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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: February 7, 2019

Groundhog saw his shadow"

Snow, ice, cold! Repeat. Cold, rain, ice, snow. Repeat. Will this winter ever end? Did we really have have our January thaw back in December, or did it come on Sunday, Feb. 3 and then go away again on Monday? High temperature in Green Bay on Sunday was reportedly 41 degrees - nearly 70 degrees warmer than the low of 26 below zero on Thursday, Jan. 31. How can a body adjust to changes like that???

One thing is certain. That old groundhog did see his shadow on Saturday, Feb. 2. Regardless, we here in TIMESland are almost certainly destined to suffer through another six weeks of winter. Only once in all my years did I see Spring actually come to stay in March. What a happy surprise that was. We had an Easter Egg hunt outside that year, and for the first and only time enjoyed eating Easter Dinner outdoors in Wisconsin. That was maybe 35 years ago and hasn't happened since, although once it was almost 70 degrees on Christmas, believe it or not. Snow on the ground, and folks running around outdoors in shirt sleeves and cooking on the grill!

There's really no predicting Wisconsin weather over the long haul, but must admit the weathermen have been pretty good about predicting incoming storms and such in recent years.

THANKS, SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS

By official proclamation signed by Governor Tony Evers, the week of Feb. 11 through 15 is School Bus Driver Recognition Week in Wisconsin.

The week of recognition had been requested by members of the Wisconsin School Bus Association Board of Directors.

The gubernatorial proclamation declares that more than 15,000 school bus drivers in Wisconsin travel more than 82 million miles a year in transporting more than 600,000 students to and from school every day. It goes on to say that the Wisconsin School Bus Association works to encourage and promote safety in school bus transportation in Wisconsin and pledges full and dedicated cooperation with various agencies in promoting public awareness of the importance of school bus transportation.

Would like to personally salute the men and women who have the patience, skill and courage to safely transport bus loads of often rambunctious kids without anyone else aboard to keep order while they drive.They need to remember where each child is picked up, and where he or she is supposed to get off, keep an eye on the rear view mirror to be sure no one is being silently harassed, and in general keep the peace on the bus that some kids need to ride for more than an hour every morning and night.

Those drivers are brave people! God bless them one and all!

WISE AND WITTY

By all accounts, Abraham Lincoln was a humble man, before he became President, and was wise and witty as well. His facial features were not very attractive, but they, along with his wit and wisdom, were enough to get him elected president. Unlike most presidents, Abraham Lincoln did not grow up in a wealthy family, have great tutors, or attend the best schools. He grew up in a log cabin, and legend has it he learned to read by the light of the fireplace in that cabin.

He obviously watched, listened and learned as he grew up and ventured out into the world, but his self-depreciating wit is something he was likely born with.

A few of the best lines attributed to him:

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

"If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"

"My experience has taught me that a man who has no vices had damned few virtues."

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

"No man has a good enough memory to make him a successful liar."

"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly."

"I don't know who my grandfather was. I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be."

"I happen to temporarily occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father's child has."

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."

"let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty."

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ABE

Have long thought that if our wise legislators back in 1971 had not seen fit to honor all our nation's former Presidents with a special day instead of just honoring the first and the best of them, we would still as a nation be celebrating Abraham Lincoln's birthday on February 12, and George Washington's birthday on Feb. 22. Instead, most government workers and a few other folks have the third Monday of February, as a paid holiday to celebrate President's Day, and the rest of us really don't much care.

Now have done a little Google research and learned that there really is no official national President's Day, even though the calendar says there is.

Sure is a shock to learn something you always knew simply isn't so!

That Third Monday set back in 1971 was meant to observe George Washington's birthday, but put it on a Monday so there would be another 3-day weekend. Now some states celebrate it that way, and some do not.

CANDLELIGHT SKI EVENT

The 11th Annual Candlelight Ski and Hike event at Governor Thompson State Park Woods Lake Shelter at N10008 Paust Lane west of Crivitz is slated for Saturday, Feb. 16. Skiers will enjoy a 1 mile loop ski trail groomed for classic and skate skiing. Hikers will enjoy a separate 1 mile loop hiking trail (dogs permitted). Visitors will enjoy original ice sculptures on display. Warming fires and hot chocolate will be provided.

VALENTINE'S DANCE

St. Mary Catholic Church in Crivitz invites everyone to a Valentine Dance on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 6 to 10 p.m. Free soda and snacks are included for the admission price of $5 each if purchased at the parish office in advance or $6 at the door. Beer and wine will be available. There will also be a bucket raffle and 50/50 raffle with proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul charities.

ON THE SOAP BOX

FIRST ABORTION, NOW INFANTICIDE!


The pro-abortionists have gone too far! Maybe their moves to legalize the killing of newly born, or about to be born infants will swing the pendulum the other way and help the majority of this nation's residents realize that abortion at any stage of pregnancy is evil, but particularly so when survival of the infant is almost a sure thing!

It's really hard - almost impossible - to believe that the Liberals in New York State are praising legislators for legalizing the murder of infants, and legislators in Virginia appear prepared to do the same. Theoretically, the killings would be allowed only if the child might be deformed, or if the mother might die or suffer mental distress.

Come on folks! Do we really want to legalize murder in this country just because the person being murdered cannot speak yet to defend itself? Or just because the expectant mother feels that letting her child survive would be an inconvenience?

Be forewarned, getting the public conscience to accept murder on the beginning end of the life cycle is just another step toward getting everyone to accept murder (euthanasia) at the far end, when the nursing home age population becomes too large for the government to support!!!

Those who promote infanticide today might well be the ones being brought to a "painless' termination once their productive working years are over. Wonder how they'll feel about it then? On the other hand, terminating the lives of senior citizens prematurely would surely be one way to end the problems with an overdrawn Social Security account!

In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam, himself a pediatric neurosurgeon, incredibly praised the proposed law that would loosen the rules for late term abortions. But the way he explained it, that "late term abortion" could include a baby that has already been born. He's been quoted as saying that after the child is born the baby would be made comfortable, resuscitated if necessary, and then the doctor and the mother would "have a discussion" on whether that baby would live or die?"

The bill, we're told, allows that. Have to wonder"does it specify how long that discussion can last? What about until the child enters the "Terrible Twos?"

Or perhaps the impossible teens?

Until the first time it sasses its mother back?

At what point can Mom no longer tell the doctor to kill the child she doesn't want?

Now Gov. Northam is saying he didn't didn't really mean what he said, and the mainstream fake news media has come to his defense, as it always comes to the defense of extreme liberal positions. Couldn't believe those "news" sources before. Why believe them now?

Even a mother hen will fight to the death to protect her chicks, and that includes while they are still in the egg! Are they that much more loving than humans? How far can selfishness go? Do we want to live in a world where a woman could stand living the rest of her life with the knowledge that she had deliberately killed her own child?

COOKIN' TIME

Winter winds blow. This is the best time to enjoy good old comfort foods, preferably baked in the oven. But there's nothing wrong with a slow cooker or one of the new Instant Pots, since we're all in a hurry these days. Haven't personally tried an Instant Pot, but am told they're great, and recently have had requests for recipes using them. Will probably break down and buy one soon.

PEPPERONI PIZZA BAKE

Who in America doesn't love the Italian flavors of pizza? This recipe was on the back of a box of Creamette Penne Pasta, which captures more sauce because it has ribs on the outside. Recipe makes four servings.

8 ounces Thick and Hearty Penne pasta

15-ounce can pizza sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

6 ounces sliced pepperoni

1/4 cup sliced black or green olives

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Grated Parmesan cheese, optional Prepare pasta according to package directions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine pizza sauce, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir in pasta, pepperoni,, olives and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon into a deep, round 8-inch baking pan or straight-sided dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with crushed red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese if desired. (For those who like mushrooms and green peppers on their pizza, I see no reason you couldn't brown about half a cup each of onions, diced green peppers and mushrooms until at least somewhat tender, and add this to the pasta mixture before putting it into the baking pan.)

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

Chicken thighs are on sale this week. Take advantage of it. Make your own skinless, boneless cuts by taking off the skin and cutting meat from bones. Save those parts to boil for broth and use the meat for this wonderful recipe. Instructions follow for slow cooker version and Instant Pot version. Ingredients are the same.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

1 red or green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce size)

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon basil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

Parsley, regular or flat-leaf Italian style, for garnish

Cooked spaghetti or spiraled vegetables

Season chicken with oregano, salt and pepper. Place in 6-quart slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients except the parsley. Cover and cook on low for six hours or on high for three hours. Serve over spaghetti or cooked vegetable spirals.

Instant Pot instructions: Season chicken as for slow cooker. Add oil to Instant Pot. Select sauté function and when oil is hot, add half the chicken. Cook until browned, 4 to 8 minutes, turning once. Remove that batch of chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken. Put all remaining ingredients into the Instant Pot and then put the chicken back in . Lock lid and set to cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Use quick release. Sprinkle on parsley as garnish when serving.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY CAKE BITES

Homemade Valentine's Day sweet treats to share with your

sweeties.

1 package 2-layer-size cake mix, cherry or vanilla

3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

1 tablespoon Amaretto or 1 teaspoon almond extract

1 can cherry-flavored frosting,16-ounce size

1 jar maraschino cherries

2 pounds chocolate candy coating, melted

Candy hearts, if you can find them, pink sprinkles, etc

Toothpicks or lollipop sticks, for dipping

Cut up the cherries and drain well, but save the juice. Set aside 3 or 4 tablespoons juice for later. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, but substitute maraschino cherry juice for part of the liquid called for. Bake the cake in any size pan according to package directions. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Turn the cake out into a large bowl and crumble it thoroughly. Add the frosting, the reserved cherry juice, and amaretto or almond extract. Use electric mixer to beat until soft and thoroughly combined. Stir in the cut up cherries. Line cookie sheets with waxed paper and using a melon baller or your fingers, shape into balls of a tablespoon or so each. You may have to chill the mixture a bit before you can do this. Put the balls into the freezer for at least an hour. (If there's no room in the freezer, put outdoors in a cooler or cold vehicle where critters can't get at them.) When it's dipping time, melt the chocolate and have your toppings ready. Working with about a third of the frozen cake balls at a time, use two forks or a lollipop stick to dip each into the melted chocolate and place back on the lined cookie sheets. If you want thicker chocolate coating, let the first coat harden and dip again. Put whatever decoration you want on top, or leave plain. Let stand until set. Makes about 70 candies if you've made them small enough. If you made them a little larger, that's okay too. If they'll need to keep for a while, layer the cake balls between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container and cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Thought for the week: Think about this comment by President Abraham Lincoln in the context of what is happening in our nation today: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

Scary, isn't it?

Please God, help some of us to work hard enough and talk loud enough to stop our downward spiral toward self centered immorality and turn this nation once again into a land of freedoms governed by moral integrity, a land governed by love of You, love of virtue, love of our country and love of our fellow man - in that order. Amen.

(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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