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Archive for "Hobbies"

Pickleball and Lasagna Day

Posted on June 3, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Hobbies.    

I completely took advantage of day time pickleball play during my time off work last week. Karen and I managed to arrange a pickleball play date with Jimmy and Michael by bribing them with her delicious lasagna.

Anyway, the day before our reservation, Jimmy asked me if I could reserve the second court because Tavon was in town and wanted to play. He said if I reserved the court, he could find three other players to complete the roster.

I knew of Tavon (because he’s a really good player) but I hadn’t met him personally yet so naturally I jumped at the chance. I quickly got the second court reserved and told Jimmy to proceed with finding the three other players.

I also immediately texted Karen and told her that we would be playing with Tavon. She was utterly confused because our appointment was with Jimmy and Michael so I had to explain the whole reserving the other court thing and then I asked if there would be enough lasagna for everyone. LOL.

Jimmy invited Han, Mark, and Cody to round out the roster. However, Cody had to work so I asked if Chris could take his place instead since I had a lesson with Chris that afternoon and he was coming early to eat lasagna with us anyway. Basically, he would just come a couple of hours early to play with us also.

Not only did I get to meet Tavon last week but I got to play with him too. And, it’s not very often that Chris is available to play with just regular folk so it was a real treat. Even playing with Jimmy and Michael is a privilege because Jimmy can be really picky with who he plays with (often you have to bribe him with food or drinks to get him to play – unless you’re one of the super elite guys).

Here are some of our photos from that day…

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This was a pretty stellar group. I can’t believe I got to play with these guys (from top left: Chris Heck, Karen Fox, Tavon Morrow, Hanbeen You, Mark Narongvate, Michael Cheung, and that’s Jimmy Cho on the floor).

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When Karen and I planned our outfits, we had no idea that we would accidentally coordinate with Tavon too.

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Karen thought of everything. She even had individually wrapped utensils for everyone. And, she brought Ferrero Rocher chocolates for dessert.

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I was good and only ate one piece. I would have had seconds normally but I didn’t want to be a pig in front of everyone. Also, I had my lesson after so I didn’t want to overeat and feel bad during.

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Karen’s lasagna is amazing. We ate every bit of it until there was nothing left.

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We hung out and visited while we ate. It was super nice because I don’t normally just get to sit and chat with people. Most of the time we’re in the middle of a game and don’t really get a chance to visit. It was really refreshing.

After lunch I had my solo lesson with Chris. He is such a great teacher. I have learned so much in the time that he’s worked with me. I feel like I’ve improved so much since that fateful date in January when I took my first lesson with him.

Anyway, I had a couple of errands (met with my group fitness coordinator at VASA to get brought up to speed on resuming our group fitness classes and the procedures we are to follow to ensure everyone’s safety; and then had my first post-COVID waxing at Beau Monde) before going home to feed the girls and freshen up before my next pickleball appointment.

Pickleball that night was at Chicken N Pickle with Mark Smith, Gregg Smith, Kim Shea, Brooke Ayala, and Kim Knotts. We had a pretty good rotation. However, while I was waiting Brad (another pickleball friend) grabbed me to play with them because they needed a 4th to play with them while they were waiting for one of their other friends who was coming all the way from the West side. As I was playing with this group, guess who walks by — Tavon. Apparently, he had multiple pickleball play times scheduled that day too.

This was the most perfect day of pickleball I’d had in a long time. It wasn’t even that I played particularly well because I didn’t. It was just so nice spending time and playing with these wonderful people. I feel so blessed that they let me play with them. I sometimes wonder how I got so lucky because I know I am definitely not getting invited because of my skill. I often joke that what I lack in skill I make up for in cute outfits. It might just be my way of overcompensating. I’m like the guy who drives a fancy car because he has a small penis. LOL.

I’m taking lessons though, so I am getting better. But now the cute outfits are kind of part of thing. Extra bonus when my friend Karen and I match. I just enjoy everything about pickleball, from playing to friendships to matching outfits.

That’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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Pickleball Fun

Posted on May 29, 2020 by under Hobbies.    

Pickleball is ruling my life right now. I am completely addicted to it. Here are my favorite things about pickleball, in no particular order.

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Matching Outfits
I finally met a pickleball friend who enjoys being matchy-matchy just as much as I do. Meet my friend Karen. These are all the matching outfits we have but I have no doubt we will have more.

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Lobsterfest
My friend Tiffany just bought Patti’s lobster so I’m thinking Lobsterfest will now be a regular occurrence.

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Shirtless Pickleball
‘Tis the season for shirtless pickleball.

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Post-Pickleball Picnics
We’ve been taking advantage of the nice weather and having munchies on the patio at Nahola after pickleball. Last weekend we had margaritas, pizza, and wings. Yesterday, Karen brought lasagna for everyone.

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Fan-Girling
It’s perfectly normal in other sports, yet seems completely ludicrous in pickleball, but I’m bound and determined to make it a “thing.”

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#SangriaSunday
I’m not a big drinker but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy #SangriaSunday. There are days that I’m not feeling particularly competitive. I just want to play and be social and sip on my sangria and have a great time.

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French Braids at the Park
This is probably one of my most favorite developments this year – Karen’s mobile hair braiding station at Seneca Park. I love playing pickleball with my hair in braids because it’s secure and out of the way.

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Making New Friends
Possibly the best part about pickleball is meeting other pickleball addicts and making new friends.

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First Time Back at CNP

Posted on May 13, 2020 by under Community, Hobbies.    

Chicken N Pickle reopened last week, which was just in time for our top contributor reward. A couple of months ago I decided to start giving prizes to recognize top contributors to our Wichita Pickleball Facebook group to encourage more engagement and activity within the group. We had planned a trip to Hilton Head Island and so I was thinking I would bring some Head swag back from Ansboury Academy which I could use as a prize.

Alas, that trip didn’t happen so I ended up just giving a $25 Amazon gift certificate to the winner who turned out to be Cameron. He immediately used it to buy some pickleballs, which makes sense because we are constantly breaking them.

For the month of April, rather than giving away another Amazon gift certificate, I decided the prize would be a one-hour court reservation at Chicken N Pickle. The condition was that, since I’m paying for the reservation, I would get to play but the winner would get to invite two others to play with us.

My friend Mark Smith ended up winning. When I reached out to him about the date and time that he would like to claim his reward, and agreed on Thursday, May 7, I found out that it was his birthday the very next day. So I ended up reserving an extra hour as his birthday present and he got two invite two additional people.

Here are some of our pictures from that evening…

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Our group consisted of (from left) Mark’s siblings Kim Shea and Gregg Smith, Kim Knotts (Mark’s usual mixed doubles partner), Brooke Ayala (Kim Knotts’ doubles partner), and me. We probably could have invited more people to play with us but we were limited by Chicken N Pickle to six people per court based on the current social distancing rules. Everyone in the Wichita pickleball community is just so lovely and so much fun.

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Kim Knotts even brought these delicious cupcakes for everyone.

Anyway, it was great to be back at Chicken N Pickle after being away for so long. I just love playing there because it’s an outside court surface but indoors. I’ve missed playing with these guys so much too so it was great to be together again.

It’s been super rainy this week so I’ve actually been hanging out at CNP quite a bit. Since making the court reservations for Mark’s top contributor reward last week, I’ve made a few more reservations.

Last night I was there to play with Jimmy Cho, Michael Cheung, and Ryan DeSantis. It was so much fun! Jimmy even complimented me on the progress I’ve made since the last time he’d seen me play. It made me feel good.

While we were playing, he gave me a couple of lobs that were unsuccessful for him and winners for me. I hit the first one in the air backwards as I was running to get it and ended up lobbing it right back. It landed in and neither Michael nor Jimmy could get to it. I ended up smashing the second lob for a winner. I think he was utterly surprised. I used to not know how to hit overheads but Chris Heck has been helping me and I can actually hit them now. I still flub them once in a while but I feel pretty good about hitting them now for the most part.

I’m playing at Chicken N Pickle again tonight. This time with my friends Tiffany Lesperance, Donnie Lesperance, and Steve Vetter. On Thursday I’m playing with Mark’s group. I’d be back again on Friday but I have a group lesson with my friends Karen Fox and Jenny Cole at Nahola.

I have some court reservations in queue for next week but I’m think I might reserve something for Saturday too because it’s supposed to be rainy that day. I need to figure out who’s available to play, though. Coordinating everyone’s schedules is usually the biggest challenge. Anyway, I’m super grateful to be playing again finally. Time to run off to Chicken N Pickle. Until next time. GNG.

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Seneca Park Shenanigans

Posted on May 11, 2020 by under Community, Hobbies.    

Now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted, my friends and I are hanging out at the park again for pickleball. I’m so glad to be playing again because I’ve missed it so much. Here are some of my favorite pics from recent trips to the park.

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This is Tiffany and Karen taking Bruce’s vehicle for a joyride.

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Debbie wearing her “I Love Lucy” shirt in honor of Lucy Kovalova’s birthday.

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Karen has been braiding everyone’s hair. She was in a braiding frenzy.

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My most favorite part of the last few days is twinning with Karen in our matching Sofibella skorts. I love that I can twin with someone at pickleball just like we do in Zumba. I am completely hooked on Sofibella outfits. They make the cutest clothes for pickleball. I’m so glad Karen likes them too.

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Anyway, the weather over the next few days is pretty crummy so I’m trying to figure out what to do about playing. Now that I’m playing again, I have to get my regular fix. At least Chicken N Pickle has reopened so that gives us another option on days like today. Can’t wait for the Nahola and Riverside Tennis Center to reopen also.

I’m ready to start playing inside. I’ve only played outside a few times and I have gotten so dark already. My skin color is the way it normally looks when I return from a beach vacation.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and this brief update. Until next time. GNG.

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Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Posted on April 12, 2020 by under Hobbies.    

I’ve been missing pickleball so much that I caved and ordered a portable net for playing and drilling in the garage. Here are some pictures of my awesome new net.

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The wheeled carry case is my favorite. It’s makes for greater portability.

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Here’s a pic of the net fully assembled. Even though we have a three-car garage, we have a ton of crap in the third-car bay so the full-sized net barely fits in there.

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On the plus side, it’s pretty easy to assemble and dismantle.

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Brian and I measured the driveway and, unfortunately, it isn’t quite long enough for a full pickleball court so I haven’t been using my full-sized net.

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However, my portable net set also came with a mini net which is perfect for wall drills in the garage. I’ll occasionally go in the garage and hit against the wall for a few minutes or practice my drop shots. It’s not the same as hitting with another person but it’s all I’ve got right now.

My friend Karen visited yesterday and we actually got pretty good use out of the mini net. Other than that, I’ve really been the only one playing with it. I wish Brian would hit with me but he still has his other hobbies so for now I’m all alone. All I have is the wall. Unless, of course, someone wants to visit.

Until next time. GNG.

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