Le dechet, la poubelle and how France has taught me to go green!
Faire bisquer + Should this blog close-up shop?

Tordre + Favorite words and win this book!

Today's snapshot was taken during our mother-daughter trip to Milan. The modern sculpture wonderfully illustrates today's verb! Also, help me answer the question "Should this journal go out once or twice per week?" Comment here, and enter to win today's giveaway, details below.


Beautifully renovated and decorated home in the Luberon. 4 bedrooms and a study with a sofa bed, each with ensuite (full) bath. This villa comfortably sleeps 7-9 adults.


    : to twist, to wring, to contort

se tordre = to sprain
se tordre de rire = to laugh so hard your stomach hurts
se tordre la cheville = to twist one's ankle
se tordre de douleur = to writhe in pain

AUDIO FILE: Listen to Jean-Marc
Download MP3 or listen to Wav

Deux fois par semaine, Kristi va chez le kiné qui lui tord le bras afin qu'il revienne droit.
Twice a week, Kristi goes to the physical therapist who twists her arm so that it will straighten.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse
"Twist My Arm"

Two days a week the local kiné tortures me. "Aïe!"

"Ça fait mal?" The young, bearded man says, more as a distraction than a question. And, as I respond, he gains more ground--twisting my arm a few more centimeters. Le diable! Aïe! Aïe! Aïe

It's been two months since the freak accident I had, hours before boarding my flight. I still shake my head at how a ten-second mishap can lead to a season of rehabilitation. Even more amazing is how lucky I was to s'en sortir with no more than a dislocated coude instead of broken bones. 

My elbow is back in place, but things are still crooked when the kiné releases his grip during our third séance. Pushing both arms before me, level with my shoulders, one arm meets the horizon in a straight line while the other, held parallel to the first, is still bent.

"Do you think this will ever straighten out?" I ask Vincent The Torturer.

"It will never be as it was before," he says. "But only you will notice any difference."

Different? Will it be off by half an inch? An inch? Forever slightly akimbo? The kiné's next question hushes my mind.

"Is there anything you cannot do with your arm now?" 

True! There is nothing I can't do now that I could do before! Looking down at my bare arm it was no worse for the wear... if a little puny. Time to lift some weights, or I'm headed for bingo wings!

Which reminds me. Yes! There is still something I cannot do... 




Upgrade-your-frencBenjamin Houy of FrenchTogether.com, is giving away a copy of his book! He writes:

I am passionate about learning languages and wrote a guide to help French learners learn French in a fun and effective way. It's called Upgrade Your French: The Ultimate Guide to Learning French on Your Own, and I believe it could be useful for your readers.

 ENTER TO WIN: Help me to answer a question that's been on my mind lately: Should I send out this French word journal once or twice per week?

COMMENT HERE and help Kristi decide how often to write!

The backyard kitchen garden in January. It looks sleepy but it's rumbling underneath (I've been planting seeds!). In the foreground, out of frame, is the permaculture garden, as wild as a jungle. Smokey thinks he's Tarzan. And, when I'm done with these rehabilitation sessons, I'll fly beside him like Jane!

See Tarzan and Jane's Make a French Yogurt Cake video

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.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
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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Bobbi Bowman

Well, that's a tough question!

I like reading this blog for sure but if you wanted to just do once a week, it'd be quite understandable AND I can say that I'd probably be more sure to read it if it was once a week. With more issues I guess, I can think, well I'll miss this one but there will another soon. So maybe it makes it a little more special if more "rare"? Anyway, keep up the good work and know that it is appreciated.

Frieda Oxenham

Oh twice please. I love reading your stories and seeing the e-mail notification in my inbox always brightens my day.


I think twice a week would be wonderful as I thoroughly enjoy reading them. However, it would mean more work for you and then you might begin to find it's a bit of a bind and I would hate that to happen to you. If you enjoy writing once a week then I am happy to receive once a week. If you think you'd enjoy writing twice a week I would also be happy to receive twice a week.
So, I am absolutely no help to you at all!!!


I love reading your stories and am grateful for each issue. I would love twice, but if you are ready for just once a week, your quality will be maintained. Take care of yourself.


I LOVE your blog and would love to see it twice per week. Your stories are super and I love learning new French phrases and words that I would not normally come across.

Jacqueline Bucar

Once a week. A really interesting or fun story with new vocabulary once a week is far better than two quick stories, not that they wouldn't be interesting etc . :-) It's just that you would have time to pick and choose your topic and words and not feel rushed to get something out. And for the reader who has all kinds of emails each day, seeing your column once a week would be a welcome treat. Whichever you choose Kristin, I will read it for sure. And I love seeing the photos of your family, especially watching the kids as they grow up! Bonne continuation.

Pat Bailey

Pat B I think once a week will make us thirsty for more! More enticing to read if that's the only one I am going to see this week!

margaret fraser

As often as you can manage!


I love your newsletter and would definitely like to see it published twice a week. I now look forward to the newsletter every week and am delighted when each issue arrives. Keep up the good work!

G. Brown

Once a week, will give you time to enjoy all that you should.


Love your essays - but don't always get to read them all Oncea week would be nice and maybe more impactful.

Jackie Layton

Your blog is one of my favorite blogs. Selfishly, I'd say twice. But I have a blog and I know how much time it takes. If you go with once a week, you may feel more freedom to enjoy life and be more excited about writing posts.

Blessings to you!

Barb Friedman

I would love twice a week but you need to relax and enjoy your life, too! Which do you prefer?

Mike Williams

Creativity has it's limits. It must be very difficult to write creatively for as long as this blog has run without much repetition. Life itself takes a great deal of effort. " You" need time to create. Understand that those of us who follow your blog do so because of your creativity. I, for one, would gladly give you some of your precious time back in return for continuing to visit with you weekly. Always be grateful for what you have and treat every day as a gift. I am grateful for your effort and this undertaking.

Raymond Jimison

Once. As a writer, I know how important it is to want to write, allowing the ideas to build. I'm afraid that twice would become more like an obligation and you would lose some of the freshness that we all know and love.


Once per week is a perfect pace!

Cherene de Bruyn

I would love to receive the French Word Journal once a week (not because twice a week is too much - I love the Word journal!!!!). I am a full time student at university and with classes starting and assignments piling up I fear I might actually have to miss some of the French Journal emails - which would be a tragedy. The information and knowledge I gain form the journal is really valuable and SUPER interesting. I would really hate to miss it. Receiving the Journal once a week also allows the readers to think about what you have said and a bit more time in practicing the "Today's word". Also maybe gives you a bit of extra time in planning the entries for the week. Like Benjamin Houy's new book French Word-A-Day provides me (and definitely other readers) a creative and fun way to learn about French culture and language!!


I follow a blog that is daily, one that is a few times a week, one that is 3 times a week, a few that are occasional.

Writing a blog is a big committment in any case. For yours the photography is enjoyed as much as the writing.

Each of us has their reason for reading a blog and for writing one.

Yours are very much enjoyed and perhaps if it was more often it would be too much demand on you. However I would love more insights into the life you live in the south of France.


I look forward to your e-mails, especially more than ever as I am going to be laid up due to major surgery.however,sometimes a writer needs a break. I would say once a week but if your creativity overtakes you some day fire away:))


Much as i would prefer reading you twice a week - please do what is good for you!

Pensees affectueuses

Holly Hall

I love the twice a week editions but if you want to go to once a week, I would understand. Thank you for the blogs/ stories that you do share.

Nina Tasi

I admit I am greedy when it comes to receiving your posts in my mailbox.
That said, each missive is wonderful to read and I know it takes time to write each one. Once a week would be fine.... Do whatever works for you.
I always say you need to take care of the one you see in the mirror each day... And that is you! Merci Krstin!


I enjoy very much the insights published in your articles. A shift to once a week should mean a name change - French word a week!

My students also enjoy the blog when I project it in class! One student returned to class saying that the school library had some other books that were much like "French-word-a-day" -- French sprinkled into an English story, in order to learn.

Do what you can and must - but do it with all your heart - that is what inspires!


Whatever works best for you. Your blog is my favorite of all that I
read but it is important that you maintain your life as you are most happy.

Ally Davis

I look forward to reading your stories but you have to do what is comfortable for you! It is a lot of work.

Roger Anderson

Kristi, as I recall, your blog has gone from thrice weekly to I think, twice weekly? I didn't really notice that reduction much or I quickly became accustomed to the change. But speaking selfishly, I woukd definitively notice if if we're to go down to once a week. I think I might very well lose the continuity of the happenings with you and your family. Your blog has been an interesting ongoing story of your adventures in the south of France with Sir Grape and insights into your interactions with your children. I enjoyed the adventures of Sir Grape reviving and expanding the vineyard. His travels selling the wine and your adventures in writing, speaking and selling your work. I especially have enjoyed the insights into your interactions with your children. I think I might lose that continuity of your blog if we're only once a week. But of course that's my selfish point of view. Only you know what you can manage as time passes and life goes on. Follow your heart.


I would say once a week only because i am afraid i could get into the habit of skipping over a post when things get busy in life and i would hate to miss out.
thanks again for the inspiring input !!

Maureen Slay

Once a week sounds perfect to me too! I love ready about your journeys and learning french along the way. The definitions are very helpful


As often or as little as you like...I think it is fine to be flexible!

Michele Fraser

If you want a definite number per week, I vote for twice ........ otherwise I would miss you ........... simples!! xoxoxo

Emmy Wright

I think once a week is perfect. I have time to read it and enjoy it, whereas if it were twice a week, I would probably be just skimming through it. Keep up the good work!

Gail R.

Twice a week. It's often enough to keep us faithful to thinking in French the new words you teach us through your writing. Any less and English completely takes over our brain. Your journalings are not just something to "read" once a week, but a gentle prick to think
"French" as often as possible. I love what you write and appreciate the gentle way I learn new vocabulary.


Once a week! That way I can truly take my time and savor your post.


Once a week will help you move off the treadmill. I love reading your pieces and seeing your great photographs but give yourself time.


I like to read your blog twice a week. I am taking French classes and really enjoy your posts. Jean-Marc's readings are very helpful with pronunciation.

Kent Hamilton

Twice a week, please. I find your stories very helpful. I also loved your books!

Teresa Person

Please ... Twice weekly


Dear Kristin,
I would love to have the Today's French Word twice a week, as it is such usable vocabulary... And I'm hungry for new French words but especially in context, provided with real-life usage and full sentences.. On the other hand you might not want to spend double the time every week on it.. How about a compromise... you could simply do two posts a week when you have time and inspiration, and one a week otherwise.. Replace the 'should' it come out twice a week with 'could' it come out twice a week...surprise us and stay flexible!


I love your blog twice a week but don't want you to get burned out with the process. I'd miss them if you ever stop. They must be an effort twice a week even though they seem to flow so easily. A sign of good writing. Thank you for sharing your life in such a delightful way.

Mimi Knudsen

I can echo the other comments here: I enjoy your blog, of course. As a fellow blogger, I think once a week is ideal.


I like once a week because I enjoy the sense of anticipation that builds in between each post. I look forward to it and enjoy it more because it is more special that way.

Suzanne Dunaway

Since Loulou writes daily, my suggestion is that you keep the once a week schedule and have personal time for your marie, fils, fille, jardin, cuisine, fleurs, les photos, la reve de temps en temp and MORE!!!
Loulou often wishes she had more dreaming time, but then, she's a cat...


Dear Kristi:

If committing to once a week helps you to continue sharing your world with us, then by all means, do that!

True, a writer must write-- it's not just your livelihood, it is your lifeblood-- but coming up with something new and original so many times per week does start to wear on body, mind and spirit. If you write less, you will LIVE more, and then have the time to really enjoy penning and posting to us!

If something beyond amazing happens, and to hold it in would be like a fire burning in your bones, you can always throw us a bonus story now and again. Whatever you decide we, your loyal readers and supporters, will be here with hungry eyes to consume every word.

Amicalement toujours, Alisa

Rosalyn Barclay

Once a week is fine -- with hopefully a bonus issue every once in a while.
Love reading the posts and learning a few words

Nancy Zuercher

I love reading your blog whenever it shows up in my email. The more, the better! Yet you have many other interests and goals beyond writing your blog. "Nothing to excess,"as the Greeks said long ago, is important, and only you can balance your life and blog. One or two weekly posts will be your gift to me. Merci!


Hey Kristi, selfishly I'd love it if you wrote twice a week because I so enjoy your stories and the new words I learn along the way. But, I also understand all too well the demands of life and family and the value of limiting what I try to accomplish each week to something that is manageable. So, for me, I vote twice. For you, I vote once. :)

Derek Andersen

Twice - double the pleasure of once...

Gary Hoffman

This is easy to answer. Thrice!!
If not thrice, then twice. I so enjoy these gems.

Holly H

Love, love your blog! You've done so well in the past to write often. If you feel you need a break and want to go to once a week, that's perfectly understandable. Enjoy your life--don't ever feel a slave to your work. It reminds me of the saying, "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."


I love reading your blog whenever you post a new one. However, with all the lovely photos with interesting captions you are posting on Facebook and Instagram I am still getting my French Word... fix no matter how often you post on the blog. So much life is right in front of all of us and we need to enjoy as much as possible.

Marie LaSalle

Il ne faut pas se tordre. Peut etre si on fixe un minimum on peut se laisser libre a ecrire quand on veut. Sans tension ni torsion. Nous ne sommes pas tes maitres exigeants mais des amis qui veulent passer des moments cheris ennsemble.

Angela Bell

Kristin, I would be fine if you wrote your blog once one week, twice another—whatever inspires you—but I know that writing requires discipline, and that you also long to write other things. It is probably also true that that elbow is zapping some of your energy right now (I've been there). I will be happy to see your blog once a week, especially, as others point out, that we see you on Facebook as well.
Sending healing energy for that elbow!

Ray Stoddard

Kristin - Iif it were my choice alone, your column would arrive twice per week. I enjoy learning new vocabulary woven so artfully into your stories. Now that we live in France, I find myself using what I learn almost every day!

At the same time, writing this column takes time, energy, and effort.

Know that it will be apprecited regardless of the frequency of it's arrival.

Thanks - Ray

Carla V.

Once a week would be perfect, I like to read, re-read and re-re-read.


Une fois par semaine, s'il vous plait, is just right. As much as I love reading your e-mails, I fear I won't focus as much (and study) if you send it out more often. MERCI!! Christine in CT, USA

Olaf Proan

Moi, je préfère une fois par semaine. J'ai besoin d'une semaine afin de pouvoir bien apprendre les mots, toutes les nuances y comprises.

Dorothy Perilli

I enjoy reading you blog and would love to read it more often so I vote for twice a week if you could mange it.

anne wirth

I read it every time and enjoy it very much. Twice a week sounds just right considering you have to put so much of your time into it and we have to fair to you. Also, I do learn French from it.

Thanks for producing it.

Marcia & Jack Fyfe

We love reading your blog and think you should take the option of once a week with surprise issues once in a while to keep us up with the special things that happen in your life.
We get to use some of the words and expressions we've learned when we sail over to Martinique and it's great fun to surprise the locals with your special insights into idioms etc.

Adrienne Kinkaid

"Should" is a word we could remove from our vocabulary. I would love twice a week but if once is what you can manage best, that's fine.

Tonya Talone

I would like to request that you write twice a week! All of your words are helping me add to my french vocabulary & your stories make me laugh!

Sally G

I am a rather new reader of your writings and have seen content evolve over a brief period of time. Which to me is interesting. I like that besides your family stories you post interesting local resources such as villas for lease and incidental information about your husband's winery. It's nice to get a sense of place from your perspective and to engage the reader with nuances of French living that they may somehow participate in if they choose. I think one time a week with inclusion of French edibles, rentals or drinkables or fabrics would be very nice!

Margaret M.

Please send it twice a week when you are able, I look forward to it. However, we all understand that when life gets too stressed for that you may need to produce fewer blogs. Taking care of yourself is a good example for your readers to do likewise.

Nancy Stilwagen

If I were to answer selfishly, I would say every day! But instead, I encourage you to do what is right for you. If twice a week puts too much pressure on you, then once a week is enough. If you have more to say than once a week will hold, then twice a week.

(This isn't helping, is it?)


I prefer reading your blog twice a week but if it has become too much for you then French-word-a-week will do.
Your words are appreciated !

mary kennedy

Dear Kristin, we all love you and your wonderful blog! But in the end, it boils down to "what is best for Kristin and her family?" You have so many demands on your time (and you handle them all beautifully.) What does your lovely maman say? She has given you good advice in the past, I would take her words to heart. And Jean-Marc? He will be proud of your talents whether you write one day a week or two. And your faithful readers? We will always be here for you, enjoying your blog, no matter what you decide!


Of course, I like receiving it frequently but I can't imagine it is quick to write. Even at once a week, it would be appreciated!


Once a week so that you have time for all your other adventures and then you will have more to share! I, too, like the book recommendations, rental info (dreaming), etc. Your pictures and stories keep me dreaming of France!

Jeanne Asakura

I echo the sentiments above. I would enjoy reading your blog as many times a week as you choose to write but you need to decide how much is too much for you. Just don't stop writing! That would be a catastrophe!

L.A. Chancey

Once is never enough!


I love getting your emails twice a week also. But, like everyone else, we all have busy lives. I would rather have an email once a week, than none. Merci! Joan


Once a week.

John PSenetto

When ever the urge strikes, you should write!
LoL. You're a doll!

Stephanie Sabourin

If you are up to writing it twice a week, I would love to read it twice a week.I always enjoy your blog.


selfishly - twice :) but I'm sure we'd all understand and await with even more anticipation a once-weekly article, if your schedule doesn't allow for 2x and still lots of time for family and fun.


J'aime bien tes e-mails; et je vous les remercier.
Un fois par semaine est suffisant pour moi car
j'ai autre l'affaires à faire.
Merci. Joseph


From reading all these posts, I wish you well in deciding as it looks like it may be evenly split between once or twice a week! My own preference would be twice. I miss France and this gives me the connection I need and the language help. But like most others, we love you and want what is best for you, so if cutting back is what you need to do, we will happily accept the once a week blog in our inboxes!

phyllis Morton

Once a week or twice a week, I will read it when it comes.

Michelle Leuchtner

Once a week is perfect! My weekly visit to the south of France.......

Jan greene

You are in a new phase of life. Children are older and garden challenges await along with new travel adventures. Why not reduce your blog schedule and give yourself more space and time to be creative? Because we will need to wait longer, we will cherish our time with you even more!
Your garden photo is so encouraging to me on a frozen snow covered, but sunny, day on Cape Cod.!


I like this blog/email and prefer once a week because I would prefer continued quality over burnout. If you aim for once a week and another amusing thing happens, you can choose whether to drop in another email or use it for next week. I want to to enjoy doing this and not stress out.
Merci beaucoup.

judith bryant

I want to say, "S'il te plait, deux fois chaque semaine!" But as I look at those words, I think what would really please you is to be able to sigh with relief and work on only one entry per week. We'll survive (barely).

Patricia Sands

I love finding your new post in my mailbox, but also know how much time it takes to put one together. I've found that once a week with an occasional second post, as time allows, works just as well. It will give you more time to write another delightful book for all of us. :-)

Eric Guran

Twice/week. My day starts with your posts and the message always makes me smile and say thanks.


W-e-l-l....?! It started and is called "Word a Day". Ah-hummmm, then it became "Thrice Weekly" and now "Twice Weekly", so-will it become "Word a Week"?

TWICE weekly- is my vote! But it is your call"!

Only you know the big picture.
Also- 'not sure I agree that "once-a-week would be Less stressful. They are fresh, off-the-cuff and spontaneous now...would the "one" become a bigger deal for you?...or put you in over-achiever-mode...like wanting to make it more, since less ?

Again, -your call !'
Bonne Chance <3


I say send it out as often as you feel you need to. I love reading it when you post, but if it was only once a week, that would be ok too. I understand that you have a life outside of this blog, and life happens. While it is great to be able to read about what is going on, spending time with your family and friends is more important because once that time is gone, you can not ever get it back. Thanks for all you do so we can get a glimpse of you life in France!

Joan Ballou

YES, twice a week for sure! I'm obsessed with everything French - much of my home reflects this look. I also love the recipes AND the wonderful houses posted for rent. BUT, if this is too much, I can patiently wait for my weekly "fix"! Thank you for your delightful work!


Echoing the sentiments of many people here, I would prefer twice a week, but if that is too stressful, then do what works for you. We all seem to love having your blog pop up in our inbox as often as possible.
merci pour tous (toutes??)


Twice please - lovely writing - I so enjoy being transported to France for some moments...


Deux fois par semaine, SVP!


I could listen to you every day BUT once a week is fine, give yourself more time with your loved ones, life is to short, they need you more than your readers. hope to see you in Sept.


I'd prefer twice per week but not if it leads to burn out for you. Maybe aim for two but give yourself the freedom to occasionally only do one in a week.


FEEL FREE TO BLOG TWICE!! My preference is twice... Although I cannot always find time to read each and every one of the postes! I love knowing they are there... and sometimes I go back and read them later.

Gail Woodbury

I don't want you to burn out! I think once a week because then I am sure to read and share with my students, where as twice a week I don't always share. I love your blog. I am amazed that you always have such beautiful pictures, and different topics. Do we run the risk of losing you if the pressure becomes too much to put one out twice a week? If so...once a week is sufficient! I think all would agree that we do not want to see the day when you have had enough and shut down your awesome blog. Thank you for sharing your charming life with the rest of us!

holly dickens


seulement un fois par semain. une fois par semaine? how does one know gender for pete's sake. sacre bleu!

vous n'avez pas du temps pour deux fois. c'est un grand effort.



Chaque jour , ce serait parfait , mais quand vous le pouvez est bon .

Helen miller

If I were you, I would do what feels comfortable. Some weeks you may feel like writing once; another week - twice. Why commit yourself to a schedule? Listen to your muse. :-)

Tracey Smith

I have never said to myself I would like to read less especially the quality of your contributions. I appreciate everything you offer to your loyal minions like mysel. I will be happy with one but happier with twice a week.


I'd love to see it twice a week—but I'd rather see it in its current form and quality once a week than something smaller or less well done, but more frequently:-)

Linda R.

You know, Kristin, that's a question really only you can answer. Your blog is wonderful, I enjoy the connection with France through your writing, and it has been enjoyable to watch your journey as a writer. Not too long ago you had mentioned that you needed to give more time to your family (or even simply yourself) so perhaps the idea of once a week is more ideal to your schedule. On the other hand, the more one writes, the easier it becomes; thoughts and words seem to flow more freely. Take everything into account, and feel confident about the decision that you ultimately make.

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