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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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Sunday, February 28, 2010

10 Ways to Be Happier

From Shine on Yahoo
1. Don’t start with profundities. - Start with basics like getting enough sleep and not letting yourself get too hungry.
2. Do let the sun go down on anger.- " Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate."
3. Fake it till you feel it. - Feelings follow actions so acting cheerier will help you feel happier.
4. Realize that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. - People learning new things are happier than those who stick to famliar activities that they already do well.
5. Don’t treat the blues with a “treat.” - Often the things that you may choose for a treat are things that aren't good for you and then the feelings of guilt and loss of control will make you feel lousier.
6. Buy some happiness. - "Look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes; and to have enlarging experiences."
7. Don’t insist on the best. - Are you a satisficer or a maximizer? Satisficers make a decision once their criteria are met while maximizers want to make the best possible decision. "Satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Maximizers expend more time and energy reaching decisions, and they’re often anxious about their choices. Sometimes good enough is good enough."
8. Exercise to boost energy. - Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters with even a 10-minute walk being most helpful.
9. Stop nagging. - Use wordless hints or do it yourself.
10. Take action. - About 40% of your happiness level is within your control. Take conscious steps to make your life happier.
To read more in depth go to:

Some more information on Temple Grandin
(This will be posted back to the Temple Grandin Hodgepodge posting.)
Carol Stone of Ways of the World here on the Farm, sends along this interesting article she found about Temple Grandin. Life Among the 'Yakkity Yaks' The renowned inventor on how the insights she gained from her own autism fueled her career.

Video: Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds (19:44 min)
(TED - Ideas worth spreading) Also check out Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight while you are there. (18:44 min)
Thanks Diane for finding and passing this along.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Daily Grommet

What's a Grommet?
•It's a wonderful product still waiting in the wings, just ripe for discovery.
•It has great utility, or style, or invention. Or, very often it has all three.
•It comes from a designer, or inventor, or artist, or manufacturer who is clearly passionate about what they create. Someone who loves to share their creations and talk to people about why they do what they do.
•It comes from a company that treats its customers well.
•Finally, like any intelligent or beautiful product, it has a great story, ready to be told.
Got a great Grommet idea? Tell us about it

The Daily Grommet is "an online marketplace where you can discover and buy inventive, new products and learn their true stories." You can sign up for their email to get notified of the latest "finds". Check out all the cool and innovative products at:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Story About A Son With Food Allergies and What One Mom Did About It

Hodgepodge reader Nancy J. sends along this link for Guidepost's article.
There is a recipe for Brownies for those with food allergies.
Healthy Goodies
The list of foods my son was allergic to was endless. What could he eat? - By Sharon Feskanin, Alpharetta, Georgia

Chocolate Cake Brownies Recipe - gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free

Order Sharon’s book, Mommy and Me Gluten-Free! Stories and Recipes to Inspire You for $11.98 plus shipping and handling at or write to P.O. Box 544, Alpharetta, GA, 30009. Sharon is also available for speaking opportunities. Contact her at

P.S. - My favorite pretzels now have a website and a Facebook page!
See 9/5/05 HP posting for story.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blood, Sweat & Takeaways and Blood, Sweat, & T-Shirts

If you haven't heard or seen these two series on Planet Green I highly recommend them.

Most of us don't know where our food comes from or the appalling conditions that many workers endure to produce it cheaply, the long hours and low rates of pay they offer and the damaging effects on the communities and environment where the foods are produced.
In Blood, Sweat and Takeaways, six young fast food junkies will have to work at every stage of the production process.
They'll live and toil alongside the poorly paid workers, carrying out the most grim, physical, bloody tasks, living in appalling conditions and try to survive on their wages.

In Blood, Sweat, & T-Shirts a group of British fashion victims see what it's like to live the life of the Indian factory workers they unknowingly rely on. They undertake various challenges in order to learn the hard way the true cost of their fashion habit experiencing all levels of the industry, including working on the production line churning out hundreds of clothing items per day. As the series develops, they will start to re-evaluate their lives as they learn priceless lessons from their Indian co-workers about life, family values, working as a team, and respect for each other. By the end of the most shocking and extraordinary month of their lives, we'll discover how the experience has changed them and what they have learned about the true cost of cheap fashion.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Find Your Strongest Life

This is something that came from you might find of interest:

Go here to take The Strong Life Test for Women:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

THE One Birthday My Husband Will Never Forget (or When It Rains It Pours!)

This past Tuesday (2/16), was my husband birthday. It started out like any other day. He went to work and I took David to his day program. Sometime after dropping him off I went and got Paul's birthday cake. He picked David up on his way home from work and then went to the gym.
I heard a thud and went running to David's room. He had gone down with a seizure and had apparently hit the back of his head on the table his computer is on. All the blood was on the plastic mat the chair rolls on. (Thank goodness for small favors.) Brian came running in and helped, getting a soft ice pack, cleaning up the blood, and calling Paul at the gym to come home while I attended David. The cut was only about 3/4 of an inch long but it was a bit deep and would require closing. So . . . off to the ER. We got back home from the hospital around 7:30pm. An order for take-out food was called in and I was going out to pick it up. Well, I fell on ice in front of our house. Paul said I screamed out his name over and over in a way I think he'd not ever want to hear again. I don't remember anything about the fall or going to the hospital. I only remember "waking-up" in the hospital and asking what happened. BUT I had never lost conscious he said. I had asked over and over again a hundreds times what had happened to me? It was only just as Paul was finally leaving for the night that I was actually lucid but he didn't believe me as I guess I had only said that every other time . LOL He said he, his sister, and the nurse were laughing so much that the nurse had a hard time sticking me. I evidenced that from the 4 gauze's with tape and one IV I had, although I am a "hard-stick". After he left I called my sister-in-law asking her what happened because I said Paul wouldn't tell me anymore. I also called home and asked if there was a cake in the garage fridge because I thought I had gotten one, and did David fall and go to the ER? I wasn't quite sure if these things had really happened or if I had dreamt them. I still don't remember some of David's trip to the ER or coming home from there.
Wednesday my neighbor Linda came to see me as her husband had caught sight of the ambulance by our house the night before. A bit later Paul came and then my brother. Thursday I had vertigo 3 times. So meds and sleep 3 times so that took up the whole day!!
I came home from the hospital on Friday with my body feeling all "wrenched" and head still feeling a bit "off". My CAT & MRI scans were fine. I did have a concussion. AND it doesn't end there! Later, David fell in the hallway near the kitchen (tripped up)and got a small cut on his forehead. Paul couldn't stand the thought of going back to the ER yet again!!! He used some epi-strips and was able to close the cut. (It has since healed nicely.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Debutta la tramvia a Firenze

A video of the new Tramvia in Florence, Italy to go with Barbara's eMo for today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Amaryllis- (To go with Barbara's eMo for Today)


Friday, February 12, 2010

Temple Grandin

If you can get a chance to watch this movie I highly recommend it.
It is being shown on various HBO stations.
Click on Full Schedule and when it comes up and you see the Movie title, click on it and then, Full Schedule again to find all the times it is being shown.
Here is her website:

For some more on Temple Grandin from NPR go to this link:

Carol Stone of Ways of the World here on the Farm, sends along this interesting article she found about Temple Grandin. Life Among the 'Yakkity Yaks' The renowned inventor on how the insights she gained from her own autism fueled her career.

Video: Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds
(TED - Ideas worth spreading)
Thanks Diane for finding and passing this along.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010


They discussed it on The View this morning - Light Bladder Leakage.
One in three women have it.
Go to the following link to hear Whoppi Goldberg talk about it
and get a free sample of Poise products.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Valentine Peace Project

Everyone is invited to participate in The Valentine Peace Project, an international participation project re-imagining this worldwide day about love, into a worldwide day for peace and creative community connection.
To read more about this go here:

About how to participate:


Monday, February 08, 2010

Continuous Chest Compression CPR - Mayo Clinic Presentation

"Mayo Clinic Presentation of Continuous Chest Compression CPR - Cardiocerebral Resuscitation Cardiocerebral resuscitation (CCR) is a new approach to patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest that has been shown to improve rates of neurologically intact survival by 250%--300% over the approach advocated by the 2000 American Heart Association guidelines."
Since today by date, is the 1 year anniversary of my little heart event, I thought this was a good thing to have everyone view.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Pigeon Impossible

An Animation Short

(Thanks Joan for sharing.)

On TLC tonight a Missouri Episcopal Priest Discovers "What Not to Wear"

Feb 05, 9:00 pm and repeats at 11pm
"Emily is your typical single girl with one divine difference... she's an Episcopal priest. She may have been called by a higher power but her friends and family called Stacy and Clinton. Can Emily find a feminine style that balances her youthful energy?"

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Rent Just About Anything is a community-driven platform that allows anyone to rent or offer to rent any kind of goods. Car, Tools, Party, Electronics, Luxury and Leisure items are just some of what you can rent. There are even Vacation rentals.

Check it all out at:

There are also a websites for the UK, Netherlands, and France that you can click on from here.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Orangutan and the Hound

When Surya the orangutan meets a hound dog by the river, the two carry on like long lost friends.

(Thanks Joan for sharing.)


Monday, February 01, 2010

A Rockin' Saturday Night!

Saturday night about 25 of us went to see The British Invasion Tribute Band at the old Colonial theater in Phoenixville, PA. The drummer is Barbara & Q's son-in-law, Jeff.
We all had such a great time!

Bottom left: Barbara, her daughter Corinna, and Corinna's daughter-Madeline.
Bottom right-some of our group: Marie, Dottie, Evaleon, John, AnneMarie, Nancy, Amy

This is the theater that was used in the movie The Blob and they have BlobFest each year in July.

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