Saturday musings of a busy working mom

The gray green leaves

Mixed with orange and brown

Crimson falling in the rain


Not a sound

Except the snoring

Of a calico cat

The ticking of an old clock

And the sound

When I turn the pages

Of a book…

Or maybe just watch out the window

At the gray sky

And close my eyes

Savoring the moment…


But with no success because my mind won’t clear.



~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



Short Story Sunday: Sunday School

Sunday School (an exceptionally short story)

Sunday morning. I was downstairs fixing coffee, listening to NPR and savoring the quiet time before the rest of the family got up.

Yes, quiet time. That is a rare commodity for a parent.

I’m wiping down the kitchen counter and thinking about the game schedule for today when I look up and a guy in a black suit with slicked back hair is standing about 4 feet from me with a smirk on his face.

Sure my skin prickled because I knew who this guy was.

“Whatever you want to sell I’m not buying,” I told him.

Suddenly visions of a beautiful wife, perfect kids in boarding school, money, freedom, maid service, more women…and fame. My dreams in youth of being an actor and being a politician and being the guy who starts the mega technology company and being a household word…they all come to mind. All the doors that were slammed in my face could be opened right now.

If only…

I looked at the man. He smiled. The cat started to scratch at the door to get out. I could hear the coffee dripping. A toilet flushed upstairs.

The man spoke “Why sleep with someone who has been trying to drop those 50 pounds for the past 10 years when you can have the most beautiful women in the world? Why be stuck fixing eggs for a bunch a loud kids when you can have meals fixed by the finest chefs? Why watch the game on TV when you can own the team?”

“Dude, I’m busy. Go away.”

“With your heart you should be in church,” he said that with one of those nasty sarcastic tones that I absolutely hate.

“Fuck you and get out of my house.”

He vanished in a cloud of sulphur smelling smoke. I don’t even know if he was The Guy or just one of his helpers.

Over the years I had a lot of opportunities and talent to go with it, but it was always the wrong time and wrong place. Or I was just too stupid or inexperienced to know what to do with the opportunity.

I’ve lived a life of regrets, but I landed here, right where I am now, in a house full of love. I have kids telling me about school and a wife showing me a painting she is working on. We go to work and we get tired and we do it all again. And it’s the best. And we learn something new every single day.

This is my Sunday School. This is my religion.




More from Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday is a regular feature on
Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.

The place between the night and the day

First Morning LightYesterday a call came in. A small whispery voice, like old tissue paper that had once wrapped up lace and flower petals said, “We can’t find Ginger.”

The conversation continued, or I attempted to continue it. I asked where they’d seen Ginger last and if they’ll looked everywhere. But I got the same answer. “YOU have to come. We can’t find Ginger.”

Ginger is an old dog. She is some sort of medium sized Lab and Golden mix with a few other breeds in there. One day 15 years ago she showed up starving and dirty on the Elder’s farm. She was grown even then and seemed middle aged. Like her owners, Ginger is ancient and confused.

The elders are Tellias and Eleora, two ancient Vampires who aren’t even sure how old they are. He met her when he went to Britian with the Roman Army. That was a while back. Theirs was a story of sweeping epic romance, but now, they were calling me to find their old dog.

I brought the kids with me, 17 year old Garrett and 14 year old Clara. When we arrived, they, the Elders were along. The early morning air was filled with smoke from forest fires in the hills. Eleora was afraid of smoke, so she was out of sorts even more than usual. Back in the days of burning rice fields she’d leave town for the coast.

When we arrived Tellias came out to greet us in an old black tux with no shirt underneath the jacket and bare feet. His blonde hair was covered by an old pith helmet. Eleora wore a halter style sundress out of some ugly brown and yellow batik fabric and red cowboy boots. She carried a large butterfly net and a green glass bowl of dog biscuits. Despite their age and frailties they look as though they can’t be much older than 20.

And it is my job to take care of them and make sure they’re safe and have what they need. It is my job to make sure they don’t do stupid things.

My children and I were showered with hugs and kisses. They usually sang songs to us when we arrived, but this time is was all about finding Ginger.

We searched high and low for Ginger. We called. But no answer.

“We’ve looked everywhere,” said Tellias.

“Everywhere,” said Eleora.

“Everywhere,” whispered Tellias.

So we all searched and called more. After taking a break from dog searching, cleaning up, fixing a few things, and throwing in some laundry that had piled up, we sat down for a few moments. There was a click click click on the floor and we turned to see Ginger looking at us with big brown eyes.

We have no idea where she’d been, but we were glad that she was back. She is covered in hugs and kisses. All is well.

It had been a long week with my work, the kids starting school, my husband’s activities and looking after the Elders. Some say don’t sweat the small stuff but it all seems the same. There is no small stuff or big stuff – just stuff. But it is my stuff. It is my choice to be the one who manages all the stuff and take care of stuff and deal with stuff.

It isn’t that I love the stuff, I love the people who bring the stuff to me.

And in the early mornings between the night and the dawn I am left alone to my own stuff, or what I can clear out of my head and heart. I walk the trails near my house under the oaks, on the edge of the bluffs over the water. I can hear the first birds of the morning and see the last bats of the night. The deer, coyote and bobcats walk at a distance and sometimes let me see them in their own world. The squirrels jump through the trees like crazed acrobats.

I think of everything and nothing. I think of things that I don’t have time to think about when I’m looking for old dogs, lost socks, and lost souls.

My mind wanders the hills far beyond where my feet take me. Sometimes I see ghosts, but even they know not to bother me in my Vampire reveries.

At that place between the night and the day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Adventure in a Cup – Musings on coffee, mornings and not being normal…



I know I’d promised you all romance, but I have to wake up first. I can do without a lot of things but going without coffee is difficult. My husband doesn’t drink coffee. He is a tea guy. I love tea, but this nocturnal lady needs her COFFEE when living in a world where everything happens during the DAY.

Yes, of course I could move to a larger city (or stay here) and live at night, but I have kids and they live in the modern world so I need my coffee.

So what will the day bring in that hot mug? I hope something good. On weekends I can linger (sometimes if there are no sports events or other kid events to race to) over a cup inside when it is damp, out on the deck when it is dry.

This isn’t the first post I’ve done about coffee and mornings. Some in my family would be shocked that I’ve become a morning person, watching the sunrise as the rest of my kind sleep. Oh well. Get over it.

So I guess this could be a romance or an adventure in a cup.

Adventure in a Cup

Adventure in a Cup










My mother worries about her children taking on too many traits of the modern world. Three out of the five of us have gone almost completely diurnal – that is we spend most of our waking hours during the day. I tend to like the idea of being crepuscular but unfortunately my busy schedule doesn’t always allow it.

Diurnal= daytime,
Crepuscular= Dawntime and dusktime

Oh it would be so easy to dress in black, sleep all day, go out at night and lurk in the shadows like Vampires of old, but I have kids and a life outside of what I eat. That is…when I have coffee.


So it is time for all of my Vampire Mom friends to WAKE UP!














Happy Friday everyone. Have a wonderful weekend with your kids, husbands, friends off all kinds and watch out for ghosts and other unreasonable creatures!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Be inspired!

Be inspired!

Winter Wonderland in Red, Orange and Purple

There is something magical about the first light of dawn, especially in the winter.

It doesn’t snow where I live, and if it does snow the flakes fall for a few minutes and only stay on the ground for an hour or two. A few years ago the kids were so excited because the school ground was covered with white. They’ll both be out of college before they see that again. We can see the mountains in the distance blanked with snow. A 45 minute drive and we could build a snowman and name him Parson Brown.

But winter brings another magic and beauty. The oak trees are like black lace against the rainbow light of dawn. Birds take flight – geese, ducks, gulls, doves, tiny song birds – the variety is endless. Deer and coyote walk along the edge of the neighborhood and drink from the lake.

It is the time when the dog walkers come out with coffee cups in hand.

For me the dawn isn’t a time for sleeping, it is a time for beauty and quiet time and reflection on a new day. I know, that sound like so much sentimental goo, but it’s true. Even a skeptical old heart like mine is still swept away by the first light of dawn and the crisp cold winter air.

I’m hard wired to be a nocturnal creature but I’ve embraced the dawn. Living as modern Vampires (yes, this is musing of a Vampire Mom) we have come to embrace the light and the comforts of life with the other creatures we share this world with, those of both night and day.

Happy Holidays and yes, today isn’t the end (it’s 12-21-12), the photo I took this morning with my phone at the end of my street shows that it is just the beginning.

~ Juliette

Dawn on the lake