The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Breaking the Bottleneck

This month started off with a lot of progress being made on the Devil Queen. It was very gratifying, but work has now slowed to a crawl. The first thing that lodged in the proverbial bottleneck is the mural I've been moaning about for the last month. Between the heat and my inability to accurately determine how long a project will take, it has dragged on week after week. I honestly thought that I would be done by the 17th of this month, but it's still not done. This is particularly frustrating since I've been devoting a majority of my free (i.e. not at my desk job) time working on it instead of the Queen.

Since I've been painting, my wife has been trying to carry on alone at the Queen. She's made a lot of progress, but it isn't as much as we are use to making. The kitchen is holding up most of the progress on the Queen. We need to finish painting the kitchen so we can install the wood floors. Once the kitchen floor is in, we can rent a drum sander to sand the kitchen, back hall, laundry room, pantry, master bedroom, and master bath room. With freshly sanded and finished floors, we can then start installing our toilets, tubs and other plumbing fixtures. And, the list goes on.

I've tried moaning about it, but it doesn’t help any. This mess calls for heroic action. I'm going to use up all my remaining vacation time at work to take next Monday and Tuesday off. That'll give me four days to break this damn bottleneck of unfinished projects. The weather seems inclined to cooperate with my plans. The temperatures be 10 degrees cooler than the last week or two, so I can work through the entire day. No more of this wussy waiting out the hot afternoons. My dad has volunteered to work on the Queen for 5-6 hours Saturday. We're going to concentrate on finishing some interior carpentry projects (wallboards, missing ceiling boards, and some missing & rotten floor boards). One of my wife's friends may come by to help paint for a few hours (we're still waiting to hear from her). After my Dad heads for home around noon, I'm going help paint & caulk the kitchen too. I plan to work on it until it's finished. When we get the bugger painted, I'd like to lay the wood floor. Monday, I plan to paint on the mural until it is finished. No ifs, ands, or buts. Finished.

Tuesday, if I'm behind schedule, I'll finish up whatever is left. Otherwise, I'll move onto a new project and maybe kick my feet up and rest (if I deserve it).

If four days of heroic effort isn't enough to get this mess cleared up, then we are screwed.

As a good omen (I hope), our truck is working again. How did we manage to get it fixed so soon? We didn't. It turns out that the cables weren't the main culprit. It was the starter.

Last night my wife says, "Dad got the truck to run."

"How? Did he put in new cables?"

"Nope. It was the starter."

"The starter," I asked. "How did he get it to start?"

"Beat on it with a hammer."

"Huh, imagine that. I wish I'd thought of that."

Anyhow, I'm itching for the weekend to get here. I'm ready to work.


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