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My cousin Hedy and her husband stayed with us for a few days this week. I’ve only met my cousin once, on a trip to Singapore when I was eleven. Honestly, I didn’t remember her. One of four sisters, they sort of blended together.

Hedy and I sat at the dining room table on Thursday night and looked through old black and white pictures. As we got reacquainted, I felt as if we had a lifetime to catch up on. While exchanging stories, we discovered things we never knew about our family.

I have twenty-five first cousins. Five from my dad’s side, twenty from mom’s side. However, Hedy pointed out that my maternal grandfather had three, possibly four wives, which means we have more cousins.

Polygamy in Malaysia was legal back in the pre-WWII days. Wealthy men commonly took several wives. My grandfather’s first wife had two sons and between them, nine children. My grandmother, wife number two, had twelve children, six of whom lived to adulthood. The third wife was my grandmother’s younger sister. Nice, huh?

Since we’re in the initial stages of planning a first cousin reunion, Hedy said she’d try to locate the cousins from wife number three and the other cousins (or half-cousins?) from my grandfather’s oldest son, who followed in his father’s footsteps and had four wives too. Confused? I am.

In the meantime, I’ll wait and wonder how many more cousins I have.

Are there events/stories in your family that you’ve recently discovered?

I’d also like to mention that a couple of weeks ago, Angela Orlowski-Peart, my classmate from Kristen Lamb’s social networking class, was kind enough to award me with the Liebster Blogging Award. The Liebster is a pat on the shoulder for smaller blogs.  Thank you, Angela!

In addition to her thought provoking posts, Angela has a weekly “Writer’s Game” in which she posts the beginning of a story and asks her readers contribute. It’s a lot of fun! Check out Angela’s blog. http://cheeriosandpearlsstories.blogspot.com/

And…another classmate Kate MacNicol, tagged my blog in her “Ten Random Facts”, which requires that I tag four more blogs and list ten random facts about myself. A historical and paranormal author, Kate blogs about healthy lifestyles. She’s also a caffeine lover like moi. http://katemacnicol.wordpress.com/  I’m toasting Kate with a big cup of French Roast.

Here are ten random facts about me…

1. I had a mad crush on the cartoon character Johnny Quest. 

2. I have a strange fascination with the WWII POW camps in the U.S., which housed Axis prisoners from Germany, Italy and Japan, and I own almost every book on the subject.

3. I wish I could play the piano and sing like Carole King.

4. I collect cake stands.

5. Peyton Place was the first adult book I ever read.

6. My first job was working as a phlebotomist. I’d start my day with, “Good morning, I’m here to take a blood sample.”

7. Thanks to my parents and their collection of hi-fidelity records, I know the words to most Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra and Englebert Humperdinck songs.

8. We had Jewish neighbors when I was a kid. I ate a lot of matzo crackers at their house. My mom never bought matzo crackers, so I assumed we weren’t allowed to buy them because we weren’t Jewish.

9. When I was six, I thought I saw Jesus standing in front of the cheese section at Lucky’s.

10. I always wanted to go to culinary school.

Now, I’m going to award the Liebster Blog Award to four more bloggers and ask them to list ten random facts about themselves.

Becke Martin Davis is one of my crit partners (poor thing!) and a blogmate at Romance University. Becke writes three blogs. I’m linking her Family Treethyme blog on this go around. http://familytreethyme.blogspot.com/

Romance University founder, fellow RU blogger and proud Texan, Kelsey Browning, puts an original and inimitable spin on everything as you’ll see when you check out her Brain Candy Blog. http://www.kelseybrowning.com/brain-candy/

Cruise queen, world traveler and award winning romantic suspense author Loucinda McGary, who’s just returned from voyage number twenty, blogs with a wonderful group of Golden Heart Finalists at www.RomanceBandits.blogspot.com, and she writes her own blog, Aunt Cindy Explains It All. http://auntycindy.blogspot.com/

Vintage European Posters. Elizabeth Norris, proprietor of VEP-California, blogs about vintage posters and poster artists. Each blog is like mini-history lesson about the period and the artist. http://vepca.wordpress.com/

Elizabeth travels to Europe on a regular basis in search of vintage posters. I bought my first posters from her, and if you’re lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, you can visit her gallery in Berkeley or check out their website: http://vepca.com