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.

North

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.

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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

South:

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.

Gatlinburg

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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.

 

Nashville

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,

Hannah

 

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

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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

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Aquaphor

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.

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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?

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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 dictionary.com, 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.

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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,

Hannah

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.

Snow

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
  • FREEZING
  • 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.

Advice

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,

Hannah

NEXT WEEK: Southern Stereotypes