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Entries from April 2011

Chief Grape in his tractor. (Photo taken earlier this month.) The vines are now leafy green and those bushes, in the foreground, are covered with sweet-scented, golden, Scottish-broomy buds. Un update on Jean-Marc's test results in today's story: "Light at the end of the Tonnerre"... Correction: The pronunciation for chocotte, or "to have the jitters" (and nothing... Read more →


Smokey takes a thoughtful pause (from blowing bubbles in the brook...) to contemplate nature and the history of the fleur de lys *** read more at the end of this edition. Update on Jean-Marc: We are still waiting for the kidney biopsy results. Meantime, read about how we are passing the time, in the following story... We... Read more →


Scottish broom in the French countryside... Thank you for your thoughtful notes and emails, but we do not have any test results from Jean-Marc's kidney biopsy to share with you. And today, le lundi de Pâques, means we'll have to wait another day or two! faire passer le temps (fer passay leuh tahmp) : to while away... Read more →


Think too much? Enjoy this calm and tranquil scene outside the hairdresser's in Jonquières (Vaucluse) Yabla French Video Immersion. The fun way to learn French se livrer (seuh lee vray) 1. to give oneself up 2. to open up to, to confide 3. to devote oneself to Audio File: listen to the following expressions (Download MP3 or... Read more →


Smokey says: When in doubt about which photo to use -- always choose moi! Photo taken one year ago. P.S. the dogs returned home safely from their getaway the other day! Thank you very much for your caring notes to Jean-Marc! "Chief Grape" is still waiting for his kidney biopsy results, though he feels confident that whatever... Read more →


The life of a grape farmer, where torn trousers, sopping-wet work shirts, and "too much on the mind" are part of making good wine! Who has time for health? Read on.... le rein (rehn) : kidney néphrologue (m/f) = kidney specialist les reins = the small of the back avoir mal aux reins = to have a... Read more →


As a newbie gardener, I'm wondering about mulch and whether I really need it. The faux flowers in the window above assure me: Nah, not if you want to plant the likes of us! Ah, ok. Thank you very much (and no offense to your charming appearance) but I want real plants. So mulch it is! Read... Read more →


Something scary arrived in the mail... read on. le recensement militaire : registration (military), census, counting (votes) Audio File: listen to our son, Max, read his letter (below) from the mayor, including the term "recensement militaire": Download MP3 file or Wav file A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse "I begin to be adult" .... Read more →


Alice Cooper crashed at our place over the weekend. Read on... heurter (euhr tay) verb : to bang into, to knock against, to run into heurter à la porte = to knock on the door un heurtoir = a door-knocker Audio File: listen to our daughter, Jackie, pronounce these French words: Download MP3 or Wav file Le... Read more →


Hey Bud, you'd make a good future candidate for compost (read on in today's story...)! This beautiful California poppy is growing in the South of France! Malou transplanted it from her garden to mine with the help of Doreen. Thanks, Garden Angels :-) remuer (reuh mheu ay) verb : to stir remuer ciel et terre = to... Read more →