Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Long Time No Write

It has been a few days since I have lasted written a post...well, that is a post here. I have been busy getting my professional blog up and running. And I must say I really did not have any ideas to post here.

I started today at a program put on by The Women's Council of Realtors. The topic was "Follow the Money - The Diversity of Tomorrow's Marketplace". Discussion centered around today's real estate market and what is taking place with various minority groups today and what we can expect in the future. It also touched upon the opportunities that can be found today with International buyers. The program certainly made me think about changes I should consider in my business.

However, the real reason I am writing this post has to do with the youth of today. When each panelist was asked what one thing would make a large impact on their ethnic group one panelist said educating the youth in financial responsibility. (That was not the exact term she used but it works.) Educating them to understand money, saving, investing, credit scores, home ownership and business. This would give them the tools to make responsible financial decisions in their life.

Tonight I had an email from I receive these emails weekly and often just delete them. But tonight the topic caught my eye. This was a video report of a young entrepreneur, Zoe Damacela. Zoe is 17 years old. Her story is an interesting one and can be found here. This is a young women that is certainly learning financial responsibility.
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Dog Land

Calling all dog lovers! Watch for "Happy Dog: Caring for Your Dog's Body, Mind & Spirit" published by NAL/Penquin and to be released in September 2009. The book is co-authored by Billy Rafferty and Jill Cahr. Billy has been Cosette's groomer and friend for 10 years. We are hoping we do not lose him to fame and fortune.

For the past few months I have been following Billy and Jill's blog which has covered a variety of valuable information...some humorous and some important for the care of your pet. You might want to check it out for yourself.

And be sure to take a few minutes and watch this awesome Happy Dog trailer. (No, Cosette did not make the cut.) Enjoy!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

I am FINALLY there!

I am just too too excited!!! I have started my professional blog.

I have spent hours on the first two postings but it was due to a different platform. It seemed every time I tried to do something I had to call tech support. I think I have covered all bases with those two postings so I should be good for awhile and be able to significantly reduce time spent.

The plan is to pre-write the blogs so I have some in reserve for those exceedingly busy days. Of course as I write this I realize I don't know how to date the material. I know it is not the same as on this platform. Oh well...that is for another day. I have come far and I am pleased with my progress.

Take a look for yourself...but remember...this is still a new venture.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Deals Abound

Tempranillo varietal wine bottle and glass, sh...Image via Wikipedia

Just when I was wondering what to write today a friend came through with a good idea. I receive Steve Levitt's blog daily and today his was titled "5 Purchases to Make in a Down Economy". He found this information on NBC's The Today Show.

Warning: This is only for people with disposable income.

Items mentioned are wines over $25, diamonds, summer rentals, etc. Take a look at the video and see what they are talking about.

And one item not mentioned here is housing. If you are thinking of buying your first home or upgrading, now is the time to look seriously. As a Realtor I know there are good buys. If you would like more information, contact me. I will be happy to answer your questions.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cougar vs. Bear

Yes, I know...another animal posting. This one illustrates what it is like out in the wilderness (and we think we have stressful days).

To view the short (under 4 minutes) film "The Bear" by Jean-Jacques Annaud click here. I think it is an amazing film and I hope you enjoy it.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shrink Those Bills!

Wouldn't you like to shrink your bills? I know I would! I came across a website that can help you do just that. It is called BillShrink. This has been seen on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and other media sources. Now don't think this is going to reduce existing debt. It won't. What it will do is analyze your credit cards, gas expenditures, etc. and determine if you could be doing something different to save money in the future.

I have not personally checked this out yet but thought it something worth sharing. If you try it, please let me know what you think.
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Proud to Be American

As Americans we do plenty of complaining. And we have plenty to complain about. However, for a moment stop to think of the advantages we have living in America. Where else in the world would you have the opportunities that we have here. Let's be grateful for what we have and be proud to be American.


Friday, July 3, 2009

The Microwave Isn't Just for Cookin

One of the daily emails I receive is the Daily Recipe from Real Simple Magazine. In addition to the recipe you have access to other bits of information. Some days I like the recipe and some days I just hit delete. Today I took a look at the other items and came upon "14 Surprising Uses for Your Microwave" by Melissa Clark.

Do you ever have sponges that have lots of life left in them but they smell disgusting? Well, I usually throw them in the dishwasher which takes care of the problem but since I only run my dishwasher about once a week here is a better solution from the article:

Disinfecting and Deodorizing Sponges

Don't throw out the kitchen sponge that smells like last night's salmon. Soak it in water spiked with white vinegar or lemon juice, then heat it on high for 1 minute. (Use an oven mitt to remove it.) This will also disinfect any sponges you used to wipe up the juices from a raw chicken.

Here is another use that I am going to try:

Roasting Garlic

It takes 45 minutes to roast garlic in the oven but less than 8 in the microwave. Slice off the top of the head to reveal all the cloves. Place the head in a small, deep dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of good olive oil. Spoon 2 tablespoons of water into the bottom of the dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and cook at medium power for 7 to 7 1/2 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before unwrapping.

To find the other 12 ideas click here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Watch the Puppy Whistle

Yes, I said whistle. On, a website that updates daily with "best internet videos", I found several interesting videos but what I am going to share here all relate to animals. Those of you that know me know that I love animals...particularly dogs. None of these videos run more than three minutes so hope you take some time and enjoy.

Puppy that whistles.

Puppy trying to walk. I want one of these.

Very smart dog. You will be amazed!

Cat in the Box
Maru has many videos on

Cute Kitty I want one of these, too!

Now for the more exotic.

Very Cute Tiger Cub...Very!

A Pet Bear? Can you imagine picking up after him?

Okay...for the most unusual...a Pet Hippo. This is really unbelievable.

Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Birth of a Hummingbird

The colors of hummingbirdImage via Wikipedia

Here is another item that came from an email I received. My sister sent this to me...Thank you, Carol. I can use all the help I can get with subject matter.

The Birth of a Hummingbird. ...

Keep in mind the egg is smaller than a tic tac and a quarter fits the
opening of the nest! This is truly amazing.

Be sure to click on NEXT PAGE at the b ottom of each page; there are 5
pages in all..check the days on the top left of each page!

A lady found a hummingbird nest and got pictures all the way from the egg
to leaving the nest.

It took 24 days from birth to flight. Because you'll probably never in
your lifetime see this again, enjoy; and please share.

Click on the picture and you will see a photo journal of the birth of a Hummingbird. Keep in mind how small these are. At the end of the first series is another link for another series of photos.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Brick Wall

The brick wall (free wallpaper)Image by via Flickr

My goal has been to post on this blog M-F and I have been doing quite well until now. I have hit a brick wall! For three days I have tried to think of something to write with no success. Well, I can think of something to write but it seems to generally either be bad news, a complaint or fringes on one or both of them. And if you remember, I cannot have any of that here.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I have seen good things occur. They just have not been something worth writing about. Or if they were something I wanted to share like a digital collage of exceptionally beautiful photos, I either can't post it here or don't know how to post it here. I think my technology skills need to be further honed. Actually I know there is considerable room for improvement.

So I have created a post today about my current challenge of creating a post. And while doing this I think I have come up with a couple of ideas for future posts. Am I going to delete this one and move on? Absolutely not! Is this posting bad news or a complaint? I don't think so. It is discussing a challenge. And it is not a bad challenge. It is one I look forward to.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Lemon Water is Good for You! Who Knew?

The following is another interesting item I received from cyberspace. I had no idea there were any significant health benefits in lemons. Go figure!

Health Benefits of Lemon Water

Lemon water is rich in several essential nutrients. It is known to have antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-aging, anti-fatigue and anti-inflammatory properties. It boosts immune system, improves digestion and maintains overall health. It can be used to treat various health conditions and prevent infections. Traditional Chinese medicine suggest that you begin your day with refreshing lemon water.

  • Lemon water is the best source of vitamin C and antioxidants. It removes harmful, free radicals from the body and improves immune systems. Lemon water also acts as a blood purifier.
  • Lemon water is used to prevent and treat different infections as well as to control allergies. Due to its antiseptic properties, it is effective in healing wounds. Lemon water is helpful in relieving symptoms of sore throat, tonsillitis or asthma.
  • Lemon water plays an important role in maintaining digestive health. It boosts metabolism and improves functioning of digestive systems and prevents various digestive problems like constipation, indigestion, nausea, heartburn and parasites. It also helps dissolve gallstones.
  • Lemon water is effective in body cleansing and detoxification. It maintains good health by eliminating harmful toxins from the body.
  • Another important benefit of lemon water is that it strengthens liver functioning and stimulates it to produce more enzymes essential for different body processes. A well-functioning liver is the key to a healthy body.
  • Since lemon water has a diuretic effect, it is beneficial for people with urinary tract infections.
  • Lemon water is helpful in treating arthritis and rheumatism.
  • Daily consumption of warm lemon water is one of the effective remedies to get rid of obesity and belly fat.
  • Lemon water is one of the most effective regimens for skin and hair care. Daily consumption of lemon water can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. It rejuvenates the skin and gives a clear, radiant, glowing complexion. Lemon juice is one of the best home remedies for acne control. It can also be used to treat various skin diseases like eczema. Application of lemon juice on the skin is effective in preventing sunburn. If you apply lemon water to your hair for a few minutes and then rinse with water, it will make your hair clean and shiny.
  • Lemon juice externally applied on the nostrils can help stop nosebleeds and when massaged onto the gums control bleeding gums . Lemon juice combined with glycerin is effective to heal chapped lips.

WOW! Think I will give it a try and see what happens. What about you?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Honest! It Really is a Good Thing.

"Ben & Jerry's" "ice cream&quot...Image by osde8info via Flickr

Here on the Internet for all the world to see I am going to admit my need to exercise and to make healthier food choices. I am not going to use the word "diet" because I believe to most of us it means to give up, go without and pain. It is also generally thought of as a temporary situation. It need not be any of those things...nor should it be.

Starting now...not tomorrow...I will be making healthier food choices and I will be starting a moderate exercise program.

I have done the food thing before quite successfully. It was basically a matter of moderation. It did not bother me to not have wine every evening or ice cream daily. These were not forbidden foods just to be enjoyed in reasonable moderation. Last night I had a pint of Ben & Jerry's for dinner. This is a definite no-no...and not an unreasonable one. I will not elaborate on why I fell off the earlier program. I will only say it was indirectly encouraged by another party. I am not placing blame as I had a choice and could have said "no".

Several changes need to be made and the first is for me to make reasonable food choices. Portion control is the second change. Currently my diet exists of primarily carbs. This must change as with carbs (pasta and rice specifically) there seems to be no end to the portion I can consume. When I eat a reasonable portion of a well balanced meal I am completely satisfied and not banging the cupboard doors looking for something to satisfy an often unknown craving.

Also, from past experience I know that when dining out if I start my meal with a salad and then eat half the portion served and take half home I have generally had plenty of food to satisfy me. And half a restaurant portion is generally the suggested portion size for healthy eating. The other bonus is taking half home provides a second meal and makes it a profitable arrangement in all regards.

These two simple changes will make a significant difference in my health, my weight and my wardrobe. Of course, I know I must add exercise to this lifestyle change. For me this will be the most difficult part...but it will be a part of the program.

I know to make too many changes at one time is a program for failure. I also know that with each small step you take the next step is easier. I have a book that I had started to use as a guide before and it really makes good sense. The book is "ChangeOne" by John Hastings. The following is an exerpt from the book.

The Key Principles
  1. Make one change at a time. You can't become a new person overnight - lasting change requires a measured approach.
  2. The secret to weight loss is understanding portion sizes, not math. If you don't want to count calories for the rest of your life, don't diet that way.
  3. All foods are allowed. Let your meals be a source of healthy pleasure and never skimp on flavor or delight.
  4. Eating for a healthy weight is the same as eating for health. Think of ChangeOne as a way of life, and this will be the last time you have to lose weight.
The book devotes a chapter to one change per week. So for the first week I will focus on breakfast, better choices for other meals and daily exercise (no commitment to how much or what type of exercise). To stay on track with better food choices I will plan ahead for the week and prepare some foods ahead so they are easily accessible for those busy days...or lazy days. With planning it will make staying on track much easier and once I have done this for a few weeks it will become a habit and a way of life.

The good thing about this is I will feel better and look better. I will be able to wear more of the clothes hanging in my closet (some with tags).

My goal for July 31st is to lose 8#...a little less than 2# per week. Since this is the beginning of the plan the weight will come off easier so I believe this to be a very reasonable goal. I expect I will revisit this subject during this time period but if not I will definitely do so at the end of July. I am excited about this plan. I am ready for the change and it is a very good thing!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Free Hugs

JuanMann-FreeHugsImage via Wikipedia

Have you heard about the Free Hugs campaign? If not, check out this website. It will give you the background of how it started and video. The video is amazing to watch and I think it will bring a smile to your face even on a bad day.

After watching the video I wondered if I would ever have the courage to hug someone carrying a sign saying "Free Hugs". In Chicago wouldn't most of us thing there is something wrong with this person? Yes, I think so. Too bad as it might be a good experience.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Are you looking for a pet?

Bo Obama has caused quite an interest in Portuguese Water dogs and a stir amongst people that favor shelter dogs. For me I don't think there is a dog I don't like...well, unless it has been damaged by a human. It is unfortunate but true. Humans either destroy them by abuse or inbreeding.

There are many awful stories that could be relayed here but this blog is only about good news and there are many good stories about shelters that take in homeless dogs, people who foster dogs that have special needs and people that adopt one of the many homeless dogs. I admire all these people. Perhaps I admire those who foster dogs the most. I have never understood how people can take a dog in, care for it for months and then give it to someone else to provide a forever home. It would break my heart to give up the dog. It takes a very special person to perform such a good deed.

One woman who consistently works to provide homes for dogs...and other types of Sheri Berliner. Sheri is a photographer who goes to several shelters and photographs the dogs and cats (actually bunnies, too...and are they ever cute!) that are in need of homes. She posts the photographs with a brief story about each animal on a couple of websites, and She also emails the photos and stories to her email base of approximately 4000 pet lovers...of which I am one.

The photo on the right is one that Sheri took of a pit bull puppy. I think most people do not like pit bulls. They have had a bad rap in the press and to be honest they aren't the cutest dog. The pit bulls that create bad press are generally those abused by a human or a victim of inbreeding. People that have and know the breed know it to be a sweet dog and loyal to family members. Well, back to Sheri and her photos. After receiving several of Sheri's photos of pit bulls I realized one day that my attitude toward this breed had changed. Her photos and stories give each animal a personality that touches your heart.

Check out Sheri's website and maybe join her email list. While I can't adopt a pet (Cosette would never permit it.) I do forward the emails when I think someone might have an interest in a particular pet. I don't think I have assisted with any adoptions but who knows what happens when emails get passed on. And if you don't have a pet, perhaps you will find one.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Puttin On the Brakes

1996-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee photographed in USA.Image via Wikipedia

Last week I was at my Jeep dealership in Northfield. The main purpose of the visit was to replace my brakes which I had known needed replacing for a few months.

Some of you might wonder why I travel all the way to Northfield to service my car. Well, I bought my first Jeep there based on the model and color that was available for immediate purchase. My experiences were good. When I was looking for a new car and I decided on another Jeep, it basically came down to the same thing (available color and model) plus service at the dealership. After looking at several dealerships I did not feel I wanted to have an ongoing relationship with the people there. Let me tell you the many things I like about my dealership.

When I have my car serviced I generally wait for it to be completed. Whenever I have had an appointment for service I bring work to keep me occupied while I wait. The customer waiting area is quite nice. There are tables and chairs so it is easy to work. Other amenities are bagels and cream cheese (for the early arrivees), several varieties of coffee, tea, ice cream, juices and popcorn. And of course, they do have magazines and a TV. They make it very comfortable to wait.

So this last visit I was doing some work and waiting for the evaluation and estimate for the repairs (I also had them check a couple of things other than the brakes.) . When the evaluation came I was happily informed that only my front brakes needed to be repaired but two other issues needed to be addressed. The cost for all repairs was less that what I expected. I was very happy!! It was a good day.

The work was completed within the estimated time period including a hand car wash and I was on my way. Now this was a very hot and humid day and I just got on the highway when I realized the mechanics had totaled turned off my air conditioning. No problem. I turned it on only to find it was not working. It would cool the car if I turned the fan up to the very highest and noisiest level. This was not good. I immediately called service to speak with the person who was handling my car. He asked if I could come back but I was on the expressway (a/k/a parking lot) and it would have taken great effort and time to get back there. We arranged for me to return early Saturday morning. (I know. This is bad news which is not allowed on this blog. )

Saturday morning I got up early and made the trek to Northfield arriving when they opened at 8a. My car was taken and I headed for the customer service waiting area. About 2 hours later my service rep approached me and said the fan motor needed to be replaced and there was nothing they had done the day before that would have caused the problem. However, as a one time goodwill gesture they replaced it at no cost to me. And again it was good news!

Oh! I forgot to tell you a couple of other service gestures that were made that first day. When they said it was going to take a couple of hours to repair the car they asked if I would like someone to drive me to the mall. I declined as I had planned to work. When the woman in the waiting area saw me there at about 12:30 she commented that I had been there since morning. Would I like someone to drive me to a restaurant or could she order something for me? Again I declined. Can you think of anything better for lunch than popcorn and ice cream?

This is why I travel to Northfield for my service. And I suppose you would like to know what dealership it is.'s

Fields Jeep, 670 W Frontage Rd, Northfield, IL

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sucha Deal!

One day a friend forwarded an email to me. It was for "sucha deal" and it was called Groupon. In their own words this is who they are:

"Launched in November 2008, Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in a variety of cities across the United States. We have about 25 wonderful people working in our Chicago office ..., along with a smattering of people in Groupon's other cities."

I did not partake of the offer that day but I did sign up for the daily email offer. Most offers I just delete (or forward to friends that might enjoy them) but I have purchased a few. I will briefly explain how this works. Every day Groupon sends an email offer. If you are interested, you purchase the offer. For example; for $10 you can purchase a "Groupon" worth $25 to a participating restaurant. The requirements for each offer differs. For this particular offer 150 must sign on or else the offer is void. If the required number sign on, your account is charged and you receive an email the next day to acquire your Groupon. You just print the Groupon and you are ready to go. Each Groupon will have the expiration date and special instructions like Dine in only, Can't redeem on Tuesdays, etc.

Check out their website for more information. Then try it. You'll like it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Video...can I do it?

Remember the real purpose of this blog is to learn the intricacies of blogging. So I am always looking for a new feature to learn.

I just watched a video on the company's website that toured an architect's contemporary home. I was able to send it to a friend via email and now I wonder if I can add it to a blog. I hope there are no copyright issues here. I have nothing to gain but experience so here it goes. A video of a home on Cleveland Street. See it here...I hope.

How cool is that? I think I'm getting it. Now if they would quit speaking those geek words (or if they must speak them, please link to the definition written in simple language), things would be so much easier.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Recently two friends have told me that they eat Cheerios for breakfast every day. This really surprised me as I have not eaten Cheerios in years...many, many years. So while at the groc ery store this week I noticed Cheerios were on sale so I thought... let's give it a try.

So I did just that...had a big bowl of Cheerios. Well, for some reason whenever I think of Cheerios I always think you have to eat them fast or they get mushy. So I did just that ...ate them fast without putting the spoon down. And I finished none too soon I might add. They were on their way to mushy.

Cheerios do taste as I remember them...good but not great. To my amazement while looking for the graphic I found that there are ten different flavors of Cheerios. They have come a long way since I ate them last. The latest flavor is Banana Nut. Check here if you are interested in the complete list.

My cold cereal preference is Nature's Path Optimum Blueberry Cinnamon...YUM! A delicious combo of crunchy strands and flakes loaded with flax, soy and blueberries. I sounds way too healthy but it is really good and it doesn't get mushy. It is organic and found at most major grocery stores. For more information on my favorite and to hear about the four other Optimum flavors, click here. At the grocery store look for this box. And if you try it, let me know how you like it.

Since writing the original draft of this posting I have come up with a good use for Cheerios...snack food...dry. When you have a craving for something crunchy substitute Cheerios for popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, etc. Much healthier for you, solves the crunch craving and the mushy matter.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My D-O-G

Today I am writing a simple post. It is about Cosette, my dear companion. Yes, she is a d-o-g...but she doesn't know it. She doesn't really like those four legged animals. Actually, she doesn't pay any attention to any animals. She walks right past the ducks and geese at North Pond and she could care less about squirrels. She does have one d-o-g trait...sniffing. Yes, she likes her nose to the ground.

I tried "socializing" her. We had a few play dates with other toy poodles. They liked her but she didn't like them. She would come to me wanting me to rescue her. No such luck. I believed she needed to learn to play. Well, the other dogs would continue to try to get her to play and finally she would have enough and turn around and snarl at them. Well, that was the end. They had no more interest in her. Of course, then she was interested in them...only until they resumed interest in her. Go figure!

When we are out walking sometimes and she is distracted and when I see a big dog I might say, "Cosette, big puppy!". She will stop what she is doing and do a 360 to find the dog. When she sees it she scurries over by me and is ready to move on...or be picked up. Yes, she can be a wimp.

One night (some time ago) it was late and I was working on the computer. I had the dog show on TV and Cosette was sleeping on the couch. I was working diligently when I heard a little grrrrr. Pretty soon up she was standing on her hind legs in front of the TV barking at the dogs in the show. After that every time she saw a dog on TV she would do that. I started telling her no so she doesn't do it anymore...well, seldom does it anymore. That behavior has given me many smiles.

I could go on and on with little stories about how she brightens my day but I am probably boring you now. The bottom line is she makes me happy. I don't know how anyone can live without a d-o-g. They are such loyal loving companions.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

All Is Well

Today while sitting at my computer I heard several sirens. This is not terribly unusual. However, today they sounded very close and also sounded like they were stopping in front of my building. Upon walking to the window I witnessed five fire trucks, a fire chief's car and a police car definitely in front of my building. In the five years I have lived here this is the third time I have experienced this.

The first time was because someone had a small kitchen fire, panicked and called the fire department. The fire was out before the fire department got here. Of course, I did not know that and decided to take Cosette and walk down the stairs. (Happy I live on the 12th floor not the 35th.) Had a nice visit with a few neighbors and took Cosette for an extra walk. All was well.

The second episode I decided to wait in my apartment and see what transpired. Within a short time my phone rang and there was a general message from the property manager explaining that smoke had been smelled in the hallway and it was due to a small electrical fire in one of the elevators. Things were under control. The elevator was shut down and service was here to make repairs/replacements. Two other elevators were in fine order so all was well.

Today I received the building message via phone call to say once again there was a smell of smoke which was from an electrical wire in an elevator. The fire department was called as a precautionary measure and they were checking everything. The fire department is gone. All is well.

On October 17, 2003 six people died in a fire in the Cook County Administrative Building. As a result of that fire the city has put in place a high-rise life-safety program. For a summary of that program click here. Last I heard high-rise buildings were to be in compliance with this program by 2012. I know there has been much discussion about these requirements due to the cost of compliance. Unfortunately, I do not know if there has been an extension of time or a change in the compliance requirements. The summary was taken from the City of Chicago website so should be current (please note I said "should be"). If you have more information on this issue, please let me know.

Meanwhile here at home "All is Well".

Friday, June 12, 2009

Small Bug, Big Bite

This post is another copout. I received this information in an email and since one never knows when you might need it I decided to share. So please read on...

Spring will be here soon (actually it is supposed to be here but with this weather that is questionable) and the ticks will soon be showing their heads. Here is a good way to get them off you, your children, or your pets. Give it a try.

A School Nurse has written the info below -- good enough to share -- And it really works!!

I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great, because it works in those places where it's some times difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20), the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that was frequently), and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.

Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can't see that this would be damaging in any way. I even had my doctor's wife call me for advice because she had one stuck to her back and she couldn't reach it with tweezers. She used this method and immediately called me back to say, "It worked!"

Hope you never need to try it.