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Carole Meekins: Positively Milwaukee

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  • 9/08/07 "Thanks for the Memories"

    Ahhh...the beauty of youth!!! The Waukesha North High School's Pom Pom Squad graced our studios tonight. The teens are so young, fresh, excited. They have an energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. But I have to admit, they triggered a high school flashback for me. You see their uniforms are purple and white. Those were my high school colors. I was never athletic enough to be on the pom pom squad like my sisters. However, I do remember being fully adorned in school pride one year. I wore a purple and white dress to the Homecoming Dance. I even went further. I had purple tights and purple shoes. (How sad..ha..ha!!) My mother curled my hair. I was really excited. I had made arrangements to meet my so called date at the dance. I really did not even know him that well. But somehow, through strange high school repartee' we agreed to meet. By now you can probably guess what happened. Yes, I stood outside of the high school waiting. He was supposed to be there at 8:00 pm. Students were filing in. Those who could drive arrived in style. Suddenly it was 8:15. Nothing!! I'm getting a little nervous. So I wait. Oh he's just a bit late. That happens I tell myself. By 8:30 I am scared. By 8:45 I am upset. By about 9:00 pm, pure panic. He was a no show!! I was all dressed up for the dance with no dance partner. How humiliating! To make matters worse I looked like a plum. Yes, it was a bit overdone. But this was the 70's...ha..ha.!!! Anyhow, I handled it well. I went into the girls bathroom and cried. Then I tried to hide. Like most high school students I thought everyone was looking at me. (Now I know better!) Suddenly, purple pride turned to pandemonium. I temporarily became a lunatic. I certainly could not be seen in public without a date!! Perish the thought! So, in my insanity, I went in the girls bathroom and tried to hide in a stall. That seemed ridiculous after awhile. So in my crazed head I had an idea. Go in front of the high school and hide behind the bushes. Brilliant!! To this day I have no idea why! I crouched down for about ten minutes before I realized I was being an idiot. So I went back into the school and saw my sister who just said..who laughed of course and said who cares? You are in student council, just help me serve punch. We sponsoring the dance. Of course, overcome with teen trauma, bad fashion, and a loss of common sense I said, I simply could not stay. I was too embarrassed. (Fool!!) So, I called my mom, dad picked me up. When I got home, I realized how hilarious it was. Suddenly, my brain started to become lucid again. I realized I was being silly. By the end of the night, I lost my sensitivity and found myself cracking up. Suddenly my entire family had a good laugh about it all. (What a tiny problem in the big picture of life..ha..ha..) Ah yes! Stood up at the Homecoming Dance. A high school memory I will never forget. But that early disappointment only made me stronger. I learned that seeing the humor in humiliation is a great way to dry your tears.

  • 9/11/07 "May We Never Forget"

    It's hard to believe it's been six years since the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. September 11th changed our lives forever. It changed our nation. Some even say there are two timetables in this country. Life before September 11th and life after. That is why I cannot believe that some people believe it's time to stop the tributes and move on. I heard that from a man who called into a radio talk show today. Personally, I do not believe in the word closure when it comes to death. People who lose a loved one will never have closure. They just learn to deal with it. They cope, but they never forget. To commemorate September 11th is good for the collective soul of the nation. The ceremonies, programs, services and events are important. They help us reflect. They help us teach the young. When we pay tribute to the dead, we feel the fragility of life. We remember to live. As we mark this national day of pain, may we never stop seeing the tears of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Their lives deserve our memories. Our nation deserves our prayers that history does not repeat itself.

  • 9/12/07 "Leave Britney Alone"

    I know it's become a sport. Britney bashing has reached a peak after her performance at VMA. Once again, I have to say to all. Leave her alone. She's only 25 years old. Yes, she needs to get it together. Yes, she probably needs help. But she did not reach her level being totally void of talent. She has stumbled, and she's made mistakes. Who hasn't? But I just can't join in the thrill of the vicious and unrelentless persecution. What about a little compassion? Why are so many people so cruel, or so jealous, or just plain rude. These days the fickle public seems to enjoy destroying people as quickly as they are elevated. I just cannot delight in the pain of others. Nor can I join a club that cheers at the setbacks of others. I find such behavior inhumane and quite sad!!! The state of the world suggests we need more compassion, not less. Some loudly criticizing Britney are hardly winners themselves. I can only imagine how they would look scantily clad on stage in front of millions. For heaven's sakes, she'a young woman whose lived her life in the public eye. To the thousands of Britney haters I say leave her alone, and get a life!

  • 9/14/07 "My Fall Pledge"

    It's that time of the year..the air is getting cooler, mornings are more crisp and the sky has a special blue. I don't know why, but I have always loved fall. For some it's the birth of the football season, others it's back to school with new attitudes and new outfits, for me it's just a feeling that I really cannot explain. But I am a true fan of the harvest season. Maybe it's because I was born in the fall, but I do not think so. I'm not a big birthday celebration kind of a person. I think the parties are really for the kids. Plus, everyone has one if their lucky..ha..ha...!!!! I think my love affair with fall has to do with the feeling of change. The transition from summer to fall is always more profound than the move from fall to winter. Plus, the colors of fall are hard to beat. Gold, red, green, pumpkin, orange. It's almost like mother nature gives us a color symphony before she brings out her white blankets. This year I've made a personal pledge. I will go out and search for the beauty of the season. I will find the glorious fall foliage. Usually, I just stumble upon the kaleidoscope of fall. When I finally I think of planning a trip, the leaves are gone. But not this year. I will seek out the fall colors. I'll may even research the peak watching times and take a day trip. I'll let you know how it turns out. Unless of course breaking news gets in the way!!!

  • 9/19/07 "The Price of Freedom"

    It's a show we all should see. A documentary on the toll of war. It's a collection of interviews on HBO that are not easy to watch. But we should force ourselves. I'm talking about "Alive Day." The show is produced by Sopranos Star James Gandolfini. He does a masterful job of interviewing men and woman severely wounded. He stays out of the spotlight, saving it for the heroes. "Alive Day" underscores the tremendous courage of the young men and women who serve overseas. It reveals the price of war. And it reminds us to pay homage to those who fight to keep us free. The Iraq war has left more than 25 thousand people wounded. These are men and women living with lifelong ramifications. We see soldiers who have lost limbs, their eyesight, even parts of their brain. We see men and women whose lives are forever changed. Alive day refers to the day that these soldiers were seriously wounded. The day they cheated death and almost lost their lives. We see an amputee dance, a paraplegic with his family, a mother caress her brain injured son. We also witness video of the attacks that maimed our heroes. Alive Day is a stark reminder of the price of war. But it is also an amazing display of patriotism, courage, and hope. This documentary proves we owe our war veterans a lot. And it's an important reminder that freedom is not free.

  • "Race for the Cure"

    It's been a busy week, and only now have I had time to reflect on the success of the Komen Race for the Cure. I was honored to be a chairman of this years race. 10,500 people showed up to help fight breast cancer. And it was another record breaking year with 855 thousand dollars in donations. I have to give a shout out to the mother of Brewers star Bill Hall. Vergie is adorable, delightful and fun. You can see why her son is such a hit with fans. And what a pleasure to meet Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin and his wife Ellen. Her mother died of breast cancer and she has raised thousands for the cause.You'd have a hard time finding a more delightful couple. They helped kick off the race even though before they headed off to the Brewers game. What commitment!! But the most memorable person I talked to at this year's race had to be former TMJ4 anchor Melodie Wilson. Despite a busy and hectic morning, Melodie was kind enough to take time to give me an update. As we all know, her breast cancer has returned. But she is not giving up. I plan to do a separate blog on Melodie. She is classy, gracious, and beautiful. And even in a difficult time, cares about others. So many of you shared your stories, and let me know why this event is so important. One day we will not need this race. Until then your passion to help us get to that day is inspiring. Meeting so many of you convinced me that we have some of the best people in the country right here. Real, honest, hardworking, and decent people. Sadly, no one is immune from cancer. That is why we must keep pushing for more research, more education, and more prevention. It's easy to dream of a world without cancer. Let's hope one day our dreams will come true.

  • Melodie Wilson "A Source of Inspiration"

    As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, I was honored to be a part of this year's Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure." Every year I meet amazing men and women who share poignant stories on dealing with cancer. Former TMJ4 anchor Melodie Wilson was kind enough to respond to my request for an interview the day of the race. Considering the fact that she's dealing with a second round of cancer, she could have easily ignored me, but she did not. I really wanted the chance to talk to Melodie because I had gotten a number of calls from people wanting to know about her health, or where they should send their well wishes. As president of ABCD (After Breast Cancer Diagnosis), Melodie Wilson has been on the forefront in the battle against this disease. And as a popular celebrity, she uses the spotlight to encourage early detection and mammograms. Many cancer patients tell me Melodie Wilson inspired them to not give up. It's been said that the true test of a person's character is how they respond during difficult times. I know Melodie Wilson would disagree, but she is a symbol of courage and humanity. We can all learn from her example. Click on link below to watch my interview with Melodie Wilson at the Race for the Cure. Raw Video: Carole Meekins Interview With Melodie Wilson

  • "Simple Pleasures"

    Life is just a series of small joys. And they happen everyday. Whether it's a child who draws you a beautiful picture, or a friend giving you a hug, it's the small moments that have the most magic. Have you ever been giddy with anticipation only to be letdown once the big day is over? I have. Often it's an event you have anticipated for weeks only to be let down the day of and the day after. That's because too much energy was placed in that singular event. That is why I no longer base my joy around huge life events. Whether it's a vacation, or a party, or a social engagement. I know so many women who work so hard, plan and struggle over the perfect wedding day. I have friends who put so much emphasis on the wedding, they chose the wrong guy. I never had a wedding. I never wanted one. I have always believed and I still do, that I do not need a day to be special..ha..ha!!! I refuse to give my life over to planning. As I've gone through life, i have discovered the greatest joys in the easiest pleasures. A sunset, a walk, a hug, a connection a child. This evening I got a lovely gift from two kids. I was interviewing their father for a Positively Milwaukee. They drew me two pictures with happy joyous faces. One even said "I love you." As a former teacher I know that one sign of a happy child is a happy picture. And my new artwork made me smile. Even though I got back late and was hurried and rushed to get ready for the 10 pm news..I was thrilled to hang up my handmade gifts. Simple, spontaneous gifts from the young and from the heart are really life's biggest moments.

  • Thanks for your Congratulations Calls

    Many of you called to congratulate me on my Emmy nomination for Positively Milwaukee. That is nice of you. I am honored. Awards are nice, but the people I meet every week are the real winners when it comes to Positively Milwaukee.It's such a treasure to to meet so many wonderful and inspiring people. Unfortunately the news of the day is negative and depressing. Some stories are so heinous and pathetic that they leave us feeling like the world is about to end. It's important that we realize that most of us are not criminals, drug dealers, domestic abusers, thief's, thugs, or idiots. Most of us are good law abiding citizens who work hard and strive to do what's right for our families and our neighbors. There are countless unsung heroes out there working for the greater good. They are the true spirit of America, and deserve the spotlight as much as the losers. So to all of you who call, e mail, or write me with "Positively Milwaukee" story ideas, I just want to say thank you. You give me and the rest of Milwaukee hope.

  • Fall Is Finally Here

    I know many people do not share my fondness of fall. Some even curse it calling it a prelude to winter. But I must admit, I am delighted fall temperatures are finally here. The past couple of weeks of summer weather and high humidity have confused my plants, and my soul. For some reason the harvest season always replenishes my soul. From the pumpkins, to the hayrides, to trick or treating to the Packers, there is just something to love about fall. In a recent blog I pledged to savor the sights of the season this year..and I have done just that. I have made a point to travel to local parks to commune with nature and just enjoy the colors. Now I have to admit, I find it hard to just sit and reflect. I have to be moving about, running or walking. I have learned to enjoy the sounds of the leaves rustling, and the steady beat of the waves on the shore of Lake Michigan. I have decided to avoid the Ipod and listen to natures symphonies. I end up moving into a new zone of tranquility. I know for many people it's hard to just stop and leave behind the computers gadgets and electronics. But I guarantee you if you try if for just a few hours you will feel a peace that makes it easier to tackle your daily obligations.

  • From Prison to Ministry

    Tonight I met a man named Lawton who had served time in prison, had been in gangs, involved in selling drugs, and was a former pimp. But today he mentors others about the importance faith, education, and avoiding drugs. Lawton inspired a Milwaukee Audrey to call me. She tells me Lawton started mentoring her young son five years ago. She says his encouragement and determination gave her the motivation to work on her GED. She hopes to get it soon. Today Lawton and Audrey minister to others about abstinence, avoiding drugs and staying in school. What these two have accomplished is amazing. And, they've done it with faith, heart and passion, and basically no money. Audrey tells me she hung out with the wrong crowd early in life, had kids young, and ended up in abusive relationships. But today, she is a woman of faith. She is a loving mother and her kids are thriving. Audrey also ministers to the young often holding bible classes in the park. Her goal? She wants the children to know they are loved. Two people who could be on treacherous paths are now working together to save souls. Their passion, foresight, energy, and resourcefulness is truly amazing. They have no funding, just heart. Watch for their story in an upcoming Positively Milwaukee on Live at Five. I know you will be touched.

  • Halloween Memories

    I am always amazed every year around this time. So many people in our area really are festive. They go all out for Halloween. The houses that we will be featuring on Live at Ten for the next two weeks are proof. I always feel a tinge of sadness when I see homes all decked out for special days. Mainly because I wish I had the time and the creativity to tackle such displays. What fun it would be. From the goblins, and witches, to the ghosts and spider nests. Some of the Halloween Haunts we feature could scare even me. I have always loved this time of the year. When I was young I used to have nightmares before trick or treating. You know what they were? I would dream that I would miss trick or treating and not get any candy. I know you're thinking, what a loser..ha.ha..!!! But I'm talking about grade school. In those days missing Halloween was like missing Christmas. Too painful to imagine. Back then a huge pile of trick or treats was crucial to my fall joy. My sisters and I would try to fill our bags as high as possible. I remember hating well meaning homes that doled out raisins, or apples or heaven forbid..pencils. No, I wanted the good stuff, The Reese's, the M and M's, Baby Ruth's, Nestle's Crunch, Hershey's. I was also not big on those little pumpkins that surface this time of the year. And gumdrops NOOOOO!!!! In my world, a worthy trick or treat stop was a brand name candy bar. My how life changes. Today, my snacks of choice is an apple. I have been known to buy raisins to snack on. And when I go to the grocery store I just pretend like the candy aisle does not exist. Now that I'm an adult I know about nutrition and healthy eating. And the thought indulging in sweets like I did in my youth is scarier than our Halloween Haunts!!!

  • Wisconsin Weather Advantage

    As we watch the fierce wildfires raging in California, those of us in the Midwest can only imagine the horror. With more than a half million people evacuated and more than 1 billion dollars in damage, it's hard to imagine such destruction. Many severe weather episodes can be horrifying. But the threat of fire is just horrifying! Whenever those of us from the Midwest travel throughout the country the first thing you hear about is how cold it must be. Some feel sorry for me saying it must be tough to endure the cold. Others are shocked when I admit I love snow, even cold weather. But I bet thousands in the Golden State would rather be with cold and snow about right now. Personally, if I have a choice between a blizzard and a raging inferno, I will take the blizzard. At least you will be able to see your house when the weather subsides. All day we have heard that the Santa Ana winds are blowing in relief. But it's too late for the thousands who have lost their memories.

  • Please Leave a Message

    I did it again. Left a long rambling message on a voice mail. This was to a college professor who had inquired about a speaking engagement. All I can say is she may have a change of heart after hearing my voice mail. At the end of my message I found myself apologizing for my long message. Of course I suddenly wished I had an erase button or a way to start over. Often we leave messages quickly, and are multi-tasking. Before we know it, our time is up, or we have taken too much time. The worst, of course, is to hear the beep mid sentence. Ha..ha...!! That's rich. My husband will not leave a lot of time on our home answering machine. He says if people cannot collect their thoughts in one minute they should not be calling. Ha..ha..!!!But I understand. Many people leave me long long voice mails. Then the forget to give me their phone number at the end. So they may think I do not care. But the truth is they have failed to understand the basic tenants of voice mail. I guess voice mail and answering machines are convenient. Especially if you do not want to talk to someone. But they really can make communication hard, when you want to change your message, or clarify something, or in my case start to mumble incoherently. Then you have to do what I call the loser call back and try again, or try to continue where you left off. Loser call backs are never pretty!!!! Almost every day my poor 10 Pm producer Jay Saunders has to listen to me whine and wince about a less than stellar voice mail I have left. Actually though, I always end up laughing. I cannot help it. But there is really nothing we can do about lame messages. Right now, I have a dream. To leave a voice mail that is brief, concise and to the point. And I dream of devoting those few minutes only to the task of leaving a message. No typing, no writing...just full concentration. But if it all goes belly-up, at least the hangup will follow a good laugh!!

  • And You Are.....

    Maybe it's me. But I have never been over picky about my name. I know who I am. I know how to say my name. If you do not..that's ok with me. It just doesn't get to me that much. I have been called Carolyn, Caroline, and a variety of other names. If someone says hi to me, and they call me the incorrect name, I usually just smile and say hello back. But I recently was in line where a man was arguing not only about how the clerk pronounced his impossible to pronounce or spell name, but was adamant about being called, the Third (III). Pleeeeeeeeese!!! I found that arrogant and annoying. Especially when this particular line was long and slow. Now I am all for individuality, and uniqueness, but this was taking it too far. He was upset the clerk could not pronounce his name. And even went so far as to try to give her lessons. Yes, I am not kidding. I remember once many years ago in another television market, the Lt. Governor came up to me and said after a campaign speech, Hello Carole I watch you every morning. Right name, wrong show. I did not have the heart to tell him that I have never anchored a morning show in my life. So I just said thank you. A few months later he saw him at a press conference and he came up to me unexpectedly and apologized. He said he realized the mistake he made later in the day. He also said, thank you for not correcting me in front of everyone. I said no problem. That's just not my style. I know that campaigning for public office can be grueling and difficult. I also know that my schedule is not at the center of anyone's universe outside my family. Unfortunately, too many people, like Mr. "Impossible to Pronounce or Spell Name the Third", did not get that memo.

  • Serious Mistake

    If you think you had a bad day..imagine this poor family. This came down on the Associate Press wires earlier today, and I could not help but feel bad for all involved. Carole German clinic mixed up 2 infant girls; trying to find right parents BERLIN (AP) -- Two newborn girls were mistakenly switched at a clinic in southwestern Germany and went home with the wrong parents, and doctors are trying to correct the mistake, authorities said Friday. The mix-up, which occurred at the St. Elisabeth clinic in Saarlouis this summer, only recently came to light after one of the fathers took a paternity test, area councilwoman Monika Bachmann said. His wife then took a test and it was confirmed that she was not the girl's mother, according to a report in the top-selling Bild newspaper. The clinic is now trying to find out who the real parents are, said St. Elisabeth's director, Franz-Josef Backes. A total of 14 families are possibilities, and blood and DNA tests are being done to resolve the matter, he said. Results from those tests could take one to two weeks. "It is really a terrible time for the parents, to be left hanging like that," Backes said. The woman who took home the wrong baby is under 24-hour supervision by health service counselors, Bachmann said. "It is a very difficult situation," she said. Mathias Uhlig, the head doctor at the clinic, said there is a possibility that the children were somehow mixed up outside the clinic, given that the only other children born on the same day were two boys. He also noted that the mother had her photo taken with her infant, who already had the standard plastic identification band on her arm, he said. Still, the clinic is examining all of its procedures to see where the error may have occurred, Uhlig said. In a separate case in the Czech Republic, two families near Prague this week were going through the difficult process of swapping their nearly 1-year-old baby girls after tests revealed they had been mistakenly switched at birth. After weeks of visits to help the families adjust, the girls went home to their biological parents on Monday, the Lidove Noviny daily reported Tuesday. The clinic in Trebic, 100 miles southeast of Prague, where the mix-up took place called it a "regrettable" case and a result of "serious mistakes" made by two nurses who since have been fired. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Positively Milwaukee Special

    I hope you get the chance to check out my Positively Milwaukee Special . It will air in place of the 5 pm news on Christmas day. I have chosen just a few of the inspirational and interesting people that I have met this year. Looking at some of the old pieces was a chance to reflect on how fascinating it is to meet so many different people every week. And as I found out, just about everyone has a story, and many of those stories are aimed at the greater good. I hope you get to see some of the inspirational people we featured this year. I think it will help brighten your holiday season.

  • Help a Grafton Teen Win

    How would you like to help a local teen win a 5 thousand dollar scholarship and help promote higher education. Well all vote for Lauren Moroder, a finalist in the ACT Poster Scholarship Contest. The voting is on the internet and all you have to do is click on the link to help her out. Here is the press release for more information.

  • Thank You Green Bay Packers

    With the Packers in the post season, it's great to see Wisconsin united under a positive story. It's one that brings families, friends, neighbors and towns together. The Packers success has brought sparkle to an otherwise blah month, where many are battling post holiday blues. Usually January is gray, cold, and month where we all pledge to start anew. Many vow to change their lives, their jobs, and of course their waistlines. But this year thanks to the Packers we have a pleasant distraction to our New Years resolutions. We can embrace a common cause, something we can all cheer about. Brett Favre and company have taken given winter a sizzle we have not seen in eleven years. Packers fans are happy these days. We're excited, smiling, and filled with glee. To be this close to the Super Bowl is truly exhilarating. Particularly in a season where most predictions were for mediocrity. Thank you Packers for proving critics wrong and inspiring us. You have made our month. What you accomplished on Saturday was nothing short of amazing. You could feel the collective moans early when Ryan Grant's two fumbles left us with a 14 point deficit. But Grant redeemed himself to finish with 201 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He helped seal a huge Green Bay victory over the Seattle Seahawks. It was a comeback of amazing proportions. Thank you Green Bay Packers for an important life lesson. You taught us that when we stumble, we can get back up. You proved that loosing a few plays, does not mean you cannot win the game. You showed us the importance of determination, courage, and will. Thank you Green Bay Packers. Because of you, this January is one of the warmest on record. Not in the skies. But in our hearts.

  • Drama Before "Live at 10:00"

    Sometimes, it's just not easy being on live TV. Case in point. I recently had about 15 minutes before the start of the 10:00 pm news. As always, right before the news, I went in to check my hair and makeup. Since I had a cold, and was wearing contacts I thought, maybe a few eye drops would help reduce the affects of all of the coughing and sneezing. Wrong!! I put the eye drops in and only a few seconds later did I realize that I had not used my re-wetting solution. No, in my brilliance I had picked up the wrong bottle. I had put enzyme solution in my eyes. One eye turned blood red, and I was burning and stinging. To make matters worse, the enzyme solution actually made me hoarse. It almost took away my voice. I have never lost my voice in my life. I have been hoarse only a handful of times. With only ten minutes to the show I borrowed a co-workers Visine. Thankfully it helped. I got out on the set, looking a little glassy eyed and sounding strange..but I made it. In the real world, I would have just rinsed out my eyes, washed my face, and taken out the contacts. But it is crucial to be able to see to the teleprompter in this business. Plus, I had 45 minutes on the set, so I had to suffer. Luckily I made it through the news, albeit a little rough around the edges. Several people asked me later if I was OK. I replied, just fine, aside from a cold, the sniffles, a red eye, and the inability to speak, I was a glorious day. Ha..ha..!!! The good news, is I survived, and all is well. I am over the cold But now I will never keep enzyme drops at my desk. I learned a key lesson during that eye-catching debacle. Multi-tasking can be dangerous to your health!!!!!!!!!

Milwaukee, WI

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