How to say kleptomaniac in French?
How to say "chills" (from emotion) in French?

"a sa guise" - a wonderful expression, but what does it mean?

Boat in Giens (c) Kristin Espinasse
It's a little more chaotic than usual around here today--there are workers in the living room, workers in the bathroom, workers in the trees! I chose this calming image to begin this post... up to you to choose today's story à votre guise.

à sa guise (ah-sah-gheez)

    : as one pleases, as he/she likes

Audio File: Listen to our daughter Jackie, read today's example sentence: Download MP3 or Wav

Aujourd hui, je vous donne le choix entre trois histoires à lire. Vous êtes libre de choisir à votre guise.
Today I'm giving you the choice between three stories to read. You are free to choose as you like.

For those of you who would enjoy a story from the archives, here are your choices (I chose the essays based on the amount of "likes" recorded at the end of the blog edition...):
  • Eleven people liked How to Compliment a French Woman. Click here to read.
  • Twelve people liked Smells like Teen Spirit. Click here and scroll down to the story column.
  • (Oh, forget "likes"--a writer should not look at "likes"--but I hope you'll still read this one: Outrunning the Bulls in Italy, in the story "Sauve Qui Peut!" Click here.
Bonne lecture! Happy reading!
P.S. I will be looking for more stories to rerun--as my mom (then my dad and Marsha) will be visiting in May (and June). I'm going to want to spend a lot of time with them and I'll need to put this newsletter on break (or reduce the number of posts). If you can recommend a story from the archives, please let me know. That would be so helpful! Comments welcome here.


Wildflowers (a gift from Jean-Marc), another French mailbox, and a  letter I received recently... 

Salut Mrs. Epinasse... or should I say Mme Epinasse!
My name is Sydney Cardozo and I am in one of Mme Siff's French classes this year at my school in Richmond, Virginia! I am 16 (almost 17) and a junior... so I am starting the lovely college process! Our College Counseling Office here at Collegiate encouraged the juniors to ask their teachers in very creative ways to write their letters of recommendation. 
So now to the point of this very random email! Our class reads your blog weekly and we are often quizzed on the funny stories and vocab! Recently our class saw Jean-Marc and Mme Siff together on a post... it was like she ate dinner with a celebrity! So cool! This may be a tall order to ask, but I was wondering if somehow you could help me ask Mme. Siff to write my letter of recommendation in one of your posts! (Sort of crazy, sounds like I am asking her to prom or something!) But if you could find any time to add a sentence or two saying something like "By the way Valencia Siff... would you like to write Sydney's letter of recommendation?" that would be so awesome! 

Hi Sydney, All of us reading wish you bonne chance!
P.S. Mme. Siff, Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez? 
Centuries-old olive tree and mas (c) Kristin Espinasse
Some of the centuries-old olive trees that were pruned this month. The event became a great spectacle, when the ancient olive trees, down by the roadside, were trimmed. The French pulled their cars off to the side of the road, and several people rushed up to take souvenir olive branches!

Max's friend Paul (right, and here) suggested building a shelter for the dogs, a shady place out of the sun. The boys were supposed to be resting after clearing out the olive grove (and getting scratched from head to toe by all the thorny bushes!). Instead, the worked another hour on the personal project. How to say "hard workers with soft hearts" in French? 

Max laundry
Later on, Max did his laundry. Those olive trees he'd helped out... helped him back.
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