More Dollhouse Adventures, Including Trapping Myself In One Of The Rooms!

It feels like I’ve been working on projects inside the house for weeks and weeks, when in reality I’ve only had access to the Dollhouse about a week. I’ll be sharing the temporary sleeping quarters I’ve created for this week’s Met Monday. Over the past week, when I haven’t been building something, taking boxes to the nearby recycling center, meeting with internet installers, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, or plantation shutter reps, I’ve been shopping for pillows, bedding, towels, curtains/sheers,  leaf blowers, lamps, ladders, replacement lighting, trash cans, shower curtains, etc… I’ve replaced light bulbs all throughout the house that were super dim or not working at all. The non-stop building, climbing, and standing has been pretty exhausting. My feet have felt like I was walking on bruises from the non-stop standing.

Here’s some of the work I’ve been able to do (or have done) in the last 7 days:
Had internet installed
Got estimates for plantation shutters, future plumbing work, future electrical work, and landscaping
Assembled a queen size bed, 2 bedside tables, a desk, and a desk chair
Hung new, non-see-through sheers in the office (available here: Non-See-Through Sheers)
Electrical: Lighting that wasn’t working was repaired or replaced, including the dining room chandelier, kitchen switches/dimmers, disposal switch, upstairs hall light, garage hall light, and upstairs bath. Also, replaced the unattractive, flashing ceiling light just outside my office that reminded me of a three-legged stool. I went with this low profile light and it looks and works so much better.


The electrician fixed the “water ground” item that was noted during the initial inspection and removed an odd switch that was really low on the wall in the master bedroom. When he removed it, the wiring wasn’t even connected to anything. Can’t imagine why it was ever there.


Here’s how that area looks now minus the switch and the extra wiring along the baseboard. It looks rough now, but it will look a lot better once this room is painted. Sometimes things have to look worse before they look better.


While here, the electrician was also able to turn off a ceiling fan that was missing its pull chain and has been running since the day I moved in. In addition to removing all the wiring on the wall in my bedroom, he removed a bunch of cable wiring on the other side of the room. I’ve been on a mission to remove anything that wasn’t being used. It has been exciting seeing all the rooms looking so much cleaner and nicer without a lot of extra wiring running along the baseboards and walls.

Plumbing: Had all the toilets and showers checked out by a plumber after the cleaning crew (hired by the seller’s realtor) thought the toilets were filling up too high when flushed. Turns out they are working fine and are just really old toilets that use a lot of water. I will most likely replace those in the future. I also smelled gas in the basement room that houses the furnace and two hot water heaters. The plumber found a very tiny leak and repaired it.

I wish I had taken a photo of this next improvement. There were years and years of wiring all over the back and sides of the house—so much so that it filled up an entire gigantic contractor-grade garbage bag. I dislike having extraneous wiring or left-over “junk” stuck on the walls of a house (inside or out) that’s no longer in use. A large Spectrum box was removed along with the miles of wiring and cabling.

The old Invisible Fencing was removed from the walls in the garage, along with a bunch of wire shelving, hanging hooks, and pegboards. I much prefer to have stuff stored and hidden away in cabinets or a storage room in the basement. This is just part of what was removed from the garage walls, there is another whole set of shelves on the other side of the box. The box on the left is full of stuff, too. Now the walls in the garage are completely cleared, except for the irrigation box which is ancient and should be replaced, and one hose reel that I left in place for now. It took an impact driver to remove all the stuff from the brick walls, my regular DeWalt drill would not budge the screws. A locksmith is coming on Monday to key all the doors to one key and to lubricate or repair multiple other doors.


Future repairs on my next trip up:
Replace the kitchen refrigerator that has multiple broken shelves and a non-working icemaker
Replace the beverage fridge in the butler’s pantry that makes weird noises and can’t cool below 48 degrees
Replace the microwave that doesn’t work at all
Lots more electrical work to include replacing broken dimmer switches and ancient recessed lighting in the basement, some of which is broken
Repair/replace broken shelving in several closets

During this past week, I managed to get myself trapped in my bedroom. It was my first night sleeping in the house and I noticed a little deadbolt on the bedroom door and decided to use it. When I awoke the next morning, it wouldn’t budge. After trying in vain to get the door open for about 10 minutes, I texted the seller who has been coming back each day to retrieve a few more things from the garage. I asked if there was a trick to getting the deadbolt open. He texted back that he would be there in 2 minutes.


During that time, I continued trying to get the deadbolt to release. The edges of the deadbolt knob are super spikey and sharp, but thankfully I had paper towels in the master bath that I could use to protect my fingers while I tried to make it turn. So weird that it locked so easily and now refused to open. The seller arrived and couldn’t get in with his key because I had hooked the chain lock thingy in place before going to bed. I’m not sure why, but right around the time he arrived, something I tried (maybe pushing in on the door) finally worked and I was able to get out. The seller told me that his wife had done the same thing at one point right after they moved in. That made me feel a bit better. Ha!


I love the door knobs throughout the house. They are all original to the home and beautiful! A friend suggested polishing the backplate to make it shiny again. I wonder if I polish them, if they will tarnish again quickly or last for a while?


There are so many cute bunnies on this street, I see them almost every day.


I love the early morning hours in my office. I open all the windows down both sides of the room and the breezes flow in and across the room. There are so many birds here! The house next to me has birdhouses in their garden, one is just barely visible through the window in the photo below. They may have feeders up, too. I love mornings in this room so much!

Windows open in office



By the way, if you need a great fan, I am obsessed with this one. It is so incredibly powerful, the electrician asked me if it was actually cooling the air. It feels that cold when it blows—I guess because of how powerful it is and how well it moves the air. I like it so much, I purchased a second one right after it arrived. So now I have one in my office and one in my bedroom. (Fan is available here: Powerful Fan.)


I’ll close this post now since I’m headed out to dinner with my son, DIL, and grandsons. Then we’re off to a tournament game that my oldest grandson is playing in this evening. Looking forward to sharing the bed and bedding I chose to use during this transition period. Oh, I came across a very special, hidden spot a few days ago that I can’t wait to share with you for Met Monday! This Dollhouse has so many secrets, it seems like every day I stumble across another one. I can promise you that you will love this one! ❤️

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  1. Oh what fun to read another tale of your new house! I’m so glad you were able to get your bedroom door open again; I hope the locksmith can get the deadbolt working properly for you.

    About your doorknobs: I had brass backplates on the doorknobs on an older house I lived in. I took them all somewhere to be polished (they were tarnished/painted/etc. – in much worse shape than yours). They came out beautifully and stayed shiny for years. They did mellow as all polished brass does, but I never polished them once in the 18 years I lived there.

    • Thanks, Ann! The locksmith did a lot the day he was here, but he’s coming back to go through all the doors throughout the house and to try and lubricate the tiny deadbolts that are on some doors. He suggested removing them but I don’t want to do that since they are original to the house.
      That’s great to know! It would be worth doing it if they would stay looking better for a pretty long time.

  2. Sounds like you are off to a great start!

  3. I just installed two 1.6 gallon Kohler Cimarron toilets. They have a powerful flush and clean very well. The 1.6 can be difficult to find, but my son just installed the 1.28, and he says it is fine.

  4. SharonFromMichigan says

    Sounds like you’re enjoying the experiences associated with relocating! Can’t wait to see more. On another note, have you tried OOFOS shoes yet? They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever put on my feet. OOFOS markets their shoes as “recovery” shoes for the feet. I purchased a pair of winter slippers & they are like walking on clouds. They also make several other styles of walking shoes.

  5. Carolyn Ericson says

    I am so excited for you as you discover your new Dollhouse and bring into your own style. Especially nice that you are so close to your Son and family. I will be watching as you are getting settled in

  6. Is there anything better than good service/repair folks that come and fix things? How scary and frustrating to get locked in your own chamber. Glad it worked out ok. You are a whiling dervish!

  7. Susan Wener says

    Wondering if you will be coating your garage floor as you did in your other home? I did mine as a result of your post and I just love it!
    You new place looks very charming.

    • Yes, I want to do that again so much! I miss that here so def plan on doing that again. I wish Granite Garage was in this area. I’ll have to find a different company up here. So glad you are enjoying it, Susan. It really transforms a garage so dramatically!

  8. Fun times ! I know someone that finds wiring and scrap metal to sell. All that wire probably had copper in it.
    When you work on the garage, if you have an opener, change the code and put a deadbolt on the interior door to the house. You won’t be there all the time and it’s just a safety measure. I had never bought
    a used home before this one and let’s just say I was naive.

    • It looked like regular ol cable—the stuff he pulled off the back of the house. He probably would have said something if it was of value since the guy I paid to removed the stuff all over the back of the house works in that business full-time.
      That’s a good idea! The locksmith did clear the garage door opener code. I know what you mean, my first two homes were new and buying one this old is def an interesting experience. Ha!

  9. What a busy bee you have been in the past week Susan! It’s all so exciting and as tired as I know you are, you are loving each minute of it too. Ha, you reminded me of when I got locked out of the house last summer, with no phone or keys. My son has just installed a smart lock after my regular key lock broke. I guess I gave him old batteries, thinking they were new. Well, they weren’t. LOL Let’s just say I know have my son’s cell phone number memorized and a hidden key stowed away! Glad you were able to get out of your bedroom. I have to say that lock is so cool as are the door knobs, so beautiful and I love that they are original to the home! Thanks for taking us along on this new adventure, it really is fun and so exciting living it through your eyes/excitement! Hugs, Brenda

    • That is such a helpless feeling! You know, I tried a few months ago to start memorizing important numbers. I memorized my son’s number, but I think I’ve forgotten it now since I don’t “dial” it. I should start forcing myself to manually dial his number each time I call him so it will “stick” in my brain.
      Thanks, Brenda! ♥

  10. Tamara Nelson says

    since you have been looking at bedding I am looking for a good red comforter like she had on her bed in the movie home alone. I know you like that house so maybe your know what I am talking about. You have so much to do what a wonderful adventure to keep you busy. Enjoy your new home

  11. Lynnefred says

    I can tell you are excited about your new home! I’m enjoying the adventure too.

  12. Nancy Brantley says

    So glad you’re enjoying your Dollhouse. That deadbolt would be priority to fix. Bunnies love eating clover.

  13. I am one year older than your Dollhouse and my wiring is old, too. I’m loving your adventure with the past. I have to ask about the deadbolt on the bedroom door. Who lived there way back then that they needed a deadbolt there? A regular lock wasn’t strong enough? !!! A deadbolt on the front and back door wasn’t enough? Just wondered.

    • A few of the rooms have them, seems like I noticed one on one of the bathrooms. I guess it’s because the older doorknobs don’t lock like our door knobs do today. I won’t use it again though. lol

      • Oh, yes, those door knobs are beautiful. I have saved two from an old house I owned years ago. They were on the outside garage door and the one that was on the outside in the sunshine turned lavender after 50 years. I guess I’ve lived by myself so long, that when I have guests, the only door I lock is the bathroom. I look forward to watching your discoveries and updates. You have very good taste.

  14. So much fun to hear about your new adventure! Thank you for taking the time to take us along! You sound busy and tired, but very happy. I’m so happy for you and your family. So many memories are ahead…..

  15. So much fun hearing your adventures at your new-to-you house. I’m intrigued about your non-see-through sheers in your office. I’ve never heard about such a thing. Please let us know where you got them from.
    Suggested items for you: Pillows, towels, and bedding from also; ladders manufactured by Werner (sold at Lowe’s and others) are very sturdy.

    • Thanks, Linda! Here’s a photo of how they look in my office. Please ignore the sagging curtain rod, I used the rod that was already here since I’m so short on time right now and it’s not very strong for such a long span. I need to get a sturdier one, but you can see how the non-see-through sheers look in that photo. I need those when I’m working in the office at night so I don’t feel like I’m in a fish bowl. lol Here’s how they look and I purchased them here: Non-See-Through Sheer Curtains.


  16. Hi Susan. What an adventure you are on! Your new little “doll house” is just beautiful. I’m anxious to see how you make it yours.
    I am very curious about the no see through sheer curtains you bought for your office. Where did you get them, and are you happy with them?

    • Thanks so much, Patti! It really is an adventure, I’m learning a lot about owning an old home! lol Here’s a photo of how the curtains look in my office. Please ignore the sagging curtain rod, I used the rod that was already here since I’m so short on time right now, and it’s not very strong for such a long span. I need to get a sturdier one, but you can see how the non-see-through sheers look in that photo. They work great for when I’m working here in the office at night so I don’t feel like I’m in a fish bowl. Here’s how they look and I purchased them here: Non-See-Through Sheer Curtains.


  17. It has been forever since I have spent time reading my favorite blogs and I can see I have a ton to catch up on as you are have done so much!!!

    As to getting locked in your bedroom, when we moved into one of our houses years ago, my daughter went into her bath, which had a pocket door, and somehow managed to get herself locked in. Her room was located where we didn’t hear her yelling, banging. Fortunately technology came to the rescue as she had taken her cellphone with her to the restroom (???) so she called us to come let her out. 🙂

    • I did, I asked the recent seller and the homeowner before them, and no one knows, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s somehow connected to a long-ago security system. Today, I opened the entry coat closet and I found another switch that looked exactly like the one in the bedroom. Also, there were a bunch of holes in the wall and a big siren horn-looking thing near the top of the closet. The previous homeowner who lived here for 20 years said all the holes were from where a big security system was uninstalled. Next time the electrician is here, I’ll have him remove that switch, the horn, and a bunch of wiring in that closet. Every time I go exploring, I keep finding such interesting things!

  18. Oh, this is going to be such a fun, adventurous summer! For you and for all of your readers. Have you asked the seller what that low switch was for; I am so curious. Any info on that new ceiling light by your office? Lowe’s? Bronze? Do you think it would be bright enough for a clothes closet?

    • I did ask, but she didn’t know. I’m pretty sure it’s somehow related/connected to a long ago security system. I’ll share photos in a post soon that will explain why I think that may be what it was.
      The new ceiling light is seriously bright, so definitely be great in a closet. I purchased it in Home Depot. It has 3 or 4 settings so you can choose which type of lighting color/brightness that you like. I believe this is it:

  19. Susan,
    Can you post a link to the flush mount ceiling light fixture just outside of your office? Looking forward to all of your changes. Thanks.

  20. Sounds like you are having so much fun…and some adventure, too! LOVE the doorknobs – reminds me of Aunt Clara on Bewitched who collected door knobs. Have fun making that doll house YOUR house!

  21. Michele M. says

    Let the adventure begin! We’re going to be with you every step of the way of this magical storybook home. ♥

  22. Susan! What fun! Though exhausting. It is such a treat to read about your ‘new’ house adventures. 🙂 As far as feet…my friend advised Hokas and I have never looked back. She said that all of her doctor and nurse friends wear them exclusively. You go to their site and take a quiz to see which shoe is best for your situation. I tend to go for the most cushy and supportive. I literally wear 2 pairs out a year.
    Once again, I had to chuckle. About your locking door….I got locked into the bedroom closet of our new house…. with my husband out of town…. without my cell phone anywhere near me…. with a howling, hungry cat outside the door. What to do!??! I was considering knocking the door down when the lock mysteriously opened after 10 minutes of NOT opening. The builders replaced the lock set with a regular knob set….not sure why there was a locking set on that door in the first place. It is just a closet…but I guess that was a trend!??! Locking closets!?!? Anyway, glad that you got out and now have a fun story to tell! Happy homemaking!!!

  23. Susan Tew says

    Susan – congrats on the new home!! It’s such fun reading about this next adventure and newest phase of life for you. Thank you for sharing as I love reading and viewing your posts. Also thanks for sharing the products you’re recommending. I just purchased the fan. Best!

  24. Judy Hubbard says

    What an unbelievable adventure you are having! I wait anxiously for every post as what you are doing is so exciting! You are a real trouper to do so much there with service people; it is grueling!

    • It is exhausting but it feels so good to get stuff done. Seems like everything takes multiple visits though. It will eventually all get done though. Thanks, Judy!

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