Jun 30

crutch-tomato-cage.png

Cait has a talent for seeing gems where others see junk. And she is in a class by herself when it comes to artistic recycling - especially with her “Tiny Tim” Crutch Tomato Cage.

From her regular tour of curbs on garbage day and garage and estate sales, Cait over time acquired numerous obsolete wood crutches, which made their way into her garden.

Cait disassembled the crutch parts, jettisoned the rubber tips, handles and shoulder covers and reassembled the wood parts in a formation strong enough to support vines - and pleasing enough to be called art.

Because tomato vines become so heavy, Cait threaded twine through the open crutch holes and added rubber washers to keep the screws and nuts from loosening.

The cages, which took about an hour and a half to build, grew heavy with fruit and withstood monsoon wind and rain, visiting raccoons, toddler abuse, and dogs chasing chipmunks.

This photo was taken in early June. We’d show you an “after” picture but the only thing you would see is a mass of tomato vines and no crutches - the tomatoes grew so thick!

Cait’s crutch project for next year: a Crutch Trellis for clematis.

(Eds note: For more detailed instructions of how to make the cages, contact cait@thegimpygirls.com and she will send you the information.)

Jun 29

Know someone who has a difficult time standing on hard floors? Gel Pro Chef’s Mats contain a soft gel that makes standing on hard floors easier for those with back pain or arthritis. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 28

Imagine a cellphone that does nothing but make phone calls — no Internet, camera, music, text messaging, or other complicated gimmicks.

GreatCall has built one and named it the Jitterbug — a “big finger-friendly flip phone with huge light-up number buttons,” says David Pogue, the technology writer for the New York Times.

Any big-name cell carrier can beat this phone on price, network coverage and features, Pogue says. But for we aging Gimpy types, the Jitterbug is an idea that works. Learn more

Jun 28

Laundry is endless - always there, every day, and most often involves using stairs. Even when Cait lived in a wheel chair-accessible co-op, the laundry still was on another floor. Now Cait lives in her own house but the laundry still is down the stairs in the basement. C’est la guerre.

A laundry basket kept Cait from having a free hand for the stair rail, so she turned to IKEA, the Swedish Sanctuary, to find an answer. Every IKEA has these great, big, low-cost, strong, plastic bags with handles that you use to haul your IKEA booty around the store before check-out.

Buy one, or two, or six and give them away. They’re light, fold flat, hold an enormous amount and cost less than a buck. Use them to hold laundry on vacation or your picnic items for an afternoon.

At home, Cait easily can carry one fully folded with one hand while having her other hand free for the stair rail. They help her carry all kinds of things around the house. She’s still using the first one she bought 15 years ago and it shows little wear and tear.

The other struggle with laundry is to get heavy bottles of detergent home from the grocery store. Cait’s found All Liquid Detergent to be more concentrated than most. The concentrated All is good quality and actually does the number of loads it says it does. It also comes in an All Free version - free of dye, perfume and lower in phosphates for those with extremely sensitive skin.

Jun 26

1) Excellent food prepared by a person with a disability.

2) A person with a disability deemed physically attractive, as in the entire Men’s U.S. Wheelchair Rugby Team.

Jun 26

“A powerful and defining generation that exploded into life post World War II” — The News Perspective

“People reaching their most rewarding and exciting time of life (who have money to drop on trips, frills, gadgets and consumer goods)” — The Advertising Perspective

“Someone whose knees crack when they get up off the floor, if they can get up off the floor” — The Realist Perspective.

“A person who is almost dead” — The Teenage Perspective.

Jun 26

A derogatory term used to describe people with disabilities.

Handicapped derives from a British expression for begging: to have your cap in hand, in which beggars would collect coins to support themselves.

This term needs to disappear from our collective lexicon.

Jun 26

Refer to someone as a “wheelchair user,” rather than say she is “confined to a wheelchair,” which is a fallback to worn-out terminology that plays to the old “crippled” mindset.

Cait had a boss who traveled to more 90 countries using a wheelchair. When an airline lost his wheelchair, he adapted a luggage cart. Clearly, this man was not confined.

Jun 25

* People who do as little as possible without cheating themselves or those who depend on them.

* One who believes energy saved is energy earned.

* A person who completes tasks creatively using minimum energy.

* A person who on their day off says, “I have nothing to do and I plan to get only half of that done.”

Jun 18

Iced Tea spoons conjure up images of fussy bridal showers and debris you find in the bottom of your cabinets, but they really are a workhorse in your kitchen when regular spoons are just to short.

p1010336.jpgUse ice tea spoons to:

* Stir the grounds in a French press coffee maker so you don’t leave a dry clump of dry coffee in the bottom.
* Blend sugar, milk and coffee in those tall travel mugs for your morning commute.
* Get the last bit of mayo or peanut butter out of a jar.
* Stir up juice in a pitcher

Ice tea spoons — or parfait spoons, as some call them — keep hot liquids at a safe distance if your fingers are sensitive to temperature, or if you have lost some sensation and can’t tell when liquids are hot enough to burn you. The spoon itself also leaves extra room to grab onto if you need a more solid grip. At times Cait has needed the spongy tubing stuff that physio therapists like to dole out and a regular spoon doesn’t have room for the tubing.

Cait found her first set of ice tea spoons at an estate sale - eight spoons for 35 cents. She felt sorry for them. It was like they were the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of cutlery. No one was interested in them. She’d seen similar sets go unpurchased many times.

Cait brought them home and her partner, Doug — not known for his culinary prowess, or even interest — took to them immediately. Doug found them ideal for his venti-sized coffee cups and French press. Doug also likes to eat peanut butter with a spoon and a glass of milk. Now he gets every last bit out of every jar without getting gooey knuckles.

Eds note: Marty’s favorite long tea spoons are the ones that have a straw built it. Perfect for ice cream floats!

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