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!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

An Answer for Barry

Today I was looking through some old comment sections to my posts, and I found the following comment:

"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"

Barry, I'll try to answer your question to the best of my limited ability. First, I don't think that being a "computer dummy" is your problem. I have trouble finding stuff in the archives. There are several reasons for this.

One, I have not been able to successfully install a "search this site" button. Sure, in theory, you go to Google or something of the like, cut and paste the code into your blog template, and voila. Easy? It should be, but I can never get it to work. I'm sure that I am the #1 problem, but I got tired of trying to figure it out. Maybe later?

Two, if you go into a post, current or archived, to read the comments, the archive links on the left sidebar vanish. Why? I have not a clue. This means you have to back out of the post with the "back" button to return to the list.

Three, if you make it to an archived section of the blog, some of the archived sections in the sidebar disappear - but not all of them. Sometimes I've had to click on the "Devil Queen" header to return to current posts just so I could find a full list of archived links.

Four, I haven't taken the time to learn how to use tags, a feature provided in the New Blogger. As I understand it, I would have to go back and tag EVERY post for this to work even. Supposedly, you can search different topics by using tags. Again, maybe I'll get around to that later?

As for PEX tubing, thanks for the tip. I must admit that I really don't know much about it. We used PVC instead of copper for our plumbing. Judging from some of the comments we've received, this is apparently illegal or against code in some areas of the US. Since Arkansas is on the cusp of the 20th century, we're still out of step with the times.

I'm guessing that you don't have a blog about your house, but I'm intrigued. It's not everyday that you meet someone else who has moved a house. I hope that it has been a less painful experience for you than it's been for us.

Best of luck, you'll need it.


Anonymous mindy said...

If you use the "search this blog" area right at the top of the page to search your entire blog, you'll get every relevant post. So if you search for "plumbing", it'll show oodles of posts with that word in it.

So you've got the sitewide search, though the results are somewhat tough to sort through. Tags are a godsend though - makes it much easier to connect your content in meaningful ways. I'm not sure how Blogger uses them, but it's probably worth looking at when you're not busy with one of your thousand and one projects ;)

9:46 AM  
Blogger John said...

Mindy you are a genius! I hate to admit it, but I've never noticed that little button before.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

The new Blogger makes navigating through the archives much, much easier. This reverse chronological order of blogs is still very irritating to me, but the new Blogger does make it easier.

The tags are great. Once you get to the new Blogger you can search your own archives and attach tags to large number of posts based on the search. Something I still haven't done. Basically, from the Dashboard, you could search on “plumbing”, for instance, and then attach the plumbing tag to all of those posts that have the word "plumbing" in them all at once rather than tagging dozens of posts individually.

Once you do switch to new Blogger I'm happy to give you step-by-step instructions for adding a search to your page. I'm sure others can help as well.

Finally, here in Ca. PVC is fine for cold water, but you need CPVC for hot. At least that's how it was 5 years ago. Things may have changed.

10:06 AM  
Blogger derek said...

I think there were problems with cpvc in the 80's, I'm sure they're solved now, some places probably banned them after all the problems they had. Some people don't trust PEX either, it's been used in Europe since the 70's without much problem though.

10:08 AM  
Blogger John said...


Thanks for all the information. I switched to the New Blogger a couple weeks ago, but I haven't done anything with it since. Just the tip regarding tags probably saved me hours and countless headaches. If you have any other tips, I'd be glad to hear them.

As for PVC/CPVC (you too Derek), sorry about that. That was just sloppy on my part. I think part of the problem is that I think of them as being the same thing (plastic pipes), but, as you both pointed out, that is not the case.

As I can testify from cleaning up the mess at our old house, if you use PVC for hot water (thank you POS), it will turn yellow & brittle. Then, it will crack and flood your second bedroom. Not pretty.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Jason & Heather said...

you can also go to Technorati and download a "search this site" piece of code. It also comes with a "Who links here" feature.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Greg said...


When you update your template (Template Tab) you will get some of the new bells and whistles. It's relatively painless, but you may loose some of your custom tweaks on your current template.

You will use the "Page Elements" tab to add back some of your custom links and pictures. It's a little odd to use at first, but they actually did a very nice job of making it easier for novice users to make changes to their template.

1:14 PM  
Blogger John said...

Jason, thanks. And Greg, thanks again. I'll have to give it a try.

9:36 AM  

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