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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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Friday, July 29, 2005

Clay Aiken Concert

My brother and I took David to see Clay Aiken in his "Jukebox Tour" concert. It was really good with him doing songs from each decade. I was able to get David all the way up near the front of the stage so he had a good view. The whole night he clutched a little autograph book that was put together at camp with Clay's picture on the front of it. I wasn't able to get it through to get it signed for him. He made it through the whole concert and the fireworks before he had a seizure. Sometime after that we lost the book but I bought him a program. A nice fan gave him a pin she had made and he was pleased with that and I pinned it right onto his shirt. I had a problem with my camera and wasn't able to take any pictures. I gave out my info to some fans around me and hopefully someone will get a few pictures to me and I'll make David a little album. I'll post a picture or two back here if something comes my way. (Thank you Linda H. for sending on the picture of Clay!)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Horseshoe Falls

Niagara Falls

As we made our way down from Canada we stopped at the falls.
Niagara" is said to have come from an Iroquois word meaning "thunder of waters". You can learn more about the formation and the history of the falls by going to the following link:

American and Bridal Veil Falls

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rock Glen Conservation Area

This is located just on the outskirts of Arkona, Canada. There are beautiful waterfalls here and you can find fossils in the streams. We found some Brachiopods and Horn Coral.

Here's a link to tell you more:

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Peach Cobbler's peach season.
Here's another way to enjoy them.

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients together until crumbly.
Line 13 x 9 pan with fresh Peach Slices
(Mix in a little sugar if needed.)
Place the crumbled topping over the peaches,
then drizzle with 12 Tblsp. melted butter overall.
(Note: You can half the recipe for the topping and
make it in a 9 x 9 pan. Same bake time.)

Bake 350' for 45-55 minutes until lightly browned.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Thanks to Joan Smith for this one.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A-Pass-Along (In Case of Emergency)

This comes from Deacon Joanna which came through her
email and I thought it was a good idea to pass along.

This idea will help in case of emergency notifications
to victim's if you have a cell phone...and who doesn't?

Following the disaster in London
East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national
"In case of Emergency ( ICE ) " campaign with the support
of Falklands war hero Simon Weston and in association with
Vodafone's annual life savers award. The idea is that you
store the word " I C E " in your mobile
phone address book, and against it enter the number of
the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency".
In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then
be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be
able to contact them. It's so simple that everyone can do it.
Please do. Please will you also forward
this to everybody in your address book, it won't take too many
'forwards' before everybody will know about this. It really could save
your life. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Rock and Roll

Another one of the stops we made along the way, and there for a second visit, was the birthplace of Rock and Roll, Cleveland, Ohio and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was designed by the world famous architect, I.M. Pei. Not only do you see all kinds of cool costumes, instruments, and artifacts of the artists, but you also learn all about the history and origins of Rock and Roll.
To learn more about this unusual museum go to:

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Kettle Point, Lake Huron, Canada

Here are some pictures from Kettle Point, Lake Huron, Canada. The Point was named because the concretions appear like upsidedown cooking kettles coming through the shale.This is one of the sights we saw along the way and we stayed to see the sun set there. For a detailed description of the formations go to:

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Laundry Aides

Here are a few things I find helpful when doing laundry.
The Shout Color Catcher is a reusable sheet you put in with your colored fabrics and it picks up any dye that comes out so it doesn't transfer to other clothes.

The Heavyweight hangers are longer than regular hangers so when you hang a shirt on them to dry you don't get little bumps on the shoulders. I found them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I think they were $2.99 for the 3 of them and I of course used one of the many coupons I have for that store. (I find that they will also accept Linen n' Things coupons.)

The Suavitel Fabric Softner helps to elimanate wrinkles in your clothes so you don't have to iron them. (Downy also makes this.) If you put your clothes in the dryer on regular heat for 5-10 minutes and then hang them on hangers to complete drying (for ones you might normally iron) they come out wrinkle free. (The permanent press cycle will not spin as hard or as long as a regular cycle, leaving the clothes wetter, but less wrinkled.)
You can also keep Downey Spray Wrinkle Releaser on hand to use in a pinch.

If you have additional hints please add them to the comment area.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Today is the 16th anniversary of my mother's death and I thought this was a good time to share this special letter.
The following was read for me (by my dear Aunt Sylvia) at the funeral for my uncle. His wife, my Aunt Rozella, Aunt Norma, and my mom, Rowena, are all gone, as too are Sylvia's husband, my Uncle Daryl, Uncle Doyle, and Dwayne, who died in infancy. Only two of my mom's siblings remain: my Aunt Oma and Uncle Robert.

When this happened I was compelled to write down all these memories and share them.
Do you have similar memories that you can pass on? It doesn't have to be written perfectly. This is just a list. Do it now. Let those who are special know how much they mean to you.

Dear Sheila and Neal,

I was so saddened to hear of the death of my dear Uncle Gene. I thought that with his passing, as well as those who have passed before him; it was a good time to think back on all those great childhood memories of my time spent there in Kansas. So here they are, in no particular order, just as they popped into my head, with smiles, and some tears, I wistfully reflect on the remembrances of times gone by ...

  • the smell of the old barn, playing in the hayloft, and barn swallows
  • feeding a calf with a bottle (or a bucket with a nipple on it) in the little shed up by the big barn
  • gathering sticky black walnuts and putting them in the old house to dry out, only to have the raccoons steal them
  • hundreds of grasshoppers everywhere, hearing and seeing them splat on the car
  • swimming in the cow watering holes with the yucky muddy bottoms and trying really hard not to touch my feet down there
  • floating on the giant tractor tire tubes
  • fishing in the ponds and catching a long string of sunnies and the picture of Johnny and me holding them (which we seemed to have misplaced)*
  • me catching fish faster than Granddad could bait the hook for me
  • Granddad taking his teeth out without me seeing, and I couldn't figure out where they were
  • Grandma taking her long hair and putting it up into that bun she always wore -
  • Granddad helping Gene on the farm
  • riding with my Uncle Gene on the tractor or combine
  • playing see-saw on the trailer used to stack the bales of hay and once falling off only to have it come down on my foot
  • my Uncle Gene lifting us up on the big fork that was on the tractor to move hay, screaming half in fear, half in delight
  • mooing at the cows and the pet cow down by the barn
  • cattle coming into feed by the barn
  • watching the bales of hay come out of the bailer
  • seeing and hearing the crop duster's overhead
  • getting zapped touching the electrified fence by mistake
  • Gene and Rozella's great old house with the big side porch and the creek running in the back of it
  • Rozella grinding horseradish on the back porch and me thinking I could do it without my eyes tearing
  • my Uncle Gene's big smile with a gold filled tooth, and his sparkling blue eyes, wearing bib overalls
  • Rozella's sense of humor and making us crack up, even just with the funny faces she would make
  • riding a horse down to pick up the mail from the mailbox
  • Rozella having Sheila, Neal, Johnny and I, clean the carpet with scrub brushes and Glamorene, (which was basically sawdust with chemicals) after which we all fell asleep on the floor, no surprise in that after inhaling the fumes)
  • Uncle Gene taking us on the hilly back dirt roads in an old pick-up truck, driving fast and calling it the Loop-de-Loop road
  • Uncle Gene giving me the best foot massages
  • riding down shale hill on sheets of cardboard or just in jeans
  • my brother shooting me with a B-B gun at Oma's house
  • sitting on the propane tank in the backyard at Oma's
  • going to the bathroom in the out house at Grandma and Granddad's (not to mention the smell of it) and then later, when they had indoor plumbing, the bathroom being so big! It took years before I figured out that it was a converted bedroom and that's why it was so large.
  • taking a bath in a galvanized tub in the kitchen at Grandma and Granddad's
  • pumping water at the kitchen sink there
  • Grandma's homemade quilts that we all got
  • senior High School pictures of Doyle, Daryl, and Robert grouped together on the wall at Grandma and Granddad's, as well as other pictures of her kids and grandchildren
  • Grandma working the switchboard in the living room
  • Grandma's fried eggs and her making me eat scrambled ones, which I didn't like, so I ate them with grape jelly
  • helping to build the church in Paradise, although at my young age I don't think I could have been much help
  • Ringing the dinner bell
  • dinner and supper (not lunch) and such big meals at noontime
  • saying grace before meals
  • making and eating homemade, hand-cranked ice cream
  • going swimming at Wilson Lake
  • milking cows at Daryl and Sylvia's with cats all around looking for squirt of milk
  • my dear Uncle Daryl's very deep voice, which at times was a little scary to me when I was little, but I knew it had such a sweetness behind it
  • Mc Neal reunion's at the school in Paradise, and elsewhere
  • rings being carved from a peach pit
  • the weird Garden of Eden House in Lucas
  • riding in the back of a pick-up truck
  • no air conditioning pretty much anywhere so you often took a change of clothes with you when you had to go somewhere dressed up

  • the total darkness of nights out there on the farm with crickets chirping and stars twinkling
  • fields of sunflowers along the road
  • and last but not least... hours of playing with all my cousins, love and attention by my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a lifetime of memories to cherish forever

  • Lovingly,

    Your cousin,


    P.S. - I read this to Johnny and this pretty well encapsulated his memories too, as well as, some of his own.
    Oh, and one more thing..................
    Grandma made him eat the fried eggs!

    Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb

    (My Aunt Oma has since passed away, on May 30, 2007)
    *[A special thanks to Aunt Sylvia for finding this picture and sending it on.]

Monday, July 18, 2005

I'm Back....

... from vacation, a little road trip, with my brother, a.k.a - Trapper John. We did some sight-seeing and visited some friends and relatives. More to come in time with some pictures.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Va-ca-tion.....'s time to have some fun. It's time to recharge the old batteries, do some visiting and see a few sights. I'll try to take some pictures along the way. Maybe I'll find some new stuff to write about. "See ya" when I get back.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

barely there

barely there is a company that makes various comfortable undergarments for women. The briefs are seamless, made with a soft microfiber or microfiber cotton, do not ride up, and their bras are tagless.
You can go to their website at: to see all of their products and a store locater.
Costco carries a 4 pack of the microfiber briefs/hicut briefs for around $14.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Different Kind of Fireworks Display

On the evening of 4th of July as my husband and I stepped out onto the deck to see if we could catch a glimpse of the finale of the nearby fireworks we heard, we were treated to the most spectacular display of fireflies. Never before had we seen so many, flying so high. It was our own private light show synchronized to the booms of the neighboring fireworks. So cool!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Foaming Soap

I like the Dial foaming soap. I even like the scent but I find it to be too strong for me as I have a sensitive nose. I have refilled the Dial foaming dispenser from the larger warehouse size of liquid soap. You must add about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of water so this thicker soap will foam. Do not fill it up too far. Shake it up to mix the water with the soap. If you use a gel type soap to refill it you may not need to water it down. Now you still have the ease and convenience of the foaming soap for less money.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Progress on the Paper Piece Quilt

16 down, 51 more to go!
See 6/6/05 posting for original article on Paper Piece Quilting

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