Category: Summer Fun

Aug 5

This is the gift for that person in your life who loves to grill a perfect hot dog and appreciates unusual grilling gadgets.

hot-dog.pngPowered by 4 AA batteries, this cooker rotates your hot dogs - or Bratwursts if you’re from Wisconsin - just like those awful quik store hot dogs you see rotating around but no one ever buys for fear of food poisoning.

With this rotating device, you can walk away from the grill and they’ll keep cooking without scorching - unless you leave them for hours as they seem to do in convenience stores.

(via Book of Joe)

Aug 3

This wheelchair accessible tent is being marketed as the first tent designed for Gimpy people.

tent.pngThe tapered rectangular dome will accommodate two wheelchairs and the frame can be assembled from one side of the tent or from a wheelchair.

The combination side entry doors/windows in the sleeping area are sized for side transfer of a person onto a cot, and the pull handles on the internal doors and window zippers appear easy to grasp.

The maker says the zipperless fan door can be opened by people with mobility, strength and dexterity limitations. Once open, the wide doorway provides unobstructed access to wheelchairs or walkers.

Eds. Note: Cait wants one of these as a screen porch for our mosquito-plagued backyard. That would be about as close to camping as Marty gets. Still floating among her friends is a photo of Marty camping in California, her friends’ backpacks sitting outside the tent by Marty’s bright blue ’70s vintage Samsonite suitcase.

P.S. The insects are so bad here this summer we’re thinking of this for our voice mail message: “You have reached the Gimpy Girls’ Mosquito Farm. We’re out feeding the flock. Please leave us a message.”

Jul 20

That is what Jon Stewart called the BeerNeck and BevNeck.

beernec.pngThink of them as neoprene wet suits that insulate beer, sodas and bottled water and let them hang from your neck or clip to your belt, pocket, pack, purse or what have you.

The BevNeck, seen left, zips up to keep the beer very cold - Marty can attest to that - and comes with an attached bottle-opener that also reseals the bottle until you require another sip.bevneck.png

The BevNeck, seen right, is the one you want for bottled waters and sodas that have twist on-and-off caps. Instead of a zipper, the BevNeck’s neoprene has a velcro flap with a hole. Put the bottle in the neoprene jacket and pull the flap over the cap to secure it.

The BeerNeck and BevNeck keep your beverage cold, easily accessible and they reduce the potential for spillage, breakage or losing your bottle. Each Neck comes with a detachable neck/shoulder strap with a quick-release connector and a swivel clip attached to the back for clipping to bag or belt.

The BeerNeck and BevNeck links above also feature other “cool” gadgets such as the BevNeck for hooking a bottle inside pants pockets or a belt.

Jul 11

These rechargeable lights are popular because they’re easy to use, safe and you don’t have to worry about leaving them unattended.

lamps.pngThey come in sets of four, six and eight, are easy to hold and function like a candle, only they require no matches and there is no hot wax or open flame to worry about if they tip over.

Nice in the summer on a patio or at a evening picnic by the lake, they could be used in the winter too, through we doubt they are waterproof.

Cait thinks they would be romantic in a blackout - which likely will happen given the amazing number of thunderstorms we’re having this summer.

Eds. Note: We’ve provided a link to where you can buy these but shop around on the Internet and check out sales in catalogs because there are a number of similar lamps available these days.

Jul 7

boardwalk.pngSummer should be accessible to everyone and this company, Mr. Boardwalk, has walkways worth checking.

Mr. Boardwalk says its walks can be laid down in the sand or a field, be easily repositioned and are seemingly impervious to weather and designed to help wheelchairs and walkers roll right over them.

Jun 30

Cait is fair-skinned and a medication she takes makes her extra sun sensitive and exposes her to a higher rate for contracting melanoma.

melanoma-bracelet.pngShe’s diligent about slathering up with Aveeno SunScreen for sensitive skin with an SPF of 75.

Now she’s come across these photosensitive wristbands that change color to let her know when she is being exposed to harmful UV rays.

They’re fairly unassuming, some might even say attractive. Click here to learn more

May 23

We recently had our duplex reroofed and saw this Gemplers cap on the roofers - all of whom also wore No. 30 sun block.

shade-cap.pngYou’re not likely to see it among the latest fashions for garden hats but it does offer excellent protection for your head, neck and ears and the back flap can be folded into the crown of the cap when you don’t need

This cap fits like a size-adjustable baseball cap and is made of a material that feels and breathes like soft cotton but dries quickly and repels water and stains.

May 15

The Gimpy Girls routinely use ice packs for one ailing body part or another, and we’ve found that homemade ice packs work as well, if not better, than ice packs bought in the store. They’re certainly cheaper and mold much easier to your body than many commercial ice packs.

To make them, mix three parts water with one part rubbing alcohol in a freezer zip-lock bag and insert that bag in a second bag for insurance against leaks. Put it in the freezer and in a couple of hours the contents will set up to a firm slush. To make it softer, add a little more alcohol.

Marty learned this trick from a physical therapist years ago. These ice packs last seemingly forever and certainly come in handy.

Eds. Note: Because the alcohol is poisonous, consider labeling the bag so everyone using the freezer knows it is not edible. And if the ice pack is too cold, put a wash cloth between it and the affected body part so you don’t ice burn yourself.

May 6

Go to outdoor sporting events and you will see Sigg bottles attached to many.

sigg-red.pngInvented in Switzerland in 1908, the extraordinarily light Sigg was rated by Backpacker magazine as the world’s toughest water bottle and it is so classic looking that it’s in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Made of aluminum, it imparts no taste or scent to water or even acidic juices. The Sigg Web site offers 144 designs by more than 30 independent artists and the bodies and lids are interchangeable and can hook to your belt, chair, backpack or bike. (Or in Cait’s case, her adult tricycle.)sigg-purple.png

Sigg claims that many of its bottles in Europe are still being used 10-20 years after purchase. If that’s true, and the idea catches on in North America, it could help reduce the number of plastic bottles now filling our waste dumps.

Eds. Note: Aluminum requires a lot of energy to manufacture so we’re not so sure Sigg is as Green as it portrays itself to be on its Web site. But, in our opinion, it surely must be Greener to own one aluminum bottle and use it for years rather than routinely buying and tossing plastic bottles.

Apr 4

In summer, stores are stocked with myriad cheap folding outdoor chairs, but rarely do they prove reliable, comfortable or long-lasting.

directors-chair.pngIf you’re looking for one for the long haul, check out the cushy GCI Director’s Chair, which the Wall Street Journal raved about in its on-line review of camping chairs.

The Director’s Chair, which sells for a pricey $130, folds into its own small messenger bag. pack.pngWhen the chair is set up, the bag converts to a back-of-the-chair storage caddy.

The chair, which weighs 9 pounds but can comfortably hold a 250-pound person, is made of breathable mesh and aluminum and has telescoping legs.

triangle-chair.pngIf you’re looking for something as sturdy, but more within your budget, check out the Quik E Seat with the padded back for $30 on Web site. It doesn’t fold into a pack, but it does come with a carrying strap, and holds up to 300 pounds.