Country Chatter Newsletter
      May 2012        
Issue #3

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.

Last night we had our first dust storm and the wind blew and blew.  Then the rain came in, remember what I have said about the people out here, when it rains we stand outside and watch it.  The monsoons are not due for at least a month.

Well. I am still around and kicking.  I have had so many people tell me how much better that I look.  I have not put any of the weight back on and most important - a little drum roll please - I have not had a smoke since March 17th.  We have a new kitten named Oscar.  I went out one morning and he was there, so skinny but real friendly.  He is a long legged black and brown stripe and the best thing, he goes for walks with me, just like a dog would. The birds do not like him, I think that they have nests in the trees on the block and yell and dive-bomb us when we walk down the street.  It is so great to be walking again and not having to stop and catch my breath.  And another note, I have discovered that Happy Feet is a boy rather than a girl, well he is a long haired kitten and I mean long hair.  Happy Feet and Special are still staying close to me, Special circles around me when I am sleeping - maybe to keep the bad spirits around from me.

The month of April was a strange month - hot and cold on the weekends.  Claudia and I checked out the Farmer's Market in downtown Peoria and it was great - there was fresh vegetables and I mean fresh, still had dirt on them from coming out of the ground that morning.  Arts and Crafts, talked to a wonderful gentleman from Ireland who was selling his paintings, and all kinds of food to sample.  This past Thursday, we took a class at The Home Depot about herb gardens and raised beds and the best thing the class was free.  So guess who is going to be doing raised beds, at least I hope to get one in with herbs before the heat comes.

Saturday, I dragged Claudia to downtown Glendale to the Saturday Market.  It was the last one until this fall and it was HOT outside so............. there were a couple brave ones out there.  One of the alleys in Downtown was having an Artfest and of course I had to go over and look !!!!!!!!  I met some wonderful people who do gourds, more about them later in the newsletter.  We checked out some of the stores and had a great time.

On a sad note, many of my friends know that Claudia and I have spent a lot of time up in Prescott, visiting her daughter, the Pumpkin Festival or just trying to get away from the heat down here in the Valley.  Monday night 3 of the business up there went up in smoke on Whiskey Row but they will rebuild them.







Glorious Gardens

Look around your home, clothes closet and craft room, and you're sure to see an
abundance of motifs from nature.  Now's the time to make plans to attend area garden
walks to soak up some inspiration!  Garden walks are a fun, inexpensive way to get ideas.
You may see a gorgeous flower that you'd love to paint, a color combination that would
look wonderful on a card, or an arrangement of shapes that could be used for another
project.  You might also get some creative landscaping ideas to use in your own home or
garden.  To find garden walks in your area, try searching online or contacting your
local Chamber of Commerce or Parks and Recreation Department.  Botanical gardens
and public gardens are another great place to visit for inspiration from nature.

Be sure to take along your camera, sketch pad and pencil to record all those inspiring
ideas.  Don't forget your sunscreen and a bottle of water, and be sure to wear
comfortable walking shoes.

a garden walk can also be a fun road trip for a group of friends.  If you live in the
Chicago area, the Sheffield Garden Walk is being held July 21 and 22.  This walk
features self-guided tours of over 82 gardens as well as architectural tours and
other activities

Everyone throughout the country can go to for a list of public
and private gardens in every state.  It provides links to the website of each garden
for more details.

. Out here in The Valley of the Sun, we have all kinds of gardens but............ just discovered
a new website for from wonderful "mini" farms - check out





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

Spring Training is alive and well out here, with both The Cubs and The White Soxes
playing here in the Valley.

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.

Schnepf Farms Peach Festival
Saturday May 12 to Sunday May 20
22601 E. Cloud Rd.
Queen Creek, AZ
7:30-4:00pm - Free

Desert Botanical Garden Celebrates National Public Gardens Day

Free Admission to Garden and Spring Butterfly Exhibit   

Friday, May 11
7am - 5pm  
Desert Botanical Garden
1201 North Galvin Pkwy.
Phoenix, AZ  85008
Motherís Day Celebration in Historic Downtown Glendale - May 12
Free flowers and special gifts await mom on her special day. Mothers, and those who love them,
are encouraged to start their day at the Glendale Visitor Center to pick up a map, 
 gift bags and free flowers just for moms. Several area merchants will also offer free flowers

We have a new feature in the newsletter - I will be featuring a wonderful shop -
so that you can go and visit.  I will also be featuring one of
our favorite restaurants, too. 

The Country Maiden

So just click on the store name and see all the wonderful "stuff" in the store.


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.

Calico Kitten Designs is looking for crafters that would like to move into the website, if you are interested, please email me
and I will send you all the details -

While we were at the ArtFest in Glendale, we met some people who do Gourds, aren't they beautiful.
and of course I had to get one.  So visit their website and enjoy.
They are called Chrysalis God Gourds and their website is

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.


















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.
Angelic Strawberry Dessert

Angelic Strawberry Dessert


  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk

  • 1 4-serving-size package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup fat-free dairy sour cream

  • 1/2 8 ounce container reduced-calorie frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed

  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel

  • 7 cups 1-inch angel food cake cubes (about 1/2 of an 8-inch purchased cake)

  • 3 cups sliced strawberries

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, dry pudding mix, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on
low speed until just combined. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes more or until well mixed.

2. Fold in the sour cream, dessert topping, and orange peel.

3. In a 2-qt. square baking dish or 8 individual dessert dishes, layer half the cake cubes,
 half the 3 cups strawberries and half the pudding mixture. Repeat layers.
Cover and chill the dessert for at least 4 hours or overnight.

4. Just before serving, top with the remaining strawberries. Makes 8 servings.


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.

Peach Surprise Sherbet

2 cups sugar
1 quart water
1 teaspoon gelatin
2 cups peach pulp
1 lemon
2 oranges

Boil  sugar and water together for five minutes, add the gelatin softened in cold water.
 When the mixture is cold, add the peach pulp, which has been pressed through a sieve,
and the juice of lemon and oranges.  Freeze

The Craft Project this month is "Patriotic Wreath". 
Memorial Day and 4th of July are Coming
You can find the instructions here



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. 
Happy Mother's Day and
Happy Memorial Day

Count your blessings, hug your family and friends,
thanks for being a part of Country Chatter
and remember the most important thing
Da Bears are coming
Da Bears are coming

Cindy and the Kittens and
Happy Feet


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