Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

Continuously or Continually? The Cats Have the Answer

Do you ever mix up these two words: continuously and continually? People do, but cats don’t.

Look at the chart below for some clues to distinguish between these often confused words.

001 (21)

What kinds of things happen continuously?  (no pauses, no breaks, no interruptions)

  • My family lived in the old farmhouse on Brewster Road continuously from 1936 to 2004.
The Kroelinger house on North Brewster Road, Vineland, NJ

The Kroelinger house on North Brewster Road, Vineland, NJ

  • Water flows over Niagara Falls continuously.  Six thousand years ago, ice sheets that had continuously covered the Great Lakes basin for thousands of years retreated and gouged out the Great Lakes, the Niagara River, and Niagara Falls.
  • Water flowed continuously over the American Falls and the Canadian Falls at Niagara for thousands of years. Even when a thick ice bridge formed at the falls, water flowed continuously under the ice. (Water flow was once interrupted on the American side so engineers could determine whether they could remove the rock pile at the bottom of the falls. Even so, water flowed continuously over the Canadian Falls.)

    Photo credit: vroomvroom.com

    Photo credit: vroomvroom.com

  • The Lenape Indians lived in Mays Landing, NJ continuously long before the Europeans arrived and displaced them.
Lenape Indian Wigwam Photo credit:  JimSalichedublog.com

Lenape Indian Wigwam Photo credit: JimSalichedublog.com

  • It rained continuously for forty days and forty nights in biblical times. But Noah, after receiving a vision from God, had built and ark and saved his family and hordes of animals from sure destruction.

    Illustration finkorswim.com

    Illustration finkorswim.com

  • The nurses gave the dehydrated runner intravenous fluids continuously for two days.
  • My air conditioner runs continuously on 90 degree days.
  • It rains continuously during the rainy season in India.
  • The people formed one continuous line down the block as they waited to enter the concert arena.line cjonline
  • You must be continuously employed at our company to receive benefits.
  • Video surveillance in our downtown parking garage goes on continuously 24/7.

What kinds of things happen continually? (happen over and over again; intermittent; repeated frequently)

  • Cats sleep continually (something interesting is always going on so their constant napping is frequently interrupted: a mouse to chase, a kibbie to eat, the dog to train, the owner to annoy, a dust bunny to bat, a leaf of grass to chew, whatever. . . . ) A cat’s life is one of continual nap time interruptions.

And My Cat  Where do cats sleep

  • Continual hurricanes create havoc (floods, wind damage, deaths) where they hit land masses.
Ptotp credit: tccnj.org.

Photo credit: tccnj.org.

  • Continual telephone calls interrupt my work flow and prevent me from completing my assignments.
  • The graph showed continual improvement with its zigzag lines that trended up.
  • We expect continual improvement in your son’s grades because he is now doing his homework.

    Graph credit: freedigital.com

    Graph credit: freedigital.com

  • Chipmunks continually climb the bird feeder pole and steal the bird seed. They jump down and run with bloated cheek pouches to drop the seed at their hiding places, then come back for more.


    Photo credit: inhabit.com

  • Police officers continually catch violators at the traffic lights at Main Street and Market Street.
  • Some people argue continually over minor things.argument
  • All teachers continually seek to improve their teaching skill.

The Last Meowcat-in-food-bowl

Okay, now that we have continuously and continually all straightened out, can we kitties please have some uninterrupted peace and quiet so we can nap? Just have our kibbies ready when we wake up.


Oh, by the way, here are some kitties who continually play patty-cake.

Meow for now. =<^;^>=

Terry Bliss on the Appalachian Trail: “Summer, Where Are You?”

Time for an update on my friend Terry Bliss (aka Blue Moon) on his Appalachian Trail hike. Two previous posts have shown the bad weather (snow and ice) Terry has had to contend with on his 2180 mile journey:

Terry Bliss, Appalachian Trail, 2180 Miles of Bliss  2013/05/02
Thru-Hiker Terry Bliss Hits Halfway Mark on Appalachian Trail 2013/05/22

You can read more about his hike and see photos at www.terrybliss.com.

Try Bliss (Blue Moon) on the Appalachian Trail. Photo by Blue Moon

Terry Bliss (Blue Moon) on the Appalachian Trail.  Blue Moon photo

Lately, Terry has been hiking through a cool and rainy June still wearing his winter hat while mumbling, “Where is summer?”

But his goal is in sight with 1647 miles completed as of June 20 at Manchester, Vermont.  He has 533 miles and two states to go: Vermont and Maine.  Soon he will be at the White Mountains in New Hampshire where he will gear up for winter weather again (because of the altitude).

map AT crop

Terry’s projected completion date for hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is July 24, 2013. Without a doubt, this will be an incredible accomplishment for a very determined man.

A Stroll Round Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

I lived in this incredible city for seven years when I worked at Hong Kong International School. Michael Lai does an outstanding job of capturing the beauty and the bustle of Hong Kong. (I lived in Repulse Bay, Hong Kong.)

Two Roads Diverged…A High School Memory

Walk in the woods…June 17, 2013.

Photo credit: Janice Heck  Location: Lake Fred, Richard J. Stockton College of New Jersey, Pomona, NJ

Photo credit: Janice Heck
Location: Lake Fred, Richard J. Stockton College of New Jersey, Pomona, NJ

Father’s Day plus one.

A setting…a poem that has stayed with me for fifty years…a high school memory: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost  (Click to read the entire poem.)

(Read more about Robert Frost here.)

          The Road Not Taken (An excerpt)
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Look at these other representations of this well-known poem:

Reading by Alan Bates “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

Music: RajanMusic    “Two Roads Diverged…”

Calligraphy: by WallsNeedLove.com

two roads calligraphy

Art: Hendaye, sonyartchasey.wordpress.com

two roads-hendage sonyartchasey

Cartoon by Mozziestar.

cartoon two roads in woods

The Last Meow

Photo credit: Cheezburger.com

Photo credit: Cheezburger.com

Hey, I like this poem, too.

But I guess Grumpy Cat didn’t like it. Boo on him.

Grumpy Cat...road less taken

Meow for now. =<^;^>=

The Liebster Award Times Four

Photo Credit: Leonard Cohen (Dr. H. Guy)

Photo Credit: Leonard Cohen (Dr. H. Guy)

In one week in May, I received four nominations for the Liebster Award. Wow! Here, at long last, are my responses.

First, thanks to these special followers for their gracious nominations. I do appreciate your interest in my blog.

I wrote about the Liebster Award last year when JudytheMorgan nominated my baby blog for this honor in April of 2012. “So a person who bestows the Liebster award on someone else’s blog is showing love to another person.”

Check out this new design for the Liebster Award.

Liebsteraward 1

Here are the simpler rules for my first Liebster: (Note that the award has gone through various permutations over the years.)

  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  • Copy & paste the blog award on your blog.
  • Reveal your 5 blog picks.
  • Let them know you chose them by posting on their blog.

This year’s rules add several items:

  • Tell 11 things about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions that your tagger has asked.
  • Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Ask eleven questions for the bloggers you nominate.

None of us need extra work and answering 44 questions will take some time. Therefore, I propose that we eliminate the questions section of this award. The purpose of the award is to encourage readers to visit other newish blogs and to give encouragement through recognition. No one wants to write an overly long post, and no one wants to read one.

With all due respect to this award,  I will tell 11 things about myself and nominate 11 bloggers. The 44 questions will have to wait.

11 Things about me: (This includes answers to some of the 44 questions!)

  1.  I love cats, cats, cats.
  2.  I am a New Jersey girl, but I have lived in Massachusetts, California, Alaska, and Hong Kong, Now I am back in NJ near my family.
  3.  Education is my business, and I was a special education teacher, and then an elementary school principal.
  4. I am a life-long learner and keep my hands in education although I am officially retired.
  5. Yes, I have an AARP  card.
  6. I get Senior Citizen’s discounts at Wendy’s where you can get the best chili.
  7. Blogging is my new favorite pastime, although I also like swimming, water aerobics, walking, photography, travel, cooking, reading….
  8. I sing in the Margate Community Church choir.
  9. Did I mention I love to travel? Anywhere, anytime. Italy, France, England, Spain. Asia. Wherever. I’m ready.
  10. I love daisies of any kind.
  11. I have been married to My-Heck-of-a-Guy (MyHOG) for almost nine years, but I have known him for over fifty years.

That’s enough about me!

Here are my 11 nominees for the Liebster Award.

  1. Karen at KEKE Photography. Off the Hook: thread designs by KEKE
  2. Cindy Sabulis: Writing’s Not For Weenies!
  3. Michael J. Cahill  A ragged soul investigating the human condition.
  4. Jackie P. Change for the Better Me. Recipes and stories to help make a healthy change easier.
  5. Sangeeta, Life is a Vacation (photo blog)
  6. Michael Lai, retiree diary, a photo blog
  7. Scribblings from an Aspiring Author 
  8. Michelle Wallace: Writer in Transit The journey never ends.
  9. Rgemom” Three’s a Herd   “You can’t make this stuff up.” This blog has heart.
  10. J.A. Ward Writer: There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
  11. Jenn Scribbles: The Musings of a Writing Mom

Nominees, I advise you to do the shortened response as well, otherwise you will spend more time on this than necessary!


The Last Meow

Now we are really tired. But don’t we deserve a kitty award? We have been good, and we didn’t pester you while you worked on this post. How about it? A little measly award for us? Okay?

Hey, lookee there. A double award. Awesome.

Meow for now. =<^:^>=

Seven Great Internet Kitties and My New BFF Snaggletooth

It’s WANA Friday, and we have a new WANA prompt:   Since cats run the Internet, let’s do a post featuring our favorite pets, real or imaginary. Post photos, anecdotes, or anything you like.

These are my favorite Internet kitties. Each one has a special talent…

Nora plays the piano...

Maru loves boxes…



Henri, the French existentialist cat, philosophizes…

Elsie the Library Cat prowls the library with a video cam…

Simon the Cat  gives advice on his favorite healthy garden plants…

Grumpy Cat Well, Grumpy Cat is Grumpy Cat.

Catzilla takes over the Big City… Don’t miss this one! This cat likes to control things.

Check out these WANAFriday posts by WANA211 friends. (More to come…)

Ellen V. Gregory and Diary of a Devilcat: Beware My Evil Eye
Liv Rancourt The Annual Pruning: Burnsie gets a haircut!
Cora Ramos The Sniff Sense: What I Learned from My Dogs about Writers and Writing  

The Last Meow: Snaggletooth…

Finally, I want to introduce you all to Snaggletooth. Snaggletooth has a much nicer name, but let’s just say that I can’t remember what it is. Here she is, a totally friendly cat who likes to chase paper balls and nap, of course, when her owner Judy works away on her computer. Sweet-looking cat, don’t you think?Gordon College 5-16-2013 038

But wait. Look what happens when the clock strikes midnight. The fangs come out. The eyes turn to fire. Watch out. Snaggletooth is coming. Be prepared for doom.

Gordon College 5-16-2013 040

Meow for now! =<^:^>=

Who Murdered Those Poor, Pitiful Adverbs?

Woohoo. There’s quite a bit of mud-slinging going on over yonder about adverbs, of all things.

crime scene-blog

What with being called all kinds of dubious, diminishing, and insulting names on Internet, like “ad-thingies,” “the red-headed stepchild of modern grammarians,” and “weasel words,” it’s a wonder adverbs don’t have an inferiority complex. Oh, wait, in fact they do exhibit previously undiagnosed, partly paranoid tendencies, probably because their feelings get hurt so frequently.

Not only do Internet writers negatively brand these mild-mannered modifiers with negative descriptors, but notorious well-known writers label them with such loaded nomenclature as “flabby words” (Hale)  “stinkers” (Casagrande), and a “ragbag of hedges” (Kilgarriff). They have been called monsters and beasties, too.

Others fling disparaging remarks like flaming firecrackers tossed by taunting teenagers. Not only are adverbs “useless,” but they are “truly useless,” and “redundant.” Gordon calls them “yawningly predictable,” and Zinsser calls them “unnecessary.”

Adverbs are “crashers in the syntax house party” and “trash words” (Hale), “the dustbin” of English grammatical categories (Crystal), “the old worn-out clasp which holds words together” (Folejewski, quoted in Nordquist), “the poor stepchild” and the “Rodney Dangerfield of the parts of speech” (Nordquist).

Adverbs have even been called promiscuous because they have multiple partners: verbs, other adverbs, adjectives, and whole sentences. (Hale).

Mark Twain hated them and called them a plague. Stephen King hated them and jumped feet-first into the fracas ranting that “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Adverbs, he says, are like dandelions that totally, completely, and profligately cover his lawn.

(These guys are a bit melodramatic, don’t you think? Besides that, these frequently repeated quotes are becoming trite and clichéd. Enough already.)

And it doesn’t stop there either. People who innocently use adverbs reap heaps of disparaging labels: “linguistic dwarfs” use adverbs because they can’t quite connect with stronger verbs (Kilgarriff); “weak minds” use adverbs because they are lazy; (Outbreak movie); “timid,” “cautious,” and “fearful” writers use adverbs because, well, they are timid, cautious, and fearful (King).

Indeed, some published “immature” writers have been castigated for using weak verbs and redundant adverbs in their money-gushing published novels. Of course, these writers have no worries about such criticism; they are busy counting the mega moolah that arrives by railroad cars at their multi-million dollar mansions. They sip their martinis shaken, not stirred, on the veranda by the pool, thumbing their noses at those snobby don’t-use-adverbs critics.

I mean, if you were J. K. Rowling, wouldn’t you have the pompous and malicious Dunsley family (the miserly stepparents in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) describe themselves as “perfectly normal.” Fits, doesn’t it. Come on, where’s your spirit of fun?

Grammar snobs point fingers at grammar slobs. From their lofty position on their judgment thrones, they pick out the puny prattlings of printless peons beneath them. Sometimes the grammar snobs point fingers at each other, ranting on opposite points of view on the same topic.

Criticizing adverb use is akin to criticizing Strunk & White; it’s the popular thing to do. Both are juicy targets, ripe for criticism. S & W give simplistic advice (avoid the use of qualifiers…), and adverbs can be simple and trite.

Whoa now…. Let’s just stop and take a breath. With all this maelstrom of adverb criticism, do writers even dare to use them?

True. Writers do misuse adverbs, especially the –ly brand and those linked to “said”, but is that any reason to banish all adverbs to Stephen King’s fiery furnace? Why all the melodramatic fire and brimstone? Why all this bullying of adverbs?

Adverbs can be badly, awkwardly, redundantly, and even outrageously used by writers, but possibly, just possibly, could adverbs have any good qualities?  Must they always be demoted to being the poor, pitiful underdogs in the linguistic world?

Critics focus on the minor crimes of adverb abusers and ignore the benefits that well-behaved adverbs freely and willingly offer to the world. Adverbs have a proper place in writing; in fact, we can’t do without them.

Why should writers care about adverbs?

Adverbs affect writing style, yes, for better or for worse and happily ever after. Selective use of adverbs creates well-crafted writing while indiscriminate use creates tedious, clichéd writing. Adverbs can bring subtle distinctions as well as major, dramatic distinctions. And besides that, clever use of adverbs makes me chuckle.

You have heard the quote “familiarity breeds contempt”; well, that’s what’s happened to adverbs. These words have become the plain-vanilla-ice-cream-cone-every-day-after-school treat. Repetitious. Monotonous. Boring. And yes, Ms. Gordon, yawningly predictable.

But make that an apple-blueberry-peach, honey nut Cheerios ice cream sundae with Heathbar–crunch-topping adverb, and you 001 (18)have a different story.

“Adverbs add character, sizzle, and fizz to your phrase or your sentence, whatever it is!” Brian P. Cleary, Clearly, Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely: What Is an Adverb?

Brian Cleary may write children’s books, but he’s right about adverbs.

What is an adverb anyway?

Adverbs are a category of words (a part of speech) that can change (qualify, limit, describe, modify, intensify, minimize) the meaning of verbs, other adverbs, adjectives, phrases, and clauses.

I know. You learned that in third grade. But think about this: Anything that has the power to change something else has….power. Take hold of that power and use it wisely.

Take a gander at the following Zombie treats dissected from Kevin J. Anderson’s, Death Warmed Over, and slobber over the adverbs he uses.

1. Adverbs modify verbs

Most humans are morbidly fascinated by the dark side of the city.

Streetlights flickered ominously in an electric rhythm sure to trigger epileptic seizures…

2. Adverbs modify other adverbs

“Amazing what morticians can do these days, but I’m still only fit for the scratch-and-dent sale.” I tapped my brow, feeling the putty that Bruno had so skillfully applied.

3. Adverbs modify adjectives

The mummy spoke in a crisp Bristish accent, “So sorry I’m late. My sundial is notoriously unreliable on cloudy days.”

We assert that all spells published by Howard Phillips are completely harmless. Although Ms. Wannovich’s situation is unquestionably tragic, our good company bears no blame for the aforementioned misfortune.

4. Adverbs modify clauses

I had been inside the factory before—illicitly—while investigating the garlic-laced shampoo lawsuit.

To tell the truth, I never liked Zombie stories before I read Anderson’s Death Warmed Over. It is the perfect type of writing for tongue-in-cheek use of adverbs.

As Mark Twain once famously said about himself, “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,”  reports of the death of adverbs are also greatly exaggerated.

Use adverbs, but use them wisely. Crime scene closed.

http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/new-years-resolution-no-adverbs (Kilgarriff)http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/03/13/stephen-king-on-adverbs/
http://grammar.about.com/od/basicsentencegrammar/a/adverbquotes.htm (Nordquist)http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/why-pick-on-adverbs (Rundell)http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2013/02/20/being-an-adverb/ (Pullum)

Casagrande, June. Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun & Spite.
Clark, Roy Peter. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.
Gordon, Karen Elizabeth. The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed.
Hale, Constance. Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose.
Zinsser, William. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, Sixth Edition.

The Last Meow

I clearly, dearly, and sincerely approve this post. Now may I go back to my nap?cat sleeping - academic

Meow for now. =<^;^>=

A Wordle of Welcome

wana logo

WANA Friday Prompt: Every Friday, the WANA 112 group (Kristen Lamb’s little lambs: We Are Not Alone in this blogosphere) blogs on a prompt suggested by a WANA team member. This week’s prompt is. . .

Create a Wordle (www.wordle.net) of something you have written.

My Wordle features my very first blog post on WordPress: “Hello. Welcome to My Time to Write,” January 28, 2012. It gives a visual summary of my life experiences and writing interests.

001 (2)

The Last Meow

Don’t forget us kitties. We have a Wordle of our own. How do you like it?

001 (17)

Meow for now. =<^;^>=

Check out these #WANAFriday Wordles:

Kim Griffin

Ellen Gregory

Linda Adams

Cora Ramos

Rabia Gale

New-ish Award: Wonderful Team Member Readership Award


The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award (WTRMA) landed on my blogstop about ten days ago, given to me by Lynne Revette Butler, making the most of every day. Lynne started her blog in March 2013. She lives in South Oxfordshire, England and posts gorgeous pictures of flowers and gardens. She writes about gardens, the environment, and lifestyles. Thanks for thinking of me for this award, Lynne

I like to get a little history on blogger awards as they come around, so I tracked the WTMRA back to find the source. The WTMRA appears to have started at managuagunntoday; however the link from that blog award is broken. A reference to the official launch date of 5/7 (no year) can be found. (The above link is active, but it doesn’t take you to the original award page.)

On 9/1/2012, the WTMRA landed at Old Rooster Diner, where Jackie mentions that she is one of the first recipients of the award. Jackie’s blog is “Change for a Better Me: a mix of recipes and stories to help make a healthy change easier.” (She switched to a gluten free diet because of health issues).

Even though the WTRMA is the newish kid on the block, Google pulls up sixteen pages of references to it, thus reflecting the power of geometric progressions with blog awards.

The requirements for this Wonderful Team Membership Readership Award are simple:

1. Display the WTMRA logo on your webpage or sidebar.

2. Nominate up to 14 readers you appreciate over a period of 7 days (1 week) – this can be ALL on one day or two a day or seven days. (In my research, I noted that some nominees have, in turn, given between 2 and 14 nominees. The number required is not written in concrete!)

3. Make these rules, or amended rules which keep to the spirit of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, known to each reader nominated.

4. Complete this sentence and post:  “A Great reader is…”

A great reader (of blog posts) is someone who reads  posts on a regular basis, commenting occasionally, and clicking on “like” when a post touches the heart or the head, appeals to one’s interests, or just makes good sense. A good reader sometimes asks a question for clarification or posts a link to a related article. Feedback gives writers encouragement to keep writing on the dimmest of days when we ask, “Why am I doing this?” Readers keep us going, and I, personally, appreciate every single one of them. When they light up my WordPress stats map, I feel good.  jkh

A while ago, I wrote this post about my most loyal readers. Now I nominate these same loyal readers for this WTMRA.

Tami Clayton, Taking Tea in the Kasbah
Elaine Smothers, Wonder in the Wild
emaginette, Shout With Emaginette
Glenda Mills, Meet Me On The Mountain
Barbara Forte Abate, Scribbling Outside The Lines
Judythe Morgan, Voice and Views from The Front Porch
Mike Schulenberg, Realms of Perilous Wonder
Sheila Pierson, Wonderstruck
Ellen V. Gregory, to beyond and back
Jodi Lea Stewart   Walking on Sunshine
Liv Rancourt, Laughter, life and romance under partly sunny skies
Elizabeth Fais, Where the awesome begins
Sara Walpert Foster, Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition
Siri Paulson, everyday enchantments
Linda Adams, Soldier, Storyteller
Sherry Isaac, Psychological Sizzle
Sherri Martin-Hutchins, live wonderstruck
Laird Sapir, Shabby Chic Sarcasm

The Last Meowawesomecataward

Hey. When is someone going to start a “The Cat’s Meow Award” for blogs that detail our most wonderful qualities? Now that would be an award to value!

Meow for now. =<*;*>=

Weekly Photo Challenge. The Sign Says: Attenti Al Gatto

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

cat in italy- attenti al gatto

[Sign in ceramics shop in San Gimignano, Italy]

Maybe this cat is calling a general meeting to discuss world issues like the over abundance of cat-less homes, the ratio of tuna to grain in canned cat food, the lack of cat parks, the need for regulations to control nap interruptions, and many other cat grievances.

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