Thursday, February 23, 2012


Feb. 23 - We will be leaving the Palm Springs area tomorrow, and we had not seen our friends Marion and Tom for quite awhile. We called to see if they could join us at the Elephant Bar on Hwy 111 one more time!

I love the jungle look of the interior!

Ken and I ordered the Nachos and a couple of large beers.

We have been friends with Marion and Tom since we met on the Pickleball courts at TT Verde Valley in the fall of 2002. We created many memories together. One such memory is finding the Elephant Bar together years ago!

Another happy Happy Hour at the Elephant Bar!! See you guys in a few weeks!


Feb 17 - 24 - We wanted to stay in the Palm Springs area this week so we could enjoy going to the 2012 Palm Desert Senior Games (see previous articles). Cathedral Palm RV Resort, an RPI Resort in Cathedral City, CA was the perfect location.

Shortly after we checked in on Friday morning, Lorraine, one of the activities leaders at the park, knocked on our door and invited us to join a group that was going out for Mexican at La Tablita Restaurant on East Cathedral Canyon . Here is most of the group.

Around our table: Bobbie, Ken, Faye, Bruce the Resort Manager is standing, Lorraine's husband John, another Ken, and Lorraine.

Most of us chose to have the Mexican Seafood Buffet rather than order from the menu. It consisted of a lot of dishes Ken and I have never had before -- not the usual fare of taco fixings or the Tex-Mex we are used it!

When I saw what was offered on the buffet, I had no idea what to choose or how to eat it! I noticed the gentleman in front of me seemed to know exactly what to do. I asked for his help.

He said to start with a bowl of soup and put rice and the other dishes around the edge. I started with fish soup. Added rice, peel and eat shrimp in a sauce, octopus, and I don't know what else!! On my plate I took a few familiar items - fish, chili relleno, enchilada and bar-b-q beef.

My new acquaintance told me about the Ceviche - succulent shrimp "cooked" in lime and tomato juices and served in a cocktail glass. Now that was very good; the entire table decided to try it!

But, the most unique item was the garlic fish. My friend told me how you just sort of chew on it as you might chew on a chicken neck!! I tried it!! First, I turned the eyeball away from me so I did not look the fish in the eye as I picked at it! The fish head had a crispy, garlicky coating. It was quite flavorful!

Lorraine conducted a short meeting to make future plans for activities at the resort. We were asked if we would help with Pickleball? The first session was set it up for Monday morning.

The restaurant seemed to be very popular, judging from the crowd and rave reviews on line. But, we can't really recommend the buffet! We noticed that, except for our group, not many other people eat the buffet.
* * *

We knew Bill and Val were also staying at Cathedral Palms. I bummed a ride from the office with Bill in the big yellow truck! HA HA

We asked if they would help with the Pickleball on Monday morning. Here we demonstrate to the few interested "residents" what Pickleball is all about.

Ken is showing Lorraine how to serve.

The first match. Faye and Doug

Take on Lorraine and Ken!

We had a couple more sessions during the week. Bruce is so anxious to get Pickleball going at the resort. Hopefully more potential players will show up.

We leave on Friday to move over to TT Wilderness Lakes. It was fun being here!


Wed 22 - Boy, I thought I had really messed up and had totally missed Mardi Gras this year!!! How terrible!!!

Then my mind started functioning!! It was only Thursday. Walt and Pam had made Jambalaya for a group at TT Wilderness Lakes last winter! They were going to TT Palm Springs on Monday! Would Walt consider making Jambalaya for Fat Tuesday at Palm Springs??? Yes! He said he would!!

Problem! We were not at TT Palm Springs to plan a Mardi Gras celebration! But, Gloria and Hayden were there!! Could Gloria get with Walt and Pam and plan a Fat Tuesday cook-out for me?? Yes!! She would!! They could!!

And could she invite Bill who had just returned from Arizona to join us?? Yes again! Not only did she invite Bill, she arranged for him to host the party at his site!!

A few more mutual friends were invited and the celebration was on!! Except for one thing! Walt and Pam preferred to do it on Wednesday -- not Fat Tuesday!!

That's OK. We would have Fat Tuesday on Ash Wednesday!!

Ken, Gloria, Pam and Shirley around the table.

Here is Walt and Pam who made the Jambalaya!!

Hayden and Gloria who arranged the whole thing! for me!

"Kissing" Linda who also made Jambalaya. But that's not her husband Mark. That's Bill who invited us to use his site!

Jim P. and Shirley who brought a Mandarin Orange salad.

And Dick and Becky who made a huge salad, too!

That's me cutting up with Bill while Ken looks on! We brought a couple of Pecan Pies, but more important, we brought New Orleans Hurricanes and Long Island Ice Tea for the group. I think the LIT has kicked in because Bill was really crazy!!

Rick talking with his hands!! Linda had stopped by before going on night shift and brought jalapeno corn bread.

Two crazy Michigan guys showing off their matching Michigan tans!!

Bill and Ken having fun! It's always fun around Bill!!

The girls showing off our Mardi Gras beads!! The guys were acting silly in front of us and caused us to laugh until we cried!

We pulled a switch-a-roo tonight!! It was the guys who lifted their shirts instead of the girls!! They were so hilarious!!!

It really was a wild and crazy night!! Thanks to everybody who made this one of the best Mardi Gras celebrations ever!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Bill and Val recently spent a couple of weeks at Pio Pico with Rich and Dee. Bill talked with me at the Palm Desert Senior Games and said I needed to post an Addendum about Pio Pico. He said they agreed about the condition of some of the sites, but they thought the Pickleball courts on the north side were OK. They were able to stretch one net tight enough to play and the court surface was fine.

Good News! Maybe Pickleball can make a come-back at Pio Pico!

Monday, February 20, 2012


Feb. 17 - Did you happen to see that fab game between Virginia Commonwealth University and Northern Iowa!! What a great game. It was very close through both halves. We couldn't tell which team would win, although we were pulling for VCU, of course!

Suddenly, during the closing minutes of the game, VCU cut loose!! They completed play after play when all the players seemed to be hung up in a crowd, then suddenly one VCU player was free under the basket, scoring two points! It must have happened four or more times! They were amazing!!

Final score: VCU Rams: 77 -- Iowa: 68

Go Rams, Go!!!

Feb. 18 - My Man Kyle Busch was amazing in the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night!!! Did you see it?? He had been spun out at least two times during the race and somehow he managed to save the car and continue racing!

At the very end of the race Kyle was pushing the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, Tony Stewart. The two of them were leading the race. They were coming to the Checkered Flag when Kyle timed it just perfectly to pull out to the right of Tony, picked up the draft from Tony's right side door, and pulled ahead just split seconds before they crossed the finish line!!!

An amazing race. Go Kyle, Go!!! Think Championship!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Feb 17 - We were at TT Wilderness Lakes until this morning when we moved to Cathedral City so we could go to watch and enjoy the 2012 Palm Desert Senior Games. Today was the day for Men's Doubles and Women's Singles in Pickleball. We missed yesterday and the Women's Doubles and Men's Singles. We did not arrive until about the middle of the day and some teams were already finished for the day.

Before we could even get to the Pickleball courts we ran into Del and Jerry (left). We were talking with them when Jim and Shirley (right) stopped and joined us. We have been crossing paths with the four of them throughout the winter, but still I asked a young girl to take our picture. Before she could click the picture, a Pickleball player whom we did not know pushed his way into the center of the picture. "Oh, good. It's picture time!" he said with a big smile!!

When we finally got to the courts, we immediately saw our friends Spike and Linda. They make and sell the ZZT Sports Pickleball Paddles and are always at the Senior Games. Last year Linda had explained the origin of the name ZZT Sports. She said, "What is the very first score in Pickleball? Zero, Zero, Two!!" Thus, the name ZZT Sports. You may contact Spike and Linda at or call 623-826-0126 to place an order!

Later in the day, I saw Hayden and Gloria buying paddles from Spike and Linda! Linda took the time to explain the construction of the paddles and showed us a cut-out showing the interior of the paddle. See you guys on the courts with your new ZZT Sports paddles!!

Here is Joe and his wife buying a ZZT Sports paddle from Linda! Notice Joe's official tee shirt for the 2012 Games.

East Coast friends Dee and Rich. Rich is participating in the Men's Doubles!

Amazing! Val and Bill are from Richmond, VA. We met them out here at TT Wilderness Lakes. Bill is competing in the games, also.

Marge and Dean are also East Coast people. They recently returned from an excursion to Alaska!! Marge covered their exciting adventure in her Blog. Dean is Bill's partner in the Men's Doubles matches.

We ran into Dennis watching the games. Dennis is not competing this year because he is awaiting major surgery on February 29. Barb did not come today. Good to see you, Dennis!

Caught "Kissing Linda" kissing again!! (She's the one who kissed Ken awhile back!) Here she is with Bert while Judy is not at all concerned!!!

Saw Anne and Roger watching a match. Roger had to cancel out of the tournament because of an injury!!
We ran into Roger watching the games. He is not competing today. Don't know why. He's great.

In fact, Roger was called to be a Lines Person for several of the matches.

Other friends also served as Umpires. Here is Frank in charge of this match.

And Stephenie Umpiring another match.

And now for some of the action!

Interestingly enough, Pickleball Tournaments are frequently formatted based on Age Group! Rich and Paul, being approximately the same age, form a partnership!

Bill and Dean are a team, too!

Eventually, the two teams would compete again each other!

Women's Singles matches were also being played today. We did not see many of the matches, but I did watch one of my friend Pat Carroll's matches! She's great!

When we first arrived, we ran into Mike on the sidewalk. "Faye with an E" he said as he approached!! How could he remember me?? Here is Mike (yellow) in action!!

Just behind Mike on the sidewalk was Lynn. He also spoke to us and commented that he read our Blog all the time!! Here is Lynn (blue sunglasses) in action!

Now, back to the stranger who joined us in the middle of our picture taking when we first arrived, I want to say "Welcome to our group! Nice to meet you!!" I later learned that he is John Ramirez, Pickleball Ambassador, Mesquite, NV. He also has a Pickleball Blog about charity events, etc. is Mesquite. The address is: Enjoyed meeting you, John!! Here he is in action!! John is the player wearing the wild shorts!!

Spike not only represented his ZZT Sports line of products, he also competed in the tournament!

We really enjoyed the day at the tournament!! Good luck to all of the participants!!