Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas day

We celebrated a wonderful Christmas. Bernie's Mom sent us both gifts. Bernie's family picks names every year for a gift exchange. This year Bernie got presents from her brother and they got here on time.

Bernie was so excited, just like a little kid. We opened our presents and had fun with them. Then we got to work on a great Christmas dinner. For appetizers we had stuffed mushrooms and aranitas. For dinner we had pernil, hasselback roasted potatoes, and asparagus with sun dried tomatoes. And for dessert we had a yummy chocolate mudslide frozen pie. Everything was homemade and absolutely delicious.

By the time we finished eating and cleaning up we were both so tired. Mar still doesn’t feel well and Bernie had a small asthma attack which wore her out. So we watched some tv to relax and then went to bed.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas eve

The owner of the house went to Michigan to spend Christmas with her family. The roommate also left to go spend Christmas with her family but halfway there, she had to turn around because the weather was making it too difficult to drive.

Bernie expected to get a lot done in the house this week since we would be alone, but instead when Kristin came back, she brought her girlfriend Lesa with her and both their dogs too. With this change in plans Bernie had to do her best to try to work around two dogs and three cats and three other people in the house. Not that we can count Mar, she is still sick and can hardly get out of bed.

In the evening Mar finally found some strength to get out of bed and prepare a light meal. So we spent Christmas eve making dinner and baking cookies while listening to Christmas carols. We watched some Christmas shows and then everyone went to bed while Bernie stayed up and worked on the house for several hours while trying to be very quiet so she wouldn’t wake anyone up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Water everywhere

Bernie was working on the house, Mar was working on her laptop, and all of a sudden there was water on the floor in half the house. A pipe broke in the attic and water was dripping in the living room, the kitchen, the hallway bathroom, and in the bedroom where Bernie is staying.

Bernie shut off the water and went up in the attic. Once she located the leak and figured out what she needed, she made a run to the hardware store to pick up supplies. She had to take Bella to the store because no one was home to give her a ride.

Bernie went back up in the attic and fixed the leak, while yelling down to Mar to turn the water on or off, to test for any more leaks. Thankfully it was fixed and it didn't leak anymore or anywhere else. Then it took Bernie a couple of hours to mop up all the water and clean up the whole mess.

Luckily the water didn't fall anywhere Bernie had already worked so nothing had to be redone. Also, the floor where the water was is all bare concrete, so no flooring was damaged. It's a good thing Bernie has not put down the floors yet, which she will be doing soon.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chicken soup

Mar got hardly any sleep last night because she had the worst sore throat ever, she can't swallow because it feels like she has a wooden block stuck in her throat. She is not a happy camper. Bernie gave her some medicine and made her chicken soup. After that, it was still hard to sleep with such a bad sore throat.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To the dentist

Since we are finally in one place for a while, we decided it was time to go to the dentist. We looked up some local dentists but it's hard to find reviews or recommendations to select a dentist. Driving around Elida OH we had seen a couple of billboards for Whole Health Dentistry, offering a $35 gas card for new patients. We checked them out online and called the office to make the appointments.

Bernie has a temporary and needs a crown for that root canal she had over six weeks ago in West Virginia. Turns out this dentist has the technology to make crowns right in the office and they're ready the same day. After considering the information and finding out the cost of a crown, we decided we'll need to wait to get it when we can better afford it and decided to do some research about dental insurance or dental plans. Crowns are very expensive, ouch...

Mar needed a cleaning so she had her teeth cleaned today. Thankfully, the dentist said her gums and teeth are in good shape so she doesn't need any dental work at this time, but there were a couple of things on the x-rays to keep an eye on.

The dentist was a young female doctor who was very friendly. We told her and her assistant all about our travels and they had lots of questions for us. While talking we realized the dentist has actually had a philly cheese steak in the same place we did in Philadelphia, and we had some chuckles about that.

When we payed and checked out, we got the $35 gas card and some Christmas cookies too. Then we asked for directions to the local mall, where we went to get some presents for Mar's kids. We found some really good deals on clothes for the kids and will go to the post office tomorrow to mail the package to Florida.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A day off

You know what they say about all work and no play … so today we decided to do something about that. Mar has been very busy with the end of semester finals and grading, this is the time of year when she gets tons of emails and questions from her online students. Bernie has been working long hours on the house, busy with cleanup, prep work, drywall, paint, electric, carpentry, you name it. She is so happy to be working, she loves the work.

Today we went to visit The Christmas Ranch in Morrow OH, about a two hour drive. This Christmas village is on several acres owned by a retired dentist and his wife. They got started by decorating their home which quickly became a huge draw for the public but the neighbors complained about the heavy traffic on the weekends so they found some property to accommodate their Christmas dream.

Now they have this place with a couple houses and barns, transformed into a Christmas wonderland with thousands of lights connected to music. This way as the music serenades you the lights give you a fantastic visual show. It was magical to listen to the Mannheim Steam Roller as we stood in the middle of the forest while the lights pounded out the sounds.

They also have a huge bonfire, to which we returned every few minutes with our cup of hot chocolate, to warm up before heading out to explore again. On this cold, cold night the warmth of the bonfire was much appreciated.

This place certainly got us into the Christmas spirit. It has been featured on HGTV and also Good Morning America. If you are near southwest Ohio any time soon, you should go visit and have some hot chocolate while you're there:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stay tuned

To our loyal readers:

As you already know we are in Elida OH for a job. We don't know how long it will take but it will probably be several weeks.

Because we are not traveling, during this time we will not post daily to our blog as we usually do, but we do plan to post updates and pictures from time to time.

Please stay tuned for the updates and we hope you will join us when we hit the road again in a few weeks. Feel free to leave us comments here on the blog (we love getting your comments) or send us an email to

Meanwhile we hope you enjoy your holidays and we'll see you on the road!

Bernie and Mar