Monday, March 31, 2014

The Effects of Turquoise

The color wheel as we know it began in 1706 when Sir Isaac Newton took the rainbow color scheme and turned it on itself to form a circle.  He was the first to suggest that color was entirely made of light, and that light contained all colors.

Many other scientists and artists manipulated the color wheel to find ways to represent how the colors are connected.  There are some amazing books created by scientists prior to photography so there would be worldwide continuity in color illustrations of plants and insects.  

The study of color hasn't been restricted to artists, botanists, and entomologists.  People have been curious about color for a very long time, and many people like myself have wanted to understand how color affects us.  Some people have even devoted their lives to studying the psychology of color.  Although some are skeptical of the research, evidence exists that colors directly affect the behavior and mindset of humans.  Reds, oranges, and yellows are considered warm colors.  Blues, greens, and lavenders are considered cool colors.  Color theory suggests that warm colors create sensations of urgency, anger, heat or warmth, and energy.  Color theory suggests that cool colors create sensations of calm, peace, healing, coolness, and even sadness.  

I believe in color theory because I've experienced first hand how color affects my psychological state.  Red makes me feel like the walls are closing in.  I get hot, anxious, and irritated.  Brown makes me feel snuggly and warm.  I always yawn and want to take a nap at my mother-in-law's house because she decorates with chocolate brown.   Yellow makes me feel alert and aware.  Orange feels dirty to me.  It's not quite red, but not quite yellow, so it seems confused and disoriented.  The warm colors are not good colors for my environment because, for the most part, they give me anxiety and a sense of urgency that something needs to change or I need to go somewhere.  

Notice how these warm colors appear to be moving?  I can't relax with red!

Doesn't this one appear to blink?  How could anyone sit still in a red or yellow room?

The red is IN YOUR FACE!!!  It's like it's trying to take over your mind!

Back off red!  I'm trying to relax!

Does it look like the red is bent toward you?  Red, why can't you lie down like blue?

Yellow is all up in my business too!

Warm colors, you stay over there and I'll stay over here.  It's best that way.

For many years I lived a chaotic life, and that was not a feeling I enjoyed.  Now that I know it's an option, I prefer stability.  I prefer peace.  For me, I must have calm, soothing colors in my home and office so that I can relax and feel safe.  I enjoy any shade of blue or green, but the marriage of the two is my soul mate: turquoise.  Turquoise erases my anxiety.  It calms my nerves.  It feels like a cool breeze caressing my skin.  When I'm inundated with any negative emotion, I seek out turquoise to turn my weariness into peacefulness.  I literally sigh and exhale away the stress when my eyes find that tranquil color.  

Turquoise is a way of life for me.  It affects me only in positive ways, and my goal is to live a positive life and to choose happiness.  Peace.  Love.  Happiness.  Those are the effects of turquoise.

I leave you with this thought: what will you do to find a little turquoise in every day?  You and I are not the same, so it is to be expected that we may not possess the same love for turquoise.  Perhaps your turquoise isn't actually a color.  Maybe you find peace, love, and happiness through something else entirely.  Whatever it is, color or not, I challenge you to seek out peace, love, and happiness, even in the most difficult of situations.  Life will not always be easy.  It will not always go your way.  However, you can always find a little turquoise in every day.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Eve of the End

Here I am, on the eve of the end of my slice experience, and I'm experiencing some mixed emotions.  I am overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings regarding the month.  There were so many things I loved about the adventure, and some that were not so great.  Overall, it was rewarding.  Here are some of the thoughts racing through my head and my heart.

I didn't learn any new words, so I'm disappointed about that.  I honestly thought that was going to be the easiest part of the journey.  How funny that I didn't accomplish that aspect!  

I loved peering into the lives of others.  I learned so much about so many people.  Things I had never taken the time to find out, I suddenly was made aware of by simply reading a few paragraphs or glancing at some photos.  I now understand why people use Facebook!  I'm still not going to partake in FB because, well, that's an entirely different post.  Moving on!

There are some gifted writers among our 6th grade slicers, and the adults too!  Some posts were so tender, while others kept me on edge.  You made me laugh, and sometimes made me grab at my chest to protect my heart from feeling your pain.  We have so much to share.  More often, we should make an effort to listen to the stories of those around us.  There is so much to learn, and we have a lot more in common than we initially realize.

I can accomplish almost any task.  The older I get, the more confident I grow regarding my ability to succeed.  There were many years in my life where I thought I couldn't do much of anything, but with each birthday, I'm learning just how wrong I was.  This accomplishment falls (and I'm not being dramatic) among the ranks of buying my first home, running my first 5K, and graduating from college.  This took tenacity!  I wanted to give up so many times, but I didn't.  Even when I was sore, exhausted, or sick, I held up my end of the bargain.  I'm proud of myself!

I didn't post many of the posts I had intended to post!  I wanted to tell more funny stories about being a kid.  I hoped to share some sad stories from my childhood and teenage years so that someone who is growing up the way I grew up might be able to see a sliver of hope in their future by witnessing that it doesn't always have to be bad.  Life doesn't always have to be chaotic.  You can have stability.  You can change your destiny.  You possess the power to push through the ceilings that have been built above you.  All you have to do is want it and work hard.  Things can be different.  Life can be good.  Really, really good.  You can be happy.

There are other thoughts and feelings I could share, but once again it's late and I'm exhausted.  I still have one more load of laundry, and I need to iron clothes for tomorrow.  As tough and as long as this month felt, the reality is that I could writing every day forever and still wouldn't be able to get everything out that needs to be said.  Maybe that's what I was supposed to learn from this.  Perhaps it's obvious: I should write.  I don't know if I'll be able to write every day, but I know I have at least one more in me.  Tomorrow I'll finally get around to explaining how color affects you.  You'll finally understand my love for turquoise.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Turquoise Treasures

Today, the fam and I attended The Hip Handmade Market in Webb City at The Clubhouse community and events center. We love shopping at antique and junk stores because we can find unique things for our home. When we left the house, we thought that was what we would encounter at this event. Instead, we discovered two stories of handmade art from regional artisans. There was nothing junky here!  These items were incredibly creative and beautiful. The hip-factor was quite high. All of the artists were hipsters donning American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, plaid, mustaches, ironic eye glasses, or other vintage-inspired gear. I felt slightly out of place, but that insecurity vanished when I began to notice all of the turquoise treasures. I, of course, wanted to buy them all, but had to choose my favorites. I'm happy with my finds, and picked up a lot of business cards to do some online shopping when I have more extra money. Check out my special stuff!

Suminagashi (Japanese Marbling) make-up bag. Beautiful!

Love Factory (Woodblock print)
We had it matted and framed this afternoon. I'm not sure about the mat color...

"Remember, it's okay to be happy with a calm life." Print
I adore this!  I'm always saying how important it is that my life remain stable and calm. No drama!

Hand stitched arrow pillow case. 
This may be my favorite!  It compliments the 5 foot distressed wooden arrow my husband and I made for a big, blank, boring kitchen wall. Arrows are my favorite shape!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Really?  I Did?

While at the MS today, I took a moment to chat with one of my favorite teachers. She is sassy but kind. Firm but patient. Charming but down to earth.  She is one of the teachers I have always wished I could be as good as. Her way with students is second to none; she loves them and they respect her. The expectations she places on herself are high, but she never makes others feel inferior to her standard.

 This lady is wonderful in so many ways. That's why I was shocked to near paralyzation when she told me a few things about herself that had changed since she began teaching many years ago. Apparently, she hasn't always been the person she is today. Sometimes she didn't do what was best, and may have seen things through a cloudy lense. I too have come a long way over the years, and occassionally feel like a fraud. I sometimes get overwhelmed and think I can't do a good enough job and there must be a million people who could accomplish so much more than I am capable of doing.  At times, I question my value, and silently wonder if I'm good enough for my students because they deserve so much. So, when she shared with me that she had grown as a teacher, I instantly loved her even more.  Her confession made me feel more comfortable because it showed me that someone as fabulous as her had to work at being so great. I was reminded that I am not finished growing. I will continue to improve as a woman and a teacher. This isn't as good as I will get. I will get even better. That is inspiring.

Another aspect of the conversation that empowered me was her statement that I! Me! Mrs. Booher! was responsible for helping her grow. Something I had said to her at the beginning of the year resonated with her. A point I had made actually made a point. By sharing what I felt was important, I helped her change the way she saw a situation, for the better. Wow!  Who knew I had the power to make a difference?  I certainly didn't. The irony in the situation is that just this morning I had told my daughter that sometimes it is better to remain quiet than to try to change the way other people feel because stating your opinion can often have negative results. We were discussing a sticky situation, and I used an example from my own silence during lunch on Thursday to show her why being quiet is sometimes better. I regretted saying that to my Sophia as soon as I said it because I wondered if it was really the right lesson. I wondered if I was teaching her to take the easy way out. To be a coward. After lunch on Thursday, when I had chosen to be quiet rather than say what I felt was right, I carried shame with me for the remainder of the day. However, I justified it by telling myself that silence was the safest choice.  When my fav teacher told me my voice had been the one that had brought her to the "other side" of the issue, my heart sunk. I had taught Sophia the wrong lesson. When it comes to saying the right thing, it isn't always better to keep your opinion to yourself in the name of safety because you may be passing up an opportunity to reach someone on the edge of the debate. I'm going to discuss this with Sophia tomorrow. I want her to know I was wrong. I want her to know that's ok, because just like that teacher, it's never too late to improve yourself. It's never too late to make the right choice and do the right thing.  It's never too late to grow.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Severe Weather

I guess it's time for severe weather season. I was driving between buildings today and thinking about our storm shelter construction projects. When will they be finished?  What will they look like?  Will there be an open-house for the public to view the projects?  Do we have a plan for severe weather in the meantime?  Literally, right in the middle of my thoughts, my phone made a funny alert sound. I glanced at it and found a weather notice stating we were under a tornado watch! I'm not mentally prepared for severe weather season!  It snowed, like a week ago!  I haven't cleaned and stocked my storm shelter yet!  I've certainly been in a rush for winter to pass, but I'd forgotten this important aspect of the season change.  I don't panic in severe weather if I'm prepared, but I'm not ready for it yet, so today and this evening have been worrisome. I was fidgety all through Sophia's dance class as I watched the wind whip the trees, the sky glow from lightning strikes, and the ceiling tiles (this isn't an exaggeration) vibrate from the wind shaking the roof. Scary!  All I wanted to do was get home where I knew we would be safe. Prior to the Joplin tornado, I never worried about storms. However, like everyone else in this area, my understanding of weather's ability has changed. I'm far more cautious and aware now. Remember my spring break to-do list that morphed into a spring to-do list?  Well, I'm changing it again. Suddenly, Sophia's playset has been demoted to project #2. Project #1 is now cleaning and stocking the storm shelter. I've purchased a turquoise deck of cards to pass the time, but I need to restock emergency supplies. What will you do to prepare for severe weather season?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Working with two of my newcomers today, I was reminded of how hard it is for many of my students to hear English sounds. This is something many people are unaware of, and I sometimes forget. In the first 9 months of your life, your brain is capable of hearing every spoken sound. Have you ever seen a change/coin sorter?

Sounds enter the ears, just as change enters the sorter. 
The brain sorts and classifies the sounds, just as the sorter sorts and classifies the coins. 

Think of your brain as that sorter, but with a lot more slots. One slot for each sound in every single language. Keep in mind there are nearly 7,000 languages in the world, so this is a really big sorter.  Now, each of those languages doesn't have their own set of sounds. Many sounds are shared among languages. However, there are still a lot of sounds. The brain hears every sound and sorts it. At around 9 months, the brain takes inventory of the sounds. The sounds heard most often are permanently identified by the brain as language. The other sounds?  The empty slots? Those are deleted. The brain will never hear those sounds again. If the ears hear one of those sounds later in life, the brain will do it's best to match it to one of the sounds it has identified as language, but it won't truly hear it unless it is one of that brain's language sounds. Isn't that fascinating?

Now, this doesn't pose too much of a problem when learning a language close to our own. English is an Indo-European language.  It is specifically a Germanic language. Therefore, English speakers can hear the vast majority of sounds spoken in other Germanic languages, and many spoken in other Indo-European languages such as the Romance languages.  That doesn't mean what you think it means. Romance, in this case, means the language is derived from Latin, which was spoken in Rome. Rome=Romance. So, my students who first learned Spanish or Portuguese (Romance languages) can hear most English sounds because both are Indo-European. There are still some sounds they won't hear because Romance languages are a different branch than Germanic, but for the most part it's a pretty good match. In turn, that means I can attempt to say some words in Spanish and Portuguese and get fairly close to the correct pronunciation. There are some sounds I mess up every time, which leaves my students and I in a fit of giggles. It's good for them to see me struggle with language.  Learning a language is difficult and stressful, so being able to laugh about it is important.

We experience greater challenges when one of my students first learned a language other than one from the Indo-European family. For example, Thai or Chinese are of the Sino-Tibetan family. This family is not connected to the English family, so many sounds are very different. Also, the alphabets are different, and Thai and Chinese are tonal languages, so the meaning of the word depends upon the tone in which it is spoken. Can you imagine leaning a language so different?  I get a tiny taste of the experience when I try to learn some Thai or Chinese words. My students will tell me a word, and I repeat what I think I hear.  I usually get a funny look before my teacher repeats the word, more slowly and loudly, of course. I hear the same thing, so I say the same word. I get another funny look, followed by a "no, you said (whatever I said). It's (what I'm supposed to say)."  No matter how many times my teacher repeats the sound, I cannot truly hear it. I hear a substitution my brain is trying to fit in that coin sorter. Some of my students lose patience with me at this point, but we all usually laugh and keep working. I use the experience to make myself a better teacher. I try not to lose patience or interest, even if it seems futile. Today I drew a diagram of a mouth to show a student the difference between sh and ch tongue location. I'm excited to announce that the student was able to make the ch sound, even though it does not exist in the native language. That's pretty exciting. This student may not really hear the sound, but can make it.  If I hadn't experienced the struggle myself, I may have just moved on, but I thought about what would help me, and was able to help my student. I love my job.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How Many is Too Many?

Tasty Circles
Chewy Sweetness
Warm if You're Lucky
Maybe Chocolate
Definitely Glazed
Occasionally Jelly-Filled
Donut Hole's Cinnamon Roll Donut/Doughnut
Hold. The. Phone.
Never Turn One Down
Probably Won't Say No to Two
Three Guarantees a Stomach Ache
How Many is Too Many?