Just Frances

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    Preparing for cosy - Dec 4th, 2016
    Winter is sneaking up upon us and that means cosy nights in front of a crackling fire. But in order to enjoy those cosy evenings, I need fuel for the fire. So today, I combined my much-needed daily exercise with gathering fire-starters. (Also known as pinecones.) [more...]

    Four weeks broken - Aug 21st, 2016
    It has now been four weeks since my fateful journey out for some salty snacks; a journey that left me with a broken ankle. I am now on the journey to recovery, but it’s a slow and unenjoyable process! [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...]

    Letters home - Feb 12th, 2015
    As part of February’s letter-writing challenge, I’ve decided that I need to think a little more about who I write to. Obviously, I can write to family and friends, but I want to spread the joy a little further afield. [more...]

    The charity exchange - Dec 30th, 2014
    I like to start the New Year with a fresh, clean start (as much as possible), which means doing a bit of de-cluttering and organising. I’ve spent the last couple of days clearing through various cupboards and dressers to help with that fresh start. [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    That old settled feeling - Dec 8th, 2013
    It's been nearly a month since my return to Scotland and I am finally starting to feel a bit settled. In fact, I'm feeling settled for the first time in more than a year. Which is a nice feeling, to be certain! [more...]

    Empty fears - Sep 2nd, 2013
    My flat is now nearly empty. The only things that remain (other than the furnishings belonging to the property) are my (nearly) packed suitcases that I’m taking to America. And me. Yes, I have two more nights in this empty flat before I leave Scotland for what I hope will just be a few weeks’ time. [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...]

    Packing up—again! - Aug 18th, 2013
    I am packing my home yet again and it’s filling me with a sense of dread and panic. It shouldn’t be so difficult, but it is—in part because I don’t have a clear path in front of me; I don’t actually know what happens when I leave my flat. [more...]

    Rained out - Jul 28th, 2013
    Today I was meant to run the Donkey Brae 7-Miler in Aberdour, only the rain scuppered my plans. Not because I can’t run in the rain. Not because the race was cancelled. Rather, it was because my ceiling fell in. [more...]

    My garden - Jun 2nd, 2013
    For the last two weekends, I’ve been working in my garden trying to get it all pretty for the summer. Last weekend was my initial attack, pulling all of the things that I knew were weeds and trying to determine what was in each of the many pots scattered around the patio-style garden. [more...]

    Home is where…? - Mar 29th, 2013
    Home is a hard place for me to define; more so as I don’t know where I will be living over the next few months—and beyond. Frustratingly, it has been a difficult place for me to identify for much of my life because home for me is less of a physical place and more of an emotional place. [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...]

    Downgraded - Nov 30th, 2012
    Remember when I told you that I moved into a lovely new flat? And how I went on about how massive the place is? [more...]

    New digs - Sep 15th, 2012
    Today is moving day! Which means I’m kind of busy. Which means just a short post to share a video tour of the new digs. I had meant to do that last night, since I did a walk through of the place after work yesterday, but video editing issues meant that I didn’t get around to it. [more...]

    Packing up - Sep 10th, 2012
    I alluded to a big step toward a happier future the other day, but also said I wouldn’t share the big(ish) news just yet. Only I’ve changed my mind because I realised that the little steps needed for the big step are a bit more stressful than I thought, and writing about my stresses often helps to ease my mind. [more...]

    A door to nature - Jun 26th, 2012
    Over the past few months, I have realised just how much I miss having my very own front door; a door that I can open up to the great outdoors. [more...]

    Splashing out - Feb 19th, 2012
    Today I finally broke down and bought a new set of sauce pans. They are light-weight, cheap aluminium pans but, despite that, they are considerably better than the pans that my flat was furnished with. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing since I first moved in, but I’ve been a bit uncomfortable with the idea of spending my limited budget on something that was more of a want than a need. [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...]

    Coming home - Oct 24th, 2011
    I got the keys to my new flat this morning and have spent the day traipsing up and down several flights of stairs to get my belongs moved in—and more trips up and down to get groceries and bedding and a few other bits-and-bobs in. [more...]

    Done! - Oct 23rd, 2011
    Do you remember about a month ago when I told you I was working on a new afghan for my new flat and that my goal was to finish it before I moved in? [more...]

    Re-packing - Oct 22nd, 2011
    I’ve spent a bit of time packing today. Wow, it seems like I’m doing that a lot lately. But I hope it’s a while before I have to do it again. [more...]

    Chalk it up to intelligence - Oct 16th, 2011
    Since the beginning of June, I’ve been a bit remiss about organising my digital files. I think I got a bit crazy with my foster daughter moving, followed by quitting my job, leaving my house, moving to Scotland, starting school, and well, just life in general! [more...]

    Budgeting - Oct 15th, 2011
    Before I graduated from university money was tight. My adult life, until shortly before I got married, was spent not spending money. No, really. Money was so tight that a $5 banking error could have meant complete destruction. [more...]

    Ripples for me - Sep 22nd, 2011
    For the first time in my life, I am crocheting something for me. Yep, I’m making a pretty red ripple afghan throw for the couch in my new flat—with a goal to finish the throw before I move in toward the end of October. [more...]

    Sign here - Sep 21st, 2011
    Remember how I said that I think I found a new flat? Well, yesterday I paid the deposit and today I picked up the contracts, which means I’m one step closer to a home of my own again—even if only a temporary one. [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...]

    An unemployed, homeless transient - Jul 17th, 2011
    Last summer I shared with you my rocky start in life as an illegitimate, homeless transient. Well, it would seem that I’m back to a less-than-ideal lifestyle again. [more...]

    It was a home - Jul 16th, 2011
    Tonight is my last night in my house—the house I purchased with Paul a little over three years ago. This was our home; this was where we planned to start a family; this was where our dreams began to come to life. [more...]

    So, I made you a mixed tape - Jul 13th, 2011
    About two months ago I wrote about how distraught and heartbroken I was over the apparent loss of my beloved first (and only) mixed tape (CD) that Paul made me shortly before we got married. I was really starting to lose all hope of ever finding it, but then it happened—I found it! [more...]

    The table - Jul 8th, 2011
    Three weeks before we moved into our house, I found an Art Deco table on CraigsList for $20. I emailed the link to Paul then excitedly picked up the phone to talk to him about it. Looking at the photos, we both agreed that it was battered—after all, all of the four chairs were in pieces and the finish on the rest of the table was horrible at best! [more...]

    On a positive note - Jun 27th, 2011
    Yesterday’s post was a bit sad and whilst I’d love to say that I’m over it and that the world is all unicorns and rainbows and shiny things now, it’s not. It’s going to take a while to get to that point because I have a lot of stuff to go through (mentally, emotionally, and physically) to prepare for my happy future. [more...]

    Stuff hurts - Jun 27th, 2011
    I’m really tired of getting rid of stuff. It really hurts to part with even the most simple of items. I struggle each time I post something on CraigsList or take another trip to GoodWill. [more...]

    Schrodie lives!! - Jun 19th, 2011
    It was just before 4 a.m. when the screaming howls of cats outside my bedroom window woke me with a start. I ran toward the back door to rescue my cat, only on opening the door I heard the sounds of an animal running into the cedar trees. [more...]

    Seller’s blues - Jun 17th, 2011
    For two weeks now, I’ve been selling loads of stuff on CraigsList and I can’t believe how mixed my emotions are at the process. The stuff I’m selling is just stuff; random, run-of-the-mill stuff. It’s not treasured items with high sentimental value. [more...]

    Final blooms - May 19th, 2011
    We moved into our house on May 15, 2008. About a week later, all of the pink tulips planted along the front side began to bloom. They were truly lovely and we enjoyed bringing them in to adorn the mantle. That autumn, we planted loads of yellow and red tulips to go along with the rest. [more...]

    A hard day on the home front - Apr 22nd, 2011
    It’s been a hard day since the realisation that I will be leaving my house in less than three months. It’s so sad to know that I’m leaving this place where dreams once grew and laughter was shared between a hopeful husband and wife. [more...]

    Visa changes: A rambling rant - Apr 14th, 2011
    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before what a massive gamble this new adventure of mine is. I’m leaving my job during one of the worst economic times in recent history; I’m saying goodbye to my house, my car, and most of my worldly possessions; and I’m destroying my finances and depleting my savings account all for the hope that I’m walking into a brighter, happier future. [more...]

    A light bulb moment - Mar 24th, 2011
    One of the things on the ‘to-do list’ before Paul died was to purchase new bedroom furniture—including bedside tables and lamps. We had everything picked out; it was just a matter of going to get them. But all of the sudden, it didn’t seem important. [more...]

    Wednesday’s child is full of woe - Feb 24th, 2011
    Oh Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. Whatever will I do with you? Wednesday, I want to love you because you symbolize the middle of the work week which means that it’s almost the weekend. [more...]

    The big announcement - Feb 12th, 2011
    Today I gave my official notice at work and my last day will be July 8. This is a celebratory moment because it means that I can now publicly share my happy, happy news. [more...]

    We forgot the camera - Jan 18th, 2011
    I almost never go into the upstairs of the house these days because the only things up there are two guest rooms and storage. But I’ve decided to bring the desk down from the small guest room for my foster daughter to use, so I went up this morning to measure it so that I know where to put it when it comes downstairs next weekend. [more...]

    Tree time - Dec 13th, 2010
    With less than two weeks before Christmas, I am trying to get into the spirit. I’ll admit it’s difficult, but I am trying. [more...]

    I have awesome neighbours! - Nov 24th, 2010
    I have awesome neighbours! After last night’s blizzard I decided to work from home so that I didn’t have to deal with the roads. [more...]

    Beaming with pride - Aug 27th, 2010
    Around 4:30 this morning Schrodie really started to get on my nerves. She was zipping around the house like crazy; pounding on the wood floors like mad. It wasn’t long before she was in my room scuffling around in my shoes under the vanity. [more...]

    A lazy day - Jun 27th, 2010
    I started the day off thinking I’d do some weeding in the garden. Maybe work on my tan a bit. So, I broke out the gardening tools and poured a glass of cheap-and-cheerful white wine. Then Schrodie came by to visit and reminded me it was a Sunday. [more...]

    Just two tasks - Jun 14th, 2010
    I met with my real estate agent the other day about the possibility of putting the house on the market. He gave me two tasks to get the house ready for selling: 1) Paint the new railing at the top of the stairs and 2) Clean out the shop/family room and give it a ‘purpose’. [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...]

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