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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


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Tom B, Jersey City NJ

Smokey: "I'm glad it's them and not me!"


What a real Laugh out Loud posting this one is - brought a big grin (rather than delicate smile) to my face - the thought of you with red cracking cheeks, pips up your nose and JM not even noticing!! Thanks for this one. A tres bientot. xoxoxo

Linda R.

Actually I just popped in to see if anyone had come up with the proper name for JM's outfit - my niece would know, but she's not here. Your face mask story brought a smile : )
I always remember a sign above the door to the principal's office in a school where I taught: "Be careful of the words you say; keep them soft and sweet. You never know from day to day which ones you'll have to eat." Not that I've always heeded the advice even when it would have been a good idea.


I know it as a kaftan, but the punjabi dress for men is also similar in style.

Eileen - Charlottesville, VA

Smokey" "Nobody wants to play with me today!"

I love the quote by Linda above. That's great!

Kerry tomb

Smokers thoughts. ". If I keep looking this way, no one will ask me to help"

Karen Whitcome (in warm and rainy Towson, Md)

I'm with Nancy. I've always called those robes, "kaftans".

Very amusing post - the visuals keep coming. And, poor Smokey - waiting for his walk. Bet he misses Jules.

The house is adorable!


Hilarious story today. Thanks so much for sharing this tomato slice of life with us, Kristen.

Marcia Fyfe

Hi Kristin,

As a child of the sixties, it looks like an African dashiki to me.
Were enjoying seeing how nicely you've settled in to your new life.
Cheers from St. George's, Grenada in the Windward Islands, West Indies.
Ciao for now, Marcia and Jack on Rights of Man


Smokey: "Spend years chasing your tail and the answer is right there in front of you."


I sure do wish that they could make this ground softer and more comfortable.

Patty Austin in Bethesda, MD

Smokey might just be thinking ... "This new place is pretty nice, the light is so awesome, look at that beautiful plant shadow!"


Your new home and lands look lovely. Be happy!!


Your Best Post EVER!!!!!! Hilarious!


First, I'm going to try the tomato masque - who knew?

Smokey is likely thinking: "These people are nuts - makes much more sense to relaaaaaaaax in the sun!"

Fred Lovett

Having been married three times for a total of 45 years, in my present association with a Sicilian man, I can apply the lessons I learnt in that life.

1, You will never change a person's opinion by force of words.

2. Don't ever nag! It only builds resentment.

3. Apply the dog training rules: When they do it right (according to your thinking) compliment them.

When they do it wrong avoid anything like punishment which will reinforce their actions.

You don't need force, that only builds fear and resentment.

After 10 years in this relationship we are still in love.


It appears to be a ghendura, traditional dress for Moroccan males at home, as well as other North African countries I expect.

Mary L. Holden

Smokey: "Positively Millet for 2012--one GLEANER and a beautiful dog!"


Hi Kristen and Jean Marc,
Congratulations for your new home! We are still in the middle of "crush" here in CA.
Jean Marc is wearing a long dashiki! We wore these in the 70's!!!
Best to you and your family,
Victoria and Jerry

Katie at

What a great story! Thanks for providing a laugh to start my day.


Every dog's motto: "might as well take a nap".


As for Jules picking up whatever, Smokey remarks:

"Better her than me!"


Sheryl in Denver

Smokey says: "You guys work way too hard. You should take a nap in the sun."

Love the kimono, JM!

judi dunn

.. Kristin... back in the 60's , when I lived in NYC... we called them 'Dashikis', and they were mostly worn by my African friends at Art School... ( Pratt Institute).
I think he looks charming and comfortable in one. I see them a lot here in Tallahassee , as we have FAMU here and they are very big on 'African pride'. I love the graphic designs ! Try cucumber slices on your eyes for relieving puffiness! Ca march! Judi Dunn, Tallyho.. Florida

Deborah Rice

Smokey says, "Isn't she done yet? I have been waiting hours for Grandmere to come play with me!"

I love the new house, so charming and inviting. Congratulations!


Jenny Pessereau

Best post EVER! Loved it! Thanks!

Jenny P

Victoria Stockton

"my tail smells like bacon." (:
Love your posts and photos! xo

Farren Stover

Smokey: Qu'est-ce que je fais ici avec tous ces droles de gens?


For those naps you need a need to waste perfectly spaced trees.

Diane Young

I was so sure you were going to say that Jean-Marc burst into laughter when he saw your visage a la tomate. I really recommend more rirant and less se chamaillerant. Smokey is having a beautiful reve and could care less what the crazy humans are doing. He knows how to enjoy life.

Mary Gilbert

From CSN's Marrakech Express:
Take the train from Casablanca going south
Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my mouth
Colored cottons hang in the air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped DJELLABAS we can wear at home

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

I love your home ---- it is so inviting & warm. Great post.


Haha, I loved your story- a tomato mask to keep one from becoming a raging 'tomato'!

Cynthia Gillespie

Great story on yourself, Kristin. I think Smokey is thinking, "Ah, Jules is so much fun and soon she is going to leave us and head back to Puerto Vallarta".

Nancy,                     Cambridge

Hysterical! Still laughing! Ah, the differences between men and women...


Hi Kristin! Your new home and the surroundings are beautiful. Great post and story, but just wondering a few things (details!):
1. Did you like the results of the tomato mask? Could you tell a difference?
2. Did you end up agreeing with Jean-Marcs point?


Outstanding post today. It may change my life!
Also like Fred Lovett's words. Thanks. All true.

Smokey's thoughts.....

I'm homesick for the vineyard romps up North.
Finish that door and start planting, Chief Grape!

Karen from Phoenix

HA HA HA!!! Great story. I use olive oil to help keep those pesky wrinkles away. Amazing to help with dry skin all over as well. I am going to try the tomato mask.

Smokey: AHHHH how peaceful it is here!


Joan Linneman

Je pensais au "Monsieur Cramoisie" du Petit Prince avec la tete rouge qui repetait toujours "Je suis un homme serieux, je suis un homme serieux..."
Mais comment se fait-il que Jean-Marc n'a pas eclate de rire?
Les choses que l'on fait pour rester belle...
Joan L. :)

Carol Roge

Kristen: wonderful, funny post!
Smokey: "I've been chasing that tail all day and I've FINALLY caught it! Now it's time for a nap..."

edith schmidt

He's probably wondering why humans don't know how to relax!
I did like that guy's "robe."

Edie from Savannah

Kathleen from Connecticut

I too thought that Jean-Marc would start urging but then burst out laughing, but many times MEN have one track minds and don't see what is in front of them, they are too focused on their points which they want to make.

Mama Jules, just stop working and join me in the sun...sayes Smokey.

Carolyn Chase

Not sure the name for the garment but it looks dangerous to wear when working with tools.
Perhaps simply "planing" would describe what's being done to the door?
I suppose that tomato on the face is a subset of egg on one's face?? I think it was very gentil of him not to say anything.
A truly delightful anecdote - thank you for sharing.

Carolyn Chase

Smokey - Jules has worn me out!


Hi dear Kristin,
This post is absolutely wonderful and filled us with laughter!
You have such a gift for not only making fun of yourself but encouraging all of us to do the same!Life is too short not to be filled with smiles!
THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Natalia XO


Smokey-I hope she doesn't want to take me for another walk!
Kristen, Jean Marc must be a circus to live with. Not a kaftan and not a muumuu so what can it be?

Loy Fraser

I would suggest that the proper tool for taking a bit off of the bottom of a door is the use of a plane. The sharp edge allows you to just take off only what you need and the results look like nothing was taken off at all :-)

Fred Caswell

Once again you made me laugh loudly and have turned a hilarious human chain of events into a most meaningful lesson to be learned and re-learned again and again. Love it! Merci beaucoup!!!

When first encountering the French word "s'entendre" I quessed that it meant "to listen to each other. "Turning to a dictionary it was a joy to learn that the meaning was "to get along, to be friends." Your little story was/is a clear, humorous, and delightful illustration. This lesson may seem simple but I see dept of wisdom and happy consequences when we TRULY listen.

A clergyman once said that we (all) need bigger ears and smaller mouths!



Fred Caswell

Would you please e-mail your snail mail address -- I have something to send that you and ta famille might enjoy.


Que c'est drôle, what a hilarious anecdote today, chère Kristin! I keep laughing, imagining the whole scenario.
I did not read whether your lecteurs et lectrices have corrected your spelling in your "non-resistence" (it is ANCE and not ENCE). Et c'est RABOTER et pas "Rembobiner" pour aplanir le bas de la porte.
As for Smokey in the photo, here's what's he thinking:"il vaut mieux qu'elle (Jules) le fasse. J'ai besoin de ma sieste, moi!"

Kitty Wilson

This robe is likely a daishiki, like the ones my parents brought back from Africa in the early '60's that became popular hippie clothing later on that decade, Still have a couple of stoles Mum gave me. They look great as table runners!


Ha, ha,ha!!! My husband and I don't often fight, but when next the stress of life hits and we do let go with angry words, I am going to rub tomato all over my face - after I have thrown a few at him!! Ha!!!!!!


Hiding behind the mask, didn't you almost feel like laughing, but couldn't because it would crack?
Smokey is saying "I'll go have that nap with "gramma Jules".


Smokey : is she looking for my collection of old hidden bones??? She won't find them!


I bought several such long (striped) robes in Dubai where they're called a dishdash (don't know if that's the spelling but that's what it sounds like). I use them as nighties-cum-gowns when I travel. They were very cheap.

Pat Cargill

Fun post...J-M, the native, has totally gone native in your new digs. Love it!

Melanie Olsen

very funny story with a wise lesson!

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

This was a really great story. Perfect incident and so well told.

I was thinking how you posted all those months when you were dealing with this huge issue, to leave the wonderful vineyard behind and move to a new life in a new home. Only now do we get a hint of how much had to be settled for this big family decision.

Do please let us know the right name for Jean-Marc's clothing. It seems we have learned "raboter" is the word for planing a door.

Lisa A.,Los Angeles, CA

Fantastic story!!....I'm still laughing. Thanks so much for making me laugh and smile this morning!! I could totally picture the entire tomato scene...So Perfectly...I have to try that one! hehehehehehehe It reminds me of something you would see in an "I Love Lucy" television show. :)


We just returned from Morocco where they call it a djellaba. There are so many names for a garment similar to a kaftan and so many countries where it is the norm for men to wear one.

Wini Moranville

I am so glad you posted "se chamailler"! I just used it today while I was tutoring two lovely young women from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Their native language is French and I am teaching them English composition. They were practicing a powerpoint demonstration that they were going to give, and during one of the slides, they started arguing about how many languages were spoken in the DRC.

The kept bickering, and I was able to say, "on ne chamaille pas pendant la presentation!"

It was the first time I had ever used that phrase--and I would have never come across it had I not read this blog. So THANKS!

Wini Moranville

I meant "on ne se chamaille pas..." of course.... :)


Dear Kristi, I think the F version of the M adj Vainqueur is Victorieuse.... :)

Katherine Jayce

Hahahah. A man on a dress? That is one gutsy guy.

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