Category Archives: beauty


In search of grace

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- I write this not only in response to the Daily Post @graceful photo prompt, but also to find solace and reprieve in grace.


Contrary to my better judgment, I’ve been writing a lot about politics lately. I don’t know if I’ve been doing that to make myself feel better or more responsive to what has been going on in North America, UK and the Middle East.

And I still don’t know if it was the journalist bursting out of me, or the Czech ex-patriot living currently in America. I guess, I’ll never know.

Graceful orchids in full bloom at the end of January.

Somebody once said that the worst thing of all is “indifference.” No matter, how hard I try to be immune to it all, the current affairs just bug me.

I am trying to find the grace in me, to accept the future of democracy.

Along with writing about religion, writing about politics, no matter how unbiased, usually gets me into trouble. I really don’t need any distraction at a time when I’ve picked up the momentum to finish the “Greenwich Meridian” memoir about the Konecny family immigration saga.

After coming back from Aunt Marta’s funeral in mid January in Czech Republic, I was so re-energized to finish the memoir, and to pursue the greater Konecny Saga picture. I made space for it in my mind, in my studio and in my work day.

I’ve gathered the necessary research, started the Ancestry Konecny Facebook page, caught up with the Alumni ZDS Stipa page to set the stage for everything to finally wrap up. I have built up the following on social media and most platforms that I know of. I hooked up with a dear director friend whom we seem to have similar goals, at times.

Thanks to my never-ending insomnia, I am caught up with client projects into 2017 as they constantly evolve. I did all the little bureaucracy that I needed to do, put things in fancy five-star folders, and such. I straightened my affairs both here and there, and in between.

I’ve communicated and answered messages both domestic and foreign; on messenger, on text, on Skype, and on phone.

I said hi to an old friend of Irish origin at church last Sunday. I  asked about the immigrant family from Africa that the church had sponsored in 2016. I was supposed to teach them English as a Second Language (ESL), but other projects came up.

“Oh, I’ve been neglecting them since it’s so cold outside,” he said. “I really feel bad.”

“Me too,” I thought, without any particular reference to anything.

So what happened? The world happened. I am burnt out like a candle, like the fire in our wood stove.

Even host Alfonso Ribeiro on AFV last Sunday said, “I am out like acid-washed jeans or mullets.”

It’s a cold early afternoon in January. The day is grayish, and so are my heart and soul.

“So, what are you going to do for yourself, today,” Facebook friend Fiosa posted this Monday morning.

Somebody out there on that vast Internet sea responded:

“I am going to look for a job.”

Just before reading that, I arranged my beautiful collection of blooming orchids for a photo shoot for the @graceful photo prompt.

If I really love anything and need anything when I feel whipped, it’s these enigmatic flowers. They literally speak to me in their own language with their beautiful shapes and colors and their bold structure.

They come into full bloom during the deepest frosts Up North in Michigan. They engage in nothing but themselves, in their own grace.

Where do you find grace?

Thank you for being.

Love always,


Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

IW Station Salon

Inspiring Women at home and around the world

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 prior to 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 prior to 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.

Station Salon owner makes her dream come true

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- For Nancy DeBoer it has been a lifelong dream of having her own business.

After completing education at the Jordan College hair school, DeBoer started learning the ropes of the beauty business at the Artisan salon in Rockford in 1989. While still in school, DeBoer worked at the Artisan as a receptionist getting her feet wet.

Nancy DeBoer at Station Salon in Lowell.
Nancy DeBoer at Station Salon in Lowell.

“I learned from the older stylists techniques that I still use today,” she said. “It was a good first job experience.”

DeBoer worked there for seven years and then took a break to raise her children. She still did hair for friends and family and in late 1990s moved to Lowell.

DeBoer was hired at Salon 206 where she stayed for 13.5 years getting ready to open her own beauty shop.

“I’ve always wanted to own my business,” she said. “I had a large clientele build up that followed me. I was ready, it was the right time in my life.”

Children were grown up and husband Andrew, who owns Inside Movement indoor rock climbing gym in Byron Center, was encouraging all along. Andrew, a farrier or horse shoer, has been self-employed his entire life.

Nancy DeBoer at work styling.
Nancy DeBoer at work styling.

DeBoer realized her dream on Nov. 3 of 2012. The chic Station Salon opened in the prime downtown area in a historical building located at 214 E. Main.

“I’ve always liked this building,” said DeBoer. “I saw a potential of a salon. I wanted something unique.”

She wasn’t sure about the name for a unique salon inside a unique building.

“It came to me in a dream,” she said.

Moreover there used to be a train station nearby, so the name fit like a glove. So, Station Salon was born out of hard work, persistence and determination.

“I work hard,” DeBoer said. “I am here a lot to make sure things stay positive.”

Being a client of both, first Salon 206 and then Station Salon, I’ve observed both salons over the years. In 2014, our bridal party had hair done at the Station Salon. It was perfect. Hairstylist Lynn Mitchell has always accommodated my unpredictable needs for beauty.

The atmosphere at Station Salon is genuine and without pretense. The bubbly stylists engage in conversations with clients.

“Have you been to the BBQ restaurant next door?” asked Mitchell. “It’s the talk of the town.”

We chat about our families or travel, and Station Salon feels like a big extended family.

The biggest challenge for DeBoer was bringing the historic building up to code.

“There were quite a bit of renovations needed,” said DeBoer. “I did all the design and painting myself.”

Fogged up Bridal & Princess Boutique words.
Fogged up Bridal & Princess Boutique words.

DeBoer enjoyed the advantage of having an established clientele from Salon 206.

“The girls came from the previous salon with their clientele,” said DeBoer.

The crew went into the Grand Opening in 2012 strong with the economic downturn behind them, and a whole new future in front of them.

“We were ready to open,” she said.

The salon employs eight stylists including DeBoer and she plans to hire a new stylist. Massage therapist Myrtis Thut is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The biggest challenge for the salon crew are the holidays, although the salon stays steady busy year round.

“We get appointments pre-booked,” she said. “The first three years were good with continued growth.”

DeBoer learned how to run the business from seminars and from husband Andy.

As in any workplace, one of the major challenges remains stress.

“I focus on working hard to make it the best salon I can,” she said. “I am positive, easy going, and I am present as an owner.”

But, most of all DeBoer still loves her job.

“I love being able to connect with people every day,” she said.

Station Salon supports the performing arts at the Lowell Area Schools.

“We do the hair for musicals,” DeBoer said. “It is a fun creative outlet. We get to do crazy hair.”

Strange things happen at beauty salons, including this one. One Saturday, a bridal party was in the salon to get their hair done.

Suddenly, in the fogged up windows appeared the words Bridal & Princess Boutique in a neat font. The windows had fogged up before, but nothing was there, according to DeBoer.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said. “I feel very fortunate and blessed that I’ve been able to do what I’ve always wanted to do. I love being in the center of town and I love the character of the building.”

DeBoer plans continued growth and involvement in the community.

“We want to be a part of the community of Lowell,” she said.

Station Salon will be on Girls Night Out this fall on Oct. 15.

For more info on Girls Night Out go to: http://www.low


Name: Nancy DeBoer

Position: owner of Station Salon

Residence: Lowell

Education: Jordan College hair school

Family: husband Andrew and three sons: Dalton, Garrett & Luke

Interest & hobbies: outdoors, rock climbing, hiking, kayaking and spending time with family

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