fils + book giveaway + your own personal talent
Le Memorial Day: We will never forget


Butterfly - Papillon (c) Kristin Espinasse
Smell the roses, see the butterfly's wings... slow to a snail's pace but not so slow as to sleepwalk through the day.

Paris Monaco Rentals

France and Monaco Rentals: short-term holiday rental properties throughout France. Click here for pictures.

(ay-veh-yay) verb

       : to wake up, to excite... "to pull from sleep" (tirer du sommeil)

French Vocabulary & Audio File Hear my daughter pronounce today's word and quote (Note: Don't recognize the little voice? This sound file was recorded 7 years ago, when Jackie was 11-year-old... Ah, nostalgie!):  Download mp3 or WAV

 On ne force pas une curiosité, on l'éveille.  We don't force curiosity, we awaken it.  --Daniel Pennac


Mas-perdrix-2015MAS DE LA PERDRIX. Lovely months to rent this home France: July, for fields of sunflowers & lavender. September, for the grape harvest! October: fall leaves. The exchange rate is great. It's a wonderful time to rent this dreamhouse


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

(The following story was written in 2008)

"Présent!" It is what my son replies when his teacher reads aloud his name for roll call. Every French child answers the same life-affirming way: "Présent!"

The affirmative "Présent!" is so much more lively than bland ol' "Here!," don't you think? And did you ever notice the word's dual meaning: present/present which, whether in French or English, hints that when we are "here," present in the moment, we receive the "gift" of clarity -- where even the mundane takes on magnificence.

I would like to shout "Présente!" to somebody each day or, better yet, each hour!--if only to remind myself that I am truly awake. An hourly roll call might pull me out of this mental slumber. Lately, fueled by caffeine and routine, I manage to get by on automatic. The not-so-sensational sensation could be compared to sleepwalking through sauerkraut, though my mother-in-law would call it "pedaling through choucroute." The vivid imagery that her words call forth is enough to wake my senses--if only that of sight, and if only in the mind's eye--otherwise, it's the same old grind, day after day, though it be a Gallic one and who am I to complain?

Recently, I decided to throw that old foe "Predicable Routine" for a loop. I began by tying my shoes... Next, I headed for the door instead of the coffee pot... and so marched, one foot after the other, out of the house and into the countryside's "classroom".

"Présente! Présente! Présente!" I affirmed, to the whispering reeds and leaf-chattering trees that agreed, enthusiastically, to take roll call for sluggish ol' me.

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Provence Dreamin'? Maison des Pelerins, Sablet. A Vacation Rental Dream in the heart of the Côte du Rhone. Click here for photos.


My mom, in La Ciotat this morning. She cannot simply walk by a motorcycle.... 

Five more days until Mom leaves. We've had the best visit! I hope to remember as many details as possible, and to share some of them with you. Thank you for reading.

Félicitations to AMY JO, who has won the book giveaway and will receive the charmingly illustrated and written book Hudson in Provence or  Paris-Chien by Jackie Clark Mancuso. Amy, the author will contact you soon! P.S. happy you won the book. Best wishes and bonne continuation with your own writing!

If you enjoyed today's post, please forward it to a friend who might enjoy receiving this French word journal. Merci encore and have a wonderful weekend!

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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