When an expat's expat parent comes to live with daughter in France: After 25 years in Mexico, Mom is moving in!
Eyes in French & Seeing spots? Relax, those are floaters! Les corps flottants et le champ visuel....

Move Mom into the wine cellar? + France wins!

France wins world cup fracro soccer
Notice the cushion on the bench, left. More in today's story!

Today's Word: le but

    : goal

Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the following words:
Le but. Hier soir La France a marqué quatre buts pour gagner la finale de la Coupe du Monde de football. Goal. Last night France scored four goals to win the soccer World Cup.


Homeless Wine and Homeless Widows
 (and the World Cup Win!)

    by Kristi Espinasse

There is no tranquil place to write today, so I'll dive right in--along with the pounding of hammers and hearts (just had a heart-to-heart with our 23-year-old, Max, who had a setback of his own). Now he's back on track and I can begin this Monday morning edition where I left off: wondering how to focus on writing whilst construction workers are swarming on the opposite side of this wall (and there goes the jackhammer! And here comes a request for a pencil, and could someone open the gate? So another truck can arrive? And, Madame, do you have a cup? For what? Coffee? Oh, I can make you that...).

Bon, bref: We are creating a cellar for Jean-Marc's soon-to-be homeless wine! This was the solution to Where to put our homeless Mom?...but back to wine:

Since we sold our vineyard and then moved to La Ciotat, all Jean-Marc's vin has been stocked in a converted garage-studio. We now need to clear the studio of its floor-to-ceiling vintages and place le vin somewhere else....Voilà for the little cellar that will soon piggyback our kitchen (walk out the kitchen door,  turn left and walk into the 2-meter wide caveau. It will be ready in 10 days. Mom will be here in 7... On ne s'ennuie jamais!)

Last night I looked across the living room. Thirteen of us had our eyes peeled on le grand écran as France led against Croatia in the 2018 World Cup. A ceiling fan whirled above us, moving the humid air in circles around our sweaty bodies. Our two couches were filled and a bench and chairs held the rest of us supporters.

I kept looking for Mom, wondering where we would put her in a scenario like this? Would our new colocatrice be watching the game with us? (It would depend on her mood. If down, she'd be under a pile of covers in the wine cellar (soon to be her studio). If she were feeling up, she'd definitely be watching the match with us, her cup runnething over with rosé!

But would she behave? That is always the question. And it's a moot point trying to answer it. The best I can do is ask myself the very same: Would I behave? Will I?

This is the entire fear I have behind Mom living with us, because, in the end, the only one we can control is ourselves.

To be honest, even I found it difficult to behave during the World Cup Match. Case in point: While daydreaming during the match of all matches, you've just thought up a way in which your guests could be a bit more comfortable. Wait! Do not suddenly spring up and search for seat cushions while everyone's eyes are on the soccer ball. God forbid you'd walk past the screen during a but, or goal, and block another's view!

As I learned last night, goals happen quickly and unexpectedly. And so do the changes in life--hammers, hearts and all. Perhaps the best we can do is not to block another's vision, whether our own, our guest's, or, ultimately, God's.

*    *    *

Heidi mom 2018
My sister, Heidi, and our Mom, Jules. I can't thank Heidi enough for flying to Mexico to help Mom during this transition...first to Denver, then on to France.


le but = goal 
bon bref = in short
le vin = wine
le caveau = wine cellar
le grand écran = the big screen
le supporter = fan
la colocatrice (le colocataire ) = roommate, joint tenant, housemate
Kristi here. Happy to announce a new way to support this French word journal: via check! If you are interested, email me at [email protected]

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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We loved watching Croatia but were loyal in admiration for the fantastic French team. Don and I follow ALL soccer and adore Italy, but alas, they screwed up this time and were not in.
But the goat of Croatia against the portiere was amazing...never have seen that in 40 years. And Mbappe is a genius, no question.

Suzanne in Monroe, NJ

The game was thrilling! Waiting to hear more about Jules’s adventures in La Ciotat. And thinking of you ...


Hi Kristin, i am unable to find the webmaster for your page, but in recent weeks, I have been unable to open the page in FireFox on Ipad or Iphone. Hopefully you will be able to pass this on and it will be rectified.

Valerie Meluskey

You write well in the midst of chaos! Blessings to all involved in these changes... The meaning of life may be "change" while remaining present throughout. You can do this!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for this info, Cheryl. Does this happen when you click on the link in my newsletter? (if so, I will need to contact my listserver). Or does it happen when you type my blog address into the browser? 

Sue Lennox

We never stop worrying about our families, Kristi—is it the Mom-ness in us or is it just in our personalities?? Nevertheless it is who we are! It’s all about our love for them and, hopefully, they know that.


Looks like you all had a great time watching the game and to have France win!! What an amazing transformation to your house and your lives that you all are and will be experiencing. I pray for many good times!!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,

This is very poignant. It brought tears to my eyes...

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Chris. 💖

Patricia Sands

Kristi, I want you to know that whatever you did, worked ... after I left you a message about a link problem. Thought you would want to know!

Patricia Sands

You have a lot on your plate, Kristi, and our love and encouragement to support you through whatever lies ahead. I'm sure Jules will be delighted to have a French studio! Bon courage. Have emailed.

Jim e.

France wins, then there are riots, vandalism and streets filled with litter.

I used to think of France as rather like the Japan of the West; you know, the pinnacle of culture and art.

Makes me sad.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,

I must admit that I was pulling for Croatia after spending time in Dubrovnik and Split this month. We were caught up in all the excitement with the locals!

Love your blog post today and bon courage with all the life changes! I'm sure your mom is so happy to be coming to live with you!

Kathleen from Connecticut

Bon courage Kristi. There can be some difficult times with mothers living in such close proximity. I know because my mother was living in an in-law apartment. But your relationship with your mother is a lot healthier than mine was.
With a full house, everyone needs to respect the needs of each other. Tempers need to be kept under control and you need to remember to try to put yourself into the other person’s shoes to see what they are feeling or have felt.
Your life might become more complicated but also richer with the presence of your mother.
The best to you and Jean Marc and of course the children. Smoky may become a therapy dog for everyone. Animals can calm nerves and anxiety.
I hope that I don’t sound pessimistic, I think that all will work out 😎👍


Our dear Kristi,
What a beautiful room! Just looking at it I can feel the warmth and love there because of how you created this area for your family and guests.
My in laws did not live with us per se,but literally stayed for months at a time.
As you well know,it is not always easy having someone else,no matter how dear,
taking up space in your space.
I used to worry about this situation a lot.But then a friend gave me a trinket box with the inscription on top:If you worry about tomorrow,you will miss today.
Embracing that thought really helped me,and now I hope it will help you,too.
If things start to get challenging.take a deep breath and take Smokey for a walk.You are an awesome lady and your love for your dear mom is an inspiration!
Natalia XO

Vance Anderson -Inks

Hi Kristie. I have been in touch with Jules. I am planning a trip to France in the next 8 weeks with plans of resettling. I would love to see Jules, and finally meet you and Jean-Marc. Maybe solutions come from strange places.


"Perhaps the best we can do is not to block another's vision, whether our own, our guest's, or, ultimately, God's."

Wow, a whole new level of writing here, Kristi. Beautiful metaphor, beautifully expressed. And very French to see it that way.

Olga Brown


Congratulations on the World Cup, the French team won yesterday in Moscow!

Chris Allin

P.S. In so many of your posts I have read merrily along and then in the last paragraph...BAM. Your closing will completely do me in and reduce me to tears. It hasn’t happened in a while but this one sure did! ♥️

K.J. Laramie

Jules will have a boyfriend in a nanosecond. Just look at her! The roles of Mom and Daughter upside down?Oui, possibly!! Bon courage, dearest loving Kristi and understanding husband extraordinaire!
“... a time for everything under heaven.”


There is a real sense of worry and concern for sobriety. You have been so strong for so long! Seek support as these changes occur. Perhaps Mom in her acceptance of your housing her could be respectful and restrained in her choices. Honor your progress day by day!

Stacy - Sweet Life Farm

Beautiful sentiment, as always, you have touched my heart and sparked my mind. We can only take it one moment at a time with truth, trust and kindness as our guide...and lots of walks along the sea :)

I love the picture of Jules and Heidi with wine and ice cream!


Dear Kirstin...Becoming a parent to a parent isn’t, indeed for many reasons, a daunting task. From someone who took care of her parents I can say that you will not regret this and that you will find it to be a great gift. The relationship will change, grow, you will indeed be blessed in many ways. At times, yes challenging, but when you come to the point of hindsight, you will be grateful for this opportunity to share and express your love. Bon voyage!

Mary-Audrey Mellor’

How do I send a donation?

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Marie-Audrey. I appreciate your support. I will send you the info on where to send a check in an email.

Trina in St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Poignant. Sigh. Your last paragraph - brilliant.

PS Your visits with Jules at your home on the vineyards always went merrily well, so I will imagine your living together will also. I believe you all know how to communicate with each other and that does wonders while navigating change. xo


It was happening no matter how I tried to access your page, Kristi. The good news is that today the problem seems to have been rectified. Hopefully the problem has been resolved.


Hi Kristin
As far as your mom behaving....ha...mine is 96 and well...we just deal with it.
I think both our moms have so many good qualities that if a little misbehavior occurs we shrug it off and move forward
Good luck with that....really...you don't need to hope for change just hope for acceptance...and that's how we roll!

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