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Jeff Corder or "Quarter" (nicknamed because of his sound-alike last name) is a Chicagoland food, improv, and live music fan who's always out wherever there's great pizza, plenty of laughs, and a good (or bad) band playing. Corder "grew-up" (…questionable) 28 Metra stops from Michigan & Randolph in the Southside paradise known as Blue Island. He graduated Dwight D. Eisenhower HS as "Most Likely To Be Unlikely" and attended Illinois State University…before they asked him to "please leave." When not on the air, Jeff can be found volunteering for local charities, playing with his Mom's parrots, or learning the art of power-napping.
When I was a little girl in Little Rock, Arkansas I used to stay up late with my favorite Christmas present - a transistor radio. I would tune in WLS AM, broadcasting from the exciting big city of Chicago, and when I heard Yvonne Daniels on the air I thought “YES! THAT’S what I want to do”. Dreams do come true because years later I ended up hosting the same show on WNUA that Yvonne Daniels hosted at one time. After college and some time touring with a band, playing keyboards and singing, I landed my first radio job in Little Rock. I then moved on to stations in Detroit and Chicago before doing mornings on WNUA. First solo then partnering with Jazz Great Ramsey Lewis. I joined Lite FM three years ago.
I live in the Northwest Suburbs with my hubby (the most patient man in the world) and my two sons. They’re used to Mom’s early morning hours and indulge my cooking obsession. They’ll try anything…once! Partially by necessity, I love to run. I’m not too speedy but better at endurance. This year will be my third Chicago Marathon. I do yoga to de-stress and tennis just to make my friends feel good about winning. I live for Family, Friends, Food and Music (maybe in that order). I love live music especially outside in the summer - From the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra to Ravinia to catching my friends’ bands playing in the local clubs. Looking at my Facebook page it seems like all I do is post about live shows and restaurants!
I really do feel like I am the luckiest person in the world to be able to do what I love – helping people wake up and get going in the best city in the world. Yes Karen… Life is Good!
photo credit: flickr
Ben’s Christmas Tree Farm
7719 Ryan Road, Harvard, (630) 279-0216, benstreefarm.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 16
Price: $6 to $8 per foot
The 55-acre organic farm offers nine varieties of evergreens including balsam fir, Norway spruce and Scotch pine. The farm offers free horse-drawn wagon and tractor rides and hot chocolate and coffee to help you warm up after cutting down your tree. Kids can meet farm animals and Santa Claus. Wreaths, Christmas decorations and cider doughnuts available.
Honeybee Acres Christmas Tree Farm
41W072 Bowes Road, Elgin, (847) 464-9627, honeybeeacreschristmastreefarm.net
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Dec. 9
Customers have been coming to Honeybee every year since the farm began selling Christmas trees in 1990. After cutting down a tree, have a photo taken with it in Santa’s sleigh. There is free cider available with the purchase of a tree. There’s also pancakes, bacon, chili, fresh-baked cookies and 13 types of hot chocolate available at the Reindeer Café, which opened last year. Workers will even tie the tree to your car so you don’t have to.
Ide Christmas Tree Farm
1500 83rd St., Downers Grove, (630) 743-4032, idechristmastrees.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23
The Ide family has been selling Christmas trees for more than 55 years, offering a choice of 45,000 spruce and pine trees — up to 15 feet tall — on 35 acres of land.
Marmion Abbey Farms
850 Butterfield Road, Aurora, (630) 936-0034, abbeyfarms.com
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Dec. 23
Run by the monks of Marmion Abbey, the nonprofit farm offers 120 acres of trees. Visitors get free hot chocolate and a sled to use on the farm. You can also check out their store, which carries jams, gifts, wreaths and garland, plus doughnuts on the weekends.
Nature’s Best Christmas Trees
13001 Illinois Highway 76, Poplar Grove, (815) 765-2960, naturesbesttrees.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Dec. 16
Price: $8 to $10 per foot
The 15-acre farm has been selling Christmas trees for 21 years, offering eight types including Fraser fir, black hills spruce and white pine. The farm keeps dozens of beehives, and you can sample honey along with gingerbread cookies. Homemade honey is also for sale.
Oney’s Tree Farm
16608 U.S. Highway 14, Woodstock, (855) 804-3702, oneystreefarm.net
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Friday, Dec. 14
You can pick out the perfect tree during a horse-drawn wagon ride through the farm’s 75 acres. After riding back, kids can take a pony ride. There’s also a shop with ornaments, tree toppers, wreaths, hot cinnamon rolls and apple cider doughnuts. Mrs. Claus visits and tells stories from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
Pioneer Tree Farm
4614 Pioneer Road, McHenry, (815) 385-8512, pioneertreefarm.com
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 2 and 9; and Saturday, Dec. 8
Open since 1973, Pioneer Tree Farm grows pines, junipers, firs and spruces. There are free wagon rides to and from the trees and visitors can warm up with hot chocolate and coffee while browsing handcrafted gifts in the warming house. Most of the workers at Pioneer Tree Farm are volunteers from Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, and 10 percent of the farm’s profits go to the environmental advocacy group.
9407 Richardson Road, Spring Grove, (815) 675-9729, richardsonadventurefarm.com
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, Dec. 23
Richardson Farm offers more than 50,000 trees in nine varieties on 75 acres, along with a selection of Christmas wreaths. There are free wagon rides out to the trees on weekends. Fudge, kettle corn and doughnuts are made on-site. There is also free hot chocolate and coffee.
Ziegler Christmas Tree Farm
42W109 McDonald Road, Elgin, (847) 464-5776, zieglerchristmastreefarm.com
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 8
Open since 1992, Ziegler Christmas Tree Farm sells hand-trimmed trees along with wreaths and garlands. Visitors are welcome to bring their dog along or meet adoptable dogs from Chicagoland Dog Rescue. There is also cider, hot chocolate, and cat and dog treats available for purchase. Proceeds from the treats benefit the organization. The group has been coming out to the farm during tree season for the last five years.