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!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Kiddy Gloves

Our time-schedule for the weekend was thrown off by a couple of things. First, as dutiful children, we spent some time with our mothers, and, second, Pickle Fest.

For those of you who aren’t up on your Atkins, Arkansas, history, I’ll give you some background. Atkins used to be known as Pickle City USA. Why? They use to make Atkins pickles (1946 till around 2004). Then, the pickle factory shut down. Now Atkins’ two big businesses are ConAgra and a chicken processing plant (chicken guts, eat them up, yum).

Back in the late 1980’s (?), Atkins started having an annual festival called Pickle Fest (I believe my wife’s grandparents were somehow instrumental in organizing the original festivals). This got to be quite the affair for a town 3000 folks. Pony rides, crafts booths, live music, funnel cakes & lemonade, 5K runs, parades, etc. After the pickle plant closed, the local civic leaders where terribly distraught. Could you have a real Pickle Fest without pickles? They decided that it just wasn’t right, and they voted to change festivals name from Pickle Fest to Atkins’ Spring Time Jubilee.

No one liked the new name. It couldn’t have been any worse than naming it, “Old Folks Waiting to Die Fest.” It also didn’t have the “brand name” pull of Pickle Fest and attendance by vendors and festival goers plummeted. So, this year, the city leaders changed the festival’s name back to Pickle Fest and imported thousands of pickles (commercial grade in 50 gallon drums) from somewhere in Missouri.

The highlight of Pickle Fest is the pickle brine drinking contest. According to my wife, the person who drank the most won $40.00. This is a particularly exciting event since most of the contestants puke after competing. If you don’t believe me, try chugging half a gallon of pickle brine and see what happens. My wife covered Pickle Fest for her newspaper, and, if they have any good, unused pictures left, I’ll post some. I’m very disappointed though; she didn’t catch anyone in the act of puking (though she has a good one of the champ hanging her head over the puke bucket afterwards).

Predictably, we are behind schedule on the master bedroom. I probably have about 3 hours of paint scrapping left. My wife is following behind me at a respectable distance and priming the ceiling. It is thirsty, old wood, and it’ll take at least two coats of Bull’s Eye to prime it. We’re hoping that it won’t take a third coat. [Picture below is the ceiling at the end of the day Saturday]

We also tackled the bathtub plumbing. Apparently, our leaking drain pipe was the direct result of me being too nice with it. I had hand-tightened all the joints because I didn’t want to tear the brass finish up with the pipe wrench, and it wasn’t good enough. The whole drain connection was basically falling apart because I put it together with kiddy gloves.

So, we disassembled the whole contraption, reseated & sealed everything with a pipe wrench, doubled the amount of plumber’s compound under the drain face, and wrapped the drain threads with plumber’s tape.

I know I did a good job with it because I bled all over it. I somehow nicked myself with a sharp metal edge, so now the whole thing has been christened in blood. That, and we tested it afterwards and it didn’t leak. Now, hopefully it will hold.

Supposedly, the tile guy will be at the Queen tomorrow. For all of those interested in marble tile counters, stay tuned. If he shows, there will be some serious marble tile action.


Anonymous Sean said...

There is a town near where I grew up that thay have a Bean Day festival - the only problem is that beans are not widely grown in the area any longer - so they import 1,000 pounds of beans....

1:27 PM  
Blogger BungalowGirl said...

Isn't it somehow appropriate that the Devil Queen requires some type of blood sacrifice? Scary, but true! :)

9:49 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

A town near here has both Mule Day and Chicken Fest. Both a rip roaring good time, I assure you.

8:55 AM  

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