The Best Wide Sandals for Small Feet

Living in a sunny coastal state, I love to wear sandals and flip-flops year round, sometimes even when it’s raining. Growing up I had Birkenstocks that were very comfortable and perfect for lounging around, but as I grew up, my feet grew wider and wider while not getting much longer. Such is the life for many LP’s both young and old — short, wide feet! It seems like once you get into kids sizes 3-6 where a lot of us end up, your choices get smaller the wider your feet are. Sandals and flip-flops are especially difficult due to the rigid materials used for the sides and the toe separator, since they don’t stretch!
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The Best Unconventional Reacher: The Bear Claw

Ettore 49036 Grip'n Grab Reach Tool, 32-Inch

Who knew that a back scratcher would be the best reacher I have ever found? Many people with physical disabilities know the good ‘ol Sammons (now Preston Sammons medical) catalog. It’s on most physical and occupational therapists bookshelves. The products are durable and designed by disability professionals. Even I have a couple of trigger reachers that were lovingly given to me in hopes of giving me more independence as a child. But, who wants to carry a large, very clunky conspicuous reacher that looks like the janitor’s trash picker?

My search ended when I did a search under “telescoping”. Lo and behold, I found a telescoping backscratcher. Whoa! It fits the Alton Brown rule of “more than one purpose” as a back scratcher and reacher. It fits my wishlist completely. It’s compact, light, multipurpose, and most importantly doesn’t look like anything other than a back scratcher. Secretly its my 2 foot (technically 22 inches) reacher to take down my healthy bag of chips at the top shelf. And it’s very affordable!

We highly recommend a telescoping bear claw back scratcher in every LP’s arsenal for items out of reach. It’s perfect for the grocery store or Home Depot to grab that pesky item too high, but not too heavy. Obviously, I’m not going to use it to take down my son’s favorite jar of peanut butter. But, what makes the bear claw different from similar reachers is that in addition to the curved claws, there’s a big open space in the ‘paw’ area that you can use to lock onto the corner end of the item.

The Best Bear Claw

If you do a Google search for Bear Claw, you may be overwhelmed as we were with the seemingly thousands of resellers selling similar items. So we decided to order a bunch and see which is the best.
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Grain/Gluten Free for Joint Pain

hip xray

Many of those of us in the LP community are afflicted with joint pain as we grow older and try to avoid or prolong surgery for hip or knee replacements. As an LP with pseudoachondroplasia, my hips started hurting around the age of 30 and seemed to be getting progressively worse. Family and friends would notice that I would grunt when getting up from sitting down, or even when moving. Of course, I visited a renowned orthopedic surgeon to check on my hips, but an X-Ray showed minor thinning of the cartilage and not something that would necessarily warrant surgery in the immediate future. Weight loss was suggested to help with the pain, but I really thought the condition of my hips was much worse than showed radiographically. So I knew I needed to lose weight, but I also wanted to explore other methods to help with my pain level.

Is Gluten Free A Fad?

The evils of weight and gluten have been in the news again over the past couple years, spearheaded by the Wheat Belly book by Dr. Davis a cardiologist who wrote about “frankenwheat”. According to Dr. Davis, the wheat of today has been modified so much that it is no longer the amber waves of grain you might see from old pictures. Rather, today’s wheat stands 18-24 inches tall and is very different genetically than the wheat eaten by our ancestors. Dr. Davis argues that the gliadin in wheat is associated with a whole range of conditions. However he has emphasized, especially in his follow-up Wheat Belly Total Health, that we really need to remove all grains (not just wheat) from our diet as humans are not biologically built to eat grains of grasses. There’s a reason cows have so many stomachs and they chew the cud to process their diet. And there’s also a reason modern farming feeds our livestock grain instead of grass; hint — it makes them fat!
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Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines still has the same great service as it had 25 years ago when Dwarf Mom last went to Oahu with family. From check-in to in-flight service, it’s very family friendly. The check-in process from our mainland airport was welcoming. I didn’t feel that they were rushing to help the next passengers. With a family of 4, we’re often balancing holding our carry-on backpacks and herding children, so I appreciate their patience.

Though it seems trite, one of the coolest things about Hawaiian is that they’re the only major US carrier to still provide full service meals free-of-charge to all their passengers. We can’t carry a lot of things in our carry-on, so providing a hot meal certainly is welcoming to kids who are “starving” on the 6-hour flight. The departing flight to Hawaii provided us with a mid-morning snack of fruit (watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe), crackers, cheese, and a snack size chocolate covered macadamia nut. The flight back to the mainland was a dinner meal of teriyaki chicken, rice, steamed veggies, a salad and a shortbread cookie with a pineapple center. Complementary wine, coffee, and tea was offered too. I remember as a young child being excited that this airline provided rice with a meal. It’s a small gesture, but certainly welcoming to me.
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Disney Aulani Resort and Spa Accessibility Review

We’ve never been on a real family trip, if you exclude all the trips to LPA Regionals/Nationals and family visits. So when it finally came time to pick a location, we wanted to make it count. Dad wanted to go on a cruise due to fond memories from childhood while Mom thought a cruise would be snooze-ville. We tried looking at a Disney cruise as a compromise, but they are extremely expensive, especially during typical school breaks. Thankfully, we found an ideal compromise at the Disney Aulani Resort in Oahu. It has some Disney flair with Hawaiian elegance in a beautiful location and seemed like lots of fun. We had a blast and want to share some tips regarding accessibility.

Kid's Meal Dessert at Ama Ama Restaurant

Kid’s Meal Dessert at Ama Ama Restaurant

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