Desiderata Poem in French and English: Lifechanging Words
Mom goes missing - and What does "quiproquo" mean in French?

To take off, to get off the ground. Can you say this in French?

Mom in the garden

Mom's wish before she took off this morning (it could be custom fit to speak to any one of us, no matter our hearts desires!). Read to the end and find out. (Photo of Jules admiring the poireaux, or leeks, which went to seed, beautifully.)

décoller (day-ko-lay)

    : to take off, to leave the ground (flight)
    : to unstick, unglue, blast off


Mom in the garden

Dear Mom,

You look so happy in the above photo, but the truth is I have never seen you so blue. It was Monday, June 23rd, the night before your departure... 


It was your idea to drag out the lawnchairs--including the chaise longue we found earlier, while dumpster diving. :-)

"We can lie out and watch the stars!" you cheered, but the sadness in your eyes gave away your tristesse.

Hipster (2)

 Chin up, chin up! Allez courage!

But you shot through the garden, and I ran after you, snapping these memories, "...until next year, when you return. It'll go by fast!" I swore over and over.

(By the way, there's the little green Aloe Vera sign, left, the one I made you promise to take when you ran into the store to buy me the soothing plant (this after my do-it-yourself skin peel left my nose all ablister! Next time I'll consider having the dermatologist remove the spots. Though I really do think that euphorbia peplus plant may be the ticket for my little problems!)


 Overheard on the lawnchairs: "I just know the sunflowers are going to open the day you leave...."


"It doesn't matter, Honey. Just look at all the blooms we can see today! By the way, Honey, if you post my picture please tell everyone that Karen in Phoenix gave me this dress! She would be so please to see how it looks."

"I will Mom, I promise. And it looks beautiful on you." (Sniff. Sniff.)

Too bad that hose is in the picture. But there's no way I'm stopping to put the tuyau away--not when I can be enjoying every moment with Mom. 

Walking (2)

"Keep your eyes on the horizon, Honey, and never ever look back!"

"OK, Mom. And is there anything else you'd like to say before you leave?"

"Keep building your garden!"

*    *    *

I will, Mom. I'll do my best to keep busy with a valorisant pursuit, one I can share with others. But I'm going to need your to rescue more orphaned chairs to fill up the garden! So unpack those hiking boots--the ones you pulled out of the dumpster--and leave them here. You're going to need them next time we go treasure hunting!



Post Note: Please send good thoughts to Jules. Her 9:30 a.m. flight was delayed when, suddenly, Air France's air traffic controllers went on strike! She has a long, long voyage ahead of her (now that her flight took off, or managed to décollé, two hours later than scheduled.

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Very nice parting gift. Your mom looks great.


Safe travel wishes are winging along with Jules!

Barb Friedman

You have a beautiful mom, Kristi,,, you seem so much like her. Love reading about her.

Linda R.

Your mom just looks as though she is made for Provence. It's difficult to let someone go when they live so far away.

Susan DeRosa

I will say it, again, your Mother is stunning. Safe journey's.

Pat Cargill

Traveling mercies, Jules.


I loved these beautiful pictures of your darling Mother in the gardens!


Very poignant. Mums are precious. Keep skyping each other until you meet again.

Kelly in Chicago

Safe travels to Jules! And warm thoughts for you all.

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm

Tears for you; so enjoyed this sweet exchange between mother and daughter and the photos of dear Jules looking like a goddess in your garden. How does time go by so quickly?

Sending love and prayers for Jules safe return home with a contented heart and new stories to share.

Judith Cheney

Beautiful Jules, Beautiful Kristin, Beautiful Garden, Beautiful Provence, Beautiful blog! Bon Voyage, Jules. Safe travels till you all meet again. J.

Patty in Bethesda

So glad you enjoyed every single moment with Miss Jules, life is good (aside from all other distractions and air travel annoyances). You are so very blessed to have had this visit w/your lovely mom! Savor those wonderful photos and memories : )

Brenda Prowse

Godspeed to Jules. I love the pictures of her in her beautiful dress in your garden. My mom who is 86 came to Paris to visit me last summer but I will go to the US this year to spend time with her. It will be difficult to say good bye to her for sure. I will remember your sweet good byes to your mom, take courage and leave my mom with a copy of First French Essais.

Alison at The Gracious Posse

Love how you have built the garden beds. Jules is right with her advice to keep building the garden. It looks as great as she does!

Leslie Molnar-Grabowski

Quel cadeau, le temps avec sa mere...quelles mémoires. Merci pour partager sur votre blog votre temps ensemble! et les images de rêves!

Bon voyage, Belle Jules!

Barbara Brooks

I enjoyed this so much! Thank you!


Kristi I love reading about your moms visits! I adored my mom and she passed 9 years ago and still think of her every day. Reading your time spent with your mom remind me of great times spent with my mom. I live in Phoenix and she lived in Michigan so she came to my house once a year. We spent time in Sedona ( her favorite local place here in the fall) , had spa treatments, and planted my flower beds. Reading about your visits bring back great memories for me. Treasure your time with her- I know you do!


Your mom is beautiful inside and out -- loved this post. And, the dress is great!


Safe journey, Jules! A visit with loved ones is so exciting when we look forward to it, and then turns bitter-sweet. I hope the next few days will pass quickly for you, Kristin, as I know how quiet your house must feel now, without your beautiful mother there.


Gorgeous Jules! Bon voyage! I hope the time you and Kristi are apart goes by quickly and you two are laughing up, dumpster diving, gardening, and relaxing in those chaise lounge chairs enjoying the stars together before you know it.

Hugs xx


Ever beautiful Jules... How hard it is to let go... and go. Always more words you wished you'd said or things you'd been able to do...

My son/wife and 22-month-old precious granddaughter left yesterday to travel only a mere 500 miles away, and still I cried all day long. I do know the sadness that was behind your smiles, dear Jules... and yours, too, I'm sure, Kristi.

You are both wonderful to share your very human experiences with us all.

bon voyage, Jules... à la prochaine, Kristi!

Jan in Colorado

It seems like yesterday you were anticipating Jules' arrival. How the time does fly! Bon voyage to Jules. I'm sure Puerto Vallarta has missed her spirit. Perhaps it's time for you to take another trip there, Kristin!

Scottie Foss

Hi, Karen,
Kristin said that you sent her Mom the beautiful coverup she is wearing in the June 24 post. Please let me know where you got it!
Scottie in Atlanta


Kristi - you honor your mother SO well by the outward expressions of love in your writing and also how you put the blog aside to spend time with her.

Praying that God will give her smooth connections and help her recuperate. How is Jackie doing in the States?

Sandy Maberly

Lovely photos, just the salve to sooth a heartache! Perhaps you should have gone back with her since Jackie is away and the "boys" are certainly big enough to care for themselves! :-)

edie schmidt


Bon voyage a votre mere. Visits with loved ones who live far away are never long enough.
Loved the photos.

Edie from Savannah

Sevahn Merian

Loved this message and blue looks gorgeous on your mother. Best wishes and prayers for a safe and comfortable journey home.


e.e.cummings said it best"I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart'. No matter how far away our love ones are we always carry their hearts with us.

Adeline Richarson Reunion Island

Your mom looks beautiful in this lovely dress. The perfect dress for a beautiful garden!

Très bon voyage Jules, portez-vous bien et bon retour chez vous.


Kristin, when I read you had never seen your mom look so blue, I was afraid you were going to tell us something terrible. Now, after two readings, I assume you are referring to her departure. That, of course, is understandable, and as difficult as that has to be for both of you, it is definitely a relief to any and all of us who zeroed in on that statement! Your sadness is only possible because of the joy carved into your souls while you were together. (rough interpretation of the words of Kahlil Gibran) So it is a bitter sweet time. God has blessed you both with great love for one another.

Marcia Stoub

Beautiful mom, beautiful daughter!

This post brought tears to my eyes.

Traveling mercies, Jules.

Diane Doll

Every time I said goodbye to Mom I once again became her little girl and left in floods of tears...and every time she'd be strong and say, "Oh honey, don't be sad about saying goodbye, be grateful for the time we spent together." Wonderful advice but far easier said than done at the moment of departure. Thank you for the lovely post and the reminder of the universality of the ties that bind.💜

pat kim

How precious to have your mom visit…. She looks beautiful!


You had me in tears and I always like to think I am strong and won't go there. I hate seeing your mom leave because I know how much you adore one another. Safe travels to Jules. Would love to meet her one day. She is such an original! Now I know where you get yours! ❤️❤️❤️❤️


I know why she feels blue as I feel the same each summer when I leave Provence. Getting older each year (next year #70) I can't help but wonder how many more healthy years I will have to make my annual trip to Provence. It is a wonderful, beautiful place. Happy your mom got home safely.

Judy Bell

Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL photos of Jules and your garden, Kristin! OMG, my heart went out to Jules as I read about her getting caught in the Air France strike. I hope her frustrations (and discomfort) were kept to a minimum! (Flying is such a crap shoot!!!)

catharine ewart-touzot

beautiful photos and is difficult to live far from those you love


Such a lovely lady that Jules! Sorry it had to end but so nice you can spend this time together!




Buon viaggio/bon voyage a/à Jules.

Kristi, you can easily get rid of that garden hose in Photoshop!

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

What a wonderful & bittersweet post ---- I'm so glad your mom got to visit --- but so sad she has to leave. She is lovely and I love her words of advice. She looks fabulous in that dress.

You're so lucky to have such a strong relationship with each other. You are a great daughter Kristin!

Be well!

Ronni Ebbers

You touched me where I live, Kristin.

Distance is only a matter of geography. Love is a matter of two hearts together at all times.

Fly straight, Jules.

Soon to be in Brittany for the summer.


Love Jules! I know you miss her.


Hi Jules, beautiful pictures of you in Kristi's garden. Have a safe journey back home and hopefully the delay is not too long... :)

Cindy McDonald

Kristin I admire your mom so much. I am sending good vibes with beaucoup xoxo's her way.

armando zetina

Saludos cariñosos at tu Mami, de su casi paisano mexicano.

Karen from Phoenix

Hi Scottie,

I actually got that while visiting Santa Fe, NM in one of the little shops there.

Jules looks so beautiful in it.

Gabrielle Tsabag

Kristin, Thanks for sharing these personal moments with all of us! And yes, your mom looks lovely in that dress!


Parting so bittersweet....your words to describe your relationship with your maman brings my feelings to the surface when I say goodbye to my own daughters who live so far from me now. Though I'm sitting among others at the airport lobby, the space around me is so empty. And, as I start my journey back home, I am also so very thankful for the lives we have; so busy; so productive and yes, so independent. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of my blessings!!

Carol Johnson

Jules, you are amazing,and you looked so lovely in that dress.
God bless and keep you safe on your journey home.

Diane Young

Chere Jules. We all look forward to her visit because she is so beautiful - a smile that can light up the world. I saw Martha Stewart cooking leeks on a VCR yesterday and wanted to buy some and try it. Do you have any recipes you recommend? Pas du fromage, s'il vous plait. It is really wonderful that you and Jules and JM and vos enfants love each other so much. Thanks for with us.r sharing some precious moments

Sh'reen Morrison

Hi Kristin,
I am jealous of such a beautiful friendship ! It was not until my
Mother had Alzheimer's that I was able to have such a connection.
So lovely the two of you.
Hope to see you sometime this year,


Kristi, I hear the tears in your words and know you will miss your mom terribly. She is a bright spirit and I'm so glad you took the time to be with her, knowing we will be waiting for you when you are ready to write again. Safe travels, Jules!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,

The time seems to go by so fast doesn't it? I'm so happy you and Jules had time together and I love the photos you shot of her. Lovely. She's probably home by now!It's funny, my Mom would start talking about how she was going to miss me a few days before she had to leave.

Kathleen from Connecticut

Moments to cherish with your Mom. Your relationship is so special as is your relationship with JM, your children and your mother-in-law. You have a loving way about you that you just bring so many people into your life that you share with all of us.
Bon voyage travels...the strike gave you more hours in France but unfortunately not with your daughter.
How is Jackie doing in the US?


Chris Allin

Two beautiful posts in a row. To say goodbye to Jackie and Jules within days of each other must be pretty tough. Yet, you can turn the painful into beautiful and the beautiful into poignant, taking us all with you on your wondrous journeys. Thank you, Kristin, for giving us moments to pause, to love and appreciate the good in life.


Sending loving thoughts to you and your Mum. Hope she has a safe and comfortable journey home. I know exactly where you're at I had to face these partings many times but how lucky I was to have a loving Mum like yours to miss. Lovely photos love the dress - one elegant Ladyx

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Kristin, As always, thanks for your beautiful words and photos. When they aren't teaching us, they often, like today, bring sweet memories of our own life. Yes, beautiful mother, beautiful daughter. Safe travels Jules.

June Kelly

Dear Kristi .. I have always enjoyed, and thank you for sharing thoughout the years, stories about your cherished mom, lovely Jules. (Might I also add... wise, fun loving, "bigger than life" and elegant lady.) But most of all, I look forward to those beautiful photos and loving comments you share when she visits you each year. Tears surfaced upon reading of her departure ... as a mom, I felt both of your sadnesses.

Penny B

Good Luck Jules, you look great! Loved all the photos of you. Wise words about not looking back. Penny x

Jean in Utah

Oh, my . How I enjoyed this post and how sad it made me too. I feel with you and your mom. She is so beautiful and what gorgeous pictures you have of her in your garden. Isn't it wonderful that you love each other so and it is hard to part? Not everyone has those lovely feelings about family and we that do are so blessed. I love your messages and how you allow us to be with your family too. Thank you.


Safe trip, Jules! So wonderful that your daughter loves your visits, and you'll be back next year :-)

Sandy in Central Illinois


:) wonderful and beautiful pictures of your Mom and your garden!!
We once waited 7 hours on the plane in Cairo when the French ATC went on strike!!!
XX Sun Valley friend, Mary Murray

Nancy, San Antonio, Texas

The way you honor the people you love is truly beautiful and very moving. I hope Jules is home now and resting after her long trip.

Second - I want that dress!!! It is beautiful Where in Phoenix was it purchased? Anyway to pass that on to us?

Dana Wilson

Un grève? En France? Je suis étonné! ;-)

Lovely article. Lovely photos. You girls do have fun.


Our dear Kristi and beautiful Jules,
What a gift you share and what a blessing it is!
Thank you for sharing this with us!
Love you both
Natalia. xo


Well, it appears this was posted 14 hours ago, so hopefully, dear Jules has made it home by now! If not, hopefully will be there very soon! I hope she had a safe and otherwise uneventful trip home! It's so nice you had a great visit with her! Hopefully a trip to PV for you in the future? ? ? :)


Didn't the time go quickly !! Sounds like you managed to cram a lot of "memory time" in though...and of course the pics are invaluable. I know the arduous trip your Mom has ahead of her (I imagine roughly 24 get to Mexico and about the same as from there to New Zealand) I have made that trip a few times and wipes me out...but so worth it for the time spent. You two seem to have a wonderful are truly blessed...

Mary Keates

Maybe Jules could move to Provence.I know she has a happy life in
PV, both would be so happy.Isn't that what really matters
at the end of the day,and the end of the gardening season !
Seriously,why do we all live so far from the ones' we love the most?


I love your words on the last day of Jules visit I had tears falling, now to say 'bon voyage' until the next time

Suzanne Dunaway

That garden is absolutely marvellous and magical. And you talked so much about not having knowledge or a green I guess green isn't the only color for thumbs that grow things!!!

Mary Dineen

I love all your posts but especially the ones while your Mother was there,
brought back lots of memories of my own dear Mother. Thank you.
Keep up the good work and tell your Mother that dress looks great on her.

Eleonore Miller

Jules, I,too, have a daughter that lives half a world away. She, like your's I'm sure, is always in my heart and carried with me everywhere as I go about my daily business in California. I,too, see mine only once a year. We are soul sisters! Take care. Be strong. Our annual trips give us raison d'etre!


Your photos are worth a thousand words. And, your words deliver a thousand and one pictures to remember. How very fortunate you both are to have such a wonderful relationship! It is so great you can enjoy each other every minute you have together - time can be so fleeting and oh so precious!

Jaqueline V Rosales

Hello Kristin, I had the utmost privilege of meeting your beautiful mother today at Mexico D.F. airport. She shared with me your wonderful talent and recommended your many books. I look forward to reading them and following this blog as well. I study Modern Languages and Intercultural Relations in León, Guanajuato; MX. So I am obviously incredibly thankful for the French vocab :-) À Bientôt, votre amie Jaqueline


Beautiful photos of a treasured time with your mother. It's never enough, I know. Each moment passes by so swiftly, and we are left with memories until next time. Best wishes to you and Jules.

Betty Doolittle Tuininga

Dear Kristin, So lovely your parting moments with Jules. You both are so lucky...I envy you your the beautiful relationship you share. Thank you for giving us a peek into your life and sharing those moments with all of us.

Hope that Jules' flight was otherwise uneventful!

Best, bj

Marika Ujvari

This posting of yours gave me goose-bumps. It is so lovingly written. And the photos are priceless!!!




Lovely story. I also wish my mom lived close to me and I am enjoying every minute of her summer visit here in the Northwest US.

For your skin, have you looked into sea buckthorn? It is a great plant remedy for a lot of skin issues, including cancer.

By the way, I hope your daughter is having a good time. My just turned 17 year old daughter is about to head to Nicaragua for 2 weeks with Witness for Peace. They grow up so fast!

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