Lowell, MI- The “Fallasburg Today” blog with the Lovecraft theme by Andre Nores is up and running with three initial posts, a Facebook page plug-in and a twitter page @fallasburg.
The Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) is celebrating 50 years of historic preservation of the 1830s village founded by John Fallass.
I consider it a sign of times that the quaint pioneer village nestled in the northeast corner of Kent County is now marketed on WordPress and on social media.
In an effort to bring awareness to the village, the FHS president Ken Tamke and the board asked me for some technology help last week.
I share their passion and love for history and I live three miles away from the Fallasburg Park. And I love nature at its best.
I embraced the project with fervor because of the dates of the upcoming First Annual Village Bazaar set for Sept. 19 and Sept. 20.
We had a good start: a Facebook page with 245 likes, a website www.fallasburg.org and the excitement of all.
I did the twitter first and then the blog and connected all that. My unifying theme has been “bringing the village alive” so the name “Fallasburg Today.”
Today, there is a live discussion on Facebook and twitter is starting up. People and other organizations like Whites Bridge Historical Society are interested in what is happening at the Fallasburg village.
They are sharing the posts on Facebook and tweeting.
I am a deep believer in progress otherwise we would still be walking and living in caves.
Sign up for Fallasburg Today newsletter for the latest news from the Fallasburg village, events, museum tours, maintenance projects and message from the president Ken Tamke. The first annual village bazaar is coming up on Sept. 19th & Sept. 20th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is still time to sign up for merchants and crafters. Contact Tracy at email@example.com
Fallasburg is at its best in autumn covered in beautiful foliage and gentle breeze.
I improved it with writing and blogging tips, a photo gallery Moments in time, Summer 2015. I added a 25 percent coupon off on summer blog design, a schedule of upcoming events and partner badges. Look for it in your in boxes and if you haven’t yet subscribe to it on the main site EW Emma’s Writings at http://emmapalova.com
The design on mailchimp is simple with themes available. However, I do find some of the steps cumbersome, but it is a great free service with most features until you get into analytics and automation.
Copyright (c)2015. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Grand Rapids, MI- It’s been exactly a year since I’ve had surgeries to remove cataracts from both eyes. The process took close to two months at the Verdier Eye Center in Grand Rapids.
In May, I went almost completely blind to a point where I could no longer drive or write because I couldn’t see the computer screen or the windshield. And that’s exactly what a cataract is- a dirty windshield or lights on the car. Some cataracts take years to develop, mine only took two years from the first consultation. They don’t necessarily just strike older people, which is also one of common misconceptions.
I couldn’t see the TV screen, so I couldn’t do my yoga practice. I cried hard. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to see my son Jake and daughter-in-law Maranda at their wedding on Oct. 25.
I knew Dr. David Verdier from earlier stories that I had written for Advance Newspapers and Gemini Publications about his worldwide work for Orbis. He is a well-known eye surgeon who brought to West Michigan subspecialty skills of modern corneal transplantation and external eye diseases, cataract removal and intraocular lens implantation.
Dr. Verdier is recognized by his peers as a member of The Best Doctors in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care and Who’s Who in American Education.
As such other ophthalmologists have to recommend you to get to him. I asked my eye doctor Holzer that I want Dr. Verdier to do the surgery.
“You’ll have to wait to get in, but he’s worth waiting for,” said Dr. Holzer.
The whole process took several visits to the eye center, but it was well worth it. I overheard some patients waiting for the surgery say, that it is a frivolous surgery.
I would never call any surgery, a frivolous affair. It was done under local anesthesia and with an anesthesiologist present. The prep time for it took two hours.
Today, one year later I still don’t need eye glasses because Dr. Verdier also implanted lenses into my eyes that corrected the vision. I carry patient lens implant identification cards on me.
I am grateful to Dr. Verdier for his expertise and for “Taking my eyes to heart.” I even got a plant Kalanchoe to get well. Both, the plant and my eyes are doing well.
Here are the links to last year’s stories grouped in a mini-series “New Eyes with Dr. Verdier.”
Czech Harvest Festival “Dozinky” in Bannister celebrates ethnicity
By Emma Palova
Bannister, Michigan- For years I’ve been going to the Czech Harvest Festival to honor my Czech heritage. I consider it a miracle that I even found out about it through a press release to the Ionia Sentinel-Standard from an insurance agent.
Considering that it takes place in the middle of nowhere in Central Michigan in the August heat, I think about what made me go that first time.
First of all, it must have been curiosity if anyone will speak Czech there at all. I am by nature a lover of new things, whatever they may be.
I was in for a surprise. A gentleman sang folk songs in Czech even though he didn’t speak a word of Czech to the lonely tunes of an accordion. A Czech polka band accompanied the hymns at the Czech Heritage Mass at the Saint Cyril Catholic Church. The hymns were in Czech. The gifts included bread and plum brandy.
The harvest festival opens with a parade of dancers and singers carrying decorated rakes and sickles. Then follow the three national anthems, American, Czech and Slovak.
And the absolute highlight were the dances in folk costumes starting with two-year-olds all the way up to 70.
Coming from a region in Moravia in Czech Republic which is big on folk costumes and traditions, I felt a sincere appreciation for dance masters Tom & Diane Bradley. The Bradleys completely recreated the Czech tradition of celebrating the wheat harvest based on research only.
The tradition in Bannister will live on despite the aging population of the organizers. The hall published a cookbook dedicated to future generations during the 100th anniversary celebration in 2011, so they will not forget the recipes of their ancestors.
We always eat the main meal at the ZCBJ fraternity hall either inside or on the large porch. That brings me to the staple of the festival which is Czech food. The women of the hall prepare traditional Czech fare that is dumplings, sauerkraut, fresh cucumber salad, ham and chicken. The dessert is either apple strudel or rolls filled with nuts.
Of course no Czech festival would be complete without beer.
Most of the participants have never been to Czech or Slovak republics. I admire the zeal that has lasted, thanks to the ZCBJ lodge, for more than 100 years.
I want to dedicate this day to my forever young dad Vaclav Konecny who turns 81 today. He was born in Brest, Czechoslovakia on July 23, 1934 to parents Anezka & Antonin Konecny. He is the older of the two remaining siblings with Aunt Martha Pink. Both claim the original residence as Stipa near Zlin.
He is the behind the scenes character who along with my mom Ella inspired the memoir “Greenwich Meridian” about the family immigration saga that now spans three generations.
Dad continues to inspire me with his humor and sometimes cranky optimism and sarcasm. He is what I call an atypical Leo. Dad has the strength of the Leo, as well as his leadership and determination to carry out projects to his liking.
But, he is not by any stretch of imagination a show off in the regal colors of golden and purple like the king of jungle or King Vaclav he is named after. On the contrary, dad is truly the entire support system behind a spectacular show.
However, during his tenure as math professor at Ferris State University from 1980 until 2001 in Big Rapids, he did play the role of the lion in front of the blackboard.
“You know you have to put on a show,” he always told me.
Students laughed at him, but colleagues admired him then as much as they do now.
Dad can make people around him flourish putting them at the center of attention instead of himself.
One time at a university party, dad hit a conversation with a complete stranger.
“Who was that,” mom asked.
“He is a dentist,” dad laughed.
“What did you talk to him about?” she watched him closely.
“About teeth, of course,” he laughed again.
At 81, he can strike magic with any female whether at a party, while wintering in Florida or at a perfectly authentic Spanish or Mexican restaurant. Maybe, that is where his lion’s character shows the best.
“Women admire him,” mom says.
Yes, dad is likable. He is witty, funny, talented and creative. Who ever has said that math or physics are boring, just never had the pleasure of meeting my dad. Vaclav Konecny studied physics in Brno and later took on math.
A life-long learner himself, dad studied computer science at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, while teaching full-time math at Ferris. During the turbulent times of the 70s, dad took to the canvas and painted his oils from mosques in Sudan, Niagara Falls to Saguaro cacti in the national park in Arizona.
Many years later he found love in languages, Spanish and French. Both, mom and I watched him in awe freely communicate with Mexican wait staff and owners at different restaurants.
I don’t know, but I have a valid feeling that his favorite food is Mexican or Spanish even though he will not admit that in front of mom.
He has the vitality of a 30-year old not quite grown up man. His persistence lets him drive 1,367 miles from Big Rapids to Venice, Florida.
His innovation spirit can take him anywhere. He closes his eyes and imagines new routes and new paths to mathematical solutions.
“He’s solving problems all the time or counting the number of people in pews,” mom says.
Dad is a perfectionist at the expense of being disappointed with the imperfection of others. He is a true gentleman with manners from the court and always lets women go first.
I always ask myself this question when mom dictates what’s going to happen next:
“Is mom really the true boss in the Konecny household?”
She appears to be, and dad wants it that way to stay in her shadow with his quiet personality hiding the lion’s strength.
But, dad has been the driving force behind the family happenings over the last 47 years since we have ventured out over the Atlantic pond.
Thanks dad for being the modern captain on this bold voyage, for showing us the world, for broadening our horizons and for creating endless surprises.
Emma & the family
Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Lowell, MI- Leigh Ann Dickey aka Coach Leigh Ann founded Soulpreneurs.co two weeks ago to further pursue her dreams. She is a registered respiratory technician residing in Gainesville, Georgia. Dickey is a freelancer for Learn to Blog and she works with 100 clients in web and blog design.
Emma: When and why did you start blogging?
Leigh Ann: In the spring of 2013 when I had joined the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and lost 35 pounds. I just hit 40 and I wanted to share my story.
Emma: Where did you gain your online expertise?
Leigh Ann: I am self-taught. I have 12 years of website coding experience and I took some WordPress classes. I took a Learn to Blog class in 2014 because I wanted to master WordPress.
Emma: What do you feel was the biggest challenge in the beginning?
Leigh Ann: Determining your niche. I went all over the place. I was posting and sharing, and I started my design business, Coach Leigh Ann.
Emma: So, what do you suggest to WordPress newbies or any blogging newbies? Where should they start?
Leigh Ann: It starts with ourselves, knowing what we like to do all day long.
Emma: What do you like about blogging?
Leigh Ann: I enjoy the process of creating. It plays into my geeky side telling the story.
Emma: What kind of satisfaction do you get out of blogging?
Leigh Ann: It’s natural to get that feedback and I enjoy helping people. Blogging has changed me. It helped me pass obstacles in life and I relate that to overcoming obstacles in business.
Emma: Many newbies worry about analytics. How do you feel about it?
Leigh Ann: Until your blog is fully functional and you have an opt-in page to get emails, you don’t need to worry about it.
Emma: What do you suggest bloggers use for analytics once they’re ready with an opt-in page and the launch of a product?
Leigh Ann: Definitely a WordPress jet pack plug-in that shows where the comments came from.
Emma: What about Google Analytics?
Leigh Ann: Google Analytics is much more involved. Jet pack is more newbie friendly.
Emma: Now the big one that concerns most bloggers not just newbies. Let’s talk about monetization of blogs. Can we make money on blogging?
Leigh Ann: Monetization is complicated. It entails keyword blogging using AdSense and getting that SEO. The best way to make money is with info publishing, creating your own products and services.
Emma: What do you think about affiliate marketing?
Leigh Ann: It’s a good idea to partner with others to promote their product or service along with yours.
Emma: What is the recipe for success? Be it monetization, increased traffic or SEOranking?
Leigh Ann: The best model now is to have a combination of things; blogging, having an affiliate in combo with your own products and services. Affiliate linking is a good way to make money.
Emma: What is the best way to promote your niche business?
Leigh Ann: Building a following on social media so people recognize you as an expert in a certain area.
Emma: Specifically what social media would you recommend?
Leigh Ann: Start a Facebook group not a page, join other groups of like-minded people.
Emma: What helped you get ahead?
Leigh Ann: I did market research inside the Facebook group and that helped me develop products and services.
Emma: Tell us about your most recent venture, Soulpreneurs.co.
Leigh Ann: I launched this membership site because people are hungry for information. It delivers automated info on regular basis. It took me two weeks to solidify my ideas on it.
Emma: How do you balance out your regular job and your online business?
Leigh Ann: I have critical thinking skills with quick decision-making from my RRT full-time job that I can apply in my online business.
Emma: How many hours a week do you spend on your online business?
Leigh Ann: 20 hours promoting and developing the websites.
Emma: Where should newbies start?
Leigh Ann: Create a checklist of what needs to get done now to get the results you want. On the side you list things you want to do. First you find hosting, then create an About page and have the e-mail subscribe or opt-in page.
Emma: What are your short-term goals?
Leigh Ann: To gain social recognition for design. I also set a financial goal to develop a new product each month to keep people interested.
Emma: What are your long-term goals?
Leigh Ann: Teaming up with Clark Hosp of Learn to Blog to offer live online interactive training focusing on WordPress next month.
Emma: What is your biggest accomplishment in blogging?
Leigh Ann: I work with over a 100 clients and I have the Soulpreneurs membership site.
Emma: What do you attribute your success to and what do you recommend to others:
Leigh Ann: To the mentors that I follow and my determination. I have a relentless spirit. I will keep trying until I have success. Stay focused on one path until you get a result and then you can redirect and follow through.
Emma: What keeps you going?
Leigh Ann: Lots of coffee, seven to eight hours of sleep, downtime away from the computer, eating healthy, moving my body and time with my friends.
Emma: What makes you feel good about yourself?
Leigh Ann: Any type of feedback.
Emma: What keeps you motivated? What do you suggest to others who feel like giving up?
Leigh Ann: Having a plan of action. It may be making money online and you might have to get a real job. Go back to why you started doing this? For me personally it was sharing my story.
Stay tuned for more blogging tips and advice coming to EW Emma’s Writings.