Funny Face

Now I know that these old photo machines are still around here and there—K-Mart, arcades,¬† and even as rentals for teen parties—but back in my day they served a difference purpose other than just goofy entertainment.

Do you youngsters realize that before the fabulous digital camera age–you know, where you point and shoot and then just delete the ugly stuff–these little booths were really the only places that the common folk could get a picture taken and take it home right now. No waiting for a week or so to have them developed and hoping for the best. Of course they came in that funky strip but it was wonderfully fast so you just learned to take the good with the…

not so good.


Lucky for all y’all April was one cute baby…

or this would have been a very uncomfortable post…


one of us.

Poinsettia Pilates…

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Is that what it takes to keep these darn things alive? I used to think so, but in honor of National Poinsettia Day–today–I’ve been doing a bit of research. Apparently, it’s not as hard as I thought. In fact, it is positively possible to keep this little baby alive clear until next Christmas. No lie.

What? You’re a non-believer? Well from what I’ve read–it’s not a bit hard. You just have to know what you’re doing.

In the November/December 2003 issue of Country Woman Magazine a reader writes:

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Q. “I have the most beautiful poinsettia. Is there a way I can keep it alive and thriving for next Christmas?”

A. “You certainly can! And you’re not alone in wanting to do so. We and many others like to keep the plants blooming as long as possible, too.

To be honest, it really isn’t all that difficult to take care of a poinsettia. Place the plant near a bright window but out of direct sunlight and make sure the temperature indoors isn’t too high. The flowers prefer cool conditions.

Most importantly, never let your poinsettia dry out. Water it daily–but don’t let the soil get too soggy or leaves will turn yellow and fall off.

Around the beginning of January, add some all purpose houseplant fertilizer. if you notice that it’s starting to look a bit leggy by the middle of February, cut it back to about 5 inches high.

When spring arrives, remove leaves and branches as they start to fade of dry out. You can add more soil if the level looks low in the pot and continue to keep it in a bright location.

In early summer, trim off 2-3 inches to promote a fuller look and repot the poinsettia in a larger container. Once the weather is consistently warm, move it outside where it will get lots of sun, then water and fertilize regularly.

Starting on or near the first day of fall, you’ll want to bring the plant inside and put it in a closet or in the basement at night to ensure it gets 13 hours of uninterrupted darkness. During the day, it should receive about 11 hours of light.

By the end of November, you can stop the short day/long night routine, place the poinsettia in a sunny spot…and watch it turn colorful once again!”

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I’m up for the challenge–I’ll let you know how it goes.

Click HERE for all the Gracious Rain Holiday ideas in one convenient place!


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Happy Birthday my sweet April!

Good Stuff…

So for the past two days I’ve been far away from home–in Salt Lake City–ok, not terribly far away, I’m just saying…

Picture 55

Anyway, April and I are at the Art Weekend taking “Nicole’s Classes” on computers, blogging and becoming magnamonious in every possible way. Yes, I made up that word. You will not believe how brilliant we are becoming!


I took a class yesterday on starting an Etsy shop. The good news is that while only about a third of the class already had an Etsy shop, I was one of them. See, the reason this is such good news is because I was BY FAR the oldest person in the classroom–and that includes the janitor that popped in the back of the room to grab trash a couple of times. So I must say that it felt good to raise my hand when the instructor asked if any of us already kinda knew what we were doing. Not to imply that I do know what I’m doing–but it felt good to be on that side of the roster.

Ha! Take THAT all you pretty little youngsters!

I did learn a great deal about how to make my silly little shop into a cute little shop, that people will be captivated by–which of course, is the reason for the class. So prepare to be dazzled in the very near future!

Oh, one funny moment that I must tell you about…


The gal sitting next to me raised her hand and asked, “What are the demographics of the people who actually purchase handmade items from Etsy? I mean…” and here’s the good part, “…I can’t really picture old people, like, you know, fifty-year-old ladies clicking around buying stuff.”

About the time she said, “old people” I sat up straight and turned my head towards her. But when the word, “fifty” came out of her mouth, I grinned at her and mumbled, “Waaaatch it…” She paused and slowly looked at me as everyone started laughing. Hoping she felt a bit–silly.

I suppose I shouldn’t have teased her. After all…I’m not 50 anyway…

I’m 51.

Ha! again my lovelies.

Oh, and the other good stuff—since I seem to have swallowed a big dose of truth serum–is that April and I have been doing wonderfully on our “lifestyle modifications.” She has lost 15 pounds and I have lost 28.6. She–will be perfect and gorgeous any second now–goal wise, while I still have a ways to go. But I’m wearing clothes that haven’t seen daylight since Laura Ingalls loaned them to me and close friends are noticing, “something.”

I’m liking THAT a lot.

Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Oh, and it’s “Hug a Bear Day” so…


get on that.


Sue BrandonHappy Birthday Sue!

Dear Readers:

Last weekend, Sue’s son Nate was involved in a terrible motorcycle accident. Sue (Crafty Copies) and her family need all the love and prayers we can send them right now. For more details or to find out how you can help, please go to the Blog Help Nate and Kendall.

We love you Sue.

Sassyfruit Studios


I have had so many people–friends, family, blog pals, and total strangers—ask me, “Who does your blog?” I suppose, if they know me at all, they are well aware that I am utterly baffled by the TV remote and all it’s ridiculous buttons. That being the case,¬† it isn’t likely I’ve tackled HTML or blog design in the last few months. Hardly.¬† If there is any cleverness in me, it lies in the fact that I know when to let a professional handle something—especially when that professional is my own daughter.
Which leads me to my next exciting announcement. April’s new blog design site, Sassyfruit is finally up and running. Check it out. I think you’ll be amazed at the talent and versatility of this gal, which is good news for you if you’ve ever wanted your blog to really sparkle. So, to celebrate her grand opening she’s sponsoring a fantastic giveaway.


Sassyfruit is offering a free custom blogger background and header —a $65 value—to one lucky winner.

To enter the giveaway click Sass and follow the simple directions. Once you’ve done that, come back here to Gracious Rain, and make a comment, and you’ll receive another entry.

Oh, and Sassy Fruit is offering a 15% discount to Gracious Rain readers until May 15, 2009. Just mention Gracious Rain when you contact her to start the design process.


Good luck, everyone!

Pucker up!

Don’t be afraid—or disappointed–this is not a post about kissing. Well not completely. It might, possibly come up, in passing–but that would purely be a coincidence.

It’s much more about the pre-kiss thing people do…you know…the PUCKER. I sincerely believe that some people are genetically predisposed to a natural pucker–whether or not they have any prospects close at hand. They just scrunch up their lips like they are just waiting for something.

Don’t you find that odd?

I do. Especially since there are a raft of these sorts at my place.

Take Dane for instance. He makes this face when he’s being all serious and stoic.

Then there’s Jillian–she makes this face when she’s being demure and playful.

Lyndi swears that she never makes a pucker face ev-er. She is incorrect. She makes the face when she is really mad. Almost too mad to speak. You know, the spitting nails kind of mad. I can’t show you a picture of that because how would I ever take a picture of someone that angry–and live to blog about it?

I’m not an idiot, for Pete’s sake.

April makes the face as more of a smirk–as if to say, “Why am I constantly surrounded by stupid people?” So her’s is an attitude pucker. Again, I have no picture of that because, well, I have no desire to be spontaneously¬† incinerated.

I believe it could happen.

And the bald kid? Well he may be the exception in our pucker-face gene pool…for now. I can’t say that I’ve actually seen it, but I believe it’s in there. He just hides all traces with the willpower and stamina of Jason Borne. Someday I’ll capture that kissy face on film, and prove it to the world.

Likely be his wedding day and involve a pretty girl–but I’ll get it.

It’s in the blood, I tell you.