n'importe quoi
Clochard: My mom meets some of the homeless people of Draguigan


sunset, couche de soleil, mont, ventoux, vaucluse, france, ciel (c) Kristin Espinasse, www.french-word-a-day.com
Travel with me today... to another dimension in time and space... (pictured: Mont Ventoux, left, and Les Dentelles de Montmirail).

frousse (frooce) noun, feminine

    : fright, fear, funk

synonyms: la trouille (avoir la trouille = to be scared stiff); la pétoche = fear

avoir la frousse = to be scared
froussard,e = cowardly, chicken
le/la froussard(e) = coward

Audio FileDownload MP3 or Download WAV

Quand le gremlin est apparu, on a eu la frousse!
When the gremlin appeared we were frightened! 

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

     "Beyond the Boundaries of Imagination"

My 13-year-old and I have begun a new habitude. Nightly, we crawl into bed with my portable computer, prop up the pillows, just so, and watch another episode of The Twilight Zone.

Ever since I told Jackie about how I used to watch the horror/sci-fi show as a kid, she has been fascinated.
"I would wake up in the twilight hours of the night," I tell her, "slip out to the salon, and crank the large handle of our TV to channel 8. Next, I would dive for safety under a blanket on the floor. Any trembling fears I had were aggravated by the looming floor-to-ceiling window beside me. (Mom had had our single-wide trailer improved by cutting through an aluminum wall in order to place a sliding-glass window. While it did "open things up", there were no curtains to close out the dark night, and only a rideau of twisted trees separated the darkened desert from me and the ghosts on TV. If I dared look out to the stars, I could imagine aliens were not far... and in the orange orchard beyond, surely mummies and monsters walked on.

Presently, my daughter and I lock arms and brace ourselves. We learned our lesson with the gremlin that is out to get William Shatner (Nightmare at 20,000 feet).... We won't let our hearts leap out like that again! No more fooling us! (Never mind the amateur "monster" costumes which look, after all, like costumes, zippers up the back and all!). Almost 50 years later, and a good scene is still a good scene.

As we sip our hot chocolates and our café au laits we wonder, now, where "Talky Tina" is hiding herself? (Turns out the threatening "living" doll is in the stairwell, posed, this time, to kill Telly Savalis!). Jackie and I stare at each other after the bad guy's demise, and repeat, "My name is Talky Tina! My name is Talky Tina!" With that we shiver as we abruptly switch internet channels. Time for one last eerie episode for the night....

The surreal stories are fascinating for the twists which come at the end. What's more, there is an underlying moral in many of them. In "Eye of the Beholder" it isn't the "normal" people who are beautiful, but the outcasts of society.  And in "The Hunt," we learn to beware of sweet-talkers, who might sweet-talk us right into the fire and brimstone of hell!

While viewing "Where is Everybody?" Jackie questioned at the end, "What's happening?" We watch as the brave hero babbles to himself while being carried away on a stretcher. "He's gone crazy because he thinks he is all alone in the world," I explain.

After we've watched a dozen episodes we quiz each other, "Which was the scariest?" Jackie is quick to point out the gremlin. Mwaahahaha! I roar, tickling my younger child, before gathering her into my arms.
"Et toi, maman?" she questions.

Holding on to my daughter, I stare out the window, to the endless night sky... not a soul in sight. For me the answer is easy. 


French Vocabulary

une habitude = habit

le salon = living room

le rideau = curtain, screen

le café au lait = coffee with milk, white coffee

et toi, Maman? = and you, Mom?


golden retriever, dog, flower, mauve, heart, window, wooden, shutter, tongue, leash (c) Kristin Espinasse, www.french-word-a-day.com

This was a set-up!


The "Dirt Divas" (Doreen and Malou) gave me dozens of plants. I love these "Gaillardes" ("strong" "well" "vigorous") flowers, which carpet the ground.


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


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Janae Monir

I loved this! So sweet to curl up with your daughter and spend time together while you show her something from your own chiildhood...


I still get chills when I think of the episode: To Serve Man. I'm 62, so I was fortunate to watch The Twilight Zone when it was originally broadcast. Another episode to watch out for is "Willoughby".


Thanks for sharing your mother, daughter time. You're forming a foundation for a great lifelong relationship with your daughter by sharing your time and memories with her.

Bill in St. Paul

Talking about watching Twilight Zone brings back lots of memories: I had a friend who would buy a big box of popcorn so he would have something to hide behind when we went to the horror movies - I remember telling him that popcorn wasn't going to protect him from the monsters. You should get some of the old horror movies like Psycho and Homicidal if you really want to be scared - one side effect of Psycho is that you may never take a shower again.

(Smokey! Have you no pride? What would your fellow male Goldens say?)

Bruce T. Paddock

Kristin -

How wonderful for the two of you! As a major Twilight Zone fan, I can't wait for my daughter to be old enough (she's 7 now—a tad young) for me to share them with her.

Punch -

"A Stop at Willoughby" is my favorite of all.

I lived in Los Angeles for several years. Near my apartment, the major north-south boulevards were crossed by a residential street called Willoughby. Whenever I drove across it, I would say—out loud, mind you—"Willoughby! The stop is Willoughby!"

My wife learned to hate that pretty quick.

Pat Cargill

How lovely that you have created these Mother-Daughter times w/Jackie. I remember watching the "Zone" when it aired and was a great big scaredy-cat. It's fun to see the "stars" in their early acting days,way back when, before they became famous.

Oh, Smokey, you ARE a flower child. I KNEW it, I did. You have the sweet, life-is-good et "laissez les bon temps roller" attitude for carrying off, avec Maman Braise, wearing flowers in your hair - was that the name of the song? Like I can remember! Ha.

Have a great weekend all, from a cool and sunny, crispy-perfect fall day in Roanoke, VA. Where is my bike?


These articles should also be reproduced in french!

Shannon, Alexandria, VA

Kristin, I love your photo atop today's post!!!

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut Kristin,

What a great bonding experience for you and Jackie!

Growing up before TV, I listen to shows like Captain Midnight, The Thin Man and The Shadow on radio. Just me and my imagination ….. scary!

It’s interesting that most of today’s DVDs can be programmed for French audio and\or subtitles. They can be helpful in learning French.

À bientôt


I loved Twilight Zone too and also the Alfred Hitchcock show. The Zone I remember best was the one where the man bricked his wife up behind a wall in the basement! Don't remember why he did this, but I've been a bit afraid of brick walls ever since.
Love the flowers behind the ear - does that mean they are available?

Jeanne of Maumee, OH

The top photo is outstanding!

Diane Scott

Yep! After William Shatner's experience, it's the aisle seat for me!


I was never brave enough to watch Twilight Zonealone! I bet I'm still not!
It was fun *seeing* the episodes you wrote...I am no better at reading scary things that watching them lol
And I too remember that brick wall episode-scared the ba-geebers outta me!
So I am off to lock the door and open the window so the sunlight can frighten off the boogy-alien's that may have wandered to close :)



Smokey is definitely a flower child along with his Mom. Nothing to be ashamed of in wearing a flower in your hair.

I loved to listen to The Shadow Knows and watch the Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock. All of these shows had to have a strong story line where as many of the shows today all use special effects to create their thrillers, except for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Tell No One and movies such as these.


you aren't old enough to have watched Twilight Zone; I watched it when I wad a kid. loved it. next you might read Poe short stories together. loved today's story

Barbara Andolsek Paintings

I would sneak a peak as well when no one was watching until I was so scared that I let out a sound or too... The Outer Limits was scarrry as well. One I can't remember the name of told a moral of the story from strange antiques. My girls & I would watch them together & snuggle. Wow all these years and they're still running. October nostalgia runs rampant.

Oh and the flower children puppies are adorable!

L. M. Davies

Delightful post and gorgeous photos! Whenever I begin the day reading your blog, I feel like a lucky woman. Thank you for taking the time to share your life, your thoughts and your heart with all of us.
After a childhood sharing movies with my own mother (Mildred Pierce, anyone?) I went on to share classics with my own kids - everything from Modern Times to Monty Python, the Twilight Zone and I Love Lucy. Those nights spent giggling, talking and yes, hiding beneath the lap rug and stealing quick squints at the scary stuff...well, they're some of my very favorite memories of time with my kids. Still do - my youngest is now a film and animation major at university.
And thanks for keeping us up to date with Smokey and his mom! I know that life on the vineyard is crazy busy and I love that you take the time to share it. Here's wishing you and your family All Good Things!


OK, I will read this post later..I am too much in love with those 4-legged boys wearing flower ornaments in their fur! xoxo

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Smokey is probably thankful the flower chosen for him to wear was not a hollyhock!

alicia borwn

thank you for the beautiful photo of MT. Ventoux and also the dogs. I have you on my website as a link. Go to aliciabrownart.com


Oh,Kristen! Today's gorgeous photos ,plus including all of us in your wonderful Twilight Zone time warp with Jackie has really put a smile on my day.I can remember watching all of those episodes! (Yikes!Frousse is right!!!!)
I wonder if Robert Serling ever imagined that his fantasies would still be entertaining later generations(?)
You have such a gift for always making EVERY post a breath of fresh air,and a bright spot to look forward
to. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
Bon journee!

Suzanne, Monroe Township, NJ

Oooh, Kristi! Just reading your post gave me chills. I can hear the theme music and now I have a name and the source of a tv show I remembered seeing as a child that haunted my dreams for years. It was "Talky Tina!" From time to time images of that show pop into my head and I think to myself, "Is that something I really saw? Did my mother let me watch something that has haunted me all of these year? She did, and I watched it with her up in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains late at night with coyotes yapping nearby. Thanks for conjuring up this memory.


It is so nice when our teens come back to us for a moment, isn't it? The picture of the the sunset and flowers are beautiful! Have a wonderful weekend!


Really enjoying your Twilight Zone recommendations. Merci and keep 'em coming!

Gary, in the late 70's I got to watch the reruns :-)

Herm, glad you mentioned the radio program. I will definitely check those out! Oh, and the hollyhock -- good thing the blossoms are long gone or I might have borrowed your idea!

Cheers to all.

Cheryl Greenfield

Grew up with the spine tingling suspense of 'Twilight Zone'... love how you spend time with your daughter for that is giving her strength and awarenss and such bonding! Wonderful read... Reading like this certainly will enable her to know how to react in a state of "Frousse"
of that I'm sure!! *smiles*


Loved the picture of Mt. Ventoux...sunrise? or sunset?
To this day when I see a spider in the bathtub I fear it will come back bigger each day after being washed down the drain as in the one with Vincent Price on The Twilight Zone. I would love to see some of those again....I think. It would probably scare me just as much now as then!

Karen from Phoenix, AZ

Every year at the holidays they have a marathon of Twilight Zone shows. They show the episodes for a few days. I never get much done at that time, because once you sit down to watch one; you are hooked.


I have never been able to watch the Twilight Zone without subsequent nightmares--but you have turned scarrrrrrrrrry monsters into teddy bears; what a wonderful gift to your daughter. Have a great week-end. Mary


The one I can still remember is the one about eternal life, where the man had had several wives and watched them age as he stayed young.

Love the dogs with the flowers in their fur!

Cheryl in STL

What a lovely mother/daughter tradition you have begun! Thanks for this glimpse into your private times.

Debbie W. - Portland, OR

How timely. I have been sitting at my computer this week watching episodes of Twilight Zone. It never gets old. The two of you should watch the Twilight Zone movie. It has a nice twist on Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.


So you have good memories? Well, consider the wonderful memories you are making for your daughter as well as for yourself! These "together times" are irreplaceable..and now that I have lost both my mother and my father, I treasure those memories more than it seems possible. Lucky me..Lucky Jackie... and Lucky YOU! Hugs,

Marianne Rankin

Yes, I remember those old TV shows: Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock, Outer Limits ... I heard about the radio shows from my mother. I occasionally watched Twilight Zone alone, but was always a bit nervous afterwards. The one I remember best wasn't too scary, but did make a point. A man wanted to be by himself and mostly read. He did something to basically stop the world (maybe left people paralyzed, I don't recall exactly). But at the end, he broke his glasses, so wasn't able to read, and of course, with everyone out of commission, he had no help and no company. Some of the shows really did have a point.

Gary, when I was in 6th grade, our family had a Halloween party to which my brother and I each invited a few friends. It was lots of fun, but everyone got kind of scared when my mother read Poe's "The Telltale Heart" to us.

Kristin, I think it's great that you and Jackie are sharing TV time together. I'm curious to know how well she understands them, since presumably they are in English; or were you able to change the language to French?

Fred Caswell

Bravo! Merci encore, Kristi. Your post today moved me to another time and space, twice!

First by gazing into the spiritual and extraordinarily beautiful photo of Mt. Ventoux.

Second, your story of sharing a warm and special time with Jackie allowed us into YOUR space and time for a few moments.

Isn't it what happens when we immerse ourselves completely in a book, our work or play, being present when listening intently to another, watching a captivating scene or occurrence, making love, praying, or being blown away by a spiritual experience of any kind, getting lost with empathy for the suffering plus vicariously sharing others victories, both small and large? I well may have missed many other times

Beaux voyages!

Cynthia Lewis

Braise and Smokey with cosmos blossoms tucked behind their ears....an endearing sight. Thanks!

Jacqueline Gill

What a delightful post! I grew up watching (or trying to watch behind closed eyes! ) "The Zone" and can still feel a chill when I think of the talking doll or so many other episodes! My own daughter recently moved back home from her post college four-year adventures and work in Florida, and I am thrilled to have her here for precious moments like those. Today I stroked her hair as we sat together in church, and I thanked God for her presence. I am sure you do the same for your own Jackie .Keep the great posts coming--love them.

Mindy (Manhattan Beach, CA)

Like many of your posters, I, too, grew up on Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Did you know Ray Bradbury and Roald Dahl wrote for those shows? I recently discovered Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected. Very cool!

In the U.S. they frequently offer Twilight Zone marathons. No matter how many times I watch them, I always discover something I never noticed before.

Did you know there's a code free dvd player that allows you to watch dvds from all countries? I bought one for my rellys in France, and now I can send them dvds from the U.S., and they have no trouble watching them. I'm sending them the Complete Twilight Zone collection for Christmas. :-)

Julie dufaj

Kristin, lovely, lovely writing!

Do you know this site? You can get a quote a day by famous authors. It is such an encouraging and inspiring little gadget!

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