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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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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

25 Household Uses for Borax

"Borax, also known as sodium borate, is an a naturally occurring substance and an eco-friendly solution for many things around the house. Most commonly used as a cleaning agent, the uses extend far beyond that."
(Safety Warning: Just because borax is natural, that doesn't mean it's harmless. You should always use gloves when handling it and keep it out of reach of children and pets. While safe in the diluted solutions, borax could be very harmful to children and pets if ingested.)

It can be used for Pest Control, Cleaning, Deodorizing, & has several other uses.
Go to the link to check it out:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Memory of My Dad and His Great Sense Of Humor

Hodgepodge from: 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!)
8/23/2010 Well Dad - You did get the tie.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sad News

It is with great sadness I report the death of my father on Thursday, August 19th.
My brother and myself, along with The Rev. Barbara Crafton and friend Anne Marie Stone were with him in his final hours. He had a long rich life. It was a blessing to be able to be with him at his passing and to know he knew we were there.
Any memorials may be made through Episcopal Relief and Delevopment at:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Uses for Salt and Baking Soda

1. Test egg freshness
2. Set poached eggs
3. Prevent fruits from browning
4. Shell nuts more easily
5. Save the bottom of your oven
6. Prevent cake icing crystals
7. Remove odors from hands
8. For higher peaks when beating egg whites or cream
9. Extend cheese life
10.Extend toothbrush life
11.Clean teeth & mouth rinse (when combines with baking soda)
12.Ease mouth problems & throat pain
13.Relieve bee-sting pain, treat mosquito bites & poison ivy
14.Use as an exfoliating massage
15.Deter ants
16.Extinguish grease fires
17.Drip-proof candles
18.Keep cut flowers fresh or arrange artificial flowers to hold in place
19.Make play dough
20.Repair walls
21.Deter patio weeds
22.Kill poison ivy
23.De-ice sidewalks and driveways
24.Tame the flames on your barbecue grill
25.Cleaning (read more about this in the article)
26.For Laundry - use on a wine spill, eliminate excess suds, dry clothes in winter without freezing outside, brighten colors, remove perspiration & blood stains, tackle mildew/rust stains
27.Clean a gunky iron bottom
28.Set color
To read more go to:
You will also see links there for uses of beer and white vinegar

Baking Soda
1. Toothpaste
2. Freshen your mouth
3. Soak oral appliance
4. Facial scrub and body exfoliant
5. Deodorant
6. Antacid
7. Treat insect bites and itchy skin
8. Hand cleanser and softener
9. Help your hair
10.Clean brushes,combs,microwave,coffee and tea pots,oven,floors,shower curtains,sports gear,batteries,cars
11.Bath soak
12.Surface soft scrub
13.Hand-wash dishes and pots and pans
14.Freshen sponges
15.Polish silver flatware
16.Boost your liquid laundry detergent
17.Remove oil and grease stains
18.Deodorize your refrigerator,trashcans and recyclables,drains and garbage disposals,dishwashers,lunch boxes,pet items,sneakers,
19.Freshen closets,stuffed anumals, odors from carpets,
20.Cure all camping needs
21.Extinguish fires
22.Care for the septic system
23.Scrub fruits and vegetables
To read about these in depth go to:

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Monday, August 16, 2010

15 Medical Tests Every Man Should Have

1. Cholesterol screening/lipoprotein profile
2. Blood pressure check
3. Diabetes screening
4. Bone density test
5. Vitamin D test
6. Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
7. Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
8. Skin cancer screening
9. Eye exam and vision screening
10. Hearing test (audiogram)
11. Thyroid test
12. Screening for metabolic syndrome
13. Testicular cancer screening
14. Prostate cancer screening
15. Bladder cancer screening

To read in depth what the tests are, when and how often you should start having them,
go to the link at:


Friday, August 13, 2010

A Father Turns 95

My father turned 95 last week and
I am sad to report my father-in-law passed away this week at the age of 89.


Monday, August 09, 2010

What You Remember . . . .

*Cool. I remember a packet of Planter's Peanuts -- on the front it read "The Nickel Lunch."
My first apartment cost $21/month. Got my first car -- used -- for $150. BCCrafton

*Going to the movies (a double feature, of course) and my mother would give me 50 cents. 35 cents for the ticket and 15 cents to buy three things at the concession stand, a drink, popcorn and a candy, all for 5 cents each.

*Debbie, I grew up in a small town in deep south Texas on the Mexican border in the 50's and remember going to Saturday morning movies (mostly cowboy) for 9 cents. We were all irate when it went up to 25cents. We bought popsicles after lunch in the school cafeteria for 5 cents, and if you got a "free" stick, your next one was free. When I was in high school around 1960 gas cost 19 cents a gallon, because my friend and I would wheel in in her jeepster and buy 25 cents at a time and drive a couple of days! I worked in the office part of my dad's medical office when I graduated from high school and earned 75 cents an hour. I felt cheated even then! Dorothy

*a loaf of bread 29 cents. I was paid $1.10/hr. at a Rexall Drug Counter - had to wait on people, make the food/desserts and wash dishes and getting 10 cents for a tip. Jenny

*I remember 25 cents for a Saturday movie that included 2 films, the news and a box of popcorn. Hoodsie cups for a nickel, lemon ice for 2 cents.
My first paycheck for $100 was after a worked a full week and 2 nights of on call as a nurse in the operating room. Pat

*While in high school I worked at a Kresge Dime Store in 1962 and earned $.85 an hour. I received my weekly pay in cash in a little manila envelope. I had to call a supervisor to my cash register if I was making change for anything larger than a $5.00 bill. Mary Cooper

*I remember getting $1.10 per hour - minimum wage - in college (1960's) working in the university library. My first year out of college (1968) I taught 3rd grade for $5,500 for the year! Diane Taggart

*I remember paying a quarter for a movie, a nickel for a drink and a dime for popcorn. I remember 2 sizes of candy bars-the small one was a nickel and the larger one was a dime. I remember my parents paying a quarter for a gallon of gas. Margery

*Ice cream cone $.15; city bus $.15, penny candy $.01; a pair of figure skates $40 (my mother said "Don't tell your father" , so what did I blurt out?); movies $.25; (allowance $.25).
Being a kid who didn't have to worry about money- priceless, as they say . - Adelaide Kent

*I graduated high school in 1957 in the small town of Colby, KS and I remember gas being 25 cents a gallon. My friends and I would pool our quarters to get a dollar's worth before returning the family car. We had a dime store but I think it was called something like Duckworth's. I don't think it had a lunch counter but the drugstore sold ice cream, malts, shakes, sundaes and cola drinks. - Terry Waggle

*When I graduated from U of PA with a BS in nursing in 1958, my starting salary as a staff nurse was $300/mo. I shared a nice 2 bedroon apt. in downtown Philadelphia with 2 others, splitting the rent of $350/mo. (The landlord refused to rent to us at first because we were nurses, Until he received a letter from one of my room-mate's fiancee. It was quite a letter.) Peace, Mel O'Day

*As a newlywed our 1st apt. cost $115.00 a month in 1969. We lived there for one year and "upgraded" to one that was HUGE for $125.00 per month. I was worried we couldn't afford the extra $10.00. Our 1st home cost $26,000 in 1972. I saw the hospital bill for my delivery and my mom's stay and mine and the total was $16.00- in 1946.! Linda M.

*I just came from my 40th high school reunion, so these memories are flitting through big time!
I babysat for two hours each night after school. I watched an 18 mos. old and a newborn, made formula, gave them baths, and fed them before their dad got home from work. 35 cents an hour
I had a car that took $5-6 to fill.
Movies were 25 cents UNLESS you were 12 or older. Then, they were 50 cents. I celebrated the day I turned 12 by being able to tell the clerk I was now at 50 cents.
Buck Night at the Drive In meant that it cost only a dollar for as many people as you could squeeze in Dad's station wagon. Later that night I was pulled over by the police for overloading.
My first "real job" was as a nursing assistant at a full-care nursing home. I bathed people, fed them, walked them, cleaned them up.....$1.25 an hour.
My first teaching job(1978) was in a parochial school for $6900. per year. (you had to buy your own supplies, and worksheets were "mimeographed on the back of church bulletins.
Thanks for this fun "journey back"....Cathy

(If you'd still like to share - email me and I'll add it to the listing.)


Friday, August 06, 2010

Remember When . . . . ?

I got an email with this menu from Woolworth's lunch counter from 1957. I ate there and was wondering what you readers remember as your early wages and the price you paid for an item that sticks in your mind?

I remember paying 35 cents to get into the movies as a kid, a quarter for a slice of pizza, my husband remembers 15 cents, and a Popsicle for a dime, going in a nickle each to share with a friend. I worked at Ohrbach's part-time through college starting at $1.65 an hour.

To see the Federal Minimum Wage Rates, 1955–2009

For: Comparison Of Prices Over 70 Years
(Be sure to checkout the additional links to information in the bottom right-hand corner.)

I remember my father taking me to Shea Stadium to see the New York Mets in 1968 where a box seat cost $3.50. R.T.

*When my wife and I were first married we'd watch for bread to be on sale; then we'd stock up. On sale was 10 cents a loaf! Larry

Email you remembrances to : of a wage you earned and/or what you remember paying for something and I'll post it on Hodgepodge. Put "I remember" in the subject line.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A Frugal Fact: The 6 Most Valuable Grocery Store Products Known to Man

1. Vinegar
2. Baking Soda
3. WD-40
4. Coca-Cola
5. Fabric Softener Sheets
6. Paper Towels

Go to the link to learn more about all the ways to use these products.
(Also check out comments after the article to learn more.)

Of course there always is WD-40's own website for uses posted on HP sometime ago.

Do add Dawn to the list - preventing poison ivy from spreading is just one of it's great benefits. -blessings Margaret+

Here are some other uses for Dawn:


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