I have been taking notes all week about things I thought you might find of interest.

For starters, I noted that in suburbs not around here, of course, the Cook County Forest Preserve District was looking for volunteers to help spruce up the forest preserves.

We could use some volunteers around the groves and forests of the western ‘burbs, too, as they are a mess. The underbrush is so thick that new growth has a hard time raising its head.

Dead trees from past storms continue to lie wherever the wind blew them. When one sees forest preserve districts in other counties, it makes ours twice as disgraceful-and this after that horrible sales tax increase by the Cook County board plus an increase in Forest Preserve fees.

Just what do we get for our money? It is getting harder and harder to live in Cook County all the time.


Being in the car often, I listen to the radio, especially the news. But I am about to scream the next time I hear the jingle about donating one’s car to “Kars for Kids.”

The phone number plays over and over again, grating on my nerves like nails on glass. They are so annoying that I can’t imagine anyone even donating a skateboard to their cause, as good as it might be.

And speaking of commercials, what is with the commercials about getting one’s credit score. Now, I suppose if these commercials are successful and people find out about their credit rating, that would be a good thing.

But, the cheesy band advocating for this in everything from a seafood restaurant to an old beater car, continues to get on my nerves. I find the commercial they use regarding the young married couple living in the wife’s parents’ basement to be especially irritating, because the guitar-strumming lead singer attacks his new wife’s credit rating, never mentioning his, and alleges that is why he is not living high off the hog as the “girl of his dreams” had bum credit.

In the commercial, she is the only one shown doing anything productive, while he wails and moans.


I should not be surprised that I cannot get two small healthcare bills paid by my state insurance folks. Although they would like to do their duty, they note that they have not received money from Springfield to be able to pay bills.

Since government is all but at a standstill in Springfield while the governor fights with the legislature, I can just imagine all the healthcare bills which need payment, especially to our hundreds of hospitals and nursing homes, which have denied service to no one and have sucked up the costs of doing business while awaiting state payment.

You have to feel sorry for hospitals, nursing homes and individuals who are being hounded by bill collectors while the state does not get the job done.

It is a bit irritating that the legislature, courtesy of Senate President Emil Jones, will get a pay increase plus a cost of living increase this year. To their credit, house members voted against such an increase, acknowledging that the public is suffering from high numbers of layoffs, expensive gas, rocky health care and higher food prices. Where does Jones get the chutzpah to do this?


People have asked if I have heard anything about my doll at the Czechoslovak museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I have heard that the doll did not make the evacuation of items from the museum-two truckloads full.

It is now, along with other dolls and artifacts, going through conservation efforts in Chicago where they have been sent to clean them from the Iowa River flood, which inundated the museum.

As I noted before, the Czech doll had eluded the Nazis and the Communists, but met its fate when the river flooded the museum and pretty much the whole town of Cedar Rapids.


Catching up a bit more on the personal things I have shared with you in the past. My scottie dog with the lymphoma is undergoing an extensive program of chemotherapy at the Arboretum Animal Hospital in Downers Grove, which I affectionately call the Doggie Mayo Clinic.

She goes in bi-weekly and is in remission. It is an expensive process, but it will buy her a few more years. It is amazing to watch her progress.


Son and daughter in law, Army Maj. Joe (Pepi) and Christina are now ensconced in a home in San Antonio, Texas, their latest Army posting. They move every two years, really becoming Army nomads.

It is not easy on them, but military life, especially now and with two wars going, is not easy on those who serve. I am happy to note that PACE buses will now give free rides to the military and Metra trains will do so for those in uniform. I am hopeful that the CTA will follow suit as well.


Congrats again to JoAnne Kosey, the Riverside Lions/Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year. She is an excellent choice for the honor.


And to the family of Frank Drazan of Brookfield, our condolences. He was always an interested citizen who put civics upfront.

We did not always agree, but one could not help but respect his determination to get good government. He was especially a watchdog regarding the high school and how RBHS spent money. His motives were honorable.