How To Declutter Food And Composting…. UPDATE….2nd Update…Worst Idea Ever!


composting foodHow to declutter food, PROPERLY.

Farming. It’s in my DNA. The problem is, I don’t live on a farm so I pretend and that is what started the problem.

Who out there doesn’t hate throwing out food? Such a shame and what a waste is what comes to mind when I have to toss food that is no longer edible. If I keep it and it decomposes then it becomes good fertilizer for my garden.

With that in mind I started to throw food down the little hill in my backyard. Choosing an area away from the house was the smart thing to do because I knew it would attract lots of flies. I started to notice more and more squirrels around the back along with more flies and a strong smell of rot and ferment.

Then one night the dogs started to go wild. Barking was sure to wake up the neighbors so we quickly ran out there to grab them. They had cornered a “pig possum”. That is the only way to describe this creature. It wasn’t a normal possum but something out of a horror movie. We had never seen anything like it before. That thing, was after all that rotting food in my compost pile.

Clearly the way I was composting for my area was incorrect. That is when I purchased a composter. The picture on back of the instructions showed nice dark dirt coming out the bottom. So far that hasn’t happened. composting box

It has a long way to go before the thing is full but for now it does feel nice to be able to through out old food with the exceptions of meat, fat, and dairy. I’ll do an update in a few months and let you know how it worked out.


The whole family got involved but we never had that rich brown dirt as a result of our effort.


We had more squirrels and raccoons and finally the decision was made to end our composting. Some was buried into ground and some went into the trash.

This container is now being used in the chicken area. I’ll be back soon to let you know how it works for my girls.


Composting was a disaster for me! Worst idea ever. All it really did was feed the rats and those rats told all of the other rats and we had a serious problem.

It didn’t work out for the chickens. They were not interested in the plastic box.

Although the idea is terrific, I have yet to meet someone who was truly successful and didn’t attract rats and flies and raccoons.

I won’t do this again.

As far as decluttering food….throw it out and let the trash company do their job.

What To Do With Homemade Binaculars?

My grandson made these and we did actually play with them for a couple of days. Think of all of the homemade gifts you will receive during your lifetime from kids and grandkids. Keeping everything would be a recipe for insanity. There is no shame in using things for a season or for a couple of days and then trashing or recycling.

Homemade Binaculars

What To Do With Umbrellas

umbrellasIn Southern California we occasionally have STORM WATCH. This typically means there are a few clouds in the distance and we  hope against all odds that it might rain. We get out the umbrellas and yet again are disappointed with a little sprinkle.

Don’t get me wrong. It does actually rain here but just not a lot. The truth is, when we don’t have sun for one day, many of us panic.

These things were an absolute necessity when I lived in England.

But what do you do with them if they are broken? It wasn’t uncommon for kids to use as swords or for a big wind to come along and turn one inside out.

Getting poked in the eye by one of the metal sticks that holds it together, is not fun. The safe thing to do – get rid of broken umbrellas.

Using for shade is another use but I rarely see that and I live where it’s sunny most of the time.

If you are creative you could pull it apart and use the metal sticks in the garden or……you could simply recycle.

Apart from shelter from rain, using to shelter you or the food on your picnic table from the sun, there isn’t much more we can do with umbrellas.

Do you use it?

TIP – Keep what you use and get rid of what you don’t use. That includes umbrellas.



What To Do With Vases

vasesCollecting vases is what many of us do without even trying. Most flower deliveries includes the vase and over the years the vase makers have gotten quite creative.

I don’t remember ever buying a vase but I have several that haven’t been used in years. With all of the flowers in my garden it isn’t uncommon for me to have fresh flowers displayed inside and out.

However, I don’t use most of them so it was time to simplify.


Make it a point to give flowers this year in a vase. Whether store bought or cut from your garden, they are pretty to receive.



Trash if they are broken and be careful if disposing sharp glass edges.

If you are a crafty person, there is no end to what you can do with extra vases around the house.

Making center pieces, coin jars, lamps, painting and decorating plain vases and creating a one of a kind masterpiece, candy jars, filling them with anything and everything for an unusual gift.

For the brave…..If you are ready to declutter your vases then here is a good step by step process.

Gather all of the vases in your house and put on kitchen table.

Take all of the vases that you haven’t used in a year, wrap them safely and put in donate box.

Take the donate box to goodwill or 2nd hand shop.

How simple is that?

Time to add some water and fresh flowers to the vase I actually use and enjoy. vase with flowers

What To Do With Matching Flower Pots

blue matching flower potsThese pots have been used in the last year and I like them. So why am I getting rid of them?


Like so many of you out there I’ve discovered that living with less is nice.

Less to juggle and less to clean makes for a more simple life style.

They were carefully wrapped and put in the donate bag this morning, followed with a quick detour to the goodwill drop off.

Simplifying means more time and energy.

Discovering Minimalism

Living with less.

This may or may not be for you. I’m not here to twist your arm but to propose an alternative to living with lots of stuff.

Alternative – Live with less

Charity – Giving is good

Benefits – Peace of mind and freedom








What To Do With Pet Stuff

pet iglooWe love our pets. My friend Betsy, loves loves looooooves hers. This is why she has spend over a kabillion dollars buying everything possible to make life good for her animals. She isn’t the only one spending that kind of money on pets.

The financial reporting of what we really spend is a little shocking. Vet visits, grooming, treats, and all of the leashes one has to buy to eventually find the perfect leash, adds up.

But what do you do when you have pet stuff that you don’t use anymore?

So here we go again. Simplify your pet stuff.

Do they use it?

Do they need it?

Do they enjoy it?

If you bought pet shampoo 5 years ago that you are not using anymore; then get rid of it.

Broken leashes can be thrown away.

Fancy nail clippers that cut your pet the first time you used; get rid of them.

Pet clothes, costumes, diapers, wigs and hats that are not being used; get rid of them.

Pet blankets and beds that are soiled, being used by ticks and in the backyard; get rid of them.

Our pets don’t need, want or even enjoy many of the things we buy. They want our attention and in return they make life good. For some, they are life savers.

Be good to your animals and they will be good to you.


What To Do With Gloves

GlovesMy gardening gloves are a necessity! From the cheap to the very expensive, they can save me from the pain of cuts and thorns.

Gloves can also protect our hands from weather, chemicals, paint and germs. They are used in a variety of jobs from medical to construction, sports and more.

But what do you do when your missing half the pair or when they have massive holes on the fingers?

You probably know the answer by now. Yes, get rid of them.

Taking care of gloves is the smart thing to do. Leaving them outside for days at a time only benefits the little spider trying to find a nice warm home… OUCH!

For the clever and crafty – create stuffed animals, puppets, dolls, bookmarks, ornaments, stuffed jewelry holder and more.

For the not so clever nor crafty then get rid of what you haven’t used in a year.

Simplify, then organize your glove collection today!






What To Do With Old Flags

American flagGetting rid of an American flag almost feels illegal. They represent freedom and also a severe reminder of the price paid by so many families who had loved ones that were killed in action like my mom’s uncle.

The sight of a flag at the right moment can tug at our heart, especially if you hear music in the background.

Flags are not unique just to those of us living in North America but all over the world. Flags are symbols of patriotism and give a sense of belonging to a group.

But what do you do when you have old flags that are not being used?

An internet search will bring up several articles on Flag Etiquette.

Below are 2 recommendations for disposal;

When the flag is in bad condition it needs replacing. Buy at a flag store and they will take your old flag.

Destroying a flag by burning in a dignified way is recommended. Warning! We don’t want to start fires! Check with local organizations that have burning ceremonies.

When it comes to the smaller ones, like you see above, most of us throw out or recycle. When in doubt, recycle.

Happy Forth of July!






What To Do With Fake Plastic Flowers

white plastic flowersPut them in garage sale. Yeah, that will work. Then what do you do if no one wants to buy them? Even worse, what if no one will even take them for free?

Yes, this is exactly what happened.  The neighbor had a garage sale. They made a little bit of money. Hardly worth the trouble but it does make us feel better to sell and get back a little bit of the money that we foolishly spent.

Things were free at the end of the day and even then they were still left on the driveway.

They were pretty but fake flowers aren’t as popular as they once were in decorating our houses. One alternative is to pull out the individual flowers and carefully place in your garden.

I once had a Gardner compliment my flowers and I didn’t have to heart to tell him they were all fake. It would have been a little embarrassing but worse for him, who was an expert in flowers.

If you are not enjoying your fake flowers as you once did, then maybe it is time to get rid of them. After all, they do seem to attract the dust. Who out there wants to spend time dusting these?

It’s your decisions. Full disclosure….. I still have a few, that includes a few in the garden. They don’t last long out there and soon a few of those will end up in the trash. red fake flowers