Category: Outstanding People

May 15

This video is an ad from Kaiser Permanente - a great ad which took Michelle Shocked’s song “When I grow up I want to be an old woman” and turned it into an outstanding visual celebration of older women.

We’re betting you’ll watch it more than once!

May 1

Eileen is a Chicago “Trend Spotter” who’s still working while thinking about retirement. She’s reached the point where comfort is a priority, especially when it comes to dealing with her arthritis.

She speaks for many of us when she writes about adjusting for comfort at home, including what her comfort-level demands in the way of clothing:

“It’s making me pickier and pickier in terms of clothes. Clothes that stretch and don’t get in the way when I need to bend my knees or reach over my head.  Coats and jackets that are light in weight so they don’t drag on my shoulders when I’m driving or walking, especially walking quickly.   Sweaters that keep me warm but aren’t itchy, especially around the neck.  (I just decided to give away a super-warm Missoni sweater meant to wear at some ski lodge that is knit beautifully but out of scratchy mohair).  Shoes that don’t pinch my toes or have too low or high a heel; boots that let my ankles bend and have rubber soles to help keep me from slipping on snow or ice.”

(via Life Meets Work)

Jan 26

And were these girls really girls?

Jan 16

Anyone who has ever suffered vertigo will relate to and applaud Christian Hubert, a 60-year-old Belgian now living in New York City who rides his bike from Brooklyn to Manhattan - over the bridge! click here in voice and pictures from Read the story

Sep 15

Marion Roach Smith, of The Sister Project, has written this lovely post about the “Sisterhood of Aging Well.” In it, she challenges us to “learn not only to age, but to age well - in body, mind and spirit. ”

Marion is a writing teacher, radio columnist and author. Her sister, Margaret Roach, is the former editorial director of A Way To Garden — called by The New York Times one of the best garden blogs “ever seen.”

Marion and Margaret don’t look, act or talk alike, but it’s clear when you read them that they share the same eloquent DNA. If you aren’t familiar with their work, take time and treat yourself — their writing is a combination spa and sabbath for the brain.

Eds. Note from Marty: I still owe Marion and her husband, Rex, for helping rescue me years ago when a broken-down U-Haul filled with my life had to be unloaded into another U-Haul in South Portland, Maine. Rex and Marion were en route to visit Elizabeth Edwardsen, who had just spent a very long, hot and sticky day helping me pack the U-Haul that then broke down. I swear I heard trumpets sound when Rex and Marion arrived on the scene.

Jul 18


This photo was taken by Outstanding People category.

Of the photograph, Walker wrote, “I was wandering quite aimlessly … when I noticed someone taking photographs of the side of a building. As often happens I looked up to see what the subject was that had so captivated so many happy-snappers.

“The old woman looked so happy feeding the pigeons (despite the fact that they’re horrid creatures), and had such a wonderful expression. She saw us photographing her from below, and still she seemed kind and natural and not at all annoyed, which is a real rarity I think.

“So this is dedicated to her, to the mystery woman, for giving to me such a magnificent scene to shoot. I only hope I’ve done her justice.”


Jan 23

Whether you are a Baby Boomer, disabled or just plain lazy, these are bleak times for gardeners here in Zone 5. (Tonight, it’s minus 6 degrees fahrenheit with a predicted wind chill of around minus 20)

For inspiration and reminders that winter WILL end, we’ve been turning to Carol, a Zone 5 gardener from Indiana who writes May Dreams Gardens, a Web site for people who dream of “the days in May when the sun is warm, the skies are blue, the grass is green and the garden is all new again.”

Carol, who just made SPPOTGWLS or “the Society”).

The Gimpy Girls follow Carol on Indy Gardener. And if you need some bucking up from winter, Carol can do it for you.

here, she reminds us sweetly, yet powerfully, of what is just two months down the road.

She knows a “wicked lot” about gardening inside and out, and if you are having trouble hanging on to May dreams, bookmark her or stick her in your Google Reader as we have. She’ll get your gardening dreams into shape and back on track.

Jan 16

Andrew Wyeth has died at his home in Chadds Ford, Pa., at the age of 91.

Our friend Mindy Shrum Alexander was influenced by Wyeth and his Christina’s World when she wrote this post for us about Gimpy Garden Pillows.

While Mindy and millions of others saw Christina’s World as a iconic portrait, it turns out Wyeth said he thought of it as a “complete flat tire” when he originally sent it off to the Macbeth Gallery in Manhattan in 1948. The Museum of Modern Art bought it for $1,800.

In Read the story The New York Times had this to say about Christina’s World.

“Wyeth had seen Christina Olson dragging herself across a Maine field. To him she was a model of dignity who preferred to live in squalor rather than be beholden to anyone. It was dignity of a particularly dour, hardened, misanthropic sort, to which Wyeth throughout his career seemed to gravitate.

“Oftentimes people will like a picture I paint because it’s maybe the sun hitting on the side of a window and they can enjoy it purely for itself,” Wyeth once said. “It reminds them of some afternoon.

“But for me, behind that picture could be a night of moonlight when I’ve been in some house in Maine, a night of some terrible tension, or I had this strange mood. Maybe it was Halloween. It’s all there, hiding behind the realistic side.”

Oct 29

The world needs more Karen Braitmayers.

Braitmayer, according to the American Institute of Architects, has been instrumental in shaping national policy on barrier-free design that benefits people of all abilities.

Braitmayer, who has been elevated to the AIA’s College of Fellows, and her firm, Pacifica Studio, consult on projects involving universal design across the country.

Braitmayer is seen here in the blue-glass bridge at Seattle City Hall, where she pushed for a surface texture on the floor that wouldn’t be slippery for people using crutches and canes.

Her experience as a wheelchair user proved valuable early on in her career as architects regularly stopped by her desk for advice on barrier-free design.

“I’d find simple errors,” Braitmayer said, “that could have a huge impact on accessibility.”

To learn more about Braitmayer, who’s also an avid sailor, Click here to see the Seattle loft Braitmayer designed for a wheelchair user

(via Architectural Record)

Oct 26

It’s getting pretty scary Out There with the financial markets collapsing, people losing jobs and energy prices up as we enter another winter.

For too long, we all have thrived on the Big, Better, More Theory of Life and now the bill is coming due. It seems the current situation will get worse before it gets better, giving us all the opportunity to re-evaluate what we really need to get by.

We’re hoping once the World rights itself, as it were, that more people will bond around the idea of shared resources, especially when it comes to designing, funding, and building living spaces that benefit everyone though the principles of Universal Design. This is not wishful thinking.

There’s a whole movement of ingenious people Out There working to give the world simple, basic housing supremely more functional than the spaces many of us live in today. And with necessity being the Mother of Invention, this crisis our world finds itself in may be the kick in the butt we need to move forward, band up and make things happen.

Designer, architect, humanitarian Architecture for Humanity, embraces innovative and sustainable design to improve living conditions for all and he’s dedicating his life to hooking up like-minded people.

Sinclair inspires us and we hope he will inspire you. He would be the first to say that there are millions of people Out There moving Universal Design forward in big and small ways. If you know them - or you are one of them - let us know so we can hook up and help spread the word.

– Cait & Marty

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