On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chainsaw Massacre that Ends with Lights

I took Friday off from work, and spent a few hours participating in the madness of Black Friday.  After showing off my loot to LD (mostly DVD movies), I decided to finish clearing the vegetation on the east side of the house.

All nice and clean!

The northeast side of the yard is actually starting to look decent now.

This morning LD wanted to go for a run at Shawnee Mission Park, but I was too lazy and decided to go to Panera instead.  After spending a couple of hours reading the Sunday paper, enjoying a hot cup of coffee and an orange scone (yummy), we came home and LD decided to tackle the 50+ year old bushes that were dwarfing the side of our garage.

Can you actually spot LD in there?

One trunk left.  We need a new chain for the chainsaw to cut it down!

LD wanted to remove the vegetation so we can put up Christmas lights.  So after all that hard work, LD talked me into going to Target to buy LED lights.  I thought we were going to hang them the next time we had warm weather, but LD had other plans.  We got home, and she immediately pulled the ladder out of the garage.  I had no other option, but to help out.  The lights look better than I expected, and they only use 2.4 watts per string of lights!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The War Against the "Jungle"

LD/Delia - 2    Jungle - 0

Our first point was the cleanup of the vegetation outside of the bar windows (see October's blog post).  After that we got the bug to do more, we just needed the right time.

We had a "scorching" weekend (for the end of November that is).  With temperatures in the high 50's it was hard to pass up the temptation of tackling some of the overgrowth around our yard.  We have a dead tree near the master bedroom whose branch fell, and was leaning on the cable and phone line (which we are having problems with).  It had already lost one branch last week, and we feared that the big branch was going to fall as well.



Next to the tree we have a ton of Forsythias.  The overgrowth was so bad that the ATT technician commented that he was glad that the problem was the router and not the phone line.

Before-the air conditioner is in there somewhere!  The compost bin is barely peaking out.

Several months ago LD started to remove the Forsythias that wrapped around the east side to the front, but she was only able to remove the front bushes.  So we spent a couple of hours on Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday cutting them down.  We managed to cut down over 85% of the "mass".  I think one more hour and we would have gotten them all done.

After-the compost bin looks like it is sticking out now!

After-oh look, we do have an air conditioner.

The bad news is that our brush pile keeps growing!  We once thought about having a bonfire, but it is so large that it might cause a forest fire!!  At some point in time we are going to have to haul it away.

Brush pile

We are also trying to find "green" ways to remove 2 very old, large Christmas trees.  The previous owner planted two Christmas trees about 40-50 years ago, and they are now 20-30 feet tall.  So we came up with the idea of giving them away to a city, community or organization.  They are free to anyone who is willing to cut them down and haul away.  We advertised them on Craigslist.  So if you know anyone who is interested in very large Christmas trees, let us know!

Tree #1

Tree #2

We have 1.25 acres, so this is only the beginning of our yard work!  It is going to be a long journey.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Disaster K9 Training and a Midcentury House Tour in Indianapolis

In order to keep Katy's searching skills sharp, LD travels to other training sites.  So last month, we traveled to Indianapolis to train with the FEMA Indiana Task Force I canine team.

On our way to Indianapolis we decided to stop in St. Louis to check out the Design Within Reach store.  With all the road construction taking place it was a pain to get there, but the eye candy was well worth it.  I fell in love with several pieces of furniture that I will have to save up for.  

I fell in love with this Eames Rocker Chair!

LD fell in love with the versatility of the Quad Expandable Coffee Table.  To see how the table opens up, check out additional pictures on this link:  Click here

Why can't my checkbook match my tastes?  Oh well, I guess it just makes me appreciate them even more.

We spent Saturday morning and most of the afternoon training with the Indiana canine team.  Katy had a really good time.  I have never known a dog that loves to work as much as she does.   Look at that smile in her face!

The Indiana Task Force K-9 handlers love training with LD.  She is like doggie cocaine, because she does not hold back when she plays "victim".  Dogs really respond to her enthusiasm.  Here she is in a bark barrel rewarding one of the Indiana dogs after a good alert.

It was just coincidence that the same weekend we traveled to Indianapolis, Atomic Indy was hosting an Atomic Crash Party at an Evans Woollen midcentury house.  So after training we stopped long enough to tour the house, chat with the homeowners, and take some pictures.  Enjoy!

Impressive entryway

Patio on side of the house

I was jealous of this garage, three cars and plenty of room for a workshop!

This was the other side of the house.  It had a small metal deck.

Nice bed

This house had terrazzo floors on the lower level.

They stripped and sanded the original kitchen cabinets.  That sounds familiar!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Our Phase I / Halloween Party was a great success.  I managed to snap a few photos right before the party, but completely forgot to take pictures during our party!  So here a few photos of what the house looked like after several hours of vacuuming up dog hair and wiping up dog slobber.

Master bedroom with LD's wall art

Our friends fell in love with the walnut wall

New platform bed and fabric headboard

We were invaded by some nasty creatures, time to call the exterminator!

Or maybe ghost busters?

Happy Halloween!