"Neighbors" (Les Voisins) Read about neighborliness, or les rapports de bon voisinage, in today's story column, written by one of my favorite in-laws, Tante Marie-Françoise. Enjoy! Book recommendation: Eiffel's Tower: And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count Note: if the book's delightful sub-title didn't win you... Read more →

All photos © Kristin Espinasse Come harvest time, this old wagon is an important part of la routine for a certain Cécilién* farmer. (*Cécilien, Cécilienne: resident of the village of Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes) Jean-Marc's USA Wine Tour: If you are near Tampa on March 24th, you are very welcome to join Jean-Marc for one of his wine tastings.... Read more →

Today's story continues from Châteauneuf-du-Pape ("New Castle of the Pope"), the ruins are pictured here. . Bestselling books on/about France: 1. The Ultimate French Verb Review and Practice 2. Buying a Piece of Paris: A Memoir 3. Exercises in French Phonics en-tête (on-tet) noun, masculine 1. heading 2. headline Audio File & Example sentence Example, taken from... Read more →

photos © Kristin Espinasse. The view of Mont Ventoux ("le Mont Chauve") as seen from the village of Sainte Cécile. "See it" from the village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, in today's new story column! Remerciements Talk about flower power! The combined strength of your sympathies--via lilies, rosemary, snow drops... pansies--has put a smile in our hearts as my family... Read more →

Aunt Marie-Françoise finishing up another lavender "bottle". tresser (tres-ay) verb 1. to plait, to braid; to twist 2. to weave, wreathe (basket, garland) synonyms: natter (to plait, braid), entrelacer (to interlace, intertwine) Tressons, tressons ces fleurs, hâtons-nous, jeune amie, Les songes et les fleurs demain ne seront plus! Let us weave, let us weave these flowers, let... Read more →

The ancient walls of Gigondas (Vaucluse) where genêt gilds the countryside. faner (fa-nay) verb : to wither La gloire soudaine se fane très vite. Sudden glory quickly withers. --Proverb Hear the French word "faner" and today's quote, read by my son, Max: Download faner.mp3 .Download faner.wav * * * Is it too late to talk about sweet-scented... Read more →

In Gigondas: watching for intruders... or maybe a new pal or two to play with. Read about another dog in today's story column. Smart French : learn French from real French people: guetter (geh-tay) verb to watch, to guard to watch for, to lie in wait for, to be on the lookout for to threaten; to ambush... Read more →

Love the ones you're with. "Braise-The-Dog, pensive." I tried to capture Coco-The-Cat, too, but he flew out of Braise's lap so fast you'd think I was set to feed him a spoonful of cod liver oil. On second thought, what was he thinking? Certainly not "COD!" Learn the language with Painless French: includes grammar, pronunciation, idioms, idiocies... Read more →


Laboring the earth, the old-fashioned way, at Domaine du Trapadis. Photo by Jean-Marc. rêche (resh) adjective harsh, rough, abrasive (fabric, wine) prickly, cross-grained (difficult-to-deal-with person: un homme rêche) Additional French definition for rêche, from Le Petit Larousse: : "qui est âpre au goût" = that which is tart to the taste Terms: le drap rêche = crumpled... Read more →

tablier (tah-blee-yay) noun, masculine : apron, pinafore; smock [from the word "table"] Here's the French definition from the "Dictionnaire de l'Académie française" : "Pièce de toile, de serge, de cuir, etc. que les femmes et les artisans mettent devant eux pour conserver leurs habits en travaillant." (Piece of cloth, woolen fabric, leather, etc. that women and craftsmen... Read more →