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Journal for CollieSmileJournal for CollieSmile

December 22, 2018 (Although it will be December 23rd in 15 minutes... lol)

If you are a friend or a fan of mine, you\'ve probably read this... I posted it on many profiles already. :)

Hello Everybody,

Merry Christmas! :D

So many of you have already posted wonderfully cheery Christmas greetings on my page already... for which I sincerely thank you! :) :) :)

I haven\'t been able to do any Christmas posting until now because my life has been bananas! Actually, I\'ve been feeling a lot like a banana lately. :P

As many of you know, I work at a laser engraving shop where my daughter is my boss. (Yes, she\'s been going nuts too...) What\'s happened is that we\'ve been bombarded with all kinds of large orders. One company that sends us 4,000 to 6,000 parts to engrave each month decided this was the right month to send us 15,000 parts. This is great for our business, of course, but oh, the timing!

I\'ve been working many extra hours. My eating is rather off kilter; I\'m beginning to believe that candy canes are one of the basic food groups. :P (The canes that haven\'t made it into my stomach are handed out to customers.) I still don\'t have my Christmas shopping finished. My Christmas wallpapers never really got finished either. I was hoping to get at least a dozen uploaded. Not anymore... looks like these 5 are going to be it.

Oh well, the rest can wait until next year. I\'ve had a lot of fun with the ones that have made it up, with one exception. (I\'m not going to tell you which one it is, but I will tell you that it had me laughing hysterically while my husband rolled his eyes up, because it gave me so much trouble!)

Thank you so much for the love, care, and patience you\'ve shown me over these months. You guys are the greatest, and I\'m so glad I know you all!

Christmas Hugs,

Elaine :)

I\'ve been wanting to do another journal entry on DN for awhile now. I\'m glad that I\'m getting the chance to do it before yet another month slips by. :)
Sunday, November 11, 2018

In mid October, I saw something in my neighborhood that I never expected to see. I spotted two pretty garden statues of deer on somebody\'s front lawn, and... wait a second--- they were NOT statues!

We\'ve been coping with an almost ridiculous amount of road construction around here. Not that roads in Michigan, the Pothole State, don\'t need it, but honestly, this seems to be "the Year of Construction in My Own Backyard." Even many of my favorite side streets for dodging roadwork are blocked off!

But if it weren\'t for all the road construction, I wouldn\'t have seen these deer. I was doing my best to dodge some roadwork when I was driving on a street that I don\'t usually use. When I happened to look on my left and saw the deer, I I pulled my car over and parked. I was very happy to remember that my camera was with me. Then I remembered that it was in the trunk of my car. Darn...

Upon thinking it over, I decided I might as well try to get my camera. If they ran off, at least I had a good story to tell. So I carefully got out...and the deer didn\'t move. They were to busy enjoying mouthfuls of fresh grass to care about me. They kept right on grazing. I was able to get nearly 3 dozen pictures of them! The happy grazers were two older fawns; a male and a female. The male had little antler buds on top of his head.

What really amazes me is that they were so close to my house. My Mom, who lives 3 miles away, has had deer in her yard on occasion. There is more cover and foliage in her neighborhood so that doesn\'t surprise me too much. My neighborhood does have a lot of older trees, but it is more developed than my Mom\'s, and has more fences and dogs. Apparently, nobody told these deer that though.

After my "Deer Day", you might think that any other photographing might not be as exciting for awhile. Happily, that wasn\'t the case for me. As many of you probably know, I am a self avowed color freak. The leaves in my area were changing color. Every day after work I went off with my camera in quest of the quintessentially colored tree or trees. I took many beautiful photos; some of which I\'ve already uploaded to DN. Even on Halloween I was out taking pictures for my Traffic Signals nSigns group; determined to get some good shots with lovely Autumn foliage in the background. :) (I stayed in nearby neighborhoods, and it\'s a good thing that I did; the trick or treating children got started early this year!)

I got in another week of Autumn leaves picture taking. Then the beautiful Autumn colors were brought to an abrupt halt by the weather.

It started off with a day of fun. I was stranded at home with car problems when snow hit Michigan, on November 9th, two weeks earlier than normal. I made the best of being stranded by going out and snapping all sorts of pictures of the snow. The falling snow was certainly an interesting contrast to the colorful Autumn trees.

With the snow, however, came icy temperatures that were (and still are) 20 degrees below normal. The following day, when my husband and I were driving to a potluck supper 12 miles from our house, I had plenty of time to observe that 95 percent of the beautiful leaves had been driven off the trees-- by the unseasonable cold.

Yes, I’m a little disappointed, as I was looking forward to at least one more week of “Autumn Tree chasing.” But at least I was able to get a lot of good pictures of them already. And there’s always next year. :)

I hope that you are all experiencing some beautiful seasons of your own, wherever you are from! :D

Elaine :)
Monday October 29th, 2018

This post will be short and sweet... you\'ve probably seen it already if you are one of my fans.

Happy Halloween! Don\'t eat too much candy... save a little for the trick or treaters! :P :D

Elaine :)

(If you don\'t live in America and your country doesn\'t observe Halloween, feel free to have some candy anyway!) :D :D :D


This Journal is mostly about things that happened a month ago... because between my Carpal tunnel problems and back issues I couldn\'t do much uploading or typing. I am doing better than I was, so now I\'m trying to play catch up. :)

October 21, 2018 Sunday Evening

On September 21st, 2018, high winds blasted through the metro Detroit area. It happened to be my husbands birthday. My plans for celebrating it with him got derailed by two power outages; one on Friday and one controlled one on Saturday. I guess I had better explain that.

The first power outage occurred on Friday the 21st at 4pm. I had just gotten ready to watch some television. Just when I found the right station, the power went off.

I went outside and looked for neighbors to talk to, trying to determine how wide spread the outage was. I was amazed when I saw electrical power men walking down our street right towards me. How had they learned about the outage so quickly?

It turned out that a high wire had snapped and was swinging loose between my back yard and my neighbors! My neighbor had noticed and reported it; they had come right away since downed lines are dangerous & get top priority. That wire wasn\'t responsible for the power outage though. The outage was caused by a tree falling on a transformer 9 blocks away. Our whole neighborhood was affected by it.

The men told me all of the neighbors on our block were being instructed to stay out of their back yards, in case the wire was live. They said that the tree on the transformer would be taken care of first. They\'d come back the next day (Saturday) to take care of the loose swinging wire. I couldn\'t complain; we got our power back on only 4 hours later.

The next day, they came back. There were 10 to 15 men in our backyard... because our yard has the utility pole in it! After alerting our whole block, they turned off our power so they could work safely.

They started by giving our tree by the utility pole a major "haircut." All sorts of branches came down and were dragged out to the front yard. (The tree doesn\'t look so good anymore.) Then a couple of electrical men shimmied up the pole.

In the meantime, my husband and I watched everything that was going on from our kitchen since it has the best window. I guess it was our entertainment for the afternoon, since we had no phones, internet, or TV. I was very busy with my camera, taking photos of all the goings on. I only took photos when they weren\'t looking... but I still managed to get a bunch of them. I didn\'t realize until later that I took over 12 dozen! lol That made it very hard for me to pick the two that I uploaded today. (I hope to upload more of them sometime.) Really, it was quite interesting. I wonder what those 2 men would think if they knew they were on Desktop Nexus?

They took about 2 hours to finish & turn on our power back on. One thing was a major surprise to us; the men told us that our utility pole is in great shape. We have our doubts about that. I don\'t know if you can tell from the wallpapers I just uploaded, but our pole has a distinct bow in it! (Two strong guy wires support it.) And if you look at the wallpaper directly below, you can see where the crossbar is "chewed off" on one side.

On one hand, we were glad to hear that we didn\'t need a new pole, it would be a major undertaking; especially since our pole is more or less embedded in our fence. On the other hand we can\'t help wondering what a "bad" utility pole must look like if they say ours is in great shape!

Elaine :)

PS. You can tell that the power outages happened a month ago, because all of the leaves on the trees were still green! The other walls I uploaded with these are "hot off the press" from the past couple of weeks. It feels so great to be uploading and active on DN again! :D


July 14, 2018

The good news is that I have created my group... The bad news is that the Header & the Avatar have refused to show up! So I\'ve thought of a way around it for now... I made them into wallpapers!

Here is the group cover image. Please enlarge it and have a good look at it... I put a lot of work into it! Please read the description also... and vote it up. I\'m hoping if it gets on the homepage that someone will realize there is a problem with uploading Headers & Avatars and get this fixed!

JULY 24th 2018 UPDATE: They did get it fixed--- except that they still need to fix the "Member Groups" Avatar boxes. I\'m still leaving these wallpapers in the post though. :D

Here is the real Avatar for the group... as you can see, it\'s actually a photograph.

Here\'s the group link.

One of the things I did before launching this group was to search for exsisting walls on DN that could fit into it. There are loads of them! I wish I could have included them all. Check them for inspiration-- & to see if any of your walls might be pictured here!:D

Here are some traffic light wallpapers that I like:

Christmas City Lights

Storm in the City

New York City

traffic lights (solo abstract type black one)


Traffic Lights

Here are some neat wallpapers with signs;

traffic signs jm

cloudy highway

Brake For Snakes Sign

view of lombard street in san francisco

Beware of Hitchhikers

One thing that I would love to see in the group is wallpapers from other countries besides the United States. Here are some examples:

The old city (probably Japan)

Beautiful Cityscape of Japanese City at Night

City Street (Japan...?)

Warning: Polar Bear

Kangaroo Crossing

Here are some more walls I like that fit in. I hope you are inspired by them and decide to join this group.

Elaine :)

Street Signs

City Lights

marvelous tree tunnel

Gray City Blue Sky

dead end mystery

Teddy Bear Street

Dead Cold Stop

evening on a street in detroit

road closed caution

Amazing Lightning Down a City Street

The Forbidden Gates

Going to Haliburton

Traffic Light

the end


There\'s a good chance that you\'ve already seen this. It\'s what I\'m posting on many friends profiles today. :)

Greetings everyone,

I hope you are doing well... and if you live anywhere near me, I hope you are managing to stay cool. With temperatures in the 90\'s that may not be easy!

I\'m looking forward to being with family and seeing fireworks during the next few days. Here is what I wish for you;

To all of the Canadians who just celebrated Canada Day...and to all of the US Citizens who are celebrating Independence Day, I hope you\'ve had or will have a wonderful holiday. :)

To everybody else... I sincerely hope that you are living in a country where you have freedom, not fear. If you don\'t live in such a place, I hope that you can get to a better place and make a new life there.

One thing is certain...freedom is a blessing that none of us should take for granted. I am so thankful to be an American.

Thank you all, for being part of Desktop Nexus. It would get mighty lonely around here without you!

Elaine :)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

This is one hobby that I never dreamed I would get into... lol

Back in May, I was on a small tour bus with my husband. We were on a day trip, heading towards Sauder Village in Archbold Ohio. Unfortunately, that bus was really small! It was actually a kids bus. It was chosen to make the trip because the air conditioning worked; it didn\'t on the other available bus.

The kid\'s bus was not a great option for tall people with a tendency towards claustrophobia, like me. My knees were firmly jammed into the seat in front of me. (In fact, before we left the parking lot, I almost got off of the bus and let my husband go on without me.)

I needed something to do to get my mind off of feeling so cramped and crowded. So I got my camera out and started shooting pictures. At first I took pictures of anything I could find; traffic signals, cars, birds, etc.

When we finally got onto the freeway, I tried to get interesting scenery shots. There wasn\'t that much to get pictures of, except for an occasional farm. But most of the farms were too far away from the freeway to get good pictures. At times, cars or trucks got into my pictures, which was rather annoying. I mean, who wants to look at a pretty barn if there\'s a blurry vehicle in front of it?

I had my tablet with me on the bus, but I figured I could play games on it any old time. I really wanted to do something I couldn\'t do just sitting around at home. I was surprised at the large number of semi trucks were zooming by across the freeway. I decided to see if I could get a few pictures of them.

My first attempts were truly "semi" pictures. I caught the ends of truck trailers. I caught the cabs of trucks when I snapped a little too soon. I even got trucks square in the middle... and the middle was all that I got of the truck until I turned my zoom down.

As I experimented and muttered to myself each time I missed a shot, my husband was alternately laughing in disbelief or pretending that he didn\'t know me. I couldn\'t blame him, really. I mean who gets on a tour bus and purposely tries to shoot pictures of trucks? I felt a little sheepish myself...:P but I kept on clicking. :)

Gradually, I got better though, and I started to have fun. I was starting to get entire trucks in my pictures! I did it by looking way up the road through our bus driver\'s windshield. That way, when I saw a semi coming, I\'d be ready to take the photo as soon as the truck drove into my camera frame.

When we got home that day, I had 400 photos on my camera. Many of them were of Sauder Village. But I also had many truck photos. After I deleted many "pieces of truck" and a lot of blurry truck shots, I had 90 full semi truck photographs left!

The four that I uploaded today are some of my favorite ones, but I have many others that I like and will be uploading to Desktop Nexus eventually. I\'ll be looking for more opportunities to photograph semis also.

Look out, semi trucks! You just might end up in a wallpaper on Desktop Nexus! :D


Friday, March 30, 2018

It\'s been a long time since I updated my Journal. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that I think I forgot all about Journals when the website crashed in January. That event broke me out of my "one journal a month" pattern. But the main thing is that I\'ve been dealing with various types of pain. The latest type is Carpel Tunnel syndrome.

Carpel Tunnel is when you get pain in your wrists, hands, and fingers from years of doing the same motions over & over. Spending lots of time on the computer can bring it on. So can running hundreds of parts through a laser engraver... and I\'ve done plenty of both! :P

I have been wearing long arm splints for over a month now. They are supposed to keep you from using your wrists & hands wrong. They\'ve helped, but I\'m still experiencing thumb pain. I don\'t know what to think. I\'m hoping I won\'t have to have surgery for it, but I\'ll have to see how it goes.

I had to cut down on my DN time for quite awhile because of this. I am just starting to get a little more active again. There are still times when I want to comment on wallpapers or visit on profiles but pain stops me in my tracks. So if you\'re wondering why I haven\'t been by your profile for awhile, that could be it.

Just before I was diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel, I started having mystifying dental pain. It turned out that I had TMJ, a jaw disorder. That didn\'t keep me away from DN, but I had to eat only soft foods for weeks. I thought I was going to turn into a bowl of macaroni & cheese. I never want to see it or smell it again...

Thankfully, I managed to get rid of the TMJ just before the Carpel Tunnel "fun" began. But I really am starting to wonder; why do I seem to be falling apart? Why is my body discovering one new way after another to ache and hurt? I sure wish it wasn\'t so creative at finding \'em!

I\'m thinking about starting a new DN group. I\'d call it P.A.H.A.B.P.! (People Against Hurting Aching Body Parts) Club. Anybody out there feeling like joining? (Whadya mean you already belong to it?):P

It\'s time like this that I really miss Roger/Puppydawg. He had a marvelous sense of humor about growing older. If anyone would be able to find me some funny comics about aching & hurting, he\'d be the one. :) Most, if not every one of us reading this would probably elect him to be the president of PAHABP. He sure had a knack at dealing with stuff like this.

Happy Easter, everybody. I hope my next journal entry won\'t be quite so painful! :P :) :D

Elaine :)

December 29, 2017

You\'ve probably already read this... I just finished posting it on many profiles. :)

Hi! I\'m dropping by to wish you a (slightly early):

I went through some very rough times this past year... I know that many of you did too. So let\'s ring out the old year (at least the parts that were not good) and ring in the new year together! :)

Do you know what\'s really great about the coming new year? It\'s this... If bad times Are on their way, at least we don\'t know about \'em yet. And for once I am happy to be ignorant! How about you? :P :D :D :D

I\'m very much looking forward to seeing you around DN this coming year. God bless, and hang in there! :D

Elaine :)

PS. Holidays can be a challenge for anyone who\'s missing loved ones. I still miss my Dad who I lost in 2014. I miss someone who\'s cut off all ties with our family. I miss Betsey Butler, Kate Hatheway, and Puppydawg. I miss many people, who are no longer active on DN. And I know I\'m not the only one.

But I am so thankful for those of us who are still around! Thank you for the joy and comfort that you give me, just by being here. We are all in this together --and you are the best!:D

(This is the Christmas greeting I\'ve left on lot\'s of profiles already... so chances are you\'ve read it.)

Hi Everybody,

I\'m late getting here I know... for some of you it\'s Christmas Day already! It will be for me in about an hour...

Desktop Nexus is one of the best blessings that I have in my life-- and you are all a part of it! Thank you so much for your greetings, wallpaper comments, PMs, the walls many of you have made for me, and so much more! Thank you also for being fun & active in my groups, especially my adopted ones. :D And thank you for putting the "smile" in CollieSmile.:)

May you have a very joyous & meaningful Christmas!

Elaine :)

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