New French words, including "chamaillerie" and A Dieu to one of our chickens...
Kicked out of Monaco + On the road to the Riviera in our electric car + 22, v'là les flics + pictures from Sospel, Menton, Nice

Quinzomadaire (our secret to finishing a book) + Some news to share--all in French!

Jean-Marc coastline in la ciotat
I have something to share with you--entirely in French--at the end of the online post: click here for the full edition.

Today's Word: quinzomadaire

    : fortnightly, every two weeks, bi-monthly

Audio File: Click here to listen to the following sentence
Quinzomadaire: mot-valise et monstre lexical formé sur quinze et hebdomadaire, était censé se substituer à bimensuel. -Alain Rey
Quinzomadaire: portmanteau word and lexical monster formed by quinze [fifteen] and hebdomadaire [weekly] [the term] was supposed to be a substitute for bimonthly.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

It feels so good to make progress. Whatever is on your To-Do list today just make a little progress. And then be sure to pat yourself on the back (loud enough to muffle the self-critic, who will never be satisfied, no matter the effort).  Whatever the goal, whatever the project, the end will be in sight if only you will take the first step-le premier pas--and persevere! We all know this, and whether or not we do what we need to do may boil down to timing, trust, and sometimes dumb luck.

All this to say that Jean-Marc and I are at the 85 percent mark regarding the vineyard memoir we are writing together.  A few months after beginning the manuscript, I imposed a draconian deadline: publish one segment every two weeks (there's even a French term for "every two weeks": quinzomadaire)...

Quinzomadaire. I'd better stop there, with that very cool word. Not so cool is the noise outside on the street, where someone has been batting a metal object (a heavy chain?) against a metal fence (or pole?) and I think I am now at cracking point! And while my inner critic is shouting FAIL! for not having more of a story to tell you today, I am going to pat myself on the back ("m'envoyer des fleurs") for working through the noise, the chaos, and the nagging doubts, to bring you this blog hebdomadaire. I wish you bonne chance et bon courage with your day--remember to keep the self-critic at bay! 


P.S. Given our vineyard memoir delves into the struggles of our 30-year inter-cultural relationship... I am thinking that our next book could be a marriage guide. (You should have seen the look on Jean-Marc's face when I suggested "next book" and "marriage guide" :-)  One thing's sure: writing this book has been good couples therapy! Maybe we'll leave it at that?

le premier pas = the first step
quinzomadaire = every two weeks
s'envoyer des fleurs = literally: to send oneself flowers, to pat oneself on the back
hebdomadaire = weekly
bonne chance = good luck
bon courage = good luck (be strong!)
amicalement = yours truly

The following article came out in our regional newspaper La Provence, January 27th, 2021 edition. Click on the article below to read it.

News article

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal week after week. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, I kindly ask for your support by making a donation today. Thank you very much for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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


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Lynn McBride

« M’envoyer des fleurs », what a nice reminder. And the article is fantastic, felicitations once again for a well-deserved award.

Jilly Bennett

Brava, Kristin - so proud of you - and so well deserved. Do hope you can get to the US, Covid permitting. with love Jilly woof!


Great to read of the history of the award. Congratulations. Well done, Kristin.


Mes Meilleures Félicitations. Lovely read.

Cheryl in STL

Brava, Kristin! I'm really hoping you'll be able to receive the meal in person! You know how much we, your readers, appreciate the work you do and how you've opened your life to us. But being rewarded officially like this adds another layer of appreciation. And how wonderful that the people you interact with in La Ciotat will get to know you in a different way!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,
I love the phrase - M’envoyer des fleurs - and thank you for posting your article from the local newspaper! Congrats again on receiving the prestigious Médaille d'Or des Valeurs Francophones! Well deserved!
Bonne chance with the rest of your memoir with Jean-Marc!

Suzanne Dennis

What a coincidence. I opened your post right after having checked off two items on a To Do List I've been working on for my mother's and my sister's estates. Always emotional but making progress. Your words will keep me making progress. Merci, Kristi.

Alice Mack

Bonjour, Kristen. J’ai vécu à Paris pendant dix ans, et la France me manque tellement cet année. Nous sommes descendus très souvent dans ta région pour passer dés vacances inoubliables. Je suis très heureuse d’avoir découvert ton blog, et je viens de t’avoir versée un peu d’argent pour te remercier. Bonne continuation!


Félicitations and Mazal Tov. !!!

Jackie Mancuso

Félicitations! 🎈on your new projects and your award 🥇


Congratulations and have a wonderful day. Always enjoy your writings.

Linda Holt

Félicitations, Kristi!!!! Venez-vous vraiment à Washington?? J’ai mes doutes à cause de Covid, mais ca serait merveilleux de vous voir!! SVP, dites-moi si vous pouvez faire le voyage à Washington. Vous devriez être tellement fière de vous-meme!! 🥰🥰🥰

Kerry Painter

Congratulations Kristi! An honor well deserved! Kerry


Bonjour, Kristi,
Vous m’avez inspirée à commencer le travail annuel et pénible—faire une déclaration des revenus d’impôts. Merci. Quand devez-vous faire cette déclaration en France?
C’est une belle photo de vous dans le journal. Comment vous soyez sans âge, toujours jeune!
Je peut bien imaginer l’expression de Jean-Marc! Peut-être vous avez lui demandé un peu trop?

Cynthia Lewis

What a wonderful article about you in your regional newspaper, La Provence. Congratulations! (I could read every word of the article thanks to FWAD with your vocabulary lists and many tips concerning the French language.) I cannot thank you enough. My very best wishes.


Bravo, Kristi! Il y a aussi des lecteurs francophones de ce blog savoureux, dont je suis! Longue vie à ce blog et à toute la charmante famille Espinasse!
Cette récompense est amplement méritée, félicitations chère Kristi!


Felicitations, Kristin! Je veux bien t'envoyer des fleurs!!


Félicitations, Kristi!

Kathleen Bidney

Félicitations! Kristi.


Dear Kristi,

Once again I am amazed by all your achievements and your humility! Bravo encore et encore pour la médaille et les leçons de vie si précieuses de tes blogs. Bises de Martinique.

Leslie NYC

I am trying to clean out my mother’s old house while writing, staying in shape, avoiding covid, trying to stay sane!
As usual, your post is inspiring. How wonderful to see this article about you and your prize. You have been so successful at putting one foot in front of another and creating a grand life and body of work to be proud of.
It is inspiring.
Un grand merci!

Yay! Kristi! Je t'adore:) You deserve a medal of marriage honor as well!! :)

I don't know what I would do without your blog to remind me of La Ciotat. Merci mille fois! Ca me manque beaucoup!

Flowers are the best aren't they? They definitely say "I love you". I buy myself and my mom flowers often! M'envoyer des flours~ Sandrine Kiberlain~ love the song! As I'm typing this message I am looking at the pink roses I brought mom last night~ Trader Joe's has great flowers at a great price! Can't resist them. Not only do they look great, I can smell them...

Thanks for inspiring me to continue with my projects in a gentle and loving way~
Taking you out when I get back to La C!

Je t'embrasse tres fort,

Linda K Wheatley



Two great words in 1 blog post - What a fantastic gift for today! Thank you, Kristin - reading these is always a sheer delight


Our dear Kristi,
Nobody deserves this award more than you do!
And even though you received the award,it is your fortunate readers who have gotten more than the pleasure of it in reading your wonderful books,posts, and sharing in your life for all these years.
MERCI MILLE FOIS, from our hearts to yours!!
Natalia XO

Liza Reavis

Félicitations, Kristi, pour ce prix merveilleux, bien mérité par vous et vos efforts! J'apprécie tellement la chance d'apprendre quelque chose de nouveau tous les jours, surtout quelque chose de la France.

Avec mes meilleurs voeux toujours,


Felicitations! now, time to stop beating yourself up. Enjoy the accolades that you deserve.

Karla Ober

Bravo, Kristi!
It is so nice to see that you are receiving awards and rewards that recognize your talent and honor your hard work! Your fan since last century ! ~Karla

Kitty Wilson-Pote

SUCH a pleasure for us to read the excellent article about you and to feel so proud that Our Kristi is rightly becoming a literary legend, gaining gold recognition and due honour. BRAVA for the so-apt medaille d'or coming your way this spring.
Hope circumstances will allow Prof.Bernard Duhaime to present it to you in person.
J'adore the photo of you that accompanies the article in 'La Provence' -- 'There She Is!'
Happy bouncy hugs to you and to JM from Niagara Region, Canada

Marilyn Whalley

Congratulations Kristi. I am so happy for you. It is well deserved. It is so good when something comes along to show how much you are appreciated. We are travelling in Tasmania on holiday. At a small seaside town on the East Coast, called Orford we stopped at a pétanque piste. On a little notice board my eye caught the name of your village La Ciotat. According to the information on this board your town is responsible for the revival in the early 1900’s of the very ancient game. Although we had left our set of boules at home back on the mainland, we were reminded of good times playing pétanque both in France and at home in Victoria.
I always look forward to your next instalment

Danielle Wierengo

Formidable, Kristin!!! Well deserved recognition! Best wishes. Danielle

Patricia Sands

Brava, Kristi! Chapeau! Quelle reconnaissance bien méritée!

Claudine  Werner

Decades ago I found a way to still the inner critic. As a high school sophomore, the doctor told me I was developing an ulcer. I was shocked! That was something that happened to middle-aged men, wasn't it? To conquer the insistence of trying to be a perfectionist, I decided to do everything at 75% of perfection. Immediately my inner critic was satisfied. I recommend that approach.


Félicitations Kristi et Bravissimo !! Votre prix est si bien mérités

Diane Heinecke

Kristin, thanks for sharing the article. It was very well done, and although it listed number of readers, it couldn't begin to reflect our love for you and how much we appreciate the blood, sweat and tears you put into your blog!

Janet Haagensen

What an honor Kristin, I really think you deserve it in every way. Quite a life you have lived so far!!

Julie Farrar

It's so well-deserved. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. It's a brave thing that writers do.

Vance Anderson-Inks

Congratulations, Kristin

K.J. Laramie

Beautiful! And so deserved.
Your dedication and commitment shines forth in every aspect of your life and is beautiful to see. We applaud and thank you for sharing your humble Self with such a generous degree of humility. (The article should have a follow-up on that!)
The idea of a marriage guide is brilliant. Cheers to sheer determination, love, and your sincere penchant to be of service. Kristi, your glow is overwhelming.


Félicitations!! So exciting and so well deserved.


Merci and thank for your the uplift and encouragement. I shall m'envoie des fleurs! And La Saint-Valentin to you and Jean-Marc.

Patricia baker

Bravo, chapeau Kristi. So very well deserved. Thank you again for sharing your stories with us. I can hardly wait to read what’s next . Pat from Houston,Tx.


Félicitations, Kristin! A well deserved recognition for your talents and the beautiful stories you have given us all.

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