France boasts an abundant supply of water. But can you drink from the tap? Is it potable, or drinkable? Just where does tap water come from and, more importantly, What is in it? TODAY'S WORD: eau du robinet : tap water ECOUTEZ/Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence: Download MP3 or Download Wav Eau du robinet. Peut-on... 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 →


In a nearby calanque... I'm counting on our 17-year-old, Max, to bring home more "fruits of the sea"... because I sure don't trust some of the fruits they're selling us at the supermarket! Read on, in today's story column. (Photos in today's post are by Jean-Marc) Has a friend just forwarded you this post? To sign up... Read more →


An artichoke plant grown from seed. Once it flowered, more graines were collected; with them I hope to grow a new plant in our garden. Is it true that seed collection--from our own gardens--may one day be illegal? Or is this just one of those conspiracy-theory rumors? By the way (and not in the same breath as... Read more →


"Raw Paws" - or the Society for Mutts that Don't Do Meat or Cooked Veggies. The group is only a fictional one--for Mr Smokey R. Dokey (pictured) won't be giving up his viande vittles any time soon. But, being the gentle cohabitant that he is, he respects certain members of his family that are experimenting with a... Read more →


We'll go ahead and use this photo (for its calligraphie) to illustrate today's story, which might as well be titled "Les Bêtises de La Peau" or "Skin Stupidity". Read on... and cover up with sun screen! la peau (poh) : skin Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc Download MP3 or Wav Protégez votre peau du soleil. Mettez un... Read more →


Beauty in abandoned places. Beside the bricked-in, condemned windows, a random poppy bouquet, born in the cracks of concrete. Photo taken in Bollène (Vaucluse) (with a handy pocket camera I'm using a lot these days (click here for more info). la goutte (goot) : gout Note: our family is about to begin bottling wine now (see story,... Read more →


Chief Grape in his tractor. (Photo taken earlier this month.) The vines are now leafy green and those bushes, in the foreground, are covered with sweet-scented, golden, Scottish-broomy buds. Un update on Jean-Marc's test results in today's story: "Light at the end of the Tonnerre"... Correction: The pronunciation for chocotte, or "to have the jitters" (and nothing... Read more →


The life of a grape farmer, where torn trousers, sopping-wet work shirts, and "too much on the mind" are part of making good wine! Who has time for health? Read on.... le rein (rehn) : kidney néphrologue (m/f) = kidney specialist les reins = the small of the back avoir mal aux reins = to have a... Read more →


Have you been vaccinated lately? As an adult, the DPT vaccination "rappel" or "booster" is every ten years... more in today's story. Thank you, David and Susan Howell, for the photo, above (part of Saturday's Cinéma Vérité gallery... Don't miss it! . la piqûre (pee kyer) : prick, sting, bite; injection faire une piqûre à quelqu'un =... Read more →