lupanar

DSC_0049
I've lived on funny-named streets before ("Never Mind Trail" back in Carefree, Arizona...) but this one takes the cake: "Rue des Emmerdeurs" (un emmerdeur/euse = a pain in the neck).

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Please excuse the temporary change in format. Your editor is feeling very much like a rebel *without* a cause today. (And, Mom, if you are reading this, don't be too mad about my swiping your unfinished painting (see below). I didn't have any other "hooker" photos on file (after my computer crashed last March, remember?) to illustrate today's journal entry. Note: ALL of my mom's paintings are for sale because of the Swine Flu fiasco in her adopted country of Mexico. (Mom's husband has been out of work for several months now! Pray for him and her). Bon, while I'm on a roll now--writing down things that I shouldn't normally speak of--let's see, what else can I share... How about a brothel story?

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"Le lupanar" is a synonym for bordel French. Another synonym is "maison de tolérance" (house of tolerance) and the humor is not lost on me as I go about putting together this unexpected edition...

Lupanar... loop... loopy... it is how my brain feels after over-thinking the subject of animal procreation--and ethics--this, after an unexpected response to Wednesday's story column ("tryst"). Against (or following?) my own animal instincts, I offer the following "micro missive".


A Day in a French Life...

Kristin Espinasse

"Stripteaseuse" a painting by my mom, Jules. To inquire about a painting, contact my Mom via Facebook (look for "Jules Greer") We are shipping Braise off to a brothel in Marseilles this morning (room, board, and amour in exchange for one case of Côte du Rhône rouge*). That's right, wine for would-be chiots*--evidence that troc* is alive and well in modern France!

I was going to write a story about our dog's unlikely** journey to motherhood... until some unexpected courier arrived in my inbox, this, in response to a recent journal entry.

And now, in a strange reversal of roles, it is *I* who have performance anxiety.

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PS:  The economy is bad everywhere. The Madame in Marseilles (who runs the brothel I mentioned) tells me they're down to one client: Sailor Sam (the seven-year-old Golden Retriever who happens to be a perfect match for our Braise). Wish 'em luck.

Note: I realize today's vignette might be more maladroit than funny. Comic relief (if only for myself) was my intention. When writing an on-line journal, sharing one's personal life is often a hit-or-miss operation. What's important is to aim with the heart.

Thanks again for tuning in to life here at the vineyard. It is a dream come true to share it with you. I wish never to offend--or to step on anyone's toes--only to capture and share French life... as it ebbs, as it flows.

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Comments, corrections--and stories of your own are still, and always, welcome!
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~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
côtes du Rhône rouge = Rhone slope reds (see our Domaine Rouge-Bleu wine ); le chiot (m) = puppy; le troc = (see here)

**Braise's unlikely (journey to motherhood) : Normally, Braise would have been spayed (if I'd have had my way). Note: any further contrarious commentary should be directed to Monsieur Espinasse. (Merci beaucoup! But please go gentle on him... he's still healing from an épaule luxée. Oh, what a week it's been!)

"Stripteaseuse" a painting by my mom, Jules. To inquire about a painting, contact my Mom via Facebook (search for "Jules Greer").


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Parisian Bistro Chairs (c) Kristin Espinasse
What could be more delightful than a French town named "Orange"? Photos of a French town called Orange. Don't miss at least 15 pictures in tomorrow's Cinéma Vérité.

Three Random Words:
un épulche-légumes (m) = vegetable (potato) peeler
une olivette (f) = plum tomato
un pressoir (m) = wine press

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A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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rendez-vous galant

Cabanon & Flower Field (c) Kristin Espinasse
Love Shack. I took a dozen photos of this dreamy field and dashing farm hut, located outside the town of Orange. See several of the images in Saturday's Cinéma Vérité. Updating the French photo site, each weekend, is both a privilege and a pleasure--I hope it brings you as much enjoyment! Check out what CV members have to say, here (at the end of the page).

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rendez-vous galant (rohn-day-voo gal-ohn) noun, masculine

    : tryst (amorous)

un lieu de rendez-vous galant = a trysting place

Audio File & Example Sentence
Listen to my daughter, Jackie, pronounce today's word & example sentence:
Download Rendez-vous galant mp3


Braise-La-Chienne est partie pour un rendez-vous galant dans les vignes.
Braise-The-Dog took off for a tryst in the vines.

Book events: Jill Jonnes (author of Eiffel's Tower) will be speaking at the charming & marvelous Red Wheelbarrow bookstore at 7pm!
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A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse

The thunderstorms have ceased, the sol* is cool and dry, wet beneath the surface. Jean-Marc and I are having lunch in the front yard, under the Chinese mulberry tree-sans-mulberries. Unlike the mûrier* we picked on Saturday morning, our tree is fruitless. But Dame Nature* has a way of evening the score--the reproductive scoreboard, that is--even when we'd rather be on the losing end.

"Tiens, tiens, tiens...."* Would you take a look at that? Jean-Marc remarks.

My eyes leave a plate of aubergines,* halved, roasted with garlic, tomato, and drizzled with local olive oil. I look across the lawn and see a familiar form in the tall wheat-colored grass beyond. The outline, oddly, amounts to a Scottish terrier.

Oh, terror! I now remember the conversation I had with my daughter last week, after she informed me that our dog, Braise, was en chaleur.*
"We'll see about that later!" I had said to Jackie, not wanting to believe that we were about to attack another round of Dogs in Heat; we had only just recovered from the latest one, after the September grape harvest!

I still can't believe Braise is back in heat--can't believe how blind I can be to all the signs--like those sanguine spots that kept appearing (and disappearing) across the kitchen floor.... Turns out Jean-Marc had been cleaning them up this time.

Back at the picnic table, my anxiety sets in, with every seductive step of the terrier trespasser.
"Calme-toi,"* Jean-Marc suggests. Next, I listen, astonished, as my husband's own blinders go on: "Nothing's going to happen," he chuckles. "That dog is too small!"

"Ha! On peut t'étonner,"* You'd be surprised! I say, unsure of my French, certain of my suspicions.

I watch the terrier-terror tiptoe forward, trying his luck... and I notice, with relief, that Braise isn't reacting--but is busy combing her golden retriever coat with her coarse tongue.

"See. I told you not to worry," Jean-Marc points out.
"T'as raison.* I guess it's not that time yet... her hot-to-trot hormones haven't kicked in."

And just as we sit back and settle in, Braise's hormones begin to spin! With that, we watch, mouths agape, as Braise jumps to her feet, leaps across the lawn to greet Don Juan and, illico presto,* our "demure" demoiselle is long gone!

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Post note: As if a mother and wife hasn't enough to worry about... I watch, with fright, as my newly-crippled husband hops onto his bike! Off he pedals, his upper body in a sling, one-hand on the bar. The bike zigzags and bounces over the soft, sometimes muddy earth, into the feverish field beyond. "Braise!" the broken man shouts, "Reviens!* Bon sang!* R-E-V-I-E-N-S!"

 


FRENCH VOCABULARY
le sol (m) = ground
le mûrier (m) = mulberry tree
la Dame Nature (f) = Mother Nature
tiens, tiens, tiens = well, well, well
une aubergine (f) = eggplant
en chaleur = in heat
calme-toi = calm down
on peut t'étonner = you'd be surprised
t'as raison = you have a point
illico presto! = right away!
reviens! = come back!
bon sang! = dammit!

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Name that Flower...

DSC_0014
Ever feel like the odd one out? PS: Does anyone know what kind of flower this is (the blue one, that is!) and do you know what it is used / farmed for?

Three Random Words:
potiner
= to gossip
un soubresaut = jolt; start (fearful start)
un trublion = troublemaker

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


interdire

Radishes
First radish harvest. The leaves are a bitten, the vase (an old roof tile) is chipped, but the flowers are thriving.

Note: If this page is loading incorrectly, or freezing up, and you are using Internet Explorer... then you might want to view this post in another browser, such as Firefox. You can download this last version instantly and for free here.

interdire (eh-tehr-deer) or (un-tair-deer) verb
  to forbid, to prohibit, to ban

:: Audio File ::
Listen to my daughter, Jackie, pronounce today's word and recite the verb's conjugation: j'interdis, tu interdis, il (elle) interdit, nous interdisons, vous interdisez, ils (elles) interdisent:
Download interdire.mp3. Download interdire.wav


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Never miss a word: add the French Word Widget to your desktop!

The last five French words: guetter, seuil, deuil, pipette, brouette
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A_day_in_a_french_life
by Kristin Espinasse

Braise-The-Dog has been banned from the garden after a series of "neck-breaking" no-no's (that is, if vegetable stems can be said to have necks). Bref,* here's a recap of her recent crimes:

She lay down on the lettuce -- Cric!*
Set her fesse* down on the courgettes* -- Crac!
...and rolled herself right over a bed of radishes -- Croc!

"Sors! Sors! Sors!"* I shouted, frantically waving a handful of just-picked radis.* "That's it! Basta!* You're out!"

And off trotted Braise,
...strut, strut, strut,
lettuce leaves still sticking to her lazy butt.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
bref = briefly; Cric (as in "Cric! Crac! Croc!": the Canadian French equivalent of Snap! Crackle! Pop!): http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cric,_Crac_et_Croc ; fesse(s) (f) = bottom; la courgette (f) = zucchini; sors! (sortir) = out!; le radis (m) = radish; basta! = enough!

Easy French Reader: A fun and easy new way to quickly acquire or enhance basic reading skills



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Shopping~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More than eighty of the loveliest, most tranquil, and sometimes hidden places in Paris are celebrated in this charming guidebook

In film: Into Great Silence Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world s most ascetic monasteries....

Refreshing mosterizing mist: vine therapy by Caudalie

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Braise and The Initial-based French Rule for Dog Names

Chiens Bavards (c) Kristin Espinasse
Be warned: "chiens bavards," or chatty dogs, at this neighbor's address.

Boss_dog"The Boss Dog" by M. F. K. Fisher, where the adventures of a proud if scruffy mongrel, the Boss Dog, serve as a pretext for an informal, fictionalized portrait of the southern French city and its denizens. Order it here.


TODAY'S WORD: braise
(brez) noun, feminine

  1. ember  2. cash, dough, bread

Ce qu'est le charbon à la braise et le bois au feu, l'homme colère l'est pour allumer des disputes. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. --Proverbs

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristi Espinasse
In France, when a dog is "de race,"* its name usually begins with a certain alphabetical letter. The initial, determined by the rules of the national canine authorities, is based on the dog's birth year and therefore changes from one année* to the next. For our golden retriever puppy (born in 2006) we were required to find a name beginning with this year's letter, "B".

Jean-Marc's suggestion to name our puppy "Braise" puzzled me considering the term's English equivalent, "Ember". Her fur is not a golden red (she is light-coated) and her spirit is not fiery but melts-your-heart humble. No, "Braise" did not seem fitting, but forthcoming it became, as would be the fire-walking...

Lately, I am learning to promener* Braise. I knew dogs needed to be trained to sit, shake, and roll over--but to walk? Just as soon as I attach her laisse* the tug-of-war begins. With her back legs braced and all her weight behind them, Braise becomes a four-legged plow. I ignore the growing pile of earth, now separating her from me, and blaze a trail through the empty lot next door. By the time we've reached the forest, the earth piled between us, high as the arch of a French woman's brow, she's eased up--only to advance in a figure-eight fashion, trotting in and out of my scissoring legs, causing the ropey heel of my espadrille to land on its side and me to falter and rise up again with each step.

Were you a nosy neighbor pausing to stare out the kitchen window, just beyond the neatly trimmed cypress hedge, you'd see the top half of what looked to be a traveling circus, a one-woman show advancing in an erratic, jumpy fashion--as if the woman were walking on burning Embers! But you'd be mistaken, deceived by the cypress screen. I was walking around Braise, and acrobatically so. Come to think of it, "Braise" is a fitting name after all.

FRENCH VERSION by chat.openai.com

En France, lorsqu'un chien est "de race", son nom commence généralement par une certaine lettre de l'alphabet. L'initiale, déterminée par les règles des autorités canines nationales, est basée sur l'année de naissance du chien et change donc d'une année à l'autre. Pour notre chiot golden retriever (né en 2006), nous devions trouver un nom commençant par la lettre de cette année, "B".

La suggestion de Jean-Marc de nommer notre chiot "Braise" m'a intrigué compte tenu de l'équivalent anglais du terme, "Ember". Son pelage n'est pas d'un rouge doré (elle a un pelage clair) et son esprit n'est pas ardent mais humble au point de faire fondre votre cœur. Non, "Braise" ne semblait pas approprié, mais cela est devenu évident, tout comme la marche sur le feu...

Dernièrement, j'apprends à promener Braise. Je savais que les chiens devaient être dressés pour s'asseoir, donner la patte et faire le beau, mais pour marcher ? Dès que j'attache sa laisse, la bataille commence. Avec ses pattes arrière ancrées et tout son poids derrière elles, Braise devient une charrue à quatre pattes. J'ignore le tas de terre qui grandit et nous sépare, et je trace un chemin à travers le terrain vague à côté. Au moment où nous atteignons la forêt, la terre empilée entre nous, haute comme l'arcade sourcilière d'une femme française, elle se détend, seulement pour avancer en faisant des boucles en huit, trotter entre mes jambes écartées, faisant atterrir le talon souple de mon espadrille sur le côté, me faisant chanceler et me relever à chaque pas.

Si vous étiez un voisin curieux qui s'arrêtait pour regarder par la fenêtre de la cuisine, juste au-delà de la haie de cyprès bien taillée, vous verriez la moitié supérieure de ce qui ressemblerait à un cirque ambulant, un spectacle en solo avançant de manière erratique et saccadée - comme si la femme marchait sur des braises ardentes ! Mais vous vous tromperiez, trompé par l'écran de cyprès. Je marchais autour de Braise, et de manière acrobatique en plus. À bien y réfléchir, "Braise" est un nom approprié après tout.



FRENCH VOCABULARY
1. chien (m.) - dog
2. de race - purebred
3. lettre (f.) - letter
4. année (f.) - year
5. chiot (m.) - puppy
6. nom (m.) - name
7. pelage (m.) - fur
8. rouge doré - golden red
9. esprit (m.) - spirit
10. humble - humble
11. marche (f.) - walk
12. feu (m.) - fire
13. laisse (f.) - leash
14. bataille (f.) - battle
15. pattes (f. pl.) - paws
16. charrue (f.) - plow
17. terrain vague (m.) - empty lot
18. terre (f.) - earth
19. forêt (f.) - forest
20. talon (m.) - heel


French Pronunciation
Listen to my son, Max, pronounce the following sentence:
Notre golden s'appelle Braise. Our golden is named Ember. Download braise2.wav

French Expressions:
les braises = the (glowing) embers; live charcoal
être sur la braise = to be on tenterhooks
les yeux de braise = fiery eyes, eyes like coals
   -from the Robert Collins Senior dictionary

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety