Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Page index

Since the number of pages related to SNPJ has been growing consistently - and there are many more coming, I have now created an index of pages from which you can easily access any page you might be interested in visiting.

They are organized in the following groups:

SNPJ 778

As always, you are more than welcome to leave your comments, questions, suggestions, thoughts - any feedback you might have - on each and every of these pages.

Note: The comments are published after approval.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas classics movie: IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Often referred to as one of the best films ever made, this holiday classic is available for everyone to enjoy again and again. Plot: George Bailey spends his entire life giving up his big dreams for the good of his town, Bedford Falls, as we see in flashback. But in the present, on Christmas Eve, he is broken and suicidal over the misplacing of a loan and the machinations of the evil millionaire, Mr. Potter. His guardian angel, Clarence, falls to Earth, literally, and shows him how his town, family, and friends would turn out if he had never been born.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! - Vesel božič!


Photo courtesy of Nicolai Kjærgaard


Christmas on the Beach

I met this couple on the Pine Island Beach on Saturday and asked them if I could take a picture... :)


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas party 2008

I have an early Christmas present for all of you who attended Friday's party at Elk's - and for everybody else who might be interested. I took a video and some photos and put everything together into an online Christmas photo album you can enjoy here.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Entertaining Christmas song video

This video actually has nothing to do with SNPJ or polka, not even line dancing. It does, however, relate to this glorious time of the year. It's "12 Days" - Christmas song a little bit different. I enjoyed it so much that I watched it several times and I'm quite sure you might enjoy it as well! :)


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Denis Novato performing

For all of you who are looking forward to see and hear Denis Novato, a button box champion from Slovenia, visiting (and performing) at SNPJ Lodge 778 during SNPJ Days Weekend of February 27/28 of 2009
- here's a taste of his playing in Cleveland recently.

Thank you Ed for sending me this link! :)

Button box is one of the hardest instruments to master - but Denis' playing looks effortless...


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Line dancing on Christmas tunes

Here's a photo of today's line dancing class and the video below is evidence that you can line dance to any Chrisstmas tune... :)

Electric Slide line dancing on Christmas music 


Sunday, December 7, 2008

First scrapbook of an event available

Thanksgiving entertaining

I told a few members of SNPJ Lodge 778 that for this season (08/09) my plan is to attend every event and make an online page about each and every one of them - like a scrapbook of every dance, with photos and videos - and available for viewing to anybody who might be interested.

For now I'm keeping my word and the page about the first event - Thanksgiving Dinner and Dance Party is now live at:
or if you click on this link, a new window will open.

Please leave comments on the bottom of the page, let us all know you've stopped by - and tell us what you think.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Angel Two Step line dance mastered

All the ladies (and a gentleman), attending Wednesday line dancing classes are making really good progress. Video below is a proof.

For everyone who is interested in practicing at home to learn even faster, there's a webpage available with most of the dances (sofar) taught by Catherine:

Learn from home: Easy Dancing in Line

It is not completely finished yet because uploading videos takes time. Bookmark the page so you can use it regularly. Also, don't forget you can leave your comments, questions and suggestions on the bottom. Those are very much appreciated plus - they help getting the page much higher rank in search engines.

Keep in mind that the comments don't show up immediately - they have to be approved first. Therefore, it might take a few hours before you are actually able to see what you posted/commented on the web.

Another resource for enthusiastic line dancers - especially the ones who are fans of ABBA music is Learn at home: HONEY POT line dance

Details about Honey Pot line dance:
Choreographed by Kim Ray
Description: 32 count, 4 wall, beginner line dance
Music: Honey Honey by ABBA

The last resource I have to offer you right now is more advanced:
Learn at home: Atomik Polka line dance

Atomik Polka is intermediate level dance, choreography inspired by a tune, made in Slovenia.

Details about Atomik Polka line dance:
Choreographed by Bastiaan van Leeuwen
Description: 64 count, 4 wall, intermediate polka line dance
Music: Turbo Polka by Atomik Harmonik, very popular Slovenian music group

I am currently working on a page Who is Atomik Harmonik? so you'll have a chance to get to know them better soon.

In the meantime, stay happy and keep dancing! :)


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Basic line dancing

line dancing instructions

This is a photo of today's line dancing class with our wonderful teacher Catherine Feil. Her way of teaching new steps and dances is really adapted for beginner level so - if you've never line danced before, every Wednesday at 1:30 at SNPJ Lodge 778 is a good place to start!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving morning sunrise

This morning sunrise

Sunrise Florida


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Steve Juricic and Tropical Squeeze at SNPJ 778

Everybody seemed to enjoy Steve Juricic & Tropical Squeeze's music on Sunday at the Lodge 778. It was lively and diverse. Of course, every band's music is always the best when the musicians enjoy performing and music comes from their hearts...

We've even had a chance to see some line dancing!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Special thanks

Yesterday's Thanksgiving Dinner and Dance was a success and there are quite a few people who made it happen:

Richard Krchmaric and his son Matthew were responsible for all the good foods we ate.

Grace Bouma, Anne Gombocs, Tony Markel, Carol Dragonsky, Eileen Harfmann and Walt Stauffer were busy servers.

The bar and its guests were taken care for by John Lavrich, Nezka Novak and Richard Brown.

Doris Lavrich and Marge Thomas were in charge of tickets.

Last but not least, the members of the decorations and setup crew were equally important piece of the puzzle: Doris, Anne, John, Walt and Marge.

Thank you all, including those who might have helped in any way but are not mentioned above!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving dinner and dance party

This is the-same-day quick report of today's first event of the season: The food was good, the place was pretty crowded, music was lively and everyone had a good time!

Enjoy the photos in video below!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Around the globe in 31 minutes

Health and Happiness
Originally uploaded by Tatiana Cardeal

When this video was first put online, it circled the globe and was viewed by people in all continents within a matter of 31 minutes!

My today's message is short:

If you or your loved ones are battling disease, please take 5 minutes out of your busy schedule and watch this video here
It might for ever change your life...


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Homemade cranberry sauce with a twist

Even when using recipes - I just have to invent something that's uniquely mine, to adjust ingredients and taste to my preferences.

Here's the story about inventing a different kind of homemade cranberry sauce.

About a year or so ago I found this really great recipe how to cook cranberries into delicious sauce. I used the original recipe a few times and the sauce was great: easy to make and tasty. The only thing I have a problem with is that it calls for a lot of sugar (which I try to eliminate from my diet) and orange juice (which is acidic so it's also on my "stay-away list").

That's why I cooked my newly invented sugar free cranberry sauce by replacing sugar with agave syrup and orange juice with grapefruit juice...

... and my 2008 Thanksgiving cranberry sauce recipe is as follows:

* 12 ounces cranberries
* juice of a medium-sized grapefruit
* approximately 1/2 cup of agave syrup*


Cook cranberries in grapefruit juice and agave syrup in a medium size pan over medium heat for about 10 minutes (cranberries need to pop). Remove from heat, place in a bowl and let the sauce cool and thicken.

If you like your cranberry sauce more jellied, mash cooked cranberries with a fork.

* The quantity of agave syrup is approximate because the taste will depend on the size and the sweetness of the grapefruit you use. However, with using agave syrup as a sweetener it's easy to add more, even after the sauce cools down.

And the most important thing about this recipe is that it's good for everyone, does not contain any alcohol or any artificial ingredients.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daniel Keene Jr. - FASCAR 2008 Champion

Have you heard about Daniel Keene Jr. yet?

He has quite a story to tell about his 2008 FASCAR LATE MODEL CHALLENGE 100 season, which was his first full season ever!

He is presently looking for sponsors for the next season and while his fans praise him with words like "Daniel is a Great Driver!" and such, his mom stated, "He's great on the radio, in interviews, and quite good looking. He'd be great in those jean commercials."

Read the whole story and see more photos here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First line dance class report

The first line dancing class this past Wednesday was a success and I assume everyone is looking forward to coming back every Wednesday throughout the season.

I couldn't make it myself so I don't have a picture for you today - or more detailed report - but I'll stop by as soon as I can and let you know how many line-dance students are having fun there.

It's not too late to join though - even if you've never line-danced before, you should at least give it a try. It's a lot of fun and great exercise for all ages and genders.

Schedule and details can be found here.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Need Help with contest

A couple of days ago I received an email from one of my subscribers. Here's the partial copy:
"... I wonder if you have any nice pasta recipes with different herbs. I own a small shop and have just started selling salads and any variation on what I offer would really be appreciated..."

read more | digg story

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Line dancing classes at SNPJ

From now on you can not only dance polka at SNPJ Lodge 778 but also learn line dancing steps. Beginner classes start tomorrow, November 12, 2008 and will be offered every Wednesday between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Event: Beginner line dancing classes
When: Every Wednesday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $3.00 per person
Info: Call 352-686-9874

line dancing Pictures, Images and Photos


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why is TUESDAY Election Day

Little known Historical facts (no political propaganda!) about
why Tuesday after the first Monday in November
was chosen as Election Day in U.S.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Season 2008/2009 schedule of events

A new schedule of social events for SNPJ Lodge 778 in Spring Hill Florida is now available online for everyone who likes good food, good music, polka dancing and happy people. :)


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How to Handle Disappointment

"The Secret" movie star, author of many great books and first hypnotic marketer - Dr. Joe Vitale reveals how to handle disappointment by sharing the story of how he wanted a flying car and lost it at an auction he didn't even know about.

read more | digg story

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Frank & Darryl Valencic - Bob Zgonc Polka Medley

Frank & Darryl Valencic, Bob Zgonc at Super Button Box Bash Cleveland, Ohio 2008


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer in Florida

For all of you, who are spending your summer up north, go see what Florida looks like this time of the year: FLORIDA SUMMER


Friday, June 27, 2008

Ken Zalar and the Captain's Crew "Oj Ja"

Ken and the band feature Eddie Kenik and Paul Yanchar on vocals doing one of Eddie's big tunes "Oj Ja". Recorded at the Circle 2 Button Box Bash April 6, 2008


Monday, May 26, 2008

Postcard View of Ljubljana, the Capital of Slovenia

There's one really awsome webpage out there about Ljubljana, about it's history, how Ljubljana got its (hard to pronounce) name, about Ljubljana Dragon, how were Argonauts and Jason from Greek mithology involved and what this small capital with less than 300,000 inhabitants (and more than 50,000 college students!) has to offer to a visitor and townsfolk - and more.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Henry Drummond - Scientist, Evangelist, Author

"You will find as you look back upon your life
that the moments when you have truly lived
are the moments when you have done things
in the spirit of love."


Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Pabst Polka Party" with Johnny Koenig @ Beachland

Hosted By: Johnny Koenig
When: Friday May 30, 2008
at 8:00 PM
Where: Beachland Ballroom
15711 Waterloo Rd
Cleveland, Ohio36 44110
United States
Johnny Koenig

Click Here To View Event


Aristotle, Greek philosopher

"Care more for the truth
than for what people think."


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cookies DiCenzo

Cookies DiCenzo - one of the most devoted members of the past


Monday, May 12, 2008

1995 - President Walt Harfmann's family with Frank Yankovic

President Walt Harfmann, America's Polka King Frank Yankovic,
Eileen & Kurt Harfmann, and Aunt Mary Baumann


Thursday, May 8, 2008

American Statesman

"High thoughts will lift us high;
Low thoughts will lay us low;
This truth none may deny,
The law hath made it so."


Thursday, May 1, 2008

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

"I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God,
named by whatever name,
and that the individual’s highest fulfillment,
greatest happiness,
and widest usefulness are to be found
in living in harmony
with His will."


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Albert Einstein, scientist

“There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Has anyone told you?

Has anyone told you?

If not,

This is the message from me, Daria, the author of these posts to everyone who clicks on the link above. And - by the way, you're more than welcome to return as often as you like... :)


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Walter Ostanek & Lojze Slak - Polka Village (Live 1994)

30th anniversary of Lojze Slak's ensemble in Ljubljana, Slovenija.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Linda Goodman, Best-Selling Author and Astrologer

"The truth of the infallible Universal Law is
that the more that you give,
the faster it multiplies."


Monday, April 7, 2008

Daily Inspirational Words

Here's how to view every decision you've ever made:
It was right.

Here's how to view every path you've ever chosen:
It was right.

Here's how to view every trend, friend, and dance you've ever moved with:
They were right.

And here's how to view the fact that you even exist at all:
"I" was totally on fire.

The Universe

Source: TUT... A Note from the Universe newsletter at:


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Slovene-American Club of Spring Hill Featured on Another Blog

Today, Lodge 778 - SNPJ of Spring Hill is featured on Top Celebrities and Sports Talent blog. This is the first time club's blog is presented like this on another website and means a big step forward in spreading the word.

Take a look at:


Friday, April 4, 2008

Best-Seller Written by Two Slovenian Authors

Excerpts from the foreword (written by #1 Best-selling author, Dr. Joe Vitale) of the book titled The Millionaire's Mindset:

"Mr. Boris Vene co-authored this book with Nikola Grubiša, another internationally acknowledged marketer. It is difficult to explain how well this book did in Slovenia just by sheer numbers. It has sold 10,000 hard-copies on a 2,000,000 market (the population of Slovenia) without any direct marketing, only word-of-mouth and articles of praise that were printed in Slovenian newspapers (not promotional articles)."

2,000 of these 10,000 copies sold were purchased by Slovenian business-men that chose to give it away to their business partners as a gift (the book sells for $30 USD here in Slovenia), it's also at the top of the Amway recommended reading list (but the book itself is not on multi-level marketing). We are also just preparing an e-book version of the book for the Slovenian market, and the hard-copy is just entering its third release with 1,000 pre-orders before the book even entered print.

"This book undoubtedly has great potential for the US market. Based on Slovenian sales we could even expect sales from 1,000,000 to 1,600,000 hard-copies sold in the US."

Click Here to read about the American version of this electronic book and endorsements it received from famous people from around the world!

"Here was a book with how-to techniques, positive philosophy, an up-lifting message, and a practical bent to it. It talked about human nature, as well as business and even spirituality. It was like the best of every business and self-help book I had every seen while still being entirely fresh, new, inspiring and practical.

And this book sold where? In Slovenia? I had never heard of it before. I'm told it's a small country right above Italy. Well, if it's near Italy, it's got to be good.

I quickly decided that I wanted to be the one to bring this book to Americans. After nearly a year of translating the book, refining some of the book's messages to be clear for the Western audience, and settling on our deal, I'm proud to say the e-book version is done.

But there's also something else wonderful about this book.

It's been blessed. A famous spiritual teacher, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, signed the front of it. You'll see his digitized signature in the book. In a sense, he infused the book with his own magical power. That alone, for a book touted to be pure business, is rare.

Any way you look at it, you're about to read a treasure. Let it touch your mind, stir your soul, and awaken "The Millionaire's Mindset" within you."


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Most Famous Tune about Slovenia

Many people think that this should be Slovenian national anthem...

Slavko Avsenik - Slovenija, od kod lepote tvoje (1999)...

...and an older video of the same song, made in Bled in 1970:


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tale of Slovenians and Slovenia

In those early days of Earth and nations, God gave every nation a piece of land. When the work was all done, a small group of people (they called themselves Slovenians) appeared in front of Omnipotent to claim their own place under the sun.

There was nothing left to give but the tiny and most beautiful space on the blue planet, between the Alps and Adriatic Sea, which God kept for himself.

That's how Slovenians got "The Greenest Country in Europe" on "The Sunny Side of Alps" - Slovenia, God's own piece of heaven. Oh, and the only country with 'love' in its name...


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Canada's Polka King & co.

Canada's Polka King-Walter Ostanek, Gaylord Klancnik and Ronnie Sluga playing at SNPJ 778 in 2005


George Staiduhar

George Staiduhar and his band at SNPJ 778 in 2004


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Grace, Ron and Cookies

Grace and Ron Bouma & Cookies DiCenzo


Ed and Phyllis, Writers and Photographers

Ed and Phyllis Kotarski, writing and photo work for "The Polka News"


Friday, March 21, 2008

Joe Fedorchak

Joe Fedorchak (recently retired), a very popular Polka band leader from Youngstown, Ohio. He has been an entertainer for over 40 years.
The photo was taken with his band playing for our Lodge 778 in 2001.


Ben and Tracy

Long time members, Ben and Tracy Agens

Walt, Long Time Chef and the Club's Backbone

Walt Stauffer - a long time kitchen volunteer and backbone of the Lodge 778

Jam Session 2006

Jam Session - January 2006

Jam Session 2005

Jam Session March, 2005 -"A great one"

Hundred Years of SNPJ: 1904 - 2004

100th Anniversary - March 2004

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ansambel Vrisk

In 1995, Ansambel Vrisk started sharing their love for beautiful Slovenian folk music, but not just with fans in Slovenia. They were also touring Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, U.S. and Canada. Since their beginnings, they won several awards for their songs and recorded 4 cassettes and 3 CDs.

The song below is about Slovenian folk hero, stout fellow - Martin Krpan. Following is my summary of the story about Martin Krpan z Vrha pri Sveti Trojici (written by Fran Levstik back in 1858):

Martin Krpan made his living smuggling English salt on his skinny mare colt. To Martin Krpan's greatest disappointment, the emperor in Vienna couldn't solve his biggest problem (giant, named Brdavs, who already killed all of the emperor's strongest and bravest noble men) without his help. Although annoyed, he did emperor a favor and took care of Brdavs - once and for all. In exchange, he could get almost anything but only wanted and received the permit to import English salt freely for the rest of his life. :)

Moja lepa Belokranjka (video below) is one of the awarded songs. Lyrics are telling the story about a beautiful but foxy musician's girlfriend from Bela Krajina.

Čas beži (translation: time passing by fast) is the name of the next video below. The members of Ansambel Vrisk are:

  • Beti Stopar - singing
  • Jože Šarc - singing
  • Jernej Tišler - contrabass and singing
  • Rok Fojkar - guitar and singing
  • Jože Avbar - accordion - and the boss

Ansambel Vrisk - Enkrat v življenju (translation: for once in my life)

The song on this last video Gobarska pesem (below) is dedicated to mushroom gatherers - and love, of course...

Ansambel Vrisk also has a song, named Button Box, most likely inspired by their U.S./Canadian tour (guessing). Button box is called "diatonična harmonika" or, even more often, "frajtonar’ca" in Slovenian language. Here are the lyrics of Button Box in Slovenian:

Besedilo (lyrics): Majda Rebernik
Glasba (music): Jože Avbar
(Moja lepa Belokranjka)




Learn more about Ansambel Vrisk at their website:

More samples of their music at:


Monday, March 17, 2008

Dressed in St. Patrick's Day Style (Although not Irish)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Debbie and Her Story

Debbie is one really nice lady with a big heart. She is taking care of her sister, who is battling a disease as well as an elderly lady who feels more secure having someone like Debbie around. Yesterday, Debbie travelled almost 150 miles from North of Florida to Spring Hill to hear and see Stan playing drums with Virgil Baker's band. She enjoys the energetic folk music and the company of happy people, although - until two years ago she had no idea what polka music was or how to dance to it.


Polka Bands


Sunday, March 16, 2008

John, the Bar King

John and Doris
John's parents came to America around 1910 from Loški potok, Slovenia. They lived in Pennsylvania first and then in Michigan. In 1986 John retired, sold his house and moved to Florida with his wife, Doris.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Slovenia - National Anthem


Slovenia - Map

Slovenia map

map of slovenia


Slovenia - Flag

Slovenia flag
About current Slovenia flag: When Slovenia became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991, the red star was removed from Slovenian flag - and replaced by a new coat of arms, designed by an artist and author, Marko Pogačnik.

The traditional three equal horizontal bands of white at the top, blue, and red - stayed unchanged since 1848, when the white-blue-red Slovenia flag was first officially recognized by the Austrian Empire as the symbol of United Slovenia and Slovenians, regardless of the historical region in which they lived.

Girls with Slovenian flag
Photo Girls with Slovenian flag - courtesy of bw.ruth
The coat of arms on Slovenia flag is actually a shield, representing the tallest mountain in Slovenia, Triglav. Underneath are two wavy blue lines - for Adriatic Sea and rivers. The three six-pointed golden stars are from the coat of arms of the Counts of Celje, the great Slovenian dynastic house of the late 14th and early 15th century.
Triglav, Slovenia
Beautiful Slovenian Alps with the highest Slovenian mountain Triglav and Slovenian flag.
Photo Triglav, Slovenia and comment above - courtesy of Vincitor
Slovenia flag -  national country flag 3 x 5 foot
Slovenia National Country Flag - 3 foot by 5 foot Polyester (New)
Slovenia flag - Black license plate frame metal holder
Slovenia Slovenian Flag Black License Plate Frame Metal Holder
Slovenia flag miniature
Slovenia Miniature Flag

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