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A Gem of A Find: Rock Candy brings the power of minerals into your hands

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I have a small chunk of onyx perched at the edge of my writing desk. I like the way it looks. I like how it feels in my hand, and I think the name is pretty cool as well.

Truth be told, though, I’m a stranger to the healing side of stones, holistic or otherwise, so I decided to jump on the internet and do some preliminary research to find out what exactly it’s supposed to be good for. The answer is pretty much everything: good fortune and judgement, feeling grounded, happiness, strength, stamina, durability, and self-control. Last but not least, it stimulates the root chakra.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

And it’s things like this that make my head spin. I feel overwhelmed with unsubstantiated information, like I can’t appreciate my little black stone for what it is. So running into something like this was my concern before stepping into Rock Candy Healing Stones, the nearly brand-new rock shop with Los Angeles transplant Babs Eicke at the helm.

What I encountered, though, was quite the opposite.

The interior of the narrow storefront is attractive and sparse, as stark white walls contrast with shelves upon shelves of polished, colorful rocks and gemstones (which she always sources in person, never online); Eicke’s background as graphic artist and art director for a host of Columbus-area retail brands is on full display. Adding to the quiet, eclectic aura of the space is the distinctive scent of sage drifting over the wares, which is sold in reasonably priced bundles at the cash register.

Most importantly, though, was the welcoming, non-prescriptive attitude of name. Nothing was being pushed on me, no mantra, no eclectic spiritual texts, nothing even about the rocks themselves. While she believes in their ability to help and heal, Eicke will be the first person to tell you nobody really understands how they work, and most times taking a step back is the best possible approach.

“That’s been my focus; I don’t want to alienate anyone or lean toward any belief systems. A lot of the mystical shops I go into are geared toward females and the witchy, and that’s all cool, but I just didn’t want it to be a space where a mom might be walking by with her kid and be like, ‘well, I don’t know if that’s a place I can take my kid into,’ ” says Eicke. “The things that I love, you might like a little bit less; the same way everyone has a favorite color, the same way everyone has a favorite food.”

And while the owner’s easygoing, non-prescriptive attitude is
one of the reasons the store feels like such a treat, don’t confuse this
with a lack of passion for her craft, because she has plenty of that, and for good reason

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While something about the calm, natural energy of stones always attracted Eicke—partially, she contends, because they recall the sun-drenched outdoors of California that she often misses—she also believes that rocks helped her recover from a serious health scare she experienced years back.

“I was working, working, working and feeling successful, but then there’s that point that some people hit where they’re like, ‘Oh, I might be overdoing it.’ If your health is failing and you’re only like 28 years old, something is going wrong. Doctors could never tell me what was going on, it was really frustrating. I did the whole diet, exercise, and sleep thing, and in a lot of ways I felt like I was doing great, and it helped but not
quite enough.,” said Eicke. “Finally, it all started to click. I thought that maybe there was a side of me I hadn’t addressed yet, the spiritual, energetic part of my being. It’s really about all these components: mind, body, and spirit, and getting them all aligned.”

And how she addressed this area of her life? You guessed it, with stones. She found, slowly, that by keeping them close to her, by surrounding herself with them in everyday life, she was able to embrace whatever energy or positivity they can bring, to push herself over that final wellness hurdle that had loomed so large, and for so long. “That’s really what helped me over that last hump,” Eicke says.

Strangely enough, she, along with another friend, was considering the North High Street location for a store over in the Summer of 2017 when a serious car accident alongside a flurry of other occurrences caused the pair to drop out of the running for the space. As she lived nearby, Eicke would grow to befriend its old owner, who ran a textile shop from the storefront, and when that owner decided running a business was no longer in the cards for her, she decided to get in touch with Eicke about taking over the store from her. And by then, the timing was right.

Officially, the rock shop Eicke was seemingly fated to own finally opened its doors in April. So  it’s as good a time as any to walk into the skinny, bright storefront off High Street and for a few minutes, as traffic whips by just behind the open door, and lose yourself in the glint of an opal, a swirl of smokey quartz, or maybe the solid weight of some onyx.

Rock Candy Healing Stones is located at 3341 N. High St.
Check rockcandy888.com for hours and events.

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Cedar Point, Kings Island are suing to get you back

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It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are allowed to re-open but Cedar Point and Kings Island have been snubbed in Gov. Mike DeWine’s most recent announcement that Ohio’s entertainment venues were allowed to re-open.

After being left out of the party, Cedar Point, Kalahari Resort and Kings Island sued the director of the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, arguing that Dr. Amy Acton doesn’t have the authority to keep the state’s amusement parks and waterparks shut down and in doing so is violating the park’s rights.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. The county health departments for both parks were also named in the lawsuit.

No word yet from the Ohio Department of Health as to when, or if, either amusement park will be allowed to open in June.

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Updated hours for North Market as first Farmers’ Market of the season opens Saturday

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Get excited Columbus foodies - this Saturday marks the beginning of North Market’s Farmers’ Market season! The Farmers’ Market will tantalize your taste buds every Saturday this summer through October, from 8 a.m. until noon at the North Market outdoor plaza at 59 Spruce Street.

During the coronavirus pandemic, North Market provided customers with fresh pick-up bundles. Now they’ve updated their operating hours to give consumers who want to shop again a chance to pick their own culinary delights.

"The hope is that a gradual reopening will strike a balance between the desire to serve the public and still respect the very real health concerns still shared by merchants, public, and staff," said Rick Harrison Wolfe, North Market's executive director, in a press release Thursday.

The updated hours, which will go into effect this Sat., June 6, are as follows:

  • Monday - Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday - Friday, Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

All of those in attendance will have to observe the following guidelines as outlined in a press release by North Market:

  • North Market's mask requirement that applies to indoor merchants and guests will also apply to all outdoor vendors and guests.
  • Access to each farmers' market booth will be limited. Markings on ground will indicate this requirement and will show the distance required between people. Only one person/group traveling together may be in each box at a time.
  • Several farms and vendors will offer contact-free shopping and pre-orders. North Market asks that guests pre-order and plan out shopping trips when possible. This helps keep crowds to a minimum and lines moving smoothly.
  • Farms and vendors will provide hand sanitizer for guest use.
  • North Market farms and vendors are committed to helping prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home when sick, and avoiding exposure to others who are sick. We ask that all guests follow the same protocols and do not visit North Market or the Farmers' Market if feeling ill.
  • North Market farms and vendors will continue to strictly follow all local public health guidelines, safety protocols, and best practices.

If you’re interested in which merchants will be open on what days, North Market has been dedicated to providing you with that information during the pandemic. You can find the list, which is updated daily, here.

Although there are still limitations on indoor seating, outdoor seating on the porch and the farmers’ market plaza are currently available.

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Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen

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Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit https://www.greatohiolodges.com/ to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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