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Entries from June 2010

Metro Boulot Dodo

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                                                                                  In front of Hotel des Invalides...
 
 métro boulot dodo

    : "subway" "work" "sleep"
 

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

This will have to be an interactive post today, with me being the "inter" and you being the" active". For I am between hours right now, the hour in which I woke up, here in the Hotel Latour Maubourg and the hour in which school begins, over there on rue Vaugirard.

Would you please help elaborate on today's expression, which means, in a nutshell, the unrelenting cycle of movement (métro) and production ("work" or "boulot") which leads us to collapse into dodo (sleep).  

Note: The week here at writing school (the Paris Writers Workshop) is busy, filled with activities and homework assignments, so this may be the only post this week. Stay tuned.... and happy week to all.


:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

Thanks for helping expand on today's word, adding helpful insights or personal anecdotes. All comments are welcome. Please click here http://french-word-a-day.typepad.com/motdujour/2010/06/metro-boulot-dodo.html#comments


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 Vélibs if you please.

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
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"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


lié

Window2
A room with a view or, if you like, une chambre avec une scène.  Read on in today's story, by guest blogger Lynn McBride.

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 Lié, e (lee-ay) adjective  

    : to be friendly with, close to, attached to


 

  Exercises in French PhonicsExercises in French Phonics is... 
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"useful and practical"
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 In the news... 
 

(headline) L'acteur vedette des films "Twilight" lié à Dracula par le sang‎. Robert Pattinson et Vlad Dracula sont semble-t-il liés par le biais de la famille royale britannique.
 
The star of the "Twilight" films linked to Dracula by blood. Robert Pattinson and Vlad Dracula are, it seems, linked by means of the British Royal Family.
 


Love and a Tarte Tatin
                                                  ... by Lynn McBride


 
A French window is a thing of beauty.  First there is the satisfying experience of turning a heavy, twisted iron handle.  Then with both arms you draw the windows toward you and suddenly, with no screen between you and the sky, you are truly outside, leaning into the sunshine.  From high in the château we live in, the view below--a patchwork of lush pastures with their leafy borders and white Charolais cows--is like a framed, living painting on our smooth stone wall.  

My husband Ron and I have become bien lié with Nicole and Pierre, the owners of this château.  When we decided to move to France several years ago, we were lucky enough to stumble into a fantasy life in a fairy tale castle in southern Burgundy with this extraordinary couple we’ve come to love, who have oriented us, taught us some French, and educated us about French food.  

And if food equals love, then love at the Château de Balleure is a tarte tatin

Tarte tatin.  Even the words, as they roll off your tongue, are delicious. The first time I ever heard of this warm, caramelized, topsy turvey apple pie was many years ago, when my husband sent me to a cooking class at the Cordon Bleu in Paris for my birthday.  When Monsieur le Chef announced that we would be making that iconic dessert, the woman next to me, a food writer, began almost dancing in her chair.  “Can you believe it?” she whispered excitedly in my ear.  “A tarte tatin!”  But now that I’ve had both, I must tell you this: that famous chef’s version couldn’t hold a candle to the one Nicole makes. 

 Nicole ron
                                          Lynn's husband, Ron, with Nicole.
  
The table in Nicole and Pierre’s dining room at the Château de Balleure is an imposing walnut affair, in a bright, grand room with dark wood beams. We’ve had many a fine meal there, but there are certain rules:  Ron, who is habitually spoiled by Nicole, has his own chair, at Nicole’s right.  And if we are invited to dine, even with a large group, there is tarte tatin for dessert.  This tradition started the very first time she served us her specialty, and Ron said, “Nicole, why would you ever make any other dessert?”  And with that clever comment, we have scored our favorite dish at every shared meal.

It was with great trepidation that I asked her to share her famous recipe. But Nicole, always generous, agreed, and Dear Reader, you are to be privy to her secrets.  Serve it hot, with cream, to someone you love. 


Go to www.southernfriedfrench.com today to find Nicole’s recipe.  Also on the menu at Southern Fried French:  the sweet little history of tarte tatin and the Tartin sisters.
 



6a0105365b2c1c970c0133eceb1210970b-800wiLynn McBride is a former magazine editor for Better Homes & Gardens who moved to Burgundy from Charleston, South Carolina. She and her husband serendipitously landed in a medieval château with a French couple, where she’s busy learning about language, French cooking, and the good life in France. You can subscribe to her weekly blog, with a recipe, at Southern Fried French (www.southernfriedfrench.com).


:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

As my friend Stacy says: Comments are the "icing on the cake". Thanks for making this edition even sweeter by leaving a response to today's story, here, in the comments box. 
 

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One more of Lynn's beautiful photos.... 
  
 

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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
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--Lisa


entretenir de grands espoirs

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Are you seeing the broken glass... or the pretty watermelon building in the back? Do you practice positive or stinking thinking?


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entretenir de grands espoirs

    : to have high hopes
 

Audio File: listen to my son, Max, pronounce today's expression and these words:
Download MP3 or Wav file

 J'entretiens de grands espoirs! I have high hopes!

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

Say this: "j'entretiens de grands espoirs!" (I have high hopes!) Now say it again, this time with gusto: J'entretiens de grands espoirs!!!

I say this lately, avec ou sans gusto. No matter how green or Gallic the grass is just outside my window, no matter how peaceful the Provençale prairie beyond, I fight a "negative thought" battle all the @*$!#& day long.   

It is a battle of the mind and it takes a heaping helping of "high apple pie" mentality to fight it. Speaking of apple pie, I've put on weight lately....

(And there they go again, the brain "bad guys" that would have me focusing not on others, but on my thighs. That is how they keep us stuck, in a muck, ever convinced we're out of luck.)

Though my mother taught me to identify negative thinking, my thoughts have a mind of their own and, drone drone drone, on they march relentlessly. I think they're out to get me.

And so I write. Funny (sometimes laughable) stories. It helps to keep those unruly thoughts focused by filling up page after blank page, ordering the thoughts lest they find the time to order me.

"Keep a watchman at the gate," Mom always says. I like to imagine an armed soldier, my very own "brainguard" (stronger even than a bodyguard!). As the defeating thoughts approach, my brainguard raises an arm, level with its shoulder. The upright palm at the end of that arm is almost touching the face of the intruder, so close that the intruder could read the wrinkled life line upon it. But the thought intruders are too dumb to be palm readers.

"Halte! L
et me see your papers!" my brainguard barks at the unwelcome thoughts. Because the thought impostors are
dumb 
by nature (after all, they can think of nothing better to do than to amuse themselves via so much taunting and fearful thought flaunting), they've forgotten to falsify their passports. In fact, they forgot their passports altogether!

Easy as that, my brainguard sends them on their way. But the thought impostors only get as far as the bridge before, piddle brains that they are, they forget why they've headed off. And so they turn back for another attack.

Sometimes my brainguard falls asleep at the gate and I have to come up with other ways to stave off the savages. One of my new favorite weapons is singing. Just sing louder than the voices in your head.

Personally, I fancy the rubber tree song:

...just what makes that little ol' ant think he can move that rubber-tree plant...

After all, we've got to have high hopes if we are to continue to believe in the good that is out there, high apple pie hopes with dollops and dollops of determination.
 

:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

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Smokey and Soeurs (c) Kristin Espinasse
  Hang in there! (Smokey and the
soeurettes at 6 weeks...)

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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
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--Lisa


frimousse

DSC_0019-2
       The laurier-rose is in season... and blue shutters never go out of style. 
   

 frimousse (free moos) noun, feminine

    : sweet little face

A Day in a (DOG'S) Life... by Smokey "R" Dokey

Occasionally, Smokey says, I get fan mail. It's kind of embarrassing—enough to make my frimousse turn as red as my tongue (having snatched a bottle of forgotten ketchup on the dinner table....).

Here's a lettre d'admiratrice that I just received from Carol, in Belgium. Don't miss the clever wordplay:
 
Bonsoir Chéri Smokey-Joli,

J'adore te voir et je ne me lasse pas d'admirer ta jolie frimousse ! ( un peu fatiguée sur cette photo, non?)
I love to see you and never get tired of admiring your good-looking and sweet face (a little tired in the photo, no?) 
 
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 Alors ces ragondins? "Ragondinpeu"... Tu les as mis à plat ou tu les as mis au pas? So tell me about the nutrias (coypus)? "Ragondinpeu"... Did you flatten them or did you bring them to their feet?
 
J'ai "entendu-lire" quelque part que ces mignons coquins font pas mal de dégâts dans la nature! I "over-read" somewhere that these cute little rascals make quite a mess out in nature!

 
DSC_0049 

C'est très bien Monsieur Smok-écolo de préserver notre écosystème. Sois vert et aboie !   ("Sois belle et tais-toi"..... film avec Mylène Demongeot, grande amie des animaux.) That's very good, Mister Smok-ecolo, to preserve our eco system. Be green and bark! ("Be pretty and shut up".... a film with Mylène Demongeot, a great friend of animals.)

 
Smokey-Joli,
On aime ton "ô verdure" d'esprit (ouverture d'esprit ;-) 
Smokey-Joli,
We love your open mind.

Bisous,
Kisses,


Carol

   DSC03650 DSC03656  DSC03661

 
Kristin adds: thank you, Carol, for your endearing play on words. I will need help from readers to fix any mistakes I might have made in translation, as well as to point out and explain some of the fun and invented terms that you shared with us.  Click here to respond to Carol's letter or to my translation.

 

***


 

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

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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


brouillon

DSC_0053
Why does this Provençale hollyhock remind me of Hawaii? This flower is for Aunt Betty, Aunt Missy, and Aunt Janet. Je vous aime!

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un brouillon (bruh-yon) noun, masculine

    : draft (rough draft)

brouillon, brouillonne (adjective)

    untidy, disorganized

un brouillon, une brouillonne = a muddler, muddlehead 


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Le professeur de notre cours d'écriture nous a demandé de faire un brouillon d'une nouvelle.
The teacher of our writing class asked us to write a rough draft of our short story.

  

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

For the record, one can write a 12-page (double-spaced) rough draft in 56 minutes, especially when one's story is five days past deadline

My writing class begins at the end of the month and I have not yet followed instructions and sent off my story to fellow classmates. Then again, not all my fellow
camarades de classe have sent their story to me, which spells relief. 

In order to fully profiter from the short story writing class, we'll need to get our work done, illico! It would not be fair to the teacher, it would not be fair to classmates, and it would not be fair to ourselves... to arrive on June 27th bare-handed and brouillonne (or muddleheaded)

For the most part I have been muddleheaded, and any motivation and good intentions tend to ebb and flow.... Meantime, I am spending a lot of time talking to myself:
 
 "Just use the story of the dogs getting lost in Marseilles. That will fulfill requirements.  Why rack your brain? It's summertime! "

"But that would be cheating," my conscience points out. "You've already written and published that nouvelle. You need to put yourself in the same shoes as your classmates: you need to be agonizing over that blank page!"

And so I dutifully agonize.

Finally, g
ung ho, I began "Home-sitting" (in which a senile goat sports espadrilles while the protagonist deals with a few house-sitters before leaving for vacation). This story was begun 5 days ago, in response to our teacher's request for our manuscripts.... 

Then Mom had her say and I put the goat aside in time to begin a new story: "Naked." This story went on to be renamed "Staircase Wit", but even the change in title couldn't fool inspiration. Enthusiasm waned and the muse said Meh! (I admit, I had to look up the Muse's geeky response to understand what she was hinting at: boredom).

Then, yesterday morning, while shopping at the market, a story fell from the French skies and I could not believe my good fortune! Only, writing it would mean scratching the first two stories, and beginning all over again.

I told myself it was just a matter of sitting down and writing out the actual events: from the surreal incident that had just befallen me, one in which I was once again mistaken for a pute. 

 
In order to capture the story, I needed only to go over the picture frames in my mind, and write down, frame by frame, what had happened in the space of 45 minutes (when a local made me an offer that I found easy to resist).

I told myself not to worry about the art of writing; though that is a part of good story telling, it isn't "all" of it. The most important part is to have an interesting story to tell. Mine was a doozy (even if it made me out to be a floozy). 

Because God had just dropped the story into my lap, free for the taking, it was my duty to accept the gift. I quickly returned home, so excited about the story that it never occurred to this mistaken pute to be offended or downright enraged.

What had happened to me amounts to no more than
les hasards du métier. Since giving myself this job of "writer," some eight years ago, a day doesn't pass wherein I don't thank my
étoiles chanceuses for letting me continue to chronicle life, as it putts and strutts in front of me. 

Now to have fun telling my story. I wish I could share it with you, but then my fellow villagers might be inclined to tar and feather a certain pauvre type who mistook a certain pauvre pen-pusher for a hooker.
  

***

Writing notes: in the interest of embellishment, I chose the words "pute" and "hooker" to illustrate my story. Truth-be-told, I was simply taken for "loosey" or loose-moraled lady. Not that there was any evidence on my person to lead anyone to assume such a thing!

:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

I would love to know your response to this story. Thank you for commenting. Click here to leave a message.


Vocabulaire /Vocabulary

 le/la camarade de classe = classmate

illico (illico presto!) = right away

une pute = prostitute 

une étoile chanseuse = lucky star 

un pauvre type = loser 

les hasards du métier = job hazards  

  

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In other news... Alexi is back! He is doing a two-week internship here at Domaine Rouge-Bleu. The kids and Jean-Marc are happy to finally get a good meal, as only one can, when guests arrive! Note: that's Mom's race horse painting in the background.


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Vying for Alexi's attention.  More about Alexi, via a story, here.

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

 


 

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


historiette

DSC_0037
                     Smokey, back from a romp with the ragondins.

historiette (ee-stor-ee-ette) noun, feminine

    :  short story

synonyme: nouvelle, récit
 

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

Last night I dialed up Mexico and listened as Mom picked up the phone at the other end of the jungle. I felt grateful to hear her voice and immediately asked whether she would like to hear about the fictional nouvelle that I had begun.  

Mom was game. 
Only, as I heard myself recount the historiette (involving a senile goat that wears recycled espadrilles), I realized--before Mom even suggested it--that I still wasn't addressing the muse... or was it that the muse wasn't addressing me?... or rather neither of us was "addressing" but rather "a-skirting". Quite simply put, we were, both of us, the muse and I, conveniently and once again skirting the heart's history. Whether or not skirts were involved is beside the point. Let's see, is there a point?

I think you use humor to deflect, Mom pointed out, in so many mom-wise words. 
Underneath the guise of comedy, lie your profound stories. 

I offered a few stuttered yah-yahs your right about thats. Mom was unconvinced. That is when she reminded me of a line she had just heard in a movie, words that stirred her heart, and maybe they would stir up my own in time to share a few true lines.

"You are God's Muse"

 "You are God's muse," Mom said, quoting the film. She left enough silence for the words to find feeling in my mind. We are God's muse.... 

Later that night, after the house had fallen to sleep, I somewhat reluctantly put my espadrille-shoed chevre aside, reassuring myself that the story could be told another time. I thought of Mom's words:
 "Remember, you are God's muse. Just fire up that computer, put your hands over that keyboard and LET IT RIP!"

I opened a new window on my computer screen. I took a sip of coffee, staring for a thoughtful while at the proverbial blank page. Finally, I typed in the title of my story. My throat tightened followed by a stinging in the eyes. Closing them, I felt wet lashes.

I looked up at what I had typed: only a word, only a heading. The title read "Naked". 

Next, I closed the word document and shut off the computer. I walked down the quiet hall to the bedroom, where I changed into my pajamas. I can't sleep without them.

  

   "Locked" in St Paul Trois Chateaux (c) Kristin Espinasse
 

                                          :: Le Coin Commentaires ::

 Click here to leave a comment, to share a story of your own, or to simply delurk in time to say "bonjour"... 

 


 

***


 

Exercises in French PhonicsExercises in French Phonics is... 
" a great book for learning French pronunciation"
"useful and practical"
"high quality material, good value for your money" --from Amazon customer reviews. Order your copy here.

 

 

KINDLE: carry thousands of  educational books with you to France & beyond.

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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


remettre au lendemain

DSC_0001
Just learned that you can change Google's background image... with a personal photo :-) 

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remettre au lendemain (reuh-metr-oh-lahnd-euh-mahn)

     : to put off until the next day

Listen
Download MP3  or Wav  Il ne faut pas remettre au lendemain ce qu'on peut faire aujourd'hui. One mustn't put off to tomorrow what can be done today. 


  

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

One day soon I hope to have the presence of mind to write about the present. What if that day is today?
 
Well then... presently I am a bundle of nerfs. I am this way not because life has thrown a curve ball, but because I do not have on a glove with which to catch it. I don't even own a mitt and even if I did, knowing me I doubt it would be ready to receive.  Gloves need oil, something that would remain forever on my list of "Choses à Faire": 1) buy mitt oil 2) oil mitt....

Such procrastination puts curve balls in my throat. When will I learn? 

Because it is never too late to get back on track... I will exercise that goal of mine of telling you what is presently on my mind:


The inexistent 15 page rough draft that is due now! Today! Illico! 
Several weeks ago I signed up for my very first writing class: a short-story section
 which begins at the end of this month. 
Sheila kohler  I received an email from the author-instructor (her latest book, right...) this morning (cc'd to all of the students) with a reminder that the stories are due--and to "get them in as soon as possible so that we may begin reading one another's work."


The email threw me topsy-turvy into a flurry of first-liners, tripe that reignites my interest in paper-making (in which junk mail and other jetables are torn into little pieces and fed into a blender half-filled with water, to be pulped via a three-speeded mixer (the cool part is that wildflower seeds can be added to the mix, after pulping, and the future greeting card or stationery sheet can then be planted by the recipient! Talk about sustainable giving!).

But back to procrastination and those curve balls in my throat... there are a few others: French taxes, email (I owe you a big apology if you have not received a response to your letter), and a 15-year-old boy who will be voyaging solo at the end of the month...) but I'd rather talk about other things, stuff not having to do with the present moment and its pulpy, papery, anxieties. Perhaps this is a good time to talk about how to oil a mitt? Or where to buy leather softener (a.k.a. "glove stuff"?). After all, in order to catch these curve balls, one has to have a supple southpaw. Which brings us to a new mitty maxim: Never give in. Break in!

***


 DSC_0051
Lately I am experimenting with flower therapy: it seems the colorful, sweet-scented bouquets do much to keep the stressers at bay. A pack of wildflower seeds costs less than two buck (
order some), beaucoup moins cher que le psychiatre.  (Not to knock psychiatrists... only to pontificate on those perfumy preventative petals!

Dogs are said to have the same soothing effect: stress-relievers, they are also known to be good givers to those who are reluctant receivers.
 

:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

Your comments are the best part of this French word journal. Thank you for every word you share! Click here to leave a comment.  

Not sure what to write about? Why not share one of these:

Your recipe for staying stress-free or Your tip for anti-procrastination: or how to gets things done 
 

le nerf = nerve
les choses à faire = things to do 
illico = presto!
jetable = throwaway
beaucoup moins cher que le psychiatre = a lot less expensive than the psychiatrist


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 Peace and quiet with this French favorite: BOULES QUIES! Disposable protective earplugs made of natural wax. Good for air travel and swimming. Each Box contains 14 Earplugs (7 Pairs). You will receive 3 Boxes. Made of natural wax. Quies - Protections auditives - Cire Naturelle - Imported from France. Order here.

::L'Occitane Hand Cream Honey, almond and coconut oil are blended with Shea Butter to create this unique and extremely effective moisturizer.

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Carry on

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THE GIFT OF GAUL

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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


aviver

Poppy (c) Kristin Espinasse

It's Vagabonde Vendredi -- time to stray from our comfortable way. I have been saving this favorite flower from my garden for you. Enjoy!

THE GIFT OF GAUL

 Click here to sign up a friend or family member to French Word-A-Day. It's free & inspiring.

 
 
aviver (ah-vee-vay) verb

 

    : to stir up

French verb conjugation:
 j'avive, tu avives, il avive, nous avivons, vous avivez, ils avivent past participle: avivé

Audio File & Example sentence: listen to Jean-Marc:  
Download MP3  or Wav

Pour que la muse vienne vous visiter, bousculer vos habitudes, avivez votre matinée! For the muse to come and visit you, shake up your habits, stir up your morning.

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


Take a new path each day. Shake things up. Do the unexpected

These things run through my mind as I type, fresh dirt beneath my fingernails, along this chattering clavier. (Have you ever listened to the sound of typing?  Stop. Ecoutez! What do you hear?I hear the sound of hailstones hitting the front patio. Did you hear it too? Type on and listen closely... Oh, chameleon keyboard, when I am in the moment, listening with all my might, I hear falling pebbles of poetry.)

It is always a good time to be in the moment. The same goes for writing a thrice-weekly journal on a deadline. This edition will go out, automatically, "preprogramedly," in four hours. Between then and now a lot could happen... such as:

Bees! I could bolt back outside, to where I left my trowel... and look at bumble hides. Yesterday, while visiting with the Dirt Divas (pictured, below), Doreen pointed out the blanched-butted bumblebees.  (Did she call them "white bums"?)  Just thinking of their name makes me light.

Light, this is how I'd like the next four hours to pass—légèrement—and not lourdement. "Heavily" happens when we're over-serious. Why not be neither heavy nor lighty-flighty... why not shoot for "whimsical weighted"?

But back to "what could happen in the next four hours"... Isn't this an exciting thought? Perhaps one might leave the work desk and take a spin around the block (or building, or airport, or internet café) or wherever this letter finds you reading....

Then, there's always a free moment for a one-minute meditation: time to clear the mind and replace any negative (defeating, fearful, muckity-puckity pensées) with positive ones or, better yet, Godly ones.  "Meditate on the Word" my mom, Jules, might tell me. She might also tell me to do something new (and so be renewed?), such as ride my bike to Camaret and give my new friend Liliane a jam jar of jardin jewels: those ruby and sapphire and citrine splendors in the garden.

(Alas, a few hours have now passed... and I haven't managed to lighten up. Worse, I feel weightier than before. Perhaps this is the ol' "one step forward, deux en arrière" snare?)

Never mind. What's important is to keep marching on and with a sing-song in one's step. And if, by chance, you need a guide, you might chance to follow a certain blanched-bumed bee hide...

as it bumbles,  and as you stumble, from one good intention to the next. At least you tried :-) 

 

:: Le Coin Commentaires ::

Thanks for stopping in to say "bonjour" today. Click here to comment. 


 No picture of the blanched-bottomed bumble bee... Will you enjoy this blue-winged one instead?
 
  Blue Wings (c) Kristin Espinasse

  

 The dear
Dirt Divas (Malou & Doreen), who never fail to make one smile. I hope their generosity is contagious. 
  DSC_0008

   French Vocabulary

écouter = to listen to
légèrement = lightly
lourdement = heavily
le jardin = garden
deux en arrière = two (steps) backwards

 

"PAL POETRY"

There's fan fiction and now "pal poetry": study my latest poem (on the previous page)... and see  how Newforest gussies it up here, below, finding just the right French words and making it even more meaningful:

 ............................................................................................

"Le Point du Jour"  

(Poème de Kristin revu par 'Newforest')

........................................................................................... 

 

 

 Ce matin je me suis levée avant les ipomées. 

Coucou, levez-vous!

Je me suis penchée vers ces fleurs matinales

Qui dorment encore, serrant leurs pétales.

Coucou! Levez-vous!

Plus loin, les grillons répètent sans cesse leur cricri strident,

Mais les jolies fleurs bleues, pas encore éveillées, 

Savourent les plaisirs d'une grasse matinée.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

  Morning glory
  Photo by Andrew Farrell

 


 

 

 

Poetry vocabulary 


 

- une Ipomée = Morning Glory

  

 

 

 

 

(un volubilis is a synonyme)

   

 

 

 

- se pencher = to lean over

  

 

 

 

- encore = here, it means still (still asleep)

  

 

 

 

- serrer = to tighten, to grip tightly

  

 

 

 

- un pétale = petal 

  

 

 

 

- plus loin = further

  

 

 

 

- le grillon = cricket

  

 

 

 

- sans cesse / continuellement = non stop

  

 

 

 

- le cricri is the French word for the sound made by crickets

  

 

 

 

- (être éveillé) = (to be) woken up

  

 

 

 

- savourer le/les plaisir(s) de ... = to enjoy

 

- faire la grasse matinée = to sleep in 

please help me to thank Newforest for this new and improved poésie. Click here to leave a comment. 

  


 

 

***

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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


point du jour

  DSC_0070
You'll excuse this old jug of wine for not washing its face before our photo session... tsk tsk!

Today's bilingual poem is for Mariem, Meissa, and Farès in Avignon... and the English version is for The Dirt Divas: Malou and Doreen: do you have any idea how much joy your flowers bring?
 

le point du jour (leuh pwahn doo joor)

    : daybreak, dawn

French synonymes: aube (f) (daybreak), aurore (dawn), le matin (morning), la première lueur du jour (first light of day)

C'était le point du jour mais les fleurs dormaient toujours....
It was daybreak but the flowers were still sleeping....
 


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

I don't know much about history...
... geography ...
(or even plants and trees)


and so I'm starting with morning glories...
(France)
seeds and the dawn of happenstance

I have many accidental gardener stories to tell you... once I settle down along with the fallen seeds. Hard to believe it is harvest time for some of the flowers in my garden. As the flower heads ripen in succession, I run around throttling the Lily of Spain, shaking off seeds and sometimes catching them.

Careful not to miss any overnight activity, I dash out to the flower beds each morning for a look-see. Wouldn't you know that some daisies are lackadaisical, whilst others (not to mention names, such as 'morning glories'...) are downright lazy?

Read on... 

                "Le Point du Jour"

Ce matin je me suis levée avant les ipomées.

Coucou, levez-vous!

Je me suis penchée vers ces fleurs matinales

Qui dormaient comme de futures cigales

Coucou! levez-vous!

Plus loin, les grillons ont fait leur cricri pareil,

Mais les jolies fleurs bleues

Elles ont continué leur grasse matinée.

                        Daybreak
This morning I woke up before the morning glorys
Cooee! (Hey oh!) wake up!
I leaned over towards the flowery auroras
who slept like future cicadas
Cooee! (Hey oh!) wake up!
Yonder the crickets called out the same ol' song
but the pretty blue flowers
continued their sleep along

Earlier, I asked you to excuse the dirty wine jug. This time, je vous prie to excuse me. This edition is choppy due to some technical problems brought on by the Mistral wind (how's that for a change from "the dog ate it?")

:: Le Coin Commentaire ::

Click here to leave a comment.
   


Bucolic butter dish--delightful! Wonderful mix and match rooster motif in the colors of Provence with coordinating floral accessories. Hand Painted Ceramic Dinnerware. Dishwasher & Microware Safe.
  Rooster butter dish 
 

A Year in Provence... "I really loved this book." —Julia Child

  A Year in Provence
 


.... 
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  Portable navigator
 

This affordable, widescreen navigator leads the way with voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions that speak street names and optional MSN Direct® services to get you there on time and keep you informed. It's packed with millions of destinations and maps for North America. Like the rest of the sleek nüvi 2x5-series, this portable navigator is priced right and ultra-easy to use.

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


What to do in the Luberon? / Que faire dans le Luberon?

  Oppede (c) Kristin Espinasse 2010
                                             In the hilltop village of Oppède

Quick, illico! It seems some travelers are in need of Luberon info! Can you please help by responding to the following questions (any tips received via email will be automatically posted to the comments box).

  1. Which villages to see in the Luberon?
  2. Where to stay in the Luberon? B&B, hotels... gîtes...
  3. What to do in the Luberon?
  4. Where to eat in the Luberon?



More French Word-A-Day Reader Guides:

What to do in the Loire Valley? Que Faire dans la Vallée de la Loire?
What to do in Paris? Que Faire à Paris?
What to do in Aix-en-Provence? Que Faire à Aix-en-Provence?
Where to rent a car in France? Où louer une voiture en France?

  
  Nancy Armstrong
(photo by Nancy Armstrong.)

Some villages in the Luberon (which are your favorites? Click to comment)
Cavaillon, Apt, Ansouis, Manosque, Pertuis, Roussillon, Gordes, Goult, Lacoste, Oppède (pictured), Maubec, Bonnieux, Saignon, Céreste, Ménerbes, Lourmarin, Cucuron, Forcalquier

  Saignon (c) Kristin Espinasse 2010
Gift the gift of words: add a friend to this listserve.

In Gifts

L'Occitane Hand Cream Honey, almond and coconut oil are blended with Shea Butter to create this unique and extremely effective moisturizer.

  L'occitane hand cream


Provence sketchbook Provence Sketchbook takes the reader through this historically rich region that also boasts some of France's most breathtaking landscapes.

Bucolic butter dish--delightful! Wonderful mix and match rooster motif in the colors of Provence with coordinating floral accessories. Hand Painted Ceramic Dinnerware. Dishwasher & Microware Safe.
  Rooster butter dish

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa