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

Issue Date: November 14, 2019

Shirley Prudhomme

Spray it warm".

Winter is here - actually has been here since the end of October, and things don't seem likely to be getting any better. Rivers and lakes are even starting to freeze over, and it's just the middle of November.

Remember how we were all being warned a few years ago to quit using aerosol spray cans, especially hair spray, because the gasses they released into the atmosphere were causing Global Warming and everyone on Earth would bake?

Well, somehow we're still using the spray cans, but unfortunately Global Warming has gone away.

Was complaining about the cold at a recent town board meeting, and one of the supervisors was totally in agreement. We both wondered where Global Warming had gone, and we both wanted it back. The supervisor said he's been doing his part. Goes out on his deck every morning and releases the contents of two cans of hair spray into the atmosphere. Doesn't seem to be easing the cold any, but it is creating another problem. Hair spray that goes up must come down. Now he can't walk on his deck. Too sticky from all that hair spray.

ELECTIONS ARE COMING

In case you haven't turned on a radio or TV in the past few months - elections are coming. We've ben hearing a lot about the national elections, which are still a year away, but anyone wanting to run for one of the local offices to be filled in the spring elections can start circulating nomination papers on Dec. 1, which is coming on fast. Terms end in April for all 30 Marinette County Board Supervisors, and for some members of town boards, village boards, city councils and school boards.

We need good people to run for office if we want good government. If you've been thinking of throwing your hat in the ring to do you part, now might be a good time. Pay for local government jobs generally is not much, but the rewards in terms of being in a position to help look out for the well being of your community and protect the freedoms we enjoy are huge!

KUDOS TO MARINETTE COUNTY BOARD

In line with the upcoming elections, one of County Board's responsibilities includes setting compensation for its members for the new 2-year terms that will start in April. After some thoughtful discussion at their meeting last week the Administrative Committee agreed to leave pay as it is.

Debate had included the possibility that more people might run if the pay were higher, but there seemed to be general agreement that anyone who runs for the pay probably should not be there. Anyway, the committee agreed to recommend keeping the pay as is, and at its meeting onTuesday, Nov. 12 the full county board, with one seat vacant, voted without dissent to support that recommendation.

NATIONAL VETERANS AWARENESS WEEK

Monday, Nov. 11 was Veterans Day, the day officially designated for us to honor all veterans who have fought for America. Most of us know that, and most of us do find some way to honor veterans on that day.

But many do not know that United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on Aug. 4, 2001, designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, as "National Veterans Awareness Week." The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans to be carried on all week, not just on a single day.

Seems like a good idea, considering how much the veterans have done for us through all the years.

When I was a youngster everything would stop in the schools and in most work places for the 11th minute of the 11th hour of 11th day of the 11th month. Everyone would face east and spend a full minute in silent prayer and reflection in honor of all the brave military men and women who had fought for our nation over the years. Wish we still did that!

The day began as Armistice Day, and the time was set at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 to mark the time and date that the Armistice Agreement ending World War 1 was signed.

Of course, when that agreement was signed, no one called it World War I because no one expected there would ever be another horrendous World War. It was called the Great War, and was referred to as the war to end all wars, and everyone expected that would be the case.

The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from wounds, disease, starvation, or exposure.

ON THE SOAP BOX

WE'RE NOT PERFECT

Little did anyone know that even as that war was ending, roots of what grew into World War II were beginning to form, and that later would come the Cold War, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam war and more.

Jesus said when He was here that the world would always be plagued with wars and rumors of wars, and as usual, He was right. We can pray for peace, but its likely peace on earth will never be a lasting reality until the day that Christ returns. He is perfect. We are not.

BERLIN WALL

On Saturday, Nov. 9, people in Berlin were jubilantly celebrating the 30th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down. We should all take notice, particularly in view of today's politics - with Americans incomprehensibly embracing Socialism and Communism as ways of life and government that could work.

The Berlin Wall is a reminder of the huge difference in qualities of life under communism versus capitalism. After World War II Germany was divided between the Communist east and the free world on the west the differences grew and grew until eventually the Communists built that wall in Berlin to keep people from escaping Communist oppression and suppression.

It was built in 1961 mainly to to stop the "brain drain" because so many of the educated and intelligent people were leaving their Communist oppressors to embrace the freedom of the West. Hundreds of Russians and and East Germans died trying to reach that wall and get across it. They wanted freedom badly enough to risk dieing for it.

And today, some here in America - especially politicians - are so disdainful of freedom that they refuse to even vote for it!!!

Shame, shame on them, and shame, shame on the teachers and college professors who apparently formed their distorted way of thinking!!!

NEW NEWS ABOUT MEASLES

Most of us have long known that measles can have some exceedingly bad side effects, but a recent study done by Harvard's School of Public Health revealed a new one. Researchers found that measles can erase much of the immune system's memory.

Thus, if you have had say chicken pox, other types of measles, whooping cough, mumps, etc. and then have measles, you may be left immune to the type of measles you just had, but your body may have lost its other immunities.

Don't know if the tendency of measles victims to get "immunity amnesia" extends to things like small pox and polio vaccines and flu shots, but apparently it might.

That's a scary thought.

Do know that the immunity amnesia could explain what happened in our family may years ago, when I was a kid. Within a six month period, all the kids in our our family and that of our closest cousins had taken turns with measles, chicken pox and whooping cough. My baby sister had weighed 24 pounds at 6 months old, and by the time she celebrated her first birthday she weighed 12 pounds. Incidentally, she made it through all that, and on the day this is written is celebrating a post-retirement birthday.

PRECIOUS LIFE MOMENT

Mike Behnke, who serves as both an Alderman on Peshtigo City Council and a Supervisor on Marinette County Board, loves getting really involved with the holidays. He also really, really loves kids. And he recently found out it feels a lot better to be loved than to be scary.

For the recent Halloween festivities in Peshtigo he had dressed in an extremely life-like wolf costume, and got a kick out of frightening some of the folks who came there to be frightened.

Because he uses a walker and doesn't get around very quickly, he dressed up in his scary white wolf mask and sat in the walker on his porch to dole out candy to Halloween Trick or Treaters. The first two groups of kids who approached ran off screaming without their treats when they saw him on that porch.

So he decided to abandon the wolf outfit in favor of something that didn't scare the little ones so much. He grows his own genuine white beard and mustache, so he went inside and put on the good red velvet hat from the Santa Suit that had been handed down to him by his father.

He is very glad he did, because that decision brought him one of those precious moments to cherish for the rest of his days.

After about the third or fourth group of kids came up and happily accepted their treats, along came a sweet little girl, probably five or six years old, dressed in a princess costume.

"Her eyes were just mesmerized as she walked up to me," Behnke said." When she reached me there was no "Trick or Treat' request" just a question"Are you Santa Claus?"

"Do you think I am?" Behnke responded.

As he tells it, she gave a great big smile, nodded her head, said yes, and added, "Thank you for everything you gave me!"

"You're welcome" Santa Behnke replied. He said he told her to keep on being good and come see him closer to Christmas, and then gave her a couple of extra candies.

"Thank you Santa, Happy Halloween!" she whispered back to him.

"I gave a thank you and another Happy Halloween, put another handful of candy in her bag and said to her, "You're welcome Sweetheart. You keep being good and come talk to me in a few weeks or write me a letter before Christmas ok?'"

"She nodded her head yes and started walking away. When she got almost to the steps, she quickly turned around, ran back and gave me one of the biggest, warmest hugs I've ever had and said, "I love you Santa.'"

"Santa loves you too, Sweetheart," he said back.

Behnke said the little girl's mom, friend and a couple of other adults watching from the sidewalk were smiling and going "Awww""

"Her mother looked at me and I could see her mouth the words "Thank you.' as she made a genuflecting motion toward me, with her hands together".The little girl finally turned around and walked back to her mother.

She waved goodbye again. I waved back, blinking my watery eyes, wiping a tear from one of my pudgy cheeks and thinking to myself, "I'm sure glad I took off that wolf mask!'"

WRINKLE RELAXER

Speaking of scary, I've been seeing more and more wrinkles on this old face when forced to look in the mirror every morning. Was getting desperate for a way to get rid of those wrinkles.

Now, finally, believe I've found just what I've been needing"a spray bottle containing a product called "Wrinkle Relaxer."

Can't wait to try it.

Just can't figure out why they had it displayed for sale in the laundry aisle instead of with the beauty products where it belongs.

COOKIN' TIME

The first two of today's recipes almost go beyond quick and easy - and they're good for you. Bake now to send some along for deer camp.

SAVORY BACON BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Test these now, and you'll almost certainly want to sere them again with Thanksgiving dinner.

16 ounces Brussels Sprouts, halved

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 tablespoons oil, divided

2 tablespoons wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan or Asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean brussels sprouts and halve them. Place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle garlic and bacon evenly over them. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven until sprouts are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Place in a serving bowl. Drizzle with vinegar, remaining oil, salt and pepper and toss together. Top with grated Parmesan or Asiago,

OATMEAL RAISIN BREAKFAST BITES

These won't taste quite like grandma's oatmeal raisin cookies, but they make a great grab-and-go breakfast. A little sweet, but no sugar.

1 overripe banana

cup peanut butter

cup oatmeal

teaspoon cinnamon

teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons raisins

1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with buttery flavored cooking spray. Mash the banana and mix in the cup peanut butter. Add the half cup oatmeal, teaspoon cinnamon, teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons of raisins, and a pinch or two of salt. Roll into balls and flatten, then bake for about 14 minutes. Keep them in an airtight container for tomorrow's breakfast or for a quick snack.

SIMPLE SWEET POTATO MUFFINS

Just four ingredients.

These sweet potato banana bites aren't overly sweet, but they're an easy portable snack that can be varied to suit your taste. Cook a medium sweet potato, preferably while you're already baking something else. You can cook the potato in the microwave to save time, but be careful, because if you nuke it too long it gets hard.

1 sweet potato, cooked

1 over ripe banana

1/4 cup peanut butter

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix-ins like chocolate chips, dried crancherries, fresh blueberries, etc.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whirr the sweet potato in a food processor with the banana. Stir in cup nut butter, two eggs, cinnamon, and any mix-ins you want, such as chocolate chips or fresh blueberries. Spoon into greased mini muffin pans and bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes.



Thought for the week: "Before the Berlin Wall came down, we played behind the Iron Curtain and sang, 'Born in the U.S.A.,' and I thought, 'We're all going to die. The man is going to get us all killed.' But then you saw all these kids with the American flag and German flags together and singing the song, and it was, wow, like 'We Shall Overcome.'" the late musician Clarence Clemons, describing what it was like for an American to entertain in Soviet Russia or East Germany during the Cold War years.

(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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