Benefits of Both

Hey y’all!

Although there are many adjustments I’ve had to make since moving to Wisonsin, and many lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way, heading North was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Through this time, I’ve learned how to be a lot more independent and how to be tolerant of change. I’m thankful for this opportunity, and I hope y’all get the chance to experience both the North and the South of the Us.


I can’t stress how much I would love for all my Southern friends to spend a year or two in the North, specifically Wisconsin. But if that isn’t for you, you at least have to visit for a weekend or two.While my time in the North has been a lot shorter, I have found quite a few places that I’ve fallen in love with.


Wilderness resort in WI Dells
Photo from Dells official webpage

The first time I visited the Dells, I fell in love. This is a great place to go with family or friends, and you can never run out of things to do. Every year I go to the Dells with my teammates and stay in a hotel with a water park inside! You heard me right, A WATERPARK. The whole town is full of fun activities for decent prices. It’s definitely worth the trip.

Lake Geneva

I would rate Lake Geneva in the top ten most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I’ve only been twice, but I wish I could go every day. Downtown area is full of fun, unique shops and tasty ice cream parlors and restaurants. And if you aren’t a shopper, you can always lounge on the beach or rent  boat or jet ski for a few hours. So far, Lake Geneva has been my favorite place to visit in the North.

I’ve slowly developed a love for the North and can’t imagine my life with out it’s influence. Some of the best parts of the area are:

  • job opportunities
  • tolerance
  • winter wonderland (good and bad)
  • custard
  • cheese curds


While I can’t force you Northerners to move South (that’s asking a little much), I can strongly advise that you at least visit a few places. Everyone is so keen to drive to Florida that they don’t even realize they’re are missing some of the greatest places the South has to offer.



Dixie Stampede
Photo from official webpage

In the heart of Tennessee lies Gatlinburg, home of the Dixie Stampede and Dollywood. Gatlinburg is famous for its salt-water taffy and beautiful mountain resorts. Anyone who wants to see the beauty of the South should be sure to check out this fabulous, old-fashioned town.



The Music City, and my personal favorite place to visit. I’m so lucky it’s only a thirty minute drive from my house. Nashville offers a little bit for everyone. The town is full of cowboys, hipsters, athletes, and anyone else you could think of. From Broadway Street to the Ryman, you’ll never run out of things to do. However, if you want to fit in, I suggest you start practicing your southern drawl now. EVERYONE has one (:

The South is a wonderful place full of charming, kind people and delicious, homemade food. Here are what I consider to be some of the greatest benefits:

  • warmer weather
  • cheaper prices
  • better hospitality
  • Waffle House
  • abundance of cowboy boots

While I still consider myself a southern girl, I definitely have developed some Northern pride. I’ll forever keep my roots in sweet Tennessee, but being a yankee doesn’t seem so bad anymore either. I love my Northern home. Maybe some day I’ll even root for the Packers (but don’t hold your breath).

Until next time,



Bring Your Chapstick

Hey y’all,

One of the things I’ve had to learn since moving to Wisconsin is how to protect myself from drying out during winter! The brutal cold and dry atmosphere causes my skin, lips, and hair to dry out, and then I spend the rest of the year trying to repair the damage done. Luckily by my third winter I’ve figured out a few tricks to help prevent this.

Chapped Lips


Burt’s Bees Chapstick

I never truly realized what chapped lips were until moving to Wisconsin. Being a typical girl, I usually carried a tube with me in my backpack at home, but in Wiconsin, especially in the winter, it’s a necessity that I never leave home without. The cold dry winters cause my lips to crack and chap after just a few days in below freezing weather. So I suggest stocking up on some heavy duty chapstick before enduring the cold.

Despite being extremely popular right now, I would advise against EOS chapstick. Although it smells good and it’s packaged cutely, it doesn’t provide your lips near enough protection. My go-to chapstick will always be Burts Bees. Burt’s Bees is a beeswax lip balm that intensely moisturizes and protects my lips from cracking in the cold.

But no matter what brand you prefer, make sure you always have some on hand. It’s a lifesaver.

Wind Burn



One of the aspects of winter I struggle with most is the dry skin I get from wind burn. Many of the students at Whitewater call the areas the second windy city. Sometimes I use walking to class as my leg workout for the day because I have to push against the force of the wind so much it exhausts me! Along with this, a lot of times I’ll end up with dry, chapped cheeks from how cold and hard the winds are.

An easy solution I’ve found for this is Aquaphor. Aquaphor is a lotion/gel that people most commonly use on babyies and new tattoos. It provides intense moisture to the area you apply it on. I keep a tub of it on hand throughout winter and apply a tiny bit (a little goes a long way) when I feel like I’ve gotten wind burn. the only issue with this is that the product is very oily and can sometimes cause break-outs. I just make sure I thoroughly wash my face later that day and that usually prevents it.

Dry Hair

Moving from Tennessee, where it’s humid 24/7, to Wisconsin where the winters are brutally cold has ruined my hair. Every morning I have to blow dry my hair (destroying it with heat) because if I go outside with it wet, it’ll freeze! I’ll end up sitting in class for the next hour as my crunchy, frozen hair thaws and dries. So instead of suffering through this, I blow it dry every day, which as most girls know, is horrible for your hair. And now I spend more time in class splitting my already split-ends than I do paying attention to anything my professors say. Luckily, I have found some pretty great solutions to help keep my luscious locks through the winter.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is my solution for almost everything, but most importantly my hair! As weird as it sounds, I drench my hair in this moisture magic at least twice a week. For best results, glob a handful of coconut oil and massage it into your hair, focusing on the ends. Leave this in for a half hour (this can get messy so have a towel on hand!) then wash it out in the shower. You may have to wash your hair twice to get all the oil out, but you’re supposed to lather, rinse and REPEAT anyways so this isn’t too much of a hassle. You should see major improvements after doing this twice.


Garnier-Fructis Damage Eraser

Damage Eraser

If coconut oil doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of products you can buy that work well too. One that I love is Garnier-Fructis Damage Eraser- Split Ends. This is an inexpensive, easy-to-use product. Simply rub it all over your ends when you get out of the shower. This is my go-to product when I don’t have time to use coconut oil.


Just like the trees die in the winter, so does my hair. These few beauty tips have been lifesavers the past year. Just prepare yourself for the cold and know that the damage can always be undone.

Until next time,

Hannah Lee

NEXT WEEK: Benefits of Both

Southern Stereotypes

Hey y’all!

When I lived in the south, I never really put much thought into specific southern stereotypes. This all changed when I moved to Wisconsin. I am currently enrolled in a history course, and at the beginning of the semester my professor wanted to discuss common assumptions made about different regions in the United States. When he asked the class to yell out some stereotypes about southerners, this is what he got:

  • Uneducated
  • Simpletons
  • Dirty
  • Interbreeders
  • Farmers
  • Rascist
  • Redneck

You can imagine how far my jaw dropped when I realized this is what people thought of Southeners! I spent the rest of class grumpily slouching in my seat with my arms crossed.

While I don’t blame my northern friends for thier mispreceptions (I mean The Beverly Hillbillies and The Dukes of Hazzard don’t help the southern cause), I can’t help but get frustrated every time I’m asked if I live on a farm or know how to drive a tractor…the answers are no and no. While I’ve learned to laugh it off with the occasional eye roll, I’d like to prepare my fellow southeners with some of the common questions you’ll be asked if you move North. But, more importantly, I’d like to stomp out the stereotypes all together.

Do you live on a farm?


My home in Tennessee
Photo taken from Google Maps

One of the most common questions I’m asked is if I live on a farm. And I hate to break it to everyone, but not everyone in the south was raised among chickens and cows. I’m actually pretty positive that I know of more people in Wisconsin that grew up on a farm than in Tennessee.

While Clarksville is known for its tobacco farms (so I was raised with an appreciation for the farming community), I have never worked nor lived on a farm. But for some reason, southerners have quiet the farming reputation. I personally live in a medium-sized house in a quiet neighborhood with no farm animals in sight.

Do you marry your cousins?

While some of you, both northeners and southeners alike, may be laughing at the thought of this, I get asked this question on a regular basis. And unfortunately the steroetypoe is justified as marriage between first cousins is legal in the majority of the southern states, including Tennessee.

However, it is also legal in numerous midwestern states as well, to include Wisconsin. Marriage between cousins is not as uncommon as most believe, and it’s certainly not limited to the southern states. Here is a site that provides the laws on a state by state basis regarding marriage between cousins.

Are you redneck?

This question is a little silly I have to admit, but it falls under the top three questions I’m  most commonly asked about southern stereotypes. First off, I’d like to specify that the term “redneck” is used out of context on a regular basis. It actually means, according to, a  white farm laborer, typically that lacks an education. Well, I don’t believe I fit this definition, since I dont work on a farm and I’m currently pursuing a college education.


Main charcaters of Swamp People
Photo taken from: Project Casting

However, I’ll assume that everyone uses the Urban Dictionary definition for redneck: a southerner with a glorious lack of sophitication…While I’ll assume no one means to be offensive when asking this question (because shows like Swamp People and Gator Boys don’t help), you can sense way maybe this question is a little frustrating.

So in all cases, I would simply avoiding asking or responding about this stereotype.

Northern Sterotypes

Now that I’ve finished venting, I must admit some Northern stereotypes that I was convinced of before moving to Wisconsin:

  • Everyone’s rude: not true
  • Always busy: not true
  • Wealthier: not true
  • They drink a lot of beer: true

It’s unfortunate that stereotypes exist at all and moving to Wisconsin has opened my eyes to the diversity among people. So my advice to both northerners and southerners would be to not sterotype anyone. We’re all alittle different.

Until next time,


NEXT WEEK: Bring Your Chapstick







Let it Snow

Hey y’all,

I’m sure everyone has been wondering why I have yet to post about the DRASTIC differences in winter weather from the North to the South. Well here it finally is. I’ve finally turned the heat on in my house and begrudgingly stored my summer tops, short, and flip flops under my bed in preparation for Mother Nature’s chilly appearance. As there is nothing I can do now except wait for the white.


When I use to think of snow, a few things came to mind:

  • Snowmen
  • Snow angels
  • Sledding
  • Catching snowflake on my tongue

Now I think of:

Car being pushed out of the snow. Photo by Shane Epping

Car being pushed out of the snow.
Photo by Shane Epping

  • My car getting stuck in the parking lot
  • Shoveling just to open my front door
  • My gas and electric bill sky rocketing

Moving to Wisconsin has given me a new perspective on what I use to pray for on Christmas morning. Snow is probably my least favorite aspect of Wisconsin. The average snowfall in Tennessee is nothing compared to the average snowfall in Wisconsin. It only took one semester at Whitewater for the idea of a “winter wonderland” to become a nightmare. Prepare yourself my southern friends.

Wait, we have to go outside?

One of the biggest adjustments I had to make when moving to the north was going to school in the snow. In Tennessee, school is cancelled if there is even a possibility of snow. And if it actually snows, the whole town shuts down for at least 24 hours, but for good reason.

First off, no one at home knows how to drive in the snow. If it flurries, everyone drives approximately five miles per hour. Along with this, we have horrible plowing systems and putting salt on the roads is a foreign concept. No one knows how to handle winters, so we simply don’t. We sit inside with hot cocoa by the furnace and watch the glitter fall. Wisconsin handles things a little differently.

Not only is it unacceptable to drive five miles per hour when it’s snowing (trust me, people WILL honk), you are also expected to go to work/school/practice in NEGATIVE DEGREE WEATHER. Every winter I am faced with the decision of walking to class in -15 degree weather with wind chill and a blizzard outside or annoying everyone by driving in slow motion to class with my hands gripped as tightly to the steering wheel as possible in fear of sliding (In my defense, my license plate says Tennessee…people should understand).

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t skip class every timethe temperature drops below 32 degrees, but I still struggle taking that first step out the door in the morning during winter.


The winters can be brutal, but I’ve learned a few helpful tricks that have proved invaluable in the past few winters.

The brand of salt I use on my outdoor steps.

The brand of salt I use on my outdoor steps.

  • Bundle up…I mean it. Layers on layer on layers.
  • Always keep salt on the walkway by your house/apartment…especially if there are stairs
  • Get shoes with traction
  • Keep a blanket and phone charger in your car at all times
  • Insulate your windows
  • Never underestimate the power of a cup of hot cocoa, coffee, or hot tea

One of the things I still struggle with is driving and getting stuck in the snow, but I have found this article to be particularly helpful!

The winters here are rough, and I must admit, I have yet to fully adjust to the constant cold. However, as long as you prepare yourself ahead of time….you’ll survive. Or as my roommate likes to say every time it snows, “it’s time for hibernation.”

Until next time,


NEXT WEEK: Southern Stereotypes

What’s a Winter Coat?

Hey y’all,

One of my favorite things about living in Tennessee is fall and winter when you get to pull out your ADORABLE winter clothes. From scarves and cashmere sweaters to pea coats and leather boots, my fall and winter were basically a five month fashion show.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I realized I would be attending school in Wisconsin. It just gave me more of a reason to shop. Before moving here, I stocked up on some of my favorite staple winter items: cute hoodies from Forever21, adorable sweater dresses from Francesca’s, and of course brown and black boots with knitted boot socks. I was ready to make Whitewater my runway…but, as you can guess, I was not ready for the tundra of the North.

Wisconsin winters are not about style. They’re about survival.


In Tennessee, I often wore my Toms and leather boots in the winter, but I learned the hard way that this is not appropriate footwear for the North. One of my responsibilities at school is to sell raffle tickets at our home football games. It was one of the first days of flurries, and I was actually excited about the glittery powder….until those flurries seeped through my Toms and socks, soaking my feet and leaving me with no feeling in my toes for hours.

L.L. Bean boots Photo taken from official site

L.L. Bean boots
Photo taken from official site

Since then, I’ve invested in some heavy duty shoes for those brutal winter days. Although winter boots can be quite expensive, the price is well worth the quality. There are very few things worse than sitting in class with wet, cold toes. Below I’ve listed some of the top rated winter shoe brands:

  • Patagonia
  • Merrell
  • Ugg
  • L.L. Bean (my favorite)
  • Merona
  • Timberland


Winter coats are a necessity, not a fashion statement! This was a tip I needed to know before moving to Wisconsin. In preparation for school, I purchased two rather fashionable “winter” coats: a green pea coat from Old Navy and a thin black fleece from Forever21.

Columbia Jacket Photo taken from official website

Columbia Jacket
Photo taken from official website

I’m sure my Wisconsin friends are laughing at the thought of surviving winter with these supposed coats, but I can promise you, I was not laughing my freshman year. I lasted about two weeks into winter before I called home begging for money to buy a real coat. By real winter coat I mean Northface, Carhartt, or Columbia. These, too, can be expensive, but they are durable and a well-made investment.

Even now I found myself layering my Northface over a hoodie over a long-sleeved tshirt. To be safe, just remember: the more layers the better.


This piece of clothing is specific to my female friends, but I’m sure it will be relevant to the majority of college girls. There are very few articles of clothing quite as comfortable as leggings. Plus they’re versatile! You can dress them up or down. However, they aren’t considered winter apparel and often are made so thin that they offer no protection from any form of weather…well I few companies have heard these complaints and problem solved! They have made Fleece-lined leggings.

On an average week during winter, I wear leggings 7 out of the 7 days; sometimes by themselves, but more often than not, I wear them under my sweatpants or jeans to add just one more layer.

Fleece-lined leggings are growing in popularity. You can now purchase them in the majority of department stores. I typically purchases mine from Target, but if you don’t have one in the area, just look at almost any clothing store. It won’t take you long to find a pair and fall in love.


Over time, I have discovered that it’s still possible to be fashion forward during the winter through the use of fun accessories. While your biggest priority should be quality, it’s possible to dress up your outfits with some warm weather accessories. Below is a list of accessories that can help make any winter outfit fun and exciting, but more importantly, help keep you warm!

  • Scarves
  • Hats
  • Earmuffs
  • Gloves
  • Boot socks
  • And, of course, fun Hot Hands!

To sum it up, focus on warmth over fashion. The winters up North are beautiful but brutal. Take it from me, being comfortable is way better than looking cool.

Until next time,


Next week: Let it Snow

You Don’t Have Sweet Tea?!

Hey y’all

One of the best parts of living in the South is the food. The greasy, fried, made with love, clog your arteries meals that you can’t find anywhere else in the country. And more specifically, the sun made sweet tea that MUST accompany every meal. While Wisconsin does have some delicious food of its own, such as beer brats, cheese curds, and custard, I miss my daily fixes of chicken, biscuits, and fried okra. I was certainly not prepared to lose my favorite fixin’s when I moved here, but after a few adjustments….I’ve learned how to manage.

Sweet Tea

Milo’s Sweet Tea
Photo from official website

Sweet tea is the staple drink in the south. You typically order it with breakfast, lunch,and dinner. So you can imagine my surprise when I got half way through Illinois, ordered a sweet tea, and received the typical “we have unsweet and I can bring you some sugar packets.” (Before I continue I just need to clarify that adding sugar to unsweet tea is NOT the same as making it sweet originally. The sugar settles to the bottom if it’s not heated with the tea, and it’s a disaster!)

One of my favorite brands of sweet tea is Milo’s. I use to pick one up every day before school in Tennessee, but this isn’t even sold in the North. Basically, I’ve been limited to Lipton and Nestea, and anyone who knows real sweet tea cringes at the thought of either.

So in order to get my sugary fix I’ve developed a few strategies. First, I stock up on Milo’s every time I go home; I occasionally make my own sun tea; I visit Cracker Barrel as often as possible (the only place to get sweet tea nearby); and if all else fails, I settle for Mcdonalds’ tea. This has probably been the hardest transition when it comes to food, but the limited access makes the tea that much sweeter when I finally get some (pun intended).

Waffle House

A typical Waffle House menu Photo provided by official website

A typical Waffle House menu
Photo provided by official website

If you’ve ever been to the South, you’ve probably noticed the Waffle Houses off of almost every exit on the Interstate. For those of you who don’t know, Waffle House is a cheap, greasy, open 24-hour restaurant that serves breakfast all day. The restaurants typically look dirty and run-down on the outside and inside BUT it has the best food imaginable. I can’t count how many late night Waffle House trips I took in high school. It combines the best of affordable and comfort food.

This is another aspect of the South that I desperately miss, but, luckily for me, I have Jessica’s, a family-run restaurant in Whitewater, that serves breakfast at all times as well. Although they aren’t open 24/7 and they are a little pricier, it’s been a decent substitute while I’m away.

Similar to Jessica’s, the Northwest has Perkins. It’s a chain restaurant that serves breakfast all day and has an inviting atmosphere. While I prefer the food at Jessica’s, Perkins has been a good substitute when I’m away from Whitewater.

Thank Goodness for Cracker Barrel

I can’t count the number of times I’ve made weekly, and even daily, trips to the nearestCracker Barrel to get my Southern food fix. Although Cracker Barrels aren’t as frequently located in the North as they are in the South, I’m more than willing to make the half hour drive as often as possible.

Cracker Barrel logo

Cracker Barrel has quickly become my solution to homesick symptoms. Every time I walk in, it feels like home! These restaurants serve real Southern comfort food: biscuits-n-gravy, collard greens, grits, SWEET TEA…the list is endless.

My parents probably send me gift cards to Cracker Barrel at least once a month, and I drag along my friends at least once a week to enjoy, what I would consider, real food!

For my Southern food lovers, my suggestions for you would be:

  • Stock up on your favorite foods and drinks before heading North
  • Give Perkins a shot
  • Visit Cracker Barrel as often as possible (and order extra meals to go)
  • Cook for yourself! You’ll never know until you try


But in your longing for the comforts of home, don’t forget to give Wisconsin food a try as well. After getting over my initial stubbornness, I’ve found that a bowl of beer cheese soup can be just as comforting as a bowl of grits during the cold winter. It’s okay (and expected) that you’ll miss your southern staples, but Wisconsin’s got a few pleasant surprises of its own.

Until next time,


NEXT WEEK: What’s a Winter Coat?

No Pack No

Hey y’all!

Being from Tennessee most people would assume that I’m a Titans fan, but I most certainly am not. Although I don’t have anything against my home team, my heart truly belongs to the New York Giants aka Eli Manning. This should be evidence enough to prove that I have nothing against out of state teams. I actually had no real opinion, good or bad, about the Packers (or the Bears for that matter). This quickly changed after one year in the Wisconsin.

I understand that this is a risky post as I’m surrounded by die-hard Packers fans, but it’s a necessary topic for anyone moving here.

Where is everyone?

My first issue with the Packers is that the entire town basically shuts down whenever a game is on. I understand loyalty to a team, but Wisconsin takes it to a new level. Although Whitewater is a small town, there are almost always students out and about either at the dining halls, downtown, or at least entertaining themselves at Walmart. But during a Packers game, this all changes. I remember going to the library on a Sunday my freshman year and hesitating after walking in because I thought it was closed. It wasn’t. There was just a Packers game on.

Over time I’ve learned how to adjust to the fanatic love for green and yellow. Game time has become one of the most productive hours during my week. I can grocery shop without waiting in lines, I never have to wait for a computer at the library, and I can go to the gym without worrying about whether people are judging how much weight I’m lifting. Although I wouldn’t say I enjoy them, Packers games have a couple upsides to them.

Just never plan a meeting, group project, date, etc. during a game, because, trust me, no one will show.

Cheese Head


NFL Packers Player, Adrian Battles wearing cheese hat
Photo by Jersey Al Bracco

One of the strange traditions that Packers fans warmly embrace is wearing a wedge of cheese on their heads. You heard me right, a wedge of cheese. I’m not even surprised when I see students walking around with these on their heads on game day. The first time I witnessed my roommate, a Packers fanatic, wearing one of these I couldn’t help but hysterically laugh until I realized I was the minority in this situation. Almost all my Wisconsinite friends own some sort of cheesy hat, scarf, foam finger, etc. The cheese apparel is a staple article during a game. I am no longer surprised when I see the yellow wedges, however I will never be participating in this tradition…no matter how hard my friends try and persuade me to.

Bear Down


NFL image displaying ongoing rivalry
Photo from pcmscommunity

I would say that the most obnoxious part of living in Wisconsin is due to the Wisconsin-Illinois rivalry. Although it extends much further than football, the Packers-Bears competition is never ending. While Wisconsin fans are the majority, Bears fans are not far behind,  and when the two teams play each other, the entire campus comes to a standstill. There’s endless trash talk, stats thrown out, and unfortunately, there’s always someone disappointed. It’s a lose-lose situation so It’s probably best to just avoid everyone until the game day atmosphere dies down.


In an environment where not being a Packers fan is almost a sin, I’ve managed to stay loyal to my Giants (let’s be honest, they need all the support they can get). It hasn’t been easy, but don’t let the overwhelming peer pressure get to you my Southern friends. I promise the Packers will ALWAYS have plenty of fans.

Until next time,


Next week: You don’t have sweet tea?!

Learning the Language


Hey y’all!

No matter where you live, if you’re there long enough, eventually you’ll pick up the language. This was certainly the case for me growing up in Tennessee. I never considered how thick my accent was until I was immersed in the North. But it didn’t take long for the jokes to start and the endless mocking.

For those of you that plan on moving above the Mason Dixon Line, prepare yourself. Not only do Northerners pronounce things a lot different, but they have a certain set of slang terms they use as well. I’ve provided you with some of the language “do’s and don’ts” in an attempt to help you avoid the almost inevitable question, “are you from the south?”


Design by Anderson Group Studio

Design by Anderson Group Studio

Y’all is a habit I will never be able to break. Its way more convenient than saying “guys” or “everyone,” but it’s my biggest give away to let people know I’m from the South. It’s almost a guarantee that when I say “y’all,” it will be repeated/mocked back to me in an obnoxious southern drawl. Luckily for me, my roommate is also from the South, and we provide everyone who visits our house some helpful hints to the proper use of the word. You can find this hanging in our bathroom, and it couldn’t be more accurate. While I’ve ridded my vocabulary of certain southern terms, y’all is here to stay.

Coke, Pop, or Soda?

I haven’t quite figured out which one Wisconsinites usually choose, and according to Pop vs. Soda, neither can they, but pop and soda are terms used in the North that are never used in the South. In Tennessee, everything is a coke. When a waitress comes by she’ll simply ask, “would anyone like a coke?” and it’s perfectly acceptable to order a Sprite. However, my northern friends don’t think the same way. Firstly, it’s almost impossible to find Coca-Cola in the North. For the most part, everywhere sells Pepsi products. Secondly, everyone tells me how illogical I am to call everything a coke. This has been a difficult habit to break, but I can promise you that I will never call it pop. Where’s the logic in that?

Fixin’ to

This phrase is probably the one that gets me the most laughs. And no, this has nothing to do with construction, and I don’t need a tool kit to be fixin’.  Fixin’ to means I’m about to do something. For example, I’m fixin’ to post this blog or I’m fixin’ to go to the store. The funny stares are endless for this comment, so I suggest trying to weed this out of your vocabulary before going northbound.

Fitting in

There are numerous other slang terms and phrases that differ from Wisconsin to Tennessee, and for your convenience, I’ve provided a short list of translations below. But as long as you hold your vowels a little longer and say “oh yeah” frequently, you’ll fit in soon enough my Southern friends.

1. buggy = shopping cart

2. water fountain= bubbler

3. reckon= suppose

4. britches= pants

5. ruckus= loud noise

6. yonder= over there

7. sugar= kiss

8. hissy fit= tantrum

9. dern near= almost

10. fixins= side dishes for a meal.

For more translations, visit

Until next time,




The Car Catastrophe


Hey y’all,

It’s funny how you never consider how important some things are until they aren’t working. In my case, this was my car during my first winter in Wisconsin. The weather took a toll on my vehicle, and thus my stress level as well. Below I’ve provided you with what I consider some of the most important vehicle tips in the hopes that you can avoid some of the frustrating encounters I experienced.

A Scraper and Shovel

I take responsibility for this mishap. I should’ve known it would be necessary, but get an ice scraper and shovel. My first experience driving in Wisconsin snow started with about twenty minutes of scraping snow off my windows with my school id and shoveling the piles of snow behind my car away with my hands.

Windshield Wipers

I never really put much thought into how important windshield wipers were until they were snapping off into the middle of the road every time I tried to turn them on. It’s important to note that in Tennessee the standard for wipers is to turn them on when it’s raining (or flurrying if it was a rough winter) and off when it stops. Unfortunately, Wisconsin is different.

Windshield wipers lifted in the snow Photograph by: Marnie Persaud, Swerve

Windshield wipers lifted in the snow
Photograph by: Marnie Persaud, Swerve

Little did I know that windshield wipers will freeze to your windshield if you don’t lift them up when your car is parked. I was a little confused when I pulled into a parking lot and a majority of the cars looked like this, but I shook it off as another weird Wisconsin thing…..a terrible mistake. Through my first winter here, I went through three sets of wipers, because I was unaware that they would FREEZE TO MY CAR.

Although sometimes I got away with leaving them down, a majority of the time I was left with half a wiper or they simply wouldn’t move. To be on the safe side, always lift your wipers and try using Bosch blades. I’ve found them to be the best quality at the best price.

Gas Level

I’ve always been the type of girl to let my car get down to 5 miles until empty before I roll my way into the gas station. Unfortunately, this is not a practice that works very well in Wisconsin. It was my first winter by myself, and my dad (aka as my mechanic) was 500 miles away. After a brutally cold day, I went to my car to drive to practice, and SURPRISE, it wouldn’t start.

Instantly I panicked, until I was informed that your gas will freeze if it’s too cold outside and your tank is low; a little tip that would have been helpful 24 hours previously. So if you don’t want to find yourself walking everywhere in a blizzard, don’t let your gas tank get too low.

Tire Pressure

It’s basic physics that when an object gets warm it expands and when it gets cold it deflates, but when you’re a southern belle, you rarely apply this concept to tire pressure. After suffering through winter, my tires were, let’s just put it, very low.

My suggestion for you is to purchase an air pressure gauge, which can be found at almost any auto store, but I purchased mine from Autozone, and keep quarters in you center console at all times. The majority of gas stations offer air for less than a dollar, and you can increase the life of your tire and your drive will be much smoother, trust me.

Auto Shops

It’s safe to say I’ve had a lot of problems with my vehicle since moving to Whitewater, but fortunately there is a family run auto shop in town. Fero’s has taken care of every issue and question I’ve had since I’ve been here, no matter how silly. They even gave me a free ice scraper! No matter where you move to my Southern friends, I suggest you find your very own Fero’s. It’s proven invaluable.

Until next time,


NEXT WEEK: Learning the Language


Hey y’all

My name is Hannah Lee, and I’m a southern girl caught in the tundra of Wisconsin. I came to Whitewater three years ago from Clarksville, Tennesse for three reasons:

And since then, I’ve been stumbling my way (literally all over ice) through adjusting to Northern life. Although there have been MANY failures and I’ve discovered the snow is actually horrible, I can say this has been an unforgettable experience thus far, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What is it?

My first day in the snow

My first day in the snow

In this blog, I will be providing Southerners, like myself, with the “dos and don’ts” of adjusting to life in the North, and I’m sure my Wisconsinite readers will get a little laugh at some of the major mistakes I made as well. Although just a ten hour drive and three states away, Wisconsin and Tennessee could not be more different; from the food to the language to the weather, the examples are endless. And I’ll be sharing a few of them with you in the upcoming weeks.

Why write it?

My hope is that I will be able to prevent others from making some of the, sometimes very expensive and embarrassing, mistakes that I made. And, of course, bring a little southern charm to the north.

Leaving my family, warm weather, and the greasy food at Waffle House was one of the hardest decisions I’ve made, especially when you add how clueless I was to life on my own. However, I’ve finally gotten the hang of things, and Wisconsin is slowly starting to feel like home (although I’ll never be a Packers fan).

As I outline my journey for you, I invite you to share your triumphs and failures as well. How well…or not so well…did you just to life in the North? Or for you Northerners, how was your experience in the South?

And for those of you yet to experience the differences between tht two, I encourage you to go Northbound and get a little taste of the Upper Midwest. You won’t regret it.

Until next time y’all,


NEXT WEEK: The Car Catastrophe