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, September 25, 2011

Estate Sale Finds! C. Jere!

This weekend there was an estate sale in our neighborhood.  Some of the homes are still in their original condition (like ours) with wonderful surprises.  So we were excited to go the sale.  

Usually when we go to estate sales, it is on the last day when there is nothing left.  Since this one was in our neighborhood, we got there a few minutes before they opened.

People had already lined up at 6 am.  The sale did not open until 9 am!  As they opened the door, a woman bumped into me as she rushed to get to the jewelry table.  And I saw another one running from one room to the next.  Who knew that estate sale shopping was such a competitive sport!  Since becoming a newfound fan of Storage Wars, I figured that those people probably own resale shops, and were looking for merchandise to fill their shelves.

While everybody was busy fighting over the jewelry and records collection, I made my way into the garage and LD went into the basement. 

While I picked up a pitch fork and three sprinklers in the garage, LD found a C. Jere metal artwork!  

Leave it to her find such a piece.  I wouldn't have believed it if it wasn't signed.   It has three biplanes and a mini-runway.  Given that several of the original homeowners in our neighborhood had been pilots for TWA, I thought we might want to hold on to some of our neighborhood history.  

She tried searching the web for a similar one, but could not find one.  If anyone knows about this piece, please let us know!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hall Bathroom Finally Done-Mirror and All!

It has been so long since our mirror drama started that thought I would give you a quick refresher:

I really wanted this mirror from West Elm, but it was no longer being sold.
So we ended up buying this one online (arrived broken the first time, wish it had been broken the second time)  We both hated this mirror.
So we decided to build our own.
However, our efforts to use the Dremel Trio as a router were not successful.  The maple was just too hard.  John and Sam from Our First House were kind enough to lend us their router and router table.   (Many, many thanks!-it certainly made the job much easier!) 

Initially we were just going to keep the mirror pretty simple, but our mitered corners were not as tight as we had expected.  (Later learned that we are supposed to use the sawdust from the saw to fill that in!) 

So we decided to try our own version of the West Elm mirror.  I tried looking for branch cross sections in Etsy, but they were too expensive.  LD found some branches from an elm tree in the park that lost one of it's large branches during the last storms.  She cleaned the branches and sliced them into quarter inch segments with the miter saw.  We let them dry for about two weeks, then started glueing them onto the frame.

After letting it dry for a few hours, and giving it two coats of poly, we finally hung it in the bathroom.

So our hallway bathroom is finally done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Sister, My Hero

Friday, September 2nd, was a weird day. We were supposed to go to Minneapolis to go shopping at Ikea, but decided to leave on Saturday instead. Just didn't feel like the right day to leave. Now I know why. Dad visited me and tried to tell me, but I wouldn't listen. I was depressed, and couldn't shake it. Even Morgan tried to tell me. When my brother called me that night, I didn't want to pick it up. I knew it deep down, but I didn't want to hear it or accept. I thought that if I didn't answer the phone, it wouldn't happen. My sister, Estela, had passed away. She was fondly known as Sister.

Sister. I gave her that name when I could barely speak because I couldn't say her full name, so I improvised, and it stuck with her this whole time. She was always stronger, smarter, and more stubborn than I! But I needed someone like her to get it through my thick skull that our lives can be changed in an instant. And I thank her for that.

I remember when we would go to the farm field, and move the hay bales around to create forts and mazes. And the fact that she had a crush on my good friend Tony! (But he already knew.) We loved going into that field and playing in the creek. We would catch pollywogs and fish all day long. We had all the fruit we could eat-blackberries, apples, and cherries. OMG they were so fresh and good. And the best swimming hole ever! It was our secret. She hated the fact that we had to move from there. We moved so many times when we were young, but at least we had each other. She was 1 yr and 10 months younger than I, but it felt like we were joined at the hip when we were little.

Growing up she always found ways to get into fights at school. I either had to bail her out, fight right next to her, or protect her! And it was always with more than one girl! Big ones too! She never did things the easy way, and I never knew what those fights were about. Probably best to be kept in the dark!

I'll never forget when I went away to college, she told me she loved me and would miss me. I never knew that before. She was always so stubborn, and had to learn things the hard way. But it was her stubbornness and tenacity that pulled her through the tough times. After she had kids, she went back to school and just blew me away. I don't know how she managed a family, a life, and went to school at the same time. She amazed me then, and still does now. It took her a long time to find her passion, but she did. And when she did, she bulldozed through, letting nothing stop her from her goal.

She never gave up even when the doctors gave her the news that would change her (and her family's) life forever-brain cancer. Instead, she persevered through the chemo, radiation, and all those surgeries-and did it all during school breaks!!! And she still got straight A's and didn't complain. I was awed by her, and her strength to move forward, despite what she'd been through.

That was four years ago. I thought I was going to lose her last year, but she kicked Death in the a$$ again. I always knew she wouldn't go down without a fight. She finished her bachelor's in speech pathology last year, and got into grad school. She gave me the best birthday present ever in December last year-she was cancer free (then it came back in 2011). This was going to be her second year in grad school. She will always be my Hero.

(Hey Sis! I'll be looking and waiting for you in my dreams, and I'll be waiting to feel your presence around me. Now you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. And when it's my time to go, your lovely, smiling face is the first one I want to see. I love you so very much. P.S.-say hi to Dad for me.)