La Cressonnière: Neighbors

February 23, 2011

This is a photo looking out our back window. Free range chickens! Roosters too. During breakfast, we hear the roosters making their morning hellos. Which I find very charming.

free range chickens france

Our next door neighbor runs a Petite Farm. She brought us some fresh eggs the other day and they were delicious. I’m not sure if my neighbor sells her eggs, but I hope so. I’d love to buy eggs from right next door. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

She raises cows too, but I think they might be for beef, not milk. I’ll have to ask. The cows are pretty and white. At least two of the calves are still nursing.

white cows in france white calf nursing cow

Baby June likes to stand at the window and watch the animals. We are working on our bawk bawks and our moo moos. I need to find out what French cows and chickens say. Do you know?

baby at window

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aidan February 23, 2011 at 1:57 am
my favorite is the rooster…cocoreeeeeco!
your school aged children will soon be sharing all of this information with you….it’s so fun.



2 Design Mom February 23, 2011 at 2:38 am

What a great link. Thanks, Aidan! The rooster mention reminds me of my favorite David Sedaris essay.


3 Angela February 23, 2011 at 7:56 am

Ha! We listen to a recording of David reading that essay every Christmas. Love it.


4 Laurent February 23, 2011 at 2:00 am

The cow says “meuh meuh” (la vache meugle “meuh, meuh”).
The chicken says “cot cot” (la poule caquette “cot cot).



5 Design Mom February 23, 2011 at 2:39 am

So helpful, Laurent. Thank you!


6 Babs February 23, 2011 at 8:33 am

see, and I would have gone with “le moo”….

Sorry, in a silly mood today. These pictures are wonderful. I am envious of you and your family while simultaneously being thrilled you get to experience this!

So much fun!


7 Katherine in Paris February 23, 2011 at 2:52 am

My kids would love to live next to a farm. My daughter is 18 months old and very into farm animals at the moment. Next week-end we are taking the kids to the Salon d’Agriculture at the Porte de Versailles, basically a show case of prize winning French farm animals and fare. For you and your little ones, I recommend this book, “Le livre des Bruits” (The books of Sounds) by Soledad Bravi. I learned many French animal noises and more from this book along with my children. For instance: the duck goes “coin, coin” not quak, chickens go “côt, côt”, sirens go “pinponpinpon”, shhh is “chût” and we say “aïe ouille” not ouch. The drawing are adorable as well.


8 Rachael February 23, 2011 at 3:18 am

another great link is


9 TN February 23, 2011 at 3:19 am

The chicken here is sooooooo tender too! Fresh eggs are the best ;-) you know you don’t have to refrigerate them? It’s just an American thing that we do…but not needed. It does keep longer in the Fridge but we go thru eggs here fast (and I’m sure with a family as large as your you do too!).


10 Denise Laborde February 23, 2011 at 3:20 am

Looks like other commenters already answered the animal sounds question.

Something my kids like to eat when we get very fresh eggs are “ouef à la coque” or soft boiled eggs with “mouillettes.” It is a very easy meal. Sometimes we have this for dinner on Sundays. (


11 Ashlea Walter February 23, 2011 at 4:52 am

Do I spy a haze of spring buds on those trees in the background? Lovely!


12 Stephanie February 23, 2011 at 5:07 am

A book your children might like, in very easy French, is called ‘Poulette Crevette’, about a chick who doesn’t want to say cot cot like the others!
I’m so pleased to have found your blog, being another expat (Irish) in France. Wishing you many happy adventures!


13 Mikki February 23, 2011 at 5:13 am

yep. as someone already answered. ‘meuh’ and ‘cocorico’ :) in Germany, cockerels make a ‘kikiriki’ sound. x


14 Lori February 23, 2011 at 5:32 am

Love, love, love all of your France updates. So picturesque!

As an aside, love your new timezone too…I always wake up to new posts! :)


15 ChantaleP February 23, 2011 at 5:46 am

So lucky! Will your kids get a tour of la petite ferme soon? That’s always fun for kids..


16 Sara February 23, 2011 at 6:03 am

Not sure about the other animals, but I distinctly remember my High School French book saying a fish says “gloo gloo.”

Consequently, all my childrend have learned to be French fish! : )


17 Dizzy Daisy February 23, 2011 at 6:07 am

I am enjoying you posts from France so much!


18 isabel February 23, 2011 at 6:56 am

i’m sure they say : “non, pitié, ne me mangez pas…”
Enjoy !!!


19 alyson boehr February 23, 2011 at 7:09 am

I wonder, is the milk usually consumed cold or room temp? I have friends from Romania who had a hard time getting used to refrigerated milk…Farm fresh anything is fabulous…I am a sucker for garden veggies and fruit (they remind me of my gramma)


20 raleigh-elizabeth February 23, 2011 at 7:11 am

i grew up with a french (from frahhnce) stepmother, and she taught all of us french from babyhood and we were lucky enough to have a bilingual school, too. the animal sounds were my favorite. crows say croa and ducks go coin-coin. horses go hiiii (much more horse-like, right?) birds go pit-pit, cats go miaou, chickens go piou-piou, and cows go meuh! you should get a copy of ‘cher zoo’ if you haven’t, and to reinforce the french, my absolute favorite books to read were the shoe books in french (ballet shoes, dancing shoes, etc). my brothers preferred tin tin and babar, but tintin is kind of un-pc these days. there’s a beautiful version of i took the moon for a walk in french, and all the courte echelle books for the older kids. also easy fun things, like kids’ cookbooks in french for baking treats. if you haven’t seen avez vous de ja vu on youtube, you should watch it too… the giraffe avec un colier is truly priceless.


21 monica cano February 23, 2011 at 7:25 am

hi gabby.
very off topic….but was wondering what type of camera you use?


22 M. Peterson February 23, 2011 at 7:45 am

I have to admit, though I knew what you meant when asking what French animals say, a part of me wanted to respond, “the same as American animals!”


23 Kelly February 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm

When I moved to France 10 years ago, I brought my two American cats. People still make jokes about them miaowing in American accents… ;)


24 juliagblair February 23, 2011 at 8:16 am

Love waking up to the call of roosters—-brings back precious memories!
Even more lovely is seeing the cows and chickens from the back view of
your new home in France! Makes me want to seize the day!


25 Jen February 23, 2011 at 8:43 am

I love living vicariously through your blog and Jordan’s. Oh to be in France… I always thought I’d choose Paris over the countryside. Now I’m not so sure. I have a two year old and he would be over the moon to see farm animals every day. Thanks for your updates!


26 Tanya February 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

Probably the same as American animals but with a very sophisticated French accent


27 Sandra Gonzales February 23, 2011 at 9:00 am

I love that you’re the type of person to appreciate the different nuances of different regions/cultures. Not too long ago you were in NYC, now the countryside. Not too many people know how to take in the glory called life.


28 grace February 23, 2011 at 9:18 am

So very fun! Looks like my home a bit!


29 FM February 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

What a beautiful view! I am enjoying your posts from France and all of the pics!


30 stacy February 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

Oh, how I would love to have some backyard chickens! But between living on the open space in Colorado (hello, coyotes!) and our 80lb lab, I don’t think that is in our near future. Thanks for giving me one more way to live vicariously through you and your family! :)


31 Mary February 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hens say cot cot cot and cows say meuh, meuh!
Reminds me an evening when I was an exchange student way back then in California, and all the exchange students from all over the world started doing the noises from animals and everyday gestures to say hello, or I don’t care and things like that. On of the funniest evening of my life!!


32 Portia February 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

I’m not sure where I found it, but when I was working with kindergarten children I found a site that had native speakers saying the sounds animals made in different languages. I don’t know if French was in there, or if it still exists. I just thought I would mention it. I’ve always been fascinated with the sounds we use in different cultures.


33 AnEmily February 23, 2011 at 10:36 am

What?! Baby June is standing? Tell her to stop growing so fast-you were JUST pregnant!: )


34 Mom in Mendon February 23, 2011 at 10:56 am

Love this! xoxo


35 Rachel February 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

So funny that all countries have their own sounds for farm animals. The Dutch say that:
Cows go “Boo” instead of “Moo”
Dogs go “Waf” instead of “Woof”
I think it’s always a kick to find out the differences.
Another perk to living in the French countryside – fresh eggs!


36 Perpetually Engaged February 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

Even animal noises sound better in French! ;)


37 Shari February 23, 2011 at 11:40 am

Thank you so much for allowing us to tag along on this fabulous adventure!

I love the picture of that cute little baby hand at the window. My kids always ask me why I took so many pictures of their hands and feet when they were little…I just love those tiny fingers and toes.

All the best!


38 Bri (like the cheese) February 23, 2011 at 11:44 am

This post really makes me miss my chickens! I loved having backyard eggs for breakfast nearly every day. And the rooster’s crow was charming…most mornings. :) A former coworker took the birds for us when we had to move, so now she gets to enjoy Samwise & Eloise (Sam & Ella, for short!)


39 Misty February 23, 2011 at 11:53 am

I am so loving the posts about the market, the pain au chocolat (my favorite pastry) and the fresh eggs from right next door. The cows are beautiful but the BEST is the picture of baby June’s hand. How can words describe the emotions a mother feels when she sees that pudgy little hand with dimpled knuckles? Even though a picture can’t do it justice, your’s comes pretty close! My mother just captured my son’s hand holding on to his uncle’s dog tags and a cross. You can see it in this post if you’d like.
What a precious memory!


40 Nicole February 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

oh oh love!! What could be better than looking out your back window at little french chickens and cows! Thanks for letting me be a part of this with you. :)


41 Ann February 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

it’s funny how animals say different things in different countries. i always liked that spanish chickens go ‘pio pio’. it kinda’ reminds me of an episode of ‘arrested development’ which each family member has a different chicken sound and movement to tease michael about being a chicken. it is hilarious!


42 Alea February 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

How is it that animals make a different noise in different places? I honestly thought you were joking when you asked what noises they make in french. Aren’t they just biologically made to make a certain noise? Are the differences just our interpretation of their noise, or do they actually sound different?

You should be able to tell pretty easy if they’re milk cows or not. Milk cows have HUGE udders and when it gets close to milking time (usually twice a day) anyone who has ever nursed a baby feels exceeding sorry for them. They look miserable. From the bit of the mother I can see in the pic, I’d say beef cows. And the calf standing in the one picture is a steer (or bull if he’s not fixed, but they usually are at least in the states) you can tell by the “fuzzy belly button.”


43 Amanda February 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

That wee hand, those dimples winking back. I mist up thinking about the gift you and Ben Blair are giving each of your children by having the combination of daring, ambition and organization to make this all happen!


44 Damaris @Kitchen Corners February 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

We should come over for a play date. Baby Maria is obsessed with animals.


45 Kalani February 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Until I had children I never knew that animals make different sounds in different languages! It is such fun to think about!!


46 Suzanne from pretty*swell February 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Love this! My toddler would be absolutely delighted to live near farm animals. What a treat for sweet June. And you!


47 Autumn February 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm

So fun and romantic! More!


48 Amy February 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Um…I’m just going to live vacriously through you for the next year, okay?


49 Abby February 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm

hi! i hope you are receiving plenty of care packages from the U.S. – is it weird i think you’re homesick? that’s weird/sad to just ASSUME. if i were in a beautiful country like France with all it’s fresh food and general amazingness i’d miss the Chicago skyline (can you tell where i’m from?) and fried chicken and pizza – not gonna lie.

anywho… hope you’re doing well. i’m loving this adventure of yours!


50 Miss Stovetop February 24, 2011 at 12:05 am

Aww, Baby June can stand now. How time flies!


51 Béa February 24, 2011 at 1:56 am

…and even, when feeling fancy, the rooster/cock (coq) will go : Cocorico!!!
(world often referred to when mocking our (somewhat overdeveloped?) ego)


52 Jenna {Jenna Sais Quois} February 24, 2011 at 6:54 am

I just love that every bit of your life in France (so far) has been exactly what I would wistfully imagine life in France to be like. Beautiful country home, perusing the French market, eating croissants fresh from the bakery, and a neighbor that brought over delicious farm fresh eggs…I am continuing to love your France posts more and more every day!


53 Heidi February 24, 2011 at 8:26 am



54 Sarah Jane February 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm

That looks so peaceful! I asked that question before about animals in “other languages” and have been laughed at! But it’s true that there are some differences!


55 kelly February 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

these photos are stunning. What a treat to live next to a farm, I’d say that’s even better than having your own;) I see great opportunities for children to learn some good old fashioned hard work! How fun!


56 Emme February 26, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I am so in love with your life in France. It is so idyllic, especially compared to my stuffy corporate job in Los Angeles.


57 Gwen March 1, 2011 at 12:16 am

I’m just discovering your blog. I cannot believe you found this amazing farmhouse in Normandie!
Bravo for having moved with your family.
You are very brave and very free. I’ve been thinking about how to move to Europe but I have not yet found a way.
Your story is inspiring!
I’ll keep reading your blog.


58 Kimberly Stiner March 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

You have become my treat read. I can get happy with hearing about your wonderful life and the love and excitement and wonder that you share with your family and with us. Thank you so very much. Also, thank you for the pictures. They are all little pieces of art themselves. So beautiful to look at. I love your life story!


59 Magdalena's Madrid June 17, 2011 at 7:04 am

Absolutely idyllic!


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