Sunday, December 2, 2012

Baby Faces Blogfest!

Howdy, y'all! Trisha over at WORD + STUFF is hosting the Baby Faces Blogfest. The rules be:

1. Between December 2nd and 3rd, post a pic of yourself as a baby, and/or;

2. Tell a story about when you were a baby

(You can choose to do one or the other or both.)

On December 2nd, when Trisha posts for her blogiversary, she will be giving away a little prize (your choice of a book she's selected, or some other book, from the Book Depository). More details about that on the day itself.

So, for funsies, I thought I'd present a snippet from an older blog post of mine titled Shooting at the Devil. (You can see how this would be about me as a baby, naturally.) I opened the post referencing Penelope Crowe's post about possession, then segued into my Great Uncle, Tio Nuno (TEE-oo NOO-noo)* who was rumored to be a witch/mystic/alcoholic (may God rest him and hold him close), who proposed a curious cure for whatever ailed me when my parents took my baby-self on a visit to their homeland, Portugal. If you'd like to read the full (long!) post, you can check it out here.

*       *       *

You wanna pass me over a what, now?
Mom and Pop brought me over from the States when I was a wee one so the family could meet their first born. Apparently, I gave them a bit of trouble - I stayed up crying the first nights they were in Portugal, growing cold and clammy from getting so worked up. Nothing they tried soothed me. I hadn't been colicky or anything up till then, so there was no reason they could discern for my fussing. They took me to a local doc who assured them that I was medically fine. So my Mom put it down to me feeling out of sorts from being in an unfamiliar environment. Or, you know, the evil eye (I dig that she didn't rule anything out). Shortly after the doc visit, Tio Nuno stopped by my paternal grandmother's house and my Avó told him about my peculiar spells. Because my Grandma's husband had recently passed away, she wondered if he might somehow be "visiting" me and generally freaking me out. Tio Nuno thought there might be a larger problem and asked her if any of my clothes or belongings were lying around. She found something of mine and brought it to him, which he examined carefully. After a while he told her that someone in the family wished me ill, but he wouldn't specify who (the big tease). He gave her the following instructions to pass on to my parents:
  1. Make the baby a wreath of garlic and sprinkle her with holy water.
  2. Make a bonfire and toss into it some rosemary, rue, and eucalyptus.
  3. Pass the baby through the smoke of this fire and pray to some saints (which specific ones is lost in the mists of time).
When my Mom heard all this from my Grandma she nodded politely but privately thought there was no friggin' way she was going to pass me over a bonfire (the Portuguese equivalent of this thought, obviously). Instead, when she went to put me to sleep that night, she laid me on my back and prayed the Apostles Creed over me three times, all the while making the Sign of the Cross over me, asking God to liberate me from whatever ailed me. And, according to her, from then on, I did get better.

I have to admit, I'm disappointed that she didn't try the bonfire thing. Also, I think I'd look pretty smashing in a garlic wreath (kickin' it old-school!). But seriously, I'm proud of my Mom for turning to her faith during this peculiar phase in our lives...I hope I'll always turn to God, in good times and in bad. Still, I'd love to know who hit me with the bad juju, so I could avenge myself (and my parents) by TPing her house.

*Nuno was not his real name, but it is a common - and unique - Portuguese name, for an uncommon man!

49 comments:

  1. Adorable picture and an interesting story! I can't recall ever passing either of my kids over a bonfire, but I'll keep it in mind should they ever give me trouble. If they're old enough, it might work well as a threat. :)

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    1. LOL! Conversely, they might find the idea so intriguing, they may deliberately provoke you to follow through on the threat. At least, my kid would perversely do so. :)

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  2. AWESOME story! Your family sounds so interesting! Mine is just full of wackos, not that I am disappointed by that of course. haha. We are the fun kind of wacko!

    I can actually imagine your story being a scene in some sort of cinematic arthouse masterpiece.

    The pic is so very cute!! Thanks so much for sharing that and your story! :D

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    1. Thanks, Trisha. Funnily enough, I never considered this story's commercial value before. :) I think everyone's family contains a bit of wacko, no matter how little. Though I also believe my folks got more than their fair share. :D

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  3. That's awesome!!!! I don't have any good stories like that at all from when I was a kid except the time I got a bead stuck in my nose. lol I am curious....were your grandparents or great grands a witness to the miracle at Fatima?

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    1. Oh jeez - I got a bead stuck up my nose too! Can't recall how mom managed to remove it but it did cause a lot of drama at the time.

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    2. Hmmmm, now you've got me wondering. If anyone in the fam did witness any of Our Lady's appearances, no one's ever told me about it. My guess is no, as Fatima is quite some distance from my family's village.

      My sympathies on the bead-in-nose incident! That must've been an early sign of your crafting destiny!

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  4. That story's awesome! That sounds like it would be a good scene in a novel.

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  5. Grandma got it right - shoulda gone for the "smoking" ceremony. Great story.

    Visiting from the Baby Faces Blogfest.

    Give me a visit at my Countdown to Kitschmas hop

    http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com/2012/12/countdown-to-kitschmas-day-2-nom-nom-nom.html

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    1. I think so too, Tami. I'll check your countdown out. (Great name for it!)

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  6. You won't find me posting a baby pic or taking part in any Baby Faces Blogfest or any other for that matter after failing to win the first prize of a gramophone player in the Ressurrction Blogfest. (I'm not bitter!!) I love that Portuguese spirit stuff, though, although the garlic sounds a bit vampiresque. Pity you don't have a pic with the wreath :)

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    1. I know, right??? A wreath of garlic is just sooo "me!"

      PS: It was a Victrola. ;)

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  7. You have one of the most unique stories I've seen today!
    And I'm sorry, Mina - I didn't realize I wasn't following you. Epic Ninja Fail.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. You're following now, which is what matters. Your efforts to connect with and support bloggers/writers are truly heroic and I'm honored to count you as a fellow blogging buddy. :)

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  8. An adorable photo and a fascinating story. Thus begun your writing career.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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  9. Aww. What a sweet pic!
    And who would put a spell on a cute little baby? Your mom rocked, though, and from your story, I can see where you get your awesomeness from. :D

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    1. Evil, wicked people would, that's who. And you know, I have a suspicion as to who's to blame...but I won't TP a house based on circumstantial evidence. ;-) And thanks!

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  10. Cute story and picture! Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!!

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  11. Now that is an awesome story. Glad your Mom found a better alternative than passing your cuteness over the fire. (:

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    1. I wonder, sometimes, if I wouldn't have been better off with a bit of herbal smoke up my diaper. ;-)

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  12. Gotta agree with your mom about the whole bonfire thing. That is an awesome story! Oh, the power of faith. Love it.

    Adorable baby pic too! :)

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  13. What a great story! Loved it. I am Methodist, grew up Methodist...but there was a time when I was in high school I wanted desperately to be Catholic. As far as I knew, only Catholics did exorcisms and I wanted to make sure I had a faith that covered all the bases!

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    1. Hah! LOL, I totally see what you mean. :-D

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  14. Oh, that's excellent! I'd love to be from such a colorful family! I guess that's the downside of all my family coming from NORTH of continental Europe... a little lower on all the passions and the voodoo... teehee.

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  15. What an interesting story! My sister used to be afraid of all sorts of things at night, so my mom made her a charm from a few flowers, and herbs and an evil eye bead, and just the thought of having that on her bed frame made my sister less fearful, so she could sleep easy.

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    1. Aw, that's sweet; I'm glad your Mom did that for your Sis, so she could get some sleep.

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  16. Cute picture! I'm glad all the crying got under control!

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    1. Yeah...now I just cry on the inside... ;-)

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  17. What a great baby pic!!

    My son had night terrors when his first 3 years of life and it was awful. Nothing we did helped, we just dealt with it and thanked God when he grew out of it!

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    1. Poor baby! That must've felt awful, for all of you. :-( I can't stand to see people suffer, generally, but when it's my kid, I'm just beside myself.

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  18. Aww what a cute baby pic! I am sure that you could've rocked that garlic wreath too. Ya know, you could always make one for yourself now...and post pics of course lol. ;) Just joking. Enjoyed this post. Very cool story.

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    1. Thanks, Tracy. Sorry I've been so out of touch! Hope your Sis is well!

      I think we'd both rock the garlic wreath, and I think we should commission JoJo to make one for each of us (out of some kinda ceramic or something, not real garlic 'cause I believe it goes rancid over time). :-)

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    2. LOL you guys!!!! Too bad I've never done ceramics or I would make them for ya!!

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    3. Oh, c'mon, it doesn't have to be ceramic!

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  19. That's quite a story. I wrote down the recipe and will keep it just in case. Great picture, too.

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    1. LOL! I've actually contemplated creating a sort of cleansing bath with these ingredients, maybe toss in a bit of witch hazel and whatnot...

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  20. Still a great story, even if you didn't get passed over a bonfire! My great-grandma, who was full-blooded Cherokee, was considered a "witch" by folks in the area, so I identified with your Tio Nuno. My mom remembered her as a witch, too, but I imagine it boiled down to her using herbal remedies and following her spiritual beliefs.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. I think with my great uncle it was something similar. :-)

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  21. What a wonderful story. I would be disappointed too about the bonfire. Here in Mexico the "evil eye" is quite popular too. Of course each mother address it differently, like yours. Nice picture!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, the Evil Eye is not something the average Portuguese sneers at.

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  22. This is an awesome tale! Everything from evil eye to ghostly visitations.
    Your picture is very cute too.

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  23. You were a very cute baby and this is an awesome story. I WISH I had people in my family who would give amazing advice like this. Makes my relatives look very boring in comparison.

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    1. Aw, thanks! I seemed to have inherited the witchy ways from my great-uncle, as I've a tremendous interest in occult matters, and read tarot from about age 16 to maybe my early 30s. One of my dad's sisters was telling my dad about some weird dream, years ago, and my dad told her to talk to me about it, as I supposedly knew all about this stuff. (Just call me Joseph.)

      Meanwhile, I've been living under the Evil Eye for nearly 42 years. I need some spiritual cleansing, yo!!! :-)

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