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Country Cousin

Happy Easter...

Easter Week, the most sacred season of the year for Christians, is here. May your Easter be blessed, and may your Easter basket be brimming with joy!

WEATHER OR NOT

There used to be a saying, plrobably still is, that "We shall have weather, whether or not""

Really says little, excepot that whatever weather happens, we have to deal with it, like it or not.

We had a brief taste of Spring, then woke up Tuesday morning to find snow again! Forcasters are promising us a nice Easter weekend, with temperatures as high as 65 on a cloudy Holy Saturday, and a partly sunny Easter with temperatures into the 60's. There are periods of clouds and sun predicted for Good Friday, with temperatures into the 50's, but no rain or snow is forecast. We'll see.

With a little luck, we may be able to show off our new Easter finery unencumbered by winter coats and boots.

Remember the Easter a few years ago when there was still snow on the ground but no need for jackets. The day was so lovely that lots of folks put on shorts after church and spent most of the day outdoors.

Then again, there were lots of Easters that looked more like Christmas. New patent leather Mary Janes waiting to be worn, and had to wear snow boots instead. Bummer!

Oh well. It's springtime in Wisconsin, and if the Good Lord chooses to make it snow, at least it won't last long.

FIRST OF THE SEASON

Birds were foolish enough to come back weeks ago. Wasps are flying, wood ticks and deer ticks are out, and just last night, saw my first mosquito fo the season. it must be Spring!

GROWIN' THINGS

MOONS AND PLANTING


My grandma used to say you had to plant peas on Good Friday to get a good harvest. There were more than a few years when we joked that she would have to shovel away the snow first and then drill holes to get those peas in the ground. Whatever, her peas, along with the rest of her garden, always yielded a good harvest. It had to, with 12 hungry mouths to feed!

Cal down at the feed mill used to say most of the old gardeners not only went along with the notion of planting peas on Good Friday, but told him that other things, among them potatoes and carrots, should also be planted on that day.

This year the ground is thawed, and weather on Friday is supposed to be mild and a bit cloudy, with no rain predicted, so it should be a good day for planting. If edible peas grow well when planted on Good Friday, Sweet Peas that we plant for flowers also should fluorish, so best get them into the ground too.

While we may not be able to understand it, the moon does seem to have an influence on gardens, moods and a lot of other things. Probably God did not put it up there just to ocasionally light up the night skies.

TORNADO WEEK

Why anyone wants to give tornadoes and severe weather a week of their own is beyond me, but thay have done just that. Actually, the powers that be have designated the week of April 17 to 21 this year as Tornado and Sevee Weather Awareness Week, in hopes of letting everyone know they need to be prepared.

There are statewide and national tornado drills scheduled for Thursday, April 20, but if real tornadoes thraten on that day, the drill will be either moved to Friday or cacelled, depending on what kind of weather Friday April 21 brings. The state plans to hold two drills, one in the aftrnoon and one at 6:45 p.m.

Marinette County Emergency Management Program Assistant Kathy Frank says the coming Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week is a great time to make sure you are ready for tornadoes, thunderstorms, and other severe weather that comes with warmer temperatures.

 "Listen, Act, and Live" is the motto this year:

Listen: If a Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch has been issued, pick a credible source of information and keep in touch with it until the danger has passed. One of the best tools is a NOAA Weather Radio,also known as an Emergency Weather Radio.

Act: When you hear a tornado warning, which means that a tornado has been seen by spotters or detected on radar, seek the best shelter you can find immediately. Don't waste time checking multiple sources of information. You may have only seconds to find a safe place.

Live: Follow those guidelines and your chances of survival multiply. "Hopefully the storm will pass with no damage, but don't risk your life on a hope," Frank said.

You should plan in advance where you can go and how you are going to get there in case of a tornado, and ensure that all family members know the plan.  For more information on preparedness you can visit the Marinette County Emergency Management Department's web pages at www.marinettecounty.com.

At 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 20 the National Weather Service issue a mock Tornado Warning at 1:45pm.  The drill will end at 2:00 p.m.    A second mock warning, with no "watch" preceding it, will be issued at 6:45 p.m. to give families and second shift workers a chance to practice their emergency plans.  Many Wisconsin broadcast radio, TV and cable channels will also participate. This drill will also test emergency weather radios.

 The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark, and/or rainy; but if actual severe storms are expected it will be postponed until Friday, April 21 with the same times.  If severe storms are also possible Friday, the drill will be cancelled.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 There's a story going around on the web that a local pastor (let's call him Father O'Meary, but that's not his real name) woke up one fine one fine Sunday morning and realized it was such an exceptionally beautiful day that he just had to play golf.

So he told his associate pastor that he wasfeeling sick and persuaded him to say Mass for him that day. As soon as the associate pastor left the room, Father Norton headed out of town, to a golf course about 40 miles away, where no one would know him and he would not accidentally meet anyone from his parish.

Setting up on the first tee, he realied he was all alone on the golf course. It was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church. He did feel a bit guilty.

At about this time, Saint Peter, leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed, "Are You going to let him get away with this?" The Lord, who is rumored to be something of a golfer Himself, sighed, and said, "No, I guess not."

Just then Father O'Meary hit the ball. It shot straight toward the pin, dropped just short of it, then rolled up and fell into the hole. It was a 420 yard hole in one!

St. Peter, astonished, looked at the Lord and asked, "Is that how You punish him for skilpping Mass? Why did You let him do that?"

The Lord smiled, and replied, "My son, hyou don't understand. That was the greatest shot he, or anyone else, is ever likely to make. But who is he going to tell?"

Thanks for the grin-maker, Maggie!

Written by Paul Harvey, copyrghted 1993 by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

The Devil's Work is Progressing Well

If I were the devil ...

If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.

I'd have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree"thee.

So I would set about however necessary to take over the United States. I'd subvert the churches first.

I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: "Do as you please."

To the young I would whisper that "the Bible is a myth," I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I'd confide that "what's bad is good and what's good is "square'."

And the old I would teach to pray after me, "Our Father"which art in Washington."

Then I'd get organized. I'd educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting. I'd threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa.

I'd peddle narcotics to whom I could. I'd sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I'd tranquilize the rest.

If I were the devil, I'd soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves. Until each, in turn, was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings I'd have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions; just let those run wild.

Within a decade I'd have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography.

In His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science

I'd lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money ...

If I were the devil, I'd make the symbol of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil, I'd take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

What'll you bet I couldn't get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I would caution against "extremes" in hard work, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

I'd convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun; that what you see on TV is the way to be.

And thus I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.

In other words, if I were the devil, I'd just keep right on doing what he's doing.

1993 Los Angeles Times Syndicate

COOKIN' TIME

ASPARAGUS ROLL UPS

6 slices bacon

24 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

12 slices white bread, crusts removed

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. When bacon is cool, crumble and set aside in a bowl. Place asparagus spears into a large skillet and pour in about 1 inch of water. Place over medium heat, cover the skillet, and simmer asparagus until bright green and slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove asparagus and set aside. Place cream cheese and chives into the bowl with bacon and stir to evenly combine. Roll each bread slice with a rolling pin on a work surface until the slices are thin and flat. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over each slice of bread. Center 2 asparagus spears on a bread slice, and roll the slice around the asparagus into a tidy and compact cylinder. Place seam side down onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Brush each roll with melted butter and sprinkle each with about 1 1/2 teaspoon Parmesan cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly golden brown and hot, 10 to 12 minutes. Make the rolls up to six hours ahead if you like.

SOUR CREAM BEANS

1 can wax beans

1 can green beans

2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion

3 tablespoons sugar

Salt to taste

2 cups sour cream

Heat beans to boiling. Drain into colander set over a dish. Quickly sprinkle with salt, chopped onion and sugar. Dump out the liquid and again set the colander over the dish so the contents drain very well. When luke warm, put into dish and stir in sour cream. Can be served warm or cold. Stays good for 3 or 4 days if kept refrigerated.

EGGCEPTIONAL COOKIES

Beautiful (and delicious) Easter twist on chocolate chip cookies. Decorate with crosses to give a more religious theme to the holiday table.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 cups (12-oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

1 container or more prepared vanilla frosting

2 or more food coloring choices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips. Press enough dough into greased and floured tablespoon to make a slightly rounded spoon full. Invert onto ungreased baking sheets. Continue with remaining dough. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or just until golden around edges. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Frost the cookie eggs with white or tinted frosting. Color remaining frosting by stirring food coloring into small amounts until they are the color you want. For deep colored frosting, use paste colors available in cake decorating shops. Using a pastry bag fitted with a small plain or fluted tip, a plastic freezer bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner, or a plastic squeeze bottle with a small tip, squeeze decorations onto the frosted cookies. Can also use remaining chocolate chips or tiny Easter candies or colored sugars to decorate.

Country Cousin

Thought for the week: "Easter is the veil of darkness transformed to the brightest light; the most dreadful end that became the most beautiful beginning; the depths of despair faded to reveal hope everlasting, the curse of death defeated by eternal life." Thank You Lord, for the wonder of Easter. Even as we celebrate the fun parts of Easter, help us do our part to make Your Cross and Resurrection more recognized as symbols of Easter than eggs, baskets and bunnies. Thank you Lord, for the wonder of Easter, and for the suffering You willingly endured to open the gates of heaven for us. 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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