Written and images on this blog are Judie Ryan's sole property unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Having had a daughter break out in hives from various chemical pesticides and weed killers, I'm always looking for safe weed killers. Here's a recipe from You Tube that my friend sent me. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll let you know how it works after the rain stops long enough for me to try it.

The recipe is: 1 gallon white vinegar (apple vinegar attracts bugs)
                       2 cups Epsom salt (regular salt doesn't work very well, I've tried it.)
                       1/4 cup Blue Dawn dish liquid

This is the You Tube address:

This video does show he mowed the weeds on the path down before he killed them and I've found getting the weed down first is an important park of success. So us your Weed eater, clippers or hands to get those buggers down short before you spray them.

Friday, April 28, 2017


My dog threw up the first time he got groomed.. But look at him now! Click twice to see him.
Don't forget to click the speaker to make sure you hear the music. What a laugh!

Monday, April 24, 2017


This is a great opportunity to learn from Eden Kozlowski, a mindfulness specialist and regular contributor to the Huffington Post. It will unfortunately not be recorded for you to listen to this time, if you are not in Ohio. Maybe you can lobby Mary Lynne Zahler, Wellness Manager, Akron Children's Hospital for it to be recorded or presented online later.  Or, maybe you'll think it's worth it to come all this way.  If you can't come,  contact Eden at her email below and see what else she has to offer.  Judie Ryan

Mindfulness/Meditation for Miscarriage and Healing
A five-week employee health education class open to all women.

This five-week series is for women who have been challenged with a miscarriage or multiple miscarriages and would like an opportunity to heal using the practices of meditation and mindfulness. It is also a chance to find community/sisterhood and feel that you aren't alone in what has been deemed as an "invisible loss" as this is something that typically is not discussed. Note that this class is open to anyone with this experience... whether it just happened or occurred many years ago. Class size limited to 15. NOTE – Discussion is a necessary part of this series. Participants are encouraged to come with an openness and willingness to talk about personal topics. Also, for optimal success, it is recommended that all classes are attended in full.

Fridays, Noon-1:15 pm, from April 28 – May 26, 2017
in the Family Resource Center, (on the third floor near the Chapel), Akron Campus

Cost is $90 per person.
Register online here. Or go to JustBeMeditation.com and see tab “workshop/events.”
You can pay online or pay your first day of class. Checks payable to Just Be, LLC.

Presented by Eden Kozlowski, Founder/CEO of Just Be, LLC ~ A Meditation, Mindfulness & Modern Wellbeing Company
eden@justbemeditation.com or at 330-958-3853.
The class size is limited to 15 so pre-register today.
Note: This program will not be recorded for later viewing. Please do not miss the first class.

About our presenter: Eden Kozlowski

Eden’s passion is teaching kids, families, corporations and individuals the awesome power of mindfulness and meditation. While working as an advertising VP in Atlanta, GA, she started her journey in 2000 under the amazing guidance of her first meditation teacher, Dr. Neala Peake, a former clinical psychologist and speaker/author. An avid practitioner now for over 17 years, Eden utilizes her company, Just Be (since 2007) to lead speaking engagements, and to teach classes/retreats/private sessions for all ages/backgrounds. She also does specific mindfulness/meditation work focused on topics ranging from grief relief, chronic pain, depression/anxiety to mindful aging. Her classes are described as unique, dynamic and uplifting. She is also a regular contributor since 2013 to The Huffington Post.
She currently lives in Uniontown, OH with her husband, two kids, a cat and a dog.*She went through a major health challenge in 2016 from being diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer to having instead a rare infectious disease, complete with two brain surgeries and to almost dying twice. She uses this to talk about how meditation and mindfulness are so important in her healing and life. She has also has personally experienced a miscarriage.

Thank you,
Mary Lynne Zahler, MA, MCHES®, CWP, LSW, CCLS, CFLE
Wellness Manager

Main Building, Sixth Floor, Room 6316
Human Resources Department
One Perkins Square
Akron, OH 44308
Phone: 330-543-4708

Saturday, April 22, 2017


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It never occurred to me that treating weeds in my yard or having my neighbors do it might cause an allergic reaction n my daughter. So after she had one (hives all over), I never used another pesticide or herbicide on our property (Unfortunately I couldn't get my other neighbors to do the same thing. For the last twenty years, my yard has been covered in dandelions and my husband has nightmares every year that the neighbors are going to murder him in his sleep. Everything's good? Nope. My next door neighbor killed his grass so that he could start over and have a more perfect lawn. I don't know what he used. We closed up the house. My daughter soon broke out in huge hives again. When I called our pediatrician, the nurse said, "It comes in through the vents." We had to take our daughter to the hospital.

"Of the 40 pesticides most commonly used in schools, 28 are probable or possible carcinogens, 26 have been shown to cause reproductive effects, 26 damage the nervous system, and 13 can cause birth defects." Pesticides Action Network.North America

To read more see their web address.  http://www.panna.org/resources/schools-playgrounds


Worms play a major role in breaking down plant matter and creating fertile soil. Earthworms eat fallen leaves and other plant parts. Their droppings, or “castings,” fertilize the soil. As they tunnel into the earth, they move leaves and other organic material downward, and bring deeper soil to the surface. This tunneling and mixing aerates the soil so that plant roots and water penetrate it more easily. Observe wonderful worm activity yourself by building a worm column! Never Underestimate the Power of a Worm!

• Two 2 liter bottles
• One large paper bag or sheet of brown paper for a screen
• 15-30 red composting worms. These can be ordered from a variety of sites online.
• Shredded newspaper (cut 8 –10 pages into thin strips, cut strips in half)
• Worm food: organic leftovers from your kitchen, garden or yard (plant material, egg shells, coffee grounds).
• Water

How to Make It::
1. Remove the label from your two-liter bottle and cut the top off about 10 cm below the top. If your bottle has a base, cut the sides off for better viewing.
2. Ask your parents to help you poke at least four holes with a large hot nail. Poke low around the base of the bottle. Poke a row of air holes toward the top of the container using a smaller nail.
3. Cut the brown paper bag so it encircles the bottle and extends about 4 centimeters higher. Tape the paper around the column but leave it loose so you can easily pull it up. Worms prefer the dark, so leave the screen on the bottle unless you plan to observe the worms. Cut the bottom off the second two-liter bottle and use as a top to your worm column.
4. Fill the worm column (two-liter bottle) two-thirds full with shredded newspaper bedding. Add about a cup of water to the newspaper then fluff it until the paper strips are well separated. Make sure bedding is moist, but not saturated with water! Place worms on top of bedding. Add organic food, such as kitchen waste and leaves, to the column every 3 to 4 days. Worms feed by sucking or pumping material into their bodies, so the food should be moist and cut into small pieces. After several months, you’ll have a rich compost product that you can use in your garden.

Ask your family to consider making a “worm condo” out of a five-gallon bucket, which can support a larger worm colony and can compost all of your family’s organic kitchen wastes! SOURCE: OSU
If you have young children give them some gummy worms to explore or make a Dirt Cup in a clear plastic short glass. Plop in chocolate pudding, ground chocolate cookies or graham crackers and gummy worms for lunch. YUM!

Go to: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/47/facts/activitybook.pdf  

856375-04-21-Tinkergarten_0.jpg (900×660)TO o see more fun stuff about the environment: See these activities from the OHIO EPA

Saturday, April 15, 2017


I've had many a wonderful Easter with Greek friends. One thing that kids of all ages and ethnicities seem to love is the game of egg bopping, although we used eggs of all colors. If you look online you'll see a lot of red eggs, which I'm guessing represents the blood of Christ. My friends never did it that way. So do things the way you want to. This picture shows how it's done. One person bops another person egg to begin.

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Here's How to Play:
1. Well before hand, hard boil eggs thoroughly, cool completely and refrigerate until you're ready to die you eggs.
2. Die your eggs.
3. With enough eggs brightly colored for each guest and a few extra, set them out on a plate or put them in an Easter basket in the refrigerator until you are ready to play.
4. Everyone, even the youngest (who might need some assistance) and the very oldest choose one egg.
5. Two people begin. One guest is the bopper and the other holds one end of their egg ready to be bopped (the boppee).
6.  If the boopee's egg doesn't break, that guest gets to turn around and bop the egg of the guest who tried to bop them.
7. Anotherwords, whoever's egg doesn't break bops the next boppee.
8. This continues between the two original players until one player has both ends of their egg broken. They are now out.
9. Of the original players, the guest with one end remaining goes on to the next boppee. This continues around the room until only one person has one end of their egg remaining unbroken. They win and you'll probably make lots of eggs salad the next day.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


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Most parents have had tears at one Easter egg hunt or another, especially with small children, big boys or teens too rough with each other to make sure they get the most eggs and candy. Or for teens, probably money. One way to solve this problem is to make sure each child gets the same number of eggs and the same amount of sweets and $$$$$$. But how you ask? Assign each child one color or pattern (that way the kids can get different colored eggs, but still get a  pattern to hunt, like the daisy and dot pattern above, that will be exclusively theirs. Before the hunt make sure you have an exact number of eggs in each color or design for each child with the exact same treats and prizes inside the eggs for each child. VOILA! Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Celebrate National Library Week

Celebrate National Library Week April 9-15, 2017

Follow along during
National Library Week

Soccer great Julie Foudy to serve as National Library Week Honorary Chair

Julie FoudyJulie Foudy is a retired professional soccer player, two-time World Cup champion, and a medalist in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics. She was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007. She is currently a reporter and analyst for ABC/ESPN, contributor and writer for espnW, and motivational speaker.
Foudy is the director and founder of the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, a unique residential camp experience that uses sports as a vehicle to teach leadership skills for life. She also founded the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation, which has a mission of building on a foundation of sports and fitness to empower young women from all socioeconomic backgrounds to become leaders who positively impact their communities.
Foudy also will add author to her credits with the release of her first book, “Choose to Matter,” to be published by Disney Publishing Worldwide in the spring of 2017.

"Libraries Transform" is the theme for National Library Week in 2017.

Have you visited your library lately?

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Oops! Not that kind of Peep Show! Our library has a peep contest each year. Everyone's invited--from kids to grown-ups! Here's two of the winners for 2017. Photos by People's Choice Award Winner, Craig Erskine.
       This Literary Picnic won THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD! Check out these book titles!                    
       Can you believe someone knitted all those Pussy Hats for the PEEPLES MARCH ON WASHINGTON?  How do you like President Trump in the left-hand corner? I didn't even know they made orange peeps? Read the signs!

Friday, April 7, 2017


Once, our family had a nest baby birds on a screened-in back porch. The baby birds didn't seem to be able to figure out how to fly.  To help, we propped opened the screened-in-porch door, so that the babies could more easily fly into the yard. That didn't work. They still couldn't figure out how to fly out of the porch. We called the ornithologist at the zoo to find out if we should hang sheets over the screen to help the babies find the door. He said: "Give them a chance. Wouldn't you think it was pretty weird if you flapped your arms and found out you could fly?"

That's what some kids feel about learning to use the potty. The baby bird knows it has wings, but it doesn't know what it can do with them. Kids know they go potty, but they don't know they can control how they go potty. As parents, we need to give our kids a chance and be patient.

The fact that as a parent we really want our child to concentrate on learning to use the potty sometimes causes us to overlook the obvious. We get all stressed out about it and forget that the first thing a child needs is to feel that using their special potty is a safe thing. So creating a safe and comfortable potty environment is very important. We kept favorite books in a pile next to the potty to make it have a warm feeling. Let your learner bring their friends--favorite dolls, lovies, toys--with them to the potty just to make them feel safe and comfortable. As each child learns to speak or walk at their own speed, so will each child learn to potty best at their own rate. Pressuring them is not going to make them learn to use the potty faster.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


To continue, I came up with a learning/reward system. 

We made an ocean. Here's how:

1. Purchase one fairly large, low sided plastic container with lid for storage.
2. Purchase a package of plastic ocean creatures (mine had names stamped on the bottom     of each one)
3. Collect small shells, tiny rocks, plastic boats, pieces of wood that looked like driftwood, small plastic plants that could pass for seaweed.

Now that you have your collection ready. Every time your child poops in the potty, give them something new for their ocean. PLUS they learn the names of different sea creatures and other things that are in the ocean. 

Julia often played with "Her Ocean" in the kitchen, her bedroom etc., but she especially loved taking her ocean into the bathtub with her for bath time.

Depending on your child, you might want to do bugs or jungle animals etc., but if you use something different, you probably won't be able to have a bathtub ocean.

A few other suggestions: 

1. A book and DVD set: ONCE UPON A POTTY by Alona Frankel (one book especially for girls and a different book especially for boys. Julia particularly loved this book because it was so direct her father was horrified every time he read or  watched it. Can you believe the blood ran out of his face.

2. Book: EVERYBODY POOPS by Taro Gomi
Even I wasn't particularly fond of this book, but it lets kids know that pooping is a normal part of life. Or, basically, It's okay to poop. Everybody does. Julia thought this book was funny, but her favorite was Once Upon A Potty.

Today, as Julia grows up,  she tells me there are potties that have sound and light shows in a celebratory display every time the potty feels any weight in the bottom. And come to think of it, I'm sure we jumped up and down and clapped at every potty success. Anyway, I recommend that if you don't want to have a toddler that poops in your closet or somewhere else every time they have to poop, that you try that fancy new potty Julia told me about.