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Wednesday, March 05, 2014


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Ah Kristin . . . that beautiful red Spring surprise is a tulip!


P.S. I was so disappointed to learn that the cats are still AWOL. I hope they'll return home soon!

Kristin Espinasse

Vicky, do not be fooled. Those are poppies *pretending* to be tulips. Just like those insects that, to save themselves,take on the form of the plant--these poppies are sneaky camelions! Stay tuned... And Ill see if I can get a better picture of the paper-thin and delicate petals.

Kathleen from Connecticut

Yes it is a tulip...c'est domage.
Let's keep our hopes up that the cats will return, andif so,maybe they will remain indoor cats, mais c'est tres difficile.
I wish that our flowers were out,but the snow still covers the ground and the temperature is cold.



It is early for tulips, too, is it not? What a wonderful harbinger of spring!!

Marie Fagnou

Bonjour, I must say how much I enjoy your postings. Thank you! The red flower you refer to today looks like a tulip rather than a poppy. Tulips will bloom even when there is still snow on the ground here in Saskatchewan, Canada, provided they are close to the house foundation and in the direct sun.

Young Paciello

Hey Kristin - It's your annoying erstwhile proof reader of French expressions...I'm heartbroken with you over the cats' disappearance but praying... It's funny that you have read Temple Grandin's book (amazing woman!) My youngest son, Zachary has Asperger's and lives with us. Don't know if he will ever be independant but God gives you only as much as you can bear... How do I get to the French translation so I can look it over as well??!

Young Paciello

BTW, tulip vs. poppy: tulips have a fairly thick petal and a long stamen whereas poppies have thin skin and no stamen, just a round middle with all those seeds... If that helps!

Kristin Espinasse

Young, the French translation is here:

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Can't wait for your book release! I don't know girls...that looks like a poppy that hasn't unfurled yet. Did you look inside the petals Kristin? Poppy petals are papery looking too, like wrinkled, colored paper. The Euphorbia plant is pretty too.

Kristin Espinasse

Young, thanks for the added hints. Also, this flower did not have a tulip leaf. Ill have to get a picture of its poppy leaf! First I should check for that missing stamen....


Darling Kristi,

I am so excited about seeing the expression on Mr. Farjon´s face when he receives his copy of your new book. Of course I am still dreaming that we can somehow get him on the train for a little visit when I am there and you can give him the book then. He has been one of my favorite characters from your writing over the past few years…I still remember the first photo you ever posted of him before you even knew his name. Your stories are one of the greatest gifts you have ever given me.



Barbara Kornfield

I think having paragraph translations is a good idea. Those of us who need help with idioms will benefit from this format. It will be useful for both French and English speakers.

Can't wait for that book!


Kristin, Sometimes I read parallel text books in French and English. The left page is one language and the right page the other. Perhaps when you have the French translations, a parallel text book could be put together. Claudine


Our dear Kristi,
We are all SO excited for your book release!
(Have been checking Amazon daily!)
That beautiful flower in today's photo--poppy or not!--is definitely a sign of good luck!
Your idea about the final chapter also being in French is wonderful! It is so helpful(and interesting!) to read the French (and silently translate it) and then re-read it in English to determine if we goofed!
Keeping always hope for the kitties!
Love, Natalia XO
PS Temple Grandin is my distant cousin.
My brother,George,was(proudly!) the first vet in our family;Temple is the second.
She is also an inspiration!

Dana Wilson

Euphorbia is an interesting and decorative plant! Voir:

However, E. esula (leafy spurge) is considered an invasive species that crowds out desirable plants.

I'm never sure what's good euphorbia and what isn't.

Hugs from Dana and Lynn

Chris Allin

Dear Kristin,

Thank you for this distraction. Still worrying about two little kittens halfway across the world and especially loving the photos of Smokey. My husband and I had a chat about today's posting before he left for work. I asked him to send me his thoughts in writing so I can share them with you. He said "I vote for the stacked approach because the two languages on the same page are symbolic of Kristin's book and her effort to convey what it's like for an English speaking person to adjust to life in France. Reading a paragraph in English and then in French reinforces her essais to become a natural French speaker. Also I think it helps the reader to see the French translation right away. It contributes to the reader's learning of the language."
I had a vision that would triple the length
of the final chapter. First in English with the french words and phrases, followed by the vocabulary words, the format you have used in your books and blog. Then the stacked version, as it works well as a teaching tool and transition. And finally, in tribute to dear Mr. Farjon, all in french, whole and authentic,just as he seems to be. Whatever you do will result in a meaningful merci to Mr. Farjon. We are eagerly awaiting this book!

Chris...and George

Debby howell

It is brilliant to use the half shot of Mr. Farjon on the cover and his chapter at the end of the book. We can see in the partial picture that he is adorable, interesting, and a real Provence personality. How wonderful for his lifetime of following his love of plants to be published for the world to appreciate and learn from. I look forward to the new book as I do to all of your blog postings.
Debby in West Linn

Gay Moore

The red flower sure looks like a tulip to me!


You need a certain Monsieur Farjon to identify the red flower . . . There is a flower called a tulip poppy.

I do hope the kittens return - I can only imagine how gutted you must feel. Along with thousands of other watchers, I follow the trials and tribulations of our Scottish osprey chicks - via a webcam. Two summers ago, the only chick in the nest disappeared on its first flight from the nest - for about 4 days. It returned, much to everyone's relief:
May there be a happy ending to your tale.

Barbara Becker

I had a cat return after a full year away from home : )


I think your wild orchid is a wood hyacinth

Leslie NYC

Like many others, I keep checking back to see if Pancho and Lily have returned. Cats are mysterious and beloved creatures.
I envy you your corn poppies. I have tried to grow those from seed, but the only one that came up grew in a crack in the sidewalk! It was valiant and I cheered it on.
Euphorbia grows wild and does spread via seedlings. There are dozens of kinds in all shades of chartreuse, silver,gray-green, & burgundy. I have three kinds in my community garden plot and people love them. I don't think they are overly invasive, but I have been able to give away the babies. They really complement flowers' colors.

Cynthia Gillespie-Smith

Kristi, years ago there was the story (and there are many similar ones) of a cat, resident of Nice, who moved with the man of a divorced couple to Marseille. He (le chat) disappeared and was presumed lost forever near Le Vieux Port. Almost a year later he turned up back in Nice, having crossed the autoroute and who knows what else. My own cat spent a week closed up in a garage in the Luberon. Don't give up hope, but do continue to check out places they could be. Bon courage! So looking forward to your book.

Linda in Marne la vallée

Hi Kristin, I was curious about the phone number on the letter box so I looked it up via the Pages Jaunes website - and surprisingly it is the real life number of a decorating firm! Have you warned them that they might get people calling their number if they see it at random on the cover of your book? Although some might be potential customers, some might be time-wasters! Or you might want to pixel out some of the numbers to prevent people from calling it?

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