Saturday, June 19, 2010

Memorial Donations for David Mosher

In lieu of flowers for David Mosher, his wife and family respectfully request that a donation be made in his name to the Ocean Conservancy. For those of you who knew Dave, and know Jennifer, you'll already know how much the ocean, scuba diving, and preservation mean to them. Even if you don't know them, now is the perfect time to donate in the continuous wake of the oil spill.
1. Go to the donation page for Ocean Conservancy (click here)
2. Choose a one time amount to donate or monthly donation
3. Fill out your applicable information
4. Click on the box next to "Yes, this is an honor or memorial gift."
5. Fill in the following information:
Honoree First Name: David
Honoree Last Name: Mosher
Notification Recipient Street 1: 5114 Echo Lane
Notification Recipient City: Pleasant View
Notification Recipient State/Province: choose Tennessee
Notification Recipient ZIP/Postal Code: 37146
You may write a message in the box provided
6. Fill out your credit card information
7. Click on "Donate Now"

I am working on getting a direct page made for Dave so you don't have to follow the instructions here. But for now, this is what we've got. I'm sorry if these instructions seem "dumbed down," but I'd rather give the baby steps than have folks confused. Thank you in advance for any donations made.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Farewell to Papa Bear

David Mosher- husband, father, respiratory therapist, scuba diver, friend.

My friend Jennifer Mosher lost her best friend and husband yesterday; a better match I've never seen. He was away on a scuba diving trip, and hadn't been feeling up to par for weeks now.

Words will not be sufficient for the way we're all feeling after this shocking loss. My heart is absolutely breaking for his family, but mostly for those two beautiful babies he left behind. Dawson and Abigail, I promise that your mother (and all of us who knew Dave) will keep him alive for you in our memories.

Jennifer, honey ... I have no words that will make the pain go away. God knows I would if I could. But I've got food and alcohol, and babysitting skills to boot, whenever you need them.

It's a surreal night here in the MICU. Too many times I've turned the corner to find someone wiping away tears, followed by a comforting hand on their shoulder.
Dave, you are missed, now and forever.
Rest in peace, Papa Bear.

"Of all the money that e`er I spent
I`ve spent it in good company
And all the harm that ever I did
Alas it was to none but me
And all I`ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can`t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

If I had money enough to spend
And leisure to sit awhile
There is a fair maid in the town
That sorely has my heart beguiled
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips
I own she has my heart enthralled
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades that e`er I had
They`re sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e`er I had

They`d wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I`ll gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be with you all."

--The Clancy Brothers

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Royal Mile and other Outlander hotspots

May 23: It was a late start today. We all met up at Holyrood Palace only to find it was closed for the Queen. Well, isn't that just the piss in my Cornflakes. How dare she mess up our vacation! Oh well. As my grandfather used to say, "you can wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first."

We got to see Boyd's White Horse, Carubber's Close, Canongate Kirkyard, and ate a PB&J sandwich right where Claire would've sat at the fountain (we didn't litter though). It was really great to walk around Edinburgh, see the lay of the land, and then apply it to our vast Outlander imaginings. We walked down to World's End, had a pint, and saw the trap door behind the bar. Scot asked the bartender if they had any hidden Chinamen down there... to which she gave a confused "no."
Right: Boyd's/Canongate
I can just see Colum and Angus waiting for Jamie and Claire. I doubt they had such fine weather though.
Below: World's End group photo

After a quick lunch we had a few moments to stroll around the Mile. I scouted tattoo shops while the others met up for a pint.

Scott and John were gracious volunteers for a pre-ghost tour show. They where punished for speaking publicly against the king. One lost an ear and the other his tongue. Both were good sports about it. The tour took us underground to the places where Jamie and his smuggling friends would've hidden their contraband. I'd post pictures but they really didn't come out all that well.
Back to Ensign Ewarts for a few pints before dinner. Conveniently located across the street was a cute little store called Ness. Great clothes and purses. We (the ladies) all bought something. Dinner was French cuisine at Petit Paris-good wine, good food, and great company. Yet another bittersweet moment-our last hoo-rah as a group. Sam and Scot did such a great job finding all these places throughout Scotland that fit the descriptions in the books. Their attention to detail is much appreciated, and we are glad our hosts put the time and effort into it. It showed!
(Above: John and Scot @ Ensign Ewarts, discussing music I'm sure; sign in the ladies room to ward off drunkards) (Below: Last group pic @ Petit Paris; Scot & Sam-our amazing tour guides)
So we, the six founding members of the "Grain Tour 2010," strolled off in search of more ale. We ended up at the same place John and I'd found Brenda & Jenn the night before. Everyone is exhausted and a little depressed about ending our trip. I've really enjoyed my time with Brenda and Jenn, and hopefully this won't be the last we see of each other. But all good things must come to an end....whoever started that line was an asshole. I don't want good things to end :(

May 24: Tattoos and shopping! I got to Studio XIII Gallery at 10:15-right on time for my appointment. David (Italian artist who did my tattoo) got there shortly after and sketched up my design based on the one I'd left the day before. It was perfect. John, Erin, and Scott went shopping while I got inked. After I was done, we all went across the street to World's End for ales...what else? They didn't name it the "Grain Tour" for nothing. (Pics:before, during, and after)
Our goodbye was tearful, but plans were made for Scotland themed parties in the future involving Scotch whisky and looking through pictures...and probably a game of "That's what she said."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Craig na dun, Ardsmuir, Edradour, Lallybroch, Edinburgh Castle

May 21: Well, the morning after dawned on the six of us, who may or may not still be slightly drunk. After an elaborate breakfast, we packed up the van and took group pictures in front of the castle. What a night-even though somewhat blurry, it's one we won't be forgetting anytime soon.

Clava Cairns was eerie. You see these rock mounds that are thousands of years old, and were designed to coincide with the winter solstice-more accurately than modern technology too. All us girls got a picture "going through" the stones before we went off to our next destination....
Ardsmuir, or Ruthven Barracks in real life, like so many other structures we've seen so far, had no roof. If you had no roof, you paid no taxes. Guarding the "prison" were two Highland Cows (pronounced hee-lan coo). Very docile animals, in fact-one was eating while lying down. It's fairly close to what we all were feeling. But, we marched on...back to Pitlochry.
Our first stop-Edradour Distillery, the smallest one in Scotland. We'd already heard of it at our whisky tasting back in February though. The tour was 40 minutes long but felt like hours in the warm sunny weather. A quick stop through the gift shop and I acquired two bottles of single malt (Bowmore and Bruichladdich-both 19 years) to take home.
We hiked back on a beautiful trail to our B&B (Gerry and Janice again) and changed clothes for dinner. All of us are exhausted, and settled for the first place we came to. Dinner and ales consumed, we headed back to the B&B for showers, naps, and emails. Scot entertained us with more stories before bed. I have no idea what time I fell asleep, but it was after 11 pm-still light out by the way.
May 22: Our "Lallybroch" was a private estate built in the early 1600s-1720s. Because it was a private home, we weren't able to take pictures. It's really close to Diana Gabaldon's description. The church on the estate was built in the 1500s, and they still have services occasionally. There were memorials inside, and some of their family way back fought with Robert the Bruce.

We ate lunch in a cafe in Edinburgh, then dropped off our luggage at our respective B&B's (each "couple" stayed at a different one). Erin and Scott came to get us when they got settled in, and we all walked to the castle. I was a little underwhelmed-in my mind I'd pictured the interior restored to what it would've looked like in it's hayday. It was still beautiful. We all paid money for those stupid headsets that we ended up not using much. Oh well. Lots of pictures were taken and souvenirs bought. My favorite part was the Cavalry room (of course it would be horse related).
Dinner was frozen pizza and a wonderful ale (Caledonia) at Ensign Ewart pub. Great place-we went there a lot while in Edinburgh. We had a few drinks, and stopped off at the Hard Rock Cafe for t-shirts for the kids and us. Erin hadn't been feeling well all day, so we split up to go home. On our way back, we ran into Jenn and Brenda who were sitting outside a pub having drinks. Never one to pass on good company and alcohol, we sat down to join them. At this point in the tour, it's hard to believe we'll be going home soon, and may never see these two in person again-a bittersweet thought.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Here Comes the Sun...

"The aftermath of Culloden exacted penalties which were to leave a permanent scar on the Highlands of Scotland in the deliberate extinction
of the Celtic way of life - by killing, destruction, confiscation and deportation. A tragic time, unequalled by any other in Scottish history."
-Iain Campbell

May 20: Culloden (Drumossie Moor) The weather turned appropriately gloomy for our trip to the battlefield. We first toured the museum, and I couldn't help but tear up watching the reenactment. Then we walked the field, taking note and pictures of the clan stones. Looking through the brush of gorse, marsh, and heather I wondered what it must have been like for them to run through it. Many didn't even have shoes, and most were starving and sleep deprived. We all stood in awe of the large memorial, and I'd venture to say there were more than a few misty eyes.

We moved on to another sad place, Fort George. It's similar in design to Wentworth Prison in Outlander. It is now a training facility.

Turning away from the gloomy theme, we drove to Castle Stuart. I've seen pictures of the castle, built in 1625, thanks to my previous mother-in-law. While doing some genealogy research, she traced part of their family back to the Stuarts. In a Twilight Zone moment, I looked at the castle remembering a certain photoshopped wedding picture of myself and my inlaws in front of that very castle. It was appropriate since it had been a Scottish wedding-kilts, bagpipes, and all. (right: our group on the castle roof)

Caroline (a much prettier version of Mrs. Fitzgibbons) gave us a tour of the castle, complete with hidden doors, a secret spying place in the wall, and hints of ghosts. Erin, Scott, John, and I walked the grounds and encountered some curious "feral" cows. Walked down Moray Firth as the tide slowly came in. It's such a peaceful place.

Making a loop through the golfcourse, we met back up with the cows. Lucky for Erin, I was able to charm them away. Before making our way back to the castle (by way of nettles-ouch) we strolled through a cemetery and found many Frasers. It's amazing to see the same names over and over again-a wonder how anyone knew who was who.

Back at the castle, we cooled down our recent purchases from Black Isle Brewery (to room temp) and lounged in the Drawing Room enjoying our liquid fortification. Eventually, we pulled ourselves off the sofas and went upstairs to get dressed (again...the third flight of stairs up-do you see the theme? this time-a very narrow spiral staircase).
While getting dressed, John discovered a pale blond Viking-like wig and a pink princess hat. I couldn't resist having a little fun with that. So I donned my costume and greeted our fellow tour-mates to enquire if they were ready for dinner. We all got a kick out of it.

We heard the bagpipes start downstairs and we followed that beautiful sound. I won't lie-I got a little choked up that we got piped into the Dining Hall. One of the many things I'll never forget about this trip.

The dinner itself was simply delicious, and we all enjoyed the "butt wine" (named for the shape of the decanter). After almost three bottles of grapes of wrath, we adjourned to the Drawing Room again for Scot's hypnotic storytelling.

He almost had us in a trance with the lap harp, but more excitement was due. Scott and John both had a turn at folding and wearing the plaid. I can't imagine waking up to do that every morning.

And the fun continued in the Billiards Room for Snooker and Darts, and my true alter-ego was released...Sacagawea-Viking Princess/Cow Charmer...I'll let the pictures do the talking :) It was a blast-suffice to say, we ended back up on the roof around 1:30 am.