The word brugnon is used when the pit sticks to the flesh, whereas the word nectarine is used when the pit is free. In English and in other languages, only the word nectarine exists, whether or not the pit sticks. Listen to the sentence in French, below. (photo: A brugnonier, or nectarine tree, at our former vineyard.)... Read more →


Our retro yellow kitchen here in lively La Ciotat makes a catching backdrop for JM's catch: a Mediterranean sar ("saar" in English. Not that that's any help for most of us trying to figure out just what kind of poisson this is!). They do, however serve sar in many seaside restaurants here along the south coast. la... Read more →


Woke up this morning to a heartwarming story in the online journal France Bleu. A baby dolphin was helped back out to sea after getting lost in the the old port of La Ciotat (dolphins in La Ciotat!!). What a sight he was among the colorful wooden fishing boats, or "les pointus" (sorry the little dauphin is... Read more →


A native of Arizona I never imaged I'd one day live at the beach. Walking down the promenade, I saw this beautiful scene. Farther down, there was a shop selling bathing suits, beach towels, and giant rafts--one of them, bright green in the shape of a saguaro cactus, caught my eye.... I had an urge to drag... Read more →


So far it's been nine days that we've lived in La Ciotat. The residents of La Ciotat are called les Ciotadins or Ciotadines. Listen to the previous sentence in French via the link below. Today's Word: LA CIOTAT : French town located in the Bouches-du-Rhône from the Occitan "ciutat" -- ciutat is also a variety of grape.... Read more →


Our bright yellow 1960s kitchen. The counter-top reaches the top of my leg. It will take some getting-used-to, as will this new life in La Ciotat. So far so good! la remoulade : a kind of sauce Click here to listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these French words: La sauce rémoulade s’accommode avec les crustacés, poissons, œufs mollets... Read more →


Goodbye Mas des Brun. Thank you for 5 wonderful years! FARNIENTE--from the Italian fare (to do) and niente (nothing). Farniente is a new word for me, and an old one when it comes to naming a home (Jean-Marc tells me many French people name their homes farniente). Help us find a name for our new place, submit... Read more →


These are now the good old days. Yesterday we drove 2 hours north, to the notary's office, to meet 9 people involved in our complicated, 4-hour transfer of property. Ça y est! We've sold our home and vineyard! We move on August 21st... (Photo by the previous previous owners of this stone mas, the Fraser and Moss... Read more →


If there were sharks near our Mediterranean beach, I'd want to swim with my sister-in-law. She's a superhero--Batwoman and Wonder Woman combined! Read on.... SDF (Sans Domicile Fixe) : "without permanent home", homeless Sans Domicile Fixe--Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the following French: Les personnes sans-abri, sans domicile fixe, sans logis ou itinérants, anciennement qualifiées... Read more →


"Let every belonging see the light" -- an epiphany I had while packing up my Mom's paintings. (photo of my Mom taken in Roussillon, around 2010) "faire des cartons" : to pack boxes Click here for today's soundfile: On fait des cartons mais, surtout, on se débarrasse de tout ce qui ne sert plus. We are packing... Read more →