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 →

Along the steep zigzagging path to the sea in Sicily, we stopped to peer in to this tiny chapel. The doors were locked but we stole glances all the same. . colombe (ko lohmb) noun, feminine : dove A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse (Continued from the previous story: "Switch-back") On New Year's Day... Read more →

Meet Madame Alberte. It's cold out, but inside Madame's nest there's enough warmth for new friends: feathered, furry, and foreign, like me. Come along and see... mamie (mah-me) noun, feminine : granny A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse I was hoping she would talk to me. Chances were, she would, for as I advanced... Read more →

lavoir (laah-vwar)noun, masculine wash house, washing place Audio File & Example Sentence Listen to my daughter's dear friend, Sonia, pronounce these French words: Download MP3 sound file On lave son linge sale au lavoir. We wash our clothes at the (community) wash basin. Improve your French pronunciation with the Exercises in French phonetics book. Click here. .... 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 →

How much is that doggy oie in the window? Photo © Kristin Espinasse taken in or near Buisson (Vaucluse)... Which do you find more charming in the photo above: those curvy curtainettes, those bucolic beads, the patched up window pane, or that oisive oie--or gazing goose--in the window upstairs? Or maybe it's the whimsical frieze above the... Read more →


Stumbling over the vines... a swarm of soûlards or drunks. Read on... étourneau (ay-toor-no) noun, masculine : starling, star (bird) : scatterbrain, featherbrain, birdbrain (you get the picture) Les aigles ... volent seul... ce sont les corbeaux, les choucas et les étourneaux qui vont en groupe. Eagles ... fly alone...they are crows, daws, and starlings that flock... Read more →


Hâte-toi de bien vivre... Make haste to live and consider each day a life... Seneca Envie (ahn-vee) noun, feminine longing . I was staring at the empty branches of our dogwood tree, willing its wooden limbs to quiver and send forth so many rosy blossoms, when I recognized a vague longing coming from within. I stood up... Read more →


Photo: my 8-year-old, Jackie, collected these flowers and made the vase... the poppy flew off before her father snapped the picture. le printemps (pran-tahn) noun, masculine = spring Il y a des pluies de printemps délicieuses où le ciel a l'air de pleurer de joie. There are delightful spring rains wherein the sky seems to be weeping... Read more →