Lustige Leute Newsletter October 2021 

Oktoberfest is in full swing, and it has already been a wild ride!  A bit of an emotional roller coaster between reading the news, hearing from friends who are suffering injuries and sickness, having a few hurdles of our own, and then the utter joy while playing music for crowds of people who are smiling, laughing, and leaving the world outside for just a few hours.  It's a blessing to do what we do, and we are blessed to be surrounded by those who appreciate what we do.  Have I said yet how wonderful it has been to see so many of you in north Texas and Houston these past couple of weeks?  Thank you for coming out! 

Those mid August and early September Oktoberfest shows got us in the mood and worked some of the kinks out for the 4 piece band.  After all, when the band members live in different cities and are all self employed with multiple irons in the fire, it's nearly impossible to rehearse together.  We record tracks to send back and forth, we meet in trio to go over arrangements, then get together on stage with lots of prayers and open minds.  We are blessed with talented colleagues!  The season started in earnest for the Duo with a couple of nights playing for Fresh by Brookshire's in Tyler.  The Addison Oktoberfest started right after that... 6 days on stage started with a big bang (Look for the ** Below), then a couple of days off spent with friends, followed by the Oktoberfest Fort Worth (click the link to watch Sheryl's video), followed by a swanky lawn party at The Houstonian's "Manor Haus"!  We were on stage 18 days, with 34 hours driving to and from gigs in September.  Everyone is making up for lost time last year, and there are no holds barred in the level of celebration we see in our audiences!  No holds barred on our part either!  Yodelayheeeyippeee! 

Oktoberfest Season performances: 

--The Sauer Kraut Grill, 734 Crabb River Rd, Richmond, TX; Stubenmusi (pub music unplugged) with the Duo 
Thursdays Sept 30;  6 - 8pm 

-- Saint Arnold Oktoberfest, Saint Arnold Brewing Co, 2000 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX; 
Friday Oct 1; 6pm - 9pm; Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Saturday Oct 2; 6pm - 9pm; Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Sunday Oct 3; 1pm - 4pm; Ross, Kerry, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Free Admission, get there early! 

-- Oktoberfest, The Sauer Kraut Grill, 734 Crabb River Rd, Richmond, TX; 
Saturday Oct 9 1:00 - 2:45; The Duo; Outside under the tents 

-- Oktoberfest, Roughtail Brewing, 320 W Memorial Road, Oklahoma City, OK;Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Oct 15, 16, 17; Ross, Robert, Jeff, & Valina; Times TBD; General admission, and VIP tickets available; Scroll down on their website to October to find the links. 

-- Linde Oktoberfest, River West Festival Park, 2100 S Jackson Ave, Tulsa, OK; Oct 19 - 24; Ross, Jeff, Valina, and dancers Zach and Piper; 
Tuesday Oct 19; 7:10 in The BierGarten 
Wednesday Oct 20; 5:00 - 6:45 in The Bierstube 
Thursday Oct 21; 5:00 - 6:30, 6:45 - 7:15 in The Bierstube 
Friday Oct 22; 3:00 - 6:45 in The BierGarten 
Saturday Oct 23; 3:00 - 7:15 in The BierGarten 
Sunday Oct 24; 12:00 - 2:30 in The Warsteiner EssZelt 
"ADMISSION:  In order to manage attendance effectively, all admission tickets and packages must be purchased in advance as there will be no walk-up sales available at the main entrance." 

-- Oktoberfest Show, Momma's at Sengelmann, 531 N Main, Schulenburg, TX; 

Wednesday Oct 27; 6pm - 9pm; The Duo 

-- Lutherfest, Our Savior Lutheran Church, 5000 W Tidwell, Houston, TX; Sunday Oct 31; The Duo and Dancers; 11:30am - 1:30pm   Attend 9:30am service, then enjoy the fellowship afterwards, and learn a little about reformation and Marin Luther. 

-- Wurstfest, Landa Park, New Braunfels, TX; 
Das Kleine Zelt: 
Saturday Nov 6; 6:05 - 7:05, 8:40 - 9:35, 11pm - 12:00;  Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Sunday Nov 7; 3:30 - 4:50, 6:30 - 7:30, 9:05 - 10:00; Ross, Jeff Valina & dancers 
Stelzenplatz: 
Tuesday Nov 9; 6:45 - 7:40, 8:55 - 9:45; Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Wednesday Nov 10; 5:30 - 6:25, 7:50 - 8:45; Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Friday Nov 12; 5:30 - 6:35, 8:15 - 9:20; Ross, Randy, Jeff & dancers 
Saturday Nov 13: 2:10 - 3:10, 4:50 - 5:45, 7:15 - 8:15, 9:40 - 10:35; Ross, Randy, & Jeff 
Sunday Nov 14; 2:15 - 3:15, 4:50 - 5:50, 7:30 - 8:30; Ross, Randy, Jeff & dancers 

The homepage of our website reflects every performance except the private ones.  Often when we're on the road, we don't have access to update our facebook pages, but will always (as long as my cell phone works) update the home page on our website if there is a last minute change.  You're always welcome to give us a call or send a text if you want to make sure we're going to be where our calendar shows we're going to be. 

Looking ahead: 

These shows are tentative: 

Sauer Kraut Grill most Thursdays in November / December 

Dec 11 - 12; Tomball German Christmas Market; Times and stages TBD 

Wed Dec 22; Krause's Cafe in New Braunfels; 6pm - 9pm 

Host your own Christmas party!  Call us for pricing and availability if you have something to celebrate in November / December!  We're available to play for you as a duo unplugged, or we can bring the sound equipment and specialty folk instruments.  Nothing says Christmas like German Christmas carols played on Accordion, and even Alphorn! American ones played on Accordion and cowbells!  Need an authentic European (Dutch) Saint Nick?  We can offer him as well!  Our Saint Nick is fluent in Dutch and German, and knows the history of how Saint Nick came to be. His beard is real, and his robes are hand made. 

Hosting our trips to Europe   Both trips for the summer of 2022 are close to capacity.  Would you like to travel with us to Germany and the Czech Republic, Tuesday June 7 - Tuesday June 21, 2022?  Or to the Black Forest and Switzerland June 22 - July 7, 2022?  Our small groups have a ton of fun together!  Can't choose?  There is an option (and a discount) if you go on both trips.  There are two double rooms left available on the first trip June 7 - 21.  The Swiss tour June 22 - July 7 has one double room available, and we're talking to the hotels about adding another.  The number of guests for each trip will not exceed 24, so social distancing will be possible, even on the bus.  If you're interested, let us know soon!  https://www.prostyall.com/lustig-tours-holiday 

If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, we'd love to have you!  There have been many requests to return to Austria, The Netherlands, and also requests to do a Christmas Market tour.  Let us know what you would like to do in 2023.  We tailor these trips to your wishes! 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available, and always keep the upcoming gigs and last minute changes on the home page.  The shop page https://www.prostyall.com/shop has koozies! (they fit party cups, pint glasses and Wurstfest cups!)  The famous "Prost Y'all" sign is in stock again and available for sale too!  Won't that look awesome on the wall of your favorite relaxation spot!  We also have shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends. 

Social Media:  You can find us on Facebook, and Youtube.  You can subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/valinapolka , friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valinapolka  "like" us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prostyall/  We have an instagram, but don't know how to use it. 

**Behind the scenes - special edition: 

  On Sept 9, the weather people started talking about a system that might develop in the gulf.  By Sept 11, they were pretty sure whatever developed would come up through the Houston area.  We began prepping for a 2 week road tour, and squeezed in some house and yard prep for the storm.  We got home from a gig on Sunday Sept 12 at 10pm, stayed up all night doing the tasks we'd left for Monday (because we'd planned to leave for Tyler on Tuesday morning). With the storm bringing potential calamity, we departed on Monday morning instead.  Ross had about 4.5 hours of sleep, Valina just 3.  But come heck or high water, we're not going to miss a gig!  Especially after last year's shutdowns.  So, we drove in to Tyler, and got checked in to our hotel room around 3pm, very "jet lagged".  We both passed out for a couple of hours.  I woke up around 5:30pm, and fixed dinner.  I brought our leftover chicken and rice dish I'd made, put it in the micro, and we feasted like royalty on home cooked food with fresh tomatoes and avocados too!  Then Ross realized he needed something from the van.  He went outside around 7:30, and came running back in telling me he had an accident.  He had fallen from a disappearing sidewalk and faceplanted.  Thankfully the bill of his ball-cap came between the pavement and his glasses; but still his glasses cut in to the bridge of his nose.  There was blood all over his face.  He went to the bathroom to start trying to clean up and stop the bleeding, I went to get ice to put on him.  Then we called our friend Tammy, who just retired from ER nursing.  She walked us through what to do and how to bandage it over the phone.  Early Tuesday morning, Ross was still bleeding ever so slightly, so we headed over to an Urgent Care to have him checked out, cleaned up, and bandaged.  He said he was not in pain.  ER people said we did a good job with the ice, because swelling was at a minimum for the injury. Tammy gave us excellent tele-ER care!  He had a little swelling on his nose and some scraping.  Doc gave him an ointment for that, and gave us instructions for how to care for the wound.  We went back to the hotel and rested, then loaded in to the gig at Fresh.  The weather was wet, a heavy drizzle, so we tarped as we loaded our stuff to the covered patio.  Ross' German work ethic was in full swing, and the gig went off just fine.  I don't know that guests could tell anything was wrong with him.  Wednesday was beautiful weather and another great gig, Moved to Addison Wednesday night, and performed there Thursday - Sunday.  By Friday in Addison, he was looking pretty normal, and never got the black eyes they warned us he could get.  By Friday in Fort Worth, he looked so healed, you couldn't tell anything had happened unless you looked real close. 

Ross celebrated his birthday this year with a healed face, and a day off; dinner and margaritas with family on Monday night at our favorite hangout, Lopez in Houston.  Always excellent service, good food, good prices, and good bar!  He's been watching his Batman TV series DVDs that we got him for his birthday.  Pow! Bam! Biff! hehe.  I've been busy busy in the office with contracts, invoices, Tomball planning and tour paperwork, turning merch around for the next shows, laundry and ironing, and managed to mow the grass and rake the heavy stuff this morning before the rain.  ...who ever said this life is glamorous?  I'll get my day off after Wurstfest, hopefully in a hammock surrounded by bird feeders, visited by as many birds as visited last time we relaxed at that little cabin for a few days. 

With all the wonders of joy and happiness at Oktoberfest, we have not forgotten the sadness and sickness around us.  But man can not survive on sadness and worry.  We must allow joy and hope in our lives!  It is a blessing to do what we do.  We pray every day that health and strength will remain for our friends, family, fans, and ourselves, so we can continue passing happiness on to others.  We thank the Lord every day for the talents he loaned us and the people he has brought around us.

That's all for this newsletter.  Your support and friendship means so much to us!  Stay healthy, stay safe, share a smile with a stranger, and we hope we get to "prost y'all" along the Oktoberfest road soon!

Lustige Leute Newsletter September 2021 

Howdy Friends, and welcome to our new friends! 

Oktoberfest is here, and while we're super excited to get on the road to see our friends and play our music, our hearts are heavy when we think about all that is happening in the  world around us.  There is nothing we can do but keep moving forward, make the best of it, and help our friends in need.  There are some days when even that seems silly when we see all the darkness in the world.  We hope the festival season will give you an opportunity to place sadness and worries aside for a few hours and go out for some carefree fun and frolic.  Our hearts and minds need these breaks, especially when times are hard. 

Oktoberfest shows started already on August 20 for us.  We've already put 1500 miles on the touring van!  Rehearsals have been going well, and we're busy putting the finishing touches on some new music.  Of course, it's always rough the first time out in public with a new song, but we're ready to take that step with a few of these! 

Oktoberfest Season performances: 

-- Walburg Fest, 3777 FM 972, Walburg, TX; 
Saturday Sept 4; 6pm & 9pm 
Sunday Sept 5; 12pm & 3pm; Ross, Robert, Jeff, & Valina; Free admission; Continuous entertainment both days with the Walburg Boys and the Alpenmusikanten. 

--The Sauer Kraut Grill, 734 Crabb River Rd, Richmond, TX; Stubenmusi (pub music unplugged) with the Duo 
Thursdays Sept 2, 9, 30;  6 - 8pm 

-- Bavarian Brauhaus, 109 N Main, Bryan, TX; 
Friday Sept 10; 6:30 - 10; Oktoberfest Show with the Duo 

--The White Horse Tavern, 400 N Main, Burton, TX; 
Sunday September 12, 4:30 - 7:30; Allison's Birthday!  The Duo;  BYOD: Bring a Dish to share; Allison will be celebrating her birthday, cooking on the dance floor, not in the kitchen!  ...bring cash / credit card for the bar - Bier, wine, set ups 

--Fresh by Brookshire's, 6991 Old Jacksonville Hwy, Tyler, TX; 
Tuesday and Wednesday Sept 14 & 15, 5pm - 8pm; Oktoberfest on the Patio!  The Duo 

-- Addison Oktoberfest, Addison Circle Park (north of Dallas) TX; 
September 16 - 19; The four piece party band at the Musikzelt;  Ross, Robert, Jeff, & Valina 
Thursday 7:45 - 9:15, Friday 6:00 - 7:30, Saturday 7:00 - 8:00, Sunday 4:00 - 5:00; 
Valina is MC for the Musikzelt. 

-- Oktoberfest Fort Worth, Panther Island Pavilion, Fort Worth, TX; 
September 24 - 25; The four piece party band; 
Friday in the Wiesn Tent 8:00 - 8:45 and 10:00 - 11:00; Ross, Robert, Jeff, & Valina 
Saturday in the Spaten Hall 3:00 - 4:00, 5:00 - 6:30, 8:00 - 8:30; Ross, Robert, Jeff, & Valina 
Valina is MC Thursday Sept 23, Friday and Saturday. 

-- Das Manor Haus Oktoberfest, 111 N Post Oak Ln, Houston, TX; 
Sunday September 26; 3pm - 7pm; Ross, Robert, Jeff, & Valina  Tickets required for this all inclusive package (Dinner, Bier, Wein, music, lawn games, Stein races!) 

-- Saint Arnold Oktoberfest, Saint Arnold Brewing Co, 2000 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX; 
Friday Oct 1; 6pm - 9pm; Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Saturday Oct 2; 6pm - 9pm; Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Sunday Oct 3; 1pm - 4pm; Ross, Kerry, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Tickets required. 

-- Oktoberfest, The Sauer Kraut Grill, 734 Crabb River Rd, Richmond, TX; 
Saturday Oct 9 1:00 - 2:45; The Duo; Outside under the tents 

-- Oktoberfest, Roughtail Brewing, 320 W Memorial Road, Oklahoma City, OK;Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Oct 15, 16, 17; Ross, Robert, Jeff, & Valina; Times TBD; General admission, and VIP tickets available; Scroll down on their website to October to find the links. 

-- Oktoberfest Show, Momma's at Sengelmann, 531 N Main, Schulenburg, TX; 

Wednesday Oct 27; 6pm - 9pm; The Duo 

-- Wurstfest, Landa Park, New Braunfels, TX; 
Das Kleine Zelt: 
Saturday Nov 6; 6:05 - 7:05, 8:40 - 9:35, 11pm - 12:00;  Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Sunday Nov 7; 3:30 - 4:50, 6:30 - 7:30, 9:05 - 10:00; Ross, Jeff Valina & dancers 
Stelzenplatz: 
Tuesday Nov 9; 6:45 - 7:40, 8:55 - 9:45; Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Wednesday Nov 10; 5:30 - 6:25, 7:50 - 8:45; Ross, Robert, Jeff, Valina & dancers 
Friday Nov 12; 5:30 - 6:35, 8:15 - 9:20; Ross, Randy, Jeff & dancers 
Saturday Nov 13: 2:10 - 3:10, 4:50 - 5:45, 7:15 - 8:15, 9:40 - 10:35; Ross, Randy, & Jeff 
Sunday Nov 14; 2:15 - 3:15, 4:50 - 5:50, 7:30 - 8:30; Ross, Randy, Jeff & dancers 

The homepage of our website will reflect every performance except the private ones.  Often when we're on the road, we don't have access to update our facebook pages, but will always (as long as my cell phone works) update the home page on our website if there is a last minute change.  You're always welcome to give us a call or send a text if you want to make sure we're going to be where our calendar shows we're going to be. 

Looking ahead: 

These shows are tentative: 

Sept 29; Oktoberfest dinner and a show; The Union Kitchen; Katy, TX; The Duo 

Oct 7 and Oct 28; Stubenmusi; The Sauer Kraut Grill; The Duo 

Oct 19 - 24; Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa. Tuesday night specialty showcase dinner, Wednesday night Sponsor night, Thursday - Sunday full festival.  Times and stages TBD 
Dec 11 - 12; Tomball German Christmas Market; Times and stages TBD 

Host your own Christmas party!  Call us for pricing and availability if you have something to celebrate in November / December!  We're available to play for you as a duo unplugged, or we can bring specialty folk instruments.  Nothing says Christmas like German Christmas carols and American ones played on cowbells!  Need an authentic European (Dutch) Saint Nick?  We can offer that as well!  Our Saint Nick is fluent in Dutch and German, and knows the history of how Saint Nick came to be. His beard is real, and his robes are hand made. 

Hosting our trips to Europe   Both trips for the summer of 2022 are close to capacity.  Would you like to travel with us to Germany and the Czech Republic, Tuesday June 7 - Tuesday June 21, 2022?  Or to the Black Forest and Switzerland June 22 - July 7, 2022?  Our small groups have a ton of fun together!  Can't choose?  There is an option (and a discount) if you go on both trips.  There are two double rooms left available on the first trip June 7 - 21.  The Swiss tour June 22 - July 7 has one double room available.  The number of guests for each trip will not exceed 26, so social distancing will be possible, even on the bus.  If you're interested, let us know soon!  https://www.prostyall.com/lustig-tours-holiday 

If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, we'd love to have you!  There have been many requests to return to Austria, so unless we're forced to postpone again, Austria is on the wish list in 2023. 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available, and always keep the upcoming gigs and last minute changes on the home page.  The shop page https://www.prostyall.com/shop has koozies! (they fit party cups, pint glasses and Wurstfest cups!)  The famous "Prost Y'all" sign is in stock again and available for sale too!  Won't that look awesome on the wall of your favorite relaxation spot!  We also have shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends. 

Social Media:  You can find us on Facebook, and Youtube.  You can subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/valinapolka , friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valinapolka  "like" us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prostyall/  We have an instagram, but don't know how to use it. 

Behind the scenes:  We're thankful to be as busy as we are!  Hopefully we'll make up for some of the losses from last year.  We've had time this past month to finally work on the new music we wanted to have ready for the Oktoberfest season.  In addition to arranging new music from Germany,  Ross wrote a polka; his first ever!  He named it The Valina Polka.  I think he has a crush on me ;)  He thought of it in early July, but wasn't ready to play it in public until August.  Then, I wrote some verses (I think I wrote the melodies to them, but am not sure, as they sound so familiar, I don't know if it's something I heard somewhere, or if it's just an earworm, so I was used to hearing it before I finished writing the lyrics! ...that was a run-on sentence...)  Anyway, I wrote verses to go with a traditional Dutch chorus that is soooo fun to do in a Biergarten!  It's something I remember doing with a Dutch band at a Dairy Break festival in Stephenville.  Of course, it's performed in Germany as well, but I heard it in Dutch first.  While Ross has been working on music, tending to some baby plants that are finally showing a little promise, and updating some computer equipment, I celebrated my birthday by re-doing our upstairs bathroom.  I pulled the old wallpaper off the walls - I think it's been there since they built the house in the 1970s - then I textured, primed and painted.  It's so much brighter and fresh looking in there.  Even though it was hard work, it was like a break, and gave me the change in scenery I needed to be more productive in the office.  I also got to eat myself silly; Ross' parents took us for Japanese and my parents took us for Indonesian, then our friends in Oklahoma took us for American food and included a huge cake which took several days to finish.  It was a good birthday.  Ross is still dealing with some shoulder pain, but we're discovering it flares up when we're working out in the heat a lot.  He's eating healthy and drinking all he can to stay fully hydrated, which is hard to do when it's 97 and extremely humid.  ...I guess we finally got our summer heat...  He's exercising and stretching daily to keep the whole area strong.  I'm also doing some extra upper body exercises so I can help lift the speakers and sound cabinet at gigs.  We need to keep our bodies healthy and sturdy enough to roadie for ourselves for at least another 10 years.  Speaking of the weather, my goodness!  We are praying for our friends in Louisiana and Mississippi, and hope things will get back to normal for you sooner than later.  The photos of the devastation are heartbreaking.  We're overwhelmed with horror when we think of what's happening in Afghanistan.  We meet so many former and currently serving military.  We feel helpless.  All we can do is pray our citizens, the people who have been helping us, and our military can get out as safely as possible.  Some have already given all, and some of them so young, they've never even had a Bier in public without "breaking the law".  Our hearts hurt for their families and loved ones.  Our minds are not capable of even imagining... All we can do is pray.   And we will keep doing what we're doing, and hope that a little of what we do will help others somewhere along the way. 

That's all for this newsletter.  Your support and friendship means so much to us!  Stay healthy, stay safe, share a smile with a stranger, and we hope we get to "prost y'all" along the Oktoberfest road soon!

Lustige Leute Newsletter August 2021 

It's hard to believe that in mere weeks, school will be back in session, Oktoberfests will start up, and cooler days will be around the corner.  Right now, it's hot!  But it has been comfortably cooler in Houston this summer.  It's been wetter too, until about a week ago.  We hope your summer has been treating you well! 

We thought we'd have time this month to get our Oktoberfest rehearsals going, but other obligations have slowed all of that down.  Where does the time go?  What did happen between the chaos?  Ross wrote his first original tune; a polka that's quite catchy!  I don't even know if the song has a name yet, but seeing as how we now have about 10 songs between the two of us that we've composed in the past 18 months, we need to get ourselves in to the studio to record!  Looking at our schedule, that process most likely won't start until next January / February. 

July / August performances: 

Saturday July 31, POP UP! at the Kuckuck's Nest, 3150 N State Highway 16, Fredericksburg, TX.  Playing music from 12 - 3pm while you shop for new outfits for Oktoberfest!  All of our band merchandise will be available for sale as well!

Wednesday, August 4, Christ The Lord Lutheran VBS Alief Fine Arts Camp. 4410 S Kirkwood Rd, Houston. Focus on Alpine Horn and Cowbells edutainment; 6:30 - 8:30. 

Thursdays August 5, 12, 26, The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm.  Stubenmusi (pub style performance - unplugged, sometimes unhinged!)  Owner Eric is almost always there, cooking, serving and visiting with clients.  They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of import, and local craft brews, even Texas' own German brew, Altstadt!) and Wein selection!  Picnic tables outside if you like to dine in the fresh air.  We'll come out and play for you if you like, just ask us!  Oh, and our friend Randy Adams from Auf Geht's will be there Thursday Aug 19! 

Friday and Saturday, August 20 and 21; Royal Bavaria Restaurant, 3401 S Sooner Rd, Moore, OK;  Two shows each night; 5:30 - 7:15, 7:45 - 9:30  Call ahead for reservations  405-799-7666 

Sunday August 22; Krause's Cafe, 148 S Castell, New Braunfels, TX, from 2 - 5pm.  Spend the weekend in New Braunfels; Schlitterbahn, float the river, relax at Canyon Lake, and spend Sunday having a mid-day Liter of beer, and some cool German folk music. 

Other locations and dates could be added; If that happens, we'll send out a Schnelletter to update you, and of course, you're always welcome to come to our website, or give us a call. 

Looking ahead: 

Thursdays at the Sauer Kraut Grill continue through the Oktoberfest season.  We'll be there some days, other musicians may be there Thursdays when we're on the road. 

Saturday and Sunday Sept 4 - 5; Walburg Fest at the Walburg German Restaurant, 3777 Fm 972, Walburg Walburg, Texas.  Back to back with Walburg Boys and Alpenmusikanten; Show times TBA 

Friday Sept 10; Bavarian Brauhaus, 109 N Main, Bryan, TX; 6:30 - 10pm; The Duo 

Sunday Sept 12; The White Horse Tavern, 400 N Main, Burton, TX, Times TBA.  Owner Allison is celebrating her birthday, and she wants you to celebrate with her!  Purchase drinks at the bar, but BYOD (bring your own dinner / snacks) as Allison will only cook on the dance floor, not in the kitchen. 

Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept 14 - 15; Oktoberfest at Fresh by Brookishire, Tyler, TX; 5pm - 8pm.  Party on the patio! 

Thursday - Sunday Sept 16 - 19; Addison Oktoberfest, Addison Circle Park; Valina is MC all 4 days. Band plays each day at the Music Stage, located outdoors in the park. 

Thursday - Saturday Sept 23 - 25; Okotberfest Fort Worth, Panther Island Pavilion; Valina is MC Thursday, Band plays Friday and Saturday. 

Friday - Sunday Oct 1 - 3; Saint Arnold Oktoberfest, at Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston, TX; Band and folk dancers all three days.  Times TBA.  This is our only Oktoberfest performance in the Houston area that is open to the public. 

Host your own Christmas party!  Call us for pricing and availability if you have something to celebrate in November / December!  We're available to play for you as a duo unplugged, or we can bring specialty folk instruments.  Nothing says Christmas like German Christmas carols!  Need an authentic European (Dutch) Saint Nick?  We can offer that as well!  Our Saint Nick is fluent in Dutch and German, and knows the history of how Saint Nick came to be. His beard is real, and his robes are hand made. 

Hosting our trips to Europe   Both trips for the summer of 2022 are close to capacity.  Would you like to travel with us to Germany and the Czech Republic, Tuesday June 7 - Tuesday June 21, 2022?  Or to the Black Forest and Switzerland June 22 - July 7, 2022?  Our small groups have a ton of fun together!  Can't choose?  There is an option (and a discount) if you go on both trips.  We have asked the hotels about adding space for just one more couple.  The number of guests for each trip will not exceed 26.  If you're interested, let us know soon!  https://www.prostyall.com/lustig-tours-holiday 

If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, we'd love to have you!  There have been many requests to return to Austria, so unless we're forced to postpone again, Austria is on the wish list in 2023. 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available, and always keep the upcoming gigs and last minute changes on the home page.  The shop page https://www.prostyall.com/shop has brand new koozies that fit party cups, pint glasses and Wurstfest cups!  The famous "Prost Y'all" sign is available for sale too!  We have a few left, and more are coming just in time for the Oktoberfest season.  Won't that look awesome on the wall of your favorite relaxation spot!  We also have shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends. 

Social Media:  You can find us on Facebook, and Youtube.  You can subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/valinapolka , friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valinapolka  "like" us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prostyall/  We have an instagram, but don't know how to use it. 

Behind the scenes:  Our one day off this month was July 4; spent in Round Top for a very rainy, but joyful Independence Day celebration.  The Round Top Brass Band, Cool Freddy and The Crew and the jam session were all just so fun to sit back and relax to.  The food was amazing, the company even more so.  I drank more beer this one day than I had in months!  Ross was designated driver this time, so he ate an extra couple of slices of pecan spice cake while I slurped and burped.  That Altstadt goes down smooooooth!  We made the most out of that one day off.  After the event at Rifle Hall ended, we went to hang out for another few hours with some friends who were staying in a B&B in the area.  According to them, the fireworks we watched were coming from Rick Perry's property.  We were just happy to chill out with friends, see the stars in the sky, laugh, talk, and see a few good explosions too.  July 5, we were back at work; Ross rehearsing on his various instruments, learning a few new songs, and I was in the office for a couple of weeks working on the tours.  It seemed to rain non stop for 3 weeks, so we had a few situations to deal with because of saturated ground and all that water, but somehow, we got it all taken care of.  Ross also was still dealing with the shoulder pain coming and going, so we've been to the specialist.  The Dr moved things around, poked and prodded, and asked lots of questions.  After working with Ross for about 20 minutes, he gave him a steroid shot, and sent us home.  He seemed to think this would eventually work loose, so Ross has been being careful, doing lots of stretches, and I've had to do a little more of the heavy work around here to fill the void of my usually strong sturdy hubby.  He is feeling better, so that's good!  We may look like we're fussy sometimes, but we make a good team.  We are again in dire need of a day off though.  This weekend, we're working in Fredericksburg at the Kuckucks Nest on Saturday, then a 60th anniversary on Sunday.  Just the change of scenery and the cabin our client is providing us to stay in will help restore us, and we'll be ready to keep working on Monday when we get home!  Summer around here in southeast Texas has been pretty mild.  A little cooler than normal, a lot wetter than normal, but no severe weather so far, and we're thankful.  Conversely, people in Europe and the far east are having a very difficult time with extreme weather and severe flooding.  Some people losing everything.  Our own country's north and west coast are dealing with extreme temperatures and devastating fires.  It's all so overwhelming.  Our prayer lists have been overflowing for weeks.  We wish there was more we could do.  We just keep going, and trying to be kind to others, and hope that a little of what we do will spill over to help somewhere along the way. 

That's all for this newsletter.  Your support and friendship means so much to us!  Stay healthy, stay safe, share a smile with a stranger, and we hope we get to "prost y'all" somewhere soon!

Lustige Leute Newsletter July 2021 

Ach du lieber, where did June go?  We've already reached the halfway mark, and there are only 174 shopping days till Christmas... EEK!  Independence Day is this weekend and there's a cool front on the way to Texas?!?  Okay, now I'll believe the world is going crazy.  But never fear, we still have German folk music and Biergartens to enjoy it in, so there's that! 

Our June was quite busy; It started wonderfully with the Tomball German Heritage Festival celebrating its 20th anniversary!  We're so happy Grady and Sandra were both there all weekend to celebrate with everyone, since they are the grand Oma and Opa who started those German festivals in Tomball back in 2001.  Tens of thousands came out to be around other happy people, enjoy the music, shop, eat, drink, and dance, and they didn't let the weather dampen their spirits (or water down their Bier!)  They came determined to have a good time and take in all the smiling faces!  It always takes a couple of days for all the entertainers, MC's and volunteers  to recover from the 3 days of festival, no sleep, and adrenaline rush we all get from being part of the Tomball German festivals.  We were just barely recovered in time for the gigs Thursday and Friday the next week!  But we made it through and had wonderful shows in several new places!  We met many of you just this past month, and we're so glad to know you! 

July performances: 

Thursdays July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm.  Stubenmusi (pub style performance - unplugged, sometimes unhinged!)  Owner Eric is almost always there, cooking, serving and visiting with clients.  They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of import, and local craft brews, even Texas' own German brew, Altstadt!) and Wein selection!  Picnic tables outside if you like to dine in the fresh air.  We'll come out and play for you if you like, just ask us! 

Friday July 9; The White Horse Tavern, 400 N Main, Burton, TX, from 7pm - 10pm.  This is our second show here; The owner, Allison is also a musician playing accordion and singing.  She does all the cooking and serving, so you're guaranteed a warm welcome and true Texas hospitality the way it used to be!  One evening in Allison's place, and you'll feel restored! 

Sunday July 25; Krause's Cafe, 148 S Castell, New Braunfels, TX, from 2 - 5pm.  Spend the weekend in New Braunfels; Schlitterbahn, float the river, relax at Canyon Lake, and spend Sunday having a mid-day Liter of beer, and some cool German folk music. 

Other locations and dates could be added; If that happens, we'll send out a Schnelletter to update you, and of course, you're always welcome to come to our website, or give us a call. 

Looking ahead: 

Thursdays at the Sauer Kraut Grill continue in August, but on August 19, we'll be driving to Oklahoma for shows, so our friend Randy Adams will be at there! 

Friday and Saturday, August 20 and 21; Royal Bavaria Restaurant, 3401 S Sooner Rd, Moore, OK;  Two shows each night; 5:30 - 7:15, 7:45 - 9:30 

Sunday August 22 at Krause's Cafe in New Braunfels, TX 

Host your own summertime party!  Call us for pricing and availability if you have something to celebrate in July / August!  We're available to play for you as a duo unplugged, or we can bring specialty folk instruments, have our fiddler, tubist or drummer join us, and even bring a party pack of Paulaner goodies with us to set the atmosphere, and fun gifts for the host! 

Hosting our trips to Europe Things are beginning to open again in European countries.  Our service providers and we are optimistic that we'll get to go on our twice postponed itinerary to Germany and the Czech Republic.  We now will depart on Tuesday June 7, 2022.  That trip will end on Tuesday June 21.  A second trip will begin with departure from the US on Wednesday June 22 and end on Thursday July 7.  The second trip will visit Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany's Black Forest.  We are still watching Europe closely for updates.  Things seem to be improving with more vaccinations happening there.  We are bound by many factors beyond our control, but will do our best to provide you the best experience we can. Our small groups have a ton of fun together!  There will be an option to go on both trips, so if you're interested, please let us know!  We'll make sure to give you all the details as they come in.  If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, we'd love to have you!  There have been many requests for more Austria, so unless we're forced to postpone again, Austria is on our wish list in 2023. 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available, and always keep the upcoming gigs and last minute changes on the home page.  The shop page https://www.prostyall.com/shop has brand new koozies that fit party cups, pint glasses and Wurstfest cups!  The famous "Prost Y'all" license plate is now available for sale too!  We have a few left, and we'll get some more in stock just in time for the Oktoberfest season.  Won't that look awesome on the wall of your favorite relaxation spot!  There's a photo of it attached to this e-mail.  We also have lots of shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends.  Check the calendar page for Oktoberfest dates.  We'll be in Addison, Fort Worth, Houston, Oklahoma City, and New Braunfels.  We're pending to go to Tulsa. 

Social Media:  We can be found on Facebook, and Youtube.  You can subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/valinapolka , friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valinapolka  "like" us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prostyall/  We have an instagram, but don't know how to use it. 

Thought we'd share this video again, special for Independence Day; Ross playing Stars and Stripes at Mt Rushmore!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjNpAdXhe7s 

Behind the scenes: June has been an emotional roller coaster for us.  The Tomball German festival was a rush of happy and healing emotions seeing so many friends healthy and happy together in one place.  The shadow of fear cleared from their eyes!  Also, the excitement of getting to present the song I wrote for Tomball at the festival itself, accompanied by the Round Top Brass Band, who took Ross' accordion arrangement, and arranged it for their 20 brass and woodwind pieces!  Some new gigs in new places, making lots of new friends was great.   June 20 was my dad's 80th birthday, another happy occasion! Then several losses shortly after that.  A good friend and band mate lost his Mother, then Ross' favorite cousin in south Texas passed, then Ross' Aunt passed a couple of days later.  Inside of 10 days, we've attended 3 funerals.  One where Ross sang and played some accordion.  I don't know how he turns his emotions off when he does those things.  He always amazes me.  On the evening before leaving for South Texas, he started having shoulder pain, which by the next morning was very severe.  We got on the road to south Texas, and he was able to do what he promised for his cousins, but little else.  As long as we could put the accordion on him, he could play it.  Coming home Thursday, we went straight to the Urgent Care to have his shoulder looked at.  No clear diagnosis, but nothing on the x-ray.  The steroid and muscle relaxer prescribed did the trick.  We hired our Niece to be a roadie for the weekend, paying her to help us with all the heavy lifting, and also running cables, which often puts us in difficult positions when an arm can not be extended.  If she had not been available to help, we would have been forced to cancel those gigs.  With a couple more days' rest and accordion rehearsal, he's mostly better now, and not needing the meds any more.  He's dealing with the rotating emotions of loss of a loved one, so has not been himself, but he feels a bit better.  I had some dental work done in mid June, which left some very sensitive spots, which have made quite a bit of discomfort when eating.  Some days, the pain was pretty intense.  Nothing is wrong, and it's slowly improving.  I'm still about a week behind in work, but tackling the stack slow and steady.  If I can get this mess under control, then we can go do the last painting job on our calendar.  We're both pretty ready for a day off, and we plan to spend it on Sunday July 4. 

We're thankful for you, our friends who enjoy and support our music, and who read our monthly mailers.  We're thankful for the new friends we're making in so many places!  Y'all stay healthy, stay safe and we hope to see you somewhere soon!  Happy Independence Day!

Lustige Leute Newsletter May / June 2021 

Howdy Friends! 

Sunny warm days and summer greetings to you!  (Can you tell I typed that when the weather was pretty?  Now, it's more like soggy squishy!)  If you're in Texas, it was feeling like early summer for several weeks, but now it's rain on top of more rain.  Guess we're making up for the dry spell since the snow in February.  Regardless of the rain, people are out and about!  Beaches, parks, rivers and dance halls have been quite busy!  It's so wonderful to be reuniting with old friends and hearing all of the laughter as people get together again! 

We had a lot of "invitation only" sorts of events early in May, I've been so busy in the office working on getting new venues scheduled in June and July, finalizing everything for Tomball's German festival and communicating with places in Europe that time just slipped by!  The band will be busy again through June, which is a good thing, and we're excited about it all! 

May / June performances: 

Thursdays May 27, June 10, 17, 24, The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm.  Stubenmusi (pub style performance - unplugged!)  Owner Eric is almost always there, cooking, serving and visiting with clients.  They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of import, and local craft brews, even some Altstadt!) and Wein selection!  Picnic tables outside if you like to dine in the fresh air.  We'll come out and play for you if you like, just ask us! 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 4 - 6; Tomball German Heritage Festival in Tomball, Texas!  Located on Market Street between Elm and Pine. Three days of fun the way only Tomball can make it!  4 stages of continuous German and polka music with a little American and bluegrass sprinkled in.  Folk dancers, cloggers, contests, games, and a big celebration for the long awaited 20th anniversary!  We hope you can join us out there!  Admission, parking and shuttle are all FREE!  Ross plays solo on Friday night in the German Heritage Center.  The 4 piece band with Robert Herridge and Glen Renfro plays Saturday from 1:30 - 5, and Sunday 12pm - 2pm, all at the Grady Und Sandra Platz located near the corner of Pine and Market.  The festival is still free admission and still offers free parking and shuttle on Saturday and Sunday!   Need some motivation?  Check out this video made with many of you!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTs-9d-NbJo 

THIS ONE IS PENDING please check the website for updates before departing: Friday June 11; Bavarian Brauhaus, 109 N. Main, Bryan, TX, from 6:30 - 10pm.  No passport necessary!  Walk through the doors, and be immediately transported to Bavaria, as this restaurant's interior has been decorated 100% with fixtures and furniture imported from Bavaria!  Import beers, and traditional German menu too!  Since the place is connected to an Irish bar (where everything was imported from Ireland), you can even have a Guinness with your Schnitzel! 

Wednesday June 16; Momma's at Sengelmann, 531 N Main St, Schulenburg, TX, from 6 - 9pm.  Delicious American homestyle dishes, pizza, and daily specials.  Great bar with friendly service. 

Friday June 18; The White Horse Tavern, 400 N Main, Burton, TX, from 7pm - 10pm.  This is a brand new venue for us that we hope will be a fun place for you to join us!  The owner, Allison is also a musician playing accordion and singing.  She does a lot of the cooking and serving herself, so you're guaranteed a warm welcome and true Texas hospitality! 

Sunday June 27; Nathan's BBQ, 1307 Prairie Lea, Brenham, TX (but access to the parking lot is from the feeder rd of 290), from 3 - 6pm.  This will be our first time playing for this venue, and we can't wait! "The Brenham Banner-Press Reader's Choice "Best Barbecue" 6 Years in Row 2015-2020! "  Polka music on Sundays is a new thing for them, so come out and let them know you enjoy a little polka with your BBQ and Beer! 

Looking ahead: 

Thursdays at the Sauer Kraut Grill continue in July and August. 

Friday July 9; The White Horse Tavern, 400 N Main, Burton, TX 

Sunday July 25 at Krause's Cafe in New Braunfels, TX 

Host your own "we're vaccinated" party!  Call us for pricing and availability if you have something to celebrate in July / August!  We're available to play for you as a duo unplugged, or we can bring all of our specialty folk instruments, have our fiddler, tubist or drummer join us, and even bring a party pack of Paulaner goodies with us to set the atmosphere, and fun gifts for the host! 

Hosting our trips to Europe will resume as soon as international travel is wide open again, and boy do we hope that will be possible in 2022!  We have postponed that wonderful itinerary to Germany and the Czech Republic once more.  We now will depart on Tuesday June 7, 2022.  That trip will end on Tuesday June 21.  A second trip will begin with departure from the US on Wednesday June 22 and end on Thursday July 7.  The second trip will visit Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany's Black Forest.  We are watching Europe closely for updates.  Things seem to be slowly improving with more vaccinations happening there.  We are bound by many factors beyond our control, but will do our best to provide you the best experience we can.  If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, we'd love to have you!  Our small groups have a ton of fun together!  There will be an option to go on both trips, so if you're interested, please let us know!  We'll make sure to give you all the details as they come in. 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available, and always keep the upcoming gigs and last minute changes on the home page.  The shop page https://www.prostyall.com/shop has brand new koozies that fit party cups, pint glasses and Wurstfest cups!  The famous "Prost Y'all" license plate is now available for sale too!  We should still have enough to have them available through the weekend in Tomball.  Won't that look awesome on the wall of your favorite relaxation spot!  There's a photo of it attached to this e-mail.  We also have lots of shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends.  Check the calendar page for Oktoberfest dates; they're starting to confirm schedules.  We'll be in Addison, Fort Worth, Houston, Oklahoma City, and are pending to go to Tulsa, New Braunfels, and New Orleans! 

Social Media:  We can be found on Facebook, and Youtube.  You can subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/valinapolka , friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valinapolka  "like" us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prostyall/  We have an instagram, but don't know how to use it, and we check in on our MeWe about once a week. 

Behind the scenes:  Yep, we are doing a few little side jobs here and there to help keep our bills paid.  We worked for 4 days making little repairs to sheet rock, painting and cleaning for my brother and sister in love at their new house before they moved in.  I used to apprentice under a friend who taught me how to do some basic sheetrock taping, floating, texturing and painting, so those old skills were put to use!  I enjoy painting.  Looking at the finished product is quite rewarding!  We finished that job May 7, and since then have been back to our music business.  While I've been in the office, Ross has been taking an old accordion apart and working on it to see if it can be restored.  It is a button chromatic accordion made in Sweden.  He's also learning to play a clarinet he bought in The Netherlands a few years ago and had restored.  I have no idea if either of those instruments will make it on the stage any time soon, but cross training is as important to us musicians as it is to an athlete or dancer.   I'm enjoying my workouts on my bike, going 12 miles 2 or 3 days a week.  It's a good way to train my body to endure high energy performances in the Texas summer heat.   I'm just about finished with the paperwork for the Tomball German Heritage festival coming up in 9 days!  Now I'm knee deep in building a tour to Switzerland and Germany's Black Forest.  The hotels are finally beginning to respond to my requests.  The one hotel who responded with a very warm and enthusiastic reply is the one we chose.  That's the kind of service we want for our guests!  I'm also protesting ridiculous high property taxes (which make no sense, because everything around us sold for less than asking price and for much less than the county appraisal last year!) and working on the songs I wrote last year.  Oh, and Ross and I are both now fully vaccinated, so we are genetically modified super humans!  ...well, according to the statistics, we're no longer a danger to anyone around us, and that's very important to us! 

We're thankful for you, our friends who enjoy and support our music, and who read our monthly mailers.  We're thankful things are opening up and people are getting out again!  Y'all stay healthy, stay safe and we hope to see you somewhere soon!

Lustige Leute Newsletter April 2021 

Full spring time and Easter greetings!  The flowers are blooming, pollen is in the air.....gesundheit!.... and people are out and about again.  It is good to see all the smiles on faces! 

There are some fun things coming up this month, and we hope you'll be able to join us for something soon! 

It's been pretty amazing to watch the grass and trees around here go from completely brown and empty to busting with green all over!  It was kind of strange, everything looking like autumn with spring busting out at the same time.  Ah, Texas weather!  It didn't affect the bluebonnets though!  Those little guys are bright as ever and blooming everywhere!  I wrote a song about Bluebonnets last year.  I really need to get it going so I can play it while they're in bloom! 

April performances: 

Thursdays April 1, 8,15, 29, at The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm.  They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of Paulaner, and local craft brews, even some Altstadt!) and Wein selection!  Picnic tables outside if you feel safer dining in the fresh air.  We'll come out and play for you if you like, just ask us! 

Wednesday April 14; Momma's at Sengelmann, 531 N Main St, Schulenburg, TX, from 6 - 9pm.  Delicious American homestyle dishes, pizza, and daily specials.  Great bar with friendly service. 

Saturday April 17; The Sauer Kraut Grill Halfway to Oktoberfest Party!  734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 1pm - 7pm.  Splitting the stage with Auf Geht's! 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 23 - 25; Germanfest in Muenster, Texas!  Three days of German and polka music in the Tanzhalle!  Admission is $10 Friday or Sunday, $15 on Saturday. BUT, anyone in complete German Tracht (costume) will be admitted free! 

The three piece party band is there Friday 12pm - 1:30, 2pm - 3:30, Saturday 12:20 - 1:50, 4pm - 5:30, Sunday 2:30 - 4pm.  Our friends the Alpenmusikanten will also be there!  The Tanzhalle is an indoor venue, with wide open garage doors for fresh air.  The party goes on rain or shine. 

Looking ahead: 

Sunday May 23; Polka Sundays at Krause's Cafe in New Braunfels, Texas; 2 - 5pm; The Duo 

ALSO!  Crash course polka and waltz dance lessons with Valina!  12pm - 1pm! 

Krause's is all outdoors.  There are heaters if it's cold and fans if it's warm. 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 4 - 6; Tomball German Heritage Festival in Tomball, Texas!  Three days of fun the way only Tomball can make it!  4 stages of continuous German and polka music with a little American and bluegrass sprinkled in.  Folk dancers, cloggers, contests, games, and a big celebration for the long awaited 20th anniversary!  We hope you can join us out there!  Admission, parking and shuttle are all FREE!  The 4 piece band plays Saturday from 1:30 - 5, and Sunday 12pm - 2pm, all at the Grady Und Sandra Platz located near the corner of Pine and Market. 

Host your own "we're vaccinated" party!  Call us for pricing and availability if you have something to celebrate in April or May!  We're available to play for you as a duo unplugged, or we can bring all of our specialty folk instruments, have our fiddler, tubist or drummer join us, or even bring a party pack of Paulaner goodies with us to set the atmosphere, and fun gifts for the host! 

HOPING to host a "land cruise" by luxury coach here in the USA this summer!  The places we are watching closely to see if bringing groups for tours will be possible are Vicksburg MS, Memphis TN, St Louis MO, Hermann MO, Kansas City MO, Tulsa OK, and Eureka Springs AR.  Many of the places we'd like to take you to visit are currently still not taking groups on tours.  Others are.  We are planning to do a trip in mid June for 2 weeks.  All Lustig Tours include live music, so we will be bringing the instruments along and creating our own private parties all along the way.  I am deep in the coordinating phase of building this trip, making lots of phone calls and sticking close to the CDC updates.  As soon as I have some concrete information, I will send out a separate e-mail with all the details and pricing.  What fun it would be to have our own rolling private party for 2 weeks! 

Hosting our trips to Europe will resume as soon as international travel is wide open again, and boy do we hope that will be possible in 2022!  We have postponed that wonderful itinerary to Germany and the Czech Republic once more.  We now plan to depart on Tuesday June 7, 2022.  That trip will end on Tuesday June 21.  A second trip will begin with departure from the US on Wednesday or Thursday June 22 or 23 and end on Wednesday or Thursday July 6 or 7.  The second trip will visit Switzerland and the Black Forest.  We are watching Europe closely for updates, but as of now, there are still lock-downs.  We are bound by many factors beyond our control, but will do our best to provide you the best experience we can.  If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, we'd love to have you!  Our small groups have a ton of fun together!  There will be an option to go on both trips, so if you're interested, please let us know!  We'll make sure to give you all the details as they come in. 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available, and always keep the upcoming gigs and last minute changes on the home page.  The shop page has shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends.  Check the calendar page for Oktoberfest dates; they're starting to confirm schedules! 

Social Media:  We can be found on Facebook, Youtube, and MeWe.  You can subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/valinapolka , friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valinapolka , and / or MeWe!  http://www.mewe.com/i/valinapolka   Join our group on MeWe "Das ist Lustig and Lustig Tours! 

Behind the scenes:  Now that some time has passed, we're seeing the results of the freeze in February.  Most of the plants Ross winterized are showing signs of life with little spouts of green everywhere.  Even the blood orange may survive!  He finished the repairs on all the pipes at his parent's house, and has been planting tomato and pepper plants.  I have been exercising on my bike quite a bit, usually 12 miles 2 or 3 days a week.  The dirndls are beginning to fit a little again!  Otherwise, focus has been on doing a little cleaning, a lot of coordinating for the Tomball German festival coming up in June, and playing some special music for a dear friend's celebration of life.  Last, but not least, Ross is scheduled for his first vaccine shot this Friday!  Hopefully I will follow soon after. 

We're thankful for you, our friends who enjoy and support our music, and who read our monthly mailers.  We're thankful there's a vaccine here, and making its way into the community, and we're thankful there are therapeutics that are available.  Better times are slowly returning!  The blessings remain in abundance, and we're thankful for that.  Y'all stay healthy, stay safe and we hope to see you somewhere soon!

Lustige Leute Newsletter March 2021 

Howdy Friends! 

Ach Du Lieber!  They say March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.  Well, if you're anywhere in Texas, you know the lion got here a couple of weeks early this year!  We're hoping that this e-mail finds you safely thawed after the deep freeze with minimal or no damage. 

If you do have damage, believe me, we understand the frustration!  We were spared water pipe damage, but Ross' parents were not as lucky.  The hidden blessing in the lack of gigs this month is that he is available to help them. 

As much as I love cold weather, even I am happy spring is near.  We have a quiet calendar for March, but things can still change as things open up.  And as I mentioned, Ross is going to need some of that open time to get his parents' water up and running again. 

Also, don't forget, we're still offering a special discount price for **Sunday Afternoon Soirees!  What a fun way to celebrate your vaccination! 

March performances: 

Thursdays March 4, 11, 18, 25 at The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm.  They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of Paulaner, and local craft brews!) and Wein selection!  Gluhwein for the winter season!  Picnic tables outside if you feel safer dining in the fresh air.  We'll come out and play for you if you like! 

Thursday March 4 online; Harris County Precinct 4 online Heritage Festival.  The Duo represents Tomball German Heritage!  The video will play on the Harris County Precinct 4 facebook page. 

Friday March 5; Tue Phat Monday / We survived Siberia in Texas!  An online Karneval / Fasching / Mardi Gras / thawed out show with the Das ist Lustig Duo.  Live on facebook from 7 - 8:30 on Valina's facebook page. 

Friday and Saturday March 12 and 13, Ross plays solo at Rudi Lechner's Restaurant on Gessner just north of Westheimer, in Houston, Texas; 6 - 8pm. 

Wednesday March 24; Polka Wednesdays at Krause's Cafe in New Braunfels, Texas; 6 - 9pm; The Duo 

Krause's is all outdoors.  There are heaters for the cold and fans for the warm. 

**Host your own small party!  Would you like to have 10 - 15 of your best friends over for a Sunday Afternoon Soiree with live acoustic German folk music?  Garages and back porches make great places to spend time with friends and family in the fresh air.  We are offering a special discounted price to come play live music for you, unplugged, for up to 2 hours on a Sunday.  Currently available are March 7, 14, 21, 28. 

Hosting our trips to Europe will resume as soon as international travel is wide open again.  We sincerely hope we're able to take our guests to Germany and the Czech Republic this June 8 - June 22, 2021.  We are going to fly in to Frankfurt Airport with a scheduled arrival of 11:15am on Wed June 9.  We will return from the Munich airport, which currently will require a change of aircraft between Munich and Houston.  We're hoping that changes when borders open, and people resume traveling.  We are watching Germany and the Czech Republic closely for updates, but as of now, there are still lock-downs, and more locking down in some places.  We are bound by many factors beyond our control, but will do our best to provide you the best experience we can.  If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, let us know!  Our small groups have a ton of fun together! 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available, and always keep the upcoming gigs and last minute changes on the home page.  The shop page has shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends. 

Social Media:  We can be found on Facebook, Youtube, and now MeWe.  You can subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/valinapolka , friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valinapolka , and / or MeWe!  http://www.mewe.com/i/valinapolka   Join our group on MeWe "Das ist Lustig and Lustig Tours! 

Behind the scenes: It has been an adventure this past month!  When the weather reports started threatening a big winter storm, we both went in to action.  Tuesday Feb 9 actually, we started winterizing the house and yard.  Ross worked on the plants, laid extension cords for lamps and Christmas lights to warm his citrus, and I went to the grocery stores to stock up on eggs, milk, yogurt and stuff for Dutch Pea Soup.  I came home and cooked for two days, making that pea soup, and also a large pot of chili.  I froze some extra water bottles to keep in the freezers and fridge in case the power went out, and filled all of our hurricane water bottles in case we ended up with water trouble.  Dug candles and holders out of their storage boxes, got the work lanterns out of the band equipment, put all the batteries in one place so we could find them, put the chargers together so we could find them too.  Helped Ross cover all his baby and todler citrus trees, and get the water valves covered too.  After we got our house ready, we checked on the rent house and helped them with the water insulation, then Ross went out to his parents to get them winterized.  They did not have large reserves of bottles to put water in, so he did not shut their well off - if he had been able to, that might have kept the pipes from bursting when the power went out.  He also set up our fireplace gas spigot to plumb to his little gas space heater, just in case.  Good thing he did, because when the power went out, it got cold fast.  We were able to provide a warm place for us, and my parents who's power also was out for 3 days.  His parents didn't want to leave their house, and were able to keep warm with pots of water on the gas stove.  The power came back on for his parents Tuesday afternoon, so they at least had heat again. 

I love snow, and love playing in it.  I don't think I'll ever outgrow that.  So, when I saw it would only sleet / snow Sunday night, I put two big tubs out to catch the drifts in the best spot in our back yard.  I was going to make a snow man out of all that snow, but by Tuesday, found I didn't have time to play, only time to work to keep things under control. (I was the night watch, so I would get up every 45 minutes or so and run the water, flush the toilets and check for any changes in pressure, so I caught up on sleep during the day.  I did make a snow angel on Monday!  By Tuesday morning, every time we opened the fridge, the items we took out went out to the back porch - it was colder there than in the fridge.  I began wondering if I'd need to use the snow I'd caught to ice things down if the power didn't come back on before the temperatures started rising again.  The freezers stayed frozen with all the extra ice blocks I keep in them.  Thank God we didn't lose any food!  Wednesday night, we got power back on.  Thursday, we began to believe it might stay on.  Friday, the temperature got above freezing - a record of cold days in a row for Houston!  Our niece came over because she was out of school and had a dentist apt, so she and I used the snow I'd saved for what it originally was intended, to make snow people!  Ross burned up the road between us and his parents going out there to get the well going again, and rig up a temporary way for his mom to get water just outside her backdoor instead of having to muck out to the well for it.  Their insurance adjuster comes on Tuesday, so hopefully there will be a plan in place for them soon!  I did a little volunteer work, for the high school German Contests back on Feb 6, and then to help with getting food and water out to neighbors in need last weekend.  It felt good to have something to do to help others.  Music has been on the back burner - no time for rehearsals with all this stuff going on, but we still take the time for a few hours of warm ups on show days.  Ross taught an accordion lesson yesterday to a young lady who used to work at Rudi Lechner's.  She's been learning for about 5 years now, and is doing great! 

We're thankful for you, our friends who enjoy and support our music, and who read our monthly mailers.  We're thankful there's a vaccine here, and making its way into the community, and we're thankful there are therapeutics that are available.  Better times are slowly returning!  The blessings remain in abundance, and we're thankful for that.  Y'all stay healthy, stay safe and we hope to see you somewhere soon!

Lustige Leute Newsletter February 2021 

Howdy Friends! 

Happy Groundhog Day Feb 2!  Did you see your shadow?  What's the verdict?  No matter whether we have 6 more weeks or more of winter in store for us, we're going to take it and make the best of it!  Hopeful feelings are going around with the vaccines becoming slowly more available, and many of the group our parents are in are getting their second round.  Boy are they ready to get out and live again, and we know you're ready too!  We should dance to some German polka music! 

We're very thankful that a few jobs came in for us in January when we normally would be without gigs.  We're now re-setting the living room in to a studio to fulfill a few recordings we're making for some upcoming events, as well as planning another online show.  Ross purchased a new computer with a more powerful processor, hoping to improve on some of the things that were going wrong with last year's online shows.  He's spent two days just loading all the files on to the new machine, and a couple more days getting the camera, microphones, and everything else working together.  Just yesterday, there was quite a bit of trial and error. 

We're excited about the shows coming up in February, and the special discount price we're offering for Sunday Afternoon Soirees! 

February performances: 

Wednesday Feb 3; Polka Wednesdays at Krause's Cafe in New Braunfels, Texas; 6 - 9pm; The Duo 

**Krause's is all outdoors.  The weather looks perfect this Wednesday, with a high of 76 and a low of 57! 

Thursdays Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 at The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm.  They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of Paulaner, and local craft brews!) and Wein selection!  Gluhwein for the winter season!  Picnic tables outside if you feel safer dining in the fresh air.  We'll come out and play for you if you like! 

Saturday Feb 6 and Friday Feb 19, Ross plays solo at Rudi Lechner's Restaurant on Gessner just north of Westheimer, in Houston, Texas; 6 - 8pm. 

Saturday Feb 13 (pending)  Romantic Polkas and German / Austrian Love Songs at the Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm. 

Monday Feb 15; Tue Phat Monday!  An online Karneval / Fasching / Mardi Gras show with the Das ist Lustig Duo.  Live on facebook from 7 - 8:30 on Valina's facebook page. 

Thursday Feb 25 online; Harris County Precinct 4 online Heritage Festival.  The Duo represents Tomball German Heritage!  The video will play on the Harris County Precinct 4 facebook page. 

Available Sundays in February and March:  Would you like to have 10 - 15 friends over for a Sunday Afternoon Soiree with live acoustic German folk music?  Garages and back porches make great places to spend time with friends in the fresh air.  We are offering a special discounted price to come play live music for you, unplugged, for up to 2 hours on a Sunday.  Currently available are Feb 14, 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21, 28. 

And Shopping!  We have CDs, t-shirts, and hat pins available for sale, and are happy to ship!  What a cool and unique just because, or gift for your Valentine!  Get them something they can't get at the store, and help us keep our business going! 

Hosting our trips to Europe will resume as soon as international travel is wide open again.  We sincerely hope we're able to take our guests to Germany and the Czech Republic this   June 8 - Tuesday June 22, 2021.  We are going to fly in to Frankfurt Airport with a scheduled arrival of 11:15am on Wed June 9.  We will depart from the Munich airport, which currently will require a change of aircraft between Munich and Houston.  We're hoping that changes when borders open, and people resume traveling.  We are bound by the current airline schedules and other factors beyond our control, but will do our best to provide you the best experience we can.  If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, let us know!  Our small groups have a ton of fun together! 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available.  The store page has shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends.  Also, make sure to subscribe to our youtube channel, as we load videos from time to time up to youtube for those who enjoy watching us "on demand".   Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/valinapolka 

Behind the scenes: Ross and I waited until Jan 25th to take our Christmas decorations down.  Outside was down on Jan 7, but we wanted the cheerful lights, sparkly stuff and family heirlooms to surround us a while longer inside this year.  Since Jan 26, we've been madly cleaning and prepping the living room to be a video recording studio again.  We've both been doing some extra work helping our parents out.  Ross doing some handyman stuf, and I'm doing some deep cleaning at my parent's house.  It does feel good to have the hands busy to achieve a goal.  Ross has also been nurturing some baby plants he hopes to grow this spring.  He managed to keep one tomato vine going through winter, and there was one little 2 inch red tomato ready to eat mid January!  There are some baby peppers in the kitchen window, some baby tomato vines in the patio, a fresh water seaweed for our rain barrel with the fishies in it, some baby trees he fell in love with in South Padre that he hopes might survive here.  His hard work in the garden that started a few years ago with a baby blood orange yielded 5 juicy deliciousnesses this winter! 

We're thankful for you, our friends who enjoy and support our music, and who read our monthly mailers.  We're thankful there's a vaccine here, and making its way into the community, and we're thankful there are therapeutics that are available.  Better times are going to return!  The blessings remain in abundance, and we're thankful for that.  Y'all stay healthy, stay safe in the weather winter is bringing, and we hope to see you somewhere soon!

Lustige Leute Newsletter January 2021 

Howdy Friends! 

Happy New Year!  We're praying 2021 has found you and yours healthy and feeling hopeful. 

Wow, are times ever wild!  While we can't control the world around us, we can do our best to try to keep it a happy place for as many people as possible.  We're feeling hopeful because vaccines are rolling out, now to the group of people our parents are in.  It will be nice to not be afraid to be in close contact with them and go back to goofing off together! 

January is usually our slowest month of the year.  In normal times, we mostly take the month off the stage to do paperwork, maintain and upgrade equipment, order new merchandise, go in to the studio to record an album, and learn a new song.  This year is a bit different.  Ross is still busy with maintenance, and I'm still busy with paperwork; tax stuff is still due, and we're gigging as much as the health shutdown will allow. 

There's not a lot of new things to tell you about, but we do have some fun gigs coming up in the next few weeks, and we hope to see you at a few of them! 

January performances: 

Saturday Jan 16 at The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 5:15 - 7:30pm.  It's a vendor market and mini festival celebrating The Sauer Kraut's first anniversary!  Lots of food available, with Tight BBQ, Snobelle's Sno Cones (and home made ice cream) and of course, The Sauer Kraut Food Truck!  Live music from 1 - 7:30!  The vendor market takes place from 1 - 4.  Come spend the day!  There will be a 20x20 tent with heaters to keep you warm, plenty of sunshine and fresh air! 

Thursdays Jan 21, 28 at The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm.  They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of Paulaner, and local craft brews!) and Wein selection!  Gluhwein for the Christmas season!  Picnic tables outside if you feel safer dining in the fresh air.  We'll come out and play for you if you like! 

Fridays Jan 15, 29; Rudi Lechner's Restaurant on Gessner near Westheimer in Houston, TX; 6 - 8pm; Ross Solo  Rudi's still offers their delicious table side Coffee Goodnight, and ooooh, how good that is when it's cold outside! 

February performances: 

Wednesdays Feb 3; Polka Wednesdays at Krause's Cafe in New Braunfels, Texas; 6 - 9pm; The Duo 

**Krause's is all outdoors.  We recommend wearing layers, and dressing for the cold.  There are excellent overhead heaters, warm drinks, and hot food to keep you warm.** 

Thursdays Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 at The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm.  They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of Paulaner, and local craft brews!) and Wein selection!  Gluhwein for the winter season!  Picnic tables outside if you feel safer dining in the fresh air.  We'll come out and play for you if you like! 

Thursday Feb 25 online; Harris County Precinct 4 online Heritage Festival.  The Duo represents Tomball German Heritage!  The video will play on the Harris County Precinct 4 facebook page. 

And Shopping!  We have CDs, t-shirts, and hat pins available for sale, and are happy to ship!  What a cool and unique just because, or gift for your Valentine!  Get them something they can't get at the store, and help us keep our business going! 

Do you need a mid-winter pick me up?  We would love to bring the Biergarten to your backyard!  Backyard or garage parties are a fun way to break up the mundane and grey winter months.  Contact us for package pricing and availability. 

Hosting our trips to Europe will resume as soon as international travel is wide open again.  We sincerely hope we're able to take our guests to Germany and the Czech Republic this   June 8 - Tuesday June 22, 2021.  We are going to fly in to Frankfurt Airport with a scheduled arrival of 11:15am on Wed June 9.  We will depart from the Munich airport, which currently will require a change of aircraft between Munich and Houston.  We're hoping that changes when borders open, and people resume traveling.  We are bound by the current airline schedules and other factors beyond our control, but will do our best to provide you the best experience we can.  If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, let us know!  Our small groups have a ton of fun together! 

Website:  You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com.  We update our calendar as information becomes available.  The store page has shirts, hat pins, and CD's that can make great gifts for your Biergarten loving friends.  Also, make sure to subscribe to our youtube channel, as we load videos from time to time up to youtube for those who enjoy watching us "on demand".   Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/valinapolka 

Behind the scenes: Ross and I enjoyed a fun spread out Christmas, with both sets of parents, niece and Ross' brother.  All sides of our families, as well as a couple of close friends who we invited this year so they would not be alone have said they'd rather gather for the holidays than sit at home.  We had windows open and the air circulating.  The grownups were at the kids table in the dining room, and the rest of us were at folding tables in the living room.  We received a couple of nice gifts for Christmas that allowed Ross and I to go out of town for a few days, just the two of us, to do nothing but relax.  We chose to go to South Padre Island.  I fed the seagulls without receiving any "payment" from them, and Ross collected interesting looking seashells.  We visited the bird sanctuary, and the turtle hospital.  We ate breakfast on our little balcony at the hotel overlooking a fast food parking lot with a pretty view of the bay in the distance.  We watched the sun rise, we watched the sun set.  We watched Jupiter and Saturn disappear on the western horizon.  We watched the funny little sanderling birds run in and out of the surf chasing whatever it is they chase.  Otherwise, we've been cleaning and working around house.  Christmas decorations are still up inside, because we like looking at them, but we'll put them away soon.  Our living room will soon become a live music video studio again, since we have a few private clients who have asked for online shows.  We might do another facebook live show or two to tide us all over until things are more open. 

We're thankful for you, our friends who enjoy and support our music, and who read our monthly mailers.  We're thankful there's a vaccine here, and making its way into the community, and we're thankful there are therapeutics that are available.  Better times are around the corner!  The blessings remain in abundance, and we're thankful for that.  Y'all stay healthy, Happy New Year, and we hope to see you somewhere soon!

Thank You 

Thank y'all so much for all of your support during these unprecedented times!  Thank you for sharing our online shows, joining in when we do activities, and sending tips.  You have helped us keep this business going.  Thank you to all who have invited us to play Backyard Oktoberfests, Christmas Celebrations, and private concerts!  It has been our pleasure to bring you this festive music and to see you smiling and celebrating!  

We would not be able to continue down the path of running this business that we've poured decades of hard work, investment in instruments and equipment in to get us where we are without your love, friendship and support. Since hosting tours, coordinating events, and dance teaching are all still on hold, the only lifeline our business has is you, and the support you give us for the music we're playing. You are all blessings to us. Thank you! 

A big PROST to Paulaner USA, The Sauer Kraut Grill, KC Bier Co, Siegi's Sausage Factory and Restaurant, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company for the support they gave us during the online show days.  We're eager to continue doing all we can to help your businesses weather this storm. There's a big party waiting when the world heals - and we can't wait! 

If you have the means and would like to contribute for the online shows to help keep the music going, click on the online shop to buy a fun t-shirt, hat pin or CD for someone.  These make great gifts year round!  Don't carry cash to live shows any more?  Drop a tip in the tip boot that links to our paypal.   Or make a check to Das Ist Lustig, PO Box 424, Sugar Land, TX, 77487.   

Valina's been writing some original music!  Check out a few of the videos recorded in 2020 here! 

Want to see the past online shows?  Most are available in the photo album "videos" on valina's facebook page.  They are also available on the Valina Polka youtube page.  You can even compare the first videos to the newer ones, and see the difference in the internet speed, which was upgraded April 18, 2020 and the new camera and software, finally in use May 23, 2020!  While you're at the youtube page, make sure to subscribe!