Sunday, March 23, 2014

39, Long Way to Go, Stay Young Potion


Yikes, I am 39! I have only 1 more year before I enter a whole new decade, when I will truly be middle aged. *Shudder* I had a nice quiet birthday celebration with my family. In fact I completely took it easy that day and, like they say, "chillaxed." The important people in my life wished me Happy Birthday. My other 200 odd friends on Facebook did not wish me, and there was no way they could have, for I have not divulged that piece of information on my profile. ;) My dear friend S gave me a gift card to go buy myself a new pair of shoes- she's the best! My cousin from the Bay Area sent me beautiful flowers- how very thoughtful! The son played Happy Birthday on his alto sax for me- that was cute! And the husband and kids arranged delicious dinner, and got me cake, that I thoroughly enjoyed. All in all, turning 39 was quite a relaxing affair.

My Cake


Long Way to Go:

So as a treat to myself, I thought I should indulge in some birthday shopping. And so off I went to the shop where you can "dress for less." I picked up a few things and went to the checkout area. The lady at the checkout counter looked very familiar. However, she was not making any eye contact with me. Then suddenly I remembered that we are in fact neighbors, and I said hi, aren't you so'n'so from our neighborhood? Indeed she was, and well, we exchanged some pleasantries, and I paid for the stuff, and left.

As I was driving back home, I was thinking, hmm, she is a checkout gal at that store. She? Wow! Would never have imagined- I mean, she lives in such a nice house, in such a nice area..... yep, I was totally judging her. I figured aha, that's why she was avoiding eye contact in the beginning, maybe she felt a bit embarrassed. But then, within seconds, realization struck. Dang it! Now she knows that shop here!!

Stay Young Potion: 

When my friend, Mengyin, found out that it was my birthday, she gave me this beautiful feng shui butterfly:


And a recipe for a potion that is supposedly going to help me stay young forever! She gave me some haw and polygatum odoratum (called Yu Zhu) root. Per what she told me, and from what I read online, these two ingredients are used in Chinese medicine as remedies for a whole bunch of conditions including diabetes, hypertension, digestive disorders, rheumatism, lung infections, blood circulation issues, cholesterol, etc. That's pretty impressive, must say. Best of all, even when I am 75, this thing is going to keep me looking (sure) and feeling like a 25 year old- hey, that I'll take any day!

Recipe for Stay Young Potion:

1. Take a few haw flakes and a few yu zhu root slices in a cup. Give it all a quick wash. The roots (actually rhizome) tend to have small specks of soil still stuck to them.

Haw Flakes

Yu Zhu Rhizome

2. Boil some water, like you would for a cup of tea, and pour hot boiling water onto the haw and yu zhu.

3. Let it steep for a minute or so. Sip on it, and in the end, you can eat up the haw and the yu zhu. Good for you, after all!

Stay Young Potion

You could use these ingredients in soup as well.

As for the taste, well, there's no real taste as such to this. I mean, the roots are a bit similar to bamboo shoots in taste and texture. The haw does have a slightly sweet-sour taste- it is after all a berry (hawthorne fruit).

These should be available at any Asian store. Definitely available at the Asian Herbal store.

Haw Flakes

Yu Zhu 

So there, that's my little birthday account for you. I hope to sip on that special "stay young" potion every single day, and I'll tell you how that works out for me next year, when I hit my 40s. Meanwhile I also need to work on my life skills. For instance, stop forming opinions about others, because, for starters, that's not my job. At the same time, I need to not worry about what others think of me, because, really, it does not matter.

And now, I just hope that the checkout gal doesn't read this post. Who, she? I doubt she reads anything at all, forget blogs!

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