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

Bugs...

Hi Folks!

What a wonderful Memorial Day weekend we’ve just enjoyed! Maybe there’s some truth that God may not live here in TIMESland, but He does spend his vacations in this wonderful corner of the Earth. Regardless, He sent some spectacular weather for graduations, outdoor parties, fishing, swimming, and even decorating graves and attending cemetery services, which is what Memorial Day is supposed to be all about. The rain Monday afternoon doesn’t really count, because the weekend was pretty much over by then anyway.

BUMPER CROP

Mom used to tell us kids that God put mosquitoes and wood ticks in the forests of northern Marinette so we’d know we weren’t really in Heaven yet. Whether or not that’s the reason, that certainly is the message!

And the vampire insects are out in force. Do not venture outside without bug spray, particularly in the early evening hours. Opened the car windows for a brief conversation Tuesday morning and fought mosquitoes all the way from Crivitz to Marinette.

ITTY, BITTY BUGS

Always, always do a bed check for ticks at this time of year. In recent years, what with the arrival of the awful Deer Ticks and the Lyme disease they can carry that’s doubly important. And because those little black (or plain dark, dark brown) ticks can be so tiny, try to have a second party do the checking. You likely would not be able to find them yourself.

Had always heard how tiny Deer Ticks are. Also had seen some I’d believed were pretty small, but did not realize just how small they can be and still bite. Babies aren’t supposed to have teeth, are they? On the other hand, these evil creatures are baby vampires!

Anyway, after a just a brief time outside on Monday, happened to look at the inside of my wrist. Don’t think I felt anything, but maybe that’s why I looked.

Anyway, there was a little black speck, about as big as a grain of pepper - not coarse ground either. Probably four of those spots would have fit on the sharpened end of a lead pencil.

It didn’t just flick off, so looked closer. Picked it off carefully, and sure enough, that itsy bitsy speck had legs. It was a mini tick, already bitten in. Still have the bite mark to prove it. The hole at the center of that bite is bigger than the tick was! Now need to get tested for Lyme Disease, which can have some pretty nasty side effects if not treated.

Incidentally, discovered that DMSO eases the itch and the swelling from the tick bite.

MORE NASTY CRITTERS

Honey bees may indeed be in short supply, but if wasps are efficient pollinators, fruits, vegetables and other green and growing things in the countryside (not the kind found on food left in the fridge too long) should have no trouble reproducing this year. Unless the wasps all manage to move into our house, which they seem to be trying to accomplish.

DIET TIME AGAIN

Actually, it’s way past diet time for those of us who have more than few pounds to lose before we’ll look good in bathing suits, but like getting rich, it’s never too late to start.

Had always fought a losing battle with inches until about a decade ago, when I managed to stick with a modified version of the Atkins Diet long enough to break a severe sugar addiction.

At first, ate only meat, eggs, tuna, butter and mayo. Fats were okay, and I seriously believe they still are, just not hydrogenated fats like margarine and shortening. Olive oil, sesame oil and coconut oil are particularly good.

Later switched to a modified Atkins - ate the proteins and fats, added unlimited tomatoes, green and yellow vegetables, and took vitamin and mineral supplements.

The pounds came off, and stayed off even when I went back to eating pretty much whatever sounded good.

Got away with that for a number of years, but apparently nothing good lasts forever.

Started feeling tired way too often, for no visible reason.

Then noticed the closet had begun to shrink garments again.

Finally took the big step - the one where you step onto the scales and look down.

Bad news! Five extra pounds in all the worst places.

Once that starts, it doesn’t stop.

But instead of going back to the old tried and true way of eating, looked online.

Lo and behold! There’s a brand new diet out there.

PALEOLITHIC DIET

Actually, it’s a brand new ancient diet, a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of Paleolithic humans.

The idea is that for eons our caveman forefathers ate only meats, fishes, and whatever fruits, nuts and vegetables were available and in season where they lived. They were hunters and gatherers, not farmers and growers.

They didn’t bake bread, so grains were not included. Ditto, sugar, except the kind found in fresh fruits and the occasional honey bee tree. They likely didn’t even know how to make maple syrup, and besides, they had nothing to boil it in. They had only the salt found in nature, unless they lived by the ocean, in which case they had sea salt - or more to the point, salt water.

Those whose bodies accepted this sort of diet thrived and produced children like themselves, tall, strong, with strong bones and good teeth. Archaeologists tell us this is so. Those who didn’t handle that diet very well didn’t live long enough to reproduce.

CHANGING TIMES

Then, about 330 generations ago, our forefathers discovered farming, and learned to eat starches, grains, and concentrated sugars.

They didn’t fare so well, but they kept it up anyway. That food source was a lot more reliable than depending on the luck of the hunt. They worked hard enough not to get fat, but there is scientific evidence that teeth started falling out and bones were not as sturdy as they used to be.

FACING FACTS

Today, our government still pushes the idea that we should cut out fats and eat a lot of grains.

Promoters of the new Paeleo diet swear that simply isn’t so, and point to the huge jump in obesity ever since we as a nation started replacing the fats in our diets with starches and sugars. Diabetes also has taken a huge upswing, and deaths from strokes and heart attacks continue to rise.

Another recent phenomenon is the frequency of gluten intolerance, which may be our bodies’ way of saying, “Quit doing that to me!”

And where is gluten found? Grains, particularly wheat.

SO, WHAT CAN YOU EAT?

Need to do a lot more research, but apparently fresh fruits, certain fats, nuts, vegetables, meats and other proteins, except for legumes - which are dried peas and beans - are all fine. Leave those totally alone. No sugar, no grains, no rice, no cereal.

It’s okay to cook things and add seasonings (except for salt), but stay as close to nature as you can.

Also no “diet” anything, because those foods and drinks contain ingredients not found in nature.

Plan to learn more, give the Paeleo Diet a try, and report back in a month or so.

If any of you have tried it, please call, write or e-mail. Would absolutely love to hear from you!

LIFE LESSONS

Sometimes we can learn from experience. Sometimes we can’t. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

GLOBAL WARMING??

We humans think so highly of ourselves that we believe we can change the Earth. According to the Bible, though, our actions can convince God to bring about some changes, for example wickedness caused God to create the flood that covered the Earth in the days of Noah. Incidentally, there is more and more scientific evidence, in addition to Biblical, that a worldwide flood did in fact occur.

As to humans causing Global Warming, we can sometimes change our little corner of the earth, but the overall impact of what we do is puny in the whole scheme of things.

Read recently that the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines spewed more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than the entire human race has caused to be emitted in all its years on earth.

As to weird weather, that’s not a new thing, and certainly has nothing to do with the combustion engine or coal fired power plants. For example, on May 13, 1866, there was a sandstorm in New Jersey, and on May 16, 1924 the temperature in Blitzen, Oregon, reached 108 degrees, a record high for the date. We students attending the Junior Senior Banquet on May 16, 1959, were comfortable outdoors at 10 p.m. in flimsy party dresses. A significant blizzard in our corner of Wisconsin dumped about a foot of snow on us on May 16 sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

ON THE SOAP BOX

COUNTY GOVERNMENT


Marinette County is again temporarily without a County Administrator, following the resignation of Ellen Sorensen two weeks ago. We got along quite well without one for a long time. For years County Clerk Donald John and Corporation Counsel Jim Murphy pretty much ran the county with the blessings of the County Board.

Then, in 1987, the state passed a law requiring all counties to have an individual at the helm of county government. Statutes gave three options - County Administrator, Administrative Coordinator - both appointed by County Board - or an elected County Executive, which would be somewhat similar to the mayor of a city.

After many hours of study and debate at more than a few meetings, Marinette County Board opted to go with the County Administrator form of government. That meant giving up some of their authority to a person they would hire. Among things they gave up were the right to appoint their own department heads and corporation counsel, and the right to name members of various committees that serve county government. They now only have the right to accept or reject whoever the administrator chooses to name.

Oconto County Board chose the Administrative Coordinator form of county government. Under that model, County Board can give the Administrative Coordinator as much power as they want to, and can assign as much responsibility as they wish.

The County Executive is elected by the public, much like a president or governor or mayor of a city. That person can veto County Board decisions, and can only be removed from office by the governor.

Marinette County Board’s decision to adopt the County Administrator model of government was not unanimous 27 years ago after many hours spent gathering information. Much has changed in the intervening years, and counties all across the state have gathered experience that did not exist a quarter of a century ago. Many of today’s supervisors have little or no information on what each model of government could look like except for the brief information in the Wisconsin Counties Association handbook.

It would be a service to county supervisors and the taxpayers who support them if County Board Chair Vilas Schroeder would set up at least one special County Board session with an outside speaker who has sufficient expertise to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each form of county government, and ways the board can regulate just how the county works with the person who in theory works for them.

GROWIN’ THINGS

Should be a bumper crop of dandelion greens ready for picking. Anyone wanting to collect the dandelion’s golden heads to make wine should also be out there.

By the way, if you’ve never picked dandelion greens, choose the smoother, rounded leaves, not the hairy jagged ones. If the leaf stem oozes a white milky subsistence, leave it where you found it. It will be bitter.

Other than that. the tender young greens are excellent raw in salads - particularly with a slightly sweet hot bacon dressing, or cooked with diced bacon and onion, much like you’d cook spinach, beet greens, etc. They don’t take as long as kale or chard.

Watch the asparagus patch. Those delicious green spears should be up soon if they aren’t already.

And watch for strawberries. Strawberry season came and went so quickly last year that we missed it.

Based on the price of frozen berries, maybe the season was that brief everywhere in this country, or at least the supply fell short of the market. Hope there is a good long season this year, with an ample crop.

COOKIN’ TIME

Spring flavors are what we crave now. Asparagus is available at a fair price in the supermarket if it isn’t ready to be picked. Spinach is also in season. And dandelion greens are free for the taking!

CHICKEN PORTABELLO

Found this with some Paeleo Diet recipes. Doubt our caveman forefathers ever ate this way, but don’t let that stop you. They recommend all organic, but if regular store bought is what you have, the flavor should still be fantastic. Can’t wait to try it.

4 free range organic chicken breast fillets, rinsed

2 cups organic, portobello mushrooms, rinsed and sliced

1 cup organic Marsala wine (don’t use cooking wine as it

contains added salt)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stems

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic

Freshly cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in buttered baking dish and cover with mushrooms. In a mixing bowl, combine wine, 3 tablespoons extra virgin oil, red wine vinegar, and rosemary. Saut onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon extra olive oil in shallow pan until onions are tender. Spread onions and garlic over chicken and mushrooms. Pour liquid mixture over chicken making sure all pieces are well coated. Bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

CRABBY SPINACH SALAD

Substitute tender dandelion greens if you’re brave.

2 large bunches fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried

1 large sweet onion, sliced small

2 large tomatoes, sliced thin

2 hard boiled eggs, sliced thin

1/2 pound cooked, shredded crab meat (or use the imitation

variety)

Tear spinach leaves into small pieces and mix with onions, tomatoes, and crab meat. Just before serving, toss with spinach salad dressing (recipe below) and top with egg slices

SPINACH SALAD DRESSING

Try this first with half the amounts of black pepper and cayenne and then decide if you want to add the rest.

3 tablespoons dry mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 cup burgundy wine

1 cup fresh tomatoes, pureed

2 cups flaxseed oil

1 cup lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in blender. Pour into a cruet and shake

well before each use. Makes 5 cups.

TROPICAL PEACHES

This is another gluten free recipe from the cave man diet.

4 large peaches, or equivalent amount frozen, peeled and

sliced

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 to 4 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Place peaches in a square 8x8 pan, buttered. In a separate bowl mix coconut, nuts an honey. Crumble this mixture on top of the peaches. Sprinkle coconut oil over the top of this mixture. Bake half an hour at 350 degrees. If you’re not on diet restrictions, enjoy with a scoop of vanilla or peach ice cream.

Thought for the Week: “Advice from a tree” is the excellent motto of the Goodman-Armstrong Creek High School graduating class of 2014. It says: “Stand tall and proud. Go out on a limb. Seek nourishment. Be content with your natural beauty and always remember your roots.” That’s good advice as is, but if I were the grandmother of a graduating tree I’d add: “Stand your ground. Bend but never break. Stay rooted in your beliefs.”

(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 at 715-291-9002 or e-mail to shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo. com.)

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