Country Chatter Newsletter
January 2013
Issue 8

Welcome to the "new" Country Chatter







Calico Kitten Designs is so happy to welcome Country Chatter Newsletter to our website.
The newsletter is just my way of sharing my part of the world with everyone, and helping people with their businesses. I am hoping to make the world just a little bit better for a couple minutes, to bring a laugh or a smile to your face and just a way of saying thanks.

Well, tonight is the night that in the past Claudia and I have gone to Downtown Glendale for the End of the Christmas Season called Glitter & Glow Block Party but............. this morning I got up and it was 29 outside.  Yes, you read that right, the Valley of the Sun is in a deep freeze and it will be this way until Tuesday.  We decided that we both do not live in Chicago and we are waiting for the heat to show up again

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a extra special and wonderful Christmas.  I managed to catch a cold the beginning of December which made every thing just perfect.  I did get the house decorated this year, the outside of house just had lights and wreaths.  I was not getting up on the ladder and getting the decorations out of the attic. I had a "real" living Christmas tree with just white lights on it but........... the two kittens and Happy Feet decided the lights were toooooo bright so they would chew the cords for the lights.

Remember how I am always telling you to take a class, well, I dragged Claudia kicking and screaming to a class at Home Depot.  We learned how to make wreaths - which Claudia all ready knows how to do but we did learn how to make stars.  I also took a class at Country Maiden in Catlin Court and learned how to make a rag rug.  I have made two of them, a small one for in front of the fireplace and a huge one for in front of the TV.  Baby Stripes and Happy Feet think that they are for them.  Country Maiden will be offering the classes once a month, if you are interested.

Now, the most important event for the month of December.  DA Bears came to Arizona, DA Bears are the football team from Chicago, and I just happen to be a HUGE fan of them.  And guess what, I got to go, Keith got tickets from friends of his, North End Zone, and 15 rows up.  Keith got me a T-shirt that said Sweetness and had Walter Payton on the front of it.  I even got to go to my first Tailgate party, too.  Before the game I let everyone know that I was going, I have not gone to a game since I lived in Chicago which was a long time ago. Keith called me to let me know that he was coming to pick me up and I was "running" up and down the yard with my Bear's flag.  Everyone in my neighborhood knows that I am a Bears fan, my Bear's flag flags proudly on the front of the house every Sunday. I was really worried that I was going to embarrass my son at the game but........... I never realized that there was so many people from Chicago out here, it was a sea of blue at the game.  The seats were wonderful, you could see their faces from our seats.  If you did not see me, do you remember seeing a huge Chicago Bear's flag - that was me and of course , DA Bears won.  OK, you have been warned, I am coming home in either September or October to see DA Bears play at Solder's Field, so who wants to go with me and my son.  Leave on a Friday, game on Sunday, and fly back on Monday. Family and friends back there, you are included, too.  There are photos of the game up on my Facebook page - CJ Dacarebear.  So life was wonderful for a weekend in December.

A couple New Year resolutions that I have made this year is to FINISH the house both inside and out, and to try to be a better friend to my friends here in the valley, my friends back in Chicago and of course my family.  So what better way than the newsletter.







Girlfriend Wisdom


"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock.
The stream always wins not through strength but by perseverance."

Nature is a great teacher for us to observe and learn.  There are lessons for situations
in our lives right before our eyes everyday.  Whatever the weather, going for a walk on
a nature trail, or in our own neighborhood will lift your spirit to build endurance for a
well balanced life.

Think of yourself as the Stream:  traveling down the river's road of life.  There will be
pebbles in the river's bed and there will be giant boulders.  Get yourself ready for the
thrill of a waterfall and rest time in shallow waters at the river's edge.  Perseverance
will keep you going, Perseverance is being steadfast.

Girlfriend Wisdom

May your interpretation of
Perseverance be full of grace,
a knowing that life is good,
and that all will be well.












Activities Around the Valley

This is for my friends who need a little reminder about what is going on around my part of the world.
Well, this is the time of the year that we all live out for out here, not to hot and not to cold, you need a light jacket at night.  So much to do, go and enjoy before it gets too hot.
Time to take a class or two at the Park District or your local craft shop

Phoenix Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival - January 26, 27 and 28
The Arizona State Fairgrounds - 1826 W. Mc Dowell, Phoenix

Glendale Chocolate Affaire  Feb 8, 9 and 10
Downtown Glendale in the Park, Chocolate, Chocolate and more Chocolate
Did I mention there is Chocolate there?????????

And my favorite - The Farm at South Mountain is open again
Check it out at

Phoenix Community Farmer's Market
Located at 721 N. Central Ave. Phoenix
Hours - Every Wednesday 4pm to 8 pm
Every Saturday 8am to Noon
Worth the trip down to see it.

Crafter's Corner

If you are in the Phoenix area and are interested in any shows, please get in touch with the kittens, opps I mean kitties at and they will be more than happy to send you a list of shows.

Bear is in charge of link exchanges and was wondering if anyone would like to exchange links with Calico Kitten Designs.
You can get in touch with him at and he will be more than happy to sent you ours. One small note from Bandit, if you have any EXTRA Pringles (the original favor) he will make sure that you on the front page of the links.

How to make Homemade Grungy Soap

2 bars of white soap (preferably unscented)
1/2 cup water
1/2 - 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
Spices - Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
Wax paper/Styrofoam plate

First, chop the soap into small pieces and place in a microwaveable bowl.  Add water and microwave 2-3
minutes.  Add instant coffee and stir until mixture is smooth.  Place bowl in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes
to let mixture cool and firm up enough to handle.  Divide into three clumps and place on wax paper.
Shape into bars using your hands and lay on a flat surface to dry.  Sprinkle with spices and lightly rub in.
let sit for a day or two to completely dry.


Just a short note from Happy Feet's furless mom, he does not want his photo taken, because all he does is sleep.

Do not believe anything that my furless mom says.  Well, I am a cat now, I had a birthday right after Thanksgiving, and my furless mom made something called a turkey to celebrate it.  I did not want to share with the others but............. my furless mom made me.
Buddy and I went on our great adventure outside.  Buddy is about 2 months younger than me and follows me around. There is a hole in the screen door, so Buddy and I went outside to explore but.............. we got lost and Baby Stripes had to come and rescue us.  I never realized that the back yard was that big, it sure doesn't look that way from the window but that dumb Baby Stripes had to rescue us and he will not let me forget it.  My furless mom put up a tree in the living room on MY bench and I was not willing to share it with that tree so........... I kept chewing on the lights so they would not work and figured she would move it but it is still there.  Well time for me to take a nap, will see everyone next month. 
Hugs Happy Feet
















Each and every month, there will be a special section for them. 
This month we are featuring just some wonderful recipes

If you would like to have yours in
the next issue of Country Chatter, please email Bandit at
and he just loves samples.

Cranberry-Orange Pork Roast

The flavors of cranberry and orange make this roast a perfect choice for a
winter meal, but don't let the suggestion keep you from choosing to serve it
any day of the year!

2 pound boneless pork loin roast
1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel

In a small bowl, stir together cranberry sauce, brown sugar and orange peel.
Place roast in a shallow baking dish.  Spread with 1/4 cup cranberry mixture
Roast, uncovered, at 350 degrees, for 45 to 60 minutes or until internal
temperature registers at 155 degrees.  Baste every 30 minutes with cranberry
mixture.  Let stand 10 minutes before slicing to serve.
Heat remaining cranberry mixture and serve with roast

Rustic Cherry Apple Pie
A rustic-shaped pie, no pie plate necessary, simply roll the dough out and pile the
fruit filling in the center, then fold the edge on the pastry up around the filling

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon vinegar
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup dark sweet or or tart cherries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Streusel Topping
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
For Crust - In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender,
cut butter cubes into flour mixture until pieces are pea-size.  Sprinkle vinegar over flour
mixture, tossing with a fork.  Sprinkle 5 to 6 tablespoons cold water, 1 tablespoon at
a time, over flour mixture, tossing with a fork each time until dough is moistened
and crumbly.  Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap
and refrigerate at less 4 hours.  Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Roll dough into a
12 inch circle, place on a baking sheet with sides, or in a pie plate.
For Filling - In a bowl, stir together sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.  Add apples
to cinnamon sugar mixture, mix thoroughly.  Add cherries and lemon juice, mix
thoroughly.  Place filling in center of crust, dot with butter.  Bring pastry up and
2 to 3 inches over the filling, overlap or pleat and gather folds in the dough, gently
press together where necessary.. 
For Streusel Topping - Stir together flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter until
crumbly, sprinkle over apples and butter.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until crust is golden.  Remove to wire rack and cool.



Well, I hope that you have made it down to this little part, I love talking about
Arizona, sharing this state with everyone.  I want to share a part of my world
with everyone and doing this newsletter is my way of thanking everyone for being a friend. 
Say a prayer for our Armed Forces and pray that they will be home soon. 

Count your blessings, hug your family and friends,
thanks for being a part of Country Chatter

Cindy and the Kittens and Happy Feet, too


Country Chatter
Cindy Kingren
(after 3 pm - pacific time)