They don't have that in France! In Memory of my brother-in-law
Le glas: The death knell rang today in France

Rien qu'aujourd'hui (Only for Today): A "How To" for difficult times

Poppies and our wild gardenDuring 10 challenging years at two vineyards (before moving to this peaceful, postage-stamp garden where our wine memoir is underway), I kept a copy of today's mind-centering thoughts in my purse. In uncertain times, such words may be helpful to you, to your family, or to your friends.


Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, j’essaierai de vivre ma journée sans chercher à résoudre le problème de toute ma vie.

Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behaviour; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je prendrai le plus grand soin de me comporter et d’agir de manière courtoise ; je ne critiquerai personne et je ne prétendrai corriger ou régenter qui que ce soit, excepté moi-même.

Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one. Aujourd’hui je serai heureux, rien qu’aujourd’hui, sur la certitude d’avoir été créé pour le bonheur, non seulement dans l’autre monde, mais également dans celui-ci.

Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je me plierai aux circonstances, sans prétendre que celles-ci cèdent à tous mes désirs.

Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul. Rien qu’aujourd’hui je consacrerai dix minutes à une bonne lecture en me rappelant que, comme la nourriture est nécessaire à la vie du corps , de même la bonne lecture est nécessaire à la vie de l’âme.

Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je ferai une bonne action et je n’en parlerai à personne.

Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, j’accomplirai au moins une chose que je n’ai pas du tout envie de faire, et si on m’offense, je ne le manifesterai pas.

Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, j’établirai un programme détaillé de ma journée. Je ne m’en acquitterai peut-être pas entièrement, mais je le rédigerai. Et je me garderai de deux calamités: la hâte et l’indécision.

Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je croirai fermement – même si les circonstances attestent le contraire – que la Providence de Dieu s’occupe de moi comme si rien d’autre n’existait au monde.

Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je n’aurai aucune crainte. Et tout particulièrement, je n’aurai pas peur d’apprécier ce qui est beau et de croire à la bonté. Je suis en mesure de faire le bien pendant douze heures, ce qui ne saurait me décourager, comme si je me croyais obligé de le faire toute ma vie durant.

Note: My copy (the one in my purse) of "Just For Today" was a gift from A.A. The original text is from Le décalogue de la sérénité de saint Jean XXIII 

Jean-marc heidi doug kristi
New York, 2008. Jean-Marc, my sister Heidi, Doug, Kristi. Thank you very much for your words of sympathy following my brother-in-law, Doug's, passing.

Doves by the sea in la ciotat
This image (taken here in La Ciotat) always brings a peaceful feeling. Enjoy, take good care, and à bientôt.

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


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Bonjour, I have been reading your blog for a while and never replied. However I felt moved by your post today and felt compelled to share my appreciation. These days are challenging with the pandemic. And I had read about your brother in law tragically passing at a young age. Today's my birthday, arriving early in my 50s. I'm often unable to sleep as my mind churns thinking about US elections and our government. So I find myself in the wee hours, scanning my mobile phone reading different blogs. It can be hard to be hopeful, yet your post has given me an approach to thoughtfully manage my day. I'm grateful to celebrate another year and recognize the truly precious gift of each day. And thanks to you for helping me shift my perspective a bit and get to a more positive space. Merci bien.


Dear Kristi - thank you for this beautiful evocative post.

Kristin Espinasse

Andrea, Your note means a lot. Thank you for taking the time to write, and wishing you a very happy and joyeux anniversaire.


En effet, la vie est belle! Merci pour ces mots d’ encouragement. Condoléances à votre famille. Courage .


What a thoughtful,loving post.
Sending our heartfelt condolences to you and your family in the loss of your brother in law Doug.
Take care.


Dear Kristi

Much love to you, your sister and family. Thank you for the words today. They read like a deep exhale.

In gratitude,


Words we can all take with us through these days.


Des pensees pariculieres

Arlette Jassel

Your words and the extraordinary spirit that you have always renew in me a gratitude for the wonders of the world.I love a France I never have known through your eyes, I adore the French language that I can articulate as I read your words out loud, even though I cannot conjure up your words as I am such a beginner, and I feel ready for the day after I read your essay. Thank you, Kristi.

Suzanne Codi

Dear Kristi, your words help so many of us in these strange and taxing times. Thank you so much!

Marie-Louise LaFond

What a necessary aesutiful post. It is so hard sometimes to ignore the polotical static in which we in the US are living. I am going to print this and carry it with me. I am sorry that you all have lost Doug.

Marie-Louise LaFond

Beautiful and political...sorry

Cate Salenger


Cynthia GS

So very appropriate, Kristi, in these difficult times. Thank you for sharing this with your readers. Bon courage à toutes et à tous!

K. J. Laramie

Condolences to all the family.
On the bright side, through his passing, Doug’s indomitable spark has prompted this MOST beautiful post! What a Divine legacy! How magnificent!!

I have just finished my morning journaling -today about transition and life changes and voila! Here are your perfect words for the day-never more timely. Merci!
And prayers as your family goes through a trying time-

Suzanne Dunaway

Oh, how terrilbe to lose such a kind-looking and lovely brother in law. And how sad for your sister. No words for such a loss.


Our dear Kristi,
This is truly one of your most uplifting and beautiful posts....and,needless to say,just exactly what we needed to hear.
Your beautiful words are always a balm around our (now often)troubled hearts.
Thank you, ma chere.
We keep you and your beautiful family in our prayers.Asking God to continue giving you courage, strength,and light.
Natalia xo

Patricia Sands

Dear Kristi ~ Your writing is always a gift. But today's offering, more than anything, in these troubled and confusing times, is truly a treasure. I will share it with pleasure giving you and Saint Jean all due credit. Amitiés


Marie-Louis LaFond, Sorry, but I did not find anything "political" about this beautiful post. <3


For many years I had this posted on the mirror at my dressing table and taped inside my daily planner. I was never sure who wrote it but I actually have the small printed version from many years ago. It was always a help to face the day especially when I was working every day.

Eileen deCamp

Dear Kristi,

Thanks for this beautiful post today. I hope I can find a copy of "Just for Today"....I would love to have one with me at all times too!

I find myself waking in the middle of the night just worrying and I have recently begun to calm my thoughts by praying a decade of the rosary which I keep by my beside and it seems to help me get back to sleep!


Bonjour. Kristi,
Aujourd’hui , je m’est réveillée avec un mal à la tête. Non, je n’ai pas buvée trop hier soir; c’est le résiduel de la vaccination pour le pneumonia. Votre blog je me suis servie de se lever de mon lit; je dois téléphoner ma sœur cadette et lui donner mes meilleurs souhaites pour une bonne fête d’anniversaire! Merci, Kristin pour les mots sages!

Lovely words today in these uncertain times. Staying together, staying positive will allow us to get through loss, change and open our hearts to these words. Thank you for sharing ~ still reading your blog after all these years and enjoying your reads. Thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss with Doug. The pictures you have posted make us smile ~

Nicholas Keegan

I think she may have meant poetical.

Marianne Rankin

Thank you for these thoughts, and the beautiful photos, especially the one at the end. I've seen it before, and am glad to see it again.

I will pray for Heidi. I know how it feels to lose a spouse. I encourage all the family to recall happy times spent with Doug. Maybe in a future post you can tell us more about him.

Liz Tapley

Beautiful words and sentiments, Kristi. All best wishes to you and your family through all the good and bad times xx


Kristi: This is so beautiful and so needed in these terrible times. I lost my beloved Mother/Best Friend in November last year, and my only brother suddenly this July, all in the middle of extremely difficult times with the pandemic and the crazy upside down nature of life in the USA these days. It gives me hope for a better tomorrow, and a way to take charge of myself and my sanity, day by day. I have been reading your posts for about a year. Many of them have been very moving. Thank you for being you and for sharing human vulnerabilities that we all feel at some time in our lives. Next, I will buy your book(s)! Merci beaucoup.


She was correcting the spelling of beautiful and political in her initial post.

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,
Your words today are timely...and very comforting, helping us to put life events into perspective. We woke up to the news of the loss of an old friend of 50 years. We were convinced he had beat his cancer but he succombed today. Life is fragile and precious. So grateful to you for the strength you bring to us through your thoughts and writing.

Jeanine Woods

Merci pour le beau post. J'ai besoin des mots encouragant aujourd’hui. Comme toujours, vos mots touchent mon coeur. Je suis desolee que vous et votre famille ont perdu Doug.

Kristin Espinasse

Chris, My heart goes out to you. So sorry you lost your friend. 💔

Kristin Espinasse

CC, The loss of your Mother and brother, and within the year, is something for which no one could brace themselves. I think so many of us are trying to brace ourselves these days, because our hearts cannot bear this kind of loss. I am so sorry and send deepest condolences to you. 💕

Jimm Hughey

Dear Kristi, Thank you for this post. It is not only timely but meaningful for those of us that have an addicted family member. So sorry to learn of your family loss. A funny thing about life and our connections to one another. I have been following your path and delightful posts for years although I seldom post anything. In 2012(?) my wife and I planned a cruise via AMA Waterways because you and Jean Marc were going to do a WINE CRUISE. You may not realize it but you introduced me to your friend Susan Boehnstedt in Arizona...a fabulous woman and Travel Agent Extraordinaire! Circumstances prevented us from taking that trip. However, in 2017 for our 15th Wedding Anniversary, Susan treated us like royalty as we flew to Paris...had an apartment in the Marais & then 7 days on the Seine via AMALyra to Honfleur & return. It is a small & lovely world when we connect and make new friends. Susan and I communicate regularly and we will be doing another trip when conditions allow. Sending love to you and your loved ones in the name of friendship and caring. Jimm Hughey


Dear Kristi: How difficult it is these days to maintain a calm, cheerful & patient attitude. your post today helps greatly. Merci. On another note, today would have been my own bro-in-law's 96th birthday; he died 3 years ago. So, while we had him longer than your own sweet Doug, it's still a difficult time. I had known him my whole life & to him, I was always "Little Ann". Stay well; stay safe. merci beaucoup.

Dana Ivey

Thank you for these thoughts. I may not carry them in my purse, but they are going to live on my desktop on my computer Wonderful reminders of being the best one can be. At 79, I am more content than when I was young, and cherish each day as a chance to live a virtuous life; to be free of strife/work is a blessing, but each day brings something to be overcome in a good way. And especially now, at this fraught election time, it is hard to think the long game of serenity. I really appreciate your sharing the text from saint Jean XXIII.


Thank for saying what I was thinking in a very eloquent and heartfelt way.
I have never replied either but Kristi is important to me.

Kristin Espinasse

Merci, Lindy 💕💕


Thank you so very much for your kindness. It has been so hard, but we must try and move on. My mom was my best friend, my mentor, my inspiration my traveling partner, my bestie in so many countless ways. I am close to my brother's ex and his children, and we are trying to bolster each other.

I so appreciate you, Kristi! Thank you for your work. You have rescued a lot of people in ways you will never really know.

Maria E . Sastre

I sent you a letter with a check but it was returned

Kristin Espinasse

Maria, Very sorry about this, and thank you for trying! I will email you.

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