Mar 29

drillJust as we trust Gimpliments sold by Lee Valley.

Our households have full-sized drills, but we admit to have drill-envy when we look at the compact size and price - $26.50 - of this Lithium-Ion 3.6 Volt Driver Set.

Lee Valley says this well-made drill is the primary household drill used in Japan and will hold retain 85 percent of a full charge after more than a year of storage.

It has a quick-release chuck, a forward/reverse trigger, a co-molded soft rubber grip and a switchable LED light. In tests, Lee Valley workers said the drill excelled at small jobs in their shop and around the house.

The drill, small enough to be kept in a drawer, comes in a padded case with 15 screwdriver bits, a magnetic bit extender and two hex-shank drill bits.

Pair it with the Condo Hammer and Mr. 7 Hands and you nearly have a complete tool box — of which could fit in the drawer of your condo, apartment or your grandchild’s dorm room.

Mar 17

Liz McLellan is on a mission to turn front and back yards everywhere into gardens of abundance. She’s the founder of, a new Web site dedicated to hooking people up to yard-share in urban and suburban areas.

A hyperlocavore is a person who tries to eat as much food as locally as possible and, as Liz says, “growing your own is as local as it gets!”

Here in The Gimpy Gardens, we - Cait & Marty - share a large backyard packed with metal garbage cans and discarded livestock water and feed troughs used as raised beds. Come summer, it is a veritable suburban Garden of Eden.

We’ve signed on as members at Hyperlocavore and encourage you to do the same. It’s a great way to match people of different physical abilities to get more from the land and life.

You can follow Liz here, where she alerts us to the latest videos and news on yard-sharing.

Mar 15

druseThis 287-page stunner by acclaimed garden writer Ken Druse is what you need to get to spring and back into your own garden.

Druse shows us botanical marvels and introduces us to plant explorers who face danger searching for rare and exotic specimens, all in the name of preserving threatened species.

Filled with facts, punctured myths and practical wisdom, this gloriously illustrated book celebrates the secret stories of plants and explains their role in daily life, now and since ancient times.

For example, plant petunias if you like sitting on your patio after dark. Why? Because they are evening fragrant - their pollinators only come out at night.

And have you ever noticed the beautiful spiraling patterns on sunflower heads? Druse says all plants feature such spirals, and that they correspond exactly to mathematical principles that captivated history’s great thinkers and artists.

Margaret Roach of here.

To win this copy, simply leave a comment below before Feb. 2 telling us a little about your gardening fantasies. The winner’s name will be picked at random. Because of shipping costs, you must live in Canada or the United States. Sorry Bora Bora.

The Winner: Congratulations Mr. Tumnas: Please contact us with your address so we can send you this beautiful book.

Mar 5

Muffy Jorn, a registered nurse who blogs at Big Grey Birds, posts about a funny, but not funny, night of sleeplessness. Unfortunately, too many of us can relate:

Since the whole rheumatoid arthritis thing really blew up, my sleeping has not been so great. I am sure it is at least partly medication related; for instance, steroids cause insomnia, and I have been taking them for four years straight. Sometimes pain has kept me awake, and then if you throw the peri-menopausal insomnia into the mix, it is probably surprising I sleep at all. Oh-did I mention jimmy legs?

Dorothy Parker, “Hmmm. What fresh hell is this?”

Mar 3 documents the “journey of an only daughter navigating the waters of senior care for her parents.”

The daughter lives on the East Coast and her parents on the West Coast. They see each other several times a year and stay connected via the phone. But each new year proves more challenging than the last.

Some fixes are simple, such as this one where the daughter decides to downsize after seeing she has bought into the same “Bigger-Better-More” lifestyle that has complicated her parents’ lives.

In this post, the daughter writes a 10-tip list of what she’s looking for in helping her parents explore senior living options. The list is concise and helpful and we especially loved Tip No. 10:

“Use your nose. This was a tip I got from a nurse I had a conversation with on the airplane coming back from a visit to my parents. She has worked in retirement/nursing homes for over 20 years and told me that if you walk into a place and it has an odor in the common areas … walk away. She said it’s the easiest way to determine if a facility is staffed properly to maintain sanitary living conditions.”

Eds Note: It seems impersonal calling her “the daughter,” but she has chosen not to identify herself on her site, a prudent choice given today’s lack of privacy on the Internet.

Mar 2

picture-2Three sisters who own and manage wild bird specialty stores use their decades of experience to show you how to make your backyard a bird oasis.

Through their book, Anne Schmauss, Mary Schmauss and Geni Krolick explain what birds are looking for in terms of food, water, habitat and nesting every month of the year.

In 224 colorful pages, these three bird experts share their time-tested tips and tricks for attracting the most interesting variety of birds to your backyard.

To enter, leave a comment below about what birds are in your backyard now, what you enjoy about birds or a vexing problem you have in attracting and feeding birds. Winner will be chosen at random May 2. Because of shipping costs, you must live in North America. Sorry Timbuktu.

Mar 1

We don’t believe these are going to catch fire, so to speak, and appear in many homes, but it’s good to know you can, if you wish, warm your breasts with a computer attachment. (Did we really just write that?)

On the one hand, just the idea of booties and our hands had mittens.

Where would you use these? Maybe plugged into your laptop computer in the stands at a Green Bay Packers Football game? Not likely, though the Japanese-based firm Thanko seems to think they will sell somewhere.

Eds. Note: We can’t imagine they would be very comfortable, and comfort is what we are all about. At the end of a long day, our favorite saying is “Time to let the girls out.”

(via BoingBoing)

Jan 28

Click here, then press any key and drag.

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

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