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, July 20, 2006

Guilt, Disgust, Aesthetic Snobbery

To be honest, I’m really not much in the mood to post today, but, since my sister complained she didn’t have anything to do during her lunch break when I don’t post, here it is.

My wife and I have been very busy this week. Day jobs, how can you not resent them cutting into your quality home improvement time? Anyhow, our progress has been so slow that you can barely qualify it as such. If Jack hadn’t come over twice this week, nothing would have been finished.

As I may have mentioned (hell if I can remember), our stove is finally installed. Works fine, looks lovely (minus the remains of some stupid sticker the manufacturer super glued to the front of the oven), blah, blah, blah.

The sink looks pretty but is still completely non-functional. I’m going to work on it tonight, maybe. Or, maybe I’ll have a Guinness for dinner, watch Thomas the Train for the millionth time, play with Gideon, and go to bed. Who knows?

Last night Jack and I moved the refrigerator out of the dinning room corner and into the kitchen. It was anti-climatic to say the least. First, even though I bought a new icemaker waterline, I still couldn’t install it. The fridge, a free hand-me-down from Scarlet’s grandparents, is really old and only takes the flimsy little plastic tub feeds. I hate these feeds, they’re crap. My mom’s old fridge had these too, and it flooded the kitchen. Twice.

Then we moved the fridge into place anyhow, and, to be honest, all the fresh paint, new cabinets, etc really accent how fugly this fridge is. Its mere presence in kitchen ages the whole room by ten years. We’re worried that when the appraiser comes out in the not so distant future that he’ll come to the same conclusion too. Now, this is where the guilt comes into the equation. The fridge was free. It works. We can’t afford a new one at the minute even if the credit card companies claim that it’s “priceless.”

The fridge also sticks out something like 6 inches past the edge of the counter top. Our kitchen is small, but it didn’t look that way until the fridge sat there jutting out into the middle of the room. To make things look even more ghetto, it is 31 inches wide but the cut out is for a full 36” fridge. It’s a little off center to hide the cutoff valve for the icemaker which only makes it look that much better.

And, to make it even worse, when you enter the kitchen from the living room, it is the first thing you see in the kitchen. Your first impression of the kitchen we’ve spent 2 years working on is this old shoe appliance. It’s absolutely maddening.

Fortunately, there is actually a subcategory of refrigerators called “counter deep.” As soon as I finish shitting the $1500 to $2500 they cost, I’m buying one and my wife may worship me as a god.

Sure, call us ungrateful snobs. Maybe we are (though I am really grateful to have a fridge, even this one)? Even if we are, sooner or later that fridge or I must go. I don’t think that I could live with it long term without gouging my eyes out.

Well, if it is so bad, where is picture? Document this fugly thing! Sorry. I've been grumpy and evil for most of the week, so no picture for you!

And, according to my wife, I'm a bed nazi. To add to the long list of nocturnal crimes against my wife, I can now add sitting straight up in the middle of the night, yelling "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!," and falling over dead asleep. My wife claims all she did was rollover. Likely story, sounds like revisionist history to me.

7 Comments:

Blogger derek said...

Maybe you can make a petch style ice box out of it. All you need is some oak panelling and trim, and voila.

9:57 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

You could try a freecycle site for a town near you for a fridge that isn't so offensive! Maybe one that's 5 yrs old or so...

10:41 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

You can do what we did with the ass-ugly stove we got with the house. We got some automotive metallic spray paint and turned it blue. Granted, not everyone would want a blue refrigerator, but there should be colors to match your kitchen. Added bonus will be when people see the shiny fridge, they won't be thinking "old ugly fridge" they'll be thinking "how did they get it that color?!"

2:03 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I’m sure the appraiser won’t dink you for the fridge…..but you could do the “appliance rental plan” just before the appraisal. That is, “buy” a new fridge that fits the spot, and then return it a week later because “it makes a funny sound and just doesn’t seem like the one in the show room”

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Isabelle said...

I like the idea of the blue fridge, but with your talent you should be able to draw something even more interesting (sunflowers?) Plus, think how nice of a beer fridge it would eventually make when you 'upgrade'...

Thanks for making our lunch times here in Cambridge, MA so much more entertaining.

5:30 AM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks for all of the tips and suggestions. For the momement, I think we're just going to have to live with it. Maybe once we're finished with a few small details like working bathrooms, etc we'll revisit the fridge.

Isabelle, my pleasure. I'm glad someone is enjoying it; lately my joy in the process has been on a dramatic downswing.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

This post cracked me up even more than usual. The bitterness and sarcasm just drip, and I love that! Plus, you said fugly, which is one word guaranteed to make me giggle. Another one? Mofo.

1:51 PM  

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