Country CousinIssue Date: June 14, 2018
Summer, beautiful summer, the time when even God must surely vacation in TIMESland, or at least want to, is upon us in all its glory.
There are so many festivals and events coming up in the next month that no one could possibly take them all in, from Little League ball games to June Dairy Breakfasts to fishing tournaments and fireworks.
HONOR THY FATHER
Father's Day is Sunday, June 17. As a suggestion, instead of a purchased gift, buy a special picture frame for your father and inside it put a hand written (or even typed) note telling him how much you love him. Then put in pictures or other mementos that illustrate things you've done together that you particularly cherish, and put little messages about each of them.
Some Dads don't like to show sentiment, but deep in their hearts most of them are sentimental creatures, especially when it comes to their kids.
MISS YOU, DAD
The most important things Dads can leave for their kids is a sense of values. And you don't teach those things, you have to live them.
My own Dad was a hard-working, self depreciating man who loved our Mom and us kids to no end, no matter how tired and frustrated he sometimes got.
He was a short man, and stout but also powerful and graceful. He and Mom won dancing contests, both waltzes and polkas, over the years. They also used to go square dancing, and he loved to go trout fishing, camping and deer hunting.
Don't know where he found the time or energy.
Once we kids were delighted to find him having fun teetotering at the park with one of the men he worked with. Even though we were young, we knew Dad deseved to play more.
Dad usually worked two jobs to support our family, and then helped out both sets of grandparents in Crivitz and Middle Inlet with farm chores during his free time when he wasn't hand digging a basement under our house in Marinette or carrying out some other home improvement chore that Mom asked him to do.
He did shift work, and didn't sleep much, there wasn't time. But he could sleep at the drop of a hat, and often did. His co-workers at Menominee Paper Company teased about finding him asleep, perched like a bird on one of the plumbers-pipe stair rails at the mill. He had punched out, but was too tired to go home.
Kids inherit much from their parents, not in terms of money, but in terms of morals.
Dad was scrupulously honest, and I thank him for that. He once had a bunch of us in the car and we stopped at a filling station for sodas.There was a two cent per bottle deposit, but Dad, promising we'd drink up and leave the bottles there, talked the owner into letting him not pay the deposit. We were probably five miles down the road when he found out one of the kids still had a soda bottle. He turned around and drove all the way back to return it.
After all, he had promised! You could preach about morality for a hundred years, and never deliver a message more powerful than that!
Dad never poked fun at others, but he was fond of telling stories about his own foibles, and his own mischief. Like the Halloween he and some friends tipped over the neighbor's outhouse. He was a little sorry when they found out the neighbor was in it at the time.
Dad only went to 8th grade, but he could drive all over the country, put up a tent, fix a furnace or a leaky pipe, paint a kitchen, drive a tractor, plant a garden, build a cabinet, install a light fixture, and hold a hand while doctors sewed up an injured child.
You're not here on Earth any more, but you'll know anyway. Thank you Dad, for an inheritance more valuable than anything a millionaire could have left!
Little League baseball/softball is in full swing - literally. The late, great Yogi Berra said Little League baseball is a very good thing, because it keeps the parents off the streets.
Berra had a lot to say about a lot of things, many of them confusing, but a things he insisted upon, and maybe that inspired his teams: "You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn't enough, in the second half, you have to give what's left."
He also wanted his pie cut into four pieces, because he didn't think he could eat eight.
And advised, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." On the other hand, he also observed, "No matter where you go, there you are." Both are all too true.
Then again, guess we need to be careful what we believe about what Berra did or did not say. He claimed half the lies told about him were not true.
Country Music Fest is going on in Porterfield.
The annual Village of Pound Fireman's Picnic starts Friday, June 15 and runs through Sunday, June 17. It's always a good time, with Little League competitions, truck and tractor pulls, prize drawings, food, refreshments and DJ music.
MUSIC FOR YOUR SOUL
Lots of communities and organizations are sponsoring outdoor musical events in the coming week.
On Friday, June 15, enjoy the monthly Gospel Jam at the Stephenson Town Hall on County X west of Crivitz.
On Saturday, June 16, bring the family to Harmony By The Bay at the Menominee Marina located at 1000 1st Street Menominee. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and features family friendly Christian music, food booths, bounce houses, face painting and more.
For music of a more secular nature, visit Badger Park in Peshtigo on Wednesday, June 20 to enjoy music by Sunny "N Heat from 6 to 8 p.m. No charge for admission and concessions are available.
On Thursday, June 21, The Sapphires + Jeff will be playing at the Menominee Marina Bandshell from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Again, there's no charge for admission.
Want to learn more about the stars in the night sky? Want a chance to view them with a special telescope? Go to Gov. Thompson State Park at N10008 Paust Lane, west of Crivitz on Saturday, June 16 for "Universe in the Park: A Night of Stargazing." Starting late in the day, probably about 9 p.m., there will be a 30 to 40 minute talk and slide show about astronomy. Speakers will answer questions and if the night is clear you get to view astronomical objects through one of the special Universe in the Park telescopes. Talks are presented for audiences of all ages. For more info call 715-757-3979.
The event is free, but you have to buy a park sticker. Daily entry is $8 for vehicles with Wisconsin plates, $3 for Senior Citizens and $11 for out of state. Annual stickers are a better idea. Cost is $28 for vehicles with Wisconsin plates, $13 if over age 65, $38 for out of state.
If dad loves to fish, maybe he'd enjoy camping at the park for Father's Day weekend. Fish abound in the lakes and streams in and around Gov. Thompson Park and the beautiful Marinette County Parks in the Twin Bridge area.
APARTMENT VS HOME?
Marinette County Board is currently involved in efforts to improve the potential quality of life here, in hopes that making certain improvements will help local businesses attract and keep the personnel they need, and that availability of good employees will encourage additional manufacturers to locate here and grow the economy, which in turn will grow the tax base.
One of those efforts to improve quality of life is aimed at making sure suitable living accommodations are available.
Some county officials have expressed the belief that home ownership is not a goal of the generation currently entering the work force. They think young people of today high rise apartments with amenities.
Maybe some do, but a 2015 study, which would make it only slightly outdated, found the opposite. The American Dream of home ownership still lingers, but perhaps not as ardently as it once did, not because young folks don't want to own a home of their own, but because of upsets in the job market in recent years. They're afraid to make the investment because their job might end and they would have to move.
The study also found most couples, of whatever age, don't want one of the mini houses, nor do they want a mansion. Until they get older (when they downsize), most want a home with 1,400 to 2,600 square feet, with either a back yard deck or a balcony with a view, and room for either a vegetable garden or swimming pool, and preferably space for entertaining, indoors and out.
According to the study, only six percent of millennials would prefer a high rise penthouse, and only four percent dream of converted lofts. It found that the majority want to live in the country and suburbs rather than a major city, and important factors are a short commute to work and having good schools nearby.
Marinette County, hands down, can offer all of these, and a lot more, including incredible recreation opportunities, and a lot of natural beauty. Swimming, sailing, boating, tubing, rafting, water skiing, what's your pleasure? It's here, pretty much free of charge!
Maybe we just need to market and expand the wonderful advantages of having a home of your own here, instead of helping landlords to own more and bigger properties.
How many songs have you ever heard about having an apartment of your own?
Possibly the county, realtors, potential employers, economic development groups and local banks could partner to offer low interest financing to help up and coming young people buy or build a home of their own provided they promise to work here and keep living in it. It's being done in other areas.
Back in the day when this country was young the Homestead Act encouraged enterprising families to move west and develop this nation. It worked here then, and something similar could work here now.
ON THE SOAP BOX
OBAMA CARE MAY END
Efforts in Congress to end Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, have not been entirely successful, but a recent U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filing may take care of that for us.
Last week the DOJ conceded in court filings that Obamacare's central provision, the individual mandate, is unconstitutional, and that a federal judge should strike it down along with other central provisions of the law before January 1, 2019.
The DOJ has maintained that other central provisions of the act cannot lawfully stand if the individual mandate is invalidated, which is consistent with critical concessions also made by US DOJ under President Obama.
When the United States Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of the ACA in 2012, decxision was that the law was constitutional only because the individual mandate could be construed as a tax, even though Congress did not explicitly establish the mandate under its taxing power.
In December of 2017, Congress revised the tax code and eliminated the individual-mandate tax, which many maintain renders the law unconstitutional in full.
On February 26, 2018, 20 states, led by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, sued to strike down the ACA in light of the new provision in the tax code.
In a brief filed yesterday, DOJ agreed with Schimel and other parties in the suit that the ACA's individual mandate, community-ratings provisions, and guaranteed-issue provision must be invalidated, but said certain other provisions of the act, such as the one allowing those under age 26 to remain on their parents health insurance, should remain in place.
Schimel and other parties in the suit argue that when Congress voted to remove the individual-mandate tax in December 2017, the constitutional underpinnings of the entire law fell apart.
The federal court is expected to issue a decision on the case later this year. If they decide to strike down the Affordable Health Care Act they will be doing all of us a tremendous favor.
By almost any measure, like most Socialist schemes, the "Affordable" Health Care Act has proven unfaffordable, and has been an almost total failure.
There are a few scattered reports of people it has helped, but they are far outnumbered by reports of people it has hurt.
Claims that the ACA would extend health insurance to every American and that everyone who liked their doctor could keep their doctor have proven false. Over 30 million Americans remain uninsured, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics show that average individual health insurance market premiums more than doubled between 2013 and 2017. Rates for group insurance forced on employers caused many to cut jobs for workers on the lower end of the pay scale to part time to keep from having to pay outrageous insurance premiums for them.
The sooner we can get rid of Obamacare the better, for all of us in America - rich and poor alike!
TUSCAN PORK BAKE
Sweet potatoes are becoming the new food fad, and this recipe puts them to good use. Recipe serves four.
4 cups coarsely chopped mixed celery, red onions and sweet potatoes
1/4 cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 baking apples, coarsely chopped
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into 8 pieces
1 packet SHAKE "N BAKE Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss vegetables with dressing and cheese; spread onto bottom of parchment paper-lined 15x10x1-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes. Stir in apples. Coat meat with coating mix as directed on package; add to pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is done (145 degrees) and vegetables are tender. Let stand 3 minutes before serving.
RHUBARB LEMON PIE
Great thing about this pie, in addition to the refreshing taste treat, is that it should be made the day before. That way there's no fussing on the day of, when you'll probably be busy cooking other things or bringing home the main course from the deli after a hard day at work.)
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup sugar
1 package lemon flavored gelatin (3 ounce size)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
1 baked pastry shell
Additonal whipped cream
Mix rhubarb and sugar in a stainless steel saucepan and set aside. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Add lemon peel and juice; stir until combined. Cover and put in the fridge. While it cools, bring the rhubarb to a boil over medium heat. Simmer five minutes, stirring occasionally. Let that cool while the gelatin lemon mixture jells to the consistency of unbeaten egg whites. When that time comes( maybe an hour) beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the cooked rhubarb mixture and then the jelled lemon mixture. Chill again until mixture mounds and then pile into the baked pastry shell. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours or until firm. Serve with a topping of whipped cream if you like.
BACON BUNDLED ASPARAGUS
Who doesn't love bacon? It adds its own smokey flavor to asparagus in this easy recipe.Plan to have these when you're baking something else, like a meat loaf and/or a Father's Day cake.
1 pound thick asparagus, stalks trimmed
4 slices bacon, not thick cut
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Divide the asparagus stalks into 4 bundles. Tightly wrap one slice of bacon around each bundle. In a small bowl mix together the butter, garlic powder, brown sugar and pepper. Arrange the asparagus bundles on a baking sheet and drizzle the butter mixture over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crispy. You could also cook these on a baking sheet in a covered outdoor grill. Then if the bacon doesn't get crisp enough for you, finish right on the grill, but be careful not to set the bacon on fire.
Thought for the week: Dad, Father's Day is Sunday, and I'll be thinking of you. Hope up there in Heaven you're trout fishing, dancing with Mom, or maybe sitting around a dinner table swapping stories with old family friends. Playing a harp just wouldn't be your style! You built a lifetime of memories for me that I will always hold dear in my heart. Be seeing you again one of these days. Until then - lots of love from your oldest daughter. P.S. Thank You, God, for giving me my Dad.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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