March 1, 2023

A Month in Summary - February 2023

Little Whale Cove
Depoe Bay, Oregon
February 2023

We got snow! While it's unusual to get any sort of accumulation here on the coast, it's not impossible. (Facebook reminded me this morning that we had a similar snowfall four years ago). We didn't see quite as much as in the communities to the north and south of us, but it sure was pretty as it was falling. Here's a lovely shot from Newport:

Photo Credit: Local Oceans

I had another good month of reading, finishing five books, but giving up on one. Two popular novels fell short for me, but I reread Ann Patchett's book for book club, and it was just as good as the first time I read it. I'm all caught up on Deborah Crombie's mystery series, and now look forward to starting Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series. 

Books Read (click on the title for my review):

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie (4/5)

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett (5/5)

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (3/5)

The Measure by Nikki Erlick (3.5/5)

A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie (4/5)


Flight by Lynn Steger Strong - Read 60 pages (of 230). Couldn't keep the three couples and their children straight, as they were introduced all at once, and none of whom were fully fleshed out. It was very confusing, so I made a small cheat sheet, which still didn't help. I'm sure I would have eventually gotten a handle on the relationships, but the plot was dull and I wasn't interested.

Movies & TV Series:

Modus (Season 2) - We enjoyed this second season, which kept me guessing. I wonder if another season is in the works.

Elvis - This biographical film surprised me. I've never been a fan of Elvis, nor did I know anything about Colonel Tom Parker, but both Austin Butler and Tom Hanks were very good in their portrayals.

The Crown (Season 5) - We have one episode remaining of this series. I don't care for Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, but Imelda Staunton does a fine job as the Queen. This season has been my least favorite and I can't imagine that season six will be an improvement. 

New Amsterdam (Season 1) - Soooo good! If you enjoy medical shows such as E.R., Gray's Anatomy, or House, this is one to watch. Yes, each episode tugs at your heartstrings, but I'm hooked.

Strike - Troubled Blood - I think we missed the second season of this series, but we're still enjoying this one, even if we have to wait for each episode to drop on Monday nights.

The Brokenwood Mysteries (Season 2) - We've grown weary of this series, which is similar in tone to Murder in Paradise. I doubt we'll watch any more episodes.

Jurrasic World: Dominion - I've seen the first two (three?) installments in this film series, but wasn't really interested in watching this most recent movie until my husband suggested it. With the return of Laura Dern, Jeff Goldbloom, and Sam Neill, how bad could it be? Pretty bad, but I would like to watch the very first movie again.

Vera (Season 1) - Finally getting into this series. I love Vera!

London Kills (Season 1) - Not bad, but somewhat predictable. We like that each mystery is solved by the end of each episode, although there is a larger mystery spanning the entire series. 




Del Mar in 1980?

I'm back at it after taking a long break (almost three years!) during the pandemic. It's been fun to get back together with my friends, playing 2-3 times a week. I came across the above photo from my teenage years. I used to enjoy playing paddle ball on the beach, so it's no wonder I fell in love with Pickleball. :)

Less than two weeks until Daylight Saving Time begins. I can't wait!


  1. I finished New Amsterdam, and it doesn't look like the last season will be on Neflix this year. Hard to wait, but I did read that watchers are of two minds about the ending!
    Look at you - a model California girl!
    Watched the first season of London Kills but just didn't like the younger cop's experience, and didn't like any of the characters very much. In general, I don't care for ongoing situations.
    Got bored with Brokenwood, but do love Death in Paradise. There's a new spin-off with one of former stars. Liking it so far.
    Gave up on Vera after years and years. Too dark.
    Tom watches the Crown, not for me.
    And I didn't want to watch the Elvis movie. I'd rather watch the real man. Big fan, me.

    1. Such a wonderful comment! Thanks, Nan! I'm so enjoying New Amsterdam, which I think I discovered thanks to you. I've just begun Season Two and like the way we discover what happened in the accident. No spoilers here. I'm not sure we'll continue with too much more of London Kills. I find the acting a bit mediocre, and they tend to fill each episode with too many silent gazes and shots of interview room doors and red London buses! Sloooooow.

  2. We watched Unforgotten, an older Masterpiece short series, now on Amazon Prime. I thought it was well done and thoughtful.

    I went with a group of friends to see Elvis at the movie theater, and, wow, exceptional, I believe.

    Pickleball was The Big Thing at the Y just before the pandemic. I'm hoping that pickleball will return to the Y soon and I can give it a try.

    1. Deb, we loved Unforgotten (with Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar). Very well done! I'll bet it was fun to see Elvis (the movie) in a real movie theater. Perfect for the big screen. I hope you get a chance to try out pickleball. I have a feeling you'll love it. It's quite addictive!

  3. Great puzzles and photos of the snow. Even southern California got snow (not in Santa Barbara, but on our foothills). I agree with your actor assessment on the Crown.

    1. Helen, we're supposed to get more nasty weather this week. Portland's snowstorm was the second biggest in recorded history. Glad we don't live there or in the valley.

  4. How fun that you're back to playing pickle ball! We've never had the opportunity to play, but maybe we will in North Carolina. I love the photo of you playing paddleball on the beach! You were just as beautiful then as now. :-)

    I see in your sidebar that you're currently reading The Lincoln Highway. That's been on my request list at the library. I absolutely loved Rules of Civility, so I'm thinking I'll enjoy this as well. As always, I look forward to your wonderful reviews. And I want to see the Elvis movie!

    I hope that spring will soon arrive for you. What a winter you've had!

    1. Laurel, I really enjoy pickleball, but I need to be careful and not overdo it. My knees are a little achy the day after playing...

      I'm enjoying The Lincoln Highway, but not as much as A Gentleman in Moscow or Rules of Civility. It's very long and I find myself looking ahead to see how many pages are left.

      I'm kind of hoping we skip spring and go straight to summer! I'm so tired of the rain and cold temps. Even just one or two days of 60-degree weather would be welcome!

  5. I love that picture of you from your 'early' years! As to the TV shows - I'm still a Vera fan. Haven't watched the new season as yet. My husband and I both like Brokenwood and we've watched all available there. We just finished watching the new CB Strike season. Wonder if they will continue with newest book - probably. The snow pictures were nice, as long as you don't have to go out into it. LOL

    1. Thanks, Kay. I've been scanning old photos and stumbled on that one from my beach days! :) We're just on season one of Vera, so we have a lot to watch!

  6. What a great photo from way back when! I haven't played pickleball since last spring. Our association's court and swimming pool are still in sad shape from Ian. This week we're getting electricity restored to the pool area, draining and rehabbing the pool will follow.

    You read some great books last month. You know I loved Ann Patchett's essays and am already looking forward to her new novel coming this summer. I fell in love with the voice of Marcellus in Remarkable Bright Creature (so glad I listened!) and that made it easy to overlook any other shortcomings. Hope March is off to a good start for you!

    1. JoAnn, I've been scanning a lot of old photos and was surprised when I saw that oldie from my beach bum days. :) I hope you can get back to pickleball later in the year. Do you have any indoor courts nearby? That's all I've ever played on, but we do have two that are outdoors. They opened those during Covid, but I had stopped playing at that point.

      My husband's reading These Precious Days upon my recommendation. I'm looking forward to her new novel, too!

      March is off to a slow start (reading The Lincoln Highway and listening to Cutting for Stone - a reread), but I'm hoping to finish the Towles book today. I'm itching to read something else...

    2. The Lincoln Highway was a good read, but the audio combo to help pull me through. It was a solid 4 stars for me, but probably my least favorite Towles novel. I remember loving Cutting for Stone so many years ago. Will be curious to hear your thoughts on the reread.

      There aren't any indoor pickleball courts that I know of here... which is too bad, because it's so hot and muggy much of the year.

    3. I finished TLH last night and am struggling with my rating. It's my least favorite by Towles... As far as Cutting for Stone, it's enjoyable on audio, but I'm not sure it's worthy of a reread. Ugh. I can't imagine playing pickleball in the humidity. I think our only issue here would be rain or wind, so it's nice that we have three indoor courts.

  7. It snowed here a little bit, which is extremely rare. All the neighbors were outside, none of us quite believing what we were seeing and feeling. I really want to read Crombie's series from the beginning. I loved the one book I read in the series. I am sorry Flight didn't work for you. It isn't a book I am familiar with. It doesn't sound like it was worth continuing though since you weren't enjoying it. Life is too short. I love New Amsterdam! I haven't seen the most recent and final season because it's not being aired on Hulu like the other seasons were unfortunately, but I did enjoy the first several seasons. Hopefully Netflix will pick up the final season when it ends so I can catch up.

    I really want to see the latest Jurassic Park movie. It does look pretty bad. LOL I still want to see it though.

    I hope you have a great week, Les!

    1. Wendy, you're in SoCal, right? Crazy weather down there! I saw that Big Bear/Lake Arrowhead got a ton of snow and that people were snowbound, running out of food, and unable to get down the mountain. Weird weather!

      Crombie's books are really good, and as with most series, the more recent installments are better than the early ones.

      I'll be sure to take my time with New Amsterdam so I can continue watching the final season when it hits Netflix. I would hate to have to wait too long! I'm only on season two, so I still have plenty to watch. :)

  8. Look at you there on the beach in Del Mar! We were supposed to meet my husband's cousin in Del Mar for lunch yesterday but he got worried about parking. We ended up at the La Jolla UTC instead. I'm glad you're getting back into a sport you enjoy. We're just trying to get back into the gym habit. We'll do well for one 3-month work assignment but then we'll be bad on the next one.

    The pictures of the snow are lovely. We've only seen snow on the beach once or twice but it certainly shifts the whole vibe, doesn't it?

    I liked Elvis but movies that have too much camera spinning and circling give me a headache. That one was pretty bad. I mostly listened to it and got the idea of a scene by peeping through my fingers. I wish I had been able to enjoy it more fully.

    We were excited to see Jurassic Dominion because we love everything Jurassic but you're right--it was bad. We weren't expecting an Oscar-winning movie but--yeah.

    Fun story. I never saw the very first Jurassic Park in the theaters. But one of our music halls in Asheville will sometimes show old movies on nights when they don't have any musical acts booked. We went to watch Jurassic Park there so I could say I've finally seen it on a big screen. You can imagine the speaker setup they have. We were sitting up near the stage and one of us had a cup of something actually on the stage. Those ominous T-rex tremors started in the movie and we glanced at the cup. It was vibrating with the sound too. We laughed so hard!

    I hope March is an even better month for you!

    1. Thanks for the great comment, Jen! Yes, parking in Del Mar can be an issue. I remember when I was in high school (Torrey Pines) and we used to joke about having to someday pay to park at the beach. We used to go to 15th street, which is just north of Seagrove Park/Powerhouse Beach. The lot behind the lifeguard tower was free, as was street parking. Now it costs something everywhere! Ah, UTC. I used to work at a biotech company near there. That whole area has changed so much since the early 90s. I can imagine how tough it is to maintain a workout routine when you move around so much. We do well here until we hit the road. At least we try to walk every day on our trips, and I used to take some free weights with us, but wasn't very good about using them. I've lost some weight since Christmas and I really don't want to put it back on when we head out to Canada in June. I'll have to be careful of the beer and fries!

      Yes! The camera movement in Elvis was very annoying. I had to turn my head away, too. The filmography reminded me of the modern telling of Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio.

      How fun to see the first Jurassic Park movie in the music hall in Ashville. The accoustics must have been amazing. :)

      I hear you're supposed to get a deluge down there in the next few days. Stay safe!

  9. Ha Ha. Del Mar 1980! Luv it. We were likely at Corona Del Mar then. My parents got their beach cottage in Newport circa 1983. I'm glad you are back enjoying pickle ball - it seems fun. I'm big into tennis though I have not been playing since a shoulder injury in Sept. I will be back playing hopefully in April. A little snow never hurt right? I'm sure it will be gone soon & spring will start! The British mystery shows look good. Have a great March!

    1. Susan, yes I was quite a beach bum when we lived in Del Mar & Solana Beach. :) We moved to Del Mar in 1972 when it was a sleepy little beach town. I hardly recognize it now! Yes, pickleball is great fun. I've only played tennis a few times, but from what I understand, the thrill of hitting a great shot or serving an ace is just as fun in pickleball as it is in tennis. I hope you can get back to your game next month.

    2. I'm starting to think that tearing a rotator cuff in the shoulder is the slowest body part to ever heal. I'm so frustrated but we will see if I can ever get back to tennis again. Argh.

    3. Oh, that must be so frustrating, Susan! Sending you good thoughts.

  10. That's a great photo of you playing! It is nice to be getting back to normalcy isn't it? I always love your monthly wrap up posts to also hear what you've been watching. I need to add Modus to our list as we love crime dramas. What strange weather we've all been having right? We've had some really cold days and of course very hot days already. And, look at you all caught up with Deborah Crombie books! That's awesome.

    1. Yes, it's nice to get back to a sense of normalcy, although one of our neighbors came down with Covid, so we cancelled pickleball for a little over a week. Thanks for you nice words about these monthly summaries. They take a little time to put together (and sometimes I wonder if they're too long!), but it's nice to be able to look back and see what we've done over the years. We have yet to have hot weather here. Not really even warm, but it's still early in the year. We may hit 60 in May. :)


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