Friday, February 26, 2010

Rich Medals in Lee County Senior Games

On Tuesday and Wednesday we were in Ft. Myers for the Lee County Senior Games. We stayed at the LaQuinta for the two nights, celebrating our anniversary the first night after the competition concluded.
Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page. Above are pictues of Rich playing with his mixed doubles partner, Linda Kramer, and with his doubles partner Bruce Whitehead. He and Linda did not lose a game in the mixed doubles competition, and they easily took the gold. The men's doubles competition was much more difficult - but he and Bruce are smiling for the camera as they wear their Bronze medals. The tournament was held at the Wa-Ke Hatchee Recreation Center in Ft. Myers.

The competition is always good, and watching the games is always exciting, but we always run into old friends, and sometimes, as is the case this time, we are fortunate to meet new people.

I know some of you from out there in Michigan check out this Blog once in a while - and those of you in the Hartland, Michigan area will recognize these two. They are spending winter for the first time in Florida - and we hope our unusually cold weather will not deter them from coming again. This is Phil and Judy Dobby.
You'll recognize these two for sure - Where there is a pickleball tournament taking place you will usually find Nancy Meyer and Cindy Eddleman who just relocated from the Ft. Lauderdale area to Ft. Myers.

This is Ron and Marie Smith. We met this couple for the first time two years ago when we were staying at The Villages. I (Donna) played with them most mornings at the Churchill Street Rec Center. What is so funny is that. I had forgotten their names and over the past few months Ron and I have been e-mailing each other back and forth as he and Marie have been working hard to get pickleball started in Cape Coral. You can imagine how surprised I was when Ron came up to me at the tournament and we began talking about pickleball at his church!! I will never forget their names again. They'll be at The Villages again this summer - July and August. Hope we see them again.
Working with the USAPA allows you to meet so many new people. This is Ron Farra - another of my recent e-mail buddies !!! Ron hails from our home state of New York and has a home in Saratoga Springs, a place that Rich and I visited when we were first dating. We frequented the Saratoga Race Track. Ron winters in the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral area at the Cinnamon Cove Community

Thursday, February 25, 2010


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Marie!

Love hearing from friends - but love it even more when they send pictures. What a great way to stay in touch. We sure do miss Keith and Marie, but we know they're having a gret time out in AZ at Sun City. Posted by Picasa

Marie's Birthday was February 18th - just a day after Rich's. Here she is enjoying her spcial day, holding an amethyst cluster.... while they were enjoying a boat cruise on Canyon Lake. HAPPY BIRTHDAY - MARIE

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Celebrating 36 Years!

Rich and I have been togther now for just over 40 years, and today we celebrated our 36th Wedding Anniversary. Since pickelball has become a big part of our retired life, it only makes sense that we had to share our special day with our favorite sport. The Lee County Senior Games are taking place today and tomorrow here in Ft. Myers, Fl
We enjoyed dinner together tonight at the Olive Garden Restaurant - one of our favorite places to dine. Dinner was delicious and we were serenaded after our meal with the singing waiters and waitress with well wishes for our special day. Before leaving for Ft. Myuers, I packed this bottle of Happy Camper Wine. This was given to us better than a year ago, by friends recognizing our love for RV'ing. We put it away and decided to save if for a special day.. No wine glasses - but the cups in the hotel worked great!!Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rich and Bruce practice for Tourney

Posted by Picasaclick on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page.
Today - Bruce Whitehead visited to get in a little practice together before the Lee County Senior Games this week. Helping them practice is Austin, Nathan and Dean. They played for close to three hours, played some great games and laughed a lot!

Wing Ding at Kings Point, SCC

On Saturday - Rich and I along with Nathan, Austin, Krystal and Buddy from Peace River and Stan, Sally, Richard and Joe from Torrey Oaks traveled to Kings Point in Sun City Center for Louann's third annual Winter in Paradise Pickleball Wing Ding. This year Rich and I helped Louann with the organization of the event, suggesting a round robin type tournament with Rally Scoring......Rally Tally, as Louann would say.

Stan and Nadine (KP) challenge Sally and Austin. Austin, at age 15, was the youngest competitor attending. A writer/photographer from the local newspaper was there today, and we think Austin is going to end up with his picture in the headlines!!! But the highlight of his day was when he beat Rich and his mixed doubles partner!

This is Tom from Kings Point. Tom generally plays as Louann's mixed doubles partner, but has suffered an injury, so is temporarily out of pickleball commission. He was such a great help today - keeping score for the entire event.
Stan and Nadine challenge Rich and Delores (KP). Delores has only been playing for a couple of months, and ended up in the top four!
Mel (KP) partners with Buddy against Nathan ( yes - he' really there!) and his son Austin.
That's Nadine (KP) playing with Joe against, Ron and Yuko from KP.

Players enjoy the play as they wait between games.

Well, I almost got Nathan in this picture!!!! And there's Buddy in the back taking pictures....or video.
Far court is Artie (KP) and Richard against Gary and Ron (both of KP)
The ladies in PINK - Louann and Krystal play Nadine and Yuko.

Medal Winners: Anne Smith (Gold-Ladies doubles), Gary Ball (Gold- Mixed doubles and Silver in Mens doubles), Louann Dubendorf,Host Extraordinaire! (Silver-Mixed doubles) and me (Gold-Mixed doubles). On the right side is Nadine Powers (Silver -Ladies doubles and Bronze- Mixed doubles), Sally Michalski (Bronze - Ladies doubles), Rich (Gold- Mens doubles and Silver-Mixed doubles) and Joe Way (Bronze - Mixed doubles) .

Rich and I never even stopped to have lunch. I found a couple of peppemint patties in my goodie bag, and Rich did the same along with his orange drink and some chips. After the tournament was over, several people hung around to play some challenge games. By the time we finally got to have a meal - the Chinese Buffet was very much enjoyed!

I think everyone had a good time...We sure did. Posted by Picasa

Beginner Workshop in Ruskin, Florida

On Thursday we traveled to Ruskin, Florida to an active adult community call Riverside Club, Golf and Boating Resort where we were to give a beginner pickleball workshop.

Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page. Somewhere between 40 and 50 people showed up to learn the game. We started inside with a temporary net set up.

Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page. That's Jeff Prosansky on the left. Jeff hails from New Hampshire and spends the winters here in Florida. He contacted us a couple of months ago and asked us to help him with a demo/workshop. Nadine Powers and Louann Dubendorf from Kings Point in Sun City Center came over to help with the demonstration and training. That's me with the microphone - welcoming everyone and introducing the trainers and agenda for the day.

This is a picture of us with some of the players that we worked with on the outside courts. We always enjoy training new people - so it goes without saying that we had a great time.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Back to Peace River, Happy Hour and Happy Birthday

Can't believe it's been since last Friday since we've updated our Blog. The forecast was for rain (what's new?) for Saturday, so we were packed up early and on the road back to Peace River. Getting the RV back into our site was crazy. When we parked it there the first time, no one else was on the row. This time it was like threading a needle!! But we made it, thanks to a little help from Kevin and Linda - our neighbors.

The weather has continued to be quite cold - but we've both managed to get out and play a few games of pickleball. There is a whole new group of players here now - and we were real surprised to see John and Carla back!! They were heading out of Florida, but the closing on their new home here in Florida was delayed back they came.

On Tuesday we were invited over to Torrey Oaks for a small happy hour. Bob (the Clown) and Lavern, and Lee and Judy would be heading out in a few days so Sally wanted to get the group together before they left.

Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page: What's nice about getting together at Torrey Oaks is being able to use their lounge if the weather is bad. And today it was cold. Above are pictures of the group enjoying the evening.

Click on picture to enlarge; use back arrow to return to this page: That's Rich and I in the center of the photo above, surrounded by friends that we always look forward to seeing and spending time with. Clockwise from the top left: Dean and Marge we just met this year, and Dean is going to be another pickleball fanatic just like Rich. Next is Bob and Lavern - better known as "the clowns". Next is Jim and Jane. We met them here in Peace River two years ago. After traveling just about the entire US - they have decided to turn in the Motor Home and return to their home and family back in England. They will truly be missed. And the next is Faye (Ken was home sick with a cold) with Joe (Cis had another engagement). Then our super hostess - Miss Sally..........and finally Lee and Judy. If you know Lee and Judy...........then you MUST know Nicky - their beautiful standard poodle
I had to keep this picture. I can't imagine what Rich is saying that has caught the attention of everyone in the room......Actually - I think he's trying to look serious and telling that joke again about either "the blue guy" or the "rectal floss!" Enough said!
Since Wednesday would be Rich's birthday, and Thursday would be Jane's birthday, it only made sense to celebrate at the happy hour.
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Jane and Rich - enjoying the moment. This is the second year that the two of them have celebrated together.
On to the CAKE................and

We do make a big deal of these things don't we? Their smiles tell the whole story!Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dinner With Friends

We finally had the opportunity to get together with Cliff and Carlene Freeman. We had met up with the two of them briefly down in Peace River and had planned on getting together. Between prior commitments and the cold rainy weather we never seemed to make it happen. They arrived at TT Orlando on Wednesday, and gave us a call on Thursday. Our schedule was to pull out of Orlando on Saturday and the forecast for rain was 100% on Friday which meant we needed to get this packed up and ready to go early. We called them back and made plans to get together for dinner on Friday evening. They picked us up just about 5:00 pm and we headed north on 27. No one wanted to make a decision on where we were going to eat - but I knew they both liked Chilis it was.
Here's Cliff and Carlene and Rich as we arrived at Chilis. It was still raining - but just a sprinkle. It was still cold, as you can see by the long pants and jackets.
Rich and Cliff went for the Jalepeno Burger, Me- just the regular burger, and Carlene opted for the Ribs. Marguarita were two for we all said YES and toasted to "good friends". Cliff and Carlene and Rich and I all grew up in the Elmira area in upstate New York. Rich and Carlene were friends in highschool and graduated from Southside Highschool the same year. Cliff and Carlene were highschool sweethearts although did not attend the same school. Cliff went to EFA (Elmira Free Academy) Me- well I'm a Notre Dame graduate and didn't know any of them...............until one day two years ago when we met unexpectadly in Peace River in Wauchula, Florida. We visited with them briefly last year in Wauchula and have tried to stay in touch. Carlene, more than the rest of us had kept in touch with high school friends, so brough us all up-to-date. We (especially Carlene and Rich) talked about all the great times and friends they shared back in the 60's. We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend time with them and get to know about them and their family. Such a great couple; the company and conversation were a perfect way for us to spend our last night at TT-Orlando.
But the evening would not be complete without dessert. Carlene ordered this chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate and caramel syrup with four spoons for all of us to share. Delicious!!! We cleared the plate.
It was a wonderfully enjoyable evening and we could have sat there and talked even longer ..... but more customers were waiting for our table. Thanks Cliff and Carlene for a great evening. We'll do this again when we see you back in Peace River. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another Pickleball Clinic

On Wednesday morning we were scheduled to do a Pickleball Skills Clinic in Leesburg at the Highland Lakes community. The weather here in Florida this winter is either rain or COLD.........Tuesday was rain most of the afternoon and today the temperature is in the 40's, but they say it feels more like 38, and the winds are whipping at 18-20 mpr. Usually when we visit Highland Lakes we get to play inside. They have a beautiful "arena". But today was not a regular pickleball day - so we were meeting at the outdoor courts.
Click on picture to enlarge: use back arrow to return to this page: Despite the weather the lessons went well. That's Rich and I in the center along with some of the participants practing what they learned. Im sure you'll recognize some of these people. That's Marie (lower left corner). You just saw her and Manny having dinner with us at the Rusty Fox a few days ago. Just above her, in the middle is Ken and Lynn is the lady in the upper right corner. They are our friends from North Carolina that you also saw having dinner with us at the same place.
After the clinic we managed to get a group picture. The gentleman in the back row (far left) is Don Gullakson who teaches all the new pickleball players at Highland Lakes, so he got some real good ideas to help him with beginner training and clinics for the group.
We always enjoy the opportunity to spend time with Manny and Marie and Ken and Lynn - so that made the trip to do the clinic even more fun.
We stopped for breakfast (at noon) at the Cracker Barrel in Clermont on the way back, stopped to ship a USAPA banner off to Ft. Myers, mailed our tournament registration forms, picked up water and a few groceries and then headed for home. They are calling for rain again on Friday - so we will make sure we head to the courts in the morning. Posted by Picasa

This is Suzanne and Brenda. This week is Barb's week out of the park, so while she's gone there is no one to teach the line dancing. On Monday, which was her last day, she handed me a couple of disks and two packet of dances, after I said I would help out while she was gone. Now, I love line dancing - but I haven't been doing it long enough to remember all the dances as well as l'd like. On Tuesday morning, both of these ladies showed up to help. Brenda taught some of the dances or showed me the dance first so I could walk it out and call the dance. And Suzanne - I can't thank her enough for making copies of both of the discs and all the we can use them when we go back to Peace River.

Well - Monday afternoon brought us more bad news. Generally when we post to our Blog we share with everyone all the great times we have and the wonderful people that we meet. Friends, Family and Fun. I want to thank my brother Jim for sending me photos taken just recently when he visited with my brother Don and Sister Ronda. My family is in upstate New York

This message came with the pictures."Our brother and sister do not look well; they have lost weight and look much older than the last time I saw them,although Don did look somewhat better than when we visited him in the hospital. Neither of them has been confined to bed, but have trouble navigating, particularly Ronda. Ronda seemed free of pain at that time but Don complained of some chest pain and was using some kind of hot-water bottle to help with that. He is also using morphine, I think, for the pain. We had a pleasant-under the circumstances-visit......... I am feeling well again after being released from the hospital undergoing tests and treatment for my atrial fibrillation.My condition had become worse and I had a very rapid heartbeat and became very weak and nearly passed out a number of times. I was given a new medication and it seems to have corrected the problem"
Brother Jim is the oldest of my brother and sisters, and my feeling is he was trying to make light of his own condition. A phone call Tuesday afternoon my niece was to say that Ronda has also been diagnosed with cancer and her health is declining quickly.
Thank you to all our friends who continue to keep them in their prayers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday started out great. We were up very early and on the road early for a day (or half day) trip to The Villages to meet with Coach Mo and Jeanne. There were better than a half dozen of our pickleball friends who knew we were going and asked us to pick up Coach Mo's 21 Clinics DVD, and a few others that said " while you're there, can you pick me up a Predator Paddle?" The Predator is probably the most popular here - so much so, that they were "SOLD OUT! A new supply should be in soon.
We arrived early at Mo and Jeanne's (can you believe I did not bring my camera???) where we enjoyed a hot cup of Hazelnut coffee before bundling up for the courts. Rich and Mo headed for Pimlico and Jeanne and I went to Churchill St for pickleball. It's a daily ritual for Mo to meet up with his pickleball buddies at Dunkin Donuts each morning after pickleball so we kept to the tradition. One of the guys brought a tin of cookies from home and we sat out side talking, laughing and playing a little trivia.
About 12:30 the four of us headed to the Golden Corral where we enjoyed a deliciously huge buffet lunch. Needless to say - that would be our meal for the day. We had been invited to accompany them to the Super Bowl party that evening and to spend the night but decided we would head back to the campsite. TT does not like it when you leave your RV unattended for the night! It was great to see the two of them again, and if not before we will meet up with them again in June.
A quick stop at WalMart to gas up the truck and to pick up some Silicone spay lubricant and we were back at TT. The group was already out on the pickleball courts playing so we stopped there first and played three or four games. Dean and Rene were there, so we gave them thier videos and Renee warned us to be prepared in the morning - as he would be viewing the video today!!
After all the driving and pickleball, we were exhauseted when we got back. So we just relaxed and watched a movie in the afternoon. It would be an early night for Rich because I hoped to watch the Colts win the SuperBowl!!!
Denny sent us this picture of the family preparing to watch the game out in Iowa...... Dalton and Chauna all decked out in their football attire. As you all know by now, the evening just went down hill from there. It turned out to be an early night for me too. I didn't see the final score until this morning.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dinner With Friends

Today - Saturday, Rich and I slept in. I was checking e-mail this morning about 8:00 or so when I heard this bang and clanging sound outsite. Opened the door and found the small table next to the louge chair and the garbage pail tipped on their side. Paper plates from yesterday's get together were strewed across the rug and under the RV. Seems paper plates clean. Not long after, Ruthann, out for an afternoon ride on the scooter stopped by to say hello and then Kevin (from Peace River) stopped to say hello while out for a bike ride with his grand-daughter.

At about 4:20 or so in the afternoon, we headed for Clermont to meet friends at the Rusty Fox for dinner. Saturday and Wednesday nights are Prime Rib Special. Dinner includes a bottle of wine; Sinfedel or Merlot with dinner.

Here we are just after dinner was served. We met Manny and Marie( the couple in the front) last summer when we visited them at Highland Lakes in Leesburg for pickleball. A really great couple. Marie manages the website for the Highland Lakes pickleball. They have their annual Pickleball Event coming up in February and Manny is busy hand making the medals for all the winners.
Ken and Lynn are from Greenville, SC where they started the Upstate Pickleall Group. We initally met them via e-mail, but got to really meet the both of them last summer when they were here visiting Lynn's mom at Highland Lakes. Unfortunately, Lynn's mom passed away recently , which is why they are back here in Florida. We extend our deepest sympathy to both of them. Lynn manges the website for their picklebll group in Greenville and has continued to stay in touch with Rich and I.

We all met for dinner just before 5:00 . Dinner was perfect. The conversation was even better. Before we knew it - it was 8:00 o'clock. We talked and laughed so hard that the time just flew by. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard!!

And what a sweet waitress we had!! Her smile was electric, the service was perfect and she so kindly took a picture of our group.

We will see these four again on Wednesday as we head to Highland Lakes in Leesburg to do a pickleball skills clinic for their group of players. We look forward to another fun day.

Tomorrow - The forecast for the morning is in the 40's. We are heading to The Villages to meet with Coach Mo and Jeanne..............and get in a little pickleball.

Lunch With Friends

A few months back we all compared our schedules and knew that during the first week of February Rich and Dee and Tony and Ruthann and Rich and I would all be the TT Park in Clermont. The weather this week, like most of this winter, has been cold and rainy, but the weatherman said Thursday and Friday would be rain free. Rich and Dee and Ruthann play pickleball in MeadowPointe with Rich and I. We gave our good friends Don (who also plays with the group) a call and invited them up for the day. Unfortunately Rich and Dee forgot that they had a show (they sell sterling silver jewelry) scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Leesburg.

On Friday morning - the weather man changed his mind and informed us that the day would be cloudy and windy and that rain was in the forecast for the afternoon. So we got the grill going a little early.

Here is Ruthann and Tony

And this is Linda and Don along with Cheyanne and Dakota.
Posted by PicasaRich and Don chat while our lunch cooks on the grill.
So - did the rain hold off? Well, funny you should ask. The grilling was done, so we brought out the salad and chile and fruit and everyone began to fill their plates ...........and it started to rain. Not real heavy but enough that we moved the food back inside. The light rain lasted maybe 3 or 4 minutes and stopped............
We enjoyed lunch under the awning. The food was good and the time with friends even better. We missed you - Rich and Dee.
And yes - by 3:00 when it was time to meet at the courts for pickleball the rain had started. The thunderstorms began and it rained until after dark.
Looking for sunshine tomorrow!