Every Francophiles Favorite F Word + 2 Days in Paris!
Désinvolte: Mom's new pet (and a message from Smokey?)

Today is The Day! Something mammoth to celebrate!

image from french-word-a-day.typepad.com

Today's Expression: "dans la panade"

    : in a jam (in a difficult situation)

Other ways to say "in a jam": dans le pétrin, dans la mouise...but if you really want to speak like a native it's dans la merde!

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Today is the day! Twenty years ago, on Sunday, October 28th, this French word journal began. Jean-Marc (or a seven-year-old Max?) took this picture in the hallway of our home in a medieval French village. When I look at the image above, I see a 34-year-old woman striking out on a new path. Just look at that mammoth computer. How things have changed over two decades. Nowadays, in a jam, I'll type on a tiny phone using my two thumbs and a lot of squinting--because, short of hijacking a satellite, I will do just about anything to publish my weekly post, and so stick to a promise I made to myself 20 years ago.

Now, if I am an accidental hijacker, that makes you an accidental accomplice. Because without your regular encouragement, this blog, this body of work, would not exist. Thank you for your love and support!

I am off to post this latest entry, in time to meet Jean-Marc for a celebratory lunch. Only, it seems my blog server is having technical problems...making today's delivery very uncertain. I may have to don a Hijacker costume for an early Halloween scare for those tech guys working on the issue. But all I have is a "cowboy" ensemble. Now, how does one say "This is a stickup in!" French? Would that be "Ceci est une intrusion!"? 

Goodbye for now, dear reader, and may these letters never be an intrusion. Thank you for reading and, as always, I would love to hear from you. Simply hit the return key (if reading via email), or leave a comment, below. I would really appreciate it.



I leave you with a photo taken in Le Marais, during my recent escapade with my daughter

image from french-word-a-day.typepad.com

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.

Ways to contribute:
1. Paypal or credit card
2. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Kristin, well done. 20 years is commendable in these days and times. Congratulations. Bon courage.


Congratulations! Here is to another 20:)

Jens Hork

Dear Kristi,
Well done and congrats! Keep up the good work.


It’s important to take a moment to celebrate! Congratulations on your two decades of blogging and on showing us commitment to oneself. Thank you for sharing your French life with all of us, Kristi.

Karen Blair

Congratulations, you are an inspiration in so many ways.


Félicitations !!
Following your posts since 2010!
Un grand merci !!


Félicitations et merci! I think I’ve been with you for about 13 of those years! It’s fun to live vicariously!


Catherine Berry

You have done so well, Kristi. Congratulations.


Félicitations ! Et bon courage !!

Sue J.

Brava on your 20 years writing French Word a Day! That is HUGE milestone.
Looking forward to the next 20.

K. J. Laramie

Your beautiful heart, dedication, and determination has added so much joy to so many lives! Thank you! Congratulations! 🎉🎈

Susan Stafford

Congratulations on this milestone! You have a true gift for writing. Thank you for sharing your insights, humor, and compassion with us. Bonne continuation !


Over the years, you have kept my foot in the French language. On my bucket list is a visit to La Ciotat and all the coves you have mentioned over the years.

Kathi K

On my very recent and happy trip to France, I used the expression "Illico!" I smiled, remembering that I learned it from one of your journal entries. I admire the way you have bloomed and shared your gifts, observations and insights with us, your fortunate followers. Mille mercis and many blessings!

Lynn at Southern Fried French

Every week! Now that is an accomplishment. And you have spread so much joy along the way. Merci and Félicitations, Kristi!


Thank you Kristi for your steadfastness to provide us with weekly fun readings through which we learn French expressions and daily idioms. Thank you again and keep up the good work.


Amazing! Félicitations, Kristin. I agree with Lynn that you have spread so much joy and added many delightful, and useful, words and expressions to my limited vocab. You have a true gift for writing. Onward to the next twenty!

Jo Isom

Congratulations on 20 years. I have enjoyed your stories over the years.

Cindy McD

Congratulations chère Kristi! Cannot believe it’s been 20 years. I don’t remember when I started following but it’s been a long time… feel very fortunate to have discovered you. Je t’adore et ma belle France. Thank you for sharing through your beautiful writing, your family, your life with us. Mille mercis et bisous 😘😘😘

Susan Alexander

Congratulations! Twenty years is a great feat! I hope to read your emails for twenty more!


Congratulations on 20 years! I love this blog so much. I love the peek into a life in a French village, the way you incorporate French vocabulary (the biggest gap in my French!) and Jean-Marc's native pronunciation. I've purchased and enjoyed your book; I have many of your book recommendations on my "to read" list. Thank you for sharing part of your life with us and for your dedication to these weekly posts.

Ginger in Jacksonville

Your commitment shows it is a true vocation not just a profession. Thank you! And your photos continue to be charming.

Jan from Cape Cod, MA

Congratulations Kristi! 20 years of dedication and traveling life together. Thank you for your elegance and fidelity! Merci!


Congratulations Kristi! 🙌
I’ve been with you for awhile, maybe 14 years? Hard to believe it’s been that long!
Thank you for all your fun, thoughtful, inspiring, heart-warming, beautiful…..posts!
Have a lovely celebratory lunch!
Blessings to you for many more years of FWAD!


Felicitations Kristi! Merci pour votre travail! I am thankful for this window into your French life. May the Lord continue to bless you with wit, time, and perseverance. Bon courage et merci encore.

Jeanine Woods

Félicitations et bon anniversaire de votre journal! J'adore ce journal et touts vos histoires de votre vie en France et les leçons de vie à tous. Et bien sur les expressions et le vocabulaire en Français! Merci pour ce cadeau pour nous.

Leslie in SC

Thank you for sharing your God-given gift these many years. You have connected us not only to France, but to each member of your family, and to each reader. We have grown in wondrous ways through your words, e.g., fully grasping the importance of commitment, the heavy burden of psychological stress, how to love across the miles, opening our hearts wide to pets, seeing a purpose in each day, sacrificing ourselves for others. I like to think that heaven will involve lots of “getting together for coffee time” and we will have a wide circle of stories to tell each other.
Much love, Leslie

Alan Miller

I will tell you that reading your journal and especially the pictures always reminds me of our trips to France and inspires us at our “older” age to make at least one last trip over the sea to relive all those simple pleasures that you describe. Who knows, maybe we can meet for a glass of wine and toast your success in person. Thanks for the last 20 years and here’s to the next twenty with an eye on your continued success and happiness.

Cynthia Lewis

My heartfelt congratulations Kristi! Twenty years of writing French-Word-A-Day is quite an accomplishment. Mille mercis for the enjoyment I have had while reading it; the French I have learned; the inspirations I have had from your writings. My best wishes for many more creative years.

Leslie Harris

As Jan said, you have elegance & fidelity.
I think I have happily followed FWAD for 13 years.
Félicitations et brava!
Leslie NYC

Lindsay Tognetti

Hi Kristi and fellow readers,
For some reason, I am having problems getting the photos and audio file to download on my computer. I haven't had this problem before and am wondering if I am alone. I have a PC.
Thanks for any help you can offer. Wanted you to know and am missing your wonderful photos.

Joanne Fischer

Congratulations, how is it possible it has been 20 years? I used to read it at work on a computer like in your photo. It has been wonderful watching the kids grow, watching Jean-Marc’s wine adventures and seeing you grow as a writer. Bravo and here’s to more adventures!


Congratulations Kristin! I started following you in 2011 when I was trying to learn some of the French language before our first trip to France and meeting you and Jean Marc at your winery. I have so enjoyed reading your blog through the years. Thank you!

Suzanne in NJ

Congratulations on your annniversaire! Your blog has introduced me to many new words and phrases ... some of which I actually remember and use when traveling in France. If I hadn't seen an ad on your blog of Maison des Pellerins, I may never have explored the Haute Provence ... Sablet, Vaison la Romaine, Venasques and might never have met you and your family 13 or 14 years ago. Merci, Kristi expanding my knowledge and my world.

Susan Barnabe

I too have been "with you" for almost all of those 20 years, Kristi. And I've enjoyed every one of your posts! I've also drawn strength from you through our common acquaintance with Bill. Susan in Ottawa, Canada


Congratulations Kristi!! I hope you had a lovely celebratory lunch. Although I’ve only followed you for a few years I happily send you a small offering to add to your celebrations… maybe you need to celebrate again, oh, what a pity?!


I think I have been with you at least 10 years now. What I love most are not the singular words, but common phrases the french use. Two favs are "cerci et cela" et "Bien sur". You make me use what "Petit Francais je sais, lorsque j'ecrive ma list d'epiceire" I don't know if I will be able to travel to France again because of age and some health issues, but, if I do, I will meet you. Pour toutes les annes sur votre blog, Merci> As you can see, I choose the easiest sentences.

Patty Cargill

Ah, I just wrote and hit "preview" & it disappeared. Suffice to say many thanks for your blog, I've followed you for many years, and even met J-M in Washington, D.C. for one of his wine tastings, followed by a group dinner next door.

Maybe someday, I'll make it back to belle France and meet you! Best wishes to you as you continue your writing and hello's and cheers! to your family. It has been added good times having your chere maman Jules with us, too!

Toujours dans nos coeurs,

Patty in the Blue Ridge Mtns of Virginia

Cathy Toner

Congratulations Kristin!
Will never forget the kindness you, Marc and your great kids showed us many moons ago at your vineyard in 2002. Can’t believe 20 years have passed. May you continue to shine your beautiful light on all of us that have had the pleasant of meeting you personally, or in the pages of your books! ❤️😘🤗

Alain du CIQ Ste-Marguerite

Bravo Kristin
C’est toujours un plaisir de lire tes publications pleines d’humour mais aussi de te rencontrer au Fournil Lumière ou sur la Voie Douce
Bonne continuation, comme on dit dans les bons restaurants

Patricia Sands

A cause for great celebration! Thank you for the joy you bring to everyone! Le Top!

Stacy Lund

Congratulations, dear Kristi! I'm so proud of you! I recognize that beautiful young lady in the photo! She's grown more beautiful with the passing of time! I applaud your commitment to your writing.

PS sorry for the delay in commenting. I tried to comment twice when you originally posted, but the technical glitch would not allow me to.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, my dear friend! Catching up with your comments now. So appreciate them! Have a lovely weekend.

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