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

Issue Date: July 19, 2018

A Dollar for a Lie...



We've had some sweltering days and nights recently, hot enough to make some summer celebrations less fun than they would have been with lower temperatures and less humidity. Most of us are thoroughly enjoying this week's switch to more moderate normal Northwoods Wisconsin weather, which often requires sweatshirts and blankets at night.

No matter how hot the days get, am not ready to ask for a return to winter! A dip in the old swimming hole or the nearest lake does a lot to cool off the hottest day. Even a run through the back yard sprinkler or a squirt gun battle helps. You're never too old to have fun if you just relax and enjoy it.

LIST YOUR EVENT

Lots of TIMESland organizations and communities have fund raising events each summer, sometimes more than one. The more folks who turn out for these events the better, and the more it's advertised, the better the turnout. Some advertising you pay for, some is free. For a free listing on the Marinette County Calendar of events, submit information to Marinette City/County Tourism Director Melissa Ebsch at 715-938-247, send it via email at klacount@marinettecounty.com, or go to "therealnorth.com" to type in your information.

WANTED: OLD VISITOR GUIDES

Here's hoping some of you readers have saved some old readable Marinette County tourist information booklets or other material promoting businesses, events, communities and local parks and campgrounds. Tourism Director Melissa Ebsch is hoping to gather some of this old information. If you have some that you're willing to share, contact Country Cousin at 715-291-9002 or by e-mail to shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo.com.

LIARS CLUB

Wrote last week about an old friend who claimed his grandfather's horse froze to death one summer when it was so hot that popcorn popped while it was growing in the field and the horse thought it as snowing.

That story had been a winner in a Liar's Club competition many years ago. Didn't know if the Liars' Club still exists.

Later in the week got a call from Al Gabriel, a regular reader from Kenosha. Al says the Liars' Club is alive and well in Burlington, Wis., which isn't far from his home.

Said it costs $1 a year to belong to the Burlington Liars' Club, and every New Year's Eve they have a big event to see who can come up with the biggest and best story.

Sounds like a lot like fun. Might be worth going some time!

Did some research and learned there not only still is a Liars' Club in Burlington, a Liars Club Bar recently opened there. Claims folks love to hang out and swap lies. Sounds a lot like other bars that way, but maybe their lies are more fun.

Anyway, according to the bar's web site, The Burlington Liars' Club is an organization that's been awarding the title "World Champion Liar" annually since 1929 when two enterprising freelance reporters, Otis Hulett and Manuel Hahn, fabricated a news story about a lying contest between the Burlington police and fire departments in which the winner was the police chief, who denied ever telling a lie. The fake story was published and the Liars' Club was born. Hulett closed the club in 1979, and the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce revived it the next year. 

The Liars' Club's own web site quotes some of the 2017 winners, and they are good ones. And all of the winners are from Wisconsin. Maybe that says something about Wisconsin.

Dennis A. Mueller of Fond du Lac wrote, "I worked all morning building the best ground blind of my life. When I went out in the afternoon to go bow hunting I couldn't find it!"

From Ed Zillmer, Osseo: "I am getting tired of losing socks in the dryer, but what really bothers me is when I later hear the dryer burp."

Mark Kolczaski, Burlington, claimed:  "During the flood of 2017, I was driving through so much water that the DNR pulled me over to check my truck for personal flotation devices."

Chad Giles, Kenosha claimed: "Growing up, our parents were so cheap, they would take my sister and I to a pet store and tell us it was the zoo."

To enter this year's contest, email entries to championlies@gmail.com or send to The Burlington Liars Club, P.O. Box 156, Burlington, WI 53105.

DINING ON SOCKS

Zillmer, in his Liar's Club tale, said his clothes dryer eats his socks, but I'm betting he's wrong. Dryers are not the culprits. Washing machines are the appliances that regularly devour socks. Several times I've actually caught one of the front loaders of our laundromat in the act! Grabbed on to that little sock and rescued it just as it was being sucked in by the door gasket.

Years ago my sister regularly complained that whenever she did her laundry at Mom's house in Marinette she lost several of the socks worn by her twin sons.

Years later, that old washing machine died. The twins were already grown men. The utility room had been built around the old washing machine, so either the room or the washer had to be dismantled to get it out. The washer was taken apart. And guess what? There in the maw of that old machine were about 20 little socks, no two alike, and still undigested!

Of course, we all know washers - or dryers - only will eat one of each pair, never both. Don't know why that is. Maybe double servings give the machines indigestion.

RAT RIVER RETREAT

Think there's an actual business with that name, and know for sure there is a Rat River in what today is Marinette County's Town of Silver Cliff.

When that town was created in 1920 it was named Rat River.

According to a news report printed in the Ironwood (Michigan) Daily Globe, Marinette County Board on June 18, 1920 changed the name to Silver Cliff, a name taken from a high picturesque point on the Peshtigo River. According to the news report, "Electors of the town, disgusted with the first name, petitioned for the change."

Have seen parts of the Rat River in Silver Cliff. The name may indeed be a bit "disgusting,"but the river itself and the countryside around it are absolutely beautiful. The "river facts.com" website describes the Rat River in Silver Cliff as a destination for rafting, canoeing or kayaking: "The nature scenery of Wisconsin and the beautiful way the water current moves down the stream will make you feel great... This stretch of Rat River in Marinette County is 3.3 miles long and has been rated as a class II, III and IV section by American Whitewater." They advise getting a map to avoid getting lost in the Silver Cliff wilderness. The site also says summer daytime highs in the Silver Cliff/Athelstane area are generally in the 70s (true) and sink to the 50s at night (also true). However, it goes on to warn: "The cold days of the winter come with highs in the 20's, and through the dark hours in the winter at Rat River temperatures dip to the-10's." That's pretty much of an understatement, as those of us who live in the area know all too well. The site doesn't warn people not to try kayaking there in winter. Anybody who knows anything about Wisconsin should already understand that it's really hard to keep a kayak moving in (or on) frozen water.

ON THE SOAP BOX

CAPITALISM VS SOCIALISM


Being a child of the Cold War years, when Communism and its first cousin, Socialism, were recognized as the epitome of all evil, cannot believe how many members of today's "educated elite," including Bernie Sanders, are not only touting Socialistic nonsense, they're swallowing it, hook, line and sinker!

School children are being fed the notion that "Capitalist" is a dirty word. And we taxpayers are paying "educators" to promote those lies!

Am told Sanders may actually be the front runner among Democrats for another try at the White House when the next election comes around! Still haven't wrapped my mind around the idea that Americans ever elected a known Socialist to any public office in the first place, much less consider him for President!

Not saying Sanders might not be a nice person. It's just that Socialism is a pie in the sky idea that simply cannot work because humans are humans. Without incentives we tend to be somewhat lazy.

Most of us are willing to share with the less fortunate, but only if they're less fortunate by circumstance, and not because they're lazier than we are.

It's been proven time and time again all around the world that Socialism does not and cannot work.

First of all, it simply is not fair!

As a friend explains: Imagine that five men are sent out in the morning to dig a ditch. They're not in the military, and they're not in prison. This is just an ordinary job, but meals and lodging are to be their only pay. Four of the men work hard. The fifth parks his shovel under a tree and sleeps in the shade all morning. Nobody does anything to him. At noon they all get the same amounts of food and drink.

That afternoon, two of the other men join the first in the shade of that tree. If their buddies don't have to work, neither do they.

At night, they're all served the same evening meal, and all get to retire into a nice soft bed.

Next morning they're all served a hearty breakfast and go off to the ditch, shovels in hand. But this time, none of the men choose to dig. Why should they? They all sit under the tree waiting for lunch. The ditch never gets dug.

Want to guess how long anyone will keep getting meals?

That's sort of how Socialism works.

Under Capitalism, pay for each man would be based on how much he managed to dig, or at least how long he spent at it. If he didn't choose to dig he'd be kicked off the job. The guys who did work would use the money they earned to buy their own food. They would choose for themselves where they wanted to sleep, and how they wanted to spend the rest of their money.

Some of them would eat Ramen noodles and get ahead. They'd buy new, faster shovels and rent them to the others. Others would eat steak and lobster on payday and go hungry the rest of the week. They'd be the ones renting from the savers. They'd keep eating, but they wouldn't get ahead.

That's how Capitalism works.

And one more thing. If the workers - both the savers and the spenders - are forced to turn over a hefty chunk of their paychecks each week to the segment of the population that chooses not to work, there's Socialism rearing its ugly head again!

We're pretty close to that in this country today, but thanks to President Donald Trump, not as dangerously close as we were two years ago. Whether or not we like his personality or his Twitter posts, our nation desperately needed many of the things he's been doing. And to keep making improvements, he needs more supporters in Congress willing to work for the well being of this nation and not the well being of their political party!

Electing people to govern shouldn't be a popularity contest. Voters should be making informed decisions to put the right individuals in place to do the jobs that need to be done!

COOKIN' TIME

If you're in the mood for some real food, prepared indoors, these easy recipes are just the ticket.

CHEESY CHICKEN POT PIES

Make these with pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Separate the meat from the skin and bones. Cut up the meat for the pot pies, and freeze the skin and bones for soup on another day. (This recipe also works with leftover turkey instead of chicken, but then they're Cheesy Turkey Pot Pies.)

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

3 cups cut up cooked chicken

1 can (10 3/4 ounce) condensed cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

8 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Measure all ingredients. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in medium bowl; spoon evenly into 4 (2-cup) ovenproof bowls. (Most cereal bowls are suitable, but check.) Top with shredded cheese. Mix flour and baking powder in medium bowl. Cut in cream cheese with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse (pea-sized) crumbs. Stir in milk with fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. Divide dough into 4 balls. Pat out dough into 5-inch circles on lightly floured surface. Prick tops several time with fork to allow steam to escape. Place dough on top of chicken mixture in each bowl. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Makes 4 servings, 1 pot pie each.

CHEESY VOLCANO MEATBALLS

Serve these as a deluxe sandwich on sub buns, or on top of spaghetti for a main dish. Let the kids make the meatballs while you supervise.

1 pound lean ground beef

1 egg

6 snack crackers (like Ritz), finely crushed

1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

3/4 cup traditional pasta sauce, divided

12 cheddar cheese cubes, about 1/2-inch each

8 ounces spaghetti or 4 Hoagie rolls

Additional grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix meat, egg, cracker crumbs, Parmesan and 1/4 cup pasta sauce just until blended. (You might want to add some salt, pepper and sweet basil to the mix.) Shape into 12 balls, using about 2 tablespoons meat mixture for each. Place, 2 inches apart, in shallow pan sprayed with cooking spray. Press 1 cheese cube deeply into center of each meatball. Bake 14 minutes or until meatballs are done. Microwave remaining sauce in microwavable bowl for 30 seconds or until heated through.

If making sandwiches: Fill buns with meatballs and spoon on sauce just before serving. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese if you like.

If serving with spaghetti: Cook spaghetti as the package directs. Drain and return to the pan you cooked it in. Stir in the remaining spaghetti sauce, and heat until it's all serving temperature. To serve, put some spaghetti on a plate and then put meatballs on top, pressing them just a bit into the mound of spaghetti so they don't roll off. Sprinkle on Parmesan to taste. Good with broccoli, green beans or a tossed green salad on the side.

EASY BERRY PUDDING CUPS

This dessert is so easy kids can make it, and if they use sugar free gelatin dessert mix and lite whipped topping, so low calorie that you can enjoy it with no guilt whatsoever.

2 containers (6 ounces each) strawberry nonfat yogurt

1 package strawberry flavor gelatin dessert mix (like Jell-O)

3/4 cup thawed whipped topping

1 cup each blueberries, raspberries and sliced fresh strawberries

6 Oreo cookies, chopped

Mix yogurt and dry gelatin mix in medium bowl until blended. Stir in whipped topping. Layer yogurt mixture, berries and cookies in 6 dessert dishes. Eat now, or chill and eat later.



Thought for the week: Steve Jobs once said: "My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time."

So true! Take time today to smell the flowers, soak up some sun, dance to the music. Play with your kids while they still want to play with you. Listen to your aging parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles while they still remember the family legends that you'll want to pass along to your children and grandchildren some day.



(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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