Droit au but: Smokey update
Coursier: Delivering my dog's tumor to the post office...

Get well soon, in French + photos from our winetasting!


 I pick up Smokey from the clinique in half an hour! His operation went well to remove the tumor and we will have results back in two weeks. Thank you for the thoughtful wishes you've sent in, including this exquisite note from my favorite calligrapher, Joy Fairclough, based in the South of France. See her Studio French Blue !)

bon rétablissement

    : get well soon!

Paris Monaco Rentals

France and Monaco Rentals: short-term holiday rental properties throughout France. Click here for pictures.


 AUDIO FILE: Listen to our son Max pronounced these French words:
Download MP3 or Wav

Bon rétablissment. Bon rétablissement, Smokey
Get well soon. Get well soon, Smokey

Improve your French pronunciation with Exercises in French Phonetics. Click here. 

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

I had this idea, before yesterday's wine tasting, that all our guests could line up for a photo with Smokey, our 5-and-a-half year-old golden who is underwent surgery this morning.

In my mind, I pictured a makeshift photo booth (we would use the loveseat in front of all those daisies...) and, one by one, have our portraits taken with The Wonderdog! (Can you just picture it now?) Kind of like the following photo, where I am standing in for Smokey....

My friend Michele, left. More here and here and here and here. And a video here!

But things never turn out quite as imagined. As it was, Smokey stayed inside to rest, and Jean-Marc and I hurried with finishing touches before our guests arrived.

...That is, one of us was hurrying. The other was still standing there in his grubby jeans after wrangling with his tractor for the last hour.

"Jean-Marc, shouldn't you get in the bath, now? Our guests will be here any minute."

"It is 2:30," my husband reminded me. "We have half-an-hour."

As torturesome as it is to watch my husband move so slowly... when I myself could just bolt into the future, I let go. After all, he'd pulled all those weeds this morning, planted the lavender, then vacuumed the three visible rooms in the entryway. I could not continue, now, to dictate his dressing schedule. Let him live with the consequences of his judgment!

I waved him off through gritted teeth. "Well, OK! I'm leaving to get Jacqueline at the train station. Keep your ears open for a knocking at the door, as I won't be here to answer it!"

There. Hopefully that would perk him up. Hélas, when I turned around to see if my words had any effect, all I saw was my barechested husband checking his emails. There was nothing to do but to try to see the current épreuve , or trial, for what it truly was: an opportunity to practice, once again, letting go of control.  

Looking into the rearview mirror as I drove out of our driveway, I saw the bright side, or how our combined efforts had paid off : our home and garden looked warm and welcoming and the sun was now breaking through the clouds highlighting several new blossoms on the lilac bushes!

I shook my head, a little ashamed at my behavior. My husband is right. I just need to relax, and trust the natural order of things.

Halfway down the dirt driveway, I saw the bright blue car arriving from the opposite direction. He was wrong!  Mr Relax was wrong! 

As the car approched our home, I pictured Jean-Marc undressing near the entry (our bathroom is opposite the front door, which I had left open...) I grabbed my phone to alert my husband... when a devlish thought popped into my mind. Yes, let it be. Tee-hee!

Pulling my car over to let the blue car drive by, I rolled down my window and  saw four lovely women smiling back at me. "Oh, hello Michele! Hello Ladies! Wonderful, to see you!"

"Are we too early?"

"Oh, no! No not at all. Jean-Marc is home! I'll just be a few minutes picking up a guest from the train station. Just go right on in, Ladies!"

Michele blew me a kiss and the ladies waved enthusiastically as the car lurched forward, disappearing into the surprising future!

And then another car entered our driveway.... It was Terry and Alex from Nashville! As I easily waved two more innocent guests by, a guilty feeling snuck in, lingering ever so briefly!

"Ah, they'll all work it out, don't worry so much about everybody!" I thought, remembering my husband's words from my nervous past. The question now was, will those same words assure him?

Mwahaha! ;-)

*    *    * 

Jean-Marc somehow managed to throw on a beautiful white linen top and be all presentable to the guests. Here is the scene I encountered on returning from the train station. Just look how relaxed he looks! And Breizh is sleeping like a baby. I will never know what happened. And it just goes to show, how beautifully things turn out... when you let go!

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Don't miss this fun photos!


Here is my new friend Tanja, who I met here on Instagram. Her husband, Marc, took these photos.

 photo by Jacqueline Morstad

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