Archive for May 2014

Saturday Night at the Movies

May 29, 2014

Saturday night is movie night in our house. This past weekend we watched “Gravity.” It was my husband’s choice. He likes adventure and drama. I like comedy and romance. We respect each other’s choices and are happy to share time together.

“Gravity” didn’t pull me in as I expected. The two main characters, played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, are fixing the Hubble Telescope when a cloud of space debris from a Russian satellite hits their space shuttle, sending Sandra Bullock’s character floating off into space and destroying the shuttle. A series of unfortunate events follows.

At the conclusion of the movie, I was happy Sandra Bullock’s character survived. Holy Moly! After almost being lost in space, having your fellow crew members die, being caught in a fire, jolted and bashed by space debris, and almost drowning, she should live to tell about it. This movie has many excellent qualities such as the background music and the visual effects, but I guess I didn’t appreciate it enough to be a big fan. The idea of being lost in space or confined to a small area gives me the heebie-jeebies. In the end, I had lots of unanswered questions. I felt like I was left floating in space like George Clooney’s character. Did anyone ever hear any of the Mayday distress calls? When the capsule reentered the earth’s atmosphere, did anyone see or detect it? When Sandra Bullock managed to reach the sandy beach, was it inhabited by humans, or was it an uninhabited island like in the movie “Castaway” with Tom Hanks? Will someone finally rescue Sandra Bullock’s character, or will she go from astronaut to castaway? That might make a great sequel!

Sometimes a good book trumps a good movie!


We Are Family

May 22, 2014

This past weekend there was little time for reading or writing. My niece and her fiancé got married. When my brother, sisters, life-long friends, and extended family come together to celebrate a wedding, we cheer! It’s not often we are all in the same place at the same time, but a wedding celebration seems to pull us together. “We Are Family” is the perfect song for those of us whose families are spread across the United States.

What added to the ambiance of the wedding weekend was the fact that it was in Florida. After surviving a long Wisconsin winter, I was ecstatic to celebrate love in a warm, inviting place. To bask in the sunshine and dip my toes into a pool of water that was not frozen was a delight.

The Beach

The Beach

There were a few hiccups along the way to our destination. Our on-time flight was not. After being delayed for two hours, we boarded only to find out that the truck fueling the airplane didn’t have enough fuel. When that was taken care of, the Captain announced there was a mechanical problem that would easily be fixed. It was not. We deplaned, were directed to a new gate, and boarded another plane. We arrived at our destination the same time a fierce thunderstorm arrived. We headed our rental car to the beach where we were supposed to meet family for a “hey-it’s-great-to-see- you” dinner. We were late. We needed food. We needed drink. The torrential rain made driving slow and hazardous, and taking a wrong turn didn’t make for pleasant car conversation. When we finally did arrive, everyone had finished eating. My very efficient sister had ordered a meal for us that was ready just as we sat down. Good company turned an exhausting day into an enjoyable evening.

We had exceptional weather the rest of the weekend. There were a few other mishaps, but despite everything, the wedding day was perfect. The happiness radiating from the bride and groom was unmistakable. With family, friends, good food, great music, and dancing, I realize life is good!

“We Are Family”– let it play again and again.



Epping Forest Yacht Club

Epping Forest Yacht Club

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

May 15, 2014

It’s that time of year when I begin to inventory the books in the library. Some days it takes me longer than others – especially when I discover an interesting book I had forgotten was on our shelves. That’s when inventory stops, and I take a little break to enjoy what I’ve missed. Where in the Wild? is one of those books. It’s a perfect read for anyone at anytime.


This book is written by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy and the amazing photographs are by Dwight Kuhn. Schwartz and Schy, who are husband and wife, teamed together to craft a book about camouflaged creatures. Various forms of poetry pose a challenge for readers as they try to discover what creatures are hidden in Kuhn’s pictures. On a separate page, additional information about that animal is included. What makes this book so appealing, besides the clever poems and fascinating facts, are Kuhn’s captivating photographs of the camouflaged creatures. After carefully searching for the hidden creature, the reader can lift the gatefold to reveal its whereabouts. I found this award-winning book  delightful, and I think young readers will, too!

If you like this book, there are two companion books by the same team:

Where Else in the Wild?

What in the Wild?


Feet, Tails, and Fun

May 8, 2014

Laura Hullbert came up with a clever idea to capture the interest of young children. Who Has These Feet? and Who Has This Tail? are two nonfiction picture books written by Laura and illustrated by Erik Brooks. The text is uncomplicated, and the pictures are colorful and inviting. In each book the reader sees a pair of feet or a tail with the question: Who has these feet? or Who has this tail? Enthusiasm abounds as children try to guess the answers. A page turn reveals the owner of the feet or tail and a simple fact about the animal. A gatefold is included at the end of each book, which provides another look at the animals and prompts more discussion.



These books are perfect picks for school or home.



May 1, 2014

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.”      – Edwin Way Teale


It’s the lusty month of May, or so it’s been said or sung. May first is May Day, Loyalty Day, Mother Goose Day, Save the Rhino Day, Hawaiian Lei Day, Space Day, Law Day, Amtrak Day, and that’s just the beginning of a long list of special days in May. One would think with all this fodder I would be able to write a fantastic post for today. Alas, I cannot.

May is a polite word. Therefore, I think it is appropriate for me to write a polite explanation for this brief post.

To whom it may concern:

May I politely say that try as I may, my brain cannot conjure up a brilliant blog for this first day of May. Today I will let the chips fall where they may and hope my steadfast readers can forgive me for having such a devil-may-care attitude. Be that as it may, you may be sure that I may live to write another day, and next Thursday’s post will be up to par once again.

May the Force be with you,

C.S. Ogren

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