Sexy SatuRdAy: “Richard Armitage Beautiful Man” 2012 video by Mezzym01, February 13, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #872)


North-and-South-dvdCover_Jan1016ranetFebruary 2010 was my awakening to the exquisitely talented, kind, handsome, intelligent, compassionate, professional, and philanthropic British gentleman actor Richard Armitage with his mesmirizing performance as John Thornton in the BBC’s 2004 production of Elizabeth Gaskell’s love story “North & South”   (left via RANet).


Six years on, my admiration for Richard Armitage (right, via Laura) continues to grow as RAPortrait--2010x-RichardArmitage-Soulful-eyes-BWcls_Jan2516viaLauraDayI look forward to experiencing his many upcoming storytelling projects. And I tender my grateful thanks to him for inspiring my own creativity in storytelling and such.  Finally, the friends I have met and made across the globe these six years among his admirers are a joy and a blessing.


Thank you, Richard, for these gifts of storytelling, inspiration, and community that you share with us.   And in return for  you, Richard?  As always, I wish for you every happiness that you wish for yourself.  Hugs & Love!  Grati  ;->


Posted in Beauty, Blessings, Blogging, Compassion, Creative Writing, Friends, Goodwill, Honor, Inspiration, Kindness, Love, Multi-Character RA, North & South, Period Drama, Positivity, RA Artwork, Richard Armitage, Role Model, Romance, Sexy, Sexy SatuRdAy, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling, Thanksgiving, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“David Copperfield” is the Newest Richard Armitage Audiobook; whilst RA’s 3 Georgette Heyer Regency Period Audiobooks Continue to Enthrall Me, February 11, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #871)

With Audible launching the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage’s latest DavidCopperfield-logo-anAudible-audiobook-readbyRichardArmitage_Feb1016audibleaudiobook narration–of Charles Dickens’ book “David Copperfield” (right) last Tuesday–I realized that here is another wonderful story to be read to me by Richard Armitage (below).


Thanks to Kitty for sharing the link to an Entertainment Weekly article online containing a sound cloud clip of Richard Armitage reading the start of the “David Copperfield” audiobook!


And below is a link to an interesting interview that Richard Armitage gave about performing and recording the narration for “David Copperfield”, via Audible :


“David Copperfield” is a big sprawling tale by esteemed mid 19th century author Charles Dickens and is touted to contain autobiographical elements from Dicken’s own boyhood.  And this new Audible audiobook of “David Copperfield” is a whopping 36 hours and 36 minutes!  At my usual rate of audiobook listening of 2 hrs on Saturday and Sunday—mixed in amongst my writing, reading, and general life happenings–DC will take me 9 weekends to enjoy.  Excellent!


DavidCopperfied-logo-narrated-bySimonVance-viaAudible-in2009_Feb1016audibleNota Bene:  Audible had previously recorded “David Copperfield” in 2009 with another narrator, Simon Vanceonly 34 hours.  So when you go to the Audible website looking for the Richard Armitage version, be sure that you see him listed as the narrator to insure that you are buying and downloading the version that you want.



Bonus: Gratiana’s take on the 3 Georgette Heyer story audiobooks read by Richard Armitage

The last several weekends, I have been listening to the 3 Georgette Heyer regency novel audiobooks narrated by Richard Armitage (listed here in my order of preference):  “The Convenient Marriage” (TCM); “Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle”; and “Venetia”

TheConvenientMarriage-Heyer-story-AudioBook-logo_Feb1116ranet     Sylvester-Heyer-story-AudioBook-logo_Feb1116ranet    Venetia-Heyer-story-AudioBook-logo_Feb1116ranet

I have listened to these audiobooks multiple times—well over 5 times in the case of TCM.  And I never tire of the stories, nor of Richard Armitage telling them.

So in thinking about why I like these Heyer audiobook stories read by Richard Armitage so much, I thought it might be fun to interview the three main romantic swain characters to get their take upon their stories.  The setting is a Georgian era revival mansion Drawing Room with red silk damask settes, gold brocade draperies with an understated bumble bee design, and leather wing chairs for the tall men—each of whom resembles a version of the Richard Armitage character John Thornton from the 2004 BBC miniseries North & South.

I am wearing an empire waisted pink silk organza gown with an overwhelmed darker pink ribbon under my lace edged bodice, poofy capped sleeves, and my rag curled but only shoulder length brunette hair fashioned into a semblance of a bun with daisies interspersed throughout.  The gentlemen are dressed in their country manor riding finery of tan superfine breeches, cream waistcoats under navy blazers, and fluffy confections of tied cravats—with their own hair in various cropped or windblown styles.

Lady Gratiana:  “Gentlemen, Thank you for joining me today.  I appreciate that you have each come a long way and at considerable efforts on your parts—surmounting the obstacles of time (about 200 years) and medium (virtual vs corporeal).  Of course, you know who you are.  But for the sake of our readers, please introduce yourselves.”

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford (with imposing eyebrows, right via Terri):  “Lady Brat!” And I Sylvester-image-is-ofRichardArmitage-asJohnThornton-in2004sNorth&South_Feb1016viaTerri-sizedwonder if he misheard my name of Lady Grat-iana.    “My wife Her Grace the Duchess of Sulford, nee Phoebe Marlowe and I were at Chance, our country estate, on the verge of ….  Well, that is none of your concern …  and I suddenly find myself in this insipid Drawing Room, with two supposed men of the ton—whom I have never met nor heard of before, and yourself, Madam.  You could not have astonished me more than if you were to admit that my widowed sister-in-law Ioanthe—my late twin brother Harry’s wife who is now married to that fop Sir Nugent Fotherby–put you up to this in order to wrest my 6 year old nephew Edmund from my guardianship.  He is mine, my only link to my late brother Harry.  I will not break my promise to my brother to keep Edmund under my protection.”

Lady Gratiana:  With extreme delicacy, I attempt to assuage the fuming Duke, whose slanted eyebrows lend him the air of being even more incensed.  “Ah, my apologies, Your Grace.  Of course you feel your responsibilities keenly and your presence here is a disruption to you that I greatly regret.  But I felt that you and each of the other two gentlemen were best able to present your cases, as it were, rather than rely upon my meager telling of them.  Besides, the Dowager, your Mother, told me how to find you in the Homewood, is that what you call it?”

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford: Chastened by Lady Gratiana’s respectful tone and the mention of his Mama, the Duke remembers his manners.  “Mama was it?”  Lady Gratiana nods.  “Madam, if I am mistaken in my recounting of what I perceive to be the facts of my abduction, I regret having done you an injustice.”

Lady Gratiana: “Thank you.”  I nod politely.

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule:  “Hmmm.”  He grumbles in a low tone, his usual air of Dameral-image-isRichardArmitage-asJohnThornton-in2005N&Sepi1_1232_Feb1116ranet-sized-brt-clrredpracticed ennui (right) masking his seething anger.

Lady Gratiana:  “Ah!  Lord Rule.  Did you wish to introduce yourself?”

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule: “In the interest of time, Madam, I will.  I am Lord Rule, the most fortunate of men—or the most unfortunate of men—to have a very young wife (18 years my junior) who spends my money like water, enjoys all sorts of amusements (not the least of which is gambling at cards), and who gets herself in scrapes with unsuitable and unsavory men who previously tried to run away with my then underage sister.  Horatia (Horrie) Lady Rule needs supervision at every turn.  And I beg to be excused to insure that my estates have not been plundered, nor that her person has been kidnapped yet again!”

Lady Gratiana: “Um, yes, Lord Rule.  Lady Rule is quite the bon vivant.  Have you not tried the usual persuasions to turn your wife’s attention to less scandalous pursuits?”

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule:  “Such as?”

Lady Gratiana: “Well, You are her husband.”  He stares at me blankly.  “You could be a husband to her and secure your lineage.”  I pinken in embarrassment.

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule:  “I tried that once, it did not succeed.”

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford: “Only once?  My Lord, I think we have the root of your problem.”  Both he and Dameral chuckle.

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule:  “Of course not!  My wife has given me three children so far.  But it does not impede her excitement for merry entertainments, because she employs a reliable stable of nannies to tend to our children’s needs when she goes out.”

Jasper, Lord Dameral:  “Nannies!  They are acceptable evils when children are in cribs and in the school room, but their hanging around afterward puts them in direct contradiction of their previous usefulness.  My Dear Delight’s brother Aubrey had a faithful lady nurse still attending him the year Venetia and I wed, even though Aubrey was to go up to Oxford the following year.”

Lady Gratiana: “Yes, but with respect Lord Dameral, Master Aubrey had physical maladies that necessitated his being medically cared for by such a one as she.”

Jasper, Lord Dameral: “Then why could she not have followed him to Oxford—or even remain at the Lannion’s home—rather than joining my wife Venetia and I at The Priory after we were married?  I feel that the old nurse spies on me to insure that I do not revert to my formerly decadent bachelor ways.”

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule:  “You sound like a libertine–just the kind of man that I need to keep my young and impressionable wife away from, Sir.”

Jasper, Lord Dameral:  “I am offended, Sir.  And were it not for the unusual circumstances of this gathering, I would call you out immediately!  I am a married man now.  It took me four tries to propose to my wife, and nothing and no one will sway me from her.”

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule:  “Lucky man.  My wife did the proposing to me.  She offered herself as a swap for her eldest sister Elizabeth whom I was initially considering  to be my wife.”

Lady Gratiana:  “And you agreed to that swap, My Lord.”  I remind him.  Lord Rule scowls.

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford: “Gentlemen, decorum, please.  You will have this fine lady thinking that we care not a jot for our wives and families, when that cannot be further from the truth.”

Lady Gratiana: “Thank you, your Grace.  But since you have not volunteered thus far, did you wish to share how you and your wife became acquainted?”  I ask with a sweet smile.

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford:  “I?  Well mine is perhaps the least scandalous of betrothal tales.”

Jasper, Lord Dameral:  “I doubt that.  I literally married the girl next door.”

Lady Gratiana:  “Yes you did, Lord Dameral.  But His Grace has the floor now.”

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford:  “Thank you, Madam.  It seems that my mother was acquainted with my wife’s mother.  So Mama and my wife’s grandmother Lady Ingham—who also happened to be my godmother …”

Lady Gratiana: “I hope that you will pardon me for saying so, Your Grace, but the connections between families and amongst your intimates seems rather byzantine.”

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford: “Do you want to hear about my wife Phoebe and I or not?”

Lady Gratiana:  “Of course, please continue.”  I state knowingly.

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford: “Well, my wife Phoebe fancies herself to be a novelist.  And she wrote a book with a character called Count Oogolino who had slanted eyebrows like mine.  But her character was wicked and tried to abscond with his nephew.  Unhappily, my widowed sister-in-law Ioanthe thought the book referred to me—it did, but only to my eyebrows—and she spirited my nephew, her son Edmund, to France.  I tracked them down, and brought Edmund home to my country estate called Chance again.  Edmund is a taking little Brat.  And I like how he calls me Uncle Vesta.  And since Phoebe had been such an excellent caregiver of Edmund during the voyage and while he was in France—as well as being my little sparrow who was truly sorry for making me the laughing stock of London with her book—I married her.”

Lady Gratiana:  “Hmmm.  The Duchess Phoebe’s pet name as called by her husband is Sparrow, and Lady Venetia Dameral’s husband’s pet name is My Dear Delight.  But Lord Rule, do you not have an endearment for Lady Rule?”

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule:  “No!”  He states emphatically.

Jasper, Lord Dameral:  “And there is your disadvantage, Rule.  You need to make your wifeRule-image-isRichardArmitage-asJohnThornton-in2004N&S-epi1-026_Feb1116ranet-sized-brt feel special, one of a kind—by giving her a pet name.”  Dameral smiles knowingly.  And Rule would like to wipe the smug look off of Dameral’s face (right).

Marcus Drelingcourt, Earl of Rule:  “The woman wears emerald encrusted shoes costing 120 guineas!”  Lord Rule shakes his head in frustration.  “I call her My Dear.  Does not that suffice?”

Lady Gratiana: “It is rather pedestrian.”  Rule frowns.  “And in my experience, and with the romantic characters that I write about, there is usually a darling thrown in there now and again.”

Sylvester, Duke of Sulford:  “A writer!  Spare me from all writers!”  He expostulates, with his eyebrows seeming to vanish into his temples as if threatening to sprout wings and carry him off.

Lady Gratiana: “Yes, well, Your Grace, if you had not been so insufferable to Lady Phoebe at her come out the year before, I dare say that she would not have made your person the object of ridicule in her novel.”  I bristle.  So there.  “Anyway, I wish to thank each of you for joining me today, gentlemen.  It is not often that I meet with such manly perfection as yourselves.”  I state with no small amount of irony as each gentleman poofs away in a glimmer of fairy dust and returns to his own storyline and time.

Each man—be he Duke or Earl—has his own charm, that only their wives could love.  And it is, perhaps, the notion that the wives these men marry are independent women forging their own paths–despite the societally restrictive Regency period that they are written in—who meet their husbands as equals, that also appeals to me.  Besides, who wouldn’t want to give a tug on a cravat on a baritone throated tall, dark, and handsome man and fling it aside as the first salvo in a romantic interlude?  *wink*

P.S.  So perhaps you will be encouraged to seek out and to enjoy these audio books for yourself at Audible (and each story is only about 5 hours long):

“The Convenient Marriage” (Lord Rule);  Sylvester (Duke of Sulford); and Venetia (Lord Dameral)


Posted in Audible, audio books, Creative Writing, Fiction, Graphic, Historical Fiction, Humor, Interview, John Thornton, Love and Relationships, North & South, Period Drama, Portraits, Regency, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling, Thespian Thursday, Video, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 21 (PG-13, D): Going Home, February 08, 2016 by Gratiana Lovelace Post #870)

0aaa-Love-in-the-Great-Pine-Woods_story-cover_Jan0516byGratianaLovelace_3intall-rev7(An original story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace; all rights reserved)  [(1) story cover, left]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with:  Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins  and others as noted.]

Authors Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships.  It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of:  L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes.  And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.  And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.

Authors Recap from the Previous Chapter:   On Sunday, January 3, 1956—one day after Olivia’s surgery to repair her avalanche injured left lower leg—she developed an infection at her surgical site.  Happily, the Wakeforest County Hospital nursing staff and resident in training doctor acted swiftly with cleansing the wound and applying topical antibiotics to arrest the infection and its spread.  Later that same day, Tessa and Roger helped Sam break the devastating news of Nellie Newton’s death.


“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 21 (PG-13, D): Going Home

Olivia Delaney Wakeforest feels as if the weight of the world is on her with so much loss and worry over her injury at the start of her marriage to Sam—which should be a joyful time for both of them.  But her husband Sam Wakeforest is right by Olivia’s side, assuring her of his steadfast love and devotion.  And Sam has agreed to the practicality of their moving into Delaney Manor for the two months of Olivia’s convalescence after she leaves the hospital—since the manor is fully staffed and Sam’s Wakeforest family home, though large, has been a bachelor’s slightly disheveled domain for a long time.

Olivia’s release from Wakeforest County Hospital  to go home, comes none too soon for her on the following Saturday, January 9th, 1956.  Though the hospital had wanted to keep her a full two weeks to allow them to give her more time with daily physical therapy in a hospital setting on her healing surgery  from her left lower leg injured when the avalanche on Wakeforest Mountain overran part of their cabin, Olivia’s spirits were so low—despite her determined efforts with her physical therapy—that her husband Sam decided that Olivia continuing her physical therapy in a home setting would be best for her.  Olivia’s brother Roger Delaney begrudgingly concurred after a little cajoling from his nurturing wife Tessa.

Roger’s objection was not due to any worry on his part about the intrusion of Sam and Olivia on his family’s privacy, or that he would be required to do things for his sister.  On the contrary, Roger welcomes being of help to her.  But Roger wants Olivia to receive the best medical care possible—with medical professionals close at hand.  And Roger—and then by extension, Olivia’s husband Sam—are worried about surgical complications and setbacks that Olivia might experience out of a hospital setting—given Olivia’s earlier infection scare.  So, of course, Sam will line up a private nurse to also live in—with Roger’s and Tessa’s permission–since Delaney Manor is five miles away from the hospital.  They are fortunate to have the financial means to pay for this.

And then where to put Olivia and Sam in Delaney manor was the next problem—since they had decided early on that temporarily living with Olivia’s brother and sister-in-law at their manor with a full servant staff would be practical should any needs arise.  But Olivia’s pre-marital bedroom is not large enough for two people since her husband Sam will be living with Olivia in her bedroom—let alone the fact that Olivia’s old bedroom shares a bathroom with their teenage foster niece Alice, which made that bedroom arrangement wholly unworkable.  And though their late housekeeper Nellie’s first floor bedroom suite would have been ideal—mostly because it was on the first floor where most of the daily life of the manor occurs–the wound to Olivia’s heart about Nellie’s passing made her object to displacing Nellie’s memory by taking over her bedroom.  So that bedroom remains untouched, as if Nellie would be returning to it soon.

So a compromise was reached with Sam and Olivia being ensconced in another two bedrooms sharing a bathroom guest suite down the hall that had been Delaney Manor’s original master bedroom suite with adjoining nursery or sitting room accessed through the shared bathroom.  The bedrooms are large and comfortable.  Tessa had redone the bedrooms and the bathroom when she had initially married Roger—the design incorporating a mutedly soothing pale botanical green.  The drapes and upholstered furniture in a small sitting space carried on that theme with vines and sprigs of flowers curling around a lattice work pattern—but sparingly, not busily.  The accent seating furniture of a small couch and two club chairs are in complementary monochromatic shades of a darker green with patterned accent pillows—and also a large brown leather wing chair that is just right for Sam’s height, since Tessa does not do matchy matchy like one sees in hotel room decorating.

And Delaney Manor’s now second master bedroom’s bathroom was remodeled to be spa like with luxurious appointments such as his and her separate bathroom commode closets (with hers also having a bidet), a large whirlpool bath–which Olivia will enjoy soaking in after physical therapy in a few weeks—and a double wide walk in shower with dual shower heads and controls on opposite walls.  Sam had toured the now second master bedroom suite earlier in the week and found them to be quite comfortable.    And he thinks that he and Olivia will want to remodel their Wakeforest home’s master bedroom suite and en suite bathroom in a similar vein.  Sam ardently looks forward to the time when Olivia is healed and he will shower with her in spousal togetherness.


The somewhat smaller guest bedroom slash sitting area that adjoins their large and airy guest master bedroom at Delaney Manor will partly become Olivia’s physical therapy room with the bed removed to allow for more room to maneuver.  And since Sam is such an avid athlete at 45 years of age, he has a few workout benches with his weight sets at his home in Wakeforest that he brings over for Olivia to use for her exercises as they kit her out at Delaney Manor.

Olivia is still at the early stages in her recuperation—practicing lifting her straight leg 3 inches off the bed, with 3 sets of 10 repetitions—and a few other exercises involving a very slight but painful bending of her knee, and some pushing of her foot against someone’s hand (also very painful right now)—three times a day.  For the healing Olivia, these physical therapy exercises are gruelingly painful and part of the reason why her spirits are so low.  The simple act of lifting her leg is now no longer simple for her—but a struggle of pain and endurance.  However, Olivia wants to get well and to walk again—and to be less dependent upon everyone again.  So she is determined to do her exercises, no matter how painful they are–but she will need everyone’s support and encouragement.

However an initial hurdle surmounted by Olivia in her first week recuperating after surgery—at least in her mind—is that the hospital nursing staff finally allows her to shower and to wash her hair the day of her leaving for home, one week after her surgery.  The doctors had been concerned about getting her incision wet and having germs make an incursion and cause infection.  So before then she had to suffice with sponge baths.  But happily, Olivia’s skin wound/incision healed nicely on the surface—even with the stitches coming out leaving a few holes.  And they showed Olivia and Tessa how to shower Olivia—using a shower chair and a hand held faucet spray head on a long hose, both medical equipment items that they also purchase for Olivia’s and Sam’s bathroom in Delaney manor.

Since Olivia can still not bend her leg at the knee at a 90 degree angle, or at all–which is required for sitting in a car.  So she is treated to an ambulance ride home to Delaney Manor in the afternoon of Saturday, January 9th, 1956.  The ambulance staff also transport Olivia to the second floor on a stretcher.  And then Sam gently lifts his wife Olivia up into his arms and carries her to their bed to have a lie down and rest.  After thanking the departing ambulance drivers, Sam and Olivia are alone in what will be their new home for the next two months while ensconced in the original Master Bedroom suite within Delaney Manor.

Olivia: “Did we bring everything of mine from the hospital?”  Olivia frets as she loSam-is2014-RichardArmitage-aTheCrucibleStageDoor_Apr0515twerkingthorintweet-sized-mask1oks around the room curiously.

Sam: “It’s all here.”  Sam smiles indulgently [(2) right] as he places her purse on her bed side night stand.  Ladies always have to have their purses nearby.  And unlike some husbands, Sam has no aversion to carrying her purse—nor him being seen to carry her purse for her.LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Emily Deschanel attends the "Yes on Prop 2" benefit at a private residence on September 28, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Olivia:  “Oh thanks, Sam!”  Olivia smiles up at her husband gratefully [(3) right]. And Sam leans down and he tenderly kisses her lips.

Sam:  “You’re welcome, My Love!”  Then Sam pulls a chair over to her bed side and sits down next to her, holding her hand in his.  “I believe that Tessa has already taken your clothes to be washed and put away your other things for you.”

Even in only a week’s stay at the hospital, Olivia had acquired several changes of clothes—which Tessa took home to wash for her every other day.  Tessa is a devoted sister-in-law and best friend to Olivia.  And Olivia has also received several floral arrangements while in the hospital—pink roses from her husband Sam, cheerful yellow jonquils from her brother Roger and Tessa and their family, and red and white carnations from her Wakeforest  in-laws—as well as, a very large signed get well card from her Wakeforest Orphanage students and fellow teachers and staff which has pride of place on the fireplace mantel in Olivia’s and Sam’s Delaney Manor bedroom.

But the card from the children at the orphanage–that her Wakeforest County Orphanage Administrator mentor and friend Pauletta Perkins delivered to Olivia during a brief hospital visit–is also a prescient reminder to Olivia that she will not be seeing the children for the foreseeable future, at least during the Spring semester. Olivia has had to take a leave of absence from her teaching duties during her convalescence and she will miss the children greatly.  Which also means that the Orphanage School Administrator Pauletta Perkins has had to hire another teacher.

Olivia:  “Sam?  It feels so odd to be back here.”  Olivia bites her lower lip.  This is how no one envisions starting married life—as an invalid and returned to living under her childhood home’s roof with her new husband.  “Do you mind very much?”  She asks him searchingly.  Olivia wants to please her husband.  But with her injury and long convalescence looming before her, she wonders if he will come to regret the imposition on what should have been a happy and carefree time for them.

Sam:  “It is true that our situation is less than ideal.”  Olivia winces. Then he smiles at her and squeezes her hand.  “But it is the hand we have been dealt.  And we will make the best of it.”  The taciturn Sam says stoically. Then his face softens and he brings her hand to his lips and kisses it.  “My main concern is for your well-being.  And I hate to see you in any pain.”

Olivia: She lowers her head.  “It is not so bad.”  She fibs.

Sam: “Olivia, look at me.”  Sam commands and Olivia hesitantly raises her head.  “I have been with you nearly all of this past week, I know the pain that you are in.  You need not hide the pain nor your tears from me, My Darling.  I will not think less of you when the stress and pain becomes too much for you to bear. Let me comfort you in any way that I can.  Though I may need you to tell me how to help you.  Tell me what you need from me and I will give it to you.”  Sam gazes at her earnestly.

Olivia: “Hhhhh!  Thank you, Sam.”  Olivia sighs and a single tear falls upon her cheek and Sam tenderly brushes it away with his thumb.  “I was afraid that I was letting you down.”

Sam: “Letting me down?  Be serious, woman!”  Sam says in a bemusedly curmudgeonly tone with an exaggerated incredulous smile that begets a smile from Olivia.  “We survived an avalanche!”  Then seeing her pale at the remembrance of that precarious and scary time, Sam adds more jocularly.  “Olivia, that avalanche was a 100 year occurrence.  Never before had that area on the mountain been affected –at least, not in my lifetime.  Hmmm.  Maybe we should have t-shirts made—We survived the Wakeforest Mountain Avalanche!  What do you think?  We could have a picture of the mountain and then two thumbs up.”  Sam smiles impishly.

Olivia: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  Olivia giggles.  Sam has burst her somber mood.

Sam: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha!” He rocks his head back in laughter.   “I will have them made for us next week.  We can wear them in the Spring when we reopen the cabin.

But that was the wrong thing to say—given Olivia’s previous declaration to him that she never wished to go on the mountain again.  And Olivia recoils back from him and shakes her head in fright.  Sam closes his eyes, chastising himself for not treading more carefully with Olivia’s tender sensibilities.  She has been through so much and he needs to take things slowly with her.

Olivia:  “Oh Sam!  Please don’t make me go back there.  You promised.”  Her breathing quickens and shallows–she is starting to panic.

Sam: Sam hurries to reassure her.  “I know, I know.  I’m sorry.  I just thought that in the Spring—without the snow—that you might feel differently.”  He suggests hopefully.  But that line of reasoning doesn’t work.  And he needs to calm her breathing down so she doesn’t hyperventilate and faint.  “Shhh!  Shhhh!  We won’t do anything that you don’t want to do, Olivia.  I promise.  Now let’s take deep calming breaths.  In, out, in, out, in, out.”  Sam breathes with her as he watches her in concern.  And after a few minutes of slow breathing exercises with her husband Sam, Olivia calms down again with her breathing.

And Olivia feels grateful for the patience and love that Sam shows to her.  He had rarely left her side during her week in the hospital—caring for her, encouraging her, and tenderly showing his love for her with chaste kisses and embraces–but for two mornings while she was doing physical therapy and he had to go with his brother Kevin via a snowplow back to his cabin on Wakeforest Mountain.  Miraculously, except for a new window to replace in the back door—that currently has a wooden board covering the hole—the cabin is sound since it had not taken a direct hit from the avalanche, only  a glancing blow.  They unburied the generator shed as best they could and found the generator intact.  But the shed housing it will need to be replaced with something sturdier come Spring.  And they also unburied Sam’s new car—which he drove down the mountain behind Kevin in the plow after they jumped the car battery.

Then Olivia realizes that her reaction to the mountain is perhaps born of her fear of the danger that they had been in during the avalanche.  But she also wants to distance herself from having such strong reactions to that scary memory—in the hopes of coming to terms with it.  She must face what happened to her—to them–and to get past it.  They have their whole lives ahead of them.  It will not always be easy, but together, they can get through anything.  So Olivia shyly and hesitantly asks.

Olivia:  “May I still have my t-shirt?  In a light sky blue, please.”

Sam: “If you like.”  Sam smiles relievedly as he watches her with some uncertainty.

Olivia is so fragile at times.  And Sam can’t figure out what has made her so fearful of difficult situations in life.  Sam wonders if maybe he can so easily get past such things because he survived a war—and anything else is child’s play to him.  But then he wonders if that is truly the case?  Or maybe it is that he avoids thinking about difficult and distressing situations, under the guise of being stoic?  He thinks that maybe both he and Olivia have some things to figure out—together.

Olivia: Seeing Sam lost in thought, she asks him.  “Is everything alright?  Do you mind us being here for a while at Delaney Manor?”

Sam:  “Here?  Not at all!”  Sam assures her.  “These rooms look very comfortable.  So we shall no doubt get used to them fairly quickly.”  Sam knows that the situation cannot be changed, they can only accept it and work through it.

Olivia:  “I know, of course.  And it is nice of Tessa and Roger to put us up in their home …” her voice trails off.

Seeing Olivia wince in looking around her—what had been her parents’ bedroom, and then Roger’s and his wives’ bedroom, but now remodeled and redecorated by Tessa–Sam smiles lovingly and goes to join her on their bed—first doffing his shoes, then lying down beside her on her right side, away from her healing left leg.  He gently takes her upper body into his arms in an embrace and they kiss sweetly and chastely—which is all they will be allowed to do for 6 to 8 weeks per doctor’s orders.

Sam: “That’s better. I have missed being able to just cuddle with you.  That hospital bed wasn’t big enough.”  Sam kisses Olivia’s lips again, then he kisses the tip of her nose, then he nuzzles her just behind her ear.

Olivia:  Feeling tickled, Olivia giggles.  “Ha ha ha!  Now Sam, you mustn’t make me laugh too hard.  The vibration will make my injured leg hurt.”

Sam:  “Vibrations, huh? Well we can’t have that.”  Sam’s eyes twinkle wickedly.  But any romantic wickedness will have to wait until Olivia is healing nicely and she feels better.


The Sunday afternoon of the following week, on January 17th , 1956—now that Olivia’s healing injury allows for some limited movement of her in Delaney Manor (her being carried by her husband Sam) with an occasional dinner downstairs with the family—the Delaney’s hold a Memorial Service in the large Living Room at Delaney Manor for the late Eleanor “Nellie” Newton, their retired 85 year old Negro Lady housekeeper/caregiver who died of heart failure and old age on January 2nd, the date of the avalanche and Olivia’s surgery to repair her injured leg.  Olivia lies stretched out on the longer sofa’s chaise lounge with her injured leg elevated as Sam sits beside her on the sofa and holding her hand.

The Living Room is well lit, but there is a somberness of feeling in it as befits the reason Nellie-and-aYoungOlivia-representation-isCicelyTyson-inFriedGreenTomatoes-film_Nov2615pinterest-sizedthey have gathered together today.  It has been two weeks since Nellie’s death.  And Nellie’s coffin has already been entombed in a crypt at the Wakeforest Mausoleum until the ground thaws and she can be buried in the Spring.  So they have a few pictures of Nellie—including the treasured picture of Nellie with a 6 year old Olivia [(4) right], placed together on a table in front of the fireplace.  This is Olivia’s copy of the picture—the picture copy that had been in Nellie’s bedroom was enclosed in the coffin with her.

And some of the older household servants who knew Nellie for so many years also attend the memorial service, as does Olivia’s friend and mentor, the Wakeforest Orphanage’s Administrator Pauletta Perkins and her husband Dominic Perkins, who is the Wakeforest Bank’s Vice President and Chief Loan Officer working alongside Olivia’s brother Roger Delaney.

It is a solemn Roger Delaney who stands before the small gathering of twelve or so Roger-upset-isKevinSpacey-inCallofdutyadvancedwarfarescreenshotjuly294_Nov2815playstationlifestyle-sized-crop-shrpindividuals after the Reverend Grover Skinner of the local African Methodist Episcopal Church that Nellie was a member of finishes the religious part of the memorial service.  Now comes the time of remembrance of Nellie.  And with tears flowing from Olivia’s, Tessa’s, and even from Roger’s eyes, Roger begins.  And though being a banker businessman and not prone to sentimentality, Roger [(5) right] does a credible job of it.

Roger:  “We are gathered here today to remember Eleanor Newton, our Old Nellie as she preferred to be called.  She was a treasured member of our household—and of our family.”  Roger smiles caringly at his sister Olivia who is drenched in tears.  “I, perhaps knew her the longest—her having been hired by my parents when they built this home and set up housekeeping here over fifty two years ago, before I was born.  So like my sister Olivia, my life has always had Old Nellie in it.  She first came to us as our cook housekeeper after her husband died—her supervising a kitchen maid and two household maids.  You must realize that this was in 1904 and Nellie was hired in a supervisory capacity—when Negroes were not in such positions in service nor in society in general, but for few notable exceptions—which was rather bold of my parents and showed great foresight on their parts.   And Nellie also guided our mother in the running of this household since she was ten years my mother’s senior and had worked in service in other homes for fifteen years.  But apart from Nellie’s supervisory skills, she was also a kind and caring lady who graced our lives.  She was like a second grandmother to me—giving me treats when I would sneak away to the kitchen, or gently admonishing me to clean up my room because as she would tell me “Or you will never get on well with a wife, Master Roger.”  He finishes affecting a high Nellie voice and  everyone chuckles whilst his wife Tessa nods knowingly—and gratefully.  “Nellie loved us and we loved her.  So when she retired from our service fifteen years ago at the age of 70, it was only natural that she remain with our family and under our care for her twilight years.  Nellie’s influence upon us has been immeasurable—her lessons of unconditional love, of strength in adversity, and of the dignity of all individuals regardless of race, religion, or finances has shaped who Olivia and I have become as adults and citizens in our society.  We will miss Nellie terribly, but she lives on in our hearts and in our memories—and we are her legacy in the world.”

Roger ends with his hand upon his heart and gazing lovingly at his sister Olivia.  Olivia is weeping for hearing her brother’s heartfelt tribute to Nellie.  Sam tries to comfort her, but she is inconsolable.  Olivia is to speak next about Nellie but she is too distraught to speak. So Tessa stands up to speak for her.

Tessa:  “Olivia, shall I share some of your Nellie stories that you have told me, for you?”  Tessa-isMarciaGayHarden-2011+Winter+TCA+Tour+Day+3+-k0m4V09k94l_Nov2115viaZimbio-sized-deletedmic-dressmanipOlivia nods through her tears. Tessa [(6) right] looks tearfully at everyone.   “Nellie and Olivia had a very special bond of love for all of Olivia’s life.  And though, Nellie always acted in a grandmotherly way toward Olivia—so as not to seem to displace Olivia’s and Roger’s mother from her rightful position—in truth, Nellie became Olivia’s mother as certain family tragedies occurred.”  Tessa glances at her husband Roger and then at Olivia to make sure that she isn’t speaking out of turn. But Roger smiles at Tessa and Olivia merely nods her head in agreement and then she buries her weeping face into her husband Sam’s chest.  Sam strokes Olivia’s hair, then looks up at his sister Tessa, nodding to her to continue.  Tessa walks over to the picture of Nellie and Olivia as a six year old. “You see, Olivia was not the youngest Delaney family child.  Her and Roger’s parents had a little boy whom they named Chester, born when Olivia was four—two years before this picture was taken.”  The non-family attendees look at each other in shock—they were unaware of another Delaney sibling, so private a grief was the memory of their lost sibling.  “It had been a difficult pregnancy and Chester was born early.  He had lung problems and heart problems and was in and out of hospitals—with them even taking him to the Mayo Clinic.  So Olivia came under Nellie’s constant care during that sad time.  And then when little Chester died from a  congenital heart defect when he was three years old, Olivia’s and Roger’s mother went into a deep depression.  She could not face a world without her baby boy.  And though Nellie had tried as best she could to lift Mrs. Delaney’s spirits, it became an impossible task and Mrs. Delaney was attended to by a registered nurse for several years while at home.”  Rather than her being institutionalized, but Tessa refrained from divulging this.   “And the young and tender hearted Olivia was in need of mothering.  So Nellie filled that role—taking Olivia to Girl Scout meetings, attending her school programs, and going to movies with her and such.  And again, this was a time when some people were prejudicial toward Negroes—even in the North where we live.  But Nellie always bore herself with dignity as Olivia’s caregiver and no one questioned her presence at Olivia’s side.  Even when Mrs. Delaney became better, that was only for a short time during Olivia’s high school years and Roger’s college years.  For after that,  Mrs. Delaney was diagnosed with cancer and died when Olivia was a sophomore in college. And once again, Nellie gathered Olivia and Roger in her loving arms—literally and figuratively.   The only reason this family stayed together and healed was directly due to Old Nellie’s loving compassion—because their father Mr. Delaney was too bereft with his own grief to tend to his children’s grief.  So Nellie comforted and bucked up my husband Roger when he was just starting out in business and taking over the bank after his college and graduate school years—encouraging him and showing her pride in him at every turn.  And for Olivia, Nellie became the only mothering influence in her life—though it was a loving position that Nellie had already held for many years.  And Nellie’s kindness to  me as a new member of this family is a loving memory that I will keep with me always.  Due to the tragedies the Delany family had experienced—losing little Chester Delaney as a toddler, the grief that overwhelmed Mrs. Delaney, and then Mrs. Delaney’s illness and death, followed by her husband’s death five years later—Nellie Newton has been the rock that has sustained this family for decades. And though Nellie is now gone from our lives—going home as she used to say–she lives on in our hearts, and most especially in Olivia’s and in Roger’s hearts.”

Tessa goes to Olivia and they embrace, Sam kisses Tessa’s cheek.  Then Tessa returns to her husband who embraces her lovingly before she sits down again.

Roger: “Thank you, Tessa—and Olivia.  That was lovely.”  Roger then turns to their guests.  “Nellie was always touting that education was the way to improve oneself—and she certainly encouraged Olivia and I in our schooling.  Yet Nellie always wished that she had had more opportunities as a young woman of Color to pursue her education.  As many of you know, Nellie had to quit school in 6th grade to help support her family after her father died.  Yet Nellie was a life long learner—reading voraciously and pointing out my math and grammar mistakes on my homework for me.  So in honor of Old Nellie, Mrs. Eleanor Newton, Olivia and her husband Sam, and Tessa and I, have set up a scholarship fund at our family’s Wakeforest County Bank to help fund both a young woman and a young man of Color to attend college—with new Eleanor Newton College Scholarships to be awarded every two years.  This fund will support tuition and living expenses for all four years of college as long as the students maintain a C average.  All high school seniors of Color in Wakeforest County and surrounding area may apply.  In addition to we four—myself, Tessa, Olivia, and Sam—Mr. and Mr. Dominic Perkins and the Rev. Grover Skinner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church will serve on the Eleanor Newton College Scholarship Review Board.”  And then Roger uncovers another picture of Nellie that had Nellie-EleanorNewton-isCicelyTyson-inherTonyWinningRole-in-A-Trip-To-Bountiful-Cicely-Tyson-600x450_February0716broadwaycombeen covered with a cloth—Nellie is in her Sunday best and smiling  [(7) right].  “This joyous picture of Nellie and a plaque detailing the Eleanor Newton College Scholarship with places to engrave student scholarship winners’ names will be installed at the Wakeforest County Bank that acts as the main conservator of these endowed funds—for all of our clients and customers to see–as a testament to this fine lady who holds an honored place in our hearts.”

It was a lovely Memorial Service for Old Nellie.  And the announcement of the college scholarship in her honor is a fitting and a lasting tribute to Eleanor Newton that will positively impact many generations to come.

And though Olivia cannot teach during her convalescence, she is gladdened to see and chat with her mentor and friend Pauletta Perkins.  Olivia working on contacting high schools and churches in the county about the new Eleanor Newton College Scholarship –when she is not in physical therapy or resting– will give her a much needed distraction and refocus for her time.

And yet, Sam knows that Olivia will need all of his love and tenderness to guide his wife Olivia to healing her body and her spirit. And today’s Memorial Service for Nellie has given him some greater insight into Olivia’s emotional scars with hearing for the first time about Olivia’s deceased little brother and about her parents’ illnesses and deaths in more detail.

And Olivia and Sam will have to remodel and refurbish their Wakeforest Family home to make it more habitable for a married couple hoping to have children, before they move into it several months from now.  So now the real healing of Olivia Delaney Wakeforest begins—but she will need a healing of both her body and of her spirit.  And it will be Olivia’s husband Sam who will help guide her to a more contented and calm state—as she will help him become more understanding and reflective about her needs and his own.

To be continued with Chapter 22


References for Ch. 21 by Gratiana Lovelace, February 08, 2016 (Post #870)

1)  The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at

2) Sam Wakeforest (edited) is Richard Armitage from a 2014 The Crucible Stage Door fan picture shared Apr0515 by twerkingthorintweet

3) Olivia Delaney Wakeforest smiling  is Emily Deschanel found at

4) Picture representing Nellie Newton and Olivia Delaney as a child  is Cicely Tyson as Sipsey in the  1991 film  Fried Green Tomatoes found on Pinterest at;  for more about the film, visit:

5) Roger Delaney upset is Kevin Spacey in Call of Duty found at

6) Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney is Marcia Gay Harden in 2011 that was found at

7) Eleanor  “Nellie” Newton image is of Cicely Tyson in her Tony winning role in The  Trip to Bountiful found at dot jpg


Previous Blog Ch. 20 Story link:

“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 20 (PG-13, D): The Day After, February 01, 2016 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #868)



Posted in "Love in the Great Pine Woods", Compassion, Creative Writing, Drama, Family, Fiction, Honor, Husbands, Illness, Kindness, Love and Relationships, Medical, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, Society, Something About Love, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WCW: Middle Age, Richard Armitage, & Romance, February 03, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #869)

***facetious alert***MichelleForbesTweet--ThisManEqualsHeaven-reRichardArmitage_Jan3016mf-cropsized (2)

Seeing Michelle Forbes’ tweet last weekend [right] –wherein she praises her “Berlin Station” (EPIX , 2016) costar the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage —made me give a little inner cheer for all of us middle aged gals.

Well, perhaps I should rephrase that—the middle aged part.  I’m only middle aged if I live to be 112. And if you do the math, that makes me about 12 years older than Richard Armitage who is a smoulderingly handsome 44.5 years.  Technically, he is middle aged, too.  But as usual, Richard Armitage looks younger than his years.  My hubby tells me I do, too.  But then he’s just using good husband diplomacy.

But I don’t feel older than maybe 35.  Thirty five is a nice age.  You’re past the early growing up years of angst and awkward social forays and have settled into a personal and professional space that you can be content with for now and start enjoying life—because it is all ahead of you.  My hubby lets me celebrate the anniversary of my 35th birthday—dear man.  So this year my celebrations will  reach their age of majority—and could vote and drink.

Aw heck!  Give me that Middle Earth longevity cocktail!   I’m up for it!   Why?  Because a certain 197 year old Dwarven King Thorin Oakenshield [in collage below left by Cyn@Dainty] portrayed by Richard Armitage, aged very well in The Hobbit film trilogy.  And my favorite longer haired look on Richard Armitage from 2013’s Desolation of Smaug Berlin Premiere [below right from Pinterest].  *THUD*

Thorin-TH123-Collage-withRichardArmitage_Jan2816byCynDainty      2014--DofSBerlinPremiere-RichardArmitageProfile-bang-lock_Mar2115pinterest-sized-brt

And Berlin, Germany is where Richard Armitage is currently filming his 10 part tv series, “Berlin Station”.  So here’s hoping for some errant bang lock “Berlin Station” action on the part of Richard Armitage’s character of Daniel Meyer , Miller—or whatever they have decided to call his character.

But that got me to thinking about age and relationships—especially returning to the topic of the handsome 44.5 year old Richard Armitage and the beautiful 51 year old Michelle Forbes possibly being in a relationship.  I know, I’m wildly speculating here with no basis in anything substantive.  But that’s part of the fun.

Exhibit A:  The tweet:  “This man = Heaven. Full Stop.”  I quite agree, frRichardArmitageAngel--little-peace-of-heaven_Feb0216byCynDaintyom a fan perspective—as an admirer of Richard Armitage’s body of work, and … such.  But perhaps Ms. Forbes has a more personal basis upon which to make that heavenly assessment of her costar.  Heaven can be considered a place, or a state of being—it is the latter definition that I perceive she is employing.  And just what emotional state could affect such heavenly ruminations? Supreme contentment?  Joy?  Love?  Etc.?  Or, all of the above? Cyn Dainty has shared her interpretation of Ms. Forbes meaning of heaven in relation to Richard Armitage in a wallpaper at right.

Exhibit B:  The photo image in the tweet, though blurry, clearly shows two gorgeous adults in a very happy state as evidenced by  their beaming smiles.  They are also not only sitting (one presumes) side by side, but they are practically joined at the hip.  Lucky girl!  I have some experience of this non-verbal behavior from the dating period of my and my hubby’s relationship.  After we had become engaged—and then some—we were inseparable physically.  We always had to be touching each other in an embrace of some sort. Even if we sat in two chairs—unlike a booth that might be the case here—we sat so close together that if I moved a few inches I would be sitting in his lap.  Our friends teasingly remarked upon our closeness by saying Get a room with big grins on their faces.

Exhibit C:  In the tweet picture [right again], Richard Armitage has slightly swerved his MichelleForbesTweet--ThisManEqualsHeaven-reRichardArmitage_Jan3016mf-cropsized (2)head and face behind Michelle Forbes’s head, as if to shyly hide his cheeks flushed with  … something.  With Richard Armitage’s famously discreet–no revelations about his private love life to the press–him trying to hide behind her head almost seems to suggest that their relationship is private, and romantic.  And though, he might have thought that the selfie that she was taking was just for them, then why try to hide?  So he must have had an inkling that she might share their selfie on social media.  Of course, he could have just been going in for a neck nuzzle.  But he would have had to move her hair out of the way—and his hands and arms are not in frame.  So either way—trying to keep private his relationship or going in for nuzzle—suggests to me that Michelle and Richard are a romantic couple.  And below is a lovely video by colinfever with examples of a Richard Armitage characters in full on passionate romance mode.   Just think what Richard Armitage is like in a real life romance!   Sighhhh!

Exhibit D:
  Michelle and Richard are wearing similarly dark colored clothing—both are wearing dark/black coats/jackets.  In my experience, romantic couples tend to gravitate to some similar clothing colors early in the relationship.  Though my hubby tends to stick with a blue color palette, I have morphed away from blue to wearing more flattering to my skin color pinks, purples, and peach.  And Richard’s high color mock turtle neck olive drab green is similar to Michelle’s scarf covering her up to her neck.  I concede, the high collars could be for warmth.  And at least Richard isn’t doubling up his layers by wearing a bulky sweater under a two small tweed jacket as in the picture below. But Kudos to Richard Armitage being named in the top 13 of Glamour’s Sexiest Men of 2016 list.


I concur—about Richard Armitage being the sexiest man—no matter who the other 12 men are above him in the rankings.  Sighhh!  Except, of course, my hubby is my in situ corporeal sexiest man.  *wink*

And maybe if GlamourUK had used an earlier Richard Armitage portrait—or even an image from their competitor EsquireUK’s December 2013 Richard Armitage in tuxedos spread–maybe Glamour might have listed him a tad higher.  Below is the Esquire UK video that is sure to clinch RA’s sexiest status at some point.

But getting back to Michelle Forbes and Richard Armitage, a 6 year age difference is not exactly cougar territory for her.  If forty is the new thirty, then 51 is the new 41.  She is gorgeous in the pictures below from ouchpress!  And hurrah for brunettes everywhere!

MichelleForbes_Feb0216ouchpress                                MichelleForbes2_Feb0216ouchpress
Natural beauty               Sultry Siren

Fun gal

Richard Armitage working–and whatever else with Michelle Forbes–is a lucky man.  And she obviously feels lucky, too!  To that I say, You go girl!  You’re living the dream! 

And all of us middle aged folks—me and my hubby, and Michelle and Richard, etc.–are enjoying more of life these days.  Besides, technology is bound to advance in the next two hundred years to slow down or even to reverse aging for those of us who have gotten on the Middle Earth longevity band wagon.  Such that I can finally look as old as I feel—35.  Then again, maybe that will be 35 in dog years at that point.  Ha!


Nota Bene:  The previously wholly off the top of my head, unsubstantiated, so don’t start any rumors, wild speculation on my part was just for a giggle or two.  Besides, two gorgeous people can be working colleagues who respect each others’ work and value each other as friendly acquaintances and/or friends without necessarily  becoming a romantic couple.  *gazing at that selfie tweet again* Uh huh.   *wink*

MichelleForbesTweet--ThisManEqualsHeaven-reRichardArmitage_Jan3016mf-cropsized (2)


Posted in Berlin Station mini series, Fangurling, Husbands, Love and Relationships, Middle aged, Middle Earth, My Life, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Romance, Sexy, Something About Love, Television, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 20 (PG-13, D): The Day After, February 01, 2016 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #868)

0aaa-Love-in-the-Great-Pine-Woods_story-cover_Jan0516byGratianaLovelace_3intall-rev7(An original story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace; all rights reserved)  [(1) story cover, left]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with:  Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins  and others as noted.]

Authors Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships.  It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of:  L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes.  And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.  And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.

Authors Recap from the Previous Chapter:   On Saturday, January 2, 1956, Olivia Wakeforest was airlifted from Wakeforest Mountain to the Wakeforest County Hospital in the Town of Wakforest and she had her surgery to repair her leg. Injured when the mountain avalanche overran their cabin honeymoon retreat and a glass shard from a broken window embedded itself in her lower left leg.  But the extended Delaney and Wakeforest families were dealt a further blow when longtime family caretaker and retired housekeeper Nellie Newton died of old age while Olivia was in surgery.   Sam doesn’t know how to break the sorrowful news of Nellie’s death to Olivia–nor how she will cope with it, given her own serious medical issues.  But Sam vows to do everything in his power to be of comfort to his beloved wife, Olivia.


“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 20 (PG-13, D): The Day After

Olivia Wakeforest had been given such powerful pain medicines and sedatives after her surgery to repair the wound to her lower left leg’s muscle, tendon, and blood vessels that she slept much of the evening of Saturday, January 2, 1956—and on into Sunday morning.  Roger and Tessa Delaney had taken their foster children Alice and baby Bobby home to sleep Saturday after seeing Olivia just after her surgery that went well.  But Olivia’s husband Sam Wakeforest has stayed the night with Olivia, him sleeping on the longish couch in her private hospital room.

Sam coaxes Olivia to eat a little breakfast around 9:30am Sunday morning, January 3rd—the day after their ordeal in surviving the avalanche on Wakeforest Mountain, but which caused Olivia to become injured–as much to help her regain her strength as she heals, as well as, to delay having to tell Olivia about Nellie Newton’s passing.  Nellie had been a caring grandmotherly and a mothering influence upon Olivia—especially after Olivia’s mother died when she was just 19 years old in her second year of college.  All Olivia’s life–but especially for  the last 17 years–Nellie has been the constant comforting and mothering force in Olivia’s life.  And now Nellie has died in her 86th year after a long and loving life.

But ever alert to other people’s feelings, Olivia notices Sam’s somber mood as they eat their breakfast.  Sipping her hot chocolate, Olivia glances at her new husband Sam whose gaze is focused upon his breakfast plate of toast, eggs and bacon.

Olivia:  “You’re rather quiet today, Sam.  Didn’t you sleep well on the couch?”  She scrunches up her nose—knowing full well that her tall and lanky husband would over tax most couches ability to contain him comfortably.

Sam: Looking up at her with a small smile, Sam winces.  “As good as could be expected–since I overflowed its dimensions by a bit.”  In truth, his head and body had lain on the seat cushions and his legs rested over one of the arm rests and dangled off to the side of the couch.  So Sam is feeling a little stiff this morning.

Olivia:  Smiling bemusedly despite her medicine dampened pain, Olivia observes.  “Only a bit?”

Sam:  “Well!”  Sam sheepishly rolls his eyes and grins at her.  Then seeing her press her lips together in what he rightly presumes indicates that she is in pain, he asks her caringly.  “Shall I ask the nurse to give you more pain meds, Olivia My Love?”

Olivia: “I …. I don’t think it’s time yet.”  Olivia sighs woefully.

Sam:  “Olivia, You must be close to time.  Let’s ask.”  Olivia nods her head hopefully and Sam pushes the nurse call button.  The nurse lady who had been with them yesterday afternoon after Olivia’s surgery is also their daytime nurse today.

Rushing into Olivia Wakeforest’s private hospital room because she knows that Olivia is her most urgent case in what is a small hospital of five patients in the surgical wing, the nurse asks kindly.

Nurse Mabel:  “How are we feeling after breakfast today, Mrs. Wakeforest?  Hmm?”  She fluffs up Olivia’s pillow for her.

Olivia:  “Hhhhhh!”  She sighs—in too much pain to articulate it.

Sam:  “Can you please give her something for the pain?” He requests pleadingly.

Nurse Mabel: “Let me just check her chart.”  She goes to look at the clipboard at the end of the bed.  “Oh!”  She purses her lips.

Sam: “What is it?”  He asks worriedly.

Nurse Mabel:  “It’s just that Mrs. Wakeforest had her last pain meds only 3.5 hours ago.  She isn’t due for more until another 30 minutes.”

Olivia:  “Hmmm.”  Olivia whines in pain and closes her eyes—trying to be stoic.

But Sam cannot stand to see Olivia in any pain.

Sam: “My wife is in so much pain.  Can’t you let her have the pain relief medicine now.” He pleads.

Nurse Mabel:  Walking further into the room, the nurse winces.  “The medicine intervals are for patient welfare.  And I’m a nurse, not the doctor.  I just administer her medicine.”

Sam: “But …”  The nurse interrupts Sam with a raised hand.

Nurse Mabel:  “But I will contact the doctor to see if we can give Mrs. Wakeforest her pain meds early.  In the meantime, let me bring in an ice pack.  It might help in numbing the area for her.” The nurse starts to walk back toward the door.

Olivia: “Thank you!”  Olivia sighs with relief.  “And I feel so hot, my leg feels so hot.”

Nurse Mabel: “It does?”  In alarm, the nurse goes back to Olivia’s bedside and gently moves the blanket and sheet aside.  Olivia’s lower left leg looks a little more swollen than it should after surgery.  And when the nurse places her hands hovering over the bandaged incision site, she can feel the heat emanating from Olivia’s infected wound.  “Mrs. Wakeforest, You might have a small infection that is causing your wound to overheat and you to feel more pain.”  Then she feels Olivia’s now perspiring brow and it feels warm—not hot, but definitely not a normal temperature.  “We must get the infection under control and you cooler.”

Sam: “What’s wrong?  What can I do?”  Sam [(2) right] stands as he looks at the nurse Sam-isRichardArmitage-in2014TheCrucibleRehearsals-9-byJohanPersson_Dec0615ranet-sizedand then at his wife Olivia in concern.

Nurse Mabel:  “Hold your wife’s hand while I call the doctor and get the ice.”  The nurse states in a clipped manner as she rushes out of the hospital room.

Olivia: “Oh Sam!  What if I lose my leg?”  Olivia worries.

Sam: “That won’t happen!  I promise.”  But Sam is not a doctor.

Nurse Mabel returns in ten minutes—with ice for a cool compress for Olivia’s forehead and with reinforcements in the form of a young doctor in training.  With it being Sunday morning, the senior medical staff are on call, but not on site.

Nurse Mabel: “This Dr. Mark Blackwell, a resident in our hospital.  He assisted Dr. Carter with Mrs. Wakeforest’s surgery yesterday.”  She gestures to him.  Then she moves to the other side and places the soothing cool compress over Olivia Wakeforest’s forehead.

Dr. Blackwell: “Good Day!  Let’s take a look at Mrs. Wakeforest’s surgical site.”

Dr. Blackwell goes to the small hospital room sink and washes his hands in front of them.  The nurse does so as well.  Then the nurse helps the doctor put on sterile surgical gloves before examining Mrs. Wakeforest’s leg.  Sam notices that the doctor seems to have a slight limp as he moves about the room and he wonders.

Sam:  “Are you alright to treat my wife?”  Sam looks down at the doctor’s limping leg.  Olivia’s gaze follows her husband’s.

Dr. Blackwell:  “I’m fine.”  He states woodenly to both of them.  Then he glosses over it by saying.  “An old complaint.  Now let’s focus on Mrs. Wakeforest.”  He starts giving terse commands to the nurse.   “Nurse, Please give Mrs. Wakeforest a light sedative.  We are going to be cleansing her surgical incision with sterile saline solution and changing her bandages—which could cause her great discomfort without the sedative.”

Nurse Mabel: “Yes, Dr. Blackwell.”  The nurse nods and obeys.  Though the doctor resident is young—in his mid-twenties—he has ably tended to several of her patients.  So she has confidence in him.

Dr. Blackwell:  Then he turns back to Olivia.  “Not to worry, Mrs. Wakeforest.  Post-surgical site infections [(3)] are not uncommon.  We just have to keep on top of them.”  Olivia nods wincingly.

After administering the light sedative to Olivia via her IV, Nurse Mabel carefully unwraps Olivia’s bandaged lower left leg.  There is some pus and blood oozing through the last layer of bandages—and the leg is a little more swollen than it should be at this point.  The nurse puts a double folded towel underneath Olivia’s leg in preparation for the cleansing procedure.  She also drapes the sides of the wound with sterile cloths.

Dr. Blackwell:  Examining the wound, Dr. Blackwell is relieved.  “Hmmm.  Not so bad as post-surgical infections go.  It’s not red and inflamed. And the oozing fluids mean that your body is trying to rid itself of the infection.  That’s good.”  Dr. Blackwell pronounces for the Wakeforests’ benefit. Then he readies the saline solution squirt bottle and a gauze pad to catch the overflow.   “But still, we must clean the wound site, apply a topical antibiotic [(4)] , and put a new bandage over it.  Mrs. Wakeforest, This may still sting even with the light sedative we’ve just given you.”

Olivia nods and looks worriedly at her husband Sam.  Sam moves to stand by his wife’s side, but away from the medical staff—to give them plenty of room to work.  Sam takes Olivia’s hand that isn’t hooked up to the IV and he squeezes it as he leans down and kisses her cheek.  Sam stays there, leaning over, whispering comforting words in Olivia’s ear.

Sam: “Olivia My Love, They’re going to make you feel all better soon.”  He hopes.  “You’re being very brave, My Darling.  And soon, you’re coming home with me in a few days.  Then you’ll have me all to yourself as you convalesce.”  But Sam’s statements belie the fact that concrete arrangements for Olivia’s convalescent care have yet to be organized.

At first, Dr. Blackwell merely squirts the saline solution at the stitched wound site and he gently cleans around it.  Olivia winces in discomfort, but it is not anything she can’t handle.  But then as the doctor squirts more saline directly on the stitched incision and tries to gently wipe away the blood and pus, Olivia gasps in pain.

Olivia: “Hhhh!  Stop, please stop!”  Olivia cries out in pain and tears fall down her cheeks.  Sam cradles her shoulders as he tries to soothe and comfort her.

Sam: “There there.  I’m so sorry, My Love.  But he’s almost done.”

Unlike many physicians who would keep going—feeling that getting the procedure done quickly is better for the patient—Dr. Blackwell stops.   He does not want to cause any of his patients’ pain, if he can help it.  Dr. Blackwell  turns to the nurse.

Dr. Blackwell:  “The sedative alone is not enough and Mrs. Wakeforest is in too much pain for me to continue. Nurse, please bring me the portable anesthesia tank [(5)] and mask we use when setting bone breaks. We’ll knock her out for the minute that we are finishing cleansing her wound, so that she won’t feel pain.”

Sam:  “Is my wife able to have anesthesia?  We just had breakfast, though she didn’t eat much.”  Sam asks worriedly.

Olivia: “I only had some toast and jam and some hot chocolate.”  Olivia asks hopefully.  She just wants the pain to be gone.

Dr. Blackwell: “That should be fine.  This is a very mild general anesthesia—not as deep as what we use for surgery when we need the patient not to have eaten for several hours prior.  And we’ll bring her out of it right away.”

Nurse Mabel fetches the portable anesthesia tank and mask.  Then she adjusts Olivia’s bed to lift up the back and elevate her to a partial sitting position whilst receiving the anesthesia. This so that her airway doesn’t collapse since they are not intubating her.  Then the nurse places the anesthesia mask over Olivia’s nose and mouth, with the gas being administered at the lowest setting.  But it does the job and knocks Olivia out—with Sam holding Olivia’s shoulders steady so that she doesn’t slip to one side.  Then Nurse Mabel removes the anesthesia mask, and Olivia is placed on oxygen to supplement her breathing.

Working quickly, Dr. Blackwell cleanses the surgical incision thoroughly—even pressing the incision sides together a bit to force more infectious pus out.  That procedure would have been excruciating for Olivia if she had been awake.  The doctor doesn’t want to have to remove the stitches and open up the wound again if he doesn’t have to.  Then cleansing once more, Dr. Blackwell is satisfied that he has gotten all of the infectious pus when the wound appears clean and is no longer oozing.


Then Dr. Blackwell applies a topical antibiotic along the length of the surgical wound site with a sterile tongue depressor—him making sure to completely cover the stitched wound.  This procedure takes only about five minutes.  And Olivia is starting to wake up just as Dr. Blackwell bandages and wraps her surgical site—which was the site of her glass shard impalement.  Usually, doctors have the nurses do the bandaging.  But Dr. Blackwell is hands on as a doctor and he doesn’t feel it beneath him to tend to this aspect of patient care.

A groggy Olivia opens her eyes and looks at her husband who is leaning down next to her as she lies in her hospital bed.

Olivia:  “Hi Sam, Did I fall asleep?”  She asks sleepily as she turns her head toward his

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Emily Deschanel attends the "Yes on Prop 2" benefit at a private residence on September 28, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

head leaning on her pillow and she smiles [(6) right], then kisses him.

Sam: Looking quizzically between his wife and the doctor, he replies.  “Yes My Love, they had to cleanse your wound and rebandage it.  Don’t you remember?”

Olivia: “Oh?”  She doesn’t remember anything—including the pain that she had felt—a little blessing of the anesthesia.

Dr. Blackwell: “Memory loss isn’t unusuall Mr. & Mrs. Wakeforest.  Mrs. Wakeforest.  I’m Dr. Blackwell.  I assisted Dr. Carter with your surgery yesterday.”  He knowingly reintroduces himself to her.  “In addition to cleansing and examining your wound, I applied a topical antibiotic that has some numbing properties.  So you should be able to sleep and rest easier this morning.”

Olivia: “Thank you, doctor!”  Olivia sighs comfortably pain free for now.  “I do feel tired.  I think I’ll just take a nap.”  And she closes her eyes and dozes.

Sam: Standing up from his wife’s bedside and turning to the doctor, Sam asks worriedly and a bit brusquely.  “Should my wife be sleeping now?”

Dr. Blackwell:  Understanding about concerned husbands—especially new ones like Sam Wakeforest, Dr. Blackwell assures him.  “Mrs. Wakeforest  is doing fine.  When the anesthetic and antibiotic fully wear off in a few hours, we will reassess her wound healing then.  Hopefully, we have nipped in the bud any infection that was starting.”

As Dr. Blackwell turns to leave and walks toward the door, Sam notices the doctor’s limp again.

Sam: “Did you hurt your leg skiing?”  Sam has never been one to beat about the bush.

Dr. Blackwell:  “Not exactly.  I mean, I do ski and hike and such—I’m an outdoorsy guy.  It was one of the reasons that chose to do my residency here in your beautiful area—for its scenic vistas and the variety of leisure sports.  But to answer your question,  my limp is due to an illness with complications that I had as a child twenty years ago–and it necessitated the doctors amputating my left foot.”  Dr. Blackwell relates nonchalantly.

Sam:  “Oh! I’m sorry.”  Sam blanches.

Sam has a tendency to blunder his way into awkward moments now and again–sticking his foot in his mouth—as is the case now.  But Dr. Blackwell is accustomed to putting people at ease about his infirmity.

Dr. Blackwell:  “Me, too.  But it’s all water under the bridge.  And I have adjusted, learning how to live my life fully with my prosthetic.  It doesn’t limit me—nor does it define me.”  He intones purposely.

Sam:  “No, of course not.”  Sam nods respectfully.

Dr. Blackwell: “Because of my own experience, I hope to specialize in orthopedic surgery.  So I can help other people have less drastic outcomes than I did.”

Sam: “That is very commendable.”  Sam nods.  Then extending his hand, he shakes the doctor’s hand.  “Dr. Blackwell, We’re very grateful for your tender care of my wife Olivia.”

Dr. Blackwell: “My pleasure, Mr. Wakeforest.  I’ll be back after lunch in about four hours to check on Mrs. Wakeforest. In the meantime, you are in very good hands with Nurse Mabel.  She’s the best nurse I have ever worked with!”  He states sincerely and smiles at the blushing matronly lady.

Nurse Mabel: “Oh go on with you, doctor.”  She shoos him out of the room.  “Is there anything I can get you Mr. Wakeforest?”

Sam:  “May I make a call out at the nurses’ station?”

Nurse Mabel: “Of course.”

Sam makes a call to his sister Tessa regarding Olivia’s morning infection scare.  He also wants to ask Tessa how to break the news of Nellie’s death to Olivia.  Tessa tells Sam that she’ll be right over.  Actually, Roger wants to come, too, to see how his sister is doing.  So they pack up their foster kids fourteen year old Alice and baby Bobby to join them at the Wakeforest County Hospital.


When Tessa and Roger and the kids arrive at Olivia’s private hospital room about an hour later, the door is cracked open.  They see Sam sitting next to the bed and holding the sleeping Olivia’s hand.  Sam sees them and silently waves to them that he will join them.  Sam wants to let Olivia sleep as long as he can.  After walking into the hospital corridor, Sam is hugged by his sister Tessa and shaken hands by her husband and Olivia’s brother Roger Delaney.  Sam’s foster niece Alice sits off to the side on a bench with a sleepy baby Bobby in her lap.

Sam: “Thanks for coming.”  He tells them sincerely.

Tessa: “How is she?”  Tessa [(7 right] asks worriedly.  Then they all look into theTessa-isMarcia+Gay+Harden+Boots+Mid+Calf+Boots_Nov2715stylebistrocom-crop-sized-blur-Mask2blue-crop hospital room at the sleeping Olivia.

Roger: “She looks so pale.”  He worries.

Sam:  “She is resting comfortably now.  After they cleansed and bandaged her wound while she was under a mild general anesthetic, Olivia went back to sleep. And though she was due for more pain relief medication thirty minutes ago, we’re waiting until she wakes up and the numbing effects of the anesthesia wears off.”

Roger:  “Maybe we should wait to tell her about Nellie.  She’s been through so much already.”

Tessa: “No. She has to know before anyone other than family accidently tells her.  That would be more devastating to her.”

Sam: “I agree.  And with Olivia being in the hospital, we should do it when she is not in pain.  Otherwise, her injury pain coupled with the sorrow of learning about Nellie could send her into a breathing attack.”  And by breathing attack, Sam means one of Olivia’s panic attacks that causes her breathing to become erratic and she usually faints due to hyperventilating.

Sam has become adept at soothing his love Olivia to help her prevent an attack or to help soothe her to come out of it, when most men would have deemed her emotional outbursts as too much trouble and left long ago.  But Sam loves Olivia—even the unpleasant and worrisome bits.  Just as Olivia overlooks Sam’s often gruff ways and manner—her smoothing him out socially.

Nurse Mabel walks past them into Olivia’s room to take her vital signs.  Having her hand raised to check her pulse and her heart listened to, rouses Olivia.  And she requests her pain medicine, and Nurse Mabel administers it.

Then Olivia’s family comes into her hospital room.  Sam goes instantly to Olivia’s right side and perches on the bed, putting his arm around her shoulders in a light embrace.  This is not going to be easy.

Olivia: “Hello everyone.”  Olivia smiles wanly.

Olivia’s brother Roger and his wife Tessa stand at the foot of Olivia’s bed.  Alice and Bobby sit patiently on the couch off to the side.

Tessa: “Hello, Olivia Dear.  How are you feeling?”

Roger: “Yes, how are you feeling?” Olivia’s brother Roger [(8) right] asks stiffly, but Roger-upset-isKevinSpacey-inCallofdutyadvancedwarfarescreenshotjuly294_Nov2815playstationlifestyle-sized-crop-shrphe is truly concerned for her welfare.

Olivia: “Truthfully?”  They all nod. “Tired and sore.”  She sighs and Sam kisses her forehead.

Sam:  “Olivia is being a trouper.  But I’m sure she’ll feel much better once I get her to our own home and she can relax without being prodded every hour.

Sam wants to take her home and have her all to himself.  Yet, that isn’t necessarily practical.

Tessa: “Oh!”  Tessa looks at her brother Sam in surprise.  “We were going to offer to have you and Olivia stay as our guests for a little while—until she gets on her feet again.”

Sam: “That’s kind of you, Tessa and Roger.  But you have enough to handle with the kids and all.”  Sam demures vaguely.

Olivia: “Yes, but Sam.”  Olivia looks up at him shyly.  “We haven’t had time to organize our Wakeforest home with staff to help run it.  And I’m in no shape to worry about that right now.”

Sam:  “Oh!”  Sam sighs.  “You want us to go home to your brother’s house?”  Sam pouts.

Olivia: “Just for a little while, Sam.  Please?”

Tessa: Interjecting, trying to be helpful, Tessa suggests calmly.  “It does make sense, Sam.  And there will be plenty of people around to care for Olivia when you have to get back to the mountain.”

Olivia grips her husband Sam’s hand tightly in fear.

Olivia: “Must you go back to the mountain?”  She bites her lower lip as she pleads with him.

Sam: “Eventually.  I am the mountain’s steward.  It is under my conservatorship.  And with Todd laid up, we’re already down one person at the Wakeforest Tree Farm and at our Lumber Mill. “  Olivia shakes her head, fretting.   “Now shhh.  Shhh!  I’ll be alright, Olivia.  I promise.  Nothing will happen to me.”

Noticing his sister Olivia’s reaction to her husband Sam saying that he will return to the mountain, Roger Delaney says soothingly.

Roger:  “Olivia, Sam is a seasoned forester. He can take care of himself.”

Then knowing that they have all been delaying what they really came to tell Olivia, Bobby-isanOilPainting-called-blueeyedboy-byDennisFrost-onEbay_Nov2715ebay-crop-sized-blurTessa goes over to Alice and lifts sleeping baby Bobby into her arms.  Bobby [(9) right]  is a little blond curly haired cherub. Then Tessa walks Bobby over to Olivia’s bed and asks.

Tessa: “Would you like to hold Bobby?  He always makes me feel better.”

Olivia: “Umm.  I’m not sure I can with my one arm having an IV in it.”

Sam:  “Here.  I’ll hold Bobby between us resting in your right arm.  That way you don’t have to strain to hold him.”

Olivia: “Thanks, Sam.”  She smiles.  And Olivia seems to brighten having the sleeping Bobby in her arms.

Tessa embraces Alice as she and Roger stand at the foot of the bed.  They are all looking at Olivia.

Olivia: “What?  I know I don’t look my best, but …”

Sam:  “It’s not that, Olivia.  We’re all just glad that you’re going to be okay.”

Olivia: “Then what is it?”  Olivia looks at her husband Sam, her brother Roger, and her sister-in-law Tessa.

Roger and Sam turn to Tessa.  It will be she who has to break the news to Olivia.

Tessa:  “Children are life renewing itself.” [(10)] Tessa pauses.

Olivia: Olvia’s eyes widen. “Tessa, you don’t mean that you’re …” Olivia wonders if Tessa is pregnant, and she looks at her brother Roger, who squirms under her gaze.

Tessa: “Ha ha ha.  No, no. Just that, the children who come into our lives give us purpose and meaning.  Alice and Bobby are a very great blessing to Roger and I in that regard.”  Tessa hugs a smiling fourteen year old Alice [(11) right] from behind as Alice leans Alice-isAnnaSophia.Robb.photograph-in-jeansjacket_Nov2715westwordback into her, feeling safe and loved.   “Just as you were a great blessing for Nellie.”  Olivia looks at Tessa in uncomprehending shock.  “Nellie’s last words to me before we went to the mountain to rescue you and Sam Saturday morning were that she asked me to tell you that you have been her joy.”

Beginning to understand, Olivia’s eyes fill with tears and she cradles Bobby closer to her.  And Sam kisses Olivia’s cheek where her tears are falling.  Olivia focuses upon Tessa’s phrasing in the past tense.

Olivia: “Have been.”  Olivia doesn’t  phrase it as a question, because she intuitively knows.

Roger: “Olivia, Nellie took a turn for the worse yesterday and we brought her to the hospital.  She died yesterday afternoon—Tessa and I were with her when she passed.”

Olivia: “No.”  Tessa wails is quiet despair because she doesn’t want to scare Bobby still sleeping in her arms.  “Why couldn’t she live a little longer and see Sam’s and my children when we have them?”  She asks in a hushed whisper.

Tessa:  “It was her time, Olivia.  Nellie was at peace knowing that Sam will love and cherish you.  She wanted this for you, to love and to be loved in return.  She is happy now.”

Sam: “I’m so sorry, My Love.”

Olivia:  “You knew, and you did not tell me?”  Olivia leans a bit away from Sam, but not much because she is holding baby Bobby and she cannot jostle her arm with the IV in it.”

Sam: Sam gently pulls Olivia back into his embrace.  “I didn’t know how to tell you, My Love.  And you have only been more alert this morning.  But then you had your wound  infection crises.   And last night, you slept mostly.”

Olivia: Olivia nods in understanding.  “I dreamed that I would be going home to Nellie to get well.  Even though I knew she was too frail to really take care of me.  Somehow knowing she would be there, helped.  But now she won’t be there.  I have no mother nor grandmother again.  I feel like an orphan.”

Olivia bursts into tears and she sobs for the loss of Nellie.  Roger and Tessa mournfully look at Olivia.  They have had one day to accustom themselves to Nellie’s death, but it is still hard to lose her. Sam cradles Olivia in his arms while still supporting the sleeping baby Bobby lying in her arms.  And with feeling slightly squished, Bobby begins to wake up.  He sees that he is with his Aunt and Uncle and he reaches up and touches Olivia’s cheek where her tears are falling.

Bobby:  “Auntie?” The eighteen month old boy is small for his age due to poor nutrition before they became fostered by Roger and Tessa Delaney.  But Bobby is learning things very quickly.  And he knows crying when he sees it.  “I kiss and make it better.”

Bobby has heard his older sister Alice and now his foster mother Tessa say this often when he has a boo boo.  Bobby opens and closes his mouth several times—looking like a gaping fish, which makes Olivia smile.

Olivia: “Thank you, Bobby.  I could use a kiss.”  And Olivia leans her head down to him and Bobby strains upward and kisses her chin– with a fair amount of slobber on his part.

Sam:  Kissing Olivia’s forehead—to make it better—Sam says soothingly in his deep velvety voice.  “We all love you, Olivia.  And we promise to help you get well.  If us living with Tessa and Roger for a few weeks will help you get better, then that is what we will do.”

Olivia:  “Thank you, Sam.”

Olivia replies wanly, but her tears still fall and Sam kisses her again.  He will embrace and kiss his beloved wife as much as she needs.  The Sam Wakeforest of even two months ago—before he and Olivia connected and started dating—would not have been this tender.  But his love for her and her love for him has changed Sam in profound ways that he realizes now have transformed him into a loving and loved husband—for which, he is very grateful.

Olivia’s brother Roger walks to her right non-injured side and takes her right hand in his.

Roger: “Olivia, we will wait to arrange Nellie’s funeral until you’re feeling better in a week or two.  Nellie had no family that we know of besides us.  And we will have the memorial service at our home so you can attend while you are convalescing.”

Olivia: “Thank you, Roger.”

This has been a most stressful day for Olivia with the dangerous infection and now her learning of her dear Nellie’s passing.  But Olivia vows that she will move forward in her recovery and become well and walking again.  Life has given Olivia Delaney Wakeforest more than her fair share of heartache and disappointments.  But Olivia focuses on having the best of life, now that Sam and she are husband and wife.  She just has to heal first.  And Sam will be there by his wife Olivia’s side, every step of that healing process.

To be continued with Chapter 21


References for Ch. 20 by Gratiana Lovelace, February 01, 2016 (Post #868)

1)  The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at

2) Sam Wakeforest is Richard Armitage Closeup in 2014 The Crucible Rehearsals  was found at

3)  Information about post surgical site infections (SSI) may be found at

4)  For information about antibiotics, please visit

5) For information about general anesthesia, please visit

6) Olivia Delaney Wakeforest smiling  is Emily Deschanel found at

7) Tessa Delaney image is Marcia Gay Harden at a 2008 Badgley-Mischka fashion show found at

8) Roger Delany is Kevin Spacey in Call of Duty found at

9)  Eighteen month old year old baby Bobby image is represented by an oil painting labeled, Per Google search: Vintage Dennis Frost Oil Painting Portrait Blue Eye Boy Illustrate in Book DAVID” was found at

10) “Children are life renewing itself.” was said by the character Melanie Wilks in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind

11) Alice Trent  smiling is Anna Sophia Robb and was found at


Previous Blog Ch. 19 Story link:

“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 19 (PG-13, D): My Beloved Wife Olivia, January 23, 2016 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #864)

Posted in "Love in the Great Pine Woods", Creative Writing, Drama, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Medical, Mothers, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Society, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Film Day Sunday: Richard Armitage’s Yet to be Released Film Pilgrimage Reviewed by Irish Scannain Critics, January 31, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #867)

Thanks to RANet ( for sharing RAPortrait--2015--RichardArmitage-atComicCon-smiling-ingray-jacket_Jan0116viaTerri
the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage’s (right
at Comic Con in 2015, via Terri) Twitter link for an
Irish review by Scannain about his upcoming Irish produced film “Pilgrimage”  :


Pilgrimage was filmed in Ireland and Belgium beginning in April of 2015.  So with these beautiful locations, Pilgrimage’s vistas are sure to be lush and painterly—based on the images released so far.  Above in the tweet is a Pilgrimage production still shared in the Scannain article that showcases the breathtaking scenery.

In the film Pilgrimage , Richard Armitage (below at right front; via Scannain) portrays the character Raymond De Merville–a nobleman in 1209 who is not necessarily noble.  Referred to in the Scannain review above as “misanthropic”, De Merville is the antagonist who wishes to thwart the monks reaching Rome with their holy relic.  The Scannain review refers to Richard Armitage’s character Raymond De Merville as a “misanthropic knight”.


With a misanthrope being someone who has contempt/hatred for other people, perhapsRichardArmitage-TwitterProfile_Jan3016RCA the casting directors saw Richard Armitage’s Twitter self-description (right) of being a “Moody Actor, Anti-Socialite” and thought, that’s our man! Ha!

But seriously,  Richard Armitage has portrayed several hard driving (and moody) action adventure roles—most recently with his 2015 Saturn Awards winning portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

And, of course, actors always seem to think that baddies are more interesting to portray.  So I can see the appeal for Richard Armitage in tackling Raymond De Merville in the film Pilgrimage. And with Richard Armitage’s characteristic immersion in his character portrayals, I’m looking forward to seeing how he shades and nuances his portrayal of the character.  Will there be some angst to explain—if not to excuse– De Merville’s actions? One wonders at the possibilities.

And for Richard Armitage’s fans such as myself, we get to see him in Pilgrimage  wearing armour and leather, wielding a sword, riding a horse, and hulking around in a cape/coat again.  Who needs Marvel Comics super heroes when we can look to historically accurate non spandex wearing knights in armour?  Even if they aren’t particularly shining with virtues!  Give me almost real men any day.  Ha!

For what purpose, Richard Armitage’s character Sir Raymond de Merville acts against the monks transporting their holy relic has not been made plain. And the significance of the relic has also been shrouded—pun intended—in secrecy.   So we’ll have to see the film to find out.  And here’s hoping that the possible 2016 release date for Pilgrimage will be sooner rather than later.

The Pilgrimage filmmakers are teasing us—and quite successfully on my part.  And fan made Richard Armitage artwork related to the film Pilgrimage is already being shared as fans eagerly await the release of the film.  Thanks to Fernanda Matais for Tweet sharing FMPM’s beautiful fan made wallpaper collage!


Posted in "Pilgrimage" film, Awards, Battle of the Five Armies, Creativity, Fiction, Fun Day Sunday, Middle Ages, Pilgrimage, Raymond de Merville, Richard Armitage, Something About Love, The Battle of the Five Armies, Thorin, Thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

THUD Thursday: Richard Armitage is My RelAxation Technique! January 28, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #866)

I know that I have titled this essay implying that the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage is RelAxing, but that is only one of his hunk-ilicious spheres that I wish to explore today.  We’ll leave his “god’s gift to women” and “sexy doesn’t cover the half of him” for another time.  *wink*  But after a long day at my office on Wednesday—wrestling with rescissions, renovations, replacements, and reviews—RelAxation is what I needed.


So here are a few Richard Armitage portraits that various friends have shared lately—which means since I switched over to my new computer and started saving images on it or transferring files to it two weeks ago—that I find RelAxing.  And where possible, I will try to contextualize the portrait—though I am going from memory.


1)        A 2012 THAUJ Wellington Premiere interview portrait, shared by Simonne (Thanks!)—with Richard Armitage’s friendly smile and comfortable pose, he looks quite relaxed, himself.  The edit credit says MajesticThorinnn.  And I gaussian blurred the image .5 to remove some of the pixelization that probably occurred due to my resizing the image.


2)        A Soulful Eyes portrait of Richard Armitage as tweet shared by Laura Day. The portrait looks to be from a sitting photographed by David Venni in 2009.  Here is a blog post  by kelbel75 at her Nowhere in Particular blog with similar portrait images .  I could lose myself in RA’s peepers, and his artfully shaved stubble that draws attention to his strong jawline so well—in BW or full color.  Sighhh!  The BW edit credit looks like it is labeled as Alana. And I brightened the BW image a bit (left). Then I couldn’t leave well enough alone and I edited the image (right) to add a sepia like skin tone and grey blue eyes.  Purrrr!  Sleepy smoulder thy name is Richard Armitage!  And his small smile softens the smoulder to tampen down the desire quotient.  Then again, maybe not.  Sighhh!  As I replied to Laura, I love all of  Richard Armitage’s looks—be they gaze, glare, stare, and smirk, etc.

RAPortrait--2009-RichardArmitage-Soulful-eyes-BWcls-byAlana_Jan2516viaLauraDay_GL-sized  RAPortrait--2009-RichardArmitage-Soulful-eyes-BWcls-edit-byAlana_Jan2516viaLauraDay_GratianaLovelace-sized-brt-sepia-bleyes-titled


3)        And finally, coming a bit more forward in time to 2013 below is what I believe is a Richard Armitage portrait by Leslie Hassler—as shared by Marcia BB.  Again, RA gazes through the camera lens—but not confrontationally so, more inquisitively.  Perhaps he wonders who is on the other side gazing at the image.  But he looks calm.  And I love the layered look with both a knitted vest and outer sweater over a plaid shirt.  But the crowning glory of this portrait must be his hair.  Oh would that he might let it grow this long again.  Sighhh!  I miss running my fingers through my hubby’s natural curls, too. He has to keep it short for work.



And why is all of my attention on RelAxation today?  Well I alluded to it at the start of this essay—in terms of replacement … of my knees now becoming a more pressing reality for me after a visit with my orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday.  It seems that the arthritis has worn down my knee cartilage  in such a way as to start to bend my lower legs outward—the opposite of bowed legs.  It’s not visibly noticeable to anyone but the surgeon—until he pointed it out to me, and now I can see what he is talking about.  Not that I need to worry about walking in a straight line—I’m always sober.  Ha!—but stairs are a big issue for me, even climbing the two steps into the house from the garage are not as graceful as I would like.   Happily, we have a single story ranch home.  But I have had more falls than I would like in the past year due to my knees buckling or almost dislocating.   Now, I know why!  Sheesh!

And the operations for each knee will likely occur during two different Summers—to give me time to heal and recuperate between the surgeries, after the 6 to 8 weeks of initial surgical healing and physical therapy.  I just haven’t decided if we will get started this Summer.  I don’t know if I am quite ready to go all bionic woman yet.  Ha!  But new knees will give me a better quality of life—in terms of walking from point A to point B, not falling, and/or navigating stairs more easily (or at all).  And new knees might allow me to literally kick up my exercise/physical therapy regimen as I work toward a healthier me.   Zumba, here I come!  Ha!   So I’m trying to resign myself to possibly having the first knee replacement operation on my left knee this Summer.  But I haven’t checked into the health insurance aspect of it yet.  So we’ll see.

So if anyone out there has had their knee (s) replaced, please feel free to share your experiences with me.  And if you have a RelAxation technique, please share that/him with me, too!  *wink*

Posted in Fangurling, Health, Hope, knee surgery, My Life, Portraits, RelAxation, Richard Armitage, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments