Tag Archives: Emma Palova blog on WordPress

Into Burgundy

“Climats” in Burgundy present a cultural landscape, a 2015 UNESCO world heritage site

Note: After my third visit to the wine region of Burgundy in France, I consider it to be my annual summer writer’s retreat amidst vineyards, exceptional gastronomy and the “Climats.”

By Emma Palova

Fixin, FR- On an early Sunday morning, I woke up to the ringing of the church bells and a local gentleman shouting at his dog, a lot louder than the dog’s barking.

From my studio, I heard the cars rolling down the narrow Rue Magnien that leads into the tiny wine village of Fixin. The walls around the estates magnify the sounds and funnel them into endless echoes.

Wine villages of Burgundy.
Major street through Fixin

But, just before the light broke, I could hear the chirping of the birds in the mulberry tree. The mulberry tree is the only tree that grows between the bricks in the small courtyard in front of the house.

The stone house rises three stories with “lucarnes” or windows in the roof. Sources tell me that the house was a brasserie, before getting divided. After the division, the house lost the right wing, but none of its Burgundian charm or massiveness.

Surprisingly, the house does not have an adjacent vineyard behind it. New or old vineyards in Burgundy are hard to come by, according to my daughter Dr. Emma Palova-Chavent. However, a dream to get a vineyard sometime in the future may become a reality, knowing my daughter.

The journey from the corn and soy bean fields of Michigan, USA to the vineyards of Burgundy is about 4,000 miles long across the Atlantic Ocean. After an endless flight to Paris, we took a reasonable Uber ride for 45 euros to the Gare Percy train station near the famous Lyon Station, one of seven train stations in Paris.

I have a great affinity to train travel that originates in my homeland in Czech Republic.

Typical Burgundy architecture.
Township hall “Marie” in Fixin with school.

The local train took us swiftly into Dijon, the capital city of Burgundy, a principal wine-producing area. Travelling by train in France is a great alternative to the automobile due to the efficiency of the entire transit network.

Fixin sits on the Grands Crus Route which winds from the northernmost Chenove to Remigny in the south for a total of 57.8 kilometers.

You can ride it, bike it or walk it for a unique experience of a lifetime. Whichever you choose to do, there are accommodating facilities along the way like Hotel les Grands Crus in Gevrey-Chambertin sitting directly on the wine trail.

The “Balades en Bourgogne” app offers e-guided tours highlighting off the trail locations with châteaux, churches and wineries.

I’ve experienced the magic of this wine route during my three distinct visits to Burgundy. In 2009 with a base in Nuits-Saint-Georges, then in 2013 in Dijon and now I stay in Fixin in the north part of the Grands Crus Route.

La Perriere XII century mansion
La Perriere mansion of the Dukes of Burgundy in Fixin.

The vineyards in the heat of the day are just as peaceful as they were a century ago when the monks established them. Perfect rows of wines in small plots that hug the slopes, are sometimes divided by stone walls, stone arches or by stone shelters known as “cabottes.” An occasional walnut tree oasis with a bench serves as an observation platform.

The UNESCO has recognized this complex magic in designating the vineyards of Burgundy as the “Climats,” a world heritage site in 2015 to be preserved for all mankind.

This small plot viticulture of vineyards that are terrain based create an impressive mosaic of more than 1,000 Climats lined up from Dijon to the Maranges.

Wine villages in Burgundy.
Hiking between the wine villages of Fixin and Couchey.

“In Burgundy, when we speak about a Climat, we don’t look to the sky, we keep our eyes to the ground,” said Bernard Pivot, writer and president of the support committee for the Climats.

As I walk the winding path through the Climats, in the distance a church steeple in Couchey shimmers with yellow and blue tiles. Only the bell tolls the time. The time has stopped here in the vineyards and the watch seems unnecessary.

I bend down to pick a bluish purple small grape, the Pinot noir grape variety of the region of Burgundy deeply embedded in the red soil. As the sweet juices touch the palate, I realize that thousands of years of hard work have gone into this one grape to bring it to perfection.

And that this second is the same as it was one thousand years ago when the monks established the vineyards.

Church of St. Martin, Fixin
Church of St. Martin, 1172 in Fixin .

The monks, the Valois Dukes of Burgundy, the wine merchants and wine growers, have all carried the wine tradition over the centuries.

On the horizon to the left, I see the magnificent seat of Dijon nestling in a valley with all its museums, archaeological abbey, the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy and the gourmet restaurants.

Walking from one wine village to the next, is like being born again with a new view on the world.

During my different stays in Burgundy, I noticed that some little things have changed, while the most remain the same. It’s that same stability that we constantly seek around us, no matter where we are.

Burgundy wine caves in Fixin
Burgundy wine caves

Among the changes are: more bilingual tourist stations and chambers in the villages, greater use of the wine trails via bike tours, walking and hiking.

However, the steady constant vibrates in the romantic wine villages with stone architecture, in the gastronomy and in the exceptional Crus wines.

The Climats have given us the high quality wines sought after around the world. These include: Montrachet, Romanee-Conti, Clos de Vougeout, Corton, Musigny, Chevalier-Montrachet, Chambertin and more.

Unique and fragile, the Climats, vineyards of Burgundy, are our heritage, one that must be protected and passed on. Their inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a “cultural landscape” is part of this objective. This is a commitment that has been undertaken, and witnessed by the community of nations, to respect and to preserve the “Outstanding Universal Value” of the Climats, as “combined works of nature and man.”

[Article 1, paragraph 3 of the Convention of World Heritage]

 For more information on the Climats go to www.climats-bourgogne.com

For more information on Burgundy go to http://www.burgundy-tourism.com

For “Balades en Bourgogne”: a collection of trails app go to Google Play or Appstore.

To be continued

 

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

Czech Harvest Festival “Dozinky”

Czech Harvest Festival “Dozinky” in Bannister celebrates ethnicity

By Emma Palova

Bannister, Michigan- For years I’ve been going to the Czech Harvest Festival to honor my Czech heritage. I consider it a miracle that I even found out about it through a press release to the Ionia Sentinel-Standard from an insurance agent.

Considering that it takes place in the middle of nowhere in Central Michigan in the August heat, I think about what made me go that first time.

First of all, it must have been curiosity if anyone will speak Czech there at all. I am by nature a lover of new things, whatever they may be.

Czech dances in Bannister, MI in traditional costumes custom made in Czech and Slovak republics.
Czech dances in Bannister, MI in traditional costumes custom-made in Czech and Slovak republics.

I was in for a surprise. A gentleman sang folk songs in Czech even though he didn’t speak a word of Czech to the lonely tunes of an accordion. A Czech polka band accompanied the hymns at the Czech Heritage Mass at the Saint Cyril Catholic Church. The hymns were in Czech. The gifts included bread and plum brandy.

The harvest festival opens with a parade of dancers and singers carrying decorated rakes and sickles. Then follow the three national anthems, American, Czech and Slovak.

And the absolute highlight were the dances in folk costumes starting with two-year-olds all the way up to 70.

Coming from a region in Moravia in Czech Republic which is big on folk costumes and traditions, I felt a sincere appreciation for dance masters Tom & Diane Bradley. The Bradleys completely recreated the Czech tradition of celebrating the wheat harvest based on research only.

The tradition in Bannister will live on despite the aging population of the organizers. The hall published a cookbook dedicated to future generations during the 100th anniversary celebration in 2011, so they will not forget the recipes of their ancestors.

We always eat the main meal at the ZCBJ fraternity hall either inside or on the large porch. That brings me to the staple of the festival which is Czech food. The women of the hall prepare traditional Czech fare that is dumplings, sauerkraut, fresh cucumber salad, ham and chicken. The dessert is either apple strudel or rolls filled with nuts.

Of course no Czech festival would be complete without beer.

Most of the participants have never been to Czech or Slovak republics. I admire the zeal that has lasted, thanks to the ZCBJ lodge, for more than 100 years.

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

May Day in Czech Republic

May Day brings romance & opens beer gardens

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

May Day is not only known for the International Worker’s Day to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in Chicago, but it is also a Northern Hemisphere spring festival.

It was an official holiday in former Czechoslovakia, complete with parades. But, most importantly, it was and it is a celebration of spring called Majales accompanied by the opening of the beer gardens. Majales are dances around May poles decorated with ribbons.

May Day pole tied with ribbons signifies love and spring.
May Day pole tied with ribbons signifies love and spring.

The first day of May is known as the day of love immortalized by many artists, poets and writers. It was mainly the work of Czech poet Karel Hynek Macha who attached love to this day and the entire month with his poem May.

Karel Hynek Macha, Czech poet
Karel Hynek Macha, Czech poet

Here are the first few verses from the poem translated by Edith Pargeter:

Late evening, on the first of May—
The twilit May—the time of love.
Meltingly called the turtle-dove,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.
Whispered of love the mosses frail,
The flowering tree as sweetly lied,
The rose’s fragrant sigh replied
To love-songs of the nightingale.
In shadowy woods the burnished lake
Darkly complained a secret pain,
By circling shores embraced again;
And heaven’s clear sun leaned down to take
A road astray in azure deeps,
Like burning tears the lover weeps.

A haze of stars in heaven hovers—
That church of endless love’s communion—
Each jewel blanches and recovers
As blanch and burn long-parted lovers
In the high rapture of reunion.
How clear, to her full beauty grown,
How pale, how clear, the moon above,
Like maiden seeking for her love,
A rosy halo round her thrown!
Her mirrored image she espied,
And of self-love, beholding, died.
Forth from the farms pale shadows strayed,
Lengthening longing to their kind,
Till they embraced, and close entwined,
Coiled low into the lap of shade,
Grown all one twilight unity.
Tree in the shadows writhes to tree.
In the far mountains’ dark confine
Pine leans to birch and birch to pine.
Wave baunting wave the streamlets move.
For love’s sake—in the time of love—
Anguished goes every living thing.

The poem takes place  by Doksy and the castles of Bezdez, Pernstejn, Holska and Ralsko point toward east and west, noon and midnight.

Castle Pernstejn the setting for the poem May.
Castle Pernstejn the setting for the poem May.

Czech parks and castles invite to romance many designed in classical English style with strict hedges and groves.

 

A castle park in Vizovice where a big part of my book takes place.
A castle park in Vizovice where a big part of my book takes place.

 

 

 

 

Typical flowers for May are lilacs. Some have grown into trees and have been cross-bred into different colors. Some Czech customs have carried over to the USA. In the photo below, Americans of Czech heritage are dancing around a May pole easily recognized by the ribbons.

May Day pole with ribbons in Bannister, Michigan
May Day pole with ribbons in Bannister, Michigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Top view

Google trekker captures fascinating vistas of the Mighty Mac in Michigan

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

I crossed the Mackinac Bridge many times over the last two decades. I never walked it during the annual Labor Day walk, and I haven’t been to the top of the masts or below the bridge. I am afraid of open heights, and I don’t know if the Mackinac Bridge Authority would let me climb up there.

But, other than  the top or below the bridge, I’ve taken photos of it from just about any angle including from a ferry to Mackinac Island, from both shores of Upper and Lower peninsulas. The bridge is so magnificent that you get a clear view of it from the island.

And here is what Google did.

Google trekker provides fascinating vistas on the featured photo above from one of the Mackinac Bridge’s masts. Volunteers climbed through the trunk in the mast much like in a submarine to the top with the 40-pound Google trekker device. They walked around with the device on their backs, while 15 lenses in the globe of the device took fascinating shots of the Mackinac Bridge and the area, as presented in a video “Pure Michigan.”

Below are traditional photos of the five-mile long Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan by Emma Palova.

Mackinac Bridge
Driving on the Mighty Mac in Michigan.
Pure Michigan
Mackinaw Bridge from the Lower Peninsula view.

 

Mackinaw Bridge
View of the Mackinaw Bridge from the Upper Peninsula.

The last time I crossed the bridge was in November of 2014 as the first snow fell on the bridge deck. The ride across the five-mile long bridge is creepy, and many drivers take the service offered by the bridge authority, even truck drivers. Bridge drivers will take you across.

If there are high winds, the bridge gets closed.

Here are some bridge facts from mackinac.com

Mackinac Bridge

The bridge was designed by the great engineer David B. Steinman and opened on November 1, 1957. The structure took 48 months to complete with over 3, 500 workers and $99,800,000 dollars. Also know as the “Big Mac” or the “Mighty Mac”, the bridge stretches 8,614 feet making it the fourth longest suspension bridge in the world. With a total span of about 5 miles, the Mackinac Bridge connects the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan uniting the communities of Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, Michigan. The main bridge cables are made from 42,000 miles of wire and the towers stand 554 feet above the water and 210 feet below to the bedrock. The engineering of the Mackinac Bridge was designed to accommodate the high winds, temperature changes and constant changes of weight. In severe conditions the deck at center span could move up to 35 feet. Under more subtle conditions, the deck could move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the winds.

Fun bridge construction facts

* 89,000 blueprints and structural drawings were made
* 71,300 tons of structural steel
* 931,000 tons of concrete
* 42,000 miles of cable wire
* 4,851,700 steel rivets
* 1,016,600 steel bolts
* 350 engineers
* 522 feet tall
* 1,024,500 tons in total weight
* 7,500 men and women that worked in quarries, shops, mills
* 1951 Chevrolet Styleine Deluxe owned by Albert Carter was the first car to cross the Mackinac Bridge

The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk is held every year on Labor Day. Two lanes of traffic are closed and 50-80,000 people, all led by the Governor of Michigan walk together over the bridge. Bicycles are prohibited on the Mackinac Bridge, however the Big Mac Shoreline tour is held in June and September, which takes its participants for a trip over the bridge. During the summer months, the Mackinac Bridge has become a major diverse tourist destination for bridge enthusiasts, bird-watchers and photographers.

Bridge fares begin at $2 per axle and increase from there. Fares are subject to change without notice.

V isit Mackinac Bridge Walk and Big Mac Shoreline Tour for more information.

 

 

Editorial calendar spring

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.

Czech Easter traditions
Czech Easter traditions

Earth Day on April 22

Hiking trails on Earth Day.
  Hiking trails on Earth Day.

The new site with the editorial calendar and newsletter is the company Emma Blogs, LLC site on http://emmablogsllc.wordpress.com

Emma Blogs LLC
Company site Emma Blogs, LLC on WordPress.

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

News from artist Kathleen Mooney

Kathleen Mooney, abstract artist
Kathleen Mooney, abstract artist

Note:  Kathleen Mooney is a Lowell-based abstract artist and a member of the International Society of Experimental artists. Her work is striking and inspiring both in subject and format. She has had many solo exhibits in West Michigan and beyond. Mooney also teaches art classes. Check out her personal story in the archives and on page About local entrepreneurs and artists.

Her recent work has been inspired by Gee’s Bend quilting tradition. I featured her abstract painting in most of the IW Inspiring Women series for its high quality and technique.

artist Kathleen Mooney
Kathleen Mooney inspires with her art.

 

 

March 2015 – Art News from Kathleen Mooney

The Rugs are IN, NEW gallery in Charleston SC, Reception and Art exhibit with my Rugs at Design Quest, NEW Clothing and Home decor designs…

Rugs by Kathleen Mooney
Rugs by Kathleen Mooney

 

2015 by Kathleen Mooney: “Amergin” Runner, 6 of the 25 rugs by Kathleen Mooney produced by Foreign Accents Rugs, and “Inspiration” Rug by Kathleen Mooney

Kathleen Mooney’s rugs are now IN at Design Quest / D2 in Grand Rapids! Here is the contact info www.designquest.bz  800-944-3232 at 4181 28th Street SE Grand Rapids MI 49512sales@designquest.bz

RUGS, ART EXHIBIT AND RECEPTION — Design Quest is hosting an exhibit of Kathleen Mooney’s art from May 22, 2015 through July 12, 2015 in their Design Gallery with a Reception on May 31, 2015 from 2-4pm.  We hope to have Molly Anderson from Foreign Accents Rugs there so we can tell you about how all this rug magic got started!

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

Meanwhile, if you want to visit the rugs with me – just let me know and I will be happy to show them to you!

——————-

Kathleen Mooney has been accepted to appear as a Guest Artist at a top gallery in Charleston SC – Lowcountry Artists.

19 of her multilayered acrylic on canvas paintings are beautifully displayed from March 1, 2015 through August 31, 2015 at this prestigious East Bay gallery.  www.lowcountryartists.com

—————–

Art of Where – just in case you have ever thought “Kathleen’s ART would be great to wear” – after yet another heart-felt request – I dedicated myself (once again) to finding a sweatshop free, eco conscious, sensitive company to work with for “art to wear”. Yes! Success! I found a wonderful company in Canada to produce my art in original hand-made creations… leggings, scarves,
pillow covers, baby leggings, skirts, capris and more.

Art gallery.
Art gallery.

All ready for you to explore on www.artofwhere.com/shop/artist/kathleen-mooney

—————-

Kathleen Mooney’s 30 x 30″ acrylic on canvas painting “Ignition” has been accepted in the ISEA Member’s Online Exhibit 2015.  www.iseaartexhibit.org

Other locations to see my art –

44 of Kathleen Mooney’s paintings are featured at Flat River Cottage at 317 East Main Street, Lowell MI 49331 www.flatrivercottage.com

A FINE SELECTION of Kathleen Mooney’s paintings is available at Lansing Art Gallery at 119 North Washington Square, Lansing, MI 48933 www.lansingartgallery.org

Spring 2015 – Kathleen Mooney’s Rugs are featured at D2 / Design Quest in Grand Rapids at 4181 28th Street SE Grand Rapids MI 49512 www.designquest.biz and national / international locations for her “Legends” series are listed on the Foreign Accents Rugs websitewww.foreignaccentsrugs.com

A selection of “small, tiny, mini” paintings by Kathleen Mooney and bronze jewelry by Marilyn Flaherty (Kathleen’s aunt) are on exhibit at Toadworks at 102 Main Street in Lowell.

The Houzz website is “The Largest” online source of decorating, design and remodeling inspiring ideas, services and products for the home.  Gradually adding more of my art each week. www.houzz.com – search on “Kathleen Mooney Artist” in Shop.

Kathleen Mooney's rugs and abstracts.
Kathleen Mooney’s rugs and abstracts.

High Point Market Spring 2015 – Foreign Accents Rugs with Kathleen Mooney’s “Legends” Collection of Rugs and even more new designs in even more collections.  High Point Market is open to “The Trade” two times each year.  It is HUGE. www.highpointmarket.org

As usual – If you would like an appointment to view my art or have me bring some pieces to your home or business – just contact me via the website www.kathleenmooney.com or email!  It would be great to see you!

Spring is in the air and we are boiling the first sap from the maple trees starting tonight!  Kathleen

 

 

Editorial calendar

Editorial/marketing calendar quarterly for Emma Blogs LLC

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

In response to Blogging 201 assignment Day 4, add a new feature and /or editorial calendar. I’ve already put this calendar together in January for the first quarter of 2015. I use these as guiding themes which allows me to stay flexible in changing conditions, but focused on the target.

In my quest to find guest writers, writers and sales representatives for Emma Blogs LLC, a portfolio of 11 blogs with the main flagship site EW Emma’s Writings, I find the calendar indispensable.

Editorial calendar
Editorial calendar and daily writing tasks in the notebook format

It is a valuable resource when looking back and analyzing what did the Emma Blogs LLC accomplish as well as strategizing into the next quarter.

Print magazines usually have an annual editorial/advertising calendar with two months lead time. That means if you have a story fit for April publication, you must submit it by the beginning of February, the latest.

With Internet, I find that everything moves faster with unexpected events such as Blogging 201. I am glad I registered for it, but since I haven’t planned for it, it threw me completely off the track. So, from now on I must include blogging/writing events in the calendar. But still, the two months outlook is very helpful.

I use both Simplenote by WordPress and the good old-fashioned wire bound notebook for every writing/blogging day. I write down contacts that I have to make, posts & stories that I have to write, schedule stories with other writers and inevitably design & update tasks.

Editorial calendars
Tempus fugit. Time flies or timing is everything.

 

I always aim to publish twice a week: Tuesday or Wednesday, and then for the weekend on Fridays.

It sounds like a lot of work and routine, but it really is not that bad, if you have figured out for yourself how to work it. Are you a morning or a night writer? How many hours can you put in? What kind of results have you had so far?  No matter what, the key to growing traffic and engagement with our blogs, remains regular and enticing content.

This is the note to my EW team that I sent out in the beginning of January.

Hello, I put together these themes to guide us through March. It is a very busy month, so we need to plan for it now. The Inspiring Women series is leading up to women’s events including International Women’s Day on March 8.

2015 Editorial/Marketing themes

January
Health and wellness

IW Inspiring women series

Women’s Expos previews

Winter recreation and snowbirds

 

February

Blogging 201

Women’s Expo Lansing Feb. 6-Feb. 8, 2015

IW Inspiring women continues

Valentine’s & love

Lenten soups Feb. 18

Winter recreation & snowbirds continues

March

IW Inspiring women series continues

International Women’s Day March 8

Saint Patrick’s Day March 17

Women’s Expo March 13-March 15 in Grand Rapids

Laughfest March 5- March 15

Home and garden expo March 5 through March 8

Lowell expo March 28

Winter/spring recreation and snowbirds continues

About the clock photo: photo of the Prague horloge by “I love Czech Republic” group on facebook.

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