Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Pictures

My little Fairy Cat and Minnie Mouse.

The Skink insisted on walking the whole way... well... sometimes she jumped and sometimes she skipped, but she did NOT want Mom to pick her up! She wanted to walk like all the other kids! She marched right up to each door and said, "Tick o Tea." As soon as she was given her candy, she said "Tan-chu!"

Of course there were plenty of other Trick or Treaters about. This was the first year The Skink actually showed some fear over some of the scary costumes. She holds her ears whenever she is upset or frightened. Certain gory ghouls had her holding her ears and running the other way... I hate to say it but I laughed my butt off each time.

Regardless of the scary moments, both cat and mouse had a great time! We stayed out for an entire hour. I was exhausted (our area is all hills, and most of the houses have tall flights of steps up to the front doors). The Skink, however had NO interest in ceasing her Tick o Tea-ing! She launched into quite a lecture when I announced we were going home! It's always fun dragging an unwilling Mini Mouse UP the large hill on the way home. Needless to say, I slept like a slightly sore rock last night!

And a wonderful time was had by all.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Beautiful Fall Day!

Click on any image to see it in full-size.

As the mother of 3 (2 with special needs) people are always telling me to take more time for myself. Well, because that's never going to happen, I took my kids with me for some "me" time today. I've been saying for weeks that I wanted to drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway and look at the fall colors, so today I loaded 3 unimpressed children in the car. With some whining from the back seat and some exaggerated eye-rolling from the 15-year-old, off we went.

"I don't understand what the big deal is about the leaves. Why do I have to go, anyway?" Broadway groaned from the seat next to me.

"You'll see." I replied and kept right on driving up that big ol' mountain.

And then we got to the scenic overlook. The grumbling magically disappeared and the whining turned into giggles.

The view was amazing and some lonely leaves got jumped in.

And thrown...

Welcome to our world!

Some exploring was done, and Iraq learned first hand why I had wanted her to wear shoes with some treads instead of the pretty flat-soled shoes she chose.

And Broadway even took some pictures...

With his super-zoom lens!

This is what the red barn looked like with MY zoom - LOL!

So next year when mom says, "Get in the car. We're going to look at some beautiful fall foliage," I have a feeling there won't be quite so much grumbling and whining.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bath Disaster

The crime scene:

Exhibit #1

The Perp:

Exhibit #2

The Crime:

OK - so I've been fighting severe-bronchitis-bordering-on-pneumonia this week which has left me feeling lousy to say the least, so while hubby was dealing with one of Iraq's mega-meltdowns of epic proportions, I took The Skink and stuck her in a nice  bath! I figured I could sit and inhale the nice moist vapors as she got cleaned... yes... I thought.

Well, From my vantage point on the toilet seat lid I can see if The Skink is safe, but as you can see from "Exhibit #1," the sides of the tub are rather high up. The Skink had been neatly scrubbed down already and was having a lovely time splashing and playing in the tub. I sat in my antibiotic and cough medicine-induced stupor and figured as long as I could see her head, that The Skink was safe. I thought...

When The Skink had spent enough time in the bath to become pruney, I rose from my throne only to realize that at some point, Exhibit #2 had created her own #2 and was getting her own kind of mud bath.


I quickly grabbed my tenacious tot from the tainted tub and set her on the floor to undertake the business of removing her "business" from the tub, thus providing The Skink the perfect opportunity to do this:

So after hosing down the tub with super-hot water, the Perp got her own (not-quite-so-hot) hose-down with plenty of soap! 
So much for a nice, relaxing bed-time bath! I've been coughing so much since this little adventure it's a wonder my lungs are still on the inside of my rib cage!


she's clean now, and she looks far too innocent to convict.

Uh... could that be a naughty little gleam in her eye?



Saturday, October 23, 2010

Virginia Folklife Festival

The VA Folklife Festival is one of the biggest, most interesting festivals in the area. Though there are many cool displays and competitions throughout the festival, the primary reason for the festival's existence is Moonshine. Yes, Ferrum, Virginia is pretty much the moonshine capital of the world.

Unfortunately today I had a nasty cold, and didn't so much as get to taste any of the 'shine. Heaven knows how it might have mixed with the cold medicine in my system. Not such a great idea!

One of the most fun things to watch is the Jumping Mule competition. In the "olden days" folks carried goods on pack mules. When they came to an obstacle, they could not very well jump a string of mules over all at once, so one by one they would walk each mule up to the fence or fallen tree and give it a "Jump" command.

The jumps get higher and higher each round to determine which mule can jump the highest.

Broadway and Iraq lined up by the fence to see the mules, and as each jumped it was rewarded with lots of applause. I had to keep reminding Iraq not to scream in her high "E" because not only did it hurt my ears, but all the dogs in attendance either started barking or tried to hide.

The winning mule was an old girl nearing 30 years of age. Her face was almost completely gray, but boy could she jump! Five feet from a stand-still! This picture was taken at a lower level, but that was the over-all winner.

After the mules they had a draft horse weight pulling competition.

I would have loved to watch the whole thing, but Iraq said she needed a drink, so we walked over to the food area where she decided she didn't really need a drink too badly after all.

The Skink enjoyed all the animals, sights and sounds... but just couldn't settle down for a nap in her wagon. I think Broadway enjoyed it too, but it wouldn't have been cool for him to admit it.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Jaguar Children: The worship of those with Down syndrome in ancient culture

The Olmec civilization thrived from about 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE in the south-central American regions that are now Vera Cruz and Tabasco, Mexico. They are believed to be the first of the Mesoamerican civilizations from which most other civilizations developed. Many artistic representations of the Olmec people bear decidedly Ethiopian features, leading many researchers to speculate that the fore-bearers of the Olmecs were great travelers. It is also known from the archeological information derived from ancient Olmec cities that the civilization had trade routes spanning at least as far as Guatemala.

 A depiction of what was likely an Olmec with "typical" features.

It is believed the religion of the Olmec most closely resembles the Shamanism of the Native American cultures in which humans can take on certain features of revered animals. In the case of the Olmec, the most powerful animal was the Jaguar.

Interestingly, many of the carvings and artworks of this culture depict what are believed to be a near-deity known as Jaguar Children – a child whose mother is human and whose father is a jaguar. (Don't ask me how that works!?!)

The distinguishing features of the revered Jaguar Child are a flattened nose, almond-shaped eyes and the figures are generally depicted as being a bit over-weight with shortened limbs. Some have rather pointy teeth and on many of the carvings the ears are covered or depicted as being low-set on the head.

Note the tell-tale extra fold of flesh below the almond-shaped eyes.

The Jaguar Children were also regularly depicted in strange contortions illustrating that these children had surprising flexibility and the "agility of a cat." 

Judging by the number of carvings celebrating children of the jaguar, researchers believe these individuals must have been a true center-piece to the culture. 

In today's world we know that individuals with Down syndrome may bear certain physical features such as almond-shaped eyes with an extra "puff" of skin under each, shorter limbs, a slightly flattened nose bridge, hypotonia (or super-flexibility) and a predisposition to hypothyroidism which can lead to weight issues. Many of our kids (like, mine) also have rather pointy teeth. I guess we could say our children look like Olmec demigods! (I don't know about you, but I think the Olmec were on to something!)

 Feel free to worship me!

And I didn't even have to sleep with a jaguar (thank goodness!).

Here is a circa 1974 research paper that explores the theory of the Jaguar Children, or "Were-Jaguar" in depth.

What Wiki has to say.

You can find more information, pictures of Olmec art and other opinions just by Googling "Olmec."

And please enjoy all the little deities in your life!
(Disclaimer: this comment is meant expressly as entertainment and is not intended to represent any religious notion, belief or otherwise.)

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