Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Music and Dancing

Since completing 7 weeks of dance instruction in the Texas Two Step, Roy and I along with another couple have been checking out the local music scene in hopes of polishing our new moves. I've got to tell you that I love this style of dance! A hint to anyone who takes lessons: Watch how firmly you hold your arm positions and forget about your feet! Also, sneakers aren't great for class, as the impeded spins can hurt the tendons in your spinning knee! I'm feeling mine!

Isn't this an interesting looking place? It used to be a lumber yard. The building on the right is a huge gift shop, and the building on the left side is a restaurant called the Silver K. It's located in Johnson City. It has live music every Thursday night and sometimes on Fridays, but no dancing. Several restaurants in the area offer live music, but only a couple offer dancing. We have found all the restaurants to have relaxed enough atmospheres to allow for people to skip dinner, have just a beverage, and enjoy the music. That's pretty cheap quality entertainment!

The Pecan Street Brewery is also located in Johnson City. It's primarily a burger, pizza, and beer place. They have live music Fridays and Saturdays. Dancing is available Saturday nights. I have found that many of the local restaurants and bars have websites listing the bands that will be present along with a sampling of the music. Around the corner from the brewery is a quaint bistro called Friendlys. Their music appears to be more upscale, and is provided Thursday through Sunday. There isn't a dance floor, but we're told that people dance wherever they find space. We need to check Friendly's out more. It's a different sort of place. Blanco offers music at the Redbud Cafe, and music and dancing at the Riverside Bar and Grill.

To get set-up for dancing, Roy and I went shopping for me some cowboy boots. Roy already has some from our Idaho days. Boots are serious business around here, and seem to cost $150 to well over $200! We aren't there yet! I got the idea to look for any type of shoe with a smooth sole. Well, it seems like shoes right down to the cheapest ones have an anti-slip strip across the ball of the foot! We decided to check out four local second hand shops for dancing boots. At the third shop we found these professional dancing shoes for $11.00. They are actually called Dance Mates! It's amazing how slippery feeling taps are! We figured we could remove the taps, and they'd make a nice pair of dress shoes for dancing. I'll hang on to the taps, though. Who knows, is there tap dancing, clogging, or a tap exercise class in my future? Maybe I'll just entertain myself tapping down the camper walkway!!!

Anyway at the fourth second hand shop, I discovered this pair of Justin boots for only $35.00! They need a little polishing, but overall are great. They are smooth soled, which I found all cowboy boots are not. They fit right in with some crazy vision I have of learning to really ride horses when we get further west, and we are set for practicing our boot scootin' boogie! I've decided we don't earn our cowboy - cowgirl hats until we can do the full Texas Two Step routine of shift across the front, shift across the back, dance side by side, spin in, and spin out!

I just threw this picture in for fun. I'm sure you've all seen the pretty patterned rubber rain boots for women. I got a kick out of these being cowgirl boot shaped! If we stay in Texas long enough, I may have to have a pair of these! :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Miller Creek R.V. Park Fun

From late October until the Winter Texans head back home in April activities abound at Miller Creek R.V. Resort. I truly believe we won't find another R.V. park like it for the quantity and diversity of entertainment.

Monday night is game night. There's the Texas Hold 'em players, and a group that plays a variety of games. That's some excellent homemade jerky Roy is chewing on.

Every Tuesday is Karaoke. It's a group sing along. There are 6 microphones, but some people like to sit and sing along from the audience. I never saw myself as doing Karaoke, but really enjoy it being done this way. I've found it's therapeutic in that it clears the cobwebs from the vocal cords and puts a song in the heart that carries through the next day. Sometimes we even get a little bit aerobic!

Wednesday night is a nice dinner complete with dessert for only $4.00 per person. It's a nice opportunity to visit with the Miller Creek community over dinner. Thursday nights is craft night. It's a chance to bring your craft, and visit with friends while working on it.

Fridays are group trips to restaurants, stage performances, spas, parks, and any great places people suggest. There's something to fit everyone's budget.

The indoor fire pit at the R.V. park, called the Watering Hole, is open mornings through evenings 7 days a week for a variety of libations, and socialization.

There are parties for Christmas.....

parties for New Years, Valentines Day, and just because it's fun!

With each gathering there is food....

more food....

and more food!

Sometimes the R.V. park staff has to sprinkle in some more activities, because we don't have enough to do! This is a picture of dance instruction in the Texas Two-Step and beginning Jitterbug. Yep, Roy and I took the lessons and made it to the end! More on that to come! If you'd like to get away for the Winter and join in the fun, but don't have a R.V., check out the modern cabin and apartment rentals on the Miller Creek R.V. Park website! See our link.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cedar Fever

In Texas Hill County the native Mountain Cedar is abundant. During its December through February peak pollination, many people suffer with what is referred to as Cedar Fever. The symptoms vary from typical allergic reactions to what feels like a low grade flu. The last two Winters Roy suffered about two weeks with it. I had two weeks of it last Winter, but a solid month of it throughout January of this year! A fellow RVer told me that she has found in her travels that whatever effects her health in an area seems to affect her worse the second year.

Breathing the pollen feels just like it looks coming off this tree. It's as if talcum powder has been thrown into the back of your mouth. Doing some research into Mountain Cedar pollen, I discovered that it is very buoyant, and can travel for miles. An example of a Mountain Cedar pollen count for the area showed it as rising from zero on November 3rd to 300 pollens per cubic meter on December 8th, and to 4,890 pollens per cubic meter on January 2nd! It's makeup is opposite of other pollens, and was once thought to be toxic. Although there are still references to its toxic nature on the Internet, other websites assure that it is only an allergen and not a toxin. One might argue that point based on how bad it makes a person feel! Talking with a local, she stated that her regimen is to start taking prescription Flonase in October to get a build-up in her system before Cedar Fever hits, and then continue the regimen until the end of March! She uses saline spray several times a day, also. I've been told that whatever allergy plan one chooses to use, that it's best to be proactive. I've always been one to treat as the symptoms appear. The word is that it takes seven years to build an immunity to Mountain Cedar! So there you have it, if you plan to spend the Winter in central Texas.