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Kristin Espinasse
France
Keeping up, via French words, a 20-year chronicle of our family life here in France.
Interests: Faith, writing, good food
Recent Activity
Hello Lynn, Thanks for mentioning aoûtats. This is now ringing a bell. Yes, it could be Ricci is bringing them inside. I am glad to know you no longer struggle with these pests …who do seem to attack the torso!
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Earle, Your comment about the probiotic is interesting. I hope anyone experiencing hives (and taking certain meds) thinks about this. I’m sorry you were bitten by ticks, and are suffering the consequences. I did find a tick in my bed last week—and it freaked me out. I’m sure none of the bites are from it,(and or just don’t want to know!).
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Thank you all for the helpful info and ideas on how to deal with the bites and itching. And chiggers! Just the word sounds burrowing and teethy. Merci encore for sharing your stories and experiences 🩷
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C'est bientôt l'été. It's almost summertime! To stay cool we'll keep these volets closed and the ceiling fans spinning. Now to find a solution for summer pests, following a recent slew of piqûres... Read on, in today's word fest. STRESS-FREE TAX FILING for Expats! If I can do my expat taxes anyone can! I recently completed and filed my US Tax Return & FBAR electronically using simple, step-by-step software. Give it a try and be done with your 2023 tax return. Click here to begin. TODAY'S WORD: LA PIQÛRE : sting, bite EPHEMERA WINE TASTING in Marseilles Jean-Marc will be pouring his 2023 Ephèmera wine at Le Vin Sobre Mazargues at 5 pm. Adresse: 2 Av. du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 13009 Marseille If you are in the area, don't miss this chance to taste his wine! A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse "Ça gratte!" It itches! I say to Jean-Marc, waking up with fresh bites on my arm. I can't believe it! They've struck again! But just who are they is the question. What, exactly, is biting me every night? My skin is swollen and I see red bumps, ici et par là, across my... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Thanks, Karen, for sharing your experience with the med folk and insurance. It seems to be the same here. Still wading through this swamp, grateful for the angels along the way. (There are a few devils, too! Met some today!)
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Oh, Karen, that is a lot to go through! Wishing you speedy recovery and the right treatments. Sending love.
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Mom had a few rides in the ambulance these past few weeks. She loved every one of the drivers! Here she is with Sofiane, who stopped for a magnificent view of the Mediterranean. Merci! EASY EXPAT TAX FILING Here in France, I just completed and filed my US Tax Return electronically. I highly recommend Expatfile. Give it a try and be done, finally, with your 2023 tax return. Click here for more info. TODAY'S WORD: LA BELLE AU BOIS DORMANT : Sleeping Beauty A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse I had a dream last night that Mom was driving us in our jeep. We were going up a dirt road, and when we reached le sommet and came over the other side, the path dropped unexpectedly into a swamp, along with our bagnole! I remembered, with relief, that our vehicle had 4-wheel drive, that is, until our tires lost contact with the ground and we began to sink. Just when all hope seemed lost, Mom looked over at me with confidence, revved the engine, and the Jeep swam forward enough for the wheels to catch on the rocks below. Alléluia! We climbed right out of the mire!... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Read about two inspiring women in today's story. One of them is my Mom, who sends sincere thanks for all the loving messages and prayers you sent her, following the previous post. Merci beaucoup! Read to the end for a full update and picture of Jules. EASY EXPAT TAX FILING Here in France, I completed and filed my US Tax Return electronically. I highly recommend Expatfile. Give it a try and be done, finally, with your 2023 tax return. (Income will not be taxed twice due to the tax treaty between France and the United States.) Click here for more info. TODAY’S WORD: Bonne Fête Maman : Happy Mother's Day, Mom TODAY’S WORD: LE TRAVERSIN : bolster (a long, log-shaped pillow) A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse Sunday morning, with ten minutes to spare before church, a rack of summer pants caught my eye. A little boutique on Rue des Poilus was going out of business, and everything was on sale. It was Mother's Day in France, and though we already celebrated American Mother's Day two weeks ago, I decided to observe it twice this year by offering Mom a nice pair of summer pants. We certainly... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Oh, Earl! My heart goes out to you for the loss of your daughter, and in these circumstances. I am so sorry. Sending sincere condolences and love.
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Missing Grandma Jules at this celebration for Max's 29th birthday in beautiful Cassis. An update on my mom in today's story. From left to right: Jean-Marc, Ana, Jackie (reflected in the mirror) Max, and me. (If this, or any photo in this post is not showing, click on the link or somewhere in the empty square to bring it up. My blog site is experiencing issues!) TODAY'S WORD: CONVOQUER : to summon, to call in, to convoke : to be asked to attend Are you an expat and need to file your US tax return? I am using Expatfile again this year to complete all tax forms quickly and easily and I highly recommend it. Click here. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse "Leap of Faith" Friday was set to be a joyous celebration of our son’s 29th birthday. Instead, it turned into a poignant reminder of the delicate balance between joy and worry that our family is experiencing lately. Before we left for dinner in Cassis, Max went around the yard to his grandmother's studio in a last-ditch effort to get Jules to join us for the festivities. "What a beautiful dress," Max said, pointing to... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Eileen, We did not see the Northern Lights, but we heard they were visible from La Ciotat.
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Thank you, Grace. I appreciate your help. Off to fix it now. 💕
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Look who's back! Jean-Marc has returned from New Zealand. Today, read about the sweet reunion while learning several new French words and phrases. Photo taken on Tongariro. TODAY’S WORD: " LA BANDEROLE" : banner Are you an expat and need to file your US tax return? I am using Expatfile again this year to complete all tax forms quickly and easily and I highly recommend it. Click here. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse On the eve of American Mother’s Day (which differs from La Fêtes des Mères here in France if only by the date) our matriarch Jules was up all night, busy contemplating the sky. Lying in her cozy bed, gazing out la baie vitrée beyond the pine trees to a patch of sky blanketing our sleepy seaside town, Mom was guessing the exact celestial location of her beau-fils, who, after 3 months away, was en route from New Zealand to France. “I didn’t sleep all night!” Mom said, excited to see her “Number 1 Son” as she calls him. It was rare for Mom to appear on my doorstep before noon, but this was not a normal day. “What time will he be here?!”... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Hello Leslie, Wishing you bon courage as you pack up your family home. Sending hugs and love. Thanks also for @mylesandwillows insta account, which I just joined. I can see how these joyous four-pawed episodes will lighten the load as you bravely moved forward. Take good care.
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Thanks for all these lovely comments and, to Petra, for the helpful correction. It is such a pleasure to read about your garden adventures. Natalia, I love what you said about your lightbulb moment “when the opinion of others took a back seat to my own self respect, kindness and unending faith.” ❤️❤️
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The garden of wonderments. Apart from the red valerian behind my dog, learn about the latest trouvaille or finding in our garden, and don't miss the colorful expression at the end (the funny French equivalent to "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"). TODAY'S WORD: la trouvaille : find, discovery, treasure Are you an expat in France (or anywhere outside the US) and need to file your tax return? Good news: you have an automatic extension through June 17. I am using Expatfile again this year to complete all tax forms quickly and easily, and I highly recommend it. Click here. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse There was a time, years ago, when I might have sold my soul for my garden. I remember that exact moment, kneeling beside a rock bed overflowing with parsley and strawberries and buzzing with life in December. The sweet-scented earth, the vivid colors, the warm sun on my back, a ladybug alighting in the midst of it all. This was heaven on earth. Suddenly, I had the thought that I never want to die and so be separated from this terrestrial paradise. I wrote... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Laura, Thank you for your helpful note. I will add this to the vocabulary section.
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Mom always said to take a new road each day, which is how I discovered this secret square in La Ciotat. Growing up, Jules also taught me to see things that are not as though they are. More in today’s missive “La Vie en Rose”. Expat in France (or anywhere outside the US) and need to file your taxes? Good news: you have an automatic extension through June 17. I am using Expatfile again this year to complete mine quickly and easily, and highly recommend it. Click here. Jean-Marc returns home soon, in time to begin his Provence Wine Tours. Contact him to reserve a date at [email protected] TODAY'S WORD: VOIR LA VIE EN ROSE : to see the positive side of things A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse The weather report was wrong. Fortunately, it wasn't pouring down rain, but there were other traveling ennuis when we drove Mom to the hospital for her eye condition. Coming out of Marseille's Prado Carénage tunnel, my daughter blared her horn. “Mais ils conduisent comme des fous!" she gasped, as the car to our right cut over, causing us to swerve. “You would have never been able to drive... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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The sign reads "change of ownership". Today's story takes place in a town nearby: Ceyreste. FYI: The inhabitants are called "Ceyrestens" for men and "Ceyrestennes" for women. Are you an expat in France (or anywhere outside the US) and need to file your taxes? Good news: you have an automatic extension through June 17. I am using Expatfile again this year to complete mine quickly and easily, and highly recommend it. Click here. TODAY'S WORD(S): Il devait en être ainsi : meant to be (predestined) A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristin Espinasse While French greeting cards are interesting and exotic for family back home, I wanted to celebrate my nephew Payne’s college graduation in plain English and was delighted to find a clever card on Amazon France. But, when I received an email informing me I was absent for the delivery and would have to drive to the next town to retrieve my paper-thin parcel (the card would’ve easily fit in my mailbox), that delight turned to dégout. “But we were home all day!” I grumbled to my dog, Ricci. “I’ll bet the driver took the easy route, dropping it with a lot of other packages at the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Thanks, Odile, for your help with the French. I often make the same mistake! Off to correct it!
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"Precious Cargo." Jules, at Mas des Brun vineyard in St Cyr-sur-Mer (That's Jean-Marc in the pink shirt, behind his tractor) TODAY'S WORD: Jamais Deux Sans Trois : bad things come in threes Are you an expat in France (or anywhere outside the US) and need to file your taxes? Good news: you have an automatic extension through June 17. I am using Expatfile again this year to complete mine quickly and easily, and highly recommend it. Click here. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse Last week may have been the most challenging since my husband left for New Zealand. On Sunday, owing to an old and faulty serrure on our front door, I found myself locked out of the house upon returning from church. I hurried around the corner to Mom’s, put all the groceries I’d just bought into her frigo, and ran back to carefully work the key lest it break inside the lock. Forty-five minutes later, the sluggish lock relented. Quel miracle! Another answered prayer, along with the relief of stepping into a cool house! Despite the initial victory, the week was full of trials, each day punctuated by some disaster or another, whether that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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This blog post narrates the author's experience with their dog undergoing a hysterectomy. From recognizing unusual behavior to navigating veterinary surprises and post-operative care, the story provides insights into pet health, language nuances, and personal reflections on pet ownership. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Photo: Dmitry Avdeev TODAY'S WORD: BOUGEOTTE : wanderlust, travel bug : restless, ants in your pants, move about A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristin Espinasse Special thanks to those who have signed up for one of Jean-Marc’s Provence Wine Tours. For anyone interested, there are a few places left so don’t delay. And now, if you are new to this journal, here’s a brief intro to my husband of 30 years, “Chief Grape.” After graduating with a degree in accounting, Jean-Marc made a career U-Turn to pursue a growing passion for winemaking. We left Marseille in 1995, after the birth of our son, for St. Maximin, where Jean-Marc became sales director for Château Ferry Lacombe. Next, a headhunter wooed him over to the prestigious Château Sainte Rosaline in Les Arcs-sur-Argens (where, incidentally, this blog began). From there our future vigneron did a brief stint at GAI (an Italian bottling machine manufacturer) before buying his first vineyard in Sainte Cécile-Les-Vignes where he made his first award-winning wines, including Lunatique. Five years later he acquired his dream vineyard near Bandol. (If you read our memoir you know how this ended.). Pulling... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2024 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Hi Joan and Karen, Haha. I am enjoying this thread. To add another fun expression: faire peter (to pass). For example: fait peter le pain, or “pass the bread, or shoot me the bread basket” (overheard during a dinner party with Jean-Marc’s buddies from high school). My grammar may be wrong but the expression is used here in the south, by some . I don’t know about typing accents… but, sadly, a lot of punctuation doesn’t come through in the comments box. I’m not sure why. Babette, Thank you for the expression “laisse le béton” and for the interesting interpretation of the rocks and the message 💕
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Suzanne, What can I say? Teaching French involves sacrifice! Sooner or later the French word for *toot* had to be addressed. This story provided an opportunity, so I ran with it!
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