Solstice

Summer Solstice

Summer Pinup

 

Today is the first day of summer. It doesn’t mean we’re going to have a chanting ceremony to ancient gods or seek out rocks to hug. We’re Vampires, so we’re not chanters. The first day of summer means the Giants are playing the Padres tonight.

This morning was special. I took the dog out at 5:00 a.m. this morning. The sky was just starting to light up. Just as the sun showed itself over the edge of the hills I heard an eagle cry out. Welcome summer.

Welcome a new day. Welcome 100 degree F plus weather.

My dog has gone into a deep depression because I no longer take her everywhere with me. She doesn’t understand that it is too hot to leave her in the car, even with the windows rolled down. Poor baby.

We will do what we must do to keep cool, just hoping that nobody will end up being trapped under cool crawl spaces, only to have someone (me) rescue them fifty years later. I stress this because when my brother Aaron and his “friend” Austin come across some dried up old Vampire I’m the one they call because they’re too big to get up under there.

“Never volunteer to crawl under a house,” I tell my children. “Unless it is someone you know. But it won’t be someone you know because you’ll make sure all of your friends are smart enough not to do anything like that.”

Summer is a time for night walks, and night swims. I wish it was also a time for night blooming flowers but not so much in my yard. Of all things, I am a collector of day lilies. I’m also growing sunflowers but don’t expect blooms until September.

In the meantime here are a few of my blooms. Vampires are fantastic gardeners. I bet you didn’t know that about us. We feed our plants with water and great amounts of love from our cold unbeating hearts.

 

 

We think of a lot of things in the summer. Two of those things are frogs and heat. 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 – like a great big bull frog. 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 105 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.

If you have anyone in your world who is elderly, or otherwise needs help, please check on them in the hot weather. Make sure they are getting plenty of liquids and are staying cool. Local park and recreation districts often have events, such as free movies, during the week for seniors and others. There are also libraries and other public places people can go to for a few hours to read and cool off. Our you can check and make sure your loved one has turned on the air conditioning. Depression era babies who are now elderly often refuse to turn on the air conditioner because they’re afraid it might cost a few extra pennies – even if they can afford it. PLEASE convince them otherwise.

If they’re vampires they’ll just dry up, but that is a fairly easy fix. If they’re regular humans they could become extremely ill or die.

So please. Check in on them. Call them. Take them out for ice cream. Show that you care. It could be a matter of life or death.

Also, remember when it is blistering hot outside your dog’s paws will burn on hot streets and sidewalks. Take your pooch out in the mornings or evenings, or get it booties. Nobody needs a trip to the veterinarian.

Summer is here. It is a time of summer love. It is a time of fun. It is a time for vacations, breaks, and concerts in the park. Enjoy it for what it is. But shouldn’t we just be enjoying everything for what it is. OK not everything. No. Not everything. But you know what I mean.

Awww man, it’s time for summer music and a road trip.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Heat, Religion, Frogs, and Old People

Summer is Here! Bake it baby (or if you’re smart you’ll stay someplace cool)

 

I could wax poetically about temperature but it is in the triple digits farenehight outside. Any wax is going to melt and I’m not feeling too poetic.

Yesterday afternoon, a man came to my church asking about my religious beliefs. I ended up with a brochure about “original sin,” something which I do not believe in. Sure some people are born evil. Some are born without souls, and I’ll freely admit that. I’ve met them. But the average little baby isn’t chock full of sin, like a dead deer full of maggots on a hot summer day, so don’t even make that comparison or even suggest to me EVER that babies are full of sin. Sheesh.

I should have given the poor man a glass of water but he was so crisp and unflappable looking that I assumed he had a cooler in his car (which could have been full of beer and Jello shots as far as I know.)

At the time I was holding a large German Shepard by her collar with the door cracked open. I should have never answered but it is usually a friend or a neighbor when someone comes a calling, especially when it is so stupidly hot outside.

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

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: The Bat

The Bat – An Austin and Elizabeth Story, Part 15

Elizabeth stopped on the brick walkway of her arts and crafts style home to find a dead bat implied on the heel of her red shoe. She pried the tiny black body off and held the small cold creature in the palm of her hand.

“I am so sorry dear friend,” she whispered. Wrapping the tiny body in a dish towel Elizabeth said a few words wishing the creature peace and buried it in her front flower bed.

Going back inside she changed her dress and shoes. Looking up at a portrait of a man on her living room wall she said, “I should just stay home. I don’t have anything in common with these people.”

Knowing the answer would be what she wanted to hear, she left for her boyfriend Austin’s house.

Boyfriend was an odd term to use. They were adults. They were emotionally and physically involved in a precarious way she couldn’t even begin to understand. The guy was both sensitive and ruthless. He was loving and heartless. He was…he just was. A man who both made her more comfortable and more edgy than she’d ever been.

Elizabeth didn’t bother to knock when she arrived at his home. The front room was alight with candles and full of people mingling with cocktails and wine. Austin was always the best of hosts. Twinkle lights adorned the back porch and yard. She found her man in the kitchen engaged in a lively discussion about the past and future of the city they lived in. He kissed her lightly and made introductions.

Classes at the university were out for the summer. Time for a party. Austin was a history professor so there was a good share of instructors and graduate students. There were others there as well, those who worked on historic restorations (Austin’s other speciality) as well as others. She had no idea she’d be so involved with someone who was so social.

She had no idea she had become involved with a man who was so popular and well likes.

Later, in a rare moment alone in the backyard, he ran a hand down her arm then pulled her into an embrace. “Mmmmm, you feel good, so cool in the heat.”

“Is that the only reason you like me?” She asked as she put her forehead against his.

“One of the benefits of being involved with a Vampire. Summers are hot around here. I’d recommend one of your kind to anyone.”

He kissed her and said, “I love you Elizabeth.” Then he winked at her and left to attend his other guests.

Elizabeth stood alone in the heat of the night not knowing what to feel. His kiss still lingered on her lips, almost hot. She could almost taste his blood.

Back inside she helped him open more wine and put out food. On and off she’d feel the touch of his hand on her shoulder, or on the small of her back, or his hand brushing hers in a quick squeeze.

Later, after the guest had gone, Austin asked her why she arrived so late.

“I stepped on a bat. It was dead so I buried it.”

“What about rabies?”

“I can’t get rabies. I’m already sort of dead.”

“Ahhh Miss Sunshine.”

“It was so small and sad.” Then a cold tear rolled down her cheek. She didn’t even know why. It was just a bat.

Austin took her hand and led her upstairs where he made love to her. Several hours later, as she lay in his arms, listening to his heart beat and the blood surge through his veins, she glanced out of the open window. Several small bats flew in random patterns in the trees outside. Small creatures of the night. She’d always heard that in some places in the world bats were considered good luck. In her world they were the best of luck, especially tonight.

He’d told her that he loved her. It wasn’t the first time. She knew the time would come when she’d have to give him the choice, to be like her or to have her leave.

Until then she’d savor the night and savor the man who slept in a warm cozy slumber beside her.

Vampire maman heart

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For more of The Hunter Series CLICK HERE.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Hotter than the pavement outside – Vincent Price!

It is too hot to even think right now – about 107 F outside and the air conditioning isn’t what it should be…so I’m re-posting something hotter than the pavement in front of my house – Vincent Price.

Enjoy and stay cool!

You might just remember Vincent Price from all of the old Poe related and vampire movies. Watch this and you’ll change your mind (click here).

Warning ladies: You’ll want to watch it over and over and over. You’ll swoon for sure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwxtj0ZKgrg&feature=fvwrel