All posts by emmapalova

Emma Palova, born in Czech Republic, is an author, a writer, a screenwriter, a journalist, a photographer, a designer and the founder of Emma Blogs, LLC, based in Lowell, Michigan. Currently, she is working on her memoir "Greenwich Meridian" which she intends to turn into a screenplay. Palova started her blog EW Emma's Writings at http://emmaplova.com in support of the publication of her memoir in January, 2013. The blog has grown into a passion and a company that designs blogs for other people under the umbrella of Emma Blogs. Palova is a prolific online publisher open to new ideas and to new horizons. A natural innovator, Palova loves to create progressive brands into the future. Check out her inspirational post "Desert epiphany" and the authors page on About_me and on Facebook. I am looking forward to seeing you around the greater Grand Rapids area and on my blog. I am seeking an agent or a publisher for the memoir that I intend to publish for my mom Ella's 80 birthday on Aug. 23. I celebrated my fourth anniversary on the WordPress publishing platform on Jan. 15th, 2017 with more than 1,000 followers and 500 plus posts. Love always, Emma

Day 11: COVID-19 quarantine gives time to enjoy nature’s gifts

First walk to the Franciscans

The nature oblivious to the Coronavirus horrors is waking up from its winter’s sleep.

I enjoyed nature’s gifts during my first walk to the The Franciscan Life Process Center: daffodils getting ready to burst open, birds singing and frogs croaking in the swamp off the gravel road.

Just under two miles, the walk covers a variety of terrain and vegetation enhanced by the beautiful landscape at the Franciscan campus outside of Lowell.

The ornamental grasses were neatly trimmed and the colors of the meadow were changing from yellowish to green. I walked past the vacant parking lot to the St. Mary’s Rosary Walk.

On normal days, the center is busy with arts and music programming. People from far and near enjoy the Franciscans’ offerings: everything from painting au plain air, music instruction, community gardening, trails to retreats in the yurts.

The gardening team is usually busy with their landscaping tasks.

But today it was quiet as the silence pierced my ears and only an occasional robin broke the spell.

I spent some quiet time on St. Mary’s Plazza as one of the sisters, who was walking her mutt Pico, greeted me.

“What a beautiful day,” she said.

“Yes, it’s gorgeous.”

At that moment I realized how fortunate we were to enjoy the beautiful Friday afternoon far away from the nation’s Coronavirus hot spots.

“What is your name?” the sister asked.

“I am Emma,” I answered. “And yours?”

“I am sister Mary Paula,” she said.

There has never been a need for social distancing outside the buildings at the center surrounded by open space.

When I got home, my husband Ludek was cleaning up around the outdoors furnace after a long winter.

“Let’s go somewhere, it’s Friday afternoon,” I said.

“There’s nowhere to go,” he said.

There is still nature left and its bountiful gifts for us to enjoy in the times of the Coronavirus.

.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 10: COVID-19 closes Michigan schools until Labor Day

School’s out

Every challenging circumstance is a hidden opportunity.

Daniel Remenap, Superintendent of Hastings Public Schools

By Emma Palova

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this morning that Michigan public schools will not re-open until Labor Day as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise in the state and nationwide.

“The number of challenges is long, but the school districts have been planning for it,” she said.

It will be up to the 900 school districts and 56 ISDs to do the heavy lifting associated with remote learning outside the brick and mortar structures.

The public schools closure impacts 1.5 million Michigan students in k-12 grades.

The parents reacted with mixed feelings on Thursday.

“It’s a shock,” said Jakub Pala, father of two in the Hastings Public Schools (HPS) system. “It’s bittersweet. It’s a disappointment for the kids.”

On one hand, the parents get to spend more quality time with their children, but on the other hand the kids are deprived of social activities.

“I feel sad, Domik was supposed to graduate,” Maranda said.

The adjustment to the new way life requires creativity and outside the box thinking from the parents and the teachers.

“We are doing stuff outside, enjoying this nice weather,” Maranda said.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Maranda had to put on hold her kids’ entertainment business “Little Dreamers Sleepovers.”

Follow Maranda on https://littledreamerssleepovers.com/

She’s hoping for the business to rebound in the summer.

The districts will provide resources to the families such as chrome books and hot spots for the Internet, according to John Hemboldt, Grand Rapids Public Schools, superintendent.

HPS superintendent Daniel Remenap stated in a letter to parents on April 2:

Here is what I do know, and I will promise. We will continue to feed our families (as long as we are able.) We will have a graduation ceremony for our seniors…it may be in July, heck maybe August, who knows right now, but we WILL hold a graduation ceremony.

I will promise also that I will fight to be sure most decisions are made locally, by the district and by our families. Also we will do ALL we can do to meet the individual needs of each student given these challenges.

I will also promise this; we will come out better than ever when this is over. Every challenging circumstance is a hidden opportunity. We will use this to improve our focus and remind us what is truly important at home and at school. I hope this also reinforces the important and challenging work our teachers do every day.

“This is a public health crisis,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive. “Do not leave your house unless you absolutely must.”

Michigan is on the upslope of the coronavirus crisis with 1,000 cases a day, according to Khaldun.

“We must do very well with social distancing,” she said. “No one is immune. It’s an executive order; stay home, stay safe.”

Other parents, today, took their children fishing; the mom was wearing a mask and blue latex gloves.

Many took to the trails with their bikes.

Stay tuned for continued day by day coverage of the COVID-19 crisis in Michigan.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 9: COVID-19 as Catalyst

Coronavirus brings us closer together

“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, what we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go from darkness into darkness.”

Maya Angelou

Lowell, MI- Together we can accomplish anything. We will get through this together. Each one of us has a part to play.

How many times do we get to chat simultaneously with people from Florida, Oklahoma , Minnesota and Michigan?

I did for the first time earlier in the day via video chat Zoo room app. I connected with familiar faces, and I am so grateful for technology with all its whims.

https://zooroom.chat/

Today marks the beginning of Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s a great platform to start or finish your writing projects.

https://nanowrimo.org/what-is-camp-nanowrimo

Coronavirus quarantine survival tips

How many times in the past have you complained, that you don’t have time for anything? Now you do.

Ludek Pala works on isolating and putting up drywall in the laundry room.

Find a home improvement project. Finish what you have started years ago.

Learn something new: cooking, baking, writing poetry, painting.

Go outside and take pictures of spring arriving.

Offer to help others with their struggles; it will ease your own.

Keep a journal.

Live, love and laugh.

Copyright (c)2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 8: COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan

Glimmers of hope

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the social distancing measures appear to be working.

The daily increases in Coronavirus cases may be slowing down as a result of mitigation efforts on all fronts. However, the Coronavirus pandemic remains very serious as close to 300 people have died in Michigan.

Going into the eighth day of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan, the news of a possible slowdown of the spread of the virus comes at the right time. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to announce whether the schools will reopen on Thursday.

I have only 30 more pages to correct in the Greenwich Meridian Memoir manuscript.

My parents should have arrived back in Michigan this evening.

My husband will be putting up the drywall in the laundry tomorrow.

I have a virtual meeting scheduled for Wednesday. I am signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow.

From my Taurus horoscope:

Keep your cool as you put one foot in front of the other, taking small but impactful steps that move the needle forward.

Things are looking up. Spread hope around you.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 7: COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan

By Emma Palova

Facing the possible extension of social distancing until April 30 per CDC guidelines, I continue to plug along on making the corrections to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir manuscript. I am on page 201.

I have also signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo starting April 1. Try it; it’s a good platform that keeps you on track with your writing and publishing projects.

https://nanowrimo.org/what-is-camp-nanowrimo

While fine tuning the manuscript, I came across some interesting paragraphs about waiting which I consider relevant during this time of Coronavirus shutdown.

But most importantly, I want to offer hope based on what I have learned in this morning’s meditation about “Hope in Uncertain Times” by Oprah & Deepak Chopra.

Hope increases with gratitude. List five things you’re grateful for today. These are my five things that I am grateful for today:

1- time to write 2- chicken burrito from Taco Bell 3- a story about museum intern Darcy Stubbs for Fallasburg Today 4- my parents’ arrival in Elizabethtown, KY from Florida 5- my blood pressure finally came down after three weeks

https://fallasburgtoday.org/

Excerpt from Greenwich Meridian Memoir:

Waiting in socialist Czechoslovakia

You spent a lot of time waiting around for anything and everything, quite often it was in lines for desirable items like bananas or meat.

 The grocery stores were small with only a limited amount of shopping baskets, so you waited for the shopping basket, then you waited inside the store at the dairy counter for cheese, and at the meat counter for meat, you waited in a line for the cash register and you waited for the bus to get home with your groceries. There you waited for the elevator to get to your apartment.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 6: COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan

Stay at home, save lives

By Emma Palova

On the fifth Sunday of Lent, I watched the mass broadcast on TV from the empty St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids due to the Coronavirus quarantine.

Televised mass without an audience from St. Andrew’s Cathedral Cathedral in Grand Rapids.

I do my daily Lenten readings from The Little Black Book 6-minute meditations and in shock I came across this reading for March 28, that I somehow missed.

The bubonic plague in Oberammergau

When an outbreak of the bubonic plague began to spread in the 17th century, the people of Oberammergau prayed to be spared. They vowed that the whole community would, every 10 years, stage a massive production presenting the story of Christ’s death and resurrection to the world. The town was spared from the plague, and the tradition of the Oberammergau Passion Play was born. It’s first performance was in 1634.

The Passion Play is scheduled for this year from May 16 to Oct. 4. It is performed on an open stage with seating for nearly 5,000 spectators. Members of the 1,700 cast must be Oberammergau natives, or have lived there for 10 years. The play lasts a whole day, with a three-hour break for lunch. The play is performed five times a week for several months.

But, on Thursday, the organizers of the play- which has a cast of some 2,500 and can feature 900 people on stage at once- announced they were canceling this years edition, because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The first of the 103 daylong performances had been scheduled for May 16.

Historically, the human kind has been plagued by diseases from the bubonic plague, tuberculosis, Spanish influenza to Coronavirus, to name just a few.

The least we can do is to quarantine ourselves to protect others from the spread of the virus.

Tips:

Learn something new. It’s Sunday, cook up a storm.

Join a video chat room at:

Zoo room

You can also participate in #StayHomeWrimo creative initiative by the National Novel Writing Month organizers.

Copyright (c)2020. EMMA Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 5: Creativity offsets COVID-19 anxiety

Perfection: All the shades of white

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – I have found out that creativity battles the anxiety invoked by the Coronavirus shutdown the best.

Facing the dark stats, how do I wake up inspiration from its gloomy dream? First of all, I had to turn off all the devices I own. Next I am trying to push out of my head all the images of suffering and exhaustion I’ve seen over the last two weeks.

I have to substitute the negative with the positive; easier said than done. I have to transform and focus on the light with its different shades.

I found relief again in the “Hope in Uncertain Times” meditation with Oprah & Deepak Chopra. I can see light instead of darkness.

You can also participate in NaNoWriMo’s initiative to keep your sanity. https://nanowrimo.org/stayhomewrimo

You can sign up for @Camp NaNoWriMo starting in April. It helped me finish my writing projects.

Also watch for my kindle giveaway of Shifting Sands: Short Stories on Amazon.

Featured photo: Perfection: All the shades of white.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 4: COVID-19 isolation tool

“The single biggest threat to man’s continued dominance on the planet is the virus.”

— Joshua Lederberg

We continue to stay at home per Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order due to the Coronavirus pandemic as the U.S. takes the lead in the number of virus cases in the world-100,000- and counting. We are allowed to go outside for walks but minimize our trips to the grocery store.

“Remember, this is an order, not a recommendation,” Whitmer said in a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday evening.

Personally, as a writer, I am used to isolation; it’s the only way to get anything done. I finished making corrections to 150 pages of the Greenwich Meridian Memoir in the afternoon.

My tips:

If you ever wanted to write a book, now is a good time to start. If you want to finish your book, now is a good time to pick it back up.

You can make an outline and write two to three chapters or you can write a short story. The inspiration is all around us as well as in us waiting to spill out into the world.

Using your creativity is the best way to battle containment. Watch for excerpts from the Greenwich Meridian Memoir- how mom Ella battled with loneliness in Texas during the first immigration from former Czechoslovakia.

To be continued…

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 3: COVID-19 shutdown

By Emma Palova

Weighing in on the positives of the coronavirus pandemic: in search of humanity

In spite of the state shutdown, and shows like the Lowell Expo not happening this weekend, I see positives of the coronavirus shutdown in Michigan.

I pay more attention to the good things around me: my flowering orchids and amaryllis. My husband Ludek can get caught up on stuff rather than wining that he never has time to do anything around the house.

Our son Jake is homeschooling the grandkids and loving it.

I talk more to my daughter Dr. Emma, who is on the frontlines of fighting  COVID-19 in France. Before the outbreak, I never heard from her. My brother calls me more nowadays and I return his phone calls.

I finished the FallasburgToday newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/065459a763c2/springtime-in-fallasburg. Check it out and visit Fallasburg during this shutdown. We are allowed to go outside for walks and visit parks.

There is goodness coming out of this pandemic. The pandemic too shall pass and we’re in it all together. 

I think in this isolation we find a common bond- humanity and we recognize the need for each other.

I spoke with Dr, Emma Palova- Chavent about the Coronavirus pandemic this morning.

Dr. Emma Palova-Chavent on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19.

“We’re treating COVID-19 as triage,” she said.

She stressed that the social isolation is the most important and effective tool in the battle against the COVID-19 spread due to the resilience of the virus. It can live on surfaces up to seven days outside of the human body unlike the HIV virus. It has yet to be determined if the Coronavirus can be airborne.

France has reserved up to 50 percent of hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients after observing outbreaks in Italy and China. The remaining 50 percent is reserved for cardiac emergencies, chemotherapies and births.

“We’re behind them like two weeks,” she said.

According to Chavent, the USA and France, as well as other countries have taken late confinement measures.

The isolation must last at least two to three weeks to be able to assess the drop in new cases.

However, not every patient gets tested and most are not hospitalized. Patients with risk factors such as diabetes are more likely to get tested. Any low number of cases is an indicator, that infected people have not been tested, such as the Russians.

Ultimately, the death caused by the coronavirus results in respiratory failure.

“We’re not able to untubate people,” she said.

The outbreak should definitely not to be underestimated.

“It’s a highly infectious illness.

Hang in there. Stay at home. Stay well.

Featured photo: Melinda Cosgrove of Snow Avenue Greenhouse at last year’s expo in Lowell.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 2: Fighting COVID – 19 on all fronts

Dr. Emma Palova- Chavent in full protective gear against the COVID-19 virus fighting on the front line in ER in France.

The battle against the Coronavirus at home in the USA continues with more than 40 percent of population under the Stay-at-Home order as the number of cases rises. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the USA  could become the new epicenter of the pandemic.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.