Bilingual Post: se sublimer (and more about the creative process)

  stone house yellow hose painted sign dog picket fence wooden lintel italy aosta valley dog Love Well (c) Kristin Espinasse

The painted sign reads: "To live well, love well, and let the others say what they will!" Pour bien vivre, bien aimer, et laisser dire. (Picture taken during our family vacation in Aosta, Italy. I repost this photo often because the message is so good and a needed reminder!)

 se sublimer (seuh-soo-blee-may)

    : to transcend oneself, to go beyond one's limits

Example sentence
Dans ce délicat exercice, elle a le don de se sublimer pour produire une histoire qui va elle, engendrer un moment de bonheur à ses lecteurs. (see translation in the story below)

Audio File: listen to today's word in the following story, written and read aloud by Jean-Marc! Download MP3 or Wav file

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Un jour dans la vie d’écrivain de Kristi... by Jean-Marc
A Day in Kristi's Writing Life... by Jean-Marc
. 
Aujourd’hui, je voudrai vous parler de ce qu’est le quotidien de notre chère écrivain.
Today, I want to talk to you about what is a typical day in the life of our dear writer.

Kristi se lève vers 6H le matin, ouvre la porte pour que Smokey (qui alors aboie et réveille toute la maison), puis Braise sortent quelques minutes) puis, elle va gentillement nous préparer le thé.
Kristi wakes up around six in the morning, opens the door so that Smokey (who then barks and wakes up the whole house), and then Braise, can go out a few minutes) then she kindly prepares us tea.

Ensuite, elle revient dans notre chambre pour boire le thé, consulter ses emails sans malheureusement pouvoir y répondre car c'est bientôt l'heure d'écrire son édition.
Next, she returns to our room to drink the tea, to consult her emails, without, unfortunately being able to respond to them for it is soon time to begin her edition.

C’est au tour de Jackie et Max de se lever et alors que je vais accompagner Maxime au bus, c’est Kristi qui le plus souvent s’occupe d’amener Jackie à l’école. 
Now it's time for Jackie and Max to get up and while it is I who takes Max to the bus, it's most often Kristi who takes care of getting Jackie to school.

Il est 8 H 30 et Kristi, le plus souvent, n’a toujours pas idée de ce qu’elle va écrire. Pour elle, l’inspiration est souvent synonyme d’improvisation.
It is 8:30 and Kristi, most often, still has no idea what she's going to write. For her, inspiration is often synonymous with improvisation.

Ce léger stress et la pression de devoir écrire une édition la plus parfaite en moins de quatre heures, tout en ayant à inclure sponsors, photos, messages vocaux, est une réelle prouesse d’artiste, surtout lorsque cela se produit en moyenne trois fois par semaine. 
This slight stress and the pressure to have to write the most perfect edition in less than four hours, all the while including sponsors, photos, vocal messages, is a true prowesse of the artist, especially when this is reproduced, in general, around three times a week.

Dans ce délicat exercice, elle a le don de se sublimer pour produire une histoire qui va elle, engendrer un moment de bonheur à ses lecteurs.
In this delicate exercise, she has the gift of transcending herself in order to produce a story that will itself engender a moment of happiness for her readers.

Pendant ce temps là, Kristi a un grand besoin de calme et ne se donne que quelques courtes pauses pour aller grignoter un fruit.
During this time, Kristi has a real need for calm, and she only gives herself a few short breaks to go and snack on a piece of fruit.

Une fois l’édition terminée, elle prépare notre déjeuner, va faire balader les chiens et puis, après avoir mangé son repas, elle va décompresser par une petite "sacro-sainte" sieste.
Once her edition is finished, she fixes our lunch, goes to walk the dogs and then, after eating her lunch, she goes to decompress by a little sacred nap.
 
Vient ensuite l’heure de lire les commentaires qui sont pour elle la récompense des efforts fournis dans la matinée. Elle va ensuite avoir un tout petit peu de temps pour répondre aux très nombreux emails et de s'occuper de nos enfants, de rencontrer quelques amis, de tenir la maison propre...
Next up, it is time to read the story comments which are for her the reward for her morning efforts. She'll then have a little time left to respond to numerous emails and to take care of our kids, meet with friends, and keep the house clean.

Voilà, je pensais vous pourriez savoir à quoi ressemble une journée type dans la vie de votre écrivain. Comme vous le voyez, cela ne lui laisse pas beaucoup de temps de loisirs.
So there you have it, I thought you might like to know just what a typical day looks like, in the life of your writer. As you can see, it doesn't leave a lot of time for leisure.
Aussi, j’espère que vous serez indulgents si elle ne répond pas toujours aux très nombreux emails qu’elle reçoit. Sachez néanmoins qu’ils sont tous lus et appréciés.
Also, I hope you'll be indulgent if she doesn't always respond to the numerous emails that she receives. Know, however, that they are all read and appreciated.
Même si Kristi travaille énormément, elle se considère privilégiée de pouvoir être en contact avec de si nombreux lecteurs qui ont tous également du talent, de la sagesse et un grande âme.
Even if Kristi works alot, she considers herself priviledged to be able to be in contact with so many readers who all have, equally, talent, wisdom and great souls. 

 

 => Listen to today's story, read aloud by Jean-Marc! Download MP3 or Wav file

 

You've Got Mail! (c) Kristin Espinasse
Jean-Marc, standing next to a mailbox at our cousin's house near Aix. When André and Annie (aunt- and uncle-in-law) hung their boîte à lettres one this magical plane tree... the tree responded by reaching out... for the longest hug in history (it took a decade or two to complete the hug!) Maybe someone should contact the Guiness Book of Records?

Thank you! I enjoyed your translations to yesterday's example sentence. Search the comments box to see them here. Here, again, is the sentence:

Le bonheur des yeux lui ferait-il raccrocher son cœur comme le chapeau du porte-manteau ? (Philippe Rousseau, L'Or des ecrins)

French christmas music
French Christmas Music: "Mon Beau Sapin", "Saint Nuit", "La Marche des Rois", "Petite Ville Bethléem", "Il est né Le Divin Enfant". Order CD here.

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


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


littoral

littoral or coastline near Agay (c) Kristin Espinasse
Le littoral, or the coastline, near Agay. If you enjoy these scenes from France, perhaps a friend would too? Forward this post. New friends, sign up to French Word-A-Day by clicking here. Begin growing your vocabulary, illico presto! 

Today read about the fascinating process of turning grapes into wine! Jean-Marc takes us through the step-by-step process, from gleaning a nearby grape field, to stomping the fruit with his feet, to punching down the "cap" worn by those tanks of fermenting raisins

littoral(e) (lee-tohr-al)

    : (noun, masculine) coast
    : (adjective) coastal

le littoral déchiqueté = rugged coastline

Audio File: If you haven't yet, you may listen to Jean-Marc's story, below, in French. Enjoy his recording:  Download MP3 or Wav file

A Day in Chief Grape's New Life...
a wine-maker  takes a break from a pressing work schedule... to chill out by the sea
 
 

Mercredi dernier, je suis allé courir avec Maxime. Notre parcours nous a fait traverser le magnifique vignoble du Domaine de la Nartette, propriété appartenant au Conservatoire du Littoral (organisation qui a pour mission de protéger le littoral de toute "pollution immobilière" en rachetant des terrains) et situé sur l'appellation Bandol.

Last Wednesday, I went for a run with Maxime. Our itinerary had us crossing the magnificent Domaine de la Nartette vineyard, a property belonging to the French Coastline Conservancy (an organization with the mission of protecting the coastline from all "real estate pollution" by buying land) and situated in the Bandol  appellation.

Images intégrées 1

En passant à côté d'une très belle parcelle de vieux Mourvèdre plantés en coteaux,  j'ai remarqué qu'il restait encore beaucoup de raisins, malgré le fait qu'elle avait déjà été vendangée.
. 
While passing by a beautiful parcel of old Mourvèdre, planted on slopes, I noticed there remained a lot of grapes, in spite of the fact that it had already been harvested.
. 
Je n'ai alors pas résisté à contacter le responsable pour lui demander le droit de glaner les raisins. Après son accord, j'ai emprunté des caisses à vendanges et des sceaux au Chateau Pradeaux (un de mes domaines favoris), qui avait terminé ses vendanges et nous avons ramassé de quoi remplir une cuve de 500 litres (soit environs 400 kgs de raisins).
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I just couldn't resist contacting the person in charge, to ask him for the right to glean the grapes. After his agreement, I borrowed harvesting crates and some buckets from Chateau Pradeaux (one of my favorite vineyards), which had just finished its harvest, and we collected enough to fill a 500 liter tank (or roughly 400 kilos of grapes).
. 
Comme je n'avais pas de fouloir, j'ai du utilisé mes pieds pour fouler les raisins.
.
As I didn't have a wine press, I had to use my feet to tread the grapes.
.
.
La fermentation est partie naturellement bien que j'avais prévu d'ensemencer la cuve avec quelques litres de vin en fermentation que le Château Pradeaux m'avait sympathiquement donné.
.
The fermentation began naturally even though I had planned on inoculating the tank with a few liters of fermenting wine that Château Pradeaux had kindly given me.
Depuis, je plonge manuellement le "chapeau" (ce sont les raisins et les rafles qui sont poussés vers le haut de la cuve pendant la fermentation) tous les deux jours de façon à extraire tout ce que les raisins peuvent offrir.
.
Since, I manually dunk the "cap" (these are the grapes and the stems that have pushed up toward the top of the tank, during fermentation) every two days, so as to extract all that the grapes have to offer.
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Cette cuve va finalement produire environs 300 L de vin une fois la fermentation alcoolique (transformation des sucres et des levures en alcool) sera terminée. Il sera alors mis dans une barrique de 225 L et le reste servira à remplir la barrique lorsqu'elle perdra un peu de vin soit environs 1,5 L par mois, ce que l'on appelle "La part des Anges", car ce sont les Anges qui boivent le vin qui s'évapore. Il titrera environs 13,5%, ce qui n'est pas très élevé mais très intéressant. 
.
This tank will eventually produce around 300 liters of wine, once the alcohol fermentation (or transformation of sugars and yeast into alcohol) is finished. It will then be put into a 225 liter wine barrel and any leftovers will serve to fill the barrel when it loses a little wine each month, around 1.5 liters, or what we call "The Angels' share", for it is the angels who drink the evaporating wine. It will measure around 13.5%, which isn't very high but is very interesting.
.
En effet, la plus part des raisins étaient des "grappillons" qui n'avaient pas été ramassés lors des vendanges car les raisins n'étaient alors pas assez mûrs, ce qui explique qu'ils ont été laissés dans les vignes. De fait, il y a une très belle acidité dans ce vin et cela me ravi, moi qui ai un palais très Bourguignon. 
.
In fact, most of the grapes being "baby grapes" that were not collected during the harvest because the grapes were not ripe enough, this explains why they were left in the vines. As a matter of fact, there is a beautiful acidity in this wine and that delights me, someone who has a very Bourguignon palette.
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Il a aujourd'hui de jolis arômes de fruits rouge (cassis) après avoir initialement eu des notes de mures. Il termine par des arômes de poivre bien typiques du Mourvèdre. Je l'aime beaucoup et il sera, quoi qu'il arrive, un vin très spécial puisque c'est le premier vin de Bandol que j'aurai fait.
.
Today there are some lovely aromas of red fruit (cassis) after the blackberry notes it had at first. It ends with pepper aromas, so typical of Mourvèdre wine. I really like it and it will be, whatever happens, a very special wine since it is the first Bandol wine that I have ever made.
.
Il faudra, le jour venu, trouver un nom à ce vin... Peut-être que vous pouvez m'aider à cela. J'aime bien tout ce qui aura une connotation maritime. A vos claviers donc...
.
One day I will need to find a name for this wine... Perhaps you can help me with this. I really love everything having a "maritime" connotation. To your keyboards, then... 
***
To comment on Jean-Marc's story, click here. You may use the same link to name this new wine. To see some of the names readers have submitted, check the previous comments box.
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P1090416
In other news... Timber! Attention à l'arbre qui tombe! Jean-Marc and neighbor Jean-Mo are busy felling a few pines not far from the front porch. The men are soaking wet, but the rain doesn't seem to bother them. 
La Ciotat 8.16.03 047
Ma fille et moi (2003). Random photo -- don't miss the story Le Frisson. Click here and thanks for reading!
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Best Tips for Learning French
In this post from the word a day archives, readers share their best tips for learning the language. Don't miss it, here

Where to Rent a Car in France?
In this post, readers tell where they go to reserve a car rental. Click here.

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. 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


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


en retard

DSC_0082
Maybe Anne got sidetracked at the neighbor's? Who could blame the animal lover for lingering before this scene? Read today's dual-language missive written by Chief Grape!

en retard (ahn reuh tahr)

     : late

Audio File: Lisen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or Wav file

Anne était-elle en retard ou en avance?
Was Anne late or early?

"En retard"
...a bilingual story by Jean-Marc Espinasse

(Listen to the following story: Download MP3 -- sorry no Wav version available!)

 

Hier, nous avons reçu les premières visites de l'année au Domaine Rouge-Bleu. Brian & Dawn, Mia & Ulli, Carol & Bill sont arrivés à l'heure grâce au plan que Kristi leur avait envoyé.
Yesterday we received the first visits of the year at Domaine Rouge-Bleu. Brian & Dawn, Mia & Ulli, Carol & Bill arrived on time thanks to the map that Kristi had sent them.

Anne, qui avait prévu de venir avec son amie Karen, avait finalement prévenue que Karen était malheureusement malade mais, ceci dit, elle n'était pas là, à l'heure où nous avons commencé la dégustation.... 
Anne, who had planned to come with her ​​friend Karen, had forewarned us that Karen was sick, but unfortunately, that said, [Anne] was not here when we started the tasting ....

Elle est apparue avec toute sa gentillesse mais "en retard" alors que nous dégustions la bouteille "mystère" qui a clos la séance.
She very sweetly appeared, only a bit late... while we were busy tasting the "mystery" wine which ends each tasting.

Lorsque nous sommes allés visiter la cave, Anne était également "en retard" car elle était trop attentionnée à jouer et parler avec Smokey.
And when we went to visit the cellar, Anne was also "late" because she was so focused on playing with and talking to Smokey. 

Puis, tout le groupe est allé déjeuner à la Farigoule, un restaurant de notre village. Lorsque la serveuse est venue prendre la commande, Anne était à nouveau "en retard" car partie pour quelques instants...
Next, the whole group went to eat at La Farigoule, a restaurant in our village. When the waitress came to take our order, Anne was once again "late", for she had left for a few moments.... 

Évidemment, tous ces "retards" n'ont pas du tout été problématiques et c'était juste une coïncidence rigolote.
Clearly, all these "delays" were not all problematic and it was just a funny coincidence.

Anne a, en fait, été "en avance" avec nous tous car c'est elle qui a initié cette première journée de visites. Nous la remercions grandement pour cette initiative ainsi que tout ce sympathique groupe de visiteurs.
Anne was, in fact, "in advance" with all of us, for it is she who initiated this first day of visits. We thank her greatly for this initiative, and we thank our very kind group of visitors.

P.S. Anne, merci encore pour les fleurs, les bonbons, le déjeuner... Vous pouvez arriver "en retard" tant que vous voudrez =)
P.S. Anne, thanks again for the flowers, the candy, and the lunch... You can arrive late whenever you like! 

 (Anne explained that without her friend and co-pilot, Karen Graham, navigating just wasn't the same. This post is dedicated to Karen. We hope you will feel better soon!)

 

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Our first wine-tasting of the season... but where is Anne?...

Note: That's Bill and Carol--first and third on the left. They are from Vancouver. You'll have to squeeze your eyes almost shut to see them in this snapshot (sorry to not have gotten a close-up)! Carol and Bill are living everyone's dream of a one-year sabbatical! Enjoy their stories at CrowsEnProvence (I especially loved their daughter's scarf-tying "Leçon du Foulard"

DSC_0006
Ulli & Mia, English teachers from Hambourg, made it to our house for the dégustation... mais où est Anne?... 

Note: Mia is originally from Brussels, Belgium. However, when she set eyes on Ulli, she quickly jumped borders!

DSC_0013-001
Kristin, flanked by Ann Arborians Brian and Dawn, who arrived shortly after Ulli & Mia. Still no signs of Anne de Pennsylvanie... Pittsburgh must be farther away than we figured.

Note: Brian and Dawn were married 40 years ago. We guess that Michigan has unique marriage laws... given that these sweethearts must have tied the knot around the same time they learned to tie their shoes.

DSC_0015
"Looking for Anne" (Chief Grape there on the stripey left.) You-hoo, Anne, where are you? ohé... ohé... yoo-hoo, you-hoo... I say Anne is looking for Jules, whom she hoped to meet (sadly, Mom is in Mexico! Hmmm, this might explain Anne's delay....)

DSC_0003
Trouvé! Found! So she didn't make a loop down to Mexique! Anne arrived and stole this seat, right next to Mr. Grape Chief. 

*Zee End*

Join us for a wine tasting! The next meet-ups are on April 6th, 10th, 17th, 24th and 26th -- at 4 pm. Leave a message in the comments box if you can make it to one of our April meet-ups!(I'll post May meet-ups soon!)

Comments Corner
To leave a message, please click here. Don't forget to tell us where you are writing in from. 

***

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Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. 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


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


quand le jour viendra

Break free (c) Kristin Espinasse

Break free, break through, break-the-rules...  in fashion, in writing, in gardening, in cuisine, in living. Pictured: the latest "escapee" in our garden: allium (representing unity, patience, and humility).

quand le jour viendra

    : when the day comes
.
Example Sentence, from today's letter written by Newforest:

Vous lirez tout ça demain ..., bientôt ...., un jour ..., quand le jour viendra... You will read all that tomorrow..., soon..., one day..., when the day comes...

Capture plein écran 10052011 164120
Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar makes mastering grammar easy. Check out the book's reviews and order here.

 
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse 

An Unexpected Tribute

The following French words were written by Newforest, who regularly enriches us, from a quiet perch in the comments box, with French words and their meanings.  Thank you, Newforest, for sharing these gems of the French language via your responses in the "coin commentaires". The following response sent via email, is a follow-up to the April 26th newsletter and I thank Newforest for letting me share this unexpected tribute.
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Note: In the following letter, Newforest responds to a story I wrote, one taking place in a French home-improvements store, where I am killing time when a customer with a hell-on-wheels heart captures my eye in time  to calm a condemning mind and reignite an old dream...
 
Newforest writes:

Pour passer le temps,
to pass the time,
. 
ou plus précisément:
or, more precisely:
..
pour TUER le temps,
to KILL time,

on attend, on attend...
we wait, we wait...
.
On peut parfois attendre bien longtemps,
Sometimes we can wait a very long time,
. 
paisiblement,
peacefully,

nonchalamment,
cooly,

anxieusement,
anxiously,

désespérément.
desperately.

Quel désagrément!
How unpleasant!

Efforcez-vous de prendre votre mal en patience,  
Try hard to grin and bear it,

en faisant le poireau, s'il le faut ...
by waiting a long time, without moving, if necessary...

Encore faut-il être joliment patient,
You might have to be pretty patient,

évidemment...
Clearly...

Quand on en a assez de poireauter, qu'est-ce qu'on fait?
When we've had enough waiting, what do we do?

On fait les cent pas dans la rue, ou devant un bâtiment...
We pace back and forth in the street, or before a building...

On marche de long en large (sans liaison entre "g" et "en"!)
We walk to and fro (no joining the "g" and "en"!)

On arpente solitairement les avenues...
We stride alone along the avenues... 

On prétend s'intéresser aux vitrines des marchands.
We pretend to be interested in the shop windows.

Un jour, pour tuer le temps, un écrivain entra dans un supermarché,
One day, to kill time, a writer entered into a supermarket,
. 
genre grand bazar équipé pour ceux qui adorent bricoler!
a kind a great bazaar for those who love DIY!

et là... !? ... Choc! Attraction! Eblouissement! Miracle?
and there...! Shock! Attraction! Amazement! Miracle?

Les yeux de l'écrivain en question se sont accrochés
The eyes of the writer-in-question cling
. 
à une personne dont les traits et qualités
to a person whose features and qualities

frappèrent son imagination et sa sensibilité.
would strike her imagination and feelings.

Elle reconnut la présence et l'âme d'une héroïne,
She recognised the presence and the soul of a heroine,

l'héroïne d'un conte pour les petits et les grands.
the heroine of a story for children and adults.

Savez-vous que cette femme écrivain au grand coeur,
Did you know that this woman writer with a big heart,

pleine d'idées, d'imagination et de bonne humeur,
full of ideas, imagination, and high spirits,

donnera vie à toute une série d'aventures,
will give life to a series of adventures,

à de la poésie en action, à ...  Chut!... Vous lirez tout ça
from poetry in action, to... Shhhh!... You'll read all of that

demain ..., bientôt ...., un jour ..., quand le jour viendra...
tomorrow..., soon... one day... when the day comes...

Encore faut-il que l'auteur en question se libère des liens du confort quotidien,
But it is still necessary that the author-in-question free herself from ties of daily comfort,

évitant les mille et une excuses plantées le long de son chemin,
avoiding the thousand-and-one excuses planted along the way,

et soit finalement seule, face aux paysages, menant les personnages
to be finally alone, facing the scenery, leading along the characters
. 
dans des aventures qui en-chan-te-ront
in adventures that will enchant

(mais oui, j'en suis sûre)
(yes, of course! I am sure)

les lecteurs de 'sept à soixante dix-sept ans'.
readers from "seven to 77" years old.

***
Thank you, Newforest, for your touching words and for remembering my dream of novels-writing! I continue keep this goal simmering on the back burner...  Meantime, your words offer heaps of encouragement. Merci beaucoup!

Le Coin Commentaires

To comment on Newforest's letter -- or to correct my English translation -- please click here. Many thanks again for sharing your responses to this post in the comments box.


French Vocabulary by Newforest

* nonchalamment = lazily, cooly
* un désagrément = unpleasant feeling
* s'efforcer de = to try hard
* prendre son mal en patience = to grin and bear it

* faire le poireau / poireauter (click here for a word-a-day entry on this term...) = to wait for a long time, without moving, without walking,
Careful... * faire le poirier = to do a headstand!
(le poireau = a leek   and  *le poirier = a pear tree)

* être joliment patient = to be pretty patient / to have loads of patience
* en avoir assez de poireauter =  to be fed up with waiting and waiting
* faire les cent pas / marcher de long en large
= to pace to and fro, to walk to and fro, to pace up and down
* arpenter (la rue) = to pace up and down (the street), to stride along
* bricoler = to DIY (Do It Yourself, to work indepenently, without professional help)
* faire semblant / prétendre = to pretend
* s'accrocher  = to cling
s'accrocher à quelqu'un = to get emotionally attached to somebody
*les traits = here, the features
* quand le jour viendra = when the day comes
un éblouissement = glare, dazzle (by very strong light)
- Here: amazement, dazzling experience
- and it also means dizzy spell

se libérer = to free oneself
* évitant = avoiding
* les lecteurs 'de 7 à 77 ans' = readers of all ages and conditions

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NAME THIS FLOWER (click here)... it's for Newforest, in thanks for today's words, and so much more!

 

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With special thanks to the Dirt Divas... for this and the other blooms bursting in the garden.

Upcoming events: Taste Chief Grape's Dentelle wine on May 16th from 6 to 10 PM (note that Jean-Marc and Kristin won't be able to attend this time!)  at restaurant l'Office in Paris.

***

A Feast at the Beach A Feast at the Beach. Travel back in time and immerse yourself in the Provence of the late 60s. Sensitively told, filled with humor, tenderness and a beautifully descriptive narrative regaling the reader with the tastes and smells of Southern France, A Feast at the Beach deftly blends the foods of Provence with stories that will touch your heart - and just may inspire you to rediscover your own joie de vivre. See the reviews, here.

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Eiffel Tower Cookie Cutter -  handcrafted by artisans to last for generations. Order here.

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Some of you asked about this flower, which goes by the common name: Love in a Mist. Now read about Amour en Cage, or Love in a Cage

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
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"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


panier

Pêle-Mêle in the Panier (c) Kristin Espinasse

Though you can't see it, this basket has a hole in the bottom... which reminds me of a wonderful French idiom: "un panier percé" ("a pierced basket" or a spendthrift!). The expression is très imagée (one can easily visualize money falling right through the hole of the basket, as the reckless spender practices that iffy prescription known as "retail therapy"!


le panier (pan yay)

    : basket

(from the Latin panarium, "bread basket")

Audio file :Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the following "panier" expressions:
Download MP3 or Wav

mettre tous ses oeufs dans le même panier = to put all of one's eggs in the same basket

réussir/marquer un panier (basketball) to score a basket

un panier-repas = a packed lunch, lunch bucket

le dessus du panier = the pick of the bunch

un panier à salade = a prison van, or paddy wagon

 

Would anyone like to add to/comment on these panier expressions? Thank you for sharing them in the comments box.

 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

The following meditation "Soyez Enfant" is in honor of my mom, The Ultimate Babe! 

Au fait
, or by the way, this is Jules's cherished panier (pah-nee-ay)... so well loved and so often used... that it finished with a great hole in the bottom of its "shoes"

I tried to find different uses for the wicker panier (so as not to have to store it, or, worse, throw it away) but its latest incarnation (as a laundry basket) proved a flop (too many disappearing socks!). Then, just yesterday, when trying to find "lodging" for a homeless flower pot... SHAZAM! the little panier whispered here - I - am!

I leave you with this thought for the day, from a favorite Frenchman, François Fenelon. This passage is from a chapter called "Knowledge Can Stand in the Way of Wisdom"....  

Soyez enfant

L'enfant n'a rien à lui
Il traite un diamant comme une pomme
Soyez enfant.

Rien de propre.
Oubliez-vous.
Cédez à tout.
Que les moindres choses soient plus grandes que vous.

Be A Babe

A baby owns nothing. 
It treats a diamond and an apple alike.
Be a babe.
Have nothing of your own.
Forget yourself.
Give way on all occasions.
Let the smallest person be greater than you.

Let go*English text from the book "Let Go" by François Fenelon. Order a copy here

Le Coin Commentaires
Please join us now in the community corner: comment about today's word or story or bilingual "Babe" passage -- or add your own thought bubble for the picture at the end of this post. You might take the opportunity to ask a question about France or French life. Click here to leave a message.   

 

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Smokey says: Strange... but, for some reason, I don't feel so lopsided anymore... 

To see the flowers on the other side of this doorstep, click here.... and thanks again to Doreen for brightening up our entrance!

 

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
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"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


sourire

Mamy In The Window (c) Kristin Espinasse

Smiles and good wishes for all today. Isn't that what's needed? The following French poem was spotted in the neighboring village of Rasteau. Some "happy nester" had taped it to their front porch window.... Thank you, Newforest, for translating the text. (When you have read the poem, you might come back and visit the Mamie in the window above: click here...) 

***

"Le sourire" (smile)... we have visited this attractive word before (here and here)... so I searched for a synonym (in English we have "a grin" (a big smile that shows your teeth) and "a beam" (a wide, happy smile)... but all I could find in French was "une grimace" (which didn't seem like a match to me!) So sourire it is and sourire it will be! Enjoy the following poem and remember to put on a smile ce weekend.

"Un Sourire"
"A Smile"

(Note: listen to the Jean-Marc read this text: mp3 or wave

Un sourire ne coûte rien et produit beaucoup,
A smile does not cost anything but produces so much*,

Il enrichit ceux qui* le reçoivent,
It enriches the person who receives it

Sans appauvrir ceux qui le donnent.
without impoverishing the one who gives it.

Il ne dure qu'un instant,
It lasts only a few moments,

Mais son souvenir* est parfois éternel.
But its memory may sometimes last for ever.

Personne n'est assez pauvre pour ne pas le mériter.
Nobody is poor enough not to deserve it.

Il crée le bonheur au foyer, soutient les affaires,
It creates happiness at home and sustains businesses,

Il est le signe sensible de l'amitié.
It is the visible sign of friendship.

Un sourire donne du repos à l'être* fatigué.
A smile brings rest to the weary soul.

Il ne peut ni s'acheter, ni se prêter, ni se voler,
It cannot be bought, nor can it be loaned or even stolen,

Car c'est une chose qui n'a de valeur
For it is something which has value

Qu'à partir du moment où il se donne.
Only from the very moment it is given.

Et si quelquefois vous rencontrez une personne
And if sometimes you meet someone

Qui ne sait plus avoir le sourire...
Who no longer knows how to smile...

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                         (Left: Smokey's Dad, "Sam", sans sourire...)

Soyez généreux, donnez-lui le vôtre!
Be generous, give him yours!

Car nul n'a autant besoin d'un sourire...
As no one is more desperate for a smile...

Que celui qui ne peut en donner aux autres. 
Than the one who is unable to give a smile to others.

 *poem by Raoul Follereau (1902-1977), who established World Leprosy day and who, throughout his life, shared his compassion for victims of leprosy--as well as for victims of poverty, indifference, and injustice.

Le Coin Commentaires
Join us now, in the community corner. Respond to today's message, offer a correction, or ask each other questions about French or France--this is your chance! Click here to leave a note

 And don't miss this lovely poem, by William Weber. You might offer your translation in French...

Newforest notes:

* (but produces) so much* - or: 'but produces a great deal'

* “ceux qui” = 'the people who', but I left it singular: the one who)

* "l'être" = the human being – here, I translated by -> 'the soul'

* "son souvenir est parfois éternel". I could have said: 'its memory may be eternal' but I decided to repeat the verb to last, so here is my choice: its presence may sometimes last for ever.

Merci encore, Newforest, for translating Raoul Follereau's "Sourire" poem.

 

Thank you for sending your in your wishes, in response to the "seisme" post (here). Here is a "word cloud"... made entirely from your messages of support (to view messages, or to add your own, click here) : 

 

Capture plein écran 18032011 065107

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
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"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


beurre de cacahuètes

le beurre de cacahuètes (bur deuh kaka wet)

    : peanut butter

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's word, and phrase: Download MP3

. 

A Day in a FRENCH DOG'S Life...
by Smokey "R" Dokey & Mama Braise

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 (Note: The English-French side-by-side translation to the following story is available! Click here to see it.)

Smokey: Parce qu'elle nous quitte... je vais manger tout son beurre de cacahuètes! Et voilà. Tant pis pour elle! Ça lui apprendra de se séparer de moi!!!

MamaBraise: Smokey-Chou, si tu souhaites la revanche tu es mal tombé... car elle voyage dans le pays du beurre de cacahouète! 

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 Smokey: Que ça me donne envie!

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(Mama Braise compte les boîtes pour bien vérifier qu'elles sont toutes là.)

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Braise (à gauche): Fais attention, Smokey. Il en reste douze! Fais très attention à toi!

Smokey: Qui? Moi? Mais regarde mon air innocent!

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Smokey: Hum...

 

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Smokey: Et si je les ré-ammènage. Elle ne sera pas au courant... s'il en manque... non je ne lui ferais pas ça. J'suis fidèle!

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Smokey:  Elle me manque déjà et elle n'est toujours pas partie!

Braise: Fiston, la verité c'est que tu as hâte d'entamer la première boîte! Ne sois pas hypocrite.

 

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Maman Braise: ...et ces trois là... c'est pour moi!
. 

Le Coin Commentaires
Corrections and comments are welcome in the comments box. Click here. P.S.: what is your very favorite brand of beurre de cacahuètes? 

* Dual-language story: Don't miss the English version of the story: click here.

 

Full Disclosure Statement: The peanut butter company appearing in these photos did not contact Smokey or Braise or any member of the Espinasse family. No peanut butter perks, privileges, pennies, or prizes were promised. The beurre de cacahuètes pictured above was a gift from the importers of our Domaine Rouge-Bleu wine. (Thanks again to Tim and Phyllis of French Country Wines!)

 
Feel like reading another story or learning a few more French words? Check out the French Word-A-Day archives, here.

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. 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


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


frigo

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Smokey The Bandit & The Frigo Caper, in today's *bi-lingual* story column! For a free subscription to French Word-A-Day, click here.

le frigo (freego)

    : fridge, icebox

synonyme: frigidaire, réfrigérateur, (refrigerator) & la glacière (ice box)

Ado, véto, resto... the French seem to love abbreviation. This is not to say that others of us are not guilty of truncating terms: in English, for example, we say fridge... Have any apocopic terms to add to this memoClick here to begin truncating...

French christmas music French Christmas Music: "Mon Beau Sapin", "Saint Nuit", "La Marche des Rois", "Les anges dans nos campagnes". Order CD here. 


A Day in a DOG'S Life... by Smokey "R" Dokey

(French text by Carol Donnay... English text follows!)

Smokey dit: "Zut, encore rien pour moi.. Peut-être dans le bac à légumes? Mais je suis pas végétarien. Comme dit Maman Braise quand elle me voit végéter devant le frigo vide de viande: " Smokey, chéri, même si tu végètes, t'as rien..."

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(That's me, Smokester, behind Mama Braise)

Smokey says: "Darn, as always, nothin' for me... Maybe in the vegetable crisper? But I am not a vegetarian. As Mama Braise says when she sees me vegetating in front of the meatless fridge: "Smokey, dear, even if you vegetate, you'll still get nothing!"

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Hmmm... Hmmm....

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Je végète, je végète.... Vegetating... vegetating....


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Mama Braise a raison. Rien!  Mama Braise is right. Nada!

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OMD! C'est elle... L'Ombre!  OMG! It's her. The Shadow!

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Je donne la patte! Je suis innocent! I give you my paw! I'm innocent!

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Je t'assure, je n'y faisais rien! Je végète, je végète. C'est tout! 
I assure you. I wasn't doing a thing... vegetating, vegetating. That's all!

:: Le Coin Commentaires / Comments Box::
Thank you, Carol, for the opening text to this picture story. I have added additional text, in French (one-liners beneath the remaining photos) -- hope I got the grammar and spelling correct! Any edits are welcome here, in the comments box. Merci!

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. 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


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


frimousse

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       The laurier-rose is in season... and blue shutters never go out of style. 
   

 frimousse (free moos) noun, feminine

    : sweet little face

A Day in a (DOG'S) Life... by Smokey "R" Dokey

Occasionally, Smokey says, I get fan mail. It's kind of embarrassing—enough to make my frimousse turn as red as my tongue (having snatched a bottle of forgotten ketchup on the dinner table....).

Here's a lettre d'admiratrice that I just received from Carol, in Belgium. Don't miss the clever wordplay:
 
Bonsoir Chéri Smokey-Joli,

J'adore te voir et je ne me lasse pas d'admirer ta jolie frimousse ! ( un peu fatiguée sur cette photo, non?)
I love to see you and never get tired of admiring your good-looking and sweet face (a little tired in the photo, no?) 
 
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 Alors ces ragondins? "Ragondinpeu"... Tu les as mis à plat ou tu les as mis au pas? So tell me about the nutrias (coypus)? "Ragondinpeu"... Did you flatten them or did you bring them to their feet?
 
J'ai "entendu-lire" quelque part que ces mignons coquins font pas mal de dégâts dans la nature! I "over-read" somewhere that these cute little rascals make quite a mess out in nature!

 
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C'est très bien Monsieur Smok-écolo de préserver notre écosystème. Sois vert et aboie !   ("Sois belle et tais-toi"..... film avec Mylène Demongeot, grande amie des animaux.) That's very good, Mister Smok-ecolo, to preserve our eco system. Be green and bark! ("Be pretty and shut up".... a film with Mylène Demongeot, a great friend of animals.)

 
Smokey-Joli,
On aime ton "ô verdure" d'esprit (ouverture d'esprit ;-) 
Smokey-Joli,
We love your open mind.

Bisous,
Kisses,


Carol

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Kristin adds: thank you, Carol, for your endearing play on words. I will need help from readers to fix any mistakes I might have made in translation, as well as to point out and explain some of the fun and invented terms that you shared with us.  Click here to respond to Carol's letter or to my translation.

 

***


 

Exercises in French PhonicsExercises in French Phonics is... 
" a great book for learning French pronunciation"
"useful and practical"
"high quality material, good value for your money" --from Amazon customer reviews. Order your copy here.

 

Easy French Reader
: A fun and easy new way to quickly acquire or enhance basic reading skills

In film:  Paris Je T'aime Paris I love You.

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Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. 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


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


ebouriffe

DSC_0001
For muddy faces... Braise recommends this triple-milled soap from Provence! Thanks for ordering some savon here.

ébouriffé(e) (ay-boor-ee-fay) adjective

    : tousled, disheveled, rumpled


Looking for a room with a view of Monte Carlo and a short walk down to the beaches, the Casino de Monte Carlo, the Grimaldi Forum & the Port of Monaco? See the newest studio at France & Monaco Rentals

.............................................................................................................................
A Day in a DOG'S Life...
featuring a letter from Carol Donnay, writing in from Belgium.

.............................................................................................................................

Note: you may listen to Jean-Marc read Carol's letter in French: MP3 or Wav
Cher Smokey,
Dear Smokey,

Qu'est-il arrivé à ta maman?
What has happened to your mom?

1) A-t-elle pris un bain de boue pour lutter contre les rhumatisme?
    Has she taken a mud bath to combat rheumatism?

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2) Est-elle tombée dans la mare aux canards?
     Did she fall into the duck pond?

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3) A-t-elle mis sa patte dans la prise de courant?
    Did she stick her paw into the light socket?

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4) Son salon de toilettage s'appelle "Chez Emile Pétard" puis, après le brushing explosif, son esthéticienne a forcé sur la crème bronzante? Her grooming salon is called "Chez Emile Firecracker" and, after the explosive blow drying, her beautician was a little heavy-handed with the self-tanning cream?

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Pauvre Braise! Elle a l'air bien penaude dans son manteau "cinquième-patte" (seconde-main) et toi Smokey Joli, un air bien fiérot dans ta fourrure immaculée. Poor Braise! She looks so sheepish in her second-hand coat et you, Pretty Boy Smokey, proud in your immaculate fur!

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Bisous les chéris,
Kisses dears,

Carol

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:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

This forum is open to your thoughts about today's edition. Thanks for taking a minute to thank Carol for her delightful story-letter. You may also pose questions about France, the French language and similar topics. By helping each other we enrich this community, educate, and inspire one another in all things French. Click here to comment.



 

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***

 

Garden Update

 6a00d834515cae69e2010536b38409970c-500wi
Yahoo! Just learned the word "biennial" which means that the hollyhocks I planted two years ago just may bloom after all! They'll soon join the Lily of Spain and the poppies (pictured) that grow like giggles in our garden.

Tigue Update!!!
I received a note from Rhiannon, and this letter, below from Rowan -- with some good news!

Dear Kristin

Just a quick note to say thank you for publicising Carcassonne Spa on your blog. People are so wonderful. Also I wanted to let you know that Tigue has been found a home! A British couple is collecting him tomorrow, and I couldn't be more delighted for him! Perhaps you could pass on the good news to your readers.
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Still lots more dogs needing homes, but with the help of people like you and your readers hopefully things will gradually start to improve.

Many thanks again.
Rowan

  IMG_0511
Here is a photo of the latest save. She is called Diana, rescued just hours before she was due to be put down last week and now living with me for a couple of weeks before going to her final home in the Lot. She is only 2 and half! Still plenty of time to enjoy life and put all the horrible SPA experience behind her
Red balloon
The Red Balloon: a French film classic. Order it here.

 Sugar flour
Cheery kitchen canisters, classic country French. Also in blue, here.


 Flash cards
French Retro 1940s Flash Cards for Children or Nostalgic Adults

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. 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


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie