May 20

Spai furniture of Italy has a new line of arm chairs for people with limited mobility and agility.

picture-2.pngSpai promises “unbeatable comfort” with its Canada Special design line. The chairs offer adjustable headrests, lockable casters, enhanced back support, and easy to reach adjustment straps.

(Via Going Like Sixty and the Furniture Store Blog

May 17

These two products help people locate your home quickly by turning ordinary lights into flashing beacons.

911-beacon.pngThe Beacon, seen here to the left, is a porch light that screws into an ordinary socket. The Flasher, seen to the lower right, is an adapter that screws into a lamp in your home.

The flashers on both products activate by simply flipping the light switch twice.lamp-adapter.png

In an emergency, the flashing light could be a signal to neighbors you need help.

The flashers also help fire and police visually locate your home quickly without have to search for an address that may be hard to read, or obscured by physical objects or poor weather conditions.

May 16

greenhouse.jpg

This photo of the left side of our greenhouse shows some our tomatoes, herbs and flowers.

As we’ve said previously, our Gimpy Garden is heavy on container gardening and all of the tomatoes will go into 30-gallon metal garbage cans, which conserve water, warm up quickly in the sun, and make the picking much easier without having to bend over.

We live in a suburban neighborhood and the neighbors aren’t quite sure what to make of us. Kids love to hang over the fence and ask us all kinds of questions about our chickens, the garbage-can gardens and our dogs.

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 15

Cait & Doug celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary this year and as their gift to each other, Cait wants a Wii Fit and its console.

The Wii is the best-selling game machine of the current generation, selling more than 25 million worldwide, and remains scarce in stores throughout North America.

Now Cait is hardly a “gamer” – the name given to those rabid about playing video games. But she is looking for something that is entertaining, can be done inside and makes her stretch and work muscles.

The Wii comes with 50 interactive games in four categories – strength training, aerobics, balance games and yoga. It’s easier to watch than to explain and our favorite newspaper, The New York Times, has a great article and video on it.

Click here for more.

May 15

Marty wears glasses as thick as proverbial Coke bottles and, when she takes them off, often has trouble identifying one product from another in the shower.

rubberband.jpgCait tipped her to this easy solution of putting wide rubber bands around the shampoo. It makes it easy to identify the bottle by touch and, for those with dexterity issues, less likely to drop a wet, slippery, bottle because the wide rubber bands give you something to grip.

FYI: The bands used on bundles of asparagus in the grocery store work great.

May 14

Cait is sporting a new watch that makes her feel like a spy. This watch has a bright LED light and a 3X magnifying glass that pops up to help you read smaller type.

spy-watch.pngThe first time she wore it out, Cait used the LED to locate the light switch in a dark bathroom at a restaurant and soon after needed it to read a map. She simply popped up the magnifier, hit the LED button and the map’s detail was made clear – even without her reading glasses.

The watch would be useful for reading ingredients on products in grocery stores, locating a key hole in a dark car or door and – as Cait notes – lighting a signal fire with the magnifying glass when she is lost in the wilderness during a trip home to Canada.

Cait wears this watch daily now and says the only flaw appears to be its cheesy wrist band, which she plans to change. Click here to watch a video of the watch, which comes in two sizes.

Eds. Note: According to Cait, it is no coincidence that the man known as “Intrepid,” Sir William Stephenson – the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond – and Cait were born in the same city. Therefore, Cait wishes to be known by her espionage name – the “Intrepid Invalid.” (That noise you hear is Marty groaning at having to write this.)

May 13

The New York Times has published a terrific series on changes in our body as we age.

From how to find a good shoe to online tests for hearing and vision, this exhaustive series covers 12 subjects and then provides several side-bars on each.

The Times calls this series a guided tour of your body with the best that science and medicine can offer for taking care of yourself.

Click here to learn more about your brain, mouth, ears, breasts, heart, eyes, skin, back, bones, prostate, feet and joints.

May 11

Last year, we planted a raised bed with a brand of asparagus called Purple Passon that we ordered bare-root from one of our favorite nurseries – Nourse Farms.

asparagus.jpg The bare-roots arrived big and healthy and took right off – sending up many stalks during the summer. To establish a thriving asparagus bed, and promote root growth, you need to resist the urge to pick many of the stalks during the first and second summers, which has proven difficult indeed.cans-in-autumn.jpg

The delectable Purple Passion is so sweet, moist, crunchy and tender, it rarely makes it from garden to dinner table – we snap the stalk and eat it raw right in the garden.

If you have even a small space in your garden, plant some of these. They are hardy, easy to grow, and require little labor once the bed is planted. And the fern-like fronds are tall and gorgeous in the fall, as seen in the photo to the right taken last October after a light frost.

May 11

The “Power Rake” from Lee Valley has a Gimpy friendly five-foot handle that swivels and is easy to hold. Your back will thank you because the rake’s design lets you work the rake without having to lift it as much as a traditional rake:

rake-graphic.pngOn the push stroke the swept-back tines glide over the leaves, and on the pull stroke the upper shield prevents the accumulating pile of leaves from tumbling over the tines.rake-photo.png

Lee Valley calls it the Power Rake because this rugged beast gathers leaves and twigs, rakes soil, spreads top dressings and has a rotating hand grip for a low or high angle of attack (for dethatching or raking).

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