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

Spring...
Hi Folks!

Spring continues to come on slowly, but Spring it is! Haven’t had frost for a few days now. Fishing season is open. Dandelions are blooming, rhubarb is up, forested hillsides are sporting the pastel hues of the season, and more fine weather is projected. Isn’t it grand?

Now, if only it doesn’t snow again! This is Up North Wisconsin, after all, and anything can happen. In another two weeks we should be safe. Full moons often bring weather extremes, and that could mean the final frost of the season.

The full moon that comes on Saturday, May 25, is otherwise known as the Full Flower Moon, or in some old cultures the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the moon names came from the Algonquin tribes of the Eastern United States and were widely adopted by English settlers.

PRECOCIOUS YOUNGSTER

A friend’s 4-year-old grandson was out shopping with grandpa the other day, and as usual was being treated to a new toy. However, on the way out he latched on to an energy drink and was begging grandpa to buy it for him.

Grandpa, always an easy touch, always hates to say no, but he was pretty sure that drink was not a good idea.

“Look here,” he said, holding the can sideways and pointing at the lettering. “It says right here this is not good for kids and it tastes yucky. Do you still want it?”

The grandson decided not, but then picked up a candy bar, pointed at the lettering on the back and declared, “Look here, Grandpa. This says candy is good for kids.”

He got the candy bar.

He’s right, of course, even though he can’t read. The Food Police now say chocolate indeed does have health benefits. Now there’s a finding for which we chocoholics are eternally grateful! No more guilt!

ON THE SOAP BOX

Our national news media’s schizophrenic tendencies are indeed difficult to comprehend.

A jury in Philadelphia finally convicts the most dastardly mass murderer in our nation’s history, and the story rates a spot near the fold on an inside page of the daily newspaper and the tragic saga as it unfolded was barely mentioned on national television.

Problem is, the gory tale of a man who made his fortune murdering babies and sometimes letting their mothers die puts abortions in a bad light and naturally the major media cannot let that happen if it can help it. Not politically correct, you know.

But a jury heard the evidence of inhuman and inhumane actions on the part of 72-year-old Dr. Kermit Gosnell and finally found him guilty of first degree murder. Nobody has brought charges against the people charged with overseeing medical care in Pennsylvania for overlooking hundreds of violations at his filthy clinic staffed with untrained assistants. After all, the man was black, and he was performing the necessary service of ridding poor women in a bad neighborhood of unwanted fetuses.

Never mind that women died from infections contracted at his facility, that excruciatingly painful procedures were performed by the good doctor and his staff without anesthetics if they couldn’t afford to pay for the painless alternatives, and that living, breathing and crying “fetuses” were put to painful deaths as a result of his tender ministrations in the disguise of medicine.

The state people charged with enforcing laws did nothing. Were they paid to look the other way, or did it happen because of the political power of the pro-abortionists? Someone really needs to look very closely at what happened in Pennsylvania to be sure it doesn’t ever happen anywhere else, ever again.

Over his decades as head of his own abortion clinic the butcher - er, excuse me, doctor - helped bring thousands of full and near term babies out of their mother’s wombs and then killed them, by snipping their little spinal columns. He trained his assistants to do the same.

Former employees of his clinic testified some of the babies he killed or ordered killed were breathing, wiggling and crying when their brief lives came to an end.

The death penalty would have been too good for this man. Unfortunately, torture is illegal in this country, and he could be killed only once anyway. So instead he’ll get a nice private cell for the rest of his days. The only consolation is that when his days do come to an end he’ll be going on to life in the hereafter, and am willing to bet his eternity won’t be spent where the babies he killed are. Hope he worries about that a lot. That would be some justice.

We know God forgives anybody who believes in Him and sincerely and unselfishly seeks forgiveness, but really must struggle to believe a monster like Dr. Gosnell can ever be forgiven.

STILL ON THE SOAP BOX

WORD GAMES


The feminist activists are again busy ruining our English language, and once again the politicians are helping them, and many of the so-called intellectuals, given their enlightened status in our society, are falling right in line.

Speaking here of a law recently passed in a “progressive” west coast state that prohibits use of “gender specific” terms of any sort on government documents.

Can’t have fishermen any more. They are now “fishers”. Can’t have a telephone lineman either. Guess they’ll have to be just “lines”.

Even in Wisconsin we aren’t supposed to have aldermen any more. They are now alderpersons. Oops! Nobody thought about the discrimination against alderdaughters! So they’ll have to be just “alders”.

Wonder what what the word for manhole covers is in politically correct terminology???

Kids school enrollment forms can’t say “mother” or “father” any more. They have to say “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”

Now this may sound sexist and politically incorrect, but it’s a pretty sure bet that somewhere along the way, by natural means or otherwise, every kid ever born had both a mother and a father. Wonder why the forms are even allowed to say “parent”? After all, some kids aren’t being raised by even one parent, let alone two. Guess those forms should just read,”Responsible Adult 1” and “Responsible Adult 2.” That way no one’s feelings get hurt.

Are we allowed to say “mankind” any more?

Are we still “humans” or are we simply members of the “hu” race?

Can’t even say “personkind,” because there’s that word “son” again. Can’t even say “female”. There’s that “male” suffix.

Women’s libbers will have to find themselves a new name. Wo-pers libbers?

My, my! Maybe it’s best we hu’s describe ourselves as members of the animal kingdom with opposable thumbs and the ability to laugh. Lengthy but not gender specific, you know.

We do desperately need to hold on to our ability to laugh, and we should practice that skill by laughing at the misguided individuals who put a great deal of effort into proving there’s no difference between men and women, when science and God have both decreed that there is.

GROWIN’ THINGS

It isn’t yet time to put tender seedlings into the ground, but most seeds should already be planted. If yours aren’t, best to get to it this weekend.

Remember one year Mom was starting a bed of moss roses (portulacas) in a sandy strip between the sidewalk and the driveway. We were also leaving on a two-week vacation, so there would be no one at home to keep them watered.

She raked the soil, such as it was, scattered the seeds and then very gently raked again. Then she covered the whole thing with a newspaper layer just two pages thick. These she weighted down with rocks, and then she wet down the whole thing with the sprinkler hose.

We enjoyed our vacation. When we got home she removed the newspapers and underneath was a lovely green carpet of baby moss roses, which eventually matured to become a little sea of brilliantly colored blossoms.

The beauty part is that the plants re-seeded on their own and for years afterward we had that strip of beauty to admire. Just had to pull the occasional weed.

SPRING CLEANING

The inside of the house isn’t the only thing that needs cleaning in spring.

Outdoor furniture usually comes out of winter storage a bit grimy.

If the aluminum parts of your lawn and patio furniture looks dingy, scrub it with a soft brush dipped in a detergent and water solution. Wipe dry with a soft cloth,and then polish and weatherproof the parts with a coat of car wax.

To get mildew off wooden patio furniture, mix up a solution of one cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda and a gallon of water. Wipe the furniture down well with this and then wipe it off with a separate cloth. Let it dry thoroughly in the sun and then paint with mildew-resistant paint. If the piece was unfinished to start with coat it with a latex primer before painting.

Dark stains can be removed from unfinished wood by wiping on household bleach. However, if you do this to furniture you have washed with the ammonia solution be certain it’s absolutely dry before you apply the bleach. Preferably do the task outside and don’t breathe while you’re doing it.

Anyway, once the wood looks like new, you can finish the piece with spar varnish (the kind they use on boats) instead of paint. It will be beautiful and durable.

COOKIN TIME

Rhubarb is ready and so are dandelion greens. Some asparagus patches are producing, but sadly ours is not. Certainly hope it didn’t disappear over winter. Have that fear every spring, but so far it’s always finally come through. It’s cookout time, and time for outdoor and indoor gatherings of family and friends.

GRILLED BUZZARD

The friend who shared this recipe claims that’s what her in-laws convinced her she was eating the first time she tried this. Might be hard to believe that she believed, but then again I have another friend who claims to enjoy eating smoked weasel. He’s normal otherwise. Of course, he lies a lot. Smoked ‘possum, maybe. Never smoked weasel!

1 chicken, cut into serving pieces, or two to three pounds chicken parts

1/2 cup salad oil

1/2 cup beer

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or more

1 cup worcestershire sauce

1 cup soy sauce

1 medium size onion, chopped

Salt and pepper

Mix everything except the chicken in a large zipper type plastic bag, and then add the chicken. Put the bag in the fridge and turn it about every hour for a while, but the longer you marinate it the better, so eventually give up the turning until you get up in the morning. About the time you light the grill take the bag out of the fridge so the pieces warm up a bit. Grill over medium hot coals until done as you like it, probably about half an hour. If you use a covered grill and add some pre-soaked apple or mesquite wood chips you’ll end up with an approximation of smoked weasel.

PORK TENDERLOIN MEDALLIONS

WITH RHUBARB-ORANGE SAUCE

Can’t cook outside every day. This deliciously different pork dish has only 200 calories and 8 grams of carbs per serving, so it’s extremely affordable in terms of both dollars and sense. Takes 45 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds total), trimmed

Salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Chopped fresh chives, to garnish

Trim off the thin end piece of each tenderloin, cutting off about a 3-inch section. Slice the remaining portion of each tenderloin crosswise into 3/4-inch rounds. You should end up with about 18 to 20 pieces, including the 2 thin sections cut from the ends. Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Working in batches, add the pork to the skillet. Cook, turning to brown on all sides, for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the pork is just pink at the center. Transfer the pork to a plate, cover with foil and let it rest while you prepare the sauce. Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil, the rhubarb and the sugar. Saut for 2 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Whisk together the orange juice, corn starch and mustard and whisk into the pan. Simmer for two minutes. Stir in any juices that have collected on the plate from the pork. To serve, divide the pork medallions between 6 plates, then top with some of the sauce. Garnish with chives. Serve with buttered rice if you aren’t counting carbs. Broccoli or Brussels Sprouts are also great with it, and so are buttered beets.

CHERRY RHUBARB FREEZER JAM

An easy unusual and delicious treat made with cherry gelatin, cherry pie filling and fresh rhubarb. Make enough to store it away for winter if possible. Great with toast or crackers and cream cheese, and on pancakes, waffles or French toast. Original recipe yield: 2 pints. Has to sit overnight, and then it takes about 45 minutes to cook.

6 cups diced rhubarb

4 cups white sugar

1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

1 (6 ounce) package cherry flavored gelatin

Place rhubarb in a large bowl. Pour sugar over top and stir to coat. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight. Place rhubarb mixture in a pot and cook over medium heat until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in pie filling and gelatin, and bring mixture to a boil. Pour into a shallow pan and allow to cool in refrigerator. Pack into jars or plastic containers. Can be refrigerated or frozen. Can also be eaten, especially on pancakes or over ice cream, while it’s still warm.

Thought for the Week: Woody Allen was known for being witty, but not generally recognized for his wise insights. However, he was absolutely correct when he advised, “Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” Young graduates preparing to embark on the world should heed that advice. Absence absolutely does not make the boss’s heart grow fonder! Also keep in mind Ben Franklin’s conviction that lost time is never found again, and take a hint from Henry Ford’s desire to hire “a lot of men with an infinite capacity to now know what can’t be done.” Those attitudes, plus honesty will get you pretty much anywhere you want to go on your chosen career path. Of course it never hurts to have good looks, charm and great contacts, but lack of one or all of those things is not an insurmountable obstacle.

(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.)

COUNTRY COUSIN


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