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New League Session is Here

Posted on November 9, 2020 by under Hobbies, Things to Do.    

The new league session at Chicken N Pickle starts this week. You know what that means. Another round of fun league photos! Anyway, here are my favorites from last session…

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Me and my partner from last session, Brooke Ayala.

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We have so many matching outfits, we didn’t have enough time to wear all of them.

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We did have a little fun on tournament night.

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Last session was a five-week Halloween league. Thus, lots of orange outfits. Between me and Brooke are Kimberly Howe and Jen Reifschneider, aka Chef Jen. Below, it’s Kim, Jen, Brooke, me and then Jenny Cole and Karen Fox.

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Me and Brooke with Jody Vinson and Amy Jaramillo between us, and a bonus Chandi Bongers photobomb.

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We all like the purple leopard print Target tanks so much that we all got it. Below are Lesli Toubassi, Tiffany Lesperance, Karen, me and Jenny.

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Me and my mixed doubles partner from last session, Tom Pham, with our nemesis — Han You and Karen Fox. In keeping with the Halloween theme, their official team name was Not Today Freddy Krueger.

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Even Tiffany and Donnie Lesperance got in on the matching shirt action. Also, they were the competitive mixed doubles league champs this past session.

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I’m so excited for this next round. I got uniforms for me and my new partner Anna.

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Also, Brian is playing in his first pickleball league ever and we got shirts made for him and his partner, Kenny Underkofler too. Check ’em out!

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Anyway, no matching shirts for me and my mixed partner this session, Steve Vetter, because he is a party pooper. We played our first two matches last night and won both matches in two straight sets. First match was against Laura and Simon (Pickled Kiwis) and second match was against Matt Mayfield and Sarah Berry. I guess as long as we do well and have fun, it doesn’t matter that we don’t have fun matching league uniforms.

Will keep you posted and let you know how all of our leagues turn out at the end of the session. Until then, GNG.

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Birthday 2020

Posted on November 5, 2020 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

No major birthday plans this year because we’re not really traveling but I did take the day off work on Friday for my birthday. Started the day with a pickleball lesson from my sensei Chris Heck who I haven’t seen in forever.

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It was the perfect opportunity to wear our matching shirts that I got made for us.

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Chris is such a good sport.

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After my lesson, Brian and I had a nice leisurely lunch at Genova in Newton. We were originally going to the Belmont but they aren’t open for lunch. Well, before that we were going to have lunch at the art museum but my friend Teresa wasn’t going to be there so we decided to go elsewhere so Genova was actually third on the list. Another idea we ended up scrapping was our trip to Botanica which I wasn’t really too bummed about because we’re going next month for Illuminations. We just had too much to do and not enough time to do everything and lunch took longer than expected, specially since it was a bit of a trek to Newton.

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We would have had more time but I didn’t want to give up my Friday night pickleball. On Fridays I try to hit the 5 PM open play at Nahola before our normal 7 PM mixed doubles games. I always look forward to Friday nights because it’s the one night a week these days that I can get four hours of uninterrupted play.

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I brought cupcakes and caramel apples for everyone. I would have brought cake because I love cake but I didn’t want to have to mess with bringing plates and plastic forks. Anyway, Donnie and Tiffany brought birthday shots — 99 Bananas — in tampon flasks. I thought the flask was clever but the shot was disgusting. It tasted like a shot of rubbing alcohol which should be no surprise given that the liquor is 99 proof.

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Tiffany and Donnie made me a really cool “Pickleball Addict” wood sign. Brian and I put it on the fireplace mantle under the TV in the hearth area.

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Debbie gave me a very eco-friendly stainless steel straw set and a fun slap watch. She is so thoughtful.

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On Saturday Karen and I had the Halloween Smash tournament at Chicken N Pickle. Brian dropped me off at her house so the two of us could get ready and ride to CNP together but before that she made Dutch baby pancakes for the three of us because (a) they are delicious and (b) Brian had never had it before.

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Karen surprised me with matching birthday shirts.

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She also made us these awesome Dorothy costumes. She even painted our shoes red! Our costumes turned out fabulous. Karen is so crafty!

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Here’s the finished product with Molly as Toto.

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Sammi came dressed as Patrick Smith.

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The cake was another surprise.

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Beside the cake, there were other treats there too.

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Here are a few more pictures from Saturday.

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The Jens gave me birthday flowers. How sweet is that?

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The tournament had a great turnout and some really awesome costumes.

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Here are the finalists.

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Karen and I didn’t win the costume contest or the pickleball tournament but we got pretty close. And, we had a ton of fun.

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After the tournament, Brian, Karen, and I had a late lunch at Carrabba’s — my favorite place to celebrate.

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And then all that sugar put Brian into a coma.

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Here’s a better pic.

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But before his nap he helped me hang my other present from Karen.

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The next day Karen and I wore our birthday shirts to Brunch & Bingo open play at CNP. I could really take or leave the open play part but I am absolutely hooked on Bingo. It is currently my favorite thing to do on Sundays.

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Here’s what I had for breakfast on Sunday.

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I couldn’t decide between the chicken and waffles and the biscuits and gravy and so as a compromise I got the biscuits and gravy and added chicken. Add a bunch of mimosas (only $5 during Brunch & Bingo) and I was in a coma.

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I didn’t nap with Brian on Saturday afternoon but I did join him for a nap on Sunday. He insisted that the two of us would fit together in the couch. I had my doubts but he proved me wrong.

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Anyway, I may not have gotten to travel but it was a wonderful weekend overall.

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Get Together at Dudley’s

Posted on November 4, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

We wanted to get together with friends (who mostly live on the West side of town) last month so we originally planned for dinner at Kobe. Unfortunately, Kobe was being super strict with their numbers and (1) wouldn’t take reservations for groups bigger than 8 people and (2) wouldn’t guarantee that our group could stay together. We ended up relocating our dinner to Dudley’s, mainly to stay out West and also because Dudley’s had no problem accommodating our group of 20.

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We had a few people who couldn’t make it and actually contemplated relocating back to Kobe next door, but we still had way too many people to be able to ensure that our group stayed together.

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Some people in our group had been to Dudley’s before but, being East-siders, neither Brian nor I had ever been so we really didn’t know what to expect. The place was super relaxed and gave no fucks whatsoever about the pandemic. When we walked in wearing masks and found noone there wearing them, our server was like “We don’t care about that (meaning the masks) here,” and pretty much gave us the green light to take our face coverings off. No wonder they didn’t care about having large groups either. It was like we had stepped back in time to 2019 before the Coronavirus was a thing.

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The food was just your basic bar food but I took pictures anyway because it’s kind of my thing. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.

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I ordered the fish and chips because the server told us about this lady at the next table who drives all the way to Dudley’s from two towns over just to have their fish and chips. Anyway, it was just okay. Cory, who also ordered the fish and chips, and I both concluded that the lady at the next table had never had good fish and chips before. Of course, the Pub Orlando completely ruined me because it is the standard by which I compare all fish and chips to and it is completely unfair because Kansas fish and chips will never be able to measure up to the fish and chips you can get in Florida. To be fair, though, I’ve had some decent fish and chips in Wichita – better than the one I had that night at Dudley’s.

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While the food may have been mediocre, the company was second to none. It was great to physically get back together with our friends after months of seclusion and “virtual” gatherings. I had no idea how much I missed getting hugs.

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It’s always fun hanging out with these guys. I can’t wait until our next real life gathering! Until then, GNG.

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Pictures from Newbie Night

Posted on October 29, 2020 by under Hobbies.    

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This month’s newbie night at Chicken N Pickle was so fun. I ran into Kenny, one of Brian’s old friends who he hadn’t seen in over 20 years, at Mulvane a few weeks ago and talked him into coming to newbie night. Since he was going, I managed to have Brian reschedule his streaming night so he could go to newbie night as well. I love how I managed to bring these two guys together and, to top it off, Brian and going to start playing more. The two of them joined the Monday night league at CNP!

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My friend Brooke’s son Lauden and her cousin Weston were at newbie night too. They are also joining the Monday night league.

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My friend Christina also came out. She was so excited for newbie night, she actually came a week early. Then she came back again on the correct night.

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You know who else I managed to talk into coming to newbie night? Three of my besties from Leadership Wichita – Amie, Jessica, and Teresa. It was so fun introducing them to pickleball. Although, Amie had played once before with our mutual friends Dave and Debbie Fanning.

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Here are some fun pictures from that night.

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I think my friends had a lot of fun. We have to do it again another night and bring the rest of our Leadership Wichita classmates. I think the rest of them would enjoy pickleball too. Until next time. GNG.

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Addicted to Bingo

Posted on October 28, 2020 by under Date Ideas, Food and Drink, Things to Do.    

I’m officially addicted to Bingo. More specifically, Brunch & Bingo at Chicken N Pickle. At first it was just me at a table by myself (usually with Ric and Brenda Thompson at the next table). Then I roped Karen into joining me.

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Look at this concentration!

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A couple of weeks ago, my pseudo-daughter Huyen joined us for the first time. She’s now very much addicted to Bingo too.

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This past Sunday, Brian and grandma joined us. Grandma is a veteran Bingo player and brought us tape. I’d never thought to do that but it was brilliant. I’m bringing tape every week from now on.

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While the games are going, everyone is super serious. You have to concentrate or you run the risk of missing numbers. Specially since Jeff calls them super fast.

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Everyone was in full concentration, even Brian.

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Grandma didn’t Bingo but she got a free shirt courtesy of Michael and Jeff. She absolutely loved her shirt and eagerly showed off to everyone when she got home.

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Grandma also enjoyed her mimosa.

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Besides FREE Bingo and $5 mimosas and bloody Marys, Chicken N Pickle also offers delicious food for brunch. This past Sunday, we ordered one of each thing so grandma could try it all.

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Here are some pictures of our food…

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The avocado toast was so good even Brian liked it, and he’s not a frou frou kind of guy.

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You can’t go wrong with biscuits and gravy – unless you forget to tell them to fry the egg hard which is what happened on Sunday. LOL. Brian would have enjoyed it more had the egg not been runny.

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The junkyard dog breakfast burrito is our absolute favorite brunch item. I have eaten an entire one by myself but it’s better to share with another person because it really is a lot of food.

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I’m glad Karen and Huyen joined us because we were able to share our food with them. Anyway, Brunch & Bingo is my absolute favorite thing to do on Sundays. I look forward to it every weekend. The best part is, Jenni and her crew are going to join us for the next one. I can’t wait!

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