How to say lawn chair in French
How to say mermaid in French?

Tarpin! A slang word in French meaning "so" or "very" or "super"

Patissier enseign sign Pastry maker in Orange (c) Kristin Espinasse

Random photo... and nothing to do with the BIG FAVOR I want to ask you--except to butter you up. (Will pastry butter do the trick?) I've just joined Goodreads, a site where bookworms hang out and share what they're reading. I invite you to connect with me there and (here's the favor part) add my books to your "want to read" list--but only if you really want to read them! And thanks if you've done so already, helping to highlight the books' existence in a crowded sea of reads. Mille mercis!
tarpin   (tar-pahn)

    : very, so, too (i.e. very kind, so kind, too kind)

 Elle est tarpin sympa! She's so nice!

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

I'll start this series of mini-anecdotes with  a word learned from my 15-year-old:

I read somewhere recently that teens are growing weary of Facebook. It looks like my days of gleaning French vocab from my daughter's FB timeline are numbered... meantime, enjoy these:

  1. tarpin! It's a regional (southern) word and a synonym for "very"--i.e.  Elle est tarpin a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e! (She's so adorable!)
  2. peuchère is defined here
  3. mdr = mort de rire (French equivalent of LOL, or laugh out loud) 

Go Like This

For those of you who envy our relationship, you should know that Mom and I do get on each other's nerves. My controlling side grates on her (i.e. "Mom, how many cups of coffee have you had this morning?" and "You can't ask that stranger for a cigarette! Where's your Nicorette? What's that? You've stuck it on the rim of your wineglass so that you could eat your crème brûlée? But you can't do that with your gum at a restaurant!).

As for me, I get flustered by Mom's fussing....

"Go like this!" Mom says, scratching the side of her mouth. I reach up to swipe another crumb off my face.

"Go like this," Mom says, this time pointing to her front tooth. It seems I've got tapenade stuck between mine.

"Go like this," Mom motions, running her fingers through her hair.

"Mom!" I object. "Laisse moi tranquille!

"I think it's an ant, Honey. Let me get it for you."

And on I go, slapping my head, swatting my cheeks, and brushing my finger across my teeth

(Does your Mom do this? Or your wife?)

 After Mom missed her flight to Mexico (Yea! won another precious day together), she gladly volunteered to help Jean-Marc prune a great almond tree in the garden, taking the opportunity to teach him some English (the lively exclamation Timber!) Only, it was another word that flew out of Jean-Marc's mouth as a giant branch came rushing down--sideswiping my husband, who landed--with the branch--on the ground. As he cursed the diable for another dislocated shoulder (his 5th!), it was now our time to learn some French. Putain de MEEEERRRRDDDDDE!

Rushing JM to ER, I steered clear of a sensitive topic (bricolage or DIY hazards). JM seemed grateful for my silence and didn't dare whimper during the bumpy ride to the ER--no matter how painful it is to luxer son épaule!

Max passed his driver's exam and now I'm sharing my car with our 18-year-old!  One kid's freedom is a parent's limitation and I will need to keep a closer eye on my schedule or end up stranded at home when I really need to be at the centre d'équitation, to pick up my daughter from her riding lesson!

Sun-lounger (or "lawnchair," as we say back home)
Here's the photo I forgot to post in the chaise-longue edition, causing some confusion ("Weren't chaises-longues the kind of chairs where you could put up your feet?" you say (and not like the chair featured in the opening photo"?). Yes indeed:


Stylin Smokey golden retriever in felt fedora hat (c) Kristin Espinasse
Join me on Twitter for the latest, such as this morning's update: Sweetpeas for breakfast--plucked straight from vine that climbs dog pen. Hope Smokey didn't have sweet "pees" before I showed up to harvest....

(Now to get a photo of those sugar snap peas, or mangetouts--and quit confusing you with photos that don't match the subject!)

  Pinhats or pin the hat on the ear, Smokey Dear (c) Kristin Espinasse

"Fascinators" (and I thought they were called "pin hats"). By the way, all those stylish pin hat fascinator-wearers have nothing on Smokey, who managed to balance his trilby on the side of his head, like an English duchess.

Capture plein écran 05062013 120806In books: Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-Pat Dog 

Golden retriever pea gravel Charming! (c) Kristin Espinasse
To leave one of those photo "thought bubbles" for Smokey, click here and share it in the comments box.

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