Musings on Morning Distractions

Dry drought landscape without a ghost in sight.

Dry drought landscape without a ghost in sight.

7:25 am: Drop child off at high school. Have fun, love you, learn something.

7:40 am: Arrive late to 7:30 am meeting.

9:00 am: Meeting over. All is well. OK.

9:15 am: Arrive home. Good dog. Glad to see you too. Check email. Hey sweet kitty. Check email. Answer emails. Send invoices. Think about what I’ll read next. What mood am I in?

9:40 am: Go to bank. Get coffee. I usually make coffee but I didn’t feel like it today and I was already out.

10:00 am: Check email again. Good dog. Glad to see you too. 

10:30 am: Start writing. Sketch out idea for mural that popped into my head and make note to call Amelia about it. Start writing again. Good dog. Glad to see you too.

11:20 am: Feel distracted. I look outside in hopes of seeing a ghost. No luck. The only thing out there are turkeys picking bugs out of the dry grass. Even the squirrels and song birds are taking the day off. I go upstairs. College boy is still asleep. I’ll wake him later. Young Vampires need their sleep. He won’t get much after he gets back to school. He said he wants me to take him to Target later to get stuff for his house. Sounds like fun. The girl child is collecting stuff for college already but the man child is lacking in his domestic planning. His thoughts are on his wardrobe. Image is everything. EVERYTHING.

So I’m now here writing a blog post about my typical day because, while I was motivated this morning I’m finding myself with a major case of brain-drain.

The calico cat is curled in the next chair making a loud snoring purring noise. She is exceptionally cute, especially considering what a stealth killer she is.

I check my email again. Someone wants to know how to turn someone into a Vampire. I send the message to my trash bin. Someone else wants to know about writing a novel. I say DO IT.  A friend sends a lunch invitation. It is the kind of lunch invitation I like. A little food, maybe a glass of wine, then some private time with my teeth in his neck, and sweet dreams for him. I could use that. Maybe it will help with my brain drain.

I add water to the fish tank. The goldfish get all excited and swim around like they’re playing Just Dance on the wii. Goldfish are like that. Another reason it is fun to have them around.

I got the goldfish so they could make my office a good workspace. Unfortunately I bring my computer to the breakfast table and work here. The fish space gets too bright in the mornings. Even if I wasn’t a Vampire it would be too bright.

Downstairs I look out the window. Not ghosts. No birds. No cats. No green grass. Just a kumquat tree filled with bees and a sorry mess of droopy orange and lemon trees screaming for me to water them. The rosemary is happy without me. I wish the drought would end.

My coffee is gone that means I need to get back to my book… and wake up my sleeping beauty so I can have an excuse to be distracted again.

Good dog. Glad to see you too. Do you want a treat? Good dog.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Snoring out a purrrrrr

Snoring out a purrrrrr

You always remember your first time…

You always remember your first time…

 

“The first time I ever went out on my own?” Teddy smiled when I asked him the question. We were out on the deck having cocktails, watching the sunset turn to dark night. “I never told you did I? I was in the country at a huge estate. Max and I had an invitation from the son of the owner. Remember William Howard? We went to the university with him. Anyway, you know how your brother knows everyone and keeps connections with them all. There were over a dozen guests and what seemed like an endless party. I don’t remember sleeping for the first 48 hours. One rainy afternoon I went into the teahouse, out in the woods, just to read and get some time alone. But I wasn’t alone. There she was, Iona Howard, William’s charming sister, sound asleep – out cold. She looked so lovely. I couldn’t resist. Iona had no idea I was there until I’d finished. I posed by the door and then sweetly called her name.”

“You were so sweet Teddy.”

“I still am.” He leaned over and kissed me. “Iona was madly in love with Max but it was my teeth in her neck that afternoon. By the way, don’t mention this…I never told him about it about it.”

I laughed out loud. The secret, even such a minor one, would stay safe with me.

We’re like that, you know, Vampires. We never kiss and tell.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

sleeper

 

A Summer Day – Musings from a Vampire

Early this morning there was an unexpected knock on my door. I say unexpected because my entire family is otherwise engaged this weekend leaving me alone.

My neighbor and friend Kelly stood there with a smile on her pretty face. I smiled back (minus my fangs). She handed me a cup of coffee with a lid on it and said “We’re going to the farmer’s market. Yes, you’re coming with me. Teddy said you were all alone this weekend.”

Damn you Teddy, my loving husband who always manages to interfere with my brooding.

After slathering on spf 4000 sunscreen and grabbing a straw hat and a few reusable bags, Kelly and I headed off to the Certified Organic Farmer’s Market.

Music was in the air in the middle of the booths as an attractive couple played folk songs from the 1960’s on guitars and sang. I could smell the fresh peaches, greens, squash and dozens of other organic “farm to table” treats. I am getting tired of the term “farm-to-table” but this is the real deal we have here. I picked up a rare treat of sage cheddar cheese, huge bunches of kale and chard and a bag of nectarines. The lavender guy was out so I filled a bag with scented oils and sachets. I also got a huge bouquet of summer flowers. Later in the summer there will be more peppers and tomatoes but I did find some huge heirloom tomatoes in a green and deep burgundy color.

I don’t eat much solid food but when I do I make sure it is lovely. But I can guarantee you that there is nothing more out of place than a Vampire strolling through produce stalls on a summer morning.

Kelly mentioned with a smile how dark my glasses had turned in the sun. She knows that my entire family has extreme sun sensitivity issues to different degrees. But we can’t shut ourselves off from the world if we’re to be part of it – plus the vibes from this place is always so good. I might be a Vampire but I’m not opposed to good vibrations on a California summer morning.

After leaving we stopped by The Morning Crow, a small earthy crunchy organic coffee roaster. Their sign features the sun coming up but not with a rooster, but a large black crow. Nevermore is never said here because it is always lovely. Kelly and I lingered over iced coffee in a well air-conditioned shop while sitting on an oversized couch. New age music played in the background. When others try to do this sort of motif it gets annoying but today I was feeling it.

I was almost feeling human when Kelly said, “I know this sounds weird, but sometimes I feel like I have a ghost in my house.”

I gave her a “please go on” calm look but I knew sooner or later she’d figure it out. My ghost, Nigel, THE GHOST was really Kelly’s ghost. He lingered watching over her and her family but never make himself known. She told me of feeling like she was being watched or feeling the presence of someone she’d known who’d died. Considering that it seems like everyone around Kelly has an untimely death she could spend decades guessing who the ghost is.

I told her I was opened minded about ghosts but gave no additional details.

From there we made a quick stop to help out Kelly’s mother. She had broken her arm so Kelly was helping her wash her hair.

The intimate details of human life seem so fragile to me. The way Kelly French braided her mother’s iron gray hair into a beautiful intricate pattern mesmerized me. I thought of memories long ago of women with intricate braids and curls (not all their own) going to parties with gas lights and laughing behind fans. I snapped out of my revelry when Kelly’s mother, Lois, said “You never seem to age Juliette.”

I mumbled something about sunscreen.

Then Lois said, “You reminds me of someone I used to know. He’d be ancient now, but you look so much like him. You have the same eyes. Deep like the color of the sea. It is as if I can see down to your very soul. Such eyes. His name was Val.”

Before I could say anything Kelly said, “Juliette has a brother named Val.”

It is a small world indeed that someone who knew my brother in 1950 would mention now how much I look like him. We all figured it must have been an uncle of mine. I’m quick with answers for those who recognize us but don’t know exactly why.

Lois took my hand in hers. “Your hands are cold like mine, but not all twisted with arthritis. I hope neither one of you get it. There was something timeless about your uncle. You should tell your brother to come see me.” Then she winked giving me one of those all-knowing smiles. Holy shit.

I volunteered to wash dishes for Lois while Kelly spoke with her about medical issues and family concerns. It made me think of a lot of things.

Then they asked me about my parents and if they were still alive. Of course, living in San Francisco near two of my brothers. How time passes and even in human years so much happens. We live so many different lives in just a short time. It is the people who come and go out of our lives and those little things that twist and turn it all around and upside down over and over and over again.

While the news stations rage on about war and violence and horrible things, I see something else in humans. I see a great capacity for love and caring. I see tenderness. I see goodness and hope. I see a lot of humor and more joy. Mostly love. They are so full of love. One wouldn’t think that but they are.

As we arrived home my cats ran over to greet us. One ran up a tree while the other rolled in the dirt and sang a song of cats that begged for someone to pet his tummy.

By then I was fried but it was worth it, to get me out of the dark, even if being in the dark is my natural state.

Going out to my back deck I looked into the oak forest for signs of The Ghost. He was nowhere to be found. Maybe another day, maybe tonight. I never know with him.

The sound of elephants stomping came from the front porch as my son Garrett and his friend Randy came almost crashing through the front door laughing – as always. It is good to be 18, especially if you’re a young Vampire – even if the sun is shining and you feel like you have heat stroke.

I said “Group hug,” and that is exactly what I got.

It is going to be a long hot summer, but like all experienced Vampires, I’ll survive the heat and I think enjoy every minute of it, thanks to my friends. Well, that and air conditioning and really good black-out shades.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

E014097