Kelli Tries Succulents–AGAIN!


A post from Kelli–


So it’s no secreat that I have a black thumb.  Nothing about my thumb is green.  I have however managed to keep a poinsettia alive for almost 3 years….but I think my Grandma Kramer may have a bit of a hand in that one.  Last summer, mom called me after a visit with Connie and told me that Connie had left something for me.  I was super excited cause Connie always seems to know what I like–and this time was the same!  She had taken an old flour sifter and put a few succulents in it.  I took it home determined that I was going to keep these alive.  I watered them regularly and put them by a window to get lots of light.  As much as I tried, they didn’t last.  I was super sad!

All summer, I’ve been meaning to stop at a greenhouse to grab a few new ones, but nothing has seemed to work out.  Turns out, last week I had an insurance meeting at work and then a telemetry class to go to.  I ran through Walmart to grab a few things and I happened to see Grandma Lois in getting her hair permed.  I stopped by and chatted with her for a bit.  It turns out, she needed some groceries and a few things at the greenhouse in Decorah, but wasn’t sure she would be able to get into the greenhouse (she has bad knees and has a hard time with stairs or walking very long distances).  I told her that I didn’t have anything to do for the rest of the day, so I’d love to accompany her for a while and help her out.

As soon as her hair was done, we stopped my car off and I jumped in with her.  Once we got to the Greenhouse, I helped her in (no steps!!!  Wahoo!!!) and a wonderful guy working there helped us find all of the things that she was looking for.  On our way out, I saw a few pots with succulents in them.  I asked if they had individual plants and I was happy to find out that they did!  I picked out a few and was getting ready to check out.  I realized that I had no idea about what to do for soil and they kindly offered to mix some up for me, telling me that succulents do best with part sand and part dirt.  He also said that the most common reason for killing succulents is overwatering.  He recommended a spray bottle to spray them with periodically.

Succulents 1 (300x400)

On my way home, I grabbed a few coffee filters at my Mother in Law’s (she drinks coffee all day long–literally) because I knew she’s likely have a few I could have.  I got home and set to work getting my little beauties planted.

Succulents 2 (400x300)

Before I knew it, I had them all planted and ready to go!

Succulents 3 (300x400)

I’m hoping that with the right dirt and a better idea of proper watering, that I’ll be successful in growing succulents this time.  If anyone has any advice to share, please do–God knows I’ll need all the advice I can get.

Selfie Time!


Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.

According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 71 percent of cell phone users keep themselves entertained by taking photos and posting on social media.

In fact, there’s now a national day to celebrate it on June 21 (that’s tomorrow): National Selfie Day.

To participate, all you need is a smartphone with a good quality camera.  The key to a good selfie shot is to make sure that your device has a front-facing camera.A front-facing “selfie camera” which has Smart Auto Focus to track faces and make sure everyone in the selfie is clear and in focus.

Me…I’m not the best selfie taker and definitely need some help.  Check out this photo I took of me and Carver awhile back….UGH.  I need selfie help for sure.


Here are some suggestions from U.S. Cellular that will help us all take better selfies.

Use the right light. Selfie-takers should avoid fluorescent lights and instead opt for natural, indirect light such as outside or near a window, and be sure the light is coming from behind. The best lighting is the golden hour before sunset – that natural glow can’t be beat.

Work the angles. You can experiment with different camera angles by tilting the device slightly off center and sideways to find the “good side” of your face. While it may seem unnatural at first, selfie professionals recommend leaning your head to one side or, alternatively, angling the camera.  A selfie taken at an angle is almost always more flattering than one taken straight-on.

Spotlight activities. With U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network, capturing and sharing selfies from a hike, vacation, concert, trendy new restaurant, or with best friends is easy and quick.

Crop before posting. Selfie-takers should remember that for a perfect “photo finish,” they should pay attention to what’s happening behind them to avoid any awkward backgrounds.

Here’s selfie of me and Kelli…we took their advice of tilting the camera and working to find good angles.

We did forget to crop though.  You can see the picture would look better had we taken the time to crop it.

There are many helpful apps that can improve selfies, enhancing the contrasts, smoothing skin, and embellishing them with cool edits and designs. One such app is Perfect 365, a virtual makeup app, allows users to improve their complexion, hide imperfections, add blush, mascara and other cosmetics virtually. Experiment with different app options and see which is best.

Until a year or so ago I never dreamed of taking selfies.  I always hated pictures of myself.  I’d do the whole self image thing of “who wants to see those chubby cheeks of mine and the like”.  I’m trying to get over that…having my 20-30ish year old kids is helping.  They often want a picture and I’m so bad at saying no to them….so I do it.  All in all, I’m glad I have.  I know there are others like me who don’t like getting their picture taken but I think it’s time we start.  Years from now, after I’m gone, I want my grand kids to see in the everyday…not just in a posed picture.  This little snap shot selfie of Kelli and I, that’s how I want them to see and remember me….so ladies, take a few selfies…our families will be glad we did.


Raspberry Cream Muffins


On Sundays I usually bake something.   I always think it gives me a good kick off to the new week.  Hubby packs his lunch to take to work so it’s nice to have some type of goody for him to add to his lunch.  Quite often I will make a batch of muffins and put a couple in the freezer so he can have some later in the week.  It seems if I don’t freeze a few, they’ll never be here later in the week.

I used to LOVE trying new recipes and did it all the time.  With working and trying to keep things going around here I’ve slacked off on trying new recipes.  I’m hoping to get back into the swing of it as I miss it.  Trying new recipes was a hobby that I loved.

I grabbed an old magazine I had bought years ago and decided whatever I opened the page to I would make if I had all the ingredients.  I opened and the first thing I saw was Raspberry Cream Muffins.  Amazingly I did have all the ingredients.


Don’t mind how they look.  I filled the cups a little bit too full and they ended up a little bit odd shaped because of it.

Interested in seeing the recipe?  Well keep reading. [Read more...]

A Quilt Finish for Jonathan


I finally finished Jonathan’s quilt.  It really didn’t take that long considering I made two at the same time.  I looked and I first blogged about them May 29th.  I had started them a few days before then.


This one is “wonkier” than the original and personally, I like it better!  I was happy the magazine picked the more controlled one.  The idea for the quilt came from my friend Carla at Longarm Quilting Inspirations.  Carla is full of great ideas!  Yes, I did use the variegated thread.


Here’s what the back looks like.Jonathans-Quilt-3

I love the print.  It’s an old Moda fabric for the Oink a Doodle Moo line.  I don’t think it’s available anymore.  Being the fabric was directional and impossible to flawlessly seam together, I added the extra piece of fabric.


Here it is all laid out in full view….. [Read more...]