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Luckily, my Mom is on Facebook.

I know kids these days don’t know what Facebook is or they roll their eyes and say it is SO passé. But I still use it as it’s been a part of my life since 2007 – woah, 9 years!- and I’ve stuck with every layout change that they made, specially in the first five years before they kind of decided to stick with the timeline format.

Of course, the usage of my Facebook greatly changed throughout the years. I was much younger and more naive 9 years ago and therefore the posts were age appropriate. I have since, as might be expected, deleted quite a few but all in all my posts were/are alright.

Around 2010 (2011?), my Mom joined Facebook and as many others, I dreaded adding her to MY Facebook. Gosh, these are my private thoughts I share on the internet with my friends, not my MOM! What should I do? Add her or block her? After a week of listening to her whining that we are truly not friends if we are not Facebook friends I decided to add her.

My Facebook posts have changed since. I think twice about what I write or think twice about who am I arguing with about a certain hot issue (btw, never get into arguments on Facebook, they are a complete waste of time and pointless!).

I guess it is safe to say that since my Mom joined Facebook, I think twice about what I say or do because I do not want her to see her daughter act like an idiot or say something stupid. Not that I do that often, but it happens. It happens to all of us and we should all be happy we have our Moms as Facebook friends- internet is not a public diary and we don’t want them to find out every detail of our lives. Or do we?

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The absurdities of “men caves” and other “men-only” nonsense

A friend of mine, let’s call him Dave, has been really pissing me off lately (can I say piss off on WordPress?)

Anyway, everytime we hang out with him and a bunch of friends he wants the guys and the women to hang out separately. In the same house, just different rooms. And if we play games, god forbid women should play. Because not that women are not capable of playing along, but women don’t take the games seriously enough….. which yeah, it’s just a game, Dave and just because you win at it it doesn’t make you somehow a winner in real life. Akhem.

In addition to his segregated time spending between sexes he also has a man cave. Two men caves, technically. One glorious man room filled with his workout equipment, comicbooks and pheromone-based scents (I’m guessing) and his garage crammed with motorcycles which reeks of testosterone, or whatever that scent is. The rest of the house he is in is mostly decorated by his fiancee, Lindsey.

Now, every couple has their vibe but here’s what I’ll tell you about men caves and men only time.

  1. Men caves shouldn’t exist- women should compromise and not take over the whole damn house and decorate it upon her liking, it’s that simple. You’re a couple, you live together, you share things. Both parties should compromise.
  2. Girls time/guys nights- they are ok every once in awhile but the reality is- if you need some time away from your spouse/bf/gf, then something isn’t right. Because I can tell you that after I come home from work at cca. 6pm and I only get to see David for a couple of hours before we both hit the hay exhausted, I don’t have any desire to spend even LESS time with him. If anything, because I only see him for those few hours I actually want to see him MORE.

So this whole men only, girls only stupidity needs to stop. If we want men and women to have 50/50 relationships, have them work as partners, then compromises have to be made.

Because guess what, your partner is your team.

You both live in the house. You can both ride the motorcycle. You can both read comic books. You can both BBQ in the back. You can both fix the sink together. You can both wear boots and know how to use a jack. You can both play sports… etc. It’s common sense, Dave.

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home

What is home?

Many say home is tangible; it is an actual space one can walk through. It consists of four walls and unmatching furniture your parents put together throughout the years. It is the coo coo clock in the hallway that has long stopped working. It is the bedsheets from your childhood shoved away somewhere in the back of the closet. It is the familiar layout and the same annoying, never fixed patio screen door.

For some. For me, I feel like home is a moment in time. Home is many moments in time. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I get to vividly enjoy the “now” of a home because the moment goes away ever-so-quickly.

Home disappears when people in it disappear. When I walk through my parent’s house and I realize my Mother will never walk through those hallways again I feel absolutely no attachment to the objects scattered around the house. Home was not home because it had the familiar pots and pans my Dad loved to cook in. Home was home because it echoed the laughter of my Dad. When there was no one there that was left, home became an empty, tangible space.

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Wife annoyed by having to be “the big spoon” all the time

Austin, TX- Spooning is one of the most popular ways for couples to share some tender moments, affection and snuggles. In most cases, men tend to be the big spoons since they are the taller or more masculine partner. However, in the modern age, spooning does not necessarily have to be done with traditional roles assumed based on gender.

Lilly Phillips, 34, has been the big spoon through the entire five year marriage with Francis and as she says, “she is getting sick of it.”

She is used to being the little spoon from her previous relationships but with Francis, it was different. “He always wanted to be the little spoon. I did it for a while but I want to be hugged to you know,” she shared with us. “I like his arms around me, I feel very safe. But when I am the one spooning him and I feel so awkward because of the size difference. He is a 280-pound man who is much taller than me so hugging him does not cover much. I just wish he would be the big spoon, you know. I deserve to be the little spoon sometimes, darn it.”

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Billy, 25, just barely got himself to “like” his Dad’s ZOO photos

Sarasota, FL- It is bad enough our parents know what Facebook is. It is even worse that they have befriended us and have the rare access to our public internet Facebook life. Their presence means only two things- posting embarrassing comments to our photos and postings and/or them posting embarrassing photos of themselves in a public or private space.

Billy, 25, has been friends with his Dad on Facebook for more than four years now and he has unfollowed his Dad’s post feed a long time ago. “He uses humor that is very typical for his generation, you know. The pictures he takes and the ideas he shares are from Ronald Reagan times and well, he loves the Three Stooges type of humor, you know, the one with physical farce and slapstick and I just find that incredibly dumb. All the old people he knows find it hilarious but I just can’t get myself to like any of it.”

Billy does try sometimes to like his Dad’s photos. “Well, I don’t want to be the son that doesn’t like anything on his Dad’s Facebook. Just the other day I liked his ZOO photos. He went there and took selfies with the giraffes and found it hilarious when monkeys were doing it in front of him and posted a bunch of photos of it. Like, it’s not that funny but I love him anyway. So I “liked” the album but I won’t “like” anything for a while.”

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the old owls tales

The Old Owls’ Tales

Much like humans find wisdom and advice in the tales of the Old Wives, animals have the Old Owl’s knowledge which is widely shared when growing up. These tales were shared with me in the past few months in relaxed, yet intimate conversations with some very lovely owls in an undisclosed location.

Illustrations can be followed on my Instagram account leahrennes (and will be posted on WordPress sometimes too) and they are a celebration of a goal I set only in August of this year and I think have achieved quite well so far.

Before August, I would draw a cow and it looked more like an elephant. After doing the 30-day challenge by Mark Kistler “You can draw in 30 days” book, I not only realized drawing is something that can be taught (and don’t necessarily rely solely upon talent) but I also gained great confidence drawing. Suddenly, I can draw images for my stories which is something I though would be never able to do. Sure, I still need to practice but I have come a long way.

“The Old Owls’ Tales” are a result of the learning process and confidence I gained in the last two months. I hope you enjoy the illustrations and don’t be shy to follow.

And as a slight preview of today’s post- bring an umbrella if you see a worried bunny- according to the Owl tales, it means it is most likely to rain.

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When you’re down, down low….

Weird. I have one of the Eurovision songs stuck in my head. I am down, down low. It’s been a rough, ROUGH week and I have little energy left. Or will to do anything, really.

How to cure the down, down low? Here are some of my tips:

1) Hug your kitty/ dog. They may have disgruntled faces (or are about to scratch you) but the feel of that soft fur will make you feel like the world is a better place.

2) Watch “Pursuit of Happyness”- when you realize Chris Gardner was homeless, with a kid, working like a maniac…. you realize you should probably get off your ass and be more productive.

3) Have a glass of wine. No, forget wine. Have a mix- maybe vodka and coke. Rum and coke. I’m not saying to drink your problems away, but sometimes alcohol can get you more relaxed.

4) Get your best friend on the phone. Or when you don’t really have a best friend, talk to your dog/kitty. They are great listeners, often better than people. And they will listen to your problems for hours.

5) Pet your dog/kitty for good measure. Again!

So that’s kind of what I do. What do you do when you have a bad day/week/month? Leave comments below 😀

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P.S: Thank you to those who took advantage of the free promotion of my children’s book “Ginger’s missing glasses”– don’t forget to leave a review! 🙂

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Forgettable Wedding Day

After ten years of marriage, Sally still had to think which ring went on her finger first- the engagement ring or the wedding ring? “Wedding ring is closest to the heart,” she remembered her Mother’s words and put it on first. She fixed her hair and went to the kitchen. Her cravings for a peanut butter sandwich were strong for some reason. Her thoughts continued to lead her to the past… to the day she said yes to Michael.

The memory of it was very hazy. She remembered Michael drinking a lot because he was nervous. Her nervously walking down the beach. Not being able to eat a whole lot because she wore a waist cincher. It seemed so far away, a remote event which only marked the beginning of the adventures her and Michael experienced.

For a second, it almost seemed irrelevant. Wedding day almost had no special meaning to her. The other ten years spent together.. that was more important. Thinking back on their wedding day, she realized how little she knew Michael and how little he knew her. How much they have changed since. How many better moments they had together than that one day on the beach. “Funny how no one tells you this,” she thought and bit into the sandwich.

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A female road runner runs down a road at dusk at Independence Pass.

Hate running and do it with a passion

Running doesn’t keep me happy. I don’t care if they have cute running clothes to make me look like I am dying less when I run. Nor do I care for the positive brain effects and endorphin that release as I run. Ok? I couldn’t care less.

I have no love for running whatsoever. I do it purely and solely because it is good for my health. There is no love relationship with it; I am not passionate for the sweating and the huffing and puffing I go through every-time. I am not a fan of having to convince myself from not stopping all the time. It is a constant mental battle and constant fighting with my body. Because, I guess, some people have bodies which are in dying need of running. My body is in dying need of couch-ing. When I run, I am like a nagging wife who constantly reminds her husband to do something. “Don’t stop, run faster, don’t stop, think positive, you can do this, don’t stop, pick up the pace, yes you can do another five minutes, don’t stop, didn’t I tell you not to stop?!”

But, as I tell all my friends who find running to be “boring” and hate to do it… You probably don’t like to go to work everyday either and yet…. you go. You make yourself do it. Why? Because you get paid. If you go running, you are compensated with good/better health. It’s boring, yes, but how many things in life are beautifully boring and yet a major part of our lives? So do it, be passionate about your hate for running and go sweat your butt off.

P.S: Thanks for reading my post, now share your thoughts on running with me 🙂

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Russia didn’t win the Eurovision. Phew!

First off, as an American I had no idea what Eurovision was until I did my study abroad in France (which – just throwing that out there- inspired my book “Six months of Croissants, Cafe cremes, Parties and Love available on Amazon :))

At first sight, Eurovision meant glitter, pop fever and everyone dressing up like they were about to go to a space convention. It was a bizarre sight, but I’ve been watching it for almost seven years now and I enjoy it. I love to love or hate the songs being performed and I gasp and shout at the TV when countries award points.

This year, it was about as political as usual; countries were awarding highest scores to their neighbors or their economic alliances. Okay, fine. We are used to it at this point. But this year I was completely and utterly against Russia winning. Why? I didn’t care much for the song but mostly it felt wrong if they won. With Ireland overwhelmingly voting for same-sex marriage on the same say and celebrating, I couldn’t help but think how they treat gays in Russia.

Russia is a very closed-minded/intolerant country. As I saw Conchita Wurst sitting next to the Russian representative Polina Gagarina who was leading in the half time, I could not help but think how unaccepted Conchita would be in Russia. How they would treat her being who she is. How they treat LGBT community. So this year, specially, I cheered for the Enrique Iglesias/model runway looking Swedish Mans Zelmerlow who not only had amazing graphics to support his act but had an uplifting song and a message that will continue the open-minded legacy of Conchita Wurst and not pull it back. Because…. as much as it should be about music, it is about something more to, and in this case it was about “building bridges” and not burning them.

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