une ficelle

une ficelle (fee-cel) noun, feminine

: string

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

Bonjour from Palm Springs or "Palm Strings" as my kids call it. I am sneaking into this post, juste pour un instant, just to say salut, or "hey" if you like.

Here in Palm "Strings"--or Palm Ficelle--we are visiting my dad, ma belle-mère Marsha, my little sister (who towers inches above me) and my nieces and nephews.

If the French have 365 varieties of cheese (one for every day of the year), then we Desert Rats must have as many kinds of cactus (cacti?). I love each and every one....

I think I want to move back to the desert. How would you like to read a twist on A Year in Provence....  Does "A Year in the Sonoran Desert" (where I am headed next) have the same ring?



P.S.: thanks so much for the delightful comments that you have left, and for keeping the conversation going dans en mon absence--here at the Comments Café. 

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Bill in St. Paul

Ah, Kristin, the desert may seem beautiful now, but could you stand it in the heat of the summer when it gets 110 degrees F plus? As we say in Minnesota, you can always put on more clothes but you can only take off so much.

It's a beautiful but overcast day in Minnesota, 21 degrees, heading to 25, 6" of snow on the ground.

(I don't think the emails went out again.)

Lynette Simser

Hey Kristin -

I vote for a year in Provence, a year in the desert, a year in the mountains, a year by the sea, a year in Florence, a year on the mighty fjords of Norway, a year in India...oh I could go on and on...

My weather is the same as Bill's - though he forgot to mention that it looks like snow every day this week - not good weather for going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house!


OMG, you are so close to us...we are just a couple of hours or less to the West, and you are not kidding, the desert beauty is no joke! Make sure to wonder about Joshua Tree, if you have time, and of course, Death Valley! I am pretty sure I would enjoy anything you write.

Here, it is nice, some low clouds, air is clear, birds are chirping!

Happy Cruising Around the Desert....


Enjoy the desert! Happy Birthday tomorrow, from snowy, chilly Richmond, VA...this is so Minnesota! In fact, last night I awoke in my chilly bedroom and thought (no joke) that I was in the summer cottage near Bemidji only in the winter. Yup, it felt THAT cold. Again, bonne anniversaire!

Bill in St. Paul

Joyeux anniversaire demain, Kristin. Nos petites-filles arrive demain aussi. Notre petit-fils habite à Saint Paul, donc nous serons ensemble pour Noël.

Joyeux Noël à vous et à votre famille!


A very happy birthday, Kristin, and Joyeux Noel to you and all your family.
-6 and sunny today in Ameliasburgh.

Stacy in Applegate, Oregon

I'm with Lynette! A year in Provence, a year in the fjords of Norway, a year by the sea....

Though I could not leave my blessed animal family that long! So I will cozy in on my little mountain valley farm (where today it is rainy and snowy) and send Birthday wishes across the mountain ranges and due south to your present locale, my dear friend Kristi!

Cherish this time with your family! Wishing you God’s choicest Blessings!

Christine Jackson

Lynnette and Stacy: When does this adventure start? Count me in!

Happy 25th Birthday tomorrow Kristin! Hope it's a great one in the desert with ta famille!

Best to all from a very smoggy Salt Lake City (hoping for snow tomorrow to clear the air)

p.s. Jules, we miss you... Hope all is well!

Candy Witt

I will chime in with the others to wish you a tres bon anniversaire avec ton pere et ta famille. Il fait du soleil dans le SW de KS mais pas pour longtemps! And my wish to all of my FWaD amis is Joyeux Noel and Bonne Annee pour 2010! And, Kristin, wherever you wish to write from is fine with me!

Karen from Phoenix, AZ

Happy Birthda Kristin, I will see you in a few days in Phoenix.
Have a great holiday. Love to all.


I can see the morning sky . . . the December, Christmas sky . . . in Tucson, rising over the Catalinas,

and the shoppers finishing up their Christmas gift purchases in the thrill of "sweater weather" in the evening!

How we reveled in the sub-60's temperatures over the holidays . . . and then rode our new bikes in our shirt sleeves on Christmas day!

As we Tucsonian ex-pats say . . . "Hug a cactus for me!"

Kerry, in Oklahoma

Kristine, Dallas

Tried to post on your FB page, but no wall access.

So~ Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday mon ami Kristin. Happy Birthday to you!

I hope tomorrow is as beautiful a day as you are!

Thanks Jules for birthing "our" girl!


Bonne anniversaire, Kristin!
Mais pourquoi le desert des Etats Unis? Vous etes deja la - pourquoi pas en Australie? Nous en avons plusieur!!
Ici a Perth en Australie Occidentale il fera 38 - 40 degrees le jour de Noel! Donc on nous trouvera dans la piscine, une bonne verre de champagne a la main (ou bien la bouteille!)
Joyeuses fetes - et bien sur, meilleurs voeux por l'annee prochaine.

The Breed family

Joyeux Anniversaire!! from the Breed family in snowy Virginia (some of us still snowed in after three days!) - enjoy the warm sunshine and beauty of the American southwest! and we wish you all a very merry Christmas!

joie  carmel,ca

I am confused. Someone said happy 25th birthday???? How can that be when you have a 14 year old....did I miss something???
On the other hand yes, a year in Provence, a year in the Greek Islands, a year in Tuscany, split the San Juan Islands and the desert...and some time right here in Carmel.
Merry merry to you.

Evelyn Jackson

Happy Birthday, fellow Capricorn! I knew there was a reason I liked you. I can totally sympathize with a holiday birthday. Sometimes you kind of get lost in the Christmas-shuffle! Have a wonderful day and make your family spoil you!

elaine mccartney

Kristin ~
Hoping you have a delightful, birthday and best wishes to you and your family as they celebrate Christmas with family under the desert sun. What a joy!
Elaine from very cold, very white New Hampshire-

Ophelia Paine

Bon anniversaire et joyeux Noel a toute la famille!

Have a great time in the desert, too. Will undoubtedly be a memorable Christmas.

To continue the discussion about weather. Here in the mid-South, we woke up to 30s and dense fog this morning.. a real surprise and kinda cool.

Bonne journee.

Are you taking pictures?


Salut Kristin,
Palm Springs brings back memories of great Mexican food at Las Casuelas (two locations in town). Have you ever ridden the Palm Springs Tram up to Idyllwild? It is wonderful with fabulous views of the desert. And once at the top you can hike through Ponderosa Pines and smell their wonderful vanilla fragrance. There's probably snow this time of year up on San Jacinto so it would be especially beautiful. I have spent several summers on St. Jac and have even gone snow camping in my youth. Have a wonderful time in Phoenix.

Portia and Margaret are arriving in New Jersey today for Christmas! They will be met with 18 inches of snow and homemade pork rillettes (sp?).


Happy, happy birthday, Kristin!!! (And how lovely that all women of a certain age ALWAYS celebrate their 25th birthday encore et encore!!!)

And to you and your precious family, a very blessed Christmas! May the joy of the Christ Child fill your hearts and embrace you!


Patricia Anzalone

Happy Birthday, Kristin. And A Year from **Wherever** would be welcomed as long as your write it!
Merry Christmas!
Patricia in northwestern 32 degree 24" snow on the ground Virginia.
PS My darling pooch loved hopping around in -- and eating -- the snow, and I thought of Braise and Smokey, who have not experienced that!


Happy Birthday from Tucson where today it is dark and overcast. A Paris day in the Sonoran Desert. We will see you on Saturday when we finally get our book signed.

Randy and Deborah


You've lucked out and missed the snow in France!

Happy, happy holidays Kristin and congratulations on another year of a wonderful, must read blog that brings us into your life.



Bonne Anniversaire - and Happy Birthday too! 41 one years young is it?
Don't stay in the dessert - it is definitely not Provence and I will stop reading if you stay there!!!
Bonne Annee too!


Yikes! The Sonoran Desert? Before you aspire to that God-forsaken emptiness, check with all those folks who are moving due North into California and ask them why they no longer want to live down there. It has something to do with a severe and worsening absence of water, much of which is kept dammed up in the U.S. Even Palm Springs would be a stretch for most people. After spending a year in Yuma, Az with the US Army, where temperatures reached 122 degrees (50 degrees cent.) in the high Summer, I now think differently about the desert.


Bonne Anniversaire et Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année. Palm Springs is fun to visit, but to live there all year round - no way - Provence is so much better.

In Connecticut - 12 " of snow and 18F - 20 F at night and 33F during the day.

Jean S.

Joyeux Noel from Lansing, Michigan, where we have some snow, but nothing like the rest of the country has received. 30 degrees Fahrenheit forecast for Christmas day, and maybe some sunshine, I hope so. Merci beaucoup, Kristin and family, for sharing your lives with us this year. May the new year bring you all health, happiness, and all the good things which you desire the most.

Kristine Cummings de Suarez

Your reasons are your own for spending a year in the desert but, if so, perhaps title it: A Year in the Sonorous Desert...its multiple meanings resonante...

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