un comprimé

la prise de conscience

Père et Fille. Jean-Marc and Jackie (did you read her letter on maquillage?). Tomorrow, March 29th, is Chief Grape's 45th birthday!

la prise de conscience (preez-deuh-kon-see-uhns)

    : realization

Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc read the French words below: Download MP3 or Wav file

Cette prise de conscience était un peu troublante. Il parait que ma peau a vignt ans de plus que moi. This realization was a bit troubling. Apparently my skin is twenty years older than I am.

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

She said I need to reapply sunblock every two hours, that when I drive I should put on a long-sleeved (linen) veste in summertime, and that I might consider having the windows in my home (where I work) coated with ultraviolet window film. But the kicker was, she said I have an old peau... She did say that, didn't she? 

Standing in the dermato's office, I watch the scrutinizing regard of the doctor, who does not avert her eyes when delivering the conviction: "Vous êtes plus jeune que votre peau!"

 Because she says the word "jeune" several times in the same paragraph, I initially take it as flattery. Since when was middle age "young"? ...But then the words begin to translate themselves, as French words do, slowly... surely—tick, tick, tick—until, like a grenade, they explode with meaning. 

She never said I was young... she said I was younger than my skin... which I guessed, was old!

   "44 year-old woman". Photo taken 4 weeks ago... those are stitches from the second basal cell surgery. My forehead is coming along, too...

No need to guess any further, the dermato is blunt: "You have prematurely old skin! Votre peau a vingt ans de plus que vous!

I am tempted to shush her up, tempted to claim and enforce that universal rule of tact, only, reason tells me that tact is sometimes nothing more than a tool for illusionists: it is magician's smoke! I don't want Houdini, I want Dr H, whose higher goal it is--in telling me the truth about my skin--to prevent further dégâts.

Dr H. says I will need to catch up to my skin's age! The good news is I have twenty years to do so.... Meantime, I will need to slow down the "advancement" of my cellules--and prevent further skin cancers associated with older skin--by slathering on the sunblock, closing the curtains in my bright office, and staying out of the sun. 

(It is a strange new goal, that of trying to catch up one's biological age to one's physical age! Weren't the two the same?)

The other good news was that the third mysterious growth (or the purpose of my doctor visit) turned out to be a harmless angiome--and not another invasive cell. OUF!).

I pay the doctor 42 euros, thank her for the "reassurance", and leave the office. When I get into my car I look into the rear-view mirror....

First, the crows feet leap out. Gosh, the lines around my eyes are deeper than I remembered their being... my skin looks tired, too.

I have the desire to google "44-year-old skin" or "44-year-old woman" just to see what I should look like. What, after all, should I look like? 

In the end, I resist the urge to let google toy with my emotions. I am strong, tough as leather, and you might even say I have the skin to prove it.

French Vocabulary

père et fille = father and daughter

joyeux anniversaire = happy birthday

la veste = jacket

le/la dermato (dermatologue) = dermatologist

Vous êtes plus jeune que votre peau = you are younger than your skin

Votre peau a vingt ans de plus que vous = your skin is twenty years older than you are

les dégâts (m) = damage

une cellule = cell

un angiome = angioma (a benign tumor made up of blood vessels). Our son Max was born with a dime-size bright red "angiome" on his forehead. The doctors referred to it as "une fraise" (a strawberry)

ouf! = phew! 


Alex Polner Jean-Marc Espinasse Joanne Polner N.J. at Vestry Wines NYC
Another snapshot from Chief Grape's USA wine tour. Here is Jean-Marc with Alex and Joanne Polner. Photo taken at Vestry Wines in NYC.

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Bruce in northwest Connecticut

Hey, Kristin -

You — and your skin — look like you're both in your early 30s. Don't worry about it.

I mean, do what the doctor says, and take all the precautions, but don't let it get to you.

Maeve Altoastral

Joyeux anniversaire!Happy Birthday!Feliz Aniversário,Jean-Marc!!!
Kristin, you look great!An awesome soul you are,be sure! ;-)
Greetings from Brésil


I think your skin is fabulous, I think you look comfy in it, and you are an absolute knockout. Expression lines are who we are. We should all look so wonderful as you.

Deena S.

Happy Happy Birthday Jean-Marc! May you live long and prosper!

Peter Jackson

Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day Chief Grape. 45? c'est rien.

.... and Chief Grapesse, don't worry about a few stitches. We've been there too, they'll soon fade. We just have to remember that we white-skinned humans did not evolve in sunny climes and we just have to always look for shade - or move to Finland.

Kindest regards, Peter Jackson

Susan Kuntz

I really enjoy your blogs, and would like to continue at my new e-mail address. I cannot see where I can make this change.

Can you change it with this request?

[email protected]
(formerly [email protected])

Merci bien,
Susan Kuntz

Linda in Paris

Kristin you look beautiful and your skin does not look old! In fact most French women look much older than they are because of all the tanning that goes on here. But not you!

David Grundy

You are a beautiful woman Kristin, and will be for the rest of your life. Try and disregard the age difference between you and your skin, but DO do what the doctor has asked of you.
I'm sitting in Lauzerte at the moment (Tarn et Garonne) and the weather is beautiful too. I've been working in my garden and have popped in the house for a rest.
I'm 71 this July and suddenly realised I'm an old man trying very hard not to be, I have to take it easier.
Happy birthday to Chief Grape and I hope you all have a happy day.
Love and kisses,

Kevin Donovan

Kristin: you and Jean-Marc look like fresh lively teenagers from my perspective!
Bon courage et bon anniversaire.
Kevin (66 ans - et mon peau a le meme age que moi!!)

David Simmons

J’espère que quelqu’un vous a conseillé de éviter soigneusement l’exposition de vos cicatrices au soleil pendant les six mois prochains. La peau est sensible au cours du rétablissement et elle peut développer des pigmentations laides.
Bonne chance,


Joyeux anniversaire Jean-Marc! Bonne fete! Best wishes from Boston :-) I'm sure you will have a wonderful day!

Pat, Roanoke, VA

Bonne anniversaire, Jean-Marc, vraiment le Chief Grape! Know you will be/are happy to be reunited with your dear family after your wine tour. Cheers and best wishes for happiness, health and contined success in all areas of your life!

Chere Kristen, you are on the mend, as G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. as ever!, and I for one appreciate the important reminder your surgeries and your willingness to share the experience have offered us about the need for sun protection. I hope you are insisting that the delicate skin of your children be protected as well! Tanning is not "beautiful" anymore, as was the case when I grew up. We are smarter now, but so many ignore the warnings.

Angela Sargent

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc and everyone's right - you look great Kristin and definitely not 44. - wish I was!

Angela in Sussex

Bob Head

Hi Kristin--you would make a good Australian--I had a bit of my ear 'scraped' this week, to check for nasty things. BCC's are very common here, on face and arms. To be a good Australian you have to boast about your sports injury and your skin cancers. Americans all have their mental therapists, Australian all have their physiotherapists! The French all have their favourite restaurant--much more sensible!!

Bob Head

ps--my wife and I have three grown-up beautiful daughters, so we are well qualified to say that your daughter is stunning!


Yes you look fabulous and young and your skin radiant!! Just heed the Dr's advice re staying out to the sun during those harmful UV times.
Bonne Anniversaire to Chief Grape - may you all have a wonderful day and may he be spoilt rotten!!

Caroline in Melbourne, Australia

Jens (from Copenhagen, Denmark)

Dear Kristi,

I fully agree with the views expressed above that your skin doesn't look 20 years older than the rest of you. Quite the opposite!

See you this summer in the shade of the mulberry tree, I hope.

Michelle Taylor

Bonne Anniversaire, Jean-Marc! Et Kristen tu es tellement belle! Ne t'inquiete pas de tes "crows-feet"......A better name for them is "smile lines"....and don't forget: Wrinkles only show where the smiles have been, and that you have lived!!!

Alice Halliday

Happy Birthday Jean Marc. Please tell Kristin that she needs the Vit D from the sun so might have to balance the amount of sunblock. She looks a v young 44 yr old!

lovely photo of Dad and daughter.
Alice - Oxford UK



Elaine Griffin

Have a "Grape" Day and a sip for me.

Karen Whitcome - Towson, Md 21204

You look MAHvalous! Much better than my thoughts have imagined. I'm so happy to hear that the 3rd skin concern was not a concern, after all.

Kristin, I'm sure that the doctor was speaking only on a cellular level. Skin issues begin behind what we can see ourselves. That's quite obvious in your case as your skin is full of youthful dew and color.

Sometimes these things can be dealt with internally at the cellular level with supplements like sea buckthorn berry oil and omega 7 (as well 3,6 & 9).

(expected storms later w/temps 68 degrees F but it's a bird-chirping and pleasant sunny morning right now)

Monica Reese

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc, I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs, what a lovely picture of dad and daughter

Beth Vosoba

Joyeux anniversaire Jean-Marc! a bientot-Beth


Bonne Anniversaire, Jean Marc. Je suis desolee qu'il n'etait pas possible vous voir quand vous etiez ici a Asheville recemment. La prochaine fois peut-etre.


happy birthday, jean-marc! and, kristin, you are soooo beautiful. really!

Harrington Laufman

Bon anniversaire, Jean-Marc!
Bon courage, Kristin!

Merci bien pour votre blog, votre site web, et votre infolettre.


You are beautiful lady, protect ur skin and take 50 mg of zinc every day a new study suggests that will prevent the basil cell problem, blaine


Joyeux Anniversaire, Jean-Marc,de Perpignan, une autre région vinicole! :-)
Kristin, your beauty is breath-taking just as it is ... and even moreso because it reflects your inner beauty.

Simon from Houston, Texas

Several years ago as i was getting a hair cut (wife asks, " which one?" I respond, "all of them") at the end the barber put a mirror to my head to ask me if my hair cut was OK to which I answered, " well yes" and then she floored me with her response, " well there wasn't that much up there to begin with!"
Ouch!! tip just cut in half!


Happy Birthday, Jean Marc!! Kristin, you are tough, resilient and gorgeous and a SUPER MOM--what more could any woman want. I think that the dermatologist was trying to scare you into taking of yourself (a hard thing for kick-butt mothers to do)--we do need to put ourselves first sometimes (I think that I'm preaching to myself here). Have a wonderful birthday dinner. Jackie is gorgeous!! Mary


Happy Birthday Jean-Mark and thank you both for sharing so much of your lives with us. I feel as if you are personnal friends.

Maria Valentino

Hello dear French-word-a-day-madame, (now that mademoiselle has been ousted!) Kristen with the dewy skin and lovely visage....

I have never posted a comment on any message board, but your dermo's comments irked me! Over the years I have spent much time in France - mostly Paris - and am a steadfast though somewhat reluctant francophile...There have been many opportunities to observe the marvelous and perplexing Gallic being...I would say your dermo sounds jealous! Ok follow her precautions but dismiss her unwarranted and unconstructive cut!

Thank you for your lovely words and the yarns around them...


Hi there Kristin,
think you will have to admit the consensus is that you are not only blessed with great husband and great son and great daughter but also great bone structure, great hair, great eyes, great smile, great ability to bounce back, etc, etc, so no need to worry about the doctor's phrasing - I bet you can laugh at it already! It'll make a great story....some day.
Congrats to Jean-Marc (what age is his skin???). And have a lovely Springtime, both of you.

susan standke

Happy birthday Jean Marc!!!! You have such a lovely wife and children..you are truly blessed......Kristin, I think that you are amazingly beautifu, as is your family...I believe that global warming and earthly changes to our ozone layer that normally would protect us from the sun is at fault.....we all have older skin than our age these days!!!!!!A good sun screen should be enough so that you do not have to live in a cave.....I also would go nuts if I could not see the sun from one day to the next.....Enjoy your day!!!! Susan from Alameda ca

Fred Caswell

Dear Jean-Marc,

Man, you must be so proud of your family and they no less proud of you!

Happy Birthday to one really great and dedicated husband, father, a man who created his dream with dedication and unrelenting hard work. Congratulations and may your birthday be replete with joy and love.

Exactly two months from today this vieux homme will be forty years older than that handsome man Kristi married. My best to you! Fred

Marshall Morton

Clearly, you are lovely inside and out--we know that from your writings, from the sterling quality of your family and friends, from your obvious energy and enthusiasm. That suture line will go away, you got a nice early warning on skin protection and none of this affects your ability to communicate with your readers three days a week! Good for all of us to know this is behind you.

Anna Mershon

Bonne Anniversaire à Jean-Marc. Merci de partager ta vie avec nous.


Bon Anniversaire Jean-Marc! Kristin tu es très très belle! I think your skin is youthful and simply gorgeous...matches your radiant personnalité.
Gros bisou!


Bonne anniversaire, Jean-Marc! I am sorry I missed your NYC visit, but I was out of town at the time. A la prochaine!

Best regards,

Jersey City NJ

mandy mullins

Oh Kirsten, how I can relate to your story, 6 months ago I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer, melanoma inside my body, I too have been told, I must never expose my skin to the sun again, its poison to me, so now I go out with scarf on my neck, sunhat that keeps blowing away in the breeze, long sleeves, glasses etc etc, what a pain, but I guess if we want to continue in this life and lovely country, we must obey, wishing you lots of luck dodging the sun, my thoughts are with you ,from a pale and interesting (ha ah) Mandy Mullins


Hi Kristin, you are so lovely - inside and out. Birthday greetings to Jean-Marc, and wishing you all the best.


Kristi -- I love it when you post pictures of yourself. You are truly lovely. Also, I love it when you read the French yourself because you also have a beautiful voice.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for these very kind words! Every one of them touches me!

Gus, you fooled me. I thought that was Mom speaking!!!

Mandy, trusting you are healed and doing well. Thanks for sharing and take good care--you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Marcia Douglas

I think you look great Kristin!, your forehead has healed nicely. One thing to do is to warn your children to protect their skin at this early age.

Alison Light

Bon anniversaire! C'est le meme pour moit aussi!


Happy, happy birthday!!

mhwebb in NM, USA

Aw, c'mon! You grew up in Arizona! It's a wonder you don't look like a raisin! The sun here in the American Southwest will shrivel a person quickly if s/he doesn't live in shelter or wrap up like a mummy! (What kid wears a hat?) I had to start wearing a wide-brimmed hat (think Scarlet O'Hara) and double sunglasses (not chic!) after moving to New Mexico because the sun made me nauseous from Feb to June. I am happy to say that is no longer true, but I didn't cover my hands (Who wears gloves in summer??) so that the freckles there now look like age spots. :o( Look at the photos of Princess Grace of Monaco and you will see how she coped with the sun in that region. You still look young to me, Kristin. But do wear that hat!

Andrea Robinson

Your inner beauty and strength shine through your skin! Thank you for being an inspiration to us all in so many ways. I am glad you are healing well. Happy Birthday to your husband!

Sharon Guzman

Chief Grape, Happy Birthday and enjoy your day. Kristin, you look great, follow the Dr's orders but don't dwell on your looks. I really enjoy your writings, here in Sunny Az. Take care.

Sophie Day

I think what the french doctor was trying to say in the usual blunt french manner (you must be used to that by now!) is that you are a blond and therefore have fair skin that is more susceptible to sun damage. I am always still amazed at how the french are blunt to the point of insensitivity. But they get their point across. Maybe you should consider coming to the US for further skin treatment, and a dash of tactfulness.

Dianna Johnson

Happy Birthday! Thank you so much for your sharing both your life and your family.
Birthday wishes and many more to come!!
It's a good life!!

Lynn at Southern Fried French

Oh poo on that médecin. If your skin looks older than you do, maybe it's because you look more like 24 instead of 44. But staying out of the sun like that, now that's pénible. You'll just have to become a hat chick, and wear those wonderful flowing capes like your mom. Your forehead, by the way, has really healed up nicely, per the photo. Meanwhile, Felicitations to the birthday boy!

Deborah Rice

Bon anniversaire Jean-Marc! Vous êtes juste un bébé comparé à moi. Le mois prochain j'aurai cinquante-trois ans. Zut alors!! Kristin, vous semblez être curatif très bien. Aucun soleil quelque sur ce secteur pendant au moins une année. Même avec un chapeau, assurez-vous qu'il est couvert le band-aid ou de l'oxyde de zinc. Est ce que le surgeoun en plastique m'a indiqué quand j'ai été mordu dans le visage par un chien et je n'ai aucune décoloration. Toujours vos amie, Deb

Dad in Indian Wells, CA

Happy Birthday "Jimmy"...you are now in your prime!

Katia G.

Kristin, as everyone else has already said, you are beautiful! And your charming character only enhances your glow.


Bonne anniversaire Jean-Marc!
Great picture of you and Jackie and lovely picture of Kristi too! I hope that you have something wonderful planned to celebrate the day -- you deserve a day to yourself to relax with your family and dogs!
Take care,


On the bright side- you can give your daughter (and son) a wonderful first hand lesson in the importance of sun protection, which will be even more important in their lifetimes. I was lucky enough to have a "cousine" who is a dermatologist and she recommended at least spf 15 sunscreen/moisturizer every day- year round. And spf 30 when you are outside longer than 30 min. I started following her advice 20 years ago and now at 52 I am often taken for a 30 year old. So tell Jackie the makeup lover that the first step every morning should be sunscreen -- then the fun stuff!!


My response to your doctor would be and I quote the great detective Nero Wolfe- "Pfui!'
Now that hats are back in fashion- always wear a hat and a large straw with a veil can look very romantic when you are shopping or doing the washing. Or even-gasp a sun bonnett... howdy ma'am- have fun and stay well and if you were in Palm Beach now having a glass of Rouge Bleu on the terrace of Bice...well?

mimi (cigalechanta)

Kristen, you are beautiful!
Jean-Marc, like wine, you are not getting
older, you're getting better :)

Jeanne in Oregon

I have pretty much avoided the sun most of my life, not because of skin cancer but due to a horrible fear of bees. Luckily my skin is in pretty good shape now in my 65th year. A good friend, however, spent every possible moment soaking up the sun's rays, and she now looks old enough to be my grandmother, although she is actually a few years younger.

When I look at your pictures, you look very youthful and beautiful right now. Follow that doctor's advice, and I'm sure you will look as amazing in 20 years as you do now.

Oh, and there are so many wonderful and pampering treatments, ointments, and rituals available to keep that skin looking radiant. And what about all of the lovely sun bonnets? You have so much to look forward to.

With love,


Sally Smyth

Happy Birthday, tomorrow, Jean M.
"Age, like wine, ....etc."
I am SO happy to see that you , Kristin, are looking as beautiful as EVER.
It's all about living in Provence, you lucky dogs,....THEM TOO.....
Much light...

Joy Bryden

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc,
I am so sorry I missed you when you came to Portland, I had hoped to see you, and have you sign my copy of Kristin's lovely book!

Dennis De Naut

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc,

You already have the best gift: A young beautiful wife with a wonderful spirit. Those little scars are nothing.

May you stay forever young too!


louis bogue

joyeux Anniversaire to you Jean-Marc, hope the trip was successful, have read all the comments, all are right on, just happy I had the privilege of being at the farm and meeting you both, my Best to you and yours always, Lou Bogue

Sevahn Merian

Dear Kristin,

You are exquisite...

Keep smiling and keep brightening our world with your sparkling writing.

You have a heart of gold and it shows through your lovely blue eyes.

Happy spring, Happy everything!

Joan Rooney

Joyeux anniversaire, Marc et bonne sante, Kristin.

Bill in St. Paul

Happy birthday, Jean-Marc. Our treat last night was that our order of Rouge-Bleu from the 128 Cafe wine dinner was ready so we able to enjoy some Dentelle. Thomas Liquors was overwhelmed by the orders for Rouge-Bleu from the wine dinner.

Jackie's a beautiful young lady -takes after her mom: young and beautiful. Kristin, don't worry about the scars, they will fade. Just stay out of the sun so you don't damage your skin any more. My mother-in-law used to sit out in the sun to tan her legs, but now at 80+ her skin is like parchment and the slightest bump will tear the skin.

Melinda Luvisi

Dear Kristein... You look great . It looks like they did a nice job on the surgeries. I'm a So. Cal. gal (Irvine now) who really damaged her skin - we grew up with no existing sunscreen. Now I use La Roche Posay - it is great. I have also had a few laser treatments... cosmetic - which really bring back the skin... I am now 70 and my skin is good. But no sun for the last 40 years. And you know, in all the facials I have had in France - the estheticians are all horrified at my skin. But they have a different culture for skin... facials often, nice creams, and extreme care in the sun. In the 60's here no one even knew what a facial was... let alone waxing. We have come a long way. Best wishes to you and Bon Anniversaire to Chief Grape. I love your writing.... thank you so much. Melinda Luvisi

L. M. Davies

Kristin, as I was reading your post, I felt a kaleidoscope of emotions, torn between the good news and the doctor's warnings about the sun. I could feel empathy and concern vining about my throat...and then I heard my dad's voice. "Kidlet" - what my dad always calls me when he's about to impart some tidbit of wisdom. Mind you, dad is 87 and I am...well, let's just say I'm his eldest daughter. So..."Kidlet," he says. "Generally, when I stop banging my head against the wall of the inevitable, some third way emerges. It may not be the way I initially planned, it may not even be a way I want to go, but a third way - somewhere between what I want to do and what the world tells me I can do - pops up. I just have to have my eyes open to see it." So, I take a deep breath for both of us, send a prayer of thanks that all is well, and hope we can both see that third way as it emerges. Hey, sun block, a shirt and some window film. It's all good. You've got this covered...literally.:-) Big hugs to you from New York!

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

Thank you for being willing to share your skin issues with us all as a warning. Maybe I'll bookmark this post and the one with the H scar to show to my daughter. She has olive skin and doesn't even think that is dark enough. I'm after all the time about sunscreen since the cancer you have when 40 is based on the damage you do in your 30s.

The most important thing, to me, is that no matter what the doctor said in the end you look comfortable in your own skin. Isn't that what we're all trying for at any age?

And Happy Birthday to Jean Marc. Glad he made it home safely to celebrate with you.


Happy Happy Birthday from California. I hope that you've been having a great day!


Jean-Marc. . . Joyeux anniversaire. Plaise à Dieu qu'il en arrive beaucoup d'autres.
C'est l'occasion de prendre un verre de la réserve du producteur!
Les Frères Christian, George et Chris

Lin Powell

from Victoria BC Canada
It doesn't matter how old your skin looks...you are beautiful.

Herm in Phoenix, AZ

Looking great, Kristin! The Arizona sun is just being a bad loser with its latent effects.

Jean-Marc, bon anniversaire! There’s an old American saying from the Bluegrass music world that fits . . . ., “The older the violin, the sweeter the music”.

edith schmidt

Bonne anniversaire Jean-Marc,

Je espere que votre voyage avec le vin a ete un grand succes!

Edie from Savannah

Edie Kilgour

Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc. Vous et Kristin, vous deux avez l'air très jeune.
Edie from Brunswick, Maine

edith schmidt


So glad to hear that the third "spot" was not skin cancer. Those scars will fade.
Take care,

Edie from Savannah


This is the one I prefer - Vous êtes plus jeune que votre peau...

x Gaye (London)

tom Hamilton

your very youthful spirit puts everything in balance.Greetings from Toronto Canada

Shelley L. Houston

I had an infectious disease doctor say to me, "Didn't anyone tell you that after 30 it's all about moisturizers?" (Dry skin has tiny cracks which allows bacteria to enter and your chances of infections.) Who knew? Hope you are well, and moist!

Shelley L. Houston

*increases chances for infection

Susan Blackwood

I am an artist that is in love with faces. I paint portraits. I never see the marks of time on a face, I only see the nature of the person when I look in their eyes. Your face will always be beautiful because your heart is gorgeous too!
Susan from Bozeman, Montana


Happy Birthday, Jean-Marc! And Happy Unbirthday, Kristin! You are both mere kids, and you both LOOK it. Kristin, crows' feet are just wonderful evidence that you have been smiling for years. As for your skin's age ~ phooey, you look like a girl. Someone my age can make that call. I just went from 69 to 68, refusing to hit that other number. My younger grandchildren are troubled by that. One even asked his teacher if I could do that. He told me she said no. I said wait until she gets there, then she'll know she can. Unless you aged 20 years in the last eleven months, I KNOW you look 25 or 30. So, now that we have that settled... Just enjoy being YOU.

Betty Gleason

Joyeux anniversaire Jean-Marc!
Happy, happy birthday!

Seems everyone in your family is extremely beautiful inside & out. Keep up the good work.

Betty Gleason

Thank you for the prayers for my daughter, Kerry.

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

Bonne Anniversaire Jean-Marc ---- I wish you many more!

Dear Kristin,

Thank you for sharing so much of your life. I think you are beautiful, inside & out. You could be in your 30's!!!

Listen to the Dr. and stay out of the sun --- I'm a redhead, so I relate to your sun issues. I grew up in San Diego, and loved the sun. Now I live on the coast of OR, with lots of rain and little sun. I do miss the sun, but my skin is much better.

Thanks again for your wonderful stories. Great photo of dad and daughter --- both look happy.

Carol Nelson-Rea

Dear Jean-Marc,

We were so sorry to miss you in Portland! We were being grandparents on the other side of the country! Have a great birthday and know that each day life gets better and better! I can see that I am not the only one who has a gorgeous daughter!

Love, Carol and Glen


Bon Anniversaire Jean Marc!
Kristin, I can't even see the scar on your forehead anymore!

Carol Nelson-Rea


This past weekend my 2 and a half year old grandson kept touching my cheek (where the wrinkles have collected) and feeling it over and over! Oh, well, I said, it's the spirit within, not the wrinkles without! You have the spirit within and you are still quite gorgeous without!

Congratulations on the good skin news!
Love, Carol (in rainy Oregon)


Joyeux anniversaire!
Jean Marc enjoy your special day! I share your birthday, but not your year! Jerry, Loren and I will celebrate my day with a tennis match at Healdsburg High, then an official celebration in San Francisco this weekend.
Best wishes to you, Kristin and your family.

G G, Southwest US

We should all look so beautiful at any age!


Bon Anniversaire, cher Jean Marc! Meilleurs voeux pour un an plein de joie, sante, amis, et famille! Soit benit!

judith dunn

Jean Marc! Bonne Anniversaire! You are both sitll 'kids' to me, as I am 71 going on 35! It is all in our attitude toward life ... I am a breast cancer survivor ( comme Jules) and have a heart problem, BUT I do not let either 'spot of bother' get me down! I am also an avid Francophile. I get up each day and thank God formy blessings and the opportunity to be a better me and then take on the day! I am still plying my trade as pro photographer and love it, it is my 24/7 passion! Kristin, I ,like everyone else, love your blog and adore you family! Keep us inspired with your writings....

Kathy, Cleveland, TN

Joyeux anniversaire Jean-Marc! Hoping this is the best one ever, and only a prelude to many more wonderful birthdays to come.

Kristin, you are a beautiful woman inside and out. If I were guessing your age from this picture I would have said early 30something!
Jackie is absolutely beautiful also, she looks very French!

I agree that your doctor must be jealous but then perhaps she thought bluntness was necessary in order to impress on you how important it is to protect your skin in the future. I also have had skin cancers, two years ago I had a skin sarcoma removed from each leg.(And I have a scars to prove it). The scar on your forehead is not even noticeable unless you know to look for it! I am now compulsive user of sunblock so welcome to the club that seems to always be waiting for those of us with fair skin.

Your blog is so enjoyable, Kristin. Have you considered writing another book, a real autobiography with greater detail - when you saw Jean-Marc for the first time were you smitten? He obviously was with you or he would not have given you that note! The thing is, Kristin, your writing is so wonderful, so filled with love and good humour that your readers can't get enough of your French life!

Love, enjoy a great day with Jean-Marc on his special day!

Malou Cole

un bon anniversaire bien que tu ne sois pas a la maison avec ta famille. Bon courage pour ta tournee americaine et a bientot en Provence.
Je suis encore en Californie mais je rentre la semaine prochaine... pour les tulipes.
Bise Malou


Joyeux anniversaire, Chief Grape! Tu est sein et sauf chez toi!!!!!!

Claudette Kunsay

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE Jean-Marc et j'espère que vous pourrez célébrer avec votre famille de retour chez vous. Je vous souhaite une merveilleuse année pour vos 45 ans, qu'elle vs apporte la santé, le succès et la réalisation de vos rêves! Je souhaite aussi que votre vin arrive un jour au Québec, j'ai hâte de le savourer. Et ma chère Kristin,vous êtes très jolie et vous ne faites pas votre âge! So enjoy life and have fun !Celebrate Jean-marc's birthday avec une bonne bouteille de champagne !!!! Meilleurs souhaits de mon charmant village suttonais,

Rosalinda B. Roll

A very Happy Birthday, Jean-Marc. May you have many, many more to celebrate with your wonderful family.

Karen Stoeckley

Happy Birthday to Jean-Marc from Missouri. We hope to raise a glass to your new year on the 18th in Alleins.
John & Karen Stoeckley

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