Don’t be like me

I frequently tell my kids “don’t be like me.”

I was thinking that as I stood in front of my washing machine trying to get blood and asphalt stains out of my favorite white shirt. I swear, I will never go out for dinner in white again.

Aside from that nothing ever goes quite right or the way it should in my world. Passwords don’t work. Electronics blow up. I become invisible when I need to be seen. I lose everything. I forget everything. I frustrate the hell out of myself at all times.

The one thing I do well is parenting. THAT is one thing I do well because I have no other choice. It is my responsibility to make sure I don’t bring jerks into the world. I also don’t want them to be like me. And while my mistakes follow me like rabid howler monkeys, my children will learn from my mistakes. They will also learn to learn from their own mistakes.

Alright, it isn’t that bad, but one more destroyed shirt just puts me in a bad mood. Plus the fact that it my own stupidity…anyway…

I tell my kids to be like me in the following ways:

Have my sense of humor.

Wear lip gloss (for Clara, not you Garrett.) Light colors look good and take off the Vampire edge.

Wear black.

Adopt shelter animals, but only when you are settled down a bit. Don’t adopt an animal you have to bring back to Mom and Dad to take care of.

 

It isn’t easy being Juliette. So I tell my kids not to be like me.

This is what I tell them.

Brooding. It is hard enough being a Vampire. Try not to brood. I wasted far too many hours in my youth brooding. The same goes for angst. No angst kids. It won’t help with anything and it won’t make you happy.

Smile. Seriously I wish I’d done more of this when I was younger.

Stand tall.

Act like you have power even when you don’t.

Believe in yourself.

Open slammed doors. Pry them open with your cold dead hands.

Learn French and Italian and Spanish. Just because.

Don’t take anything personally. It is all personal but don’t let them know that you know.

When rejection overwhelms you keep trying. No matter how hard it is or how much it hurts keep trying. Even if your fangs hurt and you feel your blood getting warm just keep trying.

Organize. Please do this. Please.

Find your spot.

Don’t let others get you out of your spot.

Fight for your spot.

Keep away from those who dwell in crypts. You don’t need any of their BS. Let them deal with the spiders and crawly bugs with a zillion legs. You don’t need them. Plus they smell bad.

Those of the opposite sex can and will lie to you.

Keep your passion.

Live your passion.

Don’t listen to anyone who wants to stop your passion.

Speak up.

If you love him/her just say it. Either way you’re going to lose them, but you might not.

Write down your passwords (correctly.)

 

The washer is running. I think I’ll be able to save my shirt. Now I have to deal with other weirdness. Have fun.

And I’m fine. Things will continue to break, splat, get lost and go bump in the night. That is OK. It really is.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Superstition Personified…And do you think the good looking guy in the bedroom would be a good Vampire?

 

Was human life as precious in the dark recesses of the past as it is now?

When we dwelt in rude huts and lacked the learning we have now was it less precious? When people were more or less owned by others…

Is it precious now? To some it is, to others depending on various factors it isn’t. Try explaining that to your kids. Try explaining anything the human race does to your kids… go ahead, I dare you. I do it all the time. No problem.

When you spend a century being a superstition personified you tend to see the world in both extremely harsh light and in the faint glow of hope.

My Great Great Great Grandmama Lola once said, “Stop thinking about everything so much Juliette.”

But my brain will not stop the way I can make my heart stop.

And speaking of hearts stopping… One of the most frequent questions I get about this blog (not to mention search terms) is: How do you convert someone into a Vampire? Or variations on that theme.

Lola has turned a great many people into Vampires over the centuries. Like everyone in our family she is quite skilled at it. I also have a natural talent for it. It is a matter of knowing who to turn and who not to turn. Unfortunately many Vampires aren’t as choosy or skilled as we are. That results in, well, bad results. Very bad results.

Anyway, Lola will turn 671 this year (or 1071 depending on who you talk to.) She is old even for a Vampire.

I never know if Lola is telling the truth or not. We’re beyond even caring or trying to figure it out. My children adore her.

At least she sticks with her stories unlike other life long liars who twist and turn the facts and fictitious facts to suit whatever situation they are in at any given moment.

I suspect that every boy I knew growing up, except my brothers (she is after all their Grandmamma), and including my husband, had a crush on her.

Last night it seemed like summer – the heat has already come our way and bats were fluttering around the porch of her cottage. The subject of strange people we’d met came up and we sat giggling like teenagers as we traded our stories.

Lola closed her eyes in the warm breeze then said to me, “Last year I was out walking in the woods one night a few years ago with a young man I’d seduced when we came upon some crazy people standing naked around a bonfire. They were celebrating Summer Solstice. My companion wanted to join them but I held him back chiding him for his stupidity. Honestly what is wrong with people?”

“What did you do?” I had to ask.

She shrugged. “I called the police. They were on private property without permission or a fire permit.”

Next she drained a couple of pints of blood out of her companion and dumped him at the doors of a fire station. He never remembered a thing. Lola is like that. She is unsentimental about her prey. She never harms them but unless it is someone she wishes to keep around she’ll never treat them as if they are special. You’re rarely special in Lola’s universe unless you’re a Vampire.

Of course there have been exceptions over the years but she tends to save her heart for those who aren’t looking to kill her for a second or third time.

“You’re a peculiar little creature,” she always says to me. Then she gives me a fanged smile and tells me to lighten up or to get more serious or to visit her more or something.

Over the years I’ve learned much from Lola. I hope that maybe, just maybe, that she might learn a few things from me, at least about the current century.

She sat across from me in a large lounge chair with elaborately carved griffins on the arms. Her wearing a short black dress and dark gray leggings, she tucked one leg underneath her and stretched the other one out with perfectly manicured silver toe nails shining in the dark. Her dark curls were piled on her head and held with a Sharpie. Her pet armadillo is curled up in a flannel lined box under her chair.

I heard a slight sound of someone moving inside.

That would be Sean. I had him for dinner,” she said.

Right, Sean. He works for the Federal Government and visits her every so often. The both get something out of the deal. I’m waiting for him to fall in love with her, or for her to turn him into a Vampire. But realistically, I don’t think either of those things will happen. Sean is handsome in that sun kissed blonde highlighted California-boy-next-door way. I like Sean.

Lola looks at me and says, “Have either one of your children converted a regular person into a Vampire yet?”

I forgot about Sean and almost spit out my wine. “Excuse me? Of course not. They’re teenagers.”

“Have you trained them yet?”

“No. I haven’t turned anyone in at least thirty-five years.”

“It is time they learn…”

“I don’t even let them drink alcohol, blood from live people, or have sex in my house. I’m sure not going to be encouraging them to turn people into Vampires.”

“Juliette you are too protective…”

“Lola, this isn’t the 12th Century.”

“I was thinking of Sean. I’m quite fond of him and he’d be perfect. He’s an only child with deceased parents, 36 years old with no marriages or children. He has been engaged twice but it never worked out. Nobody would miss him, at least not like parents or a spouse would. Nobody would notice. Besides, he could keep his job until everyone started to notice he wasn’t aging.”

“He might not survive.”

“I’ve checked him out both mind and body. The odds are better than usual.”

We heard a click of a door. “Odds are better than what?” There stood Sean, brushing the blonde hair off of his forehead with his fingers, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans and six-pack abs. No wonder Lola liked to have him around.

“California Chrome,” I said. “Local horse does good.”

He pulled a tee-shirt over his head and joined us on the porch. Lola and I kept giving each other “looks” until we were both laughing. Sean was pretty relaxed about it all. Of course he didn’t know he was sitting between two Vampires.

And that was it. Nothing more to that story for right now. It isn’t like the movies where we go around biting people and tearing out throats and converting everyone we meet into Vampires. It just doesn’t happen that way. You’d hear about it. I’ve written about this before (click here for that.)

I know you’re all expecting me to wrap this up in a nice neat little package with some sort of moral ending. Hmmmm. It does have one. Your children don’t need to rush into anything – not alcohol or sex or relationships or converting people into Vampires. You DO need to teach them to be smart and live with their eyes open (put a rush on that one.) You need to teach them to love and respect others and to respect themselves.

And you need to teach them to watch out for ancient Vampires. They’re fun but don’t believe a word they say. Believe me on that one.

By the way, I did talk to Sean for a while before I left. He is smart and funny. Maybe he would make a good Vampire. That would be up to him, but considering he doesn’t even know Vampires really exist, time will tell.

Have a good weekend everyone. I’ll have more stuff for you later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Lola

Lola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There has to be an app for that… Teens, Communication and Modern Vampire Parenting

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It was a dark stormy night and five Vampires were on their way to the Apple Store at the Galleria (a huge mall.) I hope I can say “Apple” here without having to describe our adventure as “Going to the all white computer shoppe.” We went to look at Macs for Matthew.

Matthew said he would just stay at home and go online. I told him he HAD to go out. He HAD to go out with his teenage son and my teenage son and their friend Randy. If Matthew is to live in the modern world and have a well adjusted son he can’t continue to live in the shadows. That is exactly what he is, or was – a Shadow Creeper. He was one of those old-fashioned Vampires who thinks we’re all still living in a Victorian Costume drama (but not fun like the new Penny Dreadful show.)

Let me give you a little background (do a search and you’ll find more.) A few years back Matthew’s wife was killed by Vampire hunters – stay with me on this – so he was left with a son in a very modern world. He needed help. I help new and old Vampires become Modern Vampires. Plus Matthew’s son Josh is friends with my son Garrett. Josh is a completely Modern Vampire teen. Click here for more background. It is a really lovely and bitter sweet story.

After everyone was buckled in my car and the perfect music mix was found, I told Matthew that I have something in the slow cooker at home if he wanted to come over later. He gave me one of those WTF looks. I gave him a “you’re the creeper here not me,” look.

On occasion we (Modern Vampires) do cook. We eat “real” food. I mean, can you live on just one thing? sure you could but variety is the spice of life, and I’m not just talking different blood types or booze.

Matthew never says much. I can’t get my Modern Vampire men to shut up but Matthew is the silent type, all brooding like he is trying to make women call him Heathcliff and be swept away on some dark moor where he can bite their necks and make love to them and … just poke my eyes out with a stick right now. The guy is handsome enough but the attitude is archaic at best. And no, this time old-fashioned is not charming.

Just getting Matthew to go out wearing something that is more current than 1897 is almost impossible. At least he could move up to the 1950’s. And no I’m not talking really wonderful turned hip 1897. I’m taking ancestor clothing – right out of the crypt suits all faded black and gross despite the perfect cut and beautiful fabric. Tonight, thank goodness, he was wearing black pants with a striped button down shirt and a gray sports jacket. No tie tonight.

Earlier I’d asked my husband Teddy if he wanted to come along. Well, first I asked him if he wanted to work with Matthew. Teddy just laughed and said “This one is yours my dear.” Gee thanks honey.

I explained to dear Teddy that Matthew had spent far too many night looking into dead eyes and dead souls. Matthew lived in a world where the damned watched and waited for his every move. Teddy just gave me a sideways look and said, “he’s just socially awkward.”

“Matthew is a Vampire of an old order,” said I.

“The guy is weird,” said Teddy.

The boys were laughing nonstop from the time we got in the car until we got to the mall. You gotta love teenagers for breaking up a dark dank mood.

We walked through Pottery Barn on the way to the main mall. Matthew perked up a bit. The female clerks all eyed him – the couldn’t help it. No woman can resist a Vampire, even a quiet type like my friend. He asked if we could come back later for some goblets and a few throw pillows in gray and black that caught his eye. Yes, there was hope!

As usual the Apple store was packed. Nice young helpers were there with smiles and unlimited knowledge. The boys were in teenage heaven. Matthew was well, uncomfortable to say the least. The presence of so many regular hot blooded humans was more than the old Vampire could deal with. I took him by the arm and was ready to take him out of the store when an employee came by and asked us if we needed help.

The kid, a twenty something young man, was all happy to help us. I touched his arm and said, “My friend needs a laptop. Help him out.”

I watched as the young man (named Corey) helped Matthew, weaving a web of magic mixed with technology. It wasn’t a sales pitch, it was just sharing of information. I could sense Matthew’s discomfort but at the same time he was mesmerized by what he was seeing and hearing.

When we were ready to go Matthew told me that he had no idea how useful a computer could be for a Vampire. Then he gave me a rare smile and said, “I wish I could keep track and contact with all of the people who’ve taken interest in me tonight.” That was just about everyone in the store. Like I’ve said before, Vampires, especially Vampire men get a lot of attention when they go out in public. You don’t know why you’re so attracted to that guy but you are.

I mentioned there was an app for that. He didn’t get my joke. I wasn’t going to tell him twice. Not tonight at least.

On the way out he was more comfortable and absolutely charming in Pottery Barn. The Vampire was in his homebody element. He ended up coming home with a new laptop, four beautiful pillows, twelve goblets in two different patterns and I believe five phone numbers from women who couldn’t resist his quiet awkward sexy charm. Excuse me while I laugh after writing that last sentence.

I asked him if he’d talked to his son Josh much about modern life among the non-Vampire population.

Matthew said “He doesn’t say much to me.” I knew they had a close quiet home life with little talking. More than anything Josh had been teaching his father. There still was a lot Matthew could teach Josh. Heck, the guy is almost 300 years old – that is a lot of experience even if it is mostly in the dark. On the other hand, Matthew was in the dark about so many things. He was uncomfortable with so many things.

I keep stressing to Matthew that he has to talk with Josh about any subject that comes up. Since I got a jump start on subjects like sex, drugs, reputation, college, work, hard work, relationships, responsibilities of Modern Vampires, money, communication, courtesy and grace, getting along, friendship and fashion sense, I don’t have a lot of parenting items to discuss. Not today at least. Our little world here at Vampire Maman is quiet. With Mother’s Day coming up and all I can honestly say that I’ve done a good job. We don’t have screaming matches with teens in my house, well except for yelling GET UP NOW in the morning.

So right… if you have younger children get a jump start on those subjects. You should never be uncomfortable talking to your children – especially about sex, drugs, reputation and other social issues. Tell them the truth. Be blunt where you need to. Tell them about consequences – and I mean long term consequences to things they do now. It is ok to scare the shit out of them sometimes – if it is the truth.

They’re your kids and you are in charge. There is no reason to squirm.

If you have teens surprise them with your straight talk. They’ll be shocked but after that more than likely they’ll respect you for it as long as you’re open for discussion.

Even quiet types can find ways to express themselves. I mean it. They really can. There’s an app for that. HA.

As Matthew and Josh left my house later that evening I yelled out to the them, “Hey Matthew, Happy Mother’s Day.”

He turned back and smiled then put his arm around his son and laughed.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

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More news…

For Mother’s Day I’m taking a car load of teens to see Twenty One Pilots. Fun. I’ll sing along to House of Gold. More on that. Maybe I’ll LIVE post from my magic little white box (aka my kind of smart phone) to the blog here.

 

We all have our teaching moments… everyday should be like that or at least a learning moment: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/student-teacher/

 

 

Write or Wrong…

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When you write a blog you learn how to write fast and dirty (not THAT kind of dirty but you could if you are so inclined to.) You learn to spit out ideas faster than hillbillies at a tobacco chewing contest. OK I had to say that.

This morning I was having coffee in my kitchen with my Grandmama Lola. She isn’t your typical grandmama because she looks younger than I do and was born the same year as Jeffery Chaucer. Yes, the Canterbury Tales guy. And why yes, she is a Vampire. So am I.

Now that we have that out of the way…

We were looking out the window at the bird feeder I’d just installed on my deck. The cats of course took great interest in it. This this cold morning the large oak trees are full of tiny song birds but they’re cautious about going to the new feeder. No doubt they smell the cats.

That is the way it is with us. We’re cautious where we feed. And don’t worry, I’m not going to get all dark and morose on you.

Lola asked how my teens were doing with their “donors”, that is finding regular humans to get blood donations from. I haven’t covered that subject much in this blog, but it IS called “Musings of a Modern VAMPIRE Mom.

They’re doing great. They have down the quick trance, a quick pint from the wrist, seal the wound and heal it, leave sweet thoughts in the mind of the donor. Garrett, who turns 18 in a short 4 months is now going for necks, but only when it is completely safe. His dad has been working on him with that. You know, it is the usual parenting stuff. You teach your kids what they need to know to survive in the world.

Yes, it has been a while since I’ve written any Vampire specific parenting posts.

It is just one of those mornings with coffee and Lola. She has years of stories and tales for my teens that could teach them about the dangers of being a Vampire. There are dangers being anything these days. The news is full of stories that scare the bejeebers out of any parent.

The little birds continue to be cautious. They’ll relax soon as the scent of cat soaked up by the afternoon sun.

I was telling Lola about the plot of a novel I’m working on. I asked her about some historical details and she leaned back and smiled at me.

“I’m so glad you’re writing. I don’t know how you just come up with your stories. You’re so young,” she said.

154 years young. But yes, I do come up with stories. I need to do something with those stories.

The longer I go I realize that it would be wrong to keep those stories to myself. A new year is here. A new story, just like the new bird feeder. I’m cautious now but after a while I won’t be. And I know, just like the bird feeder will be full, my mind will be full of ideas and stories and what it takes to keep me fed.

So all of that mused upon and said here… No matter what you do, no matter what feeds your soul, don’t be afraid to taste and savor and then share.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Yes Virginia – Santa is a Vampire!

All Animals Love Santa

All Animals Love Santa

Winter is here with enough bite to freeze the slow beating heart of almost any Vampire.

My mom used to say to us “Don’t stop your heart or your blood will freeze.”

It is one of those things we have to think about, sometimes. I don’t recall ever telling my own children that, or any other “new” Vampires. 

Funny how one thinks of those sayings.

The first bat of the night is a wish. The next is a kiss. 

Bad blood is only in the soul.

Dance from dusk to dawn then sleep as if there is no sun.

As a mother (in the 1850’s and 60’s) with a rather large brood of young vampires (4 boys and 1 girl) my mom took advantage of the holidays in a big way. It was her time to celebrate and bring out the cheer. She was glad to get rid of the musty old gloom of the old days and embrace the Modern Vampire movement. 

At the same time a young artist named Thomas Nast created the iconic image of the American Santa Clause. Old Saint Nick was pretty awesome, but Santa was one of our own.

Jolly Old Vampire

Jolly Old Vampire

Yes, Santa Clause is a Vampire – that is a fact:

  1. He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you are awake.
  2. He only comes out at night.
  3. Nobody ever sees him.
  4. He has been around for centuries.
  5. He can see in the dark.
  6. Red is his favorite color.
  7. He is jolly (hey, we’re jolly).
  8. He likes kids.
  9. He is an icon of popular culture.
  10. He knows who has been good and who has been bad.
  11. Despite his size he can get in and out of any building.
  12. He can make animals that normally live on the ground fly.
  13. Dogs and cats like him (all animals like Vampires because we understand them.)
  14. He makes people happy (don’t argue this point. Check my previous posts.)
  15. He rocks the red suit!

An interesting fact that all teens should know (and their parents): Thomas Nast was only 19 when he started to create illustrations for Harper’s Weekly. Let that sink in. He was only 19.  Let that inspire you.

Plus Thomas Nast rocked the facial hair.

Thomas Nast rocking the facial hair

Thomas Nast rocking the facial hair

So if you see that jolly old elf this Christmas season shake his hand and know that it isn’t the weather that is making that hand cold.

 

xoxoxo

Happy Holidays

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Evolution – For the moon shines bright on those who love

starsI have to admit there have been times when I’ve stopped in my own tracks, dead still, heart almost stopped, cold and in a panic of remorse and dread thinking of something I did in the past. Then I close my eyes, take a deep breath and wonder who the Hell was that person I was a long time ago. She doesn’t exist, or at least not in that form.

Chocolate starts out as bitter dust but then one adds sugar or spices to become a sweet temptation or a wonderful mole. Then again, that is too easy of an analogy for Vampires, and Regular Humans for that matter.  We’re not  something to be merely spiced up. In fact, sometimes spicing up will only do damage and make something wonderful taste bad (or something bad taste even worse). The same goes for adding too much sugar.

I’ve been helping out some fellow Vampires lately – those who are new at being Vampires and those who are adjusting to the modern world we all share – that is what I do. Long story – but I’m fairly good at it.

My young Vampire friend Cody has done remarkably well. He and his ex-girlfriend became Vampires about two years ago. He made it through the change quite well both physically and emotionally. She, unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, not so well.

But things were not always so easy. Cody has a tremendous support system and has been given all the resources and training a new Vampire could every want or imagine. It saved his life and he can respect that.

Unfortunately not all new Vampires can adjust to the change, especially if it wasn’t their choice.

I wanted Cody to meet Matthew, a very old Vampire who has had to recently come into the Modern Vampire world. As we waited for Cody to arrive Matthew and I talked in quiet tones, close as Vampires do.

One can’t live in old castles and in the dark corners or shadows when one has a teenager.  Matthew was an old fashioned Vampire with a Modern Vampire son. This happens a lot. Not just with Vampires but with all sorts of people. Maybe not as much as in the 1960’s and 70’s (I’m just thinking about recent history you all might remember) but it happens. The world is constantly changing and it is always a challenge to parents.

Today was one of those “stop in your tracks” kind of days for Matthew, the old fashioned Vampire who was trying to be a Modern Vampire. On the surface he could pass for any 30 something guy who dressed better than average and looked a little more appealing than average.  Underneath he was a creature of darkness and cold, who’d lived that past few centuries more or less hiding out, lurking in the shadows, seeing the people who live in the light of day as both prey and predator.

When one who was born with a gentle soul is violently made to change into something that goes against the knowledge of everything they’ve ever known to be true, it takes a while getting used to. Stress and trauma can last for years.

Sometimes we must put aside what happened and move forward. Easier said than done. But we can’t let the trauma define us or enslave us or rule us. We accept it and move on – evolve to something new – something better – something stronger.

Like I just said, it is easier for me to write those words than to snap my fingers and make it happen. One can’t just say, “get over it” to someone and expect it to be a one size fits all answer for everything. That is just mean and often shows a total lack of understanding.

So back to my Vampires, for I do consider them mine, for that is what I do. I help Vampires who need help adjusting to new situations. New Vampires learning the ropes or old Vampires who wish to become more Modern. It isn’t easy – but it can be interesting and rewarding and a chance to discover one’s self. It is a chance to start over. It is an opportunity to clean out the cobwebs that clog one’s brain and heart.

Matthew is doing his best not to brood. Vampires are good at brooding – really good. But brooding isn’t productive or positive especially if one is a parent. Sorry to all of you brooders out there, but in my humble opinion (ok, not so humble) parents should not brood. And easy way to remember that is “don’t brood over your brood.”

But I’m getting off subject and don’t really even remember what I was going to write about much less a subject (so I’ll call it musings). Anyway…

Matthew talked of his son, born a Vampire, now without a mother, in a new town, a new school and 16 years old. Josh was such a typical Modern Vampire teen that I had to congratulate the awkward Matthew for doing such a good job. Matthew was definitely a master at what I call Deliberate Parenting – that is thinking about how you parent and how your child will fare in the world because of that.

The old Vampire Matthew had issues with his own life but he didn’t want to pass those issues on to his son.  He wanted his son to be strong and successful and most of all happy.

We talked quietly, Matthew and I.  It was the little things that he could relate to. He smiled when I told him Cody was getting romantically involved with my Grandmamma Lola (much to my chagrin.) Matthew had known Lola years ago, hundreds of years ago, before the Modern Vampire Movement. Anyway, we spoke of a lot of things and eventually I could see the cobwebs and shadows that covered his eyes start to vanish, especially when we spoke about his son Josh.

“I can sometimes remember before I was a Vampires,” Matthew began. “I wasn’t always the kind of person I want my son to be. I thought this was my punishment until I met Josh’s mother. She was so strong and wanted for both of us to make a new start through our own child. It seemed so unrealistic, but we were determined to be good parents and the kind of parents…” He looked away, unable to finish. I took his cold hand in mine.

“You’re a good father Matthew. You’re one of the best. Josh is a great kid.”

He squeezed my hand, just slightly, I could feel his heart speed up just a bit, from almost stopped to slow and steady.

So when it all comes down to it, our kids live now, and so we need to appreciate their world and help guide them into the future. For our children are the future – not only our future, but more so theirs.

And since the future belongs to all of us, we can put away any ghosts of our personal pasts that haunt us. For the moon shines bright on those who love, and learn and evolve and hope.

So today – go hug your kids, your friends, your parents, your cats…your Vampires.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman