moitie moitie
gens du voyage


Today we are talking about growth... and goals.:
by the way, ever feel too chained down to bloom?  (photo of a budding vine here at our farm).

velléité (vay-lay-ee-tay) noun, feminine

    : vague desire, impulse, whim

French definition from L'
Intention de faire quelque chose qui n'est finalement pas mise en pratique.
The intention to do something that is, finally, not put into practice.

Audio File : hear today's word and definition, above:
(Note: still working on the MP3 file, enjoy the wav for now)
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    by Kristin Espinasse

I intended to write a story about dog food today
but, on a rare whim, I changed topics.

It is good to be flexible... something I am still trying to learn as I kick, spit and, eventually, contort myself into a carefree version of the former self.

So it is no secret, not anymore at least... that "cool, relaxed, less rigid" remains high, if not number one, on my "Goals" list.

Come to think of it, my "Goals" list (currently consisting of only one goal) is beginning to look as straight-jacketed as I feel this morning: restricted, confined, limited. Good thing we can remember to follow those whims--to move on from Dog Food to a new mood--and from a new mood... to a new horizon.

So today, please join me in kicking up more dust, and paving the way to new dreams and aspirations. Here are a few of my goals:

1. Be More Flexible

2. Build a stone cabanon

3. Learn to make / edit movies

Your turn to share three goals. Do you want to Swim the English Channel?  Plant a field of lavender? Volunteer? Be on Oprah? Learn to Tango? Kiss a Koala"?

Thanks for sharing your "Three Goals" here, in the comments box--for all to enjoy. Who knows, you might just inspire one of us to shake things up on our own Goals list... and aspire to something new!


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Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Matthew Spiro

learn French well enough to read Dumas, Balzac, Hugo in the original.
same with Italian to read La Divina Commedia.
same for german and Faust.

Jules Greer

Hit the road, whether in a Porshe or on a donkey, find out what lies around that next mountain.

Jane Sutherland

My three goals:

Live in the present and stop worrying my life away fearing the future.
Find a way to live in Southern France.
Improve my French!


My 3 goals on this 17th day of August:
Live more of my time in the moment than in the future or in my head!
Finish my book
Take a month off and live on an island and write

Bill in St. Paul

My three goals:
Learn French well enough to speak, understand, and read it.
As others have said, live and enjoy the present and not worry about the future.
Live long enough to take each of my grandchildren to France ( currently, 4 1/2 years old, 15 months, and 7 months).

Note, however, that the first and last ones imply that I continue to explore and get to know France better.

Christine Dashper

Hmmm... 3 goals....

1. Definately be more 'chilled'
2. Learn more French
3. Be more adventurous

I know this is 4. but I also like the one about finding a way to live in Southern France from Jane. Good one!!

Thanks Kristin for making us think

PS I don't recommend kissing the Koala


Evelyn Jackson

1. Live in France part time at least
2. Finish my novel
3. Dance the tango under the stars along the Seine. Guess I better learn how, huh?

If Jules is going on a pilgramage with her donkey, I'll meet her along the way!


Dayle Doroshow

1. Improve my France
2 Be more in the present and flexible- (that one reeeeeally resonates for me)
3. Live 3 months in France and 3 months in NYC and 6 months in my beloved Mendocino


I am now over 50 years old but feel it is still so important to really living one's life to have goals; so first let me thank you for bringing up such an important topic as setting goals.
Here are mine...
1. Complete a half iron man before turning 55. (will be attempting that this year)
2. Obtain a Master's Degree in French before turning 55. (will be starting that one next year)
3. Be more consistent in doing the tasks that are needed to achieve those goals.
And of course, like others I would like to spend more time in France and of course be able to introduce each of my grandchildren to French and France!


speak French fluently
visit Italy
learn to cook one gourmet meal

Marika Ujvari

1. Finish my Memoirs

2. Travel to places never before seen

3. Work on my French

One of the quirks I'll definitely need to curb are adding to my 200+ cookbooks or download more recipes. I won't live long enough to try them all.

My short-term goal is to learn everything there is to learn about digital photography. I want to improve my picture taking, and also organize the files so I can find whatever photo I'm looking for. picture


My 3 goals as of 17 Avril 2009 (and always subject to change):
(2)Be the perfect wife and mother.
(3)Have my toenails painted red.

To everyone (including me) -- Love God with all your heart and soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.


1. hang French door curtain - accomplished

2. understand architectural difference between oeil-de-boeuf and oriele

3. make boeuf stew

Karen Leveille

1. develop my own website so I can regularly post - and sell - my watercolors

2. improve my French fluency and compréhension to actually understand every word of the televised French language news (without having to guess what the reporter is saying)

3. pause to see the beauty around me, and laugh, every day

Kristal Tomshany

1. Live mindfully, staying in the present
2. Trust intuition more, logic less
3. To choose where my energy goes more wisely


1. Learn to speak French fluently
2. Write A Book
3. Improve my photography skills

Karen Brown

This is difficult, to pick my top 3 goals. The funny thing is right now I work in the IT dept. of a major US Airline that is in the middle of a merger - Stress is very high. I told my boss my goal was to come into work and not get a headache. He laughed and replied, I should pick a goal I can actually achieve. So my Top Goals are (not counting wanting to live in France-that goes without saying)

1) Trust God more - he knows better then I do.
2) Improve my French - should go without saying.
3) Keep my eye simple

 Devra Long

1. speak French fluently
2. help pick grapes at Domaine Rouge-Bleu
3. worry less and enjoy more! (I'm really getting good at that one!)

Suzanne Pham

1. Remind myself to take in the moment and enjoy simple pleasures--like listening to music, noticing the sunrise.
2. Finally learn all of the French verb tenses and speak French fluently.
3. Plant a vegetable garden and some fruit trees in my backyard. And, keep them all alive!


* follow my instincts
* be more patient (with myself, my kids, my loved ones)
* take advantage of the bounty of opportunities always right in front of my eyes


my goals
1-follow through of my really good ideas. (au moins les commencer)
2-play more with my kids (4 and 17mo.)
3-schedule time for me (walking, hiking or yoga)

Leslie M.

1. Remember that I was a teenager once, and not get so angry with my 3 teenagers.

2. Karen, yes, trust in God's wisdom more. Wish I had learned that one years ago. But I'm succeeding.

3. Listen to my body and eat the right things. I'm a fit person, but I indulge too often and it really affects me with headaches etc. Why don't I learn?

And, Thank you Kristin, for this sight. As a mother of five, I don't know how you keep up- especially on those hectic mornings when all you want to do is go back to bed for the day!

Holly S

1. Visit the Channel Islands, especially Sark, then take the ferry to France!
2. Plant the fruit trees and berry bushes I've been putting off planting for 3 years.
3. Get some chickens for my backyard!

PS - I loved your link to the California lady with the chickens! She's my heroine! Love all the antiques in her garden, too!

Keep up the website, it's my favorite workday break!

louis plauche'

Sublet in Sablet.


Sandy Wirth

Right now, I have one new share this organization with all the women I know (or cyber know):
I literally just found out about it this morning...and think I've found a cause I can be passionate about! is a 4 star rated* non-profit organization that can teach children the importance and impact of smart, charitable giving. You can lend $25 to Moms around the world through Kiva, the world’s first person-to-person microlending website. Through Kiva you can make a loan to a Mom for her tailoring, farming or restaurant business, so that she can support herself and lift her family out of poverty. *Rating from

Jules Greer

Kristi and I are off to check out the donkey that lives in the vineyard next to theirs....THINK - SWIPE - hee-hee, hee-haw...this would be a big first step in my journey around the neighborhood. Within a five mile radius lie seven wonderful villages for us to explore! Me and my donkey.

Marvin Stubbs

Goals for now:
To watch a French movie and NOT read the subtitles
To make an authentic cassoulet
To drink a Domaine Rouge Rose!

Robert Carlson

Don't forget to tilt a few moulins along the way!

Robert Carlson


This is a good exercise to list one's goals. My three have to be:

Learn Spanish (I live in California- must know spanish)
Read more novels.
Make a batch of soap and stop futzing around.

Bon weekend!


1) cook in France
2) grow beans in my garden this year
3) become a better photographer


Take more holidays with my family (and visit eventually go to my dream place : New Zealand)

Be more patient and more giving

Learn to play the guitar

Mary Jo Hays

To speak French better (even if it has to be in the present tense).
To sell more paintings
To keep the deer out of my garden, yard, and deck

Joanne Fischer

I want to continue to improve my French! I want to be more present in the moment and enjoy it for what it is. And, I would love to find a way to get rid of my back pain after 3 surgeries. I know there is a silver bullet out there somewhere!


Grateful that you have trusted your whim today, dear Kristi! In doing so, you have encouraged so much lovely (and lively) contemplation. I've enjoyed reading each and every post. As for goals for me today: 1) Let go and live in the moment! 2) Take risks and be adventuresome! 3) Cultivate a more soulful life! Off I go on this path…

Shannon Elisabeth

I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed with choices when I return home from work. Which book should I read first, which task needs completing, blog viewed, recipe tried??
My first goal would be to silence those restless thoughts and just “be” more often.

Secondly, the closer I reach 40, the more “scaredy-cat” I become. I fear skiing, whitewater rafting, and speaking French in front of others. I fear doing things that may not turn out (like decorating my house or designing a courtyard, planting roses). So, the second goal would be to remember the Dr. Seuss quote “If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”

Third, (if the snow ever melts) I’m gonna ride my Dutch bike everywhere, just like the carefree girl I used to be did! (I might even try a bike tour, if I embrace goal #2)

Cynthia in France

My goals definitely include learning French (since I live in France and need to learn it to survive); find a way to make an income here doing something I love; and help Kristin learn how to make and edit videos. :-) Seriously, Kristin, as you know, I've had lots of practice making videos for my France Video Diary Blog so I'd be happy to help you in any way I can (after my wedding and my family/friends go back to the US May 1st). Bon courage! Cynthia in France

Valerie M

Continue and 'persevere' learning French.

Live in Southern France part of the year, living for the moment and in good health.

Get on with the book I plan to write - still in the 'idea' stage.

Fred Caswell

First,for Jean-Marc -- I never travelled overseas until age 67. From so very many possibilities, I chose to go to New Zealand, for 8 weeks, alone, and have never regretted the choice. Bungy jumping is only one of many wonderful memories. If you ever come chez nous you can see my collection of pictures, etc.

3 of many goals: a successful visit with my friend in Dallas who has terminal cancer but presently is up and around with his usual verbal capacities, continue to be able to dance for as long as the body will allow, and grow in the ability to love.

bill en Libye

1. Learn more Arabic 2. find a decent paying job teaching in Latin America and 3. Find a house somewhere to live in when we come home in the summers.
Toujours une bonne idee to set goals and try to achieve them. Merci autre fois Kristin, for this tres cool website!


I have appreciated reading all the posts--it is inspiring and heart-warming to hear what everyone hopes and wishes for. My three goals today, dix-sept avril 2009:


Wanting to learn French? then USE the books I already have right beside me. Wanting to paint? Then USE the supplies already here beside me. Wanting to enjoy the Beauty of Nature more? Then walk out the door and hike into the mountain in my backyard. It is all right here. My fervent prayer for three wishes is to make the choices that will bring them to fruition. Mille mercis, Kristin, for le mot de has made us think.


1. I've been all over the world and have all sorts of lovely souveniers such as museum tkts, train receipts, postcards, menus, maps and photo's and I keep promising myself that I'm going to make into scrapbooks.

2. Learn to speak french better.

3. Get better at remembering birthday's.


1. Slow down and appreciate more.
2. Experience an archeological dig.
3. Learn at least 3 new things each day.


Move to Paris.
Move to Paris.
Move to Paris.
Speak better French.
Build my French dollhouse (Mas Provencal).
Learn to play the piano.
Visit St. Petersburg and Morocco, see more of Spain; maybe even do the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella.
Nothing too outrageous!


Rarely write down goals, but here you are:
1/ Concerning birds:
Watching, right up to the end, the fascinating "LIVE video from the nest" being filmed at the moment in the New Forest. I want to take the time to follow up the female Goshawk looking after her 4 eggs. I'd like to be able to see at least one of her 4 eggs hatching (around mid May) and the fledgings leaving their nest (mid June).
Access to the Live video -->
-New Forest Goshawk Nestcam 2009 now live.
--->”Live video from the nest”

2/ Concerning a job I keep putting off:
My goal here consists in completely emptying a room of its contents (loads of books, papers, objects, and dust). Dead line? I haven't fixed it yet but the job ought to be done by July.
Oh dear, Kristin.... now that I have put this in writing (and publicly....) it should make a big difference, and I might achieve the goal (???)
--> Procrastination is the thief of time.
--> = "Ne remets jamais à demain ce que tu peux faire le jour même.”
(I should stick this note on the door of that room!)

3/ Concerning ideas (joint goal with my husband):
Keep collecting ideas and info about a completely “Eco home” in which we could live in a few years' time
- starting with our visit to an exhibition this w/end, and finding out more about the county of Somerset (South West of England)

Off to Exeter early morning, without my laptop... so won't be able to enjoy "Cinéma Vérité" until Monday morning.
Jules, enjoy your donkey ride(s) and have a fantastic weekend!


1) continue improve my French language skills
2) continue my Spanish lessons
3) ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle


I have many goals that go without saying but these are perhaps three that I hope are not just a *velleite*
1.To travel to see FLW's "Falling Water", to experience a true Japanese teahouse in Kyoto and see the vibrance of India...
2.To learn the art of pottery mind wanders to a small town we visited called Saint-Quentin filled with remarkable potters and even the street gutters and signs were made from hand glazed tiles...
3. To have my son teach me how to play "Spanish Song" on the guitar...and then still speak to each other!

hmmmm.... must be a coincidence that todays story is about dogfood (not) and goals...thank you for reminding me this morning to remember the dog as it was the case of Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard last night....


This is a difficult thing to request, dear Kristin. I really admire everyone who is able to be so clear and simple with their intentions in life. Can it be so easy? My list is quite steep and it's difficult to mention because there are so many categories for such goals. Daily tasks/goals are boring and really, never-ending. Long term goals scary to put out to the Universe for fear of being too lofty. Creative goals can be a rude awakening. So, tell me, where does one begin to limit it only to three? My goals this morning were very different from even this moment as I write.....

1) to live without compromise, so I can fully be as the Universe intended, fulfilling creative and spiritual potential whole-heartedly and with conviction

2) be a less-screamy mom and more breezy (although my childrens' listening skills need to sharpen up or really Part A is only a wish and not a goal at all!!)

3) discover opportunities to incorporate travel with my work; teaching me to be more portable in general and not so comfortable in my permanent surroundings I call "This Life"

Even my horoscope this morning mentioned setting long-term goals so thank you for reinforcing that this direction of reflection was in order for the day! Enjoy your adventures this weekend!:)


My three goals:

1.To attend San Jose State University and finish B.A Linguistics with flying colors.

2.Master French,Chinese,Japanese,and other languages in my list etc. :)

3.Keep on learning new things and smile.

Becca Cooper

1) to write a book and publish it.
2) to own a cat when I get older.
3) to be famous? I dunno. Haven't thought about it all that much. I suppose I want to be well known on the internet or some websites, at the very least....


I'd die of happiness if I could:

1. Allow people (troubled family members!) to make their own mistakes without feeling like I need to "fix" everything and that I can't allow myself to feel happy and peaceful unless they are too;

2. Lighten up and not take everything so darn seriously; see the silly side of life more; let out my inner goof

3. learn how to plant and nurture a vegetable garden in the city :)

Jane Sutherland

I'm not going to add to my original 'goals' - the three I originally stated are difficult enough! But I am so comforted by how many other people feel that they need to learn to live in the here and now and to stop worrying about what might be. Thanks to all of you for your unintended support, you have made me realise that I am not alone.

Also - just how many of us are striving to learn French - bon chance tout le monde!


Hi Jane,

Those same things struck me; how alike we all are, afterall!

Babette Gettler





1. Speak 5 languages with my children
2. Apply to NASA as a mission specialist
3. Write several books . . .
. . . and the list goes on. My overarching goal is to do all of this and still live presently.

Samantha Rohe

1. Spend a month in France, learning to trust myself and the gifts God gave me as an individual, and figure out what those gifts are! (I leave in 1 month!)
2. Learn to not fear adventure and trying new things.
3. Learn to write better in French, seeing as I can understand and read pretty well already.


Newforest, thanks for the links (this and the previous newsletter), my great-great-great grandfather was born in Galhampton, Somerset (2 miles south of Castle Cary). His original birth record, on parchment, is in Taunton.
1) breeding a hybrid between a Japanese larch and an American larch which proves more productive than Japanese larch on my testing sites. I'm half way there (after 20 years)
2) continuing to grow endangered trees from seed
3) revisiting the Pyrenees Mts and Australia, but I'll settle for wintering in southern France, and looking up old friends
What a wonderful website you have Kristin!


Goals, eh?

1. Spend half my life in the little house I have by God's Grace in the Pyrenees (la Bicoque).

2. Publish the books I wrote there, and the ones I am going to write.

3. Marry the freckle-faced French girl, and to speak French well enough that when she tells me her inmost heart, I won't have to ask her to repeat it more slowly.

These aren't "les velléités" - these are goals I am going to hit... Soon.

Cool, eh?


do more yoga
rediscover my sense of humor
make sure 3 teenage kids survive the rest of the year and maybe longer

Patty B

Jean-Marc, New Zealand is truly spectacular! I have been there twice for a month each time and would like to spend at least 3 months there. It was my dream place, also, and more than lived up to my expectations. Take the kids. It is a paradise for nature and sports. Kiwi power!
Patty B

poppy fields

-mentally let go of my crazy family
-write a book about them
-open a French bed and breakfast with the earnings


This is my first post; this request came after ten years of working on a goal to honor the memory of my uncle who was killed in France in WWII. I have been working on this all day when I went to your site to relax (and procrastinate a bit). So I know exactly that I want to:

1) sell my just printed book," Alan's Letters", in France

2) Follow the whole trail my Uncle Alan took as part of the 5th Infantry Division (Patton's 3rd Army) across France in WWII

3) Find a town to adopt my uncle's gravesite in St. Avold

Mary C

1. To take a round-the-world trip.
2. To trust in God more.
3. To stop being so grouchy with my dear husband.
4. (one more!) to get a successful internet business going


I want among others to...
1 be more optimistic
2 fight harder for my ideas
3 learn to sing (tolerable)

Probably reaching goals 1+2 would help to reach some of the others I have...


Thank you for sharing all of these inspiring goals. Keep them coming!

I see many new names in the comments box. So happy to read your words. I hope to "see you" again!

Nancy: wishing "you bonne chance" for your book. What a lovely tribute to a hero and to an uncle.


1- Be "Open to Grace" - something I'm working on through yoga and trying to apply to the rest of my life;
2- Arrange a family reunion in Provence, renting a house for about 10 of us (alas, we're a small family). I want to share the wonderful experience of southern France with others who haven't been there;
3- Play M'lyn in Steel Magnolias!


Make it through my kids being teenagers...tough period in life.

Enjoy the little great moments in life more, like reading, painting, learning a new language, and renovating my house.

Travel to all the places I read about, well one day.

Thank you for the picture of the roses. It made my day!


1. Become an expat
2. Make a living with my writing.
3. Learn enough web design to keep me going.

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