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!
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!