Category Archives: wedding

Happiness comes from creating new things

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Lowell, MI- I love this quote because it is so true. Yesterday, I completed a brand new mobile app on Swiftic for a client. It took me a long time as the app development companies kept changing.

Once I figured out the last feature, I was ecstatic. It’s a top notch app with eye-catching push notifications and more than 20 features such as loyalty and scratch cards, and catalogs.

I had that same feeling of joy when I uploaded my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories ” to the publisher last year.

I feel happiness today as Ludek and I are about to head out to Mackinac Island to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.

Yes, it’s the same place where Universal Pictures filmed “Somewhere in Time” with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour.

It was also the home for the famous fur trade entrepreneur Madame Framboise.

The island will be all dressed up for Halloween. We plan on going to the Haunted Theatre and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Cars are not allowed on the island, only bicycles and horses.

Even this late into the season, the hotels were sold out. We will take the ferry Star Line across the Straits of Mackinac.

It is also my writer’s retreat, because Mackinac Island inspires me with its history and character. I will include in my new book three historical fiction short stories; one from the island and two from Fallasburg.

Stay tuned for more posts from the island.


Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Looking back at year 2014 II

Looking back at 2014 II

Editor’s note: This article  continues from yesterday’s “Looking back at 2014.”

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI-My dad  Vaclav turned 80 on July 23rd. We went to Don Quixote restaurant in Valparaiso, Indiana. My dad is friends with the Spanish owner Carlos and he likes to practice Spanish with him. It’s a nice haul from Lowell, Michigan and we even met some Czechs at a rest area. Carlos’ paella is out of this world.

In July, I established my business Emma Blogs LLC, a rolling portfolio of versatile blogs suited to anything you wish. I introduced my employees Sarah Harmon, Ed Donahue and Udoy Karmakar among other contributors.

Emma Blogs LLC
Sales Jakub Pala, writers Sarah Harmon and Emma Palova on EW team.

But, I also had my “Eyes with Dr.Verdier,” cataract surgeries after I went almost blind and I couldn’t write or drive. I don’t need glasses anymore. Read about the series on

Verdier Eye Center
Dr. David Verdier, a recognized eye surgeon

I’ve never been longer without make-up than during the six weeks long process. I even put make-up on when we were picking hops in Western Bohemia fields.

August meant preparations for the Pala Ruegsegger wedding at Saint Patrick Church in Parnell. We were running to the finish line with the wedding scheduled for October 25th.

We got the house ready for 15 people and arranged for a wedding bus to house them in our front yard. Some of them stayed at Jake’s new house in Hastings.

The first week in September I went for a walk with a bad premonition. Someone will die. It was a beautiful day. Sunny skies, not too hot or cold. One of few days we had like that. I kept walking farther and farther, not wanting to return home. I just kept walking on the old railroad tracks.

Farewell Haryk
My dog Haryk

“Who’s going to die?” I asked myself.

My dog Haryk was waiting for me laying under a lilac bush by the driveway. After my husband Ludek’s birthday, we had to put him to sleep.

The big October. The international party arrived one week before the wedding. They came from Czech Republic and France. But, before the wedding, we had another baptism. It was time for Samuel Chavent to get baptized. The godfather is Jake Pala.

And  we threw a huge welcome party. Ella and I made a welcome sign in three languages. Having that little mean streak after her mother, she asked:

“Why don’t we make a goodbye sign?”

The wedding was big and I am glad nobody fell into the Wabasis Lake below the reception lodge. You can read about it on

Wedding reception at Wabasis Lake lodge
Mr. Jakub Pala and Mrs. Maranda Palova enter the Wabasis Lodge

Baby Josephine celebrated her one year birthday at the new house in Hastings on Nov. 21, 2014. Thanksgiving was at my parents’ house in Big Rapids accompanied by a classical Czech holiday fight between my mother and my brother.

And finally December. We observed our 25th anniversary of arrival to the USA on Dec. 22, 1989. Read the story on

Christmas was peaceful and quiet, so was the New Year 2015.

Copyright © 2015 Emma Blogs LLC, All rights reserved

Looking back at 2014

2014 delivered joy, sadness and surprises

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – From big anniversaries and baptisms to big weddings, we experienced it all. From joy to sadness, we gained new life and lost loved ones.

First in January I celebrated my one year anniversary with WordPress. It was a year of learning and finding my true self. I found out that I am a better employer than an employee. A Swedish friend of mine laughed at that.

I found out that it’s better to give than to receive. So, I also started a blog for my sister-in-law CJ Aunt Jarmilka’s Desserts for her bakery business soon after my own. CJ also celebrated her one year anniversary of blogging.

Sizzlin Summer
Sizzlin Summer concerts in Lowell

In March, I went for my annual retreat in Venice, Florida and I swam with the dolphins. While I was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Samuel Chavent was born two months prematurely in Dijon, France to my daughter Emma and her husband Adrien.

As I walked from one beach to another, and saw divers, I found inspiration for a new story.

I started my walking routine to the Franciscan Sisters in April for the first time in 15 years without my dog Haryk. He was getting too sick to walk. I also celebrated 100 posts on Earth Day.

100 Posts
Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience nature center

“You’re a prolific writer,” said Alan Blanchard, former publisher of the Ionia Sentinel-Standard in 2000.

We had a baptism in May in Kalamazoo. My husband Ludek is the godfather to Josephine Marie Palova.

I scored a great career success in May. I got my blog into the Gatehouse Media, a 10-million reader market through the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.

We also bought tons of meat at the Jones Meat Market customer appreciation day for the upcoming international wedding party.

March Expo
Bluegrass band Eazy Idle with Dave Simmonds

Then came the summer we never had. I watered my gardens exactly twice. We had enough liquid precipitation to water the moon.

To be continued…..

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


Festive memories

Festivities, wedding create memories


Lowell, MI- I feel like I have a writer’s block after all this festive pomp. I am still finding memorabilia from the Pala Ruegsegger wedding in October. Each thing I find brings back a memory.

I find things like frozen dough in the freezer for the wedding desserts, Pebbles cereal that no one wanted, taquitos, tops, panties and pantyhose. Samuel’s blue onesies “Star Baby” brought a smile to my face, as well the Barbie doll and sister-in-law’s hair color. Then, there are tons of souvenirs and gifts that I have received from my guests.

And of course, the greatest of all are photos.

Common Gentry Carriage Rides
Now newlyweds Jake Pala and Maranda Palova last year on sleigh ride in Sparta.

I told a friend at the local Meijer store while shopping for Thanksgiving that we survived the wedding.

“And now you’re moving right into the holidays,” he laughed.

Yes, it’s all going by quick. We spent a quiet Thanksgiving at my parents Ella & Vaclav Konecnys in Big Rapids. We had the traditional fare with bonus cream puffs from CJ Aunt Jarmilka’s.

“I am not baking for Christmas this year, mom,” I said with the wedding abundance still in mind.

I did teach my son Jake Pala and his wife Maranda Palova how to make traditional Czech Christmas desserts such as filled baskets covered with chocolate and vanilla crescents.

Horrocks tree farm in Ionia
Ludek & Ella at

“I’ll let them bake this year,” I said.

“I can’t blame you after all that wedding turmoil,” mom said.

So, I guess in a big way I already had my Christmas in October. I made new friends, strengthen old bonds, gained a new daughter-in-law and a few pounds, but created sweet memories.

Traditional Czech desserts
Famous vanilla crescents.

Watch for my stories about the “Three Sundays of Christmas,” a traditional Czech shopping custom on the three Sundays before Dec. 24th.

I will also include some recipes for Czech desserts.

For more baking ideas go to

and to

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International wedding

International wedding brings huge success, creates memories


EW Emma’s Writings

Wabasis Lake Park, MI- On a beautiful last Saturday in October, Jake Pala and Maranda Ruegsegger became husband and wife.

They got married in the historical Saint Patrick Church in Parnell, Michigan. As the sun rays passed through the colored windows, the sun beams spread all over the altar, the floor, on reverend Mark Peacock and the bride and the groom. Peacock in the homily talked about love, relationships and the importance of wholesome families.

“That is a beautiful church, I was married there,” wrote Jeana Schwacha on facebook. “It looks like it hasn’t changed much.”

Mr. Pala and Mrs. Palova at Saint Patrick Church in Parnell
Mr. Pala and Mrs. Palova at Saint Patrick Church in Parnell

Anthony Amelia, brother of the bride, read the wedding classic reading on love 1 Corinthians 12 : 31.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs,” resonated through the church.

The bride’s colors were purple, beige and lavender which carried over to corsages, ties and sashes. The bride, the matron of honor Jessica Kraima and the groom’s sister Emma Chavent wore the ever-popular bustier strapless dresses. The bride’s wedding gown had a long train that dropped down several steps from the altar. The best man was Pala’s longtime friend Ken Kline. The French flower girl was Ella Chavent, 4.

It was a picture perfect afternoon with degrees in mid to upper 60s Fahrenheit.

Mr. Jakub Pala and Mrs. Maranda Palova enter the Wabasis Lodge
Mr. Jakub Pala and Mrs. Maranda Palova enter the Wabasis Lodge

Just a few miles northeast of the church, overlooking Wabasis Lake covered with autumn golden carpet, sits the park lodge which was the place for the reception.

The scenery for the wedding featured blue skies and blue waters of the Wabasis Lake. The lodge has a large fireplace and it was decked out for a grand wedding celebration. French doors and windows span the entire northern and southern walls. It seats approximately 130 to 140 people.

“It will be rustic chic,” said the bride Maranda Ruegsegger in a previous interview for E Brides & Fashion blog.

The first dance belonged to Maranda and Jake
The first dance belonged to Maranda and Jake

The tables were decorated with stumps that served as bases for large vases with candles floating in them.

“Grandpa Tom made the stumps for me,” Maranda glowed.

As Mr. Pala and Mrs. Palova entered the lodge, they got a standing ovation from the crowd.

The song “When a man loves a woman” settled into everyone’s heart as the husband and wife danced the first dance. Turning and swirling to the catching melody, the couple danced passionately and skillfully.

The buffet dinner included chicken marsala, roast beef, mashed potatoes, salad and more.

Three-tier wedding cake by CJ Aunt Jarmilka
Three-tier wedding cake by CJ Aunt Jarmilka

“The food was delicious,” I kept hearing comments.

A separate dessert station was set up by the fireplace. Wedding baker Jarmila Karmaskova of CJ Aunt Jarmilka’s Desserts set up the three-tier wedding cake on a stump. The cake was topped off with pine cones in the spirit of the rustic theme.

“The desserts are very good,” said friend Jean Jeltema. “Bring me some of that cake log.”

CJ spent three days baking the wedding cake, cake logs and traditional Czech kolache. Karmaskova baked well into the wee hours of the wedding day.

“I was kind of scared out there,” she confessed later.

She and her two sons George & Paul flew 6,000 miles to get here for the wedding.

The wines featured Fenn Valley’s sweeter Lakeshore white and red Capriccio, French Vouvray chardonnay, Rodney Strong chardonnay and Spanish Sangre de Toro red and Sangria. The bar also offered plum brandy, pear brandy and Becherovka herbal liqueur.

The wedding wines
The wedding wines

“Everybody liked that,” said father of the bride Dan Ruegsegger at the tailgate party on Sunday.

No Czech celebration is complete without beer. Since it is the month of the Octoberfest, the groom ordered Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Ichabad pumpkin ale.

The international selection of wines and brandy reflected the international spirit of the wedding. Mr. Jakub Pala was born in former Czechoslovakia and Mrs. Maranda Palova, born Ruegsegger, is American. The groom’s sister Chavent is Czech, but her husband and children are French.

The difference in the names Pala – Palova lies in the gender and the grammar. All females in Slavic languages after marriage take on the man’s name, but because of the grammar rules, the last name is modified by adding either –ova to the end or –a to the end.

For example the famous Czech tennis player Martina Navratilova, a man would be Martin Navratil or Ivanka Trumpova, the man is Donald Trump.

My parents Ella & Vaclav Konecny stayed the longest on the dance floor celebrating 55 years of marriage.
My parents Ella & Vaclav Konecny stayed the longest on the dance floor celebrating 55 years of marriage.

And my dad Vaclav Konecny fills in the Spanish gap as a big fan of the Spanish language.

During the wedding, my parents Ella & Vaclav Konecny received a blessing for their 55th anniversary and danced the longest on the dance floor. They had the greatest longevity of marriage of all the couples present.

Groom’s sister Emma Chavent made the wedding video accompanied by a great selection of music including Queen. It covered the groom’s childhood all the way to marriage.

The dance floor was busy until the closing. The DJ was accommodating also to requests for slow dancing music.

So Mr. & Mrs. Palova danced the night away under the bright stars.

Welcome Mrs. Palova to the family.

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