March 31, 2008

'A truly great man': Milt McPike dies at 68

I was one of the lucky ones. During the 1980s, Milt McPike, was almost a daily presence for my classmates and me during our four years at East High School. Mr. McPike was the head principal but more importantly, he was a true leader to a socially and economically diverse high school on the eastside of town.

With over 2,000 students, he managed to know just about all of our names. And if he couldn't place it right away, he definitely knew what grade you were in, activities in which participated and if there was any trouble.....

It didn't matter to Mr. McPike whether you were black, asian, hispanic, white, rich or poor. When you were in his school - he treated everyone the same - with dignity, with respect and with just a tad bit of patience for teenaged mistakes. It was also the expectation of Mr. McPike's that you treated everyone else the same way.

When I look back to my high school years, I wonder how that man actually got any administration work done, as he always seemed to be walking the halls, surrounded by students, telling stories, hearing ours, giving hugs and being a supportive part of our lives.

In the coming days, there will be thousands of tributes from students and the community he touched during his life - And this man deserves every accolade that will be said.

Mr. McPike had such an influence in the way I see the world, the way I value my community, how I raised my children, and how I learned to believed in my own abilities.

Thank you Mr. McPike. You were a true teacher.

Rylee - Class of 1984

March 29, 2008

Spring has Sprung!!!!

Out in the front yard today, I was greeted by several dozen tulips and daffodils that are working their way up through the semi-frozen ground. Yeah! Spring has finally come to Wisconsin. After a record snowfall of 100 inches in Madison this year, the snow has finally melted down to the few lonely sooty piles along the streets.

March 24, 2008

Dancing Dogs

This is too cute!!!! Do you think I could teach Teiko how to do this?

March 18, 2008

Weekend at the Keweenaw

We had a great weekend up in the Keweenah penisula in Michigan this past weekend. We stayed at the now waterproofed trailer by Lake Superior. It was actually quite cozy with electricity and heat - we managed quite nicely. Fresh coffee in the morning, the rocking Wolf radio station and snow, snow, snow!

Todd and Raine skied both days. Since Mt. Bohemia is just a bit too severe for me as a skier, I spent time working on genealogy, touring around the Keweenah and hangin' with Teiko. The weather was fabulous over the weekend, sunny, cold but warm with the sunlight. Each night we went to different towns to dine - Saturday night we went to Quincy's in Dollar Bay and on Sunday night we went to The Michigan House in Calumet. The history of the U.P. is fascinating and we need to spend more time learning about the mining and industry that took place there. Of course, it ended upruptly in the '40s and the U.P. has spent the past 50 years trying to recover. We're doing our small part to add to the economy - or at least have a damn good time trying....

March 14, 2008

Heading to the Keweenaw this weekend

Somehow Todd and Raine have convinced me to accompying them to the Keweenah pennisula this weekend while they go skiing at Mt. Bohemia. We'll be staying in the lovely trailer on the property the guys own. We'll leave for our 6+ hour drive this afternoon. Yippee.......

I'm so sick of snow, cold and winter -so I'm really happy to escape to another snow infested place. But since I haven't been out of Madison since December, I probably need to spread my wings a bit. Fortunately, the trailer has electricity - so I'll have my laptop to work on genealogy.

March 10, 2008

Home Projects and Improvements

Todd, my fabulous handyman and all around great guy, busted a move this weekend and tiled the shower and wall in the soon-to-be-completed sauna room. You can read more about it here -
We had originally thought to go with actual slate tiles in this new room, but upon review, we felt that slate and it's uneven nature might not be a good choice for a wet area. Slate requires annual treatment to keep it "waterproof". We found a really nice ceremic tile at the home improvement store that had lots of variations between tiles. This works great and is about 1/4 the cost.

In the photos above you can see the new shower and the before and after shot of the "chill" room that leads out to the hottub and backyard. It will be an awesome space when it is finally completed. (Maybe by May/June?) We still have to put in a wood floor, finish the ceiling and the trim wood around the new windows and walls. Being weekend projects - you can only do so much.

The other picture in the gallery above, is from when I laid the tiles out on the floor to find the right pattern. I didn't want just a straight-up square pattern. I like the mix of small and large tiles. It looks really nice and "professional" in the shower stall. That was my contribution to Todd's hard labor this weekend - the design aspect. I did my job - I feel good.

March 5, 2008

21 years ago today

21 years ago today, Todd and I were both 21 years old having our first baby. And now we are celebrating our daughter's 21st birthday.

Here are some sweet photos from the night Ms. Ryann was born. I remember being scared out of my mind about what the future would hold, but never being afraid of my ability to be a good Mama. Ryann was born at 7:05 pm on a Thursday night. And I know the moment I fell in love with this child. It was 2AM and I woke with a start. I was panicked because I didn't know where my baby was. (In the day, babies didn't room with their Mamas) I began walking the halls of Madison Meriter Hospital looking for her. After what seemed like hours (but was probably 20 minutes) a nurse found me leaning against a wall crying for my baby and led me straight to the nursery. When I laid eyes on that baby, I took that her back to my room, wrapped her in my arms and never let her out of my sight again. I didn't know you could love someone so quickly and so intensely. Wow!

The Universe felt it also - that weekend was the warmest of record (72 degrees) and Todd would ride his motorcyle to the hospital to see us.

So that's the birth story of Ryann. Today Ms. Ryann is a junior at the U of M and is embarking on her own future. Happy Birthday Sweetheart. You are amazing! And we love ya to the Moon!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...