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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, May 31, 2011

I Love My Subaru

Note: This isn't meant to be an ad for Subaru. I don't have any connection to the company. We're just happy with this car and I am sharing information which is what you all know I do. We had never thought about this brand of car before. Once we test drove it. We were sold. (We couldn't afford a hybrid car. I'm just feeling that Subaru is this little, well kept secret so to speak.)
Oh, here’s the really weird thing! Last August before we got the car you know both my father and father-in-law both died about a week apart from each other. They both made us promise that we would get a new car. Finally after I got back from Ohio with my brother from burying my dad, Paul and I went back to the local Subaru for a second look. As we pulled out of the driveway and put on the radio the first thing that came on was an ad for Subaru! Things like this happen to me all the time. I now thank the one disgruntled reader that complained about this posting as it made me remember this story!

Last August I got my first new car in 15 years. I love my Subaru Forester and not just because it took so long for me to get a new vehicle!We did a lot of research, test driving, and looking around at other vehicles.
Mine looks just like the one pictured above. Now I know why their ads say, "Subaru Love".
Here are the reasons (in no particular order) why I Love My Subaru Forester:
  • height of the seats - not real low or too high, just so easy to get in and out of
  • comfortable driver's seat with great lumbar support
  • visibility!
  • handling ,all wheel drive, turning radius, even I could tell a difference
  • light grey interior, all over open feeling
  • comfortable back seat with fold down armrest, cup holders & extra holding space
  • fold down backseats for even more back storage with hooks to hold bags
  • little storage nooks in back
  • spare tire is stored under back storage area
  • large sunroof that can be opened 1/2 or full, never had one before and loving it
  • car wasn't that cold in the winter when I left inside shade to sunroof open
  • interior doesn't seem to get as hot as other vehicles I've had, guess it's that light interior
  • love the way it looks!
  • plug in for my iPod
  • top safety rating *****
  • free cute little icon stickers, like "1st" you can put on the back under the nameplate
  • know of someone that was T-Boned hit on the driver's side and the paramedics said the car saved his life
  • pretty good mileage, so far 22-25+ mph
  • Heated driver and front passenger seats
  • Handles above each door on the inside to assist you in getting in and out if needed
  • You can have this cool, red or blue light (which my son installed for me) under the dashboard that gives a soft low glow by the driver and front passenger's feet. (Mine's blue)
I know many of these things and much more are in all new cars but when it takes 15 years to get a new car, and hand-me-downs for a second car, you miss out on all the new stuff!
If you are thinking of getting a new vehicle - Test drive one. I really think you'll love it too!
Do you have/had one? Tell me why you love it and I'll add it to the posting.

Another reason to Love Subaru: The Subaru Mobile-It-Ease™ Program* provides reimbursement of up to $500 on new Subaru vehicles from authorized Subaru dealers in the United States to help qualifying owners get necessary vehicle modification due to medically recognized physical disabilities.

Your comments: (If I missed anyone let me know.)
I have a Subaru outback, bought it used about a year and a half ago, just as delighted as you are ;-)

I thought it was great about the Subaru! Especially since I've been considering buying one lately!

So far it looks like State Farm is going to pay to repair the Dodge Minivan. And all we have to pay is the $500 deductible.But we know that this is a stop gap. The Forester looks good; are you considering it?
Peace, Shannon Rob and Cara love theirs.

Debbie, Didn't get it "wrong". You're happy with your car. How wonderful! Addy
I thought it was great that you were passing on positive information! It's a nice looking car. I've only my Jetta a little over a year, though . . . I like it because of its turning radius! Dottie

Thanks for sharing about the car. Some of us out here are still driving clunkers but dream one day of getting something better. KH

Hey Debbie- How much ya gettin' paid by Subaru for free advertising?! LOL. It sounds like a great car. I love my Toyota- my 3rd in 17 years. Linda

Do not listen to those people! The rest of us took it just like you meant, that you have a cool car!

I can relate because my car is going to be 15 years old in October. We are thrilled for you. The others are just jealous. I loved reading all about your new baby!!!!!

Have to tell your Debbie I've been a faithful reader ever since a friend told me about the geranium farm. I can't believe anyone would think you were pushing an ad for Subaru. Just bought a 98 Subaru Outback for the crummy Vermont roads and I'm looking forward to giving it a whirl. Rick

Debbie..just thought you were excited about a new car...I have friends that speak the same way when they get a new car...
(I get depressed over a new car at first...all about the $$$$ should have heard me rant and rave about a Dodge Demon that cost $2200 by the time my then husband added all the extras...a friend had said, "why aren't you excited?"and I said "who ever heard of a $66/mo car payment ?"I remember the conversation because I thought she was so weird being excited over the new cars she had gotten in the past.)The newer cars...we rented a ... can't remember...not Japanese, but another far east car was a Korean Hundai Sonata...a mid sized car and got 32 mpg, temp outside, figured the gas mileage as we drove and had a HUGE trunk That everything Sabrina needed for the efficiency apt dorm room fit, including from the storage unit...who'd a "thunk". Did people complain? Am sorry if you got some flack..

Debbie, I'm so sorry that happened. I always tell myself and others around me that when someone acts that way he/she is very unhappy and should be pitied and prayed for! Also, I always think how lucky I am to not have to live with or deal with that person in an ongoing relationship! :o}

Hi Debbie,
You asked. I'll tell. We have two Subaru's--a '93 Legacy and a 2003 Outback. Great winter cars. Where we live, snowy, icy hills are the challenge. We know we will get back up our hill coming home and we have been down that hill on ice---slowly but safely. Never felt more secure on winter roads. No major repairs required for either car. How 'bout that? We keep hoping for a Subaru hybrid.. C. Eggers, Colorado Springs

I enjoyed your Subaru posting.. We have a 2003 Forester and absolutely love it – it was our first automatic and it drives like a charm.. You should have many years of good driving..

Thanks for sharing this --- and all of the wonderful postings you do for the Geranium Farm.
I just enjoyed your joy over your new car! It never entered my mind as an ad. - Terry

Hi, I am "on" my 4th
Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagon (all bought used). The 1st one had 102,000 miles on it and cost $2,000.!!! I "update" every few years to another Outback. My present one is a 2001, now has 90M miles. I love it... Mileage is fair- 20 to 23 MPG. I don't even consider anything else when I trade as I need AWD for "dirt roads" out on my farm as well as needing room for "friends"- 5 ride comfortably, great for hauling lots of "stuff" and it is great for long road trips. We just call mine "The SOOOB" Perhaps you could consider "My 2nd Best Friend" as the name for yours. From St. Louis MO Carole Holtwick

I LOVE my Subaru Forester! I never had a new car in my life until October 2007. For almost ten years I researched cars in the event I would ever be able to get a new car. After a horrific accident whereby a young driver crossed the median and hit me head-on, I decided that was it - my current car was totaled and I was getting a Subaru. I went to the dealer hoping to get a gently used one. After having a credit check and being informed that I could have a new vehicle at almost the same monthly payments as a pre-owned one, I test drove both the Outback and the Forester. (I think the saleman felt sorry for me due to all of the visiable brusing and injuries from the accident.) I liked both cars, but the Forester seemed to be calling my name. I liked it for all of the reasons posted here and more. My first brand new Subaru, and my first ever new car, was a dark grey 2008 Subaru Forester. My second brand new Subaru Forester is the premium 2010 Subaru Forester in Black with the dark interior. It still stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It does have heated seats, but I never have to use them. The lumbar seats can be moved in so many ways. I love having fog lights for the early morning drives down the Taconic State Parkway in the dark. I could just go on and on, but I won't. Even my husband bought a Subaru Forester. Both of my boys love driving the Subaru Forester, even over their own cars.

Enjoy the new car. Be happy.
Happy for you to be so happy. Linda


Friday, May 27, 2011

Bright Strike

I just purchased one of these for personal protection, but in the wake of all these natural disasters what better way for someone to find you? Of course, in that case it would be good to have ear plugs with you. This alarm is loud! It was designed by policemen and is well made.
Think it's a little pricey? Well, not for the one time you need it!
A great gift for your loved ones.
Be sure to scroll down on the Amazon link and read the full description.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

How Good Is The Sunscreen You Use?

Search and find the best and worst sunscreens here.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Instructional Video Websites

Check out: 5 Minute Videopedia with 9 Categories to choose from and a search feature.

ThreadBanger is the home of DIY fashion how-tos, home décor tips, and more! Let us teach you the techniques to make your OWN style.
Today's hippest trends aren't in New York, Paris, or Milan. They're waiting for you in your closet, your attic, and the thrift shop down the street. Make your own style, send us proof, and become a ThreadBanger!

and for more about it:


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm Not Tired Yet


To go with Barbara's eMo: Gospel Train - May 17th, 2011


Monday, May 16, 2011


(To go with Barbara's eMo of May 14th, 2011 - Tower of Pillows)


I'm hiding, I'm hiding
And no one knows where;
For all they can see is my
Toes and my hair

And I just heard my father
Say to my mother -
"But, darling, he must be
Somewhere or other;

Have you looked in the inkwell?"
And Mother said, "Where?"
"In the INKWELL?"said Father. But
I was not there.

Then "Wait!" cried my mother —
"I think that I see
Him under the carpet." But
It was not me.

"Inside the mirror's
A pretty good place."
Said Father and looked, but saw
Only his face.

"We've hunted," sighed Mother,
"As hard as we could
And I am so afraid that we've
Lost him for good."

Then I laughed out aloud
And I wiggled my toes
And Father said —"Look, dear,
I wonder if those

Toes could be Benny's?
There are ten of them, see?"
And they WERE so surprised to find
Out it was me!

- by Dorothy Keeley Aldis (1896-1966)

(Thank you to eMo reader June T. for finding this and passing it along!)


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Noticed: Who Are You Calling Grandma?

Check this out! Our own Barbara's daughter, Anna Crafton Walker, in a N.Y. Times feature article!

(Thanks Diane for bringing it to our attention.)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tote & Skirt Made From A Pillowcase

(Thanks to my brother for finding these and passing them along.)


Friday, May 06, 2011


This is garden of Earthsongs at the home of artist Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella and Nino Pasqual LaStella, just a little piece of heaven on earth.
I love their garden and had been wanting to share it with you for quite awhile.

They are fellow parishioners at St. Luke's, Metuchen, NJ.
Check out more about Linda's beautiful ceramic art and home studio at:

(Photos by Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella)


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Done This

The fun, easy way to get stuff done.
Every day they email you to ask, “What’d you get done today?”

Just reply to the email to make an entry.
Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch.
They keep a calendar for you of what you got done.

Look to your streak from yesterday to motivate you today.
I've been doing this for the past month or so and found it to be fun and very easy!
Forget to enter, no problem, as long as you saved the email, just hit reply, add your list, and send it off. Use it for whatever you want! (Weight loss, calories consumed, miles walked or ran, etc. -the possibilites are endless!)

Goals you've reached each day, items off your checklist, an easy way to journal, you'll see you'll want to do just something to get that checkmark in the calendar box!
To look back at your accomplishments just click on a checked box and see your list from that day. Come on, give it a try! I think you'll find it very motivating!

My friend Diane wanted to know about the ability to print out what's been accomplished on Done This and wrote them an email and got this reply:

"Can I print my calendar entries at the end of the month? If so, how would I do this?"

Diane, thanks for your email!

To print out your calendar entries in aggregate, just go to your settings. Click "Export", and you'll get a file that has all of your entries. If you open that file up in Google Spreadsheets or Excel, you'll be able to view all of your entries and print them out.
Please let me know if you have any troubles with this!

(Thanks Diane for taking the time to find this out, You Rock!)


Monday, May 02, 2011

Gospel Bead Bracelets

This past Saturday I stopped by St. Francis Episcopal Church where the ladies were making Gospel bead bracelets. Barbara Dalto is their crafty leader. The no-two-alike bracelets sell for $10 each. If you are interested in purchasing or learning more you may contact Barbara at:
They would make a nice Comfirmation gift! Click on the link to learn the meaning of the beads.

The Gospel According To Beads


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