Sunday, November 12, 2017

Should I Go Back to China and Shop for Jade Bangle Bracelets and More?

I started going to China in 1999.  My first trip was to learn about Chinese medicine and the culture.  I got addicted to jade on the plane flying to China when I saw a flight attendant wearing a jade bangle bracelet.  I was working, and saving every extra dollar I could for my "summer vacation" trip to go back to China.  I found a Chinese PhD student at College of Wooster to teach my Chinese language.  Even though I didn't become very fluent in Mandarin, the fact that I had learned enough for basic communication earned me respect, especially when I was shopping.  I met a Chinese doctor on my second trip and we became friends, associates, and worked together.  I also met a jade seller in northeastern China who was a seller of Chinese jade, and we also became friends and associates. 

At that time,  the ability to speak Chinese, respect culture and look professional made a huge difference in jade shopping.  When I spoke Chinese to the jade sellers, and they saw the excellent quality the jade bangle I was wearing, the would pull out boxes hidden under their tables or in storage to show me the best quality of jade they had.  And since I spoke Chinese to "bargain" with them, I got very good prices on the jade.  (Professional jade shopping from the jade carvers, there are no prices on the jade.  Every piece is "bargained for".)

One of the items you could readily find in every shop in China was "Bigen",  China's classic black hair coloring product.  Gray hair was for "old people", and almost everyone colored their hair more black when their gray became obvious. 

My height is 67 inches, and that's considered "tall" in China, often more tall then men.  My natural hair color was dark-to-medium brown.  When I was 19 years old, I started getting gray hairs, probably due to hypothyroidism, and I was "way too young" even in America to have grey hairs, so I colored to match my natural hair hair.  By the time I started going to China, my color was light brown/dark blonde.  And my height, slenderness and hair color gave me a "good standing" in China.  Chinese people were always wanting their pictures taken with me, especially because jade shopping, I was going to parts of China Americans usually don't go to. 

Then the Lantos embargo on jadeite mined in Burma (Myanmar) started in 2008 so I couldn't shop for Burmese jadeite and bring that back with me, or ship it to my home, going through customs.  My last trip in 2009 was to meet with my associates in China, the jade carver, and explain what kind of Chinese jade I would want, and the quality of carving I expected.

I really missed going to China.  Every year, something new, and oh, my:  the adventures I had!

I had "retired" my regular job early, and we moved from Ohio to Florida.  My natural curly hair got really frizzy in humid central Florida, and hair color looked very frizzy.  So I lightened my hair color very gradually over the next few years, to light blonde.  Then I let it grow out for a couple of months, and got all the colored parts cut off.  I had no idea what my hair would look like "natural", and was quite pleased with mostly silvery-grey with little darker still underneath. 

I wanted to go to China a few years ago, and realized I would either have to use a temporary hair color or wear a wig, because I would lose my reputation with my friends and associates if they saw me so "gray and old".  I never told my age and they thought I was about 10 years younger than I really am.  And I really am reaching a time in life when I want  more time for "me", time to retire.  When I shopped in China, I brought back enough for two years selling online. 

So yes, I want to go back to China.  But no, I won't.  China has become so modern now, the hair issue might not matter as much.  But I do need to consider "slowing down" and having more time for recreational activities.

Isn't playing with jade recreational?   It is, for me!

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Too Busy To Take Care of Yourself the Way You Want To? Stop and Start Pampering

This is  my excuse: since hurricane Irma I've been busy not only with cleaning up the outdoor mess, but the indoor mess has grown because of bringing outdoor things inside. And with internet off for several days, I got way behind on the web sites, getting photos taken, edited and new listings made.  Now it's almost holiday time, starting with my making Thanksgiving dinner. 

We were discussing with our friends about New Year's Eve.  None of us had made plans like we usually do in October, so we finally made reservations for dinner and festivities.  I need something new to wear, and new shoes, etc.  And a hair appointment.

I was looking in the mirror deciding about hair, make up and what I would wear, and I noticed the frown line wrinkles were deeper.  Yes, I've been squinting outdoors a lot in the brightness, and frowning about all that there is to do outside.  I don't know why I didn't notice that my "wrinkle kit" was not on my bedside stand as it usually is.  I warm the pad and put it on my forehead until it cools, then use the cool jade roller on the wrinkly area, then my entire face.  Easy to do, and good results.  I started again three days ago, and notice an improvement already.  Part of the reason is that when I'm focused on wrinkle repair, I remember to wear polarized sunglasses when I go out the door, and while I'm working I "mindfully" keep my forehead as smooth as I can.  And the mindfulness actually improves my mood. 

Ying Yu Jade FrownEase Wrinkle Relaxer Kit

I sell only what I personally like and use, and if it works for me, it will probably work for  you, too.  And it's on sale as the Today's Special today and tomorrow. 

If your days fly by too fast, and you're "eggshausted" from all you have to do, take time out to take care of YOU.   As I learned, you can't take care of other people unless you take care of yourself, too. 

And the qi energy of genuine and natural jade feels so good.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My Home Filled with Jade is My Happy Place

Our short vacation last week started with driving from Kissimmee, central Florida,  to Key West,  "mile marker 0". It was heart breaking to drive through the Keys, especially the middle Keys where the major impact of of hurricane Irma was evident.  The devastation was the start of my not having a happy vacation.  Even though Irma was early September, the sides of the road were piled high with debris, including home and hotel appliances that were under water and unusable. We saw boats washed ashore and broken up, piles of shredded foliage. The beautiful palm trees were broken at the top, some fallen and not yet cleaned up, and many so bent over it looked like they could fall over.  The road was occasionally closed and we had to stop while a row of semi trucks was gather debris.  And this must have been going on every day since Irma struck.  I was tempted to tell my husband we should stop and help, but one of my goals this year is "taking care of me" more often.

Key West was cleaned up pretty good, and most of the shops and restaurants on Duval Street were open.  But some were very damaged, a couple were burnt to the ground.  We stayed in Simonton Court, an old cigar factory turned into a bed and breakfast, a block from Duval Street.   So many people who were homeless because of the storm were staying in hotels, bed and breakfast places,  and when guests arrived, we realized they were homeless again.  Another heart breaker.

Then we heard on the news that "something" was forming south of us, and by Friday it was named tropical storm Philippe.  It was possible it wouldn't be too stormy in Key West, but probably light rain for a couple of days, so we left early Saturday morning and drove through the bands of Philippe that were moving north.  The Keys has been flooded by Irma, and we were fortunate to get through, slowly but surely.

I had my black jade bangle bracelet on my wrist, along with the Hurricane bracelet designed and sold by a jeweler in Key West.  I rubbed them when I was stressed.

Although we missed out on some of the festivities last week in Key West, it felt so good to get home.  I could feel all the good, calming energies of the jade in my office. 

I usually run into a couple of women wearing jade in Key West during the week, but not this time.  Maybe people don't know how healing it can be.  I decided that it was time to get my "happy" jade bead bracelets listed online.  Chinese jade beads with symbol for "happy" etched.

Chinese jade bead bracelet with "happy" symbols etched on beads
I would like to retire soon, but if I do, I won't have an excuse for being surrounded by jade all the time!  What's an aging jade lover to do?!   I will probably have more sales and discounts on the online stores to sell off enough jade to turn it from "work" into "hobby".  If you see something you like, especially the higher priced jadeite bangle bracelets, and other higher priced item, let me know and make an offer.  I want  you to be happy with jade, too.

My Halloween Chinese "river jade" bangle bracelet. Honey color related to spleen meridian,
repair stomach after eating too many shrimp and Key Lime Pie in Key West

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Taking a Vacation - Jade for Travel and Pleasure

We're leaving in the morning and driving from central Florida to as far south as we can go: Key West.  Hurricane Irma was category 2 when it went through Key West last month, but it was much stronger when it went through the middle Keys.  We have seen photos and videos that show Key West ready for us tourists.  Duval Street looks cleaned up and open for business.  We stay at Simonton Court a block off of Duval Street.  It was a cigar factory that has been made into a bed-and-breakfast.  It's beautiful. There are several cottages, as well as some of the factory turned into rooms.  Some have balconies.  There are three pools for this small establishment, and one is right outside our two room suite. 

The weather here is turning from summer to cooler autumn.  And there's a high chance of rain every day.  I'm wear my deep deep green almost black Chinese jade bangle bracelet for the drive down.
My "traveling jade" bangles, the "black" Chinese jade is for protection

My carved "double dragons" deep green almost black Chinese jade bangle bracele
t with sterling silver "Hurricane Bracelet" I bought in Key West two years ago.

 We'll be back by the weekend.  Online stores will close tonight and re-open Thursday.  There's a coupon code on "closed storefront" you can use the day we open again.

And I'll be posting on Twitter.  Think I'll see women wearing jade bangle bracelets in Key West?  I also want to go to the Pandora store in Mallory Square to try to find a thinner bracelet I can put jade beads on.  I bought one that is really difficult to put on, take off,
and I can barely squeeze on some of the beads.

A similar type of bracelet for jade beads

You didn't really think I would be able to take a vacation and forget about jade for awhile, did you?

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Why People Wear Jade Bangle Bracelets: Life's Path and Journey, Mindfulness

This morning I was hand washing the tiled floor in a small room, on my hands and knees, and I remembered to move my jade bangle down my arm to wrist, and keep my hand over the cloth I was using so when I moved it wouldn't accidently hit the floor, and risk cracking or breaking.  Even though I always have a jade bangle bracelet on my left wrist, the jade is never "silent".  The qi energy of the jade reminds me constantly it is on my wrist. 

That's part of what mindfulness is about.

You may notice that many of the Burmese jadeite bangle bracelets and Chinese "river jade" bangle bracelets have messages in their title and description. For example:

"Keep Calm and Carry On" Burmese Jadeite Bangle Bracelet JHBB574

"Keep Calm and Carry On" is both a life's path kind of jade bangle bracelet. If you are mindful while you are wearing it, the white color will be calming, joyful and the few deep green veins will remind you that while you are calm, relaxed, feeling joy you have it within you to "carry on" to do what you need to do.  If you are dealing with difficult situations, the qi energy and your mindfulness will help you to stay on, or make a new path.

I have received emails from customers who tell me that wearing their jade has helped them get through difficult situations.  Some customers must attend business meeting, and wear their jade to touch it, play with it, during the long and sometimes boring period of time, and not only have something to enjoy during the time, but the qi energy seems to give them something positive that they would not have recognized without it. And protection is another qi energy people feel from their jade.  It helps on life's path.

Mindfulness is being in the "here and now", being aware of the moment.  When you practice it, your life improves.   Like not letting my jade bangle slide down my wrist unprotected and hitting the hard floor this morning. 

Mindfulness does not require daily meditation, workshops, and lots of work to "get it".  When you wear genuine and natural jade with good qi energy, you will feel it and it will be easy to become mindful of it.  Touching, handling jade while I'm listing it, for the past 18 years, has been helpful to my mindfulness, and I share the qi energy "feel" of the jade piece with you, as part of the description.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Jade Eggs for Plant and Foliage Health and Wellness

We're still cleaning up from the mess hurricane Irma left.  I still have weeding, trimming and re-potting to do on our lot.

Today I repotted our "money tree" plant.  We had it for several years before we lost our home in the microburst hail and tornado storm in March 2016.  I kept it on our screened porch where it thrived.  Then when I had to put it somewhere while I new home was being torn down, I had so much to do that I just stuck it under palm trees.  There was so much to do setting up our new home, I didn't have time to take care of it and some of the other potted plants.  Then less than a year after we moved into our new home, hurricane Irma came right over us here in central Florida, and it was outdoors and got blown around the yard.  I've been watching the leaves turning yellow and falling off, and knew it would lose its beauty if it didn't get some attention.

When I pulled it out of the temporary plastic pot I had it in, at the bottom of the pot was a layer of jade eggs and ben wa balls. These are jade eggs that get damaged in shipping from China.  I think when they were inspected at Customs, they were dropped and cracked and chipped.  And some of them weren't made by YYJ standards, probably a jade carver practicing his work!  And not doing a very good job, either.  The tree is nearly five feet tall, and the roots and bottom part looked healthy.

When the home builders were working on our lot, we lost a lot of plants that I really loved.  I especially loved the impatiens because they were the only impatiens that wouldn't die in this unpredictable Florida soil.  I had been trying to add new impatiens for at least 10 years, but these old ones that were here when we bought the home were the only ones that lived.  I had pulled three of the impatiens out of the ground before they were destroyed by the rebuilding process, and stuck them under the palm trees, too.  When I replanted them, I had intended to add the jade eggs to their roots, but forgot until I was planting the final one.  And that's the one that thrived, grew new blossoms quickly, and stayed stabilized. 

So now I add jade eggs and/or ben wa balls to everything I plant.  Neighbors comment on how pretty and healthy everything looks!

This rose plant was dying until I added the jade eggs

I have a box of these not-so-perfect jade eggs that I will share with blog readers, customers so you can have some, too.  They will be available while they last, and priced low with most of the cost going towards shipping (remember, jade is heavy!)

Clearance jade eggs for plant and foliage health and wellness

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Do You Need to Take a Class to Get Yoga Right? And, Yoga and Jade Bangle Bracelets!

Yes and no.

If you have never practiced yoga, or used a video to learn yoga, a class is very beneficial so you can learn the basic  yoga poses, procedure, and learn how these poses affect you and your body.

I learned yoga from a video about 30 years ago.  I lived in a rural area and there were no yoga classes during the time I was available or nearby.  I liked it.  And  I continued to love it. 

I wanted to experience yoga class, and I found a nearby class which I attended for a couple of years.  I enjoyed the class atmosphere, the instructor was inspiring, and I cherished this time with other yogis. 

As I got older, and found out I had osteoporosis, higher risk of breaking bones, I knew the  yoga was good to keep my balance, but realized I had to change my form to adjust to my body condition. And as arthritis started in me, I also knew I had to keep the stretch, movement to keep arthritis from getting worse and stay flexible.  I found a book, Yoga for 50, and it showed some minor body changes for the classic poses.  And I found a book, Yoga for Bone Health, that showed me more modification.  For example, when doing Plank form, instead of placing palms down on the mat,  I put my hands into fists and the weight is more comfortable and stable.  Also, when one has osteoporosis, they should never bend over, touch the ground, without bending knees. 

I modified my form, but it caused problems in classes.  I was told many times that my yoga was just not correct.

But it was correct for me.  So I chose 10-15 minutes of poses that were helpful to me, and I do them daily.  Then I add a few poses that I do during every day activities.  My doctors are impressed with the flexibility I have at my age. 

How to I know that my yoga routine is best for me?   By my jade bangle bracelet.  When I wear a jade bangle bracelet that has green veins in the stone, and white color, I can see the jade "glow" when I'm doing yoga, and for awhile until daily life might sneak in some negatives. 

Genuine natural jade bangle bracelets "glow" when your body is balanced and feeling good. 

Last weekend I was talking with a 70 year old male friend who asked if I was still doing yoga.  He doesn't go to classes, and he follows a form on video.  He asked what I thought about not going to classes.  And my thoughts are that a class is usually once a week, but doing yoga in your home is more convenient and that's better than not doing yoga at all.

You will know yoga has become a true part of your life, lifestyle, when you're cooking out on the grill, and while you're waiting to turn the chicken breasts over, you're doing yoga "tree" poses or other poses that seem like it's the right time to do them.

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