How to say "baptism" in French or Comment dire "baptême" en anglais
"le french flair"--How to translate this expression in English?

Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc + se reposer sur ses lauriers

Braise & Smokey (c) Kristin Espinasse.
Resting on one's laurels. (Note: I didn't have a picture of a laurel, so how about anemones instead? Let's rephrase things now to "easing up on one's anemones"

se reposer sur ses lauriers

    : to rest on one's laurels

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

I did not bring my husband his cup of kawa this morning. Instead, I crept up the spiral staircase with its dusty red tommettes, made a swift kro-shay at the top of the cage d'escalier, and ran like a thief on a twilight getaway.

There, at the end of the hall, in a spring-cleaned office, I sat down at a tidy desk and willed myself to cast out culpability and put all guilt to rest. I looked around at my treasure, this room of one's own, and let myself get lost in the bliss of Alone.

Leave me ALONE! Isn't that what we so often yearn to say at the end of any given day? But there is no room for selfishness in a world full of need. So we try our best to put Ego aside and say "Yes" to others and dedicate ourselves to deed after good deed. 

But in the early hours of the morning... before anyone else is awake, a peaceful parcel is ours for the taking, and there we claim our moment of calm and drive in our victory stake.

 Les Volets Bleus (c) Kristin Espinasse. Photo taken in Orange (Vaucluse) France

...Only sometimes we linger too long on our lauriers...

He can get his own coffee this morning! I decide, allowing my meditative moment to meander on and on... Nursing my coffee like Nefertiti, I sit back in my office chair and click open my calendar...

Monday, March 29th... !!!

Double-quick dare-dare, I ditch Nefertiti—and any other newfangled notions about nursing time—and hightail my hide back to the coffee machine in time to make my husband his café with cream. Next, I climb the stairs in rhythm with the French words of Joyeux Anniversaire!

:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

Will you help me to wish Jean-Marc Joyeux Anniversaire? Thanks for leaving him a message here. 


Happy Birthday Chief Grape. We love you.

French Vocabulary and Audio File

(check back this afternoon, via this link, for the audio file.)

le kawa = (synonyme for) coffee
la tommette = red (often hexagonal) floor tile
kro-shay (pronunciation for "le crochet") = sudden swerve, detour
la cage d'escalier = stairwell
les lauriers (mpl) = laurels
dare-dare = double-quick
joyeux anniversaire! = happy birthday!

French Demystified...simple enough for a beginner but challenging enough for a more advanced student.

I Know How To Cook The bible of French home cooking, Je Sais Cuisiner, has sold over 6 million copies since it was first published in 1932. It is a household must-have, and a well-thumbed copy can be found in kitchens throughout France. Its author, Ginette Mathiot, published more than 30 recipe books in her lifetime, and this is her magnum opus. It's now available for the first time in English as I Know How to Cook. With more than 1,400 easy-to-follow recipes for every occasion, it is an authoritative compendium of every classic French dish, from croque monsieur to cassoulet.

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.

Ways to contribute:
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Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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paris (im)perfect

Happy Birthday, Jean-Marc! Have a fabulous day. (And Kristin, good decision to get him the coffee today. But there's always tomorrow to enjoy that room of your own!) :)

Tim and Lauren Averill

Bon anniversaire a toi, Jean-Marc. Tu restes jeune, quand-meme, compare a nous!

Betty Gleason, 63

Joyeux Anniversaire! Happy Birthday!!

May your days be filled to overflowing with love, laughter & success!

From Hobe Sound, FL - 70.9 degrees & raining

deux filles de Seattle

Happy birthday, Jean-Marc, from sunny Grasse! And, many returns of the day!

Bernard et Rosemary Duhaime

Bonne Anniversaire, Jean-Marc. Hoping that you'll have a great day and many more birthdays. I hope your trip across America was fruitful. A bientôt, Tes amis à Paris

Karen in Towson, Md. USA

Bonjour Kristin. I haven't been able to poke my head in to read you over the last week but the last time I did I was so happy to hear about the rebirth of your "space". I'm now happy to read that you are enjoying it. Your sweet picture of the pups captures that quiet of the early morning which is also my favorite time to sit down in peace with my coffee and laptop. Unfortunately, time seems to go much faster during these stolen sessions and it seems all too soon that the mad rush crashes down upon me and I'm called into joyful duty.

Happy Anniversary, Jean-Marc. The key to success is making your dreams a reality. I wish you many more years of success and happiness.


Happy Birthday to the wine man!! Any man who takes his wife to live in France and then makes her wine is a winner and a keeper!!

Karen in Towson, Md. USA

Ugh - I always do that. I confuse "anniversaire" with anniversary and therefore thought we were wishing J.M. good wishes for a milestone with the winery. When will it sink in???

So..... Jean-Marc- Joyeux anniversaire et bonne fête !!!

Debbie in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Much Happiness and a long,fruitful life, Jean-Marc. Happy Birthday!


Joyeux Anniversaire Jean-Marc from Cape Cod Massachusetts. Have a wonderful day with your lovely family. I wish you health, joy, and happiness and of course a prosperous year in your vineyard.
Paula Sullivan

Valerie M

Joyeux Anniversaire Jean-Marc!


Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc! We're hoping the year ahead is a great one for you; health, happiness, and joy in the vineyard, too.
Alyssa and Fred Eppich, SoPo, Maine

Marcel Tiemann

Lundi, le 29 mars 2010,
Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean - Marc!
J'espère que vous ayez beaucoup plus.
Avec amitié,
Marcel Tiemann
Nouvelle-Orléans, Louisiane,


Hello Jean-Marc!

Jour "J" pour te chanter le bon vieux refrain de la chanson populaire:

Bon anniversaire
Nos voeux les plus sincères
Que ces quelques fleurs
Vous apportent le bonheur
Que l'année entière
Vous soit douce et légère
Et que l'an fini
Nous soyons tous réunis
Pour chanter en choeur
Bon anniversaire !
(chorus of a song written in 1951... not that long ago!)


Have a wonderful birthday, JM!! I hope your day is filled with everything you wish for and nothing that you don't...

Many happy returns.

Jackie Hughes

Jean-Marc........Joyeux Anniversaire!!!! We are having rain showers and storms here in Orlando, FL just so that you can enjoy a bright and memorable day.....

Bon Anniversaire!
Jackie Hughes

Bill in St. Paul

Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc! It was great seeing and meeting you at Solo Vino in March.

34 degrees and heading to 65 in St. Paul.


Happy Birthday, Jean-Marc!


Joyeux Anniversaire from Philadelphia, PA!

Ruth Hallett



Joyeux Anniversaire Jean-Marc de Pittsburgh, PA! J'espere que tu as un jour magnifique et que Dieu vous benisse.


Bon Anniversaire Jean Marc! I send springtime birthday wishes from Baton Rouge. I wish for you a beautiful day and many more years of health, love and good wine! Cheers!


Bon anniversaire, Jean-Marc et une toute joyeuse année à venir. Que tous vos voeux se réalisent !


Joyeux Anniversaire Jean-Marc de Toronto, ON. Have a wonderful day and all the best in the year to come.
Hope you have your wines in Canada soon!

Jean(ne)  Pierre in MN

Joyeuse anniversaire and Happy Birthday, Jean-Marc. My French nieces and nephews always sang the English birthday song-don't know why, do you?
Have a great day.

The French Easel

Bon anniversaire à Jean-Marc! A glass of wine & a toast: À votre santé!

and Kristen: do you know about the "Room of Her Own Foundation?"


Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc! Sorry to have missed you in D.C. I hope to find your wine here in Charlottesville, VA. There are so many wineries here, you and Kristin will have to come visit them!


Joyeaux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc! We have never met but your wife's stories have made me feel as if we have. Have a wonderful year.


Happy Birthday, Jean Marc, you handsome devil! I hope that you get lots of kisses from Smokey and Braise just as I do from my 2 pups, Cooper and Cosette. And, of course, even more kisses from your beautiful family: Kristin, Max, and Jackie. You have truly been blessed!

Vita I. Wayne

JOYEAUX ANNIVERSAIRE, Jean-Marc. Stories and photos of your beautiful, happy family bring joy to the world. Vita-Iris

Phyllis Smith

Jean-Marc: Joyeaux Anniversaire! Have a great day - relax - have a cup of coffee! See you all soon.

Joy from New York

Greetings from Quogue, Long Island, NY! Have a Joyous Birthday, Jean-Marc! We met you and Kristin when you were visiting Manhattan on your wine and book tours. Bonne Anniversaire!

Therese Powers

Happy Birthday from New Jersey USA - I hope your vintage is a good one this year. You are lucky to have such a witty and wonderful wife who so obviously adores you and the life you have built together. She brings happiness to my life with her stories as I am sure she does yours.

anne wirth

Jean-Marc Joyeux Anniversaire from Pittsburgh, PA USA. You work so hard on your vines and seem to love them. I wish you another year of health, wealth and love of family and good friends.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMM! Coffee in bed is the best way to start your birthday!

Renee Convers

Best wishes from Miami....where we are still waiting for your wine introduction & visit.....

All the best form a fan of FWTD...
Renee Convers

Tamara Dever

Happy Birthday, Jean-Marc! I hope you're having an incredibly-blessed and blissful day. We've planted a grapevine in our Austin, TX backyard in your honor. ;)

Shannon, Alexandria, VA

Happy Birthday from Northern Virginia, Jean-Marc! Wishing you many years of laughter, health and happiness.

Bill Facker

Jean-Marc ... to a fellow Aries & lover of "what can become" when everything lines up perfectly from Spring to Harvest .. I wish you a bountiful year, with an incredibly full & chewy finish! Aloha from Kauai, Bill Facker


Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc.

Many happy returns of the day. Hope the next year holds wonderful things in store for you and yours.

All the Best,


Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc.


Joyeux anniversaire, J-M, from rainy Philadelphia to la belle France.... Best wishes for a wonderful year of family, friends and winemaking...


Johanna DeMay

Félicitations à Jean-Marc de Nouveau Mexique!

The world wide community of French Word readers wishes you a joyeux anniversaire and many good times in the year ahead. Thanks to Kristin, we'll be sharing them with you and cheering you on. You have a very large family now!



Esther Dalgas

Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc. Coincidentally it is also my youngest son's birthday - 27 years old! Now those days of hustling to get breakfast on the table for a scrambling family of 6 are only on the occasion of a visit from their distant homes. The seasons change, each with its glory.

Robyn Daniels

I add my good wishes for a fine day Jean-Marc - Joyeux Anniversaire! Raise your glass and thank your lucky stars for all the blessings that are yours every day as well as this one. Health, wealth and happiness to you all always.And to Kristin I add, Virginia Wolf would be proud of you. Allez-y! xx

Maureen McCormick

Happy Birthday, Jean-Marc! Have a wonderful day and keep making your fabulous wine. All good things to you in the year to come.

Kim DeMent

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc! I hope that coffee in bed was the best ever. The world is a better place because of you - the passion you bring to your craft, your kindness and generous spirit. We salut you this morning with our own mugs of coffee and wish you many more years of good health. See you soon.

Randy and Debbie

Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean Marc from friends in Tucson Arizona. We celebrated our anniversary this year with a bottle of your wine. Have a wonderful day

Marilina Santoro

Feliz Cumpleaños, Jean_Marc, con mucha salud, amor y felicidad.
Joyeux Anniversaire! With lots of health, love, and happiness.
From a faithful reader in Miami of Kristin's adventures. Marilina

Christine in Salt Lake City

Joyeux Anniversaire Jean-Marc! I hope you have a wonderful day!

From Salt Lake City on a beautiful and sunny spring day (high of 68)

Lynette Simser

Joyeaux Anniversaire Jean-Marc! We enjoyed a bottle of your Dentelle last night. Thank you for sharing your gift of wine making with the world! Best wishes!

Edie Schmidt

Joyeux anniversaire Jean-Marc.

Enjoy you day!
Let us know if your wines ever reach Savannah, Georgia, Sil'vous plait!

Edie from Savannah

Marie La Salle

Bonne anniversaire! Bonne chance et bon courage!

Heureux Paques.. et passez bien une tanquille semaine sainte.

Marie La Salle

Cheryl in STL

Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc! C'est aujourd'hui aussi l'anniversaire de mon meilleur ami français, Jacques, que je connais depuis 40 ans! Bonne journée!


Joyeux Anniversaire Jean-Marc. And I hope that 2010 will be a superb vintage year for you!


Nous vous souhaitons un anniversaire superbe et joyeux, Jean-Marc! Nous souhaitons aussi que cette annee 2010 puisse vous amenera beaucoups de bonheur, de prosperite et de succes! And plentiful FUN as well. ~ from Kit, Patrick and Emma in Ontario, Canada where spring is just starting

Nijole L

Cher Jean-Marc, Joyeux Anniversaire!! May you enjoy many more loving cafe cremes and may you (and your creations of wine) radiate the happiness in your life always!Enjoy your auspicious full moon! Cheers from Key West, FL

Alastair Grant

Salutations et Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc
de Alastair GRANT en Afrique du Sud


Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc de la part de Julie de San Diego,en Californie!!


Happy Birthday to Youuuu . . .Happy Birthday to YOU... Happy Birthday Jean-Marc, Happy Birthday to you and many more. (pretend I was singing that - wait, on second thought, that's not a good idea!!) I wished John and I had been able to see you in Oakland, but next time. Hey, you're still a "major babe" even if you are 35 (snicker, snicker) Bisous, Robin
PS Kristin, it seems like those little organizational items really did the trick. LOL!

joie  carmel,ca

Joyeux Anniversaiire Jean-Marc. Good men were born on this day. Today my father is 86. Enjoy some good company (Kristin) and a very expensive bottle of wine this evening.
A sante.

Diane Heinecke

Bon anniversaire, Jean-Marc! J'adore suivre les évènements de votre vie--toujours un aventure avec Kristin à votre côté, n'est-ce pas? Et pour toute la famille je vous souhaite aussi Joyeuses Pâques et bonne chance cette année au Domaine Rouge-Bleu.


Je vous souhaite un tres joyeux anniversaire...que vous soyez heureux toujours and que Kristin vous apportiez une tasse de cafe tous les matins! : )

Chere Kristin,

I so dig SILENCE, the most precious thing ever. I hope you enjoyed your seconds!


Karen from Phoenix, AZ

Happy, Happy Birthday Jean-Marc. Have a wonderful day.

Kristin your room of your own sounds so wonderful. Did my book help at all for organizing??


The happiest of Birthday greetings from New York!

Bon Anniversaire, Jean-Marc!

Jules Greer

Happy Birthday My Beautiful Jean-Marc!

You have changed all of our lives for the better, brought us much happiness and new adventures, and always showed us a what true
love and humbleness is about on this road we
travel. I adore you always.




Joyeux Anniversaire Jean-Marc !
It was such a pleasure seeing you in Los Angeles many days ago. I hope your trip was winning and fruitful in every way - pun intended :)
xox - Cheryl

Chris  with George


Gina Liuzza

Joyeux Anniversaire my dear friend....

Many good wishes come your way from Houston. It was lovely to see you again.

(J'espère que tu as trouvé ton Billet Doux de Fragonard!)



Herm Meyer

À votre santè Jean-marc et Joyeux Anniversaire de Phoenix, AZ.

Birthdays can be scary because you've never been this old before. Remember... any day you can look DOWN on a flower bed, rather than up, is a good day!

À bientôt

Herm Meyer

À votre santè Jean-marc et Joyeux Anniversaire de Phoenix, AZ.

Birthdays can be scary because you've never been this old before. Remember... any day you can look DOWN on a flower bed, rather than up, is a good day!

À bientôt

Christine Oace

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc...a day to enjoy with family and friends.
Kristan,a birthday idea: have those who are gathered to help celebrate each say 5 things they appreciate about Jean-Marc. Have a lovely time!

Perla and Harvey Kohs

Joyeux Anniversaire ! We'll raise a glass in your honor this evening. May the year bring you more successes and much happiness.

Gary Stup

Joyeux Anniversaire Jean Marc! C'est mon anniversaire aussi Vous avez une bonne journee!

Jackie Sand

Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc! Quand venez-vous à Boston? On vous attend.
Passe une année pleine de bonheur, excellente santé, et du vin incomparable!
Jackie Sand
Natick, MA


Jean-Marc, you are truly loved! Look at all your beautiful birthday wishes. I want to add my Happy Birthday to all these wishes. We love you and Kristie very much! Love ya!
Martha (& Charles)


Hi, Kristin---For some reason my computer will not let me leave a birthday greeting to Jean-Marc when I click on the part of your blog that says'"leave a message here" in the coin commentaire. So... being the adaptable and determined person that I am, I'll just do it this way!

Jean-Marc-- Meilleurs voeux pour un super anniversaire (de Californie ou if fait assez frais aujourd'hui).

Hi Mary -- sorry about that. This "not able to comment" glitch happens a lot. I went ahead and posted the comment for you.


Happy, happy birthday Jean-Marc!
I hope that you are having a wonderful celebration and enjoying yourself, whether at home with the family, or on the road! Best wishes from Caroline, Elena and Nicholas too!
Take care,

Nan Morrissette

Have a wonderful day, Jean-Marc, with your beautiful family. We look forward to meeting you when we travel to France (our first visit there) with Charles and Martha. We already love Kristin's words and your wine, so it will be fun to meet you. And the dogs! Best wishes from Dunnellon, Florida.

Sandy Wilson

Joyeux anniversaire et bonne fete Jean-Marc!!

dorothy dufour

Joyeuse Anniversaire Jean-Marc whom we all feel we know even if we don't!

From Dorothy in Abbotsford B.C. where spring is early this year. Have a great day!

Kristin Espinasse

Jean-Marc will be so surprised by your messages. Many thanks! He is still working away out in his newly planted field (after putting in 4000 baby vines last week... he had another hundred left to plant). The birthday cake has just come out of the oven (a lemon sponge cake which will be a change from le gâteau chocolat!)

Linda, Thanks for the Room of Ones Own Link.

Karen, your book is a wonderful help!

Joie, Happy Birthday to your father

Gary, and Joyeux Anniversaire to you :-)

Christine, Wonderful idea (5 Things I appreciate about you) The kids and I will do this tonight, just before cake time!

Merci beaucoup, to all of you! Your comments are the best present ever. I know Jean-Marc will feel this way.

Virginia O

Sending Happy Birthday wishes from Los Angeles! Hope your day was wonderful.

Virginia O.


Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean - Marc!


Happy Birthday, Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc! Best wishes from Central Illinois, where the sun is shining, and spring is in the air!



Hello Kristin,

I love the way we were introduced to Jean-Marc's birthday. The title didn't give us any clue... everything was quite, and then, a date on the calendar precipitated the pace, and the 2 important words came bouncing in rhythm at the end. I'm sure Jean-Marc enjoyed his early cup of coffee!

I love coffee and am interested in words. Put 2 and 2 together, and you will understand how the (familiar) word "kawa" attracted my attention and pushed me to find out a bit more.
It is used here for 'coffee' - it can also be found with a different spelling--> “caoua”. I learned that 'qahwah'-(Kahwa)- is actually an old Arabic word which was another name for 'wine', but eventually, after coffee was introduced, it came to mean just 'coffee'.
Coffee lovers and word lovers, may be interested in reading more:

I love the adverb “dare-dare” used here when, after a peaceful early morning in your spring-cleaned 'retreat', the date on your calendar made you suddenly rush downstairs. To avoid any drama, the best thing to do was to go “dare-dare”
("sans le moindre délai" / "à toute vitesse" / "le plus rapidement possible")
to the coffee machine in the kitchen, and happily re-climb the stairs with 'the Nectar of the Gods'...

Re: "Joyeux anniversaire", Jean-Marc!

PS - Gorgeous bunch (2 bunches) of "anémones rouges". Thanks for the lovely photos.

Betty Bailey

Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc ! Vous êtes très jeune et beau.


May your birthday be filled with laughter, love, and friends, Jean Marc.

joanne nixon

joyeux anniversaire, jean-marc ! have a wonderful day with many blessings...greetings from az, usa ...

Linda D.

Happy, happy birthday, Jean Marc! Here's wishing you a year of joyful work, loving arms, delectable food, great weather, good health and, of course, wonderful wine!


Bon Anniversaire Jean Marc, We hope to see you and Kristin in Paris if you are there in the next two months - we would also like to taste your wine and order some!

Kimberley & David Brody

lou bogue

Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean Marc, I wish you and your family, the same thing I wish my family every day, health and happyness with every precious breath, look forward to seeing you all in Sept., trust the trip was fruitful and hope you are able to get in touch with,"JF WINE IMPORTS"Bonne chance Lou

jan greene

Jean-Marc, Happy Birthday!! A community here of good wishes and blessings!
We will finally be in Paris in May. Hoping for sun and flowers. Now on Cape Cod, it is cold and raining hard. The hope of Paris provides hope. Too bad Kristin is not speaking encore at the book store!
jan and tom


Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean Marc! Mille bénédictions à vous en ce jour!

Poppi Tims

Happy Birthday Jean Marc - hope it has been a GREAT one!!!!
All the best for another great year,
Poppi ☻☻☻☻


Feliz Cumpleanos, as we say in this part of the country (South Texas). Your southwestern-reared wife will translate. May you enjoy many, many more years with your lovely wife, your adorable children (yes, as a mother, I know they are not always adorable, but most of the time), and your passion for grapes and their gifts.


Thank you all so much...I don't know if I deserve so many wishes but I will take them and cheer them for this year to come.

Jim Kachik

Jean-Marc: Joyeaux Anniversaire from Jim and Barbara in Oakland!!! May you and your wondeful spouse have many more.
P.S. It was a delight to visit with you last week.

Jim Kachik

Fred Caswell

What more can I add other than I agree with all of the above. Have experienced too much to think that you do not have imperfections and bad days, but what you have accomplished with unwavering hard work as a loving husband and father while bringing your dream of owning a vineyard and producing your own wines to fruition is no small feat but a tribute to a tough, loving, wise, and devoted man. May your deserved rewards grow with your age.


Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc! Nous levons nos verres parmi tant d'autres en contemplant les reflets rubies d'un Rouge-Bleu savoureux que nous allons deguster a votre sante. (Nous attendons les fromages Savoyards qui vont avec et qui suivent par avion!) Meilleurs voeux de bonheur et de reussite, Trish et JeanClaude


Happy Birthday!! I wish I could have met you when you were in I told Kristin, work gets in the way sometimes.

Kristin, I can relate to alone time; everyone needs it at times. We can only do so m,uch for everyone else, then it's time to take care of overselves.

Happy Spring!!!

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