Previous month:
April 2017
Next month:
June 2017

Entries from May 2017

Vocabulary Roundup : the French words we learned in May

Fred and Mom dancing 2015
Fred and my Mom dancing, in May 2015

Happy Birthday Fred Caswell!

Fred turns 90 today! He is one of the first readers I ever met, around 2005, and I have had the pleasure of seeing this Middletown, Rhode Island resident several times in France: at our home in Les Arcs, our first vineyard in Ste Cécile-les-Vignes, and here at Mas des Brun. Fred and his beautiful wife, Nancy, are a great inspiration -- for their caring hearts, sense of adventure, and desire to continue growing and learning. It is never to late to study French! Thank you Fred for your wonderful example.


ALL THE WORDS WE LEARNED THIS MONTH
Have you missed a post? Pas de problème - here's a list of all the newsletters that went out in May. Click on the titles to open the letters:

1. Two things about the Premier May...

le premier mai = First of May
la fête du travail = labor day
le muguet = lily of the valley
le jardin = garden
le mas = farmhouse
un agrume = citrus fruit
une fraise = strawberry
le brin = blade, sprig, wisp
le sanglier = wild boar
une fleur sauvage = wildflower

90-second video: check your French comprehension here. You know these two words; but do you recognize them in spoken French?



2. Draguer: At what age are we too old to be noticed?

le rasoir = razor
la plaisanterie = banter
n'est-ce pas? = isn't that true
ah, bon? = really
tu t'es fait draguer? = you got hit on?
la jalousie = jealousy
vous cherchez? = are you looking (for something)?
la barbe de trois jours = stubble (stylish stubble)
gentil = nice
je ne sais pas = I don't know

3. Pétou: A little Provençale word (guaranteed to bring a goofy smile)

lilas (lilas d'espagne) = red valerian
santolene = santolina
le genêt = scotch brush flower
le sentier = path
littoral = coastline, seabord
le quai = dock
le pétou = little fart
soi-disant = so-called, supposedly
les copains = friends

IMG_6723

 BORDEAUX AND THE DORDOGNE small group tour Sept 18-26 - culture, cuisine & wine. Click here for itinerary.


4.  Laisser le champ libre : French Presidential Election

la cote = ratings, popularity ratings
gagner = to win
perdu (perdre) = to lose
élu (élire) = to elect
terni (ternir) = to tarnish, damage
laisser la place = to give up one's seat
accroché (accrocher) = to hang on
rancoeur = bitterness, resentment
laisser le champ libre = leave the field free (exposed, unprotected)
remporté (remporter) = to win
crains (craindre) = to fear
selon moi = in my opinion


5. Lovers Quarrel and Sudden Hankering for a Snack

clouer le bec = to shut somebody up
la paix = peace
la prise de bec = argument
le boudoir = woman's room for pouting, little office (also a "ladyfinger" or finger-shaped cookie)
le bidet = sink for washing your bottom
étroit = confined
l'ennui (m) = lack of interest, boredom


Together

6. Wise Words Concerning Beauty

bichonner = to pamper oneself
lèvres (f) = lips
bonté = kindness, goodness, generosity
mince = thin
faim = hungry
un beau maintien = poise
une main secourable = a helping hand
vieillissant = getting older

7. Mon Grand: A Father's Tender Tribute to His Son

lorsque = when
déployer = to spread (wings)
tu nous manques = we miss you
un métier = career
fier = proud
le parcours = path, journey


8. A Popular Way to Wear Espadrilles

quincaillerie = hardware store
porter = to wear
T-shirt blanche = white T-shirt
faire la bise = to kiss on the cheek
manches longues = long sleeves
On est des sosies = we're twins
la recette = recipe
du fil à retordre = to give somebody a hard time
tiens = hey
bleu marine = navy blue
en savate = with heel folded down

9. A Recipe for Generosity

envers = toward
un raccourci = shortcut
le chef =chief, master, chef
l'artichaut = artichoke

l'avarice = miserliness
la pingrerie = stinginess

radin(e) = stingy
c'est trop gentille = it's too kind
la recette = recipe

10. Forest Bath + Your tips for curbing anxiety

faire du sport = to work out
à pied = on foot
avec de quoi grignoter = with something to snack on
le sentier = path
le bénéfice =benefit
l'inconfort (m) = discomfort
merci d'avance = thanks in advance

Kristi making-parsley-pesto
Making Parsley Pesto with Smokey

11. The French Salt Rule - did you even know there was one?

une paillote = beach café or beach restaurant
les bonnes manières à table = good table manners
voici quelque chose pour ton blog = here's something for your blog
une règle = rule
femmes débordées = overwhelmed women


Yellow chair in Jonquieres

April Vocabulary Roundup - click here

 

P1010433
Smokey cooling off in Ste Cécile-les-Vignes. We are told the yellow irises--and not lilies?--were the original model for the fleur-de-lis symbol.

If you look forward to these posts or find them helpful in any way, you can help maintain this journal with a small donation. Merci beaucoup!

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


Did you know The French Salt rule?

Paillote in Ramatuelle
Une paillote or beach restaurant in Ramatuelle

Rosé is Ready! Jean-Marc will be able to hand you your wine purchase in person, in Nice, June 3rd. Contact him at jm.espinasse@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD: la salière


        :salt shaker, salt cellar



A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

Les Bonnes Manières à Table

    by Kristi Espinasse

It's never too late to learn French etiquette. Yesterday while having lunch at  une paillote on the beach, I learned how to pass the salt for the first time since coming to France.

Seated with two of Jean-Marc's college buddies and their families, I was admiring the drinks of the younger generation (have you ever had la boisson indien?--Orangina soda with a splash of grenadine syrup!) when the only other woman at the table asked me to pass the salt.

I reached for the shaker and handed it to Carole, who smiled and said: Aha! Voici quelque chose pour ton blog...and went on to explain that there was a rule about passing the salt in France, une règle validated by Femmes Débordées :

IL NE FAUT PAS Passer le sel de la main à la main. Si votre voisin vous demande le sel il faut lui poser la salière à côté de lui.

 

You are never to hand over the salt directly (into the hand of the other). You set it down on the table and let your neighbor pick it up herself. Voilà The French Salt Rule. Did you know it? Have you ever broken the rule? Let me know in the comments (link at the end of this post).


FRENCH VOCABULARY

une paillote = beach café or beach restaurant
les bonnes manières à table
= good table manners
voici quelque chose pour ton blog
= here's something for your blog
une règle
= rule
femmes débordées = overwhelmed women
IL NE FAUT PAS Passer le sel de la main à la main. Si votre voisin vous demande le sel, il faut lui poser la salière à côté de lui.

You must not pass the salt from hand to hand. If your neighbor asks for the salt, you must set it beside him (or her).

 

Smokey etiquette
Enjoy your weekend and don't worry too much about rules!

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


Faire du sport + "forest baths": your ideas and tips for relaxing mind and body

Provence Vacation Rentals - Sablet Home courtyard
SABLET HOME- for high quality vacation rentals in the heart of Provence. Recommended by readers. Click here for photos.

 
Thank you very much for the feedback you sent in on the website redesign at French Word-A-Day. I've so far added a search box, included more posts on the front page and brought back the "recent posts" in the blog's sidebar and footer. Suggestions welcome in the comments (link at the end of this post).


TODAY'S WORD: faire du sport

    : to work-out
   : play sports, do sports

Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the following French words

Faire du sport permet de s'entretenir physiquement et moralement.
Working out (or doing sports) allows one to maintain oneself physically and psychologically.

Try Mastering French Vocabulary with Audio MP3
or
Pronounce it Perfectly in French or  Exercises in French Phonetics


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse

What do you do when the feeling of overwhelm hits you? Do you push through or return to bed? avec de quoi grignoter.... Here is one of the things I've been doing when the feeling of overwhelm sets in:

FAIRE DU SPORT
Mama Jules always told me to take a new road each day--and I have been doing that these past three weeks, à pied. Along with Jean-Marc, who also benefits from the exercise, I've been hiking the nearby sentiers or speed-walking along the boardwalk in Les Lecques or parking farther away from wherever I am going. When I was younger, I exercised to stay in shape and, while that is a sought-after bénéfice, the emptying effect all this exercise is having on my mind is worth any temporary inconfort.

Le BAIN DE FORET
I recently learned about forest bathing. According this Wikipedia entry:

Forest environments have been found to be advantageous with respect to acute emotions, especially among those experiencing chronic stress...

Forest bathing is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. A forest bathing trip involves visiting a forest for relaxation and recreation while breathing in...wood essential oils, which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from trees... Incorporating forest bathing trips into a good lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan. It has now become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity...

So when Jean-Marc and I are in the second phase of our hillside climb (the much-anticipated descent beneath the Mediterranean pines) I remind us both to Réspire! Réspire!

Perhaps the single act of Réspire, Réspire is the most beneficial part of all? But how much more agreeable when mixed with the earthy and pine scents of the great outdoors.

Please share your ideas and tips for relaxing the mind and body. What do you do as soon as you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed? (Find the comments link at the end of this post. Merci d'avance!)
 

Artist and hammock
Walking in the pine forest is relaxing and the scenes there are often just as relaxing! Beside a hammock, an artist paints a still-life in one of our local calanques, or sea inlets



FRENCH VOCABULARY
faire du sport = to work out
à pied = on foot
avec de quoi grignoter = with something to snack on
le sentier = path
le bénéfice =benefit
l'inconfort (m) = discomfort
merci d'avance = thanks in advance

IMG_6723
BORDEAUX AND THE DORDOGNE small group tour Sept 18-26 - culture, cuisine & wine. Click here for itinerary.

French-related products you might enjoy:

PARIS METRO CUFF - Unique bracelet and great gift for those who love Paris. Click here.

THE FRENCH LOVE THESE BEACH TOWELS - quick drying, good-looking

APRONS, French-themed - keep the tomatoes in the tart and off of your nice shirt.

TABLECLOTH, Provence-themed linens for the house.

KITCHEN TOWELS by Garnier-Thiebaut.


Meet the Authors 2017

We hope to see you in Nice! Adrian Leeds, of the Adrian Leeds Group will MC this event.

The following authors will be present, please share this event:

Alice Alech - The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil: Stronger Bones, Cancer Prevention, Higher Brain Function, and other Medical Miracles of the Green Nectar
Lisa Anselmo - My (Part-time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home
Patrick J. Murphy - An Art Lovers Guide to the French Riviera
Patricia Sands - The Promise of Provence, first in the Love in Provence series

Margo Lestz - Curious Histories of Provence: Tales from the South of France
Kristin Espinasse - Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language
Julia Allen - Facets, A Book of Short Stories

(view authors and book covers - download the flyer)

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


Envers + Recipe for generosity

Mas des Brun rose wine from France photo credit Chris Davis
Today, try the online edition--and let me know what you think of the new background (from red to some lighter shade...). photo: Chris Davis

Speaking of  colors and shades our Mas des Brun is now available in the US at these addresses.


TODAY'S WORD: envers

     : to, towards
    : back

à l'envers = upside down

Try Mastering French Vocabulary with Audio MP3

AUDIO FILE: Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the following in French

La vraie générosité envers l'avenir consiste à tout donner au présent.
Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.
                                                                                           -Albert Camus


Improve your spoken French with Pronounce it Perfectly in French


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse


After our chat about tout et rien et espadrilles, I walked my neighbor home. Taking a raccourci through our back yard, Annie paused before the permaculture garden, which is wilder than ever during this time of transition.

"Tu es le chef d'artichauts!" Annie said, approaching the raised garden beds. "These are the violet variety, non?"

I wasn't sure. When we first built the stone beds, I remember casting a variety of seeds--before crossing my fingers that luck would spring up (mostly a lot of fennel appeared--which already grew like weeds in the surrounding fields!).

Viewing these artichokes through the eyes of Annie, I saw them in a new, spectacular light.

"You ought to be eating them!" Annie, said. I realized I had been waiting to harvest them when Mama Jules arrives, May 29th...


There were at least 10 artichoke plants, each with 5 or more of the delicious globes--some, as Annie remarked, had a faint purple undertone. Each plant had two or three ripe masses that were ready for harvesting. As we stood admiring the plants, it finally occurred to me Why not offer Annie some?

"Wait! I'll be right back!" I said.

Returning with a paper sack, I began to collect the large "flowers" with delectable leaves and was feeling the sheer joy that comes with giving... when another  impulse gradually overcame the positive emotion. Maybe I should keep some for myself? Wouldn't they be delicious with homemade mayonnaise or melted butter or canned in olive oil and herbs? We could keep some for a rainy day if we didn't give them all away!

Tangled there inside another artichoke plant (I had climbed up into another bed to access the hard-to-reach chokes)  I heard Annie calling and her words only mirrored my own: Gardes-en pour toi! Keep some for yourself!

Yes, pour moi! Moi! moi! moi! (Ah! That was the voice of Gimme Gimme La Radine. The stingy low-life avec sa pingrerie that lives beside the trash heap of my lower persona. It voices itself from time to time--usually when it comes to food... like when my husband asks for a bite of my dessert).

Thoughts teetering between lack and abundance, I emerged from inside the giant leafy "Cynara cardunculus" to begin handing over more and more artichokes to my neighbor. It was the only remedy--the quickest, the nearest, the surest--for what had unexpectedly ailed me: l'avarice.

"Merci! C'est trop gentille!" Annie said. Then she mentioned she'd return to my house in a little bit....

And she did--with a plateful of deep-fried artichoke hearts. It was her Italian grandmother's tasty recipe! Looking down at the plate of sliced, breaded and fried chokes it seemed Annie had taken all I had given her and returned it to me (she insists there remained enough for her family). And in so doing, Annie gave me another precious recette, a universal Recipe for Generosity:

Whatever you give will be returned to you--often better, larger, and improved!

 *    *    *

 

Artichoke blossom
artichoke blossom and bee.


FRENCH VOCABULARY

envers = toward
un raccourci = shortcut
le chef =chief, master, chef
l'artichaut = artichoke

l'avarice = miserliness
la pingrerie = stinginess

radin(e) = stingy
c'est trop gentille = it's too kind
la recette = recipe

 

Purple artichokes
artichokes at our vineyard here in St Cyr-sur-Mer, where we've lived since 2012. In the photo, below, artichokes growing at our home in St Cécile where we lived from 2007-2012
Artichoke and lady bug coccinelle

 If you enjoy this French word journal and find it helpful in any way, please consider leaving a small donation to keep things running. Merci beaucoup!

 

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


Porter + en savate: A popular way to wear a French classic (espadrilles!)

Espadrilles and wicker baskets at the quincaillerie in st cyr-sur-mer

Beneath the wicker baskets you can see the stand of neatly-stacked espadrilles at our local quincaillerie here in St Cyr-sur-Mer

SABLET HOME- for high quality vacation rentals in the heart of Provence. Click here for photos and more details.

TODAY'S WORD: porter

    : to wear

prêt-à porter = ready-to-wear

Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the French words espadrilles porter en savate


Les espadrilles se portent en mode “savate” (talon ouvert derrière) ou avec le talon fermé. Petit rappel pour les espadrilles traditionnelles, il n’y a ni pied droit ni pied gauche, c’est avec l’usure que l’espadrille prendra la forme de votre pied. -Chaussures Hervé

Espadrilles can be worn in "savate" mode (heel open behind) or with the heel closed. A little reminder for the traditional espadrilles, there is neither right foot nor left foot, it is with wear and tear that the espadrille will take the form of your foot.


Sharpen your French listening skills. Can you distinguish between the French U, the French ou and the English EW? Take this quiz from FluentFrench.com


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse


When I saw Annie walking up our driveway I noticed we were wearing the same thing: T-shirt blanche, manches longues. "On est des sosies!" I said to my neighbor, reaching to kiss her, or faire la bise.

"Ah, but you are wearing shorts!" Annie said, pointing to my cutoffs. Annie weaved her arm through mine as we walked to the front porch, beneath the grapevine arbor, its giant leaves shading us from the sun. We settled there at the old picnic table.

Though we are a generation apart and from different cultures, Annie and I relate well to one another in this tender friendship which has blossomed over 5 years, since the day she appeared in the driveway to provide a "neighbor's key" for the house we were viewing as part of our plans to build a vineyard.

Here now on the front porch, Annie and I chatted about the usual topics--our families, our animals, our plants, and our recettes. (We had a fresh new subject, too!--our country's new leader, President Macron, brilliant, but who will be given du fil à retordre, according to Annie).

"Tiens," I said, changing topics. "Those are new espadrilles...bleu marine. Last summer you wore red ones."

Annie looked down at her stiff new shoes. "I usually wear them en savate."

En savate... I'd never heard the term but knew what my neighbor meant. I could picture Annie's used red espadrilles en savate -- with the back heel pressed down (imagine a pair of backless shoes, or mules). Jean-Marc and I do the same with our old sneakers, which pile up outside the front door. After a time, we don't bother to put them on properly--we simply slip our feet in--crushing down the back of the shoe with our heels. It makes for quick departure if we're heading to the garden or out to the vineyard. (Sometimes we wear them this way to town.)

To think that what we were doing was perfectly acceptable--not to mention natural (even historic! turns out"savate" is the word in French for "old shoe")!

But in modern-day French it is something you do to old shoes (or even new ones, just as one takes a perfectly new pair of jeans and cuts holes all over them--like my daughter does. Grr!). Do this with espadrilles and you are simply wearing them "en mode savate".

This is all good news when it comes to fitting a pair of espadrilles (something everyone has doubts about--even the French!). Too small or too large? No worries, just wear them en mode savate. This casual style looks great on men and women! So if you were hesitating on purchasing a pair of France's favorite summer shoe, lâchez-vous! Let yourself go--and let go of the heel, too :-)

 

Francesc_Galofré_espadrilles
Francesc Galofré 1894 painting, A model, we see what espadrilles once looked like

FRENCH VOCABULARY

quincaillerie = hardware store
porter = to wear
T-shirt blanche = white T-shirt
faire la bise = to kiss on the cheek
manches longues = long sleeves
On est des sosies = we're twins
la recette = recipe
du fil à retordre = to give somebody a hard time
tiens = hey
bleu marine = navy blue
en savate = with heel folded down

 

 

 

 






Boxer-dog-espadrilles
For a large selection of striped espadrilles click here. And for these striped "smoking slippers", worn by my friend Tanja, click here. All sort of style (solid colors, too) here


ATTRACTIVE ESPADRILLES FOR MEN

FRENCH KNIT REUSABLE ECO SHOPPING BAG - made and knit in France!

DOORMATS BIENVENUE/A BIENTOT
- see a selection here

BEAUTIFUL FRANCE PUZZLES - this one with 2CV

THE FRENCH LOVE THESE BEACH TOWELS - quick drying, good-looking


Au revoir clutch

Au Revoir Straw Clutch - a charming purse for summertime. Order here.

 

View-from-bedroom
Find out how we came to live on this vineyard, in the story Mas des Brun: A Dream-Come-True Vineyard in Bandol

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


Mon Grand: A Father's tender tribute to his son, in French and English

Max jean-marc bendor boat
Our son Max turns 22 years old today. On this special occasion I have asked Jean-Marc to express his thoughts, which are especially moving in today's recording (don't miss the sound file in French). The English version of this letter follows, just below.

Where to find Mas des Brun Wines?
Thanks to those of you who have written in asking where to buy our Mas des Brun wine. Click here to find out.


TODAY'S WORD: Mon Grand

        : my big boy, my son, my darling



A FATHER'S TRIBUTE TO HIS SON

Audio File: click here to listen to Jean-Marc read his letter aloud

Maxime, Mon Grand,

Pour tes 22 ans, le même âge que ta Maman et moi avions lorsque nous nous sommes rencontrés, j'ai écrit ces quelques lignes.

Depuis 4 ans tu as commencé à déployer tes ailes mais bientôt, elles devront battre plus fort et plus longtemps pour traverser l'Atlantique et vivre une année au Mexique. Tu nous manques déjà lorsque tu es à Montpellier alors je n'ose pas penser comment ça sera l'année prochaine lorsque tu seras à Leon.

Le temps a passé trop vite. Je regrette profondément de ne pas avoir partagé plus avec toi, en particulier ces dernières années. Mais voilà, j'ai choisi un métier trop prenant et je n'ai pas su toujours trouver les bons équilibres. Je te prie de m'en excuser.

Je suis très fier de toi, de ta personnalité, de ton enthousiasme, de ton parcours de vie.

Joyeux Anniversaire, "mon Grand" . En fait, je t'ai toujours appelé "mon Grand" même lorsque tu étais "Petit". Cela me vient sûrement de mon Papa qui m'appelait aussi comme ça aussi et cela me permet de garder sa mémoire vivante.

Je  t'aime fort.


Maxime, Mon Grand,

For your 22 years, the same age that your Mom and I had when we met, I wrote you a few lines.

For 4 years you have started to spread your wings but soon they will have to flap harder and longer to cross the Atlantic and live a year in Mexico. We miss you already now that you are in Montpellier so I do not dare to think how it will be next year when you will be in Leon.

Time has passed too fast. I deeply regret not having shared more with you, especially in recent years. But here, I chose a demanding career and I did not always know how to find the right balance. Please excuse me.

I am very proud of you, of your personality, your enthusiasm, your life course.

Happy Birthday, "Mon Grand." In fact, I always called you "Mon Grand" even when you were "Little". It surely comes from my Daddy who also called me that too and it allows me to keep his memory alive.

I love you very much.


To leave a comment, find the link at the end of this post.


Max and Jean-Marc 2000
Forward this post and share it with somebody who might like to learn French. Merci beaucoup.

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


Bichonner & wise words concerning beauty by Sam Levenson

Papillon butterfly in French

Today's bilingual post was inspired by Douglas's comment in a post called Papillon. Douglas shared the following recipe for beauty, adding it was from " Sam Levenson (although often attributed to Audrey Hepburn because she enjoyed reading it to her children)". Listen to our daughter read these sage words in French....


TODAY'S WORD: bichonner

        : to pamper oneself

Can you distinguish between the French U sound and the French OU sound? Take this quiz from FluentFrench.com


FRENCH COMPREHENSION
Today, listen to our daughter Jackie read the following lines in French.

CLICK HERE to listen to Jackie read the following lines in French!



Time Tested Beauty Tips by Sam Levenson

(A.K.A. "10 Trucs de Beauté" et "Le Conseil de Audrey Hepburn")

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
Pour avoir des lèvres attirantes, prononcez des paroles de bonté.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
Pour avoir de beaux yeux, regardez ce que les gens ont de beau en eux.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
Pour rester mince, partagez vos repas avec ceux qui ont faim.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
Pour avoir de beaux cheveux, faites qu’un enfant y passe sa main chaque jour.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
Pour avoir un beau maintien, marchez en sachant que vous n’êtes jamais seule.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Vous le faites pour les choses, mais les gens en ont eux aussi besoin : réparez-les, bichonnez-les, redonnez-leur vie, sauvez-les, ne les jetez jamais.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms.
Pensez-y : si un jour vous avez besoin d’une main secourable, vous en trouverez une à chaque bout de vos bras.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
En vieillissant vous vous rendrez compte que vous avez deux mains : l’une pour vous aider vous-même, l’autre pour aider ceux qui en ont besoin.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.
La beauté d’une femme n’est pas dans les vêtements qu’elle porte, son visage ou sa façon d’arranger ses cheveux.

It must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
Elle se voit dans ses yeux, car c’est la porte ouverte sur son cœur [là ou l'amour habite].

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows.
La beauté d’une femme n’est pas dans son maquillage, mais dans la vraie beauté de son âme. C’est la tendresse qu’elle donne, l’amour, la passion qu’elle exprime.

The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.
La beauté d’une femme se développe avec les années
.

--
Sam Levenson wrote these tips for his grandchild. His words were a favorite of Audrey Hepburn--who read his Time Tested Beauty Tips to her children.


French-themed products you might enjoy:
Bienvenue doormat

DOORMATS BIENVENUE/A BIENTOT - see a selection here

LA BONNE FEMME COOKBOOK: Simple, Splendid Food that Frenchwomen Cook Every Day

GOOD FRENCH SUNSCREEN - see the reviews reviews here

POMMERY MEAUX MUSTARD in a stoneware jar you'll want to save

IMG_6723
BORDEAUX AND THE DORDOGNE small group tour Sept 18-26 - culture, cuisine & wine. Click here for itinerary.

Momjmmaxsend

Thank you, Hawi Moore, for surfing my blog archives and commenting on the Papillon post, which led me back to Douglas's remarks following my essay on beauty.

Regarding your comments, Dear Readers, my mom best sums it up:  

"My Dearest Kristi, I am now spending more time in your 'comments' section than I am in your word posts. I am fascinated with your readers and their posts. I must admit I am addicted, they are the icing on your cake...."
Thank you, Mom! I hope you--and all mothers out there, had a wonderful Mothers day!
(picture of Max, Mom, and Jean-Marc taken in 2003)

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


To shut somebody up (in French): clouer le bec

Relais Odeon Paris
Peace and quiet outside the Relais Odeon Bistro in Paris. Sit down and enjoy a slice of pie--just don't fling it at anybody....


TODAY'S EXPRESSION: clouer le bec


    : to shut somebody up

French listening tip: do you hear "le" in this French sentence?

            *    *    *

"Le Bec ( the beak) has lots of uses in French. It can be used to describe somebody who likes exquisite food "A Gourmet"...Il/elle a le bec fin ( one of the most expensive French restaurants in Philadelphia is called "Le Bec Fin". It can also translate to "face stuffing"...A mother tired of her child asking for food could be heard saying while giving him/her food...Tiens...Colles-toi ça dans le bec et donnes nous la paix! Another funny expression meaning " To shut someone up"...Ex: Ce que je lui ai repondu lui a cloué le bec ( Nailed his bec shut). A verb has also been created with bec for eating...ex: A quelle heure es-ce qu'on va becter?" --Bernard Dolivet's reply to the 2008 post Pris de Bec

CLICK HERE to listen to Jean-Marc read the French words, "Ce que je lui ai repondu lui a cloué le bec"



A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE...

    by Kristin Espinasse

"Monsieur Sticky Pits"

After Wednesday's lovers spat, when each of us had stormed off to a random boudoir (a room where one pouts), I realized my husband had scored by getting our spacious and cozy bedroom whilst I was left to sulk beside the bidet in the bathroom!  

There in my étroit chamber of self-righteousness anger soon turned to ennui, and boredom, for me, often leads to an attack of the munchies. I remembered the fresh-baked French yogurt cake still cooling in the oven, and suddenly gluttony overcame pride.

Only, what if Jean-Marc were to come out of hiding, too? How now to cross the war zone in dignity? Now that my stone face had turned into a dopey pie face I was losing credibility as Mrs Mad-at-You. Leave the room now and risk not being able to keep a straight face. More close to laughing, now, than to crying, all I wanted at this point was to let this whole thing blow over in time for cake! 

And yet, sitting there on the closed toilet seat, the hunger for righteousness was still slightly stronger than the hunger for gâteau, so I waited things out a while longer, amusing myself with a visual tour of our bathroom....

There was the fresh garden rosemary I had piled against the wall (to hide the unpainted pipes from our visitors). And there was the empty laundry basket (harrumph! look who is on top of the chores around here!). And there, on the edge of the sink, was my small can of hairspray. That's odd. Why was the hairspray out? I don't remember using it.... 

And then it dawned on me:  my husband had mistaken my hairspray for his aerosol deodorant.  Ah là là!  Revenge is sweet!


--
Did you remember this story? It's from the 2015 blog archives.

FRENCH VOCABULARY
la paix = peace
la prise de bec = argument
le boudoir = woman's room for pouting, little office (also a "ladyfinger" or finger-shaped cookie)
le bidet = sink for washing your bottom
étroit = confined
l'ennui (m) = lack of interest, boredom
le gâteau = cake


Loreal Elnet hairspray
Need to order some revenge hairspray? Stock up here. And, men, to play it safe, get stick or even crystal deodorant. Don't be Mister Sticky Pits!

Finally, if you get so mad (these boots are made for walking mad), then do it in style--in a pair of stylish espadrilles! Finally, here are some nice pouting chairs (much more comfy that sulking on the toilet! This one even has storage--you could hide your snacks there!

Mas des brun wine
Our Mas des Brun rosé has just docked in Portland OR. You should find so far at :
- Pastaworks Providore (2340 NE Sandy Boulevard at 24th)
- E&R (6141 SW Macadam Av)
- Division Wine (3564 SE Division St)
Thanks for your support, Cheers!

 

Are you
The Desiderata of Happiness is a prose poem that may very well change your life. It will certainly change your outlook. Read it here, in French or in English.

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


Commentary on French presidential election. Emmanuel Macron. Laisser le champ libre à quelqu'un

Calanque Port-Miou in Cassis
I am turning over today's post to my husband, Jean-Marc, who has written a commentary in French (with an English translation) on Sunday's French presidential election. (Photos from yesterday's walk in Calanque de Port-Miou, Cassis. For more photos, follow here on Instagram.)


TODAY'S WORD: Laisser le champ libre à quelqu'un

        : to leave the field free for someone (to step in...)

Try Mastering French Vocabulary with Audio MP3
Improve your spoken French with Pronounce it Perfectly in French or  Exercises in French Phonetics


FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL COMMENTARY

by Jean-Marc Espinasse


In 2012, when his popularity rating was bad, Nicolas Sakorzy decided to run for the presidential election. It is true that after the affair of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (who was hitherto given favorite of the election), he thought maybe nobody else could win it. But he lost to Francois Hollande, not because the French voted for Holland but because they voted against Sarkozy. And if Fillon, the natural candidate had presented himself, it is certain that he would have been elected.
 
In 2017, a similar situation occurred. François Fillon was given largely winning but business tarnished his image. Instead of leaving his place to Alain Juppé, who would surely have won the election, he clung, like Sarkozy in 2012 (and maybe by rancor) and he left the field open to Emmanuel Macron who , Against Le Pen, had no difficulty gaining because all the classic political parties called to vote against Le Pen.
 
Holland and Macron have, in my opinion, won the last two elections by default, meaning that the people actually voted against Sarkozy and Fillon. Holland was very quickly persona non grata and ended up very unpopular. I'm afraid this will happen again with Macron. But the worst part of all this is that, in the end, it is the extremes that are reinforced by the fault of these politicians who claim to fight populism but only make it stronger by their selfishness.

***
You can respond to Jean-Marc's commentary - see the comments link at the end of this post

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO JEAN-MARC READ HIS COMMENTARY IN FRENCH:


En 2012, alors que sa cote de popularité était mauvaise, Nicolas Sakorzy a décidé de se représenter à l'élection Présidentielle. ​Il est vrai qu'après l'affaire de Dominique Strauss-Kahn (qui était jusqu'alors donné favori de l'élection), il pensait peut être que personne d'autre pourrait le gagner. Mais il a perdu contre François Hollande, non pas parce que les Français ont voté pour Hollande mais parce qu'ils ont voté contre Sarkozy. Et si Fillon, le candidat naturel s'était présenté, il est certain qu'il aurait été élu. 

 
En 2017, une situation similaire s'est passée. François Fillon était donné largement gagnant mais des affaires ont terni son image. Au lieu de laisser sa place à Alain Juppé, qui aurait surement gagné l'élection, il s'est accroché, à l'image de Sarkozy en 2012 (et peut être par rancœur) et il a laissé le champs libre à Emmanuel Macron qui, contre Le Pen, n'a pas eu de mal à gagner car tous les partis politiques classiques ont appelé à voter contre Le Pen.
 
Hollande et Macron ont, selon moi, remporté les deux dernières élections par défaut c'est à dire que le peuple a en fait voté contre Sarkozy et Fillon. Hollande a donc très rapidement été mal aimé et a terminé très impopulaire. Je crains que cela ne se reproduise avec Macron. Mais le pire dans tout cela, c'est que, finalement, ce sont les extrêmes qui se renforcent par la faute de ces politiciens qui prétendent combattre le populisme mais qui ne font que le rendre plus fort de par leur égoïsme.


FRENCH VOCABULARY
Increase your vocabulary with this list. More tools here.

la cote = ratings, popularity ratings
gagner = to win
perdu (perdre) = to lose
élu (élire) = to elect
terni (ternir) = to tarnish, damage
laisser la place = to give up one's seat
accroché (accrocher) = to hang on
rancoeur = bitterness, resentment
laisser le champ libre = leave the field free (exposed, unprotected)
remporté (remporter) = to win
crains (craindre) = to fear
selon moi = in my opinion
 
IMG_6723
BORDEAUX AND THE DORDOGNE small group tour Sept 18-26 - culture, cuisine & wine. Click here for itinerary.

 

Sablet home rental village accommodation where to stay in provence france
  SABLET HOME- for high quality vacation rentals in the heart of Provence. Click here for photos and more details.


Meet the Authors 2017

We hope to see you in Nice! Adrian Leeds, of the Adrian Leeds Group will MC this event.

The following authors will be present, please share this event:

Lisa Anselmo - My (Part-time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home
Patrick J. Murphy - An Art Lovers Guide to the French Riviera
Patricia Sands - The Promise of Provence, first in the Love in Provence series

Margo Lestz - Curious Histories of Provence: Tales from the South of France
Kristin Espinasse - Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language
Julia Allen - Facets, A Book of Short Stories
(view authors and book covers - download the flyer)

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


Pétou - a little Provencale word (guaranteed to make a man smile!)

PETOU fishing boat or pointu in the port de la madrague St Cyr-sur-Mer France Var near the sentier littoral
I am the last person to say...you know...today's word (in English or in French). Blame it on this little boat! If you are new here, don't worry, it is rare that a word deemed "vulgar" is featured. But the past year has had a loosening effect (we are unmooring and moving on, or trying to) and not much bothers me anymore--least of which a little fart!


TODAY'S WORD: le pet (le pétou*)

        : fart

*In Provençal it means "little fart."

Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence in French

Le petou est littéralement la bête qui pue.
Le petou is literally the beast that stinks.

French definition from the Dictionnaire Etymologique et Ethnologique des parlers brionnais
Get the best-selling Kindle here and lose yourself in a good book.
Improve your spoken French with Pronounce it Perfectly in French


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse


We have been living in limbo since the day we promised to sell our vineyard. Even though we found ideal buyers and we've signed a promise to buy a home in La Ciotat, the process is slow and uncertain--with more than one government entity involved in the transaction. Six months into the process, it is still not sure when--or if--we will be able to turn the page, and lately this has really set my husband back.

Wednesday afternoon Jean-Marc and I headed to La Port de La Madrague. This time of year all the wildflowers are out...lilas, santolines, genêts, les immortelles...making the coastal walk along the Sentier Littoral even more spectacular. Bright colors and fresh air are mood-altering, but I had not expected this sneaky blues remedy to work instantanément....

It happened almost as soon as we parked our car right alongside le quai. That is when I looked over and noticed one of the small traditional fishing boats. Unlike the brightly-painted pointus, this little boat was dull and washed out. You could barely read its name (unceremoniously stamped onto the side of the bow). It read, PÉTOU ("Little Fart").

An unexpected snort escaped me.

My husband looked over from the driver's seat, where the weight of our past year held him frozen in place.

"Come on, let's get out. I've got to show you something...."

Jean-Marc followed me to the edge of the dock, where I pointed to the fading fishing boat. "Look at its name!"

And there, my husband lit up.  If you could have seen that smile, that look of amusement--that glimmer of childhood antics in his eyes--you, too, would have burst with joy!

So, Dear Reader, forgive me for featuring a soi-disant "vulgar" word in today's missive. But I think you will agree, a little fart is harmless--and it could very well make somebody's day.

*    *    *
Post note: Not only did Jean-Marc enjoy what he saw, he immediately wanted to share it with his childhood copains. He pulled out his telephone and knelt beside the old Fart in time to take its picture.

Meantime I looked around, as one does when "fart" comes to mind....but only to make sure no one could see us snapping photos of a little boat named PÉTOU.


My publishing journeyThis story is dedicated to Erin and Tamara, "The Book Angels", who encouraged me to take a leap and write about a Little Fart. Please check out their helpful book, My Publishing Journey.

French Vocabulary
lilas (lilas d'espagne) = red valerian
santolene = santolina
le genêt = scotch brush flower
le sentier = path
littoral = coastline, seabord
le quai = dock
le pétou = little fart
soi-disant = so-called, supposedly
les copains = friends

Mas des brun wine
A few cases of Mas des Brun Rosé wines have just made it to Phoenix, Kristi's native town. You can so far find at Vincent's on Camelback and, for the last time of the season, at their fabulous Farmers market this SUNDAY May 7th. Don't miss that chance. Cheers, Jean-Marc.

 

Wooden fishing boats at la port de la madrague
If this story made you smile, please don't miss the Smile poem--read in French by Jean-Marc. You will also see pictures of our garden and home.

 


EMBRYOLISSE cream - used by French grandmothers and makeup artists

FRENCH GOURMET ITEMS - including herbs, mustard, coffee, tisane, chocolate, cakes

FRENCH SHOPPING BAG - made and knit in France!

PARIS METRO CUFF - Unique bracelet with a map of the Paris metro!

WORDS IN A FRENCH LIFE: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France

Suzanne Dunaway expo

Those of you who'll be in the area of Collioures around mid May - do not miss Suzanne Dunaway and Anne Pujalte's art opening!

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy