JaniceHeck

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

Archive for the tag “Amanda Heck”

Music, Memories, and More

BlogEverday[1]

Blog Every Day in May:

Prompt 29: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories

Memories of Mom:

Mom loved singing hymns in church, and she had a number of favorites: “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace,” “When We All Get to Heaven,” and “In the Garden.” Click to listen to  “In the Garden.”
001 (4)

Other music that I enjoy:

Yo-Yo Ma performs The Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite, No. 1

Yo-Yo Ma

Sarah Chang, Meditation de Thais

Sarah Chang

Akwarian Sea Rebel (aka Amanda Heck), Selections from the album Epic Gems
Akwarian Sea Rebel is my creative stepdaughter, sister to Cassandra Heck. Mandy is a multi-talented artist and musician. The album cover for Epic Gems is a self-portrait. (She did the music for Sesame Street’s productions “Lonely Eleven” and “Twelve Little Chicks.” Her friend, Mari Jaye Blanchard, did the animations and lyrics for both productions.)

Self-portrait, Akwarian Sea Rebel

Self-portrait, Akwarian Sea Rebel

The Last Meow

Hey, you forgot one. Susan Boyle singing “Memory” from Cats.

CATS logo

Ah, good choices. I like this last one the best!  Meow for now. =<^;^>=

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

BlogEverday[1]Blog Every Day in May. Prompt 14:  Ten Things That Make Me Happy 

1. Singing with Julie Andrews,”These are a few of my favorite things: Whiskers on kittens…” All kittens as a matter of fact. And all cats, too. Here is a picture of me as a little girl with Thomasoulo, my father’s cat. My Mom told me once when I was a little tyke that I was terribly upset because my little brother, Bobby, was teasing Thomasoula and making him nervous!  No. Not sweet little Bobby! Never. He was Mom’s little angel.

Five-year-old Janice and the family cat, Thomasoulo.

Five-year-old Janice and the family cat, Thomasoulo.

2. Checking the flowers that bloom in the spring. It doesn’t matter what kind of flowers, I love them. I think I take after Mom on this one. She had a green thumb and could raise almost any flower. I didn’t inherit her green thumb, but I still love flowers.

Daffodils on the Appalachian Trail. Photo: Terry Bliss

Daffodils on the Appalachian Trail. Photo: Terry Bliss

3. Singing with the choir at Margate Community Church, Margate, NJ. My husband, Ken, (My-Heck-of-A-Guy) has been singing with this choir for over 35 years. I wandered in with him one day about nine years ago, and they let me stay. We have made some very good friends here.

Margate Community Choir

4. Singing old hymns at church. So many hymns remind me of my growing-up years, sitting next to Mom or Daddy, singing away in the ole Sunday evening hymn sing at Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Mom used to love, “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.” (“He Walks with Me”) I think of her every time we sing this song in our Margate church. You can listen to it here.

Mom and Daddy, 1952, Long View, TX. at Uncle Bob Ellis's graduation from Le Tourneau Tech Institute

Mom and Daddy, 1952, Long View, TX. at Uncle Bob Ellis’s graduation from Le Tourneau Tech Institute

5. Eating out with My-Heck-of-A-Guy and having Cassie and Mandy join us when they can. Cassandra Heck and Amanda Heck are a barrel of fun with their unlimited imaginations and their playful spirits. This is my favorite picture of the two of them together. Don’t you just want to laugh looking at the picture?

Cassie and Mandy entertaining...

Cassie and Mandy entertaining…

6. Seeing new pictures of my grandchildren posted on Facebook. I just don’t see these grandchildren enough because they live in California, Arizona, and Tennesee.

Grandchildren climbing all over Grandpa Ken

Grandchildren climbing all over Grandpa Ken

7. Walking on the beach and getting sand between my toes, and then later walking on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ

Eating ice cream on the Ocean City Boardwalk with my grandchildren and their cousins.

Eating ice cream on the Ocean City Boardwalk with my grandchildren and their cousins.

8. Watching thunder and lightning storms in the summer. These storms remind me of all the times we sat as kids on our old front porch watching the lightning in the distance and waiting for the heavy rain to start. Something about a lightning storm is magical.

It was a dark and stormy night.

It was a dark and stormy night.

9. Traveling to new places with friends. It doesn’t matter where or when, anytime a friend says, “Let’s go,”  I am ready. Sometimes we have to wait a bit until our money coffers refill, but that’s okay, we still do it.

Christine, Inger-Anne, Jan, Carol in Sienna, Italy, May, 2012

Christine, Inger-Anne, Jan, Carol in Sienna, Italy, May, 2012

10. Looking through old family pictures. I have recently come across a new source for pictures (Ancestry.com, where my cousin, Bill Swartz, posted family pictures from ages ago). I have been posting some of these old pictures on Facebook and playing guessing games with my siblings and their children. Who remembers? This has been a lot of fun.

Grandmother Minnie E. Carlton feeding the chickens at Brewster Road and Vine Road.

Grandmother Minnie E. Carlton feeding the chickens at Brewster Road and Vine Road.

“These are a few of my favorite things…”

The Last Meow.

Of course, I have something to say!  Sitting in the sun is one of my very favorite things! Meow for now.   ={^:^}=001

Surprising New Jersey: Photos by Cassandra Heck

I am delighted to have Cassandra Heck as my *first* guest today on my blog.

*Marching band and blaring bugles.*

Cassandra is a multi-talented young lady whose flair for fashion, style, and panache are well known in this area. She is a hair stylist extraordinaire, designing the most imaginative up-dos for proms, weddings, and other special events. She creates dramatic feathery, flowery, beady, glammy hair pieces to go with those adorable, up-scale (any color you want!) hair-dos.

In her off hours, Cassandra creates and photographs her own vegan and vegetarian specialties to enhance her own well-being and to tantalize the taste buds of her non-vegetarian dad. An artistic person, she has been known to fashion other-worldly creatures out of wasabe and ginger at a favorite Japanese restaurant, leaving the confused waiter to wonder whether he worked in a food establishment or an art gallery. Her almost constant companion, Luca (pictured with her) brings many chuckles to our lives. He has his own take on life, but that’s another story.

Cassandra is a social media pundit who adds pictures from her ever-present iPhone on her Facebook pages, and she inserts sharp-edged, insightful comments on everyday happenings in her world.  In her words, she is “complexed by my own complexity.”

And oh, did you notice her last name? Yes, she is related. She is my husband’s daughter, my stepdaughter. Yes, I know, talent runs in families! That does give us bragging rights.

On a recent dawn’s-early-light outing with her equally talented artist/musician/singer/photographer seeeesster, Amanda Heck, aka Akwarian Sea Rebel (mentioned in an earlier post), Cassandra captured the look of innocent and surprising New Jersey.

Surprising New Jersey

Many people have a jaundiced view of New Jersey from driving through on the Philadelphia-Newark-New York corridor with its factories and smoky stacks, compacted interstate traffic, and congested housing and industrial complexes.

But get off that macadam throughway, and you find a state filled with hidden beauty. Cassandra has taken on the challenge of photographing some of these treasures. Let’s see what she has captured.

Today’s Stop: Ocean City, NJ at Sunrise, 58th Street beach, boardwalk

Dog on Ocean City beach at sunrise

58th Street Beach, Ocean City, NJ

Mandy Heck photographing sunrise. Photo by Cassie Heck

Self-portrait

These are great pictures, Cassandra. Thanks for sharing them on my blog. I look forward to posting more pictures from your wanderings in Surprising New Jersey.

Q is for (Eleven) Questions and Lonely Eleven

A to Z Blog Challenge: Letter Q       Blog Game: Eleven Questions       

Bonus at the end of this post: Lonely Eleven

I was just tagged by justjacqui2 in a bit of foolishness game called Eleven Questions. And as luck would have it, I have been tagged a second time by Mike Schulenberg. His questions are different than Jacqui’s, so I will answer his as the *drum roll* Second Eleven.

How handy. The letter Q in A to Z Blog Challenge is coming up here. I can check off two three birds challenges with one post.

And that also gives me one more item to add to my blog post on “10 Best Procrastination Techniques for Writers” (which I am putting off until May): get trapped tagged in one more blog challenge.

This Eleven Questions challenge requires three things:

  1. Answer the proposed set of questions. (Okay, but short answers they will be. I’m not seeking literary prizes!)
  2. Ask 11 new questions. (Easy. Guaranteed.)
  3. Identify 11 friends former friends blogger acquaintances bloggers who might will might answer the questions. (Okay: Sue, Mary, Ellen, George, Sabrina, Sarah, Lola, Henry, Tina, Angie, Robert. If your name is on this list, you are tagged!)

Seriously, this is sorta fun. And it did give me an idea for the A to Z letter of the day: Q for Questions.

First, I have to answer Jacqui’s questions.

1. Would you rather be trapped in a sanitarium or a Stephen King novel?

I understand that a sanitarium is a quiet resort in the mountains or by a beach where people go to rest. That sounds good to me. The beach would be fine. You think I am crazy enough to be trapped in a Stephen King novel? No way!

2. What’s the one thing that makes you smile no matter what?

Kittens, half-grown kittens, cats, YouTube videos of kitties, Simon’s Cat cartoon books….whatever, kitties always, always, always make me smile. (I wonder how my poor, non-cat-loving friend, Mo, puts up with me!)

3. What do you like most about yourself?

Do I have to answer that? Really, I don’t want to embarrass myself with the length of my list compendium catalog.

4. What is your greatest fear?

That I will get inundated with tags in the 1000 Quickie Question Quiz. I hear it’s going viral. Watch out, it might get you, too.

5. How do you want to be remembered?

I want to be remembered when my friends make plans for their next trip or cruise. I’ll be ready to go when you are. Anytime. Anywhere.

6. Where do you want to be five years from now? Ten years?

Five years: At a nice beach anywhere in the world. Ten years: At a nice beach anywhere in the world. I just need to make sure I can plug in my computer somewhere.

7. Ninja or Samurai?

Ninjas are turtles. They like beaches. So I guess I’ll go with the turtles ninjas. One problem though. I posted a video of an attack turtle giving a passel of kitties a very hard time. My ninjas have to be pacifists. No fighting with my kitties! Or else!

8. Pick two: happy, humble, famous, rich.

Happy and humble. They both start with the letter H. Happy, Humble Heck has a nice alliterative ring. (I’ll add those qualities to my catalog in question 3.) Famous and rich don’t rhyme, and they are not alliterative words. They just wouldn’t go with my personality.

9. What is your favorite piece of music? 

Recently I have been singing the Hallelujah Chorus a lot–at church, in the shower, in the car. So that must be my favorite piece of music for now. Next week, I will be singing something else.

10. If you were a fictional character, what would be your fatal flaw?

Like Colombo, being enough of a smart alec that people won’t take me seriously. Really!

11. Telekinesis or pyrokinesis? Why?

I rather like the idea of telekinesis. Maybe I could get someone (my husband?) to pick up the broom and sweep the floor or open the dishwasher and empty it.

Now for Mike’s Eleven:

1. If you could live in a fiction world, where would that be?

A world where I would have to learn a new culture and language. I would prefer to live in a nonfiction world and learn a new culture and language in Italy, Spain, or France. I’d like a little kitty there, please.

2. Fiction or non-fiction?

I prefer nonfiction (memoirs, history, travelogs), but I also read a lot of fiction (mystery, suspense, crime, historical fiction). I read a lot, but I wish I had even more time to read. My TBR pile is enormous. And even my Kindle is getting heavier with all of my selections.

3. Do you read in noisy or quiet places?

I can read anywhere. I can read and carry on a conversation. Of course, I won’t remember what you say, but no matter.

4. Do reviews influence your choice of reads?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A good review will make me go and buy the book. For nonfiction, intriguing titles catch my attention. I recently read Indigo, In Search of the Color that Seduced the World by Catherine E. McKinley and loved it. I found it on the New Books shelf at the local library.

5. Audio books or paperbacks?

Both. I like audio books in the car. Paperbacks at the beach. My Kindle the rest of the time.

6. What was the first book you remember reading?

I remember reading all the stories in my basal reader in school–before the class read them round-robbin. Yes, I went to school a long time ago. And I loved the stories in the basal readers. Well, except for the Dick and Jane stuff.

7. Favorite author?

Poet T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

8. Classic or Modern Novels?

Probably classic novels.

9. Have you ever met your favorite author?

When I was in college, I went to Boston to an event where T.S.Eliot read his work. That’s where I met Old Possum and his Practical Cats. There was a big crowd, so I didn’t meet him personally.

10. Book groups or solitary reading?

Both. I belong to a book group in my church, and we meet once a month. I also read a wide variety of material on my own, mostly nonfiction.

11. If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Something timeless, that encourages strong values, with memorable selections, some poetry, some prose, some biography, some history, some intrigue, maybe a few murders, maybe some philosophy, religion… Hmmm, that sound remarkably like the Bible.

Now for eleven questions to be answered.   This means you: Sue, Mary, Ellen, George, Sabrina, Sarah, Lola, Henry, Tina, Angie, Robert. Anyone else, feel free to answer! I need some new people to pick on in challenges friends.

Really, I would like to get to know you. Seriously.

  1. What is the name of your blog?
  2. What is the address of your blog?
  3. What is the logline of your blog?
  4. What is the theme of your blog?
  5. How long have you been blogging?
  6. WordPress, Blogger,Technorati, Weebly, or Hub?
  7. What do you love about your blog host? What do you hate?
  8. Which blogger challenges have you been hit with bombarded tagged with?
  9. Do you like mayonnaise or mustard with your blog?
  10. What do you wish you could do over with your blog?
  11. What was your biggest mistake on your blog?

BONUS TIME:

Now, for those of you who have hung in there this far, here is a little treat: one of my favorite Sesame Street cartoons: “Lonely Eleven,”  by Amanda Heck and Mari Jaye Blanchard.

Mari Jaye did the illustrations and Mandy (my step-daughter) wrote and sang the lyrics. Heck, it’s a good cartoon, even without cats. Really. Seriously.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBJbhu35Ejw

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,631 other followers

%d bloggers like this: