Hello, week № 32.
Today I’m shining a light on the Arkansas Railroad Museum (Pine Bluff, Arkansas), Floyd furniture, eggy tuna salad, birthday kit donation, and red light time. These little things made my week better and brighter – maybe they can give you some smiles too.
Here are my five favorites this week:
- Arkansas Railroad Museum
- Floyd Furniture
- Eggy Tuna Salad
- Birthday Kit Donation
- Red Light Time
— ARKANSAS RAILROAD MUSEUM
I’m certain that a lot of parents know about this museum in Arkansas.
I’m new to having a train obsessed toddler (specifically, it’s an interest that has only gotten deeper, so our lives are all about trains right now). Mister Jupiter found this one for us, and it was worth the drive down to Pine Bluff.
Pine Bluff and the Arkansas Railroad Museum is about an hour’s drive south of Little Rock AFB, and Little Rock. Technically it’s an open-air museum -but it has walls and a roof- it’s just not a water-tight space. This means that the outdoor temperatures will be about the same inside the museum, and you’ll stay dry if it rains.
Anyway – it’s a fun place if you need real life trains and train cars in your life. You can walk in retired train cars, play with Brio trains, watch a video of trains, and watch the model trains run on their tracks. Admission is free, and donations are encouraged. If you and your family wants to talk about trains, the volunteers are walking libraries and very happy to talk and share all things trains with you in return.
Double check the website for operating days; they are not open daily. If you need to experience the Arkansas Railroad Museum RIGHT NOW I have a treat for you. I talked about this museum on Episode 83 of Lady Jupiter Podcast and captured some audio so you can pretend that you went with me!
— FLOYD FURNITURE
Mister Jupiter and I love a lot of the same minimalist furniture, and Floyd has really won us over.
I might like a few more upholstery options, but that’s it. We love the simple styles, minimal palettes, and exposed plywood options. We started with a couch (three seats) and loved how small it was packed up, and how easy it was to move down a narrow hallway to assemble. Then we bought a tall bookshelf that matches the couch. Not only does it match, but it can also be added onto to make a larger unit. Then we got their bed and headboard in the same exposed birch ply and we love it too.
Does it look like IKEA? Yes actually. But it’s high quality woods, fun and unique to assemble, designed for easy moving (a big perk for us nomads), and it’s made in domestically in Detroit.
It’s not often that I can move a couch on my own, but Floyd makes it possible!
— EGGY TUNA SALAD
I’m a simple lady who enjoys the occasional tuna salad.
But I’m also a lady who avoids industrial seed oils as often as possible. Tuna salads typically feature mayonnaise, but what do you do when said condiment is loaded with things that you don’t eat (and you don’t have time to make mayo from scratch)? That’s when you get creative with condiment replacements. I still like to keep things simple, so I’ve turned to using soft boiled eggs as a mayonnaise substitute. It’s not universal of course, but soft boiled egg in tuna salad is my new favorite.
To keep things quick I’ve also been experimenting with microwaving said egg. I crack one cold egg into a lightly oiled glass bowl, and cover with a silicone lid (just to protect the microwave, not to seal the bowl). 80-120 seconds is usually all I need to firm up the egg white and leave a very liquid yolk, but each egg is different and they rarely come out perfect – I’m okay with that.
Combine your favorite canned tuna with that soft boiled egg, add a spoon of sweet relish, and a squeeze of mustard. Stir well and enjoy. A macro counter may say that this eggy tuna salad is almost 30g protein…but I don’t look at my food like that, and I just see that it’s a blend of mostly whole foods, and that it’s my favorite lunch early in the summer.
— BIRTHDAY KIT DONATION
I donate new and used things all year long – and this one is a favorite.
I love that community pantries are popping up in so many places, and it’s such a great way to have a positive impact on your community. That said, food insecurity is no fun for anyone and it can really put a damper on otherwise happy occasions.
So I assemble and donate birthday kits. It’s just a box of cake mix (or muffin mixes), a can of frosting, a package of candles, and a can of dry milk (or otherwise shelf-stable milk). I buy them in pairs just for good measure, and I donate a set of birthday kits every two months or so. I like to think that the kit saved someone’s birthday, or made the weekend full of smiles – but I’ll never know, and that’s okay too.
I also like donating bottles of Ensure, because you never know who needs liquid-only nutrition. And I also like donating pads and tampons because period poverty is very real.
Thinking about this today reminds me that it’s about time to make that shopping cart and donate a fresh birthday kit!
— RED LIGHT TIME
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired about talking about red light and my love of photobiomodulation.
I read often that red light therapy is good for eczema, but despite the time with the light, the eczema on the bottom of my left foot remains. I just have exceptionally stubborn skin, and that’s okay. Does this mean that it doesn’t work? Nope! It just means that I need to dial down my expectations a bit.
Sitting with my red light always gives me a simple calm that is hard to match. Plenty of that is just the awareness that sitting quietly is good for my brain. It gives me time and space to just think about whatever I like, and that is just as refreshing as a massage, or soaking in a bathtub.
So sure, my awkward sole eczema persists, but the time I carve out to apply red light to my feet is a restorative and calming time for me as I literally take a break from the daily tasks and just soak up the light and infrared (not all red light panels combine infrared, but this one does and I love the warmth).
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