¡Bate, bate, CHOCOLATE!

A few weeks ago, Katrina, in her eagerness to bake and eat chocolate, decided we should make a banana-nut chocolate cake just like Dora does in one of her stories. Katrina decided that mandarin oranges on top would also add a nice touch instead of the impermissible nuts, since I don’t allow the girls to eat nuts due to my childhood history of food allergies.

I have to say that the fruit topping did nothing for me, as Dora might have had one think. In addition, the browned fruit was quite unappetizing by dinnertime!

On a side note, did you know that peanuts are actually legumes? When I start Allan on solids next month I will go through a strict order of introducing foods in order to prevent food allergies. If I can find my reference, I’ll try to include it here. I believe legumes like peas are to be avoided until 9 months of age. Peanuts-3 or 4 years. This especially pertains to children with a family history of food allergies.

Adding solids (offsite PDF)

Pictures fixed

The “Recent pictures” block should be fully operational now. (SmugMug changed their site to improve privacy and I had to write a tiny bit of additional code for that.)

Initial genetic results

The initial results for my birthday gift to my dad are in. These are the first 12 markers on my Y chromosome that Family Tree DNA has checked. The Y chromosome is passed from father to son; changes are due to mutations, so it’s a fairly reliable way (statistically speaking) to determine whether or not two people are related and how far back their most recent common ancester is.

Locus 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
DYS# 393 390 19
391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389-1 392 389-2
Alleles 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 11 14 13 30

I match 12 of 12 markers for five other people that have used FTDNA and have the last name Town or Towne. In general, when 12 of 12 markers match, there’s a 70% chance we share a common ancester within the last twelve generations. For two people with 12 matching markers and the same (or very similar) last name, there’s a 99% chance they share a common ancestor in a “genealogical time frame”.

These are only the first 12 markers. I’ve ordered testing for 67 markers total, so we should have even more information in the next month or two.

Very possibly related to William Towne

I ordered the test and am participating in the Towne DNA Project to see if we could connect ourselves to William Towne, born around 1658 in Greater Yarmouth, Norfolk, England; he’s be around twelve generations back or so.

William and his wife Joanna had eight children. Three of his daughters — Rebecca, Mary, and Sarah — were accused of being witches in the Salem witch trials. Rebecca Nurse née Towne and Mary Eastey née Towne were hanged in 1692. (If you’ve read Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, you might recall that Rebecca is a central character.) Results from others in the Towne DNA Project are available.

Pictures having a slight problem

When I wrote the code for the site to display pictures and provide links, I took a bit of a shortcut. Well, SmugMug changed their site’s code, and now my shortcut doesn’t work on new pictures. Hopefully I’ll find time this weekend to fix it.

(Comment from old site:)

And I thought it was my

And I thought it was my fault that the pictures didn’t load properly. WHIPPEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Calling all squirrel catchers!

Not again!

Seriously, I can’t believe I’m dealing with this again! We had a rascally squirrel last year that our squirrel catcher couldn’t catch. After months of unreliable service, he finally just sealed up the hole in hopes that a new one wouldn’t be formed.

Today, I noticed a huge hole in our attic door while driving into the garage. Katrina mentioned hearing some scratching noises upstairs the other day during her nap in my bedroom. Now I know why!


(Comments from old site:)

G. Syntheosciurus

If you want to see little Elena again, you’ll put a jar of Jif Extra Crunchy next to the garage door and back away slowly.

You’ve been warned.

— Frank the Squirrel


You’d better stop your threats, bucko!

Date night with the girls

Somehow I convinced Brad to take the girls to a local Daddy-Daughter dance. Katrina & Elena were bouncing off the walls in excitement prior to Brad’s arrival from work!

(It should have been us going out—our 17-year dating anniversary is tomorrow—Happy Groundhog Day, Dada!)

Afterwards, the girls excitedly told us about the cake, balloons, treat bags, and their home-made tiaras. I am pretty certain that a good time was had by all.

I’m feelin’ pretty proud right now. :)

(Comment from old site:)


AWWWWWWWWWW! That’s pretty darn adorable!

Spoken like a true Town

I was trying to get a group conversation going during lunch today. I started out by naming my favorite foods. Of course Katrina exclaimed that ice cream was her favorite. Elena, while looking at the cover of a Dora book with Boots eating cotton candy, exclaimed, “cotton candy!”

Then I asked them about their favorite things to do. I began to list my hobbies: arts/crafts, playing the piano, singing… Then I eagerly awaited their answers.

Katrina said, “Going on trips!” This makes sense since she’s always asking us when we can return to “our hotel” at either Splash Village or Sesame Place. In fact the other day, after preschool, she ran out of class and told me, “Instead of Sesame Place, can we go to Disney World in the summer?”

Then I turned to Elena for her response. “So what’s your favorite thing to do, Elena?”

Elena: “Watch a show.”


“What else do you like to do?”

“Watch another show.”

Figures that there would be yet another Town who loves TV as much as her father, grandmother, and Aunt Sarah.