Monday, January 21, 2019

Baby it's cold outside ... brrrrrr

Little-girl-freezing-in-winter-cold-clipart__k37899492Ok it is freaking freezing cold outside. This morning when my alarm went off at 5.45 (I don't really get up till about 6.15 but that's a different story) the radio guy announced it was 2 degrees F outside (that's -16C) and with the windchill it feels like -16F (-26C) Lovely. Brrrr. I am really not looking forward to going outside AT ALL. 

Over the weekend we had some snow and ice. Really not nearly as much as they had originally predicted, at least for our area, so it wasn't too bad. But the ice coated everything and then the temps dropped like crazy so I can only imagine how many areas are total sheets of ice right now. Ugh. Can I just stay inside? I know I am a baby when it comes to that stuff but I am super clumsy and I am always worried I am going to slip and break something when it's icy outside. I can deal with the snow if need be. Not saying I enjoy that either but the ice is really what worries me. 

Anyway, is what it is. Will make it through this Monday somehow. Another week ahead. Last week went ok with the wisdom teeth recovery. I am still not a 100% but of course that stuff takes time. It is getting better though so that's all I can ask for. I managed to eat some more solid foods in the last few days so I am happy with that. I was starting to get tired of mashed potatoes and such. 

The weekend was pretty low key for us. Saturday we went to the movies and saw "On the Basis of Sex" which was a really good movie. I would most definitely recommend that to anyone who hasn't seen it. It's about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and gender equality. After the movies we had a light lunch and then stopped at Rizzuto's for dinner since they were doing a 'Buy 1 Get 1 Entree" deal for the snowstorm. It was kind of funny because the snow ended up coming really late so the restaurant was absolutely packed all night with people. 

Yesterday, Sunday, we slept in late which was nice. And then had lunch at a place called Pulcinella's in Brookfield. We had not been there before but it was a good find. I would definitely go back there and try it again. Well, let's see what this week brings. The crazy cold is only supposed to last into Tuesday, then it's going to be a tad warmer with rain for two days before dropping down to around freezing for the high for the foreseeable future. I guess it is winter and January after all. Brrrrrrrr. 

Letter/Mail Update: Letters went out last week to: Celia/MA and Carmen/Malta. Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Lotte/Denmark, Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Goodbye Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom-teeth-removal-720x380Yup already halfway through January. Where does the time go? Well this weekend was a bit of a blur as I had my wisdom teeth surgery on Friday. I had to have all 4 wisdom teeth extracted but luckily they put me out for the surgery so I really don't have any memory of the surgery itself. But now the recovery phase has begun which means only soft foods, nothing hot or spicy, no alcohol, nuts/seeds, popcorn/chips/crunchy foods for a week or two. The pain has been manageable - knock on wood - so far. I am trying to follow all the instructions as much as possible as I really don't want to get a dry socket. That sounds awfully painful. Anyway this weekend has been pretty low key. Didn't really accomplish very much. I binge watched "The Final Table" on Netflix (what better thing to do than watching a cooking competition show when you can't eat all the delicious food yourself *g*) 

Today we went to the movies to see "The Upside" (with Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston) and that was really good. Now I am back home and just vegging out with some tea and playing/cuddling with Sherlock. Sherlock has been doing well. The other cats are still being difficult. We have introduced them gradually but there is still lots of hissing and growling and charging each other. I guess they will eventually settle down and get used to each other. Sherlock is trying to hold her own but she is so tiny compared to the rest of them. I think she just needs to grow more and then there will be a more level playing field after that. 

I have been so bad with writing letters as of late. I really need to get caught up with my mail but somehow it just hasn't worked out. I will try and do better so I can get caught up. Also need to get a bit more organized and restructure my closet and clothes in general. I usually try to go through everything at least once a year as there is always something that ends up not fitting or something I never wear. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 04:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 07, 2019

2019 - welcome!

Pixlr (6)Hello 2019. Crazy to think it's almost 20 years after we hit 2000. And remember how big of a deal that was when 1999 turned into 2000. And now we are almost 20 years removed from it already. So crazy. Also means I have lived in the US for 18+ years now (since the summer of 2001). Makes me feel old when I think about all of these things. Oh well I guess. Just keep plugging along right? 

We are having a very cold morning today. Only 18F but with the windchill feels like 7F (-13C) Brrr. Can't complain about the weather too too much so far this winter. It's been a little all over the place. Strangely warm some days, cold the next day, lots of rain/downpours/flooding. So far we haven't had a lot of snow (knock on wood) We will see how the rest of the season goes. It's still very early. Personally I'd be fine with not a lot of snow. I don't like the crazy cold either but if I had a choice I'd pick the cold over the snow because at least the cold you don't need to shovel. lol. 

New Year's was pretty low key for us. We went out for Mexican for dinner and then for some wine at one of our local hangouts. Then eventually home, played with the kitten for a bit. So yeah nice and low key. 

Oh right, so Sherlock is doing very well. We had our first vet appointment this past Saturday and did get a bit of a surprise. He is actually a she. Haha. So yeah our little baby boy kitten is actually a baby girl. Oh well. We are sticking with the name because we really like it. She will just be a little girl detective cat. :) Anyway she's doing well. Playing a lot, racing around. She has also taken to sleeping on the bed and being cuddly at night and in the mornings which is very cute. We have our next follow up appointment for her next booster shot in 3 weeks. 

The other cats aren't really too happy with the situation but we haven't really had them interact all that much yet either. Sherlock is just so little. I know we do need to get there sooner rather than later, just trying to avoid world war 3 if at all possible. Also want to give her a little more time to become a little bigger and more confident. She is getting there with the confidence so we're halfway there I think. 

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

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

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Almost New Year's + Meet Baby Sherlock

Pixlr (5)Almost New Year's already. Christmas was nice and low key. Christmas Eve we had dinner at Outback and then went over to our friend John and Jana's house for dessert and drinks. Then on Christmas Day we opened our gifts with Mike's sister, niece and nephew and later went to the movies to see "The Favourite". Mike got me an Amazon Echo so I'll need to play with that and get that set up. I got him a pizza, beer and history walking tour in NYC which should be fun. Among other smaller gifts and odds and ends we exchanged. Came back home after that and watched a bunch of recorded TV shows. Slowly catching up. 

Worked Wed (26th) to Fr (28th). Nice to have a short work week. It was weird at work because a lot of people had taken the week off and/or were working from home so it was pretty quiet. Volume wise anyway. Work wise it was semi busy but not too terrible. Tomorrow (31st) I am working a 1/2 day and am working from home. Let's see how it goes. I have quite a few things I need to take care of/catch up on so I'll try and get all that taken care of. 

Oh and last but not least we have a new family member since yesterday. :) Little baby kitten Sherlock (he's only 8 weeks old, was born on November 2nd) One of my friends at work had a cat who had a litter and now the cats are old enough to leave their mom she is looking for homes for them. My friend Abby also adopted one and as we had played with the idea of a new cat for a while already we decided to give in and just go ahead. 

So far so good. He's absolutely adorable. He has been a bit skittish but has also played a lot already and been fun to have around. The other cats haven't really interacted with him much yet so we'll see how all that goes. So far so good. 

No big plans for New Year's Eve tomorrow. We'll probably go out to dinner and then come home and watch some TV and eventually switch to New Year's Rockin Eve. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 06:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve already

Pixlr_20181224135947167The first week back dragged and flew by all at the same time. Jetlag was annoying but then again it's the same story every time more or less. Either way I made it through the week and was able to finish up work ok with a nice 4 day weekend ahead of me. Friday, 21st, we also had our work Christmas party which was a lot of fun. 

The weekend was nice and low key. Saturday we went to see the new Transformers movie "Bumblebee". Not normally into that franchise at all but I really enjoyed the movie. Would definitely recommend it. In the evening I watched the original Mary Poppins movie in anticipation of going to see "Mary Poppy Returns" on Sunday. Of course it is not the original but I'd recommend it nonetheless. I think they did a good job with the sequel and I will definitely watch it again when it comes out on streaming/Blu-Ray. 

And now it's already Monday and Christmas Eve. Mike had to work so I took advantage of the extra time to take care of a few things. Wrapped the gifts and ordered a few remaining digital gift cards and whatnot. Also finished my unpacking from Austria, putting everything away. I was going to get some mail done - I am so behind on my letters - but I don't think that will actually happen. One of these days I'll catch up with my mail. Maybe next weekend. 

Tonight we're heading to Outback for dinner and tomorrow we have another low key day planned. Gifts in the morning with Mike's sister, niece and nephew, movies afterwards and then just relaxing at home, catching up on recorded TV shows. We bought some yummy food at Caraluzzi's yesterday (shrimp cocktail, broccoli & ranch dip, bread & brie as well as some other cheeses and crackers) so will be able to have a nice feast relaxing, drinking wine and having a low key relaxed Christmas Day. 

Wednesday I am working from home so that will be nice and then just Thursday and Friday before it's the weekend again. :) I have a 1/2 day on the 31st which is also nice. Wish every week could be a short work week. :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 02:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Goodbye Austria ... until next year :)

IMG_20181215_114659_885And as predicted the time here in Austria just flew by. I was here for a little over a week but honestly it doesn't IMG_20181215_114457_224seem to matter how long I am here. Time just always seems to fly by. I did have a good time even though it's a bit of a blur looking back. 

Monday to Thursday I had to work so there was limited time for other things but I still managed to get a good amount of stuff in. Checked my work email in the mornings and then had a delicious lunch with my parents at various local restaurants each day. Also ran some errands each morning and then worked from 3 to 10pm each day. The schedule was a little weird but honestly it worked out pretty well. I was able to get everything done that needed to get done and everything worked pretty seamlessly. Good to know for the future. This was sort of a trial/test run and I feel that I have passed. I figured I would be able to do it but wasn't a 100% sure how easy it would be. But luckily with being able to do my job from anywhere as long as I have internet, a PC and a phone, it worked out well. 

Also managed to head into Vienna on the weekend to meet up with some friends and enjoy the Christmas markets. And it even decided to start snowing to make it look even more christmassy. It was a bit cold but the atmosphere definitely fit the season. Enjoyed a few different punches and had fun just wandering around. Was also nice to meet up with Lydia and Andrea. And in the evening we had our 20th High School reunion. How crazy is that? We had a really good turn out with even a lot of teachers showing up. I was pretty impressed. Was nice to catch up with some people and spend time. Also stayed at my friend Barbara's house overnight before heading back to St. Poelten the next day. 

Also went to the hairdresser again one morning and colored my hair. If you want to see the newest style/color just click here . Always happy to be able to experiment. 

And well here I am. Back at the airport, back in Vienna heading to JFK/New York. Was able to fit everything into one suitcase so no extra bag charge (which is $100 -- ughh) so that was nice. Let's hope everything arrives safely and in one piece. But at least I was able to squeeze everything in without too much of an issue. My carry-on luggage at this point is way overweight as I bought 2 things in duty-free. A bottle of orange punch and a bottle of Gluehwein (mulled wine). Let's see how they taste. Trying to replicate the Christmas market experience at home. We will see how that goes. :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 03:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Hello from Austria

Pixlr (4)And back in Europe again. Hello from Austria. :) Yesterday was pretty rough with the jetlag but I am feeling better today. Left New York Friday night and arrived in Vienna on Saturday morning. My flight landed a little early so I was able to catch the 8.33 am train from the airport which got me to St. Poelten at 9.28 am. My dad picked me up from the train station and we spent some time at my parent's house before heading out to lunch at 1pm. 

Spent the rest of the day hanging out, watching some TV and just spending time. We also watched the 2nd Mama Mia movie that I got my parents as a gift so we watched it together. The music was good, the story a bit flat. But it was enough to keep me awake which was really the goal. :) 

Today I slept till a little after 9am which gave me a glorious 12 hours of sleep and really helped re-set myself. Went to lunch at a Heurigen (a vineyard that also sells food at certain times of the year) and spent some time eating, trying various wines and hanging out. Eventually headed back and spent some more time in the house. Now watching TV with my mom. Really the main goal of the trip, to be here and spend time.

Tomorrow we are meeting my aunt for lunch and to celebrate her birthday which was last Friday. Tomorrow I am also back to work as I am working while here Monday through Thursday. I am lucky in the regard that I can do my job from just about anywhere as long as I have my laptop, internet and a phone. And well my management's permission of course. :) 

I'll try to update again before I leave Austria a week from today, next Sunday. We'll see how that goes.

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

Posted by Hanna at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 03, 2018

Back from the Azores, Christmas prep and leaving again soon

Pixlr (4)I truly meant to make another post while we were away but somehow that did not happen. I thought we'd have more downtime but honestly managed 20181201_210131_resized to fill our days fully the whole time we were gone. Not too crazy of a schedule but we did have full days each day. Let's see what else did we do the rest of our stay there? 

We did a lot more driving around, exploring the rest of the island. And of course had super delicious food. Walked around Furnas do Enxofre, a scenic volcanic park with some trails. Checked out a lighthouse. Saw a lot of goats and cows on the road and just had a very pleasant time. Oh we also went whale watching on Wednesday. On Tuesday a storm passed through that was quite wild so by Wednesday morning the water was still a bit choppy. And the boats they use for whale watching there I'd classify as powered life rafts. They are not much bigger. But surprisingly enough very sturdy as I found out as we raced through the water, sometimes airborne, in the search of sea life. We did see some dolphins and even baby ones which was cool. And had some nice scenic views being out on the water. But when we were done we were pretty much soaking wet so we went back to the hotel to shower and change and then headed for lunch afterwards. 

The trip was definitely a lot of fun and I'd recommend the Azores to anyone. From the East Coast it's a really cheap trip as well so anyone looking for something a little outside of the box (read not Florida, Disney or the Caribbean) go check it out. 

Well now we are back and somehow it's already December 3rd. Christmas just kind of snuck up on me. I guess it's partly because we missed Thanksgiving more or less and when we got back everything switched into Christmas mode. Well, I did finish the rest of my US Christmas cards but still have a few things left. Still need to package up some gifts that need to be mailed and figure out a few other things. I did get the tree put up on Saturday so that was an accomplishment at least. I wouldn't be in such a rush but I am already leaving again on Friday. Flying to Austria and won't be back until December 16th. So anything Christmassy that needs organizing really needs to be organized now or well, it may not happen. lol. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from the Azores

Pixlr (3)And already day 3 here on Terceira (Azores). We left Boston on Wednesday night and arrived here Thursday morning Pixlr_20181124205534903(Thanksgiving Day). The ride to the airport wasn't too bad considering it was the day before a a major holiday so we arrived quite early. Gave us some time to chill and hang out before our flight. 

So we arrived Thursday morning and were hoping to crash in our room for a bit but unfortunately the room wasn't ready yet due to it being early. So we chilled in our rental car for a bit before walking into the town. Walked through the old town, taking some pictures and eventually had lunch at a neat cafe/bar. Hung out there for a bit before walking back to the hotel. Then went up to a lookout point which turned out to be interesting (curvy mountain roads) but the views were quite nice. 

Yesterday, Friday, we did some more exploring around the west side of the island. Had a delicious lunch, met a donkey, walked a lot (so many hills!!) and had a generally pleasant day. In the evening we walked back into the center of Angra and had dinner at the same cafe/bar. 

And today, Saturday, was a pretty rainy and windy day. Decided to sleep in and then walked into the center of town for lunch. Had a delicious seafood lunch overlooking the water. When we were done it was down-pouring pretty hard so we decided to take a cab to the museum. Spent some time exploring the museum which was surprisingly large and interesting. When we were done at the museum the rain had lightened up again a bit so we were able to walk back to the hotel without getting too badly soaked. Relaxed in the room for a bit before heading out to dinner. Ugh, so so full now. Don't usually have 2 full meals per day at home. But it was definitely yummy. Now back at the hotel relaxing with some more wine. 

Tomorrow it is supposed to be sunny again so we will spend some more time exploring the island. Definitely been having a good time so far. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 05:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 19, 2018

Client Meeting, Snow and NYC

Pixlr (2)A little behind with my update but here we go. It's just been busy, busy, busy. 

Last week Thursday and Friday I was away for a client meeting/presentation in NJ. This coincided with the snow which was made the whole thing even more interesting. Luckily my colleague and I made it to the hotel on Thursday before it got bad. But the other 2 colleagues who were coming from Newark airport spent 4 hours on what should have been a 45 minute drive.  A lot of people in the area dealt with really crappy road conditions and hours in the car. I know of some people who ended up spending the night in their office or hotels. Luckily I made it to the hotel before things got too bad and in the morning when we had to leave for our meeting everything was mostly cleared so all that worked out ok. 

Saturday we went to the movies and saw "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" which was good but a bit dark. Then in the evening we caught up on some recorded TV shows. And Sunday morning I continued with my Christmas cards. My international ones are done now and I am about halfway done with the domestic US ones. 

Then Sunday we went for breakfast at a local diner and after I caught the train down to NYC. Went to see Josh Groban at MSG which was a lot of fun. Since it was late I had made arrangements to stay near Grand Central and caught the train back this morning instead. I stayed at a Pod Hotel which was pretty neat. They are very small rooms but really have everything you need. The show was really great and definitely worth it even though I am dragging quite a bit today. 

Alright and here we are. Leaving for the Azores on Wednesday. I haven't quite wrapped my mind around the fact that it's the day after tomorrow. I am not quite sure how I will get everything taken care of but I guess it will all work out one way or another. 

Letter/Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Nina/WA, Carmen/Malta and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 08:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)