Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

If you've been here before, you know the drill. Raven at Views From Raven's Nest provides the words, and the players make short stories or paragraphs with them. Apologies to the dragons -- the blogger's story is a bit long. Ah well... If you'd like to join us, please do!


The silver-tongued bandit - entered a home one night,

only to discover - that he was not alone..

In front of a fireplace - sitting on the carpet,

a girl was eating French fries - relaxed by a phone..

She was apparently reading - from a book of braille,

as her fingers moved swiftly - across the page..

Silently turning, walking quietly - he left the home,

with a heart that was heavy - and filled with self-rage.

His life of crime - now brought feelings of anger,

of how he'd taken - everything in life for granted..

There are no free estimates - for life or sight,

in his mind, new thoughts - were being planted..

He realized in this moment - his life had turned around,

and he felt a feeling - of gratefulness for that..

And all because - he'd seen this blind girl living,

a life of courage - he knew his life was now on track.



Aboard the SLEEK clipper ship, FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, SURFACE TENSION was building among the crew. Heavy rains had waves breaking over the rails and the ship's motion moving BACKWARDS and forwards kept the crew alert. Mother Nature's PLUMBER was not on call to stop the flow of this furious storm causing havoc. The drenched PARROT chained to a mast kept calling out, “there's A CHILL WIND A' BLOWING, drink from the WATERING HOLE, the watering hole”--though it was faint at times due to sounds being drowned out by the wind. The crew's TRIPLETS were ready to release the dang bird because of all the squawking he was doing. As the winds calmed down, and the ship became steady once again, cargo was checked as well as the guns stationed along the rails. Captain Jack received cheers from his crew and all but one young apprentice sought his AUTOGRAPH. The lone apprentice quietly walked up to the captain, took his hand and beaming up at him said, “well done, Father'!” The captain smiling down at his son thought, “your mother would have killed me had I not bought you back safely”...With calmed seas, they were homeward bound.



Danae worked feverishly to record on her laptop the story Miz Trent was telling. She couldn’t capture the dialect, but she tried to be faithful to the words.

“My late husband was a plumber as was his father before him, but long ago, my husband’s people were sea-faring people. For black people there was not much hope for happiness on the land around here, so they went to sea. Life was rough, but there was a certain justice in knowing that everybody was subject to the same kind of punishment if the ship foundered. One of the boys who went to sea was name Reynaud. He was the middle of three brothers who looked so much alike that people thought they were triplets. They all loved to tinker with their hands. One season when they were out Reynaud created a device that stopped the backwards run across the pulleys during storms. They used it on their vessel and the captain was very grateful. One night while Reynaud was on watch he heard the watch called, “A chill wind’s a blowing!” He knew his device would come in handy that evening. As everyone moved around double-checking the rigging, Reynaud removed the crew’s parrot from its perch and took it below. As he returned to the deck he felt an eerie calm around the ship, not anything like a storm. Sailors anxiously observed the surface tension of the swells, unfamiliar with the sensation they were all sharing. Suddenly, a sleek shape began to emerge from the depths on the port side of the ship. It was the biggest right whale any of them had ever seen. They all cheered. If they could kill this one and get it to port they’d all be rich enough to live in watering holes all winter, without having to go back out again. It was Reynaud’s job to shoot the harpoon gun into the perfect place to kill the whale. But just as he was ready to fire, the whale rolled and looked at him. In its eye Reynaud saw an intelligence and gravity beyond anything he’d ever seen before. He felt the reproach and sorrow emanating from the huge creature. He stayed his hand, and didn’t fire. His crewmates went crazy. He was pulled back and thrown away from the gun and another took over and fired. The shot went wild and the whale slipped back beneath the sea.

After beating him severely, they confined Reynaud to the brig and kept him there until the next port. They put him ashore in Boston. He was hurt and hungry when a young Florence Nightingale took him in. Not the real one, you understand, but a young nurse. When he was well enough, she connected him with her father, an eminent lawyer whose autograph appears on the Declaration of Independence. He saw the brilliance of Reynaud’s design and wanted to help him sell it. Reynaud didn’t want to hold the patent himself because he didn’t think he’d be able to enforce it, so he took a large cash payout, enough to buy a farm back home. He asked the young lady to come with him as his wife. She agreed, much to the consternation of her father who feared what kind of life a young white woman and a young black ex-sailor could have together. But the couple persevered and headed south. By the time they arrived here, she was carrying their first child – those are the bones in the closet. But that’s another story and I’m tired.”

“Will you come see me tomorrow?” she asked Danae. The young woman tucked a blanket in around Miz Trent’s legs and said, “Wild horses couldn’t keep me away!”

The words for next week: cute, come with me to the Casba, bloodhound, respiration, Facebook, Canada Geese, modern, gravity, spider webs, sea shells

The mini: curiosity killed the cat, charming Victorian, railroad tracks, tower, salt and pepper

Friday, October 30, 2009

Community Dialogue Continued

Here are the handouts from the Community Dialogue Meeting last Saturday. This link will refresh your memory about it.

The link to the first document is titled FY 2011 Community Dialogues/Budget Development.

This is the link to the back side of that, titled the FCPS Fall 2009 Community Dialogue Meetings; Closing the Budget Gap for FY 2011.

The strategies the working groups were asked to consider were:

Potential Strategies: (Listed in no particular order and based on preliminary data)
1. Distribute reductions equally against all departments in both the County and Schools.
2.Distribute reductions equally against all departments in both the County and Schools but allow for some exceptions that should take a larger or smaller measure of the overall reductions)
3. Eliminate a specific County or Schools program or service. (please specify)
4. Reduce a specific County or Schools program or service. (please specify) For example, reduce the quality (level of service) or quantity (service hours or number of participant slots, etc.) of a specific program or service.

5. Adjust the real estate tax rate:
a. Each 1 cent generates 18 million in revenue for the General Fund.
b. Each 1 cent equates to $41 for the average homeowner.
c. An 11 cent increase would keep the average homeowner's tax bill at slightly less than the 2010 level.
6. Pursue other sources of revenue:
a. Local Vehicle Registration Fee
$25 fee would generate $20 million in revenue
$33 fee would generate $27 million in revenue
b. Fee increases

  • Are there specific programs/services that you would be willing to pay a higher fee? (please specify)
  • Are there specific programs/services that should charge a fee but currently do not? (please specify)

Longer Term Solutions to Explore
7. Meals Tax
a. Not viable for FY 2011 budget consideration
b. Requires a voter referendum and a majority of voters would have to approve
c. Each one percent would generate $20 million in additional revenue up to a maximum of four percent or $80 million

Tell us what you think!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Search for Intelligent Life

On our RestonFriends1 site this morning we have some books and DVD's that say something about the search for intelligent life in our universe and culture.

The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos taps into the human desire to see what's just beyond the next corner or star. It's $16.50.

Saxon Algebra 1 and 1/2 are both on our website - and they won't last long.

And who doesn't want to watch more episodes of the BBC's MI-5 series? Here's a box of DVDs to enjoy in the cold months ahead. It's priced at $15.00

You can get any of these by clicking on the link above. If you are a local, current member, we can get them to you sans postage. Just e-mail us!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Budget Me This

Several of the Board members of Friends of the Reston Regional Library attended and participated in the Community Dialogue on Budget for FY2011 that was held at the library last Saturday, October 24. After presentations by the County Budget office and the Schools counterpart, we broke into smallish groups to work out what each group believed the priorities should/ought to be. A shout out to Hunter Mill FCPL Board Trustee Stephanie Abbott, who attended and represented library interests in one of the small groups. Other Friends board members and friends who were there: Rik, Charly, Pam, Jen, Kelley, Mike S and Lindy. Our branch manager, Andrew Pendergrass, also stayed in the room and participated in one of the small groups.

Many of the people attending were anxious parents who had heard that the Language immersion programs are on the table for cutting back. The representative from the Schools budget office confirmed that everything is on the table right now, which is why these meetings are so important.

One handout was a pie chart that showed the percentages of funds allocated last year to various parts of the county budget.

Library/Parks/Recreation are all one category. The total they shared was 2.2% -- remember, that's SHARED, not each.

To provide contrast:

53.8% Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)
13.0% Public Safety
10.5% Health & Welfare

The back of that handout had an overview from FCPS. Some highlighted statistics:

73.8% of FCPS funding comes from Fairfax County
19% of FCPS funding comes from the State
The FY2009 cost per pupil was $13,340. In FY 2010 this was cut to $12,898.

In the small groups, we were asked to answer two questions.
1. Based on your experience, which FY 2010 budget decisions were a) most acceptable and b) least acceptable?
2. Budgeting requires a balance of priorities based on what community members value about Fairfax County. Considering what you heard as part of your group's discussion in question 1, discuss strategies, and, as a group, recommend a framework and rationale for balancing the FY2011 budget that addresses group priorities.

Some strategies were also suggested on the page. More on that another day.

Our question to you is: what impact did you see/feel/experience as a result of FY2010's budget cutbacks? In the schools? Libraries? Parks? Recreation? Public Safety? Judicial Administration? Other? Comment here or e-mail us via the link.

Talk to us! If you would like a copy of the handouts e-mailed to you in a PDF, please use the talk to us link to ask for them.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ruby Tuesday for the Friends

The Friends of Reston Regional Library are participating in the Ruby Tuesday meme, featuring works by our FABULOUS and FAITHFUL photographer, Darlene S.

Here's this week's submission. If you want to see more Ruby Tuesday posts, from around the world, go visit Work of the Poet.

Scenes from our August Childrens/Young Adult Sale. This was our inaugural event -- the first time we tried splitting out these materials from the huge semi-annual sale. It was a great success and we've decided to do it this way in the future. Approximately one month before the semi-annual sale, we'll do the Childrens/Young Adult mini-sale. Watch for dates in the spring!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday!

Wordzzle is a game hosted by Raven at Views from Raven’s Nest. She gives us 15 words and the goal is to use them in a paragraph, or very short story. You can use 5 for the mini, 10 for the challenge or 15 for the mega. It’s fun and gets the gray cells working, so join us for a try!

The blogger believes that “hoisted on her own petard” describes her effort this week. Since she provided these words, she can’t moan about how difficult they are. She just hopes that fellow players are full of forgiveness today! Especially Kit and Charly, who both managed to do something productive with them!


Life is like - an origami art form,

when enfoldment - in souls begin..

The individual path - we often follow,

may lead to - what others, call 'sin'..

I like to think however - it's only a matter,

of how we reacted - to a played-out theme..

For on this stage called life - with each step,

we're always searching - for the perfect dream.

Yet, like the dung beetle - feeds on waste,

we many times feed - on un-pure thoughts..

And then, instead - of joy and laughter,

there are tears - our actions have brought..

If we could become - as the cheerleader.

perfecting routines - that they must learn..

By changing our ways - to an abstemious lifestyle,

life is enhanced - like chlorophyll enhances the fern.


Streetlights casting a glow on wet pavement, presented an eerie feeling along the street in the wee hours of dawn. Drops of rain falling from trees with limbs spreading across the road, were hitting parked vehicles as if ROLLING OFF A LOG. Reporters and late-night wanderers were among the curious as they watched the cleanup. Having used the foam process, the HAZ-MAT crew, hauling hoses about for several hours, was almost completed with the task of cleaning up the remains of this toxic spill. On responding to this call they had discovered several of the CUSTOMIZE suits had been PERFORATED and they had to be replaced before tackling the mission. They were INCENSED for the lost of time and knew the captain was having a CONNIPTION fit knowing full well his old CONNIVING nemesis, who used the code name SIDEWINDER, was responsible for the delay. On several occasions, he had received BOGUS calls from this unknown figure. With ZEAL, the captain lived for the day he would be caught; unfortunately, a mystery yet to be solved. With the exception of the noise of hoses being drawn back into the truck, the sound of silence prevailed. Reporters have gone to prepare tomorrow's headlines, spectators have continued their journey to somewhere, and the crew showing signs of weariness packed up to head home. How quiet....blessed silence....suddenly there's a yell...Cut! - It’s a wrap..The silence becomes chatter as the actors exit the studio into shadows cast by the late afternoon sun.

Blogger: (To see the prior installment, click here)

Danae waited anxiously for the ambulance crew to finish with Miz Trent. When they came out of the house she asked, “Is she okay?” The crew chief answered in the affirmative. She was about to offer some of the croissants to the ambulance crew when the police captain stepped back over and neatly confiscated them. The EMT’s rolled their eyes at his zeal and got back into their vehicle. “That was rude,” commented Danae. The captain answered, “you told me you brought them for us…I just don’t want my guys to miss out on something so good. They’d have a conniption if they heard EMT’s got their food.” “And how would they know?” she inquired.

As they walked into the house together Danae asked, “Will Miz Trent be allowed to keep the money? It would really help her a lot.”

The officer answered, “We’re having the serial numbers traced right now. If they turn out to be as old as I think, and they’re not bogus or connected with any crimes that we can find, she’ll get it back within a couple of months. I hope someone will help her invest it so she doesn’t end up being a target for every conniving sob story that comes along.” Danae was incensed at the thought that anyone would try to scam an old woman but she realized that for some people, committing fraud is as easy as rolling off a log. She started to ask another question when the radio strapped to the cop’s shoulder crackled to life. “Excuse me,” he said and stepped away.

Danae walked into the living room where Miz Trent was regaling the young cops with a story. Her eyes lit up when she saw Danae but she didn’t pause, “You see, the harpoon went in and perforated his lung! He was never able to work again without making a loud wheeze that scared the fish. So the other guys on the crew put him ashore with $100 cash and told him he could use it to customize his so-called invention and sell it for a fortune. Of course, no one ever saw that money again. He probl’y drank it in the first bar he came to.” As she finished that statement the police captain came in and said, “Excuse me Miz Trent, we have a scene we need to respond to. Looks like a military convoy moving some Sidewinder missiles was involved in a pile-up with a truck carrying hogs to market. They’ve called everyone on duty to respond. Guys, make sure you have your Haz-mat suits. It’s messy.”

As the younger cops scrambled, each grabbing a croissant as they went by, Danae moved closer to the captain to say goodbye. She offered him the last three. “Thanks, this might be the only meal I get all day!” he said. His smile softened as he looked at Miz Trent and then back at Danae. “Take good care of her. She’s a treasure.” Danae nodded her head and said goodbye. Almost before they were clear of the room Miz Trent patted the sofa next to her and invited Danae to sit down. “Now sweetie,” began Miz Trent, “I’m going to tell you, and only you, the real story of the money and the bones. You can decide what to do with it.” Danae leaned forward in anticipation.

Next Week’s Words:

The challenge: plumber, autograph, Florence Nightingale, a chill wind’s a blowing, watering hole, sleek, triplets, backwards, surface tension, parrot

And for the mini: Free estimates, French fries, carpet, Braille, silver-tongued bandit


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

In case you didn't do it earlier, mark your calendars for THIS SATURDAY at Reston Regional Library. From 10-12, there will be a Community Dialogue Meeting at which the Fairfax County budget shortfalls and the implications for programs such as libraries will be discussed. Due to space limitations, you must register to attend. Libraries have not been well represented by the public in these types of meetings in the past. County administrators interpret that as libraries being a less essential function for the citizens, and make cuts accordingly.

Some months ago, all county agencies were asked to prepare a budget for county executive with a 3% budget cut for FY2011 (beginning in July 2010). This meant finding a way to save about $500,000 more. Near the end of this budget planning, the library system was hit with another, unexpected, request from the county executive. The library and the parks have been asked by the County Executive to submit a proposal for anadditional 15% cut. This would be additive- so our total cut for the year would be 18% (this, of course, in addtion to the 15% cut this year). What this would look like is certainly further hours cuts and staff reductions at all branches, perhaps whole days closed and things like that. It is important to note that this is the county executive's request and is the very beginning of a long and changeable process with the budget culminating the Board of Supervisors final disposition at the end of April next year.

If you haven't registered to attend the meeting, you can do so by going here. You can be sure that several members of the Board of Directors for the Friends of Reston Regional Library will be there -- in our "official" FRRL T-shirts. We'd love to see you there. We'll even have T-Shirts on hand if you want to purchase one for the meeting to show your support for our library. This is important stuff, folks.

Another Option: If you cannot attend the meeting, your opinion can be heard! Go here and fill out the budget suggestion form. Send it electronically and your voice will count! You can reach either of the pages (signing up to attend or opinion page) by going through the Fairfax County Libraries homepage. While you're on the homepage, take a look around at all the library system is doing to provide each segment of the population access to literacy. Explore a little, find something new to try!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ruby Tuesday for the Friends

The Friends of Reston Regional Library joyfully participate in the Ruby Tuesday meme. Featuring works by our FABULOUS and FAITHFUL photographer, Darlene S. (By the way, if you need a photographer for a special family event, you need to talk to her. She is the tops at being unobtrusive - e-mail us!)

Here's the first week's submission. If you want to see more Ruby Tuesday posts, from around the world, go visit Work of the Poet.

Note the pink of the older girl's shirt, the red of the cart and the red of the turban of the gentleman in the background. Even some of the spines of books on the shelves pick up the theme. This photo was taken in our 'specials' room, a small alcove where we try to display our higher-value books for sale. In there, they run from $5 to $150 and up!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Monday book review (sort of)

Let's connect a bunch of dots.

What do we Friends do when we aren't having our famous biannual (twice a year) book sales? Just like you, we read. Lots and lots of books and papers.

I was reading the Washington Post the other day (Thursday, October 15, editorial page) and saw this article. It was an amazing, "hey, I'm reading that book! I know who they're talking about." kind of moment. Nothing is given away here by briefly trying to summarize the underlying book,

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time

as Greg Mortenson's mission to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan to educate children. There is a rich set of stories around the cultural encounters he has to try to work peacefully with the local population. They're initially suspicious of his motives, but he ends up getting endorsed by local warlords and even the Islamic clergy. Although there are date references, it's a pretty timeless story that's still playing out today. You can see more of what his Central Asia Institute (CAI) is doing at their website.

One of our volunteers, Lorraine, has started a separate program to help Darfur refugees with BookWish. She hasn't written a book about it yet, but the program is doing amazing things.

And yes, I found that book at the Friends' sale for $1. Although I'm torn about keeping and rereading it occasionally, I'll probably end up donating it back to the Friends for the next book sale, because it's a story more people need to know. If you ask, we'll try to set aside copies.

Have you read this book? What did you think?


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

It's Wordzzle time again and you get a bit of everything. Charly did the mega (woo-woo!), Kit did the mini and the blogger has done the challenge, continuing a story that started last week. If you want more info on how to join us,e-mail us here. If you want to figure it out yourself, go to Views from Raven's Nest. Thank you Raven for hosting this fun challenge!


With a mug of COFFEE in her hand, SANDY, clothed in a warm FLUFFY, COTTON robe, stepped out onto the porch of the old farm house. She sat in a 100 year old rocking chair to enjoy the day as it came to life. The EARLY MORNING LIGHT showed a fine MIST lingering from the storm that had passed during the night. LEAVES of autumn colors lay on the ground. In the quiet of the morn she could hear the faint whistle of a TRAIN as it traveled toward town. Soon the sound of TRAFFIC from the farm vehicles would be noticeable as field hands began their day; mist nor muddy fields would stop production. Sandy moved to a table near the rocker and placed her mug of coffee down. She sat and reached for her sketching pad. Her ART work was ADMIRABLE and delightful. However, new projects always made her STOMACH do flips at a showing; she would always PRAY reviews would be kind. She was presently working on a piece for the little ones at the local hospital. They were creating a 'fairytale' room and this her final drawing, PINOCCHIO, was almost completed. The colorful drawings would become a mural on the walls. Looking up as she heard a dog bark, she set down her work, went into the house to pour another mug of coffee. Returning outside, she waited. Her husband rounding the bend of the lane was returning from a late night call; he was the local GP and a believer of house calls. WALKING toward her and with a weary smile, gratefully reached for the coffee. Arm in arm they went into the house. The day had begun.


Hobos and vagrants – they were once called

When riding in a boxcar – of a train

Many were returning soldiers – from war,

And were happy to be – home again…

But, no work could be found – they had tried,

In their hearts – they said, ‘that’s okay’…

Because their art of unselfishness,

Had given to us – another safe day.

So, when walking idle - under fluffy clouds,

if you see the - cotton fields in bloom,

Recall these admirable men - in other fields,

as they kept our homeland safe - from doom..

No matter what they're called - hobo; vagrant; homeless,

they served our country with - love, honor and dignity..

So when you see them - give them acts of kindness,

the reflection you see - will be your own integrity.

Blogger: To see the first installment, click here.

All work had stopped at the Habitat for Humanity house project. Until the mystery of the skeleton and the money was resolved, the place was technically a crime scene. Danae, curious about the progress, concerned for Miz Trent and a bit interested in the cute police investigator she’d talked to last night, put together some croissants and coffee and headed over to the site. In the early morning light, it was difficult to discern mist from shadow so she drove cautiously. Her stomach dropped as she discerned the flashing lights of an ambulance speeding up behind her, its siren on full blast. Danae slowed with the rest of the traffic and pulled over to the side of the road where the leaves had piled up like confetti after Mardi Gras. When she saw the ambulance stop in front of Miz Trent’s house Danae began to pray. “Please don’t let it be more bad news,” she whispered. She parked and decided to leave the goodies in the car until she knew what was going on. Walking across the street to the yard, she called to the sandy-haired detective. “Captain, is Miz Trent okay?” He looked up and flashed her a brief smile. “Sorry, you can’t come any further here. It’s still a crime scene. But to answer your question, Miz Trent was having some anxiety this morning while we were working so we called the ambulance for her. What are you doing here so early?” “I’ve brought your team some croissants and coffee,” she said. “Let me just go back over to my car to get them.” The investigator ducked under the tape and walked towards her, “I’ll help you with that kind of burden any time. I’ll bet you want to trade the goodies for information, too, right?” Danae gave a little laugh, “well, yes. I’d be lying like Pinnochio if I said no to that.” As they lifted the goodies from the seat of the car he responded, “I can tell you because this is a very old skeleton. It looks like the money and the bones have been there for as long as the house has been. Miz Trent came here as a young bride at the end of the war in 1945 and her husband’s family had already been living in the house for years. She’s trying to remember whether anyone ever told a story that would help fill things in. Right now she’s entertaining my youngest officers with all kinds of rabbit trails.” He smiled, “it’s good for them to learn how to listen and she’s having a great time, so I’ll let it go on for a while longer. At least until I’ve had a couple more of these delicious croissants. Where did you pick them up?” Danae drew back, offended. “I picked them up off my countertop where they’d cooled after I baked them! I’m a pastry chef.” His eyes crinkled with laughter, “I’m just pulling your chain. These are too good to be store bought!”

Next week's Ten Word Challenge: Incensed, sidewinder, bogus, conniption, Haz-mat, conniving, customize, perforated, zeal, rolling off a log

And for the mini: abstemious, chlorophyll, origami, cheerleader, dung beetle

Friday, October 16, 2009

Neighbors and Friends

Congratulations to the 2009 Friends Choice Award Winners
from Friends of Reston Regional Library:

Nevin Albert
Norbert Pink
Sheila Baugh

The Friends Choice Awards were established so Friends of the Library groups could recognize those people who are integral in the success of the Friends groups, but who don't necessarily volunteer the number of 'hours' required to meet the thresholds for other County volunteer awards. Each of these people provide an essential part of the puzzle that keeps our Friends group healthy and functioning -- especially during the craziness of our Semi Annual Book Sales. We salute them!


We wish we could give you a "full up" booksale all the time, but it takes several months for us to accumulate the high quality volumes, and it takes our volunteers a bit of time to recover and gear up again. So in the meantime, we invite you to satisfy your book hunger in a couple of ways:

  • Ongoing sale -- we have a few bookshelves in the front lobby of the library stocked with books currently for sale. All topics covered!
  • Specialty items and odd lots -- occasionally we put up signs for specialty items such as comic books, big sets, etc. Watch for those here on the blog and at the library.
And...we want to support our neighbors and Friends:

Friends of Oakton Library Book Sale -- THIS WEEKEND, October 16-17
10304 Lynnhaven Place, Oakton (near the intersection of Hunter Mill and Chain Bridge Rd)

Friends of George Mason Regional Library HUGE Book Sale
NEXT WEEKEND, October 22-25
7001 Little River Turnpike, Annandale

Other Fairfax County Libraries are also holding used books sales. Go here to read where and when.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


As some of you regulars will be able to tell, we're tweaking the blog a little each day to see how we can make it more useful. Some of the changes:

On the right sidebar, events notices for upcoming sales. We plan to continue doing this as it provides really helpful information -- even for us!

At the bottom of the page, a full sized calendar that allows you to look ahead and see when events will occur that concern the Friends. Right now, those are sales and library closings...but stay tuned! We'll add more.

And finally, to make it easier to get to that calendar, we'll limit the blog posts to 3 per screen so you don't have to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll...

Let us know what you think! We LOVE comments, or you can e-mail us.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

It's Wordzzle time again and Charly & Kit have done the minis! The blogger has done the challenge. If you want more info on how to join us, e-mail us here. If you want to figure it out yourself, go to Views from Raven's Nest.

As falling stars danced - with abandonment,
to - variations on a theme..
Those who viewed them - possibly felt,
a oneness - with this beautiful scene..
And, although for many - it may have appeared,
as if - the sky is falling..
It's only nature's - beautiful way,
of answering - the Universe's calling.
For the universe - speaks to us all,
coming forward - in various says..
And its' purpose - is to send us love,
to enhance our lives - and fulfill our days..
At times our souls - may feel like,
those empty soda bottles - laying around..
But, with bravery - and a gentle powder puff touch,
we'll find that love within - can still be found.


As the crowd gathered in the grandstands to view the race, one could see EMPTY SODA BOTTLES along the fence line where some spectators stood. Families and fans alike wanted to see it all with a front row view as drivers moved into position. With engines revving up one could feel the excitement of the first POWDER PUFF derby. Much discussion had occurred during the planning of this event with many VARIATIONS OF A THEME tossed about. But this theme seemed most appropriate as the drivers were women. As the flag dropped, they moved out; those less timid gained the lead positions early. One could only admire the BRAVERY of each of these ladies; many being first time drivers in such an event. They were driving for a special charity; a cause dear to their hearts, Save a Senior. Being among that elite circle, they wanted to help the local seniors having trouble making ends meet. So these brave gals, donned their helmets and took to the track; a bit slow compared to other races, but moving they were. From the sound of this fun-loving crowd the event appeared successful. After crossing the finish line, the winner was brought forward and crowned Queen of the Powder Puff Go-Kart Derby. Low, dark clouds were forming overhead and with a thought to Henny Penney's 'THE SKY IS FALLING', one might think that was about to occur. With a sense of urgency, Grandma's go-kart was loaded on the trailer to head home before they were soaked. Grandma was beaming as she climbed into the car with her crown of 'pink puffs'..she wore it proudly.


Pastry chef Danae Delish awkwardly filled each cream puff with the custard mixture. It was a little bit of a production creating masterpieces with a broken finger, but she had promised her friends at the Habitat for Humanity site that she would bring some treats to them today. Her puffs had acquired somewhat of a hallowed status with the crew because she varied the custard mixtures and it was always a pleasant surprise for the person biting into one. When she had broken her finger last week at the site trying to hang sheetrock, their primary concern was whether it would prevent her from making cream puffs. Danae smiled at that memory -- it felt good to be needed.

She reached the site about 10:30 a.m., perfect time for a short break. The house belonged to an elderly woman whose roof had been mostly cardboard since Hurricane Katrina came through. Now when Danae walked into the living room there was a beautiful ceiling fan mounted in the center surrounded by a plaster ceiling medallion. The texture of the rest of the ceiling was of cottage cheese. In all, it was a very pleasing appearance, and an immense improvement!

She strolled through to the back yard where the carpentry team was working. Danae called out, “everything looks wonderful inside!” Her friend Terry looked up from his measurement and said, “Oh! cream puffs! Give me a couple – they’ll be food for thought! I’ve measured this three times and ended up with three different numbers! The cream puffs will revive me!” Danae turned them over to the hardworking crew who vanished them quickly.

Looking around she missed someone. Turning to Terry, Danae asked, “where is Miz Trent?” Terry laughed, “she said there was too much noise here today so she was going to go volunteer at the blood drive at her church! It’s amazing. She’s 82 years old, was content to live in a house with holes in the ceiling, and is still volunteering! She was even upset that they won’t let her donate blood! She said she’d been doing it for over thirty years.” Danae laughed as well, delighted that the crew were able to do something kind for someone whose first thought was what she could do for others.

All of a sudden they heard yelling from inside the house. Terry and Danae rushed inside. Following the noise they found David in the back bedroom. He had just pulled a rotting board out of the closet. Sitting on the floor was a neatly compacted stack of one hundred dollar bills. Surrounding the stack was a circle of bones, in a cradling shape. Danae looked at the guys. “I think we need to call a supervisor,” she said quietly.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: early morning light, Pinocchio, mist, leaves, sandy, coffee, walking, traffic, pray, stomach

And for the mini: train, art, admirable, cotton, fluffy

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thanking Our Corporate Sponsors

A big thank you to the 2009 Semi-Annual Book Sale Corporate Sponsors. (Fair Oaks Mall)

(Centreville Rd. and South Lakes Shopping Center) (Reston) (Chantilly) (Fox Mill and North Point) (Reston) (Town Center)

Lucia's Italian Restaurant (Fox Mill) (Neilsen's in Vienna) (Reston) (Reston) (Rio Grande, Town Center) (Franklin Farm) (Reston) (South Lakes Shopping Center) (Reston) (Reston) (Reston) (Fairfax)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Whole Foods Loves Your Library!

Yesterday, out of the blue, we received an e-mail from our local Whole Foods Market. It said:

I am pleased to let you know that we have selected “The Friends of Reston Library” to be a recipient in this quarter’s “Nickels for Non-Profits” donation.

Each quarter we designate two local non-profits and place a donation box at the front of the store. Customers usually receive a nickel for bringing their own reusable grocery bag but we give them the option of taking a wooden nickel instead and dropping it in the box to aid these charities. We will have “The Friends of Reston Library” on this box for at least the next 90 days and then donate the amount given by customers.

Please encourage anyone who comes to shop at our store to take the bag redemption in the form of a wooden nickel and drop it in your slot!

So now you know what to do!

1. Shop Whole Foods

2. Take your reusable bag in and pick up a wooden nickel

3. Drop it in the Friends box!

Thank you to Whole Foods (who also support us during our Semi-Annual Book Sales) and thank you to our patrons and supporters!

The store is located at Plaza America, 11660 Plaza America Dr., Reston. For more info, click here.