Outlander North Carolina

The Night Before Christmas
~A Fraser’s Ridge Story~

December 24, 2020

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Ridge

Not a Fraser was stirring, not even a midge.

In hopes that no patients would find their way there.

The wee bairns were nestled all snug in their beds

While visions of Cherry Bounce danced in their heads.

Had just settled themselves for a long winter’s frolic!

When at the Big House, there arose such a brattle

Jamie sprang from his bed, ready for battle.

While Jamie rushed out in the cold winter’s night!

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Set the Ridge and its dwellings all merrily aglow.

When what to Claire’s wondering eyes should she glance

She knew in a moment, it had to be Clarence.

More rapid than eagles, Jamie swirled to find Ian,

Then Marsali and Fergus, and said, “Are ye seein’?”:

“It’s Rupert! It’s Angus! It’s Murtagh Fitzgibbons!

To the steps of the porch, past the home of White Sow.

They slipped and they scurried, without taking a bow.

As turtle soup that before the hurricane simmers

When taken in plenty, makes hearts start to glimmer. 

So into the doorway, they fell two by two, 

Only to find in her way, that wicked Jack Randall.

As she drew back her hand, and was ready to smack

Who should appear in the hall but poor dear Roger Mac.

He was dressed in a nightshirt, from his neck to his knee

And his hair was all tousled from romping with Bree.

And he looked back at Claire as he saw her alarm.

Jack’s eyes – how they smouldered! His dimples, how icy!

His breath smelled like carrion! And his grin, it was dicey!

And with one shove from Claire, Black Jack landed in snow! 

The stump of a tree caught him full in the teeth

And Jamie finished him off with the knife from his sheath!

That stopped in a flash, with a sighting of Bonnet.

He was silent and swift, as he charged towards Himself

And Claire gasped when she saw him, in spite of Herself.

Jamie gave Claire to know Bonnett soon would not linger.

He spoke not a word, then he noticed a sway

Bonnet’s fate had been sealed by his friend, Lord John Grey!

Their joy changed to fright when they caught sight of Laoghaire!

They sprang to the house, to find Auntie Jocasta

With Jenny & Geillis, all playing Canasta!

As friends gathered round from upstairs and down,

And when they all sat with their bannocks and jam,

Ulysses offered a toast as they drank a wee dram.

And heard on the Ridge, were their voices so bright,

The Night Before Christmas ~ A Fraser’s Ridge Story is an original poem by Beth Pittman, written with a tremendous amount of inspiration from Clement C. Moore’s poem and Diana Gabaldon‘s wonderful cast of characters from the Outlander series of books.

For the past couple of Christmases, Beth has been wanting to re-work this poem with an Outlander theme but just couldn’t find the time. With this year’s pandemic and most of her Christmas shopping, wrapping and baking finished early, she was finally able to find the time. Beth hopes you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it! 

With that said, Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us at Outlander North Carolina! 

Outlander North Carolina

North Carolina’s Fraser Fir
America’s Christmas Tree

December 16, 2020

This post was previously published in December, 2017

THE STORY OF THE FRASER FIR

On a mountain somewhere in western North Carolina stands a tree. This tree is surrounded by others and like humans, some are a little taller, some a bit shorter, some a litter fatter and others a bit slimmer – but all have the same fragrant, blue-green needles and natural pyramid shape.

This tree began it’s life about 12 years ago as a seedling and at the ripe age of 4 was transplanted along with its kindred on the side of the mountain.

During the eight years (more or less) there, it has enjoyed beautiful vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, winter snows, spring rains, cool summer days and nights, and fall colors which would, if it were human, have taken its breath away.

Nearly 100 times each year, its owner has visited, inspected, and lovingly groomed it. And once a year, a swarm of ladybugs was released on it to eat the aphids which love to feast on it’s beauty and thus destroy it. Now, at approximately twelve years old, the tree stands 8 feet tall (it’s kindred at this age are anywhere from 6 to 10 feet tall).

The tree stands proud, sturdy and tall…and ready, at last, to fulfill its purpose for which it was planted 12 years ago. Yes, it is the year, that special year, when it will be chosen from among all the other trees by a family who will cut it and take it to its final home.  Some of it’s kindred will be cut by the farmer who owns them to be sent down the mountain to places near and far where their beauty will be displayed in a Christmas tree lot, there to wait patiently for a home. Once chosen, the tree will be adorned with glorious lights and decorations. Families and friends will gather ‘round it, beautifully wrapped gifts will be placed under it and there, in its final resting place, it will make glad the hearts of children and adults alike. This tree, America’s favorite Christmas tree and the state tree of North Carolina, is the Fraser Fir.

Choose & Cut – Ashe County. Poles are used to measure the trees which are sold by the foot.


Folks waiting in line to pick up their Frasers. Ashe County Choose & Cut. (Before the pandemic obviously. Remember the days when we didn’t have to socially distance or wear face masks?)


Our grandson has picked out his own Fraser Fir. He loves Frasers too!


My husband, grandson and me surrounded by Frasers.


Baled and stacked. Ready for the trip down the mountain!


Loading!


Loaded! Next stop is a Christmas tree lot near you! Usually no more than 600 to 800 trees can be loaded on a full-size tractor trailer.


Fraser Firs headed down the mountain.

The History of The Fraser Fir

The Fraser Fir is named for the Scottish botanist, John Fraser, who explored the North Carolina mountains in the late 18th century.  An excerpt from an article by Marcus B. Simpson in The American National Biography states the following,

“Fraser, John (1750 – 26 April 1811) was born in Tomnacross near Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire, Scotland, the son of Donald Fraser, a farmer and grounds officer of the Jacobite leader Simon Fraser, thirteenth* Lord Lovat. John Fraser’s mother was probably one Mary McLean of Cragganmore, Inverness-shire. Nothing is known of his childhood and education. In the 1770s, Fraser moved to London and established himself as a draper and hosier in Paradise Row, Chelsea, where he married Francis Shaw in 1778. The Frasers had two sons, John (baptized 1780), who accompanied his father on two collecting trips to North America, and James Thomas (baptized 1782), who helped manage the family’s botanical nursery in England in the 1800s….”.

John Fraser (1750 – 1811)

Abies frasieri (Fraser Fir), named for John Fraser, is native to the southeastern Appalachian Mountains.

John Fraser discovered the Fraser Fir while on a foraging expedition in North Carolina with the French botanist, André Michaux, in 1787. The story has it that after being together for so long, Michaux tired of Fraser’s incessant talking. When Michaux’s horse wandered off one night, he encouraged Fraser to continue on without him while he looked for the horse – an excuse to get away from Fraser (or to get Fraser away from him). That was Michaux’s biggest mistake because it was while John Fraser was foraging on his own that he discovered the fir, Abies fraseri (or Fraser Fir).

It makes sense to me that America’s favorite Christmas tree was discovered in North Carolina, the home of Fraser’s Ridge, by a Fraser. The tree that stands on the mountainside, proud, tall and strong, bringing beauty, love and joy to so many, could only be a Fraser!  So, this Christmas, as you stand around your own Fraser Fir singing Christmas carols, sipping eggnog or wassail, opening gifts, telling stories of Christmases past or just simply enjoying the beauty of this most wondrous tree, remember the name it carries is the same name that holds a special place in the heart of all Outlander fans – Fraser!  Je Suis Prest!  It is ready!  Merry Christmas to you all!!!

(Keep reading for more Fraser Fir facts!)

My Fraser – Before Picture!


My Fraser – After Picture.  Our Elf, Max, is hanging out at the top! He likes Frasers too! Well, who doesn’t?!?!

Fraser Fir Facts:

  • The Fraser Fir is native to North Carolina and only grows naturally in the Southern Appalachians.
  • The Fraser Fir can be successfully grown on land elevations exceeding 3000 feet above sea level making the mountains of North Carolina a perfect location.
  • On average, it takes 7 to 10 years in the field to produce a 6-7 foot Fraser Fir Christmas tree.
  • The Fraser Fir can reach a maximum height of 80 feet.
  • Over 50 million Fraser Firs are grown in North Carolina on 25,000 acres for use as Christmas trees, and the Fraser Fir represents over 90% of all the trees grown in North Carolina as Christmas trees.
  • The North Carolina Fraser Fir Christmas tree is the most popular Christmas tree in North America and is shipped into every state in the U.S. as well as the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Japan and other points all over the world.
  • Ashe County, North Carolina, is the largest Christmas tree producing county in the United States, with over 12,000 acres in production resulting in over 25 million trees.
  • Christmas trees in Ashe County provide enough daily oxygen for 216,000 people.
  • Cut trees are harvested in 3-6 weeks starting the first week of November. Trees are cut, carried from the field, baled by machine, hauled to a loading yard or storage area, and sorted by size.
  • In 2017, the high demand for Choose and Cut Fraser Firs exceeded the supply in Ashe County alone with many farms having to close earlier than anticipated.

*The reference to the 13th Lord of Lovat in the excerpt of the article by Marcus B. Simpson above appears to be a typographical error as it was the 11th Lord of Lovat (The Fox) who was the Jacobite leader. The 13th Lord of Lovat was not born until 1828 which would have been after the death of botanist, John Fraser. 

Droughtlander Outlander North Carolina The Droughtlander Diaries

Droughtlander Diaries

October 24, 2020

from the diaries of guest poster Dawn Woo

It’s been 5 months since we left Jamie and Claire standing on the porch of the big house on Fraser’s Ridge waiting on “the storm” to approach, both figuratively and literally. To add to our “40 years in the desert”, we are experiencing a pandemic that none of us thought would last this long. School was put on hold and it affected both part-time jobs I have:  coaching high school tennis and working for a historical company that does hands-on 18th century field days for elementary schools. I was left with a good bit of time on my hands. You know what they say about busy hands: “Busy hands are happy hands.”  I thought I would share with my Outlander North Carolina family some of the entries from my Droughtlander Diary. I hope your days have been as full as mine and you have come closer to your inner-Claire (or Jamie, of course).

July 20, 2020
Dear Diary,
I have my patio addition!
Jamie and Claire…..”Jamie stood in front of the new hearth, stretched out a hand to me, and drew me to stand by the hearthstone beside him.” (Drums of Autumn, chapter 19)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of the advantages to having 3 sons…two of which are in engineering…is that they can “engineer” things to great detail. I wanted a rock and slate patio to tie my existing patio to my deck and all three boys built it. My oldest son, Ben, helped me to design the patio and also served as supervisor to the crew. I served as design consultant. It was fun watching all three trench and level, build a stone border and lay pieces of big slate.

August 3, 2020
Dear Diary,
We decided to take a little trip to the mountains.
Jamie to Claire….”’How shall I tell ye what it is to feel the need of a place?’ he said softly. ‘The need of snow beneath my shoon. The breath of the mountains breathing their own breath in my nostrils as God gave to Adam…..’”  (Drums of Autumn, chapter 19)
We decided we needed to see the mountains for a few days so we headed to Northeast Tennessee, the West Highland Rim, with two of the four dogs in tow. On the way, we stopped in Valdese and met fellow ONC admin, Dawn Mathews and husband Steve, for lunch at JD’s Smokehouse. The food was just as I remembered from our Friday night BBQ dinner at Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming and the company was even better. 
Our rental home rested on the edge of the Wolf River with a great view of the river and a huge canyon wall from the back deck. We watched all types of wildlife throughout those few days. Our favorite was the family of mink that moved back and forth along the canyon wall at the river’s edge every morning.

August 15, 2020
Dear Diary,
I took time to sit and read a book.
Claire……”The breeze rose with the cooling of the day, and the fluttering leaves of the trees made the multiple shadows dance in the grass. I could easily imagine fairies on the hill, dancing with those shadows, threading through the slender trunks to blend into the depths of the wood.”  (Outlander, chapter 16)

Team Edward!

There are a certain species of mystical creatures that have always captured my attention in stories and those would be vampires. I had originally read all Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series and was excited to learn that she had finally finished the book that was leaked, Midnight Sun. It is basically Twilight from Edward’s point of view. (I’ve always been Team Edward).  It was an interesting book and I loved how Meyers got into Edward’s vampire head. There were a couple of spots, though, where I likened Edward’s constant brooding to William’s endless wandering in the Great Dismal – lol.

August 30, 2020
Dear Diary,
I have cooked and eaten and cooked and eaten.
Claire and Jamie…..” I poked him rudely in the ribs. ‘You’re much too fit. Most men in their forties have begun to go soft round the middle, And you haven’t a spare ounce on you.’ ‘That’s mostly because I havena got anyone to cook for me,’ he said ruefully. ‘If you ate in taverns all the time, ye wouldna be fat, either. Luckily, it looks as though ye eat regularly.’ He patted my bottom familiarly and then ducked, laughing, as I slapped at his hand.” (Voyager, chapter 25)
I had a full house this summer. All of my children were home, plus girlfriends, plus two dogs in addition to our two. Food is a central thought in the minds of 17-24 year olds, especially home cooked food and desserts. It was an absolute joy having all of those feet under our table from May to August, although I am wearing that “joy” around my middle in the form of a few extra pounds. So like Claire, we ate regularly and well.

September 1, 2020
Dear Diary,
There’s a reason it’s called “binge-watching.” You JUST. CANT. STOP!
Jamie meets George Washington…..”The man was as tall as Jamie himself, and Jamie found himself looking straight into sharp, gray-blue eyes that took his measure in the instant it took to shake hands. ‘George Washington,’ the man said. ‘Your servant, sir.’ ‘James Fraser,’ Jamie said, feeling mildly stunned. ‘Your….most obedient. Sir.’ (Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, chapter 10)
I decided to finally watch two series that originally aired on AMC, “Turn“ and “Hell on Wheels”.  I regretted not watching them years ago. “Turn” scratched that 18th century itch with George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the spy tactics used in the Revolutionary War. On the other hand, Cullen Bohannon in “Hell on Wheels” stepped up to the plate as pinch hitter for the king of men, Jamie Fraser, for a few weeks….although we all know that Jamie is a home run ALL day, EVERY day! The series was set post-Civil War against the backdrop of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. It, too, featured several historical figures.

September 15, 2020
Dear Diary,
I planted my garden in spring and fall.
Mrs. Fitz to Claire….”’Keep back a few heads,’ she advised me. ‘Divide ‘em and plant the bulbs single, one here and one there, all round the garden. Garlic keeps the wee bugs awa’ from the other plants. Onion and yarrow will do the same. And pinch the dead marigold heads, but keep them, they’re useful.'” (Outlander, chapter 6)
I planted my garden early and had to cover it with sheets several times to protect it from the cold. I put down tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, cabbage, purple hull peas, and the candy roasted squash seeds that Mary Helen Ellis gave us at Homecoming 2019. I also have a small established herb garden with rosemary, sage, cilantro, peppermint, and oregano. I was able to dry a lot of these for use this winter. 
My gardening did not stop with the end of summer. I planted a fall/winter garden for the first time. I have broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce. I’m seriously considering trying my hand at making sauerkraut when the fall cabbage crop comes in.

Some of my historical clothing pieces, including my woven tape, and upcycled pocket.

October 5, 2020
Dear Diary,
I hope my fellow ONC clan members have been able to channel their inner Claire or their inner Jamie. I’ve been as happy as the “white sow under the big house” sewing some 18th century garments, learning to tape weave, getting my hands dirty in the garden, and having “my clan” all around me on “my ridge” these past months.
I hope my fellow clan members’ Droughtlander has been happily busy and fruitful. I hope they’ve found pleasure in the everyday mundane that we sometimes take for granted.  As Jamie said to Claire, “The world and each day in it is a gift, mo chridhe-no matter what tomorrow may be.”  (The Fiery Cross, chapter 58)

18th Century Garden Plants A Breath of Snow And Ashes Droughtlander Guest Post Outlander North Carolina Uncategorized

The Droughtlander Diaries

September 9, 2020

Droughtlander Diaries: Tara

Well here we are, in the thick of Droughtlander. This time, it’s kind of like we are stuck in the desert alone without any water and none in sight. Luckily, when the ‘Stay At Home’ orders went in effect, we had a good two months, give or take, of episodes left. The “Outlander” cast and crew are projecting (and hoping) to go back to work in the Fall.

So as we head into the end of the Summer and approach Fall, let us, the Outlander North Carolina Admins, give you some ideas of what to do with your time. Here is what I have been doing…

Gardening Like Claire

If you haven’t read my ‘Gardening like it’s 1776’ post, head over there for some inspiration. One plant mentioned many times in the Outlander books is yarrow, and I grew some this year for the first time. This Spring, someone gave me some black beans to try called ‘Cherokee Trail of Tears Black Beans.’ They are heirloom seeds said to be taken with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Luckily, my husband made me lovely wood tuteurs, or trellises, because I needed them. The bean vines grew like wildfire, and I have been harvesting them like crazy! It’s so fun! Also, like Claire, I grew herbs like lavender, sage, oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary and parsley. I have already started harvesting bunches of them and drying them in my home. This Fall and Winter, I plan to dabble in making tinctures with the herbs as well.

Since I have been harvesting more this year, I wanted something to keep all the veggies without having to run into the house and grab a bowl. I found the idea of a ‘harvest apron’ while perusing Pinterest. My sister-in-law helped me make it, as I am not exactly skilled at using my sewing machine for such a detailed project. I picked a fabric print with bees since the new book is coming out soon and a yellow print to complement it. I love it! Now I have somewhere to put my garden scissors and cellphone if needed.

As I was writing this post, we wrapped up the start of what I hope becomes a vineyard at the back of our property which butts up against a farm field. It has been a dream of mine to have a vineyard ever since I visited the Williamsburg Winery back in 2007. I decided this was the year we would start one. We planted a Concord grape vine. Next year, I plan to add a white grape (or this year if I can still find one at a nursery). In addition, I decided to put two of our red raspberry and black raspberry bushes there.  I am looking forward to making jams, jellies, juice from the fruits, and wine from the grapes someday, and it’s so exciting to look out there and see vines growing!

While we are on the subject of making things...

…exciting plans to help a friend with 18th and 19th century reenacting this year were put to the side when COVID hit and all the events were cancelled. Coincidentally, my husband’s business got very busy and he needed more of my help. With that said, I had already made my 18th century skirt and apron. I’m halfway to having an outfit for next year’s Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming!

What I Am Reading and Watching

I have been re-reading/re-listening to A Breath of Snow and Ashes. There is soooo much I missed the first time around in my race to read through all the books. The book series These Highland Hills by Kathleen Morgan is another I’ve been dabbling in. A friend who is a fellow “Outlander” fan loaned them to me and thought I might like them. The story is set in the 1500s and has very old Scottish language so it takes some time to read. I was reminded of the movie Far and Away (have you heard of it? I’m astonished at how many people haven’t!). I borrowed the DVD from the library and my husband and I had a movie date. I have also started rewatches of “Poldark” and “TURN: Washington Spies.” Basically, anything to get my history fix, and a bit of romance, too. I’m just buying time until “Outlander” Season 5 comes out on DVD. I told my husband that’s part of my birthday present since it’s due to release September 15th.

Raising Quail

We recently started raising quail. Originally we were going to build a chicken coop and raise chickens. My oldest has been asking to do so for awhile now since my brother raises chickens and ducks, as well as homing pigeons in the past. He recently got some quail and thought it would be good for us to start out with for bird-raising since they are smaller, easier to care for and have less of a footprint. We’ve been enjoying it and plan to add to our flock when my brother hatches more.

DIY Queen

My hopes for creating a She Shed this Spring have been put on hold until at least the Spring of 2021. I also wanted to install a stock tank pool in our backyard, but everyone else must be as well, because stock tanks are hard to find! This Fall and Winter, I would like to put up a Colonial-inspired board and batten up in our dining area, adding pegs to hang my aprons and my herbs.

I thought I’d channel my inner Mrs. Bug and try brewing my own batch of cherry bounce! Several of us were brewing individual batches for Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming, but sadly, that won’t be happening this year, so I decided to bring a little bit of Homecoming to my house and brew it anyway! However, I chose to wait until at least New Year’s Eve to partake–I’m really looking forward to trying it!

Little brown jug of cherry bounce!

Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on what you can do while we wait for the next season (which sadly could be a year away).

What are you enjoying during Droughtlander?

Thank you so much for sharing all of your busyness, Tara! You have definitely made the most of your time during these warm months of Droughtlander!  Tara is also a My Peak Challenge member, and her Peaker story is one of the most-read posts on the blog–check it out!

Now, what Tara asked–what are you doing/watching/reading to get through Droughtlander? It better be plenty, because it looks like we have to wait a little longer. (Just remember the old “good things come to those who wait” logic to keep you sane!)

A Breath of Snow And Ashes Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5 Finale, “Never My Love”

May 16, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  It’s difficult to believe that season give is now behind us!  As we’ve been doing all season, 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, and hope you have enjoyed it as well! This week’s voting contributors are Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Nancy Roach, Stephanie Bryant, and Susan Jackson. So, without further ado, the winners for the Outlander season five finale, “Never My Love.”

Dawn: The iconic line from Jamie to Claire – “When the day shall come that we do part, if my last words are not ‘I love you’…you’ll ken it’s that I dinna have time.”

Nancy: I agree with Dawn.

Stephanie: Agree with everyone but add “Kill them all” as a close 2nd.

Mitzie: Agree with my ladies, by far, it’s when we finally got to hear Jamie utter those iconic words of “When the day shall come, that we do part… if my last words are not ‘I love you’ — ye ken it was because I didna have time”. Such a swoon worthy moment.

Susan: I have two–Jamie’s “…because I didna have time,” and when Claire answered Jamie with the single word, “Safe,” at the end. 

Dawn: This was such a ‘visual episode’ and so many great moments that made this episode what it was. I can’t choose just one great moment…it was Roger telling Jamie that he’d stand by his side; the image of Ian shaving his head and putting on the war paint (wasn’t he just stunning?); it was Jamie reaffirming her, ‘there’s just the two of us..you needn’t be cared”; Marsali telling Brown that he’d hurt HER family…..It’s all the moments that show the bonds, faithfulness, and loyalty of family.

Nancy: I loved the moment when Jamie and Claire are intertwined in the nude. Jamie seems to be cradling Claire as she tells him she feels safe. I understand from the script that they edited out a lot of the scene. I would love to see that additional footage.

Stephanie: All of the above, the whole episode actually!! The finale needed to be longer. Did love the show “kept on giving” after it was over,trying to figure out the all Easter Eggs.

Mitzie: I’m with Nancy. Seeing Claire and Jamie nakedly embraced in the end. It was very tastefully done and embodies such a beautiful moment that they were able to share with each after such a traumatic event.

Susan: I wanted to shout when Marsali jabbed that needle into Lionel Brown’s neck–loved it!

Dawn: Hands down….Caitriona Balfe

Nancy: This was Cait’s episode. She deserves an Emmy for her performance.

Stephanie: I can’t disagree.  Cait nailed it! She portrayed Claire in this episode equal parts strong and vulnerable. An Emmy is definitely in her future!

Mitzie: Cait better be penning her acceptance speech because this episode just earned her some serious accolades! Amazing job Caitriona!!!!

Susan: Caitriona was phenomenal in this episode–she deserves awards regardless, but if there was any doubt, there is none now.

Dawn: I think the most surprising moment was the choice for Marsali to be the one to kill Lionel Brown. When she held up that syringe, I was rooting for her to stick it in his neck.

Nancy: The most surprising moment for me was the ‘60’s montage. It was totally unexpected.

Stephanie: Bree/Roger time travel to nowhere was not a big surprise but highly anticipated, as we didn’t know definitely where they turned up. Hoping Roger would be there to help save Claire.

Mitzie: Dawn and I are on the same page with this one. Marsali taking it upon herself to rid themselves of Lionel, with a syringe of water hemlock, into the neck! DANG GIRL! She has just proven without a shadow of a doubt that she will stop at nothing to protect her family and it solidifies how she feels about Claire being very precious to her.

Susan: I’m with Nancy here–when I saw the record player, my first thought was that Bree and Roger really were sent ahead in time, but to the late 60’s/early 70’s. When I realized it was Claire and Jamie’s home, I was blown away.

Dawn: I really liked all of the ‘Easter Eggs’ in this episode….all of the lines and objects used. It was well thought out. I think it goes to show how deep and caring the writers are for DG’s material.

Nancy: I thought the effort the producers and actors made to display the rape scene with sensitivity was great. Reading many positive online comments from actual rape survivors, I think they really achieved their goal.

Stephanie: Marsali killing Lionel Brown. I mean she isn’t even from the future like Claire, where a woman could take a more assertive position to make her own decision, yet she had the courage to kill the old coot! Marsali’s a hero!

Mitzie: I really liked how Claire’s disassociation world was created. So much symbolism that I felt connected to a lot of the major moments from past seasons to the present but was still fully connected to Claire’s current situation. It was a very unique and creative idea and I really liked how it played out.

Susan: Lionel Brown getting his just desserts.

Dawn: I think the whole altered and premature storyline of Roger, Brianna, and Jemmy going back through the stones was just unnecessary. I just felt like it was obvious that they didn’t go anywhere.

Nancy: Like Dawn I found the failed attempt of the MacKenzies to go through the stones irritating. What a waste of time and gemstones!
I hate to admit when I first saw a stiff, creepy, manikin-like Claire in a red dress, staring at the abstract painting of the big house, I wanted to shout at the producers. But after reading posts and comments, listening to the after show producer discussion, and watching it a second time, I changed my mind. I saw that much research was done on the subject of rape to create a sensitive picture of this difficult subject matter. Then I had a good time going back to the scene and hunting for Easter eggs.

Stephanie: I was disappointed that they saved Lionel Brown to bring back in order to try to get information from him. I thought immediately “what information are you talking about Roger”? Then Jamie agreeing, after knowing what transpired. The “kill them all” should’ve included him too. Marsali killing him did make up for it though.

Mitzie: That this was the last episode of the season! BOO!!!! HISS!!!! GRRRR!!!!!

Susan: I feel like the whole Bree/Roger/Jemmy and “going home” was a waste of time that could’ve been devoted to something else.

Well, there you have it–our last ONC Admins Choice Awards for season five of Outlander! *insert Droughtlander tears* So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your votes for the finale episode!