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, August 17, 2005

Belly of the Beast, Wallowing in the Black Pit of Despair

Gloomy week so far. Everyone else seems to be enjoying all the rain we've gotten. Something to turn the lawns green and to bring the temperatures down a bit. Personally, I wish it would quit, it makes my commute to and from work unbearable. The hell with the grass.

Predictably, the kitchen floor is still waiting to be installed. We didn't have a baby sitter so we spent Saturday at home. It was a pretty good day. I got to sit around in my pajamas for half the day, played with my son, and drank lots of rich coffee. On the downside, it was a snapshot of everything that I've been missing since I spend nearly all my free time up at the Queen.

Sunday we turned our attention to "Mr. Blue," the little 1970's ranch house we've endured while slaving away on the Queen. In case you're wondering, Mr. Blue is named for his color. We've put off a lot of maintenance and upgrades over the last three years. I keep hoping we'd get the Queen livable and move out of Mr. Blue. Hasn't happened. Finally, my wife couldn't take it any longer. Mr. Blue's bathroom had to go.

We thought that it would be a fairly simple job. Pull out old sink, temporarily remove toilet, lay new underlayment over old flooring, glue down new vinyl, re-install toilet, install new sink, and voila! We figured it'd take about 6 or 7 hours. Yeah, right.

The good news was we did finish it. It only took twelve hours and one smashed knee. Not too bad I guess. We've certainly had worse. The bathroom looks a lot better too. It wasn't a fun project. My wife is seriously considering giving up home ownership for rental. After that night, I was too.

As for the Queen, Entergy still hasn't hooked up our electricity (two weeks and counting), we still haven't heard back from the contractor about the leaking porch roof, and we're broke. I just had to write my cousin in San Francisco to tell him we won't be coming to his wedding because we have no money.

We are also beginning to suffer from a serious case of home improvement burnout. Unfortunately, the bank doesn't give a damn about that, so no meaningful respite for us.

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