dravin

Everyone has that one person who propels you forward, who supports you when times get tough and it seems like you are drowning. To me, that person is Dravin. She has been my life preserve, my oxygen mask. I do not think she knows how much she has changed my life, how much she means to me.

Dravin helped me when no one did. She helped that young 10-year-old who thought life was not worth it and made it her mission to make sure it was. She helped that twelve-year-old girl who almost let the bullies win. She helped that fourteen-year-old who moved away because she knew it was best for herself. She helped that sixteen-year-old try and gather the pieces of a broken relationship. She helped that almost eighteen-year-old with her first breakup and told her that life will go on even if it does not feel like it right now.

From the beginning, she was the most understanding soul. She would give me paint and crayons and tell me to “create masterpieces for me,” so that my mind was at ease. She knew how hard it was for me to express my feelings, so she distracted me. She created this safe space for me. A place where I could speak freely without any judgment. A place where I could have a shoulder to cry on. Even when she was with her family, she would take my calls and help me with my breathing.

Dravin saved me. I owe my life to her, but I know that she would just say that she is doing her job.

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death

There is something so dauntingly beautiful about the word death. It is a term that means the end, but I do not think that is entirely true. I do not believe in god or heaven and hell, but I believe that the soul lives on. They protect and look over their loved ones. The souls of our lost ones can be seen in the cotton candy sunsets or in little insects that fly onto our shirts.

Death is sad, very sad, but it can also be something to appreciate. I can find peace that my grandfather’s body is laid to rest, no longer having to fight the arduous battle of poisonous cancer, but instead, his soul is with us whenever we gather as a family to eat. I can find peace that my Grandma Bobby is once again with her husband that passed many years before her. I know that my cousin is fishing with his dog and is enjoying a cold one. I know that my best friend, Little, is enjoying her cat naps in the sun rays that peak through the window panes.

Death still makes me weep and cry, but it also gives me a certain comfort. A comfort that when I or another loved one dies, I know that there will be peace. Whether it is surrounded by family enjoying delicious homecooked meals or by myself relaxing in a tube in Spring Creek, I know that death will be kind.

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Eggplant

Many people dislike or even hate eggplant, but I think eggplant is good when cooked right. And the dish that I think is cooked correctly is the eggplant casserole that my grama makes.

Gretchen Schuette, my grandma, wrote down her mom’s eggplant casserole and it is delicious. It is the perfect balance of eggplant and tomato. The grated cheese on top is the perfect way to finish the dish.

Ingredients:

1 medium-size eggplant

3 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

1 can tomatoes or 2 cups of fresh tomatoes

1 chopped small green pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. brown sugar

Grated cheese

photo credit: Medical News today

Recipe:

Dice eggplant and cook for 10 minutes in boiling water.

In another pan, melt butter and blend with flour.

(Cook on low heat for 3 minutes if you use whole wheat flour.)

Add the rest of the ingredients (except eggplant).

Cook sauce for 5 minutes.

Mix together the sauce and the eggplant and put in a casserole.

Cover with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

May be frozen after it is baked for later use.

ENJOY!

Gimme a Slice!

I would say I am more of a pie person over cake.

Cake is just too much. Too much frosting (I’m allergic), too much sugar, too much cake.

My mom makes the best apple pie, I might be biased. The Schuette family is definitely more of an apple pie family over pumpkin pie. I don’t mind pumpkin pie, but I will get up during dinner to get more than three helpings of apple pie.

We as a family are such big apple pie lovers that my younger sister wrote about the pie.

photo credit: Kristine’s Kitchen

`Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 recipe pastry for a 9″ double crust pie

1/2 cup unsalted or salted butter

3 tablespoons all- purpose flour

1/4 cup of water

1/2 cup white sugar (or slightly less)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or slightly less)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon- to taste (optional)

8 apples; peeled, cored, sliced (4 granny smith, 4 envy or fuji)

1 lemon; squeeze juice (add sugar to taste, the lemon will go on top of the apples to stop from browning)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  3. Drizzle some of the lemon juice and sugar liquid over apples; just enough to make sure the apples do not brown.
  4. Place the bottom crust in a pan or use the one that came in the package. Put apples in a mixing bowl and drizzle less than half of the sugar/ butter liquid on apples. Put the apples in the crust, mound it slightly.
  5. Cover the pie with a lattice and then pour sugar/ butter liquid over the crust. Brush to make the mixture cover the whole pie.
  6. Line a tray with tin foil and place pie on top. During baking the pie might bubble over, this is a preventative.
  7. Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; and continue to bake for 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft. Take of foil and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Enjoy! It tastes really good with ice cream.

My Favorite Soup

I love soup.

I could eat it for every meal if I had the opportunity. I eat all kinds of soup, from ramen to loaded potato soup. Most mornings I love to make egg drop soup. This type of soup is originally from China.

Egg Drop Soup is really easy to make and very customizable. Different veggies and go in, as well as different forms of protein. You could make full of spinach and crab, or have it plain and add a bit of chili oil. The way I make the soup could feed up to four people, but I end up eating it all by myself.

photo credit: The Woks of Life

Ingredients:

six cups of chicken stock, or veggie stock.

cut 2-4 green onions

2-3 cloves of garlic

Some ginger

four eggs

chili pepper flakes

white pepper

salt

cornstarch

water

sesame oil

whatever veggies and proteins you want to add

chili oil, if wanted

How to make the soup:

Broth:

Boil the chicken or veggie stock in a pot

Mince the garlic and add it to the pot

Grate ginger into broth

Shake white pepper and salt into broth for taste

Egg mixture:

In medium bowl crack four eggs and stir

Dice up green onions, put half into eggs

Add white pepper, salt, chili pepper to taste

Cornstarch slurry:

Add two tbsp of cornstarch into a small bowl

Stir in two tbsp of water

Add chili pepper flakes to the slurry

Soup:

If you want to add any protein or veggies do it now

If the protein needs to be cooked ahead of time, cook it while the broth is boiling

Add the eggs to the boiling broth, let it sit for two minutes

Stir in cornstarch slurry and let sit for another minute

Finished project:

Put soup into the bowl and add green onions

Add some sesame oil and chili oil, if wanted

and ENJOY!

The Great Schuette Adventure

photo credit: Colorado Ski Country USA

Crested Butte, Colorado. The best place to ski during the winters and get bitten by ants in the summer.

The duration of my vacation was about two weeks and it started with driving to TacoTime. The closest TacoTime was at a Vegas truck stop, the food made my stomach hurt. After eating the deep fried burritos, we started driving to St. George, Utah.

The view was spectacular and the climate was hot, like once I stepped outside the car I felt as though I was going to die from heatstroke. My sister and I swam in the pool, she tried to drown me. The next day we went on a hike on the outskirts of Zion National Park. The hike was called Spring Creek and it was in a slot, the different colors of the rocks were breathtaking.

After the long hike we explored St. George. We went to a couple of thrift shops, we did not find anything cool enough to buy, and visited Brigham Young’s winter home. We learned all about the Mormon church and were even approached to join, but we didn’t convert.

The next day we went on a small walk to Dixie rock and drove up Kolob Canyon. We made a couple of pit stops because pictures or it didn’t happen. Eventually we made it to our one mile hike to a lookout spot. While walking back to the car we heard a rattle, we almost got attacked by a rattlesnake.

After a couple of hours, more like nine hours, and a McDonald’s pitstop we made it to Grand Junction, Colorado. I tried Dairy Queen the first time, not worth the hype. We finally made it to Gunnison.

Our trip consisted of hiking, hiking, and more hiking. We hiked down the entirety of Crested Butte Mountain during a lightning and thunderstorm. The weather was bipolar, either too hot or too rainy and stormy. I toured my first college, Western Colorado University. The campus was gorgeous and the school had lots to offer, but Gunnison is the most boring town in existence.

My mom, sister, and I all went rafting. Every time we are in Colorado during the summer we go rafting, and get the craziest photos. Our family met us in Colorado and we went to an insanely late dinner, our reservation was at 9 O’clock pm. We went to a place called Slogars, they specialize in fried chicken.

Overall the trip to Colorado was amazing, but it was time to head back home. We drove to Bryce Canyon, Utah. It was two Best Westerns and that was basically the town. The food was not good, like LAUSD’s cafeteria food was more edible. In the morning we went to hike the Peekaboo Loop trail. It turns out that since there were mudslides before the trail was closed we illegally hiked a trail.

My mom found a nice restaurant in the town over, and the food was actually edible. We ordered pork chops, burrata, bread (OMG the bread was to die for), crab mac and cheese, french onion soup and a carrot salad. We could not leave without getting dessert, so we got three different options: chocolate bourbon mousse, cheesecake, and a rhubarb crumble.

The next day it was time for us to head home, we drove and drove and drove until we home. The trip was amazing but being home and sleeping in my own bed was exhilarating.

Embarrassment

In my everyday life I could fall upwards to five times, and it is quite embarrassing. One instance I can remember is when I went to Montgomery, Alabama. I was walking along the river on one of those raised ledges, thinking everything was fine. It was not fine, I fell off, and now I have a lasting scar. I did not cry and it barely hurt, I was more embarrassed than anything. Everyone who was on that river that day saw me and kept coming up to me to see if I was okay… I did not like the attention.

photo credit: Vector Stock

Another embarrassing moment is everytime I see a person I know in public. I do not like talking to people and I know that if I see someone I know, they’ll come up to me to talk. I do talk to them because I don’t like being rude, but I am worried that I am going to say or do something weird.

Fully Vaxxed (well sorta)

I have both shots as of yesterday, and all I can say is wahoo!

I mean the first shot made me really tired and my arm sore, but nothing really bad. And the second shot caused me to get chills, massive headaches, and pass out. But all I can say is hallelujah… I am vaccinated and can finally start getting back to normal.

I still have to wait a couple weeks until I can leave my house without mask, according to the CDC guidelines, but it is one step closer to normalcy. I still plan on wearing a mask for many reasons- to protect myself, to protect those who haven’t gotten a vaccine, and to make it known that I am not an anti- masker or a republican.

photo credit: international disability alliance

Speaking of normalcy, what is it? It is not like I will be going to massive parties or hanging in large groups, I did not even do that before the pandemic. I think normalcy is going outside without a mask, making plans- such as brunch with friends or shopping at the mall- and seeing family members I haven’t been able to see since the start of COVID.

Being vaccinated will allow me to do “normal” everyday things and activities without the fear of catching a deadly virus.

Vaccine

Today I got the vaccine, and boy can’t I be more relieved. I feel safer knowing that I am almost fully vaccinated.

I got the first dose today and in a couple of weeks, I am going to get the second dose. I encourage anyone who can to get the shot- it is painless and will protect you from COVID. I know there were lots of disputes around these vaccines- Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson- but whichever one you get will help you tremendously.

I am not one to be afraid of needles and this shot felt like nothing, I didn’t even flinch.

Photo credit: CDC

If you can please get one, it is the most relieving feeling ever. The wave of joy is really hard to explain, you want to jump for joy. Soon enough life can go back to normal and we can hang out with large groups of people. Unfortunately even if you are vaccinated hanging out in large groups can’t happen yet. This due to the fact that not everyone is vaccinated yet.

Slowly but surely everything with be back to normal.

Things that make no sense

Stocks make no sense to me, and I do not want them explained to me. I just know they control the economy around the world and are used as a pastime for rich people and teenage boys.

Bats. They make no sense to me, like I know they are animals, but they confuse me. Just the thought of bats sleeping upside down is a no-no for me.

Photo credit: U.S department of the interior

Homophobia, how can one hate someone for loving someone. Love is Love, do not hate on someone for being themselves and loving someone.

Racism, why the heck does racism exist? Like seriously is it so hard to be a decent person to someone no matter their race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and religion?

Dress codes, they are stupid and only invented for girls. Girls get dress coded because their skirts are too short or their stomach is showing. Guys don’t get dress coded because dress codes were created to sexualize girls.