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Entries from April 2007


Shelter for a cart on its last leg. un abri (ah-bree) noun, masculine shelter, cover; screen Je répète...celui qui aime et qui est aimé est à l'abri des coups du sort! I repeat...he who loves and who is loved is sheltered from fateful blows! --Alfred de Musset . At the end of a swaying line of yellow... Read more →


A little lifetime ago: my daughter when she was two. Taken in Morhiban, Brittany. sur-le-champ (sur-luh-shom) adverbial phrase immediately, right away, without delay, directly Si le soleil et la lune se mettaient à douter, ils s'éteindraient sur-le-champ. If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they'd immediately go out. --William Blake . On the last leg of... Read more →


On Sunday the French voted in mairies/town halls across the Héxagone. un isoloir (eezo-lwahr) noun, masculine curtained voting, polling booth A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse (April 24, 2007) I am in Sainte Cécile for the week visiting my husband who has been holding down the French fort—a fragmented one at that, what with... Read more →


At the end of today's story, I landed here in Paris. In addition to my writing voice, I am working on my reading voice which, I realize, is a bit formal (read: stiff as a day-old baguette). I hope to slow the voice down, relax a bit. Even so, I'm afraid I'll never talk like Nancy Sinatra... Read more →


Without a modicum of foi, life can be a three-ring circus. Foi (fwa) noun, feminine faith My daughter says that books are like cigarettes, une mauvaise habitude, and would I please put the reading aside for one night? "Of course, Sweetheart," I promise, returning the book to its shelf. Is that a tremble in my arm? Sweat... Read more →


A recipe for scaring crows, French and otherwise. la recette (reuh-set) noun, feminine 1. recipe, formula 2. receipts, returns Ils avaient des goûts communs et des métiers différents: recette même de l'amitié. They had common tastes and different professions: ...the very recipe for friendship. --André Maurois . For you today: thoughts from the writing trenches... *... Read more →

Soignez-vous up high on a hilltop. Photo of my daughter, Jackie, wishing she could fly. Taken at the top of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Fleur de Sel (French Sea Salt): Gathered from the salt beds of Camargue by a Master Salter (Maitre Salier), this subtly flavored salt will add burst of flavor to your food. Fleur de Sel is truly... Read more →


For the purposes of this edition, and so as to remain neatly "in theme," we'll call the little guy in the lower left "Frank." franc, franche (frawn, frawnsh) adjective frank, true, free, exempt ...and the verb "franchir" : to cross, step over (out), overcome Sans franchir sa porte, on peut connaître le monde. Without stepping out his... Read more →


Photo of a French door and its hesitant greeting. saluer (sah-loo-ay) verb to greet, to wave to, to nod to; to salute Nobles et mystérieux triomphes qu'aucun regard ne voit, qu'aucune renommée ne paye, qu'aucune fanfare ne salue. Noble and mysterious triumphs which no eye beholds, which are requited with no renown, which are saluted with no... Read more →


Talk about an original gift...Jean-Marc got stairs for his birthday (not these pretty ones but some other pretty ones) and can now access his future office without having to climb a ladder! Photo taken at La Bastide de Magnans in Vidauban. anniversaire (a-nee-vair-sair) noun, masculine anniversary, birthday Un diplomate est un homme qui se rappelle l'anniversaire d'une... Read more →