"Lexique" + a botanical glossary of plants in Provence


Sunflowers near the town of Jonquières and kids growing faster than tournesols... in today's story.

Today is Joseph-Marie Jacquard's birthday. Read all about this French inventor in "Jacquard's Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age"

pousser (poo-say) verb
    : to push
    : to grow

Related Terms & Expressions:
  une poussette = a pushchair
  un poussoir = a push-button
  un pousse-café = an after dinner drink ("pushes down" the after-dinner coffee)
  pousser un cri = to utter a cry
  pousser un soupir = to heave a sigh (of relief)

Listen to my son, Max, pronounce the French word "pousser" and to the French terms (above):
Download pousser.mp3 . Download pousser.wav

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Festive & Frenchy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Eiffel Tower Confetti - get ready to celebrate Bastille Day!

Max returned home from basketball camp having left one item behind: his former voice. Though I'm tempted to root through the camp's Lost-n-Found* pile, grasping for that soft, well-worn voix,* I will have to remember to let go.... and let grow.

"You are growing!" I inform my son, as we stand back-to-back in another match of "C'est Qui La Plus Grande?"*
"You owe me!" Mr. Crackly Voice replies, remembering a bet we placed back when he was nine. Four years ago, I predicted my son would eclipse me, vertically, by the age of twelve. Now, at thirteen, I can still pat him on the head without having to raise my arm sky high.

Max and I settle in at the kitchen table for a late-night snack. After two buttery galettes,* I push away the cookie tin... While some of us are growing upwardly, others of us are growing in other directions, and I'm not talking spiritually or emotionally....

As Max reaches for another cookie, I try distracting myself from their buttery goodness by redirecting my attention to the table's centerpiece. I point to the ripe-red, just-harvested tomatoes: roma, cerise,* and St. Pierre. My son's nod of approval is all the encouragement that this newbie Green Thumb needs to continue planting seeds. Never mind if I messed up on the maïs.* (It seems the French grow corn for chickens, hence the tough kernels. I'll have to either rip out the two knee-high rows or give the harvest to the neighbors, for their poulailler*). Max, as if reading my mind, has another suggestion:

Man.* do you still want chickens?
"Oh, I don't know...."
"Well," Max reasons, "chickens are good for eggs... but bad for the grasse matinée.* "Cocorico!" he crackles, illustrating his point. Once again, I am reminded of my son's adolescence, which includes sleeping in long after the coq's* own voice has been spent. "Cocorico!" he repeats, his crackly-voice sounding from beyond those once chubby cheeks.

I remind myself to let go.... and let grow. That'll be my new mommy mantra from here on out. It is time to say a toast: to a growing son and a growing mom (and now I'm talking spiritually and emotionally). I raise my glass of milk, cookie crumbs floating across the surface like champagne bubbles: "Cocorico!" I sing. "Cocorico!" Max answers, eyes unchanging... sparkling... as they have since before he could speak.

lost and found = objets trouvés; la voix (f) = voice; C'est Qui La Plus Grande? = Who's The Tallest?; la galette (f) = round, flat cake (cookie); la cerise (f) = cherry (tomato); le maïs (m) = corn; le poulailler (m) = henhouse; man (short for "maman") = mom; (faire) la grasse matinée = the sleep in; le coq (m) = rooster

Mere Poulard, traditional butter "galettes", packaged in a colorful tin box

French Verb Conjugation:
je pousse, tu pousses, il/elle pousse, nous poussons, vous poussez, ils/elles poussent  => past participle: poussé

Ceramic Provence Olive design herb mill with French herbs

Jolee's Boutique Paris Stickers : good for notebooks, art boards...

On July 14 1789 a mob of angry Parisians stormed the Bastille and seized the King's military stores. A decade of idealism war murder and carnage followed bringing about the end of feudalism and the rise of equality and a new world order.THE FRENCH REVOLUTION is a definitive feature-length documentary that
encapsulates this heady (and often headless) period in Western civilization.

In gifts for girls: Fleur-de-lis Charm Necklace

Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety