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!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Old School Mania

The house we live in now was our first DIY home improvement project. And, unlike the Devil Queen, we lived in it as we worked on it. It was a complete shit hole. The great thing about living there was we could work on it whenever we wanted to (we didn't have a kid either which helped). At the time, my wife was unemployed & a full time DIY’er and I was self employed in real estate appraisals. The lack of a rigid schedule allowed us to live true to our night-owl natures. We’d have dinner around 6 PM, lay around the house until about 9 PM when we got our second wind, and then we’d just go nuts working on the house. It wasn’t unusual for us to work like maniacs until 3 AM the next day, and we loved it.

Tonight, we’re going to try to recapture some of that magic. If my wife can rent a sander this afternoon, we’re going to buy a pizza, change our clothes after work, and run up to the Devil Queen to sand the master bedroom and master bathroom floors until they’re ready to be stained or we drop from exhaustion. You might think that I’m being sarcastic, but I’m really excited about it. What’s better than cranking up some music, eating a pizza, and going nuts with huge power tools? Admittedly, beer would be nice with the pizza, but I’m pathetically inept while sober, and beer isn’t a real performance enhancer. You remember what I did with the grinder and the clawfoot tub, don’t you?

I’m going to take my camera too, so there should be all sorts of gripping photos for y’all next week. I know you just pissed yourself in anticipation. I know my bladder weakens when I think about “refinished pine after 80 grit paper.” It’s just so naked and raw. There will also be some pictures of our current problem area (the hot tub), and I’ll demonstrate why I’m a complete moron yet again.

You’ll also get to see the wine rack Kenny installed yesterday. I’m curious to see it myself. Instead of having that useless little cabinet over the refrigerator where ugly china, cheap liquor, and mice go to die, we decided that we wanted something more functional: a wine rack. Sure, it’s probably not the ideal location for a fine bottle of wine (heat rises), but lets be honest. What are the chances that a $300 bottle of wine is going to find its way there? There’s a greater probability that we’ll find a leprechaun and a flying monkey than an ancient, venerated Boudreaux in our kitchen.

Since my wife and I are giddy with the anticipation of moving into the Queen, we’ve started talking about putting our current house back up for sale. We’ve learned to manage our expectations when it comes to selling Mr. Blue. It’s been on the market for two of the four years we’ve lived there with poor results. We have still have some hope since we sold it once, sort of. They guy died the week of the closing. I’m not sure what kind of omen that is.

Last night we had the following conversation about it:

Me: “Maybe we’ve been advertising it wrong? I think we should try something different.”

Wife: “Like what?”

Me: “House for sale: two bedrooms, one bath, completely updated, and 1100 square feet on one acre. A great rental property or meth-lab! Motivated sellers!”

Wife: [Laughs] “I don’t know.”

Me: “Well, why not? I bet we’d get a ton of calls on it.”

Wife: “Yeah, we probably would – from the police!”

Me: “Can they stop us from advertising it that way? I mean, it’s not like we have a meth-lab.”

Wife: “I don’t think we want to go there.”

Me: “Guess not, but I still think it would be fun to do.”

Wife: “Of course you do dear. Are you going to put this on the blog?”

Me: "Probably."

Wife: [Sighs] "I kind of wish you wouldn't. I'm afraid if you keep up with all these drug references that someone will think you have a problem."

I guess she has a point, I do make an awful lot of drug references. And, I do have a problem. It's the 115 year old Victorian sucking ever loose nickle out of my pockets. Really though, what serious DIY'er has the time or money to mess with illict substances? I'm way too busy spending all my time and money on my caulk to mess with anything else.

Anyhow, it should be an interesting weekend. We’re enthusiastic, impatient, and have no experience with floor sanders. Plus, it’s supposed to be colder than a witch’s tit. Wish us luck, we’re just scary enough that we really need some.


Blogger Becky said...

Remeber to wear gloves while you work. We got Tim's splinter removal bill and it was $5,000 for just the hospital bill (pre-insurance thank god).

Also don't feel bad about the drug thing. We had secret hopes of finding a stash of hidden money from the meth lab and using it to pay for fixing up our barn :)

2:31 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

This post cracked me up. Sorry, I had to do it.

10:11 AM  

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