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, January 25, 2007

I Am Bad Karma's Chamber Pot, Use Me

Last night sucked. All things considered, I guess I handled it pretty well. I only threw a few things, nothing too big.

I think I now hate cars nearly as much as plumbing. I'd even go so far as to say cars are basically plumbing on wheels; they are over-engineered water heaters. I ran the battery down so badly on the "new" used car that it won't take a charge (that happens when the door doesn't latch all the way and the dome light stays on all night - yes this was my fault). So, I get to buy a new battery. That wouldn't be too bad since I still have my old crappy Saturn to drive in until then, but last night I get a call from my wife. After $2500 worth of work last month (Merry Damn Christmas), her VW has the audacity to flick its check engine light on last night. Splendid.

So, she wants to trade cars with me so I can take it back to the shop and she can take the "new" used car to work. That would be fine except that this car also needs two (if not four) new tires. And, it is kind of hard getting new tires when it's sitting in the driveway with a dead battery.

So, tonight I'm going to have to take time out of my painting schedule to buy a battery and install the goddamn thing. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing outside on a winter's night.

Why is it that every time I save up enough money to pay something off I get bombarded with a fist full of unforeseen expenses. I can't help but feel like I'm the victim of some sort of cosmic dicking.

I'll spare you the half-dozen other minor annoyances that contributed to the evening's total suckage. Even as a spectator, there is only so much you need or want to see.

Slow progress is being made on the laundry room in spite of everything, but nothing too exciting to show you yet. The only thing more boring than watching paint dry is looking at a picture of primer drying.


Anonymous Sarah Graves said...

Oh, boy. Way to keep putting one foot in front of the other despite the, um, stickiness of what you're marching through. Meanwhile it sounds as if you did get that final primer coat on, so probably my thought is unhelpful at this point. But just in case -- I'm wondering if a really thick roller on an extension handle might not cover that beadboard, especially since it's a second coat? Without the need for a ladder at all, I mean.

Anyway, good luck w/the *&?#!@ battery. Fun stuff.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

The title you gave to this post is priceless. Boy have I been there, big time. All of our plans to do all of the things we really wanted to do with the money from finally selling our old house (such as getting a real HVAC system installed or putting a little $$ into remodeling the ugly bathrooms) is trickling away in to all those little "oh F%$#" moments - standing water in the basement? flooded yard & garage? "hey just thought I'd let you know that when I [painter] was up on the porch roof, it felt like it was going to break through - feels like those pretty new shingles [that the previous owner installed] are all on rotten wood - you'd better check that out soon."? Crap like that which seems to never freakin' end. You know the routine. That's what well stocked liquor cabinets are for.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch. The thing that really puts it all into perspective is that line, "I got a call from my wife". It can't be fun having to sort out all that crap on your own.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh! Cars! They are the worst fucking money pits of all. At least when you pour money in to your house it's an investment. A car starts losing value the second you buy it and continues to lose value and eat up money for the entire time you own it. Who thought this was a good idea?! I pray every day that my old Ford Pickup won't bite the big one and make me make some very unpleasant decisions about it.

7:18 PM  
Blogger John said...


Thanks. I put the first coat of primer on with a roller and it barely touched the grooves. I've heard about those thick rollers, but I've never used one. Unless they are thick like a shag carpet, I'm still thinking that I'd need to give it a final once over with a brush. As for using an externsion handle, I tried one of those. It worked okay for going straight up. The problem with going up and over with 12 foot ceilings is you have to extend it out to its max; you need a lot of pressure to keep the roller in contact with the ceiling, but instead of getting good contact the pole bends a lot.


If it keeps up, it won't be well stocked much longer; speaking of which, where did all the Crown Royal go?


So true. Flying solo is extra hard when you work 70 miles away from home.


It's like you're channelling me; my thoughts exactly.

To date, I've never paid more than $4000 for a car. Ever. Until recently I hadn't paid more than $2500. And, I don't think I'd ever buy a new car. I mean, you wouldn't buy a house if it lost 30% of its value the moment you moved in. Yet, people do it all of the time with cars. I just don't get it.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry this is not actually related to cars but to plumbing.

I have not figured out how to navigate through your blog to get to earlier posts (I am a computer dummy). We made the same mistake as you. We moved an old house to save it and are trying to restore it. For plumbing woes consider using PEX tubing instead of copper. It is much easier to use and can be snaked through baloon framed walls like wire. PEX can make plumbing fun. You have to buy a special tool to connect PEX though.

Barry Jensen

5:21 PM  
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