(Bilingual Post) Brasser & Houblon: From making rosé to making beer... winemaker gets a lesson in brewing
Broyer, Pilon + Mousse au Chocolat aux Epices - a spicy dessert to celebrate this word journal's birthday

Celebrating a Milestone! Joyeuse, Joyeux

My daughter turned 5 when this word journal began. Here she is at eleven... and recently she turned 20.

This week marks the 15th anniversary of this French word journal. You've learned a lot about our Franco-American family over the years. Help me celebrate this journal's birthday by sharing a line or two about you, in the comments box at the end of this post.

joyeux, joyeuse (zhwa-yuh, zhwa-yuhz) adjective

    : cheerful, merry, joyful

From the Audio archives: Listen to my daughter's message back when this journal turned 6...

(Jackie's message was recorded when she was 11 years old)


by Kristi Espinasse

I have never been good at événementiel, or "event organization". Jean-Marc planned our wedding, each and every detail: he contacted the French priest, ordered the flowers, selected the menu, had the rings engraved, and all but tried on the long white gown & satin-trimmed veil for me.

The "big day" found his blushing bride-to-be tripping over a street grate, late for a very important date! I have been trying to make up for that awkward entrance ever since: by continuing to "réviser" a simple lesson from my husband: relax and enjoy life and, especially, celebrate the milestones!

This week marks the 15th anniversary of this French word journal and I would like to celebrate this joyful event. I've ordered the flowers and selected the menu: a sweet and savory buffet of words. This is where you come in--and not as a clumsy bride--but as the wonderful words buffet!

I would like to ask you to share a word or two... about you. Are you an 85-year-old collector of Southwestern art? Or a new mother, up to her ears in dirty diapers? Are you in a marching band? Do you read this word journal in school? Are you famous? ...or infamous? (or related to someone that is?). Do you speak more than two languages? Can you make your ears move?

I'd love to know who you are. Are you the youngest on this list? Or the oldest? Are you a tattoo artist or do you dabble in watercolor? Have you invented something? Do you like frogs legs or are you carrément contre la cuisine des cuisses de grenouilles? Do you have an unusual skill? Are you involved in a charity? Have you written a book and do you want to "buzz it" here? Are you shy? Ever won a prize? Do you have a blog or site and would you like to tell us where to find you on the web?

Help me celebrate this blog milestone. In today's comments write a line or two about you... s'il vous plaît! Meantime, thank you for reading this word journal, and for helping to create a community as we move into our 16th year: one sweet and savoury word at a time.
I leave you with a picture of me and my husband which I post each year, around our anniversary. Depending on how long you've read this journal, you've seen it once or 15 times. Well, just like with learning a language, repetition is handy :-) 

Allez! Laissez-moi quelques mots et à bientôt! So go on, leave me a few words and see ya later!  

Wedding photo

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.

Jim Pearce


Like the blog.

English couple living in the Gard for 6 years and loving it


Félicitations on 15 years! Started reading when I went away to uni in England from Los Angeles 13-14 years ago...I moved to Paris after my studies and I've been here ever since!


dabbler in watercolor
Only 5 years in Paris
Still a dabbler in French
Love the little lace gloves


Bonjour Kristi,

I am a semi-retired hairdresser. I am in a French club called "Parlons Francais". We are trying to improve our french speaking skills. It is a fun club.
Congratulations on your 15th anniversary. Not sure how long I've been reading your blog, enjoy it immensely.


Happy Anniversary! I am a retired social
worker and a France and travel lover. Enjoy
your blog, but only found it
a year or so ago.

Trudy Ramirez

Congratulations on such an enduring blog and loyal readers. I’ve been reading your blog for the last few years. I’m over halfway through my second year of living in France in Uzes in the Gard.


Today is my 65th birthday! I think I've read your blog for about 10 years, recommended by my brother-in-law. I worked in Paris as an au pair and turned 20 there. I try to visit to France every other year and so still speak French pretty well. And some German, which I practice on side trips to Switzerland. I've been an editor, writer, translator, and librarian. Also a cook and gourmande.
Maine, USA

Mary Ellen Lederer

Dear Kristi,
I have been reading and sharing your blog since the publication of your forst book, Words in a French Life, a gift from one of my French students.Since then, I have been sharing my blog with my French students. I teach middle school in a private school in Princeton, New Jersey. Thanks to you, my students have grown to love your stories and they adore Smokey. Congratulations on your wonderful milestone, and I am looking forward to many more years of French-Word-a-Day! Mary Ellen Lederer


Congrats on 15 years! Have read the blog since the beginning! Live in Chicago in USA. Am a needleworker (love french boutis), quilter, gardener, love to read, and am an avid francophile. Have designed and sell french boutis beginner kits. Your blog is always delightful and fun. Mine is www.averyclaire.org.


Sixty-something US Francophile trying to not completely lose her college French language skills. Have enjoyed learning about wine-making but will now enjoy learning about beer :). Mostly enjoy reading about real lives lived in another culture, another place.

Pamela Bain

I look forward to your posts, and stories about your life in France. I am almost seventy, still working, but looking toward the next things. We adore France, all things French, and I used to dream of having an apartment somewhere in magical France. At our ages, travel is more difficult, but dreams still do.

Tonya Everley

Retired, grandmother of 2 with a third on the way, longing to get to France one day! Enjoy your writing. Thank you.


Hi been reading your marvelous stories about France since you started, built a gutted house in Agde bit by bit took about 5 years going every year for a month or more couldn't keep it up so sold it with regret. Always enjoy your literary accomplishments think you are a very talented author

Jennifer Sanderson

Bonjour, Kristin. I've been reading your blog for about 10 years. Sometimes it has been almost a 'road not taken' read, and I have savored a glimpse into your experiences. I started learning French in school 60 years ago, when I was 12. At 19, on foreign study in Caen, when traveling by train, I was asked why I had an American passport, because my language was so fluent. I rarely speak French now. Even the Alliance Francaise here is almost completely in English. I am an artist, I taught in a boys' school near Philadelphia for 30 years, and sometimes have students now. My own work is mostly pottery. You can find my studio on Facebook at Edgemoor Pottery, Kalamazoo. I don't have a website because I work mostly to commission and don't want to ship. We travel, and will be in southern France in the spring. We are planning to visit Lyon, Carcassonne, Aix en Provence, Lascaux, and the Dordogne. These will be all new places for us, except for Aix, and Cezanne's studio, when I was 19. So thanks for asking. Felicitations for your 15 year anniversaire!
Jenny Sanderson

jean Palmer

Congratulations! And thank you for your wonderful blog! I learn so much.
I have three dogs and a cat (all rescues!) and I love reading your blog! I wish I lived in France but should have moved there 50 years ago!!


Have been reading since the beginning....francophile all my life (in my 60's now) in western NC.....used to be VA and born in NO (so born a francophile i guess) wildest dreams came true when daughter met boy from Paris on semester abroad & eventually married him (great Parisian family) and now have 2 french grandbabies (now in Biarritz)...just wish we could see them more often!!


A regular breath of fresh French air downunder :) a reminder to follow up my Guiton ancestry with its connections to Huguenots around La Rochelle ... and a great-grandmother who was born in St Servan sur Mer ... will get there again one day Kristi! x G

Alyssa Eppich

I am a housewife living in Maine.
I have been reading FrenchWord-A-Day for at least ten years.
Your articles and words have helped me maintain my reading in French.
I last visited Paris and the Loire Valley in 1974. Some day I will return.......
Eh bien, j'ai deux chats et j'iaime Smokey!
OOB, Maine

Alyssa Eppich


Catherine Berry (But you are in France, Madame)

Australian born, but French at heart. Admire your honesty, sincerity and generosity towards your readers ... Huge congratulations to you on this milestone.


Hello. Many thanks for this blog, which has me laughing and crying along with you.
Just over 12 years ago, having divorced after 31 years of marriage, I found myself in the South of France having just bought a house for the first time on my OWN and not knowing a SOUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now after many ups and downs I have a very full life with lots of French friends and never enough hours in the day. Such a difference after being shunned by all my so-called friends after getting divorced in England.

Long may it continue.........................

Janet Neckyfarow

I am a retired French, Spanish, ESL teacher (NC) currently on a Viking Sea Cruise in the West Indies. I learned about your blog from a local French group so I use my French every week. I also interview in Spanish at a food pantry. I speak Italian and a little Dutch and German, too. Love your blog!

Lisa Rehm

I have been enjoying your journey for many years. I live in New Jersey. Work in NYC and today is my birthday! Cheers to you!🎉🎈


Coucou Kristi and Huge Congratulations on the 15th anniversary of your charming blog! As you, I am one-half of a Franco-American couple, splitting our time among Paris, Annecy and New York City (my hometown). JeanClaude (no hyphen) and I have met both Jean-Marc and you in NY, but on separate occasions. Together, we wish you continued inspiration and success with your blog, and with your recent move; and advise that here in the French Alps, along the shores of Lake Annecy, we have had incredibly summer-like 75 degrees F temperatures for the past two weeks.

Wonderful for the spirit, but horrible for our planet.

All the best to you and your family!


Bonjour Kristi!
Now retired, I grew up in a bilingual, Welsh-speaking environment - I later studied French and German (teaching some Welsh to a Breton during my 'stage' in France), love to dabble in any language I can - Spanish, Italian, Polish , Russian, Latin and worked for many years through the medium of British Sign Language. I'm a keen crafter and silversmith. I love your peep into French life - long may your blog continue!

Mary Eichbauer

I live near San Francisco, but spend two months or more in France every year. I work with orchestras--hiring musicians for two groups, and work in management for a third. I also play the violin. My husband and I have a son who's a journalist in the SF Bay Area. I speak French and English, some Italian, and a tiny bit of German. I enjoy reading about your life in France, and I try to write about mine, which feels a bit bifurcated. I feel caught between two worlds--friends and family in Paris and San Francisco, so many miles apart!


I’m rapidly approaching my 8th decade on the outside, but inside I’m about 30. I’ve studied 6 European languages but only speak 3 of them at all well. I love France and French and my French friends. I’ve had quite a good life by most standards and every day I try to thank God for 10 things, however small. The greatest of these is my grandchild, aged 4. I’d recommend this blog/site https://www.instagram.com/chickwithchainsaw/ for insights, nature, gifts and him. Best wishes to all my fellow readers and of course dear Kristin and all your family. I'm sending you a little "donation" in a few moments with much love and thanks for the wonderful blog.

Donna Jeanne

Hi Kristi,
I'm an almost 60 Californian with a grown son who used to travel/work in Paris which sparked my interest in your lovely country photos and blog. I know no French but sometimes would pick up a word or phrase to enjoy and so appreciate the sound recordings. Beautiful photos and descriptive writings give me a hint of another world. Thank you for sharing it and Best Wishes!


Been sharing your life for past six or seven years, when a friend found out we had started a vineyard in North Georgia Mountains and suggested your blog. Look forward to each installment! (Stonewall Creek Vineyards, Tiger, Georgia)

Margaret Phoenix

Bonjour Alyssa,

Your story struck home with me! I lived in Maine for 10 years (Midcoast area) and was also in France in 1974 during my semester in London. I finally made it back there this past June. I went for 3 weeks with my sister. I LOVED IT!! I am going back next June with students from the school where I am a librarian. And I hope to go there every year, if possible! Don't wait another moment! Start squirreling away every penny until you can get there!

As for French Word-A-Day, I seem to read in spurts! I do enjoy every episode and have done for about 12 years, I suppose. I'm a librarian in Massachusetts and am coming up on 64 years of age in November. Yikes!!

Bon courage,


Blessings on you Kristi, and all that you do, from a 77 year old cockney living on the south coast of South Africa. In my life I have learnt Latin & Greek, French, German, Russian, Swedish, Afrikaans. I have been reading your pages since 2008 and for me the treasure is that I have been encouraged to think in French once again, which has encouraged me to seek films with French dialogue.

Eileen Kelly

Hi Kristi!

I found your blog 7 years ago when I was out of work from cancer treatment. I love France and have visited it for business and pleasure several times before becoming ill. Your blog helped me "escape" from my bed and think of better times when I would go back to France! I also became acquainted with many vendors from your website! I'm still not healthy enough to contemplate a trip to France, but hope springs eternal! Number 1 on my list is a Mediterranean cruise or a stay in the Nice area!

You were a Beautiful bride! Such a beautiful couple,

Eileen from Long Island, NY


I'm 36yrs old and though I'm American (from Seneca Falls, NY - birthplace of the women's rights movement), I've been living in Italy for 6yrs. I started studying French at 13yrs old, fell in love with and married a Frenchman at 18 and decided to get my Bachelor's in French language, literature and culture at a small (at the time all-women) university, Wells College. I studied in Paris for a semester and my love for all things French blossomed while my then-husband had fallen head over heels for the American approach - and so we parted ways. Fast forward a bit...and two weeks before my 30th birthday I moved to Italy with my Italian husband. Clearly it was my destiny to live in Europe :o) I've since learned Italian and dance, teach dance, and teach English in my corner of northern Italy while working remotely for a non-profit in the Washington, DC area. While I don't have many opportunities to speak French anymore, I do love to stay connected to my passion for all things French and your blog has been keeping me connected to that part of myself for nearly 15 years! I love to follow you and your family and am sending wishes!


Kristi - Congratulations on 15 years! I've followed you from the beginning, have all of your books and met you years ago when you were speaking at Shakespeare and Company.

I'm a paralegal at a government agency in Richmond, Virginia (33+years) and lucky me, I get to travel to France twice a year (leaving Thursday for Paris).

And.....I am a not so secret admirer of Smokey!
Tish from Powhatan VA


Bonjour! I am a life long French student and veterinarian and fiber artist who lives in East Tennessee. I enjoy sharing in your life experiences - thanks so much for being so open about everything!

Sandra McHugh

Cpngratulations on an enduring and endearing blog. I speak three languages: English, French and Greek. I live in Quebec and enjoy your blog. I daydream about moving to France.

Karen Rowlands

Bonjour Kristi, and felicitations on your 15th anniversary. We will hit our 5th anniversary of living in Brittany in January. We love our adopted home, and all the lovely people we’ve met since we arrived....either through our french lessons, daily life or guests in our 2 gites.
I always seek out books written about people’s escapades/life in France, which is how I ‘met’ you.....about 6 or 7 years ago. I love hearing about your life, especially having spent our last 3 annual holidays in Provence. What a beautiful place to live!
Keep sharing your stories please, and again.....Congratulations 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Danielle Crouse

I live on a farm in the Free State province of South Africa, with my farmer partner and my two very small and very wonderful children. I lived in France as a child (my mother, an artist, had a residency in Paris), and in Rwanda as a working adult (I work, very broadly, in strategy consulting), and have all but lost my once-almost-fluent French - there are not a whole lot of French-speakers in South Africa's corn-country to practice with. I love reading your blogs out loud as a way of keeping my tongue acquainted with French shapes, and like checking in on your comings and goings. Thank you.


33 years old British yoga teacher living in france with my Californian husband and our boys. Been following your touching stories since I moved here. Usually with a cup of tea and a rare quiet moment, it's such a pleasure! Thank you sharing, and congratulations:))

Mary, Atlanta, GA USA

I found/started reading your blog/emails in mid-2008. We had just moved back to the States after living in France for 2.5 yr (working there.) Your stories keep me connected to a life in France that I found filled my soul. Often times when you write about an experience in a village, or specific foods, etc. I then make an effort to find and embrace something similar in the U.S. We really do have some fine regional/traditional foods that rarely make it out to the rest of the country. This year we did NM and AZ. So I enjoyed and brought home, from your home state of NM, chimayo chile powder, piñons, coffee, hatch chiles, so sopapilla mix, etc and all the wonderful dishes made with these regional ingredients that are unknown to many in the U.S. Next year we are doing the IL, MN, WI.

Your emails are always a bright spot in my busy work work. Thank you.


I’m a mom of six from Salt Lake City, Utah. I started follow the blog about a year and a half ago, when I returned to teaching French after an 18 year break. Love it and your book and the wedding picture is adorable!


I live in a small town in Virginia with my husband, 3 dogs, and 12 cats. I found your blog years and years ago after I lived in Paris for much of 2001. Of course, everything French interests me, as does your life, Kristi. Thank you for sharing it with us! Much love to you and your family. xxxx

Lori Hillegas

Bonjour Kristi! Congratulations on your 15th year!! I have been with you very nearly that long I would guess but I am a fly on the wall, reading your stories without a peep. I love them and watching you guys approach life rather fearlessly I must say.

I'm a single mom to a twelve year old daughter (which, let's face it, requires fearlessness as well) living in the suburbs of Louisville, KY. We have a tight bond peppered with sarcasm. We just returned from France last week. I was happy to discover that she loves it as much as I do! Did you know that French boys are soooo much cuter than American boys? sigh.

Bravo Kristi! Thank you for enriching our lives with your dedicated posts!


I have been reading your blog for at least 10 years. We travel to France about once a year. This year we were in Guadaloupe—formidable! We have friends all over France (one family lives near you in La Cardière). Some of our friends are associated with my husband’s profession—medicine, some with his hobbies of hunting and fishing, and some because they knew my dad when he was a soldier on the Western Front in WWII.

I am a fluent speaker of French and a former children’s author. I didn’t realize any of my books had been translated into French until a friend in Poitiers told me her then 7 year old son was reading one of them at school!
And yes, like another of your readers, your blog is sometimes about “the road not taken” for me. Thank you for sharing.


Bonjour Kristi
I have been following your blog for quite awhile maybe 10 years or so. I first lived in France at 15 when I spent a school year there with a few friends from the small Ohio town where I grew up. I have deeply loved France ever since and lived in Paris for awhile after college. I also lived in Switzerland where I learned German. I have lived in India as well. A few years shy of 70, I have been living in California for many years. I love to travel and usually travel to Europe and France every 2 years. But when I am not there I usually feel a strong inner yearning to return. I have read a ton of books about people moving to France!
My whole life has pretty much been consumed by spiritual pursuits and I have been deeply involved for the last 8 plus years I qigong and life cultivation.
Elaine San Rafael, California

Kerry Ann

Hi! I am an American living in Canada for 5 years now. My husband is French Canadian . I am 67 and really struggle with the French language. I am been your fan for several years now.

Eleanor Cartwright

Congratulations Kristi and merci mille fois for your honesty and tenacity in print! I found the blog about the time we started looking for a maison secondaire with a group of friends in 2003. When we finally settled in Faucon in 2005 I was delighted to find that Rouge Bleu was just down the road. I remember fondly the day you and J-M came to lunch and seeing him again in Charlottesville at the wine dinner. Best wishes to you and your beautiful family in this next adventure. Because that's what life is!

Catherine Polinard Rawdon

I love your blog.
Dallas, TX

Luisa V.

I started following your blog when I was taking French lessons years ago. It remains a lovely window into your family & friend’s
Mediterranean lifestyle. My heritage is Italian but I also love Spain & France and dream to spend more time there. I care for my elderly mother so I can sympathize & enjoy your own mother. We’re all doing the best we can. Amicalement!!

Kathy Sabatier

My husband and I (ages 74 & 69) are on a great retirement adventure. Having sold our house, and obtained French Cartes Séjours, we are now traveling full time and blogging about it (nomadsineurope.com). I enjoy reading and learning from your blog. Keep up the good work!
Kathy Sabatier

Ann Rhodes

I am a painter who travels to Provence each summer (with another of your faithful readers) to paint and photograph. We work from that experience all year. With your kind permission, I have painted from your photographs as well.

Teresa Person

Hi, congrats on your blog... an American friend introduced me to your blog several years ago... have been trying to teach myself French for many years... I’m an interior designer retired.... but full time artist.... painting animal portraits mostly ... but other things as well... still life,waterscapes, and landscapes... I’m on Instagram... under the name Sprucemesa... I think we have conversed a time or two on that.... always enjoy your posts...Thank you, Teresa


Bonjour, Kristi!
Felicitations! 15 years of blogging quite an achievement. My wife and I have been reading your blog for I-don't-know-how-many-years. We are avid travelers and your blog is one of the ways we try to maintain our French language skills.


A trip to France -took me down the road to all things French. Your book-took me to your blog. Your blog keeps me tuned to all things French-but with your American insight. Your insight-your writings-your photos brings out why
so many of us love hearing from you weekly via our inboxes......continue with all your wonderful talents & bring that joy to those who love to have that France in our lives.


Congratulations on the anniversary! More importantly, congratulations on all your successes in life..and thank you for sharing them with your readers, including me almost since the beginning. I've been reading your story for all these years without ever replying back to you, though I've thought of it often. You've shared such personal experiences ..ones of fun, and joy, and also ones of sadness and hard choices. My life, and your readers' lives, have come through life's joys and sorrows as well, and I've often felt a kinship with you and admiration for your dedication. To your writing, yes. But to your family and friends, your readers and yourself. Heartfelt thanks for sharing your life and enriching mine.

I've raised my 3 children, been divorced and remarried, traveled (often to France.. Grambois and Bonnieux are favorites) had a couple careers and am thinking of retirement. I've loved my family and friends, and my dogs, too. You've experienced life's joys and challenges,, and you've shared your life with me. So congratulations on a life so far well lived. I hope to share many more years with you!

Sharon from Minneapolis

Eileen deCamp

Bonjour Kristi and Congratulations on 15 years! I have enjoyed your blog since 2006? and I have forgotten how I found you but so glad I did! I've always loved French and France and studied the language in HS but have not mastered it. I found that I got so much better at the language when we lived in Brussels and I could use French every day!

Wishing you many more years blogging and enjoying life in France!

Eileen in Charlottesville, VA....by the way...HELLO to Eileen in Long Island, NY! :-)


Bonjour Kristi,
I've been reading and enjoying your stories for about 7 years I'd guess. I'm an American who has now lived half my life in England. I go to a French class, Wine appreciation class and belong to a book group. I love to travel, and France is by far my favorite country to visit. In about a month I'll be traveling to California to celebrate my 80th birthday with my family.

Amicalement, Susan

Valerie Porter


I was turned on to your website because we took our family (10 people!) to France for the first time this past summer and wanted to know everything we could about the area (Provence, particularly the Luberon valley). Doing our research, we found this delightful blog. A hundred years ago I taught elementary French, and have so enjoyed your blog here. I read your book, Words in a French Life, and enjoyed that as well. Thank you for taking the time to record your family speaking, to think clearly about great words to share, and to write about your life. Now that we have been to Robion, we don't want to go anywhere else!!!! We are spoiled. Thanks from Pittsburgh, PA!

Guy Hibbert

Congratulations Kristi! I've been enjoying your writing since first moving to France in 2003. Your blog is an inspiration and always a joy to read. You are a super talented writer and I am so pleased you continue to write our Le Dernier Mot column for France Today.

I lift a glass to French Word-a-Day and wish you bon courage and here's to many more years.


Guy (Publisher, Editor, Writer. 60)

Adeline Richarson Reunion Island

I am 56. I am from mainland France (from Seine & Marne, the Brie country, near Disney!) and I have been married to a Reunionese for 33 years. We've been living here in Reunion Island since 2004. This is a beautiful tropical island, 250 miles west of Mauritius. We have a 31-year-old son, living here too with his girlfriend. My husband and I are delighted new grand-parents : our first grand-son was born on Aug. 15 this year ! I teach business English to young adults attending sandwich courss trainings. My husband is a realtor and a local magistrate.

I've been reading your blog for years now and I do thank you for sharing your life with us all. My warmest congratulations on this 15th anniversary, Long life to your blog!

Tracy Downing-McDermott

Congratulations! My husband and I have been reading your lovely blog for over 10 years; since the days when he was a registered nurse and I worked in market research and we could only dream about visiting France. We are retired now and attend weekly French Club meetings and housesit all around the world. Thanks to your inspiring blog, we've made many trips to France and have tasted the sweet French life through our Housesitting hobby.


Felicitations! I followed you through your difficult decision to leave your beloved vineyard and dreams, You had the courage to accept that it was time to make the lifestyle change. I bought my dream farm at the same time you moved to yours. I now face the same decision and your bravery is helping me. Your comment about starting out to do one chore and then doing 8 other chores but not getting the intended one accomplished was me looking into a mirror. Oh yes and the weeds... thank you for your insights and passion.

Melissa Strait

Bonjour Kristi ét Jean-Marc!
Félicitations sur votre anniversaire important! I’ve been reading your blog since the very beginning! I am a 60-ish Francophile who spins, dyes, & knits (yarn, btw). I don’t get to use the French language much, so ma pratique est la lecture à haute voix votre blog en Français à moi-même. I do get to speak it very occasionally with customers in my store.
I must say your blog has brought me much joy (and a little sadness...cuz life). Your children and mari are wonderful people. Someday, when I’m able, I would love to take y’all out for dinner & much conversation!
Thanks ever so much for your continued writing...

Judi Wallner

Hi Kristi, I came to France for the first time when I was 19 and on a student tour of Europe. It was love at first sight and I longed to live there. I would frequently propose a move to my husband and he was never going for it. Fortunately life blessed me when I asked my dear sweet husband #2...he said sure and in 2000 off we went and bought a house in the countryside near Limoux, (near Carcassonne). The village is called Castelreng...when we arrived we were the only foreigners and the mayor brought us up on stage at the fete du village to welcome us. You’ve heard many tales of buying and remodeling...ours was the same. A number of years, much hard work and two tons of concrete to produce our beauty of a house. Three years ago we had the opportunity to buy a 14th c. house on the river Aude in town. It was owned by the King of Aragon and part of the original Limoux city wall. This time a dear friend had totally remodeled it so all we’ve had to do was enjoy. In the winter we live in Carmel CA so it’s a lovely life for a couple of retired high school sweethearts who met again by chance.... I’ve been reading your blog for more years than I can remember and so do my cadre of French student friends. I appreciate not only your language and writing skills but most of all your honesty and genuineness in sharing the special details of life that are often so meaningful and universal. Wishing you and your family many blessings and happiness.
Judi Wallner Chandler

Betsy Begue

I lived in the Alsace for five years, where I became enamored with cartonnage as a way to fit into life in France. I now teach French cartonnage workshops across the US. Your adventures remind me of my days in France. Merci!

Mary Ann Boysen

I have been saving your blogs for over 10 years and love that you share your life with others.
I am a somewhat "retired" professional watercolorist, and have a website that shows some of my work and has FREE watercolor lessons (about 32) that aspiring artists can use in their pursuit of a painting career.
It is www.maboysen.com/. It is soon to be redesigned because my son says it is "out of date", but I seem to get lots of traffic anyway. My paintings are also featured on www.maryann-boysen.fineartamerica.com/ where people can order prints in many sizes.
I am currently busy with crafts for the Children's Guild of Cleveland (OH), and we have an extensive website showing our "Creations" that we sell each year to benefit children's agencies in the Greater Cleveland area. So creativity is my passion. I can't sit and do nothing. Always creating. That is my passion.

Patricia Sands

Joyeux anniversaire! How sweet to hear Jackie's message from back in the day. Did I ever tell you that our seven grown children and their families, including our seven grandchildren, are the reasons we don't move permanently to France? Merci mille fois for sharing your delightful musings with us for so long. Please don't ever stop! Bises


I loved your references to Wells College! I was there in 1965 for a summer Institut of Langue et Culture! Met some of the best teachers I ever had in my life. This was the beginning of the new wave of FL teaching and we were on the ground floor. Happy Life!

Rob T

I am a 52-year-old (at least for another two days) unemployed healthcare finance professional living in Virginia with my wife of nearly 32 years and three of our six children (the other three are out of the house, with two married and one getting married the day after Thanksgiving. We have three grandsons. Our first trip to France was eight years ago, and we have visited a second time about six years ago. We love the people, the food, the art and the beauty of the language.

Lynda House

Hi Kristi, I live with my aged spaniel in the New Forest in Southern England. We enjoy lovely walks every day in our beautiful surroundings. My son and 2 grandchildren live close by. I am retired from my main job and dabble in property renovation.

The most important things in my life are family, friends, health and home. I try to work on all of these things every day and ruthlessly eliminate everything that is not important to me, so that I have time for the key things in my life.

I am with Jean Marc on his wanting to celebrate special occasions with great gusto ..... and plenty of wine!
I have been dipping into your French Word a Day for some years now and feel I know you and your family very well!

I hope you and Jean Marc are feeling at home in your new home and moving forward in this new chapter of your life with optimism and joy.


Gail L from AZ

I've been following your blog for nearly 10 years. Had the wonderful privilege of joining you and your sister, Heidi, at a meet up and hike for your readers here in Phoenix, AZ!! Finally able to visit Paris and Normandy in 2012. Love the occasional glass of wine, gardening and all things French. Have two of your books (need to get the newest one). Raised 5 children, have 2 grandchildren and another just announced on the way. Ancestors on my grandmothers side were Huguenots. My dad named my sister and I after names he had heard in his French class in high school. I dearly hope to return to France one day. In the meantime, I love reading of your life there. Thank you so much for lowing us to share and discover France in countless ways!

Marcia Stoub

I am a retired grandmother from Minneapolis, Minnesota and besides traveling I love hanging out with my grandchildren.
I love “words”.... no matter if they are in poetry form or blog form or just a vocabulary list I love the written word.
Thank you for sharing your gift of “words” !!


Gail L from AZ



I'm an Acadian from south Louisiana who's first language was "Cajun" French.
Love your blog, French conversation tables, arts and crafts, and reading. Enjoy seeing France through your words and eyes! Congratulations and merci.


Trudy, are you in touch with Deborah Bone of Barefoot Blogger? She's an American expat living in Uzès. She's also on Facebook.

Randy and Debbie

We are an Amerocan couple in our late 60's currently living in Tucson. We just sold our old dutch barge which we lived on in France for seven years with a home port of Roanne, Rhone Alpes. We have been reading your blog for about 14 years. We attended your first book reading at the American Library in Paris (and brought you some Mexican chocolate for encouragement). Congratulations.

Diane Arnold

Congratulations, Kristin! I'm a retired art teacher & busy artist in Houston, Texas. I've been reading your blog almost from the beginning. We visit friends in France every few years & love discovering its culture & geography. I also recently discovered that you have a connection with French Country Wines in Houston. I have to check it out! Diane Arnold

Kyle James

Congratulations on the impressive milestone. I am a 51-year-old who has finally made the move to a French-speaking country after studying the language on-so-many years ago in college. Have kept it up, though, and happy to be able to use it daily now. I'm now in Marseille, just down the coast from you. So maybe we'll run into each other one of these days. Keep up the writing!

Rob T

My youngest daughter’s name is Adeline!

Mariette Tipton

Congratulations on 15 years! At age 15 I spent a summer in Nice studying French. I spent my first career as a special education teacher. I love traveling and have returned to France many times for short visits. I started my own travel agency; Great Getaways Travel 6 years ago and now I love sending other people on great vacations all over the world!!
I love reading your journal to follow your life living in France!
[email protected]

Rob T

Oh, and we live in a French style house that was designed by a professor of architecture for his French professor wife. It was a second marriage for both after their previous spouses had died, and quite a romantic story.

Ruth K. Hartz

Felicitaations Kristi! I remember meeting you in Ste Cecile 7 years ago and have been reading your blogs for over 10 years.
We just came back from France and ended up in Aix-en-Provence and actually flew back from Marseille.
I was raised and educated in France and started my early childhood near Albi as a hidden Jewish child. My memoir "Your Name Is Renee" Tu T'appelles Renee" is still in print and widely used in the US.
I am now a proud grandmother of seven wonderful children and also devote my life teaching about prejudice, discrimination and tolerance.
Bonne continuation et chaleureuses amities,
Ruth K. Hartz


Hi, Kristi! I'm a 28-year old attorney from Atlanta, Georgia. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in January. I love all things French! I briefly lived in Provence twice--the first time in Saint-Raphael the summer I was 17 and the second time in Aix during the fall semester of my junior year of college. I cannot wait to visit again some day. In the meantime, reading your blog helps take me back! :)

Gael Armstrong

Happy 15th!!!! I'm an American Francophile in Nashville, TN. I don't speak French, only the very basics. I do however speak English with a great French accent... at least I think it's great! I m lucky enough to have been to France twice. I have even been to your house!!!! In 2010, we were in Provence, staying in a house in Senas, and our house manger set up a wine tour with Jean Marc. We had a wonderful time!

Be well, happy and keep blogging!!I am loving your new adventures on the coast.



Happy anniversary on the blog. I found it in 09 after reading your book. I originally was a chef and though I still dabble at times I turned firefighter/paramedic 16 yrs ago. I love to travel and learn.


Congratulations, Kristi, on 15 years of improving our French, but more than that, giving us a glimpse of your Provencal life. I am so happy that a friend and I met you and Jean-Marc several years ago at your former home. You are as delightful in person as in your blog. Also, I love to read about Jules, your beautiful mom.

I was a French major in college, spent six months in Paris trying to perfect my French. (Key word: trying!) I lived with the head trainer at the Opera Garnier and his wife (it was the only opera at the time). It was the experience of a lifetime. I watched many operas from his "box," met famous vocalists, and was accepted into the family as a daughter rather than an "au pair." I spoke only French, as I was with only French people. Several years later, I went back and traveled around Europe with this beloved couple. Was I surprised to find out he spoke fluent English!!! He just didn't want me to be able to revert to English. We remained friends until the end of their lives. I have many letters, all written in French, of course, all of which are treasures.

I have been back to France over a dozen times. But it will never be enough, however many trips I take.


I'm a 58-yr old lifelong French student with dreams of retiring in France. I have an educational website for other students to give them rules and tricks for determining the gender of French nouns based on their endings (and there are plenty of tricks!) www.frenchgender.com


I found this blog and began reading about 13 years ago in my high school French class. I fell in love with the language and culture and finally made it to Paris last year. I cannot wait to return and continuing exploring this beautiful country!


Bonjour ~
I'm a little "Junker" from Okoboji, Iowa. I have traveled to France several times and still can not get enough of it. Kristine we love your blog, family and energy in life. Happy 15th Anniversary ~ keep up your wonderful spirit and lovely blogs. Salute ~ to more fun blogs to come!

Dave Kapsiak

Felicitations! i have enjoyed your blog for years. I am a 70 year old retiree and confirmed Francophile and somewhat Francophone, about to embark on my 6th visit to Paris. I live in Oakland, California, but consider France my second home. Although not likely, it would be lovely to meet you and Jean-Marc some day. As we used to say in the 60's- "keep on keeping on". Please give Smokey a big hug for me.

Carmen Clarke

J'etais 'fan' depuis la naissance de 'French Word a Day.' Bravo et bon courage, Kristi et Jean-Marc!


I have been enjoying your site for I'm not sure exactly how many years, at least ten probably. I speak Spanish and Japanese, and in my adulthood have been working on French and Norwegian. In my retirement I hope to cycle around to all of the languages, but the focus now is on Norwegian, where we will travel again next year. I enjoy the stories of your family, including your sweet dog!


Congratulations on 15 years! Love reading about your life and adventures in France. I've been reading for many years, maybe 10ish? I write for children, blog, love taking photos, and chase my grands all over the place. I've been to Paris twice, but that is not enough! So much France, so little opportunity to explore...

Norman Silbert

I have been reading your blog for at least 12 years and love the insights into French life. I am an interpreter and live in Israel. I speak Hebrew English French German and Dutch and until my retirement 3 years ago I worked for the US embassy in Tel Aviv. I now freelance as a translator and volunteer in an elementary school tutoring English to children who need extra help learning the language. Keep up your great work!


Congratulations on your 15 year anniversary. I am 56 years old, retired a few months ago from a lifetime of office assistant jobs, lived in Texas my whole life, have been to France 5 times starting in 1998 when I fell completely in love with Paris. I am now looking after my elderly dad. And I have really enjoyed reading your blog and books for several years.

Deb Locke

Congratulations on 15 years of your charming anecdotes, useful French lessons, generous sharing of your insights and challenges, and lovely photographs. I believe I've been following from near the beginning of "French Word-a-Day" and was fortunate enough to find ourselves living near you and Jean-Marc as you opened your winery and many bottles of Rouge-Bleu for us and our visiting friends (even to a day of picking grapes and photographing the harvest and pressing! A very special experience.)

As you know, we are now retired and seasonal nomads in the U.S., living and travelling in our RV, and I especially cherish your "Likes" on my Facebook page when I post photos from Arizona! I hope our paths will cross again soon, when we migrate seasonally to our beloved "La Trouvaille" in Sablet. Felicitations, Kristi!


Félicitations Kristi et merci pour ce blog. I studied in France for a year while in college and almost married a Frenchmen. Instead, I live in Alaska and teach French - and ski, of course. Last June my students and I traveled to Provence, Paris, and the Loire. We've also gone to Martinique. In the future, I'd like to have a Bed & Breakfast on Maui, welcoming French travelers.

Georgia Howe

HI Kristi, I discovered your blog three years ago when I was making plans to spend a month in Provence. I studied at the Sorbonne in 1956-57 and had wanted to do that ever since. I stayed in Maussane les Alpilles, a small village, so that (I hoped) there would be fewer tourists and I'd have a better chance to use my French. It worked and it was a wonderful experience. I'm now in my 81st year and continue to enjoy working on my French and "living"in France, vicariously, by following your family's life. Thank you for sharing it. I'll send a donation in honor of your anniversary. Congratulations!


Hi Kristi,

I've been reading your wonderful blog and occasionally commenting for years. I'm a writer who lives on an island an hour and a half north of Seattle. Fifteen years--I can hardly believe it! Thanks for brightening my days, and keep it up!

Dawn Patelke

Bonjour, Kristi. Feliciations! Retired band and choral director who returned to studying French after so many years away from it while working, with aims of becoming fluent, secrétaire of AF Knoxville, TN.

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