The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without desserts to enjoy with family and friends. This month, we’re sharing a couple of tempting treats to try during your celebrations.
The contributions of Czech immigrants are omnipresent in modern Texas. A fruit-filled pastry, the kolach, is a staple at bakeries across the state. Dancers still skip across wood floors to the fast and lively beat of a Polka band. And if you’ve ever wondered the meaning of the popular bumper sticker that asks “Jak se mas?” It’s Czech for “How’s it going?”
If you happen to see skeletons in brightly colored clothing walking around the grounds of Central Texas College on Nov. 5, don’t be alarmed. These living skeletons will be celebrating life as CTC and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce bring Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to Killeen.
Captains Adrian and Karen Twinney of the Salvation Army are new to Central Texas. They moved here last month to take the reins of the new Salvation Army McLane Center for Hope and continue the commitment to help all those who walk through its doors to find food, shelter and assistance. Prior to coming to Temple, they were commissioned in Conroe, Texas. “The Salvation Army moves captains around every three years,” Adrian said.
By DANIELLE EVERETTGo beyond basic jack-o’-lanternNot long ago, decorating pumpkins each October meant something similar to most Americans. Families gathered around their kitchen tables, pumpkins at hand. Kids marveled at the cold, wet fibers inside the pumpkins as they scooped them out before carving a creepy face. This tradition continues today, but with a new, creative twist. Many people are now putting down their classic carving tools in lieu of supplies like glitter, paint and glue.
Watching free range chickens dart back and forth across Farm Street in downtown Bastrop, one can’t help but recall that corny old riddle asking why did the chicken cross the road. But the Rhode Island reds, clarets and round heads aren’t merely trying to get to the other side. They’re probably scurrying away from a tourist’s camera. Among the many awards Bastrop has earned for historic preservation and promoting the arts, there is one distinction that stands out. Back in 2009, the city council designated several blocks of Farm Street an Historic Chicken Sanctuary. City workers then hung from light poles bright yellow signs urging motorists to slow down. This unique corridor, where chickens freely skitter back and forth across yards and fly into trees to escape pesky sightseers, is emblematic of Bastrop’s laid back lifestyle. And just around the corner from these cage free chickens, a T-shirt for sale at Old Town Restaurant and Bar proclaims the city’s independence from its big sister, Austin, which is only 30 miles east of town. The loud teal T-shirt announces in bold letters: Hip—not weird—BASTROP. In the shadow of the self-proclaimed live music capital of the world, Bastrop has asserted itself as an alternative to traffic jams, long lines at concerts and pushy big city folks.
Not long after San Antonio businessman Pat Molak purchased Gruene Hall in 1974, he arrived at the ramshackle building to find a shocking sight. A huge crane hovered above the old water tower, menacing claws ready to dismantle the steel structure that could be seen for miles. Molak saw the water tower as an historic landmark.
Story by FRED AFFLERBACH
Story and photos by FRED AFFLERBACH • Aerial photo by JOHN ANCHETA
Story by FRED AFFLERBACH
Finding time to exercise is a challenge. Finding the right exercise, one you will actually do, takes trial and error. For some, the gym is the right place to work out, but for others, training with a small group or independently is a better option.
Whether we’re at home, at work or on the go, distractions abound. Smartphones, email, text messaging and social media are always within reach. We listen for the buzz, ding or ring, notifying us of a new message.In a society where busyness is the norm, intentionally taking time to be mindfully aware of ourselves and our surroundings can feel foreign or selfish.
Photos by JOSH BACHMAN
On a nearly cloudless Central Texas spring day, a group of mothers and mothers-to-be meet up at the basketball court in Lions Club Park in Killeen.
Whether starting a new exercise regimen or returning to the gym after a long absence, there are steps to take to get the most out of your workout. The most important first step — commitment.
When children with special needs arrive at Believe Pediatric Therapy in Temple they have only one job to do — PLAY!
If you are new to the Central Texas region, don’t let the overcast and cloudy days deter you from taking care of your skin. People moving to Texas from all points north and east, who are used to cooler climes and less sun intensity, may not understand the strength of the Texas sun. It doesn’t take long to feel the heat and receive a Texas-size burn.
While college kids are busy decorating dorms, reviewing class schedules and meeting new roommates, they shouldn’t forget to make sure all their immunizations are up-to-date as they enter those hallowed halls of higher learning. Even though most vaccinations are given in early childhood or early adolescence, college students and young adults need specific immunizations, too. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, all incoming first-time or transfer students (21 years or younger) are required by law to receive a meningococcal vaccination (or booster, if it has been longer than five years) at least 10 days prior to the first day of class (or 10 days prior to moving into campus housing).
As students come and go through the lobby of the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer nursing building on the campus of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, talking, laughing and exchanging notes, a smiling woman enters the room from her office on the first floor. Her lab coat swings back and forth as she weaves in and out of the chattering nursing students. They recognize her as Dr. Sharon Souter, dean of the college of nursing, but also as the heartbeat of a program that is growing by leaps and bounds.
Killeen resident Samara Elledge is drawn to natural elements in her life. It is a philosophy that she applies to eating, exercise, motherhood and skin care. Last year Elledge drew on that philosophy. She started making her own beauty products because she said it is more economical. Plus, it assures you know what is in your products.
The Contemporaries of the Azalee Marshall
Tucked away in the heart of rural Belton is the home of Dr. Tom and Mrs. Carol Runyan. A country road meanders past rolling hills, working ranches with horses or cattle grazing placidly and leads to the entrance drive of their Southern-Greco style house that sits on several acres of land dotted with oak trees, flora and fauna.
Vickie Silva is a foodie. As owner of Ma’s Place Restaurant in Harker Heights, her eatery is more like walking into mom’s kitchen and keeping her company while she cooks. Ma’s Place seats around 30 people, with some limited seating outdoors. She serves breakfast and lunch, and her community following keeps her busy cooking up the comfort foods that are reminiscent of home, wherever that might be.
Meeting Vivian Kusak is like reuniting with an old friend you haven’t seen in years. She greets her guests at the door with a big smile and an enthusiasm to share her story of the art that she creates.
Nestled among the trees along the banks of Salado Creek is what some describe as a Central Texas hidden gem, Alexander’s Distillery. The upscale-casual restaurant and cocktail lounge is as rich in ambiance as it is in history. Alexander’s is located on the site of an old 19th century distillery, once owned by William R. Alexander. A flood washed the building away many years ago.
Intricate designs from AfricaHair braiding isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been around for millennia, dating back as far as 5,000 years. Initially, braids carried a cultural component. In ancient times, it often identified a person’s marital status, social standing, tribe or clan. Depending on what part of the world you were from, braiding had definitive looks and designs in every region of the world.