Columns

Wed
12
Apr

Hip, hip Hooray!

Yes, spring has indeed sprung, and with it came all our barn swallows.  Many generations back they built nests under the porch eaves, and their offspring have used the same nests each year.  They come suddenly.  One morning we hear their cheerful cheeping and see their glossy, blue-black wings.  They swoop like Purple Martins, and we're told they can eat many times their weight in mosquitoes each day.  This is a great boon to first husband and me, since we have a lot of buckets filled with water for the dogs to drink.  We haven't had a mosquito around here for years.

We may also have bats.  They eat mosquitoes too, and with all our trees it seems logical that they would find refuge.  Ever since Bela Lugosi, people have given bats short shrift.  They're actually a good animal, very helpful with the mosquitoes and other swarmy bugs. 

Tue
11
Apr

It’s time to be American, Americans

I was reading a story online, earlier today.  It was one of those “click-bait” pieces of entertainment fluff, designed not so much to inform, as to shock.  The story took place in the charming little town of Buffalo Gap, TX.  A young family was preparing for breakfast, and their small son went to the bathroom.  As he raised the lid of the toilet, to his surprise, he found a 3-foot western diamondback rattlesnake curled in the cool water of the basin. 

Now, we’ve all heard terrifying urban legends about snakes in toilets.  The internet is ripe with them.  In this case, the snake isn’t the story.  The real story is about the man who dealt with the situation.  He was a park ranger, specialized in the capture of dangerous snakes.  He came to the home, caught the snake from the toilet (it hadn’t moved), and prepared to leave and relocate the animal.

Here is the part where the story took a turn, and ultimately, prompted my sharing this, today.

Mon
10
Apr

Thank you, supporters

With the support of several generous donors we were able to get one-third of the money we need for our operations in the first five days of our GoFundMe campaign.  The money we have raised so far will get is through the summer but we are going to need more to make it through the end of the year. 

We have several other fundraising projects in the works so you will have opportunities to give in other ways besides the GoFundMe page and directly at the library.   

Our average monthly book budget is $500.  If you, your organization, or business would like to sponsor books for a month contact the library and we would to be able to recognize you as our monthly book sponsor. 

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 

Thu
06
Apr

The Inspired Cook

The origins of Easter traditions revealed

Does your family adhere to any Easter traditions? My family certainly did while I was growing up in Eustace during the 1960’s. After sharing a few of them with you in my column last week, I was curious about the origins of Easter traditions. A quick online search satisfied my curiosity.

Although Christians established Easter as a time for commemorating Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the holiday also began to represent rebirth and new life. To celebrate this, people wore pure clothing—new clothes never before worn.

The tradition of women wearing Easter bonnets or hats began long before the actual holiday. Made of merely flowers and leaves shaped into a circle, the original bonnets symbolized the changing of seasons and the arrival of spring.

Wed
05
Apr

Be prepared for severe weather

Spring is finally here and with comes an increase in chances for severe weather.  During times when there is a chance for severe weather it is important for everyone to be aware of their surroundings and alert to what the weather is doing.  If you have a smartphone, it’s important to make sure it is charged and you keep it nearby during bad weather.  There are many aps that you can download that will alert you in the event of severe weather that use location services so that you will know if severe weather is in your area even if you are traveling.  The American Red Cross has an app named Tornado that is a great resource for people before, during and after severe weather.  Weather radios are a relatively inexpensive way to stay up to date on severe weather. If you live in the city limits you need to rely on more than just the sirens for your safety.  Being aware of what is happening around you can save your life. 

Mon
27
Mar

Grand Saline Public Library is in trouble

Last summer, the Van Zandt County Commissioners voted to no longer fund our library.  The Grand Saline Public Library first started getting funding from Van Zandt County when O.D. Hazel was Commissioner.  The money coming to us came from the Precinct One budget until around two years ago.  At that time the Commissioner’s court determined that the money could not come out of our precinct’s budget because it had to be clear that the money coming to us was never road and bridge money.

  When this change was made no one at the library was informed that these changes were occurring.  For those two years, we continued to receive our monthly checks from the county because our funding was changed from the Precinct One Budget to the General Fund.  

Thu
09
Mar

The Doomsday Clock

In early 2017, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reset their Doomsday Clock to two and one-half minutes to midnight, citing the danger of climate change. For the previous two years their Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight, the highest setting in 30 years.

The only time the Doomsday Clock was set any closer to midnight was in 1953, after the U.S. tested its first hydrogen bomb.

In 2016 the Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight. The Bulletin wrote in 2016, “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions to reduce disaster must be taken very soon.”

Mon
06
Mar

Access technology at the GS Library

Helping students is one of the many functions of a public library and having access to technology is becoming a greater need for students.  We recently received a phone call from one of our middle school teachers requesting information about library hours and what technology we had to assist her students who are working on a project and we wanted to share that information with our readers as well.  T

Fri
24
Feb

Memorialize loved ones through donations

One of the ways that the community can support the library is by giving memorial donation or donations to honor someone to the library. 

After the loss of a loved one, we have all looked around at all the flowers and plants and felt overwhelmed with trying to figure out what to do with them.  Instead of ordering a flower arrangement or a plant, next time consider making a donation to the library. 

When we receive memorial donations we send a card to the family acknowledging the donation in memory of their loved one and give them your address so that they can send you a thank you.  In the past memorial donations had to be brought to the library or mailed in by the person making the donation.  We have now added a PayPal button to our website so if you do not live in the area or cannot come by when the library is open you can make your donation online leaving us a note telling us the reason for the donation. 

Wed
22
Feb

GS Library Friends begins membership drive

The Friends of the Library are in their fundraising season and membership drive.  The membership to the Friends of the Library is $25 per family and $50 for business members. Money raised through the membership drive goes back to the library. Last year they were able to purchase a new printer and pay our annual Overdrive library subscription; they bought books for our children’s non-fiction collection and helped fund our summer reading program. They hosted our visit from Santa and the library’s 50-year anniversary party. The Friends raised money through the membership drive and by working concessions. 

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