s'incruster: do you know this popular French word?
To have the munchies, in French + We have a party, I learn a few more lessons...

Visit our new vineyard? + "hairspray" in French

Sunflower prickly pear blossoms
The sunflower to the prickly pear blossom: "Mousse or Gel?"
Prickly Pear (smacking her gum): "Aqua Net, Sweetie--and a perm every three months!"

la laque (lah lak)


une bombe de laque = a can of hairspray

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc read the following example sentence: Download MP3 or Wav

La laque est le produit-phare de toute femme un peu coquette. Hairspray is the star performer of every stylish woman. --schwarzkopf.fr

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

Last night, over at Facebook, I posted a conversation between a few high-maintenance fleurs in our garden (see the photo and caption at the top of this post). But I was a little startled by an unexpected inquiry that followed...

Raisa wrote:

Kristin, are you guys opening your winery and gardens up to the public? Is that the master plan?

After thinking over Raisa's question, I decided now was as good a time as any to faire face à cette dilemme....

Raisa, we'd like to strike a balance between private and public, 95/5:

95 percent of the time we can walk around in the buff (Jean-Marc), and 5 percent of the time--opening hours--we'd improve on the outfit we're already wearing (i.e., I would be careful to swap pj's for a blouse and slacks). Come to think of it, I can't promise Jean-Marc will follow suit.)

*    *    *


Chief Grape and I are very happy to announce the very first winetasting here at Mas des Brun--followed by a private wine sale featuring selected bottles from Jean-Marc's cellar.

The "girls" in the backyard (Sunflower and Prickly Pear, who we met earlier) hope you'll stop by and say "Coucou," or Hello. They're busy doing their hair in the perm-aculture garden, but you could stroll up the steps and call in, if you like.

July 12th. 4:30 pm is the meet-up time. To reserve your seat-cushion contact Jean-Marc at: jea[email protected] or leave a message in this comments box.

Laundry and tapenade

We'll sit at the picnic table and I will serve up my mother-in-law's famous olive spread, or tapenade. (The saturated colors are the fault of my smartphone. Can you blame it for being so inspired?).

Don't forget to reserve your spot. The best seats are to the right, with a lovely vue mer, or sea view! Then again you might prefer gazing at the laundry. To each his own. A chacun son goût.


Improve your French and your day. Thanks to all who wrote in identifying the author to the life-changing text, above. Read Max Ehrmann's "DESIDERATA" in English (with French titles), here

In case you missed the Sourire, or Smile post, you'll find more garden pictures and more "flower girls" here--plus another bilingual poem read by Jean-Marc. Click here.

A Message from KristiOngoing 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.

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Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Adeline Richarson Reunion Island

Hummm, I wish I could be there on the 12th! Another very good idea !

What is the lovely old bench made of? Bamboo? Osier? (no idea of what the English word for 'osier' is, can you tell??)

Here, people make benches with branches of cherry-guava (called goyavier here). I'm sure they would grow in your beautiful South. and... they're full of vitamin C and make delicious jams and aperitive drinks.
Have a great 4th of July tomorrow!

Alison at The Gracious Posse

The 12th sounds so lovely. Unfortunately I can only be there in my dreams. Sigh, maybe one day . . . .

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Enjoy your first meet up! Wish I could be there…maybe one day!
I was thinking the word for today almost sounds like lacquer. That's what I think of when I use hairspray!

Leslie NYC

I love a sea view, but I can't get over the beautiful spectrum of blues on your line! It makes me want to paint.


Next summer 2015 when I visit my daughter again, I'll be in the area! :-)

Chris Allin

Dear Kristin,

How your garden thrives...must be really rich soil you put in the raised beds along with tender loving care. If the vineyard, with all it's nurturing, continues to grow like your garden grows, happy day!

So nice of you and Jean-Marc to share Mas des Brun with friends and faithful readers~

Cynthia Lewis

How wonderful that you are beginning your charming "meet ups" again......wish I could be there, but I'll just have to imagine that I am there soaking up the sun,sights and hospitality. Happy Fourth tomorrow and then Happy Fourteenth! My best wishes for all, Cynthia

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm

Your new home has become so very much like a sanctuary; how gracious to share it and Jean-Marc's wines.

I just adore your sense of humor, dear Kristi, thank you for the sunshine you bring to my day.

Joy A. Beebe

Dear Kristin,
I am thrilled to read all your stories and I enjoy visiting in France where I have friends. I always stay near Pezenas, is your winery within driving distance? You have me interested in visiting,
A devoted reader,


Our dear Kristi,
The only thing more wonderful than your glorious pictures is your gifted writing!
What a slice of nirvana you have!
We'll be with you in spirit(always!) for your meet up and your daily adventures.
How privileged we are!
Thank You!
Natalia XO

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

Hair spray is also called hair lacquer in English.
Which word (lacquer) we of course took from the French.

It is neffective stuff for my wayward hair. It does what it wants to do, no matter what is sprayed on it.

Are you switching away from the blog and into facebook?

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

*ineffective, I meant to type

Kathleen from Connecticut

Wish we could be there in July,but we will be in La Ciotat the first week of September. Love the garden...you have done so much work.


Karen from Phoenix

The beautiful garden and the picnic table are so inviting. I just love your pictures.

How exciting for your first wine-tasting.


Charlotte West

Hi Kristin, I love your photos of your garden, and the thought of 95/5. Still smiling over your mother's disappearance and chance meeting with a different Raul. I'd love to be there on the 12th, but can only visit online. Best wishes for your first wine-tasting.

Charlotte, New Zealand

Ken Wallace

We hope you will do this again later in the year--and by later we mean in September, which is when we make the move to Provence ourselves!

Ken and Felicia Wallace (et les enfants)

Marti Hinman

Your new "piece of heaven" looks ideal. Thanks a million for sharing it with your readers. Lucky, those who will be able to
make it on the 12! A lot of us will be there in spirit.
Thank you for sharing Desiderata in french.
Marti from Florida

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