Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards! Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators will be voting on their “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode. We enjoy this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it, too! This week’s voting contributors are Dawn Woo, Traci Thompson, and Susan Jackson. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 6, Better to Marry Than to Burn are…
Dawn: The end of the bedroom scene between Jocasta and Murtaugh where he says: “I love you Jocasta Makenzie. The world may change but that will never change. I only wish I’d been brave enough to say it sooner.”
Traci: Tie between Wylie as the over-the-top foppish dandy & Jamie’s expressions while looking at Claire in the stable.
Susan: Roger finally doing something well, even if it was smoking out some bugs (and I like to think he learned about that from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s On the Banks of Plum Creek!).
Dawn: Roger to Brianna in the field smoking out the grasshoppers: “When your father left me in charge I thought I might have to mend a fence; wrangle the odd runaway cow. But no! I get a biblical plague!
Traci: Aside from Roger’s Biblical plague line, Jocasta: “Her bones may be there still, on the road, gone to dust, while I’ve sat here for thirty years, growing old in a palace made from the gold that took her from me…My blindness is punishment for leaving her, for not looking back.”
Susan: I guess we all liked Roger’s biblical plague line!
Dawn: Chris Donald/Phillip Wylie- I’m not sure anyone could play Phillip Wylie any creepier and over-the-top ridiculous! That face powder and mole!
Traci: Maria Doyle Kennedy, during Jocasta’s heartbreaking backstory.
Susan: MDK–that scene with her leaving Morna was a gut-wrencher. I did enjoy seeing the true Phillip Wylie come to life, however–CD does a wonderful job! He had Wylie’s creep level at the top!
Dawn: Opening scene where a man is getting his wig powdered and he puts a mask to his face…It shocked me how timely the mask was given the health crisis our world is in right now.
Traci: Jocasta leaving River Run to Jemmy after all – I wasn’t expecting that.
Susan: When Forbes told Bonnet about River Run being left to Jemmy.
Dawn: I would have to say when Brianna told Roger to “keep shoveling his shit.” It reminded me of the scene between Jamie and Geneva Dunsanny when she asked him what he was doing and he said, “shoveling shit”.
Traci: Just about everything Philip Wylie said or did in his scenes with Claire!
Susan: I loved seeing Wylie sitting down hard in the horse poo.
Dawn: Jocasta’s backstory and how it evolved into the bedroom scene with Murtaugh.
Traci: The ensemble of characters gathered again for a wedding, with the high point of the drama of Jocasta’s dilemma – I like the juxtaposition of “I shine not burn” with “better to marry than burn.”
Susan: Again, I finally felt like Roger was finding his place at the Ridge (though I would’ve like to have seen him enjoying the old music at Jocasta’s wedding like he did in the book).
Dawn: I’m missing Fergus. He seems to be just hanging around.
Traci: The rings and stable scenes. These were tricky scenes that needed to be handled carefully to work on screen, and aside from Sam Heughan’s great facial expressions, they unfortunately were nonsensical & very poorly done in my opinion.
Susan: Jocasta treating her hubby-to-be like a servant–he seemed to be really trying, but she sent him off with a wave of her hand. I felt she would’ve been nicer.
So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 506, Better to Marry Than to Burn. Leave it in the comments!
So, Sassenachs, are you ready for some more fun North Carolina history facts as they relate to Outlander Episodes 504 and 505? Well, I’ve been exploring and researching some things from the last two episodes. I’ll be honest, there’s so much to share I should have broken this into two posts but I didn’t start working on my research until this week. I’ll try to keep things as brief as possible with lots of links. Ready, set, go (or as the MacKenzies would say, Tulach Ard)!!
Perfume for Lizzie
In colonial America, perfumes would have been easily made concoctions made from a single herb or flower. Orange blossom, which is what Bree gave Lizzie in Episode 504, was very common. Some perfumes were imported from London to the colonies. Want to make your own orange blossom perfume? Check out this recipe from The Toilet of Flora published in London in 1779 by Pierre-Joseph Buc’hoz.
The Mysterious Coin
When Brianna finds the silver coin in Jemmy’s basket in Episode 504, my first thought was did it hold any meaning specifically related to Bonnet. She did turn the coin from front to back and we got a pretty good quick look at it. My grandson was into coin collecting a couple of years ago and I was intrigued by the discoveries he made. What better thing to do than put on my coin collecting hat to go searching for Jemmy’s mystery coin. I believe the coin is either a King George II Sixpence (1757) or a King George III Sixpence (1787). If it’s the former, King George is turned the wrong way. If it’s the latter, then that coin traveled through time to be in Jemmy’s basket in 1771. Take a look and tell me what you think.
It’s A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A...?
No, I don’t think Bree heard a woman screaming when she went out to get wood for the fire in Episode 504. I think that might have been a Carolina panther (or a painter, as the mountain folk call them). Take a listen to this YouTube video…
The panther in the YouTube video is a Florida panther, a very close cousin, but it sure sounds like what Bree heard, doesn’t it? The panther has been supposedly extinct in North Carolina since the early 1920’s but there have been many reported sightings in recent years. Does the panther still exist in North Carolina? Check out these articles and I’ll let you decide.
Who and what comprised the militia in Colonial North Carolina? This episode accurately portrays that militia members didn’t wear uniforms but dressed in their day to day clothing. For a look at what a member of the militia might have worn in the 18th century, check out “Building a 1750’s Militia Impression” by Fort Dobbs Historic Site in North Carolina. Also, the show got the age minimum for joining the militia right. Our friends at Alamance Battleground State Historic Site have shared that young men had to be 16 years of age of older to join the militia. Josiah will just have to wait a couple of years. For even more information on colonial militias in North Carolina, read this article.
Isaiah Morton from Granite Falls, NC
Fraser’s Ridge is a fictional place (gasp!) and so is the oft-mentioned Woolam’s Creek but Granite Falls is not. The love-smitten Isaiah Morton in Episode 504 hailed from Granite Falls, an actual location in Caldwell County, North Carolina. The town of Granite Falls itself wasn’t officially established until 1899 but don’t despair that the show writers got it wrong! Named for the falls and the granite boulders on Gunpowder Creek, this town does have plenty of 18th century history! Pioneer, Andrew Baird, established an iron works next to the creek in 1791. Find out more about Granite Falls, Caldwell County and other places to visit in the area here.
William Reed's Ordinary
Speaking of actual places, in Episode 505, Jamie found Colonel Knox at William Reed’s Ordinary in Hillsborough. I was thrilled to find that this establishment actually existed in Hillsborough as a tavern and place of lodging during the time of Jamie’s visit! William Reed’s Ordinary dates back to 1754 when it was built and it still stands today. From the Historical Society of Hillsborough’s Newsletter No. 31:
There are various references in early COURT MINUTES to William Reed’s dwelling house “near the Court House.” Reed and his wife, Elizabeth Douglas, were living in Orange County in December, 1752, when he was appointed deputy to William Churton, and in 1753 deputy clerk of the Court. In the COURT MINUTES Reed petitions for a license to keep an Ordinary or Tavern at his house on Lot 30. The dwelling house being located on “The GREATER KING STREET,” the Road to Halifax, and the old Indian Trading Path, was well-placed to be used as a tavern. DB No. 1 reveals that on Sept. 8, 1755, William Churton sells to William Reed, Tavernkeeper, “Two certain Lotts of Land (No. 30 and No. 40) in Corbinton on the north side of the great Street commonly called King Street, and a Lott (No. 29) on the West for the sum of 15 shillings for each Lott.” (Included in the deed is a provision for building within two years.)
C.J. Sauthior drew his map of Hillsborough in October, 1768, and on it, on lot 30 there is a dwelling house where the present house stands. There were two outbuildings behind the main house, and a garden to the East, where oral tradition says it stood within living memory. There seens to be a structure to the stream call the Still-house Branch running through the Western edge of lot 30. Very likely this was an early still-house to supply William Reed’s Tavern.
Here’s a picture of William Reed’s Tavern which stands at 157 E. King Street in Hillsborough. It is on Hillsborough’s self-guided walking tour and is now on my bucket list of places to see this year.
You might also be interested to know that the house is considered haunted. Plan your visit to Historic Hillsborough here.
What the heck is a chanterelle mushroom? That’s the question I found asking myself during Episode 505. Am I the only one who asked that question? Anyway, chanterelle mushrooms do grow in North Carolina and here are a couple of articles about them that you may find of interest.
The challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present.
I told you there was a lot to share. Wonderful history that changes the way we look at things – past and present. As I said in my last post, the history that Diana Gabaldon has revealed to me is astonishing! And I’m just beginning to learn all that there is to know. It is so much fun dissecting these episodes and learning things about my own state. I’m sure enjoying my self-imposed history project and I hope you are enjoying reading my discoveries.
Did you learn something you didn’t know before? Do you have something you’d like to share? If the answer to either question is yes, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Thank you so much for reading!!
Your History-Obsessed Outlander Friend (or is it Your Outlander- Obsessed History Friend),
Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards! Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators will be giving awards for different aspects from the latest Outlander episode. We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Stephanie Bryant and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 5, Perpetual Adoration are…
Mitzie: The appearance of the long awaited, theatrical debut of ADSO!!!!! That little bit of fluff has certainly stolen my heart since the teaser stills had been leaked last year!
Dawn W.: The scene between Jamie And Claire on the porch at the end where she is telling him about Graham Menzies and how she never would’ve found him if it hadn’t been the sequence of events that resulted from knowing him.
Stephanie: Definitely Graham Menzies, reminding her of so much she pushed away and left in the past. Bonus: Seeing wee Adso!
Nancy:The much anticipated appearance of the adorable Adso.
Mitzie: Cait has this one for me! She wore lots of hats this episode.
Dawn W.: It’s a tie: Roger and Claire.
Stephanie: Marsali and her expressive face!
Nancy: Both Cait and the actor playing Graham Menzies stood out to me in this episode. I do love when Cait does a voiceover of what Claire is thinking.
Mitzie: “Eureka”! It was so foreign to hear Marsali repeat it after Claire.
Dawn W.: The priest in the church to Claire: “No one’s lost who’s not forgotten.”
Stephanie: Mr. Menzies “You have Scottish blood running through you somewhere” Like he sensed something about her, awoke her from a dream.
Nancy: I liked Claire’s passage at the end where she talks of standing before God to ask him all her questions about the universe. “But I won’t ask about the nature of time because I’ve already lived it.”
Mitzie: Well, I totally didn’t see Jamie killing Knox so abruptly; with his bare hands. I didn’t expect Knox would live to a ripe old age, but thought the correspondence from Scotland would have been intercepted by Fergus and thus delayed Jamie’s forced hand and Knox’s demise to possibly a battle casualty. DANG! Jamie is going down a dark path!
Dawn W.: The manner in which the tonsillectomy was performed. It didn’t seem well thought out. Kezzie must have no gag reflex whatsoever!
Stephanie: The storyline going back and forth to her Boston days before she went to Scotland, the beginning of her return to Jamie. Bonus surprise to see Dr. Joe Abernathy!!
Nancy: Jamie’s choking Knox was shocking and a little “Mafiaesque”.
Mitzie: The only thing that somewhat chuckled me was Rogers remark to Claire about almost shooting her, but followed that he would have most likely missed. Oh, poor Roger.
Dawn W.: I agree with Mitzie. Claire surprising Roger in the woods. “I probably would’ve missed you, but still….”
Stephanie:The beginning of the episode with Claire and Marsali finally finding the penicillin….”EUREKA”
Nancy: I agree with Stephanie. Claire teaching Marsali to say, “Eureka”.
Mitzie: I thoroughly enjoyed all the flashbacks. From the collage of past season snippets to Claire’s days in Boston. It was neat seeing so many memorable moments from the past 4 ½ seasons threaded together in a handful of seconds. And then the addition of more insights from Claire’s Boston days to help us understand what really led her back to Scotland and then to Jamie was really nice to watch.
Dawn W.: I was really drawn to the whole conversation that Jamie and Knox had once the Ardsmuir papers arrived. I think I was ready for Jamie to take a stand for Murtaugh and be the real Jamie, the protector and leader of his family.
Stephanie: Jamie doing what he needed to do to protect his family. This was the Jamie we all know and love from Scotland.
Nancy: Again I liked Claire’s flashback to her days as a surgeon in the ‘60’s and her interaction with Graham Menzies, Joe Abernathy, and Briana. Something about Claire’s look reminds me of the movie, “Valley of the Dolls”. I also loved the opening and closing scenes with Claire seeking solace in the church sanctuary.
Mitzie: Knox’s death face. Wide eyed and gapping? Something about it didn’t seem right or natural.
Dawn W.: Claire using the hypodermic she brought back with her. Isn’t anyone wondering what that is or questioning it??
Stephanie: Didn’t care for Bree’s explanation of why she went to see Bonnett. It was lame in my opinion.
Nancy: Jamie’s killing of Knox. I know he’s killed in the past to keep Dougal from divulging his plans before Culloden, but he displayed more compassion and conflict of conscious shooting the nasty Mr. Beardsley than with choking Knox. It brought to mind the movie, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” where Tom Ripley killed anyone who discovered his secrets.
So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 503, Free Will. Leave it in the comments!
We got a glimpse of Claire’s “Big House” garden in episode 505, Perpetual Adoration! Tara Heller has some good advice about gardening as well as how to get a Colonial garden without going back in time to get it!
As we look toward Spring, one of the things we think about is planning a garden. A garden is a great way to limit your dependence on the grocery store during the Summer and early Fall months. In the past year, I have become more and more interested in how gardening was done in Colonial America. Do you have the same interest? Then read on…
Planning Your Garden
One of the first decisions you should make when constructing a garden is where you want it to be in relation to your home. If you are going to be using herbs regularly in cooking or medicinal purposes, your plot should be within close proximity to your back door. Map out how you want your garden to look. Figure out what herbs you want to grow; what will you be able to use in your household? Make sure you know your gardening zone because that will help you know what grows best in your neck of the woods. Don’t forget to plant something for the pollinators! Bees are important to gardening success, and, as we all know, will be a symbol for the upcoming Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. Planting native plants helps the pollinators in your region. Here is a great checklist for actions to take to attract pollinators to your yard. Consider adding companion flowers and herbs to your vegetables.
When selecting seeds, definitely check into heirloom seeds and heirloom starters. The reason for this is that they are good for seed-saving, unlike hybrid seeds. The seeds from an heirloom plant are closest to the original, and they tend to produce a better flavor and are more nutritious. Seeds for Generations sells heirloom seeds, and Johnny’s Selected seeds carries heirloom, organic, and open-pollinator seeds. Another great resource is the Seed Savers Exchange. This organization has not only heirloom vegetables but herbs and flowers, as well.
When you start to create your garden beds, keep in mind that the Colonials never used pesticides or chemicals. Their soil was what we’d now call organic. Nothing was wasted in the 18th century, and people used composted kitchen scraps and manure from their horses and cows to fertilize their plants. Many also had chickens that roamed free, and they enjoyed the bugs that they’d find on the garden plants. I started composting last year and while I am still a beginner, I have enjoyed re-purposing and not throwing out a lot of kitchen scraps.
Just a few of the plants Claire mentioned planting in her garden in A Breath of Snow and Ashes:
Three Lavender bushes
A dozen large peanut bushes
Lavender and rosemary should be cut in the morning, though, when the volatile oils have risen with the sun; it wasn’t as potent if taken later in the day.
Claire in ‘A Breath of Snow and Ashes’
Another plant Colonists grew was hemp. George Washington is documented as growing hemp. Fun Fact: the original US constitution is written on hemp paper! Hemp was used in making fabrics and other textiles. It was also used to make sails for ships, and the rope that hauled the sails.
A lot of the plants grown in the garden were used to make teas or tinctures, which was the easiest way to get medicine into a patient. This is how a lot of herbs were used to treat different ailments. It was important until the Townshend Taxation Act. Tea would have been shipped to London from China and would sit in the warehouse for years before being shipped to the colonists.
From the website tching.com, the types of tea that were dumped into the Boston Harbor: “Benjamin Woods Labaree’s The Boston Tea Party says the three tea ships contained 240 chests of Bohea, 15 of Congou, 10 of Souchong (all black teas), 60 of Singlo, and 15 of Hyson (both green teas). It may surprise you to know that green tea accounted for about 22% of the shipment’s total volume and 30% of the value. “
As mentioned in the first part of this series, Bee Balm was grown and used as an antimicrobial (not that they knew what that meant back then but Claire certainly did. However, they knew it had healing properties). Lemon Balm has calming properties and is helpful with insect bites. Echinacea (or coneflower) is anti-inflammatory and bees and butterflies love it. Basil is anti- inflammatory and anti-viral. You can use it in tea and cook with it. Lavender has antiseptic properties and helps with sleep.
Yarrow (often mentioned in the books) stops bleeding and is great for circulation. It is also drought-tolerant. Sadly, I’m sure it can’t relieve Droughtlander! The leaves and flowers are edible and can be used in salads. The leaves can be chewed to relieve a toothache. And get this, soldiers would carry dried yarrow leaves with them into battle to treat wounds! I’m sure Claire, Jamie, and Roger did just that! Made into salve, it has anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve arthritis. Rosehips are anti-inflammatory and can be used in facial moisturizers. Calendula is awesome too, as it can be added to salads and soups, and medicinally, it treats skin ailments, digestive issues, as well as women’s issues. The dried blossoms were also used to make dyes. It’s an easy plant to grow, because as the seed head dries, the plant reseeds itself.
Adding Character to Your Garden
After you have your plan down for plants and how you are constructing your garden beds, you can think about some of the architecture or borders for your garden. How about creating a place in your garden as a sanctuary for your own quiet place to unwind? Claire had a bench that Jamie made for her sitting in a corner of her garden where she could enjoy the shade:
I waved him to the little bench Jamie had made for me in a shady nook beneath a flowering dogwood that overhung the corner of the garden.
Claire from A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Many Colonial gardens had picket fencing or wattle fencing, because a fence was necessary for keeping animals from eating the plants and vegetables. While wattle fencing is probably cheaper, it is time-consuming. It is really cool and artistic-looking, however, and gives a rustic appearance to your garden. You can use the same method to create trellises for your climbing plants.
Garden decor wasn’t necessarily popular during the Colonial period–gardens were necessities, and, unless you were well off, statuary wasn’t a common site among the bee balm and mung beans! Today, we have so many options to add some whimsy to our garden; if you want to add some Outlander to your plot, you can create your own miniature standing stone circle, or add or make homes for garden faeries! Here is a directional sign that I made last year for my garden as a way to add a little Outlander.
Modern Day Home Apothecary
My herbalist friend has an amazing herb closet and stock. She was nice enough to allow me to share it with you.
For more fun, the Outlander Starz website has an interactive “Outlander Apothecary Cabinet” with herbs that Claire would have used–just scroll through the cabinet and when one of the herbs pops up, click on it to learn more. Check it out!
She Sells She Sheds…
Another fun structure I plan to add to my garden is a little She Shed. Would you consider Claire’s Surgery her She Shed?!? I tend to think so.
If you’re looking to create a historically accurate garden, or simply learn about the ways Colonials took care of their plants, Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Wayby historic gardener Wesley Greene is a great resource for Colonial gardening and practices. I hope this was helpful and can get you dreaming and brainstorming about starting your own Colonial-style garden like Claire. Come join me on Instagram as I plan to share my garden this year!
Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards! Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode. We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Susan Jackson, Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Stephanie Bryant, and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 4, The Company We Keep are…
Dawn W.: I love that they are focusing on Roger’s singing. It’s so much a part of him and it’s a huge part of what he has to offer at this point when he feels he doesn’t offer much.
Tara: The moment away from everyone that Jamie and Claire had after the dance,
Stephanie: I agree with Tara. That whole scene after the dance is the essence of Claire and Jamie’s love for each other!
Nancy: I liked Jamie’s dance. I knew it was coming this episode so I was especially waiting for it.
Susan: I enjoyed seeing Marsali and Bree alone together, and learning about their relationship’s dynamics. I like them being “friends,” in spite of how Laoghaire when ham on Bree when she figured out who she was.
Dawn W.: Ye want to tell me what kind of devil ye’re conjuring up?
Stephanie: “I have but no life but you Claire, but if you wanted another child, I thought perhaps I can give you one”
Nancy: When Roger tells Claire he doesn’t think Jamie respects him. Claire says, “He trusted you with the thing he loves the most.”
Susan: “Ye want to tell me what devil ye’re conjuring?”
Dawn W.: Claire
Stephanie: A tie between Sam and Cait. The scene again reminds me of the love we saw them show in the beginning of the series.
Nancy: I agree – Sam and Cait
Susan: The actor that plays the first Mr. Brown. If he was my daddy, I’d definitely be afraid of him.
Tara: I was freaked out for Bree and not being able to find Jemmy. Where was Old Man Bug? Have him go fetch you the wood Bree!
Stephanie: The blooming relationship between Marsali and Bree, look forward to seeing more of this.
Nancy: Jamie sending Roger back with Claire.I guess that means Jamie won’t be there to help Claire with the Beardsley’s tonsillectomies.
Susan: When Richard Brown got sassy w/ Jamie, throwing shade at him for allowing Claire to be sleeping out in the open w/ the rest of the crew.
Tara: “You move fast Mi’lord.”
Stephanie: The whisky calming down the Browns.
Dawn W.: I’m with Stephanie…the whisky being used to diffuse the situation with the Brown’s…and Roger’s reasoning as he tried to explain it to Jamie.
Nancy: Roger when he was signing up the Browns. When he gets to Abner, he interjects “Brown” before Abner says it.
Susan: When Fergus joked w/ Jamie about wee Bonnie.
Stephanie: Isaiah talking to Jamie and Roger about his love for Alicia. We understand how he felt because of their love for Claire and Bree.
Nancy: Jamie and Claire discussing keeping baby, “Bonnie” and their feelings on raising a child together. I love that Claire tells Jamie that she is happy with their life as it is now. Now that they are older they know exactly what they want in life and from each other.
Susan: I’m with Nancy on this one.
Dawn W.: I agree with this. They are in a different “season” of their marriage now and it’s ok to admit that you want to focus on your marriage and not so much raising small children.
Dawn W.: There wasn’t anything I disliked.
Tara: Nothing. This season has been stellar so far!
Stephanie: Not enough Fergus. Hopefully we will see more of him and his role expanded.
Nancy: I missed the part of the book where Jamie and Claire spend more time on the Ridge. Claire develops a form of penicillin and performs two tonsillectomies. I know it will be covered in the next episode, but I love seeing Jamie and Claire working together. I also love every time the whole gang is enjoying life on the Ridge.
Susan: I can understand Sam being a bit nervous about the sword dancing scene, because I’m not much of a dancer, but they could’ve used a dancing double and used them for some fancy footwork. I liked that scene in the book, and felt like Jamie kind of went home to the Highlands in his soul as he danced.