25 Burning Questions I can’t, don’t want to answer, or will not answer.

I’ve been seriously thinking about starting up the ever so popular Burning Questions series on this blog again. For those of you who are new here, it is where I ask a question and YOU answer.

In the meantime here are Twenty Five Burning Questions I can’t answer, don’t want to answer, or will not answer.

Why would anyone marry someone with children who don’t like them?

Why would anyone marry something with children they don’t like?

Why would anyone marry someone with children who don’t like them?

Why would you marry someone who doesn’t like your kids?

Why won’t you turn me into a vampire? 

Why would anyone who wants children marry someone who doesn’t?

Why would someone who doesn’t want children marry someone who wants children?

Why do people adopt animals with no intention on keeping them forever?

Why do people treat children badly just because the parents are assholes?

What Hogwarts house do you belong to?

What would your Superpower be?

Batman or Superman?

Why don’t your socks match?

Where do socks go after you put them in the dryer?

What is the deal with middle aged men and their leaf blowers?

What is it with some politician’s wives and daughters and the obsessions with wearing 7-8 inch hooker heels?

Don’t men realize how stupid and pathetic they look with their much younger trophy wives?

Don’t trophy wives realize how stupid and pathetic everyone thinks they are?

Why do dogs beg to out to pee in the middle of the night in the rain then refuse to pee?

Why are cats such assholes?

Why are some people afraid to talk to their children?

Why does the media think precocious brats are cute? 

What the fuck is wrong with people who say, “everything happens for a reason?”

Why do you blog about Vampires?

Why do you capitalize Vampire on this blog?

What if your child was gay?

As you can tell some of these questions have answers. Think about it, especially if you’ve been reading my blog for a while. I take parenting seriously. If your kids don’t come first then why did you have them in the first place? Everyone has to be selfish but not at the expense of your children. If you want to fuck up your kids it isn’t your business – it is their business and they will hate you forever for it. They might not tell you but they will. That’s all. Yes, I’m an old judgmental Vampire, but this is my blog and my kids turned out great and so I can write what I want.

Stay safe. Wear your mask. Be kind. Help and check in on those who are elderly or might need extra help. Talk to your kids. Hug your dog. Let your cat in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out. And most important of all…kiss a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

My eldest brother Max (10 years my senior) had asked his best friend Teddy to escort me home from the theater one evening. It was 1874. I was 15 years old.

“Your hands are so cold,” he said as he helped me up off of the muddy street onto the boardwalk.

I gave him a coy smile. “I have a cold heart sir.”

He laughed. I never called him sir. He offered me his arm.

I gladly took his arm. “Your hands are positively burning. What sort of fire stirs your soul tonight?” That was pretty forward but I didn’t care. I was floating with the joy of being a flirt and having no brothers or parents around to stop me.

“You’re not like the other girls.”

“No I am not.”

“You’re an impish little thing. It will take a man with a quick wit and a good sense of humor to woo you Juliette.”

“Ahhhh, but you forget I have four older brothers. I pity any man who would have to deal with them.”

“They’ll love any man who is truly in love with you Juliette.”

“I doubt that Teddy.”

Then he stopped and faced me. “I have some news. A secret if you can keep one.”

“Your secrets are always safe with me.”

Teddy had a large smile on his handsome face. “I’m getting married.”

My young Vampire heart literally stopped dead. My head started to spin, but I managed to smile because like all Vampires, I was a natural liar. “Oh Teddy. I’m so happy for you. She really is lovely.”

I wished I could just turn to putrified slime and slip into the dirt like the dead in the cemetery but instead I found a dark place to curl up in for the rest of the night. Teddy would now be lost to me forever. No more laughing at silly jokes with him. No more having him give me sly smiles. No more watching him and my brother Max in awe as they turned from boys to real men.

Teddy would be moving on to the world of married men where there was no room for girls who laughed too loud and talked too much. There was no room for Vampires. Sure, once I was older and became an icy cold elegant woman like my Vampire mother I could entertain Teddy and his bride, but until then it was over. He might has well have died – at least that is what I was feeling in my cold quiet teenage heart.

Teddy had no idea how different any of us were. He had no idea that his father’s business partner was a Vampire. Teddy had no idea what a Vampire was.

While they were away to college Teddy never really questioned why my brother Max would go out in the middle of the night. He imagined it was a woman or gambling or just a restless spirit. Like all of us, Max was brilliant at hiding his true nature.

The young woman of good breeding whom Teddy had become engaged to was sweet. That was her only attribute aside from being considered pretty. She wanted nothing more in life than to be the wife of a successful man. The fact that Teddy was the most handsome human I’d ever seen in my life, interesting, smart and funny was just an added bonus. Other than the fact that Teddy thought she’d be a good match there was nothing remarkable about her. Good breeding. Good reputation. Good girl. I didn’t even think about passion. Thinking about that would be almost as bad as thinking about my parents having any kind of passion (remember I was 15 years old.)

Teddy’s love wasn’t out sucking blood out of people in the middle of the night. She was in bed alone dreaming of angels and kittens. She was the kind of girl he dreamed of and I am sure he dreamed of her at night.

I wished I was like her. I wished I was sweet and warm like a her. I touched my icy hands against my cheeks and closed my eyes and then wiped away cold tears. No amount of wishing could make me warm. No amount of wishing could make me walk in the sunshine without dark glasses or a parasol. No amount of charm or wit could make him continue to be buddies with me, a girl who lived in the shadow of the night. He’d never love me.

I found my brother Val and told him the news. Val, who is only 16 at the time, thought I was being silly. He didn’t understand. He was a boy. Teddy could still be friends with a boy.

Max came up on the roof where I ended up that night. He sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulders. “Teddy is like family. He’ll still be here for a long long time. With any luck he’ll live a long life and we’ll always be able to watch over him and protect him.”

I closed my eyes knowing it was a battle I couldn’t win.

“Listen Jewels, part of growing up is letting go, that means letting go of everyone else who is growing up and moving on. It won’t just be Teddy. All of us will have to go out in the world and make our way. We’ll all find love. We’ll find it with people like ourselves, other Vampires. People move on, but the human heart, and our hearts have a great capacity for love. You have to treasure that love because as we move on, they, the regular humans grow old and they die. I’ve seen Mother and Father mourn the loss of their friends in the worst way. We’ve mourned the loss of friends in the worst way. But Teddy isn’t dead. Be happy for him. He’ll still be my best friend. He’ll still be your friend.”

We sat on the roof until the sun came up and talked of life and love and loss.

A year later Teddy died and didn’t die. He became a Vampire (not from anything we did and very much against his will.) The wedding never happened. After that we all went our separate ways and had our share of love and adventure and friendship.

After Teddy acclimated to being a Vampire we became great friends. Twenty years ago we got married. That isn’t typical of anyone, but then again, not much is typical in my life.

As my own children become older and closer to being adults they’ll have to deal with friends moving away, getting in relationships and changing in ways they can’t imagine. Some friendships will last those changes, but many won’t. The fact that we can’t always predict these things doesn’t make it any easier, but at least we can talk with our kids about these things. We can be there when they need someone to talk to. And that day will come.

I have been fortunate to have friends who’ve been in my life since those days when I used to sit on the roof of my parent’s house and ponder the meaning of life. Sometimes my friends would sit on the roof with me. Sometimes my brothers would join us. We’re not sitting on the roof anymore, but we’re still talking and laughing and having warm hearts to go with our cold hands.
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First posted: 2/20/14 

Stay safe. Wear a mask. Talk to your kids. Hug your dogs and cats. Check in on those who are elderly, alone, or might need extra help. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. And kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me later.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Black Holes, Blogging, and More Alternate Universe Theories

Dearest Juliette ~
I attempted to post a comment on the blog post about alternate universes but alas, I fear, my computer may have eaten it. Here it is, in case it doesn’t come through on your end.

David, our mutual scientific friend who studies physics just for the fun of it, believes firmly that it is chaos theory and not the principals of string theory which has allowed alternate universes to suck up his keys, the occasional single sock and the important paper he knew he had just set down on the table, whilst in return depositing someone else kitchen crumbs and dog fur on the floor. What else, he opines, explains the fact that he JUST swept the floor, removing all traces of everything and yet here not just 30 seconds later, there are crumbs and dog fur floating about? He doesn’t even own a dog! And mysteriously, oh so mysteriously, the missing paper reappears, exactly where he knew he had left it but swears he had looked multiple times. As odd as it sounds, I’m beginning to think he may be right. My theory that those darned imps have been swiping the socks and papers and dropping off the crumbs is now shot to hell because I studiously set out fresh imp traps and have even employed the services of professional imp exterminators.  With a deep sigh, I suspect, no matter how long we live, we will never know the truth.

Happy Christmas! Wish I was there!


~ Amelia

Indelible spirit

indelible spirit

I used those words today to describe an amazing friend who despite all odds, all, well everything shitty that can be put in front of someone, sees all of the beauty and joy that surrounds her.

We should all strive to go through our journey with such courtesy and grace.

My daughter sent me photos today of her lithop plants. Lithops are succulants. Some people call them living stones, or baby toes. When they bloom we are graced with daisy like flowers. When they reproduce they split, like boulders in a slow moving glacier, and new babies form from the middle.

We should all try to be like lithops. When we feel like we’re being split in too many directions. Just start something new and bloom. It sounds easy, but ask a lithop and I’m sure you’ll get a different answer. It isn’t easy but it is worth that huge breath of fresh air and peace of mind you’ll eventually get.

Never give up. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Be kind. Check your temper. Talk to your kids. Stay in touch with friends, especially those who might be alone or need extra help. And of course, kiss a Vampire. Seriously, you need to kiss a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

False Starts, Lost Dreams, Finding Love and an Ancient Tabby

False Starts, Lost Dreams, Finding Love and an Ancient Tabby

As a child Bronagh would get up each morning and go to school. There she’d figure out ways to escape through day dreams and long lone walks around the school ball field. In her more lucid and social moments she’d be trying to ignore the nonstop bullying from the group of smirking thugs who ruled the school. Having a different name in a universe full of Debbies and Nancys and Susans made one stand out. It made one get picked on along with being small, plain and quiet. Her family was also considered weird.

Her father was a large loud Irishman with a thick accent and her mother was a small pale elf like German woman who’d lost her family in the war, then ended up in a group home for lost children. The Irishman and the German girl met in a bar, got married, moved to America and had too many children and didn’t do things like other families. They’d sit up all night and play cards and smoke and drink too much. Then they’d tell stories of ghosts and werewolves and violent relatives who didn’t come to America. They’d sing loud songs and walk around their backyard in their underwear. Sometimes the intensity of the couple frightened the other families of their normal middle class community.

Bronagh was never mistreated at home but she never felt too connected to her family either. She loved them but she didn’t want to live with them or be like them.

She struggled in school but in her secret world she was smart and would one day be beautiful and successful. Nightmare sessions in front of the class unable to do a math problem while other children jeered made her imagine a different life. At that point she started to keep secrets.

Nobody ever knew what she was feeling or thinking. She gave away nothing by her expression or words. She lived in two worlds – one on the outside and her own world inside.

She grew up, went on to high school, made friends, grew into a beautiful young woman, made straight A’s and never looked back.

Then she went to college and found herself on too many long walks alone, but that was OK. She was used to that. Friends came and went. There were always good times to be had but she never stayed close to anyone. She graduated and had plans but her life seemed to be one big black hole that sucked the life out of every idea, every relationship and every job prospect. All of her choices sucked. It was as if everything she touched turned to garbage. It was garbage that couldn’t even be recycled. It was toxic waste.

Time passed and roadblocks grew higher and doors slammed in her face. She found herself with a college degree, a shelf full of books, a stray one-eyed tabby cat she named Toulouse, and nothing else.

One day she decided that one of two things needed to happen. She either needed to die or fall in love. Nobody would ever love her she decided, so she set a date to end it all, that is if nothing happened.

She grew numb.

One day she forced herself to go the large university library to research jobs and graduate schools.

On the first floor she ran into an old party friend Cindy. Beautiful lucky Cindy was going off to her dream job in Los Angeles. A huge engagement ring sat on Cindy’s finger. Cindy’s clothes were beautiful and obviously expensive. Joy radiated out of her, not for material reasons but because she was just where she wanted to be. Then again Cindy had been born where every girl wanted to be.  Cindy was that kind of girl. Bronagh gave Cindy a hug and wished her the best.

Then she saw a guy she’d had a one night stand with talking to a biology professor she’d had. Ditching them she went up the stairwell to the second floor to take refuge with some art books. There were always too many people from her past she didn’t want to deal with.

On the second floor, as she left the art section, she ran into a man she’d been passionately in love with. She smiled with a sense of hope that maybe, just maybe he’d finally feel the same longing she did. He was glad to see her. He was glad to tell her that he was getting married – to somebody else.  He asked her if she still had the cat. She thought he thought she was an idiot. She lied and said she had a boyfriend and great job prospects. Someone she really liked had dumped her the week before. She’d been fired from a job she’d held for a month. It didn’t matter. He’d cheated on her anyway. Being young and miserable with no prospects is no fun even when you don’t feel bad about telling lies.

Feeling numb she looked at college catalogs, made notes about graduate school requirements then go up to walk and distract herself. It was time to look up poisons or just sit down and die and turn into a mummy that someone would find in 50 years or so behind a stack of books nobody ever read.

In the deep darkness of the ancient basement stacks she accidentally tripped and fell into the arms of a young man. It wasn’t that kind of fall into your arms. It was more of the kind of “I noticed you were looking up poisons,” kind of falling to his arms. He noticed in a big way. Poisons were not the kind of things pretty girls, or anyone not doing medical research or writing crime novels usually looked up. She said she was writing a story. He knew she was telling a lie but he let it pass.

She had iced herbal tea with him in an earthy crunchy little coffee shop and they talked about all sorts of things. His name was Val, yes, that Val, my brother. His delightful friend Alonzo joined them.

That was 38 years ago. She still remembered the purple skirt and white lace top she was wearing. On her feet were gray flats. Val was wearing jeans and a black tee. Alonzo wore a red vest and a white button down shirt. His dark hair curled around his ears. It was weird how she remembered the details. She clicked with Val and Alonzo. They didn’t judge her. But they were not like the predators she’d met who wanted to lure her into schemes and religions and cults and plans that she didn’t want to be part of.

They became friends and she became one of them – one of us. A Vampire.

I know it sounds weird but she tells such a glum story. Bronagh is the funniest Vampire I’ve ever met. Yes, we have a sense of humor. You can’t live as long as we do and not.

Bronagh thinks about things too much – old things, things that happened, the guy in the library, the guy who dumped her, people who had been to her, a friend who died when they were young. But then not really, not lately. She used to sometimes wonder what life might have been like had she not become a Vampire.

Becoming a Vampire wasn’t what solved her problems. Having some support and encouragement and sheer tenacity is what got her out of her gloom. Long story. Hard work. Creative thinking. Love. Humor. She shrugs it off.

She’ll laugh and talk about how handsome Alonzo is but that she married him for his sense of humor. She’ll tell you about how he proposed to her while they walked under the stars on a windy beach. She won’t tell you about the times she was so unhappy and lost. Those dark times were such a small portion of everything but still, it makes a mark.

Alonzo had a past so full of nightmares that he was glad to become a Vampire and live in a world of calm control and find some measure of peace. I’m just glad to have them in my life. Maybe I’ll talk Alonzo into telling me a few stories.

Halloween is almost here and all kinds of ghosts are coming out of the woodwork. Let’s just keep most of them tucked away. We don’t need to deal with them or let them bother us.

Alonzo just shrugs and laughs off anything from his past. Bronagh does the same for the most part. They’re just like any other couple, only they’re Vampires. They believe that what they is due to divine intervention and it happened for a reason. Maybe. Maybe not. I’d like to think it was meant to be. OK it was meant to be.

And the odd thing about this story is that the old one-eyed tabby cat Toulouse is still alive at 39 years old. Of course, cats aren’t supposed to live that long but sometimes, well, all Vampires know that there are things we’ll never be able to explain.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Evolving

It cooled off today. It FINALLY cooled off.

I can’t imagine having Middle School or High School kids right now. I don’t know how well mine would have done with online school. It is a challenge for everyone. My children were tech savy so that wasn’t the problem. It was everything else, by that I mean the social aspects of Middle and High School. Kids grow up fast and learn how to socialize. They have to deal with group projects, weird people, and other distractions that get them ready for the real world work world. They make friends that they have for life, or at least think they have for life. They’ll have their first romances, dances, clubs, art shows, and so many other things, like meeting friends at a locker between classes, or just hanging out.

Recently my grown kids experienced losing childhood friends. They didn’t die, they just didn’t recognize their old friends. OK to be honest it was political fall out that disgusted my kids. It was difficult for one of them to see close childhood friends become racist or sexist. It was difficult to see their smart childhood friends become Covid-19 and science deniers. I knew it was bound to happen. Fortunately most of their friends didn’t go off of the deep end.

My kids respect the right for others to have opinions, but not opinions that hurt others.

Now you know why us paranormal types don’t let anyone know what we are. Holy shit. I don’t want to go back to the days when we were burned at the stake or locked up in crypts with wooden stakes in our hearts. That would not be good.

You know, I can hardly write this post because of the stupid new “works like shit out of rusty can” block settings. Who the hell writes like that? Plus I can’t find anything. There was supposed to be a photo here but it kept freezing up and I couldn’t get to the insert image block without being bumped up to the top of the page. Just let me write God Damn IT.

Earlier today I saw Nigel the ghost is sitting outside hanging his feet over the edge of the half built deck. He is in jeans and a button down white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and his black hair brushing down over his collar. He looks up at me and gives me his “What the fuck Vampire?” look.

Our weird passive aggressive neighbor was walking behind the house along the fence line checking out my yard. I have no idea why he feels the need to be checking out our construction project or our orange trees and compost barrel. If I could have gotten away with it I would have pegged him with a pocket rocket (sling shot) or thrown a rotten orange at him.

I’ve thought about asking a ghost to go haunt them but considering their kids refuse to visit them and they don’t have any friends they’ve made their own haunted house. This guy spends all of his time in the side yard and side corner of his back yard because he has no windows facing my house. He can’t see what we are doing so he has to pretend he has yard work, only he doesn’t have a back yard. It is just wild with no fence going down into the field. He planted some ground cover as an excuse to go out there. But seriously, who spends eight hours a week taking care of a patch of ground cover? A crazy pathetic man who can’t stand to be in the house with his wife – that is who.

My new neighbors have also become obsessed with my flower filled front yard. Heaven forbid a single daylily go a half inch over the property line. My yard is on their garage side. They can’t even see it from their house. It isn’t like I had a side yard full of weeds and junk like they do. It isn’t like we go make noise at all hours under their master bedroom window like they do to us.

My husband describes them as vile pathetic people. Unfortunately our close friends who used to live there (for over 10 years) moved away and the owners of the house they rented from moved back in. Nobody in the neighborhood was happy about that.

If they died nobody would know for weeks or maybe months. That is sad indeed. Don’t worry, they don’t have pets. And I used to think we were the weird ones on the street.

Don’t worry. I can deal with it.

These days everything annoys me and everyone else. Aside from wearing a mask I suggest we all turn off the news and maybe only listen for the weather and the reports about giant pumpkins, dogs and cats who are looking for forever homes, and cool things kids are doing to keep happy and healthy.

I’m not surprised that most Werewolves I know are spending more time in the mountains away from everything and everybody. They used to just go up during the full moon. Now many of them are up there most of the time.

Parties or no parties, Halloween will be here soon.

I hope to chill and maybe even write some chilling Halloween posts, or at least fun posts. I have a lot of ideas but so many distractions.

My brother Max is being bothered by a Demon, Vlad is still confused, my children and thriving and having adventures, Austin Durant is attempting to get through this semester teaching college and helping my brother Aaron get rid of unwanted pests, and the ancient ones will celebrate Halloween no matter what happens. I’ll keep you all posted.

In the meantime I think I’ll have a glass of wine and maybe watch some baseball and work on some macrame. Why? Because that is what Vampires do. It isn’t all about sucking blood out of necks.

~ Wear your mask
~ Talk with your kids
~ Call your parents
~ Hug your dogs and cats
~ Feed a squirrel
~ Keep your bird feeders full
~ Be zen and sweep rather than using a leaf blower
~ Stay safe
~ Don’t be a dick
~ Be kind
~ And kiss a Vampire (the sooner the better)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman