Who In The World Am I? DNA Results are IN!

collage-world

They are here!

The results of my Ancestry DNA test that I got as a Christmas gift are in. I have always wondered what my “special sauce” was, given to me through relatives, now long gone and where on Earth they called home. The results are back and after I laughed for a long time, I had a sense of wonder as so many of these places have called to me, through music, or food, sights and sounds. Some of these places, I have visited; others are still on my bucket list.

I’ve spent my lifetime only knowing that my paternal grandparents were Italian (Sicilian and Calabrese) and my maternal grandparents were Norwegian (mom’s dad) and Czech (mom’s mom). I’ve been trying to build a family tree and have hit dead ends on all lines somewhere around the mid 1800s. Until I launch an expedition to the motherlands to comb through church records, I will probably never know anything specific about the stories of my great grandparents and theirs as well.

But blood doesn’t lie. Even if I don’t know their names and their stories, they live on in the structure of my cells. Maybe, they gave me a freckle on my arm or a color in my iris. Maybe the sound of my voice is similar to theirs or a strange love of exotic food; or the powerful wanderlust that has pulled me to countries far and near.

I laughed when I saw these DNA test results because I have some living relatives who harbor not-so-very-well hidden feelings about some cultures, religions and races that they consider *less than*- and even *terrorists* by circumstance of birth.

Well buckle up girls, because these results are YOUR results too.

Italy/ Greece-32% …

Western European (France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland) 20% …

Scandinavian 16% … (Sweden, Norway)

Eastern European (Czech Republic, Austria, Poland) 12% …

MIDDLE EASTERN (Syria, Iraq, Iran, UAE, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia) 8% …

Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) 3% …

EUROPEAN JEWISH (Ukraine, Israel, Poland, Belarus, Hungary, Russia) 3% …

Iberian Peninsula (Spain/Portugal) 2% …

NORTHERN AFRICA (Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya) 1% 

And trace DNA from Finland, Northwest Russia, and Caucasus- a reference to more ancestors from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria and others.

I am an interesting blend of so many cultures that are currently under scrutiny by people with very small minds.

I’m actually kind of bummed that I didn’t find any Orient, South Pacific Island, South American or Native American sparkles floating around in my bloodline.

Here’s what I know- I am a child of Earth in all its technicolor glory, and I carry a little bit of many, many cultures that make this the amazing planet that it is.

Everyone should have this test run just to see who it is you’re hoping doesn’t get let into America. Because they are not THOSE people. They are OUR people.

Suck it up, Buttercups.

Take it away, Michael…

 

The Evergreen, Holly, Ivy & Mistletoe

Long before Santa and Christmas, Yule was celebrated on the longest night of the year. And when invaders destroyed their sacred groves, the Druids brought their fires and greens inside their homes to celebrate in secret. Little did they know that Roman soldiers would adopt their traditions and turn the Winter Solstice Yule into what we see today. But it began in forests and tiny hamlets with nature and the elements guiding their way…

yule story

“…so now, on Yule, the longest night of the year, the darkness gives way to light. The Goddess Brighid, comes into the world and renews our spirits with hope and joy.” Jack held a piece of each up as he told us their meanings.  “We gather the evergreen, symbol of immortality and the constant source of life that the Gods and Goddesses provide. We hang the Ivy at our door to invite the Nature Spirits into our homes. And the Holly; it asks that good fortune come to all who dwell within. And lastly, the mistletoe, the seed of the Divine. It is gathered from the deepest part of the forest to remind us that even in the darkest times, if we look hard enough, we can always locate the spark of the Creator waiting for us to find it and carry it into our lives.”

-excerpt from Apprentice: Book Two of the Leelanau Chronicles

Wishing you all more light this year.

C cathead birds water

 

 

 

Matilda the Dane

Matilda the Dane

I had a lot of people write to me about Matilda after I wrote my last post regarding her serious health crisis. Here’s the UPDATE:

No lymphoma. YES! She has been diagnosed with Addison’s Disease though, an adrenal gland malfunction. Last week she had what they call an Addisonian Episode. Prognosis is much, much better (not fatal) and I will begin to exhale easier when she starts eating on her own. Have you ever wrestled a dog that weighs more than a super model and stuffed pills wrapped in treats down her throat and then tried to wash it down with liquid so she would swallow them? Suffice it to say, “Mom” with food means pills and wrestling. “Dad” with food means happy treats. Isn’t that how it always goes? Good cop…bad cop.

If we can get this under control with medication, we may have our girl for a few more years. I am incredibly relieved. We will know more about her condition as we monitor her in the days to come, but for now, I am beyond happy to have her gigantic Schmooeyness back in the house.

Thanks to all who sent good wishes. She would lick your face if you were here. Pretend she just did. Now go wash your face.

The Liebster Award

rThe Liebster Award

I would like to thank my fellow blogger friend, Melanie Blackwell at http://wordifull.com.wordpress  for her gracious nomination for the Liebster award, which is a recognition given to small bloggers by other small bloggers. It’s so nice to know that fellow bloggers have spent some time with my words and thought enough of them to give me this shout out. Now it’s my turn to spread the love. The eleven blogs that I  am nominating are listed below along with the eleven questions that I’d like those favored bloggers to answer. There must be something magic about the number 11. It is not mine to question. Let it works it’s special juju.

The 11 Blogs that I wish to Nominate for the Liebster Award are as follows:

Please, click the links and visit each blog!

http://marykatherinesmusings.blogspot.com/

http://dysfunctionalliteracy.com/

http://literarylandofalysia.wordpress.com/

http://letsmakecomics.wordpress.com/

http://www.louiseknottahern.com/

http://www.sammjoy.blogspot.com/

http://hranilovich.blogspot.com/

http://mikestratton.com/poetry

http://clattertron.com/blog/

http://www.marysuemarshall.com/

http://igeekmama.com/

So, here are my own responses to the questions asked by my nominator; 11 weird facts about myself and 11 answers to her questions:

11 Weird Facts about myself:

  1. I hate self-promotion almost as much as I do washing floors.
  2. In an alternate universe, I am a rock star and I don’t wake up until noon.
  3. In another alternate universe, I am a roller derby champion who goes by the name, “The Menace.”
  4. In yet another alternate universe, math is my best subject.
  5. I have held a chimpanzee’s hand.
  6. I have sat on the roof of a Hopi Kiva during a private Kachina dance while seated next to my host family’s young bald eagle tethered to a perch six inches from my head.
  7. I watched my life flash before my eyes while on the bus ride from hell on winding roads in the mountains on the far side of Gomera in the Canary Islands.
  8. I have gone on a search alone in Kowloon, China for strange herbal ingredients from Chinese pharmacists.
  9. I have had a six foot red kangaroo pick my pockets in the Flinder’s Range, outside Adelaide, Australia.
  10. I had a spontaneous and startling past life memory on my first trip to London where I “knew” where many places were, without a map or studying the city.
  11. I interviewed The Amazing Kreskin, for my magazine column and a twenty minute slot turned into three hours of laughing and great talk. On my departure, he took my hand and said he hadn’t had that much fun talking about random things since Margaret Mead died. I was blown away to be held in the same stratosphere as one of my heroes.

The eleven answers I gave to my nominator’s questions:

  1. What is your favorite novel? Yikes! A bit like asking who is your favorite child. OK. I’m going to go with Kurt Vonnegut’s, “Siren’s of Titan”
  2. Who is your favorite fictional character? Currently? Dante Valentine from author, Lilith Saintcrow’s, “Dante Valentine Series”. She’s the BEST female badass in fiction.
  3. What is your favorite movie? Again…Currently? I have to say that Star Trek 2009 was cinema perfection. I loved the script, the dialog, the acting and every freaking detail of scenery, action etc. Superb entertainment.
  4. What is your favorite way to relax? Watching favorite movies or TV programs with my Great Dane snugged up beside me.
  5. What is your favorite song and/or band currently? At least once a week for months now, I must hear KT Tunstall’s “Difficulty”. I LOVE IT. And, “Part time Believer” by Boy & Bear. And “Same Love”, by Macklemore & Mary Lambert
  6. What was your favorite song and/or band during your teenage years? I’m ancient, so I have shades of Joni Mitchell swirled in with Eric Clapton and his many bands, Led Zeppelin, Nick Drake and too many others to name.
  7. What is one of your guilty pleasures? Pinterest. I’m a maniac. True story. Check it out! http://pinterest.com/mimigrace1/boards/
  8. What is your favorite color? You know that iridescent color that runs from gold to green to purple to indigo like on a Mallard Ducks feathers? Yeah, that color.
  9. What makes you smile or laugh no matter what? Babies and small children laughing uncontrollably and pictures of animals looking hilarious.
  10. Where have you always wanted to go but haven’t yet? Bali. It’s on my short list.
  11. Finish this sentence: “I wish…………” I wish the planet would have a spontaneous evolutionary leap and experience oneness for an entire day; feeling love and compassion for everything and everyone around them. Nothing would ever be the same.

Here are my eleven questions for my own nominees!:

  1. What are you working on right now?
  2. Ten years ago, what did you think you would be doing in 2013?
  3. Don’t name names, but, is there one particular person from your life that you hope reads your work and changes their mind about who you are?
  4. When you were a child, what did you think you would do for a career?
  5. If you could bring back one television program that has been cancelled, which one would it be?
  6. If you could resurrect one dead author to write one more book, who would it be?
  7. I’m your Cyber Fairy Godmother. What is your one wish that pertains to your blog?
  8. Most artists play in many disciplines. Besides writing, what other artistic expressions do you dabble in?
  9. What do you listen to while you create things?
  10. When words fail you, what do you do to grease the wheels of creativity again?
  11. In five years, what do want to have accomplished?