June 1, 2023

A Month In Summary - May 2023

Little Whale Cove
Depoe Bay, Oregon
May 2023

Summer has finally arrived, although our coastal temps don't compare to the rest of the country's during the summer months. The day I drafted this post, it was 45 in the morning, but by mid-afternoon, it hit 60. We did have one shocking day in the middle of May when the high was 90 degrees! That never happens here, and with a hot breeze and no A/C, the house got pretty uncomfortable. Thankfully, the following day's temp returned to the lower 50s. Of course, I would prefer 72, but that won't happen until September, if we're lucky.

What makes it feel like summer is the absence of rain, and sunny, blue skies. The hummingbirds are enjoying our water feature (do you spot the little guy in the above photo?), while the crows dunk peanuts (gathered from a neighbor's yard) in our bird bath to soften the shells. The whales and their calves have returned to the coast, and while there were many sightings of orcas nearby (they hunt the whales and sea lions during this time of year), I have yet to see any. 

We live in a touristy area and traffic has gotten heavier, restaurants are getting crowded, and we're seeing more RVs traveling up & down Hwy. 101. We don't usually travel in the summer, preferring the off-season months when the campgrounds aren't as crowded, but we've decided to join some friends and are heading up to Canada for several weeks. While we're away, I've scheduled several posts about the trip we took last year to Glacier National Park. I hope you enjoy those travel posts. Of course, I'll try to share photos of our current trip on Instagram & Facebook, but cell signals are spotty in the Canadian Rockies, so I may be out of pocket for a bit.

On to my reading. I had another productive month and wound up with two remarkable reads. I highly recommend both 4.5-star novels. The other books were enjoyable (with the exception of Stoner), but I didn't love them as I did those by Jessica George and Yoko Ogawa.

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

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai (3/5)

Maame by Jessica George (4.5/5)

Stoner by John Williams (2/5)

The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill (4/5)

No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister (3.5/5)

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (4.5/5)

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (3.5/5)

Gave Up On:

The Huntress by Kate Quinn - I listened to the audio for a couple of hours and never got interested. 

The Keeper of Lost Thing by Ruth Hogan - Another audiobook that failed to pull me in. 

Movies & TV Series:

Sherwood - 
Written by award-winning writer James Graham, 'Sherwood' is a BBC One drama that is inspired by real-life events exploring post-Brexit Britain. David Morrissey, Robert Glenister and Lesley Manville lead the series cast, alongside Liar and Downton Abbey stars, Joanne Froggatt and Alun Armstrong. Set in a Nottinghamshire mining village, the series sees  Morrissey's detective Ian St Clair investigating after two shocking and unexpected killings which have shattered an already fractured community. 

Good, but not great. Thank goodness for subtitles!

Black Work Crime drama `Black Work' stars Sheridan Smith as Leeds police constable Jo Gillespie. When Jo's husband, undercover officer Ryan, is tragically murdered, her world falls apart. With daughter Melly and stepson Hal under Jo's care, she tries to persevere through her heartache and uncover the truth behind Ryan's death. Senior officers DCI Will Hepburn and Chief Constable Carolyn Jarecki lead the investigation, but when secrets are revealed about her husband, Jo begins to doubt the police force. Together with friend and colleague Jack Clark, the widow embarks on her own search for the killer, but puts herself at risk in doing so.

Enjoyable series that kept me guessing!

A Man Called Otto - I read that this wasn't a very good adaptation of Fredrik Backman's novel, but I love Tom Hanks and decided to give it a try. I enjoyed it even more than the original film, A Man Called Ove, which is also quite good.

Still - I was in my early twenties when Family Ties began its seven-season run and I loved the hilarious exchanges between Michael J. Fox and his TV family. I have also enjoyed the Back-to-the-Future film franchise, as well as Doc Hollywood. His recognizable voice (and timing) was perfect in Homeward Bound and Stuart Little, but I never did get around to watching Spin City. Fox was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's Disease at the age of 30. Still is a marvelous documentary about his career, family and life with a dibilitating (and incurable) disease. As you would guess, it's imbued with his witty humor. I loved it.

The Bay (Season 4) - Morecambe, a pretty seaside town in Lancashire, north-west England, still has its fair share of crimes and mysteries despite its reputation as a sunny resort. This drama series follows the police officers living and working in the area as they untangle the complexities of criminal cases while also trying to help the families and individuals caught up in them. The family liaison officers, an integral part of the team, work to assist the main investigators by gathering information from the family involved with as much care and empathy as possible. However, when boundaries between personal and professional lives start to blur, explosive situations can result in everyone getting hurt.

Oops. We didn't realize we'd skipped Season 3 until we were a couple of episodes into Season 4. The latter was still enjoyable, although the multiple family dramas (not relevant to the murder mystery) were more than we would have liked. We went ahead and watched Season 3, which was interesting since we were privy to the unfolding of relationships having already viewed Season 4. All in all, a decent series.

Mother's Day Blooms (one for me and one for my mom):


My brothers (and some of their family members) were here to celebrate my mom's 90th birthday. It's always great to see them!

Road Trips:

As I mentioned above, we are currently on the road, heading to Alberta, Canada! Send positive thoughts to all those fighting the wildfires (and for smoke-free skies).


  1. I have Maame on my list for this month so I am glad to hear you enjoyed it so much.

    What a wonderful month you had and a multi-week trip to Canada sounds fantastic.

    1. Helen, I'm still thinking about Maame. We're currently on our way to Canada! Can't wait to see the mountains and lakes!

  2. I'm a huge fan of Tom Hanks, as well, Vicki. Aren't those flowers beautiful?! The arrangement (in the last photo) was done by a good friend of mine. She created several stunning bouquets for my mom's 90th birthday party.

  3. Crossing my fingers for smoke-free skies! But it's been crazy hot with no rain sigh. It's been so windy every day. Love the pictures -- all good. Your Mom is a trooper. Wonderful to see. Happy travels!

    1. Susan, we are having beautiful weather, with sunny clear skies down here in Waterton. We even had a little bit of rain last night. Glad you enjoyed the photos in this post. Talk to you soon!

  4. What wonderful photos celebrating your mom's 90th birthday! She looks fabulous. Sending you good vibes for good weather on your travels. I always love hearing about what you guys are watching too as we really enjoy crime dramas. I'm excited about the upcoming True Detective series with Jodie Foster.

    1. Thanks, Iliana. We had so much fun with my mom's birthday celebrations. She does look wonderful for 90, doesn't she? Ooh, I haven't heard about True Detective. I'll have to make a note of it for our return in July. Thanks!

  5. Laurel5:57 PM

    What a wonderful celebration for your wonderful mother! She looks at least 20 years younger. And she looks happy, which is even more important. Have a fabulous trip to Canada! ❤️

    1. Laurel, I agree! She certainly doesn't look 90!

      The trip to Canada (already wrapping up the first two weeks - wah!) is going splendidly!


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