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, June 12, 2006

You Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee (Except When You Do)

For those of you not adverse to a good, computer animated movie, I’d recommend Hoodwinked. We recently got it for my son to break the endless monotony of Thomas the Train and Shrek. Maybe it is a sure sign that our minds are going, but we found it wildly entertaining. I think that we even like it better than my son at this point.

One of my favorite lines from the movie is, “God as my witness, one day you will learn to speak.” Of course this is funnier if you’ve seen the movie but I won’t go into explaining it all here. If you’re curious, watch the movie. While this favorite line is addressed to Twitchy the Squirrel, it could just as easily be addressed to my son.

For reasons only known to himself, my son prefers not to speak. Every now and then he’ll try out a word or phrase. Satisfied with our enthusiastic response, he obviously concludes that he has mastered the word or phrase, grins, and never says it again. There are, however, a few exceptions. His favorites are “car” “OH NO!” and “train.” Since we’ve moved out of our Smurf Blue House and in with my in-laws, my son has added a new phrase to this line-up of favorites, “Go home.”

To get the full effect of this, you have to picture him with an armload of toy trucks and the other arm pointing at the front door. He prefers for you to hold him when he does this too.

Gideon: “Go home!”

Me: “Son, we don’t have a home any more. We’re homeless and slum lords now.”

Gideon: (Looks at me)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t go back there anymore, but we’ll have a new house soon.”

Gideon: “Go home!” (Looks at me, checks for a response. Not getting one, the toys and tears begin to fly)

Now, both my wife and I thought the move might be hard on him, but we didn’t expect him to get upset until we moved into the Queen. We thought that the time at his grandparents would be okay since he spends a lot of time there anyhow. We were wrong. The first few days were cool, kind of like a giant sleep over, but now he’s ready to go.

At first it was a little comical, but now I’m starting to feel real guilty.

On a different note, I’m amazed with how much stuff we have and how little I NEED to make it through the day without missing anything. If I could find my black dress shoes and a couple of shirts and ties, it would be nearly perfect.

Since the Queen isn’t ready for us or the mountain of shit we own, we had to rent a small house to store all our shit in. The irony has not escaped us. Now you’re thinking if they had to rent a house, why did they 1) move out to begin with and 2) why are they living with his in-laws. The rent from our Blue House is paying its mortgage and then some. The storage house is part of a mini-storage complex and isn’t being rented to tenants; even if it were, there isn’t enough room for us and our stuff (a sure sign that something has got to go). Also, it only costs $65 a month.

Between the move, the renter, and work it is really hard to make time for the Queen in the evening. I made it up there after work Monday, but I had to skip it yesterday. I know the more work we do, the quicker we’ll be ready to move. But, there is only so much you can do before you start to give out. Little aches and pains don’t bother me much. What is getting to me in just pure physical exhaustion. Instead of taking a walk, eating, or running errands on my lunch break, I’ve started taking naps in my car because it’s the only thing getting me through the day. Even coffee doesn’t give me that extra umph it use to.


Blogger Kristin said...

"Even coffee doesn’t give me that extra umph it use to."

There's always narcotics. :)

11:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Well, well. What do you have?

11:55 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

Good luck with everything. Your son will never remember this time after you're all settled into the Queen. I have vague recollections of living with my grandmother while my dad and mom did the finish work on the house that they were building, but nothing too traumatic. Just some floor laying parties and wallpapering parties that we all had in the evenings after work/school.

Hey- how did you make it up there after work Monday but not yesterday if it's only Monday? Was that meeting longer than I thought?

2:51 PM  
Blogger Lenise said...

Our twenty-one-month-old has a very limited vocabulary, too. His first word was "ki'y", which started out meaning just kitty, but now it goes for any animal ending in "gy" or "ky" and sometimes Jay's baby brother.

If you don't mind a Bible verse at the end, Veggietales are quite entertaining for grownups. At least the ones I hang out with =]

6:51 PM  
Blogger John said...

Hmmm. Missed that little bit Nightmare. I wrote this post up last week, but I didn't get it online until this week. Ooops. Sorry, haven't been at my best lately.

6:14 AM  
Blogger JLynnette said...

One of these days you and the family will be in your lovely home and this is all going to seem like a really long bad dream.

But, as time goes by the clarity of the dream will fade and it won't seem quite so traumatic. I promise:)

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