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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Country Cousin

Fun...



Hi Folks!

What a summer we’ve had so far! Lots of hot, muggy days (and nights) to lure us to sandy beaches or air conditioned retreats, and now a return of some of that wonderful nip that is nearly always part and parcel of summer in northwoods Wisconsin. As a bonus of the long spells of hot, dry weather, even mosquitoes haven’t been too bad. Now, here it is almost August. In about a month kids will be going back to school and another summer will become just another page in our memory files.

STRANGE WEATHER

Whether or not global warming is a reality or a myth, this has indeed been a summer of unusual weather.

For example, one recent storm dumped 2 inches of rain on parts of Marinette in about half an hour, while nearby Peshtigo got only half an inch total.

A Marinette resident whose home was in the center of the 2-inch torrent said the rain fell so heavily in her neighborhood that storm sewers couldn’t handle it. The overflow turned the floor drain in her “sink hole basement” into a geyser, “with water jetting upward like Old Faithful.” Fortunately, we don’t see that every day!

SOOTHING SODA

Good old baking soda has so many uses! If you’re itching from sunburn or bug bites, make a paste of baking soda and water, then apply to the affected area. Allow to sit for five to 15 minutes, depending on your skin’s sensitivity, then wipe away with a damp cloth or wash off in a tepid bath.

SUMMER FUN

Remember the things we did for summer fun back in the good ole days?

On hot summer nights we kids were allowed to run through the neighborhood at all hours, playing “One O’Clock and The Ghost Ain’t Here,” which was a bit like hide and seek, only you needed to run faster, and you didn’t need to hide too well because it could only be played after dark.

Our family played a game called, “What Color Is the Birdie,” in which “it” was armed with a thimble, or a cup, of water, depending on how hot the day. The other players had to guess colors, and when someone got it right, he or she also got a face full of water. But then they got to be “it,” and had the fun of dousing the next lucky winner.

We also had a game called “Quakers Meeting.” “It” had to start by declaring, aloud, “Quakers meeting has now begun. No more laughing or talking to be done.” Players were to sit still, with straight faces, and maintain absolute silence. “It,” however, could laugh, talk or sing as much as they wanted.

I’d think our mothers put us up to this when they needed some peace and quiet, but sometimes parents and grandparents joined us in this game, and sometimes it wasn’t all that quiet.

Anyway, “It” had the chore of trying to get someone else to either laugh or talk. Sometimes this was done by making outrageous accusations with the intention of bringing an angry storm of protest from whoever was the target. Unless you were already “it,” if you said anything at all, you lost, and you had to be “it.”

There were silly poses, strange faces, mimicry, wild dances, sign language, whatever “It” could think of.

Grandpa could sit on the floor and put one leg behind his head, which usually made somebody laugh. Once Dad, who was a stouter, rounder man, tried the same thing. He got his foot behind his head all right, but it got stuck there and he couldn’t untwist himself. That made everybody laugh! The rest of us were rolling around on the floor because we couldn’t stop laughing. He was rolling around on the floor because he had no choice.

Don’t know if our cars didn’t have radios, or if we just preferred the sound of our own voices, but a trip of any length in the car always meant we kids would sing. Usually it was “Ninety Nine Bottles of Beer On the Wall.”

Remember that one?

“Ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety nine bottles of beer! If one of those bottles should happen to fall, ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall...”

After 99 verses, we’d start over if we weren’t there yet. Maybe that’s why Dad never drove slow.

Then there was “Flies Sit On The Wall,” which wasn’t hard to learn at all. It went like this:

“First verse, same as the first, the flies sit on the wall. Second verse, same as the first, the flies sit on the wall...” No end to that one, until everyone got tired of singing. Or until Dad stopped the car and ordered everybody out.

Another game, good for riding in a car or playing in the house on a rainy day, was “I’m Hiding.”

“It” would pretend to be small enough to possibly hide by perching on a light fixture, or inside a keyhole. The only rule was that the place had to be in or on something that everybody could see.

Everyone else had to guess the hiding place, and “it” had to tell them “hot” or “cold” when they made a guess, hotter for getting closer to the hiding place than the previous try, and colder for getting farther away.

After enough tries, provided “it” was honest, the hiding places could pretty much be narrowed down. And woe betide “it” if there were any dishonesty in the hot or cold answers. Ostracism is not fun! Usually whoever it happened to never tried being dishonest again.

ROBBERIES

Speaking of being dishonest, there has been a string of burglaries in Peshtigo. One of them was at the home of Mary and Howard Lock. Mary, a city alderman, is very active in civic affairs, including “Bands at Badger.”

After the robbery at the Lock home, there was a story going around that proceeds from the last “Bands at Badger” event were part of the loot. Turns out that was a lot of baloney! Well, actually a lot of hot dogs.

Mary said what the thieves did take was money from her purse that belonged to herself and an aunt, plus a frozen pizza from one freezer and two 30-packs of hot dogs from another.

Just goes to show how wrong rumors can be.

The stolen hot dogs belonged to “Bands at Badger” and were being stored for the next concert in the park, which incidentally is Wednesday, July 25, with music by C’est la Vie. Admission is free, but you have to buy your own hot dogs!

Incidentally, Lock said the concert proceeds are never, ever taken to her home.

SEEING STARS

For an unusually enjoyable evening on Thursday, July 26, provided it’s not raining, go to Harmony Arboretum for a free program about stars, constellations, and mythology. The arboretum is seven miles west of Marinette on Hwy. 64, and then half a mile south on County E. Pack a picnic lunch and go early if you like. It’s a charming place to visit!

The program is outdoors, so dress for the weather, and bringing a blanket is probably a good idea.

BE HEARD!

If you have strong feelings about zoning in Marinette County, particularly about shoreland/wetland zoning and the controls that may be placed on your property, be at Crivitz Village Hall at 7 p.m. Monday, July 30 for a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Marinette County Shoreland-Wetland Zoning regulations. Portions of the amendments are geared toward bringing the county into compliance with the controversial requirements of NR115, rules the DNR has drawn up to activate a state law on which the state legislature has now put a 2-year enforcement moratorium to allow time for possible changes to at least some of its more onerous provision.

Get a copy of the proposed ordinance and decide whether or not you think it should be adopted. Then go to the hearing collect more information and make your voice heard before County Board votes on it.

COOKIN’ TIME

Gardens right now are providing too many good things for our eating enjoyment. Whether those good things come from our own gardens or are the fruits of someone else’s labor - such as those donated by friends and family or purchased at local flea markets, produce stands, and farmer’s markets makes no difference. They taste just as good. You simply cannot beat fresh!

Must apologize. Perhaps 10 lashes with a wet corn chip would do. Jumped a line when typing this recipe two weeks ago. Didn’t catch it when first printed, but did when I tried to follow the printed recipe myself. The results were awful! Using no salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar when 1/2 cup is needed is NOT a good plan. Here is the corrected recipe. Hope if you tried making the incorrect one you added sugar until it tasted good.

RASPBERRY SALSA

Absolutely great with pork, chicken or turkey cooked on the grill! Maybe freeze or can some to serve with the Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey instead of the traditional cranberry sauce.

2 cups fresh raspberries

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

3 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno chili peppers

1 clove minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup white sugar (or more, to taste)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

In a medium bowl, mix together raspberries, sweet onion, jalapeno chile peppers, garlic, cilantro, white sugar and lime juice. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. This also can be frozen quite successfully. Quite certain it could be canned too, but haven’t tried that. Recipe makes 2 1/2 cups.

IMPOSSIBLE ZUCCHINI PIE

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup cream or evaporated milk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

3 cups grated zucchini

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash or two of hot sauce (optional)

1 cup biscuit/baking mix

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into two greased 9-in. pie plates. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. For a variation, stir in some pre-fried crumbled bacon and top with diced tomatoes before baking.

STRAWBERRY MARGARITA CAKE

Take this along on your next family outing, and you’re sure to be a hit, especially if you bring some regular margaritas to go with it.

3/4 cup bottled strawberry margarita drink mix, alcohol or not, your choice (the alcohol cooks out anyway, but the flavor remains.)

1 box white cake mix

Vegetable oil or butter and egg whites, as called for on the cake mix box (do not add the water)

1 tablespoon grated lime peel

1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Strawberries, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 for dark or nonstick pans). Grease or lightly spray bottom only of a13x9-inch pan. Add enough water to the drink mix to measure 1 1/4 cups. In large bowl, beat cake mix, drink mix, oil or butter and egg whites with electric mixer on low speed for two minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake and cool as directed on box. Gently stir the lime peel into the whipped topping and spread over top of cake. Garnish with strawberries if you wish. Store covered in refrigerator.

Thought for the Week: No matter how tough things get sometimes, just keep plugging away as best you can, aim high, dream a lot, and pray. As Mary Kay Ash once said, “If you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you’re right!” And as Bernard Berenson said, “Miracles happen to those who believe in them.” The power of positive thinking, coupled with the power of positive praying can indeed work miracles!

(This column is written by Shirley Prudhomme of Crivitz. Views expressed are her own and are in no way intended to be an official statement of the opinions of Peshtigo Times editors and publishers. The former Shirley Boivin, Prudhomme grew up in the City of Marinette, attended Merryman Elementary School graduated from Marinette Catholic Central High School, and has lived most of her life in Marinette County. She has more than 35 years experience reporting local political events, was an elected Marinette County Supervisor for 16 years, and remains a member of Marinette County Tourism Alliance. She may be contacted by phone at 715-927-5034 or by e-mail at shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo.com.)

COUNTRY COUSIN


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