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Entries from April 2009

Jean-Marc's frangine. la frangine frahn-zheen noun, feminine sister (in informal French) . CHAPTER FROM BLOSSOMING IN PROVENCE When Jean-Marc's sister comes to stay with us, the kids want to touch their aunt's pink hair, ride in her orange car, and give up their beds for her comfort. Do you still live in a school bus and can... Read more →


This week we reunite with three characters from the archives, French personnages who have touched me in one way or another. I hope they will touch you, too. Note: a sound file for today's word, and more, can be found at the end of this letter. * * * Pantoufle (pahn-too-fle) noun, feminine : slipper The man... Read more →


Please excuse this extra email in your inbox this morning... I hope this photo of a ravishing "roseburst" (taken yesterday, just outside the orthodontist's office in the French town of Orange...) will make up for that! le rosier (leuh rhoh-zee-ay) noun, masculine : rose bush, rose tree * * * Missing a little French in your weekend?... Read more →


Where Angels Fear to Tread. The red sign says "off limits to the public". That didn't stop Mom from wandering into the junk shop's entrails. I shouted for her to come out and, when she did, she looked up at those angels, shook her head. bousculer (boo-skoo-lay) verb : to jostle, push, shove; to bump into or... Read more →


"Zig" and "Zag" a couple of gypsy chicks (...or "pintades") that live up the street. I mentioned them in Saturday's Cinéma Vérité, and showed a few other "characters" from my neighborhood including one Don Juan of a swan. bougeotte (boo-zhowt) noun, feminine wanderlust; itchy feet avoir la bougeotte = to have ants in one's pants, to be... Read more →


That's my mom, center stage, ever curious about what lies just around the corner. She's a gypsy at heart. Read on, in today's story column. gens du voyage (zhan-doo-voy-ahzh) noun, masculine, plural : people of the voyage, gypsies French synonyms: Romas, Gitans, Tsiganes, Manouches, Romanichels, Bohémiens, Sintis Shopping: 1. Practice Makes Perfect: Advanced French Grammar 2. Learn... Read more →


Today we are talking about growth... and goals.: by the way, ever feel too chained down to bloom? (photo of a budding vine here at our farm). velléité (vay-lay-ee-tay) noun, feminine : vague desire, impulse, whim . French definition from L'internaute.com Intention de faire quelque chose qui n'est finalement pas mise en pratique. The intention to do... Read more →


Is this field of poppies "Half full or half empty"? Such philosophy can make or break one's day! (Watercolor by Dr. Warren Plauche.) moitié moitié (mwa-tee-ay mwa-tee-ay) expression : halved, shared, fifty-fifty ; so-so faire moitié moitié = to go halvsies à moitié moitié = by halves Read about the lastest art showing, below, and find out... Read more →


Hello from Sainte Cécile, where the vine rows are newly-plowed and the ravens and magpies are out, pecking the fresh earth, much to the alarm of the earthworm.... In other news, read about the "red grass", above, in today's story column... * * * Special thanks to South African writer Marita van der Vyver, for her generous... Read more →


Ever feel like this? Unhinged, patched together, or just plain in pieces? Let me tell you... we got to sleep late last night after our latest mise-en-bouteilles. Read about last night's bottling, in the story column, below. Photo © Jules Greer (thanks Mom!) Cinéma Vérité Cinéma Vérité will go cinematic this weekend! Don't miss our first court-métrage*... Read more →