Even Vampires have “those days”

gothicI’ve gone from just being tired and overwhelmed to just being pissed off.  I’m going to whine and be self-indulgent, so if you just want to skim over this or come back tomorrow I understand. Or better yet, look through my old posts – some are quite amusing.

 

I wonder if that is a busy mom thing or just a Juliette thing.

 

I can’t direct that feeling to my children who are pretty self-sufficient. They take care of themselves for the most part – but they still need me all of my time even if they won’t admit it to their friends.

 

My husband is going through some battles of his own. And there are all of those others who need my time and attention – I’m the caretaker who didn’t really sign up for the job. I love them all but I need my own time.

 

As I’m writing this someone called to ask me about how to use the Internet and why they’re blocked out of their accounts and what to do when a password won’t work. That happens a lot. Honestly I do not have “Tech Support” written on my forehead with a thick black Sharpie but sometimes it seems like it.  You’d think Vampires would be pretty computer savvy but noooooooo, they aren’t, or some of them aren’t and unfortunately they call me when they have problems. Or sometimes I just get questions about where to buy cheap flip-flops or what to do with capers or how to get Goblin smells out of basements or what I’m wearing to the next Vampire Masquerade.

 

Costumes from last year...

Costumes from last year…

I haven’t even thought of the Masquerade for this year. I told my husband that we should just go as Clark Gable and Carole Lombard and he said, “Gable had bad breath.” That was a NO from him. So we’ll figure out something else. Too bad because I was looking forward to wearing a blonde wig. 

 

Sometimes one has to just shut out the world, in a corner of a yard, on a walk in the woods or even hidden in a bathroom. I have a friend who used to tell her family she had stomach problems. She’d go into the bathroom with a book or stack of magazines and a bottle of vodka and stay for 20 or 30 minutes with the fan on so nobody would bother her.  No husband yelling, “honey”, no kids pounding on the door or sticking little fingers under it. Just the hum of the bathroom fan blowing off the stresses of life. Hey, whatever works.

 

A Vampire needs to eat so I’d made a lunch date with my favorite lunch date Jack, the handsome attorney and old pal who now knows I’m a Vampire and doesn’t care. I get what I want and he gets what he wants. That is I get lunch and he gets a feeling of warm and fuzzy goodness that lasts for several weeks. It is a nice symbiotic relationship.

 

Jack met me at my office, a Queen Ann style Victorian downtown that my brother purchased in the 1880’s. Nobody was there except us.

 

As always it was good to see him. Slipping his arm around my waist he pulled me close and into a kiss. No small talk today, thank goodness. I quickly undid the buttons of his shirt and slipped it off of his shoulders then pulled his undershirt over his head. My hands went over his bare chest. He pushed me onto the couch. I wrapped my leg around him to keep us from falling.

 

With one hand on the back of his neck and one entwined in his hair I sank my fangs into his neck, closed my eyes and got lost in the moment. It was intoxicating in that slow delicious way that makes one want to float to the ceiling. Instead Jack passed out on top of me and when I let go he rolled to the floor with a loud thud. Thank goodness nobody else was in the building.

 

I sat on the floor next to Jack; eyes closed and just let it all roll off of me. I didn’t check on Jack. I knew he was fine. He’d just have to sleep it off. I didn’t call home. I didn’t check my messages. I didn’t do anything.  I just let my body and mind turn to jelly as I drifted off in a catnap half between reality and the land of dreams.  The taste of his blood was like the after taste of a good deep bodied red wine. My mine drifted to a cool fall day in the foothills wine tasting with friends. I though of lying naked in a field under a full moon with the warm summer air on my body, my husband Teddy… And then my phone rang.

 

“Mom, can Randy and Ian stay the night? And can we go to the night slides at Sun Splash?”

 

I had to smile. My teenage son Garret was on the line. I answered yes to everything. It is summer and these boys have been working hard on college applications and summer jobs.

“Garret honey, have you boys eaten anything?” I had to ask because I’m his mom.

 

“Ian’s neighbors were playing D&D. We slipped over there for a bite. They’re fun people. Didn’t even suspect we were Vampires or anything. Just thought we’d stopped by to play a bit.”

 

Good boys. They’ve learned well the ways of the Vampire. Always keep a smile on the face of the folks you dine on.

 

I put down my phone and rubbed Jack’s shoulders. He was still asleep. I closed my eyes for another second or two and then heard the front door open, then a loud thud, dragging sounds and uneven footsteps. What in the world? I wasn’t expecting anyone or anything that afternoon?

 

Quietly getting up I made my way to the top of the stairs; fangs out and ready to go. At the bottom of the stairs stood Mike and Melissa, my old friends in the agriculture business, both looking, well, quite awful.

Damn it. Just what I didn’t need. Zombies.


Mike looked up with his one good eye and gasped, “We need your help.”

I’m sure he did. Gosh darn it. I really don’t have time for this, but what could I do?

 

Hope you all have a stress free week.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Cheers!A little housekeeping business:

Click here for the back story on those Zombies.

Click here and here and here for more background on Jack.

I want to thank all of my regular (and not so regular) readers for not being trolls. I love you!

Trolls are those people who make stupid and snarky comments I have to remove. Other descriptive words for them are haters, assholes and stalkers. I get Trolls in other online places I visit but THIS place is, I hope, safe for all who come here. So, for example, if I write about how I like bats please don’t tell me you think bats are creepy and dirty. Write your own blog post. Or better yet, just go away. And leave other bloggers alone too.

One more note…

The conversations with the teens yesterday was all about the new song from Panic! at the Disco (for those who don’t know Panic! At the Disco is the name of a band). We also discussed Fall Out Boy. One MUST include Fall Out Boy.

Panic! At The Disco with lead singer Brendon Urie (lead vocals, guitar, piano) and Spencer Smith (drums) and bassist Dallon Weekes.  

They’re all talented, way too good-looking and if you’re reading this Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith – Vampire Maman and Clara will be in Las Vegas this weekend visiting friends and we’d love say HI if you’re not too busy.

Yes, this band has brought class and style into the lives of my teens. Thanks guys! Now I don’t have to listen to the crap most kids listen to on top 40 radio stations.

And YES we adore Fall Out Boy too. We’ll be at the concert in San Francisco to see all of you.

And for my readers – this isn’t the crap you hear on top 40 pop radio.

And why yes, I know my blog is full of typos. I have a really short attention span, I didn’t learn to spell as a child, I don’t pay attention, and I try to go back and fix my mistakes.

 

ignorance

Musings on Reading, Sharing and Not Much…

“For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.”
-Louis L’Amour

Musings on Reading, Sharing and Not Much

I once knew a guy who read everything written by Louis L’Amour. I read a few upon recommendation. Like Romances, I could see how the Westerns became addictive. It was a fun escape with strong tides of right and wrong with tension and adventure. Most of all it was an escape and a way to relax in another world. I haven’t read any Westerns since. But I’m glad I did, just to try it out.

We read to escape, to be inspired, to travel outside of our bodies, to share ideas and emotions. to solve mysteries and feel emotions that out busy lives might block out.

Yesterday I cleared my deck of acorns and pollen and dust. Now I have a perfect place to read in the warm soon-to-be-summer evenings.

I was repotting a plant, not thinking about reading at all, my mind on overtime with Vampire business and mom business.

The Vampire children are hunting on their own more and more. They’re doing great – undetected by their regular human friends. I’m proud of them. School is wrapping up with good grades and a little bit of bad attitude creeping in (the 8th grader is so tired of the kids in her small Middle School and can’t wait until the BIG high school starts). Plans for the summer are being made. Summer will be low key for us.

My Vampire brothers are hanging out more often. It is like grand central station with their visits. I make them bring books and take books with them.

I also make sure I lecture Andrew on how I hate his old friends and he needs to keep them away. He tends to be amused by what I call  trash Vampires. They are the ones who give us a bad name. They like me for some reason too. I get so tired of their sleazy compliments and nasty attitudes about everything. I get tired of the way they attempt to suck up to us (no pun intended). They call me a snob. Ugh. Andrew is so smart that is surprises me. Since he moved back to the US…anyway. Despite my annoyances at Andrew, I like the books he recommends. My brooding Vampire brother likes light and funny mysteries. Go figure.

Vampire guys seem to like action movies and romantic comedies too. No point to telling you that except next time you go see a movie with a Vampire and want him to watch the screen and not your neck you’ll know.

Summer is coming and I want to say I will never ever do any volunteer work again as long as I live. It is sports this weekend (yes, I am a self-respecting Vampire…but…). Thousands of hours of time for school. There are other groups I’m asked to help with. It isn’t as though I don’t like to help, but like all volunteers, we want to know that our time is well spent and actually doing good. Of course when I volunteer to sit at that raffle booth I always have a book with me. Bet you didn’t know how I was going to tie that one in.

I can see my deck from the window right now. The cat is in one of the chairs. The sun is just starting to come up so the shadows are still deep and cool.

The Ghost is out there mouthing the words “get out here right now Vampire.” I wonder what he wants. So time to turn off my computer and pick up my coffee and my book and go outside for just a bit.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Vampire Maman’s Official 2013 Spring/Summer Reading List

cat reads the classicsSummer is almost here. I know some of you are still getting snow (I’m sorry) but it is in the high 80’s here. School is wrapping up. We’re planning for our summer already (travel, school plans for next year, college applications/tests/essays, etc). But always in my plans for the warm weather is summer books. And when one lives in a temperate to hot climate with the average temperature of 74 degrees F it always feels like summer (especially when we have what seems like months of triple digit weather). But no matter where you live or what your weather is…it is always nice to share books suggestions.

I’ve read all of the books and can honestly say THESE ARE WORTH READING.

Vampire Maman’s 2013 Recommended Summer Reading List

Summer Reading

The Language of Flowers

By Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Beautiful book.  It is both heartbreaking and will make you think again about the youth who are part of the foster care system.  This book isn’t what I expected at all. Just amazing.

When Victoria Jones turns 18, she is no longer eligible for support in the foster care system. But life on her own is no easy feat and she is soon reduced to sleeping in a park. The remarkable garden she cultivates brings her comfort and soon after her talent with flowers catches the eye of Renata, a kindly shop owner who takes pity on the girl and gives her a job. Victoria’s understanding of flowers—that hawthorn is for hope, honeysuckle for devotion, or daisy for innocence—is as extraordinary as her ability to discern people’s needs and find blossoms that can help them. Soon she has a thriving clientele of her own. If only Victoria could make things right for herself….

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Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn (who is brilliant)

There are so many twists and turns in this book that you’ll always be surprised. One of the best books I’ve read all year. Loved it. It was so much fun (and at times so uncomfortable but in a fun way). Just the right amount of sick and twisted to make it really fun.

On their first four wedding anniversaries, Nick’s wife, Amy, sent him on an intricate scavenger hunt to find her gift to him. When she disappears on their fifth, the police think the game has turned deadly…and Nick is involved. Amy’s friends claim she was pregnant and that he was furious, even though Nick swears it isn’t true. And his protests of ignorance regarding searches on his computer for death by smothering…nearby wooded areas…and how to obtain arsenic fall on deaf ears. Yet the beleaguered college professor cannot deny that his marriage was unraveling, and that he and a student have been having an affair.

Gone Girl is a masterpiece of suspense by Gillian Flynn—a publishing phenomenon that will keep you guessing till the end.

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Whiskey Beach

By Nora Roberts

This is a fun light read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Good characters. Good male point of views. Yes, it is a romance novel folks so don’t take it to seriously.

 

Whiskey Beach, delivers a strong belt of action right from the start, when the murder of Boston lawyer Eli Landon’s cheating, soon-to-be ex-wife makes him the cops’ prime suspect. A year spent proclaiming his innocence to no avail leads Eli to accept his beloved grandmother’s offer of refuge at her vacant 300-year-old home located high on the bluffs of Whiskey Beach. She wisely knows her housekeeper, Abra Walsh, a multi-talented free spirit, will be a breath of fresh air to a man in dire need of resuscitation. Abra inspires Eli to regain control of his life, first by hiring a private detective to clear his name. But as the couple’s attraction leads to intimacy, indications surface that someone has invaded Bluff House—searching for what, Eli is unsure. What he does know is that a family mystery stretching back for centuries has never been solved. And it soon catches Eli and Abra in its net—the same one that has already ensnared a desperate, cunning killer intent on destroying Eli Landon.

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Suspect

by Robert Crasis

I loved this book.  This was one of those books I could really feel. Wow. This is a good one, especially if you like dogs at all. Even if you don’t like dogs. Exceptional.

They’re unlikely partners—and for both of them, this is their last chance. Eight months ago, LAPD officer Scott James was ambushed by masked attackers and his partner, Stephanie, was killed. Now, Scott, sidelined by post-traumatic stress disorder, is torn by rage and shame. Then he’s assigned his new—four-legged—partner: Maggie, a German shepherd who’s as damaged as Scott is. The dog served in Afghanistan until her handler died in an IED explosion; now, she, too, has PTSD. Scott still burns to find Stephanie’s killers, and Maggie has one weapon left in her arsenal: absolute loyalty. In Robert Crais’ Suspect, man and dog must rely on one another as they face their nightmares anew in a world in which nothing is what it seemed.

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The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

By Tom Reiss

This is the only non-fiction book on this list. But it reads like fiction. Wow – what a story. Even if you claim not to like history you’ll like this one. But how could you not like history?

Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

 

The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.

 

Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave — who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.

 

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THE

By Nathan Tackett

Not only is Nathan a great writer – I’m honored to call him my friend. THE is THE book to read this summer for unexpected horror (and fun).  Damn, this was fun to read.

 

JOHN SCHMIDT is a loser. 
He’s an overweight mall cop plagued with nightmares. His only joy in life comes from singing karaoke at the local dive bar.

Feeling adventurous, John goes out to a trendy Goth club to see an old friend perform – an old friend that died five years ago.

A few days later John wakes up to find the naked dead body of a missing co-worker on his kitchen floor.

Then shit gets really weird…

John soon discovers that he comes from a long line of losers cursed  to save the world from an unknown evil-an evil so absolutely terrible that it threatens to destroy the universe with its own nightmares.

Armed with absolutely nothing other than his father’s notebook and a beat up Buick, John must ultimately decide if this world is even worth saving-saving from the evil that is only known by one word…THE.

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The Graveyard Queen Series:

by Amanda Stephens

  • The Prophet
  • The Kingdom
  • The Restorer

More fun than I’ll ever have with ghosts (but these ghosts are extra creepy). These Paranormal Romance books are even loved by folks I know who said they’d never read Paranormal Romance. A fun series that will keep you wanting more and more. Well written without a lot of over kill drama or silly gushing stuff.

Amelia Gray may see ghosts, but she’s always heeded her father’s advice to avoid acknowledging them—until a woman is murdered in a Charleston cemetery she is restoring. Amelia offers to help detective John Devlin when the killer begins leaving more bodies on old graves bearing symbols that could be grisly clues to his motives.  (description of first book…take my word for it and look up the entire series.)

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Always on my summer list:

Envy

By Sandra Brown

A hot and nasty page-turner – and I mean hot and nasty in many different ways – revenge, greed, betrayal, sex, writing…great summer reading. Take my word for it if you’re looking for a fun escape.

An explosive tale of a long-ago crime and the victim’s plan for revenge…When New York publisher Maris Matherly Reed receives a tantalizing manuscript from someone identified only as P.M.E., its blockbuster potential-and perhaps something else-compels her to meet its author. On an eerie, ruined cotton plantation on a remote Georgia island she finds Parker Evans, a man concealing his identity and his past. Maris is drawn into his tale of two young friends and a deadly betrayal … and to Parker himself. But there’s something especially chilling about this novel, its possible connection to Maris’s own life, and the real-life character who uses her, or anyone, to get what he wants.

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Dirty Blonde

By Lisa Scottoline

I just love this book. I really really do. I know it isn’t great literature but it is a great story and a great escape.

The description here doesn’t do it justice.  Unexpected, fast, tense, sexy, thoughtful and just plain fun. The relationship between Cate and her best friend (mother of an autistic child) is touching and tugs at the heart. The characters are all fun and well developed. Take it from me…another perfect summer read.

Cate Fante is strong and sexy and wears designer suits like overpriced armor. She’s just become a judge but leads a dark double life that she hides from everyone.

Her cover is blown when a high-profile case in her courtroom takes a stunning turn. Overnight the tabloids tell her secret, her boyfriend dumps her, and her new career hangs in tatters. But Cate’s troubles are only beginning. An enemy no one anticipated sends her running for her life, and she’ll have to fight her way back to the truth . . . or die trying.

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flying pages

Feel free to add any books you’d recommend in the comments. We’d all love to hear from you too.

And why no, there aren’t any Vampire books here. There are ghost  stories and a few other scary things. If you’re itching for Vampire stories I have a few on my blog – of course I do, this is after all a Vampire blog. Or for some different sort of fun with a few Vampires and other creatures try Kim Harrison books. Her books are always fun (and popular).

There will be a part two of this list sometime in the next few months.

In the meantime, have fun and happy reading. Oh, and don’t forget your yellow flip flops (the Elders wanted me to tell you that.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

reading kitten

Musings on Opera, Driving and Mom Time

I remember when my kids were babies I used to read blogs and articles that gave useless advice to busy moms. They’d say things like “take a bubble bath” or “have a date night” and I’d wonder who the crap they were writing for. Spa days? Really? I mean it. Get real. And while you’re at it F-off.

None of those writers ever said “Watch Pulp Fiction for the 50th time” or “Have a stiff cocktail with good booze.” One night when I was at the end of my rope I watched The Hangover” all by myself. Yes, I love movies as much as I love making stuff up.

On Friday nights we’d have Friday Night Opera Bath. I’d turn on the Public Radio and we’d listen to opera. To this day the kids still don’t like opera. They think I’m quaint. But one day they’ll thank me for it.

I still listen to opera when I’m driving late at night alone.

So why DO mom’s drive their kids around so much, even moms who work full-time (like me) and don’t seem to have a moment to spare?

Driving is our alone time. It is our time to think and unwind and let our minds go free.

If I’m in a tub full of bubbles someone, a child, a husband, a cat, will come in wanting something. When I’m in the car, in the driver’s seat I’m in control. It is my time.

It is also quality family time. It is time that kids and parents can talk and nobody can say “I gotta go”. One can’t just step out on the freeway going 65 or 70 mph.

Dad’s’ need time too. Don’t expect your man to be around 24/7 building things and fixing things. He needs his time too (even if it includes opera or sports or whatever.)

And since it is a myth that Vampires turn themselves into bats…I know I can sit outside with a book and in the quiet of the night watch the little guys fly around behind my house. Books and bats usually do the trick…until everyone shows up, but I don’t mind that. The conversation is always good, at least around my house.

But walks and gym time work the same way. It is time away. We all need our own away time, even if it just in our minds.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

kayN