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Friday, December 21, 2012

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Julie Farrar

What a touching story. Our kids can surprise us so often. And Smokey looks positively regal with that halo of lights around him. Bonne fêtes! Maybe later I'll have a caption for Smokey-doke.

Pat Cargill

"Ecoutez!" I think I hear the Christmas Angels singing!

Merry Christmas to you and family, Kristen, and mille mercis for your continued postings this year, always a pleasure.

Jean-Marc

Glad to be the first to comment to announce that tomorrow is Kristi's birthday...
Happt birthday to my lovely wife and merry Christmas to all

Robyn France

Joyeux Noel to all. Lovely story and joyeux anniversaire en plus, Kristi. Belle histoire cette fois-ci!

Cindy McDonald

Joyeux Noël chère Kristin. I wish for you and your lovely family good health, peace and love. My Toutou sends sweet Smokey his best wishes too..(he's not sure about les bises.) xoxoxo Cindy

Karen Whitcome (in Towson, Md)

Bonne Anniversaire, Kristi!! I hope that the joy you find today matches the magic we find in today's story. And, may it also begin and end with the adorable Smokey.

Have a peaceful and joyous holiday!

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

Have a happy birthday, Kristin.

It sounds like the Christmas spirit has found you just in time.

Laurie

"We love you Smokey, oh yes we do..." (To be sung with the tune from Bye,Bye Birdie).

How I do love that dog. He will never let the laughing creeps get to him. He is too strong and too loved.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I look forward to your posts and your videos in the future.

Becky

Happy Birthday Kristen, and Merry Merry Christmas to all of you!

Ophelia

Bon Anniversaire et Joyeux Noel, Kristin, et à toute la famille. Great story et bravo to Jean-Marc!

Passante

"Is that Santa's sleigh I can hear?"

Buon compleanno, Kristen, and buon natale to the whole family.

Judy

It's true, you know, ridicule is born of ignorance. If we all could walk not even a mile, but perhaps a few yards, in each other shoes, what empathy we'd all have for each other (and for Smokey).

Barbara - California

Like Laurie, I too love 'our' Smokey. He's a miraculous bundle of love.

Bon Anniversaire Kristin!. I thoroughly and sincerely enjoy your style of writing. So true to heart...

michele

Joyeux Noel to you & your family (Smokey & Braise included). Your tree is lovely and Smokey looks very proud of it. I'm grateful for your stories through the years, they have always moved me by lifting my spirits, evoking chuckles & belly laughs or a tear. I look forward to more in the New Year.

Cheryl in STL

What a sweet story! The tree is lovely and the story even more so. Joyeux Noël à vous tous et une bonne année, aussi! Thank you for these regular glimpses into your Provençal life!

Angela

"Savon d'Alep" is originally from Aleppo (Halab), Syria, and is made from olive and laurel oils. It is not made from pine trees!

Martine NYC

"Mama Braise told me to hold my head high. . ."

GUS ELISON


" AND IT CAME TO PASS "

Ken Scupp

Bon Anniversaire Kristi. Vous avez vingt-neuf ans encore! Caption- Pas des pepites de chocolat biscuits pour pere Noel cette annee. Joyeux Noel a toute la famille aussi.

Pennie Vandenbroek

The pine tree, the moss from the forest, the figures from the creche, a wood fire, your family (including Smoky and her mother), all feel like a very special Christmas card from France. Thank you for sharing your lives with us in far away Canada. Blessings to you on your birthday, and may this be your best Christmas ever!

Bill Facker

Aloha, "Mele Kalikimaka" to all, and the happiest of Birthdays to you, Kristin. Mahalo Nui for another year of French Word A Day!

Julie from Edinburgh

Happy birthday Kristin - it is also my dear mother's birthday tomorrow she will be 88 and like you she sees only the best in everything. her sight is failing now but she still is full of optimism and love for her family. Your FWAD is truly a joy filled with honesty and love. blessings to you and your family this christmas.

Bill in St. Paul

Smokey looks like he's singing "fa-la-la-la" to me. I remember when Smokey was attacked and almost killed, he's come along way and seems to have adapted well. The whole family is now in town and I have to be on my best behavior, playing games with my grandchildren that I haven't played in 60 years! Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all!!

Elizabeth Lincoln

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas from Oregon! Your depiction of home life often makes me smile- while the particulars may vary from my American experience, there is a beautiful commonality which reaches across differing cultures, making things like retreating to your room to escape the chaos in the rest of the house something I definitely identify with ( we have 3 boys)! Here's to more wonderful videos and essays in 2013 - I love reading not only your blog but also the comments which follow, from all over the world.

julie camp

"Thank you, God," says Smokey.

From you I learn French and writing. Thank YOU Kristi for the lessons and for inspiring us with your shared reality. Joyeux anniversaire. Bless you. Tomorrow I will be imagining you being celebrated, all day.

Bill in St. Paul

Oops, almost forgot - Happy Birthday, Kristin!!

Mary

Smokey is getting ready for a New Year. The tongue placement is his version of the song, "Auld LANGUE Syne." What a smart dog!

Mary

Oh, and happy birthday!

(And, has Smokey confused "barf" with "bark?")

JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

My Darling Kristi,

I just finished my second reading of your post today - a story I could read again and again. I can see you in my minds eye sitting at your little make-shif desk in the corner of your bedroom clicking away on your keyboard as this story flowed effortlessly from your heart. How wise you were when you decided to have a blog to make the decision to just let your thoughts flow - to release your true imprint onto the page before you. You have brought forth another little 'Masterpiece' this morning cloaked in the simplicity of life. I am once again blessed by your presense in my world -

A big kiss and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUG to the little girl that has changed my life forever.

XOXO

MOM

Vance Anderson-Inks

Happy Birthday, Kristin, And
Feliz Navidad to you and your family

Candy in CO

Happy birthday and Merry Christmas dearest Kristi. May 2013 bring numerous blessings and grand adventures for you and your family. I don't post often anymore, but that doesn't mean that I don't read and enjoy your posts. They are always a bright spot in my day. Hugs to all!

Karene

Dear Kristin,
I have adored discovering you and your family this year! I too have been a little overwhelmed lately with all that needs to be done for Christmas and long for a little more simplicity. What a beautiful picture of your tree and Smokey!

Wishing you a very happy birthday! With love from Karene in California.

Roseann

Arrrrrrrhhh, Horry Niiiiiiight................

ed- in Cornwall.

LOVELY STORY1
Joeux Noel to you all et un bon annee!
Merci pour tous les postes!

ed- in Cornwall.

Ici il pleut et pleut et pleut mais your
posts have been brightening up my days with
all the warmth in them!
LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT YEARS POSTS IT HELPS
OUR FRENCH SO MUCH AND THEY ARE SO INFORMATIVE, CARING, FULL OF HUMOUR AND FILLED WITH A LOVE OF LIFE!

Leslie Riley

Bon anniversaire, Kristin, et joyeux noel a tous!

Smokey: "Santa, I am being such a good boy!"

Gwyn Ganjeau

Kristin, this was so lovely. You found the holiday sparkle, and it was in Jackie's eyes--a lovely reminder that we don't CREATE the sparkle, we discover it. this was the most peace-filled post. thank you.

one other note: in trying to resolve the tragic events of last week, i saw the following story. people all over the world are doing 26 random acts of kindness--one for each of the people who lost their lives at the school. yes, the only thing that can conquer darkness is light. it's something i CAN do in a situation that makes me feel utterly helpless. give it a read. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15972814-inspired-to-act-26acts-of-kindness-to-honor-those-lost-in-newtown-conn?lite

merry christmas to all the special people at FWAD!!

Vicki, San Francisco Bay area

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, Kristi! I hope you spend it doing something you love!
What a beautiful Christmas tree; so special to have obtained it from your land rather than from the store! I wish all the Espinasses a Joyeux Noël ~ may the simplistic true spirit of Christmas warm your hearts this holiday season! And Merry Christmas to Jules, as well!

Elaine Thomson

Happy Birthday Kristin and thank you for your very helpful word-a-day posts each week. Having lived in the Poitou-Charentes region of France for 9 years I can really identify with some of your observations on French customs and way of life. You have a lovely way of educating us with the language and life in France.

Also thank you and your co-star Smokey for your videocasts - don't change your style whatever you do it is great!

I hope you and all your family and readers have a very Happy and peaceful Christmas and healthy New Year.

Elaine

Marilina

Your stories always make feel warm all over, filled with real life and love but not sentimental. I think you are a great writer to be able to communicate your feelings so well that the reader can feel what you are feeling.
Joyeaux Noel!

anne wirth

Bravo! You and your family have the true Christmas spirit.
Smokey is Waiting .......(in the last pic.) Waiting for the Child to arrive.

Merry Christms and Peace and Blessings to you and your family.

From Kissimmee, Florida

Linda Lippner

Smokey is regal and dignified no matter what!

Sharon - Montague, Michigan

Ahhhhh! The smell of a fresh tree.............

Melanie

Bonne anniversaire Kristi! I hope you have a wonderful day. My grandma turned 100 yesterday but they will be celebrating it on your birthday.
Joyeux Noel to you and your family!
bises

Frances Anamosa

Joyeux Noel, to you and your family. Many thanks for sharing with all of us. I wish you all the best for the happiest of holidays, and a very wonderful 2013. Frances in Napa.

Christine

Et Bonnes Fetes ausssi a' toi!

I haven't had the time to post anything recently, but I wanted at least to wish you all the best of the season!

Joanne Ablan

Tell Smokey that it was a lot of Golden Retrievers who were the
first responders with love for the grieving community of Newtown.
We should all take a lesson of noblesse oblige from this golden
breed who steadfastly serve us with their fidelity to love.

Anne

Happy Birthday Kristi and Merry Christmas and Happy New year !!! Long may you continue to "blog" and share your life and times with us all .....You share a name (Kristi) with my daughter and also a B-day with a grandaughter,and the love of all things(well mostly) French, with me. Take care ...enjoy the Christmas season with your family and lovely dogs...and continue sharing your life with us all in 2013. Anne in New Zealand.
PS..Best wishes to Jules too !

Natalia

Hi dear Kristi,
Today's story once again wrapped itself around my heart.It brought back all the emotions that your beautiful Jackie feels at her age, and also(!) those that her dear parents feel as well. Wonderful times of life for you all!
Chere Kristi, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are indeed a Christmas child,with gorgeous spirit radiating from the inside. We are all so blessed to have you in our lives and fortunate to be part of yours. May God grace you always with faith,health and joy.
Love, Natalia XO

Diane Young

Dear Kristi,
You give us all the Christmas spirit when you point out the need to love others. Have a blessed birthday and a Christmas filled with love. Hugs to all la famille Espinasse, and maybe an extra one to Smokey, our treasured friend. Think he's smelling the wonder of the season.

Michael in southern Québec

Joyeuses fêtes à tous.

Sherry Frank

What a perfectly lovely story. I think we all remember the angst of the first tree from the mall. A real tree is Christmas. The ornaments look more beautiful and everything smells nicer.

Snowing here in Kentucky et it fait tres froid. Joyeux Noel to you and your beautiful family. Many dog hugs to Smokey and Braise.

Sherry

Maureen

Happy Birthday for tomorrow, Kristi, Happy Christmas to you all!

Luci

Happy Birthday to you, Miss Kristi. And thank you as well for a beautiful story. Smokey looks pretty terrific to me; let's not dwell on past "might have beens."
A Happy Christmas and a Joyous New Year to you and your family.

Luci

Patience Tekulsky in L.A,

Oh, my goodness. Two postings in a row from me. But golly, I have to share that my fabulous daughter shares a birthday with you. What a lovely coincidence. Two favorite people, one day of celebration. May you have all good things in the year to come. Bon Anniversaire!
Jomackenzie.com to share her wonderful paintings.

Rosalie Isom

Joyeux Noel, Kristin - et à toute la famille "Bonne Année."
Have yourself a "merry little provençal Christmas." I'm driving to Tucson tomorrow to my family. Rosalie

Amanda Frost

Interesting that the Provençaux have appropriated the Aleppo pine as their own!

Merry Christmas to the winemakers!

Irene Tanedo

Je suis souhaite un tres Heureux Anniversaire chere Kristin!:)

May your heart and home be filled with joy, peace and love on Christmas and all throughout the coming year..Merry Chirstmas!

A million thanks to all your posts..

Jacqueline

Merci Kristin,

Cette histoire est une vraie merveille de la saison. Le pin est parfait et je me souviens biens l’histoire du petit Smokey. Moi, je lui trouve assez beau qu’il est unique.

Bon Anniversaire à toi et Joyeux Noel a toute la famille.

Susan Carter (Westminster, CA)

Joyeux Noel to your family, Kristen. Merci for this blog which brings a little France into my life each week. You are so good at making me see & feel things that are often overlooked in the rush of a hectic life. I often don't get to your blog the first day but they always make me smile or shed a tear & you have made me feel so much a part of your family. Hugs to you all & Smokey & Braise.

John Sanders

amicalement = warmly (is "friendlily" a word?...)

Alas "friendlily" is not a word, but "amicably" is. However, "warmly" is a much better translation.

Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Fred Caswell

For so many reasons and like so many of your readers, you have my lifelong gratitude and love. Bon anniversaire, Kristi!

My daughter, Carol, celebrates her 54th birthday with both some joy and a heavy heart (long story). Nancy and I will add our love and wishes the next day, Christmas Eve. You may recall Carol came home as our Christmas baby on Dec. 25th!

Millie

Joyeux anniversaire, chère Kristin! C'est une saison des Fêtes chez toi. Que ta nouvelle demeure ne se remplisse que de joie et d'amour .
Joyeux Noël et Bonne et Heureuse Année 2013!

Augusta Elmwood

Bravo, Jean-Marc for giving your children an experience and a lesson they will not forget! Merci Kristin, for sharing your French life with us! Je vous tous souhaite un joyeux Noël, et que cette année nouvelle vous apporte santé, joie, et prosperité! Bisous, Augusta

Catherine

I sunk deeper into my bed,
I sank more deeply into my bed.
Sorry, I like correct English grammar.

Audrey Wilson

A Hapy Birthday Kristin !!
Bonne Fêtes a vous et toutes la famille
Bisous
Audrey

Kristin Espinasse

Merci beaucoup for your response to this story. I thought about doing a rerun, and now I am so glad to have faced the blank page once again! Your notes are the best reward to this effort! 


The thought bubbles for Smokey are just wonderful! Thank you.


Angela and Catherine, thank you for the helpful corrections.

Julie, happy 88th to your dear mother :-)


Bill, good luck with the games and enjoy your family.


Candy, so happy to see your note. I was  JUST thinking about you!


Gwyn, thanks for posting the link and the idea to 26 Acts of Kindness. Wonderful idea.

Marilina, your feedback is so encouraging!!

Anne, Wish our town was called Kissimmee! You lucky you!


Melanie, thinking of you, and your Grandma, aussi!


I am enjoying every single word ... and need to finish thanking you for them... but we are leaving now for a birthday lunch. Woohoo! xoxo Kristi

mary paulson

Oh Kristi, what a big smile you brought to me this morning at 3:40am. Enjoy your birthday fete. Thank you for all your stories and sharing this year. Thank you , Thank You. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. May this coming year be the best one yet!

Pat Cargill

Wishing you a very happy birthday, chere Kristin, and it sounds like you are happily eating another fabulous French meal right now! Woohoo, yes! Love and warm wishes à famille Espinasse! Cheers à tous!

And thanks to Gwyn for the link. Big hugs.

JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY PRECIOUS KRISTI,

It breaks my heart that I am now with you today. I am having all kinds of thoughts and memories right now. I guess only you can imagine how I am feeling right now. Please take lots of photo's - I wish for you all of your dreams, but then again I think you already have received all already. That is the good news, there are always more surprises down the road that we haven't even considered...Thank God for that.

I remember the moment you were born - what a story that was....and then all of the moments in our lives together. Just the memories are a wonderful gift.

I can't seen to write -

I'll come back later -

XOXO

MOM

Vince Patrucco

Smokey is a wonderful dog, and my Casey sends him a big kiss!

Judy Feldman

Bonnes fetes, Kristin. I wish you & your family a wonderful holiday in your new home, and look forward to another year of your lovely stories.

Bises, Judy

Olga Brown

Joyeux anniversaire, Kristi!
By the way, Jean-Marc, I did not forget about Kristi's birthday, you just were first! I waited for that exact day: the Russians don't say "Happy Birthday" ahead.It's our rule, for some reason.
I also wish you all (including the dogs!) a very Merry Christmas!

Andrea Hughes

Kristin, I hope that you enjoyed your Birthday lunch! "Bon anniversaire"!! I'm sure that it was "delicieux"!
I wish you and your family a "Joyeux Noel" and a "Bonne Annee"!
I so appreciate your thought-provoking stories.
"Merci mille fois et bonne continuation!"

Andrea

Cynthia Lewis from Salisbury MD

Happy Birthday, Kristin! I hope your day was lovely; I believe I missed it by about thirty minutes "your time". Your story today made me think of Christmases at my grandmother's home in North Florida. One year my uncle cut a long needle pine for our tree; the branches droop a bit and the needles are really long. The ornaments and tinsel would slide off almost as soon as we tried to put them on and during the night (too excited to sleep) my brother and I could hear them tinkle as they hit the floor. But it was a wonderful tree just as your pine is very special. Many,many thanks for your expressive writing which is a marvelous gift to all of us. Best wishes, Cynthia

Jan in Monument, Colorado

Happy birthday a day late, Kristi! I celebrated your special day (and I didn't even know it!) at a local creperie with friends, enjoying a glass of pinot gris, a crepe brie and sharing a crepe creme brulee for dessert. I hope your meal was as lovely as mine! Joyeux Noel to you and your wonderful family (Jules and John too!) and to all your readership!

Diana Barron

Happy Birthday Kristi, and Joyeux Noel to you all, I hope you have a wonderful Noel in your new home. With love from Diana, Western Australia

june furey

Kristi,thank you once again for a wonderful year of stories, this is being sent to you from "down under' where we are nearly 11 hours ahead so Xmas day is only a few hours away. I am with my family including a geat granddaughter, and all the thrills of Santa arriving in the morning, so household full of anticipation and excitement.
May you and your family have a the happiest of Xmas joy, felicitations from your artist ami June, New Zealand

Angela Sargent

A gentle story. Happy birthday Kristin and Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you for all your postings.

Xxx Angela

Marianne Rankin

I am catching up on FWAD and enjoyed this post, even thought it is a week or so after it was written. Kristin, I hope you had a happy birthday, and send belated wishes for a wonderful year ahead. Likewise, Bonne Annee a la famille, avec toutes sortes de bonnes choses. And to the larger "FWAD community," too.

As for the tree, I've always wanted to go to a tree farm or suitable place and pick one. We don't have a lot of space for a real tree, and in the past when we had one, our cats knocked it down, spilling water and breaking ornaments. Maybe someday ... I'm glad Jackie had the experience, and since you have "pins" nearby, you could have a real tree every year.

Thank you for continuing to send FWAD to us, and I'll be grateful to read the blog whenever it's convenient for you to post something new. Merci!

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