Moving weeek! And the last couple months.

Sooo…another weekly/bi-weekly…*slash* MONTHLY post. I Instagrammed some stuff from moving in weekend so now I’m just going to ramble/update you about that and getting settled in our new apartment and the stuff that’s happened in the past couple months because I haven’t blogged in forever :)

First week of May stuff

[1] So I DID go to the Flower Show earlier this year. It was fun. The theme this year was “Brilliant!”, an ode to British stuff and of course, FLOWERS and lots of them. Yes, Lots of pretty things to look at. They had a huge Big Ben type-thing in the center of the room and every hour it would switch from the clock to something else, usually a montage of stuff from the UK (including Doctor Who and Monty Python which of course I got excited about lol) I DID NOT however, get to Sakura Sunday this year :/ Because…

[2] We MOVED!!! You can read about that process here. Other than that nothing much happened in between 1 and 2 except boring parking stuff and LOTS of cleaning. Here’s my living room full of our stuff. The apartment was really, really dirty and I spent many hours cleaning and organizing. Apparently, the person who lived here before us was a hoarder. With cats. I know. Needless to say, I’m still cleaning things up and trying to get rid of mystery smells. BUT it has been worthwhile because I love this apartment and I had 2 years of pent up housekeeping energy anyway. With every little thing I do, the place looks (and smells) better and better. When things are completely clean and put away I’ll take more pics and post them.

[3] Here’s a shot of my office after much work and a trip to Ikea.

[4] I’m so excited because this spring I took on a project that really is close to my heart. One of the women that goes to church with me is starting a non-profit for women based on Mark 5:41-42 which reads as follows:

Holding her hand, he [Jesus] said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed.

Curiously enough, this is a testimony verse of mine. I actually have an interview next week to share my testimony and become a part of many who have already shared theirs with the goal of inspiring women. But shhh…spoilers :)

[5] The fickle Philly weather FINALLY stabilized into spring. Yay!

[6] The cats have gotten comfortable here quite quickly. They like to hang out in my office while I work and distract me. Lately, Gizmo likes to lay in the closet though. I’ll be adding my other cats back into our lives next week! I’m so excited to see them and my parents.

Powerless

This week I was powerless, quite literally.

This home (basement included of course) was without power this from Monday evening to yesterday afternoon on account of hurricane Sandy. The internet was out even longer. I’m writing this because 1) I’m happy to have my Internet back and 2) The pitch black end to my October made me think of some things.

It seems like the hurricanes have followed me up the cost. Having grown up in the south I have been through too many of these things to remember and I figured that Sandy would be no different. Even as my Philadelphia-native friends were preparing for an unfamiliar (for them) bout with the storm, I brushed off the need to prepare for anything. I knew what “category 1″ meant and exactly what that entailed. I also knew that the power would probably go out. I just didn’t count on it being out for days.

I was right. Sort of. We got little rain and it was windy. Some trees fell (not on houses! Whew!) and some branches broke in the night and landed in the yard. And it was dark; very, very dark for almost 3 days. And though we didn’t get the worst of the storm by any means (prayers for NJ and NYC), there was still the difficulty of having no power in the house and a lesson to be learned for me in the process.

I had been thinking the past few days about panic, not the kind to be taken lightly but the, “I’m going to die” panic. I realize some people have never had that feeling, they’re blessed. I had the misfortune of coming face to face with panic during some of my first open water dives. [Scuba diving] as fun as it is, there’s a overwhelming sense of being very close to death in the moments when the water is deep and the light fades. When I was about 15 I dove down into my first underwater cave and it got very dark very fast. I was about 60 ft. down and maybe 30 ft. inside when I lost all light and in that second I felt it. It was pure fear, the kind that makes your bones feel cold. At once I lost all sense of direction. I became very aware of my frailty and the millions of gallons of cold water pushing in on my lungs. My breath was the only sound I heard and I was completely blind. My mask began to fill with water and I thought I was done. I hung there in the void feeling not only panicked but completely alone, and powerless to stop the fear.

I thought back to the cave while I descended the stairs into the basement yesterday night. I saw the stairs going down but I underestimated the bigness of the darkness and once again I was there in the blackest dark. It had swallowed me. I thought about my encounter with panic and how I had fought against my body to keep calm in the face of nothingness. Because it wasn’t the cold, or even the dark that scared me so bad. It was the loss of direction and with that, the loss of hope. It was uncertainty.

Obviously I did make it out of that cave. I remember I had never been so relieved to see the light. I was exhausted when I finally reached the surface; but I made it.

When you learn to dive, one of the first things you learn, that is reinforced throughout your training is, “don’t panic”. Because when you’re under there, surrounded my so much water there are too many things that can go wrong. The last thing you want to do is let yourself panic. That day, I had successfully felt panic and ignored it. I got out. I thought my way out, despite what my body was screaming at me.

Since then I have to leaned to accept my own powerlessness. I was powerless to make the electricity flicker back on. I couldn’t make the darkness disappear but I had power over my attitude. Again and again that is my lesson: Jackie can ONLY control Jackie. That’s it.

I also learned (again) that thinking I know everything is a sign of pride and that would not serve me well if this (or worse) happened again, in this case preparing for the worst was a good thing that I foolishly disregarded.

“Pride goes before destruction,
and haughtiness before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

Even so, the wonderful promise of Romans 8:28 came through! All things work together for good. We all made it though the storm safely (and so did our food)!

[EDIT]By the way! I’m in the process of redoing this site and moving some things so I apologize if it’s looks a little “undone”![/EDIT]

Lately…learning to fall.

oct 2012

I love fall. I love the brisk air, falling leaves, and changing colors. Some of the trees here turn a lovely shade of red, my favorite. However, this month has been a blur and not easy. I’ve been learning to fall again – realizing I’ve fallen backward and picking myself back up again. This October has knocked the wind out of me. There are more details below but today I’m in the process of getting up, back into a routine and making myself useful instead of laying around and wasting time.

[1] This is what I’ve been doing most of today; it’s version 4 of this site right here, a merger of killmortality.net and this site. I decided to combine them because I am no longer trying to branch out in a bunch of different directions. I’m just me, and this is just my site. So very soon KM.net will have been eaten up by JCR.com.

It sort of reminds me of how far I’ve actually come in the 7 years since KM.net was born. In a way, KM is like my teenage self and JCR is me now. The younger, dumber me finally being consumed by her grown-up version.

SOON :)

[2] I’ve been baking a lot, really, in the kitchen a lot. I have found such a joy in cooking in the last 2 years (since I haven’t had a kitchen of my own). I recently made my husband’s favorite fall dessert, apple dumplings (he helped).

[3] In the spirit of a new portfolio, I have been trying to motivate myself to produce more art to fill it with. A couple nights ago I was sketching and (below that) playing with Photoshop and ideas for new pieces.

[4] The first part of the month was especially draining. I guess I slipped into my depression [of sorts], which I’m now getting out of, when I received some sad news from my mother. She called and told me that our sweet Sabrina had inexplicably passed away. I had recently decided to let my mom keep her since she had, as of a few months ago lived with my parents longer than us. That and my family had fallen in love with her. Still, I was very upset when I heard. Apparently, she fell asleep…

I don’t know about some people, but to me my pets are members of my family and losing one hurts just as bad. I guess that’s part of it.

Southern Trip: The end of Summer

Last month I went down south for 10 days to see my family and friends. It was a good trip; pleasantly fast flights, good food, hanging out with friends and shopping! Nothing too crazy, just your routine visit. Except that the last weekend in August my mom and I drove to Florida to see my Gram! So I was in South Carolina for about 6 days with my parents and my other kitties :)

end of summer trip

[1] When I got to my parents’ house my cats were happy to see me. This is me giving my Max a tummy rub. He’s gotten so fat! But I was so happy to see that he and his sister were doing well.

Stella’s in the lower right hand corner sitting by the door. She would NOT have her picture taken =/ lol my little princess.

[2] Pretty much the first thing I did was hit the beach with one of my best friends EVER. I do miss the beach. My parents’ house is about 20 minutes from the coast verses Philly which is a couple hours. So I spent Tuesday and Sunday of that week lounging in the sun.

[3] My parents took my to my favorite, favorite sushi place when I got in. This is my FAVORITE roll, Spicy Double-Tuna; cooked tuna inside, raw tuna on top with spicy sauce. YUM.

[4] On the way to Florida, my mom and I always stop at the Florida Welcome Center (I’ve made many trips to FL as a kid) where they give out a free cup of juice, orange or grapefruit. After getting my cup of juice, compliments of the Florida farmers, I nearly spilled it when I saw this big cardboard display with minions on it! Apparently, Universal Studios was advertising a new Despicable Me ride (I love that movie, can’t wait for #2!!!). My mom took my picture with them ^^ and we were on our way! (Too bad I didn’t go to Universal this time)

We had a nice visit with my Gram (mom’s mom), as always. She always gets me goodies from the thrift store where she volunteers a few times a week. One of my favorites is the picture to the right of me and the minions. It’s a mirror on one side and the other is this! Cute, huh? Being a cat lady I sure do appreciate it.

We ended up leaving early in the wake of hurricane Issac which pretty much ruined the weather for the rest of my stay in SC. I flew home on the 30th. My mom had to ship some of my things behind me since we had done some shopping while I was there. All in all, a blessing at the end of the summer.

Hopefully the next time I travel south my sister will be back in the US and I’ll get to see her as well.

Now, even though it’s only quarter to eight, it’s dark outside. The leaves are beginning to change colors in places, which makes me excited for sweater-weather, pumpkin spice lattes and velvet-red leaves. Bring on fall!

The last month: Birthdays, dancing, kitty trees…

Yeah, I can’t do these posts lol I just have a hard time keeping up! I think I subconsciously wait at least a couple weeks to do this so I’ll have something to say seeing as I hardly go anywhere. But this time I have something to say about each of these pictures.

End of July and beginning of August

[1] I celebrated my 25th birthday at the end of last month (Woohoo! *old*). My sisters from the church were there to celebrate with me and bake me this cake (it’s chocolate, a favorite of mine).

[2] My husband’s birthday is six days after mine, so when our birthdays come around every year we tend to mash them together as far as cake and presents and all that stuff. This year presents were had by both of us and the cats, who love their new kitty tree; they’ve been missing one ever sine the move so we thought it was time to replace it (finally). We each got a couple things for ourselves for our birthdays. I usually only get a couple things I’ve been eyeing or wanting for sometime before that, nothing crazy but I will share them at the end of this post.

[3] I’ve been messing around in Photoshop again. I’ve done two of these kind of pieces; they are characterized my a somber, morbid kid of mood and are very minimal otherwise; I’ve decided to put them into a series. I’m actually working on another.

I’m thinking now that I’m going to put all of my old stuff into series as well, and while I’m at it, I’ll be combining my sites – they’re just useless on their own :(

[4] The hubby and I did some serious cleaning and sorting (again) last month and rediscovered our love for Dance Dance Revolution. When we first got married we were so enamored with playing DDR that we bought arcade-style metal pads to dance on. It’s still fun :)

[5] I included a picture of my baby boy, Max because I can’t wait to see my other kitties! I’ll be going down to SC at the end of the month to visit my parents, friends and of course, my kittens!

[6] Eariler this week I went down to center city and discovered this lovely place. John F. Collins Park is a tiny, zen-like oasis in the middle of the tall buildings and bustle of the city; I sat there for a while and I imaged that the space must be invaluable to some of the people that work downtown in the busyness and noise. Best part is that there’s a sushi bar on the same block (sushi’s my favorite food ever). I think I may have found another spot in the city that I like to be in.

Birthday haul time! Actually, I only gifted myself two things so I don’t know if this qualifies as a haul but…

Per my Instagram, I went to Target a few weeks ago and found this little beauty of a dress…and I do mean little, the XS was a perfect fit! I knew that I wanted to go back that grab it as my birthday present to me ;D Now to wear it before the summer’s gone!

Perfect summer dress.

I’m actually considering altering it a little so the straps are not criss-crossed in the back. What do you think?

Next, probably the sexiest keyboard EVER. I saw it on Sneakpeeq and had to have it.

*drool*

It hasn’t arrived yet but I can’t wait. I’ve been in the market for a new keyboard for a while now and when I saw this one I knew I wanted it and not just because I fell in love with the design -it’s so 80slicious, yes? I also like it because of the space between the keys – good for coding purposes :D

That’s what I call a “haul” lol Not very exciting.