livre d'or
tel quel


How much is that doggy oie in the window? Photo © Kristin Espinasse taken in or near Buisson (Vaucluse)...

Which do you find more charming in the photo above: those curvy curtainettes, those bucolic beads, the patched up window pane, or that oisive oie--or gazing goose--in the window upstairs? Or maybe it's the whimsical frieze above the door? Or simply, shutters? Share your thoughts in the comments box.

Word of the Day:

oie (wah) noun, feminine

    : goose

[from the Latin avica, from avis -- bird]

une oie sauvage = a wild goose
une oie des neiges = a snow goose
faire l'oie
= to act silly
une oie blanche
= a white goose (also "a naïve, silly girl")
le jeu de l'oie = game of snakes and ladders
le pas de l'oie = goose-step
  avancer au pas de l'oie = to goose-step along

... and this, from the comments box (remerciements to "Dkahane"):
A road intersection in the shape of an X (as opposed to a +) is known as a patte-d'oie. And once we reach a certain age, les pattes-d'oie (crow's feet) start appearing in the corners of our eyes.

Reverse dictionary (English term / French equivalent):
goose pimples / goose bumps = la chair de poule (chicken skin)
silly little goose! = petite dinde! (little turkey)
to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs = tuer la poule aux oeufs d'or

Did you know that the male goose is le jars and the young birds are les oisons. Do you know any other "oie" expressions? Would you like to talk about one that you've seen here or fill us in on a further meaning? Thanks for sharing in the comments box.

I can't remember which of our holiday dinner guests had suggested goose
(was it Alicia or Misha, who had driven up from Les Arcs-sur-Argens via London? Or was it Florence or Olivier, who'd arrived from Collioures via Brussels?). Or maybe the tipster was my do-it-yourself sister-in-law, Cécile, who'd rigged a faulty gas tank to her car's back seat in order to make it here for Christmas... the voyage took forever (driving at 80 km/hour so as not to splash too much...) and, as for a Frenchwoman's fragrance, hers was authentically essence.* Talk about splashed on!

Never mind, it doesn't matter who brought it up, goose that is--goose, not as a main course, rather goose as a force: one for hen-hungry thieves to reckon with! (Did you know some people steal chickens? My neighbor, down the way, tells me it's the gypsies. Toujours les gitans!*)

But back to the dinner table where I, under my husband's influence, was talking about why it would be futile to have chickens what with hen-hungry hounds in the environs... That's when my guest came to the rescue: offering suggestions (including "get a goose!") regarding poule* posterity--this, to my husband's chagrin....

You see, I have been pestering Jean-Marc about chickens ever since he promised them to me, just as soon as we wrapped up the 2007 grape harvest. For the record, we got plenty of fruit from that harvest--but not one friggin' feather! The 2008 harvest flew past, still no chickens.

Nowadays, there's an ongoing joke around my house and anything to do with eggs, feathers, or potential chicken coops triggers it. It goes like this:

(Me) "Oh look! An over-sized wine-barrel. Think that would make a good chicken hut?"
" Jean-Marc and the kids respond, in thick American accents. "PEWL, elle veuh lay pewel."*

Yes, I still want chickens. Only I haven't yet figured out how to build a simple PEWL EYE YAY* (part of our agreement was that I would have to come up with chicken digs, hence, every playhouse, garden shed, u-haul trailer--anything roughly chicken-hut sized gets me calculating "Would a chicken fit comfortably in there?" I ought to ask my self-sufficient sister-in-law for help, and just build one!)

But all that is beside the point. The point being the cute goose in today's photo and how she might just be the antidote to all this feather fever that I've suffered.

For, while chickens are delightful (see them strutting through the grapevines, en masse) and practical (eggs ever on hand!), they don't, as I am told, throw their wings up in a fury, honking obscenities, when trespassers approach--nor do they frighten gypsies (those known hen heisters).  But take a goose, oh a goose, a silly goose and she'll stand her ground--and stand yours while she's at it. Yes, that's what I need around here: more than a chicken, I need a championner.

*     *     *

French Vocabulary: l'essence (f) = gasoline; toujours les Gitans = It's always the gypsies; une poule (f) = hen; PEWL, elle veuh lay pewel = (Jean-Marc's imitation of American wife pronouncing the French words "Poule, elle veut les poules"; PEWL EYE YAY (pronunciation for poulailler (m) = henhouse

The Snow Goose (my dad sent me this book and I loved it!)

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