Geranium Farm Home     Who's Who on the Farm     The Almost Daily eMo     Subscriptions     Coming Events     Links
Hodgepodge     More or Less Church     Ways of the World     Father Matthew     A Few Good Writers     Bookstore
Light a Prayer Candle     Message Board     Donations     Gifts For Life     Pennies From Heaven     Live Chat

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.

Subscribe for HP via email

Search Hodgepodge...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Healthier Pumpkin Bread Recipe

• 1-1/2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. cinnamon*
• 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. cloves
• 1 cup canned plain pumpkin puree*
• 1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
• ½ cup Splenda for baking
• 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
• 1 large egg
• 1 Tbsp. canola oil
• 5 prunes* (cut up into little pieces)
• ½ cup blueberries*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, beat pumpkin puree, brown sugar, Splenda, yogurt, egg and oil together. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring just until moistened & gently stir in the berries and prunes (overmixing will cause the bread to become too tough).
Bake: 40 – 45 minutes.

Back on the January 19th posting there was a list of *The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating. So I tried to incorporate some of these into one recipe. I thought this would be a good breakfast bread.
The original recipe called for buttermilk which I substituted the yogurt. (Just so you wouldn't be stuck with the rest of the quart of buttermilk.) Instead of a whole cup of brown sugar I halved it and used Splenda too. You could play with upping the amount of prunes and blueberries. I guess you could try some whole wheat flour also if you like. I reduced the amount of cloves from 1/2 to 1/4 teaspoon. The clove taste was a little too strong for me.
Oh, and don't think ugh prunes. I don't think you really even taste them so much as they just give more moistness along with the blueberries to it all. I cut them up with kitchen shears into pieces half the size of a raisin. Toss them a bit in the flour mixture to keep them from sticking together.

I finally made the Healthier Pumpkin Bread recipe. Since I make 'healthy' muffins for my breakfast I decided to use this recipe to make muffins also. It makes 21 muffins and took 20 minutes of baking. I also used 10 prunes and a whole cup of blueberries so that there would be some of each in every muffin. I have Splenda brown sugar on hand and used just 1/2 cup of that - no other sugar. I also use buttermilk in other recipes so I used it. As an afterthought I decided to throw in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (another good for you ingredient). It was hard to wait until after my salad at lunch and would have been impossible to wait until breakfast tomorrow to sample one. They are as good as they sound and smell!
Thank you for sharing this recipe.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 26, 2009


This is a website where you can do much more with your photos. You can create your own 3D and animated prints. Also you can morph images, create depth, and combine memories into a flip pictures. Try your hand at making a cool business card, flat card or greeting card, invitation, large or small notebook, or a scrapbook page.
Check it all out at this very different website to have fun with your photos:

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Heart Attack Symptoms

Typical heart attack symptoms

Chest discomfort or pain -This discomfort or pain can feel like a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in the center of your chest lasting more than a few minutes. This discomfort may come and go.
Upper body pain -Pain or discomfort may spread beyond your chest to your shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw. You may have upper body pain with no chest discomfort.
Stomach pain- Pain may extend downward into your abdominal area and may feel like heartburn.
Shortness of breath- You may pant for breath or try to take in deep breaths. This often occurs before you develop chest discomfort.
Anxiety -You may feel a sense of doom or feel as if you're having a panic attack for no apparent reason.
Lightheadedness -You may feel dizzy or feel like you might pass out.
Sweating -You may suddenly break into a sweat with cold, clammy skin.
Nausea and vomiting -You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.

Common heart attack symptoms in women
Women may have all, none, many or a few of the typical heart attack symptoms. For women, as for men, the most common symptom of a heart attack is some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But women are more likely than are men to also have symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as:

Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
Shortness of breath
Nausea or vomiting
Abdominal pain or "heartburn"
Lightheadedness or dizziness
Unusual or unexplained fatigue

This was taken from this website:

To read more about: Heart disease in women: Understand symptoms and risk factors


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some New Gluten-Free Information

There is a lot information so it is an attached file instead of a posting. Some is time sensitive (coupons, fund raisers) so if this is of interest take a look at it right away.

New Gluten-Free Information


Monday, February 23, 2009

My Heart Attack - Part 3

It’s Wednesday now and late in the day when I’m transferred up to a room on the stroke wing. I guess that’s where they had a room. I ask about taking a shower and they say they’ll check. Nope! The doctor didn’t put it in the orders so I can’t take a shower. Crap!
I’m given a new portable heart monitor that first hung around my neck, and then they gave me a gown with a pocket in the front that it slips into. Ahh . . . freedom at least now I don’t have to plug and unplug whenever I get out of bed and set off an alarm.
At some point when my meds are brought in the little cup this time I’m given a printout of what they all are. I look at the meds in the cup and listen as she reads them off. “Oh great, I’ve turned into my 93 year old dad.”
I meet my roommate and she’s there having had a stroke. She lives and works near me and we get to know one another fast. One night I’m over sitting on her side of the room talking and the nurses come in for a shift change and want to know if it’s OK to discuss our cases for the changeover. We look at each other and smile and say sure. We already know everything about each other. I point to my roommate and say to the oncoming nurse, “Stroke” & then to myself, “Heart attack”.
I had two I.V.’s in the back of my right hand and this is pointed out at the change of each shift and it is noted about how one is just below my right thumb. They all remark about that one! They’re always checking them and re-taping them as no one wants to have to redo them.
Thursday morning one of the heart docs comes in and she sits by me on the bed and asks me how I’m feeling. “Well, ya know your associate said yesterday I could take a shower but since he didn’t write it in the order I couldn’t take one.” She said something about yes patients are always asking about when they can take a shower. We discuss some other things and she goes to leave and I again remind her to write it on the orders. She says that she goes camping and that after the first few days it doesn’t so much bother her about not being able to shower. “Well, this is my 5th day without one and I really want it.” Soon after she leaves I get the OK and I can finally shower!!
No tests for Thursday. So it’s just a day to hang out and rest up for my low impact treadmill stress test for Friday. Late at night my mind is racing and I’m walking the hall to try to work out the stiffness from the new bed that now sinks like a pit in the middle. (They had come in and pumped it up to firm but it didn’t seem to stay. Perhaps it’s because you’re on that pad that keeps inflating and deflating constantly to prevent bedsores.) Anyway, I ask if there is a scale anywhere and a nurse shows me to a room and I get on the scale and look at my weight. “Oh man, all that bad hospital food I didn’t eat and I still didn’t lose weight! How much does this weigh?” I say pointing to my monitor. She’s thinks this is hysterical and we’re both laughing as I walk back down the hall to my room. (I did actually lose some weight.)
Friday morning I’m to be picked up at nine to go for my treadmill test. I go into take a shower and before I know it they say they are there to take me down. Oh, no. I say I’ll be right out. I quickly finish and get dressed, I swear it was like in 5 minutes but they are gone. I don’t have to wait too long and they are back to take me down. I get wired up and try to stretch a bit before the doc comes in, now a 4th one for me to meet from the cardio group, to do my test.
I’m on the tread mill a few minutes and he asks me how I’m feeling. I say, “My legs are going to cramp up before I’m going to have a heart attack!” which they do. “Can you go 30 more seconds?” “Sure.” I make it and pass the test. I can go home!
So in the end my arteries were clear and the only thing they can figure is that an over–the-counter diet aid I had just started to take, about 5 ½ days before this happened (took less that the recommended dosage) had too much caffeine for me and maybe that was a contributing factor to all this.


Friday, February 20, 2009

My Heart Attack - Part 2

Funny, the guy on the transport team that took me to the second hospital had just had happened to have known by nephew from years ago when he worked at the First Aid at Great Adventure Amusement Park. Small world isn’t it?
At the new hospital I’m put in CCU. I was wiped out having had no sleep the night before.
I’m taken for a cardiac catheterization (you can look up how this is done) and it was told I’d be awake for it but mildly sedated. If you have a blockage and they have to inflate the balloon to put a stint in then it is cutting off the blood flow for those seconds and it will hurt. They want you to know what it feels like should you ever have it again. “Oh, that’s great!” Fortunately, I had no blockages. Clean as a whistle, which left the doc a bit perplexed as he had said he had only had one other case like this. He showed me my video and then finished closing up where he went in. “Oh crap, what was that? That hurt. You didn’t tell me about that part!” It only lasted like half a minute.
I’m taken back to my room in CCU and told I have to stay flat on my back and cannot move my right leg for 3 hours as that is the side where they went in and they don’t want it to start bleeding. That would be very dangerous. Then for, I think it was another 3 hours, I still can’t get out of bed. Wow, what a thrill to at least be able to use the toilet which was behind a ¾ high wall, no door, no curtain. That was weird. Of course every time I had to go I had to ring the nurse, have the heart monitor unplugged, remove the (E.T. glowing finger) blood oxygen level monitor, and have them help me out of bed. This bed was missing the control to raise and lower the bed so the only way I was able to do it later on was by reaching over to the control on the outside of the bed. By sometime the next day I stopped ringing them and just did it myself.
I was still having my really bad muscle-tension-sinus headaches* and asked for some moist heat. The nurse was nice as she micro waved some moist towels and then wrapped a dry one around it. Meanwhile she ordered up this unit that takes 40 minutes to heat up and then it’s this real flat pad that warm water circulates through.
At some point I had a CAT scan and since I was a cardiac patient they told me I “jumped the line” and wasn’t left in the hall to wait my turn. The test was OK.
I was given a bedside echocardiogram and one of the heart docs from the group came it during it with I guess a bunch of residents and/or interns. He said it showed the muscle had been injured but was healing already. They said it was up to 50% which is what many people’s functions at normally anyway. He said I was going to be transferred to another floor and I asked him if I was going to be able to take a shower then and he said sure. It took like all day for them to get the room ready. Late in the day a technician came in to look at my bed because I had been really uncomfortable sleeping in it. It sank in the middle like a valley. I sat in a chair as I watched him dissect the bed. “I bet that bed cost more than my first car.”
Oh, one more thing before I move on. As many of you know, on the wall in front of you is a dry erase board where each day they write the date and the names of staff that are taking care of you, but in CCU there is one more thing: Goals
So mine were as follows:
* Transfer Tele
* No Chest Pain
(my addition with a picture of a stick figure to the left, smiling under a showerhead with water coming out of it. I took a picture of it with my cell phone!)
* Some time later found out these were migraines I had been having all these years.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Heart Attack - Part 1

The attack came on about quarter after seven Sunday night (2/8/09) just as I had finished a phone call telling my sister-in-law the funny story about my father (one posted) and was about to start making dinner. (and no that story didn’t upset me, it’s a running joke with my dad.)
My pain came on sudden as a straight line in the center of my chest, tightening, pressure (my head forms a picture of wringing out a dish towel), shortness of breath, a little nausea, and I felt flush.
I knew right away this was major. (One of the signs that’s listed is a feeling of doom.) I told my husband right away to call 911 as this was nothing like I had ever felt before. Both the first aid and the paramedics came. They took my bood perssure & did a quick EKG and the paramedics determine they didn’t need to take me. The first aid took me to our local hospital. (Oh, and on the way the one said that that was a “good sign” if the paramedics didn’t feel they needed to take me. Yea – right!)
At the hospital they tried right away to start taking blood. They were having a very hard time as I was so dehydrated and I’m a "hard-stick" anyway. After 7 times I stopped counting, as my sister-in-law who had arrived by then is cowering around the corner as she can’t stand needles. They finally got blood drawn and an IV in and gave me meds. There’s one they give you in the stomach which gives you a real nice big black and blue spot which I finally noticed the day I left (the second hospital).
At sometime I’m moved up to the Intensive Care Unit. It was so noisy there! There are these pulmonary machines that have alarms that sound like the trained seals honking horns and they sometimes went off so much it was like the were playing a tune, and that was with all the other machine alarms. I wanted to get the person that thought up that alarm and make them try to sleep with that! I was up the entire night despite all the drugs they had given me. With all this, still the chest pain, and I had one of my muscle-tension-sinus headaches! The muscles across my upper back tighten along with my neck muscles, putting pressure on the nerves to my face and then my face hurts too. So now my chest, back, neck, and face are all hurting and all the while they keep asking me to rate my chest pain with a number. I was having a hard time doing this with everything going on at once.
I ended up with:
2 doses of morphine for the pain
Xanax – for anxiety
Flexeril – muscle relaxer
Percoset – for pain (for the head pain)
Ambien – to sleep

I was up all night between the pain, anxiety, and noise. The clock was on the wall in front of me and I just watched the hours go by. Around 5:30 am I threw up and said; “Well now you won’t have to worry about anything in my stomach for my test.” (cardiac catheterization) I did feel somewhat better after that.
Now mind you I had complained about the noise off and on all night but it wasn’t until the morning when I said something again that someone (perhaps new person on shift?) told me they had ear plugs! Well, duh! Ya might have mentioned it sooner. It’s not like I would have thought they’d had them to ask for, especially for as awful as I was feeling. Boy, was I pissed!
The next day I was transferred to another hospital that specializes in cardiac.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Ninety-Three and Still Crackin' Us Up!

On my last visit to my dad at the V.A. Home there was a break in cold winter weather we'd been having and I thought it'd be good for him to get out. So off we went to Stewart's Drive-In to get some lunch. While we were waiting for our food I was telling him that Paul had taken Brian the night before to pick up his two new suits that were finally ready after being altered for the third time.
He says, "You know I want (to be buried in) that Oxford striped tie that Johnny brought back from London."
"OK, Dad and you want to wear your black and white saddle golf shoes?" I say jokingly.
"Yea, sure, and I want my camel-colored sport's jacket."
"Ah-ha and what pants will you be wearing with this?"
"I want my black and white hounds-toothed pants."
"So let me get this right. You want the club-striped tie, camel colored jacket, black and white hounds-toothed pants, with the black & white saddle golf shoes?" We both crack-up.
"Well", he says, "nobody has to see the bottom." We laugh harder.
"Ummm . . . and what shirt will you be wearing with this?"
"Oh, awhile back I got a dark blue Oxford button down, um . . . but it has short-sleeves."
"Who will know?" I say and we both crack-up.
He says, "But ya know the cuffs won't be showing", he says pointing to his wrist.
We laugh again. He thinks this is a riot!
All this from a man I remember that used to be impeccably dressed.
(Except for those awful bright colored golf pants that we used to tease him about!)
8/24/2010 Well Dad - You did get the tie.

Just to show these are the "for real" Black and White Saddle Shoes he wore. Not even the golf ones! And parents wonder why we didn't want to be seen with them when we were teenagers! LOL
(Note: Our High School cheerleaders wore them and I thought that was cool. Maybe that's why I was so embarrassed that my dad wore them.)

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Heart Day!

Now . . . you're probably wondering why it says Happy Heart Day instead of Happy Valentine's Day. Well, that's because this past Sunday I had a heart attack. I just came home from the hospital yesterday. My tests are basically all good, except for the blood test that did indeed show it was a heart attack. (Have to work a bit on that cholesterol number thingy.) I'm just tired and need to get my strength back after all those days in bed. So, I'll be back. I'll write more about it then. (The picture is of the little nightlight that my husband got me to remind me to take care of my heart.)

- I love you guys! - Debbie

"Hi!" to my hospital roommate Pat and thanks to all the docs and staff!

Friday, February 06, 2009


Createspace is a website where you can create and sell your books, music, and videos. There are no set up fees, no minumum orders, and you keep the rights. Each product is made as customers order so you won't be stuck with excess inventory. You can also make your item available to millions of customers on E-Store,, and other channels. You set the list price and the amount you earn on every sale.
Learn more about it here:

HP reader Ann S. sends along this website to check for the updated list of peanut butter recalls:

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mug Cake - Take Two

After I received an email from HP reader Jody M. (comment added to first posting) I decided I'd give the mug cake a second try. She said she mixes all the wet ingredients first which is what I had suspected needed to be done. I did it with my Black & Decker Gizmo whisk (see 5/2/08 posting) and then mixed in the dry. I also added the chocolate chips, divided the batter into two large Pyrex dishes, and then micro-waved them for 2 1/2 minutes as she suggested.
Anyway . . . much better . . . as evidenced by the empty cup which I ate . . . before I went to get my camera!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wyatt and His Quilt

(Photos by Diane Oliver)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wyatt's Quilt

Here's the quilt you've been waiting to see that I made for Wyatt. It is from a book by Nancy Mahoney - Applique Quilt Revival (Updated Patterns from the 30's) and is called "Cowboy Days". You can find it on Amazon. The finished size is 45" x 56". Instead of stippling all around the cowboys and horses as suggested in the book, I hand appliqued around each and then machine stitched three stars in the field area around the figures.
Tomorrow some pictures of Wyatt with his quilt.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, February 02, 2009

Chocolate Mug Cake

I made this last night and as the pictures show you must have a really large mug as you can see it came right up to the top edge during cooking. I found it to be spongy and a bit rubbery perhaps because I used an extra large egg(?). I didn't have chocolate chips which would have helped give it a stronger chocolate taste I would think and it wasn't sweet enough for me. It is somewhat like the Betty Crocker Warm Delights but a lot cheaper to make.

(This came by way of HP reader Pam and my brother, both of whom had it passed on to them.)

See take Two on Thursday, 2/5/09
Comment from HP reader: "Oh yes! I have been making this cake for a year or so. Because I have NO discipline and ate the whole thing I decided to make it in two smaller cups. Then I micro only 2 1/2 minutes. I save the second and don't feel quite as sinful! I like the texture and yes, the bits are nice. I have used both peanut butter or butterscotch. I think the mint flavored chips would be good too. "
- Jody M.

Labels: , , ,

Copyright © 2003-Present Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.