Thursday, June 9, 2016

Meanwhile back at the ranch

Note the tongue protruding from Ms. Hummingbird. We must have 6-10 hummingbirds now battling for exclusive rights for the 3 feeders. Fun to watch in the evening
love their masks
I saw a group of 10 flying towards our tree
yeah I see you This varmit now knows how to climb the chains from my roof that have feeders on them
Daniel's report about his  field trip. He is 6

My long awaited DNA test came in. I am not Jewish. That missing quarter or eighth is mostly Eastern European, which I am assuming is Polish even though they were German speakers. They even identified 3 probable 2nd cousins, one having the last name of my Grandma, so I assume his grandfather is one of her brothers. I never met the brothers and certainly not their children or grandchildren. The biggest surprise is that I have a fair amount of Scandinavian genes.

When I spent those 6 weeks in Italy, the locals were very interested in ones background. They knew I was not Italian (like most of the students). Saying Sono Americana wasn't enough. They wanted to know about the genitori.  They guessed I was Danish as I did resemble the big, blonde, ex-pats that lived in town. I said, no, I was German (I didn't know the Italian words for Irish and Scottish). As a child, one grown-up insisted I must be Swedish because that's how I looked.
Well Scandinavia is close to Poland. Also, my English relatives come from Yorkshire, which was regularly invaded and settled by Vikings. Presumably these Vikings were responsible for the simplification of English. Old English had all the genders and cases that German had. The Vikings weren't going to use all of that and stuck to non-gender speech and did not use separate cases. That you Vikings, my probable ancestors.

I am mostly 'western European, a big catch-all for France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Northern Italy and Northern Spain. They do separate out Great Britain and Ireland, which I have ancestors from both. The Irish component was  much smaller than I thought but my Irish great-grandfather had a French mom.

This morning, a Cooper's hawk was chasing one of the sparrows for a meal. Couldn't see if he got him. Later I found him or his mate sitting on a branch over the road I run on near the nest, which is now almost impossible to see through the vegetation.

After a week of unbearable heat, it has been cool. Between huge rains, I was able to get my long bicycle ride in Sunday. So far, I am up to 745 miles this season. Allie was informed of her sisterhood and keeps looking expectantly at her mom's belly for signs of life.

I am cooking stuff for an old work friend coming to lunch tomorrow harvesting some of my Swiss chard, mint and lemon balm.

I went to my cooking class. A young mom was there in remission from a rare form of leukemia (hairy cell). Other than that, I have been watching Maya, gardening and buying even more stuff.

One of the moms son is an aerospace engineer responsible for a rocket launch of a satellite. After many delays, it was supposed to take off right now. I was given a link to a live feed, which worked all day but not now as the rocket is probably being launched. The mom in question went down to Florida to see this happen.

Update: finally got into the live feed. I did not miss the launch as it did not happen. From the website:
2200 GMT (6:00 p.m. EDT)
SCRUB! The persistent gloomy weather at Cape Canaveral this afternoon will keep the United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket from flying today to deliver a classified U.S. national security satellite into space.
A combination of rain, clouds and lightning meant it was unsafe to permit the triple-barrel rocket launch during its lengthy opportunity today. Liftoff of the NROL-37 mission is rescheduled for Saturday at 1:51 p.m. EDT (1751 GMT). Forecasters say there is a 60 percent chance of acceptable weather then. Over the next couple of hours, the 235-foot-tall rocket will be safed and its 465,000 gallons of cryogenic fuel and oxidizer drained back into the launch pad storage spheres. When the rocket does fly, it will carry a top-secret payload to orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office, the agency responsible for the design and operation of the country's fleet of spy satellites. Experts believe the payload is an eavesdropping spacecraft that will be launched into a circular geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles high to perform intelligence-gathering on terrorist networks and adversarial nations for U.S. warfighters and policy-makers.


Elephant's Child said...

Busy, busy, busy. Love your garden and must track down some Love In a Mist again. And the birds.
I am pretty certain I am a mongrel mixture. English, German and Polish is my guess.

Teri Bernstein said...

How do you get those wonderful pictures! Maybe my hand is too unsteady...but I can't get that kind of non-blurry detail.
Anyway, did you do 23-and-me for the DNA test? Or something through the University? I am thinking about doing the 23 and me...
Many good wishes! How many days to the Michigander? I will be in Grand Rapids for ArtPrize this fall, BTW...

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I do have a fairly steady hand. The birds were Steve's photos with a 300 mm lens.
I did the DNA through Cheaper but doesn't give health info. I am amazed that it uncovered 3 second cousins that turned out to be real. We share great-grandparents but they could pick that out. Also numerous 4-6th cousins but I have not sorted them out.

I am in a medical DNA database that is collecting info on a million patients but it is one sided meaning they take info from me but don't give any back

We leave on the Michigander July 18th starting near Grand Haven. We will go through Grand Rapids. When you come to GR, I do hope you leave some time for me (more than a half hour) We do have plenty of room.

Have fun on the Baltic Noir cruise. As I did not get a phone call, I assume Dick is going......


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