Just Frances

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    The hard things - Nov 11th, 2013
    I'm packing my suitcases this evening for another return to Scotland. After two months in the Homeland, it's a bit hard to say goodbye again. But it would have been hard after two weeks or two years. It's hard because no matter how much I love Scotland and my life there, I love the Homeland and my wonderful family and friends. [more...]

    Almost all mines - Oct 28th, 2013
    The last couple of days have been spent in Okanogan County visiting lots of awesome people. And lots of old mines. So, it’s been a pretty awesome couple of days. [more...]

    Railroads and Ramona - Oct 25th, 2013
    Today’s plan was easy: Wake up, drive to Franklin Falls for a gentle hike, then meet with my amazing friend, Ramona, for dinner. And I’m pleased to say that the day was a partial success! [more...]

    Fun with fondue - Oct 12th, 2013
    Fondue has got to be one of the funnest foods of all time. It’s a social food that basically forces you to interact with your fellow diners as you cook your meal. I suppose, in a way, it’s like a slightly classy campfire. (Not that campfires can’t be classy!) [more...]

    A double homecoming WIN - Oct 5th, 2013
    Yesterday was Homecoming at the Cle Elum Roslyn High School and, as luck would have it, not only was I home for it, but a couple of friends came to town to see me so we got to go to the game together. [more...]

    Home or away - Oct 2nd, 2013
    I’ve been here in the Homeland for nearly a month now, but I’m finding it hard to say that I’m “home”. It’s a confusing and unsettled part about being an expat: I am constantly torn between two homes and I never know which place to call home when I’m asked the question. [more...]

    Frustrations and silver linings - Oct 1st, 2013
    Today is October 1, which was my target date for beginning my PhD studies. Only I'm not in Scotland at the moment because I've not sorted out my visa. It's a little frustrating, but I have found several silver linings to it all, so that's OK I suppose. [more...]

    Family, friends, and falls - Sep 27th, 2013
    Wow! What a busy week I've had. And—would you believe it from the title?—it was filled with family, friends, and (water)falls. For those who are following my Homeland Holidays, this update is for you! [more...]

    Redneck? Yes. - Sep 15th, 2013
    I spent yesterday truly remembering my childhood and the joys of growing up redneck. And it was great. Well, except for the literal red neck that I developed from the blazing hot sun! [more...]

    The radio star - Sep 13th, 2013
    Today I got to play on the air with Steve and Rob at KXLE Radio—the best country station in all the land! It was such a blast, but it made me realise just how hard the job of DJ is. [more...]

    Hello, America - Sep 6th, 2013
    I am finally back in America after more than two years in Scotland—and after two emotionally draining days of international travel. I can't really say that I'm excited to be home yet because there are just too many uncertainties to face in the days ahead, but I know that I will enjoy my time here visiting with family and friends. [more...]

    Goodbye, Scotland - Sep 4th, 2013
    I’m on the train to England now and will be flying home to America tomorrow morning. It’s weird because part of me feels like I am only going away on a wee holiday, but the other part of me fears this may be forever. [more...]

    Food, glorious food - Aug 31st, 2013
    I’m heading to the Homeland for a visit in a few days’ time and I’m already salivating at the thought of it. Actually, I’ve been salivating for quite some time. I’m just so very excited about all of the wonderful, amazing food I’ll be eating! (And also about visiting with all of my lovely family and friends that I’ll be eating with.) [more...]

    Finding rainbows through the tears - Aug 26th, 2013
    I’m not a big fan of the rain but when the skies open up I do find myself looking—and hoping—for a rainbow. Rainbows make me smile; they make me happy; they warm my soul. So, I’ve decided that I will try something new by looking—and hoping—for a rainbow in my tears. You know, because tears are sort of like rain. [more...]

    Random memories: Dog days of summer - Aug 13th, 2013
    I think I was about 12 or 13 that summer. I was certainly still in junior high school and I was spending most of my days with my best friend, Rachel, in between my house and her parents’ auto supply store. [more...]

    Please, ma’am, I want s’mores… - Aug 4th, 2013
    By the time I was six years old, I had consumed countless s’mores. They’ve been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember and I can’t really imagine having a campfire without them. But then, I am an American girl—born and bred! And, in America, we do love our s’mores! [more...]

    Old bikes and flowers - Jul 20th, 2013
    When the Stirling Smith announced that they were going to unveil their restored, 1930s ice cream bicycle, I marked my calendar and prayed for nice weather. I really wanted to see this groovy old ice cream cart up-close and in person, and the lure of free ice cream made it all that much better. [more...]

    The only lake - Jul 13th, 2013
    Did you know that there is only one lake in all of Scotland? I know that may be hard to believe, but it’s true. (There are, however, more than 31,000 lochs scattered about the country.) And did you know that in the middle of Scotland’s one-and-only lake is a wee island that houses an ancient priory ruin? [more...]

    A quiet reflection - Jul 11th, 2013
    I’ve been a little quiet lately, and it seems that my absence from the digital world has been noticed. I guess that when people expect to keep up with your life through your website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, they get a little antsy when you cease using all of them at once. [more...]

    A good week - Jun 9th, 2013
    Another week is winding to an end so I thought I’d reflect on the good things that have happened throughout the week. So, here goes! [more...]

    I’m high - Jun 3rd, 2013
    I had lunch with a friend today and the topic of my platelet counts came up. Initially as a genuine curiosity to know how they were, but then as a bit of gentle scolding at the fact misconception that I only ever share the bad platelet news—not the good. [more...]

    Innovative memories - Apr 7th, 2013
    I was ten years old when, along with my 14-year-old neighbour, I developed the world’s first carpenter ant extermination system. It was genius. Pure, simple genius. And we would have made a lot of money out of the patenting and selling of our innovative pest control solution, if it hadn’t been for those mean ladies who stopped us. [more...]

    Searching for happiness? - Apr 2nd, 2013
    I read an interesting article today about happiness. Specifically, it outlined the one thing you should do to be happy, and that was to stop trying to be happy; to stop searching for happiness. [more...]

    A Wednesday ramble - Mar 27th, 2013
    I’m going to delve into a short(ish) stream of consciousness for a bit here, because there’s a lot on my mind that I’ve wanted to share, but I can’t really put it into a coherent form. At the same time, I have several people asking me how things are going with my visa and what my plans are for the summer. [more...]

    A happy challenge - Mar 20th, 2013
    Today is International Happiness Day, so I thought I'd talk about happiness; my happiness, your happiness, and the world's happiness in general. [more...]

    Software glitch - Mar 16th, 2013
    There is a glitch in Just Frances that I can’t seem to repair. It started when I first got the Frances 3.0 upgrade nearly four years ago and it seems that it can’t be uninstalled. At least not until there’s a new major version for me to download. [more...]

    January in March - Mar 3rd, 2013
    I have finally managed to complete my first race of 2013 as part of my Race a Month Challenge. The race, the Buchlyvie 10K, was meant to take place on January 26 but was cancelled due to ice, so I’m still counting it as my January accomplishment. (I think that’s acceptable.) [more...]

    Random fate - Feb 5th, 2013
    On Wednesday, February 6, 2002, I was meant to go to St Andrews for the day. Only the friend I was meant to travel with was ill, so I decided to wander around The Royal Mile looking for souvenirs for my family back home in America. [more...]

    Working swirls - Feb 2nd, 2013
    I’ve finally completed my latest swirl drawing. It’s one that I started way back in December for a friend who was embarking on a life-changing journey. It seemed to me that I couldn’t be there to hold her hand, but that I could be there for her in my spirit—and with each swirl I thought of her and sent her all of the positive energy I could muster. [more...]

    Faith for February - Feb 1st, 2013
    When the New Year began, I wrote about my contemplation of giving into misery and hopelessness; of forgoing thoughts of joy and happiness. But, in the end, I resolved to continue hoping for a happier future. I even worked to ensure I started the year off on the right foot with a clear head and a clean flat. [more...]

    Crazy for Doritos - Jan 27th, 2013
    When I eat Doritos, I smile. And sometimes I even laugh a little bit. All because of my obsessive-compulsive way of eating them—and the memory of when the habit was pointed out to me. [more...]

    I fell - Jan 26th, 2013
    The truth is, I fell. I fell really, really hard and I spiralled a bit. OK, maybe I spiralled a lot. [more...]

    Holey-sock monkey - Jan 13th, 2013
    I love my knee-high stripey socks and was a bit sad when I wore a hole through the toe of one of them over the summer. But I decided that maybe I’d make a sock monkey with them. So I put the socks aside for my future crafting project. [more...]

    A day in Peebles - Jan 12th, 2013
    I am so totally exhausted. But I’m so glad for the exhaustion because I’ve had a great day out with a friend. [more...]

    I’m back! - Jan 8th, 2013
    Welcome back to Just Frances! I’m really excited to be back up-and-running, and hope you’re excited, too. I must start this post with giving credit to the amazing Martin Ridgway for taking time out of his personal life to re-build and re-design Just Frances as a beautifully simple site that focuses on content and design. [more...]

    Coming soon… - Jan 6th, 2013
    Regular Just Frances readers might know that the 'real' site has been down since mid-October, with my last post happening on October 5. When the decision was made to take the site down for much-needed upgrades, I think everyone involved (i.e.: me and my awesome Web Guru) thought it would be a short-lived disruption. [more...]

    So long, 2012! - Dec 31st, 2012
    If I am honest, I would have to say that 2012 has been a pretty unhappy year. I think it’s been even worse because I had such high hopes for it; I suppose that hoping for happiness only served to set me up for greater disappointments. [more...]

    The master - Nov 23rd, 2012
    The day you’ve all been waiting for has arrived! Today is the day that I completed one of my life goals. Yes, today is the day that I graduated—with distinction!—from the University of Stirling with a Master of Letters in Media and Culture. [more...]

    Thanksgiving expertise - Nov 22nd, 2012
    Today is Thanksgiving and, once again, I have so much to be thankful for. Of course, it’s always a little awkward being overseas on the holiday, since it’s not only not celebrated here, but it’s also not understood. [more...]

    New leaves - Nov 20th, 2012
    Graduation is on Friday and I’m really [dreading] looking forward to it. Oops, did you catch that error? [more...]

    Peachy-keen - Nov 17th, 2012
    As you probably know by now, I like to swirl. It’s relaxing and rather enjoyable (and maybe a bit addicting at times). In addition to swirling for my own inner peace, I really like to swirl for my friends and family—and am always up for swirling away at custom pieces when requested. [more...]

    Low, but lucky - Nov 15th, 2012
    I’ve been a bit low lately and reached out to a friend for a bit of company. When I’d first mentioned that I was stressed and needed to get out of the flat, I imagined that we’d meet up for a wee walk somewhere so that I had a bit of human interaction. [more...]

    A bloody Stirling day - Sep 16th, 2012
    Today was fabulous—even as I sit here with aching muscles and feel completely wrecked. The day started off well, after a fantastic night’s sleep in my new bed, and even though it’s only early evening, I think it’s going to end pretty well, too. [more...]

    Boxes from home - Aug 30th, 2012
    I’ve written in the past about foods I miss from the Homeland, and I’ve shared tales of the amazing boxes I’ve received from family and friends back home. And, well, it’s time to tell those tales again! Only this time, the boxes have really stacked up! [more...]

    A 10K and a curry - Aug 25th, 2012
    Today was the Drymen 10K in, well, Drymen, Scotland. It was also race Number 8 in my 2012 Race a Month Challenge. It was also my first time out with my friend, David, who will be starting the Loch Ness Marathon with me this year. (I say starting with me, because I’m quite certain he’ll finish well before me!) [more...]

    Virtually friends - Aug 21st, 2012
    Last week, I sent a panicked message to my Facebook friends when I learned that there were issues with Just Frances that meant the site needed to be taken down for a spell. I was panicked and stressed and, quite frankly, in a bit of hysterics because this site means so much to me and has been such an important part of my grief process—my healing process. [more...]

    A Wee Highland Tour - Jul 31st, 2012
    To round out my week’s summer holiday, I took a wee trip to the Highlands to spend a couple of days with friends. It was really and truly a fantastic break! [more...]

    Summer holidays - Jul 31st, 2012
    I don’t know if it’s fair to say that I’ve been on my summer holidays, since I’ve been an unemployed student for the last year+, but calling this past week my summer holidays is a great excuse to share a bit of Cliff Richard, so there you go! [more...]

    We Forgot the Tripod - Jul 29th, 2012
    No tripod? No problem! When there’s no one around to snap a picture, and you want to capture that “Kodak Moment” you get some pretty funny memories! [more...]

    Escaping to the hermitage - Jul 28th, 2012
    Sometimes I wonder if I could become a reluctant hermit, living in my own little hermitage, hiding away from society, and sulking away my life one day at a time. But, thankfully, I have just enough of a desire for company to save myself from myself! [more...]

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