Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the month “May, 2014”

Cee’s Odd Ball Photos: Unka Bill’s Flower Beds

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Week 11

My brother Bill (Unka Bill to the kids) is an odd ball really interesting guy, but sometimes he gets a little mixed up. When he hears the term “flower bed,” this is what he thinks:

Brother Bill's Flower Bed

Brother Bill’s Flower Bed

Then again, here’s another oddity in his yard:

Fresh corn on a spike for those pesky squirrels. Come and get it! We put this cob or corn out and went back into the house. Fifteem minutes later we checked back, and all we saw was a bare cob and not a squirrel in sight.

A picnic table for squirrels?

Now really. Who puts out a picnic table for squirrels? That is a bit odd unusual don’t you think?

mm

And let’s not stop with the picnic table. Here’s Unka Bill’s special squirrel feeding station.

At our house, we chase the bird-seed-stealing squirrels away from the feeders, but not Unka Bill. He puts fresh corn (bought at the Summerville Flowertown Festival) out on a mini-picnic table posted up on a tree for those pesky squirrels.

Fresh corn on a spike for those pesky squirrels! Really odd!

I personally witnessed this odd behavior event. He put this cob of corn (previously promised for our dinner, mind you!) up on his fancy-schmancy squirrel feeder and went back into the house. Fifteen minutes later, he checked back, and all he saw was a bare cob and not a squirrel in sight. Ungrateful little fellas. They didn’t even stop to say thank-you or clean up their mess.

Oh well, they made Brother Bill happy. Sister-in-law Patty just rolled her eyes.

***

By the way, you can see pictures of the Summerville Flowertown Festival here in my Quirky Grammar series (from the 2014 A to Z Challenge). There really are some street-fair pictures in these two posts.

1.   D is for Deep-Fried Hyphens
2.   F is for Freshly Squeezed Adverbs

Okay, I admit that it’s a bit odd to talk about grammar at an outdoor, sunny-day-in-April street fair, but what the heck? I have already confessed to being a Grammar Geek, so you can’t label me as odd. Or can you?

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Cee’s Featured Odd Ball Photos for Week 10 (last week). Enjoy! 022714-odd-ball

Oh Danny Boy

Ritva’s Art

To Breathe Is to Write

Travel Tales Of Life

***
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.

=<^;^>=

 

 

#AtoZ Reflections and Five More Writers

 

A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

This is my third year of posting a duly earned A to Z Survivor’s Badge on my blog.

AttoZ survivor, 2014

As I writer, I am now faster at completing posts and more focused on my writing theme. I enjoy reading other blogs and seeing the variety of writing styles other writers use. I “liked” a lot of posts and commented on a number of them as well, although I find it hard to comment as much as I would like to. Finally, I have seen my own growth as a writer because of the enforced march to post completion. The team pressure to complete the challenge and win that little green badge is strong! And that’s good.

This is my second post on reflections on the A to Z. My first, A to Z Bonus Wrap-Up: Writers I Met on the A to Z Highway, focused on a major benefit of this challenge for me: meeting new (to me) writer/bloggers. Here are my first five:

1. Amos Carpenter. From writing software and websites to just writing
2. Miss Alister, The Essence of a Thing: Another construction site pumping out noise and dust
3. Tom Benson – Creative A ‘watering hole’ for readers and fellow writers
4. Julie Jordan Scott, Julie Unplugged: Giving You Permission to Be Purely You: Unerased, Raw, Absolutely Right…
5. Jennifer Marshburn, Writings On Writing

I promised to add five more to my original five in my post for this Wednesday. Here they are:

6. Linda May Adams: Soldier, Storyteller

Linda gives us the lowdown on the military adventures (and misadventures) of women soldiers. Linda’s humor had me chuckling on a number of occasions. The military meals she describes seem, well, indigestible. Read about her resourceful alternatives, and be thankful for your home-cooked meals.

7. John Mark Miller, The Artistic Christian: Discussing Modern Art and Culture from a Christian Perspective.

John Mark Miller’s log line says it all. I enjoyed his writing style and his commentary. Here is my favorite post: Vision: The Foundation for Artistic Voice. And here are his Reflections on the A to Z Challenge.

8. Chris White Writes: Just another author writing short stories instead of his novel…

Chris White, to his wife’s dismay, decided to join the A to Z as they were heading out on vacation. 26 posts in April? No problem, especially when you have monsters on your mind. If you need a monster or two for your novel (for the AtoZ, Chris featured 26 under-represented world monsters) hop on over to Chris’ place and snag a couple. Today’s monster, Kakotomirai (May 6), was an easy take-down. But wait, here comes Kakotomirai’s mom! Revenge! You’ll enjoy this blog.

9. Damyanti, Daily (w)rite: A Daily Ritual of Writing

Self-described “compulsive lurker” (always reading blog posts but never commenting), Damyanti changed her ways and discovered the community of bloggers when she started commenting on posts. She is a free-lance writer and an encourager of writers. See her A to Z Reflections post and you will see what I mean. I especially enjoyed her How Do You Make Blogging Friends post from February.

10. Chuck Douros, runwritedig: Run Hard. Dig Deep. Tell the World.

This blog combines three worlds: runners, writers, and gardeners. For the A to Z, Chuck focused on garden pests, common problems, and ridiculous garden myths. For a rusty green thumb-er like me, Chuck’s advice is both usable and valuable. Here’s his post on yellow jackets. It might be helpful for your family this summer.

Click here to see reflections of other A to Zers who have survived the drill of writing 26 posts in 30 days. It is an accomplishment to be noted!

Thanks to all the A to Z organizers for this exceptional annual challenge.  See you in 2015.

A to Z Team [2014]

Arlee Bird: Tossing it Out
Alex J. Cavanaugh: Alex J. Cavanaugh
Stephen Tremp: Author Stephen Tremp
Tina Downey:Life is Good
Damyanti Biswas: Amlokiblogs
Jeremy Hawkins: [Being Retro]
Nicole Ayers: The Madlab Post
M. J. Joachim: M. J. Joachim’s Writing Tips
Heather M. Gardner: The Waiting is the Hardest Part
AJ Lauer: Naturally Sweet
Pam Margolis: An Unconventional Librarian

***
Janice Hall Heck, retired educator, blogger, 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.  =<^!^>=

Stalking Shadow: #Weekly-Pet-Challenge-35

Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge petchallenge

(http://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com)

Week #35

Stalking Shadow

Yesterday afternoon, I stalked my sister Judie’s cat, Shadow, trying to get a picture. Shadow was quite miffed at this unwanted attention and my obnoxious behavior, so she kept turning her head away, avoiding all eye contact. Her glary eyes told me she did not want her picture taken. What’s with that? I thought all cats wanted to be the center of attention.

If you take my picture, I will ignore you.

If you take my picture, I will ignore you.

***
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, a regular feature on this blog, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

=<^;^>=

 

Flight: Photo a Week Challenge

A Photo a Week Challenge: Flight

Ocean City, NJ 5-2014

Ocean City, NJ 5-6-2014 Gull over newly planted beach grass

 Thanks to Nancy Merrill for organizing this Photo A Week Challenge.

***
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, a regular feature on this blog, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

=<^;^>=

Silent Sunday at the OC Beach

 

Ocean City, NJ beach

Ocean City, NJ beach

silent sunday

***
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, a regular feature on this blog, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

=<^;^>=

 

 

#DailyPost #PhotoChallenge: #Spring: rolling down a grassy hill

Look for this challenge on The Daily Post: Spring

What could be more fun than rolling down a grassy hill on a warm spring day?

What could be more fun than rolling down a grassy hill on a warm spring day?

***
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, a regular feature on this blog, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

=<^;^>=

WP Daily Post Photo Challenge: Spring

Look for this challenge on The Daily Post

Spring bloom from a winter bulb… Spring inside and outside.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

***
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, a regular feature on this blog, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

=<^;^>=

 

Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Close-ups at the Beach

Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Close-ups

I took my backpack and camera up on the Ocean City boardwalk on a cold, windy day in late April. Here is what I found…

Stones along the boardwalk...

Stones along the boardwalk…

 

A support piling for retaining wall...

A support piling for a retaining wall…

 

Boardwalk planks...

Boardwalk planks…with my toes…

***
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, a regular feature on this blog, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

 

 

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?

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
 
 ***
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: Bonus Wrap-up: Writers I Met on The #AtoZ Highway

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

AttoZ survivor, 2014

One of the great benefits of participating in the #AtoZ Blog Challenge, besides getting this survivor’s badge, is meeting new (to me) writers. I will mention a few of these writers each week in occasional “Wednesday Writers” posts. Since I am now in the habit of daily regular posting, this first release on Wednesday Writers will be today, Thursday. (Just pretend that I posted it before midnight last night. Okay?)

Go visit these writers and tell ’em that Jan sent you. Maybe they’ll give you some tea and crumpets.

1. Amos Carpenter. From writing software and websites to just writing

Amos is a new blogger (his Y post was #50), and he has a natural writing style with a bit of humor tossed in to keep you smiling. He comments on good reads to put on your TBR list. Remember to stretch your genre reading. Amos has great suggestions for you.

2. Miss Alister, The Essence of a Thing: Another construction site pumping out noise and dust

Miss Alister writes 26 Magic Days of A to Z in 200 words (+/-) about a randomly chosen word for the letter of the day: the Inanity of E, the Audacity of C, the Difficulty of S, just to mention a few.  These posts are all “witty bits about crazy people” as one other follower commented. Miss Alister says it’s all because she likes to explore the correlation between madness and genius. Miss Alister just has a way with words!

3. Tom Benson – Creative A ‘watering hole’ for readers and fellow writers

Tom’s watering hole is filled with tips and commentary for writers. From capital letters to book jacket design to killing your darlings to publishing e-books, he has some great ideas for you. Stop by and say HI.

4. Julie Jordan Scott, Julie Unplugged: Giving You Permission to Be Purely You: Unerased, Raw, Absolutely Right…

Julie’s #Ato Z runs the gamut from Audacious and Begin to Xes, Yearning, and Zealous. Each word comes with a picture, a definition, a quote, questions, lists, and writing prompts, a year’s worth of writing inspiration in each post, all designed to encourage you to immerse yourself in writing.

5. Jennifer Marshburn, Writings On Writing

From Autobiograph vs. Memoir to Zzzzz….Sleep and Writing, Jennifer shares her wise, practical, and encouraging comments on both writing genre and the writing process. She also suggests a website that I found interesting: Meetup.com where like-minded individuals gather for a wide variety of activities. I’m thinking about joining the Standup Paddleboarding or the Pug Playtime in South Jersey group. After all, these groups are close by. Well, the paddleboarding may be a bit out of my comfort level, but the pugs sound cute.

Look for another edition of Wednesday Writers on, ta dah, Wednesday, May 7.

***
Janice Hall Heck, retired educator, blogger, 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.  =<^!^>=

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