Country Chatter Newsletter
   July 2012

                       Issue #5                    

Welcome to the "new" Country Chatter















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.

Last month turned out to an awful month, and I am going to dedicate this newsletter to my friend from Chicago - Valerie Neuner Schneider.  Val passed away on June 2nd in Franklin Park, my home town.  Val and I had been friends since we were 7 years old.  We met in Sunday School at Resurrection Lutheran Church. We were in Brownies, and Girl Scouts together. We sang in Junior Choir, Senior Choir, we were confirmed together, belonged to the Luther League, went to Main School for Junior High and graduated together at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park.  And we would share french frys in between church services. There were a bunch of us that hung around together and did just everything together.  Val's dad and mine were police officers in Franklin Park and most of the time, they were partners.  Trips to the Lake, football games and Olde Towne during the 60's.  We would go up to Great Lakes Training Center, to the dances.  I introduced her to her ex-husband (and she never held that against me) up there and she dragged me up there to listen to the band and I met my ex-husband.  She was God-mother to my son.  We did every thing together, she was my friend and my sister.  I moved out to Arizona and lost touch with everyone back there, we became friends about 29 years ago after I came back to Chicago for a visit and a week did not go bye that we didn't talk to each other except during Football season.  We both were these awful Bears fans, whenever the Bears would score a Touchdown, I would call her and we would yell in each other's ears, it did not matter if they were winning or losing - We were Bears Fans.  When I went back to Chicago and fell down the stairs at my niece's, and messed up my ankle, Val and Glenn came out to see me.  I was there for her when her fiancé passed away, and I know that she is up there with him.

Val was my friend and I know that I will miss her and I know this football season - she will be missed something awful. So Val, I know you are looking down and watching over us, and of course watching over our Cubbies and DA Bears.  This has been one of the hardest things that I have had to write.  I had just talked to her a week before it happen, I got an email from our friend Sandy in California, and could not believe it, I called Val's cell and left a message for her to call me and spent the next two hours crying, and trying to find something on the internet that said she was gone.  I finally found it on Facebook and the tears started again.  I met thru emails the most wonderful person from her church and ending up sending flowers for her Memorial Service.  I talked to people on both coasts and of course back in Chicago, either by emails or phone calls to let them know. 
I don't think that she knew how much she was loved or how much she will be missed. 
Good bye Val, my friend, you will be missed !!!!!!!!!

   Well, the heat has arrived and arrived with a bang.  I got out of work today, get in the SUV and read the temperature gauge and it reads 121.  Now that can not be right, just because we have had severe heat warnings for the whole weekend and for the next two days.  You get in your vehicle, turn on your air FULL FORCE, and hope there is no traffic or any red lights.  Gas has gone down here but........... it is too hot to do anything. The Monsoons are here and you get up in the morning and find out that it has rained over night, the mud on your windshield is the first clue.  My first clue of a storm during the night, is the kitties jumping in bed with me and hiding under the covers. But that is why we live out here in the valley, not for the summers but for the winters.

The Fourth of July was a wet one out here and really Cool - only 73 degrees.  Glendale did not have fireworks again this year so watched them on TV. Our state has been burning up with fires and some of the smoke had come down to the valley, you could not see the mountains or downtown skyscrapers.  Morlene celebrated a birthday and we went out to dinner to celebrate it. 


You Might be From Chicago If
Something to give you a little laugh and if you are from Chicago
you will know what I am talking about.
Val send this to me six years ago, she knew how much I loved Chicago.

1. The "living room" is called the "front room"
2. You don't pronounce the 's' at the end of Illinois
And, you become irate at people who do.
3. You measure distance in minutes (especially "from the city")
and you swear everything is pretty much 1/2 hour away
4. You go to visit friends, or family, down south and laugh when
they complain about the traffic.
5. You understand that no person from Chicago can be a Cub fan
AND a White Sox Fan.
6. You know the difference between The Loop and Downtown.
7. You eat your pizza in squares, not triangles, and you never refer to it as 'pie"
8. You own celery salt.
9. You understand that the primary is the official local election.
10. You have drunk green beer on St. Paddy's Day.
11. You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition
Example:  'Where's my coat at?' or 'Can I go with?'
12. You carry jumper cables in your car.
13. You call the interstates 'expressways".
14. You refer to Lake Michigan as 'The Lake".
15. Your refer to Chicago at 'The City".
16 "The Super Bowl" refers to one specific game in January 1986.
17. You have two favorite football teams:
The Bears, and anyone who beats the Packers.
18. You know why they call Chicago 'The Windy City"
19. You think 45 degrees is great weather to wash your car.
20. You picnic or ride your bike in the "forest preserve"
21. You cried when Bozo was canceled on WGN.
22.You know what goes on a Chicago style hot dog.
23. You know what Chicago Style Pizza REALLY is.
24. You have at some time in your life, used your furniture or a
friend's body to guard your parking spot in winter
25. You respond to the question "Where are you from" with a "side."
Example: "West Side," "South Side" or "North Side."





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, the heat has hit the Valley and this is the time of the year, when everyone heads up north
to the "High Country" or over to San Diego to "cool" off and only the brave ones go
out in the heat but the nights are soooooo nice.
Time to take a class or two at the Park District or your local craft shop


Christmas in July - Historic Downtown Glendale
Santa is making an early stop in Historic Downtown Glendale on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will enjoy a fun-filled day of holiday crafts, sweet treats and exclusive deals, while having the opportunity to give back during a special back-to-school charity drive.


Cirque du Soleil KOOZA
Cirque du Soleil continues to draw big crowds with a world of wonder, excitement and thrilling acrobatics. The show is set in an electrifying and exotic visual world full of surprises, thrills, chills, audacity and total involvement. KOOZA continues through July 15 under the air-conditioned Big Top at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Glendale Summer Band Concert Series - Historic Downtown Glendale
Glendale's favorite summer tradition is back for its 46th season. The eight-week concert series takes place each Thursday at 8 p.m. through July 26 in the Murphy Park Amphitheater, located at 59th Avenue and Glenn Drive. Music lovers of all ages will be entertained by the state's longest-running community band of approximately 100 musicians with its renditions of marches, ballads and show tunes.

Twilight Farmer's Market - Wednesdays - 6-9 p.m.,
Citadelle Plaza - you will find farm-fresh seasonal produce and locally produced
food products from Arizona.  Located at 59th Ave. and Loop 101

Phoenix Public Market - Every Saturday morning from 8-12 p.m.
721 N. Central Ave.  Locally grown produce, plants, food and crafts
Claudia and I went to it and it is wonderful.

Downtown Glendale and Catlin Court are still open during the summer with new shops and restaurants, be
sure and stop in and say hello.


Crafter's Corner

If you are in the Phoenix area and are interested in any shows, please get in touch with the kittens 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.

If you are interested in any of the Farmer's Markets here in the valley, please check out

Next month the newsletter will be back to featuring a shop in Glendale and one of our favorite restaurants.

















Each and every month, there will be a special section for them. 
This month we are featuring recipes for the outdoor eating.

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

Grilled Steak & Vegetable Salad

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
1 boneless beef sirloin steak (3/4 lb.), 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
2 large yellow peppers, cut lengthwise in half
8 cups spring greens, or torn mixed salad greens
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Reserve 1/3 cup of the dressing.  Brush remaining
dressing lightly onto one side of the steak and onto cut side of peppers.
Place steak and peppers on grill, dressing-sides down.  Grill steak 5 minutes on each side or
until medium doneness and grill peppers 10 minutes.  (Peppers do not need turning.)
Meanwhile, cover four serving plates with greens; top with tomatoes and onions.
Cut steak across the grain into thin slices; cut peppers into strips.  Arrange steak and
peppers over salads.  Drizzle with the reserved 1/3 cup of dressing.

This recipe is from a World War II cookbook that was my mom's. It is dated 1942 and Dedicated with affection and gratitude to General Douglas MacArthur.  I can remember eating this recipe.

Potato Puff or Soufflé

2 cups hot mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or other fat

To the mashed potatoes, add the fat, the egg-yolks which have been beaten until very light,
and the milk.  Stir until well blended and then fold in the stiffly beaten egg-whites.  Mix lightly and
pile the mass in a well-greased baking dish.  Set in a pan containing hot water and bake in a moderate
oven (371 degrees) twenty to thirty minutes.  Serve at once.

Craft Projects

Potpourri Pie

Baker's Clay
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
water to moisten
Mix together flour and salt, and stir in enough water to from a workable, but not sticky dough.  Shape into whatever you like.  Either cook baker's clay in the oven at 250 degrees for at least 30 minutes per side, or let it air dry.
You can also microwave it in a glass container or microwave baking sheet.  Spray container with cooking spray and microwave baker's clay pieces at 30% power for 2-4 minutes, depending on size.  If pieces are not dry, continue microwaving at 30% for 2 minutes intervals.

To make pie, you will need
1 pie tin, in the size of your choice
cooking spray
Butter Knife
Prepare baker's clay and spray pie tin with cooking spray.  Preheat over to 250 degrees.
  Roll out baker's clay into large circle about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut circle,
just as you would for making a normal pie, and line pie tin with it.  Wrap up remaining
dough for later.  Cook pie crust for at least 30 minutes.  Let cool.
Filled cooled crust with potpourri.  Take remaining dough scraps, re-roll and cut into
 strips for lattice crust.  Arrange strips over potpourri, in the same way you
would make a normal lattice crust pie,  dampen dough to "glue" it down to already cooked crust.  Let top crust dry for 1-2 days.  After pie is complete, add an
accent bow of raffia or homespun fabric for that finishing touch.

Well - they monsoons have showed up this year, I started this newsletter last night and we had rain over night and tons of it during the day.  There is supposed to be more rain this weekend and can't wait.

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.  I am looking for a Bears fan who wants to share phone calls when they score.

Count your blessings, hug your family and friends,
thanks for being a part of Country Chatter.
Enjoy the summer, I know somewhere it is cool and I know Fall is coming, football starts in a month.
And most of all I want to thank everyone who reads this newsletter, thank you for being my friend.

Cindy and the Kittens and Happy Feet, too.


Country Chatter
Cindy Kingren
(after 4 pm - pacific time)