Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “The Last Meow”

WANAfriday: A Good Weekend for Reading

Every Friday a WANA112 blogger tosses out a prompt for fellow bloggers to consider. The prompt for this week is:

001First Lines. Take this first line from Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani and run with it:

“This will be a good weekend for reading.”

Ava Maria Milligan took over as Big Stone Gap’s pharmacist when her cold, unfatherly father died thirteen years ago. Now single and thirty-five, her mother’s recent death leaves her in a quandary: a revealed death-bed secret causes Ava Maria to reevaluate everything about her life in Big Stone Gap.

Even so, life goes on. The big weekly event in Big Stone Gap, “The Coal Mining Capital of Virginia”  in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the arrival of the Wise County Bookmobile. Ava’s life almost depends on this “glittering royal coach” and the life-line to the world that it brings each week. Contemplating living in Stone Creek for the rest of her life, now that town gossip flaunts her mother’s long-buried secret, becomes a major challenge. The bookmobile, at least, brings “stories and knowledge and life itself” and relief from the pain of her mother’s death.

Quaint, but clever, mountain folk contribute to the liveliness of the book: Vernie Crabtree (makes killer chocolate chip cookies in town); Iva Lou Wade, (the bookmobile librarian dishes out advice on books and love in equal measure); Mrs. Nan Bluebell MacChesney (“Apple Butter Nan” and not-too-successful match-maker for her son); Jack MacChesney (a mountain man and one of two eligible bachelors in town); Theodore Tipton (the well-educated, non-romantic, other bachelor in town); and other characters who enliven the drama of everyday life in a small mountain town.

The September weekend threatens to be a cool, rainy weekend. This will be a good weekend for reading, Ava Marie thinks. On Iva Lou’s advice, she picks up The Captains and the Kings, a historical romance. She also picks up The Ancient Art of Chinese Face Reading, and As Grief Exits.

But this book is not about reading. It is about a young woman, a town leader in many ways, who now questions everything about her life as she works through this newly gained truth about her birth father. Along with the death-bed secret comes information about long-lost family members in Italy.

Is Ava’s future in this mountain town or in the wider world that she has come to love through her reading? Will Nan Blueberry MacChesney ever have any luck marrying off her mountain-man son? Read this well-written and enjoyable book to find the answers to these questions and to find out more about life in a small, coal-mining town in Virginia.

* * *

As for me, this will be a good weekend for reading, too. We seem to be having an early fall with almost record-setting low temperatures in the morning but warmer temperatures later in the day. I hadn’t originally planned to spend the weekend reading, but my reading group meets on Sunday, and I have to finish Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s, The Language of Flowers, before then. I have read a few reviews of the book, and it sounds like a book I will enjoy.

Language of Flowers

In my TBR stash, I have several other books waiting. I know I won’t get to them this weekend, perhaps next week.

Last weekend, I read Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society, a YA book about gifted children who set out to save the world. I loved the cleverness of the writing, so I picked up two more in the series at the library: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, and The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

001 (4)

I also looked online and discovered several more books in the Big Stone Gap series, so on another rainy weekend I will read a few more of Adriana Trigiani’s books:

Big Cherry Holler
Milk Glass Moon
Home to Big Stone Gap

And here are some thoughts by other WANAs on this WANAfriday prompt: “This will be a good weekend for reading.”

Ellen Gregory  On a Writing, Not a Reading Retreat

The Last Meow

What? No books about cats? What’s with that?

How about reading Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron?Dwey

Or how about 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization by Sam Stall?

Cat who changed world

Go ahead. Live a little Read a book about us world-famous kitties.

Meow for now.  =<^;^>=    

Black and White Photo Challenge: Upward at Jerash, Jordan

Every Tuesday, Sonel at Sonel’s Corner posts a new theme for the black-and-white-photo challenge.
The theme for July 30 is Upward.

Recently, I did a post on Petra, Jordan, and in the process I reviewed all of my photos from my Israel/Jordan trip in December of 2012. This picture from the ruins at Jerash, Jordan fits this upward theme.

Photo credit: Janice Heck

Temple of Zeus ruins in Jerash, Jordan. Photo credit: Janice Heck

Evidence of the vastness of the Roman Empire can be found throughout the Middle East, and a trip to Jerash confirms this.

See other photo interpretations of Upward her at Sonel’s Corner: Upward
See other posts on travel in Jordan here:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece at Petra
Another Look at Petra, Jordan

Po credit: textmetravel

Photo credit: textmetravel

The Last Meow

Ruins. Ruins. Ruins. That’s all she ever talks about. Hey, this is my home. There’s nothing wrong with it. I sorta like it. Now, let me be. I am on a mission to find a nice place to take my nap.

Meow for now.  =<^:^>= 

Caterday: Have a Cat-puchino and Relax

Caterday is always a fun day. Take a break today and have a Cat-puchino.

cat cappuchino

The Last Meow

How about a cute little Cool Whip kitten to make you smile? (video)cool whip kitten

Excuse me now. The phone is ringing and I have to answer it. (Cat answers phone-video.)

Meow for now. =(*;*)=

Ocean City: Ready for Visitors!

Ocean City, NJU

After the devastating Superstorm Sandy went through our area last October, things looked quite bleak. But with everyone pitching in to help, the Jersey shore looks much better now. Of course, some areas of New Jersey and New York still need more help and more work, but they, too, will recover. Ocean City, in the meantime, is ready for company. C’mon down.

Here’s one more weekly fun event in Ocean City.

Wednesday is Farmers and Crafters Market Day in Ocean City on the Tabernacle Grounds at 6th Street. Come get your “Jersey Fresh” produce. The market opens at 8 am.

O cean City Farmers Market Wed...

The Last Meow

Hey! What’s going on here? Word on the street says this garden has catnip. But this just looks like stinkin’ parsley. What gives? Where are you hiding the good stuff?

Meow for Now. =<^;^>=

A Cat’s Work Is Never Done

Add babysitting to the long list of kitty cat duties.

Video: A Cat Comforts Baby

And My Cat picThe Last Meow

Of course, we have many jobs. But our primary job is: Being Cute.

Here’s proof of that in the

10 Best Cat Videos of All Time.

Meow for Now. =<^:^>=

Hostas, Lillies, and Little Robbers

I do not have a fantastic green thumb, but I have been lucky with two kinds of plants: hostas (plantain lilies) and lilies.

My sister, Beverley, gave me some hosta plants from her yard a few years ago, and I diligently planted them in the flower beds around my house. I have since purchased several other varieties of hostas and planted them in the backyard flower beds. Two of these varieties of hostas have grown into huge mounds of greenery, so big they beg to be divided. (Next year, little darlings! Be patient.) (For more on hostas, click here and here.)

I offered some hosta plants to my friends, Ron and Joyce, my only condition being, “You have to dig them up yourself.”

Hosta plants before the attack.

Hosta plants before the attack.

Ron digs his clump of hostas.

Ron digs his clump of hosta.

That strategy worked on one batch of hostas, but I have at least six more huge mounds. When I mention the word “hosta” amidst my group of friends, their eyes glaze over, and they suddenly have other things to do. I guess that means they don’t want any.

My lilies, some of which came from my sister, Joyce, have also grown in prolific bunches. They are beautiful, and I hate the thought of digging them up and talking my friends into taking these work-makers. I will just plant them in my back garden where they will have more room to take over grow. That’s a lot of work, and I am not quite ready to take that project on either.





Along with these flowering delights come rascally little critters. On a bad good day, we might see three or four gray squirrels, two red squirrel, four or five chipmunks, and a variety of colorful birds.  The squirrels and chipmunks have developed some rather nasty, sneaky a habit of climbing up the bird feeder poles, latching on to the feeders, and plundering the goodies.

To prevent this sort of thievery, we purchased one of those nifty bird feeders whose outside cage covering slides down and blocks the seed openings when a squirrel climbs on it. However, these crafty little brats birdseed biters have learned to stretch out on the arm of the pole and lean down from above to have their snack upside down. Mission accomplished.

These little thieves critters love to play games with us. When we open the door and step out on the patio, the gray squirrels jump to the oak trees and move around to the back so we can’t see them. Then they wait until we go back into the house before resuming their furtive filching. The chipmunks stuff their cheeks then freeze in place, pretending they are part of the ground cover. Cute little stinkers!

I love my flowers, partly because they came from my sisters’ gardens, but also because I love their beauty and glorious colors.  But I have to admit that I also love these little birdseed pilfering cutie pies, even though the cost of their bad habits exceed the cost of a good dinner out.

Birdseed has now become a line item in our monthly budget. And, of course, only the more expensive black, oiled sunflower seeds will do for these guys. That’s their favorite. (They leave the thistle alone.)  Oh well, these little critters do provide free entertainment. What else can I say?

The Last Meow

Well, we can say something. This is not funny. Not funny at all. That puny rapscallion would make one tasty meal. And here we are, locked up inside the house. Not funny. Not funny at all.

cats- chipmunks  dailyflicksandpicks. com

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! =<^:^>=

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