Love gardening but don't dig the pain? Although Earth...

HOME FRONT

April 29, 2001|By Julie Klavens | Julie Klavens,Sun Staff

Love gardening but don't dig the pain?

Although Earth Bud-Eze couldn't have known that politicians would repeal workplace rules aimed at curbing repetitive motion injuries, its line of ergonomically designed garden tools couldn't be better timed.

Gardeners with -- or trying to avoid -- carpal tunnel syndrome will welcome them, as will those with chronic joint pain or inflammation, or reduced strength.

Earth Bud-Eze's trowel, V-hoe and cultivator are designed to minimize stress on the user: with a flexible arm cuff and upright grip, each keeps the hand and wrist steady, forcing the stronger muscles of the upper arm and shoulder to do the work.

The sunny yellow tools retail for $14.95 each and are available at some Target stores and through www.earthbudeze.com.

Fear of furnishing

Call it Furnishing Fatigue: you want to bring beauty and harmony to your home, but soon are overwhelmed by thousands of paint chips and fabric swatches -- then sink miserably into inertia and continue to live amid the particleboard.

Elizabeth Wilhide, an interiors writer, has created a pick-me-up with The New Home Kit, a manual and a day planner-esque binder designed to bring structure and organization to a daunting task.

The manual talks you through the process, suggesting a game plan and asking key questions (not to mention showing a wealth of photographs of beautiful rooms from which to borrow inspiration). The binder is divided into sections for different rooms, each addressing preparation and action for walls, ceiling, floor, windows, doors, furnishings, storage, lighting and your own miscellany.

The New Home Kit is available for $40 at area bookstores. --J.K.

The power to recycle

OK, so a solar-powered battery charger is hardly the sexiest or most fun gadget you'll ever bring into your home, but it may be one of the most practical -- saving you heaps of money and saving landfills from a load of hazardous chemicals.

Sundance Solar has a new lightweight, lunchbox-size charger and power source (being carried at right) that powers portable battery-operated electronic devices, such as cassette and CD players, radios and cell phones.

The Diogenes Personal Solar Power Pack provides a display panel that indicates remaining battery capacity. Diogenes also charges the eco-friendly, energy-efficient Rayovac rechargeable alkaline batteries.

Diogenes retails for $229. Visit www.sundancesolar.com to order or to get more information. --J.K.

EVENTS:

* The Union Mills Homestead Foundation will present its 32nd annual Flower and Plant Market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. May 6. The free event will feature an abundance of plants and herbs, and visitors may tour the homestead and gristmill. Proceeds support preservation of the historic Union Mills Homestead on Route 97. For more information, call 410-848-2288.

* The Mason-Dixon Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society will hold its annual Rhododendron and Azalea Show and Sale at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center, 1229 Washington Road, Westminster. The free event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 6. For more information, call 410-337-2858, visit www.mdrhododendron.org or send an e-mail to mdrhodies@hotmail.com.

* The Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage will lead participants through historically significant gems in Anne Arundel County on Saturday and Homeland in Baltimore on May 12. Tickets for each day's tour are $20 and can be purchased at pilgrimage headquarters, 1105-A Providence Road, Towson, or at the first house visited. For information, call 410-821-6933 or visit www.mhgp.org.

--J.K.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Liz Atwood, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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