Friday, April 15, 2011


Apr. 13 – Apr. 27 – After leaving our friends at Happy Trails on Wednesday morning, we checked into TT Verde Valley in Cottonwood, AZ. You can see why this is one of our favorite Thousand Trails Campgrounds.

This is the view as we drove into the Campground.

This is the Verde River that runs through the Verde Valley Campground.

Mountain range in the distance.

The next morning we visited with some friends who have made their homes in Cottonwood. They are both Widows now. We were glad to see them again but are sorry for their losses.

Many of you know Jean who ran the Pickleball program at TT Palm Springs with her husband, Richard, for a number of years. They had just bought their place Cottonwood when we were last out here at Verde Valley (Spring 2006). Jean is doing very well and plans to stay right where she is in Cottonwood.

I don’t think any of you know Mary whom we met at TT Pio Pico many years ago. We became friends when we discovered that her husband, Earl, went to the same Cardiologist. A few years later, when Ken discovered his heart doctor had retired, we called Earl to see who he was seeing at that time. Their recommendation turned out to be an excellent choice. Mary was always so helpful in advising us about things around Cottonwood – where to eat, places to go, which doctors they and their friends liked, etc.

We took Mary to Murphy’s Grill for their big Ruben Sandwich!!

After all, Mary is the one who told us about Murphy’s Grill years ago!!

Later that afternoon, we visited with Phil so we could meet his wife Rowena. Turns out we had met her back in 2005 during the TT LaConner Pickleball Rally. We had a good time visiting with them and still wonder how Phil could have ended up with such a lady as Rowena!! HA HA

It was a lot of fun sipping wine and trying to figure out how to make our cameras work with the timer!! Then Phil wanted to try the Video on his camera. I told him how my Sony Cyber Shot worked when I set it on Video. Turned out his works the same way.

Thanks Phil and Rowena for an enjoyable time!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Tue. Apr 12 - So many of our Thousand Trails Pickleball friends have bought sites at Happy Trails, a well known RV Resort in Surprise, AZ. Last week I called our friends Marti and Norm (who have defected to Happy Trails) and told Marti that we were moving to TT Verde Valley on Wednesday, April 13th. We would be passing through Surprise on Tuesday and would love to stop by and visit with them for a while. She said that would be great!! She begged us to rent a site at Happy Trails so we could stay for a few days, but we declined and planned to stay overnight at the Sam's Club parking lot "campground" just a couple of miles away.

On Monday afternoon, Marti called and said she had forgotten that she and Norm had dental appointments at 1 PM on Tuesday; but that was OK. We could visit with Bob and Carol until they got back. Ken asked me if they were going to the dentist in Mexico like we do; then they would not get back until pretty darn late!! Uh Uh! We were a little concerned, but as it turned out their dentist is in the area and they returned at about 3 PM.

It was at that time that we found out the little "sneaks" had planned a surprise Potluck for us and had invited all of our Thousand Trails/Happy Trail friends who were at the resort!!! We were dumbfounded!!! Actually, I think this group will get together to eat at the drop of a hat!! They used our visit as the reason this time!! HA HA

Look at the group that honored us by coming to say "Hi"!! AND, they all brought FOOD!! There were about 26 people!!! Can you believe that??!!

Here are Ken and I just enjoying the heck out of the occasion!!

And here are the "sneaks" Marti and Norm who organized this amazing event!! Thank you so much Guys!!

And this is Carol and Bob that took us in while we waited for Marti and Norm. They are pretty sneaky, too!!

When I was taking the pictures, I told everyone that they all had to stand up and tell something about how we met or something about our connection. Carol was the first to tell our story!

She said she had just learned to play Pickleball at TT Wilderness Lakes. We were there and she ended up playing as Ken's partner. She said she did not remember what she had done or what happened exactly, but the next thing she knew, Ken was swatting her on her derriere with his paddle!! (She demonstrated.) She got after him. "What's that for??" Ken said, "Oh! I thought you were Faye!" And that's how we met!!

This is Ione and Ron. I can't remember where we met, but I do remember playing against Ione in a tournament at TT LaConner in 2005. She introduced herself by saying, "My name is Ione. Why rent when you can own. I own!" I've never forgotten her name!!

Here are Bob and Jettye - very active in the ASAPA Pickleball association!! Oh, and Bob was a Microsoft nerd!!

Jettye was next telling the story of how we met. She said they met us at TT Orlando in 2002. She named a number of players that we know and said we were all there -- Travis, Dave and Debbie, Fay without an E, Ann and Norm, and several others, and Faye and Ken. I questioned the year, but she knew exactly because they had been "here" and were on their way to "there" and were in Orlando in between and it was 2002!! I said I had to refute Jettye's story because we did not learn to play Pickleball until 2002 and we were out west!

Wayne stood up and said he knew exactly when we learned to play because they were there!! And it was in 2002 at TT Rancho Oso!! Then Wayne proceeded to tell his favorite story about how we met!! He said he and Nancy had gone to Rancho Oso to have a quite time to unwind. They had gone down to the Pickleball courts and were busy practicing when this couple came running up and wanted to play. It was Ken and Faye. We made arrangements to play later in the day. He remembered that we had just come from TT Soledad where Dennis had taught us to play, so we were real beginners!! After we had played for a while, Faye invited them to stop by for some Long Island Iced Tea. He was tired and hot and thirsty!! Faye had a large jug of this iced tea so he just gulped it down. He really thought it was some kind of tea from Long Island so he had another!! He said that must have caused him to have a loose tongue because he invited us to come by their place in Montana. They had a Pickleball court in their yard and RV hook-up! And then he staggered home with Nancy's help!! He said a few months later they got a call from somebody named Faye and Ken saying they were in the area - could they come by for a night or two!! "Nancy, who the heck are Faye and Ken??" Nancy said, "I think we met them at Rancho Oso!!

Here are Wayne and Nancy!! They have taught us so much about Pickleball -- not only how to play but where to go to meet other players, and they themselves introduced us to so many people!! Thank you Wayne and Nancy!!

Here is Lynn and Linda. He reminded us that we had played in Texas at TT Medina Lake under the cover. Now that's an experience!!

This is Don and Sharon. More with Sharon below.

Instead of telling how we met, Sharon conducted a very informative survey among the group. She held up four fingers and told everyone to choose a number: one, two, three, or four. Don't tell anyone but remember your number. Then she divided everyone into groups according to numbers -- all the one's together, all the two's together, etc. There were several people in the One Group; several more in the Two Group; only three of us in the Four Group. But by far, the majority were in the Three Group. Sharon said she, herself, was in the Three Group. What did the survey prove? That most sex maniacs choose Three!! It was so funny!!

Here are Cheryl and Steve. They are the one's that cleaned our clock in the Tournament at TT LaConner. They are new residents of Happy Trails -- just moved in today!!

This is Jeannette and Mike. He reminded me how we met in 2008 at TT Chesapeake Bay in Virginia!! He was playing Pickleball when I walked up and said, "You must know Spike. I see you have one of his paddles." We spent lots of time talking about mutual friends at Happy Trails, etc. In fact, I was the one who remembered that Mike had joined my group for water aerobics in the mornings. We had lots of fun while they were at Chesapeake Bay.

Here are Dell and Jerry! I can't remember when we first met them, and they didn't remind us. I think we first met them in Palm Springs - must have been 2002 or 2003, because we have know them all of our Pickleball life!!

Here are a couple of our Canadian friends, Barry and Carol. They were on their way out to dinner when Marti reached them by phone and told them we were at Happy Trails and to come by and say "Hi". We talked them into staying for dinner!!

In the 2005 Tournament at TT LaConner, we had a Women's Round Robin Tournament one day and a Women's Partner Tournament was scheduled for a couple of days later. I lost every match in the Women's Round Robin except the one when Carol was my partner. I worked up the courage to ask her to be my partner in the Women's Partner Tournament because she was the only one who could make me a winner!! She agreed to play with me and we WON!! I should say, she won!! I didn't know she was such a ringer!! And still is!!

Here are Marge and Al. They are such a cute couple!!

A group of us were having a Happy Hour at TT Leisure Time in Seaside, OR. Marti and Sharon pointed out to me that every time Marge's wine glass was empty she would flick it with her finger and make a tinkle sound. Without any question, Al would get up and get her more wine. We three girls decided the next time she flicked her glass, we would all run over and hug and kiss Al. And we did!! Marge didn't know what to make of that!! We recreated the scene tonight. Al kept saying he didn't think the picture had turned out - we needed to do it again!!

Linda and Jettye were wearing new jewelery they wanted to show me -- Pickleball Paddles made of semi-precious materials.

Here they are up close. If anyone would like to buy one, you may contact Jettye or Linda. I think they sell for about $30-$35, and they are unique and beautiful.

When the party was over, we stopped by Marti and Norm's for a little while. She got a phone call from Brian and Kathy who were unable to come to the party because they had gone out when Marti called. Could they stop by for a quick visit to see us? Wasn't that nice for them to make that effort for us!!

Here are Canadian friends, Kathy and Brian.

We met them years ago at TT Palm Springs playing Pickleball, of course, but they also joined me for water aerobics. Brian is so funny. He and Ken really hit it off. We went over to their fifth wheel and they offered us a drink. Ken asked for sour mash whiskey - a Manhattan, I guess. He explained to Brian how it was different and a good brand was Jack Daniels. Later in the week, they became well acquainted with Jack! Now, every time we see them, Brian has a pint of Jack Daniels for Ken!! Brian was so distraught this time because he did not know we were coming -- he did not have any Jack Daniels for Ken!!

This is the patio area of Marti and Norm's place. Their park model is to the right, out of the picture, but you can see the porch. To the left is a counter with the grill and other things for outdoor cooking. Further to the left, out of the picture, is a two-story building that houses their laundry, and I don't know what all. It is quite a set-up!! Very nice!!

Marti is really into Mosaics. Notice the scene on front of the porch and the two vases above. On the house, below, is a discarded satellite dish that she covered in tile!! She's got a talent!! But I don't think they can get American Idol with that dish!!

On the patio they had a contraption on which you could hang upside down. Good for stretching. I just had to try it!!

We had such a marvelous time at Happy Trails. Wish we could have stayed longer!! In fact, I called Marti and told her I thought we would stop back by there again next week!! HA HA

Thanks Marti and Norm for such a nice surprise. And Thank You to everyone who took the time to participate in our surprise potluck!! It was great seeing you all again, and I hope it won't be long before our roads cross again!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Last year we heard that Canadian friends Barry and Carol had bought a winter home in Arizona Traditions, a development next to Happy Trails! Not only that! Brian and Kathy had bought a house just down the street from them!

This morning we went to have coffee with Carol and Barry. Albertson's was on our way so I picked up some Bagels and Cream Cheese to go with the coffee. This is their beautiful home! Carol mentioned the house was a Model Home and they bought it "As Is" - completely furnished!!

In the back yard there was a beautiful waterfall! It was so relaxing sitting and listening to the sound of the trickling water.

Brian and Kathy joined us for coffee and bagels. We thought the waterfall would be an ideal background for a picture of the six of us!

Carol, Barry, Kathy, Brian, Faye and Ken. (Pretty good picture for using the timer on my camera, don't you think??)

Later, we "popped" over to see Brian and Kathy's house. They said when they bought the house the interior was all shades of pink!! They had to completely remodel before moving in. Their home is beautiful, too!!

It was fun visiting with them again before leaving for TT Verde Valley about 100 miles north in Cottonwood. See you next winter, guys!! Safe travels!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Apr 12 - Today is our last day in Sunny Southern California!! We leave tomorrow morning and head for TT Verde Valley in Cottonwood, AZ - one of our favorite TT parks!!

The next three articles are sort of wrapping things up at TT Palm Springs!! We have really enjoyed our Winter here in Sunny Southern California!!


Apr. 12 - One of the things we have really enjoyed whenever we are staying at TT Palm Springs, is to go to the Cinemark 10 Theatre. Prices range from 75 cents on Monday (if you have three or more people) to $1.25 for Seniors on Tuesday to $2 on the weekends! It is a pretty nice theatre and they show fairly recent movies. We go about twice a week when we are in the area.

Today our last movie of the season was "Unknown". Pretty good thriller with an unexpected twist near the end. Liem Neeson is always good in his movies.

It has been a fun season at the movies. We will miss this when we're gone!


Apr. 10 - Pam and Joe, with whom we have had many happy times this Winter season, invited us to join them for Fajitas tonight!! They recently bought a home in LaQuinta, CA just about five miles from TT Palm Springs. We were excited to see them again and all the changes they have made to their home. One major change is they received $2,000 rebate from some government fund to remove the grass and flowers that require watering and put in a dessert motif!! That was done this past week!

Pam was thrilled about the new trees and the various types of cactus they had planted. She was especially thrilled about the rock riverbed that runs from the house to the street!!

After a few Margaritas, we jumped into the hot tub! I was trying to use the time mechanism on my camera. This first picture, I just had time to run around the hot tub and quickly plop into place on the side!

Joe decided he could do a better job of taking the picture!

Perfection at last! Even Callie got to pose for this picture!!

After enjoying the hot tub, Pam and Joe treated us to Chicken Fajitas with all the trimmings!! UMMMMM!! It was a most enjoyable evening!

Thanks, Pam and Joe. It's been a fun Winter. See you next Fall!!


Apr. 8 - I went to Urgent Care last week and got a shot to relieve the pain I been having in my sacroillac - Kenalog for the Sciatica. It has not helped at all as far as I can tell. I have not been able to play Pickleball or Line Dance or anything much for the past couple of weeks.

Anyway, since I can't do anything else, I decided to get out my camera and take some pictures of the Pickleball action during our last days at TT Palm Springs.

Here's Gloria and Dick.

Gary and Mike. Gary always says, "Just remember. Every Pickleball shot makes two people happy!!"
John and Paul.

Larry and Rick.

Jerry and Ken.

Mike and Bernard.
John and Dick enjoying a rest between matches.
Dennis and Rick.

Paul M. and Larry.

Gloria and Bernard.

Sally and Dick.

Gary and Paul.
Dennis and John.

Missed the action on this court. Ken, Dick, Sally and Mike.
We certainly will miss all the good times we have had on the Pickleball courts at TT Palm Springs this season.