JaniceHeck

My Time to Write, but The Cats have The Last Meow!

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Travel Log, 2014. Venice, Italy: Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Travelog: Venice, 2014 The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection was high on my list of things to see in Venice. We arrived in this spectacular city mid-morning, checked into our hotel, and then wandered slowly but deliberately from San Marco Piazza, meandering along the calle in the general direction of the Accademia Bridge, and taking our time to view the exquisite sights on our way. I must have looked pretty silly with that grin of happiness filling my whole face as we explored the city, checking out every nook and cranny of the calle and campi we crossed. So much to see, and of course, not enough time.

Accademia Bridge over the Grand Canal, Venice

Accademia Bridge over the Grand Canal, Venice

photo, Janice Heck Accademic Bridge and padlocks of couples proclaiming their everlasting love.

Hundreds of couples proclaim their undying and everlasting love for each other by signing their names on padlocks which they lock on the railings of the bridge.

After crossing the bridge to the Dorsoduro section of Venice, we turned  left and headed to the Guggenheim Collection, zig-zagging genrally to the left on the calle until we found the museum at 701 Dorsoduro. (If you turn right at the base of the Accademia Bridge, you will find the Gallerie dell’Accademia, a museum housing Venetian art. It’s a museum well worth visiting.)

Entrance to the Guggenheim courtyard

Entrance to the Guggenheim courtyard

Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979), niece and heiress of mining magnate Solomon R. Guggenheim, collected modern art in Europe and America at the beginning of and through WWII. Her home, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, built in the 1750s on the Grand Canal, was never finished by its original owner who had intended it to be a grand four-story masterpiece. Venetians have nicknamed this structure Il Palazzo Nonfinito (the unfinished palace). Guggenheim purchased the one-story building in 1949 and used it as her home as well as a museum for her extensive modern art collection.

Exterior courtyard of the Guggenheim museum

Exterior courtyard of the Guggenheim museum

Guggenheim encouraged and supported many young modern artists (Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Vasily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, just to name a few) by collecting and displaying their artwork. She married Max Ernst, also a contemporary artist whose artwork can be seen in the gallery and courtyard at the Guggenheim.

For Your Eyes Only, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, photo by Janice Heck

Current Exhibit: For Your Eyes Only, Mannerism to Surrealism

 

A man sits and contemplates a piece of sculpture in the Nasher Sculpture Garden (added in 1995)

A man sits and contemplates a piece of sculpture in the Nasher Sculpture Garden (added in 1995) in the center courtyard at the Guggenheim Collection.

 

Max Ernst (1898-1986) Dans les rues d'Athenes

Max Ernst (1891-1976) In the Streets of Athens (Dans les rues d’Athenes) Bronze, 1960

 

Henry Moore Sculptue, Janice Heck, photo

Henry Moore (1898-1986) Three Standing Figures (Tre Figure in Piedi) Bronze, 1953

 

A Calder sculpture on the terrace of the Guggenheim Collection.

A Calder sculpture on the terrace of the Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal

 

A school group visits the museum

A school group visits the museum and hears about Alexander Calder’s life and art while sitting under one of his mobiles.

mmmmm

Philosophy on the wall at the Guggenheim

Our visit to the Guggenheim Collection was everything I expected it to be and more. To be in the galleries viewing the artwork of such well-known artists of the Cubism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism movements was thrilling, and I definitely want to visit again.

Don’t miss this museum if you visit Venice. You only need a few hours to enjoy the gardens and the galleries. (Yes, I know, you could do some of this artwork yourself! I heard that comment at the museum. But you haven’t, have you? And you won’t, will you?)

Go and enjoy Peggy Guggenheim’s Collection. Your college arts and humanities professor will be proud of you.

Click here for a delightful video peek at the Guggenheim Collection.

For my other posts on Venice, click on the titles below.

WORD CRIMES by Weird Al is a writer’s anthem

Janice Heck:

Excellent, fast-moving commentary on the use of correct grammar. jkh

Originally posted on The Red Pen of Doom:

Back in the day, Weird Al Yankovic was proudly, loudly weird. Today, he’s the master of parody videos, which keep getting better and better.

This one is a dream for writers and editors everywhere. He speaks the truth. Sing it, Al, and let the rumors that you’re retiring be false.

# # #

The Red Pen of Doom’s Greatest Hits Collection: 10 Epic Posts

  1. Epic Black Car deserves good owner; are you worthy?
  2. The Mother of All Query Letters
  3. Why every man MUST read a romance – and every woman a thriller
  4. The Red Pen of Doom impales FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  5. The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books
  6. A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER
  7. 30 achy breaky Twitter mistakeys
  8. Writing secret: Light as air, strong as whiskey, cheap as dirt
  9. The Red Pen of Doom murders THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
  10. Quirks and legs matter more than talent and perfection

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist…

View original 34 more words

The Sixth Annual Book-a-Day Challenge

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

New guests to our house always say the same thing when walking into our living room for the first time, “Wow, you’ve got a lot of books.” With thirteen bookcases—most double-stacked—and a custom built-in wall unit crammed with books, the principal decorations at the Miller Ranch are book spines.

Anna Quindlen said, “I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” I can relate, Anna. We are clearly kin.

“Buy a Kindle. “ I divorced my Kindle in 2010 when it died on a long conference trip. I asked a friend to drive me to a bookstore, and I never went back.

“Get a library card. “ I have three, so does everyone in my house. We use them. We dedicated one shelf near the door for our library books, so they don’t get…

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Venice, Italy. Riding the Water Bus to San Marco Square

Travel Log: Venice, 2014

On May 28th, My friend Connie and I flew into Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo, Venice, Italy on a direct USAir flight from Philadelphia, arriving early in the morning on May 29th. We planned to join a cruise ship the next day, so we had only thirty hours in this glorious city.

The Marco Polo Airport, located on the Italian mainland, is a relatively short distance from Venice. We had several options for going from the airport to Venice: by land (airport bus or taxi) or by sea (water bus or water taxi). We chose the reasonably priced (15 euro = about $20 US) Alilaguna Blue water bus for the hour-long trip to San Marco Piazza (St. Mark’s Square).  (Buy tickets inside the airport terminal and walk outside around the building to the docks…a five-minute walk.) We took this same Alilaguna Blue line from San Marco Piazza water stop out to the cruise terminal on May 30th for 8 euro (about $10 US).

The weather was remarkably pleasant: warm and sunny with partly cloudy skies.

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Other visitors joined us on the uncrowded and comfortable ride to Venice.

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The most glamorous but most expensive way (110 euros = about $140 US) to get to San Marco Square or other water stops in Venice is to take a water taxi.  The water taxis seem to rule the waterways, and our water bus slowed down to ride out the wake of the water taxis each time one raced by going in either direction. The water taxis did look like fun, but we liked the leisurely pace of our water bus. Our ride felt like a grand tour of the waterways with lots to see on the way.

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Along the way, we saw lots of interesting water traffic.

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Our first view of Venice was breathtaking.

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Gondolas waited at the San Marco Square water bus station to take tourists out for a ride along the Grand Canal and other smaller canals.

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The Grand Canal hummed with steady traffic.

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Our hotel was just a few blocks (and two small bridges away) from the San Marco water stop. From this stop, we dragged our suitcases on wheels to our hotel. Alternately, we could have paid a porter to transport our luggage on a hand truck but being independent seemed like more fun.

This next youtube video gives you an idea about how individual tourists get their bags to their hotel in Venice. Of course, if you go to Venice with a tour group and arrange for transfers, the tour managers will have your luggage waiting in your hotel room or your cruise ship room.

And in this next video, Rick Steves gives an overview of his visit to Venice.

For more tips on your visit to Venice check Quick Venice     

I will publish a few more posts on Venice in a few days.

Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Close-ups at the Beach

Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Close-ups

I took my backpack and camera up on the Ocean City boardwalk on a cold, windy day in late April. Here is what I found…

Stones along the boardwalk...

Stones along the boardwalk…

 

A support piling for retaining wall...

A support piling for a retaining wall…

 

Boardwalk planks...

Boardwalk planks…with my toes…

***
Janice Hall Heck, retired educator, blogger, wannabe photographer, and nitpicky editor of On the Horizon, a bi-monthly community newsletter for Horizons at Woods Landing, Mays Landing, NJ, is quite possibly a grammar geek.

logo 2.2Oh Heck! Another Writing Quirk, a regular feature on this blog, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

 

 

#WordAWeek: Water

Suellewellyn: Word A Week Photo Challenge: Water:

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

Silent Sunday…Walk in the Park

091silent sunday

Elderly, Blind, and Living in a Big Black Box

My brother, Adam, 80-years-old, blind, and wheelchair bound, lives in a big black box with perpetually dimly lit windows. He can see the large square of light where the window in his room is, but he cannot see me or a shadow of me sitting two feet away. Every day he tells me that his eyesight is getting worse, and that he must go see the eye doctor. (The eye doctor has already told him that nothing can be done about his eyes at this point. Adam’s vision loss is due to retina detachments that occurred in his 50s.)

ADam

Until recently, Adam has lived a very active and full life even with his blindness. He lived alone in his own condominium, receiving only minimal outside help from a once-a-week cleaning person and from his two sisters (Beverley and me) who ran errands for him, helped him shop for groceries, and took him to medical appointments. He rode the CATS (Cumberland Area Transit System-NJ) bus to the Enrichment Center for the Blind in Bridgeton, NJ, several days a week to join other visually impaired persons in activities and camaraderie.

Even while blind, Adam camped, hiked, and climbed mountains in Colorado. He went cross-country skiing in Michigan and Alaska with an organization called Ski-for-Light. You can read about his skiing adventure here: VIP – Visually Impaired Person in the News Again.

Adam (left) cross-country skiing with Ski for Light buddies

Adam (left) cross-country skiing with Ski for Light buddies

When Adam had a bit more vision, he walked around his community for miles and miles using his white cane. He knew the bus system well and could get himself to various places for workshops and appointments, even those an hour away from his home.

A Fall, Hospitalization, and Rehab

Most recently, Adam has been living in a short-term rehab facility after he had a bad fall at home. He did not break any bones in the fall but seriously scraped his arm, and it bled profusely because of blood thinners he is on due to a heart condition. At the hospital, the doctors determined that he had an irregular heart beat and implanted a pacemaker. After his hospital stay, he went to the rehab facility for five weeks of physical and occupational therapy.

Today, Adam will be moved from his current placement in a rehab facility to long-term care in an assisted living facility. The therapists who work with him in the rehab center have determined that under Medicare guidelines, he no longer benefits from physical therapy, and therefore his therapy will stop.

At this point, Adam is unable to live independently and probably never will again. At care level 5 and wheel chair bound, he needs assistance with everyday living activities: medications, bathing, toileting, shaving, dressing. He does not need assistance with eating, except to have his food or utensils unwrapped. His balance is not good, and he is at high risk for falling.
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We found a placement for him in a very pleasant long-term care facility. He will have to drain his life savings and investments to pay his expenses as Medicare will no longer cover his care. His house must be sold. His daughter now has his Power of Attorney (POA), and now she has to make financial decisions for him. Of course, Adam thinks that he can still make decisions for himself, when sadly, he cannot.

At 80, Adam is quite sharp, but not every day. Some days he confuses facts, memories, dreams, and reality. (He always knows that Obama is the President!) He worries and asks questions like:  “Where will I sleep tonight?” He tells me that he is missing work and that his boss needs him. (He retired twenty-five years again because of his vision disability.) Then he tells me that he needs to call his boss and tell him he is retiring because he is too old to work.  He worries that he can’t find the keys to Mom’s house (Mom passed away in 2000 and her house was sold). He said, “Daddy’s car is parked at the high school, and I need the keys to go get it before the kids vandalize it.”

New worries pop up every day or so. He misplaces things then accuses people of stealing them. Later, when these missing things turn up in another place in his room, he says, “They brought it back because they knew I was mad.”

On good days, Adam can joke around with the best of them. Several aides in his previous facility respond to his joking manner and joke right back at him, bringing instant broad smiles to his face. He has a good attitude and knows well that his attitude affects others. He repeats his philosophy: “If you are nice to people, they will be nice to you.”

He dreams and his dreams become real, yet he has enough logic to figure that out. One day he asked me, “Who were all those people who were at the house last night?” I responded, “Which house?” He thought a few seconds and said, “Well, it couldn’t have been Mom’s house, because we sold that. And it wasn’t my house. Whose house was it? Did I just dream that?”

One day, the therapist told us, he sat on his bed trying to call his sister Joanne and got very agitated when a phone message told him her line had been disconnected. (Joanne passed away in June from complications with diabetes.)

On days when he seems confused, he gets very agitated. We listen, but we do not try to correct him, rather we try to distract him with another topic.

He has a hard time locating himself in space. He reaches out with his hand to feel around for his bed or his glass of water. He gets easily disoriented, so sometimes he does not know where he is. He also does not know who all those people are that come in and out of his room.

Assisting the Visually Impaired in Care Settings

In the six weeks that Adam has been in the hospital and in rehab facilities, I have noticed that most aides have little training in assisting a blind person, so I am starting a series of posts on tips for caring for VIPs in hospital and other care settings. The first post should be later this week: Tips for Caring for Visually Impaired Persons (VIPs): Orientation to People

NaBloPoMo_MoreLess - Dec

yeah write 138

<a href=”http://yeahwrite.me/challenge-138/”><img src=”http://yeahwrite.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/challenge138.png”></a>

Silent Sunday: Advent Week 1…Preparing for the Birth of Christ

December 1 – Advent Week 1.

The Old Testament patriarchs prophesied about the coming of the Messiah and that gave the Israelites hope. Week 1 of Advent focuses on preparing for the birth of Christ, and in church, we light the first candle (Hope) in the Advent wreath. We then light one candle each Sunday until Christmas.

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What are some of your church’s or your family’s holiday traditions?

(Post 1 in December NaBloPoMo.)

NaBloPoMo_MoreLess - DecSilent-Sunday...

NaBloPoMo 15.2 Cee’s Which Way: Ride Off into the Sunset

NaBloPoMo_November_smallNaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month: 30 posts in November Cee's Which-Way-Banner1

and

Cee’s Which Way Challenge #13:

Which way should I go?

019Life gives us these choices sometimes.

Head off into the sunset and see what golden opportunities lie ahead, or turn left and skirt the opportunities. Maybe we’re afraid of the brightness ahead, maybe even the coming darkness, or maybe we know this road ahead has some potholes, and we want to avoid them. But look! This patch of red sky invites us and welcomes us into a better day tomorrow. Let’s head for this better day instead of avoiding it. Who knows what we will accomplish. Who know what we will see. Who knows whom we will meet.

C’mon. Let’s go.

Cee’s Which Way Challenge: There is no specific theme given.  It just needs to be some sort of  ‘Which Way’. The possibilities are endless.

Join in with the challenge or to view other Which Ways.

Here are a few others who joined the challenge:

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