Hanging Curtains and Other Decorating Tips From the Crankee Yankee

The Crankee Yankee has been my best friend and husband for 13 years. We have known each other for half our lives, have been married to other people, were single for a good while, then reconnected our friendship, and later fell in love. I think he is the finest man I’ve ever known, and my respect and admiration of him is deep and wide. He can make me laugh my head off, aggravate the pee out of me, and comfort and support me as no other.

That said, he has some pretty weird ideas about home decorating. For example, the other morning one of the little plastic rings on the canvas shades in the living room broke. He said, ‘don’t worry about it; I’ll fix it.’ Words of comfort!

When I took a look at it later on, I found that he had rehung the shade so that the good side faced out and the inside (where all the rings and strings are) faced in. For about the 30th time I explained to him that, since we live on the inside of the house, we get to see the good side of the curtains, not the people passing by outside. (After all, they have their own curtains to look at!) Honestly, I don’t know where he gets these ideas. After I turned the shade around, I started thinking of other Crankee Yankee views on decor.

The garden, for example: he feels it’s fine to have a garden gnome (whom we named “Uncle Winkelbaum,” by the way) and two plastic pink flamingos (Lucy and Desi) in it. So far, he has promised not to get a set of whirly-gigs or wooden cut-outs of be-bloomered grannies bending over or plaster climbing kittens. But we do have solar lights set on each corner of each raised bed, which conveniently act as landing lights for the night-time critters to browse the aisles of our garden like the Farmers Market.

He sees nothing wrong with having the back porch he made filled to the brim with everything but the beautiful patio set his daughter bought us one Fathers’ Day, the lamps, glass table and antique white wicker rocker. He calls it his *workshop.

Since our lifestyle is pretty casual, I too have my spaces that could be better organized. My work laptop and our home computer are boxed in with stacks of files I still haven’t put away, and the three shelves above the computer that, after eight years, still need organizing (and probably fumigating by this time). I have tried to find a cleaning person to give the place a monthly deep clean but so far haven’t found anyone up to tackling the job. At this point I can hear my mom snorting, ‘..and you wonder WHY?!’

Ah, well–in our case I can honestly say that there is plenty of love, help, cooperation, joy and laughter in our house. as long as you can look past the stacks of stuff, the flamingos, work areas and general disarray, we’re good.

But at least I know how the curtains should be hung!

*FYI, he also has “workshops” in the cellar, in the back yard, upstairs where he is redoing the space into a spare bedroom, storage area and craft room, and out in the driveway and in the front yard beside the gardens.


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