troisième age


Shiny Happy Petals!
Sicilian photos coming soon. For now, here's our twelve-headed tournesol (around twelve flowertêtes per plant)! And never miss a photo or French word: Sign up for FREE email delivery and receive this edition in your email box.

chut (shoot)

: shhh!

Sound file and Example Sentence:

Listen to my mother-in-law pronounce today's word:

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Chut! Elle dort. Il ne faut pas la réveiller. Quiet! She's sleeping. We musn't wake her.

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

Chut! My belle-mère is sleeping and I'd like to finish this letter before she wakes up. Only a thin wall separates us, so slight that the rattling of the keys on this clavier is enough to tickle her esgourdes to a start: the start of a new day.

Ça y est. Elle est reveillée. It is time to go and play. I would hate to leave my mother-in-law alone while I pass the morning fussing and fretting over each and every word, like some kind of writer nerd.

Ça baille! There's a lot of yawning coming through the wall. It seems Michèle-France is not sold on starting the day. Maybe the sound of Vauclusian church bells in the distance will sweeten the chore? Or the peppermint breeze coming through the open window? ...or the plate of Moroccan cookies left over from last night's festin (we celebrated my brother-in-law Jacques' 40thChut! chut! Don't tell him I told you....)

Un troisième bâillement.... A third yawn... and a forth and now a fifth! Quelle marmotte! She must be exhausted after yesterday's train ride from Marseilles to Orange. Comme d'habitude, she travelled with two chocolate cakes and two pots of homemade tapenade. The only other item in her bag was a nightgown and a dog-eared copy of Télé Loisirs. She's got our number: just a couple of busybodies out here in the country. She's prepared to watch TV while her son and her daughter-in-law work like bees.

But each day presents a new chance for turning the tables, for shaking up the still waters of rigidity. I'm going to surprise my belle-mère today—with a more playful spirit, tee-hee!—just you wait and see!

Le Coin Commentaires
Questions, corrections, and stories of your own are welcome in the comments box. Click here to leave a message and merci d'avance!

French Vocabulary

chut! = shhh! shush!

la belle-mère = mother-in-law

le clavier = keyboard

les esgourdes* = ears *argot (the term may no longer be current. Any thoughts?)

ça y est = that's it

elle est réveillée = she's awake

ça baille! = there's yawning!

quelle marmotte! = what a marmot! (what a sleepy one!)

comme d'habitude = as always

la tapenade = olive spread

Télé Loisirs =  Television Leisure (magazine)

A Day in a Dog's Life... by Smokey "R" Dokey

The "Alpha" giving me a warm welcome home. Tummy pats sure beat bubble baths (see below!)


With my flying nun ears or esgourdes.

Real Dogs don't take baths... or so I tried to convince them! By the way... I turned ONE yesterday (in case you are so inclined—you might send me a line. Click here :-)

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Sara midda's South of France: a sketchbook Sara Midda's South of France is a place of ripening lemons and worn espadrilles, ochre walls and olive groves, and everything born of the sun. It lies between the Mediterranean and the Maritime Alps, and most of all in the artist's eye and passion. Read the glowing reviews, click here.


In film:  Paris Je T'aime Paris I love You.

Eiffel Tower Cookie Cutter - handcrafted by artisans to last for generations. Order here.

Easy French Reader: A fun and easy new way to quickly acquire or enhance basic reading skills

Words two Lessons in Love & Language...

Please keep my book in mind for your gift-giving needs! Makes a fun and educational cadeau for a Francophile or a would-be Francophile! Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

After less than three months in Lille, fall semester ended and it was time to return home to the desert. While my classmates headed back to Arizona, I found a way to stay on in France, with permission from the department adviser to do an independent study. In exchange for college credit, I wrote about French culture as I had experienced it in Lille and in my new town, Aix, where I had moved. I was just buying time; for what, I did not know. What was sure was that I did not want to leave France. Not yet.

"Take a great trip with a memorable travel book . . . and lose yourself in the South of France."-- Real Simple

Order a copy here. Merci beaucoup!

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety