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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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Friday, September 28, 2012

Flying Over the Earth at Night

All Alone in the Night - Time-lapse footage of the Earth as seen from the International Space Station
(Watch about 1:20 into the video for the Northern Lights.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Magazine Subscription Billing Scam

The following is an email from Hodgepodge reader.
"I recently paid a company for a magazine subscription which I have. I discovered that it was a scam; I had already paid for that subscription some time earlier and neglected to double check. The form they sent had all the right info on it, looked very official. When I contacted the company which sends out my magazine they told me it was a scam and I should take my part of the form to the Post Office.
     Yesterday I received another notice of renewal which I knew was a scam but it's for a magazine I don't even subscribe to!
      The company that sends these out is called MAGAZINE PAYMENT SERVICES, their address is MPS, PO Box 2489, White City, OR 97503 or online:
All your readers should be aware of this scam. I don't know what it takes to shut them down but I hope someone does."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Our Story in 2 Minutes

A history of the world in 2 minutes. (Sound on.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

7 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda


1. It might be bad for your kidneys.  Researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline.

2. Even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome with symptoms including belly fat and high colesterol that put you at risk for heart disease.

3. The more diet soda a person drinks, the greater risk of becoming overweight. People who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because the body is being tricked into thinking it's eating sugar, and you crave more.

4. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunk faster as sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker that those with sugar.

5. Diet sodas contain mold inhibitors, going by the names of sodium benzoate & potassium benzoate. "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it - they knock it out altogether," Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the U.K

6. With a pH of 3.2, diet soda is very acidic. (As a point of reference, the pH of battery acid is 1. Water is 7.) Adults who drink three or more sodas a day have worse dental health, says a University of Michigan analysis of dental checkup data.

7. Diet or not, soft drink cans are coated with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems.

Read in depth at link:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ok, Full Disclosure On The Angel Food Cakes

Well, as you may know with classic Angel Food Cake it is cooled upside down so as to not "deflate" as it cools. The box says if you make it in 2 loaf pans to cool them on their sides. (I read this after my oops!) Anyway, when I made the pineapple one I didn't do anything & it deflated a bit so I thought this time I should turn it upside down. I supported the two handles of the 13 x9 pan on the center part of the stove top only to come back & find it had all fallen out of the Corningware pan! Still tasted really good & I "neatened" up the pieces and gave it two the two contractors doing work here and they loved it even better than the pineapple one. So . . . . . I guess just tilted a bit. Can't say at how many degree angle. lol Just so it won't deflate or fall out of the ungreased pan. Trial & error . . .or in my case big error. Hee-hee : )        (Obviously, in retrospect, the fruit addition just made it too heavy to "hold" in the Corningware dish.)
Happy Baking,

P.S. - Fruit Cocktail Angel Food Cake Anyone? : )

Angel Food Peach Cake

1 box of Angel Food Cake Mix
1 - 15 1/2 oz. can diced peaches
1 - 6 1/2 oz. can sliced or diced peaches

Add enough of the small can of peaches to the larger to make 20 ounces. (You don't need the rest.)
Beat the cake mix and the 20 ounces of peaches for 2 minutes in your mixer. It will increase in volume a lot.
Put into an ungreased 13 x 9 pan. Bake: 350' for about 30 minutes. Cool it tilted a bit on its side, not upside down. Don't ask me how I know this. lol  Wait until it's cool before you cut into it.
I like this one even better than the pineapple one as I favor peaches over pineapple.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Candidate Match Game II

Play USA TODAY's Candidate Match Game II to find out which candidate
 -- Barack Obama or Mitt Romney -- you agree with most on the key issues of the day.
And as you take the quiz, learn more about their positions on the issues.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Clues to Gluten Sensitivity

Even if you don't think you have a sensitivity to gluten you should read this:

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