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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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Monday, September 30, 2013


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Your Stories of Strangers Coming to Your Aid

I am sure that it was this page that had a video of the new way to do CPR.  I ignored it the first time it came in your email.  I ignored it about 15 more times when friends forwarded it to me.  About the 20th time I watched it. 
On a cool crisp Chicago morning at 6:59am my husband collapsed from Aortic Stenosis.   I calmly laid him out and just like in the video, told the nearest person to call 911.  I proceeded to do CPR just as the video said – never stopping for 5 minutes the compressions – hard and deep.  I kept calling his name and at one point when exhausted went to his feet and grounded them by hitting them to the ground by holding the cuffs of his pants.  The Ambulance was arriving and they found that he did have a heartbeat.  They put him in the ambulance and bagged him and he was a little disoriented but alive. 
There are some words you will never forget.  The ER doc said to me: “I cannot explain this but he was dead and now he is alive.”  I knew the answer…  it was the video that you shared on this website about the new way to do CPR that saved his life.  There were angels all around keeping the streets clear and my daughter near.  But the video was and continues to me the single greatest gift… 
Thank you for posting it and thank you for all your informative postings.  I admit that I do not read them all but I do open them to evaluate the content. 
Happy to report that we just celebrated 41 years of marriage on the 22nd of September and married off our last daughter on the 20th.  Your video made a difference in our lives.
Sincerely and with great amounts of appreciation,
Fran Malone
Wonderful Debbie! So happy for you and especially David! My stranger story happened a few days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005...I was trying to get to my daughter's home in Georgia. I had no map, a non working cell phone b/c towers were down, the clothes on my back and my cat. I got terribly lost in Hattiesburg, MS. after wasting gas which was hard to get b/c the pumps were down...I got out and started waving my arms. the 1st car had my Guardian Angel in it. That's what I call her now. she said something told her to stop, she called my kids, she called to see where I could get gas and she led me back to the highway. She later told me she HAD to stop even though her husband told her never to stop for strangers. we are now Facebook friends and keep up that way. Her husband is in Africa serving our country-due home FOR GOOD in about 45 days so please say prayers for Jim's safe return.     Linda
Dear Debbie,
I so enjoy your hodgepodge from Geranium Farm. I hope you will consider this bit from my forthcoming book Occupying Aging for your series on the generosity of strangers.
September 29: Giving from the Heart
                Today I did one of my favorite Saturday activities: I went to the farmers’ market. The day was a perfect, early fall, crisp and clear day. The café that sells egg rolls was still there; next week is their last week of the season. I went to pick out six gourds for little gifts for this week. One is for the gal who delivers home delivery library books for me, two for a birthday lunch, and three for gals who will help me with the pet food delivery next weekend. But, after having great fun pawing through all the gourds to pick a selection, things took an interesting turn. I went to pay and the Hmong farmer said “no.” He was giving them to me. I said no, I’ll pay, and he said no, and tapped his heart and said “gift from the heart.” Clearly he knew the truth of this quote:
No one has ever become poor by giving.
Anne Frank
I thanked him many times and was moving off when he added a bag of potatoes to his gift. I will share the potatoes with guests on Monday and have a wonderful story to tell each recipient of a gourd. A bit of me squirms at the thought of him giving them to me because I’m blind, but the gesture felt generous, not slimy and condescending. I’ll just be thankful.
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
Maya Angelou
Katherine Schneider, Ph.D.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Has a Stranger Ever Made a Difference in Your Life?

Sometimes a stranger can make a change in your life. Here's a link to stories: 9 Strangers Who Can Change Your Life.

I'd love to hear your stories that I could post on Hodgepodge,  on how a stranger made a difference in your life.

Here is just one story of how a stranger made a difference in our lives:

Out of the Bad, Comes Something Good

We are still taking our son to this doctor, and David is nearly seizure free!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Why Aren't We Doing This?!!!

 This is to good to be true! Why aren't we doing this everywhere???

Sent in by HP reader Pam.
Ok here's what I got from one reader on this:
While not exactly a hoax, the info on Youtube is vastly overstates. This emerging technology is far from being able to offset world-wide oil consumption. The following comes from a longer article found on

The Future Scope

According to a 2012 study prepared for the American Chemistry Council, by the research organization RTI International, these Pyrolysis conversion technologies that turn plastic waste into fuel have developed to the point where they are likely to be commercially viable in just 5-10 years.
The study also points that although there’s plenty of plastic waste available to convert into fuel, plastics-to-oil technology alone is not likely to be an energy cure-all. This is because the extent of oil consumption around the world is massive, and this plastic conversion into oil cannot cater all those needs. The RTI study says:
“Given the developmental stage and the current capacities of technologies, our preliminary estimates suggest that conversion technologies would offset significantly less than 1% percent of annual North American oil consumption. The average size of a plastics-to-oil facility is in the range of 10-30 tons per day. If there were 100 plastics-to-oil facilities in North America by 2015, conversion production could offset approximately 6,000 -18,000 barrels of oil per day, assuming 1 ton of plastic yields 6 barrels of oil. In contrast, total consumption of crude oil in North America is forecast to be 21.57 million barrels per day in 2015.”
Regarding the future of this plastic to oil conversion, the RTI study concludes saying:
"The future of these technologies will depend heavily on the success of first-generation facilities, but some successes are already coming to fruition. Two facilities have off-take agreements, and almost all of the surveyed vendors have recently received awards for innovation and/or clean energy solutions. Conversion technologies should be considered an emerging, viable option for managing non-recycled plastics and MSW (municipal solid waste) in the near future."
So only time and development in these technologies will tell us how efficient, safe and profitable these conversion processes can be.

and from another:

Friday, September 20, 2013

23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing

Be sure to check #10 on Wearing High Heels Everyday and click on the High Heels Infographic Link! Yikes!
Read it in detail here:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crash Course on Car Safety

Carol Stone from Ways of the World here on the Geranium Farm found this informative article in her latest issue of Consumer Reports.
Check it out here:

(Note the top safety pick. Makes me even happier to be the owner of a Subie!)

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Give this a try! It's fun!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Name is America


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Can You "Tommy" Dance?

Can you dance with the wild abandonment of Tommy?

Friday, September 06, 2013

Balloon Fabric Ball

I made this balloon fabric ball for my great nephew, Benjamin. (Of course it can be filled with batting instead.) We had these when my boys were little and they were called Balzac. We had a blast playing with them in the pool in Florida on vacation.
I'll tell him it's great aunt Debbie's "Magic Ball"!
Here is the pattern I used by placing a piece of paper on my screen and gently tracing.
If you look at the picture in the bottom right hand corner you can see a round orange circle. This is the opening I left to not only be able to turn the fabric inside out after stitching but also place to insert the balloon.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Eye of the Beholder

Exquisite  cinematography with narration.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Science Has Been Lying To You About Some Fundamental Truths

Be in service to something larger than yourself.
 What One Little Thing Can You Do To Help Shift the Paradigm?*

*    (See "Other Uses")

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

It is what it says it is!
Jerry Seinfeld picks up a comedian in a cool car
and interviews them while they go out for a cup of coffee.
These are short clips 8-18 minutes.  

Monday, September 02, 2013

Juniper's Quilt

Barbara has a new granddaughter, Juniper Grace. The colors of her quilt were chosen by her mom Anna, mint green, coral pink and gold, the fabrics by me.

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