Summer is drawing to a close in our northeast corner of Wisconsin. Leaves on a few trees are even starting to show hints of the autumn colors that will soon come.
Moms are out shopping for school supplies. School busses are seen on highways and byways, and some fall sports seasons have already begun. August so far has proven to be as unseasonably chilly as July was hot, but mostly it has been a lovely and welcome change - cool nights, mostly sunny days, with splashes of rain thrown in for emphasis, then sunshine again.
Wausaukee is gearing up for the annual Marinette County Fair that will get underway Thursday, Aug. 23 and run through Sunday, Aug. 26.
Coronation of 4-H royalty will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Theres no charge for children under age five, but for everyone else the cost is $5 per day or $15 for the entire four days of the fair.
But theres a lot to see and do.
As usual, there will be livestock, garden produce, flowers, art work, and much more on display. Vendors will offer their wares and services, including a variety of food and drink, bands will play, clowns will perform, carney barkers will tout rides and games, and the grandstand will roar with the sounds of lawn mower, tractor and truck pulls plus the popular demolition derby, which is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Rides start with wristband days at 1 p.m. on Thursday and Friday afternoons and noon on Sunday. They gear up at noon on Saturday at regular prices.
LAWN CARE CLASS
Want to learn more about the care and feeding of your lawn, and specifically what you should be doing now to enjoy a smooth, velvety lawn next summer? Join Scott Reuss, Marinette County-UW-Extension Horticulture agent at 1 p.m. at Stephenson Public Library in Marinette. He will review what, how and when to do the various fall management tasks. The session is free, and anyone who attends gets to take home various UW-Extension lawn care publications.
At Farm and Garden markets and roadside stands in communities all around TIMESland you can buy the best in home grown produce for your family tables. In most places prices are good enough to make it worth buying their taste treasures to freeze and can for winter feasting.
If you dont have a garden you can still enjoy the incomparable flavor of home grown tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, corn...
Were told apples and other tree fruits will be in short supply this year due to an early warm spell followed by a late season frost just when most of the blossoms were out. So if you spot some apples, pears, cherries and other tree fruits at a reasonable price, grab them. This winter there may be none, at least none that were grown in this area.
Recently snapped up an old book at a thrift shop sale. Its filled with short snippets that made folks laugh back when it was first printed in 1939. Some of the jokes are just as funny today, and some maybe even funnier.
Twists that tickled the funny bone havent changed much, but political correctness has. Theres an entire long chapter - 124 pages - filled with ethnic humor, told in dialect.
But the authors werent prejudiced. They poked their gentle and sometimes not so gentle fun at everybody, Jews, Christians (including the not-so-Christian variety), English, Irish, French, Scots, Germans, Chinese, Indians, and yes, Americans in general. Many were based on misunderstandings due to dialect.
Wasnt it wonderful that folks back then could have a bit of fun with each other without getting all hot and bothered over it? Too bad that jovial joshing has gone out with the walk on eggshells mentality forced on us today by political do-gooders.
The best Irish jokes I ever heard, or ever hope to hear, were told by the late Marinette County Corporation Counsel Jim Murphy, who could have made a career of it. Of course, maybe thats the secret. You can tell a joke that pokes gentle fun at your own ethnic group, but not that of someone else. Well, sort of.
For example, a Mohican Indian friend, back in the days of dispute over spear fishing rights of Native Americans on Wisconsin waterways, declared a new white wine had just come out: I wanna fish too! I wanna fish too!
SPEAKS THE LANGUAGE
I speak four languages, the doorman of a fine hotel in Rome boasted to an American traveler on a gusty, rainy day back in 1939 in sunny Italy. Im fluent in Italian, French, English and American.
Thats not four languages! American and English are the same, blustered the American.
Not at all, replied the dignified doorman, drawing himself up a notch. If an Englishman had come up to the door just now, I would talk like this: Oh, I say! What extraordinarily shocking weather were having! I dare say therell be a bit of it ahead. But to you I was just getting ready to say, For the love o Mike! Some day, aint it! Guess this is the Second Flood, all right!
Remember, this was back in 1939 or earlier, so the American dialect has changed a bit, but the idea remains the same.
SHOOTING FOR JUSTICE
A Russian, back in the bloody days of Stalins Communist regime before World War II, boasted to an American, Our government aims at justice.
Yes, and its fatally successful, the American replied.
The irony is that our nations humor recognized the Communist threat, but apparently our nations politicians did not. They accepted Stalin as an ally in the war, and when it was over turned half of Germany and much of the rest of Europe over to the tender mercies of the communist dictatorship.
Were told that Wisconsin leads the country in what could be the worst national outbreak of whooping cough in 50 years. Through July 31, our state had reported 3,496 cases, and that number continues to grow. According to the national Center for Disease Control, Wisconsins incidence of the disease was 50.7 per 100,000 persons, nearly 10 times the national average.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory illness that generally acts like a common cold for the first 10 days, before it begins to produce a violent and persistent cough with a unique whooping sound when patients try to catch their breath. It can come with a fever.
The bad part is that its most contagious during the early stages, before it gets diagnosed. Once the proper antibiotics are taken for about five days the contagious part is over, but not the coughing.
Experts at Mayo Clinic say once you become infected with whooping cough, it can take one to three weeks for signs and symptoms to appear. Theyre usually mild at first and resemble those of a common cold, including runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, red, watery eyes, mild fever and a dry cough.
After a week or two, signs and symptoms worsen. Thick mucus accumulates inside airways, causing uncontrollable coughing. Severe and prolonged coughing attacks may provoke vomiting, result in a red or blue face, cause extreme fatigue, and end with a high-pitched whoop sound during the next breath of air. They add that many people never develop the characteristic whoop, and sometimes a persistent hacking cough is the only sign that an adolescent or adult has whooping cough. They advise calling a doctor if prolonged coughing spells cause you or your child to vomit, turn red or blue.
The disease is generally just annoying to adults and older children, but can be fatal to infants because they are not able to cough up the phlegm that accompanies the cough.
As a suggestion, dont take your infant out in public unless its necessary, and ask anyone showing signs of a cold to please keep their distance.
Washington has declared the current outbreak an epidemic, but Wisconsin has not. Officials are encouraging vaccinations and booster shots and advise parents and caretakers to protect infants from unvaccinated people.
However, they also warn that the current regimen of immunizations may not be enough to protect children from the serious and sometimes fatal disease. Two recent studies have found the majority of people getting sick are up to date with their immunizations, and new research confirms the whooping cough vaccine is failing at a higher rate than expected. Scientists are considering adding a seventh dose to the schedule.
Authorities also say having had the disease once does confer immunity, but theyre not sure how long that immunity lasts. Someone who had whooping cough back in the epidemics of 50 and 60 years ago may or may not be susceptible to getting it again.
Whooping cough generally spreads through a family. If one gets it, everyone does. As kids, back in the day of the last epidemic, my cousins and I all had it. We had great fun, because we werent really sick, just coughed a lot, and we didnt have to go to school. Laughing set off a new coughing spasm, so naturally we spent most of our time trying to make each other laugh. Kids can be cruel!
However, I stayed with my cousins in their home while Mom was at our home, taking care of my very ill baby sister, who nearly died.
Enjoy fresh veggies as often as you can while theyre available. Winter is coming!
SEASHELL TUNA SALAD
Remember this good old picnic and pot luck standby? Sometimes its good to go back to the original recipe. If you dont want to fuss with the original boiled dressing feel free to use plain mayonnaise and some finely minced fresh dill weed or Peppercorn Ranch dressing instead.
1 package small seashell pasta (8 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 cans tuna, drained
1/2 cup sliced stuffed green olives
10 small dill pickles, thinly sliced
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced green onions, including white and green parts
1/2 cup diced cucumber
4 hard boiled eggs, cut in quarters and thickly sliced
1/2 pound diced or coarsely shredded cheese, preferably
cheddar or muenster
Old-fashioned boiled dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions, but add peas for the last two or three minutes of cooking time. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Stir it around a bit to get all of the water out of the little shells. Turn this into a large bowl and add everything else except the dressing. Add enough dressing to moisten as you like it. This is even better made early in the day and refrigerated until serving time, but just before serving check the consistency. You will most likely find much of the dressing has been absorbed by the pasta and you will want to add more.
CHEESY ZUCCHINI PIE
Serve for breakfast, as a snack or appetizer, or as a vegetable side dish in a meal without gravy.
1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated
1/4 cup butter
4 cups sliced zucchini
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 tablespoons fresh, minced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent rolls, and press into a 9 inch pie pan, covering sides and bottom. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the zucchini and onion until tender. Season with parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Remove skillet form heat, and mix in the eggs and cheese. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until set. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.
Thought for the Week: Think we need gun control? Heres what George Washington thought: Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American peoples liberty teeth and keystone under independence. To secure peace, securely and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.
(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 715-927-5034 or by e-mail at shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo. com.)
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