If you've been waiting to buy a home and have been searching for the right retirement community, look no further than Sun City Texas! Located in the beautiful Hill Country community of Georgetown, Sun City Texas is only 30 miles from the music, culture and entertainment of Austin.
Sun City Texas is a Del Webb resort-style community for active adults aged 55 or better and offers unparallelled amenities such as state-of-the-art fitness centers, arts & crafts studios, tennis courts, three 18-hole championship golf courses, computer lab and classes and much, much more. There's always plenty to do in Sun City Texas with dozens of clubs and activities from which to choose.
With interest rates still historically low, great buys on inventory or resale homes and beautiful homesites for new homes available in Sun City Texas, now is the perfect time to buy a home in this beautiful community where you can retire from work but not life.
The builder is also just completing the complete renovation of the Model Park to reflect all of the exciting new options and upgrades that are available to the new home buyer. A Grand Opening of the new Model Park will be announced soon for early February to give customers a look at upgrades such as fireplaces, new choices in tile and wood flooring, new cabinet finishes, walk-in showers with rain shower heads, beautiful decorative tile backsplashes and lots more.
See how excited the first customer to purchase a new home with the new options feels!
Be sure to visit my website, fill out the form to JOIN MY MAILING LIST and be among the first to know about the Model Park Grand Opening Event and all the new developments at Sun City Texas!
If you want concierge service before, during and after a home purchase, Sun City Alice with Sun City Realty always delivers as the Exclusive Buyer's Agent in Sun City Texas.
Remember, if you want the best and most complete information about Sun City Texas, contact Sun City Alice, 512-818-0389.
Sun City Texas Information
Sun City Texas has lots of clubs and one that has always been fascinating to me is the Special Interest Group that sails model sailboats on Berry Pond. Berry Pond is visible to everyone who enters the community on Del Webb Boulevard from Williams Drive. Berry Pond was formed by damming up Berry Creek right at the bridge that crosses the creek. I have seen the model sailboats and their captains who control their tacking across the creek with radio controls many times. It is a whole lot less trouble than trying to put in your own full-sized sailboat, adjust the sails and ropes, prepare to come about and harness the wind to maneuver across a body of water. That requires a lot more physical effort but the same tactics and strategy are involved in sailing a model as sailing a big boat.
If you'd like to see the model sailboats sail on Berry Pond, you're in luck. On Saturday, August 20th, the Sun City Radio Control Modelers Special Interest Group is Co-Sponsoring an R/C Sailboat Regatta in conjunction with the Austin Model Yacht Club at Berry Creek Pond located in Legacy Hills Park. Setup for the Regatta will begin at 8 a.m., and the skippers meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Racing will begin at 10 a.m., and conclude about 4 p.m. with the trophy presentation ceremony.
Everyone is invited to come and watch this exciting event which will bring R/C Sailboat enthusiasts from as far away as Louisiana, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas, to prove their prowess in harnessing the wind to bring their sailboat across the line first. About 15 races should be completed during the day. Each race will start with a timed sequence with all boats starting between two starting marks. The winners will be determined by low point score.
Bring your lawn chairs, your sunblock, and your water to keep you cool and hydrated. Come early, before the temperature gets up high, while the sun is behind us.
The Sun City Radio Control Modelers Special Interest Group will have a table displaying various kinds of boats, airplanes, helicopters, and cars belonging to members of the group, and provide information about meetings, and events conducted by the group. Membership applications will also be available for anyone interested in joining the group.
Location: Sun City Texas Berry Pond
Legacy Hills Park on Del Webb Blvd.
Georgetown, TX 78633
When: Saturday, Aug. 20th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. race
Filed under: Announcements, Events, Community Information, Williamson County, Georgetown Texas, Sun City Texas, active adult, radio control models, regatta, radio controlled models, sailboat
One of the fixtures of my life, a constant, something that has always been there, is the movie The Wizard of Oz. I cannot remember a year that has gone by without viewing this movie and still being transfixed by the story, the music, costumes, stage sets and messages. I know the dialogue by heart.
I had read the book as a child, again reading it as a young adult and like so many other children's classics, I got a more full appreciation of the characters, plot and humor. The Wizard of Oz is a timeless tale of good vs. evil, the value of friendship, and learning to appreciate the many blessings that one has.
The Palace Theater in Georgetown is presenting their production of The Wizard of Oz on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Aug. 5th-Sept. 4th. But what is really exciting is that they are offering a free performance for families with children and adults with special needs this Thursday, Aug. 11th at 7:30 p.m. You have to call 512-869-7469 to reserve a seat. The show will start at 7:30 pm; seating starts at 6:50 pm for those in wheelchairs and for all others at 7:00 pm. This will be a shortened version of The Wizard of Oz beginning when Dorothy and her new friends approach the Emerald City, and will run for approximately one hour. American Sign Language interpreters will be present, as well as audio describers for the blind (if needed).
What a wonderful opportunity to see a live performance of the favorite classic. The reviews I have read rave about the quality of costumes, sets and the performance itself. There's a bonus opportunity to meet the performers at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13th at All Things Kids, toy & book shop on the northeast corner of the square in downtown Georgetown.
Follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City with your little dog, Toto, to see The Wizard of Oz, complete with dance, tap, singing, pyrotechnics, flying monkeys and all!
Location: The Palace Theater
810 So. Austin Ave.
Georgetown, TX 78626
When: Free Performance for Special Needs Persons & Families
Thursday, Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
I have recently discovered a show on the Cooking Channel called "From Spain With Love". The reason the show fascinates me is because of the many locations that the host visits, the scenery, the snippets of culture that are revealed and of course, the unique food. I began a love affair with Spain back in high school when I immersed myself in the Spanish language and branched out to include an interest in all the countries that speak the Spanish language. By the time I had graduated from high school, I had studied in Mexico and visited Spain.
What I discovered during my short visit to Spain was that the country is beautiful, full of history, art and architecture, and intensely proud of their traditions and customs. One of the great traditions that is passed down from generation to generation is the cultivation of olives. The Spanish are connoisseurs of olive oil and use distinct varieties for specific dishes. The most recent episode of "From Spain With Love" was all about olive oil- liquid gold.
Spain produces and distributes more olive oil than any other place in the world, including Italy. Olives grow on small trees that are native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin, Asia and Africa. The olive fruit is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The olive tree is an evergreen tree or shrub that rarely exceeds 26-49 feet tall. The leaves are silvery green and the trunk is typically gnarled and twisted. The olive tree is a very hardy species and is drought, disease, and fire-resistant, and can live for a very long time. Many olive trees in the groves around the Mediterranean are said to be hundreds of years old and some trees may be as old as 2,000 years old. Olive oil is much like fine wine and the taste will vary according to the type of olive grown, as well as the climate and soil conditions.
Many regions that have Mediterranean-like climates are able to cultivate olives such as California, Chile, Peru, Australia, and New Zealand. Now, olives are being grown in Texas and producers have the support of an organization called the Texas Olive Oil Council.
In nearby Walburg, Central Texas Olive Ranch has planted three varieties of olives that are suitable for this area. This is the first olive grove in Central Texas and will be producing 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil this fall. The 23,000 tree olive grove at Central Texas Olive Ranch was planted on 33 acres in the Spring of 2009 and they have room to expand.
Central Texas Olive Ranch is now constructing a 6,000 square foot building where they will process the oil, have sales offices, a presentation room, and products. They welcome anyone to stop by and visit or you can arrange for a personal tour to have questions answered about the trees, oil, or process of making olive oil.
Texas may see the start of a new oil boom- olive oil. The industry is thriving and growing from what started as a relatively new specialty crop. The Texas Olive Oil Council was founded in 1994 as a non-profit organization with the purpose of successfully cultivating olives in Texas. Texans are doing it right here in Walburg.
Location: Central Texas Olive Ranch
Directions: 5 miles east of Interstate 35, down FM 972, north of Georgetown. Exit
268 off of I-35 and travel East on FM 972 to Walburg. Once you go
through historic Walburg, we are another 1 mile east on FM 972. Once
you pass CR 316, you will start to see a white fence on your left; soon
to follow, our entry gate! Come stop by and see us anytime!
Now that Chloe is retired and has returned to being a full-time dog, I am stepping into my role as blog-meister. I've lived in Georgetown for more than thirty years now. That pretty much qualifies me as an old-timer. I've seen changes, embraced most of them, and enjoyed a lot of them.
I love that Georgetown now has all sorts of ethnic food choices like Greek, French, Mexican and Chinese. We used to have few choices other than fast food. I like that I can shop in Georgetown for most everything I need now. You can even have a glass of wine or a Margarita with dinner now. I could tell many years ago that because of the Main Street Project, Georgetown would have character.
The many unique shops that now surround the downtown square are part of that vitality, uniqueness and character that I so love. A new shop that I recently discovered just a block east of the north side of the square is Diva Chicks ARTful Boutique. After enjoying a delightful lunch at the Dia Thai Cuisine restaurant, I popped into the newly opened Diva Chicks ARTful Boutique just to check it out.
I must admit that my expectations were that it would be just "another women's clothing and accessory store". My expectations were low; I have seen shops open and close that had stuff that was attractive but nothing unique. Diva Chicks is delightfully unique and I was instantly charmed by the co-owner Edda. She models what they sell and lends a flair to the beautiful hand-painted knitwear that has style and versatility. Although the pieces are not cheap in price, they are so multipurposed in how they may be worn that I was reminded of the knitwear line that was popular in the 80's called Units. The colors are beautiful and the fabric is a modal knit that is soft and comfortable and much higher quality than that of the Units.
The boutique itself is stylish and sophisticated, inviting and friendly. Local artist, Kay Briggs, is the other co-owner whose bright and fanciful artwork adorns the walls of the boutique. The jewelry is unique, handbags are handcrafted and limited in number so you won't see the same bag coming down the street, the clothes are comfortable and made for real people. They even carry some unique children's clothing and baby gifts.
Diva Chicks is having a ribbon cutting this Friday, August 5th at 5 p.m. Be sure to go by and take a look at their great items. They are open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Location: Diva Chicks ARTful Boutique
109 E. 7th Street
Georgetown, TX 78626
"Like" Diva Chicks on Facebook
I am officially a "mature dog" and I find myself being more inclined to watching squirrels rather than chasing them. My ability to type on a laptop keyboard is diminished by my less than 20/20 eyesight. I like to take afternoon siestas and prefer short excursions. I have decided to turn over my writing duties to my able human office mate, Sandy. I am retiring with an imperceptible transition, returning to my canine purpose on this earth of being devoted. This change in course will give full voice to my creative mentor.
A change in course is a common event in the natural world. Nothing stays the same; rivers change their paths of least resistance as they flow toward the sea, the heavenly bodies continue to move away from each other in their expansion, the clouds form into endless shapes and dissipate and reform, time moves forward and what was never is again. I embrace change as a logical step in progressing forward in space and time.
I thought of something that I used to like to do when I was young and I think it is still a great idea. This is a fun activity for an individual or a group and it gets you outside and looking at the world. Try going on a nature Treasure Hunt. You can go in your own backyard or a park or recreation area. A treasure hunt list helps you explore the wonders of nature by looking more carefully at the smaller details in the world. I love looking at common things in a different way.
Here's two Nature Treasure Hunt lists that you can use to explore the outdoors. Spending time outdoors helps to develop an appreciation for nature and a conservation ethic. As cities encroach on wildlife habitat and open lands shrink, the need to make sure that there are still places to go that are natural is more pressing. Our modern lives disconnect us from nature and nature goes unnoticed. When nature is disregarded or taken for granted, we run the risk of disinterest in conservation. I don't want natural areas and animals to disappear so that they are curiosities that are seen only in pictures.
There are already species that are gone forever that we living today only can see in a book. When I was growing up, I used to regularly catch the Texas Horned Lizard that was plentiful in my North Texas neighborhood.
I only caught them to study their spiny scales and their splotchy coloring that served as camouflage and then released them into the wild. I remember turning them over in my palm and stroking the smooth pale scales on the underbelly and marveling at the difference from the rough prickly texture on the topside of its body. I could go out any day and find them sunning on a rock or brick ledge. I have not seen a horned lizard in thirty years. Have I witnessed an extinction in my lifetime?
I have tree lizards in the back yard that are similarly colored to the Horned Lizard but they have a longer tail, more slender body and don't sport the large head horns. They are very fast and wary, blend perfectly with the tree bark and are difficult to watch for very long before they disappear.
I also have some lovely anoles which are mostly a bright lime green as they adapt their color to the plant foliage they inhabit. Anoles have the ability to change color based on their mood or surroundings but are not chameleons or geckos. They are actually more closely related to the iguana and usually live for four to eight years. Anoles are very territorial and will fan their throat skin out and display a bright red pouch while giving off ultrasonic hisses to scare off an intruder. They are fascinating and prehistoric looking creatures.
Find out more about conservation of the environment and wildlife at the Lone Star Chapter of Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Wildlife Federation or the World Wildlife Fund.
Living in an active adult community, I realize that a key component of remaining active and vital is to not stop being active and vital. This is a major part of maintaining health. It is fortunate that Georgetown and Sun City Texas both offer many opportunities to find something that you find fun, engaging, and invigorating.
I think that finding that something is probably the hardest part of fitness and maintaining health. We all know we should m-o-v-e more but because of time and money constraints, we have all tried a program and dropped it because we really didn't like the activity. It just gets discouraging and expensive to always be trying something and then dropping out after a short length of time.
I am an early riser and I prefer a more contemplative form of movement rather than the energetic dance-based exercise classes. The misconception is that if you are not vigorously jumping around and sweating like a race horse, you aren't really doing anything beneficial to health. It has been scientifically shown that the slow and disciplined forms of exercise can lend more benefit to a person than just physical fitness. Gentle exercise, such as yoga, qigong, tai chi, and Pilates, benefit the body and the nervous system by alleviating stress, improving blood flow, lessening inflammation and strengthening the immune response, improving cognitive function and all this with a much reduced risk of injury.
As the majority of the population matures, we are all seeking ways of improving the quality of life. I have found qigong to be something that I enjoy doing and provides huge benefits without any pain. I recently filmed my qigong class because I wanted to share this ancient Chinese philosophy and practice of aligning breath, physical activity and awareness. You can view my video here and see what our hour-long class that meets three times a week is like. Qigong is part of the Alternative Health & Wellness Club at Sun City Texas.
Georgetown and Sun City Texas also have yoga, Pilates, tai chi, hatha yoga, and Nia classes that are offered at the Fitness Centers. There are also individual businesses around town that offer various forms of yoga classes. These all involve a more whole body-mind-spirit approach to physical conditioning, self-discovery and personal transformation. For those on a limited budget, you can always buy or rent an instructional DVD. There's even free classes online; just Google "free yoga online" or "free qigong" and there are online videos that provide instruction.
It is hard to embrace these gentler forms of fitness as beneficial when we grew up in the age of hard-core and high powered aerobics classes touted as the keys to the perfect body. But as we all age and are confronted with knees and hips that remind us of the abuse that has been endured, it is time to consider that the secrets of health are not so elusive. The secret is to move with care and respect for the only body you have, release the tension and stress, and have fun. The options are out there; find the one that feeds your soul.
There is a tree planted in my backyard that has had a difficult time getting established. Last year, when it was first planted, we had a long hot and dry summer and now this summer has been "blast furnace redux". The poor little magnolia tree that was intended to be a beautiful ornamental shade tree has struggled. To protect it from the weed whacker, a wire cage was placed around it and mulch has been mounded to catch and conserve the weekly deep irrigation that is keeping it alive.
One afternoon, when the sprinkler was turned on to water both the magnolia and the well-established silver leaf maple nearby, it became the community bird bath for a multitude of birds. They were perching on the wire rungs of the cage and fluffing their feathers, jumping from rung to rung as they flew through the droplets of the sprinkler. I have never witnessed such collective bird joy in my whole life!
This avian celebration continued for at least thirty minutes with lots of excited chirping to accompany it. The commotion attracted more and more birds of various sizes and colors. There were wrens and chickadees, finches and sparrows, but the overwhelming majority of attendees at this impromptu water party were cardinals. Both the brightly red colored male cardinals and the less showy red-brown females were having a high time at the water sprinkler hoe-down!
The cardinal is a territorial song bird. The male sings in a loud clear whistle from the top of a tree or another high location to defend his territory and will chase off other males entering his territory. They even mistake their own image on various reflective surfaces as an invading male and will fight the reflection relentlessly. But on this day, territory was ignored and there were no boundaries in the sprinkler's spray. Everyone played nice.
All the birds were singing, whistling songs amongst each other in what I am sure was the expression of pure bird ecstasy at finding a local shower in the midst of the searing heat. The cardinals were singing "purdy, purdy, whoit, whoit, whoit, whoit". It became a wonderful opportunity to enjoy watching some lovely birds. I couldn't help but anthropomorphize them and imagine they were like most children playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer day!
There's a large special interest group for Birding that is part of the Sun City Texas Nature Club. They get together a couple of times a month for bird walks at 7:30 in the morning. They also get together for field trips to enjoy birds in their native habitat. For anyone who has an interest, they also loan bird reference materials such as books, pamphlets and CDs. Anyone can take an interest in birds and learn more about them. Just turn on your sprinkler and watch the show.
After a long day at work, I like to eat out and one of my favorites types of food is Mexican. Almost a year ago, I discovered the Mexicano Grille in Jarrell. It is kind of set back from the highway behind a truck stop but it is very nice inside and has consistently great food.
On Friday nights the Mexicano Grille has a Mariachis band and it really makes me think I'm in Mexico. My favorite thing to get is the guacamole that they prepare fresh right at your table in a molcajete bowl (although it is a plastic molcajete). It is called the Live Guacamole and is prepared with 3 avocado halves, lime, diced onion, jalapeno, tomatoes and cilantro. This is great as a meal all by itself for one or an appetizer for two.
The molcajete is stone tool that is the Mexican version of the mortar and pestle. The word molcajete is derived from the Nahuatl word mulcazitl and has been in use by pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultures stretching back several thousand years. Traditionally the tools were carved out of a single block of volcanic basalt. The molcajete is typically round in shape and supported by three short legs and frequently decorated with the carved head of an animal on the outside edge of the bowl, giving it the appearance of a short, stout, three-legged animal. The matching hand-held grinding tool is known as a tejolote.
Molcajetes are used to crush and grind spices, prepare salsas and guacamole. The rough surface creates a superb grinding surface that maintains itself over time. Molcajetes are know to "season" much like a cast iron skillet, carrying flavors from one preparation to another.
Mexicano Grille has specials all week long: Tuesdays they offer $.99 Margaritas, Wednesdays senior dinners are 15% off, Mon.-Thurs. happy hour is from 4-7 p.m. on all flavors of Margaritas and House Margaritas, all draft beer and Margaritas are 1/2 price (except for Top Shelf), Sunday you can get Mexican Martinis and Bloody Mary's for $3 all day.
They have one of the most extensive menus that I have seen anywhere. It is difficult to make a choice and I have never been disappointed by my choice whether it was chicken, seafood, pork, beef or vegetarian. Service is fast and friendly and prices are very reasonable. It has never been crowded so we are seated quickly. It is nice for a change from some of the nearby locations for Mexican food that are always crowded.
The Mexicano Grille has several locations in Temple, Waco, Copperas Cove, Mexia, Belton and Palestine. "Like" them on Facebook and you can find out about events and offers!
Location: Mexicano Grille
205 Sonterra Blvd.
I am in Kolache heaven. If you have never been to a Czech bakery, you haven't lived. What's really great about Czech bakeries here in Texas is that they incorporate some of our local favorite ingredients like jalapenos.
Monica's Czech Bakery is located just up the road in Jarrell in the same building as the Exxon station on the east side of IH 35. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but don't judge by the lack of frills in the building or signage. This is a wonderful Czech bakery where everything is baked fresh daily and offer delicious pastries of all flavors. They have flavors of the day specials too.
My favorite is the jalapeno sausage kolache which makes a fine lunch on a busy day. On Thursdays, senior citizens get a fruit or cheese kolache and small coffee for only $1.25 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. What a deal! The daily kolache flavors are cream cheese, apple, apricot, poppyseed and strawberry/cream. These delights are $.95 each or $10 per dozen. The sausage kolaches are $1.40 each or $15 per dozen. You can get spicy or jalapeno sausage or ham & cheese. They also bake cinnamon rolls, brownies, mini breads and muffins.
The kolache is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough. The sausage filled variety is actually called a klobasnek or klobasniki but they are mistakenly called kolaches. The kolache originated as a semi-sweet wedding dessert from Central Europe and became popular in parts of the U.S. Central Texas has a large population of Czech Americans with many restaurants and bakeries specializing in kolaches. Czech immigrants came to the Central Texas area to purchase rich lands
to farm and start a fresh life in the new world in the 1880's.
Experience a little bit of Eastern Europe and sink you mouth into a fresh kolache. Visit Monica's Czech Bakery in Jarrell.
Location: Monica's Czech Bakery
12820 N. IH 35 (Exit 275)
Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday & Sat. 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed Sun. & Mon.
National acclaim has hit a nearby neighbor, Salado, Texas. "Salado Legends" is the only outdoor drama in the state of Texas to be
chosen by the Library of Congress Bicentennial celebration to serve as a
record of life in America at the end of the 20th century. Out of 124
outdoor dramas in the United States, four were chosen by the Library of
Congress to "preserve our nation's diverse cultural traditions for
generations of Americans, present and future." The four outdoor dramas
chosen were: "Blue Jacket" and "Tecumseh" in Ohio, "The Lost Colony" in
North Carolina and "Salado Legends" in Texas.
Performances of this dinner theater drama is only on three evenings, July 23rd, July 30th and August 6th. "Salado Legends" is performed annually as part of the Tablerock Festival of Salado and this marks the nineteenth year of its staging. Central Texas’ favorite outdoor musical drama, where
history, legend and memories meet on cool summer evenings under the
An original song, “Be Careful What You Wish For,” weaves the
legends of the Tonkawa Indians, the dreams of Spanish explorers and the
hopes of the Scottish settlers into a panoramic tale. Written by Salado
playwright/lyricist, Jackie Mills, music by local composers, directed
by Donnie Williams and a cast, crew and supporters of over 100.
The Village of Salado was founded at the Old Military Road crossing of
Salado Creek on October 8, 1859 coincident with the founding of Salado
College. Salado was a watering stop for many Indian tribes and a campground to the Tonkawa tribe. The village was the main water stop for the Chisholm Trail cattle drives and was a welcomed Stagecoach stop. There were many great cattle drives from 1866 to 1885 as Salado was situated on a feeder trail of the famous Chisholm Trail. The giant herds came right through the heart of town and crossed the Salado Creek at the big boiling spring, just below the present highway bridge.
Just as they were the vanguards of civilization in
other regions of America west of the Appalachians, the Scots formed the
first large group of settlers in Central Texas. Salado grew around the home and plantation of Colonel E. Sterling C. Robertson, when he donated land for the village and a college at a tent meeting in 1859. The Colonel was the son of Scottish settler and land agent or surveyor, Sterling Clack Robertson.
Founded by the early Scottish settlers because of its
plentiful springs and rich farmland, Salado became a center for commerce
and culture. Every year in November, Salado hosts the Scottish Clan Gathering and Highland Games. This event features clan tents and Scottish vendors, piping and drumming, highland dancing, highland games, tartan ceilidh ("kay-lee") which is an informal gathering for the playing and singing of old songs, and the Texas Tattoo at closing time.
What a great opportunity to visit historic Salado, learn about its rich history, and enjoy some great entertainment and a meal at the Tablerock Festival. The Tablerock Festival is held at the Tablerock Amphitheater which was built on thirteen acres of land donated by the Goodnight family. It received its name from a very large flat rock in Salado Creek, which looked like a table rock and was a favorite spot for the Salado College students to spend study time. It is an outstanding outdoor production facility. CLICK HERE for ticket information and be sure to mention if you are a Sun City resident for discounts.
Location: Goodnight Amphitheater
409 Royal Street
Salado, TX 76571
I don't care what kind of diet I try to adhere to, I find that there is always room for ice cream. Especially when it is as hot as it has been this summer. I may scrimp, eat mainly vegetarian, watch the "white stuff" like rice, bread, and potatoes, but living is not about being in constant denial. Occasionally, you just have to indulge in a truly satisfying experience like slowly savoring a single decadent dip of real ice cream.
Since 1984, July has been celebrated as National Ice Cream Month. I cannot think of a better way to recognize the month of July since it is, on average, the hottest month of the year in Texas. We have a number of places to get our ice cream fix in Georgetown. There's always the do-it-yourselfers who simply make a trip to the grocery for a half gallon container of their favorite flavor of Blue Bell. Undoubtedly this is the least expensive way to go. Sometimes you just want to get out of the house.
For soft serve, I really like Yogo Bowl in Wolf Ranch Shopping Center. Mostly I like it because you serve yourself, they have a non-fat flavor that I like, it's fast and you just pay for the amount you get by weight.
Yogo Bowl is a private company that started in Austin. I have read reviews on Yelp criticizing that they do not give out samples, but I must say that all the flavors are really good. I remember the day when no one gave out samples but I do realize that expectations have changed. Oh, well.
The other great choice is the Baskin Robbins that has opened on Williams Drive. They always have a flavor of the month and this month it is "Super-Soldier Swirl". This flavor is a partnership with the new film "Captain America" and a sweepstakes in which you can nominate an active or veteran U.S. service person inspired by the super-soldiers in the movie. People had to submit essays to nominate their inspirational Super-Soldiers.
Did you know that the U.S. consumes over half the world's vanilla ice cream? I am proud to say that I have contributed to that statistic but I generally lean towards more exotic flavors. Even at Baskin Robbins I can find some diet-friendly choices they call "BRight Choices" that include Pineapple Coconut, White Caramel Chocolate Chunk, and Butter Almond Crunch.
Remember the commercial for Jello gelatin, "There's always room for Jello"? In my world, there's always room for ice cream!
Location: Yogo Bowl
Wolf Ranch Shopping Center
1015 W. University Ave., Ste. 130
Georgetown, TX 78628
3303 Williams Drive, Ste. 101
Georgetown, TX 78628
After a long break, I am back. Refreshed, rejuvenated, replenished. The one thing I didn't seem to have was motivation. It has been said that it takes 30 days to create a habit. Some say that it can be done in 21 days with repetition and motivation. I can personally attest that it takes far fewer days to eliminate a habit. Of course, the speed at which one loses a habit is directly proportional to the amount of pleasure received from that habit. So something that is viewed as highly enjoyable is slower to be lost, and conversely, those things seen as more of a chore are lost most quickly.
I guess that is what a daily posting on this blog had become, a chore. I was tired. I loved discovering things to do and writing about them but not so much the lack of feedback. Posting to the great internet void, receiving few comments except from spammers, over time became exhausting. When I recently took a complete break from the daily posting task, I lost the habit that I so carefully created, nurtured and continued without exception for 6 months. Now I have to work at making this blog habit-forming again.
I recently read a very interesting article in Wired Magazine about the feedback loop. Feedback loops are used as effective tools for changing behavior. The idea is to provide people with information about their actions in real time (or
something close to it), then give them an opportunity to change those
actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. Feedback loops harness the power of human belief: the more we believe that we can meet a goal, the more likely we will do so. Belief is reinforced with data that gives the individual a means of evaluating progress toward that goal. Self-improvement programs, athletic training plans and executive coaching strategies all use feedback loops to get desired results.
Technology has helped me to track the data in regards to this blog. I can see that viewership has increased over time. This is good, however, my feedback loop still lacks the necessary interaction from the audience. Without comments from readers, I am unable to track what affect, if any, my posts have on readers. In short, it is not a loop at all, it is simply providing data that is either irrelevant or does not elicit a response.
I am realigning my goal to harness the power of feedback loops. I will provide evidence of great stuff to do (data), make it relevant by making that information have meaning and will transform into an emotional imperative for readers, and the result will be to move the reader to engage, take action (make comments or share an experience relative to the post) and thus close the loop.
So, why does a feedback loop work? Somehow by putting our own data in front of us, we are compelled to act because we crave information about where we stand; we have aspirations. We receive satisfaction and even pleasure from knowing we have made progress by evaluating results and making course corrections.
Help me with my data collection. Tell me if my post is relevant to you in any way. Let me know if you have visited the location, business, recreational facility, or participated in the activity. Gathering this data will make future posts more relevant which will result in a full realization of all the potential things there are to do in the Georgetown area. You can help complete the feedback loop. This blog can become habit forming.
I return, time and time again, to the outdoors for renewal. Away from electronics (TV's, cellphones, computers), news media, noise and schedules, I find that just being outside allows me to recharge my battery. Although it is very hot in Texas in summer, the outdoors is still accessible early in the morning and late in the evening. I like just piddling around my backyard, watering plants, checking on my remaining tomato plants, encouraging the living things to hang in there until the drought and heat breaks. I like to read in my hammock under the trees in the backyard while the dogs sniff around for critters that may have left their scent about the yard overnight. Just an hour or two does the trick. Try it.
Visit a location that is green and see if you aren't rejuvenated. Sun City Texas is one such place here in Georgetown. Since they reuse water to irrigate that is non-potable, the grounds around Sun City Texas are like an oasis in the desert. Wildlife like deer, racoons, foxes, squirrels, and birds flock there for the lush greenery and available water. You can even tour the air-conditioned model homes for free to get decorating ideas!
With the extreme drought conditions this year, many of the area 4th of July festivities are being cancelled because fireworks are banned because of the fire danger. Fireworks are banned from use or possession in Williamson County and carry a fine of up to $1000 and 180 days in jail. But it is still possible to celebrate Uncle Sam's birthday.
Celebration begins in Sun City Texas on Friday, July 1st at the Social Center on Texas Drive with a birthday party at Veterans Memorial Plaza where there will be a sing-along and birthday cake. This is followed by a Pooch Parade at 9:30 a.m. and the people and golf cart parade follows at 10 a.m. The pets in the Pooch Parade are dressed in all sorts of patriotic attire and an award is given to the Most Patriotic Pooch. The parade of golf carts that follows is equally amusing as they file past mingled with marching costumed groups and bikers. You can watch the parades for free; just bring your own lawn chair and water.
Continue to celebrate on Monday, July 4th with a day long event in San Gabriel Park sponsored by the Georgetown Sertoma Club. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. with over 80 arts and crafts booths, food vendors, and a kid's area. Musical entertainment, featuring some of the best local and central Texas talent, will begin at the Gazebo at 11 a.m. and continue all day. At noon, a hometown parade will begin and children will have opportunities for games, activities, petting zoo, train rides and face painting in the Children's Area. The fabulous Fireworks Finale will begin at dark.
The Sertoma's 28th Annual 4th of July in San Gabriel Park has grown into one of the largest family events in central Texas and attracts over 50,000 visitors annually and is one of Georgetown's biggest events of the year. Admission is free and is located at San Gabriel Park on the beautiful San Gabriel River in the heart of Georgetown. There's plenty of room and beauty for everyone.
The July 4th fireworks at the Sertoma event are launched from the McMaster Athletic Fields on N. College Street. Extra precautions planned this year to minimize fire danger include extra watering of McMaster softball fields, which are the fall zone, as well as the use of volunteer spotters who will report glowing embers to firefighters stationed in the area.
If you don't feel like crowding into the park for the fireworks, we have parked in the parking lot of the shopping center on Austin Avenue that is just south of the park. From here you can see the fireworks just as well, sit on the back of the pickup and just before it is over you can avoid some of the traffic.
There's lots to do for the 4th of July and mostly free. Be safe and let's not have any wildfires for Uncle Sam's birthday!
Location: Sun City Texas Social Center on July 1st
San Gabriel Park on July 4th
An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. I always liked the fact that words could be used in extraordinary ways or with specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words themselves.
Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or
clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure
of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative
interpretation. I even like the words for various figures of speech such as idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, personification or alliteration. They all have a lovely sound.
Oxymorons in particular have always fascinated me because of the paradox the words often present. For example, I like the common usage of paradoxical oxymorons such as military intelligence, deafening silence, sweet sorrow, silent scream, random order, educated guess, and my favorite, accidentally on purpose.
That's why when I saw the shop located in the little Agave Court Shopping Center on Williams Drive called "Hippie Cowgirl", I just had to laugh. I appreciate the humor of the oxymoronic name. It is a classic paradox of terms; hippies were the exact opposite in philosophy of cowgirls. But fashion-wise, it is a great mash-up!
What could be better? The laid back bohemian style of a hippie with a little dash of western flair and flash! Hippie Cowgirl describes itself as a contemporary western boutique and they have unique apparel, accessories, jewelry, gifts and more. You can find the most interesting t-shirts, cowboy boots, funky jewelry, tote bags, jeweled flip flops and belts.
The Agave Court Shopping Center itself is pretty cool. It is reminiscent of the Spanish Colonial architecture style of buildings made of stucco that encircle a courtyard or patio. If you go there at lunchtime you can stop in at BB's Home Cooking for good food and relaxed atmosphere.
Check out the Hippie Cowgirl's 4th of July celebration on Thursday evening June 30th, from 6-8 p.m. They will have store specials, frozen drinks, and snacks! Be sure to rsvp on Facebook.
Location: Hippie Cowgirl
4701 Williams Drive, Bldg. 3
Georgetown, TX 78633
Hours: Mon. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.