Monday, April 15, 2019

Humid Weekend - Wine Tasting and more

Pixlr (2)Monday morning again and I am not quite awake. Went to bed semi late after catching up on some recorded TV and was woken up by crazy thunderstorms a bit after 4am. I don't generally mind thunderstorms but this was crazy lightning and thunder and especially at a time where it was close enough to the alarm going off that it made it hard to fall back asleep. The storms didn't stop till close to 5 I think. One of our cats is absolutely terrified of storms so she begged to come into the bedroom in an absolute panic so she could hide in the back of our closet. She's still in there and it's now close to 7.30am. 

The weather has been a bit weird over the weekend. 70ies (22C) on Saturday, only mid 60ies (18c) on Sunday but really humid on both days. Not normal weather for April. And I guess the humidity is also what made the storms happen in the night. Again not normal April weather. We usually get thunderstorms like that in the summer. But yeah climate change isn't a thing right? Ugh. I guess don't get me started on that topic. 

Anyway, the weekend was good all in all. Saturday we went to lunch at 121 in Oxford and then the store on our way back to stock up on necessities (mainly cat food, kitty litter and some other basic stuff) I spent the evening getting stuff together for my Europe trip this week. I haven't quite wrapped my mind around the fact that I will be back on a plane on Wednesday. Been trying to get all my work stuff in order which has mostly worked out ok. But the next couple of days are definitely going to be very busy. 

Sunday we went to Millbrook,NY. Did some wine tasting at the vineyard and then enjoyed a glass outside on their deck overlooking the vineyard. They now have Gruener Veltliner which I thought was pretty neat. After that we headed to downtown Millbrook and had lunch at Canoe Hill which was a neat place. Strong hipster/hippie vibe but delicious food and drinks. On our way back to CT we stopped at Rosy's to meet our friends John and Jana. Hung out with them for a bit before heading home to catch up on TV. 

Sherlock is doing well. She hasn't worn her cone at all but she has been good about leaving her incision area alone. She's been doing well, eating, drinking, playing. Of course I haven't been able to prevent her from jumping as the vet asked but she seems in good spirits and doing totally fine. This week Friday (4/19) will be the 2-week mark which is when she would normally get her cone off. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Sherlock's spay appointment + some nice spring weather

Pixlr (1)Alright a little behind on my post this week. I usually try to post either Sundays or latest Monday (lately it's been mostly Monday mornings) about the past week but it just completely slipped my mind yesterday morning. I think because I was out of my routine as I worked from home instead of going into the office. I was staying home to watch over Sherlock as she had her spay appointment this past Friday. She is really doing great so all's well but of course it's still good to watch her. Especially since she managed to get her cone off twice (we even went back to the vet Saturday morning to get her a different cone). We now decided to leave the cone off and see what she does. As long as she doesn't bother her stomach where her incision is she doesn't really need the cone. Of course that's a TBD as she could start licking/scratching/messing with it at any moment but so far so good. She's been good and has left it alone so we shall see how it goes. 

Her surgery was Friday. We dropped her off in the morning and picked her back up again around 5pm. She was a bit groggy and loopy still when we first brought her home but not too bad. She just absolutely hated that cone. Friday to Saturday night was not a very restful night as she would wake up about once an hour getting up, trying to mess with her cone and whatnot. So Saturday morning we went back to the vet and got her a clear plastic cone (the original one was a soft one made out of paper) hoping that would help. All was ok for most of the day when in the late afternoon she managed to get that one off too. We don't even think she really did it on purpose. She was trying to scratch/lick a certain area and was bending and managed to get it off that way. My sis-in-law was watching her at the time and couldn't get the cone back on so we decided to leave it off for now. 

Other than that the weekend was pretty good. We had some nice spring weather (around 65F/18C and sunny) even though everything is still pretty brown here. Can't wait for the trees to get leaves and everything to turn green again. Hopefully soon. We had some nice weather Monday as well. Today it's going to be much cooler though (50F/10C) and the lows for the next few days are dropping down to around freezing again. It's been so nice having the windows open especially at night. Nothing better than sleeping with an open window. Sunday night it also rained for a while and that's always a soothing sound/feeling somehow when you're in bed sleeping. 

Sunday we also checked out a new restaurant that opened up. It's part of a local chain called Marketplace. This one opened up in an old jail which was really neat. In the bar you could still see the bars from the cells and it was just a neat converted space. Here is an article about it if you are interested. It's a neat project. Was definitely busy but as they haven't been open for very long I am sure a lot of people wanted to go to check it out same as we did. Anyway it was fun. Not right around the corner but if we are in the area again for any reason it's worth going back to. That same chain does have restaurants much closer but the menus do vary slightly at each location. The one in Woodbury is pretty neat as well - set in an old converted barn. 

Well, that's about all for now I suppose. Let's see what the rest of the week brings. Work's pretty busy but that's only normal as we are now heading into the spring/summer season where all goes a bit haywire. And a week from tomorrow I will already be on a plane again heading to Austria. I am not quite sure I am really prepared for that just yet. But I guess I have a week to get my stuff in order right? 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 01, 2019

Happy April Fool's

SnoopyHow did it get to be April? I mean I am happy because that means that spring weather may actually be on the horizon for real. We had some nice days while in Europe and there the trees were starting to be green, flowers blooming etc. Here in the Northeast everything is still pretty grey and dead. I suppose it will happen at some point. We had some nice weather on Saturday but Sunday was much colder and raining all day. Oh well, made for a good day to go to the movies (we saw "Captain Marvel")

On Saturday we ran a bunch of errands. Feeling a little more put together today after having replaced some odds and ends (a new wallet, lip balm, Tide stick, travel size Advil etc.) DMV visit to replace my license was done on Friday as well. Also called a bunch of other places to get replacement stuff for various cards (definitely not traveling with all that stuff again -- just the basics going forward) So slowly starting to go back to normal. 

Let's see what else? Well that's pretty much it. We flew back from the UK on Tuesday (got home around 11.30pm - ugh), went back to work on Wednesday and had a relatively decent week. It was busy of course, trying to catch back up but all in all ok. The weekend was a welcome break. And well here we are and it's Monday again. Honestly not quite sure I am ready to face another Monday and week ahead but it will be ok. Things at work are definitely in an upswing as spring has sprung and summer is just lurking around the corner (our busy season) Always happy for the nicer weather but it also makes for crazy days/weeks at work. Well oh well. 

I can't complain too much because I will be heading back to Europe in just 17 days. Leaving for Austria on April 17 and will be there until April 29. Spending a few days in Austria and then heading to Croatia with my parents for about a week. So something to look forward to on the not too distant horizon. After that no real vacations until probably mid-late fall (October/November) Well we'll see. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

London Adventures continued

IMG_20190325_220853_086England continued: Saturday we went to the British Museum in the morning and spent a good amount of time there. IMG_20190325_221430_228 It was our second time there but the first was quite some years ago. I am glad we went back and spent some time exploring the various exhibits. Their Egyptian collection is quite impressive as well as the Roman statues etc. 

After the museum the plan was to head to the Hard Rock Cafe which got a little derailed when we ended up in the middle of the Anti Brexit march. We hadn't realized that it was going on that day so we ended up straight in the middle of it as the route was going right by the Hard Rock. We did eventually make it to lunch and had a nice time at the Hard Rock. Were able to leave ok but our next stop was supposed to be at Gordon's Wine Bar which didn't really work out. The wine bar apparently is rather busy normally anyway and with all the crowds from the march it absolutely impossible to get a table or even an area to stand. So we eventually just continued on looking into different places as we walked. Ended up in Soho at Balans Soho Society. Had some nice food for dinner and hung out for a while before heading back to the hotel.

Sunday we met up with my friend Nicola and went to the Postal Museum which was kind of neat. Afterwards we had intended to have lunch at the Slug & Lettuce near the London Eye but god that place was so mobbed and a real disaster so we abandoned that idea and ended up having lunch at a pub inside Waterloo Station which was fine. Much quieter and good food/drinks. Always great fun hanging out with Nicola. It was already 4 years again since I last saw her at her wedding. Time flies so much. 

After spending time with Nicola Mike & I headed to Greenwich and toured the Royal Observatory there. Then had dinner at a neat pub there. Definitely an area to come back to and explore some more. After Greenwich we headed back to the hotel for a few more drinks at the hotel bar. That's where things went a bit sideways. I had my bag hanging on the chair and neither Mike or I noticed when a guy came in and grabbed it. Well, long story short. My bag (incl. my wallet with my credit cards & driver's license, some meds, a guide book, battery & usb cable and some other small stuff) disappeared so we had to cancel credit cards (after the guy charged up $2000 already - but Capital One should be taking care of that), file a police credit and so on. Oh the joy. I will need to go to the DMV when we get home, order replacement cards for everything else (store cards, library cards etc.) and work on replacing everything else. To be fair the staff at the hotel was super, super nice and apologetic about the whole situation. The mgr. assured us they had never had anything like that happen and seemed truly upset. 

Anyway, we still had a good day on Monday and tried not to let this ruin the remainder of the vacation. Spent Monday in Bath (1 1/2 hrs by train from London) and had really nice weather that day as well. Went to the Roman Baths when we got there, then had lunch at a lovely placed called the Bath Brew House. Then wandered around some more, went to the Jane Austen museum and also bought a bunch of tea at Whittard's. Eventually made our way back to the train and back to our hotel. And well now it's Tuesday, we are at Gatwick and probably going to be boarding our flight in another hour or so. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Austria & London

IMG_20190322_200954_182And here I am sitting at the airport at Gatwick airport in London already waiting for our flight back to New York. As IMG_20190323_190600_206usual everything went by way too fast but then isn't that how things always go? 

Anyway, let's see if I can recap the most important things. I will turn this into 2 posts just to make it a little easier. 

So Tuesday last week (a week ago from today) was the funeral. As far as these things go it was a nice event and the pastor did a very good job. It was heartfelt but not unnecessarily drawn out. Afterwards our family went for come drinks and pastries at a close by restaurant. Was nice to see a lot of family and friends, some I hadn't seen in some time. Also went to the house and looked at old photo albums. There were some pictures of Uncle Karl when he was barely 18 and in the army. He looked so young. Crazy. 

The rest of my time in Austria was pretty quiet. Went for lunch with my parents, went to the store to buy some goodies and just spent time with them in general. Then Friday I was already off to London. I was catching a morning flight and as I was taking a shuttle transport that was picking up some other people had to leave at 1.40am. Getting up at 1am was no fun. But made it to the airport ok, checked in and got to Heathrow even a little early. Mike's flight from NY was about 1/2 hour delayed which was fine because it gave me enough time to make it to terminal 5 and have a bite to eat and some tea at Costa before Mike getting there. 

Made it to our hotel ok (Holiday Inn Whitechapel) and eventually headed back out to explore some of London. We walked along the river for a while, taking pictures of all the sights and also had lunch at a Weatherspoon's. Had a nice afternoon even though the weather was a bit gloomy. Then hung out at the hotel bar for a bit before calling it a night. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring has sprung ...

Pixlr... well in Austria anyway. When I arrived on Sunday it was quite perfect. The high was around 70F (21C) on Saturday and I got to spend some pleasant time sitting in the garden soaking up the sun. There are also plenty of flowers already blooming in my parent's yard as well as some bushes/trees showing buds. Definitely much more of a sign of spring than we have seen in CT so far. 

To be fair today it went down to only about 40F (4.5C) and windy so not nearly as pleasant. Next few days it is supposed to be a mix of chilly and somewhat decent weather but relatively dry. I am off to London on Friday and currently the forecast for London is also pretty dry which is more than you can generally hope for in England. The temps look to be topping out in the 60ies (15C) which isn't half bad. 

Anyway, not too much has happened. Last week was ok. Just busy with trying to get everything done for going away. I left Saturday night out of Newark and my flight was pretty delayed but by some miracle everything worked out fine where I managed to catch my connection from Dublin to Vienna without a problem and had no problems with my luggage either. Made it to St. Poelten by train and then had lunch with my parents before heading back to the house. 

Today, Monday, I chilled for a bit in the morning after sleeping in late. Then my parents picked up lunch from a local restaurant. After eating lunch I worked for 1/2 a day from 1pm to 5pm. Made sure everything was in decent order before logging off and joining my parents in watching TV and having a glass of wine. Watched some TV and eventually headed upstairs now. Probably going to read for a bit before calling it a night.

Tomorrow is the funeral so that will be the main focal point of tomorrow. No exact plans for Wednesday and Thursday just yet but probably nothing major. Just lunch, some errands, shopping and spending time with family probably. Then Friday I am off to London to meet up with Mike. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Daylight Savings Time, Andy Warhol/NYC and more

PixlrAlright today's complaint is Daylight Savings Time. I hate the whole concept to begin with but I hate it even more in the spring when we lose an hour and even worse it's not even spring yet. The US changes so ridiculously early now. It's super annoying. Yes it's light out later at night but in the mornings it had finally been somewhat light when I get up. No, not anymore. It was pitch black dark when our alarm went off at 5.45am. I don't actually get up till about 6.15am but even then it was still dark. Ugh. It's my least favorite part of winter. The cold, dark mornings. I am not a morning person to begin with and this just makes it ten times worse. Ugh. Alright I will stop complaining now but ugh.

The weekend was good but of course went by too fast but then when doesn't it? Saturday we went to NYC to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney Museum. It only runs until the end of the month so I am glad that we were able to squeeze it in and go see it. And the weather on Saturday was actually really nice. It was in the low 50ies (12c) but somehow felt much warmer. The sun was out and people were sitting outside at restaurants in NY. So weird. It was nice to walk around and not be freezing for a change. So we went to the exhibit (out tickets were for 12.30pm) and then headed to brunch at a place called "The Spotted Pig" which was a lot of fun. The place fit the neighborhood perfectly somehow. Typical NYC prices too but it was fun to hang out for a bit. Would be a neat neighborhood to live in. Well, in a pretend world where we make way more money. :) 

Sunday we slept in late and then headed to lunch at 121 in Oxford before heading home to catch up some recorded TV shows. And well here we are and it's Monday again. It's finally starting to be light outside now that it's 7.33am. Yes, I will keep complaining about this for at least a few more weeks I assume. 

In other news our London trip is not that far away now. Only about a week and a half. And in a turn of events I'll actually be heading to Austria first and continuing on from there to London to meet up with Mike. The reason behind that sudden change of plans is not the best one though. I am heading home for a funeral. "Uncle Karl" (everyone in the extended family and friend circle always called him uncle no matter the actual personal relationship) passed away on Friday. He was 94 and for sure lived a full life and only had a real decline during the last 6 months or so when he had a 24 hour live-in help. Anyway, it is what it is I suppose. I'll be heading to Austria on Saturday, arriving there on Sunday and the funeral will be on Tuesday (so a week from tomorrow) Then on Friday I will continue on to London where I'll meet up with Mike and we will spend some days there as planned. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 04, 2019

Where's spring??

FB_IMG_1549149218165Ok yeah I am definitely over winter. Woke up to 10 inches of snow this morning and that was after we had some minor snow events this past week as well. They were just a couple of inches though. This one dumped a good amount on us. Ugh. I haven't actually gone outside yet. Lingered in bed for way too long. just not feeling this snowy Monday morning scenario. I wish I could just stay in bed. All the schools in the area are closed. Not that that matters for me but would be great not to have to work today either. Oh well, I will go outside in a minute. Looks like our landlord just showed up to plow our driveway and parking area behind the house. We will still need to clean off the stairs outside and the area around the car. Also really should shovel a path to the mailboxes. Not sure how much time I will have to get that done though. ugh. 

So anyway, had a nice relaxing weekend which was good. Slept in on both days which I think is why I was craving sleeping in again today even more. Well, it's not to be. Yesterday I did get a few things done around the house. Vacuumed, cleaned the area around the kitty litter boxes and put on a new bed set. I always love the feeling of sleeping in new bed sheets. Also had put on newly washed PJs. So it was just a glorious feeling all around. Can you tell how everything I talk about this morning seems to revolve around sleeping?  

Well, I better get on with it and go outside now that the landlord has finished plowing so I can clean some more. Nothing really scheduled for this week so just the usual stuff. We'll see how the week goes at work. Technically we're still in the slower season but that doesn't always mean anything. It could get crazy for no real reason. So let's see what the week brings. Ugh. Monday mornings. Alright I better stop complaining and really get on with it. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 25, 2019

Book Launch + the Oscars

IMG_20190224_163203_441Brrr it's cold out. It's not even that cold out really. Just around freezing but it's super windy so with the windchill it only feels like about 20F (minus 6 C) Still not terrible but yesterday we were quite a bit above freezing. Although it wasn't really nice either. Mostly misty and rainy all day. But still, the temperature swings are getting annoying. It's always freezing for a few days, then warms up for a few days and then right back down to freezing. Ugh. I am ready for actual spring to come along. We will see how the weather plays out then. Our winter has definitely been unusual. A lot of ice storms rather than traditional snow. 

Let's see what else is new? This past weekend on Saturday we took Sherlock to the vet for her next appointment. She's now up to date for all her shots. Her next appointment is on April 5th to get spayed. She is still pretty tiny but has definitely grown since we got her. She's 3 lbs now where she was just a little over 1 pound when we first got her. She was sooo tiny. :) 

Saturday night we caught up on some TV and Sunday I went to my friend Falguni's book launch at the Barnes and Noble in Scarsdale, NY. It's always great to support a friend and exciting to be able to be part of her success. When that was done we stopped at Rosy Tomorrow's for a quick bite before heading home to watch the Oscars. I always enjoy watching the Oscars and this year was no different. Of course there are plenty of boring/dull moments but it's still fun. I do hope they find a host for next year though. The no-host thing worked out semi ok (better than I had thought) but I think it's still better when they have a good host. Guess we'll find out what happens next year. 

Well, that's all for now I suppose. Another week ahead. It will be March at the end of the week already. I know there is still plenty of chance for snow/ice and cold weather but at least once you hit March it feels like you're slowly creeping towards spring. Also we will be in London in March. I can't even remember if I have written about this on here yet or not. We're heading to London for 4 nights March 21 to 26. Still a month away but it will be fun to be away for a bit. It's been a while since we have been to the UK together. The last few times I had gone on my own visiting with friends. Should definitely be fun.  

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy Birthday Mike

Isn't_It_Romantic_(2019_poster)Another snowy Monday morning. Ugh. At least it's not that much snow. But as with every storm this season so far there is a layer of ice coating everything. I am so over that. I am not a big fan of snow but this ice/frozen stuff is the worst. It turns everything into a skating rink. Ugh. Today (knock on wood) doesn't seem as bad as some of the previous storms but still. More to come Wednesday night into Thursday apparently. I am really over winter. Can we be done already? 

It's Mike's birthday today. Since it's a Monday and neither of us gets President's Day off we are both still heading into work. Going to meet up with some friends for dinner and drinks later. Been feeling a little under the weather with some minor stomach bug since Saturday night too. Hope this goes away again sooner rather than later. 

Let's see what else? This past week went by relatively quickly as I was away for work in Pittsburgh for 2 days. Went with 3 other people for a client visit so we drove. About 6 1/2-7 hour drive each way. On the way there we encountered some crazy stuff (sheets of ice flying off trucks and cars and snow white out conditions) part of the way. At least the way back was a pretty smooth ride. The meetings and presentations went well. So that was Wednesday and Thursday so then I just Friday to work and it was the weekend again. 

Well, now it's Monday again though unfortunately. Oh well, will get through this week too. The weekend was nice and pretty low key. Saturday we had our check-up vet appointment with our cat Mindy. She's never too easy when going to the vet so all in all it went as well as it could have. She is fine, just supposed to be losing some weight. Well, don't we all? 

Sunday we went to the movies and saw "Isn't It Romantic" which was pretty funny. Had lunch/brunch afterwards and caught up on some recorded TV. So yeah a laid back weekend all in all. Hopefully my stomach decides to reset itself sooner rather than later but anyway enough complaining about that for now. Better get ready for work.  

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Celia/MA, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)