Who Am I

Where did my ancestors come from?  Why do I look the way I do?  Who am I? 

Three months ago, a quest to find myself  set sail.  I was given a 23 and Me DNA test for this year’s birthday.  Who am I?  Who are you?

March 14, 2020 (mi cumpleaños) landed smack dab in the center of Covid19.  After receiving the DNA “kit,” it took me three months to feel comfortable spitting into a vial and shipping the spit off to North Carolina.  Subjecting anyone to my saliva ~ during Covid ~ was difficult to get excited about.

Ahh, but, once Georgia began opening back up the little test tube containing Ms. Sweeney’s DNA, left Atlanta (June 8) enroute to Burlington, North Carolina.  A week later, the nifty 23 and Me app texted saying that my saliva safely arrived and was appropriately “in queue.”  

Let the ancestral-mystery solving begin.  

I also signed up for My Heritage to explore the family tree thing (apparently, 23 and Me recently added a similar feature to their site too).  Thus far, My Heritage has deluged me with relatives and ancestor matches. In other words, I’m not the first in the tribe to investigate such mysteries online.

If “names” are an indication of DNA, it’s safe to say 23 and Me will report high percentages of: English, Scottish and Irish.  But I’ve heard several people say they were “surprised” with their findings, thus my curiosity is high.

Have any of you tried either 23 and Me or My Heritage?  Did you make welcome connections?  Was it worth the time, effort and money?  The family tree process is taking some getting used to.  It’s labor intensive for sure.  

I’d love tips and feedback: triangleparkatl@gmail.com or comment below.



Pencil painting is a lot of fun — my “escape” of choice.

There are several techniques that help images emerge: finger smearing (oil on your hand is a great smudger), using the eraser as the “pencil” once the image is primed with graphite, using a paper towel to spread tones, and of course, dark pencil lines when you’re ready.

I enjoy drawing older people with plenty of character lines.  Lots of time goes into these portraits.  What happens sometimes, and in this project it has, is that a whole feature ends up being inaccurately placed.  This lady’s mouth has to be completely erased and repositioned. Ten to twenty hours remain…

She’s far from finished


Thank you for reading!

Love, Shelley