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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Time to say goodbye ...

IMG_20210330_213207_787Arrived here in Austria on Saturday and all went well with my travels. It was strange traveling during this pandemic but I managed to do ok and make it here in one piece without any real issues. Have spent most of my time with my mom of course. Also saw my aunt and my parent's neighbor friend Helga and her husband who have been very helpful to them over the years. The weather has been pretty decent as well. Especially the today was really beautiful.

Made it through the funeral today which of course was not easy. But it was a quick service and not a lot of people attended which of course was fine and normal considering the pandemic and things going on. I did see people I hadn't seen in a while so that was nice. Too bad all the restaurants etc. are shut here so the normal tradition of gathering at a local restaurant after the funeral was not possible. But it was still nice to see people, especially the ones who traveled from Vienna or Burgenland, who I had not seen in a while. 

Other than that, just been spending time with my mom. My aunt has been a great help in handling the bureaucratic things, all the paperwork and behind the scenes things that need to happen. I have been focusing on trying to help my mom declutter the house and set up things for her. The landline phone needs to be replaced and I also want to make sure we get her set up with a laptop and email before I leave again as it can be difficult communicating over the phone due to her speech issues. 

Tomorrow I am heading to Salzburg to see some friends and family which should be nice. The weather is supposed to be really nice so should make for a beautiful day. 

Mail Update: Letters went out this week to: Kimber/Canada, Eunice/Malta and Celia/MA. Received a letter from/owe a response to:Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK .

Posted by Hanna at 03:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

When everything changes ....

Pixlr_20210324215711779 Pixlr_20210324215711779If you are a close friend you may know that I typically make a new post on Sundays or Mondays every week. Well here we are Wednesday night and I still have not posted. Mainly because I simply just don't know what to say so I am going to keep this short and simple. Feel free to message me of course and I will be happy to talk but I am not sure if I have it in me at this particular moment to write a long elaborate post.

So to get on with it, my dad passed away this past Sunday (March 21st) I found out a bit before 8.30am on Sunday with a phone call from my aunt and been trying to process all of it ever since.

I will be on my way to Austria on Friday, March 26, getting there Saturday morning. Luckily I was able to snag a non-stop flight in premium economy for a decent price. There are a lot of red tape/paperwork things that need to be considered. Tomorrow morning I am getting a Covid test as I need a negative test (not older than 72 hours) to enter Austria. Typically I also would need to quarantine when entering Austria but there is an exemption for emergencies such as a death in the family so my aunt will be mailing me the death certificate tomorrow I can carry that with me while traveling.

I will be in Austria until April 14 and of course will do my best to support my mom while there while we try to establish our "new normal". Austria is also going into 24 hour lockdown for 5 days over Easter meaning we can't leave the house except for emergencies or to go buy groceries etc. (but since it will be over Easter stores already would be closed anyway on Easter Sunday and Monday) I will try to get to Salzburg to see some relatives and friends as well as Vienna if another lockdown does not prevent it. Haven't been to Austria since December 2019 with the pandemic going on. And this is not particularly how I had envisioned or hoped my next visit will go but yeah, will just make the best of it, right? That's all we can do. Look to the future. Right?

Mail Update: Letters went out this week to: Kimber/Canada, Eunice/Malta and Celia/MA. Received a letter from/owe a response to:Nina/WA, Tiffany/OK .

Posted by Hanna at 10:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Almost Spring .. for a minute ... and Daylight Savings Time

SpringThe US switched to Daylight Savings Time today. Of course I am happy about the idea of longer days, more sunlight, longer evenings, the prospect of summer in our future, but I always hate the "spring forward" part of this since we lose an hour of sleep. I treasure my sleep, haha. Also I really wish everyone would just come together and pick a time and stick with it. I really don't see how the whole changing the time manually twice a year is really beneficial for anything these days. I think there have been a lot of movements here in the US to eliminate the time change recently. I know the EU had previously talked about it as well. But obviously there have been more pressing matters these days with a global pandemic and all. I mean I do get that of course. Still wish one day in the not so distant future we can stop this whole changing the clocks thing. 

Anyway, what else is new? Oh this past week we had some absolutely beautiful weather mid-week. Thursday was especially amazing, it reached almost 70F (21C), sunny and just beautiful. I was super busy at work but decided to take the time anyway to go to our local spot Two Steps (close to home so easiest to get back and forth quickly) to have lunch outside. What a beautiful day. It was great to be able to sit outside in just a t-shirt and jeans, eat my salad and enjoy the sunshine. 

Unfortunately the warm weather didn't last which I guess was to be expected. March can be fickle that way. One day it's winter weather, the next spring/almost summer and then back to winter. This weekend we are having temps in the mid 40ies (6F), sunny but also windy. At least it's nice and bright outside so while it's chilly it still feels kind of nice. Tonight's low is 17 (-8C) and tomorrow the high is 35 (1.5 C) so back to winter again for a few days. I am definitely ready for some nice weather that comes and stays but I guess we will need to wait for April/May for that where it can be consistently nicer and warmer usually. 

Work has been busy, busy, busy but like I said before I guess that's a good thing and means that things are picking up. The other half is that we recently lost some team members so now we are on a hiring spree again looking for 2 new employees. It's been quite a while since we have had anyone new on the team so that will be interesting. 

But for now I am just going to enjoy my Sunday, relax, go for lunch and later we will watch the Grammy's. Yesterday we went to Rizzuto's in Westport - our usual Saturday spot these days it seems like. But yeah, not too much else going on really. Let's see what next week brings. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada, Tiffany/OK and Eunice/Malta.

Posted by Hanna at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 08, 2021

March Weather, Cooking and other random stuff

MarchJust about 8.15pm and I am feeling like I am ready for bed. I guess a lot of it probably has to do with staying up till almost 1am last night. We were catching up on TV shows and the time was just flying by. And well that's how it goes. I was super tired this morning but then did ok throughout the day, I guess being busy with work kept me going. Definitely still seeing the uptick in business and increased authorizations and calls I have throughout the week.

When I was done with work I made a vegetable soup (it's the Weight Watchers zero point soup and you can pretty much add all sorts of veggies - see here) I ended up making it with reduced sodium chicken broth, onions, garlic, thyme, a carrot, celery, kale, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, a red pepper, mushrooms and chives on top. And after I was done with the soup I made my regular dinner (the soup was just to have one cup for tonight but to eat throughout the week for lunch etc) which was a Hello Fresh meal -  Chicken L'Orange with thyme mashed potatoes and roasted green beans. Watched the newest episode of "Men in Kilts', did the dishes and then caught up on a few other things. And bam, all of a sudden it was past 8 and I started feeling really tired. Guess I am getting old. haha. 

Anyway, not too much else new really. Last weekend on Saturday we went to Rizzuto's in Westport and on Sunday we had delicious pizza at the Colony Grill in Norwalk before watching the last two episodes of Wandavision and catching up on some of our other recorded TV. 

Tomorrow I have a dental cleaning appointment after work. Other than that nothing too eventful to report really. The weather is being very up and down but I guess that's normal for March. For a while it was really chilly but the next few days it's supposed to get pretty warm and more spring like but then towards the weekend it's supposed to cool down again. Can't wait till the really cold and chilly weather goes away for good. But I guess I shouldn't complain too much. At least most of the snow is finally gone in our area now. There are still some places where there's snow but mostly no. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada, Tiffany/OK and Eunice/Malta.

Posted by Hanna at 08:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 01, 2021

Hello March

MarchWelcome March. I don't usually particularly like March cause it's typically a wet, muddy and "ugly" month. But the one good thing it usually has is that is the gateway to spring. March has the potential of some nice, warmer days. It also has the possibility of cold crappy weather so it really is a mixed bag I guess. But at least there is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow morning when I have my next orthodontist appointment the forecast shows 17F (-8C) but Wednesday the temps are supposed to reach mid-high 40ies F (7C) so definitely better. 

Not all that much else new really. Work has been quite a bit busier than it has been. I guess that's also a good sign showing that some of the backlog is moving along and companies are initiating relocations that were previously on hold etc. 

Last weekend Saturday we had lunch at Rizzuto's and I spent the evening/night at home making soup and catching up on some reading. Sunday we went for brunch at the Marketplace in Brookfield and later watched the Golden Globes. What a mess that was. I do usually like watching the awards shows but this was a total "shitshow". I understand things are different at the moment due to the social distancing and Zoom/virtual world. But it just seemed like they didn't rehearse this at all and nobody had any idea what was going on. Crazy.

Well and now it's Monday and another week ahead. Let's see what the week brings. 

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada, Tiffany/OK and Eunice/Malta.

Posted by Hanna at 07:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)