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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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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Some Pictures from the Geranium Farm Luncheon

Center Top Photo- Myself, Father Matthew Moretz, Rev.Barbara Crafton, Carol Stone, John Sharp (my brother)
I'll post more California pictures when I return.

(For any of you that I did meet along the way that gave me your email address please contact me again as I am having trouble finding them. Also, so sorry I wasn't able to chat it up a bit more with you all at the luncheon, as I having a bit of vertigo/migraine symptoms so I wasn't feeling up to par. The time change threw me off even more.)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Makes Geranium Farmers Happy (Part 3)

(from the Internet Readers)

- A good book and a quiet afternoon to read it. Jo Wright Vinita OK

- My husband is from a family of 16 kids and they were very poor. Most of their family pictures were destroyed in a fire and it has made me so happy to search out and find many old pictures of them through the years and during this process to find many of my own heritage pics that I never knew existed. It has been a joy. JM

- Singing folk songs with others
Long, relaxing talks with old friends
Seeing my granddaughter Emma well enough to run and climb
Ann Scott

- These are some of the things that make me happy:
The sweet smell of the summer earth after a rain.
Singing "Hyfrydol" during a church service.
Taking my dog for a walk in the neigborhood.
Having a visit with an old friend.
Sharing theological thoughts and concepts with others.
Seeing the first buds on flowering plants.
A no problems report from my dentist after my semi-annual visit.
Taking time to really listen to my grandchildren.
and much, much, more

- Being with my children and grandchildren.
Being in Church and being with my 2nd family.

- My favorite happy quote for my husband and three sons --

-"The happiest happy I'm happy, is the happy, I'm happy when you're happy."
Jo Dahlberg from Montana

-The smell of flowers in the summer garden always makes me happy beyond words. Fran

-the aroma of breakfast cooking (especially bacon)

-What makes me happy-my ministry with the elderly; spending an evening with good friends; seeing a newborn baby; watching the eyes of a child receive. Communion for the first time; going to the mountains, and eating the first tomato still warm from the sun.

- The early morning sky, birds on the feeder, the dog at my feet and opening the day with prayer reminds me of my many blessings and makes me happy.
Being with my family overwhelms me with emotion and makes me very happy.
Thanks for the chance to reflect on God's many riches.

- When I was young Waking up beside my husband and being able to thank God for this Godly man. You have to know my history to understand how wonderful this is.. Sandra Greer.

- The realization that my parents live on in me! ( The older I get, the truer this appears!) Adelaide Kent

- The laughter of my 8 grandchildren!!!!! Gail

-Sitting on the porch steps on a summer night – feeling the breeze, listening to the leaves rustle, cradled in the sounds of thousands of small, hidden creatures singing a hymn to the Creator

-Was reading bits of Wordsworth this morning and these phrases leapt up as working for almost anyone’s happiness list—
“The instinct of tenderness developing the understanding”
“Authentic tidings of invisible things”
I would add, with a little inspiration from the above(and trying to avoid the usual favorites that are always true and always extolled (family, home, romance, God, nature, health))-- Tender, direct, honest, authentic communication between loving humans. Justice delivered, greatly tempered by mercy, and resulting in restitution and reconciliation. Being able to accomplish and reap the benefits of engaging and challenging (but not over-challenging) work. The energy of joyous love and friendship between people who know themselves as equals(which should mean any two Christians, many other people of faith, plus any secularists with a sense of reality.) Discovering benevolent new, interesting things, people, creatures and places which leads to the discovery of benevolent, new, interesting, … which leads to the discovery of … … … True glimpses of reality Kay L. Wisniewski

- Hugs from my grandsons. Michalyn Palmer Jacksonville, FL

-So many have said almost everything I wanted to say in one way or another, but
Istill would like to add:
Seeing a smile on my son Andrew's face.
Being an animal rescue league volunteer when an animal finds that forever wonderful home.
Or seeing the light in a rescued dogs' eyes when she knows that she is finally safe.
The sound of the waves on a hot sunny beach, under an umbrella, reading
a wonderful mystery.
Dark chocolate
Reading in bed late at night with my Dearest asleep next to me and my
two dogs curled up on my feet.

-I would like to add to the very eloquent list:
The smell of a new baby after the first bath and every bath thereafter.
The sound of a grandchild saying Grandma for the first time.
Rain drops on the window panes.
Seeing the beauty of the rainbow.
The sound of the doctor's voice stating, "Your cancer is in remission".
The smell of cookies hot from the oven.
Janice Larson

-Friends that make my heart sing.
Reading aloud the lessons in church.
My children and grandchildren.
Angel hugs ^j^,
Barbi Haigh

- The sound of the first pouring of a bottle of wine – there is a certain unique “glug” which cannot be recaptured after the first pouring. That sound signals a few quiet minutes with my husband and reminds me of the peace that surrounds me (even with two high-maintenance kids!).
The sound of my daughter’s laugh and my son’s unbridled smile.
A handful of M&M’s.
A place to put my feet up.
Rain and the flowers that follow.
Reminders of God’s presence in my life.
Debbie’s e-mails. (Thanks!)
(and, thanks for asking! I will probably be thinking of things to add all day…and isn’t that the point really? Blessings on you!)

- hugging my grandchildren after a long absence
+seeing things I planted thrive
+spending time in really meaty discussions with intelligent, thoughtful adults in my parish
+sitting quietly with my husband on our deck as the sun sets
+sitting down at the table filled with my family and realizing I’ve actually got the whole meal and all the people together!
+putting the finishing touches on the Christmas Tree and realizing God has given us another year to celebrate the Nativity together.
OK – that’s probably more than my allotment
Louise Bower

(You can still send them in and I'll add them to the bottom but I leave for Italy on Thursday so they won't show up until I get back.)


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Makes Geranium Farmers Happy (Part 2)

From the Luncheon Contributors

1. Painting a mural-exciting & sometimes scary.
2. Watching children at play.
3. Worship-taking Eucharist
4. Family camping & backpack trips
5. My husband getting me coffee in bed every morning . . . love of my life after 30 years.
6. A new beginning in the Diocese in San Joaquin!
Thanks to you! Allison K. Visalia, CA

Things that make me happy . . .
the smile of my son Jesse.
a giant bear hug from Tobin
a phone call from my mother
the wind in my hair
the weather in Anaheim in July
Lisa Martin Austin, Texas

The sun sun shining on me when I'm sitting on the beach listening to the waves
but hearing the voice of God. - Diane

Being with my ECW friends
Taking my grandchildren to the park.
Jollie Evertt

Watching the great blue heron sail in to land on the rock in the center of the lake
simply being able to walk without pain

sitting on the beach reading a book and listening to the ocean

The waters of the Gulf . warm and inviting

A good book on a rainy afternoon.
walks on the beach
Long talks with my sons

What makes me happy (in no particular order)
- hummingbirds in the backyard
- the scent of the breaded iris that came from my mother's garden
- an evening with friends enjoying conversation, good food, and wine
- a good massage
- curling up before a roaring fire with a good book
- Vaughn Williams A Lark Ascending
- My beautiful daughter and loving son
- my husband's laugh - and when he calls me "sweetie"
- the stars over a mountain lake

Road Trips

ECW Friends
Church Friends

Taking communion to shut-ins
Holding great grand babies
Being called GreatPumma by Brenden, my great-grandson
My neighbors cat who thinks he has 2 homes (mothers)

The first snow of winter. Sally Graver

Getting hugs from my grandchildren
Walking in the rain when I have no prescribed destination

having a slumber party with my grown daughter
mixing dough forbouloudia with my grandmother
hot bubble bath
reading in bed during a thunderstorm

The sounds of laughter
dancing through the air like butterflies and hummingbirds.
Bonita Gibson

Watching my roses bloom makes me happy


- The first mouthful of coffee in the morning.
What makes me the happiest:
to see someone living with his or her passion that the Spirit planted in them.

A hug from my grandson Tanner makes me very happy.
Listening to good music especially hymns.

Watching lightening storms over the ocean-from a safe place. Ellen

1. Seeing people I love smile
2. Laughing until your stomach hurts
3. ice cream on a hot summer day
4. witnessing people who are hungry or sick be fed or healed
5. learning something new
6. The pink sky at dusk
7. The sun shining on my face
8. A bright full moon
9. Dancing at midnight with the one I love most
10. Walking on the beach on a cool night/evening while the wake wets my feet
11. seeing people realize/achieve their dreams
12. seeing beauty in everyone/thing all God's creation

Things that make me happy . . .
- The few times of the years the whole extended family can be together
- Having a simple flower arrangement turn to be an "ooh-aah" decoration

Beautiful sunsets
Red wine
Dark Chocolate

1. Making omelets to order after church on Sunday
2. Sunset on Lake Michigan
3. A Bach Brandenburg Concerto on a Sunday afternoon

Waking up early in the morning - watching sunrise - the birds beginning to chirp - and going in to wait for Tom to come downstairs so we can begin another day.

Spending time with my wife
traveling and seeing God's creation
Enjoying my day

I find my deepest joy in visiting with my grown children and in pounding nails into the home our parish is building with Habitat for Humanity.

When I was a little girl- The memory of my grandmother crawling in bed with me in the morning when I spent the night.

* A spa pedicure with lengthy foot massage
sitting outside in the country on a very dark starry night, being overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of the galaxy.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Makes Geranium Farmers Happy? (Part 1)

I hadn't planned on speaking at the Geranium Farm luncheon. No, no me! That's for Barbara. She's the speaker, but the week before I was at my friend Helen's house, you know, the one I always quilt with. She had just had had her carpets cleaned and they were still a bit damp and so some stuff was piled up on the back porch. We went out to look at the garden and I looked down and this book, 14,000 things to be happy about, * caught my eye. I picked it up. She said, "Oh, take that. Someone gave that to me years ago and I kept it in my classroom." Inside it was this 3 x 5 card - "In this book if you choose to look, Have your say and sign your own way." Students were to put their initial next to anything listed that made them happy! They got a kick out of it over the years.
Well, it all clicked and I thought I needed to share this with with the Geranium Farmers. I had mentioned that all my life I have always have had strong intuition and followed it and so some strange occurrences have happened to me over the years. ( You have to really be "open" to what you are feeling in a situation, you know go with your gut.)
I mentioned that it even led me to finding David's new neurologist and he is doing really well now on his new seizure medication. Go to these links for those stories: 10/30/07 All in a Day and 3/7/08 Out of Bad Comes, Something Good
Anyway, I asked "Farmers" at the luncheon to jot down some of the things that make them happy. One said, that they didn't have to shovel snow and another one said the first snowfall of winter! Hee-hee! Well, before I publish their lists I'm opening it up to all of you out there. So send me a few phrases of what makes you happy. Signed or unsigned. It will appear as you send it. Put "Happy" in the subject line.

*The book is 20 years of recordings started in a spiral notebook in the 6th grade and then later on computer by Barbara Ann Kipper.

. . . and the little blue book above I just started is my "My Happy List" and I expanded upon it, added to it, "Childhood Memories", and will pass it on.
I'm getting such a kick just recalling things and writing them down!
Can you imagine the different childhood memories from generation to generation?
Have your children ask their granparents theirs and yours!
I encourage you all to start your own or why not do it as as a family project at the dinner table or on trip in the car?

Trust your intuition. Follow it. God might just be talking to you.
So Listen Up! : )


Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm Back From the Convention With More to Come Soon

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fifty Books of Our Times-What to Read Now. And Why

This list is from Newsweek Magazine.

Fifty Books of Our Times

"We know it's insane. We know people will ask why on earth we think that an 1875 British satirical novel is the book you need to read right now—or, for that matter, why it even made the cut. The fact is, no one needs another best-of list telling you how great The Great Gatsby is. What we do need, in a world with precious little time to read (and think), is to know which books—new or old, fiction or nonfiction—open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprising ways. Which is why we'd like you to sit down with Anthony Trollope, and these 49 other remarkably trenchant voices.."

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Front Porch Tea

Throughout the summer St.Luke's has Lemonade on the Lawn after service. I thought this recipe might be good. I haven't made it. Let me know if any of you try it and what you think. Maybe even some other flavored lemonades would be good.

Front Porch Tea
(From GE Recipes)

Serves 8 - 10


11 cups water, divided into 1, 2 and 8 cup portions
1-cup sugar
2 large family-size tea bags
1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1-tablespoon vanilla
1-tablespoon almond extract
Fresh peach slices


1. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine 1-cup water and sugar.
2. Cook and stir until sugar dissolves to make sugar syrup. Set aside.
3. In a 4-quart (gallon) pitcher, pour 2 cups boiling water over tea bags.
4. Let stand 5 minutes and remove tea bags.
5. Add remaining 8 cups water, sugar syrup, lemonade concentrate, vanilla and almond extract.
6. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh peach slices.

I'm leaving Wednesday for the General Convention in California and the Geranium Farm Luncheon on Saturday. I'll be gone for a week. See ya when I get back. : )

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

This INCREDIBLE picture was taken in 1918.
It is 18,000 men preparing for war in a training camp at Camp Dodge, Iowa.
(P.S. -The crown is now open.)

(Thanks Sally for reminding me about this.)

and Sally's husband's find's finds this to go along with the posting:

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Updates on Some Previously Mentioned Products

There are three items that I had mentioned on Hodgepodge that are no longer being made. I wanted to let you know these are discontinued items so you won't go crazy looking for them.

Kashi Go-Lean Protein Powder

Cracker Barrel Baked Potato Seasoning

and the one that I'm going to miss the most, and did email a complaint about:

Peach Flavored Propel Water

I did request that if they didn't bring it back in the bottle could they at least have it in the powder packets. I don't like the new peach mango. If you're a fan of it - complain and maybe they'll bring it back. I just read that Tropicana changed their packaging logo (from the straw in the orange) and got so many complaints that they changed it back!

I did try the new Purex 3-in-1 but I and put it in a mesh bag given I did have the problem with the Color Catcher getting caught twice.

Here's a link to win $1000 or a year's supply in the: Ends 7/31/09
Simple Change, Extraordinary Impact Sweepstakes

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