bon sang

How to share "share" in French + Roussillon Book Fair with Mom

Mom Jules and me at Roussillon France book fair salon du livre
Mom and I at the Roussillon Book Fair last September. I didn't have many books to sell... so I dragged Mom to the event to fill up some space.
Today's French Word: partager(par-tuh-zhay)
    : to share; to divide

Audio clip (Note: the sound file will be away for a while...)

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

Ever since mom arrived for a two-month stay I've noticed an ever-so-slight reluctance I feel on the part of sharing things. It began with my trusty slippers: "Here Mom, you can wear these." My husband had left on a two-week business trip; I could just borrow his slippers, I reckoned. Flopping around the house in pantoufles* twice my size, I couldn't help but envy Mom and her fluffy, form-fitting, "foot" digs.

Then there was the hairbrush she needed (I gave her mine and went back to using a comb), the garden shoes (I'm getting by with my son's sandales de piscine*), the camera (pictured, above), and the books (Mom and I have a way of glomming onto the same reading material, so that magazines and books that had up till recently been ignored... now have us asking one another "Are you reading that now? May I have a look for a minute? (hopefully more...)".

Of all the things that we are currently sharing, it is the computer that is most emotionally wearing... Last Monday night Mom accidentally hacked my ordinateur*! On Tuesday I woke up to find myself locked out of the log-in screen. And so the downward spiral began (ending with Le Big Fry, completely unrelated to Le Hack).

Sharing is a virtue that we are taught from a very young age, where jealousy and injustice lurk around every "claimed" corner (This, here, is my turf!). Of all the things we share, perhaps friendship is the most valuable ... So after the slippers, the brush, the garden shoes, the camera, the books, the computer... it looks as though I'm now sharing you, dear reader! Here's a message I found just yesterday, in "our" comments box:

KRISTI AND I ARE SHARING MAX'S COMPUTER SINCE THE "BIG FRY". I MISS HAVING MY OWN LAPTOP...THEN I WAS ABLE TO CHECK "COMMENTS" several times a day. I miss all of you, Kristi is busy bossing me around, I have managed to meet three new people out in the vineyards surrounding Kristi's house. One a very handsome FRENCHMAN driving a red tractor - collecting all of the old vine stumps that are no longer alive, I waved him to a halt so I could take photos of him dumping the stumps in a giant pile. I managed to extend the normal three kisses on the cheek into kisses each time I felt we had a camera shot worthy of a reward...he.he.he.

Kristi wants to lock me in my room. I also met a beautiful woman from Marocco (sp?) out trimming the vines, I have been taking her a hot cup of tea around 10 a.m. each morning, plus some candy I have swiped from Kristi's STASH. Her name is Alise and she has invited me to her village Rasteau---I think this is supposed to be one of the most beautiful villages in France...I will take photos for all of you and have Kristi post them when I do a little story.
Please pray for me to have the strength to be the MOTHER Kristi needs at this time of her life...

*     *     *
Comments, corrections--and stories of your own--always welcome in the comments box. We love reading your words, too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
la pantoufle
(f) = slipper; les sandales (f) de piscine = pool sandals; un ordinateur (m) = computer

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I see the word "party" in our French-word-for-today-phonics....I think perhaps that is what happens here everytime you share a little snippet of life, a word and beautiful image....thanks SO much for your generosity and fun!!!
PS Have a lovely day!

Bob Head

We were there last July, visiting from Australia--wonderful Provençal town!!

Your 'word-a-day' pages are SO useful as well as interesting!


Bon courage, Kristi!

(Je vais rendre visite a votre mari ce weekend au liquor store, et peut etre acheter du vin.)

Candy (de Minneapolis)


Bonne Jour de Poisson! Don't know the correct salutation for this day. We've just returned from our most recent trip to Paris (3.5 weeks!)where French word-a-day was put to good use. JULES: you are sooo funny, you crack me up. Stay out of trouble, enjoy your stay, gros bisous.

Debbie Chavers

Sharing...Well I have noticed a few things that you both share. Beauty, the gift of encouragement, a child's heart, laughter, and hospitality. Jules, I did pray about "Mothering" and part of that gift is your availability and presence for Kristi and your grand babes. What a blessing it is to be a mom to your own children and to those whom we have opened our hearts to include.

Jane Robinson

I believe you are already the kind of Mother Kristin needs! I have told Kristin many times she is so lucky to have such a "free spirit" for a mother! Every child needs to see a little "free spirit" in their mother. Sometimes we are loaded down with too many responsibilities to enjoy life! To enjoy life is a wonderful life lesson! Enjoy your visit with your daughter. Kristin enjoy your mother. I lost my mother last Sept. our time together was too short!
AJ (Jane Robinson)


Dear Kristin and Jules,
It's 8:30 am, I turned on my ordinateur just to see whats new in "Word A Day", so i can go on with my day peacefully :)
It was such a pleasure to see two belles femmes on todays picture. ( beautiful smiles) It is so nice to see this warm wonderful relationship you guys have.
Jules, i bet Alise will never forget those cups of tea you make for her with love and a friendly heart. Enjoy your grandchildren and your beautiful " bossy" daughter. :)


Happy Poisson d'Avril. I remember a few years ago on April 1 in France, seeing a businessman in a suit walking down the street totally unaware there was a little paper fish on his back, probably placed there by a colleague. Until then I always wondered if people really did that in France. Evidently, yes. So since then, if April 1 falls on a school day, it's too good a chance to miss. I do tell students that if they try it on a teacher to only pick the ones they know have a sense of humor.


What a GORGEOUS picture of you and your Mom! My, what beautiful people you both are! I am jealous of your fantastic looks! :) You certainly both look like you belong in France!


Very nice picture of you and your mom!


L'image et les femmes sont belles!
I love all of your stories, Kristin and this one was especially fun.

Betty Bailey

You are both so lovely, and fun! How lucky you both are to also be in that beautiful place together!

Ellen Gaucher

Kristi, Imagine my surprise when I arrived home to Des Moines and found my France Magazine with the wonderful story of you, Jean Marc, your writing and his vineyards and wines. To think I was just there and tasting Rouge-Bleu.
Thanks for a lovely visit. I am sure Steve will in touch with Jean Marc soon.
Best wishes for a grat visit with your Mom. Keep writing your upbeat stories of life in the South of France, they make my week enjoyable!


I've never seen two more beautiful women!

Have a wonderful day!



Joyeux Poisson d'Avril!


My daughter and I always finish up with "but you know how much I love you"... this seems to help bring us both back to reality knowing we will all be back to our natural ways soon enough. Walking a mile in another gal's slippers, what a treasure!


Courage, Kristin. I can think of few things that would make me quake in my boots more than my mere staying with me for two months, and yet, it is clear by your writing that it is but a small thing for you. You are so lucky to be able to share such time with your mother. Felicitations!


That post brought tears to my eyes!! How sweet of your mom to ask for prayer for her to be the kind of mom you need Kristi! This is often my prayer for myself-that I can be the parent that my girls need and the daughter that my moms needs!! It's not always easy, and I may not get it right every time, but hopefully the effort will pay off in the end!! Thank you for sharing--Very touching:)

Helga Tomala

You are both so lovely. It is hard to distinguish mom from daughter.

pierre maisonneuve les chauvets 84400 gargas 04 90 74 11 69

what a lovely picture of you two ...
When do you happen to visit your place and pick up some of our olive oil fo some of your wine ?
I told you : Jules arrives and here is a windwhirl ; now the crammage ...

Martha McGrath

Kristi, Great job, as usual, with your story. You and Jules are both so beautiful. I see more of a resemblance in the picture than in person, I think. It was fun seeing Jean-Marc in Tampa. We love all of you.
Martha & Charles


My daughter and I both have stacks of magazines, articles, clothes, recipes, etc. that just sit there until we get together. Then it becomes an exchange of information and ideas instead of just a stack waiting to be read, reread,thrown out or clipped. We don't always agree when we share, but we hear new ideas, new information, and I gather a new respect for what my daughter has learned in life.

Linda R.

The exchange between maman et fille - I love it. : ) How wonderful that you have the back-and-forth relationship that you do. Count your blessings.

Emily M

Bonjour all! I'm sorry if this isn't the proper venue for this, but I'm a student on a very tight budget with an absolute adoration of French culture, language and people. I've never been out of N. America; this blog is the most French I've had on a regular basis since high school! I'm doing a study abroad language immersion program in Paris from late June to mid July and I've left myself about 12 days free to travel around independently. I've looked at all the different regions of France, and considered using Eurorail to go through Nice, Aix de Provence, Milan, Bern, and back to Paris where I fly home from. I'm also intrigued by Copenhangen, Holland, Sweden and other areas du nord ... Do any of you have advice on what's most practical given my student budget (very low!) and the amount of time I have? I'd be entirely fine just seeing many parts of France, but without a car and needing probably to stay in hostels, I'm unsure as to the feasability of seeing places like the Loire Valley or Bordeaux.

Thanks for any and all recommendations. I feel so blessed to have such a resource of smart, worldly, fellow Francophiles who live through Kristin and Jules as happily as I do thrice weekly.

Emily M

Also, Kristi and Jules: you are so glowing and effortlessly beautiful! You look so happy and engaged and fulfilled. It's a picture of how I hope my life turns out :)

Thanks again for sharing your life stories.

Fred Caswell

Emily M -- I have been to France 7 times and each trip became more fulfilling. Why? I am convinced that it was not the many areas, communities, museums, etc. but really the experience and close connections with the working or salt-of-the-earth French that gave me treasured tastes of French culture, language and les gens. If that is what you adore, I recommend you immerse yourself into French LIFE and PEOPLE. I believe your love for France (the French) will cause that adoration to grow and grow.

Je suis un vielle qui aime beaucoup Kristi, sa famille, et quelquns autres French gens.

"Jewels", you are a "trip" -- a lovable, impish, wise jewel.

Cindy Gooch in Phoenix AZ USA

Oh! I can't believe it! I JUST let my subscription to FRANCE magazine drop when they decide to run an article on YOU! What terrible timing! The magazine didn't seem to have much I could use, since the possibility of my return to France seems so small. Sheesh.


To be together for that long naturally has it ups and downs. Giving each other the gift of space, blocks of time to be alone or do one's own activities, can be soothing. You two gorgeous, vibrant women--well, there's bound to be a whirlwind about! You certainly have a most willing, attentive and responsive audience! La vie est bonne.


Hi Pat,

Thanks for the kind note and advice...I just read your note (it's 4:16 a.m. right now, I have been lying in bed worrying about how to "lighten up" our day tomorrow, which will actually start in about two and one half hours. I have been thinking about visiting a nearby village for a day or two to lighten Kristi's load. SPACE is a good suggestion - thanks Pat.



Devra Long

Chere Kristin and Jules,
Tomorrow I am "sharing" all of you with my sister who lives in the Seattle area. She and her husband will be at Jean-Marc's wine tasting and I am sooooo jealous!!! I told her to have a glass of Mistral for me!
Hugs to both of you,

Karin O'Brien Lee

Who is the mother and who is the look like a set of beautiful twin girls. Such beautiful smiles!


Hi daughter came back home from uni for a few days this week along with her architectural assignment and took over my little study where I keep both my painting materials and also drafting equipment. My work was delegated into a back drawer while she spread out her notes, photos and sheets of paper and ratted through all my equipment! I loved having her down for a few days and teaching her some skills that I had to learn the hard way...I haven't shown her everything as I think it is also important to learn by mistakes too :). She has just left this morning in a much better frame of mind than when she arrived and I think both of us are enjoying a subtle change in our mother daughter relationship which is entering an exciting, more adult respect for each other. I now also like to "tease" her a little so she sees the world (and her mother) through a different is fun! I have loved sharing my time and space with her but also feel happy to see my little office back in order and get back to my own work...and no I don't feel guilty for feeling that way! Just though I would "share" a little of my life back with you! :)

Robin Katsaros

Dear Kristin & Jules, Well, I completely sympathize with the "sharing" phenom . . . but Kirstin, I am so envious (in a good way) of what you have with your Mother. I miss my Mom so mcuh (it's been 13 plus years, you'd think it would be long enough) but I read your stories of comraderie and I so wish my Mom were still on this earth to share my blessings with her. My sweet husband John and I are in our lovely Parisian apartment (he comes to run the Paris marathon this Sunday), the soleil is shinig and the cherry blossom tree onthe courtyard out our window is beginning to flower (at least I think tha's what it is?) and I wish my Mom were here. You two have such a great relationship. And that picture - WOW. You are both knockouts. I assume your Mom is either widowed or single ... and I really think she needs to "take more pictures of the man on the tractor", c'est pas? Sounds like a book possibility...Love on the tractor in the vineyards of Provence ...ohhh la la...Your children are so lucky to have that special relationship only a grandparent can bring...count all your blessings, sweet can be so short. Hugs and bisous, Robin/Los Altos Hills, CA and Paris (


another suggestion for Emily on a budget. Buy or borrow a copy of "Let's Go France 2009" It's geared toward the young traveler without much money and definitely without a car. It's full of helpful hints. I agreed with a previous comment about getting to know France. The more you make the effort to speak French and meet people, more than only those who want your money, the more rewarding your experience will be.

Sandy Maberly

HA HA HA HA....and I'm still smiling.....well, Kristi, looks like Jules has gotten the better of you this time! Soon, she will be adding her own blog to the www.......actually, wouldn't be a bad idea....dueling from France and one from Mexico. Oh, tell Jules that I had an overnight in her "hometown" last week....figures, when I finally get a trip to PVR, she has bugged out to France!! C'est la vie!

Jules Greer

Hi Sandy,

I can't believe you were in Puerto Vallarta
for an overnight...I would have loved to show you around. I just went over to your BLOG - WOW ... you are lookin great.



poppy fields

This post makes me laugh. I'm leaving on Tuesday to go visit my mom in the states for a week and I will surely bug her by using her computer, stealing her books and magazines and I will probably even leave crumbs in her favorite chair...and we'll all be all the more happy for it. If you are all still around during the "prochaine vacances scolaires", I may try wandering up to your part of Provence with my girls and say hi.
Take care,


Chère Jules,

Est-ce que le décalage horaires qui te fait debout à 4 heures du matin, ou seulement une question d'habitudes de se lever à l'aube?

Kristin, moi aussi, je partage (parfois un peu forcé) des choses avec ma fille de 9ans, les écharpes, boucles d'oreilles, etc, par contre je partage avec joie les recettes de cuisine. Mercredi, on a fait des glaces aux fraises ensemble. On a passé de très bon moments.

For both of you, stay as sweet as you are!


What a sweet and funny story! I've just returned to NYC from visiting my family at home in Alabama since last Wednesday...I'm sure my parents would say the same as Kristi about their visitor...but I also know they loved every minute of my borrowing!


And, I must say - you two look like movie stars!


Quelles belles filles! i visited Rousillon in September and LOVED it!
Love your French Word A day too..Thanks so much!


J'adore ce cite web!!! Et..j'adore les gallettes de mere poulland! Tu peux me les envoyer:):) Je rigole....Joyeuses Paques a toi et ta famille!



Rasteau is indeed a lovely town. Nice center, and some neat wineries.
Have fun with Ktristi.

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