What is “Sobriété Énergétique”? + How to warm up in winter (with la bouillotte)
Bon Bout D'An! Something French to wish others this time of year

Big News! A Change is Coming + se lancer dans l'inconnu

Le Vin Sobre evenement gathering
Jean-Marc, right, and friends at one of the wine shop's events. Read on for some big news regarding my husband.

TODAY'S PHRASE: "se lancer dans l'inconnu"

    : to strike out into the unknown

Listen to all the French words in today's story by clicking on the sound file below. Then scroll to the vocabulary section and check your comprehension.

Click now to hear the audio

Se lancer dans l'inconnu, c'est un heureux cocktail d'enthousiasme, d'inconfort, de peur, de fierté. On est déstabilisé, parce que nos repères changent. Il y a cette forte sensation que tout peut arriver. To strike out into the unknown is a happy cocktail of enthusiasm, discomfort, fear and pride. We are destabilized because our reference points change. There is this strong feeling that anything can happen.
-from the blog Ouvrir Une Porte

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

A New Chapter in Chief Grape's Life

I have just returned from another stick hunt and boy did I hit the foraging jackpot today! C'est dommage Jean-Marc was not able to join in on the fun. He had to leave early for work and miss our morning stroll.

Raindrops began falling as I arranged all the wooden bâtons on our steps for drying. I quickly snapped a picture to cheer my husband. He is not as sparked as I am for each found stick, but that's because joy hasn't come easy for him this past year. Still, he is happy when I am happy and these days we are shooting for each other's happiness. A target worth aiming for wouldn't you say? If only we had fully comprehended The Happiness Secret sooner. Tant pis...

It is never too late to be what you might have been.  
Il n'est jamais trop tard pour devenir ce que nous aurions pu être

Thank you, George Eliot, for that hopeful thought. I will share it with my husband on this, the eve of a major change in his life. And now, sans plus attendre, some big news: Jean-Marc has sold his wine shop! The complicated transaction has kept him suspended in a Never-Never land for 9 months. But now he's been delivered, or almost. (His last day at the shop is January 5th.)

So the start of the New Year corresponds to a new chapter in our lives. While Jean-Marc is itching to move somewhere, anywhere, I am digging my feet in this time. But I will try to keep open-hearted, about further changes, as he strikes out into the unknown unsure of what's next. 

Se lancer dans l'inconnu...
And now a question for you, dear reader. Did you strike out into the unknown later in life? Will you share, in the comments here, the positive changes that happened to you during/after a middle-age crisis? Did you switch careers? Move out of the country? Learn a new skill?

Did you live the truth in George Eliot's words, It is never too late to be what you might have been? Or did you discover that who you might have been was there all along?

As we pause to think about who we are becoming, I'll bid you good day. Madame Who I Might Have Been is itching to go outside and enjoy another exploratory ramble through the neighborhood. Instead of sticks, I could switch it up...and collect smiles this time (my mom's favorite sport: "Smile and see who smiles back at you!"). Ah, evolution!


Don't miss the book A Very French Christmas, "this collection encapsulates the holiday spirit and proves that the French have mastered Christmas."

se lancer dans l'inconnu = to strike out into the unknown
c'est dommage
= it's too bad
le bâton = stick
tant pis! = never mind
sans plus attendre = without further delay
Il n'est jamais trop tard pour devenir ce que nous aurions pu être = It is never too late to be what you might have been.

Read about the opening of Jean-Marc's wine shop. Click below.


French yogurt cake gateau yaourt dessert
Sweet of the Week, No 3: French Yogurt Cake. Need an easy cake for Christmas? Simply spruce up this simple French yogurt cake! Add cranberries and pecans to the mix or candied orange and chocolate. This dessert became our go-to gâteau the day my brother-in-law, Jacques, made it for one of our family gatherings.  Yogurt Cake Recipe here. Enjoy and un Joyeux Noël to all!

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you 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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Maggie G.

Dear Kristi, I took early retirement at 60 from my guvvie job, and went back to graduate school. Six years later, I finished my doctorate and am now editing my thesis into a book.

Thank you for the lovely George Eliot quote. It is my inspiration for today.

Amicalement, your faithful reader Maggie

Catherine Berry

Exciting news for sure and I can't wait to hear what the next chapter brings. As for your question - change, and the quest for it, is what keeps me going. Sending love to you and the family.

Ray Stoddard


My wife and I bought a vacation house in a tiny village France 13 years ago. We visited it several times a year for a month, and after almost three years, all we could think about was what must have be happening with our neighbors and friends in the village. So...we went to the French Consulate and applied for a long stay visa to move to France, which is what we did about 6 months later. We sold our house and cars in the States and moved. We learned a new language, a new culture, and made new friends. We are now both retired in France and I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks for asking about it and reminding me of what happened...it almost seems commonplace now, as if it's something everyone does . -Ray

Arolyn Garnell

Dear kristi and Jean Marc,
I recommend that you read The Parable of the Trapeze, which is now easily found online. .I had the rug pulled out from under my life and as challenging and yes, painful at times,Iit brought much success and growth and joy that probably would not have occurred otherwise.May you meet many angels in disguise along the way and may this next chapter in your lives be the best yet. I can’t wait to read about how fabulous it is.

With gratitude for all the enjoyment you work has given,

Michele Fraser

I hope the new adventure enables you to stay in la ciotat xxx

Susan Stafford

Wishing you both well as a new door of life opens for you. Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année !

Leslie L

I quit my job teaching French and my husband and children bought 22 acres with 2 barns and built a house for us and and for my parents. We currently only have chickens, but our ultimate goal is to have many different animals. It’s a slow process but I love it and we hope the work here will keep us healthy and active as we get older.
Bon courage!

Jens Hork

Dear Kristi and Jean-Marc,

Merry Christmas in advance and Congrats to Jean-Marc with the sale of the wine shop that I was happy to visit three times. Best of luck with the new chapter! 'A rolling stone gathers no moss' ...


Suzanne Codi

Bravo to Jean-Marc, and to you for supporting him! As I've been told, and try to do myself, the secret to a happy life is finding the thing you love most and to make that the major part of your work life. I've changed careers several times, but they have always been connected to Art in some way, and now that I'm getting ready to retire ( at least partly) from the Floral business, I will finally be able to devote most of my time to my functional dog sculptures. Scary, yes, and exciting too!And if everyone followed your mom's advice, the world would be a much better place. Joyeux Noel to all 5 of you!


Oui, je me lance dans l'inconnu. My husband died this past summer. We were married 59 years, and he was the love of my life. In May 2023 I will be coming to France all on my own, arranging all my flights and trains, spending a day in Paris and then meeting up in Dordogne with a small group of people that I've never met and spending a week in that region. Then I will go to spend 5 days with some French pen pals (they speak French, no English). This will be a cocktail of enthusiasm, discomfort, fear and pride, for sure.

Kristin Espinasse

Gail, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear husband. I am amazed by your striking out into the unknown via this trip to France. You are an inspiration! Bon voyage and I know it will be a wonderful adventure for you.


So many courageous & inspiring stories here, ( I particularly like Gail’s!!!!)

Change brings opportunity!

Bonne chance & Joyeux Noel.


Lisa T

Best wishes as the page turns to the on the next chapter in the book of life !
A bientot j’espere


Absolutely love your stories Kristi. Gentle and masterful. Very best wishes to JM for new adventures and to you all a very happy Christmas.

Maureen McCormick

I call living this way "No Template." You create your life as you go, without the constrictions of what people say you should or shouldn't do. After a first career in computer software, I went to grad school at age 39 and became a psychologist. Now I am looking forward to retiring to Paris in 4 years! C'est la vie ? C'est ma vie !


Chère Kristin -- You two always land on your feet! I have no doubt that you will do that same this time. Félicitations d'avoir vendu le shoppe. That's a great start. I changed careers three times and learned from each one. Beginnings were sometimes a bit rocky, but you know that already. Hope you can stay in your lovely home on the sea.

Joyeux Noel and warmest wishes for happiness and health as you begin a new adventure in 2023.



Chapeau, Gail! You are my inspiration and I needed that positive attitude, especially today, while I'm recovering from an illness.
Are you on social media? I'd like to follow your adventure in France, if you will be sharing it.
Bon voyage!

Norman Silbert

Making a change "later" in life (35 years ago) at the age of 40 and with three young children and with my wife's unwavering support, I chucked my job in a bank and went back to university to study translation/interpreting. I speak 5 languages and it took one of my customers to push me to use them...and I have never looked back. I completed my Masters in Translation in 4 of the 5 languages and have never been happier. I loved my work and (so I have been told by clients) it showed. It would never have happened without a wife who worked all day (systems analyst), ran the household and 3 children singlehanded, and I never heard a word of complaint for the two years. We are now both retired and enjoying each other's company...


I love change. But I try to stay mindful. Wherever you go, there you are. Jon Kabat-Zinn has a book by this title. We can make changes but sometimes moving from place to place is not the answer. Most likely there will be the same issues appearing. The Buddhists say "our minds create our suffering." It is true. So perhaps to stay in place would be the change that is necessary.


Ooh lala ! As an Aries change is always exciting !!

I went to England for a year and ended up staying 10 years and married a Dutch man.
After that didn’t work out, I planned (hahahahaha) to stay there… yet life had other ideas.

When I finally thought … ok, it is time to to leave England and go home to NZ, I then met my (now) Swiss husband in India and spent a few months flying backwards and forwards to Switzerland before moving here.

Now, having lived here for 11 years I realise :
Life is a permanent mystery
It’s always going to work out
it always moves in beautiful ways your mind could never imagine (nor plan!)

How fun! How exciting!

I love to give my mind this question :

How does it get better than this?

Then I let life open up all possibilities and wait :-)

Love and best wishes to you both however the wind may blow.

Kristin Espinasse

I love this. Thanks, Norman!

Suzanne Ridley

New adventures await you for sure! I retired from aerospace at age 55 and after managing a major remodel of our home bought my first Standard Poodle, Angie, and have enjoyed the best venture of my life - breeding and raising poodle puppies. Small time - only one litter a year and sending bundles of furry licky puppies off to new homes in the arms of smiling people. Unlike most breeders, I encouraged people to visit the puppies weekly from shortly after birth, so we have made many dear friends and places multiple generations in those people’s homes. Truly the most rewarding experience of my life. A lot of hard work but also the joy of seeing this little creatures go from warm, moist blobs in my hands to bouncing, tail wagging puppies. Life began at 55 for me when I walked out of the door of my corporate office forever! Bon chance! You will find new joys in the weeks and years to come.

Suzanne Ridley

New adventures await you for sure! I retired from aerospace at age 55 and after managing a major remodel of our home bought my first Standard Poodle, Angie, and have enjoyed the best venture of my life - breeding and raising poodle puppies. Small time - only one litter a year and sending bundles of furry licky puppies off to new homes in the arms of smiling people. Unlike most breeders, I encouraged people to visit the puppies weekly from shortly after birth, so we have made many dear friends and places multiple generations in those people’s homes. Truly the most rewarding experience of my life. A lot of hard work but also the joy of seeing this little creatures go from warm, moist blobs in my hands to bouncing, tail wagging puppies. Life began at 55 for me when I walked out of the door of my corporate office forever! Bon chance! You will find new joys in the weeks and years to come.

barbara stuart

Gail, what an adventure you will have. I am impressed and encouraged. I am 78 and going to France in September alone and with different things planned. I am going to stop worrying! Bon courage à vous. Barbara

Nyla Witmore

Kristi, do you realize how many people who read your blog are cheering and praying and believing that your journey has always included the “leaving” and “walking away” from things just to propel you through each of the “ doorways” you were meant to go through. “No experience is ever wasted.” There must be an expression for that in French.

Alison Morris

In 2017 at the age of 57 I decided to put my B.A. in French to use and become a high school French teacher. I hired 3 tutors to get me ready for the PRAXIS, passed it, and have been teaching high school French for 3 years. I am half way through my M. Ed. In English as a Second Language and am thinking about a doctorate. No, it is never to late to for a new challenge and adventure and it’s excellent for your brain!!!

K. J. Laramie

Very sage advice! Going within …
Changing home and hearth may not be the only answer. Exploring all the options, writing down all the pros and cons, and then meditating deeply, perhaps a new light will shine, illuminating everything.


Felicitations! You and Jean Marc have had some amazing adventures already. I am certain that you will find even more in the future.
I was a French teacher for many years, also managed a women's boutique and spent 6 years as a commissioner on the Iowa Conservation Commission setting seasons for fish and game and looking after state parks. At the age of 46 I left teaching and went to law school. My favorite part of practicing law was moving to New Mexico and helping Native Americans with their legal problems. After retiring I trained as a docent at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe.


Anna Johnston

For many years I had a poster that read "Behold the turtle - he makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.' I've taken jumps into the unknown numerous times. Moving cross-country alone in my late twenties. Leaving my corporate job to go to law school in my late thirties. Starting my own business. Leaving it all to pursue "true love" across the Atlantic. (It wasn't!) It's been quite a ride. Can't say every change was a positive one, but the general direction was always onward and upward, and I've ended up pretty much where I wanted to be at this point. Retired, comfortably if not wealthily, with a loving life partner, living where I want to live, with a cat who will some day admit she loves me, and still (after 60 years) studying and enjoying the French language and all things French.


Hi and congrats on this big life change (for both of you!) and I LOVE the quote! I was around 40 when I quit my job as a magazine editor in NYC and moved to St. Remy...with no French skills, no idea how I might make a living and only one local friend. The idea, I seem to remember, was that I'd stay three months and then go back to real life, whatever that meant! Still here, 20-plus years later. Merry Christmas, Kristi! Wishing you and your family all the best things in the year ahead! xx

Cynthia Wilson

I am studying French at the university level. After years of so-so study. Bucket list item. And as I am middle aged there’s no time like the present!!

Suzanne Dunawayq

Yes, I struck out and my husband left his career in Hollywood as a screenwriter to join me in ...MAKING DOUGH. Well not at first, but we needed to pay mortgages, help kids, you name it, and my focaccia was a tiny success in the neighborhood. One night I said, JUMP...no net...but I have to jump and did. Buona Forchetta Hand Made Breads was born and took us through 11 years of wonderful adventures, plus being, according to W Magazine, one of the 7 best bakeries in the world. Now we are retired in France, no more LA. Need I say more. Still, moving is not my favorite activity, but France and Italy are now our homes.

Leslie NYC

What susanparisfan said above resonates with me. I also think of an old interview with Tom Waits. He said, "Things you planned turn out to be meaningless, and that which you accumulated without knowing it becomes your real treasure, your innocence, your confidence." Maybe it's time to reflect that you are already in fruition. You are already someone, full of talents, experience, wisdom. There is no great change needed, just the unglamorous, undramatic tweaking of this over that.
The home you have made is precious, for instance. You could make another, but there would be some losses, some attrition.


Congratulations! I'm 61 and this is the most encouraging post. Thank you!


Keeping this page open to check back in on for encouragement. Thanks, Kristi.


I’m reminded of the line: “I love change! You, first.”


I want to offer hope and encouragement to you and Jean-Marc. After many years in the business world I stepped back. I was burned out and knew I needed to do something else, but I didn't know what. After some tough times, I found may way to a new career in mental health counseling that is a much better fit. The key thing is, I didn't know when I left what my next step would be. I had to "tend my own garden" first, and when I did so, clues were revealed that I kept following to this new place. Best wishes and happy new year! Fred


Yes, stop worrying! I'm 77 and before Covid hit I traveled solo to France many times. Never had a problem except for my lack of direction which resulted in getting lost more than once while driving through the beautiful French villages. Some people thought I was crazy to travel solo but it was always fantastic. When you're solo you can change your plans on a whim, do whatever you want to do without consulting anyone and most importantly, meet locals whom you likely would not have met if you were with traveling companions. Hint: always greet shopowners with a "bonjour" when entering their shop and when leaving, a "bonne journee"

Bon Voyage!

Alet Rossi

"se lancer dans l'inconnu" .. I did this 19 years ago when I was asked to come to France to work on a 3 month project. I was living in Dallas, Texas at that point in time. 19 years later I am still here. After the first year ( yes 3 months turned into a year ), I decided I didn't want to go back to the US and asked if I could stay. It must have been in the cards, because the answer was an immediate yes. I sold everything I owned in the US except the piano and the cat. I have never looked back. I'm now 'retired' for the last 3 years, and I've been a french citizen for the last 4 years. Needless to say I'm pretty settled here.

Julie Farrar

Bonne chance to you and Jean-Marc on whatever lies ahead. Of course, getting our apartment in France was a big leap for my husband and me. We won't move there permanently, but the act of moving back and forth between two countries on a regular basis has brought new perspectives on what we value in our lives. But the changes in our lives as we age and retire is nothing compared to the shake-ups in our lives as our grown children make changes in their own lives, moving across the country and from continent to continent. As much as I want them here for Sunday dinner every week, I take a deep breath and open myself to releasing parental expectations.


What a great assortment of brave people; you ALL are my heroes!

Leslie in Oregon

Yes, Kristi, I have been striking out, and must continue to strike out, into the unknown later in life, ever since my husband died in August of 2020. That process has become more pronounced, and urgent, since our beloved Bob the Long-Haired Dachshund died at sunrise on December 1, after a freak accident.

And...every evening, I am reading a bit more of George Eliot's "Middlemarch" before I go to sleep. Best wishes for a Christmas full of grace, Leslie

Frances in Napa, CA USA

Kristi, When my husband was 42, we decided to leave Dakar, Senegal where we had been working and living for 4 years. He was not happy with his job. We left not knowing where we would land, and he had about 4 fishing lines for jobs out to find our future direction. It was a very hard and uncertain time for both of us. However, it landed us here in Napa, CA as he chose to choose the path of applying his soil scientist degree to viticulture. After having moved many, many times in our lives, it has been wonderful to have a place to live and grow a life with friends, family, and raise our daughter. It has not always been easy, and there have been bumps in the road, but I am glad that we chose to stay here. Sometimes a new perspective comes from within or a new way to look at and appreciate the familiar. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Wishing all of you a very happy holiday.


Life is change..........nothing stays the same..........good luck in coming ventures..

Joanne Fischer

Congratulations on selling the amazing wine shop! Maybe now we can get Jean-Marc to New Mexico to make wine! All the best for the holidays and the new year! Change is good, trust me, life throws you amazing opportunities, just need to keep your eyes and heart open!

Stacy Lund

Dear Kristi,

I am encouraged to hear that JM's shop has sold. I feel that being in limbo is the most difficult place to be. One feels stuck and our energy does not flow. Thus, one finds it challenging to move forward. My late father told me to jump - just do anything but remain stuck. For me, this is not the answer. I'd rather be still and be guided to the next step through prayer and meditation.

I whole-heartedly agree with George Eliot's quote! I've lived it. I set out to follow my dreams 25 years ago. After many detours and much heartbreak, I made the decision to change my life four years ago, just as I was turning 53. My heart spoke to me and I listened. Today, more of my dreams have come true than my younger self could have imagined possible. I see now that the detours were because I did not listen to my heart, or trust myself. I believe that those paths led me to where I am now; they are a part of my story.

I've enjoyed reading all the comments here - there is so much wisdom in your readers! The courageous changes people have made! I agree with "Wherever you do, there you are" and I loved the words from Tom Waits. When we are young, we have a plan for everything. Life happens when we are making plans. It truly is the simple moments that bring us joy and fond memories - but we must find peace within ourselves. I love the image of you striding out to gather smiles and sticks! You have always seen the bright side of any situation. I admire your heart and gumption.

Joyous Birthday and Merry Christmas! I'm excited to hear what adventures of the heart are in store for you! Much love, Stacy

Kristin Espinasse

So true, Joan! 


Yes! We are in Taos and loving it!


Hopefully everyone's life experiences here help you in your life change possibilities. We left California (SF area) after 26 years in the same house & moved to Taos , New Mexico. We had a house built, and even though in our early 70s, still wish we could live in rural France. Moving here was a huge change but so welcomed , at least by me. My French husband longs for San Francisco, even though we could never afford to move back to California. There are a lot of French people in Taos & Santa Fe. They come for Taos skiing. I love that people from all over have moved here for the culture. climate, wide open vistas, & outdoor adventures.
I hope both of you can have the same vision if you do relocate. And your mother would follow as well? There is a big world out there to discover in case you move. Change is good! (but not too often I think!) Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee!


Congratulations on the sale of the wine shop. May JM be blessed with a new vision to follow. Thanks to all for sharing your stories of change in mid-life. In two years, I will have a big change, but this particular issue has made me excited and hopeful in a new way. Thanks to Kristi for starting this conversation, and Merry Christmas to all!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,
Jean-Marc is definitely a start-up guy.
He has created what looks like an incredible wine shop, now ready to move on to the next challenge? I applaud him for the courage to do that, and you for having the courage to be so supportive of him. Some thrive on change and some thrive on stability. Change can be scary for either…
George and I made major changes later in life. At age 44, I tried my first attempt at a 16 year career. At age 48, George changed from a 26 year career in the military to a 22 year civilian career. It is amazing how we eventually adjust to new ways and benefit from them, perhaps because we must.
We wish you and Jean-Marc a shared vision, a new accomplishment and ultimately inner peace as you move forward!
And…Happy Birthday, Kristi! 🎉
May all the good you offer to others come back to you…


Well, just a thought but if you really want a change of scenery, move to central Texas. Seems like there's a new vineyard or wine shop every week, somewhere in the area, and I can't help wondering if most of them know anything about grapes or wine!

Of course, there's no beach… the Mediterranean must be spectacular, and there's nothing on the Texas Gulf coast that could ever compare for someone from there. Good luck, whatever your next adventure is!

Jeanine Woods

Bravo for your courage, Gail. And my deepest condolences on the loss of your husband of 59 years. Bon courage and bon voyage a France!

Jeanine Woods

Felicitations Kristi et Jean-Marc! I love all of these encouraging comments from your readers. We are cheering you on knowing, as someone said, you and Jean-Marc always land on your feet, with God's help and guidance. Les nouvelles aventures vous attendant! Bon courage!


occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold:
"I was in the liminal space between past and present"

This word has been on my mind a lot, as it keeps popping up in my life as I am on the verge of retirement-living in Seattle area. “Where to go? What to do? “ I have lived in many States and abroad, but my 4 kids call here home-although they don’t all live in area now. So, I am going to go with Kristina’s question “How does it get better than this?”
Your stories have all been SO inspiring and I have loved reading them!
Good luck to you in your decisions!

Michele McFarland

Change is always interesting, n'est-ce pas, even if it can be uncomfortable. I enjoyed your latest blog post, Kristi, and hope that all works out well eventually for the both of you.

Having struck a blow for change a few times in my life, the biggest were going back to uni as a mature age student in my 50s, continuing until I'd finished my PhD. A couple of years later, I moved to Hong Kong for an adventure, teaching English in a small Chinese primary school on an outlying island.

Ten years later (!), I moved back to Australia and am now enjoying retirement. Loads of things to do and it's so nice to have the time to do them all. Language study is high up there - I'd already been studying French and Italian for some years, and Japanese intermittently. Now working on German and Indonesian. Good for the brain, although it can get a little confusing at times.

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année à vous.

Michele McFarland

Oops, mature age student years started in my 40s. Not 50s.


Bon courage. You also seem to land on your feet. Change might be scary, but then again, it can be just what is needed. I had a career teaching and then as an adjunct professor, so career changes aren’t in my portfolio, but many people that I know have had many changes of careers and seem to also come out ahead. Think positively and pray to help calm any anxieties which might arise.
I was planning to visit MJ’s wine shop this fall, but alas, that will not happen. We will be in Provence the end is August and beginning of September. We will be there for our 21st anniversary. Maybe we can connect again during out visit.
Merry Christmas nd Happy New Year.
Peace, Kathleen


Dear Kristi,

This is an exciting, yet somewhat apprehensive time for you. Opportunities abound and you are just the person who can adapt and prosper. Thank you for so many beautiful blogs that let us, your readers, peek into your lives. The best is yet to come!

May the love and peace of the season fill your heart and lead you and Jean-Marc and Jule toward your next adventure.

Barbara Stephano

Chère Kristi ,
j’ai adoré l’épisode avec Smokey quand tu as préparé le gâteau yaourt- il était un vrai star de cinéma! C’était aussi amusante en utilisant la boite pour ajouter “grossièrement “ les mesures!
Je te souhaite Joyeux Noël et bravo ,Jean -Marc!
Bisous, Barbara

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Barbara. I regret he didn’t have his own cooking show. 💕

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Dana, for the definition of liminal. Wonderful to learn. Bonne chance!

Marie-Louise LaFond

At 57, my husband gave up his law practice and I left my corporate executive job. We bought a bed and breakfast in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We had never stayed in a B&B. We wanted flexibility and independence in our lives. We did not know when we bought it that we would end up having to replace every square inch of the place...plumbing, roof, mattresses, furniture, stove...and so on and on. We did this while welcoming guests and learning how to make a really nice breakfast. We actually ended up being on the cover of Coastal Living magazine. What we learned is that if you love what you do it isn't work Looking back at it, at age 75, we actually reinvented ourselves about every 10 years. We ran the B&B for 11 years and now we're retired. I wish you well. If you need encouragement, please reach out. Joyeux noel!

K. J. Laramie

May many glorious and unexpected blessings abound in the New Year 🙏 🎉🥳 for you, your beautiful family, and your faithful readers who inspire all of us with their compelling life stories. (My favorite one was getting a law degree to help Native American Indians with legal problems! Change can bring about noble causes and new growth all around.)
Peace, Peace, and Peace ❤️

Margaret Smith

My husband left his job in engineering and we bought an Indian restaurant .. no, he is not Indian, but an avid cook. Every night he watched and worked in the restaurant with the former owner and learned the ropes. Then we closed for 2 weeks to revamp the decor and reopened to spectacular local interest. To put it mildly, we were hammered on opening night! But we lived through the experience and kept it going successfully for 3 years, which was the game plan as we had booked a 3 month European tour and planned to sell. But best laid plans! I was diagnosed with breast cancer so our plans to sell sort of collapsed. We just closed it and went on our trip after I completed treatment. While it was a rollercoaster ride, we are glad we did it.

ann sorocki

hello, Kristi: I am so encouraged by your own blog & by all the comments I've read; you have encouraged me to start writing my own blog (primarily to keep up with people from the past & those I love whom I haven't seen for a while). I, too, have changed my life; being married for 10 years, 3 beautiful children, I knew it wasn't all I needed or wanted. Perhaps, selfishly, I left everything & everyone & struck out on my own. Many years of pain without my girls; but, over the course of life, much has been resolved & life certainly changed for all of us. I met the man of my now 31 year marriage who encouraged me to go back to school; I did & received a BS & MS in Health & Nutrition. So, George Eliot has it right; as does Jean Marc! Congratulations on the sale of the shop; . I look forward to your writing & all the people who offer such insightful comments! Amicalmente, Ann Sorocki Bonne Annee! May we all know good health & peace!!!


Chere Kristi,
I am inspired by all the stories, and I too changed careers at 46, went back for another degree, and re-imagined my life after the death of my husband. It can be exhilarating to see a new path. I wish you both peace and time to plan the next steps. I save lots of inspirational quotes and found this one: Everything has potential to be exactly what you want! The quote is one I wrote years ago...and it is true. Be open to advice and counsel from those who love you both. Bonne chance! Arlene

Judy Stutts

I retired after 31 years with the government and my husband and I came to France with our two dogs for three months as a well deserved retirement present. We decided it was two short a time and went back to Texas to put our affairs in order, store our possessions and rent out our house. We then came back to France with the dogs in tow and lived in four different places (one place twice) in the Brittany and Normandy area. After ten months we decided we wanted to stay, cancelled our plane tickets home and arranged with a former proprietor to lease his house indefinitely in the port of Cancale. That was in 2014 and end of story, we are still here.

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