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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.
Email: debbie@geraniumfarm.org

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Donate at Coat



Donate a coat and receive 20% off at Land's End Shop at Sears.
10/29/09 to 11/30/09
(Just click on it when it says "loading".)

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Soda Poster

This is a poster that is being posted in New York City.
If you drink soda would it help you to stop?



What Soft Drinks are Doing to Your Body:
(and just because it's diet, don't think that makes it any better.)
Read here:
http://health.yahoo.com/experts/drmao/20270/what-soft-drinks-are-doing-to-your-body/

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Cartridges for a Cure

Do you have unwanted empty toner or printer cartridges? Don’t throw them away, donate them to Cartridges For A Cure to help find a cure for childhood cancers for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. The project serves the community on two fronts because it not only raises money for cancer research but also protects the environment by keeping thousands of used printer cartridges out of landfills where they would pollute the earth.
The cartridges recycled through Cartridges For A Cure are sent to a recycling company called Empties4Cash based in California.

You'll first need to go to the website to fill at a form to get postage paid FedEx label that you can place on any empty box that you have filled with your empty inkjet cartridges.

http://www.cartridgesforacure.com/index.php

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Funky Fabrics Quilt - Done!



99% Hand-stitched. Now all it needs is a new home . . .

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cold and Flu Survival Kit

I saw this article My Cold and Flu Survival Kit (12 Things Every Gal Should Keep Around This Season)
You can read it in full here -

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/my-cold-and-flu-survival-kit-12-things-every-gal-should-keep-around-this-season-527994/;_ylt=AmEwS2_rspMJzx8hgcL9M2VabqU5

and it listed these 12 item the author likes to keep on hand for the cold and flu season:

1. Bath salts - for aromatherapy.
2. Extra blankets
3. Chicken soup
4. Elderberry extract - "Research may be preliminary, but some experts believe that elderberry may be as effective as some prescription medications at zapping viruses."
5. Electrolyte beverages - for dehydration
6. Honey - to soothe a sore throat
7. A kind-hearted person to help you with kids/life/errands
8. Tissues - (I personally must have the ones with lotion
if I have to blow my nose excessively.)
9. Warm socks
10. Hot herbal tea
11. A Working Thermometer
12. A Good Pain Reliever

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HP Reader's Additions:

At least one interesting novel.
A couple of old-timey (black & white, 30’s era) comedies.
Bob B.

Add to the list - Witch Hazel on a soft cloth, soothes achy eyes or on the back of the neck for temperature relief

I would like to add to the list: My mom...but she is in Heaven. Linda L.

Additional items necessary for the cold and flu survival kit:
A full length warm cuddly rob and slippers
A remote control near couch to watch television
Soothing music CDs and player within reach
Janice

Even when I was a child my dad, who was not a drinker, would fix me a hot toddy, with lemon juice, sugar, a tad of whiskey and hot water. It was so comforting. I can't remember that I loved the taste, but I knew this was something rather grownup and made me special! And sometimes if I pleaded he would lay down on the bed (always on top of the covers) until I fell asleep. I am sure many dads might hesitate to do this today. Now as an adult I rarely get flu or colds, but if I do a hot toddy will always bring me the feeling of security and comfort I had as a child. Oh, lest I forget, mom rubbed Vicks on my chest, covered it with flannel, and made me milk toast!!!!! I think that remedies for flu/colds are often not substantiated, but are effective none the less.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Government Benefits

GovBenefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. government, with information on over 1,000 benefit and assistance programs you might be entitled to.

http://www.benefits.gov/

Update - Additional Links:

Medicare Eligibility Guidelines
http://www.ehealthmedicare.com/about-medicare/eligibility/

Medicare Coverage Choices
http://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/decide-how-to-get-medicare/your-medicare-coverage-choices.html

Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits and Advantages
http://assistedlivingtoday.com/2011/12/long-term-care-insurance-benefits-and-advantages/

Guide to Insurance Coverage for Addiction Recovery
http://www.recoveryconnection.org/does-insurance-cover-drug-rehab/

Physician Search by Medicare Insurance Plans
http://www.zocdoc.com/insurances

Thanks to Laura Michaels for the updated link for the benefits and all the additional links she sent along!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Clinton Foundation

No matter what your politics are this is a good cause.
(Thanks K.Y. for passing it along.)

Dear Friend,

I don't have to tell you that we're in the middle of a climate crisis. Or that HIV/AIDS still claims far too many lives. You're already acutely aware of these realities.

But you may be surprised by what you DON'T know about some of today's most pressing challenges.

Take my Global IQ Test, then challenge your friends. For every person who completes the 10-question quiz, $1 will be donated to my Foundation by a generous supporter.

In addition to testing your knowledge, you'll learn how my Foundation is addressing some of today's most urgent issues: combating climate change, treating HIV/AIDS and malaria, fighting childhood obesity, promoting economic opportunity, and enabling sustainable development.

Test your global IQ with our 10 questions today:

http://www.clintonfoundation.org/testyourglobaliq/

I hope that what you learn will inspire you to join us in taking action to address the serious challenges that face our world. There is much to be done.

Knowing what problems we're up against is the first step to solving them. Thank you in advance for spreading the word by forwarding this email to your friends and family.

Sincerely,
Bill Clinton

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Food Safety

Hodgepodge reader Ann S. has sent along some good information to share.

Take a look at this Quiz on Food Safety 101 and see how you do on it.
Document: Food Safety 101

Here's an article you'll want to read too.

Food-Borne Illness: More Than Meets the Eye
Document: Food-Borne Illness


Also be sure to check out these two links mentioned in the article:

http://www.safetables.org/

http://www.foodsafety.gov/

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crockpot Recipes That Just Happen to Be Gluten-Free

This email is from Hodgepodge reader Nancy J.
Debbie,
I just got a cookbook you will want to check out. MAKE IT FAST, COOK IT SLOW, The big book of Everyday Slow Cooking Easy-to-make recipes, healthy, gluten free, inexpensive and delicious. She says all the recipes are gluten-free because of needs of a family member.

It just arrived from Amazon ($14.90) and is newly published, so I haven't had time to try any, although I've used some of her web-site recipes.

www.crockpot365.blogspot.com
I'm always in the search for new slow-cooker recipes, and think this is a winner on my cookbook shelf.

For a chance to win free groceries for a year($5,200)or a mini-shopping spree($200)go to:

http://www.itpaystoeatpasta.com/ip.cfm?u=E0CB23D8-4EC8-4779-A38B-194141AA34DC

Contest ends 10/30/2009 (Thanks Joan for send this along.)

Also please don't forget to vote for the Farm at the divine caroline website:

http://www.divinecaroline.com/awards/Aug-09/1787-the-geranium-farm

Come on and cast your vote and help make us #1!!!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where Do Kids Eat for Free?

I think sometime a long ways back I posted listings where kids can eat for free.
Here's some more links you can look at:

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=where+kids+eat+free&fr=fp-today&cs=bz&sado=1

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Crystal Cathedral




Back in July when I went to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Anaheim, CA with my brother, we stayed in a hotel that was near the Crystal Cathedral. Having seen it on TV, we thought we'd walk over and check it out. Here are some photos we took. I put them together as a slideshow and added some music to it. Don't forget to put your sound on.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Get a Human!













How often have you called a company only to get an automated voice response?

Well at http://www.dialahuman.com/ there is a list of numbers for companies where you can get a human response.

At http://gethuman.com/ there is also a list with more information that tells you the steps to get a live person, an average wait time, and a user rating.

Current Country Listings:
US 1156
UK 57
Canada 56
Australia 40
There are also a few for some other countries. Once there are 5 listings for any given country, a special page will be created on gethuman for that country. If you help them add the first 5 numbers for any country, they will put your name and a thank you on the page listing.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Seizure Tracker











Log and track seizure activity, appointments, and medication schedules through a simple calendar interface.

Download printable seizure logs that correspond to the website.

Customized reports which include graphs comparing seizure activity and medication dosages.

Free and easy to use online anywhere.

Click on this link to check it out:
www.seizuretracker.com

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Monday, October 05, 2009

The Difference Between Cold and Swine Flu Symptoms

Symptoms for Cold and Swine Flu

Fever

Fever is rare with a cold.
Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

Coughing

A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Aches

Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Chills

Chills are uncommon with a cold.
60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

Tiredness

Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

Sneezing

Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Headache

A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.


(Thanks HP reader M.V. for passing this along.)

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Bites



2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter

Optional
1/2 cup chocolate morsels
vegetable oil
re-sealable plastic bags

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust.
You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray.
(Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don't overlap each other.)
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin pie filling, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla
and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
Spoon filling into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust.
Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.

Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.

To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium.
Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted.
Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid.
Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off.
Drizzle or draw faces on pies.

Note: The cutter I used was 3 3/4 inches wide,
but if you don't have one, don't worry.
Just use a round cutter around that size or
slightly smaller to cut circle shapes out of the dough.
Then make stems with the scraps.
Press each stem over the edge and down the side of the dough before filling.
Pumpkin pie spice is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

Additional comments sent with recipe:

I've been in a mini-mood lately when it comes to baking
and these bite-sized pies met my big craving.
They are really, really easy. Let me show ya.
Of course, it didn't hurt that I used ready to roll refrigerated pie crust.
It comes two to a box and if you roll each round pie crust
a little bit thinner with a rolling pin,
you can get 24 mini pumpkin-shaped pie crusts out of them.
Make sure you use all the dough scraps and re-roll to maximize quantities.
Then, stuff each one in a mini muffin baking pan. This one holds 24.
Press the dough down, in and around the edge of each muffin cup.
Make sure the stem for the pumpkin stays sticking out.
You'll notice I alternated cups above.
I did this mainly to make sure the pie crusts didn't touch each other.
So I ended up baking these in two batches.
Fill each pie crust with pumpkin filling all the way to the top.
When they come out of the oven, they'll be puffed up like this.
Too bad they didn't stay that way. That would be pretty darn cute.
But no, after they cool for a few, they'll fall and be flush with the pie crust.
See easy mini pumpkin pie bites. These would be really cute at Thanksgiving.
You can even drizzle them with melted chocolate to jazz them up a bit.
Just melt some chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium.
Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.
You can also add a little bit of vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid.
Then, transfer the chocolate to a re-sealable plastic bag
and cut the corner off and drizzle away.
But wait you say, you don't want to wait until Thanksgiving.
I don't blame you.
So pipe some chocolate faces on and make them in October.
Cute!
And I'll say it again - easy!

Enjoy!

Thank you Janice L. for sending this along!

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Still Tasty: Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide

Save Money, Eat Better, Help The Environment

How long will your favorite food or beverage stay safe and tasty?
What's the best way to store it?

This website will help answer all your questions.
http://www.stilltasty.com/

Also read about:

Expiration Dates: Should You Pay Attention?
http://stilltasty.com/articles/view/5

3 Ways to Defrost Food Safely
http://stilltasty.com/articles/view/9

The Secret to Keeping Fruit Luscious
http://stilltasty.com/articles/view/10

(Thanks Carole A. for passing this website along.)

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