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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, September 30, 2005

Quotation - "Depositing Memories"

A new feature at Hodgepodge.

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children" - Charles R. Swindoll

Ask your kids "What are your favorite memories?"
Are they what you thought they would be?
Ask your parents and grandparents what their favorite childhood memories are. What do you cherish and remember most from your childhood?
Some of mine were listed on the 7/19/05 post - Kansas

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

Are you: - a teacher that's stuck for a lesson plan?
- home schooling your children and looking for new sources of information?
- a student writing a paper and need additional facts?
- a parent at your wits end trying to assist your child with a last minute paper?

This Internet site is maintained for parents, students, and teachers, and contains links to free federal resources for Internet based education.
Go to:

Going to the following link will bring you to their brochure that explains it all:

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Breast Cancer Site

Go to this site and save it to your favorites. Try to remember each day as you go to check your emails to stop by here and click on the pink box where it says "Fund Free Mammograms - Click Here"

You may also want to check out the items they have for sale for your holiday shopping, with the money going to a good cause.

Also October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and M&M'S® Milk Chocolate have created a special package of Light Pink and Dark Pink Candies to symbolize their commitment to the cause. Each time you buy, you'll help to fund breast cancer research and outreach programs.*

The 14 oz. and 21.3 oz. packages are available at local retailers throughout September, October and November 2005. M&M'S® Brand will donate $.35 on 14-ounce packages and $.50 on 21.3 ounce packages to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.*
So put a dish of pink M & M's on your desk at work and help support the cause!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rate My Professors and Rate My Teachers

I had lunch with my friend Diane the other day and she asked how my Brian was doing with his classes at college. I said he was doing fine except that he said that one class he had was "counted the number of ceiling tiles" boring. (He had also counted the number of metal fins on the overhead lights.) She suggested that before he signs up for his next class he checks out:

He already knew about it and maybe next time he'll check it out before he signs up for his classes. I did look up the professor he was talking about and there were alot of comments saying he was boring.

There is also:

Oh, and my friend Diane, she was very highly rated.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A-Pass-Along (David Wilcox)

This pass-along comes from Deacon J of More or Less Church. She asked me if I ever heard of the music of David Wilcox. Her description is that he is a "singer songwriter that is pretty darn witty and often profound (though taken to the extreme it can sound preachy). His voice is similar to James Taylor.... but he doesn't go flat!" She went on to say that she "Heard one of his lyrics on the radio the other day..... story of a 1st date....." and if he does nothing but yell out the waiter, your order is: run!"
As always, you can sample the music at:

Friday, September 23, 2005

Anything you can lift off your shoulders?

Within the last year or so I cancelled subscriptions to a few magazines I had gotten for years. It's not that I have a big hectic schedule, but just that as they started to pile up when I didn't get around to them, they started to feel more like a burden than a pleasure. Who needs that? I wasn't missing them. All summer I looked at only a few of the daily newspapers and thought of canceling it. Now I'm back to reading it but maybe next summer I'll drop it for a couple months. I can always peruse the magazines as I stand on the checkout line or I could read them at the library.

Is there something in your life that you should think about cutting out that would just make your life easier? Have you done this already? Share with others in the comment area.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A-Pass-Along (Turkey Placemat)

This pass-along comes from Gail J. of Evans, GA. She sends along this link for a cute Turkey Placemat she found at White Sewing.

Go to this link for the pattern:

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza

My friend Helen and I spent all day last Saturday at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza (9/15-18 Fort Washington Expo Center), arriving shortly after the 10am opening and staying until the 7pm closing. It was advertised as having 200 vendors and 600 quilts and garments. Judging from the amount of time that it took for us to see everything I can believe there was at least this if not more. Our kudos to all the vendors who shared their knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm with us, whether we were making a purchase or not. With so many things to choose from, and so much to see, it's overwhelming! After we completed our walk around, rested a bit, and had some time to think, we revisited a few of those kindly vendors and bought just a little bit more. You just can't buy everything you'd like, but we took business cards and in time we can order over the Internet those things we filed in the back of our mind as future projects.

The quilt artist who made quilt pictured above, using French provence prints, is Ms. Pamela Mansfield who has an Art studio called Jabula Designs in Pittsboro NC. She grew up in South Africa and has also made amazing quilts from African fabrcs and batiks for Wendy & Jacques of French Connections in whose booth this was displayed. To reach their website go to:

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A-Pass-Along (Free Samples-Hanes & Scotch Brite)

My friend Carrie sent along these 2 places to get free samples:
For Hanes got to:

and for Scotch Brite go to:

Monday, September 19, 2005

...your autograph please...

Last Friday when I picked David up from his day program a woman introduced herself to me and told me how much she enjoys David and looks forward to seeing him there. As we drove off I said to David that everyone there seems to know him as they are all always greeting him by name. I teasingly said to him, "Wow David, everyone knows you. You're famous like Donny. Pretty soon you'll have to be signing autographs like him" and with eyes wide open and a big grin on his face he said, "Will you help me?"

Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb

Friday, September 16, 2005

Child's Turkey Placemat

I can't remember where I found this but I thought I'd put it up here in plenty of time for anyone who'd like to make it for Thanksgiving for their kids or grandkids. I may have gotten it out of a magazine or from:

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Less Expensive Generic Medication

This morning I received an email I had gotten before concerning the various prices charged for prescription medications. It stated that generally Costco charges less for generic forms of most medications and by law anyone can fill a prescription there without being a club member. As always, I check out the validity of such at: and found it to be true. Go to the following link to read further about this:

You can go to: to check on the price of a drug.
Thanks Dave M. for passing this one on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

How to Fold a T-Shirt

Here's instructions on how to fold a T-Shirt. Can you do it on the first try? Go to the link to see how it's done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Quilt Top

When I was on vacation this past summer I picked up this unfinished quilt top at a flea market in Canada. I don't know the age or history of it. The fabric prints remind me of the 1930's reproduction fabric of been working with. I think it is old as there is alot of piecing together of the prints which is something I think that someone might not bother to do these days. The white fabric has alot of seam stitching marks as fabric that was opened up to reuse it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Russer Light Ham

Well, now that it's back to school time and you're making those school lunches again, see if the deli counter at your local market has Russer Light ham. I don't know if it's regional or not. It's 98% fat free, never salty, is moist like a boiled ham but taste-wise I'd say it's a cross between a boiled and Virginia ham. My family likes it really thin, shaved in fact. Once in awhile I'll get a couple of 1/4" slices, cube it up, brown it a little, and add it to homemade baked macaroni and cheese. I'd say that 99% of the time if someone has tried it while mine was being sliced up, they'd buy some too!

Friday, September 09, 2005

A-Pass-Along (The Reason Behind the Rhyme )

This pass-along comes from my brother John, who happened to catch this on the radio on The Leonard Lopate Show. It is an interview of Chris Roberts about his new book called, Heavy Words, Lightly Thrown. Mr. Roberts, a South London librarian, conducts F and M Walking Tours in London and investigated the forgotten meanings of familiar nursery rhymes. The following link will take you to the show's website where you can listen to the 20 minute interview or read an excerpt from the book.

Here is just a little bit from the book:

"The move towards sanitizing rhymes for children accelerated in the Victorian era, with its radically altered view of childhood, its recognition of childhood as a concept. Prior to that, little thought was given to shielding “adult sights” from children, even if it had been possible to do so. During the nineteenth century the rhymes were increasingly written up, illustrated, and sold as collections for children. This took them off the streets and into the parlours, making them at once more accessible but perhaps less potent. It would not do to blame the Victorians entirely for the loss of meaning in nursery rhymes, as it’s quite probable that some had already lost their point before then, and many were certainly written down prior to the nineteenth century. The Victorians were keen on deliberately rewriting them, however, as opposed to accidentally mistranslating them, in a bid to tidy the rhymes and give moral instruction. For the first time in British history, there was the beginning of a division between adult and children’s entertainment."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Do Need Help Choosing Colors to Paint Your Home?

I know, you haven't painted because you just can't decide (agree) on a color. Well, there are sites all over the internet to help you choose colors to paint your home, both inside and out.

Go to Better Homes and Gardens at:
In the listing on the left you'll see: New! Color-a-Home or Color-a-Room
Click on the one you need.

Click on the Personal Color Viewer option. They even list the names of the 2 oz. sample jars you can order online or purchase at a Benjamin Moore store. Each sample covers approximately a 2' X 2' area with two coats of paint.

Click on Project Planning, then where it says: Interactive Planner - Click on:
American Tradition Virtual Painter

Click on Know-How and then on the Behr ColorSmart System

For painting tips:

Happy Painting!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Cat Safety

After the post on Animal Poison Control Center (see 8/24/05) I thought I should direct you to First Aid Tips, how you can keep your Home Safe for your cat, and a list of Poisonous Plants that can be toxic to your cat. Go to this site at Purina to read this information:

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A-Pass-Along (Collapsible Storage Crates)

This pass-along was suggested by Barbara Crafton. She finds the collapsible storage crates most useful. The website has them when you get to the order page that fit on that product. They sell there for 3 for $29.95 plus $9.95 shipping. (size is not given)

I found them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $6.99. See them here:

This website has them in two sizes:

Monday, September 05, 2005

A-Pass-Along (Collapsible Coolers)

This pass-along comes from Deacon J (MOLC). She wanted me to suggest these collapsible coolers that are handy to keep in your car. They are made by California Innovations which can be found at this link:
I actually have the green one shown on the home page that I bought years ago at Costco. Deacon J says she has one with wheels and uses that one when does her warehouse shopping. There's a "where to buy" on the homepage.
(I've also found it handy to have if you have leftovers when dining out when you aren't going right home. Just ask for a bag of ice!)

Friday, September 02, 2005


From the time I was a little girl pretzels were always my favorite snack and I'd say that pretty much went for the whole family. At one time my dad worked for a trucking company and when the drivers would go to Pennsylvania he'd have them bring back a 5 pound tin of pretzels and we'd go through it in a week or so.
When I was in High School my paternal Grandmother lived next door to us and she would always be sure to have Quinlan Dutch Style Pretzels in the blue cellophane covered box and an ice cold Coke Cola in the small bottle, (because that's how it tasted the best) on hand. I'd kick back and watch the Mike Douglas Show and relax with my favorite snack of choice. (and actually there weren't as many choices back then as there are now.)
Well, the pretzels in the blue box are long gone but I've found a pretzel I really like, (not Sourdough) and they're called Uncle Jerry's handmade Pennsylvania Dutch Style Pretzels. What you see pictured are the "Specials". There are also Extra Dark, Oat Bran, Oat Bran Low Surface Salt, Lite, Lite Low Surface Salt,Whole Wheat Salted, Whole Wheat Low Salt, and Whole Wheat Sesame Low Salt. [There is a note at the bottom of the form that says - Low Salt Available Please Specify]
Pretzels come in 3 or 6 pound boxes or one dozen 8 oz. bags.

You can contact them for an order form at: (717) 872-0803

Uncle Jerry's Handmade PA Dutch Pretzels
P.O. Box 695
Lancaster, PA 17603

Payment is by check or money order.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Quilt Progress

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