Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The danger of text messages and changed phone numbers.

Yesterday I made my pregnancy public and today I was attempting to follow up with a high school friend. I sent her a text:

Me: since you're never on FB...guess what--WE'RE HAVING A BABY!! 

I didn't get a response, but got a call from her number. I tried answering and didn't hear anything, so I hung up. I tried calling back and a burly sounding dude answered. It appears my friend changed her number and never told me!  I said...'oh sorry, must be the wrong number,' and hung up.  About 2 hours later, I got another phone call from burly dude, and screened it, since I have had people from wrong numbers attempt to stalk me.  To clear up any misunderstanding, I decided to send him an email explaining the mix-up.  Then the funny started.

Me: apparently you have my friend's old number. Sorry--my message wasn't directed at you! 
Burly dude with friend's old number: Its ok i been with same person an never cheated just broak up thought was her congrats 

Oh yes, burly dude thought that I was his ex girl friend call/texting him to say I was pregnant. Oh the level of classiness that some people have will never cease to amuse me. My friend says that this was my own personal Jerry Springer moment.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A big announcement

Today a very important email went out to my family (at least the ones I had email addresses for).  It's a message that I've waited years to send, and it was a accompanied by a little story my husband wrote.
The pressure to have children often starts as soon as a couple gets married; friends and relatives have no trouble asking the question, but the answer isn't always so easy to give.
We tried for years, with the doctors telling us it was a coin flip whether we'd be able to conceive naturally or not. Eventually, we came to terms with the fact that it had come up tails, and had to adjust our expectations for life a bit.
This last Mother's Day, we discovered to our joy and surprise that we'd actually come up heads! Well, head....there's only one of them, after all. However you want to say it, we're growing a baby!
The first trimester is over (we hit 13 weeks yesterday), and we thought it was about time you all shared in the news. It hasn't been easy keeping the secret!
Did we miss anyone? We might not have their email address; feel free to forward
Eileen & Aaron (and baby!)

A HUGE thank you to my friend Kristen over at Kiki(verde) for taking some hilarious (and adorable!) pictures of us.  We had so much fun! I'd also like to thank Stephanie at Everburg Photography who made this wonderful announcement.  

Since I was trying to keep this a secret, but need to write, I started a second blog. It's called Letters to Baby, with the URL (I would have linked it, but I'm proud of that URL!) and in it I have been keeping that obligatory weekly journal and some other musings in the form of letters to our unborn child.  Soon I will get the husband to write there too. 

I have so much more to write about...but this post is long enough.  I hope this will help end the radio silence that I undertook in an effort to keep the lid on my pregnancy.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Today Only Promotion

Today Only 
by D. Love

Blurb: In life, there are times you are granted a miracle. It may not be the one you wanted exactly, but it will be the one you need. It will prepare you for the next step in your journey and help you learn to accept the life you are given, even if that life can be heartbreaking.

Buy Links

My time here is dwindling. Everything around me – my body, the transition from winter to spring, the height chart marking the growth of my daughter, Emily – reminds me that the hourglass that is my life has only a few grains of sand left.
It’s my first thought this morning. I awoke early for a fundraiser, the Big Walk for March of Dimes. I start off with my daily routine. I jump in the shower, trying not to notice how much the droplets of water hurt my skin. The sting is too much this morning. I get out quickly, dry off and throw my hair in a simple ponytail at the base of my neck. I catch my reflection in the mirror and stare at myself for a minute.
Just a little longer? So I can watch Em grow up?
My mirror doesn’t have an answer for me.
"Come on, Em!" I call to my daughter. "Get your shoes on, before we’re late."
I turn away from the mirror, then hurry into the living room and grab Emily by the hand.
"You ready Em?" I ask. Whatever dread or fear I feel in front of my mirror fades at the sight of Em’s beautiful blue eyes. 
She looks up at me with the biggest smile, and exclaims, "Yes!"
We hop in the car and head towards the Walk. My daughter’s eyes are glowing. 
"Mama, this is going to be the best walk ever," she almost squeals in excitement. The innocence of my little angel never fails to humble me.
She doesn’t yet understand that this might be my last Walk with her. 
"Yes, honey, this is going to be the best walk ever," I agree. 

Author Bio
I live in Maine. My biggest passion is for my family and friends. I adore loving others as if it is the biggest gift life can offer. I'm a read-a-holic, loves chocolate, cowboys and everyone on  Young Adult & Teen Readers Facebook page. My dream is to travel to Australia one day and see a kangaroo. I am nothing but simple. I do a lot of volunteer work. I have 2 beautiful daughters. 4 grandchildren, that constantly ask me if I lived in the black & white days.
My inspiration would be my daughters. Rita for her strength to keep fighting and constantly trying to take care of me, even though sometimes she can’t get out of bed & Kayla, for helping to pick up all the pieces that seem to fall when times get rough, and the love they have for me.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Enlightened Promotion!

I was really excited to read and review this book, but I somehow managed to forget to put it on my calendar, which in my addled brain means that I completely forgot. In atonement, I'm going to share some awesome excerpts with you that will make you want to go get this book asap.  

What would you do if you could heal people, but not the ones closest to you?

Enlightened A Tale of Love and Light 
note: The kindle edition is only $2.99. Click below to see this book on Amazon.

Loti Dupree’s meager healing abilities have been more a curse than a blessing.  What’s the point if she can’t even save her husband from cancer?  Harboring a painful secret, Loti flees the life they had in a small Appalachian town for the ashram, the spiritual retreat where she trained to be a yogini.  But she finds herself running from more than grief when an ominous nightmare sets her on a dangerous path of self-discovery that challenges everything she believes, and threatens her life.
While dodging psychic attacks from an unknown assailant, Loti races to understand who and what she is before her enemy can catch up with her. To make matters worse, events throw her into the arms of a handsome but frustrating vampire.  Love and light are waiting for her—if she can only figure out how to stay alive.

Wolf stared at the full moon as if it might reveal the answers he sought. He dug a pack of Camel’s from his shirt pocket and lit a cigarette with a wooden match. Shaking out the flame, he dropped the burnt stick and returned his apprehensive gaze to the sky. 500 years had not prepared him for what he felt at that moment—the overwhelming urgency and need to go back in the house right now, to her. Taking a drag, he glanced back at the little house; the bedroom lights were still on and his sharp hearing picked up the women’s soft voices. Rachel reassured Loti that she was fine and that the nest at Marksville would help her figure this out. Wolf assured her they were different, she said. How? Loti asked. Wolf closed his eyes and inhaled—he could still smell her. Her unique female scent laced with fear and arousal, her blood salty and sweet, and the something else he couldn’t identify. He had smelled something like this before, but only faintly from another woman; it hadn’t been a one-hundredth of what he smelled now. This was so much stronger, yet delicate. It called to him, coaxing him to return, to stay, to stop, to not walk away this time.
He opened his eyes, looking down at his hands. His fingers thrummed with the sensation of soft skin over firm muscles. And what was that damn jolt every time he touched her? And the other thing? Squashing the barely smoked Camel under his boot, he pinched off the filter and sprinkled the uncharred tobacco in his palm. Holding some between thumb and forefinger, he faced the east, kissing his fingertips.
“Spirits of the east,” he said, extending his pinched fingers, then sprinkling the tobacco. He turned to the right. “Spirits of the south.” He repeated the gesture, addressing each cardinal point in the same way, then lifted another bit to the sky. “Father Sky.” He knelt, touching the ground. “Mother Earth.” His eyes closed, and he touched his chest. “Hear my plea. This creature needs your guidance.” No thoughts in his head, he waited, his spine still crawling. Longing surged through his heart and mind, palpable, pulsing, and heavy.
Flinching, he opened predator eyes. He leapt into the air, racing through the woods like a wraith, his feet barely touching the ground. A blur in the dark, his humanity faded away. The vampire instinct led him to the acrid scent of burning wood and meat, and the sweet smell of human blood. He covered two miles in under 30 seconds. He zipped to a stop ten yards from the firelight, where he held unnaturally still, watching the small group and listening to their conversation.
“I’ll bet you could rig up the batteries two at a time,” one man said.
“Oh, yeah. It’s not hard to do,” the second man responded, taking a swig off a bottle and passing it.
Wolf sniffed. Honey whiskey.
“Especially now,” the woman who took the bottle said. She drank and handed it over. “Well, we can always figure something out.”
Tea tree oil, sour milk? Yogurt, Wolf corrected himself. And mother’s milk. His pupils dilated.
“How much does one cost?”
Lavender and eucalyptus and honey.
“About $550 for the actual generator, but there’s the tower and the battery bank, and the batteries themselves.”
The conversation continued, but Wolf wasn’t listening anymore, his focus on the lactating woman. There were four people sitting around a low fire, and the small breathing sounds of young children came from two big tents twenty yards away. Quite young. Urine. Breast milk. He turned his attention back to the adults, specifically the dark-haired woman, the mother, who was standing up and stretching.
“I need to pee,” she announced. “Where are the headlamps, Max?”
Max pressed something into her hand as she bent to kiss him lightly on the mouth. Adjusting the headlamp he’d given her, she headed for the trees, and Wolf stepped silently behind an oak as she picked her way along a fresh-cut path. She ducked into a copse of Russian olive trees and out of sight. Wolf balled his hands into fists and ground his back teeth together as the smell of her blood, laced with mother’s hormones and milk, taunted him. His fangs clicked down. He waited for the woman to put her clothing back in order, and when she looked up, his eyes glowed with a dark light. She opened her mouth, but no sound came out.
“Shhh,” Wolf soothed, moving toward her.
Paralyzed by fear and his gaze, she didn’t try to run or scream, but her hands began a fine trembling.
“Relax.” His voice filled her chest as he ran his hand along her shoulder to her neck, lifting the heavy curtain of wavy, dark hair. The woman stopped shaking, but she never took her eyes off his as he dragged her to him and spun her around. He tilted her head to one side, exposing her white neck and stretching it into a long, tight line. Resting his mouth over her jumping pulse, he bit. She jerked beneath him, her eyes fluttering and drifting closed. He gripped her tighter, drawing sweet blood in quiet gulps. It was sweeter than usual, and he flashed on a mental image of his own mother: young, strong, dark, and beautiful, but all mothers were beautiful to their sons. Was she as beautiful as he remembered? Or had time and memory worked their magic, softening the rough edges and creating an aura of nostalgia? Had 500 years edited his memory? His mother held a small, dark berry out to him, the sun blazing behind her in a clear, blue sky.
“Taste it, Wolf. It’s perfectly ripe.”
Her voice echoed down the years, waking up his humanity. He yanked his fangs from her neck. What was he doing? He blinked. She was tranquil in his arms, breathing deeply, relaxed in the vampire’s spell. As sharp guilt cut through Wolf, he fortified himself against the warring wants. With a practiced detachment, he licked the bite wounds until the blood coagulated and the skin and tissue knitted back together. By morning it would itch like a bug bite and with the two faint marks, she’d think they were bug bites.
“You went into the woods to relieve yourself and noticed how unusual the moon is tonight,” he whispered into her ear.
She nodded. “The halo is beautiful. What is it?” Her voice thick with magic.
“It’s the wolf moon.”
He nudged her away until she walked on her own, her vacant face tilted up. The spell dissipated and awareness firmed her eyes as she looked to her left then right. She hesitated, looking up at the moon once more and glanced over her shoulder, but Wolf was gone. She had a vague sense of well-being mingled with fear and arousal. What a strange sensation, she thought. He’d taken the memory from her. It was his alone.

About the Author
Melissa Lummis considers herself a truth seeker, a peaceful warrior, a paranormal and fantasy writer, an avid reader, a thru-hiker GAàME ’98, a wife, a mother, and a free thinker.  She believes the universe conspires to help an adventurer.  And if we live our lives as if it is a daring adventure (and it is!), then everything we need will find its way to us.
The author lives in rural Virginia with her husband, two children, an Alaskan Malamute and a myriad of forest creatures.  The nature of her mind dictates that she write to stay sane.  Otherwise, her fertile imagination takes off on tangents of its own accord, creating scenarios and worlds that confuse the space-time continuum. Namaste, dear friends.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Morrigan Book Review and Giveaway!

I had two book reviews this month, and for some reason I can't fathom, I somehow scheduled them a week apart. There has been so much going on in the world, that I'm glad to take a break to read a good book.  This is an awesome book to kick back and escape with, and I finished it pretty quickly.  Make sure to read to the end, because there is a giveaway!  

Laura DeLuca       
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours

Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn't know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind, and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.
Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.
What is not to like in a book with this awesome plot?   I really got into this book, so into it that I forgot, for most of it, that I was reading to review it.  Once again, I'm going to point out some slight pacing issues, especially in the beginning of the book. Maybe I'm just picky, but I really love to read about the back story; I want to know how she discovered her telekinesis, and really delve deep into knowing and feeling for her, before we find out her secret.

I love the plot, I love the ideas, and my goodness, I loved the twists in the story.  This is one of those stories that you wish was three times as long so that you could just keep reading for days, instead of hours.  If you can't tell, I really enjoy stories that have this cross-world type plot. I really enjoyed seeing how she changed, and grew as a character, fell in love, and learned to stand up for herself.  Also, finding out that your cats are actually guardians that can kick some serious butt, totally up my alley.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and was transported in a far away mystical land where fairies trapped in trees are an every day part of life.  I could nitpick and come up with criticisms of the writing, but the overall feeling that I took away from the book was one of satisfaction, and enjoyment. It's a perfect book to curl up with for an evening.  Check it out, and tell me what you think!  The buying link are below the author bio.

Author Bio:
Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.

Find the Book

Short Excerpt:

“Guardians!” A low snarl emanated from the back of his throat. “What are you doing with Guardians?”
“Stop it! Sit down!”
Morrigan wasn’t sure who she was addressing, the man or the animals. Luckily, they both obeyed her command. She stepped in between them to avoid any further confrontations. The cats took a seat on either side her legs, but their posture hardly relaxed. They still glared warily at the newcomer, even though their hisses died down to an occasional soft growl.
“Dirty, filthy beasts!” Tiarn snarled as he climbed to his feet. “I hate Guardians.”
“They’re just little cats,” Morrigan told him. “What’s the big deal?”
“Just cats! Hah!” He was standing at a careful distance, even though they had started licking their paws nonchalantly. “They are much more than simple cats! Though even those I find distasteful.”
 Morrigan narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean?”
“Never mind. It does not matter.” Tiarn dismissed her question with a wave of his hand. “They are not coming with us.
 “They most certainly are coming!”
Tiarn growled again. “I beg to differ with you, Your Highness. They would only get in the way.  Possibly even get killed.”
Danu raised her head from her grooming to hiss at him again, as though she had taken that last statement as a personal threat. The strange reaction of her faithful sidekicks made Morrigan wonder again just how much Tiarn could be trusted. She also wondered why, when she wasn’t sure she could trust him, she still felt the undeniable urge to wrap her arms around his neck and kiss him.
 “If they stay here alone, they’ll definitely get killed or at least sent to the pound,” Morrigan told him. “I can’t let that happen. So, they’re coming. End of story.”
Tiarn’s eyes flashed dangerously, and he looked like he wanted to argue, but thought better of it. “Very well, Princess. Bring your mongrel felines. Just keep in mind that Guardians and lycans do not mix well.”
“Lycans?” Morrigan repeated.
A sick feeling started to settle in her stomach, as the truth of his words sunk in. It all started to make sense—his hairy arms and chest, his reaction to the cats, even his earlier comment about smelling her out. Her dark knight had a much darker side than she had ever seen in her dreams.
 “Why yes, Your Majesty. Did you not realize? You are a witch and a sorceress. And I, your faithful traveling companion, am a lycan—a werewolf.”

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Giveaway! Brenda Sparks Midsummer Night's Demon and Author Interview

I walked a 5K this morning, so I'm sitting here catching up on my DVR, with my feet up on an ottoman, and a cat purring at my side. This indeed, is the life!   I'm excited to bring you more than my standard book review this week.  This is a long post, starting with an overview of the book, my review, an author interview AND a giveaway. I put the giveaway at the bottom, so make sure you get down there and and enter for some great giveaways! I also loved doing the author interview, and am going to have to do more, because getting to know the author was lots of fun! I hope you enjoy.  

A Midsummer Night's Demon
Brenda Sparks      

Daelyn Torres is determined to break free from her over-protective brother. Born a demon, she knows little of the world outside her home and work. A chance blind date promises adventure and perhaps a walk on the wild side. But her night on the town takes a deadly turn when she is gravely injured and left to die. A handsome, mysterious stranger comes to her rescue and brings with him a passion she has never experienced.

A dark guardian sent to investigate a series of missing person cases, vampire Ky Robinson is ready for anything, except the insatiable desire that engulfs him when he meets Daelyn. He senses their destiny is intertwined and vows to do everything in his power to keep her safe. The only problem: demons and vampires go together like fire and ice.

Daelyn never believed in things that went bump in the night but is more than willing to be seduced by the sexy vampire who marks both her body and soul. Will Ky be able to keep them both alive long enough to prove that vampires and demons can be so much more than friends? 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Let's go Fly a Kite!

Yesterday my college friend flew in for a work trip, and I used it as a perfect opportunity to get my husband to agree to come into the city with us.  While the Cherry Blossom trees aren't blooming...really at all, the festivities are in full swing.  Before we left, I discovered that yesterday was the Bloom Kite festival, and we were excited to see if we could get down to the Mall in time to fly one of the finger kites my mother in law gifted me a few years ago.

Looking at the Capitol

Washington Monument covered in scaffoling

The Smithsonian Metro station was packed with tourists coming down from the Mall attempting to get on trains, and it lent an air of excitement to the crowds de-training.  As we stepped onto the Mall...we saw kites (and a whole lotta people!).  People stood from Capitol all of the way down to behind the Washington Monument, and the splendor of these kites ranged from  the Power Ranger one, the woman near us was trying to get into the air for her son, to finger kites, to extremely expensive trick kites that did dives and flips in the air.  There were huge kites that must have been bigger than a person, and teeny kites.  I was frankly, shocked, at the lack of run ins I saw. I've always wondered how people managed to not get all of the kite lines messed up.  Some people did, but for the majority of people, once they got the kites up, they sort of stayed up on their own.

all of the dots to the Washington Monument are kites

After discovering that the finger kite wouldn't fly, since the adhesive holding on the streamers was too old, we just watched for awhile, and then walked down the Mall, around the Washington Monument, and then turned around and came back. We then went to indulge in delicious Thai food at Thaiphoon in Dupont Circle. I was first introduced to this place (and Thai food) in college, and fell in love with their garden rolls.  My husband declared that he could eat those every morning for breakfast, and longingly looked at me, hoping I would volunteer to get right on making them.  I'll look up a recipe, and see what I can do, that's all the commitment he's getting.

We had a wonderful day, full of beautiful sunshine, kites, friends, food, and laughter.  I was so glad to get to spend this time making awesome memories with the people I love.   I've got a post going about Easter memories as well that I hope to share soon!

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Confessions of an angry fat woman, what no one told me about weight loss

I've been thinking up this title for awhile.  I started this blog to talk about my weight loss journey, and despite my posts about book reviews and recipes, the core of this blog has remained the same; it's a blog about health, fitness, and my journey to finding them.

People aren't comfortable talking about being fat it seems, unless they were there, and are actively working towards not being obese any longer.  Lately, I've had the honor of having some really frank conversations about what it's like to be fat, lose weight, and both the psychological toll it takes, along with the things that no one really told us about losing weight. I'll own all of these, but some of of them are also taken from discussions with friends.  And before people start commenting about it, here is my take on my use of the word 'hate.' Being angry, hating something isn't wrong.  Mourning that loss of understanding of who I was, is never wrong.  But I have to get over the mourning, get past the anger, and get to acceptance and moving on.  

  • I hate when people say how nice I look since it makes me think they lied  to me when I was fatter. 
  • I hate feeling like I'm being lied to. 
  • I absolutely hate being told how beautiful I'll look when I hit my 'goal' weight. 
  • I hate when people ask how I lost the weight. Taking drugs makes me feel like I cheated to do it. In my case, I took phentermine to help start my weight loss, and the last 40lbs have been been I started taking Vyvanse for my ADD.  Appetite suppression is one of the side effects, as is increased energy.  This is why I need to work on fitness, and getting those healthy lifestyle changes in place for when I don't have the medicine to help me.  
  • I worry about how I see myself, and how pretty I feel now, and how I probably got fat to keep potential myself from getting hurt.  
  • I'm scared of getting attention from people I don't know, and I really hate getting unwanted attention from men I don't know.
  • I'm the same damn person. How dare people treat me differently now. 
  • I hate that skinny people watch Biggest Loser and talk about how pretty they are when they are 'normal' sized.  I'm fat, but, I'm still 'normal.'  I almost feel like Biggest Loser watching should be restricted to overweight people, because I'm pretty sure skinny people aren't learning empathy watching it, but rather enforcing the mindset that you can lose this weight really fast, if you just tried hard enough. 
  • I hate fitting into someone else's view of beautiful and what that means, and I hate that I want to be that person. I hate that there is a part of me that doesn't care about the healthy aspect of this, I just want to be hot and skinny. 
  • I hate how scared I am about losing weight, and how my body is changing.  
  • I hate being constantly scared of gaining the weight back.  
  • I'm pissed when skinny people assume that I have a shitty self esteem because I'm fat, and treat me patronizingly, telling me to 'love myself.' Thanks, I don't need your brand of therapy.  
  • And...I hate that I let myself ever get to the point where I was at, where I let fear, self doubt, depression and pain lead myself, and I forgot to let health and fitness take the lead.  

I've said this before, and I'll say it again; losing weight is a psychological battle, as much as a physical one.  You can lose the weight, but if you don't deal with the reasons you gained it, you'll gain the weight back.  Every single day, we have to choose what we eat, how we move, and what we do. Every day we're given a chance, and simultaneously have one taken away from us that we can never get back.  We have to constantly motivate ourselves, to change our lifestyles, to change our habits, to change our mindset, and to change our hearts. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review - Crimson Flames

Woah! I have two book reviews this month and they are less than a week apart.  I hope you enjoy! 

Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours


Half-vampire Abby Tate is determined to learn more about the sorceress powers that were awakened inside her when she was turned into a vampire—making her a whole new hybrid species. There’s a group of rogue vamps banding together and forming a Resistance against the vampire governing body, The Head Council, and Abby’s newly discovered powers are the key to the Council’s victory. Now the Resistance will do anything possible to remove the hybrid threat, and with no other options, Abby is forced to rely on the aid of the Council, yet can she trust the very vampires that hunt for her human lover? And even worse, can she fight the unwelcome attraction that’s growing between her and one of those ancient vampire rulers?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Delectable Desserts - Strawberry shortcake

I try to stay away from dairy as much as possible, but after a visit to the Amish market left me with some blackberries and strawberries, and three friends coming into town, I decided I needed to make some strawberry shortcake.

I have a love hate relationship with shortcake.  When I was a kid, we always used bisquick, and it always tasted salty to me. I don't want salty in my dessert cake! This was an issue I had with almost all foods made with bisquick though, and I'm not sure if they've changed the formula over the years, or if I can't taste salt anymore, but after my friend's sister made us pancakes recently, I didn't taste the salt.  I still don't keep it on hand though, so I needed to find a good recipe to make these from scratch.

Even from scratch recipes tend to be a bit salty to me though, and contain things like a huge stick of Crisco.  I never have cream in the house, but I'd just gone to Costco, and out of a desire to not stop at the regular grocery store as well, picked up a whole quart of cream.  "Holy crap...that's a lot of cream that I don't want my husband to put in Kahlua,"  I wisely think to myself.