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

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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.


A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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