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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Amused, and actually laughing


Awhile back I swabbed my cheek and sent it off to find out who I am. Well, let me tell you. Forty percent of my genes originated in Kenya. Less than ten percent are Western European. The majority of the rest of my maternal DNA is Eastern European. Latvia, Slovenia. Hungary, Croatia. And on and on. And my mother-in-law thought she married a Bohunk.

This all is my “motherline”. Lacking a Y chromosome, my father’s ancestry cannot be traced. I would need to persuade a male relative to contribute a swab of cheek cells, too.  I am totally out of brothers, and down to three nephews, one of whom might be willing to participate. 

My mother was two percent Irish, half Ulster and half Cork.  My Dad was all Irish. I think. It may be worth asking my nephew to participate, simply to learn where those ancestors migrated from, to Ireland.

And, how about Sweet Home, Alabama. I am so proud of all the African American women and men who sent Doug Jones to the senate to fill Jefferson Davis Sessions’ vacated seat. A lot of groups reclaiming their voice.

I went to breakfast this morning with the friend I first made in the counselor’s offices; the one who got a sweet note from my brother Mel, when they were fifth graders. Most of my friends are like minded, and Linn and I exchanged a happy high five across the table this morning. Mel reveled in politics; Watergate was his specialty.  Were he alive today he probably would be constantly apoplectic. Mel had one daughter; Walt had the three boys.

The quilt we commenced last night apparently is a “meant to be”, too. You know how some things just fall into place. Simple pinwheels though they be, Laura is setting the blocks so nicely that it hurts my heart to quilt this with a sewing machine. My sister quilts professionally, but I know full well her schedule is booked six months in advance.



Laura, sewing blocks last night

I also know things happen, so I called her today and told her about the quilt that deserves professional quilting—before Christmas. I explained Laura’s beautiful sewing (Jan expected no less; Laura was the meticulous student!), and said my plan was to ask Kay to present the quilt top only to her mother and then bring it back from Texas to be quilted, or, was there the teeniest, tiniest possibility Jan had time to squeeze in a not difficult queen sized quilt before Kay and her boys left for Texas.


Finished pile right, a few left to do, left

If we deliver the quilt next week, before Friday, Jan can do it on Friday. We certainly can deliver it in good time. Laura and I fly to Wisconsin that Friday, but Kay can find her way back to Jan’s studio, in plenty of time before she leaves Saturday to drive to Texas.  I do like this sort of present.


Why we cover potential cat futons


32 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm so glad the quilt will be finished on top. That is teamwork. So glad too that you see some better developments on the political scene.

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  2. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the finished quilt.

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  3. Don't you just love it when a plan falls into place.

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  4. That quilt is a Christmas miracle! And your tuxedo cat has a perfect milk moustache, just like my HRH did!

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  5. Those quilt blocks look incredible. Teamwork which is creating a treasure.

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  6. Kenya? There's a surprise.
    Laura's sewing is so perfect, I'm envious, but shouldn't be, I just never practised enough to be that good. The quilt is going to be beautiful.

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  7. All of these things are wonderful. Even the cat sitting on the sewing, because he is such a handsome fellow. Fingers crossed that the plan goes off without a hitch.

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  8. Hari OM
    I find this whole DNA testing thing intriguing; we all know that there is very little 'pure blood' anywhere in the world, but so many would prefer to think they do have that. A program shown here just last week gave proof positive that the majority of those who claim 'Britishness' actually hail from the Beaker People, who migrated here as hunter-gatherers from the mid-east and Slavic regions and even the multiple migrations since then (Scandi, Franco-German etc) have not eliminated that genetic history. Bravo re Alabama AND the quilt! YAM xx

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  9. How far back are your 40% Kenyan genes?

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    1. My Haplogroup stayed in Kenya for half its history, then northern Africa (Egypt, Sudan) for another quarter of its history, then blasted all over Eastern Europe to the present. I just got the results yesterday and need to study on it closely. And that's just my mom's half. Need to figure out how to get the other half.

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  10. I like the quilting skills being passed on in the family.

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  11. ancestry.com does an autosomal DNA test that takes into account both and all sides of one's family. So does 23 and Me.

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    1. Thanks. I'll check one of them out. It would be fun to have the original findings confirmed, too.

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  12. I did a DNA test some years ago but found out almost zilch compared to you. It was almost useless. On the female side, I apparently come from the woman (or her tribe) that invented agriculture all those years ago. On the other side, my distant ancestors were those cave dwellers in France that painted on their cave walls. That';s very nice, but I had been hoping for more.

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  13. My husband and I are doing the DNA testing now. You results were fascinating, Joanne.

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  14. Mitochondrial DNA is interesting, but the more complete tests tell you much more.
    I am beyond impressed with this quilt project begun so close to Christmas!

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  15. What company did this test for you? My mitochondrial test was with a group from Oxford University years ago. Their book The Seven Faces of Eve is interesting, but I bet more is known about mDNA now.

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    1. Living DNA. I've sent off for 23 and me. I hope I can persuade my nephew, but...

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  16. good to see Laura carrying on tradition

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  17. That quilt is really lovely. Good work ladies.
    My DNA test gave me a haplogroup, U5A1A. Apparently they were hunter gathers in western and Northern Europe.
    I tested to find my fathers family, and it has been fruitful. I'm pretty much Scottish and Scandinavian as maternal folklore said we were.

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  18. That quilt is quite a project...and how kind of your sister to make time to work on it too.

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  19. by my sister sent off for the Ancestry cheek swab. the results? white, white, white. 57% England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland; 32% Germany, France; 8% Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden); 2% European Jewish (Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Israel); 1% Finland. I didn't realize that Finland isn't considered Scandinavian. I'd like to have one of the more comprehensive tests done.

    yay Alabama, did the right thing even if barely. well, we know which part of the population has a moral foundation and it isn't most the white people.

    by 'professionally' do you mean by hand? Jan is going to hand quilt a queen size quilt by hand in one day?

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    1. No, she has a Gammill free hand machine. The bed is eight or ten feet long and the head, the sewing machine, can be maneuvered in any direction on tracks on the machine. The quilt, the bat and the back are loaded on rollers, to be advanced. Sort of like a loom. From one side of the machine she can do pantographs. From the other she sews free hand. In one day she can do a panto. Free hand is custom and can take a week or more. She has a blog she seldom updates, http://janicelovestoquilt.blogspot.com/
      The header is a stunning example of her work. She doesn't enter her own quilts in shows any more because it's competition for her customers, and discourages them from entering. So, at any quilt show you can walk around and find judge's notations and awards, "Best quilting" and her name as quilter.

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    2. I'm with you on Alabama. Maybe their is hope yet for the end of this nightmare

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    3. There is hope. Actually, I'm watching how public opinion is coming on, like the tide, and thinking it may even sweep away some of these abominable judicial appointments. Many closets will be emptied. Keep an eye on the prize.

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  20. Blessings to your sister for helping out! It will be a stunning finished piece. I hope our Senator from Alabama does not let us down!

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  21. I had faith in these DNA kits till recently. My brother took the test and it showed that we are 92% Irish. Last year I gave my son a DNA kit following the Y chromosome. As we expected, since my husband is 2nd generation Polish, it was mostly Eastern European. He retook the test, this time to show-both X and Y chromosomes. Again, it showed all Eastern Europe heritage. Not a smattering of Irish. However, it did show many of my relatives with very Irish names as his relatives. I know he was not switched at birth as he was the only redhead in the nursery so something is not right with the the 23 And Me kit.

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    1. Well, darn. I do know a fair number of red headed Eastern Europeans This is a fun mystery, though.

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  22. Is your sister quilting it by hand? Wow. I have one that needs to be finished, too. It's 23 years old:-) Started it when I was pregnant with my oldest son. But it's all hand sewn so far. I'd love to see it finished but I'm not sure I'm ever going to get around to doing it.

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