Georgetown View • January 2023

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1 HEALTH & WELLNESS 2023 CTX HOME GYMS THE HEALTH & WELLNESS ISSUE 2023 2023 Can Be Your Best Year Ever Georgetown's guide to lifestyle changes and new habits to help you have a healthier, more productive, and more joyful 2023! THE IVEY LEAGUE OF HOME FITNESS
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many of the best in her craft, Cathy has a specialized degree—in her case, hard science—and a gift for writing. She found her voice and fulfillment reporting and writing news and magazine features for a regional Central Texas audience. Along with serving as the publisher of the Georgetown View, Cathy oversees multiple news magazines, marketing campaigns, and books.

While I’m not much for new year’s resolutions, I do make one annual promise to read more, although I usually just end up burying my nose in old favorites like The Chronicles of Narnia, Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, and Fredrik Backman’s Beartown series.

Our story on how to make 2023 your best year includes a list of literary destinations I used as an excuse to make yet another trip to one of our community treasures, the library. A big thank you to Peg for helping me find some Texas-themed books I drew inspiration from for our What Makes a Texan “a Texan” story, which I hope motivates you to try new ways to embrace your Lone Star identity.

We also share ways to pursue a healthier lifestyle, including exercises-in-disguise, a possible new definition of healthy foods, a story on choosing the right diet for you, and a cover feature on a fitness equipment company that lets you take the gym home with you.

We are also delighted to share the City Council’s goals for Georgetown in 2023, and for those who have ever wondered, you'll learn the differences between service and support animals and the important roles furry friends play in our lives.

On a personal note, I am thrilled to start this year off as a new editor for the Georgetown View. Getting to shine the spotlight on the city I grew up in has been so special, and I’m looking forward to helping bring even more uplifting stories and lifestyle tips to Georgetown mailboxes in 2023.

Happy New Year!

EDITOR | CHARLOTTE KOVALCHUK SENIOR WRITER Ann Marie Kennon CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Emily Tilly • Linda A. Thornton EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR Camy Reynolds GRAPHICS & DESIGN Ann Marie Kennon • Sandra Evans CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Rudy Ximenez • Christianna Bettis IT / WEBMASTER Jesse Payne ADVERTISING Mark Elliott 512-240-2267 • 512-598-3500 GeorgetownViewisanOptimusMediaGroup,LLCpublication andaproductofAdvocateNewsTXNewspaper Copyright © 2023 All rights reserved. Georgetown View is mailed monthly by USPS to homes and businesses in Georgetown, TX zip codes. Mail may be sent to: Georgetown View, P.O. Box 203, Jarrell, TX 76537. EDITOR'S NOTE
Published by Optimus Media Group, LLC Like
6 HEALTH & WELLNESS 2023 Visit our Facebook page for follow-ups to these stories, out-takes & hints to those upcoming... GeorgetownViewMagazine INSIDE 10 15 22 ON THE COVER: CTX HOME GYMS The Ivey League of Home Fitness HEALTHY HABITS 23 Ways to Make 2023 Your Best Year BUSINESS PROFILE Precision Tune Auto Care 24 26 28 32 HEALTHY HABITS Beneficial Eating for the Healthiest You SHELTER STORIES Service v. Support Animals COMMUNITY Georgetown Health Foundation AROUND TOWN State of the City 2023 36 40 46 50 RULES FOR LABELING The New "Healthy" Food WORKING OUT Exercise in Disguise BUSINESS PROFILE Get Age Fit WHAT MAKES TEXAS "TEXAS"? What Makes A Texan 54 57 60 64 FOOD Food from Healthy Foods POPPY TALKS First World "Tragedies" WORTH THE DRIVE Get Some "Outside Time" At Enchanted Rock OUT-TAKES Extras From This Issue CONTENTS
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When gyms were forced to close their doors during the pandemic, fitness enthusiasts had to relocate their exercise regimens to their homes Dillon and Alejandra Ivey included. But not only did their subsequent home gym journey allow them to stay healthy during COVID, it led to a business venture inspired by the realization that buying refurbished gym equipment beats paying for a pricey gym membership or waiting for new equipment amid supply chain breakdowns.


In 2019, Alejandra and Dillon met while working for a vitamin store franchise and quit their jobs when their business plan crystallized during COVID. “Neither of us have ever really been 9-to5 people,” Dillon says. The Austin newlyweds and their husky hybrid Tala made Jarrell their new home on Christmas Eve that year, drawn by the affordability of the small community they had not previously heard of but have since grown to love. The Iveys had the added excitement of welcoming a baby girl, Azaria Willow, to their family in December.

The pandemic occurred a few months after their move and put many gyms on hiatus. “We needed somewhere to work out like everyone else in the world, so we started acquiring gym equipment on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to create a home gym space for ourselves,” Dillon says. As they grew their new space and navigated the hurdles of finding affordable yet high quality gym equipment, the couple decided to launch a business dedicated to helping others start or maintain cost-effective fitness routines in the safety and comfort of their own home. In July 2020, CTX Home Gyms joined the Central Texas fitness scene and welcomed gym goers to a new era of home fitness where there are no monthly membership fees or expensive contracts, and you will always be able to say, “I made it to the gym today!”

Post COVID, CTX Home Gyms’ growth has been driven by a paradigm shift in more people working from home or in their own small business wanting quick and easy access to commercial grade equipment. Plus, it can be more cost effective for employers to build a small office gym than pay for staff

by Charlotte Kovalchuk photos courtesy Dillon Ivey

cover feature


Entrepreneurs to the core, Dillon and Alejandra are grateful to have engaged in a fulfilling venture that allows them to work for themselves while meeting a need for discount gym equipment. “We worked really hard to get to where we are, and we’re trying to grow a lot more,” Alejandra says. “We’re grateful for where we are at the moment. It’s been extremely rewarding.”

Dillon adds, “Right now, new gym equipment is really backed up due to supply chain breakdowns. It takes anywhere from six months up to a year to buy new commercial gym equipment, and it’s also extremely expensive. The average consumer is not able to entertain realistic expectations for new treadmills, ellipticals, or bikes for their home. That’s where we come in.”

CTX Home Gyms is a comprehensive solution for those who want the equipment they are used to seeing at their local gym without the long wait time and high prices of new equipment, or the headache that comes with installation. Dillon and Alejandra are also dedicated to putting in the time and effort to produce the kind of high quality they’ve seen lacking in other vendors in the industry. “We pride ourselves on cranking out the best of the best,” Dillon says.

Most of their treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and strength equipment come from gyms that are closing or replacing their equipment inventory. After being refurbished, the products are sent to a very diverse client base: homeowners in search of cardio equipment or a full home gym, large and small commercial gyms, hotels, condominiums, and apartment complexes. All customers receive white glove delivery and installation service. CTX Home Gyms offers start-to-finish design service to bring your home or commercial gym vision to life, including flooring, mirrors, equipment, even video and audio. “Our passionate team of trained professionals ensure you are taken care of professionally and safely through the entire process,” Dillon says.


CTX Home Gyms serves the greater Austin area. Scan the code to view the inventory or make an appointment to visit the warehouse to find the equipment you need to kick start your own fitness journey. 512-781-1416 4500 County Rd 305, Jarrell

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23 Ways to Make 2023 Your Best Year


From dance parties to martial arts to pickleball matches with friends, exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. Find an activity you enjoy that will get you excited to exercise, and see page 40 for fun exercises-in-disguise.


Healthy eating has many benefits, including boosting immunity, strengthening bones, and lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. See page 24 for a list of diets to kick start your journey to a healthier life.


Make time in the kitchen a culinary adventure by cooking something new each week. It can be easy to stick to tried-and-true recipes, but branching out into different cuisines can lead to a newfound love of dishes like sushi or borscht (a popular Ukrainian soup with beets and other vegetables).


According to MyHealthfinder, getting health screenings is one of the most important things you can do for your health they help find onset medical problems and may allow doctors to treat them more easily. Screening for diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol often depend on your age, gender, and medical history.


“Good boundaries bring relief to the grief of letting other people’s opinions, issues, desires, and agendas run our life,” Lysa Terkeurst writes in Good Boundaries and Goodbyes. Healthy boundaries can include how comfortable you are with touch handshakes v. hugs as well as time boundaries that ensure you don’t over commit.


Getting enough sleep is important for healthy brain function and a lower risk of medical problems. The CDC recommends eight to 10 hours of sleep for teens, seven hours for adults, and seven to eight hours for those 65 and better.

escape into their pages for an afternoon, and they inspire us to re-imagine our lives.” Georgetown has several literary escapes, including the library, which has a used bookstore and café plus a wide selection of books and movies. Lark and Owl Booksellers offers a variety of books as well as unique gifts for book lovers, and All Things Kids has a wonderful children’s and young adult book section.


Bible teacher Henry Allen Ironside said, “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” Practicing gratitude helps us celebrate the present and become more compassionate and generous. Express your gratitude by sending a thank-you note to a friend, keeping a gratitude journal, or praying a daily prayer of thanksgiving.



In I’d Rather Be Reading, Anne Bogel writes, “Books shape, define, and enchant us. Books prompt us to spend pleasant hours alone and connect us with fellow readers. They invite us to

"Our brains often use busyness as a way to avoid things we don’t want to commit to," Judy Lester with CPB Coaching says. She recommends doing a mind dump and putting everything you need to get done on paper. “After listing everything you have to do, it’s helpful to put a letter next to it: A is absolutely necessary. B would be great if I could do it, and C is I hope I can fit this in.”



Start your journey to financial freedom by 1) creating an emergency fund for things like unexpected medical expenses that require hospitalization or a broken air conditioner in the middle of summer.

2) Save 15 percent of your income.

3) Save first, not last. Most people will spend their paycheck on everything they need and only save if anything is left. Financial planner Stephen Benold says, “If you wait to make it last instead of first, you’ll wind up not saving at all or not enough.”


From exercise companion to stress reliever to social connector, pets play many roles in benefiting our mental health. Williamson County is full of organizations waiting to help you find the perfect furry companion, including the Wilco Animal Shelter, Georgetown Animal Shelter, Living Grace Canine Ranch, Texas Humane Heroes, and Harley’s Angels.


Find whatever it is that fills your life with joy scrapbooking, taking a martial arts class, joining a book club, learning an instrument, or writing poetry.

Practice mindfulness

Taking time to be still and pray while reflecting on the things that have a positive or negative effect on you allows you to be more present and find peace during hectic schedules.

Start a journal

Taking time to reflect on each day reduces stress and provides an opportunity for emotional catharsis that can help you understand your thoughts and feelings more clearly.

Take a personality test

Start a journey of discovery by taking a personality test like Enneagram or Myers-Briggs that can help you understand your strengths and gaps and become your best self.


To move toward a life with less waste, carry a reusable water bottle and bring your own grocery bags to the store to cut down on landfill garbage and plastic plaguing the oceans. When eating out, turn down things you don’t need like straws and extra napkins. Use your own utensils for takeout and forego pre-packaged plastic forks and spoons. Another way to reduce your footprint is by recycling cardboard boxes, paper goods, plastic bottles, beverage cans, jugs, and lids.


Whether walking dogs at an animal shelter or giving rides to seniors, giving back to your community provides a sense of purpose and improves mental and physical health. Georgetown has many organizations where you can donate your time, including the library, The Caring Place, Annunciation Maternity Home, ROCK, Assistance League of Georgetown Area, Boys and Girls Club of Georgetown, and Faith in Action Georgetown.



Be a tourist in your own city and check out local attractions like the Williamson Museum, Palace Theatre, library, historic courthouse, and Garey Park. Or extend your travels beyond the city limits and visit destinations like the Robinson Family Farm in Temple or one of the five caves that make up the Texas Cave Trail. For more trip ideas, check out our regular Worth the Drive column.


Researching your family history can help you build a stronger sense of identity. The Williamson County Genealogical Society helps individuals research and compile family histories. Members also host informal genealogy discussions every month to answer questions and celebrate successes. WilliamsonTxGenealogy. org


The average American spends about seven hours looking at a screen each day. Unplugging from electronics can do wonders for your well-being as well as relationships. Consider turning off your phone after a certain time at night, or taking a whole day off from technology to rest and recharge.


Spend more time with loved ones this year, whether attending one of Georgetown’s many events or chatting over a cup of coffee. Judy Lester says, “Being present mentally and physically with other people is one of the greatest gifts you can give and at no cost at all.”

 Feb 11: Cupid’s Chase 5K Run/Walk and Kids’ Fun Run at 7:30am. Register at

 Feb 22: Public Stargazing Night 7pm to 9pm at Garey Park. Register at gareypark/

 Every Saturday: Wolf Ranch Farmers Market at 9am to 1pm at the Wolf Ranch Shopping Center.




your neighbors and building connections
are what Georgetown is all about. With 40 special interest groups ranging from fitness to games to dining out, Newcomers & Friends of Georgetown strives to create connections with anyone living in the Georgetown/Central Texas area.
the world a kinder place by donating blood, being a friend to a lonely neighbor, leaving quarters at
laundromat or vending machine, or donating
a book to the nearest Little Free Library. For more kindness inspiration, visit
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In Tune with the Community

Precision Tune Auto Care Rolls into Town


After transforming three auto shops into community fixtures in Pflugerville, Cedar Park, and Austin with staff who are as passionate about creating relationships as they are about fixing cars, Jason Shilling is looking forward to bringing the same community-oriented auto shop experience to Jarrell. “We’re not just fixing cars. We’re helping people and building relationships,” he says. “Everyone needs an auto shop they can trust and feel good about going to. That’s the place we are it's our vision and mission.”

Jason has already spent a lifetime getting cars back on the road. From changing tires as a kid to opening his fourth auto shop in Central Texas, he notes the contract between working for a corporate auto shop and a locally owned franchise, Precision Tune Auto Care. He says, “The difference between local and corporate is simple. Precision Tune cares for its employees as much as it cares about their customers."

Jason's first experience with Precision a one-stop shop for a full range of auto services was as manager of the Austin store. After proving himself there, he was given the opportunity to own the Pflugerville location and, under his leadership, it became the number one Precision store in Texas. Soon after, he purchased the Cedar Park and Austin stores as well.

Jason credits the commitment and expertise of his long-time crews whom he says have become like family for the success of all three stores. But it was a surprise to no one that Jason himself facilitated hospice care for an employee with terminal cancer, and he and the other employees were by the man's side nearly every day until he passed. “He had no family. We were his family,” Jason says.

His business success has also been driven by a commitment to community involvement, particularly in Pflugerville. After a Rotarian encouraged him to join the community service organization, he quickly forged many relationships with residents and business owners. Membership opened the door to opportunities for Jason to give back to the community, from hosting school fundraisers to providing discounts for veterans and single moms. “That’s what we strive for, being trustworthy and helping people. I love being part of the community. When you do stuff for the community, it feels awesome. There's nothing like the feeling of knowing you’re helping people.”

Jason is excited to bring the same dynamic to Jarrell after being encouraged by customers to set up shop in northern Williamson County. “Quite a few people came to my shops in Pflugerville and Cedar Park and said, ‘Come on Jason, open one in Jarrell.’ ”

Not one to disappoint, Jason opens Precision Tune Auto Care's doors in Jarrell January 2. The new shop is located at I-35 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Jarrell, “a hop, skip, and a jump down the road from Georgetown.”

Running a small-town Precision location will be a “crazy different adventure” compared to his other big-city shops, he says. “I can’t wait to see what this community is all about and what it’s going to grow into.”

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Beneficial Eating for the Healthiest YOU

In the early part of the year, it is not uncommon for conversations around dinner tables or in the breakrooms to focus on changes in our eating habits. New diets emerge primarily from a few key sources research by doctors and dietitians who discover something beneficial to the body, food trends that gain public interest, and modifications to existing diets that propose to extend the intended effects using more or fewer options.


First, when choosing a diet or eating plan, it is important to remember not every diet is not for every person so it is best to consult with a professional. Your doctor or dietitian may consider your size, weight, gender, activity level, and metabolic rate, as well as chronic diseases you have or for which you may be at risk.

Katie Greenhill, RD/LD is a registered and licensed dietitian with a wealth of experience with styles of eating that provide the greatest benefits for the average person. The following diets promote longterm health and weight loss that is sustainable over time, and may curb the onset of some chronic diseases.

It is important to notify your doctor that you are considering a change in eating habits Katie explains. “See your doctor to get blood work done and share updates about chronic conditions or anything similar. Then take that information to a dietitian and communicate what your goals are. The dietitian can make educated suggestions based on body type, lifestyle, and the physical data and blood work from the doctor.”

She says these consultations are especially crucial when considering more restrictive or elimination diets such as Keto or Whole30. It is also important to keep up with routine monitoring to track nutrient levels.

When looking into the all the diets out there, the number of options can be overwhelming. It seems as if a new idea takes the nation by storm in every new year.


A vegetarian diet is a long-term style of eating that is considered sustainable and is linked to various health benefits. Most people who follow a vegetarian diet do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Others may include or exclude eggs, dairy, and other animal products. According to, the most common of these include:

 Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: Eliminates beef, fish, and poultry but allows eggs and dairy products.

 Lacto-vegetarian: Eliminates beef, fish, poultry, and eggs but allows dairy products.

 Ovo-vegetarian: Eliminates beef, fish, poultry, and dairy products but allows eggs.

 Pescetarian: Eliminates beef and poultry but allows fish and sometimes eggs and dairy products.

 Vegan: Eliminates beef, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products, as well as other animal-derived products, such as honey.

 Flexitarian: A mostly vegetarian diet that incorporates occasional beef, fish, or poultry.

To avoid possible negative effects of switching to vegetarian, it is important to consume enough plant-based protein, maintain a healthy level of B12 (mainly found in meat an over-the-counter supplement may help), and avoid using too many meat analogues or meat substitutes as these may be highly processed and could contain a large amount of additives.


Katie's preferred diet is Mediterranean. “The Mediterranean diet consists of mainly whole foods including lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Research has proven that a diet high in these foods decreases your risk of developing chronic illness such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and cancer. The Mediterranean diet also closely aligns with the U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines, which are backed by years of evidence-based research.” (dietaryguidelines. gov)

In countries that border the Mediterranean Sea Greece, France, Spain, and Italy researchers took note that the people in these areas were exceptionally healthy and had a low risk of many chronic conditions. There are no rules for how to follow the Mediterranean diet, but it focuses on foods traditionally eaten in these countries. There are, however, a few general guidelines to help you establish a new routine that incorporates these foods. Some of the basics are listed at healthline.


 Eat: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, herbs, spices, fish, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil.

 Eat in moderation: poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.

 Eat rarely: red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils, and other highly processed foods.


Katie and the FDA both recommend using as a tool to help ensure you are getting the correct amount of nutrients from each food group based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. See our story on page 36 to review possible changes the FDA is proposing regarding what qualifies as a “healthy” food and the labeling of those products. We also have vegetarian and Mediterranean recipes on pp. 54-55.


You may have heard tales of canine heroes like Salty and Roselle, two service dogs that led their blind owners to safety from the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attack. Or stories like the woman who was denied taking her emotional support peacock on a flight. But what exactly is a service animal, and what do service and emotional support animals do?

Service and emotional support animals play crucial roles in improving their humans' quality of life. They provide a calming distraction during disasters, help with depression, or perform tasks like alerting owners to seizure episodes or even sniffing out cancer.


Service animals are typically dogs any breed and size that have been trained to perform a task to help with their owner’s disability, such as picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, preventing a child with autism from wandering away, or calming a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack. People with disabilities may train their dog themselves and are not required to use a professional training program. While most service animals are canine, miniature horses, pigs, and monkeys may also be placed into service.


Emotional support animals provide companionship, reduce loneliness, and can help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities. They are typically dogs and cats but may also be birds, hamsters, hedgehogs, pigs, and horses. Experts suggest any animal can provide emotional support but recommend a domesticated animal that is likely to be acceptable to a landlord or airline authorities. Airlines are not required to transport unusual animals like snakes, ferrets, rodents, and spiders.

For adopters who want to train their current dog to become a service dog, Wilco Regional Animal Shelter Animal Services Director Misty Valenta recommends a Good Manners training. “When helping adopters choose a dog for that reason, we help pick one that the adopter bonds with, enjoys learning, and is not reactive around other animals, people, or strange environments,” she says. In the past, the shelter has partnered with organizations that train dogs to pair with military veterans, although it is not something the shelter does consistently.

Scan the code to learn more about service animals.

Emotional Support v. Service Animals

by Charlotte Kovalchuk
Pet Be Our Guest!

Georgetown Health Foundation

Placing Georgetown’s Nonprofits Center Stage

The Georgetown Health Foundation (GHF) is content to remain behind the scenes and let the spotlight shine on the many area nonprofit organizations they support.

The foundation was established in 2006 when Georgetown Hospital was sold to St. David’s Healthcare. Thanks to some shrewd negotiating by then-CEO of Georgetown Healthcare System, Ken Poteete, the foundation has flourished. The foundation retains a 1 percent ownership of St. David’s Healthcare, maintains ownership of many area commercial properties, and has invested well, which has allowed the foundation the luxury of not having to fundraise something unheard of in most non-profit circles.

Foundation CEO Scott Alarcón works with a staff of seven and they operate with no marketing or public relations departments. Its other strength at the top is vice president of strategic philanthropy Suzy Pukys

who joined the team in 2012 and brought with her a background in grant writing as a nonprofit program director. Her relationships with other community nonprofits gave her insight into how to form a strategic vision and helped define the foundation's philanthropy process.

Serving the Community

The foundation abides by the World Health Organization’s definition of health as “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of infirmity.” It serves all those who live in the city but also takes the GISD boundaries into account. Organizations they support must serve GHF’s target population: youth, elders, and families who are either low-income or have a specific need.

2021-22, 42

by Linda A. Thornton • photos by Robin Newman Photography

Mini Grants

The mini grant program provides funding to facilitate first steps for startup nonprofits. When organizers find themselves in need of assistance to develop professional financial statements or business plans, being able to hire a consultant helps build confidence. Having solid founding documents are a step toward applying for a first round of grants.

Annual Grants

Each year, the foundation invites area organizations to apply for their annual grant program.

Last year, they awarded $950,000 to 21 organizations representing a wide range of services.

 The Boys and Girls Club used this grant to continue providing guidance and encouragement. More than 900 children have walked through their doors since 2018.

 The Caring Place used their grant to assist 760 households with rent/mortgage assistance.

Strategic Grants

The strategic grant program was born of the need to address substantial issues that require in-depth solutions. Its purpose is to help organizations work toward solutions for ongoing success. At its launch, the GHF invested $750,000 across four initiatives for the first of a three-year period.

 The new Family Resource Center opening this month at the old Carver Elementary School at 1200 West 17th Street will focus on multi-generational family resilience.

 Georgetown ISD received a six-year grant to provide mental health counselors during the school day. Once in place, district leadership recognized the value of in-school counseling and secured funding to continue the program after the grant period.


They also help nonprofits define problem areas and weaknesses a valuable service that is instrumental in helping them move forward.

At the same time, relationship fostering and sharing in others' struggles develops what Suzy calls capacity building continuing an open, ongoing dialog to determine each organization’s aspirations and direction. That type of constant feedback can be translated into metrics that track grants and provide learning trends and community needs assessments.

GHF also nurtures collaboration among agencies through planning grants. Their mentorship gives participating nonprofits the opportunity to think through projects together prior to implementation. Working together on complex processes provides an anchor and a feeling that, in the big nonprofit world, each has someone advocating for them long after their grant money has been spent.


Having been able to donate more than $30 million, it may be that GHF and Georgetown are blessed with a unique set of circumstances. Being the county seat may play some role in that the continuum of nonprofits dedicated to providing health and human services is more evolved here. But the city of Georgetown has also stepped up and supported ongoing programs like Head Start and Meals on Wheels.

As well, one need only alert Sun City as to the needs of its neighbors and that 55+ community will generously rise to the occasion with donations and volunteers.

Scan the code to learn more.


Luxury homesites are selling now at The Canyons at HCH Ranch in Georgetown. Located off of FM 3405 in Georgetown in a private gated community, these heavily wooded home sites will offer expansive hill country views throughout. The Canyons at HCH Ranch feature luxury custom homes built exclusively by Grand Endeavor Homes. The Canyons is a place of unmatched natural beauty in the Texas Hill Country.

I 1+ acre lots I Georgetown,

Experience Stunning Hill Country Views

Situated on some of the most scenic land in Williamson County, The Canyons rests atop rolling hills looking out over the vast landscape. Offering an abundance of natural beauty and lush vistas, The Canyons has been carefully planned to integrate seamlessly into the natural environment. The development of The Canyons pays homage to the rich heritage of the land and encourages the continuation of this existing beauty to create a timeless natural environment. The homes in The Canyons are considered part of a cohesive element that melds the natural beauty with a place to call home.

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state of the city 2023

What is your vision for Georgetown?” consultant Ron Cox asked council members in December as they gathered to chart the city’s course for 2023. While each had ideas on shaping the city's future from creating a second Square to expanding leadership focus beyond the downtown all agreed Georgetown needs to become a unified community that preserves our signature small-town charm as well as the attractions that make it a great place to live and do business. Mayor Josh Schroeder said, "It’s maintaining the attributes that we all love and that drew us to this community, even as we continue to grow in population size and evolve as a community.”


Part of what makes Georgetown special is its welcoming nature, Councilman Ben Stewart said. Mayor Schroeder added, “I get so tired of hearing ‘Californians get out of here, Austinites get out of here, and close the door behind you.’ That’s not Georgetown. That’s not us. We’re about bringing those folks in the community and integrating them in the community.”

“The whole city could have become a retirement community or we could have been in a timeline in which Georgetown and Sun City never interact,” Mayor Schroeder said. “But the fact that the two have worked cooperatively in symbiosis has been a miracle. Those retired folks somehow fold seamlessly into the rest of the community.”

City Manager David Morgan noted that Sun City also could have been like Brushy Creek with its own municipal utility district, entity, and identity, as Wolf Ranch by Hillwood originally planned to be before city staff worked to incorporate the residential community. “Instead of, they’re going to be separate and on the edges, we asked how do we bring them in and have an integrated community,” Mr. Morgan said. Councilman Jake French added, “I don’t want us to be a city with a bunch of isolated neighborhoods or groups.”

Mayor Josh Schroeder


Council members also didn’t want Georgetown to be a city that focuses solely on the downtown to the exclusion of other areas. Councilman Ben Stewart said, “We put so much emphasis on decision making for the downtown. As we build out the city around us, we should be mindful about developments to the same degree we think about downtown.” Councilman Shawn Hood added, “With our other six districts seeing tremendous growth, I think it’s going to be extremely important to take the micro vision from downtown to create a macro vision that focuses on other districts.”

One area council should focus on, Councilman Ron Garland noted, is the southeast side. “It has the greatest potential of growth. How do we make sure our vision encapsulates that part of the city too?”

Councilwoman Amanda Parr, senior director of development, major gifts, at Southwestern University, said the university also needs to be part of the conversation. “Georgetown wouldn’t be what it is today without Southwestern. It brings national recognition and attention to the city,” she said, highlighting 500 acres currently planned for development on the campus. Mr. Morgan added, “I think about what the downtown and Old Town would look like without Southwestern. Council will certain discuss planning for the next 500 acres and the university's ability to create a significant legacy for the city with that next project, much like Sun City did.”

Another project a plaza and public space known as the City Center will be developed between the library and historic Light and Water Works building. That locus is part of the effort to expand social and event engagement beyond the downtown and is intended to become

Georgetown’s next community gathering place. “We need a second Square,” Councilman Kevin Pitts said, addressing the need to taper the increasing overcrowding in the Square. Councilman Hood added, “One day we’ll be at a place where not everyone can be in downtown at the same time.”


Although much of the discussion was about broadening the focus beyond downtown, Mr. Morgan pointed out that the city center is a big reason people and businesses like CelLink call Georgetown home. In February 2022, CelLink broke ground on a facility that will manufacture flexible circuits used in electric vehicles and battery storage units. “One thing CelLink loved about Georgetown was the downtown,” he said.

Council members discussed several ways to continue attracting newcomers and businesses, including adding infrastructure improvements, parking, and recreational amenities like river trails and park renovations. Another way, Mr. Morgan said, is ensuring land is available for major retailers like Trader Joe’s. “Economic development is not just about recruitment and attraction. It’s how are we setting the table to make room for this business to come? What are we doing to attract business in Georgetown?”


New Rules for a New Year

New Year’s resolution. A pretty familiar term. This is the time many of us make a list of things we want to begin, stop, or change to become better versions of ourselves so it is no surprise that healthy eating and wellness remain at the top of the list year after year.

And resolutions are a good thing given the data that show more than 80 percent of people in the United States do not eat enough vegetables, fruit, and dairy. Most of us also consume more added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium than are necessary.

For some, changing eating habits can be overwhelming given the myriad options available and, more commonly, the difficulty in deciphering which foods and plans are truly healthy.

See our story on page 24 for more about eating plans.


As part of its efforts to help consumers make good choices, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve general health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed a new rule focusing on helping us sustain healthier eating habits. The timing of this proposal intentionally coincided with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.

The proposed rule would help ensure nutrient-dense foods, according to the Dietary Guidelines for 2020-2025, can carry this label.

The FDA also plans to change the consumer labeling on these foods to detail the nutritional information of each.

The FDA is making strides to further benefit the consumer when it comes to what we eat and how we can find it.


The FDA believes redefining “healthy,” identifying foods that qualify, and modifying the limits on certain nutrients are key to changing the way people shop for food. Under the current definition, there are limits for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

 Salmon, due to its high fat content, is not healthy under the current definition. However, taking other benefits into consideration rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein and low in cholesterol and saturated fat it may qualify under the new rule.

 Avocados and most whole raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and certain oils do not currently qualify as healthy.

 Water does not currently qualify as healthy, but is under consideration in the new paradigm.

The agency announced on September 28th that under the proposed new definition, in order to use the new label on their packaging, products must also contain a certain meaningful amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups in the guidelines. Each must also adhere to specific limits for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.

The threshold for those limits is based on a percentage of the DV for the nutrient and varies depending on the food and food group. For example:

 A food item or product must provide at least 10 percent of the daily value (DV) for at least one of the following: iron, fiber, calcium, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

 The limit for sodium is 10 percent of the DV per serving (230 milligrams per serving).

 Cereal must contain ¾ ounces of whole grains and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, and 2.5 grams of added sugars.


In addition to identifying foods appropriately, the new labels will make them more easily recognizable by the consumer. Using the healthy symbol and label are both voluntary, but the benefit to consumers will be in greater confidence and efficiency while shopping. According to the FDA, “Symbols may be particularly helpful for those with lower nutrition knowledge to identify foods that can be the foundation of a healthy eating pattern.”


It is important to note the new proposal could take months to be firmly in place. However, those hoping to make positive change can start now to be more aware of eating patterns and incorporate more whole and fewer processed foods in their daily diet. Scan the code to check for updates to the Dietary Guidelines and progress on the proposed new rule.

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In a world of treadmills and weight machines, it can be easy to think of exercising as a grueling chore. Instead of dreading your next workout, try these exercises-in-disguise and most likely you’ll be having so much fun you won’t realize you’re burning calories.

hate working out?



Whether you’re grooving with friends, learning new steps in a classroom or having a solo kitchen dance party, dancing is a fun way to get your whole body in shape, both physically and mentally. Because the activity is a full-body workout, no muscle is left behind no matter which style you decide to try. In addition to improving cardiovascular health, strength, and balance, dance is beneficial for your mental well-being, as the brain power needed to focus on the various moves and patterns creates an excellent form of mental exercise.

Before you start your dance journey, consider your fitness level and goals. For those wanting to improve their posture and balance, ballroom or ballet could be a perfect fit, while high-energy dance routines like Zumba and hip hop are great for getting fit and losing weight. And while it’s never too late to start dancing, it’s also important to consider any physical limitations. Many forms, including ballroom, are appropriate for people with health issues or limited mobility. Talk to your doctor or instructor before taking a class if you have concerns about the intensity of the class.

 Arthur Murray Dance Center: Social and wedding dance lessons, 3010 Williams Dr., Suite 177.

 Arts Avenue Theater and Dance: Tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, and musical theater for kids and youth, 614 E University Ave.

 Dance Empower: Tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, acro, lyrical, and musical theater for various ages, 71 Wildwood Dr., Suite 203.

 Palace Theatre: Jazz, tap, and ballet classes for various ages, 810 S Austin Ave.

 Performing Arts Studio: Tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, acro, contemporary, and musical theater for preschool to high school ages, and tap for adults, 900 N Austin Ave., Suite 123.

 Recreation Center: Ballroom and country western classes for various ages, creative movement for kids, 1003 N Austin Ave.

 USA Dance: Hosts social dances the third Saturday of every month at Christ Lutheran Church, 510 Luther Drive. $5 for members, $10 for non-members.


Whereas running and walking can wreak havoc on your joints, roller skating is a low-impact exercise that could be a good fit for people with knee, hip, and ankle conditions. Whether you’re skating at a local rink or around your neighborhood, this workout on wheels is a great exercise for your legs that also strengthens your heart and improves balance and coordination.

When it comes to choosing the right kind of skates, think about what kind of skating you want to do. If you’re more interested in outdoor skating, consider inline skates which have wheels all in one line or, if you’re planning to do a lot of rink skating, quad skates are the way to go, with two wheels side by side in the front and two side by side in the back. You should be able to wear skates that are the same size or slightly larger than your shoe size. Don’t forget to add safety gear elbow and knee pads, wrist guards, and a helmet.  Austin Roller Rink: 11600 Menchaca Rd. #101, Austin

Bartholomew Roller Derby Track: 2104 E 51st St., Austin  Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex: 1156 Hargrave St., Austin

Playland Skate Center: 8822 McCann Dr., Austin 

Rock Sports Arena: 3918 Gattis School Rd. #102, Round Rock



Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely stroll through a show cave or exploring an undeveloped part of the underground world, caving is an adventurous way to improve both your mental and physical health. Texas is home to thousands of caves, with the Texas Cave Trail consisting of five show caves. From beginner-friendly tours to wild, off-path ones, the trail offers excursions for caving enthusiasts of all skill levels. All caves are about 70 degrees year round, with tours averaging from one to four hours. Some caves offer walk-in tours while others require reservations, so visitors are encouraged to check out the cave’s website before making a trip.

 Cave Without a Name: Enjoy an hourlong, quarter-mile tour of the cave that was “too pretty to have a name.” 325 Kreutzberg Road, Boerne.

 Caverns of Sonora: In addition to touring the caverns in Sonora, visitors can pan for gemstones as well as camp on the ranch grounds. 1711 Private Road 4468, Sonora.

 Inner Space Cavern: Inner Space offers a trek on a lit, paved trail during the Adventure Tour, an off-the-beaten-path experience on the Hidden Passages Tour, and four hours of hiking, crawling, climbing, and squeezing through tight spots on the Wild Cave Tour. 4200 S I-35 Frontage Road, Georgetown.

 Longhorn Cavern: In addition to cave tours, visitors can enjoy hiking and picnicking at the Longhorn Cavern State Park as well as camping, boating, and other outdoor fun at the nearby Inks Lake State Park. 6211 Park Road 4 S, Burnet.

 Natural Bridge Caverns: Embark on an adventure in the largest cave in Texas, and above ground, find your way through an outdoor maze, pan for treasure, and test your agility on a ropes course and zip rails. 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, San Antonio.


A sport that requires you to see your environment creatively, parkour is all about getting from point A to point B in the quickest and most efficient way possible. It’s about treating the world like a giant playground as you run, jump, climb, swing, and roll your way through various obstacles.

Running, jumping, and climbing not only make for a full body workout, it also fosters creativity and boosts confidence as you search for creative ways to overcome obstacles. Two area gyms offer parkour classes for various ages Lache Move, 8868 Research Boulevard in Austin, and Tumble Tech, which has two locations at 1301 Toro Grande Dr. in Cedar Park and 4300 Westbank Dr. in Austin.



Dubbed the perfect pandemic pastime, pickleball has taken over the global sports scene as a “safe, accessible, and endlessly enjoyable way for people of all different ages, body types, and fitness levels to come together,” Rachel Simon writes in Pickleball for All

At 22, Georgetown resident Jesse Payne hadn’t heard of the paddle sport inspired by tennis, Ping-Pong, and badminton when his friends invited him to play a few months ago, but he has since become an avid player. Not only is it a fun way to connect with friends, he says, it’s also a game you can play on a variety of surfaces, including volleyball, basketball, tennis, and badminton courts.

The Georgetown Pickleball Club supports pickleballers in Georgetown and neighboring cities as well as out-of-towners while promoting the growth of pickleball in Georgetown and the surrounding area through education, training, social events, and amateur competitions. New members are welcome to join at

 Georgetown Tennis Center: 400 Serenada Dr., $2/hour per person, reservations required. The center also offers pickleball lessons, tournament play, competitive leagues and more.

 McMaster Athletic Complex: 101 Walden Dr., free, players must provide their own paddles and balls.

 Georgetown Recreation Center: 1003 N Austin Ave., free for members and $5 per day for non-members. Paddles are available to borrow and balls are available for sale for $4 each.


An outdoor adventure that combines nature and technology, geocaching is played around the world by those seeking hidden containers ( the caches) using latitude and longitude coordinates on Geocaches are hidden, not buried, in tree hollows, under park benches, and other outdoor nooks, and come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Containers includes things like small toys, games, compasses, and keychains. Use your eyes, hands, and geo-senses, as your GPS or smartphone will only get you within about 30 feet of the cache location. Geocaches are hidden in almost every country on Earth, and there are 3,505 geocaches waiting to be discovered around Georgetown.

Successful seekers can take an item, leave another item, and sign the logbook before moving on to the next destination. Geocachers can also post about their experiences online and offer clues for other geocachers. Create a free account and download the phone app or use a GPS device to start your treasure hunting adventure.


The smell of pine trees, the grip of the reins, the bond with another living being there’s nothing quite like the magic of horseback riding.

The American Heart Association calls it a good cardiovascular workout that also improves core strength, burns calories, and lowers blood pressure.

Texas Trail Rides offers horseback riding and family friendly equestrian activities in Austin, and the Brushy Creek Saddle Club is a familyoriented, nonprofit horseback riding organization in the Georgetown area.



A modern sport with ancient roots, archery takes all forms survival, combat, and competition in almost every culture of the world, and has been a Hollywood favorite from Robin Hood, to The Hunger Games. Improving focus, hand-eye coordination, and upper body strength, archery also has one of the lowest injury rates of all outdoor sports1, according to the.

Double G Archery has an indoor range at 4185-B E University Ave. where people can shoot for $10 an hour with their own equipment. A bow rental program provides instruction, equipment, and range time for $25 an hour. Double G also offers archery lessons as well as League Nights at 6:30pm for $10 per person for ladies on Tuesdays, Open League on Wednesdays, and Traditional League on Thursdays.


Whether you want to experience a deep dive or just-below-the-surface marine adventure, scuba2 diving and snorkeling are great ways to explore our underwater world. Snorkeling allows you to explore close to the surface at a low cost with just a mask and snorkel tube. Scuba diving provides a deeper underwater adventure but requires safety certifications and specialized equipment, including an oxygen tank with regulator, wetsuit, and fins. Lake Georgetown, Lake Travis, and Spring Lake in San Marcos are great snorkeling and scuba diving gems in Central Texas.

stability, and flexibility, especially for older people. It is also a low-stress way to return to exercising while recovering from an injury.

 Karate is a fighting style that focuses on hand techniques and uses kicks as backup. Karate is a good fit for those interested in learning balanced, full-body moves.

 Taekwondo is a Korean self-defense martial art that emphasizes kicking and uses hands as backup. This martial art form is best for those interested in learning fast and more elaborate kicking moves.

 Krav Maga, Hebrew for contact fight, is the official self-defense and hand-to-hand combat of the Israel Defense Forces. It relies on simple, instinctive movements rather than rigid techniques so it can be used effectively by men and women of all ages and fitness levels. “Not only is it a great way to be physically active but it also gives you confidence to know how to protect yourself if you ever need to,” says Lacey Nash, who has been going to Round Rock Krav Maga for 18 months. “I have also gained some amazing friends going to Round Rock Krav Maga who challenge me mentally and physically.”

 Muay Thai is known as the art of the eight limbs but actually uses 10 points of attack fists, feet, shins, elbows, and knees to act as weapons in combat, a fighting style used by the Thai military for centuries. Muay Thai does more than just make individuals into good fighters. “It’s a confidence builder and stress reliever, and it improves your overall health,” says Kru Wrath, owner and head instructor at Monster Makers Kickboxing, Boxing, and Fitness in Jarrell.

1 U.S. National Institutes of Health

2 Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

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Get Age Fit is a full-service personal training studio offering high quality, one-on-one personal and couples training. We have been in business for 6+ years and many people in the community acknowledge owner and founder Theo Thurston as the go-to expert for fitness and training for older adults. As a Certified Physical Fitness Specialist, he saw a gap that needed to be filled in the community which led to his founding Get Age Fit, a studio dedicated to training couples and individuals of any age and fitness level.

We provide a safe, clean environment and specialize in training clients ages 35 and better. Our trainers guide clients through every session so members don’t have to plan their workout. Another facet of our full service is in-house nutritional support like pre-workout drinks and post workout protein shakes. We also host social events to get the community involved in being active together and talk about goal setting, balance, body composition, relationships with food, and more!

We understand that at an older age, the goal isn’t always to lift heavy or win a competition. Many times, it is to just move better, feel better, and improve quality of life. Our goal is to help clients reach whatever goals they have for themselves—keeping up with the grandkids, getting up and down the stairs more easily, or preventing falls and accidents.

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what makes Texas "Texas"



Texas’ culinary legacy has various cultural influences, including “traditional foods of the Cajuns (crawfish, gumbo, and catfish), Germans and Czechs (kolaches, schnitezels, and smoked sausage), African Americans (fried chicken and stewed greens), and, perhaps most intrinsically, Mexicans,” according to How to be a Texan by Andrea Valdez. Today, what makes Texan food unique is its Tex-Mex cuisine a combination of Texan and Mexican cuisines that feature menu items like queso, fajitas, and nachos and barbecue.

First, it is important to know not all food on a grill is “barbecue,” and just pouring a red, tangy sauce on it doesn’t make it so. Confuse the two and you risk losing your Texas membership card.

For barbecue, one piles coals or wood to the side or in the center, spreads the meat around the grill top, and closes the lid. Cooking meat in this way is a slow process, used for large cuts, and can take a half-day or longer. Conversely, when you grill, you put the meat right over the fire (direct heat) for a quicker cooking time. This is appropriate for smaller cuts burgers, steaks, and hot dogs.

And it’s not just about the food it’s the package. Barbecue is family, a welcoming place, and positive energy…it’s Texas on a plate. John Brotherton, the owner of Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville and Liberty Barbecue in Round Rock, is a quintessential Texan when it comes to his love of barbecue culture “Barbecue is a food

that brings people together. It’s something you enjoy with family and friends. Growing up, we had backyard grills and families that gathered around them. It is about nostalgia, which takes us back to our parents, grandparents, and good memories. And really, no one ‘gets together’ for a salad.”

Ann Marie Kennon


Brush up on your Lone Star lingo with these terms, sayings, and correct pronunciations:  Y’all • Contraction of you and all  Howdy • Friendly 'hello'  Fixin’ta • Getting ready to do something  Ov' yonder • Over there  I reckon • I think  This ain’t my first rodeo • This isn’t the first time I have done this.  I don’t cotton to that • I don’t like that.  Who stuck the burr under your saddle? • Why are you so irritated?  Don’t mess with Texas • Before it became a slogan about Texas’ toughness, it was an anti-littering campaign by TxDOT.  Bexar • Pronounced like bear  Boerne • Bur-nee  Buda • Byoo-duh  Manor • May-ner  Nacogdoches • Na-kuh-dow-chuhs  Pedernales • Per-den-al-es  Waxahachie • Wahks-uh-hatch-ee





 Take a photo in a bluebonnet field. Visit bluebonnet meccas like Burnet, Ennis, and Willow City Loop in late March and April. Your best photo times are 8-10am, and an hour before sunsets. Check for no trespassing signs.

 Buy cowboy boots. Whether visiting a festival or dance hall, these are a staple of Texas attire.

 Celebrate homecoming. Every year, high school and college alumni “come home” to greet long-lost friends and beloved teachers as they join in the fall celebration of school spirit. It grew from an alumni reunion into a full week of school spirit festivities, including the most ex-


 Dance at Gruene Hall Grab your boots and plan your next night out at Texas’ oldest dance hall. Built in 1878 in the German farming community of Gruene, now part of New Braunfels, Gruene Hall is a tourist destination and music venue for established and up-andcoming artists, as well as a proving ground for former new talents like George Strait, Hal Ketchum and Lyle Lovett.

 Stargaze. The stars shine brightly over Texas state parks. Get away from city lights and take in the best night sky views around at parks with very dark skies, including Big

travagant, Texas-sized tradition mums. Mums have transformed into massive floral creations covered with ribbons, bells, glitter, lights, football trinkets, and stuffed animals.

 Celebrate Juneteenth. Traditionally recognizes the end of slavery in the United States. In 1980, Texas was the first to declare Juneteenth a state holiday. In 2021, in an ever-evolving celebration of common bonds of freedom, June 19 was named a federal holiday.

 Survive cedar fever. Central Texas is one of the allergy capitals of America, with allergy sufferers seeking shelter from the outdoors every time cedar season rolls around from December to February.

Bend Ranch State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

 Visit the Alamo. “Remember the Alamo” the battle cry during Texas’ war for independence from Mexico that made the historic site in San Antonio one of the most famous places in Texas.

 Float the river. One of the best ways to cool off during 100-degree summer days. Some popular tubing spots include the Comal, San Marcos, and Guadalupe rivers.

 Tour the Texas Capitol building. Located in downtown Austin, this historic landmark is home to the Texas Legislature and governor offices.

52 HEALTH & WELLNESS 2023 Glenda Dubose Debbie Stewart Susan Hershey 512.818.0429 Haley Waggoner 512.966.9936 Paula Rowe O ce Location: 1003 S. Austin Ave. Georgetown Each o ce is independently owned and operated. LONE STAR 512.868.1771 @KWLoneStar Agents You’ve Seen Our Signs Judy Dawson 512.705.0070 Suzanne Bergmann 512.639.9348 Judy Copple 512.422.2613 512.731.6627 Brenda Scholin Scott Stout 512.997.8853 Tom Catlin 512.592.2929 Jennifer Haines 512.627.8046 Kent Steenken 512.635.0439 NOW OPEN! OUR CERTIFIED TECHNICIANS are insured and can provide ALL of your RV needs in one central location. •Pre-Delivery Inspections •Brake Adjustments/Repairs •Bearing Service •A/C Service & Repair and much more! DID WE MENTION THAT WE’RE MOBILE? Visit us online! Located only 15 minutes from Sun City! Can’t make it in? No worries! Our technicians will come to you! 8810 N. I-35 Georgetown (936)499-1937 Love at First Bite CAFE BAKERY CATERING 512.591.3511 180 Town Center Blvd. • Suite 100 • Jarrell FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK Opening January 2023! CAKES & PIES PARTY TRAYS CHARCUTERIE BOARDS DESERT TRAYS SUGAR FREE OPTIONS AVAILABLE
53 HEALTH & WELLNESS 2023 Georgetown’s Local Independent Medicare Insurance Agency Medicare Education Medicare Supplement (Medicare) Insurance Plans Medicare (Part C) Advantage Plans Medicare (Part D) Prescription Plans 25+ Years of Experience│ (512) MEDICARE OR (512) 633-4227 Are You Turning 65? Plan On Retiring Soon? Looking To Review Your Medicare Insurance? We provide free, unbiased Medicare education Let us walk you through the Medicare setup process No-obligation access to top insurance carriers in the state 3010 Williams Dr Ste 138 1530 Sun City Blvd Ste 140 Georgetown TX 78628 Georgetown TX 78628 Not connected with the Federal Government or Medicare Agency MEDICARE SHOP TEXAS We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

healthy food from healthy foods

Making healthy choices will be even easier in 2023 thanks to updated dietary guidelines coming from the FDA to your local grocery store, into your home, and onto your table.

These recipes highlight a few of the food items formally recommended for meals and snacks as part of a healthy lifestyle.

For more on the FDA changes, see our story on page 36.


• 2 x 14-oz cans no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes

• 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

• 1 cup coarsely chopped onion

• ¾ cup chopped carrot

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 tsp dried oregano

• ¾ tsp salt

• ½ tsp crushed red pepper


• ¼ tsp ground pepper

• 1 x 15-oz can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed, divided

• 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (about 8 cups)

• 1 tbsp lemon juice

• 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

• fresh basil leaves, torn

• 6 lemon wedges (Optional)

 Combine tomatoes, broth, onion, carrot, garlic, oregano, salt, crushed red pepper, and pepper in 4-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low 6 hours.

 Measure 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker into a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons chickpeas; mash with a fork until smooth.

 Add the mashed chickpeas, kale, lemon juice, and remaining whole chickpeas to the mixture in the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low until the kale is tender, about 30 minutes.

 Ladle stew into 6 bowls; drizzle with oil. Garnish with basil. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.



SUGGESTIONS • ½ tsp cumin plus ½ tsp paprika • ½ tsp curry plus ½ tsp turmeric • ½ tsp zaatar plus ½ tsp sumac • ½ tsp chili powder plus ½ tsp garlic powder  Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Rinse chickpeas in a colander until water runs clear. With paper towel, dab chickpeas until dry.  Transfer chickpeas to baking sheet, add olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, and toss until are well coated. Spread chickpeas in a single layer over the baking sheet. Bake chickpeas 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway through.  Eat immediately while warm or allow them to cool to store. Store up to 4 days in a container at room temp. Leave a small space in the lid; air helps chickpeas stay crisp.

 1 cup
 1 cup
 ¼ cup
 2 tablespoons
 1 tablespoon
In a cereal-size
remaining ingredients.
nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
mixed fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.)
All-Bran cereal
pomegranate seeds
walnuts or almonds, chopped
bowl, add the yogurt. Top yogurt with
CRISPY SPICED & ROASTED CHICKPEAS • 1 x 15-oz can no-salt-added chickpeas • 1 tablespoon olive oil • salt & pepper to taste

First World "Tragedies"

Poppy is struggling today (it's mid December at the writing desk) to write serious satire because it is just too tempting to talk about Paul Whelan. Trying to wrap my head around the situation that left an American —a Marine who formerly served our country in Iraq and later as a police officer sitting in a jail cell in Russia is just irony waiting to be put to paper and the satire practically writes itself.

But since that's old news by the time you read this, Poppy will just reflect on the lighter side of other "things that are just not fair" for 2023.

For instance, we all have first-world problems whether we realize it or not. Sure, no one cares about them, and no one should, but I bet you have at least one thing in your own life that qualifies. It may not be a big problem and it certainly doesn't change the world, but it's your problem so you're allowed to let it bother you. Poppy doesn't judge.

Seriously, there's a reason I don't tell people my back hurts because I have spent weeks skimming thousands of leaves and acorns out of my pool, which we chose to build under an oak tree for the shade and so we didn't have to walk too far from the porch to get in it. Seriously (again), I'm not even humble bragging; I'm actually just trying to see myself as a jerk before I forget and say things like that out loud. So I suppose writing them down for thousands of readers is not too bright either. Did I just do it again by reasoning that lots of people read my column? Eh, Poppy is all about life lessons and it is the month of resolutions, right?

Maybe it's not just me. How many times have you gotten angry about being blocked on Netflix because there are too many devices online in your home? This is about the same as "I wish my charger was long enough so I could stream movies in bed."

Overheard: "My storage unit company [implied: because I have so much stuff I have to rent a piece of a building to hold it all] is raising its rates this year." Note, readers, we've just confirmed, "My garage has so much junk, I can't park my car in it," is a qualified substitute, and the judges will also accept, "My house is so big I don't get good wi-fi in some of the rooms."

But even Poppy has her limits. This is probably on the list for some but you will likely never hear me say, "This all-inclusive resort/cruise/Disneyworld wristband is too tight to wear 24 hours a day to eat and get services without payment." Full disclosure, I have, on occasion, complained that my flight to some lovely vacation destination was too early in the morning.

Did you know there is a $55 soap dispenser that is Alexa-enabled? Have I become so incredibly attention-deficited that I can't wash my hands without entertainment? Still, I would probably pay for an audible alert that tells me when the water coming out of our old pipes is finally warm. I don't enjoy wasting ten minutes and ten gallons of water to avoid hypothermia in the shower.

In contrast to the old pipes, it's also annoying that my smart refrigerator sends me emails when it thinks I've opened the door too many times this month. Thanks, but I already have a human mom to tell me when I'm getting fat and I can only wish I could upgrade her software.

Meanwhile, I'm going to find out how I can mail a care package to Paul Whelan. He may not get it, but how fun would it be if he suddenly got dozens of boxes and we all got to read about our first-world disposable income annoying a bunch of Russian politicians?


Archaeological evidence suggests Enchanted Rock State Natural Area has been fascinating and drawing people to Central Texas for 12,000 years. Its principal attraction is a pink granite dome, which peaks 1,825 feet above sea level, known as a batholith

In the modern era, the area was colonized in the 1700s, and has been home to missions, presidios, and mineral mining. Today, the park is a National Natural Landmark and is one of the most visited parks in Texas, with more than 250,000 trekkers annually.


One billion years ago, this granite was part of a large pool of magma (liquid rock) as far as seven miles below the surface. It pushed up into the rock above in places, then cooled and hardened very slowly, becoming granite. Over time, the surface rock and soil eroded, leaving Enchanted Rock, Little Dome, Turkey Peak, and other domes visible.

The domes, a bit like icebergs, are the small and visible part of a much larger underground area of granite the Enchanted Rock Batholith, for example, stretches 62 square miles, mostly underground.

Although Enchanted Rock appears to be solid and durable, it is actually an exfoliation dome, which means it has layers like an onion, which are changing and eroding however slowly even today.

As rock and soil on the top wear away, the granite expands slightly, because there is less weight on it. This expansion causes the dome to split into curved sections. As the outer layer of rock breaks into smaller pieces and slides off, the next layer begins to peel away from the dome.


Prehistoric people left at least one kind of evidence throughout the park; bedrock mortars depressions in the granite where they ground and pounded their food. There are at least 400 known archaeological sites in the park to explore.

During the 1700s, Spaniards began to colonize the area and mine for minerals. Word from the mines got out and Germans and Americans began arriving in the mid1800s, hoping to strike it rich.

enchanted rock

16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg • Admission $8; children under 12 free • Open daily 6:30am-10pm MUST RESERVE PASSES online, or call customer service 512.389.8900 • Call for weather or hunt closings.

when you go

The park is less than two hours from Georgetown. There are nearly 11 miles of hiking trails, rock climbs, picnic and camping areas. Visitors can also birdwatch and geocache.

From ground level in the park, Enchanted Rock rises 425 feet. The entire dome covers 640 acres and the trip to the top is about like climbing the stairs of a 30- or 40-story building. Hikers suggest arriving early in the day to avoid large crowds and full sun exposure in the open expanse of the rock during summer months.

Tent campsites are available for a per-car fee. Some private sites include shade shelters, and all are located near the shower building, with water faucets and restrooms nearby. Each has an outdoor grill and fire ring, tent pad and lantern post. Hardier guests may hike further in to the historical sites, and spend the night near Moss Lake or Walnut Springs. There are also group historical sites that allow as many as 75 campers per night.

Pets are welcome on a leash, and the only activities not permitted in the parks are swimming and trail biking. There is also a park store that carries gifts, wood, and snacks. Rangers encourage visitors to bring and carry drinking water to ensure a good supply.


Geologists say temperature changes cause the dome rock to “creak and groan” on occasion. Native Americans believed the sounds were from ghosts. As well, on clear nights, after a rain, the top of the rock glitters resembling flickering “ghost fires,” which enhanced legends and stories through the ages. Scientists believe the glittering is reflections from collected water or wet feldspar (crystallized magma).


As part of the Texas State Parks’ 100-year anniversary, Enchanted Rock will have a 45th birthday celebration and fair Thursday, March 2 from noon to 4pm. Visitors are invited to learn new skills, enjoy old hobbies, and explore the history and beauty of the domes. Free day passes will be available in February.

Stargazers are in luck as well. The park has International Dark Sky status and, while visitors are welcome to stay until 10pm daily, Rangers occasionally host Rock Star Parties for expert input.

Scan the code to visit their website for events and updates.

63 HEALTH & WELLNESS 2023 Leslie Sager, REALTOR® 512-635-8896(C) | 512-864-2500(O) Each office independently owned and operated. If you want a service minded, responsible agent to sell your home or help you buy a home, call Leslie to get it done. Your Place to Find Holistic Health Clinicians Nutritionists Wellness Practitioners Sports & Exercise Specialists $30 Spinal Adjustments ANYTIME! - 29 years experience - Official Team Chiropractor for the Round Rock Express Baseball Team • No Appointments Necessar y • No Contracts • No Star t-Up Cost • No Hidden Fees • No Hassles (512) 758-7848 | 2913 Williams Dr ive, Suite 205 | Georgetown, TX 78628 Dr. Scot Knight specializes in affordable, convenient, and accessible chiropractic care. No appointment is necessary. New patients and existing patients, our office visit is just $30. DR. SCOT KNIGHT, DC


“What makes Georgetown distinctive?” consultant Ron Cox asked City Council members.

“When Barbara and I moved here, we had an assumption that we would spend time in Austin to do this or that. We don’t go to Austin,” Councilman Ron Garland says.

“I think it’s self-sufficient. There’s not really many reasons you have to leave Georgetown to buy something,” Councilman Mike Triggs says.

“You can live, work, go to school, have fun, all in the same community. I think, when you experience those things together, you begin to realize how rare it is,” Mayor Josh Schroeder says.


In our story on 40 Exercises-in-Disguise to try, we list pickleball as one fun way to start working out more. But how did the popular sport get its name? It has nothing to do with the sour snack; rather, it came from either a dog or a boat.

Some are adamant that it was inspired by Pickles, game founder Joel Pritchard’s dog, while others insist it was drawn from his wife Joan's suggestion to name it for the pickle boat of rowing (a crew consisting of random, available racers) since pickleball is a mix of several games, including badminton, tennis, and Ping-Pong.

Joel's daughter Peggy agreed the name didn't come from the dog because the game started before they adopted it it was just easier than trying to explain a pickle boat.

Charlotte Kovalchuk
Here are some things that didn’t make the cut in our HEALTH & WELLNESS ISSUE but we still wanted to share!
4 HEALTH & WELLNESS 2023 ECRWSS POSTAL PATRON GEORGETOWN, TX P.O. Box 203 | Jarrell, TX 76537 512.548.6474 Located halfway between US Hwy 183 and Ronald Regan Blvd. on Hwy 29 STOP IN AND CHECK OUT OUR INVENTORY & ALL THAT WE OFFER! MOORE LIBERTY BUILDINGS Bringing Your Family Together READY FOR WINTER? - Are your vehicles protected? - Are your items safe from the cold? - Need safe storage space that you own? - Ready to park your cars in the garage again? WE CAN HELP! WE DO COMPLETE PROJECTS SMALL AND LARGE! Outbuildings of all kinds, concrete slabs, decks, sheds that meet HOA standards and more! LOCAL & FAMILY-OWNED
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