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Journal for CollieSmileJournal for CollieSmile
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."
Dec 17, 2012

Hi Everybody,

There are so many of you that I am behind on getting back to! You\'ve had some great things to say and share.. Hopefully, I can finally start playing catch up now!:D

Sara1970 told me something that has stuck with me. I don\'t know anyone that could disagree with it. She read a quote that goes something like this: (her words)

"No matter what is going wrong in your life, someone else in the world wishes they had YOUR problems."

That saying rang so true when I found out about the tragedy in Connecticut at Sandy Hook school. Anyone who suffered the loss of a loved one would trade that agony for my failed hard drive-- in a heart beat!

I was wondering if you all would be interesting in doing something to reach out to the people in Conneticut. Here is what I have done.

I\'ve made a wallpaper for them. In the description, I\'ve written them a letter.

I know that I\'m not the only one on DN who is hurting with these sweet people... I have some suggestions that you can use if you feel led to.

If you are a wallpaper designer, design a wallpaper for them, or upload a beautiful image for them that you find on line. Teddy Bears, Flowers, a beautiful nature scene, a prayer...anything you think of that they might appreciate. If you wish you could make a wallpaper for them and you are short on time, you could take a beautiful wallpaper that you have uploaded recently, and Edit the Title and description for them.

You might want to put a letter in it like I did, or a short note, or a quote that helps you through your tough times. You might want to put a link in it to something special, i.e. a comforting song.

If you don\'t upload wallpapers but want to do something, you can vote up these wallpapers, comment on them and download them.

**********I have thought of a way to keep these wallpapers together in a group. Put the word "SANDYHOOK" in your tag words (as one word)********

That is the name of the elementary school where it all happened. You can list "Sandy Hook" as a tag word also, of course. But right now, my wallpaper is the only one with the tag sandyhook in it. I want my wallpaper to have company! Some of you have made wallpapers already about this, just put that tag in and my wallpaper won\'t be alone anymore.:)

I will vote up and comment on any wallpaper that deals with this tragedy. (I would download them also, but I don\'t have enough hard drive to do a lot of downloads right now.) All of us could easily vote on these walls and comment on them. All we would have to do is enter "sandyhook" into the search bar and we could see all of them at once.

Please pass these suggestions all over Desktop Nexus. For example, If you have some fans that you know I don\'t have, leave a note on their profile with a link to my journal. I have entered these words in my latest journal entry. (Today, December 17th)


If you have any questions about this, PM me, and I\'ll get back to you as soon as I can. A PM would grab my attention the quickest, and if you leave questions on my profile, I might miss them.

Have a beautiful and compassionate week, everyone.

Elaine :)
Dec 17, 2012

I have so much that I want to say and so little time to say it... I have to leave my house in less than 2 hours. There is a Christmas Variety concert at my church today (and tomorrow too). I am in it as a choral singer. There will be a jazz band, ballet, drama, and of course choral singing. It\'s going to be a wonderful concert, and it\'s free. We\'ll only be taking a volunteer offering to support a large food pantry in our area. I wish all of you could see it.

I am truly staggered at all the concern and support that has come pouring in from all of you about the files I\'ve lost from my hard drive. I\'ve gotten wonderful messages on my profile, through some PM\'s and of course, on this wallpaper.

Some of you have had "I\'ve been there" messages. Other of you have had some fantastic ideas about preventing this from happening again. You\'ve said so many wonderful and comforting things! I appreciate all of it deeply.

I want to thank all of you personally, and I will do my best. If I didn\'t have these concerts, I would be doing that right now instead of posting this journal entry. :)

Good things are going to come out of this loss. They already are. Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted me! I will be in touch.

DN members are AWSOME! :D :D :D

CollieSmile/Elaine :D

PS. If you know anyone who would want to read this, please pass the word around!!! :D :D :D

continued.... (And here\'s the link to Part 1 in case you missed it)

Try one last time to find the giblets. When they simply don’t show up, it’s time to substitute your Spice of Assumption for the missing giblets. Assume that the company that froze your turkey got chintzy and took ALL the giblets from ALL the turkeys to make a bunch of gourmet liver pate for a posh mail-order company. Then forget them.

Next, dig your giant stockpot out from under your sink or wherever you keep it. You have a real inspiration―you will BOIL the turkey! After all, people do boil chickens, don’t they? And no basting required!!! Heave the turkey into the stockpot and discover that it STILL doesn’t quite fit.

Remove turkey from stock pot and put on large cutting board. Take a big knife and try to hack the turkey apart to MAKE it fit into the pot. Discover (after extensive hacking) that the turkey does not WANT to be cut apart. Put it back into the stockpot, resolving to hack it apart at the cooked end after it\'s partially boiled.

Fill the stockpot with water. Turn on high. Wash your hands and go read a book or play Tetris on your computer. At last you have gotten the troublesome bird off of your hands for awhile!

You will be surprised at how quickly the pot begins to boil. You will be even more surprised by how quickly a strange thick smoke oozes up from the water of your big pot. Quickly throw open the doors of your house to keep the smoke alarm from going off and to share the pungent aroma with your neighborhood.

Remove pot from the burner. By now you’ve decided that the weight of the turkey against the bottom of the pot must be what caused the scorching. Discard all of the liquid and put the turkey back on the
cutting board. Hack at it some more with a knife with minimal success. Decide that this is a job for Superman, your husband, or whoever walks in the door first. Let the turkey set and go back to your book or your Tetris game.

When your husband (or whoever) gets home, he will be truly amazed at the sickening smell that is permeating your house. He will be even more amazed at the sight of the hacked-up 15-pound turkey. If you are lucky (as I was), he will compassionately try to help you figure out what in the world happened.

It is at this point that you will most likely discover the SURPRISE. The giblets! There they are! They are well done―and scorched to the bottom of your stockpot! How did they get there? Apparently, the
turkey company was NOT chintzy after all!

Solve the mystery by having your husband cut open the turkey at the most scorched part. Inside you will find the melted remainder of the plastic bag that your giblets were in. NOW you know where the black smoke REALLY originated from.

Try to rinse the turkey off. Discover that the plastic odor has really sunk into the bird.

If you think you will enjoy burned plastic-smoked turkey, have your husband try to fit it into your roasting pan to bake in the oven. More than likely, you will NOT appreciate the smoky plastic bird’s odor. As I said in the beginning, this recipe is not for everybody! In that case, insert the carcass into a garbage bag and discard. Then, heat leftovers or go out to dinner.

NOTE: I did make this recipe, as written, when I had been married for 5 years, in 1988. My husband got this turkey from his company as a Thanksgiving bonus. Fortunately, this recipe was not made for Thanksgiving dinner itself. I took it out of the freezer on a dreary day the following January, and prepared it as detailed in the recipe.

I enjoy turkey very much and I have a simple and delicious recipe for turkey drumsticks that I make quite often. But to this day, I have never cooked a whole turkey. For some reason, nobody lets me.:P

All opinions on this recipe are welcome, especially if you try making it according to my instructions. :)

Posted Nov 2012

This special recipe has been revised (slightly) especially for DN members. I had to put it into 2 parts, so that the journal wouldn\'t take all night to save it. lol Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving! :D :D :D

This is a recipe that I made about 5 years into my marriage. It is suitable for anyone who hasn\'t had to cook a whole turkey before. Few ingredients are needed & no basting is required.

CAUTION: Do read the directions thoroughly before making. This recipe is not for everybody.

One frozen 15-pound turkey
Preoccupation--use freely throughout the recipe
1 oz. of frustration
2 oz. of anxiety
1 telephone call to your mother or another experienced cook
1 oz. of impatience
1 dash of rebellion
Spice of Assumption--as needed

Take the frozen turkey and thaw it in your refrigerator for 3 days. In the meantime, hunt up the wonderful Reynolds Oven cooking bags that you bought three years ago but never used because your mother or some other relative kept inviting you over for Thanksgiving dinner. Read the directions carefully and put the bags away somewhere.

After 3 days, take the turkey out of the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrapper. Take the neck out of the cavity and search unsuccessfully for the giblets pouch..

Leave off hunting for the giblets pouch so that you can look for the cooking bags that you put away “somewhere.” Your ounce of frustration can be substituted for the cooking bags when you simply can\'t find them, and it dawns on you that you’ll have to fix the turkey some other way.

Get out your favorite roasting pan. Discover that your roasting pan is not big enough for the 15-pound turkey. Use your 2 ounces of anxiety as you start hunting for bigger pans.

You can\'t find the giblets pouch. You can\'t find your oven bags. You need another way to cook the turkey without the bother of basting it. This is the perfect time to throw in the telephone call to your mother or some other experienced cook.

Tell your mother, (or whoever) that you can’t find the giblets pouch. She will reassure you that they must be in the turkey, probably under a flap of skin. Resolve to search again after the phone call. Then explain that you are seeking a method to cook a turkey without basting it.

Now prepare to use your ounce of impatience. The experienced cook on the other end, 9 times out of 10, will explain that there\'s no way to cook a turkey without an oven bag unless you baste it. They will cheerfully outline the method for you, saying something about browning the turkey first at such and such a temperature, then using a tent of foil, and getting a basting sauce out of a cookbook…

In the meantime, let your experienced cook’s wise and well-meaning advice flow in one of your ears and out the other. Use your ounce of impatience (more if necessary) but do keep it tightly covered. YOU know, of course, that you have no intention of babying this bird along―all you’d planned to do was to throw it in the oven and forget it. But your experienced cook does NOT realize this and is only trying to help you. So be polite―but end your conversation as soon as possible. After hanging up the phone, use your dash of rebellion. Decide once and for all that you are NOT going to cook the turkey THEIR way. You are going to cook the turkey the easy way, YOUR way.

To be continued immediately in the next journal entry! :D Here is the link:
Anybody is welcome to read this, but this post is primarily for my DN fans & friends.


Hi Everybody...

I\'ve been meeting great people ever since I got started on DN. I\'m meeting more & more & more... I\'m starting to forget whose birthday is when, and what country or state some people are from... and sometimes whose wallpapers I commented on and whose site I keep forgetting to visit! :P As I mentioned to somebody a couple of days ago, one of these days I\'ll probably end up making somebody from Spain a Happy Birthday Wallpaper with an American theme, and I\'ll post it on the profile of somebody from India...:P

On top of all that, my "offline life" is getting a busier. I\'ve had to cut my computer time down. I\'ve been checking my DN mail regularly, but I don\'t always have time to answer it right away. I\'m spending chunks of time on DN every other day instead of every day like I used too.

I want to make the best use of the DN time that I do have. Therefore, I am beginning to get my fan/friends list in better order. I want to see the wallpapers people are creating on a regular basis, instead of hop,skip, & Oops I forgot to look! Also I want to get your birthdays organized calendar order style.

I love sending birthday greetings to everybody, I\'m sure a lot of us do...So I will be asking some of you more shy DN members if you will let me know when your birthdays are...but NOT the year! The year isn\'t important on DN. All of us are eternally young--- or if we do admit to being older, we are filled with wisdom!

(To those of you who have no hang ups about telling your age, I salute you. I\'m more the type of person who likes to say that I am 39, just like Jack Benny.)

In Summary,

1. I have less time to spend on DN than I used to. I\'m determined to keep connecting with everybody, anyway!

2. If your birthday is not on your profile I\'ll be asking you for it, no year necessary, so I can send some joy in your direction on your special day. If you really would rather not share it, you will leave me in Wonderland, just like Alice. You just might be getting a Merry UnBirthday Card from me instead of a Birthday Card. lol

If you notice or have noticed that I\'m answering your profile and wallpaper comments more slowly, now you know why. Don\'t worry about me, and please be patient with me. I\'ll do my best to get back to you eventually.

One thing for certain---It will be easier for me to connect with you all more quickly once my Construction Phase is over! Can anybody lend me a hard hat? :D

PS. Does anybody out there know why I get weird slash marks before each apostrophe in all of my posts? Just wondering...

PPS. While I am trying to get things like birthdays straightened out on DN, I have just realized that I missed one of my sister\'s birthdays, and I am 2 days late on the other. It looks like I need all of the help getting organized that I can get! Wish me Luck..... :P

Hi Claire,

I love the fractal designs you are making. Keep up the beautiful work! :D

Also I wanted to tell you that I\'m glad you learned how to paste wallpapers onto profiles with that journal entry that I made. It\'s great to know that is helping somebody out. Thanks for letting me know. :D

Have a great weekend!

Elaine :)

I\'ve have had a strange year as far as Internet Connections go....

A year ago, a straight line windstorm took out a tree in our back yard. The tree fell straight on to the power line in our back yard, unplugging us instantly. A repair crew tried to stabilize the wire 2 days later. Suddenly huge white sparks went crackling through the air. One man narrowly escaped being electrocuted. Half of our block lost it\'s power. Needless to say, we weren\'t very popular neighbors for a couple of days. :P

Throughout this entire year, my family has kept losing our internet connection. Several times (throughout the year) it was thunderstorms that did it. One night in early spring, I think, high winds knocked out our internet. The repair team that came out told us that someone had made a mess of our internet connection, and that it was a miracle that we had any internet at all for the past few months.

In August our internet modem burned out. My husband did not want to buy another one. Instead he started looking for other options. He finally worked out a good deal with A t&T. We had to wait 2 weeks for an appointment so we could get hooked up again.

The day they finally came out and installed everything was a great day. I thought all our problems were solved and that we would live happily ever after. Nope....

Tuesday evening Sept 11, we lost our on line connection again. I immediately I notified my husband.

This sums up the rest of our "fun":

9/12/12 - Repair people were supposed to be at our house anywhere from 4 to 8PM. We were stood up. At 10PM , after holding for 20 minutes, A T&T said someone would be out the next day anywhere from 8AM to 8PM

Thurs Sept 13 - While I was at a doctor appointment, a repairman showed up and worked on our outside lines where they said the problem was. My son was home and let the man in the house. He discovered there were also inside problems-- that he couldn\'t fix. He promised to schedule an "inside repairman."

At 8PM that evening, we called A T&T only to discover that nobody had been scheduled at all. We were told that someone would be out on the 14th somewhere between 12 and 4 PM.

9/14 Happily, we were not stood up again. A friendly repairman came out about noon and finally got us back on line.

I would love to say that all of our internet problems are finished and that now we will live happily ever after...But of course that is what I thought the last time! lol

So that\'s my story, and I\'m sticking to it... I am curious, however. Has anyone out in Desktop Nexus Land had ongoing internet connection problems like this? I\'d be interested in what you went through... Or are all of these problems staying on line normal???

Well, I hope our year of trouble is finally over. We shall see.

Okay, here is part 2 of my message....

Anyway, he\'s a good guy. He knocked the socks off me by getting me a new computer monitor for my birthday. Not just any monitor either, it is flat screen and it is Huge, at least to me. I had a resolution of 1024 x 768. I was hoping to get a 1680 x 1050. He got me a 1920 x 1080 flat screen. I was totally stunned.

He said this is my Christmas present also. No arguments from me! None whatsoever! Thank goodness I have an offline graphic arts program... I have been sitting around making wallpaper and thinking of all you guys....

We will be getting new Internet Service installed at our home on Tuesday August 21st. Whew! I will be SO glad...

I will be on line a little longer today and I should be back "completely" next Tuesday. :D :D :D

Elaine :)

Part One:

Hi everybody!

I am writing this from a public library computer lab... Now I can finally catch you up on why I haven\'t been able to be on line!

My family\'s Internet Modem box kept going in and out the entire week of August 5th thru the 11th.

On Sunday the 12th, I was on line and my husband was about to log onto his computer. I had a bad feeling about it. I said "No, no, don\'t! Use my computer instead!" But he turned his on anyway. We lost our internet, and this time it was permanent. In hindsight, it was probably just as well that he did that. The Internet Modem box was dying anyway, and he simply put it out of it\'s misery.... :P

Part 2 to follow....I hope.
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