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These are the character and topical notes for "Sacrificed Part of Himself."


Conrad Nicholson -- He has fair skin and blue eyes. His hair is fine and white, standing up on his head like thistledown, although it was blond in his youth. He wears a beard and mustache too. Conrad has three sons and three daughters, eighteen grandchildren including Ansel Nicholson and Billy-Jay Nicholson, and three or four great-grandchildren. He and his wife Norma Jean married and began having kids very young. The first daughter Maribel was a surprise, then there's a gap of several years while Conrad was in the army, and the middle four (Clovis, Linda Sue, Grady, Nellie) are tightly bunched. The youngest son Tillman was another surprise born after they thought they couldn't have any more kids. Set to inherit the family farm, he is currently attending Missouri State University in Springfield. Tillman wants to learn more advanced techniques of agribusiness while maintaining the character of the family farm -- in essence, to do the same things, only better. Conrad is a devoted family man who excels at leading his clan. Wise and dependable, he takes care of everyone.

Conrad lives just outside of Bluehill, Missouri. As a farmer, his cash crops include soybeans, corn, hay, wheat, and apples. Other fruits in the orchard and the vegetable gardens are mostly for family use, and there are beehives too. He raises a large herd of Luckett Pineywoods cattle, primarily for beef but also for oxen. His heavy draft team is a pair of Budweiser Clydesdales, named Pride and Joy. The herd of Missouri Fox Trotters mostly belong to other family members, but Conrad always keeps a workhorse -- currently a chestnut mare named Penny -- for reaching parts of the farm difficult to access with vehicles. He runs a mixed herd of pigs including Gloucester Old Spots, Mulefoot Hogs, and Tamworth Pigs. His wife Norma Jean keeps a mixed flock of chickens, plus ducks in the pond.

Among Conrad's other interests are woodworking and related handicrafts. He can fix pretty much anything, and he has made much of the wooden furniture and structures around the farm. An epic gamer, he owns an estimated 2,550 board games, card games, and other tabletop entertainments; plus several big table games in the rec room. As a hunter, he's a bird man, particularly fond of hunting ducks and geese, but he also goes for pheasant and quail. He's famous for having been taken on a snipe hunt as a boy, and he actually caught a snipe with his bare hands. Highly observant, Conrad works well with hunting dogs and always has several of them. Typically he keeps a Labrador retriever for waterfowl, an English springer spaniel for pheasants, and an English pointer for quail. He's only average at fishing, but enjoys dropping a line in his pond.

Qualities: Master (+6) Farmer, Master (+6) Gamer, Master (+6) Vietnam Veteran, Expert (+4) Head of Family, Expert (+4) Woodworker, Expert (+4) Wisdom, Good (+2) Dependable, Good (+2) Fix Anything, Good (+2) Healthy for His Age, Good (+2) Hunter, Good (+2) Observant, Good (+2) Ozark History
Poor (-2) Glass Jaw


Norma Jean Nicholson -- She has fair skin, hazel eyes, and short curly white hair that was golden brown in her youth. Norma Jean has three sons and three daughters, eighteen grandchildren including Ansel Nicholson and Billy-Jay Nicholson, and three or four great-grandchildren. She and her husband Conrad married and began having kids very young. The first daughter Maribel was a surprise, then there's a gap of several years while Conrad was in the army, and the middle four (Clovis, Linda Sue, Grady, Nellie) are tightly bunched. The youngest son Tillman was another surprise born after they thought they couldn't have any more kids. Set to inherit the family farm, he is currently attending Missouri State University in Springfield. Tillman wants to learn more advanced techniques of agribusiness while maintaining the character of the family farm -- in essence, to do the same things, only better. Norma Jean is a heartwarming matriarch who excels at holding her clan together. Loving and insightful, she takes care of everyone.

After quitting high school when she got pregnant with Maribel, Norma Jean later worked her way through college part-time, earning a major in Textile Arts and a minor in Linguistics. She speaks Amharic, Chinese, English, Esperanto, French, German, Láadan, Osage, and Spanish. She is currently learning Serbo-Croatian from a neighbor. Her areas of study include dialects found in the Ozarks and constructed languages.

Norma Jean lives just outside of Bluehill, Missouri. Her husband grows cash crops including soybeans, corn, hay, wheat, and apples. Other fruits in the orchard and the vegetable gardens are mostly for family use, and Norma Jean does a majority of the work growing and preserving those. Conrad also keeps a large herd of Luckett Pineywoods cattle, a pair of Budweiser Clydesdales, some Missouri Fox Trotters, and a mixed herd of pigs including Gloucester Old Spots, Mulefoot Hogs, and Tamworth Pigs.

Norma Jean keeps a mixed flock of chickens for eggs and meat. She also saves the colorful feathers for crafts, including fly tying. Breeds include Wyandottes (partridge, chocolate, buff, golden laced, etc.), Plymouth Rock (barred), Rhode Island Red, Buckeyes (red), Marans (copper black, blue copper, wheaten, etc.), Lohman Brown (red with white tails), White Leghorns, and Easter Eggers (any color including white with blue legs). Much of the time they just roam free around the farm. There are several dozen of them, usually two roosters and the rest hens. Around the pond live her ducks; the current flock is about half Anconas and half Cayugas. Norma Jean trades or sells the extra eggs, and has a sign at the head of the driveway advertising them.

Among her hobbies, Norma Jean enjoys fly fishing, although she also throws a line in the family pond. She prefers cats to dogs, and breeds barn cats for intelligence, toughness, and hunting skill. She can often be found with one or more cats in her lap.

Qualities: Master (+6) Crafter, Master (+6) Grandmother Principles, Expert (+4) Farmer, Expert (+4) Lovingkindness, Expert (+4) Women's Intuition, Good (+2) Cook, Good (+2) Fly Fisher, Good (+2) Frugal, Good (+2) Hiker, Good (+2) Linguist, Good (+2) Memory
Poor (-2) Farsighted


Clovis Nicholson -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and messy brown hair peppered with gray. He is sturdy and athletic, but his body is dotted with scars from his many misadventures. The big one on his right knee came from improvising hurdles as a child. He is the son of Conrad and Norma Jean Nicholson; younger brother of Maribel, older brother of Linda Sue, Grady, Nellie, and Tillman; husband of Merrilyn; father of Ansel and Licia; father-in-law of Jermaine.
Clovis works as a bicycle outreach organizer in Bluehill, Missouri where he spearheaded the movement to attain Diamond status as a bicycle-friendly community. That applies to Cambridge Commons, and other parts of Bluehill have different levels of development. Kind and honorable, he excels as a father and mentor, even for the "difficult" kids. He enjoys outdoor cooking and other rustic activities.
Qualities: Master (+6) Bicycle Outreach Organizer, Master (+6) Fun-Loving, Expert (+4) Athletic, Expert (+4) Father, Expert (+4) Kindness, Good (+2) Moral Compass, Good (+2) Outdoor Cooking, Good (+2) Spatial Intelligence
Poor (-2) Nonstandard Risk Assessment

This is the photo album picture of Clovis as a little boy. Here he is with his wife as an adult.

* * *

Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

See Turq's borrowed flannels in blue and raspberry.

This is Norma Jean's knitting basket. You can get ribbed hat patterns for adults or children.

(These links are gross.)
Characteristic injuries of the Vietnam War (1954-1975) included chemical exposures along with mine and gunshot wounds, followed by a hostile reception upon return home. Many Vietnam veterans still have PTSD, even decades later. At this stage, Conrad is about as healed as it ever gets: he's functional and happy on a daily basis, with no more bad days than an average person has -- but a direct hit to a dire memory can still flatten him.

In Terramagne-America, disabled soldiers customarily receive a lump sum for their damage sustained in the line of duty plus some monthly pension as compensation for inability to perform their military job. The Veterans Administration may award additional funds if the disability also impairs or prevents civilian work. Veterans may also have earned funds earmarked for college tuition, downpayment on home ownership, or other perks. There are assistance programs for home or business loans available to most veterans. The military generally seeks to help veterans establish themselves in civilian life. This is much more ethical and effective than L-America's stingy response.

Traumatic stress can lead to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or prolonged duress stress disorder. Conrad struggled with this a lot in the years after the war, but has largely recovered now; it's more a matter of mental scar tissue than an active injury now. There are ways to cope with traumatic stress or live with someone who has it.

Depression in men can look a bit different than it does in women. There are tips for helping someone with depression. In coping with depression yourself, focus on just getting into motion: you may be depressed, but you can be depressed outside. Here are some ideas on how to get outside when depressed. Anyone can be depressed, but it's a little harder outdoors, in nature, with animals that want to be fed and a garden than wants to be eaten.

This is Norma Jean's house photo album. Here is their previous neighborhood.

Check out Conrad's farm photo album. This is Conrad Nicholson in 1969 on his tractor. See Norma Jean Nicholson in 1969 on vacation. Here is their oldest daughter Maribel on their first horse, Devil's Food. Ansel's father Clovis is about to fall over. Aunt Linda Sue is feeding horses. Here is Conrad in 1979, baling hay. This is Grady at the table. Here is Nellie in 1989, harvesting in the garden. This is Ansel in 1991, propped outside the tent.

A cradleboard is a traditional baby carrier, now making a revival in L-America. They are more popular in T-America. Here are some examples. This company sells several styles.

See Norma Jean and her mother Coralue Deely. Here is Tillman as a toddler.

(These links are heinous.)
The Gulf War spanned August 2,1990 – February 28, 1991. Kandahar is a city in Afghanistan. Local-Taliban captives have reported being tortured, and Afghani police behave little better. L-American soldiers may have done even worse, although of course the government denies it.

(These are pretty ugly too.)
Torture can have lasting health effects, one of which is depression. Rehabilitation offers challenges for clinicians. Sometimes energy work helps, such as qigong or t'ai chi. Caregivers can help survivors of torture, and there are self-care steps for survivors too.

War souvenirs range from permitted to illegal and dangerous. The reality is that souvenirs consist of whatever the shellshocked veterans can smuggle home, and they're rarely prosecuted for any of it. T-America tends not to prosecute either, but will confiscate the more egregious things and send veterans to therapy to explain why they thought it was okay to take home a tank, or whatever. Nevertheless, when you've got a guy like Conrad, he probably knows enough about Missouri's clandestine arsenal to kit a small army. Just in case.

Striationary marks are characteristic injuries left when a speedster, or certain types of teleporter, pulls away from restraint. It leaves long wounds, ranging from scrapes to deep lacerations, sometimes with joint injury such as sprains or dislocations, and some people have managed to tear off a limb that way. Medics and police staff have learned to look for them as signs that someone was forcibly (and not very competently) restrained. That fact that traumatized people in general, and some types of soups in particular, tend to panic under constraint is one reason why Terramagne authorities prefer to minimize the use of restraints or other confinement; it's too hard to do without causing additional damage in some cases. There have also been examples of striationary marks on an officer who made the mistake of handcuffing himself to a captive. So that technique is outright banned, except in cases where both parties are willing; it's a safety technique that emergency workers use occasionally, but that's with a soft medical type of hand-harness which is much safer for everyone.

(These links are extremely disturbing.)
The Vietnam War was notorious for landmines, which cause horrific injuries. The Bouncing Betty actually dates back to 1935, a terror weapon invented by Nazis. Here's a minefield story and another about effects on survivors. You can see why Conrad came home in such a mess, mentally and physically.

Daywork may be obtained through an agency or in areas frequented by people who need temporary help. In L-America, this causes friction among people who want to drive away the day laborers. They have some supporters, though. In T-America, towns usually designate a space where such gatherings will not cause hazards. One of Bluehill's gathering spots is in the plaza right across from the police station. This maximizes safety, providing shelter, concessions, and public toilets. Some people prefer to gather in other locations, and that's okay too, as long as they don't make trouble.

Lawn games are outdoor activities, often with giant pieces. You can make your own such as giant jenga or checkers.
When making giant game pieces, you can put chess symbols on one side and leave the other plain, to create both chess and checker sets.

您好!(nín hǎo) “Hello”
你吃了吗?(nǐ chī le ma) – “Have you eaten?”
-- Chinese Greetings

Chi TV is a Chinese television station. It runs regular programming in Mandarin and English, with occasional offerings in other Chinese languages.

Emergency food comes in many forms. Learn how to stock a pantry in case of crisis. You can buy buckets of things like like beans, rice, and other grains. People often make fun of "preppers" because it's common to plan for apocalyptic scenarios. You know what's a lot more likely? Blizzards. Wildfires. Tornadoes. Trucker strikes. An obnoxious flu bug going around your town. Your car breaking down. Things that happen on a fairly frequent basis and mean that having a stock of food and toilet paper can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a serious problem. Not to mention "Oops, we forgot to buy ..."

Canning recipes offer a wide range of options too. Mixed vegetables are pretty flexible. Just looking at rows of brightly colored canned goods can be soothing to folks with a history of hunger.

The Western version of a carrying yoke is typically carried over both shoulders which makes for a wide load., but the Eastern version is carried over one shoulder so it doesn't require a wider path. You can actually buy these things if you want a fancy one, but they're easy to improvise out of a branch or a broom handle.

Patterns of attachment begin in childhood but carry into adulthood. The presence or absence of a secure base impacts the developmental pattern, especially a concern in foster care. A more accurate description is "connection disruption" rather than "attachment disorder." While Turq's behavior may seem erratic, it's actually quite healthy -- that circular pattern is particular to secure attachment. Here are some techniques for cultivating attachment with foster or adopted children. Just taking Turq to the farm and introducing him to Ansel's grandparents is helpful as a means of weaving him into the family and the society.

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