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Relieve tension with a hobby

January 2, 2010
By BEN SIMMONS, Staff Writer

Everyone knows stress can take a heavy toll on your mind and body. Luckily, choosing the right hobby can help relieve some of the tension and make your life richer and more rewarding.

Nearly everyone loves music and it can be a very rewarding hobby, whether playing an instrument or just listening. B and J Music located in downtown Elkins can help you decide what direction is best for your musical interest. The store offers a wide variety of musical instruments and accessories.

"For someone interested in taking up music as a hobby, you first have to decide what instrument interests you," B and J Music Manager Dave Gilbert said. "Most of the time when people come in here, they know what direction they want to go and from there I lead them into what instrumentation we have available. We carry a full line of instruments and accessories, including rent-to-own instruments and band instruments. We've also got gentlemen offering violin and guitar lessons."

Article Photos

(CU and The Inter-Mountain/Anthony Gaynor)
MELODIOUS MUSIC —B and J Music manager Dave Gilbert is ready to assist anyone looking to pick playing an instrument as a new hobby. The shop, located on Third Street in Elkins, carries several different instruments including guitars, drums and saxophones. The shop offers rent-to-own instruments and can help with guitar and violin lessons.

A fish aquarium can be very relaxing to watch. Part of the fun of building an aquarium is selecting the types of animals to stock. It's important to create a sustainable environment and each organism does its part to help the biosystem.

Several varieties of fish and other aquatic life forms are available from pet stores and other retail outlets including Pet Escape in Elkins.

"Deciding what size tank they want is the No. 1 thing," said Pet Escape co-owner Kristi Kirkpatrick. "After that, they need to make sure they know what types of fish they want - whether they are wanting gold fish, tropical fish, or saltwater fish - because there are different steps and measures they have to take with each one. They need to make sure they have the proper filtration and that the water quality is OK. There are lots of different things to do before putting the fish in the tank. Then it's more or less setting up the tank and letting it set for several days and testing the water to make sure the chemistry is OK, before gradually adding the fish. That's the biggest mistake many people make, they want to add all the fish in one shot. It may take two or three months before getting all the fish they want in the tank. But that's part of the hobby aspect."

Folks looking to add a little more creativity to their hobby may want to visit Yarn and Company on the Country Club Road, just outside Elkins. To help beginners, owner Sandy Tolin offers several training sessions and hosts monthly knitting socials. Her store also carries a wide variety of yarns, needles, patterns and books on the subject.

"Knitting has changed a lot over the years," Tolin said. "There are so many different kinds of yarn and patterns. It's a wonderful way to relax. A lot of people like to spend time watching TV with their family and knitting is something you can do while watching TV. It's also wonderful for trips because it's so portable. It's also easy to learn, no matter what your skill level is, you can come out with a project you can be very proud of."

Many other hobbies exist. Information on a variety of hobbies including woodworking, cooking, scrapbooking, gardening and dancing can be found on the Internet or at the local library. It's up to each person to decide what piques their interest and delve into their own world of enjoyment.

Use some imagination and find a new way to relax during the New Year.



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