Mom goes missing - and What does "quiproquo" mean in French?
Visit our new vineyard? + "hairspray" in French

s'incruster: do you know this popular French word?

Argousier or sea-buckthorn

My smartphone offers these automatic edits. I know they exaggerate the truth, so I'm letting you know that the fruit you are looking at is un chouiard, or "a smig" lighter in reality. As for the taste, I'm not lying when I say these orange berries will make your face pucker faster than French lips!

HulstonExclusive French made clothes now available to purchase on-line. Thomas Hulston Collections.


Vite fait, trois mots!
 Quickly, three words for you today--along with the various situations in which I learned them. (You can listen to Jean-Marc pronounce all three words: Download MP3 or Wav file)

(to crash a party, or to overstay one's welcome)

Friday night, after enjoying salmon and leek crêpes with our Texas Wine Importers, we carried on to Chez Henri--a pizzeria at the end of our local fishing port.

"Salut, les amis!" Jean-Marc announced, swooping in on a large table of montagnards. Our friends from the Alps were back! They'd been invited to join some other friends for a birthday celebration.

"On va s'incruster," my husband announced, greeting his friends with kisses. Then, scooting onto an already cramped bench, he signaled for me to do the same.

The table erupted in cheers, with a lot of tipsy revelers motionning for me to join in, "Allez. Assis-toi! A côté de moi!"

Talk about a warm welcome for a couple of gatecrashers!


Overheard near the beach: 

Mes cuisses sont flasques! (My thighs are flabby!)
La peau de mon ventre est flasque! (My stomach is flabby!)
Mes bras sont flasques! (My arms are flabby!)

(Note: To the person who writes in whenever I share weight-related terms--please know I am not promoting dieting (at the expense of young women readers, as you say). The goal here is to highlight spoken French. Hopefully one day we can file away this word as "dinasaur French"!

(Hippophae rhamnoides)
*see picture at the top of this post

Serendipidous! The following comment by Theresa helped me identify a plant I bought last year at the market in La Ciotat. Ever since the name tag fell off I've been trying to remember just what was this local shrub I'd dragged home--and then I read this reader comment:

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

 Thank you, Theresa. This is great news! I had not realized the buisson I got at the market was so suited for my situation! I'm enjoying all the info on this argousier shrub, including this, from Wikipedia:

Sea buckthorn:  various pharmacological activities such as cytoprotective, anti-stress, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, radioprotective, anti-atherogenic, anti-tumor, anti-microbial and tissue regeneration have been reported.

I hope you enjoyed today's change of format. When thoughts are hard to settle, these mini updates are another way to share a few more French words. To comment, click here.

  Max summer job

I leave you with a few photos and a letter from a reader. One of the perks of Max's summer job at the pizzeria? Free food! Max is making plenty of "pies," given that soccer fans are favoring this snack for the soccer Coup du Monde. And what are you eating while watching le foot?

Chère Kristin,

I know you won't remember me, but early last year I sent you a note asking if you knew anything about Maison des Pelerins in Sablet because I wanted to go spend a couple of weeks in the south of France, particularly in the Rhone valley area. You were kind enough to reply and said that while you didn't have any personal experience of it, you had heard some good things. I wanted to let you know that we did go there for two weeks at the end of September and it was truly lovely, the house was larger and prettier that we expected from the photos, with a great little patio and a well-equipped kitchen, the town was tiny and charming and well located and we had the unexpected pleasure of meeting the owners, who were staying in their other property below us. It was a wonderful two weeks, and when I saw the new photos that were posted in today's column, I really wanted to go back there! 

Bien amicalement à vous,

Deborah Page

(Thanks, Deborah. Great to read your review of our longtime sponsor, Maison des Pelerins, in the beautiful village of Sablet. To view photos of this rental home, click here.)

Braise and bee flower

Braise and the bee flower -- the name escapes me at the moment, but they grow here, abundantly, after Jean-Marc used them as a soil amendment (afterwhich we learned these flowers are bee favorites. Good for saving and protecting les abeilles.)


Mom dressed up our picnic table, using the almonds we picked. I love this picture--and loved the comments at Facebook. This photo caption from Sh'reen Morrison really made me laugh:

"Got her back with the help of the CIA, FBI, TSA and all Santa's Reindeer ! Nice work Kristin !"

(If you missed the story of Mom's 10 hour disappearance, read it here.)

A Message from Kristi
Thank you for reading my language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on the creative process of writing. My wish is to continue offering posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation of any amount.

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