Golden retriever, dog, halloween costume, girl, spider mask (c) Kristin Espinasse
Our Jackie turned 5 when this word journal began. Here she is at eleven (two years ago) helping Braise (brez) get dressed for today's birthday party!

     Today marks the 8th anniversary of this French word journal!

joyeux, joyeuse (zhwa-yuh, zhwa-yuhz) adjective

    : cheerful, merry, joyful

Listen to my daughter's message, and to the French word "joyeux": Download Wav or MP3 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
  "And now.. a Word or Two about You"

I have another confession: I have never been good at événementiel (or "event organization"). Jean-Marc planned our wedding, each and every detail (contacted the French priest, ordered the fleurs, selected the menu, had les bagues engraved, and all but tried on the long white robe & satin-trimmed veil for me).

The "big day" found his blushing bride-to-be tripping over a street grate, late for a very important date! I have been trying to make up for that unforgettable entrance ever since: by continuing to réviser a simple lesson from my husband: relax and enjoy life and, especially, celebrate the milestones!

Today marks the 8th anniversary of this French word journal and I am ready to celebrer this joyful event. I've ordered the flowers (okay, I swiped several from "Mama Jules"), and selected the menu: a sweet and savory buffet of words.

Now listen up: this is where you come in (and not as a clumsy bride!):

Golden retriever, dog, halloween costume, girl, spider mask, mont ventoux, vaucluse (c) Kristin Espinasse
I would like to ask you to share a word or two... about yourself
 Are you an 85-year-old collector of Southwestern art? Or a new mother, up to her ears in dirty diapers? Are you in a marching band? Do you read this word journal in school? Are you famous? ...or infamous? (or related to someone who is?). Do you speak more than two languages? Can you make your ears move? or can you do the splits?

Do you suspect you are the youngest on this list--or the oldest? Are you a tattoo artist or do you dabble in watercolor? Have you invented something? Do you like frogs legs or are you carrément contre la cuisine des cuisses de grenouilles? Do you have an unusual skill? Do you decorate your window sill? Are you involved in a charity? Have you written a book and do you want to "buzz it" here? Are you shy? Ever won a prize? Or eaten an entire pie? Are you on a mission? Do you have a blog or a website and where can we find you on the web?

Now's the time to de-lurk... time to write just a line or two about you... s'il vous plaît! Meantime, thank you for reading this word journal and for helping to create a cozy community as we move into our ninth year: one sweet and savory word at a time.

Thank you very much, in advance, for sharing something about you, in the comments box. Note: the next post will go out on November 5th, after a short break :-)

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal week after week. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, I kindly ask for your support by making a donation today. Thank you very much for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1. Paypal or credit card
2. Zelle®, an easy way to donate and there are no transaction fees.

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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Dottie Bennett

Bonjour, Kristin! I greet you every time I go on the internet, because I have made this site my homepage! I borrow your pictures as my desktop background. I don't usually keep the same one for very long, because ILLICO you will post another must-have. I am a retired high school teacher (French, Spanish, English), but continue teaching online courses for the state of Alabama. Your blog helps keep me refreshed! You are a wonderful source of vocabulary and cultural tidbits. Merci bien!

Bill in St. Paul

Bonjour, aussi, Kristin. I read your blog at work (yes, I get here early), am eligible for most senior discounts, and have worked with computers since my freshman year in college in 1964. I do not have a cell phone, an iPad, or a Blackberry, but I do have an iPod that my son and daughter-in-law gave me.

Jake Paltenghi

I am a painter and a sculptor living in provence. I do struggle with the language, so this site helps me master a word a day! , I have done a series of landscape paintings inspired by walks around where I live, I've called the series Sur La Route vers Arles. You can see my work on my website or on my Facebook page, Jake Paltenghi I hope you like them!


Congratulations, Kristin. I work with French customer/partner personnel and am lucky enough to travel periodically to France as well as to take French lessons. I love your column, the vocabulary, your creative flair, the cultural notes, and the beautiful pictures that you share with us. I feel very blessed to be an internet "friend"!

Debbie Turner Chavers

Happy Anniversary! I have enjoyed this blog and Kristi's writing and artistic photography for two years now.
Yes, I have a mission, to share the great love of God toward one and all through my Art Parables and writing.

David Giorgi

G'day Kristin!

From a bilingual web developer living in Annecy,France with family since 2007. We used to live in Brisbane, Australia.

This is the fifth country I have lived in after Italy, England, Switzerland and Australia! I love the expat life.

I thoroughly enjoy reading your French Word-A-Day, thank you for sharing your life with us :)

Jackie Sand

bonjour, Kristin- We met several years ago when you were living near Dragignan. I am now a retired French teacher, retiring 3 years ago, working part-time last year and craving more time for my husband and me and needing to take a break from paper-grading. I do miss colleagues and students, but love going to the gym not just at 5 a.m., volunteering, back to cooking more complicated and healthy meals, seeing friends, going to museums, and pending the last week of August and the first 2 weeks of September in Paris, the Périgord, and Languedoc. We've never been able to travel at that glorious time of the year. I continue to love your site and recently sent a link to another francophile friend. Joyeux anniversaire du site View my husband's photo site below under the arts section for some wonderful photos of France!!!

angela billows

I live in Provence, but am not retired or rich (mores the pity!) so life can be a bit hard at times, but always eventful and rich in other ways! I write about my life in my small town at
I hope you will enjoy it half as much as I enjoy yours! You are an inspiration to all of us nascent bloggers!

Peggy Wright

Bonjour Kristin. I started learning the French language when I retired in 2000 and have attended schools in France and Canada. Besides being fun, it keeps my mind active and young. I just received your new book and can't wait to read it. I have all your books. Keep up the good work. You are like a daughter to all of us. I live in the Washington, D.C. area and hope to meet you one day.

Helen Kerkhofs

Hi Kristin & Company,

I discoverd your blog a couple of years ago when I just graduated from university and was looking to upgrade my French. In Belgium (well in the Flemish part) you have to speak at least 3 languages to find a half decent job. French is really not my strongest point, but I'm always in for improving things in a pleasant way. And this is were you came in. Love your pics. Smokey always give me a entertaining break from my boring office job.
I don't have anything to declare except my facebook page :-)
Take Care
Helen Belgium

Helen in PEI, Canada

Bonjour Kristin.
I love your blog and it is one of my regular stops. I am retired, love to travel, and have always loved words. I live in Prince Edward Island Canada and, having been born in a French speaking province of Canada I use this blog to keep up my French vocabulary. I am also in the process of learning Spanish being of the " never too old to learn" school of thought. I read a Spanish word a day site as well.
Your Photos are also amazing and have been the inspiration for a few of my paintings.
Un gros Merci.

Wylie G

Dear Kristin,

Congratulations on your 9th year in writing business! I am a relative newcomer to your blog but love to read it. As a mid-life NYer with a serious Francophile fixation who took a trip to Tours recently to learn French for two weeks, it's a pleasure living vicariously through your country life. I also started my own blog, The Couchsurfing Cook, and hope to one day turn it into a cookbook, worldwide tour, and TV show. A girl can dream, mais oui? And speaking of dreaming, if you happen to have a lead on a single, 30-50 something Frenchman who travels occasionally to NYC, uh, feel free to send him my way so I can one day lead a life more similar to your own! ; ) BLOG LINK:

Bill J Widmann

Bonjour, Kristin
I love your photos and commentaries. Makes me yearn to return to Provence.
Avid cyclist who has followed the final week of TdF from atop a bicycle a number of times. My favorite trip was when I got to stay in Avignon and Mazan before traveling to Gille le Citeuax and Paris. Have ridden Mt. Ventoux from Bedoin and Seault.
Dream of retiring in Provence...most likely near Seault or Gordes.

Alyssa Eppich

My name is Alyssa and I live in South Portland, Maine. I am a substitute teacher and I have been improving my French for 36 years and my German for 30 years. I long to make a trip to some of the places I visited all those years ago.
I have been married for 21 years and I have a 20 year old daughter who is a sophomore in college maintenant!

Amy in Cincinnati

Bonjour Kristin! I have been reading your blog in Cincinnati OH for about 4 yrs. I love your writing, your photos, and especially your dogs. My son is a wine retailer in San Francisco and I hope someday to accompany him on a "business" trip to France.


I am a newleywed who traveled to Provence for my honeymoon in August with my new husband. I found your blog about 5-6 years ago, and have loved every email I have received from you! I hope, one year, to be able to help you with your harvest, as it has been a dream of mine for some time now. =) Please keep up the great work and congratulations on your longevity, Kristin!


Bonjour Kristin,
Born in the Philippines, lived half of my life in NY/NJ, retired and now dreaming of a life in Paris/Provence. The dream is partially fulfilled by regular visits to P/P, and I am no Frank Sinatra, but I left my heart in Provence! Am still struggling in French and reading your French-word-a-day is what's keeping the dream alive!.
(I can still whip up a good Asian meal though.)
PS - I even have a Mac with a French keyboard. What say you ;-) LOL


Bonjour Kristin

Many thanks for your glimpses of Provensal life which bring some borrowed sunlight into South West London.

I am perpetually trying to complete getting on paper a novel involving intrigue and murder amonst the ex-pat community in Cognac.

Betty Gleason

Bonjour Kristin,
Bon anniversaire sur votre journal Web. Elle ajoute de la saveur un français parfait à mes jours. Merci pour tous vos efforts. Ils sont grandement appréciés.
Puissiez-vous avoir encore de nombreuses années de succès continu.

Stephen Howard

Hi Kristin,
I took four years of AP French in high school from 1960-1964 (you do the math)but had forgotten virtually everything before we started traveling regularly at the instigation of friends (husband an aixois born and bred, wife a good Lutheran girl from North Dakota.) I am perpetually embarrassed by my lousy French, but work at it almost daily -- entertaining the pleasant fantasy of one day taking up residence. We have stayed frequently in Aix and Sanary-sur-Mer, as well as once in a fabulous chambres d'hote in Lourmarin. Oh, I am an environmental fundraiser, and now we live in Lambertville, NJ, where we discovered the most unlikely and romantic connection with our ami aixois. But that is another story. Best wishes, Steve Howard

Jeanne of Maumee, OH

Happy Anniversary, Kristin. I read your first book several years ago while preparing for my two-year-experience living in Paris, my husband on a job assignment. Then I got to MEET you in Paris with my granddaughter. We were both thrilled! I am now in the midst of writing my own book to tell of my adventures and how one gets from Ohio to Paris without getting lost in the paper work! I love your blog and your life. You are growing every year and I realized that I still am, too. Life is about learning and I learn from you every day. Keep up the good work. Votre amie, Jeanne.


Bonjour Kristin,
I too love your blog and your beautiful photo's. I have traveled often to la belle France and love the people, language and, and, well just about everything! I mostly care for my husband now who has had Parkinson's Disease for 21 years. I do still try to paint occasionally since I have so many photo's from my travels about which I thought: this would make a great painting! I live near the coast in South Carolina, USA.

Kendal Shand

Hi Kristin, My husband and I live in the South African winelands, in the beautiful village of Franschhoek, about 80km's from Cape Town. We live on a small, boutique wine farm (3,3 hectares) and make our own wine under the label La Petite Vigne - we also run a five-room guest house, La Petite Vigne,and we have a website at I have followed your wonderful blog for almost all of the 8 years that it has been active and I have been attempting to learn French, very, very slowly through the wonderful Alliance Francaise - I simply love your blog and have followed the fortunes of you and your family and Braise and Smokey with keen interest and not a little anxiety at times. I order your book from Amazon from time-to time for friends and brag about how well you write - you bring sunshine to our lives - you and your family are assured of a warm welcome at La Petite Vigne, should you ever decide to visit South Africa (an absolute must!) warm regards


Bonjour Kristin,
I have exchanged notes a couple of times with you regarding French music and books. My first foreign language is Italian followed by French and Spanish as well as little bit of German. I majored in Italian in college some 40+ years ago. Right now I use Spanish in my work as a tutor in the No Child Left Behind program as most of students are Hispanic. I just love them and their families.
We have a large and growing population with origins primarily in Mexico here in the Columbus, Ohio metro area.
I have enjoyed French Word A Day since I discovered your book a few years ago. Merci, mon amie!

Gina Rose

Bonjour Kristin, I am a housewife and mother of 7, and read your blog from my iphone after my daily run with my neighbor - a mother of 10! My very best friend, who was my high school french teacher, introduced me to your blog a couple of months ago. (Hi Renee!) You make my day!


Bonjour Kristin,
I am a young, recently married hydraulic engineer in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia who would much rather paint, draw, or sing than sit here at my desk. I am also an avid motorcyclist, and the mountains roads are beautiful this time of year. I have a passion for French and minored in it in college to get a break from engineering. Your blog is one of my favorite ways to travel away from my daily routine. I'm not fond of my current profession, and your blog is one of the many things inspiring me to follow the path to something I truly love!

Peggy Ritchie

Bonjour Kristin, I am retired, rennovating my house, and right now visiting my daughter, her French husband and my three grandaughters in Provence. I also try to paint, garden, quilt and write, with enjoyment, but little skill at any. I have followed your blog with great enjoyment and not a few lessons learned, not so much words as life lessons. I love your open and honest portrail of life. I am very sorry to miss you this trip, and look forward to lots more of your wine, Jean-Marc. Myregards to Jules as well.


Thank you for a lovely time reading your blog. Your pictures inspire and entice. Your words speak to me. I am a grandmother and great-grandmother who lives in Maple Valley, Washington in a log house we built ourselves. I am more given to comfort than style and enjoy the turning seasons, a nice soft wool to knit with, a good book to read and friends to share a cuppa with.


Felicitations, Kristin. I just started reading your blog a few months ago. Somehow found it while searching for places to stay in Paris and the Dordogne (planning a family trip for next summer - my first trip to La Belle France). I have two children. My youngest just started studying French in middle school and I am having fun resurrecting my creaky high school French to help her with homework. One more thing: I just fulfilled a childhood fantasy this spring - I bought a horse! Thanks for sharing your French life and your love of words.

Caroline Mohr

Hi Kristin, I don't remember how I found your blog about a year ago and I love it. I am a retired scientist who had five years of French MANY years ago and can still stumble my way through a conversation. Learning new words in association with stories always helps. I've only ever been to Paris and long to return to visit the rest of France. Now I am a Photo Solutions Specialist in the Atlanta, GA (USA) area who helps people get their digital photos out of their cameras and off of their computers and into their lives. My website is Thank you for sharing your life with us.


Salut! Je m'appelle Jennifer et j'habite a Melbourne, Australia. I am currently studying for my Business Statistics examination on Friday... and just came online to check my e-mail and what a lovely surprise. I signed up to the French newsletters yesterday. I have also been learning french for a semester now and it's been enjoyable. One day, i hope to speak line after line of beautiful, eloquent and fluent French!
Keep up the good work!


Hi Kristin -- My gmail says your email arrived 55 minutes ago and look at all these responses! Like so many, I love your writing and your photos -- your insights about life as well as your observations of Provence. As for me, I have been a speech pathologist, newsletter writer for the city historical commission, briefly a French teacher, and finally a college counselor -- wife, mother of two fabulous sons, and now semi-retired writer, student and volunteer. Your blog is a joy. Congratulations on 8 fantastic years!


Bonjour Kristen,

I am semi-retired, splitting my time between Florida and Delaware. I discovered your blog while planning a trip to Normandy. My wife and I love France and are planning to rent a flat in Paris for a month. I have always been dreadful with languages, but your blog makes learning French fun.

Elizabeth Jones

I am a stay-at-home (should be stay-in-the car-or-kitchen) mom of a 13-yr-old boy and a 9-yr-old girl. We are fortunate enough to spend about 3 weeks of most every summer in a small village called Grimaud in the south of France in my grandparents' home. My grandparents were the first Americans to buy a house in Grimaud in the 1950s and they split their time between there and Paris. I love opening my email to find your stories that tap into my love of France, writing, and family life! I would love one day to meet you!

Ann in Milwaukee

Bonjour Kristin! I'm a lawyer and diehard francophile who loves keeping up with her French via your wonderful blog. While I love my job I have dreams about being a France-based photographer/chef/yoga instructor/philanthropist, but since that opportunity has not presented itself it seems I will stay put for the time being. Your blog is a terrific peek into your life and your family and I so appreciate the hard work you put in to each post. Merci bien et bon anniversaire de blog!


Happy Day! Kristen--I read your blog from Niceville, Florida and always look forward to your posts. I am an architect that works for a contractor and I spend most of my days on a dirty construction site. Your posts are flowers that brighten and lighten me up. I found your blog because of reading your first book. I hope you have a wonderful day!!

Maureen Walsh

Hi Kristin,
Congratulations! I think you were part of the reason my husband & I decided to come to Grenoble, France this year for his sabbatical. He is doing a year of study as probably the oldest student at the Ecole de Management! You inspired me to start a blog, although it doesn't compare with yours. My French is improving with the kindness of the French friends we have met at Open House Grenoble and Sweet Home Grenoble, and the writing of the blog is helping, too. All too soon we will have to return to the U.S., but for now I am relishing every moment!
Thanks for the wonderful blog...give Braise and Smokey kisses for us.

Nancy Reinhardt

Bonjour Kristin! I'm a romance writer and a copyeditor living in Indiana--I've been a Francophile since I was about ten, I think. I discovered your blog when I was planning my trip to Paris/Ireland two years ago. The trip to Paris was a dream come true--stayed in an apartment in the 15th and felt truly as if I'd finally come home...thanks for your words and your pictures--I too, use the photos as my desktop background. My office is very French--and along with this blog, it's my little bit of France here in the Hoosier state. Merci bien!! Nancy

Suzanne, Monroe Township, NJ

Bonne Anniversaire, Kristin! I have read FWAD for 4 or 5 years now mostly on the train during my commute from Princeton Junction, NJ to Penn Station NY every week day. I enjoy Cinema Verite on the weekends. I enjoy learning new words and phrases and of course the your photos. I have also enjoyed becoming a member of the community you have created by adding the comments section. I find myself creating sentences and phrases in French now practicing mentally. But most of all I value the friendship we have developed ... you, Jean-Marc, my mother Portia and my sister Margaret when visiting with you in Provence and when JM is in the States. I treasure the evening the two of you spent with us over dinner at the farmhouse in Vaison.

I live in Central New Jersey but am a native Californian.

Ulrike, Dubai

Bonjour, Kristin. This was the first email I had from you, so here's a brief introduction about one of your newest followers: I am German, married to a Brit, live in Dubai and am learning French with view to relocating to Paris in a couple of years. Your blog is a great way of learning some additional words in an out-of-the-classroom sort of way.
Thank you.

Diane Emerson

Hello Kristin: I am quite new to your delightful blog. I am a nomadic volunteer, age 57, with family in the midwest of the USA (Minnesota and Iowa) and friends in New Zealand. I am just finishing up volunteering for a year in Kashmir, India with the Hope Disability Centre. I will write a book about my nomadic volunteering life in the coming months, using my blog, as the basis. I subscribed to your blog because next summer I will be fulfilling a long-held desire: to bicycle through the Massif Central stopping in villages along the way for a week or two in each, to volunteer for the elderly who live there without much support. I will weed gardens, trim trees and shrubs, clean windows, bathrooms, kitchens, ovens, paint, whatever they need. (except cooking) All I need is a place to pitch my tent. I am so looking forward to it, and your blog is helping me re-learn some basic French so I can have at least some minimal conversation with the people I meet. I enjoy everything you share very very much.

Shannon, Alexandria, VA

Happy Anniversary and Congratulations to you, Kristin!!

I'm a 27-year-old faithful follower of your blog from Alexandria, Virginia. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, I've lived in the Washington, DC area going on five years. I work as a research analyst on Africa by day and as a grad student by night...I'm two classes away from obtaining my Master's Degree in Global Affairs and can't wait!! My wonderful husband of three years and I are moving out to Colorado in 2012, where I will be sure to continue my patronage of your website. Bonne continuation!!

Debbie from Baltimore

Salut Kristin, I am a true francophile and have been studying french and anything having to do with France for over 30 years now. I just wanted to say congratulations on eight years of truly engaging writing and the most gorgeous and thoughtful photos! I love seeing your email pop up in my In Box at work; it's such a refreshing and inspiring way to spice up my day. While I take an advanced French class, I still see new vocabulary and phrases on your blog all the time. Merci pour tout!!

Renee Convers

Hello Kristin,
Love your FWOTD... and "Congratulations" on your anniversary! What a wonderful accomplishment! Love your stories & photos as well. (You Mom's a wonderful talent too!)
Living in Miami, I'm a wife of 33 years and a mom to two adult kids. Life is good...
I worked in diagnostic imaging, but these days I'm back-in-school taking classes for fun....(sometime I have to question the fun part!)
My husband is from Colombia and we lived there for five years. In Miami, it's essential to be somewhat bilingual. We really are a complex culture....tons of fun! (Great foods as well)
My daughter and I enjoy your books and we love to share in all things French.
My ancestral lines run between Irish, English and Swedish, but I have a very French name...go figure!
Thanks for all your time & efforts... again, love your posts!
Best wishes,
Renee Convers


I'm another of your retired French teacher fans. Still learning and enjoying French and the feeling of connection your blog brings. Your writing and stunning photos make your blog my favorite.

Bob M.

Kristin: I'm a newcomer to your blog and already a big fan. I've been studying French off and on since high school, accumulating 5 years of study over 20 years. I'm a historian by profession and picked up on my French studies again when I started my graduate studies. I spent some time between Vincennes and Bayeux doing research and sight-seeing. My wife and I are now settled in Alabama and looking forward to a return trip to France. Thanks for bringing this community together. Que Dieu te benisse!

Marge Lee

Congratulations, Kristin! I am professional writer and consultant for the museum field and living in northeastern Pennsylvania. My website is It has not been updated recently, but still gives a sense. Anyway, I love your site, and always begin my day reading it. I enjoy all things France. My husband and I and our two very good friends have taken multiple trips to France and are hoping for the next one in 2012. We collect whirligigs; our little vacation house on the Jersey Shore is named "La Girouette" and inside if you came to visit you would find two girouettes purchased in France. Exactly how we got them onto the airplane is another story entirely...Thank you for the wonderful start to my every day.

Julie Schorr

Hi Kristin,
I am am mother of three and a French teacher in the San Diego area. I love the French language and also speak Dutch and German. I lived in Belgium in Sint-Niklaas, the Flemish speaking part where I also learned German and French. I lived in Aix-en-Provence for one year. I enjoyed my stay there very much and attended classes at the university learning how to teach French as a second language. I take students to France and am planning a trip next November during our Thanksgiving break. I enjoy your blog so much and all the beautiful pictures. Merci beaucoup!


What interesting people you have here who follow reading all their stories!
I live in the Hudson Valley, but very soon (can't be soon enough) will move to our new house in Pittsboro, N.C., just south of Chapel Hill. We're renovating and working on all the colors inside and out; my new blogger friends have been so helpful!
I just love your blog, esp. the pictures of the dogs!
I run a design licensing business, but yes, we go to France every year. A devoted Francophile indeed!


Congrats, Kristin! I discovered your column only a few months ago, but now I hate when I have to start the day without you. I have nothing unique to tout, but I'll write something fabulous in French when my daughter gets married on New Year's Eve. (Well, a few days later...) Here's to 8 more years! Cheers, Sandi

Fay Terry

Hi Kristin,
I am an artist in Pinehurst, North Carolina. I paint in oils and have a website(
I visited the Dordogne region in September, stayed in Brantome and painted, then spent five wonderful days in Paris and saw the Monet Exhibition at the Grand Palais.
I am working on learning French and highly recommend Pimsleur language CD's. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your writing and photos and like your little admissions of being human, such as a tendency toward
lateness.(me too!)
May your next year be filled with joy and blessings!
Fay Terry

Barbara Bilder

Joyeux anniversaire! Je suis un enseignant à la retraite de la littérature anglaise. Je habite la belle ville médiévale de Dinan en Bretagne. J'aime la vie ici avec mon ancienne maison, grand jardin, et mes chiens, mon Papillon appelé Emma et mon bouledogue français appelé Chompsky. J'ai déménagé ici il ya huit ans du Maine. Mon fils et ma belle fille vivent à Oxford, en Angleterre et visite souvent avec leur boule Chickpea. Vos photos sont incroyables et j'aime les histoires de vos chiens.

Linda in Cape Town, South Africa

Bonjour Kristin,
Congratulations on your anniversary. I am a theatre administrator who enjoys learning other languages. Apart from English, my first language, I also speak Afrikaans, Spanish and Italian, and, much less well, French. I can also understand German fairly well (Afrikaans helps!) although I don't really speak it. I always enjoy reading your blog - especially when it includes Smokey!

Mary Ellen, Chicago, IL

Bonjour Kristin,
I love reading your email every morning with my coffee. I save all of them and have quite a large file now!! I am an aspiring watercolor painter and am trying to get myself to Provence to paint. To support myself, I teach online classes for a university (since I can't support myself with my artwork yet-hah!) The last time I used my French was when visiting Quebec (home of my French and Canadian Indian ancestors.
Merci bien!!


Hello Kristin,

Last week, when you mentioned your "after-harvest holiday", I immediately thought the time corresponded to "les vacances de mi-trimestre" for Max & Jackie and holiday around the public holiday of "La Toussaint". I sort of imagined it would be an excellent opportunity for you to get a good rest from "le train-train" ( = the daily round), to relax... etc...
(and wouldn't it be a good opportunity to pursue the writing of 'that' book too ? maybe ... don't know)

Today, I immediately recognised the photos and thought you were redistributing a past FWAD... "mais non, pas du tout"!

Anyway, thank you for the cheerful 'word of the day'. I believe your "vacances de Toussaint" will be "joyeuses" pour toute ta famille.
I wish you the finest Autumn weather & colours (I bet your camera will keep busy!)

Stephanie in Webster

I am a newly retired prof de francais, new grandmother, wife of 33 years, daughter to four elderly parents and parents in law, mother of a missionary in Africa, novice quilter, Bible studier,cyclist and hiker. And I love your blog!


Happy Anniversary, Kristin! I live in Houston, TX, and I am a 53 yr old executive assistant (writer-want-to-be). I am fairly new to your blog, about 3 or 4 months. A friend who has enjoyed you for a long time pointed me in your direction, and I'm so glad she did! I love to write also, and it's very encouraging to read about someone else who has found a delightful way to enjoy writing. Your photos are wonderful too... many times, they are set to my work computer's background where they cheer me throughout the work day. Thanks for sharing your written thoughts and the wonderful photos!!


Happy Anniversary Kristin! I am a mid-thirties housewife living in central Pennsylvania. I have no children or career, just a love for learning and enjoying all about life with a wonderful husband. I stumbled on your website as we were preparing for our first trip to Paris this past September. What a gem! I love your pictures, sense of humor & style of writing. I hope to visit your part of France one day. Thanks for your interest!

Sue in Michigan

Bonjour and happy anniversary! I am a 38 year old married mother of a 2 1/2 year old daughter living in Michigan. I studied French in school and have always been a Francophile! I honestly don't remember when I began reading your column / blog, but I think I found it when I was preparing for my first trip to France in 2003. I have subscribed ever since and love getting a little peek into your life in France through your words! Of course the vocabulary lessons are delightful as well and have helped to prepare me for my multiple trips to France since then. I look forward to the day when my husband and I can introduce our daughter to the beautiful country of France! Thanks for sharing your life, your words, your photos, and your thoughts with us over the years!


Chere Kristin
My friend Sharon recommended your blog a little over a year ago. You inspired me with what you wrote about "living the writing life," or words to that effect. So I started my blog right after that.
Heartfelt thanks from this journalist/Francophile/daughter of a French teacher/grandmother/blogger.

Wendy Patterson

Merci pour ce blog! Bonne anniversaire, Kristin. I have been enjoying your Word-A-Day and cultural notes, all of which enhance my "knowledge" of French. I have realized a dream of having a "pied-a-terre" in Paris by buying into a fractional ownership 4 years ago. What a dream. I get to be in Paris for 2 months each year. I would LOVE to live there. Although I had French in high school, a long time ago, and have been to France more than a dozen times, I still need to study at home, almost daily, to keep even the basics in mind. You make it more enjoyable when I am here in my little rural town of Hinesburg, Vermont, beautiful in its own way, but it isn't Paris!

Mary Griffith

Hi Kristin: People who follow your FWOTD have such interesting lives. I enjoy your column, but I am doing poorly in my French. I do not need it, but have always loved the language. I and 8 members of my family (all female, daughters, granddaughters and sisters)spent a week in Paris in July. It certainly was not enough time, but we do have some great memories. Hope to get back someday. Congrats on your great blog.

Julie F

Bon anniversaire et félicitations, Kristin

I can't wait to read what everyone has posted, but alas I have to write and run today. I'm now in my 50's and living in St. Louis. In a previous life I was a professor of rhetoric (yes, Aristotle and all that) and composition, running college writing programs. After my husband and I adopted two 8-year olds from Russia, I eventually stopped teaching to deal with their many needs. Since our family started with a huge trip, we have continued to instill in our kids a love for travel and the rhythm of different places.

Now that they are grown and (somewhat) out of our hair on a daily basis, I've tried to get back to my first love -- putting words on paper or computer screen. At some point I will complete the story(s) of raising these two young people. I have my blog, www.traveling-through , where I share my thoughts and experiences and photos from traveling through the world and the second half of my adulthood (you can click on my name, below). I also am trying to get more travel stories published.

I love my dog, gardening, hiking, country music, and France. I'm still working on the language because I want to be much better next summer when I go to du Festival de Musique Country Rendez-Vous de Craponne sur Arzon - France. Maybe this will be the trip when I finally make it south to say "Hey!" and "bonjour," Kristin.

Marianne Rankin

As a diplomat's daughter, I was born in France, and although we left a year late, that fact has colored my life. I majored in French in school, have written poems in French, later visited France again, etc. I also speak Russian and German and smatterings of other languages. I'm grateful for FWAD as one way to keep up with French language and culture.


Salut, et félicitations Kristin! I love your blog and especially your photos. You have a tremendous eye for composition. I fell in love with France and the French in the summer of 1973 as a student worker in Rennes. I returned for an entire school year after graduation from college in 1974. I moved there with my wife in 1980 and lived in La Bretagne until 1994. While there I wrote my master's thesis with the catchy little title: "The biblical and missiological role of church buildings and the implications for church growth in France with a particular application to the city of St. Nazaire." I bet there is an editor out there who can't wait to get that into print. Right! I now live and pastor a church in the suburbs of Detroit...trying to raise a 16 year old boy as a single dad, my wife having passed away 6 years ago. Once I get him raised I somehow envision my return to France as a pulpit replacement specialist to give my pastoral friends a little sabbatical now and then. Wouldn't that be great?

Larry Mason

Hi Kristin,
I'm a retiree who is married to a lovely Francophile. We honeymooned in Paris back in 1997. Like other posters here, I have thoughts/hopes of learning French, but am all too sadly aware that I do not have much of an 'ear' for languages. But winter is coming, golf will have to be suspended, so I will have more time to work on it!
Congrats on your blog. We love reading it.
Larry and Sarah

rolling thunder6

i'm a 63-yo male who grew up in Chartres until i was 10 or 11 when we moved to Germany, and after that to California. Have been involved w/ a dozen or so languages over all the years since then. I follow your blog (and several others) to keep things up, so to speak. You have a great blog. Thank you.

Wendy Jaeger

Bonjour Kristen: You already know a bit about me since we've corresponded. I run a business called BLISS TRAVELS and design unique vacations, events and destination weddings in France. I do everything from a singles week in Paris over Christmas to culinary vacations in Provence (quite near you), to luxury events and custom voyages in Provence, Burgundy, Paris and the Riviera...Much like you I fell in love with this area many years ago....and have been returning annually ever since. I named my company Bliss Travels, because this is where I found my

Thea Holzworth

Bonjour Kristin,
I am originally from Pennsylvania, but moved to Strasbourg, France a year ago. I started reading your blog right before my husband and I moved to Alsace. Our family is a little bit bigger now. We welcomed our daughter into the world in May. It is strange to me that she only knows of France and not of America yet. Your blog has been very helpful to me to learn different words, but also to smile over your observations about culture, writing, and life in general. Thank you for taking your time to share yourself with the world.


Bon jour Kristin et anniversaire heureux!
I work for a French based corporation in the US where they teach language classes during our lunch break. Many of us follow your blog and enjoy your life's adventure. I have a large grape arbor (Concord) at home and make jam, instead of wine at harvest time.
Keep up your labor of love!


Mostly I love your dogs. I live in a tiny apt. in Paris and I could never have such big, beautiful creatures. I envy you.


Hi Kristin, I read your blog in Ojai, CA. I am a clinical psychologist who spent a year in Paris on a writing sabbatical, rode my bike everyday all over the city and still practice reciting the names of the bridges over the Seine so that I will never forget them. Paris captured me. Thank you for a slice of your life!


Happy 8th anniversary!
I love this newsletter. I was brought to it by reading your book and look forward to reading my email now. I am a Canadian that loves to travel in France, has a keen interest in wine and is always happy to hear news and see photos of dogs, so your posts are perfect for me.
Of course the main reason for receiving them is to go beyond just making myself understood in French.


Joyeux Anniversaire, Kristin, et merci! I am an inveterate tricoteuse et une ecrivaine d'affaires, and I have loved the French language since I began studying it in the 7th grade. A good friend and I are now taking private French lessons (before meeting friends for knitting); my friend sent me the link to your blog and I greatly enjoy your posts and photos. Thank you for a glimpse of your world and another chance to celebrate France, the French, et la francais!

Arlene Sahraie

Greetings Kristin~I was a French major in college a hundred years ago and spent one summer at the Universite de Caen in Normandy. Sadly, I have forgotten much of what I learned not having the opportunity to use the French I knew. I am a proud winner of a New York Times Librarian of the Year Award and have been a librarian in New Jersey for over 30 years(see I stumbled upon your Word-a-Day and save each posting believing/hoping that someday I will have the opportunity to live in rural France or Paris and I'll need all your 'words' to get me by. Many thanks. Each posting allows me a few minutes to daydream before I start my day. Merci mille fois!

Patricia Anzalone

Congratulations Kristin. Have followed your blog for years. Love Braise and Smokey, and seeing your family and vineyard grow.
I'm a wife, mother and grandmother. Studied French for 4 years many years ago, so this is a good reminder. Married to Italian, we just bought our first home in West Virginia. While learning Italian for my travels there and conversing with friends and hubby here in the US, many French words pop back in my mind! Luckily my husband speaks French too, so if I slip in some words he gets it!! For example, the other day I was making french fries, and kept saying pommes fritts!! So now I never serve fries...only pommes fritts!! It's the little pleasures in life, n'est pas?


While I enjoy your comments, I LOVE your photos! I've been enjoying your blog for about six months. My husband, two children and I lived in Paris for 4 years in the late 90's and witnessed the turn of the century at the Eiffel Tower. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. I had hoped to return to France by now but a divorce and economics have made that difficult. I'm in my early 60's, am a horticulturist by education and former trade, and now work in property management. Perhaps I can help with the harvest some year!


Bonjour Kristin and congratulations on your blog. I discovered it five years ago after a trip to Paris. (I sought out blogs that would help me retain that "French feeling.") You are an inspiration and you cheer me up when I'm blue.

I'm middle-aged and average. I love to read and I experience most of my travels and adventures vicariously through the books I read. Thanks for the adventures and travels you've given me with your blog.

Jeanne Robinson

I am a 64-year-old wife, mother and grandmother and have lived in Oregon all of my life. I have written a couple of books (about cemeteries) and articles (mostly about cemeteries), served for a time as chair of a state commission (about cemeteries) and spend most of my time now serving the Lord Jesus Christ in my church as a Sunday school teacher, a choir member, and teaching a nutrition class. My hidden talent is being able to cry on command, making me the perfect choice each Easter to play Jesus' mom in our annual musical drama at church.

Suzan Backer

I am a wannabe Francophile who has enjoyed your blog for three years. I have the best job in the world. I work for a non profit genetic research facility called The Jackson Laboratory. We are located in beautiful Bar Harbor Maine. We have some of the best scientists in the world doing genetic research with cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's Heart Disease and Muscular Dystrophy to name a few. We are well known in the world of research, but not as well known in the public sector. Our mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease. Our website is Please visit us and see how The Jackson Laboratory is leading the search for tomorrow's cures.

Suzan Backer


Bonjour Kristin:
A 70 year old retired Engineer from Deland, Florida who has spent six years attempting to learn the French Language. We love Paris and the South of France.

Debbie Blackstone

Bonjour mes amis,

I live in Plano, Texas, and work as an Operations Director for a large software company. For years, my largest customer was from France, so I visited France, studied French (my teacher introduced me to you), and became a Francophile. I am now a (relatively) young widow at 57 and plan to retire early in order to have time to immerse myself in southern France and to finally be able to really speak the language.

My email from you is one of the first I receive each day and I feel as if I know you, your family, and your dogs!


I worked in Paris for a couple of months as an EDP auditor over 25 years ago now and was very surprised that my school girl French was in demand by my team mates. Only the boss had better French than me! (Brits and languages really don't mix).
I learned a certain amount during that time and have always meant to build on it. Your blog is a simple way of doing this - just a few minutes each week and enjoyable too.
I'm now a mum of three girls: a teacher; a university student and; my baby, still at home studying for her 'A' levels.
I should now have time for classes but what with the allotment, voluntary work at a Wildlife Trust farm, two dogs and a penchant for the odd game of bridge, I'll just stick with you!
Many thanks and good luck.


Congratulations on your anniversary! I lived in Paris for 3 years as an ex-pat kid, then ended up marrying a Frenchman. We're now expecting a kid of our own (any day now) and I want to make sure he's raised bilingual.


I found your site a couple of years ago as I began to teach myself French. Although I stopped trying to learn the darn language I kept on with the web site. I'm a 47-year-old (male, married with children) designer in Manhattan and enjoy the site as a wormhole to a bright, fresh, hard-working, and beautiful alternate universe, millions of cultural light years from my typical day.

Caroline Scott

Bonjour Kristin and Happy Birthday!
I am a legal secretary living in Boston and also a jam-maker and baker. I met you through a friend (from Seattle), who forwarded your blog to me. I arranged to meet you in 2008 and have visited each year when I visit Provence. My daughter has helped with one of your wine harvests and I am hoping to do that this upcoming year! I love your blog and your books! I also enjoy Jean-Marc's blog and your wines! Now, if I could only find a way to live in France, I'd be there now without a second thought!
Take care,

J. Roese

Congratulations, Kristin! Time flies! I have so enjoyed learning about you and your family, home, and lifestyle through French Word-A-Day.

I am a retired elementary school teacher and have been a francophile since I began studyibng French in high school. I used to follow people around in San Francisco's City of Paris department store, just to hear them speaking French. I have always been interested in foreign languages and culture. While majoring in French at UC Berkeley, I also picked up some German and Spanish.

I have been fortunate to make nearly twenty visits to France. There remain very few areas that I have not visited. I always return home with a list of "things to do and see next time"! Many people have asked me WHY I would want to go to France again, when I have already been there. I just never tire of the history, scenery, architecture, lifestyle, food, etc.

Some years ago, we hosted exchange students from France and other countries. Those experiences led to many friendships that have enhanced our travels.

Please continue your thrice weekly posts and the publication of your lovely books.

Best wishes always,


Barbara Mitchell

Happy anniv. Kristin. I have been following your blog for several years and love hearing about your active life and your day to day adventures. I studied in France in the 1960's and my husband and I have been back several times as both city visitors, camping travelers and even volunteers with La Sabranenque near Avignon, where we helped rebuild Medieval structures. Our son is in the wine business so we follow your wine harvests with great interest. Your blogs have kept France "alive" for us and your vocabulary words keep our knowledge of the language active and current. Thank you from a couple of U.S. midwesterners . Barb

Pat Daniels

Bon anniversaire, Kristin,
I am a new subscriber to your blog, having just returned from 5 glorious weeks in France, and being sent your link by a like-minded Francophile. I retired years ago from corporate life, renovated an old house in Richmond, Virginia, and opened it in 2000 as a small bed and breakfast inn, hosting guests from across the USA and around the world. I blog as well, for my bed and breakfast at including upcoming events, recipes, happenings in our historic neighborhood, and events around our inn. However, I truly wish I had your flair with words and your engaging style. I did keep a journal of my recent travels in France, you and your readers can find it at


Salut Kristin et tout le monde,

Félicitations ! I enjoy your blog very much and I am enjoying reading the bios of your readers. I’m not the oldest reader, but I’m almost as old as dirt at 80. I’m a retired Electronics Engineer. Also, I spent some time as a stock broker. I’m still an active stock trader. My wife and I have been married 47 years.

I had French injected into my veins while I served in NATO at Fontainebleu, France shortly after WWII.

As an active hiker, I had one notable achievement. I hiked the Grand Canyon, rim-to-rim-to-rim as a day hike for my 60th birthday. That’s 41.2 miles and it took me 21 hours.

I started blogging recently with and just started my second blog on investing at

À bientôt

Jan R.

Salut, Kristin. My husband and I are both engineers who have been on assignments all over South and Central America, Europe and Africa. I learned French in Algeria, Spanish in Spain and Portuguese in Brazil. We retired to Catalunya in northern Spain near the French border. So a year ago I decided to refresh my French, found Kristin's blog and have been following it ever since! In my spare time I paint and take photographs which I hope to someday incorporate into a book.

A quick word to Danielle,the young engineer from Virginia who posted earlier: you sound like me 30 years ago, dreaming of escaping a boring life and job. I made it happen, so did Kristin and so can you! Hang in there.

So, Happy Anniversary, Kristin! Congratulations on your well-deserved success. Your blog is a joy to read - your writing is so fresh and interesting and your photos are beautiful. I look forward to every post!


Bonjour Kristin,
I have been reading your blog since 2003. I head to the Camargue every spring to hang out with Gypsies at their pelerinage in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer. My friends and I joke that we have all learned French to hang out with the outcasts of society. In 2006 I spent 6 months living there until my credit cards all started shooting flames out the the cash machines. HAAA!!! I read you daily either on my computer or phone and feel like I am a part of your extended family. THANKS!!!


Bonjour Kristin,
I am a 46 yr old American female that enjoys your blog. I am taking French and have visited Paris once. I live for the day I can return and visit more of your beautiful country and culture. I adore French wine & cheese among many other things.


A thousand thanks to you, Kristin, for eight years of sharing your wonderful and profound words with us. I have a blog that centers around the editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld, and her two children—my claim to "fame."

; )

Hope you will visit me at:

Cheryl McAfee


I'm an electrician at a power plant in mid-Missouri. Actually, I'm an Anglophile whose only previous experience with French was with Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. You can imagine how I first pronounced that! I'm always interested in other cultures, and so bought your book when I ran across it. I've followed your blog now for several years and have enjoyed the peek into the lives of a French family. As a dog lover, I've also enjoyed the running story of Blaise and Smokey. Must admit, I always look at all the pictures first!

Thanks for all the years you've written this blog and for opening your heart up to strangers. It's been an interesting window into a completely different world.


p.s. Your mom's a riot!


Good morning, It has been nice to hear about all your fans. I wish that I had learned about your blog years ago. I have really enjoyed it. As you know, I am a mother of 2 boys, a Firefighter/Paramedic who still uses skills from my days as a French Restaurant Chef to cook for the guys at work. I hope to travel more in the future. I have thought of starting a blog, or writing, maybe starting with a short story. I have a lot to tell, but not sure if anyone wants to hear it. As you can see I need to work on my writing skills. I have been out of College, where I majored in History, for quite awhile. Thank you for sharing your life with us; it has been a joy!!

Becky Namovicz

Hi Kristin,
I have enjoyed your blog for many years now. I am a 65 year old grandmother of 11 year old twins and retired recently to spend more time with my husband (after commuting weekly between NJ and PA for the past 10 years). I enjoy counted cross stitch and reading. I also help my sister care for our 92 year old mother. This spring my husband and I are taking my son, daughter-in-law and the grandkids for a 12 trip to Paris and the south of France; we are all very excited about it. I have a couple of your books and thoroughly enjoy this column. My husband and I are Francophiles, having been to France many times; and although I try very hard I still struggle with the language because I have no one to converse and practice with. Have enjoyed your photographs immensely - keep up the great job. I'd miss you if you weren't around.

Becky,Glen Rock, PA

Eileen deCamp

Salut Kristin and Joyeux 8éme Anniversaire!
I found your blog 2 years ago and enjoy it very much. I live in Charlottesville, VA and work part-time at a local business and volunteer with Meals on Wheels. I love gardening, hiking, photography and France! We lived overseas for a total of 9 years while my husband was in the military. Three of the years were spent in Brussels, Belgium where I studied French and Dutch. We traveled to France many times! I hope to go back one day!


I am a 15 year veteran of teaching French in middle school. I read this because I read your book, Words in a French life, and love what you have to say and now I get to have a taste every day. Je n'ai jamais mange des cuisses de grenouille. I often wonder what it would be like to have married a French man and pack up and move to France but I know it's not something I would actually do. I love looking through your eyes and seeing you live a normal life with your kids and your dogs. So often we think of France as bustling Paris and we forget about "real life" out in the country. My favorite part of France is Provence, it's where I spent my semester in abroad. I enjoy Paris but could never live there.

Please visit my blog for my students and feel free to post!

My biggest confession as a francofile: I don't love cheese or wine!~

Gail Fyhrie

Happy Anniversary! I've been following along with your adventures and wonderful journeys for about 3 yrs. I'm a flight attendant for a major airline and visit Paris once a week. I've enjoyed sharing your joys & sorrows and watching your children grow into young adults! I live in Colorado and love tennis, running, hiking, reading & traveling. I hope someday I can attend one of your book signings or wine tastings either in the states or in Paris! Keep up the great really put another ray of sunshine in my world!

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