Browse by topic

Whilst Just Frances is really all about me, Frances Ryan, there are some topics that are of interest to others – even those who are not interested in me as an individual.

Below is a list of broad topics I talk about, with short descriptions. Click on the links to view posts on the topics.

Everyday Life

As you might expect from a blog about my mundane, everyday life, this is the most used category on Just Frances. These are posts about nothing and everything and are often used as a digital diary of sorts.

Academic Life

Ah, yes. Frances the academic! The most recent posts under this banner relate to my working life as an academic. Older posts chronicle my journey towards completing my PhD. These posts are largely about the personal aspects of my academic life. For the really academic-y stuff, visit my other blog at

Widow Life

Sadly, this topic is about just that: The impacts of widowhood on my life. Whilst the keyword “widowhood” is attributed to posts across a range of topics, posts under this category are specific to the mourning and grieving processes, the ongoing impacts that widowhood has on my life, and the art of “moving forward”. (Don’t worry: The posts are not all tragic and sad. I have found an odd form of happiness over the years.)

Chronic Illness

There are two chronic illnesses I write about: Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). Posts under this banner will be specific to these conditions. Where PKD and ITP are mentioned as an aside in another post, I will tag those posts as such, but they might not also be categorised under Chronic Illness.

Cooking, Crafting & Creating

This is a mix of posts that share some of my favourite recipes and various crafting or art projects I’ve done. Most of my projects involve “upcycling” or the reuse and repurposing of old things to make something new. At times I may include how-to instructions, but most of my creations are inspired by others (links and acknowledgements will be shared when relevant).

Fitness & Exercise

I am not a fitness and exercise guru, but I do like to post about my running, walking, and hiking activities. On occasion, I might even write about other forms of fitness and exercise. But not often!

Health & Wellness

For me, health and wellness are intertwined and include physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. This category includes posts about acute illness or injury, my quest for a positive mindset, ramblings on my diet or my emotional health, and other such things related to creating a healthier “whole” self.

Musings & Ramblings

Posts under this category tend to be reflective and at times a form of my own “talk therapy” as the act of writing down my thoughts and feelings can sometimes help me to work through them. I try not to be political or controversial in what I write, so you won’t find many of my “world views” shared here. (But in 2020, I urge my fellow Americans to vote for Biden/Harris!)

Travel & Adventure

A mix of local, regional, and international travel and adventures. Whilst the broad scope of this topic is overnight travel, day-trips that involve exploring interesting places also fall under this category.