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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Crazy Halloween in our neighborhood 2017



 You can't get by this one without it turning to look at you and moving your way.

 These ghosts are so ephemeral they're almost real!

 I'm going to get you! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

The real thing. Thank you Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


     As Mittens continues to improve, we've had his drain removed. A week later his staples out. But he still has to stay in his cage and he wants out. He squawks at me all day long either for food or trying to get out. Unfortunately, he is a very verbal car. He has lots of different ways to say what he wants. A long time ago he learned to say "Mama." Needless to say he says that a lot to make me feel guilty. I'm beginning to feel former child star, Baby Jane (Betty Davis) in the 1962 psychological thriller and horror movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?  Jane's paralyzed sister, Blanche (Joan Crawford), desperately tries to get food from Jane, who is starving Blanche, by ringing her bedside bell constantly. I am Blanche and Mittens is the bedside bell. Meow! Meow! Mama! Mama! Meow!  Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow!  Meow! Mama! Mama!
                       Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? is really creepy. Check it out.
Crazy Jane, at this point in the movie fully insane, drags starving Blanche to the beach in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?   \
Thanks to Michael Thomas Angelo and his flickr account

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sick Cat Getting Better Part 2 with Picture

This is Mittens before he was injured, but in a cranky state. My daughter has hidden all the wonderful pictures of him because "He's my cat. When I leave, I'm taking him with me."  In spite of how he looks here, he was always the sweetest, kindest cat--perfect for a child. She dressed him up, carried him around like a sack of sand, forced him to sleep with her and a new cat, when they refused to get along. She put them both in an arm clench and made them sleep so close together all night, so that neither one of them could move. The next day they were friends and have been ever since.

          Mittens has been locked in a large dog cage with a soft blanket under a brand new clean cat bed, so he wouldn't get any germs in his incision. He had his own cat box, cleaned twice a day, when he was finally able to start using it. He had fresh water every 12 hours. His long incision was closed with huge staples. They looked very painful. He had a blood filled bag to hold the drainage from his incision. Now I'm not a nurse and none of us are fans of blood, but I drained the bag 3-4 times a day and recorded how much drainage he had in the bag. Eventually he started eating, lots of small portion a day, iced his incision 3-4 time a day. He turned over just like a baby puppy to show his tummy and lay there perfectly happy getting his ears scatched for 20 minutes at a time.

Friday, October 6, 2017


 So, I've been telling you all about poison ivy and oak, I look out my window and there's a red and orange vine climbing up a tree in the backyard. I walk out thinking it's going to be poison ivy, but no, it's got leaves of five. It's Virginia Creeper, which is an invasive species like kudzu. It is gorgeous, but it takes over as shown on the house below. Sometimes it's called a wall--a Virginia Creeper wall. Like Kudzu it will kill every plant it climbs. When it's Fall it is a gorgeous red, but most of the time it is green. Some people that might be allergic to it, might get irritated skin, but it's not as bad as poison ivy or oak. However, the plant does get blue berries, that might make kids and pets want to eat it. The bad part about the berries is that they are toxic to humans and animals. I guess the lady in the house below never had kids or pets.
The house looks so gorgeous covered in red Virginia Creeper, it almost makes you want to plant it. It looks like its covered in red Poinsetta.
This is what green Virginia Creeper looks like. Note it's creeping on a vine. And obviously the leaves look a lot like other plants. Huh?
These are the Virginia Creeper berries that are poisonous to humans and animals.

This Boston Ivy also turns red in the fall and makes a red wall. It has leaves of three, very similar to poison ivy. You might want to compare the leaves.Boston Ivy is just as invasive as Virginia Creeper and Kudzu. Its leaves are not likely to be poisonous, but as with most ivy, its berries are toxic to humans and animals. To discover other ordinary plants that might be toxic to your domestic pets, see doghealth.com with a section Poisonous Plants for Dogs.

It's hard to see that this Virginia Creeper has five leaves in each single"leaf" in a Virginia Creeper Wall. The wall is so thick with leaves that you can barely separate one from another. In reality the red is as red as that on the Boston Ivy wall above. But these two photos give you chance to compare the two plants.

Monday, October 2, 2017


I'd like to let my viewers know why I missed some posts with larger gaps between them. Last night we couldn't find our grey tabby with white paws, aptly named Mittens by my daughter. After five hours of looking for him and him not showing for dinner or treats, we found him lying in the cat box.  He looked happy and alert, but wouldn't come out by himself. We lifted him out gave him a cuddle and put him down. He raced off and hid in another remote place. It turns out he had tear in his abdominal wall, like a huge hernia, with his intestines and other organs pushing through it. Nothing showed on the outside. We think our animals are part of the family, so we had his problem corrected surgically. As of this afternoon, the doctor says he has the best possible outcome. We are very happy. He is one of the sweetest cats ever. Sometimes life happens.


A common and important memory reminder is "Leaves of three. Poison be." Teach your child to recognize those leaves of three as young as you possibly can. The leaves are sharp and pointy

Thank wikimedia commonss for
all the photos shown here.

Here's how the leaves of three look in the woods or your back garden
Shiny. Pretty. Notice that there are different kinds of poison ivy.

In addition to the gorgeous vivid red fall color in my first post about poison ivy. It also comes in luscious orange and fabulous yellow this fall.

And don't think just because you can't see leaves that you can't catch it anymore. "Oh fun! Monkey vines. Let's tear it loose from the tree and swing on it." No, monkey vines are different. This is how poison ivy looks after the foliage is gone. It's usually furry if that helps. Sometimes it never gets leaves again. But everyone I know stays away from it anyway.

There are other poisonous leaves of three. This is Poison Oak. Also shiny and pretty, but they look more like everyday oak leaves that aren't poison, but grow on trees. The leaves are similar to poison ivy, but rounded not pointy.

Poison oak is just as seductive with color change in the fall as poison ivey, but it can produce the same horrendous rash and blisters as poison ivy.