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Journal for CollieSmileJournal for CollieSmile
March 2013

Hi Everybody,

If you happen to be reading this right now, you have probably gotten an Easter Greeting from me on your Profile, or will be getting one soon. :)

I used to give you all profile greetings every week. A lot of things came up in my life, and I had to discontinue them.

I\'ve been dealing with a lot of family issues. My brother was very ill, my parents, who are in their mid 80\'s have been dealing with some legal problems and some age related health problems, and other things are going on too. I\'m glad to say that my brother is really on the mend now, and can eat normal food again. I\'m still helping my parents a lot.

All of the problems that came up with my family turned out to be a wake up call for me. I will probably never be spending as much time as on the computer as I used to. I don\'t look at that as a bad thing though. I think I was too computer-headed for quite a while... :P

That being said, I still want to stay in touch with all of you guys. I will use this journal, of course. But also... I want to start doing profile greetings again!

I\'ve already gotten a start on it, as some of you know. I\'ll be doing it a lot more slowly. I\'ll be greeting around 50 of you a week, instead of all 90 of you in one or 2 days. I\'ll be making wallpaper comments at the same time as I visit, if you upload walls. :D I hope that I\'ll get to say hi to each of you every couple of weeks or so. :)

I\'ll probably "carry" one or 2 of my most current wallpapers with me when I do when I come around.
What I\'m making varies quite a bit these days. Everything from pretty:

to pretty crazy:

I\'ll probably be doing more photography walls soon too, now that Michigan is finally starting to get some Spring Sunshine at last!

Some of you have left some nice greetings and wallpapers on my profile in the past couple of days. Thank you for them! I\'m late on getting back to you on them. Please be patient with me, I\'ll get to them-- After I get my Easter greetings out!

Take care, everybody, and God Bless :D

CollieSmile :)
March 17, 2013

Hi Everybody,

Many of you who are reading this, if not most of you, commented on and/or voted on the "Deaf President Wallpaper" that I made. Thanks to all of you, the wallpaper made it to the front Home page of Desktop Nexus, and is still there as of this writing. Thank you so much for that!!! I wanted Deaf people to have every chance they could to see this wall, and thanks to you, they have been able to. In fact, I have met some Deaf and some hearing impaired people because of this wallpaper, and that makes me very happy. :D

I also want to let you all know that I will be off line from now through Tuesday March 19th. My husband and I are going out of town to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary, which was March 5th. We\'ll leave tomorrow (Sunday) for Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Frankenmuth is known as the Christmas Town of Michigan. There are a lot of interesting stores there, and it is a charming place. It has one huge Christmas Store called Bronner\'s that is open year around. You can read about it in this wallpaper description.

There is a lot to like about Frankenmuth. It does a fine job of celebrating other holidays too, such as St. Patrick\'s Day. Actually it\'s Saint Patrick\'s Day now... sigh. It is 1AM... :P and I still have to finish packing! I\'m glad I\'m not driving tomorrow... lol

Frankly St. Patrick\'s Day sneaked up on me. I didn\'t get any wallpapers made for it! But I just uploaded 2 new ones... and at least one of them is the right color! :D Furthermore, it is for all of my friends on DN. Happy Saint Patrick\'s Day! I\'ll be back Tuesday evening!

CollieSmile :)


Thank you to Betsey Butler who wondered where in the world I had disappeared to! I\'m sure she isn\'t the only one... :)

Hi Everybody,

I have been preoccupied with relatives. In other words, an impromptu Family Reunion of Sorts....

Here\'s a photo of us...

Oops, wrong photo! Let me try again...

Oh well.... you get the idea, right? There a lots of family members in town. They are in from Honolulu, Japan, Iowa, etc.

Everybody has flown in at all different times... It\'s been a bit confusing. I was totally amazed when one of my sisters called from my Mom\'s house yesterday. I thought she wasn\'t due in until the weekend!

I think that my life will be more "Back to Normal" as of Monday, March 4th. Come to think of it however, my 30th Wedding Anniversary is coming up on March 5th. I\'ll have to drop a hint to my husband Woody/John.... :D :D :D

In other news... I have just discovered that I have been running around with not one, not 2, but 3 Fractured Ribs. This DN wallpaper is NOT my Xray, but it\'s the best that I can do.

Fortunately, I\'ve been very careful, and I now know that I must continue to be so. I only have to take pain medication once in a while now. When it first happened, I was taking it around the clock. One thing for sure, when I fall off of a bench, I really mean business! :P (see Feb 7th journal):

That\'s it for now. I\'ve been at my parent\'s house quite a bit -- and I\'ll be going again later today. I\'ve been checking into DN and will continue to do so. Wish I had more time to spend here, but that will change in 4 to 5 days! :D

CollieSmile :)
Feb 24, 2013

Hi Everybody,

I expected to make this post a couple days ago, but I am finally giving up and making it now. I was waiting for clarification on some things, but I have given up on getting it.

Here is the basic story about my brother. I think it\'s mostly accurate, but I wouldn\'t bet my life on it. I don\'t think it is complete either. There is nothing like hospital red tape to keep things confusing. :P

My brother, is now OUT of the hospital, which is great. But...

he went AMA. (Against Medical Advice) I think he was going stir crazy in there.

A lot of family members were worried about him checking himself out like that. I tended to see it as a sign that at least he was feeling better. (I\'ve never heard of checking out AMA until now. Everybody that I\'ve talked to says it\'s an awful idea.)

I think he went back to the hospital voluntarily when his doctors told him that they didn\'t like some of his test results. He may even have gone back to the same bed. I never got a chance to see him back in, so I don\'t know.

Then it seems that the doctors changed their minds about his test results. Or maybe he had additional tests....? Or maybe some other doctors gave the first doctors a 2nd opinion....?

All I know is that he is out of the hospital now. I don\'t think he\'s AMA anymore.

He has lost 60 pounds and is weak as a kitten. I think that he can finally eat without discomfort now, but he has to stick to applesauce, jello, and maybe eggs. As badly as he needs to gain some of that weight back, he is supposed to watch out for any sudden weight gains. A sudden weight gain means fluid retention, and they don\'t want him to retain fluids.

I just hope he can stay out of there! He has a checklist of about 10 things that he has to watch for. If any of them are off kilter he is supposed to check in again.

Nevertheless, he seems to be doing a lot better. :)

Thank you so much for praying for him and me. He is fragile right now, but seems to be holding his own.

As for how I am doing...

I\'ve been having some nagging pains, so a couple of days ago I had my left rib cage X rayed. (See my
Feb 7th Journal) I think that I may have a hairline fracture or 2. I won\'t know until Monday or Tuesday. If I do have fractures, there is very little they can do about it anyway. It just means that I have to restrict my activities for longer. :P :( I miss working out...

As you know, my brother has been through the mill. Also, my 88 year old Dad has been dealing with age related problems. For those reasons, a lot of family members are starting to come into town to see how we are all doing. Relatives are coming in from everywhere from Iowa, Honolulu, and Japan. They are all coming in at different times. It is so confusing that I barely remember who is coming in when. Even my Mom is confused-- and most of them will be staying at her house!

So my time on DN will continue to be sporadic for awhile. If there are any major changes I\'ll try to write in my journal.

I\'m longing to upload some wallpapers ... I have some half backed designs that I am dreaming of finishing. I want to say hi to all sorts of DN friends that I may not have time to say hi to. If anybody is asking about me, please refer them to this journal entry!

CollieSmile :)

PS. Maybe this journal entry is not as confusing as I think it is. But if anybody doesn\'t understand any of it, let me know. :)



My brother has been having some serious health problems in the past few months. He has been dealing with everything from back surgery, to an abnormally low sodium count. He has lost 50 pounds due to a poor appetite, brought on by the other problems... :P He did not need to lose at least 35 of them!

He certainly didn\'t need any more problems, but...

On Valentine\'s Day he passed out on his bathroom floor. He was unresponsive, so his wife called 911.

He continued to be unresponsive and he wasn\'t breathing very well, so the doctors took him to ICU and induced a coma. He was there overnight and is still in ICU But-- He is out of the coma and he is TALKING!!!

He is still hooked up to a lot of tubes, but they were able to remove the one that was going down his throat. The doctor\'s said that he wouldn\'t be able to remember anything, and they were right. When he came out of the induced coma today, he wanted to know where he was and how he had gotten there.

He has been hospitalized at least 7 or 8 times in the past 3 or 4 months. (I am beginning to lose track.)

We didn\'t know what he would be like when he came to. To the people on DN who have been praying for me and for him, thank you so much!!! God has answered in a compassionate and marvelous way!

My brother is depressed about being in the hospital yet again. Not that I blame him.

I\'ve been under a lot of stress also. I have lost some stuff in my house that I haven\'t found yet. Also, I was supposed to take some medication to help me with lingering soreness in my rib cage, and I honestly cannot remember whether I have taken it or not. So of course, now I can\'t... :P

For these reasons, I think my brother and I could still use some prayer... for him to be able to gain a brighter outlook, and for me to be able to focus properly on every day activities once again...

I appreciate all of you so much. Thank you to Betsey, Kathy, and Ed who made this wallpaper for me, and thank you everybody else too who has been praying and rooting for me... :)

I am so thankful for Desktop Nexus! :D :D :D

UPDATE: My brother just had a very, very, scary experience at the hospital... fluid got into his lungs and he felt like he was drowning... He is very shook up and needs prayer. I wasn\'t there but my Mom was. Monday, February 18th Happened about 5PM my time... He needs prayer! I feel so badly that he is going through all of this.


Hi Everybody,

This is to bring everybody up to speed on why I have been semi absent on DN this week.

I used this cute wallpaper of a Teddy Bear with a thermometer in it\'s mouth to let people know that something was wrong with me.

It got the message across, but it also got several people wondering if I had the flu or something.

The good news is No, I do not have the flu! If I had that on top of what else I\'ve been going through, I\'d be a real mess. Believe me, if I had been able to find a wallpaper about bruised ribs, I would have used it. I even thought about making one, but I was too sore to do that when I picked out this wallpaper.

I am sore because I fell off the end of a bench at my exercise club on Monday, Feb.4th. It happened in the locker room. I had put my coat and purse in a locker, sat down to tie my shoes, and was about to put my lock on the locker so I could start my exercise routine. I slid down the bench in order to be at a better angle to close the locker. The bench ended earlier than I thought it did. :P

I hid the floor very hard, on my left side, yelping in surprise as I went down. I had the wind knocked out of me on one side. People ran for help as I struggled to breathe normally.

My trainer and some other employees asked me if I wanted an ambulance, but I said No Way! Eventually they were able to help me back up onto the bench. After about 15 minutes, I was able to get up, hobble over to a stationary cycle & start my workout. Slowly & painfully, I managed to get through the whole routine. I don\'t think I made anything worse, but I was still plenty sore when I left the club.

(Just for the record, my doctor told me later that I should have rested and gone straight home. So I\'ll remember that for next time-- except that there\'s not going to be a next time if I can help it!)

I have been finding out a lot about just how much "fun" a bruised ribcage can be.

I feel fine if I don\'t laugh, make any sudden moves, or breathe wrong. Coughing, Sneezing and Hiccuping are very painful.

The action of lying down hurts like heck. Getting out of a lying position hurts even more. Lying down itself feels wonderful. So does not moving.

My doctor told me not to exercise for at least a week. If I am not feeling better after a week, I have to go get my ribs X rayed to check for fractures.

I got myself into real trouble last night. I made the mistake of going to sleep on my left side. It is weaker than my right side, as well as being my sore side. I woke up at 4AM and tried to go to the bathroom. Every time I tried to move, pain shot through me.

My husband was a real hero. He got up and started helping me and coaching me. After 45 minutes of struggling in pain, I realized that I felt like I was in labor!

Finally after about an hour, I managed to move enough so that I was able to get off of the bed and stand up. As I headed for the bathroom, a weird sensation went through me. I felt like I had never been stuck on the bed at all. It was like just like after I delivered my first baby. I had several amazing moments when I felt great; like I had never been pregnant at all. (Those moments ended abruptly when my newborn daughter started crying.)

Little by little, I am improving. I am still on pain medication around the clock, and I\'m being very careful. I have been able to be on DN some, and I have even been able to work on some wallpapers. (I\'m hoping that I will be able to upload them tonight or tomorrow. That would be so cheering...!)

So that\'s what has been going on with me this week. All of you please stay well, and whatever you do, don\'t slide off of any benches! I wouldn\'t wish bruised ribs on my worst enemy!

CollieSmile :)

PS. Some of you jokers out there like to send me funny links. Usually, I enjoy getting them, but hold off on those for awhile, please.

It hurts when I laugh. :P

(I sure wish you could pick more than one of these smilie faces... The smile didn\'t quite fit this time, but neither does the one I picked!)

This will be a short entry because I am up ridiculously late...

The bad news is that my brother is back in the hospital AGAIN.:P The good news is that it is not his sodium levels after all this time. He wasn\'t feeling well, and he has some other stuff going on, including an irregular hear beat-- but he is more comfortable than he was during his last hospital stay. Part of the reason for that is the room he is in. It is larger and more comfortable, and the nurse to patient ratio is better.

He got this room because they wanted to keep him away from flu patients. There are a lot of them right now!

There is still a lot going on with my family, but I am not feeling as overwhelmed by it all as I was. Over the past week, I\'ve even been able to make 2 wallpapers, which I\'ve just uploaded. Here they are:

It felt good to be creating again!

CollieSmile/Elaine :)


(This post is mainly for my fans and friends, but anyone is welcome to read it.)

Hi Everybody!

I am alive and well on the DN map as you can see, but I\'ve had a lot going on in my non DN life. I\'ve really been scrambling trying to catch up with DN and everything else!

My brother has been in and out of the hospital for the past 2 months. His sodium levels were dangerously low, due to some medications he was taking. He\'s been in very rough shape-- in fact back on Christmas Day was one of the times he went to the Emergency room.

Shortly after New Years, my Mom called me and told me that she was taking my Dad to Emergency at his doctor\'s orders. The doctor thought my Dad had pneumonia. My parents are in their mid 80\'s, and of course pneumonia is not something to mess with!

I went to emergency to give my poor stressed out Mom moral support and do whatever I could to help. In fact, for a number of days, the hospital was my main hangout. That is because my Dad and my brother were both in the hospital at the same time for awhile! (The hospital\'s soup and baked custard were pretty good!:P :))

It turned out that my Dad had a nasty case of influenza.(flu)

Happily, my Dad and brother are home now and doing much better. But my Mom is still struggling to get over her flu, which thank goodness, she did not have to be hospitalized for. I\'m very thankful that I haven\'t caught it myself! But I am still dealing with a lot right now.

Due to additional health problems my Dad has been experiencing, I am going to have less time than I did before on DN. I need to be more available for my parents, and my brother. I also need to take care of some things in my own life that have been getting neglected.

I have to rebudget the time that I spend on DN, because now I have less of it. For that reason, I\'ve had to make the decision to discontinue making weekly profile posts. I\'ll also be cutting down on wallpaper designing...sigh.

I am Not leaving DN though, and I am determined to stay in touch with all of you as best as I can. Here is what I\'ll be doing:

1. I\'ll try to answer all of your profile posts to me. If you have something important to tell me, you might want to PM me. PMs are easier for me to keep track of, and I\'ll answer them for sure.

2. I\'ll be making journal posts more often. I\'ll make mention of them, when I do, in that education slot that everybody, including me, has so much fun with. I love reading those, by the way. In fact, my own slot is pretty silly right now.:D

3. I will still be making wallpaper comments whenever I can. If I comment on one of your wallpapers from now on, please consider that as a hello from me.:) (If you haven\'t uploaded any wallpapers, I will drop by to say hello once in a while. :) )

4. There is one other way that you can stay in touch with me, and I hope that you will. I\'ve formed two Groups that I invite you to join. (Some of you already have, for which I thank you!) I have also joined some of your groups. Feel free to invite me to any you have formed or any that you think I would fit in to. :)

This wallpaper has (in it\'s description) links to both of the groups that I\'ve started.

Groups are wonderful! I\'ve joined 33 of them so far, and I will join more of them if they are a good fit for me. They are my Consolation Prize for having less time to spend on DN. They don\'t take that much time either. That\'s another reason that I decided to get involved with them.

One of the best things about Groups is that there is finally a good place on DN that you can add your Holiday wallpapers too-- i.e. Halloween, Easter, etc. Putting Christmas wallpapers in the "Abstract" Category always did seem wierd to me... There are also great places to put other walls that are hard to categorize. Have you ever had a wallpaper fit 3 categories at once, but you could only pick one? Now you can have one wallpaper in as many groups as you want. I have at least one wallpaper in 7 different groups.

Finding wallpapers you want will be easier too. For example, have you ever tried looking up "Independence Day" or "butterfly" in the wallpaper search bar? Oh boy! 167 pages to search through on each of those, and there is no guarantee that the wallpapers will even be on topic. But there is a Butterfly group and a "Proud to Be an American Group" where these types of walls are now a lot easier to find!

Whatever you do, please stay in touch with me... And have fun with the new wallpaper group system. A couple of people mentioned to me that they are concerned that the wallpaper groups will become cliques. I don\'t see that happening. I for one don\'t have time to stand around clicking away in some group... And with that terrible pun, I am going to end this post while I am behind. :P

CollieSmile/Elaine :D
Posted 2012

When I was a child, I loved the way that my family celebrated the Christmas Season.

We put up a real Christmas tree every year. We\'d set a Nativity Set underneath it, and build a stable for Mary and Joseph out of toy Log Cabin sticks. We\'d hang a bright star ornament on our tree at just the right spot to hang over the manger. We never put baby Jesus in the manger until Christmas day.

The Nativity set wasn\'t the only thing under the tree. We\'d always put a wax candle boys choir under the tree. Also we had a Christmas elf choir with a little pop eyed China Santa Claus directing it. I am sure we had other stuff too, but the Manger and the 2 Choirs were the most important things under the tree for me.

We had many well loved ornaments on our tree, of course. One of my favorites was a silver reindeer that I called Rudolph. Among other tree decorations, we had quite a few Santa Claus ornaments.

The Santa Claus ornaments are at the center of this story....

It happened in December in the early 1970\'s. I was 13 years old and in the 8th grade. My oldest sister, Cindy, was 17, a Senior in High School. My other sister, Jayne, was 16 years old, a Junior. My brother Carl was 11 and in the 6th grade.

It was a dreary night sometime between Christmas and New Years Day. My Mother and Dad had gone out for the evening, and had left Cindy and Jayne in charge. I was feeling very moody that night. The excitement of Christmas had died down. The days were grimly marching along towards New Years Day and then there would be school again. I was not looking forward to going back because two of my teachers had assigned homework over the holiday. I hadn\'t touched mine.

All of us kids were in the living room looking at the Christmas tree. Somehow, we started up a discussion about the number of Santa Claus ornaments on it. We started counting. Eventually, my sister Jayne announced that there were 6 Santa ornaments on the tree. I disagreed. I said that there were 7 of them.

I believe that in a way, we may both have been correct. I was including the pop eyed Santa Claus Elf Choir director in my count. Jayne probably was not. Anyway, I insisted that I was right. She insisted that she was. Cindy agreed with Jayne. I found that very annoying..

I told Jayne to come over to where I was on the floor so that I could show her the Santa Claus that I didn\'t think she saw. I got even more irritated when Jayne would not budge. She had the best chair in the room, a cushioned rocking chair. She was probably afraid that if she got up, Carl or Cindy would grab it. I got angrier and angrier. How could I prove that I was right if Jayne wouldn\'t even come and see for herself?

I finally went over and gave her rocking chair a big annoying shove. Jayne flew at me-- and suddenly we were launched into an all out battle, complete with kicking, pushing, slapping, and clawing. We crashed down to the floor and kept right on fighting.

(Concluded in the next Journal entry)
Here\'s the Link:


Posted Dec 2012

(Here is the link to Part One.)


Cindy shrieked at us to stop-stop-STOP!-- but we ignored her. My poor brother was terrified. "They are going to KILL each other!" Carl yelled. I was having some trouble breathing, and my scratches hurt. I was sort of amazed at what was happening, even though I was in the thick of it.

Cindy and Carl scrambled to get out of the way. I believe that at least one chair got knocked over. I\'m amazed that the Christmas tree didn\'t fall down. But somehow our knockdown drag out floor fight headed away from the tree and towards our dining room.

In the dining room on a table, was a plastic icicle tree decorated with small colored Christmas tree bulbs. The little tree toppled over as the dining room table shook. Several little ornaments rolled off the table and onto the floor. Many of them promptly got crunched on the battleground.

Jayne and I fell down on the dining room floor with a particularly loud crash. Directly under us, coming from the basement, we heard a loud startled yowl. Oliver, our Siamese Cat, had been sleeping in one of his favorite places, in the heating pipes near the basement ceiling. We had landed exactly above him! Needless to say, he was probably no longer there.

After that crash onto the floor, we started to slow down some. I think we were both feeling the need to come up for some air. And then--- the telephone rang. We looked at Cindy. "I\'M not getting it!" she announced.

Jayne glared at her and headed for the phone. It was amusing to see her face go from a scowl to a smile, as she was forced to say "Hello?" in a pleasant voice. Then she had to keep on talking just as sweetly. Her current boyfriend was on the line.

The telephone call gave us all time to calm down and cool down. When Jayne hung up the phone she was looking pretty sheepish. I\'m sure that I was too. We started picking up what was left of the little ornaments that had fallen on the floor. We tried to hang the unsmashed ones back on the little icicle tree in such a way that several newly emptied places on it wouldn\'t show.

Jayne and I begged Cindy not to tell Mom and Dad about what had happened. We were worried about getting into trouble.

"I\'ll think about it." Cindy said haughtily. We had really given her and Carl a good scare. We had not quit fighting when she had asked/hollered at us to. She now had a power card to play and she was not going to let it go easily!

A day or two went by and Cindy didn\'t say anything. We were eating lunch in the dining room one afternoon when Mom happened to spot a piece of broken ornament that we had missed picking up from the little icicle tree. Puzzled, she asked if anyone knew what had happened. Cindy promptly pointed to Jayne and I and said, "Ask THEM!" That is how the story finally leaked out.

Mom and Dad were amazed, at a lot of things, I guess. How in the World could we get so Mad about some ornaments on the Christmas Tree? Did we realize how Old we were? Jayne in High School and me almost there too?

We laugh about it now, at least once every Christmas Season. It is a true family legend. Sometimes I am still amazed that it really happened. It will forever be known by our family as "The Great Santa Claus Fight."
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Easter PostIf you are reading this... you\'ve probably seen it already on your profile... April 19, 2019I\'ve been playing with colors......keeping my eye out for color loving rabbits...and being thankful for what Easter is all about. Have a beautiful & meaningful h...
Striped Cloud Formations...March 31, 2019 SundayIf you\'re a fan of mine you\'ve likely already read this....I did some unexpected & unusual cloud watching the other day. I\'ve got some striped wallpapers to prove it! Have you ever seen cloud formations like these? If you have, I\'...
Happy Saint Patrick\'s Day 2019!Sunday, March 17, 2019I have decided to make a journal entry to commemorate the fact that I stayed up waaaaaay.... too late last night struggling with my Irish Abstract Shamrock wallpaper design. (It\'s below.) I am truly glad that I have a wallpaper to s...
Frigid Weather & Sundogs(If you are one of my fans, you\'ve probably read this already... on your own profile) February 1, 2019I\'ve been a bit out of touch with most of you, because my back decided to go out once again. So up until now I\'ve had to limit my computer time becaus...
New Year\'s a Comin\'...December 30, 2018If you are one of my fans you\'ve probably already ready this... I\'ve posted it on many profiles already. Guess what? It is almost It\'s time to party, celebrate,and have a May you have a wonderful year! I\'m looking forward to great tim...
Almost Christmas...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! So many of you have already posted wonderf...

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