"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Sunday Salon -- A look back at 2023 through my Sunday Salon posts

A favorite photo of 2023. The Everglades National Park. Photo credit: D. Bennett

As I look back on my Sunday Salon posts, 2023 comes back into focus before fading from my memory.

We began 2023 in Eugene, Oregon at a party (with our daughter and my sister and their husbands) and ended the year with family back in Eugene...but with no party.

I had a good laugh remembering the week-long meal we ate in January. We started with one meal of gyros which ended up being the never-ending menu. (January 15th)

In February the clouds parted and I captured this photo of Mt. Rainier from the parking lot of my doctor's office. Every once in a while even we are surprised by the spectacular views we have of the mountain. (February 5th)

We took a trip to Maui in February (months before all hell broke loose there) and had a very magical trip, including a visit to the first of seven National Parks in the year: Haleakala NP. (Hawaii, Feb. 26th)

Mom turned 94 in March so my siblings and I gathered to help her celebrate her birthday. Earlier in the week we visited Olympic National Park with friends from New Jersey. (Mom is 94, Mar. 26th)

The Sunday Salon -- Hope Edition  was one of the most popular of the year. With so much bad news, all of us needed some calming words of hope. I tried to include cartoons to help lighten the mood in most of my Sunday Salon posts. (Hope, April 8th)

Don and I got up at 3 AM in Las Vegas to drive to Death Valley National Park to see sunrise over Dante's Point. We had the viewpoint to ourselves on a cold and windy morning.

We took a big road trip in April and May. This Sunday Salon post is a photo diary highlighting all our stops, which included three more National Parks and a fabulous Nevada State Park, Valley of Fire. We enjoyed a very natureful trip! (Nature, May 13th)

After playing Buildz by the rules we just started playing around with our cameras with the blocks.

I featured our grandkids often in my Sunday posts. In June we spent a lot of time with them playing games, like Buildz, going to the zoo. and just being with them. Don took possession of his F-150 Lightning electric truck. He'd been waiting for it for two years! (Grandkids, June 4th)

Our whole family gathered for a fun vacation in Whistler, BC in July. If you ever have the chance to go there during the summer, go! It is gorgeous and colorful, as you can see from the photo collage of our grandkids! (Whistler, July 9th)

I often used my Sunday Salon posts to share social media snippets that amused me during the week. In July I found a link to the Finnish Hobby Horse Competition. I still think it is hilarious. I also detailed my day with berries. (July 16th)

Merlin Bird ID app: Was it an owl or was it Jamie?

All year I worried about news of some Americans embracing Christian Nationalism and anti-democratic tendencies. Occasionally I used my blog as a platform to inform my readers about what was going on with politics. I'm sure I have pushed some readers away but others have expressed gratitude for my efforts. This summer I also discovered the Merlin Bird ID app and had so much fun identifying birds in my own backyard. (Christian Nationalism, July 29th)

My Barbies (and others)

My most popular Sunday Salon post was the Barbie Edition. My daughters and I went to the Barbie movie and I twirled into a few weeks of Barbie mania. Out came my old Barbie (and others) dolls. Fun. (Barbie, August 26th)

September is the beginning of football season. We have season tickets for all Oregon Ducks home games. We spent many hours driving up and down the freeway for the weekend games...seven trips in all, but one was also for Thanksgiving. One good aspect of the time spent in a vehicle was Don and I listened to many audiobooks together. (Football, Sept. 24)

The travelers with Cotopaxi Volcano in the background. 

In October we took the trip of a lifetime to walk in the steps of my paternal grandfather in Ecuador and Panama with two of my siblings and my sister's husband. The trip was fodder for two different Sunday Salon posts. At the end of our trip abroad, Don and I stopped in Florida and visited two more National Parks, Everglades and Biscayne Bay (Oct. 14th and Dec. 10th)

November was a good time to put together a thankfulness edition. I am thankful for so much in my life, including books! (Thankfulness edition, Nov. 18th)

Sasha, my daughter's cat, waiting for Christmas.

I always find topics to blog about, often not related to books at all. In December I appreciate you, my blogging friends, for sticking with me all through 2023. Happy New Year! (December 23rd)

My last Sunday Salon of the year is also my End-of-the-Year Book Survey! Check it out to find out which books I loved and which ones I didn't love so much!

See you in 2024!


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