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Kristin Espinasse
France
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Thank you, Chris, for mentioning your Fontainebleau connection. It is such a beautiful word for this tribute to Herm! I had a lovely note from Herm’s wife this morning. Sharron is deeply touched by everyone words here. Merci beaucoup 💕
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Thank you, Gus. Your note about Herm , and life, is so touching. I am honoured that you read my blog and support it. Say hello to beautiful Paulette, and I will give Mom your message, too.
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This photo was taken on February 16th, at 3:21 p.m. in Sospel, France. Marveling at the heavenly ceiling and the mysteries beyond, I was unaware of a friend's passing on the very day. ADIEU, HERM I have been carefully collecting a list of interesting French words since the beginning of this month, in hopes of sharing them with you someday. I never imagined I would use them in a eulogy. Let's learn some vocabulary now while remembering an honored war veteran--and fellow desert rat (from Phoenix) whom many of you know from the comments section of this blog. "Une Lubie" That's "hobby" in French. One of Herman Meyers's passions was la poésie. More than une lubie, poetry was a gift this 90-year-old outdoorsman and electrical engineer shared with the world. Right up to the end, Herm posted his poems on his blog Poems, Photos and Stuff and sent them privately to cheer up friends. He eventually collected his rhythmic verses into an anthology "that may leave you smiling, pull at your heartstrings and/or leave you in tears..." "Flambant Neuf" "Brand new"—Herm, who would have turned 91 on May 23, wasn’t flambant neuf. He would have had fun using the brand... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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We were delighted with our 4th floor apartment overlooking the sea, and (currently) discounted to 144 euros/night: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/17351307?s=2unique_share_id=0e036f57-9785-46e8-87c5-550a274801ca
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Sospel, France. February 2021. What with La Crise Sanitaire, it has been over a year since Jean-Marc and I traveled and courted adventure. Recently, we hit the road in our electric blue ZOE and were pleasantly surprised at how far it took us--all the way to the Italian border from La Ciotat--on one full "tank". (Jean-Marc had une borne de recharge installed at his wine shop, where he and his clients may charge their electric cars. C'est commode!). For our 4-day escapade, we considered France's "Island of Beauty" (an overnight voyage via ferry) but were dissuaded when the Corsican getaway called for a PCR test for Covid. That is when Jean-Marc mentioned Menton, only a two-hour drive from our home. The moment my husband suggested it, visions of bright yellow citrons danced in my head. Bonne idée! I agreed and, fast as you can say Vingt deux, v'là les flics! we were on the road, heading toward a needed change of scenery just a stone's throw from the Italian border. Any fantasies of traversing that frontière (for a meal in Badalucco or a stroll in St Rémo...) were soon nixed when, on day two at the bustling farmers market in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2021 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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I have something to share with you--entirely in French--at the end of the online post: click here for the full edition. Today's Word: quinzomadaire : fortnightly, every two weeks, bi-monthly Audio File: Click here to listen to the following sentence Quinzomadaire: mot-valise et monstre lexical formé sur quinze et hebdomadaire, était censé se substituer à bimensuel. -Alain Rey Quinzomadaire: portmanteau word and lexical monster formed by quinze [fifteen] and hebdomadaire [weekly] [the term] was supposed to be a substitute for bimonthly. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse It feels so good to make progress. Whatever is on your To-Do list today just make a little progress. And then be sure to pat yourself on the back (loud enough to muffle the self-critic, who will never be satisfied, no matter the effort). Whatever the goal, whatever the project, the end will be in sight if only you will take the first step-le premier pas--and persevere! We all know this, and whether or not we do what we need to do may boil down to timing, trust, and sometimes dumb luck. All this to say that Jean-Marc and I are at the 85 percent mark regarding the vineyard memoir... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2021 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Bienvenue, Liza! Je suis ravie de lire votre message. Je ne connais pas Sebastien. Bonjour Ă  Emmanuel et Gwen!
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I am going to bookend this edition with beautiful photos, to help balance a sad topic today. Here is a picture of our beautiful shoreline in La Ciotat, the city we live in--with Grandma, our our golden retriever, Smokey, and our chickens. You will learn many new French words at the end of today's story, so please read to the finish. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse Yesterday afternoon when our plumbing backed up and all our toilets were en panne, I had this ominous feeling that the coming week would be un cauchemar. Then, at 4 am, ce lundi matin, my hens woke me. It wasn't un cri de détresse, more of a chamaillerie. Jealous by nature--especially when it comes to food--the chickens push each other around for the best spot on the fence, where they prefer to sleep each night. Once in a while one of them gets knocked off and wanders around the garden clucking until found and helped back up on the fence. Suddenly I heard my Mom, who was calling for me from the porch below. I threw open my bedroom shutters to find Mom in her slippers and pajamas. "One of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2021 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Ahoy! Ohé! Participants (or pirates...) at Sunday's mischievous marmalade contest. Notice the historic grue, or crane, in upper left. Today's "words of the day" are submerged in the following story. Hunt for them like a deepsea treasure--or walk the plank! se faire jeter par-dessus bord! Mille mercis to Christiane, from La Ciotadenne, for the pictures that illustrate this post. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristin Espinasse At the end of an unfamiliar driveway, near the historic old port of La Ciotat, Jean-Marc and I hesitated to get out of our car—partly because it was so windy and partly because we were unsure of le lieu. We were studying the facade of a 1950s bungalow, une maison de plain-pied, when the various nautical accents came into view. This had to be our friend Laetitia’s, newspaper journalist by day...and feisty capitaine by moonlit night. Laetitia had invited us to her annual concours de confiture, or jam contest. While we were too late to enter, we could still be a part of the marmalade magouilles. This regatta of the senses was born one year ago when the massive bigaradier, a bitter orange tree behind Laetitia’s house, almost capsized under the weight... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2021 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Joyeux anniversaire, chère Judi. 🎉💕 Thank you for such inspiring words.
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No worries, Sandy and and Ian. I will tie up that scarf!
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Thank you, Eileen. Mom is doing well đź’•
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Let's jump right into today's narrative and improve our French! The audio and vocabulary list follow... When I am old and wrinkled—well into the troisième âge—I want to race along the shores of Brittany on my Mobylette, that most groovy of French bikes with an engine! I want to be an eccentric vieille dame. I don't want to care about what anyone thinks, as long as I am not imposing myself on their philosophie de vie. I'll ride my old bike along the seashore. I'll wear black goggles and wrap a long wool scarf, in orange potiron, around my neck. Off I'll fly, scarf ends flowing in the wind. I'll let go of the pedals, WHEEEEEEEEE...! and sing a song by Yves Montand—or a tune from Les Misérables—depending on my mood. I'll pack a picnic with all my favoris. Inside the panier there'll be boiled eggs, anchoïade, Gratin Dauphinois, pungent cheese, a soft baguette, and a flask of Earl Grey. There'll be tangerines to eat and a few squares of dark chocolate. I'll gather delicate coquilles from the foamy seashore and tie them to my shoes. You'll hear the jingle of seashells when I pedal by. My voice will be... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2021 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Hi C-Marie, Your comment was not removed. It appears on page two of the comments (scroll to the end of the comments, at the main post, and you will see a link to “more comments”
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As upsetting as it is to wake up to news of an insurrection, most concerning is the effect it could have on our personal relationships. That is, at least, the biggest thing on my mind this morning. The following thoughts began as a pep talk to myself. Firstly, hang in there! Tenir bon = tenir le coup What if the antidote to un coup is to tenir le coup? Such is the definition for tenir bon: to endure, withstand, weather the storm, stay the course. To tenir bon means simply to cope. Nous devons tenir bon! Tears flowing, a fast-growing knot in the throat, sudden sadness/despair...followed by anger. Did you have a similar reaction when you watched a mob storming our capitol several hours ago? Here again are two words that may help during destabilizing or upsetting times: Tenez bon! Weather The Storm The worst possible outcome of this political storming is its power to divide us. No matter which side you are on you won’t be able to win over the other, already entrenched in his or her beliefs. So what can you do? Until you find a peaceful answer, tenez bon! Weather the storm in love and dignity.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Thanks, Leslie. Yes, we still have our little wooden boat, and love it.
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Thanks for catching that one, Allen. So helpful. I will update the post at the next chance.
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Read to the end of the story for a helpful relationship tip ♥. Today's Word: rendre l'âme 1. to breathe one's last breath (person) 2. to stop working forever, to give up the ghost (object) Click here to listen to the following sentence in French Mon ordinateur portable HP a soudainement rendu l'âme. My laptop suddenly gave up the ghost. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse My computer died the day after Christmas. Thankfully I had finished composing my blog post, and as the next billet was due in a week, I could remain (somewhat) calm in time to trouver une solution! Mais tout d'abord, why had my laptop suddenly gone kaput? Had the foot of my chair crushed the cord? Had the grid finally shut down (a government-issued "blackout" as rumored by les complotistes... It sure began to seem so when a day later my iPad a rendu l'âme! Rest assured, I am not a conspiracy theorist (not unless, as someone once said, there is a conspiracy!) Thinking it over, I recalled a string of unusual activity beginning when my husband bought me the HP (this, after my PC died). The new laptop never did work... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2020 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Ann, I am so sorry about your brother. Take care, and bon courage.
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Thank you, Hannah. That was not meant to be a hyperlink, just a regular underline for emphasis.
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Welcome to the antépénultième post of the year. Read on for less obscure and more meaningful words! (This photo was taken this morning. Do not miss the end photo of a horse in the sea also taken here in La Ciotat.) Today's Phrase: Tout va bien se passer : everything will be alright (it'll all work out!) Click here for the sound file A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse Round three of trying to compose a story for this last (second-to-last? or antépénultième) post of the year--in which I'd planned to share what's on my mind and, in so doing... en agissant ainsi ... cobble together an offering in the midst of les fêtes (au fait... BONNES FETES! By the way, happy holidays!). Like so many of you, I have a lot on my mind, which is just the Devil's way of distracting us from our goals and dreams, and my goal and dream is to keep writing. Not because I enjoy writing (I don't. It can be torturous...), but because writing is an effective way to focus, to calm down, and, best of all, to find meaning in seemingly meaningless things. (The word manger is a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Beautiful poem, K.J.! Merci beaucoup.
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Hello Michael, Thank you very much for catching that error. Au contraire! Edits like these are so helpful. Merci beaucoup !
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