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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I was upstairs talking to my mom on Sunday evening and LD's cell phone kept going off (she was downstairs and did not realize it was going off).  When I finally picked it up, I noticed that one of her text messages stated that a tornado had just hit Joplin and destroyed a nursing home.  I immediately took the phone to her and turned on the weather channel.

Normally she has to drive to Columbia and deploys with her team from there, but this time she was told to drive straight to Joplin and meet the team there.  Shortly after she got there, she started working and they worked straight for approximately 36 hours before finally getting some rest and food.

Ever since LD and Katy deployed, I kept scouring the internet and television hoping to get a glimpse of them to know that they were alright (communication was very limited due to so many cell towers being down). I managed to see them here and there, but yesterday I finally got to see them on CNN being interviewed by Anderson Cooper.   Here is the interview:

Anderson Cooper Joplin Coverage

They searched a lot of area: homes, apartments, duplexes, and businesses for live people.  When Katy finds a person, she barks.  Well, Katy had 2 alerts in Joplin!  I am so proud of LD and Katy!  It is not often that disaster dogs get the opportunity to find live victims.  It all depends on the type and magnitude of the disaster.  This disaster incident created many opportunities and hope for people to survive the tornado.

There were fourteen tornado touchdowns in the Kansas City Metro Area today, and I had to spend an hour in the basement at work until the tornado warning expired.  I was afraid that LD and Katy might have to come searching for me!  We were very lucky, but unfortunately the tornadoes caused some damage in Sedalia and other communities.  We can't wait for this bad weather to go away!!!!!!!!


  1. Hope you and your family stay safe -- such devastation! Will think good thoughts for all of you.

  2. Gretchen everybody is fine. LD and Katy are back from Joplin. Katy along with the other search dogs suffered some scrapes and puncture wounds, but nothing that time and antibiotics will not heal. I just pray for all those people that lost everything they had, including loved ones.