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Country Cousin

Moon...

Hi Folks!

Summer is drawing to a close, but it isn’t over yet, and that’s a good thing. Not yet ready to admit that we won’t have an early Fall, but hope that prediction is wrong. We still need some good days at the beach, and gardens need warmth and sunshine to come to full harvest. Lots of farm fields do too.

SUPER MOON

Let’s hope for clear skies the night of Sunday, Aug. 10. If the weather is fine we’ll be treated to another “Super Moon,” a full Moon that appears as much as 14 percent closer and 30 percent brighter than other full Moons of the year, and in fact the brightest moon of 2014. The full moon always rises near sunset, so we won’t need to stay up late to enjoy it.

The Old Farmers Almanac explains this year’s August full Moon is special because it falls on the same day as the moon’s perigee - in fact, on the same hour. The “perigee” is when the Moon’s is closest to the Earth on its somewhat elliptical orbit, and the “apogee” is when it is farthest. Hence the moon is brighter and bigger at its perigee.

The big and bright effect is enhanced if you view the Moon near a horizon or through trees and other foreground objects.

The famous Perseid meteor shower also peaks at around this time (Monday, Aug. 11 to Wednesday, Aug. 13). Catch “shooting stars” early this week or late next week, since the full Moon’s glare over the weekend may make finding them more challenging.

As kids, we were told it you make a wish on a shooting star and complete it before the star disappears, it will come true. We certainly tried!

Remember the beautiful old Perry Como song with the words, “Catch a falling star, put it in your pocket, never let it fade away?” Wish they’d play those old tunes again!

CHANGE THE VIEW

As mentioned, this month’s full moon will appear much larger than usual. Many people assume that this common effect is caused by our atmosphere magnifying the image, but according to the Almanac, the real explanation is far more simple:

When the Moon is high overhead, it is dwarfed by the vast hemisphere of the heavens. By contrast, when the Moon is low, it is viewed in proximity to earthly objects, such as chimneys or trees, whose size and shape provide scale.

If you’re enjoying Moon gazing with kids you might want to try these tricks to make the “Moon Illusion” vanish and reduce it from enormous to ordinary.

Get a a paper tube like the kind that holds paper towels. Close one eye and look through the tube at the enlarged Moon. It will appear normal.

Now close the eye in the tube and open your other eye. The Moon appears huge again.

Look at the Moon with the tube when it’s high and again when it’s low in the sky. The Moon will appear to be the same size both times, but if you look at it near the horizon without the tube it will appear huge.

MOON NAMES

Some Native American tribes called this month’s Moon the Sturgeon Moon because they knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon. They also called this the Full Green Corn Moon.

Different tribes had different Moon name preferences, depending on where they lived and what was important to them. The Dakotah Sioux called the August full moon the “Moon When All Things Ripen” (Dakotah Sioux) or and Ojibway called it the “Blueberry Moon.”

Incidentally, those who regulate their lives by phases of the moon say Aug. 1 through 10 and Aug. 25 through 31 will be the best ones for fishing this month.

According to Moon folklore, you probably shouldn’t do the laundry this week. They say clothes washed for the first time in the full Moon will not last long.

On the other hand, if you’re pregnant and close to the delivery date, have your baby right away. Old Wives’ Tale is that babies born a day after the full Moon enjoy success and endurance.

Later in the month, if you glimpse the new Moon over your right shoulder, you will have good luck, and to have a project prosper, start it during the new Moon.

ON THE SOAP BOX

CALLING ALL CHRISTIANS


Before Christ walked the Earth and shared his message of love, there were no public schools for the common folk. Slavery was an accepted practice, a fact of life. There were no real hospitals or orphanages. History shows no records of organized charities.

Then Jesus was born, and everything changed. Christianity is a kind, loving, serving religion, and Christians worship a loving, caring God. Jesus told us about that.

As the centuries evolved, Christianity grew to encompass most of the world, and wherever they went they established schools, hospitals and orphanages. They took to heart Christ’s admonitions to care for the sick, the homeless, the downtrodden. They made the world a better place.

And with education of the masses, particularly after adding the freedoms they found in America, came great works of art plus incredible technological advances the world had not experienced in all the centuries before.

What has Islam done?

Have you ever been to a Muslim hospital?

Have you heard a Muslim orchestra?

Have you seen a Muslim band march in a parade?

Have you witnessed a Muslim charity?

Have you seen a Muslim Candy Striper?*

Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?

What, aside from its architecture, has Islam done to advance the world in its nearly two Millennia of existence? What has any Muslim invented that benefits the modern world?

TAKE OUR NATION BACK!

Mr. President, you said, “The USA is not a Christian Nation.” You are wrong! We are a Christian Nation founded on Judeo-Christian values allowing all religions in America to worship and practice freely. Something Islam will never do.

Take note of Meriam Ibrahim, the woman sentenced to death by a Sudanese court just a few months ago for converting from Islam to Christianity. She wasn’t the first one, and most likely won’t be the last, but notice - she was not simply murdered by extremists - she was sentenced to death in a Court of Law!

She was held in prison with her toddler son, and sentenced to death 12 days before her daughter was born - in prison. According to some news sources, she was married to an American Christian, and that was probably reason enough for some Muslims to condemn her.

Eventually, another Sudanese court overturned the death sentence. She and her family, with her American-born husband are now in the United States. If there were no safe asylum here, she would likely be dead by now, according to family members quoted in international news media. “Now that the court has freed her, it will be Islam’s open season on her. If she does not leave Sudan, a male family member will kill her,” was a statement one family member made to the press.

From all accounts, these were not extremists. They were ordinary, everyday Muslims, whose religion orders them to kill “infidels” who refuse to follow their beliefs.

OLD TIME RELIGION

A devout Arab Muslim entered a black cab in London. He curtly asked the cabbie to turn off the radio because as decreed by his religious teaching, he must not listen to music because in the time of the prophet there was no music, especially Western music which is music of the infidel.

The cab driver politely switched off the radio, stopped the cab and opened the door.

The Arab Muslim asked him, “What are you doing?”

The cabbie answered, “In the time of the prophet there were no taxis, so get out and wait for a camel.”

FIGHT BACK

Lots of folks get mad when faced with opposition. They like to fight fire with fire. Others point out it’s better to stay cool and calm. They point out that the Fire Department generally gets better results when it fights fire with water!

HEALTHY BED TIME SNACKS

Trainers often advise their athletes to drink a tall glass of milk after workouts and about half an hour before bed, to benefit from both whey and casein protein. One is a quick acting refresher, the other a longer lasting protein that helps build muscle while you sleep. And the calcium content of milk encourages a restful sleep.

Other foods to consider before bed include low-fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, canned tuna, hard boiled eggs and sliced turkey. A snack 30 minutes before you hit the sack can help build bigger, stronger muscles, but everyone is reminded that exceeding your body’s caloric needs with any food adds flab to your abs, so don’t over do.

Some nutritionists advise a protein/carb combination regularly before bed to encourage a good night’s sleep. Maybe that’s why, without knowing the reason, Mom gave us graham crackers, broken up in a dish with milk poured over and sometimes sugar sprinkled on for bedtime treats. Or, maybe she gave us crackers and milk because it was easy and cheap! Anyway, we loved it. Still do.

Incidentally, crackers other than graham are also good with milk and sugar, for example white soda crackers and the snack crackers that go so well with just about everything.

COOKIN’ TIME

Sometimes there is something new under the sun, and this is one of those times. Was surprised how good Fire and Ice Salad is (melon chunks and other fruits with Mexican seasonings) This is just as delicious, in a surprisingly different sort of way. Another way to combine fruits and vegetables!

SUMMER SALAD

Dressing:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

*******

Salad:

1 small cucumber, peeled

1/2 small red onion

3 heirloom tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cut into bite

size chunks

3 1/2 cups peeled seeded bite-size watermelon chunks

1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size chunks

7 ounces French feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (se

note)

1 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced

Mix all dressing ingredients in a small dish or shaker jar. Mix everything else in a salad bowl. Toss together, add dressing and toss again. Be ready for a taste sensation!

ITALIAN ZUCCHINI BAKE

Zucchinis abound, so enjoy! Do put some up for winter, either in the freezer or by canning, because in case you haven’t noticed, vegetable and fruit prices in the stores are horrendous, and aren’t likely to get better unless fuel prices go down!

3 cups shredded Zucchini

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/4 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 egg 1/2 teaspoon crushed basil or oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup tomato sauce

Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese for topping

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Lightly press zucchini between layers of paper towel to remove some of the excess moisture. Saut the onion in oil until tender. Put the zucchini in a large bowl. Add the sauted onion and everything else except the tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese and final cup of mozzarella. Mix well, then spread into the prepared baking dish. Spread tomato sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle on the Parmesan. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining shredded cheese and bake another 10 minutes or until melted and starting to brown.

SUMMER ROAST CHICKEN

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 (3.5-oz.) jar capers, drained

2 lemons, sliced

10 garlic cloves, smashed

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 chicken legs (about 1 1/2 pound)

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pound)

2 pounds small red new potatoes

1 pound small carrots

Crusty French bread

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together first eight ingredients in a medium bowl. Place a roasting pan on stove top over 2 burners. (Be sure it’s the kind you can use on a stove top.) Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with desired amount of salt and pepper; place, skin sides down, in pan. Add potatoes and carrots. Cook 9 to 10 minutes or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken, and pour lemon mixture over chicken. Bake at 450 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve chicken with sauce, French bread and a fresh leaf lettuce salad.

EASY S’MORES

An enterprising grandson discovered this trick. Doesn’t need a recipe. Get all the S’more flavor without the mess of peeling and doling out candy bar parts. Just buy the cookies with chocolate backs and chocolate stripes on the front. Have ready a bag of regular size marshmallows, a campfire and some toasting sticks. Toast the marshmallows. Put on the chocolate side of one cookie, top with the chocolate side of the other cookie, and when cool enough to eat, have at it.

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE TRIFFLE

This recipe makes a huge Triffle, enough for 24 servings. Great for pot luck. Make it in your prettiest big glass bowl, and wait for the compliments. Takes a few bowls to mix, but there’s no baking involved, and it assembles in minutes.

2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 pint whipping cream (or use frozen whipped topping)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 pound pre-baked angel food cake

2 quarts fresh strawberries, thinly sliced

3 large bananas, sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

Slice strawberries and bananas into a medium bowl and stir in the half cup of sugar, more if the berries are not sweet. Set aside. Into a large mixing bowl, tear the angel food cake into bite size pieces. In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add the sour cream, vanilla and almond extract and beat again. Set aside. Whip the cream with the next batch of vanilla and sugar and fold into the cream cheese mixture. Add this to the cake pieces and mix as well as you can. In a large glass bowl, preferably one that’s a bit tall, alternately layer the fruit and cake mixtures, starting with the fruit. (Thought when I made it that there wouldn’t be enough fruit, but it turned out that there was. Next Fourth of July, want to try this with a blueberry layer too, so it will come out red, white and blue. Should be good.)

Thought for the Week: Coincidence (or luck) happens when God chooses to remain anonymous. Don’t forget to say “Thank You.”

(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. She may be contacted by phone at 715-291-9002 or by e-mail to shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo. com.)

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