Bourbon Ganache Smores – Recipe

Bourbon Chocolate SmoresIngredients:

2 (4 ounce) bars dark chocolate, broken into pieces, divided

4 fluid ounces organic heavy whipping cream

2-3 tablespoons bourbon

1 (10 ounce) package regular-size marshmallows

2 graham crackers, crushed

36 teddy bear-shaped graham snacks


  • Place 1/2 of the chocolate pieces in a bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper.
  • Heat cream in a small saucepan just until it boils; pour over chocolate pieces. Let mixture stand for 1 to 2 minutes. Gently whisk until ganache is smooth; whisk in bourbon, a little at a time, until smooth. The ganache will thicken as it cools.
  • Insert a fork into 1 end of a marshmallow without pushing it through all the way. Toast over a gas or electric burner set to medium-low, rotating until all sides are browned and marshmallow is puffed, about 1 minute per side. Hold the marshmallow high enough so the heat causes the marshmallow to puff up without catching on fire. Don’t brown the top end where the fork is inserted.
  • Place marshmallow on the prepared baking sheet, using a second fork to help slide the marshmallow off the fork. After a few seconds, the untoasted top will sink down, forming a hollow space in the center of the marshmallow. Repeat with the rest of the marshmallows. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Melt the remaining chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 15-second intervals, stirring after each melting, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir chocolate until smooth; cool slightly.
  • Spread melted chocolate onto top and bottom of each marshmallow and dip into the crushed graham crackers. Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk the cooled ganache until fluffy; pipe into each marshmallow using a pastry bag or plastic bag with a corner cut off. Garnish each “hot tub” with a teddy bear-shaped graham snack.

The “Me” I Never Thought I Would Become and The Stain Infertility Leaves On Your Soul- The 411


Infertility indelibly leaves a horrid stain on your spirit.  It is an experience so lonely, only those who have gone through it could possibly understand.  It is a pain so deep, it changes the fabric and core of who you are.

I have slowly become the “Me” I never wanted to become.  Slowly, but surely, I find myself at times being cold, stoic, uncaring, unphased, bitter, and a shell of the person I once was when I started this process.  It comes in waves. There are times when I feel empowered and strong and other times, more often than not lately, that I feel weak, like a failure, and like there is no end to this pain.

The hormones the doctors soup you up on wrecks havoc on your emotions.  I have, over time, been able to separate the hormonal crash that happens after cycling, as the drugs are finally leaving your body, from my true feelings.  It is important to know when you are just being hormonal and when you are connecting to your inner self and in touch with your emotions.  Sometimes the lines blur and you feel like you are in a twilight zone.

Infertility is this thing that sneaks into your existence and you have absolutely no control over it.  No matter how much you hope, how much you pray, how much you feel you can control and manipulate, in all honesty, you are a slave to it.

For a woman who is always in control, always planning everything out, is successful at all other things, being a failure at what should come so very naturally is the most daunting and hurtful thing ever.

With every sliver of hope that is dashed, a bit of you dies on the inside.  It is the kind of longing and hurt that none other, save those who have experienced it, can truly understand.

Hearing the “It is Gods timing…. Are you sure this is what God wants for you… Not everyone can bear children… God doesn’t intend for everyone to be a parent… Why did you wait so late….Keep trying, it will happen…. Just relax, it will happen…. Give it time….Just give it God…  God has got you…. etc  CUTS . LIKE. A. MACHETE !

I have spent so many hours pondering what cosmic curse I am under…what could I have ever done in my life for this to be what I must bear?

My entire life, I have ALWAYS been a good person.  I have always had a giving heart and have always given my all to everything.  When none of my “elite” friends could not be bothered, save for writing a check, I would give up a day or two every week to stand in the serving line at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, N Street Village, Union Central Mission, S.O.M.E, and volunteered more hours than I can count at homeless shelters and with the LBGT homeless kids on the streets of NYC in partnership with New Alternatives NYC.  I have taught acting classes to impoverished children in partnership with Tommy Hilfiger Foundation…. and so many other things.  I have given the coat off of my back to a homeless person and had to trek back to my apartment in below zero temps.

Although I do all of these things simply because it is the right thing to do and expect nothing in return, should I not have a few little brownie points with the big guy upstairs?  I am by no means perfect, but I do have a good heart and I for the life of me can not wrap my mind around why a loving God would keep me from two things I desire more than anything in this world.  I would give up everything I have to have these two things. One, finding one man who will be my best friend, confidant, road dog, lover, protector, and life partner and Two, twins (boy and girl or two girls) who are bright, loving, sweet, healthy, and all mine.

After I avoided what would have been the most catastrophic thing that could have ever have happened in my life, the wedding that never happened, I took some time to heal.  After time went by, I decided that I really wanted to be a mom.  There was this deep longing to love someone and nurture another life and devote myself to giving a child all the love and knowledge I have.  I had the best mom ever and my grandfather was the best thing since popcorn.  If I could be half as good of a parent as they exemplified, my kids will be awesome !

There are no words to describe the pain that infertility causes.  There is nothing that compares.  Losing my grandfather, my stepfather, dealing with my mom and godmother’s cancer, dealing with the sudden illness of my spiritual mom/advisor, and even the heartbreak I went through with my ex doesn’t cut as deeply as this does.

Experiencing the loss of a life once growing under your heart is indescribable.  It is a debilitating pain that never heals, no matter how much time passes.  I do not think that even being able to bring another child into the world will erase or lessen the pain from loss.

No one tells you how stressful going through IVF is.  Aside from the thousands of dollars per day in medications, thousands of dollars paid to fertility clinics, LabCorp, monitoring centers, travel, hotels, hundreds of dollars in supplements, specialty foods, weekly acupuncture sessions and herbs, massages, additional specialty doctors, testing, procedures and all the other numerous expenses, the largest source of stress comes from the process of stimming for weeks, going through two procedures, sitting on pins and needles for the 2WW (two week wait) and then learning that you went through ALL of that for a BFN (big fat negative).  Somehow, you put that behind you and put forth faith for another go at it, and it is failure after failure.

After my first IVF, I was elated to learn that I got pregnant on the very first try.  My first IVF was done because I was partner-less and wanted to be a mom.  Color me surprised when I learned that my baby, a perfect little girl, was genetically normal and that I had autoimmune and possibly alloimmune issues that were to blame.  Getting a diagnosis of unexplained infertility is not the business !  It SUCKS !  What sucks even more is that infertility is an illness just like diabetes yet our healthcare system will not cover treatment.

I am now at a crossroads in my treatment.  My eggs are now aneuploid and are not sticking to my womb.  They are dying off before they stick and some are dying off before they can even do ICSI.  The quality is declining and in order for me to have a child, now I must do donor egg IVF.  I can accept that.

It has been damn near impossible to find an egg donor who is black and has the qualities I need for her to have.  I have found several donors of other races who fit the bill, however, that would mean I have to change my sperm donor.  I am extremely unhappy with Xytex now because they increased the family unit to 60 and they do not keep good records all the time because women do not always report live births and they do not go out of their way to follow up.  Moreover, 60 families means family units, not children.  60 women could decide they want 2-10 kids from a donor and each woman represents ONE family unit regardless of how many children are born to her.  That is a hell of a lot of kids out there.  I do not want my children meeting up with their donor sibling and ending up on the next episode of Springer !

In searching for a black sperm donor, it is hard to find an ID open donor who has the educational background, medical history / familial medical history background, and other criteria that my current donor has.  Black sperm donors are more often than not, anonymous donors. I definitely want an ID open donor so that my children can, at the age of 18, arrange to meet their “father”, should they choose to.  With egg donors, it is anonymous, but I am not that concerned about it because of epigenetics, only 8 cells or so come from the egg donor and the millions of cells that will grow to make your baby, the blood that flows through their veins, etc come from ME, the mother.  I do need to leave the door open for my children to find their father, if they want to.

As sorry a father as I had, I knew who he was.  My parents divorced when I was 16 and that was the best day of my life.  But I did know who my father was.  I knew all about him and it made a difference to me.  He died shortly after my stepfather died and just before my grandfather died. They all died within a five year span.

I had given much thought into having one of my friends be the donor for several reasons. (although I initially did not want to go that route) I do not want my children to have hundreds of donor siblings out there, and I have no desire to meet any donor siblings, although many women do.  My children are MY family and I am not a fan of doing this blended family thing.  It would be completely different if my donor had children, however.   I have intentionally never dated men with children because I did not want to get involved in a ready made family situation with all the drama that could entail.  My male friends are all gorgeous, tall, highly intelligent, educated, and down right good people.  They all are men of integrity, have great senses of humor, have wonderful families who have decent health histories, and the men I know are all healthy. They have varied talents and interest, but all things I would desire in a partner if I were checking for them in that capacity.  Any one of them would be a great father.

I am now researching cryobanks and trying to decide which one(s) I will purchase an all access pass to (another expense I am not looking forward to) and try to find a sperm donor that will be what I am looking for.  This is stressing me out so badly.   When I did my initial selection of my sperm donor, it was a long, tedious process.  I narrowed my selection down to I think four and then had a donor selection party with my family and closest friends and my godmom and they all voted for the one I liked most, and I never let on which one I had in mind nor did I tell them who I went with.  I have blow $2300 on sperm vials !  Three vials of sperm for $2300 !  Ridiculous !  I could have gone with a less expensive cryobank, but since I am making a baby like a damned Build A Bear, I saw no reason to cut corners.  I wanted the best possible donor, the cryobank which offered the most comprehensive testing, and one which had a stellar record.  Now, if I do not have a friend who is willing to help me make these babies, I will have to find a cryobank that is acceptable.  The problem I have with a lot of banks is that they do not offer lifespan photos, they do not properly vet donors nor require psychological testing, they do not do the same level of testing, and some of them do not have a large Black donor pool.

It has been well over a year since I selected my initial donor so I basically have to start over from scratch.  There are a few cryobanks which limit family units to 10.  I am definitely going to want a low family unit cryobank.  I, myself, am multiracial, so I definitely want my children to be, although their racial make up will differ from my own.  My family is Black, Native American and White. My children will likely be Black and White (European) or Indian.

I am beyond stressed out at this juncture because in selecting an egg donor, it has to be done now because it could be as little as a six month wait for her to become available to me.  All of the most desirable egg donors are always with a waiting list.  The clinic had me submit photos of myself so that they could match me with  donors, but all new donors they are getting in are not Black, thus, I will definitely have to change my sperm donor to black.

I am so stressed out about this whole thing.  I am working diligently to get my body back to my ideal weight, although my BMI is still normal for my height (thank God !).  I have dropped 15 pounds already and am working on dropping at least 20 more. I would rather be underweight going into another stim cycle, even though I will not be on all those meds again, than to be at my normal weight and balloon once pregnant.  I also worry about getting preeclampsia because of using donor sperm from a man with whom I have not slept with, due to an absence of his antibodies in my body.  That is another reason I would prefer to use one of my male friends as the donor.  I could possibly be intimate with them once to avoid the whole risk, which ultimately is life threatening.  There are so many variables to this infertility journey and it so unfair.

I am SICK of people telling me to trust God and it is going to happen.  It is not like I woke up one day and decided that this is what I wanted. I have wanted this for several several years but I was not in a committed relationship at those times or the relationships I was in were not such that they would lead to marriage. I wanted to experience this with a husband who adored me and would be appreciative of the gifts we created together.  That is not what God has laid out for my path.  I am angry about that too.  It is not fair.  I tried to do the “right thing” and do things the “right way”  and now I am at a point where I am doing what I have to do.  My perception of what was the “right thing” and the “right way” were based on how I was taught in church.  It was not until I was talking to my spiritual mom, who is a Pastor in Atlanta, that I realized that I was doing nothing wrong by using medical intervention to have children.  Married or not, I would still have to take this path.  She opened my eyes to a lot of things and gave me her blessing.  My mom and my family were thrilled that I made this choice, and my grandmother, who thinks she is so holy that she walked with Jesus and sin never lived on her street, also had no problem with me doing IVF.  (color me surprised, flabbergasted, and shocked!)

I have gotten to a point that I no longer desire to even pray about this anymore.  I force myself to pray at 6 am and 6 pm daily.  I have found that by taking my issues to the throne of grace, that I am less burdened.  I am a woman who is not used to being told no.  I am a go getter and I am used to finding a way to make things happen.  THIS is not that kinda situation clearly !  No matter what I do, I can not MAKE this just happen.  Even using donor eggs, there is a possibility that it will not work.  I have the strongest chance of conceiving by using donor eggs.  My chances go from 4 % to 90% and I like those odds.   I will not allow myself to believe that this will not happen.  God can not be that cruel !

I currently experiencing the hormonal crash that always follow a stim cycle.  I will be so glad when my body and my hormones level off.  It did not help things at all that I have been on estrogen for 13 days for the mock cycle.  It was horrible.  My breasts were tender, my nipples ached so badly that I had to pull off my bra as soon I walked in the door (with the balloon from 36C to 38DDD because of these damned meds) because I could not leave the house bra-less.  I also had a lot of irritation after the first week of taking the Estrace.  Just as I was about to call the doctor and ask to switch to the injections in lieu of vaginal administration, the irritation and burning stopped just as quickly as it started… go figure.

Today, the movers were here to pack up the truck and take the belongings that need to go to NC.  I was able to talk them into driving this 26 foot truck down there !  Yesterday, the movers took all of my items to storage.  I am going to dread having to move all this stuff again in a few months once I find a place in California.  I have decided to wait until February/ March to do the donor’s egg retrieval and my transfer because I would rather pay for this in full.  It is going to take me several months to recoup enough money to pay for this damned cycle ! I am opting to do a sole cycle with my donor so that I get all of her eggs.  I am nervous about only getting half of them because I do not know how many transfers I will have to do before getting pregnant.  I would rather have more embryos than I need than have to pay for another cycle and then chance that the donor will not be available.  In the event that I only get pregnant with a singleton, I will do another transfer six to eight months after giving birth (a year max) to give the baby a sibling and then I will done with baby making.

I ask for you prayers and well wishes, as I am overwhelmed beyond measure.  This entire ordeal would be so much more manageable if I had someone to share this with.  But as they say, it is what it is.  I am learning my own strength.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese – Recipe


What You Need

1/2 gallon whole milk, not UHT pasteurized
1/3 cup lemon juice (from 1 1/2 to 2 lemons), 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar, OR 1/2 teaspoon citric acid (I used lemon juice)
1 teaspoon kosher salt

4-quart pot
Instant read thermometer or candy thermometer
Measuring spoons
Cheese cloth (I used a folded over paper towel!)
Mixing bowl
Slotted spoon


  1. Warm the milk to 200°F: Pour the milk into a 4-quart pot and set it over medium heat. Let it warm gradually to 200°F, monitoring the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The milk will get foamy and start to steam; remove it from heat if it starts to boil. (This took about 20 minutes)
  2. Add the lemon juice and salt: Remove the milk from heat. Pour in the lemon juice or vinegar (or citric acid) and the salt. Stir gently to combine.
  3. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes: Let the pot of milk sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. After this time, the milk should have separated into clumps of milky white curds and thin, watery, yellow-colored whey — dip your slotted spoon into the mix to check. If you still see a lot of un-separated milk, add another tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and wait a few more minutes.
  4. Strain the curds: Set a strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with cheese cloth. Scoop the big curds out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer. Pour the remaining curds and the whey through the strainer. (Removing the big curds first helps keep them from splashing and making a mess as you pour.)
  5. Drain the curds for 10 to 60 minutes: Let the ricotta drain for 10 to 60 minutes, depending on how wet or dry you prefer your ricotta. If the ricotta becomes too dry, you can also stir some of the whey back in before using or storing it.
  6. Use or store the ricotta: Fresh ricotta can be used right away or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

Mock Cycle Complete- The 411

ivf- mock cycle final sonogram

Yesterday, after thirteen days of taking Estrace three times a day (vaginally), I had my final labs and sonogram.  The donor coordinator/nurse called me yesterday late morning after getting the reports and said everything went swimmingly and that once I am ready, we can start the donor egg ivf.

At present, there are NO suitable egg donors, though she mentioned one newer one on the site.  The girl is not attractive at all (none of the black donors are), has a wide ugly nose, terrible hair weave, and went to trade school like the other three black donors on the site.  Only one is in a trade school to become an RN.

The clinic has placed additional ads out to recruit more donors.  I told them they should definitely recruit on college campuses.  The donor coordinator has taken my photos so that they can use them to try to find matches.

I am elated that my body responded very well to the estrogen.  I was wondering why I was so irritable, bitchy and my nipples were aching….   My E2 was 5000 !   Wow !   Too bad it did not reach those heights when I was stimming… I would have had an amazing egg count !  lol

Last night, I went to the National Harbor with my best friend, Tereena, and my friend Skip whom I have been referring to as my hubby since we met in Miami last year.  We had a blast at my favorite bar there and my favorite bartender, Viktor was there was well and he made up a bunch of cocktails for us and we were needless to say toasted !   It was great to be out, celebrating ME and my birthday another night with friends.  I am starting to get really excited about settling in California, where the majority of my friends are and being able to have people to exercise with, hang out with and work with.   I miss that about being in NYC daily. It is great that a lot of my NYC and DC area friends have moved to LA so at least we will all be on the same side of the country lol.

Tonight, I am planning on going to Benihana with my mom for birthday celebration continuation 🙂

Happy Birthday To Me !!!!

happy birthday - pink cake

Today is my 28th Birthday (again for the … year LOL).  I had a fabulous birthday which started with my sister and nieces coming by and bringing me a vase of red and white roses and a beautiful card.  At noon, I headed into Washington DC to meet my dear friend, whom I refer to as my hubby (we have been calling each other hubby and wifey since we met in Miami) and he treated to me to swanky brunch and bottomless mimosas.   The food was terrific, though we talked and drank mimosas more than we ate food LOL.

My mom’s flight from Punta Cana came in tonight so I picked her up from the airport after my date and then we scooped up my Grandmother and we all went to Houlihans for appetizers.

Tomorrow, I have my baseline sonogram for the final part of my mock cycle followed by labs.   I am meeting Skip again for drinks at the National Harbor tomorrow night to continue my birthday celebration.   I am big baby and love to celebrate my birthday in some way all month long !  lol.   By August 1st, my family is sick of me hahaha…   They love it though!

I hope everyone is doing well.   One more week and it will time for the big move !  I am not too happy about boxing up and moving stuff and then having to go out to California in a few weeks and start house hunting.  Because of some new projects I am developing, I am now going to have to in the Los Angeles area to be close to work….  I guess I will just have to wait until I am raking in the big bucks and then be able to buy a property in the Pacific Palisades or somewhere I really want to be. I just pray that wherever I am there are NO brush fires, mudslides nor earthquakes !  😦   I am NOT here for that !

Homemade Baby Teething Biscuits – Recipe

teething biscuits 2

1 cup infant rice cereal

1 cup King Arthur Organic whole wheat flour

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 mashed organic banana

2 tsp cinnamon

4-8 tbsp water

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Mix everything together in a medium sized bowl, starting with 4 tbsp of water and adding more if necessary. Mix well until a dough forms (I used my hands). Roll out on a floured surface until about 1/4″-1/2″ thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutter or cut into squares. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool completely. Store in air-tight container. These can also be stored in the freezer.
  1. **supervise child closely while eating these, they should get soggy and goopy but I am not guaranteeing your child won’t bite of big chunks.

Update – The 411

baby - blog updateI had an amazing weekend !   My film crew came down to Northern Virginia to my mom’s house for the weekend to spend the 4th with us and for my mom’s surprise birthday brunch.

On the 4th, we all went to my sister’s house for a bbq.  Her husband owns a bbq catering company and his bbq is to die for ! We left my sister’s house and came back towards my mom’s house to go to the fireworks show.

My sisters, brother-in-laws and I put our heads together months ago to decide what we were doing for our mom for her birthday.  We decided that in lieu of doing something with the family, we would again surprise her and send her on vacation for a week to a five star resort.  We decided on Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana.   Last year, we surprised her by tricking her into the car and we dropped her off at the airport heading to Riviera Maya, Mexico to a resort there.

To throw her off and to celebrate her, we planned a surprise breakfast brunch with our friends, family, and her work family. It took me two days to get all the food done.   Twenty people enjoyed swiss and crab quiche, bacon and cheese quiche, cinnamon breakfast cake, cajun breakfast potatoes, homemade pork sausage, homemade turkey sausage, turkey bacon, pork bacon, scrambled eggs, buttermilk biscuits made with fresh milled flour, red velvet rum waffles, vanilla bourbon pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, fruit platter, cheese platter, pasta salad, cajun shrimp with cheddar jack grits, fried chicken, champagne momosas, variety of juices and birthday cake.

My sister and I worked tirelessly and my nieces and nephews put up all the decorations.  My mom got suspicious when she saw the amount of food we were preparing but she didn’t say anything.  At noon, our friends started showing up and we had the brunch.  My grandmother said the grace and we all ate.  When my mom opened her gifts, I had my niece hand her the passport wallet and she exclaims, ” I was wondering where my passport was… I thought it got boxed up !”    We told her we had had it for months LOL.   She opens it to find her passport and the travel documents for her trip and she leaves on Wednesday morning at 5 am.  She has an oceanview suite and the resort is all inclusive and we got the spa package as well.  Her suitcase was packed and then she says she was wondering where her swimsuit cover was !   I am surprised she did not miss a bunch of black panties and her favorite pj set!!  Needless to say, my mom was blown away and she is leaving the day before her birthday again this year for her vacation that is well deserved !

In ME news, I am still on estrogen for the next week and I have a sonogram and blood work scheduled for Monday, the day after MY birthday as the final part of the mock cycle.

This morning, I had to go over to the imaging center for the ole mammogram.  They did the 3D one !  It doesn’t hurt like the regular one does and they do not squish your breasts to death like the old one.

I am finally starting to come out of the funk I have been in for the past few weeks.   As many may recall, I did a Gofundme campaign for an acquaintance who lost her son and grandmother the same day.  I did not want to do it, as something just did not sit right in my spirit about it.  Long story short, I did the campaign and left it open until the end of May when I was finally done with my last IVF cycle and then feeling better after the blood clot and other pain I had to deal with after my procedure. I got really suspicious when the friend called me out of the blue and said her parents were going to take care of the funeral and wanted to know if I could just send the check to her. I told her NO.  I specifically stated on the GoFundMe that the monies were for the funeral expenses and that the check was being cut to the funeral home.

I was dealing with a lot between my failed cycle, the upcoming anniversary of the loss of my baby, my mom’s illness, my grandmother’s alzheimers and I was just overwhelmed and needed a mental health break from everyone.  I kindly asked my friends and colleagues to just give me some space and I would reach out when I was up to it.   I am a moody person at times anyway, being a Cancer !  This acquaintance took it personal.  She went on a tirade barraging me with calls, texts, emails etc under the guise of checking on me.  REALLY?   This person is NOT a close friend and I only talked to her periodically because I am a busy person and I do not even talk to my best friends that often unless something is up.  We text more than anything because we are all super busy.  Anyone else, I just talk to them when I talk to them… So, I start getting complaints from my employees who know her and also other colleagues who donated money to the fund asking me where she is getting all this money from because she bought an $800 cellphone, made posts on her FB about buying her dogs carseats and strollers (keep in mind I am the ONLY friend of theirs who has a stroller for my dog and a carseat) and that she was posting about making all this organic stuff (and only two of us actually buy all the organic stuff like that) and posting food items that were from recipes from my fanpage and claiming them to be her own.

I told them that she had not gotten it from the GoFundMe because I had not put in a request to fund the campaign yet. I knew she had gotten money from a fundraiser her son’s school did, but I really didn’t know.  She does not work and is on disability and that does not pay that much.  It was really out of character because she never made such posts before and never bought anything except from thrift stores and yard sales !

The first week of June I put in the request to fund the GoFundMe and have payment sent to the funeral home and called the friend to ask for her address to send the print out of the donors.  She asked me when the payment was going to be sent because the funeral home was hounding her.  Those statements did not sit right with me but I was busy and had other things to deal with and did not give it much energy.  Later that week, the requests from her amped up and she was calling and then sending me inboxes on FB.  I had blocked her phone number because she was calling me all hours of the day when I asked for a few weeks to myself back in May.  With my home and office phone, it is digital so even with blocked numbers, I can log in and see all call attempts and calls.  I checked in with the third party processor who was sending the check to the funeral home, as I knew it was going out after the 15th of June.  I followed up with the owner of the funeral home and learned that the bill had been paid prior to the service and that all of the statements made by my acquaintance were not true.  The funeral home was not hounding her !  She in fact was hounding THEM.  I was told that the person responsible for making the arrangements, (her father) was the only person they could divulge information to and that any monies that came in would go to him.  I told the owner of the funeral home that I would follow up with him over the weekend to see if the check came in and if it had not reached there by Saturday, I would rescind the campaign.   I called and followed up and the check had not come.  I then contacted my GoFundMe rep and explained that I was mislead about the purpose for the campaign and the funeral home had not gotten the money yet.  I explained that the person we set the campaign up for was attempting to defraud everyone and use the said funds for moving to another apartment, training her dog as a therapy dog, frivolous purchases and the like and I was NOT going to be associated with a perpetrating fraud. I asked that they do a recovery from the third party processor and refund every donor who donated money for the campaign.   They thanked me for being diligent and obliged.

I got an email from my rep on Friday informing me that the acquaintance contacted them via email to file a complaint about the validity of the campaign and that SHE had not gotten the money ! LOL.   Of course, they knew that already because I contacted then two weeks prior to tell them to cancel out the campaign and refund everyone.

I am BEYOND pissed off and from now on, will go with my GUT and NEVER do anything of the like again to help someone because they used a sad and tragic situation to try to take advantage of innocent people.  I do know one thing, God does not like ugly and He is not too fond of cute !  What you sow, you also reap and Karma is not a nice person….

It is really sad what people do in this life and it is sickening as well.   I am disappointed that this person turned out to be who they are and also that they are playing victim now.  Sad situation all around, but I am proud of myself for trusting that inner voice that said something is not right… hold off before doing anything and just address this when you are more focused.   It worked out to my advantage because I would have gotten myself hemmed up in foolishness trying to help a greedy, needy, manipulative wench.   God has a way of revealing snakes in your garden….

Creamed Spinach – Recipe


32 oz organic chopped frozen spinach, two 16 oz bags

3 Tbsp organic salted sweet cream butter

1 tsp kosher salt

2 Tbsp organic all purpose flour

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

12 oz evaporated milk

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper


  • Place one bag of frozen spinach in a covered glass container. Microwave on high for 8 minutes; spoon into a colander in the sink to drain. Repeat with second bag of spinach and add to same colander; use a large serving spoon to press excess water out of spinach. Place drained spinach in a serving bowl; cover to keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; stir in onion and kosher salt. Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add flour, nutmeg and cayenne; stir to combine. Slowly whisk in evaporated milk; cook, whisking constantly, until thick and bubbling, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour sauce into a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender in the pot); blend sauce until smooth.
  • Pour sauce over spinach and toss to combine; season with salt and black pepper. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

(c) Valerie Renèe