Burning Question #28: Apple Pie

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Pie!

There are all sorts of pies. Everybody has a favorite.

This is the time of year when the new crops of apples are being harvested. So APPLE PIE is the subject of today’s feel good, non-offensive BURNING QUESTION.

There are some who say, “Actually, apple pie isn’t American.” Shut your pie hole. Nothing is more American than Apple Pie. That is like saying “BBQ isn’t American because the current breeds of cattle used for commercial use originally came from Scotland.”

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Yes, we all went to school with that kid. Our kids had to deal with them. We’ve worked with that guy. Dude, chill. It is just a saying. Now go get yourself a piece of apple pie with ice cream on it and feel good about yourself and the people around you (yes, this IS a parenting blog too.)

Apple pie is universal. Where there are apples there is pie.

Apple Pie.

Everybody loves pie. Even I, who has to say no to most pie (because I’m a Vampire) love pie, or at least the idea of pie.

I once made an apple pie with no recipe. It actually turned out really great. Woo Hoo. The key is to not make the apples too sweet. When in doubt go light on the sugar. The second key is to keep the shortening or butter in the crust COLD COLD COLD and don’t over mix it. That way it will turn out nice and flakey. And one more thing – ALWAYS use good crisp tart apples. Granny Smiths are good. Stay away from Fuji apples for pie. They’re great for eating but not so much for pie. However if you throw in a couple of Golden Delicious (not the red) it adds a nice naturally sweet flavor.

Juliette Trivia: I like to bake more than I like to eat what I bake. I’m not even tempted to eat it. I like giving it away.

Apple Trivia: Apples were first cultivated in Centeral Asia, but they have been cultivated in Asia and Europe for thousands of years. The European settlers brought apples to America (and Canada and Mexico.)  Wherever people go they bring their apples with them.

My children did not learn about Johnny Appleseed in school. When I told them about him they thought it was a weird story.

This week’s burning question will leave with all kind of warm and fuzzy fall fun. How do you like your apple pie?

 

 

Should Apple Pie be eaten plain, with cheddar cheese or with vanilla ice cream?

 

 

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Honey, don’t you need a pot holder? You can tell she is some sort of paranormal person, because otherwise her hand would be burning.

If you have more thoughts on pie let me know. Leave something nice (like pie) in the comment section. If apple isn’t your favorite tell me what is? Or do you prefer savory pie. Or are you feeling like math today and pi? Please share.

Check back next week for another BURNING QUESTION. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Ask Juliette: Odd Dreams, Relationships, Possums, and a Question About the Vampire King.

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Dear Juliette,
It appears that I have had several dreams of being a vampire however in all my dreams I always simply wake up before another dream of being a vampire in a different time era comes to be there is more tendencies that I tend to have but do not disclose almost all of these however have a blood red moon before I wake I don’t know if you have any insight on this but my dreams are not always the same sometimes I’m a vampire other times a Lycan I feel like something inside is trying to reach out to me…

You might just be having random dreams. We all do. On the other hand you might have a Vampire messing with you. We’ll do that you know – give you dreams. Maybe you remind someone of times gone by. Maybe they have a crush on you. An overly romantic vampire can be more than a pain in the neck; they can mess with your sleep as well. I hope you don’t ever become a Werewolf/Lycan. Oh man, they don’t walk and easy path. Stay away from those wolf-folk. Stay away. If you’re watching a lot of vampire movies or reading a lot of vampire fiction it might be time to give it a break for a bit. On the other hand write it all down. You might have a best seller on your hands.  

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Dear Juliette,
How can I tell if my boyfriend is a troll? He stays up all night pounding on the underside of a bridge asking crossing goats how to become a Vampire… wait. Never mind.

You might consider counseling on your choice of romantic partners. I’m pretty sure the guy is a troll, or at least a creep. Seriously there are a lot of great guys out there who are already Vampires (and they’re totally cold and hot.) And stay away from guys who try to pick up on strange goats.

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Dear Juliette,
When is it time to give up on my art?

Never.

 

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Dear Juliette,
I think possums are cute. Am I weird?

People who don’t like possums are weird. You’re just fine.

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Dear Juliette,
I have to ask you about your posts about Vlad of “Vampire Diary” fame. Is he based on Vlad the Impailer? Is he based on Dracula? Why is he living in surburbia if he is the Vampire King? That doesn’t make sense. He should be in LA or New York City living in a penthouse or a lavish mansion ruling this new Vampire kingdom and followers. I understand that he is sexy and dangerous but why add all of the cuteness. He is a cold powerful Vampire not some guy out of a Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts novel. Who is that idiot Randolpho he hangs out with? Just asking for a friend.

Uh hem (that was me clearning my throat.)

No, he is not based on that violent ugly little shit soulless Vlad the Impailer. He is not based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He is living in surburbia because it is comfortable and he can have a little peace. He lives in a very nice upper middle class neighborhood with lovely people. He isn’t in LA or New York City because he just wants to be low key for a while. Yes, it would be easy for him to jump right into being Vampire King but he is still trying to navigate living in the 21st Century. Now about the cute thing… Vlad is really cute. He is powerful. He can be quite dangerous and cold. He could be a guy in a Nora Roberts novel but he isn’t. Nicholas Sparks? Maybe not, but hey, Vlad can be a sensitive guy. As for Randolpho…he and Vlad have been friends since childhood. So what if you think he is an idiot. A good friend is a beautiful thing, even if you’re a Vampire. Jeeze, that was weird. Go take a chill pill or something. 

And if you’re reading this and don’t know about Vlad’s Vampire Diary CLICK HERE.

 

Ask Juliette

 

 

 

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire) is a somewhat frequent feature on Vampiremaman.com

If you have a question about ANYTHING (Vampires, relationships, parenting, life, weird stuff, etc.) just leave a comment here or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail. com

Thanks for dropping by and have fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: A Man Should Have What He Wants

Note: Welcome. I’m away today seeking cooler weather (under triple digit) so enjoy this “classic VM rerun.”

Tangled Tales

A Man Should Have What He Wants

A Nasty Little Vampire Story from Juliette aka Vampire Maman  

A house full of books and the ghosts of what could have been.

What can be. Oliver Thomas thought as he sat on the edge of the bed.

He never let himself get close to those he visited over the years. It was easy to become detached just as one could be detached to an apple or a head of lettuce.

She slept quietly. On the nightstand were books, earrings, a clock set for 5:00 a.m., and her glasses. Her husband was snoring and slept in another room. Her children were tucked into their dreams. Oliver made sure of that. They’d all be asleep.

Oliver Thomas kept coming back to her. She was different, by her own accord. Amanda had always been different – the type who saw the world in visions and possibilities. Someone who overcame obstacles.  If she grew to be old she’d be a sweet eccentric with her window boxes full of exotic flowers and vast knowledge of the obscure and unusual.

She had a hard time making friends due to her shyness and reluctance to follow up. Her fear of rejection paralyzed her in some areas of her life. Most of life was paralyzing but she seemed to thrive and succeed.

Yet, the woman could light up a room with her wit and charm. She was a success despite her low opinion of herself.

But he’d fallen in love with her in a strange way that someone falls in love with an idea of perfection and the ideal person to share life’s adventures with.

Her teenage kids still hung all over her like toddlers, leaning on her even now. They were taller than she was, dressed in their black band shirts with trendy long hair and black painted nails.  Oliver had seen Amanda once, her son with his lanky arm around her shoulder, her daughter with an arm around her waist. How many women, he wondered, envied her for the closeness she had with her children.

If it wasn’t for her children she might have checked out and left the world a long time ago. Since childhood Amanda had been uncomfortable with life and the tremendous effort it took for her to live with herself and her failures.

Oliver saw that Amanda had failed to see her success, except with her children. He didn’t want to think of her marriage with Craig. It worked better than most. In fact, for the most part, her marriage to Craig was an uncommon success.

Craig, the handsome and successful husband, was the love of her life. Even in her dreams Amanda couldn’t cheat on Craig. They’d built a life together. For her that was enough. More than enough she told herself.

But Oliver knew it wasn’t enough. Amanda found her life in others but kept her secret soul and passions locked up, bound in shadows and secrets.

At one time, Oliver and Amanda had been lovers. The memory of her warm skin, her lips on his own, her hands in his hair and her passion haunted him. He’d come and gone from her life assuming she’d always be there.

Now he was only with her in the dream world of the night.  She’d remember him in another time and place in long lost memories of centuries past. She’d think she’d had a life in another time with him, a past life of possibilities and promise and passion.

An unlikely candidate this middle aged working mom, too tired and busy  to think of herself except when she let her imagination fly as she commuted to school and work in her car each morning, or when she dozed off at night in her own secret places.

The passions were still in her, as it had been when she was young. How could that be?  He kissed her then buried his face into her neck and when he’d had enough of her he silently left her with dreams of passion and desire.

The following evening Oliver looked up from his desk and there she was, standing in the doorway. Black dress, apple green sweater, black heels. The blue Coach bag, a 50th birthday present from her husband was slung over her shoulder. She looked she owned the world, but she still didn’t think she was beautiful.

How did she find me here? I never told her where I live?

“Amanda.” He said her name as if in a dream.

“Don’t Amanda me Oliver. I want you to leave me alone.”

He stood and approached her with his hands held out. “It was always the wrong time or place for us.”

She stepped back ignoring his open arms. “Don’t even start with me Oliver. It would have never worked. You always said I was too independent. Then you turned around and called me needy.”

“I never said any of those things.” He was shocked by her accusations.

“You didn’t have to say it. You made it obvious you were thinking it.”

He didn’t respond. This wasn’t the time for the witty dialog they’d shared in the past, the long talks through the night or the sweet lover’s words.

“Amanda, you can’t stand there before me and say that with a straight face.”

She looked at the floor then looked up straight into his eyes. “You never told me you loved me.”

“I didn’t have to.”

“Bull shit. You just expected me to hang around and wait for you to come in and out of my life. It got old Oliver. But it doesn’t matter. I’m married to a man who loves me the way I am.  I’m successful, happy and I love my life.”

“I doubt if Craig realizes what a fortunate man he is.”

“He knows.”

“Did you ever tell him about me?” Oliver took a step forward. Amanda folded her arms as if to shut him out.

“I haven’t told anyone about you. They’d all think I was nuts. Just like my Aunt Margaret when she talked about her Vampire.”

“You still love me Amanda.” Oliver said those words quietly with such passion that almost no woman would be able to resist. No woman except Amanda.

She turned and left, slamming the door behind her.

Oliver watched from the window as she got in her car and drove away. The slightest hint of regret surged through his dark thoughts. He’d never meet another who captured his heart and his passions like she had.  He’d never meet anyone who made him laugh or feel the joy of being like Amanda had.

Oliver heard the steps behind him but didn’t turn around. A warm hand caressed his shoulder.

“Is she gone?” The speaker was obviously annoyed.

“Yes.”

“Does she have any idea I’m here?”

“No.”

Craig looked out the window. “Good. Where do we go from here?”

“Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?”

“My son is an Emo freak who acts in plays and writes poetry for fun. My daughter won’t talk to anyone unless it’s a text. My wife is never going to lose the baby fat or stop telling stupid jokes or snoring or complaining how hard she works. It wasn’t what I signed up for.”

“I understand.”

“Just for once I want what I want. I don’t want to go home to a woman who is tired all the time and can’t even comprehend my needs.”

“What about your children? You must care about them on some level.”

“They’ll be fine without me. Amanda will have two million dollars in life insurance to get the kids through college. There’s another 10 million in assets she can sell off if she has to. She’ll make sure her children have wonderful memories of me.”

“The news of your death will break her heart.”

Craig scowled at Oliver. “Amanda is already so miserable she won’t even notice. She’ll be happy to be the unfortunate widow and bask in the glow of her own sorrow. I’m doing her a favor by dying rather than divorcing her.”

“And your girlfriends?” Asked Oliver.

“They’re whores who think they can get ahead by sleeping with the CEO. They’ll both get their pink slips next week. So now what?”

Oliver went back around to his desk and sat in the antique leather chair. “Your car will be found in the river and it will be assumed your body was washed away with the currents. Your wallet and a few clothing items will be found washed up on a beach. It will be assumed that you died.”

“So when do I change?”

“Change?”

“When do I become like you? A Vampire.” Craig asked this impatiently almost sounding like a spoilt teen.

Oliver took a deep breath and answered him. “Tonight if you want, but I’d rather wait until tomorrow.”

Craig leaned on the desk close to the Vampire. “I want this Oliver. I want my freedom.”

“You’ll get what you want Craig.”

“Oliver, I’m telling you…”

Craig started to speak but Oliver held up his hand. “We’ll take my jet to Rome in the morning. By the time we get there you’ll be a different man. The old Craig will be gone forever. In the meantime, you need to see your children one last time.”

Amanda sat in the high school auditorium waiting for the play to start. A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Her son played Lysander and her daughter was playing Puck.

Craig had called earlier to tell her he was working late. He’d been sorry to miss the play but said he’d see it on closing night next weekend. She thought she was going to throw up. She pulled out her phone and listened to the message she’d received right after she’d seen Oliver.

A sing song girlish voice said “Mandy, I mean Amanda, this is Trinity, Craig’s assistant. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been sleeping with your husband for about two years. He said I did all those nasty fetish things you wouldn’t do and I believed him. I really really loved him and would have done anything but he dumped me for Tara Hall. She’s like the VP of Marketing.  They’ve been doing it since October so he was two timing on me too. Stupid puke. So when he says he is gone on business he’s really with her. I just thought you’d want to know because you seem like a nice lady.”

It was the fifth time she’d listened to it. Each time she’d hoped she’d heard it wrong but that wasn’t the case.

A text came in from Craig saying he had a change of plans and was on his way.

Concentrate. Don’t think about him. It isn’t true. He’ll be here any minute. Don’t cry.

The house lights went down and the play started.

Oliver Thomas stood on the side of the river and watched the emergency crews on the opposite shore drag out a sliver convertible, the headless body of the driver still strapped in the seat. Some unfortunate member of the police department would find sightless eyes attached to a severed head staring up at him from the floor of the passenger seat.

Witnesses said another car had forced him off the road. The convertible rolled and went into the water. It had been too dark to get any plate numbers or a good description of the other car.

Craig wanted to be free of his wife and children. A man should have what he wants after all.

Now Oliver would do it right. He’d wait a few months, he had time and he’d be there for Amanda and her children, like he should have been all along.

 

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Savor the Summer. They’re growing up but they still need us.

Summer is officially here. It isn’t June 21 yet, but it is hot, summer school starts today, and I’m juggling a new season of activities. Yes, all of you parents out there, parenting does not end when your kids turn 18. It just goes into a different universe. For me that has been a nice mellow universe.

My son’s best friend Randy came over this morning. He has grown up since I started this blog from a funny skinny kid with long blonde hair and a fondness for orange plaid, to a gown man with broad shoulders, a man bun, and still a unique sense of style.

Being an adult Vampire is easy in college. Students live in close quarters. There are parties every night. The bar scene is big for the over 21 crowd. But unlike creepy Vampires in a lot of fiction, one can’t stay in college forever, even if you still look like a college student.

You never want someone to tell you “Bruce Springsteen’s song Glory Days was written about you.” Never. Believe me, you NEVER want anyone to say or even think that. Even if you’re not a Vampire you never want anyone to say that.

Randy sad down with me over coffee and we talked about his life. He is working for my brother Aaron this summer to see if he might like to work in a law office.

“I’m excited about my last year of college, but being a Vampire. Like, we’re supposed to be on top of things, but going out there in the big world, maybe to a place where there might not be a lot of us is kind of scary.”

“It can be scary,” I said. “But you won’t be alone. You’re family, you’re community, all of us are here for you.”

“I know. The worst part is not knowing if I’ll always look like I do not, or if I’ll end up aging out to my 30’s.”

“Don’t worry about it. Your parents aged out in their late twenties. I bet you will to.”

“I don’t want to look twenty-one forever. Well, twenty-two in August.”

We talked for a bit more when my son Garrett showed up with new hiking boots and a bag full of hair products. Ah, my well-rounded son.

 

I love the fact that no matter how old my children’s friends get, they will always be welcome in my home. I will always be there for them to talk, and for a hug when needed.

Nobody at any stage of life, be it Middle School, or the seasoned 457 year old Vampire knows what the future will bring. We all need support from teacher other at all stages of life. Like I’ve said before, our kids learn from us, and we can learn from them.

The key is just to be there for each other. And rather than rush to judgment, and throw them in the pool before they learn to swim, we need to let them go their own pace and test the waters, and know we’re here if they need a rope.

Summer is here. We’ll be taking some short trips to the beach and the woods. We’ll be going to the book stores and taking the dog out more. We’ll be talking a lot, and laughing, and learning, and savoring our time together until the boys have to go back for their last year of college.

Have a great week everyone, and savor your time with those you love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Burning Question #11: I had to ask…yes, it’s about Vampires

Well crap, I accidentally posted this today instead of Saturday so just pretend the weekend is starting early. As an added bonus I’ll post burning question #12 on Saturday. And remember don’t just tell me you like this post, give me an answer. It is fast, painless, and easy.

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If you’re here you know this blog is Vampire Maman – Musings of a Modern Vampire Mom. And if you’re here you know it is Saturday and time for the BURNING QUESTION.

Yes, I have to ask this one. 

Everyone has different ideas about Vampires.

Some believe they are evil beings lacking souls and from the depths of Hell (of goodness.) Some believe the Twilight shit and think they are weird old sparkling creatures who stalk high school girls (the whole concept disgusts me, both as a parent and as a woman.) You do know that is fiction don’t you? It is. Get over it.

Some believe they follow ancient blood rituals and live by a strict order set down by ancient laws (I can’t even hardly write that without laughing.) It just doesn’t work for most Vampires.

Some believe they are all like Dracula or the Vampires in the Anne Rice books (all fun and well written, or at least most of them.)

And some… a few, know that Vampires are just like everyone else except we live a long long long time, have a lower body temperature, can see ghosts, drink blood, can be pretty scary if we want, are extra sexy, can get a bit pissy, and are generally good parents, among other things.

And sometimes Vampires are just dried up old assholes who live in crypts and come out at night with their joints creaking as the dust falls off of their jackets and scare the shit out of people. There ARE Vampires like that and they’re pretty disgusting.

Just like normal folks real Vampires come in a lot of flavors.

If you aren’t sure of an answer please feel free to ask questions, or search this blog for answers.

Burning Question #11: Would you willingly become a Vampire?

 

Now that didn’t hurt a bite, I mean bit.

Oh come one, admit it was fun.

I’ll be back next Saturday with Burning Question #12. If you have a burning question you’d like answered let me know. See me on FB or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail. com

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Prisoner of Love

Tangled Tales

Prisoner of Love

It wasn’t as if Andy had planned on being locked in a basement. No windows. It wasn’t like he’d turn into a bat because he couldn’t do that, but he could make them think he wasn’t there. Or at least he hoped that was true, considering he had no idea who had locked him away.

He thought about the Count of Monte Cristo.

How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure.

But unlike Edmond Dantes, Andy didn’t have a mad priest to show him the way to treasure so that he could get revenge on his captor and win back the woman he loved.

Andy thought about the woman he loved for a bit. Did she love him? Or was she rejecting him simply because he was a Vampire and she was not? Or was he just thinking about it way too much.

It would have been nice to be back in his own comfortable home, playing the piano, entertaining friends or curled up in a chair with a good book and a nice goblet of wine or blood or…

A sudden noise brought him out of he reverie. A brick popped out of the wall and a pale hand came through. What could this sudden event of fate mean? Was he to be rescued?

He reached for the hand. It pulled back at his touch.

“You’re like ice,” hissed a quiet voice.

“I run a little cold. Who are you?”

“I am but a prisoner of love.”

Andy took a deep breath, at least a deep one for a Vampire. Why did he always find himself in situations like this with someone who was bat shit crazy?

“Where are we and why? No stupid answers.”

He was answered with silence. That wouldn’t do. Andy went to the hole in the wall and looked through. It was dark but he could see a slight shadow. “Answer me. Where are we? Do you know?”

Something jumped on his lap and shook him awake. Andy let his book (The Count of Monte Cristo) drop and nearly tipped over the goblet on the table next to his favorite reading chair. A small black kitten curled up and started to purr. What a crazy dream. What a strange and bizarre dream he’d had. But he didn’t have a black kitten.

Sitting still and quiet Andy listened for noise of a visitor. He’d hear the slightest breath or an excited heart beat. If they were close enough he’d smell blood.

There was no other living thing in the room except Andy and the kitten.

“Where did you come from dear kitty?”

The kitten only purred. She was tiny, maybe 8 weeks old at the most. A sense of unease overcame him. Someone was in the house. Making his fangs ready he stood and turned around. Standing behind him was a pale form – a woman in a long silken dress and platinum blonde hair. She held out her hand.

“I am but a prisoner of love,” she whispered.

“Is this your cat?”

But Andy never got his answer. She vanished in a wisp of smoke with the smell of sulphur.

The next morning he walked the exclusive old neighborhood and asked if anyone knew who the kitten belonged to. He even put up posters. Nobody had lost a kitten. Nobody had an answer for him.

What is it with Vampires and cats and love? He laughed then said aloud, “If you’re going to haunt my dreams and my house you might as well tell me who you are.”

He felt a cold blast of air then heard a soft laugh then the soft sound of a woman’s voice “When you compare the sorrows of real life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever.”

It was a quote from The Count of Monte Cristo.

A prisoner of love. “Not me,” thought Andy, “not me.”

 

~ End