Wednesday, May 9, 2007


I have a friend that I will call "Lucy." Lucy, because she has red hair. And my husband calls us "Lucy and Ethel." I'm Ethel.
We have a fair reputation for getting into trouble, just as those two did on TV. Not bad trouble. Just your everyday "Well, how do we explain this?" kind of trouble.
Take the day my friend decided that she liked my idea of a doll house in the wall. I have one in my living room. It's built into my daughter's bedroom closet. It is a pretty nice size, with three floors and four rooms. Much like a brownstone. On the bottom is a very old-fashioned kitchen. In the middle is the living room, and on the top floor is the bathroom and bedroom. No stairs, they take up too much space. So my dolls have to be well-acquainted with scaling death-defying heights.
The only place that my friend could think to put her dollhouse was on her stairway. A month or so before the plan went into operation, she had purchased a small doll abode in a yard sale. Perfect. Just the right size. And hers has stairs. It's a doll house for the unadventurous.
Finding the exact spot proved to be a bit more difficult. Where on the stairway should it go? We decided that three steps up would be a good location. Just enough room for her granddaughters to play and not be in each other's way. And it appeared that we would miss cutting into the ceiling in the family room below and any major electrical wiring. Out came the circular saw.
My husband had made the mistake of buying me a small, rechargeable saw that could cut through anything. Especially stairway walls. Into the paneling it went. With barely any effort, I had cut a rectangle big enough to accept it's new occupant. With amazement we realized that the wall itself was only 1 1/2 inches thick. How is that possible? How is this wall holding up the floor of the bedroom upstairs? Maybe we shouldn't have cut this hole out. Yikes.
At 3:00 pm we had to go pick up our children from school. Knowing that her husband would be home at 3:30, we had to find something to camouflage this incredibly obvious absence of paneling. Lucy and I stuck a plant in front of it. Subtle.
We came home to eerie silence. The head peeking up from the back of the chair did not turn. In any direction. Gulp.
We carried on, whispering so as not to disturb the head. Inserting the doll house was easy. Trimming out the front, simple. On the family room side, we put up a shelf to hold the little house. The roof peak just misses the ceiling. Talk about luck!! Still, the head did not turn.
I packed up my saw and crept out the front door, leaving my friend to suffer whatever punishment the head decided to mete out.
The next day, with much hesitation, I called to check how things were.
"Yes! Well, he was a bit upset until I explained why I had done this, and how our granddaughters would look so sweet perched on the stair playing in the little house."
"You are very, very lucky."
Over the next few weeks it became a project for my friend and her husband. He wired the little house for electricity. He helped apply wallpaper, carpeting and tile. When the granddaughters saw it, they squealed with delight and began their first forays into interior decorating. Lucy and her husband were delighted.

Years later, it still draws the girls to it. Things are a bit shabbier from use. But that's how it should be. And Lucy and I still get into "trouble" together. It's just that getting out of it has become a bit trickier.
I think they are on to us!!


Rebekah said...

Cute story! Welcome to the blogging world! You are going to have FUN, Ethel.

Tracey said...

Everyone needs a Lucy! I had a redheaded friend when Darling was little; Darling called her Wilma. Wilma moved away, but if I call and say "This is Betty", she knows right away who it is =)

The doll house sounds wonderful, and Lucy is indeed lucky that her husband went along with the plan (I'm not thinking Ricky would have!)

amy said...

i love the idea of having a dollhouse in the wall! i would love to see pictures. it sounds wonderful

Aunt Jenny said...

Sounds like an adorable idea!! I sure miss living near my friend Pattie..who lives in CAlif. We had alot of adventures and got in wholesome type trouble like that alot for so many years. I loved your story!!!
I love reading your blog Karin!

madrekarin said...

Gosh- Thanks so much! I haven't had time to get on here for a while. How do people write every day? I will try to post pics of the dollhouse. Just have to figure out how to do it! And wrestle the camera away from my dd! :)

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

Oh -- I LOVE to see the photos too. We HAVE a doll house -- I'd love to stick it into the wall. Where do you live to have walls so thick?

My mind is not wrapping around this idea... but I want on anyway. I'll have to subscribe to your blog and have my dh come and read this.

I want one!! LOL

I came here searching for a photo of you in your new apron that you won. LUCKY!! Ü

madrekarin said...

Jennifer- Apparently I am going to have to do some miniature housekeeping and snap some photos of the house in the wall! :) Once you see the pictures, you will understand how I did it.
Oh, and as soon as my new apron arrives, I will put it on someone else and take a picture. ha ha- not sure I'm the best model!
Thanks for popping by.