Category Archives: wellness

Spring fishing for relaxation

Relaxing into the outdoors

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – I am working on exploring new methods to alleviate mental distress  as expressed in the article, “Easter Fishing.”

I will take it one step at a time: First I will find the patience for morel hunting (May 2 article), second I will learn how to fish and golf and thirdly I will take on boating.

But, for now I have to get out my kayak, and hit the waters of my beloved Murray Lake.

We’re getting a one day break from the rain and cold, according to forecasts. But, who knows?

What would you do with that one awesome daybreak from the cold, wind and the dark in your life?

I am looking forward to new horizons.

http://roughfish.com/content/easter-and-cure-mental-distress

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

Earth Day 2017

Celebrate Earth Day

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – As the nature awakens, we celebrate Earth Day today. The first widely recognized Earth Day was held in 1970 when an environmental Teach-In group planned an event for April 22.

But every day is an Earth Day celebration to recognize the greatest resource of all, and that is our planet Earth.

To celebrate the Earth Week, I started my annual walk to the Franciscan Life Process Center (FLPC) on Monday. The 1.8 mile hike on a gravel road has been a staple of my mental and physical sanity since 1995 when we moved out into this northeast corner of Kent County in West Michigan.

I marveled at the untouched nature coming to life; plants vigorously emerging from the wet dirt from yesterday’s rains, robins hopping under the pine trees among the new ground cover.

Crisp morning air and dew covered the new grass and stems.

The area consists of preserved farmland thanks to late philanthropist Peter Wege, apple orchards, woods and streams. Wild flowers are now popping out in the woods, and morel mushrooms are around the corner, or should I say around the stumps.

I love the farm markets with the local produce starting soon with local asparagus.

Different trail systems like the Fred Meijer River Valley trails and Lowell Area trials meet here at the confluence of Grand River and Flat River. We’ve been blessed with an abundance of natural resources from the Bradford Dickinson White Nature Preserve in Lowell Township, Wege Wittenbach AgriScience center, Sessions Lake and Fallasburg Park. Hundreds of inland lakes dot the picturesque region.

The Midwest entices with its variety of seasons, landscapes, Great Lakes and diverse communities.

For more info on the trails go to:

www.traillink.com

Land Conservancy of West Michigan

www.naturenearby.org

Wittenbach/Wege Center

http://www.lowellschools.com

Franciscan Life Process Center

http://www.lifeprocesscenter.org

 

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Thoughts on big & brave

The strength to face another day

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I had to take a break from writing my own EW Emma’s Writings blog because I was working on a client brand new podcast website Americas Community Voices Network from Tampa, Florida.

The ambitious project was plagued by everything possible you could think of: from novelty of the British Podcast Websites, still under development and changing, to Hurricane Matthew and sicknesses on both sides, the clients’ and my own.

When I finished the podcast website last Friday around 2 p.m., I was totally drained, exhausted and dehydrated. My energy level was zero. I could hardly stand up from the computer. I was shaking with cold and my hands were sweating.

When my husband Ludek came home from work, my head started to spin. He started disappearing in front of me and instead I saw a dark tunnel encircled by a wreath of stars, kind of like the European Union logo. Then I passed out with my body shaking. My husband thought I was having a stroke.

I woke up in the ambulance close to the Metro Health Emergency Center in Grand Rapids on a Friday evening. All the emergency personnel kept asking me for my name. I knew who I was. But, I didn’t understand what was going on.

“Emma Palova,” I responded.

The emergency staff put at least 50 MediTrace electrodes on me and connected me to the EKG equipment. I was still finding electrodes on me three days later.

“We’re going to pump some liquids into you,” said the technician. “What are you in for?”

And they got the bag of IV going into my veins.

After a C-scan of the brain, x-rays and blood work, they rendered different diagnosis such as vasovagal syncope or neurocardiogenic syncope, fainting due to extreme emotional distress. That is a definition according to Mayo Clinic. And other stuff, that I may or may not write about later.

The emergency doctor prescribed me Oxazepam to get me rid of anxiety and for sleep, so I could finally sleep after weeks of sleepless nights.

Insomnia has been troubling me ever since I can remember.

Five hours later, I got home scared, still exhausted, but relatively alright. I dropped into the bed thankful to my husband Ludek for his fast reaction.

Now, I am recovering from the shock of what had happened. There is a long road ahead of me, but I will not be walking it alone.

Big and brave, Ludek has always been by my side. He never wavered, he never flinched. Just like God.

Thank you for saving me.

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer with Ella in America

Goodbye Ella

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- As our time together with Ella winds down, I write this with deep sadness in my heart.

Today is Ella’s last day at the Early Fives summer program at St. Patrick’s School in Parnell. I went into my husband Ludek’s experiment with butterflies in my stomach.

“Ella will stay with us this summer and you will fly back with her to France,” Ludek said back in May.

“Wow, slow down I got to work,” I said surprised.

Ella will be going to the first grade in the wine village of Fixin in Burgundy, France after the summer break in the USA. In six years, we’ve seen her six times, when she came for brief visits with her mother Emma.

“That’s the price you pay for immigration,” I said to Ludek and my friends.

And that’s when Ludek came up with the idea of having Ella here to capture the time gone by over the years, as she was growing up.

It wasn’t just the ocean of time that separated us. It was all the little things that we missed. All the firsts that had gone by: the first steps, first words, first hugs, first laughs and first tears.

I’ve never imagined that I could miss someone else’s tears or laughs.

But, the reality is different.

“I will miss your laugh,” said former publisher Val at the Ionia Sentinel-Standard when I left the paper for good in 1993.

“How about her work,” snapped the editor also Val.

Ella has grown from the toddler that we took with us to the beach in South Haven back in 2011 to a smart and sassy girl with an artsy flair.

“Why do you get angry,” I asked her the other day in the car on the way back from school as the Queen rocked & rolled to full blast.

“Because sometimes you annoy me,” Ella said pouting.

“Really, so no more crepes or ice cream for you,” I said.

“No, sorry.”

We missed all the sorries, too.

“Sorry, grandpa,” Ella apologized after refusing to follow another one of Ludek’s orders.

However, time apart brings along appreciation, deeper love and understanding.

“I miss my mommy,” Ella cried one afternoon after school as she hugged Emma’s graduation picture hanging in the living room next to Mona Lisa.

“I am sure she misses you too,” I said.

“I want to be with her,” Ella continued.

“You will eventually,” I said trying to comfort her.

But, Ella was inconsolable. The persistent little girls cried hours into the night.

“Alright, you’re flying back with her to France tomorrow,” I said to Ludek.

 

The next day was a brand new day.

“Will I see my friends today?” Ella asked on our way to school with Queen blasting in the background. “Tell me one of your stories.”

And I started telling her the story of Scheherazade and the mean king, and the story of the guy with the expensive McLaren automobile who ran a red stop sign.

“Tell me the story about the bracelet and Jake’s wedding ring,” Ella demanded more storytelling.

Ella loves the music of Queen after a Picnic Pops concert at Cannonsburg in July.

“I am like Freddie Mercury, I want it all,” she laughs as we go back home.

Throughout these six weeks, I’ve learned several big lessons. I learned that stories are soothing and healing. I learned that food which reminds you of home is comforting. I learned that the jittery music of Queen can bring on the atmosphere of home. And that the school environment is good for kids.

So, whenever Ella got homesick, I made French crepes and opened a jar of “cornichons.” We call them dills, here in America.

And I spent a perfect day with Ella doing the “Back to School Shopping” rut that was so new to me. Finally, Ella got her ears pierced at the Piercing Pagoda at the mall.

And I told her my endless stories on demand.

I will keep telling them, until I can’t speak or write anymore.

Goodbye, my friend. It was brief, but it was. It really did happen that you were here in America.

I need to assure myself.

Note: Most of my relationship stories appear in the “Greenwich Meridian” (c) memoir, as well as ethnic and travel stories. I hope to finish the memoir for publication my Mother’s Day 2017.

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Frail times

Small frail things matter

“Do small things with great love.”

Mother Teresa

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I have just found out that small things matter, that destiny  exists and that life is frail.

Three times in life I had close calls when death was reaching for me with her long arms.

Once, I almost drowned even though I am an apt swimmer, not like Michael Phelps but close. Just joking. I feel lucky when I can swim  a 50-meter pool once and not the butterfly style.

The second time I almost got killed in a car driving on a rural route from one small town to another small town in northern Michigan.

Ella by her computer station in her girl's room.
Ella’s time in America.

The third time I fell down straight on my face due to low blood pressure, heat and dizziness from medication at the height of summer on July 14th.

A one-night stay at the Metro Hospital on M-6 cost us $10,000. My husband Ludek also spent one night at what we call “Hotel 6” with heart problems. That also cost us $10,000.

We came out of there alive unlike our neighbor Ted aka “Teddy Bear” who never made it out of “Hotel 6” after a 2-year struggle with leukemia.

“At least he lived it up,” said my daughter-in-law Maranda Palova.

No matter what you call it whether living it up, bucket list or living your way because you think you’re going to die soon, you can’t escape destiny.

Ella Chavent with one of the teachers at St. Pat's.
Ella Chavent with one of the volunteers at St. Pat’s.

And yes life is frail at all its stages.

I am breathing again freely with new wisdom. I found out why I didn’t die in any of those close calls.

It’s my French granddaughter Ella Chavent, 5. She will turn six in September. Ella is staying with us for the summer. At first I had butterflies in my stomach. I worried about this international experiment not knowing where it will take us. We didn’t know Ella that well because we’ve seen her in six years only six times.

Ella’s parents left for France last Friday taking along her two-year old brother Sam.

“Did Sam leave?” she asked me.

“No, he’s living under the roof in the attic,” I said seriously but laughing out loud afterwards.

And we’ve played that joke ever since. Ella keeps telling everyone that her brother lives in the attic. That simple joke broke the ice when Ella started crying for her mami  after coming home from St. Pat’s summer school.

Our international family clan on July 4th under the pergola.
Our international family clan on July 4th under the pergola.

Normally, I hate Mondays but this time I didn’t. I took Ella to school in the morning. She carried her tart cherry pie for her friends. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have made that cherry pie. I would normally not go to St. Pat’s Church.  I would just lounge around all Sunday morning.

But, with Ella going to a catholic school, I felt compelled to go to church. Ella wouldn’t go either, but she wanted to see her friends from school.

After dropping her off this morning, I felt an urge to drive to Smyrna to see if  the work on Whites Bridge replica has started.

Instead, there was a stronger pull to go home. I kept looking around over all my stuff; things that I used to think mattered so much.

At first I wanted to do the laundry, so I went upstairs to pick up Ella’s clothes. Picking up stuff off the floor in what was my daughter’s room in the nineties, I realized there’s a greater cause than just dirty laundry.

Without taking down Emma’s posters from the white walls, I started re-doing the room Ella style. I cleared the shelves for her souvenirs from the Ionia Free Fair and from Picnic Pops fireworks and concert, that she enjoyed so much over the weekend.

In the corner of the room, I created a work station for her. Our neighbor Catherine Haefner gave Ella a “computer” with books and a tape. Ella tested it out at the open house for Katie Haefner.

Then I went to the balcony to water the flower boxes. I looked at Ella’s little garden made inside a cut off milk jar. Her chicks and hens started already growing.

Next to Ella’s miniature garden is a bigger black square pot with mums. I forgot to water them during the June heat. So, the flowers died. I wanted to pull out the plant and throw it out. Something wouldn’t let me.

I looked closer at the plant after watering it thoroughly for the last three weeks. With all the rain we had, I found new buds coming out on the leafy stems.

To me, the new buds symbolize new blood and a fresh new outlook on life.

There was a reason why I didn’t die in one of those close calls.

Thank you universe.

Note: This story ties into the earlier post “Immersion English” or “International Experiment” found at https://emmapalova.com/2016/07/14/international-experiment/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/frail

#dailypost #frail

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Into May

May events feature crowds & peaceful manifestations of passion

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- In the quiet of an early hour, between night and day, when two energies meet, I am waiting for the daylight to break in.

I cannot see the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the Earth, because of the clouds. The ISS usually moves over my garden heading south around 4 a.m.

I cannot hear the first bird yet, because it’s not his time. The first song comes around 5:30 right at daybreak.

Time to contemplate events,
Time to contemplate events,

I should be meditating, but I am not. Writing is the best meditation. I should be doing yoga, but I am not. Instead, I am exercising my brain.

I should be checking my e-mail, but I am not. Writing this today is more important.

I am thinking about the relativity of events and happenings that are all going on in May. May is the month of love, according to Czech poets and writers. I too celebrate the month of May for its freshness, rebirth and beauty. According to chefs, May is the month of Mediterranean cuisine, and according to the government, May is the Military Appreciation month. It also used to be the Mental Health month, according to mental health institutions.

Most events happening in May are by huge crowd gatherings in pursuit of something. A few of them are peaceful manifestations of passion for something.

The vicious circle of Roundup by Monsanto.
The vicious circle of Roundup by Monsanto.

In two hours I will be going to the annual customer appreciation day at Jones Farm Market. My aging parents Ella & Vaclav are coming to join us for a day camaraderie.

But, thinking globally, today are demonstrations around the world against the seed giant Monsanto, the creator of Round-up and GMOs. Both have crippled the environment, humanity, farmers and agriculture.

To stand and watch what’s happening is being a part of the problem. Yet, I have chosen to go to the peaceful farm market in the country. It’s not because I am afraid, it’s because I value bonding with the family more.

Am I feeling guilty? Yes.

I will make up for it by using the power of the word. That is by writing about how Monsanto is hurting us in a very complex and sophisticated way on everyday basis.

Okay I have to stop now to get ready to go to the farm market.

If you still have time, you can get on the Internet and find out about March against Monsanto in your community at

http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/may21/

#marchMay21

To be continued………………………..

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

30 Day Blogging Challenge #16

When the inner fire goes out

By Emma Palova

I am meditating on today’s theme “When the inner fire goes out and meeting another human being rekindles it.”

This is a big one because it has happened to all of us. We are sharing a common human experience.

It has happened to me many times in life and then I suddenly met a person who sparked the fire in me again. I recall them all. They were editors, fellow writers, business owners, store managers and directors.

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

Most recently it has happened to me on the Internet with the 30 Day Content Challenge. I went into the challenge on Nov. 17 after finding out about it only on the previous day totally burnt out from years of writing.

I could have plain ignored it like I have other challenges. But, this seemed important.

Why was it important to me? It wasn’t to showcase anything or to prove to myself that I can do it. It wasn’t for the exposure either. It was because of the special bond these challenges create, they teach you discipline and you are helping others move forward. By helping others you are also helping yourself.

My weakness is the lack of discipline in everything. I like freedom without boundaries. But, that creates also problems. I can overeat, overwork and overdo. And after that I need rest to recharge my batteries. It’s like a vicious roller coaster.

Yes, the 30 Day Content Challenge rekindled my inner spirit. I found new passion for writing, met new people, made new friends on Facebook and twitter and I got new followers on EW Emma’s Writings.

So, in the end even though I wasn’t seeking exposure, I got it.

I found gratitude to those who led the challenge and helped out.

I found the writer in me who will never go away even when I try to throw that character out.

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

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day 2 Nov. 18, Wednesday

Progress requires peace and life without fear

Lowell, MI-It is a nasty dark November day out there and I am facing a full day of writing without knowing what I am going to write about. I usually drive to Murray Lake to regroup my thoughts.

But, today it is just not working. I am supposed to write a column for the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, and I just finished it. It’s about tweeting.

Maybe I should write about the chaos that’s happening in the world. My daughter Emma Palova-Chavent lives in a wine village in Fixin, France. They just moved from Dijon.

A tear for France.
A tear for France.

She often visits Paris to shop. I visited with her in 2013. It will never be the same city since the terrorist attacks.

I fear for all the European countries and the USA. We live in a world where no one can feel safe anymore; not in a theater, on a plane, at a school or at a football stadium.

Violence and evil are unacceptable in any society. Humanity and kindness must prevail along with peace.

We cannot move forward in violent times. I consider myself to be a creative person. I cannot watch all this destruction or talk about retaliation. Violence bears only more violence.

I don’t know the solution to all this, but definitely not more violence. Progress requires peace and life without fear.

We should be working on fighting against hunger and illnesses, on education, arts and not war on terror.

We should be challenging ourselves like this content challenge by Learn to Blog.

Copyright (c) 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