tonnerre

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Chief Grape in his tractor. (Photo taken earlier this month.) The vines are now leafy green and those bushes, in the foreground, are covered with sweet-scented, golden, Scottish-broomy buds.
 

Un update on Jean-Marc's test results in today's story: "Light at the end of the Tonnerre"...

Correction: The pronunciation for chocotte, or "to have the jitters" (and nothing to do with "chochotte", or "a fussbudget / fusspot"), is updated here.

le tonnerre (toh nair)

    : thunder

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the following example sentence and the expressions below: Download MP3 or Wav file

Le tonnerre ne vient pas au même moment que l'éclair.
Thunder does not come at the same time as lightning. 

un coup de tonnerre = clap, peal, of thunder, thunderbolt
un tonnerre d'applaudissements = thunderous applause
du tonnerre = terrific, wonderful, fantastic
Tonnerre de Dieu! (or "de Brest!")! = heavens above, or hell's bells!

 

A Day in a French Life by Kristin Espinasse

"Light at the End of the Tonnerre"

After the pounding thunderclap, I burrowed farther into my husband's arms. Lying there we looked out the bedroom window to the flash of lumière.

Out of blackness, the vineyard became illuminated, every leafy vine coming into view, the stones beneath them glistening. Overhead, a jagged hand of lightning pointed downward, like a conductor's swift command, and the field below was awash in the melody of light.

I listened to Jean-Marc count quietly: un, deux, trois...

A breath of French numbers tickled the back of my neck. 

... quatre, cinq, six...

I recognized his "distance of lightning" calculation. The seconds, divided, correspond to the number of kilometers between us and that threatening bolt.

... onze, douze, treize...

The counting trailed off. In the wait between time and space, I asked Jean-Marc to repeat the nurse's exact words concerning the test results for the kidney biopsy he had two weeks ago.  

"Rien d'alarmant."

I repeated his answer, as I had when we first heard it, and again in the hours between then and now. "Rien d'alarmant"....

"Oui, Chérie," Jean-Marc agreed, his arms reenforcing his hold on me. 

We lie there in peace, having stopped counting the distance of lightning. After twelve seconds and twelve long days that menacing thunderbolt never came.

 ***

Post note: Apart from the assurance that "rien d'alarmant" showed up in the biopsy results, we have no further details from the medical exam. Jean-Marc is to return to the doctor's in three weeks (the soonest the nurse could schedule him in) for an evaluation.  

Le Coin Commentaires
To respond to this story, click here to access the comments box. Merci d'avance! 

 

French Vocabulary

la lumière = light

un, deux, trois... = one, two, three...

quatre, cinq, six... = four, five, six

onze, douze, treize... = eleven, twelve, thirteen...

rien d'alarmant = nothing alarming

oui, Chérie = yes, Dear

P1000939

"Flower Boy". Smokey-Doodle says: You always hear about Flower Girls...

P1000976
Smokey: "Why is it that Flower Boys never get any attention? (There I am, Flower Geek, in the background...)"

New, in books on France:

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Blue pie dish 2  

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Has a friend forwarded you this post? Receive your own FREE subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue doing what I love most: sharing vocabulary and cultural insights via these personal stories from France. Your contribution makes a difference. A donation by check or via PayPal is vivement appréciéeMerci infiniment! Kristi

"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle



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rein

Chief Grape: Jean-Marc (c) Kristin Espinasse
The life of a grape farmer, where torn trousers, sopping-wet work shirts, and "too much on the mind" are part of making good wine!  Who has time for health? Read on....

le rein (rehn)

    : kidney

néphrologue (m/f) = kidney specialist
les reins = the small of the back
avoir mal aux reins = to have a backache (in lower back) 

Audio File & Example sentence by Chief Grape himself : 
Download MP3 or Wave file

Au Centre Hospitalier d'Avignon on m'a fait une biopsy du rein.
At Avignon Hospital Center, they biopsied my kidney.

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

"How to Write a Blog Story"

1. Begin with a drama: "Jean-Marc returned home Friday morning in an ambulance...." 

2. Change things up (don't keep talking about your new favorite pasttime (organic composting), try kidneys for a change): Jean-Marc returned home Friday in an ambulance. After having his kidney biopsy, he was required to stay the night at the hospital in Avignon.

3. Add a little humor to keep things light: Jean-Marc returned home Friday in an ambulance. After having his kidney biopsy, he was required to stay the night at the hospital in Avignon. Three lunatics greeted him, after the family fold fell apart in his absence. 

4. Forget not French folklore: Jean-Marc returned home Friday in an ambulance. After his kidney biopsy, he was required to stay the night at the hospital in Avignon.Three lunatics greeted him, after the family fold fell apart in his absence. "C'est la faute à la pleine lune," Jean-Marc explained, of our batty behavior.

5. Include one line in French: Jean-Marc returned home Friday in an ambulance. After his kidney biopsy, he was required to stay the night at the hospital in Avignon.Three lunatics greeted him, after the family fold fell apart in his absence. "C'est la faute à la pleine lune," Jean-Marc explained, of our batty behaviour. "Ouf, je croyais que c'était moi! Phew, I thought it was me!"

6. No use adding a bunch of extraneous details (see below), no matter how important they seemed to you at the time:  

Jean-Marc returned home Friday in an ambulance. After his kidney biopsy, he was required to stay the night at the hospital in Avignon.Three lunatics greeted him, after the family fold fell apart in his absence. 
"C'est la faute à la pleine lune," It is the full moon, Jean-Marc explained, of our batty behaviour.
"Ouf, je croyais que c'était moi! Phew! I thought it was me!"

It so happened to be the day that the dogs ran off, our son had a tumultuous teenage moment, and the farm turned into Grand Central Terminal with the non-stop comings-and-goings.

7. Sum things up and remember: it's never about you, it's about that up-n-down thing called Life, in which every one of us can relate to what is most important: love and health:

Jean-Marc returned home Friday in an ambulance. After his kidney biopsy, he was required to stay the night at the hospital in Avignon.Three lunatics greeted him, when the family fold fell apart in his absence. 
"C'est la faute à la pleine lune.  It is the full moon," Jean-Marc explained, of our batty behavior.
"Ouf, je croyais que c'était moi! Phew! I thought it was me!" So happy you are home, mon amour. We missed you and we love you.
 

***

P.S.:  I asked The Big Man Above to help me write today's post... and I had to shake my head in appreciation when He came up with this breezy "How To" style in which to relate a delicate subject (Jean-Marc's blood test gone awry).

Update: Chief Grape feels fine. He did not have any symptoms that led up to the testing; only, during a routine check-up, some of the results came back "hors norme" or "out of normal range". Les resultats will be ready in one week. 

Regarding the ambulance ride home: it was covered by our mutuelle (French insurance plan); as Jean-Marc points out: we pay a lot for it, but there are some interesting and unusual benefits!
. 

Le Coin Commentaires
To leave a comment, click here. Do you have a kidney story to share? Any healthly tips? Thank you in advance!
.

 

"Frimousse" (c) Kristin Espinasse

Archive photo (from the Frimousse or "Sweet Little Face" bilingual edition. Read it here!)

Shop at Amazon via the following links and help to support this "thrice-weekly" language journal. Click on a link, below, to enter the store; any purchase (from dog food to diapers) will count. Merci.

 

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Easy French Reader
: A fun and easy new way to quickly acquire or enhance basic reading skills

In film:  Paris Je T'aime Paris I love You.

 

Pre de Provence After Shave Balm is enriched with shea butter, grape seed oil. 

 

Meantime in the Garden...

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Sunflower seedlings! I wonder whether sunflower seeds are good for kidney health?... 

P1010298-2

This 3-day-old seedling is modeling a sunflower "hat" made of biodegradable materials for that futuristique fashion statement.

Old sunflower
A venerable sunflower who lived here two years ago... She says to the stylish seedling, "Let your hair down, little one, as I have. Notice the golden curlicue on my forehead?  Witness how a sunflower "of a certain age" has grace." What's new in your garden? Share a few of your garden "characters" with us in the comments box, here.

 

Has a friend forwarded you this post? Receive your own FREE subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue doing what I love most: sharing vocabulary and cultural insights via these personal stories from France. Your contribution makes a difference. A donation by check or via PayPal is vivement appréciéeMerci infiniment! Kristi

"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle



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la piqure

Sundial

Have you been vaccinated lately? As an adult, the DPT vaccination "rappel" or "booster" is every ten years... more in today's story. Thank you, David and Susan Howell, for the photo, above (part of Saturday's Cinéma Vérité gallery... Don't miss it!
. 

la piqûre (pee kyer)

    : prick, sting, bite;  injection

faire une piqûre à quelqu'un = to give somebody an injection

Audio file: Listen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or WAV

Je ne me souviens pas de ma dernière piqûre contre la diphtérie, le tétanos ou la polio. Et vous? I do not remember my most recent injection for diphtheria, tetanus, or polio. What about you?
. 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

According to a vague notion that has surfaced in the forefront of my brain, it is time, once again, for a children's vaccination. High time! 

I sklunk into the doctor's office like Mère Indigne, but our family physician quickly puts any misplaced guilt to rest. "Ne vous inquiétez pas." Apparently, I am no later than the average French parent.

Thirteen-year-old Jackie takes a seat on the vinyl-covered examination table. The doctor has just yanked away the wrinkled paper cover from the previous visitor, replacing it with a fresh paper.

After darting around the eclectic room (an extension to the doctor's private home) Doc returns, having produced a piqûre. I automatically look the other way and advise Jackie to do the same. Doc agrees, but Jackie can't help herself. One understands, after all: who can resist the natural instinct to keep one's eye on the enemy?

I remind Jackie that she won't feel a thing ... thanks to the topical anesthetic or "numbing" EMLA patch I stuck on her upper arm one hour earlier.

And, just as hoped, in the time it takes Jackie to ask "Est-ce que ça va me faire mal?" the doctor is already tossing the syringe with the needle into the special wastebasket.

Next, our doctor consults Jackie's carnet de santé, specifically the page titled:

Vaccinations antipoliomyélitique
Antidiphtérique
Antitétanique
Anticoquelucheuse

I hold my breath as the doctor counts, with the help of the fingers on her left hand. 

"Cinq. C'est ça. Elle est bien à jour!"

Ouf, I let out a sigh of relief. "But why 'five'"? Aren't they different, the vaccinations? " I ask, looking at the foreign names in the health-history book. 

My question sets the doctor counting again, this time aloud, sans doigts. I realize she is counting the age and the corresponding vaccination (one at three months, one at 18 months, and one every five years thereafter... Voilà, cinq!)

And when I point to the strange and differing "vaccinations" in the health record, Doc explains that those are simply vaccination brands: "Pentacoq", "Revaxis", "Infanrix"....

Such names had heretofore conjured up in my mind mysterious potions for mysterious diseases. Turns out they are, basically, the same group of three vaccinations (the ones with the "coq" ending have the anti-coqueluche (Whooping Cough) vaccination to boot.

 The next rappel, Doc explains, will be in Jackie's 18th year, and then every 10 years thereafter.

I am struck by the "every ten years" part... in time to factor myself into this equation. I hadn't thought about the dreaded "booster" shot since waiting--tetanisée, paralyzed with fear--in a line of shaking classmates... sometime (just when???) back in grade school.

"Does that mean I need one too?" I ask our doctor.

"It would be a good idea!" Doc replies.

"But is it obligatoire?"

"No," she admits, it is not mandatory. At my age it is facultative, or optional. But it only takes a few frightful examples, and the reminder of increasing world migrations (here, the doctor cites the increase of refugees) to convince me.

As the doctor scribbles a prescription for Revaxis, she hesitates:

"I forgot to ask... Would you like me to prescribe one of those no-pain patches for you, too?" 

"Mais oui!" I answered, once again feeling guilty.

 

Le Coin Commentaires 
How to you feel about adult vaccination? Did it, as it did for me, conjure up the idea of a voyage to a Third World country (something needed only for such a trip), or have you, too, been wondering lately about your own health records?

What do you think about those "facultative" vaccinations? 

Also, are you good at keeping health records? And do you have a special "records book"? Thank you for participating in today's discussion in the community corner. Click here to access the comments box.

 

French Vocabulary

une mère indigne = an unfit mother

la piqûre = injection, shot

Est-ce que ça va me faire mal? = Will it hurt me?

obligatoire = mandatory

le carnet de santé = health-records book

cinq = five

c'est ça = that's it

Elle est bien à jour = she is well up to date

ouf! = phew!

sans doigts = without fingers

le rappel = reminder, booster

tétanisé(e) par la peur = paralyzed by fear

mais oui! = yes, indeed!

 

Bilingual Poem....
Thanks to Patti and "Dnny" for translating this beautiful poem... click here to see the poem and to add your own translations or suggestions. 

"Fleurs, Abeilles" (c) Kristin Espinasse 

Some say bee piqûres aren't all that bad. What say you? What about any natural paths to immunization? Do they exist? Comments welcome in the comment box. Click here. 

Has a friend forwarded you this post? Receive your own FREE subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue doing what I love most: sharing vocabulary and cultural insights via these personal stories from France. Your contribution makes a difference. A donation by check or via PayPal is vivement appréciéeMerci infiniment! Kristi

"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle



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