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

Sunday, May 28, 2017


October 26, 1981-October 15, 2014

"Casey Owens was critically injured and lost his legs when his Humvee hit an anti-tank mine. He committed suicide in 2014 after a decade of suffering from numerous surgeries, brain injury and severe pain."

To read more and see a picture of Casey with his dog see: http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/164251

Thursday, May 25, 2017


 Join Jack Black, Julia Roberts, Ben Stiller and others to raise money to help some of the poorest children around the world by contributing for issues of safety, health and education. Yup, it feels really great to be right there with the stars! You Betcha. I bought multiple red noses and planted spring flowers on the same day.  Some of the charities included in the Red Nose Day Charities are Feeding America, member Food Banks, Save the Children ...

Monday, May 22, 2017


Did you know that Dolly Parton will  send your child a free book a month to anywhere in the world. Her great  organization is also supported by the United Way. Parents sign up for their child by going to the address listed below. For more information see: http://usa.imaginationlibrary.com/ and Below: check out some of Dolly's readers the world over

Friday, May 19, 2017


My Mom never swore in front of me--ever.. Her house was so clean you could eat off the floors. But at one point in my life I was having problems with a superior; she sent me a note that said:
                              "DON'T LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN!
I'm sure that's my favorite.

Please write a short blurb about your mother and your Mom's favorite quote to you in the Comment Section Below. I can't wait to read them.  Judie     😎😎😎

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


"The public library is one of the best institutions on earth....there are so few places where we are all equal..." -John Green, 5.3.17

John Green is the #1 New York Times bestselling author. His books include YA favorite, The Fault in Our Stars, which was made into a movie. The trailer made people cry. Other bookS include Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines. Green is half the vlogbrothers on YouTube and co-creator of educational series Crash Course.                                                             

                                                 Photo from en.wikipedia.org

Sunday, May 14, 2017


This is my mother. She looked like this when I was about 15
days old. She was a wonderful mother and I miss her so 
much.  Happy Mother's Day to all the great mother's out there!

Monday, May 8, 2017


I'm so glad that my husband and I worked on reading skills with my daughter in a fun, relaxed way before she got into kindergarten. The most important thing she learned before the public schools tried to beat it out of her, was to love words, stories and books. I was glad that my family, all teachers going back three generations, knew how to make learning fun.

In our area's kindergarten classes, I spent a lot of time fighting against the system used to teach reading by the public schools. Everyone who loves to read knows that keeping reading and words fun is the most important thing. My daughter's kindergarten teacher, according to her required curriculum no doubt, wanted my daughter to memorize 150 site words, we told her she would memorize those words and learn to read when she was ready. I can't think of any more negative educational style than to have five-year-olds memorize such boring words as: "the, a, an, that, and, of..."when there are so many fun ways to engage children in the love of words and reading. We used BOB BOOKS, but they seem to have added things now that we would never have used. Skip all his Sight Words, Alphabet books that cater to the public schools and go directly to the stories. They were simple and hilarious. 

Words that can be boring if they are only memorized ( flashcards or rote memory) can be done more positively through play. This helps little learners understand and enjoy language. With words as small as, "in and out," let the learners feel and experience them through fun physical activities--jump in and out of a box, a baby pool or a sandbox etc.and increase the fun by adding a song.: Singing "Go In and Out the Window" doesn't have to mean that the learner has to go in and out of a window, unless you want to build one by cutting a hole in a cardboard castle for example. They will love it if you jump in and out with them, not exactly at the same time though. Don't explain or lecture, just do it. 

There are words and subjects that thrill kids. This makes these subjects and words easy and interesting, almost natural to learn. Children who love to read throughout their life, learn first to love language. Rather than memorizing, children easily become enthralled with words that excite them and subjects that thrill them. Words like Tyrannosaurus Rex, peacock, dinosaur, paleontologist, King Tutankhamen, centipede, pyramid, meerkat, penguin, which are fun to roll around in their mouths, and also come from subjects that make them curious to learn..

Taking your child to museums,like the natural history museums with their giant dinosaur skeletons and children's museums which allow wonder explorations. All museum visits help increase vocabulary and thus, without any pedantry, foster important skills needed to read. Interacting with a teacher, parent, sibling or other relative about the things they see in museums and in the world around them, helps them far more than memorizing the word "which". For very young children I recommend arboretums, botanical gardens, green houses, aquariums, zoos, walks in the woods and children's museums. Try to determine whether or not giant automated dinosaurs at the zoo will scare them and skip those parts.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Since my husband teaches at Kent State University, I can't let the shootings of four students and injuries of nine others during a protest of the Vietnam War in 1970 pass without encouraging remembrance. More complete information with personal memories are available at: www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/05/04/may_4_1970_the_kent_state_university_shootings_told_through_pictures_photos.html.

Photo by Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons 

But I also have take note of one of the most popular movie phenomenons in history. This May 4th Star Wars Day is the 40th celebration of Star Wars.  May the 4th Be With You takes off today.as 'Star Wars" fans worldwide dress up as Jedi knights, Galactic Empire storm troopers and other characters from the sci-fi series. I'd like to see someone dress up like Jabba the Hutt. Maybe a combination of a weird frog and a seal?

PS. Did you know that Harrison Ford was hired by George Lucas as a carpenter to repair his kitchen. Lucas thought Ford was such a hunk that he made him read lines for Star Wars. And the rest it history!

Monday, May 1, 2017


May 1 is May Day. I had an aunt who taught first grade and every year her kids danced around the May Pole having a great time like the kids in this picture below. On the weekend before May Day she would bring me and all my neighborhood friends to dance around it too. The idea was to braid the ribbons down the pole as we sang "Go In and Out the Window" weaving up and down like Merry-Go-Round horses. Younger kids usually just run around the pole and sing.

The May Pole is an ancient holiday celebrating of Spring. In the late 19th century, it became a celebration for International Worker's Day. Over the years, I've noticed it seems to have faded in rhe United States, which is sad as you can see from the kids enjoying themselves here.  When my daughter was born, I started setting up a May Pole in the front yard.

Here's what I used:
1. A tall round 4-6 inch PVC Pipe.
2. A 12-14 inch plastic embroidery hoop
3. Silk flowers to attach around the hoop (I used hydrangeas)
4. Wide brightly colored ribbon. Be sure to get it long enough because each streamer will probably be     between 16 and 20 feet long.
5. Floral wire or tape
6. If you want to leave your May Pole up for a Spring Decoration, get enough baskets of impatiens to     set at the end of each streamer to hold the streamer beautifully to the ground.
7. An 8-13 inch stick or small PVC pipe with a ball covered with silk flowers attached at one end
8. Wide tape.

What to Do:
1. Wrap your hoop in ribbon and then cover it with your choice of silk or fresh flowers (see below)
     using floral wire and/or floral tape to attach the flowers tightly.
2. Put ribbon over any tape or wire that shows.                        
3.Weave ribbon over the top to create a loose ribbon basket. Set aside and place long pole sturdily in       the ground.
4..Tape a one end of a streamer over the top opening of the pole. Pull the streamer out diagonally to
    the ground to make long streamers (see examples of lengths below).
5. Cut as many different colored ribbon streams as you choose using the pattern you just created in
    Step 4.
6. Tie streamer evenly around your flowered crown.
7. Have someone really tall, like LeBron James, place the flowered crown on top of the May Pole  
    and drop the short stick with flowered ball on top to weigh the crown in place. You may need to  
    glue the crown in place, if the flowered weight doesn't hold it.
8. If you want to, pull each streamer out diagonally and weight it down with a basket of  impatiens,  
    but you'll have to take them off for the kids to play. HAVE FUN!  HAPPY MAY DAY!

image from http://www.visitcumbria.com/evnp/langwathby/