Monday, August 31, 2009


The Semi-Annual Used Book Sale is only a few weeks away. We'll start Friends Night on September 23!

But those of you who have worked the sale before know the work starts before then! If you are one of our loyal volunteers, expect to hear from Charly soon to line
up when you can work. If you have experience and don't hear from her, please give her a call at the library. (703-689-2700).

If you've never worked a sale and are interested and are physically
strong and healthy enough to contribute, we'd love to have you join our team. We have fun, we get great food, and we make a huge difference in our community!

We've talked to other Friends groups in the county and they marvel at our ability to recruit and retain so many volunteers of great ability. We know it isn't just the food -- there must be some other reason you volunteer with us. Tell us or by commenting here! And in the meantime, THANK YOU!

photos by Darlene


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

Each week, a few of the Reston Friends play Wordzzle. A kind blogger who goes by Raven gives us words, and we do the rest! If you'd like to play along, go here for the instructions. If you'd like to play with the Reston Friends, send your submission to us here. If you'd like to play from your own blog, just participate and link to Raven's site through the Mr. Linky.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were:records, impulsive, really cool, bread crumbs, angels, Sponge Bob, magical moment, back and forth, suffering, good fences make good neighbors For the mini challenge: side effects are generally mild, clingy, rooster, samples, curiosity.

Kit and Charly have once again graced us with their creativity and the blogger adds another installment of the story of Dr. Hill and Laila.

Kit starts with the following comment:

I have to really give the dragons was all I could do to do 10 words and yet they manage the 15..duh..think I'll go back to my 5...have a great week..

It was a magical moment,
my impulsive - nature brought..
For I heard - the angels sing,
and, it was really cool - I thought..
Was my mind - playing tricks?,
or, did I hear - what I thought I heard..
The beauty of - celestial music.
came forth - without a spoken word.
But the impression - that I had,
was that man's - records of life..
Would often have moments - that,
flow back and forth - with joy and strife..
And, as ole Sponge Bob - might say,
there'll be suffering - once in a while..
Yet, you can grin - and bear it,
by giving the world - a smile.
For smiles are like - bread crumbs,
tossed - to birds upon the street..
They too, can be scattered - during your day,
to each person - you pass or greet..
And, like - good fences make good neighbors,
those smiles - coming from within,
Will still be seen lingering - as you sleep..
because you shared your joy - this day my friend.

Charly gives us another one straight from country upbringing:

The screen door slammed with a bang and breathless 5 year old Billy said, "that dang ROOSTER" almost got me. As his mother gave him a little squeeze, she reminded him that she had warned him that his CURIOSITY could land him in trouble. He wasn't suppose to be messing around the hen house. SIDE EFFECTS ARE GENERALLY MILD if you get pecked but it can make you become CLINGY to mom if it happens often. Billy explained that he was only wanting to collect SAMPLES of eggs to compare sizes. Dad sitting in his favorite chair, looked up from the book he was reading and smiled. Mom bent down and whispered in his ear. With a cocky little smile, Billy goes outside and standing on the porch, looks at the villain from afar and yells, 'just you wait' you old bird... You're gonna be gumbo tomorrow!!!


Dr. Hill was in a quandary. Laila’s IMPULSIVE decision to skip school had created more drama than he wanted to deal with. As a man who had been a boy impatient with formalized education, he was sympathetic to her frustration. But he was acting as her parent now and knew that even if she was SUFFERING boredom, she needed the RECORDS to show that she was in school. The little girl sat on a hassock in the living room, her tear-stained face a mask of misery.

Hill sat down on the sofa near her. “Laila,” he began softly. “I’m not angry at you for skipping school. I’m just grateful that your guardian ANGELS were watching over you as you went BACK AND FORTH between the Cajun cooking school and home each day. And you did learn some really great recipes. All that’s left of your paella from yesterday evening is BREAD CRUMBS! But you need to be in a school with children your own age.”

Laila fiercely pushed back her tears, gulped, and said, “they think things like Transformers and SPONGE BOB are REALLY COOL! They’re such . . . such . . . children!” she finished with indictment in her voice.

“Well, yes,” agreed Hill. “They are children. I know that much of what you have experienced has matured you, and you’re not the average child your age. But you are also a child. And as the person who loves you and takes care of you, I need to be able to go to the university to work and trust that you are in a safe place with people who will look out for you.”

The little girl just looked at him plaintively, tears welling up and spilling over. Hill stood up and walked over to the patio door. Like most Spanish residences, there was a wall around this one – high enough that no one could see in or out. If GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS, this should be the most neighborly city in Spain! He thought. But an 8 year old child was running around on her own and no one told me! His heart clutched at the thought of the many things that could have happened to her Laila. He suddenly felt very inadequate as a parent.

Turning to go back and continue the conversation Hill paused when he saw Laila, the phrase on his lips dying. She was looking at the small photo album that held images of her parents and her home in Iran. He could see her lips moving silently. He didn’t know if she was praying or having a conversation with them. The big man approached cautiously, not wanting to interrupt this MAGICAL MOMENT.

Laila looked up, put the album down, and held her arms up to him. Hill swept her up in a big embrace, wishing her could protect her from everything outside his arms. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I’ll try harder to be a little girl.” “I’m sorry too,” he responded gruffly. “I won’t make you go back until next week, and we’ll spend the time together trying to find an alternative that works for both of us.” They snuggled together for a few minutes, enjoying the warmth of human contact.

The door buzzer rang surprising them both. Hill put Laila down and crossed the living room to the entry. As he opened the door his face broke into a big smile, slightly goofy, but very happy.

“Louisa!” shouted Laila, and launched across the room. “You got my telegram!”

Sure enough, Louisa stood there looking as bright and fresh as a daisy. “I’ve come to be a tutor to a little girl who needs one!” she announced.

Hill just stood there with his mouth open. He should have known that Laila would have the whole thing under control. She was a remarkable kid. But some part of him felt a little bit managed. Louisa saw that discomfort and gave him a blazing smile. He shrugged his shoulders, and borrowing a phrase from Laila said, “welcome! This is REALLY COOL!”


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Birds and Jobs

We live with a bird. This small parakeet is full of personality and curiousity. And within the limits of her tiny brain, she is very smart. For example, she knows exactly when you're about to shoot the best bird picture EVER and in a nanosecond has turned her back on you. So we have many photos of green and yellow back feathers. So I think this book, The Art of Bird Photography, would be a great one for our household! Of course, it's more for folks out in the wild who are trying to shoot photos of LOTS of birds. It's on our Amazon site, RestonFriends1, for $65.

If there is one book that should be selling well right now, it's this one. Complete Job-Search Handbook: Third Edition -- Everything You Need to Know to Get the Job You Really Want. It's $12.50 at RestonFriends1.

Check out these and other great books at RestonFriends1, the storefront for Friends of Reston Regional Library. If you're a current local member and see something you're interested in, e-mail us and if it's available, you can purchase it postage-free!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friends on Amazon

Our Amazon storefront sales site is back up again and there are over 750 titles for you to choose from!

First up is Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Server 2008 in 24 Hours by Joe Habraken. It's a paperback and the only review there says it does exactly what the title says it does. Our paperback copy is only $19.75 (it retails at $39.99). It appears to be brand new -- never read.

Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear The Clutter, Find Your Life is a pep talk and practial application designed to help you get control back over your life, your environment and your thoughts. Gail Blanke professes to be a "life coach" and the reviews of the book
says she is a good one. If you struggle with what to keep and what to eject, you might want to try this book. Our copy is a hardback selling for $10.50.

If you are interested in either of these books -- or the over 750 more that are waiting at the site, click here to reach RestonFriends1. If you are a local current Friends member, we'll help you get the book without having to pay postage!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Wonderful Children's Sale

Our inaugural Children's and Young Adults Sale was a success! Many people came on Saturday to scoop up the books that ranged from toddler board books to classics. There were parents, teachers, grandparents, and lots and lots of kids. As sale organizers, we have some ideas about what worked well and what needs tweaking. But we're interested in your ideas too.

  1. What did you like?
  2. What did you dislike?
  3. What did you think worked particularly well?
  4. What would you change to make things work better?

One thing to note -- we didn't have as long a collecting period for this inaugural C/YA sale. The next one will have many more books to choose from, so if you didn't find what you were looking for (especially if you came on Sunday), don't lose hope. This was an experiment. Each time we hold it (twice a year) we will refine the process.

In the meantime, enjoy these great photos by Darlene.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mark Your Calendar

With the very successful Children's and Young Adults sale behind us, you need to circle your calendars for the upcoming HUGE

Semi-Annual Used Book Sale

Friends Night, Wednesday September 23, 5:00-7:30 pm
(memberships available for purchase)

General Public:
Thursday September 24, 10-4
Friday September 25, 10-4
Saturday September 26, 10-4
Sunday September 27, 1-3:30

  • Something for everyone:
    • Fiction (Paper and Hardback)
    • Cookbooks, Hobbies, Self-Help
    • Sports, Mystery, Science Fiction
    • History, Computers, Business
    • Poetry & Literature, Humor and MORE!
  • Prices range from .50 for rack paperbacks to $1.50 for hardbacks in like-new condition. Higher prices may apply for exceptional or rare books.
  • We restock all day every day of the sale, so shop early and shop often! Some book types sell out sooner than others, so it's better to come sooner than later.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? E-mail us! It's only 1 month away!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

Today's the big day for the first EVER Reston Friends Children's and Young Adults Used Book Sale. We'll open the doors at 10 a.m. today and 1 p.m. tomorrow. We'll restock until we run out of books, buyers, or time! For the guidelines, click here.

Now on to the Wordzzles. Because of the sale, Charly didn't get a chance to do one this week, and the blogger's is very short. But Kit is on target as usual and we FINALLY got another person playing! So thank you Kit and welcome A.K.H. (She's a little late on last week's but I thought I'd extend grace)!

So what is Wordzzle? Raven gives us 10 words (challenge), 5 words (mini), or you can use all 15 for a maxi. Our challenge is to use them in a somewhat coherent fashion to form a short story or paragraph.

The words for this week's ten word challenge: blind panic, apartment, fleas, soap operas, cajun cooking, free and easy, legal, sangria, public school, new. For the mini: class, calendar, keeping secrets, boring, fashion


In her own - delightful fashion,

an angelic smile - was seen..

It was a case of - keeping secrets,

that gave her eyes - a gleam..

For she knew she - was to impart,

inspired messages - to the human mind..

To assist all souls - who walk the earth,

in fulfilling their destiny - when it's their time.

Her thoughts to you - are often found,

as a whisper - upon a breeze..

Or perhaps in - a Spiritual class,

as you learn - it's your soulself, that you must please..

And, never will - you find this boring,

these teachings - that you hear..

As you'll feel - your Angel's presence,

for she's always - standing near.

So, mark your calendar - of life,

with days to - fulfill each dream..

May each and every - living moment,

be the essence of - life's theme..

The theme of wonder - and aspirations,

to become all - that' you're meant to be..

And lucky you - when you hear her say,

your soul - is now set free.


The blogger's:

To preface this: I think my stories are getting way too long and the dragons agree, so when I looked at the words this week I was inspired to cram them all into one paragraph. How the heck I’m going to continue the story line after that is . . . well, that’s the fun of the Wordzzle.

This week Dr. Hill is in a blind panic. He’s found fleas in the apartment he rented for them in Spain where he’s the fall calendar guest lecturer on archeology at University of Granada. (Perhaps he’s running away from Louisa?) The panic causes him to drink sangria at a free and easy pace while he watches soap operas in Spanish in order to brush up on the language. Laila finds her new public school boring and has discovered a slightly less than legal Cajun cooking school that she attends instead of the class she is supposed to be in. But she’s good at keeping secrets, and it’s all the fashion to cook Cajun, so she persists. She found the cooking school by following the dragons’ advice about eating spicy things to make you more ferocious. It apparently keeps the fleas at bay as well.



I'm a believer in keeping kids out of trouble, so I regularly go to the flea market they have Saturdays at the old barn down the road from us and look through some other generation'sheirlooms for charming toys, not-too-sharp but old-fashioned tools, and funky old clothes. Things like that. The staff is composed of volunteers from the town's historical society. They have great stories to tell about some of the items but the kids aren't all that interested in the shopping part and they prefer surprises, so they stay home with their mom. She's very tolerant of all this but just doesn't get as excited as the rest of us. Someone in this family got the calm gene. It was clearly recessive. Anyway, when I get home, usually relaxed from the fresh air on the walk, I clean up my finds and put them into these trunks we keep up in the attic. When the kids get rowdy we send them up there with a purpose and they'll hunt through the detritus to create their own, themed entertainment.

I'll say stuff like, "Josh, chill already! Go upstairs with your sister and put on a play. There's a new bonnet in the attic I think you'll both get a kick out of." The bonnet I had in mind was an old ratty velvety thing with big long ostrich feathers and bows everywhere. I found it the winter before last. You'd think some old, stuffy lady wore it to the opera - except that carefully centered on every bloody bow was a campaign button for the local dogcatcher. Some of them had pictures of the guy holding cute little dogs. Lots of them had hearts drawn on with silver ink. So maybe some old, batty lady wore it to her son's campaign to become dogcatcher. My daughter Josie loooves dogs and Josh would get a laugh out of its absurdity, so I bought it. Thirteen bucks. Worth every penny - it's been a hat, a basket, a mask, a hunchback's hump, and a disco ball. Not so old now. Jess does like that part - the performances.

One time last autumn I found a pristine Lone Ranger lunch box from the '50s and hadn't even opened it up to look inside when some greedy antique dealer snatched it OUT OF MY HAND and ran it off to the payment desk. Ugh. Hate those pushy types. I was flabbergasted but itwasn't like I had a personal stake in the matter - I don't collect lunch boxes or anything; I just thought it was a fun show - so I shrugged and let the box go. For my own amusement I stomped home (as if a thwarted villain) through the falling leaves muttering, "Who was that masked man?" I hoped it turned out to be full of dried-up snot. Or government documents marked CLASSIFIED - DIRECTOR - EYES ONLY with sections blacked out and it would freak the dealer out but would turn out - upon closer inspection and after frantic, sweaty, palpitating moments - to be a pile of mimeographed charts from some textbook interspersed with pages of amateur radio call-signs. Classic grade-school-maturity disinformation campaign. I'd feel vindicated. So at lunch that day I told Josh & Josie the classified bit as if it had really happened. Had them hook, line, and sinker for a good long while before I laughed and told them I'd made that last part up. Got hit with a few pillows, but they repeated the story to their friends. I've found some suspiciously phony papers in the attic since then.

My current favorite find, which the kids also love, is this '70s yearbook I found this spring. All hippies, every page, I swear. Peace signs and tie-dye shirts; the whole bit. Even on the teachers. We like flipping through to read the weird signatures and captions and to guess at what the heck was going through the administration's mind when they had it printed. Josh now wants to tie-dye everything he owns. We've indulged him here but his dress shirts are off-limits until AFTER he has worn them for an actual event. Never thought I'd have to say that out loud, but I did. Josie loves the long hair on the guys and uses the pictures of long-haired male teachers in the book to remind me that I could grow mine out some more. And more. And more. She wishes, but I'm nice about it. I'll pull one of my curls as straight as it will go and tell her, "OK - it's longer!" She likes that. I was a little kid in the '70s, so the whole hippie bit is pretty alien to me as well. The page of Senior Superlatives has categories like "Hairiest Chest/Legs" (yes, the legs winner was a girl), "Longest Trip" (from the photo, this wasn't exactly referring to road trips) and "Grooviest Van" (we do have a minivan with some crumpled wrappers, like the winner, but ours doesn't have shag carpet and lava lamps and beaded curtains and even the kids don't ask me to add these). One particularly memorable picture shows a group of half-naked, muddy kids doing some kind of rock worship deep in the forest. They were kneeling with their heads down in a circle around this one big rock; their hands were on each others' bare shoulders and bare backs; their butts were up in the air. Maybe they were looking for teeny-tiny 'shrooms. I hope they found some, because they don't look very comfortable in that position. The caption wasn't very helpful - "Junior class field trip to Albertson farm." Probably the yearbook editors goofed up or were goofed out when they put this page together. Could be "field trip" was code back then for 'shrooming, and Albertson was some specific drug. Or they could have been performing "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Dunno. So for this, like everything else I bring home, we make up stories.

Have to finish up today's shopping quickly. It's hot as all get-out today and is only going to get worse. More importantly, I have to hurry home because today is my wife's birthday and the kids are making lunch for all of us. Jess doesn't know it yet - I think - but I've been buying antiquey things for her too. I have a special trunk in the back corner of my workroom. Those old ladies may have been batty but they did a mean trade in silk and lace underwhatevers, and there are a few I can't wait to see on my Jessie. Not right away, of course. I have a nice pair of 14K earrings (also from my favorite shopping site) to give her at lunchtime, in front of the kids. But hopefully tonight Jess and I will make up our own stories with what's in her trunk, and maybe she'll get excited enough to make a few trips to the flea market herself - for my birthday.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Tomorrow's the Day!

These are some of the treasures awaiting you at the Friends of Reston Regional Library Inaugural Children's and Young Adult Used Book Sale! We start tomorrow (Saturday) morning the 22nd of August at 10 a.m. and will open again on Sunday at 1.

We have all kinds of childrens and young adult books and a good selection of teacher materials as well. Everything is reasonably priced and we'll do our best to get you through the cashier line as quickly as possible!

These four books are over-sized comic style books in Disney-esque style (My expert tells me they are not actually Disney but reminds you that we do have LOTS of Disney stuff for sale this weekend). These are quite old. The photos do not do them justice because they are in protective plastic -- but you can come see them and purchase them right away. You do NOT have to wait until tomorrow for these! Just e-mail us at

Three Little Pigs $9
Three Bears $9
Little Red Riding Hood $5
Peter Rabbit $5

Some last minute details about the sale.

  • We will restock all day both days -- it won't be all picked over in the first hour!
  • We also have CD's and DVD's -- but we no longer accept VHS or cassettes, so if there are any left, this should be the last time they're offered.
  • 40 means 40 units -- books, cd's, etc.
See you there!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Treasures in the Midst

Just like in our Semi-Annual Used Book Sales, we will also have treasures for sale that have been gleaned from donations. Some are old collectibles, some are newer but very cool, and some are sets. Many will be displayed in our case by the front door -- and if you see something there you want to purchase you do not have to wait until Saturday! You can buy it right away!
Here are a few of the items available!

The Winnie the Pooh books are 16 volumes of life lessons presented
in a fun manner. You can buy all 16 together for $20. They are in beautiful condition.

The Edwardian Doll House pop-up is amazing. We didn't want to push it open too far for the photo, but you can see here it is a feast for the eyes! It's only $5!

Do you remember Fraggle Rock? Share it with your children through these fun stories. There are 14 of them, sold as a set for $30.

And finally, Dave Barry's Peter and the Shadow Thieves is available here in a special two-book set. One is a hardback first edition signed by both authors. The other, a paperback, is an uncorrected advance proof. These are in excellent condition, suitable for gift-giving. The two are only $10!

Come see us for more exquisite deals!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Update - Childrens Sale

Late Breaking News ---

In response to what seems to be potentially overwhelming response to the idea of a Children’s and Young Adults sale this weekend, we want to be perfectly clear to everyone so that NO ONE is disappointed!

Doing this separate sale is an EXPERIMENT! We make no claim that the children's inventory quantity is bigger than normal, only that it's separated out for everyone's shopping safety. As such, this is a MINI SALE – do not expect a typical semi-annual sale quantity but within this genre only.

And, because the quantities are large, but limited, in order to be fair, we will use the same limitation we have used for years for children’s books.

There will be a limit of 40 books per FAMILY for the first FOUR hours of the sale on Saturday. If you are purchasing for a day care that doesn't mean 40 per family you serve -- it's 40 for your business until 2 p.m. Same with teachers, homeschoolers, literacy programs, etc. We're all in this together and trying to be fair to everyone. Mr. Greedy is not welcome here!

All that said there are approximately 4000 volumes awaiting your perusal and purchase! So come have some fun being selective and polite to one another. See you at 10 on Saturday!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Calling All Educators!

Educators, Moms, Dads . . . you don't want to miss this sale! THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY at the Reston Regional Library, a sale set up just for you!

In response to many requests, we are separating out our Childrens, Young Adult, and Teaching Materials for a sale separate from the Semi-Annual Used Book Sale. These materials will NOT be available at the regular Semi-Annual Used Book Sale in September, so if you're looking for books for your classroom, come THIS WEEKEND to Reston Regional Library!

August 22nd (Saturday), 10-4
August 23rd (Sunday), 1-4

Meeting Room 2
Reston Regional Library
11925 Bowman Towne Dr.



Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

If you've never played Wordzzle with us, you need to try! Raven gives us words -- a choice to use 10 (challenge), 5 (mini) or all 15 (maxi). You use them in a paragraph or really short story. Then publish them on your blog and link to Raven. If you don't have a blog, send them to and we'll publish them for you. It is THAT simple! Get those creative juices flowing!

The words this week:

For the challenge: superlative, flea market, falling leaves, disinformation, who was that masked man?, keeping kids out of trouble, I'm a believer, bonnet in the attic, staff, generation

For the mini: deep in the forest, government, charming, heirlooms, flabbergasted


As the hours silently passed from night to dawn, the GOVERNMENT agent wonders if all is well. His contact had not shown up at the designated time. His mind started playing tricks going in all directions as to what might have gone wrong. He had to keep his mind clear; after all they were trained for this work and there could be many reasons why his agent friend had been delayed. He was DEEP IN THE FOREST awaiting the CHARMING Abigail. She was to deliver the HEIRLOOM necklace to him. He was FLABBERGASTED when the head of the agency mentioned that Abigail had spied the missing item on one of the models at the Star Awards dinner in Aspen. Abigail was to check into the Forest Edge Hotel where the models and crew were staying. Somehow while the models were away on a night shoot, she was to enter the model's room and retrieve the missing necklace getting it to Andrew. As sunrise peeped through the aspens surrounding him, he heard the sound of an animal fast approaching his waiting place. Should he run? Should he hide deeper into the woods? No, he would remain as he was with pistol drawn awaiting the unknown. Imagine his relief when he saw Abigail riding astride her. She explained that she had to 'leave' the models' room quicker than originally planned as the model returned sooner than expected. The only way out was the window; a 5th floor window no less. The window escape had not been in her plans...she had to fight a height phobia and wait until the night grew lighter so she could nervously work her way off the ledge. The night's work was completed and another mission accomplished.


The wise old owl - looked down from his perch,
then - into the night he flew..
Deep in the forest - landing in another tree,
where he could see - with a better view..
With piercing eyes - in this charming setting,
he spied confusion - and flashing lights..
He saw flabbergasted government agents - standing,
with hands resting ready - if they had to fight.
The agents saw - the robbers coming forward,
with hands held high - in the air..
Swiftly, the thieves said - 'here are the heirlooms,
you take them - for we don't care'..
We heard there's a curse - that's connected to them,
one of the robbers - with a shaky voice said..
We'd rather take our chances - with you,
than with the 'curse' - snakes wrapping around our head.
The old owl - swung his head back and forth,
he couldn't believe - what he'd just heard..
Apparently mankind - repeats what they hear,
and to him - that seemed absurd..
And now, old father owl says - as you go through life,
be careful of tales - that you pass along..
For one doesn't always know - what's true or false,
By keeping rumors to self - you'll never go wrong.


The tall good-looking man strode across the parking lot where eddies of the wind were pushing multi-colored leaves around. The crisp autumn air was vibrant with the expectation of Halloween pranks later that night. He pulled open the door to the youth center but winced as he viewed the scene. Most of the kids were playing a variety of games together on the basketball court. A few were over in a corner comparing some kind of drawings. One little girl sat alone by herself at the side of the gym. He immediately turned to the first youth center STAFF member close by. “Listen, ah. . . “ he began. The girl answered, “Tiffany. My name is Tiffany.” “Tiffany,” he began again. “I’M A BELIEVER in KEEPING KIDS OUT OF TROUBLE, but it looks as if Laila is all by herself every day. What does she do to merit that kind of separation?”

Tiffany’s face wrinkled in confusion. “She’s not in any kind of trouble Dr. Hill. She just doesn’t want to join in with the other kids so we don’t make her.”

All of a sudden the man felt a jolt against his body and looked down to see a great big smile underneath huge brown eyes. “You came! I was using my SUPERLATIVE powers of extra stinsonry perception to summon you!” He smiled, “that’s extra sensory perception Laila, and I get out of class every day at this time.” He added, “but I’m very happy to see you too.” He turned back to continue addressing the issue with Tiffany but she had already turned away to deal with another parent. Hill sighed and signed Laila out of the youth center.

As they exited to the parking lot, he asked, “Laila, you’re not very happy there each day are you?” “I’m not unhappy,” she answered, “but there are many things I need to learn and I don’t learn them being there.” “What do you think you need to learn sweetheart?” he queried.

“Well, things like how the water gets from the rain to our faucet and what makes it clean enough to drink. And how the FALLING LEAVES decide when to fall, and why grown-ups say that China isn’t a FLEA MARKET?” Laila took a breath and began to add to the list. “And why . . .”

“Whoa, let’s back up there. Learning about the water cycle is important, and I can teach you that in about 15 minutes. Or, I can take you to the water plant next week and you can learn from the experts. And if you’d like, we can visit my friend Dr. Zell who is a botanist and he can tell you all about the leaves. And I think you’re hearing people talking about a free market, not a FLEA MARKET, although . . .” he laughed, “flea market might be appropriate considering some of the so-called antiquities get sold to Americans from China!”

“But Laila,” he continued, “when you’re with the kids you’ll learn things I can’t teach you. Like how to get along with other kids in your GENERATION.”

“Oh, them” she said airily. “I don’t need them. You and your friends are my friends. I need to grow up in a hurry so I can continue my parents’ work.”

The tall man knelt down to look her in the eyes. “Honey, don’t be in such a hurry. Take your time to grow up and enjoy the ride. Now, tonight is the Halloween dress up party. Did you decide what you want to be? We can get a costume on the way home.”

“Yes! I want to be a patriot woman. I read about one named Missy Lee. She was the sister of the Lee brothers of Virginia and she wrote letters to her brothers all the time telling them not to forget that women needed freedom in their new country too! They didn’t listen to her but how would I dress like her?” Laila demanded.

“Well, let’s see. We can probably turn one of your way-too-big night gowns into a colonial dress, and I think I have a BONNET IN THE ATTIC from when my sister was growing up. But I think we’ll have to call Louisa to do your hair. Would you like that?” he asked.

“Of course! She is the one who told me about Missy Lee!” the little girl exclaimed.

“I’ll have to ask her where she got that bit of DISINFORMATION,” he smiled. Laila dimpled at him and added, “I also read that when Missy Lee’s husband died she didn’t remarry because she didn’t want to lose her property so instead she and the doctor just lived together.” Hill’s jaw dropped. “I will definitely talk to Louisa about what she’s giving you to read!”

But later that evening Dr. Hill felt he was the king of the world as he stepped through the front door of the Dean’s home with two beautiful ladies on his arms. Louisa had woven Laila’s hair into a beautiful colonial style. She herself was dressed as a very evocative Evangeline. Hill had donned his fall back costume of Torquemada. Crossing with the ladies to the punch bowl in order to get Laila a drink, he heard someone cry out, “WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN?” and turned to see his debating buddy from the political science department approaching. Dressed appropriately enough as a juggler, Lyle Simcox began tossing scarves in the air, much to Laila’s delight. This continued for a few minutes and then Louisa led the little girl off to the backyard where a fairy land of twinkle lights lit the evening.

Once Laila was safely out of earshot Lyle asked, “Have you heard the latest?”

Hill had just stuffed a cream puff in his mouth but indicated a negative by shaking his head, Lyle leaned close and whispered, “coup d’etat underway in Iran. You may be able to go back sooner than you thought.” Hill replied, “I hope so. Laila’s not adjusting well to being a typical American kid. She seems to have no desire to make friends. If she’s determined to grow up as quickly as possible it would be nice to take her back to the dig that means the most to her.”

“Why, Hill! You’re becoming positively fatherly, putting the child first!” teased Lyle.

“What else can I do? She was entrusted to me. And even if she was a brat, which she isn’t, I’d still honor her parents’ wishes. It’s the right thing to do,” he concluded.

Lyle responded, “you’re known for that. That’s why you dressing as Torquemada is such a funny costume. You’re the last of the really nice guys. Well, I’ll keep you posted. My contact at the State Department will let me know as soon as it’s safe to travel back – at least for a dig. But if you get to go back, what will you do about Louisa? She’s smitten, you know.”

Hill grimaced, “yes, I do know. She’d be the perfect research assistant and she’s amazing with Laila and she seems to know when I need a break . . . “

“But what? She’s beautiful and fit and loves to travel and knows more about computers than you’ll live long enough to learn? What’s your problem Hill? Are you just afraid?” Lyle demanded as only a friend can.

“Well, yeah,” Hill answered. “Wouldn’t you be?”


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: blind panic, apartment, fleas, soap operas, cajun cooking, free and easy, legal, sangria, public school, new

Next Week's Mini Challenge words: class, calendar, keeping secrets, boring, fashion

Come play!


Friday, August 14, 2009


These are some questions we’ve received about the Children & Young Adults Sale August 22-23 at Reston Regional Library.

Q: What is "bulk" buying? In the past when I go to other library sales, I have purchased up to $90 worth of children's books. Would that be considered "bulk"? Thank You.

A: Bulk is taking an inordinate number books in one fell swoop thus depriving others of the opportunity to shop as well. Visually it looks like hogging an entire section...

Q: What's scanning?

A: Scanning is using an electronic scanner to read bar codes, which indicates the value of the book on the used book market. Many dealers use them to quickly work through a number of books in order to purchase only those that have a good re-sale value for their business.

Q: I'm wondering if the sale on 8/22 is free admissions or is there a fee? Also, I read the blog site and wondering what type of bags are allowed to be used to hold our books? And is there a limit to how many books each person will be allowed to purchase?

A: Admission to the sale is free. Over the shoulder bags, grocery bags, boxes, are all okay -- just no backpacks. In our past Semi-Annual sales we limited childrens books purchases to 40 books per day per individual. We haven't set a limit at present for this sale, but if we see someone being really greedy, we reserve the right to ask them to limit their purchases. We're hoping we don't have to set an actual limit -- that people will self-regulate.

Keep these great questions coming! E-mail us!


Thursday, August 13, 2009


(Teacher Materials Too)

August 22nd (Saturday), 10-4
August 23rd (Sunday), 1-4

Meeting Room 2
Reston Regional Library
11925 Bowman Towne Dr.

Safety of ALL of our patrons is our first priority, so we have developed the following guidelines:

1. NO SCANNING at this sale.
2. NO strollers or rolling carts in the sales room.
3. NO BACKPACKS of any kind. This includes BABY BACKPACKS (those where the baby is in a frame on your back). We have observed that when a person with a backpack on swings around, other patrons get bludgeoned! You may keep your baby in a front sling of any fashion.
4. We reserve the right to limit BULK buying.
5. No hoarding books.
6. No sitting on floor -- Adults or Children -- again, this is a huge safety concern.

Note: We will NO LONGER offer children's, young adult or teacher specific materials in the regular Semi-Annual Sales.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail us!

We look forward to seeing you on August 22 and 23!