How was your Thanksgiving? Did you get to spend time with family? Did you get your house all ready for the Holidays? We're so close to the end of this year, we can practically kick it! One month to go, and it should be a joyful one, even if it is still the mess that 2020 has shown us it is capable of being.
Things remain busy around the Lustig Haus, but it's a different kind of busy. Last Sunday, while Ross was at church singing for the online service, I was doing a radio interview with Richard Kamins from the Polish Melodies Show on WLIS / WMRD in Connecticut. You can catch the podcast here. When the podcast menu comes up, scroll down to "Nov 22 Valina Polka." It was a pleasure being part of the show! Later this month, I'll be interviewed on the radio in the Netherlands on Friday Dec 18. I don't have details of station and web address yet, but I know I'll have to brush up on my Dutch language, because the interview will be in Dutch! Our friends the Limbo Express invited me to be part of this interview. We played with them in Wahlwiller NL in the summer of 2019 at a Wijnfest (wine festival). We'll post links to social media and our website if we can! Besides radio interviews and volunteer work for church, we're rehearsing Christmas music, putting studio equipment away, and decorating for Christmas. We have our living room back as a living room for the first time since late March. We have a few public performances on the calendar for the rest of this year, and we hope you're able to join us for one or a few of them!
Wednesdays Dec 2, & 16; Polka Christmas 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 being in the cold. Krause's has ordered heaters, but they might not be there yet. They sell Gluhwein, Wassail, hot tea, hot chocolate, and delicious food to keep you warm.**
Thursdays Dec 3, 10, 17 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 Dec 4, & 18; Rudi Lechner's Restaurant on Gessner near Westheimer in Houston, TX; 6 - 8pm; Ross Solo
Wednesday Dec 9; at the Fire Ant Brewpub, 308 Market, Tomball, TX Online Show from 6 - 8pm on the valinapolka facebook page, AND in person at the Fire Ant Brewpub! Special Guest Randy Adams joins us as we celebrate the Tomball German Christmas Market. Be in the live "studio audience"! With Fire Ant at 75% capacity, there's room for about 70 guests. The food and drink is excellent!
New Year's Eve, Thursday Dec 31; at the Sauer kraut Grill, 734 Crabb River Rd, Richmond, Texas from 7pm - 12:30am. Party can accept up to 50 guests. Reservations required. 713-331-9013 $75 per person includes German buffet dinner, beer, wine, Gluhwein, midnight Prost, New Year midnight breakfast. There will be a tent (with sides and heaters if cold). We'll be there playing all evening!
Online as guests with Jake of The Chardon Polka Band and their Christmas Special; the show will broadcast on Chardon Polka Band's Facebook sometime this month.
The Christmas Holidays are just around the corner. We'd love to bring the Gemütlich feeling of a German Christmas to you! Saturdays December 5 and 12 are still available. Other dates and times are also available. We'd love to spend that time playing music for you! We will play for your event if it is outdoors under a covered porch, or in a garage, or even under a tent on your driveway. As long as there is plenty of fresh outdoor air, having a small gathering of family and friends should be pretty safe.
And Shopping! We have CDs, t-shirts, and hat pins available for sale, and are happy to ship! What a cool and unique Christmas gift! Get them something they can't get at the store, and help us be able to put some Christmas cheer in our stockings too!
Hosting our trips to Europe will resume as soon as international travel is wide open again. The trip we were going to host this year going to Germany and the Czech Republic has been postponed and reserved for next June, 2021. Travel dates are Tuesday June 8 - Tuesday June 22. The itinerary will follow the same plan (as much as possible) we had in place for this year's trip. 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 are loading the live shows from facebook up to youtube for those who prefer to stay away from facebook. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/valinapolka
Behind the scenes: Ross and I enjoyed a semi quiet Thanksgiving with both sets of parents, niece and Ross' brother. All sides of our families have said they'd rather gather for the holidays than sit at home hoping to gather sometime in the future. We had windows open, the air circulating, and tried to keep distance as much as possible. While the "grown ups" were talking in the dining room, our niece (15 yrs) and I were watching online videos of what we call "crash up derbys". It started with monster trucks, but went on a downward spiral from there to watching people drive beat up cars around a muddy arena and bash them against other beat up cars. What a funny mess! Otherwise, we've been cleaning and decorating the house. After 8 months of living in a "studio", we've packed the equipment away, and restored our living room to a living room. The camera and computer equipment will be with us in Tomball next Wednesday Dec 9, so we hope you'll join us online for that show if you're not able to be there in person, in our "studio audience".
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 on its way, 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, Merry Christmas, and we hope to see you somewhere soon!