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Journal for CollieSmileJournal for CollieSmile

I bet that when my journal posts this it will say "August 1st". Well, Actually, where I live it is still July 31st... for 4 more hours! :D

July 31st, 2017

If you are one of my fans, you have this on your profile already. I\'m putting it in here mostly because I haven\'t done a journal entry in awhile... lol This is it. :)

Hi Everyone,

It\'s been a busy, but happy Summer for me-- which is the reason that I may not have been around to visit you for awhile. Well... mostly happy. Car problems that were not cheap kept me from seeing my 5 month old granddaughter for a couple of weeks, but at least the car is finally working again. :)

My job has been keeping me busy also. We are engraving a lot of Stainless Steel mugs right now. We have one type where each shrink wrapped mug must be unwrapped by hand before it is engraved. It\'s time consuming, and my hands are getting a little sore... but hey... it\'s a living! I can listen to any kind of music that I want to while I unwrap them too.:D

I try to upload at least 5 wallpapers a month. I uploaded one wall on July 4th. I tried to get more up here during the month, but things kept coming up. Finally, today, July 31st, I rushed these 5 wallpapers up here. I got them uploaded with less than 3 hours to spare; August 1st starts on Desktop Nexus at 8pm my time. (Michigan, USA) It feels great to have beaten the clock! :D I hope to get many more walls uploaded during the month of August, because I have a backlog now...stay tuned! lol

As you can see, I\'ve got 3 Cows Group walls up in this bunch; and 2 of them are especially silly...:P :D If you aren\'t a member of the Cows Group yet, you should check it out. There is such an incredible variety of cow wallpapers in it scenic, unusual, cute, humorous, etc... I think this group has become one of the most interesting (and fun!) ones on Desktop Nexus! :D

I hope that you are having a great Summer also, or a great Winter, depending on where you live!

Elaine :)

PS. PUPPYDAWG/ROGER news is that there isn\'t that much right now. He is doing better, but has an annoying, chronic cough. I do think he could use your prayers. He wants to come back to Desktop Nexus, but he needs a new computer to do so. He has enough money, but he isn\'t very mobile. Hopefully, one of his relatives will be able to help him out with that soon. Believe me, he misses everybody!


Just read this over and imo it\'s a bit long winded! If you can\'t wade through it all, just skim it-- and don\'t miss the cow wallpapers at the end! lol :)

June 15, 2017

Hi Everybody,

I am posting this journal while I can... because at the moment, my Internet seems to be normal! I don\'t know how long that will last. If I\'m lucky, the problem is over, but I\'m not going to count on it--- yet.

My main purpose in posting this journal entry right now, is to let you all know why I haven\'t been very active on Desktop Nexus lately. I want to be active, but I\'ve had some major obstacles in my DN path. Here they are:

(Prob1em #1) My internet connection, and/or my computer seem to be crazy!

My husband and I are doing everything that we can to track down the problems. I don\'t want to go into them at length, but I\'ll give you an example of what I\'ve been experiencing. I posted the following (very modified) comment on a friend\'s profile yesterday;

"I just got home from work about 10 minutes ago. My husband took a day off from his job because his car was in the shop. I got home to find him running many scans on my computer. He thinks at least part of the problem is that my computer needs more memory.

I just uploaded my test wallpaper, and it made it to Desktop Nexus! But right now your profile page is spinning \'round and \'round even as I type this. Your page is only coming part way onto my screen. My own profile page is also spinning. At least I got the wallpaper up. I\'m sure getting tired of "spin cycles" on my computer. It\'s making me dizzy!"

(In case you are wondering, my test wallpaper is the Tulip one above.)

(Problem #2) Chronic (but not life threatening) Health Issues

As many of you know, some chronic health problems I\'ve had for years have flared up unexpectedly. Actually, I\'m experiencing the worst flare up that I\'ve ever had in my life.

I am treating the problems as aggressively as I can. One thing that isn\'t helping me is that I just found out my health insurance will not adequately cover some treatments that would help me a lot. I\'m still kind of in shock about this. Nothing like treating chronic health problems on a chintzy insurance budget.:(

At any rate, I\'m doing the best I can with cheaper time consuming treatments. There has been improvement, but not enough yet.

(Problem #3) To top the other problems off, the little job shop that I work for has gotten insanely busy. I\'ve had to increase my work hours by nearly a third. I love my job, but... it\'s been nuts!

So between trying to get more sleep, treating my health problems and lots of work, my time is at a premium right now. Add in that I\'ve been having trouble posting words on DN, and it makes for a real mess.

For the time being, I\'ve had to

a. Cut back on wallpaper comments. I really don\'t like doing that. I know how much those comments mean to me and to all of us who upload. I\'ve been trying to do more "f 1" shorties to make up for it a little.

b. Can\'t check up on the Cow group as much.:( I like to vote them up & favorite them while they are still new walls, but that\'s become hard for me to do also.

c. My own wallpaper uploading has slowed a lot, even though I have lots to upload. Also, I like to do Profile Greetings with the walls and news about my life... well actually you are reading news about my life right now. lol So if you\'re wondering why I haven\'t been by your profile page lately, now you know why.

All of these things are only temporary. We will either figure out what\'s up with our internet, or it will finally start behaving again. My health problems will eventually improve. And work will calm down also... we go through cycles, & this is the busiest we\'ve been in months.

If only all of these things hadn\'t happened at the same time!!!

At any rate, I wrote all of this to let you all know that I am looking forward to being able to spend more time up here in the (hopefully) near future. I love DN, I\'m not going anywhere, and you all are stuck with me! :D

Love you all!

Elaine :)

PS. Thank you cow group members for putting smiles on my face. I sure can use them! :) (And I wish I could fit more of \'em in this post-- I tried!)

(The wallpaper below is one of Betsey\'s Uploads. Many of you will be reading this on your profile pages: I am posting it here for Betsey\'s friends who I may not have on my fan list so they can read this also.)

January 17, 2017

To my friends & everyone else on Desktop Nexus,

I am the bearer of some sad news.

Betsey Butler, a member of Desktop Nexus since September of 2008, passed away on November 20th, 2016. I did not find this out until last Sunday, January 22nd.

Even if you did not know Betsey, please read on. I have something to say that you may never have thought of before; something that could help you and many others.

Most, if not all of us, have made some good friends on Desktop Nexus. Some of those friends may mean so much to you that you\'ve even exchanged email addresses with them and have become pen pals, (or perhaps I should say email pals.)

Betsey and I were email pals. We wrote back & forth on a regular basis. Often it was just short notes. We had days where we wrote each other as much as 10 times. Sometimes 3 or 4 days would go by before we wrote again, but we always kept in touch.

On October 24, 2016, I wrote Betsey that I was about to go to Canada for the first time in 25 years, and that I\'d let her know all about it when I got back. She wrote back;

"Have a great day!"

That was the last time that I ever heard from her.

I kept writing her, and got more and more concerned when I didn\'t get any replies. Betsey had dealt with some health problems, i.e. she had what she called a "small stroke" and had to go live in an assisted living center for awhile, but then she got her own apartment again. I began to wonder if she\'d had another stroke and was back in assisted living with no computer access or something. It never occurred to me that she might have passed away.

I finally found out that she had from another one of her friends who was just as shocked as I was about it. My friend read it on her Facebook timeline. No details were given.

Whoever may still be reading this;

Please, if at all possible give a trusted friend or family member access to your Desktop Nexus account; your Face book account; your email account. You matter. People care for you. People will notice when you are missing.

Please have someone lined up to notify people, just in case you leave this earth. None of us knows the day or the hour when that might happen... If you pass on, people will wonder and eventually worry about what happened to you.

One Desktop Nexus member who did think to do that was Sparky/Kate Hatheway. Her sisters were able to access her Desktop Nexus account and let everybody know. That was such a wonderful to do...


I wrote to Betsey for 14 weeks without hearing from her. It hurts to realize now that I was writing to someone who would never read what I had to say.

I have been in mourning since last Sunday when I found out. That is why I\'ve been wearing this wallpaper of Betsey\'s on my profile for the past week. (By the time you read this, I\'ll be wearing one of the one\'s I made for Betsey.I wish I could wear more than one wallpaper at a time!)

I put aside some abstract wallpapers I was going to upload last Sunday. Instead I have spent this week creating two wallpapers in memory of Betsey Butler.

This one is my mourning wallpaper...

I was only going to make the one wallpaper, but I decided that another one was needed. To the best of my knowledge, Betsey was a Christian and had Jesus in her heart. She is now in a better place...so I created this happier wallpaper in her memory also.

Please choose either of my two wallpapers and put your thoughts and memories of Betsey in the comments. I would love to read them and possibly learn some things about her that I didn\'t know before. :)

One more thing. Betsey fanned 387 members here. I\'ve fanned only 159. If she has fanned anybody that I have not, and they are still active friends of yours, please let them know about Betsey too.

Thank you for reading this...and God Bless...all of you! This sad experience has made me realize just how special you are...

With much love,


I thought it would be fun to post something on January 1st, but there\'s a good chance that you\'ve seen this already. This is just my New Year\'s Greeting that I posted on about a zillion profile pages yesterday... :P :D Happy New Year to you! :) :) :)

January 1st, 2017

Father Time & I are dropping by to see you & say goodbye to

Let\'s say hello to 2017 instead! :D

Yahooooooo! It\'s a brand new year! Be sure to party and celebrate it to the max! :D

Best warm wishes for you in the New Year. I\'m looking forward to more Collies, more Cows, more Wonderful Wallpapers, more Smiles, more Kindness, and more FUN on DN with you! :D :D :D

Love & Hugs,

Elaine :)


December 10th, 2016

In Fall of 2015 I was looking forward to collecting beautifully colored Autumn leaves. It never happened, because of the auto accident I had in late October. It basically rendered me immobile well into Spring 2016.

This past Fall, I was more determined than ever to gather lovely leaves. I started in late September and was able to find great leaves through mid November! In my area of Michigan (metro Detroit) the leaves turned colors very gradually this year. So I was even able to locate certain kinds of trees & anticipate when their leaves would be at their prettiest before I gathered them up.

I wanted to get as many colors and shapes of leaves as I possibly could. Many of the most beautiful leaves I collected were from maple trees. Norway, Silver, Red, Sugar, Autumn Blaze, and Japanese maple leaves found their way into my collection. I also gathered leaves from sweet gum, ash, beech, sassafras, magnolia, elm, hawthorn, oak, and birch trees. And there were mystery leaves also. I wasn\'t sure what kind of tree they were from! All together, I must have collected well over 1,000 leaves!

At first I kept my leaves in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Gradually, I started putting them between the pages of dictionaries, catalogues, and telephone directories. Actually, no large book was totally safe, especially older ones without color plates.

Then came photography day. In years past, I photographed them by the garage in my back yard so that I could shoot them in natural sunlight. It wasn\'t easy. No matter how nice a day I picked to photo them, The gentlest of breezes would shift and blow some of them off my tray. I tried some gluing and taping, but I soon learned that leaves do not cooperate with these materials!

This year I hit upon the idea of going to my mother\'s house and working on her screened in porch. She also had storm panels that could be moved into place and skylights for natural lighting.

I spent over 3 hours "wrangling" my leaves and shooting photos of them. I added two things besides leaves to some of the photos; "helicopter" seeds from a small Norway maple in my back yard, and tiny blue berries attached to thick red stems. The berries came from the ivy that grows on the sides of my house.

All in all, it was a lot of work. There were times that my back got quite aggravated. But it was worth it in the end. I now have plenty of beautiful leaf photos to create designs with, for years to come.

Elaine :)

PS. When I was finished photographing my leaves, it was kind of hard for me to part ways with them. One thing that helped was that I was able to save my prettiest leaves to give to a little girl who lives across the street from my Mom. I\'m sure she had a lot of fun playing with them. Perhaps her mother even helped her to iron some of them between sheets of waxed paper, like we used to do when I was small. :)


November 2016

On October 24th 2015, I was in a car accident that broke my right foot in 2 places. That put me in a wheelchair for 6 months, as I waited for the foot to heal. Definitely a life changing milestone for me!

On October 24th, 2016, I had another milestone that was a lot more enjoyable. I went to Canada for the first time in at least 25 years. I live in the metro Detroit area, not far from the Canadian border. So what took me so long?

I won\'t go into all of the details, but I can easily account for the last 15 years. After 911, Canada (and the USA) tightened border restrictions. Before 911 crossing the border for most people was as easy as answering a question or two and driving away. After 911 things changed drastically. For quite awhile, you could only go into Canada if you had a passport.

There was no way that my husband and I were going to spend over 200 dollars on passports just so that we could go to Canada occasionally. We didn\'t have that kind of money. I remember gloomily wondering if we\'d ever get to see Canada again.

Eventually the enhanced driver\'s license was created. It was considerably more affordable. We didn\'t apply for them, however. I guess by that time, we were resigned to staying on our side of the border. There was plenty of great stuff to do in Michigan anyway.

Then, our son started talking about a cabin just over the border. It belonged to his girlfriend\'s family. He had obtained an enhanced license and started going to the cabin with them. It wasn\'t long before he was urging us to get enhanced licenses so that we could come also. It took us awhile to get interested enough, I guess. He married his girl (much to our joy) and we still had not gotten enhanced licenses.

Finally, when I renewed my drivers license in 2014, I went through a bunch of extra red tape and got one. I didn\'t want to go to Canada without my husband, however, so I joined in with my son and his wife in cajoling my husband to get one too. Less than two months after my husband finally got his, off we all went to Canada to spend the day in this (by now) legendary cabin.

The cabin really was a cabin. My daughter in laws grandfather had built it himself in the 1930\'s. He did a wonderful job. He used round logs, rather than lumber, and "chinked in" the cracks between them. He started with one room and eventually added another one.

One of my first impressions of the cabin was that it looked very small. It was surprisingly roomy on the inside. It had a large room (that included a kitchen) a bathroom, and a small bedroom. With clever use of 2 pull out couches and bunk beds, it could sleep 8 people, or more if sleeping bags were used. My daughter in law has many fond memories of spending summer days there with her parents and 3 siblings.

The cabin is on a wooded lot and the property overlooks Lake Huron. I took many photographs of beautiful scenery. The photos will have to last me for awhile, because the cabin has been prepped for winter. (That\'s why the picnic table is tilted up by the side of the cabin.) The cabin will be opened up again next Spring.

We had a wonderful day. I\'ll be uploading some of my pictures on DN from time to time, as I got many good ones.

I\'m so happy to be able to go to Canada again at last! My brother and I used to spend part of our Summer vacations on a farm in Ontario, and I used to go to Stratford to see Shakespeare plays. There is a lot to love about this next door neighbor! It\'s great to be reunited at last.

Elaine :)

Friday, October 28, 2016

(If you got a profile greeting from me today, you have probably already read this. I\'m posting it again here.)

Hi Everybody,

I hope you are doing well. :)

As I write this, I\'m listening to lots of banging and crashing. It\'s been going on all day! At long last we are getting a badly needed new roof on our house. We\'ve been saving up for it for 3 years. To my amazement, Katie our collie is taking all of the noise & pounding a lot better than I thought she would. Now if only I could get her resigned to traffic noises...

I\'m looking forward to passing out candy to trick or treaters this Monday. But the best Halloween fun I\'ve had so far this year is planning & designing these 2 wallpapers! I chased one of them down with my camera...and the other one took me waaaay more time to do than I ever dreamed it would. It was worth it, but...if I spent 30ish hours on every abstract I made, I\'d go absolutely crazy! (Did I just hear a couple of smart alecs say that I\'m totally crazy already? Rat\'s... the secret is out! :P)

Have a great weekend, and a super fun Halloween! :D

Elaine :)



(If you got a profile greeting from me on Sept 30 or October 1st 2016, you\'ve probably read this already! I\'m posting it here because I was too tired to do a separate journal entry.

Hi Everybody,

Things have been crazy for me lately! It\'s hard for me to believe that these are the first wallpapers I\'ve uploaded since August 21st! I was afraid that I wouldn\'t get any walls up this September.

It felt so good upload these just before before October 1st hit. Especially since in Michigan, where I live, a new day/date on Desktop Nexus starts at 8pm, my time!

As some of you know, I have been getting onto DN in bits and snatches, mostly to comment on wallpapers. Especially on Cow Wallpapers! Black & white cows, brown cows, cows on mountains, cows jumping over moons, cows on farms, a cow family in a rowboat, a cow riding a motorcycle! I never know what kind of a cow is going to come down the pike next! It\'s hard to believe that just a little over a month ago the Cow group only had a dozen wallpapers in it! Thank you everybody who has contributed to this group! It has now started it\'s 6th page! :D

So what\'s been keeping me off of DN? Part of it is that I got spoiled, I guess. I got used to having lots more time for DN because of my broken foot and being in a wheelchair. Now that I\'m mobile and back to work, much of the time I had for DN is gone. If only I could fit more hours into my day!

In spite of all of that, I know I have so much to be thankful for. It is so good to be able to get around again. I\'ve been taking all kinds of photos, mostly nature ones. Also I\'ve made a new friend at work who breeds and shows Pekinese dogs.

My top favorite breed is (you guessed it!) collies, but it\'s fun to get to know another breed. I went to a Pekingese specialty show to help my friend out earlier today. When those little long haired dogs enter the show ring, they look so funny-- like furry caterpillars running around! I took a few photos of them, some of which I hope to upload to Desktop Nexus.

DN is one of my favorite places to be, and I\'m going to keep right on trying to figure out how to get more time up here. I don\'t give up easily! :D

Elaine :)

PS. Thank you to all of you who\'ve been dropping by my profile page, & commenting on my wallpapers... even though some of you have probably been wondering where I\'ve been at! :D


July 3rd, 2016

I have been "winging it" a lot lately, in the sense that Winging it means improvising with very little preparation. I\'m not a particular fan of living life that way, but I haven\'t had much choice in the matter. It\'s been especially true at work.

After months of being out with a broken foot, I finally was able to begin working again in May. It was good to be back. Gradually I got the company books caught up & I settled into our new building...something everyone else had gotten to do months ago. It all kept me happily busy for about 3 weeks.

Then, I faced invoicing. My daughter said she’d kept it up with it while I was out. That was largely true. But...I discovered some piles of work shippers that had gotten buried and never been made into invoices. The day to day invoices had begun accumulating also.

The invoicing system had been changed when I was out. I needed guidance on the changes. The plan was for my daughter to spend an hour a day with me, so I could learn the new system.

First, my daughter went off on a well earned and much needed vacation. I had no trouble keeping busy while she was gone, but by the time she got back, I was ready to start relearning invoicing. She’d planned to spend an hour a day guiding me. But our laser engraving machines had other ideas. On the very Monday she got back, our best machine stopped working.

For a week she worked with a general machinist to try to diagnose and fix the problems. (The last resort was to get a pricey specialized man flown in from 5 states away.)

It was a happy day for us when the engraver finally started working properly again. We ran parts on it all morning, getting caught up on all of the jobs we could. Then, that afternoon, another laser quit working. We were stupefied. We take good care of these machines, yet, the 2 most dependable ones we have went out, one after the other.

As a result of all of this trouble, I\'ve been left on my own to get the invoices done. I’ve been limping through one at a time, reading through a lot of paperwork for clues on exactly how to bill each one. Invoices that used to take me 2 to 5 minutes, are now taking me 15 minutes…& often I have to lay them aside anyway because I can’t figure them out. Eventually things will get easier, but I’m really struggling right now.

Another area I’m having to "wing it" in is Desktop Nexus. When I was out with my broken foot, I was able to spend lots of time on DN. I got to know many of you better, post a lot more greetings and wallpaper comments, and really start having a ball!

Going back to work has been good for me in many ways, but I’ve lost so much DN time. Case in Point: I was able to upload 10 wallpapers in March, 16 in April, 14 in May-- and 3 in June. I’m happy to be able to get 5 uploaded today… (3 cheers for the holiday weekend!) But I have a dozen from June that didn’t quite get finished... I can almost see & hear them waving their little hands and begging, “Pick me! Pick me next!” I’ve had to put them all on a growing waiting list.

Don’t get me wrong… I have much to be thankful for. My foot has improved a lot, I’m able to drive again, I’m working again and earning money. It’s funny though… I’ve been posting a lot of quick notes for Puppydawg/Roger about his computer woes & how he misses DN. The funny thing is, I find myself identifying with him! Computer woes are keeping him away. Time challenges are keeping me away much more than I want to be.

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence, I guess. There are many of you who are facing health issues, unique circumstances, have kids out of school for the summer, etc. All of us are dealing with time constraints in one way or another. We all live on, doing the best that we can. I just wish I could be on DN more to encourage you all through your problems, and to share good times & laughter together.

When I started this part time job in May of 2013, I was working 4 hours a day. I’m up to 6 or 7 hours a day now. I’m hoping that after I’m back for a couple more months, things will get caught up so I can cut my hours back. In the meantime, I want you to know where my heart is, even if you aren’t see as much of me… Right HERE!

Winging it, but not giving up!

Elaine :)


May 30, 2016

Hi Everybody,

Life has been busy for me lately! I\'m in physical therapy twice a week. I started driving again a couple of weeks ago, and I\'ve been back to work for almost 2 weeks.

I started back on May 17th. My daughter (who is my boss) was very happy to have me back. She surprised me with balloons, cake, and ice cream. :)

I found the first week back exhausting. Although I enjoyed getting back at it again, I came home every day feeling extremely weary but not knowing why. After thinking about it a lot, I finally decided that I\'d gotten too used to not working.

One good thing about it is that I am no longer having problems getting to sleep. (I struggled with insomnia for several months, due to lack of activity.)

During the past week, I did a lot better at work & had more energy. In fact, I was almost sorry about the 3 day Memorial Day weekend coming! Not any more though. It\'s giving me time to catch up on Desktop Nexus today! :D

Frankly, it\'s a struggle to adjust to living a "normal" life again. My biggest regret is having less time for DN. I\'ve gotten to know many of you better during my enforced time off of work.

I\'m longing to get around and favorite & comment on your wallpapers, and leave you greetings, and, and, and... all of that and more! Until I get more used to juggling & balancing my time again, I won\'t be able to spend as much time up here. Please know that I want to, and that you and DN mean a lot to me.

Thank you so much for being my friends! You rock! :D

Elaine :)

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"Dear" Neighbors, Autumn Leaves, & SnowI\'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, 2018In mid October, I saw some...
Happy Halloween... :DMonday October 29th, 2018This 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! Elaine (If you don\'t live in America and yo...
A "Powerful" JournalThis 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 ...
My Wallpaper Wish List For Traffic Signals & Signs... 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 ...

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