Retourner sa veste? Would we be safer in Mexico? State of Emergency in France
We meet a trio of angels. Did they deliver a message for Jean-Marc?

Don't worry be happy & SAIP: the official government alert system to inform populations


Joy alert. On the eve of the 1st anniversary of our dog, Breizh's, passing, there was a rainbow on the horizon. More joy alerts in today's story.

YOUR AD HERE. Reach 26,000 readers. Place an ad in the French Word-A-Day newsletter. Click here.

SABLET HOME - for high quality vacation rentals in the heart of Provence. Click here for pictures.

FRANCE & MONACO We offer exclusive short-term holiday rental properties throughout France and Monaco. Click here.

TODAY'S WORD: avertir

    : to warn

ECOUTEZ--Listen to our son, Max, read today's word, conjugated below:
Download  Soundfile
SAIP pour « système d’alerte et d’information des populations » est l’application d’état d’alerte géolocalisée du gouvernement qui vous permettra d’être averti en cas de crise majeure (attaque terroriste, alerte à la bombe, enlèvement, etc.). Ce service a pour objectif le renforcement la sécurité en France.

SAIP, for Alert System to Inform Populations, is the geolocalised state of alert application of the government, permitting you to be warned in case of a major crisis (terrorist attack, bomb alert, kidnapping, etc). The objective of this service is security reinforcement in France.


    by Kristi Espinasse

Yesterday, while reading the news about the terrorist attacks, I learned about a new mobile application offered by the French government. The app is called SAIP, and it stands for System d'alerte et d'information des populations. (Alert System to Inform Populations.) Sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi book or George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, doesn't it?

An article in The Guardian explains:

Available in English and French, the app can be configured to receive an alert if an attack occurs near the user. In the event of a terrorist bombing or shooting, the smartphone screen turns crimson and displays the word “ALERT”, a brief description of what is happening and advice on how to react.

Whether by curiosity or by vigilance or by my internal drama queen's insistence--I downloaded the app onto my smartphone. Three seconds later, superstition rattled me. Had I, in preparing for such an outcome, just sent a message to the universe? Checking the screen, I noticed it hadn't suddenly turned crimson. But would it? When?

"No, Mom! You don't need that thing." Max's response had nothing to do with superstition or the power of suggestion. My son probably thought there were better things to track in life, than terrorism. And this got me thinking....

Instead of waiting around for a doomsday warning, what the world needs now is an app that alerts us to all the positive events happening each instant!   An app where, at any given moment, people from around the world can send happy alerts for all of us to see!....

Lyn writes: "Over here in Portland, my 1st grandson "Jack" has been born!"
A message from Adela reads, "Coming to you from Puerto Vallarta, Valentino is out of the hospital!"

Those were a few example inspired from news, this week, of my family and friends. Do you have a happy alert to share? Something that recently happened to you or your child or your friend? While you are thinking about that, here's one more joy alert-- a photo of my daughter and her new copain (see below).

Your turn. Share a happy alert concerning you or someone you know. I look forward to reading some good news!

Click here to comment.



 Romain, Smokey, and Jackie

More photos on my Instagram, follow me there!

For as fancy as the French language is, they don't seem to have a term for the caprese salad (they call it, simply, salade tomate-mozzarelle--more often than salade caprese)!
No matter how much I talk about gardening, and post pictures, the truth is only two tomatoes have grown in this year's potager. Neglect and the heat have taken a toll. Still, I took those tomatoes and some wilted-and-near-death basil, and made this! The olive oil is from our trees. And the tapenade is from Michèle-France, my mother-in-law.

I leave you with a few items, chez nous, that you might enjoy chez vous!

Salt and spice mix - I used one of these types of sea salt/herb mixes on the salad, above. Click here

French Facial Moisturizer - though we have different types of skin, my daughter and I both love this well-known-in-France moisturizer. Also good for removing makeup and for ues as a primer, before applying makeup. (And men use it for aftershave!) Click here!

French chair. If you like the wicker chair in the opening photo, you might find something similar, or French-inspired,  here.


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


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


....Kristin...that is what I try and do each day on Facebook. Wish everyone out there a Happy Monday, for example and then say something positive and add a photo! Most people seem to enjoy it, and so far I have not had any complaints. Wishing you and your family a wonderful week beginning now! Our son is back from his one month road trip out west and Canada, and we will meet him at our fave Mex restaurant tonight to celebrate his safe homecoming! Life is good....35 more days till we leave for France... cannot wait! Judi Dunn, Tallahassee, Fl.


Visiting our teen-aged grandsons in much positive energy! It doesn't get better than this.


Great idea! So here's my good thing: A month ago my husband underwent surgery to fuse 2 disc spaces in his neck. This has resolved most of his debilitating nerve pain and today he completed his first half-day back to work!

May you find plenty of good news lighting up your comments section today!



The link to the French facial moisturizer shows several possibilities. Which one in particular did you wish to recommend?

Thank you.

Diane Young

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of joining about 20 other people in celebrating the 85th birthday of one of my closest friends. She looks great and insisted on paying for everyone's dinner. Her 87 year old husband was also there and it made us all feel truly blessed.

Sue Lennox

I am reading your blog and enjoying a wonderful cup of coffee and wishing you and JM well.

Diane Young

Aussi, way to go, Jackie!

Kristin Espinasse

Hi, Mary. The first one listed, with 624 reviews

Fay Butler

If I bought every gadget meant to "alarm" me when things go wrong, I would stay permanently alarmed.

First, there's the hated, honking car alarm that doesn't frighten anyone away but annoys everyone within four city blocks. IN the same vein, I once had a house alarm so sensitive that it went off when the cat walked by and made such a loud, obnoxious sound that the police began fine anyone whose alarm went off and they had to go check on it. Made burglars hiding in shrubbery laugh.

Then there's the alarm you wear on your person so that, should you fall and can't get up, you can beep someone to come save you. Let us not forget the door bell that is really part of an alarm system. You can answer as though you're home when you're really out getting a massage.

People seem to have forgotten the good, old fashioned scream. fay butler


Jackie, for many years, YOU have brightened my day every time I read your blog. With so many followers, I have held back thinking you would just have TOO much to read if I wrote you. But now, with knowing full well our need, around the world, of positive thoughts, here is mine: YOU are the bright spot every time I read your blog! Life is good! (I am 83 years old and doing well! What more could I want?)


What a lovely "message" from Breizh.

Kathleen from Connecticut

We had a wonderful Tapas night with my husband's son and daughter in law. It came about because I got zucchini blossoms in my CSA food program and there were too many for just us, so instant Tapas dinner. Seven different Tapas....great!
Just on a note of being informed. We have our phone numbers listed with the town for any emergencies...power outages, snow storms, etc. It has been helpful.
I will send you a YouTube about Why French don't get Fat. It will lift your spirits.


Kristin Espinasse

Thank you so much, Barbara. It is so good to hear from you and to receive such a wonderful compliment. So glad you wrote.

edie schmidt

Bon Jour Kristin:

We celebrate the birth of the newest member of our clan, Myron Lopez who was born a couple of weeks ago in Brooklyn, New York. Girls run in the family so it's nice to have some boys too!
Our 2 grandchildren have had a tres bien vacance in St Etienne, France catching up with all their French cousins and will back in the States shortly.We look forward to seeing them in August.

Edie from Savannah


I love your perspective and we must keep that going! I firmly believe that for every horrible thing we hear about there are thousands more good things going on among and between people. We trust in God, love our neighbor and do what we can in our corners of the world. So bring on the joy sitings! We recently had two of our grandchildren for 4 days and it was full of giggles, wonder, sweet moments that one only gets with children. Thanking God!


I have enjoyed reading all the wonderful news in the comments above. My happy report is that my husband and I have just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary; my children spent a wonderful weekend with my parents, going swimming, walking in the woods, and enjoying a boat cruise, all while my husband and I renovated our home. Everyone is healthy and well at this moment, and that's reason enough to celebrate. :)

Kristi, I love the quote by Martin Luther King Jr., "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." I agree with Max that we don't need an app that would only perpetuate fear. Several people on my Facebook list of contacts have signed up to receive alerts from the local police, and diligently share them on their own newsfeed. I must admit that I don't find those alerts useful, but they do make me feel anxious. Beyond saying a prayer for the situation to be resolved peacefully and quickly, what more can we do when we receive such alerts?

P.S. What a lovely message from Breizh the angel!

Joanne Ablan

Bonjour, Kristin,
C'est une bonne idée, les alertes joyeuses. Ici, à Carmel, nous sommes en train de célébrer le festival de Bach
en même temps que nous avons reçu une alerte d'une incendie de forêt (Soberanes Wildfire). Nous sommes prêts à évacuer. Néamoins, mes voisins et moi, nous trouvons d'un grand réconfort dans la musique de Handel (Water Music), de C.P.E. Bach (Magnificat), et de Eric Whitacre (Cloudburst)! Il me semble qu'une salade tomate-mozzarelle
et un verre de vin sont des bonnes nourritures quoi qu'il arrive. Merci pour les alertes de joie et pour la recette.


i totally agree. We need to fill the world with good news! My love of 34 years and I are in Paris to see the end of the Tour. We bought a King of the Mountains polka-dot onesie for our first grandchild who will be born in January!


Hi Kristi, I am being grateful today for the wonderful friends who are letting me (and my cat) stay with them during some renovations at my place. It's a critical need because I have only one bathroom and it is now completely empty and torn down to the studs, and it won't be functional for a few weeks. The project is off to a good start, and the contractors are great people, but I think you know how hard it is to have your home in an uproar! I know it will be beautiful when it's all done, and in the meantime I just feel profoundly lucky to have good friends welcoming me into their home. PS I made them a yogurt cake over the weekend, flavored with lime zest and vanilla :) Hope you have a happy, grateful day too!

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

I'm surviving summer! 🌞 Don't laugh. With a 114 degree heat index the other day (that's the 'real feel' after factoring in the humidity), this is enough to have me doing a happy dance! (as the heat often plays havoc with my health)

BTW, good chance you don't need an app, just a phone number. With things like reverse 911 here, public service storm announcements on TV, and cell phone 'Amber Alert' notices for missing children (none we have to sign up for), I am sure in France, you, too, will be well informed.

Kate Dickerson

Yes, Trina, they have the same auto-dial phone messages in France as we have here. It is such a great idea. Two summers ago we (on Cape Cod) got a robo-call from the police letting us know that a baby bear was loose and where it had been spotted! :)

Kate Dickerson

Awesome idea, Miss Kristi! My happy alert for today is that I have just made our reservations to go to France this Fall, and we will be including a visit to see you and taste some of your wines, too! I can't wait!!!

Kitty Wilson-Pote

JOY ALERT: Here in Canada a few days ago, one commuter in Toronto noticed an immigrant family of seven looking baffled on her train. Her offer to help them soon snowballed into over 50 people's combined and sequential efforts to guide the family of new Canadians onto the correct train to reach their destination, and to make their journey a safe and peaceful one. The original helper changed her plans to accompany them, and just as she was about to pay their last fare left to get them to their friends' home for a visit, the train company suddenly provided two taxis to take them on the last leg for free! Uplifting for all of us who read about it, and imagine the joy of all those directly involved!!

catharine ewart-touzot

this is indeed what facebook for..and to ask people to cry with us over sad events and to just stay informed...the plumber came today and there is water once again in the house..that indeed (despite the price) a happy


Hi, Kristi. I don’t think you’re being « superstitieuse » by getting the app, but wise. You never know when you and your family will need a heads-up. That being said, once you have it, you should just forget about it. You’re obviously mindful that putting fear out into the universe may well get you what you fear most, but if you understand the fact that the only things that are likely to show up on that app are small-time, nothing-to-worry-about alerts, you can enjoy your use of it without the feeling of « l’avoir demandé ». Just remember to keep those newscasts and their « propos alarmistes » to a minimum. I’ve been subscribed to an alert system for years and I never even remember I have it.

As for the « Alerte d’énergie positive », what a brilliant idea! That’s exactly the kind of thing to put out into the universe. It’s already being done in many places worldwide and is having, I believe, a « boule de neige » effect (see for an example). And you know what, Kristy? That’s exactly what you’ve already been doing for years with your « DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE », so thank you for putting out so much beauty to help keep our hopes strong. You will « sans aucun doute » receive nothing but the same in return :)

I just went to Walmart to get pregnancy tests because I can finally take one tomorrow to see if the fertility meds worked! Fingers crossed!
Love reading your blog and your books

joie in Carmel

I will get to FaceTime with my two grand nephews later today....3 1/2 and 11 months. Both full of it, but so much fun.

Judi in Lake Balboa

Joy alert! My sweet grandson, Christopher James, has started to crawl! Albeit, the weird crawl, one foot, one knee, other foot, other knee ! It's hilarious, but he's perfectly satisfied with himself and seems to be getting the locomotion down. This just happened and his father declared it "Independence Day!" Chris would be as happy as I am enjoying Christopher's every move!

Maureen Winterhager


It shocks me that you recommend it, Kristi!!

Number 1 - it's killing the book trade for small bookstores!! Your fave little bookshop in Paris will be out of biz very shortly because AMAZON underbids every time....

Karryll Nason


I have no doubt that the rainbow was a sign, a gift, from Breizh, assuring you that everything is fine. I call things like that (or an orchid that suddenly blooms following the death of my mother, after not blooming since the death of my father four years earlier!) my proof of heaven.

Maureen Winterhager

What an uplifting story. Go, Canada!!

Linda Wanless

Joy!!! I spent last week with my two great-grandchildren ages 2 and 4 and learned that a different granddaughter is expecting in February! What joy! And what a fun time the whole extended family had during the week!

Maureen Winterhager

Joy alert: My grandson (5) who started school this year, read me his new story on Skype this morning.....he's in Australia and I'm in Germany.....I was so touched and thrilled....


I live in Toronto and haven't heard of this until now. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing! :)

Kristin Espinasse

Maureen,  please do not let this positive post turn into a negative, all-caps rant! I did see your previous comment about Amazon. You mention the negatives, but there is a positive side,  too: Amazon has allowed a self-publisher like myself to distribute my book,  when most bookstores dont carry it in store. As well,  Amazon has enabled me to earn a small fee on products that readers purchase,  helping to defray some of the costs involved in sending out my newsletter and running my blog--and helping me to earn a living as a writer.

Heather in Arles

There is so much happiness here in the comments. :) And thank you for sharing Breizh's coucou.

I think that I told you about my using the Insight Timer app on my phone for meditation. And sometimes (actually often these days) I click on just before going to sleep. Sometimes for a quick meditation but also because it shows you how many people and meditating at that very moment all around the world and where! I find it so reassuring that to see that there are many, many people out there who are looking for peace.


Stacy - Sweet Life Farm

Today's words from you :) and the lovely rainbow for remembrance of Breizh have brought a peacefulness to my day.

Leslie NYC

Joy: going to Coney Island yesterday, spreading out a sheet 5 feet from the next person, having that turn out to be a good friend of mine! I hadn't even noticed who it was, but she did! What are the chances?


2 weeks from today I fly to Europe to visit my daughter & her boyfriend & his family! The adventure begins again!


I'm in New Zealand, where it's winter, and have just come back from a week's holiday in New Caledonia! Magnifique! Warm weather, the chance to practise my French, and pastries!!


How fortunate to be able to visit the West Coast of Canada!

Julie Farrar

Joy alert: today a bird flew through the open window of our enclosed balcony. I watched him through the door as he flew around, made a few false moves, and then back up into the huge periwinkle sky. Just like the butterfly who came in one side of our apartment and out the other last week.

I'll look for that brand of moisturizer and give it a try the next time I hit the Monoprix or pharmacie. My skin is so sensitive to everything. Last year I found a French moisturizer that was bio and helped my face tremendously all winter with dryness and rosacea, but it has seemed so heavy this summer, especially since I have to wear an SPF 50 under it to prevent more skin cancer.


Our dear Kristi,
What a beautiful post--and pictures!-- today.
Dear Brezih sent you such a wonderful rememberence of all the love and joy you shared.And! To know that she is waiting for you.
This particularly touches my heart as our darling four pawed boy was diagnosed with lymphoma and has started chemo.So very grateful to have doctors and means to help him,though this is a struggle requiring all of us to fight together,as we are persevering to do every second.
All the stuff which I thought was of some sort of consequence so pales in comparison of what's really important in life.
In my daily Bible study there was a meaningful meditation I'd like to share:"Faith steals upon you like the dew:
some days you wake and it is there.And like the dew,it gets burned off in the rising sun of anxities,ambition,distractions"(from "My Bright Abyss" by Christian Wilman)
Blessing always.

faye lafleur

We live in a world of opposites and must engage in the dance of opposites. As the old adage tells us, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain." Without the bad, we would not know how good good is.

Love the rainbow message and the pic of yummy recipe.....Merci beaucoup!


Love your positive alert idea! My husband and I do that when the sky looks ready for a great sunset.. I say "sunset alert!!" , and we drive or walk to a place with a great view of the evening sky!


My niece was married this weekend. It was a lovely ceremony, along with a great gathering of family and friends.

And this morning the sky was pale blue with fluffy pink clouds as the sun came up.

Oregonian in Normandy

Tonight on a twilight bike ride in Normandy I'd just loaded my new puppy into the cargo bike's box after her running along while I peddled. Then turned back to the main road toward home. From the wheat field to my left I saw a huge grey/black head pop up then down. In an instant a huge boar burst onto the road & across to a tell corn field. "Bete noir" -- my first wild boar. It was massive. I was screaming, my dog was shrieking. Nearly tipped over & felt I was about to lose my seat on the bike due to my dog lunging back and forth in the cargo box. You can bet I pedaled as fast as I can to get home. The pup is sleeping deeply now and probably dreaming of boar ! It was a beautiful day.

Eileen Burns

I enjoyed a happy chuckle or two with George, a former neighbor of my late father, concerning horse races at Saratoga (an annual obsession), my father's open door policy at his apartment (never closed it when he was home and the entire building got to share his love of opera), bowling dates with their wives (my parents' first date in 1951 was to the bowling alley: Mom beat Dad and they never went bowling again)...We had a lovely visit and NO TEARS WERE SHED! Love to all of you, Eileen XO


Dear Kristin,
You are so right about getting what we expect. Experiments have been done which prove that
meditations linked from group to group have reduced crime by large percentages.....WE need
to dream BIG and share our visions of Joy and expectations for a beautiful future.
I just got word of another great- grandchild expected soon...number 18 for me now! That
is my good news for the day...
Love and blessings !

Fred A Caswell

Encore merci, Kristi! Comme toujours!

Anne Irons

I look forward to visiting my relatives in PA. My cataract surgery went well, and I am thankful! 🕊🍀🕊

Joan L.

My bonne nouvelle is that I am taking a trip for a week with my sister, her husband, and a friend to Chautauqua, New York to experience a week of lectures, concerts, walks, conversations. The topic for the week is "The Future of Cities." Chautauqua Institution provides a 9 week yearly series (over the summer) of topics for adults, with a different topic each week, with world class speakers. We had the privilege of seeing Elie Wiesel there several years ago.
Thanks everyone, for the upbeat posts this time.


Just spent a great summer weekend in Minneapolis with dear friends. Good times, laughs, food, and rose! A green change from Los Angeles.

Jimm Hughey

Bonjour Kristi! I have been thinking about one of your last posts regarding the terrorists and attacks in France. It is scary and you have a right and need to be concerned. However this is what the terriorists want, people to be afraid and react to these barbarians. I think that you have listened to your inner wisdom and decided to not move from France. As you are aware, we cannot run away from these things. They happen in the U.S. too as you have seen. All of us, from all countries must stand up to this bullying and send our message that we will not tolerate these things nor will we back down. We can deal with life's challenges while we continue to love, care for one another, take care of one another and experience the joys of life. We are capable. Sending love and support to you, your family, France and others around the world.
Jimm Hughey, M.S., California

Sheila in Oregon

I'm late to the party! It's 11:45 a.m. in Independence, Oregon.... Today's "word" was excellent: like attracts like. Your son is wise.

Denise Cunningham

I am at a very exciting stage in my life: I recently retired after 24 years as a special education teacher. My husband and I sold our home of 32 years and moved into a beautiful condo. No more home repairs or grass cutting! Our first grandchild was born the day after the summer solstice - her name is Summer Chloe. A few weeks ago I went wedding gown shopping with my daughter for her June 2017 wedding. I am very thankful and loving life!


Hi - try signing up for this! ig can be quite cheerful.
best of luck

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)