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    Scaredy-cat - May 19th, 2010
    I’m a bit late in taking Schrodie to the vet’s office for her yearly check-up (she should have gone in March) but she’s finally been. I must admit, however, that she only made it when she did after I noticed she was missing a patch of fur from the top of her head the other day. [more...]

    A weekend at home - May 17th, 2010
    Weekends haven’t been the same since Paul died, but I’ve been determined to get back to spending them as normal as possible. Now that spring has finally sprung, I was thrilled to learn that I would have this weekend completely free. No work, no plans, no nothing. [more...]

    Solar-powered clothes dryer - May 16th, 2010
    Carrying on with the hippy-granola-freak of a homeowner theme, I’m pleased to announce that I got to use one of my favorite house-hold appliances today for the first time of the year. Yes, I’m talking about my way-awesome solar-powered clothes dryer! [more...]

    Modern mowing - May 13th, 2010
    I’m not a patient person. When I know what I want, I want it now. So, after breaking out the vintage mower yesterday and deciding it was time for an upgrade, I couldn’t think of much more throughout the day. I wanted my new toy. I wanted it today. And I wanted it cheap. [more...]

    Retro mowing - May 12th, 2010
    When Paul and I bought our house two years ago, we decided that we wanted to continue our “hippy-granola-freak” lifestyle in our yard care efforts. So, I picked up the old (and I mean old!) lawn mower from my folks’ house the weekend we moved. [more...]

    The root of all evil - May 12th, 2010
    Last Wednesday I started to feel a bit of a twinge in a lower tooth. I didn’t think much of it and thought it would be gone by the next day. But it was a bit worse instead. Knowing that I had big work events coming up, I told myself to suffer through. [more...]

    Child labor - May 10th, 2010
    I don’t know who decided that child labor was a bad thing. I mean, I had four children over for the weekend and I feel it would have been more abusive to not let them work! When they arrived Friday night, one of the first questions was what chores there were to be done. [more...]

    Identity crisis - May 9th, 2010
    Since Paul died I’ve really struggled with my identity, which is a bit ironic when I think about the identity struggle I went through as a newlywed. Part of my identity struggle has been my online presence. Paul and I both maintained separate emails (something of an anomaly in my family) and both participated on various online forums without supervision or input from each other. [more...]

    McKean’s - May 3rd, 2010
    McKean’s Drive-In is the local burger joint in my hometown and is a true institution. When I was in school several of my friends worked there—as did I when they needed the extra hands and I wasn’t already working my waitressing job at the truck stop down the road. [more...]

    Finding Joy: April - Apr 30th, 2010
    My 2010 resolution was to find a bit of joy every day. Each day, I thought about the things that bring me joy and posted them on Just Frances where you can share in my joyful things—one month at a time. [more...]

    Back to the gym - Apr 28th, 2010
    I found my way back to the gym today. It’s been just over a year since I last went and it felt a bit weird to be honest. Paul and I were runners and I tried to hit the gym 2-3 times a week before work then we’d run the Bill Chipman Trail or participate in a road race together on the weekends. [more...]

    Miss you much - Apr 27th, 2010
    It’s been a year since Paul died; a year since I became Just Frances again. I made the drive to his grave in Cle Elum today to bring him some tulips from our yard. He would have loved to see how bright they are in the flower beds and I wish that he was here to admire them on our mantle. [more...]

    Retail therapy - Apr 25th, 2010
    I’ve been feeling very sad and lonely the last few days so when my neighbor called to see if I wanted to drive into the city today to cheer me up, I was more than happy for the distraction. What I didn’t realize was that I would actually have a successful shopping day, which was an added cheer for the day! [more...]

    Tulips: Day 6 - Apr 22nd, 2010
    Well, the first petal dropped today so I suppose it’s time to toss these out and get some new ones. They topped out at 21” tall and 16” across. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that I don’t plan to share a running commentary on my next batch of flowers… [more...]

    Morning Joe - Apr 21st, 2010
    I used the last of my coffee up on Monday and haven’t had time to go buy more beans, which means that for the last two mornings I’ve had to get my coffee on the road. Which means that I have to drive nine miles into the next town (which is on my way to the office) before I get my morning coffee fix. [more...]

    Tulips: Day 5 - Apr 21st, 2010
    Getting straight to the point: My lovely tulips have sprouted another inch since last night and have spread out another two inches for a total of 21” tall and 15 1/2” wide. [more...]

    Great neighbors - Apr 21st, 2010
    When we bought our house, Paul and I really looked forward to tending to the garden. With a lot of nearly 10,000 square feet, we knew it would be a lot of work, but we didn’t care. That first spring and summer we were out almost every weekend and really made it beautiful. [more...]

    Tulips: Day 4 - Apr 20th, 2010
    Day 4 and the tulips are really on the move now. They’re starting to have that casual look I love so much. Each flower has opened up a bit so you can see a bit more of the color variances, which is nice. [more...]

    Tulips: Day 3 - Apr 19th, 2010
    The tulips are starting to move a bit more now! Yay! This morning they were standing tall at 18” and measured 9 1/2” across but this evening they were proudly boasting 19” in height and 11” in width. [more...]

    Tulips: Day 2 - Apr 18th, 2010
    It’s the second day of the Tulip Dance and while they’re not dancing as much as some tulips I’ve seen, they are certainly on the move! [more...]

    Bit of Saturday shopping - Apr 17th, 2010
    The folks came to visit, so while Daddy went on a bike ride to Palouse and back, Mom and I headed to Moscow for some antique and book shopping. And I’ve totally scored! [more...]

    Taste testing - Apr 17th, 2010
    Part of being a redneck means that homemade booze is a fixture in your life. In my case, I don’t make my own booze (any more). I just drink the goods my wonderful mom produces. [more...]

    Tulips: Day 1 - Apr 17th, 2010
    Tulips are my favorite flowers. I love how they are so simple that they can bring elegance to even the most basic of vessels. I love the way they seem to dance around after they’ve been placed in pretty vase; the way they reach and stretch and grow after they’ve been cut – as if to tell the world that they are strong and they will survive and adapt to their new environment. [more...]

    Eve of Destruction - Apr 13th, 2010
    My favourite song in the world is “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire. It has been since the late-80s when I first heard it. Anyhow, it got stuck in my head today, so I thought I’d share it with you! [more...]

    Butterflies - Apr 11th, 2010
    I saw this dress in a store window when in Seattle for meetings on Friday and can’t get it out of my mind. The store, Luly Yang Couture, was next to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, so there was no glimmer of hope that I could afford to even walk through the doors, let alone try on—or purchase—such a lovely dress. [more...]

    Fortunes - Apr 7th, 2010
    I completely pigged out on Chinese take-away tonight. I mean completely pigged out. I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty site to watch me wolf down so very much monosodium glutamate laden food. But whatever, I have a happy belly for it so that’s all that matters. [more...]

    Easter at Kamiak - Apr 4th, 2010
    I decided to spend Easter Sunday hiking Kamiak Butte. I wish you could have joined me, but as you couldn’t, I brought you along in my heart and soul instead. [more...]

    Words I hate; Part 1 - Apr 4th, 2010
    I love words. When strung together properly they can be so powerful. Without words there would be no poetry, no musical lyrics, no mindless blogs… [more...]

    Jokes we thought were funny - Apr 2nd, 2010
    Paul and I liked to say things that were 100% accurate, but would easily be taken as meaning something completely different than the truth. The reactions we got from people made us giggle. [more...]

    Right on red - Apr 2nd, 2010
    I like to think of myself as a calm driver; defensive but certainly not aggressive. Though maybe I’m a bit passive-aggressive at times. The whole “right on red” thing gets me riled up at times, causing those passive-aggressive tendencies to come out and play. [more...]

    The signs point west - Apr 1st, 2010
    I decided to take advantage of a 30-day free trial on NetFlix today in a quest to rent the movie Stone of Destiny, after learning of the conspiracy surrounding the stone over which Scottish Kings were traditionally crowned and being a fan of Scottish history and all. [more...]

    Finding Joy: March - Mar 31st, 2010
    My 2010 resolution was to find a bit of joy every day. Each day, I thought about the things that bring me joy and posted them on Just Frances where you can share in my joyful things—one month at a time. [more...]

    Feeling blue - Mar 30th, 2010
    I found this bag at an antique store in Seattle a few years ago. It’s an Andrew Geller (circa 1960s) made with a soft baby-blue leather with a satiny, pearlized finish. The inside has a tan-colored satin lining and a couple of small pockets, which are lined with metallic gold satin. [more...]

    Walla Walla wines - Mar 30th, 2010
    I went to Walla Walla this weekend to visit with some family and friends and participate in a Saturday wine tour —a hobby I enjoy but don’t do often enough. A friend from high school works in the wine-biz in the Seattle area and I promised her a review of the wineries, so here you go! [more...]

    Indoor-outdoor cat - Mar 24th, 2010
    Last summer I purchased a slightly-expensive, gadgety cat door for Schrodie. It’s great because it is sensor-activated, meaning that only Schrodie can come and go—eliminating the fears and nightmares of Satan’s evil footmen (that means skunks) entering my home through the door. [more...]

    Very taxing - Mar 23rd, 2010
    I finally filed my taxes. I say finally because I normally have mine completed and filed the first week of February—based on the fact that tax documents generally arrive the last week of January. Yep, a geek to the core I used to love doing my taxes. [more...]

    Two truths and a lie - Mar 21st, 2010
    Several years ago I was asked to tell two truths and a lie; a silly game, but one that seems come up again from time-to-time. Anyhow, in reading through a very old blog of mine, I ran across a post with two truths and a lie. [more...]

    Thirty-three paper clips - Mar 21st, 2010
    I had a sudden urge to go upstairs and open the footlocker in one of the guest rooms. It is full of memories from high school (oh, the photos that I’ll never share!) and I thought that I’d try to find an example of how tragically dreadful my writing was way-back-when. [more...]

    Coins - Mar 20th, 2010
    I have two old pint-sized honey jars that I fill with coins. It takes a while to fill them up because I don’t use cash too often. In fact, the current coin stash was started on March 7, 2009, meaning it’s taken more than a year to fill both jars to capacity. Compare that to my waitressing days when it would take just a couple of weeks to fill a gallon-sized jar! [more...]

    First bag - Mar 20th, 2010
    A conversation this afternoon reminded me that it’s time to swap out handbags; something I’ve not done since returning from my holidays so it’s really time I get in gear! Of course, what this really means is that I am going to share more useless information with you. Yay! [more...]

    Going green - Mar 18th, 2010
    Across America, people are going green. Not in an effort to be more sensitive to the environment but rather in an effort to get in touch with their inner-Irish. Regardless of family ancestry (mine being Germans from Russia) every American is Irish today. Or is that Oirish? [more...]

    Building strong bones - Mar 17th, 2010
    Growing up I was told to drink my milk because it was good for building strong bones. I attempted that at the weekend by purchasing a half-gallon of 2%* to enjoy with a box of Cap’n Crunch Berries. [more...]

    Aunt Frances - Mar 16th, 2010
    Sixteen years ago I became an aunt when my eldest sister had her first child. I can’t believe that my sister has a kid old enough to drive! Wow! [more...]

    The great clean out - Mar 14th, 2010
    I don’t “do” makeup. It’s too much of a hassle and I just can’t be arsed to mess with the junk. However, I do own a small amount of the stuff. Mostly old stuff; mostly seldom used. This isn’t a secret, and several friends (who have more makeup in their handbags than I own all together) have let me know on several occasions that it’s not OK to keep the stuff so long. [more...]

    Jeggings confession - Mar 14th, 2010
    I have a guilty confession to make. When I was on my holidays in the UK, I let my niece convince me that “jeggings” and a trendy shirt looked good on me. The sale price convinced me to make the purchase. [more...]

    Mommy & Me: UK Tour - Mar 13th, 2010
    Mom and I traveled to England and Scotland to visit some my family and friends for two weeks in winter 2010. [more...]

    Black pale ale? - Mar 12th, 2010
    Over the years, I’ve determined that I’m really not a Widmer Brothers fan, with the exception of their amazingly delicious Hefeweizen. It’s not that I don’t like Widmer beers; it’s just that I have a list of three other brands I tend to prefer. [more...]

    In (bad) style - Mar 10th, 2010
    Oh my goodness gracious me! My parents sent me home with an old scrap book of mine and I just had to share this awful picture. What the heck was I thinking? [more...]

    Fone fumble - Mar 9th, 2010
    As much as I hate to admit my mistakes and mishaps, I feel that it’s only fair to share a bit of my humility—and it will help to counterbalance the bragging and arrogance I generally display. Oh, and I also fear that it may hit the grapevine so it’s better to ‘fess up now… [more...]

    And we’re back - Mar 8th, 2010
    Our time in the UK has sadly come to an end and we are now back in America after leaving Edinburgh in the early morning hours. As always, tears were shed as I left my beloved Scotland behind. I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to share it all with Mom though, who now understands a bit better why I have such a love for the place. [more...]

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