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

Great Summer...

What a fabulous moon we enjoyed Monday and Tuesday night. Wednesday promises the same. Evenings don't come much finer! Days either, for that matter. Mostly, so far it's been a great summer.

MOON NAMES

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the full moon Tuesday night was the "Buck Moon," so named by the early Indian tribes because it shines in July at about the time the buck whitewall deer are beginning to grow their antlers.

American names of full moons generally come from Native American tradition, or from early settlers. In a day when calendars were scarce, moon names helped them keep track of the seasons. Other names for the full moon in July include "Hay Moon," because farmers are usually putting up hay this month, and "Thunder Moon," because midsummer is often a time for thunderstorms.

August's full moon, which comes on Thursday, Aug. 18 this year, is called the Sturgeon Moon, because August is the best time for catching that sometimes monster-size prehistoric fish in the Great Lakes.

NATIONAL TRAGEDY

The recent spate of murdering police officers in cold blood is a national tragedy of major proportions.

Whoever thought we would see such lawlessness, such evil, here in America?

There may be a few bad apples in the barrel, but most police officers are good people who want to enforce the laws fairly, protect lives and property, and make this country a better, safer place for everyone.

That the "Black Lives Matter" protesters were allowed to cry out for police blood, in fact were even praised for it by people at high levels in government and invited to the White House, is a national scandal of major proportions.

But the police shootings are perhaps a sign of a deeper illness in our society, a general disrespect for laws and the officers who enforce them.

Back in the day, cops in the cities used to walk the beat. Often neighborhood youngsters would tag along. The teasing and joking were mutual. That even happened in Marinette back when I was quite young.

The kids and the officers got to know each other on a one to one basis. When there was trouble, kids knew who they could go to. Also, when there was trouble the officers usually knew who to look at.

All that changed when officers moved off the streets and into squad cars, protected by tinted glass in sometimes bullet proof squad car windows.

They are no longer among the people. Instead of being seen as friends to call on when help is needed they too often are seen by too many as the enemy, some nameless person eager to make an arrest that will put you in jail or cost you money.

The "Shop With a Cop" and "National Night Out" programs are baby steps in the right direction. Having officers in the schools could have been but sometimes didn't turn out that way. Police officers on bicycles also was an idea that would put them into more direct contact with the people, but that's probably too risky now.

Don't know what the answer is. Obviously for all kinds of reasons today's police officers cannot give up their squad cars. Walking the beat is no longer an option, especially when they're targets for cold blooded murderers waiting to shoot them. In today's atmosphere it must be terrifying for big city officers to respond to any call. They all deserve medals for courage. They, and their families, also need prayers and support from all of us! God protect them!

ON AGING

Most of us don't like getting old, but we also agree it's probably better than the alternative.

Lots of famous folks have had things to say on the subject, for example Robert Orben says his wife never lies about her age. She just tells everybody she's as old as he is, and then lies about his age.

Roy Acuff said his health is good, it's his age that was bad.

Brian Morgan said a friend is so old his Social Security number only has two digits.

And as to some of the disadvantages of getting - or being - old, Phyllis Diller said the best contraceptive for old people is nudity.

Yeah. We can relate to that!

ON THE SOAP BOX - E-MAIL SCANDAL NOT OVER

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan announced on Friday, July 15 that on Monday he would begin hearing arguments on the request of Judicial Watch to take testimony from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (the leading Democratic Party presidential candidate) on its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton connected with the controversial clintonemail.com system.

The Judicial Watch request to take depositions from Clinton; John Bentel, former Director of Information Resource Management and Executive Secretariat; and Clarence Finney, Director of the Office of Correspondence, and Records of the Executive Secretariat has been opposed by the State Department and Clinton.

Certain information became available through investigations by the Benghazi elect Committee, the FBI, and the State Department Inspector General, but not enough, Judicial Watch says, but Clinton's deposition is necessary to complete the record, because without it there are significant gaps in the evidence.

Their news release indicates that the investigation into the Clinton e-mail scandal and "flagrant mishandling of government documents' is far from over.

"Slowly but surely, the Clinton e-mail cover up is unraveling," according to the national watchdog organization.

We need to keep watching!

STILL ON THAT SOAP BOX - NEWS PERCEPTION

Finally a nationally recognized figure has come right out in public and said that they believe President Barrack Hussein Obama is a Muslim.

However, the national news media, as reflected in a news item on the Yahoo web page, manages to discredit the speaker, at least a little bit. Probably did the best they could do in that direction.

Their opening sentence: "Actor, former underwear model and reality show star Antonio Sabato Jr. - who stumped for Donald Trump on the floor of the Republican National Convention Monday (July 18) - told ABC News that he "absolutely" believes President Barrack Obama is a Muslim."

Note the up front reference to Sabato being a former underwear model, not that he has been a prominent reality show star for more than two years, and that his stint as an underwear model was in his starting out days.

That's a common trick used by the liberal left to discredit anyone who disagrees with them. Sneak in something at least slightly derogatory. Often, read the headlines, then read the article and you wonder if they're about the same thing.

When you've been in the news business long enough, you don't wonder. You know exactly what they're doing, and why. They're twisting the facts to promote their philosophy.

Anyway, according to the report, Sabato had the courage to say, out loud and in public: "We had a Muslim president for 7 1/2 years. I don't believe he is a Christian."

The article further says, "Trump, who spearheaded the birther movement, repeatedly questioned whether the president is an American and if he is a Muslim."

Obama has repeatedly said that he is a Christian, but sermons by the pastor of the church Obama claims to have attended before becoming president certainly could never have come from the mouth of any one who is truly a Christian.

Am referring to the preacher's shouted, "G"- D"- America" sermons, which have been quite widely televised and should have served as a red flag on our president's philosophies. This from the preacher our future president apparently admired enough to listen to him every Sunday!

Sabato said the president entered office with an agenda to move the country to the left, and allegedly told ABC News: "I believe that he's on the other side ... the Middle East...He's with the bad guys."

Sabato also reportedly said he was not concerned about vocally supporting Trump in liberal-leaning Hollywood and didn't care if that caused people to judge him.

"So be it," he said.

Amen to that! We all need to have the courage, especially in these sad days, to stand up for our convictions and speak up for them!

GROWIN' THINGS

A young friend who loves gardening says he has learned that strawberries and tame blueberries make great companion crops. Says the low-growing strawberries apparently provide ground cover that keeps the blueberries moist, weed-free and happy, while the blueberry plants seem to help the strawberries thrive.

Tame blueberries are larger and juicier than their wild brethren, but they really aren't as flavorful, so even if you grow your own, picking wild blueberries is worth the time and effort.

The same friend says he's moving his raspberries away from the rest of the garden. They've grown very aggressive and seem to be trying to take over everything. That's something to consider if you're starting a raspberry patch. Keep it contained.

ALWAYS ROOM FOR JELL-O

Remember the old commercials, "There's always room for Jell-O? Remember when a pot luck or party table wasn't complete without some sort of Jell-O mold?

Got to wondering why that doesn't seem to be the case these days, and realized back in my girlhood days refrigerators were relatively new fangled appliances for the family kitchen. In fact, until I was about five, we had an ice box, with ice delivered daily by the ice man. Not sure what folks in the country did for ice, but they did keep food cool, but not cold, in the root cellar or dangling from buckets in the well pit.

My businessman grandpa had a large shed where ice chunks harvested from the "eddy" in winter were kept frozen between layers of sawdust.

But back to Jell-O. Before the electric refrigerator, except in wintertime, there were scant chances for making a dessert or salad that required reliable constant cold.

The coolness of Jell-O really goes best in summer, but was a rare treat, offered on special occasions during the warm months of the year.

In the modern world, it's easy to come by, so it isn't as impressive.

The flavored gelatin dessert mix, Jell-O, came on the market in about 1904. In 1934, sponsorship from Jell-O made comedian Jack Benny the dessert's spokesperson. The jingle that would be familiar over several decades, in which the spelling "J-E-L-L-O" was (or could be) sung over a rising five-note musical theme was written by Don Bestor, who was the bandleader for Jack Benny on his radio program.

COOKIN' TIME

Wild blueberries are ripe, and there's a bumper crop this year. Raspberries are also nearly good to go, and some are already ripe. Radishes are going strong. Sweet corn is coming out at farmer's markets everywhere, but most is probably not locally grown.

ORIENTAL BARBECUED CHICKEN THIGHS

Quick and easy treat. Serve with rice and steamed or stir-fried oriental vegetables for a complete meal in about half an hour.

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 cup white wine or apple juice

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced or more to taste - some say up to five

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, for about 6-7 minutes. Set aside cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of the water. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and then add to the chicken in the skillet. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the tablespoon of water and the cornstarch, add to the chicken and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken pieces. Serve over rice. Sprinkle on chow mein noodles if you like and pass the soy sauce.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

1/2 cup butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups fresh whole blueberries, or frozen, not thawed

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons sugar

Grease or put liners in 12 muffin cups. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Crush 1/4 cup of the blueberries with a fork and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Alternating dry ingredients with milk, stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the crushed blueberries. Stir in remaining blueberries. Spoon evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the 3 tablespoons sugar over them. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before removing.

BLUEBERRY CURRANT

CHEESECAKE IN A GLASS

1 pint blueberries, chopped

3 tablespoons currant jelly

8 ounces softened cream cheese

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup whipped topping

8 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs

In a bowl mix the pint of chopped blueberries with the currant jelly. Cover and set aside.

With mixer beat the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice and sugar until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping (or real whipped cream). Spoon a tablespoon graham cracker crumbs into four stemmed glasses, 8 to 10 ounce size. Top each with about a quarter cup blueberries, a half cup of the cream cheese mixture, remaining crumbs, and remaining berries. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours. Serve with additional whipped topping or whipped cream if you wish.

JELL-O COLE SLAW

1 package lemon Jell-O

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon grated onion

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

3 cups finely shredded or chopped cabbage

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

2 tablespoons finely diced pimento.

Dissolve Jell-O and salt in boiling water. Add cold water, then stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into a 1-quart mold or individual molds. Makes about four cups or eight side salads.

BLUEBERRY FRIDGE JAM

3 (1/3 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups cold water

2 pints blueberries, mashed

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon butter

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine the gelatin and water, and let stand for one minute. Cook the gelatin/water mixture over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring until dissolved. Stir in the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, butter and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, over medium-high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Spoon into sterilized jars.

Thought for the week: "Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions." - President George Bush at memorial for slain Dallas police officers. Lord, please, please, help us regain our national sanity. Amen. P.S. And please, protect our brave police officers, be they black, white, red, yellow or brown, or any shade in between.

(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.)

Country Cousin


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