Chronicles of a Plant Killer by Aaliyah Williams

If I could wish to be endowed with one thing, one new talent in particular, I’d wish for a green thumb. House plants are like little friends that you take care of, like pets that just sit and smile towards the sun all day. I’ve tried a few times to keep a plant in my room, but aside from the one successful attempt to keep a tiny flower pot (which bloomed, actually, but with yucky smelling flowers that filled the entire second floor of my house with their fragrance), I’ve never actually been able to grow a plant.

I’m proud to announce that once someone trusted me to water their plants while they were away on vacation! The woman had heard about me through the Onaway mom grapevine, and my status as the premier babysitter of Onaway-going children had earned me the community trust needed to water someone’s plants. Of course, it was a bit of a disaster; Shaker Heights was hit with that terrible heat wave that always drives people inside, right around the beginning of July where temperatures everyday hit somewhere around 95 °F. The family suggested I stop by once or twice a week to water the plants, but I ended up needing to come by everyday just to keep the plants from dying. In the end, I over-watered some mint plants and under-watered some hanging flowers, but all the plants were more or less alive when the family came back from vacation (which I was extraordinarily proud of).

If I’m lucky, I might fall asleep and wake up tomorrow as Poison Ivy, being able to grow, healthy, thriving plants anytime I choose (and walk around in a little green leotard made of leaves). For now though, I think that the plant community might benefit if I stopped attempting to cultivate a garden with such little gardening talent–I’m going to stick with kids and dogs instead.

An Open Letter to an Absent Study Hall by Grace Geier

Dear 2nd-Period Study Hall students,

The Writing Center awaits your visit, and every day we long for you to appear at our door. Our endless supply of candy and readily available interns are at your disposal, yet you seem not to care for our help. What did we do to deserve this silent treatment? Why have we lost your trust in our writing process? I promise you won’t regret a trip to the writing center, and I can guarantee that we’ll shower you with helpful advice and Skittles (or whatever candy of your choice). Whether it be an English literary analysis, a foreign language essay, an IA, or any other writing-related work, your 2nd-period interns are here to assist you. Please don’t turn your back on a chance to grow as a writer. We can’t wait to meet with you!

Sincerely,

Your very own writing center

What is Wrong with the Browns? (Part 3)

In my last installment of “What is Wrong with the Browns?”, the 2-5 team traveled to Denver to face the Broncos. The Broncos came in at a lowly 2-6, but still managed to beat the Browns 19-24. At this point in the season I thought all hope was lost, and that surely the Browns’ Head Coach, Freddie Kitchens, would be getting fired following the embarrassing loss. To my surprise they kept Freddie, and the decision seemed to pay off as the Browns won three straight games, with these wins coming against the Bills, Steelers, and Dolphins. Baker Mayfield looked much improved in these games and was a main factor for the Browns success. However, the Browns faced some adversity as they lost their best defensive player Myles Garrett to an indefinite suspension. This of course came in the infamous game against the Steelers in which he hit Mason Rudolph in the head with a helmet. This event was widely discussed in the media and it set up a decisive rematch between the Browns and Steelers on Week 13.

Image result for mason rudolph myles garrett

The Browns came into this game with an advantage as the Steelers were now on their third-string quarterback Duck Hodges. The Browns looked good to start the game, taking an early 10-0 lead. This lead didn’t last though as offensive struggles in the second half  led to the Steelers to come back. Down 20-13 with a little over a minute left in the fourth quarter, the Browns had a chance to tie up the game. Sadly, Baker Mayfield threw an interception to former Brown, Joe Haden, sealing the game for the Steelers.

Following this loss, reports have since come from the media detailing the growing frustration from wide receiver Odell Beckham. In addition, reports have begun to circulate about the dysfunction between Head Coach Freddie Kitchens and Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken. Overall, the team is in disarray and playoff hopes are beginning to dwindle.

 

 

 

 

The Best Holiday Snack by Emma Jevack

Ah, the holidays. A time of festive activities, being with family, and (of course) baking. Unfortunatley, I’m not naturally talented in the latter category. It seems any cookie, pie, or confectionary recipe calls for a dozen different ingredients, 20+ steps, and you will probably wreck your kitchen in the process. That’s why I’ve abandoned the traditional perimeters of holiday treats and now make puppy chow.

Puppy chow is also known as muddy buddy, monkey munch, or any other regional venecular (but during the holidays, it’s fun to call it Reindeer Chow). It’s a fast and easy recipe that yields a delicious snack everyone can enjoy!

Reindeer Chow Recipe

Ingredients:

  • One box of Chex mix (normal or any flavor)
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (use more as needed)

Instructions:

  • Put all the chex mix in a very large bowl.
  • Mix the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a bowl.
  • Put in microwave for 30 second intervals until melted into a liquid. Be sure to stir inbetween the 30 second rotations.
  • Pour chocolate peanut butter mixture over chex mix, stirring as you pour. Add enough so that every piece is coated, but not too much that you can’t even see the cereal.
  • Add in powdered sugar, mixing as you go. Add more than a cup if needed, but add enough that you can pick up an indiviual piece without touching the peanutbutter and chocolate part.
  • If neccesary, put in a large gallon Ziploc bag and shake with powdered sugar
  • Spread evenly on a cookie sheet,  let it sit for a minute, then enjoy!

 

 

lots of breakfast by emilia richter

Today I want to write about breakfast. I love reading about food, so I might as well write about it! I love breakfast because it starts off the day. It gives you energy for what lies ahead, and best of all, it looks really cool. Instagram is full of fancy breakfast pictures for a reason. It’s ~so~ aesthetic.
Some of my favorite breakfast foods are: Eggs. Scrambled with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. On the plate they look fluffy and a rich sort of yellow. Or fried eggs with a dense, almost orange yolk in the center. The white surrounds the yolk like a thick doily. The edges are crispy and curled up a little. Or even hard-boiled eggs, peeled the right way. Taken straight out of the pot and into cold water, tapped against the table, and peeled with the water still running. The shell comes off like an orange peel.
Waffles. Textured, with little cubicles, waffle offices. Warm, with a melting pat of butter in the middle and maple syrup waterfalling down the sides. I put blueberries inside the cubicles – workers at the office. Raspberries, almonds, cheerios work there too. Anything really. Or pancakes. They are so hard to make correctly. The batter is always fine. Light cream color, not too many lumps, and thicker than milk but thinner than frosting. I grease the pan with oil, then with butter, then with cooking spray, because it won’t stick this time. It can’t.
I ladle the batter on and wait for it to bubble. Of course, it sticks. Pancake scramble, again.
Sometimes I eat dinner for breakfast. Warm rice noodle soup with vegetables and beef. Halved sweet potatoes, fresh out of the oven and covered in my classic garlic-powder-paprika-olive-oil mixture. Salt and pepper too.
I like to switch it up and eat breakfast for lunch. Not like what they give you in elementary school, plastic-like sausages and indestructible pieces of bread. I’m talking a fat bowl of oatmeal. Oats, whole brown flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds. Sesame seeds. Coconut sugar and cinnamon. And best of all, blueberries. Drench it in almond milk, nut milk, pea milk or a combination of all of them. Oats are the best when they have been sitting for a while. Then they are cakey and dense, but still moist. The sugar or syrup has melted into the mixture, giving it the perfect amount of sweetness. Natural sweetness. Not like Sour Patch Kids sweet. Like real sweet.
I like avocado for breakfast too. I love how perfectly spherical the pit is and the shadow it casts on the green flesh. It’s not a bright green, and it’s not a dark green. It’s a deep, medium green. I love when food has deep color like that. Some foods, like boiled eggplant, are dull-colored and translucent. Even the purple skin is faded and blends in with the rest of the stew.
When I want a healthy breakfast, I take an egg or two and crack them in a bowl. I add some almond milk and break the yolks with a fork. They bleed. Paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper go into the bowl. Then I use my wrist to move the fork, blending everything together and creating little air bubbles. I grab my small circular pan. I grease it heavily. I can’t have it sticking this time. Not today. I put the pan on the stovetop, pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat to medium-high. Then I wait.
When the edges of the egg-circle are solid, and the outer area is almost cooked, I take a spoon and start lifting. Sometimes, the patty is perfect and I can flip it without a problem. Most times, flakey, dry, burnt egg residue is glued to the bottom of the pan and I roll my eyes in frustration. Either way, a circle is a circle. When both sides are cooked, I place the patty onto a rice cake that is somehow always the same size. I like to put vegan cream cheese on the rice cake, if there is any left in the fridge. Then I take a bite, feeling the crunchy, bland rice cake combine with the smooth, cold cream cheese and the fluffy spiced egg. Yum.

The Day Has Come by Victoria Helmick

This Thanksgiving break one of my greatest dreams finally came true. 

My family and I traveled to New York City for the weekend to enjoy the city. I already knew the agenda for the weekend and could not contain my excitement. I was finally going to see the one Broadway show that I had been aching to see. I even had a countdown in my phone until November 23rd, reckon this was made more than 100 days before the date, I was clearly thrilled. 

During the entire flight to the Big Apple, I was eager to land and quickly shuffle to the next day. I woke up the next morning and we made our way to lunch and then the theatre. At the Italian style restaurant located in Times Square, I was delighted to be surprised by one of my best friends who also had a passion for Hadestown. We arrived at Walter Kerr Theatre and there we were, 3rd row from the stage. You could practically touch the cast if you reach out your hand far enough. 

Before the show began, I remember my mother implying, “If this show doesn’t change my life, I will be very disappointed”. I knew she would be satisfied with what she was about to witness. 

The lights dimmed and every single cast member entered the stage, and the show began. As the show went along, I knew nearly every song sung and felt so proud of myself. I also noticed how there wasn’t one moment where the stage was empty, the stage always consisted of every character. Small details like these were evident to me because the Walter Kerr Theatre is the smallest theatre on Broadway. For a show like Hadestown, winner of 8 Tony Awards, to have the smallest stage is quite the feature.

Because I am such a Hadestown nerd, I knew the entire plot and the tragic, yet complete, ending. As the first half of the play wrapped up and intermission began, my mother cried, “Life. Changing.” 

Hadestown has such an impactful and symbolic story. It teaches the audience that although we cannot always have happy endings, we keep singing the same story again. We also keep trying for a different outcome, hoping we can succeed the next time. The play is a never-ending loop of telling the same mythological tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice. To go through the pain of seeing Orpheus fail his adventure when he was so close to succeeding would be torture. Well, no, I would definitely sell my kidney to go through the beautiful pain all over again. 

Christmas Traditions by Tomasina DeLong

So, we are past Thanksgiving and I am on my countdown to Christmas. The Advent and Christmas calendars have come out, meaning it is time to plan for Christmas. I am soooooooo excited for this year because my Aunt Lucy, Uncle Tom, two cousins, and grandma from Florida are coming to visit. My cousins are 4 and 6 and this is their first time “up north” so they are hoping for snow. Also, my Uncle Steve, another grandma, Aunt Jessie, Uncle Matt, and their three kids are all coming from Pittsburgh. This will be the first time my grandma, her 4 kids, and her 8 grandkids will all be in the same place so it is bound to be LOADS of fun!  With that, my sister and I are coming up with a big list of activities to do with all of them when they come and I am going to share these ideas with you:

  • Sledding/ playing in the snow/ building a snowman
  • Baking and decorating Christmas/ holiday cookies
  • Gingerbread house decorating 
  • Putting together a holiday puzzle
  • Ice skating in public square (or just at an ice rink)
  • Roller Skating 
  • Boardgame tournament/ family game night
  • Pottery
  • Family photos with matching pajamas 
  • Christmas movie marathon
  • Writing letters to Santa
  • Decorating the Christmas trees / wreathes
  • Visit Christmas light show
  • Make a hot chocolate bar 
  • Go caroling (or just sing at home while enjoying your cookies and hot chocolate by the fire)

Well, these are just some ideas but the most important thing, in my opinion, is to take loads of pictured because time flies. You will want to remember all of the wonderful memories you made this holiday season regardless of what you end up doing.