Don’t ask me…Vampire Fun and Games

My phone made a meowing sound. That’s my brother Aaron’s ringtone.

“Hello,” I said. I wondered what he wanted.

“Juliette, how’s it going?”

“I’m not crawling under any houses or going into any basements for you.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Because whenever you have to get rid of, or otherwise deal with dried up musty old Shadow Creeping Vampires you call me to do it for you.”

“Juliette…”

“Isn’t that what you have your Vampire Hunter for?”

“I’m not going to ask you to kill anything. Well, not technically. You know what I’m asking. You and Val are the best. He’s on his way over right now.”

“Does Val know what you want Aaron?”

“No, I neglected to tell him.”

This reminded me of an event a few months ago. One of my daughter’s good friends from High School started sending her fervent religious materials and calling her about church events and sin and it was strong and negative. My child was offended and told her friend that she was offended and then told him to never call her again. He was such a nice kid. I’d hoped they’d stay friends.

So when my brother Aaron calls me to do something I’d never ask my kids to do I sort of cringe. There are some things I did in my past, with and without my brothers, that I would never want my children to do.

One of those things is converting regular people into Vampires. And the worst thing about it is that my brother Val and I are the best. Yeah, I don’t talk about that a lot on this blog, you know the whole Vampire thing.

We’re the youngest two of five siblings. Val and I are little more than a year apart. Aaron is five years older than me. Then there are the two older brothers who are eight and ten years older than me. I don’t want to get them involved with this at all because one knows everything and can be a real asshole and control freak. The other is just, well weird and always defers to the eldest when things turn stressful. Either that or he’ll tune out and find some back door to sneak out of.

Our brother Aaron is smack in the middle. I’d like to smack him right now.

Then he said, “Do you mind stopping for coffee on the way?” Then he proceeded to give me an order for six different cups. It made me wonder who would be there.

“Do you want any pastries?” I had to ask in my most snarky voice.

“Very funny. Just get here soon baby sister,” he said. Vampires don’t eat pastries. I wish we did but we don’t.

So to make a long story short I showed up at the Victorian house we all still own in the middle of downtown.

A thirty something couple greeted us. Aaron claimed he’d known them for a while. They’d been thoroughly vetted. He thought they’d be good Vampires. Whatever. I knew I’d be the one who’d end up helping them through the transition.

My great great great great grandmama Lola was there as well. She was uncharacteristically quiet. On the other hand she looked quiet lovely in a flowered sundress covered by a denim jacket. At six hundred and seventy five years she still looks like a twenty six year old young woman. Val and I kissed her cool cheeks and thanked her for being there. You know, just in case. God only knows (or maybe not) how many Vampires she has brought into the world.

Val and I asked the obligatory questions. Do you understand that you’ll be dead for short time before we bring you back. Do you know there is a risk of losing your soul? Do you understand what it means if you lost your soul? Do you know there is a huge risk death, as in final death? Do you understand that you will need to consume human blood to survive? Do you understand that you will have to actually bite into a live human body every once in a while? Do you understand that you will outlive everyone you know? Do you understand that once you become a Vampire you will not be immortal? You can die. Someone can kill you. You can suddenly die for no reason as well. Do you understand that this can’t be undone? Do you understand that once you become a Vampire you will ALWAYS be a Vampire?

I didn’t ask, “Have you lost your fucking mind?”

There was more but I won’t go into that right now. Actually there is one more item that Aaron, Val, and I stressed more than the other points. “Do you understand that if you tell anyone, or show anyone what you have become that you will die in an extremely unpleasant way.” That is one of the ugly points of being a Vampire that I don’t cover on my nice humorous feel good parenting blog. We don’t take blabber mouths lightly.

“Want to go to Target with me when we’re done here?” I asked Val.

“Sure,” he said. “I need shampoo.”

“I hear you’ve never lost anyone,” the woman said to me. “How many have you converted?”

“How many Vampires have I made?” I glanced at Val. “A lot.”

Val just smiled. Asking a Vampire how many people they’ve turned into Vampires is like asking someone how many sexual partners they’ve had. It is something you just don’t ask anyone.

Then we did what needed to be done. Lola had agreed to stay for a week to help with the transition. It isn’t easy. It isn’t pretty. Aaron was going to stay at least for a few days, but he lives walking distance away so it isn’t a big deal.

I watched him as he took off his Hermes tie and rolled up the sleeves of his custom made shirt. Always the best dressed Vampire in the room. I love Aaron but I wish he’d occasionally relax (and I don’t mean just rolling up sleeves.)

Val and I ended up finding a dark neighborhood bar and sat for a while doing shots of tequila. We talked about our three elder siblings. It wasn’t all bad. A lot of it was. At least they respected us for our talents.

Then we wandered around Target for about two hours laughing and filling our basket full of all kinds of fun stuff. My kids would have been proud of us, just because of how much fun we were having.

And now I’m home with nobody but my cats and a dog. The husband and still at home child are away. The other child is living far far away. OK, only about six hours away but that is really far if you’re a mom.

I’m not even sure that I’ll tell them what I did today. They won’t approve, or they’ll have questions I don’t want to answer. Everyone has strong opinions on the matter. Vampire families are like all others – we all have strong opinions.

So that was my day. I’m tired and… sometimes when you’re a mom you just don’t need to be bugged. And sometimes when you’re a mom you just want to smile and listen as your family gathers around in the evening and forget your day. Even if you’re a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Juliette by the window

 

 

 

 

 

Transition

Parenting is a job you never retire from but those little people grow up.

They grow up and, well, they’re grown. You’re still a parent but your children are adults. In theory they’re adults. They’re eighteen or older, but they’re not quite adults yet.

They’re not like the teens still in high school either.

And you’re still a parent.

I’m spending a lot more time with this girl now.

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Alice the GSD is two years old now. She is the new family dog. We lost our sweet Jasmine three years ago after twelve years. She was the dog the kids grew up with. She was the dog who grabbed our hearts and souls like no other.

But Alice is the personification of sweetness and love. Now she is my shadow. She is the one who now goes everywhere with me. She is my constant companion.

But back to non-dog creatures…

It is difficult to write about parenting now because everything changes. Some parents tell their kids to move out as soon as they turn eighteen (I think those kind of parents are assholes.) Some kids never leave and are content to live in their childhood bedroom with the single bed and posters on the walls and have mom make grilled cheese for them forever (in that case the kids are assholes.)

Most kids I know are somewhere in the middle. They’re going to college or trade schools, or working, or volunteering. Many are stressing out over how they’re going to pay for school or cars or rent.

A few are stupid and now are finding themselves with minimum wage jobs and babies on the way, but those aren’t the ones I’m writing about today. That is a subject I’m not even going to touch because I’d be mean, judgmental, and make people cry.

But for the most part most kids are growing up, and it is like learning to swim or ride a bicycle. They all do it on their own terms, in their own time, but they know they have to do it. Sink or swim. Fall off and get back on.

They’re having their first serious relationships. They’re falling in love. They’re angry because they are evaluating their childhoods and judging their parents. They’re discovering people who aren’t like them. They’re doing wonderful things and exploring their worlds. They plan trips without us. They working. They’re voting. They’re pulling away. They’re turning around and letting us (parents) know they still need us.

Since the beginning I’ve written about letting your little birds fly. Soon the only ones left in my nest will be a couple of cats, a dog, a husband, and empty bedrooms for when my babies come home for visits.

I miss my children so much. But I rejoice and treasure the adults I’ve raised. I’d never go back if given the choice to have them small again. I have one more year and another one will be miles away on the other end of a very large state.

So where does that leave us as parents?

You have to let go. At the same time you still need to be there 24/7 in case they still need you.

There will also be changes. They’ll pull away. Hopefully they’ll pull away some because that is part of growing up. But hopefully they’ll stay close.

Like I’ve been saying forever – just keep talking with them. Let them know their thoughts are important. Let them know you understand their fears, and if you don’t understand, then listen but don’t judge. Remember when you were young. I swear I don’t want mine to be like I was, but rather than jumping all over their young butts I encourage them, and again talk to them. And it isn’t like they’re never going to do something weird, but you just have to take it one thing at a time.

No matter what they’ll be, and who they want to be. They’ll be who they need to be. Learn from your mistakes when helping them learn not to make those same mistakes.

I’m just talking and musing today. The the best parent you can be so your kids will be the best they can be.

I know this is simplistic but it seems to work.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the F is wrong with some people (dealing with loud coworkers and others)

In most popular Vampire fiction a great deal is made of biting, specifically “the bite.”

When I write about warm blooded folks do I concentrate on their eating habits. I should. I’m surprised nobody has made a movie about someone attacking their coworkers who sit in the adjoining cubicle (or desk) all day gnashing, smacking, loudly crunching, and slurping food ALL DAY LONG. That does not include the unnecessary scraping of a food container with food long after there is nothing left. It does not include the rattling of wrappers. It does not include the overwhelming aromas of tuna or egg salad that make you want to vomit. The loud bite after bite into the apple a day leads to a headache for you that lasts all day long. THAT my friends is a true horror story. Day after day after day after day of noises that make you want to SCREAM before your head explodes.

But of course in popular culture a Vampire is considered far more glamorous than the average cubicle worker. Sure there are some of those Vampires who let blood drip down their chins and make horrible noises, but seriously, we teach our new Vampires, and our children NOT to behave like that – ever.

Anyway, I guess I should end now. The morning is too young, and my day too busy to go into the types of bites one may get from a Vampire – from quick, to lingering on the erotic.

I don’t know what to do about the coworker situation. It all depends on your company culture. You could go to HR (like they’re going to do anything.) You could go to your boss (who won’t do anything.) Or you could write that script to a horror movie and start a new career.

No matter who you are, always be considerate to others. Teach that to your children. Teach it to your employees. Teach it to your spouse. Teach it to yourself.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/bite/

Listen, and never discount a Vampire who wants to share art with you.

Some people do things oh so frustratingly slow, or weird, or just make me feel like nobody is listening (and I know they aren’t.)

On Thanksgiving I showed my great great great great Grandmama Lola a book to look at. It was an art book. I wanted her to see the artwork. So what does she do? She opens the cover and looks at the first page. Then she slowly turns the next three pages of publisher information. The she gets to the preface – you know those long introductions to art books that NOBODY reads, especially when someone wants you to look at some PICTURES. After she was into the first 15 pages, slowly turning them and not really reading them, wondering why I’d given her this book with so much text, I took the book. Then I opened it up to the start of the 175 pages that were in FULL COLOR of magnificent artwork.

She then slowly turned the pages, looking at all of the art, then proclaimed there were too many religious paintings. Did I mention this book was about Italian Renaissance art? It was.

I said nothing and put the book back on the shelf. My moment sharing Raphael and Michelangelo fell flat.

The whole week seemed to go like that. I was all but invisible wherever I went. Even among friends I was just there. My husband was there, but I was just a shadow most of the time. A few times I managed to make myself known before I was unseen again. Until a few nights ago when I finally found myself around kindred spirits.

When I was a child I was the quiet one. I would sit in corners, or curled in a large chair, and watch, and listen, and remember, and think about what the adults said. I always knew what everyone had done. I knew things children were not supposed to understand.  I also spent a lot of time with books, looking at pictures. I never get tired of art, be it a painting in a museum, or an illustration in a book. It could be an angel, or a landscape, or a diagram the ocean currents. Every image has a story, or a feeling, or something that came out of the head, the hands, the eyes, and the heart of someone else.

Lola is ancient, born in the Middle Ages, but she isn’t feeble minded, or out of touch. She just does things in a different way than I do. It is still damned annoying.

I was out with her recently and she insisted on lingering over her prey, excuse me, a donor. I clenched my fists, then quietly told her that we needed to get in and then get out fast. Unless you’re in a safe situation where you can linger comfortably for hours, you need to get what you need and get out. But noooooo, not Lola. She never listens to me, or any of my concerns. I swear I’m surprised she has lasted as long as she has. And yes, this is a Vampire blog. Why else would I be talking about what Lola does.

Anyway, don’t get between me and my art. Don’t make me feel unsafe or unwanted. And if you don’t listen to me, that is fine. I hear everything, and remember everything. And I still love you, for the most part.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Finish it… odds and ends… That usually means more odds but, whatever.

Before I do anything I need to let EVERYONE know that my short story collection “Morning at the Vineyard” will be FREE on Amazon (download only) October 27 – 31, 2017. It is a fun collection of stories from this blog. Share with your friends. Read it on Halloween. Have fun. Happy Halloween.

Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Morning-Vineyard-Collection-Tangled-Tales-ebook/dp/B00M4V1DGI

I was looking at my blog stats and noticed that someone was looking at random pages of my “Girl in the Woods” online novel. That was supposed to be finished in 2016 but I came to a chapter that needed to be rewritten and I didn’t feel like it, so I ignored it. It didn’t go away. Now it sits there lonely and alone, waiting for that chance reader to come by and read chapter 9 and chapter 19.

Another example is my house. I love my home. It is my dream home. It is a mess. I could clean. I plan on cleaning. So instead I go to the store and buy Twinkies and frosting so I can make Ghosts for a Halloween party this weekend. Actually there are TWO Halloween parties.

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It is a fun and easy project. Get a box of ten Twinkies, a can of white frosting, a tube of black frosting. Spread the white frosting over the Twinkies. Draw faces with the black frosting. Presto – you have a delightful treat. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart. It doesn’t take any time at all. You don’t have to be perfect. Everybody loves these. It will make you laugh. Clara and I made these cuties a few years ago, and we’re doing it again. We don’t eat them (we’d become violently ill) but we have a lot of fun making them.

But back to my house. I wish I had a maid. I’m not a witch so I can’t just snap my finger and make everything clean up itself. To tell the truth most witches can’t do that. I’m not a Disney Princess so I don’t have animal friends who will come do it for me either. With my luck they’d be like my cat and pee all over everything just for spite. He has no reason to feel any spite, but he is a cat. Something was moved, or someone called him an asshole, or the dog looked at him wrong, or the other cat simply exists, so he pees to prove his point. He is a talker too. It isn’t like I’m not listening to him 24/7.

This is the glamorous life of a Vampire. No blood stains to wash out today. No turning into a bat. No cryptic messages from an ancient council of folks who wear robes and chant weird shit. Just a mom, who planted bulbs in the yard today, and who is going to go to the post office in a few minutes, then off to Dave’s Bottle Shop to pick up a few bottles of  Poet’s Blood and a case of Spiced A Positive.

Then we’ll decorate for Halloween.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Marla Todd _ Oscar Gray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Feel Like a Ghost …

“I feel like a Ghost most of the time.”

I listened as my brother Val talked about our family. He is the forth of five children, less than two years my senior. Nobody does listen to him, or to me much. The elder children caught the attention of our parents and wore them out before we were born. They give us bad advice, stupid advice, ignore anything we say, and pretty much discount our opinions.

I always tell my children: Marry an only child who is an orphan. Of course if you’re a Vampire that is pretty easy to do. And you know I’m just joking.

I’ve heard my brother Aaron, the middle child express the same thing. Arron is at a disadvantage in that he is trapped between the elder two, and the younger two. I’d say more in the shadow of the elder two.

I tell Val not to stress, not to worry, and to go on with whatever it is that he is doing. I listen. He listens to me.

Val usually is the most confident of us all and never complains about anything. In his own way he quietly observes the world around him, then he stands back, then he takes action.

So to hear this man, the most loyal and chill, and in many ways strongest, of us all, say he feels unseen makes me wonder what I’ve missed. Actually I haven’t missed anything – I just haven’t said anything.

I spend a lot of time listening to my children. We interact. I listen. I make an effort to engage them. Maybe we need to do that to the adults in our lives more as well. We need to teach our kids to engage, interact, and listen.

A King might have loyal subjects but only if he listens and shows that he cares. Loyalty never comes from fear. It comes from understanding.

I’d like to say that of my loyal followers. I love you and I appreciate you in ways you’ll never know. And I will try to continue to be loyal to you with entertaining posts about parenting, relationships, Vampires, and love … and all that scary stuff too that we love this time of year.

Val and I sat on my back deck under the night sky talking about what we’re up to these days. He has reconnected with a woman he first met in the 80’s – the 1880’s when wewere in London. She wasn’t a Vampire back then, but she is now, and living in San Francisco. He hasn’t told our brothers. I tell him about the kids, and about the books I’m trying to write. He listens. He really listens. He never gives me plot ideas or tell me my stories suck.

So that is it for now for my morning musings. I’ll have more Halloween shenanigans and other silly stuff later this week, plus Vlad has will have a new “Vampire Diary” post.

Thanks for dropping by, xoxoxox.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Val – this song is for you.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/loyal/