Jan 30

Aqua aerobics is our exercise of choice because it’s fun, gentle on the joints and offers seven times more muscle resistance than working out on dry land.

Cait, whose disability affords her limited exercise options, has been an aqua aerobics devotee for years. It’s given her greater mobility and muscle mass while reducing stress. (Even exercise-loathing Marty has taken the plunge.)

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Working out in the water is wonderful - especially in winter when fear of slipping on ice keeps Gimpy people from walking outside. And it’s ideal for people with balance problems or those carrying too much weight.

Cait & Marty often enter the water feeling creaky as the Wizard of Oz Tin Man yet emerge much more limber and often with less joint pain. And the water’s resistance means you are building muscle while doing cardio work.

The myriad water classes offered in most cities range from shallow-end aerobics and Tai Chi to stretching and deep-water running (using a flotation device). Deep-water workouts can help keep up your strength while recovering from surgery or an injury - with no adverse impact on your legs.

Over the years, Cait and her water aerobic buddies have become good friends outside of the pool and Cait credits their enthusiasm for keeping her motivated and making the classes that much more fun!

Click here to read a review of MaryBeth Pappas Baun’s Book amazon.com

Click here to see what the Arthritis Foundation has to say about water workouts for strength, balance and flexibility.

Eds. Note: The image of our bathing beauty was sent to us by our friend Lisa K. It’s from a Hallmark card captioned, “I think the ruffle really makes a difference. Don’t you?”

Jan 28

Always ask your hotel for the “handicapped” room - guaranteed to have a roomier bathroom, a bigger bedroom overall and it sometimes even costs less than a “regular” room.

These first-come first-serve Gimpy rooms are available to anyone with mobility, hearing or vision issues, not just wheelchair users. These rooms usually are nearer the front door of the hotel, so you don’t have so far to go to reach your car, a cab or a restaurant. For the deaf, these rooms have lights, in addition to alarms, to alert you to emergencies, such as a fire.

Cait asked for one at Disney World and got a huge corner suite with a bathroom that was the size of a regular hotel room. The bathroom had marble counters, a bathtub with a lift and a shower with grab bars galore.

Another time, while on the road, Cait pulled into Oxford, Miss., at 11:30 p.m. without reservations, ask for the “handicapped” room and got a lovely, well-appointed room larger than most of the rooms at the hotel.

The only drawback is the bed size. Sometimes the beds are doubles rather than queens or kings. So if bed size is important, ask before you take the room.

Eds Note: To see what we think about the word “Handicapped” click here.

Jan 25

Cait & Marty are on opposite sides of the controversy involving Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter from South Africa who runs on “Cheetahs” - state-of-the-art carbon fiber prosthetics.

Pistorius has dreamed since childhood of qualifying for the Olympics. The International Association of Athletics Federations has been against it, saying Pistorius’ Cheetahs give him an edge over over athletes.

oscar-pistorius.pngMarty supports the IAAF policy. Cait opposes it. Here are their arguments:

“Marty, you ignorant slut. Let him run. Pistorius’ legs, such as they are, still have to pump those Cheetahs and there is no certainty he would win - or even qualify - for the Summer Games.

I would watch that race for sure. So would the rest of the world. Think of the ratings as tens of millions of people tuned in to Robo-Gimp vs. the Olympians - a Sci-Fi movie come to life. So cowboy it up IAAF and let him race.”

“Cait, YOU ignorant slut. You, and too many others, are thinking with your hearts on this one.

Pistorius’ ‘legs’ are not human - they are machines, and Olympic competition was designed to test the human body unaided by performance devices. Runners with ‘real’ legs also face cramps, muscle spasms and other lower leg injuries from which Pistorius’ Cheetahs are immune.

For another viewpoint, look to the Greeks and Romans who developed the Olympics. The first written code of Roman law in 449 B.C. ruled: ‘Cito necatus insignis ad deformitatem puer esto’ - which very loosely translated means ‘Gimpy people shall not compete on carbon fiber prosthetics.’ ”

Eds Note: The literal translation of ‘Cito necatus insignis ad deformitatem puer esto’ should raise the small hairs on the back of your neck. Google it.

Jan 23

“The charming relationships I have had with a long succession of dogs result from their happy spontaneity.”

”Usually they are quick to discover that I cannot see or hear. Truly, as companions, friends, equals in opportunities of self-expression, they unfold to me the dignity of creation.”

- Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Learn more about her

Her movie “The Miracle Worker”

Jan 6

Grab bars should be standard issue in every new home and existing homes should have them in at least every bathroom.

Grab bars are not a “Gimpy thing.” They are a “safety thing” needed by everyone. Unfortunately, most people don’t install grab bars until after they fall and hurt themselves.

Install grab bars now and you may never have that fall.

If not for you, do it for your children and for guests, who will feel safer if they have something to hold onto - other than the shower curtain or curtain rod which - if it is like Cait’s - is spring-loaded and crashes down by merely looking at it.

Soap and shampoo residue clings to showers, tubs and bathroom floors and bubbles from bubble baths cling to the tub long after the fun is over - ensuring a need for the safety of grab bars.

Grabs bars do not suggest you are feeble and doddering. Grab bars suggest you are a forward-thinking practical person who knows how to care for yourself and others.

Like the post we wrote about using the electric carts at the grocery store, we want you to give yourself permission to make your life safe, fun, and easier before life forces you to make even more drastic changes.

Jan 1

Cait & Marty use this torch year-round to kill weeds, start the barbecue, thaw frozen pipes and melt ice on the steps.

At first, Marty was a bit intimidated about handling a propane torch, but now she lives to flame. She invokes Harry Potter as she ignites her torch saying, “Wands at the ready!”

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This torch is remarkably well-balanced, with a soft foam handle and easy to use and start. Just screw on a can of propane, press the trigger and it starts right up. No matches involved.

The wand is sturdy enough to serve as an impromptu cane when you are moving about outside.

And, as Cait knows, it quickly fires a batch of charcoal for the grill without having to use that nasty smelling charcoal lighter.

We kill weeds with the torch on damp days, following a rain when the lawn is wet.

Never use it when the ground is dry or you could have another California Cedar Fire on your hands.

To kill weeds, you don’t need to burn them to a crisp - Just hold the torch over the center of the weed for a few seconds, which causes the moisture within to boil and rupture the plant cells.

To eliminate ice with the torch, use MAPP gas, which burns hotter than propane, but also is more expensive.

amazon.com