"Donner le meilleur de soi-même" + urban winemakers Fabienne & Lukas Vollmy in Marseille's historic Panier
Today is Armistice Day. Share about a Veteran.

Ristourne & Ristourner + Name something good that is free

Cassis france
I don't have a story to go with today's word. Tout simplement, I learned it Friday night on the backstreets, or les ruelles, of Cassis. About a hundred steps from the old port, Jean-Marc and I were dining with another couple when the word ristourne popped up in conversation. Here's what it means, followed by a few photos on this quiet Wednesday. First, please visit today's sponsor:

High quality vacation rental in the heart of Provence. Recommended by readers. Click here for photos

une ristourne

    : a discount, a reduction, a price knock-off


Listen to today's word in the following sentencee, read by Jean-Marc

L'amour n'est pas une dette à rembourser, il ne fait pas de crédit, il n'accepte pas les ristournes. - Federico Moccia
Love is not a debt to repay, it does not issue a credit, it does not accept rebates. 

Smokey and clown at circus
While out on a walk with Smokey...we visited the dog designated beach. After a swim, we stopped by the circus, which was passing through town.

Telephone booth repurposed book lending giving library golden retriever smokey and kristi
One of my favorite free pasttimes, besides walking with Smokey, is to stop by this old telephone booth that has been repurposed into a street library! The shelves are made of wooden crates, and the pickings are slim, but the books are ever changing! Part of the fun is to see what's new each time we pass by. The same two dozen used books are there--with several new ones exchanged into the mix...

Messegue herbier sante
Here is the first free book I scored! It is loaded with beautiful color illustrations of plants and their healing properties, which is right up my alley!

More books by the famous French herbalist, Maurice Mességué:

Way to Natural Health and Beauty

Of People and Plants: Autobiography of Europe's Most Celebrated Healer

Maillard and Millet Trigonometrie classe de mathematiques
Admittedly, trigonometry is less up my alley...but just look at this cool book cover!

Le ronfleur apprivoise petite encyclopedie pratique

 Quelle trouvaille! What a find--and just in the nick of time! A book all about snoring. I'm hoping there will be some good tips in here so that when I fly to the States, in December, I do not keep all 300+ passengers on the plane awake! There is no way to do chambre à part in this high-elevation situation. 

Thanks, Polly-Vous Français, for pointing out the book's cover drawing is by Sempé

Smokey and the churros van

Name some of the good things in life that are free. I would love to read your ideas and be inspired by your words.

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Jens from Copenhagen

We also have 'ristourne' in Danish spelled 'ristorno' meaning drawback (if you have paid for something - an insurance for instance - for a whole year and have to cancel before time; then you'll get a 'ristorno').


I live in the part of South Africa known as the Garden Route and my favourite freeby is to stand in an unspoilt location and marvel at the diversity of plants in just one square metre.

Audrey Wilson

My view of Le Canigou (sacred mountain of the Catalans) every time I go out . Ever changing moods & colours & always guarding our valley .

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,

Love the photo of Mr. Smokey....is he thinking about joining the circus! haha

I was thinking of a chambre à part last night when I heard thundering snoring coming from the other side of the bed!


There is nothing quite as enjoyable, therapeutic, cleansing . . . and FREE . . . as a good hike in the mountains in the Fall. To me, that is.

Brenda Prowse

Bonjour Kristi,
My jogging route which is about 5k varies but it is free! Sometimes I pass au bord de la Seine and cross Île aux Cygnes, sometimes I make a sweep through the Tuileries but always enjoy the sights along the way. Giving my hardworking friend and coiffeuse a shoulder massage is free for her and gratifying for me. Thank you for a lovely post and sweet photos. Bisous


Bonjour, Kristie,
Because I live on the west coast of Florida the most wonderful thing I get for free is a beautiful sunset 🌅 almost every evening. We watch for the green flash as le soleil dips into the gulf, but I have yet to see it. Kristi, thank you for your dedication to this blog, especially through all your trials and tribulations over the past few years. You are truly an inspiration!

Suzanne Codi

A wonderful swim in a pool or preferably a beautiful sea or ocean, or a walk in the woods with a dog are my favorite free things to do!

Kristin Espinasse

De rien, Jeanne! Thank you for your lovely words. And I will now search for the green flash, too! I had never heard about that before.

Nancy Stilwagen

One thing you can always get for free is advice! And here is mine to you: See a doctor about the snoring. You may consider it just an annoyance, but it can actually lead to health issues: cognitive decline, heart palpitations, and other oxygen-deprivation caused issues. The most common therapy here in the US is a CPAP machine, which makes sure you don't stop breathing for too long. I am curious as to what the French medical approach is.

Mary Jo

I've stayed at this home in Sablet and can recommend it fully!

Gus Coulton

In September we stayed in Albi, in the small park in the center there were free dog poo bags available. Very helpful for a forgetful dog owner.

Suzanne Dunaway

Love in in you, free, and all you need is to let it out--free it! The moon, the sun, the earth you often walk upon without being charged a fee! Hmmm...let's see, listening to a musician under a window is free. Air is free. Good smells of pasta sauce bubbling or anything else for that matter, all are free. A look of your child that warms your heart, that is free. I think I'd better stop and not take up so much space.....


Freebies: great museums and art galleries in my two cities, London and Washington, D.C.


Walking somehwre beautiful and taking it all in..and clicking away:)
I love those free bookstands we have some cute ones too..Tu es si jolie!


The Staten Island ferry. With a great view up close of the Statue of Liberty.


One of my favorite things about San Miguel de Allende is striking up a conversation with someone in a cafe or a rooftop bar on on a bench in th Jardin. It’s free and while often the conversations only lastminutes, sometimes they lead to wonderful, long term friendships. 🇫🇷❤️🇲🇽


We'd heard about the green flash all our lives. We were talking about it with friends while sitting on a beach of Lake Michigan as the sun sank into the lake. None of the 8 of us had ever seen it. And low and behold, there it was! Later that same summer we saw another one.

So keep looking. You never know. The dog beach on Lake Michigan in Muskegon is free, and so is the sunset.

I love the "free" hello and goodbye one gets and gives in shops here in France. So many of these every day. It's uplifting.

Another free thing I like is free time (a different definition of "free").

Patricia Sands

Love this post, Kristi, and everything you share with all of us so freely! But my free addiction is photography ... the freedom to capture moments, share them and return to enjoy them forever. *click*


A loud, long, cleansing thunderstorm.

And what do I WISH were free? Going to Provence!!!!


The View of the Vancouver Mountains with a dusting of fresh snow. I never stop appreciating the beauty of the city I live in and the fresh air I get to breathe . Two very large eagles sitting on top of the Totem Pole at the beach yesterday - also admiring the view - now that is a gift of beauty !! How lucky am I.

Judith Dunn

..... I have never charged for a portrait I have taken of anyone. Nurseries , with jillions of plants are free. Each new day is a free gift from God, to be used wisely as we are alloted just so many. Saying 'I forgive you' and 'I am sorry' should always be freely given. Lastly, 'freedom isn't free' is one of my favorites, just because it INS'T FREE! All pay a price for this, each in their own way. I am off to have lunch with a new friend and I am sure the chatter will 'freely flow'! J. Dunn


Imagination, long walks and laughter. Thank you for starting my day so beautifully.

Valerie Meluskey

You can see that green flash in Key West...it's thrilling in a sweet heavenly gesture from Mother Nature!

St. Jivago

Favorite free thing in Paris!!! When I visit Paris, I can get plenty of free walking exercise by spending either Saturday, Sunday or Monday at the marché aux puces at St.-Ouen in the north of Paris. Starting at the Vernaison market at the entrance at rue des Rosiers where you can see lots of small collectibles and treasures, you then proceed up the street where there are other markets on both sides of the street and then at the end you find the Serpette and Paul Bert markets where you can find paintings, furniture and some museum quality items. And yes, I have visited there without spending one franc or euro and then at other times I have bought thousands of dollars worth of vintage luggage to add to my travel collectibles archives.

Valerie Meluskey

[sorry, can't post unless I reply to someone else...]

Dear Kristi, All of us cherish your free blog! Thank you for your freely given sharing!
I love hearing Marc say the words: Love is not a debt to repay, it does not issue a credit, it does not accept rebates, in the beautiful French language.
And, Messegue, I bought his beautiful book probably 40 years ago--brilliant.
Snoring? Try adjusting the angle of your head and neck (gently) until you can easily breathe into the back of your throat before you fall asleep. And, use a pillow to prop your head so that pressure is taken off your neck. Yoga wise, the "best" sleep posture is to lie on your left side. Experiment until your sleep is blissful.

Nancy Paull

Bird feeders. I love ❤️ sitting in my screened porch and watching the visitors to my bird feeder just on the other side of the screen. Blue Jays, Cardinals, a variety of tinies(sparrow types), even a Woodpecker and of course....squirrels. A few seeds spilled out, and now I have what I think is corn or millet growing at the foot of the feeder. Endless enjoyment. And free....but for the seeds.

Don Read

A free thing in Oakland, CA: walks in Redwood Regional Park - a mountain experience minutes from our city house.

Leslie NYC

I like to play the lottery a couple of times a year. If I won,I tell myself, I would live a life of luxury—walking and observing the world around me, sitting for hours with a good book, gardening, looking at art, seeing more of my friends. That would be grand, but my fantasy acrually costs nothing.

Judi in Lake Balboa

One day I hope to visit your beautiful city - maybe we’ll sit across from one another and have a great and ‘free’ conversation!

Judi in Lake Balboa


Judi in Lake Balboa

I love that phone box repurposed as a free book lending station! You are looking as beautiful as ever! There are so many free gifts in the world. I am most grateful for my eyesight, as there is just so much to see that is beautiful, Large like the pyramide and small like a drop of water falling in a pond. I am a perpetual ‘see-er’! Probably why I take thousands of photos wherever I go, still a bit regretful I didn’t take one of you and me in that Paris tea shop - but the free and good memory is still there!


The best gift from someone who snores is the LectroFan micro sound machine. So tiny and lets you get a good nights sleep.


Quite simply - beautiful dawns and beautiful sunsets. Nature excels in many good things in life that are free.

Andrea Hughes

Lately, I appreciate the cloud patterns in the sky! I never tire gazing up at the sky and searching, whether it's at sunset, sunrise or as a storm is forming. The colors and shapes are infinite and mesmerizing!

Julie Farrar

Reading! Grateful for public libraries.

Cheryl Chenery

Just yesterday I spent the day rambling around part of Sydney’s foreshores. Some happy hours with memorable views. The colour sky and the water can do not return feeling of utter bliss.


Our dear Kristi,
Your always wonderful post and sweet pictures of dear Smokey wrapped themselves around my heart;exactly the brightness I needed today as our cherished four pawed
Yorkie daughter,Lissy,is on the operating table having her eye removed--due to an infection from an ulcerated cornea caused by her diabetes.
Of all the wonderful things in life,love is right there at the top of the list,along with faith and hope.Jean-Marc's statement is so true.
Thank you for sharing it with us.
Natalia Xo

Diana Sandberg

A friend of mine in Oregon said they saw the green flash during the recent eclipse - it went all around the horizon at the same time!

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Today's bright deep blue autumn sky above the crisp golden light of a chilly afternoon, And the very freshclear air in this space between Niagara Falls and Lake Ontario: joy! And of course, an entire trio of new pics of Smokey-Dokey to warm my heart. Thanks, as ever, K and J-M!

jean Palmer

Love this! How very right you are. I am grateful everyday for the books, audiobooks from my public library. What a gift the library is.

jean Palmer

I so appreciate what you write about, Kristi, your insight and love of so many special people and what you visit and enjoy! Thank you so much. I so wish I had visited France so much more, but life interferes, eh? My next life, haha. Please stay well!


Oh what fabulous responses and tips! Love, laughter, nature. :)


Here in Chicagoland the fall leaves have been spectacular this week, against a clear blue sky. That has been my free joy as I go about daily life. I also love the Free Little Libraries that pop up here and there. One day I hope to sponsor one myself.


This afternoon, the view of an adult make bobcat in the meadow in front of my house was free. He was beautiful,with tufted ears and a spotted face. He casually walked around and then headed up the road, for which my aging house cat was thankful! - Janet

Jan Hersh

I love the freedom of my imagination.

Cynthia Lewis

Do you remember the song: "The World Belongs To Everyone, The Best Things In Life Are Free"? The many beautiful suggestions by readers of FWAD made me think of this long forgotten (by me) song. Thank you, Kristi and Jean-Marc.

Anne Umphrey

Watching my big old black lab, Chance, play with my black cat, Jack gives me much free pleasure. They mouth each other, pretend to chew on each others paws and push each other around. A wiggly pile of black fur and fun.


Like Mike, above, I live in South Africa and in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town, where there are countless experiences and things, all for free - but I treasure the shooting star I saw just last night, truly memorable, it was large and low and it shot across the Twelve Apostles Mountains for a deceptively endless amount of time - it had a big sparkling head and a long tail like something out of the movies - I was open-mouthed, and completely charmed - it was magical and free! I’m counting my lucky stars.

Gwen Jacobson

We have a registered Little Free Library in our Gurley Lane neighborhood in Mendocino, CA. It is a wonderful resource and brings a closeness to our neighborhood. Don't wait - start one!


Great score Kristi: Mon herbier de santé. Probably a collector's piece.
I was lucky to get his books when I was in Provence last (1987!).
Maurice Mességué only just passed away in June.

Kristin Espinasse

Our chère Natalia,

May all these lovely images of what is free in life... be a room full of flowers surrounding your dear Lissy after her operation. An outpouring of love and support is another something free ☀️. May it lift you, Rod, and dear Lissy, too 💛💛

Catrin Davies

Just picked up a book from the free book box in Faverges here in the Alps. Today it was 'Trois Contes' by Flaubert, so that will be quite challenging! As you say Kristi, there are always gems to find.
Other free pleasures? Autumnal trees are among my favourites and fresh air out in the beautiful campagne.

Kathleen from Connecticut

Free are the autumn colors which are surrounding us right now juxtaposed against the blue sky with cumulus clouds drifting by. The beach on which we can walk and breathe in the ocean air.



Kristi, I loved looking at the snapshots from your walk with Smokey. I especially enjoyed reading about the telephone booth that has become a street library. In Canada and the U.S., Little Free Libraries have popped up in many charming locations in the recent years (https://littlefreelibrary.org/) and this reminds me of that concept. I have contributed books to the library in the past, and have picked up a couple of gems from what had been left there previously. These days, my favourite gifts are from my garden, which we are trying out in NZ for the first time. The kale and spinach are abundant, and we get to enjoy the odd strawberry, as we only planted four strawberry plants. Our first little courgette is growing nicely, as is one tomato plant that appears to be thriving. A few others are not as lucky, and I'm trying to work out the reason for that. Nevertheless, I'm enjoying the process of watching it grow. Oh! Oh! Also, in the past couple of days, our family has been enjoying watching thousands of tiny praying mantis insects hatch from the eggs that had been left around our property before we had moved in, generously deposited by a hopeful mother. My husband is fascinated by insects, and although I don't share in that same enthusiasm, it's incredibly interesting to watch them hatch.


What's free in a way is our life NOW. Those who are old and those who are ill, often say they would give anything for more TIME. The older I get, the more I realise that time is infinitely precious. It's ours to do what we want to do, at least in the immediate future. Yes, there are limitations, but we can look around and see and enjoy many of the wonderful things suggested by readers of this post - and Kristi. Love to all.

Audrey Wilson

In reply to Don .Yes I have walked there when I visited my son who lives in Oakland !

K. J. Laramie

Meditation is free, healing body, mind, and spirit! Every beautiful thing your bloggers mention is amplified through awareness. Oneness, service, just giving smiles, LOVE ... all freeing ... and free. And endless gratitude, too! Thank you, Kristi!


We have Little Lending Libraries in our neighborhood. Most recent book I found is Talk to the Snail, 10 Commandments for Understanding the French. First chapter discusses French post office “customer service”. Very amusing.

Mary luz

The amazing free information on the internet! It's truly remarkable how it has changed lives. Your blog is an example of this.
Mary Liz
Washington DC

Robbie Lane Jackson

Yes, the Internet! Advice and tales from your elders. Birds singing, sunshine, plants, trees, flowers, growing wild, PBS and BBC tv shows, espec, Doc Martin, books all over the place, (just got and left my first books in a tiny, road-side Lending Library, honey fresh from a hive, dogs' love, which is "free, boundless, and they ask for othing in return. They just love you unconditionally and forever, the truest form of love. And our water from our wells. Free water, cold and delicious, on the farm. And in a way, doesn't God shower blessings for free? As a Sr. Adult, I surely see this now.

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