loufoque meaning + first poppies + chapter translation!
Meet up near Bandol!! + Manger la soupe sur la tête de quelqu’un

Pictures of our yard

Kale blossoms (c) Kristin Espinasse

Kale blossoms! So many surprises outside. Last night my ears were tickled by the call of les grenouilles, or frogs. And then there were those poppies I told you about....

Springtime is here! Forgive me for not posting a word or a sound file today--but there will be vocabulary sprinkled throughout this post--like seeds scattered in the back yard potager


La Guetteuse. Our, spotter (or watcher or guetteur) Braise. She's as territorial as any female! Every gal needs boundaries, can I hear you say yea!

barrels (c) Kristin Espinasse

More wine paraphernalia my husband (Chief Grape) dragged home. The barrels are good for catching rainwater. In the background, part of a bed is overturned. "Upended" is a good way to describe the situation here at the moment (week two of the kitchen renovation...)

We are getting creative, washing dishes in the bathroom sink, drip drying them in the bidet, and stocking them in the tub.


You'd rather see a picture of an empty kitchen, than a full bidet, no? 

Euphorbia peplus

When I can't stand the cramped quarters of home any longer, I head out back....

Euphorbia peplus!
Radium weed, I've been looking for you--and here you were are along, next to the old well.


 Like a worker ant, or fourmis, my husband stores up for winter. He's found an original solution for how to stock firestarter! (Re Domaine Rouge-Bleu, don't miss their USA  Wine Tour. Click here to see if they'll be visiting your city (and please give my cousin Audrey a hug, she'll be representing her family vineyard Domaine Banneret)


The charming laundry baskets came with the house. The small panier holds clothespins; the other panier holds le linge. Now if only Mama Braise, my helper, would learn to use them! But who can blame her for stopping to smell the flowers?


Les mufliers, or snapdragons in the back yard. On the right, a metal ladder leads up to the former water tower. Now we have eau de ville, so no more need to store a tank up there. But my mom would like to store a bed up there, and could we put in a nice little balcony for  her too, she wonders? Wonder is good and wandering even better--so lets continue on....


 The fruit cart he dragged home. When you are married to a winemaker they can't help but dream of their own roadside stand. Chief Grape's dream may soon come true.... Meantime, his stand warms up our front yard.


Meantime I dream of seedlings! I've snagged a few of Chief Grape's wine crates and filled them with sticks, then leaves, then soil, then, compost. What seed would not thrive here? 

(P.S. the purpose of Association Kokopelli is to provide access to open-pollinated seeds, as a way to alleviate hunger and promote sustainable food security. --Wikipedia)


"Pop Eye," or poppy! It surely looked like a tulip but it's a poppy (it's got all those lovely blue-black spikes inside). The lesson of this story is: méfiez-vous des apparences (nothing is quite as it seems).

I hope these photos brighten your  weekend. Please send up a good thought for me, too, as these past few days have been a bit of an épreuve, or trial. But as the saying goes: 

Qui ne tente rien n'a rien
Nothing ventured nothing gained.


Anemones for Erin. Please send out bouquets of positive energy to Erin, who has designed the beautiful interior of my book and who has received hundreds of emails from me with detailed changes each time. Erin, you and Tamara (cover designer, book orchestrator) truly are a gift from above. I cannot thank you enough. Here's to the team at TLC Graphics!

  Alain braux

 A shout-out to Chef Alain Braux, who was a tremendous help in editing my soon-to-be released book First French Essais! Please check out this Frenchman's popular and beloved cookbooks: 

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

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