Monday, June 21, 2021

Busy times

IMG_20210620_124831_266Yup, another Monday night. Another busy week at work last week as well as upcoming this week. Still mentoring/training. Plus also covering again for a co-worker on vacation starting mid week this week into next week. So yeah, definitely not being bored. :) 

Besides that not all that much new to report I suppose. Thursday last week I had a dentist appointment. My never ending dental story. Now that I have my braces off we are working on finishing the implant. But I think I need to call the oral surgeon to have them check to make sure the implant is stable before moving forward with the crown and whatnot.  Fun times. 

The weekend was hot and humid so we didn't really do very much.  Saturday we had lunch at Rizzutos in Westport. Spent the night at home,  I ordered my favorite seasonal salad from Panera and some frozen strawberry lemonade and just chilled. 

Sunday we took a ride to Clifton, NJ to have lunch at Chevy's Mexican Restaurant. Yum! And eventually ended up at home to catch up on recorded TV shows. Been binging "Superman & Lois". 

Sunday of course was Father's Day here in the US. Austria celebrated it a week earlier.  So it's been a tough two weeks.  I am kind of glad to be past all of this in social media and just all over coverage. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Carmen/Malta, Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 08:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 14, 2021

Sherwood Island State Park, Movies, etc.

Pixlr_20210614204721797Yup, another Monday night. Very busy week at work last week. Had a new employee start who I am mentoring/training. Plus also covered for a co-worker who was on vacation for 3 days. So yeah, definitely not a boring week. :) I ended up going into the office Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - mainly because the connection seems more stable there than the VPN at home plus I can get things done quicker with my 3 monitors. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy working from home, and very thankful we have been able to do it for the last year but now that things are picking up and getting busier again I can definitely see that I can get things done at a quicker pace when in the office. It may not make a huge difference but when you are already busy every little bit helps. We still don't have a lot of people back in the office and I think it's going to be a while before things go back to the way they used to be and honestly they probably never fully will. But it's ok, I am sure plenty of people are in a similar boat with their office situations. 

Last weekend was actually pretty decent weather wise. Saturday it was cloudy but pretty nice so we went for a 4 mile walk around Sherwood Island State Park. And then had lunch at Rizzuto's. Watched "Promising Young Woman" in the evening. Definitely can see why it was nominated for a lot of awards. 

Sunday we went to see "In The Heights" at the movies which was a lot of fun. Definitely would recommend!! Afterwards we were going to check out a vineyard in Shelton but that didn't quite work out so we just had a late lunch at Notch 8. No complaints - had delicious pizza - so all good. And at night we caught up with some more recorded TV. 

And well here we are, another week ahead. Already mid June. Time is definitely flying. But I guess that's what happens when you are busy. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Carmen/Malta, Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 08:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 06, 2021

June Heat Wave

HotWriting on a Sunday this time. Figured I have a little bit of time so may as well get my update in. :) The weather is scorching this weekend - we are in the 90ies (35C) - record high temperatures -and high humidity too. The total opposite from what we had last weekend when we were in the 50ies (12C) with rain. I would be happy with a medium, you know. Maybe 70-80 (21-26C) would be nice. Haha. But yeah, we of course cannot control the weather. It is what it is. 

Last Monday, on Memorial Day, we headed to Hawk Ridge Winery. I had thought that maybe we could sit outside but when we got there it was breezy and still chilly, so we ended up sitting inside. We grabbed a table right by the window so I was able to look outside while sipping my wine. :) The weather did clear up later in the day and by dinner time it was pretty decent and actually sunny with no clouds in the sky. Go figure. 

The week was busy but went by pretty quickly all in all. Of course now we are already on Sunday again and another week almost upon us. But not trying to dwell on that just yet. Will make the most of Sunday first. :) Yesterday, Saturday, we had lunch at Rizzuto's and then stopped at Two Steps on the way home and hung out there for a while. They were actually pretty busy, the whole bar area was filled, definitely a sign things are starting to go back to somewhat more normal around here. It's kind of weird and I am still not too crazy about crowds (never have been really) but we were on the edge of the crowd, kind of set aside, so it was more of a looking in from the outside scenario rather than being right in the middle. 

Today I think we are going to head to Flipside in Fairfield. We had talked about going to one of the seafood restaurants on the water in Newburgh, NY. But it's just too hot. I really do want to go but sitting outside in 90 degree humidity doesn't really sound all that appealing. Guess there's always next week. We had talked about going last week too but last week we had the opposite problem of being too chilly and wet. :) Well, guess there will be a decent temperature weekend one of these days. Right? :) 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Carmen/Malta, Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day Weekend

IMG_20210530_140925_703Happy Memorial Day! :) Having a long weekend which is nice but the weather has been absolutely dismal. Considering we had 90F (32C) a week ago this weekend was cold and raining pretty much every day. 55F (12c) and rain was really not what I had in mind for a long holiday weekend but I guess you don't get to pick the weather, do you? So yeah that was Saturday and Sunday. Today is a tiny bit better. It's not raining right now, although it is completely overcast but is supposed to warm up a little bit by late afternoon. We are heading to Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown, CT. They have a covered deck so even if it decides to rain again we should be ok.  Still not really the weather I was hoping for but we'll make the best of it. 

Saturday we went to Rizzuto's in Westport and afterwards saw "Cruella" at a theater close by in Norwalk. Was a lot of fun to go to the movies again. It's been a while since we actually went to the movies. Last movie we saw was 'Wonderwoman 1984' on Christmas last year and the one before that was "Emma" in March 2020 before everything shut down. And typically we would go to the movies almost every or every other weekend as our routine so it's been kind of weird. 

Yesterday, Sunday, we decided to check out the Aldrich Contemporary Museum in Ridgefield. Had never been and thought might be something nice to do on a rainy day. The museum wasn't bad but out of the three galleries they had only one was open (the other two were being set up with new exhibits) so we were done super quickly. They also had a small sculpture garden outside so we ventured out into the drizzling rain for a bit but yeah, wasn't a super long visit. Oh well. Afterwards we went to the Barndoor restaurant for brunch. Bottomless mimomas - yay. And later stopped at Rosy's for a bit before heading home and catching up on some recorded TV. 

So today we are leaving for the winery in a bit. Later also need to stop at the grocery store for some items and will see what else we will do. And well tomorrow it's back to work. I am sure the day after the holiday will be busy so not really looking forward to it but oh well. That can be tomorrow's worry. Right? 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Carmen/Malta, Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 24, 2021

Eurovision, Europe Trip, 2nd Vaccine, ...

IMG_20210523_122151_597Yes, you guessed it. It's Monday evening again and another week has somehow disappeared. A week from today is already Memorial Day. I don't even know how it's almost June. Work is still very busy and I guess that really won't change until the fall. But it's good to know that things are going back to normal and relocations are picking up again. Means the world is slowly going back to "normal". Whatever that means. :) 

I got my 2nd shot today (Pfizer) So far so good. My arm is sore but so far nothing else crazy. I didn't have too much of a problem with the first shot either. Just a bit of a fever for a really short time overnight, a sore arm and tiredness. But nothing overly terrible. So hopefully it will be the same with the second shot. And then two weeks from today I will be fully vaccinated. Yay! I know Mike is dying to go to a baseball game. We haven't been in ages so would be fun to be able to go this summer. 

I am glad there is a light at the end of the tunnel now. I also just booked a trip back to Europe for right after Labor Day and am hoping when I go everything will feel a bit more normal there too. I am flying to London first (Jet Blue had a sale for their new London route) and am going to spend a few days with my friend Nicola in the UK. Haven't seen her since March 2019 so will be fun to spend some time with her. And after that I am off to Austria to spend time with my mom of course. And if the world cooperates I'll also be able to see some of my Vienna friends this time (as last time everything was in lock down and I couldn't really see many people outside of the immediate circle) So yes, definitely looking forward to it. It will still be strange going back and my dad not being there. I know, it's been two months now, but it's still a weird feeling and honestly often easy to forget where thoughts like 'Oh he would think that's funny, I have to tell him that' etc. pop into my mind. I wonder how long it takes for those kind of things to stop. 

Anyway, on a more fun note, last weekend was the Eurovision Song Contest and I had fun watching it live via the ORF (Austrian TV) website. The Netherlands did a great job hosting - especially considering the crazy year it's been and all the preparations that had to go into it.  Italy won so next year they will be hosting. I think it's been a while since they have hosted/won so should be fun. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 08:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 17, 2021

Sherwood Island State Park

1621297515137Nothing all that much new to write about really. Yes, it's Monday night again. Another week gone by and another start to the week. As always the weekend flew by but then that's pretty normal I suppose. Saturday we went for a nice walk along the beach at Sherwood Island State Park (Mike is still dealing with his seasonal allergies but the salt air helped and he was actually able to enjoy some outdoor time) and then for lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport. In evening watched "Nomadland" at home on demand. It was one of those movies that you need to sleep on I think. Definitely a neat film and Frances McDormand was really great in it. She was the main reason why we wanted to watch it since we both really like her and a lot of the work she has done/movies she has been in. 

Sunday I had my massage in the morning and afterwards we headed to the Marketplace in Woodbury for brunch. Hung out there for a while and later stopped at Rosy's for a bit where we met up with our friend John. In the evening we spent some time catching up on our recorded TV. And well here we are and it's Monday again.

Mike finished our taxes today so at least that's done for another year. This week he has another job interview on Thursday. I will be going in the office on Wednesday again. Pretty much going in 1x per week at the moment. After the 4th of July our company is going to open up some more again and going to more of a hybrid model where they will encourage more people to go back into the office. But most people will also still be able to work from home if they choose to do so. So it's going to be a slight shift back to more normalcy but still a vast difference from what it used to be like prior to the pandemic.  

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 08:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 10, 2021

Mother's Day

1620692914598And yes another week gone and here we are again, Monday evening. Already in the second week of May. The weather has been very up and down and pretty cool and rainy/cloudy these past few days. We have had some sun but no real super nice weather in a bit. My mom has been telling me about the gorgeous weather they have been having in Austria these past few days so I have been living vicariously through her. It's nice she has been able to spend time outside and sit in the garden. It is supposed to cool off there again mid week as well but I think tomorrow is still supposed to be nice. 

Work has been busy, busy, busy but I guess it really was expected since we didn't have a true relocation summer last year at all. So this year is going to be extra crazy pretty sure. We had somebody new start and have another two new people starting soon plus still two more positions open. Was part of an interview last week and another one scheduled for tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Let's hope we find some more good people soon so we can add to our current staffing. 

Not really all that much else new. On Saturday we went to Rizzuto's and on Sunday with it being Mother's Day we wanted to go somewhere that would attract less of a Mother's Day crowd and headed to Hurricane Grill & Wings in Newburgh. Hung out there for a while and stopped at Rosy's on the wat home before heading home to catch up on our recorded TV shows. And well here we are and it's Monday again.

So yes, as mentioned yesterday was Mother's Day and I did get my mom a couple gifts and also texted with her for a bit (I am proud that she seems to have adapted to texting pretty ok over the last week or so) and called her. I know it's been a month and a half now since my dad passed away but I think we are both still getting used to it and in some ways it's just really starting to kind of sink in now. Grief is such a strange thing. But what can you do? Really only time can help I suppose. 

The attached picture shows the new bed set I put on yesterday. I bought it originally last summer (2020) from German Amazon in hopes of picking it up the next time I would go visit my parents. Well the pandemic never did get any better really and I didn't get to pick it up until I was there this past March/April for my dad's funeral. Ce la vie I guess. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 08:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 03, 2021

1st Vaccine Appointment - done

Wecandoit-14001st vaccine appointment done and in the books. :) I had my first shot (got Pfizer) this morning and so far so good. My arm is sore and now that it's toward evening I am feeling kind of drained and achy but nothing overly terrible. I'll probably read for a bit and then call it an early night. Let's see how tomorrow goes. I don't expect it to be too terrible but you never know of course. I am working from home so should be fine. Wednesday I'll actually go into the office I think. The last time I was in the office was some time in the late fall I think. At some point after that our office closed down again and didn't re-open until April 1st. But with having been overseas and all, I haven't been able to go back till now. So probably going to start going back into the office once a week going forward now, just to kind of ease into it again. Our company still has the "you do you" motto so nobody is forced to go back in and the office is still set up to be socially distanced, masks needing to be worn when not at your desk etc. Will be nice to go back and see a few people at least. It's been far too long. 

Other than that not too much new. Over the weekend we had pretty decent weather. Saturday we went to Rizzuto's in Westport and on Sunday we checked out the new (well they have been open for 6 months now) vineyard in Sandy Hook - Aquila's Nest. They had a lobster food truck there and I had a yummy spicy hot shrimp roll. And the wine was pretty decent too. Was nice to spend some time outside. Well, if you ask Mike, who is dealing with seasonal allergies, it was torture. :) So I do appreciate that he agreed to go and hang outside for a bit even though his allergies seem to be pretty bad this year. 

Yesterday night we watched "Stowaway" on Netflix and then caught up on some of our recorded TV. And well now it's Monday. Had my vaccine apt at the VAMS site at the mall this morning (took about an hour between all the different steps - it's a drive through operation that's set up where you never get out of your car) and worked as normal rest of the day. Made Southwest Zucchini Boats with Spanish rice, salsa and avocado crema for dinner. Yum. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 07:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 26, 2021

Random Stuff

2021_oscarsAnd here we are in the last week of April already. I am not even sure how we got here. In my mind it's still March. But I guess it's just all been a bit mixed up for me. I left for Austria at the end of March, spent almost three weeks there and now been back almost 2 weeks already too. Guess that's where the time has gone when you think about it logically. Just feels weird. 

My Timehop/Facebook Memories keep showing me pictures from my Croatia vacations with my parents in 2019 and 2018. It's bittersweet and kind of hard to look at these pictures as I know we will never have a vacation like that again, with the three of us. I have thought about, once everything is finally back to some sort of more normal, to maybe go somewhere with my mom. We can start small, take the train to Salzburg to see friends and family. And maybe eventually we can take a trip somewhere farther away. A lot of places aren't really all that far away and reachable by train or bus. Or maybe I will actually start practicing my driving again one of these days so I would feel comfortable renting a car. Well, one day and step at a time I guess. 

Nothing too much else is new really. Work has definitely been much busier which is good of course. But we have also been pretty short staffed which isn't helping matters but we do have somebody new starting next week on Monday. And I believe a few more candidates are in the pipeline. So eventually we will get back to more normal staffing again, especially as we are getting much busier again. 

Last night was the Oscars and as always we watched them. But it really was a weird one this year. I mean I figured as much since they had to re-do everything they normally do but still even taking that into consideration it was just odd. They didn't show any clips of the nominated movies and I feel like especially this year where a lot of people didn't get out and see a lot of these movies it would have been beneficial to do that. But hey, what do I know? lol

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 07:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 19, 2021

New Normal

Newnormal_2Flew back last week Wednesday and am finally mostly over the jetlag again. It's been strange adjusting to being back here again and getting used to my "new normal". The travel back was thankfully uneventful. My aunt paid for a car service for me to take me straight to the airport from the house so I didn't have to take the train. The airport in Vienna was pretty much deserted with very few flights going in and out. I was in Premium Economy again and also didn't have anybody next to me again so the flight itself was fine. Immigration was super quiet (never seen it so quiet don't think) and I was able to pretty much fly through. Had to wait for the luggage for a bit but everything arrived in one piece so yeah, can't really complain too much as far as travel goes. 

Work's been busy so I have just been dealing with that getting back into the swing of things. Last week I just had to work Thursday and Friday before having the weekend to break things up but this week is my first full week in a while and it feels really strange. But once I get back into a routine things will feel more normal I suppose. Our office is also now open again so I will probably start going in about once per week to get used to being in the office again and for a change of scenery. 

Mike had his first Covid shot the day before I flew back and I have my first one scheduled for May 3rd. (Mike's second one is May 4th) So that's good that we are moving along with that as well. I will feel much safer once we are both fully vaccinated. Especially now that Connecticut has announced re-opening plans. On May 19, all business restrictions will be lifted. Indoor mask mandates will remain in effect but that's about it. No more capacity restrictions and no outdoor mask requirements. I am not sure I am quite ready for that yet. Maybe once I am fully vaccinated. But things like crowded concerts/shows/sports games still seem a little risky to me. Guess we will just have to see how it all goes. 

Oh in more fun news Diana Gabaldon announced the publishing date for her new book "Go Tell the Bees that I Am Gone". It's going to release two days before Thanksgiving on November 23rd. Yay! It would be fun if there was some sort of launch event but god knows of course. Considering I just said I don't feel quite comfortable with crowds yet I know I am being a bit hypocritical. But at least by November a lot more people should be fully vaccinated. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK.

Posted by Hanna at 07:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)