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.

Friday, March 21, 2014

We welcomed Spring with a brand new ..........


Well not brand new, but at least it is now functional.

The previous owner was kind enough to leave us with a fireplace full of ash to clean up, so we figured that he used it pretty regularly.  To be on the safe side, however, we called a local fireplace company to come clean and inspect our fireplace.

We were told that under no circumstances we should use the fireplace for wood or gas fires.  There were several areas within the flume that had missing mortar, which required the chimney to be tuck pointed or lined.  We had a chimney liner at our first house installed, so we figured it would not be a big deal.  We were not prepared for the quote that we received, which was two times what it had cost to install the liner in our first house.

Mid-way through this winter, I finally got tired of not having a functional fireplace and decided to do something about it.  At first we thought about installing a gas burning insert, but that required that our gas line be moved and an electrical outlet be installed at the back of the firebox.

After finding out how much moving the gas line was going to cost, we decided to nix that option.

So we finally decided to get the fireplace lined, install a burner , and purchase some fireglass.  After much research, we decided that an H-shaped burner from Exotic Flames best met our needs.

We purchased fireglass from a vendor on Ebay, and lava rock from a local fireplace store.

We had to wait a while before we received our burner because they were backlogged.  But the wait was worth it!

Things are finally warming up outside and inside!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Until We Meet Again - Boo Boo

It is with great sadness that we said goodbye to Morgan this past Monday.  She brought joy into our lives for 15.5 years.   She was our faithful companion through thick and thin.

After we adopted Baine, we decided that we needed another dog that would keep him company while we were busy with school.  We checked out many litters before we finally checked out Morgan's litter.  On the day that we visited, there were only four puppies left (three females and a male).  When we saw Morgan retrieve a little yellow star and an old aluminum can, we knew that she was the one.

Once we got her home, Baine took to his role as a big brother right away.  It is a good thing, because I had no clue what I was doing.  I checked out books on puppy raising, but they did me no good with Morgan.  She was stubborn, independent, and liked doing things her own way.  It didn't matter to me because I fell for her the first night we brought her home, and I am pretty sure she fell for us right away.

I used to introduce her to our friends as a dog who only had two brain cells, one of which she used for eating and the other one for retrieving.

When it came to food, she was a vacuum cleaner.  Morgan had perfected the begging look, it was hard for me not to slip her food when she looked at me with her big brown eyes.  She had no problem helping herself to unattended food.  One Thanksgiving she managed to steal a pumpkin pie from the kitchen table.  Despite being in the adjoining room, we did not hear a thing.  She also helped herself to a pack of Oreos,  a pack of Hershey Kisses, some chocolate truffles, and multiple all you can eat buffets when we forgot to close the door to the area were we stored her food.  Her age did not stop her one bit, this past December while visiting my mom's house she managed to find a bag of flour.  Here is a video of the aftermath we found when we got back:

She loved retrieving, frisbees were her obsession.  Contrary to her breeding, however, she was not in love with water.  I finally got her to go swimming at 6 months of age, but only because I threw one of her frisbees in the water and she could not stand to be apart from it.  In the winter, she would bring me my hat and gloves whenever she wanted to go outside for a frisbee session.

She was also great with kids and puppies.  We used to call her the puppy coordinator for the Missouri Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team, because puppies were naturally drawn to her.  They learned how to get their "rubble legs" from following her all over the pile.

Morgan loved getting in the car and going out for rides.  She used to be my field companion while I was working on my doctorate.  She loved getting in the truck, and keeping me company as I drove around Boone County looking for Canada Geese.  She would also accompany me as I would go clean out the pens.  One of those times, she came into the pens with a rooster in her mouth.  I released it, which must have really puzzled her.  I guess she thought that I had accidentally let it go, because she brought it to me a second time.

Given her natural hunting ability, I tried teaching her how to track.  She was great at it, but I decided it was not for me.  I also joined the local hunting and retrieving club.  I'll never forget when she passed the SHR test within one month of joining the club.  The club members were very impressed with her natural instincts, and so were we!!!  

Despite her independent streak, she loved spending time with us.  I used to call her the perfect shop dog, because she loved hanging around wherever we were.

She was also our Chief Security Officer, she was very protective of us and our home.  Morgan was also great at diffusing situations with other dogs.

If any other dog tried picking up a fight with one of her sisters, she was quick to step in and let the other dog know that they would have to go through her before they touched one of her sisters.  Dogs quickly backed away.

Contrary to my characterization of her as a dog with only two brain cells, Morgan was a very highly evolved dog.  She was a great friend and companion, pretty much my perfect dog.  She has left a great void in our home,  but we take comfort in knowing that she is once again being looked after by her big brother Baine.  Thanks for sharing your life with us, we were very lucky!

RIP Boo Boo July 23, 1998 - February 03, 2014