The French word topinambour--it saved French lives during WW2
French for "To go beyond one's limits"

"See you" in French... and I hope you win this prize!

Potimarron seeds
What to focus on? Take your pick! Car, seeds, dirty dishes, compost... Smokey. Ah, there's a comforting place to rest the eyes.

Today's Prize: Desiderata poem, framed
What do you do when bad things happen? Answer here and enter to win today's prize (more info below).

à bientôt (ah-byen-toh)

    : see you soon!

Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc Download MP3 or Wav

Je pars quelques semaines. A bientot!
I'm going away for a few weeks. See you soon!

    => A French Christmas: order this  favorite CD

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

The next two posts have been pre-programed to go out during my 3 week absence. But before I go I want to thank you for sticking around during a turbulent month wherein my mother-in-law began falling, one of our dogs disappeared,  I lost half of French Word-A-Day subscribers, and our neighbor stabbed his parents to death before running head on into the train that passes right below our vineyard.

For the woman who tweeted "Hate chu Kristin Espinasse and your $@%!! perfect French life," please think twice before jumping to conclusions (and learn to spell!).  

I take that parenthetical jab back, because up to this point--122 words into this ramble--my spell-checker has already caught 6 coquilles, or typos, and off I trot, dumbly unaware of the grammar trespasses I'm making as this essay advances....

But to where? Just where are we going, dear Reader? More than this aimless essay, don't the times feel this way--ungrounded? (Unless your name is Rosetta, and you've just made a historical landing on some far off comet.)  

I wasn't going to tell you about the sad and horrific event in our neighborhhood or share the "hate tweet", but the heart is as unpredictable as the times. And though this essay could be better with a good outline, a rough draft, a shot of vodka, and an editor... it will amble forward as the others have before it.

Step after step, word after word, it is a great privilege to continue on this writing path and I thank you for having big enough hearts to listen to whatever I have to say.

I especially enjoy hearing what you have to say. The past few posts have included questions that have enabled me to get to know you better. Reading your answers to the question "Have you ever won anything?" I was unprepared for the heartache and laughter your words unlocked.

Keeping in theme with today's story, here is another question for you:

What do you do when bad things happen? 

Answer it and enter to win one of my favorite things (more info below). Thanks again for reading these missives. See you in a few weeks.



To leave a comment or to answer today's question, click here.

French Vocabulary
une coquille = typo

Happy endings, with Breizh, who is home now, and Smokey.

Provence Dreamin'? Maison des Pelerins, Sablet. A Vacation Rental Dream in the heart of the Côte du Rhone. See photos here


"DESIDERATA". Today's prize is a framed poem that will lighten anyone's heart. Note: Giving away the English version, but you can read--and listen to--the bilingual version here!

To enter to win, click here to answer today's question: "What do you do when bad things happen?"

In addition to entering the contest, you may want to go ahead and order this inspirational poem as a gift, click here.

Catherine topinambour

Thank you, Catherine, for showing me what my topinambours will look like, once planted. So much to look forward to! And a lovely message to end this post:

Pleine de bonnes choses à venir. So much to look forward to. Thanks for sharing these positive words with a friend--who might enjoy receiving this French journal.


"Never air your laundry in public!" my grandmother might say (there's her needlepoint pillow, "Pall Mall", just above). But how else to show real French life? This is, after all, how the majority of the country dries things this time of year. Sure, tumble dryers are catching on, meantime....

Drying rack

If you would like to catch up with the times--the ecological times--you can get your own "French dryer" here!

A Message from Kristi
Thank you for reading my 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 the creative process of writing. My wish is to continue offering 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 of any amount.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens