Friday Unwind #22: Kalimba; Hurricane Turn; Lettuce; Nyad
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Do you love stumbling upon something that you’ve never heard of? It’s like doing a faceplant into fun!
A kalimba is an African musical instrument with a wooden soundboard and metal keys. It’s a modern version of mbira instruments which are traditional to the Shona people of Zimbabwe. With roots dating back about 3,000 years, the mbira dza vadzimu is considered a sacred instrument by the Shona. Do you know why the Mbira was often decorated with buttons or bottle caps? (See the comments section for the answer)
The kalimba became popular in Western culture in the 1960’s and 1970’s because of bands like Earth, Wind, and Fire. Here’s a Kalimba solo performed by musician Maurice White of Earth, Wind, and Fire:
And for a sweet, contemporary Kalimba song, listen to “Here Comes the Sun”. Of course, it never hurts to have a cute dog in the video!
Looking for a unique Christmas gift? Check out these kalimbas. (no affiliate, just something fun)
🚂 HOW TO FLAG DOWN A TRAIN… IN ALASKA
What do you think would happen if you tried to ‘flag down’ a train in Los Angeles? I can almost feel that wind twirling me around on the platform as the train sped on by. I’d probably end up on my butt, hopefully somewhere behind that Yellow Line that says “Stay behind the yellow line.”
There’s only one place in the entire U.S.A. where you can flag down a train and it will actually stop for you. Where? Alaska. The train? The Hurricane Turn.
The Hurricane Turn Train is a lifeline for Alaskans living off the grid north of Talkeetna. In the summer the train runs weekly from Thursday through Monday. Wintertime only offers a train once a month. You’d better be stocked up when the snow falls.🌨
Residents living in this remote region flag down the train to catch a ride into the nearest town or to get deliveries and mail. Many of these residents have no electricity, no indoor plumbing, definitely no wifi, and no cell phone service. Off the grid is off the grid.
Want to give it a try?
🥬FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “LET US” DISCUSS THIS
Great thanks to Noelie, one of our After 21 Club readers who upped my salad preparation game with these strategies for lettuce. Get ready to be a Salad Aficionado!
Today you can buy all kinds of lettuce, prepackaged and ready to eat. But there’s a little secret you should know.
Prepackaged lettuce mix gets triple washed (you’ve seen that written on the packaging). After that washing the lettuce gets blasted by an air tunnel, which extends the shelf life, but also removes most of the moisture (think dehydrated apricots or maybe your hair when you blow dry it too much).
When you’re ready to have your salad, you need to rehydrate the lettuce (I know, we all thought lettuce was mostly water).
Put the amount of mix you need into a colander, rinse it with cold water, let it drain for a couple of minutes, then put the colander into a bowl and stick the whole thing into the frig for thirty minutes. Voila. Crunchy salad mix.
Head Lettuce (Iceberg, Romaine)
I agree with Noelie who says, “I love a good Iceberg wedge! The "crunch" factor in a salad is really what makes it go from being just a "good" salad to being a "great" salad.
Here’s how to be an Iceberg Lettuce Guru.
Remove the wilted outside leaves. Cut out the core. Saturate the core with cold water. Place it, upside down, in a colander and let the water drain out. Put the colander into a bowl and put it into the frig for 30-60 minutes. Perfection.
For loose leaf lettuce, wash the leaves well, cut off the ‘butt’ end, wrap the lettuce in a dish towel and put it in the frig for an hour.
You can keep the iceberg and the loose leaf lettuce in the frig for a couple of days wrapped in a dish towel.
PS - If you want to up your salad game even more, hop on over to this post by CK Steefel and see how she prepares salad while critiquing Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’, while her husband Jeffrey is singing from “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Now that’s a fun salad!
🎬 GROOVIE MOVIE: NYAD
After reading the reviews and controversy surrounding Diana Nyad’s record breaking 103 mile swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West Florida, I was hooked on watching the movie on Netflix.
Annette Benning gives a potential Oscar winning performance, supported by a strong role from Jodie Foster as her coach. Benning, 65, refused stunt doubles, insisting on swimming herself. Already an avid swimmer, she trained for a year to endure the harsh realities of swimming in an unpredictable ocean.
Stung by jellyfish, Nyad is the first person to make the attempt without a shark cage. When you watch the movie you’ll see why that could have been a foolish decision.
⭐PLEASE WHACKAMOLE THE LIKE 🤍 BUTTON⭐
I enjoy finding interesting topics for Friday Unwind. If you like reading them would you please whack the like 🤍 button. Your ‘Whack’ will encourage me to keep going down the rabbit hole of ideas! Plus you can take out your frustrations. Whack. Whack. Whack. Thank you.🙏
If you feel inspired, click on the Restack button and share Kalimbas, Hurricane Turn, Lettuce, and Nyad with the Substack world!
What’s your favorite musical instrument? Ever try a kalimba?
Answer to ‘buttons and bottlecaps’: When attached to the kalimba they produce a vibration as the music is played. Pretty cool.
Can you imagine the interesting people you’d meet on the Hurricane Turn? One of the off-the-gridders was in the Iditarod. You’ll ‘meet’ her in next week’s Friday Unwind! Who here has been to Alaska? Where?
Hat tip to Noelie for his lettuce expertise. What other ideas do you have for prolonging produce?
As a former competitive swimmer, I can’t imagine swimming 103 miles through shark infested waters. Do you like swimming in the ocean? Surfing? Boating?
As always…. Hi to everyone! Have a wonderful weekend.
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Wherever you are, I hope life is sunny. 🌞❤Heather
I’d also like to invite you to visit my other newsletter, Kindness Magnet. Once a week you’ll get some great ideas for bringing kindness into your world. After all, we could all use a little more kindness. 🤍