Cover Art, Jokerball Machine by John Davis
Our New Mah Jongg Melee Game Collection
See details later in this issue.

The International Magazine for Discerning Mah Jongg Players
Created by John Davis
Edited by Judith Euen Davis

  We are delighted to have returned to report on the sweeping changes in our Mah Jongg world.


If anyone had told me there would be a worldwide pandemic lasting more than six months, I would’ve guessed my mahj group would have been playing online daily, if not hourly. And yet in all this time, it’s happened exactly once - and the complaining went beyond the usual, “I have no jokers.” It’s hard to describe, but we found the experience joyless. 
Then the lightbulb went off: why not adapt the physical set I created (the “Trach/Bach”) for online play?
 So my entire lockdown has been spent on the phone with computer programmers in Canada, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, as well as VoiceOver artists in London, designers, lawyers, etc. getting things together for the launch of - which is now open to anyone to sign up for beta-testing! 

Having lots of lockdown time to really think this through, I truly hope I’ve been able to bring the same whimsy and lightheartedness as the physical set onto computer screens. One big advantage I realized instantly is that artistic features that were impossible to do on actual tiles (show brushstrokes, shadows, etc.) are easily attainable on a computer screen. I’ve also decided that when the new card is released annually, we will debut a completely new set of tiles done by another super-talented illustrator. This will build an amazing online library of tiles - and hopefully, some of them will be able to translate into physical sets as well! So hopefully, my lockdown leads to your further mahjong enjoyment!
Mah Jongg in the Time of the Pandemic:
Our Stories
Gregg Swain writes-

I went to my home in NYC and it was like Great Expectations. The last MJ game I played in March in person with three other people still had the hands exposed. So sad. Haven’t played since March 11. :-(
NOTE: 2019 card
The Things We Do to Stay in Touch with Mah Jongg
Gregg Swain

I learned to play Mah Jongg in 2010 from Linda Feinstein, a fabulous teacher in New York City. 

Before the pandemic I had a few circles of people to play with. I teach a lot, and many of my former students who either were my friends to begin with or became my friends, were in those groups. I can't believe how the game expanded my group of friends, and how connected I feel to everyone.

I don't get to play much with people anymore, although I drove 45 minutes to see a friend and we played Siamese on her screened porch while wearing masks. That's the only time I've touched tiles to play with in over seven months.
 I'm in Vermont with really bad Wi-Fi, so it's difficult to play online. One of my groups of MJ friends "get together" for a zoom once a week, and that's been really helpful. We all look forward to those times.

There is a group I play with on occasion on Realmahjongg, and although I keep getting the "your internet connection is unstable" message, and I sometimes get kicked off the table because of connectivity issues, it has been a great experience. We play while on conference call. And although we were friends before the pandemic, I have to say my friendships with them have strengthened. 

When I really need to escape, which right now is all the time, I go to Realmahjongg despite the problems I have with wifi, and play against the bots. I also love that app American Mahjong Practice 2020, and now the bots can beat real players! Supposedly we're getting cable sometime soon, and then I can really get back in the swing of things. I hadn't been to   in over two years because of adobe flash problems on my computer, but when I was in NYC for a few days, I was able to download the app and I was in heaven. I'm seriously thinking of getting in the car to sit outside our local library which has good Wi-Fi, just to play on my smart pad!

My life is mahjong centered, just in a different way than it was before. I give zoom talks about the new book, along with other talks, so I'm staying busy. Every Wednesday night I tune into the Modern Mahjong zoom. Other than mahjong, I'm spending lots of time doing needlepoint while binge-watching shows or listening to podcasts.
Giving Gifts in Our Pandemic World

The theme of this issue has a twofold meaning.  First, we want to support our mah jongg businesses by encouraging players to purchase their items/services and give them as gifts to friends and loved ones.  Second, we want to continue mah jongg’s history of philanthropy by asking each merchant to donate a percentage of their profits to charity, if possible, or to identify the charities they regularly support. We thank them for their generosity.
Overlooking Canberra
Australian Artistry

Canberra is my adopted city. I grew up in Adelaide and through my husband’s work have lived in other cities in Australia, but Canberra has become home. Australia’s Capital Territory is also known as the ‘Bush Capital’ for the plentiful wildlife corridors that span the city. Even in the city centre you can find Kangaroos feeding on the grass in front of office buildings. In nearby Mulligan’s Flat, a wildlife sanctuary only 20 minutes from the city and a short walk from The Pickled Poet’s workshop, wedge-tail eagles soar, kookaburras laugh themselves silly, splendid parrots and rosellas fill the trees, cockatoos squawk, magpies and magpie larks dive-bomb each other and compete for space, superb wrens with their harems flit around the blossoms, rock wallabies and big Eastern Grey kangaroos keep to themselves in their own little etched out territories, and echidnas, turtles and goannas all waddle along minding their own business. Sounds like paradise because it is. And I live here! Welcome to the world of me, Em, The Pickled Poet.  
Grazing Kangaroos across the road from Em’s home
In the Australian capital of Canberra, a collection of minor ‘town centres’, each separated by beautiful bushland filled with unique wildlife, Em Chisholm spends her days in her sewing room sanctuary, a little workshop filled with colourful fabrics, Mahjong tiles and accessories, and lovely memories. On any given day, you might find Em laying out her Mahjong bag designs, cutting and sewing her stunning fabrics, or hand-painting Mahjong tiles and beads to create a unique brand of ‘Mahjong Art’ that she shares with the world. 
After an unproductive search for a satisfactory bag to fit a Mahjong set many years ago, Em took matters into her own hands and made her own! Realising a gap for these existed, Em entered the market in 2012 as The Picked PoetTM, offering beautiful home-made, custom-sized Mahjong bags of her own designs. In 2014, Em opened The Pickled Poet’s Etsy store offering pre-made standard sized items as well as custom-sized mahjong bags; her collection of exclusive designs has continued to grow to this day.  
Your bags are exceptional quality, where did you learn to sew?
My Nanna taught me to hand-sew when I ripped the knees on my jeans (back in the days when ripped jeans were unacceptable!). I mended them with little strawberry patches when I was about 7 years old. From that day on, mending was one of my family duties. My dad taught me to sew on a machine when I was 12 years old. We found an old hand-crank Empress sewing machine at our local dump. My dad believed everything was useful and everything could be fixed so we brought it home, found the needed parts, and Dad got it working again. On this little machine, I would fix his shirts, sew dolls clothes, and repair my own and my sister’s clothes. When I was 16, and after my father had died, and my little hand-crank machine was taken by another family member, my grandmother bought me my first electric machine. It changed my world; I could sew much faster, and the little free-arm gave so much more versatility than the flat-bed of my almost-antique hand-crank machine. 
My Nanna taught how me to read a pattern, my aunt taught me some of the niftier aspects of an electric machine, and I took it from there. I designed and made many of the clothes I wore as a teenager and also made clothes for my friends and later for my husband and children as well as ball gowns and wedding dresses through my 20’s and 30s. A recent joy for me has been designing and making my daughter’s wedding dress. I also make teddy bears and do cross stitch and embroidery and am working on some Mahjong embroidery designs that will be released in 2021, I hope! 
So Em, what products or services do you offer?
Trading as The Pickled Poet, a name given me by my husband, I mainly make bags for Mahjong sets – specializing in custom-size bags – and occasionally offer restored Mahjong sets for sale. 
My aim for all items is for them to be both practical and beautiful, and every item is handcrafted from my own designs. I create all the patterns for my bags, select the fabrics, cords, and charms for individual items, and hand-paint the beads to match. I have a range of fabrics that I keep in stock for custom designs and these are slowly being listed in albums on The Pickled Poet’s Facebook page. Fabrics will also be on The Pickled Poet’s website, which is launching soon. 
Products offered by The Pickled Poet include:
Tote Ensembles in four styles (‘Harmony’, ‘Grace’, ‘Cascade’, & ‘Sampan’). Ensembles include: the tote; a rack bag or rack sleeves; tile bags or tile trays; and other items such as an accessories bag, coin/card purse etc. Although totes are usually sold in my Etsy store as ensembles, these are made as single items for custom orders – they are useful for many things, not just for Mahjong!
‘Harmony’ is the Pickled Poet’s first tote design, the most unique tote available in the Mahjong market, and is the most popular tote design to date. ‘Harmony’ was created through numerous design iterations to bring together a tote and a case into one sweet package. Although this tote can be made from any fabric in stock, it was designed specifically for my ongoing fabric line ‘Maiko Festival’ that comes in six different colours. The tote handles tie in a knot at any point along their length for carrying on the shoulder or in the hand. For storage, the handles wrap around and tie, so the tote can be neatly placed in a cupboard with a full mahjong set contained. 
The ‘Grace’ tote was designed for players who prefer a more traditional tote style. ‘Grace’ has a top zipper with fixed-length loop handles and fits a full Mahjong set, a tablecloth, and many other items. 
All items are available individually or in any combination and are fully size-customizable. These include: Rack bags (drawstring or zipper – zipper bags are padded); rack sleeves (padded or unpadded); tile bags (drawstring or zipper – only zipper tile bags are padded – in three sizes); tile trays (that also fit vintage mahjong cases!); tile tray covers for totes; coin/card purses; and accessories bags for holding all the little bits like dice, counters, additional tiles etc. 
For my most recent release – the ‘Mother Nature Collection’ – I have designed two new totes (‘Cascade’ is based on my popular ‘Harmony’ design, and ‘Sampan’), with a selected fabric range, bead colours and charms. These were designed especially for the Mother Nature Mahjong set designed by Katherine Hartman, illustrated by Cathy Cox and produced by Crisloid. All Mother Nature bags are listed in my Etsy store at the moment:
‘Sampan’ Tote Ensemble:
‘Cascade’ Tote Ensemble :
These two tote styles also look amazing in many other fabrics, fit mahjong sets with racks up to 22½” in length, and like all of my items are fully customizable.
I have a wide range of racks in the workshop from specialist rack designers and artists including Katherine Hartman Designs, Christine Whitman Designs, and Donna Eschen & Greg Villegas, as well as many tile sizes and Mahjong sets on hand to ensure that I can provide accurate sizing of custom-designed items. 
You can find The Pickled Poet in all of these places:
Website: (launching soon!)
Instagram: @thepickledpoet 
What’s the story behind the name ‘The Pickled Poet’ and your frog logo? 
My husband came up with the name ‘The Pickled Poet’ many years ago. He tells the story ... “Em loves a glass of bubbles and, while she never gets messy, she does get a bit pickled on occasion. Em is also a great story-teller; her writing and stories always entertain people, especially when she’s a bit pickled, so she became the Pickled Poet.”
And the Frog?
When I was a baby I was a long-limbed skinny thing with big eyes that reminded my Dad of a tree-frog. The name he gave me from my day one, “little frog”, stuck for most of my childhood. The frog logo, drawn by my mother and as a tribute to my father, was a natural fit for both me – a little frog – and my little business. 
Mahjong originated in China, and we occasionally see frogs on vintage flower tiles (and more recently on joker tiles and in newer sets). In Chinese culture, frogs are associated with some beautiful life aspects:
Healing: Mahjong feels to me like a game of healing, time with friends, time to focus on something directly in front of you and remove the worries of the bigger world. 
Prosperity: I always wish my customers prosperity in their lives, and in their Mahjong winnings!!! The Pickled Poet’s lucky-7 Chinese coin tassels seen in many of the items I make are also representative of this prosperity. 
Longevity: This is two-fold, wishing my customers long and healthy lives, and also the assurance that my bags are long-lasting! 
Which charities do you wish to promote, and why?
I support numerous charities in Australia and overseas. For this issue of MJ Diva Magazine, I have selected two charities close to my heart for promotion – one in Australia and one international. 
Indigenous culture is the heart of Australia. Dreamtime stories have captured my imagination since I first heard them as a little girl, and the connection of our Indigenous community to the land and their ancestors is magical. Despite the global popularity of dreamtime stories, Indigenous Australian art, and associated tourism and sales, many remote Indigenous communities do not see any funds from these endeavours and are disadvantaged and lack access to educational resources. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is an Australian charity dedicated to lifting literacy levels in remote Australian and Torres Strait Indigenous communities so all children across Australia have access to the same opportunities.
The Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) leads the largest, concerted, worldwide non-profit effort to diagnose, treat, and prevent ME/CFS and related chronic, complex diseases such as Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia and post-COVID complications. This is a charity close to my heart for the work it does with chronic disease prevention. Particularly with the studies of ongoing post-COVID complications that many are experiencing, I feel this has become an even more significant charity to support. The work the US-based OMF undertakes has a global impact.
What version of Mahjong do you play?
I play what is affectionately referred to as ‘Aussie Rules’. This is a version of Mahjong that is based on Asian rules, supplemented by the early versions of Babcock, and is similar to what Peter Gregory refers to as ‘British Rules’ in an earlier edition, and the Wright-Patterson version of play. 
Tell us how you became involved in Mahjong
In 2012 I finished my honours degree in Geochronology and Geochemistry. Raising three children, a heavy study load at University and working full-time didn’t leave much space for a social life over those years, and to celebrate completing my degree and getting ‘my life back’ I sat down with friends I had not seen for years. Over champagne and nibbles they taught me the game I had been wanting to learn with them since our children were babies... Mahjong. All through those crazy busy years they had 4 players so no more were needed (not that I could have fit it in!!). 
My friend, taught as a child herself by her Grandmother, taught me to play. She set me up with some basic hands, ran me through the tiles, got me drunk, and sent me home with one task: learn the rules before the next game… Challenge accepted!! I wobbled through the front door, plonked myself in front of my computer and saturated my (already champagne soaked) brain with Mahjong. I fell down the rabbit hole so to speak - a glorious and magical world opened up to me that day. 
On my internet travels I collected hands that were applicable to ‘Aussie Rules’ play and started writing them down; these later became a collection of 150 hands and basic rules that I published into a Mahjong manual, which is currently in review for a second edition. 
During my early explorations of Mahjong I also discovered vintage Mahjong sets. I bought my first set from eBay in 2012, having absolutely no idea of what I was buying from terribly poor photographs... but hey, those yellow tiles look super pretty, and those coloured racks are cool sooo... what could possibly go wrong? Plenty, as it turns out. The set arrived covered in mildew and dank as a dunny. The paint on the tiles was barely there, the tiles themselves were feral and fluffy white, the metal coin ends of the racks were black with corrosion and the racks were gross. The case was a mess. I was heartbroken. I hid the set at the back of a cupboard and went to work. I hit the internet again and started researching how to restore catalin, how to remove mildew, and how to cover books and boxes. I retrieved the offending object from the depths of despair and tore it apart. Her name is Mildred, a Royal Games set, and she remains to this day my cheapest purchase, my first restoration and forevermore my most beloved Mahjong set.
Mildred also began my love of Mahjong sets. As much as I love the game, I also love the sets, their variations and their little quirks, and I love restoring them. By the end of 2012 I had a few of the more abundant vintage sets in my possession. I found myself getting frustrated by the lack of options for rack bags and new cases etc - especially in Australia as I could not get replacement parts or cases at a reasonable price. What’s a girl with a sewing machine to do? Well... make bags of course!! And so began The Pickled Poet’s Mahjong Accessories. 
Mah Jongg in the Time of the Pandemic:
Our Stories
(posted on MJTI Oct. 2020)
Robin Rackoff

It’s such a relief that I can visit my 103-year-old mother, even if it’s just on the patio of her assisted living facility. It is the only place I am allowed to see her in person since the arrival of the COVID19. She asks, “Are you having the mah jongg game at your house today?” I explain to her that each one of us has to play on our computers from our own homes because of the virus. It is such a far cry from her mah jongg, the game that she always loved.

If you grew up in my Brooklyn neighborhood in the 1950s, for sure, your mother played mah jongg. No tennis or golf for these ladies.  One night every week, the mah jongg tiles would come out. When I got home from school, I’d know that the game was going to be at my house because the kitchen chairs would be on top of the table. How else could my mother wax the floor? The pineapple and orange slices were decoratively laid out on a platter with maraschino cherries, and a black-out cake from the famous Ebinger’s bakery would be sitting in its green box tied with string. Under no circumstances were those foods to be touched until my mother said they could be touched!

At precisely seven o’clock, the “girls” would walk in. No doorbell was needed since you could hear them talking from a block away. My mother would go into the hallway and yell to her sister, who lived upstairs, “Shirley, come down. We’re ready.” (That was the 1950s version of an Instant Message.) I would stand in the shadows watching and listening as they played and chatted. I particularly paid attention when they whispered because that was the juiciest stuff, not meant for the ears of a child. I especially loved the dragon and flower tiles, making it seem as much a fairy tale as a game. Finally, I would head off to bed, falling asleep to the lullaby of bams and dots.

It would be no surprise then that the daughters of these mothers would have their own mah jongg game at the ripe old age of 11. Every Tuesday after school, we’d walk to Arlene’s house with our mah jongg cards tucked safely into our book bags. We would play for as long as possible, making sure that we got home before dark, just in time for dinner.  

Almost sixty years later, we still play just long enough to be home before dark, but now it’s because we don’t drive at night! For all these years, mah jongg has been the tie that binds – binds us to our mothers, and binds us to our friends.

Hopefully, it won’t be long before we can all play together in one home. I will be happy to supply the maraschino cherries, but don’t expect my floor to be waxed! Until then, let’s be safe and maj on!
Christine Whitman Designs

Christine Whitman Designs started making mah jongg racks in 2016.  Today there are three of us, myself, my husband Brett, and our team member Sam, making racks, pendants, and now, full tile sets.
Though we make standard racks for standard tiles, most of the racks we make are built to your specifications. We use a variety of domestic and imported hardwoods to create the perfect complement to your game table. Each of our racks is adorned with brass hardware and can be decorated with various inlays or one of Sam’s hand-painted masterpieces.  Our dedication to quality is supported by an unconditional lifetime warranty and a trade-up program that ensures the full-value of your racks forever.  Prices for a full set of racks range from $200 to $750 and can go even higher after Sam puts his brush to them.
Our pendants are recreations of our and your favorite mah jongg tiles carved from water buffalo horn with either mother-of-pearl or bone tile face.  Each pendant is fitted with sterling silver findings: bail, chain and clasp.  Pendants start at $200.

We are very excited to be releasing full sets of tiles.  We have settled on three configurations: synthetics, mixed materials, and naturals.  No matter the configuration, every tile is individually carved, hand-painted, and lovingly polished to our highest sheen.  Full tile sets range in price from $1,900 to $8,000.
Our products can occasionally be found in our Etsy store, but the best way to get exactly what you want is to pick up the phone, call me, and let’s together create the perfect design for you.

We would like to take this opportunity to support others in our field.  Show us your post-pandemic mah-jongg purchase from our fellow mah jongg colleagues, and we will discount dollar-for-dollar up to $100 or 10% of your CWD order, whichever is less.  For example, if you bought a set of tiles from one of our mah jongg colleagues after March for $300, take $30 off your pendant order with us.

We would never presume to force our charitable interests onto others.  Instead, try this:  Donate to any 501c of your choice and we will discount your order a flat $20.  For you mathematicians, this is an opportunity to net $19.
Mah Jongg in the Time of the Pandemic:
Our Stories
I called this “Garage Mahj”. My New Jersey friends really wanted to play one night. We were all wearing masks. It’s  pouring and humid, but nothing was going to stop us. So I set up a table in my garage, got out the most powerful portable fan I could find, and for four hours we played Garage Mahj. Nothing stops this New Jersey group.

-Barney Gallasio
Jill Fox Creates Mah Jongg Wipes

The year 2020 has been tough on everyone, but it was difficult for my family in other ways. I’d like to take a moment of your time to share my story and how it led to the creation of Mah Jongg Wipes.

I live in Parkland, Florida with my husband, Brian and two young children—Madden, 10 and Randi, 7. In April, 2020, while grieving from the sudden death of my mom and observing Clorox wipes flying off shelves, I came up with the idea for Mah Jongg Wipes. 

Need some soap for your crack? I’ve got some. 
In February of 2019, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After he passed away six months later, my mom had a very difficult time. Through the grief, we managed to spend as many moments together as possible, and we played Mah Jongg, both with her friends and mine. My mom died suddenly in February, just one year after my father’s diagnosis. 

Then came the coronavirus.

During the onset of COVID-19, I began searching for something to clean my Mah Jongg set. No such product. Yeah, you could run them under soap and water, but some websites said it could ruin the integrity of the set. You could always try a Clorox wipe, should you be lucky enough to possess one, but who wants to carry that big tub around? 

I knew my idea had value, and I wanted to give it a shot.  

When we play, all my friends and I do is nosh and touch our tiles — not a good combo these days. So, I came up with: Some “SOAP” to wipe your “CRACK.” Adorable, right? 

The connection to my mom was obvious, but I needed a component for my dad, so I decided to donate a portion from each purchase to pancreatic cancer research in his honor. I found something positive to focus on during this strange time in everyone’s lives.

My mother and father were the inspiration for this business, which is why Mah Jongg Wipes supports the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Whether you are interested in some Mah Jongg wipes for yourself or our most premium gift set for your foursome, we have options for everyone.
With Mah Jongg Wipes, players can protect their sets and themselves by keeping their tiles clean and germ free. One tile at a time, in a large pile, for your racks or for your hands, our antibacterial wipes will kill 99% of the germs left behind.

Each adorable mini canister holds 30 individual, gently scented antibacterial wipes to help cleanse your set, and it conveniently attaches to any Mah Jongg case.

Want an extra hand sanitizer to keep in your Mah Jongg bag? We have a cute pocket spray bottle of ultra-filtered and double-distilled sanitizer made with 80% Ethyl Alcohol. 

Need some extra bling? For those looking to accessorize, we carry some adorable pendant charms to dangle from the zipper of any Mah Jongg case or on your wipes container.

Your friends will be sure to "crack" a smile when they see our new holiday cookies - a perfect addition to any Mah Jongg game. Individually wrapped and decorated like the tiles, the cookies can be included with a set or purchased on their own.

To get prepared for your next Mah Jongg game, Mah Jongg Diva readers get a free hand sanitizer with their next order using the code "MJDIVA."

Instagram: @MahJonggWipes
Where the Winds Blow was started over 20 years ago by an avid Mah Jongg player in Katy, Texas.  Her mother and grandmother introduced her to the game when she was in her 30's. She became so passionate about her new hobby that she wanted a Mah Jongg charm for her bracelet. It was then that she realized how difficult it was not only to find that charm but anything Mah Jongg-related. She had the charm custom-made and got such great feedback from it that she had more produced and sold them to her friends. This was when she realized that there was a market for an all Mah Jongg-related business, and Where the Winds Blow was born in her garage. The business has grown into one of the largest, best-known, and most trusted companies in the Mah Jongg community. 
Our goal at Where the Winds Blow is to continually offer new and unique Mah Jongg-related products to use while playing with your friends or to give as gifts to your Mah Jongg pals.  We stock a wide assortment of tiles, racks, bags, dice, mats, cards, and gifts.  We have a large selection of unique and limited edition American Mah Jongg tile sets, such as our Music, Stars, Hot Air Balloon, Replica Vintage Enrobed, Red Stripe Americana, and Butterfly sets shown below.  
We also offer Asian tilesMah Jongg racks and pushersautomatic Mah Jongg tables, and learning resources, along with Mah Jongg-themed appareljewelry, and housewares.  We have products that will excite any Mah Jongg enthusiast.  
Our huge library of images can be used to create your own individualized set of Mah Jong tiles, or you can upload or send us an image/artwork that we will engrave or print on a set of Mah Jongg tiles or jokers for you.  To make ordering your own unique set of tiles even easier, we offer pre-designed custom tile sets that you can order from our website with ease.  Some of our favorite creations are below. 
We are always adding to our inventory of products - check our website frequently to see what’s new and subscribe to our weekly newsletters for current sales and new products.  For those in the Houston area, or traveling through, we also have a showroom where our customers are welcome to see our products and make purchases in-person. We provide curbside pick-up as well.  
Be on the lookout for news about our upcoming two-day warehouse sale – we would love to see you there!
 As a special offer to the readers of MJ DIVA Magazine, we are offering 10% off any order of custom tiles and 20% off non-custom sets of Mah Jongg tiles, bags, and racks, other than any items that are already discounted or on sale.  Simply use or provide the coupon code “MJDIVA10” for custom tiles and “MJDIVA20” for non-custom tiles, bags and racks. The code will be valid until November 25, 2020.
At Where the Winds Blow, we have a long history of supporting a variety of charities, including organizations dedicated to breast cancer research. We will be donating 5% of all sales from MJ DIVA Magazine readers over the next 30 days to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Please use the coupon code “SUPPORT BREAST CANCER RESEARCH” at checkout to ensure your order is counted.
All of us at Where the Winds Blow want to wish everyone happiness and good health during these trying times.  Stay safe, stay strong, and Mah Jongg! 
Mah Jongg in the Time of the Pandemic:
Our Stories
Greetings from the United Kingdom, and for the time being, Europe too. For of course the UK is set to leave the European Union at 12am on December 31st, 2020, potentially leading to the break-up of the United Kingdom itself along with it. Yes, on this side of the pond, disunity and uncertainty fill the daily lives of the citizens of our so-called unions, and we haven’t even gotten to the pandemic yet. Perhaps the MJ Diva’s US readers know a thing or two about this very topic…
How, then, is a European mahjong player meant to get their mahjong fix in such times? Are there even any games to provide them with an opportunity to escape this gnawing sense of impending doom? Will MJ even survive a world so divided?
We look to mahjong for so much, but perhaps in this moment it is we and the questions we ask that prevent us from reaching the answers we seek.
Mahjong has always been about one thing: community; without community, mahjong would not be the institution it is today—one that is flourishing and reaching new heights of popularity and providing much-needed help and joy to those as a result. It is a game in which four individuals sit at a table and play in rhythmic harmony, sharing a unique moment and space, each then leaving with exactly what they needed having provided the others with their needs too—a perfect allegory for how community should aspire to be, whether of family, friends, or strangers.
As the powers that be, viral or human, divide us in so many ways, we have been forced to reconsider—or perhaps rediscover—what community is, and how it can best serve its members. After a hundred years of mahjong in the West, perhaps it is time that we take the lessons mahjong has been teaching us for so long, and apply them to our small slices of life as we navigate these uncertain times.
Here in the United Kingdom, as much pain as 2020 has inflicted on our nations, we have rekindled our bittersweet joy in being overly involved in our neighbours’ business, given and accepted support in unexpected places up and down our streets, and found much-needed solace in the knowledge that our lives are not so disparate after all. Much like how whatever your background in life, all players who sit at the MJ table are equal (as long as you remember to play by the same rules!).
So perhaps when 2020 is firmly behind us, we can start to ask the right questions when it comes to returning to the MJ table and picking up where we left off. For now, here in Europe, we satisfy our MJ urges by joining online sessions late into the sleepless nights and gather for online tournaments grand and niche alike on Ron2and Tenhou. Japanese, Chinese, and a little British MJ too, are the flavours of the moment, and hopefully for many years to come.

My name is Jamie Grant, and I am directing a documentary on mahjong in the west, told through the eyes of the women and men who dedicate their lives to the game.
Mah Jongg Podcasts
Fern Bernstein

I have been playing mah jongg for eight years. I decided to write a memoir after I was faced with a challenging time in my life when my husband was diagnosed and treated for cancer. The game gave me a weekly escape around the mah jongg table and a chance to connect with my friends while noshing on treats, passing through the Charleston, and building hands in hopes of calling out the winning words... mah jongg! Find out what happens around my Long Island mah jongg table between five women, four racks, 152 tiles, and our mah jongg cards in my memoir Mah Jongg Mondays. The book can be purchased here:

I recently launched a podcast all about mah jongg. It is also titled Mah Jongg Mondays and is available on all podcast platforms. I have interviewed guests on a variety of topics to pique your interest. Listen in to hear about mah jongg strategies, tournaments, travel, and history among other interesting conversations. The podcast has had over 16,000 downloads, and the audience is growing each week. Listen in here for an episode about tips and strategies:

My son is a Type 1 Diabetic and I donate to the JDRF, in addition to a local pet shelter on Long Island called The Little Shelter and Adoption Center, and CAST, Community Action Southold Town, another Long Island organization that helps local residents in need. I will contribute 25% of the proceeds of my book sales until December 3, 2020. is a women owned business created by two friends that have played mahjong together for over ten years. A year and a half ago, we started an online business,, selling our exclusive Mahjong Dice™ designs. Within our first year, we expanded our products to include our exclusive mahjong themed Pet Collection;  limited edition replica enrobed mahjong set; Mahjinoes,™ our domino tile game with mahjong symbols; and other gifts and accessories. 


You can begin with a beautiful roll of our stunning Mahjong Dice™ in many different styles and colors including vintage Bakelite to match vintage mahjong tiles ($42, and our Golden Joker Mahjong Dice™ ($36,
 Our Mahjinoes™ make the perfect gift for the kids and grandkids interested in learning how to play. This domino-based tile game incorporates the symbols of mahjong. said that Mahjinoes™ is the perfect way to introduce your kids to mah jongg before teaching them the actual game! ($36,
Gift givers can combine mahjong and mitzvah with their purchase of Bling & Shine Mahjong Dice™. One dollar from each purchase is donated to the Alzheimer’s Association ($36,
A perfect gift for your entire mahjong group is our beautiful Mahjong Gaiter Mask that is’s latest obsession. The versatile gaiter can also be worn as a scarf, headband or ponytail holder. ($18, Currently Buy 3, Get 1 free
The ultimate holiday gift for 2020 that will wow your family and friends is our Replica Limited Edition Replica Black Enrobed Mahjong Set, Wood/Acrylic Box and Mahjong Dice™Bundle ($350.00, Gift givers can even separately order custom Jokers to coordinate with the set! 
Charity and Tournaments

Since the beginning of our business, Dara and Donna believed in combining mahjong and mitzah. With the strong connection between playing mahjong and improving cognitive function, we always donate one dollar from the sale of all purple Mahjong Dice™ to the Alzheimer's Association. In addition, last year we sold over 743 preorders of the NMJL 2020 Card and donated $1,500 to the Alzheimer's Association. We are now taking pre orders of the 2021 card and are once again raising funds for the Alzheimer's Association with each card sold.

We have learned to adapt during the current pandemic and have created a vibrant virtual mahjong community. We started having monthly tournaments from which we donate a portion of proceeds to charity and host Zoom mahjong interactive talks and games, all of which can be viewed on our YouTube channel A percentage of the proceeds from our monthly virtual mahjong tournaments have been donated by us to the Alzheimer's Association (, the Women's Alzheimer's Movement, (, The ALS Association ( and November to The Tutu Project, a nonprofit organization that provides financial & emotional support for breast cancer patients ( Registration is open at Players can compete on any platform that uses NMJL rules. Feel free to email them at [email protected] with any questions. 

We invite you to check out Mahjinoes™, Mahjong Dice™ designs and stay connected on Instagram, our Facebook Modern Mahjong page and our Mahjong Community group.
Mah Jongg in the Time of the Pandemic:
Our Stories
OCTOBER 11, 2020

I’m Jenelle Schatz of Tulsa, OK

I learned to play American Mah Jongg about 7 years ago.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been an ongoing shock to my system, and my heart is wrenched by limitations on interaction with my quickly changing grandchildren, the rest of my family, and many of my friends.  Travel constraints have stopped my bucket list progress, and the solitude of living alone and locked in can weigh me down.  However, this season has made me appreciate more about my life, and I count my blessings every day.  One of those blessings is playing Mah Jongg, which provides a welcome bit of normalcy during this unusual time.  

I typically play twice a week, on Monday evenings with a group of 8 and on Tuesday afternoons with a group of 4.

I’ve stayed connected with my Mah Jongg friends in a number of ways:
·      Both groups have played online since shortly after the pandemic began.
·      The Tuesday group decided early on that we needed to have some social time together or we would go nuts (and not in a good way), so we began getting together every Saturday evening, taking turns at each of our homes. We always meet in the yard or on the patio, share a little wine, then order for delivery from nearby restaurants.  We’ve met around a fire pit and made s’mores, sweltered under oscillating fans in skimpy (for us!) summer outfits, and are now enjoying the beauty of Fall outdoors.
·      Social media and texting are used more than in the past as ways to keep up with what’s happening in our lives.

Certainly the relationships with the “Saturday Evening Dinner Club” have grown stronger. Three of us live alone, and this get-together has been our only outing during some weeks.  We have often talked about how much we anticipate this time together, and thrive on the interaction.  It has truly been a bright spot in our lives as we work our way through the “not normal”.  We have shared funny and touching stories about our LONG lives; we’ve opened up about our fears and sorrows as some of our friends and family have contracted COVID and, in one case, succumbed to it; we’ve watched our hair grow long and wacky, with white roots that have now returned to their “natural” color; and we’ve given air hugs through tears.  And oh yes, lots of laughter has flowed too. I mean LOTS of laughter! Don’t know where I’d be without these cherished MJ Friends.

Some incidents/events:
·      Our “The Longest Day” Mah Jongg fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, Mah Jongg for Memories, was hit with a Wac-A-Mole hammer by the Pandemic.  We had been off to a great start, with over 20 country-wide Teams signed up when, all of a sudden, no one was playing in person anymore. Fundraising Tournaments and Play-Days scheduled for June were no longer a possibility. Teams adjusted quickly and some held raffles, Facebook fundraisers, online tournaments, and even donated a portion of their sales from Mah Jongg items. One online Mah Jongg platform formed a Team and graciously posted a link for donations on its homepage. Any live meetings were conducted in masks with everyone socially distanced. In spite of COVID, our Mah Jongg community responded creatively, and raised an impressive amount of money for the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.
·      A couple of stories shared at our Saturday night dinners quickly come to mind.  One was about a grasshopper and another one about a t.v. show, and they both instantly drew us closer together. I won’t go into details unless you decide you want to call me for a verbal telling.  
·      Right now, we are all preparing for our outdoor get-togethers during Winter, since pausing is not even an option for us. Instead, we are figuring out how to be cozy outside when the weather becomes inclement.  One friend bought a cute portable fireplace, another will pull some porch curtains together for shelter, and I am getting an outdoor heater repaired. The fourth has the beloved fire pit (aka “s’more maker!). We’ll all take blankets outdoors and settle in for some food and drink, real-life story telling and sharing a wide band-width of emotions. 

As mentioned above, our two groups began playing online together shortly after the Pandemic took hold. Most of us don’t like the “mean” bots and only play with them when we have no other option.  In all events, though, we are so happy that the online games are available.  What would we do without them???

I’ve always been a walker and hiker, but have become very serious about it since March.  I typically walk 3.5-4.5 miles per day, and have occasionally walked 7 miles or so.  It’s a great way to work off anxiety, enjoy the beauty of our world, meditate, and offset at least some of the effects of all that food I’m eating! 


Flipbook by Stacey Rea

26th Avenue Press is an independent publishing company established in 2015 by Stacey Rea. Stacey began playing American Mah Jongg in January 2015 and got the idea for a flipbook reference guide when she found it hard to keep all the rules in her head during the heat of the game. She searched for an easy guide to use while playing and found nothing available. So, she decided to create one herself. When she made a prototype and showed it to the members of her “Mah Jongg Fever” group, the response was enthusiastic. And so, Let’s Play Modern American Mah Jongg! A Flipbook Reference Guide was born.

The popular Let’s Play Modern American Mah Jongg! A Flipbook Reference Guide is a handy and useful teaching and learning resource written by Stacey Rea, and her husband Dave. As of Oct 2020, they’ve sold more than 13,000 copies across the U.S. and internationally. Flipbooks are available for sale at and on Amazon. 

SPECIAL OFFER! During the month of November, 2020, customers who email Stacey directly ([email protected]) instead of ordering through her website or Amazon will be able to participate in this special deal: 25% off each book you buy, PLUS she will donate 10% of your purchase price to the #1 rated charity at
Mah Jongg in the Time of the Pandemic:
Our Stories
Donna Eschen, Santa Maria, California

Since Covid, I rarely play online as Greg and I play 3 games every night without fail, and we keep score on a sheet of paper. It seems like if someone starts out ahead the other person can never catch up. It's strange; I don't know why. Sometimes Greg has a truly high score consistently and other times I do. There is the "hand of the day" picked and whoever gets it automatically gets double points. If it is not gotten today, tomorrow adds 10 points and so on. It makes for a nice little bonus. 
The first two games are regular Siamese. The third game is just a regular game with a Charleston with two people (we made it up). The fun part is that we "pick a card" that tells us whaåt section of the hand we have to play. The bonus "hand of the day" still applies. It's amazing how you can force a hand and just adds a bit of fun to the game.
Greg has continued to do his woodwork, got a new Corvette, and putters around. Donna exercises and her biggest accomplishment in that area is walking/jogging 100 miles in 16 days for a great medal. She's also done several quilts as gifts, gardens, reads, does puzzles, and many other things. 

We stay physically distant from others and have also done a lot of hiking. We have been to the beach for long walks more these past 6 months than ever. We are looking forward to the time when we can play MJ in person.

Donna just donated the check for $2,600 (from selling 1,033 2020 NMJL cards) to Special Olympics and sadly cancelled the "Year of the Ox" tournament that was scheduled for February with Special Olympics and the City of Santa Maria. 
My name is Tina Gottesman, and I am the owner of the online business Mah’s Helping Hand which I started in April of 2019. 

In 2018, I was new to mah jongg. I had some private lessons and took a class. 

I noticed that as beginners we found it difficult to easily remember which hands we were playing and quickly find the hand on the card. I saw players using their fingers, pieces of paper, and rulers to mark the location of the hands. I thought there had to be a better way, and six months later I created Mah Jongg Highlighters. 
Whether being taught to play via online platforms or in person, Mah Jongg Highlighters will assist students and new players by easily keeping track of their hands while they focus on learning the many rules and nuances of the game. Place the Highlighters over the hands being followed and they pop. The Highlighters are reusable and washable. Terrific with Siamese Mah Jongg®, too. They make learning and mastering the game more efficient.

Our Highlighters adhere best to smooth surfaces, so I designed a unique card Sleeve. It is available in standard or large size, is clear, and completely encloses the card to protect it from liquids, etc. Our Sleeves are considered to be water resistant.

Both our Mah Jongg Highlighters and Sleeves are proudly made in the USA and have been sold in 39 states and Israel. 

Watch videos and read reviews from Mah Jongg teachers and players on our website and on our Facebook page. (See links below)

Purchase our Kits, Highlighters and Sleeves at
For a limited time use Promo code DIVA and receive 15% off any Combo products.

In the continued spirit of giving, we will be donating 20% of November’s proceeds to, the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. This is a lifesaving organization dear to me.

Mah Jongg Melee Game Collection

This mah jongg-inspired game requires an American mah jongg set and is only being produced in a limited edition of 100. Ideal for couples sequestered at home, it requires no knowledge of how to play mah jongg. 
The Collection offers many levels of play for both adults and children. It can be played with two to four players and provides hours of entertainment using actual tiles rather than virtual ones. It’s perfect for children who need a break from online school and time away from screens.

The game includes directions, two specially designed dice, a timer, a spinner, score cards, and hours of fun.

CLICK HERE to get details on how to order.
Mah Jongg in the Time of the Pandemic:
Our Stories
Mah Jongg in Our Pandemic World

Peter Gregory. Peterborough, UK.

I ought to point out to an American audience that hardly anyone plays Mah-Jongg online in the UK. There just aren't the facilities for British rules, particularly ones that allow you to play against actual people. And I would think that most people here, like I was, would be surprised to learn such things are possible and how popular the online game is in the US. 
Our weekly club meetings stopped in late March. Then one day in April I wondered if it would be possible for two homes to play Mah-Jongg online, each using their own set and communicating using Skype or FaceTime. I remember the exact spot, as I was driving with my dog to a nature reserve and missed the turning!
For the rest of the month, I tried to work out how this might be done. How do you get around the obvious problem of not being able to exchange tiles between homes? What difference would using two sets make to the rules of the game? I managed to find a way through these problems, devising various workarounds that produced a version of the game not too far removed from our normal one. And surprisingly, very few rules of any substance needed to be changed. 
We played the new game with our regular partners, they looking into our home and we into theirs, and found it worked well and that we enjoyed it. It was almost like visiting them to play again and gave us a chance to just sit and chat as well. Since then we have been playing regularly, often twice a week, allowing me to test and refine my original ideas.
By the end of April, I was able to add a new section to my website. I had a number of encouraging responses, some indicating that the ideas worked well with other versions of the game. This encouraged me to go further, suggesting ways in which three or four homes could play and looking more closely at how one could adapt it to other rules. 
Trying to find a workaround for the Charleston was probably the most challenging task. (I can see many eyebrows being raised!). Much re-reading of Tom Sloper's book, and (with the help of my wife, Anne) many proofreads, eventually produced something which I think might be acceptable. It followed on from a solution I had found to “the goulash”, a much simpler form of tile swapping which occasionally gets used in the British game.
I put all this initially into a PDF book then, over the summer, produced one to sell on Amazon. It was published at the end of the summer and is called, “How to Play Mah-Jong Remotely: A way to play with friends during lockdown”.
Davida Aprons and Kosher Kurls
Davida Aprons and Kosher Kurls have been proudly manufacturing in the USA for 40 years!
We will be happy to give you an 18% discount and also will be donating to one of our many Charities that we support. Hadassah, Na'Amat WIZO and many more.
We make anything and everything out of fabric and can silk screen or embroider whatever you like.
We have gone from Matzahmania to Maskmania. Please go to our website and look at our Fun Mah Jongg masks

Mah Jongg in the Time of the Pandemic:
Our Stories
Mah Jongg . . . The Answer to a Prayer

Mah Jongg is responsible for my finding my birth family. By the 1990s, I had been looking for my birth family for almost 9 years. I didn’t start looking for them until after my adoptive parents had died. 

In 1997, I started playing with a new group of women. One mentioned that her friend was going to meet her birth mom the next day. These women did not know that I was adopted; the subject had never come up. I told them my story and asked her to find out how she found her birth mother. These were the days before, etc.  

A few days later, I received a call from the woman who found her mother. She gave me the name of an agency. By the end of that week, I had six pages of information, including phone numbers, of my birth family members. After growing up as an only child in an Italian/American family, I learned that I had five half-siblings and that I am Jewish. 

My birth mother had died years before. They are an amazing family and have accepted me completely. Now, 23 years later, I feel as though I have known them all my life. BTW .... my sisters play Mah Jongg. My oldest sister made me a menorah using my birth mother’s Mah Jongg tiles.

Johanna Roccanova

Live your life the way you would like to be remembered.
Mah JonggTchotchkes   
Lee Eisman

I have fond memories of my mother playing Mah Jongg with her friends in our apartment when I was a young child in Chicago in the early 60s.  I grew up, moved to Oakland, California, with my husband in 1981, and have been here ever since.
I never thought about learning to play Mah Jongg until I found out that a few of my friends here played.  About seven years ago, I encouraged one of them to donate lessons to the silent auction of a local charity, Children’s Support League of the East Bay, of which we both were members.  Four other friends and I bought the auction item, our friend taught us how to play, and we were hooked!  We’ve been playing together ever since, and our group has expanded to include more friends over the years.

I soon developed an interest in vintage sets and became a collector.  Some adored sets are my “keepers”; others I refurbish and sell.  Many times, I ended up with orphan tiles I couldn’t use as part of a set, so I began collecting those, too, and decided to begin making things with them.  It was 2014, the year I retired from running my previous business, East Bay Moms, so I had plenty of free time on my hands.

I never considered myself an artist, but did enjoy dabbling in crafts occasionally.  My first creations were very simple necklaces, basically one tile on a chain that I gave to my MJ friends as gifts.  At one point, I decided to buy my mother a mah jongg bracelet for a birthday gift.  I ordered one online and when I received it, thought “I could make these!”.  I also got inspiration from things I saw that others had made and posted on the MJ Facebook groups or sold on Etsy.  Soon, I was making more elaborate necklaces as well as bracelets and earrings.  In 2015, I started my online Etsy store, MahJonggTchotchkes.  When I decided it would be fun to have MJ cocktail napkins to use when I was hosting our games, I couldn’t find any I liked, so I designed my own, and they have been a best seller ever since.  Over the next few years, I added clocks, picture frames, note cards, guest towels, coasters, and serving trays to my repertoire.

Prior to the pandemic, I also enjoyed selling my creations at MJ events and tournaments, where I typically donate a percentage of my sales to the charity supported by the sponsoring organization.  One of the most memorable events I sold at was sponsored by the Merage JCC of Orange County in March, 2019.  The event featured a talk by Toby Salk, who I affectionately refer to as the “Mah Jongg Guru of the East Bay”, lunch, and social play.  My mother, who lives in southern California, was able to attend with me, and we even got to play Mah Jongg together with Toby!

While I enjoy creating my Mah Jongg Tchotchkes, I receive the greatest satisfaction from the feedback of those who purchase them.  I love reading the positive reviews on Etsy, as well as seeing the joy on the faces of those who buy them in person.
I’ve made so many wonderful new friends through our Mah Jongg community and in appreciation, I’m offering a 10% discount for all purchases made from my Etsy store, which can be found at from November 4th through the 25th.  Regular prices range from $14.95 for note cards to $39.95 for necklaces and bracelets. Use the discount code MJDIVAMAGAZINE.  During this three-week period, I’ll also donate 10% of my sales to Children’s Support League of the East Bay; donations can also be made directly at
    Giving Gifts in Our Pandemic World
Karen Aruba Art

With all the unprecedented changes we’ve faced this year, we wish to make the Christmas break extra special for your loved ones. Now, it is a good time to deliver a meaningful gift and cheer up your family and friends at the end of this tough year.

Karen Aruba Art kindly presents her latest Christmas Personalized Mahjong gift pack, including two new designs of beautiful laser engraved tiles customized for the coming Christmas:
Mahjong Design 1: “A joyful Xmas” & “Special thanks”
Mahjong Design 2: “Merry Xmas & “Cheers”

The four digits of ‘1225’ are hand carved by our mahjong craftsman, Ricky Cheung while the beautiful card, illustratedby Karen, will allow you to write an intimate message and blessing. The tiles are in totally new metallic colors hand-painted by us. Again, through the joint-effort of father and daughter, we wish to bring you something special and intimateblessings this year.

Product link online store:link
(Please note it takes around 10 days of production and 2 weeks of international delivery)

Karen Aruba Art engages with charity organisation and donation every year at year end with the contribution of her work.This is the 6th charity campaign in consecutive years she’s committed herself to charity along with her art. In previous years, she donated money to Unicef, Orbis, Oxfam, World Vision, RedCross and Caritas Hong Kong.
This year, Karen will make her personal donations to ‘Greenpeace International’. On top of it, 10% amount of the sale of Xmas gift set will be donated to Greenpeace in order to support their work to protect our precious planet while we are combating with COVID-19 and global climate change.

If you are interested to know more about Karen and her father’s interesting story, view the videos:

The Art of Mahjong Craft idea:

Father’s Day Media Interview (English caption):

Karen Aruba Studio

Website :
Facebook: / Instagram @KarenArubaArt

Ahuva Ellner
Mah Jongg Lover, teacher, mentor, Meetup Organizer, designer and collector
New York City, NY

I learned to play Mah Jongg when I was 10 years old in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate NY. 
At the bungalow colony named Lewinters, most of the moms played including mine. 
As we watched our mothers play, we were enticed and learned as well. 

Prior to the Pandemic, I had 2 Regular groups I played with twice a week. One on a Thursday eve (if my memory serves me correctly! ) and the other on the Weekend alternating between Saturdays and Sundays. 
Some of the same ladies played in both groups. We played for 4 hours at a time and played with a pie of $15. I would say that we were all competitive players and most of us also participated in tournaments as well. 

I failed to mention that in my adult years I did not play again until about 6 years ago when I found my mom’s set in her closet. As my mom has a diagnosis of Alzheimers she hadn't played with her regular group in many many years. 
My mom was now residing in an Independent living and I offered to teach Mah Jongg at the facility. 
My teaching there occured every Tuesday for several years and the residents loved to come to the weekly games. For some, it was an opportunity to socialize and be with others. I always made it much more that just a Mah Jongg Lesson. I began with writing on the White Board things like the Date, the weather, with pictorials and I always listed the attendees in order of their arrival at the Mah Jongg table. It was always fun to see how excited they were telling me and correcting me in who arrived First, Second, third etc. I sometimes also asked them to give me a one word description of how they felt that day and write it on the board. They loved it! 

Then the unthinkable happened. The Pandemic. 
No one really knew how this was going to play out, but things started getting more and more confined and controlled. I found my mom in her room not really understanding what was going on and how it would affect her. 
Her Alzheimers had progressed and her hearing was so poor that she very often did not hear the fire bells as they were being tested. 
The residents were now being secluded in their rooms. I knew this would not work for my mom. 
A friend sent me a private message telling me that they might even shut down visitation as they had done to her mom in Florida. 
I now did the only thing I could think of doing... I moved my mom out of the facility and in with me. It's been quite the adjustment!!! More so for me than for her, as she seems to be having the time of her life. 

Now back to Mah Jongg...... 
The group decided at that time not to play in person anymore and to do a Zoom Conference while we played on line with the app. 
It was a daily occurrence which took up 2 hours of our day. This worked out perfectly for me as my mom napped from 1 to 4 PM daily. 
We all maintained our friendships and loved the opportunity to continue our games. For many of us it served as a nice relief to the boredom of being trapped in our homes for fear of the outside world and what was happening with the virus. 
I also found the Online site very useful as I could join in on other games, meeting new friends from all over the country and also at times playing with the bots when I wanted an impromptu game. 
At this time, due to my mom's worsening condition and my need to have some respite from caregiving I have secured my mom some caregving assistance. 
I am no longer able to play with my regular group as I cannot commit to the daily time frame. 
We are all still in touch via social media, phone, and text. 
The bonds that we have developed will never die.
My life has changed significantly in the last 7 months. 
Prior to the Pandemic I had been successfully running 3 Mah Jongg Meetup Groups: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Players. 
I was actively teaching groups of Students at the Meetup venues as well as my home and private residences. Private lessons were also being offered to singles as well as groups at the beginner level and also for Strategy Lessons. 
We had made very special bonds and felt like a close knit family always welcoming newcomers to join our groups. 

For several years I also lead and organized special Mah Jongg Luncheons via the Meetup Groups. We always looked forward to great friendships, great games and great food in a variety of settings. 
Sadly 2 of our Restaurants closed after many successful years of business and it really saddened us to lose them including the famous El Quixote restaurant in the famous Chelsea Hotel. They had been in business for over 80 years and welcomed us with open arms and great food and hospitality. 
My love of Mah Jongg rapidly developed from Student in 2015 to Teacher, Mentor, Collector, Meetup Organizer, designer and seller of Mah Jongg sets and Accoutrements. I have a very special love of Vintage Sets and have a very sizable collection of unique and rare sets, many in unusual boxes and cases! 

Even though our in person groups have broken up, we remain close friends, keeping in contact with one another, reaching out to one another and supporting one another.
My mother Miriam has had a very special influence in my life and I have taken up her enthusiasm for playing Mah Jongg and even hand crafting special vintage cloth items on the sewing machine. 
I keep in touch with many on my very active FaceBook page in which I frequently post my relationship with my mom. 
Miriam has a very active following and this time has given me the opportunity to be together with my wonderful mom. 
Who would have thought the Pandemic would lead to this?
Joker Hoodie
Just Click on the Images
Style: Women's Bella+Canvas Full-Zip Hoodie
This incredibly soft and relaxed hoodie, spun from a plush poly-cotton blend, will quickly become your go-to essential. Perfect for everyday wear.
Size & Fit
  • Model is 5’10” and wearing a small
  • Relaxed fit
  • Hood with white drawstring
  • Full zip closure
  • Ribbed cuffs and waistband
  • Fits true to size
Fabric & Care

  • Solid Colors: 60% combed and ring-spun cotton 40% poly fleece, 30 single 6.5 oz.
  • Heathers: 90% combed and ring-spun cotton, 10% poly
  • Digital Fleece Colors: 100% poly, 32 single 6.5 oz.
  • Marble Fleece Colors: 85% combed and ring-spun cotton, 15% poly
  • Neon Colors: 60% combed and ring-spun cotton, 40% poly fleece, 30 single 6.5 oz.
  • Imported
Machine wash, tumble dry low
Size: 3" X 11" Traditional Bumper
If you like the look of bumper stickers, but are not ready for a permanent solution, car magnets are the perfect product. All the personality, none of the commitment!
  • Dimensions: 11" x 3"
  • Vivid full-color digital printing
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Mahj on My Mind Merchandise
Every Mahj Jongg player will find something to love in the 40 collections of over 500 items ranging from tote bags, jewelry, and luggage tags, to phone cases, shirts, earrings, and note cards. Perfect as gifts, tournament prizes, or home decor.
Created by Mah Jongg maven Gladys Grad in 2015, Siamese Mah Jongg® has gained so much popularity recently that there is now a growing demand for tournaments. For the past three years, Grad's Mah Jongg Madness Tournaments have held mini Siamese Mah Jongg® tournaments, in Las Vegas and Scottsdale. The scoring and guidelines for these mini tournaments are available at the Siamese Mah Jongg® Guild Facebook group. CLICK HERE
Mah Jongg Diva Tiles
Limited Edition Mah Jongg Tiles
There are only 100 sets of this limited edition. Each set comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and consists of 170 Standard American Mah Jongg tiles, including 8 flowers, 8 seasons, 8 blanks (in case a tile is lost, it can be replaced with one of these), and 2 extra jokers.
Letters should be exclusive to MJ DIVA Magazine. We do not publish open letters or third-party letters. We encourage a diversity of voices and views in our letters. Letters should preferably be 150 to 175 words and should refer to either an article in our magazine or to a topic of general interest to the Mah Jongg community. Letters must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number.
  • Only letters submitted electronically HERE will be considered.
J. Davis Mah Jongg
at Davida Aprons

Davida Aprons is pleased to announce the exclusive sale of this popular fabric. Along with purchasing a wide range of products, you may now purchase this fabric for your next project! CLICK HERE to order.
Mahj-Art Commissions

Would you like a custom designed gift for a friend or loved one who plays Mah Jongg?
Is there an anniversary or birthday milestone that calls for something special?
You should consider my Mahj-Art Archival Prints.
Each print is hand made using archival inks and high quality papers. I work closely with clients to find something unique about the recipient. My extensive Mahj-Art library is available, or you may commission an entirely new piece. Join the nationwide ranks of satisfied customers.