Gratiana’s Leap Year Musings, 2/29/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #141)

Dear Friends,

I have often said that I would love to have more hours in my days and more days in my week–to write.  Ha!  Well “today”–February 29th,  Leap Year [(1)]–is that extra day.  So, what am I going to do with this extra day?  Who knows at this point?   I leave it up to the fates.  Ha!  What follows are my random musings–of a mostly nonsensical variety–with my tongue firmly planted in my oh so facetious cheek.  Ha!

  1.  I still won’t be watching much television.  I watch PBS’ “Downton Abbey” on my laptop via streaming video (from  And, of course, I have my growing Richard Armitage video collection.  My hubby bought me Spooks  (series 7, 8, and 9)and Robin Hood (series 1, 2, 3) for Christmas.   These dvd sets joined “North & South”, “The Vicar of Dibley:  A Wholly, Holy Happy Ending”, “Sparkhouse”, and “The Impressionists”.   Sighhhhh!  But that’s pretty much it as to my “tv” viewing on my laptop.  Ha!  However, I also love renting movies from my local library or renting or buying tv shows and  movies on iTunes to watch on my lap top.  Last year, I watched the completely adorable movie, called “Leap Year” [(2) right] starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.

    And we bought my hubby wireless earphones so he can listen to and enjoy his “man shows” on tv without disturbing me as I write.  Hey, the sounds and screeching of “Pawn Stars”, “American Pickers”, and (horrors!) “Storage Wars” are not conducive to me writing love scenes.  Ha!  But my respecting my hubby’s viewing choices also helps him give me inspiration in that regard.  Ha!  To be fair, he also watches a lot of History Channel documentaries. 

  2. Speaking of writing, you, my readers, have convinced me to serialize my 193 page fan fiction “North & South:  Nurturing Love” [(3) right] midquel, as I call it, here on my blog.  So, I have to figure out a way to chunk it into manageable bits for posting after I finish serializing “Mr. Romance”.  I’m also prepping another of my contemporary original fiction love stories–this one involving a “mature woman of 49” because some of you wanted me to share it since love comes to us at all ages.  Hey, I can relate.  I’m in the “mature track” as well–and love with my beloved is sweeter than ever.  My hubby of 22 years and I plan to still be “fooling around” as we call it forty years from now when we fall out of our side by side rocking chairs when our pacemakers give out.    Ha!
  3. About that maturity thing–part 1.  I think I’ve mentioned here on my blog before that my doctor last year said that my uterine ultrasound looked like I had the uterus of a young woman.  Gosh, I hope she wasn’t missing it.  Ha!   Just a little gynecological humor there.  And for the two guys/males who are now following my blog–you know who you are–sorry about the feminine humor here.  But if you guys can ask girls to pull your finger, then we women can talk about our uteri.  Ha!  Besides fellas, you’ll know that you’re truly in love with your beloved when she asks you to pick up some of her feminine products at the store, and you ask “And what brand do you like, sweetie?”  Ha!  I sent me hubby to the story with an empty package wrapper the first few times he purchased them for me on his own.  Now’s he’s a pro at picking them up.   Of course, I make it worth his while.  *wink*
  4. About that maturity thing–part 2.  But seriously, it is rather nice to have people tell me that they think I’m about 7 years younger than I am.  It happened to me again on Monday at a doctor’s appointment.  We were chatting and relating info, as one does, and I made a reference to getting free parking since I’m now in my 26th year at my university.  Woo hoo!  She looked at me incredulously and said that I must have started there very young, since she thought I was 45 years old.  I self deprecatingly told her that my youthful appearance is because I am letting my hair grow long to do the “locks of love” cut (–well, that is my rationalization for allowing my vanity to take hold. Ha!  And I do have rather beautiful brunette hair [(4) right] that falls in soft curls over my shoulders.  Or at least, that’s what my hubby tells me.  So I look forward to donating 10 inches of my hair in about two years.
    I also take care of my skin with moisturizers and no sun tanning, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink alcohol, and I’m chubby which smooths out any wrinkles that might be lurking there.  Maybe that’s why I like those crinkles pictures of Richard Armitage [(5) right]–apart from how devastatingly handsome he is in addition to him being brilliantly talented as an actor–because he has always had more crinkles than I do, even though I would be a cougarette to his panther.   Ha!  Hey, you knew that I had to work RA into this post again somehow.  Ha!     Okay, RA doesn’t really look crinkley in this picture here.  Maybe they’ve air brushed them.  This is just one of my favorite portraits of Richard Armitage from his July 2011 Project Magazine Photoshoot.    And hey, it’s Leap Year, so I can leap tangentially if I want to in my writing of this essay.  Ha!
  5. And we women need to get our mammograms done annually [(6) right].  It’s the squish that could save our lives.  My local medical facility gives us pink carnations when we we are done.  Okay, that’s not an expensive parting gift, but it is the thought that counts.   So, if you haven’t scheduled your mammogram yet, then please take this extra day and go get it scheduled.   Here is a handy link for you
  6. And since Leap Year falls on a Wednesday, my hubby and I will have our usual lunch date–don’t know where yet.  But, as long as I am with my beloved, the restaurant choice and its decor doesn’t matter.  We make our own ambiance.  Ha!
  7. I hope you all have a wonderful Leap Year extra day for yourselves–whether you spend it or save it.Cheers!   Grati  ;->


(1)   Leap Year —

(2)  Leap Year movie —

(3)  John Thornton (portrayed by Richard Armitage) kissing the love of his life Margaret Hale (portrayed by Daniella Denby-Ashe) in the BBC’s 2004 production of “North & South” was found at

(4)  Grati’s long hair, picture taken about two weeks ago.

(5)  Cropped closeup image of Richard Armitage at his July 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot, the photographer was Matt Holyoak, pix 07 was found at

(6)  pink breast cancer awareness ribbon —


About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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16 Responses to Gratiana’s Leap Year Musings, 2/29/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #141)

  1. Kate Patrick says:

    I am looking forward to reading more of your stories! “Mr. Romance” has me hooked! Today, is a special Leap Year Day for me, because my book is being released for purchase! I love writing, and that is why I am so thrilled you are all about it, too. You are doing a great job! Please continue to share these romantic stories with us.:)


    • Hi Kate,
      Thanks for your very nice note. That’s exciting about your book being released today. Congratulations!
      I’m so glad that you and others like my love stories. One never knows if any story will find its audience. But, so far the stories that I have shared have been well received. If only I could retire sometime soon and devote myself to writing fulltime. Ha!
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  2. Fabi says:

    Good morning Grati,
    Congrats for your youthful appearance! Don’t know why crinkles and the first white hairs are beautiful in men like Mr A and my hubby, but we panicked when happens with ourselves. ;)
    And thank you for the reminder. I really need to make an appointment with the gynecologist, something I missed last year.
    About the stories: keep up the good work!


    • Good morning Fabi,
      Thanks for your nice note. Hey I’ll take it any time someone wants to shave years off my age. Ha! Like I think I’ve said, my hubby let’s me celebrate the anniversary of my 35th birthday each year. Ha!

      My wonderful late Mother had jet black hair and not much gray yet when she died in her late fifties when I was in college. Happily, I seem to have her good hair genes with only a few whispies of gray on top and at the side by my ears. I know some people pluck their gray hairs, but I prefer to color them a few times a year. Ha!

      You and others are also welcome about the mammogram reminders–and pap tests, too. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Ladies.

      Thanks for your encouragement about my stories. I really appreciate it!

      Cheers! Grati ;->

      P.S. Dear Readers, As a special treat for this coming Fun Day Sunday, Fabi and I are collaborating on an RA trivia game. Well, she did all the legwork on the questions and answers and I’ll provide the pretty pictures and formatting. Ha! So, in addition to my posting Chapter 5 of my story “Mr. Romance” on Friday, be sure and check back here Sunday for some more fun. And Fabi and I hope to do more Fun Day Sunday collaborations. So, thanks to Fabi for offering to collaborate. That’s great!


  3. What a lovely post. Here I am sitting with a grin on my face :) Coming here is a bit like getting a letter from a friend you haven’t heard from for a while and look forward to hearing the latest news! Simply lovely!


    • Hi Pin Up,
      Thanks for you nice note! You’re very sweet! I hope visitors to my blog feel welcome and find a friendly space. I’m a Pollyanna. Ha!

      Sometimes I just write in a stream of consciousness mode for my essay posts. Ha! And considering I scrapped my original idea for today’s post at 8:00pm last night, this was definitely an unconscious post. Ha!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. Cheers! Grati ;->

      P.S. By the way, lunch with my hubby was lovely and simple. We went to a little diner that is next to campus. I had the grilled cheese with onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes–well, I’ll eat the other half for tomorrow’s lunch. Ha!


      • I loved reading Pollyanna when I was younger :) Unfortunately I grew up and went down the sarcastic route though. Oh well, at least it can’t be that bad because I can still identify a positive person when I encouter one ;)


        • Giggles, Pin Up!
          I have my acerbic moments, too. But facetious is usually the most mischief that I get up to–and usually by poking fun at myself. Ha!

          Actually, after 23 years together–22 as husband and wife–my hubby and I are a regular comedy team. We have so many inside jokes that I set up and he knocks down–or vice versa–that we laugh as much as we love. I firmly believe that love and laughter can solve most of the world’s problems. Now where is that feather? It will do both. Ha! (Facetious alert!). Ha!

          Cheers! Grati ;->


          • LOL, that’s what I loved about Iris Murdoch and John Bayley. It seems that they really enjoyed each others company and laughed a lot. I’ve always found that adorable. You are incrediby lucky :)


  4. bccmee says:

    Happy Leap Year Day! I understand what you mean about making your own ambiance. I’ve had the best meals with the best people, no matter the locale.


    • Happy Leap Year, Bccmee!
      Absolutely! Friends and loved ones always make gatherings special–and memorable.

      In college, the first time I made spaghetti I didn’t realize that you needed to season the tomato paste with spices–that was before prepared sauces. But, one of my friends ate three helpings any way. LOL! However, I have since learned how to make a very good spaghetti sauce from scratch. Ha!

      Cheers! Grati ;->


  5. fitzg says:

    Happy LeapYear also! Now if only my birthday were Feb.29, that would shave a few years off! What a nice, relaxed lunch that sounds! Good-oh!


  6. kathryngaul says:

    Hi, Grati,

    You are beautiful!!! And I love your hair long – it’s great! I am so pleased to know that you and your husband, and Angie and Benny, have such wonderful long-standing relationships….it restores my faith in marriage.

    I had lunch yesterday with the only man in my life – my son, Matthew (40)! Hehe,… I also have 2 “Little Men” – Bailey (6) in Oceanside, CA and Lachlan (2) in Canberra – so I’m a lucky old duck, really.

    I also like all your stories and look forward to reading more.

    Best wishes,



  7. Hi Kathryn,
    Giggles on the “beautiful”. As long as my hubby thinks so, that’s fine with me. Ha!

    And you sound very blessed, indeed, with your son and grandsons! Love takes many forms. And the love of a Mother and Grandmother–that you give to them and they give to you–is a gift to be cherished. Which you obviously do.

    Thanks also for your nice note about my stories. I will keep them coming.
    Cheers! Grati ;->


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