Enjoying Fall Cleanup 2016

When it comes to fall clean up many know the work involved. Back breaking work is what many will describe it. There is garden clean up involving pulling out the annual flowers and cutting back the perennials. All of this needs to be carried somewhere.

What if there was a ‘System’ that helps you get the job done faster?

But First

Using the correct tools makes the ‘Preparation To Dismantel’ easier! The following are a list of tools I use. This is my 6th year gardening. Each year I bought tools I could afford while shopping for the next tool using Amazon to compare tools.

Tools To Help You

The following is a list of tools I use in my end of season garden cleanup. I will be adding tools as I get to the next step. I am writing this post in real time.



Poly Garden Dump Cart

The Poly Garden Dump Cart is my newest tool and let me tell you, we are going to be great friends for years to come! It is making this season’s garden clean up a breeze! The following are photos of my garden clean up.

The Poly Garden Dump Cart And I Became Instant Friends
The Poly Garden Dump Cart And I Became Instant Friends

With the use of my Gloves and Pruner I was well on my way to ‘End Of Season Garden Clean Up 2016’. In hardly any time at all working ’15 Minutes At A Time’ clean up was taking shape!

Was able to get this area cleaned up in 2 - 15 minute sessions.
Was able to get this area cleaned up in 2 – 15 minute sessions.

Pulling My Wagon Cart

I was able to get lots of foliage in my new Poly Garden Dump Cart. I headed to the back of my property to begin the pile that will decompose through the winter.

My Garden Waste Pile.

Dumping Was A Breeze

What makes dumping a breeze with this cart is the mechanics of it. It turns easily even in tight areas. Simply pull the lever in the front and the mechanics of it makes it easy to dump!

Dumping was a breeze.
Dumping was a breeze.
Off to clean more up!
Off to clean more up!

Here’s To Your Garden Clean Up Of 2016 Season To Go As Well As Mine Is!

*This post contains affiliate links to help me offset the costs of running this website. If you are looking for products I use, I invite you to click on the link to purchase where I will get a small commission fee for letting you know what makes it easy for me.



Marilyn’s Way


Looking forward to sharing this season of end of year clean up with you!

Happy Gardening!



The following 3 things have made a world of difference in the overall upkeep of my home. If you would like to make mornings easier and nights calmer, please read on.

1. Shine Your Sink

It is a proven fact that if our kitchens are clean, we are more likely to make dinner at home each night. The trick? Before you start to prepare your meal, always start out with a a sink full of hot soapy water and clean as you cook. Just this one habit will make a world of difference. Then 10 minutes before you go to bed, check the sink for any dishes used after dinner. Put them in the appropriate place and then wipe out/shine your sink. You are now ready for tomorrow!

2. Lay Out Clothes

Simply knowing what you will be wearing right down to the earrings you choose will make your morning a breeze. Have a back up outfit for the days that you are not up to par.

3. Launch Pad Ready

It can be as simple as knowing where your keys are to a written list of things going with you. Lay out the things that don’t require refrigeration. Dedicate an area in your home where all of this will be located.

It Is As Simple As 1. 2. 3.!

Remember it usually takes 21 days to form a habit so be patient with yourself. When you commit to these three habits daily, you will see a big difference in your week.

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It is that time of year in South Dakota where the pests are looking for warm places to live. One of the pests that have made their way are Boxelder Bugs.

Boxelder Bugs Come In Masses This Time Of Year.
Boxelder Bugs Come In Masses This Time Of Year.


Boxelder Bugs Migrating To The Boxelder Tree Located Next To My House.
Boxelder Bugs Migrating To The Boxelder Tree Located Next To My House.

One of the reasons they like to hit my place hard is boxelder trees are planted close to the house. Various reasons why a home owner would choose this tree.

1. It Grows Fast

2. 70 years ago we did not have the choices we do today.


How I Manage Boxelder Bugs And Other Pests

When I moved into my home all but 17 years ago, lots of work is what the house needed. One was pest control. Since I have Fibromyalgia I am hypersensitive to smells and that includes chemical sensitivity. I needed a pest control that was ‘Odor Free’. I found it to be Tempo Ultra SC. After it has dried it is safe around food, children and pets. I needed all three. Couple that with a 1 Gallon Poly Sprayer For Chemical And Bleach makes the job easy.

Tempo Ultra SC and 1 Gallon Poly Sprayer
Tempo Ultra SC and 1 Gallon Poly Sprayer

How To Spray Outside Of House

I start from the left working my way right spraying 2 feet from the ground up the side of the house and 2 feet away from the house. It creates a great barrier. I also spray around the window and doors. Going the extra step using this technique has saved me from having crawling pests inside my home.

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How many of you have struggled with keeping up the house while you work and take care of a family? Many I suspect given all the books out in the market about cleaning and organizing.

What if I told you there was a different way to approach this area of your life. Would you be interested?

There are many techniques out there and still many want something else. No one seems to be addressing the issue of getting sidetracked.

There are plenty of things that LOVE to help you get sidetracked. Some of them are legitimate. The majority of them are not.

The number one reason we get easily sidetracked is this. We haven’t made the important and urgent parts of our day a ‘HABIT’. The following is the approach Marilyn’s Way has tested, tried, and uses. And that’s coming from a ‘Reformed 5+ Year Pajama Junkie’. Will this work for you? Give it a try! Want additional support in understanding the concept? Join Marilyn’s Way Living Well Clutter And Chaos Free Group Today!





October is Paper Clutter! Yes, you heard it! Paper Clutter! We all have it. In the electronic age, we still have paper clutter. Why? Many of us have not gone to paperless. It is that simple. Many don’t feel comfortable. There is something about getting that envelope in the mail to make it real.

3 Stages Of Paper Clutter

Just Beginning

In The Midst Of It


Whatever stage you are in, it is important to simply


Set up an area in your home to Cha! Cha! 

Sort by ‘THROW AWAY’ and ‘PUT AWAY’

Designate Amount Of TIME You Will Spend On It Each Day And

Just Watch It Disappear!


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 Marilyn’s Way Living Well Clutter And Chaos Free

I am taking the time to write about an ‘Off Day’. Guess What! They Happen! I am experiencing one today! I am not happy about it because I did have a list of things I planned to do. How am I going to get around this?

Allow Some Time To Stew

I allowed myself an hour to stew in it. Looking back, I could have gotten the job done in  15 minutes.

What Happened?

When something doesn’t go right, the best thing is to review the past. Last night I went to bed plenty of time. For some reason my dog ‘Trixie’ couldn’t get settled. There was something outside that wouldn’t. We were up every hour for the first 4 hours of sleep. The next time I woke up, it was 11:30 am! I can’t even remember the last time I slept this late! It has got to be over 5 years at least!

Thank You 9 Habits!

Old habits die hard. Yes they do! Don’t let anyone say different! I have been getting Dressed To Shoes each consecutive day since March 1, 2011. This happened because I took a personal challenge.

The crazy thing is that I still had to do the ‘OLD, OLD’ behavior. I had to stew in it. Longer than needed though, why? Because my ‘Trusty 9 Habits Are In Place’.

Problem/Solution Session

I am finding many don’t have the skills of taking a problem and carrying it toward a solution. The following is an example of my Problem/Solving skills that I was able to get myself ready for the day.

Crap! I overslept! Now What?

(Note I did have to stew in this part for an hour using the last 15 minutes Problem/Solution tactics going.)

The Importance Of Habits 7, 8, & 9!

When I realized I had done all of my 9 Habits Of Marilyn’s Way the day before, I was able to breathe again! Next question was ‘Why did I have to stew?’ Good Habits Are As Addictive As Bad Habits But ‘why did I still have to stew?’ Old Habits Die Hard. For myself personally I am grateful that my Good Habits Are Stronger!

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Thousands Of Members Are Practicing the 9 Habits Of Marilyn’s Way.

What are you waiting for?

Membership is FREE!



Let’s Be Frank

Let’s be frank here. Decluttering is a tough job! Lots of emotions are involved during this process. Many organizational gurus will say it will take you X amount of time to declutter. PLEASE NOTE: This is a general statement to get you started.

Too Many Factors

Way too many factors are involved when decluttering. Each individual has there own issues that need to be addressed in order to move forward. That is why it is important to start with unemotional items first. This gets you into the ‘HABIT’ of decluttering daily.

Live Our Lives

We still need to live our lives! The clutter didn’t get here in a week and won’t be gone in a day. Keep Dancing and Decluttering. You have it in you to get it done. When you learn to do it ‘Your Way’, the magic begins!

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'Sage' The beagle overflowing with 'love'. She loved to go on rides.
‘Sage’ The beagle overflowing with ‘love’. She loved to go on rides.

Traffic At Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge has been rather busy within my family this past month. First it was Abby, then Lucy. Today I regret to inform you that ‘Sage’ has also crossed Rainbow Bridge.

Dreaded Making The Phone Call

It was a rather unsettling start of the day. I had to know how ‘Sage’ was. I made the call. The news was not good. ‘Sage’ got worse despite the IVs that contained medication to help her toward better health. The tumor on her hind leg was simply ‘too aggressive’. Her body wasn’t strong enough to overcome it. She wasn’t herself.

Making The Decision

It is always a difficult decision when it is time to put a beloved pet down. It was time. ‘Sage’s’ 12 year old body simply could not take anymore. I gave Dr. Hennen the okay.

I Had A Request First

I asked Dr. Hennen if she could tell ‘Sage’ that she will be crossing rainbow bridge where Dodger and Abby will greet her. The three of them grew up together in a bustling home of girls that loved them lots. She said she would do that for her.

Sage’s Last Ride

Tomorrow will be ‘Sage’s’ last ride. I will pick her remains up at the clinic and taking her home where there will be a grave dug next to Abby. Her brother Dodger who crossed Rainbow Bridge a few years ago and was cremated will be buried with ‘Sage’. The two beagles will be together again. This time at Rainbow Bridge.

Rainbow Bridge Poem
Rainbow Bridge Poem



They Were Destined To Find Each Other

Every dog and their owner have a story to tell. For most dogs, they will spend an average amount of 11 years – 16 years with their owner. Many stories in their life span. Here is how Lucy and my mom Joyce found each other.

Mom had just lost her dog Toto who crossed Rainbow Bridge about a month earlier. During this month I let my dog Lily spend time with Mom so she wouldn’t be so lonely and lost. I had two cats at the time and could easily foster Lily out. Mom still had times of no pet in the house, something very uncommon in her life.

One day Mom was driving in the neighborhood where she saw this ‘Little White Dog’ cross the road in front of her. She found it odd she didn’t have a collar on her.

Fast forward a week and in the local paper the Humane Society had put some pictures of dogs looking for their ‘Forever Homes’. Low and behold, there was a photo of a ‘Little White Dog’ that looked like the dog Mom had seen crossing the road.  She went to the Humane Society and she was there waiting for Mom to bring her home!

Victim Of Circumstance

The employees at the Humane Society knew nothing about her. She was a stray. Mom brought her home and named her ‘Lucy’.

Lucy was so happy living at Mom’s! Whoever had her prior took very good care of her. She was well trained and had a great disposition. One of the scenarios may have been that her previous owner had to go into the nursing home or may have passed away and the family did not want the dog so they just let her out to fend for herself. In any case, Lucy found her ‘Forever Home’ with my mom Joyce.

The Mailman And The Paper Boy

Lucy loved to lay on the back of the sofa. She would patiently wait for the mailman to arrive so she could jump off the sofa and run around the house barking. Then she would get a nap in before the paper boy delivered the paper and Lucy repeated the process again. She got where she could sense when they were coming.

Lucy And Lily

Lucy met Lily my dog and they hit it off right away. They were the same age and they grew up together. Mom would bring Lucy to my house and spend a few days together and they would play. I have an enclosed play area for them to play together.

The Trip To Iowa

Back in 2012, Lucy and Lily went on a trip with their owners. My Great Aunt Hilda was celebrating her 100th birthday. Mom had taken Lucy with her and drove alone in the earlier years. Hilda LOVED Lucy! It was great for both of them.

Lucy and Lily waiting for us to get ready for a day of visiting Hilda at the nursing home.
Lucy and Lily waiting for us to get ready for a day of visiting Hilda at the nursing home.


I was doing my personal challenge of 'Getting Dressed To Shoes' that year so one of the days I had Lucy in the photo instead of Lily.
I was doing my personal challenge of ‘Getting Dressed To Shoes’ that year so one of the days I had Lucy in the photo instead of Lily.


I took a photo of Lucy and Mom before we left for the nursing home to visit Hilda.
I took a photo of Lucy and Mom before we left for the nursing home to visit Hilda.


Hilda loved it when Lucy visited her.
Hilda loved it when Lucy visited her.


Hilda, Lucy, and Joyce my mom.
Hilda, Lucy, and Joyce my mom.


As you can see, Hilda and Lucy happy together.
As you can see, Hilda and Lucy happy together.


One Of Lucy’s Favorite Things

Lucy loved it when I stopped by to visit Mom. She was the happiest dog. I always had to shake her paw. She liked that. She would sit on my lap for awhile to visit. She did this every time up until she crossed Rainbow Bridge.

Rainbow Bridge Came A Calling This Morning

As Lucy aged through the years, she developed diabetes. Mom had to give her a shot twice a day. Because of the diabetes she lost her sight and had a difficult time hearing. The thing was that she was always happy. Last week I saw her and I had to raise my voice so she could hear me and then as I came closer to her she could smell me and knew it was me. We would shake hand to paw and then we would sit in the chair together and we would visit until it was time for her to get down.

This morning while I was at church Lucy crossed ‘Rainbow Bridge’. It was time for her to join Lily where Lily would welcome her to the world where health is restored and they could play together always staying alert for the time they will be reunited with their owners.

Lucy Will Be Buried At Lily’s Garden

Lucy will be buried beside Lily who crossed Rainbow Bridge last August. They can both be the ‘Gate Keeper’ to Rainbow Bridge where other pets of the owners are buried.

Lucy will be buried by Lily.
Lucy will be buried by Lily.



Abby loved to work the cattle.
Abby loved to work the cattle.

(The following story is dedicated to my brother Rich’s dog Abby who crossed ‘Rainbow Bridge’ last night.)

Animated, adaptable and agile, ‘Abby’ the Australian Shepherd lived for her job, which involved herding livestock and worked as an all-purpose farm and ranch dog. She needed a lot of activity and a sense of purpose to be truly content.  ‘Abby’s’ coat was black and tan for the most part with a snubbed tail.

Did You Know?


There was that one cow that seemed to have to challenge Abby. Abby always won in the end.

Although there are many theories about the origin of the Australian Shepherd, the breed as we know it today developed exclusively in the United States.

As with most working breeds, the Australian Shepherd was initially called by many names, including Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, Blue Heeler, New Mexican Shepherd, and California Shepherd.
Working cattle was what she loved to do best.
Working cattle was what she loved to do best.

Retirement Came Hard

There comes a time in every working dog’s life that they have done all the work they can do and it is time for retirement. Because my brother ‘Rich’ knew how much ‘Abby’ loved being with the cattle, he got creative. ‘Abby’s’ replacement became an ‘All Terrain Four Wheeler’. Whenever Rich worked the cattle, Abby got to ride along. Being with the cattle was the happiest place she liked to be.

Rainbow Bridge Came Calling

The latter years of ‘Abby’s’ life were spent indoors. She had lost her hearing and could no longer see. Last night it was time for her to cross ‘Rainbow Bridge’ where she became restored to health and will wait for my brother ‘Rich’ to meet her again. ‘Rich’ wrapped her body in her favorite blanket and buried her by the shed facing the cattle lot. ‘Abby’ would like that. Rest In Peace sweet ‘Abby’. You will never be forgotten.

*For purposes of this story, all dogs were Abby’s stand ins to show what a great life she had.