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Yes indeed, step right up and have a look at the la book! When you click over to the book page you will:

  • Enjoy a 15-page preview -- including a favorite quote of Kristin's and pictures of Smokey "R" Dokey's dashing dad!
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Word-A-Day: the book! Don't delay, click over to the book page here, thisaway! The 120-page second edition is full to the brim with French photos and there are even a few family recipes! The book makes an excellent:

  • educational gift
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Thank you for your purchases, which are helping to boost this free language journal into its ninth year!

Today's Word: rabais

rabais (rah-beh) noun, masculine

: discount, reduction

Listen to our daughter, Jackie, pronounce these words: Download MP3 or Download WAV

Obtenez un rabais de $7 dollars quand vous achetez mon livre.
Receive a $7 dollar reduction when you buy my book. 

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

Yesterday was a BIG day for Chief Grape. His wine cellar expanded twofold! Space has been one of the biggest issues (or casse-têtes!) since Jean-Marc decided to produce wine here at the farm. For the past three years he has littéralement worked around the problem: crawling on hands and knees over the cement tanks (the tops of which double as storage space...) and squeezing in and out among the cases of wine which line the center of his cave. Lately, things have become so pinched that it's all he can do not to suck in his stomach when inching past the equipment. Pardonnez-moi for these little amplifications of the truth, but if Chief Grape hasn't exactly had to rentrer le ventre, he has indeed been pinched for space.

The space problem may not have caused the accidents that he has had in the cellar (in particular, the one in which he fell off the grape press... and the other in which he was nearly knocked out by a piece of heavy, falling equipment), no, these accidents were due more to fatigue than to lack of space. But what is sure is that lack of space has greatly led to fatigue! 

After studying several space-expanding possiblities—all too pricey or legally dicey (for in building an extension to the cellar some rules might be overlooked...)—Chief Grape settled on a unique solution: the maritime shipping container!


These former cargo containers, or conteneurs "Dernier Voyage" (so called after their retirement from years of ocean travel) are a welcome addition to our eclectic grape farm!  Jean-Marc will soon fit them with a heating and cooling system, while Uncle Jacques will take care of insulation. Eventually these dented "dernier voyagers" will be stocked with farm equipment and wine!

Initially skeptical of their ability to feng shui or groove with this Gallic winery... a recent revelation has me thinking that they are not the eyesores I thought they would be. Perhaps this has to do with their history... and all those bumps and bruises they sport (for who can help... but feel compassion for their sort?). 

So bienvenue dear, retired seafarers! Do make yourselves at home, here in the wild and windy Rhône.  


Le Coin Commentaires
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French Vocabulary

le casse-tête = headache (problem)

littéralement = literally

la cave = wine cellar

pardonnez-moi = excuse me

rentrer le ventre = to hold in the stomach

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I Know How To Cook The bible of French home cooking, Je Sais Cuisiner, has sold over 6 million copies since it was first published in 1932. It is a household must-have, and a well-thumbed copy can be found in kitchens throughout France. Its author, Ginette Mathiot, published more than 30 recipe books in her lifetime, and this is her magnum opus. It's now available for the first time in English as I Know How to Cook. With more than 1,400 easy-to-follow recipes for every occasion, it is an authoritative compendium of every classic French dish, from croque monsieur to cassoulet. 



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English Grammar for Students of French: The Study Guide for Those Learning French

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