All I want for Christmas is…Outlander


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So, Black Friday is looming and that means I need to start thinking about Christmas and what gifts I’ll be buying.  Cuz if I miss a deal on something I didn’t know I needed I’d be pretty upset!  So, I’m making a list and checking it…twice and then discussing it with my husband.  The following is a transcript of what I like to call the Great  Christmas fight.

ME:  I’m getting some great coupons in my inbox.

DH: It’s ridiculous. It gets worse every year!  We are just not going to buy anyone anything! Christmas isn’t about presents!  We buy them something they don’t need and they buy us something we don’t need!  Ridiculous!

ME: We have this conversation every year.  I LIKE giving gifts.  You suck the joy out of Christmas you…you…joy sucker!

DH: We aren’t doing it.

ME: You say that every year too and yet Christmas comes and there are presents under the tree.  Why do you bother to get worked up?

DH: mumble….mumble…commercialism…humbug…mumble


The only thing worse than the unneeded pressure my husband inflicts on the season is answering the dreaded “what do you want for Christmas” question.  I NEVER have an answer.  So, this year I was determined to be prepared!

DIL: What do you want for Xmas?

ME: A new Shark floor cleaner because my old one broke and a good saute’ pan!

DIL:  That is so boring.  What do want that is fun!?

ME: Sigh (so much for being prepared)…Let me think about it…

I’m terrible at this!  I don’t shop except for this time of year.  I can find things I like if I’m out there, but unless I see something…I can’t think of anything I need or want.  Luckily for me, middle granddaughter was over to the house and heard me sighing and made a suggestion with potential.

GD:  Isn’t there any Outlander stuff you want?

ME: (lighting up like the proverbial tree) Outlander? Yeah….Outlander… (now I’m rubbing my hands together like the Grinch) I LIKE Outlander!

So, I’m putting together an all Outlander all the time Christmas list.


  • A trip to Scotland with a tour of the Outlander studios (hey, go big or go home)

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  • signed first editions of all of the Outlander books


  • a script signed by oh….everybody 🙂

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  • Tickets to the next premier (whenever that is)


  • the official Caitriot plaid


  • an Outlander Wedding ring, this one that combines the series and the books!


  • A print by Frogirl@thenewredplaid or Elaine or…(there is a lot of really great stuff out there!)


  • These cuz Pop.Lander is a whimsical genius who made me want to play with dolls


  • And more hedgehogs cuz…well, just cuz one can never have too many  😉


Given that my children are not independently wealthy, I’m guessing I might have a fair shot at the last three and if #Outlander Starz would like to kick in a casting announcement that would just be the topper on my plaid themed Christmas!

Happy Holidays Outlander fanmily!

PS I thought of one more thing! At shirt designed by Terry that says “I spit on cute!” She knows why 😜!




Hedgehogs, Outlander and me…


This second installment of “Droughtlander” or as some of us long suffering fans call it “Withoutlander” has taught me a bit about how to deal with seriously delayed gratification.  I know that Spring 2016 is a long way off and I’m learning that it is okay to not check my Twitter and Facebook feeds everyday.  I know. It seems almost sacrilegious, but at this point in time, my fandom feels less like a religion and more like a hobby.  Which…would be the more normal level of involvement…I think.  I have discovered that if there is anything new happening folks will still be talking about it tomorrow so, I’m allowing myself to spend time on other pursuits like my family and job. I’m actually enjoying the world that isn’t delivered to me through some sort of hand-held device.  Contrary to my previous belief, there is a pretty good amount of things to do that don’t involve Outlander!  Who knew!

My family appears to be relieved that I have emerged from what they saw as walking zombie status.  I’m having conversations that don’t have the words; Sam, Cait, Jamie, Claire, Diana, Ron or Outlander.  However, when I WAS perusing Facebook yesterday, I saw a post that caused me to reflect on some of the permanent changes Outlander has brought to my life.  I have been known to say that Outlander has become my point of reference…all questions can be answered by an example from Outlander.  Thanks to DG there are some interesting metaphors and allusions to Outlander in my life.   I know that certain phrases, everyday objects, and animals have now become inexorably entwined with the story.  Here is the post that piqued my most recent reflection on Outlander’s influence in my life:

Well….I’m sure she received an adequate answer, I didn’t read the comments, but I answered this question in my own mind.  It was part of a scene Diana wrote of particularly playful sex between our beloved Jamie and Claire.  They were laughing in bed together and it signaled a change in their relationship. IMO, the intimacy was taken to a new level.  The scene was sexy and endearing.  It is one of my favorites and as a result, hedgehogs are now one of my favorite animals.  Before the wedding episode, I sent a litter of plushy hoglets out to fanmily across the country and Canada (hi @islandchickny ).  I was that sure the hedgehog line would make the cut in the Outlander on Starz writer’s room!  I got my quills in an uproar when I realized One Fine Day had become Both Sides Now!


I got over their faux pas and the omission hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for these cute little animals or the naughty little allusion they are to Outlander.  I have a few hedgehogs around the house and the family has noticed. In fact, the Granddaughters have bought me a few for my collection!

Like my new key ring


And my ALL TIME FAVORITE COFFEE MUG (I am the happiest coffee drinker you have ever seen)


The granddaughters of course have never read Outlander or the scene where Jamie decides to be a beast so,…they think Grammy likes hedgehogs cuz she’s old and old people collect figurines and stuff. Awkward.

And it would appear I’m not the only one who feels this way!  Twitter feed and Facebook are full of hedgehog related posts. In fact, I will be making these cookies


…and buying this t-shirt…


I’m seriously considering starting a campaign to make the hedgehog the official mascot of the Outlander fandom. I even found a great human sized hedgehog costume SOME lucky fan could wear at book signings, premiers, one of Terry Dresbach’s parties, etc…


#whatkindofbeastwouldyoulikemetobe #verycarefully

Hedgehogs aren’t the only things Oulander has imbued with special meaning.  Consider the lowly ear of corn.


Seriously! I can just see myself eating some corn on the cob, thinking of Dougal and then giggle snorting kernels out my nose!

These certainly aren’t the only two examples of Outlander’s influence (fish on a hook will never be the same for me) and I could go on, but I’ll leave you with this last image


P.S. When Roger is cast don’t be surprised when the word Vroom seems suddenly popular…just saying…




Let me set the scene. My husband,as you may know, was once a college football coach. Over the years, we moved around in a few states chasing his coaching dreams. One of those states was Pennsylvania. We were at this particular school for seven years and because of the perk of tuition remission, I got my college degree there. This school holds fond memories for me for reasons other than being my alma mater. I fondly remember our time there because of the friendships we formed with the coaching staff and their families.

College coaching consumes a lot of time and so the wives sort of banded together as a support system for the terminally neglected. It was either that or go everywhere and do everything alone. Actually, it was great having women who knew EXACTLY what you were going through as mentors and friends.

One the best times of our week was after a home football game. Everyone was ready to either celebrate or relax and commiserate before coaching meetings started again on Sunday night. No one in our group was getting rich (I didn’t say we were at a Division I school), so a lot of our entertainment was homegrown. We would take turns holding potlucks and BBQ’s at each other’s houses. There was lots of laughter, analyzing plays, telling tales and squeals of children playing kick the can. We enjoyed each other’s company.

Sometimes someone would attempt to ratchet up the fun by throwing an impromptu costume party. We would arrive at someone’s house and then be told we had one hour to go home and come back in costume. The fact that our testosterone driven football coaching husbands participated in this scenario speaks loudly to the security we felt in each other’s company or the power of the coaches’ wife. Either way, I’m so glad they did because we had a blast! Some of my favorite impromptu costumes had to be the totally politically incorrect and sacrilegious priest with a broken condom hanging out of his pocket and his partner the pregnant nun and the guy who came as a chef with an apron full of cooking utensils that he used to stir people’s drinks and pinch people’s posteriors.

I was fortunate enough to have a husband who was also a wrestling coach because his yellow singlet came in VERY handy in the ole impromptu costume making department! It was the center of two of our most creative costume masterpieces.

The first of the masterpieces involved the yellow singlet and a full length zipped to the chin bright blue robe. Luckily for me the children had been Smurfs for Halloween that year and I had a supply of blue face paint! So, in a moment of sheer brilliance, I put on the robe, painted my face blue and stuck a feather in my hair. Voila! The Indian Ocean!

My husband’s costume, however was not only brilliant, but appropriate for the day. The school’s mascot was a yellow jacket. With yellow singlet in hand we made him into a giant bee. We began the transformation by having him put on black sweatpants and a black hooded sweatshirt. Over this was placed the singlet. I fashioned antennae out one of our daughter’s headbands and pipe cleaners. I then stuffed the bum of the singlet with newspaper and attached a pipe cleaner designed “stinger”. The outfit was completed with the use of black electrical tape stripes and my husband’s promise to say “buzz buzz”.

The memory still brings a tear to my eye and a cockle warming to my heart,

The second time the singlet was used in the impromptu challenge it was paired with my use of a Hawaiian print shirt and glasses with an attached nose and mustache. Line dancing to country music was popular at the time and we were in possession of a belt with a very large buckle. Carrying the belt for inspiration, I scoured the kid’s room and I found a spray can of gold body glitter and the glasses with false mustache. I don’t know, but I found them and inspiration for a set of costumes complete with role play.

I became the manager of the big WWF wrestler called “THE GOLD NUGGET”. It was simple really. He put on the singlet. I sprayed him all over with gold glitter and created a championship belt out of foil and the Urban Cowboy belt and buckle. I wore a fedora with a press pass in the band and the tropical print shirt. We stopped at the drive-thru for a really big, really cheap cigar. I spent the night chewing on my cigar, challenging people to wrestling smackdowns in Cleveland on the 25th (seemed like a good day) and having my husband put people in head locks. Good times.

What we failed to appreciate then was that having a group of friends like this was rare. Since that time we have never had the pleasure of spending time with people with whom we felt so comfortable or with whom be had so much in common. They know who they are and if they read this. I miss you.