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By Dottie and Rosie

I’m really broke. Can you give me any suggestions for furnishing an apartment? #2: I think people are going through my garbage and it makes me feel weird. What should I do?

The relationship between these two problems seemed clear to us immediately (or at least it did last night after the cocktail party).

No, it’s not that we think Strapped for Stuff is going through Tense Tosser’s garbage. But it did occur to us that these two could be mutually enlightened about the universal principles of karmic redistribution.

Before we explore the Tao of trash, however, might we remind you, Tosser, that people who pick through garbage don’t generally do so because they are curious about its previous owner. In fact, it is quite likely that they don’t give two hoots about your version of the universe -you know, the one with you smack dab in the centre of it. Still, if it makes you feel better, take the precaution of shredding your super-private stuff, like old incriminating government documents, nudie pics, outdated sex journals and such. Unless of course you want to be famous.

The basic principle of karmic redistribution is that “one woman’s trash is another one’s treasure.” More to the point, Tosser, just because you refused your stuff doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve a good home with someone else.

According to Marla Stewart of Shabby Chic, “with a bit of craftiness, trash can be transformed! Old ketchup bottles and wire coils (from notebooks) make great candle holders. To create nifty room dividers, fasten glued-together rows of empty pop or beer cans, or tomato soup tins a la Warhol, to a solid wooden base. Check with electronics distributors for discarded bubble wrap; if you can resist the obvious temptation to pop non-stop, these make unique window and/or shower curtains. And now that fall has arrived, everyone is leaving leaf-filled, industrial strength garbage bags on their lawns, completely oblivious to the fact that they can double as fantastic retro-style beanbag chairs! People are throwing out great stuff every day! The possibilities are limited only by your own imagination-and the degree to which you’re willing to wade through the rubbish to recover the riches.” (Look for more Shabby Chic in our next issue.) We hope the lights are dawning here, Tosser and Strapped. The world is a beautiful place and trash is free for the taking. Finally, to those of you rich enough to be throwing stuff away, the principles of karmic redistribution do have the minor complication of requiring a little human cooperation and understanding. A bit of benevolence goes a long way, as does the occasional plate of chocolate chip cookies.


Rule one of trash-trailing: stay alert. Our best trash find happened on a late night walk home from a party. This lovely lady was leaning on a fence amid piles of trash, wearing nothing but a garbage bag skirt. Of course we rescued her and brought her home with us, and she has stayed with us to this day. She’s a bit quieter than your average roommate, but none of our house guests fail to marvel at her unique physique!

Garbage Goddess Choco-Chip Cookies
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c soft margarine
1/2 c veg shortening
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c choco chips or M&Ms

Heat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, beat sugars, margarine and shortening until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, blending well. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt, then choco chips. Drop by teaspoonsful onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving room for expansion. Bake 8-10 minutes.


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