What do you geek? Janiya Geeks Rainbows!

Click here for original Clayton News Daily column by Sherry Turner.

At a recent open house held at Lee Elementary School, student Janiya Heard told me she “geeks” rainbows. I think most of us are captivated with the sight of a rainbow. It happens infrequently enough to make one seem special.

What exactly are we seeing when we see a rainbow? Rainbows appear often as a colorful arch in the sky when the sun shines after a shower of rain. The shades of color vary depending on the angle between the rays of the sun as the raindrops transform into tiny prisms reflecting the light into an array of colors.

If you look at a rainbow, your angle of observation will alter how high an arch is formed and how wide the color spectrum will be displayed.

rainbow1This year there has been an abundance of rain. Perhaps you have been favored with a rainbow or two of your own! These books in the Clayton County Library System also have woven a rainbow into their story line for rainbow admirers everywhere:

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What do you geek? Sherry Geeks Cleaning!

Green Up Your CleanupThis column by Sherry Turner originally appeared in the Clayton News Daily newspaper.

While many people profess that they “geek” cleanliness, few claim they “geek” cleaning. There are many methods and levels of intensities to yield a clean environment. I can recall my mother indicating if she wanted my siblings and me to do “a lick and a promise cleaning” or a deep cleaning.

We can either do the cleaning ourselves, pay for cleaning services, delegate to family members or implement a combination of all three.

One only has to glance at the phone book to see a multitude of businesses supported by customers that would rather have the cleaning done by others. Maid/janitorial , home power washing, chimney sweeping, air conditioning duct cleaning , window washing, car detailing, laundromats and such.

Let’s face it: everything in our world needs to be clean. Personal cleaning standards are reflected by the cleaning schedule chosen to maintain all that we have. In a home, the schedule can be arranged room by room including the garage. Outside items to be cleaned might include: lawn chairs, sidewalks, eaves, windows, siding, doormats and porches etc.

Talking Dirty With The Queen Of CleanThe frequency of cleaning is relative; one might vacuum daily but ignore the need to change the bag, empty canister and dust the outside, or remove hair and debris from the vacuum brush in a timely manner. This will alter the efficiency of the appliance and in the long haul costs the consumer more when the cleaning appliance is not properly maintained and will need to be replaced sooner.

Organizing your cleaning is a job in itself, but once a tentative manageable schedule is established, there are countless products on the market and homemade recipes and formulas readily available. These days, green products are an alternative that allow cleaning without compromising the environment, pets, or people. Green cleaning products are widely accepted now, so you can choose a green product that is just as effective and competitive in price.

If you have ever enjoyed visiting a historic site, they are always clean and well maintained. My son in law is a historic preservationist. He has shared with me the meticulous efforts that are taken to clean and maintain everything in a historic home. One of the first steps in preservation is to return the item to its original condition by properly cleaning it.

Although none of us probably have a full time staff to keep every little screw in our home shiny, we can keep the dust bunnies underpopulated, extend the life of cleaning gear, and do our best to meet our own set standards.

This week I witnessed my two youngest children head off to college; we are now empty nesters at my home. I am sure my house will be cleaner as I stare at a narrative that I have had framed in my home for many years. I am already yearning for them to return at Christmas with their dirty laundry and an influx of dust bunnies. For all the busy moms that battle with the “dust bunnies” I share this poem to give perspective on cleaning challenges.

“Wet Oatmeal Kisses” (author anonymous)

The baby is teething. The children are fighting. Your husband just called and said, “Eat dinner without me.” One of these days you’ll explode and shout to the kids, “Why don’t you grow up and act your age?” And they will.
Or, “You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do. And don’t slam the door!” And they don’t. You’ll straighten their bedrooms all neat and tidy, toys displayed on the shelf, hangers in the closet, animals caged. You’ll yell, “Now I want it to stay this way!” And it will.
You will prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn’t had all the olives picked out and a cake with no finger traces in the icing and you’ll say, “Now THIS is a meal for company.” And you will eat it alone.
You’ll say, “I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around, no pantomimes, no demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?” and you’ll have it. No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti, no more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent, no more dandelion bouquets, no more iron-on patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, missing mittens, or ponytails falling out.
Imagine, a lipstick with a point, no babysitter, washing clothes only once a week, no parent meetings, carpools, Christmas presents out of toothpicks and paste.
No more wet oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy, giggles in the dark, or knees to heal.
Only a voice crying, “Why don’t you grow up?” and the silence echoing,
“I did”

A little elbow grease along with these books from the Clayton County Library System will help with cleaning endeavors:

Internet Resources

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What do you geek? Keyonna geeks movie tie-in books!

DIYThis column by Sherry Turner originally appeared in the Clayton News Daily newspaper.

Keyonna Sutton recently discussed with library staff how she enjoyed reading books that had a movie tie-in. Sometimes she had seen the movie first and then later discovered that it was based on a book. She then obtained and read the book to determine which version she thought portrayed the story better.

The main focus of movie tie-ins is that they feed off of each other and generally broaden the base of the audience that will partake in both formats of the story.

The book for instance may be reissued with the art from the movie which usually increases its sales with the new packaging. Movie premieres have also experienced increased attendance when the public is already familiar with the story and they are curious to see how it is portrayed. Movies for youth also go a step further with massive merchandising of an entire line of products.

These are but a small sampling of books that have been made into movies:

These book titles were published before they were made into movies. There have been other instances however when the book surfaced following the film release. The Hyperion Publishing Company developed and launched a series of novels by Richard Castle. These are based on a fictional novelist by the same name that is featured in the popular TV series of “Castle.”

You can now ease into the movie critic role by reading both the book that the screenplay was based on and by viewing the movie. It is only then that one can decide if the script stayed true to the book or did the film take creative license options to another level. Also be aware that the movie title may not be the same as the original book title.

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What do you geek? Lovejoy patrons geek comics!

ComicsThis column by Sherry Turner originally appeared in the Clayton News Daily newspaper.

Several Lovejoy library patrons sent me a note that they “geek” comics. I had to smile to myself as I remembered my own childhood favorites: Casper, Little Lotta, Sugar & Spike, Green Lantern, Superman, Richie Rich, and Archie.

A few years ago I went to a vintage store and purchased some of my favorite childhood candy and also some of these vintage comic book titles to share with my grandchildren as tangible evidence of my childhood. It allowed them to believe that their grandmother had indeed been a child just like them (even if it was a long time ago).

Whether you claim to be a fan of comics or not, their influence is all around us. If you have children in your home you no doubt have comic or cartoon characters on their lunch boxes, backpacks, toothbrushes, bedspreads, and toy boxes.

For adults, comics and cartoons appear in newspapers, magazines, clothing and other novelties. Sometimes we overlook these comic characters’ humble beginnings as they tend to grow larger than life and become intertwined in our culture. A single comic character can evolve into books, televised cartoon shows and often even full length feature films.

For several years, in Tampa, Florida I had the privilege of being a librarian for the nationally syndicated cartoonist, Fred Lasswell of the “Snuffy Smith” comic strip. Part of my job was to organize his nearly sixty years of original comic strips. Laswell was a creative genius and I learned to appreciate how comics capture the essence of society over the decades. It was particularly exciting when a “Snuffy Smith” stamp was issued by the United States Post Office in recognition of the contribution this comic strip had made to American culture. Political correctness changes as do humorous perceptions of society and the comics reflect the audience characteristics of each decade. Humor can be timeless but its presentation must appeal to its current readership.

Understanding ComicsToday, graphic novels are very popular among youth and teens. Publishers can barely keep up with the demand. There is an even greater demand for instructional drawing books that teach how to draw Manga (Japanese comics) or Anime-style televised comics. The Clayton County Library System has in the past offered drawing programs for this art form.

The following books in the Clayton County Library System might guide the budding cartoonist, expand a collectors’ scope, or provide an opportunity for a nostalgic revisit with your favorite comic characters.

Internet Sources


Local Resources

Dave’s Comics & Collectibles
107 Rainbow Way
Fayetteville, GA 30214

Bunjee’s Comics
1414 GA Hwy 16 West
Griffin, GA 30223

Book End
6041 N. Henry Blvd.
Stockbridge, GA 30281

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What do you geek? Heather geeks DIY!

DIYClick here for original Clayton News Daily column by Sherry Turner.

Heather Middleton is a self-proclaimed do-it yourselfer. Heather “geeks” weekend home improvement projects and has met them with relative success. I found her enthusiasm for such projects inspiring. She recently tackled a complicated wallpaper removal project where layers of wallpaper had been painted over.

Of course when she began, it did not appear to be as complicated.

I think this scenario is what causes many of us to shy from circumstances that might be tricky in any way. We may think we will get too deep into a simple project that we can’t get ourselves out of financially or physically.

The successful “weekend warrior” tends to do their homework, watching multiple YouTube videos, pricing out costs, weighing all options and methodically implementing a well-thought out course of action.

Demonstrations make a project appear effortless and it probably is if you know how to use the tool involved. Have someone show you how to use a drill for example. Tools take getting accustomed to their vibration and power. If you can focus and have the strength to manipulate one safely, you will do great.

We all know neighbors and friends that are tool champions, don’t hesitate asking them for help or the place you purchase the tool from to demonstrate how to use it.

Some people are innately driven to be independent and insist on doing everything themselves. They actually would lose sleep to pay for any task that they could do themselves. In general there is a trend now to convert from “let others do it for you-er” to ”do-it-yourselfers” out of financial necessity.

In prior generations, practically everyone performed minor home improvements themselves. Adults had children assist them and thereby taught their youth just as a matter of course as routine maintenance and improvements were made to the home.

1592231500As salaries increased so did leisure time and there was a steady increase in paying others for these services. The youth grew up not watching someone making the repairs. Fewer people knew how to complete projects themselves with any degree of confidence nor were willing to forfeit leisure time to complete them.

Today, one can attend free workshops at places such as Lowes and Home Depot on any given topic. Workshops are also available for children. The children take pride in the projects they complete and learn techniques at the same time. Check their websites for registration and workshop listings. There are even some workshops specifically for the “Do-it-Herselfer.” Workshops are great because you can ask questions specific for your project.

So examine your surroundings, be brave, be thrifty, commit to a weekend project and become a weekend warrior “do-it-yourselfer.”

The Clayton County Library System has these books that will inspire weekend projects that make every home that much more enjoyable.

Non-fiction Books

Internet Sources

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What do you geek? Janice geeks yoga!

yoga1Click here for original Clayton News Daily column by Sherry Turner.

Library patron Janice Adams said that she geeks yoga and anything else that helps her keep as healthy as possible.

She relocated to the area after retiring in West Palm Beach, Fla. One of her first stops was to get a Clayton County library card. While there, she picked up flyers and pamphlets from other agencies. In recent weeks, Adams has enrolled in a host of classes at several of the recreation centers, libraries and hospitals in the area offering an array of classes including yoga.

As we discussed yoga, she said that some people even take yoga classes sitting down, mainly focusing on the exercises that will help them with arthritis in their hands, elbows, ankles, etc.

When I think of a stereotypical yoga class, I conjure an image of pretzel-shaped younger, slender people while depicting peaceful smiling faces. Seeing how fit Adams is caused me to pause and re-think my opinions of yoga.

These books found in the Clayton County Library System will attest that yoga can be for everyone.

Non-fiction Books

Fiction Books

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What do you geek? Violet geeks cemeteries!

cemeteryyewClick here for original Clayton News Daily column by Sherry Turner.

This week I received one of the more unusual answers to the question, “What do you geek?” Library patron Violet L. recently wrote that she “geeked” cemeteries.

I wondered if her passion was because she liked to read books with a cemetery-based plot or if it was the anticipation of what she might find in a cemetery as a researcher.

Genealogists consider cemeteries to be a gold mine as they reveal so many treasured details about family history and the general area in which they lived. Some family history enthusiasts feel they have won the lottery when they find a missing link in their quest to validate information in their family tree.

Cemeteries can connect such missing links. If paper records are available, one can see who purchased the plot. Usually a relative is commonly the one who made the purchase. Stillborn babies and small children are sometimes inadvertently omitted from the census depending on the month they were born or died and when the census was taken.

Traditionally, years ago, relatives were buried near one another as they often lived and died in a much smaller radius of one another than modern times.

Tombstones in the cemetery also shed light on the relationship between names such as in “beloved son or wife” inscriptions. They also might actually indicate the cause of death or personality traits such as in this humorous inscription, “I told them I was sick.” Cemetery records might also indicate the origin of the remains, which would give a clue of another location where the deceased may have lived.

Tombstones can be photographed and posted online to help others who live elsewhere.

If the tombstones have eroded and are difficult to read, rubbings may help to decipher the missing letters and information. Rubbings consist of taking large white sheets of paper and then a crayon or colored chalk and rubbing over the entire surface. Just a few minutes of rubbing and you will have a beautiful replica of the stone.

Some people actually frame these rubbings, many with intricate designs. Others have taken an entrepreneurial approach and sell them as works of art.

If you enjoy a good read with a cemetery atmosphere, the Clayton County Library System has several resources including:

cemeterygirlFiction Available From The Library

Internet Resources

Local Resources
National Archives at Atlanta
5780 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, Ga. 30260
Email: atlanta.archives@nara.gov

Jonesboro Family History Center
2100 Jodeco Road
Jonesboro, Ga. 30236

Henry-Clayton County Historical Society
P.O. Box 1296
McDonough, Ga. 30253

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