en panne
A food that garantees happiness, luck, health and offspring?

to cradle in French + garden photo

Fava beans-snap peas-mom-artichoke
                                     Today is your story. Write on!

Tenir tendrement, bercer

    : to cradle

AUDIO FILE: Jean-Marc recorded the example sentence, below, in lively Marseilles. Enjoy! Download MP3 or Wav

En regardant bien cette photo, on dirait que les fèves, les artichauts, et compagnie sont en train de tenir tendrement ma maman. Looking at this photo, you could say the favas, the artichokes, and the rest are cradling my mom.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

Today is "Wordless Wednesday"... except it's Thursday. Please have a look at the photo, above, of my Mom in the garden….and would it be possible for you to write today's story? You know, your interpretation of Mom in the garden, her thoughts at that moment etc.  Make up something good and mix in as many French words as you wish!

Mom and I will be anxiously awaiting all of your stories.  Just post your words here in the comments box. Mom loves this idea; actually she made most of this post up while I was emptying the dishwasher. 

 *    *    *
Sorbonne Confidential Laurel ZuckermanPARIS WEBLOG 
I would like to thank Laurel Zuckerman, author of Sorbonne Confidential. See her Paris Writers News for our talk about publishing and France. I especially had fun with the question Do you have a favorite word in French? Read the intervew here.
Almond harvest 2014
Up next: Three professional French skiers help us get a handle on the almond harvest! To comment on this post, go here.

Share this post and help spread the French word. Merci beaucoup :-)

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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


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Herm in Flagstaff, AZ

The garden photo reminds me of Anne Murray singing "Dans la Jardin"


"Mom" is looking great!

Nice article in the Paris Writers News!

Chris Allin

A season of life....a reason for life. Cradled by a daughter's love~

Kathryn A. Stone

J'adore la serenite et la beaute de ce scene. Joli cheveux gris de la
femme juxtapose avec la verdure du jardin!

Alas, je ne peux pas utilise les accents grammatical ici!


Fay Plauche' Butler

Each early morning, I sit on my upstairs back porch savoring my coffee and cradling my new kitten, a Napoleon cat named Pounce de Leon.

We watch the wood ducks breakfast on our cracked corn and listen for the splash of fish in our lake. So peaceful that I want to share with all.

fay plauche' butler

Marcia Helgerson

Hello Kristin, Here's my story:

Au Naturel

I sit with the artichokes and the (?). Like them, I am stripped of color. I love my white hair and their stark, colorless form. Nothing distracts you from seeing us.


Mariel Bossert

Son contentement est visible même sans voir son visage. L'expression tenir tendrement a apporté des larmes aux mes yeux. Tout le monde a besoin de "tenir tendrement' N'est pas?

Nancy Stilwagen

Ah! It is wonderful to visit my daughter in her lovely home, but the life here is a lot of work. Up with the chickens, touring the gardens, then put to work weeding all the flower beds. Finally, as the sun heads toward the western horizon, I sink gratefully into my chair, surveying the fruits of my sweat. At least she feeds me!
(Of course, this is pure speculation!)

Debbie Richardson

That child, that lullabye, and now that beautiful daughter at the dishwasher in this nurturing place. We now cradle each other with a new and sweet lullabye only women who adore each other can sing.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Can't get much better than Chris's line above! I am not a writer, it's so difficult for me to find the right words. The photo of Jules is lovely and she looks so contented sitting and taking in all the sights and sounds of your garden. I would imagine you snapped the photo shortly after she arrived and she is just wanting a moment to relax, probably thinking how happy she is to be with you, JM, Jackie and Max. I would imagine she is contemplating a painting maybe and just thanking God that she has this precious time with you. Family is a beautiful thing!

Nyla Witmore

My real thoughts....I have not the words... ("Comment dites on, en Francaise?").

This phrase which translates "How does one say...in French" is one I use often,,because I have not the words sufficient in common usage at my fingertips.

What is it like, to visit in a country, foreign and far away, but especially, to be able to join again with my lovely daughter and her family? I sit in the garden chair realizing that I, often, have not the words to say what is in my heart. Someday Kristen will visit her children and their spouses and families and she too will sometimes sit ...wordless...knowing that sometimes it is enough just to BE...to have words in contemplation waiting to be formed, maybe to be never spoken, but to find contentment in silence. Just "etre", just To BE. ((Thoughts as a mother and grandmother, one of your readers, who also visits children and grandchildren far away in "Australie" )

Audrey Wilson

"Enjoy the quiet,
Hear the birdsong,
Listen to the bees,
Revel in your solitude"
We Moms/ Grandmoms all need some 'me' time to remember our own person amongst the family demands on our time & emotions. And what better place than in a beautiful garden !! Savour it Jules .

Cassie  Alexandrou

A lovely photo of a truly lovely lady. I imagine Jules is drinking in her surroundings, appreciating the sights, smells, and sounds of nature.....and feeling grateful for this special time with her beautiful family. A perfect day.

Sally Easterly

As an artist, I can see a lovely painting in the composition of your lovely maman surrounded in a circle of beautiful Provencal garden plants. I love that her colorful blouse contrasts with the grays and sage greens of the garden, and her posture of rest and reflection adds so much personality without revealing her face. A "wild and precious life" finding a moment of rest. How do you say "wistful" en Francais?

Cindy McDonald

Le ciel est bleu, les oiseaux chantent, tout va bien...she gratefully sighs and gives thanks. xoxo

Mary Dineen

My thoughts are the same as Sally's. That scene would make a
beautiful painting. Enjoy your holiday and your family Jules.


The only thing that might improve my peaceful repose, would be if one of those handsome French skiers came over and gave me a foot massage! JUST KIDDING!

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

My favorite is Sari's post ---- I bet she would love a foot massage from a handsome French skier! And I know she is content, grateful, and full of love. I wish we could hear from her.......what is she feeling? I would love to hear her take on life, career, family, travel -- how about it?

Stay well & enjoy your mom!

Tom McCullough

The photo of your mother is tender and endearing and I'm glad many are commenting on that. My problem is that all I can think of is a professional skier climbing a tree in flip flops. Yikes!!! Hello, ankle injury waiting to happen! I'm glad I'm not his trainer/coach.


Maman regardait l'etranger. "Qui est-ce?"

"Je vien en paix."

"Pourquoi est-ce que vous avez le peu vert et trois bras?"

"Pour meilleur vous bercer, Maman."


"Ahhh, Kristin, quelle re^ve fantastique!"

Pamela Harnois

I am a visual artist and not much of a writer -- but I'm pretty good with tag lines -- so here goes:

"Looking down the Path"
"Reflections of Relaxing"
"What adventures will I find on my new path" *

Actually, this photo would also make a great painting!


Beautiful! Jules looks so serene, without a thought on her mind. Looking at the photo, I can't help but feel that she is wise beyond words.

Robin Katsaros

Les sons of silence feed my soul as I rest and quietly reflect on the multitude de souvenirs des temps passés - and those yet to come - with my sweet daughter. Les cigales sing their orchestrated symphony, the ever so softly flapping of the wings of the butterflies make me smile, the crunch of the leaves of the unknown critters pitter-pattering on the carpet of earth surrounding me in this tranquil place. This place, these people, this country which has given so much to me. How can I return this gift? Comment puis-je retourner ce cadeau? By being grateful, as I am. En reconnaissant, comme je le suis.

Jean in Utah

It is worth all the hustle and bustle and work of travel, to be here, in this place at this time and just enjoy the moment. My daughter, her family, and her life and be part of it all. God is good and I am at peace here.
I love that picture. Yes, I agree with all the others who say that it would make a lovely painting, but I love the portrait that it is. Perfect. Such a beautiful woman and moment.
Enjoy your time together.

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm


Betty w

Life is funny. I didn't want my daughter to move away, but now I get to share this incredible life with her. Sometimes you don't get what you want but you get what you need. Our time together is that much more special.

Oops, need more coffee. (Substitute wine, a trip to the bathroom or whatever was appropriate at the moment.)

Jan  Hersh

Assise au jardin
Au fin du jour
Je me souviens
L'enfance de ma fille
Maintenant tout est parfait
Et je suis content
Parmi les amis en cet jardin charment

Jan  Hersh

I know there are errors if any one want to correct them.

Kate in Portland, OR

Burst of spring mellows
softly into summer fruits.
Garden peace surrounds

(an attempt at Haiku!)

Renee Hare

Fin de la derniere page de son roman, elle posa sur les pierres et pense "bien, qui s'est mal terminee". "oui, je suis d'accord", murmura le bourdon. Une Rose froid vif serait bien de temps en temps - peut-etre je vais lire un livre de cuisine suivant.

joie in carmel-by-the-sea

Le jardin m'amène confort,
Le jour apporte paix,
Et ma fille adore.

joie in carmel-by-the-sea

I just noticed that Jan and I had somewhat the same take on the moment.


The years of strife and struggle, through illness and despair. I finally reached that precious point in life, where I know what is important. Love, family and peace.

Linda R.

cradled in my daughter's garden
drowsing, absorbing the warmth of the day
half-hearing the nearby familiar voices
encircled by the the sweet perfumes
of flowers and herbs
... coming home again


Réflexion dan le jardin. A beautiful picture often makes time stand still. Artiste, mère, grand-mère, épouse, ami. Was she looking at the garden through the eyes of an artist? Was she planning her next masterpiece, inspired by la vue? Perhaps a closer look would find a surprise. Une sieste! Sweet dreams in the garden! What dreams might the garden have painted for the artist? La famille et les amis sont les fleurs du jardin de la vie.

mimi taylor

As I sit here in this earthly paradise, I think about my beautiful, talented daughter
married to a handsome , hard working man who produces wonderful wine
and my sweet grandchildren. I am blest.


There she sits, the lovely grande dame, the matriarche, in the beauty of nature; that beauty that her daughter always seems so able and willing to capture and share through her eyes as she does with her sharing which is the artist within both. Merci!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for the warmth of your words. As I read through these stories, I'm struck by how similar your voices sound to my Mom's. That must be love speaking.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for the warmth of your words. As I read through these stories, Im struck by how similar your voices sound to my Moms. That must be love speaking.

Karen from Phoenix

Reflections cast
Dreams dreamt
Love surrounds
Laughter within



Our dear Kristi,
This lovely photo of beautiful Jules in the garden at sunset made me think of Clint Eastwood's words to Meryl Streep in Bridges Over Madison County(paraphrased):"I had a lot of dreams and not all of them came true,but still I'm glad I had 'em".
Something I think) it is easy to identify with!
Wonderful (so well deserved !) write up!
So proud of you!
Natalia XO


"Ce Moment"

In this moment (ce moment)
she knows how to savor
the light in a garden
lush with flavor.

Surrounded by beauty
And quietly safe
she remembers the dark dancer
a loss, a hardship
a cancer.

Nature whispers
the dark night
a difficult fight
Can be
our best teacher.

She understands
what is real
knows how to feel
and savor the light
in this moment.

Sue Manning in SC

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are you would never have a negative thought!

karen mckeon wilson

This is something from Rabindranath Tagore, a poet I love. Its what I thought of seeing your mum sitting there, part of the garden.
'The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day, runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers'
And here is one for you, her beautiful daughter who writes wonderful stories drawn from life.
I don't want to leave this lovely world,
I want to stay in the midst of mankind.
In this sun drenched flower filled garden,
I'd like to be at the pulsating heart of life.
Life in earth ripples on everlastingly,
Mingling unions and partings, joy and sorrow;
Out of human happiness and distress
I'd like to compose immortal songs.
But if this proves a vain wish
As long as I am alive, let me at least
Place myself where night and day
I can pen words that blossom into stories.
Please accept my blossoms with a smile
And when they wither, cast them away'

I don't think your stories will ever wither though!

Enjoy your mum being with you, and thank you again for your stories.
Namaste, x Karen


I want to slip into a chair beside her and hold her hand, and just be still.

Diane Young

Seeing Jules in the garden of tranquillity is such a wonderful gift to all of us who read this. How great it is to take a few moments and just be, soaking in the beauty of nature and the respite from the noises of the world. Merci, Kristi, pour la peinture vivante which your camera has captured. Le Bon Dieu est en (au?)son ciel and tous les choses sont bien avec le monde.


Kristi, I'll try speaking for your mom. "Ah, the serenity of this moment. I'm so happy that my daughter has a wonderful life in this beautiful corner of the world. I just wish she weren't so far away." .... Mon cher fils a suivi l'amour á la Rėpublique Tchèque. Je suis très contente pour lui, mais il me manque tous les jours. Wonderful to visit, though, and as often as I can. Jules, I imagine that you have similar thoughts.

Sue Lennox

Jules! (I have a beautiful fille with this name). As I sit in Scottsdale's 106 degree heat, J'ai envie de the peace and cool of your fille's garden a St. Cyr-sur-Mer. Prenez plaisir à la jour!

Leslie in Oregon

She has found a perfect place to recover from her long journey. Relaxing in the sun in a comfortable chair, savoring the sounds and aromas wafting by, she lets her thoughts
drift and gently falls asleep as her body
follows the Mexican time to which it is
attuned. Beauty and love la tiennent

Cynthia Lewis

Admiring in detail the lovely nostalgic photo of you, Jules, I imagine that you are thinking: Maybe I should pinch myself in order to make certain that I am sitting in Kristi's peaceful garden tenderly embraced by everyone and everything surrounding me. Since I am almost in a dream-like state, maybe I can convince the colorful libellules on the sleeves of my dress to flit over Kristi's garden in search of their lunch!

But the watch on my arm is ticking the minutes away et je ne fais pas des rêves. My attention is caught by the plants which have ventured into the pathway; now there's the spirit and spunk which is so much like my own. By this time tomorrow, I shall have my paints out and I will begin to capture all of these feelings and beauty.

P.S. Have a wonderful visit, Jules. We all love and admire you. Cynthia

Pat Cargill

Breathing in, I absorb this moment in its fullness, in its complete sweet beauty. Breathing out, I give great thanks for the miracle of being alive. All is well in the garden.

Best wishes Kristin & Jules.

Harriet Van Eps

Je suis enveloppé dans le jardin de ma fille et son mari et du désert de l'Arizona. ou:

Quand je sors de la gloire du désert de l'Arizona je débarque dans le jardin d'Espinasse.

Quel trésor d'avoir votre Moume il dans le jardin et la cuisine.


Judy Feldman from Flagstaff a

Kristin, your blog and all the beautiful comments just made my day. I love the photo, and can recall that wonderful drowsy feeling when all is well with my world and I can savour a nap outdoors. Enjoy your visit with Mom!

nadine goodban

A Jan Hersh, you asked for (very few) corrections .....

Assise au jardin
En fin de jour
Je me souviens
De L'enfance de ma fille
Maintenant tout est parfait
Et je suis contente
Parmi les amis en ce jardin charmant

nadine goodban

Comme tout est beau, riant, divin .....
C'est une vie de rêve que de vivre en ce paradis
Calme et serein et si vivant !
Dans un moment on pourra déguster ces fèves
ou ces artichauts, mais pour l'instant,
je déguste l'air pur et tranquille, et je somnole.
Un vrai luxe, après ce si long voyage à travers les nuages.
Que la Paix règne sur nous tous !

Barbara Kelley

She is thinking "How lovely it is to work off my jet lag sitting on a garden chair. How nice it is to see my daughter so happy in her new home, even though it's a lot of work. Better her than me!"


I'm back again in the place I find peace
where the hustle noise of the world seem to cease
At home with my loved ones once more I can rest
As their world seems to hold me, and I truly feel blessed
I soak it all up and store it in my heart
For the time when it ends, and I know we must part
I'll take it home with me for days when I'm blue
Then I'll open it up ..and there will be YOU

Cindy McDonald




Suzanne Dunaway

Je voudrai voir le belle visage de La Mere Bien Connu, mai la gesture du tete parle un un million des mots...
Je voudrai rester avec ta mere pour l'apres midi un jour et ecouter les bons mots q'elle raconte, je suis sure!!! Je voudrais peintre l'anime de ta mere.

Leslie NYC

Inspired by the magnificent Maya Angelou, as well as this photo of Jules.

I am a phenomenal woman.
I know my worth.
I know when to move,
When to get things done,
How to saunter
And dance
And speak my mind.
I know, as well,
How to sit in a chair
As if it were the most sacred act
And marvel at the beauty
of God's great earth,
And my good fortune.

Jane Hoppe

I love the photo of your mom, and Leslie's poem! [previous comment]
Nice interview in Paris Writers News, Kristin. I just got back from a France visit. One sweet image from that trip was of a lady squatting down low to push open the mail slot of a home's front door. She put her face right up to the slot and sang, "Coucou!" A moment later, a tiny, curly-haired girl opened the door.

june Furey

Kristi, Immediately I brought up the photo of Jules I was immersed in the tranquility of the moment. Thank you for sending it. I can appreciate your joy and the closeness you both feel toward each other, it truly is conveyed by the messages and photos.
merci artiste ami June Gold Coast Qld


I identified with the comment from Betty W. I, too, have a daughter living so far away in France. It was difficult for her father and I when our youngest bird flew away from the nest, but in doing so, she has opened doors for us. These past six years, we have been blessed with many new and wonderful life experiences and we have treasured every precious moment with our girl. We look forward to many more visits. I look at that lovely photo of your mother, and I can just imagine her thoughts and feelings as she shares special moments with all of you.

Carolyn  in Vermont

Dear Kristi, Jules and family,

So happy you're all together again. I know this message comes late as I'm always behind in my reading but I'm wishing you all the best. Thinking of you always…

Carolyn D.

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