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!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Super Nova

[Yeah, I know that isn’t a super nova; they all seemed too pretty so I went with a picture of their smaller, more violet looking little brother]

I think things are approaching critical mass. Silly me, I thought things might calm down some since I finished my online class and oil painting. I couldn’t be more wrong.

My wife got a message from Mr. Velcro (not his real name, but that is what it sounds like on the answering machine) today. Mr. Velcro is the prospective renter for our death-cursed, blue ranch house. He wanted to let us know that his current lease expires on the first of June, and would he be able to move in?

Wife: “Do you think we could pull it off?”

Me: “Uuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I need to think about it. Maybe?”

Wife: “Well, think about it. We’ll talk about it tonight.”

Now, my wife and I are expert movers. We’ve cleaned places out in less than 8 hours, so packing up isn’t the big issue. The problem is I don’t know what will happen once we’re packed.

Since the Devil Queen is a construction zone, nearly all of our belonging will have to find a temporary home in a storage unit.

Once (if) we find a storage unit and move our mountains of shit into said unit, then what? No matter how frothy of a home-improvement frenzy we work ourselves into, I don’t see us moving and finishing off the master bedroom, master bath, and my son’s room in two weeks. I’d be thrilled to mostly finish the master bed and bath. So, my son would probably have to stay with his grandparents for about a week if they’d take him for that long.

If we get that taken care of, we’ll need working utilities. That means we need to make sure that the plumbing and the hot water heaters work. We also need to have the telephone service connected. Having one working sink would be nice too.

To finish the master bedroom, we need to:

1) Spend 3-4 hours scraping the bedroom ceiling
2) Prime and paint the ceiling
3) Finish stripping the wallpaper
4) Mud and tape the walls
5) Prime and paint the walls
6) Sand, stain, and seal the floor
7) Replace on missing window pane
8) Install ceiling fan/lights

To move in, we need to finish 1-6. We can rough it until 7 & 8 get finished.

To finish the master bathroom, we need to:

1) Tape and mud the walls
2) Prime and paint the wall
3) Connect water feed to toilet tank
4) Install the sinks (well, at least one)
5) A door would be nice, but not essential

Our situation is further complicated by a few other considerations. First, I don’t think I have any vacation time left at work until after June 1st. I’m not sure if my wife has any time off, or, if she does, I don’t know if she’ll be allowed to take it. Worst case, we only have the weekends and whatever time after work we can fit in. If we worked at least 10 hours a day, every day for the two weekends and Memorial Day, that would give us 50 hours of work time. That just doesn’t seem like enough, but maybe . . .

Hell, I just don’t know. Thinking about it is giving me a headache.


Blogger Tarr said...

This sounds like a gruelling bad idea. Are there a few things on your list that might be delayable?

First off ask Mr. Velcro if he can buy some time. Maybe he could stay another month in his present digs.

Have you heard of these?

3:26 PM  
Blogger Archimedes24 said...

Hey John,

"Super Nova" is what my wife calls it when I throw the covers off in the middle of the night because I'm laying in a pool of sweat. I'm not what you'd call a "sweaty bastard", but I have the tendency to get overheated pretty quickly.

Fast facts about your far flung friend that you could really give a rat's a$$ about...I know.

Sorry I've been out of pocket for so long. But I'm back now, and I'm waiting with bated breath to see things work out for you and the missus. (It's not a question of whether they will or they won't. You've come too far to let little things like sanding and painting to stop you now. Consider this the electronic version of Captain Kirk slapping Dr. McCoy and telling him to "Pull yourself together man!")

6:34 PM  
Blogger John said...


I couldn't agree more. See May 22's post for a further explanation/up date.

I'd never heard of PODS before, thanks for the link. We'll have to see how they compare to a ministorge price wise.


Hey, it's the details that make life interesting. . .

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