Monday, November 22, 2010

Enjoy your Wings Momma.


Jennifer Allen Strand was called home by our Father, God November 21st, 2010. No longer is she in pain, she has earned her wings and is now freed from her broken body. Her Beautiful spirit is with us now as she looks down on us from Heaven. She will forever live in our hearts.
Jennifer was born April 1958 in Memphis Tennessee. She was the epitome of a beautiful Southern Bell, with her smile that lit up a room and her radiating charisma. Her and her family moved with the military and Jennifer always made friends wherever she went. Always touching people’s lives and forever holding a place in their hearts.
Jennifer had a vivacious personality, she was passionate and her laughter was contagious. She had such a fantastic sense of humor and wonderful wit about her. Jennifer had a way about her… Always knowing just what to say and a way to always make us laugh. She could find humor in all situations.
My mother had such a passion for life and the people in hers. She cared so deeply for everyone.
Jennifer loved to go camping and to take long drives up the canyons and loved to walk her Dogs and “borrow” other people’s flowers. She loved to Garden. My Mother could create the most breathtaking array of flowers. She surrounded herself in beauty as her beautiful spirit surrounded those lucky enough to have known her.
My favorite memories of my Mother were the ones spent dancing in the living room to Dwight Yoakum, Tracy Chapman, and Garth Brooks. My Mother and I would dance for hours. I remember how much fun my mother was. I remember as a child her racing down the stairs tickling me to wake up so we could make ‘eggy toast’ together. I remember all of the silly inside Jokes we shared. How my Mother could make me burst into laughter when only moments before I was in tears. I remember whenever my Mother would leave, My Meme and I would sit in front of the living room window and play a game where we would count cars and guess how many would pass before she would pull into the drive.
Sometimes, I feel like I am still counting cars. Waiting for the Mother I remember to pull into the drive and we will laugh and dance and play together again.
Jennifer is survived by the love her life, her soul mate, Bob Conley. Myself, her Daughter, Her parents Bill and Charlene Allen, Her sister Rebecca Snyder, Her Brother Bradley Allen and her two dogs whom she loved so very much, Bella and Lexi. And all of her many Friends.
Jennifer is preceded in death by her Big sister Bonnie Crawford, Her Grandparents and her Beloved dog, Katie.
We love you Jenny, Forever and a day, around the world and back again. Thank you Momma, for giving me roots and Wings. I promise you to always stay true to myself, just as you always said. I hope you know how very much I love you. And how much I miss you.
Enjoy your wings Momma.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is what I did on my day off.

I have been reading blogs lately, I have a few I am slightly addicted to. Such as, Cupcakes and Cashmere. Which is eloquently written about topics such as baking, fashion and home decor. This girl, who has amazing writing skills as well as fashion sense as high as the sky, is a master chef and has impeccable taste. She has been able to quit her job and support herself from her cute little blog alone.
No fair. No fair. I want to quit my job and make bookoos of money by writing and sharing my thoughts and ideas.
I'm a decent writer, I have a tendency to be mildly humorous and I happen to think my ideas are AWESOME. Sure, my fashion sense isn't remarkable..as I often make my Boyfriend roll his eyes to what I decide to put on, and I still can't make minute rice. I know! Minute Rice? WTF? Its freaking WATER and Rice. How I manage to Fu*% up water and Rice is beyond my understanding.But my culinary skills are improving. I made a tasty little supper made of pork chops in roasted red peppers and white beans and took it to my grandparents for dinner. My Grandfather who has to be the biggest food Critic on the planet said it was " exceptional" And for an entire week afterwards I was referring to myself as " Rian, Culinary Master Pants". My interior decorating skills are... so-so. I love my house and all the cute little things of me set up about it. Even the little pieces of my boyfriend that are out all make my house so, oh-so,cozily mine. With exception of the giant movie poster of Heath Ledger as the Joker. Please keep on mind, when I say Giant I for once am not at all exaggerating. This poster at one time could have been hanging in Time Square. Its ridiculous. And whats even more ridiculous is I think my Boyfriend truly believed that he would be hanging this in my front room. We compromised and its in the basement. So long as I close my eyes nice and tight when going down to do laundry I don't scream.
My Camera sucks. In fact, it doesn't even work. I use my Boyfriends but that camera sucks too. Sure, it takes photos.. but not like all the other blogs have. So maybe my blog isn't successful because I don't have a Nikon (some sort of high number)fancy smancy professional camera that makes food look scrumptious and outfits look amazing and little Nick Nacks look like they were made by Santa's elves in the North pole in perfect little ginger bread houses. Maybe someone should buy me a camera and when I make millions I'll reimburse you plus buy YOU a camera. Takers??? Although, My idea of the perfect camera is a Polaroid. I'm all about instant gratification. ( As if you couldn't have guessed, as this blog is chuck full of get rich fast without a whole lot of effort ideas) Polaroids are not all that bloggey friendly. Maybe I could have a really cute pictured fun fridge and a photo free blog?
Maybe, My blog isn't successful because I don't have a baby? These Mommy blogs seem to be the Twilight upon middle aged stay at home mothers. I can't really relate and get bored mid-blog because I fail to understand the humor behind having poo on your forehead and having a worker at Babies-R-Us point it out to you. ( Thats just disgusting) Or the turmoil behind wrestling a Diaper Genie. ( No clue what that would be like, nor do I want to) But, other ladies eat that shit up ( not the poo on the forehead, the proverbial shit) So, maybe in hopes of creating a multi million dollar blog for myself so I can sit in my Jammie's and drink Dunk N Donuts coffee while typing all the crazy things that go on inside my head day in and day out I should come up with a clever way to talk myself as well as my boyfriend into procreating. *think think think* Pause...... Longer pause.......................
No. Out of the question. That's selfish, and really would be difficult to explain to the kid when they ask why they were born " Well slugger, Mommy wanted to get rich and by telling the world of your poops, pees and pukes and post birth fiasco's she did it!" He'd probably sue me later for emotional distress. And that would terrible.
My Boyfriend is in a Band. A good band. A REALLY good band. They are releasing their EP this upcoming weekend. The venue sold out in 3 days. I am pretty certain that sooner then later he will be touring the US making millions of dollars and young girls will be swooning all over him. Just last night, as we watched the CMA awards, ( Ok, Truth be told...I watched and made him come watch when my Favorite musicians took the stage) I asked him what he plans to say when he and the other Wayne Hoskins Band Members take the stage at the VMA's to accept their award. I think I shocked him that I was actually asking. I asked because there is no doubt in my mind that its going to happen. He goofed around and said a bunch of silly things and of course I got mad because I think for some reason I should personally be made mention of. (I am a girl People! Back off! ) But it was really neat to see him actually take that moment into hope and consideration. I of course have already started dreaming up the dress I want to wear and practicing the shocked, yet graceful look on my face when they call out their name in the mirror.
Point is that... Maybe I won't make money on my writing until after my Boyfriend makes the cover of Drummers Magazine. I figure that if that 90210 Bitch, whats her name? Tori Spelling can write and actually sell a memoir. So can I. So Maybe the secret to success is the shadow of someone Else's?
OR maybe I can go to school and get my Journalism degree and actually work for some success. Naaaah that seems like WAY too much work and I really hate Math Class.
Step one is done. I have this Blog. I'm learning to cook. One day I might have a kid. I wear cute clothes. My house is decorated. GOD! Why does making money have to be so F'ing hard.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rest in Peace Sweet Meea


This week has been a rather tumultuous one. I am hoping wholeheartedly that the rest of November isn't like the first.
I lost my sweet Meea on Monday. My 8 year old Rottweiler whom I loved so dearly. Meea had a tough little life. She was diagnosed early with Hip Displacia and had to have two complete knee replacements. She was the mascot of North Ogden Animal Hospital as she probably paid for the doctors mortgage more than once. She was featured in the Local newspaper for having gone through so many surgeries and being one of first dogs with Pet insurance in Northern Utah. The veterinarian staff loved her so much, and although she had to go through so much at that office, our Meea loved to go. She would always get so excited as she jumped out of the truck and saw that she was there, never fought the doctors and would light up their days as she lit up everyday of ours.
Earlier this year she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a very aggressive type of Bone cancer. We hoped to have caught it early enough and decided to amputate her leg. She was such a trooper, and recovered so quickly and adapted to life as a tripawd with such grace and ease. Unfortunately, the cancer spread. And my sweet Meea lost her battle with cancer and earned her wings.
Her last days were spent well alongside family. She was ready to go. You could see it in her big beautiful brown eyes which lit up and reassured us all that everything would be alright.
My Neice was so precious as she said her sweet goodbye. She kneeled down beside Meea and said " Ok, Meea Listen... I am sorry about your ouwie, But when you go up to heaven and meet Jesus in his office, you tell him you were a good dog." She was.. she was the best dog.
The last day, I pulled up and she ran to my car and as I cried she kissed away my tears, and I swear its as if I heard her say " I love you Momma, I am going to be ok, I am sorry I tried so hard to fight it. But I will be with you and watch over you as I run and play with my friends in heaven." I have another rottweiler, Olive. And since all of this I just can't seem to love her enough. I hold her and never want to let her go.
Animals so easily become such a strong fixture in your family. They are just like a child. And the loss of one causes such a void in your heart. But, Its so worth the love they bring into it.
I'll miss you my sweet Meea. Everyone will. Thank you for coming into my life and all the love and smiles you brought into it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well, Hello Stranger.


I know I haven't wrote in an awful long time. I really have no solid good excuse that comes to mind. I enjoy writing. Therefore, I should make time for it. I have a few minutes so I thought I would update you on what my life is all about these days. ( If anyone still reads this) I'll post it on my facebook. I figure my chances are good that at least 1 of my friends might click on my link.
I still am head over heels in love with my house.
My Job is the bomb.
I have had the BEST Summer of my life this Summer of 2010.
I have completed all but 1 of my bucket list items. OK, 3.
We went camping several times this year. I bought a tent and a sleeping bag and a lantern. All color coordinated of course. Fashion still matters in the middle of nowhere.
We went to Bozeman Montana. That was awesome. I think I'll retire in Bozeman.
We went to Las Vegas for my Boyfriends Birthday and had the time of our lives.
I turned 28 and dyed my hair a fiery unapologetic red. After the tears stopped, I think I have grown to like it.
My Boyfriend and my Father built the most beautiful deck in the world for me for my birthday. Its just perfect and I always struggle talking myself into leaving it.
I have officially learned how to cook. I made several delicious treats this summer and didn't chuck a one!
Personal Faves would be My Etote Corn on the Cob. My Gouda Monte Cristo. My Reuben. And my Pepper-lime Carne Asada sliders.
* cough - cough.. you have umm.. a little drool on your.. yeah, you got it*
We BBQ'd often, although My grill is a little 'hood rich'. The previous owners left a shiny lil' red charcoal griller just for me but forgot to leave the lid, so I channeled my inner Martha Stewart and used a Garbage pail lid. Ok, Maybe I got Mrs Bundy instead of Martha But nevertheless, The food was Delicious.
I had a roomie for awhile, That didn't work out so much.
My Boyfriend is moving in soon. I'm really excited about this. For many reasons but most of all because I am tired of checking under the bed, behind the shower curtain, in the closets and around the corners and my power bill is rather high given I sleep with lights on. Oh yeah.. and I love him and stuff.
My Boyfriends Band was Signed. I am officially a groupie.
I am seriously considering beginning to write a book. I already have the title and the cover and totally know what I will wear to my first talk show appearance. Also, I figure I'll need to find some bookcases and start garage sellin' for lots and lots of cheap books to create a prestigious study/office. And Also.. I think I'll win a Nobel Prize. Well, Perhaps the Noble Prize might be a long shot...
Anyway, That's the story for now. My television program is on.
Life is good my friends. Life.Is.So.Good.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Summer Bucket List










With summer just around the corner and my excitement and list of things I wish to do this year growing exponentially by the day, I thought I would prepare myself a bucket list of all the things I hope to do this summer.
I want to create a beautiful outdoor space where I can host cocktail parties with my girlfriends. I also want to learn deliciously fruity new cocktail recipes to sip on while I sit with my friends in the backyard on my own little piece of earth.
I want to master and devour as much homemade strawberry shortcake as possible.
I want to toast marshmallows and make Smores with friends as we laugh by the fireside.
I want to Barbecue. A lot.
I want to make yummy, refreshing Popsicles in fun shapes and enjoy them on my lounge chair underneath my gigantic apple tree on those hot summer days.
I want to go camping many times this year to new places we have yet to discover.
I want to take my Puppy on lots of fun adventures.
I wish to board a plane and fly away for a few days. Destination negotiable.
I want to practice Yoga once a week all summer long and learn to be present and happy in the moment of now.
I can hardly wait to get started and slip into my swimming suit and soak up the sun.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day.


Today is and has been one of the hardest days of the year for me.
Mothers Day.
A time to honor and celebrate your Mother.
And although today I was unable to share it with mine, I thought through memories and prayers She may be able to feel my love for her.
I have a photo in my living room of my Mother. She was about my age and she was so beautiful. That's How I have chosen to remember her... the way she was in that photo there.
My Mother, the women who could light up a room with her smile and radiating charisma. Her humor. Her Wit.
I remember as a child how much fun we would have together, dancing in the front room to Tracy Chapman, Dwight Yokam and Garth Brooks and Joan Osbourne to that song "What if God was one of us" We would dance for hours.
I remember how she would come wake me up in the mornings by crawling into bed with me and tickling me until I got up and we would make Eggy toast together.
I remember all of our little inside jokes we shared. How she could always make me laugh no matter how upset I was over trivial childhood things.
I remember when she would go out and my Grandmother and I would guess how many cars would pass by until she would pull into the drive. I would sit and count cars for hours.
Sometimes I still feel as if I am counting cars.. counting until the Mother I remember comes back and pulls into the drive and we can laugh and dance and play together again.
I miss you Momma. And love you. Forever and a day. Around the world and back again.
Happy Mothers day.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Can we all hold hands now and sing Kumbaya?


Lately, I have been holding my tongue on the recent political upheavals. I have been trying to remain mindful that political and religious standings go hand in hand with the concept we all learned in kindergarten. No, not the do not eat paste rule.. the other rule, If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.
However, I feel as though I have remained silent long enough. After all, how fair is it that others views and opinions have been shoved down my throat? If they can voice their opinions then so can I. I promise to lay it out as respectfully as possible.
I voted for Obama. In fact, I think I should have been invited to the white house for dinner given my charismatic campaign techniques. For I rallied on the streets of Las Vegas, with a yard long margarita in hand yelling at the top of my Minnie mouse lungs, “ Obama for your Momma! Paint the White House black!” And I even gained Obama support from two of the most strong willed Republican, right winged Southern folk I know. My grandparents, who before would have never dreamed of the day they would see a ‘Negro’ run for office, let alone cast their vote for one. * Pats herself on the back*
In the beginning of it all, I listened and read and became very passionate about the issues that this man was promising. And when he won I celebrated. And my Passion and eagerness to learn about Politics lessened. But now, now that the country seems to be splitting in half because of recent changes and ideals I feel myself getting back involved.
There are issues that I have not or cannot seem to fully wrap my mind around. For example, I do not understand the dynamics of the banks closures and then our Government paying off the banks head honchos with several million dollars. I do not understand why or how it was thought to be acceptable to change the peoples tax ratio’s so that when tax time rolled around the majority of these people were shocked at the little amount they got back in return or in several peoples cases the amount they had to pay. And they didn’t even tell anyone about it. I know that sure ruffled my feathers! I mean how is that ok?? How does that make sense?? I understand that they were taking less out on each paycheck so our take home was greater but not by much! Obviously, because a ton of people didn’t even notice the change. And most of the people I know rely on tax time to play catch up with their returns or to participate in stimulating our economy by taking a vacation, or buying the sofa they have been wanting, or the down payment on the nice new car they have been saving for. But this year no, many of us looked at our return and wanted to personally hunt down Uncle Sam and smack the shit out of the man with his own silly ridiculous hat.
I don’t understand how when running, President Obama promised to end the War in Iraq. Yet sent several more groups of troops overseas. I am aware that Iraq is in the midst of electing a new president and forming a functioning government.. but, I guess I fail to see how this is our business. Maybe, this makes me na├»ve, but isn’t this a big reason why so many extremist hate America?? And I understand that some of the troops overseas are trying to get a handle on the drug crops and distribution. Which although commendable is also something that I think is aiding us in digging our own whole. Can’t we just monitor our borders and what is brought into this country better? Poppy crops are many people’s livelihood in Afghanistan. Destroying those crops are bound to cause serious retaliation. And I don’t know about you, but I think we have gone and pissed off enough of these people who have access to extreme terrorist groups just waiting for another reason to bring ‘death to America’. How about we come home now? Or, send troops to Chile to help build their country back up or Haiti or maybe Nigeria who in the last several months have fallen victim to extreme violence. Where Christian persecution has left millions of unarmed Men, Women and children slain?
America seems far too focused on Americanizing the rest of the world. And all the while America seems to be lagging behind.
In my opinion, it seems that with the billions of dollars we spend on warfare we could fight quite the war that is going on here on American soil. A war of poverty, starvation, and crime. And also help those in other countries who need and welcome some kind of help, any kind of help.
I do not understand the Healthcare Bill in its entirety. I have watched Glenn Beck and listened to his opinion, Rush Limbaugh and others, I have read opinions on the web as well as those from my friends and family. And I got to be honest, I still remain on the fence.
My attention was brought to our Nations trouble with healthcare or lack thereof after watching Michael Moores ‘Sicko’. Having watched that film I felt that Canada and France had the right Idea. I thought it to be an injustice to the American people to deny those without insurance care. And hearing Obama in his campaign promise change and reform I was thrilled. But, now that it’s here and in learning the pro’s and con’s of this bill I am having mixed emotions about it.
I do like that Medicaid will now be available to young adults without children and that Illegal Immigrants will not be covered. Not only will Illegal Immigrants not be covered through Medicaid but they won’t be covered through any other insurance even if paid with their own money. I do like that prescription costs for seniors will be cut down by 50%. I like the concept that thousands of people will now have the benefits of healthcare and no one will be refused treatment. I like that the wealthy will be paying the a higher tax required to fund this reform. They’ll still be able to afford their Yachts and keep their fancy lifestyle’s all the while contributing to a ‘charity’ of sorts right here at home. Allowing the children of low income families, as well as the family to have healthcare coverage. Inside my mind, where there are rainbows and puppies that eat cupcakes and poop out rainbows this sounds pretty darn fair and fantastic.
What I don’t like is that the Government is pretty much forcing the people to get health care coverage. Now, I can’t really understand why a person wouldn’t want insurance but I certainly don’t think they should make you have it and charge you with a hefty fine if you refuse. That’s unconstitutional! Either way you slice it! I like the idea of the reform.. And would hope that in the goodness of peoples heart’s they would participate in it and take advantage of its perks, but I certainly think that as Americans we should have a right to choose. We should have a right to decide to give our hard earned money for the cause and sign something for them to take more taxes out so that others can have insurance. Or if we don’t want to participate we shouldn’t have to.
I don’t like that they are rising the taxes on tanning salons by 10%. This will seriously hurt the industry. And that’s the last thing we should be doing is hurting more small businesses. Tanning has been linked to cancer.True. But, every Bahama bronzed person out there is aware of this. Just like cigarettes when a person takes a drag I guarandamntee you they are very much aware of the risk. If a person wants to tan their hides and smoke isn’t that their prerogative?? Why does the government have to hike up the cost? I mean.. this is America right? Since when is freedom free only if you can afford it?
People now want us to take the word God off of our money and out of the Pledge of allegiance. Why?? If the word and concept of God does not mean anything to you then why are you taking any validity into what a coin says or a song? Please, allow those of us who believe to keep it. It can be ours. The others who don’t can practice whatever it is they believe and when saying the pledge they can skip over that part like when singing happy birthday to a person whom you didn’t catch their name. And with the money buy yourself a coke, smile, and shut the hell up.
The constitution says that the Government shall work for the people and if it stops working for the people then the people have the right to stand up and say so. Well, I suppose that is what many are doing. However, an opinion doesn’t have to be laced with hateful words and accusations. Today, on a break at work I overheard an older gentlemen say “Sorry to say, but that black baby is sending our nation straight down the shitter.” And when listening to Glenn Beck I can’t help but think how much more credible his viewpoints would be if they weren’t delivered with such angst and anger. The same goes for Russ Limbaugh.. do people really take such hatred seriously?
I don’t know if I am a Liberal, a Republican, a Democrat, a member of the Tea Party or a Constitutionalist. I guess, in a nut shell I am just a free thinking American woman that believes in freedom and freedom for all. I also believe that the world is vast, as are the people of it. Culture differs from country to country, region to region, state to state. If clothing, Language, food, traditions and laws vary and are accepted then why can’t we accept that Government and Beliefs will vary as well?
Every country has their good points and their bad. And every Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck has the right to their opinion and the capability of glorifying it to the mainstream public through the telephoto lens of fame. Remember, it is our right as Americans to form our own opinion. And I hope we all do just that.
God Bless the whole wide world. ( No exceptions)