Evolving

It cooled off today. It FINALLY cooled off.

I can’t imagine having Middle School or High School kids right now. I don’t know how well mine would have done with online school. It is a challenge for everyone. My children were tech savy so that wasn’t the problem. It was everything else, by that I mean the social aspects of Middle and High School. Kids grow up fast and learn how to socialize. They have to deal with group projects, weird people, and other distractions that get them ready for the real world work world. They make friends that they have for life, or at least think they have for life. They’ll have their first romances, dances, clubs, art shows, and so many other things, like meeting friends at a locker between classes, or just hanging out.

Recently my grown kids experienced losing childhood friends. They didn’t die, they just didn’t recognize their old friends. OK to be honest it was political fall out that disgusted my kids. It was difficult for one of them to see close childhood friends become racist or sexist. It was difficult to see their smart childhood friends become Covid-19 and science deniers. I knew it was bound to happen. Fortunately most of their friends didn’t go off of the deep end.

My kids respect the right for others to have opinions, but not opinions that hurt others.

Now you know why us paranormal types don’t let anyone know what we are. Holy shit. I don’t want to go back to the days when we were burned at the stake or locked up in crypts with wooden stakes in our hearts. That would not be good.

You know, I can hardly write this post because of the stupid new “works like shit out of rusty can” block settings. Who the hell writes like that? Plus I can’t find anything. There was supposed to be a photo here but it kept freezing up and I couldn’t get to the insert image block without being bumped up to the top of the page. Just let me write God Damn IT.

Earlier today I saw Nigel the ghost is sitting outside hanging his feet over the edge of the half built deck. He is in jeans and a button down white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and his black hair brushing down over his collar. He looks up at me and gives me his “What the fuck Vampire?” look.

Our weird passive aggressive neighbor was walking behind the house along the fence line checking out my yard. I have no idea why he feels the need to be checking out our construction project or our orange trees and compost barrel. If I could have gotten away with it I would have pegged him with a pocket rocket (sling shot) or thrown a rotten orange at him.

I’ve thought about asking a ghost to go haunt them but considering their kids refuse to visit them and they don’t have any friends they’ve made their own haunted house. This guy spends all of his time in the side yard and side corner of his back yard because he has no windows facing my house. He can’t see what we are doing so he has to pretend he has yard work, only he doesn’t have a back yard. It is just wild with no fence going down into the field. He planted some ground cover as an excuse to go out there. But seriously, who spends eight hours a week taking care of a patch of ground cover? A crazy pathetic man who can’t stand to be in the house with his wife – that is who.

My new neighbors have also become obsessed with my flower filled front yard. Heaven forbid a single daylily go a half inch over the property line. My yard is on their garage side. They can’t even see it from their house. It isn’t like I had a side yard full of weeds and junk like they do. It isn’t like we go make noise at all hours under their master bedroom window like they do to us.

My husband describes them as vile pathetic people. Unfortunately our close friends who used to live there (for over 10 years) moved away and the owners of the house they rented from moved back in. Nobody in the neighborhood was happy about that.

If they died nobody would know for weeks or maybe months. That is sad indeed. Don’t worry, they don’t have pets. And I used to think we were the weird ones on the street.

Don’t worry. I can deal with it.

These days everything annoys me and everyone else. Aside from wearing a mask I suggest we all turn off the news and maybe only listen for the weather and the reports about giant pumpkins, dogs and cats who are looking for forever homes, and cool things kids are doing to keep happy and healthy.

I’m not surprised that most Werewolves I know are spending more time in the mountains away from everything and everybody. They used to just go up during the full moon. Now many of them are up there most of the time.

Parties or no parties, Halloween will be here soon.

I hope to chill and maybe even write some chilling Halloween posts, or at least fun posts. I have a lot of ideas but so many distractions.

My brother Max is being bothered by a Demon, Vlad is still confused, my children and thriving and having adventures, Austin Durant is attempting to get through this semester teaching college and helping my brother Aaron get rid of unwanted pests, and the ancient ones will celebrate Halloween no matter what happens. I’ll keep you all posted.

In the meantime I think I’ll have a glass of wine and maybe watch some baseball and work on some macrame. Why? Because that is what Vampires do. It isn’t all about sucking blood out of necks.

~ Wear your mask
~ Talk with your kids
~ Call your parents
~ Hug your dogs and cats
~ Feed a squirrel
~ Keep your bird feeders full
~ Be zen and sweep rather than using a leaf blower
~ Stay safe
~ Don’t be a dick
~ Be kind
~ And kiss a Vampire (the sooner the better)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Pandemic ABC’s

A is for asshole who won’t wear a mask.

B is for baking at home because it makes the house smell good and it is a comfort.

C is for cat. We’re at home more and our cats have strong opinions about that. C is also for conspiracy theories. See A.

D is for  dogs who are ALL glad we’re home all of the time.

E is for the elephants who hide in our backyards and closets and sometimes right in the middle of a room.

F is for friends we haven’t seen in person in a long long long time.

G is for grandstanding. See A. G is also for gardening. I’ve always had a garden of some sorts. Even my kids have porch gardens in their apartments. I’m happy to see so many people are growing their own gardens now or starting community gardens. That is a good thing. G is for good.

H is for hate. No need to explain. Figure it out. Don’t hate. It will eat you faster than any demon or any virus or any great white shark.

I is for ignorance. Too many people are embracing ignorance when they should be embracing their children and their cats and other things that really matter.

J is for joy. Find joy even if you’re home alone. Joy is found in small things in small amounts. It ads up.

K is for kids who can’t go to school because so many people (see A) wouldn’t wear masks or take this thing seriously in the beginning. Wearing a mask isn’t political. It isn’t about rights. It is about being a sane human with half a brain.

L is for love. It is also for checking in on those we love who need extra help or extra encouragement.

M is for my friend Mandy White who has some wonderful stories featured in the new book Goin Extinct Too. 

N is for nothing. We’re all doing a lot of nothing these days. It is also for Netflix. We are all watching a lot of stuff on Netflix.

O is for OVER IT. We are all over famous people telling us how good they look in their swimsuits and yoga pants during the pandemic lock down. We’re tired of hearing about their relationships, their vaginas, their woes. Shut the fuck up. We’re OVER it.

P is for pandemic. P is for painting too. We painted the inside of our house. Now I’m painting some POP ART. Seriously, I’m doing some pop art projects. I might show some photos later.

Q is for quiet.

R is for rest.

S is for sanity. S is also for hands sanitizer. Mostly it is for sanity. S is also for sense of humor. You must keep a sense of humor.

T is for together. We are all in this together. If you don’t agree see A.

U is for unusual. These are unusual times.

V is for Vampire. We are doing very well thank you.

W is for Werewolves. They’re doing ok. Summer is a difficult time because of the heat and all of that fur.

X is for Xanadu a horrible awful movie you get to see after you’ve seen everything else on Netflix, Prime, YouTube and every other cable network and streaming service. Make sure you have strong cocktails and maybe some a joint first.

Y is for YOU. Not for U but You. You’re going to be OK.  You have value. You are loved.

Z is for Zallia. I know a lovely 90 year old woman named Zallia. It is also for Zebra. Everyone loves these distant striped relatives to horses. Z is also for ZOOM.

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I wrote this little list in about fifteen minutes on a borrowed tablet. We make due when we have to. In fact we’re all making due right now but that is ok. We’re good at it. 

Now I’m going to work on ART. Yes, A is also for art.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Vlad’s Vampire Diary: I am so confused that I just do not care anymore

Dear Diary,

My friend Randolpho slammed down the book he was reading. “Don’t you hate it when you look forward to reading a new book and it turns out to be a forced, contrived, hyped up mess?”

“Are there not reviews?” I asked him.

“There are, but this book won all kinds of prizes and the description sounded interesting. I got the old bait and switch on this one. It is going straight into the recycle bin. I’d donate it but I don’t want anyone else to have to suffer through this crap.”

“One could stick with blog posts because blog posts are usually short and demand little commitment or funding.”

“Nobody reads blogs,” said Randolpho. I knew he was wrong but declined to comment. I fear Randolpho will continue with his unfortunate book choices.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

I was outside this morning in my backyard thinning out a few trees over planted by the previous owner. The neighbors told me that man was as a master gardener. He was nothing but a master idiot. Even I, Vlad the Vampire King knows more about gardening that that fool did.

As I lined up my tools, tied my hair back, put on my work gloves, and scanned my back yard, making a plan my cats played and watched birds. I was busy looking at a list I had made and failed to hear the side yard gate open, for when I looked up there was my cousin Sebastian standing there grinning from ear to ear.

The last time I saw him was right before I was sealed up in a crypt and left for dead. That was a little over three hundred years ago. I was surprised but did not show it.

I had little love for my cousin Sebastian. He was a treacherous being and the worst kind of Vampire. He would have parties and raid the local town and steal children for his guests to feed upon. Young men and women would vanish during the night. He tried to seduce my wife but even she knew better than to be with such a vile and callous Vampire.

He stole. He lied. He cheated. Sebastian was also charming and quick to flatter with his silk voice and beautiful fanged smile. He twisted those around him so that others would sing his praises while he left behind a trail of death and destruction. Even our Grandfather, the most cunning and skeptical of Vampires believed everything Sebastian told him.

When I became King of Vampires I banished him from my land. Years later he and his cohorts sealed me in a crypt and left me for dead. For three hundred years I hoped he was dead and gone, but it had unfortunately no been so.

“Hello Vlad,” he said with that famous smile of his. “I thought you were dead.”

“Why are you here?” I asked.

“Aren’t you cute gardening with your hair pulled back, and your shirt off looking like a model out of Men’s Health magazine,” he said with a sneer.

He called me cute yet he did not even mention my cats. “Everyone seems to think I am cute Sebastian. I neither understand or care what you mean by that,” I said.

“How I remember you Vlad with your righteous indignation, so angry yet so pure in your convictions. How you’d stand there with your golden halo of hair, eyes burning like sapphires on fire, so ready to go in for the proverbial kill. Damn you were magnificent.”

I am still magnificent I did not tell him that. I was angry due to the fact that I knew he had been involved in my three hundred year entombment, but I did not show it. It was like one of the mystery or detective books I have been reading. A friend who smiles might very well turn out to shoot you in the back, or tear out your neck with his teeth. One never knows about these things.

“What do you want?” I asked him calmly without a hint of distrust, or of the hate that had settled like a thin layer of hardened tar in the bottom of my heart. “You always want something.”

“You had everything Vlad. What do you have now?”

I thought for a second, as I often do when asked a profound question such as this.

“I have a chainsaw, two cats, a Vampire woman who loves me despite the fact I am not a king anymore, and my looks. I am also considered cute, by the way.”

“You are nothing,” he said.

“Excuse me,” I told him as I picked up my chainsaw. “I have work to do.” I pulled the cord, then the engine started, and I swung the chain saw. The cats ran after his head as it rolled down the garden path to the strawberry patch. I noticed the Peace rose was blooming with a blush of pink on white. I forgot to tell him I had flowers.

I could not leave even a Vampire body to sit in the summer sun so I quietly put my hands over him and recited a few words in the ancient language of Vampires. He turned to a fine yellow dust, head and all. My younger cat hissed and ran away while her mother sniffed at what was left then rubbed her head against my leg.

The gate opened again and in walked my friend Randolpho. He was wearing a large ridiculous looking straw sun hat, baggy yellow short pants, and a shirt made of fabric so bright it hurt my eyes to look upon it.

“What are you wearing?” I gasped.

“My favorite Hawaiian shirt. Wow, the yard looks great Vlad, but what is that horrible sulphur smell.”

I told him of Sebastian’s visit. In turn Randolpho helped me shovel the dusty yellow ashes into  the garbage can.

“Sebastian always was a real dick,” said Randolpho. “Even when we were kids.”

Friendship is like flowers and Vampires. You treat it with care and kindness and the rewards are endless.

~ Vlad

 

 

Dear Diary,

During this time of the two thousand and twenty pandemic we do not go out as much as we did. Even Vampires have decided it is better to stay in as much as possible.

My friend Randolpho and my Vampire lover Gillian have taken to sitting on my couch all night watching Netflix and drinking alcohol and blood concoctions. Tonight Gillian made something called Bloody Marys made with blood, vodka, red vegetable juice, limes, and a variety of spices.

We are beyond the point of no return I fear with our sanity being in trouble. Gillian and Randolpho are watching something called The Floor is Lava. I am both appalled and fascinated.

“Maybe the three of us should sign up for the show. We’d kick ass,” said Randolpho.

This is a strange world indeed in which we live, and even stranger times. Even someone my age, which is six hundred and seventy six years knows we are in strange times.

At this point I don’t even care. I poured more vodka in my drink. At least I am cute. That seems to be the only constant these days.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

This has been the 62nd installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. Click here to read Vlad’s story from the beginning.

Lost Keys and Lies

Every have one of those days when getting out of the house seems nearly impossible?

I couldn’t find my keys this morning and of course I was running late. And no I can’t just change myself into a bat.  That only happens in fiction.

I’m scouring the house but nothing. Then I heard a throat clearing.  I turned around and behind me is the Ghost, damn him, with my keys.

“I believe I have something of yours.” He said that with a nasty curl of his lip then flicked a lock of black hair out of his eyes.

I reached for the keys and they vanished, along with the Ghost.

I let out a string of not so nice words (the kind moms pretend not to know) and then tried to sense where he could have gone.

Off of the bookshelf I grabbed the box with all of the spare keys. Does anyone else have keys to cars, doors, and safe boxes they don’t even remember?

Anyway I grabbed the spare keys to my car and yelled, “If you don’t give me my keys back I’ll pour a bottle of Pinesol on your grave. I’ll pour a gallon on it.”

Nothing.

“I know where your grave is Nigel. I looked you up. I know all about you.”

I heard a clang as the keys dropped on the tile floor of the kitchen. I picked them up and headed for the front door.

He stood there waiting for me. “How’d you find out where my grave is?”

“I don’t even know your last name. How would I know where your grave is?” I looked at him with such calm as his eyes narrowed and threatened to turn me to ice.

“You’re a Vampire and a liar,” he snarled at me.

“And I’m really good at being both.” Then I smiled and headed out the door.

Anyway, tell your kids that lies and bad words are not acceptable…of course unless you’re dealing with a Ghost.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Note: This was first posted in 2013. Today is a busy day for me so I thought you’d like more fun and a blast from the past from Nigel and me. Sure he’ll hate me for it but the guy is a Ghost. What do you expect? On the other hand being a Ghost has nothing to do with it. I bet he was an asshole when he was alive.

~ J

Lockdown Update

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Even I have to admit things have been weird.

I dropped the youngest child off at the airport today to return to her home in Southern California. In normal times the Southwest terminal is PACKED. Dozens of cars are lined up to drop off passengers. Today mine was the only car. The only person waiting was my daughter’s boyfriend. He stood there at a distance wearing his mask.

I dropped her off and returned home to a bored husband who is frustrated at trying to do anything with the government (concerning his business.)

While my daughter was in one of her online courses yesterday another student had a melt down over the lack of support the professor is giving. You’d never see that in a real classroom. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.

And if you think going to the grocery store is a hassle try being a Vampire right now. I’ll spare you the uncomfortable details.

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Several friends have spoken to me about their frustration with those who have used this time to spout unnecessary political venting.

Others have spoken of their lack of motivation when it comes to creative endeavors. Yes, we have all the time in the world but working on anything has become just sort of weird.

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But on a good note my garden is beautiful. My pets are happy. I’m in touch with everyone. I see the humor that has come out in people. I’ve seen the humor and creativity more than the ugliness.

So stay creative. I’ll try to do the same. If not creative just stay positive. Go for a walk. Watch a movie. Read a book. Listen to music. Find a new podcast. Text an old friend. Pass on funny memes. Stay away from protests. Don’t be a dick. Feel free to share the form below with your most whiney assed friends.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – but please no yoga pants

Odds and Ends – Musings on my state of mind.

This morning as I was leaving the self-serve dog wash with a clean old dog and a fifteen pound bag of dog food under my arm I saw road rage. Yes, right there in the Trader Joe’s parking lot between the organic bakery and the dog wash.

Fresh from getting her Zen and Zang aligned with the universe at her Friday morning yoga class, a woman in an expensive SUV started screaming “BITCH you can’t have my spot.” She was screaming at another woman who was also in an SUV (woman number two was not wearing yoga pants.) It was one of those WTF moments for me. After helping my old dog with the bad leg into my car I could only hope that nobody would scream at me. If they did there might be hell to pay later, much later, but maybe not. It just isn’t worth my time. Karma will get the screamer much more effectively than any Vampire could.

As a rule, aside from swimwear and underwear I never wear anything with an elastic waist band. I do not have road rage. Yes, of course I swear in the my car and curse enough to make the Devil himself blush – I’m a mom. All mom’s swear in the car, just as any child. BUT I do not have road rage.

I’ve been out and about during the day a lot more lately. Things are different in the light of day. At night people are predictable. They are usually tired or drunk or happy to be where they are. During the day the world if full of women who are full of rage. Raging women with well manicured hands and yoga pants. There are also the moms with a baby in one hand and a dog pulling the other with a leash. Yes, it looks good on paper, but in reality the dog and the baby rarely want to go in the right direction. The three I saw today were so cute. I remembered those days except I had two exceptionally large hairy girl dogs (90 and 125 lbs) and babies in tow. Auto pilot time!

When my children were small I always knew a lot of the well-kept raging women with their aligned Zen were blissfully ignorant of their husband’s girlfriends or of their market value going down in the workplace. I was never Zenfully aligned in any way shape or form. The universe has never been an aligned or straight forward place for me. That makes things difficult at times but you know, it just the way things are.

Disclaimer: Not everyone who does yoga is one of those women so don’t get all pissed off.

Then I saw two guys with a lot of hair and backpacks. I don’t know if they were homeless or just traveling through. At the light a Lumbersexual (you know, the long hipster beard, boots and red plaid jacket or shirt) talked to the hairy guys. It was cool.

I saw the old guy with the purple mohawk who rides his bicycle along the streets. I saw the tiny kindergarteners in their cute sun hats all holding on to a rope and walking to the park with their teachers. With a rope no kids can complain of holding hands with blisters or a hand of someone they don’t like or being paired up with a hand squeezer. Ropes rock when it comes to controlling children. And it is sooooooo cute.

As I’m driving home with the now clean dog, I realized that now I smell like dirty dog. When you wash a dog it is just a matter of you transferring the vile smells to your own body. I turned on my music because the dog can’t use the car stereo system like the rest of my family. Nobody was there to change it. I played my own soundtrack for my own movie.

I keep adding songs and pushing some off of the playlist. Some are on the list forever while others only last a week or two. And I am still pissed off at Apple their asshattery when they slapped the U2 album on my iPhone. More mom swearing. But back to my yen and yang…

We all have to find our own soundtracks. We all have to find what route we want to take on any given day. Even when we’re forced to take another road to another place, even if that place is unknown, it isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it is usually a good thing.

Then there are those rings that are old and new like my fifteen year old and her sixteen year old partner skating to “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” In two hours he’ll be listening to Metallica and she’ll be listening to Night Riots or some sort of smooth jazz but for now, they dance like Fred and Ginger on eight wheels. Today it is International (nor organ music like American dance, just orchestral.) They’re really beautiful out there on the floor.

Other things run through my mind like calls from my brothers about getting out blood stains, dealing with females, and dealing with the ends and outs of living in world that is just a little bit different. Not bad, not wrong, not strange to us, just different.

I thought about the time, a long time ago, when my brother Val and I were kids. We were walking along the edge of the river and found a giant dead sturgeon on the beach. We swore it was at least twenty feet long. Looking back I think it was about six feet long – still a large beast. It was just one of those random thoughts that I’ll call him about tonight or maybe tomorrow. I thought about a lot of things today with my only company being the dog.

Rummaging through the dusty files in my brain I pulled out cracked faded folders on old lovers, images of places I can’t remember and things I remember as if it had happened this morning. Closing my mind I could feel the warm summer breeze on my bare skin as I walked along the beach, hoping it would stay warm, if only for another few hours.

Next I sent Garrett (who is off at college) about a dozen photos of the dogs and cats playing in the tall winter grass. I also sent him pathetic photos of the dog being washed. Fun stuff. A lot of xoxoxoxo sort of stuff followed and came back. He sent selfies and some included friends. I thought again of the mom with the tiny baby and the dog. She has no idea how much fun she will have or how much love.

So reach into your brain, take out your files and throw them into the air, with all of the brittle paper that might fly into bits along with dust and old love letters and bits of this and that. Holy crap, what a mess that would make.

I’m looking forward to a calm evening for tomorrow… who knows what it will bring but it is always something.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Jasmine

First posted in February 2015

That was the last time I took Jasmine to the dog wash before she passed away. She wasn’t feeling well for a few months, then had a stroke before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I still watch people in parking lots and know they live in another universe than I do. And the kids are doing great. I still miss Jasmine. 

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