Saturday, December 09, 2023

Weekend Update - Christmas with the cats

Happy Saturday. :) Here we are, a week and a few days later. So .. I tried to put up the tree last week on Friday (Dec 1) Well I did put up the tree. Went through the whole trouble of getting it down from the attic, putting it all together, fiddling with the lights (it's a pre-lit tree but you need to make sure all the connections are set up so it works properly) and eventually had a tree. I was very nervous about the whole thing so I actually moved it from one spot to another spot in the living room before letting our cat Wednesday near it. Well .. what does he do? He walked right up to it and started chewing on it. It's a fake tree so it's plastic. Not super surprised he tried to chew on it. BUT then he started chewing on the little Christmas light bulbs on the tree and I could hear the crunching sounds it was making. What on earth CAT? WHY? Well .. anyway .. fast forward a few hours and the tree was put away again in the attic. It's kind of sad since I did really want a Christmas tree and enjoy having a tree but I can't have him chewing and biting on the lights. Ugh. Well, maybe I will have better luck next year? He is a little over a year old, maybe by next year he will calm himself down a bit more.

I did find some other decorations and put those up. Also put up my little Christmas village which so far has survived. Fingers crossed I can keep it intact until Christmas. Only time will tell I guess.

Not too much else new really. Besides decorating didn't do too much last weekend. Started reading a new book "The Secret Book of Flora Lee" which has been a good read so far.

On Sunday last week we went for brunch at Jlaw with a gift certificate we had. Delicious food and bottomless mimosas/bellinis. Fun afternoon. :)

The work week was a normal week. Busy with various meetings. We had a French moving partner come in for a presentation/meeting and they brought in some great Swiss/French chocolates/treats and also had a fun game/quiz for us to play. I am always happy when our meetings turn out to be more engaging and lively like that.

Today is Saturday and I am just happy it's the weekend. No huge plans for this weekend. Will continue to read my book and we'll probably watch some more TV later.

Mail Update: Letters have gone out to: Carmen/Malta and Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Goodbye November - Hello December

Goodbye November. :) So tomorrow we are officially in December and while it feels like the holiday season has already been in full swing, I guess it will then feel even more official. 

Had a nice low key extended Thanksgiving weekend last week. On Thursday we went to Stew Leonard's in the morning and grabbed some things for later in the day (baguette, brie, shrimp cocktail, ..) Then at noon we had our reservation at the Barn Door in Ridgefield for lunch. Had a nice lunch and spent a while hanging out. I had a turkey burger with cranberry mayo and sweet potato fries. Also enjoyed a couple delicious espresso martinis after lunch.

Eventually we made our way home and hung out at home for the rest of the day watching some movies and relaxing. And of course enjoying our feast of goodies we had bought at Stews plus some sparkling rose wine.

Black Friday I had a massage appointment (using up all my saved up credits at Massage Envy before my membership expires) at 11.30. Later on headed to J Law for a quick stop for happy hour and eventually made our way back home.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty low key as well. Saturday I spent most of the day reading "Wreck the Halls" and on Sunday we went to see "The Holdovers" at noon ($10/ticket, can't beat that) Then spent the afternoon writing most of the domestic Christmas cards.

Then Monday to Wednesday were regular work days again. And as I had some extra vacation days to burn (or lose) I am also off Thursday and Friday again this week. So another long weekend for me.

Today I finished up the rest of my Christmas mail, mostly all set now, just need to get some stuff in the mail, but other than that in pretty good shape. Had Panera for lunch and mid afternoon decided to walk to Starbucks (about 40 min walk from our house but it was sunny and not too cold out, so a pretty good day for a walk) Since Starbucks had a promotion for a 1/2 price drink I decided to treat myself to a Gingerbread Latte. :)

Tomorrow I might attempt to put the tree up. Still kind of worried about how that will go with Wednesday (our newest cat) but we'll see. I also have a book to read I got from the library so all in all should be a pretty low key day. No plans for the weekend at the moment either but that's alright. Nothing wrong with some relaxing down time. :)

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Carmen/Malta and Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 06:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Almost Thanksgiving

And here we are, Thanksgiving Eve. I know I say it all the time, but I really don't know where the days and month are going. In my mind it's still August and somehow here we are, Thanksgiving tomorrow and the holiday season in full swing.

I started my Christmas cards last weekend. Finished most of my international cards and will try to get those into the mail later this week. I still need to get my US ones done but there's plenty of time for that. I really tried to cut down on my card writing this year but I just have a hard time with that. Snail mail is one of those things that makes me happy and I have always enjoyed writing and sending Christmas cards. I know it's becoming less and less of a thing and I am receiving less and less cards in return every year. But honestly it's not even about receiving a card in return. I just enjoy sending them out, putting Christmas stickers on the envelopes, using my fun Christmas labels and all that stuff. Of course stamps are getting more and more expensive and I am lucky that I had a bunch of stamps left from previous years. Some of them are not holiday themed but so be it. Next year I will need to reevaluate again after my stamp stash has been depleted but that can be future Hanna's problem. :)

Going to stop at the liquor store and get some wine tonight and tomorrow morning we are going to run to Stew's to pick up a few things for later in the day (thinking shrimp cocktail, maybe some baguette or bakery items to use with dipping oil, maybe some cheese & crackers or some baked goods)

And at noon we have reservations at the Barn Door in Ridgefield for lunch. Then going to just spend the rest of the day/afternoon at home, vegging out.

I am off on Black Friday so it's a long weekend for me. No real plans yet. Might go to the movies and I also have a book to read for our book club at work "Wreck the Halls". Speaking of holiday themed things, I also would love to put up our Christmas tree but I am super worried about our cat Wednesday. He's a bit over a year old now but he's still a lunatic. I really don't know how he will react to a tree. I might try to just put up the tree to see what he does before I bother with the ornaments. Wish me luck! :)

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Carmen/Malta and Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 04:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 13, 2023

November Updates

Yup mid November already and next week is Thanksgiving. Time is just flying. And it's 4.45pm and pretty much dark outside. I definitely have not gotten used to the fact that by 4.30 it's getting dark and by 5 o'clock it's pretty pitch black dark outside. I appreciate that it's been lighter earlier so it makes getting up a little better but of course that will also be short lived before it's both dark in the morning and dark at night. Really not a huge fan. I mean there are some upsides to this season/period of the year, can be cozier and more enjoyable to spend time at home, curl up with a big mug of tea and a good book etc. But yeah, not a 100% convinced.

Not too much new otherwise really. Work's been about the same.

Last weekend on Saturday we went for a walk but with the chill in the air we didn't stay out nearly as long as I thought. My ears ended up hurting from the wind and it just wasn't very enjoyable. But at least we got some fresh air.

Finished the latest tea mystery by Laura Childs over the weekend and last week finished reading Patrick Stewart's Biography "Making It So" Been watching a bunch of Star Trek on Paramount+.

Anyway, that's about all really. Oh yesterday was also my mom's birthday. Wish I could have been there but did speak with her and sounds like she had a nice day.

Next week for Thanksgiving Mike & I have reservations at the Barn Door in Ridgefield. No other plans for the moment.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 04:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 05, 2023

November Musings .. Daylight Savings etc.

Hello November. Already finishing out the first week in November. I really don't know how it's already this time of the year. TV is full of Christmas commercials, everywhere you look it's stuff and talk about the holiday season. In my mind it was just August yesterday. We changed the clocks back today (I know Europe did it already) and it's only 3.50pm but sunset is just about an hour away. I guess it felt nice having the extra hour this morning but our cats were not on board with that idea so I ended up getting up crazy early to feed them anyway. I did go back to bed for a bit after but still. I guess Daylight Savings is not a concept that works for the cats. :)

Not too much new really. This past week was a relatively normal week. Oh Thursday I went up to Massachusetts for a client visit. Close to Boston, about 2 1/2 hours from where I live. I went with a colleague and we spent about 2.5 hours driving up, 3 hours on site and then another 2.5 hours back. At least traffic was pretty smooth and we didn't encounter any crazy snags. All in all a pretty smooth experience and was nice to have a bit of a change of scenery from my normal in office or work from home days.

Nothing too much going on next week from what I can tell. So yeah apologies for the boring post but nothing too much going on.

Ordered my Christmas cards which already came. I did cut down my list of people to send to but just couldn't cut them down as much as I had hoped. It's just a nostalgic thing with me and hard to give up. I did realize that I have a good amount of regular stamps (from when I would write more regular snail mail) so I will try and use up those for my Christmas mail. They won't be Christmas stamps but is what it is and using them up will cut down on additional costs of buying new stamps. Every bit helps right?

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 03:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween

Hello and happy Halloween Tuesday. :)

Last week flew by. A week ago (24th) was my birthday. I worked for 1/2 a day, left the office around 1.30pm. Checked out the book store in our office building (something I had been meaning to do for a while) Wandered around for a while browsing books. Eventually we headed to Westport to Rizzuto's for Happy Hour and my birthday dinner. Was fun to hang out there as we hadn't seen a bunch of the people in a while. Definitely a great night.

Wednesday I had the day off and just planned for a nice, chill day which worked out well. The weather was really nice that day too so it was a great day just wandering around Bethel, CT (one of our neighboring towns) Had a breakfast sandwich and tea at Molten Java before doing some window shopping. Since the weather was so nice I was able to sit outside and read for a while. (Sam Heughan's "Waypoints") Had lunch at Biksbee's followed by some more walking around and reading. Also explored the Bethel library for a bit and just had a generally laid back staycation type day.

Worked the rest of the week. And on Saturday we were invited to our friends John and Kim who had their annual Halloween party. Got there a bit before 3pm and didn't leave till after 11pm. Definitely a fun day just hanging out and catching up.

Saturday the weather was absolutely gorgeous, short sleeve weather and all. Sunday it turned and was rainy & chilly. Monday was more of the same. Today for Halloween it's still chilly but no rain.

Had a fun day at work, lots of people dressing up, snacks and a fun day all in all. Nothing too much going on for the rest of the week. Can't believe it's already November tomorrow.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 07:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Happy Fall

IMG_20231022_150913_272Almost my birthday and Halloween. Time as usual is flying. :)

Not too much new from this past week. More or less a normal week at work. Thursday the weather was relatively nice and I was able to get outside during my lunch break for a bit to enjoy the sun and walk for a bit. The leaves are starting to turn colors but due to all the rain we have been having the colors are kind of subdued. There are some pretty spots but all in all definitely not super bright and vibrant colors like I have seen in past years.

Friday I had an appointment at the DMV to renew my license which surprisingly enough went super smooth & fast. Anyone in the US will understand, usually doing anything at the DMV tends to be a nightmare and takes forever. But I guess since they switched to  the"Appointment Only" format after Covid it goes a lot smoother. I was honestly shocked how quick it was. In & out in less than 20 minutes. Probably less than 15 minutes.

The weather as usual has been so-so. Friday and Saturday it rained. I read somewhere that we have not had a weekend without rain here in our area of CT since Sept 2. Yesterday, Saturday, we went to J Law for an early birthday lunch for myself. Had a $10 off coupon that was expiring as well so that helped. :) Today, Sunday, we just ran some errands. Went to the library in Ridgefield to get Sam Heughan's biography "Waypoints". The Danbury library didn't have it but thankfully my library card works at all of the CT libraries so no huge deal. And I can return the book in Danbury so no need to drive back to Ridgefield.

Last night we watched "Alice, Darling" and tonight we will continue to watch "Picard" on Paramount +.

Next week on Tuesday (24th) I am working until 1pm and then off on the 25th so that will give me a little break for my birthday.

I think the weather is supposed to be pretty decent as well so that should be good.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 05:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Mid October Autumn Update

And here we are, already in mid October already and a little over a week since I last posted. As usual time is just flying. Not sure I have a lot of new things to report but let's see. :)

Last weekend the weather on Saturday was pretty much a wash out. Ended up being a stay at home, read, do some chore around the apartment and watch TV kind of day. Sunday was a bit better with some sun. Went for a walk to get out into the fresh air for a bit and then spent most of the afternoon binge reading "Homecoming" by Kate Morton which I really enjoyed.

The week seemed to drag on for no reason. Tuesday I was part of a CPR course at work which took up a good amount of the day. Other than that it was mostly business as usual I guess.

This weekend was similar weather wise from last weekend. Yesterday, Saturday, was a dreary, rainy day and today ended up being a bit better with the sun eventually coming out. Only in the 50ies though (12-14C) so pretty chilly.

Yesterday we ended up going to Buffalo Wild Wings since we had some saved up points and hung out there for a bit before heading back home. And today I had a facial booked and after that we went for a short walk before heading back home.

Spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on a few work things and then started doing some clean up on my home PC. I hadn't turned it on in forever but wanted to move some files around for back-up. And also wanted to take a look at my Christmas Card List, update some addresses and so on. I am desperately trying to cut down my cards for this year because everything is just getting so much more expensive. Postage and everything. I am having a hard time cutting it down but did make an effort. I will need to decide relatively soon as I will need to order my cards. I will see if I can cut it back a bit more.

Other than that not much else new really. Eventually will have some dinner (oh yesterday I made a yummy Cajun Salmon dish with roasted brussel sprouts & potatoes) and spend the evening watching TV I think.

Let's see what next week brings.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

Posted by Hanna at 05:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 06, 2023

Hello October

And somehow almost 2 weeks have passed again. I don't know where the time goes lately?

Flew back from Austria on Monday, September 25th. The journey back was kind of annoying. Ended up in a middle seat on the London-New York leg due to a last minute aircraft change and didn't get home till almost 10pm. Rest of the week was spent working and fighting jetlag.

The weather was pretty miserable when I got back compared to the beautiful weather I was having while in Austria. Friday was a huge downpour pretty much all day which caused flooding all over. It finally got nicer later in the week and Sunday turned out to be a beautiful fall day. Went for a nice walk followed by a late lunch at Marketplace in Danbury. Sat outside (well before the bees chased us inside) and took advantage of their Sunday Half Price Wine Special.

This week was filled with various things which made the week go by pretty fast. It was our official "Return to Office" week where everybody now should be working back in the office 2 days per week. It's nothing new for me as I have been doing 2-3 days per week for a long while but it's nice to see more people in the office again. Tuesday we had a work dinner after work and on Wednesday I had an almost all day meeting followed by a dentist appointment Thursday after work. So yeah, pretty much something every day this week.

Now it's Friday evening and I am happy it's the weekend. :) No plans for the weekend at the moment. Tomorrow it looks pretty dreary weather wise but I think Sunday should be nicer. Cool but sunny. So we'll see. Maybe we'll get to do something on Sunday.

Not too much else new really. Can't believe it's already October. Time is truly flying.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada.

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

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Where does the time go? Europe, it's been fun.

IMG_20230922_193207_330.jpgSunday Funday. Here we are, another week flown by and already leaving tomorrow. Really don't know where the past three weeks have gone? How can time fly by that fast? 

This past week was spent working Monday to Thursday. My usual routine, spending the mornings with my mom, going for walks, running some errands, Tuesday speech therapy and lunch before starting work around 2pm.

The weather continued to be beautiful for most of the week, true late summer weather, sunny and warm. Towards the end of the week it started to cool down, just in time for the official start of fall/autumn on Saturday.

Friday I managed to still squeak out a nice afternoon in St. Poelten. Took the train in (just 10-15 min) and wandered around the pedestrian downtown area, browsing various shops. I bought a set of PJs and some fluffy cozy sweatpants for my mom for an early birthday gift (Nov. 12), had some gelato and a ham & cheese toast with a White Wine Spritzer sitting in a cafe. Browsed a few different shops and picked up a few odds and ends for myself as well before heading back to the house and spending the evening with my mom.

Saturday my aunt and I did a little shopping at a bigger grocery store so I could grab a few more things to bring back to the US as well as pick up some things for the weekend. Other than that Saturday was a pretty low key, chill day. Wrote a letter, watched a bunch of TV with my mom and just relaxed which was nice.

Today, Sunday, has been pretty low key too. My aunt stopped by in the morning and we went for a walk. Ordered some lunch for my mom & I, checked in for my flight and then started my packing after lunch. Happy to report that I managed to stuff everything into my suitcase. It's bloody heavy though. So I guess I wouldn't be surprised if it's overweight. I guess it will be what it will be but at least everything is inside the suitcase so that's half of the battle. Still need to finish up my carry on, pack up my laptop and chargers and so on. But we're getting there.

Going to watch some Rosamunde Pilcher this afternoon and they also have a Romy Schneider movie marathon on one of the channels. So should be a low key afternoon.

Tomorrow the airport transfer picks me up at 7am. At least not crazy early which is nice. Don't land in New York until 7.20pm which is a bit annoying but at least I don't have to leave the house at some crazy early hour so that's something.

Mail Update: Received a letter from/owe a response to: Kimber/Canada. Wrote a letter to Celia/MA that I need to mail in the US and mailed a letter on Friday to Carmen/Malta.

Posted by Hanna at 07:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)