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I am the oldest of eleven children, born to parents who were either saints or crazy, maybe both. They thought we were all capable of being professional athletes or broadway stars. They weren't right, of course, but they did help us have self-confidence. I have the greatest family. A patient husband who makes me laugh and four clever, good-looking children--two boys and two girls. I adore them all. Through the years I've been a student, a teacher, a secretary, a clothing designer and seamstress, a wedding cake maker, a crafter, a scrapbooker, a cook, a homework helper (until they pass me in math, somewhere around the third grade), and a fan at my children's sporting events. Before I die, I'd either like to be a great housekeeper or have the money to hire a maid. I've been writing since Jr. High, when I was hired by a county newspaper to do a Happenings column about our little town of about 300 people. I got paid by the word so every week I called every family in town and got their news. It wasn't high-brow journalism but the column earned me a little spending money. On our way to Aspen, CO, my sister, my two oldest kids and I were hit head-on by a drunk driver in a stolen car. Although we suffered serious injuries, we all survived. Candy isn't worth eating unless it's chocolate. (See's are the best.) When I was seven years old, I fell and broke my arm . . . on a dirtclod. When I was a child, my family bought and renovated an old school-house. It was a wonderful place to live in spite of the bats that flew over our heads at night. I've been told that my naturally curly hair doesn't get longer, it gets bigger. I've always liked game shows. Everything from Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy to the reality-style game shows like Amazing Race, Survivor, and Top Chef. Nothing makes me happier than being with family and friends eating good food, sharing good conversation and a few laughs. That might be why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.