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    Escaping to the hermitage - Jul 28th, 2012
    Gallery: I spent a lovely day in Perthshire visiting the Hermitage and Fish Ladder with my friend, John. Oh, and a couple of whisky distilleries, too! (Fun!) [more...]

    Seven for seven - Jul 22nd, 2012
    Today was race number seven in my 2012 Race a Month Challenge. And if you didn’t guess it from the title of this post, it was a seven-mile race. (And the seventh month of the year, but that’s kind of obvious since it is the seventh month of the challenge, hence it being race number seven. But I digress…) [more...]

    I broke it! - Jul 19th, 2012
    Yikes! Were you on Just Frances yesterday? Well, if you were you may have noticed a 12+ hour period where the site was broken. The main page worked (mostly) but all of the other pages were kicking up an error. [more...]

    Dissertation month update; Part 3 - Jul 11th, 2012
    In less than two weeks’ time, I have to have a full draft of my dissertation ready to turn into my supervisor for his review. (After which, I will have a couple of weeks to make final edits before it’s due.) It seems that Dissertation Month is going by so quickly! [more...]

    Words about me - Jul 5th, 2012
    I am participating in an online thing where a few people are getting together to chat through a moderated forum run by a grief counsellor. It’s kind of an experimental thing run by the niece of a woman I used to know, and when the moderator went looking for participants, this woman suggested me. [more...]

    Getting back into the [blogging] game - Jun 14th, 2012
    You may have noticed that I’ve been rather quiet these past few weeks. Maybe you’ve found that refreshing or maybe you’ve been wondering where I’ve been and if I’m still alive. So, I guess I should tell you! [more...]

    A mini-reunion and a catch-up - May 15th, 2012
    Oh dear, it’s been more than a week since I last posted. Sorry about that. It’s not that I’ve been sitting at home sulking though. No, I’ve been sitting at home writing essays like a mad woman! So, let me get you up to speed! [more...]

    Swirls for Amy - May 3rd, 2012
    I recently finished another swirl drawing and I thought that I’d share it with you. (But you have to read to the end to see it!) This was more than just a drawing though. You see, my swirls began as a way to occupy my mind and my thoughts, and have actually become a great way of relaxing and meditating for me. [more...]

    Dusty books - Apr 28th, 2012
    A couple of years ago, a friend took me to Glasgow for a surprise that would really excite my ‘geeky side’. As we made our way to this secret place, I wondered what it could be. My friend knew of my love of books and printing and typography history, so I thought we might be going somewhere to see an old printing press or a collection of ancient manuscripts. [more...]

    Summer is near - Mar 27th, 2012
    Summer is near. Very, very, near. And that’s awesome because it means that my jacket is getting a break from service. [more...]

    Running around - Mar 25th, 2012
    Yay! Today was my third race in my 2012 Race a Month Challenge. I don’t know how I survived it, but I did! [more...]

    I’ll get by - Mar 24th, 2012
    It’s been a week since I last shared my mundane life with you here on Just Frances. And it’s been nearly that long since I [temporarily?] deactivated my Facebook account. [more...]

    YouTube trails - Mar 3rd, 2012
    I decided to spend the day on the couch in an effort to rid myself of my latest cold. (Two colds since the New Year? Well that totally sucks!) [more...]

    Hushed hooking - Feb 28th, 2012
    I started a new crochet project back in January. But I couldn’t tell you about it because it was for my friend’s birthday present. And she’s such a good friend that she reads my blog all the time. And I knew that even if I tried to talk about it without saying what or who it was for, it would ruin the surprise. [more...]

    Random thoughts: Simple pleasures - Feb 26th, 2012
    Random thoughts—Week 3: List 31 simple pleasures; pick one and write about it. Last year I was challenged to write a list of 30 things that made me smile and I imagine that this list may include a few duplicates, but I will try to keep those to a minimum. [more...]

    Random thoughts: Top 50 no-gos - Feb 10th, 2012
    Random thoughts—Week 1: List 50 things I’ll never do. [more...]

    The dummy box - Feb 9th, 2012
    Well, I have a television now. Yay! I’ve been going back-and-forth on whether to get one or not, but when Joanne offered up an old one of hers, I found myself unable to turn the offer down. I’d been watching TV on my ‘big’ laptop (14” screen) and it was bit of a pain—and I had a very limited selection of shows to watch. [more...]

    Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race - Jan 25th, 2012
    Oh, what a happy belly I have, all thanks to the lovely Burns’ Supper that Rebecca prepared. [more...]

    A running start - Jan 21st, 2012
    I have a goal to run a race a month in 2012. It’s kind of an annual goal that Paul and I always attempted, but one that’s yet to be met; mostly because there always seems to be a race shortage. It’s one of the disadvantages of living in rural America. [more...]

    Got milk? - Jan 17th, 2012
    If you’re American, you may not realise that milk is a very important part of British culture. From the 1946 School Milk Act (an addendum to the Education Act 1944) to Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher and from breast milk ice cream to the order in which one adds tea and milk to a mug, milk seems to be more than just another beverage. [more...]

    Catching up - Jan 10th, 2012
    I can’t believe that it’s been more than a week since I last blogged. I’m not exactly off to the best start this year, am I? So, this post will serve as a quick catch up for everyone—including me! [more...]

    A slow start - Jan 2nd, 2012
    It’s nearly midnight on January 2nd and I’m finally getting around to writing my first post of the year. I meant to write yesterday and I’ve been meaning to write today, but life got in the way. [more...]

    Another year passes - Dec 31st, 2011
    As 2011 winds to an end, I find myself reflecting on the year’s joys (and sorrows). It’s funny the way we do that—the way we compartmentalise our years as if the changing of the date will truly make an impact on our lives. But I suppose we need to have hope that ‘things will be better’ next year—just like we have hope that with each tomorrow life will improve. [more...]

    Home(ish) for Christmas - Dec 28th, 2011
    Well, I suppose now that Christmas is over, I should tell you a bit about my lovely Christmas weekend! And it really was a lovely weekend! I went through to Aberdour with my friend, Rebecca, to spend Christmas with her parents. [more...]

    Christmas 2011; Aberdour, Scotland - Dec 27th, 2011
    I went to Aberdour, Scotland, to spend Christmas with my friend and her parents. And whilst I wasn’t with my own family, I was made to feel like family indeed! [more...]

    A lesson in carols - Dec 24th, 2011
    Being a guest in someone’s home at Christmas means the joy of participating in the traditions of the family. It’s a chance to experience new things and to learn new lessons. In fact, today’s tradition shared was a lesson, indeed. A lesson in carols, that is. [more...]

    A spirit found - Dec 21st, 2011
    I’ve been struggling to find my Christmas Spirit since the season began and was starting to wonder if it would be found in time. I haven’t had the energy or the inclination for baking Christmas cookies or writing Christmas cards. [more...]

    Making do; Part 2 - Dec 13th, 2011
    Back in November I talked about the practice of ‘making do’ in my efforts to host a Thanksgiving dinner for friends. I was really pleased that all of that making do worked out, especially since I’ve found myself needing to make do again. [more...]

    A thankful weekend - Nov 27th, 2011
    Well, my Scottish Thanksgiving weekend has come to a close. Yes, the original planning process was difficult, and I found myself having to make do with all sorts of things to pull it off, but I think I can fairly call it a success. [more...]

    Thanksgiving 2011 - Nov 27th, 2011
    Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday, and the fact that I was able to share the holiday with friends, despite being 6,000 miles from home, made me extremely thankful this year. The bonus is that I think everyone enjoyed their first Thanksgiving! [more...]

    Making do - Nov 25th, 2011
    Tomorrow, I will be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time since Paul died*. It won’t be as big of a crowd as our last Thanksgiving together, but I find myself just as nervous about the preparations. [more...]

    Countdown - Nov 23rd, 2011
    As I write this post, people are counting down to Christmas. Really. I mean, it’s not even Thanksgiving and they’re already counting down to Christmas. And I have to say, it makes me a little sad. [more...]

    Warming up - Nov 21st, 2011
    I’ve been upset about Thanksgiving for a while now. Like really, really upset. I know it’s silly, but that’s the way it’s been. (As I’ve said.) [more...]

    A cunning plan - Nov 19th, 2011
    Sometimes, no matter how much thought goes into plans, things don’t work out. From Daedalus and Icarus’ attempt at building wings to escape from Crete to Windows Vista, history is full of failed attempts—despite the extreme cunningness of the plans. [more...]

    Sugar and spice - Nov 18th, 2011
    OK, since it’s sort of my thing to tell you all about goodies that I get from home, I suppose I should tell you about yesterday’s parcel. (Yeah, I know you’re excited about this!) [more...]

    Connect the dots - Nov 17th, 2011
    Confession: I have 292 Facebook friends. At least 46 of them are people I’ve never met. 25 or so are people I’ve only met once. 93 are former classmates. 64 are family of one description or another. And (not including family) I’ve only seen 18 of them in real life in the past 12 months. [more...]

    Social conscience - Nov 13th, 2011
    Social lives are interesting things—and hard to define at times. Everyone seems to have one or want one. Or they want a better one or a different one or a less chaotic one. Or they laugh about how their children have better social lives than they do! [more...]

    I spy - Nov 9th, 2011
    As part of my Thankful November theme, today’s post is an ‘I Spy’ photo story. So, here goes! [more...]

    Guy’s night - Nov 6th, 2011
    Last night was Guy’s night. Guy Fawkes’ Night, that is. (Well, it’s more often called Bonfire Night in Scotland, but that doesn’t make for as fun of a post title!) And to celebrate, Rebecca and I went to the Bridge of Allen fireworks show. [more...]

    Silken smiles - Nov 4th, 2011
    I am smiling today because I was given a beautiful gift. But the smile is less about the gift, and more about the reasoning behind it. [more...]

    Sugar high - Oct 31st, 2011
    OK, if you’ve been paying attention, you might know that I like candy. No, that’s not true. I love candy. I mean, let’s face it: This is a typical candy stash for me! [more...]

    One man’s junk - Oct 29th, 2011
    We’ve heard it a million times before: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Well, let me just say that I’ve found a treasure in amidst the junk—The Junk Rooms, that is. And now, it’s become a Cocktail Mecca for me and my friend, Rebecca, who introduced me to the place. [more...]

    Job done! - Oct 2nd, 2011
    I am now officially a marathon finisher! Can you believe it? No, neither can I. Today’s feat went much, much better than I expected. And now you get to hear all about it! [more...]

    Classy lady - Sep 23rd, 2011
    It’s here! My first week of classes has finally happened! After a long journey of ups and downs and a false start or two, I am finally a postgraduate student. And here’s the promised update on that very topic! [more...]

    Reflections - Sep 20th, 2011
    The home I had in America was my dream home. Paul and I spent more than two years searching for the perfect place to raise a family and I remember how we both just knew this little yellow house was the place from the moment we walked through the front door. [more...]

    One down; one long one to go - Sep 18th, 2011
    I ran my first-ever non-American race today—a gentle 10K through my new home of Stirling. I’ve been neglecting my training so I was actually quite pleased with my time. (Sorry, you have to read more before you get that bit of information!) [more...]

    Honestly, I’ll keep blogging - Sep 14th, 2011
    It would seem that I’m not very good at this whole blogging thing of late, and I apologise for that. I suppose that it has a lot to do with the fact that I am no longer living in near isolation—meaning I have real life people to talk to—and that I have been running around quite a bit visiting family and friends and getting ready for the start of term. [more...]

    Boxed cat - Sep 5th, 2011
    OK folks, it’s pitch time! So sit back, relax, and get ready to hear all about my new freelance venture and how you can help! [more...]

    Robin Hood’s Bay Walk - Aug 30th, 2011
    I spent the day walking along an old rail bed in North Yorkshire and couldn’t help but take a load of photos so that Mom could see the old train tunnels and arches. [more...]

    A palatial day - Aug 15th, 2011
    Today wasn’t spent in my new home of Stirling, but rather in my old home of Edinburgh—the city I first moved to ten years ago. In fact, I spent the day with a friend from my old Edinburgh days! [more...]

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