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

Pray For Storm Victims...

After such a rainy summer, the recent spell of sunny days and moonlit nights has been pure pleasure. Feel sorry for everyone in the coastal states hit so hard by the hurricanes, especially the folks in Texas and Florida. These disasters hit somewhat close to home, even though they're miles away. Like most TIMESland residents, we have friends and relatives who live in both areas and are praying they will all get through it with lives and limbs intact. Things can be replaced. Lives cannot.

HARVEST EVENTS

Crivitz Oktoberfest is coming up on Saturday, Sept.16, and so is a big truck pull event at Equity Park. Farmer's Markets continue to be open every Friday on Stephenson Island in Marinette, and produce is still offered at numerous roadside stands. Even if you don't have a garden of your own, you can enjoy the flavor of really fresh home grown produce.

Town of Peshtigo Fire Department Open House is happening Saturday, Sept. 23. Also, plan ahead. City of Peshtigo's big Historical Day celebration is set for Saturday, Sept. 30, and the Wausaukee Harvest Fest is Saturday, Oct. 7.

And, of course, don't forget that Grandparents' Day is Sunday, Sept. 17. Make it a day for passing along info on family history and traditions and it will be a day well spent.

CHORE TIME

Days are fine right now, but serious weather is rapidly approaching. This is the time to get outside windows washed and storm windows put up.

To make a fine small scale cleaning solution for both inside and outside windows, mix 1/4 cup vinegar (white or apple cider), 1/4 cup Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, 1 tablespoon corn starch and two cups hot water in a large 20 ounce spray bottle. Shake vigorously until the corn starch is dissolved. (The corn starch is the secret ingredient that nixes streaks.) Hold the bottle 6 to 8 inches away from the window's surface and spray an even coat of cleaner over the entire surface, starting at the top. Wipe grime and the solution away with a soft, lint free cloth or crumpled sheets of newspaper. Remember to shake the mixture before well before each spraying to keep the cornstarch mixed well so it doesn't clog the sprayer.

For larger outdoor jobs, mix 3.5 ounces dishwasher rinse aid, 4 tablespoons of rubbing (Isopropyl) alcohol, 1/4 to 1/3 cup powdered dishwashing detergent, 1/4 cup ammonia and 2 gallons of hot water in a bucket. Be sure to mix well. Use the spray attachment on your garden hose to remove surface grime, webs, leaves, etc. from the outside windows, spraying from the top down. Then dip a new microfiber mop into the cleaning solution and use it to scrub the window's surface. Rinse again thoroughly using the hose. If your hose doesn't reach all the windows, prepare a new bucket with fresh water and a well rinsed mop to finish the cleaning.

Incidentally, cleaning experts say you should wash windows on an overcast day, or at least on the shady side of the house, when the sun isn't shining directly on the window. Sunshine heats the glass too much, which dries the cleaning solution before you can remove it. This results in those frustrating streaks and marks.

REMEMBERING 9/11

With all that's going on in the world today, memories of the tragic and criminal terrorist attacks that took 2,996 lives 16 years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001 tend to fade a bit into the background, but they're there.

Those of us who were old enough to remember will never forget those attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, DC and an airplane carrying innocent passengers who died rather than surrender their plane.

The immediate death toll on 9/11 included 265 on the four planes (including the 19 terrorists), 2,606 people in the World Trade Center and surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon. More than 6,000 others were wounded.

Is there an American of voting age alive today who doesn't remember what they were doing and where they were doing it when they first learned of the attacks?

Bitter as the tragedies were, those attacks brought out some of the best of America. There was fear of what might come next, but never, ever, was there fear that if battle came, we might lose. We as a nation knew better. Never was there a thought of conceding to whatever demands the terrorists might make.

DOESN'T STOP

Horrendous as the death toll was during and immediately after the attacks, the tragedy doesn't stop there. The collapsed towers left behind a pile of asbestos, lead, glass, gases and other toxic and dangerous building materials. The number of those whose lives were cut short by illnesses from inhaling toxins caused by the attacks continues to rise and is expected to exceed the number of victims who died immediately. The majority of those later victims are the firefighters and emergency rescue workers who answered the call for help after the attacks. Many have already died, or are still suffering, from cancers and other illnesses caused by the horrors of that awful day.

NOW NORTH KOREA

Now North Korea has The Bomb. Some political pundits tell us that we need not worry. They say Kim Jong Un is not a madman, and he's smart enough to realize that an attack on the United States would bring immediate retaliation that would destroy his regime and his nation. Maybe. But that hasn't stopped some would be dictators in the past, and it probably will not in the future. Threats of US retaliation didn't stop him from letting his people starve while national resources went into developing nuclear war capabilities.

Nonetheless, must agree with Jocko Willink", a former US Navy SEAL who is now an author and occasional "Business Insider" contributor, that maybe the best way to defeat Kim Jong Un would be to drop millions of charged-up cell phones with internet capabilities where some of the 25 million North Korean citizens could find them, and put satellites overhead to provide them with free internet.

He argues that once the North Korean people realize what they are missing, they would overthrow the regime. Could work.

Could cause some deaths, though. Am told (via news media) that North Korean subjects caught with sources of information about life in the free world are likely to get the death penalty.

However, the I-phone idea reminds me of a suggestion that I believe came from "Chicken Soup for the Soul."

Could be wrong about the source, but the suggestion was to drop thousands of brand new 124-count boxes of crayons into terrorist hotbeds. The author argued that no one can resist the "feel good" lure of a brand new box of crayons, and they would forget all about killing, at least for a while. That too might work. At least until the crayons got dull.

DESCENTING

Wrote a few weeks ago about problems between the family granddog and a skunk. Got a call from a man named Paul Ward who lives in the Dunbar area. He said to rub liquid Downy fabric softener into the dog's fur, let it sit a bit, and then bathe it out. Make a solution of the fabric softener and water and use it to clean items contaminated by the spray, and even dump it on the ground where the encounter occurred to get rid of the odor there.

Wish I'd known about that years ago when the son was young. He shot a skunk in a shed right outside the kitchen window. Couldn't open that window for a year, and had to hold our breath when we went into the shed, even though it was old and drafty and well ventilated of its own accord.

ZAIDA SCHOOL BUS

School is in session again, and the busses are running. Had a phone call recently from former Crivitz resident Ray Zaida, who now lives in Santa Barbra, Calif. Said his father, Frank Zaida, ran a school bus route in the Crivitz area for many years, starting in about 1937 and ending in the mid 1950s.

He described the first bus as "a 1934 Chev chicken coop," complete with wooden frame and wood framed windows with regular window glass. When new rules came out requiring safety glass, his father simply replaced the wooden framed window glass with wooden framed safety glass and was on his way.

The self-contrived "heater" involved running an exhaust pipe from the rear of the bus through the seating area and then out a side wall. He sort of wonders what the health authorities would have to say about that today. Later that system of heating by engine exhaust was replaced with hot water heaters. When there were too many kids for the little old bus to hold, Zaida would put a wooden bench down the center aisle for added seating.

That bus delivered kids to the old Left Foot Lake School and then to the high school in Crivitz. Left Foot Lake School, now long gone, was located at the corner where Left Foot Lake Road turns north.

In 1937 his father got a new Ford bus, and later still he bought a real 48-passenger bus.

Ray said he grew up on the old Zaida family farm, which was located on Airport Road just east of Hwy. 141 where the assisted living facility is today. Said he left Crivitz to live in sunny California back in 1967, but still has fond memories of life in Crivitz.

GROWIN' THINGS

Autumn leaves will soon be falling. Don't let them go to waste. First, rake them into huge piles for you and the kids to play in. Then put them into plastic bags to be turned into leaf mold, which is a special kind of all-leaf compost that is said to be much loved by English gardeners. You will probably love it too.

Takes two to three years to make, but the end product is a dark, sweet scented soil conditioner high in essential minerals, with exceptional water-retentive properties that make it an ideal amendment for loose, sandy soil. And since you make it yourself, it's far cheaper than anything you can buy.

Simply collect the leaves, shredded or not, and place them in plastic bags or in a wire fence enclosure. Dampen them slightly, and let nature take over the manufacturing process. The leaves should be kept a bit damp, but not wet.

It will take two to three years for nature to turn the leaves into the leaf mold compost you want. If you're serious about this, you should eventually build three wire enclosures, and fill them one year at a time so you always have a supply of the compost ready to go. If you don't have enough leaves alone, disease-free garden wastes and grass clippings could also be added to this compost, but then it's just regular compost, which is also wonderful to have and use, but not quite the same.

COOKIN' TIME

Many garden goodies are free for the taking right now, or very readily available at stands and farmer's markets. Take advantage while you can. Grilling season is drawing to a close, so time is limited for enjoying outdoor food, but foil wrapped packets can also be cooked in the oven and enjoyed any time.

GRILLED VEGGIE PACKETS

A smorgasbord of treasures for your dining pleasure!

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed

1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1 zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1 yellow summer squash, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

Preheat grill to medium. Cut 6 12-by-18-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil. In a large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, seasoned salt and pepper. Add vegetables; toss to coat. Divide vegetables evenly among foil pieces. Drizzle with any remaining dressing. Fold long sides of foil toward each other, crimping edges to seal. Fold and crimp remaining edges, forming a sealed packet. Place packets, seam side up, on grill. Close grill and cook for 20 minutes. To check for doneness, remove one packet from grill, open carefully and taste a bean: It should be crisp-tender. Carefully open packets and serve. Great with chicken, hamburger steaks, or real steaks. Also wonderful with grilled or baked ham slices.

GRILLED ONIONS

Like your burgers with fried onions, but you're cooking on the grill? Let these tasty and easy grilled onion packets "fry" on the grill while you're busy with the rest of the menu. Peel and thinly slice as many onions as you want. Prepare foil as in preceding recipe, and spray with cooking spray. Put pat or so of butter on the bottom, add the sliced onions, and put more butter on top. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. If you want bacon burgers, put some chips of diced bacon on the foil instead of butter before you put on the onions. Salt and pepper generously, and seal up the packets. Put on grill heated to high, or even directly on the hot coals. Cook for about 30 to 35 minutes.

CORN AND ZUCCHINI MEDLEY

This autumn special is best cooked on the stove in the house, even if you're eating outdoors.

4 slices bacon

2 cups chopped zucchini

1 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels, cut from cob

1 small onion, chopped

1 pinch black pepper

1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-heat until evenly brown. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. Drain bacon, chop, and set aside.

Heat the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Sauté the zucchini, corn, and onion until tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Spoon vegetables into a bowl, and sprinkle with chopped bacon and shredded cheese before serving.

LOW CAL LEMON BARS

These luscious little morsels are designed to fit into a diabetic diet. Each has only 104 calories, 7 grams of carbs and 8 grams of fat, provided you get 16 squares out of an 8-inch pan, and provided you can make yourself eat just one of the two-inch squares.

PASTRY:

3/4 CUP FLOUR

2 1/2 teaspoons Equal For Recipes, or 8 packets or 1/3 cup Equal Spoonful

2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sweetener, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with lemon peel and vanilla. Mix with hands to form a soft dough. Press evenly into the bottom and a quarter inch up the sides of an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. While crust cools, combine filling ingredients.

FILLING:

2 eggs

5 1/2 teaspoons Equal for Recipes, or 3/4 cup Equal Spoonful, or 18 packets Equal Sweetener

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Beat eggs and Equal. Mix in lemon juice, butter and lemon peel. Pour mixture into the cooled baked pastry and bake in 350 degree oven until the filling is set, which should take about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares, which means four

Country Cousin

Thought for the week: Dear Lord, Please comfort those who lost lives and loved ones in the recent storms in Texas and Florida, and in the 9/11 attacks, and spare us further disasters. We depend on Your Mercy, and rely on Your Love, knowing that You will do whatever is best 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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