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Pictures of Karen’s Peach Pie from Start to Finish

Posted on July 25, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

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Karen is such an amazing cook. Everything she’s made that I’ve tried has been excellent. This was no exception. Thank you for the delicious food, Karen!

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Another Great Pickleball Weekend

Posted on July 20, 2020 by under Hobbies.    

People sometimes will ask me, “What are you up to this weekend?” The answer is always predictably pickleball, pickleball, and more pickleball. The last few weeks I’ve spent my Friday evenings at Nahola (with our Friday night pickleball crew), Saturday mornings at Chicken N Pickle (doubles with the ladies), and then Sunday mornings at Edgemoor Park (Jimmy’s mixed group).

This weekend pretty much followed that normal schedule but it was a really great weekend in several ways. On Friday night, I got to “own” a court for the first time ever. On Fridays nights we have five women and five men who play together. Debbie keeps the group pretty even in terms of skill level so all the games are always fun and competitive. We have two courts between ten people so we always have two people on standby. The format is winners stay and split so the wait is never long. This past Friday, I played one game on court 2 and then, when I got to court 1, I just kept winning so I stayed on that court pretty much the entire time. Eric and I even won against Chris and Tiffany, which never happens!

A bunch of them went out after, which I skipped because I have a 7:30 AM to 10:00 AM play time at Chicken N Pickle on Saturday mornings. We had so much fun playing. And, Karen and I were matchy-matchy per usual.

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After pickleball Karen, Brooke, and I went to grab breakfast at IHOP. Brian joined us. It had to be a quick one because I had an 11:15 AM facial and waxing at Beau Monde that morning. On the way home, I stopped by Chicken N Pickle to check out the Dink and Drink tournament. I caught a few games and then just watched the rest of the tournament at home. Matt (Mayfield) did a livestream of the best 2 out of 3 final match between Flying Monkeys (the Rick and Jacob Thomspson father-son team) and Sober Living (buddies Jeff and Bobbie who play as #Town in the Thursday night men’s league). Flying Monkeys prevailed.

Brian and I spent the rest of Saturday watching Bad Boys 1-3. He wanted to see Bad Boys 3 (Bad Boys for Life) but I didn’t recall every watching the first two so we had to watch those two films first before diving into the third one. We only had to pay for the latest one because the first two movies are available to stream on Netflix.

Anyway, I couldn’t stay up late on Saturday night either because I had an even earlier play time on Sunday. On Sundays we start at 6:00 AM to ensure that we get all six courts at Edgemoor Park. Yesterday one of the courts was already taken when we got there so we only had five courts for the first hour or so. Since we had 12 teams, some people had to sit out quite a bit. It was weird and not as until after seven-ish when the other people finally left and we had use of all six courts.

Another thing that was weird about Sunday was that, instead of having 12 men and 12 women, we somehow ended up having too many guys. It’s not necessarily bad because we were mixing partners anyway, instead of staying with the same partner the entire day but even that turned out really weird. On the plus slide, it gave people a chance to play with various partners but if brought a great partner then you didn’t really necessarily want to play with someone else.

The mixed partner I invited, Jamie, is really good so even though we started at the bottom court, he kept winning and went straight to the top court. As for me, we had to split up after the first game. He ended up beating me in the second game so I went back down to the bottom court and had to fight my way to the top. It took several games for me to get to the second to the top court. It was rough. Unless you are really good and can carry your partner, you have to have the right partner to win games and move up. I think, had we been able to keep our own partners, I could have gone with him to the top court right away.

On the plus side, I did get a chance to play with two of the strongest guy players on Sunday morning so that was a lot of fun. I got to play with Han, who is the nicest guy ever. He always makes me feel better when I miss my shots. And I also got to play with Tom, my favorite lefty of all time.

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Here’s a couple of pictures of me with Tom and Karen. Predictably, Karen and I were in matching outfits.

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But the fun didn’t stop there. Karen, Kim, Brooke, and I continued the fun at Brooke’s house after where we hung out in her pool and played even more pickleball. Here are a few pictures from that afternoon.

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I have no idea why Brooke put the pickleball paddles on our backs. LOL. Anyway, we had a great time. Monty smoked some ribs and they were fall-off-the-bone amazing. Thank you so much to Brooke and Monty for having us over. #GoodTimes. Until next time. GNG.

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Sunday Mixed at the Park

Posted on July 17, 2020 by under Community, Hobbies, Things to Do.    

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Seneca Park is hands down my most favorite public park. I’m not really much of a park goer. Except, twenty years ago visiting Sedgwick County Parks to have a nice picnic and feed the ducks was one of our favorite cheap date activities. I can honestly say, I haven’t been to Sedgwick County Park in forever. For one, we have ducks out back that I can feed any time I get the hankering for it. Secondly, it’s clear out West.

Seneca Park is probably the only park (besides Edgemoor Park) that I visit regularly (and mostly only because of pickleball). I like playing at both public parks (primarily because it doesn’t cost a dime to play) but Seneca Park is my ultimate favorite because of the shade provided by the trees and street access. You can basically park right next to the pickleball courts. Also, it’s easy to do a quick drive-by, see who is playing, and decided whether or not you want to stay and play.

At Edgemoor Park, there’s a little skate park between the pickleball courts and the parking lot. There are also windscreens that prevent you from seeing who is playing. You can’t tell who’s playing just by driving by. You actually have to get out of your car and walk over to the courts. LOL.

Of course, it’s a lot easier to figure out who’s playing when people post their play times on Playtime Scheduler, but people don’t always do that. Sometimes people just want to play privately with their own crew. When you post on Playtime Scheduler (or on the Wichita Pickleball Facebook group, for that matter), it’s an open invitation for everyone to come and play.

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I don’t really do open plays as much anymore because I’m always already playing with specific people. My favorite thing right now is Jimmy’s mixed doubles events on Sunday. Our start time is so early but totally worth it. At first we started with only 9 mixed teams and now we are up to a solid 12 teams on our roster.

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The first weekend that I played, I played with my friend Michael Cheung and we revived our Cobra Kai team shirts. The following weekend, I played with my friend Tom Pham (one of my favorite leftys). The funny thing about this is I actually asked my friend Chris Wilson first (also a lefty) but Kim Knotts had already asked him to play and they usually play together because the have an upcoming tournaments so he had already said yes to her. So anyway, I told him I found another lefty to play with. He immediately thought I was referring to Cody Courter, another lefty who is super amazing and well-known in our circle. I didn’t reply to his text because I just wanted him to mull it over because Cody is probably the best lefty pickleball player in all of Wichita. LOL.

The other hilarious thing is when Jimmy sends a group text to the ladies to tell him who their partners will be, and all of these texts come in, I’m usually texting some random made up thing like “Ching and Chris Heck” or “Ching and Patrick Smith” just to see people’s reactions. They know I’m totally joking because those guys wouldn’t play in our little Sunday thing, but I think it’s the funniest thing ever.

This last Sunday however, I did get Patrick Smith’s men’s league partner Jamie Lynch to play. So I had three different partners over the last three weeks. Since Brian doesn’t play pickleball and I don’t have a “pickleball husband” (like my friend Karen does — she’s gone through two already), I’m not locked in to a specific partner. I’m kind of enjoying the flexibility that I have to play with various people. Sometimes it sucks because I don’t have someone I can count on to play with me for various events and play times but the positive side of it is if there’s a different person I want to play with for a specific thing then I don’t feel like I have to “check” with my normal partner to give them first rights of refusal.

Anyway, we first started our Sunday games at Seneca Park but quickly outgrew it. Patti has a large group that plays there on Sundays and the most we can get is usually three courts. We relocated our mixed doubles games to Edgemoor Park where we know we can get all six courts as long as we start at 6 AM. It’s worked well for us the last couple of weeks. We will be playing with a full group of 24 players again this weekend. This time were doing full-on King of Court. Normally, the mixed pairs stay together as they move up or down the court ladder. This weekend Jimmy is going to have the pairs split up. It should be interesting.

I’ll let you know how it goes this weekend. Until next time. GNG.

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Chicken N Pickle Festivities This Week

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

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Michael Harris, head pickleball guy at Chicken N Pickle, turned 27 on Wednesday so I brought chocolate cake in his honor. It was delicious!

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His wife Naomi came to hang out so we finally got to meet her.

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I just happened to be there on Wednesday for mixed doubles with Kyle, Ryan, and Ryan’s wife Renae. I didn’t know that it was Michael’s birthday until that same day but thankfully Costco always comes through.

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Then this morning, my friend Karen and I played in the Doubles and Bubbles tournament at Chicken N Pickle. She had signed us up for it a few weeks ago.

We decided to wear our matching Sofibella skorts with white tanks. Karen made us these patches to make our team uniforms look more legit. She is so creative!

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I didn’t really know what to expect because it had been a while since I played in one of these events but I had so much fun! Karen and I actually won the tournament today. We won some Chicken N Pickle swag (it was a green tank that I already had two of but you can’t really have too many – now I can wear as a sort of uniform, which is only fitting because I’m there so much practically live at Chicken N Pickle) and Karen got to take home the big bracket poster.

Next week it’s the guys’ turn! Until next time. GNG.

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Independence Day Cookout

Posted on July 11, 2020 by under Events.    

We’ve had a couple of impromptu cookouts at Seneca Park in the last month but nothing in magnitude compared to the one that Matt threw on 4th of July weekend. The first time we joined Jimmy and the guys for a cookout, I think we just kind of invited ourselves. Well, Jimmy told Karen about it and, since I was playing mixed doubles with Karen that morning, she invited it me.

It was the weekend of Chris Wilson’s birthday and, since we were playing together, I brought him his favorite donuts (apple fritter donuts) from Krispy Kreme. Anyway, I brought extras because I figured we’d be sharing with the guys. Seneca Park was super busy that morning so we couldn’t even play there. Karen, Chris, Rick, and I had to relocate our mixed doubles to Aley Park down the street. There are no nets there so it gave me a reason to break in my portable pickleball net.

After we finished playing, we went to Seneca Park to meet up with Jimmy and the guys. They hadn’t started cooking yet but had me concerned because instead of a grill, they had a wok and a burner. I ended up interrupting Brian’s gaming that day because I asked him to bring the portable grill out. When we had another cookout again the following weekend, Jimmy knew to give me a heads up about borrowing the portable grill. LOL.

Anyway, those cookouts were basically just warm ups for the one that Matt organized last Friday. I was worried because Friday also happened to be the first day of the new mandatory mask mandate. It turned out pretty well, though. My college friend Brandi Richardson even came out. Here are some pics…

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Jimmy came to join us after he finished his pickleball lesson at Riverside Tennis Center. We had a wonderful turnout. All six courts were used and part of the group rotation. There were lots of familiar faces but also new ones.

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We had so many people waiting that we didn’t have enough room on the paddle holders. The paddles actually overflowed and we just propped them on the chain link fence. I think this may be the biggest group we’ve had to date.

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Here are a few pictures of the players in action.

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As you know, my friend Karen and I like to twin, so she got us matching tutus. We looked super festive!

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I’m so glad Mother Nature cooperated. It turned out to be a beautiful day, perfect for a fun cookout and pickleball. Matt always does such a great job of organizing these things. Until next time. GNG.

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