Monday, June 1, 2020

From Pungency to Poetry

Fiorella has read that losing one's hearing and sense of smell are indications that you have the virus, which means that, judging by your girl's awareness of her dog's...er...emissions, Fio is very, very healthy.
*
Fiorella lied on Facebook when she said that the fire in her fireplace last month would be the last for the season. She spent about an hour yesterday building another pile of twigs, branches, and other debris, and the light up will be this evening. Whoosh!
*
Fiorella is now engaged in writing a summary of her post-high school life for her classes' newsletter--not because she was asked to, but because everyone else is doing it and she wanted to get in on the action. To tell the truth, even she was surprised at herself. Yep, your girl has gotten around.
*
Fiorella has spent a couple of hours working on Lolly's story today, which sort of drives her crazy because she still can't run the pages off. It's hard to make corrections and revisions while a story is still in the computer--at least for yours truly. Hoping Elder Son will soon come through with those specialty printer cartridges. .
*
I don't drink or smoke or chew
But eating chocolate? Yes, I do πŸ˜€

Sunday, May 31, 2020

From Writing to Waiting

Fio is a softie. She doesn't like people being hurt, must less, killed, but her response is limited by her age, sex, and the fact that she is neither rich nor famous. But she can write up a storm about injustice and write she does--to friends on her blog, and on Facebook. There are also her books and poems.
*
You will never guess what Fiorella found when she was clearing out drawers in the upstairs arts-and-crafts room--a five-dollar bill! It'd been so long since she'd seen paper money that, for a second, she wondered if it was a leftover stage prop.
     Since then, she's been given a twenty-dollar bill for her old barbecue, which also threw her for a loop--is folding money coming back into style?
*
Your girl got good information from Facebook friends regarding her computer's tendency to make the script ant-size, then zoom it up to elephant land, but she hasn't made any headway on reclaiming her Kindle membership, having Bookmark installed on her Mac, or getting hold of printer cartridges. Any volunteers?
*
The mark of being an adult is that you do what you should do rather than what you want to do, darn it.
*
The first wave hit the elderly hard. Thinking that it's the younger generation's turn next. Wishing all well, though.

SORRY TO BE LATE--DIDN'T KNOW MAY HAD A 31stπŸ˜•

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Hour by Hour



Fiorella had her afternoon all planned out. After she took care of her morning chores, she'd carry the trash out, get a copy of the backyard pathway plans, order a printer cartridge, work on Lolly's story, maybe even contact Custom Pin Buttons, and add another page to Jerusha. What did get done? The morning chores and the trash. Otherwise, the computer started playing games again and she spent a fair amount of time entertaining Apple Care, looking through FB, and waiting for Richard to return Baby Car, which Mazda understandably doesn't want to store while it is totally rebuilding its Gtown headquarters. So now it's late afternoon, and she has nothing to show for it.
     There are still five working hours left in your day, Fio. Get to to crackin'!
*
Whew, Fio just spent one hour and twenty-two minutes with her fingers pressed on keys that would reduce the chapters she accidentally moved up from 14 to 213 whatevers. She's sure there is some one-stroke method to do the job, but she isn't about to experiment. Now to enter her notes that sew up the loose ends of Lolly's story and give a happy ending to everyone who deserves it.
*
It is now 6:20, and Fiorella has made herself a list for tomorrow, some items of which have been on la lista for weeks or even months. The ones she will concentrate most on seem to be fairly easy: drive by DQ so Sonia Dog can pose for a photo, get instructions on how get a print cartridge, hire her yardman to mow the lawn plus de-pot the iron plants and jasmines.
*
     It is 6:26 now, so Fiorella, who doesn't turn on TV till at least 9:pm, will try to deal with a couple of bad guys in Lolly's story.
     Fio took a break, went outside, put more trash in the bin, took a half hour walk, then pulled a fallen timber back out of the woods.
     It's 7:00 now, and your girl has locked up the house, armed the alarm and is set on writing. WATCH OUT, LOLLY, HERE SHE COMES!

     

Friday, May 29, 2020

Change of Season

It's officially summer as far as Fiorella is concerned. She's exchanged her slacks and blue jeans for shorts and adjusted the air conditioning to 68.
*
Sonia Dog gets a lot more sleep than Fiorella does. In fact, Doggie spends most of her time snoring on the couch while Fio is up'n at'em by 8:00 a.m. and doesn't stop till 9:00 p.m., sometimes 10:00. First off, she contacts the kids so they know she's still alive, then opens up the house, feeds the dog and herself (in that order), reads the newspaper, communicates with friends and fans, clears out sections of the house, pays bills, wrestles with the whims of technology, works on what she is writing at the time, locks up the house again, gets ready for bed, and turns on TV to catch the evening news.
     Why is it then, that Sonia has a trimmer figure and more stamina than yours truly?
*
Fio's been advised that Blogger is going to change to a new format, which may leave your girl floating in Neverland. She doesn't handle changes well so this may be her death knell. (Hey, that rhymes!)
*
This morning, when Fiorella walked through her trees gathered in front of the house, she did her best to listen to them, which she had never done before. The rocks, she understood because they called out to be picked up and be placed where they would be useful, but the trees, she'd always thought, were uncaring.
     However, in the last couple of month, los arboles have asserted themselves as the beings they are, and now Fio cannot walk through their clusters without feeling their their warmth and love.
*
Fiorella hides her bag of chocolate behind the milk so she won't see it every time she opens the refrigerator. Don't laugh--her system works.
*


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thank you, Michael and Kathy!

Hooray! The work on the flagstone pathway that will take care of Fio's erosion problem has begun, and, thanks to her neighbors to the south, it's going to cost a lot less than a contractor quoted your girl a couple of months ago. Now to get hold of her yardman and hire him to do the actual work laying down of the brick.
*
Fio is also progressing with Lolly's story, although she still has to make occasional calls to Mac Central when she messes up on the computer. Hmm...her PCs never gave her this must trouble-- except for the last one, of course, which ate up her revisions.
*
Fiorella was bewailing the loss of her languages when suddenly neenu telegoolo maTlaaDa galanoo cartwheeled into her brain, followed by kennen zee auf deutsch sprechen, ya gavaroo pa roosky, nee-hau-mah, and bits of Spanish, French, and Hindi. Of course, all she remembers is smatters, but she treasured every one of her languages except Sanskrit, which was probably was because the teacher didn't like her and the feeling was mutual
   PS: Fio used to know a few words in Arabic and Vietnamese too.
*
It gives Fiorella a thrill when she  goes through old papers and finds gems from the past, when she was a real person. Almost everything she does now is related to Husband's death. Writing is her only escape. Ah, the joys of make-believe....
*
Fiorella's favorite daydream nowadays is still that Trump, Pence, and McConnell fade out of the picture before the election and our Nancy has a three-month presidency during which she fixes everything Trump messed up and sets our country right again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Anger, Fear, Frustration

Has Fiorella ever told you how much she dislikes technology? Well, you're going to hear it again.
     The worst thing about technology is that it lures you into its clutches by doing wonderful things, then deserts you when you're working on something important. Translation: after Fio ran off about a hundred pages in the middle of Lolly's story, the printer announced that it was out of ink. Your girl checked the desk drawer for something that looked like it might be a cartridge, but nada, so she called Minnesota Son. He questioned her about things that apparently she should know about and didn't, which always makes him angry and her nervous. Son was able to go through several commands, etc., on his own end of the line, but still ended up with nothing.
    Apparently the printer Fio bought last year is no longer supported.
     
*
Holey Moley! Now Apple is telling Fiorella that her iCloud needs updating. Why? she thought Carbonate took care of that.
*
A big part of the problem, of course, is the virus, because of which Fio can neither go out for help or lure knowledgeable people into her home. She's in this alone--and probably will be for the next two or three years. A virus is not something you can kill. It will run its course as long as it has something--or anything--to feed on.
*

    

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Varied Nuggets


Fiorella has trained her pharmacy to add her chocolate purchases to her pill pick-up at the drive-thru. That way, she doesn't have to go inside the storeπŸ˜€
*
When Fio arrives home, even from a twenty-minute trip to Walgreens, Sonia Dog greets her like she's been missing for days, then plops herself down on Fiorella's lap and whispers, "You're mine, all mine, and I won't let you leave the house ever again!" 
*
Did Fio tell you that she finally found the real mop and its pail hidden behind the water heater in the garage? Fat chance she's going to use them any time soon. Housekeeping is not her forte,
*
Fiorella is working on cleaning out/organizing her upstairs arts and crafts headquarters, which is a  lo-o-o-ong counter on one side of a w-i-i-i-ide hall leading to the bathroom.
     (Well, she's doing more organizing then cleaning out. Your girl doesn't want to lose a single scrap of colored paper or golden candy wrappers she's accumulated through the years.)
*
Strange. Fio never thought of herself as "old" until Husband died.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Bits and Pieces of Fiorella's Existance

I missed the trash
But the bin will last
   Until the coming week
There's not that much
But just enough
   That the neighborhood will reek

(Please note how trash and last are half-rhymes, as are much and enough, while week and reek are true rhymes. Fio gets a kick out of playing with stuff like this.)
*
How sweet to sleep
With a dog at my feet
*
Fabulous news! Friend Marla suggested an out-of-town (Cedar Park) nursery, and lo and behold, they have both jasmine and iron plants! Now if Marla's husband can just pick them up today....
*
Your girl posted some of her art from her previous life on FB and warmed herself in the responses. Gotta admit--Fio was impressed too. Why in the heck wasn't she vaulted to the top of the fine art heap? Oh, yeah--because reality isn't in style and she rarely did abstract.  
*
Sonia Dog has added a new element to her ceremonies of morning. After being let outside in the back yard to perform her ablutions, then in the front yard while Fiorella retrieves the newspaper, and after eating breakfast and receiving first a treat, then a chew stick, it's imperative that she lie in Fiorella's lap for at least ten minutes before the day can progress.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Alcoholism in the Family

Fiorella had a mid-morning call from a friend who was seeking advice about dealing with her adult kids, something that Fio admits she's not done a particularly good job of, maybe because her offspring are as headstrong as their mother.
      During the conversation--in which Fiorella, trapped in the bathroom, was pulling up her jeans, adjusting a bra, and working one of Husband's tees over her head--Friend mentioned that she is a recovering alcoholic.
     Now, alcoholism is something Fiorella DOES know something about. Her late husband and her maternal grandfather were full-blown guzzlers.
     Husband was born with alcoholic genes--his maternal uncle and grandfather were full time alcoholics--and when he was in his teens, he hooked up with other high school guzzlers. Being in a college fraternity didn't help, and neither did the elite look-the-other-way club that Husband took Fio to on their first date--which was also the first time she had ever tasted liquor except for holy communion
    Then came the evening that Fiorella staggered into her dorm room drunk as a skunk and vomited on the bed covers. From then on, she was more circumspect, especially since she realized that the only reason she was drinking was to make Husband (then her fiance) happy.
     Moving forward about ten years, Fio eventually became a teetotaler, but Husband, despite AA and other programs, still smuggled liquor into the house until, about four years before his death, he had a blackout and couldn't even remember his phone number or birth date. Fiorella called on the family for help, and Daughter gave him the tongue-lashing of his life, which finally convinced him to stop drinking. Husband died sober, but Fio wishes he had cleaned up his act earlier.
     Gramp's story will come later.
     
    
    
    
     
    
    

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Kitchen, the Computer, and the Chocolate

5-23
Fiorella failed the test for floor mopping too. She couldn't find an appropriate bucket so she cleaned out the ash bucket and half filled it with water. For a mop, she used a spiky brush thing she found in the garage that she's guessing is used to clean out the floors of cars.
    Twenty-some years ago, Fio used to mop her own floors, and now she's a total imbecile. On the other hand, she got her boom box to work on the first try and was serenaded by country-western as she swabbed the floor with the spiky thing.
*
Did Fio tell you that Elder Son put a picture of Sonia on the screen of her Mac? It's the one where Doggie is lying across the open computer, sound asleep, which, as you remember, was responsible for an earlier prolonged conference with AppleCare. (Son gets his sense of humor from his mother.)🧑
*
The H-E-B food arrived, but just beforehand, Daughter told Fiorella that the store had substituted other kinds of chocolate for her four-bag chocolate chocolate order. Fio, who'd had a heavy day couldn't help but cry at yet another screw up, causing Doggie to be all over her with licks, pawing, and sweet whimpers.
    As it turned out, only one  of the bags was the hated chocolate almonds. Two more were questionable "sweet" chocolate, which Fio has yet to sample. The fourth bag was her beloved chocolate chocolate.
   The almond chocolate will go to her neighbors to the south, who have been very helpful, and the two over-sweetened chocolates will be likewise spread around. The chocolate chocolate has already been...uh...put awayπŸ˜‡
*
   


Friday, May 22, 2020

Two Postpones and a Giggle

5-21
So much for cleaning the rugs. Many years have passed since Fio did her own vacuuming so it took her a little while to construct the machine--and then, the darn thing wouldn't work. Was it on strike for mi donella's knowing hands or had it run out of gas? Oh well, Fiorella will try mopping the concrete floor tomorrow.
*
Once again, Fio has confounded the technological world. She and Elder Son spent a l-o-n-g time on line trying to add a word search button to her computer, and then, horrified by the fact that Mom hadn't updated anything ever, he worked on that aspect for another l-o-n-g time, before turning the machine back over to her.
     The computer rejected her password and wouldn't open up.
     Fiorella contacted Son and he tried everything he could, then advised her to contact the Mac support team, which she did the next morning. After more than an hour and the efforts of two two steps up in Mac fix-it heierarchy, the computer finally recognized its mother again, but by then, Fio didn't care. Lolly's story will have to wait.
*
The lead headline in the newspaper was Bars Prepare to Open, which Fio, for a split second, read as Bras Prepare to Open. That's a romance writer for you.😁

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Thank-you Note to Denny

You will never guess what happened.
    Just when Fiorella needed uplifting, she got a long, newsy email from an old friend, Denny Boswell, who was her coumadin nurse at Austin Heart before it became Austin Heartless.
    Luckily, Denny left before HCA bought out AH, and God rewarded for her prescience with a sweet baby boy and.....drum roll....now she's pregnant with a girl. Fiorella is happy for her and for all the rest of us. Every baby born means there is yet hope for the world 🧑🧑🧑
*
Now, back to egocentric Fio. It warmed her heart to hear from Denny, not only because she is a dear friend, but because she said that she reads Fiorella's blog every day. Fio writes blindly so it's always a shock to her when someone comments on her ramblings, partially because doesn't really believe anyone reads it, and partially because the blog is sort of her secret diary--she writes about what she would never talk about in person. Yep, you're reading the naked Fiorella.  
    Hey, maybe that's why another one of Fio's followers is a psychologist. Can you imagine what sort of study she's come up with after sloshing through a heavy dose of yours truly every day?
*
Now to get to work. Fiorella has to vacuum the floor, work on the taxes, and help a blonde bombshell named Lolly find a happy ending. 










Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Magical Baseball Mitt

Long ago, when Fiorella was a youngling, her parents moved from Ohio to Texas, which, of course, cut her her off from the school the was accustomed to
     There was a school waiting for her in Waco, of course, but she didn't understand any of the games they kids played at recess. At home in Akron, she had been free to use the swings or the sliding board or the monkey bars (which she did not) or run around the large playground and make up games with the other boys and girls. At her new school, the boys and girls were sent out on separate playgrounds, given a bat and soft ball or, at a change in the seasons, a kickball, and after a month or two, a jump rope for the girls and a football for the boys.
    You can guess who was at the end of the line when it came to choosing teams. Yep, there was Fio, the tallest girl in her class, an athletic outcast. And no wonder, the couldn't hit or catch a ball, get her timing right for jump rope, or whack a kickball out of the park.
    And things didn't get any better in junior high when recess was called P.E. and held inside. But suddenly, in high school, Fiorella was able to not only whack balls out of the park, but catch, actually CATCH, a ball thrown to her. Yep, she played second base, occasionally first, and it was all due to her father's magical baseball mitt.
     Dad was a genuine athlete--baseball and football in school, golfing, bowling, and tennis as an adult, but in his closet was his old baseball mitt, and it changed Fiorella's life. With that mitt on her hand, she could actually catch balls because, as she's finally figured out, she didn't have to worry about it stinging her hand.
    Fio would like to tell you she still has the mitt, but she left it on the high school playground one day and never saw it again, despite making constant inquiries about a leather glove that had her name, address, city, state, and planet written on it in black ink.

 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

From Romance to North Korea

Fiorella has been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) for about ten years, and she actually has a friend who knew all the writers who established  the group, but your girl has never been totally happy with the organization. How well she remembers when, in an effort to be clever, RWA showed a clip at a national conference mocking Georgette Heyer.
     Everyone but your girl laughed. The idiots didn't know that Heyer was the inventor of historical romance, which many of them were writing and still write. And, by the way, Heyer still sells well too.
 *
Yesterday not one of Fiorella's best days. She lost her cell phone and thus had to get out of her car and go to the door of the local jewelers to claim her wristwatches which had been refitted with new batteries. Even though she wore una mascara, the situation made her nervous. Then when she got home, Sonia Dog whimpered all afternoon as if her heart was breaking, despite being fed, petted, groomed, and (Fio admits it) growled at.
*
On the other hand, Fiorella was able to plow half-way through Lolly's completed book. She'll spend a couple more hours on it today. Then comes the second round of rewrite....and the third....and maybe a fourth....
*
Fio will bow to her artistic side today and finally frame a painting she did about twenty years ago from a photograph of herself and Diane Woodhall when they were about five, 
Fio is actually still in touch with Diane's sister, Deborah, and her brother, David.
*
Has anyone heard anything lately about Kim Jung Un? Not sunbathing in your backyard, is he?










Monday, May 18, 2020

Mourning Bosco

Dogs are such good people. They shouldn't have to die.
   Fiorella has buried eight dogs in her life, and she still mourns every one of them. And now she mourns the death of Bosco, a lively little pug, who had to be put down on Friday. He'd lived a good life in his eleven years, even surviving a recent snake bite, but his medical condition (diabetes) was rapidly taking its toll.
    Son was sniffling when he called to give Fio the news, and she's been weeping on and off ever since as she remembers Bosco tussling with Sonya Dog when Son was living with Husband and Fiorella. The cocky little inkspot saw himself as the canine head of the household, and Sonya, a mere puppy, kowtowed respectfully-- until one day she suddenly realized she was twice his size and let him know it. The tables turned, but the dogs adjusted to the new order and still enjoyed each other.
     When Son moved out, the twosome didn't see much of each other any more, but, in the way of dogs, they still remembered their relationship when Bosco visited.
     Fio is heartbroken for Bosco, Son, and her own memories. Sonya has been all over her, like a mother consoling her child, but Fiorella also weeps for her because, as a mastiff, her lifespan has only a couple more years to go.
     Why do good dogs have to die when so many bad people stay alive?

      

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Old News

What's been going on with you in the past few days, Fio?
       Well, first off on Friday, she spent several hours on-and-off the phone getting her computer unfrozen and, on the same day, discovered that both her wristwatches had gone dead on her. After several tries by two other Apple people, the computer was finally rescued by a wonderful techie named Adam, whom she has promised she will use for a hero in her next book.   πŸ˜‡
*
Fiorella spent a lot of time hatching plans to get 10 asian jasmines and 10 iron plants. If she broke into Home Depot at midnight,when no scarf-less people would be around, and left money on the counter top, it won't be stealing, would it? πŸ˜‰
*
ZOWEEEE! Happiness is when you've spent half the day fighting with your computer, then worked on the house, all the while plotting illegal ways to obtain garden plants (the jasmine at least--the last Fio checked, Home Depot doesn't carry iron plants), then thrown yourself into plotting the last quarter of your book so you can flesh the chapters out and bring Lolly to a happily-ever-after!!!🧑
 *
Right after happiness enveloped her, Fio's printer went bad, and when she tried to fix it, she couldn't put it back together again. Why does technology hate her? 😈
*
Has Fio ever told you how much she enjoys emojis?😁


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Bricks, Music, Computer

Fiorella's so happy that the bricks have been moved around to the backyard, and now your girl hopes su vecino will have the time to finish off the design for the pathway and that her yardman will understand how to interpret it.
    She's also happy that Sonia Dog, who went out afterwards to check out what had been added to HER backyard is a female. Urine-soaked bricks would not have produced Fio's preferred ambiance.
*
In her later years, Fio has developed an appreciation for what is usually labeled "Country-Western" music, and she doesn't care who knows it. When she was young, she was more attracted to classical music because that was what she had heard all her life, from Nutcracker Suite through to the Sunday afternoon operas. No Elvis Presley for her family!
     Of course, her musical preference made her an oddity during her high school years, but that wasn't new.
     Fiorella liked to sing so she joined church choirs and a college choir, but as an alto because Mother didn't like high-pitched voices. Then came the day in grad school that Fio tried out for a one-on-one college voice class annd was declared a soprano. For a couple of years there, she threw herself into singing and composing, but all too soon, life intervened--essential tremor of the vocal cords. The condition stopped her from singing, but not from occasional composing--and definitely not from expanding her musical tastes, hence her attraction to Country-Western.
*
Fio has got to lure someone to her house who is adept with a Mac and definitely clear of the virus to come over and teach her how to use the PageMark thing--Command+D doesn't work.
*
Neither of her wristwatches work either. She's going to call the jeweler and see if she can mail them to the store to get new batteries (they're on a lifetime guarantee), then be mailed back.






    

Friday, May 15, 2020

Fio's Parents were Wonderful, But....

Fiorella loved Latin and her Latin teacher, so when she got a 98 1/2, the highest grade in her class, on her final exam, accompanied by a complimentary note from Miss Osborn, she was high as a kite. But when she showed the exam off to her parents, her father (who'd failed first grade) looked it over, gave her a loving smile, and said, "Why didn't you make 100?"
     Fio, of course, was crushed, but it was typical of her parents' reactions to her scholarly achievements. They meant well, she knows--they didn't want her have a "big head"--but it also ripped her self-confidence.
*
Fiorella didn't get very many spankings, but when she entered her teen years, her mother switched  her instrument from her hand to a wooden yardstick. Fio, of course, would run to the other side of her bed to try to get away, but Mom would corner her and get in several good whacks,.
     Strangely enough, after Mother hit Fio, she'd always say "Stop crying--that didn't hurt!"
     But it did, in more ways than one.
*
Your girl can't remember Dad paddling her on his own, but Mom sent him after her a couple of times, and he had a better arm than she did. The one Fio most remembers was when, instead of coming when Mother called, she'd yelled out "Just a minute," and turned another page of the book she was reading.
*    
The worst of this is that Fio knows her kids can also tell horror stories about her and their father. Fiorella's parents were actually very loving, and she herself wanted to be the best mother in the world, but parents are people, and nobody is perfect.
*
Why is Fio telling you all this? Because it's part of her life, and she doesn't want to take anything with her when she flies off into the wild blue yonder.


Thursday, May 14, 2020

From Passing Whine to Passing Time

With excruciating clarity, Fiorella can remember every stupid, thoughtless, and mean thing she's ever said or done in her life. Why can't she remember better times just as clearly? Surely, Fio had some good days.
*
Searching the garage yet again, your girl finally found a clipper that she can use to cut down the greenbrier climbing los arboles--which reminds her that she never did get around to writing a country-western song about the venomous vine. She'd hoped Older Son, who plays the guitar, could help her with the chords, but she won't be seeing him again until the dang virus subsides.
*
Whoopee! The yardman and his son have arrived, which means that all of Fiorella's bricks will be moved to the back yard this afternoon in preparation for el vecinos' instructions for how to build the long-awaited walkway. And yes, this is the same neighbor (and his wife) who brought a treat over to Fio for Mother's Day.  
     Be at peace, Fiorella. You may have not always have been the sort of person you wanted to be, but you have been blessed with a good yardman and good neighbors.
*
 HOW ABOUT THIS FOR A CLIP FROM ONE OF FIO's AS-YET-TO-BE-PUBLISHED WORKS?
     Then, like a mild-mannered Clark Kent transforming into the man of steel, her gentlemanly date tore off his tie and stuffed it in his pants pocket, rolled his sleeves up to his elbows, and strode in the direction of a large flatbed truck parked by a towering mountain of mulch.
*
Fio, who writes down everything, found this note while rummaging through her old collections: My seven year old and I have different tastes. I want her to dress like Alice in Wonderland, and she wants to dress like Cyndi Lauper.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

From Normal to Destruction

For several years, Fiorella has written pppwww, espanol, piedras, arboles, lena at the top of her to-do list, but everything changed when she became a widow.  Paper, plies, post, weight, walk, write, rocks, Spanish, trees, and firewood did not seem to be as important as they used to be because Fio had entered into a new normal--the legal aftermath of a death,  and now, with coronavirus, she's in yet another new normal. Within a year, she will probably have sold her house, which will catapult her into yet another new normal. Come to think of it, there have been quite a few new normals in her life that she has had to adjust to. Maybe that's just how the ol' ball bounces.
 *
Fio now understands why one of her first romances, Ann and Neil's story, never got picked up by a publisher. She had too many subplots within the main story and had given names to every passer-by. Does that mean Fiorella will ditch her leading characters? No way! She likes the basic set-up and will try to work from there.
*
Fio had started doubling down on groceries a couple of months before the virus struck, but she didn't remember she'd done the same for extras too until she ran out of hairspray and checked her bathroom supply closet. There it was, a second a big, tall, black can of Tresemme. Same for her sunscreen.
*
How your girl would like to use her sheltering time is to paint, write, and compose. What she's ended up spending most of her time doing is destructing the house to get it ready for sale.
*
At some point, Trump is going to lock himself in the bathroom and blow himself to smithereens with non-stop tweeting. C'mon now. Everybody must have realized he's gone over the hill.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Observations from the Past

Fio has been Fio since way before she started blogging, and she just found this gem among her papers:
    Why is it that in a household of two adults and three near-adult children, I am the only one who understands what a trash can is for? Who knows how to refill the refrigerator water bottles? Who knows how to swab a toilet?
*
Aaaaaand, Here are some crusading poems from olden times:

Airplanes to Biafra
Foodstuffs by the score--
    But don't you hear the hungry crying
    At your own front door?

Sympathy for Jackie
For Rose and Ethel too --
    But don't you hear the children weeping
    Who live so close to you?

 Charity is stylish
And sympathy is fine
Especially if they're far away
And don't require much time
*




Monday, May 11, 2020

From Hair to Heartbreak

Fiorella and her brother both have full heads of hair and very little gray. They also both have essential (familial) tremor. Wondering if the hair genes and the tremor genes are related. Hmm.......
*
Sonia dog knows her mommy's morning routine so well that she whimpers and nudges when Mommy forgets to put on her wristwatch.
*
Fio was brought up to be judgmental, which has good aspects and bad.
*
This is a nice, angsty poem Fiorella found when she was pawing through old papers:
    Now I sit here, deathly still,
    And let fate toss me at its will--
    Once I tried to hold my ground
    But soon was downed
*
Speaking of going through old papers, Fio, who writes about everything and saves every page of it, has had to revisit more of her life than she wanted to. Misunderstandings, betrayals, and heartbreak are rife.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Yesterday's Mother's Day

Fiorella's Texas kids treated her to a very nice pre-Mother's Day yesterday. Daughter set up lawn chairs and, instead of hollering through the front door, we all sat about eight feet apart in the driveway and filled each other in on our respective lives. Cross your fingers, but everything seems to be looking up for all three of us. Fio won't go as far as to say that sheltering and distancing has been a godsend for her family, but it hasn't been the catastrophe that some people have experienced.
*
Earlier in the day, Fiorella finished off yet another box of old papers, reawakening memories of things she was proud of doing, things she wasn't, and things she didn't remember in the least.
*
Son was kind enough to volunteer to help Fio open up her dormant PayPal account so she can buy books and other items on line. Your girl used to be quite adept at so doing, but that was four years and two computers ago. Son is also going to search out iron plants and jasmine for her.
*
Some of the memories our threesome talked about did not paint yours truly in a very good a light. All she can say is that she tried.
*
Later in the day, the food wagon arrived, and now Fio's pantry and refrigerator are full for at least two weeks. Thanks to Daughter for arranging this service. Fiorella may not have been a perfect mother, but all of her kids are top-notch🧑🧑🧑

Saturday, May 9, 2020

From the Other Side of the Glass

Fiorella is glad that she'll be seeing her two Texas kids in person today, but it'll be with them on the other side of her front door which, luckily, is glass. Your girl is going to shove a big box containing Husband's poetry collection out onto the porch before they arrive in hopes Daughter will claim it like she said she would several months ago. Fio will also ask Son to go into the house by way of the garage and pull a heavy box out into said garage while Fio blocks up herself and Doggie in the front room.
     Preparing to move while the virus is running the show is not the easiest thing in the world.
*
Can anyone out there tell Fiorella how to take herself back to the place in the manuscript she stopped writing the romance-of-the-century an hour or whatever ago? Holding a button down while the machine goes through eighteen or so chapters to get back to where Fio stopped in the middle of a rapturous scene is not only irritating but a waste of time.
*
Speaking of irritation, how is it that Fiorella found Ann McCoy's story last week, but can't find it today? Is Sonia Dog hiding things from Mommy?
*
Fio never knew there were so many heartless and stupid people around until the virus reared its ugly head. From drinking Lysol to threatening medical personal, the know-nothings are in full bloom.
*
While she was going through her file drawers, your girl found masses and masses of college papers that she now can't make heads or tails of. Even worse, she found assignments that she had given to her own students that now totally baffle her.

Friday, May 8, 2020

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE....

Cleaning out the house has been a voyage of discovery--and sorrow. Why did Fiorella save some of these things? Why didn't she save more of other things? Why can't she tell the baby pictures of her kids apart when at one time, she could recognize each of them at a glance? Also, had Fiorella ever really been that overweight?
    One thing your girl can say--she's lived a full life so far and intends to keep on going at top speed.
*
If you're wondering, I just got an order for more DUMP TRUMP buttons. Fio's sorta let that project go for a while, but it's still in the back of her mind.
*
Fiorella's knowledgeable intervention in a romance writers' discussion of grammar won't win her any friends in Facebook, but it irritated her linguistic training that everyone seemed to think that a verb  phrase like "is running" is passive voice. No. Passive voice involves a passive  receptor of the action.
*
With Mother's Day tomorrow, Fio can't help but think of all those children in Trump's prisons. Do any of them even remember their mothers? To go further, have they ever had any kind of loving person taking care of them since they were jerked out of their parents' arms?
*
Darn--Fiorella still can't find Love in the Shadows, the romance that she wrote about a college girl and a handsome but troubled millionaire. She's also missing a story about a grade-school art teacher and--you guessed it--a handsome but troubled millionaire. Don't cringe--it was how romances were written it back then.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

From Chocolate to Sonia Dog


                                                 
Luckily, your girl bought out Walgreen's stock of leftover chocolate bunnies a couple of weeks after Easter because it looks like they are going to have to be a major part of her diet before her real food arrives this Saturday evening.
*
Delivered orders are quite expensive. Fiorella now pays about $400 a month for what used to cost her about $100. On the other hand, she never drives anywhere now, so she's saved on gas.
*
 Changing the subject, Fio is now up to 50,000 words in Lolly's story, and there's a lot more to tell. Fio is really excited about writing again because (1) she doesn't like to leave projects unfinished, (2), she enjoys the characters and the story line,  (3) she hopes it will give her another source of income.
*
                  Torpedoed
Grab a board and hold on tight--
Your ship is going down
But if you've played your cards just right --
You'll take the bastards with you as you drown
 *
 SONIA'S CORNER 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢
I don't understand. Mommy is always frantically pushing buttons on her computer thing, but when I try to do the same, she goes ballistic and starts yelling at me πŸ˜’          

 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

From Jerusha to Coronavirus

Fiorella is proud to announce that she has opened up a new computer page under the name Jerusha Bolton in which she'll talk mostly about writing and being a writer. Look for JerushaBolton.com.
*
Your girl has really been making progress on her long-awaited Lolly story, but it will probably be a month or two before she is satisfied with it. Then comes the hard part--learning how to self-publish.
*
Fio tends to divide her day into two parts: in the morning, she catches up on the news, the bill-paying, and the housekeeping, and in the afternoon, she throws herself into writing and packing for the move. But then, there are days in which anything that can go wrong does go wrong. Been there?
*
Red, Fio's resident cardinal, has disappeared. No longer does she hear his unrelenting attacks on the dining room window all morning and late afternoon. Maybe his beak finally fell off or maybe a coyote got him, or maybe he and his lady just moved on--Fiorella checked, and the ragged nest in the pyrocantha no longer exists.
*
Fio never realized there were so many suicidal people around until they started rebelling against sheltering, masks, and social distancing. Sure, they may luck out, but....they may not.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Darkness, Solitary, Dog Cap, Grooming, Gardening

Most of the short stories Fiorella has written are dark because those are the kind of stories that were in her schoolbooks--and also in the books she later taught from. However, when it came to writing full-fledged books, Fio chose romance, the genre that guarantees happy endings. There's enough pain and sorrow in the world already so why should she add to it?
*
Fiorella had a lot of time to think things out when she was a kid because, while she always had a good friend or two, she was never part of a group.
     How well she remembers her misguided junior high attempt to fit in. She sat down to eat lunch with a gang of girls in her classes, and when she left the table for a few minutes, they stuck a pickle in her milk carton, then laughed at her because she hadn't tasted the sourness. From then on, Fio walked three blocks home for lunch each day.
     When it came to high school, Fiorella never even tried to join a lunch-time group, preferring to go to the study room and finish her homework. Come to think of it, she wasn't part of a crowd in college either--and even now is uncomfortable in a group of more than three--unless she's holding the gavel.
*
Whoopie! Fio just drove the Mercedes down to the gas station and filled it up without the kindness of strangers, something she's never been able to do until neighbor Michael added a dog bone handle to the gas cap.
*
Can't find Sonia Dog's grooming comb and brush. Where has she hidden them?
*
DANG! Your girl thought she'd be able to order some iron plants and jasmine on the phone, then make use of Home Depot's curbside pick-up, but the store doesn't have any iron plants, and Fio would have to go into the store to buy the jasmine.  FOILED AGAIN!

    

Monday, May 4, 2020

Patchwork Day



Your girl spent at least an hour on the the phone yesterday with friend Cheryl, who not only writes, but knows everything there is to know about computers, runs a publishing business, and designs book covers--just the sort of person Fiorella needs to know now that she's in the romance writing game again.πŸ˜€
*
Did Fio ever told you that for about three years, she had a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis? Then, one day, her doctor looked at new x-rays and said she didn't have it--which mattered not because Fiorella had already decided she would move forward as best she could.
*
Now that she's telling all, Fio has to confess that in her first year behind the desk, she was probably the worst teacher in the world--and her student evaluations proved it. Luckily, two wonderful friends guided her through her second year and her student evaluations improved.
*
Hmm....Fiorella is wondering if she can persuade a home and garden store to deliver twenty Asian jasmines to her doorstep so she can get them planted in front of the house.  And if that works out, she'll put flagstones and fill dirt on her list.
*
Fio found six chapters of Sigrid's story and has run them off, but where are the rest of them hiding?

.



Sunday, May 3, 2020

Lost and Found, Found, Found

After a long night of worrying, Fiorella finally discovered where the missing order of supplies from Target had been deposited--beside the trash can about eight feet down from the road, which meant W-A-Y down from the house. The three boxes were too heavy for Fio to carry so she walked a dolly up the drive to wheel them back to the house one-by-one. But after but that first box, she knew she couldn't handle the other two by herself.      
     Nothing to do but leap into the street when the next car came by, wave her arms, and yell HELP!
     Which she did.
    Thankfully, a pickup carrying three masked occupants stopped and rolled down a window. After Fio explained her situation, the driver loaded the remaining two boxes into his car and delivered them to Fiorella's front porch, receiving Fio's profuse thanks all along the way.
     The boxes contained dog foods of various types so nothing had spoiled during their overnight stay in the woods which means your girl can file the whole episode away as an adventure. But what if the order had been for people food? Fish, milk, and veggies do not fare well in overnight stays in the woods by the side of the road.
*
Fiorella's own food order should be arriving with Bastrop son on Mother's Day. She only has two gallons of milk left and needs to beef up her refrigerator's fish tank.
*
Dang--Fio's lost her strip of postage stamps and she doesn't want to have to stand in line at the Post Office or H-E-B. Anyone got suggestions?

     
    

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Emoji Day


Ever since Fio inherited Husband's Mercedes, she has relied on the kindness of strangers to fill up her gas tank because she doesn't have the hand strength to open it up. Then Michael, her wonderful neighbor, entered the scene. He not only carved out a tank handle for her, but made it in the shape of a dog boneπŸ•
*
Have finally realized that not only did "I let my golden chances pass me by," but that sometimes I kicked them out the doorπŸ˜•
*
Fiorella was quite proud of making Jello last night with a packages that had been in the pantry forever,  but after she tasted a spoonful of it this morning, she threw the mess in the garbage disposal. Apparently Jello doesn't age well. 😝
*
Fio had a robo-call yesterday morning saying a certain amount of $$ had been removed from her bank account for virus insurance. It was a scam, or course, but how was it supposed to work? Fiorella is still a little nervous about it. 😟
*
Sonia Dog adds her two cents worth:
It's too bad Mommy just has two legs because sometimes she's a little wobbly when she wakes up in the morning. On the other hand, if she had four legs like me, she wouldn't be able to reach the shelf  that the doggie treats are on. 🐢

Friday, May 1, 2020

As Fiorella Blunders her Way through Life....


Living alone in the house during the time of the Coronavirus has reawakened Fiorella's memory of gazing at Husband's dead eyes and gaping jaw and thinking it's all up to me now.
*
The Coronavirus plague has driven Fio and her neighbor to the north, back to their school days. Fiorella confided to Carol that since she can't visit her hairdresser for a trim, she's using bobbie pins to hold back her errant tresses, and Neighbor said she's doing the same thing.
     Next come the pony tails.
*
Fiorella hopes that when their time comes, there will be a special throne in Heaven for her neighbors to the south. From the very beginning, Michael and Kathy have been angels in disguise, and yesterday, Michael came over and spent two hours working on Fio's car and sketching out plans for your girl's backyard wrap-around-the-house sidewalk.
*
Another advance in Fiorella's culinary skills. She found some old Jello boxes in the pantry and followed the instructions to make herself a tasty dessert. Wow--the sheltering is making a chef out of your girl!
*
Somehow, even though she can't leave the house, Fio has too many irons in the fire. She's just finished talking to Pastor Karl, who was checking up on her, and before that, she talked to fried Ellen in California, tried to send a pic of Sonia Dog's favorite treat to Daughter, and tried to talk to friend Cheryl about the new blog (which hasn't materialized yet). Oh, and while she was trying, trying , trying, friends Michael and Kathy showed up with Fio's new gas cap opener (which Michael had made).
    While they were here, Kathy pointed out that Fiorella has GRAPEVINES in the trees to the north. WOW!


Thursday, April 30, 2020

On the Move Again

4-30
Fiorella's life is picking up speed in regard to Lolly's story, the new writing blog, and obtaining a mask for her few outside ventures, but she's still lagging when it comes to the 2019 taxes, which she always seems to find a reason to put aside till "tomorrow."
*
Sonia Dog took Fio on a walk along the  north side of the property yesterday, and one thing Fiorella can guarantee whomever buys the acreage is that they will never be at a loss for seasoned firewood.
*
Nothing like getting together with Friend Cheryl, who not only writes romances, but knows everything there is to know about a computer. She's the one who's putting together Fiorella's new blog, which will probably be a once-a-month newsletter...for now.
*
Fiorella's also heard from Friend Jamie, who has sent her some of a new book. Fio's looking forward to reading her pages, but will have to run them off on the printer first.
*
A-a-a-a-n-d, the whole time Fio has been trying to write, Sonia Dog has been sitting by her side, panting hard and making whimpering noises as if she was dying of starvation, which, Fio assures you, is not her usual practice with beloved pets.

   

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

From Nostalgia to Chocolate

Girls wore dresses when Fio went to school, and it being post-war, their mothers made most of them. At least, Fio's mother did, and she did a good job of it. In fact, when Fiorella went off to college, her party wardrobe was entirely de la Eileen. Fiorella herself had learned to use a machine when she was fourteen, and made a fair number of her own dresses in high school and also after she was married. It was a creative thing for her rather than a necessity, and she enjoyed it.
   Nowadays, although she still has a few old dresses in her closet, Fio always wears pants--slacks or jeans. They're more sensible for anyone who lives on heavily wooded acreage, and--she'll admit it--her current body shape is better concealed than put on display.
 *
Have you noticed how politicized Facebook has become? Farewell, family photos and cute doggie pictures. Maybe it's the virus or maybe it's the upcoming election--we're all on edge.
*
Your girl is going crazy trying to get one of her domains changed to another name so she can use it to talk about life as a writer. Actually, with the help of friend Cheryl (translation: Cheryl did all the work) the change-over has been completed, but stupid Fiorella doesn't understand how to get into her new blog.
*
Congratulate Fio! Despite having a very nice supply of chocolate in the refrigerator, she didn't eat any of it yesterday, not even a bite. Applause, please!


   
  


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

From Sprinklers to Korea (denuevo)

How about having your sprinkler system repaired, your new domain being put out on the web, adding about two thousand more words to your new romance, and losing your payments ledger--all on the same day and without leaving the property. Yes, when it comes to celebrating, Fiorella does it with a bang.
*
Your girl is toying around with watching morning shows en espanol in to get her language acquisition going denuevo, but she never thinks about it till the evening, when it's a little too late. The current Spanish-language nighttime shows are not to her taste.
*
Fio is happy to report that the jasmines she'd planted as borders to the flagstone walk last fall are really taking off. Just hope they will live up to their bad rep as plants that will conquer the world if left unattended.
*
When people lightly say that the coronavirus is like the flu, that it will pass, they don't realize that influenza was a death threat until the inoculations became available.
*
Still wondering about Kim Jung Un. Maybe he got the virus and his pal Trump suggested trying to cure himself with Lysol.

Monday, April 27, 2020

From Sonia to Korea

What's wrong with Sonia Dog? She's been horribly whiny and clingy all day--maybe she thinks Mommy is spending too much time bent over la computadora or maybe she's going stir-crazy from being inside so much of the time.
*
A little known fact about your Fio: every time she hears or says "maybe," her mind automatically pulls her back to Russian 101 and she whispers mozshet-bweets to herself.
*
Fiorella doesn't like being thwarted every way she turns around. She wants to clear out the house, but it's impossible for her to handle everything by herself, and, besides, she still has to live here for the time being. She's also upset that she cannot consult the nice computer people in the local library about her technological glitches. And then there's the problem with getting Sonia dog to the vet for her yearly shots and Fio somewhere that she can have her blood-thinner checked on a monthly basis.
     On the other hand, neither Sonia nor Fio have come down with the virus yet.
*
What will things be like in a couple of years, when the plague passes? Guessing there will be a labor shortage, if nothing else. The US will have to build itself up all over again....if it still exists.
*
Hmm...what's going on--or NOT going on--in North Korea?

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Orthotics, Domain, Mask, Lolly, Sonia

After spending half of sabado in pain, Fiorella finally took off her left shoe to see what la problema was. As it turned out, Fio, her usual brilliant self, had tucked two orthotics in the same shoe.
     How did that happen, you ask. Well, your girl likes to set up time-saving systems, and one of them is that, after she dresses in the master bathroom each morning, she grabs her shoes and sticks her socks in one of them and her orthotics in the other, then runs downstairs to dress her feet in the living room, but yesterday, she transferred the socks correctly, but left the orthotics in the same shoe. Yes--your girl hoisted herself on her own petard.
*
NEWS FLASH: In about a month, Fiorella will be using one of her dormant domains to talk about her adventures as a romance writer. Look for it--she'll be using the name Jerusha Bolton.
*
Have you made a mask yet? Fio, who sewed up a storm in her salad days, is pulling fabric and pin cushions out of storage to construct a bright red face-cover. (She got tired of wrapping her face in a wool scarf or silk handkerchief when she had to go out.)

*
How is Lolly's story going, you ask--or maybe you don't, but Fio will tell you anyway. Another chapter and she'll be halfway through the book, which means she'll have to put on her thinking cap and figure out how to make the rest of the story behave according to her original outline. That's not as easy as it sounds. Stories have been known to go off on their own and never be seen again.
*
 Whew! Fio was worried about Sonia Dog having to adjust to different brands of food than she is accustomed too, but so far, no problem--especially when Fiorella puts some of her own food in the bowl as a topping.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Happiness, Armadillos, Typing, Writing, Taxes

Fiorella is bouncing with happiness! Her bills are paid, her refrigerator is full, the sun is shining, she has cleaned up the den (sort of), she's added another chapter to Lolly's story, her doggie loves her, and she knows she looks dang cute today--gray slacks, gray socks and tennis shoes, baby blue tee.
*
Monday is the day that the guy from the sprinkler system repair store is scheduled to come over to give Fiorella an estimate. Dang those armadillos!
*
Fio wishes she could hire someone to sit beside her as she writes and advise her on her how to better use her computer, but she knows that the first thing she'd be told is to learn the Touch Typing system. Yes, Fiorella confesses that, although she can get a good speed going, she is a hunter-and-pecker.
     (When she was a kid, Fiorella played around on her mother's ancient typewriter and learned the keyboard well enough that, as an adult, she passed a typing test and picked up a few shekals typing up papers when she was in college, but the times, they are a-changin', and your Fio ISN'T!)     
*
Is something wrong with your girl? It amuses her to write sex scenes, and the sexier they are, the more she giggles.
*
 After a bad couple of weeks in lock-down, Fio seems to be settling down into her solitary existence.  But, although she's and making headway with the house and the book, the tax forms are still sitting on her desk and giving her the stink eye.

















Friday, April 24, 2020

SHELTER

Fio is doing the "shelter" thing. Her food is delivered and she stays ten feet away from any neighbors she sees when she picks up her mail. She's also made a mask to wear when she has to drive into town to fill up her gas tank or pick up prescriptions.
     At first, the sheltering was sort of boring. Then Fiorella suddenly realized that, at last, she had the time she'd been whining about needing in order to finish off the romance she'd had lying around for four years--and now she's writing four hours a day. She also spends a lot of time going through everything she has painted or designed  that she can decide what to take with her when she moves out. Another self-assignment is, of course, putting the house and the acreage in the best shape possible.
     Another plus is the increased number of phone calls and emails from friends and family--nothing like imminent danger to pull people together.
     Fiorella also now has time to contemplate the political scene and comment on it in places like Facebook. She's just one voice, but it's always been a loud one.
     Sheltering has also given Fio time to find a company that will print her DUMP TRUMP design on buttons cheaply enough that she can give them away by the bagfuls. Wish her luck--better yet, if you know people with a button press, send Fio their phone number! πŸ˜ƒ
    

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Taxes, Romances, Doggie, Trump, Tranatlantica

Fiorella is at a rare place in her life in which she's up to date on her assignments--except for the taxes, of course--which means she's backed herself into a corner to clean up the den and, once again, go through her various piles of papers to find her missing romances. 
*
Speaking of romances, Fio is coming along well with her reworking of Lolly's story. She's spending three or four hours a day on it now and is hoping the story will be finished in a couple of months--but then she will have to figure out how to get it on the market, and salesmanship was never one of your girl's strength
*
Fio marvels at how well Sonia Dog has trained herself. She always waits for Mommy to go down the stairs first, will let Mommy know if she has done anything out of the usual routine, and seems to know the times of day--or at least the times of day that her food bowl should be filled.
*
 Oh, another thing Fiorella wants to catch up on is her DUMP TRUMP buttons. She's been searching her computer for companies that will put her design on buttons cheaply enough thats she can spread them across the nation, although now, Trump's doing a pretty good job of dumping himself. 

Hooray for transatlantic communication! Fio had a nice visit with friend Suzy in England yesterday morning. She's the one who posts pictures of her Great Dane on Facebook.
   

    

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Information and Reflections

Don't laugh, but Fiorella is teaching herself how to whistle again. Somehow, she, who was a crackerjack whistler in her earlier years, has forgotten how to pucker up and blow.
*
Fio likes to watch the zoo shows before she goes to bed because the keepers so obviously love the animals in their care. If only people could have that kind of relationship with each other.
*
Fiorella always tries to do the right thing, which sometimes, alas, turns out to be the wrong thing. Nevertheless, she totters on.
*
Your girl, who hasn't gotten to her hairdresser in at least six months, is thinking of binding her uncut tresses up into a pony tail--although, at this point, it would be more of a bunny tail 😁
*
Can't understand the blockheads who think everything will return to "normal"if they yell loud enough. The past is the past, people.  Now we need to plan for the future.
*

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Stupid Protesters Blocking Hospitals!

  Your Fio is at the boiling point. Now those stupid protesters are blocking hospitals to prevent sick people from getting diagnosed and treated. Apparently the idea in the protesters' sodden little heads is that the virus is a fake made up to embarrass Trump.
     Fiorella's way of handling the situation would be to send out ambulant patients with instructions to walk around and cough at the idiotes holding up misspelled signs and wearing MAGA hats. If that doesn't work, she would suggest wheeling the bedridden patients into the parking lot and telling the protesters it's their turn to empty the bedpans.
     But, Fio's anger aside, what the heck is going on here? One cannot stop a virus with a gun--of which several were in evidence--or with threats or swagger. We know that Trump has been encouraging the violence, and we know that Devos has been organizing the funding for at least some of the protestor gangs, but WHY? This is a time for the country to work together, for Trump to prove he is a true leader who cares about everyone in the country, but instead, he's gone in the opposite direction. Is he trying to please his basest base? Has Putin told him it's the thing to do? Is he trying to minimize the number of annotated infections by refusing hospital care? Or is it just plain that destruction is his nature.
     Whatever, your Fio will keep writing and fighting as she tries to save tomorrow for her kids and everyone else's kids. See you tomorrow.



Monday, April 20, 2020

Teasers

What can I say about Lolly Redlander, my current heroine except that all her swains commend her? She's not as tall as she'd like to be, but she has baby-blue eyes, curly blonde hair, and a gorgeous figure. She's also rich and headstrong, and the guy she's set her heart on is Cotton Bogart, her anthropology professor.
     Yep, this time around, your Fio is using a forbidden love trope. Here are a few exciting excerpts:

                                                           ********
Cotton gazed into the long mirror behind the bar and his eye was caught by a foursome of girls sitting a couple of tables behind him. They were staring at him in twos and threes, giggling then putting their heads together and giggling again. What was their problem? Didn't like his sweat? Sorry, sweet things--that's what a guy looks like when he's been working ten hours straight in hundred-degree Texas heat.
*
Lolly trudged down the short hall to her room, changed into her night clothes, and crawled under the covers, but her stupid brain wouldn't let her sleep. Instead, it kept rerunning the ride home with Cotton.
     What a night. Her date had left her in the lurch, and she'd been rescued by the last person on earth she'd ever expected to come to her aid. Cotton wasn't obliged to give her a lift, and she was pretty sure he hadn't wanted to, but he did anyway. There were no two ways about it--Cotton Bogart was a gentleman.
***
 Lolly carefully punched in Cotton's number, keeping an eye on her door at the same time.
     "Hello?" His voice was thick with sleep.
     "This is Lolly. I--I need help. I'm alone in the house with Uncle Keith, and he just--just groped me. I've locked myself in my room now, but I need to get out of here before he sobers up enough to remember there's a household key ring in the cupboard. Can you come pick me up?"
     "I'll be there as fast as I can."
***


    



Sunday, April 19, 2020

Havoc

Aha! Whining worked! Fiorella received three important bills yesterday, and she'll put the checks in her mail box tomorrow. On the other hand, she still can't find those two missing romances. 
*
Your girl had a really scare this morning--the charge cord of her computer wouldn't work. She tried all kinds of maneuvers, like moving the cord to another outlet, but nada. Fio was especially concerned that the offspring would be worried about her not posting her usual morning greetings (to let them know she's still alive) so she called them on the phone, assuring them that she would figure out a way to get a new charge cord. Before Fio had the chance to do so, Elder son got her on the cell phone and figured out what had gone wrong--a STAPLE had wedged itself in the charger, make it impossible to connect to the computer. WHOOPIE! Fio is in one piece again!
*
Come to think of the whole sequence, it's scary how dependent Fiorella has become on her laptop--to keep up with the news and her friends, to look up info, to record her literary endeavors, and to stay in touch with you, dear readers.
*
So what will Fio do with the rest of today? Well, there's a family Zoom thing at 11:00, and then your girl will be working on Lolly's story again. She'll also take a few walks around outside to see what affect the rain had on her so-called lawn.
*
Did she tell you she's been hauling in firewood from a pile someone dumped at the far side of the property? Such wastage!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

GRRRRRRRRRRR!

Chomping away on a large chocolate Easter rabbit, Fio spent twenty minutes canvassing every box she had filled with "storage" to find two of her earlier (unpublished) books that she located last week and put away somewhere for safekeeping. Where the hell are they now? GRRRRRR!
*
Fiorella's yard man showed up, took care of the fire ants, and clipped the dead rosemary branches, but, as she found out later when she checked out the stack of bricks hidden in the woods, he hadn't understand that she wanted the bricks, including the ones already there, NEATLY stacked. GRRRRRR!
*
Fiorella is paying more than $80 for her monthly garbage pick up, which was just fine when Husband and she filled our trash cans every week, but seems like highway robbery now that she, alone now, puts only a bag or two in the can every other week. GRRRRRRRR!
*
Can you believe that, in this time of crisis, the post office is running late, and Fio still hasn't gotten a bill for credit-card purchases that she's been notified she's PAST DUE on? GRRRRRRRR!
*
Fiorella planned to write a light, clever blog about her childhood this morning that, she hoped, would give us all some respite from what's going on around us, but such was not to be. GRRRRRRRRR!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Loaded

Fiorella is heavy laden. All by herself, she has to get the sprinkler system repaired, the back-yard erosion fixed, the taxes figured out, the inside of the house painted, the doors and cabinets brought up to snuff, and figure out what she can hire her yard man to do so his family can eat regularly
   She's also having a problem with being alone all the time. It wasn't so bad when Husband died because she could drive out to grocery shop and visit with friends, but the virus has changed everything. Fio's only face-to-face contact now is with her children when they bring groceries to her front porch every two weeks--and it's hard to carry on a meaningful conversation through a door, even though it is glass.
   Social media doesn't help. Fiorella is on Facebook every day, but its major topics seem to be the virus and Trump, neither of which she is fond of. TV doesn't help either. News shows just echo FB, and she's yet to find an entertainment show on the level of Big Bang Theory.
   You'd think that, with nothing to disturb her, Fio would be cranking books out like sausage, but actually, when left totally alone, she spends most of her time reviewing every dumb, stupid thing she's ever said or done in her life--which are multitude.
  
   .
    

Thursday, April 16, 2020

From Brooms to Computer Bugs

Yesterday, for the first time in--what?--maybe thirty years?-- Fiorella swept her own house. Yep, the accumulated dog hair and kitchen splatters were finally too much for her. Not that the floor has been nasty-looking up till now. On the contrary, la donella de Fiorella mopped and cleaned the whole house like it was her own, and Fio is hoping to welcome her back after the coronavirus runs its course.
*
Speaking of the virus, Fio has GOT to make herself a couple of masks. She doesn't get out often now, but when she does, like every female woman, she's wants to look good.
*
Speaking further of the devil virus, Fiorella is amazed at how many people take such a cavalier attitude toward it, like the bug can't strike them. Get those masks on, people, and stay away from large gatherings, even of relatives!
     Especially stay away from those VERY large gatherings, as in churches--God does not like to be teased.
   On the other hand, maybe a light dose of the virus would put a little sense into the heads of the parishioners who worship those self-serving "pastors."
*
To change the subject, Minnesota son is trying to fix Fio's TV up so she can see the Miss Fisher movie. Fiorella saw a couple of the shows featuring the flapper detective years ago, and would like to see more.
*
Back to yours truly again, your girl wants to order and pick up her groceries herself, but can't figure out how to do it on line because her computer, a MacBook Air, won't let her contact anyone who hasn't contacted her first.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Frustration Day

Fio's yard man didn't show so the fire ants had yet another day in which to build their monstrous  hives, none of the many bricks in the yard were not returned to the stack hidden on the grounds, and the grass was not mowed. Where was Fernando? Is his family okay? Horrors--does he have the virus?
*
Nothing was going right for Fiorella so she started pushing boxes around and got a fair number of big, heavy ones into the garage, which made her feel better because  (1) she had uncluttered the house somewhat and (2) she had enough muscle left to do it.
*
Where, O where, are all those important receipts that Fio packed away somewhere to reduce her tax load for 2019?
*
Your girl decided to work a jigsaw puzzle to get her mind off her concerns, then couldn't find one anywhere in the house.
*
Fio is having some problems with the ending of Lolly's story. We'll see.



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

ANGER ANGER ANGER !

NOW YOUR FIORELLA IS REALLY MAD!
     Trump has swept all the medicine my friend needs to treat her lupus off the shelves to fuel his fake coronavirus med, which I am sure he and his cronies will sell at monstrous prices. MY HUSBAND DIED FROM LUPUS, which is a horrible condition, and I will not let my friend do the same!
     YOU WHO READ MY BLOG REGULARLY, JOIN MY FIGHT! If Trump can put my friend's life in danger, he can do the same to you and your family--to the whole country, in fact. Not that he'll ever get his own pudgy hands dirty-- he has soulless minions who do the dirty work--but his is the hand inside the bloody glove.
     I'd like to say that we can can combat Trump with our votes, but he has built up such a crew of yes-men and thugs that I don't trust the integrity of the ballot boxes anymore. I shudder at the idea, but it may be time for a second American Revolution.
     Think about it!
    

Monday, April 13, 2020

All Around the World

Fiorella is so fickle. All it takes is a bright sky and a rushing wind, and she's on top of the world again.
*
 Guess what? Fio has finished rocking the boundaries of the inner driveway. Now to cut out the dead rosemary and have her yard man gather up all the stray bricks around the house and stack them with the ones in the deep woods off the driveway.
*
Interesting that Sonia Dog, who usually barks like Mars is invading when a car comes down the driveway, did not react at all when Daughter made her food delivery on Saturday. Yep, Doggie knows who her people are.
 *
Looking at the things she's pulled out of cabinets and dark corners while emptying the house has made Fiorella realize that she's lived quite a life so far... and encourages her to throw herself into even more ventures.
*
Wondering if Putin laughs himself to sleep every night at how easy it was to manipulate Trump into destroying the US. All Russia had to do was rig the 2016 election, and Trump's greed took it from there.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Build-up

Fio's Saturday did not start out well. She was in deep depression and no wonder--she is the one who has to pack everything up, get the sprinkler system repaired, take care of the erosion problem, figure out the taxes, find someone to fix the doors and cabinets, and, when the house is empty, contract someone to paint the inside. Fiorella understands that no one can help her physically right now because of the coronavirus, but the situation still sucks.
    The day started getting better when Minnesota Daughter-in Law guided her through the steps of communicating with the whole family through Zoom for today. Fio's next upper was Daughter, who brought over groceries --including a big chocolate Easter bunny (which has somehow mysteriously disappeared. πŸ˜‡)
     Then she received a nice checking-up telephone call from her neighbors on the north. Afterwards, she called her yard man and asked him to come over next week to kill the fire ants that are popping up everywhere, then went outside to survey the eroded areas again, then came back in and worked on Lolly for about three hours, then packed away a big box of table linens which, of course, no one uses any more.
     Today, Easter morning, Fio woke up to a new dawn. The storm is over, the sun is shining bright, and she's anticipating a good day. Thank-you, God.
 
    
    

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Coronavirus Is Running My Life!

Is that Easter I see sneaking around the corner? I THOUGHT IT WAS NEXT WEEK! But with everything that's been going on and not going on, it's no wonder your girl has lost track of time. Like everyone else in the world, she's been on high alert regarding her and her family's own health and well-being.
   P.S.: This will be the first Easter for several years that she hasn't delivered holiday chocolate to her computer-repair pals, her friends at the bank, the guys at Mazda, and her neighborhood friends.
 *
Hey, hey--after a month of tossing around ideas about the back-yard erosion in her head, Fiorella finally came up with a workable solution while she was napping on the couch.. She leapt up immediately, of course, grabbed a handful of metal staves some from the garage, dashed out into the drizzle, and laid her markers in the back yard to teast out her idea, and IT WORKS!
    Now to turn it into action. She'll have to get accurate measurements,  move part of the fence to allow for another door to the back yard, and hire someone to not only replace the old drain spouts, but pound in the metal edgings which are part of her plan. The project will cost $$$, but not even half of what the original quote wood have.
    Her  immediate problem is coronavirus, of course. How can Fio buy the makings for her project and get them hauled to her house without leaving said house?
*
This is such a small thing, but it really aggravates Fiorella--her hair needs trimming and, like every other smart-thinking personal service provider, her stylist has shuttered her doors for the duration.



Friday, April 10, 2020

Personally Speaking

How nice it would be to spend the rest of my life with pen or paintbrush in hand and a tablet of paper or a piano beside me. Of course, I'd like to have my collection of dictionaries of foreign languages there too.
*
I received an invitation to post my favorite "calming" poem on Facebook today, but, unfortunately, I don't have one. I appreciate the motive of the person behind the curtain--to soothe us in these horrible times we have been catapulted into--but, frankly, I'd read poems that go on attack right now.
*
Pray for me. I'm going to be hiring a crew to come repair the sprinkler system that the armadillos have torn apart. My biggest fear is that the whole thing will have to be replaced, and you know what than mean$.
*
I don't know about you, but Colbert without an audience doesn't work for me.
*
When it comes to fiction, I've noticed that male writers concentrate on the action while female writers concentrate on the emotion.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

More and More and More

Fiorella spent half the afternoon searching out tax statements for her accountant, and now she can't find where she put them down. Oh well, if she eats enough chocolate kisses, they'll turn up.    
     Her morning, she should add, was spent paying bills, tending to Sonia Dog's needs, harvesting rocks to place on the edges of garden beds, and checking out whatever was happening on Facebook. Now she plans to settle down to business and work on Lolly's story. 
*    
Two hours later, and your girl has Lolly's story all blocked out. It's not that Fio didn't know where it was going from the day one, but that now she knows how the various challenges she has put in the lovebirds' way will not only deepen the plot, but be overcome.
*
Some day, Fiorella hopes to get the rights to her first-published book back, and she'll immediately work the murder back into the plot. Her editor had her drop it, probably because it involved a drug deal and the category that her publishing house had put her in didn't deal in drug stories. Fio, though, wanted it in there for the sake of reality because she knew that small-town Texas, where the story was set, had become drug heaven.
*
Daughter went overboard with the  yellow legal pads that Fio put on her grocery list, but you don't hear any complaining from this direction. Fiorella goes through these things like water.
*
How did Fiorella, who is usually well-organized, get to be so disorganized? It doesn't have anything to do with her having to deal with IRS, a ranch problem, paying taxes, clearing out the house, working on a book, and handling an erosion problem and a sprinkler problem at the same time, does it?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Not a Happy Day

Yesterday was a hard day for Fiorella. She spent most of her morning gathering together all her blog print-outs, then hauled them downstairs and scoured the house for loose-leaf notebooks that could accommodate them. Then there was the problem of finding a box just the right size for so many notebooks. The box now is now very heavy, but, then, Fio won't be the one lifting it.
*
You'd think that with all the tension about the virus in the air, we'd get a break with the weather, but nooooooo, it's been dark and dismal in central Texas for the past couple of days. Your girl did get out and harvest some rocks for edging her garden areas, but couldn't get much joy out of it because she was so depressed.
*
 Fio got a scolding from her kids about leaving the house to get milk. To tell the truth, it was scary for her too.
*
The worst thing about moving is that you are pulling everything apart and trying to maintain a decent living space at the same time. Also, everything is out of place.
*
The worst thing about the pandemic is that one must stay away from other people, which makes Fiorella more lonely than ever. It isn't that she needs a crowd around her, just a few good face-to-face friends she can pretend to be human with.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Three Excerpts

How about a reading from one of Fiorella's romances to start your day?

   "I stink like he''," Jase said, wiping the sweat off his forehead as he came through the back door. "Been checking out available land from here to Waco and back." He slapped his hat down on the counter and looked around the kitchen, then at the table, innocent of all but a napkin holder. "What about dinner?"
   Laurel would never have guessed she'd be so turned on by the stench of honest labor. Her first impulse was to yell "Catch me, catch me if you can" then take off up the stairs  with Jase in hot pursuit. Instead, she pulled the belt of her terry cloth robe tighter and frowned at him.
   "Go take a shower in the bedroom across the hall, then give me twenty minutes. "We're eating in the dining room tonight."
   He paused, looking her robe up and down, and his voice lowered to a growl. "I hope you don't have anything on under that."
 *
   Was he rushing her? He skimmed his mouth across her fevered cheeks and let his breath whisper in her ear. "You okay? We can slow down."
   "No, don't slow down. " Her voice was husky. She ran her hand up under his loosened shirt and buried her fingers in his chest hair.
   His brain rocketed into outer space and he took her mouth again, releasing the hooks of her bra at the same time.
*
It was full dark now. The smell of honeysuckle was on the heavy summer air, votive candles in silver dishes floated aimlessly in the pool like enchanted lotuses, and the helium balloons glistened in the moonlight. Further back, Laurel could see the silver-bowed hurricane lamps that marked the edge of the turf to warn guests away from the dangers beyond, and above the lamps, thousand of tiny lights strung in the wide-armed oaks extended the horizon into the stars.
   She could almost pretend they were lovers from long ago, united at last on some supernatural plane of existence. In a way, that was true. So many years lay between them, years of pain and denial. Years that they had the rest of their lives to make up for.



  

Monday, April 6, 2020

From Gallons to Pounds

Fiorella scored two gallons of milk yesterday, one at Walgreens and one at Wag-a-Bag. How strange that she is now buying her lactose from pharmacies and a convenience stores. Maybe next week, she'll patronize CVS and Texaco.
*
Hooray for Bastrop son! He arranged for Walmart to provide your girl with two uncut salmon lengths that she has now sliced into nine pieces apiece, which will last her most of the month.πŸ˜ƒ
*
Did Fiorella tell you she is now wearing a face scarf when she goes out? It's one of Husband's old silk hankies, and it fits in with her wardrobe quite well.
*
Sonia Dog has been depositing her130 lbs in Fio's lap more than usual these days. Fio thinks she senses the tension in the air and wants to keep Mommy safe...and herself.
*
Fio's started lifting weights recientemente for the first time since Husband died. She had been thinking about moving up from six-pound weights to nine-pounders back then, but is now quite content with what she has.
*

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Running Out of Steam

The next time Fio has to pick up her prescriptions at the pharmacy's drive-through, she'll take a frying pan with her so the clerk can drop the bag in the pan instead of handing it to her. Then your girl can take the Rx's home and wipe off all their bottles with whatever is recommended.  This coronavirus stuff is all so COMPLICATED!
*
it's wet outside and the electronics in the house have gone crazy. The land line has given Fio four emergency calls so far and the giant roll-out piano that elder son gave Fiorella for Christmas has started sending her mis-chords from hell, each more grotesque than the last. Fio is currently waiting for the TV to turn itself on and send a death ray in her direction.
*
Fiorella, clever girl that she is, has decided to scoot over to Walgreens later this week and try to buy Easter treats at the drive-through. Her usual distribution is two bags of chocolate for her pals at Chase, three at Mazda, and four bags of nuts for Click, where the guys are supposedly on a diet. On the other hand, she'd better check to make sure her friends haven't locked their shutters for the time being.
*
Where the heck is Sigrid's romance, a finished manuscript that Fiorella wrote about five years ago. It did quite well on the contest circuit, and Fio would like to see what it would do in the marketplace.
*
News of the day: Fiorella's good watch, the gold one that Husband gave her on their wedding anniversary, lo, these many years ago, has stopped working. It has a lifetime guarantee so all your girl has to do is hop down to her local jeweler to get a new power ball inserted, but she's not about to sashay round and about at this time. Besides, she also has a nice silver watch she can wear (another gift from Husband) that is working just fine.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Sabado con su Fiorella

Coronavirus--it's the only thing Trump can't buy off, but he's still trying to make a killing on it.
*
It's hit home with Fio. Her kids can't fill all of her food order, which means her milk and Shredded Wheat will have to be rationed. Looks like your girl is going to go on a diet despite herself.
*
Hey, hey! Fiorella drove over to Walgreen's to pick up her Rxs after a telephone row with whomever discontinued her warfarin and--using the drive-through, of course--picked up not only the prescriptions, but two bags of chocolate! Hmm...wondering if she could buy milk there too....
*
Fio must forgive those who have wronged her because she hasn't been perfect herself--and regrets it.
*
Fio is determined to find those three missing book-size stories she wrote, lo, these many years ago. Even if they somehow got lost when she switched computers, her darlings should exist on paper because Fio, not trusting technology further than she can throw it, always makes copies.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Viernes con su Fiorella

                     Quiet as the Grave
Quiet as the grave that holds me fast
When death has dumbed the drumbeat of my blood
Beneath the soundless soil, still at last,
I'll sink in silence toward the muffling mud
  But until then, I'll clatter through your halls
And shout hello to friends and wail goodbye,
Laugh aloud within your stately walls,
And shriek my anger to the sombre sky
  The dead are not notorious for their noise
So I will lie a long time quietly
So until then, I'll use my loudest voice
To make the whimpering world resound with me
  And when at last I'm muted by the all-absorbing ground
  My unaccustomed silence then will  deafen you with sound

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Thursday with Fiorella y El Espanol

Fiorella is very happy--los piedras are talking to her denuevo! Your girl thinks it's porque instead of picking up after los arboles, she's been going out on the acreage and harvesting piedras for use as edgings around her front-yard jardins. (Los piedras esta muy sensible, and Fio is half wondering if that fall on la entrada de piedras pequenas she had a while back was their revenge for her spending so much time defending los arboles from the County Commissioners.)
*
You may have noticed that Fio's been using mas espanol in her blogs denuevo. She's trying to catch up on last anno, when everything went blank.
*
Fiorella y su vecino had a hard time trying to talk to each other over the fence yesterday especially since they were standing at a ten-foot distance and her pero and his tres peros were barking at the same time. Might have to use the phone next time.
*
Okay, Fio admits it--one of the reasons she likes writing romances is that it makes her laugh to devise--uh--challenging situations her heroines.
*
Trump's Appearances --
    Lights, cameras, action
    Let the show begin--
    He gets high on the crowd
    And the crowd gets high on him

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Fiorella on Wednesday

Fiorella and Sonia took a walk in the woods this afternoon, Fio to pick up rocks to complete the border around her front garden, and Sonia to chat up her dog pals to the south. The rock hunt was quite productive, although Fio overloaded her bucket and had to dump half of her finds where she could (hopefully) pick them later, and Doggie only found one of her friends out, probably a boring one because while the other dog yapped its heart out, Sonia slept.
*
Earlier in the day, Fio gave her grocery list to sweet daughter. Yep, the milk and Shredded Wheat are getting low. How long will this isolation last? It's giving Fiorella more time for herself, but it's also DRIVING HER CRAZY!
*
Speaking of groceries, Fiorella boiled six eggs from the carton Daughter bought for her in her first grocery trip a couple of weeks ago, and they were the best egss she'd ever had. None of the shells broke, all of the shells came off easily, and the taste of the eggs was out of this world!
*
Whew, Fio finally heard from her only cousin on her mother's side, and everything is okay in her neck of the woods, or at least as okay as it can be with the coronavirus ruling all out roosts.
*
Fiorella's doctor is going to give her a six-month check up  over the phone in April, which should be interesting. She'll tell you if there are any surprising result, like, "You're pregnant!"

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Poem to My Children

Fiorella may have posted this poem a couple of years ago, but she's going to repost it now because, in these dark times, her children need to hear it.

             To My Children

When I am old, so very old I stink
 
Of unwashed underarms and brain cell death,

So old I shake, my spine and stature shrink,

I whistle, quake, and rattle with each breath--

When I am old, so very old I drool,

And age spots big as elephants appear--

When I forget my name and act the fool,

And talk too loud because I cannot hear--

Even when I'm angry, trapped in rage,

Become a miser, call each dime misspent,

When I am cruel and stupid with my age,

When I reject you, scotch your good intent--

      Remember, once I loved you of my will,

      And in my heart of hearts, I love you still 🧑


Monday, March 30, 2020

Fio on Monday


Somehow, your Fiorella messed up her posting dates again. She's beginning to think that the Mac has it in for her.
*
Today is her self-assigned tax day, and Fio is not looking forward to it. Wouldn't it be wonderful if she had a live-in accountant?
*
It's hard to watch as Trump leads his lemmings off the cliff. Doesn't he understand he'll be killing off his supporters?
*
Aha! Your girl finally remembered the name of the author who wrote post-apocalyptic books for teens. ANDRE NORTON was a park ranger in real life, but apparently counting deer left her with a lot of time on her hands.
*
Just got another edition of the high school class newsletter, and everyone seems to be writing his obituary. Of course, we're all the same age, but Fio thinks the times we're living in have something to do with it too.
*
Happy to report that Lolly's story is moving along. Actually, working on it is Fio's greatest source of joy right now--probably because it's the only thing she can control.
*
Life goes on, even with the virus whispering overhead. Fiorella has some wildflowers now, and the trees are leafing out. Your girl has been doing some rock harvesting to improve the improve the looks of the place, but there are still some places in el parke that she's like to shape up.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Cotton and Lolly Shape Up

Fiorella is feeling the best she has in several months, and it's all because this afteroon, she shut out the whole world--taxes, probate, erosion, house, coronavirus, everything---and immersed herself in Lolly's story. Here's a sample:
      Cotton sat down at his desk, picked up his grade book, and ran his eyes down the attendance page.  Two weeks into class, and Miss Redlander hadn't missed a day. She'd aced the daily quizzes too.
     He snapped the book shut and tightened his jaw. Dios, he wanted her to drop the class, to get out of his life--or at least move away from front row, center. Now he understood why males and females used to be educated separately. Those laughing eyes, the cloud of sexual energy that seemed to float around her....
     He frowned. There was nothing he could pin her on, but she was too much of a distraction, not only to the other students, but to him.
  *  
Yep, it's a teacher-student sort of thing, but Fio has reversed the usual set up of an older man seducing a younger woman. This time, it's the younger woman on the hunt, and she knows what and WHO she wants.
 *
Did you see relationships like this when you taught college, Fio? 
Well, there was a little hanky-panky and a fair amount of rumors, as I remember, but nothing like the sparks that will fly between Cotton and Lolly.
*
Why do you write romances?
(1)Because they always end happily, although who knows what goes on after the book ends, and also because (2) all life ends in tragedy, and I want to spread happiness while I can.





Saturday, March 28, 2020

What a Day!

So, what did you do yesterday, Fiorella?
     Well, I worked on Lolly's story and was really moving along until Sonia Dog decided to flop herself upon the open computer, which put it out of order for the next two hours as I tried various remedies, then contacted daughter for Mac Central's magic phone number again, then called in, then waited for an hour and a half and called in again, then waited about fifteen minutes more before a WONDERFUL woman named Tracy not only told me how to fix the problem, but totally enjoyed my story of how Sonia Dog had thrown herself, stomach first, on the computer, probably because it was nice and warm, like mommy.  
     P.S. Tracey said that cats sometimes do this, but it was the first time she had ever heard of a dog doing it. (Remember, I always told you Sonia Dog is special!)
*
Speaking of Sonia, remember how, in a bid for attention, she scratched Fio's arm? Well now, either because she's apologizing or likes the smell of dried  blood, she keeps trying to lick the band-aid.

*
Fio forgot to report that in the morning, when she went out for the mail, she brought back six rocks to line her front garden with and intends to search out six more every day until the edging is complete.. Piedras also play into her new plan to handle the backyard erosion.
*
Oh, this is a biggie--Fiorella finally remembered the name of the author of post-apocalyptic books for teens that she liked so much way back when: ANDRE NORTON!
     Anyone else remember her?
*
Sometimes I wake up rosy
Sometimes I wake up black
But however it is I wake up
I cannot take it back
*

Friday, March 27, 2020

Crossing My Fingers

Fiorella has a superstitious streak in her a mile wide. She remembers how a cold dread ran through her when a relative and his family came to visit and the wife handed her a knife as a hostess gift, saying that's all she could find lying around. Fio tried to be gracious, but all she could think of was when she was a child and Great Aunt Helen gave her a penknife, then asked for a penny, explaining that you should always do that when someone gives you a knife so it won't turn on you.
     Unfortunately, Fiorella was too flummoxed to give relative's wife a penny, and the next thing she knew, Wife had left her husband and there no more family visits.
*
Let's get this straight--Uncle Sam expects Fio to put together her taxes while the coronavirus scare is going on? NO WAY!
*
Fio has told you she lives in isolation on acreage, as do her neighbors. but just how isolated we all are was demonstrated when the mailperson put North Neighbors' church mail in her box instead of theirs. Guess what? They're LUTHERAN, just like she is, and for almost twenty years, she's never known it!
*
Wonder upon wonders--even though she stupidly got her lawn cut too early, she does have bluebonnets in front of both sides of her horse-shoe driveway! Now to get a picture of them for FBπŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™
*
Fiorella finally located the first thirteen chapters of Lolly's story in which her heroine has to face problem after problem. Now, if all goes well during during her "sheltered"  durance vile, Fio will occupy her time by writing six or so chapters in which the story will come to a climax, then a satisfying ending.