Entertain friends with this delicious French synonym + Mieux vaut tard que jamais!
Bon bout d'an! + What is an adult? (Surprising answer by one of France's most famous philosophers)

51 ans comme le pastis! + Come paint in Provence!

Paint provence with Tess

The flyer above is for my dear friend Tess's art getaways here in France. Click on the banner above and put this experience on your bucket list for 2019!

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Eh bien, I didn't mean to take a week off of writing this journal. I had planned to touch base with you on Christmas Eve, with a meaningful story, when the word intrusive popped into my mind. Call it intuition...or maturing in age...but the fact is je ne voulais pas vous gonfler avec trop de choses.

And maybe I didn't want to exasperate myself either? Whether one more letter in your inbox would have sent you (or me) into a tailspin, or chute libre, is only an assumption--something I make too many of, which brings me to New Year's goals. What are yours?

As you take a moment to think about that, let me veer off track and say: on Dec 22nd I turned 51 comme le pastis. The kids were away, Mom was recuperating, and Jean-Marc had to work. So after moping around the house all morning, I took Jules's advice to mark the occasion. I did this by kicking around my garden until I bumped into a better occupation by way of an 8ft-tall scraggly stalk. The Jerusalem artichoke plant never did produce the bright sunflower-like blossoms I had hoped for, back when I buried it, but might there be the promised sunchokes below ground? The thought perked me up until I had both hands in the cool dirt, the lushness and scent of the earth awakening sense and curiosity.

That is how I dug up an unexpected treasure on my birthday. A harvest of topinabours. How thrilling it is to discover abundance in an outwardly barren environment! What else is out there hidden, yet-to-be-discovered? Like gifts that remain to be opened, such are the days et les découvertes ahead.

*    *    *

Lulus provencale kitchen richard olney
The delicious book Jean-Marc gave me for my birthday. I believe it is out of print. Used copies are available here.

eh bien = well
gonfler = bore, exasperate
chute libre = tailspin
51 comme le pastis = 51 like the (famous) pastis
le topinambour = Jerusalem artichoke, sunchoke
une découverte = discovery

A little red vespa, right, parasol pines and the rocky coastline here in La Ciotat. 

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!