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27 September 2007


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I had never thought about a paintbrush as good company before ... !!!

Have you ever told any of your hosts about your re-decorating "projects" ? could have been interesting...

By any chance would you have initiated that tv program ... in which people can have a room re-decorated... in GB, people can have their kitchen done that way... whereas in France, children can get the bedroom of their dreams....???????

Corey, I had to laugh at your post because I could totally relate to doing that at times too! Sometimes we have had to go to dinner with business associates of my husband's, and my mind is left to wonder about their homes while they chatter about engineering and the like. Too much for this little black duck! lol Salute Corey!

As decoration and antiques are my obsession . I almost do he same than you even if I understand what poeple are saying , my spirit is just away with the curtains , paintings , curiosités ...

Very creative. l think you are so courageous moving to France without all the french. lm guessing you speak it fluently now? l would love to learn French and l have been contemplating spending sometime there on the south-coast. Thanks for the inspiration.

Desperately seeking American humble pie for dinner out ... and more if affinities...

Not easy to take part in a dinner when you cannot understand anything. But you had a nice idea to avoid wasting time.

Fabulous my darling friend as always.
I love you
I love your tours of France and your sharing of your soul

You are gorgeous!

I'd like to sit at that table with the candle and dream . . .

Inspiring! I have just arrived in Germany and am feeling so similar. I can muddle my way through a few phrases...and thankfully order a cup of coffee...but that's about all. My mind wanders while people talk amongst themselves...

Thanks for this post :o)

You change the rooms, I change the people...when in similar circumstances, I create whole lives for the people around me, never knowing how close to the truth I come.

Oh Corey, I can remember how much my head hurt at the end of the evening filled with "oui, mais non, c'est vrai", and a handful of questions words - not that I could understand the answers.

I'd love to take you on one of my "one-hour consultations". They are fun and I get paid $125.00 but I don't get a fabulous french dinner. Ellen

I can just imagine the rooms that you remodeled! You are very, very brave to not only go to a land where you don't speak the language, but to also go to dinner parties!

I do stuff like that even when I DO understand the language, LOL.

Ha, this is hilarious! I do this all the time, and I know perfectly well what people are saying!

Yup, Know the feeling. I'm kind of embarrassed to say, but I do this in church when I'm board.
I get focused on creative matters.

What a wonderful idea!

I'm such a "people watcher" I spend most of my time watching the different expressions on everyone's face...trying to figure out what they are thinking!

Always a decorator! Thats me. Can't clear the head of these images...colors and curtains. Sweet!

I absolutely love the title of this post, Corey.

I redecorate other people's houses in my mind, too. Funny, since I've never finished decorating ours. But hey, the shoemaker's children go barefoot, right?

What a great and creative way to amuse one self.
When I am in Denmark with my Son's Family and Friends, I find my mind wandering from the decor...how everyone is dressed and trying to understand the language...I know just enough Danish to misunderstand a lot...and noticing facial expressions...each language I noticed has it's special facial expressions that go with the rythm of the language.

You are a clever woman with a wonderful attitude!

How long before you understood French?

Been there, done that. Not as graciously as you, I am sad to admit. Instead of distracting myself with some sort of constructive activity (like decorating) I let myself feel the full brunt of being completely and absoluately ignored (my fault). My French dinner companiions took full advantage of my weakened position and taught me some completely fictional customs they insisted I needed for the next dinner party. Foolishly I followed through with these actions and lets just say I have many stories. It was all actually quite funny. Thanks for reminding me about all of this. Is was pretty funny.

How brave you were to not only move to a foreign country, but to move without even speaking the language!
I do think, though, that "emersion" is the only way I could learn another language. I am hopeless, I'm afraid.

hello corey
cela fait un moment que je n'étais pas venue visiter votre blog ! j'y reviens aujourd'hui avec beaucoup de plaisir...
j'aime votre façon de parler de l'art de vivre à la française !
A bientôt

Reminds me of when I was in college, I went to stay with an French exchange student we had hosted. I was only in France a week, but I learned that my high school and 1 year of college French were very inadequate for following and carrying on a conversation. They spoke so fast that I could only pick out words here and there. So I understand totally why you were redecorating rooms. Love the table and chair photo!

Aha- the truth is out. Will you come to my home? I will speak Pig Latin and you can design!Although I may only serve dessert,so you better work fast!!

Funny, I did the same thing whenever I was somewhere and feeling bored. I still do, sometimes!

I just examine the silverware (maker, pattern, type of metal). You can come redecorate here any time!

Corey, you are amazing. I cannot imagine being plopped down in a country, only knowing a handful of words. Gives me the willies just thinking about it. Boy oh boy, you are an adventurous soul to take that on and a buoyant and creative one to find a way to turn it around in good humor.

I'm ashamed. I can't spend that much time in dinner parties... even if I speak the same language.

You must have such a great, open heart. And tons of patience.

Recently my DH started to organize a big dinner party at our house and I panicked and asked him to "postpone" it... we blamed it on the new puppy. I'm terrible. Oh -- but P.S. Thanks for posting about the proper silverware settings because i'll use it if I ever DO have a dinner party.

What a great idea, Corey! My husband has cousins in N. Italy - he speaks Italian, I do not. The last time we went, the youngest cousin was very puzzled by this strange American woman, who appeared to be a deaf mute. I never thought to "redecorate" while I was there!

Good morning Corey. What a delightful way to wend the time away and the buzz of conversation flows around you and start the journey to where you are now.

Of course you had the fore sight to redecorate!!!
You are a very inventive/inspiring girl.
Take care

must say you had quiet an inspirational idea during these dinners. i used to talk to myself being the only person to talk to. nobody payed attention anyway!

You really have a natural talent for sophisticated interior design, what a great way to spend time while smiling and nodding :)

That's an interesting story -- I've only been in the situation temporarily, never longterm.
How long did it take before you could: 1.) understand others 2.) be able to talk without a lot of stumbling...?

I have a confession to make. I do this at someone's home and I don't have an excuse like not being able to understand the conversation. It is a terrible habit of mine and I am trying to kick it.

I'm often at my husband's relatives house where my Spanish is not as fluent as theirs.....I just focus on the babies. Somebody always has one. :-D

What a crack up! I do the same thing with everyone speaking English if the topics are boring.

I think that was a great way to amuse yourself during those times.
Very creative.

speaking the universal language of love always works for me...and you can borrow my ball gown whenever you need it for one of those fancy French events...blessings, rebecca

Sometimes I do that also, especially when we're invited in Malaysia to some Chinese, or local people home, I don't always understand the conversation.(I mean they don't always speak English, sometimes chinese or malais language)and their decoration style is not always my idea of a sweet home.

what a great idea, frequently we are invited to some stuffy dinner party..I'll have to try this, if anything, to just not look so bored.

What a wonderful idea! I often get lost in my imagination, but seldom with such lovely, practical results...

OH OOH! I have been watching Top Chef ...so i knew immediately what amuse-gueule was! yay! ..Redecorating my mind in French ! ha! But..I digres.. I think your idee of redecorating is a great way to "get around"! !

I never, ever tire of how your mind works... amazing... thanks for coming by and having a twirl with me!!! Those roses were stunning!!!! You did remember to get back on your horse???? XO

You are so amazing Corey! Like a fairy book! So full of beautiful and fun stories. Thank you for being there. It is a pleasure to come and visit.

A big hug

I really got a kick out of you redecorating the rooms. I have done that so many times since we arrived in Morocco and I have no CLUE what is being said around me. Learning a language is so challenging but I keep telling myself "one baby step at a time." It's such an encouragement to hear your stories!

And to think if the hosts had made the effort of speaking your language, they could have had their home remodeled - and with exquisite taste - and for free! Well, maybe not for free. A glass of wine and a good conversation would have been a suitable fee.

Even if she wasn't listening closely, hearing French all the time and hearing how it is really used helps get where you need to be: using the language. It is always polite to ask people to repeat or to slow down.

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