Monday, September 28, 2020

Autumn Days

DownloadAnd it's almost October. The weather has turned more summery again and also weirdly humid these past days. Overall it definitely does feel more like fall though. Although the trees haven't really changed colors here very much yet but I know it's been happening further north. I really am not sure how it got to be fall. In my mind I am still stuck in March somehow. I feel like the whole world kind of went on "pause" mode for me in March when the whole Covid thing really started to blow up. Obviously a lot has happened since then but at the same time it also feels like not much has happened at all. 2020 has been such a weird year. 

Not really much to write about from last week. Wednesday night was our friend John's birthday so we went out to dinner with him and his wife Jana. On the weekend we had lunch at Rizzuto's in Westport and later met up with John and Jana at Centrico. The weather was perfect that night and we hung out by the firepit for a while, enjoying the live music. And when we got home we watched "Enola Holmes" on Netflix. Really enjoyed that. 

Sunday we went for brunch at the Marketplace, ran errands and whatnot. Oh Saturday I also bought two new pairs of sneakers at Sketchers. They had a really good sale so was able to get the second pair for 50% off. 

Well, that's really all for now. Finished the Mary Trump book the other day. Oh yey. I don't even know what to say about that besides it made me feel even more depressed and anxious than I already was/am considering the current state of things in this country. Going back to reading Susanna Kearsley's "Bellewether" now. A much better distraction. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 21, 2020

North Fork Weekend

IMG_20200918_204344_460Monday night - mid September. And it's cold. I am enjoying the nice autumn/fall weather but it's a bit cold at night for my taste. Only slightly above IMG_20200918_205824_943freezing overnight at the moment. That's more normal for October rather than early-mid September. But won't complain too much. The days have been pretty nice and I am enjoying the fall sweater weather. :) 

Had a nice long weekend with good weather as well. Work was busy Monday to Wednesday but then we were off Thursday to Sunday so that was nice. Just a small extended weekend break. Drove to the North Fork on Long Island for some R&R and vineyard hopping. :) 

Thursday morning we started with breakfast at our local diner Elmer's. Yum. Then headed out to Long Island and arrived at our first vineyard Kontokosta by 1pm. This vineyard is the furthest one out on the North Fork and is always super pretty to me as it is located by the bluffs with views over the Sound. Vineyards don't usually have ocean views so that's always neat to me. Had a bottle of wine there while sitting outside enjoying the pretty views. From there we went to One Woman which we discovered the last time we were out on LI. It's a much smaller operation but they grow Gruener Veltliner which is always fun to find outside of Austria. So hung out there for a while before ending at Osprey. Followed by a delicious seafood dinner at A Lure. Shared crabcakes and shrimp cocktail. Yum. 

Friday morning we went to Starbucks before heading to Paumanok for our 11am reservation (due to COVID all the vineyards were doing something different - some requiring reservations - others doing walk-in, some bottles-only, some glasses, some tasting flights, some no) Ordered two different tastings flights there along with some crusty baguette with olive oil. Paumanok has a really pretty rustic deck and the weather, while a bit cool, was still nice to sit outside and be comfortable. From there we continued on to Jamesport Vineyard which was right next door. When looking them up I saw that they had a woodfired pizza oven so we decided to go check that out. The pizza was pretty good but not crazy amazing but the place was still a lot of fun. Tried a few different wines. And from there ended at Coffeepot Cellars. Always our favorite of course. One of the owners Laura is just such a sweetheart and their pug Beasley is the most adorable dog ever. 

Had a light dinner at First and South in Greenport. Had some delicious seafood chowder and shared an antipasto platter. Eventually made our way back to the hotel (Indigo) and hung out in the hotel restaurant/bar for a bit longer. 

Saturday was our day to go home but still had a good day. Stopped at Starbucks again in the morning after checking out and then went to Lenz for our 11am reservation. Had two tasting flights plus some cheddar cheese, crackers and prosciutto. From there we went to Bedell. They were doing walk-in only and it wasn't too crazy busy yet when we got there. Were able to grab a table and even though it felt a bit like a wind tunnel it was still nice. Also had some delicious shrimp cocktail that they were selling. Yum. From there we were going to stop at Pindar but when we got there we took one look around and pretty much decided to leave. Way way too many people scattered around everywhere, lawn chairs, people in big groups, just really not our scene. So instead we stopped at Coffeepot one last time, said hi to Laura and Beasley, had some more wine and then drove home from there. 

And the good thing was that we then still had Sunday to spend at home and relax. So that all worked out pretty well. And Saturday you could already tell the traffic was getting crazy out on the North Fork so it was good we planned it a different way. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to:  Carmen/Malta, Nina/WA, Lotte/Denmark, Celia/MA and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 14, 2020

Random musings

Bellewether CanadaAnd here we are, into the middle of September already. Just a few days away from the official start of fall. it's definitely starting to feel like autumn/fall. I do like this season. I just don't like the foreboding feeling of what comes after it. The cold, ice, snow and dreariness of winter. But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet I suppose. 

Last week went fine. I did end up working Thursday and Friday because Mike had a work conflict. So we pushed our two nights away to this week instead. Not the end of the world and gives me something to look forward to this week at least. :) 

The weekend was pretty low key, didn't do too much. On Saturday we had lunch in Westport at Rizzuto's and after headed to Centrico and met up with John and Jana, followed by a bunch of Schitt's Creek binging on Netflix. Sunday we also slept in and then headed to the Marketplace in Danbury. We thought they were rolling out their new brunch menu but apparently that didn't start just yet. Oh well. Still had a nice lunch and 1/2 price wine on Sundays so no complaints. Eventually got our grocery shopping done and then more Schitt's Creek binging. We're about halfway into season 5 now. Season 6 isn't on Netflix yet - hopefully soon. 

Anyway, that's about all the news at the moment. Having a low key night tonight. Going to make a sauteed chicken dish with squash. And then will continue reading "Belleweather" by Susanna Kersley. I also really should write some letters. I am so so behind with my letters. Just haven't been in the mood at all.  I think because normally I would be writing in my letters about my travels, shows we have seen, concerts or museums we have gone to. And now there really isn't anything like that to write about. I feel like I am constantly just hanging in limbo. I mean I shouldn't complain. We have been making the best of it, having some nice lunches and times at vineyards etc. But there just isn't much else to do. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 04:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 07, 2020

Labor Day Weekend

Pixlr (3)Today is Monday but it's a holiday here in the US so that means I am off - yay. It's day three of our three day weekend. Of course time always flies by IMG_20200906_162237_535way too quickly but can't complain really. The weather has been absolutely beautiful this weekend. In mid-high 70ies (25C), sunny and low humidity. 

Saturday we went for brunch at J. Lawrence. Then stopped at Supercuts so I could get my long overdue haircut (just got a lot of the dead ends chopped off and some layers put in to add some more volume - definitely feels a lot lighter and less dead now) and after that made our way to Centrico where we met up with John. Hung out there for a while. Always a fun place to sit and just chill. They had the firepit going and even though it got a bit cool at night it was still nice sitting outside. 

Yesterday, Sunday, we went for a nature walk at the Audubon Society in Fairfield. Always a nice place. It's not huge but they have some pretty trails. Marshy, swampy, wooded. We spent some time there and enjoyed the weather before heading to Flipside for lunch. I had the MacFlip burger which is their take on a McDonald's Big Mac and absolutely delicious. Plus Sunday is half price margarita day so I had two Pink Grapefruit Margaritas. So good. 

Watched "Irresistible" when we got home which I thought was a really good movie and a great take on today's world and politic landscape. After that binged some more of Schitt's Creek. And well here we are. Now it's Monday. 

Heading to Mill House Brewing Company in Poughkeepsie for lunch and then we'll see where the rest of the day takes us. I have an early presentation at work tomorrow so do need to plan on going to bed at a reasonable time tonight. But luckily it's only 10am right now so the day is still ahead of us. Plus we also took Thursday and Friday off this week so I only have Tuesday and Wednesday as work days. Then we're off to the North Fork for some vineyard relaxation days. So can't complain. :)  

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

Posted by Hanna at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 31, 2020

Bye Bye August

IMG_20200830_134414_605Tomorrow is already September. I really can't begin to comprehend how that happened. I mean time always flies but this year is just extra weird with everything going on. I think it just feels like summer never happened. Yes it was hot and humid but there wasn't anything much we could ever do. No concerts, no baseball games, no city trips, sightseeing, museums, movies, nothing. Luckily we have been able to hang out at wineries so that's a small blessing but everything else has been rather dull. 

This past week on Thursday we brought Mindy to the vet. Dropped her off for the day so they could get an urine sample from her. And luckily the crystals in her urine have disappeared. They want to keep her on the special urinary diet food for the next 3 months and then re-check her. Overall she is pretty much acting normal again so hopefully all will be ok when we re-check around Thanksgiving.

On Saturday the weather was super humid and rainy for most of the day (leftovers from the hurricane coming through) so we went for lunch at Rosy's. Later in the day the weather cleared up a bit and we stopped at Centrico and were able to sit outside and it actually turned into a rather nice evening. Not bad at all.

Then yesterday, Sunday, we drove down to Westport and took advantage of the nicer, less humid weather. Went to Sherwood Island State Park. Mike and his sister used to go there with their parents when they were kids when they went to the beach. I actually had never been there, neither Mike or I are big "spend the whole day at the beach" people. But it was fun to check out the area and the different trails and paths. Walked 3.7 miles according to my FitBit so that was good. After we were done there we headed to Rizzuto's for lunch (only a 10 min drive from the state park) Had a nice leisurely lunch and eventually headed home to binge on more Schitt's Creek. Oh, Saturday night we watched the new Bill & Ted movie. As expected it was pretty dumb but in a fun way. 

Well now it's Monday again and we'll see what this week brings. Tomorrow I am meeting up with my friend Susanna for dinner after work. We used to work together and haven't seen her since Feb or March in before COVID times. So will be nice to catch up. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 24, 2020

Vet Follow-up, Winery Weekend etc

IMG_20200822_172140_626And it's hot again. The weekend was hot and muggy but I guess I shouldn't complain. Summer is definitely on the way out and we have had some almost IMG_20200823_141955_925 fall like days recently as well. Once it gets truly cold I am sure I will complain about that as well. My perfect weather would be 70 degree weather year round. Well, once can dream right? 

Had a nice weekend even though we didn't really do all that much. Saturday morning we had our follow up appointment at the vet with Mindy. No stones on the xray so that's good. They weren't able to get an urine sample from her and gave me some lab litter to try and collect some at home. Yeah, that's not going to work out. So we will probably have to bring her back to the vet at some point this week and drop her off in the morning, have her stay there for the day and then pick her up again at the end of the day. We will see how we can get this done. She's definitely acting much more normal and I think feeling ok so that's good. Just need to have her urine re-checked to make sure those crystals have gone away. 

After the vet on Saturday we had lunch at Broken Symmetry and when we got home started watching the new season of Lucifer. We finished it on Sunday (8 episodes) and I definitely recommend it. This is season 5A so hopefully not too far in the future they will release the second part of season 5. We also still have a bunch of "Schitt's Creek" to watch so we'll be ok. Plenty of shows both on Netflix, Amazon and regular TV that it's really not possible to watch everything. Not sure what will happen with the fall season of TV with everything that's been going on. A lot of the filming was shut down for months so I expect there will be delays. 

Sunday we stopped at two wineries, Hawk Ridge & Miranda and had fun just hanging out, sipping some wine and having some snacks. Also stopped at Centrico on the way home where we met up with our friend John. And then binged the rest of Lucifer when we got home. So definitely an enjoyable weekend. Now it's Monday again but the day is slowly getting towards an end so that's good. 

Also can't believe we are almost through August and just one more week to go before we are in September. I know summer doesn't really end until mid September but Labor Day is always a kind of unofficial end to the summer it feels like. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 03:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 17, 2020

Cost Plus World Market Fun

CostPlusFor once it's not crazy hot. :) Yesterday, Sunday, actually almost felt a little bit like a fall day with rain and cooler air. Especially at night it was really nice. i think it was the first night in a long time where I was actually comfortable sleeping. Today has been pretty decent too and I think most of the week is supposed to be ok. Guess we will see. 

Not much else new really. Last Tuesday I had the appointment at the orthopedist. All's well. They told me most likely what happened is that I popped out the joint in my ring finger and when it popped back in it chipped a part of the bone so that's where the hairline fracture came from. But it's nothing crazy. They told me to take the splint off and are having me try bending and using the finger again to try and get regular movement back. They did tell me that the swelling will probably take quite a while to completely go down. But I guess good enough for now. 

This coming Saturday we have our follow appointment with Mindy. Hopefully all goes well and we can go back to a more normal routine without having to force medicine down her throat every day. She does seem to be acting much better, pretty much her normal self I'd say. So fingers crossed all checks out at the vet. 

This past weekend we went to Rizzuto's in Westport on Saturday and on Sunday we drove up to West Hartford to go to the Cost Plus World Market there. I only very recently discovered that we have one of those stores only about 1 hour from us and it really got me excited. I always associate it with CA which is where the brand/chain originated. Anyway, it was a lot of browsing and picking up a bunch of random international goodies (tea, cookies/chocolates, little sausages, pickles, Austrian soda and more) What a cool store. 

Not much on the horizon for this week. I am really wishing we could go on vacations. I know, I know. I am thankful that we are healthy and Connecticut is doing very well all things considered. But I miss real vacations, travel, airports, sightseeing, museums, hotel bars, .... 

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

Posted by Hanna at 06:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 10, 2020

Random Thoughts

Pixlr (2)Yup - still hot. We had some slightly cooler weather but now it's back to 90ies and a heat advisory for 2 days straight. Ugh. The storm last week that came through on Tuesday wrecked all sorts of havoc all over the area as well. Luckily we didn't lose power at home (it flickered a few times but that was it) and no trees down on our street. But there were so many people in the area with their power out, trees down everywhere, wires, trees tangled with wires, roads blocked and closed. There are still people without power and it's now been almost a week. it's really crazy. I know people are getting quite agitated with the electricity company. We had a lot of people out at work too, especially when it first happened. Things are slowly returning back to normal now. 

Over the weekend we went to Rizzuto's in Westport on Saturday. They were operating on a generator. Sunday we went to Rosy's for lunch and later finished the rest of season 2 of the Umbrella Academy on Netflix. Stayed up till past midnight but it was definitely worth it. I hate that it's probably a year till new episodes come out though. But I guess that's the way it is when you binge a show like that on Netflix, Amazon, etc. 

Other than that really not a whole lot new. Been cooking twice a week. Today i made a really delicious "Calabrian Shrimp & Orzo Pasta" dish from Blue Apron. So good. I have tried Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Sunbasket and Home Chef so far. Next I am trying Martha & Marley Spoon (the meal kit by Martha Stewart) Tomorrow I have my follow up appointment at the orthopedist to check on my fracture in my finger. I think everything should be fine as it definitely does feel better but we will see what they say. Mindy has also been doing much better and seems to be responding to the meds and the special diet food we have been giving her. She has her next vet appointment in 2 weeks. So we will know more after that. Hopefully we can stop giving her this med and I also hope she can go back to eating regular food because the special urinary diet food is quite pricey. 

I am so behind with my mail and letter writing. Can't really explain why. But eventually I will catch up again. I am determined. I'll blame the heat. I just don't feel like doing anything when it's so hot. Ugh. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 06:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 03, 2020

Hello August, broken finger and more

Pixlr (1)You guessed it - still hot. But I think it's supposed to get a bit better as the week goes on. Although tomorrow a tropical storm is coming through which will bring a lot of rain and wind. Fingers crossed on that. At least it won't be hurricane strength by the time it hits us but when we checked yesterday we were supposed to be in the direct path where we are here in CT so we will see how that goes. 

The weekend was one day of really hot weather and one day of humid but slightly cooler weather with rain. Saturday Mike brought the car in for an oil change and check-up. And later we drove to Westport for lunch at Rizzuto's. Sunday we slept in a bit and then checked out the new Flipside location in Milford, CT. They did a really good job with the design and location. It's right by the water overlooking a small marina with a big outdoor terrace. We sat outside even though it ended up raining on and off the whole time we were there. But honestly it was kind of refreshing. Ran some errands afterwards and then watched some more of "The Umbrella Academy". I think we are three episodes into season 2 now. And well here we are, and it's Monday again. 

In other news, as I mentioned in my last post, our cat Mindy now needs to be on a special diet and some meds for 30 days. Well, she isn't really a fan of the med I have to give her each day. It's a gooey kind of consistence and you put it into a syringe and then push it into her mouth. Well the first few days I was doing this by myself and it more or less went ok. Well day 3 (last week Tuesday) she wasn't having it. I tried giving her the med. struggled with her a bit, my left ring finger bent backwards, I heard a pop/crack and then felt a searing pain. I ended up deciding that a trip to urgent care was probably the best idea, especially since I was having trouble getting my rings off. They did an x-ray and at first told me it wasn't broken. Maybe 45 minutes later, just shortly after I got back home, the doctor called me and told me that in fact there is a hairline fracture and to come back and get a splint. Joy. So I have been wearing that plus I have a follow up appointment with an orthopedic doctor next week to check how everything is healing. Needless to say giving Mindy her daily med has become a two person job between Mike & me :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 08:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 27, 2020

More hot weather, Mindy cat and more

IMG-20200313-WA0002Yup, still hot. But I guess it's summer so is what it is. It's been in the high 80ies and low to mid 90ies (29-34C) with varying humidity. Yesterday was actually very hot but we did manage to spend a decent amount of time outside in the shade. We had lunch at Notch 8 (delicious pizza) and then headed over to Centrico where we hung out for a while, catching up with our friend Cait. Our friend John also joined us later so we ended up staying for a while, just hanging out. 

Saturday we had another vet appointment with our cat Mindy. They did a bladder xray and the good news is that she doesn't have any stones. She does have a lot of crystals though so they want her on a strict urinary diet for 30 days plus she has to take a med once per day that is supposed to help break up those crystals. It's a really gooey consistency so I have to squeeze it into her mouth with a syringe. And of course she doesn't like the urinary diet food. It's gonna be a long 30 days. But is what it is right? Just want her to get better and clear this up so it doesn't turn into more of an issue down the road. She is 10 years old so not crazy old yet but also not a spring chicken anymore. 

Anyway that's been about all the excitement here with us. After the vet on Saturday we had lunch at Broken Symmetry which was fun. Watched some more of the Umbrella Academy. We have just 1 episode left now to finish the season. Then season 2 comes out next week I think. So that's good timing. We are also talking about watching a show called "Dark"  It's on Netflix. And there are also some movies I want to watch. I miss going to the movies by the way. 

I don't know when I'll actually be able to get to Austria. I was hoping for September but now I am thinking that probably won't happen. Austria has become quite strict again with their entry restrictions as well as quarantine rules. So I don't think it would be an enjoyable trip. I'll just have to see how it goes and develops. My parents still have their Croatia trip booked for September and originally I was supposed to join them. That's the trip that was booked for April/May and got cancelled and they rebooked for September in hopes they could go then. But it's not really looking too good. The case numbers are going up again in Croatia and the Balkan countries. So we will see. 

For now Mike and I have 2 nights booked at the North Fork in Long Island the weekend after Labor Day. Just to hang out at some wineries and have some low key days off. We may do another trip for my birthday for a couple of days. Somewhere local, maybe Maine or Vermont. Will all depend on what the situation is like in October. Planning anything long term right now is kind of hard to do. So wait and see. All we can do. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Nina/WA, Celia/MA and Kimber/Canada. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)