A View with A Room (c) Kristin Espinasse

A good place to glander... in a cozy room, flowers on the windowsill. Photo taken in Villedieu sometime last fall. 

glander (glahn day)

    : to loaf about, to do nothing (especially when you should be working)

Example Sentence
  On se sent un peu coupable quand on glande, n'est-ce pas?
  We feel a little guilty when we loaf about, don't we?

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

Verbs in a 16-year-old Boy's Life

The following words will help catch us up on a few goings-on in a young Frenchman's life. I'm jotting them down now, via these verbs, in case my future mind conjugates the memories into fleeting units.  


Conduire, or "to drive". Though I haven't written about it, Max is learning to drive via la conduite accompagnée. Living in the country has never had more perks than this: the ubiquitous wide-open country roads - perfect for practicing behind the wheel! But no matter how empty the roads are around here, a mother's heart still flutters like a country butterfly at every road bend. 


Rêvasser, or "to daydream" - Max is dreaming about the future and yesterday morning he mentioned joining the Air Force! I had to speed-dial his grandfather on Father's Day to tell him the latest -- and to mention that his Air Force captain's shirt now fits Max to a T. (Now, will he choose the French Armée de l'Air or the American Air Force, should he follow his latest dream?) Update: Max would like to join the American Air Force....


Piocher, or "to pickax" - Mr. Max planted seven willow trees (gifts from Dirt Diva Malou, who, along with Dirt Diva Doreen, is helping us camouflage an eyesore of a concrete fence).  Max still has cloques, or blisters, to show for his work driving that pickax, or pioche, into the cementlike ground. (That ought to teach the poor guy to wear a pair of gants!)


Glander, or "to loaf about" - (I think this is on Max's list of things to do, or "choses à faire"...) meantime...


Bosser, or "to work" - Our son is helping a lot with farm work... pulling weeds within the vine rows, helping to tidy up the cave, or cellar, and, his favorite, tasting some of the wines! He tells me his dad is paying him le SMIC (or was that le SMIG, with a "g": minimum wage, or what he would call, the minimum of minimum wage or le bas de SMIC/G!). ...And who wouldn't mind earning minimum wage for wine tasting?! Seriously, giving credit to Max, there is very little dégustation going on around here - and a lot of grueling weeding instead!

Speaking of work, this is our chance to share some very good news. Jean-Marc (alias "Chief Grape") has received another mention for his wines!!! Click on the image, below, to read the fine print and thanks again for all of your support in getting the word out on his Domaine Rouge-Bleu reds and rosés!

Le Coin Commentaires The Comments Corner

What are some of the verbs in this season of your own life? Here are a few of mine: jardiner or "to garden", adorer, or "to love" (just watched and loved this film!), souhaiter, to wish (a very Happy Father's Day to all the pères out there!), and, finally, poireauter, or "to wait around a long time", patiently, for the fruits of daily effort to appear after all these years. There are little glimmers here and there, and doesn't this keep us following our dreams? Click here to comment.

Wine spectator
French Vocabulary

la coinduite accompagnée = driving as a learner, assisted by an experienced driver

le gant = glove

la dégustation = tasting (wine), sampling (cheese)

le SMIC = Salaire Minimum Inter-Professionel de Croissance

    => also: le smicard (la smicarde) = minimum wage earner

le SMIG = Salaire Minimum Inter-Professionel Garanti

I forgot to make Mom these red peppers! Ever since Jean-Marc made them for her (in Marseilles, so many summers ago), they have been one of her favorites. 

Chief Grape's Roasted Peppers:

Take 3 or 4 red peppers (or mix, using green and yellow peppers). Put them in a baking dish, then into a piping hot oven. When peppers begin to blister or the skin blackens, shut off the oven and let the poivrons sweat. (Tip, cook them in the evening, then leave them to sweat overnight). When the peppers are cool, cut them open, scoop out the seeds, and reserve the juices in a bowl (adding half a cupful of olive oil). Chop up the peppers and add to the olive oil mixture. Add more oil, if needed, to cover the peppers. Add salt, pepper, pressed garlic, and herbs. Add fresh basil, if you like, or parsley. Delicious on crackers and bread, and a tasty accompaniment to grilled fish and barbecue. Leftovers are good in quiche, in this Provençal tomato tart, or in this olive cake!

Serve with a glass of Domaine Rouge-Bleu rosé :-) 


"Love ya, Baby!" (Je t'aime bébé). In my day we celebrated the last days of school by signing each others yearbook (or we might sign a T-shirt, if we felt risky). How times have changed! (Pictured, our 13-year-old daughter, Jackie). And, yes, bra straps are still "in".

And now for the best photo tip in the whole wide world (and it's no secret so let this be a reminder): Always, always have a camera on hand! For this reason, pocket cameras are ideal! Here is the one I use daily.


                    La sauge, or sage, from the garden. Thanks, Dirt Divas!

French shopping bag I Heart Paris Shopper: made of recycled material. 1-Percent of the sale of this bag will support the conservation work of the nature conservancy. Order the I Heart Paris bag here.

Check out the latest prices for Kindle, click here and consider ordering today! Your purchase helps support this free language journal. Merci beaucoup!


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


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Catherine Spencer

"has recieved another mention...."
Please check your spelling. "received" is the correct spelling.

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks for catching that one, Catherine. Off to fix it now...


I'm off to do some serious glandering...

Teresa Engebretsen

Comme toujours, Kristin, merci! And I've just checked out your list of books and found some for my summer reading. Vive les grandes vacances et la glandation (just made that one up and don't have my dictionnaire at hand to check it out...)!

Bill in St. Paul

My verb is bricoler which means (to me) to fix things, DIY around the house, fixing those little things that never seems to get done. That always seems how my weekends go, trying to get ahead of what needs to be done.

Congratulations to Jean-Marc on a nice review of Lunatique in the Wine Spectator (however, I often wonder where these tasters can come up with seven different "flavors" when the most that I can taste is usually two).

Pat Cargill

Our son Sam was able to make his first call home yesterday since he joined the Air Force two weeks ago. I missed the call to the house and balled my eyes out when I heard his message. Fortunately he reached his Dad's cell phone, which was perfect and the best Father's Day gift ever. My favorite verb this summer: reunite. We will see him at his graduation in August. Now, if I could just stop being so "weepy."

Congratulations to J-M for his Wine Spectator mention! I have two bottles left from the March tour. Love hearing about Max working with his Dad - I know you are proud of him. I remember well the learning-to-drive days (daze). Gives a whole new meaning to the word alert.

Suzanne, Monroe Twp., NJ

I saw the wine Spectator rating of Lunatique on Friday! Great news for Jean-Marc. Oh, those lovely 100 year old grenache vines! We were just talking the other day about children growing up on a farm who are paid for their work. There are lots of farms in New Jersey where we see this and it teaches young people responsibility and also to value their time and the money they earn. Glad to see that Max has grown up enough to work with his dad.

Ophelia in Nashville

Kristin -- My verb is "lire." Am so glad to have the excuse to tell you that I just finished your recommended read of CLARA'S WAR. What a fabulous account of courage, compassion, and survival. I will remember it a long time. Thanks so much.

Amber...Peoria, IL

Félicitations a Jean-Marc!!! (et tout la famille Espinasse!)

Marianne Rankin

Felicitations d'avoir recu encore une commendation du vin! The tastes sound a bit strange - cocoa? - but I'm sure the blend is delicious.

One of my verbs will be swim - I swim laps during the summer. And jardiner, marcher, lire, peut-etre visiter des amis ...

I have a medical issue that will require surgery, so another verb later will be me remettre en forme.

angela balade mes chiens (or chiengs)
Courir, je cours avec mes chiens
Se Baigner, les chiens se baignent dane le Rhône, j'espère pas jusqu'a `Port Saint-Louis!
Je Félicite Chief Grape!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,

Congratulations to Jean-Marc. I will have to look for Lunatique here in Charlottesville.
I love jardiner, songer, lire, nager, rire, aimer, jouir, bavarder, sourire.

Je travaille dans le domaine de lavande cet été. Quel est un bon nom pour une ferme de lavande ?

What is the difference between bosser and travailler?



Hi, Kristin,

One quick question about your Panasonic Lumix camera: does it have a built-in lens cover that closes over the lens when you turn the camera off, or is the cover detachable? This seems like a camera to fit my needs, but I want a built-in lens cover. The detachable ones invariable loosen over time and won't stay on.

Et nager is the verb in this house... Notre golden retriever Crosby aime nager sur la côte de lac Michigan tout l'été!

Mary Gouveia

The "lingering roasted mesquite note on the finish," does that come from the desert connection?

Kristin Espinasse

Bill in St Paul: good luck with the bricolage or DIY! Be sure to have a chilled glass of rosé and a couple of breaks (or one glass at each break?) which will help (or may hinder?) the repairs.

Pat, you think youre teary-eyed. My eyes were watering and my skin, goose-bumped, on reading about your Sam!

Ophelia, so glad you got the book. I could not put down Claras War! Heres the link if anyone wants to buy a copy:

Marianne, we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers! Courage to you for your upcoming surgery. 

Eileen, Re bosser - it is slang for to work. I should have pointed out that todays word is slang, too! As far as any other differences (between bosser and travailler - perhaps bosser is to really work hard or to bust ones butt). Good luck finding a name for your lavender farm. Ideas anyone?

Cyndy, yes, there is a built-in cover behind which the lens disappears when the unit is turned off. 

Mary, thanks for mentioning the desert connection :-) Thats a nice thought... a little bit of Arizona in there somewhere.... 

Thanks everyone for the congratulations. I know Chief Grape will be happy to see your messages.

Eileen deCamp

I bought the Panasonic Lumix and I love it. I use it all the time.

Jan in Colorado

You might mention to Max that he could attend the French Ecole de l'Air in Salon de Provence. They have an exchange program (or at least they used to) with the American Air Force Academy here in Colorado Springs. I worked there for many years and my husband still does. Many, many years ago we hosted the French cadets for a party at our house. That's when I realized just how much French I'd forgotten!

Congrats to Chief Grape! I wish we had his wine here in Colorado. A future trip perhaps?

Kristin Espinasse

Hi Jan. Thanks for the info on the French Ecole de L'Air. I'll google that! Re future trip to CO - pourquoi pas? ... just as soon as he recovers from the spring 2011 wine tour!

Cynthia Lewis

"I before E except after C or when sounding like A in neighbor or weigh". Even at age "soixante-quatorze" (sounds more impressive in French!), I still chant this little rhyme when I write words with IE or EI. Congratulations to Jean-Marc and to all of the family!

Lynne Sullivan

WOW! 91 points from WINE SPECTATOR!!!! Congratulations to Jean-Marc...and his wage-earning taster (what is the French word for the one who does the tasting?).

Jan in Colorado

Hmm... "i" before "e" except after "c"--but what about weird? Seems weird to me!

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut Kristin,

How about the verb “détendre “(relax), as in, “détente dans les pins”? With the temperature predicted to reach 112 degrees F. this week in Phoenix, the mountains of Flagstaff are super. Does “coup de pied amère dans les pins” translate to “kick back in the pines”?

À bientôt


For me the words are: jouer au golf, lire, faire de jardinage et prendre des vacances au Canada (nord) et au Mexique (sud), mais bien sûr rester.

Congratulations to Chief Grape. Your wines are fabulous.

Jules Greer

Thank you Kristi - I loved today's post. I am always so happy to have you writing about my MAX - what a lucky mom and grandma I am.



Kristin Espinasse

Hi Lynne, re what is the word for the one who tastes wine? My dictionary notes: le dégustateur (and la dégustatrice). 

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut tout le monde,

Anyone interested in the Arizona Lavender Festival, the 8th Annual event is being held the next two weekends. Here is a link to the event.

It’s located in northeastern Arizona, just north of the historic fire that’s still going on, so a call before going would be a good idea.

À bientôt

Lisa A., CA

That is wonderful news for Jean-Marc!!! Congrats!! :)

P J Luckey

Kristin,, this photo for today was sensational!! One of my favorites!
By the way, the willow is a water-pig and will absolutely ruin your septic drainfield if it is anywhere near it! Pret attention!!!

Diane Stanley

Hi Christian,
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy my lumex camera that I purchased with your recommendation. Also, thank you for your positively inspiring messages.

I hope some day to be able to see and possibly help bring in the harvest at your vineyard. Who knows, but it's on my list of choses a faire.

Meilleurs voeux,
Diane Stanley, Oak Ridge, NJ

Diane Stanley

Hi Kristin again,

Oops, I just read my comment and saw how I spelled your name! Oh well in the future I will be more careful to preview my comments.

Bonne journee, Diane, Oak Ridge, NJ

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