Bonjourno

Bonjourno

Florence Italy Lover's Bridge

A perfect January day in Florence, Italy.

I am home from a two week adventure in Italy, complete with Christmas trees, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” style adventures, and finding those lost shadows, and romance for the soul.

So many handsome men, so many cute dogs, SO MUCH ART.

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And coffee. Oh the coffee.

And the wine.

I’ll be posting my stories soon. But I’m back for 2018 with new features, new blog posts, new insights on parenting, relationships, elders, tall tales, and critters.

When we arrived home around midnight this morning we were greeted by rain and the sound of millions of frogs.

It is always good to travel, but it is good to be home.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Hey Mom, have you ever converted anyone into a Vampire?

As of this month I’ve been blogging for five years, in April it will be five years for Vampiremaman.com (West Coast Review came first.) To celebrate, if you wish to call it that, I’m going to bring you a few of my classic posts from the early days. This one is for all of the Vampire parents out there. And for everyone else out there, do me a favor and do not ask me to convert you to a Vampire because the answer will AWAYS be NO. 

 

readbyvampires

 

Vampire Maman

Hey Mom, have you ever converted anyone into a vampire?

Well, um, as a matter a fact…

As a vampire parent, that question is almost as bad as your kids asking you about sex, or more YOUR past sex life. Or worse, asking if you killed a regular human or anyone else before. With vampires the whole conversion thing is a touchy subject.

Unlike popular movies and books, we rarely convert anyone.

Like I’ve told my son before…

“Here are the facts. 80 percent of vampire conversions end in death. Of those 80 percent who die, about 20 percent are immediate deaths.  Those are the lucky ones. The remaining die insanely painful deaths within two weeks.

Of the remaining 20 percent who live, let’s say we started with a sample of 100. So 20 who are converted survive the first two weeks. They have survived Hell. It isn’t about sucking…

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You Wait at My Door

You wait at my door,

Your bite still fresh,

Your cries

Your pleading

Your banging

The scratching

Your love

Astounds me

You will not give up

Fangs set

Love forever

I must let you in

For after all

Despite all

Forever all

I laugh

I smile

I let you in

You are my cat.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Anger, Inspiration, Parenting, and Those WTF Days.

I write about parenting. I write about positive parenting. I write about how parents, through their choices, can raise well-rounded, grounded, smart, ready-for-adulthood, open-eyed, kind, and lovely children.

I have not been feeling like one of those people I want my children to be. I’ve more angry and out of sorts than anything lately. Sad too. As we said in the Victorian days, I’ve had a bit of melancholia. Fuck that.

Forget “nice songs”, I’ve got my radio tuned to the heavy metal and punk stations. I’m wearing black. I’m angry. About everything. OK almost everything. I’m also sad.

Which I guess some people think is normal for Vampires, but I’m not one of THOSE Vampires. But we’re not going there in this post.

On June 2 my daughter will graduate from high school. On July 5 she turns 18. In the fall she will go to college. On April 1 my son will turn 21. I’m done. No more kids. My heart is breaking.

I’ve been a wonderful, successful parent. All has gone well. We survived Middle School (no small task), and high school (without angst.) Now I’m done. I realize they’ll be around after they’re grown, but… it breaks my heart. Good job, now… it breaks my heart.

And as children leave, so do old ones. I worry that I’ll go visit the ancient ones, Eleora and Tellias, or my Great great great great grandmama Lola and find piles of dust. It is all happening so fast.

I’m also in a personal transition – which is rocky at best. My husband is cool. The cats are cool. The dog is silly, but cool.

This morning I forced myself to go to a dance class, which isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Nobody ever said all Vampires can dance. I can be stealth but I can’t dance. But I went anyway. It got my mind off of shit.

When I arrived home I was still angry so I took the 85 pound puppy for a walk out in the park, along the muddy trails that run through the oak forest and down the cliffs to the lake. The bald eagles sat in the tree by their nest (which won’t be empty for long). Hawks flew over the water. Buzzards circled in the distance. I closed my eyes for a second to reflect on whatever, then the dog pulled at the leash. I opened my eyes. Coming towards me where two middle-aged men, all fit and in their fancy bike gear coming towards me.

You know, I’m usually not the normal angry Vampire type, but I held out my hand, palm towards them and told them to stop. Of course they stopped. How dangerous could a five foot four woman in yoga pants and a sweat shirt be? Very dangerous if she happens to be a Vampire.

I locked eyes, put them in a trance, and hauled them off into the woods. When I’d had my fill, I stood on the edge of the bluff overlooking the water and tried to clear my head. The men, who didn’t remember anything of our encounter, came along walking their bikes along the trail. Blood loss will tire out even the most fit of men. I noticed a large bruise forming on the neck of one of them. Oh well.

I walked the dog back home in the rain, still thinking, and over thinking.

I’ve done a great job at being a parent. I have a great marriage. My kids are great. Yet, I close my eyes and the world spins out of control.

I have inspired others, many times over the years, over the centuries. Now I need to inspire myself.

I open my eyes again and a calico cat is sitting next to my computer on the table purring loudly for no other reason than she is happy that I’m here.

So forget my pity party and worm song…

My thought for today is to inspire yourself. It isn’t easy but try. Even if it hurts you have to try. But more than anything, even if they’re old, even if they’re grown, even if they have their own kids – inspire your children. Your job as a parent is NEVER over. It isn’t about babies, it is about the long haul – it is about forever.

I posted a photo of the park on one of my social media sites and titled it “Cloudy with a chance of beauty and wonder.” I try to believe.

Cloudy with a chance of beauty and wonder.

Cloudy with a chance of beauty and wonder.

Excuse me, I’m done. I have to go chase squirrels out of my bird feeders, and see what the dog is chewing up on my back deck.

Oh shit. This is why the bird feeder is always empty.

Oh shit. This is why the bird feeder is always empty.

Have a good rest of your week. And remember TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Stay positive. Don’t use as many bad words as I do.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.

 

 

Ask Juliette: Difficult Questions about Family and Relationships

Ask Juliette (Dear Juliette – Ask A Vampire) is a regular Thursday feature here at vampiremaman.com

Real answers for real readers (you think I make this crap up?)
Ask Juliette

Q: My husband and I have been fighting with my sister-in-law for four years since their father died, over simple estate matters that could have been easily resolved if everyone had worked together. What is it about death that turns ordinary people into monsters and turns siblings against each other?

A. There are a lot of reasons people act nasty after someone dies, and none of them are good reasons. Old resentments live on long after death.

Sometimes siblings feel entitled. They feel as though they deserve more than the other siblings for various reasons (or no reason.) Or sometimes somebody else feels that because they are more “successful” or “educated” they are entitled to be in charge. And some people are just nasty to begin with.

It is incredibly sad how someone can let their own ego get in the way, ruin the memory of a loved one, and tear their own family apart.

My advice has always been for each person to take a few small things they want and have a third-party auction everything else off.

This is a cautionary tale for everyone to make sure they have a will and a family trust so their heirs won’t be fighting over who gets what. That includes making of list of heirlooms and who gets what (post it notes don’t cut it – it has to be a formal list.)

Or I could give you a typical Vampire answer and say “Stab em in the neck.”

 

 

Q: A guy I like has a good job, his own place, cleans up after himself, is funny, cute and sexy. So what’s the problem? He writes fiction. I’ve read his work and he is really good but he has only had a few short stories published. Is this normal or should I write him off as a out of touch dreamer.

A: Maybe he needs to write you off as out of touch. People write for a lot of reasons. You should consider yourself lucky to be with a creative guy. Life will never be boring, of course unless he gets bored with you.

Q: I’m a successful widowed middle-aged guy with two sons in college. My girlfriend is successful, middle-aged widow with a daughter in college. I was drawn to her for her sense of humor and intelligence. My son’s love her and talk with her for hours. I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun with anyone in my life. I was recently looking for some ibuprofen at her home and found prescription antidepressants in her medicine cabinet. When I confronted her about it she said it was no big deal. She said it is just a minor thing, like a chemical imbalance. She said she’d been depressed for no reason since her teens, and got weepy about every little thing. The drugs stopped it and made her feel “normal” again. She said she could function without the drugs but didn’t like having to fight with the depression coming on at any given moment. Should I be concerned about mental health issues down the road. I love her but I don’t want to be stuck with someone ready to go off the deep end.

A: Your girlfriend is fine. She saw a problem. She got help. Don’t worry about it. Be happy she recognized her depression and got help. You said she is a success and your kids love her. Wow, I mean, how wonderful is that? Now call her up and tell her how much you love her.

 

Q. Why do Vampires always wear black.

A. We don’t always wear black. OK, we do a lot, but everyone wears black (at least those of us who are hip and with it.)

 

Q: How do I get rid of feelings of guilt. I think I hurt someone who overheard me saying something out of context. It wasn’t about him, but he might have thought it was. Do I say something?

A: I don’t know. This is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t moments. Either way it could heat up, back fire, blow up, get uncomfortable, or just make you want to crawl into a hole. Life can be a bitch. Of course if you’re a Vampire you just move on. If you’re a regular person you suffer. Eventually you might want to explain it, but choose your words carefully. Sorry I couldn’t help you more with that one.

Q: Every time I’m with my girlfriend I feel like she has eaten my brain. Our sex life is great and my friends all like her and tell me she is the one, but she is so demanding. She wants to spend every night with me, but we always have to be doing something. She never wants to just hang out. Some nights, after a long day at work I just want to watch TV or play on the computer. I don’t always feel like entertaining someone. It would be nice if she could just sit with me and do nothing. I’m going to go broke financially and emotionally.

A. She obviously isn’t the one for you. She sounds needy and high maintenance. Nobody needs that.

We all need our own space and our down time. If she can’t respect that then it just isn’t going to work. Tell her you need your space. If she refuses to understand and says stupid things like, “I guess you don’t love me,” then dump her. Seriously, you need someone who isn’t so needy.

Vampire Teen

Well folks, that is all for this week. Now that I’m emotionally exhausted from answering all of these questions I’m going to take my pup out for a walk.

Ask Juliette is a regular Thursday feature here at Vampiremaman.com

If you have questions about anything from Alligators to Zombies just ask and I’ll try to answer.

Send your questions to juliettevampiremom@gmail dot com

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the City that Nevsky Sleeps

A Guest Post From My Dearest Vampire Friend Amelia

It was a Friday night in the city that never sleeps. No, not New York. Las Vegas. Land of glitter and sleaze, neon and nightclubs; where we’d just as soon blow up our old buildings than redecorate. Viva Las Vegas! It was early June 2011 and my friend had come for a much needed visit. For me. Juliette is kind that way. I get sad, she comes and visits. I’m not nearly as good a friend. But then it’s me that gets tired of the grind of life. Or rather death. Maybe I should look into a different line of work. Life as a contract worker for several dystopian bureaucrats takes its toll, eventually. Believe me. Everything you’ve seen in the movies about being someone whose job it is to terminate others with extreme prejudice? Make it 1,000 times more boring and 1,000 times more deadly. Even a vampire can get tired of slogging through the grind of tracking a difficult hit and then dealing with the gore when it doesn’t go quite as planned. Juliette understands I have my moments after a particularly difficult job. She always seems to have her head on straight. But she’s willing to blow off steam, hence her volunteering to come cheer me up and our subsequent trip down to The Strip.

I steered Juliette through the casino floor bar at the Cosmopolitan, up the steps to the private cocktail lounge on the third level of the Chandelier. The first floor is to die for beautiful and best for people watching but it was getting late and the normal Friday night crowd could pack it in. The second floor, just as lovely, is very small in my opinion and a little two conspicuous for two vampire lovelies looking for a nip. “White Russian or black Russian?”

“Black. You know I like my brunettes…” she answered with a laugh. I love Juliette’s laugh. It always makes me smile and God He knows, I need to smile more often.

“Just so you know, I’ve lined up a few delicious ex-pats I found on InterNations. Goodness, they’re eager to meet up. Oh, by the way, how is your Russian? I told them you were born in Warsaw to a Czech mother after she was raped by Soviet soldier during the Prague Spring invasion. But the father later repented and came back for you and your mother. You immigrated to California when you were four.”

“OH MY GOSH, you didn’t! You’re incorrigible, Amelia!” Again, that laugh.”No. I didn’t. I told them you’re a descendent of Alexander Nevsky and were willing to sell a few holy indulgences for their forgiven sins.”

“Not very likely on any count. Nevsky was a saint. No descendents. I’m not a Catholic priest so I pretty sure I’m not in a category to forgive any sort of sin and NEWSFLASH: indulgences haven’t been for sale for several centuries. Where HAVE you been hiding out?” She linked her arm in mine as she finished climbing the steps. “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll promise them something I’m sure we’ll all enjoy,” she added with a wicked smile and just a hint of fang. Now it was my turn to laugh.

“Добрый вечер, Анатолий Викторович. This is my friend Juliette,” I paused at the top of the stairs, greeting our first event for the evening.

~ Amelia

 

 

Thank you so much dear Amelia for this wonderful and flattering post. Now I laugh.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Now it is time for cocktails:

White Russian

2 parts Vodka

1 part Kahula

1 part heavy cream or half & half

Pour over ice, stir, enjoy.

 

Black Russian

2 parts Vodka

1 part Kahula

1 part heavy cream or half & half

Pour over ice, stir, enjoy. Add a cherry on top if you’re feeling extra festive.

Enjoy. Cheers!

 

Cheers!

Cheers!