How to share "share" in French + Roussillon Book Fair with Mom


Yellow field (c) Kristin Espinasse 
Shapely blue hills and yellow fields between Cairanne... and good ol' Sainte Cécile.

Songs in French for Children : sing along and improve your French via song!
vexer (vex-ay) verb
    : to hurt, to offend

se vexer = to be/get offended
vexé comme un pou ("angry as a louse") = livid, hopping mad
(additional idioms and expressions welcome in the comments box. Merci d'avance!) 

Verb conjugation:
je vexe, tu vexes, il vexe, nous vexons, vous vexez, ils vexent
past participle = vexé
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse
2 p.m.: I am lying beneath a pile of covers, a mismatch of blankets handmade by my mother and my grandmother in colors that contrast just as their piping personalities once did.
I am wearing jeans, wool socks, a ski-sweater, and a parka. It is too cold to type, so I am memorizing these lines in time to write them down when warmth returns.
A few rooms over, the covers are piled high in a similar fashion, over Mom. In addition to warm clothing, she is sporting a wool bonnet and mittens. She has pulled the hood of her sweater up over her bonnet. When we are on speaking terms, she shows her eyes. When she's really mad, vexée, she pulls the wool cap down over them so that my eyes meet little snowflakes that decorate the bonnet's edge...
Edgy. We have been without heat for over a week. The temperature is beginning to test us so that even a hot temper and a spark in one's spirit... are not enough to take the edge off this cold.

*     *     *
Comments, corrections, and stories of your own are always welcome and enjoyed by all via the comments box. Thank you for making this a fun, upbeat place to meet and to share information and experiences. So don't be shy -- jump in and share your own slice of life!

Yellow vineyard (c) Kristin Espinasse 
Du pareil au même ("more of the same") : I hesitated between this photo and the one at the top of this edition. Here, you can just make out Mount Ventoux in the upper right corner. I love the giant yellow carpets that cover the vineyards this time of year. Wouldn't you like to picnic or catnap here? 

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


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Great photos today!


You two are pills! To be administered thrice-weekly :)


I hope your luck picks up, Kristin (Jules, too!). Really, how much can a person take? And didn't the heat go *poof* not too long ago? I'd be calling that service person in a hurry and my voice wouldn't be so cheerful!!

But am sending oodles of good (toasty warm) karma your way.... This, too, shall pass.


I forthwith, herewith and with beaucoups de warmth de ma coeur nous propose myself as your personal yoga coach. I have juste ce matin reinvented myself as "Patois, Have Yoga Will Travel"... w/a big fat OM emanating from my cyberbidness-card. So! Say the word and I am off to Expedia for a ticket!

In the meantime, yes!, you can practice yoga in bed...

first pull the covers up over your head tent-like. Next sit cross-legged and take 3 deep, slow breaths. Ok, now I have to "be" there for further instruction, although you both have likely taken yoga classes yourselves and can slip easily into a few seated postures.

Or perhpaps, voila!, bunny-jump out of those covers and go into a flow series which will really warm you up...THE THE THE most IMPORTANT aspect is breathing...follow the breath on every move. The body/mind, and hence the SOUL BABY!, will transform and give you some mighty fine energy to press onward.

Many loving Oms and smiles and good wishes to the les Espinasses and Maman Jules. La vie est bonne.


Aussi, j' aime le looks like the rugged vinyard has had a "buzz" cut--trimmed and primed for the jump back into life in the warm days ahead. Did I say WARMTH? JUMP? Ah, cheres ones, am I repeating myself?

The yellow carpet invites me to tiptoe in early, early morning, turn eastward, et Salute le Soleil in a sweet, gently wake-up yoga flow. Patois, Have Yoga will Travel...

Linda R.

Ooohh ... Ne soyez pas vexées, Kristine et maman – la vie est trop courte <3 Sending good wishes your way for warmer days ahead. Montana (aux Etats-Unis, pas en Suisse)has cold and snow and an occasional blizzard still passing through. Winter is just not quite ready to give up without a fight. Luckily our heater kicks in.

Linda R.

p.s. La photo du jour est belle - you chose the right one for the premier spot - even a tiny shift in position makes all the difference.


Bon courage!!!


Bon Dieu - still no heat?? I hope the spring temperatures arrive quickly to bring relief -


Dear Kristin, Any photos of your colorful blankets ?
Your mom is so beautiful - it is a pleasure to look at her. I can see where you get your good looks !
It is awful to be cold . I was frozen stiff on a Lufthansa flight from Munich to NY last week. I snuck into Business class to warm up ..until I was caught . The flight attendants did not seem too vexe avec moi !

Nancy Sells

Why the angst between parent and child! You are no longer a child. Why are you not treating each other as friends who are visiting each other? Would you not share with a friend? Would you not do favors or treats for a friend who was visiting for an extended period? I often visit a friend in Florida for weeks to even months at a time and we make it a point to care for each other as the valued friends we are, should a parent, especially, now that you are an adult, not be given the same courteous thought.


Your wonderful photos reflect the changing nature of each season. Springtime is more lovely than fickle, and we must love her despite her sometimes doubtful promises. Thank you Kristin for a very bright and warm, and funny image (you and your mama and her wool cap!) for my day. I hope that the sun breaks through the chill and warms up yours.


Your decision for the 1st photo was right on! That is truly a beautiful photo. Just seeing it reminds me that there is spring somewhere in the world, although it has yet to make it to Chicago. Thank you for sharing a piece of your world with us.


Mother-daughter relationships are famously difficult. This is hardly new news. C'est normal ! I need to add that as I follow your delightful blog, I have been marveling at your generosity, love and kindness as a daughter, Kristen. It's perfectly clear how much you value your mom's presence in your life. She is really lucky.


We Don't Talk Anymore (Cliff Richard)

Robert Carlson

Kristin (& Jules),
Love your stories and photos, the first one could be a Van Gogh painting! On considering your dilema, they make very efficient, vent-free propane heaters now, I bought one as an emergency back-up but it works so well, (and cheaply), I use it every day and have cut my electric bill to a fraction of it's former size. Keep up the lovely stories! If you ever need some work done on the place, I'm a remodel contractor, I guess I could drag myself to Provence for a few weeks!
Warm Thoughts,
Robert- Portland, Oregon


When I am visiting my daughter I try to have the good sense to remember that I am in her house, that she is running perfectly fine when I am not there and I should only offer to help, not take over. My daughter will tell you that I don't always succeed at this and I would concur. I try to be the guest that I would want her to be in my home. I think we do okay, even though there are times we both need some quiet time to ourselves. Hard times (no heat) should be a time to work together. Sorry I sound preachy. Good luck, I know you will survive the cold and weather the heated moments in your relationship.


You and your Mom will be fine. You might want to consider getting a mini-cassette recorder so you won't have to remember everything.



I had SUCH a crush on Cliff Richard in the 1960s!


Mom and I are reading these wonderful comments. Every time we get to a pro-Jules remark (by the way... there only seems to be *one* pro-Jules remark, hehehe), a happy giggle can be heard from Mom's corner -- and every time we read a "sympathies to the daughter" comment, Mom's snickers subside... and my giggles override.

Annette Heat

What a beautiful photo of the vineyard with the yellow carpet. I marvel at the old vineyard with its gnarled branches. Here in Northern Virginia (where I visit often as I have two children in that area), there are vineyards that are so new, so neatly planted and reinforced. Their branches seem so small to me after seeing your picture. Those who prefer French wine to California wine think our vineyards are too young, though in California they are not so young anymore. Whatever - I love this picture and thank you for it. Annette H.

Bill Facker

Kristin, I have but one word for the cold ... Kauai

Reese Dubin

I know beggars can't be choosers, but the most annoying thing about your blog (and your book) is that you never give the pronunciation of variations on a word and other words in idiomatic expressions. You ALWAYS leave that out -- and as you know, French is impossible to study and memorize unless someone shows you how its gargled words are pronounced.The only language in Europe where a 32-letter word can be pronounced "eh".


Hi Kristi and Jules, Your spirited attitude and wonderful sense of humor are sure to remedy any situation! Blessed are you to have each other to share with and blessed are we that you share yourselves with us.

I’m sending warm wishes and soothing sunshine (although cold here too) your way. Be warm inside and out! Stacy


Wonderful atmospheric photo. I wish I had taken it!

Christine Dashper

Hi Krisitn and Jules, I am sending warm thoughts your way.

Being without heat for over a week would make anyone 'vexe comme un pou'! Or 'spit chips' or 'spit nails'. Don't ask me where they came from, but you get the idea. It would be pretty funny to see an angry louse though...

May the heater repair man cometh...(soon)!

Stay wrapped and avoid eye contact.

Christine Dashper

PS Love both photos, but I love the shadowy image of Mont Ventoux in the second one.


Hi Kristin...I don't think the pair of you are getting enough sleep! Up at 2am? Your Mom up at 4am? And you are both worried about each other :-) !!!
I think you should both give each other a big kiss and hug and start a new day because life is too short to waste and spend being cold!!
Big hug to both of you!

Jules...a little series of drawing or sketches included in a post would be wonderful!
Kristin...your writing is once again beautifully crafted and your subject matter very brave...thank you!

Betty Bailey

My sympathy for being without the essential heat; maybe all could snuggle in one bed? (Maybe not, huh?) I feel particularly sorry for any elderly people in your area who may be at actual risk if they are suffering the same. Where's that mistral when you need it?


...tried to find the song "Don't worry, Be happy" on Youtube for you both but can't work out the technicalities of posting it so will just leave you all with the thought...trouble is now I can't get the tune out of my head....


Oh mon Dieu, no heat?? That is a big challenge. I faced it, no electricity or heat for three days, during an ice storm in Arkansas. But then I was alone with a cat and God and , fortunately, not with my mother.
I love the vineyards of Europe. A wonder picture you give us. Merci.


Kristin -- Am so behind on my reading these past few weeks. I feel for you in the cold!!!!!!! The worst.... Bon courage à tout le monde. I think I would be spending la plupart de la journée au café!

Take care.

Jules Greer

Oh Kristi,

How lucky you are to have these stories.




I LOVE this is a beautiful and haunting piece of writing. This is a post I always remember for it's strong images. Lucky snow melts! x

Jules...Kristi is also lucky she has such a beautiful and feisty mother to write about! xo

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