Thursday, January 31, 2019

Papier mache

Coffee and cardboard puzzles do not mix.

I spent today working very hard on this frustrating puzzle.

I finally got the whole map part finished...not easy with all that teeny tiny print...but in the process managed to spill my coffee onto the puzzle.  I got it mopped up quickly, but it did ruin three pieces, which I hope to put back together again when they have dried.  We started this puzzle, thinking it would be a good mental exercise for Walt, but I think Ned and I have done most of it!  I'm not surprised.  This is MUCH more difficult than the last three we made.

As I worked on the states I was remembering how I learned the states as a kid, and wondered if Brianna could find the states if asked.  Karen and I had a wooden puzzle that we made over and over and over again through the years.  Because of that I know pretty much where most of the states are, and if I don't know exactly (like the New England states), I at least know approximately where they are.

It was another quiet day.  Marta snuck out of here at 6 a.m.  Polly only barked twice and I wasn't sure she had actually left.  Walt had a fair night, which is a good thing.  And we had nothing on the schedule for the day.

Walt is still working on organizing his far no little gems like he found yesterday.  I spent a lot of the day working on the puzzle and then discovered Who Do You Think You Are? OnDemand and watched the show about Matthew Morrison.  I always confuse that show with Finding Your Roots.  I enjoy both and I haven't seen Who Do You Think... broadcast recently.  I give a slight edge to that show because the subject does a lot of the sleuthing themselves and it's fun watching where they go and what they see and do.  But Finding Your Roots, which does all the research for the subject, traces the family trees back a lot further.

I know that doing one of the DNA kits is all the rage these days and I always felt that the cost didn't justify the results especially since my cousin traced our roots on my mother's side back all the way to Robert the Bruce (apparently our x-times relative was a buddy of Robert).  My mother even visited the family castle (Closeburn Castle) when she visited Scotland (it's still in the family and looks more like a hotel than a castle)

She even got a tour of the place from the current resident who, I believe, is a member of our family.
But I know absolutely NOTHING about my father's family.  I know his father's parents came over from Ireland and that my grandfather had four brothers, but my grandmother hated the family and so I never got to know any of them, except the brother who was my godfather.  I know nothing about my grandmother's family except she had a brother named Leo, and I'm not sure I ever met him.
Listening to Henry Louis Gates explaining DNA results to his subjects makes me wonder what my DNA would show about my grandmother's family.  I know her mother was German, but I don't know if she was born in Germany or in the US.

One reason this fascinates me is that my genes from my mother are Irish an Scottish and I feel at "home" when I go to Ireland (less so in Scotland, though my Scottish genes are stronger).  I identify as Irish.  But a part of me has always identified somewhat with the Jewish people for reasons I have never understood, and I wonder if a DNA test would show that somewhere in my background there are Jews.  Given that our history is from Germany, this may be a possibility.

I should have bought a kit when they were on sale in December.  Ancestry DNA (the one I would get) is $99, but in December it was only $59.  Maybe it will go on sale again next Christmas.  But Walt's brother did and I will be anxious to see what he finds out about their family.  Maybe that will give me to impetus to buy a kit myself.

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