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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, March 31, 2008

A Celebration with Music, Laughter, and Tears

Read more about this in Barbara's eMo for today - "Sweet Sorrow"
(You can click on each collage to enlarge it.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Remember the Old Cartoons?

Remember Little LuLu, Betty Boop, Littly Audry, Inki, Felix the Cat, Popeye, Mighty Mouse, Molly Moo Cow, and any of dozens of other old cartoons? You can find them here:

Boy, they sure do bring back great memories!

To hear Little Lulu theme song go here:

Betty Boop's - go here:

First Superman Cartoon:

Felix the Cat
The Wondeful Wonderful Cat
Whenever he gets in a fix
he reaches into his bag of trix
Felix the the cat
The wonderful wonderful cat
You'll laugh so hard your sides will ache
your heart will go pitter pat
That's Felix, he's the wonderful cat

(Hope all the links work.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"This I Believe is an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives. These short statements of belief, written by people from all walks of life, are archived here and featured on public radio in the United States and Canada, as well as in regular broadcasts on NPR. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow."

DJ from MOLC here on the "Farm" sent along a story from here from one of her readers after a posting she did, which prompted me to send along this website.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How Well Do You Know Your Medical Ancestry?

The following is a summary from an article by Steve Fisher, entitled: "Make like a tree and live". (It is taken from the February 2008 Costco Connection magazine, although it doesn't show up in the online archived section.)

The article tells about Rovinia M. Brock, Ph.D., a.k.a - Dr. Ro ( on BET television and she has a syndicated column, "Livin' Healthy with Dr. Ro". In her book, Dr. Ro's Ten Secrets to Livin' Healthy she stresses the importance of knowing your family medical past. She learned how important this was when she lost her mother to stomach cancer. Here are the tips she offers:
  • Talk to your immediate family about their health to find out the most important information about your genetic risks.
  • Become a sleuth in the case of deceased relatives finding information from medical records, death certificates, obituary notices, or old letters.
  • View family photo albums, baby books, or family videos as visual clues may tell a tale.
  • Attend family reunions. Old family stories may offer clues to conditions other relatives were reticent to talk about.
  • Be specific as health histories should include dates of birth, dates and causes of death, as well as medical conditions. It's important to know the person's age at the onset of a condition.
  • Draw a genealogical chart to track whether a disease has passed from generation to generation. If you notice the same diseases in different generations, or a pattern developing, you should obtain information from other relatives to make a more complete picture.

Finally she says: "You can't change your genes but you can adjust your life to minimize risks or catch things while still manageable."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Snack Attack!

What's your snack of choice - some type of a chip, popcorn, or pretzels? Well at, The Crunchiest Site on the Internet, (and recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning show) you can find out about all kinds of snacks and read reviews from the best to the worst.
What satisfies you when your inner munchie calls?
You know my favorite -
What's yours?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Putting Faces to the Names . . .

Happy Easter from Linda and Hazel who started it all on how you came to know the Geranium Farm.
Your stories again if you missed them -

Linda went on a surprise visit to Hazel for this Easter. The picture above was taken previously but since Hazel loves Easter, her favorite holiday in the church year, she said to go ahead and use it!
(and just a few more of your stories will be posted back to 3/1/08)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Legend of the Dogwood

HP reader Dee, sends along this link that tells of the legend of the dogwood tree.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Listen, can you hear it?
Spring's sweet cantata.
The strains of grass pushing through the snow.
The song of buds swelling on the vine.
The tender timpani of a baby robin's heart.

Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Wake Up Call, 1992

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Time to Get Organized!

Get ready to do that spring cleaning with some products to help organize your home. Go to this link to see them:

Also look below it to the links to OTHER FEATURES IN Home & Family:

40 household jobs in 5 minutes or less
Noisy Toys Alert
Don't Trash It, Reuse It!
25 Must-Have Organizing Products
20 Things to Do With 20 Minutes
Green Envy
Theme Parks on a Budget

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Great Information for Quilters

The Quilter's Catalog is a fantastic resource for all kinds of information for quilters. I got it in just a few days from Click on the picture to zoom in closer to read more on the back cover.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Put your sound on.

(Thanks Diane for sending this along. It's beautiful.)
P.S. - Hi Josie. It was good to see you!

Note: There is a notice on the website's home* that because of heavy traffic, the flashes are temporary offline and they are working on a solution. So sorry, I just suggest trying back at a later time. Debbie

Here's something to watch in the meanwhile and that's who I saw last Friday night. Sound not the best quality but the pictures are pretty. To hear more of them just search The Saw Doctors on

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Playlist

Hey, first time I ever got a band's playlist, (Jeeze, kinda old for that huh? LOL) . . . and what better band to see just before St. Paddy's Day?
You be the detective. Hee - hee.
No prizes - not necessary to email with the answer. : )

(Thanks D & D and all. It was a lot of fun wasn't it?)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This Year's Early Easter

My brother, John, sends along this information he found out about this year's early Easter.
Easter is the 23rd this year. Easter is always the 1st Sunday after
the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This
dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used
to identify passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman
Based on the above information, Easter can actually be one day earlier
(March 22) that is rare.
Here's the interesting information. This year is the earliest Easter
any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most
elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or
above). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!
Here's the facts:
1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year
2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so
if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for
2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the
year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was
1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than
this year!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Remember How Women Got the Vote

Hodgepodge reader Dee sends along this link to remind us of how hard women fought to get the vote.
Go to this link to read their story:

A Hodgepodge reader sent along this: Please remind viewers to watch the incredibly good video from HBO called the Iron Jawed Angels starring Hillary Swank and Anjelica Huston. I recently saw it at a League of Women Voters meeting and even those viewers were astonished at the story. - cll

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

TAP Project

We take clean water for granted. UNICEF estimates that worldwide over 1 billion people have little or no access to clean water. Every 15 seconds a child dies of thirst or water-related disease. This is 6,000 children everyday.

On March 16-22 restaurants nationwide will participate in the TAP Project. By donating just $1 for the glass of water you normally get for free, you'll provide clean drinking water for a child for 40 days! To find out which restaurants in your area are participating, to volunteer, or to donate, go to:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

A new rare photograph of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan has recently been uncovered. Go to the link to see the picture and read about it.;_ylt=AlGWt.D.OZ0URNUT4X3nEbZH2ocA

When David was around a year old he had reoccurring ear infections which contributed to him having delayed speech. His first birthday was in October and when spring rolled around and he had yet another ear infection, we had tubes put it. No more infections. (In time, when the tubes fell out and the infections reoccurred, tubes were reinserted.) Also it was around this time that David started all his therapies. The little bit of sign language he learned as a bridge to beginning speech greatly reduced his frustration in trying to communicate with us. I highly recommend Baby Sign Language.
See posting:

Friday, March 07, 2008

Out of the Bad, Comes Something Good

Awhile back I told you about the awful day when I was just trying to take David for a flushot at Costco and ended up in the ER.

Well, I never told you the upshot of what happened after that. The next day I took David to a local CVS where they were giving flu shots. I got to talking to the woman that gave David his shot and somehow the subject of his neurologist came up. I told her we had been actively searching for a new one. See:
She gave me the name of one that specializes in prescribing seizure medications. (Paul looked him up on the Internet.) We've seen him twice and David is improving! I'm taking him again next week.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Simple Biscuit Crust for Pot Pie

I made chicken pot pie the other night, see:
and looked around the Internet for a crust to top it and found the following:

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sage*
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix these dry ingredients together and then cut in:
2 Tablespoons of butter
Then stir in:
1/3 cup of milk
Form into a ball. Roll out until a little less than a half inch thick. I found it covered a souffle bowl (even draped it over the sides). Put a hole in the center for the steam to escape. Brush with an egg wash. There were no baking directions so I baked it at 375' for 18-20 minutes.
Note: The first time I found that some of the dough was underbaked in parts so the next time I put a piece of foil on top with a hole in the center, sprayed it with Pam, and put the crust (also with center hole) on top of the foil.

*I didn't have any sage but used some "Herbs De Provence" (from Wegman's). It is a blend of: Tarragon, basil, savory, thyme, rosemary, fennel, and lavender. I also added some to the pot pie. Yummy!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Family Watch Dog

When you visit this site you can enter your address and a map will pop up with your home as a small house icon. There may be red, blue and green dots surrounding your entire neighborhood. When you click on these dots a picture of a criminal will appear with their home address and the description of the crime he or she has committed.
You can see how close these people live/work to your home or school.
This site was developed by John Walsh from Americas Most Wanted.

(I thought I had posted this site before but I couldn't find it. Thanks Joan for send it along.)

Update: OK, I had posted this on 1/25/06, but after doing some searching I found this site:
which may give even more up to date information for your area.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tips for a Superb Life

(My Aunt Sylvia sent me this list that's going around the internet. I liked and though I'd pass it along.)

1.) Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.

2.) Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3.) Buy a TIVO, (DVR), tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4.) When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to_____________ today.'

5.) Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6.) Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did last year.

7.) Always pray and make time to exercise.

8.) Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of Six.

9.) Dream more while you are awake.

10.) Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

11.) Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12.) Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13.) Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14.) Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15.) Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class ......but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16.) Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17.) Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18.) Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19.) Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20.) Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21.) You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22.) Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

23.) Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24.) Ladies - Go on and burn those 'special' scented candles, use the 600 thread count sheets, the good china and wear our fancy lingerie now. Stop waiting for a special occasion. Everyday is special.

25.) No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26.) Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

27.) Forgive everyone for everything.

28.) What other people think of you is none of your business.

29.) Time heals almost everything. Give time, time!

30.) However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

31.) Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch with them.

32.) Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

33.) Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. God provides remember?!

34.) The best is yet to come. (in Heaven)

35.) No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

36.) Do the right thing!

37.) Call your family often.

38.) Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
'I am thankful for __________.' 'Today I accomplished _________.'

39.) Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

40.) Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Have a Blessed day. Please share with friends!

Monday, March 03, 2008


I received this email from reader, Dee in Las Cruces, and asked her if I could share it with you all.

"Debbie - Have been reading with interest how various folks came to The
Geranium Farm. What strikes me is that so many say that their story is
not rivetting or interesting or even unique - there's a message in that
somewhere - that we are all in the "day to day swim" but this latest
project of yours shows that we are certainly not in it alone - we have
many brothers and sisters in it with us, each one trying to swim his/her
best, day to day. This is a comfort.

Also, I think that, given the difficult and often disconnected times the
Episcopal church has gone through lately, this is a great way for us all
to stay connected nationally. What do we all really think? What do we
all really do with our days all over the US? What other activities are
going on in our dioceses? And my favorite personal one: Thank goodness
to hear from Alison Love in Richmond or near there who talks in the same
vein as I am thinking and she's "at home" - my home in Virginia -
thinking and enjoying and taking part in many of the same things I'm doing.

This is all a bunch of bigger side blessings, I think. Unlooked-for
gifts from our all-encompassing God who finds many diverse ways to fill
our needs and feed our souls." Dee

Saturday, March 01, 2008

How You Found The Geranium Farm (6)

The last few stories about "How I Found The Farm" are found below.

How I Found The Geranium Farm (#6)


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