Once again, TIMESland was blessed with perfect weather for the entire Labor Day weekend. The hot, muggy, rainy weather that came in Monday night made most of us glad to be going back to school and work on Tuesday. Well, maybe almost glad.
Summer may be singing its Swan Song, but the season of celebrations continues.
Oktoberfest in Crivitz will be celebrated from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17 in the Crivitz Community Veteran's Park. There will be German food, beer, wine and adult contests, plus live music by three bands - the Greatest Hits Polka Band, Six Figures and Sonic Circus. There also will be bouncy houses, face painting and pumpkin decorating contests for the kids.
Then, on Saturday, Sept. 24 comes the huge Peshtigo Historical Day celebration, complete with parade, music, food, fun and fireworks. In preparation for this, a reenactment group will be setting up their quarters in Badger Park on Friday, Sept. 23 for advance tours by student groups. Then on Sunday, Sept. 25, enjoy the all you can eat breakfast sponsored annually by the Peshtigo Fire Department.
Wausaukee's Fall Festival slated for Saturday, Oct. 1 offers a full day of fun, including live music and horse drawn wagon rides. The fun starts at 9 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m.
A BUSHEL AND A PECK
Along with the crisp autumn air come crisp autumn apples in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, Wisconsin's favorite apple, the McIntosh, ripens in early to mid-September, and growers all across the state are enjoying the fruits of their labors. If you're buying in bulk, remember that four pecks make a bushel, so I guess when you love somebody a bushel and a peck, that equals five pecks of love! For those too young to remember, that line is from a very popular old song.
The Apple Crisp recipe at the end of today's column comes from the Apple Grower's Association. It's very good, and it should be, because they know a lot about apples!
Sunday, Sept. 11 is Patriot Day.
Patriot Day is observed in the United States as the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11 of each year in memory of the 2,977 people who were killed in the 2001 September 11 attacks. Just think! Fifteen years have passed since that tragic day.
There is also a Patriots Day, but that comes in spring and honors early battles of the Revolution that led to American independence.
Grandparents Day is not supposed to be a day for gifts and cards. It is supposed to be a day for honoring grandparents, but also a day intended to give grandparents a special opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer, a day to bridge generations.
The idea for Grandparents Day was promoted for a number of years by Marian McQuade before 1979, when then President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day each year as National Grandparents Day September was chosen to signify the "autumn" years of life.
In part, Carter's proclamation reads:
"Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions.
"We all know grandparents whose values transcend passing fads and pressures, and who possess the wisdom of distilled pain and joy. Because they are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations."
Hope this grandparent has managed to do that!
BAG OF TRICKS
Those mesh laundry bags can be used for a number of things.
Keep one by the laundry hamper and have everyone throw their socks in it. Probably should have two, one for white socks, one for colored. Anyway, when it's time do do the laundry, just close up the bag and throw it in the washer and then the dryer. Socks stay together, and pairing is easy.
Kids toys can get awfully grimy, and flu season is coming up. You can throw small plastic toys like Legos into a mesh laundry bag and toss it in the washer for a good cleaning, or place in the dishwasher, top rack, and wash as you normally would. Larger toys too can go in the dishwasher, top shelf. Probably should turn off the heat cycle though.
For some of us, the urge for Spring Cleaning comes in fall. Other, more ambitious types do deep cleaning twice a year, once in Spring to get ready for summer, and once in Fall to prepare in advance for Deer Season visitors, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas.
Whichever category you fall into, carpet stains are probably one of the problems you deal with. Most clothes today are wash and wear, but irons have other uses, for example, to get the stains out of carpets. To do this, mix one part vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray the stain. Next, place a folded damp towel or other cloth over the stain. Use the steam setting on the iron and iron the spot for about 30 seconds. For seriously tough stains, repeat the steps. The steam helps pull out the stain.
For an excellent and relatively inexpensive furniture polish, mix equal amounts of olive oil and white vinegar in a spray bottle and clean away. Results are amazing!
You can use WD-40 to clean crayon marks from things like LCD screens and other plastic surfaces without damage.
Lots of surfaces can be cleaned with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and warm water.
To clean dust and grime from vents, spray some on a rag and wrap it around a knife, then wipe out those dirty vents. Even gets into the corners!
For venetian blinds, slip an old sock or a discarded jersey glove over your hand. Dip into the vinegar/water solution, then wipe grime and dust off the blinds. Works well on other small surfaces too. When the sock (or glove) gets too dirty just rinse it off in water and continue cleaning.
Ants seem to be moving everywhere. Just read that to discourage ants in the sandbox, sprinkle a cup and a half or so of cinnamon on the sand and mix it in with a rake. Ants love sugar, but are said to dislike the scent of cinnamon and will stay away. And the cinnamon will not hurt the little ones like ant poison would.
These observations aren't worth much in the whole scheme of things, but think about it. See answers after today's Thought for the Week.
A: If you drop a white hat into the Red Sea, what does it become?
B: What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?
SCHOOL IS IN SESSION
School is back in session, and for most kids that is a good thing, but it seems sad to me that so many youngsters seem to be starting school too young these days.
Several years ago most Wisconsin school districts started offering four-year-old kindergartens, and now almost everyone sends their tykes off to school at that early age. Almost have to, or they'll be behind the other students next year.
The four-year-old kindergartens were not started in response to educational theories. Discussions by most school boards showed their decisions were based more on the additional state aid dollars they would get than any perceived benefit to youngsters.
The early kindergarten probably isn't bad as long as it's only half a day, but must wonder.
Will children started so young in a regimented school atmosphere have imaginations, or will they grow up not thinking at all, just reciting what someone else thought before them?
When will these little ones play make-believe?
When can they invent their own games?
Who will kiss away their owies?
Who will dry their tears?
Whose lap will they sit on?
Who will rock them to sleep?
When will they watch dust motes dancing on a sunbeam?
When will they help Mommy sweep, or help Daddy clean the car?
Where will they find time to strike up a relationship with an imaginary friend?
Little ones apparently must now go off to school, and many are also in regimented day care. For most parents there is probably no choice, but at least try to be sure there is plenty of time at home without TV for them to do the day dreaming that is so essential to growing up, and be sure they have time to share with you without the distractions of electronic entertainment for either of you.
ON THE SOAP BOX
Have found Hillary Clinton terrifying since the first time she and Bill ran for president, but recently came across some additional information that only increases the fear that she is out to destroy our families, our beliefs, and our American way of life.
The Faith & Freedom Coalition urges everyone to vote on Nov. 8 to be sure she doesn't get a chance to do some of the things she has promised.
They quote, from a speech she made at the Women's World Summit on April 23, 2015:
"Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated religious beliefs have to be changed."
In other words, dear old Hillary announced publicly that she plans to use the force of the federal government to impose her beliefs on gay marriage, abortion on demand, and taxpayer funding for sex change operations.
Think they can't do it? The government has weapons at its disposal in addition to guns and tanks - for example funding of public schools, licensing of TV and radio stations, and targeted crackdowns by Federal regulatory agencies, including the IRS.
The Faith & Freedom Foundation points out that Hillary was a major backer of the so called "Hate Crimes Law" that Barrack Obama signed and that is now being used by prosecutors and judges across America to punish Christians for even just expressing opposition to same-sex marriage or for voicing distaste for viewing public displays of homosexual affection.
"The so-called "Hate Crimes Law of 2009' should really be called the Criminalize Christians Act," Faith & Freedom declares.
The organization points out that there are more than 120 million Bible believing Christians in America who will - or should - be voting in this year's election, but the politicians pay more attention to the militant Homosexual Lobby (2 percent of voters), the Atheist Lobby (1 percent of Americans), or the self-designated American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "which represents almost no one."
They urge Christians to get out and vote this time around and urge their friends and neighbors to do the same, unless they want this nation irreconcilably changed to the model Hillary and Barrack Obama seem to prefer.
They point out that in the 2012 presidential election, Barrack Obama won by a margin of 4,900,000 votes. In that same election, 17,000,000 conservative Christians failed to vote.
If just 29 percent of that 17 million Christians had bothered to vote in 2012, Barrack Obama would not have been reelected President!
We may or may not like Donald Trump, but staying at home is not an option, voting for a third party candidate is not an option, and voting for Hillary is voting against Christianity, or at least Christianity as we know it!
Political leaders who have words of praise for the Faith and Freedom Coalition and its goals and indicate trust for the information they provide include Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump; Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Tim Scott; Dr. Ben Carson; news commentators Shawn Hannity and Mark Levin; Sarah Palin; former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Those of us who want God kept in the Pledge of Allegiance, who believe marriage has to be one man/one woman, who believe abortion is murder, simply must not only vote this time around (and not for Hillary!), but must work as hard as we can to encourage our friends and neighbors to do the same.
We should do as the Faith & Freedom Foundation urges:
1) Sign a petition they are circulating that expresses disgust for Ms. Clinton's repeated disrespect for religious freedom in America and her bigotry against Christians;
2) Display a bumper sticker declaring support for Christianity;
3) Sign a pledge to vote on Nov. 8, and keep that promise, and
4) Write letters, knock on doors, and talk to friends, relatives and neighbors to get them to vote on Nov. 8 for the candidate who does not see a need to change our deep-seated religious beliefs!
Seems like the Presidential campaign has gone on forever, but now the election that threatens to end freedom in America as we know it is just 60 days away!
Fall bounty continues with its dizzying array of vine ripened tomatoes, juicy sweet corn, crunchy cucumbers, summer squash, apples, pears and more. Can't eat fast enough to even taste it all.
HEART HEALTHY GERMAN POTATO SALAD
6 medium red potatoes, unpeeled
3 slices bacon
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Scrub potatoes and put them into a 4-quart saucepan with enough water just to cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer covered, 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Cut into slices. Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Chop bacon; set aside. Remove and discard bacon drippings from skillet. Add oil; heat over medium heat. Add onions; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper. Gradually stir in water, vinegar and mustard. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened. Stir in potatoes and bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until thoroughly heated. To serve, sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.
To prepare apples easily, wash and cut into quarters. Remove the cores and then peel each quarter and slice into the dish. Some people like to leave the peelings on for Apple Crisp, but we prefer our apple slices naked.
6 McIntosh apples
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup flour or fine graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel, slice and core apples. Lightly coat a 9X12-inch baking dish with cooking spray and in it mix the prepared apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. In a small bowl or your food processor mix the flour or graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter together until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the apples are tender and the topping is golden. Serve warm with a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Thought for the Week: Too much of what we think is communication is really waiting out our turn to speak. If we want to communicate, we must learn to listen, really listen. As George Clooney said, "You never really learn much from hearing yourself talk."
A: Wet. B: A stick.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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