Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “Cassandra Heck”

Exquisite Sunset by Cassandra Heck

No words needed for this picture!

Photo by Cassandra Heck Lake Fred at Stockton College, Galloway, NJ

Photo by Cassandra Heck
Lake Fred at Stockton College, Galloway, NJ

Music, Memories, and More


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.”
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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. =<^;^>=

Grumpy Cat Art Project…One More Entry by Cassandra Heck

Have you seen the trending topic about the Grumpy Cat Art Project?

In Huntsville, Alabama, thirty-two artists have invented their own artistic representations of Tardar Sauce, aka The Grumpy Cat, to auction off for the benefit of the Low Mill Arts and Entertainment Center. Proceeds from the auction will go to the center for art projects and for a children’s playground.

But none of these can compare to the cute and quirky Grumpy Cat heart designed personally for me by my stepdaughter, Cassandra Heck. She presented this little critter to me on Mother’s Day, and I have been chuckling about it ever since. Look closely at the intricate detail: hand-stitching, beadwork, paint on cut-out felt, and special ribbon. Look at those white thread whiskers. Grumpy looks so, so adorable. (Sorry, Grumpy, I’m just being honest.)

Grumpy Cat may be a sour puss, but Cassie’s original rendition gives me lots of happies. His stern NO! did not prevent me from eating those Trader Joe chocolate-nut biscotti given to me by Mandy Heck.

Sorry, this original Grumpy Cat design is not part of the auction!

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Cassie makes these one-of-a-kind heart designs for friends as a mini-fundraiser of her own to help her pay the vet bills for Luca, her canine companion, who recently had to be put to sleep due to an advanced cancer tumor above his hip.

Luca and Cassie 3

Here are a few other “Helping Hearts” designs by Cassie.

Cassie designed this heart for her mom who helped care for Luca. Luca means "bringer of light."

Cassie designed this heart for her mom who helped care for Luca. Luca means “bringer of light.”

heart 5

CAssie dog heart Mr. Tux

Cupcake Heart

Cupcake Heart

American Heart

The Last Meow

Nice, Cassie. You do good work. Thanks for making us look so pretty.

heart cats

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


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.

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