A Ray of Sunshine in French: A message from Jean-Marc
"Unfit mother" in French + A Celebration

Accidental Cassoulet -- an update

1-Mas des Brun wedding anniversary

The regular edition, with bells and whistles, will be back next week. Photo of our home, from our 20th wedding anniversary, in 2014. Truly A Good Year for Jean-Marc.

Dear Readers,

If I ever wrote a cookbook or a memoir I would call it Accidental Cassoulet. And if I have one regret in my life it is this: not to have cooked from scratch from the age of 12 (when I was a wiz at grating cheddar cheese on a flour tortilla and grilling it in the oven. But one day I started a kitchen fire in our trailer, putting an end to any culinary prowess.)

When I was 14 years old and living in a condo in Carefree, Arizona my mom took me to a naturopathic doctor after I passed out in World Geography class (while giving a speech. I would pass out at one more speech, in college, and again at an airport checkpoint, which makes me realize today that blood sugar wasn't the only culprit. Anxiety has been there all along).

Nowadays, I realize that if I had followed that naturopath's advice to the T, 34 years ago (eat frequently, eat nutrient-dense foods) I might have avoided a lot of soucis, including self-medicating with alcohol. And I might have avoided skin cancer, because when you care about what you put into your body you care about your body). But these difficult experiences have led to a greater understanding and compassion for others.

I do believe, as Hippocrates said, that food is medicine. But if I break my arm, I will go to the hospital. (And I believe that some forms of depression are akin to breaking every bone in your body. And yet, my husband went to work today.)

I'm not sure where I am going with all of this information, except to bring you some sort of update. No, things are not much better. But some things are stronger. Things like faith, hope and marriage. Jean-Marc will get through this. He continues to ask for your prayers.

Meantime, Hippocrates, I'm making accidental cassoulet again today. (Is it an accident the second time around?). I've gotten into the habit of making a roast chicken (setting the chicken on a bed of potatoes and carrots and onions in their jackets). We eat this for dinner. Then, on day two, I put the leftover potatoes into a glass Tupperware for salads, later--some of the chicken, too, depending... Then I add white beans (soaked overnight, then boiled in water, strained) to all the roasting pan juices from the chicken. There are usually bits and pieces of garden rosemary, from the stuffing. I swirl all this together (having left the carrots, which are by now carmelized). 

Food is the way to a man's heart, they say (and to his health...). But they don't talk enough about a man's mind. Thank you, Jean-Marc, for being so open about your struggle. So many pieces of the puzzle of our 22-year marriage have come together in the past two weeks. The roller-coaster ups and downs. At times I have felt my stomach tighten when the train we are on creeks to the top of another mountain, only for my insides to (feel like they'll) drop out when we are hurled over--and now speeding down the opposite slope!

Jean-Marc, the day that I realized that it wasn't you steering (overconfidently to the summit or fearfully to the bottom of the sea), I found perspective and empathy. And the day that you realized it wasn't you steering--but a mood steering--you found the courage and the determination to fight for the wheel.

I have always hated roller-coasters. They make my teeth chatter. They hurt my head. They have been known to come apart in mid-air! They test all of my preconceived notions about preconceived notions. But I will stay on this ride and share seats with you until we reach level ground--and beyond! This isn't a decision. And it is more than a promise "for better or for worse". And because I've lost the direction of this letter, I'd better add, This is much more than Accidental Cassoulet!

Is this, finally, the mystery of love? 

*   *   *


Who looks like they are petrified? And who looks like they have won the French lottery? Jean-Marc and I taking our vows, in 1994.

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal week after week. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, I kindly ask for your support by making a donation today. Thank you very much for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Roger Anderson

Kristi, thank you for having the courage to openly share your life experiences with your readers. You and Jean-Marc are not unique or alone. Your story can give your readers insight into similar life experiences as well as give them the courage to find help.

Happy anniversary!


Kristi, In answer to your question, yes, I believe it is.
Vous êtes tous les deux sur mes prières. Je vous embrasse très forté.

Mary Ann Boysen

I wish you only the best....and accolades for hanging in there. Time will heel this desperately worrisome time. Keep the faith!


What a beautiful picture of your wedding day. Things will get better because you both are talking openly to each other. It stops you from becoming isolated from each other. You will also both become better at picking up the warning signs and be able to intervene much earlier stop the downwards spiral that depression causes. Take heart and look forward, after all summer is just around the corner!

Roni Beth Tower

Hi Kristi,

Have been enjoying your posts for a while. Today's made me think you might like to take a look at Barbara Mendez, http://barbaramendeznutrition.com/ She is a licensed pharmacist turned nutritionist who discusses food from the perspective of its chemical properties and effects. Bon chance! Roni Beth

Barb Friedman

Have been so worried about you. Your strength will be a big part of conquering this. We are all supporting you both.


Prayer I do often, daily, asking God to answer those who reach out to Him. Jean-Marc has been on my list since his depression was revealed.


Kristi, a tremendous thank you for today's post! I want you to know just how helpful it was to me to be able to read it this morning. My experience may differ from yours, but your thoughts could not be more relevant, nor more comforting, to me today, I know you write to express yourself, but you should always feel good about the gifts your posts represent for your readers. Prayers all around for everyone! And I wish you and Jean-Marc a peaceful weekend. Keep taking good care of yourselves, and each other.

Cathleen Farrell

Be well. You and your wonderful family are in our prayers.


Thanks for sharing. Keep the faith.....


Kristin, I love your blog and your recent entry struck me that not only do we have the love of the French language in common but the love of food as a path to healing. Please take a look at Hilary Boynton's new book "Heal Your Gut" and also Terry Wahl's work "The Wahl's Protocol". Both have great information for addressing anxiety and depression through diet and lifestyle. Wishing you and your husband bon courage for walking this difficult journey and remaining supportive and compassionate with each other.



Thinking of you both and sending warm wishes your way.

Beth & Guille


Thank you for sharing. You and your family are in my prayers.

Teresa Ewart

ah sweeties, dahlings, and (from ireland) chickens... keep on, keep on...
x t

Cynthia Gillespie-Smith

Dear, dear Kristi and Jean-Marc, you obviously have an amazing and supportive community out there. Keep up your courage and your love levels -- the silver lining is already showing through!

Kate Dickerson

Another beautifully written piece about life - yours, but also ringing a bell of familiarity for so many of us.

Tom B, Atlanta GA

Bravo for facing this journey head on.

As for the cassoulet, try generous amounts of garlic and herbes de Provence. It never fails.


Tracy McDermott

The rollercoaster ride is most terrifying when riding in the front car. Hold tight. Breathe. Have faith. You are not alone. All those who love you are riding along in the cars just behind yours. You and Jean Marc will get to solid ground again just fine. <3


Indeed, Mme Espinasse you and your life details are fascinating. But the old French WAD with far more French words was too.

Leslie NYC

Thank you, Kristi, not only for your honesty, but for your creativity.
There are a million ways to describe a life, and you have been both positive and real. Think of all the ways one could answer, "how are you?" Should we complain, or smile defensively and say 'great' or reveal how blessed we feel?
By the way, I loved Jules response when you first talked about Jean-Marc's depression, and her advice to go out into the middle of the vineyard. She is a treasure.
I am sitting halfway across the world from you, waiting for my mom to be released from a hospital. She came through an operation beautifully, then was given the wrong medication, which delayed her departure a day. And it is gorgeous outside. Which of these could I focus on? Some of all three I think.
I will pray for both of you, but I think you are being carried along by something divine and by your love and intelligence, and will be fine.

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Dearest Kristi,

Your love for each other, the knowing that you are there and care for each other unconditionally, much provide much strength and comfort.

I have heard that those who receive prayers, even if they do not know they are being prayed for, heal faster than those who do not receive prayers. (I imagine in a proper study some participants received the placebo, i.e., were not added to the prayer list.) You and Jean-Marc are receiving many from across the globe.

I do not think Jean-Marc looks petrified. If he suffered depression that early on, perhaps his expression is one of awe - that this beautiful, compassionate woman is pledging her love to him.

Dr. James W. Pennebaker (in his book Opening Up, The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions) tells us that translating an event into language helps us understand it differently and more clearly. However, your sharing not only helps you, but I am sure helps many readers. I love quotes - wee bits of wisdom I refer to them as - and find this one apropos to insert here:

”In Japan, it is said that words of the soul reside in a spirit called kotodama or the spirit of words, and the act of speaking words has the power to change the world."
~ Masauro Emoto, Japanese Scientist & author of The Hidden Messages in Water

As for the roller coaster ride (I don't like them either), I leave you with a quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn "We can't stop the waves, but we can learn to surf."


karen wilson

Dear Kristin and Jean Marc I am so sorry that life is very difficult at the moment. Thank you for sharing your insights and observations and feelings related to it. You have always been very brave and open, I really admire that about you in addition to your delightful writing and fantastic photos. Wishing you bon courage, love and hugs Karen

Jim Anderson

Please get on another topic so that the repetitious comments of your followers will stop. Many of these people have gotten far too involved in the lives of people they've never met. I'm sorry about your husband's depression, but almost everyone has faced major difficulties and has dealt with them in one way or another.

Donna M

I too am touched by your courage and candor in sharing your journey with Jean Marc. I hope the sharing brings you both strength needed to weather this storm. You certainly have helped others through your generosity.

Laura Isenstein

My prayers and healing thoughts continue to be with Jean Marc and you. As someone who suffers from depression, I finally agreed to medication over 20 years ago. It has made a world of difference in my relationships with family and my a I.ity to "not sweat the small stuff!" May Jean Marc find the happiness and comfort he is seeking. He is lucky to have such a loving, supporting, insightful and understanding wife.

Diane Young

Stay off roller coasters - the last time I rode one, it was our first wedding anniversary in 1959 and I sat in the same car with my husband. I jammed my head again his chin the whole time. One of the secrets of our 53 year marriage was we stayed off roller coasters in amusement parks. It took until our 25th anniversary to celebrate recoveries of many kinds. You have found the secret of love when you hang in there: "let go and let God". You both are in my prayers.

Audrey Wilson

Such an open & candid letter about the problems you are sharing with Jean-Marc . I'm absolutely sure that putting all down in writing & sharing like this is the best thing to do. You will get strength from all the support from us all out here . Take heart, stay positive & have faith. x


my experience is that the blue ghoulies come-stay a while -and then they go. The trick is to hang on to the thought that this has happened before-and they will go,improbable as it seems at the time


Kristi, I hope you read this message. I have had stages of crippling depression in my life and done much research. I have been to later alternative doctors, I've been to "regular" doctors. Since you and Jean Marc are roughly my age, please may I make a suggestion. You MUST find a medical doctor who looks at the whole body and will test his hormone levels. NOT a blood test. The spit and urine test (sorry). When you reach forties your body changes. Last year I descended quickly and frighteningly into deep depression. My doctor gave me an antidepressant to get me through while I took the tests. I took hormone and neurotransmitter. It came back I majorly needed progesterone and my adrenal glands were burned out. My cortisol was so low my body wanted to sleep all the time and couldn't function. After taking the proper supplements (hormones should never be synthetic), I feel whole again. It saved my life. A year later my husband began experiencing it. He needed testosterone and adrenal supplements as well. Depression I have learned over decades, is a symptom of something off in your body, rather than a thing in itself. Jean Marc, your body is trying to tell you something in the only way it knows how. You just have to figure out what. Could also be food allergies or your thyroid. This is also why our metabolism slows down around the same time (and can also be fixed). The Blend Insitute (google it) in Florida is world-renowned and they do phone consults. Thank you for your honesty. I believe when we share these things we can lift each other and help each other. Kristi, if you want it I don't mind sharing my email address for any other questions or information. I remember the pain of this depression all too well. But I also know how wonderful I feel now, so it's important to me to share it. We are all thinking of you.

Micki Simms

Dear Kristi and Jean Marc,
Some days, I find that I just send loving thoughts or thoughts of well-being to you;
I was quite glad for the update that stating medical intervention is part of the plan
but even with that, time is required, as you know all too well.
Your Intentional Cassoulet will get you through this and many other periods because
it is generously spiced with faith, hope, love, kindness, mutual respect, and nurturance.
Sending more good thoughts on many days when you don't even know they are
coming your way. . . plus the hope that this veil lifts so you will once again see life
with clarity and have the energy that you had before this bout of depression took
its toll on you, Jean Marc. . .
Amicalement toujours,


Your wedding photo is so lovely! And you do have the happiest expression ever! So pretty, and Jean-Marc so handsome!
Looking forward to next week's post. Cookbook next?


Good thoughts being sent your way.

joie in Carmel

Perhaps now might be a good time for a mini vacation to Italy. Just you, J-M, and Mr. Sachs.


Hi Kristi and Jean Marc,

I have been following your blog for awhile now and have never sent a response or comments. However, I found the latest blog so articulate and moving that I have to express my gratitude. You have been addressing a complicated issue so compassionately, and with courageous clarity and genuine love. It can be next to impossible to navigate through such turbulent waters, but you are doing it so graciously and teaching the rest of us at the same time. Your insights and wisdom (and the comments of your followers)have been very helpful to me personally. Thank you for opening the discussion.

Jean Marc

Thank you all for your sweet comments and your incredible support which do help.
A very special thanks for my Lovely wife Kristi who stands by me all the time in this very difficult pzeiod.
God bless you

Sue J.

Courage, strength, love and light.



I'm so sorry for what you all are going through, although your comment that some things are stronger "faith, hope, and marriage" is so true. Who knows why we have to go through these awful times, but we can be better people on the other side of it all. When my mother was dying a horrible death from cancer, we talked and both agreed that our faith in God had become stronger. We didn't know why because my Mother was suffering so much and it didn't appear that God was answering our prayers at all. It did bring our family closer together, my faith is stronger, and I'm more compassionate to other people's suffering.
God bless you all.

Cynthia Lewis

Dear Kristi,

Your delicious chicken cassoulet makes me think of Henri IV and his proclamation "A chicken in every pot". So many meals can be planned from a baked chicken ... even a late night sandwich! I send you and Jean-Marc my very best wishes for better times soon to come.


All of your blogs are interesting, this one, though, stands out to me as exceptional. Your description of living with depression as a long ride on a roller coaster is so insightful, and it helps us feel what it is like. I've not lived inside of depression, but two of my daughters do (since they were in their teens, actually). So, we've been riders on that roller coaster, too. So well said! You guys are amazing in your willingness to be transparent. Thank you.


You are both in our thoughts! Plants I think of that can be helpful at times like these are the leaves of the Hawthorn tree (nibble on them or put them and their flowers or fruit in tea), Rose petals, Clary Sage (I love to add a few drops of the essential oil to any lotion). These are all up lifting and can ease the heart during a time of struggle. These are helpful for you both.
I also want to thank you both so very much for taking care of our children while they were visiting. Merci Beaucoup for the lovely gifts. I hope we see you both soon.


I have been following your posts for quite some time, since I a moving to France. You and Jean-Marc have found a way into my soul and I thank you for sharing your heart with us-- your dear readers. I hold you both in my heart -- wishing better times ahead come soon.


Want you to know how healing for me it has been to read all the comments regarding depression. I have suffered with it on and off for years. Heartfelt thanks for JM and Kristi for courageously opening this discussion and sharing their experiences and thank all of you for sharing your experiences. Happy Saturday! N


Forgot - Yes and I love the title AC. Know that a lot of love is coming your way. Hugs

NYla Witmore

I sent today's blg to my 17 year old granddaughter who began anxiety attacks at the age of 7. She has navigated these waters and speaks out publicly in blogs and speeches. I felt the power in your writing Today would be duly understood and valued. Indeed the most insightful and meaningful blog you have EVER written!!!!!!! Feel the love. Feel the prayers.

Vivian Laangley

Kristin and Jean-Marc. Joyeux Anniversaire maintenant et beaucoup plus. Soyeuz heureux.Avec prieres et amour.Vivian


Jean-Marc will get through this due to his strength, even if he doubts that strength now, your support, and prayers. God bless you both.

Vivian Laangley

Kristin and Jean-Marc: Joyeux anniversaire, maintenant et dans l'avenir. Soyeuz heureux. Avec prieres et amour. Viviaan

Jeanne LaCasse

Dear Heart
Jean-Marc doesn't look petrified at all. More like a young man who is relishing marrying the love of his life.


Dearest Ones- Hang in there! I went through my 3rd (& worst) major depression 2 years ago. During it, I lost the friendship of my two 'best' friends. Everyone else hung in with love & support and thanks to them I now feel joy again. I am stronger & more grateful for each day, each act of kindness, each moment I see beauty. It is a difficult journey, but worth the effort. My prayers & best wishes are with you both.


Keep staying in the path of finding good for your mind and body. I know it can be hard. Having had a husband who suffered from depression and alcoholism, I know how hard it can be. You are there supporting Jean-Marc and he supports you. You aren't afraid to put it out there for support and guidance. My ex was afraid to tell what he had for fear he would lose his job. But also because as he put it, he was not ready to give up his addictions. in the end it took him. So my message is seek help and put everything into it. Your are the rock for each other keeping each other grounded. I did that for 10 yrs, until I couldn't take any more. Of course I ran with my kids out of fear he would take us too; he said he would. On that sad note, enjoy all the good life has to offer. Do you best to take care of you and those you love. And hopefully they will do the same.


What a beautiful wedding photo and beautiful couple. You are both so brave. Anxiety sucks and so does depression. My step son has bi-polar disorder and is now one and a half years without a hospitalization! Continue to love each other and take care of each other. Best to both of you.x

Eric Readling

Dear Kristi and Jean-Marc, my heart goes out to you both and rest assured my prayers go where my heart goes. I wish for y'all courage, patience and the stubbornness to deal effectively with such troubling issues. I wrote you a week or so ago. Perhaps you will someday read what I shared. I know what it is to be besieged by (in my case) anxiety. It can be a lonely battle. I have struggled with the "beast" mostly on my on in a private little war that has consumed so much of my energy that I have not arrived at a point in life that I had hoped. I am tired. I am not even sure I can muster the energy to dream again. C'est la vie. I am confident the path you two walk together has not been all sunshine and roses, and yet I envy y'all for having each other to lean upon. I pray that you and Jean-Marc find joy in triumphs large and small, and courage and determination in moments of defeat and feelings of doubt. And most of all I pray that you two will only grow closer as each day passes and you may achieve many victories ... together.

joie in Carmel

You are fortunate to have each other. This is what true love is all about. Now go share that hammock with her for even 15 minutes.


All the best to you, Jean-Marc & your children.
Thank you for sharing so honestly. Helps so many dealing with the darkness & unpredictability of depression.


Try to go to New York to a specialist in bio-chemical therapy for depression.. Yes, drugs! It may take a while to find the right combo, but once it works, it is miraculous. I have even seen amazing results with... Electro shock therapy. Sounds terrible, but is now very advanced and refined and not at all like it once was.
A good dose of success would help too, so keep buying those lottery tickets!
Both of you have chosen one of the hardest, most challenging paths in life to take. It is no surprise depression lurks around the corner, but all the more reason to get proper help.

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

soucis = worries I learned that one today :)

Karen Cafarella

To open up like this to your readers takes a lot of courage and strength that I know you both have. The love for each other and being there for each other is a big part of the process.

Sending love and hugs your way.


Is this you in the last picture?. Beautiful smile and style.

gwyn ganjeau

Kristin, you and Jean-Marc are giving voice to the voiceless. I think one of the hardest parts about depression is that it feels impossible to articulate and describe the profound pain and despair. It is so debilitating -- like the wheel goes square and there's no way to move forward. But i think there is relief and a breath of hope when one realizes there is someone who can give words to that full stop. That makes a difference to many. And you are showing people how to keep working and get the wagon moving again. And it will. It will. Peace to both of you. xo

Ellen Massey

Kristi, you two are precious - to yourselves, to each other, and to all of us (the world and your followers at large) with whom you generously and bravely share your lives and your journey. Life IS a journey, with all the bumps that go with it. Kudos to you both for your strength to face each bump with open hearts and determination.


Your wedding picture is beautiful, you are a gorgeous couple! Whenever Jean-Marc feels low show him this picture, it was the smartest thing he's ever done.
I went into a deep depression once and having studied psychology my entire life I knew there had to be a way to get out of it. Since love sent me into depression, I needed to hate the object of that love to reverse it. It took time, but it worked! Where there is an action there is always a reaction. Need to know the source, then do the opposite.


Dear Kristi,

As a writer myself, I (humbly) opine that this is one of the best essays you've ever written. It is literal and metaphorical at the same time, and aptly likens the illness of depression to the vagaries of a rollercoaster ride.

In fact, it mimics the art of making your "accidental cassoulet": combining seemingly disparate, random elements to create a dramatic, impressive new whole.

JeanClaude and I were struck by the intelligent suggestions from our fellow readers, as well as by the photos of your gorgeous garden party and ethereal wedding ceremony.

Together, we think that both you and Jean-Marc hit the French Lottery; and together, we wish you not only a "Happy Anniversary", but also courage, clarity and inspiration during cette épreuve.

edie schmidt


Thinking of you and Jean-Marc. You have weathered a lot in your marriage and you'll weather
this too.

Edie from Savannah

p.s. I also hate roller coasters, but like your simile.

Jack Le Havre

Maybe try the following:

1. Exercise, lots of exercise.
2. Travel to Montmartre
3. Attend an evening Mass at Sacre Coeur
4. Watch sunset from Montmartre
5. Dinner, aka a moveable feast
6. Gratitude for the grandeur of it all
7. Exercise, lots of exercise


Someone mentioned taking a vacation. I love vacation, but the word conjures up all kinds of expectations. So how about planning/taking mini "distractions". A few hours, a few days, whatever you and Jean-Marc could handle. I send positive thoughts for you both and wish you moments of peace. Happy Anniversary.


Hi Kristi,

Thinking about you and Jean Marc and praying for you all. Your love and your family will help you get through this. You all are very brave to share your struggle and just keep loving each other and you will get through this and be stronger for it.

Donna G {Wash , DC}

Bonjour Kristi: I have been enjoying your writings for many years. I am so sorry to hear that you & Jean-Marc are going through troubled times. I have experienced depression with my family & friends for many years & it is not easy for anyone. Jean-Marc is so very fortunate to have you to love & support him now & in the future. I am sending you my favorite Apache Blessing to comfort you: "May the sun bring you energy by day, May the moon softly restore you by night, May the rain wash away your worries, May the breeze blow new strength into your being, and May you walk through the world & know its beauty all the days of your life." I will keep you & your family in my thoughts & prayers. Bless you. Donna {Was, DC}


Mon petit...

Life is so hard. It really is. At times more so than others. All the best wishes won't make you or
Jean-Marc whole. They will help, no doubt, but your lovely words have a troubling tinge to them
that personally worries me. Heck, I'm still concerned about the trip you took to Paris with your
daughter last year!

Don't try to go this alone....


Elizabeth Lope! California

Kristi, you continue to amaze and inspire me with your openness and your fighting for love — of your husband and your God. My prayers — and I'm sure those of people all around the world who have grown to love your family through your blog — my prayers for you and Jean-Marc continue. I know what it is to struggle. While I know the specific nature of our struggles are materially different, always hold fast to the love your Lord has for you. And feel the power of all the prayers ascending on your behalf.


Several years ago you wrote about arranging little sticks around your garden. In spite of having mounds of perfectly good Georgia pine straw, I decided to try your mulch to keep weeds away. I carefully arranged them under the shrubbery and in some window boxes (to discourage cap napping!) This year I was surprised to see green leaves peeking out. Weeds?! No! One of the little dry gray sticks had settled into the soil and very carefully sent down a root or two. I put it in its own pot this week and will watch for it to grow and flower again. I named it JM.


Our Dearest Kristi,
You said it so eloquently:faith,hope and love.
You and Jean Marc WILL get through this.
May I just mention what Jesus said and it is true....
Natalia. xo

Grazielle M.

Wow Kristi! I love this so much..it resonates with me! Nobody can ever predict how hard marriage is, but it is really the thing for many causes us to become really human! All your struggles have made you become that much better each day...only with age can we truly appreciate all of this, and the beauty of it! Your honesty is healing to all who read it! Thank you! God bless you and your family in this healing journey of life, where every experience is an opportunity to release negative patterns of thought and action and embrace the opportunity of living life with love, even if it means occasionally living on the edge of our seats! Fall into the journey, forget about the destination (because the journey was actually the destination!)


Is that Father Matt Menger of the order of Oblates of Mary Immaculate who married you?


Hello, Kristi and Jean-Marc,

I am praying for you every day and will continue.

The Word says "Pray without ceasing."




Dear Kristi and Jean-Marc,
Your roller coaster analogy touches so deeply at the heart of depression. The out of control downswing of life’s continual ride. The dark side of light; the down side of up. One cannot be without the other. Not everyone has the same experience with depression, and I think there are many causes, so my words may not be right for you Jean-Marc, and I hesitate to write them because words can be so powerful when we are depressed, but the longer I have lived the more life has taught me to be more understanding and accepting of this darkness when it hits. Keep your eyes open…and breathe deeply. Always breathe. Look up…the clouds will calm you. Yes, go to work. Dig in the dirt with your bare hands…feel the air against your skin. Embrace your fragile vines with a gentle touch…do the same for your spirit. Just hold it in your mind and tell it everything will be ok. Stay open to whatever this hell of darkness is bringing to you. Don’t fear it. It is not bigger than you because it is within you. It may take control of your wheel, but the car is yours. There is always a lesson. Ride it out. Write it out. Don’t lose sight of the beauty and love surrounding you…like accidental cassoulet, they will sustain you and hold you throughout your climb back.
You are both in my thoughts and prayers…and my heart. Bon courage et rester fort.

Yolanda Litton

Kristin I have always enjoyed and admired your honest approach to life. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with us all. I am sorry Jean Marc is struggling. You both will see the light at the end of the tunnel…even if it does take longer than either of you hoped for. I feel as though I have watched your family grow over the years. Time does fly. Children grow way too quickly and somehow in our hearts we stay young. (as long as there are no mirrors)! As I read your blog and view your photos, to me it looks like an idyllic life. I love France and have often wished to live there, but cannot leave my family:) You inspire me, give me glimpses of a life that I absolutely would love, and a love for Jean Marc and your family that abounds. My wish for you is that Jean Marc and you are back to where you want and deserve to be very soon.

Sh'reen Morrison

Bonjour Kristin et Jean-Marc,

I have 2 things I wish to send you. Years ago, pre divorce, I sent you brownies. Since then I believe you have moved.

One has to do with rollercoasters ( no it will not terrify you ) and the other something to do with umbrellas. And no it is not the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I would love for you to have these things. They have been very personal to me for decades. Now it is time for them to be with you two.

You have my email so let me know how I can get them to you.

Blue Butterflies to you both,

Sh'reen Morrison

Dawn Johnson

Your negative comment is the only one that doesn't need to be here. Don't make assumptions about people that YOU don't know. Many of these people have met the author and her readers, myself included. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people reaching out to others for support . We are all connected in some way. If you don't like the posts, DONT READ them. There are plenty of other bloggers out there to amuse you.


So often I am touched by your tenderness to the beauty in life and recently to the struggle and pain you are all walking through. I am certain your love and tender caring makes a difference. I don't presume to understand why we experience certain things but I am confidant a loving God cares and will walk with you!! With heartfelt love!


Jean-Marc and Kristi,
Sending prayers to you both. Your wedding picture is beautiful.


Depression has been an unwelcome part of my life since age 26. I'm 57 now and have more practice managing it but it's never gone. Reaching out is the best way to find others who share the pain and gain insight. Without my husband I wouldn't be alive, his acceptance and support are the reason I get up every day. Don't give up! There are many options to manage depression and allow you to fund joy once again. Best of luck to both of you.

Debbie Rhoades

Kristi, I am praying for Jean-Marc. Give a hug from Oklahoma. He is going to make it.


Many blessings and prayers to you and your family for the challenges that you are facing at this time in your life. We all face struggles but with the love of our family and friends and sometimes even strangers we get through it, and we are stronger for it. May God bless you all and much peace.

Joan Simon

Hi Kristin,

I hate roller coasters too! I'm always the one keeping everyones coats and stuff during their ride.

I am praying. I have had two bad bouts of depression in my life- just so hard to describe to someone. But I received so much help, and met people, because of it, whom I will treasure forever.

I liked Jean Marc's intensity, when I met him. And your thoughts on marriage touched a nerve- such a journey. How many of us would have gone through with those vows knowing what lay ahead!?!? God is so much more faithful than me!!!

So much love to you both


Dear Kristi and Jean Marc!
Loved your beautiful wedding picture!! Sorry to hear about Jean Marc's, I am sure, fleeting trouble. I am strong believer in herbal teas and potions, which I am sure you have also resorted to. I am wishing Jean Marc a very quick recovery!! Love, Francesca


2010By Syed Akbar
Cardamom or elaichi is one of the best flavouring agents in kitchens across the world. It also finds its use in providing distinctive flavour and taste to a number of sweet dishes and desserts.
Besides its major strength, the unique flavour, cardamom has a number of health benefits. But here is a word of caution. Like in the case of many other herbs, cardamom should not be consumed in large proportions. It has its side effects too, including impotency if consumed in heavy doses regularly.
Those who wish to include cardamom in their herbal treatment schedule should make it a point to consume it in small proportions. When consumed in a little quantity, cardamom gives relief from depression, provides clarity to mind and thought and keeps a person stable in actions too. It has anti-cancer properties too.
Cardamom has been used in traditional systems of medicines for several hundreds of years. It is the seeds that give the flavour and benefits of health. Take a few fruits of cardamom. Remove the outer covering (skin). Take out the seeds and finely ground them. Add the powder to normal or herbal tea. Ayurvedic doctors believe that cardamom tea will help fight depression.
Some practitioners of herbal medicine prescribe cardamom as a cure to certain male sexual problems including premature ejaculation. Regular intake of cardamom either directly or through foods will help in improving appetite.
Home remedies
Those with a complaint of erectile dysfunction may drink a glass of milk mixed with a little quantity of finely ground cardamom seeds. Ayurvedic doctors believe that if cardamom milk is consumed everyday before going to bed, it will increase sexual potency.
A little cardamom (a pod or two) will help in controlling nausea. It is also prescribed for mouth ulcers.
Those who are intolerant to gluten (people who develop stomach upset on use of wheat or wheat products) may add a little cardamom powder to rotis or wheat upma to overcome the problem.
Cardamom tea is recommended as a home remedy to treat indigestion and the resultant flatulence.
For women, herbal doctors feel, cardamom tea is the best bet to ward off certain menstruation-related troubles.


Such hard times you have weathered together and will continue to do so I have no doubt....I remember a time when the world was dark and unweilding and wondering if I would ever see the sunshine and blue sky again.

I did!! You will!! I just know it. Prayers to all.


Jan Acorn

As always, thank you for sharing, Kristin. You have already shown a lot of courage to pick up and move to a different country and culture, so am confident you will have the courage and strength to help Jean-Marc through this difficult time as well.


So special to have followed you for many years and learned from your openness. Each life has battles, at some point of major proportion, and so often they are hidden. We are built for community and giving to one another. In this way we grow in understanding, wisdom and love. Thank you for bringing forth the best of ourselves.


Thinking about you both and so grateful for what you have added to our lives.

Linda Karber


You and Jean-Marc are in my prayers. You are both such an inspiration to me. I am always quoting from your blog to my husband and showing him photos of you both working on your vineyard and home.



Hi Kristi and J.M.
Thank you to all of your wonderful readers who write so honestly. J.M. - you are helping so many, even if just one person, who can resonate and know that its ok to be real and to feel. I get what you are going through. Having love around and someone who is just there to hold, listen and say its ok . Its not all we need in depression but it is so helpful to have a warm hug in the darkest moments. I am grateful to your readers for book suggestions and all the other information . Sometimes - depending on how one really feels, we don't want to hear all the "stuff" coming at us, but eventually when we have a moment of clarity, these healing messages may just lift the cloud for a few moments. Thank you Kristi for your honesty and frankness and reaching out. You two look so adorable in your wedding photo. Thinking about both of you as I head for a cycle around the seawall in Vancouver. Helps my anxiety. I personally do find that exercise and breathing in fresh salty sea air is good for the soul and increasing the endorphins. When I am on my bike, I feel alive and in the moment. Not everyone can access a salty sea, but I do agree that exercise of any sort, anywhere does help eventually. Love and kindness to both of you in beautiful France. Patricia

Patty Cargill

Your words remind me of the why that keeps me "keeping on," despite times that seem not worth it. What is most important, it seems, is that two people recognize, acknowledge AND continue on their ride together. You and Jean-Marc made those first two steps...so much energy of hope and possibility come out of that and help you stay on the path together. Much love to you all~ you inspire me.


It's good that Jean-Marc went to work today. Progress IS made in (sometimes) small steps, and every one is important.


Amazing how true love is NOT Romeo and Juliet but two people truly compassionate towards each other, propping each other up when needed while still seeing each other as equal. Commitment makes life worth living. And being such a great GIVER yourself, being able to receive/be propped up by your fans also makes us feel more equal to you :-)

Stacy - Sweet Life Farm

Kristi, you are so lovable! No matter the mysteries of love and life, of roller-coasters and the like, I am so thankful for all the good, all the chances offered us to take a seat next to each other, that comes along with the ride. Continued support and prayers!

Eileen Burns

Sweetie, you are not on a roller-coaster. You are in a marriage where depression and anxiety are being acknowledged...and addressed head-on. Yes, this is love (and marriage). LOVE to you both, Eileen XOXOX

Janet Gottsacker

Your hands (yours & Jean Marc's) look clenched! :) Ahh, the wedding day! Good memories! You're doing fine, we are all doing fine, 36 years for me and mine! And somedays, are hands are still clenched!


Kristin, your wedding photo from 1994 is utterly gorgeous.

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi and Jean-Marc,

Honesty in all its magnificence!

It has been said that recognition and acknowledgement are the first steps in moving forward. Trust keeps it going. And it seems that there is a huge amount of trust going on here and a whole lot of love.

Every awareness and every breakthrough is one step closer to inner peace. We have faith in your strength to persevere.

With love and support,
Chris and George


So many wonderful, wise and helpful comments from your devoted readers. I don't think I can add anything! I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking and praying for you both in this difficult time. I know what a thief 'depression' can be and how it can rob one of their happier, contented self. You are both very fortunate to have each other, although I know it must be very difficult at times; difficult personally, and difficult to see your loved one suffering. Please take care, sending you lots of hugs. xxoo

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