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Hodgepodge from The Geranium Farm

Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to Make Yourself Truly Happy

Friday, August 26, 2016

25 Ways to Say 'No' to Your Kids Without Actually Saying No

"If you've ever found yourself in a scenario with your children in which their whining and crying is coming at you from every direction and you're spitting a million noes at them, you know that's typically an inefficient way of communicating. It's hard to say "no" to our kids, but sometimes we simply have to.
For example, instead of screaming, "No," if your child is asking for candy before lunch, offer them a choice to have one piece now or a few pieces after they eat all of their meal. Or if your child is throwing Legos across the room at your head, tell them that's not how to play, it's making you sad that they're hitting you, and offer to help them build something or show them how to play correctly.
This definitely takes more time, but using one of these positive alternatives to no (tweaked to fit your situation appropriately) will help you and your children to communicate much more efficiently overall.
Here, 25 ways to say no without actually using that dreaded one-syllable word."
1. Let me show you how to do it.
2. I know you want to, but we can't right now.
3. I can help you.
4. Let's take a minute to think about this.
5. That isn't going to work.
6. Maybe some other time.
7. Let's do this instead.
8. Tell me more.
9. That's not how we are going to do it.
10. I can't let you.
11. Let's try something different.
12. Can you show me how we are supposed to do that?
13. Come away from there.
14. That isn't yours - let's find yours.
15. What is our rule?
16. I'd be disappointed if you did that.
17. Is there another way to do that?
18. That's not the best choice.
19. Not right now.
20. What do you think the answer is?
21. You know better.
22. I wish we could, but we can't.
23. How about this?
24. There's a better way to do that.
25. That isn't safe.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Fake Charities

Carol Stone from Ways of the World here on the Geranium Farm, gave us a heads up on this one from Charity Navigator which I had recommended in the past before you make a donation.

Check out the list here before donating any of your hard earned money: 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

25 Clichés That Are Actually True and How They Could Change Your Life

1. Struggle is good.
2. Don’t complain.
3. Spend time with the people you love.
4. Don’t start a relationship if you’re not in love.
5. Exercise daily.
6. Keep a journal.*
7. Be grateful.
8. Don’t care about what people think.
9. Take more risks.
10. Pick an industry, not a job.
11. Lead the way.
12. Money isn't important.
13. Be nice.
14. Learn every day.
15. Rest before you are tired.
16. Don't judge.
17. Think about others.
18. Give without expecting something in return.
19. There's no end game.
20. Enjoy small things.
21. Don't take yourself so seriously.
22. Don't blame people.
23. Create something.
24. Never look back for too long.
25. Take action.
  To read in full go here:
*Here’s the easy way to do this that I use:
*Scroll down to where it says Hobby Plan that is free forever. That’s what I use.

Monday, June 27, 2016

8 Alternative Uses for Listerine

 Read the comments there to see other uses people have posted.

  1.  The ingredients found in Listerine (eucalyptus, alcohol, and thyme), can kill bacteria that cause acne. Dab Listerine on the affected area using a clean cotton ball—just be sure not to use too much, and be cautious if you have sensitive skin.
  2.  Skip the pricey products and use mouthwash to get rid of your pet’s fleas. You can use Listerine in a couple of different ways, including mixing it with shampoo in a bath or diluting it with water and using it as a spray. To get step-by-step instructions on how to use Listerine to kill fleas, check out this guide from eHow.
  3.  Banish stinky feet and alleviate athletes foot. To keep foot odor at bay, soak a cotton ball in Listerine and rub it all over your feet. You can apply a small amount along the inside of your shoes, as well. Using Listerine has more than one perk for feet—it has been shown to help alleviate athletes foot, too.
  4.  Eliminate germs and odors in your garbage disposal. Speaking of stinky things, have you ever been cooking in your kitchen and noticed a foul smell emanating from your sink? To eliminate sink odors, simply pour half a cup of mouthwash down the disposal.
  5.  Out of deodorant? Use Listerine! Okay, I know what you’re thinking—a KCL run out of deodorant?! Perhaps it’s not likely, but on that off chance that you actually do find yourself without a stick of deodorant, now you can have a backup. Simply dab a bit of the mouthwash on a cotton ball or towel, wipe it on your underarms and you’re good to go!
  6.  Kill the germs on your toothbrush. Immersing your brush in Listerine for 20 minutes has been proven to be just as effective as soaking your brush in expensive toothbrush sanitizers.
  7.  Use the anti-fungal ingredients in Listerine to get rid of dandruff. Dandruff, which is actually caused by a fungus called Pityrosporum, can not only be embarrassing, but it can be extremely uncomfortable and itchy. To use Listerine as a dandruff treatment, wet your hair thoroughly with the mouthwash and wrap your hair in a towel. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then shampoo as normal. You may need to do multiple treatments before the Listerine kills off all of the fungus and eliminates the dandruff completely. 
  8.  Clean your shower, toilet, sinks, and floors—and kill mold and mildew. If you’re using
    Listerine on shower mold or mildew, you can use it full strength, but if you want to use it to clean other things around the house, fill a spray bottle with half Listerine and half water. Not only will you have a clean house, but it will smell minty fresh!

Monday, May 09, 2016

20 Ways to Use Epsom Salt Around the House By Angela Brown

Epsom salt isn't actually the table salt we all know. The mineral mixture, named for a saline spring in England, is actually a combination of magnesium and sulfate. This popular mineral is touted for its health benefits as well as uses in cleaning and gardening projects, according to
Epsom salt can be used in dozens of ways for health, beauty, and cleaning projects. Check out just a few of the beauty and health hacks you can do with this mineral, according to DIY &Crafts.

1. Clean your hair: If your hair is particularly greasy, you can pull excess oils right out by adding a bit of Epsom salts to your shampoo. Wash and rinse as usual. 
2.  Feet scrub: Winter weather leaves toes and feet dry, cracked and gross. Get rid of dry skin by combining a cup of Epsom salt with olive oil, castile soap and some essential oils and scrubbing your feet once or twice a week. 
3.  Bye bye frizz, hello volume: Mix equal parts hair conditioner and Epsom salts together. Heat the mixture into a pan. Then starting at the roots and working your way down, massage the mixture into your hair. Let set for 20 minutes and rinse. This works great for getting rid of frizz and adding volume to your hair.  
4. Wash your face: Mix Epsom salts with liquid soap or face cream. Rub gently into your skin and rinse. You'll get a moisture boost and remove dead skin.
5. Deflake the lips: Mix a bit of Epsom salt with petroleum jelly and massage it into your lips to remove dead skin. 
6. Ease a headache: If you have an aching head after a rough day at the office (or with the kids), try soaking in an Epsom salt bath. The salts help relieve tension in your muscles and can ease your headache. 
7. Nix tummy troubles: Help ease constipation symptoms by drinking a teaspoon of Epsom salts in a glass of water. The magnesium should help get things flowing again.
8. Have a better morning after: If you had a little too much red wine last night, you can ease hangover symptoms. Sip a teaspoon in a bit of water to help flush out toxins. Make sure to drink tons of water to stay hydrated though! 
9. Fade a bruise: Skip the raw meat compress and grab the Epsom salts instead. Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salts with a little water and apply it to the bruised area. 
10. Get more shut-eye: Soak in an Epsom salt bath for about 20 minutes before dozing off to help you relax and loosen up for a better night's sleep.
11. Ease muscle pain: Enjoy an Epsom salt bath after a hard day at the gym or working in the yard to alleviate muscle soreness and speed recovery. 
12. Remove a splinter: Apply salt to the skin over the splinter to help pull it to the surface. Bid a fond farewell to the painful tweezer method! 
Wellnessmama and offer a few suggestions for using Epsom salts around the house and garden:
13. Plant fertilizer: One tablespoon of salt to tomato plant soil can help give you bigger plants. 
14. Clean the bathroom: Mix one part Epsom salt with one part liquid dish soap, scrub grout and tile well. 
15. Water your houseplants: Mix a few tablespoons of Epsom salt with water and feed your plants as usual. 
16.  Deter Slugs: Sprinkle a bit of Epsom salts onto the patio to keep slugs at bay on rainy days. 
17. Boost your roses: Add a tablespoon of Epsom salts to your soil to promote healthier roses. 
18. Clean the Washer: Fill your washing machine with hot water. Add Epsom salt and run a regular cycle to get rid of build up on the insides of the machine. 
19. Protect your plants: Add Epson salts to your grass and plants to keep bugs at bay. 
20. Green up your grass: Add two tablespoons of Epsom salts to a gallon of water and sprinkle it on your grass to keep it green. The magnesium prevents yellowing.  

Friday, April 01, 2016

Hodgepodge Turns 11

In vain have you acquired knowledge
if you have not imparted it to others.

Deuteronomy Rabbah
(c.900, commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy)

Love sharing with you all these years!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

20 Questions That Could Change Your Life

Finding the answers starts with posing the right questions—and Martha Beck has 20 to get you started. 
Go to the link to see the questions:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

20 Important Facts About Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Bullet points are listed below but go to link to see slide show:

The energy vitamin - Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse. It helps make DNA, nerve and blood cells, and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system. Your metabolism wouldn't run smoothly without it. 

Vegetarians and vegans are at risk - Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in animal products. So if your diet largely consists of plant-based foods such as fruits, veggies, beans, and soy, you're at risk for deficiency.

Adults over 50 are also at risk - As you age, the stomach produces less acid, and stomach acid is key for B12 absorption, says Middleberg. About one in 31 adults over 50 are deficient, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Early symptoms include weakness and fatigue - B12 isn't nicknamed the energy vitamin for nothing. Inadequate B12 intake makes a dent in red blood cell production, and some of the earliest signs of a deficiency include feeling dragged, confused, and weak. 

Heartburn drugs can cause it - Some prescription heartburn drugs suppress the production of stomach acid, which is needed to absorb vitamin B12. 

It can be mistaken for dementia - "Symptoms of a deficiency often mimic those of dementia, such as memory loss, disorientation, and difficulty thinking and reasoning," says Middleberg. It can be hard distinguishing deficiency from dementia, especially since older folks are at risk for both.

The best sources are meat and fish - Beef liver and clams are tops in B12, according to the National Institutes of Health. If you're not a fan of either, plenty of good options abound. Beef, turkey, oysters, chicken, trout, and salmon are B12 superstars; a serving of each delivers close to or more than 100% of your RDA.

 Fortified foods and supplements can help - Both can help vegans, vegetarians, and older adults and others who are unable to absorb naturally occurring B12, says Moon. 

Heavy drinking increases your odds - More than a few drinks on average each day can cause gastritis, or irritation of the stomach lining, and this can lead to low stomach acid and reduced B12 absorption, says Middleberg. 
It can trigger a false positive on a Pap test - Low B12 levels can change the way some cervical cells look, potentially triggering a false positive.

It's linked to pernicious anemia -There's a specific type of anemia that's triggered by a B12 deficiency. 

It can be hard to recognize a deficiency - "Because the body can store B12 for three to five years, early symptoms of a deficiency usually appear gradually, so you're unlikely to notice them," says Middleberg.

It's linked to immune system issues -"B12 plays an important role in white blood cell production, and white blood cells are essential for proper immune system functioning," says Middleberg.

Digestive problems can cause it - People who deal with GI issues are at a higher risk of a B12 shortage because digestive problems can make absorbing the nutrient more difficult, says Middleberg.

It can happen after weight loss surgery - "Some surgeries that affect the GI tract, like gastric bypass surgery, make it hard to absorb B12," says Moon. 

It can cause tingling, weakness, and balance issues - Depletion of your vitamin B12 stores leads to nerve damage. 

Babies can get it too - In infants, vitamin B12 deficiency is serious—it can lead to symptoms such as anemia, problems with movement, difficulty reaching developmental milestones, and failure to thrive, which may be fatal.

 Visible signs include pale skin, a sore tongue, and mouth ulcers - Paleness; mouth sores; a red, swollen, beefy tongue— are some of the visible signs of a B12 shortage. 

It might cause permanent damage - Vitamin B12 deficiency that persists for years can cause severe, irreversible neurological damage—think memory loss, disorientation, and an inability to concentrate. Other side effects listed in link. 

It's hard to overdo vitamin B12 - Unlike fat-soluble vitamins that accumulate in your body and can have side effects in excess, B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning your body only absorbs a small amount and the rest is excreted through urine.




Monday, March 14, 2016

49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child by Renee Jain, MAPP

"It happens to every child in one form or another – anxiety. As parents, we would like to shield our children from life’s anxious moments, but navigating anxiety is an essential life skill that will serve them in the years to come. In the heat of the moment, try these simple phrases to help your children identify, accept, and work through their anxious moments."
Check out the list here: 49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child

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