2017 Reflections

2017 Reflections

2017 Reflections: how could something that seemed at times to drag on end so quickly? Maybe it was like the brevity of the reflection of the Sandias in the Rio Grande near sunset, on a beautiful day spent with friends Tim and Laurie:

2017 reflections

Sunset Reflections on the Rio Grande

New Year’s Eve also brings my mother’s birthday. Today she turned 98 years old. In December I got a little into genealogy after buying a DNA test kit at a low price on Black Friday. Playing a bit with family trees, I found my mother has a third Great-grandmother who was born in 1782 and lived into 1887. My mother is very competitive, and is determined to outdo this relative in terms of longevity!

2017 reflections

My Mom on Her 98th Birthday

DNA is interesting. I’ll spend time in 2018 figuring out how I’m “49% Irish-Scotch-Welsh-British” when I thought for sure I was 75% German. At the moment I have 465 “matches”of fourth cousins or closer (I don’t know who all these people are!). Additionally, two of those are third cousins I feel like I should have known but even my mother had not heard of. DNA does not lie!

Reflections on Roses: In 2017 The ARS Board of Directors, approved Rules and Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. I have posted a series of PowerPoint Presentations for this at Southwest Desert Gardening. The series is also posted at rose.org That was a nine-year commitment, much of it spent swimming upstream! Was it worth it? I’m still reflecting on that.

Photography in 2017: I exhibited locally this year, at ANMPAS in April, the Corrales Fine Arts Show in October 2017, and Shades of Gray in December 2017.

I did a couple of series as well. “Insects amongst the Flowers: A Microcosm of Life, Work, and Death” was a lot of fun! (Click on the link to see the series.)

As always, Light was a favorite subject. Crepuscular rays continue to fascinate me. Here is a slideshow of crepuscular rays in 2017:

If you would prefer to just look at the images, you may view the gallery here.

The last moon of 2017, not quite full, gives of hint of the beauty to come in 2018!

2017 reflections

Last Moon of 2017

Tomorrow, January 1, 2018 the moon will be a full super moon. Even more exciting is the Super Blood Red Blue Moon that will occur on January 31. Here in Albuquerque, totality will occur in very early morning and in a part of the sky for which I do not have a clear view. I’m going to spend some time figuring out how can get a good view and stay relatively warm. πŸ™‚ )))))))))) (The Blood Red Moon of 2015 was at a convenient time, and I could sit on my back porch eating strawberries and drinking tea while photographing it. Not this next one…)

As 2017 fades away, 2018 promises much to enjoy.

Finally, I would like to thank Oli Robbins for a very kind biographical narrative in the Sandoval Signpost. It was a great end to 2017.

Wishing each of you an enjoyable, calm, peaceful New Year, full of joy. ~ Susan

14 thoughts on “2017 Reflections

  1. Happy birthday to Lois. My brother had a DNA genealogy test done on my mom, which cause an issue with her sister. We were always told we had Potawatomi Indian, but the DNA test show no Native American genes β€” all northern European. That upset my aunt greatly, and she refused to accept the results. Happy New Year!

    • You know, there are all these disclaimers about being prepared for results you might get before you do a DNA test. I did it just to confirm what I thought. It didn’t! Nothing like in your family (I knew I was all Northern European, and I am), but there were some surprises in all these people I “match” but don’t know. But I can see how some results could cause problems at times.
      Happy New Year to you and Laurie and your family.

    • Hi, Mel! And the same to you! Last month King Douglas and his wife, Paula, stopped in Albuquerque. That gives me hope to maybe, someday, meet you in person. In the meantime, a very Happy 2018!

  2. Thank you Susan for your fine words and lovely images! The crepuscular rays are stunning! And for also sharing your mum! Happy birthday Mrs. Brandt! Here’s to beating your long lived relative’s record! Happy new year to your whole family, Susan.

    • Hi, Laurie! Thanks for coming by. I’m really glad you enjoyed the crepuscular rays. They continue to fascinate me.
      If you can, be sure to look at the moon tonight. It was spectacular last night, even though it was not quite full. Things like that constantly remind me how lucky we are to be here.
      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  3. Happy New Year, Susan! Thanks for 2017 Reflections, and your other thought -provoking pieces this past year. We have enjoyed them!
    Jerry would like to share his Astrobin page with you: https://www.astrobin.com/326913/?nc=user
    If you click on his photo, his other posted images will pop up.
    Give your Mom a birthday hug from us!

    • Hi, Carol! A Happy New Year to Jerry also, of course. I spent some time looking at Jerry’s marvelous images, and realizing just how many nights he photographed all night in December!
      Then I perused some of the other pages of that site, which is really beautiful and functional. I came across a discussion in the Forum asking that judges for the Image of the Day should provide some feedback. I really liked this one comment:

      “LOL, I was asked to judge a prestigious camera club competition last week and I had to comment on “EVERY” image – using the poo sandwich principle. ie; Say something nice, say what you really want to say, then finish on a positive. It was challenging to say the least!
      I’m sure we can use this opportunity to educate folks as to what Judges see as being IOTD worthy, and know what look for in their own imagemaking.”
      https://www.astrobin.com/forum/c/astrobin/feature-requests/judges-comments-on-iotd/

      In 2018, I would love to see and hear this approach to judging prints in our rose shows!

      So nice to see you. And, Jerry’s work is impressive, to say the least!

  4. Happy New Year, Susan. Thanks for sharing your delightful crop of images. Best wishes to your mother on her birthday. She looks very elegant and purple is quite a flattering color for her.

  5. Hi Susan –

    Happy New Year!

    Well, days pass by more quickly when we’re older … at least that’s what I was told. It did seem to drag a bit when in those grade-school years. Congratulations to your mom on her 98. I’d give her a good chance of surpassing the age of her third-great-grandma. The DNA test kit sounds interesting but I’m not totally convinced one can say you are 45% this, 10% that strictly based off on analysis. It’s probably the analytical chemist in me speaking, and it’s getting close to my area of expertise. I’d say such an analysis would make sense if coupled with a family genealogical record.

    The news for us is we moved to have our own horse ranch, 450 acres of a gorgeous piece of Colorado. It’ll let our daughters to ride to their heart’s content and train/develop show horses, maybe breed too. How it’ll fit going to med school and becoming practicing MDs, they’ll find a way.

    The Blue Moon total eclipse worth seeing. Hopefully we’ll have clear skies. If not, we can depend upon Tim Price getting us some nice photos. πŸ™‚

    PS – Nice slideshow with the soundtrack.

    • Hi, David. Your points about exactness are well taken. My mother is a biologist, with her expertise being genetics. But, she was retired before Kary Mullis’ work on PCR made not only the Human Genome Project possible, but also these multiple different DNA tests at a price that makes them accessible to the general public. (PCR is also how my son’s response to his TKI for leukemia is followed.) I love this youtube about PCR and amplifying DNA πŸ˜‰
      https://youtu.be/x5yPkxCLads
      I chose the kit offered by Ancestry on a Black Friday special, specifically because of its data base and potential for family tree info. It was mainly – at the time – a lark. After all, my mother’s mother is first-generation German, my father’s father is first-generation German, my mother’s father has a German name, and I knew nothing, really, about my father’s mother’s family except that her maiden name was Friend.
      One of my mother’s paternal first cousins has already done an extensive amount of work on that side. There are a lot of very English-sounding names on on mother’s father’s mother’s side. I haven’t gotten all the way back to where they came from and when they first arrived here, but a father and son in that line both fought in the Revolutionary War, and the father was killed in a battle in PA.That was news to me. Again, that was mainly already worked out for me; I just had to look.
      I’ve just really begun on the puzzle that is my father’s mother’s side, but that is where the McKaughan’s, Spencer’s, and McDowell’s are (Alexander McDowell Birth1668 Raloo Parish, Antrim, Ulster, Ireland; Death1736 New Castle, New Castle, Delaware, United States; I don’t yet know exactly when he arrived here). That line can be followed all the way down to my son. What I found pretty interesting is that my Great-grandmother, Mary McKaughan, was a midwife in south Texas. No one in the family told me that even when I became an Ob/Gyn (my mother did not know it, either). I learned it from the wife of a cousin, who said Mary had delivered her. There may be reasons for that, but I’m glad I know it now!!!! I could go on and on, but will spare you…at least for now πŸ™‚ ))))))))))) The bottom line is, I think the results are fairly accurate, just with a lot of big surprises for me. I love DNA.
      Your new home, your horse ranch, sounds like a piece of heaven!I think the healthiest doctors have interests and passions outside of medicine.Having their horses sounds like a good plan to me! You are providing well for your daughters.
      Yes, Tim for sure will get good eclipse pics! I’m hoping for all of us that skies are clear.
      Thanks for dropping by and for your insightful comments. Enjoy the New Year on your ranch!

  6. The DNA video – enjoyed it very much. Got a little sidetracked by watching the parody videos about med school afterwards also.

    You have an interesting family history reaching back to the Revolutionary War and before. And, finding out that your had a great-grandma who was a midwife. With your mom’s background as a biologist, it only makes sense you became an OB/GYN. It’s in your DNA! πŸ™‚ ))))

    On my dad’s side, one of the distant relatives started doing genealogy research of the family. She had presumed the family roots pointed back to Spain. It didn’t; instead it pointed to Portugal. Then, on my mom’s side, a cousin had decided she wanted to do a similar kind of research. She soon found out genealogical records from Japan were very extensive, but had a more difficult time finding an interpreter to read and translate the Japanese records for her. She did say the Japanese officials were very helpful. They do place a cultural premium on lineage.

    Laurie’s family have traced back their family history to about the time of the Seminole War in Florida. One of the ancestors was an Army soldier who fought in that war. Other ancestors identified include those who fought on both sides in the Civil War; fortunately they fought in different actions and hadn’t met on the same battlefield.

    Happy investigating on how your DNA matches up with the genealogy.

    • Hi, David. Thanks for the follow-up. I have been able to find a lot of info on Ancestry and Family Search. I cannot imagine trying to do it in Japanese. I just posted a follow-up in a new post. The DNA and the genealogy do indeed match, so much more so than oral family history πŸ™‚ )))))))))))) DNA doesn’t lie πŸ˜‰

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