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    The fewer; the prouder: 100 years later - Aug 13th, 2018
    One hundred years ago, in 1918, Opha May Johnson became the first woman to (officially*) enlist in the United States Marine Corps. Back then, women were only able to be in the reserves, but she helped to forge the way forward and 30 years later, women were able to enlist as “regular” Marines. Although, in my experience, women Marines are more than regular; women Marines are remarkable! [more...]

    Zadar: Everyday life for an everyday girl - Sep 30th, 2016
    Travelling to new places is quite exciting; you get to see new places through the warped lenses of tourism. So when I travelled to Zadar, Croatia, for an academic conference last week, I was very excited to have a free day to explore the city on either side of the conference. [more...]

    A funny(ish) Frances - Feb 28th, 2016
    Like many people, I fancy myself a bit of a comedienne. I like to crack jokes and I regularly have episodes of SUBS syndrome that I just can’t control. I’m not suggesting that I am the funniest woman in the world, of course, it’s just that I can’t resist a (bad) joke. In fact, if it weren’t for bad jokes, I wouldn’t have any to tell! [more...]

    A Wales of a day! - Nov 9th, 2015
    I’ve been down in England spending a few days with my brother-in-law, John, and on Saturday he suggested we drive across to Wales for a wee day of adventuring. And as I can’t resist a good adventure, I happily accepted the idea of a pilgrimage. [more...]

    That tatty old man - Nov 7th, 2015
    I went to a play with my brother-in-law, John, last night. He had sent a message a few days ago to say there was a play I might like to see on my visit, but that was all I knew. But I happily agreed to go along. After all, what fun is a long weekend in England if you don’t get out and enjoy the culture? [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...]

    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...]

    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...]

    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...]

    A dam sweet day - Oct 29th, 2013
    Another day, another road trip! This time it was the journey back from Okanogan County to the Homeland—with several stops along the way. [more...]

    Roca and rattlesnakes - Oct 22nd, 2013
    Today was a bit of a hodgepodge day that consisted of shopping, tourist-ing, and panic attacks. But there were no rattlesnakes. Well, at least not ones I saw. [more...]

    How to peel a banana - May 18th, 2013
    For years, I have secretly (or maybe not-so secretly) been annoyed by the way people open their bananas. I would watch people do it the wrong way and I would cringe at their sloppy ignorance because—obviously—my way was the right way. [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...]

    Tasty tortillas - Aug 11th, 2012
    Today we’re going to have a wee cooking lesson. But it’s also a lesson in budgeting and in ridding ourselves of un-needed preservatives. And as the topic of tortillas has come up a few times in the last week, that’s what we’re going to play with today. [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...]

    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...]

    Chinese jacks - Mar 29th, 2012
    Today’s post is a random memory and a bit of a musing about Chinese jacks. So, let’s go! [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...]

    Freedom of the City - Mar 10th, 2012
    My day started out pretty lazy and I didn’t have plans of leaving the flat until early afternoon. But then I learned that there was a military pipe and drum band making their way through town. Which meant that I needed to get dressed and get a move on my day. And I’m so glad that I did! [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...]

    Lovely latkes - Jan 23rd, 2012
    I love latkes. They’re amazingly delicious and super duper easy to make; inexpensive, too. And the best thing about them (today) is that they fit the bill for my Dark Days Challenge. (I realise it’s been more than a month since I last posted a DDC meal, but it’s not because I’ve not been eating local, rather it’s because I haven’t been blogging about it.) [more...]

    Substitutiary locomotion - Dec 29th, 2011
    Back in the day, kids’ movies were pretty gosh-darn awesome. So much so that (I think) they’ve survived the test of time. Movies like Pete’s Dragon (one that my sister and her kids watch regularly) and all of the Hayley Mills movies. [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...]

    Minor chord - Nov 11th, 2011
    I love a good minor chord. I love minor keys and minor scales. I love a bit of musical dissonance. Unexpected notes; unexpected lyrics. They’re wonderful to me. [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...]

    Feeling fishy - Aug 31st, 2011
    Today I had a fish pedicure with my sister-in-law, Liz. I had heard about them but was never of the mindset to get one; however from the day I arrived more than two weeks ago, Liz was pretty sure I needed one. And as I’m a pretty curious person, I decided to give it a try—but I made her get one, too! [more...]

    Bit of a wander - Aug 30th, 2011
    Yesterday was a completely new experience for me: Walking through the English countryside. The walk was suggested by Paul’s cousin, Olwen, and I happily accepted the offer. Though if I’m honest, I didn’t really know what to expect for it! [more...]

    Caledonia, I’m going home! - Aug 11th, 2011
    Wow! Can you believe that I’m flying ‘home’ to Scotland tomorrow? Or should I say today, since it’s past midnight in the homeland (why am I still awake!?) and morning time in Scotland. [more...]

    Playing make believe - Jul 18th, 2011
    Avid readers of Just Frances will remember that I shared my thankfulness for ‘make believe friends’ this past Thanksgiving. Well, it seems that my sister, Celeste, shared that story with her make believe friends at the same time. [more...]

    Bye bye, Schrodie - Jul 12th, 2011
    I said goodbye to Schrodie today and whilst it breaks my heart, I am certain that her new home will be a good place and that she’ll be well taken care of. She has gone to live with my ANT Elizabeth who will love her very much. [more...]

    The last long weekend - Jul 4th, 2011
    I’m in the homeland enjoying a four-day weekend before the start of my final (three-day) work week. And as it happens to be Pioneer Days Weekend (in celebration of Independence Day) there is lots going on! [more...]

    Loosey goosey - May 23rd, 2011
    Back in February I told you about a never ending project I’ve been working on with left over bits of yarn. And I mentioned that the stitching was getting looser as I went, making the project all catawampus. At first, I thought I’d just deal with it. [more...]

    Catch a falling star - Feb 9th, 2011
    I was standing in the kitchen making dinner when my foster daughter asked me if I’d ever heard the song “Catch a Grenade” which prompted me to ask if it went something like this. [more...]

    A dialect vlog - Jan 29th, 2011
    I’ve decided to take part in the ‘Dialect Vlog’* craze so today you get to see me on camera. Yay! [more...]

    Fannies and haggis - Jan 25th, 2011
    The second annual “Freeze Your Fanny and Burns’ Supper Extravaganza” weekend is officially over and I think it was a great success! There were 18 of us for dinner all together and everyone seemed to enjoy the haggis! [more...]

    The life of tiny platelets - Jan 15th, 2011
    A low platelet count means I’m on rest orders from the doctor. My foster daughter is spending the night at a friend’s house. I’m too cheap to pay for cable so I’m watching The Godfather for the gazillionth time. Which means I’m a bit bored silly at the moment. [more...]

    Everybody hurts, sometimes - Dec 22nd, 2010
    I’ve really been struggling through this holiday season—much more than last year when I was still in a bit of shock and disbelief over the fact that I no longer had Paul to share Christmas mornings with. The loneliness and sadness just seems so much worse this year. Much, much worse. [more...]

    Venice videos - Dec 18th, 2010
    I don’t know what made me start looking at all of these old videos, but I have been and it’s making me smile so I’m sharing them with all of you. [more...]

    How hokey! - Dec 17th, 2010
    I think it was Celeste’s wedding when we started the tradition of doing the Hokey Pokey at Cook Girl weddings. I remember all of us girls standing in line together for a photo and one or two of us started goofing around. [more...]

    Happy 235th birthday, USMC! - Nov 10th, 2010
    Since 1775, the United States Marine Corps has been winning battles and defending our nation. On what marks the 235th birthday of the Corps, I want to say that I am proud to be the daughter of two amazing Marines. [more...]

    Blagenda - Nov 8th, 2010
    WooHoo! I made a trip to the homeland this weekend to make blagenda with my folks and one of my sisters. Her kids and my foster daughter got in on the action, too. [more...]

    Just a doodlin’ - Nov 5th, 2010
    I love to doodle. So today, as I sat waiting for a meeting that took forever to get started, I found myself doodling a bit. The meeting’s theme of social media use seems to have come across in my doodle, too. [more...]

    Papier-mâché pumpkins; Part 2 - Oct 24th, 2010
    Yay! One week later and our fabulous papier-mâché pumpkins are done! This was a fun and inexpensive project and requires absolutely no talent what-so-ever. Plus, most of the supplies are probably things you already have in your home which makes it even easier. (Supply list below.) [more...]

    Papier-mâché pumpkins; Part 1 - Oct 17th, 2010
    Yay! We’ve been busy making papier-mâché pumpkins for two days now. I’m using a new technique (no balloons for this gal!) and it seems to be working out pretty well. I had to buy some orange paint, but other than that everything is either recycled materials or general household junk (staples, duct tape, flour, etc) which is pretty cool! [more...]

    Donald, where’s yer troosers? - Oct 16th, 2010
    I woke up yesterday morning with “Caledonia” going through my head so decided to grab my “The Best Scottish Album in the World…Ever” CD to listen to on the 30-minute drive to town. The kid wasn’t too keen on the departure from our normal car music—the local country western station—so I played a song I thought she’d like (after listening to Caledonia twice, of course). [more...]

    10 on 10-10-10 - Oct 10th, 2010
    WooHoo! Today is 10-10-10 and I’ve just run a 10K. Yay! This makes me happy because: [more...]

    Crafty chick - Sep 26th, 2010
    I’d like to tell you that I’m completely over my blue mood, but that would be a lie. I have, however, been having an enjoyable weekend despite it. [more...]

    Hello from Seaton - Sep 11th, 2010
    I’m in England at the moment and that means a trip to Seaton Carew. Actually, it means as many trips there as possible. My lovely sister-in-law is seeing to it that I get my fill of fish-n-chips (and British bacon) before I have to return to the states. [more...]

    Gone fishin’ - Sep 5th, 2010
    Back in July I was inspired by fish. It started as a general rambling, then turned to an actual plan for fishing on Labor Day Weekend. It was going to be great! Some friends from high school and I were all going to meet at our childhood fishin’ ponds and re-live our glory days. [more...]

    Sharing is nice - Aug 24th, 2010
    When I started Just Frances I did so thinking that I’d just throw things out there randomly and that no one would read it. It wasn’t meant to be anything more than an outlet for thoughts—an outlet I felt I really needed because there wasn’t anyone sitting next to me on the couch every evening to share things with. [more...]

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