Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy Birthday Mike

Isn't_It_Romantic_(2019_poster)Another snowy Monday morning. Ugh. At least it's not that much snow. But as with every storm this season so far there is a layer of ice coating everything. I am so over that. I am not a big fan of snow but this ice/frozen stuff is the worst. It turns everything into a skating rink. Ugh. Today (knock on wood) doesn't seem as bad as some of the previous storms but still. More to come Wednesday night into Thursday apparently. I am really over winter. Can we be done already? 

It's Mike's birthday today. Since it's a Monday and neither of us gets President's Day off we are both still heading into work. Going to meet up with some friends for dinner and drinks later. Been feeling a little under the weather with some minor stomach bug since Saturday night too. Hope this goes away again sooner rather than later. 

Let's see what else? This past week went by relatively quickly as I was away for work in Pittsburgh for 2 days. Went with 3 other people for a client visit so we drove. About 6 1/2-7 hour drive each way. On the way there we encountered some crazy stuff (sheets of ice flying off trucks and cars and snow white out conditions) part of the way. At least the way back was a pretty smooth ride. The meetings and presentations went well. So that was Wednesday and Thursday so then I just Friday to work and it was the weekend again. 

Well, now it's Monday again though unfortunately. Oh well, will get through this week too. The weekend was nice and pretty low key. Saturday we had our check-up vet appointment with our cat Mindy. She's never too easy when going to the vet so all in all it went as well as it could have. She is fine, just supposed to be losing some weight. Well, don't we all? 

Sunday we went to the movies and saw "Isn't It Romantic" which was pretty funny. Had lunch/brunch afterwards and caught up on some recorded TV. So yeah a laid back weekend all in all. Hopefully my stomach decides to reset itself sooner rather than later but anyway enough complaining about that for now. Better get ready for work.  

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 11, 2019

Anniversary North Fork Wine Weekend

IMG_20190209_150037_297Ugh, Monday again. We did have a really nice weekend so can't complain about that. It was our anniversary yesterday (married for 18 years -- crazy!) IMG_20190209_190833_104so we went away for the weekend. Spent the night at the Hotel Indigo on Long Island which is close to the North Fork wine region of Long Island. The North Fork is such a contrast to the rest of Long Island. Farmland, small villages, farm stands, wineries, etc. Really pretty and cozy. This time of the year it is also pretty quiet. Of course it's fun to go during the warmer weather months where you can sit outside and everything is green and pretty but that also means much larger crowds. Traffic can get crazy and the lines in the tasting rooms and hotel prices just get wacky. So it's nice to go during the off-season sometimes. Especially Sundays seem to be extra quiet. 

We drove out Saturday morning (a little over 2 hours) and did some wine tasting. We started at Clovis Point and then headed to Osprey's Dominion. Osprey's always seems to be a stop we make each time we go out there. After that we headed to lunch at A Mano which was pretty delicious. I had lasagna and Mike got a brunch egg spinach/mushroom/potato hash type dish. After lunch we continued on and stopped at Sannino Vineyard which was really small but very cozy. They are apparently building a new place for it. I imagine that's going to be nice but the current small place also had its charm. After that we went to Bedell which is really polar opposite, very sleek and modern looking. They do have a nice covered porch which can be nice during the warmer months if it happens to be raining. I remember one year we sat outside under the covered porch sipping wine, watching the rain on the grapes/vines. Last stop of the day was Macari where we ended with a bottle of wine and some cheese, serrano ham and crackers. Pretty delicious end to the day. We then checked into our hotel and hung out at the hotel bar for a while longer before eventually calling it a day.

Sunday we slept in a bit and then took advantage of the breakfast buffet included in our room rate. Just wanted to have a quick snack to have something in our stomachs before setting off on more wine adventures. :) We headed over to the South Fork to check out Channing Daughters Vineyard which was a pleasant surprise. We tried a bunch of quite different wines. They also had a bunch of neat wood sculptures/artwork and the grounds seemed nice. Then headed back over to the North Fork and Paumanok. I know we have definitely been there before as well. They have a huge outdoor deck overlooking the vines. Really pretty rustic feel to everything as well. Definitely a place to come back to during the nicer months. Last but not least we stopped at Coffee Pot Cellars. We went there for the first time over New Year's when we were on LI for NYE 17-18. Really enjoyed the place last time (pretty small boutique winery, cute dog called Beasly and a bunch of regulars) Sometimes you don't know if you can replicate an experience but definitely glad we decided to stop back there again. Hung out there for a bit before eventually leaving, stopping at Starbucks and heading back to Connecticut. 

Well, now it's Monday morning and back to reality. This is going to be a very busy week at work. I have a bunch of really tedious reports I need to get through and they need to be done by Wednesday but really Tuesday because I won't be in the office Wednesday and Thursday. Heading to Pittsburgh for a client meeting. So yeah, definitely going to be a busy week. Also supposed to snow tomorrow. Ugh. Can't winter be over already?  

Letter/Mail Update: A letter went out on Friday to: Lotte/Denmark. Received a letter from/owe a reply to: Kimber/Canada, Nina/WA and Tiffany/OK. 

Posted by Hanna at 07:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 04, 2019

February .. Super Bowl Weekend ..

FB_IMG_1549135714907And yes here we are again, on a Monday morning. And it's February already. This year is definitely already flying by. Not complaining too much as I am not a fan of winter all in all so if the winter months can go by a bit quicker I am ok with that. Of course once spring hits everything at work will start to go a bit more crazy and I don't even want to think about summer just yet. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, it's only February 4th. :) 

We had a very low key weekend all in all. Slept in late both days, well as much as the cats will allow that (basically my sleep is interrupted multiple times throughout the night), went out for lunch, caught up on recorded TV, etc. Oh and yesterday we ended up going out and watching the Super Bowl at a local bar/restaurant. We weren't even really going to stay for the whole game but then Mike got interested in it and two of our friends also showed up so we ended up staying for the whole game. I am really not a football fan so I don't care but it was ok. Anyway, now it's Monday again and I am tired and not sure I am ready for another week but hey it is what it is. 

This upcoming weekend is our wedding anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 10th. (18 year -- crazy!!) so we are going away for the night (Sat to Sun). Just to the North Fork of Long Island for a wine tasting/relaxing weekend. I always enjoy that area, so many fun vineyards and pretty scenery. This time of the year it's generally pretty low key as well with a lot of places closed or only open for limited hours. But we will have enough to do, not too worried about it. Staying at the Hotel Indigo which is a nice place. So anyway, that's something to look forward to for the weekend. :)

Other than that, the weather has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. We had crazy cold (our part of the country wasn't even as bad as the Midwest) and today and tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 50ies (10-13C) So bizzare. But I guess I'll take it. It is supposed to go down to freezing again by the end of the week which I suppose makes sense for the time of the year. 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Monday again ...

Pixlr (7)And it's Monday again. Since I usually only update about once a week I feel like that's how my post always start. Already the end of the week/a new week again. I wish it wasn't Monday morning but I guess what can you do? The weekend was good and pretty low key. Quiet weather wise as well. Saturday was pretty cold but sunny and Sunday was a little warmer but gloomy. On Saturday morning we had Sherlock's 2nd vet appointment. All went well and she did really great. She received her 2nd distemper booster shot. She is still too small for her rabies so they didn't want to overload her tiny body. She's 2 lbs 7 ounces now (up from 1 lb 15 oz) So she will receive her rabies and 3rd distemper booster in 3-4 weeks when we go back. In the meantime all's well. She is definitely growing (albeit slowly) and getting more agile and bold. She LOVES to climb. Had to move a picture we had hanging on our wall above the bed as she started climbing on it (it's embroidered - something my grandmother made) So yeah, nothing is safe. As I am typing this she is sitting on my lap and biting the side of the computer table. 

Let's see, not really all that much else new. Doing well with my wisdom teeth recovery so that's good. This week Wednesday I have a cleaning appointment at my regular dentist so they will be able to check on things as well. This is already the last week in January as well. Time does seem to fly by. So far I can't complain too much about our winter. We have had some crazy deep freeze type cold but not much snow so far. The ice storm two weekends ago was no fun but all in all it hasn't been too bad. Well we will see what the rest of the winter brings. Definitely not out of the woods yet. I know last year we had snow into April so who knows. 

Alright now Sherlock is attacking my necklace trying to pounce on it and play with it. Everything is a toy with her. :) 

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

Posted by Hanna at 07:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)