Saturday, October 31, 2015

Outlander Homepage Originals.         


Samhain...Not As Scary As Droughtlander
By Nancy M Guillory of OutlanderHomepage 

It's Halloween, and we've been suffering through the horror of "Droughtlander" for months, with several more months of this "Jamie-less" hell to go, but don't give up just yet. There is some hope to be had. Forget all the commercialism of the holiday, the costume and decoration contests, and participate as Jaime and his ancestor's might have by celebrating the fire feast Samhain (Sah-win).
Predominantly celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, Samhain along with Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh, comprises the four seasons of Gaelic festivals. Samhain marks the end of the harvest and the onset of winter. The Celts saw winter as a time of darkness, when the Goddess turned from maiden into crone, or Cailleach, the Old Hag, who devoured anything left living in the fields, hence, crops were gathered, cattle were driven down from summer pastures, a select number were then slaughtered for provisions during the season of cold and death This dark half of the year is considered by some to be the Celtic New Year, as it was often a time for reflection, as well as preparation for the coming spring, a time of rebirth, and renewal. In the four centuries after 43 A.D. of Roman rule, two of their festivals were incorporated into the Celtic rituals of Samhain. Feralia, observed in late October, commemorated the passing of the deceased. Honoring Pomona, Roman goddess of fruit and trees came next, her symbol being that of the apple. The centuries later tradition of bobbing, or as the Scots would say "dookin fer apples" is believed to have been derived from this.
Even after the advent of Christianity, these seasons of the Celtic wheel of the year were, and still are observed, Samhain beginning at sunset on October 31st, ending at sunset on November 1st, when the Catholic observances of All Saints and All Souls days followed seuit. Believed to be a liminal time, when the veil between the worlds thinned, and the spirits, or fairies could come through. In order to pacify these spirits, or Aos Si, to insure people and livestock survived the winter, gifts of food and drink were left out for them. Lost dead ancestors, and loved ones were also believed to visit their families during Samhain, and many people baked them "soul cakes" and held feasts at which a place was set for those long-lost. Some superstitious souls known as "guisers", disguised themselves to evade evil spirits,often going door to door gathering food items for the feast, threatening those who refused to give anything, with mischief and pranks.. Also, hollowing out, then carving a hideous face into a turnip, or neep, and illuminating it with a lighted candle was another method of warding off demons, both customs that have been adapted to our modern-day Halloween. Divination was also widely practiced at Samhain throughout the ages, where as apple peels were tossed over one's shoulder, the shape it landed in revealing the initial of the first name of a future spouse. (Recall a the Hogmanay celebration at the big house on Fraser's Ridge in The Fiery Cross")
Now, I can just envision a braw, wee, red-heided laddie, with his face all begrimed, bright blue eyes a sparkle with intended mischief, terrorizing the tenants of Lallybroch, in search of sweeties to placate any ghosties lurking about. Can't you? So, perhaps celebrating Halloween/Samhain Scottish style, might help ease your Droughtlander woe, and misery, as well as provide a glimpse of where it all began.Naturally, depending on your living arrangements, and location, bonfires ,herding livestock, and especially animal sacrifices, may not be feasible, the latter being vehemently discouraged. Dinna fash,! You already have the basics down pat, as carving pumpkins/turnips, lighting candles, and handing out treats to "guisers and mummers" is likely, old hat. Just add a few baked goodies aka soul cakes, set a place at the table in honor of dearly departed great auntie Bertha, or Grampa Jasper, and watch out for visitors from beyond the veil....Unless a tall, handsome Jacobite ghost, decked out in Fraser plaid appears.... Samhain Blessings

To read more fantastic articles at Nancyisms click here

Friday, October 30, 2015



Here are some Halloween-themed quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books and stories. Hope you enjoy them!

1) Roger's thoughts, on the eve of Claire's departure through the stones to find Jamie:

Hallowe'en had always seemed to him a restless night, alive with waking spirits. Tonight was even more so, with the knowledge of what would happen in the morning. The jack o'lantern on the desk grinned in anticipation, filling the room with the homely scent of baking pies.

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 22, "All Hallows' Eve". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

2) This is one of my favorites from AN ECHO IN THE BONE:

Now there was nothing out there but the black of a moonless Highland night. The sort of night when Christians stayed indoors and put holy water on the doorposts, because the things that walked the moors and the high places were not always holy.

(From AN ECHO IN THE BONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 72, "The Feast of All Saints". Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

3) Claire and Roger on Halloween night, 1968. If you're not familiar with the story Roger is referring to, look here.

"No, I never could sleep on All Hallows'. Not after all the stories my father told me; I always thought I could hear ghosts talking outside my window."

She smiled, coming into the firelight. "And what did they say?"

"'See'st thou this great gray head, with jaws which have no meat?' " Roger quoted. "You know the story? The little tailor who spent the night in a haunted church, and met the hungry ghost?"

"I do. I think if I'd heard that outside my window, I'd have spent the rest of the night hiding under the bedclothes."

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 22, "All Hallows' Eve". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

4) I couldn't resist including a bit of Duncan's ghost story here:

"He said it was a figure like a man, but with no body," Duncan said quietly. "All white, like as it might have been made of the mist. But wi' great holes where its eyes should be, and empty black, fit to draw the soul from his body with dread."

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 1, "A Hanging in Eden". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

5) Even wee Jemmy is affected by stories of "things that go bump in the night".

"Scared? Of what?" A little more gently, she pulled the shirt off over his head.

"The ghost."

"What ghost?" she asked warily, not sure yet how to handle this. She was aware that all of the slaves at River Run believed implicitly in ghosts, simply as a fact of life. So did virtually all of the Scottish settlers in Cross Creek, Campbelton, and the Ridge. And the Germans from Salem and Bethania. So, for that matter, did her own father. She could not simply inform Jem that there was no such thing as a ghost--particularly as she was not entirely convinced of that herself.

"Maighistear arsaidh's ghost," he said, looking up at her for the first time, his dark blue eyes troubled. "Josh says he's been walkin'."

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 99, "Old Master". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

6) Roger's father, Jerry MacKenzie, on a long-ago Halloween night:

“Damn,” said the fair one, softly. “There’s a light.”

There was; a single light, bobbing evenly over the ground, as it would if someone carried it. But look as he might, Jerry could see no one behind it, and a violent shiver ran over him.

“Uisge,” said the other man under his breath. Jerry knew that word well enough--spirit, it meant. And usually an ill-disposed one. A haunt.

“Aye, maybe.” The dark man’s voice was calm. “And maybe not. It’s Samhain, after all."

(From "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows", by Diana Gabaldon. Copyright© 2010 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

7) I don't care how many times I've read this, it still sends a chill up my spine, every time.

"You asked me, Captain, if I were a witch," I said, my voice low and steady. "I'll answer you now. Witch I am. Witch, and I curse you. You will marry, Captain, and your wife will bear a child, but you shall not live to see your firstborn. I curse you with knowledge, Jack Randall--I give you the hour of your death."

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 35, "Wentworth Prison". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

8) Lord John's encounter with a zombie:

Bloody hell, where was the man? If it was a man. For even as his mind reasserted its claim to reason, his more visceral faculties were recalling Rodrigo's parting statement: Zombie are dead people, sah. And whatever was here in the dark with him seemed to have been dead for several days, judging from its smell.

He could hear the rustling of something moving quietly toward him. Was it breathing? He couldn't tell, for the rasp of his own breath, harsh in his throat, and the blood-thick hammering of his heart in his ears.

(From "A Plague of Zombies" by Diana Gabaldon. Copyright© 2011 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

9) And finally, on a lighter note, here's Mandy, age three:

Mandy bounced a little on her booster seat, leaning to peer out the window. She was wearing the Halloween mask Bree had helped her make, this being a mouse princess: a mouse face drawn with crayons on a paper plate, with holes pierced for eyes and at either side for pink yarn ties, pink pipe cleaners glued on for whiskers, and a precarious small crown made with cardboard, more glue, and most of a bottle of gold glitter.

Scots celebrated Samhain with hollowed-out turnips with candles in them, but Brianna had wanted a slightly more festive tradition for her half-American children. The whole seat sparkled as though the car had been sprinkled with pixie dust.

(From WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 28, "Warmer, Colder". Copyright© 2014 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Happy Halloween / Samhain / All Hallows' Eve to all of you! If you happen to go near any stone circles in the next several days, be sure to carry a wee gemstone with you! You just never know what might happen.

Scottish Halloween traditions

By, Sarah Clark,


Of all the seasonal holidays, Halloween is one of my favourites. It might not have the spiritual significance or inspire the same giddy expectation as Christmas, but there’s just something about its macabre theatricality which never fails to bring out the big kid in me.

Massively popular in the United States and celebrated to a lesser extent in the UK and other countries in various ‘guises’ – excuse the pun – people are often unaware of the celebration’s strong Scottish connections. With its atmospheric landscape and array of haunted castles, peculiar superstitions and occasionally morbid history, it’s not surprising that Halloween first took root here. Take a look at some of the Vines in our fantastic ‘Spooky Scotland’ series to see just what we mean:

Halloween or Hallowe’en takes its name from All Hallows’ Eve, the night before the Christian festival of All Hallows or All Saints Day. But it’s possible to trace its beginnings back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (Samhuinn in Gaelic), held on 1 November, which marked the culmination of summer and the harvest period with the onset of winter. Robert Burns’ 1785 poem ‘Halloween’ details many of the national customs and legends surrounding the festival, many of them pagan in origin, which had persisted even with the advent of Christianity.

Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh | © Klara Osickova

Here are some other old fashioned Halloween traditions from Scotland that you might want to incorporate into your own festivities this year:

Fires and ‘neeps lanterns’ – To ward off potentially malevolent entities, large bonfires were lit in communities and it is believed that this practice survives today in the tradition of carving pumpkin lanterns with creepy grimaces. While the use of pumpkins is actually an American invention, in Scotland it has been custom to carve lanterns out of ‘neeps’ or turnips.

Carved Halloween pumpkins | © Jenifoto, Dollar Photo Club

Guising or ‘galoshin’ – Instead of trick-or-treating, children would literally disguise themselves as evil spirits by blackening their faces and dressing in old clothes to go guising. According to folklore, this was so that they could venture out safely without being detected by wicked ghouls. Guisers also couldn’t simply knock on the doors of their neighbours yelling ‘trick-or-treat’ and expect sweets in return. They had to perform a ‘trick’ first by reciting a song, poem or joke before being rewarded with goodies.

Dookin’ for apples – A staple of children’s Halloween parties across the country, this time-honoured game involves trying to grab apples floating in a tub of water using your mouth, with your hands tied behind your back. If you want to up the stakes have a go at catching them with a fork.

Treacle scones – Once again with your hands tied, this messy game challenges participants to take a bite out of treacle covered scones hanging from ropes.

Nut burning – Recently engaged? Find out if you and your beloved will live happily ever after. Toss a nut each into an open fire. If they quietly smolder amongst the flames your union will be a good one, but if they hiss and crackle you could be in for a bumpy ride!

Sausage rolls – The Witchcraft Act of 1735 forbid the consumption of pork pastries on Halloween. It wasn’t repealed until the 1950s and since then sausage rolls have been a popular treat at Halloween parties and gatherings.

The eerie Alloway Kirk in Ayrshire, scene of The Witches Dance in Tam O’ Shanter by Robert Burns

Check out the graphic below for some more unique Halloween traditions to inspire you this year.

Are you all set for Halloween this year or have anything special in store for your little ghosts and monsters? Let us know in the comments below or take a look at our helpful round-up of spooky family-friendly events and activities to see if there’s something happening near you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

An Artist was born!

Alex Oliver

Alex Oliver is an Artist from Barcelons Spain, She studied Bellas Artes at Universitat de Barcelona. Outlander fans love her work, and thankfully she loves OUTLANDER. Shes MYSTERIOUS that's for sure. We got an "ok", to do this feature from our facebook connection and the Artist said no more... Her work is beautifully done, visually stunning, and describes Jamie, Claire and the cast of Diana's books so well.

Of course there are some beautiful pieces missing, there are so many out there on the web, I couldn't fit them all.

For more click link to ALEX OLIVER









Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How well do you know Outlander series one?


Can you sing us a song of a lass that is gone? 

Take the quiz to find out...

Put your knowledge of the Scottish time travel drama to the test

Click here to take quiz
By Scotland Now

'Outlander' Book Series Author Reveals The Starz Cast Member She's Most Similar To, Talks Season 2

"Outlander" author Diana Gabaldon says she has more in common with Jamie than with Claire.

"He's more me than most of them," Gabaldon told Scotland Now. "I mean, they're all me when you come right down to it -- anybody in a book is a refraction, if not a reflection, of the author, including 'Black Jack' Randall -- but Jamie has a lot more of my innate background than Claire does."

She added, "Claire I identify with, certainly for the scientific aspect: the logical, competent, take charge kind of thing. And she has a great deal of my personality, including my talent for sarcasm. But Jamie has that love of family and that inborn sense of responsibility and entrenchment in his culture. And we're both Catholics and you can see how that informs his life and his decisions and his moral outlook on things, as well as his conviction that there are things that are his responsibility and he will not be swayed from them."

Fittingly, Gabaldon has a close relationship with Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie on Starz's "Outlander."

"The only [actor] who [talks to me about his character] routinely is Sam Heughan and I've known him since the moment he was cast," Gabaldon said. "I was very excited about his audition tape and I am on Twitter, so, [at the time], I took a quick look to see if he was on there as well and he was."

"We have very long, complex conversations on occasion -- other times, just a few words," Gabaldon revealed. "I did, though, talk with both Sam and Tobias at some length about the final episodes of Season 1, and the background and nature of the characters and their relationship there."

The second season of Starz's "Outlander" premieres in March. The show's creators, Gabaldon said, have "risen to the challenge" of adapting her novel "Dragonfly in Amber," which she called "a very complex book."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Healers and Herbalism of the 18th century

I was originally introduced to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series by a co-worker, that was an Herbalist. We were in a book club at the time and after a club night, we were all eating, drinking wine and talking when she mentioned to the others (there were actually 4 Herbalists in the room) that the new Diana Gabaldon book was coming out soon. I asked her what it was about and the room lit up. They told me it was a story about a women, from 1946, that falls through the standing stones and winds up in 1743 Scotland. They went on to say that she was an Herbalist/Medicine Women, and there were 2 books already out in the series. The book sounded right up my ally. I love history, magic, Celtic lore and holistic medicine, throw in a beautiful love affair and an unbreakable family connection and I was hooked. The next day I picked up a copy of Outlander and I've been a fan of the series and the author ever since.

Claire's knowledge of homeopathy was very interesting to me (at the time I was beginning my own journey into Herbalism, making my own remedies, tinctures and salves) and in 1743 most people had to have some knowledge of herbal remedies (they didn't have Doctor's offices or hospitals in rural Scotland).
For instance, if someone in a Highland household had a headache, they would pick House Leeks (which grew on most of the cottage roofs) and pound them into a poultice which was applied to the patients head.

Diana Gabaldon obviously does her research and has amazing advisers, the books are incredibly accurate and truly can transport the reader back in time.

By Kim Murphy-Winslow

(Spoilers from books 1 through 5.)



"Yes", she said, "Jamie's part of me. So are you." She touched Bree's face quick and light then turned half away, reaching to take down a dried bundle of Marjoriam from the array of hanging herbs on the beam above the hearth. "But neither of you is all of me," she said softly, back turned. "I am.....what I am. Doctor, nurse, healer, witch - whatever folk call it the name doesn't matter. I was born to be that; I will be that ''til I die. If I should lose you - or Jamie - I wouldn't be quite a whole person any longer, but I would still have that left."


I extended the incision, swished my fingers thoroughly in the disinfecting bowl, then put two fingers on the loop and pushed it gently upward. Myers moved in a sudden convulsion, nearly dislodging me, and just as suddenly relaxed. He tightened again, buttocks rising, and my assistants nearly lost their grip on his legs. “He’s waking up!” I shouted to Jamie, above the various cries of alarm. “Give him more, quick!” All my doubts about the use of alcohol as an anesthetic were being borne out, but it was too late to change my mind now. Jamie grasped the mountain man’s jaw, and squeezing open his mouth, dribbled whisky into it. Myers choked and spluttered and made noises like a drowning buffalo, but enough of the alcohol made it down his throat— the huge body relaxed . The mountain man subsided into mumbling immobility and then into long, wet, snuffling snores. I had managed to keep my fingers in place; there was more bleeding than I would have liked, but his struggles had not brought the herniated loop back down . I snatched a clean cloth soaked in brandy and blotted the site; yes, I could see the edge of the muscle layer; scrawny as Myers was, a thin layer of yellow fat lay under the skin, separating it from the dark red fibers below. I could feel the movement of his intestines as he breathed, the dark wet warmth of his body surrounding my gloveless fingers in that strange one-sided intimacy that is the surgeon’s realm. I closed my eyes and let all sense of urgency, all consciousness of the watching crowd drop away.
I breathed in slowly, matched my rhythm to the audible snores. Above the reek of brandy and the faintly nauseating aromas of food, I could smell the earthy odors of his body; stale sweat, grimed skin, a small tang of urine and the copper scent of blood. To another, they would have been offensive, but not to me, not now. This body was. No good, no bad, it simply was. I knew it, now; it was mine. They were all mine; the unconscious body in my hands, its secrets open to me; the men who held it, their eyes on me. It didn’t always happen, but when it did, the sensation was unforgettable; a synthesis of minds into a single organism. And as I took control of this organism, I became part of it, and lost myself. Time stopped. I was acutely aware of each movement, each breath, the tug and pull of the catgut sutures as I tightened the inguinal ring, but my hands did not belong to me. My voice was high and clear, giving directions instantly obeyed, and somewhere far away, a small watcher in my brain observed the progress of the operation with a remote sense of interest.


"He was wounded—we know that. Even if he escaped, there would have been" …no one to care for him.”Her voice caught slightly at that; she was a doctor now, had been a healer even then, twenty years before, when she had stepped through a circle of standing stones, and met destiny with James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.


“My wife was a healer. What they call in the Highlands a charmer, but more than that. She was a white lady— a wisewoman.” He glanced up briefly. “The word in Gaelic is ban-druidh; it also means witch.”“The white witch.” Grey also spoke softly, but excitement was thrumming through his blood. “So the man’s words referred to your wife?”



"It was clear that Geilie knew her business as an herbalist. The room was equipped with long drying frames netted with gauze, hooks above the small fireplace for heat-drying, and open shelves along the walls, drilled with holes to allow for air circulation. The air was thick with the delicious, spicy scent of drying basil, rosemary, and lavender". A surprisingly modern long counter ran along one side of the room, displaying a remarkable assortment of mortars, pestles, mixing bowls, and spoons, all immaculately clean. It was some time before Geilie appeared, flushed from climbing the stairs, but smiling in anticipation of a long afternoon of herb-pounding and gossip. It began to rain lightly, drops spattering the long casements, but a small fire was burning on the stillroom hearth, and it was very cozy".


The workroom was dark, but a faint, eerie violet glow hovered over the far end of the counter. There was an odd burnt smell in the room, that stung the back of my nose and made me sneeze. The faint metallic aftertaste in the back of my throat reminded me of a long-ago chemistry class. Quicksilver. Burning mercury. The vapor it gave off was not only eerily beautiful, but highly toxic as well. I snatched out a handkerchief and plastered it over my nose and mouth as I went toward the site of the violet glow. The lines of the pentacle had been charred into the wood of the counter. If she had used stones to mark a pattern, she had taken them with her, but she had left something else behind. The photograph was heavily singed at the edges, but the center was untouched. My heart gave a thump of shock. I seized the picture, clutching Brianna’s face to my chest with a mingled feeling of fury and panic. What did she mean by this— this desecration? It couldn’t have been meant as a gesture toward me or Jamie, for she could not have expected either of us ever to have seen it. It must be magic— or Geilie’s version of it.



Mrs. FitzGibbons was soon back, with an apron full of garlic bulbs , gauze bags of dried herbs, and torn strips of old linen. A small black iron kettle hung from one meaty arm, and she held a large demijohn of water as though it were so much goosedown. “Now then, m’ dear, what would ye have me do?” she said cheerfully. I set her to boiling water and peeling the cloves of garlic while I inspected the contents of the herb packets. There was the witch hazel I had asked for, boneset and comfrey for tea, and something I tentatively identified as cherry bark. “Painkiller,” I muttered happily, recollecting Mr. Crook explaining the uses of the barks and herbs we found. Good, we’d need that. I threw several cloves of peeled garlic into the boiling water with some of the witch hazel, then added the cloth strips to the mixture. The boneset, comfrey, and cherry bark were steeping in a small pan of hot water set by the fire. The preparations had steadied me a bit. If I didn’t know for certain where I was, or why I was there, at least I knew what to do for the next quarter of an hour. “Thank you … ah, Mrs. FitzGibbons,” I said respectfully. “I can manage now, if you have things to do.” The giant dame laughed, breasts heaving. “Ah, lass! There aye be things for me to do! I’ll send a bit o’ broth up for ye. Do ye call oot if ye need anything else.” She waddled to the door with surprising speed and disappeared on her rounds.


“Och, here ye are, lad! I see ye’ve found your healer already; perhaps I won’t be needed.” Mrs. FitzGibbons waddled through the narrow entrance to the courtyard, squeezing a bit. She held a tray with a few jars, a large bowl, and a clean linen towel. “I haven’t done anything but fetch some water,” I said. “I think he’s not badly hurt, but I’m not sure what we can do besides wash his face for him.”“Och, now, there’s always somethin’, always somethin’ that can be done,” she said comfortably. “That eye, now, lad, let’s have a look at that.” Jamie sat obligingly on the edge of the well, turning his face toward her. Pudgy fingers pressed gently on the purple swelling, leaving white depressions that faded quickly. “Still bleedin’ under the skin. Leeches will help, then.” She lifted the cover from the bowl, revealing several small dark sluglike objects, an inch or two long, covered with a disagreeable-looking liquid. Scooping out two of them, she pressed one to the flesh just under the brow bone and the other just below the eye. “See,” she explained to me, “once a bruise is set, like, leeches do ye no good. But where ye ha’ a swellin’ like this, as is still comin’ up, that means the blood is flowin’ under the skin, and leeches can pull it out.” I watched, fascinated and disgusted. “Doesn’t that hurt?” I asked Jamie. He shook his head, making the leeches bounce obscenely. “No. Feels a bit cold, is all.” Mrs. Fitz was busy with her jars and bottles. “Too many folk misuses leeches,” she instructed me. “They’re verra helpful sometimes, but ye must understand how. When ye use ’em on an old bruise, they just take healthy blood, and it does the bruise no good. Also ye must be careful not to use too many at a time; they’ll weaken someone as is verra ill or has lost blood already.” I listened respectfully, absorbing all this information, though I sincerely hoped I would never be asked to make use of it. “Now, lad , rinse your mouth wi’ this; ’twill cleanse the cuts and ease the pain. Willow-bark tea,” she explained in an aside to me, “wi’ a bit of ground orrisroot.” I nodded ; I recalled vaguely from a long-ago botany lecture hearing that willow bark in fact contained salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin.

“Won’t the willow bark increase the chance of bleeding?” I asked. Mrs. Fitz nodded approvingly. “Aye. It do sometimes. That’s why ye follow it wi’ a good handful of St. John’s wort soaked in vinegar; that stops bleedin’, if it’s gathered under a full moon and ground up well.” Jamie obediently swilled his mouth with the astringent solution, eyes watering at the sting of the aromatic vinegar. The leeches were fully engorged by now, swollen to four times their original size. The dark wrinkled skins were now stretched and shiny; they looked like rounded, polished stones. One leech dropped suddenly off, bouncing to the ground at my feet. Mrs. Fitz scooped it up deftly, bending easily despite her bulk, and dropped it back in the bowl. Grasping the other leech delicately just behind the jaws, she pulled gently, making the head stretch. “Ye don’t want to pull too hard, lass,” she said. “Sometimes they burst.” I shuddered involuntarily at the idea. “But if they’re nearly full, sometimes they’ll come off easy. If they don’t , just leave ’em be and they’ll fall off by themselves.” The leech did, in fact, let go easily, leaving a trickle of blood where it had been attached. I blotted the tiny wound with the corner of a towel dipped in the vinegar solution. To my surprise, the leeches had worked; the swelling was substantially reduced, and the eye was at least partially open, though the lid was still puffy. Mrs. Fitz examined it critically and decided against the use of another leech. “Ye’ll be a sight tomorrow, lad, and no mistake,” she said, shaking her head, “but at least ye’ll be able to see oot o’ that eye. What ye want now is a wee bit o’ raw meat on it, and a drop o’ broth wi’ ale in it, for strengthenin’ purposes. Come along to the kitchen in a bit, and I’ll find some for ye.” She scooped up her tray, pausing for a moment. “What ye did was kindly meant, lad. Laoghaire is my granddaughter, ye ken; I’ll thank ye for her. Though she had better thank ye herself, if she’s any manners at all.” She patted Jamie’s cheek, and padded heavily off. I examined him carefully; the archaic medical treatment had been surprisingly effective. The eye was still somewhat swollen, but only slightly discolored, and the cut through the lip was now a clean, bloodless line, only slightly darker than the surrounding tissue.

For a history lesson of European herbal medicine, going back to the ancient gods of Greek mythology, click this link THE HERBAL TRADITION:

Outlander's own Herbalist CLAIRE MACKAY's website:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Grant O’Rourke Wins Best Actor at CATS

Grant O’Rourke has won Best Male Actor at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland.

From The Herald Scotland:

The actor who plays Rupert in the popular television drama series scooped the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland accolade for his role in the Venetian Twins at the gala event at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh dominated the 2015 CATS awards with three different productions recognised.

The Venetian Twins and Bondagers picked up one award each while The Caucasian Chalk Circle garnered four awards.

O’Rourke won his first CATS award, while Bondagers picked up the Best Design Award.


With over 550 recipes, some with funny inside stories from DIANA GABALDON and GARY LEWIS just to name a few, fans will find a favorite dish to try out again and again. 

The cookbook will be available for purchase on NOVEMBER 12TH 2015 and pre-orders shipped on NOVEMBER 13TH 2015.

The recipes are so diverse, they range from simple to gourmet. Including vegan, paleo, gluten free. With a list of favorites from CAST, CREW and FANS alike, all who love everything OUTLANDER from across the globe. 

What to look forward to:
Main courses, (Seafood, Meats, Pastas)
Soups, Breads, 
Even mixed Drinks....

The hardworking women on this committee Chaired by Debra McGill @Debra_McGill and tech support by Bouton @Bouton_Barks who all helped make this recipe book a reality, have their own official Facebook page The Cooklander Group at Also a Website and on Twitter @Cooklander.  
They request that you visit or join their social media to see updates and related Cooklander posts.

The Best part of this entire project is that once All the books are sold, $15,000. will be DONATED to: @nphusa in honor of DIANA GABALDON @WChildCancer in honor of CAITRIONA BALFE and @Bloodwise_UK in honor of SAM HEUGHAN.

Absolutely Amazing Ladies, and I'm very proud that my husband Jaime has a Chicken recipe in the book....  


Click links for information on Charites: Diana Gabaldon Caitriona Balfe Sam Heughan 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

‘Outlander’ season 2 spoilers: Defusing the latest rumor

It’s been a little bit of time now since we’ve written about “Outlander,” but that is mostly because there has not been too much happening. Also, it has a thing or two to do with the fact that until recently, there have not been many bizarre stories that have spread around the internet like wildfire.

Now, let’s talk about the interesting case of Maeve Foley. The actress / dancer recently became the subject of rumors because of a number of reports and also a tweet from a crew member that was misinterpreted by many who thought it meant she was cast on the show. However, based on a comment from executive producer Maril Davis, it looks as though this is not actually the case, and there is no announcement coming up. Foley may have some sort of tie to production, but it’s not in the way that many first believed.

What makes this particular story even stranger is just how far some outlets out there have stretched this “casting.” We’ve even heard some questioning whether or not she could be playing Brianna. Our feeling is that whenever Starz and the producers have figured out the right person for that role, they will send out a press release in great fanfare. They won’t have it just fluttering around the rumor mill for some time.

In addition to the tweet below, Davis also tried to remind everyone that there are only a few select sources that you should go to for casting news.

We will admit that we’re a little surprised that Brianna has not been cast yet, which leads us to believe that unless they film all of our footage at once a little later in the season, it’s possible that she does not have that big a role through most of the episodes.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

‘Shiptober: What ‘Outlander’ season 2 could bring for Jamie, Claire

Mrs. Carter: ‘Shiptober is here!

For the first time, we’re going to spending some of this glorious month chronicling just what could be coming your way in terms of relationships for some of your favorite characters on TV, and we’re beginning today with what has to be one of the most beloved pairings out there: Jamie and Claire Fraser of “Outlander.”

Where we left off – At the end of season 1, the two characters departed on a boat to France. They were clearly together and on the same page; Claire opened up about her past (or is it her future?) to her husband, and he understood completely. They’ve already been through hell, and maybe someone even worse than the devil in Black Jack Randall. Given the events of the final two episodes of this tumultuous season, shouldn’t they be ready for everything at this point? You would surely hope so.

Also, Claire is pregnant! Book readers at least have a slight indication as to where this is going to go.

What lies ahead – The two in France will start to discover how their relationship functions in a very different environment. The Jacobite Rebellion is going to be playing out in terms of a major historical event. This will be a more political story than what we saw in season 1, which was a little more based on the violence and brutality of Scotland during this period.

Potential obstacles – Could a one-time love of Jamie’s in France start to cloud his emotions? There’s something to be said for circumstance serving as an assist for romance, and he and Claire were to a certain extent aided by having a sort of us-against-the-world mentality through the prison sequence in particular. They had to band together in order to help each other. Without these sort of pressures put upon them, will their love continue to prevail?

We feel like if you are entering this series as a non-book reader, one other concern you could have is Frank Randall. His intentions are certainly far better than his ancestor, but if he truly continues to believe that his wife is out there, he will have no idea that she has fallen for another man. He could be a dividing force almost on accident for the Jamie – Claire relationship.

Why the relationship will still grow stronger – Jamie is a proud man, and we have to think that having a child with Claire will further inspire him to be a better husband and a better man. He is also going to be in a position now where he needs to rely even more on his wife. She has the knowledge of history that could assist them through certain pitfalls, in addition to her training as a nurse. There are no more secrets; instead, there is a bond that travels between centuries. What more of an epic love story is there than this?

Depending on the couple, we’re going to end these ‘Shiptober articles with a poll asking you for your thoughts. This time around, it’s fairly simple: Will Jamie and Claire finish season 2 even stronger than they were at the end of season 1?