Recipe Hording: Fixed!

I have horded recipes and cookbooks for years.  I clip or copy recipes from magazines and newspapers, print them off of the internet and Pinterest, hunt down ones I see on TV cooking shows, or request them from family and friends.  Until yesterday, I had a bushel sized pile of clipped and printed recipes all disorganized in a basket, waiting to be organized.  I have too many cookbooks on my baking shelves.  I have big notebooks filled to the brim with more recipes.  It is too, too much!

I enjoy cooking, so I do try many of these recipes that I save.  Some become favorites, some I’m unsure of, thinking I may try again, but make some changes, and sometimes they are flops and they get pitched.  If they are winners, I try to  jot down the dates of when fixed, and rank them one to five stars.

For a couple of years now, I have realized that this hording of recipes is becoming problematic.  It is no longer me in control of them, but them controlling me.  How so?  Well, they have been stressing me.  They have been very disorganized and I am forgetting good recipes or remembering ones that I cannot find.  They are consuming too much space in my kitchen, hatching and having babies, like rabbits or something.  It has been frustrating me.  That, my friend, is a form of control.

I decided recently that I was going to win in the control game.  I decided this past weekend that I would finally do something about it, and THIS WEEK!  I would take the situation in hand.  I began that process yesterday.

I took two very large loose-leaf notebooks, for starters.  I weeded those out, pitching recipes within them that I know I will never use again.  I weeded through the huge pile in the basket, categorizing them, and pitching an entire garbage bag full.  The ones I saved, I put in cellophane sleeves, and placed them in their categories in the notebook.  I ran out of sleeves, though, so must run and get more.  I only have the desserts to do yet, the best for last, right?

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I have an index box to go through yet, as well, and then I will begin weeding out the excess of cookbooks.  I will photocopy recipes I want to keep from the books I use little.

I am very proud of myself for facing this frustration with courage yesterday and today.  It was truly daunting to me.  I must say, however,  that I also analyzed why I was saving all of these, so that I won’t do it again.

I have this compulsion to feel like I must try to fix or cook every good recipe I find or see.  My reality is that I will never live long enough to cook that amount of food.  I am 66, and I’m already slowing down.  This is about getting “real” with myself.  I probably have had five times in recipes the number of meals and days I have left.  So, going, going, gone.  I pat myself on the back today for facing this demon in my kitchen.

If you find yourself in this dilemma, or have been, I’d love to hear your story.


Memorial Weekend Blessings Too Many to Count

01d8051a30d8d5dfc7bb2998eb641553ec895fcd28Memorial weekend is now past, and today I look back on our many activities and thoughts that I had.

Our weekend didn’t really begin until Saturday afternoon, when John got off of work.  Saturday is a busy retail day of sales for his shop, especially on holiday weekends, so he needed to be there.  Saturday was also my 66th birthday.

My Birthday and Shipshewana

For my birthday, John took me out for a filet mignon dinner on Saturday night, and then we went to see Junglebook.  It’s a Disney movie, but one that is well done and entertaining, even for 60 somethings.  We also went for a frozen custart at Culvers.  It was so delicious!  We both love ice cream.

John had taken off of work the preceding Tuesday so that he could take me overnight to Shipshewana, Indiana for their giant flea market.  That was my main birthday gift, including spending money, and BOY, was it a great time!  We took along friends, Denny and Carol, which made it all the more enjoyable.

Shipshewana and the surrounding area is Amish, so there is much to see and visit in the area.  I really recommend a stop there this summer if you are near it.  The flea market is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the summer.  Clean, modern, and pleasant  hotels are in the area, as well as B&B’s, bakeries, shops, cottage industries, and home-cooking.

Straw Bale Gardening

Sunday, John and I attended our church, then went out for brunch, a Sunday habit of ours after church that we enjoy.  We then came home, changed our clothes, then did a few chores in our yard, before heading to our farmhouse to check on our garden that we recently planted.

Our garden seeds were all sprouting nicely.  We have a straw bale garden out there, in it’s second rotation year.  We started it last year as an experiment, we learned a few things, and now we are trying again this year.  So far, so good!  We have a smaller straw bale garden at home, as well.

At the farmhouse, we have planted peas, beans, various squashes, pumpkins, water melon, green onions, okra, spinach, broccoli, beets, and Brussel sprouts in the straw bales.  We have lettuces, strawberries, herbs, peppers and tomatoes at home in the straw bales.


(Straw bale gardens at  home…yes, there is straw under that topsoil.)

While at the farmhouse on Sunday, John and I completed a craft project of mine on the side of the old garage that faces the back  yard.

We took melamine and plastic dishes and charger plates, stacked them together to look like flowers, and screwed them into the side of the garage.  Then, we cut pieces of flat green garden hose to attach as stems and leaves.  We were happy with the results.

We watered everything, including the raspberries, and headed home again.  We were bushed after our very active day!


On Monday, we headed to our friends’ home near Columbus for a holiday cookout and to visit our good friends, Denny and Karen.

It was a fun time, but we also reflected on the price so many have paid for our freedoms.  Denny is a Vietnam vet, so we were in good company on a special day to remember vets.  Karen, his wife, made us a special cake for the day.  (Pictured above.)  Delicious!

When we got home on  Sunday evening, we watered our straw bales, as well as the blueberries and cucumbers.

A Weekend Well-Ended

The weekend is over, but my favorite memory was the Happy Birthday phone call from my daughter, Candi, and her family.  I spoke with the grandchildren, and I love talking to them.

Is my life all roses?  No.  I had a heartache this past weekend, too, and it was an adult son who neglected my birthday altogether.  I also had aches and pains to deal with, because I am having some bouts of fibromyalgia.  These things are all a part of life and the ups and downs of it.  I still consider myself very blessed and I choose to focus on those blessings.  There are too many to count.

My thought about the greatest blessing of all, which is freedom, is this: freedom does not mean liberty to do everything I want to do; it is about liberty to do what I ought to do.  I have this good life because there were those who gave up everything to make it so, and I have the responsibility to live life as honestly, creatively, kindly, and generously as possible.

Until next time,  Debby

Our Front Door Birds Flew Away

It took a little while, but the baby birds on our front door finally flew away.  There were three, originally, but one seemed to have died.  We don’t know how or why, really .

Yesterday, I took the bucket of flowers with the nest inside down, cleaned it all out, then power washed the front door and the porch.  They had made a little mess, for certain.  I will surely miss peeking out the window and watching the mother bird feed her little ones.

My Flowers are Bursting with Color


I was out in the yard walking my Yorkie,  Sprout, earlier today, and my next door neighbor walked over to talk to me.  Now, I was very happy to see her in a very friendly mood, as she does not often socialize with me.  I have no clue why, really, but when she is in the mood to talk to me, I always enjoy talking to her.  She made some small talk with me, then asked me if she could have some of my irises for a table bouquet.  I told her they were not quite popping out yet, but as soon as they did, she could have a bouquet.

Now this picture below is from last spring.  They look this beautiful every year, though, and right now there are even more blooms on the stems than last year.  The fuchsia colored phlox above is in bloom right now, and what a show of color.  We have three colors of this filling in much of the border area of our front flower beds.  One just wants to pick it and eat it, it is so luscious.


I can’t take the credit, not really, for our gorgeous yard, and it IS gorgeous.  My husband, John, works so hard on it, keeping things watered, fertilized, trimmed, and shining.  I pick out what I want in my garden at the nursery, after much thought and deliberation, then show him where I want it.  He plants and cares for them.

I know, I sound pretty spoiled.  I think I am in that regard.  I used to work hard alongside him, but he gets pretty picky about how he wants things, and after developing hurting knees and other aches and pains, I decided I should allow him the privilege of doing it on his own.  I think  you know what I mean.  He’s a perfectionist about how he plants things.  He did grow up on a farm, so I will give him some slack here.  Meanwhile, my knees thank him, too.

The point is, he knows what he’s doing, and I get to reap the beauty of a gorgeous yard.

The real joy is truly when others also express appreciation.  When an unsociable neighbor breaks her silence and resolve to walk across my yard and ask for some of my flowers, well, that feels pretty special.

My first instinct is to protect my flowers and ask her, “What?  What are you thinking?  Cut my beautiful flowers?”  A second later, I realize this could be the way to her heart, and it could make her feel loved and special to give her a bouquet liberally and with joy.  That’s just what I did.  I said, “Yes”, enthusiastically.

We get many walkers who stop and comment on our yard.  It is very gratifying.

John and I wonder how many more years we are going to be able to keep up this flowery show.  Just last night, he was saying how exhausted he was getting the mulching completed.  This morning, I prayed about it.  I asked God to renew his strength, as well as my own.  I also asked God to give us the wisdom and will to know when to simplify.  Until then, we will continue to enjoy our beautiful spring flowers in bloom. If we can reach out to others by giving bouquets, then our joy is even deeper!







Baby Birds in My Front Door Hanging Floral Basket

While we were basking in the sun in Florida two weeks ago, a bird built a nest in the floral basket that hangs on our front door at home in Ohio.  When we returned, at first we didn’t notice it until we discovered some broken eggs on the front porch. It occurred to us that a nest might be on the door, so we looked, and surely enough, one was there, with more little eggs tucked inside.

We made a few signs, one for inside our door and one for outside, requesting guests to please use another door and why.  The sign inside was to remind us to avoid opening the door.  Old habits die hard and we surely didn’t want to cause more eggs to bounce out and break.

We waited and waited, then yesterday when I checked, little birds were inside the nest.  They had finally hatched!

I have a leaded glass window on my door, so I placed the inside sign right behind the nest so that the mother bird would not be disturbed by movements on the inside of our door.  I lift the paper to peek into the nest, but no more often than necessary to keep track of the progress.  I don’t want to frighten the Mother bird away for good.  She flies away every time I do that, but she always comes back.

This evening, I did my peeking again, but I was armed with my iPhone on video mode.  Above is the video clip of baby birds fussing for their dinner.

So cute!  Just precious!   We will give them time to learn to fly away before taking our signs off of the door.


Welcome to My Blog

Hello!  This is a community for “golden girls” and by that I mean women who are in that special time of their lives when they are seeking new goals, focus, and inspiration, because life has brought many changes.  Those changes could be an empty nest, retirement, widowhood, singleness, or even failing health.

Golden girls are positioned to embrace Act Three of the life cycle.  They are full of life experiences and wisdom, and that should be shared and cared for.  We all benefit from each other.


My name is Debby Bowman-Brodman.   I hope to share my insights, my concerns and hopes, and my experiences, all while trying to inspire you, and motivate you, to respond on my blog.  I want to cover topics like loving God,  being healthy, living life, cherishing people, designing our spaces, creating beauty and fun, managing our finances, and polishing our looks.

To learn more about me, go to “About Me”.  Hop on board and say “hello”.  Welcome!