Olive Cake Recipe! Savory cakes and Cake aux Olives


Italian wine bottles (c) Jean-Marc Espinasse
Our totally off-topic photo-du-jour: "Italian Wine Cooler". Meantime, we'll be back from vacation in a day or two and, if I were you, I'd sign up illico presto for my private photo blog!

songe (sohnzh) noun, masculine

   : dream

L'espérance est le songe d'un homme éveillé. 
Hope is the dream of a waking man. --Aristotle

:: Audio File ::
Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these French words:
Songe. L'espérance est le songe d'un homme éveillé.
Download songe.mp3
Download songe.wav

In books: The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to Teach Your Child a Second Language
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse

         (... a restless writer dreams...)

When William Faulkner, famous American novelist, poet and Nobel Laureate, came to stay with us here at the farm, I offered him a fold-out cot. I could have offered him our bed but, you know, he got the other instead.

As for my lack of fuss (not a guest towel, pillow, or spare toothbrush), who knew I was housing a literature buff? That's when it finally dawned on me that there, in a cap and long white nightie, was a 20th century celebrity!

Oh Glory be, there were we...
Faulkner, yours truly ...and several bottles of eau-de-vie.*
(Thank God neither of us was tipsy!)

"Your imagination is good," said he, of the eau-de-vie and implied footsie. But we haven't got all night so, if you like, pull up a chair and I'll teach you to write!

That's when so many tablets, not of stone but of wood chips,
appeared out of nowhere to receive the writer's savoir-faire.*
Then, like Moses channeling words from above,
Faulkner wrote down truths on how to write without fear--
and always with love!

And while his words were addressed to a restless writer, they are dear to everyman. Here is the wisdom that the prize-winning author wrote down, on wood chips, no less, for there wasn't any holy stone lying around:

He said that one "...must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop [âme*] for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart..." He went on to say that it is a human "...privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past."

Fast, fast, fast... I copied down the writer's words but the memory of my dream wouldn't last. By the time I awoke, the wisdom had up.. and gone like a puff of smoke!

                               *     *     *
Comments, corrections, and stories of your own are most welcome: click here to access the comments box

(The two excerpts, in the penultimate paragraph above, were taken from William Faulkner's 1950 speech [after he received the Nobel Prize for literature].) You'll find them and more inspiration
in this book.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
l'eau-de-vie (f) = brandy; le savoir-faire (m) = know-how, expertise; l'âme (f) = soul

If you love writing and France you may enjoy these books: A Writers Paris: A Guided Journey For The Creative Soul & Literary Paris: A Guide

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French
Learn French in a Hurry: Grasp the Basics of Français Tout De Suite
In French Music: Edith Piaf: 30th Anniversaire

Related Terms & Expressions:
  en songe = in a dream
  faire un songe = to have a dream
  un songe-creux = a visionary
  songer = to dream
  la songerie = reverie
  songeur, songeuse = pensive (adj); dreamer (noun)

French Demystified: A self-teaching guide "simple enough for a beginner but challenging enough for a more advanced student"

Pronounce It Perfectly in French: presents exercises in sound discrimination and accurate sound creation

French language software:
Rosetta Stone Personal Edition contains everything you need to give the voice inside of you a new language. The method used recreates the natural way you learned your first language, revealing skills that you already have. This approach has won numerous awards, and has been adopted by countless organizations, schools and millions of users around the world. Join the language revolution today. Only with Rosetta Stone.

My French Coach by Nintendo.
Playing My French Coach for 15 to 20 minutes a day is all you need to become fluent in French, no matter your age. The simple touch screen interface lets you spend less time learning the game and more time learning French.



Chaos and a Flying Dog. That's our Braise, who loves to fly! And this is our chaotic kitchen/salon just days before our Moroccan escape. Who wouldn't want to fly the coop what with this mess? In this image you'll find photos, paintings, eggs, my bike, the vaccume, a pile of floor planks... even one of those icky "fly stickies" (see it there, to the upper right?). Amidst this confusion totale, my brother-in-law is mending the walls (imagine him to the lower right of this photo, in the next room...) and my daughter is (also in the next room) egging on our flying dog: Allez, Braise. Saute. Saute!

We'll be back in a day or so... and I imagine the chaos won't have disappeared by then either.

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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


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Jules Greer

My Darling Kristi,

No wonder I love you so - my little poet...

Everything looks normal at your house ...


It feels like 75 degrees

Jacqui McCargar

Somehow a flying Braise seems very natural after seeing many times, Jackie's "flying" on le velo over the carefully stacked pile of bricks and wood planks that became an impromptu ramp in the driveway of the house. The jump stayed together by sheer willpower as Jackie rode around the pool again and again with Braise sometimes running behind her. I will never forget my Vendange at the grape farm!!

Sandy Maberly

Great to see that Braise can still enjoy some downtime inbetween "mom" duties. Love the flying ears! Your vacation is probably flying by just as fast. Hope you all are having a wonderful time!


And you it looks like you have postcards available for purchase in your house by your friends. (Ha!)
Love the flying dog; all the dog stories have been so great. Braise should write her autobiography.


LOVE the ears. Just love them.


Love the flying Braise!

Andrea - Austin, TX
20ºC starting to get more chilly

Jennifer in OR

Did you really dream this? What a fun songe, and great advice. I love the part about "basest of all things is to be afraid." Vérité.

Diane Marie Samson

You asked where we are and how the weather is. Well, I am in San Antonio, TX and the weather is WONDERFUL! Mornings are cool (45-50 degrees) and the days are comfortably warm (75 or so). This is the best time of the year here, since April to September are usually unbearably hot. Our October was VERY rainy, but since we are in a severe drought, it was a good thing. This week has been bright and sunny, absolutely perfect. Ah, if it could always be so! I enjoy your columns so much, although the recent adventures of Braise and Smokey have had my heart in my throat. I hope all is well after your holidays. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Robyn Daniels

Thanks for sharing: photos, Mom's reflections etc. The problem is Kristin you are a very generous lady and love to share everything but others see taking photos as just that: 'taking' a part of their life, so we must always respect this. Like you, I cannot resist the lure of blue and white in buildings, landscapes - there is something so magical about the combination that reminds us of the beauty and freedom of sky and cloud I think. Glad to see that dear Smokey is back to good health and bounding with 'energie' like his mom. God Bless you all and glad you had a good holiday in Morocco. love xx Robyn

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