life management

Why I Left Portland and Moved Back to Milwaukee

Living on the West Coast of the United States is a dream for many. Temperatures are mild, nature is accessible, and the food is incredible. So, why in the hell would anyone ever leave the West Coast?

Well, I’ve left the West Coast twice in my lifetime. I grew up in Southern California—I spent ages 2-20 in San Gabriel Valley—and I moved to Texas in December of 2001. Most recently I spent 6 years in Portland, Oregon and moved back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin…where I lived from 2009-2014.

In other words, I moved to Texas right after 9/11 and I moved to Wisconsin in the middle of COVID-19. These are two of the most tragic and impactful moments I can think of in my lifetime. But, they are NOT the reasons I moved away from the West Coast.

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how to move during coronavirus

What to Expect When You Have to Move During the Coronavirus

They say that moving is the third most stressful life event after death and divorce. So, what if you have to move during the Coronavirus pandemic? The stress is pretty remarkable.

I’ve moved across the U.S. five times in my life—Texas to California, California to Texas, Texas to Wisconsin, Wisconsin to Oregon, and most recently…Oregon to Wisconsin. With the exception of the California-Texas moves when I was younger, the other three moves involved moving with two screaming cats. Just to add another layer of complexity.

So, me and my husband have done cross-country moves by car (with screaming cats) a few happy times. In January, we officially decided to move back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We didn’t exactly factor pandemics into the equation.

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covid-19 human behavior

A COVID-19 Tale of Three Women on a Quest for Food

I opened the cargo van passenger door and jumped down onto the sidewalk. My boots hit the concrete with a deafening thud. I paused to enjoy a deep, luxurious inhale of the crisp mountainous air.

Mother Nature finally decided to turn off the “snow” light switch and the skies were sweet and clear. A stubborn sunset kept hanging on—as if Montana was making a point for me to witness its undeniable glory.

After driving for hours across the country—through a late-March mixture of rainstorms and whiteouts—feeling my feet on the ground was life-affirming.

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woman singing

Coronavirus Escape: Here’s a Free Copy of Beneath the Satin Gloves

Coronavirus is on our minds constantly right now. I’m not going to write about it, because I don’t have anything groundbreaking to add that hasn’t already been covered ad nauseam.

Honestly, I’m at a loss for words. Each morning I wake up wondering what kind of world I will be stumbling into. I drink my coffee and try to avoid the news on my laptop, but the worldwide impact is impossible to ignore.

We need to stay informed and support one another, but most of all, we need to do our best to keep on living. We need to take care of ourselves, which means we should find healthy escapes that remove us from the vortex of uncertainty—even if that’s only for a half-hour.

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how are you

How Are You Doing?

When was the last time you really asked yourself: How are you doing? Not in the same way you throw around “how are you doing?” as a glorified greeting in everyday conversations.

You’ve worn out the question that way, like all the rest of us. Over the years “how are you doing?” lost its true sense of care and curiosity, becoming as numb as the canned responses to that rhetorical question…

  • I’m good.
  • Fine. And, how are you?
  • Doing great. Busy, but great.

Most of the time we don’t give ourselves a chance to answer the rhetorical “how are you doing?” because we never ask it. Instead, we focus on a very different question: What are you doing?

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