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Archive for the year 2020

Ching is Now a USAPA Ambassador

Posted on July 8, 2020 by under Community, Hobbies.    

I did a thing last month. My friend Jeanie encouraged me to apply to become a USAPA ambassador for our area. They must have been in dire need because it happened very quickly. Less than a week after I submitted my application, I was approved. My friend and co-ambasssador for Wichita Gregg Smith actually found out about my becoming a USAPA ambassador before I did.

The move made perfect sense because I’d already been playing pickleball for over a year and I was completely hooked. I even got Brian to gift me with a lifetime membership to USAPA for Christmas last year. I am fully committed to supporting the organization that represents and promotes the sport. I was already sharing my love for pickleball with everyone, welcome or not. I was already an evangelist even before being anointed with an ambassadorship.

The only surprise really was why I took so long to apply. It’s a great fit from the start and, I suppose the USAPA organization saw it too, because they approved my application super quickly.

The current ambassadors for our area are:
Wichita – Gregg Smith
Mulvane – Cameron Tucker
El Dorado – Jeanie Ferguson
Topeka – Eldonna Coats

Eldonna is also our district ambassador, so basically she is the leader of all the ambassadors in our district. I had the opportunity to meet her for the first when she came to visit Wichita a couple of weeks ago.

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Group photo (from left): Cameron, Eldonna, Jeanie, and Ching.

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I already knew Cameron and Jeanie but it was nice to get together with fellow ambassadors. I had a blast playing with them. The only person we missed was Gregg, who was golfing in Manhattan that day couldn’t make it — but I’m hoping this won’t be the last time we all get together.

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

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Karen’s Birthday Treat

Posted on July 6, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

I wanted to do something special for my friend Karen’s birthday so I scheduled a partner lesson with the magnificent Chris Heck, my all-time favorite pickleball instructor/coach. Karen’s birthday was actually on Sunday, June 14, but we were in Eureka Springs that weekend celebrating Brian’s birthday.

However, I took Thursday and Friday (June 18-19) off work that week that week because of the Ben Johns clinics at Chicken N Pickle so I set aside Friday to celebrate with Karen. I scheduled our partner lesson at Nahola and then we went to have brunch at Riverside Cafe after.

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Of course we had to take a photo with our handsome instructor. The funny part is that even kneeling, Chris is almost taller than me. He is so tall! But that’s not the funniest part. The funniest part is that the first time we took this photo, Karen had her sign flipped around so it said “I love PAT SMI” instead.

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PAT SMI is Patrick Smith, the handsome German half of #TeamModel. I posted about him and his French partner Jocelyn Devilliers a few weeks ago. Pat thought it was hilarious but I don’t think Chris was amused. LOL.

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Here are some pictures of our hearty breakfast at Riverside Cafe.

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Karen gave the food two thumbs up.

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Karen’s pancake was bigger than her head.

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Later that night, after my normal Friday night pickleball at Nahola, Karen and I met up again at Chicken N Pickle. We were hoping to catch the pros while they played but we were too late. They were already done by the time we got there.

Anyway, I ended up buying her a birthday knotty cherry and we hung out on the rooftop deck. I had no idea they had a live DJ at Chicken N Pickle on weekends. We had a blast hanging out. I basically started and ended the day with my lovely friend. So glad we got to celebrate together. Until next time. GNG.

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Ben Johns Clinic at Chicken N Pickle

Posted on July 5, 2020 by under Hobbies.    

Here are some pictures from the Ben Johns clinic at Chicken N Pickle a couple of weeks ago. I decided to take time off work to do the clinics because I had a lot of vacation time still available to use this year after we’d had to cancel a couple of trips. I took Thursday and Friday off that week.

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This is our group photo from our intermediate clinic in the morning. Our group consisted of Beth, Margaret, Wanda, Debbi, Tommy, Brooke, Kim, and me.

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Tommy, who celebrated his birthday that day, and Debbi both completed the intermediate clinic with us that morning.

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Here are a few pictures from our clinic that morning.

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After a little break for lunch and an outfit change, I participated in the advanced clinic with my friends Jarred, Kimberly, Tiffany, Amy, Matt, and Karen. There was only one person in our session who I hadn’t met before.

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Karen was brilliant and got some individual coaching.

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Of course, we had to get a photo with Ben.

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That night there was a Team Ben and Team Matt exhibition, and we got to watch two hours of amazing pickleball. Ron Ponder and his friend reffed matches between the pros (from left) — Jocelyn Devilliers, Patrick Smith, Matt Wright, Lucy Kovalova, Chris Heck, Ben Johns, Altaf Merchant, and Collin Johns (not pictured). Collin didn’t make the group photo because he was walking his grandmother to her car at the end of the event. How sweet is that?!

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Here’s a better group photo from my friend Debbie’s phone.

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Brian came out to livestream the event. He was a little stressed out because, even after we tested everything two days before, when we got to Chicken N Pickle, nothing worked. Good thing we got there early so Brian could implement plan B — using his MacBook. It all turned out okay but Brian was stressed out nonetheless.

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Here’s Debbie and Jenny with the “Don’t Miss!” sign that we made for Chris Heck. It is his #1 rule.

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Debbie with a new friend she made holding the “Team Lucy Kovalova” sign.

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Debbie with the KaChing sign. KaChing is the team name that Karen and I use whenever we are playing together.

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Debbie holding an “I Love Ben Johns” and “I Love Lucy” sign. She did a much better job of taking pictures with my signs than I did.

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We got a fun group photo with Lucy at the end of the evening — (from left) Kelli, Krista, Lucy, Debbie, me, and Karen.

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That whole day was so fun. I got to spend the day learning from Ben Johns and then got to watch some amazing matches during the exhibition. It’s a day I won’t soon forget. I can’t wait until the next one!

P.S. Here’s a link to the video of the Q&A and exhibition matches in case you want to watch them. Enjoy!

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Downtown Eureka Springs

Posted on July 4, 2020 by under Travel.    

While we were in Eureka Springs a couple of weeks ago, Brian and I decided to ride the trolley and check out the downtown area.

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Here are some pictures that we took that day.

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Face coverings are the new norm these days.

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We did take a few mask-less photos too.

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Here’s a panoramic photo of downtown.

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Brian found a fun store that he liked.

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We also found some “shit” at Silly Chile.

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Here’s a couple of pictures of Brian.

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It was fun exploring downtown. We did miss out on Local Flavor, a highly recommended downtown restaurant, because they closed that weekend because of some health issues. We still had a great time overall, though.

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

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Our Little Treehouse

Posted on July 3, 2020 by under Travel.    

Brian and I stayed in one of the cute treehouse cottages in Eureka Springs, Arkansas over Brian’s birthday weekend this year. I went to the Treehouse Cottages website last fall and, after some research, I booked us the Lofty Lookout cottage.

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Here are some pictures of the treehouse cottage we had for the weekend.

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Our treehouse had a lovely walkway that led from where we parked our car to the cottage door. It was a lot better than the other treehouses where you had to climb a bunch of steps. All of the treehouses are identical on the inside but almost all of them have stairs that go up to the treehouse. This was the only cottage with a nice walkway. I definitely picked the best one.

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The deck wrapped almost all the way around the treehouse.

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The treehouse was almost 30 feet above the ground and surrounded by beautiful trees. Inside it was both comfortable and cozy.

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Here’s a picture of the fireplace. We didn’t need it, of course, because it was summertime but I’m thinking we should definitely return in the winter and fire it up. I think it would be amazing to stay in during the winter.

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Here’s a picture of the little kitchen with a small table and two chairs.

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Here’s a picture of our four poster bed, and of Brian enjoying it.

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And here’s a picture of the heart-shaped tub surrounded by windows so you feel like you’re out in nature.

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And a picture of me in it. The soak was relaxing but I think it would be even more awesome in the winter time.

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Brian was a party pooper and didn’t want to get in.

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These next set of pics are of the nearby treehouses.

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This one is the Bungalow treehouse cottage.

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This one is the Whispering Wood treehouse.

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This one is the Towering Pines treehouse.

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The Bungalow treehouse has a sunrise view. Towering Pines and Whispering Wood, like our treehouse, both have a sunset view. I figured Brian wouldn’t be down for being woken up by the bright sun so, besides the nice walkway instead of the tall stairs, the sunset view is one of the selling points of the Lofty Lookout for us.

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Here are some pictures of our nightly visitor, Roscoe the raccoon.

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Roscoe came to raid the bird feeder every night at nine o’clock.

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Our cottage had a guestbook with fun messages from previous guests like this one.

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I left our own note which wasn’t quite as fancy.

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It was so beautiful out on the deck that we had to take a few selfies.

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And I took this great photo of Brian.

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It was the nice we decided to grill out.

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Everything was perfect except for all the bugs. LOL. Brian lit a bug stick but it didn’t phase the bugs one bit. We still got a bunch of bug bites.

Other than the bug bites, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The cottage was lovely and I would totally stay there again. More pics from our weekend in Eureka Springs on the next post. Until then. GNG.

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