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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: October 28, 2020

Big things are happening!

Lots of big things are happening in the coming week in TIMESLand and all across America. It's been awfully cold for October, and in the northern reaches of the county there even were places where the snow lasted on rooftops for more than a day. Heard that last week more than eight inches of snow fell on counties farther north and west in Wisconsin. That's early, even for us up here in the snow belt.

Spooky Season is upon us, and this year it will be even spookier than usual. For the first time since 1944 folks in all time zones in America will be able to spot those witches flying across the sky in front of a full moon. The last time a Halloween full moon appeared over the Central and Pacific time zones (that includes us) was in 2001. There won't be another Full Moon in our area on Halloween until 2039, so let's hope the skies are clear Saturday night, as predicted.

Watch the ads and check community calendars for fun ways to celebrate. There are some haunted houses, costume parties and other ways to enjoy what has become one of the most popular of holidays.

The Oct. 31 full moon is also the second full moon of the month, which makes it a blue moon. Won't really look blue, unless the view is affected by volcanic dust, smoke or other particles in the air. The name simply means it is rare. There are only two moons in a month about every two and a half years, according to a NASA website. And usually that blue moon, otherwise known as the Hunter's Moon, doesn't land on Halloween. October's first full moon was called the Harvest Moon.

KNOCK, KNOCK

When you go out Trick or Treating, see what kind of response you get if you say "Knock, Knock" instead or the original "Tricks or Treats, Money or Eats!"

When you say "knock, knock," of course they should say, "Who's there?"

You say, "Phillip!"

If they catch on and say "Phillip who?" you get to say, "Phillip my bag with candy!"

GAIN AN HOUR

Also on Halloween we get back the hour we lost when Daylight Saving Time began for the summer. At midnight on Halloween night - Saturday, Oct. 31 - we get to set the clocks back an hour, to 11 p.m. That way we can have two witching hours and still get up on time for church on Sunday.

TRICK OR TREAT

Despite Covid-19, Trick or Treating is expected to go on in most TiMESLand communities, but the ghosts, witches and other ghouls are asked to call only at homes where porch lights are on.

The kiddies might need to wear some extra-heavy garb under their costumes, though, because temperatures Halloween night are predicted to be in the 29 to 30-degree range.

When I was kid that we often had to wear snowsuits under our costumes. In those days, though, no self-respecting youngster in Marinette would go Trick or Treating until after dark, and certainly they would not let Mom or Dad tag along unless there wasn't a brother, sister or neighbor kid willing to look out for the youngest ones.

One Halloween our family had a real scare. We kids were out Trick or Treating in the neighborhood when we lost my brother, who was not quite four years old at the time. He had been with us, and then he was gone.

Frantic, we rushed home to see if he was there. No one could find him. No one could find him anywhere. Finally, a tearful Mom called the police to report her missing child. The officers found him. For whatever reason, or for no reason at all, he had gone up to our bedroom, crawled under the big bed to hide. He had fallen asleep there and didn't wake up when we called him.

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE

Some of us don't need Halloween to be a bit frightened in the coming week. Regardless of your political persuasion, don't forget to vote, if you haven't already cast your ballot. Every vote does indeed count, and there are some extremely important races to be decided in addition to the choice of a president and vice president for the next four years.

WEB CENSORSHIP

There has been much in the news lately about Internet giants like Google, Facebook and others censoring contents of postings to eliminate those they consider politically incorrect.

Recently my son was notified that he was in danger of being banned from Facebook for posting a note advising someone he disagreed with to vote on Nov. 3. Guess they considered that false information. Don't recognize sarcasm when they see it. Too bad. This world is rapidly losing the sense of humor that's so necessary if we are to stay sane while trying to cope with the trials and tribulations of daily life!

RIDDLE ME THIS

The maker doesn't want it. The buyer doesn't use it. The user doesn't see it. What is it?"

What do you call a ghost in a torn sheet?

Why are ghosts such messy eaters?

See answers after Cookin' Time.

START YOUR DAY RIGHT

Just found on a Wellness Pursuits website some suggestions for starting your day right - things to do before you even get out of bed. Great ideas all, provided you don't let yourself fall back to sleep before you finish doing them.

They suggest first, taking five deep breaths and exhaling slowly with each one.

Then, forgive yourself for any mistakes you made yesterday and let them go.

Next, think of three things in your life for which you are grateful, and hold on to them. While you do this, smile broadly. Your face needs the exercise, and it's far better to have smile lines than frown creases.

Finally, think of three things you plan to get done on this day. Smile about these too, if you can, and then hop out of bed, energized and ready to go.

Agee with all those, but would add two more.

Before getting out of bed, or down on your knees right after, give thanks to the Creator for giving you this day, with a fresh new start, and for giving you the things you are thankful for.

Then, while you prepare to meet the day, smile at yourself in the mirror before and after you comb your hair. You could even laugh at yourself before combing it if your hair looks anything like mine does in the morning. Don't need a costume to look like a witch. Just need to grab my pointed hat and broomstick and be on my way!

HALLOWEEN COSTUMES

Friend once gave me a grey granny-type wig in an old-fashioned curly hair style. Told my grandkids I planned to go out for Halloween disguised as an old lady.

They didn't need to laugh that hard!

POST TURTLES

According to the Urban Dictionary, a "Post Turtle" is a turtle balanced on top of a fence post. Sometimes politicians we don't like are described as being "Post Turtles".

An old farmer allegedly explained the comparison this way: "When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a "Fence Turtle'." And then he said, "With some politicians, just like that turtle sitting up on top, you know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just want to help the poor stupid guy get down."

To be politically correct here, guess that "he" should be expanded to include "or she." It's possible for female politicians can be fence turtles too, you know.

HALLOWEEN TREATS

If you want your Jack O Lantern to have a nice shiny surface, and last a little longer, spray it with Armor All and rub it in. Would not recommend eating it later if you do that. If you don't mistreat your pumpkin, you can peel your Jack O Lantern when Halloween is over, and cut it up. Trim off the inside too, then cook in a tiny bit of water and puree it to use in pumpkin pie or other treats.

If you and the kiddies want to make some cute Halloween candy treats, here are a couple of easy ones:

CHOCOLATE ACORNS

24 Nilla wafers

24 chocolate kisses, unwrapped

24 mini butterscotch bits

2 or 3 ounces dark chocolate coating, to melt

Melt the dark chocolate coating, and keep it warm in a pan of hot water while you work. Smear a small amount onto the flat side of each vanilla wafer cookie and press a chocolate kiss into the center. Then smear a bitsy dab of melted chocolate in the center of the rounded side of each cookie and press a butterscotch bit into it. Set aside to harden. These are adorable served in a dish of candy corn. You could use canned chocolate frosting instead of the melted chocolate to stick on the candy kiss and butterscotch bit, but then they tend to move around under pressure.

WITCHES' HATS

You need chocolate kisses, chocolate stripe cookies or round snack crackers, and a small amount of melting chocolate. Unwrap some the kisses, smear each cookie or cracker with a smooth layer of melting chocolate and stick a kiss in the middle, so the cookie or cracker base looks like the brim of a hat. Use tubes of decorator icing to put a band around the hat and you're done.

COOKIN' TIME

Cook up some Halloween S'mores or other Autumn treats to celebrate the season.

SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

6 bone-in pork loin chops (3/4-inch thick and 8 ounces each)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 cup sour cream, divided

2/3 cup chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 can (2.8 ounces) french-fried onions, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add pork chops, one at a time, and turn to coat. In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil on both sides. Arrange in a single layer in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. In a large bowl, combine soup, 1/2 cup sour cream, broth, ginger and rosemary; pour over chops. Sprinkle with half of onions. Cover and bake until tender, 45-50 minutes. Stir remaining sour cream into sauce. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake, uncovered, until onions are browned, about 10 minutes.

S'MORE EYEBALLS

Makes 24 S'more Eyeballs. They're best served warm, but even good after they've cooled off. Be careful not to let the kiddies eat them while they're hot enough to burn their little tongues.

8 whole graham crackers, crushed

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 milk chocolate candy bars (like Hershey bars)

12 large marshmallows

Red food coloring

24 semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each marshmallow in half crosswise and use a toothpick to paint bloodshot streaks on the rounded top side. Let these sit on waxed paper while you stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter and powdered sugar until evenly moistened. Press the cracker mixture into ungreased muffin pans to form shallow cups. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are bubbling, about 5 minutes. Break each chocolate bar into 12 equal pieces and place one into each hot graham cracker cup. Place half a marshmallow, cut side down, on top of each. Into the center of each, press a chocolate chip. Put the muffin tins back into the oven and bak until the marshmallows are slightly softened, about a minute or two. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before serving.

APPLE BRANDY PECAN CAKE

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons apple brandy

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 medium tart apples, peeled cored and chopped, about 3 cups

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Hot caramel ice cream topping, optional

Whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 13X9-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and brandy. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg; gradually add to butter mixture. Fold in apples and pecans. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely. If desired, top with caramel topping, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

The Country Cousin

Riddle Answers:
a coffin, a holy terror, and because they're always a goblin'.

Thought for the week: Don't know who defined this philosophy for life first, but it's a sentiment that came a couple of years ago attached to an e-mail from Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks: "The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity, choosing right over wrong, ethics over convenience, and truth over popularity"These are the choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing."

This would truly be a wonderful world if we all would live by those rules!

(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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