Wednesday, May 30, 2007



Smober is Shelly, Roxymama's, journal for smoking sober, which means no more smoking.  Well, folks, I've been smober for 21 hrs.

Joey has asthma and is on two different inhalers.  He is finishing day #9 of being smober.  We are both using the new drug Chantix although I must say it is working far better for him than me.  It's very weird....I don't have many urges to smoke because this drug blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain which cause the cravings.  What I do have are some pretty severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms because the nicotine is leaving my body even though I really don't have an urge to smoke.

I'm not sure I'm happy with feeling crazy again.  I haven't been there for so many years.  I'm fighting anxiety, depression, trouble concentrating, and headaches but have to focus on the end results. 

My son says I won't last more than a day or two.  I will prove him wrong. 






Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Memorial Day






Saluting all members, past and present, of the Armed Forces.  May we continue to enjoy the freedom that they have sacrificed their lives for.


Mixed Snags or Tags




She's Home!!!

Megan is home and had a wonderful time.  She fell totally in love with Japan and Tokyo.  China was a bit different but she did love the country and the history.  It was an experience of a lifetime for her.  She would love to work in Tokyo someday.

We went to Walmart and KMart today and spent well over $200, well over.  Of course, we each got a cute pair of shoes and some hanging baskets half off at K-Mart.  We also got some pool supplies although the pump is at my BF's so who knows when the pool will be opened. She is grilling chicken, asaparagus and bacon wraps.  That girl can cook.  LOL...she didn't make a whole lot.  I was complaining.  She said this is "lunch."  Whoo hoo, another scrumptious meal in store for me,

I only have a few pictures from her facebook.  Her pc isn't hooked up and her program for her camera is not on this computer.  I'm not sure when I'll get into those.

Here are a couple of snags for summer and another Zindy Nielsen one  Hugs to all!  Have a safe and wonderful weekend!  CHRIS





Thursday, May 24, 2007



And they're legal.  There's an artist in the UK, Zindy Nielsen, who just asks that you link and list her name...whoo hoo.  She creates some lovely things but I haven't gotten many tubes.  (Thanks Angela)

I am feeling like a witch with a "b" lately.  It's really hot here.  Had to put the air wonderful air conditioner in the wall that has plagued me since I got it.  The thermostat is going whacko on it...up and down...but I'm not in the mood for putting out bucks to replace the whole front of the unit.  I can see a fun summer ahead with this.

I took a plastic grocery bag of medical bills to work yesterday.  The counselor I worked with took about ten looks when I walked in the door.  No least a couple of dozen in there.  They were from Megan's treatment.  All except one was around 10-20 dollars; one was a hundred and something.  They were from labs, pathologists, etc...all separately billed.  I had no idea what I had or hadn't paid.  The clinic had several.  I called the hospital clinic and begged them to itemize them and let me know what I had and hadn't paid because I did have cancelled checks for some that I just got.  UGH, UGH. 

Anyway, I got an e-mail from Megan.  She was none too thrilled with China.  She loved the sights but said the people shoved, were rude and looked at them like they were from another she is 20 remember?  Anyway, she had been in Osaka Japan for 1 hr and she LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it, as she put it.  She totally loves Tokyo and doesn't want to come home now.  My child is definitely an urbanite.  I'm thinking Japan is much like the western world.  And she things the boys are cuter in Japan, so go figure.  She will be home on Saturday.  Can you believe it?  I'll have to get some pictures off of her. There haven't been any on the website.

My BF got a part time job  at a mom and pop convenience store.  He was getting bored with retirement.  So, now I'm BF-less.  He is working all Memorial Day weekend since he is the new one....yuck.  He started two weeks ago.  I've seen him once.  Nope, I'm not a happy camper. 

Please keep Becky in your thoughts and prayers.  She is really having a hard time concentrating at school since she lost her Skitz.

HUGS!!!!  Chris


Monday, May 21, 2007


Whoo, this psp stuff is becoming a royal pain.  I know it seems so foreign to those who aren't involved but there are at least two other licensing organizations besides the CILM.  I'm sure there are more than that.  Each group has different artists.  So, here I sit with a hard drive with 30,000 exaggeration, that shouldn't be used.  Not all are listed with the same licensing group.  What a mess.  I haven't found Kim Anderson on any of them (one my very favorites) but I'm sure he's on one of em.

I had a scare with my kitty.  She had fleas over the weekend.  She was running around like a whacko nut.  I got Hartz at K-Mart because I didn't want fleas all through my house waiting until today to get flea stuff from the vets.  You put it at the base of their head so they can't lick it.  Well, Mocha was taking her paw, scrathing at the fluid and then licking her paws.  I called the vet this morning and got chewed out for using Hartz on her.  I asked if it would have made a difference if she was licking Frontline off of her paws.  Ugh...anyway, I was spastic all day at work because when I left this morning she was nowhere to be found.  I pictured the worst and wondered how I would tell Megan I killed her kitty.  I was so relieved when she flew in the familyroom for food when I got home tonight.  Sheesh, I just could not live through another disaster with a pet.

Megan is in Japan with $150 left in her checking account.  Keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

Here are some snags for tonight.  I don't think there is room to tag them.

Love and HUGS  Chris






Sunday, May 20, 2007


I had a couple of pictures of Grizzly and Mocha that I hadn't used.  I figured I'd mess around with the AOL albums again.

It's been one of those weeks that seemed to just get worse as it went on.  I hope that the coming week is calmer.  I'm putting up just one snag.  For now, I'm not tagging; just not in the mood.  Actually, creating graphics is just not a joy anymore.  The greatest joy comes from sharing.   I'm just posting one made from a scrap set.  LOL...yeah, it's sort of dorky but safe.

HUGS to all!  Chris



Saturday, May 19, 2007

Asian Update

Ugh to the new AOL picture show.  I added captions...where are they?  I've been so lost in the shuffle of this week's events that I missed a couple of updates.  Today the group is on their way to Japan.  Next Saturday Megan will be home.  Where did the time go.  LOL at Japan...Megan loves Hello Kitty and San Rio stuff which is created in Japan.  I hear the checkbook bouncing. 

So, the pictures are a hodge podge of the updates.  If I weren't so lazy, I'd post them separately.  Dang, AOL and the captions.  Why do they have a space for them if they don't function????

Today is our last day in Beijing, and it's a free day for everyone until 5:30. Most people are going shopping. Dr. Marlin is going to the museum of the revolution, and I'm going to visit another logistics company with one of the Chinese professors. Tonight we are having our big farewell dinner feast at a revolving rooftop restaurant, and tomorrow we leave for the airport around 11am.
Look for more posts from Japan!

In the morning we went to the Summer Palace, which most of us agree was the best thing that we've seen in Beijing. The place was gigantic, and most of us were exhausted after wandering around and scaling staircase after staircase to see the different parts of the palace.

Tiannamen Square is the open air picture above.  The summer palace is the group in front of the Chinese building.  The summer palace is also viewed from across a bay or some sort of body of water.  The panda is from a trip to the Beijing Zoo.


After class in the morning yesterday, we spent the afternoon in Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City. You may recall the famous footage of protests in Tiannamen Square from 1989; we saw the exact location where that single student stood in front of the tank. This is also the area where Chairman Mao's mausoleum can be found, but we had a "Wally World" moment when we found out that it was closed for renovations until September.

In the evening we all succumbed to our desire for American food and took a trip outto the Hard Rock Cafe. It happened to be "Retro Night," and there was a live band that belted out "classics" all night. Any band that starts the evening with "I'm All out of Love" by Air Supply is all right in my book! thinks the professor is showing his age. So, anyway, moving on past the grief of the week.

Just wanted to let all of you know that snagging is not against any laws.  The most that would happen would be having to remove the snag. 

All of us that do PSP are at risk if we are not licensed which is becoming more and more evident daily.  More artists are joining the various gilds and requiring licensing.  All artists copyright their work; just not all are requiring us to purchase their work yet but I do think soon it will happen.  All hobbies cost money.  PSP will also.  I know it's hard for those of you who don't do PSP to understand but it's about artists being compensated for their artwork.  It's hard for those of us doing it for fun and not profit to shell out bucks for stuff we are just donating.  I'm just beginning to recognize the various artists' work.  Just giving credit is not enough.  Such is life, I suppose.  So do I continue to look over my shoulder or just bite the bullet and shell out bucks for each tube I want.  These are issues all taggers in AOL will be facing....anyway...HUGS to all!  I'm very behind on my alerts and hope to catch up this weekend.  CHRIS

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It's Over

No pretty graphics or tags today; just an update.  Skittsy was put down around 1:00 this afternoon.  She was loaded with kidney stones and had a stone lodged in the ureter which was caused a blockage and the right kidney to totally shut down.  The left could simply not take over.  Her organs were shutting down as she was unable to clear the toxins.  It would have taken $6,000 for dialysis in Phildelphia and then hope she would stabilize for surgery which she probably wouldn't have lived through.  The remaining kidney seemed pretty well shot also.

Becky knew what she had to do last night.  Skittsy made it through the night but was motionless and weak.  Becky called me at work.  I left work for a couple of hours to go with her because I knew she couldn't go through this herself.  Sad, so sad, it was.  The poor baby was just so sick but still hanging on by the merest thread.  Even if money were no object, the vet really didn't see a successful outcome from extensive treatment so we held her and said our goodbyes.  Becky wanted to be there when she was put to sleep so I stayed with her through the final injection which was quick and painless.  We were in a little comfortable room.  Skittsy was brought wrapped in a pretty pink blanket.  We were both in tears.  My ex came also as Skittsy had lived with him for a while.  He was actually extremely civil and broken up. 

Thanks for all your comments and prayers.  Becky still has two kitties at home but neither will take the place of her feisty "orange."

Love and Hugs, Chris

Tuesday, May 15, 2007



Boy, this has not been a good week at all.  This is my Becky's "baby" Skittsy.  We got her for Becky at the Animal Rescue League 8 years ago when her first BF broke her heart.  Skittsy was the runt of the litter but a scrappy kitty.  She stayed with me the first year Becky was in college and terrorized Grizzly.

Skittsy's kidneys are too small for her and never quite developed.  She was doing very well on a special diet from the vet's.  Skittsy is not doing well at all now.  She was wobbly on Mother's Day.  She is near death tonight at an emergency vet hospital.  They really wanted to put her down but Becky is totally distraught and beside herself and couldn't do it.  I don't think the kitty will make it through the night.  She is in an incubator with IV fluids.  Becky is paying a fortune as a last ditch effort to save her heart from breaking.  In turn, my heart is totally breaking for I know that my daughter is going to lose the pet that she totally adores.  Keep Becky in your thoughts and prayers.  She just started back to school yesterday after a two week break and has a class tomorrow that she is not permitted to miss.  Mama is also distraught right now.

I haven't had time to get the tags done for those that have requested them and tonight I'm just don't have the energy to.  I promise I'll get them to you. Here are a couple of snags.

HUGS  Chris



Sunday, May 13, 2007


Wow, some graphic for Mother's Day.  A picture tells a thousand words in this case.  I hate to vent; yet this journal has become my haven for releasing; especially things that would hurt my children even more if they read it.  So much for my lack of words this morning in my other journal.

My mom is extremely upset and depressed since her car accident and mourning the loss of independence from driving but not to the extent that my brother was claiming. 

Things were nice today.  My mother seemed ok; not wonderful but not totally despondent; just in a state of flux.  Then...we were in the kitchen.  I was finishing dishes.  We got done.  I went on the porch; the look on Joey's face was like death.  My brother left and the doo doo hit the fan.  It seems my brother told Joey that when my mother is no longer around, his "free ride" is over.  He will need to get a job and grow up.  I was livid.  My son suffers from depression; an illness the last I heard.  He is working 10 months out of the year and gets panic attacks with interviews. He blows them all through no fault of his own.  My mother then came out.  I hesitated to say anything since she was already upset over the accident at Easter.  It had to be done.  My brother had gone too far this time.  My mother was livid and called his cell phone.  I must say she really laid into him and let him know who is still the matriarch of the family.  I also know that my brother was not referring to Joey getting a free ride.  Joey lives with me.  My mother has helped me each month financially since my child support ended two years ago.  My brother has said nasty things to me off and on about this.  I'm the one who's getting the free ride in his mind although I wouldn't call it a free ride.  I'm not happy that I'm dependent upon my mother at this time one bit but thankful for her generosity.

My BF is intervening this week.  My mother respects my BF and listens to him.  I have to think because he is so much like my dad was.  See, I did it right the second time around.  He is going to speak to my mom about the will.  This has to be done as my brother is far too cocky about controlling the purse strings after my mother is gone.  I have a feeling the will is set up that way for him to be so arrogant about it. 

For Heaven's sake, she is still alive.  What is wrong with him?  And on Mother's Day? I'm not sure my mother knows what is in her will.  It's in my brother's safe at his house.  This will be taken care of some time this week.

I'm still so furious with my brother for attacking my son.  My mother is furious because Joey is her heart and soul.  She saw how upset he was.  And my heart broke because my 87 year old mother had to have another nail punched through her heart by her own son.  Somehow he will try to talk his way out of this one.  She will want to believe him because she doesn't have the strength not to.  But I have strength, and my BF has even more.

On a lighter note, this was in the Asia blog today (Megan in the blue top in the front).  There was another entry but I have a whopping headache.  I'll post it tomorrow.



The entire Asian study abroad group wants to wish all of the mothers out there a Happy Mothers' Day!


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday SNAGS or TAGS


Whoo hoo!!  Megan called this morning.  She is feeling much better.  She is strictly enforcing her diet and eating very little of the food.  It appears that most of the sauces, etc. have gluten in it.  The night before she got very ill, she and her friends made the mistake of eating foot (food, I from a street vendor in Shanghai.

LOL...very alarming to mother is that she has two weeks left and wants me to check on her bank account.  We lost our connection shortly after that.  It wasn't a great connection to begin with.  Oy....I told her to watch herself as I'm not jumping for joy at the thought of depositing any money.  But at least she is feeling good and sounded great.

I probably will be sending my computer back to E-Machines.  It appears one fan has burned out.  I can only stay online for about an hour until the pc sounds like it's blowing up.  This happened before so.....

It's 58 this morning, and I've managed to stay online for a few hours.  I refuse to run my AC to keep my computer cool.  I'll probably "steal" the one Becky made me from Joey in the meantime.

HUGS  Chris



Thursday, May 10, 2007

Asian Update and some SNAGS or TAGS


There is another update in the blog plus I got an e-mail from Megan.  I wish I could say I am jumping for joy about it but I'm just a bit worried.  Her tone was off.  She said China is definitely different; dirty, dirty, dirty.  She went on to say that she hasn't felt well at all, can't shake it and is feeling worse each day.  She thinks her celiac disease is kicking into full gear again because she can't convey to the chefs in the restaurants that she can't eat any grains.  She can't see how the food is being cooked and thinks she is getting wheat in her system somehow.  It makes her deathly ill.  I was worried about that.  Celiac is an immune system disorder so, of course, I'm worried that she will pick up some disease with a weakened immune system.  I worried about that before she left.  She's only been there a week.  She is going to try and call.  I hope she does so I can guage exactly what is wrong with her.  She just didn't seem herself in the e-mail.  I know she's not homesick. She did say Shanghai is gorgeous at night.  I know she is ill...oh dear.  They are in Xian now.  I can't tell who is who riding the bikes.  The tour guide took this.  It was taken May 8th.  That was the last update.


Today we flew to Xi'an, the ancient capital of China. Since we got up so early in the morning, we only visited the city walls once we got to Xi'an. We all rented bicycles and rode the 9 miles on top of the walls. The view is amazing, although I spent most of my ride trying to avoid all of the potholes in the bricks.
In the evening we had a traditional hot pot dinner. It's like a fondue meal where each person is given his or her own pot of broth. Then each person has to cook their own meat, noodles, and vegetables. Amazingly enough, no one had to go to the burn ward after this one.

Today we are spending the whole day visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an. I'm expecting some amazing pictures from this one. Stay tuned!

Megan is hiding behind the professor again, on the left in the white shirt.  Say a prayer for my baby because this mama is definitely worried.  

Monday, May 7, 2007

Lilac Dreams/SNAG or TAG


It's appearing that I now have a travel journal in addition to a graphics journal.  It's just so exciting to be able to watch Megan's trip as it progresses and to catch a glimpse or two.  I hope I'm not boring you all. 

This is actually the third entry in the blog but I thought it was kind of neat:


Yesterday we toured the water village of Zhouzhuang, dubbed the "No. 1 water village in China." That sounds impressive, although I'm not sure how competitive that category is. This was definitely a rustic outing, as we were strolling through canal-bordered streets of merchants yelling...err...trying to entice us to buy. We took many wrong turns, often stumbling across clothes lines full of laundry. The highlight of the visit was the temple area, a large garden with many bridges and small shrines. Today we are visiting the silk factory in Suzhou, and then it's back to Shanghai for the night.


Megan is on the left hand side sitting behind the first girl in the brown t-shirt.  You can just see her head peeping.

Blessings to all!  CHRIS


Sunday, May 6, 2007



I haven't done any Mother's Day stuff but did have this one that sort of is one.  I found a couple of other tags that were made for our Tube of the Day challenges in my group.  You've probably seen them in various different tags since Emmi and Terry Ann are in my group.  Missie is also but had to take a break.

I was just reading Megan's trip's blog again and noticed they had seafood pasta.  Wondering what she ate since she absolutely cannot eat anything with wheat in it. I'm sure she will manage. Speaking of seafood pasta, I'm having a lean cuisine angel hair and shrimp meal tonight.  Joey is in Oceon City, mom's alone and getting chubby, so that's my Sunday meal. 

Hope everyone had a good weekend!  HUGS  Chris



Who hoo


ROFL...Megan would kill me if she knew I posted this.  Her professor is keeping a journal of the trip on blogspot.  This is the first entry.  Megan is on the right with the pink capri sweats with her glasses on next to the professor.  This was after 22 hrs of travelling.  Anyway, I thought I would share the entry here.  I'm not linking the journal to protect the privacy of the students and teachers.

Greetings from Shanghai! After more than 24 hours of travel, we arrived at our hotel in Shanghai around 10pm on Saturday night. (That's 10am Pittsburgh time.) The plane rides were long, of course, but tolerable. We were treated to such interesting meal combinations as seafood pasta and peach yogurt as well as the greenest green tea that I've ever seen. The guide who met us at the airport is very knowledegable, although most of his knowledge appears to be about American television shows. I might not learn much about Shanghai, but at least I can catch up on the 24 that I'm missing!

Today's itinerary includes a day-long, whirlwind tour of Shanghai including dinner with students at Shanghai Jiaotong University followed by a Chinese acrobat show at night

LOL..I have an account there because Becky does.  It took all I could muster not to leave "smooches" or something for Megan.  The only comment was from the other professor who will be meeting with the group shortly.  I'm supposing I can post some pictures as the blog is public domain.

Most of the three week trip will be in the cities throughout China with the final week in Japan.

Wow, the wonders of modern technology.  I can travel with Megan through Asia.  (Betting she's gonna love this...hehe)

Here are a couple of snags...I don't think there's room to tag em....HUGS  Chris




Friday, May 4, 2007

Asia Bound


Megan's nickname is Baby.  Her SN is Baby.  She is my baby.  She's been to France twice.  She went when she was 16 and again 17.  No matter what has happened recently, Megan is my sunshine child.  She was always happy and smiling.  Her face was an open book.  She never lied; couldn't lie because her eyes would give her away.

Basically, she is still that smiling child; full of adventure and a zest for life.  She had a teeny little suitcase when she was small that was always ready to be packed if anybody invited her anywhere.  A traveler she has always been.

She was up all night packing and getting ready.  When we were entering the ramp to the airport, she was beaming with total excitement.  Somehow, this mama's heart was sinking.  Dang, didn't expect that to happen.

She got her ticket, had her passport scanned, suitcase weighed (41.9 lbs.  lol...she knew it was under 50) and off she went to go through security which means mom had to say goodbye.  Well, see ya later.  I took a couple of pictures on my phone which I will try to upload later.  10 minutes and off she went to her gate leaving mama standing behind.....lost.  I just wasn't expecting to feel this way.

Sure, she will be 21 in a month but she looked like a little kid to me.  She was meeting her group at the gate, and I just stood there like a fool; wanting to grab her back.  She should be able to e-mail from different universities that they are visiting.  She did call from O'Hare because I had a password assigned to her bank account when I used to have to check the balance by phone.  She was trying to transfer some funds by phone and didn't know the password. 

Wonder why it's so different when they travel halfway across the world?  I rarely talk to her more than once a week when she's at school., I can't wait until she gets home.

HUGS!!!  Chris






Diva's/SNAG or TAG





Love the ballerina.  It's so different from all the other ballerina's I have.  HUGS!!!!  I actually tagged it for myself.  Not too sure if I like the font or not :( actually, I don't so it will be revised.