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Monday, February 27, 2006

** COLD **

Tux_cold_md_wht I woke up this morning and am just really COLD. Right now it's 11 degrees F outside (translates into -11 C) and although the heat is blowing here inside the house it still feels chilly. Brrrr. How I hate cold ! The high today is supposed to be 28 F ( -2 C). Yay. I guess I have been spoiled with a fairly mild winter this year so I am not used to the cold anymore.

Had a fairly relaxed day yesterday. Answered a bunch of my emails, posted the England pictures online (click here to see them), wrote two letters and had A LOT of tea. :)

Pen Pal Update: Letters going out today to: Alison (UK) and Jessica (Delaware)
Still owe letters to: Angela (Virginia), Natalie (UK) and Tiffany (Oklahoma)
I am slowly catching up with my mail. :)

Well off to work now. Let's hope that it's not freezing cold there too. Our heating system isn't the best there and tends to shut off over the weekend sometimes. So we'll see.
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Alles Walzer (Let's waltz)

Operaball06_1 On days like today I start to get a little homesick. It was the day of the Vienna Opera Ball today and not that I have ever been to the Opera Ball but it still brings back memories. It's a big tradition and actually celebrated its 50th year anniversary this year. Here's a link to the article on Yahoo News. I used to enjoy watching it on TV. It's such a big social event in Austria and everyone that is even remotely famous usually attends it. The newspapers and magazines are full of coverage talking about who is attending and what they will be wearing and so forth. I guess you can kind of compare it to the Oscar's in the US in a way. Just with more culture. ;)Lugnerelectra

This year everything was Mozart themed apparently since it's the Mozart year. And Richard Lugner (real estate entrepreneur and Viennese socialite) of course invited a famous guest. He is known for inviting a famous guest every year and the papers always speculate who it will be. This year it was Carmen Electra. In former years he invited Geri Halliwell, Pamela Anderson, Andie McDowell and Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson.

While flipping through pictures on the Austrian news site I also came across pictures of Fiona Swarovski. The tiaras of the girls that were opening the ball were made by Swarovski this year as well. So pretty !!!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cntrykitchenshelfscene2 I can happily report that I managed to write 3 letters (Nicki - Australia, Hayley - England and Caroline - Scotland). Still haven't gotten to all my emails yet but I guess it's a work in progress. :) I still have to actually put all my letters together too meaning I have to address them, put return address labels, stamps, stickers etc on them. I always leave that for the end. How do you guys do that ? Do you do that first or last ?

Turned out to be a rather productive afternoon. Wrote my letters and then made dinner. Rice pilaf with peas and chicken paprika along with grilled yellow squash. Turned out pretty yummy. Next time I'll add a little more seasoning to the chicken but otherwise very yummy.

Off now to catch up with all of our recorded TV shows. We are so behind from our vacation. :) And tomorrow it's back to work ... oh well I guess.

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Lazy Day

Garfield Having my day off from work and as usual I am procrastinating. I set my alarm for 10 am which of course didn't mean that I actually got up at 10. Now it's 1:30 pm and all that I have accomplished today so far is that I had lunch (yummy ham + cheese toasted sandwich on my new George Foreman grill), a big mug of tea and surfed the web, catching up on people's blogs and stuff like that.

I still have a gazillon emails I need to answer and 7 letters. I actually thought I had more letters to do but just counted, it's "only" seven. :) I guess I call my days off my "mental health" days. I do only what I want to do, cuddle with the cats, have loads of tea, listen to some relaxing music, write some letters when I am in the mood for it and mostly PROCRASTINATE a lot. I have mastered the art of procrastination. :)

Not much else really new. Work's been fairly calm, knocking on wood here so I don't jinx myself. I am currently working on "the bigger picture" trying to train someone in my department so they can rotate on Saturdays so I don't have to work Saturdays anymore. Of course not something that will happen overnight but I think I might have a shot. So we'll see what happens, I'll keep working on it and try to concentrate on the longterm goal and we'll take it from there. Part of me is afraid that this might be the calm before the storm. It generally never stays like this for too long in my department before the next catastrophy hits. We shall see. :)

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Mike !


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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's !

Valbutterfly1 Here's a small update from our vacation. First off Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. :)

Had a great time with my friends Kirsty and Laraine on Sunday. We went to Matlock Bath, a small touristy town and stopped at a store that sold loads of Diddl stuff. :) Then we headed on to Bakewell. They make the famous Bakewell pudding there. We stopped at the Old Original Bakewell Pudding shop and picked up a tart so we could try it. Yum. :)

Monday we headed to London on the train. It's always fun to spend a day in London. We went to the National Gallery, a nice art museum, then had lunch at an Irish pub called Waxy O'Connors. It's a really cool pub and takes up a lot of space, even has two seperate entrances on two different streets. After lunch we headed to the Tate Modern which is a modern art museum. After that it was already time to board the train back to Portsmouth.

Today was a good day as well. Ran some errands in the morning (mailed some letters from the post office, went to a stationery store to buy some little plastic bags that are ideal for mailing loose tea) and then went to Windsor Castle. Windsor is a really neat old town with a cute shopping area. The castle was very impressive and HUGE. After touring the castle we walked around Windsor for a bit and had lunch at Pizza Express. Yum pizza. :)

For dinner we are heading to a pub called Weatherspoon's. Not your traditional Valentine's dinner but all the other restaurants are packed plus I really do enjoy English pubs. We'll do our regular Valentine's dinner when we get back home. Tomorrow it's back on the plane although I really don't wanna leave yet though. :(

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Vacation Update

Cotswolds Having a really good time on our vacation. :) Thursday we met up with my friend Nicola in Brighton. Ate at an Italian restaurant and had fun chatting and catching up. It was great to see her again.

Then yesterday (it was our 5th wedding anniversary - wow where has all the time gone ?) we took a drive through the Cotswolds, which is a super pretty region. I love the English countryside, the small towns, it's so quaint. It was great since it was off season so it was easy to find parking, walk around, take photos, etc. Had lunch at a tea room. I was near heaven. :)

Have managed to buy more tea since my last post. Also bought some super cute stationery, a letter opener and magnet. Just can't resist some of these super cute things. :)

Joanne, Nicola & Hanna Today was Nicola's wedding. It was held at the Ockenden Manor in West Sussex which is about an hour from where my friend Joanne lives (where we are staying). The manor house was really pretty, the bride was stunning and it was great to experience a traditional British wedding. Nicola is off on her 2 week honeymoon to St. Lucia tomorrow. Sounds tempting. :)

We are going to Derbyshire tomorrow to meet up with my pal Kirsty. Going to Bakewell with her and her girlfriend Laraine. It's always great to see them so I am looking forward to a fun day.

So far this vacation is flying by. Luckily we do have a few more days left, let's hope they don't zip by either. :)

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tea Shopping

Ok we made it. :) Our flight was uneventful and ok. The check-in at LaGuardia airport in NYC was way too easy. I think it was so easy because we were really early and it was a fairly quiet time of the day. Security was a breeze too, no line at all. The connection in Philadelphia was sort of a pain. We had to take a bus to connect between terminals and had to really rush to make the next plane. Worked out ok though so all was fine. Arriving in Gatwick was ok too. Had to walk FOREVER it seemed until we finally got our rental car. But we made it safely to Portsmouth and am at the moment steeping a cup of strawberry & mango tea. :)

We went to the grocery store this afternoon to get a few things and of course I ended up in the tea aisle. Oh my ... I couldn't resist all the different varieties they have here. Teas I bought are: Twinings Strawberry & Mango, Twinings Fruit Medley Selection (Lemon Burst, Peach &Passionfruit, Orange, Mango & Cinnamon, Pink Grapefruit, Mandarin & Lime), Twinings Green Tea Pear & Apple, Tetley's Earl Grey & Vanilla and Typhoo Fruit & Herb Selection (Apple & Cranberry Crisp, Cherry Charger, Strawberry  & Raspberry Crush, Blackcurrant Bracer) YUMMMM

Trying to stay awake now so we can go out to dinner later. Tomorrow we are meeting up with my friend Nicola who's getting married on Saturday. Vacations are the best ! :)

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Monday, February 06, 2006

LET'S GO !!!

Housemouse_1 Ok I think I am finally ready. It's 11:30 pm. I usually procrastinate till the last minute so had a bunch of stuff to do tonight. Went to Barnes and Nobles to pick up a new London pocket guide (our old one disappaered on our last trip), to Target to pick up a new watch (yes neither one of us has had a watch in a while, mostly been using our cell phones to tell time), ... Then headed home, had to clean the kitty litter, do the dishes, .. and of course PACK. Had to wrap Mike's anniversary (2/10) and Valentine's gifts too. Plus lots of other stuff ... I am still convinced that I am forgetting something but I am not quite sure what it is. I'll probably remember once I lay down to sleep - that always happens.

Well, that's all for today. Might be able to update while we are in England. Otherwise see you guys when we get back. :)

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Let's go abroad

Englandcameo2 Can't believe that we'll be on a plane to England in only two days. Somehow it doesn't seem real this time and I am not prepared at all. Not that there is anything to prepare for really ... still. :)

I guess I have all the major stuff figured out. I know what I'll wear at my friend Nicola's wedding. Just need to find a necklace that goes with the outfit. I know I have plenty of necklaces, just need to find THE right one. :) Besides that I just have a few minor things to take care of: answer outstanding emails, clean the kitty litter, do laundry, ...

Tomorrow will be a busy day at work as I have to cover one of my employee's desks plus try to make last-minute arrangements for when we are gone. Have to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing while we are not there. :) Oh well, I am sure it'll all work itself out somehow.

Convinced Mike that we have to get pizza tonight so we are ordering from Domino's. (not my first choice for pizza but I am sure our regular pizza place will have hours of wait tonight with the Superbowl going on) Pizza's not really good for my waistline anyway but hey gotta live a little every once in a while. :) Mike's gonna watch the Superbowl later and I guess I'll watch the commercials which seem to almost be as much of a big deal as the game itself these days.

Then tomorrow after work we have to pack, then 1/2 a day at work on Tuesday and Tuesday afternoon we are off to the airport and off to England. We have pretty much every day planned out while we are there so I am sure time will just fly by like crazy. :)

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