Silver Webs and Silken Bats

Silver Webs and Silken Bats

Today my husband Teddy is helping the Elders decorate for Christmas.

He found old netting of silver spider webs and long strings of red glass beads to add to the old fragile ornaments they put up every year.

Over the past few years they stopped decorating but Teddy decided they needed a tree.

In the attic he found boxes of hand blown glass owls, small wooden elves from Germany, tiny little bats made of beaded black silk and a large hat box full of shining stars and crescent moons with smiling faces.

Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you need to stop celebrating.

“But who will see the tree?” The ancient Vampires looked confused.

“You will see it,” said Teddy. “I will see it. Your friends will stop by and see it. You need to pick up the phone and call your friends, both Vampires and humans. Call your old Werewolf friends too, I don’t care who you like. If they’re old let me know and I’ll give them a ride here and I’ll give them a ride home. I’ll make them egg nog. I’ll help you make it happen for everyone.”

Tellias and Eleora look young but they’re ancient. They’re older than Christmas, so sometimes they get confused or feel isolated. Sometimes they forget everything outside of their own house.

Teddy always hounds me to call my friends and people I know who might need a friend. We all know what it is like to spend a holiday alone or without cheer of others. Even a little tree or a wreath or a shining star on a string can make a difference. More than that a hug or a call.

Christmas time is about the promise of peace and hope and love. After 2019 years the human race still hasn’t gotten it right, but maybe one day. The smallest acts of kindness can move us closer in that direction.

Wishing you all a season of peace and fellowship.

And about that husband of mine…I’m glad I married him. I always will be.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

time for christmas

 

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Dear Diary,

I have been listening to Christmas songs on the radio. Nothing they sing makes any sense. These are just songs about children who want huge animals, broken romances, mothers cheating on their husbands, and women asking a mythical man in a red suit for high priced gifts. I do not understand.

Then…THEN there are witches. Why are no creatures stirring? Have the witches been banned from their potions the night before Christmas? Have their animal familiars gone away into winter hibernation brought on by the over abundance of green and red lights? Are mice organizing? It is truly horrifying.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

After spending three hundred years locked in a crypt therefore missing the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries I find myself still learning, and a bit confused over current Yule season traditions.

I received an invitation to what is called an ugly Christmas sweater party. I do not understand the significance of this. I asked my Vampire lover Gillian about this. She said for God’s sake Vlad it is just for fun. At times Gillian has little patience with me.

On the Google I found many references to ugly Christmas sweaters. It seems the sweaters depict favorite holiday motifs portrayed in bright red and green colors. In the spirit of Yule I have decided that I will make my own Christmas sweater.

During my childhood, unlike my current situation in this place called California, it was often bitterly cold, even for Vampires. It was during a dark cold winter storm lasting two weeks that my Baba taught me how to knit and how to do needlework. One could say that was an unconventional task for a ten year old Vampire boy but Baba said as the future King of Vampires I must know many skills. She stressed that as a Vampire I must know all of the survival skills, including being both protected from the elements and striving to always being fashionable.

In a yarn shop, where they sold only yarn, I found a pattern for a sweater suitable for the male body. Next I looked for the right needles. I learned on needles made of bone and wood. These needles were brightly colored like ugly Christmas sweaters.

The women in the shop asked me if they could help. They wanted to know if I was buying a gift. When I told them I would be knitting my own sweater they all but swooned. I am used to such reactions. Then I told them that my grandmother, my Baba, had taught me to knit with yarn. At that point the air was thick with love and admiration.

After about an hour I left with a bag of black, green, red, gold, brown, and white yarn, needles, and a pattern. I also left with a belly full of blood, but left the women with smiles on their faces. They do not remember my taking their blood, only that a handsome man came into the shop and charmed them.

At home I have begun to knit.

My friend Randolpho came over to check out what I was doing. He told me he thought the sweater would bring quite a reaction. I told him that I was mixing both new and old traditions. It warmed my cold Vampire heart to work on such a project.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Tonight was the Ugly Christmas Sweater party at my friend Cassie’s Pub. She had closed her establishment down and just invited friends and family. Cassie is not a Vampire. I do not scare her friends with the fact that I am.

My sweater was finished and fit quite well. I did not think it was ugly at all. Maybe it was a bit unusual due to the cats I knitted onto the back. I was willing to accept any stares or giggles that might bring.

There was quiet when I walked into the room.

Everyone looked at the front of my sweater in wonder, and maybe a bit of horror. I was confused by this. Was this not supposed to be a Christmas party full of holiday cheer and memories of traditions old and new?

On my sweater was the large image of a man with bloody feet. I used shining metallic red thread for the blood. I put green blinking lights on his eyes. It was indeed an ugly sweater, yet beautiful at the same time. I was happy with it.

When I walked in there was quiet, then a gasp.

“Die Hard,” someone said.

“Yes, indeed,” I replied. “A Christmas classic so I am told. My sweater is covered in beloved motifs of Christmas traditions.”

I did not only make the Die Hard man. On the left sleeve was Krampus with his long tongue wrapped around the arm. Tiny faces of children in agony due to the whip of Karmpus bordered the cuff. Krampus held out a large bag ready to pack in the children. It took me hours to get the shading of the folds correct on the bag. I spend much time unraveling and re-knitting it. The results made me happy indeed.

On the right sleeve were shining bright white skulls with gold and silver sparkles stuck upon bright red and white, what is now called candy cane poles. Snow flakes danced brightly in the sky above the skulls.

On the back of the sweater I knitted a picture of my two cats sitting next to a Christmas Tree.

Everyone at the party was impressed when I told them that I knitted the sweater all by myself. Again there was more swooning from the ladies. They all said I was so cute. I do not understand what they mean by cute but I shall accept it as a compliment by the sheer lust in their eyes.

It warmed me to think that 665 years ago, my Baba taught me how to knit. It seems like yesterday.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Yule is a time that even makes Vampires feel warm. The views of pine trees is now replaces with orange trees. I am becoming accustom to my new home where there is no snow, no castles, and not many Vampires.

My love Gillian and I watched Die Hard tonight while we sipped warm blood mixed with spices and a splash of red wine.

Too much merry and bright makes my skin crawl, but this year it has been just enough to make me feel there is hope for me in the modern world.

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

This has been the 55th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read Vlad’s diary from the start CLICK HERE.

God Rest Ye Merry Werewolves, and Ghosts and Vampires too. With muffins. We can’t forget the muffins.

Today I stopped by my friend (dare I say friend) Austin’s house to drop off muffins for his Grammy. She loves muffins, especially the ones I make. Austin and Grammy are Vampire Hunters, but they only go after the bad ones. I’m not a bad one. In fact I’ve had them help me out a time or two but that is a different post.

I know you might think it odd that I’m making muffins, being a Vampire and all, but I DO make the best muffins. I don’t eat them but I love the smell and I love the joy they bring. Just like my husband Teddy becomes the cookie baking king this time of year.

When Teddy was a child, a long long long time ago, he would make cookies with his mother and their cook. Now that he is a Vampire (since 1875) he still bakes cookies this time of year. Hey, we’re spreading the joy.

Next I stopped by my friend Adam’s house to drop off muffins for his 88 year old mother. She loves a good muffin. Aside from being a scary talented photographer, Adam is also a Werewolf. Sure were friends. Why not. You know all the peace on earth goodwill to all thing. Why shouldn’t we be friends.

While I was baking my kitchen filled with Ghosts who just wanted to smell the muffins as they came out of the oven. I put a few on the plate so they could sit next to it and bask in the goodness, imagining what it would be like to eat one. Always let Ghosts smell your cooking, and your coffee. That keeps them from throwing stuff around and haunting you in the middle of the night. Good cook are never bothered by Ghosts.

God rest ye merry Werewolves
Let no howling in the fray
Remember I made muffins
For now and Christmas Day
To save us all from growling
And that you won’t be a stray
Oh tidings of Vampires and joy
Vampires and joy
Oh tidings of Vampires and joy.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Best Muffins You Have Ever Had

Juliette’s Recipe
Makes 10 muffins

Ingredients

Muffin

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar (this is just regular white sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (don’t be tempted to be overly healthy and use olive oil – do not use olive oil – use some sort of vegetable, canola, or corn oil)
  • 1 egg (chicken egg – do not be tempted to use an emu egg or a dragon egg, or fish eggs) If you want to go vegan or whatever substitute a 1/3 cup of smashed banana or apple sauce for the egg.
  • 1/3 cup milk. I’ve used almond milk and it works just fine.
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Topping (Optional)

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (add nutmeg too if you feel so inclined)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. In fact, seriously folks, don’t even bother with greasing the muffin tin, just use muffin/cupcake papers.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Don’t over mix – just make sure it is all mixed in nicely then STOP.
  3. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4.  Fill muffin cups a little bit over the top (nobody likes flat muffins), and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  5. Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup COLD butter (chopped up in squares), and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork (or your hands), and sprinkle over muffins before baking. You should end up with small peas sized bits of butter covered in flour/sugar mixture.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

I usually fill 10 muffin cups.

Variations: If you don’t have blueberries, or don’t feel like blueberries chop up an apple (no peel) or pear (no peel), or add fresh cranberries. You can also add chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and nuts if you feel like it. I’ve even made these with well drained finely chopped fresh nectarines and strawberries. Add anything you want (I don’t recommend meat or beans.) You can also use frozen berries but make sure they are room temperature and well drained. You may also exchange the lemon zest for orange zest.

Wishing you all comfort and joy,
And muffins!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Red Muffin Tin

Old St. Rick

Old St. Rick

I completely forgot about Frozen or the Democratic Debates or other items in the news. I’ve been on the verge of a panic attack (really, no kidding, no snarky remarks about me not understanding whatever…I understand more than you’ll ever know) and everything in my small corner of the world seeming to be like the proverbial Vampire in the mirror, while all the while everyone around me is telling me otherwise.

A day or two ago I was pondering what I’m going to do next. Not like who I’m going to bite, but what I’m going to DO. You know DO like work or meaningful activity or creative genius stuff. Then as a brilliant idea or two came into my mind my computer died. I kind of spiraled for a few days, but it was nice to take a break from the machine until the new hard drive was put in. A new year is coming up soon after all.

With the computer fixed I sat at home, with the computer closed, on my red couch, pondering a lot of things when a knock came on the door.

It was my friend Richard. Oh my goodness it had been a while since I’d seen him.

Women found him irresistible. Men found him intriguing. Children adored him.

I opened the door, gave him a hug and let him in.

Rickard looked at his blurry refection in the entry way mirror then caught himself in the eyes. The mirror cleared and he found himself looking into his own hazel eyes. He looked good after four centuries. Almost too good. The right description would be devastatingly handsome.

I took his Ferragamo overcoat and noticed the beautiful silk Hermes tie, that complimented his black Armani suit. He always was a sharp dresser.

“You look as gorgeous as ever,” I told him.

He kissed my cheek, “And you’re as beautiful as ever Juliette. Do you mind making some coffee? I’m absolutely beat, but I have to tell you what just happened to me.”

He followed me to the kitchen as I made coffee.

He flashed me a million watt smile. “I made my list and checked everything twice except the weather report. Yes, I was caught in the snow, but I had the most interesting night. It was pretty amazing.

I’d turned off the highway on a clear road. It wasn’t like I was in the middle of nowhere, and even if I was that shouldn’t have bothered me. Anyway, I was driving along with only one other car on the road. I was at a safe distance behind a midsize sedan. No problem. I’m singing along to the radio to that St. Motel song Cold Cold Man, and suddenly BAM. We were both, the car in front of me and I were both hit by a truck. The truck kept going. I went into a ditch and rolled. The other car spun and went off the side of the road into the snow.

A woman was in the other car. I could tell by her voice as she called to me. The snow started to fall as she helped me from my car. I was trapped. This small woman rocked the car until I could push the door open. It was amazing. She led me about a half mile down the road, through the snow to a cabin. There was no cell coverage and it was starting to get dark.

She was middle aged. You know just an average woman. Brown hair, a little overweight, pretty enough face, nose red from the cold. She got a fire going and lit an oil lamp, then started a kettle for tea. I just stood there like an idiot watching.

The more I watched the more I thought I recognized her but I couldn’t wrap my mind around her.

She told me to sit. She told me to take off my wet jacket and shoes. She wrapped a soft blanket around my shoulders and gave me tea. It wasn’t one of those nasty scratchy disgusting blankets people tend to have in cabins but a nice one.

She looked at me and said: This is my place. My escape. I was here for a few days trying to rewind. Looks like it might be a few more. I can’t get a phone connection right now but I left a note on my car. Somebody ought to be by tomorrow, if not tonight. You look familiar. Like a guy I used to know a long time ago.

I asked her who she thought I looked like. She said something about someone she knew a long time ago. Then she said she was old enough to be my mother and so we’d never met.

She said she was fifty-seven. I told her that I was four hundred and thirty one. And she just stared at me. She didn’t call me a smart ass or get weird. She just looked at me.

Then she said You’re THAT Rick. Oh my God. Fuck.

I’m a Vampire. I just blurted it out. I NEVER do that. I never tell anyone what I am unless they figure it out on their own.

I should have figured that, she said.

Thirty years before we’d had a one night stand. Then another one night stand. Then one more. She was beautiful but not in a conventional way and sexy as can be. And there she was.

Why didn’t you ever call me? I asked.

Really? She said. I could tell, like you, she had teens in her house.

Really. Why didn’t you call? I asked again.

You know why. I would have just made a fool of myself. How old are you? She asked.

Four hundred and thirty one. I said.

I could see the wheels in her brain turning as she looked at me.

You’re lovely. I said. Yes, I read her thoughts. Society is so cruel to middle aged women. She thinks she is horrible looking and invisible. You’re beautiful.

She leaned against the back of the couch and closed her eyes. I kissed her.

Your lips are cold. Just like back then. She said. So are you going to drain my blood? I’m diabetic so you might get a mouth full of drugs and a bad after taste.

No, but hey, I could turn you into a Vampire if you want. You’d look the way you looked thirty years ago. You’d…

Stop. She said. I have kids in high school.

You could be young and live for…for a long long time.

She shook her head and gave me a sad smile. Oh Rick. Sweetie. I have to get my kids into college. Then maybe I’ll have time to sit on the beach and write poetry.  I have a husband too. Twenty five years ago, thirty years ago the answer would have been yes, but now not so much. Boy, this is weird. I knew you were different but this is weird. And I’m not beautiful. I look like a troll.

Don’t say that, I told her. You don’t look like a troll. You’re beautiful. She was beautiful.

So to make a short story longer we talked for two days straight. She was worried about her family worrying about her but I told her it would be ok. The phone service wasn’t dead, it had come back on right after we settled in the first night. I just made it seem like that. I called her family when she dozed off. I also set up a college fund for her kids. Whatever they need they’ll have.

Oh it was grand those two days. She made me laugh harder than I’d laughed in years. She made me feel more alive than I have felt, well, since I was alive. You know, like warm again. And she didn’t judge. She wasn’t afraid of me. She was curious. She didn’t treat me like a freak. I hardly find a human who treats me like I’m normal and just a little different.

Before her husband made it up to pick us up I gave her something personal, just for her. I gave her my ruby ring. You know the pinkie ring I always called my Vampire ring. It fit on her middle finger. I guess that is fitting considering how I acted thirty years ago. She actually cried. I made someone cry tears of joy. God, she was beautiful back then. She still is, she just doesn’t believe it. I want her to believe. I’ll keep working on it.”

v_swirl

I looked at my friend Richard and suddenly realized that there was more to the centuries old party boy than I had imagined. He’d given his three day lover a ring that was worth at least fifty thousand dollars and made sure her kids would get through college.

“Hey Juliette, let’s go for a hunt tonight, just like old times. We can bring Teddy along,” he said.

“Nothing like a little holiday blood lust.”

“Exactly. And hey, the reason I stopped by was to ask you a favor. I know a guy who wants to be one of us. He is ready and will make a good addition to our community. Will you help me. You’re the best. I don’t know anyone I’d rather help me with … and what’s wrong?”

I stopped to compose myself. “You’re so sweet.”

He kissed my forehead. “Merry Christmas Juliette.”

“Merry Christmas Richard.”

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season with friends, old and new.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Yes, I know, all of my posts sound the same. That is life… Merry Christmas. Go have some egg nog, look at Christmas lights, call an old friend, and take your dog for a walk.

A Vampire’s Guide to Cold Weather Cocktails

vampire cocktail guide

Vampire Cocktail Guide with Juliette and Teddy

Cold weather is here. Cocktails are in order.

From time to time, especially on weekends my husband Teddy likes to make cocktails – lovely mixed drinks for adults.

Vampire Coffee

The Irish Cream is a splurge – leave it out if you are concerned with extra sugar (as many Vampires are)

  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger Irish cream liqueur (try the hazelnut flavored)
  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger Irish whiskey
  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger Blood
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream (we prefer unsweetened)
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg

Note: if you are not a Vampire leave out the blood.

Mix together in large mug. Serve hot. One serving.

Vampire Hot Tropics

  • 1 fluid ounce dark rum
  • 1 fluid ounce coffee flavored liqueur
  • 8 fluid ounces hot coffee
  • 1/2 fluid ounce blood
  • ½ fluid ounce half/half
  • 1 maraschino cherry

Note: If you aren’t a Vampire leave out the blood.

Mix together in large mug. Serve hot. One serving.

Hot Teddy

  • 2 fluid ounces boiling water
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces whiskey
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • A teaspoon of honey to taste

Mix all together in mug. Serve hot. One serving.

Vampire City Cocktail

  • 1 fluid ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3 fluid ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 2 fluid ounces blood
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 2 maraschino cherries

Note: Leave out the blood if you aren’t a Vampire.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the sweet vermouth and whiskey and splash on 2 dashes of bitters. Shake while counting to 30. Pour into 2 cocktail glasses, garnish each with a cherry and serve immediately.

vm_party time

Cheers!

As always never drink and drive. Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Call an Uber, Lyft, friend, or taxi, or take the bus.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vintage Halloween (with Vampires and Wolfhounds)

A large wreath on the front door was made of faded and cracked plastic flowers. You know, those plastic flowers that were sold in the Five and Dime stores in the 1960’s. Faded ribbons and bows hung in odd gray pastel tones.

Without even asking I knew Eleora had taken the flowers off of graves that nobody had visited for years. Long forgotten wives and mothers. I knew Eleora had replaced the faded flowers with real ones and taken time to sit and chat with the departed and sing them songs from their times.

Eleora opened the front door and greeted us wearing a bright yellow skirt with a well worn orange sweater with black cat head shaped buttons. Her feet were bare and her toenails painted a glossy red on one foot and black on the other.

“Do you like my Halloween wreath? I made it yesterday.” She took my hand and led me inside.

“Shabby chic.” I said. “Very nice.”

She gave me a hug and kissed my face all over then took the hands of my children and danced them into the house.

The old lab mix slid around the corner barking, followed by two HUGE wolfhounds.  I was surrounded by a sea of happy wiggling dogs. The sharp spikes in my leg was a tiny black kitten who had enthusiastically crawled up my jeans.

“Who are you?” I asked picking up the tiny purring monster. “Oh my goodness you’re cute.” It mewed back in one of those precious tiny kitten voices.

My brother Max had been there, because the wolfhounds were his. My daughter took the kitten who was named Jinx. A fitting name for a black kitten.

Eleora and Tellias are ancient Vampires. They’re seniors, despite the fact that they look like they are in their late teens or early twenties.  This dear old couple has been together for over 2,000 years – a long time for any romance.

Eleora had decorated the walls and windows with old paper Halloween cut-outs. Mostly cats with a few pumpkins and other creatures of the night. She’d also included decorations made by generations of both Vampire and Regular Human children who’d come in and out of her life over the past century.

Tellias came down the stairs, his white blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail and wearing old farmer overalls without a shirt. He had a Mr. Rodgers cardigan on over it.

He gave us all hugs and kisses, a smile on his lovely face. Ancient yet forever young.

“Let’s celebrate Halloween early. Max dropped off two cases of Poet’s Blood!” He led the procession of dogs and family to the formal dining room and took crystal goblets from a large ornate hutch.

I heard a car door close and knew my brother Max had arrived. He came in looking handsome as usual obviously straight from work all in black leather.  I noticed he still had a weapon on his belt. The dogs went crazy dancing and barking.

Halloween is a time to celebrate. More than that, it is an excuse to celebrate and have fun. But we need to celebrate good times and those we love more often without an excuse of a holiday or other special event. It is always time to love and share, especially if you have elders or anyone who is alone or needs a little extra help or company.

xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman