Reflections on Episode 116

I don’t usually post about the specific episodes on my blog because my point of view is going to differ from others because I am seeing the episodes from my own lens.  By nature, opinions are going to be subjective. I responded to a tweet last night right after I watched the episode, just finished watching, overcome with emotion. Want to say more, hopefully coherently, can’t right now. The tears didn’t start to flow until after I watched the entire episode.

Truthfully, I watched episode 115 two weeks ago with a Crown and Coke in my hand, tissues, and chocolate.  My husband also watched the episode with me.  For episode 116, not for any particular reason, I didn’t have any of those things.  I sat cross-legged on my bed watching the episode clutching a pillow in my lap, shouting, “No! No! No!” at my TV.

I expected to feel heartbroken, sadness, despair, and sympathy.  I did not expect to feel anger.  Anger at the characters, anger on behalf of the actors portraying the characters.  Anger at the show runners for making the decision to go as far as they went with the material.  I am still sitting with the anger.  I need to percolate about that more.

Through all of these emotions, I also could not help but feel proud of the actors and show runners.  I read the book three years ago.  I knew what was going to happen, what needed to happen.  I cried when I finished reading those chapters in the book.  When I started watching the show in August, I wondered how the actors were going to prepare for these episodes.  I don’t have any acting experience, I haven’t taken any drama classes, I don’t have any frame of reference, but I watched something so brave on my television screen last night.

My husband didn’t watch this episode, but asked me, “Are you so upset because it happened to Sam?  Would you be so upset if it was someone else playing Jamie?”  In answer to the first question, I said, “No. Yes.”  In answer to his second question, I said, “No.”  My hope is to explain coherently, so let me clarify.  I was so upset because it was happening to Jamie.  Sam is Jamie in this show.  Sam’s performance, not only the delivery of the dialogue, but the emotions conveyed on his face affected me so much that I couldn’t sleep for hours.  I don’t think another actor could have brought the sensitivity he brings to the material, so therefore in my opinion, no, I wouldn’t have been so gutted if another actor played those scenes.

Something that resonates with me about Sam as Jamie is the fact that he is a good listener.  Access Hollywood has done two interviews with or about Sam Heughan that are my favorite interviews that I have read or seen.  In the September 2014 interview with Jolie Lash, Sam says, “There was one show I was doing — there was a woman… she was a fantastic actress and she had a quite emotional scene and I used to go down like half an hour before my call and just sit in the wings and listen to her, and I’d love, somehow, the sound of people listening. There’s something about the silence of people listening to someone, or watching someone — I just… I love that.”  Read the entire interview at http://www.accesshollywood.com/outlander-getting-to-know-sam-heughan_article_99012.  Duncan Lacroix did an interview with Access Hollywood where he describes Sam, “He’s a very good actor at listening”.  Read more at http://www.accesshollywood.com/outlander-qanda-duncan-lacroix-on-murtagh-fitzgibbons-fraser_article_107390#BtlEVUxPI5rYHXhs.99. I feel this quality brought so much depth to those scenes.

I started to reread Outlander at the end of the first half of season one.  I still haven’t finished the book.  They have gotten married in my reread, and I thought about skipping to the Wentworth chapters to prepare myself.  I didn’t, but after I watched the show last night, I reread the last chapter, “From the Womb of the Earth”.

I am Catholic, again my lens, and I sat during Mass this morning thinking about the show and books.  Coincidentally, the Mass centered on the Feast of the Holy Trinity.  I was reminded of Diana Gabaldon’s piece “Jamie and the Rule of Three.”, http://www.dianagabaldon.com/other-projects/the-cannibals-art-how-writing-really-works/the-cannibals-art-jamie-and-the-rule-of-three/.  I was soothed as I thought of Jamie and his motivation for his actions.  The scenes in the show regarding Claire’s confession were beautiful to watch.  The message of second chances and redemption so powerful.  I was left feeling grateful and thankful.

I am grateful and thankful for a show and books so amazing that they make me think, feel, and try to empathize and sympathize with others and the challenges in their lives.  I will be thinking about episodes 115 and 116 for many days, weeks, and months to come.  I started writing this blog in October because I was inspired by the words in the books and the writing in the adaptation on the television screen.  I feel so appreciative of the journey that I have taken due the blog.  It is gratifying to stretch my brain in a different direction, and I am so thrilled about the opportunity to meet new people because of this experience.

Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, and Sam Heughan all deserve Emmys for their performances last night.  The whole cast and crew deserve Emmys for their work and dedication to the show.

Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jenny McOutlander – Facebook

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

sisterhood

I would like to thank Susan Kicklighter, my Twitter friend and writer, for tagging me for this Sisterhood Blog Hop. Check out Susan’s blog at http://www.writing4kix.tumblr.com, to find out more about her and the projects she’s working on.  Follow her on Twitter @writing4kix.

The rules for this blog hop are:

  • Link your blog back to the blogger who tagged you
  • Post the Sisterhood logo in your blog post
  • Answer the 10 questions you were asked
  • Nominate up to 10 bloggers to answer 10 questions of your choosing

I am thrilled that Susan tagged me for this blog hop.  I love to read, and I have been told I write a lot, and talk a lot.  My friends sometimes say, “Don’t get her started about books; she’ll go on and on.”  I pinned the picture below on Pinterest via Misty Star.  It can be found on http://www.eatsleepreadlove.wordpress.com.  I have been waiting for the right blog to post it.

eatsleepreadlove

Below are my answers to the questions Susan asked in her Sisterhood Blog Post. Enjoy!

1. What’s your least favorite book?

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is my least favorite book.  Callie discovers she is a hermaphrodite, and I felt that she was portrayed as a freak.  I wanted to know more of the history of her grandparents and the setting of the story as the author took us from the Ottoman Empire to Detroit and the Motor City.

2. What’s your favorite book from childhood?

There are so many it is hard to choose.  The ones that came to mind are Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart.  I read all four books in her Arthurian Saga.  The story continues with The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, and The Wicked Day.

3. What author(s) inspired you to become a writer?

I would like to thank Diana Gabaldon and the writers of the television series Outlander.  I started my blog because I was inspired by the Outlander book series and television series on Starz.  Reading is second nature, but it never occurred to me before October to write anything.

4. How do you feel about eBooks?

kindlebw kindlefire

I read books on my Kindle and “traditional” hardback and paperback copies. I think I have read more books because of the eBook format than I would have if I were reading only hand-held copies.  I could spend my whole paycheck on books. I have discovered new authors through the “Free Book” feature on Kindle.  However, I would like to offer some tips I’ve learned along the way as my Kindle is now a constant companion.

Pro Tip 1 – A Kindle Fire’s graphics are so much more detailed and prettier than the basic Kindle.  My husband received a Kindle Fire for his birthday one year, and I was happy with my original black and white version.  When I downloaded Accidentally Married…to a Vampire, by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, I honestly couldn’t see the thumbnail version of the picture on the cover.  My husband said, “What are you reading?” as he showed me a picture of a shirtless man who could be Fabio’s twin on his Kindle Fire.  Oops!

Pro Tip 2 – Do Not share a Kindle account with your husband.  Between vampires and grey silk ties, I answered the question, “What are you reading?” frequently.  Unfortunately, my husband’s device suffered an untimely death, not by my hands.  He chose not to replace his, and I am the proud owner of a Kindle Fire.

5. Are you a compulsive reader or do you take your time getting through the story?

When I read, I read every word.  I don’t usually skip ahead in the story.  If I’m really interested, I increase my pace.  I’ll reread if I think I missed something important.

6. Which book(s) have you reread the most?
I started rereading Outlander to get ready for the beginning of season 1B which will air April 4th on Starz.  I read the first three books in the series three years ago based on a friend’s recommendation.  I’ll reread in order before moving on to the rest of the series.  I’ve also reread all of the books in the Twilight series.  I really enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  I reread that book as soon as finished it the first time.

2014-Outlander-TV-cover-140x214

Twilight

TimeTravel

7. If you could live in any world depicted in a book, what would it be?

One choice would be 18th Century Scotland with Jamie Fraser.  As evidenced by my response to question 2, I would also like to be transported to Camelot.

8. If you could kiss any book character, who would it be?

Obviously, I would kiss Jamie Fraser.  I must quote Diana Gabaldon from Outlander, “Where did you learn to kiss like that?” I said, a little breathless. He grinned and pulled me close again.  “I said I was a virgin, not a monk,” he said, kissing me again. “If I find I need guidance, I’ll ask.” As Jamie is Claire’s, I am also intrigued by Eric Northman from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series.

9. Do you communicate with your favorite authors on Twitter?

I follow Diana Gabaldon, @Writer_DG, she is so witty.  I would also recommend following Denise Grover Swank, @DeniseMSwank.  I am a huge fan of her books, and was so surprised when she followed me back.  I’m always looking for new books to read so I follow several authors on Twitter.

10. If you could have dinner with four literary characters, who would you choose?

I would be thoroughly entertained at the dinner table if Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Skeeter from The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and Vivi Abbott Walker from The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells joined me for the evening.

I know I am only supposed to nominate 10 bloggers, but I now nominate any sister bloggers to join me in this Sisterhood blog hop by answering the questions above on their blogs. I love talking about books, and getting recommendations for new books to read.  I look forward to your responses!

Thanks for reading!

Jenny Mc

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Favorite Screen Characters Blog Hop

I met Susan Kicklighter through Twitter.  You can follow her @writing4kix.  We discovered a mutual love of the television series Outlander, and also determined that we both hail from the same part of the Sunshine State.  She tagged me in a Favorite Screen Characters Blog Hop.

For this quick, fun blog hop, you just name your 10 favorite characters from movies or TV, and then tag 10 friends to do the same!

This is Susan’s post, tmblr.co/ZUDCHn1dbMQZX.

I have so many favorite screen characters, but here is my list of ten in no particular order.

Jamie Fraser, Outlander

Claire Fraser, Outlander

Jaime and Claire

Joe Fox, You’ve Got Mail

Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail

you've got mail

Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones Diary

Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

sheldon

Rose Dewitt Bukater , Titanic

Jack Dawson , Titanic

titanic

David Addison, Moonlighting

Maddie Hayes, Moonlighting

moonlighting

I have really enjoyed reading the blog posts from the writers that Susan tagged, and I look forward to reading the posts from the friends I tagged as well.

I tag

Jen@OutlanderMusings, outlandermusings.wordpress.com

Norma D, thechurchofheughanology.wordpress.com

Vintage Chick/Melissa, melissasobservations.wordpress.com

Richard B, @OutmanderArtist

Alisa, findyoursparkle.org

Heughliots of AB, heughliots.wordpress.com

Julie, cookingjulesstyle.blogspot.com

Diane, outlanderdreaming.wordpress.com

Jenny Jeffries, outrageousoutlander.wordpress.com

Terri, terrizellerwallace.wordpress.com

As always, I look forward to your comments!

Jenny Mc

@OutlanderI

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Adventures of a Preschool Teaching My Peak Challenge Participant

I started writing this blog inspired by my BAM Strength Girls Day 19 work out. This teacher learned slacking off on BAM Change work outs is not advisable. I did complete the half jacks, climbers, jumping jacks, push-ups, plank jump-ins, jumping T’s, high knees, and alternate arm/leg raises. I wondered afterwards if I would be able to stand up after sitting in one of these teeny tiny chairs the next day at school.

yellowchair

The rainy day in Florida yesterday reminded me of other inside recess days at school. I’ll incorporate time travel into my own writing as I take you back to the Monday after My Peak Challenge Fitness Test #1 which as a conscientious My Peak Challenge participant; I completed Sunday evening.

On this fateful Monday morning, I’ve completed all 6 minutes 29 seconds of “Chicken Fat” routine with Bear Cubs when I realize I still have 14 minutes of recess time to kill, (“Chicken Fat”, Kimbo Records, 1961 with Robert Preston on vocals, http://youtu.be/af2j59zzX3Q). This particular video will educate as well as entertain. Some really interesting pictures in more ways than one.

chicken fat

I am very tempted to share this post with Henri le Worm as I describe next activity. It is called “Parade of Colors”. Hap Palmer’s classic song is featured in this link, http://youtu.be/lp5rJ2bgBuE.

parade of colors

If children’s music playlists are not your idea of fun, I’ll briefly describe. This listening activity requires each child to march around the room with a bean bag of the color of their choice. When their color is called, they follow directions in song and stand up or sit down. I also chose a bean bag and participated with the children. I’ll be honest, I did choose my color based on how many times the color chosen would require me to stand up and sit down. My quads were burning.

classroom rug

I co-teach with another teacher in the classroom. We are marching, music is playing, and we are listening for our color to be called. Mine is called, and I sit down, an audible groan passing my lips. I look up and catch the eye of my colleague who is trying to contain her laughter. I start laughing, and both of us dissolve into a fit of giggles. The children are clueless as to why we are laughing, “What’s so funny?”

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If you’re interested in yesterday’s rainy day recess activity, we had a dance party.  The children voted on the playlist which consisted of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, Baha Men “Who Let The Dogs Out”, and Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”.  I am working on my own playlist for the BAM Strength Girls “BooTEAlicious” January contest.  The details can be found in their blog, https://bamstrengthgirls.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/ruth-reveals-all/.  I’ll post mine here when I enter their contest.

Bear Strength is shipping first batch of pre-orders for My Peak Challenge Welcome Kits at the end of January.  On their Twitter page, these wonderful bears responded to a customer’s question about ordering the Welcome Kit in February, “You sure can.”  Smart bears.  Go check out their website for all the information, www.bearstrength.co.uk/index.php/mypeakchallenge.  You can follow them on Twitter @BearStrength.

MyPeakChallenge

Thank you again for reading!  I celebrated 300 plus followers on Twitter this week by giving a sneak peak behind the kilt.  The “J” stands for Jenny.  I look forward to seeing you on Twitter @jennymcinspired.  As always, I look forward to your comments!

J Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired

Peaks and Valleys

Thank you so much for your kind comments about the last blog post! Blogging is a new endeavor for me so I really appreciate your thoughts. I’m just an early forties woman having fun writing and now getting fit.

I started My Peak Challenge on January 1, 2015, and I’d like to share some of my own Peaks and Valleys from the first week.

Peak – I began the 30 Days of change with the BAM Strength Girls with the Day 1 Work Out on January 1st, and completed 5½ out of 7 daily workouts.   I say 5½ because I can’t in good conscience count the 10 minute Mickey Mousercise routine I did with my children in my class on Friday. You’d be surprised, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are really good instructors. I had a fun “shaking a tail feather” with Donald. “Ducks Dance Too” appears as the name of a track on the CD, I kid you not.

duckdancetoo

Valley – Wall Sits are not my friend. I would rather do Burpees than Wall Sits. You wouldn’t notice if I substituted something else for them, would you?

Peak – I put batteries back in my scale.

Valley – I stepped on the scale this morning, and I’ve gained 2 pounds. I will operate under the assumption that muscle mass weighs more than fat. Right???

Peak – My children are doing My Peak Challenge with me. I’m fortunate, they would rather be outside than anywhere else.  My daughter rode past me on her scooter, and said, “Look Mom, I’m doing my cardio!” It is gratifying to show them that good health and fitness should be a priority.

scooter

Valley – My daughter is quite the task master in the role of trainer. If you were a fly on the wall in my house, you would have heard, “You’re doing those Mountain Climbers wrong. You need to do them faster.” After Cross Climbers, I heard, “Ugh! Maybe you should just do something else.”

Overall, I experienced more highs than lows this week. My Salt Life Sassenach sister and I met three times, walking a 5K on two of those occasions. I found myself looking forward to the work outs. I loved reading all the encouragement from My Peak Challenge participants on Twitter and Facebook. You have all kept me motivated this week. Thank you!

My Peak Challenge Goals

  •  Complete the 30 Days of Change with the BAMStrength Girls, and stay in the habit of work outs.
  • Run a 5K.

Allow me to offer some background on my second goal. I don’t run. As a matter of fact, I usually tell people, “If you see me running, someone is chasing me.”  You are more likely to see me in a Zumba or a Yoga class. I figured it was time to try something new.

Thank you again for reading!  I am off to go back to the Bear Strength web site.  I discovered that even though I’m in Florida, I need a Bear Strength Hoody.  There was a light dusting of snow in my area.  Crazy!  Apparently, I also need to order my cubs/trainers My Peak Challenge gear, www.bearstrength.co.uk/index.php/mypeakchallenge.

141117-womens-pull-over-hood-'basic'                             MyPeakChallenge

As always, I look forward to your comments!

J Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

My Peak Challenge 2015

Happy New Year!  My New Year’s Resolution is to exercise more, (after I eat a traditional Southern meal of pork tenderloin, collard greens, black eyed peas, and corn bread.) Unless you count teaching four year olds, I have gotten out of the habit entirely.  My excuse has been that I don’t have time.  I think that as Moms we do tend to put ourselves last on the priority list.  A good friend of mine told me recently that if you give all of yourself away, you don’t have anything else to give to anyone.  With that thought in mind, I made a promise to myself to carve out time for exercise, to recharge.

You have probably figured out, dear reader, that I am a fan of Sam Heughan and Bear Strength Clothing Co.  My immense respect increased dramatically when they unveiled My Peak Challenge on December 28, 2014.  In collaboration with Fight Camp, they have created a program to motivate individuals to reach their personal goals while at the same time raising money for Beat Blood Cancer.  When you sign up, you receive information, Peak Gear, photos and a % of your purchase goes to charity.  It is explained so well at Bear Strength’s web site, www.bearstrength.co.uk/index.php/mypeakchallenge.

MyPeakChallenge

My Welcome Pack is ordered, and I am so excited to start my own challenge!  I have ordered a shirt and a vest in the past.  They are so soft! The web site, http://www.bearstrength.co.uk, is user friendly, and converts to US currency. They ship to the United States.  I had a wonderful experience the first time I ordered from the company.  They carry men’s women’s, and children’s apparel, with plans for #MyPeakChallenge merchandise for our bear cubs in the future.

shirtpeakchallenge  shirtpeakchallengemen's

I followed the BAM Strength Girls blog in December, www.bamstrengthgirls.wordpress.com, and am ready to jump in with both feet today.  The 30 Days of Change Challenge kicks off on January 1, 2015.  Follow them on Twitter, @BAMstrength; they are using the hash tag #BAMchange to track the fun.

I am also going to borrow the #Heughligans ‏@Heughligans  Twitter post from three days ago,

Follow: @MyPeakChallenge @BearStrength @F1ghtCamp & of course, @SamHeughan To reach YOUR peak. http://www.bearstrength.co.uk/index.php/mypeakchallenge … #MyPeakChallenge

You can also follow #MyPeakChallenge on Facebook and Instagram.

https://www.facebook.com/MyPeakChallenge?pnref=lhc – Facebook

http://instagram.com/MyPeakChallenge – Instagram

I was on Pinterest yesterday, and found some items posted by pinners when I searched “My Peak Challenge”.

I am proud to be repping Bear Strength in Florida.  Through the miracle of Twitter, I met an Outlander Fan that lives in my neighborhood, so I have my workout buddy, #MyPeakChallenge pack preordered, and Inspiration.

Timelapse Peak challenge 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd_kDBvdgTk

You might find some of our FL adventures by following RiverCity Sassenachs @saltlifesassies.

saltlife

I am going to have to think about posting pictures.  For now, I am very comfortable keeping myself covered in plaid.  I look forward to seeing and hearing from all of the #MyPeakChallenge participants!

Thanks again for reading!

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@jennymcinspired

Thoughts on The Outlander cast plays “This or That?”

In the #Outlanderofferings clip, The Outlander cast plays “This or That?” from Outlander Starz, Tobias Menzies says, “American football versus our football?” in response to football or basketball.

outlanderoffering   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKgTa7WDH-s

I have called the game with a brown and white oval ball American football in a previous blog.  My son calls the sport that he plays with the big round black and white ball soccer.  It makes me wonder how I should refer to the different sports.

football          soccerball

As a mother and part-time preschool teacher with a small amount of knowledge of PR, I multitask and integrate as much as possible.  I found myself at the Riverside Arts Market representing the Southern Women’s Show in October with my son.  (The Jacksonville 2015 show will be October 15th-18th.  For more information, go to http://southernshows.com/wja.)  I follow their Twitter account @SWSJacksonville for updates as well.

My son, who was wearing his Jacksonville Football Club jersey because we were going to his game directly following the market, happened to be standing next to me at the Southern Women’s Show table.  A very nice couple approached the table, and I prepared to give them information about the show.  The following conversation happened instead.

Nice man: Do you play football?

My son: soccer

Nice Man: football?

(My son looks at me questioningly)

Me: yes

Nice Man: Good for you!  I see your jersey.  What does it stand for?

My son: Jacksonville Football Club

Nice Man: (Showing us his hat) do you know about the Hull City Tigers?  They are playing Arsenal this week.  I’m sure you get a channel that will show the game, you should watch it. What position do you play?

My son: mostly defense

Nice Man:  (This is where I discovered just how seriously people in the UK take football.)  Keep playing…looking at me…it is so important that you support his playing.

Before I realize what he is doing; he takes out his wallet, and pulls out cash to make a donation to the JFC.  I thank him profusely, and explain that I can’t take his donation.  Because I suffer from Outlander Withdrawal, and have been striking up conversations with random people with accents, I ask him where he is from.  He and his wife are from England and are on holiday ending with a trip to Walt Disney World.

Hull City             arsenal

Now I am familiar with the Hull City, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Fulham teams.  The owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shad Khan, is the owner of Fulham FC. Jacksonville also has a new soccer team, Jacksonville Armada FC.  The team’s web site, www.armadafc.com, refers to the game they are playing as “soccer”, so I will do so as well.  I am thrilled that I am learning so much as a result of watching Outlander and starting a blog.

I discovered Jacksonville has a rugby team, the Axemen.  The only things I know about Rugby, I learned from reading the Escape to New Zealand book series by Rosalind James.  I would recommend reading the series, it felt like I was actually in New Zealand while reading her books.  My travel wish list now includes trips to Scotland and New Zealand.

Rosalind James

I still have questions.  My son is playing flag football during the winter.  It is non-tackle American football.  Players wear a belt with flags.  The defensive team removes the flags of the ball carrier.  I’m not sure what you would call that in the UK.  I also wonder what people think when the Jacksonville Jaguars play in London.

jaguarsuk

I really should have had my husband write this blog.  ESPN is on 24/7 at our house between my husband and son.  My husband is playing in a fantasy football league this season, so not only is the TV on, but he has commandeered our lap top.  I walked in the family room this afternoon, and asked, “Are you using the lap top?  I am thinking about working on a blog post.”  He says, “Can you give me 10 minutes?  The Fulham game will be over then and the lap top will be all yours.”

We have 14 weeks until April 4th.  I realized that the deadline for registration for Jacksonville Football Club for the recreational and developmental leagues is January 31, 2015 for spring.  Football and soccer games and practices should help to take my mind off of my Outlander Withdrawal.

Here is a list of Twitter accounts that I follow mentioned in this blog:

@RAMJacksonville – Riverside Arts Market Jacksonville

@SWSJacksonville – SWS Jacksonville

@JaguarsUK – Jaguars UK

@jaxaxemen – Jacksonville Axeman

@FulhamFC – Fulham Football Club

@JaxArmadaFC – Jacksonville Armada FC

@Outlander_Starz – Outlander

Thanks so much for reading!  Please let me know if you have any answers to my questions.

J Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@OutlanderI

12 Days of Christmas with an Outlander Twist

I had a very fun Twitter conversation today which became the inspiration for this short blog.  I am starting with the last verse of the song.  Be very grateful that it doesn’t come with my vocals.  😉

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Twelve Drummers drumming

Eleven Pipers piping

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Ten Plates for dinner

IMG_3216

Nine Shortbread cookies

IMG_3145

Eight TV episodes

Seven Sam Selfies

sam#1 sam#2 sam#3 Sam#4 sam#5 sam#6 sam#7

Six Plaid Pajamas

PJ

Five Golden Rings

Four Outlander books

IMG_3220 (2)

Three Ornaments

IMG_3221 (2) IMG_3172 (2) IMG_3171 (2)

Two Plaid tree skirts

and a Santa with a kilt and bagpipes

IMG_3194 (3)

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

J Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@OutlanderI

I’m Dreaming of a Plaid Christmas

Merry Christmas dear readers!  You already know I am a fanatic about Outlander, but I am also a Disney fanatic.  A Christmas tradition for my family is to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  We haven’t missed a year in twelve years.  Living in Florida makes it an easy trip.  We stay in one of the resorts on property, and spend two nights.  The event is a hard ticket event, meaning you pay extra for admission to the party.  We have learned over the years that although the party officially starts at 7:00 p.m., they will let you into the park with your ticket at 4:00 p.m.  The party ends at midnight so if you go in at 4:00, you still have eight hours in the Magic Kingdom.  We think of the party ticket as a “park ticket” for the day of the party.  My favorite part of the night is Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.  Characters from the movie Frozen made an appearance this year.  There are still tickets for the party available for the 18th of December.

IMG_3117 (2) IMG_3126 (2) IMG_3130

PhotoPass_Visiting_Epcot_7124069825 (1)

Me and Goofy

For our second day at Walt Disney World, we pick another park to enjoy.  This year, when my husband asked the kids what park they wanted to visit, they said, “I don’t know.”  I responded, “I want to go to Epcot.”  This Disney Park features a World Showcase which houses pavilions from 11 different countries; the United Kingdom is one destination.  I have never been to the United Kingdom, but while I wish for an adventure across the pond, I happily took in my experience at the World Showcase.  We didn’t eat in the UK pavilion this trip, but I have visited the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room, and listened to the Pub musician on previous visits.  There is also the Yorkshire County Fish Shop available as a more casual option. “British Revolution” was performing while we shopped.  At the “Crown and Crest” shop, they will frame your family’s crest and history.  My husband purchased one for his Dad several years ago.  In the past, I have also seen Scottish tartans and ties.  I didn’t see any this time, but I spotted shirts, beer steins, and mugs.

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The kids saw characters from Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, and Peter Pan.  As we walked through the United Kingdom, I asked my husband, “Where are the bagpipe players?”

M: I’ve never seen anybody playing bagpipes at the World Showcase.

Me: They used to stand in between the Canada Pavilion and the UK Pavilion.

M: Did you want to come to Epcot just to see men in kilts playing bagpipes?

Me: Well, that wasn’t the only reason.

I asked some of the cast members if they knew of any entertainers that played bagpipes, and they didn’t know of any either.  The cast members that work in the World Showcase at Epcot are from the country they represent.  The very nice people I spoke with weren’t from Scotland.  I enjoyed listening to some lovely English accents though.

At this point, I am starting to question my sanity.  Is my Outlander Withdrawal so severe that I am imagining Scottish Highlanders playing bagpipes at Epcot?

That night, I Googled “Epcot World Showcase Bagpipes”.  I didn’t tell my husband “I told you so”, but there have been bagpipe players at the World Showcase from 1983-2014.  In my research, I found a fun blog, http://www.yesterland.com. Werner Weiss is the curator of Yesterland.  The blog compares photos from 1983 to photos in the same pavilion in 2011.  I learned so much from reading his blog.  For example, in 1983, the group was called the Calendonian Bagpipe Trio.  The piper and singer Jamie Holton founded Off Kilter in 1997, and has performed at the Canada pavilion since 1990.  The photos below were taken by Werner Weiss, and originally appeared in his blog December 9, 2011.

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This made me wonder why the group performed in the Canada Pavilion.  Weiss answered my question in his blog, “When immigrants from Scotland settled in the country of Canada, they brought their culture—including kilts and bagpipes—with them. Canada at Epcot has had musicians with kilts and bagpipes since the park opened.”

Off Kilter’s last performance at the World Showcase was September 27, 2014.  I have lived in Florida since Epcot opened, and seen performances by the Calendonian Bagpipe Trio and Off Kilter.  I will definitely miss hearing the bagpipes as I walk around the World Showcase.  The band’s website is www.offkilter.net.  I also found an Off Kilter board on Pinterest, and am actually listening to Off Kilter as I type, very motivational.

A new musical group, the Scottish Musical Trio, a Celtic musical act, will be performing at the United Kingdom pavilion in the future.  I read an article in the Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/theme-park-rangers-blog/os-disney-ends-epcot-acts-off-kilter-20140828-post.html, with details.

We now have 16 weeks until Outlander returns on Starz.  Thank you for following this blog, and my Twitter account as I attempt to think of ways to pass the time until April 4, 2015!  Honestly, I was hoping to see men in kilts playing bagpipes at Epcot.  While I was disappointed, I did see some sights at Disney that reminded me of Scotland.

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This edition of Outlander Inspired took me longer to write.  I found myself absorbed by the blogs and web sites I was reading to research.  Here is a list of the ones I referenced:

http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/kilter-rocked-celtic-music-epcot

http://www.yesterland.com/wsthennow3.html

http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/guides/epcot/epws-uk.htm

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party/

I was also sucked in by Pinterest; I found the Off Kilter board which led me to these fun pictures.

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Minnie

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The above pic I found on Pinterest, and realized that it is via outlandishobservations.blogspot.com.  This is Gaelic for Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Thanks Outlandish Observations!

Thank you again for reading!  I look forward to hearing from you!

J Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@OutlanderI

Something for Everyone on your Christmas List Inspired by Outlander

I found lots of inspiration on http://www.outlanderstore.com.  I saw several items for my own Christmas List.  For friends and family, I’ll start with the most obvious. For the book lover on your list, I would most definitely recommend Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. There are now eight books in the series. I have multiple copies of the first three books with versions on my Kindle, iBooks, and in paperback. My local bookstores are Books a Million and Barnes and Noble. Diana autographs books at her local bookstore, The Poisoned Pen, www.poisonedpen.com. Diana’s web site is a great resource if you have questions, www.dianagabaldon.com.

If you are in the Cape Cod area, I discovered some fantastic bookstores on Chatham Island while I was on vacation. Where the Sidewalk Ends featured Outlander as a staff pick.

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For the music aficionados on your list, I would recommend the show’s theme song composed by Bear McCreary, “Outlander – Main Title Theme (Skye Boat Song) [feat. Raya Yarbrough]”. My other recommendation would be the album Unravelling by We Were Promised Jetpacks, FatCat Records, 2014. The group is based in Glasgow, and the alternative album is produced by Paul Savage. Both are already in my iTunes music library.

For the chef in your life, you can surprise them with A Taste of Outlander, by Theresa Carle-Sanders. She is professional chef and a huge fan of the Outlander book series. I have made Theresa’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe, and both of my picky children gave it a two thumbs up review. “Mom, you should make this again!” Information to purchase the cookbook is on her website, www.outlanderkitchen.com.

For the Exercise Enthusiast, I will direct you to Bear Strength Clothing Co. I have ordered a shirt and a vest, and they are so soft! The web site is user-friendly, and converts to US currency. You can find them at http://www.bearstrength.co.uk, and they ship to the United States. I had a wonderful experience the first time I ordered from the company. They carry men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel.

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I haven’t forgotten the children on your list. If a Scout Elf visits your house from the North Pole, Elf on the Shelf has designed a Tartan skirt and boots combination. This Claus Couture Collection piece can be found exclusively at Target.

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While shopping on Chatham Island, I stumbled upon the most adorable store. Ducks in the Window carries more rubber ducks than I have ever seen in one place.

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As you can see, a duck in a kilt is a must buy. It was the last one, so of course I bought him. I have also seen similar items on the Oriental Trading web site, www.orientaltrading.com.

For the fashionista, it can be tricky; however, plaid seems to be a safe choice. I don’t think it is just my selective attention at work here either. I am seeing plaid everywhere. These two items made it into my shopping cart at Target. Notice the teal and black, in honor of the Jacksonville Jaguars fans on the list.

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I found this Cashmink acrylic scarf at Stein Mart.

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If you are feeling brave, you could also visit www.auntmjcreations.com. The company makes hand-made ladies Celtic and Renaissance clothing. They are also coming out with a children’s line. I met some very nice representatives of the company at the Lannadoo Festival last weekend. My husband asked me what colors I preferred. He said, “If I am wearing my kilt to the NE FL Highland Games, you should also have something appropriate to wear.” I wouldn’t be surprised to find one of their creations under my tree.

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For the person who has everything, you might consider a subscription to Starz. I firmly believe the show Outlander is worth the price of subscription. If you have children, our cable bundle also includes the Starz Kids&Family Channel. We all enjoy watching movies together.

On a different note, look what I found while shopping at my school’s Used Book Sale.

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The second and third pictures are from the book, The Cooking of the British IslesThe Crofter and the Laird, by John McPhee, according to the description on the back of the book, “gives us a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides.”  My husband will thank me for this book about his clan that I never would have found if not for my “obsession”.

I’ve made shopping for me easy on my family considering I have already purchased most items on this list. I know all of you are on Santa’s Good List, I hope you find an Outlander Christmas under the tree! Happy Shopping!  We have 17 weeks until April 4th, and 26 shopping days until Christmas.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@jennymcinspired