Happy birthday America

Celebrate Independence Day

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- I love the Fourth of July holiday for many reasons. Most of all the Independence Day reminds me of my independence when I decided on my own free will to leave my homeland Czech Republic to pursue a better future in America.

Most of my dreams have come true and I am working on the ones that haven’t materialized yet. I am grateful to this great country that I have the freedom to express myself without censorship, that I can fly as high as I choose to, that I can be a woman entrepreneur.

Lowell Showboat decked out for July 4th
Lowell Showboat decked out for July 4th

While honoring the past in Czech Republic, I am moving ahead with life in the USA. Sometimes seemingly small steps lead to bigger victories. The path is not always straight, it winds and twists much like life itself. We now have deep roots in USA with the fourth generation already born here on the continent right at Bronson and Borgess hospitals in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

I trust that Josephine, 19 months old and the new guy will be fully bilingual in this ever-changing world. I know they will be able to travel to the old country to trace their roots and marvel at the European culture, try some Czech beer and the national dish; pork, dumplings and sauerkraut.

Have a burger, a Budweiser and a great holiday,

Emma and the EW team

Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

A bow to technology

Parents get a 3D glimpse of baby boy

By Emma Palova and Maranda Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

I marvel at the strides the technology has made since my first-born child Emma in 1979.  With no ultrasound yet available, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the baby. We had no idea what it was going to be. I really didn’t even have names ready. Finally, I decided if it’s a girl, her name will be Emma.

“Mom, you have a girl,” the doctor said leaning over me.

I was overwhelmed with joy and surprise. And now the family saga continues with the next generation.

My son Jake with wife Maranda Palova have already enjoyed a 3D peek at their son. Maranda is in the eighth month of pregnancy.

Maranda Palova’s account of the 3D experience

Getting a 3D ultrasound is a luxury; I never had the opportunity with my first-born, Josephine. It gives you a small glimpse of what you can look forward to, and I was lucky enough to see my little guy in action.

It was difficult to get an image at first since he was moving so much. But finally we were able to get a good look at his precious face. My first thoughts were WOW how amazing!!!

I could immediately tell that he had a few of my families traits, and seen a resemblance to my brother Tony’s’ features as a child. It will be incredible to see him for the first time and be able to compare that 3D image to real life.

As the technologist scanned more of his body we were able to see that he was also breech (when baby’s feet or buttock are to be delivered first). He still has time to flip into the head down position, but this concerns me and makes me wonder if and when he will do it because there can’t be too much room to flip.

We were also able to see he was quite the gymnast already; he was bent at the torso with his feet to his head. He is quite the character.

I can’t wait to meet him for the first time.

The 3D images are produced by sending sound waves into multiple angles that reflect back into a program reconstructing the images into a three-dimensional image. 3D ultrasounds can enhance medical conditions in an unborn child, but are usually not medically necessary.

About the featured image: this is a 3D ultrasound image of an eight month old baby Pala.

Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Greenwich Meridian memoir update

The featured image is the  Greenwich Meridian memoir on the screen surrounded by various memorabilia like the economy class menu of the Czechoslovakian Airlines. I flew with them in 1989 for my second immigration to the USA.

Blogging anchored, Greenwich Meridian memoir evolves forward

By Emma Palova

EW Emma Writing

Lowell, MI- Now, that I am firmly anchored in the blogging world with Emma Blogs, LLC, a portfolio of blogs, I resumed working on the Greenwich Meridian memoir in mid-May. The blogging part may seem like a detour to many, not to me. I feel like I can take the book to its finale. I didn’t have that feeling before.

It took me a year-and-a-half to set up the blogging portfolio under the umbrella of http://emmapalova.com. Fellow blogger Leigh Ann Dickey said it took her two years to prove herself. So, don’t believe the hype out there like “Get a blog in 60 seconds,” or in five minutes, in an hour or in a day. And definitely, don’t pay any money for that  pitch.

It just doesn’t happen. It’s like saying you’re going to learn calculus in a day. You may get the template like you would get a college-ruled notebook to start your math, and then what? Do you start with fractions, trigonometry or double integer?

Of course you start with the About page in the world of blogging. After all, you know the best what you are all about. Add a picture, it’s worth a thousand words.

Many blogging colleagues out there don’t know what their niche or target audience are. How are they supposed to pick a theme? Should they post every day and what should they post to attract that ever elusive traffic?

Maybe Stephen King asked himself the same question before his big Carrie break, “What should I write about so I make it big?”

I know I ask myself that question every week before posting, “What am I going to post this week or what is the next chapter outline?”

Other than King, I always think about  German Martin Luther posting 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in 1517 according to the student custom. The theses were a catalyst to a change.

Blog posts carry those same signs of a changing world. A shorter, faster world of pixels that has no time for long “expose” articles. Readers want to know everything and immediately.

Without the “how to” knowledge, blogging can feel like sailing on vast seas after you lost your compass. You started out right, what next?

Stay tuned for more.

Copyright © 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Summer 2015 editorial calendar

Editorial/marketing calendar for July, August, September

Dive into summer fun with Emma

The editorial/marketing calendar for Emma Blogs is flexible and I invite anyone who wants to contribute whether with stories, photos or ideas.

As you can see the topics range from blogging to vacationing, and everything in between. I am looking forward to the new summer series, Living in the country vs. living in the city. I bet anyone can attest that both have their advantages and disadvantages. So, feel free to write about your take on where you live and why. It will be hilarious.

Kathleen Mooney's abstracts.
Kathleen Mooney’s abstracts.

Also sign up for Emma Blogs July newsletter for blogging/design tips and How to get story ideas and bring them to fruition.

July

 Blogger of the month

Creativity

Independence Day

Vacationing

Summers in Czech

Riverwalk 9, 10, 11/local

Summer series

Living in the country vs living in the city

August

Summers in Czech on the ranch

Vacationing

Mom’s birthday

Lowell youth fair/local/Aug. 6-13

Summer series

Living in the country vs living in the city

September

Fall fest with Fallasburg village bazaar /local Sept. 1&20

Fairs/expo Brno

Socialist brigades for students and army

Summer series

Living in the country vs city

Schools/universities

Copyright (c) 2015. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

50 years of Fallasburg preservation

Fallasburg Historical Society celebrates 50th anniversary

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Fallsburg, MI- It was Leonora Tower of the Vergennes Cooperative Club who started the West Central Michigan Society in 1965 with Norton Avery. The goal was historical preservation of the Fallasburg village once a thriving village six miles north of Lowell.

In 1990, the society changed its name to Fallasburg Historical Society, but the same people remained involved. However, the society became bankrupt in 2006.

That’s when the current president Ken Tamke got involved.

One room school house, a museum for the Fallasburg Historical Society
One room school house, a museum for the Fallasburg Historical Society

“I grew up around there, visited my grandparents all the time,” Tamke said.

His grandparents, the Bradshaws owned the farm on Fallasburg Point, which is now a fancy development.

His passion for historical preservation runs in the family. His dad was involved in history preservation in Berkeley.

“I am a big fan of history,” he said. “Historic preservation is in my blood.”

So, basically, according to Tamke, the modern society grew out of a group of women from the Vergennes Cooperative Club. Also involved was Marcia Wilcox, former Vergennes Township supervisor.

John Wesley Fallass founded the village.
Fallass House 1842

I love the place,” Tamke said. “It’s a little hamlet that became forgotten.”

Truly, time has stopped here. The village sleeps its dream from the thriving 1800s.

Founded in the 1830’s by John Wesley Fallass. The village of Fallasburg includes 42 acres along the banks of the Flat River, the covered bridge, a schoolhouse, village cemetery, the Fallasburg Historical Museum and the Misner House Museum, the Tower House and a barn.

The Fallasburg Historical Society exists for preservation, restoration, and maintenance of the Fallasburg Village, as well as encouraging public support through education, sharing information, and hosting many events.

Misner House 1850
Misner House 1850

The one room schoolhouse is actually the museum where artifacts are stored. It is open during summer time on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Fallasburg village was listed as the Fallasburg Historical District in the National Register of Historic Place on March 31, 1999.

“There were initial problems with that, but it did go through and doesn’t give restrictions,” said Tamke. “We’re very proud of this. It’s an honorary designation.”

Now, the biggest project ahead of the society is fixing up the Tower House to give it a new purpose since it sits  close to the North Country Trail.

The society received a grant from the Lowell Community Fund and Lowell Cable Fund. The roof got fixed. But, the kitchen, the bathroom and other interior spaces need to be restored. The financial estimate from 1999 to fix the Tower House was $100,000.

Charming annual Christmas party in the Fallasburg village
Charming annual Christmas party in the Fallasburg village

“We want to repurpose the building as a meeting place for the historical society, the Lowell Area Historical Museum and other community groups,” he said. “We hosted weddings at the school.”

The quaint village attracts couples to tie the knot, and hundreds of photographers. The restored barn was the Barn of the Year 2014. Also new markers have been placed by the covered bridge. It is the goal to have unified markers by each building.

Fallasburg events include the first and brand new village bazaar will be held during the Fallasburg Fall Festival in September, along with the vintage baseball tournament with the Flats team in the field.

Tents with crafts, food and arts will be set up by the Misner and Tower houses. All buildings will be open for self-guided tours without any admission.

“We’re not affiliated with the arts council, it will be a concurrent event, ” Tamke said.

Barn of the year 2014
Barn of the year 2014

The biggest event is the Covered Bridge Bike Tour coming on July 12. However, the most charming event is the annual Christmas party at the school.

Ladies from the society bring delicious dishes to pass, there is music and Tamke serves up wine and grog .

There are 120 members in the historical society and most actively participate in various events.

Kids from the area schools take field trips to the village. Addie Abel and Mike Organek actually went to the school give tours.

Interpretative markers in the Fallas village
Interpretative markers in the Fallas village

“Parents come with them and gain appreciation for the village,” said Tamke. “It hasn’t been touched by the pass of progress.”

Lowell Area Historical Museum director Lisa Plank will help with mentoring of an intern to help scan and catalogue documents and artifacts.

“We want to raise public awareness because you can forget that it’s out there,” Tamke said. “It’s a hidden gem.”

It’s also a great place to visit for Father’s Day and get some unforgettable photos and to escape from technology.

For more info go to http://www.fallasburg.org

Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tea with VanGogh & Betty

On the health benefits of tea

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- I am a lifelong tea drinker, even though I had my periods of drinking coffee during the early 2000s while working for the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.

My love for tea goes back to my childhood. We cured everything with either chamomile tea or plum brandy.

We used chamomile tea with honey to calm us down and at night to sleep. Quite often stories circulated about giving a brew from raw poppy heads not quite mature yet to kids, so they sleep better.

Healing teas and VanGogh's self-portrait
Healing teas and VanGogh’s self-portrait

The love for tea grew stronger while living in Sudan, Africa. There is a huge misconception that in hot weather you have to drink cold beverages. Actually, the body and the beverage temperatures should be close, just like in cooking.

“Everything has to have the same temperature,” says my cousin Brona Pink, a trained chef. That’s probably why Russians eat ice cream in winter.

Not knowing this fact back then, we drank by default both cold and hot tea in huge pitchers at the African apartment complex. I didn’t know much about herbs back in the 1970s, so we used mostly black tea with caffeine.

Betty Dickinson penned ""Creating a healthy corner"
Betty Dickinson of Ionia

The next run with tea was after I gave birth to my daughter in 1979 and started having problems with my gall bladder and digestion. I looked deeper into herbs and teas. There are many teas that are good for digestion. These are mostly made from bitter herbs like dandelion. Dandelions are not just those ugly yellow flowers in your lawn. Our friend in Czech Republic used to make wine from them.

“They are one of the nature’s best medicine,” writes herbalist Betty Dickinson in her book “Creating a Healthy Corner.”

“I eat the leaves fresh early in the spring before they blossom,” she writes.

My encounter with Dickinson in 2000 after I came back to USA from a trip to Czech Republic was one of the most important milestones in my life.

Dickinson was and still is a columnist for the Ionia Sentinel-Standard and she also writes for EW Emma’s Writings and for E Health & Wellness.

I was already organically bound as opposed to using chemicals, but she helped me understand the workings of nature.

I was overweight at the time and she suggested a tea mix consisting of celery seeds, kelp and nettle. I still use it to this day. Nettle and burdock are in most digestive teas.

Tea has always inspired me to a point that I wrote seven chapters of “Tea Council” in 2000, and lost them later when I switched computers.

The most recent run with tea was in 2012 when I lost my hair for unknown reasons. Dickinson had a cure for me; nettle again and yucca.

I also discovered the best tea line ever the “Health King.”  Their “Hair Regeneration” with privet root and black sesame helped me get my hair back. But their “Dong Quai Lady’s tea is the true king.

Ironically, my mom, who is a former pharmacist does not believe in herbs, teas or supplements.

“That’s a bunch of bullshit,” she says.

Well, all I can say is how I feel when I have the teas and when I don’t. The Lady’s tea with Angelica chinensis helps maintain normal gynecological functions and it alleviates cramps.

Whenever tired after long hours of writing I use yerba mate by EcoTeas.

The Organic India tea line is also good.

My love affair with teas continues. I love to serve them, I love to drink them and the artist in me loves their colors. They range from yellow jasmine to dark chocolate yerba mate. Maybe, there is a British or a Russian person in me. Plus drinking tea is a highly social event in many countries like the United Kingdom in the form of “high tea.”  The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island also serves “high tea” at 5 p.m.

You can order Dickinson’s book by e-mailing me at emmapalova@yahoo.com

Copyright © 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

IW Inspiring Women-Yoga with Elin

Yoga changes lives
By Emma Palova
Orchids in full bloom
Enigmatic orchids

Note: This is another installment in a feature series about Inspiring Women. It is dedicated to all women who are trying to make a difference and better other people’s lives, as well as their own.  In putting together this feature series, I was inspired by several moments in life that in particular stand out.

No.1  A dedication of a Relax, mind, body & soul book by Barbara Heller from my son Jake: “I dedicate this to my inspiring and motivational mother.” Kuba

No. 2  While on a story before Mother’s Day, I dropped in at Ace Bernard Hardware to talk about the prizes with owner Charlie Bernard. We talked also about the Lowell Area Chamber and its director Liz Baker.

“You know what I like about Liz, she keeps re-inventing herself,” Bernard said.

No. 3 Again on a story for the International Women’s Day I talked to Sow Hope president Mary Dailey Brown.

“If you want to make a difference in this world, seriously consider helping impoverished women. Helping women is the key to unlocking poverty.”

No. 4  At a parents teacher conference at Cherry Creek Elementary in Lowell in mid 1990s: “Mrs. Pala, we do not give up,” teacher Karen Latva said.

Yoga with Elin on Venice Beach changes lives

Yoga instructor Elin Larsen on Venice Beach.
Yoga instructor Elin Larsen on Venice Beach.

Following is an interview with yoga instructor Elin Larsen. If it wasn’t for Elin I would have never started doing yoga. I started in 2009 with Yoga on the Venice Beach with Elin. Coupled with meditation with Deepak Chopra, it changed my life. I wish it will do the same for all who read this.

Yoga is gentle and relaxing. It doesn’t overpower or overwhelm. It helps me focus and concentrate on writing. It gives me new ideas for my work. It motivates me. I have all three Elin’s DVDs and can’t wait for the fourth one.

 Name:  Elin Larsen
Occupation:  Seasoned Yoga instructor ~  Yoga with Elin
Position:  Head honcho
Residence:  Venice, Florida
Family:  5 senior dogs and 2 goldfish
Hobbies & Interests:  I have many diversified interests.  I have a small Stand up paddle board company.  I take folks out for lessons, but mostly take my friends out and have fun on the boards in the Gulf of Mexico.  
I have extensive gardens, veggie and ornamentals.  I spend a lot of time in the dirt.  I love dirt!  I ride bicycles and motorcycles.  I am very interested in my health and am constantly tweaking my habits.  I love body structure and posture.  I am also a certified Ergonomist.  I make much of my dog food.  
Yoga with Elin on Venice Beach
Yoga with Elin on Venice Beach
 
1-What are you currently working on? Any specific project?
I am always in the gardens.  I am tearing out and redoing things.  I have a jig saw and make silly things.  I want to make another Yoga with Elin DVD and  I am beginning to put that together.
2-How and when did you get started with your current profession?  It was in 1975 I began.  I was an athlete and needed an off-season jolt.  Yoga fit the bill.  I realized that I never had an injury while all my team mates were plagued with them.  Yoga found a permanent place in my life.  
3-What was your first job?   I baby sat for people for $.25 per hour.  I then began to buy my own clothes.   Kids loved me because I was so young and had lots of energy to play.  I didn’t love it, but it worked  for me.  My mother was sick most of my life and I have a sister 7 years my junior.  Since I was watching her, I would bring her with me and we had a ball!  Now I watch over older folks!
 
4-How would you describe yourself?  I am a strong and determined woman.  I am a pit bull when it comes to defending my rights, my health and my student’s yoga time with me.  I care about people who care about themselves.
To be continued when Elin is not busy.
For more info go to http://www.yogawithelin.us
  

Tea with Mr. Vincent van Gogh

Afternoon tea with Mr. Vincent van Gogh

Watch for a story about the health benefits of tea. Each tea has a story coming from the fields with love.

High tea with VanGogh
High tea with VanGogh

Copyright (c)2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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