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Monday, December 30, 2013

Update from Cape Cod

UnnamedHello from the Cape. :) Spending two nights at a lovely B&B here in Brewster, MA. We worked in the morning, left around 11am and got here around 3pm. Checked into our room, relaxing for a bit and are heading out to dinner in a few. Will probably eat at the Starvin Marlin unless we come up with a better/different idea. :)

My mom was moved out of the ICU at the hospital today which is a big and happy moment. I am glad to report that there have been small improvements each day. She is recognizing people and even has a little bit of movement on her left side. While all of this is obviously less than ideal compared to just a little over a week ago before all of this happened, things are moving along very nicely and we really can't complain. Important to stay positive.

Mike and I are enjoying a couple of days here on Cape Cod before I head to Austria on the 2nd. Looking forward to seeing my mom in person even though everyone has been keeping me in the loop very nicely. Still not the same as being there of course.

Tomorrow we are probably going to head up to Provincetown for a lunch at the Squealing Pig. Then back here and out to dinner in Chadham at the Impudent Oyster. That's the plan for right now anyway. :)

Hope all of you are enjoying the holidays and I wish everyone all the very best for 2014. Hope you and your loved ones are all happy and especially healthy. All that matters in the big picture anyway. :)

Mail Update: Wrote letters on the way up to: Lotte/Denmark and Charles/TN. Just need to mail them, probably on the 2nd. Received a letter/owe a reply to: Kimber/Canada, Celia/MA and Caroline/Scotland.

Posted by Hanna at 04:06 PM in Family, Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Post ... it's a bittersweet one this year

Tree“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!

…then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!

‘Maybe Christmas’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store…maybe Christmas perhaps…means a little bit more!’” – Dr. Seuss 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by the people they love. 

Things have been a bit all over the place here since Sunday night, somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, and have reaffirmed the thought that Christmas really isn't about the tree, the presents or any of the other stuff we worry about or think is important. It's about being with the people you love.

Sunday evening I went from worrying about picking up last minute gifts, what food to get from the store and other mundane things that I thought were important at the time to worrying about much more critical things in the flash of a few minutes and a phone call. 

I don't want to get into too much detail on here (message, email, call me if you have any questions) but basically my mom had a severe stroke Sunday night and is now in the hospital. She went through emergency surgery and was in a drug induced coma which she is slowly coming out of now. Sunday night I barely slept, if at all, and since then it's been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride balancing going through every day tasks at work and holiday prep while still keeping my thoughts with my mom and dad in Austria. 

I will be flying to Austria January 2nd and will be staying until January 13th. Mike and I are still going to Cape Cod for New Year's since the B&B was pre-booked and there isn't that much I can do in Austria right this second anyway. By the time I get there things will hopefully be a bit more clear and we will have a better idea of where we stand. Flights, while still not cheap on a week's notice, were much less crazy ridiculously expensive after New Year's too. Plus my dad is paying for half. Thank you dad!!

On a more happy note we did have a nice Christmas as much as possible anyway. Mike got me "Mary Poppins" by P.L. Travers (I love the movie but have never read the book) and a Samsung Smart Camera that connects to wi-fi. Very cool. He also seemed happy with the record player I got him. He can finally play his vinyl now. :)

Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Kimber/Canada, Celia/MA, Lotte/Denmark, Caroline/Scotland and Charles/TN.

Posted by Hanna at 12:32 PM in Austria , Family, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Movie Weekend

Saving-Mr-Banks-Movie-PosterHad the whole weekend off and now it's already Sunday evening again. How does that happen? I guess I was in need of a pretty low key weekend after working two 6-day weeks in a row. Had a very busy week this week as well catching up with everything holiday related at work. Our incoming phone calls were through the roof with all the schools plus other businesses arranging for off day deliveries due to the holidays. Busy, busy.

Saturday we slept in a little bit and then went to see "Anchorman" at the movies. Such a crazy promoted sequel so the expectations were definitely high. I thought some parts of the movie were pretty much out there but all in all I didn't dislike the movie. 

Today we went to see "Saving Mr. Banks", quite the opposite of a movie. I really enjoyed it. I have always been a fan of Mary Poppins, watching it over and over growing up. It was interesting to see some of the back story and I thought Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson played their characters very well. Definitely enjoyed the movie.

Right now we are in Fairfield at Flipside. Fun place. Still need to go grocery shopping on our way home. Then tomorrow it's already Monday again and back to work. Monday will be a busy day I am sure. Tuesday is Christmas Eve so I will try to get my staff out by 2pm if we can manage. Wednesday we have off and Thursday it's back to work.

The following week we are heading up to Cape Cod for New Year's which should be nice. Staying at the same bed and breakfast we stayed at last year. Looking forward to it.

Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Caroline/Scotland and Charles/TN.

Posted by Hanna at 05:35 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like ...

Xmas.... Christmas. :) I can't believe that Christmas is just a little over a week away now. How did that happen? I so don't feel ready. We decorated our tree on Thursday night so that's all set. It does look pretty. :) AI also received the Christmas cookies my mom sent from Austria. Yummm. It's always nice to have some home made stuff from across the pond. My ex-boss from the company I used to work at in Austria also sent me a Sachertorte which made me very happy. I am always excited to be having that. Vienna, home sweet home. :)

So all in all I have been having some Christmas treats, have the decorations up but it still doesn't feel quite ready. We had plenty of snow as well. Not a ton accumulation wise but so far had to deal with either ice or snow three times in the last week. And there is more snow in the forecast for Tuesday. Ugh.

Not sure on my shopping either. All the stuff that needed to be mailed has been mailed. Have also received plenty of nice cards and some presents from all over the globe. But I still have to figure out what to get Mike. Not even a clue and time is closing in on me. I mostly have everyone else figured out, sort of. Need to buy some gift cards still. How is everyone else doing with their shopping?

Worked another 6 day this week, covering my own job along with some payroll and accounting. Hopefully next week will be better with that but I will now have to catch up on my own Christmas prep work, contacting all the various school systems to set up milk deliveries for their return after the Christmas break. Busy, busy.

After shoveling the snow in our driveway this morning Mike went to the airport to pick up our friend Tim while I took care of some stuff around the house. When he got back we headed to the movies to see "Philomena". What a great movie. Now hanging out at Two Steps for a bit. 

Mail Update: Received a letter/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark. 

Posted by Hanna at 04:52 PM in Food and Drink, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, December 08, 2013

UnnamedBusy, busy. Worked 6 days with another 6 day week ahead of me. This season is always extra busy at work, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. On top of that we also have two people on vacation right now so that means we are covering for them as well. Next week I will have to run payroll in addition to cashier duties (accounting of the money our delivery drivers collect while out on the road). Never a dull moment.

Today we spent the morning putting up our Christmas decorations inside the house. Our tree is also up now but not decorated yet. We will do that another time. Just happy that my decorations are up and the tree is up. Also put on my winter bedset and as you can see Ollie is already happily sleeping on it. 

Been running around, up and downstairs for a few hours now, getting out all the stuff from various places, putting things away. I am pretty much done now. :) I think we will head out to Mezon (a tapas bar) for a little bit and then maybe catch up on some TV shows afterwards.

Will see what next week brings. I hope the weather cooperates and work doesn't end up too crazy. Never know, we will just have to wait and see. :)

Mail Update: Letters went out this past week on Monday to: Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Emilia/Finland. Nina/WA, Jessica/DE and Celia/MA. All caught up for a change :)

Posted by Hanna at 03:22 PM in Holidays | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Update from Montreal

ExportHello again from Canada. Time flies so fast on these short getaways. It's already Sunday and time to check out and leave again. Boo. We had fun though of course so I won't complain too much. 

We will check out from our room in a minute and then walk over to Eggspectation to have a delicious, huge breakfast. I always enjoy going there when we are here. Way too big meals but it's a fun once in a while indulgence. :)

After breakfast we will head back here to get the car and then make our way back to the US. Can't believe it's already December now. Where has this year gone?

Yesterday we took a day trip to Quebec where everything was decorated in a very festive way. Plus they had even more snow on the ground than here in Montreal. And it was SUPER freezing cold. We walked around for a bit and took some pictures but wow was it cold. 

Also had lunch at our favorite pub in Quebec, Saint Alexandre. We discovered that place the first time we went to Quebec for Thanksgiving and also went back with my parents in September a few years ago. Such a fun place.

After lunch we also checked out the German style Christmas Market they had set up. I have to say they did try and everything sold was pretty authentic. I was also able to get Gluehwein, even though it was sold in styrofoam cups, and way overpriced. Still, better than any other Christmas type market I have ever seen on this continent. So I will take it. :)

Eventually we made our way back to the car and drove back to Montreal where we had another dinner at Les 3 Brasseurs, this time at the St. Dennis location rather than the Old Town. Had another yummy dinner.

Well, that's all for now. Back to the US, work, reality and craziness in a little bit.  

Mail Update: On the way up Friday wrote letters to: Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta and Emilia/Finland. They will be mailed Monday when we are back in the US. Received letters still owe a response to: Nina/WA, Jessica/DE and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 09:40 AM in Food and Drink, Holidays, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack