Just Frances

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All entries tagged with “celebrations”

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    Bordering on 43 - Feb 20th, 2017
    This past weekend was my birthday weekend, so I enjoyed a wee road trip to the Scottish Borders to explore in and around Kelso. It was a great way to shake out the cobwebs and a fun way to celebrate the end of another year. And, it was a great excuse to eat lots of holiday food! [more...]

    2017: The year of doing - Jan 1st, 2017
    Welcome to 2017. This is the year. This is the year that so very many very wonderful things are going to happen. This is the year of greatness. This is the year of doing; of getting things done; of success and joy and everything else wonderful. [more...]

    Bye-bye, 2016; you’ve been wonderful! - Dec 31st, 2016
    It seems that 2016 is a year that has left a lot of bitterness for people across the world—for so many reasons. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard negative sentiments people have shared about the year. And, sadly, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve complained about what an awful year 2016 has been. [more...]

    Revamped running resolutions: Realised! - Dec 29th, 2016
    Thanks to this summer’s broken ankle, I had to make some changes to my 2016 resolutions. Today, those revamped running resolutions were realised! (Yay!) [more...]

    A Christmas graduation - Dec 23rd, 2016
    It’s Christmas Eve Eve (which means that tomorrow is Christmas Eve) and I am acutely aware that this Christmas is different from all of my previous “post-widowhood” Christmases. I feel, I don’t know. I feel less sad. Not happy; not cheerful and Christmassy. Just, not sad. It’s almost as if I’ve graduated from the deep sadness that comes with a widowed Christmas and I’ve moved into a slightly melancholy, not sad, but not happy, place for the holiday season. [more...]

    Just published - Dec 7th, 2016
    One of the cool things about having your own blog that is just about you (as Just Frances is) means that I get to shout from the keyboard when I’ve managed to reach a personal goal. So, here goes: This week, I had an academic paper published! (Yes, a successful academic career is a personal goal!) [more...]

    Banishing the gloom at Castle Campbell - Oct 8th, 2016
    I spent today doing vital ankle rehabilitation work, in the form of walking to and from Castle Campbell in the hills above Dollar. It was a much-needed outing and a great way to rid myself of some of the gloom I’ve been feeling from missing out on all of my 2016 running goals. (Broken ankle = no races. How gloomy, indeed!) [more...]

    Weir walking - Oct 7th, 2016
    I’ve been staying at Serenity Lodge since last week where I am house- and pet-sitting for a while. I am using the time to catch up on my PhD, but I’m also taking some time for my ankle’s rehabilitation work. And what better way to do that than a bit of weir walking? [more...]

    Third passport firsts - Aug 27th, 2016
    I received my new American passport yesterday. But despite this being my third passport, it will also mark several passport firsts in my life. But then, each of my passports have marked important “firsts” in my life! [more...]

    Fostering love - Aug 14th, 2016
    My life was forever changed six years ago, when I opened up my home—and my heart—to a young girl who needed me. The year that followed was filled with the ups and downs of foster parenting, all while still adjusting to my life as a widow. [more...]

    Dream day - May 21st, 2016
    Eleven years ago, I entered a beautiful dream world: The dream of happily ever after with my amazing new husband. And whilst being a Mrs had never been a childhood dream, being Mrs Ryan was the answer to my dreams of being happy with my life’s course. And together, we build a wonderfully happy dream world. [more...]

    Normal kidneys - Apr 9th, 2016
    I had my annual kidney check-up a couple of days ago to see how Bob and Dave are coping with their inherited polycystic kidney disease. And I am very pleased to say that my kidneys are working well. As I’ve said before, I am always a bit nervous when I go for these check-ups because I know that it won’t be like this forever; I know that one day I will be told Bob and Dave are too unwell to keep the rest of me well. [more...]

    Conquering the law - Feb 21st, 2016
    I arrived in North Berwick yesterday for my birthday weekend, with a plan to conquer The Law as part of my visit. And since yesterday was spent exploring Tantallon Castle and the coast, today was the day to climb the hill! [more...]

    The answer to life, the universe, and everything - Feb 21st, 2016
    Today is a special day in my life. Today is the day I become the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Yes, today I am 42! [more...]

    Tantallon to end - Feb 20th, 2016
    Today is the start of my birthday weekend, and my last day as a 41-year-old woman. So to celebrate, I’ve taken myself away for the weekend. Not far—just to North Berwick. But it’s a nice little village that I’ve been meaning to explore for a long time, so my birthday was a good excuse to do that. [more...]

    Dilapidated beauty - Feb 17th, 2016
    With my birthday just around the corner, I am more aware than normal that I am getting older. I am ageing; I am becoming more and more dilapidated as time goes by. I’m not upset about it, I’m just more aware. And, I suppose, I’m a bit wistful. [more...]

    A winning week! - Jan 15th, 2016
    I attended the International Data and Information Management Conference in Loughborough (England) this week. The conference was a great opportunity to meet with other information science researchers—and to present my own research. But it was also a great opportunity to win back some of my academic self-esteem and self-confidence. [more...]

    Wrapping up 2015 - Dec 31st, 2015
    With 2015 quickly coming to an end, it’s time for a bit of reflection. And as I look back at my hopes for the year, I am pleased to say that I’ve succeed in all but one of my hopes—the desire to learn how to sew a skirt. But I didn’t even attempt that one, as I realised it isn’t a truly important goal for me. And so, I’m calling the year a success! [more...]

    A selfie Christmas - Dec 25th, 2015
    Hello and merry Christmas to you all! As I mentioned the other day, I am spending my Christmas (mostly) alone—but I am doing so with new and old traditions to keep me company! [more...]

    The holiday hush - Dec 23rd, 2015
    The holidays are here again, and that means I’m facing an extended period of holiday hush. “Hush” because, like most years, I will be spending Christmas and New Year alone again*. Only this year, I’m going to work really hard at not being too hushed. [more...]

    Gastropod grief - Dec 17th, 2015
    It started a little over a year ago. Every few days, I would wake up and there would be faint, shimmering lines on the carpet in my bedroom—always along the path of my laptop’s power cord. My first thought was that maybe there had been an electromagnetic something-or-other that interacted with the man-made fibres in the carpets. I didn’t really give it much thought, especially as it wasn’t a daily occurrence. [more...]

    Another year closer - Nov 16th, 2015
    Yesterday marked two years since I began my PhD studies. And that means I am another year closer to being Doctor Ryan. It’s a title I’ve longed for since I first began my bachelor’s degree all those years ago, and being this close to actually having it is pretty exciting! [more...]

    Halloween brews - Nov 1st, 2015
    Yesterday was Halloween. And Halloween means playing dress up. It was also the Alloa Real Ale Festival. And that means drinking beer. And as I love dressing up for Halloween and drinking beer, I spent the day in costume at a beer festival. [more...]

    Saving the best for last! - Sep 28th, 2015
    I ran my last Loch Ness Marathon yesterday. (Maybe.) And I accomplished a PB whilst doing it—which was totally unexpected. Even better, I am nowhere near as sore as I was the day after my first (and slowest) Loch Ness back in 2011. [more...]

    The love point - Sep 24th, 2015
    Once again, National Punctuation Day is upon us. And that means I am going to talk about one of my favourite things—punctuation! But I’m going to change things up this year by talking about punctuation as it (may) relate to love. Because we all need a bit of love (and punctuation) in our lives. [more...]

    Choo-choo to Abbotsford - Sep 6th, 2015
    Today was opening day for the new Borders Railway between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. And as I am a bit of a train buff who enjoys being “first” to try new things, it made sense that I should make the journey. So that’s exactly what I did today: I rode the rails between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. Along with all the other train geeks in Scotland! [more...]

    The king has left the building - Sep 1st, 2015
    Today should be my Uncle King’s 53rd birthday. Only he left this world for the glory of Heaven a few days ago. I knew it was coming, as did he. But that doesn’t make his exit any easier. And so here I am, wondering what to do with the birthday card I bought him; wondering what to do with all of these tears. [more...]

    Blue moon demands - Jul 31st, 2015
    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but my parents were really mean when I was growing up. As in they were so mean that they denied us sugary cereals and junk food. And if we got soda, we had to share a can. (See, I told you they were mean.) When we got special treats, or when we asked for special treats, we were told those things are allowed “once in a blue moon”. [more...]

    An American flag in Scotland - Jul 4th, 2015
    Today is Independence Day in America; the day we stood up against The Crown to demand self-rule. As a proud American, this is a very important day for me. But as an expat American living in Scotland, it’s a little difficult to find a traditional Independence Day celebration, so I did something a little untraditional. [more...]

    I laughed - May 21st, 2015
    Ten years ago today, I became Mrs Ryan. I stood there at the altar in front of God, family, and friends—with my beloved Paul beside me—and I laughed. Oh, how I laughed. [more...]

    An Easter treasure hunt - Apr 5th, 2015
    As the Easter Bunny didn’t leave me any eggs to find at home today, I had to arrange for a wee treasure hunt of my own. And I did it in the way of a geocache near where I live. [more...]

    Spa 41 - Feb 21st, 2015
    Astute Just Frances readers may know that today is my 41st birthday. And curious readers may wonder how I celebrated the day. So, that’s what this post is all about! [more...]

    Deconstructing 40 - Feb 20th, 2015
    Today is my last day as a 40-year-old woman. It’s the last day of what I had hoped would be an empowering and fabulous year of my life. But really, it’s just the last day of another year of my life. Nothing life-changing; nothing that will carry me through to the next year. It was, just a year. [more...]

    Lenten rice - Feb 18th, 2015
    Today is the first day of Lent, and also a fasting day in the Catholic Church. I’ve decided to observe several fasting days over the Lenten period and I’m oddly looking forward to it. [more...]

    A hope-filled start - Jan 1st, 2015
    Welcome to 2015! It’s a new day; a new year; a new opportunity for happiness and joy! And as always, I’m choosing to start the year off with hope! [more...]

    Reflections of 2014 - Dec 31st, 2014
    The end of a year can only mean one thing: An obligatory end-of-the-year reflections post! At the start of the year, I had grand visions of joy and laughter. Things were going rather well and I felt confident that it would be a year of mostly good and happy things. [more...]

    Christmas wishes - Dec 25th, 2014
    Christmas is a special time in my world, because it is the celebration of my saviour’s birth. And as it’s a birthday celebration, birthday wishes are a must! So these are my Christmas wishes for you, for me, and for humankind. [more...]

    Vintage smiles - Dec 2nd, 2014
    Some of you may know that I am really a big fan of vintage clothing. And that I have slowly been acquiring my Mum’s old wardrobe over the years. From old handbags to jewellery—and even my wedding dress—I’ve enjoyed taking over her vintage rags. [more...]

    Birthday reunions - Nov 27th, 2014
    Today is Paul’s birthday and I am a mess. No matter how many steps I take forward, there are some moments in time that send me sliding back to the raw grief I felt in those early weeks and months. Birthdays and anniversaries are a couple of the major culprits. [more...]

    Surprise! - Nov 24th, 2014
    Greetings from America! Are you surprised to read that? Well, you should be since very few people knew about my trip. I mean, even my parents didn’t know! Which was the plan, as I was trying to surprise my Daddy for his 70th birthday. [more...]

    A year of PhD dreams - Nov 16th, 2014
    Yesterday marked one calendar year since I matriculated as a research student in the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University. It’s hard to believe that more than 15 years after first thinking about a PhD, I’m finally making progress on one! [more...]

    Beating Beethoven’s record - Oct 23rd, 2014
    I woke up at 6.30 on Sunday morning. The rain was dumping down like mad and I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to start the day. I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. I was, to say the least, feeling a bit underwhelmed. [more...]

    Pride to the power of 10 - Sep 24th, 2014
    My friend, LA, introduced me to The Bliss Scandal so I decided I’d sign up and see what it was all about. To be completely honest, I wasn’t interested in taking most of the challenges. But that’s OK because I think that’s part of finding your bliss: Knowing when to say “no”! Anyhow, today’s challenge was one I was excited about because it was one I needed. And I needed it because it gave me an opportunity to think positively about myself. (Something I’m struggling with right now.) [more...]

    Bob and Dave’s 2014 review - Sep 18th, 2014
    Today was Bob and Dave’s annual check-up, to determine just how well they’re coping with life. Bob and Dave, if you don’t know, are my kidneys. They suffer from polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and have lived their entire lives working really hard to keep ahead of the disease. [more...]

    London girl - Aug 20th, 2014
    I’ve been quiet here on Just Frances once again, but if you ask my friends, they’ll tell you I haven’t been quiet in reality! That’s because I’ve been away to London. (And busy giving my first-ever public talk!) [more...]

    A change of course: Loch Ness, again - Jul 1st, 2014
    After two failed attempts to run a full marathon in 2013, I decided that I would run only half marathons in 2014 to work on my time for “shorter races”. Yes, I was adamant that 2014 would be a year of halfs and that I wouldn’t run another full until 2015. [more...]

    Nine years on - May 21st, 2014
    Nine years ago today, I stood in front of God and my family and friends to profess my love and devotion to the man I expected to spend the rest of my life with. As it turns out, we had a little less than four years before he went ahead to meet God without me. [more...]

    The reward system - May 14th, 2014
    I decided a while ago that I would start rewarding myself for various milestones along my PhD adventure. In part because treats make things a bit more special, and in part because I would never treat myself to something otherwise. [more...]

    An unexpectedly sweet day - Apr 17th, 2014
    For the last few weeks, I have been struggling to overcome my desire to eat loads of candy and sweets as part of my Lenten sacrifice. If you’re a regular Just Frances reader—or if you know me at all—you will know that giving up sweeties is a fairly major undertaking. [more...]

    A new PB! - Mar 9th, 2014
    Wow, oh wow! I just don’t know what to say other than that. Just ... Wow!! (Don’t worry; I’ll manage to find more words, too.) [more...]

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