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Entries from May 2014

All photos in today's post are by Cynthia Gillespie-Smith. I once believed the French had a charming word for everything. Today's term is an exception--for there is no equivalent for "shutterbug" in the language of love! Instead, let's feature the English word and then we'll get our French fix in today's definition. (We'll also have a little... Read more →


Taken from The Wine Spectator magazine, the line just above, inspired today's expression... from scratch : à partir de rien, de zéro Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence Download MP3 or Wav file Créer un vignoble à partir de rien, c'est pas commun aujourd'hui. Starting an estate from scratch has become rare around here.... Read more →


I will never forget watching this American speak to the lost soldiers on the beaches of Normandy. Today we honor those who lost their lives, au champs d'honneur. Memorial Day : jour des soldats morts au champ d'honneur (day of commemoration of soldiers who were killed in action) Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc read the French definitions,... Read more →


Notice the flower bed to the right--filled with hand-picked brindilles! Twigs = free mulch, and they're fun to gather, too! (Had I to redo this picture, I'd put bright fluffy pillows in the garden chair, and hang beaded curtains across the cabanon's entry. Can you picture it?) Beautifully renovated and decorated home in the Luberon. 4 bedrooms... Read more →


How serendipitous to write about Jane Goodall--on the 215 anniversary of British paleontologist Mary Anning! Cheers to all the dirt-beneath-their fingernails women who help us understand, appreciate and consciously care for the world we live in. Mas la Monaque - Rent this beautifully restored 17-century farmhouse. Click here for more pictures. une place (plass) : seat réserver... Read more →


Another leafy front porch, not far from the lieu du crime... read on in today's French-vocabulary infused story column. Thanks to French reader, Brigitte, who offered today's vocabulary word. Exclusive French made clothes now available to purchase on-line. Thomas Hulston Collections. faire amende honorable (fer-ah-mahnd-oh-no-rahbl) : to apologize, to make amends AUDIO FILE: Listen to Jean-Marc Download... Read more →


Russian comfrey and letter of sympathy (with misspellings), reads Sir/Mam, I offer all my regrets for the loss of your chickens. I am sincerely and deeply sorry for the pain this has caused you..." (Read on, in today's story column.) Style & comfort in the beauty of the Provencal countryside. 4 bedrooms & a study with a... Read more →


Manigances is not the word of the day, but if it were I'd tell you all about our dogs shenanigans. Instead, read about my prized neighbor, in today's column. Mas la Monaque - Rent this beautifully restored 17-century farmhouse. Click here for more pictures. une ortie (or-tee) : stinging nettle, white nettle Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc:... Read more →


Today's metaphor involves a bowling ball. With no such picture in my photo archives, I offer a not-so-close second: la balle de golf. (In the photo--taken in 2005, near Bandol--our daughter, then 8 years-old, seems to be imitating me. In reality, she's getting ready to roll down the grassy hill. Don't worry about the ball, it won't... Read more →


These elephants were spotted on a French door--and in the window--of a home in Pernes-les-Fontaines. As for elephants in the room, read on in today's missive. Exclusive French made clothes now available to purchase on-line. Thomas Hulston Collections. l'éléphant dans la pièce The English expression "elephant in the room", which literally signifies [in French] "éléphant dans la... Read more →