Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “photography”

Mash-Up: Saturday Sampling of Posts Worthy of Notice

Data: 430,802 bloggers wrote 964,269 posts today on WordPress.Com.  Add all the new posts on Blogger.com, and you have an overwhelming number of blog posts to read.

Who has time to read them all?

Freshly Pressed by WordPress features excellent posts of the last day or so, and mash-ups by individual bloggers help to identify other good ones. Here is a Saturday sampling of my own blogosphere wanderings this week.

Humor: Leave it to Wana112 groupie, Laird Sapir, to find some off-the-wall humorous oddity to write about. In this post, she writes about Party Rats. Read her tongue-in-cheek post to learn how you can use these little critters for night blogging.  http://www.lairdsapir.com/2012/07/lets-party-rats/

Writing: Barbara Forte Abate reviews the true meaning of some common expressions we use in everyday speaking and writing. I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag by telling you which expressions she writes about; just take a look-see for yourself. I think you’ll enjoy reading her comments at http://barbaraforteabate.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/hair-of-the-dog

Luca the Wonder Dog

Dogs: Speaking of “Hair of the Dog,” here’s a post by Cassandra Heck (my stepdaughter) about her dog, Luca. Luca is a comedian in canine wrappings. This 90-pound behemoth wraps his owner and family right around his little toe. He gives lots of love in return, so the trade-off is worth it. Read about him at http://cassandraheck.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/this-crazy-thing-called-luca/

Culture and Literature: Jacqui Talbot, storyteller extraordinaire, writes down memorable Choctaw tales as told to her by her grandfather. This particular tale tells about great waves crashing down on Choctaw land and destroying everything. One survivor, who had predicted a catastropic flood, had built a raft in the mountains and survived. This tale is mesmerizing.  http://justjacqui2.com/2012/07/

Parenting: How do blogs and parenting connect? “Homemadekids” suggests a number of ways bloggers can help parents, from passing on recipes to sharing ideas about how to bring up children to become thoughtful adults.  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/focus-on-parenting-blogs/

Photos:  I lived near San Francisco for a number of years and always loved going over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Sometimes it was in fog, and sometimes it was in the clear; either way, it was always beautiful. This particular photograph is spectacular. http://ilikephotoblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/golden-gate-bridge-san-francisco/

Travel: “Where’s my backpack?” writes about the Franciscan Monastery of Mount St. Sepulchre in the Brookland neighborhood in northeastern Washington, DC. The Franciscan Order, established in the 12th century, was charged with caring for all Christian shrines in the Holy Land. The buildings and grounds of this monastery, built later to provide “a taste of the Holy Land,” features replicas of those shrines and chapels in the Holy Land.

This monastery is on my list of things to see before I travel (I hope) to Israel in December. “Where’s my backpack?” does a great job giving descriptive detail, historical background, and photos of this site. Read both posts. http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/07/25/catacombs-and-old-byzantium-i/ and http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/07/25/catacombs-and-old-byzantium-ii/

Zucchini Tart (after dinner)

Recipes:  Panini Girl has an obsession with Italy and with food, two of my favorite topics.  Recently she posted a recipe for a tomato tart (July 6, 2012), and this week she put up a recipe for a delicious-looking zucchini tart. I went out today, bought all the ingredients I needed, and made one up for dinner. It’s as delicious as it looks!  The recipe for the zucchini tart was posted on July 26, 2012. Here’s a picture of my attempt.

Recipes: What to do with those extra blueberries? You have more than enough to make my easy-peasie blueberry tart (recipe here), so why not make this blueberry…umm…casserole pie found on the Three Clever Sisters blog on July 26, 2012.  This is a great pie for a big family gathering.

Cats: And finally, no mash-up of mine would ever be complete without the feline connection. Cats just make me happy. Last week on Saturday Silliness, I posted “Where do cats sleep?”  Andmycat.com posted a collection of delightful kitties here:  http://www.andmycat.com/2012/07/todays-featured-kitties-july-27.html

YOUR TURN: What was your favorite blog this week?

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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