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French Word-A-Day

Fruit & cheese garde-mangers for sale on a sidewalk in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. I wonder if they make a mini version for the furry hero in today's story... read on in today's column.Harvest update: two more harvesters arrived over the weekend: John (retired, from Indiana) and Ansley (living in Avignon; from Portland). They are staying with Erin (Australia), Ross (California via Washington State), and Charles (Rouge-Bleu investor from Florida) in a local gîte that Jean-Marc reserved for them. Ansley ended up with the couch and John will bunk with Charles (who snores worse than I do). Erin and Ross are sharing the second room. I knew I liked John when, asked about Charles's snoring, he replied, "It was no problem. Once I identified the source, I adjusted to it." "I hear it sounds like a train," I said, of Charles's snoring. "No," John replied, thoughtfully. "Kind of like a cicada."(Click on photo:...

The mobile-bottling machine and one man with a lot on his mind... and the day hasn't even begun yet. Read on, in today's story. chiffon (she-fown) noun, masculine : rag, duster, dust clothCheck out the French Country Diary 2009 (desk diary & calendar) Listen to my daughter, Jackie, pronounce today's word and this expression "donner un coup de chiffon": Download chiffon.wav .Download chiffon.mp3Terms & Expressions: vieux chiffons = old rags parler chiffons = to talk about fashion un chiffon de papier = a scrap of paper... and this expression (and example, in today's story): donner un coup de chiffon = to give something a polish / touch up with a cloth Yesterday, beneath a pouring Provencal sky, we bottled our 2007 Mistral*: all 10,300 examples of it (and just in time to clear the cellar for next week's incoming grapes!). If the bottling process took only seven hours, this was...

The writing on the wall reads "à la cholle". Don't ask me what that means as I have no idea. Perhaps someone from Brittany (where the photo was taken) will know?Ahhh. Looks like such a calm, placid scene (above), but just behind it, there is a flurry-blurry of activity. And while it looks as if we are in Brittany, we are not! Today, we bottle more of the wine! Here follows a shortened edition where I leave you to do the work (via your stories. Read on...)banc (bahnk) noun, masculine : benchDo you--or does the person sitting next to you...know the word for banc in another language? Thanks for sharing the translation, here.Hear my daughter, Jackie, pronounce today's word and this example: "Banc. Assieds-toi sur ce banc."Download banc.mp3 . Download banc.wavL'amour est une botte de radis achetée à Tarascon et croquée sur un banc avec du gros sel. Love is...

The Plant Whisperer. Read on in today's story.amour-en-cage (uh-moor-ahn-kazh) noun, masculine : ornamental plant*, of American origin[literal translation: "love in a cage"]*a.k.a.: physalis or "cape gooseberry Chinese Lantern"Listen to today's word: amour-en-cage: Download amour-en-cage.wav. Download amour-en-cage.mp3~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A Note About Email :Due to harvest season and a flurry of activity around here, we are unable to respond to email at this time. Please continue to write or comment. Each and every letter brings a great sourire! Thank you. I told you about the Ban des Vendanges: that official proclamation issued by a modern day "lord" inciting the town to "Let the harvest begin!" But, you may ask, just who, exactly, determines the grape's ripeness? Whose job is it to say whether or not a grape is ripe-ready for picking?This year that honor went to none other than Monsieur Farjon, one of the oldest winegrowers in our town, according to our local paper....

...antique coffee grinder, lampshade, cross, tennis ball, ruler, picture frame, chain thingy... hmmm... what to choose for today's word? Sometimes the answer is staring you right in the face, in big, bold BLUE:pichet (pee-shay) noun, masculine : pitcher, jug(From old French "pichier")un pichet de vin = a carafe of winAudio File:Listen to today's word and expression: Download pichet.wav . Download pichet.mp3Getting To Know Each OtherThough French Word-A-Day began in October of 2002, comments weren't "enabled" until last month. Since, I have been kicking myself in the side for not enabling sooner! In addition to the translations that are coming in from all four corners of the world, it is a pleasure to read your stories, via the comments box, and to share them, finally, with other readers.Because I find it difficult (daunting?) to comment on other people's blogs (my inner critique tells me: You never have anything cool or witty...

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