The village of Les Sauzes, not far from the Italian border.

At $6.99* a pop, "Words in a French Life" in bargain book form makes perfect stocking stuffer for the Francophile in your life!
*while supplies of the hardbound remaindered copies last.

inébranlable (ee-nay-brahn-lahbl) adjective

Soyez assis avec toute la majesté inaltérable et inébranlable de la montagne. Laissez votre esprit s'élever, prendre son essor et planer dans le ciel. Be seated with all the unchanging and unshakable majesty of the mountain. Let your spirit rise, soar up into the sky and glide. --Sogyal Rinpoché

"Unshakeable" is a state of being to strive for around here. Only, daily I get tripped up. Come the six o'clock hour and I can meltdown with the best of them. My son and daughter, both "the best" and "THEM!," no longer have meltdowns... of the nose-to-the ground-pound-your-fists-and-cry-like-a-hound
type... but they join me, along with Jean-Marc, Braise, and now Coco, in the end-of-the-day soul slump. Everyone is tired, everyone is hungry, and everyone has the patience of a Parisian taxi driver chaotically circling the Arc de Triomphe, returning to the airport to pick up more tourists.

Thankfully, moods change and it happens that at the dinner table one or even two of us out-of-sorts types will be in an inquiring mind--enough to distract the rest of us into self-forgetting if only for an evening. Last night it was my son Max who wanted to know:

"What is the meaning of 'ee-pee'?"

Ee-pee? It took a moment or two for my son's French accent to register. Next, an image of a long-haired type, bandana tied around the head, pot-stained fingers now forked open and signing the language of peace appeared in my mind's eye.

"You mean 'hippy'," I corrected. Just saying the word "hippy" was enough to lift lamenting lips into a smile. Meanwhile, Jean-Marc came up with a definition for our son. "Hippy...C'est un comportement "cool" qui s'est développé dans les années 60 suite à la libération des moeurs et en refus de la

As I tried to concentrate on my husband's explanation, I saw our cat, Coco, wrestling again with the Christmas tree ornaments. One quarter of the tree is bare, thanks to our furry feline Grinch.

"Coco!" I snapped. Instantly, Braise appeared at my knee, wagging half of her body. "I didn't call you, Jalouse.* Go lie down!"

When the kids began to laugh, Coco startled, fell off the couch, and landed on all fours. That's when the kids' muffled giggles grew info a snorting uproar.

"Everybody, calm down!" I said, as the food got cold and the kids, distracted, accidentally ran their elbows, and pajamas, through the sauce on the plate below.
"Roll up your sleeves!" I shouted.
The kids did as they were told, accidentally knocking elbows...
"Watch it, Jackie!" Max complained.
"Je ne t'ai rien fait!" I didn't do anything to you!
"Arrêtez, les enfants!" Knock it off, Jean-Marc warned.

Next, another ornament fell off the tree and crashed, startling Coco whose fur flew up as he arched his back. The kids gurgled, Braise barked, and I threw up my arms at wit's end. "Coco!" The cat ignored me, but Braise was back, tail wagging and pretending to be the cat!

"Jackie! Go lie down!" I snapped.
"But I didn't do anything!" my daughter replied.
"I meant, 'Braise'!"
That's when Max laughed at his sister, "ha-ha, go lie down!," who then complained to her father. The edge was getting sharper and I was ON it until I fell off...

"Why is it that every single time we sit down at the table..." I began.
"THIS is a time of rest, a time to enjoy one's meal in complete calm. After a long day, we should be able to sit down and relax...ENJOY each other. We all just need to learn to be COOL," I said, adding "...mommy, especially!" so as not to point to finger at anyone in particular.

A moment of reflection ensued until the "crash!" of yet another paw-swatted ornament disturbed the silence. That's when the room came alive again beginning with Max, who had a behavioral suggestion for his edgy entourage.

"Why don't we all become ee-pees?" he offered.

References: Jean-Marc's hippy (also hippie) definition = Hippy...It is a behavior--"cool"--that was developed in the 60's following the freeing up of stuffy customs and as an anti-war statement; la jalouse (f) = the jealous one

     In French music: ZEN by Zazie
     In DVD: French for Kids: Learn French
:: Audio File ::
Inébranlable. Soyez assis avec toute la majesté inaltérable et inébranlable de la montagne. Laissez votre esprit s'élever, prendre son essor et planer dans le ciel.
Download inebranlable.mp3
Download inebranlable.wav

French cosmetics: Caudalie: A true Vinotherapie® Spa experience
French film: La Vie en Rose

In books: Christmas in the Trenches:
"In 1914, British and German troops were dug into trenches in France, facing one another across the barbed wire and barren ground called No Man's Land. On Christmas Eve, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing Stille Nacht and joined in." --From School Library Journal

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