Bilingual Post: se sublimer (and more about the creative process)
Retrecir: A Suprise in our Renovated Bathroom....

New video + saupoudrer + "quitte à le faire"

Viewing this edition via email? You'll need to click over to the website, here, to see the video. In the clip, Smokey and I have just returned from a hike (at a nearby calanque) in time to share the French word for "to sprinkle" as well as the useful term "quitte à le faire". You'll hear Braise, Smokey's maman, complaining in the background (she's stuck, stage left... in the chenil). You'll also see some of the old trees in the oliveraie just below, where fèves once grew. Hidden on the left of the screen, there is the stone cabanon that you saw in the previous video. Translation note: in the short film, you'll hear me refer several times to baking "powder". I really mean to say "soda". (The French word for baking soda is "la poudre chimique".)


saupoudrer (soh-poo-dray)

    : to sprinkle something with (sugar, powder, kindness)

saupoudrer de la farine, de poivre, de panure = sprinkle with flour, pepper, breadcrumbs 
saupoudrer de chance = to sprinkle with luck
saupoudrer d'amour = to sprinkle with love

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's word and the terms, just above: Download MP3 or Wav file

You'll also hear the expression quitte à le faire. Can you guess what this term means, based on the context in which it is used in today's video? Share your translations in the comment box.


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

A lot of activity here at home today, beginning with the massive hole being dug up behind the mas. Along with many of our fellow country-dwellers, it is time to bring our fosse septique up to standard after the French government updated its rules and regulations concerning assainissement

Apart from the septic tank, we are kicking up dirt in other areas of our domaine. A huge machine, or excavatrice, rested in the olive orchard over the weekend, after it was used to blaze a trail from the oliveraie to the upper terraces, where Jean-Marc will plant his mourvedre vines.

Jean-Marc suggested this morning that, while we have access to the backhoe, or pelleteuse, we ought to use it to dig up the dirt we will need for our next vegetable plot. The idea is to build 4 buttes, or raised garden beds, through which we will run a drip system that will water our future potager.

"Want to have a look at the future garden?" Jean-Marc proposed.

Minding my steps across the muddy path with its deep, giant tractor-tire imprints, I gingerly followed my husband up to the terrace in question. Now was the chance to assess things. But once we reached the restful spot, all peace was lost.

I didn't point out the fact that the tractor had trail-blazed right over my experimental carrot patch! (how could the tractor operator have seen it, anyway, for the carrot tops hadn't yet appeared). Instead, I focused on my husband who was busy searching his coat pockets.

Jean-Marc produced a piece of paper on which he had sketched a diagram, based on my verbal description (and a few jottings) of our dream garden. But why, I wondered, were the beds square when they were supposed to be rectangular? And why were the four corners of the beds almost touching? There should be enough space between the beds for some sort of... ornamental object... maybe a circular bench or a tree. Yes! Wouldn't that be pretty!

As I proceeded to imagine, going as far as to raise my arms and spin, ornamentalement, Jean-Marc stomped his feet to the beat of reality. A bit dizzy, I stopped to listen to him.

"You need to get a tape measure and some markers!" he advised, unamused by my demonstration. 

"But I am ONLY brainstorming!" I informed Monsieur Spoilsport.

"Well we ONLY have the tractor till Thursday!" came his sporty reminder.

And on we went, spinning and stomping until the only ones with their feet on the ground were the four-footed creatures watching us. If only Braise and Smokey could go ahead with the renovations.... and save us all from the frustrations of home-improvement.


Follow Jean-Marc's journey as he plants a vineyard on the terraces surrounding this historic olive orchard. His new blog is called Mas des Brun.

French vocabulary:

le chenil = kennel (note: I'm looking for the word "dog run", which better describes the fenced area Jean-Marc created for our dogs to use during the daytime. Submit a term in the comments box. Thanks!

une oliveraie = olive grove

le cabanon = stone hut

la maman = mom

la fève = broad bean, fava bean plant

Vocabulary from today's story (please help by sharing translations in the comments box):


fosse septique









Our 15-year-old, Jackie, falling from the sky like an angel. Photo taken from beyond the trampolene, just beneath her... I love the peaceful feeling this image brings, and enjoy reminding our kids that, once upon a time, they fell from heaven, into our arms.

French christmas music
French Christmas Music: "Mon Beau Sapin", "Saint Nuit", "La Marche des Rois", "Petite Ville Bethléem", "Il est né Le Divin Enfant". 
Order CD here.

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


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Jackie flying like an angel - absolutely beautiful!

David Morton

Dear Kristin,
thank you for your WaD

la fève in English culinary matters i think is broad bean, which are sold in french markets but I have difficulty finding them in tins and frozen!!

all best and merci

David Morton

Amber Hopwood, Peoria, IL

Kristi....Awesome picture of Jackie!

Eileen - Charlottesville, VA

Hi Kristin,
I love the photo of Jackie and also your touching comment about reminding the kids how they fell from heaven into your arms.



I think you have it backwards.

Baking Powder: Levure chimique

Baking Soda (often found in the cleaning supplies section): Bicarbonate de soude.

Elizabeth Wilson

Very disappointed to see an ad for Wal-Mart on your site -- and considering that, are those pet treats made in China??? I hope you will consider your sponsors more carefully.

BarbarA Bilder from Brittany

John is right on baking powder and soda.

I agree with Elizabeth Wilson. Walmart's employment policies are terrible.


Hi Elizabeth -

I was always taught to be sure and speak or write at least 3 or 4 nice uplifting and loving/encouraging thoughts to someone I was going to try and direct to correct what I considered a mistake in their judgement or the path they were considering....also I have been able to get the point across to my children, and husband, to always honor whoever they are speaking about with the use of their name. I have been able to master the art of 'THE LOOK' towards my husband John or my girls Kristi and Heidi if they ever call someone 'he or she.' My John will often come into my bedroom and rattle off some instruction to tell 'her' to clean the shrimp in the fridge this morning - I then give him the look - John has learned to not only to always use 'Adela's' beautiful name, but to soften up what ever order or criticism (sp?) he has on his mind. Of course he has been slow to learn when it comes to how to handle me. I usually just respond with, 'Are you the police and do you have a warrant to enter my room?'

It's always good to remember that the big flashy professional looking add at the end of Kristi's blog is placed there by someone from outside of Kristi's blog that seems to have a lot of power to deface her blog....I don't know whether it is 'Google' - but Kristi cannot control this intrusion into her blog....they are NOT A SPONSOR AND DO NOT GIVE KRISTI MONEY FOR THIS SPACE.




I love love love the photo of Jackie! Beautiful!

Agie V.

Dear Kristin, Loved the last two videos, please continue making them(it is baking soda as you see in the comments) I enjoy your e-mails as well and look forward to reading them as they take me away from my daily routine into anther part of the world.I am soon to be living in France for the next couple years so I am interested to catch a crumb of information here and there.Love the scenery,I would enjoy seeing the area the town the shops the people cats, dogs.As for the walmart comments,there are many companies who are abusive with the employees, you just don't know about them.Websites run with the help of ads,cannot please everyone.Thanks Kristin keep up the good work!


Kristi, thank you for taking the time to create your blog. As if the writing isn't enough you add beautiful pictures and now video. Where I am reading I don't see an add for Walmart, so readers keep in mind these ads are not generated by Kristi. Good luck with your garden transformation!

Priscilla Fleming Vayda

Quelle horreur!! The gremlins just deleted my post, thanking Jules for her comment and Kristin for her wonderful words and pictures
and for allowing us to become a part of her family's life. One of the things that I said is that we often have little control over the ads that appear on our sites so perhaps "others" should not be so quick to jump Kristin about WalMart. I am often shocked by the ads that appear on my Facebook page but there is nothing that I can do about that. So let's continue to enjoy our lovely link to France and to Kristin's family and not throw in harsh judgements. I wish that I could visit one day but the funny thing about reaching your 80th year is that time flies and there are never enough hours in the day, week, year to get all done. So keep the words, pictures and videos coming. I love them all. Priscilla in La Nouvelle Orleans

Vada & Cinque Terre, ma chatte

Hi Kristi
Really enjoyed your video with Smokey & Braise in the background & ethereal pic of Jackie - love your blog, pics, stories, videos, all are just wonderful! Thank you for all!

Mary Holden

Ha! Child falling from sky---nice balance to foot stomping in the garden!

Kathleen from Connecticut

Well I guess that I missed the Walmart Ad...that is good.
Bon chance with the garden and vineyard.
Smokey is adorable. I hope that he got more brushing off camera. He looks like he really enjoys being brushed and and fawned over. I bet the Braise was jealous.
Have a great day and I look for to your next post.
52 F here in Ct. and I hope to golf tomorrow.



Love seeing you "alive"!!!! The videos are wonderful!!!!!!


AMAZING photo of Jackie! How about a video of how to make tapenade or plant your potager?
bon journee!

Kristin Espinasse

David, thank for the broad bean translation. Ill update the entry in the vocabulary section. 

John, thanks for straightening that out :-)

Elizabeth, sorry to have upset you, but I did not place this ad (many ads are automatically generated).

Mom, thanks for the reminder. Whenever I catch myself referring to "he" or "she", I realize how impersonal it sounds. Always good to include someone's name, when you can.

Many thanks for these encouraging and supportive comments. If you knew how often I get attacked by doubt (my mind's aggravating thoughts)! Thanks again for taking the time to write these lovely responses!



What a delight your post is today. You flooded us with so many facets (sp?) of light and love from your precious little heart I hardly know where to begin my thank-you's.

First of all I am just crazy about your video...Smokey seemed to know exactly that this was a video for your blog and took every moment very seriously this time. I could just see him in the car on the way back from your beach walk this morning trying to convince you that he would be very calm and not try to steal the show from you if you would just give him another chance. I was amazed at how he went from lying like a sack of potatoes at you feet to a full blown misalle (sp?) when you called him up to your side - and then just as fast he froze into obedience. WOW!!!

I like how you are learning to wing-it with your video's. I do realize that soon you will have the confidence to take your camera along on your walks and start communicating with all the wonderful French people/dogs you meet along your journey. This will be so fun for us as then we will get to hear the French speak the language we all so crave to imitate. Practice, practice, practice....this is the key...and be kind to yourself. I think one of the things that all of our wonderful friends don't know about you is that you have a great sense of humor which you hide from everyone except me. I have always thought you were the funniest person I have ever known....I hope that you will turn yourself loose and enjoy the freedom awaiting you...once you taste that joy - look out - we are all going to have a ring side seat into the lives of the French.

Of course your photo of Jackie was worthy of a blue-ribbon...I should paint of scene of you tramping around Bandol with two camera's hanging from your neck and a notebook/pen in your are able to transmit so much emotion in your artful photo's.

Now to your discorse regarding the reconstruction of your property. I just thank God that I am not there right now frothing at the mouth to get my two bits into the ring of fire. Did I understand correctly that Jean-Marc is out back where MY TWO TERRACES ARE FOR MY CABANON tearing up the the area - did he blast a road right through my terrace to get to the beautiful meadow above your house on the way to the seven terraces that tumble down from the top of the mountain......please get out there with the video camera and send me some film so I can rest in peace here in Mexico. Oh I am glad I'm not there right calm Honey....Jean-Marc is a force that has felt the flame and there is no stopping him now. Try to remember how beautiful your old property turned out at the vineyard.

I love you Kristi - thanks for all you do to entertain me with FWAD.




I just received your wonderful post, and though I haven't watched your video yet, I just had to make a quick comment that yours and Jean-Marc's banter sounds so similar to my husband's (Mark) and mine: I am the dreamer, the visionary, and he is the realist, the practical one. It all works out, but I just had to chuckle at your description of the conversation (and your thoughts).

Beautiful photo of Jackie!

And I LOVE Jules' comments each time. She is so proud of you, like a mama bear protecting her cubs (like all mamas), and I am so grateful that she sets the record straight for those who rush to judgment. Keep it up, Jules!

Now I'll go and watch the video :)


Mas = more, as in ‘Dos cervezas más, por favor

fosse septique = the anthesis of fosse anti-septique

assainissement = what Arnold Schartzeneger (the Terminator) does

excavatrice = female excavator

domaine = a feminine domain

oliveraie = Sir Laurence’s girlfriend

pelleteuse = Device built by American Caterpillar Co., used for destroying French potagers

butte = a female derriere, the feminine of “butt”

potager = a small area planted by humans and devoured by animeaux

ornamentalement = the result of hanging “choses” on arbes de Noel

Kristin Espinasse

LOL, Mom. Yes! Hes trailblazing past YOUR terrace. I couldnt believe it! I did suggest he leave enough room, in the back, for your wood cabin :-)

Kristin Espinasse

Skeptique, thanks. Love your creative response -- beats the heck out of the normal, drab, vocab section :-)

Diane Young

It seems a translation would be "stop doing it". Jean Marc pronounces "saupoudrer" the way I learned it., Your pronunciation was way off on that one, cherie. "au" would be the same as in the phrase "au revoir", n'est-ce pas?
Enjoyed the video. Lovely picture of Jackie.

Katie (

What a captivating photo. I love the idea of including video in you FWAD posts...inspiration never ceases to surprise.


Dear Kristin-Your Vlogs are delightful and please keep them coming.Having met Smoky and Braise makes your video like a visit back to them.Your naturalness is enchanting,so don't change a thing.Dogs have a way of stealing scenes but I can see Smokey waiting for cues from you.So much fun,this video of yours-Matilda at Superstition Mt.

Julie Farrar

I loved the falling angel photo. I hope you enlarge it so Jackie can hang it in all of her homes to remind herself of a time when (like all of us) she was so free.

I can never provide provide a better definition of any word, so I was happy to read the offerings of Skeptique, especially for "potager."

I'm on your side about having space for for ornamentalement. It's not a true French potager jardin without artistic structures. Good luck with that fight. My husband and I are about to begin renovations on our home. It's been years since we've done anything so extensive, so perhaps I'll return here next year to let you know if he and I are still on speaking terms.

Kristin Espinasse

Diane, I was way off! When Jean-Marc recorded the sound file I realized my mistake... and it was too late to redo the video (not that I would have had the inspiration too). P.S. I should have know that sau (like sauter) was not pronounce saoh). 


Wow! Does this husband wife conversation sound familiar.


shades of Jean de Florette! how far away are you from Marcel Pagnol's site?

Kristin Espinasse

Yo, half an hour from here to Aubagne...


Chere Kristi-- I love that you've moved to a new place,a new home, and at the same rime have moved a little more--out of your comfort zone--into trying out video blogging. With practice it will get a lot easier, just like everything else. Please keep the dogs as regulars, even if they do tend to steal the show!
As for Elizabeth, I'm not sure why she thinks it's her job to approve or disapprove of your sponsors.She must not have much experience with internet pop-ups. If she did, she'd know that you didn't post a Walmart ad. In fact, where I live, your blog has never shown any Walmart ads. Today the ads on my screen was for a parfumeur.
Keep up the good work; there are lots of us out here applauding all your efforts!

julie camp

Ads happen. Let's not taint Kristi's comments with politics. Jackie "in flight" is rapturous. -julie-

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

I love the photo --- very surreal. And the video is super!

Why would anyone complain about Walmart? They provide millions of jobs. Keep the political stuff out of this blog. I see many advertisers on all the blogs ---- they have no control.

Just try to enjoy this blog, and the beauty in it. All the stories, videos and photos feel like a French voyage!

Enjoy it --- keep the nasty and pointless information to yourself.

This web site is my little touch of France -- don't ruin it.

Thanks Krisin for your thoughtful posts and lovely photos.


LOVE it all, your texts, your videos - such a waterfall of love and kindness and beauty .....
All bright light causes shadows - there'll always be the cranky critics......
Thanks for taking the time to share with us, Kristin!!


Kristin,you rock! I follow your posts with relish, living vicariously through your words and photos. What a fantasy life you are living...well, my fantasy :) anyway! I suffer from extreme francophilia and I hope I never recover. I look forward to a little of your medicine each week. Merci beaucoup!

Ellen A.

Great video, Kristin. Please do more!
And, as you know, your mom is the best mom ever. Jules, I want to be just like you when my daughter is grown up!

Lee Isbell

Kristin, I just want to let you know that I read FWAD with enjoyment. By the time morning and your email get to California, there is a long page of comments and all I was thinking has been said. But I'll add how stunning the photo of Jackie is. And I really like the two-language ones with Jean-Marc recording the French version. I read the French version first, then listen to Jean-Marc, and then the English translation. I'm excited to find my old brain is actually absorbing more and more French, while everything else seems to be disappearing in the mists :-)


Bonjour Kristi, I have been enjoying your blog for sometime but this is the first time to share my "voice". I just had such a good chuckle over the garden layout conversation!!
Bob and I are together 35 years, and built a home about 6 years ago.... an experience that certainly tested our mettle. Your vignette just made us both smile! I do love the videos as well.


Kristi, how about a video tour of your new land, showing us where the gardens and the future vineyard will be? Maybe some footage of the nearest village. Point to where the sea is and say how far away it is.

You are still so beautiful!

To Elizabeth and anyone else bothered by ads: Get Adblock Plus for your browsers. It's free. The only ads I see are the ones Kristin places on the sidebars of the blog itself, mostly for books.


Superb photo of Jackie! :) brought a smile to me face.

The videos are wonderful. I would love to see the transformation and area of your new garden project. I can relate to the visions creating outdoor spaces. Then there is the joy of bringing it to fruition. Loved todays story. Thank you.

Bill Facker

Being exactly half a world away certainly has it's benefits .. by the time I awake, make coffee, turn on the computer and discover a new posting of FWAD, the comments section is full and ready to read. Not only do I enjoy the wonderful writings of Kristin, I am blessed to enjoy the "Book of Comments" her words inspire. Mahalo Kristin .. Mahalo Readers! Bill Facker

Vicki, San Francisco Bay area

Kristin, Thank you for taking risks and moving out of your comfort level so we all get to benefit. You have many talents and the videos put a face and a voice (both are lovely) to your writings.
Also, I didn't have a chance to comment on Jean-Marc's post from Friday. It was interesting to hear how your writing day is spent. You and Jean-Marc make a great team, are both hard workers, and obviously support each other in your individual efforts. I enjoy when Jean-Marc contributes to your blog, and will look forward to reading his! Bonne continuation!


I loved this video today with Smokey and can't wait to try the baking soda remedy for my own dog!! My students and I thought the photo of Jackie was just stunning. It almost looks as though she were swimming in water, it is so fluid and serene. Loved your blog today. I often don't have time to express my appreciation and I am trying to remember and find the time to do this. Merci for all you do!
Julie de San Diego

Mary Keates

Oh Kristin,
Thanks so much for the baking powder/ soda tip.I love my grand dogs,but boy can they smell!
Jackie has spread her wings over all of France...Fabulous!


Love Smokey!! Quitte a faire = "even if it means doing" is that correct?

Great photo of Jackie as well. Glad the garden is taking shape so much to do...



Love, Love, Love the video!!! I do hope you continue doing them! =)

María E. Sastre Wirshing

Please continue with your 2 language comments. Here we can learn a lot of French.

Why don't you video your property, nearest village. Would love to know how far is the beach from your new house.

Love your blog and don't pay attention to negative comments.

Janine Cortell

Chere Kristi:
Loved the photo of Jackie and always enjoy hearing about your life in France.
A colloquial translation for quitte a le faire might be "give it up".
All the best, Janine

Kitty Wilson

Not only dogs can use the baking soda strategy! My mother told me in the 1950's that during both the Depression and wartime, women and girls used to rub a bit of baking soda into their own hair in lieu of 'shampoo" -- the trick was to brush it out well so that hair looked and smelled fresh again. Sure enough, it works! I have used this trick occasionally during hectic times or travel, and it's a good in-a-pinch remedy for the greasies! Love the video, and the comment box, as always -- what a fine community of Kristi-fans!!

Karen from Phoenix

Love the video. I so love to see you and the dogs.

The picture of Jackie is amazing. You have such an eye for taking pictures.


Leslie in Portland, Oregon

Wonderful video, and Smokey are such a good team! Will we get to see Braise in action too?

The photograph of Jackie is stunning. Thank you for sharing it!

P.S. Teresa, thanks for the tip on blocking ads from appearing on blogs.


Love the flying angel's picture!

Translation for "quitte a le faire":

Literal: To put all your activities aside in order to do something else.

Matching English expression: Take a break.

Madeleine de la Fontaine

"quitte a le faire" - does it mean something like ' go away and let me do it' or ' go ahead and do it'?
This is my first day to receive this blog...merci beaucoup!


Hi Kristin, wonderful video! Great words.... You are a Natural in front of the camera, and natural to boot!
How well you chose your mother! A tigress when roused, and also so gifted with words (if not with sp, wink wink!).
How lucky we are that this amazing medium allows us to be like an extended "family", where the occasional spat occurs but where I can learn and re-learn compassion, tolerance and other things. We struggle daily to cope with the challenges of Fair Trade and the very medium that unites us here (computers, smart phones etc) employs people in less than desirable circumstance... Should we, therefore toss out this technology?
Thanks Skeptique for the creative translations; most enjoyable :) Could I add this definition of: Potager: "Herb" garden
- "country dwellers, is time to" = it's time to
- "blaize a trail" = blaze a trail


Bonjour Kristin!
I love the photo of Jackie! It's stunning!

Cate Salenger

Dear Kristi,

I love your videos! You two are just adorable. Please keep doing them!



Hi dear Kristin,
What a wonderful post!
Needless to say (!)you have captured videos!
It, that glorious picture of Jackie, and (always!) dear Jules' comments just wrapped my heart in smiles!
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Natalia XO
PS When I was young(er)(lol)and regular washing wasn't always available, we used baking soda as a dry shampoo for our own hair. Really soaked up the oils and as long as you brushed throroughly afterwards, was a great temporary fix.

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

My list of the words, with gender and one American meaning

un mas = a farmhouse

une fosse septique = a septic tank

un bon assainissement = good sanitation

une excavatrice = an excavator

le domaine = field or area

une oliveraie = an olive grove

la pelleteuse = the backhoe

une butte = a mound

le potager = the kitchen garden

ornamentale = ornamental
puis, ornamentalement = ornamentally?

Un mas
is it pronounced mah ou mas?

That sounds like such a fun time, to be laying out the gardens, and the fields.

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

un enclos pour chiens seems to be a dog run. How does that sound to Jean-Marc?

Yes that photo of Jackie in the sky is fantastic. Printed and framed for grand memories.

Judi Boeye Miller, Lake Balboa, CA

We just finished a 3 month remodel of our kitchen and we are still together! It can happen-but, we had our moments to be sure! I think we went through some very similar 'conversations' that you reported about yours with Jean-Marc! Sounded very familiar! People just have different goals, likes, dislikes, worries - and, of course when money is involved, it brings one into a whole other hazard zone! It's very hard to not clash on some things.

I loved the photo of Jackie! Beautiful - also, your video. That Smokey-Dokey is amazing. I love how relaxed he was as you dragged him into position by his hind feet, flat out on his back side - too funny!! So fun to see you both in the video. I'm with some others, and would love to see you shoot some scenes of the property and the village. Thanks for sharing!

Linda Casey

I just wanted to reiterate how DELIGHTFUL, OPEN and HUMOROUS you tell a story .. I laughed and laughed at the description in your book of the tumbleweeds (and cobwebs) at not being able to get your stories published.

I too am a frustrated writer and have undergone the disillusionment and anxiety of living in a foreign country (Holland) while being married to another foreigner (Greek). Now THAT makes for some hair-raising story-telling. We did have a lot of fun poking at the Dutch while trying to understand each other’s culture ... Greek/English dictionary close at hand.

I’ve just recently ‘met’ an actual FRENCH man 11 years my junior on the internet and have been experiencing the same frustrations. Don’t worry, I’m not deluding myself into thinking that this could lead to anything but trouble. Still, like you, he has been helping me with my French and believe me, I’ve already got a dozen stories to share about our lack of communication. Here we go again!!! Where’s my English/French dictionary????

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my emails. This shows character on your part. I will now go back to reading your daily blogs .… with relish I might add. You’re a dear.

Greetings from Holland.
Linda Casey

Linda Casey

P.S. I love the new idea of videos! Keep them coming.


Well, Ms. K., as Oliver Hardy (of Laurel and Hardy fame) might say, "now you've gone and done it."

In a previous life I blogged a bit, commencing in the City of Light and meandering across several continents.

Life has recently taken another twist which had me contemplating whether to re-engage.

I tentatively decided to forgo the agony and the ecstasy of journalistic endeavor, but the obvious success of your metier (and your kind words in response to several of my comments) now has me a bit flummoxed.

Short of a cure for Cabin Fever I would not wish the reading of all my posts (52 I believe) on anyone, but you might take a look at the first and render a professional opinion as to the wisdom of defying Thomas Wolfe and attempting to "go home again."


More, more, more videos and do whatever you want! We will watch them! Of course, the Smokey Dokes are the most fabulous. I have a bookstore (which used to have a big golden retriever in residence), and so I share these videos with the ladies who work with me, and watching them is a great blood pressure lowerer. He is such a character and you are doing a wonderful job!

joie in carmel

I love Jules' idea of taking the video with you on walks. You can show us the area in which you live using french vocabulary here and there. And the idea of talking to some of the French people is delightful. Maybe at the Farmer's Market....or even a short conversation with Jean-Marc....but not about the vegie garden. And yes, one need space around the raised least 4 feet so you can easily walk around each to harvest the goods. And you need a smaller one near the mas for just your herbs. That way all you have to do is step outside the door and gather what you need when cooking.

Dick Kahane

Dog run = enclos pour chien


I understand about the ads, but I just wanted to mention that an ad for Crayola was displayed across the bottom of the screen for about 1/3 of the video. It didn't appear when I watched the video on Youtube. Nonetheless fun to watch.


To: EL | Wednesday, December 05, 2012 at 05:30 AM

Really?! I have not even noticed the ad! Perhaps with nowadays internet I was just lucky to train my eye in that way that I simply do not notice anything that beyond my interest. If I could do that, perhaps, anyone could.


Hi Kristi,
Great photo of Jackie and I appreciate your sentiment about children. I applaud your venture into video. I second the suggestion to include local scenes and activities - perhaps local markets? Or perhaps interviews with local characters?

Also, when I watched your video, the ad was for "Dog grooming in Austin" so perhaps Google applies an ad appropriate to the viewer's location.


Omg, I love,love love the video!! I am so trying this on my big dog too! Not to mention it is great for my pronunciation and listening skills. Thank you! And if I were to chose a topic it would be food. You have to know us Americans wonder about the French Paradox, so what do you eat? ( because you look amazing)
We are renovating now too so I feel your pain.
The weather in Texas is sunny and chilly. About 60 degrees. It has been unseasonably warm here this week, yesterday it was 80.

Pam Luckey

Kristi I remember the instructions for making the "bottles " out of lavender that one of Jean-Marc's aunties gave us a few years ago. Could you make a video of her doing that? Mine turned out just beautiful. It still is lovely and fragrant!

Linda Casey

Gosh, how do you have time to read all the comments .. come are just so charming, and of course Jules tops them all in her defense of you. I have to agree with those who continue to encourage your efforts. You seem to be excellent in writing, photography and now videography (sp). Whatever you do, don't drop one for the other. And, oh, by the way ... honestly I don't really care WHAT Jean-Marc reads .. he just has the most sexy accent on this planet. Keep HIM in your blogs too!!! Makes this cougar ashamed of herself.


Kristin, I came to your website because I love France and the French language but now I am addicted to Smokey! So, any videos that have anything to do with Smokey - I will watch in a battement de coeur!


Still not the least bit clear as to meaning of "quitte a le faire"...disappointed that among all of the comments, only about five people even took a stab at it...even though you specifically requested comments re the meaning of the phrase.

Kristin Espinasse

Hi Marshall, quitte a le faire means, in this example, while we are here, might as well... It is the idea of taking advantage of the situation to do, or introduce, another thing. Hope this helps.

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