Hunting season 2015 opens strong, artist inspired by hunting
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI- Today is the opening day of the firearm hunting season in the Midwest. It will last until the end of November.
It may or may not mean anything to big city folks, but out here in the country it is a big deal.
Some school districts like Portland schools in Ionia County close for the opening day, so kids can go out and hunt with their dads.
Although I am not a hunter, I have so many friends, both female and male, who are hunters that I had to post this to honor their passion.
The first who comes to my mind is my artist hunter friend Linda Kropf Phillips of Lowell. Inspired by nature and hunting, Phillips has created a line of slab wood paintings “Natures Serenity.”
The second hunter is a long-time friend from former Czechoslovakia, Miroslav Hlavenka. He now resides in Montreal, Canada. Hlavenka is an awesome chef a la naturelle.
Both are hunting now, as I write this post that could also be called “Living in harmony with nature.”
Annually, the sports hunting industry fuels the economy in many ways from direct hunting permits, & gear to indirect sports hunting tourism.
And the experts predict a good hunting season due to unseasonably mild weather.
“The deer had a lot to feed on,” said TV sports commentator.
This morning opened strong with clear skies and 50 degree temperatures. Hundreds of hunters in camouflage headed out into the woods.
As I drove to an appointment through the country, I could see cars parked by public hunting lands.
One opening day, I actually headed out into the Lowell State Game Area and joined a local hunter for a great experience, and a great story.
We always took photos of proud hunters who brought their deer in at the various newspapers that I have worked for.
Phillips of Lowell is already in Upper Peninsula with four guys determined to get their deer.
We postponed our interview for IW Inspiring Women series until Phillips returns in December.
Phillips fascinates me that she is both an avid hunter and a very apt nature artist and she shows that off in “Natures Serenity.”
She was one of the first artists at the Fallasburg Village Bazaar last year.
Hlavenka used to hunt already back in former Czechoslovakia. He picked back up his passion in Quebec, as he heads out into the woods.
Back in Czech Republic, hunters and public at large celebrated the hunting season with the annual Hunter’s Ball in the winter months.
The hunters wore their green uniforms and made hunter’s goulash for the occasion. It was either venison, boar and rabbit stew or steaks with potato dumplings and red cabbage.
There is something about hunting that’s inherent to human kind. That’s how we survived in the first place all the earth’s elements, agriculture came later.
Whenever I see deer in my garden feasting on apples or turkeys running in the cornfields, there’s joy in my heart, that peace will prevail.
With the upcoming Thanksgiving next week, there is a lot to be thankful for.
Driving through the woods and the fields on a beautiful sunny November morning, crossing the Thornapple, Grand and Flat rivers, I realized how grateful I am for the surrounding nature, for the harmony, for the fall abundance and the co-existence of it all.
Send me a picture of you and your deer and I will post it on my Emma Blogs, LLC portfolio of sites.
Watch for a recipe for Hunter’s Stew coming up.
Also in the works are stories in the IW Inspiring Women winter series. They have the logo of the orchids.
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.
Chaos in my mind
Ella Chavent with Ludek Pala on the Showboat during the Sizzlin’ Summer concert series in Lowell.
“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.
Ella Chavent in front of St. Pat’s school in Parnell.
“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.
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.
Ella’s time in America.
Ella Chavent with one of the teachers at St. Pat’s.
“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.
Note to my regular readers to avoid confusion. I am participating in a 30 Content Challenge by Learn to Blog. The posts show my views on this world including my own, as well as my varied experience, so they do dovetail well with the overall purpose of the blog EW Emma’s Writings.
I must say that I find the 30 Day Content event challenging to come up with a post a day. I draw inspiration from everything around me including events that are happening in the world.
Day #3 post titled “Thoughts on Fear in the Wake of Paris Attacks” is so far my favorite to answer Bradley Will’s question. I have yet to go through other people’s posts. It’s a lot of posts. The event has great participation. It trains regularity, consistency and the mind.
This morning I pondered the questions to ask of a prospective employer at an interview tomorrow, as well as my answers to their questions. I applied for a public relations/marketing position.
I did research on the company on Glassdoor reviews. I found the website very helpful. That’s why I am sharing this. The link to it is www.glassdoor.com/job/
Then go to reviews and interviews.
You will find out things that you would never find out from carefully written company websites. Once a candidate posts a review, the company cannot take it down. Both the reviews and the interviews were honest, written from the heart as the candidates meant it. And they came from all over the world.
They called the interviews easy and the team outgoing, more like friends than bosses. For now, I’ll bypass the reviews until I write my tomorrow Blogging Day #16. I have interviewed hundreds of people for stories from all walks of life, so I am comfortable asking strangers sometimes difficult questions.
I came up with the following questions to ask:
1-What is branding awareness through interactive marketing?
2- What kind of campaigns do you conduct?
3-How do you find clients?
4-What kind of experiential marketing techniques do you use?
5-Can you explain the collaboration technique?
6-Why do you have an orange logo? That question comes from the fact that I own an orange Dart.
Why an orange Dart? Because I like different things. Maybe they are the same way.
Now, my answers to their questions:
Which of the three do you have: work ethic, student attitude, positive attitude?
After reading the reviews it became clear to me that the correct answer is work ethic.
Why do I want to work for them, if they ask? I spent a lot time pondering this one. My son Jake suggested this question based on his own three-part interview experience.
Well, our goals match. What goals? To match the consumer to the brand and to use collaboration in marketing. I like that. I’ve always been for collaboration and innovation.
Why am I the best person for the job?
Because I am unique. We each are unique and have different skills and capabilities. I have experience and I always love what I choose to do from retail, writing to blogging.
Will I continue my blogging business Emma Blogs, LLC?
Of course I will. I love everything about it: creativity, design, writing, feedback, newsletter design, the challenges and helping others to learn to blog.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
With all the 4th of July holiday activities I fell a bit behind with the Emma Blogs monthly newsletter that I absolutely love to design on super easy MailChimp. I wish everything was that easy. The newsletter features correspondent Emma Palova-Chavent, MD and fellow word press blogger for the month of July Coach Leigh Ann Dickey. Palova-Chavent, MD resides permanently in France and works at the emergency center in Dijon.
Coach Leigh Ann started blogging on WordPress two years ago when she hit 40 and lost 35 pounds.
“i wanted to share my story,” she said.
However, after suffering a head injury on a bike,she wanted to figure out where she was going with her life. Coach Leigh Ann took the site down and went into design.
I have created a monthly newsletter so all can stay in the loop. It highlights news from my Emma Blogs including the flagship EW Emma’s Writings site on http://emmapalova.com
I will always feature in it: the current editorial calendar and excerpts from the editor’s picks for each month. The editor’s pick for the month of April is the story “IW Hiker babe walks 4,600 miles in memory of daughter.” I will also include valuable blogging tips both in content and in design. Eventually I will add marketing tips as well.
You can find the story on the company blog/website Emma Blogs on http;//emmablogsllc.wordpress.com
Blogging is a constantly evolving story. You can send your story with a link to your blog. Why did you start blogging?
Happy Easter and blogging to all from
Emma and the EW team
Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
The last event in March is the local Lowell Expo on March 28th at the Lowell High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The calendar gives you a preview of stories and themes coming from the end of March through June. It is not set in stone, I always make it as flexible and versatile as possible.
It also gives an idea for marketing around the themes relevant to each month. It doesn’t exclude anything.
That’s the beauty of the Internet compared to print media; the speed and the versatility, as well as the turnover of stories. You can make it weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually depending on your blog and business.
I prefer quarterly because it gives enough leeway yet it helps stay on track and up with tasks. The calendar also depends on the frequency of your postings and the format of them.
Overall, it is worth spending time working on it rather than haphazardly writing about anything at hand. The calendar also organizes your overall strategy and thoughts into more manageable segments.
Copyright (c) 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Check out the new editorial calendar for spring from the end of March through June on Emma Blogs, LLC. The calendar has listings of events and activities in the area from Expos to festivals, and customer appreciation days.
I will soon be opening a brand new virtual storefront on all Emma Blogs. I will feature Czech-inspired products such as the Palinka (r) line of canned products.
The products such as the sweet and sour dill pickles are all home-made from an old family pickling recipe. The secret recipe has been handed down from generation to generation.
My mother Ella Konecny pictured in the featured photo started canning in the USA during her second immigration in the late 1970s. She didn’t like the sour taste of American pickles or the color.
She would stand up and imitate our grandpa Joseph making a grimace from the sour taste.
“See they twist your mouth,” she said. “We have to start making our own.”
Ella most likely learned how to can from her own mother Anna.
Mom and dad still grow their own cucumbers for pickling. But the weather hasn’t been great for pickles. Ella is also the woman behind the brand name “Palinka.”
My husband Ludek and I are the third generation canning these goodies in our outdoors kitchen.designed for this purpose. Because as the Czech saying goes, “Be prepared to answer when winter asks you what you did in the summer.”
We use only fresh pickling cucumbers sorted by size and cut to the favorite spears, slices or whole. We can other vegetables like red beets and gardiniera mix.
We also make salsa and marinara sauces with either Merlot and basil or Cabernet-Sauvignon with garlic, as well as barrel-aged sauerkraut.
We plan to add more products in the future.
I will also present my blog design and writing services in an app Emma Blogs format coming soon.
Let me know what you would like to see in this big marketplace by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can comment on any of the sites of Emma Blogs. These are: