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.

This very minute…

Do you ever feel like everything is flinging past you at such a fast pace that you can hardly remember what you did yesterday because of how much is going on tomorrow? Do you feel like your days are just a blur?

Well, I do–way too often, actually.

When that happens, I’ve found this little exercise that can help pull you back into the moment. You know…this moment. Not yesterday or tomorrow, but right now…this very minute.

You just take a nice, deep breath and let yourself answer the questions below–as honestly and simply as you can. Pay attention to the first thing that comes into your mind.

It’s usually the truth. Be brave.

Right this minute I am…


–a bit sleepy, a good kind of sleepy–like all I need is a teeny, tiny, twenty minute nap and all the energy will come flying back. Naps are good for you…naps are good for you…naps…are…good…for…you. So is chanting.


–to Lisa Hannigan who soothes me into liquid with her raspy-smooth, Irish ballads and inspires me to get really skinny so I can hang some pretty dresses like hers in my closet—or on my amazing skinny body.


–a piece of string cheese, one pinch at a time, to make it taste better–and drinking my Kangen water because I’m addicted…and it’s a good thing.


–very carefully for any itty bitty sign that Spring is indeed coming. I’ll take just about anything right now because on this fine April day, I’m tempted to build a fire in the stove to warm the place up. The smoke signals to Mother Nature coming from the chimney couldn’t hurt either.


–to buy some packages of every-color-in-the-world Sweet Pea seeds to plant outside my bedroom window even though they are climbers and I don’t really know what they would climb on exactly. Details…details. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I need color, I tell you!


–of a story that I can’t get out of my head, which is usually a sure sign that it needs to be written in the first place. I’m hoping I know someone who can possibly do that…possibly…maybe.


–the little, precious people around me that tug and pull and whine and grin and spit and giggle and walk and evade and stumble and wave and mimic and kiss and bawl and smile and watch absolutely everything.


–that the smaller size jeans in my closet will fit me because I’ve lost 13 pounds since that silly surgery. I know, I know—“that was a BIG appendix!”

I’m afraid that I need a bit of clapping for this one…please.


that Peanut Butter Weebles and Cinnamon Pull-aparts and Easter cookies were a smart, healthy, non-fat part of a sensible, balanced, nutritious diet.



–you the most lovely weekend and a very Happy Easter!

True Confession

Alright, alright, it’s time. You see, I have a secret. A deep dark one. I’ve been having a love affair, and it’s high time I let the cat out of the, um, bag, so to speak. Or actually, the Warcraft character out of the armory. Here’s the thing: I’m a gamer. Some people would even call me “hard core” but that just sounds dirty, so let’s skip it. So, I confess. Even though I rag on my cute bald boy about playing WoW, and try to sabotage his questing by turning his epic flying mount the wrong direction when he’s not looking, I’m secretly just trying to get more achievement points than him. But, since I’ve only been playing in the middle of the night (ever wonder why my posts here show up at midnight? It’s my excuse to stay up the rest of the night doing dungeons and raids!) I’ve had to resort to sabotage in order to beat him.

I’m excited though, because now that the word is out, I expect the rest of you closet gamers to invite me to your guilds, so I can choose the best one. These PUGs are getting old.


P.S. My WoW character is a level 80 (!!!) Paladin. For those of you who haven’t joined the cult played WoW, you should know that level 80 is the highest level in the game. It takes a lot of work and dedication to get a character this high. Not to mention that I have some dang fine gear. Oh, and Paladins? They’re basically sturdy mountain women with plate metal armor and holy magic. So pretty much I can kill anything with a sword or my righteous magic, and it can’t even touch me. I figure that pretty much reflects me in real life.