Burning Question #55: Cleaning House

A while back I decided to post 50 Burning Questions. When that ended I couldn’t figure out what to do next. I tried Cat-ur-day posts. That was fun. Everybody likes cats. I also tried a few other random things. Unfortunately nothing stuck with me. Nothing seemed right, or fun, or funny. Then my dear readers started telling me that they missed the intellectual challenges and brain acrobatics of a new Burning Question each Saturday.

Welcome to An Infinite Amount of Burning Questions.

Well, this kind of sucks… really… keep reading.

My neighbors run their leaf blowers so much that I thought about turning on my shop vac next time I leave the house and just letting it run for the noise. My husband suggested I also run a leaf blower, a chain saw, and a belt sander. Just put them on the deck and turn them on – for hours and hours and hours.

It is Saturday and I’ll be out sweeping (what a novel idea) up leaves, and all of the bark in my yard the deer and turkeys have spread all over the place. Mind you, this is landscaping bark that I put down around plants to make my lawnless front yard look nice. The turkeys have a field day digging in it and throwing it around like so many frat boy topless girl pillow fight fantasy sequences.

Inside the house is another story. About a year ago I got a new vacuum cleaner. It was supposed to be made especially for animal fur. I think it was made for hairless cats, not my  constantly shedding dog and cats. I have to vacuum a minimum every other day to keep it under control, and even then it isn’t quite enough. And don’t tell me that YOU vacuum every single day. I know you don’t. If you do there is something wrong with you.

By the way, my 87 pound German Shepard is deathly afraid of vacuum cleaners. Whenever she sees anyone even move our vacuum cleaner she hides. So much for having a large dog to protect our home. I think the noise hurts her ears – kind of like leaf blowers hurt my soul.

Burning Question #55: If a vacuum cleaner really sucks, is that good?

By the way, I always wear heels when I vacuum (said no woman EVER.)

I’ll be happier with a gin and tonic, sweat pants, and no shoes.

I’ll see you next Saturday for another BURNING QUESTION.

Leave a comment, or a question, or just say hello in the comment section below.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Parenting: Nothing is By Accident

Today is my daughter’s 18th Birthday. I am no longer the mother of minor children.

I can’t even express the love I feel for my children – it is too much to put into words.

My daughter is one of the most wonderful and amazing beings I have ever met. Part of me knows it was just because of her DNA and whatever star dust she has in her soul. And some of it is her dad and me.

As a parenting blogger, once more I’ll let you in on my parenting philosophy. Nothing is by accident. I parent deliberately. I parent positively. I parent with love.

First rule – and more or less only rule: Don’t just talk at your kids. Engage your children. Make it a two-way conversation.

If you have one of those pesky and annoying tots who asks, “WHY?” all the time, I know it is tempting to drop them off at Grandma’s house forever or feed them to Goblins, but turn it around and ask, “why do you think? Let’s figure this out.” Then again if it gets really bad tell the child to just cut it out.

We cut the tantrums out of our life early. It was never acceptable. Period. I put them on the couch and told them NEVER AGAIN. The only tantrums that should be in your home are Fritz and the Tantrums.

You can fill your kid’s head with visions of God and Hell. You can yell at them. You can threaten them. You can take stuff away. What worked with us? When there was bad behavior at our house, or stupid behavior we discussed the long term social impact of such behavior. If you act stupid everyone will think you’re stupid. If you do stupid things everyone will think badly of you FOREVER because a reputation is a hard thing to get back once you’ve lost it.

Reputation was a long and difficult talk, but as a parent, you have to do it.

Always keep the lines of communication open with your children. Don’t judge until you’ve listened to them. Also let them know that it is alright to speak up and speak the truth. Often children (more often than not) will tell adults what they think the adult wants to hear. You have to dig to get to the truth. If you keep the lines of communication open then kids will talk. Tell them that it is OK to tell the truth.

Spend time with your kids. That doesn’t mean somebody has to stay home full time. I know a lot of working parents who spend a lot more time, and better time, with their kids than a lot of stay at home parents. Don’t even get me started on this argument that can never be won by either side. It isn’t a contest. Every family is different so get over it.

Anyway, spend good quality time with your kids. Engage with them. Talk with them. Teach them things you love, and in turn let them teach YOU things.

Things to do with your children:


  • Sing
  • Read
  • Talk
  • Discuss
  • Explore
  • Discover
  • Hug
  • Love
  • Love
  • Love
  • Protect
  • Laugh (do this about a hundred times)
  • Be silly
  • Share
  • Listen
  • Love

How hard is that? Get out of your comfort zone. You’ll thank me for it later. Maybe even sooner than later.

And remember, this is for regular folks too – not just Vampires.

Wow. It has been a wonderful and amazing love filled adventure – and this isn’t the end of it. They might be grown but they’re still my babies – always.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Ask Juliette: The Writing Life, K-Cup Hack, Vampires, Parenting, & More Vampires


Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire – Advice for anyone) is a semi regular Thursday feature at Vampire Maman. Here you’ll find answers about relationships, parenting, Vampires, and all kinds of lifestyle hacks. Ask me a question and I’ll answer it.


If Vampires live forever why isn’t the world over run with them?

Vampires don’t necessarily live forever. Nobody knows how long we live. Sometimes it seems like forever when it runs into hundreds or thousands of years. Sometimes a Vampire takes a nap and ends up as a pile of dust for no reason. Of course most are killed by Vampire hunters, Van Helsing wannabes, other Vampires, and people who just don’t understand them (nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition).

As for taking over the world…well there just aren’t that many of us. If you get bitten by a Vampire you don’t automatically turn into one. Believe me, if it was that easy none of us would bite anyone. Most of us, at least I’d like to think, don’t take the process of turning someone into one of us lightly. I’m one of the best, rarely killing anyone, but I rarely rarely rarely change anyone over.

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How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

I’m not answering this again. The third time is not a charm, or permission for small burrowing animals to behave badly.



My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year. He believes that if he sleeps with an old girlfriend on a business trip it isn’t cheating. His reasoning is that it is only cheating if he sleeps with someone new. What do you think?

You know what I’m going to tell you, but I guess you just needed someone to say it out loud to you. Dump him.


Why do people say condescending things to writers, or people who are breaking into writing?

Hell, I don’t know. Why do people like to cut other people down? Is it to make themselves feel better because they are superior? Is it because they are worried a loved one will end up homeless and on the street? Are they afraid of broken dreams claiming the soul of their friend? Or are they just an asshole?

Anyone who has been involved in writing, art, dance, music, acting, or anything “creative” knows the sting of rude comments by well-meaning friends, relatives, and strangers. The perception is that you will never get paid, or paid much for what you do, so therefore it has no value. Van Gough, and Freda Kahlo were rarely or never paid for their work. Value is a subjective thing. The hack of an artist Thomas Kincaid made millions off of his formula art, but that doesn’t mean it was good.

Don’t let the assholes get to you. Your work is your work. It is part of you. Nobody can take that away from you. A lot of people make their living from writing and art. Anyone who says otherwise is full of crap.

No matter what you want to do, be it writing, dog training, singing, scientific research, or opening a surf board shop, it is for you to do. There will always be someone who wants to squash your spirit. Don’t listen to them.



What is your favorite K Cup Hack?

Good question. At my house we like to use our own coffee and tea blends, but also like the convince of one of those machines that uses K Cups. A reusable cup just makes sense for both economy, ease of use, and for the environment, but those pesky machine often don’t recognize reusable cups.

My kids were full of woe, but not for long.

So this is my hack. I take a disposable cup (one I’ve already used) and carefully cut the top off of it. I put the disposable top on the top of the reusable cup. And presto, I have coffee. Woo Hoo.

If the disposable top won’t stay in place just put a little bit of peanut butter, cream cheese, or other non toxic substance on it to make it stick. Hey, it works.


Most people think Vampires are scary. As a Vampire what scares you the most?

My children becoming adults. I don’t show it, but it scares the moonlight out of me on so many levels.


The Part Parents Never Hear About! Holy crap. Do parents want to hear about THAT? Fuck.

Why do you use so much bad language?

I don’t know. I can’t help it. I’m a mom. Look at the fucking squirrel.



Why are Vampire guys so hot?

Because when they’re with you they give you their full attention.


lovers kiss

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire – Advice for Everyone) is a sort of regular Thursday feature on Vampiremaman.com

If you have a question for next week there are TWO ways of asking.

  1. Post a question in the comments section HERE.
  2. Email me privately at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com (and remove the extra spaces)

Have fun, be smart, and don’t do anything stupid.

And most of all, talk with your kids, listen to them, and engage them, but without the bad language.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman