How to Learn Grammar Naturally
Pumpkin in French - And "Plan C" (living in an RV?)

Rent Our French farmhouse? Your Year in Provence? + Faire des courses


French Country Diary - everyone's favorite calendar and it makes a great gift: Click here for the French Country Diary 2017

TODAY'S WORD: faire des courses

   : to go shopping

   : to run errands

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

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Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's phrase: Download Faire-des-courses

Faire des courses. Chérie, je pars faire des courses.
To run some errands. Darling, I'm going to run some errands.


    by Kristi Espinasse

Last week I received an accidental reply, an email not meant for my eyes. This happens (I think) when subscribers try to forward my newsletter to a friend...but hit the other button instead. It often makes for colorful reading, on my end, except when it doesn't, as when this subscriber wrote the following email to her friend (concerning my recent post):

I mean, really
Time to discontinue. Unless one is interested in her personal saga, there is nothing to be learned.

"Nothing to be learned?" "Her personal saga?"

I disagree with the first comment! As for the second, I can see how some readers would agree--readers who have recently signed on (as had the reader, above...) or readers who take into account certain stories (I have spoken about my skin cancer, yes, a saga!).  And yet I see this this 14-year chronicle of our French life as an overall lighthearted story.

Today,  we take a break from The Saga in Question, and listen in on another colorful conversation -- this one took place last night, during a phone call with my dad and my belle-mère Marsha, who often telephone me via conference call:

After updating Dad and Marsha on the latest--that we may sell off the vineyard and keep our farmhouse and garden--(this has been my hope), the subject turned to Jean-Marc's health.

"So how is Jimmy doing?" my dad asked....

    Jean-Marc (a.k.a. "Jimmy") swimming last week in the Mediterranean

"Jean-Marc is feeling better today." I replied. "In fact, he went for a long run this morning!"

"He's running?"

"Yes, he actually ran all the way to town--to post a letter, to go to the bank, and to stop by the pharmacy. Come to think of it, he literally 'ran some errands'!"

My dad's instant guffaws tempted me to repeat my corny joke, and so I did, and now we were both guffawing, our laughter bouncing like popped corn landing in a giant bucket at a movie theater's refreshment stand. Later, I thought about my father's easy laughter, and how that is one thing I miss from back home (besides family, American movie theaters, salty popcorn, and corny jokes).

But it's no joke that I'm still holding out for a change of heart in my husband--that he will begin to see our homestead "with fresh eyes" and want to safeguard this little piece of heaven in France...which brings us (you, dear reader, and me) to the newly-hatched Plan B ("B" for beautiful! or best! or blessing!).

I am wondering who, among you, might be interested in renting our farmhouse? On the south coast of France?

This is only a thought at this point--and a very small chance that we could sell only the vines and keep our home, given that part of us still wants to turn the page.

But a chance, no matter how small, is still a chance! I leave you with wishes for a good weekend, and this enticing view from our bedroom window!!! :-)


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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.

Dear brave, and lay your trust in fate. There might be some hard times ahead, but you have a strong, hard working family who I'm sure will weather the storm(s) en-route to a wonderful new future.
Having left Boston in the November after 9/11 not having sold our house, and with no job, so no money coming in....I can sympathize. We returned to the U.K. with 5 suitcases, leaving our cat to a new home, and our eldest daughter at University in Portland, Maine (she at least had a plan!). It was very hard at times, but I do believe we came out of it stronger. The three kids completed University and now have homes and lives of their own, and knowing they were safe and happy, we were able to follow our dream and take early 'retirement' in 2013 running 2 gîtes in Brittany.
We have made numerous new friends, and although we work incredibly hard, are very happy.
Life is good!!!


As to your disinterested reader, forget about her! Millions of us look forward to your posts and feel as though we are part of your life. Your options are many and I am so glad that J-M is willing to consider them all. Here's hoping you are able to keep the house and sell the vineyard! Looking forward to the next installment of "Life with Kristi and Jean-Marc". 😊

Sue Lennox

Kristi....I for one love hearing your saga. Write on!!


Firstly, I never leave online comments, so this is a first!

I've subscribed to your blog for a long time and have always enjoyed reading it, well done!

I think your recent posts are very personal, vulnerable and honest. I admire your willingness to share your thoughts, goals and desires in such a personal way. I know it will all work out for you and Jean-Marc. The new idea on renting the house and selling the vines is very creative.

Best wishes, it will all work out nicely for you and your family. You should be very proud of your accomplishments....Bonne Chance!


John Hawke

Hope you never decide to rent but if you do Charlotte and I would be interested.
Best wishes to you Jean-Marc run!

Karen W (Parkton, Md)

re:Saga. It just may be that it was meant in a negative way but when I tried to come up with a positive spin on it and looked up the definition, I found that it's fully positive, already!!!:

SAGA (definition) 1. Celtic saga: epic, chronicle, legend, folk tale, romance, history, narrative, adventure, myth, fairy story.
2. the saga of how they met: long story, rigmarole; chain of events; informal spiel.

So... be proud of your epic tale!

re: Learning.! We have learned much from your French Word a Day saga, as anyone would when sharing in the adventures of others. But here, we also learn about the French culture and the language and, nothing can replace that joy for us francophiles.

Not sure what lies ahead for you guys but I think using your home as a rental may give you just as much work (and maybe more) depending on how far way you move. I remember you wrote awhile back that you wished you had grown your garden from the house and outward. Maybe you can do that in a new place, now. Take all that you've learned and move forward. The same as your writing does for us.


I have been looking for a place to rent for a month or two every year! I have been following your life for years and my heart has been with you all the way!
I have spent much much time in Provence and taken cooking classes in various locations in France..........Your place looks charming!
Let me know if you ever work out the rental plan. I would definitely be interested...........and respectful of your lovely home!
Warm Regards
PS: Email me privately as I have some other ideas for you.

Alyssa Eppich

I love the comments above as I love your writing, Kristi. Please don't be discouraged by people that don't care about you or the motivation you feel to write. They are sous examen, right? Continuez! I love reading whatever you send out!

Jackie Durham

I love your personal saga--your openness, your sense of humor, the wisdom, and the sharing of your values. Disregard those negative comments and hold the faith that all will be well.


Kristi, Forget about the reader and her negative comment. People like that should not be allowed to rob you of your joy. Regarding the renting of your farmhouse, I totally understand your desire to stay and if this would allow you to do that I would try it. You certainly have the gift of hospitality! We are working out our (hopefully soon to be) retirement plans and would love to spend a significant amount of time in France, renting for a couple of months at a time. So we would be interested in renting your lovely home. Please write me privately with the proposed cost. I will continue to lift you in prayer as you determine your path. Blessings!


One negative review does not define your work. Your readership does.

Terry Littman

Kristen, I have followed and enjoyed your writing for a long time. It isn't just the French experience we both share, I bought my first house in France 17 years ago, and another this year. It's your engaging, personal, writing style, and your ability to share a personal story. I have not made the leap to live full time in France, but by sharing your story, your readers get a better understanding of something few have the courage to try. France? New Hampshire? California? Where ever, please keep writing.
Bon courage! Terry

Renting a place in France for a month or two has been on my bucket list for too long. Contact me if you decide to go that route. Merci!

Forget thoe sour puss...Your newsletter is wonderful. Having done one about 10 years ago, I understand how hard it is to come up with subjects on a daily or even wekly basis, and yours are super fun. The ups, the dowsn, the explanations of culture all wonderful. Having spent time in the wine business in France, boy do I understand what you are going through now and you will survive......plesae continue and really there are always those negative people..Laissez tombe! cheers Candia (yes comme le lait)

Camilla S Haneberg

Dear Kristen,
I'm not writing to weigh in on your "should I stay or should I go"...that's a huge decision I feel unqualified for, and I think you will make the best of wherever you land!

I was in France for the summer of 2016 studying classical realism drawing and painting. I absolutely loved Paris and the people I met who graciously helped me with my "budding" french speaking. I have since thought of the beautiful porcelain flower wreaths I saw on the graves in the cemetery in Montmartre. I asked french people in my classes in Paris what they are called and some history, but no one knew much about them. I came back to Albuquerque, NM and in my french class this past Tuesday I asked my teacher about them...nothing. Did some internet sleuthing...still nothing.

Would you be willing to do a piece on what they are called and their history? I would love to own one, but cannot find them to buy either?

If you are not interested I will understand. I thought you may know something I can not seem to find.

If you do end up in the SW, USA, my guest bedroom will be ready for an Albuquerque visit!
Thank you sincerely,


Peut-etre, oui. Avec mes amies. Cette une bonne idée ! ( learning french)

Beth Bright

Hello Kristin
Oh your words so speak your heart. Life isn't always fair when people tallk about us and not knowing the whole story. You have a kind heart, wonderful family and this too is going to pass. I try to come to France each year and I would love to rent your house. Count me in! Please send a message if you get something worked out. Stay strong, be creative, be true. To yourself and remember you have a tons of fans out here cheering for you! Hugs ~
Beth ~ Okoboji


Kristi...there will always be takers in this world...but we can celebrate the givers!


Please keep sharing your sagas. Sometime I learn about French culture, sometimes I learn about a brave, funny, interesting human being and her family life, but all of it within the context of her "piece of heaven" in France.

I would love to rent your house or better yet, experience a tour, an immersion in your own unique French life with you and your family. It would be like visiting our French cousins! Except we would pay for it. Is there a way to give your devoted readers a real life experience of what you share online? Whatever you decide for your future. Keep writing!

Cynthia Gillespie-Smith

I have the advantage of knowing Kristi and Jean-Marc's absolutely charming and oh-so-Provençal farmhouse with its superb view of the sea. A francophile's DREAM! I hope it works out for some extremely fortunate couple or family. Imagine: the kids learn French (don't worry, they'll help you with yours), enough space to entertain all your new found friends, Kristi's garden, and 360 degrees of pure inspiration! Most of all, I hope it works out for Kristi and Jean-Marc.


Like others I have also dreamed of spending a month in France in the country. If you do consider renting your home please add me to the list of interested people. I would not read this if I did not learn something every week. Glad you had a fun vacation.

Ali Herron

Yes, Kirsti, we would love to rent your home a week sometime (we live in Burgundy). We also know lots of Americans who would love it too! So, do in touch with all of us who are interested. Boy, if there were any way for you all to keep the house at least, I would be glad to contribute to the renting. I think that would be just a fabulous idea. I have an American friend who decided to move back to California with her French husband because her husband's work just didn't seem to get off the ground in the French countryside. Luckily, they kept their home and rented it out. So, they have the ability to come back anytime, like after retirement and pass it on to their kids. Hard decision and maybe lots of work but a good thing. Best of luck with your decisions!

Gretchen Dawson

Kristi, I...and so many others...look forward to your posts! You've become "family" to me. Your idea to sell the vineyard and keep the house sounds ideal. If you come to America, you may long for the Provencal lifestyle after living here for a while. What better than to be able to return to your French homestead. Or you may want to rent it part time and return to it from time to time "en vacance"...possible if you keep it!

May your answers reveal themselves soon! Wishing you and your family all the best!

Marcet Spahr

What a dream to rent your farmhouse...I wish I could. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us! Bonne continuation!

Great idea to rent out your home. Never burn your bridges ..... It's amazing how many times you have to cross the same river ....
I deal in buying, selling and renting out property. I was always taught never to sell my assets, but if I needed money for a new venture, to use leverage ...... So renting sounds an ideal solution. You can go on your travels and know that if you change your mind you can come back to your burrow ....

There maybe someone willing to take on Jean Marc's work with the vines .....

I am sure many of your readers would love to rent your home ... It's something I would be interested in.

Every now and then, we need to challenge ourselves, heave our bodies out of their comfort zone and try something new .... That's how we develop and grow. We don't regret the things we did, but the things we did not do .....

When my mother was 85 she told me to go and do all the things I wanted to NOW and not wait too long ... There is plenty of time for sitting in the rocking chair when we are too infirm to do anything else. She was right. I am packing my bags to go to the Caribbean next week ... I am not quite ready to embrace the cold winter months.

Sending you and Jean Marc oodles of positive good wishes!


Ungenerous, and when you are always so generous in your sharing of both the lighthearted and the more serious.
Ah ha! That's real life is it not? Thank you for sharing a real life ... and in my beloved France too!

Wish I was not committed to Brittany ...big sigh. Am sure there will be many of us who have been your devoted readers since the inception of French Word A Day who would be thrilled to rent your house. Great idea.

Wherever you are I will read with continued interest always wishing you bonne chance. Thank you for years of letting me be in France during the months I can't be there.


Dear Kristi,

I'm with everybody else who've weighed in on the misdirected post: ignore it. We have no idea what that person was looking for, what troubles they may have or have had that causes them to be blind so they cannot see the value in the stories others tell.

As for renting your house, put me in the "yes" column also. And if Jean-Marc can be enticed, I'm sure there is a good percentage of your readers who would pay for the chance to help with some aspect of the vineyard work too. He may recoil at the thought of having to teach novices taking up time when every moment should be devoted to the work, but, it might be a unique spin on an occasional bed and breakfast. I know several people who would love such a holiday experience. It is done in the world of archaeology, where volunteers pay to work on a dig with lodging and food for some meals included in the price of the experience.

Thanks for sharing your life with me,

Denise in Claremont

Janet Gottsacker

As they say in France, bof! to that ignorant self-important reader. Your postings are a breath of fresh air, don't stop! A huge improvement over looking and reading about everyone's latest food posting. Don't we all eat? And I mean, like 3 or more times a day? I couldn't care less about what people sit down and eat but I love reading about your take on life in France!

Patricia Cowan

Dear Lady, i would rent your delightful cottage "in-a-heartbeat" if i could afford it...for now I enjoy reading all about you and Jean Marc and family and ALL your happy/sad moments in life. Some people just do not get it! Write on!

My French sister, living in Texas now, also loves your cottage...we have a dream.


I've been a long time follower of your and Jean Marc's saga and hope you will always continue to invite us into your lives and home.

Mary Neely

Kristi, I'm sure you could easily rent your dream home. It's good to think of all options. Here in Kentucky, the large tobbaco farms are turning to vineyards. They are part of Kentucky agriculture tourism program. During the summer months they have local jazz bands and serve aperitif supper and wine under the stars. It seems popular but maybe a lot of work. We are so sympathetic with Jean Marc because our idealistic daughter and son in law began a difficult business with not enough capital. It is devastating when dreams are shattered. Jean Marc should not blame himself. He will find a new dream which will succeed because of his experiences. All the classics we read are "sagas" of life Keep up the fine writing! Always wishing you the best! Mary and Rod

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Forget the naysayers. Those of us who have read for years stick around as much for your French life (and personal, humble, vulnerable) saga as the French words.

You have some lovely alternate plans that sound like they could serve you very well. I am in the process of figuring out same for me.

Bon courage, and write on! We will be here standing by you.


Dear Kristi, Would that I could rent your home !!! I have happily rented gites in the south of France several times, and keeping your beautiful home and garden makes sense.
I agree with all those who posted the advice to forget the woman who wrote so negatively, she is the loser----we love you and look forward to the posts! I have all your books, I have passed on posts to my friends--


As a faithful reader for @ 10 years, I have been very interested in your saga--both the joys and pitfalls. I have an ex-pat daughter in France and your blog has given me insight on her situation. My husband and I visit her and our beau-fils and grandchildren in Alsace and Strasbourg often and at times meet them at another, warmer, location to share time together. I can imagine a very happy vacation at your B and B some day if you make this idea a reality. But, beyond my selfish dreams, I hope for you the best decision about your home that fits the needs of all of your family.


With more detailed information, Kristi, we could envision renting out your place or staying in your B&B! We're savy longtime francophiles who love this region of France.
We'd need descriptions of rooms, location details and of course pricing details.
We've been avid followers of your family's saga for many years and are sensitive to your sharing your ups and downs with us. We hope you'll arrive at a decision that will bring you solace and a beautiful life ahead!


Bonjour Kristi,
I have been a longtime admirer of your very personal blog and send my heartfelt wishes for you and your family as you work through current life decisions.
As for your question today, if you do ultimately decide to rent i would be very interested. Coincidentally my husband and I just returned yesterday from a long-awaited wine tour through Provence and Rhone regions and were reinforced in our hope to rent a house (preferably with a garden) for a period of time running months to a year so started looking at real estate flyers in agency windows while strolling around Lyon. Knowing how hard you and Jean Marc have worked to create your special haven there would make living there special.
Sending you best regards and hope that you and Jean Marc will be able to feel peace in your hearts with the decision you finally make.


Yeah, what she said!


Kristi, I used to take it personally every time someone unsubscribed from my blog or stopped following me on social media. Some days, it's still a hard blow, depending on how I'm feeling, but most days, without a second thought, I say, "Good riddance!"

I enjoy reading your stories and don't agree in the least that your blog is a dramatic saga. Instead, I admire your candid and beautiful writing, and the messages you present to us, your loyal readers, are excellent reminders that no matter where we are in the world, we are not that dissimilar.

I think it's a fabulous idea to rent out your home or even to do a house exchange.

Always keeping you and your family in my thoughts!

Marilyn Raffinot

I would also love to rent your house for a couple of months at a time when I ( very shortly) retire! A full circle for me. I have often thought of writing to you -- I was a very young woman when I married a young Frenchman. We had ( have) two children, boy and girl. Our marriage unfortunately ended in divorce a few years after moving " back" to the states. So you I would say to you : good luck, may it not happen to you ... but also be careful. France is still an important part of my life nevertheless, with the good memories dominating the painful ones.


Or...think about home exchange. You could find a person (I'm thinking an academic?) who wants to get away for a year, who has a home somewhere you two would like to try out (like say Colorado? or——my preferance——northern California). It could be your year abroad too.

Richard from Seattle

Hi Kristi
So many of us, your readers and fans, keep our own dreams of running off to France alive through your stories and books and advertisements. Keep it up as long as you and JP are happy and healthy and together there. Your Plan B sounds like a great idea. A Plan C might be setting the vineyard and winery up as a separate business and finding a investor or group of investors to share the Diancial and management burdens.


Delores DeMay

Bonjour, I'm a newbie reader in So Cal......and love your is a saga, our shall we say our personal dream at 73 yrs old is to live part time in France,,,,,I love your new ideas of thinking out of the box....keeping the home, rent it check out to see if Colorado or????? could be the new home base...sure wish I had the money to rent your place for a year......I'm teaching myself French and it is slower process but it does keep my mind and dreams moving in the right direction.......I'm praying the our political leaders become more conscious of the majority of people who live in the are in the perfect place and time of both your lives to create anything you desire........thank you both for all you wonderful inspiring posts.....that help to keep me going and moving forward to living my dreams......Au revoir Delores DeMay


Without shade there is no light......
Heed not the cattiness......
You are stronger than that.....You have whetted your facets over the years to the point where you are a radiant light to most of us who follow you.
You innate "niceness" and kindness and compassion and unsparing self-reflection and humour and your outward beauty and generosity of spirit are rare and have won you thousands of fans and admirers....
A few drips of jealous bile can't dull your shine.....
Onwards, Kristi, we want to accompany you and Jean Marc wherever you go.....
Blessings and love!!

Cathleen Hoffman

Dear Kristi:
Just as you weed your garden, you must do the same with comments received. We are so lucky you share your life with all of us. I mean a 'real' life with it's ups and downs. We all experience them and it is a gift to be part of your story if only in reading your pages. We all encounter weeds and either step over them or pull them out of our garden. As you get older you end up with the bouquet of your choice. I have learned that you cannot change the way people see the world. In grays and shadows or bright glorious color. I choose the color people and they inspire me and we laugh together at the challenges. You and your family are color people and we are so lucky you share your journey with us. Thank You!

From the number of emails above, I see there is some interest!! Yes, I would be interested too. We will be in Souillac for the month of February "cat sitting" for friends who will be traveling. We'd love to see you place. Souillac is just south of Limoges. How long of a drive would that be for to make? We would not rent this coming year but perhaps in 2018, 19 and or 2020. Good luck and I hope you get to keep you little piece of France no matter where you move.
And I've enjoyed your "saga" tremendously and you have inspired me to write my own book!


I rarely comment, but thought it was worth weighing in this time. I started out following this blog for the word-a-day aspect, but gradually that took second place to your stories. You are a gifted wordsmith, and I feel that I have gotten to know you and your family through this blog. It's a one-sided friendship by its very nature, but know that if I ever saw you on the street I would introduce myself. And if I ever came to your region of France (assuming you still live there), I would look you up! So thank you for sharing your "saga" and please don't let one person's views bother you. I wish you and your family all the best, whatever decision you make!

Sally Truscheit

PO Box 381


My grandmother would say "That rests with him/her/the disgruntled person." You bring joy to so many, as well as encouragement to follow our dreams. Bonne chance! Comme disait la mere de Napoleon "pourvue que ca dure"- your BLOG, that is.


Kristi - I applaud and admire your courage and honesty. For me, it has been wonderful to see your "slice of life" in France. While anyone can fashion a perfect life via postings to the internet, you keep it real and that is precisely why you have so many fans. As a baker, this week I was chastised by customers for not having eclairs in the showcase (...the sky is falling...), for running out of butter croissants (...ever hear that the early bird gets the worm?...), for not having our tea cookies in stock (...please place an order...), and an employee resigned citing her disdain for working with me because of my expectations on performance. It's a constant struggle to be strong, while being creative and taking criticism. No one but you and your family know the whole story (the state of your mind, your heart, your vision, your passions). Hugs and love for trying. I think you are all terrific and that you should keep doing what you do (and make any changes along the way that you think advisable). Ignore the naysayers (as much as possible).

Shannon Donohue

Like the others, I enjoy your blog and always come away feeling a tiny bit French. Living in France for at least a year is on my post-retirement list and that will be happening in the next year or so. Maybe the timing would work? Who knows but keep me on your list, please. Shorter stays would also be a possibility.

Please keeping sharing your life.

Shannon Donohue

Sally Truscheit

Dear Kristin,

How bizarre!!!! When you first posted regarding your move, I thought, I wonder if they would consider renting their house,and VOILA, you are. You have made my day!!!! I would be so interested. I lived in Normandie for a few years and my "bucket list" consists of one thing-move to France for forever. I would be so honored if you would consider my interest, if you so decide to rent your house. I would be happy to send references and do anything to make this dream become a reality. I so look forward to hearing from you and wish you and Jean-Marc and your family the best always.

With sincere regards,

Linda Casey

You didn't say for how much ...

Audrey Wilson

Mindy's comment is so true ! Could it be envy on the part of this negative person ? We all find your blog so interesting & admire your strength in accepting & dealing with what life throws at you. You inspire us
If you do decide on renting it seems there are plenty of interested people out there.
Bonne Chance !!


And where would you go if you did rent it, which looks like a real possibility!


Would LOVE to rent your house! Can you share details? Are you thinking long term rental or vacation?

Angela Sargent

Kristi, I have followed your stories for a long time and never tire of hearing about your lives and adventures. I rarely comment- mainly because many others have already said the same thoughts - but don't ever be deterred by negative comments or.take them personally.
The right road will open up for you. X

Karen Cafarella

In life we know we cannot please everyone. There will be negatives but there will also be positives. Living your authentic life and writing is what you are doing. Personally, I thank you for sharing your life, words and love with us.

Sending hugs!

María Amalia

I, too, love your saga. I often wonder how your husband and children take it, having their lives exposed to a certain extent. I figure you run by them what you will say, so that there is nothing in it that bothers them. The effect your stories have on me is that I feel that I know all of you, like you were my friends, although you know nothing about me. If it's a sad story, I feel sad. If it's a happy one, I feel joy. Kind regards, Maria, from Costa Rica.

Joan Partridge

My husband and I would be very interested in renting your home for a year.

We spent nearly two years in a motor home traveling between Holland and France. Only a family crisis back in the US brought it to an end. I would love to be in France, even still have a bank account in France. One of the reasons I read you blog is for shear nostalgia.

I think it is a great idea to keep the house and let the vineyard go. Maybe build a smaller house and live there while you rent out you present house. Or vice versa?

Please do consider that one of the major ways wheat intolerance shows up is as depression and fatigue which can come and go without any seeming reason (except ingestion of wheat). Any kind of stress can kick off the intolerance. I know this from my own life. There is lots on the internet about this these days, so I won't harp on it. But new research is beginning to find that it is much more common than once thought. Worth looking into.

Heartfelt. Yours, Joan

Lori Woolard

I love your posts! I can't imagine anyone commenting about a saga with nothing to learn.

And YES, if you decide to rent out your house, we would be interested as a vacation rental. I'm unsure if you are looking for a long term tenant or if you're thinking of doing vacation rentals on VRBO or something like that. In any case, I think it's a splendid idea!


Time is the great healer, so try to take it slowly and carefully considering all options ,as you are doing. Renting your highly
desirable French home sounds like a perfect temporary solution giving you more time to explore and experiment with options.
Based upon my own experience with a major geographic move (culture shock), I would recommend that you take it "in baby
steps" so there will be no regrets.

Agnes Terry

Dear Kristi ,
I had a somewhat an epic life path , and I would say ; "keep your little heaven , rent it and sell or rent the vineyard " . I am French my husband American .
We sold places where we were , and surely we would be in a much better place now if we had kept one of them !. Sometimes leaving places because too much suffering is related to them is not the right choice ... As long as you are a good twosome, all will end up OK . Life sends to you a lot of harships, but also a lot of resilience . So courage and keep that little piece of heaven when one day you might be tempted to return ( Also health care is one of the best in the world - I am struggling in the US ). Not to ignore ...
Bonne chance !


I came for the French, but stayed for the saga. Storytelling pulls people in--we evolved from a culture of spinning tales around a fire before retiring to our caves. Your adventures, wherever they may lead you, make for compelling reading. You are a sympathetic protagonist. Keep it up!

joy wood

dear friend. can't believe anyone would say anything mean. I never would. I don't care if you stay or go or whatever. I would just like for the four of you to be happy. four, gorgeous, lovely people. I wish , only the best for all of you. I have enjoyed reading about your life soooooo much. it is a highlight of my dull, boring life, stuck in Oklahoma city. love and prayers are sent your way. joy wood

Sari Hotchkiss

I so disagree with the author of your accidental reply-you ALWAYS have, as promised, a French word,definition and usage and getting to know you through your saga is an extra special bonus, a gift. Too bad said responder is blind to the gift. I'm sure many are grateful, including me.

Hello, definitely interested on renting your farmhouse, it looks so beautiful and peaceful, it would depend on how far it is from the nearest train station (I live in Paris) and the price for the night of course, breakfast included or not....and love dogs :)

Hugo Touchy



Dear Kristi - If I make it back to France one day, I would certainly be interested in renting your farm house in the south of France!! Bonne chance!

Sharon B.

I echo those who suggest a temporary swap or rental for a year -- if you can swing it. Having moved from Hawaii to Virginia (almost like moving from/to a foreign country!), transitions are not easy when you are older. One no longer has children to tie one to others, to make friends quickly over shared matters. Although I knew I would love my new location, it took me a LONG time to really feel at home.

Bonne Chance!

Dawn Sharafi

Oui, oui! I would love to rent your beautiful farmhouse one day. (And, in my heart I can't help but wish that somehow you can stay there, in the south of France, which is my own dream)

Katheryn Lyman

Ditto. One rotten apple does NOT ruin the whole barrel if you throw it away. HUGS!!!!

Katheryn Lyman

Me, too.

Joyce Mazalewski

First of all, Kristi, if someone is not interested in your "personal saga" then we your loyal friends (which is how I feel about you after all these years) are not interested in them. Can you tell she made me angry? :-). But then when your Dad called Jean-Marc Jimmy I laughed out loud! So funny! Your idea of selling only the vineyard sounds like the perfect solution! And the idea of renting your home would also work although most of your "friends" would rather that it be a B&B so that we could meet you.

Kathleen from Connecticut

I love your blog and all of the personal stories. You are an open, charming person with a great husband and children.
Oh my, what to do? Time will tell and as the spirit moves you so you will go. You have a piece of paradise in the south of France. This is how your readers see included. I also would love to rent your house.
A B&B might be a good idea but it is so demending on your time and you have to be "up" all of the time. It can be stressful and I don't think that you are looking for more stress. A home exchange might work, but it would expend on where you would want to be. But don't forget Smokey.
Eventually you will make a decision and hopefully it will be the right one for you both. Bon Chance.

Alan Teggel

Keep up the story... we all have sagas and most are not brave enough to share our stories. Those that don't want to read have an option...! The rest of us look forward to your arrival in our post box.
That photo from the window - a view like that is the 1st prize of hard in it's self and more than worth while holding on to - so beautiful. Chuck in the hard work but hold on to that dream... You can always change that bit at a later date once life takes on a clearer perspective, or, just be glad that you did manage to keep it. We were in France for 2 and a half years (not long in comparison) until one of us wanted to come back 'home' - the other didn't want too but, we made the move last year and still recovering! If we had had the chance to hang on to a foot hold there I think we would have grabbed it firmly by all corners. Its difficult to reverse a cut and dry decision, flexibility has to be the key!

Russ Guibord


Have you thought of a home exchange? Mine on the coast of Maine , for yours.
May be worth considering for Sandy and I for a period of time depending on what happens here in the US on November 8th.

Worth considering.

Lori from Indiana

I love hearing about your adventures and sagas! Keep 'em coming. As for the house rental, count me in! I am so in love with France. Bon courage with all the decisions you're facing.

Dawn M Willey

Oh, Kristi! How horrible that you should be subjected to that snarky little comment from a pitiful 'observer'. I genuinely feel you are "my friend, Kristi-you know,... that moved to France and married a gorgeous Frenchman and writes a Blog from there??". I love your sharing the family and daily life - your photos are splendid, your writing insightful and beautifully done. I am delighted to follow your adventures and share your life in this small way. Don't change a THING!
Dawn Willey - a 5 year reader!


Dear Kristin,

As you can see by all these comments - we all enjoy reading about your life that you share with us so generously. As for "prickly pears..." ignore them. You have our love and support, and all shall be well.

Bon Courage!

Dawn Johnson

Dittos of all the other comments. We love following your 14 year story. All the ups and downs and funny inbetweens. It's called real life and far more intriguing to me than any fiction.and I am always learning. I would be interested in renting too, but it depends on what you have in mind. A vacation rental, long term or something in between?. I would love to do a home exchange too and would prefer my first time with someone I know. If you are thinking about the northwest. We are about six hours drive from Portland. Your house is an absolute treasure and I know the Lord has His best plans in store for you.

Hank Sweet

How rude that person was!



Oh I have been on the reciving end of emails not supposed to be for me 3 times..

but the worse thing..and you might not believe this:)

I had a friend..childhood and even later in life.. at one point she was sad because she was no longer in a relationship (two prior divorces)..and that's fine..but I met someone I thought she would immediately click with and organized a dinner in our home for them to day we were on the phone talking about this like two teenagers....she was excited..and giddy..well she thought she put me on hold..and didn't..and then I heard: "this chick I know is trying to set me up"~
I don't know why I am sharing this..your story just hit a chord:)..we were.. I thought best friends..

I still had the dinner..they married..I was Maid Of Honor..but people don't change their cloth sometimes... and unfortunately more situations that was it.
I has been 15 years..and I would never trust her again.
What an adventure it would be for someone to live there:)
Having been a realtor for almost 30 years..just make sure the people have oustanding references..

Josephine G.

The person who no longer enjoys your posts is invited to discontinue following them!
As for the rest of us, carry on.
Of course I would be interested in renting your home; my friends and I have discussed an extended stay in a home rental.
See where the journey takes you.

Lorrie Kazan

That person is not your audience. Many of us are invested in your life and appreciate the honesty with which you write. It gives me more courage to say my truth. We live at a time when anything hidden will ultimately be revealed, anyway.

Vance Anderson-Inks

Kristen and Jean-Marc,
Renting out your home is a wonderful idea. Let it pay for itself, maybe (if it's done there) lease the vineyard out. or sell it, and later you and Jean-Marc still get to live in a work involved.
I remember a few years ago someone made some rude, hurtful comments re. your post. We who have been with you for years feel we are part of your family and want to share you four and all that comes with it, and of course I feel a bit more as I know your sweet gem of Jules for so many years in Mexico.
Let all the other "stuff" roll off your shoulders, and brain. Do not let someone else's negativity steal one second from you and your family. It is their loss. We all love you all, right down to hangnails and grape stained hands........your saga's are part of what we love about you. You are real.

Patricia Sands

Ditto ~ on ALL counts! We can't please everyone, Kristi. How unfortunate it must be to live with such a negative attitude, unlike your sunny disposition and the affection of the rest of your followers. Onward!

Marcia Stoub

I love every word and picture you share! You warm the hearts of so many.....THANK YOU!!

Mike Rollins

While we all have our daily struggles, you are brave enough and willing to post them so that we may all learn as we go through life. Curiosity keeps us going and it is through your "personal saga" that I have learned many new and useful phrases, enjoyed trying new recipes, consumed your husband's fine wines and felt connected with a community that is interested in learning and maintaining language skills. You're willingness to share you "personal saga" as you negotiate life in France is much to your reader's delight.
Please keep up the great writing and don't let your one "critic" get you down. You will see that your supporters are numerous and hopefully vocal in expressing their support. As a long time reader, I wish you and yours all the best - and keep us posted.
PS If you end up in the U.S. they are trying to produce wine here in the desert and desperately need someone of Jean-Marc's talents!

Kimberly Renner

Thank you for sharing your brave and beautiful life story with us!

Faye in Glenden Beach, OR

I have always loved your "sagas". It is not just for the French words & culture --- it's your warm and engaging manner, interesting tales, and endearing thoughts on family & life.

My favorite book is 'The Four Agreements' by Don Miguel Ruiz. His 2nd Agreement is the best: Don't take anything personally! He goes on to state: Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. Very wise words!

I know you & your family will find the right path. Stay well!


Hi Kristin,

Renting out your house as a Gite might not be a bad idea. We've done that 4 out of the past 7 summers and are always looking for new ideas of places to stay. Just a practical question (& you've probably already thought of this): where would you live while you're renting out your home?

Anyway, hang in there and ignore the occasional noxious comment. Most of us enjoy your blog very much and look forward to it!

All best,


Our dear Kristi,
You are wonderful.French Word A Day is wonderful.
We are all blessed and privileged to be part of your life,and feel that you and your dear family are definitely part of ours.
Remember that old Carole King song?(am paraphrasing here)"When you feel down and out,maybe need an encouraging word,remember!You've got a friend"
And every one of us are keeping all of you in our prayers.
Natalia XO

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,

You and your family will come to the write.... :-) decision and I hope to read more about it! Renting your place might not be a bad idea! Your area of the world is popular with so many francophiles! :-) Pay no attention to the grumps!


Dear Kristi,

First of all, your "saga" (and that of your lovely family) is one of the most valuable parts of your column. The words are, of course, useful (and your photos have gotten better and better!), but the ability to really see what "a French life" would be like--well, as I said once a long time ago in a comment, it has enabled me to live my own dream vicariously, one that I might have had but had to reluctantly leave behind to go home and finish college and go on to what was at the time thought to be more "serious" (and certainly lucrative) studies. The person who made that comment had no imagination or empathy at all.

And now, rent your French farmhouse, in Provence, one of my most favorite places? It would certainly be a pleasure and a privilege! Good luck with whatever you decide, but given your love for your house and your gardens, I hope that it will work out the way you most wish.


Robbie  Lane Jackson

Consider the source! That woman who said that and was such a dim bulb to send it incorrectly, is a member of the swine family. She's also tres, tres, stupid! I get more out of your stories and your readers' comments than any single other column or posts anywhere. You are, I'm guessing 15-19 yrs younger than I. I had to sell my B&B, just as it started going gangbusters!! No help, no energy, my husband hated it, and I was letting too much go. I had to get back to my marriage, my health, and my impt tasks, like our farm, and a rental I'd just ignored. You really are a wealth of grace and knowledge, at a time i needed it badly. You write and share the way i feel and think inside, my guts. Thank you, lady. Tell that "witch" to stick herself where the son won't shine. She's horrible and shows have shallow and uncaring a woman can be. Don't stop what you're doing. I'm sure you're a lifeline to many!!

Robbie  Lane Jackson

Sorry, that was "sun" won't shine! And "how shallow." Fingers can't keep up with flying thoughts anymore.


Can you share more details about your place as a possible rental? We spend 2 months each year in France and would like to learn more!


Dear Kristi, Your honesty about the realities of life is truly beautiful!!! Step by step with God in everything. The mighty blessings of God to you and yours every day. Love in Christ from an old lady turning 73 shortly. C-Marie P.S. Your adventures are very wonderful to read!!


Sorry, Kristin, but I agree with the person who reacted to "Miam-miam." I also liked it better when you were truer to your blog's title: Word A Day. You used to pepper your stories with lots of French vocabulary, and a lexicon at the end. You clearly have a following of subscribers who enjoy reading about your personal & family life, and that's fine. I am more interested in life lived in the context of France, as you used to describe it. If I open your message and all I see are ads and English, frankly, I skip it.


Hi Kristi, I would rent your home in a heartbeat! I have been wanting to visit France with my husband for a long time, hoping to spend part of the time in the north, and part in the south. I feel like I know your home after seeing all the pictures you've posted. It would feel so familiar. Of course, I hope you can keep it one way or other, whether you rent it out or not. I'll be praying that a buyer for the vineyard is found soon! Love to you and Jean-Marc.

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