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February 2014

Entries from January 2014

I realize most of you can't drop everything and jet over to Paris, but if you happen to be there already I would love to meet you! Feb 6th at 6:30 For more info RSVP at Now about that mystery man mentioned in today's title. I need your help to tell his story! So please read... Read more →

Looking in our kitchen window, Smokey says, "Ever seen those signs in French restaurants: "Nous acceptons les Tickets Restaurant?" "Yes, Smokey dear, I've seen those stickers in the window--but you don't need a ticket to eat at this greasy spoon! Now take a seat and I'll be right out with your Croquettes du Jour!" (Photo taken after... Read more →

If flowers could talk (and who says they can't) then these are shouting ALLEZ ZOU! After oggling this sunshiny plant forever--and owning it, for a time--I broke down and ordered the Helianthus grosseserratus or "sawtooth sunflower" seeds. If you, like me, believe your garden or balcony or windowbox cannot live without this jumble of happiness, then order... Read more →

The James Dean of France... and why I'm not a cougar--in today's post. Read on! maman poule (mah-mahn-pool) : mother hen You can also say "une mère poule." Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc Download MP3 or Wav file Une maman poule c'est une femme qui couve trop--ou surprotège--ses enfants. Alors qu'est-ce que c'est une femme poule? Cette... Read more →

One thing I love about studying French is the opportunity to improve my English! Just this morning I learned of another set of words I've been confounding all along. Thank you, Charles, who responded to my post "Zipper Politics." Charles writes: You mention journalists having a heyday, but the correct expression is "field day." You were confusing... Read more →

Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise. You can't help but want to snap a picture of the sign when ambling through Shakepeare and Company in Paris. But did you know it's forbidden to take pictures inside the famous bookstore? Then again, the French are not known to behave in public. Case in... Read more →

Smokey and the Beanstalk... this snapshot reminds me of a favorite fairy tale. (Pictured: the near transparent "mangetout" bean that sprang up in December--alongside the wire fence of the dogs' pen. I love the camera perspective. Had the lens been moved that much more we might have placed Smokey on a branch... and sent him on a... Read more →

Some pictures from home, and, as Maurice Chevalier would say, thank heaven for little girls. une fillette (fee-ette) : a little girl Audio File: listen to the French word fillette (file by Wikipedia): Improve your French pronunciation with Exercises in French Phonetics A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse (A story I told my daughter,... Read more →

Welcome home! Lily the 4-month-old huntress tiger greets Smokey--who returned home safely after Monday's great escape. More in today's story column. éplucher (ay-ploo-shay) : to peel France and Monaco Rentals: short-term holiday rental properties throughout France. Click here for pictures. Listen: hear the French word éplucher: Audio File from Wikipedia: For more pronunciation help, check out the... Read more →

"Smokey's Temptation" La galette des rois was not planned. I'd gone to the supermarché for eggs--to mix in with three overripe bananas (for sweet bread). Only, when I pushed my cart into Carrefour I saw the traditional stuffed cakes. "When is the actual date for eating these?" I asked the pretty check-out lady. "Epiphany," she said. "... Read more →