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

 

 

 

 

But that brings me back to understanding the person you’re with. Relationships, Music, and Silent Movies.

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This morning I listened to a wonderful Tiny Desk Concert from Jimmy Eat World, one of my favorite bands.

I went upstairs to get something and my husband said “Since when have you been a Jonas Brothers fan?”

I informed him it wasn’t the Jonas Brothers. I didn’t even bother telling him that it was one of my favorite bands playing one of my all time favorite songs.

A few days ago my now grown man child said, “I thought girls were hard to understand. Women are even harder to understand.”

He is in yet another break up before the relationship even started. Being exceptionally charming and good looking never guarantees anything in life. But that brings me back to understanding the person you’re with.

You are never going to understand the person you love all of the time. The person who loves you is never going to understand you all of the time, or even most of the time.

Just have more coffee and don’t worry about it.

On another note if you’re thinking about a date night or just a fun night out with friends and in the Sacramento area:

At the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Silent Film Series: Nosferatu (1922)

Thursday, March 5, 2020
Reel Tour 5:30 PM – Film 6:30 PM

Register Online

Before the screening, enjoy an in-depth, docent-led tour of select works in the Crocker’s permanent collection to help put the film in context with the art.

With its German Expressionist cinematography, harsh shadows, and elaborate gothic sets, this original horror film formed the genre’s template for decades to come.In an eerie story that brought director F.W. Murnau notoriety and gave Max Schreck his most notable role, Count Orlock lures the innocent Thomas Hutter to his home before revealing his thirst for blood. As the unauthorized retelling of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, Nosferatu was nearly destroyed but has survived the past century as an enduring gothic masterpiece that continues to unsettle viewers.

The movie is exceptionally fun and sort of goofy and quaint. I’m sure all of my Vampire friends will be there. I’m counting on it. I haven’t seen it in almost 40 years so it is about time to see it again.

This is the Tiny Desk Concert with Jimmy Eat World: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/29/800256839/jimmy-eat-world-tiny-desk-concert

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Empty Nest Brain Drain

Even without any children in the house I find myself in constant motion these days.

My time is like a hole in a low water table area. It is empty but fills up faster than I can dig.

There is work to do, and things to plan, and research to take care of, meeting to go to, other people to see, places to go, animals who are five times more demanding now, and I can’t even seem to think. I’ve spent more time in freeway traffic than I want to think about. On the other hand I can’t complain about the traffic – I could be living in Southern California.

I’m also in touch with my children, every single day. It could be a long conversation or a series of funny texts but I’m in touch.

And you thought Vampires just sleep all day and then rise in the night to go out and find blood. That is like saying everyone else sleeps all night then rise in the morning to find toast and coffee then go back to sleep.

It might be all about the coffee but it isn’t all about the toast or the blood.

Sorry, I’ve got major brain drain right now. Let me get more coffee, go meet with my editor, see some chickens (I’ll post photos) and get back to you, maybe this afternoon.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The First Day of School Without Kids

This year, is the first year, in many many many years that I will not be there for the first day of school.

I have no idea what anyone is going to wear. I’m not even sure what day school will actually start.

Nobody will come home and tell me all about their classes.

Damn.

I am suddenly feeling all sort of nervous and kind of out of sorts, and a bit sad, and sort of excited, and I don’t quite know what.

When school starts there will no longer be any K-12 or college kids living in my house. Just my dog, my cats, the wild turkeys who hang out on the back fence, and my husband.

I guess I could also include the pair of bald eagles in my neighborhood who for the past three years have hatched and raised three sets of baby eagles (six eagle children) and seen them fly off. I’ve thought a lot about the eagle parents as I’ve watched the chicks grow from tiny fluffy head bobbers to large magnificent birds.

Since 2012 I’ve written parenting posts about raising children to be independent, strong, successful, questioning, compassionate, curious, smart, mature adults.

That is exactly what I did. AND I did it well. I did it exceedingly well.

So why do I feel like crying?

Yes, I’ve heard Werewolf parents howl at the moon when their pups take human form and go off to college.

I guess it is ok for all of us to howl at the moon in our own way when our children leave home.

I am happy and proud beyond words. No mom has ever been more proud. No mom has ever told her husband “we did a great job” more times than I have.

I never thought I could love this much, or this hard, or this good.

Even if they don’t turn into bats (you know, Vampires and all), I am glad to see them spread their proverbial wings and fly.

I’ll adjust. So will they.

Deep breath.

And so the adventure begins.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

What We’re Talking About Today: Disgusting People, School, Road Trips & Looking to the Future and THE DOG.

Trigger Warning: We will be discussing politics, Star Wars, Star Trek, and being rude and maybe using bad language. I’m also going to ramble on and be long winded because this is my blog.

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Trigger, in his natural state, before being dressed up. And yes, he was stuffed after he died. I find the taxidermy aspect kind of creepy (and I’m a Vampire for heaven’s sake)

For years I’ve been blogging about what my kids and I are talking about.

You all know my mantra is talk to your kids. Seriously, no matter how young, or how old they are, you need to talk to them, and with them, and listen as well. Pretty much no subject should be off limit.

First of all, the age of #MeToo, which should have come long before now, Alex Acosta resigned in as the Secretary of Labor due to his lax dealings and deals with the King of Perverts Jeffrey Epestein.

As the Epestein story unfolds we’ve talked about all of the stories about how rich and powerful men think it is OK to rape girls. Someone was calling them “underaged women.” These are CHILDREN we’re talking about, procured for the disgusting habits of rich men. Yes, folks this has been going on for centuries and it has to stop NOW.

All of the news about nasty creepy men who abuse, threaten, rape, and buy girls is so disgusting. They are not under age women – they are GIRLS and CHILDREN. What asshat thought of the term underaged woman? Obviously someone who wants to excuse the rich and powerful of their disgusting crimes. Anyone would would be friends or associated with any child abuser makes me sick. So many people know about powerful people who buy girls for their own perverted purposes. To me these people are equally guilty for not saying anything. These girls will suffer their entire lives with love self-worth, health problems, and in ways most of us can never imagine. Pedophilia is a crime for everyone – no amount of money or religion can make is acceptable under ANY circumstance.

My kids and I have also talked about teachers, Hollywood figures, and others who also take advantage of young people for their disgusting urges. No excuses. Consenting adults means ADULTS. Any adult who can’t control themselves around children needs to be locked up FOREVER.

We also talked about those horrible adults, including parents, who put their daughters out there, more or less selling them to the highest bidder. We see it all the time. It is all over the place. It is disgusting.

I’ve spent over twenty years drilling it into my children’s heads not to make fun of how other people look but we ended up talking about THIS PHOTO.

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All of the young folks are passing it around laughing saying they can’t get it out of their heads. This is a bad photo all around.

Who the Hell would give their children such creepy old fashioned hair cuts. This is not cute. They look like they’re wearing helmets. It is MEAN Mrs. Acosta. And NOBODY dresses their children in matching outfits anymore. You might think it is cute to dress your children like weird matching twin dolls out of The Shining but everyone else is wondering WTF?

By the way, there are entire web sites and blogs devoted to bad family photos. Look it up. The holiday photos are exceptionally funny.

Mike Pence looks exceptionally short which is weird because he is 5″10′ tall in real life, but we’ve decided that NOTHING in Washington D.C. outside of the Smithsonian Museums has anything to do with reality. On the other hand Mrs. Acosta could be close to seven feet tall. We just don’t know. And hey, Mike Pence, what are you doing so close to a woman who isn’t your wife. Do you feel tempted? Come on Mike, tell us. We won’t blab your secret (yes we will but that’s ok.)

We seriously think men who use the excuse “I won’t be around other women, who aren’t my wife, because it is out of respect for my wife, and I don’t want the temptation” are moronic perverts. Seriously dudes, if you can’t be left alone in a room with another woman, or be around women without the possibility of dirty thoughts then you need to be locked away FOREVER. This isn’t the 12th Century. Get with it guys. Stop thinking with your dicks.

Vlad, the King of Vampires (you all know Vlad) was locked in a crypt for three hundred years, missed the 18th – 20th Centuries, and he is still more advanced than these guys when it comes to women. Then again, Vlad is a Vampire, so of course he is socially advanced. Vlad is also 5″10′ but nothing like Mike Pence. Vlad’s leadership skills are far better. Vlad is also sexy and cute AF but that is another story.

It seems that religion, so called family-values, perversion, violence against females, and politics are all dancing around the May Pole together, and happily, or unhappily falling into bed with each other. Yes, that is what I’m talking about with my kids. I don’t want them to end up so sick and twisted as all of the rich and powerful who choose to use and abuse their power in the name of money, religion, and politics.

Those who turn their backs when they see this behavior, adults harming children, are just as guilty as those who do the actual harm.

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Now from one soap box to another…

We just saw the new Star Trek series poster. Forget the actual series, just look at the poster. It is beautiful. And THE DOG. Look at THE DOG.

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I also have a thing for men in long coats. It goes way back.

My kids didn’t grow up with Star Trek or Star Wars, at least not a lot. They were not around for the first wave of shows/movies and it isn’t on their social radar. But, they live in The United States of America so they KNOW enough. They’ve seen enough of the movies to the extent where we can talk about it.

I guess I could say my children are more of the Hunger Games generation.

There has always been a contrived battle between those who like Star Trek more and those who like Star Wars more. Come on folks, get off it it. They are both part of our now collective folklore. Get over it.

The thing that has made both of the series of stories so successful isn’t that they take place in space, but in the characters and their relationships with each other. Especially with Star Trek, it is all about friendships.

But there have been fails, horrible fails with both.

With the Star Trek series the first show was something different. It was fun. It was campy. People remembered it.

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Then came the first Star Trek movie in 1979 “Star Trek – The Motion Picture.” It was HORRIBLE.

But then, wait, something sort of wonderful and about as wonderful and campy as it gets happened.

THE WRATH OF KAHN

I have a soft spot for “First Contact” from 1996.

The rest were ok. Fun to see with friends for no good reason. Then in 2009 “Star Trek” came out with CHRIS PINE. OMG talk about eye candy. It was a fun movie. We all liked it.

The next few were fun too, but the last one “Beyond” was so jumbled with massive explosions, special effects, and other violent nonsense that we didn’t even realize there was a story line.

But going back to Picard… I’ve tried to explain this to my kids who won’t take the time to watch it… “The Inner Light” episode of The Next Generation was a wonderful stand alone story. Picard has memories of another life where he lives in a calm and nice community, has a family, and lives a life different from his own. There is no explanation of where these memories come from. It just is what it is.

Now, not to skip it, we talked about Star Wars.

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I find the direction the “Star Wars” series has taken extremely sad.

The first three films are now locked into our culture and mythology, as hard and fast as Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hermes are locked into Greek mythology.

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Return of the Jedi (1983)

These three movies are what we think of when we think of “Star Wars.” The Return of the Jedi was a perfect movie. All three were magic.

Unfortunately all that followed (except one) were HORRIBLE. What the fuck were they thinking?

In 2016 “Rogue One” came out and surprised us all. It had good actors, a good solid story, and great characters. After that the following movies all went down hill crashing and burning all the way down.

My daughter’s boyfriend described “Solo” this way: It was like someone asked a thirteen year old kid off the street where Solo came from and made the lame answer into a movie.

Way to go Disney.

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We’re kind of done with the Avengers too. The movies got too confusing with too many  disjointed story lines, too many characters, too many stupid things, too many fights, and not enough good lines or a real plot.

But hey, you already knew all of this. It is what we’re talking about this morning.

Aside from political scum bags we don’t personally know, and movies we have other things on our minds.

Both of my kids are looking for places to live next year. They’re filling out applications for renting houses or town houses. I get a million questions about frustrating questions on the applications. They’re adults now for sure, but sometimes need help in  navigating it all.

Fall with a new school, and graduate school is looming on the horizon.

An empty nest is looming on the horizon for me. I have big plans for building an office/studio space for my writing, art, and other business. I’m going to get rid of so much stuff that it would make even Marie Kondo cry, or extremely proud.

We’ve all been on the airbnb site so much that we’re going to shut it down. For the next two months there will be road trips up and down the state of California both for school and fun. In a few weeks we’re also blasting up to Spokane, Washington for the 2019 National Figure Roller Skating Championships.

My kids and I are talking about a lot of things. We always do.

No matter how old they are keep talking with your kids. It is easy, and free. Plus it will always make you feel good.

I’ll end this off with a photo. My daughter is at the coast for the weekend. No matter where she goes she sends me photos. This  one is of a bobcat she was walking down the road by the house she is staying in. Good stuff.

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~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Empty Nest

At the end of my street is a bald eagle nest. The babies hatched this spring have learned to fly a few weeks ago and have now left the nest. We might see them around occasionally during the rest of the summer, but they’re more or less gone. This is the third year we’ve had eagle babies. This is the third year we’ve gone out to the nest and watched new hatchlings grow and leave mom and dad.

The nest is now empty.

Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time, such as to live on their own or to attend a college or university. It is not a clinical condition.

My daughter just turned twenty. She’ll be moving out in September to attend a prestigious university on the coast of Southern California. I am over the moon proud of her.

I have kept a safe and sound nest for my birdies. They have learned how to fly.

I’ve prepared my children to be adults. They have far exceeded my expectations. I am so proud. I think I said that already, but I am. I always will be.

I prepared my chicks but I didn’t think that I’d be so unprepared.

It isn’t as if I’m unprepared. It isn’t as if I don’t have anything to do. It isn’t as if I don’t have a dog who needs ALL of my attention, elders to take care of (that is another story that breaks my heart), cats to heard, and a husband who is going through his own transitions.

It has been years since I have felt my heart breaking like this. I had no idea.

Yet, I am filled with joy and excitement because my kids are adults and they’re going to make all kinds of awful mistakes, and have wonderful adventures, and be amazing, and successful, and they’ll change the world for the better. I know for a fact that they’ll change the world for the better. When I think about that I am less likely to start crying.

When you have a baby you know that in 18 or 20 years that… your baby will be an adult.

But you know what? Your babies will always be your babies.

Having kids is the best thing, the hardest thing, and the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. At least it has been like that for me.

I finally found something I was good at. REALLY good at. Better than most at. The BEST at. And now I have to do something else that I can be the best at.

Just between us I’ll still be the best mom ever.

And if you’re reading this you can still be the best mom, or dad, ever too.

Just keep saying to yourself, “Don’t panic. They all grow up.”

You’ll be OK.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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