3/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder Part I

Moving on to IFF…
Billy is leading a meeting.
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Billy: We’re talking about a nuclear attack on D.C.
S.I.O.P: the Single Integrated Operation Plan—is designed to prevent this…
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[these acronyms are hilarious!]
(The shot widens to reveal everyone at the table.)
[Amanda is there!!!!!!! Smile ]
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…The war game conducted by Dart’s team will simulate an attack and test our strategic communications.
(A lady places a folder in front of Lee, then Amanda.)
[what’s ‘Dart’? ]
Amanda: Thank you.
Billy: More importantly, it will prove to the world that we can survive and strike back. It’s called… Stemwinder.
[LOL this all sounds so impressive! Much more impressive than ‘War Games’!]
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Dr Quidd: Psychologically speaking, it should pay some big dividends at the next disarmament conference. Stem I.avi_000397764_thumb
[This guy played a psychologist in a Colombo episode in 1989 too! I only saw it the other day-weird!]
Francine: So where does the Agency fit into this? I mean, war games are not exactly our forte.
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[I do believe Francine’s shoulder pads have groooooown! maybe they expanded on hearing about war games?]
Dart: The Russians will be doing everything they can to monitor the test. Now, your job is to give them a window—a small window—to peek through.
[A small window? My goodness, two seconds ago we were hearing that a smile is a window from a vodka guzzling troll! Winking smile]
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[LOL I thought ‘Dart’ was another acronym-rofl! Winking smile It’s this guy’s name?! Actually I think Dart could be a great code name, maybe it’s his code name. You guys remember seeing this actor in smk before?? ]
Lee: Why not give them open access to the test results? Stem I.avi_000411945_thumb
[Is it just me or is this more an Amanda question than a Lee question?!]
Quidd: The brain game, Scarecrow. If we hand them the results on a silver platter, they’ll, uh, discount them.
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…Figure it’s some kind of setup…
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…But if we make them work for it, then they think they’ve scored. 
[AKA- the plot of Three Faces of Emily with the Falcon Ving!

Emily: “
the only way to keep Falcon wing away from them was to give them Falcon wing……..(i.e. Let them rob us at gunpoint for it)

…What they have is an incredibly clever set of plans to an airplane that doesn’t function. Even a computer analysis couldn’t show the flaws.”
I guess this time the plan isn’t to make them work for it by robbing and stealing convincing but bogus results, but instead to limit the information revealed convincingly.. but it’s still in my book Emily 2.0!
]
Lee: Hmm Hmm. Well, what’s the window?
[Lee’s smile! Winking smile ]
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Billy: Radio frequencies. You’ve each been assigned someone we might leak them to…Stem I.avi_000428361_thumb
…Francine—I’ve given you Rostov.
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(We see a close up of Rostov’s dossier.)
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[Haaaaaaaaa… seems we have another doppelganger! Where have we see this face before guys?! Bet you can all remember this guy!… and his steaks! Plus the photo is too big for the dossier!]
KC has transcribed it for us..
(DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: OFFICE OF THE  PENTAGON.
SASCHA ROSTOV
6668 PENN STREET
APT. 136
WASHINGTON, D.C. 10062
TELEPHONE: (202) 555-6681
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
HEIGHT: 5’ 10”
WEIGHT: 170
HAIR: GREY
EYES: GREY
HEALTH: GOOD BUT OLD
DISTINGUISHING MARKS: NERVOUS
BORN: February 13, 1934
MOSCOW HOSPITAL
MOSCOW, USSR
PARENTS: REBELS WHO WERE TAKEN AWAY TO SIBERIA UNTIL THE DAY THEY DIED. HE HATED THEM IN EVERY WAY.
EDUCATION: SOVIET UNION ELEMENTARY MILITARY SCHOOL.…)
[This dossier is hilarious! His health is ‘Good but old’?! rofl!!!
And.. he hated his parents in every way?! whahahahahaa!!!]
Billy : He’ll be coordinating the Soviet shoppers.
Neiman—Ivan the Terrible.
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[Neiman seems to be the agent seated next to Francine but we don’t get a good look at him. There is a Russian with the code name ‘Ivan the Terrible’?! Haaaa. Actually, now I think about it, the Russians probably get together and say to each other: There is an American agent with the code name ‘Scarecrow’?! I love it!!!! 😉 ]Stem I.avi_000438071_thumb
…Scarecrow, you’ve got Sonja Chenko… new kid on the block.
[Hmmmm!!!! new Honey Pot on the block!]
(we see a brief close up on her dossier.)

[Yep.. it’s her!]Stem I.avi_000438271_thumb

KC has transcribed her dossier for us:
(DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: OFFICE OF THE PENTAGON.
SONJA CHENKO
384 SOUTH RIVER DRIVE
APT. 304
WASHINGTON, D.C. 10085
TELEPHONE: (202) 555-6681
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
HEIGHT: 5’ 7”
WEIGHT: 112
HAIR: BROWN
EYES: BLUE
HEALTH: EXCELLENT
NO DISTINGUISHING MARKS
BORN: May 21, 1963
MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
MOSCOW, U.S.S.R.
PARENTS: UNKNOWN 
…)
[Oh drat. we can’t see the part where we hear if she hates her parents or not! I note she has the same phone number as Rostov!]
Billy: We’ll do a peacock dance with her…
[Peacock Dance.. Peacock Dance.. Peacock Dance? Whatever it is- this can’t be good!]
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Billy looks at Amanda.Stem I.avi_000442175_thumb
…Mrs. King has had enough training to help.
[LOL Billy looks sooo pleased (proud?) to have Amanda help. This must be one awesome assignment!]
Amanda: Thank you, Sir.Stem I.avi_000443777_thumb
[Amanda looks veeeeery pleased!]
(Amanda glances at Lee..)
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[Who errr seems uneasy about this assignment?!]
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(He glances up at Amanda..
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But quickly covers his unease with a big smile and moves his hand [his big giveaway!] sort of! Do you think Amanda would have noticed? We don’t see.. but I’m guessing she would!)
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Billy: All right. That’s it…
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…Now, once we get a viable target, Dart will provide the frequencies.
[So, Lee is doing a peacock dance with Sonja. What’s Francine doing with Rostov? What’s Neiman doing with Ivan the Terrible?!]
(Everyone starts packing up to leave)
Lee: Uh, Billy, could I talk to you for a minute? Amanda, give me about five minutes, okay?
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Amanda
: Sure.  I’ll meet you upstairs.
As people file out.. we can see Neiman hold the door open for Francine. Have we seen him before? Stem I.avi_000462495_thumb
Lee: All right. You’d better give this to somebody else.Stem I.avi_000465298_thumb
[I’m not sure if I ever saw this episode ignorant of what was being asked of Lee here – I think I’d been spoiled by fandom as I was thinking the dvds would never be released and so what the heck. I can only guess what it would have been like to watch this for the first time.
Anyone remember what they were thinking here?
Peacock dance does seem to suggest some kind of mating display of Lee’s plumes Winking smile  and Lee’s discomfort also suggests this is a tad awkward and ick, especially with Amanda ‘helping’!]

Billy: What’s the problem, Scarecrow? You know the peacock dance better than anyone. Stem I.avi_000467600_thumb
[Ewwww.. I’m not sure that’s a badge to wear with pride! But I can totally see that old Lee would have enjoyed the odd peacock dance as a work perk!]Stem I.avi_000468802_thumb
Lee: I’m not right for it….Stem I.avi_000469202_thumb
[Billy nods and quietly seems to find this reaction interesting! I bet he is filing it away and what it could mean!]
…Look—you said Sonja Chenko is new on the block? So give it to a younger guy.Stem I.avi_000474107_thumb
Dr Quidd: No problem. Use the age differences….
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…The more mature man… getting a little antsy…
[LOL this seems to bring a smile to Billy’s face.. like yes! this can work!]Stem I.avi_000479913_thumb
…looking for a change. The Lisbon variation.
[This peacock dance is sounding as ominous as Lee’s reaction and the title hinted at!]
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Lee: The Lisbon variation?…
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…No way!
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Billy seems to be enjoying this!
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Lee: …MMM MMM!!!

The scene ends here.

Uh oh. Seems Lee is stuck with the peacock dance, with a Lisbon variation. Oh noooooo the Lisbon Variation??!!!!!! Noooooooooo!!!! Even without knowing yet what this really means – it’s clear already this ain’t good!! Can’t wait to see what Amanda makes of it!! Oh and when she finds out what she is going to be ‘helping’ with!! 

I remember writing about this ep for the first time and hearing all this peacock dance/lisbon variation lingo and finding it hilarious – because the term ‘cradle snatching’ has been around for ages and is perfectly adequate Winking smile 

Oh and what do you make of Sonja having already made contact with Lee? She made first contact… quite deliberately – I noticed she didn’t finish her drink, and she left as soon as Amanda arrived – Lee was the reason she went there! It all makes me wonder if the Russians have a plan for Lee, and thus Lee should be the last person assigned to Sonja! Wouldn’t Lee be wondering this too? It would have been a way to get out of this assignment! Then again, maybe Billy knows Sonja made contact and aiming to use it to their advantage. Hmm.. Lee did say he’d file a report about it. Thoughts everyone? I’m just tossing around ideas! Do toss yours into the ring too! 🙂 

Before I finish up here and curse the Lisbon variation.. did you guess where we saw Dart before? Here he is! 3.07 UTOPIA NOW.avi_001757157_thumb
in Utopia Now.
His character in that ep was General Mailor.

Aaaaand one more! So did you remember where you’ve seen Rostov before? He’s been deeeeep undercover in the USA for years.. as Frankie Columbus – a butcher and godfather in the mob!!

that’s dedication! Winking smile

Looking forward to hearing from you!!!!!

36 responses to “3/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder Part I

  1. Frankie Columbus was one of my favorite baddies.

    I love to see how far Lee has come and changed in that he is not relishing or looking forward to this Peacock Dance with the Lisbon variation. It reminds me of his hesitancy and regret in letting Amanda know that he had more than one black book in Wizard.

    Even if he would have gotten out of it he would still have to tell Amanda what it actually was. Not sure about Billy here. There are times when I think that he knows exactly what is going on with Lee and Amanda and likes it. And then there are times like this where I wonder if he would push Lee to do something that pushes the limits. But we have seen in the past how Billy can be focused on getting the case solved and doing what is necessary to have that happen.

    Like

  2. This just killed me: Health- good but old….I laughed out loud and then realized according to.his dossier he was born in 1934 and the episode was in 1986 he would have been 52!!!!! Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t consider 52 old, especially since I’ve passed that some time ago…Oh to be 52!

    Like

    • Exactly my thinking, too, GruvyGranny.
      I’m 50 now and I don’t consider myself Old yet, either.

      Like

    • Rofl!!!! that is hilarious!!! so glad you did the math Gruvy Granny! I don’t look at that stuff too much because I tend to fall down the rabbit hole – so I’m glad someone else did the work 😉

      rofl. Rostov does not look 52! Maybe he was in the Gulag for 30 years? 😉

      This born in 1934 suggests to me that they initially had a younger actor in mind for the role…. and then never changed it…

      Like

  3. All these dopplegangers are tough on the old brain

    Liked by 1 person

  4. [Haaaaaaaaa… seems we have another doppelganger! Where have we see this face before guys?! Bet you can all remember this guy!… and his steaks! Plus the photo is too big for the dossier!]

    Haaaahaaaa! 😃
    We do not only have a doppelganger by face here (Frankie Columbus Sascha Rostov). We also got a doppelganger by name.
    Remember the guy Lee nabed at the beginning of S1 Episode ‘Saved by the Bells’ – the guy he later traded for Amanda? His name was… tadaaa… Rostov. Sadly we never got to know his given name, but he was a big number and the Agency was after him for a long time and he was Russian, too. 💂🕵

    Liked by 3 people

    • You guys never cease to amaze me! It always so obvious when someone points it out, but most of the time that stuff goes right over my head.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Are you sure L&A? I think Rostov has just aged really really badly because he hated his parents in every way! 😉

      [Thanks for bringing up the doppelganger name – great catch!! 🙂 ]

      Liked by 1 person

      • …Rostov has just aged really really badly because he hated his parents in every way!

        🤣 Ohhh, Iwsod, I love this idea! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Rostov in Saved by the Bells was played by the actor Kai Wulff, who later played Steckler (aka Scorpion) in S3’s Playing for Keeps.

        Let’s think about this … So he hated his parents in every which way and they were rebels, who were taken away … Hmm … I guess he changed his identity and really put the STING on them, didn’t he? Hahaha!

        Like

        • Yes Nancy, at a guess I’d say Rostov’s parents were tennis players!! 😉

          Hope you are all well!! I’ll probably get back here over the weekend – loving hearing from you guys!

          Like

  5. Single Integrated Operation Plan….hmmm. Does Single modify Integrated or Plan? Did there used to be more than one plan and so they integrated them? If so, why do they need single any more? Just call it the integrated operation plan. If it modifies integrated, isn’t that kind of like an oxymoron?

    I used to work in corporate America for a consumer good company, so acronyms are very common and necessary. It sure beats typing out each word in a four letter acronym in email!

    I do believe Francine’s shoulder pads have groooooown!

    She is looking like she has on football pads under here! 😀

    DISTINGUISHING MARKS: NERVOUS

    This is funny too! How is nervous a distinguishing mark? Distinguishing behavior maybe. Isn’t a distinguishing mark (see, wish just called it a DM there…much easier on the fingers) like a facial scar or scorpion tattoo on the forearm???

    This exchange of words and looks by Billy towards Lee makes me think that he knows exactly why Lee does not want to the Peacock Dance with the Lisbon variation with Sonja Chenko. I’ll hold off until the next post to go any further as I can’t say more without getting ahead of the blog.

    I don’t know why Lee didn’t say anything to Billy at the end here about meeting Sonja Chenko in a bar. Did he not want to have to explain why he was at a bar? Or that Sonja left as soon as Amanda came in? Hahaha, maybe that’s exactly why Lee didn’t bring it up 

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I don’t know why Lee didn’t say anything to Billy at the end here about meeting Sonja Chenko in a bar. Did he not want to have to explain why he was at a bar? Or that Sonja left as soon as Amanda came in? Hahaha, maybe that’s exactly why Lee didn’t bring it up.”

      I took Lee at his word; meaning, he filed The Agency casual contact report the morning after meeting Sonja at Emelio’s. It was that action, which determined her identity, adding her to the list of KGB operatives Billy had already compiled. We know for certain Billy would be privy to that report, showing there was a new KGB operative in D.C. The report would also show whether she was previously posted elsewhere in the USA or she is a newbie. Since Sonja had already made contact with Lee, it makes perfect sense (to my way of thinking) that Billy assigned Lee to Sonja.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hiya BJo! Great to see you stop by!

      Sorry to be super brief here..

      This is funny too! How is nervous a distinguishing mark? Distinguishing behavior maybe. Isn’t a distinguishing mark (see, wish just called it a DM there…much easier on the fingers) like a facial scar or scorpion tattoo on the forearm???

      I am guessing that it was suppose to say Disinguishing Marks: Nervous Tic – but, the photo ended up covering up the Tic part, and they ended up taking that trait out of Rostov’s character. A tricky thing to have a Tic and be a spy! 😉

      I’ll try and get back this weekend to comment more… I’ve become like you BJo – I binge!! 😉

      Like

    • rofl BJo – I see what you mean about the ‘single’ – maybe this is in the sense of being a coherent single whole!

      This exchange of words and looks by Billy towards Lee makes me think that he knows exactly why Lee does not want to the Peacock Dance with the Lisbon variation with Sonja Chenko. I’ll hold off until the next post to go any further as I can’t say more without getting ahead of the blog.

      Whoooo you know, I’m not really confident that Billy does know. the whole knowing looks in the hallway at the end of ATWAS were so ambiguous I don’t know what to think!
      And.. would Billy look so gleeful if he knew what he was asking of them?
      i hope we find out more in this ep about what Billy thinks/ knows!

      I don’t know why Lee didn’t say anything to Billy at the end here about meeting Sonja Chenko in a bar. Did he not want to have to explain why he was at a bar? Or that Sonja left as soon as Amanda came in? Hahaha, maybe that’s exactly why Lee didn’t bring it up 

      yeah it’s curious.. I concluded that they knew about this because of Lee’s report, and so used it. But – it’s strange that there is no mention of it when Billy is convincing Lee it’s a good plan. One line about – you’ve already made contact with her- it’s perfect! would have sufficed.

      Curious!

      Like

      • …would Billy look so gleeful if he knew what he was asking of them?

        That’s it! THAT’S what has been bugging me and I couldn’t put my finger on it! I think you’re onto something there – there is no way Billy would be smiling like that if he thought they were involved. He’s enjoying teasing Lee a bit I think because he still thinks he’s dealing with the old Scarecrow. There have been other times where he’s enjoyed using Amanda to bug Lee (most of Season 1 really) but if he knew what this would really be like for Amanda, that smile would vanish pronto.

        Liked by 2 people

        • there is no way Billy would be smiling like that if he thought they were involved.

          Yeah!! that’s what I’m thinking! 🙂

          There have been other times where he’s enjoyed using Amanda to bug Lee (most of Season 1 really) but if he knew what this would really be like for Amanda, that smile would vanish pronto.

          So well put! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  6. “HEALTH: GOOD BUT OLD”-oh my, that made me just howl🤣! Seriously, what was that writer thinking, “nobody will ever be able to read this on their 26 inch screen so I can write anything I want!”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Jule! I totally agree – howling is the appropriate response to the good but old comment for Rostov’s health!

      Hahaha! True! I bet the writers of the dossiers did not think their work would be scrutinized in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

      • What I also find weird is that Lee is regarded as a “more mature” man by Billy. He’s only in his mid-30s!! Are the rest of us “old”???

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yep, you said it.

          Like

        • Not saying anything self-incriminating…… Hmmmm, that ol’rabbit hole still around? Need chocolate now!

          Liked by 2 people

          • “… Need chocolate now!”

            Shh … No need to bother “once on the lips forever on the hips” Amanda. Let’s dig into Francine’s stash … she’s sure to have the good stuff!

            Liked by 2 people

        • I always understood it as a comparison between their ages. Sonja is ‘only’ 23. Lee is 36 (BB’s age in 1986) or he’ll be 34 in about a month (Russian dossier from this episode 1/17). That’s 11 or 13 years difference in age.
          That’ll make Lee the ‘more mature’ Partner in this (faked) ‘relationship’.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh oops! I just had to read down a little further – L&A had done the math. Thanks L&A!

            36 yrs fits for Lee doesn’t it.. because he said in TEHI he was 5 when his parents died and they died in 1955. So he was born in 1950. Phew!

            Sonja was born in 1963 – so 13 yrs difference = cradle snatching!

            Like

        • As someone who is older than Rostov… sigh… Lee seems like a babe in arms. (Okay, maybe just a babe, but I digress)… Anyway, don’t forget Lee is coming off that run in with the rookie agent who made the crack about his dad shoes and she had to have been about the same age as Sonja so he might be feeling his age. 😀

          Liked by 2 people

        • How old is Lee? I”m thinking he’s heading toward late thirties but I”m terrible at this chronology stuff.

          I didn’t mind it as I think Sonja is very young..

          Like

      • Hahaha! True! I bet the writers of the dossiers did not think their work would be scrutinized in the future!

        ROFL BJo! Can you imagine if they stopped by here and read our conversations?
        I think there would be simultaneous horror.. and.. pride 🙂

        Like

  7. I wish I could find the acronyms hilarious, but as someone who used to work in the defence industry, they seem positively commonplace and natural. In fact, I also assumed DART was an acronym because our army has one: the Disaster Assistance Response Team, which is a rapid response group that does what it says on the box.

    I would have loved to have seen if that smile Amanda got at being told she is experienced enough to help dimmed at all when she sees Lee’s reaction. Would she automatically think that he thinks she’s incapable or would she understand by now that his discomfort with it comes from another source? Especially after he instantly shoos her out of the room?

    Boy, for a secret agent, that I’m-going-hold-up-my-hand-so-you-can’t-see-me trick is an awfully big tell…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Would she automatically think that he thinks she’s incapable or would she understand by now that his discomfort with it comes from another source?

      I would think at this point in her professional career and given her personal relationship with Lee that Amanda would think that Lee’s discomfort is from another source, as you put it. If Lee were concerned about Amanda’s capabilities, I would think it would be out of concern for her safety, and his reaction that we see is inconsistent with a concern for her safety, in my opinion. The operation is to give a small window for their Russian target to get a peek at some radio frequencies. It doesn’t seem all that inherently dangerous. I’m guessing Amanda may have an inkling about this Peacock Dance even if she didn’t get a glance at the dossier photo because Sonja is a woman. Why else give the only female target to Lee?

      Liked by 2 people

  8. “… seems we have another doppelganger! Where have we see this face before guys?! Bet you can all remember this guy!… and his steaks!”

    The mobster guy when Francine’s cover, alongside Amanda, was house maid & party server in Life of the Party. His name was very Italian mafia … Frankie Columbus. It’s the name of the main street in Little Italy (San Francisco, California).

    Liked by 1 person

    • OOPS! Pounced on this answer before reading to the end. Sorry!

      That Agent Neiman, who holds the door for Francine, does bear a resemblance to the man seated beside the General in the Utopia Now screen shot you posted.

      That Sonja has a separate apartment; yet her phone number is Rostov’s, leads me to believe he’s her boss and in control of her communication. From that, we might infer it was he who sent her to visit Emelio’s.

      Like

      • That Agent Neiman, who holds the door for Francine, does bear a resemblance to the man seated beside the General in the Utopia Now screen shot you posted.

        I had the same thought! what a coincidence! but.. I’m not sure it’s the same person.. could be! I don’t know!

        That Sonja has a separate apartment; yet her phone number is Rostov’s, leads me to believe he’s her boss and in control of her communication. From that, we might infer it was he who sent her to visit Emelio’s.

        I have no idea what’s her game right now! 🙂

        Like

    • Hey Nancy! I figured that’s what you did 🙂
      I liked it! You should totally guess before gettin to the bottom of the post!
      When I comment on other’s blog posts I read and type – I don’t wait till the end to type! I thought this was a great idea! 🙂

      Oh and kudos for spotting Frankie 🙂

      Like

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