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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: January 27, 2021

LET IT SNOW...

Snowmen are still in short supply in TIMESLand, but they're no longer extinct. There was enough packy snow for a brief time Saturday night and early Sunday morning to allow a few hardy snow lovers to construct new friends for themselves. Then the temperatures fell and the snow no longer packed, but it's still laying around.

Meanwhile, weather has been very much on the chilly side, which can be expected at this time of year, with lows hovering in the zero range.

Forecasts aren't too bad. No snow predicted for the next week, lows are expected to rise to about 15 degrees above zero, and highs might even get up to the middle and upper 20s.

BABY ITS COLD

If it's going to be cold, it might just as well snow. Most snowmobile trails in the county are closed or in very poor condition due to shortage of snow, but winter ATV/UTV trails are open and ready for fun. Riders are cautioned to watch for signs and be sure they are on trails designated for winter time use. Snowmobile trails in the Dungood system north of Hwy. 8 in the Dunbar/Goodman area and other points north have adequate snow.

Most ice fishing waters are also now safely frozen over, which wasn't the case a week ago.

CALIFORNIA WEATHER

Apparently California just can't win when it comes to the weather. Have been reading about an "atmospheric river" of moisture over the Bay area of what we used to call the Golden State.

Now that the disastrous forest fires have burned out, massive moisture is coming in. Too much, and sort of too late. The drought is over, at least for now, and instead they're threatened with floods and debris flows that are causing evacuations in some areas.

At the same time, feet of snow are reportedly building up high in the mountains, snow that will melt in spring and probably cause more flooding then.

Move to California? No thanks. Rather stay here and deal with zero degree temperatures and icy roads in winter and mosquitoes, ticks and tornadoes in summer.

COLDEST CITIES

Meanwhile, just saw on the web that Green Bay is the 16th coldest city in the United States, colder than most every other city in the country, with normal lows in the single digits and annual average snowfall of 50 inches. The lowest temp ever on record there is -36 F.

That data probably applies also to the TIMESLand area, only as you go north it gets worse. We were getting spoiled by all the unseasonable warmth, so now apparently we're going to pay.

Recall one year, many, many years ago when we lived in Appleton, that the temperature there didn't get above zero for the entire month of February.

We had just bought our first home that summer and were paying our own heating bills for the first time. Trust me, the first thing we did in spring was insulate that old house. The next winter was much better, both inside and outside the house.



ON THE SOAP

ANGELS IN THE SKY


Saw a great cloud angel spreading feathery wings long and wide in the sky over Peshtigo on Monday and again on Tuesday. Hope she was meant to be there, and hope those feathery wings spread over this entire nation.

We certainly need some help from above right about now to save this nation from the lies, deceit and hatred that surround us.

The politicians on the left side of the aisle preach about needing to bring this land together, and then drive in every wedge they can to drive us farther apart, and do everything they can to destroy all the good that President Donald Trump has done.

What possible reason could they have to pursue impeachment of a president who is already out office?

Are they still that afraid he will somehow manage to drain the Washington swamp?

Do they want so badly to keep him off their tracks that they deny us the right to elect the person we may want four years ago?

What kind of disrespect does that show for the voters of this land?

Seems they are revealing their own arrogance by continuing their vicious attacks.

President Abraham Lincoln once said no man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. That may be true. It's unfortunate that politicians do not need that good a memory, because so many voters have short memories, and the media moguls that regulate the information we get do such a good job of forgetting the lies for all of us.

Hope everyone remembers who caused it when they're paying $8 a gallon for gasoline, if we can get it, and bowing to leaders of terrorist countries to have it at all!

HEART ATTACK

Was feeling a bit poorly last week, with pains in my left shoulder and down my left arm. Naturally, with symptoms like that was a bit worried it might be a pending heart attack. Lay awake at night worrying, because if I needed to call the Rescue Squad I'd never allow them to enter my messy house.

Nevertheless, went out and about as usual during the day, including to a memorial service to celebrate the life of one of my many part-time "sons," friends of my own son who had spent a lot of time at our house while they were growing up.

While telling a particularly dear part time son about my shoulder ache, recalled a time more than two decades ago when I had a somewhat similar pain in the same shoulder, only that one came with pain and tingling in my left hand and fingers as well.

Called the doctor, and he said it sounded bad, I should get right there. His office was right around the corner from the old Peshtigo Times building.

Got there and dropped my purse on the floor and jacket on a chair before the doctor began his examination. When the time came for him to recommend a course of care, and maybe write a prescription, he walked over to my shoulder-strap purse, picked up and instructed: "Clean this out and carry it on the other shoulder."

Guess this bout of shoulder pain may have had the same cause. A prescription for muscle relaxers cured it.

Had one other bout of shoulder pain. That time the doctor, a different one, said my job was a pain in the neck. He prescribed muscle relaxers and a long vacation. Really, really liked that doctor!!!



STILL ON THE SOAP BOX

Spectrum announced last week that an area department store is pulling all "My Pillow" products from its shelves because Mike Lindell, the founder and president of My Pillow, made a statement in public that there was voter fraud with the Dominion voting machines.

Bet they didn't remove all Major League football references from their shelves when players chose not to stand for our National Anthem!

ONION CURE

An old cold and flue preventative that hails from the Nordic countries may or may not actually work, but might be worth a try in view of the continuing concern over Covid.

The recommendation is to cut a rather large onion into perhaps quarters, place it in a dish in a room where people gather, or where they sleep, and let it collect the poisons from the air. Replace with a new onion every two or three days.

Bet by that time, the odor would make you remember to replace it.



TRICKS WITH FOIL

Recently discovered some unusual uses for good old aluminum foil, which, by the way, was originally known as tin foil.

For example, wrapping body parts in aluminum foil is said to bring many advantages and benefits. They say it's great for fatigue,alleviates painful joints, softens the pain from burns and can even be used to help cure a cold. Didn't really say how, though.

If you need a funnel but don't have one around the house, fold a bit of aluminum foil to tun it into a funnel that won't leak.

To sharpen dull scissors, use them to cut pieces of aluminum foil into tinier pieces and they'll be nice and sharp before you know it.

To cure static cling on clothes, scrunch up some foil into a ball and use it to rub the clothes with. The static cling will be gone.

To clean your jewelry, put the pieces in a bowl, put some soapy water in it, and add a piece of tin foil. Then watch your jewelry pieces get back to their original shiny selves!

If your plants need more sunlight but you don't have a sunny spot for them, create a sunbath box. Just find a four-sided box, detach one side and cover the other thee with aluminum foil. Place this makeshift reflector near the plant, making sure that it faces the direction of the sun. This will help focus some of that much needed light on your plan and boost photosynthesis, to keep your plant healthy.

REMEMBER PAUL HARVEY?

This unforgettable piece by the legendary newsman Paul Harvey was published in 1984 by the Sun Times Syndicate and in 1993 by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. It applies even more today. Read and think.

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.

COOKIN' TIME

RICOTTA MEATBALLS


For a totally satisfying low carb meal, serve this over zucchini shreds, which are sometimes called "zoodles." Otherwise, serve on a bed of spaghetti or with macaroni. You could sauté some sliced mushrooms while browning the meatballs and then let them also simmer in the sauce.

1/2 onion, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground beef

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1/4 cup packed chopped Italian parsley

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

1/3 cup dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (28 ounce) jar marinara sauce (or make your own)

1 cup water

Sauté onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir garlic into onion and turn off heat. Transfer onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in ground beef, ricotta cheese, parsley, egg, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper with onion mixture until almost combined; stir in bread crumbs and continue to mix until thoroughly blended. Roll about 2 tablespoons of mixture into a 1-inch ball for each meatball. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in same skillet used to cook onions. Place skillet over medium heat and brown meatballs on all sides in hot oil, about 5 minutes. ( If you want to keep fat down, hold a crumpled paper towel in a tongs and use it to remove excess grease from the skillet.) Pour marinara sauce and water over meatballs in skillet. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes. To go low carb, serve over shredded zucchini or French-style green beans. Otherwise serve with spaghetti, or even as a Hoagie on an Italian bun. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese at serving time, and serve with a green salad for a great flavor and texture contrast.

SPICY POTATO CHOWDER

1/4 cup butter

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup finely chopped onion

3 poblano peppers, seeded and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 (20 ounce) package refrigerated Southwestern-style hash brown potatoes

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 (12-ounce) package fresh broccoli florets

Sautéed chopped ham

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add bell pepper and next three ingredients, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add potatoes and cumin, and sauté 5 minutes or until browned and tender. Gradually stir in broth, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes. Add broccoli florets for last 15 minutes or so. Whisk together flour broth and milk and stir into the potato mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for five minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Add cheeses, and cook, stirring constantly, until cheeses melt and mixture is thoroughly heated. Stir in chopped ham, or sauté ham bits and use it top each bowl as the soup is served.

Thought for the week: Do not despair if you lack material things. As Helen Keller once said, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."

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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