Ways to say you are hurting (French expressions)
Pictures of our yard

loufoque meaning + first poppies + chapter translation!

Poppy coquelicot
If a poppy can bloom on the first of March, can a couple of errant cats appear after 6 days away? Photo taken in our field of olive trees. The flowers may have bloomed as early as the end of February!

loufoque (loo-fohk)

  1. madcap, zany, nutty
  2. wild, bizarre

Audio File: Listen to today's word and terms: Download MP3 or Wav

une aventure loufoque = madcap adventure
un chat loufoque = crazy cat
une histoire loufoque = absurd story
une idée loufoque = crazy idea

Update: Cats still gone
Thank you for your outpouring of support, after Pancho and Lily, our 5 month old kitties, disappeared. Your caring and witty and informative stories here (and again here) brought a smile in appreciation of these zany, intuitive and mysterious felines. I will let you know if they return, meantime, I need your help with something else....

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

Fear, anticipation, insomnia, giddiness, short-temperedness, perfect love.... Like the week leading up to childbirth these past days have been a roller-coaster of emotion. Publication date is fast approaching! A few more punches on this keyboard and I can turn in the final chapter of "First French Essais" to my book angels!

But, no, that would be too easy. Trop fastoche! When your alter ego goes by the name of Loufoque, you just gotta go chasing shiny objects--at the precise moment when life is calling for you to stand still, and deliver!

Like a cat who spots a glimmer of shiny foil, I've gone chasing a gum wrapper as it skips across a field of poppies, carried by the wind. It may seem no more than a flimsy reward, elusive and uncertain at that, but to me the object of this chase is most meaningful!

Enough with the metaphors, let me tell you clearly what has happened:

FE front-revised

Moments before my book was to go into publication I had an inspiration! Why not translate the very last chapter about the man on the cover of the book? This would be a double cadeau! One, readers would enjoy reading an all French chapter and, two, the hero of the chapter would be able to understand what is being said about him (Mr. Farjon does not speak English). 

Wouldn't you know this wild-haired idea would come first thing Sunday morning? Excited as I was, I didn't dare contact Erin, my book's "interior architect." After all, Erin, like me, should be observing the Sabbath

And then there was Carol, my reader in Belgium, whom I hired to do the French spell-checking. She had begun translating chapter one (for a future French edition)--but could she skip to the last chapter and get it back to us in 24 hours? C'était le défi!

Meantime, Erin and I were saying our mea culpas to God as we worked away the sacred day....

By Monday morning I had heard back from Carol, who had joined in the challenge: J'accept le défi! she answered, and was off like a rocket. Six hours later she had finished the translation!

Ouf! At this lucky point I'm done chasing shiny gum wrappers. It's time to wrap up this project. But I just need to be sure that some of the ideas in that last chapter were not lost in translation. Here's where you come in, dear reader! 

Would you mind having a look at Carol's translation? You won't even have to say your mea culpas to God--because today is Wednesday! 

For those who would like to see the French translation, click here. And for those of you who would rather leave the computer for now--to go outside and chase shiny gum-wrappers--bonne chasse. Keep pursuing those glimmers of ideas that lead you to your goals.

To comment on this post, click here.

Temple GrandinBook trivia: "First French Essais" shares a link with Temple Grandin's memoir "The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's". Here's how: the "book angels" that designed it and the previous book also designed Temple Grandin's book! (On second thought, maybe this is interesting only to me?--and other Temple Grandin fans!)


French Vocabulary
trop fastoche = too easy
loufoque = zany
le cadeau = gift
le défi = challenge
= whew!


Smokey's phrase of the day: jouer à la balle. Here's our golden returning from a game of catch. But something else has caught my eye: this euphorbia plant. They grow all over the field. I hoped this variety to be euphorbia peplus, aka, "cancer weed" (for its use in treating skin lesions), but, on closer look, it does not resemble these.

Wine jugs
Beside the boules or pétanque court, a line a slurring fans await the next match...

There you go, Smokey. You keep those boys in line!

On my way back from the poppy patch, Jean-Marc and I had a window-to-porch argument. I looked up at him, swearing those were poppies I'd seen (opening photo). But he insists poppies won't grow this early. Pfft! No use arguing with a vigneron (wine farmer). By the way, Chief Grape is staying home this year, but the USA Wine tour goes on!:

Meet-ups: The Wine Women & Kristi's in Paris!
Cousin Audrey of Domaine Banneret and Caroline Jones, new owner of Domaine Rouge-Bleu, will begin their Excellent USA Wine Tour soon. Will they visit your city? Look here!

Paris Talk! I'll join Adrian Leeds on April 8th at her Après-Midi talk. I would love to meet you if you are in the City of Light. Even if you can't make it, be sure to hit the "maybe" button on the Facebook page and I'll bring you with me in my thoughts!

Now that is a wild orchid. Just don't tell Chief Grape--or he may have something else to say!

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!