DH’s Deep Ancestry UPDATED 11/22/12

We received DH’s results on the day Portabella passed, we haven’t really been motivated to do the background research on his haplogroup since then. Things will eventually get back to normal and hopefully this will help.

DH’s Y-DNA haplogroup has been identified as E1b1b1 (M35.1 shorthand) which is thought to have branched from E1b1b (M215) with its expansion into the Mediterranean/Southeastern Europe from the Middle East (to the Middle East from the Horn of Africa).

DH had a ton of exact matches on Family Tree DNA but since he was tested only to the 12 marker that’s not surprising.  These matches are very “low resolution” because of the depth of the test, so his refine to 67 test should tell us more.  These results are expected around October 1.  This is all interesting because DH’s family is said to be very Turkish which is not well received in present-day Bulgaria.  According to Eupedia’s Y-DNA information, the E1b1b haplogroup accounts for 22% of Bulgarians and 11% of Turks.  It occurs in the second highest frequency in Bulgaria, just slightly behind haplogroup I2 (22.5%).  The most frequent haplogroup in Turkey is J2 at 24% followed by R1b at 16% (combined = 40%).  I’m assuming my father-in-law’s family is not as Turkish as people believe, at least not on his father’s side.  However, we don’t have any genetic information on my father-in-law’s mother.

DH’s paternal uncle (in the grey/silver clothing), DH’s mother, father, and little brother.
DH and his father

This is what the Genographic Project says about E1b1b1:

Place of Origin: Middle East

The final common ancestor in your haplogroup, the man who gave rise to marker M35.1, was born around 20,000 years ago in the Middle East. His descendants were among the first farmers and helped spread agriculture from the Middle East into the Mediterranean region.  At the end of the last ice age around 10,000 years ago, the climate changed once again and became more conducive to plant production. This probably helped spur the Neolithic Revolution, the point at which the human way of living changed from nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled agriculturists.

The early farming successes in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East beginning around 8,000 years ago spawned population booms and encouraged migration throughout much of the Mediterranean world.  Control over their food supply marks a major turning point for the human species. Rather than small clans of 30 to 50 people who were highly mobile and informally organized, agriculture brought the first trappings of civilization. Occupying a single territory required more complex social organization, moving from the kinship ties of a small tribe to the more elaborate relations of a larger community. It spurred trade, writing, calendars, and pioneered the rise of modern sedentary communities and cities.

These ancient farmers, your ancestors, helped bring the Neolithic Revolution into the Mediterranean.  This is where your genetic trail, as we know it today, ends. However, be sure to revisit these pages.  As additional data are collected and analyzed, more will be learned about your place in the history of the men and women who first populated the Earth. We will be updating these stories throughout the life of the project.


Ok, so I didn’t know what I was talking about when I first wrote this!  We upgraded DH’s test to the 67th marker and it isn’t complete yet, but enough information is in to know that yes indeed, DH’s paternal line is Turkish/Ottoman like whoa.  The first clue was when the Bulgarian DNA Project listed him under “Bulgarian Turks”.  There is a Turks of Bulgaria project too, so I signed him up for that.  We should do his mitochondrial DNA for fun since DH’s mom is Bulgarian Bulgarian (not Turkish Bulgarian).

At the 12-marker test, DH had a ton of exact matches: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Prussia, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Wales.

At the next step, 25-marker, he only had 1 match and it was not exact (2 step match). The guy’s ancestor was from Portugal which makes sense because of the Moors.


Here is the new information from Geno 2.0 .  We haven’t considered paying for the upgrade and I went to see the webpage on a whim.  I’m glad I did because DH’s Y-DNA information was updated.  He appears to be moved to M215 which is listed as a rare or non-existent clade.

Y-DNA Geno 2.0

Portabella was a sweetheart

We adopted Portabella from the Arizona Humane Society on December 27, 2010. She was in a large ferret cage with her littermates and was the only little rat to stick her head out inquisitively when I opened the cage door. That’s how I knew I wanted to take her home.

Ideally if you have a rat it should have a rat companion but we decided she would be our only rat as they can be a little expensive in terms of health care. I was home a lot anyway and we planned to let her have the run of our place so she didn’t get too bored. This plan worked out well, but looking back on it I would have liked to have another rat for her to play with.

I also kind of regret not getting any video footage of her being her cute self. If we were petting/massaging her little face she would stretch her arms out for a massage. Sometimes she was over-excited at the prospect of food and would climb all over us. If we were watching a movie and she had her fill of popcorn she would take the excess and tunnel underneath us for storage. Portabella also had a strange rivalry with our toothbrushes. If we teased her with them it was all out war; that was the only time I saw her fierce teeth-gnashing huntress side. It was hilarious to see our otherwise gentle pet stalking a toothbrush. She was a fan of chasing ribbon and could do so as well as any cat, and she had a penchant for catnip filled fishes.

Arms out for a massage!


She liked stashing our things


We knew rats have issues with mammary tumors and respiratory infections. We dutifully took her to the vet any time we heard her sneeze; she never suffered an intense respiratory infection. The first time we discovered a lump we took her to the vet right away and had it removed.  Her recovery was a little tough, she opened her stitches once overnight, but after that she healed quickly.  Her second operation was difficult and she was getting older.  Her recovery time was a lot longer and she seemed so fragile.  She eventually bounced back but we found a new growth within weeks.  After that she developed a fourth growth and we knew our time with her was coming to an end. Friday morning was relatively normal.  She had to be hand fed and watered as she wasn’t eating her pellets, but she was very interested in fruit and beans.  By Friday evening she was having difficulty breathing and was very lethargic.  We took her to the vet so she wouldn’t die alone in her cage over night.  It was a difficult decision but I think it was the right one for all of us.

It’s sad not seeing her whenever we come home.  She was kind of like a dog in that she would stop what she was doing, come out of her cage, and wait for us near the door.  While our time with her was short she brought us so much joy and love. We will miss her very much.

April 2010-August 10, 2012
In the Kitchen, Random!

Barefoot Count Dracula

New post at Black Market Farm.  I’m not really gardening since we plan on leaving soon, so I’m thinking of changing that blog title.  We’ll see.

Portabella demands that I post more pictures of her since her projected lifespan is so short. Her name at the shelter was Diva which I don’t like but I get it now.
Drama, In the Kitchen

Successful Roast, Soufflé Fail

Dinner night was crazy busy, so please excuse the messiness you see in the pictures.  I had a difficult time keeping up with everything (I suck at multitasking).  Even though things didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped, it was still fun!

The roast pork tenderloin turned out nicely, even though I later found out my digital thermometer is off and I accidentally overcooked it by 20 degrees.  It was juicy last night but I’m not so sure about today.  Either way it will make good sandwich meat and we do have a butt load (cask load?) of demi-glace for it.  And the demi-glace!  I had a difficult time thickening it, but it turned out ok in the end.  I also made a pear chutney but forgot to get a picture of it.

The heirloom tomatoes in champagne vinaigrette were really good.  For that you will need:

  • 3/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup champagne (We used Moët et Chandon, from Napa Valley)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Whisk together vigorously & serve.

The good
The bad. Is this considered animal testing? That is a workout dvd in the corner, not some lame ballet movie. Just so you know.
I won’t even say it. DH had already started in on the yellow ramekin (he’s sweet). I think the recipe should have had less baking powder and that’s what I’ll do next time. They were edible, the poached pear really saved it.

Fun Things Today

Here are goofy photos of Portabella for a change of pace.  There is also a garden update at Black Market Farm.

Eating a croissant treat
Ratatouille croissant treats
Eating a yogurt treat. She does more than eat, really. Its just easier to take a picture when shes sitting still eating.
Being weighed after all those treats :)
Ecology, Educational, Environment, Global Change, Green, Rant

What to do Now? (Sorry, Rant)

Initially, I chose my major because it was interesting to me and very flexible.  I’ve always had this thing about not being caged in or tied down with limited options so I wanted a bio degree that would let me travel, be outside, and generally screw around.  Well, be careful what you wish for.

Now that it’s time to find a real job, narrowing decisions is tougher than expected and I’m not as willing to leave AZ as I was before.  This is due to DH’s education, as I have posted before he can only take so many credits at a time due to our financial situation and I would hate for him to take time away from it or get screwed over by credits not transferring to another school.  Many of the interesting jobs are located elsewhere and though we would love to get out of this state it isn’t looking so great right now.  I have an interview with an environmental lobbying group coming up but this is not my preferred route.  Field work would be awesome, but not like Game and Fish Biologist, out-in-fraking-Denali-for-months work (though I have it on good authority they have a lot of fun and mess around all the time, such as “sampling” fish stock on the clock).  Another opportunity is with the EPA but they aren’t interviewing until April.  I would like a crack at this!  Yet another thing is these fancy jobs are great for new grads but require a 2 year committment.  Do I just not say anything about the possibility of DH not being able to stay?  So I might go the consultant route which sounds fun and dangerous for nerdy biology types but could potentially be a soul-sucking-sellout thing if you have to make a bad company look good.

For example, one opportunity I passed on was as a private wildlife consultant for a defense contractor in Sierra Vista AZ.  They basically wanted fresh meat to write a nice little statement saying their plans to remove desert tortoises would not negatively impact the species or its habitat.  So not gonna happen, those vulnerable little guys are my homies!  And you know what else?  I do not feel adequately prepared in NEPA knowledge, much less EIS writing.  On top of this, to get certified in these things usually requires 3 years working in the field.  How am I going to get a job to get experience in NEPA if you have to have NEPA & EIS experience to get a job?

So for now, one step at a time.  My sweet mother-in-law insists the right job will find me.  I’m not so optimistic but she means well.  I could always study sloth migration patterns…

I did get some nice networking cards made. You never know who you’ll meet up with!
A cute picture of DH playing with our Rat, Portabella. We got her from the AZ Humane Society in December.
DH actually made this box for her to run around in. He’s kind of crazy like that :)