reine de beaute
Friday, February 17, 2012
Smokey says: Certes, on dirait qu'elle en a assez dans sa collection... sure, you'd say she has enough in her collection... but the truth is she adores every one of them! Today, find out who won une de ses clés... P.S. can you see the ombre or shadow of the missing key?
la reine de beauté
: beauty queen
(Find out why this word is so special... read the story column, just below)
Audio file and example sentence
(note: the audio file feature will return... just as soon as one of the sleepy Francophones in my household wakes up!)
Il se cachait alors dans un coin solitaire, fixant ses yeux ardents sur cette reine de beauté entourée d'hommages, de murmures flatteurs et d'envies jalouses.
He hid in a lonely corner, fixing his passionate eyes upon this beauty queen surrounded by compliments, flattering murmurings, and jealous desires. --from "Le Correspondant", by Charles Douniol
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
Returning from the doctor's office, Wednesday, I lay back on my bed, tucked under les couvertures, as if a blanket's weight could anchor such rising emotions!
What exactly were these sentiments? A mixture of relief and gratitude, to be sure: lab results were now back, confirming another basal cell—and that the doctor succeeded in removing all of it (without leaving so much as a flourish on my nose. Un miracle!).
But how to explain the other bubbles that were rising to the surface of mon âme? For this, I looked back at my laptop screen, where waves of good tidings were flowing into the comments box, following our recent giveaway contest...
...Aloha from Samantha in Hilo, Hawaii!
...Mabuhay! from Manila in the Philippines. --Faith
...Bonjour... from Boutilier's Point in Nova Scotia, Canada. --Holly
There was something about your words, Dear Reader, that ignited a warm and cozy feu inside of me... a feeling of espoir and, especially, tendresse. I began to sense a tug, as the joyful greetings brought me back in time...
...Namaste from Shobha, in India.
...Hello from Tigard Oregon. --Chris
...Bonjour d'Ethiopie! --Tim
Until there I was, returned to my childhood home! Wearing my favorite golden robe and slippers, my eyes were scotched to the T.V. screen in front of me. Our mutt, Benji, by my side, his eyes were glued to that same screen... We sat, star-struck, admiring the prize-winning smiles of the beautiful representants, who announced their countries, along with warm greetings...
...Hallo aus Berlin, Germany und danke für alles. -Karl
...Buenos dias from Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. --Sheila
...Bonjour from Arizona.... --Gaelle
I watched, enchantée, as the beauties filed gracefully down the runway virtuelle, each contestant representing a different country:
...Hola! y Saludos! from sunny Puerto Rico. --Maria
...Hello from snowy Trondheim, Norway. --Siv
...Bonjour from Perigord Vert, Dordogne France. --Janet
OUI! I now could identify the comforting, nostalgic feeling inside of me—that of returning to the warmth and innocence of yesteryear, to a favorite childhood past-time: watching Miss Monde! How similar were the greetings that filed into the comments box... to those of the glamorous Miss World candidates who filed down the runway!
Merci beaucoup, dear reader, for your lovely greetings and good tidings! You are all, all of you, beauty queens to me!
CLICK HERE and look for my Mom, Jules's comment,where she shares about the Eureka moment, in which she came to choose our winner. You will then see a comment by me, announcing a second winner (this time via a random computer-generated selection!
Update: My father wrote me, after reading your comments, and I think he best succeeded in describing, in one word, what your messages represent: CARE. Thank you so much for responding, with care, to these missives, anecdotes, vignettes, and essays. You fill us with hope! (Now to call Mom, who leaps out of bed each morning... to check in with you all via the comments box! She is such a copycat leaper!)
certes = most certainly, sure
l'ombre (f) = shadow
on dirait qu'elle en a assez dans sa collection = you'd say she has enough in her collection
une de = one of
une clef, une clé = key
une couverture = blanket
un miracle = miracle
un sentiment = feeling
une âme = soul
le feu = fire
l'espoir (m) = hope
la tendresse = love, tenderness, fondness
enchanté(e) = enamored
virtuelle = virtual
Miss Monde = Miss World
More keys... and so hard to part with even one of them. Perhaps I need to learn the key to giving? Maybe another giveaway would be a good way to practice?
An antiques shop in Colmar. Tell us what French antique you dream of winning. Click here to leave a message in the comments box.
A Message from Kristi: Ongoing 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. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.
Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety
GOODMORNING MY LITTLE ANGEL KRISTI -
HOW COULD I NOT USE MY POWER OF POSITION TO TAKE CONTROL OF PICKING THE WINNER FOR YOUR VERY FIRST CONTEST!!!
BECAUSE GUS'S (GUS ELISON) WORDS CAPTURED MY HEART THE MOMENT I READ THEM - PLUS THE FACT THAT I WOKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT THINKING OF HIS WORDS....AND THEN HAVING HIS THOUGHTS AGAIN ON MY MIND THE FIRST MOMENT I CAME OUT OF MY DEEP DREAMSLEEP THIS MORNING - I FEEL IT JUST HAS TO BE 'MY GUS'.
MY THOUGHTS OF HIM THIS MORNING WERE - 'WELL IF GUS IS 87 - HIS NOTE GIVES ME HOPE THAT I WILL ALSO ONE DAY WHEN I AM 87 HAVE SOMEONE IN MY LIFE WHO COULD INSPIRE ME TO WRITE HIS SAME WORDS...
I AM SO CAPTIVATED BY HIS HEART THAT I ACTUALLY COPIED HIS NOTE TO YOU IN MY LITTLE PARIS NOTEBOOK - THE ONE YOU GAVE ME A FEW YEARS AGO. I'M SURE BY THE END OF TODAY HIS WORDS WILL BE IMPRINTED IN MY MEMORY FOREVER AS THEY SEEM TO KEEP ECHOING IN MY MIND AS THE WORDS A MOM WOULD BE MOST HONORED TO HEAR SOMEONE SPEAK OF HER ANGEL DAUGHTER.
GUS WROTE IN HIS MESSAGE:
'AT 87 THERE ARE NOT MANY THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO. FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY IS AN EXCEPTION. THE PAST TWO YEARS HAVE BEEN AN AWAKENING TO THE BEAUTY OF LIFE. THANKS FOR SHARING WITH ALL OF US.' --GUS ELISON
TO HEAR GUS SHARE THAT FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS YOU HAVE BEEN A PART OF HIS 'AWAKENING TO THE BEAUTY OF LIFE' --- JUST BLOWS ME AWAY.
PLUS THE FACT - OF COURSE - THAT HE WOULD CONVEY HIS MESSAGE TO YOU IN MY FAVORITE 'ALL CAPS' EXPRESSION OF ' LOOK HERE - I AM ALIVE!!! CAPS....CAN ONLY EXPRESS REAL ENERY OF BEING ALIVE..THROUGH WHICH HE HAS SHOWN ME HIS SPIRIT.
I'M OFF TO SEE IF I CAN FIND SOMEONE WILLING TO PRINT OUT ALL OF THESE COMMENTS FOR ME SO I CAN MAKE A SPECIAL BOOK OF THIS WONDERFUL MOMENT IN OUR LIVES....OF COURSE WITH YOUR POST AT THE BEGINNING OF MY BOOK.....I SHOULD MAKE YOU A COPY TOO....AS THIS IS JUST THE KIND OF BOOK YOU NEED TO HAVE CLOSE BY ON A RAINY DAY WHEN YOU FEEL ALONE AND UNLOVED.
WHEN A MOTHER READS WORDS TO HER DAUGHTER - AS I HAVE OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS - WORDS OF LOVE AND PRAISE AND ENCOURAGEMENT.....IT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS A MOTHER CAN RECEIVE.
I LOVE YOU HONEY...YOU HAVE BEEN SO STRONG AND FULL OF COURAGE OVER THE PAST 6 MONTHS. YET YOU HAVE STILL MANAGED TO TOUCH US ALL WITH YOUR BEAUTIFUL WORDS....YOUR BEAUTIFUL HEART.
Posted by: Jules | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Thanks, Mom, for reading all of the comments along with me, and for choosing our first winner!
Mom and I decided to choose a second winner, this time via a random, computer generated number. The second winner is:
Marjorie Recinos in Newburyport, Massachusetts!
Would the beautiful winners please email me with your addresses and I will send you your antique French key!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM
What a wonderful gift, all those replies yesterday .. and Kristin, you deserve them all! Aloha
Posted by: Bill Facker | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Thank you! Your postings are a delight.
Posted by: Frances Ruth Harris | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Congratulations to the winners!
You asked what French antique i dream of owning? Peut-etre, un homme ancien, avec grand coeur et petite maison en Provence.
On another note, several months ago you wrote about'les fleurs de cimitiere'. J'en ai plusieurs! However, unlike yourself, with freckle-sized ones, mine have all at once (it seems) blossomed into peonies! Big sigh here...
Posted by: Sue A. | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM
fantastic kristi, but i wish i could see them all like jules can - maybe she will do 'a book' we can buy??????
Posted by: annie shultz | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Lovely words from Jules, Kristin. She's a good mom, eh? Glad to hear you're on the mend. It's almost spring and life is good!!
Posted by: Evelyn | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM
So much JOY encountered in this blog. Thank you Kristin and your Mom! I know this antique shop in Colmar well - have been a customer there for 30 years....a paradise for bric à brac and collectibles..... Chandeliers are my fave antique of late....
Posted by: Maureen from Germany | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Hi Annie, Mom sees the same comments that you do (via the comments link at this post). She then scrolls through the pages--via the more comments link--at the end of each page:
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were a picture of the commenter next to each message? Then Mom's book would be even neater!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Exquisite...and what fun to see the sentiments on global paths to your virtual winners box, soon to be opened with the key, to the heart of selection! Congratulations to your winners.
Posted by: Cindylee | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM
I am wondering if Annie meant the way your mom perceives the comments rather then the actual viewing of them. You and your mom both have a special way of seeing the world and those in it. Thanks for putting a rosy tint on everything
Posted by: Mary | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Congrats to the winners..... a great idea, something different & exciting for us 'French-Word-A-Dayers!!'
Glad you are feeling well and have a great weekend.
Posted by: Poppi Tims | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Ca me rend heureuse que vous soi bien. Merci pour tous les délicieux mots françaises et les histoires adorables. I don't spell French!
Arlette en Bethesda, MD USA
Posted by: arlette jassel | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:19 PM
a vintage copper fish poacher.
Posted by: GB | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:24 PM
How wonderful for the winners!! I would love someday to have a real French espresso or cafe au lait cup to drink from with my new espresso machine!
Posted by: Cindy | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Felicitations Gus et Marjorie! How exciting! And, I'm excited to say that I was right...it was UNE CLE! What a nice thing to share, Kristi!
Posted by: A Hopwood | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I always expect to read beautiful words and be inspired by them when I read these articles, but the comments from Gus are icing on the cake! Lovely. ...an awakening to the beauty of life. Yes! Congratulations Gus, and thank you Kristen.
Posted by: David Jacobs | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Gus reminds me of someone I met when I was 19 and he was 90, Stanley Beale. He was going to College to take French lessons!!!!
He was our neighbor, and I would help him with his homework and his accent ( He was an Aussie and had arrived in the US by boat during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and had to watch the fires from the boat for several days before debarking!!!!) He told me he had always wanted to learn French, the most beautiful language in the world to him, and taught me it was never too late to learn, just like Gus, learning to appreciate beauty. Such rare and wonderful people are a true inspiration for a life well lived, and we will never forget their lessons!
Posted by: Suzanne Codi, Washington, DC | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:53 PM
ps And Hallelujah that your nose emerged unscathed, my little beauty queen, and specially that you are OK!
Health over beauty always! Big hugs from all of us.
Posted by: Suzanne Codi, Washington, DC | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Congratulations to the winners. I enjoy seeing the variety of places the commenters live. To ask me what French antique I would like to have is an impossible question for me to answer. I would love to have anything that spoke to me of France. Have a wonderful weekend.
Posted by: Patricia | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Beautiful and inspiring words from Jules.
It made me focus on our typical Filipino (Philippines) greeting of "Mabuhay!" Its root word is "buhay" that translates to "life" in English. And I thought, hey, when you tell someone "Mabuhay!", not only are you greeting them, it's like you are wishing them life. I have not thought of it and appreciated it that way until now. Thank you, Kristin, Jules and Gus. :-)
Posted by: faith | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I'm so glad you are on the mend and cancer free. I am sitting here in the back country of Indiana waiting for a house deal to go thru so we can go to California to be with my sister who is going thru Chemo now. She lost her husband last summer and just a few weeks later had an episode leading to the Ovarian cancer diagonosis. I need to be there with her but I know she has her children. I hope by the time we do get there that she will have good news. She and I and our older sister are planning a trip to France and England and ??? Waiting is hard but FWA really helps. Thanks...glad you are better.
Posted by: Lolly Golden | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:10 PM
What a lovely way to begin the day - Gus and Jules and Kristin's good news. Thank you for giving the beautiful and inspiring Gus a place to be heard, where his humble comment can inspire so many others!
Posted by: Margaret | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:20 PM
P.S. As for my favorite French antique, it would have to be RIBBON- Gorgeous old ribbon waiting for a new project! Easy to tuck into the suitcase!
Posted by: Margaret | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Oh Gus is so charming and so deserving of such a unique gifting. Also want to say 'yay' for Kristin. I am certain you are in a great place of gratitude. Hugs.
Posted by: BAFA Studio | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM
"... the beautiful représentants, who announced their countries, along with warm greetings...", Kristin that is exactly what I was reminded of as I read all the wonderful comments from your readers around the world. If there were photos to go with the comments you could indeed picture everyone taking their turn on the runway. Love it and I share Gus's sentiments...so delighted he won la clé. Quelle bonne idée !!
Posted by: Cindy | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Kristen your words always inspire me! I know your beautiful spirit is the divine tool that gives you the power to overcome those bumps in the road. My husband and father in law - freckled Irish men that they are, have the same skin issues as you. Visiting your doctor often and staying on top of the situation is the best thing you can do.
If such a thing could be found in that little antique shop I would want to buy a big beautiful antique sun hat for you!
Posted by: Edna Suarez | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Congratulations to the winners! Gus's sentiments are lovely - they have me tearing up. You do inspire us and bring out our best sentiments, Kristin. Merci beaucoup.
I'm very happy to know that your surgery was a complete success.
What antique would I like from France? Like Patricia anything that speaks of France is wonderful. But in particular, I would dream of winning an antique snuff box. The first time I visited France my husband spent hours looking at the snuff boxes on display at the Louvre, fascinated with the beauty and detail of each box. We celebrate our anniverary on Bastille Day and I have searched, in vain, for a long time for a snuff box that would make the perfect anniversary gift.
Posted by: Debby | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:40 PM
As much as I look forward to reading Kristi's stories about her home and family; as much as I feel a part of this odd psuedo camaraderie we all share with her; I also love hearing about you and reading your messages to your daughter.
When I read your notes to her and hear of your spirit you encourage me to build up my daughter; to see and encourage Gus' ability to see "the beauty of life". You too have that talent.
Jules, you invite us all to LIVE!
Posted by: Della - from [the sun is just coming up now and its going to be a beautiful day no matter what] Thornton | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Greetings from the Land of Enchantment!
I dream of an antique wine carrier to secure my wine from the acrobatics of my crazy cat! Mercie, Page
Posted by: Page | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Kristin and Jules,
You both always help me jump start my day. I love the glimpses of your relationship that you share with us. I'll be watching for more comments from Gus, too!
And Kristin,I'm so happy to hear that those nasty cancer cells are gone and that your focus on life won't have that c word undertone! Enjoy a wonderful weekend! Thank you for sharing so much of your life wiht all of us!
Posted by: Cheryl in STL | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Posted by: julie camp | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM
What may have been another jour ordinaire, is now filled with sweet inspirations!
Merci pour les mots!
Posted by: Candace Shearer | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 03:48 PM
So glad you're feeling better, Kristin! Your blog is like sharing a hot cuppa with a good friend - only this friend's kitchen happens to be in southern France! Added to the pleasures of your writing are learning a bit about the wine making process, basking in the reflected glow of Jules' energy and love, and reading all the delightful comments from others who follow your blog. Thanks for the gift of sharing! And congratulations to Gus and Marjorie on winning a key to all our dreams of France!
Posted by: L. M. Davies | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Well, teach me to think I was too busy on Wednesday to read FWAD and would catch up later. I missed the contest! But I couldn't have competed with the winner Jules selected anyway. So glad your bad cells are gone. And thank you for reminding us that even if we sometimes think we are too busy for FWAD we should be too busy not to enjoy life. better late than never,
bonjour from snowy but sunny Boulder, Colorado
Posted by: gary | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Congratulations to all of you. You for the wonderful news and the winners who now have something from you to treasure.
Posted by: diana | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 03:57 PM
How wonderful that the latest spot has been taken care of and without a blemish! You are an inspiration to all of us. Amities,Nancy
Posted by: Nancy in Florida | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 03:58 PM
What an inspiration that was to have your readers check in and post their location! Is there a continent (maybe Antarctica?), a country, a state in the USA, a province in Canada that isn't represented? You certainly cast a very wide net and then pull us all in together! I especially enjoyed postings from places I've lived in or visited--brought back some very special memories. You make the world a brighter place with your musings and photos. So glad the book is closed on your latest surgical experience, and very successfully at that! A French antique? One of those little cups--I think it's called a tastevin--that the wine tasters used in the caves.
Posted by: Jan in Monument, Colorado | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Wonderful post-op news Kristi! So glad the area is now clear.
The French antique I'd want (besides a key) would be a usable enamelware coffee pot. I have one in Provence blue but it is very rusty and decorative only.
Posted by: martina | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM
To Krisitn's mother: I just finished reading a collection of the letters of Madame de Sevigne. Like you, nothing pleased her more than words of admiration and praise for her daughter!
Kristin, than you for your website and for the French word a day.
Felicitations to the key winners!
Posted by: Dorothee Domingue | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Kristin, so glad to hear your recent surgery went well. If you ever feel alone or lost, just look at all the dear friends you have made here on your blog. It's amazing that through this medium so many people come together with a common interest and share their love of France and you. Congratulations to Gus and Marjorie. My wish for something French....I would truly enjoy living in France for the rest of my days.
Posted by: Sharon - Montague, Michigan | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Bonjour. So glad to see there were happy endings all around. I don't know what French antique I would want. I try not to think about it because I already have so many American antiques at home. I keep telling my husband that I need to buy a home in France so I can feel free to shop for my favorite things and have a place to keep them without the hassle of shipping them home.
Posted by: Julie F in St. Louis, MO | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Happy Friday, everyone! Congratulations to the winners of the prizes! Glad to hear you are bouncing back, Kristin. I am glad the readers gave you inspiration like you give to us with your posts. Have a wonderful, joyous, and restful weekend!
Posted by: Julie S. | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Bonjour from MS (temporarily!)! Congratulations to the winners of the cles - here's hoping it opens up wonderful things in their lives. I know your writings, yours, your Mom's, and all your dear readers' open up my life! I think I'd like an antique statue of an angel - I'm not sure why I think of that as a 'French' antique, but it would be so wonderful to find one in France to bring home and watch over my family and friends.
So glad to hear the relief and the joy of the good health news!
Posted by: Judi (Lake Balboa, CA) | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Congrats! to the winners...and it is true for me as well-Like Gus Elison, I look forward to my French-Word-A-Day...it's fun to connect with people from all over the world through your site Kristin-and I learn French as well(I'm not very good at it-but I enjoy it so much). L&L~Lisa
Posted by: Lisa McKay | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Congrats to you, Kristin, such great health news! A shout out for the winners, and Kristin's mom.
I love getting French-Word-a-Day. Thanks so much!
Posted by: Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Two talented writers in the family, who are able to speak from the heart so beautifully!
Congratulations to Gus. He sounds like quite a guy.
Posted by: Cassie Alexandrou | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Your new book is a delight. I just finished reading it. Reminds me of the wonderful year I spent in France about 50 years ago.
I am so happy your "spot" on your face has now vanished. Do be careful in the sun.
I am now going to order your other book. Thanks for many happy reading moments.
Posted by: Mary Lou Thomas | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Love Gus' comments. So relieved to hear that they got all the bad cells. Thank goodness you have kept on top of your medical problems.
My friend Karen and I both read your blog and love to talk about your writings.
Blessings on you,
Posted by: anne wirth | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 05:53 PM
The key is such a wonderful analogy of life - unlocking the unknown - what's on the other side of that door? I'm reminded of a passage in Francis Mayes' "Under the Tuscan Sun" where she describes a creche made by a child which was made entirely out of keys. The baby Jesus was a tiny diary-sized key. I love the image I get of that lovely creation. What a special gift you have offered to Gus and Margaret! My house is so old that my front door is still locked with one of those old "skeleton" keys. I wonder what all of your keys have locked and unlocked over the years. I'm so glad, dear Kristi, that you are healing and the cancer is gone! And a grand merci to JULES for her comments on cher Gus. As always, you both "open" us to new ideas and beauty!
Posted by: Candy in CO | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Yes, congrats, Gus and Marjorie! And what a lovely lovely gesture, Kristin. A key is a very profound gift. You've given us all many virtual keys that have unlocked memories, feelings, thoughts and imaginings. Thank you for that.
Hmmm...what French antique would I like to have? I think I'd like to BE a French antique!--a 'vintage' woman with the patina of a rich life living anywhere in France. But barring that, I think I'd love an old rolling pin that had lovingly created such special times around a table.
Posted by: Gwyn Ganjeau | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Hi Kristin, So glad your results were positive. I know you must be very relieved. The thousands of thoughts that invade ones mind until you know for sure are almost unrecordable. Now your mind can concentrate on happy thoughts ! I hope when I get to France in April I can report the same....Will have results on Feb 29th. As for keys, we have collected very old keys at the various broncantes each trip over and have finally reached a point of no more!!! So when we finally live there we can start another collection. Hope you both and the children can join us on the 18th!
Posted by: Karen Stoeckley | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Congratulations to the winners! A key to the future from the past? And, congratulations to you Kristin about the surgery. I always wanted an antique French hot chocolate bowl and my sister Margaret gave me one for Christmas a few years ago. She has a great eye!
Posted by: Suzanne, Monroe Twp., NJ | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Many happy and positive thoughts being sent to you from Los Angeles, CA. Just a note for friends who send loving prayers but don't always take the time to write and let you know. You're in our thoughts.
Blessings and love, Lorrie (and her subscriber friends, both imaginary and real:)...really only real (just liked the sound of the last sentence:)
Posted by: Lorrie Kazan | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Whenever I'm in Paris, I always seem to find time to walk down an old street on the Ile de St. Louis.... where I discovered a wonderful little studio.
Most of the time the shop is closed, but I'm still like a kid in a candy store... fascinated... looking through the window where old hand-painted and hand carved Marionettes hang from the rafters.
I would LOVE to have one... maybe a princess or fairy. A vintage Guignol would bring me just as much joy! What can I say, I'm just a kid at heart!
Posted by: Lynne Lundy | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 06:44 PM
So happy to hear your good news! N'oubliez pas votre chapeau sous le soleil.
Posted by: Edie Kilgour | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 07:15 PM
J'ai par chance, vu le commentaire de Gus, mais celui de Marjorie m'échappe. Félicitations aux gagnants! Gus, à son âge, le mérite bien.
C'est bizarre, comme toi, en lisant les quelques commentaires du dernier blogue, ça m'a fait aussi penser aux concours de beauté.
Bon weekend à ta famille Espinasse et ainsi à ta belle maman.
Posted by: Millie | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Your news is wonderful! The Arizona sun is shining on you!
I would love to have one of your keys! I imagine turning a lock and finding something magical on the other side of the door!
Posted by: Sheryl Wells | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Greetings from West Virginia, Kristen! Perhaps I'm the first person from WV to comment. I'm so glad that your basal cell was removed without leaving a scar! I can relate to the stress and discomfort of these "skin issues" as I have them too. Your blog brightens my day and you are so very eloquent! Thank you.
Posted by: Brenda Hellwig | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Bravo for your good news! I'd love to possess an antique French mustard pot.
Posted by: Emily | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Congrats to the winners. It would be fun to see a photo of Gus with his prize!
Edie from Savannah
Posted by: edith schmidt | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 08:07 PM
My favorite French find is the love, joy and care FWAD brings me without fail!
As for an antique, the comments above have mirrored my sentiments…a café au lait cup…ribbon…a chandelier!!!...linens...a rolling pin…or, yes! one of the enamel coffee pots from the window of that store you photographed. And Gwyn’s comment about wanting to BE a French antique! Wow,love it!
This post is filled from brim to bottom with heart-warming, feel-good treasures! Thank you, dear Kristi, how beautifully you bless us.
Posted by: Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm ~ Applegate, Oregon | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Thank you for the joy and warmth you bring to each of my days. Frances in Napa, California, USA
Posted by: Frances Anamosa | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Well, I feel we are all winners! I LOVE the idea we are all part of the pageant of life with our simple shout-outs.
Choosing Gus also makes me very happy. I have a special place in my heart for all the older gents and gals whom I have interviewed for my WWII book. I try to call, or visit some each month. So, Gus, I'm thrilled you are part of this community, and won the prize!
Posted by: Nancy Rial | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 08:59 PM
That is good news Kristin! I am so pleased.
Posted by: Christine Dashper | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I've been away and just now catching up on FWAD. That's such good news, Kristin! What a good feeling it must be for you to know the surgery is now history and that you are doing well. I love your blog, the photos of your family, friends, villages, shop windows (the antique purple and green tiles are wonderful), and Smokey too, of course! It's all such a day brightener. Thank you so much!
Connie, Portland, OR
Posted by: Connie | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Bonjour from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Your site is as perfect as my Deux Chevaux!
Carl T. Herrman
Lazy H Ranch
Posted by: Carl T. Herrman | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM
We have all been thinking of you and glad full recovery is underway. I receive myriad work emails but I open yours first every day. You bring sunshine and joie de vivre.
Posted by: margot lansing | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM
happy to hear that your path is looking bright! Keep making pathways full of sun and good cheer! Best, alicia
Posted by: alicia brown | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I'm glad the surgery went so well, and that you don't have a scar. You are a trooper and survive all that is thrown your way. You share your most inner thoughts with us, your admirers, your virtual friends, acquaintances, friends and family. Thank you for FWAD.
Congratulations to the winners. Keys open many things, including the heart.
Jules what wonderful words and thoughts, as usual.
Posted by: Kathleen | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Vive, Gus! It is appropriate for him to win the key as he seems to have discovered the key to long life. What an honor for you to be his muse, Kristin.
Jules, you are an inspiration to all with your joi de vivre.
So glad you are over the surgery, Kristin. I wear PF 50 under my makeup every day, rain or shine. One basal cell operation on my nose was enough, thank you. Your beauty shines through always because of your heart.
Posted by: Diane Young | Friday, February 17, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Chère Kristin -
What wonderful news about your health! This has been such a hard week with the deaths of Whitney Houston and Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid of The New York Times. In addition, my neighbor and friend François is hospitalized with an as-yet-unknown-how-serious illness.
You remind me that living every day to the fullest is essential! "Learning French" sounds overwhelming, but learning a few new words every week . . . ça je peux faire !
Best wishes from Cambridge MA.
Posted by: Maureen McCormick | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Yes, Gus is a great choice!
As far as antiques go, I think by now such a gadget may be one. In France in 1972, I saw something used to light a pilot light on a French stove. One side of a metal item that was squeezed struck the other, kind of like striking a match, or metal on flint. Think if the gas you could save.
I meant to meantion in my previous post that I think flowers are always a good gift for anyone, but maybe the assistante where Kristin's surgery was done would appreciate a bouteille de Rouge-Bleu.
Again, so relieved that the operation was a success!
Posted by: Marianne Rankin | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 01:15 AM
You have an amazing mother! How blessed you must feel everyday! And I love Gus' words and hope at 87 I too am "AWAKENING TO THE BEAUTY OF LIFE"
Merci Kristi for bringing us together!!
Posted by: Kristine, Dallas | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I do see the shadow (l'ombre) of the mystery antique just at the level of Smokey's collar! What fun and joy you bring to our homes with each FWAD....I think of them as conversations....plus a French lesson never to be had in a classroom.
JULES, you chose the perfect person to receive the antique French key! Congratulations, Gus and congrats to Marjorie, also. I love reading yours and everyone's comments.
P.S. Kristin, so very glad you are feeling well and that the last surgery went really well. Best wishes, Cynthia
Posted by: Cynthia Lewis in Salisbury, Eastern Shore of Maryland | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Another P.S....I was just thinking that you might want to hang a map of the world and get Jackie and Max to put pushpins in it to mark where the many readers of FWAD live. It would be full of pins!!
Posted by: Cynthia Lewis in Salisbury, Eastern Shore of Maryland | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 02:26 AM
First....Jules, you choice for the winner was perfect. Reminds us all to live for the moment no matter our age.
Kristin....I had to smile from ear to ear when I saw that board with all the keys and 'Ole Smokey in front of it. My collection is not quite as large, as some are still in use in this house....one in a door!Don't you sometime wonder what doors and lives those keys opened?
Bon soir from Carmel.
Posted by: joie/carmel,ca | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 02:33 AM
I'm with Gwyn: I'd like to BE a French antique. I worked with a young man half my age several years ago. I was wearing a t-shirt he admired. "Wow! Is that vintage?" he asked. "No, darlin'. I am," I answered. It's so fun to be older and sassier as I go!
Posted by: Martine | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Oh, those keys are magnificent!! Being an antiques dealer, I never can find just the right key for my French pieces. Those keys are definitely treasures in disguise. I'm so glad that all is well. Mary
Posted by: mary | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 06:59 AM
What a wonderful gift: The Key!
The Key to life. The Key to happiness. The Key to friendship. The Key to love. The Key that connected you to all your readers and your readers to you...it's just lovely.
I'm so glad you are feeling better. Hugs!
P.S. You have a wonderful mom!! I always love reading what she has to say.
Posted by: Lisa A., CA | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 09:03 AM
What happened to Newforest?
Posted by: Jan Gregory | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Chère Kristin, I have long considered posting a comment to share my gratitude for your writing. I've read every post and both your books. What put me over into the "just got to respond" category today? A comment by your mother: .."THAT HE WOULD CONVEY HIS MESSAGE TO YOU IN MY FAVORITE 'ALL CAPS' EXPRESSION OF ' LOOK HERE - I AM ALIVE!!! CAPS...." My own father is almost 91 and he, too, writes in all caps. After some futile attempts to get him to stop since most people read it as shouting, I gave up. Now, Jules' interpretation seems most appropriate! I'll never read another word from my father without thinking "LOOK HERE! I'M ALIVE!". Merci mille fois.
Posted by: Suzanne L. (Nashville, TN) | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 05:48 PM
You are a reine de beaute, Kristin! And so is your mother. Your optimism and faith - and hers - are inspiring. So glad your latest procedure was successful. Sante'!
Posted by: Joanne Johnson | Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Kristen, I'm so glad your post surgery news is so positive. You have been on my mind a lot lately and I can now breath easier. I love all French antiques but would love a mustard pot or street sign.
Posted by: Susan Carter | Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Congrats to you on your successful surgery and congrats to the winners of your fantastic keys! One of our prized possessions is a "key holder" from our special friends Alexandra and Marc in La Rochelle - although not an antique it has a special meaning to us.
Continued good health - you are in our thoughts.
Robert and Angela
Posted by: Angela Fowler | Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Hope you are feeling much better today. I join all your other admirers in a WHOOHOOOO that your surgery is behind you with a great report! Hallelujah!!!
Posted by: Ophelia in Nashville | Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 04:57 PM
This blog feels like a room of old friends. Like the energy when a group of women go out for a glass of wine, and are in love with one another and their ability to spend time together. My favorite brocante find... the pots that were used for all kinds of purposes, glazed in yellow and resplendent in flaws. The few I have are my cherished possessions.
Posted by: Colleen from Amherst, MA | Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Congratulations, Gus, Margorie and (of course) Kristin. Gus, I'm intimately involved in the lives of several people of the "troisième age". I wish they all embraced your perspective on life.
Posted by: Tom from Detroit | Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 08:54 PM
What antique would I like>> Could that include Jeanne Moreau, Brigitte Bardot or Francoise Hardy (I'll opt for Francoise)? No seriously: An antique desk with secret compartments!
Posted by: Gary Rodan | Monday, February 20, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Hmm, perhaps an old photograph or French poster, or a rubber stamp depicting a French image or word, or a small hand bell. Is there anything along these lines at the antiques shop pictured?
Posted by: Kate | Monday, February 20, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Wish I could have managed toget on the site last week and win a key but technology wouldn't let me!!! Regardless, heal and remember sun-block - with love from a very beautiful BERMUDA. Liz.
Posted by: Liz Brydon | Monday, February 20, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Kristen. First, I drink (a glass of wine) to your good health and to your family who have all endured an upsetting experience.You were such a worry. Wherever did you acquire such a vast collection of keys? At my age, I am an antique and am in the process of giving away my treasures. Gus, you have a wonderful way of expressing yourself. Wish I could do the same.
Posted by: Shirley | Monday, February 20, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Bonjour mon amie,
First of all, I'm so happy you're well and the doctor was able to remove all of the basal cells. Thank God for this blessing. You have been through quite an ordeal these past few months. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are always with you.
What a beautiful message from Gus! I would love to see his face when he receives his key. I agree with him wholeheartedly-you always remind me of the beauty in life, even when times are tough. My best days are when I see the extraordinary in the ordinary and the savor the simple joys of everyday existence (which includes your wonderful blog).
I share your love of keys and have since I was a child. My father has a cedar closet that belonged to my grandfather that opens with a key just like the ones in your house. And the first house my husband and I bought together had many doors that shared a common old fashioned key. When we moved last summer (very emotional) I had my husband take one of the door knob/lock units out of an extra door in the basement so I could always have it and one of the keys. We haven't yet decided what to do with it, but I'm sure the moment will present itself.
You've also reminded me of the locksmith shop I visited last week where I had some extra keys made. He had a magnificent display of antique keys on his wall and I couldn't stop staring at them! You would have loved it.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane and I hope your winners enjoy their keys!
Bonjournee et a bientot!
Posted by: Carolyn Dahm, Sharon, MA | Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 01:54 PM
NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS DID I IMAGINE THAT MY FEELINGS WOULD GET SUCH RECOGNITION. THE INFORMATION REQUESTED IS,
8206 CARAVELLE DR.
JACKSONVILLE, FL. 32244
Posted by: GUS ELISON | Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Congratulations, Gus! You are an inspiration to all of us, too.
It makes me a bit delirious reading all these lovely comments. My heart is overflowing with the love you all exude. Aren't we all the luckiest???
Posted by: Tom | Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Wow! I've never looked at the comments here before, and I am amazed at this virtual community!
What brought me here was your question - I am a painter, and I have always wanted a deep green pot or jar (I think it's a provencal glaze, maybe an oil jar?) to put flowers in and paint, like Cezanne and Odilon Redon and many others have.
Thank you for your mots - I'll have to check in more often, I see!
Posted by: Rebecca | Friday, February 24, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Ah, Miss World, sharing your inner beauty with us comme d'hab! SO happy to hear the good news about that pesky nose. Let's hope that's the last of it.
AND MAMA JULES, YOU ARE TOO CUTE AS USUAL!
Posted by: Lynn at Southern Fried French | Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 10:42 PM