la bourde


Very excited to tell you that Blossoming in Provence is now available on Kindle! Click here if you would like to order, and many thanks in advance!

un mouton (moo-tohn) noun, masculine
1. sheep, sheepskin
2. mutton
3. fluff (dust); piece of fluff

moutonnier, ière = sheeplike

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's word and the following expressions: Download MP3 or Wave file 


compter les moutons = to count sheep
un ciel moutonné = a sky covered with little white clouds
doux comme un mouton = as gentle as a lamb
le mouton noir = the black sheep of the family
être un mouton = to be easily led (to go with the crowd)
un comportement moutonnier = to behave like sheep
revenons à nos moutons = let's get back to the subject
un mouton à cinq pattes = a rare bird (person)


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

I meant to write a story about rooting through Jean-Marc's sacoche and finding something completely unexpected. Sitting there, in the emergency room, it took a few moments to recover from the découverte, and I will never forget what I learned that day about my husband. 

You'll have to wait for that story (please remind me if I haven't written it by next week!), as it is now time to edit the next chapter in Vignettes from the Var—so get out your red pens and click here to begin!


 Pictured, below left, Jean-Marc and his sacoche.

French Vocabulary

le sacoche = bag 
une découverte = find, discovery 


A sure gift for a Francophile--or a treat for yourself!:
I told you about this super cool Paris Metro cuff—a design find of my mom's! In case you missed it last time, here's the info:

Metro cuff
Paris Metro Cuff! It also makes a wonderful conversational piece -- to wear on your wrist.  A wonderful "conversation piece" for your wardrobe. Order one here.


That worried look... or is it one of supplication?

A Day in a Dog's Life: The Smokey Chronicles continue...

Braise (with eyes closed): Son, don't lose sleep over it. Compte les moutons!

Smokey! D'accord!... un mouton, deux moutons, trois moutons....

Braise: Zzzzzz.....

Smokey: Ma...

Braise: What is it now Smokey?

Smokey: J'ai faim! 

Braise: Well then quit counting sheep, Fiston! Count your blessings instead! Bon nuit, Smokey!

SmokeyFais de beaux rêves, Ma!

compter les moutons = to count sheep

d'accord = OK

un mouton, deux moutons, trois moutons = one sheep, two sheep, three sheep

j'ai faim = I'm hungry

bonne nuit! = good night!

fiston = son

fais de beaux rêves = sweet dreams

Petit chien, petit soucis! Little dog, little worries. When Smokey was a pitchoune, or "little one" ( photo taken Nov. 2009)


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William and Lee Mears

Thank you for the lovely photos of Braise and Smokey. I love, love them! Also the "conversation" between them. Is this possibly the start of a book about these lovely creatures? I hope. Lee Mears, Bradenton, FL


She is such a great mother!! Please, I'm on pins and needles waiting for the emergency room epic. Be well. Mary

Judith Harris

Has anyone else read Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann? It is a detective story told from the perspective of the sheep. Quirky and fun and thought provoking.

Karen Elizabeth

J'adore les photos de Smokey et sa maman!! C'est rare maintenant pour les chiens de grandir avec un parent! Il a de la chance!!

-Ayez une très bonne journée! Les photos m'a fait sourire!

mhwebb in NM, USA

I wish you had followed through on a story using "mouton" in the vocabulary. My sister owns a mouton jacket that feels soft like fur rather than wool. I have always been fascinated on how a fur jacket can come from sheep. Since then, I have learned that some sheep have hair rather than wool. I would like to know more about it.

Mary, New Mexico, USA

Herm in cool Flagstaff, AZ

Salut Kristin,

It seems “un ciel moutonné” is similar to what we call “buttermilk sky” in America, i.e., babeurre ciel (French) as in Hoagy Carmichael’s famous song..

Herm in cool Flagstaff, AZ

Salut Kristin,

It seems “un ciel moutonné” is similar to what we call “buttermilk sky” in America, i.e., babeurre ciel (French) as in Hoagy Carmichael’s famous song..

Dorothee Domingue

Thank you for today's word, mouton. My husband, a Cajun with roots in Louisiana and ancestors from France, always referred to his cotton flannel shirts as his "mouton shirts".

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

Bonjour Kristin,

Thank you for the beautiful photos ---- Braise & Smokey are so adorable!

I can't wait for the story in the ER.

Be well.

Bruce T. Paddock

The suspense is killing me!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Love the photos of Braise and Smokey! I wonder what you found in the sacoche?
I wanted to start harvesting lavender, but it is raining out today!


Our dear Kristin,
Such beautiful pictures!
And I especially enjoyed the expressions section...very descriptive and just captured my imagination!
Looking forward to the next story!
Love, Natalia XO

Joan Delise

Dear Kristin,
Can't wait to hear what was in the sacoche
(a new word for me)! Guess what I just ordered on my iPad kindle...Blossoming in France your latest book and I can't wait to start reading Merci! Joan Delise

Pat Cargill

Wonderful photos of Smokey et Maman. Thank you!


Hello Kristin, a black sheep is generally known as "brebis galeuse".

Mary New Mexico, your jacket could be "astrakan", a gorgeous sheep fur, sadly take from still-born sheep (I think).

Dorothee Domingue, your husband's shirts would have been "moleton", brushed cotton.
Jacqueline (Brisbane Qld)

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

Oh I thought it was, in the vein of
revenons à nos moutons.

Vignettes in the Var being the topic.

mhwebb in NM, USA

Jacqueline, it was NEVER MY jacket but one owned by my sister. It is a very old one that pre-dates today's awareness of fur and cruelty to animals. I looked up "astrakan" and her jacket does not fit the description of astrakan at all. However, I appreciate your mention of astrakan because it gave me the opportunity to research it.

Please note, I do NOT own any fur, and I turned down the inheritance of such an item after an older relative died.

Judith Harris

I inherited a fur and went on line to find a way to donate it. Interestingly, you can mail it to PETA. They cut it up and use it in cages of injured animals. I found it difficult to mail as some mailing companies will not transport animal fur.


Hi Mary and other readers; my mention of astrakan was not judgmental at all. So sorry if it appeared so, no criticism meant. Autres vies, autres moeurs. (Others times, other customs).
Here's not the place to start a polémique about furs; but who's to say that a natural product such as fur is worse than wearing a non-renewable resource on your back, such as polyester etc. (Ethical issues notwithstanding).
After all, I don't want to become WOTD's brebis galeuse!
Now, off I go to crochet the stress away with some 'fil de mouton'... :)

Linda Packer

Salut Kristin!
I'm sure on pins and needles to read your sacoche story! BTW I just received your "Words" book and it's fantastic! Anyone who hasn't read it is really missing out. Have a nice weekend everyone!

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