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Country Cousin

Love Those Sales!...

Summer is absolutely speeding along. The Fourth of July has come and gone, and we were blessed with a perfect weekend for it! But the season of picnics, festivals, farmer's markets and fireworks is still with us.

The Marinette Logging and Heritage Fest is coming up July 8, 9 and 10, headquartered on Stephenson Island includes a big parade and fireworks.

Concerts in the Park abound - at Stephenson Island in Marinette, Badger Park in Peshtigo, Evergreen Park in Wausaukee, Menominee Marina and more. Watch for posters and local advertising. Unfortunately, the Marinette County Tourism web pages no longer seem to include a comprehensive listing of events, or else it's well hidden.

LOVE THAT RUMMAGE!

Love rummage sales? You'll have a field day at the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored city wide rummage sale in and around Peshtigo on Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9.

Thirty separate sales, many of them multi-family, are advertised on the official event map available at local business places including the Peshtigo Times office.

There are sales at businesses and private homes in and near the city. Just about anything you want should be available somewhere. There's even a Cookout for Cancer in the parking lot of Peshtigo National Bank where you can fuel up for more shopping.

KNEE HIGH

The old farmers used to say that if the corn in our area was knee high by the Fourth of July they would have a good harvest.

Wonder what they'd have to say about some of the cornfields in TIMESland this year?

The corn is already about shoulder high on some of us shorter folks, and tall enough for a small child to get lost in it. Maybe knee high to Goliath but not to a normal person.

Hope the great growing weather continues, the deer and coons stay away and our hard working farmers get to harvest a bumper crop this year.

LAUNDRY TIPS

For some of us, summer means the luxury of climbing into a bed scented with the intoxicating perfume of sunshine and the great outdoors. A day in the sun also whitens things like T-shirts, towels and sheets, but a word of caution: if you're really into line-drying, too much time in the sun can also fade darker colors, so keep their airing either brief, inside out, or in the shade.

A big reason why whites become dingy is because over time detergent residue builds up in the fabric . Measure detergent according to label directions. If you have soft water, reduce the amount of detergent you use by 50 percent.

Then boost the rinse water: To help rinse out detergent residue completely, add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle.

Adding the cup of vinegar also removes the odors that sometimes lingers on towels and dish cloths even after a trip through the washer and dryer. To keep towels more absorbent, do not use fabric softener.

BABY LOVE

Have a 16-month old great granddaughter and a 6-month-old great grandson. Marvelous to watch the two of them together. Their mutual affection is obvious. They light up like little candles when one spots the other.

This weekend little Liam was lounging in his lay-back car seat stroller when Penelope spotted him. They shared some smiles and she toddled over to him.

Her female intuition took over. Care giving obviously comes naturally. His bottle was lying beside him, and she tenderly put it in his mouth. Took it out and replaced it repeatedly, totally delighted with herself. He appeared pleased too. Then she shared some of her baby puff corn, popping bits one at a time into his mouth. They were both loving it, and we adults were practically rolling on the ground over their antics.

How could television ever complete with watching babies at play? And watching Penelope, no one could doubt the female caregiving instincts!

ON THE SOAP BOX

LEGAL SCHIZOPHRENIA


Speaking of babies, those of us who believe babies are babies before and after they're born, abortion supporters insist they aren't little humans until afterward, and our legal system can't seem to make up its mind.

Recently read about a man charged with murder. Seems he attacked a pregnant woman. She lived, but the baby she was carrying died.

Authorities decided he killed it, and he was rightly charged with murder. Don't know if the charge will stick. He hasn't been to court yet.

Heard about a pregnant mother jailed for child abuse because she was taking drugs that would probably harm her unborn child. Not saying that's a bad thing, saying it's another example of our double standards.

The ironic thing is, according to the United States Supreme Court, had the mother decided in either case to have that baby killed by abortion there would have been no murder charge brought against her or the abortionists who did the deed.

So the question remains. Is a baby a baby before it's born only if the mother wants it? Or is it a baby whether she wants it or not? If she decides after it's born that she doesn't want it after all, does it remain a baby or can she go ahead and kill it then? After all, it came from her body, so it must be up to her to decide!

No! The only answer that makes any sense is that a baby is a baby, inside or outside the mother, and killing it at any stage of its development is murder.

Rightly, anyone in government who supports legal abortion should be charged and jailed as an accessory to murder! However, the courts have said it's okay, so the rest of the legal system (including those who make the laws) is off the hook.

Judgment will come in the next world. Am betting it won't be pretty!

STILL ON A SOAP BOX

COUNTY DEBT


in recent years, Marinette County seems to have been taking lessons from the federal government on how to live beyond its means. And seems to have learned its lessons very well.

In 2013 Marinette County Board approved moving forward with a $9.44 million bond issue to finance the first year of an ambitious $52 million 5-year capital improvement plan for the county.

That plan has since been pared back to about $35 million of borrowing, and recent decisions seem to indicate it will trimmed even more.

Kudos to County Board Chair Mark Anderson for his efforts to rein in the borrowing, to County Administrator Shawn Henessee for agreeing with him that it won't be easy, but it needs to be done, and to County Board for agreeing with both of them.

There were arguments at recent county committee meetings that we all borrow for things like buying a house or a car, and that the need for borrowing to finance capital improvement projects became urgent because too much maintenance had been put off for too many years.

Maybe.

But as Anderson pointed out, "I'm in business, and I do borrow. But if I had to borrow every year to keep going, I wouldn't be in business very long."

He said later if County Board borrows for capital improvement projects, they should make provisions for paying it back at the same time they make provisions for borrowing the money.

Not unlike personal financing. When we take out a mortgage, if we're wise, we have budgeted to be sure we can pay it back. Same goes if we're buying a car, boat or whatever.

Borrowing is a ploy to get around state levy limits, which put a lid on the amount of property taxes a county can levy for its operating budget but not on debt payments. For this reason all road construction was put on the long range capital improvement plan to be paid for with borrowed funds, and the money that used to be put in the operating budget for road construction went for other things.

It was a way to increase spending without increasing taxes.

While the county has authority to collect the money it needs for debt repayment, do agree strongly with Anderson that County Board should not be saddling future County Boards and future taxpayers with the effect of decisions they make. That's a job they should tackle when and if they decide to borrow the money.

ON A HAPPIER NOTE

GREAT RUNNER


Being returned to office year after year proves that George Bousley, multiple-term mayor of the City of Niagara and longtime Marinette County Board chair, is a very successful runner.

But that's not what this is about.

He's a runner in the physical sense as well, and serves as an example to us all.

Last month he took first place in the Bellin Run category for men over 80, beating the other six contenders in his class with a time of 1 hour, 33 minutes and 52 seconds for the 6.2 mile race. Right behind him was Roger Barr of Appleton with a time of 1:43:10, followed by Roy Stumpf, Green Bay; Frederick Mai, Pound; Hugh Danforth, Oneida; Edward Rademacher, Green Bay, and Robert Cox, Kewaunee.

All those men deserve some admiration for being in condition to finish the race!

There also were five female contenders in the category for women over 80 - Lou Wilson, Green Bay, who completed the run in 1:54:23, followed by Marilyn Schlaefer, Hayward; Lyla Juntunen, DePere; Veryl Albrecht, Marquette, Mich., and Lorraine Wilson, Green Bay.

All those octogenarians deserve admiration for being fit enough to complete the race and brave enough to enter it. If we all - Yours Truly included - would follow their example and remain physically active we probably could cut the cost of Medicare in half! Of course, to be fully effective it would need to be a lifelong thing. Would not recommend that anyone past retirement age should wake up one morning and decide to take off running. Best consult a doctor first, to see how to get started safely on an exercise regimen.

Bousley was pleased that grandson Matthew Hansen, a high school student in Wrightstown, chose to slow down enough run with him rather than speed off in an attempt to win in his own category.

Fit and hearty after more than 80 years on this earth, Bousley said he runs about 6 miles every day at home in Niagara. He and wife Rose will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary later this month and she remains a very lovely lady. Congrats to both!

COOKIN' TIME

The strawberry crop in TIMESland is nearly done for this year, except for the ever bearing varieties. Blueberries will ripen soon. If the zucchini aren't ready now locally, they soon will be. We keep finding more and more ways to enjoy them. In most recipes they can be pretty much interchanged with their delicious cousins, the yellow summer squash.

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

Serve with Korean dipping sauce for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Reminiscent of a low-carb version of potato pancakes. Go beautifully with fried fish, and incidentally, the dipping sauce does too. The fritters can sit for about half an hour in a 200 degree oven without too much damage.

Dipping Sauce:

3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Mix everything together until the sugar is dissolved and set aside at room temperature until serving time.

Fritters:

1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium) grated and wrung dry

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/4 cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Grate the zucchini and place in a colander. Put the colander in the sink and add a half teaspoon salt to the zucchini. Let stand 10 minutes and then turn the grated zucchini into a clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Put into a large bowl and add the egg, chives, corn starch, pepper, and maybe a little more salt if you feel too much was lost in the draining process. Mix gently. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it starts to sizzle drop in quarter-cup dollops of the zucchini mixture. Flatten slightly, then, turning once, cook until golden brown on each side, about three minutes per side. Keep the cooked fritters warm in a 200 degree oven while you prepare the remaining fritters. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate, sprinkle very lightly with additional salt, and serve with the dipping sauce.

BLUEBERRY-RICOTTA SQUARES

Base:

1 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup butter

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen but not thawed

Topping:

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

To make base, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla and beat gently until combined then hard for a minute or so. Pour batter into a buttered 9x9x2 inch pan. Sprinkle on the blueberries. Then, to make topping use a medium bowl to beat eggs, ricotta, sugar, and vanilla until combined and smooth. Spoon over the blueberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool and cut into 16 squares. Store covered in refrigerator.

PEACHY CANTALOUPE COBBLER

Never even thought about cooking cantaloupe (we also call it musk melon) until I saw this recipe. It's surprisingly good, and a great wy to use leftover melon if you've bought a large one and only eaten a slice or two.

2 cups flour

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup cold water

2 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 ripe medium cantaloupe, peeled and sliced (about 4 cups pieces, about 3x1x1/2 inches each)

29 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup, not drained

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together 2 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter and 1/3 cup cold water until mixture forms a ball. Roll about one-third of the dough 1/4-inch thick on floured cloth-covered board. Cut into strips about 3x2 inches each; set aside. Roll remaining dough into rectangle about 14x10 inches; set aside. Stir together granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons flour in 3-quart saucepan. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, the cantaloupe and peaches, juice and all. Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in pastry strips; reduce heat to medium. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring gently and occasionally, until thickened. Pour mixture into ungreased rectangular pan, 14x10x2 1/4 inches. Cover with remaining rolled dough; seal to edges of pan. Stir together brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. Sprinkle on top. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cobbler.

Thought for the week: Long ago, Francis Bacon said, "In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present." Lord, there is so much darkness in this once-great nation and on this entire Earth, so much wickedness being accepted as normal and acceptable. More than ever, we frail and feckless humans need Your light to guide us. Help us to keep our faith burning. Help us to be the lighted candles that keep the darkness of the Evil One from closing in completely.

(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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