Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Posse of turkeys, a scourge of mosquitos...

A mob of kangaroos and other intriguing, sometimes humorous names, for groups of animals (and some bugs) can be found at
Ask the Experts from Oxford University

Among frequently asked questions,
you'll find the answers to improve your scrabble and crossword puzzle skills
-words that end in -gry
-the longest word in the English Language
-the always handy list of words with a "q" that are not followed by a "u".

For more on word origins and meanings, you can access the
Oxford English Dictionary online by entering your Fauquier County Public Library Card barcode number.

If phrases pique your curiosity,

check out these books available in the library:

Word spy : the word lover's guide to modern culture

Where Queen Elizabeth slept & what the butler saw : historical terms from the sixteenth century to the present

Loose cannons & red herrings : a book of lost metaphors

Heavens to Betsy! and other curious sayings

A Dictionary of Cliches

Why do bad things seem to happen at class reunions

Or at least in novels about them?

Here are some misfortunate reunions for consideration before or consolation after attendance at any of your own-
with a few heartwarming ones as well...

Reunion by Alan Lightman
Attending his thirtieth college reunion, Charles, now a middle-aged professor, recalls his senior year, when he had an affair with a beautiful young dancer amidst the turbulent social and political upheaval of the 1960s.

The Class by Erich Segal The ethos and glamour of Harvard resonate throughout this story of five men--Andrew Eliot, Daniel Rossi, Ted Lambros, Jason Gilbert, and George Keller--from their first days at Harvard through their twenty-fifth class reunion.

Die Dreaming by Terence Faherty "Metaphysical detective" Owen Keane learned at his ten-year high school reunion that his old friends share a sinister secret, and now, ten years later at the next reunion, he discovers just how sinister that secret really is.

Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons Reunited with her beloved college chums after years of separation, Kate Abrams, now a successful interior designer, must face the many bitter truths of her own past.

Circle of Grace by Penelope Stokes Having remained in touch through a shared journal since college, friends Grace Liz, Tess, and Amanda meet for an unplanned reunion after a personal crisis leads to the discovery that Grace's colorful life is a fabrication.

Delta Belles by Penelope Stokes Twenty-five years after breaking up, a bitter, widowed Delta Ballou is reunited with her old friends and fellow members of the popular 1960s musical group, the Delta Belles, when they are asked to get together to perform at their college reunion.

Immediate Family by Eileen GoudgeWhen best friends Jay, Franny, Emerson, and Stevie reunite at their fifteen year college reunion, they catch up on their accomplishments and goals and learn the importance of friendship and acceptance.

The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King Every two years, a tight-knit group of Southern women, friends since college, come together for a reunion to renew their relationships with one another, each of them having an incredible story to tell about the course their lives have taken

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers One of the classic reunion nightmares, with a semi-happy ending-Attending a college reunion at Oxford, Harriet Vane receives mysterious messages that call her a murderer.

The Wyndham Case by Jill Paton Walsh St. Agatha's College in Cambridge, England, provides the setting for nurse Imogen Quy's investigation into a series of deaths connected to the special library called the Wyndham Case, which has a strange and possibly violent legacy

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Xeriscaping -what's that?*

If this year's drought has made a shambles of your yard,
consider xeriscaping by planning a new type of garden, with less lawn, and more drought-resistant plants.

Taylor's guide to water-saving gardening This book provides the answers to such questions as, Which plants will thrive without much water? Different varieties of flowers, ground covers, shrubs, and trees are all discussed. Helpful gardening techniques are provided for the 260 plants featured, including effective irrigation and soil improvement.

Waterwise Gardening Describes hundreds of trees, shrubs, vines, and plants that require less water, and shows how to plan cottage, prairie, rock, herb, and desert gardens

Xeriscape Gardening: Water Conservation for the American Landscape Discusses planning and design, soil analysis and improvement, appropriate plant selection, efficient irrigation, mulching, and maintenance

Less Lawn This website provides helpful hints on how to shrink your lawn, low-maintenance lawns, lawnless landscapes and useful plants.

Definition of Xeriscape

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Earth, Sea and Sky

Planet Earth on DVD is now available at all library locations.
Narrated by David Attenborough, this is a
stunning 11-part series that captures rare action, impossible locations, and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved, wildest, and most elusive creatures.
In addition to the series, the DVD's include these
special features: 110 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage - one 10-minute behind the scenes program for each episode; "Planet Earth: the future" 3-part, 2 1/2 hour documentary.

Blue Planet
Again, the familiar voice of David Attenborough narrates this exploration of the earth's oceans featuring incredible undersea videography on 4 discs, including eight behind the scenes featurettes, interviews, compelling exploration of men's impact on the oceans, photo galleries, fact files, trailers

Winged Migration Follows bird migrations flying over the seven continents: from one pole to the other, from the seas to snowcapped mountains, from the canopy of heaven to mangroves and swamps-shot over the course of three years, exhilarating footage includes the Himalayas, with an acclaimed soundtrack.