sure there will be other delays--and that she'll have to pay for storage. πŸ˜’
Speaking of cars, Sonia Dog and Fio are going to have to ration supplies unless Baby Car comes home today. Fio's down to her last gallon of milk, and Sonia's bag of kibbles is fast diminishing πŸ˜•
Fiorella writes very moralistic stories, but the requisite sex is free style. However, at the rate her personal problems have been piling up, it's going to be a while before she's plying her purple pen againπŸ˜‰
Fiorella is shocked at the way Trump's Congressional adherents  forced themselves into a closed-door committee hearing and raised cane. There were some Republicans on the committee and a transcript of its proceeding was available, so the attack was strictly a Trump thing. He likes to egg on violence without getting his lily-white hands dirtyπŸ˜’
Thursday--trash day in Fio's neighborhood, but her garbage won't make it today unless she gets a car 
back. Pulling a giant-sized bin twenty yards up to the road won't be on her playbill until she's totally recovered from her fall. Doctor's orders 😐

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Day in the Life of Fiorella

Fiorella is convinced that a mischievous gremlin sneaked into her house last night because her yellow list, the one she puts together the night before to guide her the next day, is missing. GRRRRRRRR!
       Where, O where is my yellow list gone
       Where, O where has it gone?
       With its blue lines cut short and its red lines long
       Where, O where has it goneπŸ˜•
Fio had a great time visiting at Starbucks with friends Ashley and Carol yesterday, especially since she's been living in Georgetown long enough to know which back streets will allow her to avoid the downtown traffic lights πŸ˜‰
As if losing the tablet weren't enough, Baby Car's brake light switched to red, which means Fio will have to rent a car for the duration--remember that the Queen Mary is still in the shop. Or rather,the Mercedes has just now been transferred to the shop after being hauled off a couple of weeks ago.  Your Fiorella will be putting in a sharp call tomorrow--if she can locate her tablet, the one that has all her important phone numbers on it. GRRRRRRRR!
Sonia Dog is distressed that the downstairs toilet still isn't working, but calling the plumber AGAIN is another thing Fio hasn't gotten around to yet. And then there's the laundry.....
OMG, Fiorella just found the tablet in the laundry room, where she now remembers she put it down while she sorted out T-shirts, slacks, shorts, panties, etc. As she finished the sorting, she discovered that a ball-point pen had also gone through the wash and unloaded itself on her clothes. Yes, Fio can't win for losing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

From Bats to Toilet Paper

Fiorella forced herself to work on the bats yesterday--the paper ones she's taping on the front windows of her house for the last time--and to tell the truth, they're looking good. The new swoop in the right window gives the scene just the right drama. 
       You'll see a picture of the montage when Fio finishes it--hopefully tomorrow, but right now, she's cutting out more miniature witches. And yes, Fiorella will take her Halloween decorations, as well as her Christmas and Easter decorations, with her to wherever she's living next year
One of Fio's jack-o'lanterns, the ones made from Tide containers that are clustered on either side of the her mailbox, was down when she went out yesterday morning. She righted it, of course, and dropped a few more rocks into it for stability. Let's see if any of the pumpkins are on the ground today.πŸ˜’
Fiorella's watching Spanish-language TV again. After husband died, she didn't have time to keep up with it, but now she's at it denuevo.  Wish her well.
Not again--toilet trouble. The one on the first floor doesn't flush at all, and one of the ones on the second floor makes a strange knocking sound when flushed. Did a squirrel die in the pipes? Or an armadillo?
To end on a positive note, Fiorella wants to assure you that she did not harm herself by topping her oozing hematoma with Neosporin and a strip of toilet paper. The ER okayed her make-shift bandage, then removed it, cleaned her up, and sent her on her way.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Doggie, Nephew, Facebook

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SONIA DOG, FIORELLA'S BOON COMPANION! Doggie is not only Fio's companion, but her comfort and protection. Mastiff's are like that.
Fio's in a better mood today. Nephew Barrett and his lovely wife visited this afternoon and helped her clean out more of the garage--well, they did it all because your faithful correspondent somehow got the hematoma on her forehead leaking blood again while she was luxuriating in the soaker tub earlier in the day After tabbing gently at the wound for a while, she stuck a folded piece of the toilet paper to the wound and vowed to take it easy--NO LIFTING--for the rest of the day. AND IT WORKED. Of course, the toilet paper is now glued to Fio's forehead, but she figures it will fall off when the time is right.
As you know, Fiorella is quite active politically on Facebook and some of her friends are too, on both sides of the aisle, but they value their friendship enough not to attack each other personally. The only "friend" Fio has had to block was a high-school classmate who questioned her intelligence and called her names. That same woman is still on FB, posting the most vicious memes that can be found, and screaming like a banshee. Fio, of course, is out of direct contact with her now, but occasionally picks up threads in other people's posts and chimes in to support them against the raging bull (cow?).
       Why does she do this? the rest of us pause to post picture of ourselves, our homes, our pets, our lives, but all XXXX posts is hate. Sad.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Halloween, Heart, Birthday

Whew! Fiorella has divided all her Halloween candy into thirty piles, stuffed each pile into one of her old newspaper sleeves (which she knew she'd have a use for some day), and stowed it all in the refrigerator till THE DAY comes. Since she's decided not to wait at the top of her driveway this  year,  she'll give the packets out at the neighborhood party preceding the annual trick-or-treating.
        She's also finished lined up her family of Tide container jack-o'lanterns and placed them under the mailbox on the road. Let's hope they stay there--Fio is not exactly the most popular person in the neighborhood.
       Speaking of Halloween decorations, as she's said for what must to be the fiftieth time, she will finish the bat brigade today!
Fiorella forgot to tell you when she was in Austin on Wednesday, her heart was deeply moved by the sight of the Blind School students, about two hundred of them, on a sidewalk outing. Old and young, black and white, tall and short--all tapping their slender canes and having a wonderful time, especially the children, who were tapping back and forth between groups, bursting with excitement.
       But what made Fio break into tears was how the fast-moving North Lamar Boulevard traffic slowed to a respectful crawl so everyone with a cane could get across the street safely--no honking, no gunning of motors. And when the parade had finally passed by and the traffic started flowing again, to was at a slower speed, as if everyone was trying to preserve the beauty of the moment.
Sonia Dog's birthday is on Monday. It's odd to think that she outlived Husband. None of our other dogs did.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Negative Thinking

Fiorella is tired of people doing her dirty, like Empower Investment, which has led her on a wild goose chase for the past several months regarding her inheritance from Husband's estate. She has filed and refiled forms, worn a path to the notary's door, listened to countless silky-voiced young men 'splain how things work, and SHE'S BOILING OVER because she knows damn well that the company doesn't care in the least about her best interests, but about its own private interests--the longer they can hold onto the cash, the better!
       Thank God that, because her sons joined the fray early on and knew how to beat the insurance and investment companies at their own games, Fio has enough to live on, but how do less fortunate (and less verbal) widows/widowers fare? Money makes the world go 'round, and people could lose their homes or DIE if they lack their spouse's income during a critical time!
Your Fiorella is not only angry, but grumpy. It's the same ol' thing--there are so many self-assignments that she HAS to do that she doesn't get time to do what she WANTS  to do, like finish a third book and haul into fourth and fifth books that she's been taking notes on. But instead, she is working on the house as well as planning and supervising the landscaping--both somewhat hampered by that stupid hematoma!
       And speaking of the hematoma, Fio is angry about that too. This was NOT the best time for that stupid lump to show up!
By the way, Fio's paper-faced Tide pumpkins didn't react well to the water-proofing, and she is going to have to redo the whole family. She had six new yellow pages laminated at Kinko's yesterday and is going to try to cut them into pumpkin faces today. She also has about fifty dollars worth of Halloween candy to sort out into bags for the children at the neighborhood party. (When did apples go out of style?)

Friday, October 18, 2019

Three Concerns and Two Occurences

It seems like every time Fio strikes ten items off her to-do list, twenty more appear.
It's hard to dismantle a house and still keep it presentable.
Sometimes Fiorella gets tired of always being the responsible one.
You want to know how nutty Fiorella is? She couldn't take Sonia Dog with her on her errands  yesterday because the Mercedes, which has a generous back seat, is still in the shop being repaired from when Fio yanked its front fender halfway off at DQ last week, so Fio faked a pup cup, Doggie's usual Thursday treat, for her. Pulling into the DQ driveway in her no-back-seat Miata, she ordered a small cone, and when it arrived, she asked for a plastic lid. At home, she transferred the ice cream into the lid so Sonia Dog wouldn't realize her pup cop was a fake.
       You may also wonder who Fiorella didn't order a cone for herself--it's because she'd eaten an entire Dove Bar that morning, her stomach did not approve of her choice, and she wasn't about to make matters worse.
God bless neighbor Kathy. She stopped by after work yesterday evening and uprighted Fio's friendship plank, the one usually sitting out front on one side of the driveway. Then she kindly sprayed Fio's water-repellent on her family of Tide pumpkins for her. Your faithful correspondent  will probably put the pumpkins out for show this morning and post pictures of them--with the help of her friends at Verizon.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

From Decisions to Donald

Fiorella's friendship plank at the top of her driveway has been knocked over again. She hopes it was the wind or a deer, but down deep, she thinks it was some neighborhood toughie who didn't like her political leanings--remember the jerk who stole her campaign signs last year? So now she's in a quandary. Should she display her cute Tide pumpkins at the top of the driveway, where they might be stolen or destroyed,  or on her front porch, where only Fio and Sonia Dog will see them.
Fio spent the first half of Wednesday in Austin. Getting ready was the usual hectic mess, but the drive in was relatively pleasant, which translates as there being no stoppages, just the usual slow-down at Round Rock. Drivers in the north-bound lane weren't so lucky-- ot was backed up for almost three miles.
After her doctor's appointment, Fiorella explored an area of Austin she'd lived in when she was a newlywed, lo, these many years ago, but couldn't find anything she recognized. The little streets have been bulldozed over, and God only knows what became of the charming park Fio used to walk through on her way home from college classes. To console herself and her memories, she stopped by Lamme's Candies, which is where it has always been, and bought a pound of chocolate break-ups to send off to one of her cousins who is soon to be hospitalized. Fio--uh--also bought a couple of chocolate break-ups for herself too.😁
Fio's DUMP TRUMP buttons are taking off at the same time that Michael's is running out of blanks. Hopefully, Hobby Lobby, which is across I-35, carries them. (Your girl is obviously not much of an entrepreneur, even when she's giving her product away.)
Donald Trump, schoolyard bully
Bops everyone in reach
Then wonders why the other kids
Are shouting out IMPEACH!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Harum Scarum

I hit the driveway and the driveway hit back,
Slapping my head with a sickening whack,
Which is why I look like a circus clown now,
With a purple face and a knot on my brow
       (Couldn't this be made into a country western song?)
What started me on poetics, you ask--
Well, I learned it at my mother's knee,
From nursery rhymes and little songs
That she would read and sing to me
That yellow tablet Fiorella took about an hour looking for yesterday, the one she had all her plans and self-assignments recorded on, the one she thought was gone forever--when she pulled her PC out from under the couch, the tablet came out with it. THANK YOU, GOD!
Tuesday (martes) went all too quickly and Fio didn't have time to get her mailers to the post office or stop by Michael's to buy more blanks for her DUMP TRUMP buttons, which seem to have taken off.  She did however, stop by Walgreens for Tylenol, Halloween candy, and--er, uh--a Dove Bar.
On a whim, Fiorella looked up the word for Wednesday in all the languages (except Hindi and Sanskrit) that she has studied: Russian is creda, German is Mittwoch, French is Mercredi, and Teleugu is budhavaram. If only she knew them off the top of her head--sigh.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Life Drawing from Two Viewpoints

The "class" would often move around to get different or better views of the model, and Fio, of course, sneaked in several portraits that way. The top drawing is of the young man's body, but Fiorella was drawn (pun intended) to the sensitiveness of his face.
            You'll notice several light lines down the the model's face. That was because Fio was always estimating distances and perspective. The lines would have been erased if she had made the sketch into a full-blown portrait.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Two Small Bits and a Large Piece

Fiorella is in a tight squeeze to get her IRS payment to the Treasury Department by the 15th, but, as you know, a couple of recent happenings--like her hospital stay and continuing recovery period--have slowed her down.
Ha-ha--Minnesota Son, who threw a hissy fit when Fio left her charge cord in the hospital, left his own charge cord at her house after his visit. Let's see how long it takes him to realize itπŸ˜„
Fiorella had a long, involved journey dream last night in which she, her face still purple and yellow, was driving down a road and stopping at strange places for help, not necessarily about her wounded face, although it played into the motivation somehow. After a couple of weird adventures, which are fading fast, she ended up in some kind of ladies-of-the-night bar, although it took a long time for her to realize what was going on, partially because of the supermarket cash-register checkout at the front door.
       Anyway, to make a long dream short, the ladies were all concerned about Fio, her injuries, and her needs. and Fiorella was very grateful to them.
       What did the dream mean? Well, obviously, Fiorella is concerned about her recovery and wants to find an immediate cure for her current condition. Also, that she's aware she's on a "journey" now: her life turned upside down when Husband died, and that it's still changing every day as she prepares her beloved home for sale and tries to lay out plans for her future. It probably also indicates she's a little lonely too, and craves company. And, of course, that she has a romance writer's vivid imagination and can't help but stick some sex ual aspect even into a dream.
       Whatever, Fio must move forward, no matter what. 🧑

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Homey-type Information

Hooray, Fiorella has finished off the Tide pumpkins (except for the waterproofing) and started on the last phase of her holiday decorations, the bats. She'll tape them on the windows in a sprawling pattern from one to another like last year, but with their pattern of up-down, then up-up-up more defined. You'll see a picture of it when she's finished.
Elder Son and Younger Son joined forces to help Fio with several things around the house today that she needed to get straightened out or tossed. The problem with so many of the items is that Fiorella doesn't know what they are, if they're worth anything, or if a family member wants them. She's also got a keen eyes on things she doesn't want to get destroyed, like what happened when she left her previous home. GRRRRRR!
Fio is beginning to be concerned about the welfare of Sonia Dog when she and Mommy move out of the only home Baby Dog has ever known to a strange new house in a strange new environment with strange new people she will have to get used to. Maybe Fiorella is also a little concerned about herself too. She does not like changes, and this will be a big one.
Has Fio told you that she's put away into her summer shoes now? No more white tennies, just the blue ones, black ones, and the black pair with a red rose design all over them. (She donated the last of her heels to The Caring Place several years ago,.)
Your Fiorella seems to be gradually recovering from her unfortunate adventure on the driveway last week. She even drove herself down to H-E-B to buy a few items, including frozen peas and corn meal with which to doctor the hematoma above her left eye. She asked for package help to carry all of her purchases to the car, of course. Fio is doing her best to avoid lifting, which strains the hematoma.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

From Hematoma to Cirrosis (neither of which Mac says I am spelling correctly)

Everything is going better today--sort of. Fio spent all morning on the couch, sending healing messages to her bruised face and trying not to do anything that would make matters worse. She had to go out in the afternoon, but made it a short, sweet trip. Oh, one good thing--she discovered that the supposed hematoma on her left arm, the one that got skinned, is actually a spider bite.
During her forced imprisonment at home, Fiorella has put together a couple more boxes of DUMP TRUMP buttons to send off to friends far and near. Hope the buttons take off, but may need extra funding if they do. Didn't realize postal expenses had gone up so much.
Fiorella's father was a man of action--he loved sports. In high school, he played baseball and football, and as an adult, he was into golfing and bowling, frequently with teams he'd established. In later life, he played tennis. Strangely, though, he never taught Fio or her brother how to play any of them.
       Mother was academic rather than athletic, and she resented the time Dad spent out of the house on sports. It was the only thing Fio can remember they ever quarreled about.
       Come to think be of it, Dad had no idea how to be an at-home father because he'd never had one--his own father had been killed in a coal-mine accident when he was fourteen months old. Mother's father, on the other hand, was home quite a bit--he kept losing jobs because he came from a long line of alcoholics. Fio's cousin traced the family tree and discovered all the males from way back had died of cirrosis of the liver.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Troublesome Day

The visit to the doctor yesterday went well except that she was told it would take three months rather than three weeks for her face to recover.  Also, she overdid it during the afternoon and the hematoma above her eyebrow reacted accordingly so she had to make herself an ice pack and try to lie very still. all evening, which is virtually impossible with essential tremor. Also, she discovered that when she was using the drive-through at Dairy Queen for her and Sonia's usual Thursday afternoon treat, she  had ripped loose the left front fender of the Mercedes on one of the cones protecting the menu sign. Also, she has lost her magic amulet somewhere in the house. Translation: she'd lost her "I've fallen and can't get up button."
       Surely today will be better.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

From Buttons to Acrostics

Fiorella and friend Paula got together at the last minute yesterday despite both of their busy schedules and exchanged their recent ups and downs. One of the ups was that Fio's DUMP TRUMP buttons seem to be taking off, and tomorrow, she's going to be mailing a dozen of them to Bastrop, a dozen to California, and a dozen to friend Paula.  Why a dozen, you ask--because that how many fit in the post office's free mailing boxes.
       It's frighteningly easy to give the buttons away, as you remember Fiorella discovered when she was in the hospital All you have to do is wear one, and people will comment on it, at which point all you have to say is, "I have extras. Would you like one?"
       Now Fio's afraid she won't be able to keep up with demand. Anyone want to volunteer to help her put DUMP TRUMP buttons together?
Paula showed Fio a a pen-and-ink sketch she had made recently, and Fiorella was quite impressed, not only by Friend's talent, but also that she had used ink, which Fio, being the messy type, studiously avoids.
Yours Truly has a doctor's appointment tomorrow to check up on her recovery regarding her recent hospital stay. Her black eye and purple face seems to be healing (translation: turning yellow), and the goose egg over her left eye is shrinking day by day, but she's still somewhat fragile and is trying to avoid tension and heavy lifting.
The last page of Fio and Husband's 2018 income tax info is ready to be sent to Fiorella's accountant as soon as Son shows Fio how to do it on email, but the info on Husband's car is still on the dining room table, as is the medical power of attorney thing and the automobile registration forms. If this table could talk....
Fio redid the acrostic for the maternal side of her family and will be taking it to Kinko's to be printed today--if she has time and if she doesn't spot another fatal flaw. This will be the last of Fiorella's acrostics for a while. It almost drove her crazy because she decided to not only to use colors to indicate various family lines, but also to separate branches, like a genealogy chart.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

From Posting to Poetry

Your Fiorella is having a high ol' time posting a picture of herself, bruises and all, on Facebook every day since she got home form the hospital. She looks absolutely awful--purple bruises creeping down her cheek and neck, which--true to form--make her laugh πŸ˜„
Don't go into Michael's expecting anyone to hear your cries of help for TALL PERSON when you're trying to get something down from a top shelf.  The "music" is so loud that someone could commit a murder in one of the darker aisles and get away with it. Fio finally lassoed  a person taller that she is  by searching up and down the aisles. Luckily, he was the manager and could also guide her to a spray that can water-proof her Tide pumpkins.
Fiorella didn't get to the post office yesterday to pick up small boxes to ship her DUMP TRUMP buttons off to friends across the nation, but it's at the top of her list today. She also needs to pick up four more bags of dirt, then call her yard man to spread it and plant the Asian Jasmine she bought last week. She can't do too much lifting herself because it would make the goose egg over her left eye pthrob, but maybe Son can help some, although he's handicapped by recovering from hand surgery.
Still more legal work (groan) has popped up. Fio has to find all sorts of documents pertaining to Husband's car, documents which she's not sure still exist.
If they're released--
What will THE CHILDREN do
Who've been in jail since they were two
And never taught to read or write,
Thus having no way to reunite

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

From Paper Art to Portrait Art

Fio has not only refurbished all last year's Tide-container pumpkins for Halloween, but added in two more. Now she's looking for some way to waterproof the paper faces she's glued on them.  Any suggestions?
Yesterday was a little too busy for Fiorella, but she had a good time visiting with friends at Mazda and the bank. Today's list is full-up too--certain things need to get done, no mater how tired she feels.
Fio was scouring the house for small boxes in which to mail out her DUMP TRUMP buttons, but Elder Son came to the rescue by telling her that the Post Office has small mailing boxes available for free. Whoopie!
The ant invasion seems to be over. Fiorella insisted on a thorough kitchen clean up--no more food or dirty plates left out anymore.
The best advice Fio can give a fledgling artist is to draw what you see, not what you think you see.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Back to Earth and Triviality

Yes, that was Fiorella you saw running two red lights the other day.  She's usually obedient, but in emergencies, she's expedient. (Also, she's always wondered if she could get away with it.)
It's a surprise that Fio's legs haven't fallen off, as much as she 's always checking things out around everywhere in the house and out.
Fiorella blushingly admits that that she looks years younger than her birthdate says she is--if you stand about twenty yards distant from her.
Help--the ants have invaded the kitchen, and Fiorella doesn't know what to do but smash them. She's never had an ant problem before
Fio almost forgot to tell you that she learned how to say hello in Choctaw while she was in the hospital: halito. She also realized her doctor was Chinese and thanked her appropriately with sheh-sheh, then startled a few of her Indian nurses by greeting them with the Hindi, Malayalam, and Telugu words for hello: nameste, namaskar, and namaskaramandi.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Hospital Memories

The most dangerous words Fiorella can utter are "I'm bored," which means she will soon be lookiing around for a way to amuse herself that maybe you don't approve of, especially if it is followed by the even-more-dangerous "I wonder what would happen if I....."
       And Fio was bored to tears at the hospital yesterday morning. She'd written up notes for future blogs and put her belongings in order, but still, the hospital wouldn't release her because of red tape-- yards and yards of it. Your Fio had to be doubly and triply checked up on, and it all took way too much time as far as she was concerned. Older Son's birthday party was scheduled for noon.
      Frustrated, Fio decided to hurry things along by going into the bathroom and exchanging her hospital gown for the the shorts and blood-stained shirt she'd worn into the sacred halls, a decision which had the double purpose of hurrying things along and amusing her.  It was a challenge to squirm out of the sack-like hospital gown and into her own closer-fitting togs without jerking loose all the cords that had been stuck on her body and setting off an alarm that would bring a platoon of nurses running, but she did it, then walked out into the hall and told the nurse at the desk she was ready to go home. Of course, it wasn't as easy as that, but Fiorella would like to think she'd hurried things along.        When she fianally joined the family for Son's BD party, she was only half an hour late.
What is this" rest" that you speak of--
The one you want me to take?
Do you not understand I must carry on?
That the fate of the world is at stake?
I've washed and fed
I've made the bed
Why so slow?
I'm ready to go!


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Fio's Interesting Life

As the whole world knows by now, Fiorella got herself a huge black eye yesterday by tripping on the driveway while she was scurrying up to the mailbox to mail an envelope containing a $1.45 check to pay off a toll-road charge. She waited a few minutes to make sure she wasn't mortally injured, pushed herself up and walked slowly back to the house with blood trickling down her face, washed herself off, applied Neosporin, and drove to St. David's Hospital's emergency room (running a couple of red lights in the process) where she was checked out all over, yakking all the time. Yes, your Fio amuses herself by talking to everyone and anyone, which means it got a terribly boring when no staff were around. Luckily, she had brought along su bolsa y sus libretas amarillas. and could take notes on everything that was going on and play with ideas of acrostics for other branches of the family.
       Unluckily, she hadn't grabbed su computadora or her cell phone. (Note to self: find out how to say "cell phone" en espanol.)
       The day was saved when a nurse glanced at Fiorella's always-present DUMP TRUMP pin and said she liked it. Like a gypsy, your faithful correspondent immediately took the pin off her T-shirt and gave it to its admirer---and as she did so, it dawned on her that if she carried buttons with her everywhere she went, she could pass them out to whomever was interested.
       Fio thought she'd be sent home any minute, but a throbbing headache set in as her coumadin-thinned blood swelled  her brain, and Fiorella was told that she had to stay overnight. A couple of hours of just plain suffering ensued, ameliorated by the appearance of Elder Son, whom Fio had been trying to contact by a hospital phone all afternoon.
       Fiorella had no problem moving upstairs to a nice room with many lovely attendants, and she woke up this morning feeling GREAT! All her tests seem to be giving her a clean bill of health so she'll be moving home later this morning, just in time for Son's birthday party. The whole family will be there so we'll have a riotously good time.
       As the poet said, all's well that ends well.



Friday, October 4, 2019

Opening Doors

Fio's day had its usual ups and downs, but the highlights were a nice lunch with Elder Son at Fish Daddy's and finishing off both her Halloween door and the maternal line acrostic that she'd been banging her head on the wall about for the last two weeks. The door was easy, a lot of fun--in fact, it was the best Halloween door she'd ever composed. Not that anyone will see it of course, because Fiorella lives so far back off the road that you would have to drive several yards down to the house to catch a glimpse of it. Unfortunately, Fio still doesn't know how to post pics on her blog without the help of one of those handsome young men from Verizon, but if you're on Facebook, you can look up your faithful correspondent under her alter ego's name.
       The acrostic started out as fun a while back, then became so horribly complicated that Fiorella, after several abortive attempts, shoved it aside. The problem was in the pens of many colors. Artist that she is, Fiorella kept setting higher and more rigid goals for herself involving identifying relationships, making sure the colors worked against each other, and balancing the composition as a whole--which is impossible with a real live family. But the page of graph paper is finished now and will be matted and taken off to FedEx Kinkos's for photocopying today.
       Actually, the acrostic was something of a thrill to Fio because she became acquainted, at least on paper, with more of her mother's side of the family. She knew her two first cousins and the offspring of the younger, but not of the elder (who died several years ago). Now she knows not only the names of the two sons of her oldest cousin, but also of their respective children. It's like opening a Christmas present. How many other people are there out there in the world that Fio doesn't know shes related to?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Aspects of Halloween

Happy almost Halloween! Fiorella loves decorating for holidays--any and every holiday--but Halloween is especially dear to her heart because it's so easy. All she has to do is pull a ream of orange paper out of her art closet, grab her fingernail scissors, and start cutting out pumpkins. (The bats, of course, require black cardstock and stronger scissors.)
       Not that Fio has anything to add to last year's display. She'll make a few more pumpkins for the upstairs windows and rethink the bat-spread across the downstairs windows, although it was pretty well perfect last year. Ah--last year, 2018--when she had no idea that she would be a widow within six months.
      Aside from the decorating, Fiorella isn't sure how she'll observe the usually merry holiday. It will seem odd not to be buying out the stores for Halloween candy, but, Fio isn't enthusiastic about sitting in her car at the top of her driveway alone on a dark night, waiting for the flatbed carrying the neighborhood children down the set route to collect their goodies.
      She's also thinking twice about putting out a pumpkin this year. She was usually the one who carved it into a jack-o'-lantern and set it on display by the mailbox, but Husband was the one who knew how to activate those lights that brought Jack to life.
       But time marches on, and by Halloween next year, Fio plans to be be living with Younger Son and his family in their new house, and maybe Fio can revive the joy of Halloween by taking Granddaughter, who will be three by then, around the neighborhood trick-or-treating.


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Acrostic Girl Outsmarted Herself

Fiorella has composed acrostics---a practice she invented on her own--since she was a kid. It probably started when she was in fourth grade when Mrs. Johnson had the class write a sentence apiece using each one of the weekly spelling words. This was duck soup to Fio, who had a high ol' time making up stories involving those twenty-five words or arranging the first word down in each sentence to say something.
       A bored Fiorella is a dangerous Fiorella so her acrostic playtime served her well in grade school and junior high, but it cost her a boyfriend in high school. She was dating a tall, dark, handsome, and smart guy--her ideal--so when the inevitable assignment to write a sentence for each spelling word came, she composed an acrostic that, reading down the first letters of each sentence, said "I LOVE XXXXXXXXXXX"--name deleted to protect the innocent. Apparently, Fio's high school teacher was more astute than Mrs. Johnson because the next day, Boyfriend's mother, who was also a teacher, looked in on the class as if searching for someone, and Fiorella never heard from her beau again.
       Fio was confused and sad, but she soon recovered--a sixteen-year-old's heartbreak is reparable-- but it took her several years to realize that Boyfriend's mother dropping in on the class the day after she turned in her spelling assignment was not coincidental, that her own teacher had ratted her out.
       It never would have worked out anyway. Boyfriend was very conventional, and Fiorella is..........not.

Halloween, Rusyn, Crisis, Poem, Communication

The family skeleton has been dragged out of the closet and is hanging from the mailbox on the road, which is Fiorella's way of proclaiming that the Halloween season has begun--at least in her household. Yes, now that she's finished off the 2018 taxes, she's lurching into bats and pumpkins.
       The skeleton is plastic, of course, her decorative pumpkins are made out of Tide containers (love that orange!), and the bats are paper art.  Fio will make the usual, time-tested design across the front window, but this time, the "pumpkin" at the beginning of it will have black eyes, which should perfect the scene. At least, Fiorella hopes so. After all, this will probably be Fio's last Halloween in her beloved home. Sigh.
It looks like Fiorella, after having about five attempts at e-mailing refused, plus two post-mailed messages, has finally made contact with a woman at University of Texas who might know something about the Rusyn language. Yes, your Fio is that slap-a-daisical about writing down addresses when someone gives them to her by voice, and she is even worse about hitting incorrect computer keys. Her handwriting is very readable, but no one uses that anymore.
Needless to say, Fiorella has high hopes for the current political scene. It looks like Trump has stretched himself too far this time, and someone was watching. Jughead can't seem to understand that the US is a democracy, not his personal kingdom to do with what he may.
Two Peas in a Pod
       Boris and Trump,
       A pig and a lump--
       Each one went out to play,
       Destroyed the reputation
       Of his entrusted nation
       And called it a good day
Son is going to be installing a new phone system tomorrow so that Fio will be in better touch with the rest of the world. It's about time--the current system is sixteen years old.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Excuses and Information

I am not dead.
       I tried to post a picture early this morning, had problems, then turned the task over to Elder Son, the technological genius who, discovered that half my photos are corrupted, tried to work around them, but couldn't, so I will now tell you about the picture I was trying to post.
        It was of young man who was posing naked for our life drawing group. (Yes, we did have male models as well as female.) I did a sketch of his pose, then a pencil portrait--he had a beautifully sensitive face, and I was going to show you both pictures.  Maybe later.
        Most of us toured the room at break, looking at what each other had done, and I soon realized I was one of the better artists in the group. However, I always covered what I was doing because I didn't want anyone commenting on it.
       After about a year, I left the group. Frankly, I was bored. There were only so many ways a body could pose or contort itself, and I'd seen them all, even a masochist who balanced himself with a block under his head and another one under his buttocks. Besides, I was more and more sketching portraits of our models--my first love--rather than bodies.