Vampire 101: Removing Blood and Red Wine Stains (file this under ADULTING)

Now that both of my kids are out of the house I am not longer there for them when they get stains on their clothes. Dirt is easy.

I’m not going to believe the Tide Ad (The Super Bowl Ad) where the woman keeps saying “It can wait.” It kind of can’t. The faster you get something on that stain the better.

A good item to give your college bound kid (or yourself) is a laundry stain pen. Most major brands make them and they can be found in any grocery story. These handy little stain removers can easily be kept in a backpack, purse, pocket or binder.

But if you DO get a blood stain follow these follow these steps:

Don’t wait. Don’t scrub. Don’t put heat on it (heat will set the stain in forever unless you’re getting out grease and oil.)

To remove blood stains from washable fabrics.

  • Spray with a stain solution such as Simple Green or any laundry pre-treatment and wash immediately in cold water.
  • Check before you put the shirt (or other whatever is stained) in the dryer. You don’t want to set a stain in that you can still remove.
  • If any stain remains, I usually soak the hell out of it overnight with OxyClean or Goof Off spray. If you don’t want to do that then soak it in a solution of 1 quart warm water, 1­/2 teaspoon dishwashing or liquid laundry detergent, and 1 tablespoon ammonia for 15 minutes.
  • For excess solid or caked-on stains, scrape off what you can, scrub gently with a soft brush or clean sponge, blotting occasionally until the stain is gone.
  • This works for most organic stains, not just blood.

To remove blood stains from leather or suede:

  • Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water. Dish soap works well. You want a lot of suds.
  • Apply only the foam with a sponge and gently rub the stained area, taking care not to spread the stain. Q-tips work great for this.
  • Wipe dry with a clean soft cloth. If all else fails take it in to get it professionally cleaned.

Blood stains on Silver

It may seem romantic and daring to the younger Vampires to use silver goblets to drink blood from but DON’T DO IT. Not only is it hard to clean but it is TACKY. Use glass or ceramic. Or even a red cup is better than ruining a nice goblet. But what if your college aged child gets carried away with the moment. Wash the silver right after use. Dried blood will cause some nasty tarnish. Better yet, tell your kids NOT to use silver with blood – especially not YOUR silver. If the stains are difficult get out the polish and elbow grease and MAKE YOUR KID DO THE WORK and polish those stains out.

Red Wine

I spill red wine a lot more than I spill blood. My secret is to get Simple Green on it ASAP. If you don’t have Simple Green just put it in the wash ASAP, or in a sink with whatever dish washing liquid (like Dawn) or any organic spray cleaner, or OxyClean.

If you’ve got a red wine stained carpet and on furniture take care of it ASAP. You’re taking care of it right now, and you didn’t start scrubbing away like a mad man (or woman).

Apply a dry material that will “lift” the red wine out.

Like any liquid, red wine will move toward anything dry that it comes into contact with. Your best move right after you get a red wine stain is to grab a dry, powdery material and apply it generously on the red wine stain. These include:

Table salt
Baking soda
Sodium percarbonate, a.k.a. a granulated form of hydrogen peroxide
Dry soap powder
Talcum powder, which is used for baby powder
Clay Kitty litter

These dry materials will “pull” the red wine out of the carpet, but don’t just start rubbing them in. Remember, you never want to rub (or scrub) the stain, regardless of what you’ve applied to it. Always apply the blotting method, even when it comes to cleaning up the salt or powder.

This works on oil stains too. I have a friend who used this on her car seats (the baby powder) and it worked wonders.

Let the salt (your best option), or any other dry, powdery material you use, settle for a few minutes. In some cases, this may be enough to actually remove the stain completely, especially if you acted fast enough. Otherwise, you may need to apply additional methods.

Coffee stains

If you get water on it right away most coffee stains will come right out. Most soap will get it out too. But use the same steps as above for blood stains and don’t let it sit too long.

If you’re prone to stains I suggest getting a small Green Machine or other mini type carpet spot cleaner. You’ll thank me for it later. This is a great tool for your adult children who are renters and concerned about getting their security deposits back (and just having nice looking carpets.)

Another life hack, or Vampire hack, is to always have a spare shirt in your car or backpack. You never know when you’re going to slop something on your shirt. It is good to be prepared.

My children were fortunate to go to an elementary school where life skills were threaded through the curriculum. They learned to do laundry, cook and plan meals, money, and interior design. This wasn’t some high end private school. It was a public school (Montessori). They learned the skills, wrote about them, did math problems about them, and compared notes. I will all kids learned this stuff in school. It is fun for them and they learn how reading, writing, and math fit in with the real world. If your child doesn’t get this in school take the time to teach them. When they move out they’ll call you about things that aren’t laundry or how not to overdraw their bank and Vemo accounts.

I’ve got an empty nest now but I will text my kids, share daily dog pictures with them, and maybe even talk to them today. But one thing I won’t worry about is stain removal – ok, maybe I will. They know it but they still always ask because, well, I’m the mom.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Mamam

 

 

 

 

Morning at the Vineyard (Fooled you once…)

Morning at the Vineyard

(In honor of April 1st. This is a favorite of mine – near and dear to my cold un-beating Vampire heart.)

Andrew didn’t remember much when the door opened with blinding light waking him from his sleep, much less the voice that said “You aren’t dead.”

“Of course I’m not dead.” Andrew lifted himself up on his elbow and looked around at the bedroom.

“You were so cold. We couldn’t hear your heart.” A slim woman with long slightly graying hair stood near the bed.

“That’s what all the girls say.” No response. “That was a joke.”

“Oh. Ha ha ha. Good one.” Uncomfortable laughing.

There was the taste of blood in his mouth, but not his own. It must have been a Hell of a night. He looked at the woman again. She was pretty but not young, standing there in a flowing sundress and pretty light summer sweater. Nice. This would be fairly easy staying here for a few days, but he would still be cautious. Sometimes the most easy ones turned out to be the most dangerous.

Andrew started to get up and realized he was naked under the sheets.

“Your clothes were soaked and also covered with blood. We thought about calling the police but my husband Ian said to wait until morning. My husband Dennis said the same. I don’t agree with them. We should have called the police as soon as we found you.”

“Where was I?”

“In the vineyard, face down in the dirt. Your car was in a ditch with four flats and the front end smashed in. We pulled it out.”

The Tesla. Quiet and fast and expensive. Then he thought about what she said. “Husbands? You mentioned two husbands.”

“We practice polyandry. Two husbands, one wife, one family. It isn’t legal or common or accepted by most people but…”

“I don’t have a problem with it. As long as it works for you.”

“It does.”

She took a stack of clothing, jeans, a shirt, etc, from the top of the dresser and gave it to Andrew. “Clean clothing. Breakfast will be ready in about a half hour. And we’ll discuss who you are and why you’re here and where all the blood came from.” Then she turned and left the room.

What a night. The fog started to clear from Andrew’s brain. He staggered up out of the bed and closed the window shades. Damn sunlight. Looking in the mirror the reflection looked back showing a well built man with alabaster skin, long chestnut curls flowing down his back, a classically handsome face and hazel eyes the color of the blue green southern seas. His mouth twitched showing fangs. He quickly gained his composure and hid the teeth and rubbed his tired eyes.

“Shit. What the crap happened to you Andrew,” he said to himself. There was wine, a lot of wine. There were women. There was a guy named Brant and his friend Chet. There was the girl Ginger…she had AB + blood, Chet had O. Oh no. Why didn’t he remember? And how’d he end up face down in the middle of a vineyard? Zinfandel. He knew what kind of grapes they were.

Taking a 3 minute shower, he towel dried his long locks, pulled on the clothes the woman had left him and went down the stairs. He could smell food cooking and coffee. He gripped the banister to prevent himself from throwing up everything inside of his stomach. He’d over done it for sure, blood and wine. Wine and blood. Sex too but that was a blur. Food might do him some good.

In the kitchen were two men and the woman, along with half a dozen kids in who ranged from about 8 to 17.

He looked at the men. A large blonde man who looked like a former football player introduced himself as Ian. Dennis was shorter with the look of a History Professor or some sort of thing like that. They called the woman Carrie. One big happy family.

Ian poured Andrew coffee and welcomed him. They all welcomed him. This was getting creepy. Then again, Andrew was the Vampire, but he was sitting in the home of a farmer and wine maker and her two husbands and six kids. It was weird. But hey, he decided to make the best of it.

They made small talk. He thanked them for taking him in. Carrie put plates of eggs and fried tofu and toast and fruit and bacon and mushrooms on the table.

The teenage girls thought Andrew’s hair was great and asked him if he was in a band. He smiled minus fangs. He must have had at least five cups of coffee.

“Last night I thought you had some nasty scratches on your face,” mentioned Ian.

“I, uh, heal fast.” Andrew said that then wished he’d kept his mouth shut. He healed fast because he wasn’t like them. He took the blood and energy of regular normal people and in return, he made them feel good – like a rush that would last at least a week. Well, if he liked them and made a connection.

“Where’d all the blood come from? Except for the scratch on your face you didn’t have a mark on you.” As Carrie said that she gave him a long cold look.

“Blood? On me? I guess I drank too much. Too much of everything and threw up. I don’t know. My friends drank a lot and someone was doing some sort of recreational drugs or maybe prescription pain killers, I’m not sure, but I over did it. Listen, I’m so sorry about this and I really appreciate your hospitality. I’ve imposed on you. I wish there was something I could do to pay you back. Let me know.”

Ian gave him a pat on the arm. “We know what it is like to be different.”

“You’re a Vampire aren’t you?” Dennis asked as the kids all looked on.

Andrew brushed a damp lock of hair out of his face and suddenly felt a little warm. “Yes, but…”

“How long have you been a Vampire?” Carrie was asking now.

“I’ve always been one. My parents were Vampires. Um, I was born just down the road from here. October 22, 1851.”

The children were transfixed.

“We don’t have a problem with Vampires. Some food might settle your stomach Andrew,” said Carrie. “And you’re welcome to stay as long as you like. We found your phone and called your sister. She’ll be here in a couple of hours.”

This was all too strange for Andrew. He’d spent the past 100 years or thereabouts avoiding families and any kind of normal human lives. Years had passed traveling, and performing and enjoying wine and women and wild nights. But now he sat with a nice family with no pretenses. And rarely had he ever met humans who knew or even knew about real Vampires. It was so unusually weird.

“I sing opera,” he said to the kids. “Mainly opera but I can sing just about anything. Just got back from Patagonia and learned a bunch of folk songs. I can do metal too. That comes naturally.”

“I can imagine you do a great power ballad,” Carrie said with a smile, then she told the children to leave the room.

Andrew had to smile. This as so weird but he could get used to this. He looked at Carrie’s golden brown eyes. A positive blood, just like his. She’d make a good Vampire, or even just a snack.

He thought about his sister. It had been forever since he’d seen her or her children. It would be nice. More than nice. Maybe she’d get another husband too. He might suggest it. He smiled. That would be funny.

“What happened to my friends? Did you see any of them?” Andrew looked from Dennis to Ian then to Carrie. “Did they say where they went?”

Carrie looked him in the eye as Dennis and Ian flanked her side. “We buried them in the garden behind the carriage house.”

“Don’t worry,” said Dennis “Nobody ever found the other bodies we’ve buried, so they won’t find your friends.”

Andrew took another gulp of coffee and hoped his sister would arrive soon.

And that was the entire truth just as my brother Andrew told it to me

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Morning at the Vineyard available on amazon.com 

New Favorites From Teddy’s Bar

When we’re (Vampires) aren’t drinking blood we’re enjoying a nice bourbon or maybe a new Vodka.

My husband Teddy discovered a few great finds perfect for those cold winter nights.

Breaking & Entering Bourbon Whiskey. Smooth and warm. No nasty bite. A great find! Mmmmmmmm!

Angels Envy Bourbon Whiskey. Lovely and smooth with a sweet honey after taste (just a hint) like a lingering kiss.

Ciroc Coconut Vodka. The best flavored vodka we have tasted in a long time. Good alone or in cocktails.

Las Vegas Distillery Nevada Vodka. Yes, Las Vegas now has a distillery! A nice vodka with sort of a vanilla after taste. Strong with a different texture.

Taylor Fladgate 10 year old Tawny Port. Nice and warm. Perfect paired with a good book!

And remember don’t drink too much when parenting. And never drink and drive.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Vampire Cocktails – Teddy’s almost complete list

Everyone loves cocktails – and nobody loves them better than my husband Teddy. Here are a few of our favorites you can enjoy! 

Note: Some of the recipes call for blood (yes, we’re Vampires). If you’re a regular human (non-vampire) it would be really gross for you soooooooooooo – replace “blood” with tomato juice, cranberry juice or orange juice. Just look at the recipe and see what sounds like a good fit – or just leave the blood out completely. It’s ok. We understand.

Hot and Spicy Cinnamon Vampire Cocktail

  • 3 shots Vodka (I like the kind in the blue bottle for mixed drinks)
  • 8 oz. Blood (splurge and make it human)
  • 1/4 tsp. Celery Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 whole Olive (garlic or pimento stuffed)
  • 1 dash Pepper, black
  • 1-2 dashes Pepper, cayenne
  • optional dash Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Tobasco (you know the first batch ever made was made by Louisiana vampires!)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Worchestershire

Pour it all over ice in a tall chilled glass. Stir. Enjoy!

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with tomato juice or V8.

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Blood Sucker

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce cherry-flavored brandy
  • 1/4 ounce triple sec
  • 1/4 ounce blood (your choice)
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 slice fresh pineapple
  • 1 maraschino cherry

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with pineapple juice (or more gin).

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Vampire Head Rush

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 12 oz Dark Beer (Teddy Suggests something like Downtown Brown)
  • 2 oz Blood
  • Pour all in a tall glass over ice.

Clara calls it a head rush because she says it looks like something out of a toilet. Middle School humor.

Oh well. 

If you aren’t a vampire leave out the blood.

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Werewolf on the Rocks

  • 3 oz Bourbon
  • Splash of dry Vermouth
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • A twist of lemon peel
  • Pour over frozen blood balls (ice cubes made from blood poured and frozen in cute little shapes)

If you aren’t a vampire make ice cubes out of orange or cranberry juice (yum).

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Vampire Iced Tea

  • 1 gallon water
  • 12-15 tea bags – any flavor you want. We like a nice strong black tea with a touch of fruit in it. Lady Earl Gray works well. Put tea bags and water in a jar. Put it outside in the sun for about 2-3 hours to brew. Don’t put it on the grass – it won’t get hot enough. A drive way or deck works best.
  • 1 jar (32 oz) of unsweetened Cranberry Juice (we like Trader Joes)
  • 12 oz blood
  • Artificial sweetener of your choice to taste (remember dear human visitors that we don’t handle sugar well)
  • Mix it all up and pour over ice with a sprig of mint and a sprig of rosemary.
  • Adults – add a large slosh of Vodka or Bourbon to the mix for some extra punch to this punch!

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with more cranberry juice, orange juice or more vodka.

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Vampire Nuts

Kids and adults like this mix. If teen boys are around I usually triple the recipe.

  • 1½ cup hazelnuts (roasted)
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (roasted)
  • 1 cup whole cashews (roasted)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves or pieces (roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Grade A maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp powered blood (optional – be I recommend – it adds a bit of bite to the nuts)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sage, thyme, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet or stone (I like using my stone) and place in the oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes.

2. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you aren’t a vampire leave out the powdered blood.

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And the perfect cocktail to go with those nuts is…

Nocturnal Summer Cooler

  • 6 limes
  • 1 cup packed mint leaves, no stems, plus 6 sprigs for garnish
  • 3 unwaxed cucumbers
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups gin (we like the kind in the green bottle)
  • 1 cup purified blood
  • Sparkling water

1. Thinly slice 3 limes and place in a pitcher. Juice the rest and add juice to pitcher. Add mint leaves. Slice 2 cucumbers and add, then add sugar. Stir. Add gin. Place in refrigerator  30 minutes or longer.

2. Peel remaining cucumber and cut lengthwise into 6 spears.

3. Fill 6 highball or other large glasses with ice. Strain mixture from pitcher into each. Top with a splash of sparkling water, garnish each glass with a sprig of mint and a cucumber spear, and serve. You can also garnish with a sprig of rosemary for a more savory taste.

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with your favorite juice (we like cranberry or blueberry)

And as always, don’t drink and drive!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman