Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mr. Franken goes to Washington !

Senator Amy Klobuchar
will be present at a rally tomorrow at noon at the St.Paul Capital to send
our Junior Senator, Al Franken and his wife Franni off to Washington.
It has been over 6 years since the tragic death of our friend, Senator Paul Wellstone and
it was a sad day when Norm Coleman was sent to Washington in his place.
In fact it was a travesty, but finally we have someone who deserves to take back that Senate seat.
I don't know if Paul Wellstone can ever be replaced, but Al Franken is closer to Paul's views then
anyone we have, and he is going to be fun to watch.
It has been a long 7 months waiting for this race to be over,
it was a fun campaign to work on and now Al has to get to work..
Amy Klobuchar and her staff were remarkable doing the job of two Senators.
One thing Naughty Normy will get credit for
is to ensure her re-election.
No Republican will be able to touch her,
I predict she will win her next election with over 60% of the vote

Oh it is going to be fun watching Bill O'Reilly go ballistic.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael 1958-2009

I'm sad.. 1 2 3
Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcet, and Michael Jackson.
Memories for me of Elvis..

Monday, June 22, 2009

Auntie Lo..1912-2009

I thought about cutting and pasting and rewriting this eulogy that Auntie Lo's oldest Grandson Dan gave at the funeral and then I decided it was just to perfect to monkey around. He gave his permission to pass it on so I am taking that privilege and printing it here.

Most of his memories are also mine and all of the cousins lucky enough to spend summers on the farm, the chicken dinners and the homemade ice cream. The cousins would take turns turning the paddle just to get the chance to lick it later.

Dan did marvelous job in his send off and here it is.

- - - -

The year was 1912. New Mexico and Arizona became the 47 and 48 states to join the union. Robert F Scott reached the South Pole only to find that Roald Amundsen had gotten there first. The Girl Scouts of America were organized by Juliette Low and the glorious luxury liner “The Titanic” sank on her maiden voyage. In November Woodrow Wilson would be elected president. But I’m getting ahead of myself. On the first Thursday in June of 1912 two significant events occurred.

First, Mt Novarupta erupted in Alaska spewing more than thirty times the ash of the Mt St Helens eruption of 1980. It would be the largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century. And second, in a quiet loving home near Webb, Iowa Lois Thelma Eaton was born to John Freeman Eaton & his wife Emma Alice Damstrom Eaton. She too, would leave her mark on this world.

Lois married Claude Tipton O’Clair on July 7, 1929. They lived most of their married life in Fostoria where Claude farmed for Wayne & David Simington. They had four children: Claude Darrel, Richard “Dick” Arlan, Joyce Jeanette and Valerie Jane.

I am her eldest Grandson Dan or “Danny” as she always called me. Claude Darrel O’Clair is my father. My earliest recollection of my Granny is when she and grandpa would make their annual fall pilgrimages to visit us in Montana. I am told of course that even before my memories she would hold me and at night I would stare with fascination at the moon. I so enjoyed Granny’s visits; fresh eggs and ham and bacon from the farm, cookies from Great Grandma Em and most of all love from Granny! I remember as a young boy telling her, “I’ll never get too big to sit on your lap.” I last sat, quite gently and with just a little weight, on that loving lap in 2004 at the age of 49, just to prove a point, and Granny and I laughed about it just as we did each time I sat there over the years.

I remember visiting Iowa in the summer as a child… pumping water at the pump outside her home… holding baby chicks… picking blackberries in the woods and the special pie she would make just for me in a single serving pie plate… turning the crank, at least in the beginning when it was easy, for homemade ice cream and Granny “rescuing” me from Aunt Valerie’s 4H lamb that came running to me for its bottle! I was sure it was coming to attack me. I climbed on a large stump in the front yard and yelled for help and there came Granny.

Later I remember Granny and Grandpa coming to Montana in the summer to go camping and fishing. Granny loved the outdoors. We would fish and hike during the day and play Scrabble and Yahtzee by the campfire at night. Granny taught me, by example, to appreciate the simple things in life.

Granny loved to cook. For years she cooked at Vacation Village on Lake Okoboji. What I remember most was her desserts. She baked the best pies. Lemon meringue pie with the flakiest of crusts was a personal favorite. The sweet tartness of the lemon custard makes my mouth water just thinking about it. And her pineapple upside-down cake and caramel cinnamon rolls will forever be missed.

I remember when she had hip replacement surgery… she was back on the dance floor in just six weeks! There wasn’t much that would keep that lady down.

I remember when we almost lost Grandpa and how the two of them loved each other through his final year.

After Grandpa passed Granny traveled. She took numerous bus trips and spent a few winters in Mesa, Arizona. One of her favorite spots in Arizona was a restaurant called Rustler’s Roost. You enter the building upstairs and go down a slide into the dining area! That was Granny, always up for a good time. She also enjoyed traveling to Washington state to visit her daughter Valerie and her family.

I remember the year she visited me and my young family in Louisiana. She bought my oldest son a bicycle for his sixth birthday and his four year old little brother threw such a fit we had to go back to town and buy him a bicycle too!

As time marched on her health began to decline. First, she had to give up driving. Few of us realize how hard that is until it is taken from us. We are no longer free to come and go as we please. We have to wait for rides from friends or bus schedules to go places. Still she continued to stay actively involved at the Senior Center where she loved to play cards. Finally she had to give up her independence. That which we so take for granted, until one day aging begins to close in upon us and the simplest of tasks now become a list of “chores” for another to perform for us. Thankfully, Dick and Karen and their family were close by. On Granny’s ninety-first birthday in 2003 she told me, “I never asked to be here this long. My body is shot, my headlights are out, but my engine is still running strong.” In later conversations she would often question why she was still here, why God wasn’t ready for her, and with longing in her voice ask why she just couldn’t go… Well she finally got her wish.

Monday, June 8 Granny let go of the steering wheel and that engine finally gave out ending a life that had a profound impact on who I am. Granny wasn’t perfect, none of us are. But she was a strong woman. Determination and opinion burned deep within her soul. She was the stuff that character is made of. She helped to shape who I am and who my children are and who their children are and will be. If you are here today Granny/Lois O’Clair had an impact on your life too. She left her mark on this world alright… just take a look around you.

Yes today is filled with sorrow for our loss, but let it also be filled with joy for a life well-lived… a dear sister and aunt, a loving mother, an awesome grandmother & great-grandmother, a kind and caring friend.

She was quick witted and nearly always had a comeback. Granny once said to me about aging, “I am an adventurer. This is one adventure I’ve not been on.”

Well, now she’s off on yet another adventure.

Here’s to you granny! With love from all of us.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stay Tuned!

Last night at a reception for Joan Growe,
former Minnesota Secretary of State
and first female candidate for the Senate in 1984.

A little bird told me we may have a new Senator named by Thursday.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Remembering Tim Russert 1950-2008

Saturday June 13, was the 1 year anniversary of Tim Russerts death.

I miss his banter on Meet the Press and would love to know what his thoughts are about what is going on today.

The Boss say's it best

Friday, June 12, 2009

Vodka Lemonade Please?

We just got back from Spencer Iowa.

Hubba and I and my big Bro drove down for my Auntie Lo's funeral.
Will post something later about her when I have time to put my thoughts together.

I had reserved rooms at the Budget Inn, was quoted a much lower rate, we were charged more after we got there and the room had a lot to be desired.
Last time I trust online search.
When the wake was over I was a little too hyper to go sit in the crappy room so Hubba and I went bar searching, Bro hit the sack.
Found a couple nice places and after a couple drinks went back to the room.

Today after the funeral and visit with some of my dysfunctional Obama hating cousins,
(I'm sure they had noticed my bumper stickers,
but not the time to get into any political discussion)
we headed home in the pouring rain.

I wanted to let the guys visit, so
I drove most of the way back.
Not an easy drive, especially in the rain on Iowa's crappy roads
Minnesota's roads will soon be just as bad, since our opportunist Governor is cutting everything to the bare bones just to prove to the RNC how conservative he is.
At the rate he is going we will soon be ranked lower then Mississippi in everything.

It has been a hectic couple of weeks, but now that my Granddaughters games and graduation are over and Lo is finally at rest, maybe I can get back into a routine.

Just give me time to adjust to this loss.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

She's Back !!

My ears perked up this morning when CBS news started talking about one of my hero's,
Erin Brokovich.
She is investigating water contamination in Midland Texas.
Maybe the Bush ranch has a problem and that was why "W" acted like he didn't know what was going on most of the time.
If the green water smells funny, most people would notice.
Don't ya think?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Congratulations, Amy!!

Great party tonight for our softball champion graduate!
Even the rain and cold didn't spoil the party.


Friday, June 05, 2009

I Believe !!!

Wow !!

They didn't make it easy and I don't know how many games like that I could watch.

We got to the game in No. Mankato, Thursday at 3:00 and were able to watch our youngest granddaughter Amy pitch an awesome game only 5 hits and 5 of the 7 innings it was 1-2-3 and they were gone to put the Elks into the Championship game at 2:00 today.
I was happy to see some family take time to cheer her on with us and her Mom and Dad.
Amy didn't get to pitch today but she bunted to move the winning run to 3rd base.

Elk River beat North St. Paul 1 to 0.

The game was over around 4:00 and the happy team and coach headed back to Elk River for a Police escort into town.
Graduation tonight, I hope the Seniors had time for a shower.
Tomorrow night at 4:00 is Amy's graduation party and even though it is suppose to be cold and rainy, I'm sure everyone will enjoy the night.

As good as Amy is, it was starter Kelsey Roche who made the all Tournament team by firing a one hit shutout in the first game to advance them and also got the final win.
Two awesome pitchers and great defense gave Elk River their first State title.

What a way to end your Senior year.

I need a drink!!!!

Elks go to State

UPDATE: GiGi is in Mankato. The amazing Elk River Elks logged double upsets, yesterday. They first defeated a pesky Mankato West club 1 - 0 and then downed the ranked Hastings team, 2 - 1, behind a stellar outing by Grand Daughter Amy Schiebel. Her 5 hit complete game propelled the Elks to the state championship game this afternoon against a hungry North St. Paul team.

Tomorrow is Amy's Graduation celebration. Regardless of what happens today, it there will be much more to celebrate. But lets cross our fingers for just one more win.

Techy Flash

- - - -

My youngest sons, youngest daughter Amy # 21, graduates this year and she has had an awesome year.
She loves her fast pitch soft ball and is one of the 2 starters for her High School team.
She is being scouted by some of the local colleges and
last Thursday she pitched an awesome game helping to send her team to State Finals next week in Mankato Mn.

Can you spell P_R_O_U_D ?

The Elk River Elks won the Region 8AAA championship and are on to state.