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, February 27, 2007

The Devil Queen - Great Pyramid Connection

And, I don't mean that they both obviously have seen better days either.

First, sorry the last post was rather curt. I just didn't have anything more in me yesterday. I had to work late on the day job yesterday, so I didn't have time to do anything except eat dinner and go to bed early last night. I feel much better for the sleep too.

In any case, I'm sure that you'll be glad to know that I've finally resolved one of the great mysteries of the world over the weekend, how the pyramids of Egypt were built. It wasn't sorcery, aliens, kites, or any of the other oft proposed bunk. Simple answers are best, remember Occam's Razor people? The pyramids were built with lots of people and beer and bread. It seems like that was a rallying cry for a revolution (Russian?) of some sort, maybe I'm imagining that?.

As I mentioned in the previous post, this Sunday we had six people working on the Devil Queen for roughly 5 hours. And, as the pictures in yesterday's post illustrate so nicely, those 30 hours of combined labor worked a minor miracle on the Queen.

I'm sure that asking nice (begging) helped a lot, but there is a certain amount of give and take in organizing a volunteer work crew who actually shows at the appointed time. In our case, we varied some from the ancient Egyptian's methodology of beer and bread (and no tyrannical priestly class, pompous monarchs, or other overt coercion either). Tastes change with the times after all. Instead we substituted fresh brewed coffee, Coke, Crown Royal, and two loaves fresh baked Honey Wheat Bread.

For those of you with no interest in baking, skip the next part.

[Honey Wheat Bread: warm to cups of milk to roughly 100 degrees (slightly warm to touch, not hot). Add to packets of yeast. Let it stand for five minutes or so. Wisk in two eggs and a 1/4 cup of honey. I only had 1/8 of a cup of honey, so I substituted sorghum for the remainder. Add 6 cups of wheat floor, two teaspoons of salt, and 3/4 a stick of butter at room temperature. Mix in Kitchen Aid for 7 minutes or kneed by hand for 10 minutes. I went the Kitchen Aid route except I finished kneading by hand for a minute or so. I have trouble telling if the dough is ready until I lay hands on it. IT ought to be "smooth & elastic." Cover in lightly oiled bowl and let it rise for two hours (should double in bulk). Punch down, form into loaves, let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Makes two loaves. Excellent sliced with butter and peach preserves.]

With the food and drinks, the help was kept pretty happy and hummed along through the afternoon. And, we passed a small milestone, Gideon stayed onsite for the project. We took turns playing with the baby, but, for short stretches, he entertained himself and stayed out of the way. And, he loves the blue which is good since four walls of his room will be this color.

Anyhow, with yet another of the "great riddles" of mankind solved, you can sleep a little easier tonight. Based on our experience this weekend, I believe that if you gave out enough fresh baked bread and booze to anyone who'd help roll rocks around for a few hours a day, you'd have a pyramid built in short order. And remember: the answer to all questions great or small may be found in the Devil Queen because she is the center of everything. Or, at least connected to everything. All it takes is a little time, legal drugs, and an open mind.

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Anonymous Brenda from Flatbush said...

You say, "I ought to be smooth and elastic." You're being too hard on yourself, really, I mean, shouldn't we all?--but with the passing years, it isn't easy. (hee hee) Seriously, folks, this bread-and-beer motivational system has promise.

6:08 PM  
Blogger jeannie said...

I wish I were still smooth and elastic. *sigh*

8:42 PM  
Blogger John said...

Um, right [embarrassed cough].

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