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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, June 30, 2006

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory Breast Cancer - or IBC - is the most aggressive form of breast cancer and almost always presents itself without a lump. To read more about it go to the following link:

Check out the other links within this article to learn more. This is important information and make sure you get this vital information to all the women you know.

Thanks Merry for passing this along.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Episcopal Bishop Looks Back on Term

Click on the link below to hear an interview that was on NPR radio with Frank Tracy Griswold III, the 25th presiding bishop and primate of the U.S. Episcopal Church, as he ends his nine-year term later this year.

Thanks Johnny for passing this along.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Bedtime Routine

Every night when David goes to bed there is this little routine he goes through. First he picks out his CD of music he wants to listen to. Then we have to look for the remote control to the player. Often times it ends up on the floor under his bed if I haven't pried it from his hand after he's fallen asleep clutching it the night before and put it back on his night table. I usually have to remind him to put his knees down when I pull the covers up while he holds his hands up in the air. Of course then there is the inevitable request: "Water!" But lastly there is the call out, "I want Maggie!". Now usually she's in the hallway stretched out at the top of the stairs. Long ago she caught on to this routine and the minute she'd hear the call and see me exit his room to get her she'd slowly rise as I started to approach and then head for under the dinning room table. Over and over again we'd tell David, quiet she hears her name, and she runs away. We know what you want. Well, the other night I guess he finally got the message after Paul tucked him in he called out, "I want her!".

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Geranium Farm Raffle for Episcopal Relief and Development

Judith Radtke draws the winning numbers for the raffle.

The baby quilt winner.

Winner of one of the two geranium wall hangings.

Winner of the set of Barbara's books.

Barbara presents ERD President Rob Radtke with over $1100 from the raffle.

Monday, June 26, 2006

...and a few words from ...

Barbara and Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief and Development

Barbara and keynote speaker, Lane Denson

Catch more by Southern sage and jazz musician Lane Denson, on the News and Events page of the Geranium Farm in his "Out of Nowhere" column.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Brunch Gets Started

Deacon Joanna warms up the crowd!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Before the Brunch

People lined up for the Geranium Farm brunch.

Ken Arnold of Church Publishing Co. stops by the raffle table.

Barbara and Elizabeth

Elizabeth Cauthorn of Viva Books

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The room all set up for the Geranium Farm brunch.

Reverend John and Jean Carson at the registration table for the brunch

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Exhibit Hall at the General Convention

Me with my brother, John

Monday, June 19, 2006

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church

I just got home the convention Sunday evening. I took a lot of pictures and I will be posting them over the next week or so. For now if you'd like to read more about our new presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori go to:

Winners of the GF Brunch raffle - Please email me your name, what you won, and where you are from so I can announce the winners. So overwhelmed by it all I forgot to get that information! Thanks!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The Pennies from Heaven printouts are working again. Matt fixed it.
I'll be away for a few days to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church out in Ohio. See you at the Geranium Farm Brunch there on Saturday!

A Sad Farewell

My Dad and Bozena at the airport saying goodbye.

Last Wednesday my dad had to say goodbye to his caregiver for the past year and a half. You see her son is getting married and Bozena and her husband, Emil are returning to Slovakia for the wedding. They will be unable to return unless they can secure new visas. Last Saturday we all went out for a farewell dinner. My father said he'd was going to miss their bedtime routine as they would call out to each other:

"Goodnight Bozena"
"Goodnight Johnny"
"Bozena I Love You"
"I Love You Johnny"

(The "z" in Bozena is pronounced like a "j". If you look closely you can see the little Teddy Bear that David snatched up as we left and gave to Bozena as a gift and she tied it onto her pocket book.)

Milian, My dad's new aide. My Dad, Bozena

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Same Time, Next Year (Not)

For the past four years an old friend Vivian has been coming in to The College of New Jersey from out of state to work on the board that grades Advanced Placement artwork. The first time I picked her up we went into the Chambersburg section of Trenton that has all these nice little Italian restaurants. We liked that and went back there the next year to the same place. The only hitch was we got lost in Trenton while trying to make our way back to the college. You have to know that our state capital is not a city you want to be lost in at night. I pulled into a convenience store where I saw a policeman and asked him for directions. Another cop pulled up and said something to the one we were talking to and our guy said to him, "I'm giving them directions to get them out of here has fast as possible." Not a good sign. With that we left him and went on our way. As we were trying to make our way back I was telling my friend about a time years ago I was in Michigan with my family and my parents van broke down in Detroit. We managed to pull into a gas station where the inside attendant was behind thick glass. I hadn't seen that before. Not a good sign. My cousins came and got us.
So as we're trying to find our way back we still don't think we're going right and I pull into another convenience store. I go inside to ask directions again. When I get back to the car I tell my friend the guy was behind the thick glass. Not a good sign. We finally did make our way back. Last year we went into Princeton and walked around and ate there, and that was nice. This year we decided just to go out to Route 1 and find a restaurant. Well in doing that I saw a much easier way to go home. All the years I had been going there I went a different way each time as it's kinda like, you can't get there from here. That is to say if you go on the big main roads you end up going out of your way somewhat to get there. So now after all this time I figure this new way to go and next year they're moving it all to Kentucky!

Copyright © 2006 Deborah Sharp Loeb

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Addition to the Geraniun Farm Brunch Raffle !

The Geranium Farm Cookbook

This just in. Barbara is including a complete set of her books autographed for the raffle to benefit Episcopal Relief and Development! Yahoo! Can't make it to the Brunch? Visit the Geranium Farm Bookstore for the new Geranium Farm Cookbook, Barbara's other books, Princess Beads, and more!

Friday, June 09, 2006


Barbara sent this along about these eco-system friendly diapers.

"Imagine taking your baby's soiled diaper and simply flushing it down the toilet. No more smell. No more diaper. No more diaper pail. You’re putting waste right where it belongs, in the toilet. Not in a landfill. That’s exactly how gDiapers work.
gDiapers are a two-part system. The flushable inner refill fits into a pair of colorful ‘little g’ pants. When the flushable becomes soiled, simply flush it down the toilet. It's that easy. gDiapers. Fashion and function on one cute bum."
To find out more about them go to their website at:

To read questions answered by Jason and Kimberley Graham-Nye the eco-diaper entrepreneurs in the May 12th, 2006 edition of Grist Magazine -
Go to:

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Geranium Farm Brunch Raffle

17 1/2" x 20 1/2"
These two quilted pieces will be up for a raffle along with the crib size baby quilt posted 5/03/06. All proceeds going to Episcopal Relief and Development.

17" x 21"

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

More Pictures of the Geranuim Farm Garden

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Future Beyond the Waiting List

A few weeks ago I attended a lecture that gave an overview of housing choices for Special Needs. This is something that Paul and I will have to think about for David's future. Next year we both turn 55 and this will put David on the "urgent" list with the Department of Developmental Disabilities. From what I understand they are just now getting to those whose names were placed on the list in the year 2001. So where will that leave us? Not that we're in a hurry, or that we're even ready to face that choice, it's just that we know it will be the next thing we'll need to address for David's future.
The speakers talked about various choices of housing options. One that was not mentioned, until I brought it up, was an assisted living like we now see cropping up all over for senior citizens. Why this type of housing you ask? Well, out of the choices given, the only place that I could see David fitting was a group home. But if his roommates on any given day say were out at jobs or a day program, and David wasn't having a great day seizure wise, where does this leave him? Home with a staff person. If he were at an assisted living type facility he could at least drop in on an activity as his condition allowed. There could be a day program right there as we know transportation is always another factor. Many activities could take place there just as they do for the seniors. After the meeting I spoke to the woman from DDD and she said that they were starting to think of Assisted Living type facilities as the population that is now in group homes and such is aging and their needs are expanding.

In the town where these series of lectures are taking place the mayor has had land set aside where an apartment building will be built for those with Special Needs. Many towns have a senior apartment housing. Can't towns do this also for those who need it the most? Can your town do this? Would it?

Copyright © 2006 Deborah Sharp Loeb

Monday, June 05, 2006

Matt and Jenn Tie the Knot!

Matt, our web dude guy was married Saturday, 6/3 to the lovely Jenn. See their picture and a write up about the wedding on More or Less Church! Best Wishes to you both!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Whatever You Start Out For, May Just Well Not Be Where You End Up (Part 2)

My brother’s first major in college was Biology but after the first semester of his freshman year he decided it wasn't what he wanted and he switched to Business Administration. He finally graduated with a Marketing Major. When he came out of the service he had a hard time finding a job and he ended up working in retail at a couple of large department stores. He was very unhappy in both those jobs.

Then one day I saw a small article in one of those free little local papers they throw in your driveway. It was about classes starting at a local college for certification to be a Health Inspector. I called my brother up and told him about it since this was what he had done in the Army. He went right away and registered. Being that he had been in the Service, had that training, plus the initial science courses, he had no trouble being accepted into the program even thought it had already started. Upon completion of the course, he got a job working for a couple of local health departments for about a year and a half. Then he went on to work for the New Jersey State Department of Health for 25 years before retiring in July 2002. He even went back during his years of work and completed his Master's in Environmental Health Studies.

So . . . I guess it just goes to show that you may very well not end up where you thought you would, and that when life takes a turn, it could be for a reason you just don't know yet . . . and something that you learned and thought you'd never use, may later come in handy and provide you with your life’s occupation!

P.S. - Oh, and at his retirement luncheon (with all the big bosses), I made sure to take credit for his 25 year career. Hee-Hee

Copyright © 2006 Deborah Sharp Loeb

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Whatever You Start Out For, May Just Well Not Be Where You End Up (Part 1)

My brother was to have graduated from college in June of 1968, but a change in majors left him needing additional 12 credits. As a result, he didn't graduate until January of 1969. He was home but a few months, when he was drafted into the Army. After completing his basic training at Fort Dix in NJ, he was sent on for his specialized training to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He became a Preventive Medicine Specialist and his major duties were to inspect the sanitary conditions where servicemen ate and test the potable water supply on the various bases. His class of 24 was divided into 3 groups of 8 and he was sent on to Korea to the 43rd M.A.S.H. in Uijongbu (A.K.A. 4077th ...yes, the same as the TV show). The other 16 in his class went to Ft. Knox and Vietnam.

The men in my brother's unit lived in those corrugated metal huts, and had a Korean house boy (man) named Chung. One of his dutes was to do the laundry. He would scrub their shirts with a brush on the floor of the shower. One time he scrubbed so hard, he broke the buttons off his fatigues. He used heavy starch on his fatigues and lots of bleach on his whites.

Now, my brother knew he didn't live under the most sanitary conditions in his village. So he tried to explain to Chung that he could add just a small amount of bleach to his water supply to kill the bacteria. Chung replied, "Oh no, no can do. make my insides all white!"

Copyright © 2006 Deborah Sharp Loeb

Living Quarters

43rd M.A.S.H. (A.K.A. - The 4077th)

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