petit boulot
la guerison


"Le Roupillon" (The Snooze) : the healing qualities of rest. Smokey, leaning a sore cheek on mamma's fur, so soft and sleek.

argile (ar-zheel) noun, feminine

    : clay

Audio File & Example Sentence: Download Wav or Download MP3

Tous nous sommes faits d'une même argile, mais ce n'est pas le même moule. We are all made of the same clay, but not the same mould. --Mexican proverb

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


It has been 4 weeks since the attack and our puppy's wounds are still open. After several visits to the vet, who assured us all is well, we are still concerned about our dog's recovery -- especially after the feedback of friends.

One reader wrote in to tell me that her dog, having survived three more months after an attack, eventually succumbed to its infected wounds.... Another reader warned that, due to the location of the plaies* (near to the brain), we must be persistent in clearing up this infection -- lest it get into the blood stream and cause brain damage

Needless to say, we are anxious for Smokey to heal, illico presto!* I will be taking him back to the vet. Meantime, Aunt Marie-Françoise, who helped us with yesterday's mise-en-bouteille,* has prepared a healing pack for our puppy: argile!*

Marie-Françoise related to us several first-hand temoignages* on the efficacy of argile. It began with her own dog, who was scheduled to have its leg amputated after an infection reached the bone and began ravaging it. As a last resort, my aunt applied a clay pack to the wound. The argile, she explained, pulled the infection right out! Each time she changed the clay, she could see the pus. The last few changes of the dried clay contained only a rose-colored liquid: the healing was complete. When she returned to the doctor to view the X-Rays, the latter was speechless: Ce n'est pas le même chien que vous m'amenez, Madame!* My aunt assured him it was. Her dog's bone had reconstituted itself as the infection cleared. The bone went from "cotton" to costaud!*

Marie-Françoise shared two more incidents in which argile treated a deep wound. In one case, a child walking along the beach stepped on a needly oursin.* One of the urchin's needles was driven in, beneath the skin,  impossible to remove. My aunt wrapped the child's foot in argile, which eventually dried, pulling out the needle from deep inside!

A similar case involved a foot injury, this time the foot belonging to a hunting dog who had followed its master deep into a thick patch of roseau.* The bamboo-like reeds were broken in bits along the ground and one of these bits got stuck, painfully, between the "fingers" of the dog's patte.* The long and thick splinter was lodged deep into the dog's foot... until Marie-Françoise made up an argile paste and wrapped the dog's wound. The splinter was sucked right out thanks to the "pulling" properties of clay!

Like that, our Smokey is covered in green argile on the left side of his face and just below his jaw. I will be taking him back to the vet soon, for a professional avis.* Meantime, please keep our pup in your prayers and mille mercis, mes amis,* for your letters, comments, and healing remedies. I have read each and every email and comment and regret not having the chance to get back to you at this time.



In books: Living Clay: Nature's Own Miracle Cure & products: French Green Powder Clay or Indian Healing Clay

Comments are most welcome. Mom and I agree that your words and stories are the best part of French Word-A-Day. We love learning what city you're are writing in from (this was my dad's excellent idea) and the local weather report, too!

Corrections are always appreciated -- and most often needed! Add them to the comments box, or send them to me directly.

French Vocabulary
illico presto = right away; la mise-en-bouteille (f) = bottling; l'argile (f) = clay; le témoignage (m) = testimony; Ce n'est pas le même chien que vous m'amenez, Madame! = This is not the same dog that you have brought me, Madame!; costaud(e) = strong; un oursin (m) = sea urchin; le roseau (m) = reed; la patte (f) = paw; un avis (m) = opinion; mille mercis, mes amis = a thousand thanks, friends; amicalement = warmly (kind regards)

Pizza herbes

Herbes de Provence (Special for Pizza) in Crock:
Herbes picked in Provence with a blend of Oregano, Thyme, Basil & Marjoram

Pre de Provence Lavender Soap. Imported from France: Pré de Provence, literally translated, means "Meadow of Provence." Transport yourself there with this triple milled savon.

Un, Deux, Trois: First French Rhymes:
...a collection of 25 traditional nursery rhymes for children



Pictures from Yesterday's Bottling

That's my gorgeous husband (who recorded today's sound file. Did you listen to it?). If you could put a voice to this photo, that voice would be saying "Veuillez acheter mon vin?" Would you please buy my wine? (Here are some locations, places in the U.S.A. and Europe, in which to buy Domaine Rouge-Bleu!

And, below, Aunt Marie-Françoise (middle), and Babé (bah-bay) right.

It was cold (we bottled the wine outside, on board the rented bottling truck)! We all had our bonnets on! The black and green bonnet that I am wearing was a gift (for my son...) from a reader in New Zealand. Thanks, Sarah!

...10,000 bottles waiting to be filled, three ladies overly chilled! It took all day to do the work.


One of our mascots, "Kiwi" (my cousin Audrey's dog. Buongiorno Cousin Audrey, over there in Italy. Thank you for your Facebook message!)

Uncle Jean-Claude, below (yikes, I forgot to ask permission to post Uncle's photos. I hope that's okay). He turned 70 recently. I wished him belated happy birthday, yesterday, to which he replied, 'I've gotten over a hurdle (in French: "J'ai passé un cap!" Notice he also has a cap on his head. Oh, the cold we suffered at yesterday's bottling!)


Rouge-Bleu Winery Visits: Readers tell their stories
Still up for some stories about life here at the grape farm? Read Larry Krakauer's report about his visit to our winery. He brought his lovely wife, Margie, along with him. See all of the photos at his site.

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety