Taurus Horoscope for January 15, 2018

Stay tuned for my 5th anniversary today on the WordPress platform post.

This is a critical day in the process of making your dreams come true. You have an opportunity to share your plans with others today, and what you say might have more influence on your success than you …

Source: Taurus Horoscope for January 15, 2018

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First book signing in 2018

Plotting writing projects this year

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – My first book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories in 2018 is today at @LowellArts from 1 to 4 pm in the beautiful new location of the gallery in downtown Lowell. Stop by to chat with local author Emma Palova.

“I love the opportunity to chat with my fans during the book signings made possible by local venues such as Lowell Arts,” Emma said. “I’ve always been their fan in everything they do to represent all arts.”

Check out the book trailer by Doc Emma of Fixin’, France. Doc is also in charge of the audio production of the book.

The video Evokes the mood of the book set in hometown America.

Link to trailer:

You can buy a copy of my new book locally at @SchulerBooks in GR, Lansing or on Amazon.
I will be offering writing tips for your projects in 2018.
I am currently working on Shifting Sands: Secrets, Book 2 (c) 2018 Emma Palova. I have also resumed work on Greenwich Meridian: East meets West. Follow me on my author’s journey for insights and adventure.

My next book signing will be on Feb. 3 at Lowell Arts from 1 to 4 p.m. Make plans to stop by for insights and adventure.

Currently, on display at the gallery are the Grand Valley Artists-In View.

For more info on LowellArts go to:

https://www.lowellartsmi.org

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

Baring It

Of building tolerance and grace.

A Hundred Falling Veils

Over time, the body,

when bitten enough,

can build up a tolerance

to mosquito bites

so that they no longer itch.

Then—though you might

be bitten a hundred times

on each arm

and again on each leg—

you won’t be bothered.

This comes to mind

when you walk in the store

and see by chance the person

whose words and glares have bitten you

ten thousand times before.

Shit. You forgot your long sleeves.

But this time, when you leave

the coffee aisle where you’ve both

been perusing the dark roast,

you notice nothing.

Nothing at all. No rise.

No ire. No welt. No itch.

No need to swat. No need to scratch.

Nothing at all. And you laugh

and wonder if the laugh is disguising

a pain response, but no,

you’re just laughing

because you’re proof that sometimes

after having been bitten enough

a tolerance comes—

and it doesn’t…

View original post 29 more words

One last look “Year in Review” III

Note: This is the third and final part of the mini-series “Year in Review” that looks back at 2017 with all its joys and tribulations. It was a year of big changes and adjustments both professional and personal. It rolled in like a monster truck and flew away like a balloon.

Lowell, MI – I physically bid farewell to 2017 on New Year’s Eve in Belding, and welcomed the new year looking out at the frozen Candlestone golf course with a pine forest in the background. I was trying to imagine why someone left their underwear in the woods, as the comedian Billy Ray Bauer cracked a joke before we toasted to the new year.

However, it is only today, that I can give a final closure to last year finishing the series, as I start the new year with hope, gratitude and love. I will highlight some of the biggest events in the second part of the year.

August

The Czech Heritage

On the first Sunday in August, we always attend the Czech Harvest Festival in Bannister with dances, songs and food. It has become a tradition that annually connects us with the old country, now Czech Republic. It is the only place that I know, that plays three anthems before the beginning of the festival: American, Czech and Slovak.

My mom Ella turned 80 on Aug. 23 and she had a great celebration at Naval’s Mediterranean Eatery in Big Rapids.

I had no idea my parents Ella & Vaclav had that many friends that could fill up the entire restaurant. I write often about them, since they are the major characters in the memoir “Greenwich Meridian, where East meets West” about our immigration saga. Owner Naval even made her a big wedding cake that could feed 80. I found out that you don’t lose friends as you get older, you make more.

September, October & November

Emma’s book signings & local scene

I continued my book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories into the fall tying them to many local events at different venues. This was very efficient. In September, the Fallasburg Historical Society held their third annual Fallasburg Village Bazaar. I had my second book signing at the one-room schoolhouse which was very well attended. I was at the Girls Night Out at the Sweet Seasons Bakery & Cafe, and then at the Lowell Arts Gallery in downtown Lowell. In November, I was at the Red Barn Market during Christmas through Lowell.

Pictured below are people from the local Lowell scene: former mayor Jim Hodges in the story series “Inspiring Communities, Loyal public servant. Fallasburg Historical Society vice-president Tina Siciliano Cadwallader with Tracy Worthington, Patricia and Annelyse Dlouhy from Sweet Seasons Bakery & Cafe and book signing at the one-room schoolhouse.

The disaster months

Unfortunately, this was also the time for most disasters both in nature and in the society.

Over the years, I have been able to track many catastrophes, natural and man-made, to the last months in the year. The end of August started the stretch of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria bringing devastation to millions.

I was impressed how fast the famous on the US entertainment scene came together to raise $44 million in a telethon for the victims of the catastrophes.

Sadly enough proliferating nature’s anger was also men’s anger.

That was the Las Vegas shooting on Oct.1, followed by 8 killed in terror violence by a man in a pickup truck who plowed into people on a bike path in New York City and a man detonating a pipe bomb in the New York City subway.

The famous who left us in 2017

As the year rocked to its final days, we accounted for all who have impacted our lives.

I was deeply touched by the death of teenage idol David Cassidy, rock superstar Tom Petty, Mary Tyler Moore, Jerry Lewis and countless others.

On the Czech scene, it was mainly late actor Jan Triska who emigrated to the US during Czechoslovakia’s communist era. He died after falling from the Charles Bridge in Prague. He was best known for his appearances in The Karate Kid Part III, Quantum Leap and The People vs Larry Flynt directed by fellow countryman Czech American director Milos Forman.

I am pretty sure most of us can Relate to these losses and events.

I would like to thank the many followers, fans, and the hosts of my book signings and wish everyone a great 2018.

With love,

Emma

The links to the first two parts of the series “Year in Review” are:

Year in Review part 1….. https://wp.me/p34jQ1-UhW

Year 2017 in review II…….. https://wp.me/p34jQ1-V4G

Link to Bannister Harvest Festival and ZCBJ/WFLA Lodge:

http://www.zcbjbannister.org

Shortlink to Inspiring Communities “Loyal public servant” is:

https://wp.me/p34jQ1-SzS

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

Year 2017 in review II

Note: This is the second part of a mini-series of posts that look back at 2017 with all its joys and tribulations. It was a year of big changes and adjustments both professional and personal. It rolled in like a monster a truck and flew away like a balloon.

April

Living in the Midwest, April  means spring and gardening. We enjoyed a late Easter after a mild winter. All along I was plugging away at my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories” that I had hoped to finish on my birthday.  Since I wrote the majority of the stories so long ago, I had to rewrite some of them, based on my new experience as a journalist. It was a true labor of love.

Writing got harder once it got nice outside. Like any writer, I would procrastinate finding every excuse not to write. There were days when I’d rather do dishes than write. But as May approached I intensified my writing.

I also started walking right after Easter. I walked 1.8 miles to the Franciscan Life Process Center every day. The walk was a source of inspiration also for my therapy app.

May

I love May when everything blossoms. I am talking mainly about lilacs and cherries in  the Lower Peninsula. I’ve only been once to the Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island in June, and once to the Traverse City Cherry Festival.

I didn’t finish my book by my self-imposed deadline. The formatting was a lot more difficult than I expected. I pushed the deadline back.

June

However, I knew I would have to finish the book in June because our French granddaughter Ella spends summers with us. I had to add a brand new story into the book “Orange Nights.” So, I wrote the oldest story “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” in 1990, and the newest one in 2017 for length so the name could go on the spine of the book. You have to have more than 100 pages for the book’s name to go on the spine.

 

I uploaded the final version on June 27 to  Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon. The print version was more complex than the kindle e-book format.

 

July

In July we took the Badger ship across Lake Michigan and did a circle tour around the lake plus visited Munising on Lake Superior. I never wrote about this because of all the social events. Mom Ella turned 80 on Aug. 23. We returned from the mini-vacation on Aug. 22.

That’s one the many advantages of writing your “Year in Review” because you get to write about something you wouldn’t otherwise get to.

 

In spite of the fact that we’ve been many times to the Upper Peninsula aka UP we’ve never done the glass bottom shipwreck tours to Bermuda and Hettler aboard the Fireball. It was an amazing voyage by the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

About the featured photo

It is an old map of the Great Lakes placed in the Belrockton historical museum in Belding.

The  shortlink to the first post of “Year in Review 2017” is:

https://wp.me/p34jQ1-UhW

Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tour in Munising. Reservations are recommended.

https://shipwrecktours.com

Kindle Direct Publishing

kdp.amazon.com

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

The scents of Czech Christmas

A Czech Christmas in America

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – I landed at JFK on this day 28 years ago to live permanently in the USA with my family. We had two days to get from NYC to Big Rapids to be home for Christmas. My dad Vaclav Konecny, former math professor at Ferris State University, did all the driving through New York City and on the treacherous turnpike to Michigan.

I will never forget this road trip in mom’s station wagon with frozen formations on the windows across five states.

My mom Ella in anticipation of our arrival from former Czechoslovakia did all the prep work in the kitchen. This included the traditional Christmas Eve dinner that consists of a mushroom soup,  fried fish with potato salad and traditional Czech pastries.

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Czech mountains Radhost.

I knew immediately what I missed. Since everything was ready,  there were no smells in the suburban house, no scents of Christmas. I associate Czech Christmas with the aroma of vanilla crescents, hot chocolate that tops all filled pastries and browned mushrooms from the soup.

Since the Czechs put up their Christmas trees on Christmas Eve, you also get the smell of a fresh-cut pine tree.

After 28 years, I try to keep up with all the traditions of a true Czech Christmas. The only one that I had permanently dropped is putting up the tree on Christmas Eve. Other than that we adhere to the ritual of fasting on Dec. 24th  in order to see the golden pig on the wall according to an old legend. Mom bakes kolache for the Christmas Day breakfast, daughter-in-law Maranda and “recreate” traditional Czech pastries like chocolate covered “baskets” and Linzer cookies. We open up  gifts on Christmas Eve and we go to the midnight mass with carols.

Our son Jake plays Christmas songs on the saxophone, I accompany him on the piano. On Christmas Day, we mostly eat and drink, just like everyone else. around the world. We do the visiting on Dec. 26th which is the official second holiday of Christmas known as St. Stephan Day in the old country.

With this rather brief account of a traditional Czech Christmas, I would like to wish everyone a truly peaceful holiday season.

I have to run to bake some vanilla crescents, so I have the scent of a Czech Christmas in the house. Plus Jake called that they ate all the Christmas cookies Maranda had made.

Hohoho.

A sincere thank you to all my friends and fans.

Merry Christmas.

Emma Palova

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

Year in Review 2017

Note: This is a mini-series of posts that look back at 2017 with all its joys and tribulations. It was a year of big changes and adjustments both professional and personal. It feels like the year just flew away like a balloon. 

2017  A Year to Remember

By Emma Palova

January

Quick trip to Czech Republic

When January rolled in like a monster truck, we found out early on that we had to fly out of the country for Aunt Martha’s funeral in Stipa. My aunt was the only living sibling of my father Vaclav Konecny former  math professor at Ferris State University in Big Rapids.

The trip to Czech Republic in frigid temperatures on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean was an eye-opening experience. From today’s perspective, I consider it our last good-bye  to the homeland emotionally.

Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague
The airport of Vaclav Havel in Prague.

 

After the funeral, we met up with the cousins and our teachers from ZDS Stipa School at the local restaurant  “Stipsky Senk.” Deceased Aunt Martha was a math and an arts  teacher at ZDS. Those three hours of catching up were worth a million dollars. My husband Ludek and I met at the ZDS School in mid 1970s. We shared some of the teachers. They remembered us just like we were in school: young and beautiful. We remembered them just like they were back in school: semi-old, bossy and strict.

It’s amazing how 40 years changed exactly nothing about the perception you have established at the beginning. We saw each other through the same eyes.

“Do you write?” Mrs. Slaharova asked me.

“I do, how do you know?” I was surprised.

“Your aunt always said you take after grandma and she wrote poetry, right?” she said.

“Yes, she did.”

I thought to myself, “Yes, it’s true you cannot escape your destiny.”

Lowell Showboat

The Lowell Showboat closed as an entertainment venue on Jan. 4. Santa has no home, but he moves to the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.

February

A Valentine’s shock

February was a Valentine’s shock.  I got an invite to a Valentine’s party at the Flat River Gallery from the local iconic artist Jan Johnson. We interviewed prior to the party at Johnson’s house at the end of January. We enjoyed each other’s company and coffee. We talked about animation and Johnson’s love of painting circus animals. She was upset that the Ringling Brothers had to get rid of the elephants.

“What is a circus without elephants,” she said.

https://emmapalova.com/2017/02/03/lowell-artist-inspires-generations/

We were both at the fancy Valentine’s party “Champagne & Chocolates” at the  gallery. on Feb. 13. Eight days later, I found out from Facebook that Johnson passed away. We were more like friends. I’ve written more than a dozen stories about this prolific watercolor artist & illustrator.

NASA

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

Lady Gaga

300 Drones dance behind Lady Gaga during Superbowl half-time show.

Oscar’s Showdown 2017

And the real winner is the movie ‘ Moonlight’ not ‘La La Land.’

March

Spring madness

For me March signals spring, wherever I may live on this earth. I look forward to St. Pat’s Day with all the green traditions. But, the most significant event was the departure of our kids to Bali, Indonesia for our son Jake’s 30th birthday on March 1.

We in turn went to Hastings to watch the grand kids for the stormiest week in Michigan. I am grateful that I could work from the local libraries, both in Hastings and at the KDL Englehart Library due to power outages. I worked on the “Inspiring Women” series for the International Women’s Day on March 8.

 As I drove north to Lowell through the Barry County farmlands on Wednesday, 54-mile wind gusts were throwing the small orange Dart across the country road. Broken limbs and twigs were hitting the dancing car in the wind. 

To be continued………..

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

 

 

 

 

Inspired by philanthropy

Christmas gift of health inspires

Going to a hospital is never easy. We’ve all been there during our lifetime at least once when we were born. Last Friday, I accompanied my lifelong partner Ludek to Metro Health for left heart catheterization with possible intervention at the Metro Hospital in Wyoming.

I was actually the designated driver on this trip. We packed our bags, because we didn’t know if we were going to stay overnight depending on the outcome of the procedure. The sarcastic locals dub Metro as Hotel 6 since it sits directly on freeway M-6.

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions.  The doctor inserts  a long thin tube called a catheter in an artery or vein in the wrist, neck or groin and threads it through the bloods vessels to the heart.

It was a follow-up to the echo stress test that showed possible narrowing of the blood vessels, that in turn causes chest pains and difficulty breathing. Ludek had been complaining of breathing difficulties.

We got to the hospital at noon. We first went to the Metro Cafe because I was starving, but Ludek had to fast. The enormous cafeteria was full with staff and visitors. It boasted that everything was made from scratch. Actually the salad was delicious. They also had a Subway there.

Walking side by side with nurse Leann we passed the Coffee Bar and the hospital boutique  on our way to Cath Lab. The staff hooked up Ludek to all the necessary equipment showing vitals in Bay 9.

20171215_12580277548443.jpg

After that it was mostly waiting. The procedure was delayed twice due to previous complications with other patients.  While Ludek got some sleep, it was introspective time for me. Then finally Dr. Larry Diaz, cardiologist, entered to inform us what’s going to happen. Dr. Diaz was wearing a  biker’s cap with word Venezuela on it, a shielded floral apron and he had a slight accent.

We introduced ourselves.

“I am Dr. Diaz and you?” he asked.

“I am Emma,” I said.

“My daughter’s name is Emma,” he said.

“Are you from Venezuela?” I asked boldly.

“Yes, born and raised there until 24,” he said. “A long time ago.”

We discussed the procedure with all the possible outcomes including bleeding and death.

“The positives outweigh the negatives,” he said.

I was far from being calm, but once you’re this far into it, you have no other choice then to stay. I wanted to run so bad. Once they hauled Ludek into the surgery room at 3:21 p.m., I left Bay 9 quickly.

I walked through the hallways around the Healing Garden atrium to the Metro Cafe to replenish fluids. It was really cold and dry in the entire building. I got some Peace Tea with Georgia peach flavor and stared into the Healing Garden at the art on the wall, the bare trees, and at the chairs and tables that had snow for cushions.

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Luckily, I was there by myself  with only a student working on his computer. The lunch buzz was gone.  The bins designated for trash were marked “compost.” A chain link wall closed off the check-out registers from the other side of the Cafe.

I felt grateful to philanthropists Bill & Bea Idema who made the Healing Garden possible. The daylight was leaving us gradually under the dark clouds. I had pager #614 on me, so the cath lab staff could reach me anywhere in the building except for the Coffee Bar.

I passed a big waterfall sign with rolling water over the donor plaques with the inscription: Inspired by Philanthropy. The hospital was celebrating 25 years of philanthropy.

Restless, I changed location to the Reflection Seating area overlooking the atrium closer to the cath lab. I was exhausted over all the possibilities of what could happen. I didn’t want to stay there overnight.

“How could I ever consider being a doctor?” I asked myself. “I can’t even stand being here.”

Yes, at one point in my life, I actually wanted to be a doctor, specifically a cardiologist.

I got lost in my thoughts staring into the garden behind the glass wall. If it was summer, I would have been sitting there, but then I wouldn’t have been able to keep my lunch salad leftovers in the car.

I called our son Jake after seeing endless messages on the phone. It was comforting to speak to an outsider about something else than catheters and moderate sedation with  opioid  analgesic fentanyl.

20171215_1636092017577578.jpg

“How is dad?” he asked.

“I don’t know yet,” I said. “He just went in.”

Jake, a chronic complainer, talked about the rotten healthcare system.

“Well, at least, it’s available to us,” I said. “Can you imagine in the Third World countries, you would just die.”

We talked about Christmas with Jake stirring my focus away from the tension of the moment. It helped. After the phone call, I pulled out the classic “The Night before Christmas” by Clement Moore out of my computer bag, and read it. I bought it for our grandkids. I started translating it into Czech for our Christmas Eve bilingual performance at Jake’s house. It did wonders for me. I forgot I was in a hospital with the husband having a serious heart procedure done.

20171218_1335091159432468

A call from mom Ella in Florida put me back into the reality of the hospital on a Friday evening. The staff was rapidly deserting it. The labyrinth of hallways was growing  Silent.

“Can you get me my medication from Big Rapids?” she asked. “Next time, when I go to Florida, I’ll take a U-Haul.”

“I got to go,” I said as the pager started vibrating and blinking red like crazy.

It was 5:06, when I re-entered Bay 9. Just in time for Ludek being hauled back in from the surgery room. He had a bloody wrist and some contraption on it. He was smiling and so was the nurse.

“He’s good to go,” jumped in Diaz giving us two thumbs up. “He can shovel snow now. He had no blockages, there was nothing to fix.

“Merry Christmas.”

I gave him a big hug. The biggest hug that I could give.

“Thank you Dr. Diaz.”

Ludek had his arm all bandaged up, like it was broken.

We left the building around 7 p.m. Ludek said he saw stars from the sedation, but other than that he was feeling okay.

As I drove through the wintery night through the city with homes decorated for Christmas, I felt relieved with the outcome; no balloons, no stents to fix blockages in the arteries.

“The arteries feeding your heart are clear,” Dr. Diaz’s words resonated in my ears.

Ludek got the best Christmas gift. That is the gift of health.

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

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