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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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Monday, July 31, 2006

Vanilla Cream Trifle with Grand Mariner liquor

1/4 to 1/2 cup Grand Mariner liquor
(You could you Amaretto liquor or it could be made without any liquor.)
2 bananas, sliced
pint of blueberries
quart of strawberries, sliced
6 small ripe peaches, diced
(or fruits of your choice. I just like this combo)
3 packages of soft lady fingers (not the hard cookies)
(or you can use sponge cake or I guess pound cake would be OK too.)
one 3 oz. package French Vanilla Instant pudding
2 cups milk
1/2 pint heavy cream, whipped
sugar and vanilla

Place all the fruit in a bowl and add amount of liquor you want. You can add some sugar to taste.
Refrigerate overnight. ( I found I liked this better than sprinkling the lady fingers with the liquor.)
Make the pudding according to package directions with the 2 cups of milk.
Fold in half of the already whipped cream.

Layer the bowl with lady fingers, fruit, and pudding, standing some of the lady fingers around the inside of the bowl. Add vanilla and sugar to taste to the remaining whipped cream and then top off the trifle with it. Cover with wrap and refrigerate. Chill well before serving.

{We had a Geranium Farm Garden Party yesterday and this is what I brought for dessert. }

Friday, July 28, 2006

Merry's Zucchini Crisp


4 C flour
2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C margarine

Combine dry ingredients and cut in margarine until crumbly. Put 1/2 in
bottom of ungreased cookie sheet (with sides). Bake 10 mins. at 375.


6-8 C peeled and cubed zucchini
2/3 C lemon juice

Cook until zucchini is tender.

1 C sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Simmer a few minutes then add 1/2 cup crust mixture to thicken. Cool.

Put filling on top of crust then top with the rest of the crumb
mixture. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

This is my cousin Merry's recipe. You'd swear it was filled with apples! So if your garden has an abundance of zucchini, here's something new you can do with them.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Camp Table Plans

My cousin Sheila's husband Bob, had made this little picnic table years ago. It came in handy at our cousins reunion. It can seat 4 adults or 6 kids. The neat thing about it is that the whole thing is made from one 3/4" thick piece of 4' x 8' plywood and it breaks down into 8 pieces that can be stored flat. It goes together in just a minute or two. We put a little tablecloth over it and it was ready to go!

Click here for the plans

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ann Arbor Art Fair

This is a huge art fair with many artists from all over the states. It is held mid July in downtown Ann Arbor. To read more about it and the featured artists go to:

You would swear this sculpture made
of polyester/resin by Marc Sijan was real!

Interesting water fountains made from old silver teapots, gravy boats, trays, buckets, and such.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm Back!

My brother and I got home today from our cousin's reunion. I'll be sharing some pictures, recipes and crafts with you over the next few days.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pictures of Barbara and Q's Vegetable Garden taken earlier this summer.

Va- ca - tion, We're going to have some fun!

OK, I'm going to be away for a week, heading to Michigan with my brother to see some cousins. We plan on going to the big Art Fair in Ann Arbor while we're there. Check back middle of next week and try to stay cool!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Water Sensations

I found these boxes of liquid packets to flavor 16 oz. of water at Target that use sucralose (Splenda). They have zero everything and are clear.
They come in: Strawberry-Kiwi, Mixed Berry, Orange, Lemon, Peach, and Grape.
I was hoping someone would come out with something like this!
The link will tell you other places that carry it and more about it.
For more information go to:

Monday, July 17, 2006

Too Hot To Be Outside? Stay In and Sew Some Neck Coolers!

The temperature is supposed to reach 100 degrees here today. That makes it a good day to stay inside and make some neck coolers for when you have to be outside.

See the Hodgepodge postings from:
August 10th, 2005
October 12th, 2005 for directions.

Additional note: Neck coolers should be soaked for at least 5 minutes but soaking them longer will make even more gel!

Be cool and sew!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Shoe Fresheners

Some of us have been getting together making things for the Christmas fair. I had read awhile back in Heloise that kitty litter could be used to put in shoes to absorb dampness and odors. I made these little cloth bags, refillable with Velcro openings. I filled these with natural Feline Pine litter and cedar shavings.
Not crafty? - You could just fill some clean old socks and put them in the smelly sneakers.
(Actually the Feline Pine and cedar smells just like walking through the wood section of Home Depot. Now, wouldn't the man in your life just love that?!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summer Games and Puzzles for the Kids

Here's some stuff for the kids to do when they say they are bored.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

B & Q's garden pictures to go with - "Dinner with Ethel Merman"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Posting Comments

Comments now get bounced to my email and then I can click on them to get posted. So..... that's why you won't see them appear right away. This is to prevent "SPAM" from getting through.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bravo Channel's Top 100 Greatest TV Characters

100. Xena
99. Monk
98. Steve Urkel
97. Dr. Smith
96. Artie
95. Doug Ross
94. Vic Mackey
93. Maynard G Krebs
92. Agent Dale Cooper
91. Caine
90. Herman Munster
89. Lt. Castillo
88. Jamie Somers
87. Gomez & Morticia
86. Maxwell Smart
85. Napoleon Solo/Illya Kuryakin
84. Bob Hartley
83. Vinnie Barbarino
82. Gil Grissom & Catherine Willow
81. Cast of Will & Grace
80. Jack Tripper
79. Charles Ingalls
78. Rob & Laura Petrie
77. Dr. Craig
76. Ellenor Frutt
75. Ally McBeal
74. Beaver
73. Dr. Johnny Fever
72. Dick Solomon
71. Dan Fielding
70. Niles Crane
69. David Addison/Maddie Hayes
68. Benson
67. Jim Ignatowski
66. Carla Tortelli
65. John Boy
64. Jessica Fletcher
63. Andy Taylor
62. Francis Xavier Pembleton
61. Crockett & Tubbs
60. Mork
59. Al & Peg Bundy
58. Barney Miller
57. Rhoda Morgenstern
56. Mick Belker
55. Capt. Picard
54. Rocky & Bullwinkle
53. Pres. Josiah Bartlet
52. Emma Peel
51. Murphy Brown
50. Sam & Diane
49. Maude Findlay
48. Ted Baxter
47. Carmela Soprano
46. Cast of Friends
45. Marshal Matt Dillon
44. Cliff Huxtable
43. Thomas Magnum
42. Laverne & Shirley
41. The Barone Family
40. Fred Sanford
39. Kojak
38. Sgt. Ernie Bilko
37. Marcus Welby
36. Barney Fife
35. Lou Grant
34. Kermit & Miss Piggy
33. Maverick
32. Scully & Mulder
31. Samantha Stephens
30. Det. Lenny Briscoe
29. Alex Keaton
28. Perry Mason
27. Ann Marie
26. Frasier Crane
25. Joe Friday
24. Louis DePalma
23. Andy Sipowicz
22. Richard Kimble
21. Mr. Spock
20. Ed Norton
19. Eric Cartman
18. Roseanne
17. Jim Rockford
16. George Jefferson
15. J.R. Ewing
14. Hawkeye Pierce
13. Buffy
12. Edith Bunker
11. Carrie Bradshaw
10. Tony Soprano
9. Capt. James T. Kirk
8. Mary Richards
7. Lt. Columbo
6. Seinfeld Cast
5. Homer Simpson
4. The Fonz
3. Lucy Ricardo
2. Ralph Kramden
1. Archie Bunker

How many of these characters do you know? I recognize most everyone of these names. Probably even the last few but just need the face/show to go with the name. All of which I guess shows I've watched way too much TV over the years!
Can you name the titles of the shows for the characters?
This was a five part series from the Bravo channel. You can check your local listings to see if it is running in your area. I just happened to catch the last one with the top 20. Anyone you think should be added to the list? Post it as a comment.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Reverend Canon Elizabeth R. Geitz - Canon for Ministry Development and Deployment - The Diocese of New Jersey with my brother John Sharp
Elizabeth is the author of:
Entertaining Angels: Hospitality Programs for the Caring Church
Women's Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, Celebrated
Gender and the Nicene Creed
Soul Satisfaction: Drawing Strength from Our Biblical Mothers and Sisters
Fireweed Evangelism Christian Hospitality in a Multi Faith World
Recovering lost tradition: To introduce the supplemental liturgical texts of 1989: an historical perspective with a pastoral approach,

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Seaman's Church Institute of New York and New Jersey

Here's another picture that was taken at the General Convention. Pictured from left to right: Douglas Stevenson, Esq. - Director, Center for Seafarers’ Rights, Rev. Barbara Crafton, Rev. Andy Moore - Director of NJ office.

To learn more about the Seaman's Church Institute and their programs go to:

If you knit there is the Christmas-at-Sea program with patterns for items to knit and donate as gifts.
Go to this link:

P.S. - Barbara served at the Seaman's Institute!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Denim Placemat with Pocket for Bandana Napkin

I bought these red plastic plates at a Cracker Barrel when we made a stop on our way out to the General Convention. Instead of purchasing the placemats they had at $5.99 each I made my own. I had some old ones that I don't use anymore that happened to be a medium shade of blue on the back so I just placed denim over them and stitched the top with the heavy orangish-gold thread used for denim. The pocket holds the red bandana used for a napkin.

Placemats being used.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fourth of July

Want to learn more about the Fourth of July? Check out this database about Fourth of July Celebrations:

Monday, July 03, 2006

Cheep Thrills

Just before I left for the General Convention I put up a hummingbird feeder. The other night Paul and David are sitting on the front porch and I hear Paul yelling. I run to the door and he tells me a hummingbird has been buzzing back and forth to the feeder checking it out, but not feeding. I run back into the house and get my camera. Then we sit and wait. Our neighbors have just come home from the movies and have taken their dog out for a walk. I call to them and Linda joins us for the watch. Sure enough, it's back. Just before it starts to get dark it returns but this time it hangs out for awhile and feeds for at least a minute. We were thrilled. Yeah, I know we're easily entertained.

Some years ago my brother John was visiting friends. He arose before the others and went to the fridge to get some juice to take with his vitamins. He later asked them, "What kind of juice was that in the fridge? It was awfully sweet."
"Oh, that wasn't juice. It was the hummingbird food!"

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