Mandie in Sepia


Mandie <3

Saints, Kings, and Politicians: My Ancestors

So I got 23andMe back recently after I participated in a study on bipolar for the company trying to target genes related to mood disorders.

I am about 70% German, 20% Norwegian, and the rest 10% is British and Irish.  But where does that come from?  I am the product of the Nelsons of Norway, the Westendorfs of Rostok, Germany, the Wilkes of Germany, and the Plunks of Germany.  My last name, Nelson, is my paternal line, stretching back across men all the way to Saint Olaf, the Catholic King of  Norway, who I am descended from from Countess Toline Running.

Through Olaf, I am descended from Saint Bridget of Sweden (both of them lol), Saint Vladimir, the Yngling Kings like Olaf Trygvasson, and eventually, when you get back into Wikipedia, the historical King Ragnar Lodbruk and Aslaug, alongside the supposed lineage of Aslaug’s grandfather being Odin and Sigurd and Freyr’s fathering of the Yngling line.  Brunhilde is supposedly my oldest female relative in the Nelson line, but my favorite is Malusha the cave prophetess who was a hermit seer noblewomen that lived in a fucking cave in Russia that mothered Saint Vladimir the Great.

There are various Anglo-Saxon kings and jarls and lots of other people, like Sigurd Snake in the Eye, Ragnar and Aslaug’s son I am descended from.  Supposedly he had snakkes in his eyes to prove Aslaug’s nobility.  I haven’t watched Vikings because I hate their take on my ancestors and how they villainize Aslaug, who since childhood has been one of my heroes – if you shit on one of my Disir, especially the indomitable Kraka you’re shitting on me!  Also lore Ragnar is way better than the TV show.  I’ve known about him since seventh grade when I read his saga, which is going on twelve years.  “I LAUGH AS I DIE.”

There’s a whole book written about the Nelson’s themselves: Osul Nelson was a politician in Norway who, when Norway broke off from Sweden, feared the new government wouldn’t be democratic enough, as he was highly liberal, so he came to America with his family to become farmers.  They started a lot of Lutheran churches and actually came in via New Orleans then dispersed from there.  After 50 years, Osul went back to his family, and we have recorded the Norwegian welcome home song they composed for him in the 1800s.  I still have a lot of extended family outside Oslo I hope to meet as my Grampy did and we still have the Nelson timber farm.

I can’t find much about the Westendorfs, all I know is they were a wealthy old money family in Rostok that owned a hotel on the Baltic sea pre WW2.  I’ll have to ask my mema about my most recent German blood.  She is one of my heroes, as I elaborated upon in my earlier grandparents post!  A search for Westendorf just turns up like car dealerships or something and it’s all in German.

I know NOTHING about the Wilke surname.  Just that we were German.

The Plunks were once two German doctor brothers that fled Germany under religious persecution, married two Danish girls, then settled in Lancaster, PA and eventually Finger, TN.  Our family farm is still in operation and we have an annual reunion every year, squirrel hunting included.  I will copy-paste their history:


According to oral family history five brothers came to America from Holland via Switzerland.

After a visit to the Lancaster County, PA Historical  Society, where I was informed that I would probably find my ancestors in the Blanck or Planck families, I began researching both families and found the following:



The Ship Queen of Denmark arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania October 4, 1751. On the passenger list was Christian Blanck, and Hans, Blanck. The ship St. Andrew landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania September 23, 1752. Passenger list includes the following names: Jacob Blanck, Nicholas Blanck, Hans Blanck, and Frederick Planck/Blanck. I have a copy of the orginal ship list for St. Andrew and Queen of Demark. 

Through DNA analysis by I have been matched with following families from Switzerland.
Blank, Blanck, Joder (Yoder), Linder, Frye, Muller, Zimmerman, Schneider, Holly.
It is my belief the Plunk family are the descendants from the Blank/Blanck family from Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland.
Not to say the below is accurate in its entirety. but it gives us some idea of why our fore fathers came to America.
Our ancestors were God fearing people who lived first in Germany, then in Switzerland. Our ancestors left both countries, after years of regilious persecution and suffering.  When the persecution followed them to Switzerland, they decided to leave their family, friends, homes and the beautiful country for the promise of better life in America.



                                      Example:  Immigrants aboard ship to America












The last Will and Testament of Nicholas Blanck names his brother Jacob Blanck, along with Frederick Reinhold and Peter Burckholder, as the executors of his estate. The Will was register with the court in Lancaster County Pennsylvania the 24 day of February 1809.

Nicholas and his brother Jacob Blanck are listed on the ship’s list of St. Andrew which landed in Philadelphia September 23, 1752.



Looking for land in Pennsylania, but not much is left. They heard there’s good farmland further south in North Carolina.


Moving to North Carolina.




Beginning at the port of Philadelphia, where many immigrants enter the colonies. The Great Wagon Road stretched from Philadelphia to Augusta, Georgia, passing through the town of Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania down south through Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. And down to North Carolina. They traveled by covered wagon pulled by four to six horses. The trip was very hard. The Great Wagon Road was slow, narrow, muddy, dusty, bumpy, and uneven.


Dr Peter Plunk purchased his first land in Lincoln County, North Carolina in 1765.


 Copy of Lancaster County Pennsylvnia will on Nicholas Blank/Blanck/Plank are very similar to Dr. Peter Plunk signature on his will in Lincoln County North Carolina.





Nicholas (Blank Blanck) PLANK will Lancaster County Pennsylvania (Written in German)








About 1825 Dr. Peter Plunk’s sons, John and Jacob Plunk’s families and in-laws left North Carolina for West Tennessee. Jacob Plunk’s family of seven sons and one daughter: George, John, Peter, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, David and Catherine all born in North Carolina – came to West Tennessee by cover wagon. There are no Plunks listed on the 1820 Tennessee Census. The Plunks first appeared on the 1830 Tennessee Census. Jacob Plunk does not appear on the Tennessee census at all.

John Plunk born 1773 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. Died 1858 in McNairy County, Tennessee.  Jacob Plunk born 1774 Lincoln County, North Carolina. Died about 1828 McNairy County Tennessee.

In the 1850’s the Plunks began to move West.

William Peter Plunk, a descendant of John Plunk, moved his family to Texas in the 1850’s, First to Titus County, then to Hopkins County.

Elisha L. Plunk a descendant of Jacob Plunk moved his family to Missouri in the area of Caruther, County, and later to Ripley County. In Ripley County there was a Plunk School House, Plunk Church of Christ, and Plunk Cemetery.

In 1895 John Henry Plunk, a descendant of Jacob Plunk started a store with a Post Office in Plunk, MO — “Now called Dawson”. He was instrumental in starting Churches, Businesses, and owned many properties in the area of Mountain Grove and Plunk Missouri.

For some old photos of my family, take a gander.



Dripping Myrrh and Fallen Temples

And your manifold burning peach pit Presence

has consummate itself in my throat to ecstasy

dripping myrrh at your mouth as you harvest me,

lips like lilies, the red ones that bloom in bogs,

scarlet at a mouth of parables, roses in your hair,

and heiros gamos is what I was born for, oh Christ,

what first impulse of my child brain lusted after,

union with the immaculate, and then you stir my

ragged heart, and fingers coax out a melody, and

my moon rises to reflect your sun, Tsaphai-Al.

Cryptograms and cryptographs and cryptic lore.

The Language of Birds, the Language of Bones.

There is no interior of the earth or sacred stone

I need to visit or find, for I am in the Kingdom of

Heaven, and I have tasted a thousand lashes and

a million lances and that singular cross, my stigmata

itches like a freshly scabbed wound, if I peel back the

layers, will I see you or myself?  Are we fractals of pain

and penitence and Passion?  Oh Yeshua in the desert,

what words did Satan whisper that he has not moaned

to me?  The Devil only ever prayed to me, his soul, but

I am not a creature of fallacies, I am Immaculate, and in

my womb sleep legions and legends and bodily horrors.

I am a witch, and witches do not go down without fights,

my Love, so speak me your poetry and jokes and laughs,

angel aura quartz instead of diamond, I am the Savior’s

backdoor to Heaven, ripe for the plucking from a vine of

vintage most wrathful, and as he sinks his teeth into my

meat, I am the Sacrament of his flesh laid out, and he is

the pelican bleeding out for his young by draining his body.

I am just an altar, after all, vestibule, vessel, vassal, whore.

High Priestess, always the Priestess, connecting all realms.

Witches belong to no one, but that doesn’t stop You, now

does it?  And with your Persuasion, my Temple will not stand

for long.

Almost 26… I am Ancient

So I turn 26 on December 31.  I will be older than a quarter century.  I will no longer be in my early twenties, but my mid twenties.  Married, a professor some students accidentally call “Dr.” (way to age me, I still haven’t even touched my dissertation), a changed last name, an academic article first author – all next year.  I have matured drastically since 24, and exponentially since 23, and infinitely since 22, and god forbid I reminisce about 21 and younger.  Galaxies away.

26.  Feels old.  Feels blah.  25 is fun because it’s exactly between 20 and 30.  Now I’m gonna be closer to 30.  I can’t imagine in the slightest sense what I will be like at 30.  Probably even more boring than I am now.  A straitlaced academic teetotaler that goes to bed at 9 PM, enjoys writing vaguely religious farcical poetry, weird novels, nature, boring stuff like books, has still never been clubbing or even smoked a cigarette, thinks fun is writing explications of issue frames and doing quantitative surveys on health and the environment, never stays out late, has a strict routine, is a professor nerd geek, into (fuck it) anime and sitcoms, and will literally be a Dr.  I am peak nerd.  I am peak boring.  I never take risks.  I am a creature of habit.  I am stable, high-functioning, gifted with genius technically but how quantifiable is that beyond IQ scales? (I refuse to join Mensa on principle), and whatever, I’m just like so boring and nerdy and as my mom says, a goodie two shoes.  The nice girl that won all the teacher’s pet awards.  I choke on the word, but bubbly and extroverted as fuck and – gag – always one of the popular kids.  I have about 50 best friends, and hundreds of regular friends.  Yes, I have counted.  I have no introvert points.  But I hate partying, and I hate alcohol and drugs, I’d much rather trance out to incense and Gregorian chants in my Catholic lady took a dump altar and have mystical unions with Christ or go to the lightning Gungnir tree and trip out and commune with Odin, or even just go to the basement and be reprimanded by Baba Yaga for not cleaning.  The ancestors are very talkative too, and it’s uncanny seeing your fiance’s great uncle in a very specific outfit (tan pants, brown loafers, a red tie, brown sweater, and red undershirt with a hat) only to find an exact picture of him in the outfit Josh had never seen from the 80s from before Josh was born, shooting pool no less.  Uncle Joe is hilarious and sweet and amazing.  Grandma Dorothy is stately and matronly.  My grampy, a founding neonatologist, is in Heaven with Metatron, Gabriel, and Lailah as an angel tending newborn souls as he did in life at Penn State Medical School, and my grandpa is waxing plane wings, watching Looney Tunes, and his first words to me from the grave were “You can still vote Republican, Allie.  I don’t like Trump, but I like Ben Carson.  And Ted Cruz.  And Marco Rubio.  You don’t gotta tell no one who you vote for!”  I’m pretty sure Grandpa is still watching Fox News in the afterlife, flying his planes, and watching Road Runner and Wile. E. Coyote.

Anyways, I’m rambling, back to the point.  What the hell do I do when I turn 26?  It’s been eight years since high school and four since college.  I am a legitimate adult.  With a household to run and spouse and students!!!  Egads!!!  Also, making great strides academically and writing-wise.  I’m… successful?  Wildly successful?  In one of the top programs in the world for my discipline with movers and shakers of the health field that are my dear mentors that have their own Wikipedia pages and international research centers?  And I get to do research with them and they advocate for me in a loving progressive department and for the first time, a whole faculty believes in me wholeheartedly and I feel like I can take on the world!  And I can make a huge difference in environmental, climate change, and mental health communication.  I’ve always served in every vocation I had: working as a teenager for the Democratic Party doorknocking and opposition researching and phonebanking, working as a conservationist for three years, working in renewable energy, and now, I’m a teacher and public health and environmental advocate.  I love my job with utmost passion and feel fulfilled.

It’s taken me about 25 years, but I’m finally stable, happy, and successful!  Tell that to the eighteen year old Allie who wanted to take her life by 25, promised she would be dead and cold and drowned.  A girl so wrecked and broken and in pain like a live wire of torture, wracked by mania and depression and psychosis and night terrors, plagued by the agony of bipolar and OCD and anxiety on such a severe scale they led to near daily suicidal urges.  Yet she persevered, she never gave up, she got straight As and scholarships and made lifelong friends and wrote novels and awardwinning poetry and got a Master’s while working on Capitol Hill for two years and now is finally content, placid, and healthy at fucking 26.  Sometimes the struggle is worth it.  Sometimes your greatest curse is your greatest weapon.  Your medicine was your poison.   Samael.  Drug, or Venom, of God.  Michael.  Image, or Who, is Like God?  Bipolar gave me my writing and art, anxiety gave me my punctuality and attention to detail and ability to perform at expert levels on high level academics, OCD gives me creative bursts and violet imaginations.  It’s not really mental illness at this point, I exhibit no signs of illness, quite the opposite, I function at a much higher level than the majority of the population.

All because I am strong, an optimist, hopeful, and work my ass off.

I am excited to be 26.  I have come so far from the little girl scared of the dark and its demons.  I have grown so much from the seventh grader terrified by archangels.  Matured so much from my cavorting with gods in high school.  I have every single fucking psychic gift down to smelling spirits and seeing them both with my third eye and physically, I have finally achieved spiritual balance and a healthy witchcraft practice, and furthermore, I have the man and friends of my dreams.

Back to writing my explication.  Daniel Kahneman, watch out!

Fuck Off, God!

I’m lanced through the left rib and my stigmata

hurts like hell, oh Christ, your ecstasies drive me

into incense fumes of ululations, my heart burns

and seizes with fluctuations of crunch and boom,

pieced by a spear not meant for mortal eyes, no,

my suffering will be invisible during my mortal

life, then like Catherine of Siena’s deathbed, they

shall see a wound straight from the side to my core,

thick with blood and a hole to let divinity in, also

my right rib rotting and black with Original Sin, I

can only imagine Adam’s whole skeleton burns, if

my origin DNA clone bone feels like Michael is eating

spare rib from my marrow, breaking and sucking and

caressing with a mouth of fractal fire, billion eyes looking

at the stains on my soul, on my sacrificial heart, stigmata

black and oozing, yet clothed in perfume, a fresh impurity,

a grace they say, while they feed me stale bread at Communion

and I drink rancid wine, no, I am a witch, take this curse and

add it to the anomalies of a Pagan being coerced by God. I have

no choice in family, but I have a choice in faith, so weird Judeo-

Christian Qabalistic bullshit must give way to Eddas and Odin and

Hela and Freyja and Freyr and Loki, why am I being hazed by

Jesus, this is bullcrap, I may have been baptized but I was raised

agnostic and chose to be pagan at 7, virgin consecration to Athena

failed, and I ended up a Sacred Whore.  Oh well, only time will tell

why this bloody mess of demons and angels and gods has to do with



Harvest Tidings

The veins of a leaf have the secret history
of the world in amber and black and gold, thin
traceries in Fibonacci fractals, how acorns fall
from such great heights to plant rumination and
tall ancestors someday sprung forth from black loam.

The dance of autumn is one long elegy, a melody most
sweet, so hold your lover close by the bonfire, whisper
sweet somethings into earthen hollows, spot fox digging
for the best of bones, watch coyote run wild after deer,
nature is unbridled in her passion for the deathly season

that promises new Creation, another song, another Spring.

Rest well, my friend, and drink up to a harvest most green.