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June 2007
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August 2007

Entries from July 2007


How to spread out, or "étaler" a bulldozed building...with grace and artistry in today's story. étaler (ay-tal-ay) verb to spread, to spread out, to display, to lay out to put on, smooth on to spread out (payments) to parade, to flaunt, to show off Ne ronge pas ton frein, ce que tu as sur le coeur, dis-le.... Read more →


If you are ever in Sainte Cécile, please drop by Feuilles des Vignes and pick up a book. Rock on, en français, with Mademoiselle K. Her album, "Ça Me Vexe," is available here. The next word will go out on Monday (due to the pouring of cement floors around here...). allonger (alon-zhay) verb 1. to lengthen, make... Read more →


There are artistic oeuvres around every French corner at this former flower farm. "Chasing Matisse: A Year in France Living My Dream," by James Morgan. "A lovely memoir, travelogue and art history...Morgan's passion...might even inspire some readers to follow dreams of their own." --Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. More about the book, here. oeuvre (uh-vruh) noun, feminine 1. work 2.... Read more →


Random photo of my friend Tess's chickens. They love to sunbathe & shoot the feather-light breeze in French or English (they are bilingual, after all). Many thanks to Anne Clausse, and to the editors at France Today, for this interview: la gueule-de-loup (gul-duh-loo) noun, feminine 1. wolf's mouth 2. snapdragon ...les gueules-de-loup roses baîllaient dans les... Read more →


Funny faced faucets, or robinets, in Brignoles, France. After 30 years in the computer software industry, Michelle and Paul Caffrey relinquished their careers determined to reinvent themselves. The fifty-something couple sacrificed everything they owned to buy a converted 1906 Dutch barge. Click here for more about their French adventure. le robinet (ro-bee-nay) noun, masculine tap, faucet La... Read more →


The brook beside our "casbah" (our house, left, behind the rubble; to the right: our neighbor's house) Read about Susan Travers, the only woman ever to serve officially in the French Foreign Legion. déboucher (day-boo-shay) verb 1. to unblock 2. to uncork, to open 3. to lead to Le manque d'amour du prochain ne peut déboucher que... Read more →


Carignan and grenache grapes...and a view that tickles the eyes. Check out SmartFrench --"the smart way to learn French". More info here. picoter (peeko-tay) verb to tingle, to tickle, to smart, sting I'm plum out of "picoter" quotes today. Would you accept a "tickle" instead? Read on... Il ne faut pas lâcher le poisson que l'on a... Read more →


My aunt-in-law, Marie-Françoise, weaves a "lavender bottle" at the picnic table. tresser (tres-ay) verb 1. to plait, to braid; to twist 2. to weave, wreathe (basket, garland) synonyms: natter (to plait, braid), entrelacer (to interlace, intertwine) Tressons, tressons ces fleurs, hâtons-nous, jeune amie, Les songes et les fleurs demain ne seront plus! Let us weave, let us... Read more →


The Beverly Hillbillies meet the Hexagone... Photo taken in front of our "baraque": a bidet, a bécane, a lot of beton and, beyond, a breathtaking view. Rosetta Stone French - the award-winning method used by NASA and the Peace Corps bécane (bay-kan) noun, feminine bicycle, bike "Bécane" is also slang for "motorcycle" and "machine". You can use... Read more →


The rubble rousers were at it again. Another photo of our home, under re-construction, and our dog, Braise (just back from a dip in the creek). casser (kah-say) verb to break, crack, snap Il faut casser le noyau pour avoir l'amande. To have the kernel, you must crack the shell. --Plautus . The theme of our first... Read more →