JaniceHeck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the category “New Jersey”

Cee’s Which Way? Puzzled? Peaceful?

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Which way? What?  I am still puzzling over this one! (At the pier in Venice, Italy)

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Which way? Janice Heck photo

Which Way? When to go? Too many choices.

Janice Heck photo. Grounds for Sculpture

A mangled directional sign? Art?

Janice Heck photo. Peaceful gardens. Grounds for Sculpture, NJ

This garden beckons to me. “Come this way. It is peaceful here.” (Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ)

 

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Cee’s Fun Foto: Town with a Sense of Humor

Cee’s Fun Foto: Contrasting Colors

Ocean City, NJ is a town with a sense of humor. It invited artists to fancy up those dull green, obnoxious, electrical boxes around town. Have a look:

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Janice Heck photo. Ocean City, NJ

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJanice Heck, photo. Ocean City, NJJanice Heck photo. Ocean City, NJ

Daily Post Photo Challenge: Dialogue in Pictures

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Dialogue

Imagine the dialogue between two sisters in the garden.

Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ, Janice Heck Photo

A lovely afternoon for “Two Sisters” at the Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ

 

Knitting in the garden, Janice Heck photo

Perhaps they talk about a knitting project the younger sister will soon begin.

Perhaps they talk about the lovely flowers in the daughter's hat.

Perhaps they talk about the lovely flowers in the sister’s hat.

Janice Heck photo

Perhaps they talk about the lovely garden setting.

Or perhaps they talk about other secret matters.

***

This sculpture is a 3-D rendition by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. of Pierre-August Renoir’s “Two Sisters” painting. The sculpture can be seen at Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ.  It has been called “Family Secret” in a few sources.  Here is a view of the original which can be seen at the Art Institute Chicago.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Two Sisters, 1879

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Two Sisters, 1879

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Zigzag at the Beach

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Zigzag

Zigzag: This week, share a photo that foregoes the straightforward in favor of the twisting and winding.

Ocen City, NJ beach Janice Heck photo

Zigzag fences at Ocean City, NJ protect the new straight-row beach grass plantings.

 

Ocean City beach, Janice Heck, Photo

Zigzag trench brings water from ocean to castle as the tide comes in.

Making licorice salt water taffy at Ocean City, NJ (zigzag)

Making licorice salt water taffy at Ocean City, NJ (zigzag)

AA: #AbandonedArchitecture Photo Challenge: Scullville, NJ

While my brain was resting up from the 2014 #AtoZ Blog Challenge, I stumbled across this new (to me) photo challenge from Lingering Visions:    Look at Abandoned Architecture (May). You can find several of these abandoned buildings along the backwoods roads of South Jersey.

I love the look of old buildings with cracked and peeling paint, broken windows, rusted hinges, weedy yards. I can imagine the lives of the families who lived there.

The house in this photo is found in Scullville, New Jersey, a place along the road on the way to somewhere else, down along Cranberry Creek and Mays Landing-Somers Point Rd in the marshlands of the Egg Harbor River.  We often use this back road to go to Ocean City, NJ.

Scullville, originally settled in the early 1700s, now earns its fame from the annual Terror in the Junkyard, the Halloween hayride sponsored by the Scullville Fire Company at Flemings Junkyard on Zion Road.

Don’t blink as your drive through the village, you just might miss it.

Grave markers in the front yard?

Grave markers in the front yard? Someone beckoning for help from the attic window?

 

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 ***
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,  theme for the amazing 2014 A to Z Challenge, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

Look for a list of posts for the #AtoZ, 2014 Challenge (Writing Quirks) here:  #AtoZ: Q is for Quirky Index and a Q Post Round-Up

Meow for now.  =<^!^>=

 

 

 

#AtoZ, 2014: V and Cee’s Very Small Things

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Very Small Things

While walking with my daughters around the Fred Lake at Stockton College, we saw this little critter. Amazing. He’s smaller than a fingernail.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Alone in Atlantic City, NJ

I reported for petit jury duty in Atlantic City this week, but I did not have to serve. On both Monday and Tuesday, enough potential jurors were called, questioned, and approved that the court clerk never got around to calling my name. The numbers in the room were getting slimmer though, as a number of potential jurors were dismissed for legitimate reasons.

My official juror badge sans the plastic holder we had to return to the court  clerk.

My official juror badge sans the plastic holder we had to return to the court clerk.

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After my second morning of waiting and then being dismissed, I decided to walk down to the boardwalk to see what was happening. As it turns out, not much. The weather was cold and rainy, not condusive to boardwalk strolling. However, I did snag pictures that represented Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Alone.

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And here’s the lonely feral kitty I saw just before I headed back to my warm car. This cat is a member of the Boardwalk Cats Project sponsored by Alley Cat Allies and volunteers who regularly feed, vaccinate, and monitor the cats that live under the boardwalk. Alley Cat Allies sponsors a humane Trap-Neuter-Return program for the cats.

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Leaving Atlantic City…lonely…

A cold, lonely December day in Atlantic City, NJ

A cold, wet, lonely December day in Atlantic City, NJ

Meow for now... ==

Meow for now… =<^;^>=

Unnaturals Invade Grounds for Sculpture in NJ

Late October, 2013.

News Flash. Unnaturals (Spooks? Zombies? Undead denizens? Dead Denizens? Residents of the Deep?) have found their way onto the Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, New Jersey.

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The NJ State Police have sent out detectives to ascertain their purpose for being in these local woods. Perhaps these undead are looking for Dan Shamble, that dead zombie private investigator who still works for his living by solving strange murder cases…including his own. Shamble was last seen in Kevin J. Anderson’s book, Death Warmed Over. Just ignore that bullet hole in his forehead. Anyway, you hardly notice it when he pulls his hat down.

Latest news: The Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has asked the NJ National Guard for military reinforcements to protect the citizens of this great state. In the meantime, he has made a newsworthy public announcement in which he emphatically stated, “Hey, You. Whatever you are. Get the hell out of New Jersey’s woods!”

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Are you brave enough to go seek these unnaturals out? Look in the bamboo grove at the Grounds for Sculpture, but enter cautiously. These unnaturals reportedly have supersensitive hearing and can smell aliens (that’s us humans) a block away. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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What? Are those horns on this unnatural? Is it … Satan… himself? In person?

***

Don’t miss this incredible landscape/sculpture park. It is beautiful, amusing, and surprising. You never know what you might find hiding in the woods or just standing out in plain sight.

I found a coven of witches there which I reported on here: Witches on the Prowl.

Here’s another (human) view of the Grounds  for Sculpture…before the invasion of the unnaturals: Traveltimetalk.com, Grounds for Sculpture.

The Last Meow

Those unnaturals don’s scare me. Let me have a go at ’em. I can get rid of ’em faster than Chris Christie can say, “Meow.”

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Meow for now. =<^;^>=

WANAFriday for 9-20-13. Dandelion Dreaming

Ellen Gregory posted the #WANAFriday (last Friday’s) blog prompt for September 20, 2013:

Share your favourite (or interesting) WORD — what does it mean for you? (Note that Australian spelling there!)
I love words like serendipity, scintillating, effervescent, splendiferous, grandiloquent, sibilant, and supercilious.  All these multisyllable words sound pleasing to me. Some of them have somewhat haughty meanings, but they still sound interesting, sweet, and maybe a bit humorous.
My husband likes the word magnanimous and money. Yes, money does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it.
#MyWANA Favorite Word
Siri Paulson already wrote about serendipity, so I had to choose another word for this prompt challenge.
A recent Facebook posting reminded me of another word I like: Dandelion.

Yes, folks, dan-de-li-on. Some folks consider it a weed, but where I come from, we know better.

photo: fcpsdotedu

photo: fcpsdotedu

Not that dandelion has always been a lovely word for me.
When I was a kid, those egg-yolk-yellow dandelions blanketed our football-sized front and side lawns, squeezing out the more desired green-velvet grass. Mom, always looking out for what the neighbors thought, decided that a dandelion infested lawn in our nice neighborhood was not socially acceptable, so she decreed that we kids had to get out there on perfectly good icy-cold-Maurice-River-swimming days to dig out these perverse lawn inhabitants and dispose of them.
dandelions in lawns
Mom didn’t like it when the flowers turned from yellow to white puffy balls, and the feathered seeds starting flying through the air on the light summer breezes, seeking new rooting grounds (notably our neighbors’ lawns) to infest. (What would the neighbors say then?) And, beware, if any one of us kids ever, ever, ever blew on those fluffy seed balls, trouble would surely follow. Back then, there were no taboos about spanking children!
photo: legallysocialbledotcom

photo: legallysocialbledotcom

No. Mom wanted those dandelions out of her lawn. Pronto!
So, day after day, on the hottest of days, my Little Brother Bobby and I sat out on the lawn persistently digging out dandelions, not always with the best attitude, I might add. (A few dandelion flower fights made it a little more interesting, but only when Mom wasn’t looking.)
We thought this whole dandelion destruction debacle was a losing battle, but Mom had different ideas. She was determined to have a lawn as nice as Mrs. Cervini’s down the street.
Well, Mom won. After that summer, our lawn did look as nice as Mrs. Cervini’s. Green, nicely trimmed, and dandelion free. We kids felt pretty proud about that, too.
What? Dandelions Can Be Eaten? Who Knew?
DAndelion salad
Now, here’s the thing. Dandelions are a cash-crop delicacy in my hometown, Vineland, NJ. In fact, Vineland holds bragging rights to being the “Dandelion Capital of the World.”  (Not far away, in Hammonton, NJ, is the “Blueberry Capital of the World.”)
We didn’t know that dandelions were valuable when we were digging up and disposing those dastardly weeds to make Mom happy.
Yes, dandelion is a valuable food crop in early spring. You can use dandelions in soups, salads, fritters, muffins, breads, and even tasty wine. I haven’t heard of a dandelion dessert, but who knows, some creative chef out there may have dreamed up a sweet, melt-in-your-mouth dandelion dish. Vinelanders hold dandelions in high esteem in a special spring festival each year. A dandelion dinner at Merighi’s Inn on East Landis Avenue is the real deal.
Dandelion Salad Fit for Royalty
We had simpler fare at home. Each spring, Mom made dandelion salads, decorated with hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with paprika, to accompany our evening meals. “Dandelions are loaded with vitamins A and C, iron, and beta-carotene,” she claimed. “Eat!”
“The secret to good dandelion salad,” she said, “is to pick the tender leaves before the plant forms its flowers. (Once the flowers bloom, the leaves taste bitter.) Add a little vinegar-oil-garlic dressing, and there you have it: a delicious, healthy spring salad. Decorate the salad with hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with paprika and enjoy. Simple, but delicious.”
Today’s WANA favorite prompt brought back a lovely childhood memory. Check the following posts for other #WANAFriday Participants’ favorite words:

Di Bell digs deep and finds some wonderful lost words.
Ellen Gregory shares her love of kitties with the word ailurophile. 
Julie Farrar uses her word as a jumping-off point. (Look for a kitty in here, too.)
Kim Griffin goes nostalgic with a Mary Poppins’ word.
Siri Paulson beats me to the punch with serendipity.

The Last Meow

Favorite Word? For a cat? That’s easy. Eat-play-sleep. That reminds me. I think it’s nap time now. Maybe I’ll head out to the dandelion patch and take a snooze.

photo: flickrdotcom

photo: flickrdotcom

Meow for now.  =<^;^>=

Five Recipes for Dandelion Wine

WANAfriday. Childhood Memory: Scary, Scary Campfire Stories

WANAfriday: Share an early childhood memory, or a photo that brings back a memory of childhood or family.

In my childhood, large family gatherings were common.

Many evenings, my aunts and uncles gathered round the big kitchen table drinking coffee and talking about the events of the day, the weather, and the crops.

The aunts and uncles gathered frequently in the evening for coffee and news.

The aunts and uncles gathered frequently in the evening for coffee and news.

We cousins ran around outside in the twilight swatting mosquitos and catching fireflies to make lanterns for our bedrooms. Mom’s Mason canning jars, especially the green tinted ones, made the best lanterns.

Photo credit: girlsguideto.com

Photo credit: girlsguideto.com

Sometimes we sat outside on the big lawn in a big circle just talking. Sometimes we even had a campfire. One of the bigger kids invariably started telling scary stories, complete with stormy sound effects and long drawn out details. Here is an abbreviated version of one classic night-time summer tale:

It’s a dark and stormy night, and Bubba and Sarah Lee sneek away from their friends in his new black convertible to go sparking out on the woodsy bluff. In the midst of their tryst, they hear a faint scratching on the passenger door. Then the scratching gets louder. Scratch, SCRATCH.  And LOUDER.  SCRAA-AAATCH.

Then… thump, thump, thump.  The door rattles. A deep, snorting chuggle fills the air.

Bubba, remembering tales of terrors in these parts and fearing the worst, puts the car in reverse and blasts out of the woods, the romantic interlude forgotten in the terror of the moment.

When Bubba and Sarah Lee get back to her house, Bubba goes around the car to open the passenger door for Sarah Lee,       and………he……….sees……..   [deathly silence]

… A BONY ARM WITH A CLAWED HAND HANGING ON THE DOOR HANDLE!!!!! 

                        [S-S-S-C-R-E-A-M-M-M-M]

jERSEY deVIL...

Was it the famed Jersey Devil?  Who knows. But this story has been told and retold at many a campfire.

It was all too real to us little ones because we knew that the Jersey Devil did live in the woods of South Jersey, not that far from our home.

The Last Meow

Ha. You think that’s a scary story. You want to hear about the night I met the Jersey Devil on a moon-less night in the dark woods and chased him out of town? That Jersey Devil was so scared that he never came back again. So much for him, the big lummox. I never got much thanks from any humans for saving them from terror either. Oh well, what can you expect from those superstitious scaredy-cat humans. They probably think THEY chased the Jersey Devil away. Humph.

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Meow for now. =<*!*>=

Here are a few more WANAfriday childhood memories:

P.S. Did you ever hear that scary story when you were a kid?   What scary stories did you hear at camp?

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