“If bad decorating was a hanging offense, there’d be bodies hanging from every tree!”

Today is beautiful, sunny and bright. A few white whispy clouds give the blue sky a bit of character. A strong breeze is shaking branches and whirling bird feeders. It makes the day feel a little bit cooler than it is. I’m glad to see the sun.

I have never been one for domesticity. My house is always kept clean, but I don’t always make my bed. I never learned to crochet or knit, and I’m sorry for that, but I can do crewel and needlepoint but haven’t for a long while. Sewing a button is about the best I can do. In most situations, tape or a stapler work just fine. I do love to cook, and I sit and look at recipes imagining menus and how the foods fit together, and I’m good at it. I am a utilitarian dresser with comfort being the over-riding factor. What goes best with what is way out of my fashion zone. My house is a hodgepodge of styles and I think I did a good job of putting everything together. The walls are bright with color. There’s red, pink, lilac, blue and yellow. This room is the only one untouched. It’s too filled with so many collections like books, DVD’s, hats and so much more which makes moving everything to paint the room an almost endless task so I live with the drab white wall. I think my house is cosy, and I love dressing to match it and leisurely taking in the day.

My house in Ghana had four rooms inside: two bedrooms, a living room and the eating area where the fridge and kitchen table were. All the furniture came with the house. In the living room I decorated with posters from home. The bookcase was the same sort we all had in college: bricks and lengths of wood. I made a bed spread which meant buying enough cloth to cover the bed. I did get fancy and make matching curtains. I measured the wall of windows, cut the cloth the right length then cut string a bit longer than the cloth and finally sewed a hem so it covered the string. I tied the curtain from one side of the windows to the other. From the outside it looked better than from the inside. My lightbulbs hung down from the ceiling and weren’t all that attractive so I made a lampshade from a Bolga basket for the living room. You can now buy Bolga baskets from catalogs, and they are pretty expensive. I probably paid a cedi (like a dollar) or less for mine so cutting it for a shade wasn’t a big deal. I’d probably do it again if I lived in Bolga now as the baskets there are still cheap, but I’d give the curtain job to a seamstress or I’d bring my stapler.

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4 Comments on ““If bad decorating was a hanging offense, there’d be bodies hanging from every tree!””

  1. Zoey & Me Says:

    A few years ago a Zimbabwe shop opened at the Mall locally here and had beautiful art pieces and quilts and baskets and my daughter the Peace Corps volunteer who spent two years there was absolutely shocked. She predicted the store would not last. The prices were at least 800 percent markup from what you could buy them for in Harrare. She picked out one basket that was similar to what she had at her hut and said she paid one dollar US. It was priced in this store at $30. A carving was asking $150. Hand made she said you could buy it there for $10. The store had a short life. About the only experience worth the time was that is brought back memories for my daughter. We left without buying anything.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      I feel the same way when I see the cost of the Bolga baskets. In the market, they are 3 or 4 cedis while here you pay $30.00 or more. I bought so many in Ghana I had to buy a sports bag to bring them home. They got crushed, but that’s okay. They are easy to reshape using spritzed water to make them more pliable.

      I used to love shopping in the marker.

  2. Bob Says:

    I am reminded of the George Carlin comedy bit about ‘a place for your stuff’. That’s what your house really is other than providing basic shelter. The stuff in most of our houses really defines our lives. When we reach the end of our days non of our stuff can be taken with along.

    My house has no draperies or curtains because my wife is allergic to dust and drapes are notorious dust collectors. We don’t camp for the same reason and I consider Motel 6 roughing it.

    In Texas it would be difficult to give up central air conditioning in the heat of summer. My college roommate’s father used to say that he would give up every modern convince except for the indoor privy. Since I have never used an outdoor one, I can only guess how miserable it must be to get up in the middle of the night, especially in the winter, and have to empty oneself in the back yard. I would agree but I would also add the internet.

    The day started cloudy and humid. It ended sunny warm, in the 80s and humid.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      It’s been fun making the decorations mone, giving the house a bit of me. Many of the stuff comes from my travels so each is a memory.

      I have curtains in the living room, the bathrooms and the guest bedroom. The rest are plain windows.

      For one who has used an outdoor privy, it is definitely tough in the middle of the night. The good thing is you get great aim the more you use it.

      It stayed in the 40’s all day today.


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