Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Halloween Evolution

As a child I wore this Witchiepoo costume (from H & R Pufnstuf) for as long as I can remember. Even after the brittle mask cracked and broke, I continued to wear the plastic costume. I loved being Witchiepoo.

Many years later, as a high school student, my friends and I wanted to go get some free candy on Halloween. (Isn't that all that teenagers go trick-or-treating for?) Alas, I did not have a costume, and only about $2.00 to my name. I knew most costumes were clearance priced on Halloween, so I went to the local mall to look for a bargain find.

I didn't find anything that cost even close to $2. But I did find some fart spray at Spencer's Gifts, and that got me thinking...what do people use fart spray for?? Maybe if they were a piece of poop?

My Halloween costume was decided.

I found a black trash bag (brown was not readily available) and cut out 2 leg holes, put on a black shirt, colored my face somewhat black and took a look in the mirror.

Not enough.

I drew a couple of flies, cut them out and taped them to the trash bags.

A little better.

I knew what would complete the outfit. I put my hair in a ponytail on top of my head, with more elastics in succession to achieve a tapered look up top.


I knew this blog would be incomplete without pictures, because who would believe me? I emailed my friend Julie, who pretty much documented my entire teenage life with her camera, and asked if she had any poop pictures.

Julie delivered (as I knew she would), and I present to you my completed look - Gerb the Poop, 1988.

I better not hear anyone saying they couldn't come up with a last-minute costume this year! I'm giving up one of my greatest ideas here.

And that, friends, is how I evolved from Witchiepoo to...well, just Poo.

You Should See It At Night!

** Welcome TIP JUNKIE Readers! And hello to those visiting from A SOFT PLACE TO LAND too!**
If you have any questions about how any of this was created, leave me a comment and I'll be happy to respond. Thanks for stopping by!


Here's why I haven't posted anything new in the last week....
(driveway and garage)

(front lawn... check out the witch on the roof!)

(cemetery close-up)

(inside the crypt on the driveway)

(part of the spook alley inside the garage)

(the front room inside the house)

(more of the front room)

(front steps)

(witch on the roof appears to be flying at night)

Remember last year? Well, Allen really outdid himself this year. (And there are plenty more surprises you don't see here.) You seriously need to come to our haunted house on Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Look at what we woke up to yesterday morning! I promise, it was much more beautiful than my picture appears. It was the best photo I could take half-concealed from the front door in my PJs.

I guess this means no more garden-fresh tomatoes this year?


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wouldn't You Like To Be A CODA, Too?

(Interpreting for Mom and Dad at my older brother's graduation from Junior High, 1983)

I mentioned before that I am a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults). I was born a CODA, I'll die a CODA, and the life I've lived in between has been largely defined by the fact that I am a CODA.

And I LOVE it!

Most CODAs fall into one of two categories:
1) You love Deaf culture, enjoy being a "helper" for your parents and other Deaf people, embrace the language of ASL (American Sign Language) and keep the culture in your heart throughout your life - often becoming a sign language interpreter.
2) You can't stand having to be around Deaf people all the time, resent your parents for asking you to interpret at/for anything, escape the culture as soon as you can and blame all future problems on your parents.

I definitely fit into category 1. I have such fond memories of interpreting for my parents in the most interesting of situations before the ADA law came into effect and businesses and public organizations were not required to provide interpreters for those who were Deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hospital visits, Deaf clubs, church; what a diverse world I was able to experience as a young interpreter! My favorites, though, have to be situations of interpreting at my high school.

My brother Chip and I had the amazing opportunity to interpret for each other's Parent-Teacher Conferences. So we always....well, let's say we looked out for each other. Soon after I graduated, Chip helped lead a student walk-out in support of teachers who were in a salary dispute with the district. My parents were immediately called into the office to discuss Chip's rebelliousness and negative use of leadership ability. They asked me to come interpret.

The principal thanked my parents for coming, thanked me for coming to "help your parents understand the gravity of the situation", and proceeded to tell them in biased detail about what Chip had done and why it was wrong. Well, Chip and I had been talking about his plan for a couple days, so I knew what he did. So instead of interpreting what Mr. Principal was saying, I proceeded to "interpret" for my parents Chip's reasoning and logic behind what he did. When the principal was finished talking, I concluded as well. When he asked my parents what should be done with Chip, they told him how proud they were of him for standing up for what he thought was right and that they backed him up 100%. The principal, flustered, did not know how to respond. He thought he had made himself clear...and I'm sure he did... but my parents got a different story.

Of course, now - as a professional interpreter - I would never do such a thing. The fun thing about being an interpreter is the variety of situations you get to work in. If you like consistency, you can choose to work somewhere like an elementary or secondary school. If you enjoy variety, you can work freelance - through an agency or on your own - and you never know what you'll experience from day to day. I have some incredible stories I could tell, but it's kind of like working for the FBI: I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Confidentiality is important.

Back to life as a CODA: most CODAs I know fit into category 1 like myself. We love to share stories of our childhoods, and I think we all like to be the center of attention. I personally started out quiet and shy and then discovered a love for becoming an entirely different person on stage in drama classes - then there was no stopping me. In fact, most CODAs who embrace the language and culture seem to be outgoing and precocious.

My kind of people.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

All I Want For Christmas

My hopes and dreams of the past few years have been realized:
Josh Groban has finally come out with a Christmas CD!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Are YOU An Acronym?

I was born an acronym. I came into this world as a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults) and acronyms have been following me ever since.

It wasn't until after my family became LDS (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, best known as Mormons) that I realized what a complex language acronyms can be in and of themselves!

So I wrote a song about it. A parody, really.

I was asked to emcee a talent show at church a few years back and was worried that I would be lacking in material to keep the audience entertained between the various lip-syncs and ballroom dance numbers. I had jokes. I had funny stories. I even practiced my accordion in anticipation of my big night, but nothing seemed enough, so I wrote a song about the acronyms found in daily conversations between those of the LDS faith. If you are not LDS, you may think, "What's the big deal?" Actually, if you are LDS, you may think the same thing. But here goes:

"Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" Originally by Air Supply

"LDS Life" Parody by Gerberta

My family was converted when I was eight years old

We loved this new religion - the missionaries called us "gold"!

I learned what CTR means from attending Primary

But I was unaware back then of Mormon acronym vocabulary!

When I joined the MIA, my friends liked to go TP

I went along but felt unworthy Sunday morning at BYC

Then my MIA Maid president told me all about EFY

And how the boy she had met didn’t mind PDA

and they would NCMO at the dances each night!

Well, I thought it sounded special, so I flew to SLC

Then I rode UTA to attend EFY, but they dropped me at the JSB!

And I didn’t know where the WILK was,

It was my first time at the “Y”…but I found my way around there and I knew…

This was LDS life. (repeat 5 times)

Look at me now, I’ve had 6 miracles and we drive an SUV.

My husband’s not a GA, but we have FHE and read D&C.

He goes to PEC & PPI and every last Sunday we do HT & VT.

We listen to KSL every day until three & our kids watch KBYU faithfully.

And, oh my heck, I forgot to mention that he graduated from UVSC!

We look forward to the day when we will have a missionary.

And he can learn the discussions and he’ll SYL while he is there in the MTC!

When he gets out in the field he’ll do a lot of BRT.

And then he could be a ZL, or maybe a DL, heck, he might even be the AP!

When he’s done he’ll return with honor, and find himself a wife.

And they’ll do all the same things that we did – that’s how it is.

That is LDS life. (sing to fade)

Okay, THIS IS A TEST...Did you get all the acronyms?

Monday, October 15, 2007

You're Welcome

You're Welcome
(found in the life history of my husband's maternal grandmother)

You're welcome little stranger babe,
As welcome as the spring
That drives the winter gloom away
And brings the birds to sing.
The boon of love you brought to me
Was like a gift divine
To build and hold us heart to heart
Forever, baby mine.

Look at that sweet face. Is it any wonder why we keep having babies? For those of you who didn't get my somewhat elusive post-announcement, I am pregnant! Due around May of 2008, and excited at the idea of another sweet little squishy-cheeked person joining the family.

As I have shared my news, (and even before!) I have discovered many others who are joining me in the journey.

Welcoming Baby #1 are:
Sister-in-law Nancy
The Fabulous CJane
One of my former YW, Kortnie!

Welcoming Baby #2:
Elle's Sunday School teacher, Erika

Welcoming Baby #3:
Sister-in-law Trina
Sabrina, Cutest Mom of Boys (and soon a GIRL!)
Fellow church secretary, Valeri
Eden's "church-teacher", Sarah

Welcoming Baby #4:
(and BOY #1!) Sister-in-law Michelle
Cousin Julie, AKA Pottymouth Mom

Welcoming Baby #5:
BFF Rebecca, who has done this with me simultaneously before!

Anyone I don't know of yet?

Come on, everybody's doing it. You know you want to, too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

There Are Two Seasons in Washington...Winter and August

I have returned from my Washington trip, and I must say, it's always a great time at the Larson's! How can a trip go wrong when you are met at the airport with your very own 6-pack of waxy chocolate mini-donuts?? Rebecca and I shared in many adventures, including a shop-til-you-drop day of perusing through people's yard sale treasures in the misty rain, plenty of game-playing fun (always a must with Rebecca, even if she does always win),
Cute little Hannah's repeated asking, "What's your name again?"
A little karaoke with the Larson girls,
Good food galore, especially when prepared by Rebecca herself (I DID like the Thai food, too!),
And a drive-by of a creek which shares the name of a music group I enjoy!

To be honest, I can't do the trip justice after reading Rebecca's version...maybe you should just read it, too: Good Times With Gerb

Thanks for a fun weekend Rebecca, Doug & girls! Let's do it again sometime.