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


Only scarecrows are immune to canker sores. The rest of us are sitting ducks! (photo taken in the Queyras Valley, in the French Hautes-Alpes) If you are new to this word journal, I hope not to scare you away with an ugly first word. (You could always skip to the story column and learn sores--I mean scores--of... Read more →


""The rare Frenchman who uses the crosswalk" Computer is back and so are some long-lost photos from years ago! Youpie! Yay! une béquille (beh-kee) : crutch, stand; kickstand (bike) Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the following expressions: Download MP3 or Wav file Elle marche avec des béquilles. She walks with crutches. mettre une moto, un vélo... Read more →


A stylish window in Alsace. I love decor... even if decorating intimidates me. Read on, in today's story. le convive (kon-veev) : guest Audio File: listen to me read the sentence below (I may have made an error, by not making a liason between "convives" and "étaient"...: Download MP3 or hear the Wav file Nos convives étaient... Read more →


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... Read more →


le muguet (mew-geh) n.m. : lily of the valley Question: So what are the French doing today, the first of May, besides la grasse matinée? Answer: Waving snow-white porte-bonheurs through the air and wishing each other good luck! Along little cobblestone paths in the French hinterland, and at noisy intersections across the city, French vendeurs de muguet... Read more →