Also, a list of the easiest edible plants to grow yourself

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I have a small garden in my backyard where I have successfully grown tomatoes, lettuce, pepper plants, a variety of herbs, and loads of zucchini.

Not everything works out. The green bean plants were decimated by rabbits before they could grow a single bean. Same with the peas. And anything delicate or fussy has never made it for long in my garden.

I’ve also had no luck with watermelon. I once watched a lone watermelon on a vine sit for weeks, never growing. I waited and waited to see something happen, but it didn’t budge in size. One day, I…


College student, Angela Samota was brutally murdered in her apartment in 1984

Angela Samota: Image by (fair use)

Angela Samota (age 20) had a typical outing with friends on the night she was murdered. She was a junior attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

On , Angela and her friends ended the night at a club called the Rio Room, where they danced and drank until midnight. Angela then drove her friends home, stopped at her boyfriend’s house to say goodnight, and went home to her apartment.

It was after this that her story turned tragic. Her boyfriend, Ben McCall, received a strange call from Angela around 1:45 AM. …


Monty and Rose have won my heart

, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I have written a couple of articles for News Break about a pair of endangered little birds that have stolen the hearts of many a Chicagoan.

Dubbed Monty and Rose, these birds took up residence one summer on the shores of Lake Michigan near a busy beach full of volleyball games and even an outdoor concert and raised baby chicks.

The mated pair of piping plovers separates in the winter season and then migrates thousands of miles every summer to be together on Montrose Beach in Chicago to raise their fledglings.

No matter where they’ve been, they find each other…


Medium did it again. More bonuses have been reported as showing up in writer accounts for June.

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I have been neglecting my Medium account for months. I have had other things going on. And then I heard the news: Writers received cash bonuses in May for high reader engagement.

The bonus reveal has revived my interest in the platform. Not just for the money, but the challenge of it all. Who is winning these bonuses, and if I write enough, can I be one of them?

The surprise bonus, of course, launched a thousand theories and many articles analyzing those theories and many more articles debunking those theories as to why and how the Medium gods were…


Using genetic genealogy, police found a suspect for the killing of Julie Ann Hanson

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On a summer day in 1972, in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson borrowed her brother’s bike to go to a baseball game and never came home. Her body was found later that day in a nearby field, with multiple stab wounds.


It’s a win-win situation for everyone but the rats

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Unlike stray cats, feral cats usually can’t be domesticated and will never be comfortable living with people in a home. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need some care and attention to be healthy and thrive. And that’s where Chicago’s program comes in.

Rat city of America

It’s not a list you want to be at the top of, and yet, Chicago is number one. For six years in a row, Chicago has been dubbed, the “rattiest city in America” by .

Unexpectedly, Chicago has beaten both Los Angeles and New York, which are two cities I would have expected to be…well…rattier than Chicago…


As you may have heard by now, the News Break platform is looking for local news

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Like many Medium writers, I decided to give the Creator Program at News Break a try. I applied and was accepted in December of 2020 after reading an article about it here, on Medium.

In the beginning, I submitted articles I had previously published on Medium. The first article I published had done fairly well here. However, on News Break, it got a very unimpressive four views.

This didn’t seem promising, but I kept trying and continued to submit old Medium articles that barely anyone read. And then, something changed.

Towards the end of December, News Break offered a writing…


The new owner bought the home at a discounted rate

John Wayne Gacy in 1978 ()

John Wayne Gacy murdered 33 young men and boys during a six-year time span between the years of 1972 and 1978.

The Chicago home where Gacy lived, committed murders, and where dozens of his victims were found, was demolished in 1979, a year after his arrest. The lot sat empty until 1986 when a 2,500 square foot brick house was built on the site in the Norwood Park Township.

And in 2019, the house was listed for sale.

It was on the market for more than a year

The house finally sold at a deeply discounted rate. It was a great deal for a home in the area, as long…


There has been no sign of Maura since the night she disappeared

Maura Murray in 2003, Non-free fair use per

Considered the first crime mystery of the social media age, the questions surrounding the disappearance of remain unanswered. At the age of 21, Maura Murray went missing after her car crashed into a tree on the highway near Woodsville, New Hampshire.

Authorities believe as she rounded a sharp curve along the road, she lost control of her car, causing it to go off the side of the highway and into the trees.

And now, 17 years later, her family still holds out hope of finding out what happened to her.

It was before Youtube and Twitter; Facebook wasn’t…


I never noticed the return of banana hair clips as I sat at home during a pandemic

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I rocked the banana hair clip in the 80s. If you don’t know what a banana hair clip is, it is a hair accessory with two plastic combs that come together. It lifts your hair and pulls it into a loose sort of ponytail. It was flattering on any type of hair and took two seconds to fix. I loved my banana clips.

Nothing is new

Styles always return. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about Crocs making a comeback. I’ve happily worn Crocs around my backyard for years, but I’m not ready to don them for a dinner out.

Although, I kind…

Jennifer Geer

Writing my life away. Runner/mama/wife/eternal optimist/coffee enthusiast. Owner of Exploring Wellness ()

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