Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Twelve Two Two Fondue is Live!

LIVE NOW at http://ustre.am/rO4C come and check it out!

Twelve Two Two Fondue XII

Monday, December 21, 2015

Twelve Two Two Fondue XII - 2015

Yes, hard to believe but tomorrow celebrates the twelfth Twelve Two Two Fondue!

Preparations are already underway.  Celebrations start a 7 PM continuing late into the evening so long as food and libations hold out!

We will be streaming live on UStream.  Look here for a link to the live stream.

Here's to Hope for Christmas and a Hopeful New Year!

Monday, November 30, 2015

NaBloPoMo 2015

Finished with 10 minutes to spare!

November's End

Fabienne and Mr. Bear sat on the back porch as the sun was setting.

"Look at all those colors," said Mr. Bear, "yellow, red, orange and purple.  It's so beautiful."

"All the more beautiful sitting here with my good friend," replied Fabienne.

"Where did November go?" asked Mr Bear.

"It went by day by day," said Fabienne, "just like every day.  Now we are about to close out the year and start a new one."

"What should we do in the new year?" asked Mr. Bear.

"Let's go exploring!" said Fabienne, "There's a big world out there and we need to see as much of it as we can."

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fabienne's Rock Band

Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear showed up at Fabienne's door at the appointed hour.

"Please, come in," said Fabienne.

Fabienne stood up and announced, "I'm starting a rock band and I need musicians."

Mr. Bear looked at Mr. Rabbit, and Mr. Rabbit looked at Mr. Bear - bewildered.

Mr. Bear said, "But we don't know how to play any instruments.  I can smell good music and Mr. Rabbit can see good music but neither of us can play good music."

"Well," said Fabienne, "you're just going to have to learn."  And with that she handed Mr. Bear a guitar and Mr. Rabbit some drums.

"Don't worry, my friends," said Fabienne, "have some confidence and trust your ability and it will happen."

For several weeks the trio practiced and surprising to all started to sound like a band!

"I think we are ready for our concert," Fabienne announced.

The notices went out and all the animals and dolls attended the first concert of the Fabienne Trio.

Fabienne, Mr. Bear and Mr. Rabbit played their instruments, sang and danced.

Everybody had a wonderful time.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fabienne and the Missing Cake

Fabienne had been thinking about the cake all day long.  It was her favorite cake and there was one piece left.

That's right, one piece left!

Finally, the sun was setting.  Fabienne thought, "Tea time," and time for cake.

Running into the kitchen Fabienne got down her favorite plate and a fork, set her little table and called all her friends.

"Mr. Bear, it's time for tea and cake.  Mr. Rabbit, it's time for tea and cake."

All of Fabienne's friends rushed to the table and got themselves organized all prim and proper.

Fabienne went into the kitchen to fetch the last remaining piece of cake, but when she opened the refrigerator door - she was shocked!

Where the cake should have been was ... nothing.  Nothing at all.  A bare shelf.  She couldn't believe her eyes.  Where could the cake have gone?

Fabienne returned to the table where her friends waited.

"We have a mystery," Fabienne announced seriously, "the cake is gone!"

"Oh, my word!" exclaimed Mr. Bear.

"What he said!" mimicked Mr. Rabbit somewhat flustered.

"A mystery can be solved," Fabienne said to her friends, "will you help me?"

"Yes," said Mr. Bear, "my nose can smell cake for miles and miles."

"Count me in," said Mr. Rabbit, "my eyes can see the smallest crumb."

"Let's go," Fabienne cheered.  And the three of them went in search of the missing case and to solve the mystery.

Mr. Bear soon paused.  Sniffing the air he pointed to the right, down the hallway and said, "I smell cake over there."

Mr. Rabbit looked in the direction Mr. Bear was pointing and reaching down said, "And here is a very tiny crumb.  It looks like a cake crumb."

Mr. Bear said, "It smells like a cake crumb."

And Fabienne said, "It is a cake crumb!  Follow me!"  Fabienne went dashing down the hall.

Soon they were at the end of the hall and out of clues.

Mr. Bear paused.  Sniffing the air he pointed to the left, into a room that was dimly lit.  "In there," Mr. Bear whispered.

Looking to the left Mr. Rabbit bent down and picked something up.  "Another crumb," Mr. Rabbit whispered for no apparent reason.

Fabienne took the crumb and nodded her head, "It's a cake crumb for sure.  Follow me."

Once inside the room Mr. Bear pointed to a table and said, "Look, there's the cake!"

Mr. Rabbit agreed, "Look, there's the cake."

But Fabienne wasn't looking at the cake.  She pointed and said, "Look, Mama!"

Startled, Mama turned around.  She was holding a fork in her hand.

Fabienne looked at the cake, then at Mama, then at the fork and said, "I think we have solved our mystery!  Mama was protecting the cake so we could all share it with tea.

Mama smiled.  Mr. Bear smiled.  Mr. Rabbit smiled. And Fabienne smiled the most.

"Let's have our tea," she said.  And they did.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fabienne and the Green Tree

One fine sunny day when the air was crisp and not a cloud in the sky Fabienne went for a walk in the woods.  Not very deep into the woods, but just along the edge.  On a good day she might see a squirrel or a rabbit and there were always birds flying around.

Fabienne came to a clearing in the forest that was wide and totally empty except for a large, green tree right in the middle.  Fabienne had never seen such a large green tree and she was puzzled.

"I have never seen such a large green tree," Fabienne said to nobody in particular.

"Well, now you have," said Green Tree.

"I beg your pardon, Green Tree," Fabienne said giving a slight curtsey, "but I've never met a talking tree, either!"

"Well, now you have," said Green Tree.

Green Tree continued.  "You see, most trees are grey or brown but not me.  I'm green!  But that's not my secret.  Walk around the other side of me and tell me what you see."

Fabienne walked around Green Tree and was astonished to find that he was only green on one side.

"Why, you're only green on one side!" exclaimed Fabienne, "Why is that?"

"I'm a special kind of tree called a compass tree.  My green side points north.  If you are lost in the woods you can look for a compass tree and it will tell you which way you need to go."

"Hmmmm," said Fabienne, "I don't know my compass directions so how would I find my way home?"

"Easy," said Green Tree, "you found me by walking this way."  And Green Tree waved a branch in one direction.  "So to get home you need to go back that way," Green Tree said, waving a branch in the other direction.

Fabienne saw that it was getting late so she bid farewell to Green Tree and by following his directions found her home.

"Actually," Fabienne thought, "I can always find my home because it smells like warm cookies."

And she was absolutely right about that!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Fabienne and the Big Feast

Fabienne was having a nice dream about playing on the swings and slides when she awoke with a start.  Mr. Bear was shaking her arm.

Excitedly, Mr. Bear said, "Wake up!  Wake up, Fabienne!  There are big happenings.  Very big happenings."

Fabienne sat up, rubbed her eyes and asked, "What kind of big happenings, Mr. Bear?"

"People!  Cooking!  Pies! And a giant turkey!  Oh, my, such a commotion!"

Fabienne got dressed and followed Mr. Bear into the kitchen.  Sure enough there were people scurrying here and there, glorious smells coming from the oven and on the kitchen counter was the biggest turkey Fabienne had ever seen.

"Turkey?" Fabienne asked Mama who was carrying armloads of vegetables.

"Yes, Fabienne," Mama said, "it's Thanksgiving and we're making a great feast."

Fabienne followed Mama to the sink where Mama began to clean the vegetables and chop them up.

"What's Thanksgiving," Fabienne asked.

"Well," said Mama, "a long time ago some people called Pilgrims settled a new land and they had trouble growing crops and finding food.  The people who lived on the land helped them and in gratitude for their help a big feast was held.  It was called a Thanksgiving, that is, giving thanks for being helped.  Every year we remember that by having a small feast of our own with all our friends and family."

"Even Mr. Bear?" Fabienne asked.

"Even Mr. Bear!"  Mama said, and she reached down and gave Mr. Bear a big hug.

After the feast was over and all the dishes had been cleared from the table and washed, Fabienne went up to Mama and said, "That was a wonderful feast!  Can we do it again tomorrow?"

Wise Mama looked down and said, "Thanksgiving is special because we do it once a year, like birthdays.  If we did it every day why would you be thankful?"

Fabienne thought about that for a while and said, "I think we should be thankful every day even if we don't have a feast."

Wise words from one so young.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fabienne and the First Snow

It was bright and sunny outside and very quiet.  No birds were singing.  No dogs were barking.  No cars were moving in the street.

Curious, Fabienne got out of bed and looked out her window.  What she saw was amazing.  Mr. Bear was looking, too.

Overnight, very quietly and without a sound that would wake a mouse - it had snowed.

Snow, glorious snow!  Everywhere was snow.  The ground was white and glistening.  The playground was deep with snow and there was snow on the swings and slide.  Even the trees were covered in snow.

"Come," said Fabienne, "let's find Mr. Rabbit and go play."  They ran down the hall to find Mr. Rabbit.

"We're going to play in the snow, Mr. Rabbit," Fabienne said, "will you come with us?"

"Oh, dear," said Mr. Rabbit mournfully, "I don't think so.  I can't find my scarf.  I had it yesterday by the swings and I think it's buried in the snow.  I'll never find it."

Fabienne said, "I have an idea.  Give Mr. Bear your sweater to smell.  With his great nose we might be able to sniff out your scarf under all the snow."

Mr. Rabbit scampered off and returned with his sweater.  Mr. Bear gave it a deep and long sniff then ran outside to the playground.

As Fabienne and Mr. Rabbit watched out the window, Mr. Bear snuffled around the slide, then the swings before he began to dig furiously in the snow.  I no time at all Mr. Bear found Mr. Rabbit's scarf and came running back to the house.

"Oh, how can I ever thank you, Fabienne," said Mr. Rabbit, "now I can go play in the snow!"

"Don't thank me," Fabienne, "it was Mr. Bears fantastic nose that found your scarf!"

The three friends then went outside to throw snowballs and make a snowman.  After they were cold and tired they came back into the house and Mama made hot chocolate for all.

It was a wonderful day in the snow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


This is simply the best.

Go to Molly's blog and do this.  You won't regret it.

Molly's Cranberry Thing

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fabienne Meets Kink the Cat

Fabienne was asleep, dreaming of riding a motorcycle.

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, purrrrrrrrrrrr went the sound of the motorcycle engine.

The purring became louder and louder until it was PURRRRRRRRRRRR!

Fabienne woke up, rubbed her eyes and looked around. There sitting on the end of her bed was a beautiful tabby cat licking it's white paw.

"You're a cat!" said Fabienne excitedly.

"Of course I am," replied Kink the Cat, "and you're a Fabienne."

Fabienne sat up straighter and said, "I am not A Fabienne, I am The Fabienne."

"And I am The Kink the Cat," said Kink still licking his paw.

"How can you be here?" asked Fabienne.

"I can be anywhere I like," answered Kink, who in a puff disappeared and reappeared on Fabienne's bookshelf.

"How did you do that?" said Fabienne, amazed.

"As I said," Kink replied, "I am Kink the Cat and I can do this and that, and the other thing."

"Why are you here?" Fabienne asked.

"Just to say hello, good-bye and we'll meet again," said Kink.  And with that Kink disappeared with a small popping sound.

"Well," Fabienne said to herself, "what do you think about that?"  Fabienne put her head down and fell fast asleep, dreaming about chasing mice and birds.

In the morning Mama came in and Fabienne told her all about the visit from Kink the Cat.  Mama was amused but obviously didn't believe the story.  But then Mama looked on the bed, reached down and picked up some white fur.

"Where did this come from?" Mama asked Fabienne.

"Oh, Kink was licking his paw quite a lot.  I think he had an itch."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fabienne and the Great Cookie Heist

Cookies were missing!

Fabienne searched the kitchen for cookies but they were all gone!

"Where have all the cookies gone?" thought Fabienne, "long time passing."

"Where have all the cookies gone?" said Mr. Bear, "long time ago."

"Where have all the cookies gone?" said Mr. Rabbit.

"Someone took them, every one," said Fabienne.

"When will we ever learn?" said Mr. Bear.

"When will we ever learn?" said Mr. Rabbit.

Then Grover appeared with a basket of cookies.

"It is I, Grover, with all the cookies!" Grover announced.  "I have them all because there is a big picnic outside and I didn't have anything to take to the picnic."

Everybody felt sorry for poor, old Grover.

Grover said, "Will you come with me, Grover, to the picnic and have a wonderful time?"

Everybody agreed and Mr. Bear, Mr. Rabbit and Fabienne laughed and laughed, and went to the picnic and had a wonderful time.

"Oh, Grover," said Fabienne, hugging Grover, "when will you ever learn?"

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fabienne and the Puppy Dog Look

Stella walked into Fabienne's room and put her head on Fabienne's bed.

Fabienne looked at Stella and told her the rule, "You're not allowed on my bed, Stella.  That's the rule."

Stella insisted by giving out a little whine and whimper.

"Sorry, Stella," Fabienne said, "whining and whimpering won't change my mind."

Stella thought for a moment, turned to Fabienne and gave her the Puppy Dog Look.

Fabienne was shocked!  "No, Stella, not the Puppy Dog Look!" she said.

It was too late.  "OK," Fabienne said, "hop up on the bed and keep me company."

Stella very happily hopped up on the bed and lay down beside Fabienne.

A short while later Mama came into the room and looked at Stella on the bed disapprovingly.

"Stella is not allowed on the bed, Fabienne," Mama said.

"But, Mama, it's Stella!" Fabienne pleaded.

"Sorry, my mind is made up, Fabienne, no dogs on the bed."

Fabienne looked at Stella.  Stella looked at Fabienne.  They winked at each other, turned to Mama and gave her the Puppy Dog Look.

"Oh, my!" Mama exclaimed, "not the Puppy Dog Look!  Nobody can defend against the Puppy Dog Look."

Then Mama said, "OK, Stella can stay on the bed.  But only this time!"

Stella and Fabienne laughed and laughed and laughed because they knew the Puppy Dog Look would happen again and again.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fabienne and Bubbles

Bubbles float.

Bubbles shine.

I will grab you, bubbles.

And make you mine!

No, you say.


Touch us as we float

and we will POP!

Bubbles float.

Bubbles shine.

I love you bubbles

all the time.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fabienne and the Rainy Day

Fabienne woke up with great expectations.  This was going to be a pip of a day and she hoped to visit Miss Havisham who lived down the road.

But Fabienne's plans for a great day were dashed when she looked out her window.

It was raining.  Pouring.  Great buckets of water falling out of the sky.  The back yard was flooded and streams of water were running down the street.

Stella came into the room.  "Are we going out today," Stella asked, her tail wagging furiously.

"No, I'm afraid not, Stella," Fabienne said, "it's raining."

"What are we going to do?" Stella asked.

"I know," said Fabienne, "let's have a game day and play all of our favorite games."

And that's just what they did.  Fabienne set up the big table with games and brought all her friends including Mr. Bear and Mr. Rabbit and all the other friends.

They had such a great time playing games that they didn't notice that the rain had stopped until a ray of sunlight crossed the floor.

Mr. Rabbit was the first to notice.

"Look at that," Mr. Rabbit said, "sunlight!"

Everybody stopped playing games and looked at the sunlight.

Fabienne was very excited because there was much of the day remaining.  "We can still go visit Miss Havisham!"

And so they did with great expectations and had a dickens of a time!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


OK, I admit it. A Syrian is trying to kill me. I tried to find a "Terrorist Hot Line" but guess what? Right, there isn't one!
This Syrian is an insidious bastard and his methods are subtle. He runs a "restaurant" which is really an "Infidel House of Death" where he serves succulent lamb kabobs and gyros. Yes, death by obesity - slow but sure.
And, his "French" fries are to die for. Get the connection? French and die? Oh, why didn't I see that his French style pomme frites were an evil plot, rather than a crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, seasoned to perfection gastronomic delight.
Subtle, he is. And relentless. He plies us with hummus, freshly made every day and guaranteed to lull you into a sense of security and satiation. Why, you'll even pay him for killing you slowly with his gyro-nomics. 
Did I mention his selection of fine Russian beers? That should have been the tip-off, but I was only thinking of a strong, shirtless Putin on a horse - I swoon.
Give me another gyro and a double order of fries. Also I'll take a Ruski Bruski.
I hate myself.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fabienne and Thanksgiving

Wonderful cooking smells invaded every nook and cranny in the house.  Something roasting, something boiling and sweet smells.

"Mama," Fabienne asked, "what's the special occasion?"

Mama said, "It's Thanksgiving."

"What's Thanksgiving?"

"It's when the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for helping them survive a harsh winter."

"Oh," said Fabienne, "what are Pilgrims?"

"They were people in the old times who settled what is now America.  They landed on a rock."

"Oh," said Fabienne, "did they lose all their food when they landed on the rock?"

"Something like that," Mama replied, "Oh, look, dinner is ready!  Let's go!"

"But, Mama," I don't know all about the Pilgrims and the rock and the Indians."

Mama smiled and said, "All you need to know for now, little Fabienne, is that there is yummy food in there and you are in here.  Race you!  One, two, three ... go!"

True story, Fabienne was the first to the table and ate the most turkey.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fabienne and the Trip to Mars

Fabienne wanted to watch Grover on TV but Mama was watching the news.  Patiently, Fabienne listened to the news because it would soon be over and time for Grover.

"And, finally," the announcer said, "this report from NASA that the Mars explorer robot, Curiosity, seems to be stuck in the sand.  Engineers say it might be the end of the road for Curiosity.  To end our news broadcast, here's a cute cat video."

Fabienne listened to the meowing cats but her thoughts were on Mars and poor old Curiosity stuck in the sand.

Later that night Fabienne was tucked into bed and looked out her window into the night sky.  There was Mars, the red planet, glowing softly in the darkness of space.

"I wish I could do something to help Curiosity," Fabienne said aloud.

"Maybe there is," said a voice in her room.

Fabienne sat up in her bed, somewhat alarmed, and whispered, "Who said that?"

"I did," said her fairy wings and they fluttered across the room and settled on Fabienne's back.  "I did," the fairy wings said again as if the first time was not enough.

"Can you take me to Mars?  Can we help Curiosity?" Fabienne asked.

"Yes and yes.  But, it's a long trip.  We'll need some cake and apple juice.  Do you think you could manage that?" the wings said.

"No problem," said Fabienne.  With that she jumped out of her bed, ran into the kitchen, put a piece of cake into a sack, then a second piece (just to be sure), grabbed some apple juice and returned to her room.

"Wonderful!" exclaimed the wings, "Let's fly!"

And with that Fabienne found herself flying up and up and up.  She looked down and her house was just a little speck.  Soon her town was a little speck.  And in no time at all the entire Earth was just a little speck.

Fabienne looked up and saw Mars looming large and red.  In an instant Fabienne was flying over the Red Planet looking down at mountains and canyons and vast dunes of red sand.

Shortly, they were on the surface and there was Curiosity.  Fabienne walked up to Curiosity and put a hand on its side.  "Hello, Curiosity, I'm Fabienne," she said.

Curiosity sighed and replied, "Hello, Fabienne.  Nice to meet you but I must say I'm not at my best.  I seem to be stuck in this sand."

Fabienne offered a suggestion.  "Would it help if I pushed?" she asked.

Curiosity giggled and said, "But you're so tiny.  I'm not sure you could help a big robot like me."

Fabienne narrowed her eyes and gave Curiosity her determined look.  "You'd be surprised what I can do," said Fabienne.  And with that Fabienne commanded, "Fairy wings, let's push!"

Push they did, fairy wings and Fabienne and to Curiosity's surprise it was soon out of the sand and on to solid ground.

"Oh, my!" exclaimed Curiosity, "You did it!  You saved me!  How can I ever repay you?"

Fabienne smiled and said, "Well, it was hard work.  Perhaps you'd like to join me with some cake and apple juice."

Curiosity said, "I'd be delighted," and extended a sensor probe.

After they had cake and apple juice Fabienne bid Curiosity farewell and set off for home.

The next day Fabienne was waiting for Grover to come on the TV but the news was on.  "Oh, news," Fabienne thought, "please be over soon."

The TV said, "And, finally, from NASA it appears that the Mars robot Curiosity has got itself unstuck from the sand and is on solid ground.  NASA was very happy at this development but reported that some of Curiosity's sensors may have to recalibrate.  A NASA spokesman said, "Everything seemed OK until we analyzed the data download.  Instead of a rock analysis it appears that Curiosity reported cake and apple juice.  We're sure there's a simple explanation."

Fabienne smiled, fairy wings fluttered, and, sure, there was a very simple explanation.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fabienne and the Nutcracker

"Hello, Fabienne," said the voice.

"Who said that," said Fabienne looking around.

"Down here, Fabienne!" the voice said.

Fabienne looked down and saw a tiny nutcracker.  He was dressed in a red uniform and had wild, white hair.  Fabienne picked him up.

The nutcracker said, "Fabienne, it has always been my wish to be part of your Christmas tree.  Can you help me?"

Fabienne smiled and said, "No problem, my little friend.  How about here?"

Nutcracker was very happy.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fabienne and the Perfect Pizza

It was Pizza Night!

Fabienne loved pizza night because there's nothing better than making your own pizza.  Well, one thing better is eating your own pizza!

Fabienne's friends were visiting and they were looking forward to pizza, too.

"I can't wait to eat a cheese pizza!" said one friend.

"I can't wait to eat a sausage pizza!" said another friend.

"I can't wait to eat a corn pizza!" said the third friend.

"I can't wait to eat a mushroom pizza!" said Fabienne.

Unfortunately, there was only enough time to make one pizza.  Which one would they make?

"Everybody loves cheese pizza," said the first friend, "let's do cheese."

"Cheese is boring," said the other friend, "I vote for sausage."

"Sausage is boring," said another friend, "we should have corn."

And so it went, each person arguing that their favorite pizza was the best.

Fabienne thought and thought and finally said, "Wait, I have an idea.  Everybody come here and listen to my idea."

The friends all huddled around Fabienne and soon there was agreement and laughter.

Fabienne then ordered the perfect pizza.  "This part will be cheese, this part will be sausage, this part will be mushroom and this part will be corn."

Everybody got the pizza they wanted and everybody went home happy (and full of pizza)!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fabienne and the Purple Cow

Fabienne was not having a good day.  Rather than playing with her friends she was shopping at the market.  Shopping at the market is usually fun, but today Fabienne had other plans and so shopping was not so fun.

Then she saw the purple cow.

"I've never seen a purple cow before," Fabienne said to herself, "I must look at it more closely."

Fabienne walked up to the purple cow and said aloud, "I've never seen a purple cow before."

The purple cow replied, "A purple cow with an itchy nose."

"You can talk," exclaimed Fabienne.

"Of course I can talk," replied the purple cow, "and my nose still itches."

"Maybe I could  scratch it for you," said Fabienne, and she reached up, but the cow was too tall.  Fabienne stood on her tippy tippy tip-toes and stretched and stretched but she still couldn't reach the purple cow's itchy nose.

Looking around she saw an empty shopping cart and had an idea.  Climbing into the cart and wheeling herself close to the purple cow, if only she could reach far enough ... just a little more.

At last she reached the cow's itchy nose and gave it a good scratch.

The purple cow let out a satisfied, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that feels good."

Just then Mama showed up and said, "Fabienne!  What are you doing?"

Fabienne replied, "Mama, the purple cow told me her nose itched and I scratched it for her.  She's very happy now."

Then, remembering her manners, she said, "Purple cow, this is Mama."

The purple cow stood there and said nothing.

"You can say hello to Mama," Fabienne told the purple cow but the cow said nothing.

Mama then said, "I don't think that purple cows can talk.  Come on, Fabienne, we have shopping to do," and she started to walk away with Fabienne in tow.

After a few steps Fabienne turned around, looked at the purple cow.  The purple cow looked a Fabienne, cocked her head slightly and winked.  Fabienne smiled, waved and decided it was going to be a very good day after all.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fabienne Meets Mr. Brown Bear

Knock, knock!

"Who's there?" asked Fabienne.

"Brown Bear."

"Brown Bear who?"

"Brown Bear is here for tea and honey!"

Tea and honey, thought Fabienne, that sounds like a wonderful idea.

Fabienne opened the door and there was Mr. Brown Bear.

Mr. Brown Bear was a large sort of bear and very soft and huggable.  His fur was deep brown in color and shaggy to the touch.

Mr. Brown Bear looked as if he could use some tea and honey,  so Fabienne invited him inside and ran to gather all her friends for a party.

Once everybody was settled and introduced Fabienne asked Mr. Brown Bear to tell her and her friends a little about himself.

"Well," Mr. Brown Bear started, "I come a great distance from here.  I live in the Land of Sugar far, far away over the ocean.  My friends are cowboys and alligators!

Fabienne was surprised, "Cowboys and alligators! Oh, my!"

"Yes," said Mr. Brown Bear, "and everybody is friends.  Even the alligators."

"You must be very tired after you travel," said Fabienne.  "Perhaps you'd like to stay her for a while and see the sights in my neighborhood.  We have a park and puddles and leaves to rake."

"That sounds like a wonderful idea," said Mr. Bear yawning.  And without any warning at all, Mr. Brown Bear fell fast asleep.

"Well, what do you think of that?" Fabienne asked her friends.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fabienne and the Work Trailer

Fabienne went to the farm to do some work.  Fabienne was lucky because she got to ride in a trailer pulled by a tractor.

That was not the best part.

Fabienne got to rake leaves and fill the trailer with leaves.

That was not the best part.

Fabienne got to jump in the leaves!

That was not the best part.

Fabienne rode back to her house in a trailer full of leaves.

That was not the best part.

Well, what was the best part!

Fabienne said, "We got juice to drink!  That was the best part!"

Yes, juice is always the best part of any day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fabienne and the Puddle

Finally the rain stopped.  The sun peeked out from behind a few dark clouds still rolling across the sky, but it was dry enough to go outside and explore.

Fabienne found her friend, Mr. Turtle.

"Knock knock!"

"Who's there," said Mr. Turtle.


"Fabienne who?"

(Fabienne always giggled at this because she knew that Mr. Turtle was pretending not to know "Fabienne who.")

"Fabienne and you are going to find some puddles!"

"Knock Knock Jokes" and puddles were Mr. Turtles favorite things, so he jumped up and the two friends ran outside to find some puddles.

It didn't take long.

Several large puddles dotted the street at the bottom of the garden.

"Why do you think there are puddles?" Fabienne asked Mr. Turtle.

Mr. Turtle thought long and hard and finally said, "So you can see the sky by looking down."

It was true!  Looking into the puddle you could see the sun and the clouds above.

"What else?" Fabienne asked.

Mr. Turtle thought long and hard and finally said, "So the leaves have a place to swim."

It was true!  The red, gold and yellow leaves were floating in the puddle.  It was almost as if they were floating in the sky.

"What else?" Fabienne asked.

Mr. Turtle thought long and hard, and long and hard, and long and hard - Mr. Turtle was getting quite tired of thinking so long and hard!

Mr. Turtle replied, "I give up.  My thinker is all thinked out.  What else, indeed, Fabienne?"

And with that Fabienne made a great leap, landed in the middle of the puddle and splashed water everywhere, especially on Mr. Turtle!

"Why, for jumping," Fabienne laughed.

Then Fabienne and Mr. Turtle spent the rest of the afternoon jumping in as many puddles as they could.  They had a most wonderful time.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Fabienne and the Big Hat

It was a very sunny day.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Very, very bright.

Fabienne put on her Tinkerbell shirt and prepared to go outside to play.

Tinkerbell said, "Oh, it's very bright outside today."

Fabienne said, "Yes, it is.  It's a beautiful day and I'm in the mood for a long walk.  We'll visit the Flower family and Mr. Tree."

Tinkerbell was not very happy.

"I have very fair skin," Tinkerbell pouted, "and I'm very prone to sunburn."

Fabienne became concerned.

"Oh, Tinkerbell, I didn't know!  How can I help you?"

Tinkerbell thought for a while and said, "Well, if you had a big hat that would give me some shade, that would be perfect."

Fabienne thought and thought and thought and finally remembered a big, straw hat she had in her room.  It was way too big for Fabienne alone but it might be good for Fabienne and Tinkerbell.

Fabienne ran to her room and found the hat.  It was even bigger than she remembered but she put it on.

Tinkerbell said, "Oh, Fabienne, that's perfect!  Now we can go out in the sun to see our friends."

And that's exactly what they did.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

An Interview with Stella the Dog

Hello, Stella.

Hello, or should I say "Arf Arf?"

Hello is just fine, Stella.  How are you doing today?

Well, I had my dog food breakfast and a romp outside this morning and I would say, all things considered, that I am doing very well.

So, you enjoy your house and family.

Oh, yes, indeed, I do.  My family is the best family every, especially my very best friend in the whole wide world, Fabienne.

Yes, we've heard a lot about Fabienne.  What do you like the most about Fabienne?

Hmmm, there are so many things.  I'd say the best is that we both like to go outside and enjoy the sunshine, green grass and fresh air.  That's the best.

Anything else?

Yes, Fabienne is very gentle and she's always telling me new things.  Just the other day we were sitting outside and Fabienne pointed to an airplane that was flying over the house.  That was the best day ever.  Thank you, Fabienne.

Thank you, Stella.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Fly, Kite, Fly!

Fly, Kite, Fly!

High, high, high into the dark blue sky.

Over the dunes you zoom and zoom,

Colors flashing in the wind

You can fly to Mr. Moon

That would be a sight, oh, my!

Fly, Kite, Fly!

High, high, high into the dark blue sky.

How I wish I could ride with you.

Moon above and beach below.

All the things we could do

That would be my wish, oh, my!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Fabienne Saves Grover

It was a dark and stormy night.  The clouds swept through the sky like waves on a restless sea, all black and grey with flashes of white when lightning arced across the sky.

It was not raining at Fabienne's house but the trees were swaying back and forth in the wind as if trying to send the storm away.

Fabienne went to her room to find Grover.  Grover wasn't afraid of the storm.  Grover is a good friend to have during a storm.

Fabienne looked on her bed for Grover.  Grover was not on the bed.

Fabienne looked in her princess castle for Grover.  Grover was not in the castle.

Finally, Fabienne looked in her closet for Grover.  Grover was not in the closet.

Puzzled, Fabienne sat on the floor of her room and thought and thought.

"Where was Grover?" she thought.

Suddenly she remembered!  She and Grover had been playing outside just before the storm came.

"Oh, my goodness," Fabienne exclaimed, "Grover must still be outside!  In the storm.  I must rescue Grover!"

But just as Fabienne stood up it suddenly got dark.  Very dark.  Very, very dark.  

The power had gone out, the lights had gone out and Fabienne's entire neighborhood was plunged into darkness.  The only light came from the angry flashes of lightning outside.

"What am I going to do?" Fabienne cried, "I must save Grover!"

Then Fabienne remembered her special candle.  Yes, her storm candle.  The candle to use when the lights go out and everything is dark, but the candle will provide light.

Fabienne kept her candle in a safe place and she quickly found it.

Fabienne ran to Mother with the candle.

"Mother, we must put a candle in the window so Grover can find his way home."

And that's exactly what they did.  They put the candle in the window by the back door.  Fabienne watched the candle burn and burn and burn.  After a while Fabienne got sleepy, then sleepier and finally sleepiest ... sleepiest ... oh, so sleepiester ... snorrrrrrrrrre.

Fabienne woke suddenly to the sound of a bird chirping.  It was morning and the sun was bright.  The storm was over and the candle had burned down.

Fabienne got up hurriedly and opened the door.  To her surprise, delight and great relief was Grover.  Grover had found his way to the house in the storm by following the candle in the window.

Grover said in his special excited, "I am so happy to see you.  I will do my happy dance and sing 'Granada.'"  Grover cleared his voice, put on his Spanish hat and started to sing,


It was a wonderful day after all.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Fabienne and Mr. Turtle

Fabienne went to Mr. Turtle's house to play but Mr. Turtle was asleep in his shell.

"Perhaps Mr. Turtle is not sleeping and would like to play with me.  I'll knock on his shell.

Knock!  Knock!

"Who's there?" Mr. Turtle replied sleepily.

"Apple," said Fabienne.

"Apple who?" inquired Mr. Turtle, sounding a bit more awake.

Knock!  Knock!

"Who's there?" Mr. Turtle replied, fully awake now.

"Apple," said Fabienne.

"Apple who?" inquired Mr. Turtle, sounding just a bit annoyed.

Knock!  Knock!

"Who's there?" Mr. Turtle shouted.

"Orange," said Fabienne.

"Orange who?" sighed Mr. Turtle, wishing the joke was over.

"Orange you glad I didn't say apple? and Fabienne squealed with delight.

Mr. Turtle then said, "You'll have to try harder than that if you want me to play with you, Fabienne."

Fabienne thought and thought and finally she said:

"Klopf.  Klopf."

"Wer ist da? answered Mr. Turtle.

"Hans," said Fabienne.

"Hans wer?" answered Mr. Turtle.


Suddenly laughter filled the room and it was coming out of Mr. Turtle's shell.  Mr. Turtle jumped up, ran to the door and called back to Fabienne, "Well, are you coming to play?"

And Fabienne did just that.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Fabienne and the Swing

Fabienne's favorite place in the whole wide world is the playground.  The playground is full of fun stuff to do and all her magical friends go there, too.

One day Fabienne climbed into the swing but there was nobody to push her.  Fabienne sat and sat, not moving at all.

"I wish I could swing," Fabienne said aloud to herself.

"My pleasure," came a voice and the swing started to rock back and forth.

Overjoyed, Fabienne shouted, "Higher!"  And the swing obliged, swinging Fabienne higher and higher.

Fabienne then said, "I wish I could swing high enough to the Moon!"

And Swing said, "As you wish, my princess."

Before Fabienne knew it she was swinging higher and higher.  She looked down and the playground had become very small and very far away.

Higher and higher she went until she could see the stars against a black sky.

Higher and higher she went until she could see the Moon getting closer and closer.  Before she knew it, the Moon was right there!

"Hello, Fabienne," said the Moon, "I'm very happy that you came to visit me.  Would you like some tea?"

Fabienne said, "Yes, Moon, I'd love some tea."

Swing landed Fabienne on the Moon and there was a little table set for three:  Fabienne, Moon and Swing.

It was the best tea party ever, but Fabienne finally announced that she had to go before her mother became worried or she missed dinner.

Everybody said their good-byes and Swing took Fabienne back to the playground.

Fabienne ran back to her house where she told her mother, "I had tea on the Moon!"

Puzzled, Fabienne's mother looked at her, smiled and said, "Well, that's nice.  Go wash up, it's time for dinner."

As Fabienne walked out of the kitchen her mother noticed something on the floor.

"Fabienne," mother asked, "what's that on your shoes."

"Oh, just moon dust," Fabienne answered and ran off to get ready for dinner before her mother could ask another question.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Fabienne and the Autumn Leaves

Fabienne had a problem.

It was autumn and the leaves had fallen from all the trees into her yard.

Fabienne's yard was full of leaves.

Fabienne called her friend, Mr. Fox.  "Hello, Mr. Fox, could you help me rake all these leaves?"

Mr. Fox said, "No, Fabienne, I have all my leaves to rake."

Fabienne called her friend, Mr. Mole.   "Hello, Mr. Mole, could you help me rake these leaves?"

Mr. Mole said, "No, Fabienne, I have tunnels to dig.   I can't take the time to rake leaves."

Fabienne went back to her house and thought and thought and finally thought that she would have to rake all the leaves herself.

Fabienne got her rake and went to her yard to do her work.

But, to her great surprise, all the leaves were raked into neat piles.  Her friends the crows had heard of her request and decided to help Fabienne.  All of the leaves were in nice, big piles.

"Go ahead," the crows told Fabienne, "jump into the leaves!"

And that's exactly what Fabienne did!

Monday, November 02, 2015

Fabienne and Halloween

Fabienne was having tea with Mr. Turtle.

"Fabienne," Mr. Turtle said, "what is this Halloween thing."

"Well," said Fabienne in a very knowledgeable voice, "Halloween is the one night in the year when children dress up and go around to their neighbors asking for candy.  It's a very good idea!"

"Hmmm, said Mr. Turtle, "why would people give candy to children?"

Fabienne thought about this for a long time and finally said, "It's about respect. It's about appreciation for our children.  It's about love."

Mr. Turtle said, "I think candy is a good idea."

Fabienne grabbed Mr. Turtle's hand and said, "So do I!"

Then Fabienne and Mr. Turtle had tea and cakes, and a wonderful time together.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Fabienne and the Surprise Tea Party

Fabienne was having a good day.  She decided to have a surprise tea party for Mr. Fox and would invite all her friends to join in.

Fabienne called Mr. Mushroom.  "Would you like to come to my tea party?  It will be a lot of fun."

But, Mr. Mushroom replied, "Sorry, Fabienne, but that is the day I have an appointment with the grocery store.  I can't possibly attend your tea party."

Fabienne called Mr. Pig.  "Would you like to come to my tea party?  It will be a lot of fun."

But, Mr. Pig replied, "Sorry, Fabienne, but that is a day I have an appointment with the shoe man.  I can't possibly attend your tea party."

Fabienne called, Mrs. Cow.  "Would you like to come to my tea party?  It will be a lot of fun."

But, Mrs. Cow replied, "Sorry, Fabienne, but that is the day I have an appointment with my hair stylist.  I can't possibly attend your tea party."

Finally, Fabienne called her friend Kink the Cat and told him, "I am so sad.  I want to have a tea party for my friends but they are all busy."

Kink the Cat said, "Why don't you come have tea with me.  That would be delightful.  Let's say 3 O'clock?"

Fabienne was agreeable to having tea with Kink the Cat and she dressed herself in her best pink princess gown.

When she arrived at Kink the Cat's house she was surprised to see all her friends!  There was Mr. Mushroom, Mr. Pig and Mrs. Cow.

"Surprise!" they all shouted together.

Kink the Cat explained.  "Fabienne, you are always having tea parties for us, so we thought we would have a tea party for you !"

And they did.  Fabienne and her friends had a wonderful tea party and it was the best day ever.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Muse

I think every writer has a Muse.

I had one.

Past tense.

When my Muse was with me she would whisper the most delightful stories for me to tell, encourage me, egg me on to be honorable or dishonorable, truthful or an outright liar.  Whatever, she inspired me.

Then, she abandoned me.  Twice.  Once in 2012, I think it was in November and again two years later.  I can pinpoint the exact dates but it doesn't matter.  What matters is that she left me and I found my inspiration had dried up, my excitement in writing had expired and I was facing a massive wall of writer's block.  Nothing interested me.  Nothing inspired me.  I was dead, expired, finished and done for.

Maybe not done for.


I think my Muse didn't leave me as in leave me, rather she's hiding.  Waiting for me to discover her again.

I am reinvigorated.  Well, a little.  We'll see.

One thing is for sure.  If I find her I'll never let her go.  Famous last words, right?

Saturday, February 21, 2015


There is something to be said for pork ribs smoked to  perfection.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Year Gone By

A year ago, I remember the day well, sad, unpromising and tinged with melancholy, I took stock of the past few years.   Reminded of the lyrics in the Toto song, "time passes quickly and chances are few," I concluded that changes were needed.  I had too many rooms each with their own elephant, the subject one tries mightily to ignore.  Either I had to get rid of the elephants or find some new rooms, so decided to explore.


I spent the next month or so evaluating the rooms and the elephants.  Who would I cross an ocean for who wouldn't step across a puddle for me?  Who did I expend tons of life force for who didn't expend an ounce for me?  Who did I care for who did not care for me?

Well, the balance sheet was clear.  I couldn't hide it any more.  I was heavy on one side and very, very light on the other.

What to do?

Continue to subsidize the situation or clear the land and move on?

I chose to move on.  I packed up my stuff, out out a For Sale sign and took that step down the road.

Of course, there was always the chance the former tenant would cry foul, What? Could this be?  But that never happened.

I moved on in silence.

Still in silence.