Frogs, Love, and Hell

I believe I’ve used the frog story before, but I shall tell it again.

Put a cold cast iron skillet on a cold burner on your stove. Gas works best. Place a large, live, cold blooded frog in the center of the skillet. Use a good sized one – 10-12 inches. Turn on the heat ever so low, then gradually turn it up. The frog will sit until it gets blazing hot and it’s feet and belly stick to the cast iron and it is cooked.

This is what happens to people in this heat (we’re expecting over 100 all week and over 110 F on some days). Elderly people and others who are not always aware will sit in the heat like the frog until they cook. They’ll forget to jump out of the pan, or in the case of some folks, forget to turn on the air conditioning or fan. Or they’ll forget to call for help because they won’t realize they need help.

My neighbor and dear friend Kelly came over tonight with a couple of cold drinks (bless her). She isn’t a Vampire like we are. She suspects we’re different but can’t quite put a finger on it. She also has a ghost in her house (yes, that ghost.)

We sat for a while as she told me of her elderly mother and the heat. Her mother forgets to turn on the air conditioner. Her mother obsesses about bad neighbors but will not let her children or helpers put anything over the fence so to keep out the eyes of those bad neighbors. She asked Kelly to come over (it was 110 outside) to cut down a tree. Kelly said no. Her mother doesn’t know what yard the tree is growing in. Kelly tells her not to go outside and check because it is too hot and because she’ll fall and end up in the hospital – again. The same conversation has happened over and over – with a different plant, a hose, a stray cat, an unfamiliar car parked on the street, or something else that Kelly will either have to deal with or talk her way out of.

She wishes her mother would move to a house where she won’t worry about bad trees and bad neighbors and expensive up keep. Kelly has suggested a smaller home near Kelly and the grand kids. It would be nice with all sorts of beautiful features and a lovely garden within walking distance of Kelly’s home. The kids could visit anytime. Her mother refuses. So Kelly must hear about trees and drive to her mom’s to get the mail, and give up her Saturday fun time. Saturday fun time is important for working moms and all moms and busy women who work, and well, it is important for everyone.

She wishes she could travel and do fun things with her mother. She wishes they could talk more of things that are positive and fun – things that are not bodily functions or other unpleasant things that only bring Kelly stress.

Sometimes the heat can suck the fun out of everything. The heat of being a caretaker can do the same. It is exhausting. Especially if the caretaker has children of her own. Kelly told her kids to put her on an ice flow if she ever got to the point where she couldn’t take care of herself. She asked them to shoot her if she ever lost her sense of humor. I gave her a hug. We talked for another house about books we’ve read this summer. We agree that everyone MUST read “Beautiful Ruins.” Then she went home to spend time with her own teenage children (good friends with my kids.)

After slipping on the kitchen floor today on an unknown object and landing on my back, I lay there thinking that I’d better call The Elders. They’re ancient and sometimes don’t use the best judgement.

Eleorna and Tellias, frail and gentle, were fine. Their neighbor had brought over shaved ice flavored with basil and rosemary. God bless him. They remembered to bring their old dog in and give him plenty of water. They didn’t drive today because sometimes they forgot how to turn on the air conditioner and the sun was too bright and they had lost the keys again, so they stayed home. And they turned on the air conditioner in their beautiful 143 year old house and slept in each other’s arms like young lovers.

I’m always afraid that I’ll drop by their house and find nothing but their ashes. I’m afraid someone will take advantage of them. I’m afraid that one day they might be gone and I will have a broken heart that will never go away.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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For more on the elders in my life and dealing with the elderly (with humor or not) see the links below:

Parenting Young Adult Vampires – Quick Notes

vampire teens

Even after your kids are grown, or in this case sort-of-grown, you still worry about them.

They graduate from high school, turn eighteen, vote, drive, get jobs, go to college, and they’re adults.

Sort of.

They’re also maybe drinking, having sex, forming strong opinions, dabbling in drugs, staying out late, and exploring the dark side of culture.

They’re exploring all sides of culture. That could be a good thing. A mighty good thing.

And if they’re Vampire kids you have a whole other thing to deal with.

It is one thing if your younger child starts to hunt a little on their own, but it is a whole new game when a young Vampire turns into an adult.

This isn’t something you can push off on the old traditions. Our old timers didn’t make the rules in the 1950’s. They made the rules in the 1750’s, and those rules don’t work anymore. Just like with any other parent you need to keep up with your kids, be open and honest, and teach them the rules of the 21st Century Vampire.

Your young adult children are going to start collecting their own sets of donors. Make sure they choose wisely. Guide them. By guiding I don’t mean vague references like “don’t  pick criminals,” or “watch for people with Hep C.” They need to pick safe donors. Safe means people with calm personalities. That means people who live private lives. It means people who can mentally and physically withstand being a donor.

You also need to continue to talk with your kids and be open with them. Donors are not friends. They are not serious lovers. They are not someone you will fall in love with. Sure you can care. Of course you SHOULD care, but not in a romantic way. Never get involved romantically with a donor. Also do not turn your donors into Vampires. Do not EVER let your donor know you’re a Vampire. These are tough conversations you need to have with your young adult children.

Encourage them to attend seminars about avoiding, and dealing with Vampire Hunters. They have enough going on with trying to find jobs, go to school, and juggle their activities, and start to live on their own, without having to deal with someone trying to put a stake through their heart, or worse. Make sure their only heartbreak is the kind they sing about in pop songs, not literally having their heart ripped from their body.

Vampire Teens Rock

This is just a quick thought for today. Just a reminder. I’ll go into more depth on the subject later.

In the meantime, no matter how old or young they are, talk to your kids. Talk with them, not at them. Listen to them. Engage them. Laugh with them. Share with them. Learn from them. Yes, learn from them – you’d be surprised what they can teach you.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire mom

 

It isn’t all about the blood. Parenting and Vampires.

It isn’t all about the blood. I’m not a food blogger.

I do blog about parenting and Vampires. That is exactly what I do.

I explain the basics in my “about me” page. Click here to read it.

Why it works. Vampires and Parenting. Because I’m both. You might be both. You might not be either. But I have learned from my years on earth, and learned from my mistakes, and from making deliberate decisions about how I raised my children.

Being a parent, of any kind, required attention. It requires ALL of one’s attention. It requires thought. It requires compassion. It requires courage. It definitely requires humor.  The same goes with being a Vampire.

I don’t read parenting books. Most are smug perfect self-serving. I never use the term “mommy blogger.” Just put a wooden stake through my heart. Seriously, there are some good books, and funny books about parenting. Just be careful. There is a lot of crap out there. It is better to find a blogger you can relate to (not just me, there are plenty of other great parenting bloggers out there.)

Parenting books assume that we all live in some flavorless world where all rules apply to all children and all parents. Every child is different. Every family is different. We can relate through Werewolves, Zombies, Ghosts, and Selkies. Each has their own set of issues they have to deal with. Each parent has their own set of issues to deal with – believe me, things get real when you have children, but it isn’t as if they weren’t already real, and difficult, and challenging.

What IS the same is the need for a kid is to be loved and understood. Talk to your children, even about uncomfortable things like sex, drugs, and being an asshole. Talk to them about school and their friends. Don’t take a grunt for an answer. Let me repeat that: DO NOT TAKE A GRUNT or a one word answer. Engage your child and make them talk to you. Start early, but if you didn’t it is never too late to start (even if your child is an adult.)

It doesn’t have to be all serious. It is your moral obligation to bring humor into your child’s life. That includes the worst puns and word play you can come up with – as if your life depended on it. It makes you fast. Fast is good.

And about that blood… I can tell you where the sales are. But sometimes it is really nice to go out to eat. Even a kid will tell you that. As Vampires we have to teach our children how to be responsible when it comes to obtaining blood. We teach them to respect and protect their donors. We teach them discretion. And no, I’m not spilling the beans on this in such a public forum and going into lurid details.

Being a Vampire isn’t all about blood and converting other people into Vampires. Well, no it isn’t but it is a huge part of who we are.

Converting someone, changing them, switching them over, or whatever you want to call it, isn’t something to be taken lightly. It isn’t like religion where you have an option to have a change of heart later. It isn’t like a superficial body modification like a tattoo or hair style. It isn’t a lifestyle. It is a drastic physiological change. Only about 10% of people who undergo the conversion are going to die – right away. Of course that depends on who  is converting and who is being converted. My track record is 100% and I’ve never lost a soul (literally lost someone’s soul and ended up with one of those dark soulless beings that none of us like to be around.) I don’t do this unless I’m 100% sure, and even then, not  very often.

Bringing a new Vampire into the world carries with it a tremendous responsibility that must be taken seriously by all of our kind.

And if the one who turned you into a Vampire is a dick that doesn’t mean that you have to be a dick. Break the cycle. Remove the dicks from your life. The same goes for parents: you don’t have to be around dicks or expose your kids to dicks. There is no place for them in your life.

Ask yourself:

Why do I want to convert this person? Is it for personal gain? Will they be good at it. Do they want it? Are they an asshole? Will they freak out? Do they understand what they are going to risk? Do they understand what they will gain. Do they understand what they will lose?

What does that have to do with being a parent?

Bringing a child into the world is also a tremendous responsibility that unfortunately many “parents” take lightly. Maybe lightly is the wrong word. They bring a child into the world with no thoughts whatsoever about how they’ll raise it. Not a thought. You have seven or eight months to think about it before the big day comes. You’d better get busy.

Having a child is never an accident (yes, there are those rare cases but that is RARE.) Yes, one can become pregnant by not using birth control (a choice.) One can keep a child they have no love for (a choice.) There is always a choice. Do I sound harsh? Of course I do. I am harsh. We’re talking about a new child and a life here, who doesn’t deserve to be an afterthought, or worse. So buck it up cupcake and be an adult and be a real parent. That goes for fathers too. Don’t be a dick – be a dad.

Your parenting style is up to you, not a book. It isn’t up to me. I just ask that you take it seriously. You have the life of another person in your hands. Take it seriously.

Learn from your mistakes. Teach your kids so they won’t make the same mistakes you did. It is ok to break a cycle of disfunction.

If you want to be a parent look to people who have great kids. Don’t take advice from people who have rotten kids or people who constantly complain about their kids. This aren’t the good parents.

Yes, I’m feeling harsh. In a world where politicians are saying it is ok for men to molest teenagers, harassed and rape, and all the while claim that they are religious. Yes, the Church of Assholes is alive and well.

I’m proud to say that my husband, the father of my children, refuses to watch any movie directed by Roman Polanski or Woody Allen. This isn’t anything new. If you want to protect your children teach them about people who have no respect for children or anyone else. Warn them that predators aren’t always things that lurk in the deep dark woods, or under floor boards. They might not drink your blood but they sure as hell will try to steal your innocence and your soul.

Talk with your kids. Not to them, but with them. And listen to them. Don’t judge until you’ve listened. Don’t judge them – period. Even Vampires don’t do that.

Love your children unconditionally. Protect them. Teach them. Hug them. Be present. Be THERE.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

mother daughter discovery

 

pepper2017

NanoPoblano 2017 #NanoPoblano #NanoPoblano2017

 

 

 

The Travelers: A Tale of Mystery, Love and Hope

A Christmas Tradition at Vampire Maman

The Travelers

A Christmas Tale of Mystery, Love and Hope
from Juliette Kings

The night was falling on the travelers, Daniel and his son Tad and daughter Ada. They had to stop before the dark of night and freezing snowfalls. The father and his children were finally going home, from the broken dreams of gold to the city where Daniel had found a job in his profession of typesetter and reporter. When his wife had passed on he followed his dream to the California gold fields taking his teenage children with him. For good or bad they’d made the new state their home.

As the snow began to fall they came upon a cabin, the door boarded up from the outside, the windows shuttered. It looked deserted and like shelter for the night. Dan and his son pried the nails off of the boards, which secured the door and went into the two-room structure. Inside was a cozy room with a fireplace, comfortable chairs and a wall full of books. Dan sent Tad out to bring in firewood.

Ada went to the bedroom and called her father. On the bed was a man, still as the night, cold and pale as the snow. In his arms, wrapped in blanket was a tiny girl in a red velvet hat, a scarf covered up most of her small face. She was also still and pale.

Ada’s heart sank. The poor souls in the bed looked to have passed on. But why were they trapped in the cabin? Had they been sick? Why were they not buried with a prayer and the proper respect? The man’s coat was obviously expensive and of the finest materials. His boots were of the most beautiful leather and style. His face was handsome and refined. Ada took off her glove and touched the back of her hand to the man’s face. He was indeed cold as ice and still as death. She called in her father.

“I know this man.” He said. “A fine man. A poet. I heard him read when I was in San Francisco. What a tragic pity to find him here with his child.”

The looked upon the bodies of the father and child when they saw the slightest movement and the man opened his eyes.

“My daughter, please help her,” whispered the man on the bed.

Ada took the girl in her arms. She weighed almost nothing. The child let out a sigh. Ada brought the girl into the other room and sat in a rocking chair by the fire Tad had built. The girl started to move and put her face against Ada’s warm neck. Ada soon fell asleep with dreams of flowers and all things good.

In the morning the poet and child were gone.

The travelers found box covered with red paper. In the box was a golden heart and a note to Ada.

 

Dearest Ada,

This heart belonged to my dear wife who was murdered by villains of the vilest kind. Please wear it knowing that you will always be loved and you will always be a part of us.

TK

 

On the table in the front room was a bounty of food. Where had it come from? There were fresh baked goods, milk and juice, exotic fruits, sausages and chocolates. Under small quilted cozies were pots with fragrant tea and coffee. Another note was slipped under the teapot.

Daniel read the note aloud to his children.

 

My heart thanks you for your generosity.

You saved our lives.

You never questioned who had trapped us or hurt us.

You never judged us.

You never feared us.

The love between parent and his children is burned into your heart like the fires that burn in the heavenly stars.

My daughter and I will never forget you.

Your children and their children and their children will always be safe and watched over and kept from the harm of wicked men. I owe and promise you that.

Never fear the night or the darkness for we will always be watching your back.

Wishing you a Happy Christmas.

~ Thomas Kent

 

As the travelers ate they talked of the sweet dreams they’d had the night before, along with stiff necks they had that morning. Daniel and his children  spoke of Mr. Kent and his precious daughter and wondered why they’d been trapped in the cabin.

Many many years later after a long and wonderful life full of romance and adventure, Ada fingered the heart, which she still wore. As she took her last breath she said, “I have never known fear, only love”.

An ocean away Thomas Kent felt an icy wind, then hope and gratitude in his cold Vampire heart.

 

 

~ 2012 JK

parrish snow

 

Today is the 6th time I’ve published it here. It is also featured in the WPaD holiday story collection Tinsel Tales.

This story is near and dear to my heart. It is my gift to you. I hope you enjoyed it, and paused to think about the mysteries, acts of kindness, and love in your own life.

Merry Christmas everyone and may all of your mysteries be good ones.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

My Mom Blogs About Vampires

Businessmen, Handsome Gen X

 

Seriously, I did date that guy, and more.

What you share with your kids and what you don’t is up to your own comfort level. You don’t want to tell them everything. They don’t need to know it all. But you don’t want to tell them nothing. But this isn’t exactly what this post is about.

How do your kids see you now? Who are you? What do you do? Do they know? Do they care? They should care. They should be thrilled.

Do a little bit of PR work on your own kids. Seriously, if you’re a parent you need public relations.

How do your kids see you?

I’m not talking about “honor thy mother and father,” or anything to do with authority. I’m not going to discuss examples of piss poor bad parenting. I’m not going to talk about being perfect.

I’m talking image. AND when you live with teens you know that IMAGE is EVERYTHING.

And don’t tell me it isn’t because I know even kids who SAY they don’t care DO. The very image of not caring about image is their image.

Seriously, listen to me. Your kids are growing up. They’ll be adults soon. Who are they going to turn to as an example of a well adjusted, interesting, happy adult? YOU. I hope it is you.

But wait. Don’t worry. This is nothing to stress over. Just be yourself. Show your kids your best self. Show them the interesting self that deep down in your heart and soul make you who you are. Not the parent. Not the spouse. Not anything that is connected to anyone. Show your kids YOU. Let them know who you are.

We've got plenty of talent.

We’ve got plenty of talent.

What did you want to be when you were a teen? What do you want to do now? Or do you love where you are? Share that with your teen. And if your dream didn’t happen put a positive spin on it. Over the years some dreams grow, some dreams get hidden away, some dreams die, and some live on.

I’ve always done things a little different from others, so no surprise that I blog about Vampires and parenting. Then again, even though every tells me I’m unique and different, I feel that we are all unique and different. Let’s celebrate that with our teens. I mean, who better than your own teen or young adult to celebrate with.

Share your hopes and dreams. Share your long winded stories. Tell them about what you do at work (if you love your job.) Tell them what you love, and tell your kid that one day he or she will have something they’ll love just as much. Passion isn’t just romance. It is the love of doing – even if you aren’t good at it.

Everyone talks of role models for kids. Forget public figures. Make yourself the best role model out there. Don’t be modest. Even the parent with the quiet life, or the simple life, has lessons to teach, and interesting things about herself to share.

For example, among other things, I get most of the answers on Jeopardy correct. Then when everyone else gets it wrong I tell my husband, “You are married to the smartest woman in the world.” Then my kids agree. I’m good at trivia. My kids think that is cool. See where I’m going with this? We all have something we’re good at. Don’t hide it from your kids. Share it with them. Maybe it will spark their passions – even if those passions are different from yours. Try it. It works. Believe me on this one.

You don’t have to make a fool out of yourself trying to be hip and cool, because you already are. Just be yourself, and let your kids know who that is.

That’s all. Nothing profound.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

School… Check list please.

This morning at the dog park I was talking to a teacher and the husband of a teacher.

Teachers don’t drop out of the profession because of the kids. It is the parents and administrators who make them sick and tired of the crap.

Most of my readers know what parents I’m talking about. It is the crazy ass mom who constantly complains that the teacher is unfair to her little darling (evil monster.) It is that mom who argues with the professor during a field trip to the planetarium saying there are aliens living on Mars. It is those parents who teach their kids to lie, cheat, stalk, and generally act like assholes, then complain loudly about their poor little darling being treated unfairly. It is that parent who thinks her child is the most brilliant child in the world and therefore the only one who matters. You know who this mom is. She is the one who stands up at the yearly parent information night in the school multipurpose room and states how her eight year child should be talking college level math, and she wants everyone to know how special she (the mom) is.  Once my kids moved onto high school I noticed the teachers and administrators shut these parents down – or at least it seemed that way. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way… Really, those hyper crazy moms are the people who suck the joy out of elementary and middle school out of the rest of us. So many times I’ve just wanted to yell, “GO THE FUCK AWAY,” but school authorities don’t look too kindly upon that sort of behavior…but they put up with…oh never mind. Anyway…

School is starting again. Summer was way too short this year.

My kids are awesome. I’m going to assume if you’re reading this your kids are awesome too (even if they aren’t Vampires.)

One of mine is getting ready for her senior year of high school. The other is a junior in college and getting ready for his upper division courses.

One says she doesn’t have time for boys. The other can’t think of anything but girls.

So I made my official 2016 back-to-school check list.

  • School supplies (Target)
  • Tell Dad what day school starts.
  • Tell Dad again what day school starts.
  • Ask kids if there is anything else they need.
  • Ask kids again if there is anything else they need.
  • And for the third (but not the last time) ask the kids if there is anything else they need.
  • Check emails for last-minute information from the school.
  • Ask the college junior why he is packing up a chain saw, and a 1968 set of the Encyclopedia Britannica to bring back to school with him.
  • Ask the college junior to please return the two pairs of panties (different sizes) to their owners when he gets back to school.
  • Tell Dad what day school starts.
  • Get extra batteries for calculators and other small magic boxes.
  • Give them both Dutch Brothers cards just because you’re the best mom ever.
  • Remind them that there are clothes that are not band shirts.
  • And last of all remind them again that their white trash thermos is ok for summer, holidays, and weekends, but not in the classroom unless it has a lid, and maybe not even then because glass shatters if dropped (a WT thermos is a large mason jar containing morning coffee when one has lost his/her travel cup.) Also remind them that it is not Mom’s fault if she knocks over the damn thing in the car because it won’t fit in the cup holder and has no lid. It is the child’s responsibility to keep their own coffee safe.
  • Ask the kids if they need anything else.
  • Tell them not to stress out. Tell them they’ll do great – even with the hard classes.

I’ll be checking my email over the next week for more information from the school. This is our last year in high school so I’m going to savor it all. I’m going to try not to get sad because, well, you know.

As the school year starts the one thing that I can stress it to listen to your kids. Let them know that it is safe to talk to you, their parent. Talk with them. Don’t take shrugs and grunts for answers. Engage them. Listen, listen, listen to them. And let them talk. Really let them talk. They’ll tell you a lot. You’ll learn something too.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

backtoschool