étourdie + Win a French antique!
une causette + Win another "prize"...

reine de beaute

Smokaroo (c) Kristin Espinasse

Smokey says: Certes, on dirait qu'elle en a assez dans sa collection... sure, you'd say she has enough in her collection... but the truth is she adores every one of them! Today, find out who won une de ses clés... P.S. can you see the ombre or shadow of the missing key?


la reine de beauté

    : beauty queen

(Find out why this word is so special... read the story column, just below)

Audio file and example sentence
(note: the audio file feature will return... just as soon as one of the sleepy Francophones in my household wakes up!) 

Il se cachait alors dans un coin solitaire, fixant ses yeux ardents sur cette reine de beauté entourée d'hommages, de murmures flatteurs et d'envies jalouses

He hid in a lonely corner, fixing his passionate eyes upon this beauty queen surrounded by compliments, flattering murmurings, and jealous desires. --from "Le Correspondant", by Charles Douniol 

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

 Beauty Queens

Returning from the doctor's office, Wednesday, I lay back on my bed, tucked under les couvertures, as if a blanket's weight could anchor such rising emotions!

What exactly were these sentiments?  A mixture of relief and gratitude, to be sure: lab results were now back, confirming another basal cell—and that the doctor succeeded in removing all of it (without leaving so much as a flourish on my nose. Un miracle!).

But how to explain the other bubbles that were rising to the surface of mon âme? For this, I looked back at my laptop screen, where waves of good tidings were flowing into the comments box, following our recent giveaway contest...  

...Aloha from Samantha in Hilo, Hawaii!

...Mabuhay! from Manila in the Philippines. --Faith

...Bonjour... from Boutilier's Point in Nova Scotia, Canada. --Holly

There was something about your words, Dear Reader, that ignited a warm and cozy feu inside of me... a feeling of espoir and, especially, tendresse. I began to sense a tug, as the joyful greetings brought me back in time...

...Namaste from Shobha, in India.

...Hello from Tigard Oregon. --Chris

...Bonjour d'Ethiopie! --Tim

Until there I was, returned to my childhood home! Wearing my favorite golden robe and slippers, my eyes were scotched to the T.V. screen in front of me. Our mutt, Benji, by my side, his eyes were glued to that same screen... We sat, star-struck, admiring the prize-winning smiles of the beautiful representants, who announced their countries, along with warm greetings...

...Hallo aus Berlin, Germany und danke für alles. -Karl

...Buenos dias from Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. --Sheila

...Bonjour from Arizona....  --Gaelle

I watched, enchantée, as the beauties filed gracefully down the runway virtuelle, each contestant representing a different country:

...Hola! y Saludos! from sunny Puerto Rico. --Maria

...Hello from snowy Trondheim, Norway. --Siv 

...Bonjour from Perigord Vert, Dordogne France. --Janet

 OUI! I now could identify the comforting, nostalgic feeling inside of me—that of returning to the warmth and innocence of yesteryear, to a favorite childhood past-time: watching Miss Monde! How similar were the greetings that filed into the comments box... to those of the glamorous Miss World candidates who filed down the runway!

Merci beaucoup, dear reader, for your lovely greetings and good tidings! You are all, all of you, beauty queens to me!



CLICK HERE and look for my Mom, Jules's comment,where she shares about the Eureka moment, in which she came to choose our winner. You will then see a comment by me, announcing a second winner (this time via a random computer-generated selection!

Update: My father wrote me, after reading your comments, and I think he best succeeded in describing, in one word, what your messages represent: CARE.  Thank you so much for responding, with care, to these missives, anecdotes, vignettes, and essays. You fill us with hope! (Now to call Mom, who leaps out of bed each morning... to check in with you all via the comments box! She is such a copycat leaper!)


French Vocabulary

certes = most certainly, sure

l'ombre (f) = shadow

on dirait qu'elle en a assez dans sa collection = you'd say she has enough in her collection

une de = one of

une clef, une clé = key 

une couverture = blanket

un miracle = miracle

un sentiment = feeling

une âme = soul

le feu = fire

l'espoir (m) = hope

la tendresse = love, tenderness, fondness

enchanté(e) = enamored

virtuelle = virtual

Miss Monde = Miss World



More keys... and so hard to part with even one of them. Perhaps I need to learn the key to giving? Maybe another giveaway would be a good way to practice?



An antiques shop in Colmar. Tell us what French antique you dream of winning. Click here to leave a message in the comments box.

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