From huppes to rapaces--birds in our French garden, les oiseaux dans le sud de la France
A few recent photos, "the best days of our lives", and a strange French word for hoarding

Update from Kristi + Rester dans les parages = to stick around

Dove  golden retriever  garden
One of these tourterelles landed on Smokey's back. You notice so much when you slow down.

Today's phrase: rester dans les parages

    : to stick around

Coucou, Dear Reader,

This journal has gone on break. I have many more French words and stories to share with you, so please stick around. I assure you I'm not going anywhere and, apparently, neither are my words which aren't flowing at the moment. I suppose I could get out my whip and make them fill this page but that is what I usually do. Meantime...

A break = to quit doing what you usually do.
Une pause = arrêter de faire ce qu'on fait d'habitude.

I will check in with you in June. In the meantime please take care and rester dans les parages. (les parages = vicinity). I wouldn't want to lose you or this wonderful job, which is all thanks to you and I appreciate that very much. 



Mom was taking this picture when she noticed all the dots of light beneath the hat. The piercing rays were leaving a pattern on my face, splashes of light which looked to Mom like a kind of text or script...maybe even a few a paragraphs. It was serendipitous as we were trying to get an updated photo for my column.

Doves tourterelles
One more photo of the doves almost colliding. What do you think Smokey is thinking?

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Roger Andersom

Beautiful as ever!!’

Lisa Kennedy

Enjoy your well deserved break, Kristi. Will look forward to reading your wonderful posts again in June. Please take care. A bientot!
Lisa (in NJ)

Cheryl in STL

Do the things that make you happy and fill your soul! We're not going anywhere!

Leslie NYC

Smokey says, "il faut réserver d'avance le pieu".
Variety, ebb and flow, work and respite, public and private, starting and stopping: all necessary. Enjoy and thrive.
Thank you for another year of great writing. We are lucky readers.

Ellen A.

All of your readers wish you well, and we will look forward to new stories whenever you are inspired to share with us.

Joanne Fischer

Enjoy the break!!

Kathleen Hurder

I just finished, "have mother will travel" by clair and mia fontaine and thoroughly enjoyed it!
I was happily surprised when I came upon the chapters about Avignon. Then read your and Jean Marc's name! Small world!
We are hopefully coming to Provence in September. We'd love to stop by your home to reconnect or you're very welcome to come to our house in Saint Roman de Malegarde
Anytime during the first two weeks. Hope we can see you!

Teri Browne

Happy break tor you to renew your creative juices.

I look forward to more stories of your life after the break.


Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,
Enjoy your break! I hope you will take time to relax and maybe travel? How are things in France? Beginning to open up?
Love your look so happy!
You deserve une pause!


Our dear Kristi,
You are awesome and your talent is a gift to all of us.
Whenever the muse comes visiting again, please know we are here and looking forward to all you care to share with us.
Till then , please remember(as I try to do)(not always successfully,either)Eleanor Roosevelt's wisdom" Every day is a gift, that's why it's called the present".
Blessings and love always
Natalia. xo


Enjoy your break - very much deserved. I think he is saying to himself - "bird brains"!!or maybe "who needs wings? Just look what can happen!" Thank you Natalie for the reminder about the "present". One of my favorites as well. Enjoy

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Take it easy, dear Kristi! Of course we will stick around -- wishing you a super break brimming with true-blue R&R of the kinds you like best. Looking forward to hearing about its peace and its enrichments once you return. Hugs all round from Canada to each and all of You.

Mary Lynn Redmond

Enjoy a well-deserved break. Your readers look forward to reading each post and will be here when you return. I have such fond memories of meeting you a few years ago. Wishing you and Jean-Marc the best.


Stop. Look. Listen. good words to live by. Wherever you go, whatever you do, breathe in the air, listen to the birds, smell the flowers, look at the sea or sky....that is all we need right now.

Patricia Baker

Enjoy your much deserved break,
because June is just around the corner.

Pat from Houston,Tx.

Karen Whitcome

A well deserved respite. Relax and reboot. It's been quite a year. We will still be here.

Carolyn R Chase

Kristi, you're a dear. Even God took a rest, so don't feel bad. We all will look forward to your return. Sending my love. Regards to your dear mother as well.

Gypsy Perry

Dear Kristi,
It is good to ‘come apart and rest awhile.’
Do take care of yourself.
Gypsy Perry

Jocelyne Watrous

We all need a break from time to time! Though we (your devoted readers) will miss you, take this needed time to vegetate, to zone out, to have a rest, to have fun, and to recharge your batteries! We look forward to having you back when you are ready! 😊🍷🛀🎶☀️👩‍🎨👒🥐⛱

Cynthia Lewis

Dear Kristi,

... thinking of you as you take some time to pay special attention to yourself and to loved ones. Don't allow any deadlines or obligations disturb your "peace". Let the bees visiting your blossoms and a mother bird feeding her young be some of the
calming sights for you. My very best wishes, as always.

Emmanuel & Gwen SERRIERE

Vous êtes trop formidable, on ne vous lâchera jamais après toutes ces années depuis que nous nous sommes rencontrés sur le plateau au dessus des Arcs. Vous écrivez "rester dans les parages" mais dans cette phrase je crois que la bonne conjugaison serait "restez dans les parages", pas à l'infinitif.

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,
Whew! So glad you are taking the time to recharge!
Perhaps you should do so more often. I keep going back to my thought about what you do. One needs
to live life to write about it. Every day off could bring a new story! Take advantage of the simple joys in your life...
As others have said, we will be here when you come back!


Enjoy your time off, Kristi!! And your photo, with the "script" or "text" on it is fun! I like it.
Take care,

Christine Oace

Hope you have a wonderful break and return to your writing renewed and refreshed! Chris



Lane Rosenthal

Heureuse que vous vous accordez une pause. Bien mérité. Et j'adore: "You notice so much when you slow down." En effet! Bonne pause, à bientôt.

Andrea Hughes

We all need occasional time for reflection. Enjoy your pause!


Gorgeous photo! Your mum is good at capturing, and she has a lovely subject.


Bonjour Kristi. I hope you are able to get some rest. Votre memoir of you and Jean-Marc, is there a soft/hard copy available?

Many blessings to you,


Enjoy your break, Kristi!
Lovely photo of you and yes, the dots are gorgeous, but be aware......where the sun dots your face, so do the ultraviolet rays!!! Remembering your surgery!!! Sorry to be a wet blanket....but I too have the same problems with BCC's..... All the best for your time off.

Alastair Grant

You've been going for 19 years Kristi! Well done! Have a good time on your break. Best wishes From me in the Western Cape!


Kristi, I'm with Marie (4/28), pls, pls, pls, I beg you to put your photos in a French coffee table book. I love photography and i'm here to tell you, your work is far and above any i've seen. I'm waiting ...!

Huge hugs, Kristi,

Profite de ton temps libre! :) Go get a massage! One of my best self care habits I started a few years ago!:)
Whatever you might do, may the moments be amazing.


Stacy Lund

Dear Kristi,
You inspire me to slow down and to be kind to myself. Enjoy your rest and time outside with the birds, Smokey and flowers. It’s a good time of year to soak up the warmth and sweet sights - salve for our souls.

Nancy Paull

Such a great picture of you! Enjoy enjoy......always happy to see posts from you, but we can all wait .


I like the massage comment! Get thee to some good hands.
Breaks are the best. Revamp, recharge, reignite the soul and spirit.
Bonne vacance....
We're not going anywhere.

Marti Hinman

Chère Kristi,

Profitez d'un bon moment de congé.

À la prochaine,


Sue J.

Enjoy these glorious days and stay well.

Racha Nadim

Enjoy your break Kristi. Looking forward to your next post. I saw the same kind of text your mom saw from the rays of light! It’s a lovely photo.
Passez de bonnes vacances,


Relax, enjoy, rejuvenate as new adventures come your way, which will give you new inspiration for your blog. We will look forward to hearing about your break, vacation, time to yourself and family.
Love the picture which Jules took of you. I love the pattern which the hat has created on your face. I also love the picture of Smokey with the birds. He’s saying “hey, guys, get your act together “
Xoxo Kathleen


Enjoy your break in the sunshine,dear Kristi! That photo of you is truly beautiful. I love all the hat-drawn patterns. Jules has such an eye for beauty. I also enjoy the photo of Smokey and the doves, as well as the caption. It's a great reminder to go slowly and strive to be aware of all the magic that is here. Amicalement, Katia

Brenda Pfeil

Nothing like the cooing of those tourterelles to bring peace to one’s soul. Remember:” His eye is on the sparrow so I know He watches me.”

Barbara Blizzard

Enjoy your time to relax and revitalize. See friends and wander the beach and countryside. Your turn to have fun.

Patricia Sands

Breathe, Relax. Enjoy. C'est le temps pour toi et la famille!
Apprécie chaque jour. <3


I have been reading this blog on and off since 2005.

Every few months, I will drop by and check in with you. There is something magical in your journey, and how you have decided to share it with the entire world. I appreciate your kindness and vulnerability. You are an incredibly strong person to pour your soul out there for so long.

This is my first time to comment, to say that I am grateful for everything that you do, and your stories have enriched my life.

Enjoy the break. We all need a break every now and then...

Wendy A Rieder

Hello Kristi,
For some reason I have not been receiving your letters recently, so I am thrilled to be back on your list. Perhaps it was a recent move. In any case, you have such a gift, and I have lived in France twice, so your words mean a lot to me.

Enjoy your break to the fullest, or amusez-vous bien!

Wendy Rieder

Sue Sansom

Hello Kristi,
Have you sent any stories out lately? I realize that I haven't heard any news for July or August! Hope you are all safe and doing well-

Au revoir-
Sue Sansom

Kristin Espinasse

Hi Sue,

Thank you for checking in. I have taken the summer off and look forward to returning in September. Take care and à bientôt.

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