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Friday, February 1, 2013

A Tid-Bit From My History

My Father, the Little Guy on Your Left
This photo has always hung on a wall of every house I lived in. My Father is the little one on your left, clutching a bag a candy. Maybe "hoarding a bag of candy" is a better phrase.  He rarely got candy and he wasn't going to let any of his 17 siblings near him.

That right. Eighteen single births, my Grandmother had, of which my Father was the last one. He was the end, fini, kaput. I bet his mother was dancing on the roof-top. Ha

I learned how to love and share from this side of my family. Oh yeah and laughter and singing. What a happy group.

60 comments:

  1. You are one of the most caring people I know. Your post about the gloves you gave the homeless man prove how loving and thoughtful you are. Your fathers family ... and probably your Mom's too made you who you are today. My Love To You !!

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  2. What!!!!! 17 siblings and no reality show??? That's a great picture. Sounds like a wonderful family.

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  3. What a beautiful photo - and I cannot imagine 18 children. Unfathomable.
    karen

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  4. Oh my, I really want to know more. That picture is priceless. Family history is fascinating. Thanks for sharing this little tidbit!

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  5. That picture is amazing Manzi. So much wonderful histroy captured in one photograph :)

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  6. It's a wonderful pic!! Thank you for sharing! 18?!?! WOWZA!

    Take care
    x

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  7. My Journey... Terry : How's Hubs doing with his eye surgery? I hope he can read miles away. You are the most caring person. My granddaughter was just talking about your generous apron. She and fiance cook together and she said she was going to buy him an apron for Valentine's day because they both want to wear hers. I thought you'd get a kick otta that.
    Yeah, big family. When I was older, their reunions were so much fun. Always music and dancing and several card tables of bridge going. They loved bridge. Of course all the original siblings are gone now and I've lost touch with the cousins.

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  8. turquoisemoon : Actually 18 with my Father. Brilliant, a reality show. Of course the original are all dead but we could hire actors. You can direct.
    Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Karen Walker : Nor can I imagine 18 kidss these days. Imagine buying 18 pair of school shoes and then you have to dress the upper part. Ha
    People, back then, always had large families because they needed lots of kids to help run the farm. I remember the neighbors having 16 kids. They would pile them into the back of a horse-drawn wagon and visit my Father's family but when the visit was over, half of them fell asleep so they got left behind. Whoops, 8 more for dinner tonight. Ha

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  10. Karen Jones Gowen : You are no stranger to large families, either. I have never known any members of that family to fight or be angry with one another. Even after they all were grown, if someone needed something, the others were always right there to provide it. What a wonderful time of life to have lived. Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Optimistic Existentialist : Yes, it does tell a lot. This photo lives on in our family. Each one of my kids now has a print of this photo hanging on their wall too. Now the grandkids are beginning to have them too. The picture is so clear with all their reflections in the water.

    Old Kitty : Ditto WOWZA. That's even better than a litter of cats. Can you imagine what their meals must have been like. Of course by the time my Father came along, I think some had left the nest already. They were all pretty intelligent people, too. Many of the girls ended up as school teachers, so that must have taken some education but I don't think anyone ever went to college.

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  12. ! love the story, Manzie. The importance of family. Right!

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  13. Rob-bear : Thank you. I think I knew you were peeping out for a bit. I could hear a bear growl coming from somewhere. It's happening quickly now.... Soon we'll be talking spring again, depending on what that little imp, the groundhog sees tomorrow.
    Peace and enjoy your hibernating snooze.

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  14. What a wonderful photo of your dad as a small child, holding onto that candy! I don't blame him. It's lovely when we have very old family photos like that. I can't believe that your grandma had EIGHTEEN children. The poor woman must have been worn out, but how wonderful that they all survived. As an only child myself, I can imagine having all those siblings in the house!

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  15. Hi Manzanita .. what a lovely photo to have .. and your Dad determinedly hanging on to his candy ..

    Gosh 18 children .. beggars belief somehow .. and no wonder you share, laugh, sing and love the world so much .. Cheers Hilary

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  16. Thisisme : The thing that I always notice about their pictures, their clothes never fit.... either too small or too large. I suppose the older ones got the new clothes and from that point they had to be passed down. I notice my Father's pants are way too short (his ankles show) and the sleeves on his jacket also too short. On the other end of the boat, his brother is swimming in his jacket. I guess they didn't care and just eager to have clothes.
    I think the mother was worn out. I have another picture of my Father, still a real little boy, patting his mother's hand. The photo caught the movement of his hand. She looks pretty weary in that picture AND she had all her babies by herself, of course. They also ate better food. No GMO's at that time, but the elites were making the plans for all of this way back then.

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  17. Hilary : You always leave such meaningful comments. Thanks. Didn't you once write that you or your mother were from a very large family too? How could anyone afford to feed,clothe and educate that many kids today. You'd have to live out in the boonies to avoid the "keeping up with the Jones." Ha

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  18. Your father came from a different time. This reminds me of my grandma telling me about Christmas when she was a little girl. What did she get in her stocking? An orange. Yep. That was it. And one present. A doll. An orange and a doll. And that was Christmas. And her mother (the giver of the orange and the doll), my great grandmother, collected all of the things that they did without during the poor times. I suppose that included coming off The Great Depression and both World Wars. So, she hoarded all rationed items: string, cotton, rubber bands, etc. It was hard for me to wrap my brain around in the 1980s when she passed (my great grandmother, that is).

    Now, I am beginning to understand the mentality. When something happens to you as a child, and then continues to happen into your early adult years, and then happens again, well you decide to be prepared... even when it really looks like the threat of rationing is over. You just know you aren't going to be caught short. Of course, my grandma went much bigger with her "preparedness." Her basement was always wall to wall full of canned goods. She always bought on sale. Same goes for things like laundry detergent. I once asked her why she had 15 or so things of assorted brand laundry detergents. She said, "I buy every time it's on sale." Oh. Clearly. After hearing the story of the orange and the doll, it all came into perspective. This little girl was never going to go hungry again. She was stocked up wall to wall with canned goods.

    I only told you my story about my grandma and great grandmother so that you would know that 1) I understand a little bit of where you are coming from, since I have lived a bit of that, too, and 2) I think that we get people like that in our lives for a reason. They are here learning lessons. And we are here to learn lessons from them. It's all about the lessons all of the time.

    It's good that you have the picture and that you have passed it down to your children. It is an excellent reminder to show them what a life ruled by lack looks like. After all, it is right there, clear as a bell, in that photo: You are not going to get MY candy. That little boy is already living in a place of lack. It is so hard to get to abundance from that place... not impossible.. but difficult.

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  19. Wow, seventeen kids and could finally stop counting, eh? But you're right, out in the country they had more children. Those reunions must have been grand.

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  20. Wow that is a ton
    Of kids under their sun
    Life sure must have been fun
    I'd hoard the candy too and share with no one

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  21. 18 babies? Wow!! That is a lot of laundry and cooking. I would also love to learn more about your father's family. The photo is awesome--how he is perched out at the end with his candy.

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  22. Eighteen kids??
    Wow!
    I thought I had enough with just four.
    Was there an even spread of boys and girls or did one out number the other?

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  23. Holy mackerel! That's a LOT of kids! I hope they had more than one bathroom... or at least, a couple of two-seater outhouses. My grandmother had thirteen children, but only nine survived past adolescence. Still, their house only had one bathroom. I used to love to listen to my mother and her sisters talk about when they were teenagers, and fighting for bathroom time when they were all trying to get ready for a date at the same time.

    That's a wonderful picture. I can understand why you cherish it.

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  24. Anthony : Thanks for the visit. Always happy to see you. Actually there were 18 counting my Father. There was one girl, Amanda, born with a hump on her back but I doubt if they ever sought medical help because there probably wasn't any that would know about such things and if so, they couldn't afford it. That made her shorter for sure but she was the smartest, sweetest person. She never married and stayed at home taking care of the parents all her life. She didn't live as long as the others. I think she was in her 50's when she died.

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  25. Robin : Yes, an orange was a good thing to get in your stocking at Christmas. Do you know how few oranges we got living smack dab on the border of MN and SD. I'd get an orange and nuts and perhaps some yardage for a new dress. Couldn't afford a store bought dress but my mother made my clothes. That consisted of 2 dresses .... one for school and one for Sunday. But that is just the way it was.... no one was unhappy about anything. Everyone was in the same boat. I bet your Grandma was completely happy to get a new doll.

    It is difficult for the now- generations to relate to living with so little. But as I've been saying..... that was why I didn't blog at all last summer. I was ridding myself of possessions. I didn't want my kids to have to dispose of the contents of 3 (big) houses. I still have far too much, but it lighted my load and also my heart. It just feels better when I have less.

    It's like the old story.... if you get an electric refrigerator you have to have electricity, then you need a house or shelter for it and if it has an ice maker, you need running water. Better to stay with the ice boxes. Ha ha

    Thanks for the interesting comment and the good conversation.
    Manzi

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  26. Pat Hatt : That photo has been around forever and in all the sib's houses so my Father got teased by them his whole life for hoarding his candy. Poor little guy. There were probably only 10 pieces of candy in that little bag and if he shared. there goes the candy. I wonder if he could swim at that time if they decided to approach him.

    I know he was an excellent swimmer later in life. He taught me to swim.... threw me in the water from a row boat like in the photo. I guess I learned to swim pretty fast. That photo was taken in a bay beside their farm. That was in South Dakota but one mile on the other side of the long skinny lake was Minnesota. I can remember swimming across the lake many times when I was really little. Yes, it is a wonder I am still here to tell about it. Ha ha

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  27. Susan Kane : I certainly didn't have 18 kids, perish the thought, 4 is enough but I think I still have the values of that time when I was little. I try to stay abreast of the times but that early training of never-having-any-money tends to remain with one. For instance, I have to be so careful to put small amounts of food on my plate because I can't waste or throw food away. Just can't but it sure doesn't do any good putting extra food in my mouth either. Goes from the mouth to the hips.

    I love the computer but there are many appliances that I do not care for. The dish washer, for one. It seems like to much extra work, scraping and rinsing the dishes, then loading the dish washer. Then you have to unload. Big time waster. I never use the dish washer.... the old washing in the sink plan.
    Thanks for commenting. Have a beautiful weekend.

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  28. River : The boys outnumbered the girls. 8 girls but I guess that made them happy to have more boys because the boys were a good help on a farm. My father, being the youngest, was the last to leave the farm. In fact, they tell me that my parents lived on the farm after I was born and the Grandmother was still alive. I don't remember her at all because she died when I was one. They tell me I am like her because I can take a 5 minute nap and come out of it refreshed and ready to roll. They say she always did that.
    Yes, I agree, 4 kids can be a handful because that is what I had too.
    See you later

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  29. Susan Swiderski : Don't worry about the bathrooms in their family.... you had it right on the second part. No running water to the house. I remember a small hand pump in what they called the wash room. There were exactly 2 outhouses outside. I imagine they thought they had conveniences with having the pump inside. They cooked and heated the big old farm kitchen with a wood burning cookstove. It's strange but I remember all the rooms in that old farm house. After my grandmother died, when I was one, my parents moved to town on the Minnesota side and I went to live with my other grandmother on the South Dakota side, until I was 5. Sometimes I thought I was abandoned but I know they did that because there was plenty of fresh food on the farm, as it was in the very start of the depression. Then one of the Uncles got married and moved back to the farm but built cabins and started a fishing resort as the fishing in that lake used to be superb.

    Boy, that must have been hard on your grandmother, losing so many children. The flu used to take a toll on people and also scarlet fever. I had all the childhood diseases, including scarlet fever, but I survived. whahh hoo

    see ya later

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  30. Eighteen single birth kids is mind boggling.Two full baseball teams to play against each other. Such fun. You must have kin everywhere. What an amazing woman your grandmother was.
    Loved the picture. Looks like your Dad was staking out a little personal space which had to be premium.

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  31. Dear Manzanita,

    Such a glowing tale of love, of lots and lots and lots of children, candies and yep, I can tell that you rejoice and we share your singing, your laughter. Bless you, dear lady.

    And I'm profoundly grateful for your support and encouragement. You are a marvel.

    In peace,

    Gary

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  32. Holy hell...sorry...that's a lot of brothers and sisters. That is a pretty good photo considering the day. How many siblings do you have?

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  33. Klahanie : We had some huge fabulous reunions but time is the divider and as the original siblings died, the cousins went their own way and lost touch with one another. There is really only one cousin that I have her phone number and address, sorry to say.

    Thanks for visiting. You are welcome at all times.
    Manzanita

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  34. Chuck : Those old cameras had no features but the images were sharp and clear. But I guess photography or the developing of pictures was dangerous. Breathing in the toxic fumes from the chemicals could do you in. Well, it can still be a danger to breath in the chemicals today,. I had a dark room before digital came along and my brother put in a lot of ventilation.

    I only have one brother. Just the 2 of us. It seems to go just the opposite. I have 4 kids which was about average at the time.

    Have a grand weekend. until later.

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  35. You are right about my grandma and the orange and doll. When you are really poor, you are very happy to get an orange and a doll. They were living in severe shortage at the time, so she was happy to get those things. And I am certain that she would have appreciate your gifts of two new fine dresses. It was a different time.

    As you point out, the ownership of things is deceptive. You only appear to own them. The reality is that they own you. I keep trying to shed stuff, too. We just went through a move (again) and I tried to get rid of as much as I could before the move and I find I am still getting rid of stuff as I unpack. So much we think we "need" and we really do not. I find myself asking with each item, "Do I really need this "whatever it is"? And if the answer is "no" then it is trash or donated somewhere, depending on the state of it.

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post. I think you have really made people put on their thinking caps based on your comments:)

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  36. My great grandad had 16 siblings. No TV back then I suppose.

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  37. Dear Manzanita, I so love to learn about the past and that photograph captures a different time. Your grandmother was truly a valiant woman to have borne and raised and loved so many children. My mom's mom--Grandma O'Mara--had ten children. But Mom was able to have only two. I think she'd have liked more but that wasn't to be. I hope all is well and I'm so glad that your dad's side of the family endowed you with laughter and dancing, singing and sharing and simply embracing life! Peace.

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  38. I love that picture of your dad and his candy, but it's difficult to imagine 18 children. Good that the family brought you laughter and fun.

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  39. Tony, Thank you for stopping by. Sixteen makes a gang at the dinner table. I keep thinking of cooking for a crew like that.... and growing kids are always hungry. Most people with that many kids (and like my father's family) lived on a farm where they grew all their own food. Unless one was a multi, multi millionaire, I think you would have to live on a farm, too, and raise all your food and home school. You'd have a lot of unhappy kids all wanting iPhones and their own computers and even buying shoes would keep you broke.

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  40. Dee : I often think I'm out of touch. I kinda still live in that era, at least in my mind. It's very difficult to escape the habits of one's childhood. There are certain electronic conveniences I love but most of them.... I don't. I keep thinking of the emc's and radiation from all our so called modern Nicola Tesla stuff. I think about the GMO's and that it will soon be impossible to get natural food, even if you grow your own, the seed will be genetically modified. What a bummer when we had such a lovely world.
    Thank you for that wonderful series you are writing. It's an eye-opener to many.

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  41. Inger : I suppose when one's family is dirt poor, it always a good idea to count your blessings, not your lack of money. They had good health and could work hard for the few things they had. I remember their furniture. It would cost a fortune today, beautiful as it was. A gorgeous player piano and everyone could play it. There were all kinds of musical instruments, according, banjo and some wind instruments. Wonder where they got those. I can recall the evenings after the chores, they would sit around in the big old parlour and play and dance and sing. Some of the guys played harmonica and could whistle. My Uncle Edmond was the dancer and loved to show off. He did his own rhythmic tap thing that he called a jig. The room was so big they could actually do ballroom. I only came on the scene later, of course and a lot of them had moved on by that time, and the mother was dead. She died when I was one.
    The same kind of evenings were going on at my other grandparents house and I later lived with them. I know not having TV brings families closer together.

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  42. That's the coolest photograph! I thought my mother's family was large, with seven full siblings and two half-siblings. Lots of laughter in her family, too.

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  43. Carol : Your Mother's is large with 9 around the dinner table. 11 with the parents. If they all have large families, that makes a big bunch for family get-togethers. Yes, I have noticed that large families seem happier. At least they sing and laugh more. My friend Marilyn, who I mention frequently is the oldest of 10 and that is a good size family too. They, too, are close, help one another in any way and when they get together, there is so much laughter and video making so they can remember the good times.
    Thanks for stopping.... my favorite mystery author.

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  44. that's a big family! ;-D your dad must have a very happy famly

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  45. Your grandmother was one strong (understatement of a word) woman! That is such a neat photo and story.

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  46. Very cool photo. It's so nice to have these mementos.

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  47. Very cool photo. It's so nice to have these mementos.

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  48. Phioxee : Thanks for stopping. Yes, mostly, from what I've seen of large families, they usually are one big happy bunch.

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  49. Su-siee : Hey Kiddo. Strong is the word for her but what a life.... all those kids and births. I think it finally just wore her out. She looks plain weary on some of her later pictures but I heard she always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. I probably would have set my hair on fire after number 7. How about you?

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  50. Teresa : Thanks. I love all those old memories but that was what I was battling all summer. Memories are what made me hang on to all of my stuff. Plus the longer I keep something around, the harder it is to let it go.

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  51. What a wonderful photograph! 18 kids in one family and their name wasn't even Jolie-Pitt?!
    Julie

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  52. Empty Nester ....Julie : Ha ha ha ha
    It wasn't because they weren't striving for media attention.

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  53. share words of motivation
    One of the most evil than spreading slander are people who like to listen to them. Indeed, there will be no spreading slander if nothing is heard.
    may be useful and acceptable. Greetings and I wait behind the visit: D

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  54. obat maag kronis : Truer word, never spoken. Why spread gossip when there are so many kind words in the dictionary and we can pass along ideas that are useful to others. Thank you for visiting. It's my pleasure to meet you.

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  55. I was just looking at the picture and thought "How nice, I like historic pictures..." and then I read your comment. 18 children! Wow! I'd love to hear what your dad has to say about that experience.

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  56. And then...Mom's uterus fell out.
    What a cool, cool picture. Just evidence that our parents were actual people (kinda hard to convince my kids of that!).

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  57. Angelikas : Thanks for visiting. Simple as the old cameras were, they took such beautifully clear photos that lasted for year and years. I used to have a well thought-out dark room but then digital came along and I closed it. I had/have some non-digital cameras but now I just use a point and shoot so I can put them online. That was really the end of my pictures. The old chemicals were harsher, too. And now that I am older, I can't seem to hold a camera still and no matter how expensive all the camera components are, the picture will still be blurry.

    Oh, I forgot about my father. That was a close family. I never heard of them ever having an argument amongst themselves.

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  58. Al : I know you're joking but I believe that is about the closest guess.
    Our kids don't really know us.
    That is why my life-time friend, Marilyn and I are such good friends. We know everything about each other and still we accept the other one. Especially my grandchildren (They don't understand me nor I .... them.

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  59. Wow! 18 kids? That is amazing! You must have a lot of cousins. I've got a story to beat that though. My husband had someone who worked for him who had 20 siblings! And no, she couldn't remember all their birthdays.

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    1. Kay, WOW, counting your husband's worker, that meant 21. If you want to go for that many (and the 18 that my grandmother had) a woman should do it like the octo-Mom and that other evil mom who was on Dancing With the Stars and have them all in one sitting, or whatever. I bet the Mother of the 21 couldn't remember all their birthday's either.... ha ha

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