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!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Two Man Sink Stomping

Jack and I subdued the sink last night. We wrestled it to the ground, pinned it, and unscrewed the drain trap with considerable effort. I think the sink knew that if it didn’t give in to us that we’d use The Saw (thanks for the tips). Who says intimidation doesn’t work?

While we were at it, we installed the new drain traps and the faucet. That seems to have gone pretty well. We tried out the cold water side of the faucet, and it worked, no leaks. The only problem is that it has a slight drip; I’m going to pop the handle off the cold water side and tighten its guts. I think this should take care of the drip. As you can tell from my use of precise, technical terms like “guts,” plumbing isn’t really my forte. In our original division of labor for the Devil Queen, my wife was going to be the plumbing guru and was going to be the electrical guru. Somehow, I keep doing plumbing though.

We haven’t turned on the hot water yet since we have a double outlet cut-off valve (one outlet for the sink, one for the dishwasher). And, now that I think of it, we haven’t turned on that hot water heater either. Ooops. I’ll have to remember to do that too.

For the moment, the sink is just sitting in place. I’m going to finish all the hook-ups and drains, test the aforementioned, and then caulk/seal the sink rim. Hopefully, the sink will be finished then (like that will ever happen).

I thought that installing the kitchen stove would be easy. I was wrong. The first problem was that the stove didn’t come with a power supply. The last stove we bought three years ago came with one. We just opened the box, plugged it in, and it was finished.

Not this one. I guess it is part of the New Cruelty. Jack and I ran to Lowe’s, picked up a four-prong power supply, and rushed back to the Queen. Once she was wired, I gave the stove a quick once-over. I noticed that the front right corner of the stove was low. When I tried to level it out with the built-in, threaded, adjustable foot, I discovered that the hole was stripped. The foot slide out of the threaded hole. Not good.

Fortunately, we’re pack rats. I dug through our mountain of home-improvement treasures and produced two random nuts (no idea what they went to, hope I don’t miss them later) that fit perfectly. With some minor adjusting, we got the stove level and installed.

I’d planned to have a very fancy first meal when we finally got things hooked up. It didn’t happen, but I don’t care. We flipped on the breaker, turned the burners on for the first time, and cooked a pot of red beans and rice. And, I was just happy to have a hot meal cooked in my own kitchen for a change.

It was getting late so we deferred moving the fridge for another day (today?). Besides which, I need to get a water-feed for the ice maker at Lowe’s anyhow. Might as well install that BEFORE we set the fridge in place, right?

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