Grati’s Bucket List, 6/27/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #217)

Would that we could all be as contented with our lives as Richard Armitage expressed in his July 2011 Project Magazine interview as presented in the wallpaper I created [(1) above].  But this is a man who is living one of his dreams–portraying the lead role of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit films.  And dreams are important to have and to nurture.

Richard Armitage mentioned in his May 29th, 2011 thank you letter to his fans for their for Rise Up Christ Church Earthquake relief donations, that New Zealand was so fabulous that it has to be on people’s bucket list.  As in, what do you absolutely want to do before you die?  Here are RA’s exact words (thanks to RAOnline) [(2) below]:

“…So were are about to depart for our short hiatus and I will be sorry to say farewell to Wellington and NZ, one of the most exciting places I have been lucky enough to live and work, not just a magnificent landscape but a warm, friendly, generous and really cool community, which has welcomed us with open arms. Seriously this place has to go to the top of the Bucket List.

Much Love RA”

You might think that a bucket list is a maudlin topic for a Wednesday, but given that our seven year old dog Sophie had a reprieve from the “Rainbow Bridge” this week–if only for a little while–I am feeling hopeful.  Seriously, I thought today was going to be the day that we said our farewells.  She has a fast growing bone cancer of the upper jaw.  And contemplating someone’s passing–even if it is my doggie Sophie’s–makes me reflective about the next forty or so years of my own life.  I know, I know, if you have done the math on some of my statements  that I have made about my current age, you might think that I’m being overly optimistic.  But my grandmother lived to be 96.5 and her younger sister to be 101.  So that would put me at the 49 years to go timeframe.

Ooh, break out your calculators now to figure out my age.  But years ago, my husband encouraged me to celebrate the anniversary of my 35th birthday–dear man that he is.  So I do!  And recently, a medical professional thought that I looked 7 years younger than my age as she filled out a medical history form for me before a routine test.  Seriously, she was incredulous that I was my age.  I just smiled. I attribute my youthful appearance and attitude to good skin care (and sun  block), healthy eating, giving up smoking in 1985, being chubby smoothing out any wrinkles that lurk, and possessing a resourcefully positive outlook on life.  Hey, I was able to turn the sorrow of almost having to say farewell to Sophie today into the joy of getting to spend more time with her.  Snap!   So, let’s just say that my psyche and my body live in my early to mid forties somewhere.  It’s just those pesky official documents like drivers’ licenses that are annoyingly accurate with regard to my chronological age.  Ha!

And at my age–uh oh, now that phrasing makes me sound like my age, ha!–I’ve decided that if I want something badly enough, then I’m going for it.  And I’m not talking about material things.  Forget material things.  I don’t want anything new in our home that requires more effort to maintain than the benefit that it provides by its presence.  I don’t want to dust it or vaccum around it.  Well, I never will actually–those are my husband’s chores when he chooses to do them.  Although, he also has become an amazing dishwasher loader.  Snap! I know, I’m a surprisingly practical girl.   But life is short and why clutter it up with things?  Creating lasting memories and experiences are my goals.

So anyway, back to my bucket list [(3) right], in no particular order–but here are my wishes, hopes, and dreams:

1)        I plan to delightfully make love with my hubby quite frequently *wink* over the next 49 years.  Fooling around is something we never get tired of–and I hope that we never will. We will fall out of our side by side rocking chairs at the old folks home before we give up on love.  Ha!   And after twenty four years together–twenty two and a half of them as husband and wife–we only get bettah.  Remember, practice makes purrrrrfect!  And, making love is also a good aerobic work out.  Snap!

2)       If I could get myself and my husband on a plane again–or flying coffin as he refers to them, Ha!–I would love to travel and see the world.  New Zealand?  Sure.  But I think that England and Europe are a lot closer for us–and less water to travel over. *shivers*  But the thought of walking the land of my ancestors in England thrills me enough to get over my  disdain for flying.  One branch of my family emigrated to the U.S. in the 1700’s.  So my family has been here in the U.S. a very long time.  I would love to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace and take the tour?   And it would be wonderful to attend theatrical plays in the land of Shakespeare?  Heaven!  When my late aunt was in London twenty years ago, she had her picture taken next to a shop marquee with the name of her father on it  Though the shop had no connection to us, it still gave her and me goose bumps!  And then to romantically stroll through the streets of Paris–not to mention a trip to the Louvre–and other major European cities with my sweetheart by my side would be heavenly!  Parlez vous Francais?  Oui, je parle un peu.  But, we’ll have to win the lottery first.  Ha!  By the way, my French name in my high school and college French courses was Chantal.  Tres charmant, don’t you think?

3)       Adopt or foster a child–or both!  I might be getting around on a scooter chair by the time the kid would graduate from high school, but embarrassing one’s children is a parent’s/guardian’s raison d’etre.   See?  I’m still in Francais mode.  Ha!

4)       I want to be a published author and see my stories brought to life on film by some of my favorite actors–as noted in my dream cast suggestions for my stories.  Is it hubris for me to think that someone who works in the film industry somewhere might like to adapt one or more of my 50+ stories for film?  Absolutely.  But, I’m not delusional.  I just like to dream big.   Ha!

5)       I would love to meet my many friends that I’ve gained this past year through our mutual admiration of a certain Leicester Lad who turns 41 in August.  Some of these ladies don’t live too far away from me, so this goal might be quite easy to accomplish.

6)       I have a lovely navy satin cocktail dress with bolero jacket that I bought on closeout last year that would be delightful for a certain dressy special event coming up—-even though December winter weather will require me to wear a coat over it.  C’est la vie.   And though this dress is still two sizes too small for me–even with my weight loss–amazingly, I can actually put the dress on.  But I look like a blue sausage.  Ha!  Of course, if my far flung RA fangirl friends and I actually do try to get together and stand in the crowd to watch the red carpet entrance of this Leicester Lad fellow’s premiere of The Hobbit?  It being the first many major films he will surely be starring in.  I will be aflutter  standing way in the back of the crowd with my periscope so my short self can see over the crowd–even if it is to only see the back of his head.   Sighhhhhhh!

7)       But, I will also have to conquer my sometime shyness at meeting new people to get there.   When I’m in familiar surroundings and people I know and who know me–or the anonymity of my blog–I chat away happily like a magpie.  You can’t shut me up–as evidenced by some of my longer posts.  Would you believe that I was going to stop at a bucket list of 5 items?  Ha!  But when I meet new people, I am never quite certain of how they will react to me–my person that is.  You see, I am a person of a certain size.  I like to use the flower analogy.  My niece is a rose bud.  My sister is a bouquet.  And I?  Well, I am a garden.  And who doesn’t love a garden of flowers?  Ha!   But, sometimes people can be cruel.  It seems that making fun of fat people is supposedly the last acceptable prejudice.  Well, it’s not acceptable, people.  So that is one reason why step out of my comfort zone and I take my successful professional woman self and professional attire and I accept public appearance kinds of activities where I might be on stage announcing an award or something.  So that all the little fat girls out there growing up know that they are wonderful and special, they matter, and they can fulfill their dreams some day just like I am doing.  I am curvy womankind, hear me roar.  Ha!

8)       But seriously, I do need a new wardrobe to fit my slimmer body–but not slim [(4) right].   Okay, clothes are material thinks–literally.  Ha!  But with my weight loss the past two years–70 pounds and counting, and it is staying off–I’m going to run out of current style options even with having the seamstress alter my clothes to be smaller for me.   Folks, my sleep, sex, and Richard Armitage diet really works.  How you ask?  Well, I’m on a CPAP machine for sleep apnea and more restorative sleep means my body’s hormones for metabolism work better.  Snap!   Then there is the sex.  *blushes* Giggles!  And Richard Armitage?  What could a man who doesn’t know I exist have to do with my weight loss?  No, I’m not trying to get thin for him.  I will never get a chance to meet him–not even in my wildest fantasy.  No, it’s all of the writing that he inspires in me as my muse that I do now instead of snacking or even eating lunch.  Well, actually, having my gall bladder removed in 1999 lessened my interest in food since I have a sensitive tummy.  But, it wasn’t until that CPAP breathing machine that my weight loss took off.  I actually put on a form fitting flower pattern jeans jumper on Monday that I hadn’t been able to wear in twenty years!  But I can now.  Though, my girls seem to have grown since then–so the bodice is a bit tight on me.  So at least gravity and weight loss haven’t affected them too much. Ha!  Besides, I am never going to be considered thin–I will always be womanly curvy, zaftig.  And I am more than okay with that–healthy and happy at any size is my motto.   Snap!

9)       And, I will need to have the skin reduction surgery to accompany my weight loss.  If I had that surgery right now, I would probably drop another 30 to 50 pounds with the tummy tuck alone.   Snap!   Then there is the thighs tuck, upper arms tuck, neck tuck, and butt lift.  Actually, my butt is fine–just big.  Ha!  But, insurance only covers the tummy tuck part–known as an abdominoplasty.   So if my stories get picked up for the movies or tv, then I would have the money to do the rest of the surgeries.   Snap!  Snap!  Snap!  However, it is a more than a little daunting to think about having one’s body surgically altered–even when it is medically prescribed.  But it is in my future at some point.  I hope.

10)   Yet to be determined.  I am taking suggestions.

So!  What is on your bucket list?


(1)     Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield wallpaper was composited by me/Gratiana Lovelace from the following sources:  the Richard Armtiage portraying Thorin Oakenshield image is from the 4th Hobbit production video and was found at; and the Richard Armitage quote from the July 2011 Project Magazine article “World’s Tallest Dwarf” by Josh Woodfin and photo shoot was found at

(2)     Richard Armitage quote from his May 29, 2011 thank you letter to his fans for donations to the Rise Up Christ Church Earthquake relief appeal was found at

(3)     Grati’s bucket list graphic was created with images found at

(4)     I purposely chose the image of a curvy woman to represent Umay at 85 years old (22 in human years)–the Umay character is Thorin’s wife in my/ Grati’s fan fiction “Thorin’s Hope”.  The painting is by Titian and was  found at


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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14 Responses to Grati’s Bucket List, 6/27/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #217)

  1. kathryngaul says:

    Oh, Gratiana…you’ve lost 70lbs? Please tell me how you did it….I need encouragement to even get started on my very long road to a slimmer body. You have my email address ;)

    Now, I must read your post in detail – I’ve merely skimmed through it so far :)


    • Hi Kathryn,
      Like I said on the weight loss, it was a combination of eating healthily (fruits and vegetables, chicken, fish, and not too much beef, and chocolate for dessert each night, seriously) that keeps my diabetes in check, and then the CPAP breathing machine really turned the corner for me (no sleep = survival mode and the body saves carbs, restorative sleep = good hormones and my metabolism gets better at processing foods and I lost the weight), and my honey/hubby.

      Because of my arthritis, I can’t do strenuous exercises–I’m strictly low impact–lap swimming and bad golf. But with a pinched nerve in my neck and painful compressed disks in my lower back from a fall–I landed on my left hip, and bounced, Ha!–I haven’t even been able to do that. So I owe most of the weightloss to the CPAP machine–sleeping it off. Ha! But I do hope to get back to playing more bad golf this Summer, because I so enjoy the outdoors.

      So, run to your otolaryngologist or pulmonologist for a sleep study to see if you have sleep apnea, too. Before I had the CPAP breathing maching, I was waking up every hour coughing and getting little sleep and my throat was bone dry. In my sleep study, they said my airway closed 126 times an hour–that’s every 30 seconds. No wonder I was tired. Ha But I’m sleeping like a champ with the CPAP machine now. And the “Darth Vader” jokes from my bed mate have tapered off. Ha!
      Cheers! Grati ;->


      • kathryngaul says:

        Thank you, Grati. I haven’t been able to access my emails for hours and hours!

        You sound as though you have some of the same health issues as I have – arthritis, fibromyalgia (FMS), etc. I identify with your limitations when it comes to exercise! and I also have a sleep disorder which doctors haven’t been able to fix. My body doesn’t produce enough seretonin and then, in turn, nowhere near enough melatonin – this is due mainly to FMS. So I get very little sleep, too, and only in little bits and pieces spread over the entire night. I’ve had this problem for almost 20 years – you can imagine how tired and irritated and frustrated I get! :)

        Most people have absolutely no idea how much sleep affects our weight or our lives, do they?

        Because I’m single, I tend to consume too much fast food and that I know full well adds to my problems But it’s so hard to shop for, prepare and cook food when you suffering from chronic fatigue and severe muscle and bone pain – you tend to cut corners too often.

        I will take encouragement from the fact that you have similar struggles and yet have succeeded in losing weight! Congratulations. and “Thank you”


        • Ooh Kathryn,
          You sound like you have a lot to contend with. But we have to be our own best advocates when it comes to seeking medical help. It took a while for my doctors to figure things out. C’est la vie. So, hang in there and keep asking the doctors questions and prodding them to find answers. I always say that every day I’m vertical or moving is a victory. So remember to celebrate your victories big and small.
          And thanks for your kind words about my weight loss. I’m in a little plateau and need to find a new pool–they closed the YWCA pool that I used to go to–and play bad golf and such.
          Hoping you have a lovely and mild Winter–is that right?–where you are. We’re heading in to Summer.
          Cheers! Grati ;->


  2. kathryngaul says:

    oh, what happened to my ;) and my :)


  3. I love this list Gratiana! I am sure that you will make ALL your dreams come true! You deserve it! I’ve made the decision to try adoption after the summer. Unfortunately fostering is not an option, as much as I would love to. I was asked if I would be able to give a child back to the biological family, knowing that it had been abused there before. The answer was- No, I couldn’t. It would break me. You’d find me with the child on a ship to South America. My chances to adopt are slim to none. I’m a single woman living in a Catholic country. I could have children biologically. The odds are stacked so high against me, sometimes I can hardly see the goal. But then something inside me tells me that it’s worth trying. That there is a child out there that belongs to me, to my home, to my family. I’d much rather fail trying, than waking up one day and hate the fact that I never gave it a shot.


    • Hi Pin Up!
      Thanks for your very nice note! I’m sending all my good thoughts your way for your adoption goal!
      Years ago when Bill and I took the foster/adoption classes–before my Dad got sick and our focus became his care, so we had to set aside our dream of having a child–the mantra was that they “don’t find kids for families, they find families for kids”.
      So I hope that some kid finds you as its family.
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  4. bccmee says:

    My bucket list overfloweth! I’d first eat the fried chicken and then fill it with dreams.


    • Ha ha ha, Bccmee!
      Is that KFC chicken–original or crispy? But seriously, I hope that all of your dreams come true in spectacular fashion!
      You are such an original, creative, mentoring, giving, and caring person it is my great good fortune to count as my friend.
      Cheers! Love! Hugs! Grati ;->


  5. kathryngaul says:

    Oh, please, no talk of KFC, ladies……I simply adore my chicken and chippies! LOL
    I love your bucket list, Grati!!!! I sincerely hope you and Bccmee get a chance to meet up – 2 of my favourite bloggers and very creative people indeed..


  6. 6/28/12–I began my essay here with my new Thorin Wallpaper on purpose, since this post “spills into” Thorin Thursday.

    And I crave to hear a certain baritone sing this morning.

    So, here is the lovely Misty Mountains song video by Bcc Mee.

    Cheers! Grati ;->

    The Hobbit – Misty Mountain Song Music Video with Lyrics


  7. Pingback: Fun Day Sunday–Blessings Unbound, 8/19/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #253) | Something About Love (A)

  8. Hi there! This blog post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this
    post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


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