Terroir, French for "somewhereness" & that magnetic pull we feel towards France
Words, Meaning & Avoir le déclic (to have a lightbulb moment)

Update on Jean-Marc & photos from Bormes-les-Mimosas

Cistus flowers high up in one of France's most blossoming villages. Don't miss all the colorful photos in this edition, click over to the blog for the full post.

TODAY'S WORD: "alentours"

  : surroundings, vicinity

Click the link to hear Jean-Marc pronounce the French words in today's post. Then scroll down to the vocabulary section to check your French comprehension.

Click here for the audio clip

by Kristi Espinasse

Jean-Marc has not been feeling well again, so our plans for a two-day escapade were up in the air last Friday. When finally we could not decide either way what to do, we just did. Typing this now my husband’s old saying comes back to me: Mieux vaut une mauvaise décision que pas de décision du tout. Better a bad decision than no decision at all.

A change of scenery turned out to be une bonne décision. One thing to love about France is how quickly the landscape changes in so little space. An hour east of La Ciotat, and we were entering Le Lavandou (the word reminds me of “soft lavender” for the way it is pronounced). No lavender fields here, but plenty of flowers and exotic trees (like les tamaris) and we were soon to enjoy softness on the cushioned transats at the beach. 

We found the hairpin turnoff Max had warned us about and took the narrow, winding road down to Tamaris Plage in Pramousquier Bay. Parking in the lot belonging to the restaurant, we left our overnight bags in the car–a no-no in France. As my belle-soeur says, “never leave so much as a mouchoir in your vehicle or risk someone breaking the window to steal it!” But if we were throwing caution to the wind it’s because we had a lot on our minds–and stolen pajamas were the least of our soucis.

My husband, for one, was on my mind. As for what was on his, that was, and still is, half the battle–for depression is a war of the mind. Jean-Marc’s latest episode began 5 or 6 months ago and, in finally recording it here, I’ve gone against plans to “share only the lovely things”--indeed a sticky note on my desk reads: A writer’s duty is to lift readers up. I admire that thought by E.B. White. But frankness and transparency are lovely things too. They reveal our shared human condition.

Now, if what is on the mind is half the battle, then what’s the other half? Jean-Marc is feeling his way forward in the darkness, but so far trust, courage, faith, perseverance and meds are soulagements. Leaving no stone unturned along the path back to peace, those pebbles on the beach in Pramousquier Bay, where we walked hand-in-hand, became solid reminders to persévérer

Returning from our shorefront stroll, Jean-Marc rested on the chaises-longues, feelings of oppression and defeat washing over him in waves. Positive reminders and comforting words helped, but when  a man napping nearby startled us with his thundering ronflements we both enjoyed a spontaneous chuckle. As for our snoring Samaritan, he was oblivious to his cathartic part in lifting a stranger’s heart. 

At the end of the day, nobody broke into our bagnole to steal our pajamas. At least one of us was relieved by this finding. As for the other, relief doesn’t come easily to him at this time. But many, regular reassurances help. Prayer works. And humor temporarily breaks the spell.

* * *

For anyone out there struggling with a setback in body, mind or spirit, experience shows things will get better. Accrochez-vous. Tenez bon. Hang on. And if you are alone, take courage: someone, somewhere cares about you. Chances are a lot of people do.

Thank you for keeping Jean-Marc in your thoughts and prayers. I leave you with some colorful pictures from our périple to Bormes-les-Mimosa and ses alentours.



JM in Bormes les Mimosas
We appreciate the support of friends and family. Someone dear to us recently wrote, "We know Jean-Marc is going through some inner turmoil now, but that is due to his sense of adventure and resourcefulness, the gifts of a true pioneer, and understandably nerve-wracking." Read more about this pioneering spirit in our 2019 vineyard memoir
The Lost Gardens

une escapade = escape, getaway, trip
mieux vaut une mauvaise décision que pas de décision du tout = better a bad decision than no decision at all
La Ciotat = our town, the next port east of Cassis
Le Lavandou = a town and commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France
le tamaris = salt tree, tamarisk
le transat =  sunbed
la belle-soeur = sister-in-law
le mouchoir = tissue, Kleenex
le soucis = worry, trouble, problem
le soulagement = help, relief, respite
la chaise longue = sunbed, sun lounger
le ronflement = snoring
la bagnole = car (in slang)
accrochez-vous = hang on
tenez bon = hang in there
le périple = trek, expedition, journey
les alentours = surroundings, surrounding area

Bormes les Mimosas perched village
Looking over the town of Bormes les Mimosas
Getting ready to close up shop for the day
So many boutiques...
A hat shop too!
A charming trompe l'oeil or "fools the eye" on the side of a building


Venelle des Amoureux "Lovers' Alley"

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


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Prayers indeed for Jean-Marc. Depression is so difficult for both sufferers and partner. The best moment for you both was undoubtedly “l’homme en renflements” - a brief moment of endorphins to dilute the gloomy serotonins.

Geraldine Ventura

I am praying that God gives you both the strength you need to overcome this illness. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

John H Abeles MD


It is becoming known that depression is a result of neuroinflammation

Data are building that the use of antiinflammatory nutraceutical and pharmaceutical agents

Obtainable over the counter ( eg from Amazon, and SwansonVitamins.com) are

Low dose lithium ororate
Magnesium citrate
Astaxanthin (best is Zanthosyn from Cardax)
Lactoferrin ( best is from Jarrow)
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and/or krill oil
Adequate vitamin C and E and B complex from a good multivitamin preparation
Lysine ( at bedtime for enhanced sleep)

Follow the dosing instructions on the bottles

These in addition to any prescribed medication

Please try and let me know


John H Abeles MD

Brenda Prowse

Ah Kristi, I wish you peace. So hard to be in your position. It is a helpless feeling. And the depression is « catching » I hope you can find some joy for you. Love and bisous to you and Jean Marc


I’m thinking good thoughts for you both. And I’m regretting not having popped into Le Vin Sobre to say hello to your hubby while my brother was visiting a few days ago. I will definitely do so next time. Xo


Hello, Kristi! “Soucis” is plural, so in the word list you need “souci.” Jean-Marc, you, and your family deserve to be happy. (Who knows, perhaps some of that nice MD’s suggestions will help.) The photos are simply beautiful. My thoughts are with you.


Very courageous & vulnerable to share this update. Thank you for doing so as you express confidence in your loyal readers. Best wishes to you both. Sending prayers & good thoughts your way.


Marilyn Whalley

Dear Kristi
Depression is so hard. I feel for you. Everyone hurts when depression pervades. I hope your short break away marks a turning point towards a lighter time. All the very best from Downunder. Bisous to you both, Mazzie


Bon courage Jean-Marc et Kisti. Le timing de ma lecture aujourd'hui es parfait! Meci pour le partage franc et les mots d'encourgements.

Sharon Marchisello

Depression runs in my family, and it's hard for others to understand. Tenez bon, Jean Marc!


Be strong and persevere. Take comfort from all the people who encourage and support and care for you and your family.
On a lighter note, I always found the words "chaise longue" to be interesting - of course it is literally "long chair". When an English speaker saw that they changed it to "chaise lounge" which is what it is called in America. A simple movement of the letter "u". They probably thought it was a typo!

Suzanne Codi

Your love and support are wonderful medecine for this invisible, horrible disease, along with all the natural, homeopathic supplements your caring Dr.reader/fan suggested.And of course a prescribed anti-depressant helps. I know too many people stuggling with this, it's a lifelong battle, but with the love and attention you give Jean-Marc, I'm positive he will overcome the dark moments. Living where you do is definitely a plus, thank you for the lovely photos! And big hugs and bon courage to both of you!


Chere Kristin -- I am thinking about you both. That you both can still chuckle at the ronflement of a napping neigbhbor is a wonderful sign. Sending prayers for continuing strength, courage, creativity, and laughter together.

Suzanne Bandy

Suzanne…well said. From first-hand experience, I know how important it is to have been accurately diagnosed by a competent psychiatrist before treatment can begin. There might be an additional condition going on in conjunction with the depression.

Susan Stafford

Thinking of you both and sending good thoughts your way. You have both battled Jean-Marc's depression long enough to know when you need those helpful getaways and break in routine. Bon courage !

Lynne Chapman

Prayers for you and Jean-Marc. Your vocabulary list incluses ‘accrochez-vous’ = hang on. It reminded me of the ELO song, Hold on tight/Accroche-toi à ton rêve. I played it and it lifted my spirits as I’m in CoVid confinement. Maybe it will bring just a little smile/souvenir to your husband, too. Bisous!! 🥰


Thinking of you and your precious family. Love every day

Shari Reed

Depression is an illness. There are many medications available and no shame in using medications. Zoloft
has been in my pillbox for years. Prayer and lovely vistas don’t cure depression bur anti depressants can
bring one back to a good life.


Praying for blue skies again for my dear friend JM and you RB. Read something the other day that I thought was simple yet so profound...about trials...I will find and resend. In the meantime, know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. LOVE you all! Time for a call soon! XOXOXO RB

Kathy Lechman

Sending you hugs and prayers for you and your family. I read the comment from Dr. Abeles, I hope his suggestion helps Jean-Marc. Depression is so difficult to understand. May God be with you all. Stay Strong!


For Jean-Marc, trois bisous! For you, a hug! Lovely photos make me think I need to go there. Really very nice photos, Kristi. They give one a sense of the place(s). Please ask Jean-Marc if he knows a rose Les Jardins - Saint Antonin Faugeres. It has become one of our favorites which we can purchase at Princeton Corkscrew.


Sending you both lightness and some humour. When darkness lands it can really feel very very heavy.

In my experience I can just say that doing The Work of Byron Katie is life changing … I can highly recommend it and especially for depression. Often the roots lie in what we are thinking… even if it’s a simple little thought like
- I shouldn’t be feeling depressed.
Or my other favourites
- This will never go away.
- there is something wrong with me
- it must be in the genes … etc !

These thoughts used to be especially stressful!
And having questioned them… they are seen to be not true at all. Every now and then mind tries to throw a good punch but it’s quickly seen and not believed anymore. If it still sticks and causes trouble - it gets questioned!

So I say let mind go and be depressed… or try to come up with its most stressful thought… and just stay and watch it from a place of neutral observation.
This brings great power. After all, no thought is ever personal.

Many many blessings to you and Jean Marc.

There is also relief in knowing… this too, shall pass.


Susan V

Kristi - thanks for sharing this- I think that sharing difficult times or sad things can also lift people up. Sending healing thoughts and courage.

Leslie NYC

Beauty, nature, sea, and the benign indifference of a nearby snorer!
Perfect prescription!
I too appreciate your candor.
We all have demons who visit. I think Jean Marc may have more than his share, not to minimize what he is dealing with.
Wishing you many more outings with snorers, or anything that brings you joy.


DITTO to all of the above encouraging support and suggestions for OTC treatments.
I just listened to two podcasts that may be helpful. Sanjay Gupta talks about the science behind Gratitude. Quite astounding what counting our blessings in a meaningful and deliberate way can do to the brain.
Another by Sanjay is more unusual in that new microbiome discoveries point to how our gut can heal our brain- in fact our whole body. Google FMT- but also listen to his suggestions (and those of other doctors) about our diet. ( i.e. News to me that meat can interfere with our gut by destroying some microbes we need.) Worth listening to!
Bonne chance. Tenez bon. Petit a petit...

Lynn McBride

Kristin and Jean-Marc, I am so sorry that this dreadful disease has returned to you. We are sending you good, healing thoughts.

Karen Cafarrella

Thinking of you and Jean-Marc. Sending prayers, love and big hugs.

Diane Heinecke

Prayers are being sent your way. Depression is such a complicated issue. The one who suffers with it can't just shake it. And the one who wants to help can't find enough ways to help. I hope some fresh air and a change of scenery, along with meds, give some relief. Love conquers all!


Depression is so derailing to every life it touches. Medication is a must and the suggestions were very good. Not every Rx works for everyone. Sometimes, a mix of 2 can bring better results. So important to be under a doctors care so they can be monitored for best results. Therapy can be a helpful adjunct to Rx. Depression is an Illness and needs treatment to bring relief. Thank you for sharing and it may help someone who is struggling to seek help.

Cathy L.

Thank you for sharing. Your post will probably help people more than you realize. Sometimes just one word can help someone through the day. Be kind... to yourself and others!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi and Jean Marc,
I'm so sorry that you all are going through JM's depression. I know it is a terrible disease and so many people suffer from it. My mother suffered from it and it was tough as a kid to see her in bed with the covers almost covering her head. As a child I didn't really know what was wrong but now looking back I know. I will keep Jean Marc in my prayers and also you because I know it is hard on the spouse to see a loved one go through this.
Thank you for sharing the beautiful village of Bormes-les-Mimosas.


Kristy and Jean Marc,

My heart is with you both. Rough times. May you both get through to the brighter side as soon as can be.

With love and prayers,

Sue Lennox

Thank you for sharing REAL life, which is not all roses…and Lavender. Smiling vibes are now sent from Scottsdale to J-M (and you too, Kristi)! Love to you both until and after the cloud lifts.

Joan H. Simon

Hi Kristin,
I am thinking about you and will pray for you when I remember. This helped me today in that I am in the same position as you.
Much love,

Anna J.

Having fought depression for many years, I will add one thing to all the excellent suggestions above. That is laughter. Just like the snoring gentleman lifted your mood for the moment. Over the years I have collected cartoons, books, photos, and anything else that makes me laugh. An hour scouring through my collection has frequently improved my life at least for a while.
Also, thank you so much for your photos, and the way they capture the essence (to me, anyway) of France. The mis-matched furniture pieces that blend harmoniously, the square street signs with intriguing names, the ancient walls blending into modern construction, the unexpected artwork, and the windows with extravagant window curtains flanked by shutters with flaking paint. I miss it all. Thank you for the brief photographic visits.


I am always delighted to see you, and read you. Courage a Jean-Marc. Sometimes we have to put our affairs in the hands of higher authorities. I say that to myself as I navigate through rough waters, and I am grateful to you for lifting my spirits with words, and photos. You are correct, a lot of people care, as we do for Jean-Marc without meeting face to face.

Hugs to you both

janine cortell

Dear Kristi:
My mother suffered from depression. Today we would call it bipolar. This was very long ago and she did not have access to many of the new meds available today.
Your love and support are the best meds you can give Jean-Marc. He is so fortunate to have
such an affectionate and loving wife.
Thank you for sharing your husband's struggle. I know this is a difficult time for you both. I pray that he will be feeling more optimistic in the days ahead.
Bisous, Janine


Beautiful photos. Beautiful place. Beautiful couple. 🙏s for you and yours.


Sending loving, healing thoughts to you both. Take care and know we are all here for you.

Rhonda Alperin

Bonjourde Caroline de Sud aux États-Unis ! Juste un petit conseil (en anglais pour les gens qui sont en train d'apprendre le français). My sweet mother-in-law suffered depression after her military service in WWII. When illegal drugs/pot & heroin became rampant in the 70s she quit taking her medication. Massive depression ensued. A friend suggested seeing a NYC endocrinologist. After a simple hair sample analysis she learned her body had no magnesium, lithium or zinc. After adding only these minerals to her diet, she never had depression the last roughly 30 yrs of her life.

Stacy Lund

My dear Kristi,
Thank you for brightening my morning with your usual high spirits. I am grateful for your courage and honesty. I send love and prayers to you and J-M, as he finds his way through this trying passage. Keep seeking the light! xoxo

Karen in NY

Mmmm, been somewhere similar I think. It took a while to get the meds right, now my bag of tricks usually works. I'll share. Take what (if any) you can and leave the rest. When my alligators start biting (emotional pain?) I "downshift". Puzzles, funny videos, learn something new, read a Light novel, salt water swim (2 months of the year anyway), etc. You get the idea and it's so person specific. What makes you happy? I also learned to forgive and accept myself as is; flaws, failures, trespasses, and all. And laugh. Now easier to extend same to others. Let go of anger. Build bridges. Random acts of kindness. It is what it is. Limit time with "the news"; you can't fix it. Life's too short to spend too much time unhappy. You're stronger than you know. Prayers and good wishes that the storm season passes quickly.

Lisa Kennedy

Dear Kristi,
Thank you for sharing today's heartfelt and personal story. I am sending the very best of wishes and positive, healing thoughts to Jean-Marc, and a big hug to you. I hope that every day will find Jean-Marc ever closer to feeling well again.


Prayers for Marc and you. Wishing you peace and tranquillity. May the beauty of nature and God's world bring you comfort.

We have just experienced a violent mass shooting of children here in the states. So sad and depressing for all. These politicians who refuse to address the NRA. My guess is that many politician pockets and campaigns are the reason.

Leslie in SC

It sounds simplistic, but I try to imagine what other people are going through — often indefinitely and with great difficulty. This gives me a sense of perspective.
If we could choose our ‘crosses’ ….it would be an impossible choice.
Although I can’t erase ALL the doubt, I do believe that God does not give us more than we can bear. And, for sure, I look for an eternity wherein our bodies are restored and there is no cause for tears.
Let us know when the Sun again is shining brightly.

Patricia Sands

Kristi, we are with you and J-M. Tenez bon. <3

Kitty Wilsn-Pote

A treasure of a post today, Chère Kristi -- thanks for this candid and oh-so-tender and wise share. Been 'there' as spouse of a dear heart with cyclic depressive illness, and as just me, subject to bouts too. Your understanding and patient companionship as J-M weathers this debilitating stretch of time means much. Prayer, mindfulness, and gentle darings like this chosen 'Escapade-Quoi-Qu'il-Arrive' do uphold healing too, however invisibly.
Your account of this light-and-shadow experience lifts and softens all our hearts. We are with you, our host of soft embraces like dawn-glow around you both. -- As for Le Ronfleur Stentoreux -- did you catch on that he was an actual angel sent to spark a subtle shift, one soft step toward recovery? Well, at least 'an angel unawares', just as you say. ❤️
"All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of thing shall be well." C'est vrai, ça!

natalia radula

Our dear Kristi and Jean Marc,
With sadness we read this update.
Your courage is truly an inspiration to all,and especially to those who are battling the same demons wrapping all in darkness.
Asking God to replace that darkness with light and to continue to fill you with
Unending prayers for you both.
Arms around you.
Natalia xo

Sue Farrowe

Thanks for sharing your photos - a beautiful town. My prayers are with you and Jean-Marc - it's a long road but you have many people praying for you both - God listens.

barbara michels

My thoughts are with Jean-Marc. I too have and still suffer from depression. Sometimes it will go away and then voila, one little trigger sets it off again for no reason. Your photos today brought many happy memories from times spent in that most lovely part of France. Nice to relive through your eyes.

Marianne Rankin

Jean-Marc, remember we are all rooting for you! And you have an enthusiasm and strength of spirit and creativity (especially with systeme D) that should help. I will pray for you and your whole family, and encourage you to remember the good times. More are on the way.


I hope you know how much you are appreciated for all you do for us. Your blog has been informative, educational, enlightening, entertaining, eye-opening. The adjectives could go on and on to create a very long list.
It’s been a beautiful gift. How many families open their homes, lives, loves and problems to the world these days? Not in such an honest way, I believe.
I’d like to thank you for your openness about mental health. How many of us have not been touched by someone who has difficulties in that area? Fortunately we live in a time when it can be discussed versus our predecessors. We’re lucky that way.
It’s heart warming to know you are surrounded by family, and getting professional help. It’s time to take care of yourself.
Best of luck and please know there are many people around the world who care and are concerned .
Sending a giant hug from Southern California!
~ Laura

Judy Knudson

Sending you much love and support!!!

Suzanne Cappozzo

I am also so moved by this post, Kristi. My son suffers from depression, and through knowledge, nutrition, and meditation has learned to manage this cruel affliction. I only wish his wife, whom I love dearly, would develop the patience and caring that you bring to your husband when the storm clouds roll in. It would comfort and help him. Jean Marc is a fortunate man.
With admiration and love,

Cynthia Lewis

So many of your readers who feel as though they are like family have reached out to you with their advice, concern and empathy for you and Jean-Marc. You have helped so many of us by sharing your stories. Now in return you have our prayers that these will soon help Jean-Marc feel better. You have our support in every way. With love and concern, Cynthia


Two thoughts: My husband is fond of saying, let's do something, even if it's wrong (rather than stand around worrying about a decision). And a couple of weeks ago, our priest at Sunday mass said something he had heard that really stuck with me. He said (and probably quoted): "In the end everything will be all right, and if it's not all right, then it must not be the end."


I’m thinking of you and Jean Marc. I hope he feels better soon. You both are inspiring. I’ve not met either of you, but back in 2019, I visited his shop, and I so appreciated the young man who helped me, the beautiful selections, and I had in that moment an appreciation for Jean Marc, even though I don’t know him.

Eileen BurnsEil

Oh my, having struggled with that dark beast, depression, myself, I suspect there is nothing I can say to you or Jean-Marc that you don't already know. "This too shall pass" is my go-to phrase but there are times when even that doesn't convince me that it will, in fact, pass....But it does, of course...I will share that I find the term "depression" confounding....It suggests sadness, which that creepy, scary, dark hole is not. Sadness can be an element, but oh how I wish we could find a better turn of phrase, some way to better define that state-of-being that feels as though it is NO state-of-being at all.

I have been well for quite a long stretch. Honestly, and I am not joking, I think that aging steals much of the energy that is required for depression!...I find that as I get older, the depression, when it arrives, treats me more gently. Perhaps I have finally found a way to make friends with it...who knows? I hope the same proves to be true for Jean-Marc as well...

And you, my dear, need not feel that you should not share...You do your readers a GREAT service (you HELP me!) when you write about your devotion to your husband, who is who he is, who never asked for this nonsense (here I COULD add a profanity, but I will not!), We are born as we are born. We live the best we can. AND "This too shall pass"! MUCH LOVE TO YOU BOTH....Eileen XO

Suzanne Dunawy

Oh, Jean-Marc. A terrible affliction. And Kristin, you are a treasure. Patient, a listener, a kind heart. But of course the person depressed is the only one who can find answers, alas. A family member has taken medication all of his ;life, since his teen years, for depression and does very well, but that is a choice some do not wish to make. So good of you to change the scennery, smell flowerrs, the sea, new air. Good thoughts from us for Jean-Marc.


Thank you for addressing this. I was hoping someone would!


Thank you to both Suzannes.


This could not have been an easy decision to share Jean Marc's depression woes. It was brave for both of you to address this publicly. But the support from your readers puts a gigantic hug around you both. This world is full of wonderful people who give back to you while enjoying your posts of France. I add my hugs to you.

K. J. Laramie

Thank you. By sharing this, you have helped so many people, immeasurably!
Love and Light have traveled around the world to open dark passages for so many. Solutions, different for every individual, are being looked at with compassion and new hope. Diets may change, lifestyles may change to include many healing options, and spirits are being lifted by the sheer energy and understanding of compassion. Kudos to you both! Lives are being renewed, including your own, for this wonderful act of selflessness.


Margaret Morris

These are wonderful outpourings of love and support. You have obviously reached out to so many with this post. Such courage to share something so deeply personal! I want to help, so I am sending love, prayers and a donation. Dare I say they are perhaps all equally important? I personally find it also helps to count my blessings every night. It takes only a few minutes and I easily get to my target of 10. Some are tiny, but they are all blessings. As is life itself. Covid and the war in Ukraine are reminders that many have lost the lives they loved and their loved ones are left heartbroken. If you possibly can, remind yourself that for you the sun still shines. You both have so much to give by helping others with their depression, by sharing yours. You are in this together. Much love and hugs.


I will add Jean-Marc to my prayer list and ask that he is lifted out of this sea of despair and depression. For those of us who have been down this road, we understand and know the waves that engulf us and distort our view of the world. May God hold you both in the palm of his hand and guide and protect you. Chin up.

Jeanine Woods

Dear Kristi,
What more can I add to all of these caring and helpful comments? Only another thank you that even during this difficult time you are still sharing the beautiful pictures and writing your inspiring journal. Mostly I want to say thank you also for sharing about an illness that has physical causes but sadly has a stigma. I am praying Jean-Marc's physician can find the right meds to help him so he can have some relief from this mental pain. He is blessed to have you by his side. Tenez bon Kristi and Jean-Marc. Je prie pour vous.


Sending prayers to you and Jean-Marc, Kristi. Regarding your concern to only share uplifting stories, I wanted to say that some -- if not many -- of us have gone through tough times and can most definitely relate. In fact, your writing about Jean-Marc is a great reminder that we are not alone, and I hope that the reminder extends to him as well. Keep seeking beauty all around you and taking things one deep breath at a time!

Jean Marc

Thank you so much all for your prayers, thoughts, advices... to help me fight my new episode of depression.
My Angel Kristi is there, as always, to hold my hand.
With Love


You are both in my heart and mind, wishing you peace and continued strength in walking through this difficult path. Not easy for either of you - but so fortunate to have each other!!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,
You have such a beautiful way of phrasing your thoughts. It is a joy to read everything you write.
You and Jean-Marc have both dealt with adversity and seem to have moved ahead into good places. The wine shop looks like such a winner…seems so very successful. George and I have much admiration for your strength and courage, and for JM’s effort, persistence and stamina to tackle just about any challenge. I hope that those qualities can help him cut through this dark dismal fog of depression. Thankfully you and the others in the family are there for him.
We all have our struggles. Our own have increased to the point where they are defining our lives. So we do understand dealing with adversity.
You both have made such an impact in our lives, our thoughts are always you and we pray for inner peace for you.
Keep up hope…the fog will lift and then…glorious sunrises across the glistening sea.


Jean-Marc and Kristi,
Through Kristi's writings allowing us to get to know you, we all feel as if we are almost family too. I know I speak for many when I say we hold you in our hearts and hope for sunny days ahead for you both. Depression can be so difficult to find the right tools to fight but know that we are all supporting you and sending our best as you find your footing and your joy again. I don't have the answer but I do know that love and support are part of it <3

From Colorado,

Gabrielle Tsabag

Sending healing vibes your way ... to both Jean-Marc and you, Kristi. Always remember, you are stronger together.

I just purchased THE LOST GARDENS. Looking forward to reading another of your stories.

God bless,
Los Angeles

Beth Fiacco

You are right to say that there is always hope of feeling different. Depression is a battlefield of the mind (and spirit)! Praying for Jean-Marc to renew his mind with God's help and that heaviness is lifted from him - now and forever.
~Beth ♥


I am so sorry that Jean Marc is suffering. I hope he will know that we all care about him and wish him better days ahead. It is a frightening disease. My prayers go out to all of you. I have long admired Jean Marc’s ability to keep on going despite setbacks. His athletic pursuits, getting out on the water, his adventurous spirit- he is a beautiful person and husband and father. You are all special. Thank you for sharing and I hope some happy times are ahead for him. Hang in there, Jean Marc and Kristi.

Ron Cann

You did not mention whether John-Marc is on antidepressant medication or even if he has tried it in the past. Taking some nostrums as was recommended may be fun or even helpful but not reliably so. Neuro-inflammation is a speculative concept and not accepted by all. Perhaps a better approach would be seeing a psychiatrist for an evaluation and possible medication management. Antidepressants are not magic and one size, so to speak, does not fit all. But there can be real and dramatic improvements. Also, a little talk therapy from a professional can be quite effective. Usually, an experienced vigneron can produce better wine than an amateur.


Dear Kristi & Jean-Marc: my heart is so with you; depression can certainly make its mark on a mind & body spirit; but,.... with trying to look "on the bright side of things"(Monty Python), life does seem to be lifted off your shoulders.

Our lovely cat, whom we only owned for 4 years, died on May 25th; her spirit is overwhelmingly in our home; but, the memories & fun times that we had with her are uppermost in our thoughts; she is where she needs to be. It is also the date that my husband's son (from a first marriage) was killed in a tragic car accident. How does it happen that two extremely significant things in our lives happen on the same day??? It just does. So, with that in mind, we wish you both sunshine, laughter, espresso, wine, chocolate, lovely walks & I always look forward to reading your own words! Amicalmente, Ann


Hello Kristi, Jean-Marc

I have been following you for many years. I have
never gotten a chance to thank you for sharing your life with so many or us. I believe we all have wanted to be in yours shoes at some point or another in our life as in yours. You have been a joy and an inspiration to all of us! If I may so!!!

I have dreamed of life in France, so many years ago when I attended a fashion school in Paris. I loved every moment of it...

Here are my thanks,
Hope to be in France in the near future.



Thank you for the honesty and for sharing what must be so difficult. Beautiful photos without the truth doesn't build the community we are all missing and the strength we can all share to help each other on those inevitably dark days that we all pass through. Your courage is admirable :)

Nancy Cripe

Please do not just share "only the lovely things." It makes your life feel unrelatably privileged and unreal. It's the mix of lovely and hard stuff that makes for human connection, which is what we all long for. Your best posts, in my opinion, are the ones where you are vulnerable about your and Jean-Marc's very human struggles. We all relate better to one another when we know that we aren't alone in struggling. There are millions of humans right now weighted down with depression, cancer, addiction, loss, insecurity, etc., and it makes those burdens lighter to be reminded that we aren't alone in carrying them, that they belong to the human condition for everyone, no matter how privileged and easy their lives might appear on the surface.
Go deeper. It is in you. I sense it. But you seem to hold it back, believing that you should entertain and uplift. Lightness isn't uplifting. It may be amusing, but it isn't uplifting.
Tear up that sticky note on your desk! Write from "les tripes!"
And you aren't, of course, in any way obligated to follow my wishes. But if it is a reminder that your struggles are meaningful to others that is needed to nudge you in a direction that perhaps you are tempted to go in but fear will meet rejection, may my words be that reminder.

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