April 1, 2023

A Month in Summary - March 2023

Little Whale Cove
Depoe Bay, Oregon
March 2023

Once again, it's been a busy month! I've been working on travel plans, my mom's 90th birthday celebration, a little bit of yardwork when the weather allows, pickleball twice a week, working out with my husband, drafting travel posts about our trip to Glacier last fall, as well as a variety of appointments & social events. I managed to read six books, two of which were outstanding. We also watched a lot of TV series, and I'm toying with the idea of having a separate post for those. Are these posts too long or do you like having everything in one monthly summary?

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

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (3.5/5)

A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella (3/5)

Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro (5/5)

The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill (4/5)

The Lost Man by Jane Harper (4.5/5)

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (3.5/5)

Movies & TV Series:

The Guilty - Only three episodes, which is perfect. Good acting and not too predictable. Would like to see more with this detective.

London Kills (Season Two) -
The acting in this series leaves a lot to be desired, but we finished the season in order to find out what happened to the detective's wife. No need to watch the third season.

New Amsterdam (Season Three) - The first episode of this season is very emotional. The pandemic is the main focus of the opening scenes (which was pretty tough to watch), and the theme continues throughout the season.

The Crown (Season Five) - Finally watched the last episode in this season. I much preferred the earlier seasons, but still plan to watch the sixth once it's released.

Strike: Troubled Blood - A very satisfying conclusion to this mystery! I was tempted to watch the first episode a second time in order to see the clues that I missed.

Defending Jacob - This eight-part series stars Chris Evans (Captain America), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, and Jaeden Martell (Mr. Harrington's Phone). I read William Landy's novel in 2012 and thought it was terrific. This Apple program is pretty faithful to the novel, but there are a few differences. I liked the show, but the book is better. 

Alibi - A three-part mini series starring Michael Kitchen (Foyle's War), Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey), and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rowanda). This is an older show, filmed in 2003. I loved Foyle's War, but it took some time to get used to Kitchen in this role. Okonedo is very good! The show was good, but not great.

The Tower - Another short series comprised of three episodes. We enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the release of the next season.


On the travel front, I'm busy getting reservations for our summer road trip up to Canada and it's been quite challenging to get sites in some of the national parks near Jasper and Banff. When I got in one of the queues (at 7 a.m.), there were 6,606 people ahead of me, with a wait time of 27 minutes. The friends we're traveling with had 15,000+ people ahead of them! No, we didn't get into our desired campground, but fortunately we had three back-up plans and got into our first choice before those filled up. We went through this process a few more times and were very pleased to not only get in the campgrounds we selected, but got the sites we had hoped for.  

I hope you all have a wonderful April. March Madness and Major League Baseball are keeping us entertained this weekend!


  1. I like seeing all of this in one place! Your travel plans to Canada sound wonderful, but I am amazed at the line to get your campground reservations.

    So many of those TV series look good, I agree that short series (3 episodes) is perfect. I don't want to get sucked into something that I will be watching forever.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Helen. Yeah, the reservation system is a bit crazy, but it's nice to know that everyone has a fair shot to reserve a campsite. Those numbers seem super high, but a specific reservation day involves numerous parks across Canada, so it's not as if all of those people ahead of me were trying to get in the same campground as we were. Still, it was pretty intense waiting for my turn! As far as the tv shows, I am watching a long one (New Amsterdam), but I watch on my computer while I'm doing other things on my laptop.

  2. The only tv show I've watched is New Amsterdam. I LOVED it and am so sad it ended.Your trip sounds fun. Happy Birthday to your mom.

    1. Vicki, I still have a few episodes of season three of New Amsterdam, as well as the remaining two seasons. It will be a while before I finish! I hope our trip is as wonderful as I imagine it will be. Thanks for the bday wishes to my mom!

  3. Take two! I lost a long comment last night and was too frustrated and tired to try and recreate it.

    I like seeing everything in one post, too... though it does make for longer comments. ;-)

    Books: Six books in a month is great! Wish I could do it more often. As you know, I loved Signal Fires. It tied with Lucy by the Sea for my #1 book last year and I even bought a copy to keep on my shelf. I also loved Cutting for Stone way back when, but have never gotten around to a reread. Think I'll wait for Verghese's new novel. My feelings about Lincoln Highway were complicated... a good story, well-written, but it just didn't have the staying power of his other two novels.

    TV: We don't watch much TV, but I loved Defending Jacob years ago and had forgotten that it had been adapted. Might be a good one to watch. I've the The Crown languish too long and am way behind. Time to play catchup!

    Both of your puzzles are gorgeous, too. Can you believe I haven't done one since Christmas?

    Hooray for travel! We were planning a trip to Glacier NP before the pandemic and, since then, life has gotten in the way - my FIL's health, real estate transactions, a remodel (and now a re-remodel), a hurricane, and now TWO weddings (10/23 and 9/24). It's starting to feel like we may never travel again, so I'm happy to live vicariously through your posts and photos.

    Hope your week is off to a good start!

    1. JoAnn, that's for trying again with another comment. I love hearing from you and know how frustrating it is to have to compose a second comment. And, speaking of long comments, I love them, so I will probably stick to this style of monthly summaries so I can keep everything in one spot for reference down the road.

      I actually finished 7 books in March, but nudge the last one over into April since I had already created my collage and a draft of this post. I recommended Signal Fires to a friend and she said she loved it, too. I would make a good movie, don't you think? I'm in agreement with your mixed thoughts about The Lincoln Highway. Oh, well.

      I got a notice from my library that my hold for All That Is Mine I Carry With Me (William Landay) is ready for pick-up. I hope it's as good as Defending Jacob.

      We've done a few puzzles since Christmas, but now that the weather is improving, I'll be outside, either walking or doing yard work, so the puzzles won't get as much attention. I think we have one or two that are new to us, but they're not going anywhere.

      You really did have a lot of disruptions to your travel plans, but hopefully you'll get back out there eventually. Glacier is gorgeous and I'm hoping to get my travel posts up from that trip before we head out on our next big adventure. It's hard to believe that it's been six months since we were there. Wow, two weddings! Very exciting!

      Thanks again for the chatty comment. Enjoy your week!

  4. I love your puzzle, Eleanor's Room, and am going to look for it on Amazon. Unless you have suggestions where I can get elsewhere? :-) I just finished a puzzle and am at loose ends for another.

    We watched all three seasons of London Kills and will look for the next when it comes out. We liked New Amsterdam for the first few seasons but it got a bit preachy (for ) with the doctor going off on every issue from climate change to free internet, etc. Loved the first two seasons and the heart surgeon character.
    Thanks for the tip for The Guilty - our library has it!!! We just finished No Offense, only three seasons.

    You should do your posts as you like. I would enjoy your thoughts in a longer roundup or posted individually. Quality blogging is always fun to read! I enjoy your blog and you give me good suggestions for books.

    1. Tina, my mom bought that puzzle, but I'm going to guess she bought it directly from the New York Puzzle Company.

      I agree with you about New Amsterdam. If I didn't watch while working on other things (on my computer), I might not continue, but it's good enough to keep going.

      I think I'll keep doing my posts this way. It's easier and I enjoy the chatting comments. :)

    2. I am hellbent t o find that puzzle and my son is on the lookoout :-) He keeps telling me Amazon is the bets place but it's no there. Anyway , I am sorry you went looking for the Bauermesiter book as it's not out until May 2, 2023. Netgalley sent me an advamced readers copy and if I could share it with you I would!!

    3. Tina, I see that it's sold out on the New York Puzzle Company's website. I'd be happy to send you mine, if you'd like! I don't think it's one I'd do again... Yeah, I knew Bauermeister's book wasn't out yet, but for some reason forgot when I went into the store. I wound up with a copy of The Housekeeper and the Professor, which I've wanted to read for a long time. Maybe I'll win an ARC of Erica's book from Goodreads!

  5. I"ve noticed a large number of bloggers working puzzles lately. I think spring weather had better catch up with us quickly so we can all get outdoors! Your puzzles look challenging and fun. And your reading and TV shows also look good.

    best..mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. Mae, we've been doing puzzles on a regular basis for about 6 years (since we moved in with my mother). We do more during the winter, for obvious reasons, but it's nice to have one going when we have visitors in the summer months, as well.

  6. You had a good reading month in March! I've long had Cutting for Stone on my TBR list and I'm hoping to finally get to it this year. Love the author. He wrote The Tennis Partner which is a bit of a different kind of memoir but I liked it. I hope you got some good campgrounds! Yay. Alberta. The highway from Banff to Jasper is pretty amazing - gorgeous sights. I hope Canada will please you and that you have a terrific time. The puzzles are really nice - I like Eleanor's Room wow. Enjoy your April .... we plan to go to Calif. mid-month to check on my parents and take a break. Should be a good time.

    1. Susan, I'm pleased with my reading these days, especially with two doorstoppers in the mix. Cutting for Stone is very good, but no so much for a second reading. I've been meaning to read The Tennis Partner for years. Maybe I'll get to it this summer. We got some great campgrounds in Canada. We'll be in Waterton Park for 4 days, Bow River (Canmore) for 2, Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court in Banff for 5, Silverhorn Creek for 2, Whistlers in Jasper for 5, then down to Barriere, Celista, Radium Hot Springs, and Fernie. I can hardly wait. I need to find out what food is not allowed across the border, as well as research our cell phone coverage and health insurance, but I'm just happy we have all the reservations taken care of for the 5+ weeks of travel. Phew! I hope you have a good trip to CA and that all of the stormy weather is long past by the time you get there.

    2. Wow you're going to love all those spots! Very scenic. Maybe we can meet up in Canmore if you have time, or Banff. Or if you drive past here from Waterton. No pressure though if busy. You are doing quite an extensive tour, which is good. You'll need to be cautious of bears but it's neat to see them. It's beautiful in June. What are your dates?

    3. Susan, I'm super excited, especially since we'll have long stays in the areas we're most interested in. I hear the Icefields Parkway is stunning. Can.Not.Wait! We're traveling with another couple, so I'm not sure what we'll be doing when. I have your email addy, so I can drop you a note once we get closer. I have bear spray and have no plans to hike anywhere near them. We arrive in Canada on June 4th (Waterton) and head back to the States on the 30th. If you want to see our route, I'd be happy to send you a link to our RV Trip Wizard itinerary.

    4. The Icefields Parkway is pretty stunning. You can stop midway to Jasper at the Columbia Icefield and go to the glacier on their buggy. It's alarming how far the glacier has receded. I took my parents once, ha. Take warm gear for your trip as the mountains can turn cold in a second or rain much in June. The Bow Valley Parkway between Banff and Lake Louise is a pretty road to travel -- though half of it is closed for wildlife & cyclists and we like taking our bikes there to ride. Also driving the loop to Lake Minnewanka near Banff is worth doing. A pretty lake and we cycle around there too. You'll have a wonderful time, wow. Enjoy! feel free to send the route.

    5. I'm pretty excited about the Icefields Parkway! Thanks for all your recs. Adding them to my huge list of things to do and see while we're up there. Yeah, we'll pretty much take warm gear with maybe a couple of things in case we hit hot weather on our way home.

  7. Les, I think you know how much I enjoy your monthly posts. I just realized that I forgot to check in with you, so I'm a bit late to the party, LOL. I don't find your posts too long at all.

    How exciting that you're planning your summer trip to the Canadian Rockies! We never did get there in all of our years of full-time RVing, but perhaps we'll do it through Airbnb if we don't end up with another trailer. I look forward to reading about your adventures! Thanks again for all of your wonderful recommendations. I just got a copy of Signal Fires and I'm starting it as soon as I finish Other Birds. I hope you're getting some spring blooms on the coast!

    1. Laurel, I'm glad you enjoy these long posts. Thanks for joining the party whenever you can. :) I probably won't start posting about this upcoming trip for a long time since I'm usually 6-9 months behind with my travel posts. I've actually just finished composing all of my posts about our Glacier National Park trip (which we took last September!) and will start sharing those here in the next month while we're on the road. I figure I won't be reading much, so the travel posts will fill in for book reviews.

      Hope you love Signal Fires as much as I did. Other Birds is also good, but I really loved Signal Fires. I've read a lot of winners this month, so I'll be sure to send you an email when I post my April summary.

      Take care!


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